Havelock Tavern

57 Masbro Road
West Kensington, London
W14 0LS
Tel: 020 7603 5374 Kensington (Olympia) 0.3 miles

Closed for 9 months after a fire in August 2005, one of London's most highly rated gastropubs re-opens. Little has changed, from the no bookings and no credit cards policies to the high standard of cooking.

© Havelock Tavern

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Havelock Tavern reviews

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Awful, awful pub. Terrible management - they made us feel like idiots and look after their friends before customers. Very unpleasant experience. I will never ever go back there.

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 by jackburgess, 17 Nov 2012
Absolutely awful. If you're part of the little 'in' crowd then you're fine. Cliques everywhere, all very happy with themselves. Generally unfriendly and uninterested in anyone who's not sniffing round their bottoms telling them how wonderful they are. Attitude reflected in service - see last comment for proof. Food average at best. Go if you absolutely have to, but plenty of other options if you can use your legs. Big change of management and staff required.

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 by pubbage1, 19 Feb 2012
Utterly dreadful. Dog in there did its business all over the floor whilst people were trying to eat. Manager/staff were so unapologetic and did nothing to offer any compensation to those of us right next to it. It was the way the situation was mishandled and the dreadful attitude of the staff that was most upsetting. Food poor. Used to have a good atmosphere and I used to go frequently but would now much rather go to The Anglesey or Old Parr's Head for Thai!

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 by Nigelfletcher, 03 Feb 2012
I went to the Havelock on Sunday just gone, and very much looked forward to going, but was left feeling totally underwhelmed. We were told by a very rude manageress that we had ordered a bottle of wine when we had only asked for a glass, and felt pressured into buying the bottle. The amazingly rude service continued, much to our great surprise. On telling the manager that all our meals (that we had waited over an hour for) were cold, we were met with a frosty face. We were made to feel that it was our fault because we wanted a hot roast with all the trimmings! When we finally got our meals there were things missing off the plate, but by this point we had lost the will to eat.

Overpriced and believes too much in its own hype.

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 by nickstyli, 21 Nov 2009
I love this place. Really friendly staff and French owner. Scrummy black bean chilli. Jugs of iced water and lemon on the bar. No hurry if you want to stay all afternoon for lunch on a Sunday. And no bookings, so no need to think ahead.

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 by hungrygirl, 20 Aug 2009
Had a fabulous veal saltimbocca cooked to perfection.

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 by head1, 29 Jul 2009
Went for lunch and there was a live slug served up with my salad. No apology from the staff/manager or anything to ease my queasiness. Do not go here. Go the Priory on Milson Road - it's much nicer.

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 by Shantha, 27 Jul 2009
Used to visit weekly before the fire and it was always fabulous - simple, well cooked and well thought out meals. Unfortunately I live in NZ and I miss the place a lot.

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 by si_ali71, 16 Jul 2008
I have been going to the Havelock for years (about 10). On my last visit I found that there had been a change. The first thing I noted was there was space - this is very unusual! Then the pub was full of smoke, billowing out of the kitchen, and this didn't change for the next 2 hours. The food was not as amazing as I remembered, the staff were still fun, and the pub goers seemed to be a bit more posh. Hmm... has the Havelock had a change of management I wonder? Oh, but good news - they now take credit cards!

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 by lisah (4 reviews), 29 Apr 2008
Lovely pub - friendly staff, good atmosphere, excellent selection of beers, and the best chilli ever!

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 by F. Griffin, 14 Apr 2008
Amazing place - will never be able to forget it!

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 by gushaughton, 28 Nov 2007
Popped in for last-minute lunch. Excellent food - not huge, over-facing platefuls either. Good ambience, and they're going to start accepting credit cards very soon! We'll be back.

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 by Marie Prutton, 18 Nov 2007
Food: OK to good, occasionally very good. Staff: disinterested - felt like we were intruding.

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 by seeker, 20 Aug 2007
Up until my last visit on a Saturday night a couple of months ago I had nothing but the highest praise for the Havelock, especially the food. But on our last visit the food was average, the service was awful (all the staff stood around chatting like it was their living room and you were putting them out with your custom). To cap it all off, the waitress (manager?) was eating something just outside the kitchen, licked her fingers and then walked straight over to cut the bread!

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 by Emma F (2 reviews), 16 Jul 2007
The food here is nice - not spectacular, but good enough. The service, however, is terrible. Out of 5 people's meals, 2 came as ordered, 2 were 'lost' until it was brought to the staff's attention, and 1 was cooked incorrectly. The staff were rude and showed little interest in correcting the problem (with the exception of the person I think is the manager). Go if alone or a couple, but avoid like the plague if you're with a group of friends.

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 by NuclearToaster, 07 Apr 2007
Not as snooty as the no-credit card rule suggests. Great food with a good range of choice on the menu, great atmosphere, and lovely decor. No screens showing sport makes it an ideal place for Sunday lunch.

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 by Anonymous, 15 Feb 2007
I live in the area and am a regular repeat visitor. I love my local but I really notice up-surges and huge down-swings in the quality of the meals, which leads me to think there might be two chefs - one who rocks, and one who is a little behind... If the quality of the top chef can flow through to the other this place will get better and better and busier and busier (which adds to the atmosphere). Steven Merchant was spied there recently... must be good! I still love the expressions of people when they're told they can't use cards and the nearest place is miles away!

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 by maas, 29 Jan 2007
Crowded but good as always!

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 by neighboorhood girl, 02 Jun 2006
Back to its former glory!

Useful review? 1
 by localresident, 30 May 2006
Its back! Staff still on form. Food as good as ever.

Useful review?
 by cumulo nimbus, 20 May 2006

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