This traditional but stylish pub in Charing Cross is the perfect spot for a pre-theatre drink or an affordable, tasty lunch surrounded by West End performance memorabilia.
Two doors down from the historic Garrick Theatre and looking quite dramatic itself from the outside, The Garrick Arms sits proudly with its green and gold pub front, huge arched door and gas lamps over the entrance, fitting into the West End's theatre district seamlessly. Inside, the pub has a far more modern feel; the wooden floors, light-coloured walls and smooth background music create a wine bar vibe, though the mirrors, chandeliers, fireplace and red, fringed curtains remind you that this is in fact a traditional pub. The local theatrical influence is very apparent, as vintage flyers, opera posters and 'do's and don'ts for theatre goers' adorn the walls every which way you look.
The pub is smaller than it looks from the outside, which helps add to the wine bar atmosphere. It's fairly quiet during the day but fills up as the evening performances start nearby. Staff are fairly friendly but not overly chatty. Overall, this is a nice pub for a relaxed drink or something quick to eat, especially since the chatter won't rise to an irritating level. It is wise to arrive earlier rather than later though, as there isn't as much seating as you might expect.
There's a selection of traditional pub classics on offer, including sausage and mash (£7.45), fish and chips (£9.75), prime rib eye steak (£13.45) and lamb casserole (£9.95). There are also some more surprising dishes available, like hand-breaded halloumi (£8.95), confit of duck leg (£10.45) and maple-glazed salmon (£12.95).
A glass of house wine (Sauvignon Blanc or Tempranillo) goes for £3.65, and a pint isn't much more. On draught you'll find Beck's, Fosters, Guinness, Heineken, San Miguel, Garrick Arms Best Bitter, Crafty Devil and Greene King IPA.
The Last Word
Though it's a rather simple, traditional London boozer, there's something about The Garrick Arms that's more compelling than its neighbours. The vibe is far quieter and more relaxed than your typical central London pub, yet it's still only a stone's throw from the tube.