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Hand and Flower, Ham

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user reviews of the Hand and Flower, Ham

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

New Inn was busy, so popped in here - bit worrying.
Bar staff were dismissive and generally uninterested in actually serving customers. Maybe because they finished their shift half an hour later, but they were still behind the bar when we asked for a drink four times.
Having finished their shift, hey then went to sit at one of the tables and passed the next hour or so making snide and unpleasant comments about the patrons they'd been serving (most of whom were still in the pub, although safely out of earshot).

I understand that a pub can't pick it's patrons, but on a weekend evening, you'd expect some life or some atmosphere - all there was in the Hand was a group of locals, who went to some lengths to tell anyone listening that they were locals, that were generally abusive to anyone who walked in the door who they didn't recognise.

After the second round we decided somewhere a little more welcoming and with some sort of liveliness would be better, so we dove off to the Boaters instead.
daveo1707 - 1 Jun 2015 10:15
Went here because the New Inn was full.

This looks attractive from the outside, though the signs are all about special nights rather than daily food, so it's hard to tell whether they're currently serving (or even open) until you've parked up. Which is another problem: no pub car park; you have to feed a parking meter to use the spaces outside the nearby parade of shops; while there are faded yellow lines around Ham Common so it's hard to tell if parking's allowed there or not.

Once in the pub it looks a bit scruffy, with lots of posters about evening events, and there was only one crowd in but they were rather rowdy. Also, the only real ales are Pride and Doombar. But on the positive side: friendly service, good background music, the beer tasted fine, and the food was surprisingly good value for money.

I'd go again - if the New Inn's full again!
Trev - 5 Feb 2015 11:53
Lovely garden. Dog and kid friendly. We've always found the food good value. Relaxing place to read the papers over a pint on a Sunday.
sarahcl - 1 May 2012 10:59
Joined a group of vegetarians there for Sunday lunch and was pleasantly surprised at both the range of vegetarian options available and the good value. I'll eat there again.
Matthew_of_Ham - 27 Nov 2011 21:36
The only good thing to say about this pub is that the lager beer on draft is excellent and the service was OK.
We ate in the restaurant and the vases on the table were dirty. We ordered the roast dinner and the roast potatoes had been recooked. The beef was probably frozen
My steak had been cut in half. I have never had a filet steak in two pieces before very strange and it was more like rump. The pepper sauce was inedible.
The kids food was not much better. A tiny frozen pizza with french fries for £4 - the pizza was as small as a cup.
The area outside was quite good but given the fact we had come to have lunch meal it was too cold to make use of with the kiddies.

martinhitch - 10 Oct 2011 19:32
My friends and I come to this place on a regular basis - we just can't get enough of the food. They offer a fantastic £5 lunch menu, but we most frequently visit on Tuesday when they have a steak night on for £10 which includes your meal and a drink too! This isn't a pub that I would necessarily visit solely for a drink, but I think they have found the right balance between the drinkers and the eaters. The only complaint that I have is that there have been two occasions where I have had to return my glass of wine because it tasted slightly vinegary, but on both occasions the staff have been more than happy to replace my glass with a fresh one.
marilynmonroe - 22 Jun 2011 18:16
I have just had a superb lunch with four friends at The Hand and Flower. The turkey was excellent, the roasties crisp and soft on the inside, the veg al dente, the gravy home made, with stuffing and chipolatas for £7.95 INCREDIBLE! My guests enjoyed their bangers and mash and another the £5 special lunch. My experience was most enjoyable and great value, I highly recommend this friendly place.
champagnerobbie - 15 Dec 2010 17:30
Thank you to nokindwords for making my point for me. It is because ignorant ill-mannered people like him/her go there that I prefer not to.
Matthew_of_Ham - 26 Jun 2010 12:43
RE: matthew of ham's comment on 16th October

"b) it would have meant trying to attract the staff's attention when they were far too busy talking to each other. Not impressed."

surely you would not prefer staff to stand in silence whilst you drink? when i go to a pub i would much rather friendly staff who talk than those who stand and watch you drink..that would make for a much worse atmosphere surely!

P.S.

"I could have complained but a) I do not go out to complain, I go out to enjoy myself "

i beg to differ; it seems you go out primarily to pick faults in things, and post it up on the internet. would hardly call that 'enjoying myself', but each to their own i suppose
nokindwords - 29 Mar 2010 00:40
Retraction time. Went here with friends and kids for lunch on New Years Day. Place almost full, beer (Tanglefoot) excellent and lunch was homemade and delicious - most of our party had the best homemade beefburgers to be found other than in my house. Don't know if the sweary yobby clientele are still to be found here in the evenings or not, but this lunchtime experience was very very good indeed and we will return to find out.
BlackCrowe - 9 Jan 2010 09:47
Have been into this pub three times since it has re-opened. First time i popped in to see what changes had been made and witnessed a full on brawl, with the council estate vermin in full swing, even Women fighting and rolling around on the beer sodden floor . Great start. Second visit and my Boyfriend and i were totally ignored by the bar staff when we tried to order a drink, by staff to busy talking amongst themselves to notice us. Ok, the third, and what will most definitely be my last time in there, my best friend had a drunken idiot in nylon tracksuit and white trainers sexually harass her by making a disgusting and lewd remark, when she mentioned this to the manager (?) he told her that the guy always does this and to just ignore him !

I gave this place a chance, as all businesses have teething troubles, but never again, as this place is full of idiots, seemingly from the local council estate, and is staffed by imbeciles who care not for honest decent people who are willing to spend money ..... Never again will i bother to set foot in there, and will take my money and spend it elsewhere.
richmond_lass - 3 Nov 2009 18:36
Thinking of having a party at The hand & Flower…think again!!!!

This pub is trying to promote itself as a family pub but it is anything but. It is a cold hearted business that has no issue with pulling the rug out from under your feet at the 11th hour if it means more profit for them! After having a Christening Party booked there for nearly two months, with only 1 week’s notice they told me that their Sunday Lunch trade has now picked up since the original booking and is more profitable than a Christening Party so they would no longer accommodate us!!

So with 1 week to go, they completely left us in the lurch to find another venue to hold a party for 65 people. Oh and by the way, we tried one of these Sunday Lunches that we have been swept aside for a few weeks ago and found the service to be incredibly slow especially considering it really wasn’t that busy and the portion size more suitable to the likes of Twiggy than us. We have been really upset and bitterly disappointed in the shoddy and cold hearted way that we have been treated by this pub and will not be going there again.

JNN - 21 Oct 2009 15:00
I left an undrinkable pint of Youngs behind this evening and moved on to a pub that can look after beer. I could have complained but a) I do not go out to complain, I go out to enjoy myself and b) it would have meant trying to attract the staff's attention when they were far too busy talking to each other. Not impressed.
Matthew_of_Ham - 16 Oct 2009 23:49
Chavtastic !!! really grim
jimmyboot - 7 Sep 2009 16:29
I agree with matthewofham, in regards to my previous post the management have really sorted out the unruly behaviour and I would now feel happy taking my family there for a meal. However, like Matthew says, the pub does lack atmosphere - most of the staff are very cold towards the locals, making no effort to engage in conversation which drives some of us away I think who remember the days when we could sit and chat with Tom for hours on end! Also the music is just dreadful - adds nothing to the atmosphere.
freehouse1 - 26 Aug 2009 13:56
It seems odd that foxtrot who has only written reviews for the H&F suggests that I am linked to another local pub when I have reviewed dozens of local pubs with complete honesty. And he is not the only positive reviewer of the H&F who has only written about this pub. So if reviews are being planted here then it is far more likely to be the positive ones.

As for the zero tolerance of unruly behaviour, when I was in the garden the other week a group of small children were throwing gravel at the fish in full sight of the staff walking past.

The H&F is much better than the Frog but it has yet to regain the loyal following from all the local community that it had a few years ago. I go there from time-to-time but there is a limited range of beer and little atmosphere so it has not become my local again. The food may be good but that is not why I go to pubs (this site is called BEER in the evening).

I wish the H&F well, it is my nearest pub after all, but the gushing praise that is often posted here does not match my own experience and it has some way to go before it can tempt me back.
Matthew_of_Ham - 23 Aug 2009 11:47
Mathew I think its you with the problem I suggest you take another look
I guess you are involved in some with another local pub, The Hand and Flower
has great food very good value and I am very happy taking my grandchildren
there .
foxtrot - 18 Aug 2009 17:15
I have lived on Ham Common for many years, and I now find the new Hand and Flower one of the best pubs for miles for food ect. after 30 years in the area I now can take my grand children somewhere with good food and great staff. Thank you Hand and Flower.
foxtrot - 18 Aug 2009 17:07
The Police were there again this evening. Clearly this is a pub with problems.

It is better that the Legless Frog was but it is nothing like good enough to pull back the former regulars, like myself, who have moved on to other local pubs.
Matthew_of_Ham - 14 Aug 2009 19:05
I went to this pub with my family (1 wife 2 kids) on Sunday 2nd August to meet another family (1 husband, 1 wife, 2 kids). It's great. Big clean fenced-off bouncy castle, excellent food, friendly staff, and the garden is long enough so that noisy kids can be at one end while genteel old ladies fresh from church can be at the other and no-one gets antsy. Beer choice was good (Pride, Young's and Doom Bar) although the Doom Bar tasted a little dodgy. Never mind, Young's was good. My experience was so different to that of "freehouse1" below that I can only assume he/she runs a nearby rival pub and is trying to knock the competition.
jpwsmith - 3 Aug 2009 21:25
I have visited the Hand and Flower many times over the past six weeks or so. The food is fresh, well presented, served by pleasant smiling staff and is excellent value for money. I have seen a negative report posted by one upset customer and I would say go back and see how very nice it is. All I heard when I was there was compliments from very happy customers.
champagnerobbie - 31 Jul 2009 22:58
I had high hopes for this place reopening as a decent west london pub had been ruined by the previous french owners so I was pleased to see it go back to a traditional pub. However, after a good start things have rapidly gone downhill and I won't be going back there after a few recent unpleasant visits. This pub is now getting a reputation (rightly so!) for being a haven for the local drug dealers and undesirables from the local council estates. I have been there with my wife and young children and have witnessed swearing, threatening behaviour and on one occasion the local police were called. The rumour is that the pub manager repeatedly lets these undesirables back in when they have been banned! It is also rumoured that the management frequently hold lock ins for these people since I've heard reports of these people still being inside the pub in the early hours of the morning. So be warned, if you are looking for a family pub look elsewhere because I would not want to expose my wife and children to these people again and will be taking my trade elsewhere (for example the new inn just down the road where these people have all been rightly barred from).
freehouse1 - 18 Jul 2009 18:44
great pub, great staff, great food, great garden. best pub around in my opinon
nokindwords - 4 Jul 2009 00:43
You have this listed as "Closed" however it has reopened - get current !
(after a brief incarnation as the "legless frog" - heading back towards its good ale/good food/good garden style
Tachyon - 29 Jun 2009 16:37
To Black Crowe

I am one of the owners at The Hand and Flower and am very dissapointed that you did'nt enjoy your visit. I would like to assure you and any other site users We are a family run operation serving freshly prepared food, fine wines and well kept ales all at great prices. The customers that spoiled your visit have now been asked not to come back due to similar stories and I am very sorry this happened. Please contact myself at the Hand and Flower on 02083322022 to book a complimentry table for you and your wife. I would very much like for you to see what we really are about. I look forward to hearing from you.

Regards

James
THELYRIC - 16 Jun 2009 15:48
Talking with the new owners I gathered they are very keen to bring a family friendly pub back into the community. Current staff are curteous and helpful and the kitchen serves good food at sensible prices. I understand that the use of profane language will not be tolerated and hopefully those unwelcome visitors who spoil it for others will find somewhere else to drink. Last time I was there I had Sunday lunch at £7.95 which was excellent and the garden was packed with families enjoying themselves.
champagnerobbie - 12 Jun 2009 19:33
Went back to The Hand and Flower after the change back from the Leggless Frog and was very happy with the changes.. A proper Pub again with Great food.. Garden was busy and friendly staff.. recommended !!
charlie2000 - 9 Jun 2009 22:33
I'ts a very nice pub, with a lot of ambience. the staff are always helpful and concise to their customers. the garden is great for families, and the food and service is 1010! I'ts a warm place to be.
justin1 - 7 Jun 2009 15:56
I should add that we were there as a group of four couples all looking forward to trying out the menu. We lasted one drink and many pissed expletives and so went to Boaters in Canbury Gardens for our food and many, many more drinks.
BlackCrowe - 29 May 2009 08:46
Went back there a few days after its reopening, hoping for a friendly, comfortable pub to wile away hours drinking and eating.

Alas just as it was when it was The Legless Frog and the H&F before that, the same regular crowd of customers out the front being loud and with every other word beginning either f or c.

I suspect this will prevent this pub from appealing to families and couples in the Ham/North Kingston cachment that should really make it a real success, assuming the kitchen is on the mark (and the food i saw looked good).
Such a waste as it has a great garden (in need of a little tlc) and is in a good position, but i won't be bringing my wife and/or kids here again I doubt.

BlackCrowe - 29 May 2009 08:42
Completely ignored by the bar staff who seemed more intent on talking to each other and not making eye contact with customers. Ended up leaving without getting a drink. Real shame because the pub looks like it has been refurbished very nicely, and has a sensible name again.
HamResident - 25 May 2009 09:53
Good to see it open again as a pub. Legless Frog? Oh dear....
JDchaser - 21 May 2009 16:42
A phenominal turnout on the opening night! The pub was packed and even though it was the first day,the staff coped extremely well and the chef managed to turn out great food even if we had to wait a while due to the sheer number of diners. This place will be an absolute winner. Good luck to them.
champagnerobbie - 21 May 2009 09:02
I was delighted to see this lovely pub is opening again as a pub/kitchen.
Talking with the new owners I think they have a winning recipe for success with great home cooking, sensible prices and a well thought of wine list and a good selection of beers.
champagnerobbie - 19 May 2009 10:29
Reopening on 20 May.
Matthew_of_Ham - 14 May 2009 09:58
can anyone help me to find the previous landlord of this pub i am looking for his son paul who i knew a few years back and i am currently working in ireland so would like to see if i can find him. all i am looking for is a surname. I think his dad was called tom. Can anyone help me?????
aisling - 23 Jan 2008 17:03
went to this pub on saturday night for a freinds birthday,and it was brilliant,half pub and half restaurant, we all had pub menu,sausage and mash was ymmmy and pies were HUGE,lovely atmosphere,roaring fire,people in restaurant were all dancing after the meal,great fun. we shall be back.

Steph
anonymous - 25 Nov 2007 10:52
went to the pub quiz last tuesday night...what a fab night! just what we need around here. Pie and mash is fantastic. This pub is getting better all the time
sophiebeckw - 9 Nov 2007 09:13
Great food,good service and lovely garden and i can assure you i`m not the landlord.
anonymous - 15 Sep 2007 16:15
Amazing beer garden.
anonymous - 15 Aug 2007 13:18
I also discovered this pub almost by accident a few weeks ago and was pleasantly surprised.Really stylish interior design and a fair range of draught beers. The new operator has kept many of the original features but added a continental-style look. I didn't try the food but hope to do that in the near future. Well worth a visit - a traditional pub with a French dimension! I will be back at some stage over the summer.
gearbox - 1 Aug 2007 16:58
now called the legless frog, owner is french apparently !! went to watch the cricket on ham common and they were doing a hog roast and barbecue, really really good, nice young staff, good beer selection ,huge beer garden(with carp pond) a really nice place, will be going back this sunday to check out the roast dinner.
anonymous - 23 Jul 2007 16:07
Very warm and friendly. Nice staff and good food. Good improvement.Will definately be back.
anonymous - 1 Jul 2007 11:21
I have to be honest, the hand and flower was not really a place i would have stepped in before. Too smoky, and too male orientated. The refurb has brightened it up, and added a female touch. Went in after work last night with the girls... love it. Great platters and my friend said the burger was great. Looking forward to my husband taking me to the restaurant for dinner!
sophiebeckw - 30 Jun 2007 22:12
What a ridiculous name for a pub. I thought the days for ridiculous pub names was consigned to the nineties!............How wrong was I!!
bobblytoe - 21 Jun 2007 12:36
Reopens today as The Legless Frog.
Matthew_of_Ham - 9 Jun 2007 14:59
have been using the hand for 3 months before xmas, as food was amazing then after xmas food stopped in the evenings which left me and my partner no other choice but to use the over priced rubbish at the new inn. then to make matters worse just found out that the outstanding chef has just left!!!! so no more superb sunday roasts!!! what has gotten into the management!!! was a 10/10 but now i cannot give it a minus!!
alfredo - 31 Mar 2007 04:51
Made the mistake of popping in here last week for a quick pint with a mate. The atmosphere was as dull as ever and, unforgivably, the Youngs Ordinary was dreadful. Most of the regular drinkers seems to have migrated to the New Inn or the Royal Oak (I go to both regularly) leaving the H&F to the lunchtime eaters and the local kids.
Matthew_of_Ham - 21 Jan 2007 02:16
If you wanted a smokeless environment...richmond park is short walk away from this traditional beautiful quaint pub. The landlord is a friendly warm Irish man, and the atmosphere is welcoming. The food is home made and very tasty.The beer garden is worth the visit alone, tropical fish in a lovely pond, with a secret garden feel.Pubs like this are rarerity these days..wake up people!However if you after the yates feel,and your taste buds can't handle it's class..the 65 bust stop is a two minute walk from the pub.
wsetlondonwitches - 6 Jan 2007 14:57
Smokey and rambling pub unfortunately near the main road, unfortunately as it only has two beers on tap and neither are very good, the whole place has a down-at-heel feel to it.
anonymous - 31 Oct 2006 21:02
I used to live in Richmond area in '70's and used to pop in from time to time as there was allways a chance of seeing the great Dave Allen sitting at the bar
mysteryposter - 25 Sep 2006 11:15
Having been a local in ham for most of my life I have known this pub to be my local for a while, since I started going to pubs. I like the pub, the owner is a nice man and the staff have always been nice to me. It could be a bit brighter and possibly have happier staff but over all... the food is nice and beer is alright. I will go back again as it is my local when I go home.

earlscourtlocal - 12 Jul 2006 21:22
This is my nearest pub but no longer my "local", which is a great shame because it was a good pub not that many year ago. Now it is always smokey and dark (the new shutters were a big mistake) and it increasingly caters for the lads from the local estate. I still find the beer OK but I can get Youngs Ordinary anywhere. They shut at 11pm sharp, with no warning bell, despite having a late license.
Matthew_of_Ham - 15 Dec 2005 19:37
Haven't been to this pub for a few years but always remember it as a very smoky pub which panders to the locals (mind you, I was a local, i.e. I lived in Ham, but it didn't pander to me). Has a great deal of potential in a good location, with little competition. I also remember being served drinks in dirty glasses a few times and generally it is not the cleanest pub I've ever been in - smoky atmoshpere doesn't help. Sorry to be pedantic but the staff would have been 'uninterested' not 'disinterested'. Otherwise spot on!
mr_sound - 7 Dec 2005 21:03
This must now be one of the crummiest pubs in the area. We last visited 3 years ago when it was a real character pub with a lot going for it. We do not remember revisiting a pub that has deteriorated as much as this one. The beer is yuk!! and when you mention this to the staff they are arrogant and disinterested. We thought it was dirty and objected waiting to be served which took an age with customers crammed on bar stools were blowing smoke in your face. Most seemed to be at the bar area and nowhere else as the rest of the pub was empty. We wonder why!!Probably a case of pandering to a few regulars at the expense of all others. As we have reiterated in other reviews in the current climate a notice should be put up banning smoking at the bar in the interests of both staff and customers. We also thought it was big on noise!!
Fab4Rovers - 5 Nov 2005 11:45
An very badly run pub that is dirty, smokey and can't keep its beer. Add to that the fact the service is slow. disinterested and poor really sum up my feelings about it here. The structure of the pub lends itself to being a good traditional English pub but one hell of lot needs to done to accomplish this. Probably a change of management/ownership!!
PubReviewer6 - 25 Oct 2005 18:15
It is difficult to find anything positive to say about this pub nowadays. The beer is badly kept and expensive, the pub is dirty and service off hand. In addition they allow smoking at the bar which means you get cigarette smoke blown in your face whilst waiting to be served. It used to be such a nice pub bout it has deteriorated beyond recognition in the past few years.
Twojs - 17 Oct 2005 17:57
Certainly a different proposition to the immaculately kept New Inn up the road, the Hand and Flower trades off contradistinct charms. Men smoke whilst reading the paper at the bar and football tickets adorn the walls. There is a very dark mid-section and then an eatery at the back which backs onto a large but unspectacular beer garden. The mid-section is the best and that is where I would recemmend sitting for a few mid afternoon pints.
Godd for: the aforementioned
thenationofjames - 24 Feb 2004 15:02
Its my local and I love it..it is child friendly and has a great beer garden with a fish pond..good wine selection and a great atmosphere
nicky - 31 Oct 2002 22:54
Well chasing my ancestors who once ran this pub, I was quite impressed with it
Bryan Osborne - 16 Jun 2002 20:02

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