The John Snow W1F 9QJ (Tube: Oxford Circus)

Fans of gore soaked soft porn fantasy nonsense Game of Thrones will possibly deludedly assume that this pub is named in honour of one of it’s lead characters. It isn’t. It is in fact named for a famous pioneer of anaesthetics and epidemiology. That fact almost certainly isn’t going to stop endless streams of prats like me uttering things such as ‘winter is coming’ and ‘you bastard’ intermittently throughout their beer and turning this perfectly fine establishment into an accidental theme bar.

Inevitable fates aside this is actually rather a smart place. Unadorned wood panelled walls, tiled floor and a central bar define the interior whilst two old fashioned partitions divide up the drinking area. Typically for a Sam Smiths pub it only serves their branded drinks, you know the score, but this rather confused some American patrons who happened to be there when I was ‘what do you mean you don’t have Bud? What the hell is ‘Taddy Lager?’’. Sadly this outraged outburst didn’t result in them leaving but purchasing two Sovereign Bitters which vexed them further and induced strange gurns after each subsequent sip.  

Whilst not quite in possession of a beer garden there is a handy standing area outside on the pavement which is helpfully marked out in white paint just in case you stray too far with your pint and the men come to punish you. Despite it being standing room only out there it’s not too shabby, the pub exterior is a smartly polished facade and it looks onto a rare cobbled crossroads on the edge of Soho, prime people watching territory.

Sadly this isn’t a spectacular pub and as ever in central London there is far too much competition for it to drag itself high in the rankings based on its few plus points. Reasonably cheap pints and decent surroundings make this an OK stop off, but nothing more. You bastard.  

john snow

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2 responses to “The John Snow W1F 9QJ (Tube: Oxford Circus)

  1. Is it a reflection of my great age that when I saw the name John Snow my mind immediately conjured up a gangling, grey-haired man doing a strange dance in front of some brightly coloured graphics on election night rather than Game of Thrones? It probably is. I love the “polished façade” and would like to visit although I’m not a fan of “standing room only”.

    I think the only other Sam Smith pub I know is the one on a side street off Tottenham Court Road. I think it was/is called The Bricklayer’s Arms. Have you been? By the way, what is “Taddy lager”?

    • I’ve not yet been to the Bricklayers but it is on my hit list of places to go to over the coming weeks. Sam Smiths are almost always a sure fire winner and there are a surprising number of them in Central London (see The Princess Louise, Ye Olde Citie of Yorke, The Captain Kidd, The Glasshouse Stores, The Duke of Argyle all reviewed on the blog).

      The reason for this consistency is down to the fact that they only serve up their own branded or sourced fare. No Fosters or Carlsbery nonsense. ‘Taddy Lager’ is one of their signature lager drinks and Taddy relates to the fact that the company was founded in Tadcaster. If you like what’s on offer then this is great news if you don’t however it’s a bit crap.

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