Traditional pubs are becoming something of a rarity in central London. The idea of a slightly dark, atmospheric, woodland institution is one that appalls too many developers. Casks are troublesome to manage, needing lots of infrastructure and care. Giving people booths and a big bar with stools is inefficient, in a place where space is at an absolute premium. Hell, even stocking the kind of things a pub would need is a bit of a hassle. Much better to put in a wine bar, serve some bottled beers, tap into the craft scene a little (Punk IPA, I’m looking at you here) and serve some tapas style dishes instead of the crisps. Maybe some ironic pork scratchings, if you’re feeling adventurous.
Thankfully, the Harp Bar didn’t get the memo. It carries on being a friendly, warm little spot in the middle of a tourist war zone. If you’re looking to have a good pint and a solid table, this is the place. Prices are relatively high, but that’s a given when you consider the location, but there’s little pretension. If you asked for a strong porter with heady notes of chocolate, vanilla and just a whiff of raspberry, you’re likely to be asked whether you would prefer a cake over a pint. And we wouldn’t have it any other way.
Address : 47 Chandos Place, London WC2N 4HS