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New Fairlop Oak, Barkingside

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user reviews of New Fairlop Oak, Barkingside

please note - reviews on this site are purely the opinion of site visitors, so don't take them too seriously.

I visited this pub for the first time in a few years, last month. A friend told me that he had been intimidated out of there one cold, dark evening in 2001 by a table of local 18-21-year old thugs, whom he'd thought had wanted to beat him up in the hope of impressing the girls he was with. My friend said that there were a high number of underage drinkers - much like the George at Wanstead. He didn't go back, and suggested I shouldn't go in the first place.

I ignored his advice and visited this pub around 2002. And I found the clientele to be just as threatening, young and prematurely drunk as he had suggested; swathes of men - sometimes three generations-per family standing around fruit machines; degrees of miserableness and hostility etched into each face at the bar; regardless of age, impatience was their only apparent motivation; slack in posture, slack in friendliness; bedecked in designer labels; carrier bags in hand; fists loaded. Certainly no pub in the area - that I knew of - was so unwelcoming, and I confess to not feeling very secure.

However, in 2008 I returned with colleagues one summer's afternoon, staying until it closed - and the atmosphere was SIGNIFICANTLY more hospitable.

It appeared that the thugs had all died, been incarcerated or had gone to the Chequers down the road. The average age of drinker had jumped from about 18 to 50. Still present however, and perhaps the pub's worst feature, were the extremely impatient regulars. These - still a presence in 2014 - take great exception to a new face placing an order for a drink before them, even if that outsider has been waiting some five-ten minutes longer. These men, creased £20 betwixt fingers, arms folded in frustration, stare at other patrons, before mumbling a one-drink order to an unappreciated, but utterly likeable bar maid/barman. More than this, it seemed that my use of a 'thank you' when receiving my change had really annoyed the regulars.

So 2014. Well, it's better yet. The atmosphere has been tamed further still, and it seems that there are many professionals dining and drinking with colleagues in place of the Violence frequenting a decade earlier. The range of ales they now have - bottled and canned - is pretty 'hipster-beard' for a Weatherspoons, and this pretty cultured range is all the more impressive when you consider that you can buy these ales CHEAPER in a pub than in a supermarket. I could have a range of very drinkable bottle/keg ales all for under a tenner. Compare that to the wonderful Walthamstow pubs whom charge DOUBLE or the same selection and Weatherspoons suddenly looks very impressive.

Another sight - and I am sure this IS good parenting - is the frequency of married couples whom bring their children in for a cheap dinner. I tend to think that even though this is perhaps the least child-suitable environment in Barkingside, the dads whom bring their kids for dinner, do care more than the majority of Oak dads whom neglect their offspring, and opt to waste Friday evenings in a sodden mess, whilst their children sleep at home, storyless.

A mark? In 2002, I'd have said '1', in 2008, I'd have said '3', today; '6' - and six of those marks are for the range of ales.
morrissey - 25 Oct 2014 15:05
Ok it's Wetherspoon's but the staff are helpful and the range of beers is the best in the area. Lunchtimes tend to bring mums and kids out to play but for less than £3 you can't complain.
theeducator - 24 Jun 2012 15:21
Ok it's Wetherspoon's but the staff are helpful and the range of beers is the best in the area. Lunchtimes tend to bring mums and kids out to play but for less than £3 you can't complain.
theeducator - 24 Jun 2012 15:21
Ok it's Wetherspoon's but the staff are helpful and the range of beers is the best in the area. Lunchtimes tend to bring mums and kids out to play but for less than £3 you can't complain.
theeducator - 24 Jun 2012 15:21
Decent, comfortable, spacious Wetherspoon's with the usual good ale selection. Weltons' Deep & Crisp & Even was found by my companion to be a little sour but staff were happy to replace with an alternative.
beermann - 16 Jan 2012 14:02
I have rather changed my opinion of here since 2008. Yes, it is a bog standard Wetherspoons, however my snobbiness has been rather disappated by repeated visits enforced by family reasons. What I have to say is that they keep consistently superb beer; I've never had a bad pint of real ale and the selection is always adventurous and varied. Purely for beer choice and quality I'd actually say it's worthy of a CAMRA Good Beer Guide entry.
JonW999 - 3 Aug 2011 01:59
I came in here for Sunday Lunch at the weekend.

For starters I had the deep fried squirrel nougats with Daddies Sauce and for main I had the tripe and onion soufflé with ASDA Smartprice Tomato Ketchup.
The dessert consisted of a Diamond White Sorbet with a loganberry coulis.

To drink I had a pint of Bombay Sapphire followed by a quart of Yellow Chartreuse. Very enjoyable!

Recommended


THE_SABBATICAL_GOAT - 5 May 2010 23:39
Its a Wetherspoons so you know what to expect price and drinkwise. The Guinness is decent but that's where the fun stops. An atrocity of a pub. Unless you're moving through quickly without making eye contact with the clientele (hard to tell which are men and which are women - both are equally dangerous in different ways), then I couldn't recommend this pub less.
Neil_floor - 7 Oct 2009 21:11
This pub has its ups and downs. Sometimes it's good and sometimes it's bad. The service isn't great and you have to often wait a while before being served. Opt to go during the week when it's less busy and there aren't so many chavs around. The real ale is always good and the landlady is doing her best to improve the pub; again shame about the service at times.
as025 - 3 Oct 2009 14:06
Situated on a roundabout, with a beer patio out the back this spoons had a good selection of ales and friendly quick service when i visited.7/10
fat_beer_badger - 17 Jun 2009 18:15
Very, very average Spoons pub with night of the living dead chav idiot customers.
JonW999 - 21 Aug 2008 19:10
This place is a total dive and full of young and not so young people getting pissed up. I believe there is often a fair bit of trouble in there Avoid at all costs!!
jenrob - 5 Jun 2007 14:20
Smelly, dirty, cheap Wetherspoons pub
BinBagBob - 1 Apr 2007 13:39
Hate it. No atmosphere, although there are some more interesting lagers coming through... you have to know a member of staff to get served, and even then, it can take a good while
amsegall - 4 Jan 2007 11:56
In last two years this pub had dived... n still diving like a new channel five drama.
Ran by young kids and attracting even younger chav drinkers has driven out all us n all regulars that found this a rival to local wimpys. Would rather hire a blockbuster video n pay the fine then drink here ever again. Such a waste.. gets a one for being still open
paulofchigwell - 1 Jan 2007 19:42
On the whole not a bad pub.As like most Wetherspoons pubs it is looking a bit tatty and could do with a makeover.The Archers IPA was 100% and there was another guest beer on.
apa - 21 Aug 2006 09:44
Cheap drink but that's about the only good thing I can say about it.
Food is hit and miss and if you're not known to the bar staff then you're in for a long wait at the bar. The staff have one speed and that is backwards.
anonymous - 22 Mar 2006 13:11
It is Cheap.... But the food sometimes makes you wish you'd gone for a dodgy kebab instead, it's full of chavs the staff are useless... It is fun to try and drink everything off the menu mind and is just up the road with a blinding curry house opposite so gets a 5/10....
drunkmarv - 8 Sep 2005 16:26
This publican facility is nowhere near exquisite. If you come looking for adequate catering then so be it but i advise you look elsewhere (i.e. Pizza Hut or Wimpy). Food and drink aside, this outlet of Weatherspoons would make my top ten. Plus points: tables and chairs a plenty, quiz machine, toilet facilities and a range of beverages including local ales and bacardi breezers.
tomgud - 5 Jan 2005 21:45
If you want quality drinks and food avoid. But its o.k for a cheap drink.The atmosphire is o.k, but nothing special.
I would give it 5/10.
Glen - 28 Oct 2004 23:39
A big pub wiv lots of room. Plenty of people go here but this is a cheap nite out if u short on cash. They keep running out of drink which is not good for a pub and food has been up n down. Ok for a local but not a pub to come to for a fri nite out as most people leave by 10ish.
Paul - 26 Oct 2004 19:12

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