A Greene King pub located a short walk from Baker Street tube station, the Allsop Arms is a straightforward venue serving a decent selection of food and drink at reasonable prices.
The outside of the pub - charmingly ornate with its bountiful hanging baskets and old-fashioned lanterns - belies the reality of its plain interior. There is no avoiding the fact that this is a chain pub containing all the usual fixtures – from the faux handwritten chalkboard signs advertising various promotions to the flashy quiz machine in the corner. However, there is plenty of space and comfortable seating and, whilst not being especially attractive, the place isn’t scruffy either.
The pub remains fairly quiet on weekday evenings, perhaps owing to its side street location, and this may be considered a blessing by those who have had to fight their way through the post-work hustle and bustle of other venues in the immediate area. Staff are left with little to do and seem fairly bored because of it, and the place is a little lacking in joyfulness and character.
A large menu offers a range of sandwiches and main meals, along with options for sharing platters – starting at £7.95 for nachos and dips, and going up to £12.45 for a more sophisticated ‘antipasto plate’, consisting of various cold cuts along with mozzarella, frijemole and olives . Whilst largely being the expected pub fare, dishes are prepared with a little more flair than average, and little touches such as the ‘Bloody Mary relish and fennel slaw’ accompanying the burgers (£7.95 to £9.95), and the emphasis on using fresh organic produce, add some appeal. A range of small plates offer tapas-sized fare such as whitebait fillets and beetroot and sour cream arancini (both £3.95) are also tempting additions.
The drinks list is decent, with a range of premium spirits on offer (including Sipsmith’s gin) along with the expected brand names. A number of ales are available on draught, including Young’s and Bateman’s brews along with Greene King’s own offerings. There is a small range of wines, with house bottles priced at £13.95.
The Last Word
While this venue won’t win any prizes for unique charm or welcoming hospitality, it nevertheless offers food and drink to suit more palates, and is calm and relaxed enough to facilitate decent conversation.