Historical version 10 of Imperial, WC2H 7BL
- 020 7437 6573
- 5 Leicester Street, WC2H 7BL
Tucked just off Leicester Square, this is a fairly pleasant and not too busy pub, which is a vast improvement on the nearby chain bars. Despite its location, it doesn't get quite as many tourists and revellers as you'd expect.
There's banquette seating in a booth area opposite the bar with several large tables, as well as lots of smaller table towards the rear of the pub.
It has four handpulls with London Pride (£3.20/pint), Bombardier and Abbot Ale appearing to be regulars. They also have Budvar and Leffe (and the other usual lagers), on tap. At a visit in 2007, the guest ale was Everard's Sundancer which is a very pleasant light coloured summer ale; they've also featured Elgood's Cambridge Bitter (March 2008) and Butcombe Bitter (November 2008, £3.25/pint), among many others, though the line-up on our February 2009 visit wasn't particularly inspiring (Greene King IPA was the other on offer). There's also a rather odd mulled wine dispenser at one end of the bar.
The pub menu is fairly standard fare, identical to other Spirit Group pubs (burgers, sausages and mash, nachos, sandwiches, etc.), though they have a print-out of daily specials attached. A falafel burger was somewhat unadorned, but served in a tasty ciabatta bun with chips, so not too disappointing. The pies, though, were excellently presented and looked to be very tasty.
There is a big cafe style awning at the front with halogen heaters for the smokers.
They show sport, but not too intrusively.
Accessibility: No steps to get in, but ladies' toilets are upstairs, and gents downstairs, with fairly narrow staircases.