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The scene Sam Smith’s pubs are a god-send for most Londoners – where else can you drink in central London and get change from a tenner for four pints? The sacrifice you make is choice, but rest-assured, choice is overrated.

There’s a labyrinthine interior in the Princess Louise in Holborn, with tiny side rooms and long tiled corridors giving it genuine character, not saleable off-the-shelf character that pervades in many of the capital’s tourist-trap pubs.

The bar is an expansive loop which splits the drinking cubbies. We’re joined halfway through our pints of refreshing Alpine lager by the Shakespearean actor David Bradley, better known to young audiences as Filch from Harry Potter, for a swift one.

The grub Thankfully it no longer serves bar food, but there’s a good selection of snacks – might I recommend the superb pork scratchings?

Behind the bar: it’s Sam Smith’s only. For discerning drinks, their Organic Lager is a fine pint. But the Alpine is good, too, and the Taddy lager is tasty and light. The bitters err on the traditional side, meaning more robust numbers such as Porter, Stingo and Nut Brown.

Bill please Among the cheapest pints in the capital. A pint of Taddy will set you back just £2.45 and the ales are cheaper still. Wine from £2.75.

Verdict There are few places more dripping with more unaffected charm. 

208 High Holborn,
WC1V 7EP  
Tube | Holborn


Princess Louise - review: Charming pub with some of the cheapest pints in London
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