Argyll Arms, Soho

18 Argyll Street
020 7734 6117

Traditional town pub, 3* HeritagePub

The Argyll Arms is a remarkable survivor right in the heart of London’s West End, next door to Oxford Circus tube station (photo 2). It’s an unspoilt Grade II* listed Victorian gin palace in an area where most pubs have either closed or been modernised into bland open-plan eating spaces for the tourist trade. Inside, the front of the pub is divided into three snugs by elegant mahogany and cut glass partitions which lead up to a red lincrusta ceiling (photos 1 & 2). At the back is the wood panelled saloon with mirrors on three walls.

According to the pub website the Argyll dates from 1742, but Camra’s Pub Heritage website dates the building to 1868, so it’s likely that the current building replaced an older one. What’s not in doubt is that the spectacular fittings were added to the pub in 1895 by the architect Robert Sawyer.

Food is served all day including breakfast from 10am and the main menu (with a fish focus) in the mirrored saloon at the rear and in the upstairs restaurant. Up to eight cask beers are on offer along with the Nicholson’s range of craft beers.

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