Jul 28 16

Smuggler’s Tavern, Warren Street, W1

Jack Cutforth

Visited: 27 July by JC & JB

imageSmuggling really needs a new PR strategy. Shut up, hear us out: if you think of olden-time smugglers, you think of quite a romantic vision of hauling stolen booty from a ship, hiding it in a cave on a desert island, Monte Cristo style, and making off with a busty wench. These days smuggling involves either swallowing a condom full of cocaine and hoping it doesn’t burst in your stomach, or daringly walking through the Nothing to Declare exit of the airport even though you actually intend to sell some of those cheap Spanish cigarettes.

But we digress. The Smuggler’s Tavern on Warren Street makes sure you know what kind of smugglers it has in mind: the walls are festooned with nautical decoration, and plenty of maps. There’s plenty to look at without the small space ever feeling cluttered or overbearing, and the pub really does have a raucously friendly atmosphere that suits its theme.

Appropriately, there’s a lot of rum on offer, and a whole page of rum cocktails to choose from (£9 each or £6 during happy hour from 3-6pm on weekdays and all day Saturday). If rum isn’t your thing don’t worry, they’ve not neglected the beers. The fridge is bursting with craft ales, and on tap there are plenty of Meantime’s offerings to choose from and a couple of ales. The next thing on our to-do list is to come back for a bottomless brunch (every Saturday, £25 for brunch and as many mimosas or bloody marys as you can drink in two hours).

Pubs are all about atmosphere and this place has that by the chestful – the sort of place that will put you in a good mood as soon as you walk in the door. Probably the best pub in the area.

Beer: 4
Price: 4
Service: 5
Atmosphere: 5

Do they do food? Looks like a solid pub grub selection with plenty of snacks too (mac n cheese croquettes are welcome on any menu)
Are they in the 21st Century? Contactless is preferred to doubloons.
Are there dogs? Certainly seems dog friendly.
I want to smoke: Small covered area out front.