I was with two friends from the US, who were on a layover for 48 hours from Heathrow. They wanted to experience a "real English Pub." We were at Victoria, which I do not know well, so googled "gastro pubs" and came up with St George's Tavern, which had a relatively high rating (about 4 of 5).
We made our way there, and my friends were discouraged by the city punters outside. I knew better, hopefully because of my 24 years of living in London. We approached the pub and they were slightly intimidated by the sheer numbers of be-suited city types with their fag-smoking and pint-drinking (male and female) louts outside. I said, "never fear," as I knew that food at 5 pm food is never a priority. I told them that the crowd outside, smoking and swilling, is about as British as you can get.
Sure enough, once inside, although busy at 5 pm outside, there were some seats inside, though probably taken up by drinkers. I asked the barman about food and he directed me downstairs. This is where things got interesting.
At 5 pm everything was quiet. Th downstairs reflected the rich wooden paneling and mirrors of the upstairs. Our first server, who was the downstairs barman, was of such a supreme character, and such a high level of service, we wanted to put him in our back pocket or handbag and take him home with us. Things got crowded by locals around 6 pm.
We three are all Americans, and used to a standard of service not often met (as I have said in other reviews), but we agreed, without hesitation, were thrilled not just with our service with the downstairs landlord, but also with our the waitress, who despite not speaking English as a first language, was fantastic as a server, and made us feel completely at home.
Our food was more erratic. My friend A--- had fish and chips, which she thought were fantastic and L--- and I had steak, a miscalculation on both our parts. If you're going to order food, I strongly recommend you stick with pub basics, such as pie and chips. I was tempted by bangers and mash and sorry I didn't order it.`
All in all, a good value for money, and a fairly good representation of an English Pub for visiting American friends. I think it must be a good value just based on the local families we saw dining there.
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