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Bird In Hand, Henley-On-Thames

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user reviews of the Bird In Hand, Henley-On-Thames

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

I met my wife here 20 years ago in this lovely little traditional pub and I have to say as henley has moved on, this gem of a pub has not changed, for it has a warm welcoming feel to all. It has consistently served good beer as CAMRA has continued to recognise over the last 20 years. Well done to the outlaws oh, I mean the in-laws!
Cobas - 22 Sep 2014 22:05
The plaudits are well deserved for this agreeable off-the-beaten-track Henley boozer; the only free house in this Brakspear-dominated Oxfordshire town. Busy on a Tuesday night with a good selection of ales, the Hooky Mild was top notch and the ambience good. The only bugbear might be the small bar necessitating some slaloming to get to and from inbetween the regulars.
Komakino - 10 Apr 2014 13:57
Everyone should have a local like this. It’s fairly central; busy, yet spacious; has a great range of cask beers (with White Hart’s Blowing Stone going down particularly well on my visit); has a pub dog; and shows the football. Very much a pleasant surprise.
plymouthpirate - 25 Oct 2013 13:55
Busy comfortable pub - regulars hogging the bar so had to fight to get served. Excellent range of beer - Church End Winterval was fine. One of Henleys better pubs.
Booze_Allen - 20 Jan 2013 16:20
Recently visited Henley for a few days to celebrate the wife's birthday and made the effort to seek out the Bird in Hand as it looked to have the best reviews of the pubs in the area - so glad I did because I was greeted with the friendliest, cosiest local pub I've been in for a good long while. The selection of beers was much better than anywhere else in the area (the usual Brakespear and London Pride, but also a Mordue and another one I didn't recognise), although I was on a take home box of Loddon that apparently was leftover from a local wedding and was being sold off for charity at 1.50 a pop! Its no exaggeration that I could have lived in this pub! Thanks to Graham and the locals for making my trip to Henley really enjoyable, no doubt I'll be back soon enough. 9/10
NellyP_Brum - 14 Mar 2011 13:13
Best pub in Henley - free house usually 4 + beers in good order - rugby on front tv and football on back tv - friendly landlord and staff and free chips on occasion - if only it had a bit more competion in Hemley - you'd think there would be room for a couple more non Brakespear boozers with ac ouple of real ales in Henley
beefbeerandbaps - 6 Mar 2010 14:28
Pleasant town pub a short walk uphill from town. The main bar is now one L shaped area with the bar in the corner. Carpeted, small tables with a choice of benches, settles and low stools plus stools at the bar. Framed collections of cigarette cards hang on the wall, there is a plasma screen near the bar, showing rugby on mute yesterday afternoon, though I noted the hook up to the lap top for the England game later. Towards the rear is a proper family room with children welcome....none were in...and doors lead to a garden complete with aviary.
Very dog friendly, the pub has its own and a couple of the locals chatting by the bar had a hound in tow. The secondary stable type door is presumably there to prevent escapees.
A good selection of ales, Eccleshall(Slaters) High Duck, Hook Norton Hooky Dark, Loddon Hoppit, Brakspears Bitter and London Pride. Nice to see one of the bar drinkers move straight to one side so I could see the selection. Pump clips above the bar indicate a good changing range.
A comfortable welcoming place with a warm vibe, I'd certainly pop in again if passing nearby.
Maldenman - 11 Oct 2009 09:16
Shuts 2.30pm on weekdays which is a shame because this pub is head and shoulders above the rest of Henley. Had Burton Bridge and Hooky Mild. Pleasant landlord and locals.
an_ecunemical_matter - 14 Aug 2009 09:05
Came for a look on Thursday afternoon during the Regatta week. Closed. Oh well, if you can't be bothered I'll spend my money somewhere else.
BinBagBob - 3 Jul 2009 13:26
Made a long-overdue revisit recently and was glad I did. The beer (five ales) and the surroundings are still the best in Henley by a stretch.

The interior is cosy and convivial, easy to strike up a conversation but also no worries about sitting quietly with a book or news paper. It's very easy to lose an evening in here - I was only meant to be in for 10 minutes but stayed for 40.

Should be the first port of call when in Henley. And maybe the last too.
Quinno - 23 Jun 2009 19:04
Excellent true free-house, the only one in Henley. Five well-kept ales always on, very friendly welcome and convivial atmosphere. Something of a dog-fanciers paradise...If you haven't got a dog, go along anyway - someone will lend you one of theirs for the evening. CAMRA branch pub of the Year and deservedly so.
Gristy - 27 Jan 2009 15:14
Why aren't more pubs like this? Very friendly staff, the Real Ale is utterly superb, nice to see a mild in the month of May. They like a good rugby match on the telly!
Abteilung - 1 Jun 2008 18:39
Great little pub this. Not pretentious at all as some Henley pubs are. I was in there with friends last week and it was a very enjoyble evening. Staff are friendly and its a homely little pub. I will be back.
dgriffin - 17 May 2007 12:48
I live in Henley and this is one of my favourite pubs I have ever been to.

I am not a local to the pub in that they know my name.

For me it is a great place to go for a quiet pint with a couple of mates to sit chat maybe be watch the football on the telly and drink some great local beers.

There is no loud blaring music music just the quiet chatter of voices.

It is a little shabby but that is part of its charm. It won't be for everyone - I never take the wife for a drink here as she doesn't appreciate its charm.


gmlatic - 11 May 2007 09:31
Quiet, old fashioned pub with five cask guests in good condition. Pump clips of past beers are on display - always a good sign. A small back room leads to a charming, quaint beer garden complete with tinkling fountain in a small pond. Exotics birds twitter in a birdhouse on the left. The whole place is very peaceful, though surprisingly lacking in distinct character.
SilkTork - 28 Dec 2006 18:45
A great pub with three regular ales (Brakspears, London Pride and Hook Norton Hooky Dark) and two guest ales, all well kept. This is my favourite pub in Henley - no juke box, no fruit machine, a friendly atmosphere and did I mention the beer - fantastic. Decor not great, a bit smokey at times (but it is a pub after all) and sometimes there is football on the big screen TVs but then you can't have everything.
TEDrE - 8 Dec 2006 14:27
An excellent freehouse, with five (count 'em) ales on Saturday night in good condition in friendly, comfertable surroundings, especially on a cold winter night.

A real pub!
Quinno - 4 Dec 2006 10:29
darrendrinker - You're confusing the Bird and the Queen's Head. The latter is on the corner at the traffic lights, the Bird if further up the hill on the left (about 150m or so)
There is just no comparison.
jonno_ - 26 Jun 2006 10:15
Tried to go to this pub last weekend and found it being refurbished into a trendy bar
darrendrinker - 21 Jun 2006 22:14
Graham keeps a fantasic pint. Even the Brakspear Brewery guys used to drink here as it does the best beer in Henley, bar none.
He'll have at least 4 real ales on at one time (often more) and has just switched from Draft Budweiser Budvar to Staropramen (also draft), so quality all round.
Good beer garden.

Excellent value pub food too. Try the Chilli if you dare.
jonno_ - 7 Jun 2005 18:08
Best pub in Henley. End of story.
Jay - 22 Oct 2004 11:33
Free House. One of the best pints of London Pride I have ever had.
Andrew Coltman - 6 Jul 2004 13:19

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