The St. Stephen's Tavern is the closest pub to Big Ben situated right opposite the Houses of Parliament. Originally built in 1873 and then refurbished in 2003 after being closed for 15 years, many of the original fittings have been bought back to use including a division bell which rings giving a warning sign to MPs and Lords, that there are just a few minutes to cast their vote in parliamentary debates.The call announces 8 minutes to return to the chamber!
St. Stephen's Tavern is the closest pub to Big Ben situated on the corner of a cobbled street in the centre of London, where the likes of Winston Churchill and Stanley Baldwin (prime minister three times between 1923 and 1937) used to take a tipple. In the modern day the pub is still popular with locals, tourist, journalists and back-benchers. The pub is also a desirable spot for film and TV producers, with its intricate decoration, oak panelling and carpets (which are all in the same style as parliament itself) as well as the clear shot through the window, framing Big Ben’s clocktower.
This very traditional pub was first built in the 1800s as a Victorian tavern and one of five pubs in parliament square. It was demolished to make way for the Westminster tube station in 1868. When it was rebuilt, it was made to incorporate the Queens Head next door, and St Stephens became the tavern we know today.
The St Stephens Tavern is proud to be part of the Hall & Woodhouse family. For more information on Hall & Woodhouse and to find other Hall & Woodhouse houses click here.
Monday to Saturday: 10am - 11.30pm
Sunday: 10.00am - 10.30pm*
Daily: 10am - 12noon
Food Service Times:
Monday - Sunday: 10am - 10pm
*Unfortunately we do not serve alcohol until 12noon on Sundays.
From 1988 the tavern was closed and was purchased by Dorset family brewers, Hall & Woodhouse in 2003. Thankfully, many of the original fittings were able to be salvaged and are now back in use! In the mezzanine balcony area, you’ll find green leather banquettes arranged in a series of snugs. A recent refurbishment has reinstated a lot of the original features, and the ornately carved bar, oak panelling, etched glass windows and Pugin-style wallpaper throughout combine to give a rather grand atmosphere.
Today we serve good quality pub food, from Full English Breakfast through to tasty bar snacks. There is an excellent selection of cask and bottled Badger beers which are kept and poured to perfection.