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Clock House, East Dulwich

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user reviews of the Clock House, East Dulwich

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

Youngs pub on a corner overlooking Peckham Rye. Unlike most East Dulwich pubs, it was fairly quiet yesterday evening. 3 Youngs ales (Bitter, Special & Winter Warmer) were supplemented by Portobello VPA. The décor is fairly bright. There are plenty of tables for diners and an outdoor heated patio at the front seemed reasonably popular. I wasn't overly taken with this pub. But as Youngs pubs go, it was ok.
blue_scrumpy - 8 Nov 2015 17:50
Quite a few times recently there has been no Young's Ordinary Bitter, excuses from 'it's just run out', 'we need to tap a new barrel'. 'we're waiting for a delivery' and so on. The next move is to sell the Special or Bombardier or whatever other beer is on the pumps which is usually more expensive than the Ordinary. Just wondered if a direction comes from higher management telling the bar staff to say the Ordinary is not on so that they can shift the other beers. Just a thought but it does happen far too often and somehow you would think that if they know a beer is that popular they would make sure it doesn't run out! Doesn't do Young's image any favours either.
Pom2000 - 13 Sep 2014 12:45
Have to agree with Baggydave.

The ale here is always warm and lifeless.

I thought it was just the Youngs beers, but I tried the Tribute (which I love) at the weekend and it was awful.
Pat_Bateman - 24 Oct 2011 11:46
Have to check this out every six months or so to see if it is still as bad. Always amazed that it has managed to get worse!

So the patio heaters on for the handfull who wanted to sit outside. Not smoke, but just sit outside. Beer was warm and flat. Glad to see that a few pence on my pint was going to warming up the planet for no reason what so every.

What a shame.
baggydave - 10 Jan 2011 21:23
Much like The Herne just along the road, a pint of Addlestones cider in either of these pubs will set you back to the tune of £4.

As a result, I won't be going back to either pub.
Pat_Bateman - 21 Apr 2010 11:17
Like many Young's pubs, someone seems to have tried too hard to steer it away from the "traditional boozer" image and created an unappealling mess. Beer quality remains alright by the bland standards of Wells-Young's, but much of the furniture is uncomfortable and there's too much of it squeezed into too little space, and the decor creates an oppressive claustrophobic feel for me even when there are few people in the place.
Delirious_Nomad - 20 Dec 2009 21:47
I remember this pub a few years ago for ordering food and it was undercooked. Hope they have changed staff since then.
shooter - 27 Jun 2009 11:12
Another one of my ex-favourite (Youngs) pubs de-characterised (if you get my drift). See my views on the Woodhouse, Morpeth (Vauxhall Bridge), Buckingham Arms (Petty France) and the Royal Oak (Westminster). Oh, do I see a trend here in ruining traditional Youngs' pubs?
baggydave - 5 Jan 2009 20:59
All Youngs pubs are undergoing this de-pubbing. I dont know why they have to be so bland.
gonetolunch - 25 Feb 2008 12:43
Review below is spot-on - delightful and uncomplicated, with very high standards. One of the best Youngs pubs I've found.
mtaylor40 - 13 Feb 2008 20:44
What a delightful, uncomplicated place.

Had what I can only describe as the best burger in ages! Nice homemade chips too. Nice range of beers, not too pricey, comparatively. Staff were very friendly and service was efficient.

Will definately be returning.
stillupthenuthouse. - 25 Jan 2008 20:37
Popped over to E D to see a friend who's just moved in the neighbourhood. Stayed the night and then on Sunday afternoon perambled down to the Clockhouse, which my friend said did superb sunday lunches.

He was right. The decor may be iffy, but nicely rarely beef and proper roasts and gravy that doesn't come out of a packet.......served by pleassant staff who seem to care about the place they work. doesn't come any better on a hungover sunday!!!
fancypints - 14 Jan 2008 20:24
Just as a PS to my review further on down where i say "Only nice thing is the front garden is still good with views over Peckham Rye" - well they have now spoilt that by putting up some annoying glass things along the outer edge.
spincat - 9 Dec 2007 08:24
Very friendly bar staff, good food. You can usually get a seat. would recommend!
Annabanks - 29 Oct 2007 14:31
I must defend this pub a bit! I went there recently with my parents and we really enjoyed the meals, and the lady serving us was wonderful - couldn't have asked for better service.

I don't know what the Clock House was like prior to its refurbishment - perhaps it isn't as good - however, rom an impartial perspective I'd say the standard of food, service & atmosphere was really good & I'd recommend it.

I think comparisons with the Rye are unfair. In fact, the last time I called in there for a quick drink after the cinema we arrived at 10.54pm and were refused a drink, saying they were closed.
lalalou - 28 Oct 2007 12:40
What on earth is going on with this pub? A classic example of how NOT to refurbish a pub. The back room is a jumbled mess, the new high tables in the front bar are ridiculous and the redesign of the front patio meaning you now have to enter the pub through the side door is ill thought out. And what's with these new claustrophobic perspex windows on the front patio shielding you from the pavement?

The place was nearly empty when I went there on Saturday about 11pm. Says it all.
jc22 - 8 Oct 2007 12:19
Why fix it when it ain't broke?
Not the nice welcoming relaxing place it once was. And the staff in fact very unwelcoming on a Sunday morning: even though the place had been officially open one and a half hours, they grudgingly served us and then spent an hour sweeping and bashing round us looking cross. Don't normally like to complain about staff as is hard job, but it was really annoying. Pricy place. Only nice thing is the front garden is still good with views over Peckham Rye.
spincat - 5 Oct 2007 19:44
I used to go here alot. usually on the way to somewhere else I recall.

its been revamped, but has retained the most memorable feature of its antideluvial predecessor- thats fact thats its not actually memorable at all.

Beer Ok

handy as a stop en route to somewhere else

snorky - 2 Oct 2007 16:34
I must agree with all the previous reviews. What was once a decent pub with quality beer worth travelling for is now but a poor clone of the Rye Hotel (as was).
Mismatched furniture stuffed into a room gives an air of desperate claustrophobia.
The food I never tried in its previous ownership and am unlikely to now. I have not seen anybody eating since then so maybe the voted with the stomachs.

Draught designer beers are here. Peroni is disgusting lager and was a major reasons the Italians surrendered so easily.

The exterior with benches and flowers has not changed but access has.

This should be shown as an example of how to screw up a class bar.
Silentio - 24 Sep 2007 00:17
This is possibly the most awful pub refurbishment I've ever come across. The colour scheme and general appearance is horrible; it looks like it was done by Lawrence Llewellyn-Bowen while under the influence of mind-altering substances. (Remember that edition of "Changing Rooms" when the woman burst into tears upon seeing what he'd done to her house?)

The back bar is cluttered with an overabundance of assorted furniture, creating a somewhat circuitous route from front bar to lavatories, and if you're bored you can amuse youself trying to spot two sets of tables and chairs that match each other. The front bar features some peculiarly tall and chunky tables and chairs that make any occupants resemble "Tiny Dennis Waterman" from the "Little Britain" sketches.

The first time I went in here post-refurb I'd already had a few elsewhere and had to go back a couple of weeks later to see if it really had been ad bad as I imagined. Sadly it was. Beer quality, which remains acceptable for the relatively bland mainstream brews on offer, now seems almost incidental.

I wouldn't mind if it had always been a mediocre pub, but it used to be acceptably nice and tasteful in appearance and has now taken a turn for the worse
Rich66 - 20 Aug 2007 22:23
This used to a fab pub with decent beer, friendly service and pretty decent bar snacks. And woman who sometimes sang at the piano.

Now it is a souless hole. You get the impression it has aspirations to be a gastro pub, but its not working. The food is awful. There is no charm, and the staff appear to have heard the complaints 100's of times. A real shame.

If though you fancy a pint and a packet of crisps on a sunny day - stop by.
hammjg - 2 Jul 2007 19:09
A useful place to muse on how an establishment can be so artlessly yet painfully conceived, yet always full of happy chatty people. I think it's due to the pretty flowers in the barrow and because it's on that corner where you realise you got on the wrong bus.
swifthalf - 9 Jun 2007 14:18
How can one establishment go from a solid, basic pub with well kept Youngs ale, decent dog friendly front bar and pleasant alfresco drinking area to a corporate, pinny wearing staff, pink walled, high tabled, route restricted and carpetted nightmare!

I agree, since the last owners sold the Clockhouse back to Youngs brewery about a year ago, it remained directionless and something had to be done – but this refurbishment is one of the most ill conceived, illogical and tasteless efforts I have seen with two exceptions - the mezzanine area, which is improved, and the efficient and friendly staff.

Designed, no doubt by a brewery work placement in his/her first week, I am at a loss to understand who this pub is aimed at? Several questions scream out – who pushed the flower filled wheelbarrow across the access point of the front drinking area – it can be moved now! Tall tables in the front bar – isn’t the joke wearing thin seeing short people struggling to navigate the high stools with their little legs dangling down? Carpet in the ladies toilet – don’t you know House Doctor’s number one no no of carpets and toilets – yuk! Horrendous jumble of crowded tables/chairs/sofas/any furniture in the back bar area, sorry, I could go on and on....

Maybe a visit to the Rye Hotel, before the plans (if there were any plans) were drawn up, would have been in order to observe and learn from a successful and sensitive refurb.

alester - 6 Jun 2007 15:44
In April, I described the Clock House as "deeply, drearily ordinary" ... But those were the good old days, now it's extraordinary - extraordinarily bad.

The last vestiges of any character have gone, and the pub is now a worse version of an All Bar One (if such a thing is possible). It's hard to know where to start ... The once-lovely front bar has gone, now filled with bizarre, ugly tables and stools around five feet high (rather less than friendly to the old and disabled) ... The front terrace is only accessible through the bar, for some unknown reason, with other access blocked off (again, great for wheelchair users) ... The back room is so crammed with dining tables and chairs that it feels like a claustrophobic furniture warehouse ... Horrible carpet (even in the women's toilets, which doesn't seem exactly hygienic) and cheap-looking wallpaper ... And, to cap it all, the stuffed pike has been removed, or maybe it swam off in disgust.
beerkat - 6 Jun 2007 15:12
Suprised that someone mentioned the Herne, which of course is a restaurant not a pub.

Agree with the general sentiment that this pub aint what it was. Will the refurbishment improve it? - the last one didn't. Have seen the food prices soar, and no doubt they are trying to compete with the likes of the Palmerston. Please tell me I am wrong.

You have the Gowlett for a more trad pub, and the Rye hotel for a pub that has gone trendy but not pushed it too far, for good alternatives.

We will see!
baggydave - 26 Apr 2007 20:23
The Clock House is deeply, drearily ordinary these days. The former owners had their faults but the pub certainly had a character then. Now it's soulless, with the installation of a quiz machine in the front bar further undermining the atmosphere. The quality and range of the Youngs beers has deteriorated markedly too.

Still some plus points though: a good spot for a drink on a sunny evening (though a strange micro-climate means that a chill wind starts lashing the outside tables from early evening on even the hottest day, sending the Boden-clad East Dulwich nuclear families scurrying for cover); some pleasant and efficient bar staff; and still dog-friendly (the gastro-pubs that have colonised the area maintain the bizarre fiction that dogs aren't allowed "because we serve food").
beerkat - 17 Apr 2007 14:02
Lovely in summer when you can inhale the intoxicating fumes of flowers, cars and buses as you gaze across the Rye. Otherwise, it's deeply average in an almost upsetting kind of a way. The back part of the pub feels like it's haunted or something. Very weird.
insekt - 27 Nov 2006 19:10
has potential to be a blinder of a bar. something missing from the front bar. not sure tho what. the rear bar is the place to be but a non-smoking section. Argghh! Feel like I'm visiting a garden centre. Friendly staff.

WonnacottP - 19 Nov 2006 00:24
This pub needs to up its game from being a bit average, to compete against the refurbished Herne Tavern which is 5 mins up the road, and the Rye across the park.

It's got great potential but is often a bit of a let-down.
Donnington - 24 Sep 2006 16:12
Great for a few drinks on a sunny afternoon.
ablears - 16 May 2006 19:56
Pub or Flower Show? Single-handedly keeps Peckham ye in Bloom.

Decent pub though.
Beertastingmonkey - 24 Mar 2006 12:08
An acceptable Young's pub in a nice enough location on the edge of Peckham Rye with several bus routes stopping very close. A small front bar has wooden floorboards and chairs with a raised section to the right of the entrance; there's a larger back bar, carpeted with upholstered bench seating.

I've been drinking here off and on for many years and found the ales to be in consistently good shape, though not spectacularly so.

Plenty of outside seating some of which features those awful patio heater things, a horrendous waste of energy rivalled only by leaf-blowers (why can't people use a broom or a rake?). If you're too cold sit inside!
Rich66 - 24 Dec 2005 15:20
It's lovely to sit outside in the summer (phew, I dont suffer from hayfever) OR even ok if it's not snowing in the winter...
The staff aren't the best but it's a nice looking pub and not too smokey.
Delski - 16 Nov 2005 13:28
Unfortunately the Landlord makes the customers uncomfortable.
anonymous39 - 29 Sep 2005 00:10
Have to agree with Mrs Kermit, this pub is expensive for Peckham/East Dulwich borders. Don't you think there're just too many hanging baskets outside. Encourages wasps and hay fever. don't you think.
bertramr - 4 Apr 2005 18:20
Good, friendly pub. Beer is well kept, and the food is decent enough. Unfortunately, it does attract the new East Dulwich crowd, so look out for more than its fair share of pretentious 'wah wahs'. Nice to sit out in the summer, and snug in the winter.
fishcox - 23 Jan 2005 19:41
Terrible all togehter! Over priced like all youngs pubs.
Mrs_Kermit - 27 Nov 2004 18:50
One of the best old syle pubs around, if you want a quiet drink and friendly bar staff/landlord this is the place to come. They even put up with my mate Matt which is something special!!
Simon - 11 Nov 2004 16:06
New Years Eve, no tickets required, no charge to get in, plenty of bar staff so quick service all night. Pretty much the best you can expect from a London pub these days. The beer is expensive and they were guessing the prices on big rounds on NYE I noticed. The downside was they totally missed the midnight countdown so everyone had to invent their own at 00.05. An average pub that looks nice from the outside.
Tim - 13 Jan 2004 12:55
By and large a decent place. pricey but clean and the minimum of towny 'iam a geezer people'. Good for a quiet one and if you like ale/bitter its worth it.
tel - 9 Jan 2004 17:47
I agree guiness in youngs pubs is ropey, bet thing is to stick to the bitter, which the clockhouse does a very nice pint of
tomario - 23 Nov 2003 19:27
In the summer it a top place to sit out side, but it so over priced and the land lords got his head up his ass. The food could be so much better small and average portions
Simon Birley - 21 Oct 2003 19:01
Gotta agree with tim about the barmaids. Even though it's more Peckham than Dulwich it's full of ponces. Never any bother though and if you can handle all the Jamie Oliver Wannabe Dulwich mugs it's worth a visit. As with all youngs pubs it's crap Guinness.
Paul - 3 Oct 2003 03:19
Different days, different ways. Nice to just sit and chat and drink the quality Fosters lager. Pricy, but hey, where the hell else can you go in Peckham?
Stereoboy - 29 Aug 2003 16:55
Must go to the quiz night on a Tuesday night to see the questions being asked by their resident Elvis!!
Paul - 9 Jun 2003 12:33
A very pretensious pub with a discerning customer. There I,ve just summed this pub up,every time I went down to this pub,"YOU ALWAYS WAITED FOR YOUR PINT". Now I am a antipidean (I only stole a loaf of bread)
john cannon - 6 Jun 2003 11:57
A lovely pub overlooking Peckham rye with a friendly atmosphere and a good range of beers
In the summer there is always a good display of hanging baskets and flowers around the 'courtyard' beer garden at teh front.
Recently revamped througout (okay 2 years ago) and normally a very attractive barmaid is in residence.
Well worth a visit
Tim - 17 Jul 2002 14:04

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