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Bulls Head, Chiswick

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user reviews of the Bulls Head, Chiswick

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

Terrible experience. The bar staff were absolutely run ragged. There appeared to be one bloke trying to manage two bars who kept disappearing and various others who would come behind the bar, table service people and then disappear.

After 15 frustrating minutes, I was served.

I came in for a Timothy Taylor and was delighted they had Boltmaker - a rarity (outside Skipton). It was served almost frozen and was pretty poor.

I had fond memories of this place from many years ago, but its either a victim of its own success or run by inadequate staff.
Mappiman - 21 Jun 2015 16:27
perfectly acceptable chef and brewer. As they go, food was fine, beer was fine, coffee was fine (driver!). The Cloud was working too. Obviously this pub scores because of it`s setting on Thames. To be fair the staff were very good, even allowing for the fact it was a fairly busy lunchtime. Tesco vouchers came in handy as well! A tip, 4x value for Chef & Brewer if redeeming Clubcard vouchers (£10 multiples).
rg12bee - 7 Mar 2012 17:45
The staff here clearly have to speed up a little but all in all, not bad. I agree with other bloggers, the place needs character but it's clean and tidy at least. Not tried the food yet and as the ale wasnt available the Stella went down nicely.
casklovers - 17 Jan 2012 14:50
I have to say I must agree with Suartlsaunders, they have done a brilliant job of ruining this pub. I used to take foreign visitors to this pub as it was an oasis of charm in a sanitised desert. I shan't be bothering anymore nor for myself neither. The more interesting beer choices have gone too. And my wife's sole was served upside-down. I hope whoever has made these decisions is very proud. Attendance seemed to be less than previously too.
ixion - 20 Nov 2011 17:10
Nice pub, clean and tidy. Well run. Good staff, mostly foreign (but pleasant and helpful). Fresh food, but they do struugle to maintain standards on busy days (Sundays). All hard workers though!
dalsegno - 15 Aug 2011 15:16
Oh dear! I really am saddened by the renovation of this pub. Whilst im sure most that visit that haven't visited before would find it perfectly tastefully completed, those who were fortunate enough to see it's wonderful, pre renovation old fashioned charm, will be very dissapointed indeed! I used to bring people from far a field to this pub on a regular basis and they were always taken by it's indescribable beauty. Now it has nothing over any other pub on the river. Whilst I understand the need for modernisation in most places, it was not needed here and it seems the brewery have clearly misunderstood the whole point of the attraction of this pub. Having said that, the riverside setting is still second to none on a summers afternoon, the food is still slightly above average pub grub (the new spring/summer menu looks very varied, tasty and reasonably priced) and the staff are still friendly and welcoming. Overall I would still highly recommend the Bulls Head but almost wish I hadn't have known what it once was
Suartlsaunders - 10 Apr 2011 19:38
Nice pint,thanks
Ales_for_oldlondon - 10 Apr 2011 16:44
Nooooooooo! It’s been ruined. The rustic décor and olde world artefacts that adorned the walls are all gone. The original tiling on the floor has been removed and replaced by some synthetic material. Crass spot lighting is now used everywhere giving it the illumination of a STD clinic. Not a cosy corner or candlelit nook has been left unspoiled. Even the prints from old copies of Vanity Fair have gone from the toilets. All charm and individuality has been ripped out and replaced by dull formulaic dullness. This used to be a place I would bring people from outside the area as an example of a quality well run pub with a special unreformed atmosphere. Not anymore. Whoever signed off on this should be sent to Hague for crimes against humanity.
xaventaner - 8 Apr 2011 09:29
I think it's a nice pub with sometimes a good mix of ales, sometimes not. I go here fairly often in the summer when it's nice to watch the river. I have to agree about the staff though, variable quality at best, the barman looked as if i'd shot his mum when I asked for a pint the other week.
Argylefan - 1 Jul 2010 16:07
A rancid restaurant by the river. Impossible to drink beer there unless ordering the microwaved food which has to be the worst in Chiswick. Attracts cretins by the score on sunny days and keeps them out the better pubs.
thethirstyguzzler - 2 Oct 2009 16:05
I can only praise the staff and service here. Been visiting reguarly to eat here and never been disappointed. Saying that this is supposed to be a pub review site, but The Bulls Head is more of a restaurant in my opinion.

marchw - 2 Sep 2009 09:19
Very good location alongside a tidal stretch of the Thames although the tranquil setting is disturbed quite frequently by the trains on the nearby railway bridge. Cosy inside with tables on different floor levels and an open fire for winter months. We have found the service to be unreliable, sometimes excellent but on a recent occasion rather poor. There was a long wait for our food to arrive even though the pub was not busy and the soup was served tepid. It's all down to the management and their staff on the day which is typical of all franchised pubs. We've found some excellent Chef and Brewer pubs but this one is currently lower down our list for dining.

rikh47 - 27 Jul 2009 18:19
An excellent pub. Great beer and a nice riverside setting.
I've never bought food here, only alcohol.
I_love_Ellie - 22 Apr 2009 14:47
The no drinks unless eating rule must have been for new year's eve only, as I've been in here and had a pint without ever eating food there.
rainlight - 3 Jan 2009 18:38
We four visited on New Year's Eve. This is not a pub, it is a restaurant. What else can it be when the staff refuse to sell drinks unless you are eating? It's a shame really as we have been many here times before. This pub benefits from it's brilliant position and therefore doesn't have to rely on repeat trade. If they were positioned elsewhere they would surely have to treat potential customers better. Another pub down the pan for me. There are plenty more who need my patronage.
ixion - 1 Jan 2009 14:39
I don't understand the bad rating either. I was slightly alarmed by the sign on the door which suggested it is practically a restaurant, but inside it is most certainly a pub. A charming barmaid and a range of interesting beers as well as a warm ambience both literally (there is a log fire burning) and figuratively - this speaks of a proper pub to me. I rate this pub above the nearby City Barge both on its beer choice and the general atmosphere.
rainlight - 24 Dec 2008 09:25
I honestly don't know what The Bull's Head has done to deserve such a low rating! OK, so it doesn't have a party atmosphere but then it's not trying to be a Yates Wine Bar. Instead, you get an intimate atmosphere (quiet jazz in the background and a roaring fire in the grate) that suits the old pub with it's lovely exposed beams and higgledypigglegy layout. The bar staff have always been friendly - if they aren't then you have probably been rude and don't deserve their kindness!

Regarding the beer, I can only say that I've always been impressed. I'm a CAMRA member and appreciate well kept beer and there's nothing better than an ever-changing selection. Top marks in my opinion. The food is from the standard Chef and Brewer menu but from my experience, the kitchen does a much better job of preparing and presenting it than many in the chain.

So, good staff, good beer, good food, a nice atmosphere and if the weather's good, you can sit and watch the river roll by - what more could you ask for!?
ajcsharp - 15 Oct 2008 09:48
In my view the best of the pubs along the Strand on the Green. Always some interesting guest ales on as well as the usual regulars. Great setting by the river of course, and an interior full of real character. Definitely worth seeking out.
RexRattus - 20 Aug 2008 11:09
get a grip people. this pub is easily one of the best in London. Great spot, fab food, good selection of beer and if your lucky you may spot a page 3 girl like we did.

If you cant find a seat, simply sit next to the Thames and enjoy a drink and the atmosphere until one becomes available. Otherwise enjoy the full service inside soaking up one of the oldest and historically significant pubs in the area.

Despite living 2 miles away, we have happily embraced this as our new local pub!
pub_gurus - 2 Aug 2008 21:36
90/10 toward food rather than beer and as beer is what this site is about it gets marked down slightly.
Fine to pop in for a pint with er indoors but inpossible to find a seat and would also feel awkward if you went there with the lads just in case the volume increased above a whisper.
Badger350 - 29 Jun 2008 16:34
Went for lunch in The Bulls Head today. Four of us found a table inside (it was pretty quiet) and ordered drinks and lunch. After waiting for what we thought was 45 minutes I went to the bar to find out what had happened to our food. The barman went to the kitchen to find out, came back a couple of minutes later to say that our food would be out in 7 minutes. No attempt was made to apologise about the delay, nor had we been warned about it. After another 10 minutes our food finally arrived, again with no attempt to apologise. Based upon the time on the receipt it subsequently appears that we'd be waiting for an hour and ten minutes!

Gammon, egg and chips awful. The eggs and tomato were burnt, to the extent that you could hold the fried egg in the air horizontally from one end! By this time we had other places to be anyway, so sending it back wasn't going to help :(

A visit a few months back (albeit at the weekend) was very pleasant so I can only hope that after today's absymal lunch that they're able to find some better staff for the positions of cook, barman and waitress. 0/10.

Jakdaw - 2 May 2008 18:18
Very old pub, great building, wonderfully located on the river. It is a Chef & Brewer so the food is of a reasonable standard and they tend to look after the place quite well.

For the romantic, you would in many ways rather this was more of an old fashioned pub and less of a semi-restaurant. But the economics of it dictate that a valuable site like this needs to rake in food sales so there it is.
TerryTibbs - 3 Mar 2008 12:55
Good choice of ales in an interesting and rambling old pub which seems to cater reasonably well for both drinkers and diners. It is in a great location for summer evenings but the proportion of tables with 'reserved' notices on them however is somewhat irritating.
Redriley - 23 Feb 2008 12:25
I have been going to the Bull's Head for many years and was very disappointed with my last visit on a Sunday lunch time. There were not enough bar staff, prices have gone up and portion sizes gone down and, to add insult to injury, a member of staff was downright rude telling me to move from a table as all tables were reserved, even though they weren't labelled as such, and there was no notice pointing this out. At no point did she apologise for any inconvenience, nor for her aggressive attitude. The nearby City Barge or Bell and Crown will get my custom in future.
jules1 - 14 Jan 2008 20:40
Cant comment on the food, But a good selection of six different ales. Excellent quality the few i tasted.
garyrealaledrinker - 17 Sep 2007 18:36
I popped in here last Friday afternoon. It was totally empty except for a pleasant member of staff who poured me a pint of very nice lager and phoned me a cab so I could go somewhere else.

It’s not really worth me walking past the Bell and Crown to visit, so I doubt I’ll go back.
Strongers - 19 Jul 2007 17:49
well, the food used to be fantastic until 2 months ago. I used to go there between sept 2006 and april 2007 and was the best food in London + the Oreo Madness dessert (not on the list) was the closest experience to an orgasm u can get in pub. BUT now they changed the chef and the new one just feed u with crap..the dishes are all the same, small portions, classic pub food, no gourmet no fantasy just crap and they don't do the oreo madness anymore. So just dont go there. they are stupid because they had the best chef in london (trust me, the pork with potato and apple mash was sublime, same for the fig and date pudding with caramel) and they let him go. so now u just spend 1 hour by train to go in middle of nowhere and eat a meal that u can get in central london for less money. pity! once was a 10, now is a 0.
elenamuti - 29 Jun 2007 14:12
went to the bulls head on friday night.if you love your real ale this is great place.they have 6 different ales on and the 3 i had were in excellent condition.Also had the fillet of beef off the special's board which was fantastic.The pub has the cask marque award and you can tell by the condition of the beer.Great
jc1 - 4 Nov 2006 16:31
Do NOT eat there. The food is absolutely awful, we have given it the benefit of the doubt three times now and every time we have been disappointed. My fiance's steak and ale pie contained three huge pieces of gristle and my burger was chewy, tasteless and a struggle to eat. The manager was apologetic and did not charge us but it's a shame that such a lovely looking pub in a beautiful setting by the river is continuously let down by it's kitchen. I wish they'd sort it out!!!
anonymous - 2 Nov 2006 12:26
Great location on a summers day. Service good and the Black Sheep bitter of Masham really fine. No crisps though and whatever happened to the smallest ever bar in Britain. Although quite a few people in there seemed a cathedral type hush in the place. Good place to watch people though - the slacks, jumpers and upmarket thongs brigade looking intently into each others eyes and marvelling at another banality.
AndySk - 15 Oct 2006 22:06
Thank God Ant and Dec werent! as much as I adore you boys, and I do,I wanted a nice romantic evening by the river and that's what I got. Nice glass of vino and the menu was overwhelming; spoilt for choice. We shared a starter that would have done as a main course! and after the main, no room for pud! It rained when we came out and my hair blew everywhere. Sorry about that Anonymous.
Moi - 22 Aug 2006 21:08
If only the ratings went lower than 1! I've never had such an awful experience in what could have been a fantastic pub on the river. I went here for lunch with a university friend who I hadn't seen for a long time. Surprisingly, there weren't many people in the pub on a Sunday afternoon - not sure if this was a good or bad sign. But we ordered some lunch anyway and discovered at least one of the reasons why this pub was so empty! After our two meals had taken a good 50 minutes to arrive, my friend found a CLUMP of hair in her food!!! Yes, not just one hair - but a clump! I was so horrified! When we complained the manager said that it could only have been one of our hairs and REFUSED to replace the dish. When we refused to pay, the manager was extremely rude and caused such a scene but there was no way I was paying for such a disgusting experience. I think that it was bad enough that we found something so fowl in our food, but to have been treated with such suspicion was absolutely disgusting and I would never re-visit this pub again.
anonymous - 20 Aug 2006 21:12
Okay pub, tasty food shame that their Sunday roast has dwindled to either beef or lamb (they use to have at least pork, lamb, beef or chicken/turkey).
Unfortunatley choice of beers limited, some cask ales but not much choice.

good pub to take the family,but be warned it does get very crowded!
antonioearl - 22 May 2006 20:13
More of a resturant than a pub. Extensive menu, great food, nice staff. Nice views of the river.
PurpleRocker - 14 Mar 2006 22:37
Good layout and nice interior which is inviting and cosy. I like the nooks a cranies this pub has to offer. Staff nice and friendly and the food was of a good standard too. Good selection of specials I will try soon! Lovely view onto the Thames. Best pub along the Strand.
Tiny - 17 Jan 2006 23:01
The Menu is the same since August 2004 but the food is nice. Some great dish-of-the-day and a quite good choice of wines, which doesn't give it that real pub-flaire. Youngsters at work are sometimes the most terrible staff but as no service charge is added to the bill everyone can take his own revenge...
Beer_Belly - 15 Feb 2005 19:16
We just spent a long afternoon on a chilly autumn day, watching the river slide by, at a candlelit table with pints of Old Hookey and a splendid lunch, with the real fire crackling in the grate.. wonderful.
Dave - 1 Oct 2004 23:45
Boasting the widest range of microwaved food in West London. Pack some Alka-Seltzers just in case.
hector - 21 May 2004 17:44
Shame it turned into a gastro pub. I preffered the old neglected version myself (especially the fire place), but i do have to say the grub is good and you cant beat teh place for a lazy sunny day sitting on the river
Ryan - 16 Apr 2004 13:20
Fantastic pub - really cosy and traditional, lovely friendly atmosphere. Very extensive menu and food was excellent - so much choice will just have to return every week.
Tiddles - 16 Feb 2004 10:49
this is one of my favourite pubs in london, the food is fantastic and not just by pub standards it quite easily out does any of the local resturants the atmosphere is warm and inviting and staff are very affable although some of the occasional or younger staff can be a bit grumpy
perfect for every occasion
sarah - 29 Dec 2003 17:22
food is amazing
Neil - 25 Dec 2003 20:48
good outside on a sunny day, food great with excellent selection.
millym - 25 Jul 2003 20:38
I met Ant and Dec here. does that count as a pointless comment?
Al - 11 Jun 2003 10:18
Nice pub but is a bit too airy. The lower part of the pub is quite intimate but the upper part is too open and more suited to large groups.
Alistair - 21 May 2003 08:24

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