The Astronomer - London Pub Review

These days, I find nothing worse than squandering my evenings in a crap, backstreet watering hole. One could say Friday nights are to me what that One Ring was to wee Gollum (MY PRECIOUS!). And so, wary of having our Friday evening pilfered, recently, my friend and I visited The Astronomer, part of Fuller’s Pubs, at Bishopsgate. This is what transpired…

The Venue

Formerly known as The Shooting Star, The Astronomer is a stone’s throw from London Liverpool Street. From the outside, you could easily dismiss this place as another old man’s pub. However once inside, the space is bright, pleasant and welcoming with a cool and clear ye olde, space theme that litters the venue with astronomical instruments of discovery. It has large amounts of walking space, not in am awkward, baron sense which some of these old pubs have, but with varying levels on the main floor; a large majestic bar, a decent outside space and an atmospheric and booth-filled basement. All slathered with wood, brick, nods to the stars and ambient lamp lighting.

astronomer review london

The Astronomer has breathed new, yet ye olde life into this Liverpool Street staple. 

The Atmosphere

It was nice - mellow and friendly. It’s increasingly difficult to find these sorts of casual atmospheres in The City. It really is reminiscent of traditional, friendly London culture. The type of ambiance which sees people flock from around the world to experience a taste of, as opposed to these glamorous, international bars which have done a clean sweep of the capital.There weren’t many starched suits to be seen.

There were however large, merry groups of locals, couples, families and some good older local faces. Everyone was clearly having a good time. The staff were lovely - warm, helpful and our waiter was hugely attentive. The Astronomer certainly provides the sort of down to earth ambiance to let your hair down, or what’s left of it after a heavy week. The presence of a low-key DJ provided good background music too.

the astronomer review london pub

Flecks of astronomy are dotted about the entire venue, making for subtle quirks throughout. 

The Food and Drink

For starters, we enjoyed crunchy little bowls of cauliflower and spinach pakoras and prosciutto, Laverstoke mozzarella and basil pesto (£9 for two). The Cornish orchards cured, smoked sea trout was absolutely scrumptious with a pure, British twang. That was £12.95 as a main which we shared. Next, the greedy pigs in us could not resist trying what we came here for – the pies! We shared the Tasting board at £16.95. Presented with three different gourmet and traditional mini meat and vegetarian pies, the complementing ales went down a treat. And they were so well-presented and came with a true savoury and humble edge. Chips and salads accompanied the mains, as they do in the traditional pub setting. Lastly, English strawberries at £5.95 with shortbread and cream was the quintessential icing on the cake. Truly hearty food and a significant amount of well-priced beers and ales. It seems increasingly hard to have a pint for less than a fiver, centrally so it was very welcome here.

the astronomer london review

The mains and dishes at The Astronomer are a true testament to British pub dining. 


All in all, it was a lovely evening at this rejigged traditional English pub. The space is ideal for an enjoyable, down to earth evening out. It’s a place to gather a crowd of friends, have a few casual after work drinks in, and simply just revel in traditional London life. The staff are kind, the pies are authentic and it’s got a great location. The Astronomer really has made an effort to breathe life into the traditional English pub, pubs which I miss in every nook and cranny around London. I genuinely applaud it standing tall in the face of sprawling shiny, urban development. These are the sort ofplaces, which make the capital such a unique city to go out in, meet your friends and have a jolly old good time.