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The Harp Bar, Covent Garden

Published: Oct 5th, 2009 | Author: The Beeralist

I recently revisited the Harp in Covent Garden, London after a break of a couple of months and unbelievably the pub has got even better. I’m told this is due to the fact that the landlady has bought the pub outright from Punch and now has complete control over how it’s run and what beers to stock.

I was a late convert to the Harp some 2 – 3 years ago but now when in the rea it’s a must visit pub. It used to be one of the smokiest pubs in London, but that’s all changed now and the atmosphere is just people enjoying themselves.

Harp, Covent Garden

Harp, Covent Garden

The pub is extremely narrow inside and when it’s busy (seemingly all of the time) it can be a struggle to get past the bar to the slightly larger open area at the back. There is a quieter room up the narrow stairs if you need a bit of peace and quiet. Be aware though, the stairs are almost as precarious as those at the Seven Stars in Chancery Lane.

The beer selection will never disappoint as there are 8 different beers on at any one time. The selection varies constantly apart from the two staples and on my last visit the list comprised:

  • Harvey’s Sussex Best – a regular here. Almost as good as being in a Harvey’s pub.
  • Sambrook’s Wandle – Hoped it might taste like the Wandsworth brewed Young’s ordinary but it’s a different beer completely. Similar colour but much fuller in taste, and maltier. It calmed down to a subtle caramel flavour.
  • Dark Star Hophead – As good as you’d expect it to taste but slightly glazed.
  • Dark Star Original – Such a deep, dark beer but not as intense as the Espresso.
  • Morrisey-Fox Blonde – My first opportunity to try this on draught and much better than the bottles. It’s a strong golden ale – not unlike Summer Lightning but somehow richer.
  • Timothy Taylor Landlord – Not tried, but another constant I believe.
  • Holden’s Will O Wisp – Not tried
  • St Austell Tribute – Not tried

If you’re hungry there are various sausages in a roll to eat assuming there are any left – they’re very popular. These are cooked for you behind the bar.

Update: The Harp now has a website.

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