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Priory Arms, Stockwell

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user reviews of The Priory Arms, Stockwell

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

A great find amid the backstreets of Stockwell. I very much enjoyed a Macchiato beer from the Wylam brewery and both cask and keg are well represented with imaginative choices. A good atmosphere that is welcoming to both established and newer members of the community while nachos and grilled halloumi proved to be excellent sharing plates.
BoehmBawerk - 25 Nov 2018 13:45
This has always been a good pub,sadly opening at 3P.M. limits my attendance,due to the Beer Festival they opened earlier yesterday.Around twenty real ales were on offer ,some on gravity (stillage) and six on handpump,given the fact that it is Spring golden/pale ales were to the fore.I tried three beers and all were in very good condition,£4.30 seemed a little steep.
slerpy - 27 May 2018 11:10
Popped in on the way to the Surprise (footy on tv). Had a really nice pint of a welsh brewery- Cwych?. Will definately make a return visit.
boriss - 19 Feb 2017 11:09
Not a big pub, but roomy enough on a Saturday. Good range of micro beers, mine was in really good nick. Walls covered in beer mats & old pump clips
Wilson_MacDonald - 13 Nov 2016 17:58
Marvellous boozer. Always a decent selection of at least 6 real ales on tap. And usually a real cider or two. Frequent beer and cider festivals. Rarely too crowded to get a seat. Reasonable priced food: decent pizzas etc (NOT gastro!) No garden but a small yard out front. Theatre/performance space upstairs. Hard to fault really, except sometimes they run out of cider. Doesn't open until 4pm on most weekdays I think, so check it out before you visit. My idea of a proper pub.
Brixton_Boozer - 7 Oct 2015 22:35
ive heard a great deal about this pub, but as its the only decent pub in stockwell and the surrounding areas i have always shrugged it off for another day. However, i saw its in the good beer guide once again, and all my pals are raving about previous beer festivals and their current beer selection.

nice, short walk from the station. im a sucker for beer mats and beer memorabilia so it took me a while to get to the bar. great selection of ales, only had one and it was in great condition, recommended by the landlord. i decided to veer towards the beers on tap instead, kernel, partizan, thornbridge and beavertown. food was excellent, perfectly complimenting the vast amount of craft beer on offer.

this one of my favorite pubs ive been to so far, will be back for a visit more regularly
franklittlemore - 10 Nov 2014 11:28
Great boozer. Been using it on/off for a few years now. Great beer from around Europe. I will be there later today to sample some Oktoberfest bier from Munchen
routemaster2323 - 5 Oct 2014 13:58
Local pub with links to the Lost Theatre just down the road - I was here for the Alan Davies gig the other night and even it was absolutely packed in the pub, there was only a minimal wait a the bar. Food seemed to be flying out too.

A lot of nights they have theatre-type stuff like improv in the upstairs function room which is good fun (and free).

Beer range and condition is faultless. They do tasters of the draught stuff if you're not sure what to have. Usual range of spirits and a decent wine list too. Quietish background music

Food is quick and delicious - a decent choice of meals/snacks given how tiny that kitchen is, not an inch of cooking/storage space wasted in there.

Worth a trip especially considering how easy it is to get there by tube (Northern and Victoria lines intersect at Stockwell), the Priory is about three minutes walk away. Much better than most of the bars Clapham (in my view), in fact it's worlds apart from the fake, poncy places I occasionally get dragged to by my mates.
henryw - 8 Mar 2014 03:19
Had an excellent Sunday roast, very generous portions indeed. Great selection of beers - five handpulls, from which I had a Dark Star APA in tip top condition. Good value for money, friendly and relaxed service. Can't fault it.
Beerflies - 23 Feb 2014 18:50
moved to the area recently and very pleased to have found my new local. lots of girlie drinks like strawberry beer, and food served til 10.30pm is very handy.
my boyfriend likes the real ales, and the comedy and cabaret upstairs are good fun.. and free!!
rainbowrose - 31 Jan 2014 02:26
I think this place featured in the top 50 bars in a Time-out piece a couple of years ago. We adopted this as our local around the same time, probably went twice a week for a year as the food was good as well as the range of beers offered.

Hard to imagine that now. New landlord in place and frankly it wouldn't get in the top 1000 bars in London now. Beers still there but food fallen right off and staff not half as friendly in my view anyway. Tried it again a couple of months ago on a Friday night, despite food being served till 10pm and we rocking up at 8.30pm, nothing on offer apart from nachos and chips. Rubbish and bar staff didn't give a monkeys.

Haven't been since. If it changes ownership again I'll give it a try. Till then I'll walk on by......
wookietaff - 28 Jan 2014 18:32
Been out of area a while, under new management I see, at least the beers are in great condition! Had a little refurb looks nice and the sharing nachos are huge! New landlord is a young and happy chap!
shandyboy100 - 27 Sep 2013 14:09
Our family has been coming to this pub in various group sizes for several years. When there is a larger group of us we book the upstairs room, which we did yesterday because there were 25 of us. Our orders were emailed to the manager by Friday afternoon at his request because, he explained, they probably hadn't even served 25 dinners the previous week in total. When I called the manager on Friday to double check he'd received my email with the orders he at that point told me the pub had changed hands and the dinners were 'different'. When I queried this he qualified it by saying people had said they were 'better'. I was busy and should have linked the two statements up. If they were 'better' why were they serving less than 25 of them? The pub was renowned for it's roasts and always packed on a Sunday. Alarm bells should also have rang when we got up to the room and had to sort the table out ourselves because, despite having 25 lunch orders they hadn't set out 25 place settings (???). The room was booked for 1.30 and it was getting on for 2.30 before anyone got any food. When it did start coming there were huge gaps in anyone appearing with more meals - some people had finished eating theirs 20 minutes ago while people were still waiting to be served. Despite me giving them a detailed list of dinners matched to people's names they still got it wrong but tried to insist it was our mistake! Obviously I said can you bring up my list and then I can point to the people who've had what so I can demonstrate to you that you're bringing the wrong meals up. He WOULD NOT bring me my list, was really stroppy and asked how many dinners were still left, so we told him it was 7 dinners - 4 lamb, 1 chicken, 1 vegetarian and 1 beef. He disappeared and came back up five minutes later with 2 beef! I just cannot understand how they could have found it so hard to get such a simple thing right. It's not like they were busy with other customers because the pub was dead. Had we just walked in on spec I could have understood the disorganisation but they had known since Friday. With regards to the dinners when they did actually arrive the way in which they were 'different' to how they used to be was that they were smaller, of inferior quality and in my case, cold. I think the chef heard me say this because some of the later dinners were volcanically hot and had clearly been microwaved. Unbelievably, to add insult to injury, the guy who'd refused bring up my list to check the dinners and had got angry at us for his because HE had got the orders wrong was overheard on the stairs by my brother-in-law to say "I'm not going up there again because if I do I'll deck one of them". It just became this surreal experience - not enough chairs for all the diners, waiting ridiculous amounts of time for food, wrong orders and them trying to blame us as the customers for the appalling hash they were making of it. When I complained to the manager I advised him to find the women who used to do the Sunday roasts and beg them on bended knee to come back, and to the new owner, if you're reading this, I'm repeating that advise here. Those 3 lads running that pub that day just could not cope. The manager's response to my complaint was - unsurprisingly - totally unacceptable. His reply to my pointing out how far downhill the roasts and service had gone was that the last owner had gone bankrupt (is it appropriate to tell people that and how is it relevant?) and that they are 'packed' during the week. As the owner of a pub, you need to be 'packed' every day of the week including Sunday, as this pub used to be. It isn't for the reasons I've explained above. Finally, in response to me pointing out how dead and empty the pub was the manager countered that people don't go out for roasts in August (they do). It was the 8th September.
JoHolland - 9 Sep 2013 19:14
Our family has been coming to this pub in various group sizes for several years. When there is a larger group of us we book the upstairs room, which we did yesterday because there were 25 of us. Our orders were emailed to the manager by Friday afternoon at his request because, he explained, they probably hadn't even served 25 dinners the previous week in total. When I called the manager on Friday to double check he'd received my email with the orders he at that point told me the pub had changed hands and the dinners were 'different'. When I queried this he qualified it by saying people had said they were 'better'. I was busy and should have linked the two statements up. If they were 'better' why were they serving less than 25 of them? The pub was renowned for it's roasts and always packed on a Sunday. Alarm bells should also have rang when we got up to the room and had to sort the table out ourselves because, despite having 25 lunch orders they hadn't set out 25 place settings (???). The room was booked for 1.30 and it was getting on for 2.30 before anyone got any food. When it did start coming there were huge gaps in anyone appearing with more meals - some people had finished eating theirs 20 minutes ago while people were still waiting to be served. Despite me giving them a detailed list of dinners matched to people's names they still got it wrong but tried to insist it was our mistake! Obviously I said can you bring up my list and then I can point to the people who've had what so I can demonstrate to you that you're bringing the wrong meals up. He WOULD NOT bring me my list, was really stroppy and asked how many dinners were still left, so we told him it was 7 dinners - 4 lamb, 1 chicken, 1 vegetarian and 1 beef. He disappeared and came back up five minutes later with 2 beef! I just cannot understand how they could have found it so hard to get such a simple thing right. It's not like they were busy with other customers because the pub was dead. Had we just walked in on spec I could have understood the disorganisation but they had known since Friday. With regards to the dinners when they did actually arrive the way in which they were 'different' to how they used to be was that they were smaller, of inferior quality and in my case, cold. I think the chef heard me say this because some of the later dinners were volcanically hot and had clearly been microwaved. Unbelievably, to add insult to injury, the guy who'd refused bring up my list to check the dinners and had got angry at us for his because HE had got the orders wrong was overheard on the stairs by my brother-in-law to say "I'm not going up there again because if I do I'll deck one of them". It just became this surreal experience - not enough chairs for all the diners, waiting ridiculous amounts of time for food, wrong orders and them trying to blame us as the customers for the appalling hash they were making of it. When I complained to the manager I advised him to find the women who used to do the Sunday roasts and beg them on bended knee to come back, and to the new owner, if you're reading this, I'm repeating that advise here. Those 3 lads running that pub that day just could not cope. The manager's response to my complaint was - unsurprisingly - totally unacceptable. His reply to my pointing out how far downhill the roasts and service had gone was that the last owner had gone bankrupt (is it appropriate to tell people that and how is it relevant?) and that they are 'packed' during the week. As the owner of a pub, you need to be 'packed' every day of the week including Sunday, as this pub used to be. It isn't for the reasons I've explained above. Finally, in response to me pointing out how dead and empty the pub was the manager countered that people don't go out for roasts in August (they do). It was the 8th September.
JoHolland - 9 Sep 2013 19:14
Drank in the Priory last night, not been in this place for a few years but it was just as good as I remembered from before, four real ales on including Dark Star American Pale Ale, which is a favourite of mine. Recommended if you are vin the area.
Scotsaledrinker - 21 Aug 2013 12:13
Looking at the award that is proudly displayed in the window The Priory has been in the Good Beer Guide for 21 consecutive years from 1992 to 2013 and does appear in the 2013 guide.

Nothing about this pub makes me doubt that this pub has been that good for that long but I do have 2 points to make.

Point 1 - The 2013 guide advises that the pub opens at noon on a Saturday. When I arrived at 12.15pm I found the pub closed and being cleaned, having tapped on the window I was informed they opened at 1pm. So to my surprise when I arrived at 1pm I had a 8 minute wait before the doors were unlocked.

Point 2 - Aside from the lagers and Belgian offerings from Delirium there were only 3 ales available on the 5 pumps, 2 from Sambrook's and another offering which I duly went for (Ray of Sunshine) but to my frustration halfway through pouring it the barman announced that the beer 'had gone'...rather annoyingly. My pint of Junction from Sambrook's was very good but it was my 2nd choice.

Yes I know I sound like I'm picking faults but when you have just opened and I'm your first customer of the day you shouldn't be running out of a beer that's on pump...this should have been checked before opening!

Apart from the above, this is a nicely decorated and loved pub. Nice selection of signs on one wall.

Food was being cooked as I drank up to leave so I cannot comment what it looked or tasted like.

Unsure I will ever return but that's more due to not having another excuse to visit the area than my bad experience.
lezford - 13 Aug 2013 13:26
The other reviews mentioning the beer and food are correct, both are good.

The thing that I find flat about the Priory (which doesn't seem to bother others,) is that although the refurb is neat it's very plain and simple, more like a waiting room. I don't ask for luxury but I find this - just uninteresting.

But go and try it - the beer and food are good and staff friendly, and you might not agree with me about the room.
AbeC - 11 Jun 2013 23:31
Nice to find this pub flourishing in a neighbourhood that looks a bit rough for some. If you're after naked ladies, look no further because it's the name of the Twickenham brew! I might have a gripe about the "music" which was a bit obtrusive, and the stools which are not very comfortable but otherwise I wish the management every success.
16jamesdoc - 11 Oct 2012 08:46
5 handpumps on the bar which, on Friday, were offering Hogs Back HBB, Dark Star , Downtown Honey and something from Oxford Brewery Marshmellow. Lots of foreign draft and bottled beers available. The Hogsback (£3.50) was pretty indifferent and we weren't tempted to try a second beer.

Opens 5pm Monday - Thursday and 3pm on Froday.
cheshirecat - 27 Aug 2012 08:30
Only went for a quick Drink after work but found myself ploughing through their impressive selection of German, Belgian and American beers!! Delirium Tremens and Cherry being my personal highlight! Will definately be back!
shandyboy100 - 11 May 2012 12:26
What a stonkingly good pub. Friendly, chatty landlord; staggering selection of beers, combined with great choices to have on tap (Delerium Tremens!), and excellent food coming out of the kitchen. Plus, adorable and well-behaved dog. Winner.
londonist - 6 May 2012 10:38
A haven in a very harsh part of the world. At a chatty pre-theatre group meetup that didn't give me time to note and sample the fine looking range of fare on offer, but the Blakemere Bronze Bitter was in fine fettle. If I'm anywhere near the area again, a return visit for a more in-depth sampling of the Ale menu will be a priority
Wiccaman777 - 29 Mar 2012 01:44
Fairly busy and good atmosphere on an early saturday evening. A group of beer hunters seemed very happy ploughing through the bottled beer range. Landlord was a courteous and helpful fella. Beer was very good, food on offer looked tempting. Worth the effort to find.
rob372 - 15 Feb 2012 08:07
Visited just before Christmas - on curry night! Dark Star Espresso was on fine form and the pub was reasonably quiet (enough to sit down), so continues to be worth sniffing out.
meurglys_iv - 27 Dec 2011 16:10
good pub for food and beer, they often have range of guests beers so its worth visiting if you are a connoissuer, I drink here quite alot because I like the beers and my girlfriend likes a ciggerette, and can sit outside, we both like the food.
scarr - 6 Nov 2011 15:06
Had some nice Ale on, was told that they supported good micro breweries so why were they selling Summer Lightning !!!
blondemike - 28 Jul 2011 23:32
A bit small with little outside space..

Almost ordered a pint that would have cost me over £6...
wtf.. I'm not in Switzerland...
CONDEX - 28 Jun 2011 21:35
Small pub, but just the right size to have a buzzy feel. Good range of beers - ale & draft foreign ones. Thought the burger a touch pricey, but it was good. Free papers & lots of board games. Sort of pub I would be more than happy to have as my local, if I lived vaguely nearby.
Wilson_MacDonald - 10 Jun 2011 21:13
first visit in quite a while, ales in exellent condition, rather pricey, barmaid couldnt add up for toffee....
moclips2002 - 8 May 2011 23:15
awesome pub, plus one of the barmaids looks like a porn star!! which is nothing more than an innocent curiosity, you understand! food is great, cheap, and they have some great beers generally. love this pub, great find in dodgy surroundings!
eddjflower - 29 Apr 2011 01:42
Popped in with meurglys_IV the other night. Needless to say, I agree with his post below - but would add a note about the really charming service. This is certainly a pub to which I will now start to return once again.
MeurglysIII - 19 Mar 2011 11:21
First visit for some time - satisfyingly busy. Slightly refurbished since last time, still essentially the same but cleaner. Friendly, efficient service. Two Downton beers, Cottage, Hogs Back and Hop Back on - and good traditional food at prices that appear good value in a London context, particularly as it's all freshly-prepared.

A good experience - recommended as it's close to the Tube, buses and offers outdoor drinking.
meurglys_iv - 18 Mar 2011 16:52
Modernised late Victorian or Edwardian pub. Nice clean and airy interior...didn't feel like a boozer, but neither was it pretentious. Good for taking the missus.
5 real ales, well kept. Bit pricey, but probably par for the area.

Friendly and efficient service. Didn't try the food but the menu looked interesting and quite good value.

Definitely worth returning. Especially given the lack of other decent places in the area.
JonRambo - 18 Oct 2010 16:38
First visit since refurb and management change.

Not much to add to the recent reviews, other than it seemed a little spartan inside with the removal of all the posters and beer clips from the walls and the bar.

Apart from this, the staff were very pleasant, beer reasonable (some nice German bottles too) and a tapas menu from which you can construct your own main meal. The meatballs, "skinny chips" and green salad, which I chose last night made a perfect component dinner, for example.

Background music volume comfortable, lighting bright but not glaring, and the pub felt somehow bigger.

Liked it, and will visit again.
lad_newton - 5 Aug 2010 17:13
A nice little pub with a great selection of ales and board games!

The bar staff were friendly although they did seem to prefer to have a chat instead of serving me at one point. I also got the impression one of them had been enjoying the beer more than the punters by closing time.
Joppa - 25 Jul 2010 03:47
Bright and airy backstreet pub with a choice of real ales and continental lagers. Unfortunately they appear to have stopped selling real cider, despite earlier indications in past Good Beer Guides that it was offered. Symonds Founders Reserve is the only draft offering and was off on my Saturday afternoon visit. The real ales were Downton Golden Goal, Sambrooks Wandle, Deuchars IPA, Hopback Summer Lightning and Sharps Special. The modern interior has high tables with stools. 2 TV screens were showing World Cup football and there was also a good selection of board games. Food was either burgers, steaks or a tapas menu. A pleasant conversion with a reasonable ale range. But there's still room for improvement.
blue_scrumpy - 27 Jun 2010 12:19
Externally resembling an archetypal back street local, The Priory Arms, situated off the Wandsworth Road, is another pub that has, over a number of years now, been a real ale specialist pub and has won a number of local CAMRA branch awards in that time.

It's a Grade 2 listed building, but it's a rather featureless, modernised interior with a light and airy stripped out feel, wooden floors, large windows and a mixture of traditional seating and taller perches. A notice inside the pub points us in the direction of a "sunny balcony up the stairs", but then goes on to advise us that it has been "closed by Lambeth Council". There's some seats outside in front of the pub where you can watch the traffic go past - unusually, for what at first glance is a quietish side street, it's on several bus routes.

Food plays a prominent role in proceedings and there seemed to be an emphasis on steaks and burgers ( eg - Tex Mex burger with sour cream, salsa, guacamole and jalopenas - £ 5.50p ) . A Sunday roast is offered.

There's 5 handpumps which, on my recent Saturday early evening visit, were serving Sambrooks Wandle, Sharps Cornish Coaster, Hop Back Summer Lightening, Downton Mad Hare and a beer from Cottage Brewery, Jack the Whippet. The Sambrooks - £ 3.20p - was in good form. The pub is a CAMRA Good Beer Guide regular.

It doesn't have enough of that traditional pubby feel for my liking, but it's worth popping in if passing by.
JohnBonser - 10 Jun 2010 12:55
Clean stripped down pub. Summer Lightning, Cottage Puffing Billy, Downton Honey Blonde, Sharps Special and Sambrooks Wandle. Foreign beers on draught included Gaffel Kolsch. Some standard bottled Belgians. Looks a bit gastro but food wasn't ridiculously expensive and portions were large. Plenty of board games available. Decent pub.
GuideDogSaint - 25 Apr 2010 13:58
Very nice local pub and in different league to any pub within walking distance.

Beer excellent, Summer Lightening a great drop and some interesting German Lagers.

Food tasty and good value. Attracts a nice crowd of people of all ages, quite a few under thirty especially for the very popular quiz on Sundays
BritishBULLDOG - 23 Mar 2010 22:57
Its a Lovely Pub & the food is Excellent - but compared to the neighbouring pubs it very expensive. They have a Vast selection on Funky Ales but they dont have your typical favourites (Strongbow for example). & The staff are a bit stuck up & not very helpful..... - This Pub would suit Yuppies & People trying to impress someone - but its definately not a Pub for me!
Jedi_Clem - 22 Mar 2010 16:13
Good range of different beers on sale here, many of which you wouldn't find in too many outlets around. The pub is much smaller than I thought but inside has been nicely laid out and bright too giving the place an airy feel. There was a good atmosphere to the pub as well.
Oakman100 - 7 Mar 2010 18:59
Lovely pub just 5 mins walk from Stockwell tube. Excellent selection of ales and bottle beers with freshly home cooked food to be seen being cooked in the kitchen next to the bar, reminded me very much of the cask pub and kitchen in Pilmico nothing to choose between the 2. Well worth the visit if your passing through on the bus or tube.
superseagulls - 24 Feb 2010 18:49
wow, that was some party!. Another great night, five real ales still on New Years Eve-great stuff. Roll on Sunday for our next visit.
sadies - 1 Jan 2010 16:39
For such a small pub in a seemingly rundown area away from passing trade there was an abundance of beers for the discerning drinker on my visit a couple of weeks ago. Five German beers were on draught along with several of the bottled variety and there were also five ales on which were GFB and Summer Lightening from Hopback Brewery, Sussex Pride from Weltons, Quadhop from Downtown and Sharpís Red Ale. Iíve travelled to a fair few pubs in my time and from my recollection Iíve only come across the Summer Lightening before so I think that some thought goes into the ale selection. Also, Iíve not seen Founders Reserve cider before which I would have lapped up if I wasnít on a crawl.

There are a couple of plasma screens which were both off whilst midweek football was on so I gather that there is no Sky Sports which makes me wonder why there are two screens. There was some background music playing which was so low that I wondered why it was on at all, maybe it is louder at the weekends Ė which I doubt.

There is a food hatch at the end of the bar, but nobody was eating during my visit Ė which was a good thing.

This isnít my ideal pub, but I can see that a lot of effort goes into it so my rating will reflect this.
Strongers - 21 Dec 2009 22:43
Handy for Stockwell tube if you're a stanger to the capital and worth it. Good range of excellently kept beers in a partly modernised bar that was about to receive a "refurb" and one could see why (it was a mite tired). The service was friendly and quick, with a menu that looked to cover most tastes and seemed to be going down well with our fellow customers - the kitchen opens directly into the bar through a large hatch. Certainly a pleasant change to many pubs in the area and the right kind of quiet - no unnecessary piped blare.
Arctium_lappa - 29 Nov 2009 13:37
Nothing very distinctive about this place from the outside, but the interior has been part-modernised in a reasonably sensitive way. Five real ales on, including something called Dials' Pumpkin Ale from Downton Brewery which was rather better than I expected from the 'trick or treat' pump clip... Enjoyed my 'fried cod in a bap' lunchtime bite (which was again better than I was expecting). Friendly and efficient, and really rather good.
rpadam - 30 Oct 2009 23:33
Only blessing about having to pick up my post from the sorting office down the road is being able to stop off here for a pint or more; hope they keep running the Royal Mail into the ground. A blessing!
TALLTORQUIL - 17 Sep 2009 00:23
Have to say that I booked for a table of six for Sunday roast and had better food than I could have imagined. The pub was packed, five real ales, and the waitress was extremely helpful with our order. We are regular visitors to The Priory, and have always received excellent service and very good meals.
sadies - 9 Sep 2009 13:55
A group of 8 friends went to Priory Arms today based on the fantastic reviews. Unfortunately the service really let this pub down and we waited over 2 hours for our roasts (of which they had sold out of all but one by 2.20pm). There were no apologies from the staff until after our meals had been served. However after they realised how upset we were they did provide us with a few bottles of complimentary wine. A bit too late unfortunately and I wouldn't go back to eat.
nhaines - 6 Sep 2009 21:05
A corner of British Beer culture, well worth visiting in SW London. Good seating area out side and wide selection of beers too.
Princemonolulu - 28 Aug 2009 09:56
I've been here twice over the summer in early evenings and the beer certainly wasn't spot on. It tended to be warm and past its best. Had to resort to the old trick of watching other customers buy a pint to see whether it was nice and clear, and then ordering the same so that it was fresh and hadn't been in the pipes too long. Problem was not many punters buying cask beer which probably means a slow turnover of barrels and less fresh beer, which in turn means fewer sales etc etc. They should reduce the choice on offer, I'd rather have a small choice of really good beer than a large choice of average (or worse) beers.

Or was I just unlucky?
itsthebeer - 24 Aug 2009 09:51
Some good ales on when I was in at lunchtime last week: Cottage Smooth Hound; Doom Bar; Summer Lightning; Summer Gold; and Sambrookís Wandle. I had the excellent Wandle, but it was a top of the range price of £3.30 a pint. This is a one-room pub (although they advertised an upstairs lounge to which I didnít venture), the interior of which is decorated in a modern style Ė bare-boarded, big, chunky stools, some high tables and stools, plus some normal tables and chairs. They have (for a pub) an extensive lunch menu, but I went for the simplistic tuna/mayo/rocket sarny, plus a bit of side salad, for a very reasonable £3.

I received a friendly welcome on entering the pub from a chap who I assumed must be the guvínor. This looked to me to be a clean, friendly and welcoming pub, and comes highly recommended, especially in view of its ale selection.
RexRattus - 22 Aug 2009 10:15
I love this pub, its very warm and friendly with great drinks, great food and great staff.

It is everything a good pub should be...
jamesbartlett74 - 19 Jul 2009 19:24
I love this pub, it's small, friendly, a good local feel and usually has a good selection of beers. The sort of pub I've missed a bit since moving to London :)
nommo5 - 9 Jul 2009 10:00
Excellent pub... good range of very well kept draft ale and a large selection of bottled beers. Food was also excellent. Visited on a Thursday evening and although busy was not packed enabling a group of eight to eat and drink comfortably.
Rod_Hariga - 25 May 2009 10:28
Yesterday, I refreshed my acquaintance with the pleasure of a meal and a couple of pints here after a glorious afternoon's cycling in south London. I am pleased to report on an excellent food and beer experience:

Northumberland "Fuggles Gold", 4% was highly drinkable, and I had two pints over the length of last night's Liverpool-Arsenal 4-4 thriller. During the game I munched through a delicious portion of fresh whitebait, and followed this starter with an excellent Thai green chicken curry that was very well presented and perfectly balanced in flavour and proportion. I joined a group of friendly regulars for the duration of the football, and noticed some of them ordered mixed Pad-Thai and mixed curries with prawn and chicken working particularly well together. I shal do this next time!

The current management have kept the pub pretty well as it was since I last visited and the atmosphere was lively but not overwhelmingly so. Very friendly, smiling staff - especially the young lady who took my food order.

I was very pleased with all aspects of last night's session, and will now strive to visit more frequently again!
lad_newton - 22 Apr 2009 18:40
What a shame about the rotten current selection of bitters on offer in the Priory. They are a motley selection of very variable quality and don't appear to be selected with any thought whatsoever.

There is no regular session beer (other than Summer Lightening) which is a joke. Surely this pub is no longer taken seriously by the once ever-present CAMRA crowd?

Overall, the pub looks like it's been cheaply tarted up to appeal to a student/gastro crowd, but in a very half-hearted way. And in the process the most important thing - the beer - has been forgotten.
tdk - 9 Apr 2009 17:42
This place has an incredible selection of German and Belgian bottled beers, really impressive. Nice local feeling comfy pub, absolute must if you're in the area, and worth a trip in its own right.
OldRogue - 10 Jan 2009 18:56
Nice pub, decent customers, good beers and good food. Landlord a bit glum but Ok but more than made up for by the general atmosphere. It is clean, well presented and a nice place to be.
IFFLYNN - 23 Dec 2008 13:03
Went in to watch football. Excellent beer - Hopback - Summer Lightning. Very good food. Good atmosphere with a good mixed clientele. An excellent pub to have a pint( or two), a meal and to watch your favourite team.
glasgowgeorgie - 11 Dec 2008 11:44
Sad to say, but the Priory is not half the pub it used to be. The recent refurbishment is half-baked and slightly bizarre (including little leatherette poufs that are so low you sit virtually at eye-level with your table).

The recent beer selection is also baffling. The Harvey's has gone and here is no regular session beer (the only constant beer is Summer Lightening) - and on a recent visit there was nothing below 4.5%, which makes no sense to me.
tdk - 23 Nov 2008 13:34
Total b...... been written here. All five real ales are always £3 a pint and no more-ever. The range of beers is mind blowing, this pub provides what many pubs can only dream of.....excellent ales, German and Belgian beers, not a Stella in sight, great food on a daily basis, the best Sunday roast ever,and true British hospitality. Ember Inns and your customer from Worthing should keep on doing what their doing, The Priory Arms is a testament to how great pubs should be...try it!
sadies - 6 Nov 2008 21:37
The last commentator has got it all wrong. There's nothing greedy about the Priory that's simply how much a decent pint in London costs these days. If you're not prepared to pay it get down to Tesco's and sit at home - I'll be in the Priory enjoying the brilliantly well kept beers and the banter in a real London treasure. A proper pub, with proper beer and a proper atmosphere - hope it's not a dying breed...
thesaturdayboy - 5 Nov 2008 13:59
Just shows you the sort of money folk have /earn - not one mentions beer prices, unless former posts have. Late May: £3.15 for a Summer! Not been here since two Byrns nights ago (another chapter - do they still do it?). Now been taken over by a bunch of paper-grabbing la-di-da's (yuppies in the 80's). All trying to be upper middle class - some of them are. I mean the owners/staff. I'm so (sooo) surprised it aint all gastro wood now. Glad too - maybe their not that bad. £3.15 for Summer though? I'll continue down the Sultan thanks all the same! I will not even pay those prices pro-rata (halfs).Hate that kind of greed! Sheer utter greed!!!!!
operationmindcrime - 3 Jun 2008 18:32
I moved to the area about 6 months ago and, after surveying the pub's on offer extensively, I settled on this one as my regular. I haven't been to another pub in the area since!

There's always a great selection of beers on and I like nothing more than whiling away an evening playing one of the many games on offer (Kerplunk anyone?).

My only hesitation in posting a review is that if too many people come I won't get a seat...

A proper, good, honest, beer drinker's pub.
tpw101 - 8 May 2008 08:13
I've been here a couple of times for Sunday lunch in the last few weeks and it was very nice both times. Its properly cooked food and is pretty cheap at around £8 a meal. My veggie friend tells me her roast was good too. There's a good range of drinks - several real ales and unusual bottled lagers as well odd things like parsnip wine (which I haven't tried). Its a good pub for a boozy afternoon or a few pints in the evening.
Mobey - 13 Feb 2008 18:23
Adnams, Summer Lightning, Harveys & Sharpís Cornish Coaster is a surprisingly good line-up round here, and the old pumpclips around the bar suggest that this was no fluke. Presume there must be a college nearby as there was a definite student vibe and started filling up at 16:00 predominently with 20something clientele. Yesterday was curry-night and the notice board also offered Sunday-lunch which sounded a cut-above regular roasts for £8. The kitchen is open and adjacent to the bar. Shame itís a little off-track with little else in the area appealing as crawl material.
trainman - 1 Feb 2008 11:04
Seems like some changes are afoot here. The food is good and the ale drinker is still well served which is a relief. The new friendly owners were very welcoming on a recent visit. Talk of an upstairs and a smoker's balcony. Currently still a good mix of drinkers.
dogbear - 26 Jan 2008 19:12
much improved of late,good fresh basic food,loads of different beers,sundays a good day, nice roast dinner.
heva - 30 Dec 2007 23:35
breath of fresh air to find real ales in tip-top condition. brilliant sunday roast followed by funniest quiz ever. think this is a free house-immaculate
sadies - 16 Nov 2007 15:45
I personally do like the priory ive locked horns with tdk before but I have to say that the priory is one of the better pubs in the area it is definitely not unbeatable as the one of the previous comments has stated there are much better pubs in London
juzza - 19 Mar 2007 13:54
The Priory is undoutedly a poorer pub than it was two years ago (when it was run by Gary & Nicky). You would have to be blind not to see that. Ask ANY regular and they will tell you the same. If the Priory is "unbeatable" in London then we're in trouble.
tdk - 18 Mar 2007 22:14
Unbelievable nonsense being spouted by people saying it's going downhill. The Priory is undeniably the finest pub for miles around (those "miles" including all of Clapham and beyond).

Constantly changing guest ales make every visit a new experience. Top-notch boozer, unbeatable in London as far as I'm concerned.
jones_smj - 12 Feb 2007 13:21
It really depresses me to say it, but I have to agree with those saying that the Priory is going slowly downhill. There is no drastic deterioration - and this is still a lovely pub - it's just that the decor is a bit tattier, the welcome a bit less warm (even for those of us who are in 3 or 4 times a week), the service a bit hit and miss (it took 5 minutes for the barmaid to pour 3 drinks on Saturday), all at the same time as the prices going up and up. The telly being on all the time doesn't particularly bother me, but it does seem all of a piece with the general slip in standards.

In the last couple of years the Priory has changed from being one of the best pubs in London to being an ok local. Increasingly often I walk past it and go to the Wheatsheaf on South Lambeth Road instead.
anonymous - 6 Feb 2007 15:23
Was here on Tues for my quiz league game. Was pleased to see Landlord available as I seem to find it short supply in London.

Good atmosphere and well kept beer, only shame is that it was the last time our quiz team would be visiting.
silentbob9484 - 2 Feb 2007 10:52
Definitely one of the best pubs in South West London for beer. Had an excellent christmas beer on the last visit. The staff were friendly and cheerful, and allowed us to stay well past 11:45 to finish our pints.
anonymous - 27 Dec 2006 16:23
LOL - I think you might be right about "the girls"! Agreed, I may have painted a slightly pessimistic image - just getting overly grouchy in my old age.
tdk - 13 Dec 2006 16:46
Im in about the same as you I wonder though how well the cellar is looked after when just the girls are left in charge I dont mean that in a sexist way but the owner seems to know what hes doing but the manager I must admit seems to be absent alot of the time I do though still think that its a cracking pub hence I get in there whenever I can I havent experienced the same issues with you.
But I dont really feel that the television interferes with the atmosphere of the place but each to their own I guess.
juzza - 12 Dec 2006 18:25
I'd like to share your optimism Juzza. I don't know how regularly visit the Priory but I'm in there at least a couple of times a week and really feel that the place is going downhill quickly.

The television thing for me just represents the insensitivity with which the place is now run - this used to be quite a civilised pub where the main noise was conversation... it's now becoming the usual run-of-the-mill Sky Sports bars.

Have to disagree with you about the beer still being as good as before.
tdk - 12 Dec 2006 13:39
I have to disagree very strongly about that!The Priory is still one of the best pubs in the area by a mile the beer service is top class! I dont really understand why a television is getting your goat up so much but I do agree that the place needs a lick of paint but that is just a very minor grumble if you want spic and span toddle off to Clapham
juzza - 12 Dec 2006 10:44
Sad to say, but the Priory has seriously gone downhill since the old landlord & landlady Gary & Nicki left a couple of years ago.

The old Priory was a lovingly run, CAMRA-friendly local. The new landlord has let the place run down badly; the beer is nowhere near as good as before, the place is scruffy and the TV is usually blaring away regardless of anyone wanting to watch it.

A real shame and a disgrace the way this pub has been left to run itself into the ground. I give it 2 years before it's sold off and converted into "apartments".
tdk - 11 Dec 2006 21:32
I used to drink here regularly when I worked at South Bank Uni. Nice old fashioned corner local, five ales on handpump with Harvey's & Adnams as house beers, plus plenty of foreign beers both draught & bottled and a large selection of fruit wines.
Rich66 - 28 Aug 2006 23:14
What a cracking pub! came here for the first time this week and was very impressed good selection a hidden gem in the olive grove that is stockwell,
well worth trying
juzza - 20 Aug 2006 20:22
To the person who referred to this place as "cliquey and unwelcoming": you will either have been under 25 or very rude. Those 'cliques' are locals who have been coming here for donkey's years and still make up the majority of this place's clientele. They're generally a friendly lot. I should know - I'm one of them ;-)

Still one of the best real pubs in London. Friendly staff, fantastic range of real ales and continental beers (both bottle and draught) and pretty good nosh, too - the seafood linguine in particular is to die for. My only quibbles are that it gets a bit smelly when the open kitchen is busy, and that the average age of the punters seems to be on the increase.
mrshrubber - 25 Jul 2006 16:28
Quiet on a Sat lunch-time but pleasant - good Harveys
Would have liked to have tried food
mtaylor40 - 2 Jul 2006 19:43
Haven't been here other than on a Sunday in the last 2 years, but the new owner does his job well enough, he's kept the formula basically the same so there's not much to complain about.

Sunday lunch is still superb, the Harvey's the best pint you'll find in the country, but he could do with some better Sunday lunchtime staff. This lot seems bumbling and ineffectual.
swcooper - 18 Jan 2006 02:51
Not keen on this pub, found it to be very clicky and uwelcoming.
P_head - 10 Jan 2006 08:57
Quality gastro-pub. Good food. Good ale range. Many foreign beers. Friendly staff. Expensive.
Phucough - 10 Jan 2006 02:01
This pub is the greatest I've come across in many years!

I went to Uni round the corner, and used to pop in every day. Excellent excellent beers, games to play, service the best ever, food good too.

Would recommend, despite it's location! Very warm and friendly!
poshbloke - 7 Jan 2006 16:08
The in-house chef from New Zealand sadly has to move back to his homeland so there is a new chef, a Scotsman and he is superb!!!! If he is in good mood, he will give you a WHOLE mackerel - Holy Mackerel !
anonymous - 18 Sep 2005 15:04
Excellent selection of beers and over 20 wines and nice mixture of people
anonymous - 18 Sep 2005 10:35
This pub may not have a prime location, situated as it is on a backstreet amongst the Stockwell housing estates, but it is a real gem. The major selling point may be the beer, superb in both range and quality, but the food is also excellent. The Sunday lunches are unusually good for a pub roast. The wine list is also extensive, including many fruit wines too. If you live in the Stockwell or Vauxhall area and like your real ales, then you won't do better than the Priory Arms. I fact, I only wish there were a couple of other pubs in the area which sold beer half as good.

ChrisF - 5 Sep 2005 09:55
A gem. Lovely atmosphere and great for leisurely roast and Sunday papers
redrocket - 24 Aug 2005 21:52
The beer in the priory may be a bit dear, but its worth it for the chilled-out relaxed atmosphere in the pub. Worth the journey. Staff are quite friendly here and the food's not bad either. Wish I lived near enough to make it my local.
jamie.nakin - 5 Jul 2005 17:40
Lovely pub, though a bit pricy. Worth a visit for great selection of fruit beers, and food quite good too. Close to nearby Lambeth College, but luckily too expensive for more of the students, so it maintains a relaxed, local atmosphere.
vinrouge - 3 May 2005 20:49
Update: The new owners have introduced an evening food menu, ranging from light bites to substantial quality fare, the food being served up to 9pm weekday evenings. In addition the beer (although excellent previously) has improved yet further. My rating for this establishment remains at 10/10.
lad_newton - 10 Feb 2005 00:53
Gary and Nickie have retired and passed the pub onto a new licencee. He promises to keep the pub exactly as it is, that is, a vibrant local freehouse with an excellent range of real ales together with a top class bottled lager selection. After I visited with a group of friends on Friday 03/12/04, I was reassured that the pub remains in good hands for the forseeable future.

And, sad though it is to miss Gary and Nickie, the news that the pub is safe can only be welcomed in these circumstances.
lad_newton - 5 Dec 2004 22:36
£2.55 is actually very reasonable for a pint; around here anything below £3 a pint is good!
SW9 - 10 Nov 2004 13:25
Although a bit dearer than other pubs in the area the pricing of the beers is just enough to exclude those Gary and Nickie wouldn't have in their pub, but nothing like the ludicrous £3 you pay in the west end.

Every inch of the Priory is good, down to the very last pint. The food was very reasonable during their beer festival - I'll definitely be going again!
andywalwyn - 28 Oct 2004 01:15
Numerous contributors to this board have commented on the friendly atmosphere, the good value food, the excellent range of well-kept beers, etc. All perfectly true.

Unfortunately, success has had its downside. The Priory has won a number of awards, including CAMRA's South London Pub of the Year, but they now seem to be trying to cash in on their good reputation. £2.55 for a pint of ordinary bitter in this area really is a bit over the top!
egartuo - 18 Oct 2004 20:16
Excellent local pub, get there early on a Sunday to get a good spot for lunch.
Badger - 8 Oct 2004 11:59
It's sadly increasingly difficult to find pubs which know how to handle their ale, serving it at it's best. This pub is a notable exception, they really know their stuff. Being a lager drinker normally, i was blown away by the delicious flavours and tastes of the Bombardier on tap. They also have great seasonal guest beers and a wide selection of interesting bottled beers from all over Europe and the rest of the world. Check out the tap badges of previous beers that are plastered over the whole bar!
ChrisM - 21 Sep 2004 13:00
Yes, a splendid pub, which does a fantastic sunday roast. In fact, I'm going down there in a minute to watch the football.
Alex Coronation - 4 Sep 2004 18:00
I miss the Priory Arms. I used go there all the time when I lived in Stockwell, mostly because it has the number one best Sunday Roast in the whole of London. The veggie option is amazing, I've never found anything like it. Now I live in Walthamstow, but I still miss it... (sob)...
thinga - 10 Aug 2004 14:56
A really good pub, a wide range of beer and plenty of room to relax. No piped music either.
beeronaut - 5 Jul 2004 07:48
A fine job done by Gary and Nicky last Saturday celebrating their 20th anniversary at this excellent pub.

A thoroughly enjoyable evening was had by all, and Gary was on hand - as usual - to wander round the pub making everyone feel personally welcome.

Thanks for the excellent barbeque, and the beer voucher scheme - a good idea given how popular the event turned out to be.

I wish the pub another prosperous 20 years in the same loving hands.

Cheers!
lad_newton - 26 May 2004 14:00
i waitress here on the sunday for the lunches. and i gotta say its one of the best pubs i've been in! gary nicky and margate all work excellent to keep this place going. its got a beautiful friendly and cosy atmosphere. love it!
ish - 13 May 2004 00:33
I've long raved about the great Sunday lunches and and the selection of real ale, both of which are justly commended by many others on this site. Recently I went in for the Saturday cooked breakfast - for a fiver it's the best way to kill the Friday night hangover and make a gentle start to Saturday's drinking!
homer - 17 Mar 2004 16:50
I'm a regular at the priory Arms, in the sense that I go there most Sundays for a Roast. If I lived in the area, I would drop in for a beer every night. But Unfortunately coming from Dulwich to have a beer is a bit Sad.

I have invited most of my friends and family to the pub, and everyone of them says its a great pub.
I dont now how Gary, Nick, Dave and the rest of the team do it. But it has to be the best pub in london.

Well done, Keep Winning the Camra awards, and your fans will stick by you.
By the way, if anyone nows a cheap one bed flat to buy, in easy Staggering distance, i'll put a offer in tomorrow.
David - 12 Feb 2004 17:28
Well done to Gary & his team for a superb Burns Night session. Burns' own poetry read aloud, Haggis, Scottish ales and half-price whisky, what else could one ask for? It is touching how the landlord wanders among the customers talking to each group individually through the night - this really makes the Priory one of London's best pubs.

Regarding the comment below, don't be put off too much by the area; the Studley Estate has had a makeover and doesn't appear threatening at all (well, not to me anyway!!)

Visit the pub and see for yourselves - you will not be disappointed!
lad_newton - 30 Jan 2004 19:09
The Priory is a veritable oasis in a concrete jungle of shite. Stockwell's only redeeming feature
Robacidgreen - 27 Jan 2004 11:43
Wow! This is pub is just brilliant! The selection of beers has to be seen to be believed, very nice barmaid and the landlord walks about the pub talking to the customers. This is a must for beer connoisseurs. It is a bit brightly painted and harshly lit if you like the old wood and stained paintwork aproach to pub decor, but the mixed clientelle and friendly atmosphere make it feel quite cozy. This pub is also quite small inside. Yes, it did have TVs with piped music videos, but not too obtrusive. I will definitely be going there again.
Tim A - 17 Jan 2004 13:09
I live nearby and thought I'd give it a go on a afternoon seeing all the rave reviews. Unfoutunately was with my small daughter and no children allowed inside. Too cold to sit outside but does look nice place maybe a bit yuppy but does not matter.
Duncan - 6 Jan 2004 05:05
Great Sunday lunches! Having lived in the are for 2-3 years I ve never had any problem late at night, many a time Ive stumbled back to Stockwell tube or to the Wandworth Road for a bus the worse for wear with no ill effects
Theo - 16 Dec 2003 12:59
My local for 18 months, I wish I'd actually gone along more, this is an almost perfect small pub, with a great selection of beers both on tap and bottled.
Aask for the Erdinger, or Schneider Weisse, you won't be disappointed.
David Hicks - 20 Nov 2003 12:16
I lived about a 10 minute walk from this pub up until about a year ago and it is easily the best pub in the area. When I first went to the old Priory back in the late 80's it was a basic if well run back street local. But the management team who seem to have been running the place since forever have created a wonderful institution. A great friendly atmosphere and fantastic range of ales and especially German beers are only 2 of it's many plus points.Its a genuine pleasure to spend a few hours here.

I wholeheartedly agree with Marks comments about The Priory and I admire his positive outlook about the area it's in, but I lived in this part of London for 30 years and know it well. Caution, especially late at night, is advised. The reputation is has earned is not without foundation.
Bob V - 2 Nov 2003 11:31
I would like to congratulate Gary and the team at the Priory for the excellent German beer festival last weekend. I came with some friends on the Friday and the beer was superb, so were the great value sausages and sauerkraut, and of course the British beer was not neglected in any way at all. So 10/10 for everything, and here's to many more such festivals at what is certainly one of London's BEST pubs!
lad_newton - 21 Oct 2003 17:03
nice pub good beers we had a very friendly reception when we were working nearby last summer fond memories of a good pub
roger hayward - 8 Aug 2003 19:03
One of the best freehouses in London with a great choice of ales and bottled beer. Small friendly backstreet single bar pub well worth using.
Rob Jones - robertollyjones@hotmail.com - 19 Jun 2003 23:25
Attention to detail is what makes this pub perfect. It's a joy to quaff in such cared for surroundings. Always a fine selection of draught and a huge selection of bottled stuff. The roasts are unequalled in my experience. I disagree with Stevo. It's a lovely looking area if you relax about it's reputation.
Mark - flatpedigreefiction@yahoo.co.uk - 11 Jun 2003 18:25
A very good pub indeed. My chess club meets here and if our chess was as good as their beer we'd be better players than we are. A good range of beers but particular note should be made of the top-notch German beers in the fridge. Also noteworthy is the enormous and entirely docile dog, who has an endearing habit of wandering past the chessboards, nose at pitch level. We should make more use of this than we do.
Justin - 2 May 2003 17:20
This is amongst one of London's best pubs. The very friendly, informed, chilled-out and enthusiastic management rubs off on the enjoyment of all customers! Harveys seems to be a regular beer plus a constantly changing range of up to four other guests. I was there on Friday 25/04/03 with four friends and we were introduced to an exquisite German beer - a subject on which the landlord is well-informed and well-travelled! An impressive stock is held, and some people come just for the German beers! Even the dog (I'm no dog lover) is friendly! I would recomend this pub to anyone looking for a great pint in a great atmosphere. No music, allowing for great conversation. A gem!
lad_newton - 28 Apr 2003 16:55
Great small pub, slightly off the beaten track in one of the less picturesque parts of London. Fantastic selection of ales and friendly service. Food looks good.
Stevo - 23 Apr 2003 13:13
situated in the heart of stockwell, this pub is a light in asea of darkness. A terifically friendly boozer with an extensive beer and wine selection. Choose from 6 well kept real ales or go for czech lagers, german bottled beers, fruit wines and one of the best pub wine lists around. The atmosphere is relaxed and convivial with the emphasis on good conversation rather than overpowering music and electronic distractions. There is no pool table or darts board but there are a selection of board games for the punters' use should you tire of the company!! This is an essential call in any crawl of the area - even if you find yourself staying there the whole night!
jonathan pettit - 24 Jun 2002 16:12
A wide selection of English ales and fantastic food.

Pub of the year!
Tom - 21 Jun 2002 13:30
An excellent pub. Reknowned for its great range of cask ales, german beers and country wines(!). Also boasts a dog the size of a horse. Live football when on. Great Sunday roasts. Quiet music.
Joel - 15 May 2002 14:13
camra pub of the decade,and great sunday lunches.
roch - 25 Mar 2002 16:29

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