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“Don't go if you want a pub as it's a restaurant with a bar” 2 of 5 stars
Review of Somer's Town Coffee House

Somer's Town Coffee House
60 Chalton St. | Euston, London, England
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Ranked #5,408 of 18,003 Restaurants in London
Cuisines: British
Dining options: Breakfast/Brunch, Reservations, Late Night
Restaurant details
Dining options: Breakfast/Brunch, Reservations, Late Night
Gravesend, United Kingdom
Top Contributor
335 reviews 335 reviews
225 restaurant reviews
Reviews in 136 cities Reviews in 136 cities
220 helpful votes 220 helpful votes
“Don't go if you want a pub as it's a restaurant with a bar”
2 of 5 stars Reviewed March 28, 2014

Let me first explain that my low two-star rating is as a pub and not a restaurant, which is what they clearly aspire to be. Here’s the reason why.

I used to visit this pub fairly regularly with friends when it was a proper pub. After it changed hands we would all too often find that although many of the tables were unoccupied when we arrived (about 5pm), most had ‘reserved’ written on them leaving nowhere, or limited places, to sit. The last straw was a year ago when there was nowhere to sit at 5pm, as despite most tables being empty they all had reserved written on them. It was unanimously decided that this was not the way to run a pub and we decided to go elsewhere in future (presumably we are custom they would not want to lose as we would invariably have 5 or 6 pints each between 5 and 9pm, invariably with a bite to eat during that time).

After a year we thought it worth another try. Sadly it was exactly the same. We arrived just before 5pm to find plenty of unoccupied tables, but upon investigation every one had ‘reserved’ written on it. I complained to the barman and asked (rather tongue in cheek) if a booking was required simply to sit and have a beer. “Might be as well” was his reply! Surely that is not the way a pub should operate, particularly as I understand that there are designated dining areas in the basement and on the first floor where reservations would be expected. To add to the irritation, their website states “We are a pub”. No, they aren’t. It also advertises “If you just want a pint and a packet of crisps, we can do that”. Maybe they can, but it’s unlikely you can sit down for it! Fortunately we managed to grab a table that had just been vacated, so were able to sit and watch others come to the bar, buy a pint and then wander disconsolately round the empty tables reading the ‘reserved’ sign before standing at the bar. In my view it’s not a pub that serves food but a restaurant with a bar, and they should be honest and call it such rather than advertise it as a pub.

Having got that rant out of the way, lets move on to the food and service. The service at the bar was poor (not that the bar staff weren’t busy, but there was only one or two serving bar customers while the others were busy ferrying food about or preparing large drinks orders for diners). As for the food, we decided against because of the following incident, which is worthy of note. While I was in the toilet a waiter delivered some whitebait to out table. He was told that we hadn’t ordered it, so he touted them around the bar without success before returning to say that we had definitely ordered them. He left them on the table. As they had clearly been paid for we each tried one. However, deciding that honesty might be best (a decision helped by the fact that they were only lukewarm by this time and we didn’t like them very much anyway) we took them back to the bar and assured staff that we hadn’t ordered them despite their insistence that we had. We then watched in amazement as the barman carried them round the bar again looking for takers before trying outside, where he found the person who had ordered them. We watched through the window as she ate the much-diminished portion whitebait. As far as we could see she didn’t complain about the tiny portion left (there wasn’t many to begin with) or the fact it must have been almost cold by that time, but it didn’t give us much confidence about the food!

I am afraid that after this experience we will again take our custom to a proper pub where we can sit down for a few pints without having to reserve a table to do so, which is a bit of a shame as it is convenient and does have a good selection of well-kept ales. Maybe I’ll try again in another year in the hope they decide to run as a pub, but somehow I doubt it.

  • Visited March 2014
    • 2 of 5 stars Value
    • 3 of 5 stars Atmosphere
    • 2 of 5 stars Service
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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81 reviews from our community

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Rating summary
    Food
    Service
    Value
    Atmosphere
Date | Rating
  • English first
  • French first
  • German first
  • Any
English first
Rugby, United Kingdom
Top Contributor
109 reviews 109 reviews
59 restaurant reviews
Reviews in 42 cities Reviews in 42 cities
45 helpful votes 45 helpful votes
“Good food and beer but very busy !”
4 of 5 stars Reviewed March 28, 2014

You need to book a table at this pub, food is of good quality and a good range of beers , only drawback is it is rammed !!!

Visited March 2014
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewer
5 reviews 5 reviews
3 restaurant reviews
Reviews in 2 cities Reviews in 2 cities
2 helpful votes 2 helpful votes
“Great food and great ales”
4 of 5 stars Reviewed March 1, 2014 via mobile

Went to this nice pub with my family on a fridaylunch. They have Good British Tapas menue and fab Fish N Chips! Youngs ales on tap and a place to bring friends and family for a nice time!

Visited February 2014
Was this review helpful? Yes 1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
London, United Kingdom
1 review
1 helpful vote 1 helpful vote
“Poor Birthday Girl”
2 of 5 stars Reviewed February 25, 2014

I recently went here to celebrate my friend's birthday. I'm generally appreciate of culinary efforts and keep an open mind when dining out but my meal was really bad, as were the majority of the party's. My chorizo was slopped onto a tiny plate, cold and the taste was way too salty. The waitress gave me free chips to compensate. The rest of the party complained that their dishes were cold too. We didn't want to make a fuss because we were celebrating but it really was a let down, and people should know to be weary if choosing to eat here.

Visited January 2014
Was this review helpful? Yes 1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Senior Reviewer
9 reviews 9 reviews
Reviews in 6 cities Reviews in 6 cities
12 helpful votes 12 helpful votes
“Cosy night out!!”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed January 25, 2014 via mobile

Reserved a table in the basement of this pub, the "cost kettle" for 11 people. Firstly, the reservation was smooth and easy to make. Prompt and efficient emails made with Alexander.

On arrival :) my name had been written on a table with white marker "this bit reserved for Jade" thought that was a lovely touch. My friends and I have a fantastic time. Music was great, and they even let us request a few songs so we, or maybe just I, could dance a little bit. Cocktail and wine list was great, cocktails had great presentation. Mine was in a jam jar!! And We ate peanuts from a vintage tea cup!!
Overall this place had a lovely vibe, chilled out, cool, with a vintage feel to it. There was no snobby atmosphere like some London cocktail bars, this place got it in one. Staff were helpful and talkative too. Had a genuinely lovely night out and will most definatly be coming back. It's one of those places you will keep wanting to show everyone :) xxx

Visited January 2014
Was this review helpful? Yes 2
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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