A stones-throw from busy Knightsbridge, in a tranquil mews, the Nag's Head is locked in the past. The wooden frontage is like a Dickensian shop and the unspoilt interior is a world away from the corporate creations of the pub chains.
This charming little hostelry hasn't changed much in three hundred years. The front bar has a beer shop interior with bare floor boards and wooden panelling. There's a plethora of genuine curiosities and bric-a-brac, including some working penny arcade machines and a what-the-butler-saw type viewing box 'in 3D still pictures'. The centre piece is a stove from the 1820's. Another individual aspect is that bar staff are at a much lower level than the customers and bar stools are at chair height, which is somehow disconcerting. Mounted on the counter is a wonderful pewter beer engine with pretty pink ceramic Chelsea Pottery handpulls.
The back bar downstairs is small and cosy, with a cast fireplace and dark wooden panelling. Here too collections of oddments, such as ice-skates and carpet beaters, and lots of prints. A hefty and shining National cash register sits on the solid bar counter.
Switch off your mobile, they're banned, landlord Kevin Moran says they're unnecessary and intrusive. Kevin is an old fashioned kind of landlord, he took the 'Free House' off his pub sign when he saw the term abused by others; his is a true Free House he says, he can sell what beer he chooses. Don't get the wrong idea, Kevin is a great host and runs a popular pub. Once the majority of pubs were run by people like him, nowadays most are run by managers who move from pub to pub. Kevin's been here more than 25 years.
Overall this is a fantastic pub of a type becoming more rare by the year, particularly in the capital. So pop in, sit back, sip that pint and make sure that mobile phone doesn't ring! The Nags Head -
My friend says this is the best pub in London. The landlord has rules, no mobile phones...hang your coat up, seats are not coat hangers! and if you want chips....go to McDonalds! It may be harsh but its deliciously funny....we are all going there when the weather is warmer in 2013 not for the abuse..... but the beer which is apparently great! :)
The Nags Headmsamanda,
By far the best pub in London. Great atmosphere, and thank heavens the landlord doesn't allow mobile phones. Good beer, decent no-nonsense food and civilised patrons. A stop at the Nag's Head is highly recommended for anyone who wants a relaxing pint in reassuringly unspoilt surroundings
The Nags HeadHumberter,
not a nice atmosphere here at all. bad service. god forbid you get a phone call! my phone rang in my pocket and I was almost thrown out for it! never setting foot in this pub again. message to the landlord... lighten up mate, your going to be losing business fast with attitude like that in this economic day and age
The Nags Headpubattendee,
Awful, awful place - unbelievably terrible, rude service. Was served the wrong drinks by the landlord and landlady who then refused to change for what I'd actually ordered and accused me in front of the whole bar. I'll not be going back.
The Nags Headjthoms,
Visited this lovely pub today loved everything about it and hope to return next time we're visiting that part of London!
The Nags HeadDuchess1,
Read the menu carefully as we have been overcharged for the food, apparently there is £1.50 surcharge to each meal on certain days even for a ridiculously basic cheese board. I also feel the service could be improved.
The Nags Headmartyna,
A great little pub & a friendly publican. After wandering around Harrod's (like a good tourist) I needed beer and found it ( together with a warm welcome & civility missing from the busier pubs in central London.
The Nags HeadTramline,
Very good pub, you must give it a visit if only
to have a ham sandwich and a beer of course,
last visit 2010.
The Nags Headpatrick67,
This is probably the sort of pub heaven that a true Englishman dreams of going to when he dies. I was introduced to it in 1968 by my history tutor, Bob Gray, who rated it the best pub in England. I hope it never changes - or not while I'm still able to visit. I once asked an old landlord of the place, Len Cole, if he didn't think 11 o'clock in the morning was a little to early to be drinking pints of bitter. He gave me a sorrowful look and said: 'It's never too early, dear boy, but one day it will certainly be too late.' RIP Len, and long live the Nag's Head.