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Butcher's Hook and Cleaver, Smithfield

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user reviews of the Butcher's Hook and Cleaver, Smithfield

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

Fullers Pie and Ale barn of a place. Friday night and overrun by those that hadn't yet gone from from work and those that were making a night of being drunk and lairy.

The bar staff couldn't cope - poor service at bar, tables all dirty.

Like a Wetherspoons, really.
Mappiman - 1 Mar 2020 12:32
Went in for a couple of jars today after a nose around the market. Great pub with very well appointed interior. Only had the guiness as am not a fan of fuller ales, but was nice enough. Worth a visit if in the area.
TommyRogers1979 - 27 Dec 2012 22:15
Just came back from meeting my husband for lunch. Ordered a sausage sandwich and cheese and biscuits. The waiter, after about 15 minutes informed me that they had no biscuits - just french bread. After another 15 minutes I went and asked the girl (manager?) behind the bar how long our food might be as I only had an hour for lunch! She told me she had just rung them. No apology. Another 5 minutes and lunch turned up - minus any cutlery for my husband, minus chutney which is supposed to come with cheese and biscuits. Tomato Sauce and Mayo were brought to the table - new tomato sauce wouldn't come out of bottle and mayo still had seal on the jar. I suppose that did at least show it was Heinz! Not a good visit - have been here for lunch on quite a few occasions over the past 5 years and it's pot luck what sort of service you get - won't be going back.
ETCGC - 29 Mar 2011 13:59
Decent range of quality beers, the pub is on two levels which is common with many Fullers pubs near The City.Most times I've visited its tended to have its fair share of the suited.
EdgarBriggsMI5 - 7 Mar 2010 10:14
The photo here is quite deceptive as it makes this pub look like it has quite a narrow facade. In truth the front of the pub is at leat three times as wide as the signed bit shown.

On entering it's a large high ceilinged room with a mezzanine area to the right of the bar and a seating area under this that is cosier than the main bar. As a Fullers pub it has a full range of their beers on offer - Pride, ESB, Discovery, Chiswick and Jack Frost on pump with London Porter and Honeydew on tap.

I generally like Fullers pubs although their offerings in the City are mixed - the Swan in Leadenhall is excellent while the Fleetwood and Telegraph are rather average. This pub despite appearing rather new is towards the upper end of the scale and if you're tired of the 1940s surroundings of the Hand and Shears a 5 minute walk here will be worthwhile.
murgatroyd - 22 Dec 2009 00:37
A good selection of beers in reasonable condition served by fast and polite staff. The food was all fine but the chips that came with the burger were possibly the best that I have ever had. And I have had a lot.
jimmyprentis - 9 Dec 2009 11:43
I tried visiting here a few years back on a Saturday lunchtime when it was closed. It appears it only opens on weekdays now. The interior is high-ceilinged and fairly pleasant. Although the music was a little loud and finding a seat away from speakers was a little difficult. Prices were very expensive, with the usual Fullers beers available - Chiswick, Discovery, ESB and Pride, alongside Gales HSB and a cider I hadn't seen before from Symonds, which was frankly horrible. The toilets downstairs were like saunas. It's probably handy if you work locally. But walk a little further and you'll find cheaper and better quality pubs. I doubt I'll be back.
blue_scrumpy - 19 Sep 2009 13:18
Still a regular ay lunch time and will have to say over the last few months things have changed and the managment and staff seem alot more helpful but i will agree that there is to few staff for the size of the pub
Gunner1 - 10 Mar 2009 16:06
Good pub for drinking but don't eat. Have been twice for food and service and quality was awful. Had to wait nearly an hour for just a sausage baguette. They obviously don't have enough staff to cope with the size of the pub.
nobbythesheep - 6 Mar 2009 16:38
Went in last night, good pint of Discovery, staff were friendly enough, typical Fullers house, not outstanding but reasonable. There are worse around !
wellinformed - 21 Jan 2009 12:04
Been here twice recently (in Dec 08); the first time we had a decent enough lunch on the Cloth Fair side of the pub, with service at table. The staff couldn't have been more helpful.

Went in yesterday to a completely different experience; indifferent and surly staff who weren't interested. At 4.30pm I was told the kitchen didn't open until 5pm, only to see 2 other punters then being served meals at 4.32pm!! Thinking s*d this, I drank my ESB and left.

Not likely to try this place again anytime soon
jcraf - 30 Dec 2008 16:10
Was in here at lunchtime and i do use this pub quite allot but am getting fed up with the miserable bar staff and the price of a pint of ESB and thats if its on!!! i hope they take notice of this site and try and sort it out
Gunner1 - 24 Sep 2008 14:21
when i was there it was all manager magic! hats off to Paul bancroft.
nashindia - 21 May 2008 19:25
Was in this place again got chatting to the manager and was told that they are looking at doing their pies for take away in a box. what a great idea this pub is really pusshing the whole customer service thing all the way and they now open at 8am for breakfast well done guys this is really the whole pub experience that others should be looking at.
redbug - 4 Mar 2008 11:32
was in the butchers hook last friday night had a really good time some great music was playing and the whole place was buzzing. we had food from the menu which was out of this world. Like redbug said this pub is really clean and well looked after. the staff were busy but so friendly was drinking a fairtrade organic wine which was very reasonably priced at 15.50 have been there a few times now and will be going back even though its a bit of a trek for me.
aldonka - 14 Feb 2008 16:41
what a great pub had lunch was an awesome pie "n" mash
and the staff bought extra gravy with it too fantastic.
staff were attentive and happy this place serves great beer with its food who could ask for more... and its clean !!! unlike some in the area !!!
redbug - 13 Feb 2008 17:59
A fine pub. There are loads like this although the staff seemed very amiable and friendly. Prices seemed OK for the area. Good selection of ales when I visited but I had to try hard to think of the name of the place in order to rate it on here - it is rather samey. Not a bad pub though and I'd re-visit if in the area again.
redboy - 15 Jan 2008 22:30
Been here a couple times. The staff are nice, the atmosphere is relaxed and the drinks are decent. They sometimes play cheesy music but it's always been a good time. Wish it was open on weekends because I work in the area, sometimes on the weekend.
mcgillianaire - 23 Dec 2007 00:24
Pretty anonymous pub, friendly enough but lacking any real spark. Also, three quid for a *tiny* bowl of bar snacks? You are having a giraffe mate.
northoftheriver - 11 Dec 2007 16:43
I recently visited and, like the previous poster, saw no mice. In fact I thought the pub was one of the most immaculately clean I'd ever been in. Fullers beers in equally good condition and friendly staff.

Closed at the weekend as the area is dead, but can be hired then for free.

Wheelchair access possible by a rather steep ramp in one door, but no accessible toilets as far as I could see. The Bishop's Finger over the square is fully accessible.
Martinl - 22 Aug 2007 21:37
Recently visited with a friend, the fullers london pride was excellent and the service prompt. More crowded than i would have expected on a monday evening. Before visiting I looked on this website to see what others thought of the pub. I therefore kept a very good look out for mice ! live or dead. Saw several mice, but felt it unwise to report this (see a few posts down)needs a cat! otherwise very good.
mikeholt - 10 Aug 2007 11:08
Paid my first visit here on Friday evening and the place was ok - Fuller's ale was on good form and although the place was busy the atmosphere was good. A friend who was with me commented that it was almost like a Wetherspoon's pub. A good first visit and could merit further investigation.
MINTYBOOM - 10 Jul 2007 12:07
We have just held a "surprise" 40th wedding anniversary here on a Saturday evening (thus closed to the public) and it was a huge success. The food, freshly made, was delicious in all respects, and the attention to detail and overall service was excellent.

Special thanks to Paul Bancroft, the General Manager, who ensured that we had little to worry about concerning the preparations and decorations. First class in every respect.
anonymous - 1 Apr 2007 18:13
Ok I have just registered at this site, for the only reason to write a review about this pub...so let me set the scene.

A friend of mine suggested we should try a new pub for the evening. So all 6 (8 at the atart) of us ventured along and took a table upstairs. I had been there before for lunch which was pleasent enough. The trouble on the night started when the lady of our group spotted a dead mouse near where we were sitting. Ok. No problem, we are not that squeamish. So we pointed it out to the man behind the bar and it was removed. Ok so we did try and wrangle a free round out of the incident. As I hope most people would do (going to be completely homest here and let you make your own conclusions(. We were met with the rather abrupt response 'all pubs in London have dead mice in them', when I pointed out that they served food and surely this was some kind of health hazard (bit geeky I know), he gave us one free drink to keep us quiet. Ok, not a problem, bit stingy, but at least a free drink.

Then the intimidation started. On nearing closing time (11.15pm) whilst sitting upstairs we were told twice within 2 minute intervals that this area had to close so we had to move downstairs despite the fact there were at least 10 people in tables next to us and we had full pints having just bought them at the bar (surely the bar staff would have told us it was closing time?), no more that 1 minute later we were told the same again. So we moved down stairs even though there were people still on the top deck drinking. Not more than 2 minutes later and only a quarter of the pint down, the same person asks us to leave the pub as its closing and at 11.45pm all drinks have to be finished. We pointed out that only 2 minutes earlier he had told us to move downstairs and that the pub was still full (at this point we realised we were being victimised). The response was that 'as the propieter of this pub I dont like your attitude and would request you to leave immediately' this was directed at a friend of mine. So at this point I slightly lost my rag and told him that only 2 minutes ago he had told us to leave the upstairs having just served us and there were people still drinking. He told us to leave and that we were not welcome in no uncertain terms, so I responded that we did not want to drink here and would never again (really trying hard not to swear at him at this point) and left. I have never wrote a bad review for anything before and still 2 hours later I am still fuming! I'm sure its a perfectly good pub and at no point did anyone use any foul language, but have never felt so victimised before and not just me but all 5 of us! Very rude, never going back there again and would recommend that in an area where there are loads of good bars avoid this one at all costs! Due to dead mice and rude and vindictive staff!
jamesll - 24 Feb 2007 01:09
I'm an advocate of enjoyable Fullers beers and their pubs. This is not a 'suits only' place but a lot of the business frequent here. The place is decent - clean, tidy and the service is regular and often with a smile. It is a similar theme to a lot of London chain pubs and thats my downside to it. I would agree though - it is one of the better chain pubs around.
Mcloj - 27 Oct 2006 11:26
Soulless pub - if you like Fuller's go to the Artillery.
anonymous - 12 Aug 2006 06:21
Good beer, but pretty indentikit chain bar feel
fragileonamonday - 13 Jul 2006 14:17
Although I used to quite enjoy Fullers' pubs, especially when they had excellent ale such as the now saldy scarce Honeydew, I am starting to get very bored with their carbon-copied interiors.

It is a similar issue with Youngs pubs: the same ales; same menus; same layouts and same interiors. It becomes very ordinary and too familar after a couple of visits.

So, basically, it is one of the better chain pubs around.
AleKing - 28 Jun 2006 16:41
OK pub selling OK beer. Was hot when I went so everyone was outside. Large screen at one end so was handy for World Cup. As good as, but no better than, the The Bishop's Finger across the road.
TheHorsesMouth - 16 Jun 2006 13:05
Something about this place isn't quite right. It pretty sterile and non-descript. Beer is fine, its clean and food is decent...... but it just doesn't flick any of my switches.
anonymous - 23 May 2006 10:10
Very enjoyable visit yesterday - a bit different to the other Ale and Pies - this one lacks the architectural elegance of some of the others - but service and beer was fine. Note that the London Pride is 2.90, more expensive than I 've ever found it before from memory
JohnBonser - 5 Apr 2006 10:55
Excellent pint of the seasonal porter.The usual Fullers pub conversion-ie mezzanine floor-lotsa wood and metal....This place always feels like a fast beer outlet to me,ie get them served and get them out.No soul to the place-but it does serve a good pint1
EdgarBriggsMI5 - 2 Apr 2006 10:57
Great beer, great location (hey, by Smithfield), got to admit the staff were excellent this thursday... the problem is it's missing something.... soul? It should be a really nice pub, it just seems too clinical inside, like someone wanted to make a really great boozer but didn't realise they take time. It's an excellent place for an office do (this probably sums it up), and they NEVER shaft you when you put your card behind the bar, it's just not the kind of place you'd go with your mates for a pint. Way better than SOS though.
anonymous - 1 Apr 2006 00:31
Not a real pub. A large unwelcoming pub conversion selling the standard Fullers "Ale & Pie" fare - great beers (full range from the brewery) and standard English pub grub at high prices.

Blighted by the large unwelcoming exterior (without any of the architectural interest of the Old Bank of England or the Counting House, fellow Fuller's Ale and Pie houses) and most of all by DREADFUL and LOUD gimpy music.

Staff are a mixed bag - I've been in a few times and have had both very good and very poor service.

Last time I was there last week they still had the limited edition Fuller's Anniversary Ale on - 3 a pint and worth every penny.

6/10 but only that high because of the amazing beers.
anonymous - 12 Feb 2006 12:16
Now this place, is a real pub.

I have very many fond memories of this bar, and the function room is lovely and highly recommended.

Only possible criticisms is wait for service, as previously noted.
pint_sizedvix - 11 Feb 2006 17:27
Fairly standard Fullers Ale and Pie pub, but decent enough. Good food and beer and very welcoming on the freezing cold evening that I popped in.
anonymous - 4 Dec 2005 22:46
Decent enough though very crowded 'pon a friday after work, so service can be slow. But starts to empty about 7ish as drunken suits and skirts go for their trains. Ales well kept, at least when I was in.
anonymous - 31 Aug 2005 14:08
Cracking pub. Not sure what was wrong with it when last comments posted, but we've been drinking in there for the past year and think its fantastic - busy Fridays nights, quiet after-work drink during the week, relaxed lunches, its got it all. Ales kept very well, food good (pies and bangers&mash a must), varied range of customers and atmosphere excellent. One of the City's best kept secrets.
anonymous - 2 Aug 2005 13:32
Average. When busy the service can be quite eyebrow-raisingly poor - I've spent 30 minutes getting a big round of drinks in before. Go elsewhere for work-related shindigs.
Grecian - 18 Aug 2004 15:17
really good pint of London Porter but very slow service, very crowded and miles too NOISY
Joe_Cundy - 18 Oct 2003 15:08
Great pub, summer guest beer well kept and cool
Stephen - 28 Sep 2003 19:02
Popular because of its location, surrounded by City office blokes and Bart's hospital. Lacks atmosphere though, doesn't make the most of its potential for outdoor drinking and has a slightly sleazy air to it.
Matt - 5 Aug 2003 06:04
Is doing a free guinness night tonight 1 May !!!!!
Gerbrand - 1 May 2003 11:13
Fuller's pie & ale pub, food's great, beer's fantastic - perfect hangover cure. It's always busy after work but due to City location it's not open at the weekends.
Caroline - 15 Apr 2003 14:06

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