I work in London for brief periods from time to time, I don't claim to be more than a glorified tourist, however I'm a man who knows a good pub when he finds one.
We were staying around the corner at the Rosewood for a week and found the Ship the first day wandering the neighborhood. The place is in a funky spot, little alley on one side, just what you would expect from an old London haunt. They say it's been there for 500 years so the inside is right out of central casting for an old London pub.
The first time there we had a go at a few pints and a couple of scotch eggs. Classic British pub experience. The bartenders couldn't have been nicer and more helpful in my finding a beer that I would like. We stopped off there the next day for a pint after work and again, great experience. We went on the next day as well and the place was packed, great atmosphere, met some great people, it was now our official go to place after work.
The next day we were in the bar in the Rosewood and a couple was sitting at the big couch and we had a big party and they kindly moved for us at the request of the waiter. I sent drinks over to their table as a thank you and the gentleman came over and was extremely thankful and extremely nice. He then says I own a pub around the corner, the Ship Tavern, please come in and have a drink. As I always tell me kids, treat people well and they will treat you in kind.
My friend Jon and I went there the next day and got a couple of pints and a burger (the Oak Room burger). We met the owner and he couldn't have been nicer or more welcoming. The burger was fantastic by the way. I'm a Yank who knows his burgers, my Rubenesque physique was chiseled by burgers and beer I'm afraid. This Yank has been disappointed in every burger he's had in London with the lone and notable exception of the one at the Ship. It was Juicy and perfectly done, not the hard gray over-done cardboard-like burgers I have had every other place in London.
To my British friends, you have a fantastic pub. To my American friends, if you want a classic English pub that will make you feel at home and you want a great burger that reminds you of home, go to the Ship. This is where I'm going with friends form the office after work while in London, my London Cheers.
Upstairs Oak Room restaurant is warm and cozy - dark wood, soft lighting, candles. If you're looking for a solid pub meal, this place is a good find close to Holborn Tube stop but nicely tucked down a small alley. On a Sunday evening after having arrived in from NY, it was exactly what I was looking for - a quiet, decent meal with a good pint of Ale (Tribute).
The leg of lamb and gravy was tasty, the goose fat roasted potatoes were better than expected (something about "goose fat" didn't sound great). The pastry served with the dish was tasty, good for sopping up the gravy.
Service was prompt and efficient.
The Ship Tavern's Oak Room left me satisfied with a full belly and will ensure I sleep well and rid myself of any remaining jet lag.
Live jazz was loud downstairs but was a nice volume in the upstairs dining room.
Give this place a try; it was established in 1549, so it's a bit older than I am :)
Wow, a 400/500 yrs old bar and little restaurant upstairs!
Survived all times and serves great food!!!! I had great oysters!!!! Nice sea bass as well. It was a pity I was too tired to stay longer, but would have loved to try the desserts! A place to definitely come back to!
Ship Tavern was unfortunately the only Pub we went to on a recent honeymoon trip to London. If we were going to pick only one though this was a good choice as it was established in 1549 and then rebuilt in 1923 after it was burned down in a fire. I wish we had made it there earlier to try the pub food, but we had to settle for a pint. The bartenders were very helpful in picking out a beer and let me try a few. I had the beer especially made for ship tavern and my wife had a cider. It is a very relaxing setting with couches and bookshelves. It is a little hidden but quite easy to find by the location posted on Yelp. Definitely make it a point if you are a tourist to stop by Ship Tavern and try out a pint. According to the other reviews it sounds like the food is a worthy stop as well!
This is a wonderful old traditional tavern. Quiet and reminiscent of olden times- quaint interior feels like your in a cozy study. They stock excellent Cask Marque ales to enjoy in private booths. Have yet to be to dining room- but very much enjoy this pub!
HUGE portions, really good food...service was a bit slow but they were busy that Thursday night. Every dish was bigger than my face (yum) and the appetizers were also great. My main was the pie of the day, chicken and leek, and it was amazing. Someone ordered the chicken...and it was an entire half chicken.
Dessert we got sticky toffee pudding - a little sweet but very yummy.
I wandered past The Ship months ago with friends, exploring the small alley that leads past, and immediately stopped to bookmark it. It just seemed so interesting--tucked away off the main road, cozy and warm light spilling out into the street. Unfortunate that it took me so long to get back!
The Ship is a great local pub, often packed with folks on their way home from work, stopping in for a pint to wash away the stress from work. Friends and I came before heading farther into Covent Garden for a night out, and were able to snag a few stools near one of the doors. Having a bit of bar space to put down drinks, and hang coats, was super handy, but I would suggest being prepared to stand if you turn up during the rush hours after work.
I didn't get to try any of the food, but I'd be interested in trying to turn up earlier in the day to try and grab a table for a bite. It seems like a nice, centrally located boozer for a Friday night, with lots of potential directions to go afterward (access to Bloomsbury, Covent Garden, etc). The staff was friendly, if a little rushed at the bar, but I think that's pretty standard. I had the 1549 house beer, which was great, despite my general avoidance of pull and pump beers. All around, a good time!
This is a pretty good pub right around the corner from Holborn station. Even though it's close by, it seems like it's not so close given the small street it's on which really adds a nice touch.
There's a great selection of ales on draught as well. (Not that I sampled any, the broken arm took away my drinking ability for a month or so.)
The clientele is an interesting mix of people who look like they are regulars in British Pubs (which they probably are) and hipsters. It was a strange dichotomy but only added to the charm of the place.
Finding a pub that is not owned by what I will term "Mega Pub Corp." is becoming a difficult task in London anymore :(
Thankfully there are gems abound and this is definitely one of them. Nothing better than a cold winters' night huddled up by the fireplace upstairs having a lovely chicken, bacon and leek pie and a tankard of ale. Even better when it is a Tuesday night and it is only 10 pounds including the ale as that is pie night! Great specials, great beer, nice wines and great British food that did not arrive pre-frozen in packages from "Mega Pub Corp."
It's a charming little pub in a back street in an area too void of charming.
Otherwise there's nothing earth-shattering here. They have good beers and nice staff. Simple tables and booths. Sometimes some live music.
Someone else said cozy... that could be the best adjective for the Ship Tavern.
This pub was established in 1549.
1549! That's almost 500 years! That's older than the American Constitution.
After that long to refine things I'd expect the perfect pub. Not a single flaw.. But all I found was a moderately good pub.
The food was good. An incredibly British menu of pork pies and such. I had a fish finger butty with tartare sauce that was everything tartare sauce should be. Deliciously creamy and mixed well with the butter of the bread.
The drinks were standard for a pub. A good selection and well priced for central London.
The atmosphere is ok. A bit too quiet inside, with no music or television, but that's often a good thing in my books. I really do enjoy silence... The alleyway positioning helps with this by removing it from the sound of the streets.
These are all 4 star qualities.
What it lacks for the 5 star is what it should be. I'm walking into a 500 year old pub, but it feels like it was built last year. I expect low ceilings, wrought iron and saw dust floors.
The place is called The Ship Tavern, but the only allusion to maritime adventures is a single oar above the bar. I expect ship wheels, sextants or at least a terrible yet moody oil painting of a stormy sea...
All I find is a pretty standard bar with some almost tacky furnishings..
That all said, this is still a good pub, with great customer service and pretty good food and drink. It's not their fault I have crazy dreams of time travel....
The Ship Tavern is a pub downstairs and a restaurant upstairs. I haven't been to the pub but really like the upstairs dining lounge called 'The Oak Room'.
The menu serves hearty English food like Fish and Chips, Pie and Mash, and Mac & Cheese. Its a perfect winter destination for lunch time with the dark wood look, these warming dishes and has a fire place. The clientele at lunch is usually the local work crowd but its not a rowdy place and is usually pretty busy.
To be clear my 4 stars are for Oak Room not the pub downstairs (which owns the restaurant)!
This place serves the kind of cheap and nasty red plonk that you know, even while sipping it, that it is going to be responsible for making the next day a complete write off.
Situated down a little alley, there's loads of space to stand outside and it feels quite nice to be drinking away from the hustle and bustle of Holborn. It also makes a nice alternative to the chain pubs in the area.
The bar staff are very friendly. I got called 'darlin' 4 times in one trip to the bar!
Shhh, dont tell anyone BUT this is a pretty warm and cozy pub to run into in case you get caught in an alley in the rain.
Chance rain happens in London, you'll thank me later..
This pub has a great location, near Holborn station, accessed via alleyways. Not great for passing trade necessarilybut great in that it feels like the sort of place that there should be a puband there has been a pub here for some time!
A friendly, busy pub serving half a dozen real ales on, including Tribute. Apparantly their ales have been quaffable since 1549, when it used to cater for labourers working in nearby fields.yes the area has changed a bit since then hasn't it! Outlawed priests held illegal catholic mass here during the time of Henry VIII!
The Ship Tavern is located less than a two minute stroll from Holborn Underground station but can be a litle tricky to find if you've not been before. It's sandwiched at the itersection of two small alleys and a back road and as such tends to attract mainly regulars who know these streets like the back of their hand. A friend of mine reccomended the place to me as a quiet, cooky and fun little hang out away from the hustle and bustle of the high street.
This is exactly what you get; the atmosphere is very relaxed and cheery and the landlord goes the extra mile to make you feel welcome by actively trying to get to know you. The interior, as might be expected, is adorned with various mariner related knick-knacks and pewter pots which give this place a rustic cosy feel.
During the day they offer a range of good hearty pub grub including their own home-made pies and (apparently famous) beer-battered fish and chips. For drinks they stock a good range of lagers and ales. Prices are a little steep but this is central London after all and it's a lot cheaper than many other places you can think of.
All in all a lovely place, great for one-to-one chats and small groups.
Sunday roast is to die for! Pork belly with crackling that can't be beat
I love this place! It gets packed fast, but if you can find a seat, it's a wonderful bar to sink into. The decor is warm and cheery and offers the space for a cozy conversation (unless it's packed and the noise level is high). The beer selection is great, but staff incredibly friendly, and the food delicious.
We had fish pies when we went and they were wonderful. Every time we're in London, we're stopping in.
The ship is one of those exciting secret pubs that everyone likes. But it's tiny, and the fact that everyone likes it means that everyone was in here when I popped in for a pint last week.
We weren't meant to stay for more than one pint, but the beer was really really good. No reason, they'd just kept it really well. And after a strange day and a long few hours walking about Covent Garden, this was very welcome.
Friendly staff, apparently better than average food and decent (not overly expensive) beer. If you can get a seat you probably won't leave after the first pint either.
I think I must have had at least four or five dud fish & chips over the last oh-I-don't-know-how-many-years
I thought long and hard about whether I was going to spend a tenner and be disappointed or whether I should take their offer of the World's Best Ever Fish & Chips (or some such) seriously.
Considering that I had in front of me a gloriously enchanting, cool to the touch, tankard of fine ale, it is likely that I was prepared to let my guard down and give it a go risk it!
And the outcome? Well, I think you'll agree that I wouldn't be waxing lyrical if I wasn't completely impressed. Faith fully restored in the good old fashioned beer battered tradition of an English fish & chips. World Class!
I love a good Friday lunch down at the pub. Not any old pub though mind.
I was looking for a quiet place to grab dinner while on a business trip and a rare night with no entertaining. The upstairs dining area is a nice chilled out, quiet place to eat. I had the Pie Special on Tuesday which included a pint of ale for 10 GBP, a good deal in central London. Good food, good prices, nice quiet environment and if you wanted to whoop it up downstairs and have a few pints it appeared to be a good location. I would go again.
Good fish and chips and a great bar. I was travelling on business and they were very nice to me. It is a little pricey, but I thought it was worth it.
This is a cute hidden pub in the alleyways behind Holborn Tube station. The interior has a very classic pub feel to it. No gastro pubs here! The drinks are your standard £3-£4 for a pint. But I didn't find the staff very friendly and this place gets crazy crowded in the evening.
One of my favourite pubs. Downstairs, you have the typical central London pub with a very good selection of ales and beers and excellent pub food (try the hot salt beef sandwich - yummy!!). Upstairs, you find a wonderful dining room, serving fantastic British food (yes, this does indeed exist!) in a phenomenal atmosphere. The "Oak Room" is the perfect place to have a Sunday roast or a relaxed dinner on a weekday night. Prices are very reasonable. I highly recommend the slow roasted pork belly - not exactly the most healthy dinner, but from time to time one simply needs proper food, right?
The Ship Tavern is a cozy little pub tucked away in an alley behind Holborn tube station and I can honestly say it does the best Sunday roast I've ever come across in a central London pub! Proper home cooked roast potatoes and vegetables - not the frozen sort cooked to within an inch of their lives that you seem to get in a lot of pubs these days. The portions are huge too and you get plenty well cooked tender meat - their roast beef is my absolute favourite!
Hidden away and somewhat quaint and cute. Popped here for a quick drink after visiting a nearby larger establishment and will remember this one for next time.
This is a great pub. I have been coming here for several years. Even have the T-shirt. Friendly, good food and ale, what more could you want. Some nights it is so crowded that it is hard to get in.
What I love most about this cozy pub is the location. It's right around the corner from Holborn Station, making it a particularly good place to meet up with some of my friends that live on the Central Line (it's equally good for meeting folks who live on the Piccadilly Line). That said it's a pretty cool space to find myself and I'm satisfied with the beer (good selection of bitters on draft). Given how conveniently place The Ship is, it's no wonder how packed it gets on a Thursday or Friday evening. However, Saturdays are generally alright and I've never had any problem securing a table.
A cosy little pub hidden in Gate Street behind Holborn tube, the Ship is a delight. It has the best pub lunches I've had in London and still do things the traditional way. With stories of ghosts and priest hiding holes, this pub has a long and colourful history which adds to its charm. In the evening its always packed and a great place to grab a pint before heading home.
A nice pub situated down a little alley way near Holborn tube. Usually call in here for a few drinks with work crew. Usually a nice crowd and atmosphere here.
This place is not bad at all, but also not outstanding. A gool ol english pub, which attracts alot of city workers. We had a Christmas Party here and the pub was great, but the food wasn't! I would reccomend this pub for drinks and snacks, but our Christmas dinner was dry and featured many items that looked like they had been frozen etc! Not great for food.
Visited here on a Saturday night with a large group of friends and found it to be a very cosy, friendly traditional pub, just a stone's throw from Holborn tube station. It was a pretty cold evening and it was nice to feel snug and warm, a lot of pubs are a little stingy with the heating but not here!
The pub was very crowded and it took slightly longer than hoped to get a drink, but the bar staff were working very hard and were friendly and polite. We had reserved a table which someone else pinched, but the manager was very accommodating in trying to find us all somewhere else to sit (even though the place was packed). The toilets were clean, if a little cramped. They serve mulled wine here too which is a favourite of mine - that always goes down well with me!
It was a shame they called time at 11pm but they weren't aggressive about chucking us out, it was all quite relaxed. A really friendly pub, highly recommended.
Lovely little pub. We came in just before last orders and the landlady was very polite. Let us know how long we had to drink up, and we didn't feel rushed at all. Not bad prices, either, for central London. Recommended.
One of those little places you might spy hidden down a side street and not bother visiting. Perhaps you walked further down Kingsway and went to the Shakespeare or All Bar One? Well, more fool you. The Ship is a total gem - cosy, traditional, well-preserved and in a genuine way, not a touristy "Say buddy, this is what Ye Olde Pubbe was like in days of yore!" kind of way.
We visited last Saturday night meeting friends, and at 7.30pm it was lively with a number of drinkers but not rammed. We went upstairs to the Oak room and the waitress was amazing - reserving us a table without asking so we'd have somewhere to sit when everyone arrived, keeping our glasses filled; and when we ate, the burger, fish pie and fish and chips were all very well received. Not to mention the range of proper beers, all seemingly well-kept.
I'll be back, I suspect - it's a perfect location for a swift one before diving back into the Tube.
Hidden away down a little alleyway immediately behind Holborn tube station and away from the high street hustle and bustle, this pub is a "must" for any punter who finds himself in need of a decent pint in the heart of Holborn. Established in 1549 and originally used to hide Catholic priests during the English Reformation, it has a warm and inviting feel, a decent selection of ales on tap and a great candlelit dining room upstairs with an extensive menu. Beware though, it can get pretty busy with local office workers at peak times so don't be surprised if you find yourself standing outside in the alleyway. Recommended!
It's been a while since I last went into the Ship, but I popped in last night with a colleague for 'a swift half'. As ever, the cosy atmosphere and a very well kept beer meant that a half inevitably became three pints and we only just managed to drag ourselves away!
Good to see that The Ship is still a good, traditional pub, not a tourist trap or trendy wine bar. Highly recommended.
i'm not a fish & chips expert but of the three i had while in the UK, this place was my favorite. the fish was huge but not oily so i ate everything--breading, skin, and all.
the restaurant looks really expensive with its oak paneled walls, fireplace, and fancy decor but don't be fooled--the food is reasonably priced.
what a delightful old pub this is, full of history and situated along the Thames its the perfect setting for a summer sunday afternoon or after work
Great for a pint after work
Great beer and food, but pricey and no matter where you stand (or sit) you're in the way.
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