A sign on Fleet Street leads you through an alleyway with the pub just beyond this. It’s an old world Sam Smiths pub serving its own ales, and is very spartan inside, but no less atmospheric for it. Dimly lit, there’s several rooms you can drink in all with their historic charm.
Visited on 6th May 2017. Lovely old pub set back from Fleet St. It’s a bit of a maze inside and is popular. We ended up sitting in what felt like a corridor, decor is very trad, lots of dark wood, flag stone floor and is pretty nice. There’s a downstairs bar too which was also busy plus a few rooms to relax in. Pretty good range of Sam Smiths beer, prices decent, service good and quality OK. It’s one to visit for the pub first unless you’re a Sam Smith Fan!
The Olde Cheshire Cheese could be a very nice pub but my experience there was adversely affected by the atrocious service, the long queues (literally - queues!) to be served and the arrogant gits blocking the bar. Oh, and the toilets were pretty poor too. The front bar and the little rooms off are certainly atmospheric but some of the downstairs rooms, together with those upstairs, are now given over to dining. There was no elbow room in the front so we went through to the larger back bar. There were two staff doing everything - serving drinks and food as well as clearing away - and not only were they very slow, they were clueless. There are four casks (all Sam Smith’s), a few keg taps and perhaps 20 bottles. We decided to have a bottle of Sam Smith’s Imperial Stout, which was delicious, although my mood wasn’t improved when, having finally got to place our order, the barman had no idea where to find a bottle opener.
(Visited 24 April 2015).
Well worth a visit for a great historical pub dating from the 1660’s.
Sam Smiths so cheap for London but boring Sam Smiths cask.
I’ve nomally gone for something of the keg taps - bottles are pricey!
Split over 3 levels all downstairs from the entry - the feeling is cellars/dungeons - good atmosphere and usually fairly packed with a youngish crowd of office workers and some tourists of a weekday evening.
No destination for good beer (simply adequate/below average for London) - but for a slice of history you should hit this one up!
A Sam Smith House. This pub oozes character. And I will admit, I had walked past the alley entranceway about 20 times before realizing (through Yelp) that it’s actually a pub. Inside, the place is classic: wood everywhere, lots of different seating options, staircases, big rooms, little rooms, dining rooms. For ambience this place gets five stars, no question. On the night I visited (Friday, 8pm) the place was full but not crowded. There was only one bartender preparing drinks, though, and I think there should have been two. Not a huge deal, but we did have to wait about seven minutes for a beer. And as far as drink selection goes, this pub is about average. I do like Sam Smith, so as far as tied houses go, I would rank Ye Olde Cheshire Cheese above, say, a Youngs or a Fullers house. But compared against a free house with decent selection, Ye Olde earns runner-up status. Although, to Mr. Smith’s credit, he does charge bargain prices for his pints; there’s almost nowhere in this city where you can find a pint for £1.99.
So to sum, Ye Olde Cheshire Cheese is a good pub with that old-world, historical vibe. For the discerning beer drinker the beer selection is average, but for the average drinker (or tourist, or cost-conscious dude) the Sam Smith range will meet their needs. I would bring a guest here and will probably return at some point as the pub is about one block from my lady’s place of work. Overall a nice pub that everyone in London should check out at least once.
WoW what a lovely charming place. I have passed this place many times without knowing it is there.
Not to easy to find.
The best room was kind of third level down stairs.
Good variety of Sam Smith’s. I did not see anything else. Could get small glasses if you wanted to try them all also.
Lovely ambiance. A kind of must visit.
Ye Olde Cheshire Cheese is a without doubt a classic London Pub. A great place to take non-beer type visitors to experience a traditional public house. Inside it’s a bit of a warren – full of dimly-lit rooms with sawdust on the floor and fireplaces and such like. The beer is good value Samuel Smiths, so do yourself a favour and order an Oatmeal Stout or Taddy Porter and soak up the atmosphere. If you haven’t been here before a visit is a must.
No matter why you are in London, you simply have to visit this awesome pub :-)
First time i visited this great place I had a lovely chocolate cake and a Taddy Porter, and I loved it. This old pub, time seems in one way to have stand still and yet its a perfect place to go for a beer, some food or some cake and coffee if you are touristing ( or pub crawling ) in London.. The pub have several rooms, fireplaces in each room, friendly staff amd beers are in a good condition...
Make sure you visit this historic pub at least once :-)......
Another fine Sam Smiths London Classic pub. Very cheap, because everything is brewery owned (the Gin, Vodka etc). Sam Smiths Old Brewery Bitter is always on draught, along with their normal selection of lagers and bottles.
Multi roomed, I like the first on the right when entering, it is a drinking room, the rest favour the eating type people. Jet Black wood is the order of the day in here. Fleet Street was the home of the British Newspaper Reporters before they moved out in the 70’s, to be replaced by accountants and bankers, who don’t seem to drink as much. They do come in and fill the place at lunchtime though, mostly to eat and get in the way!
If you like history and drinking it in, or if you like history and drinking in it, this is a must for a visit while in London.