There are two types of pubs that tend to be my favorite: the polished up traditional-but-edgy ones that cater to the young and hip, and the ones that are small, old, laid out in some nonsensical way, and that smell like it's rained indoors fairly recently and someone poured beer on it to try to get it to dry. The décor and atmosphere of the Bree Louise falls into the second category, but I so love it, anyways. The beer selection is fantastic - lots of great ales on tap and constantly rotating. The outdoor area is lovely on nice days, though difficult to get a table so you'll be sharing sidewalk space most of the time. It's conveniently located to Euston, the British Library, and all sorts of stuff, but it's still off the beaten path enough to avoid a Wetherspoons-esque crowd. Mostly locals or people who work nearby. A great pub.
The Bree Louise is a strange one. It was recommended by a friend as a cheaper alternative to the Euston Tap next to Euston station. As I was stranded in London due to the recent storms it was a good excuse to check it out for one beer.
It's on a small side street on the west side of the station. There are 2-3 small tables outside but when you enter it's a bright lit and buzzing atmosphere with the characteristic musty malty smell of busy pubs that greets you. On that night it clearly was particularly busy.
Whilst it's got the look of an old man's boozer with the wooden bar, dirty old red carpet etc... The crowd couldn't be more eclectic. All age groups and social classes are represented and mingling about. The bar itself looks like a macro CAMRA beer festival. A few ales on tap and some visible casks. Food options are limited to pies and although I didn't eat there, my table-neighbour's smelled rather nice and enticing.
I had only one pint of a mild but on this occasion I wasn't fussed. And I thought £4 for a less-than-average mild was a bit stiff when for the same price or less you get crafty numbers at the Euston Tap. But it may have been a bad pick so I'll give it another go at the next opportunity.
Went here on a visit with my girlfriend as her grandparents used to own this pub in the 80s. It's now a nice little booser serving a good selection of real ales I counted 13 and ciders (9). Staff seamed friendly enough and serve tasters in shot glasses to make sure you like the beer before getting a pint. Can't comment on the food because I didn't try it prices ok for a pub right next to a central station (around £4 a pint)
Would probably go here with a group of my lads for a few session beers
For a celebrated real ale pub I found their selection a bit boring. Despite such a large selection there wasn't one that I'd not tried before elsewhere.
As for the food... The pies are a bit of alright. But yesterday I thought I'd try the bangers & mash instead.
It took quite a while to arrive at my table. I had to go and remind them of my order.
And when it came it was quite a disappointment (especially in comparison to the bangers & mash at the Snooty Fox, which I'd had a few weeks ago, and which was excellent, particularly the venison gravy). The sausages were okay, though nothing to write home about. The mashed potato was quite stodgy. The gravy was very average - my mum does better. And there were no peas or any other vegetable with it. I know it's called "bangers & mash" but every other place I've had this dish gave us peas as well.
This is a very good pub that could be much better. On the upside, they have a great selection of cask ales, keg ales and cask ciders and they offer a nice CAMRA discount, but on the downside some of their (gravity) cask ales are so poorly kept that it's tough to drink them. Another bonus is that you can get three 1/3 portions for the price of a pint, so even if one of those three is ass poor you'e still got two others.
The decor is fine though the ventilation could improve; there's plenty of indoor and outdoor seating; the bar staff are friendly. There is a carpet in this pub; take that as you will. I will never think that having a carpeted drinking esablishment is a good idea.
The range of beers the Bree Louise brings in can be quite good, so I'll keep coming back.
Very disappointing experience.
I went here on a fairly quiet day in late October for lunch with two friends. I was very hopeful when I saw the wonderful selection of beer behind the counter. If you simply want a beer and some crisps, this may be a good place to go, because it means you don't have to eat the food or deal with the lousy service.
My two friends, being Brits, ordered fried eggs and chips and ham. First, the order was wrong and they didn't receive the ham. Then when my friends pointed out that the fried eggs were supposed to have runny yolks, the serving staff ARGUED with them that the yolks were supposed to be hard. Even when my friends offered to pay for more eggs with soft yolks, the serving staff refused.
I ordered one of the "famous" pies. A haggis pie. Very disappointing. First it had no crust, either dough or mash. Instead it had root vegetables simply scattered through a very watery haggis filling. It was almost a haggis stew, not a pie. Not what I ordered or expected from a pie.
The decor was also tatty and one too clean.
So, skip it unless you want beer and crisps and don't mind rude serving staff and a dingy interior.
I quite enjoyed The Bree Louise as it's nice to be able to order more than the usual trio (strongbow/magners/bulmers) but not be stuck with something far too sweet.
I stopped in here last week for a bite to eat and a pint. The decor is old, and not in the best shape. If you're looking for suave and sophisticated go somewhere else. It was a Friday evening so most people were suited up until about 7pm when there was a noticeable shift in clientele (many suits could be seen staggering out/into the door). The few students around seemed to be there for the evening.
I tried a few of the ciders (don't ask me to remember the names!) and their wild boar burger. The burger was nice, but the bun was slightly over toasted.
Food wise, it's pubgrub. Cider wise, it's definitely worth a gander.
I haven't tried the food yet, but the beer gets a 5!
I've never seen a better beer selection outside of the annual beerfest. There were a good 5-6 I'd never heard of and quite a few ciders/ perries as well.
This place is quite rightly popular - we ended up sitting outside on a winter Monday because there were so many people there!
Will revisit. And revisit. You get the idea.
Going to have to knock a star off as I do now tend to avoid the gravity beers here after having a couple of poor, flat pints (as some people have also experienced in recent reviews below). The stuff on hand pump tends to be much better.The competition the area has hotted up in the last year and having the odd duff pint like this makes me much less likely to brave the masses that squeeze into the awkward layout.
Now this place is different. Barrels behind the bar with an almost constantly changing selection of ales. 11 gravity ales apparently..I have no idea what that means though but it sounds impressive.
I enjoyed an unusual pint of St Peters Grapefruit and one of their pies (both reduced price with CAMRA membership) and was not disappointed at all. On a second visit I enjoyed several ales including a red squirrel. Sometimes they have the same ale on pump and gravity so you can compare the two.
Drawbacks? Well the layout seems a little uncomfortable. This pub just cannot be cosyno matter how much they try. Also seemed a bit dusty/dirty towards the end of the day too, but in some ways that adds to the old fashioned feel of the place.
No idea what the name references so I'm going to make my own mind up about that (the fictional town from Tolkein).
I will be dropping by regularly to discover a new ale and to enjoy a pie! I think this pub is going to go from strength to strength under its current direction.
You don't come here for a crazy night out. You don't come here for the heavily male, over 40, probably worked all their life in the rail industry, interesting looking clientele. You don't even come here because it's close to Euston. You come here for their ales and pies.
There's always something interesting on tap, and their scrumpy ciders are straight up lethal. For an emerging (getting old) ale drinker like myself, the Bree is ideal.
It has the feel of a local working mans club at times - they've clearly not spent much on the decor - but that's what makes it different.
50p off your pints with a CAMRA card too.
Like: vast selection of beers and cask ales. PIES. Low-key atmosphere. Friendly staff.
Dislike: prices of beers and cask ales
Ouch I was thinking this little back street boozer would be a bit more bank balance friendly but £4 for something silly like a Heineken... sheesh. Even the house brew 'Bree Louise' is that much. And don't get me started on how to describe my friend's face when the price of her gin & tonic was revealed... BUT I know we should be drinking the ales here as that is what it is famed for. I think CAMRA are trying to save this one. And so they should.
Come for the expansive beer list, stay for the outdoor heaters.
What this pub lacks in an attractive interior or friendly bar staff it makes up for in the impressive selection of beers and ciders and its small (but no less helpful) student discount. I've had some especially delicious, smooth porters here and--though I often feel like I'm shooting in the dark when choosing a pint from that long list of unknowns--I haven't been disappointed yet. Plus, there's always Old Rosie if I'm feeling uncreative (or if I'm feeling like I don't want to remember drinking it in the morning).
I guess it's a testament to the awe-inspiring selection that I keep coming back despite the fact that I could head an equal distance to a Sam Smith's pub for pints that are half the price.
Full review on grumblinggourmet.com
As far as quality boozers serving food in the vicinity of Euston, there's not much competition. So wailing on a real ale pub serving fresh, home made food (probably for miles) feels a little harsh, like doing a Simon Cowell routine after a kid's carol service. But, in the interests of integrity
The Bree Louise sits on one of those windblown residential side streets that exist adjacent to every hub train station in the Western world, where the patina of train grime is smeared across the windows like a derisory smear of margarine on a First Great Western ham sandwich.
Despite the unwelcoming approach and the initial, unstructured look, the overly bright, overly heated single room isn't the sort of itinerants' boozer of last resort, filled with dealers, hooligans and the odd poor sod who missed the 5:15 to Leighton Buzzard. It's actually much better (or worse) than that. The Bree Louise is one of those 'proper' pubs. The kind of pubs where men have beards, toilet facilities are 'functional' and it's acceptable to order a half of NoseSplitter or Noggin's Best before comparing fisherman's knit or World of Warcraft anecdotes with your closest (male) friends. For the Bree Louise is a CAMRA pub
Now don't get me wrong, I love a real ale as much as the next man, but there's something about the nerdier than thou that can emanate from the REAL ale drinker that winds me up. It's the same sort of aggressive apologist behaviour that attaches itself to train spotters, obscure indie music fans and Evertonians. A 'get the digs in now, but we know we're right', folded arms attitude that occasionally makes for a very closed shop.
Thankfully, as well as 'Award Winning' ales, ciders and perrys (and a couple of lagers), they also serve a range of 'Award Winning' pies (and obviously feature as an 'Award Winning' pub in a guide book somewhere, given the number of confused tourists wandering through)
Less thankfully, with the exception of an off-piste haggis effort, the pies we had were fairly sloppily constructed, with that deeply unappealing pub habit of slopping an inch or so of pre-prepared casserole into the bottom of an earthenware bowl before covering it with a frozen puff pastry shell and reheating to order. The cider sauce was far too thin, if well enough flavoured, but there were just four small sad beige chunks of pork floating around in it, several inches below the carapace, like turds trapped under a swimming pool cover.
I suppose for £8 a pop, it's difficult to complain too vociferously about the food, but it didn't do it for me at all. The pub is recommended if you genuinely have missed the 5:15 to Leighton Buzzard and can't face the Weatherspoons*, or need to regale chums with your latest live roleplaying anecdotes over a pint of Old Badger, less so for anything else.
* Let me make this absolutely clear. The Bree Louise is a HUGE improvement over the Weatherspo'Neill-style sticky floored hellholes you normally find near stations. It's just that isn't saying much
Formerly the Jolly Gardeners, this corner pub and Free House close to Euston station has just been voted North London CAMRA's 'Pub of the Season' for Spring 2008.
If that commendation sounds a little obscure, what you need to know is that the new landlord is a real-ale enthusiast, and the Bree Louise regularly features ten real ales - five on hand-pump, and five gravity-dispensed from barrels behind the bar. Timothy Taylor's Landlord and Harvey's Sussex Best Bitter are the regular beers and, although the choice is currently not especially interesting, Adnam's 'Tally Ho!' is a welcome addition!
The interior comprises a large, carpeted single room, with plain walls and wooden furniture, with a seating area on the pavement when the weather permits.
The pub sells food at Mon-Fri: 12-15h and 17-21h, and 12-17h Saturdays and Sundays. It specialises in pies made on the premises, and although the food seems popular, I've not eaten here (yet).
An added bonus for CAMRA (Campaign for Real Ale) members is that they can obtain discounts on the price of both pints and food on presentation of a valid membership card. It's close enough to Euston (less than 5 minutes' walk) to stop here while waiting for a train (and certainly nicer than the hideous eateries in the station). Euston Square tube is also close by.
No matter how hard I try, I really find it hard to actively LIKE the Bree Louise.
The first thing people usually point at is the marvellous array of marvellous beer - it's like there's a permanent beer festival going on in there, with 4 or 5 beers on handpump on one side, and then another 5 or 6 on gravity dispense over the other side ("gravity" is the other name for when a beer cask is mounted on a rack, table or shelf, and then the barman opens the tap on the bottom & pours you a beer straight out - in case you were wondering).
Yes it's highly commendable to have all those beers available, but that doesn't automatically make it a good pub. I've had many pints in there, and some of them still come out tasting a little bland. Not BAD, as such: they'd more than certainly give you a replacement if that were the case.
A feature of the place is that CAMRA members get a discount (50p per pint I think), but that seems a little unfair I think: if you were going for rounds with 3 friends then their rounds would all cost £2 more for exactly the same product. Of course it makes members' eyes light up, and possibly contributes to attracting the superlative reviews we see. (disclosure: I'm a CAMRA member - it's not a jealousy thing)
If you look around and ignore the beers, what you've got is a fairly tatty & dingy saggy-ceilinged room, stuffed with tables that are the wrong size for the space they've got (and you can test this by trying to walk through from one door to the other when all the seats are full - a lot of the time you can barely open the door adjacent to the toilets get into the place, and approaching the bar with the handpumps on it usually prompts the typical apologetic do-si-do). The toilets are the most barely provided functional arrangement, periodically wafting parfum d'urine through the premises. The last 5 or 6 times my friends & I have been through there we've chosen to sit outside at the picnic tables rather than lap up the ambience inside, and this was over winter.
It's not that I can't stand the place - my point is that on balance it's a shabby-to-OK boozer, which does an excellent job of providing range & quality of real ale.
Perhaps another summary worth considering is that "If you were looking for a pint or 2 of real ale in the Euston Station area, it's the place you'd most likely head to", rather than "If you were planning to go out somewhere for a night in a pub, you couldn't go wrong with this place".
If I was going to rate it on the beer, it'd be a solid 4. As a pub, I'd say a 2. So lets agree call it an overall 3.
Quality of gravity dispensed beer very suspect. Music can be too loud.
Too many beers on at the same time.
Damn straight, this is a great pub! I could be a little wasted on you if you're after a polished, slick city bar and you don't like beer (in which case I feel very sorry for you for many reasons) but this is a Beer Mecca!
It's not the most salubrious of pubs, and it could be accused of being a little rough round the edges, but I shan't hold that against it one jot! I'd much rather a pub with old carpets and nicotine yellow walls than something that shines and glimmers and gleams but has no atmosphere!
Capacity for 16 beers, most of them on gravity (last time there were only 15 on. The shame!) and 8 proper ciders means that you will be spoiled for choice. It's a decent price, even more so if you're a CAMRA member as you get a handsome discount.
Rather pleasingly, you can get your cider (or lager, if you HAVE to) in a frozen glass. I like!
They have a good food menu dominated by pies. Now, my steak and kidney wasn't the greatest steak and kidney pie I've ever had but it was still damnably good and about the size of my head. Monday to Thursday they feature a "Pie of the Week" for a fiver which is most pleasingly barginous. Unless you have a CAMRA card in which case all pies are £5 any day of the week!
Staff are as a rule charmingly inoffensive and efficient and there is a very friendly, buzzy atmosphere. You will inevitably get a smattering of Beardy Weirdys but that should offend no one (partly because of what I aspire to become maybe) and I would say that the demographic is pretty varied.
Big screens show some sporting events, sound off during civilised hours.
Very highly recommended!
Great for the vast array of CAMRA beers and ciders
at incredibly good value prices for London; bad for smell of urinals pervading the lounge and the grim lighting.
WOW, the pies are so good here. I had the apple cider pie and it was the best pie I have ever tasted, of course it was my first authentic English pie I have ever tasted, but I can't imagine any other pie tasting better than what I had. The beer list is endless and have much ciders. They have a pie special every day for 6 pounds and they do give a 2 pound discount to students. Come for the pies, stay for the beer
Enjoyed here nice lunch before leaving to Heathrow Airport.
We were just wandering around Regents Park - Euston area and ran across this pub. Tried beef, mushroom and red wine pie. Wife had pork, apple and cider pie. Both were amazing! Didn't try any ales or cider, however there was lots of choices available. Worth trying if you're in the area!
If you're a real ale fan this is probably worth checking out as that is its only charm. The pub is located in a rough neighbourhood to the side of Euston station and the interior needs a good clean and a major refurb.
Five pounds for homemade pie, chips and gravy, and 50p off a pint for CAMRA members? As a card carrier myself, I say, yes please, 4! And we did quite literally eat 4 pies, between 4 of course, and they were all delicious. Who says there are no good pubs around Euston?! Well I used to, but no longer, the Bree Louise is a gem. Spent quite a while chatting to the landlord about his new 11 barrel gravity delivery system, which uses sprung counterbalances to gradually tip the barrel as it empties. Clever stuff! What it means for you is delicious bitter all the time - like a permanent beer festival! They even print the last train times in the menu!
Can't believe I haven't been to this place before. It's a CAMRA fave and pretty plain inside but what a fab pub! Loads of ales, drawn straight from the barrels. Lovely bar staff, plenty of tables to sit at. Cold white wine (yay!) Reasonable prices and was busy on a Saturday afternoon in quiet a quiet area so obviously a fave with locals. And OMG, although I didn't eat there, the pies served up at the table next to me looked breathtakingly good (and the people eating them looked particularly happy!) A new fave for sure.
An Alladin's cave of tasty, tasty beer. Go for the one on hand-pump to avoid flat-ness. Can be a struggle to get a seat, but once you're installed you won't want to move all night. Staff are nice, people in there always seem happy and pleasant and it's so close to Euston. Great place, possible my favourite pub in London!
Wow! Fabulous selection of beers (it won an award for its beer), including some straight from casks behind the bar. For years I had thought all pubs near Euston were nasty, but this bucks the trend. It doesn't have the best decor, but if its affordable, well kept beer that you're after this is ideal. The staff were pleasant, and there were some interesting characters around who were happy to chat.
The beer selection is great, and I've drunk in here once or twice, but the atmosphere and decor is horrible. I'd rather drink somewhere with more limited selection and an interior that doesn't leave you embarrassed to take friends there!
not too many craft brews available right now but if you like cask ales and have a few minutes to spare before your train, you can join the other folks with their luggage. the stars are for student prices.
Very well kept pub minutes from Euston Station, in the restaurant-filled area tucked just off Euston Road. Nice cosy seating booths, if you are lucky enough to bag one, and plenty of other tables both inside and out. A good range of beer. Gets exceptionally busy on Fridays, but is eerily empty at the weekends. Better than much of the corporate nonsense nearby.
Required stop for those transiting from the North via Euston station. This place is a great adopted local with bags and bags of Ales, Ciders, Organic food, and Organic lager. You don't expect much in this area of London so its a treat to get a freehouse going out on a limb. There's a big 5pm rush (and quick service to go with it) as testament to a quality unassuming London boozer. But...previous reviews about lack of cosiness are spot on.
A great range of ales, ciders and pies can be found at the Bree Louise.
It's not a pub you'll stumble across, unless you're aimlessly roaming back streets but it's still only a few paces from Euston Station, or if it suits, Euston Square tube.
The only downside is that it gets really busy early evening, as others have said. Maybe it's just the landlord's helpful side but I think there are a couple too may tables so even if you get a seat you can feel quite squashed.
That said I still go back as the beer and service is good and the staff and other punters are friendly. It doesn't have the transient feel that the Head of Steam/Doric Arch has.
Others have mentioned that CAMRA members get a discount, I think students and nurses do too, although you may want to check!
Visited the pub at the end of February. Was the choice of a real ale drinking colleague so guess the impressive selection of ales was really good. Bar staff very pleasant and engaging to the degree of even advising me the potential cost of a double before pouring it. Place has something that can sometimes be hard to achieve, a nice modern vibe coupled with almost old world cultured politeness. I also noticed the next afternoon that it was quite packed for afternoon lunch. A very positive note for me was I lost my scarf (high sentimental value) and went back the next day on the off chance, the guy behind the bar politely asked me for any distinguishing factors and within 30 seconds he went to a back room and returned with my scarf. Now that, in central London, is to my mind superb. I highly recommend the place get there early to get a seat.
Another beer heaven. Decor might be a bit the worse for wear, but if you want really good real ale, well kept and served right by friendly staff, this is the place for you. If it were located somewhere more salubrious than Euston it would be permanently packed, but as it is it gets busy at times. A great feature is that on presentation of a current CAMRA membership card you get 50p a pint off.
This is an excellent little pub close to the Euston tube station. It has a small but solid menu (pies, cheese, puddings), but the real reason to come here is the beer. Chalked onto a board are the 15-20 draft selections available on the day. All are from local, artisinal breweries, with usually 4 hand pulls and the rest in small casks. There is another bar with the usual mega brews (e.g., Carlsburg, Guiness) -- but why drink that when you can quaff cool stuff you'll find nowhere else?!
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