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  • “This is the first and only Samuel Smith pub I visited on a recent trip and was blown away by their Wheat Ale.” in 4 reviews

  • “Another great Sam Smiths, there's always somewhere to sit down in here, whether it's the cute little booths downstairs, or the larger seating areas upstairs.” in 4 reviews

  • “Have been here countless times: the upstairs is often packed with students, the downstairs booths are perfect for smaller parties.” in 6 reviews

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  • 4.0 star rating
    26/3/2013

    This pub is a classic, in a great location with very reasonable prices for central London. Have been here countless times: the upstairs is often packed with students, the downstairs booths are perfect for smaller parties. It's usually quite busy, which gives it a great, happy vibe.

    The food selection here is limited (think: chips, a few sandwich options), but tasty enough. That's probably my only possible complaint. Great spot to gather with friends!

  • 4.0 star rating
    8/6/2009

    Another Samuel Smiths hangout in another well-frequented part of town. They know how to do pubs, these people. The prices are a massive plus, obviously, and you know what you're getting every time you set foot in one. And that's a good thing - none of the, 'Oh, I hope they have Star,' or, 'They better have Grolsh,' that you get at other places. Good ole' Alpine and Taddy. They're like your oldest, most reliable friends.

    Not to sound too alcoholic, I'll move on to the decor. I like that each Samuel Smiths place manages not to make you feel like you're in a chain, even though you really are. In the Lyceum, there are the booths that I've mentioned in The Chandos, just around the corner, but these are better acoustically, and the whole place has a nice relaxed atmosphere.

    Upstairs they serve hearty pub grub for good prices. This is definitely a place for a long evening session, even if those craving a quality Sunday roast might be best advised to go elsewhere.

  • 4.0 star rating
    1/5/2009

    This is the first and only Samuel Smith pub I visited on a recent trip and was blown away by their Wheat Ale.  I'm giving it 4 stars for that beer alone.

    As for the place, it appears to be a very nice traditional pub with a dart board and booths to lounge.  If I had to go back, I would be more than OK with it.

  • 4.0 star rating
    13/12/2009
    Listed in A few London pubs

    A very serviceable Sam Smith's right on the Strand. Its function yesterday was as a pre-theatre meeting place, and for that it worked well -- although it was rather busy I did manage to grab the last couple of seats in the lounge bar upstairs.

    Friendly and competent bar staff (even on a busy early Saturday evening), good beer, friendly people, acceptable food (well, standard "pub grub" -- nothing awesome, but reasonable)... there are far worse places to drink or grab a quick bite to eat on the Strand.

  • 3.0 star rating
    2/4/2010
    1 check-in

    As a non ale/ drinker, I think I lost out on the appeal most people have to this place. However, having been here more than any other London pub, in the last few months, I have grown quite accustomed to it.

    No, not to ale. To the pub. Thanks. I may be a smoker, but I have taste.

    Their wines are pretty good, and not the usual options you'd find in pubs, which was actually a somewhat refreshing change (oddly! I want my Pinot!). They have a little smoking area downstairs at the back (and to the side), which is nice as it saves having to push through the crowds of people.

    Oh dear lord, the crowds of people! Every time I've been in here, there has been literally *ONE* table available, at most. The place is popular and gets very crowded, even starting just after lunch time when I'm sure those guys in suits are still meant to be at work.

    As mentioned by someone else, the bar staff seem both friendly and efficient, which is nice.

    If you're lucky in getting a seat, or don't mind waiting, it's a nice enough bar to hit up when in the area - especially for something a little different from any of the 1001 other bars within a minute walking distance of this one.

  • 4.0 star rating
    13/12/2009

    Start with 3 stars.
    Gain 1 for the location.
    Gain 1 for it being a Sam Smith's and thus well-priced.
    Lose 1 for the food being "ok" but not great.
    Gain 1 for it having a nice atmosphere, and there being a couple of seats available at any one time.
    Lose 1 for the (awesome) snugs not being quite awesome enough in terms of size or being able to have two separate conversations happening.

    All told, good pub/

  • 3.0 star rating
    11/11/2011

    I love Sam Smiths pubs, but this one is not my favorite. When it's lively, it's great. Same price and same pints so you know what to expect. It's often filled with students as it's near several universities.

    What makes me give this three stars, though, is that when it's not filled with students or rogue tourists, it's really strange. It feels kind of gross, and not in a dive bar kind of way. All of a sudden, it's mid-afternoon (don't judge me) and you're thinking about the how gross the carpets are and wondering the last time they cleaned, well, anything.

    But it's a Sam Smiths and I make very little money, so I'll undoubtedly go back.

  • 4.0 star rating
    3/1/2012

    I came here yesterday for a Sunday beer with my boyfriend and a couple of his friends. The little seating alcoves are just adorable. I like that it's cheap, the lady behind the bar was super friendly (& super apologetic about ID'ing me!), and that it's just round the corner from my work.

    I will definitely return!

  • 4.0 star rating
    17/6/2011
    2 check-ins

    Decent Sam Smiths pub, this. Two floors, standard décor and the trusty self-brewed, cheap (but still tasty) beers on tap.

    Unless you're a tourist, and there were a lot in here given the theatres close-by, you know what you're getting into with a Sam Smiths. No music, but a chatty atmosphere and lighting that will have you straining your eyes as you leave.

    Not the best one in their chain, but central and spacious enough to make this a favoured meeting spot for post-work bevs.

    Thanks Samuel.

  • 4.0 star rating
    16/12/2008

    I think this is probably one of the best pubs around the Strand area- it is a traditional old pub, with cheap good beer (it is a Samuel Smith pub) and a good, mixed crowd (it isn't completely full of local students from Kings and LSE or business men, and is just far away enough from Covent Garden that it doesn't attract tourists)

    There are some lovely old booths at the front of the pub which can fit about 4 people in and a huge room upstairs which is perfect for large groups.

  • 4.0 star rating
    19/5/2010

    The Lyceum Tavern is a great pub, popular with King's College Students.

    Its food is very very good value - they specialise in excellent pies but have other pub food options which are very tasty as well.

    My beer-drinking friends always compliment the choice of ales available.

  • 4.0 star rating
    3/10/2010

    Another great Samuel Smith pub in a convenient location serving good and inexpensive beer in an English-y setting.

    I love Sam Smith pubs (The Rising Sun and the Princess Louise are probably my faves but it's a tough call). Maybe it has to do with being an American, but something about these pubs just seem right. The dark tone wood, the nooks and cozy spaces ...

    The lyceum is well situated on The Strand with a lovely upstairs space that's usually more quiet and a bit comfier than below.

    • Qype User peterb…
    • London
    • 27 friends
    • 73 reviews
    5.0 star rating
    20/11/2008

    The Lyceum is a great Sam Smiths pub on the North side of Waterloo bridge. It's wood panelled and quite cosy. I think the downstairs area is best as there are some little booths with built in tables that are good for small groups to chat in and offer some privacy. There is a medium sized bar there too.

    The upstairs is less characterful, although they do take food orders. I think this ends around 7:00pm.

    The drinks are reasonably priced considering the pubs central location just on the edge of London's West End. Overall a reasonably priced pleasant place to meet for a drink with friends.

  • 4.0 star rating
    31/12/2011

    There's not much to dislike about the Lyceum. The prices are excellent, it's in a nice part of town and I go to school nearby so no complaints there. It can get very busy as the inside, but isn't that just about everywhere?
    I haven't been here when it's not busy, but the insanity gives it a nice atmosphere. I can imagine it's a bit lonely when not teeming with students from KCL or LSE.
    I'm not an ale drinker so I can't comment on that, but I've heard good things and it generally misses the tourists, so give it a try.

    • Qype User DrGi…
    • London
    • 6 friends
    • 54 reviews
    5.0 star rating
    24/11/2007

    I'm glad to have found this pub at the corner of Strand. It has lots of good stuff to offer especially ales so if you are ales drinker, this is the place. Mind you, it's a Sam Smiths's pub so don't expect those general names you see in normal pubs around. Good news, it's not expensive!

    Downstairs is always busy, there are some lovely tables at the front that look like bogies. Upstairs is less busy but apparently has less beer, you might have to get down for a drink and climb up for a seat, not a big problem anyway.

  • 5.0 star rating
    26/11/2007
    First to Review

    Another great Sam Smiths, there's always somewhere to sit down in here, whether it's the cute little booths downstairs, or the larger seating areas upstairs.

    This is a bit of a student haunt on week nights, but the mood is friendly and safe. The food is traditional pub fare, but always filling since the portions are nice and large. The drinks are very cheap, since it's a Sam Smith's.

    The staff are very pleasant, and since there's 2 bars, (one on each floor), there's rarely much of a wait. There are some cosy little areas as well, and the place is quite darkly lit, making it feel very snug and wintery.

    The only downside is that you need to keep an eye on your belongings downstairs since my friend's have had phones go missing. The staff were very helpful when this happened however.

  • 5.0 star rating
    9/8/2012

    When my husband and I visit London we always eat at The Lyceum since about the easrly 1900's.  The food is just great and so are the staff.  I will be returning to London (my home town) next summer 2013 but with as friend this time and it will be her first experience eating their.  I can't wait for my next meal at The Lyceum.  

    Cheers
    Yvonne

  • 4.0 star rating
    29/10/2009

    Samuel Smith Pub.  You know it's cheap and awesome.  This particular one is great for it's location.  Right off Strand, great for a pop in.  I'll save most of the details since it's the Old School Theme of the others, I really like the seating at Lyceum.  Tons of booths and open spaces.  Drink Up.

  • 2.0 star rating
    5/4/2013

    Worst - Burger - Ever! Obviously cheap supermarket frozen meat with stencilled grill pattern. Rest of the food also.. meh..
    Nice to have a drink, not too crammed for the location when we were there. In total, could give the place three stars, or even four, if we wouldn't have done the mistake of ordering food, which kind of ruined it... Next time, if there'll be a next time, just drinks, nothing wrong with the drinks (except for wine..)

  • 3.0 star rating
    8/1/2009

    Because of it's close proximity to King's College and the LSE, of course it's full of students. But the atmosphere is very different upstairs and downstairs. Upstairs, it's mostly students. They're crowded around the small tables and tucked in little booths. Downstairs, it's a crowd that's a bit more older. Some look like regular barflies. Overall it's a great pub with cheap drinks, all around 3 pounds. I've been having the organic wheat beer... very nice...

  • 4.0 star rating
    20/8/2011

    It's a Sam Smith's pub.  Great decor, cheap beer and when we went, seemed to be the only pub in the theatre district that was not stuffed to the gills with people - we even managed to snag an awesome seat outside.  I will return!

  • 4.0 star rating
    11/11/2010

    Lyceum Tavern: home of the cheapest pint in London. It gets very busy at the weekends, so make sure to head upstairs where there's tons of extra seating and another bar. I adore the little seating alcoves they have on the ground floor and, really, I could never see myself giving less than 4 stars to any place that offers a £2 pint. Honestly though, it is a fantastic place to get your drink on, but pretty ordinary if you're looking for pub fare. I'm sorry, I forget, did I already mention £2 pints?

    • Qype User mclori…
    • Farnborough, Hampshire
    • 164 friends
    • 160 reviews
    4.0 star rating
    19/1/2012

    Quite a nice little Olde Worldly real ale pub on the Strand on two floors. The place is wood pannelled and has an old coach house feel with some very cosy booths downstairs.There is plenty of seating on both floors, with an upstairs bar to boot. The bar staff were very polite and very efficient. I also liked the try before you buy policy that they had, which you don't always find in this type of pub. The choice of ales was certainly not the norm and were pleasantly very very palatable, especially the scrumpy cider that they had on tap and a very nice lager which the wife enjoyed; all very reasonably priced. The pub is also located reasonably close to a number of theatres.

    • Qype User ArtLov…
    • London
    • 1 friend
    • 50 reviews
    3.0 star rating
    19/11/2008

    This a great little pub, on an otherwise dull corner of the Strand. It's always warm and inviting, although I've only ever been here in Winter and doubt it I would come in the summer. Part of the Sam Smith's chain, it doesn't sell any branded goods so they do their own brand of Coca-Cola etc. which come in rustic bottles and is a nice break from the norm. They are well priced drinks, and the wood pannelled booths downstairs are where you want to be! The dining room is a bit soulless and the food slightly below average but it's great for a couple of drinks and just over the bridge from Waterloo, a good place to meet for commuters and students alike. I did however once see mice in herehence my low star rating!

  • 5.0 star rating
    20/6/2012

    My partner and I visited the Lyceum recently just after visiting a nearby museum. We live in Honolulu, & this was my first trip to the UK.  It is in a great location, with the Savoy Hotel in the same block.  We started at the main floor bar with a glass of the stout and lager.  They were great. The man who poured our beer was Stewart.  He is one of the co-owners of the pub and he is very friendly.  He said they had just taken over the pub just 11 days before our visit and everything had been cleaned and re-freshed.  The bar was friendly and it has local patrons who start up friendly conversations very easily. We asked to see a menu and we decided on giving it a try for dinner.  Stewart took us upstairs to a comfortable table he reserved for us.  We decided we would try several items to get an ideas of their food.  I went to the upstairs bar area and placed my order with GUGU.  She is the friendly host and server for the restaurant. She is in constant motion and has such an uplifting attitude.  We ordered the steak & ale pie, the fisherman's pie and the fish and chips.  We were amazed at just how great the food is in this pub.  Everything was very moist and each dish had impressive flavors.  The fisherman's pie was memorable in every good way.  The fish and chips gave a hearty portion of delicious, moist cod with just the right amount of golden crust.  It was not oily, but moist,  which is rare to find for fried battered fish.  My partner thought the steak and ale pie had great flavor and it was very moist.  Now let's talk price.., the fish and chips were something like 5 £.  The hotel where we were staying charged 25 £ for similar fish & chips, but the Lyceum also gives you vegetables with the order.  All of the prices are low.  All three meals and a two drinks came to about 25 £.  You can eat here, have great food, and still save money.  Customers are a mixed, diverse clientele.., everyone is welcomed, and servers upstairs are friendly, which is what you'd want to find in a pub. It seemed to be a great mix of locals and visitors.  When we return to London in the future, we will be back to the Lyceum.  In the mean time,  we will be telling others that they should definitely give The Lyceum Tavern a try when visiting in London.

  • 3.0 star rating
    16/12/2008

    This is a Samuel Smiths pub, which is always a good sign - good cheap beer and no pretensions to be found. I used to go here a lot when at university at Kings across the road, but it's definitely not a student pub and like all Sam Smiths pubs attracts a mixed crowd all unitedly looking for a cheap pint. Downstairs is my favourite, and if you try and get one of the wooden booths, where you can happily wile away an afternoon chatting with friends and getting slowly merry. Upstairs is a bit more sprawling and can get quite crowded but is generally good for large groups. I recently went there on a Sunday and was surprised to find our group the only ones up there - an unusual sight. Perhaps it was the shock that prompted me to order a pot of tea, which has now provided me with the useful knowledge that it's available. So yes, this is a somewhat typical british pub, which although unremarkable won't disappoint if a pint is all you're after.

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