Wednesday 14 January 2009

Opera Tavern, Catherine Street, Covent Garden, central London

Opposite the Theatre Royal, the Opera Tavern's suitably theatrical facade has a pair of suspended front windows painted gold. Inside is a traditional pub that can attract quite a large and fairly glamorous crowd of after work or pre-theatre drinkers, reducing service at the bar to a desperately slow crawl. This isn't the most comfortable pub, relying more on high stools than cosy chairs and you may even smell the odd smoker disobeying the ban on lighting up. Still, mid-week, the Opera Tavern tends to get quiet later on and service speeds up. On draught, are a couple of obscure, but very drinkable, Cornish real ales, such as Doom Bar, plus London Pride, Fosters and other better known beers. There is also a blackboard menu touting a selection of sausages in a roll, in keeping with the defiantly old-fashioned ambiance. 6/10