The Prince Alfred

Address: 5A Formosa Street, (@ Castellain Rd), London, W9 1EE, United Kingdom
Tel: +44 (0)20 7286 3287
Website: View bar's website
Hours: Mon-Thu noon-11pm, Fri-Sat noon–midnight, Sun noon-10:30pm
Door: Open door
Style: Gastro pub
Price guide: Value
Food: Full menu
Established: 1863
Owned by: Youngs

Review Words by Simon Difford on 07-Dec-2013

Built in 1863, the beautiful façade of this Victorian pub is graced with the original curved and etched glass windows. Inside, a tall mahogany centrepiece bar is surrounded by a curved counter, the area around which is split into five by glazed partitions - each zone around the bar with its own entrance and half-height doors connecting them.

Originally, the partitions reflected divisions in Victorian society and the areas are still known as the Public, the Gentlemen's, the Ladies', the Private and the Snug. The interconnecting low doorways were for staff to move between the zones rather than customers. Rotating, framed-glass snob screens hide drinkers from the prying eyes of the bar staff. All this splendour is protected by a Grade II listing.

While this pub retains its glorious architecture and interior detail, sadly the drinks offering is somewhat pedestrian with only one ale on draught (Youngs), a poor spirits selection and lacklustre service. This Youngs owned pub is only saved by the attached conservatory restaurant, known as 'The Formosa Dining Room', and a wine list offering some 30 bins by the glass. When open (Friday & Saturday nights), the intimate cellar bar tunnel-like snugs, originally used for storing coal, are the place to be.

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