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Gladstone Arms, Borough

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user reviews of the Gladstone Arms, Borough

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

Perfectly nice, though rather trendy pub (not that there is anything wrong with that). Good beers and some good live music now and then. Better for a lunchtime session than the evening when it can get packed out.
JoWard25 - 4 Feb 2013 15:49
Fantastic atmos, excellent beer, even some decent ska on the soundsystem. return visit guaranteed.
blondini - 14 May 2012 10:16
The beer - Tribute and Doom Bar - is very well kept.
In this area, this is by far the best served pint - even if the pub gets packed, but I am just old.
beer123 - 14 Nov 2011 14:57
What an excellent pub: friendly staff, relaxing interior, and they make an effort to invite good musicians every week. Better than 99% of the pubs in London, I'd reckon, though not in a flash or showy way. Highly recommended just for being somewhere to loosen up effortlessly after a busy day...
fluffy_mike - 16 Aug 2011 21:29
Liked this one very much, had the pie lunch once, quiet, nice pies, good bitter

two evening drinks, good bitter, Pendle With once which was gorgeous, the bar staff were jolly verging on lippy, it's very different but very good too
MickyTheHippo - 13 Jul 2011 14:52
Nice little pub. Slightly odd in having so much of the floor given over to music but has a real buzz downstairs. There is a quieter room upstairs; a little too quiet at times but can also have a good buzz when it's busy. There's even a hippy corner where you can lounge at a very low table! Fun for a bit but not too long, there's a reason more pubs don't make you sit cross-legged on a rug!
tonyandrachel - 15 Jan 2011 14:36
I was also there last night and thought the band were excellent. A kind of Rockabilly Stray Cats meets The Cramps.

Really nice clientelle / atmosphere in this pub.

Addlestones Cider being my favourite was a big bonus.

Would return for sure.
Pat_Bateman - 10 Dec 2010 10:05
Gave this place a try last night, had a band playing which is always a plus.
Doom bar and Tribute on hand pump and in good condition, even had Addlestones on tap.
All round a good pub with an excellent atmosphere.


beer123 - 10 Dec 2010 09:22
I was there last night for the music, and in contrast to many of the London music pubs I've been to this one not only had bitter on tap, but it was decent beer (I had the Tribute), well kept and reasonably priced for London at 3.20 per pint (in a mug as well, which is a novelty these days) - about the same price as a smaller bottle of inferior lager at the University of East London bar!

The pies looked rather appetising, but not having been there before I'd eaten a big meal beforehand. I'll be partaking next time I'm in the area!

The place was packed, and one of the bar staff was a little too eager to clear up empties, but other than the staff were good.

Music wise the acoustics are good, but they could do with turning up the lights on the bands a bit more - the candles on the windowsill were brighter during the support act's set!

The only real downside was that I got a powerful whiff of disinfectant every time the door to the gents was opened, which would be quite off-putting if I were eating.
awkward42 - 10 Oct 2010 12:43
Found this little gem when looking for somewhere to watch the World Cup. It just does what a pub should. There is a reasonable selection of well kept beers supervised by friendly bar staff who keep the place busy by retaining regulars and pulling in passers-by like myself. Basically young crowd who were lively without being too boisterous (mind you, there was nothing in the football to get excited about). The pies were a great hit too with a regular stream of orders through the evening. A great little place.
Matthew_of_Ham - 19 Jun 2010 11:06
Charming pub. Admittedly a bit boho but the less young less hip crowd made to feel welcome too. High quality drinks selection. Ales kept perfectly. Staff are variable but the ones that are good are very very good. 9/10
dry_riser_inlet - 23 Apr 2010 13:04
Visited this pub for the first time last week on a Tuesday lunchtime. It was nice to meet a Landlord who cares about the state of his ales (two on and both from cornwall) and is knowledgable about them too. Very quiet at the time I visited, the menu looked excellent though I didn't have time to try out their large range of pies. Must say though 3.25 a pint for an ale is a tad expensive. I probably will visit again if I win a few quid on the lottery.
Raffles1958 - 8 Mar 2010 17:48
Went here on Friday and it was packed. Two beers on and both were in good nick. If you like your pubs lively, then this is for you. Quite a young crowd
TheHorsesMouth - 1 Mar 2010 12:55
Just off the main Borough High Street drag and all the better appointed for it. Small, one room, cosy pub with a couple of Cornish beers on tap. Ordered pie and mash which was nice once it finally arrived over an hour later - our order had obviously been lost but at least the bar staff were fairly apologetic. Has live music a couple of days a week plus, as a neat twist, also sells a range of musical accessories/disposables behind the bar (guitar strings, amp leads and the like) due to the live music and its position opposite a recording studio.
Pentargo - 3 Feb 2010 18:38
Loved this pub- was there the other night, Animal Collective, Tinariwen and Vampire Weekend on the stereo, two really good live bands played live- lots of muso's around, very boho. Lots of candles, low lights, like a particularly cosy living room with a bar in it. Saw Doom Bar and Tribute on tap, and loads of single malts...Really nice, friendly atmosphere- lan on going back regularly!
dearbhla_molloy - 22 Jan 2010 13:10
Went to a music night last night here. The place was packed and the acts very interesting. In between that they were serving very good Tribute and Doom Bar and the pie and mash looked and smelled great. Nice place.
Alfnoax - 22 Jan 2010 12:24
Sorry Im a closet homosexual obseeseed with sucking of ZOO animals.
UnionJak1 - 10 Dec 2009 15:42
Tribute and Doom Bar were available from the aging rocker barman during my visit and there was also a limited standard and premium draught selection. It is not the biggest place, but there was a good crowd in attendance with more old rocker types propping up the bar. This is a music pub that hosts live music nights and several music magazines can be found lying on the tables and the gents toilet is wallpapered with old song sheets.

Food is served and the chalk menu board is hung over a plasma screen that Id imagine sees little action. There was some background music playing which I thought was good, but it is more in line with the tastes of fifty year olds.

I would recommend this place to others as it is very relaxed and there was no rush to evict anybody after last orders.
Strongers - 10 Dec 2009 13:42
I must admit to a feeling a little uneasy as I approached this pub- just down a side street next to Borough Station and into a housing estate it had the look of somewhere that could be quite rough. My fears were unfounded though and when I made my way inside it was to find a small cosy single room pub with dimmed lights and a very pleasant atmosphere. It is not a place for large groups but as a place for a quiet pint either by yourself or with one or two others it is very good indeed.

Unlike the last comment they did have a couple of ales on (Doom Bar and St Austell Tribute) and I was even tempted to return for one of the many music nights advertised around the pub.

Well worth a visit if in the area
murgatroyd - 18 Oct 2009 11:09
No real ale at all.
lionbaz - 18 Jul 2009 00:29
Having seen the large mural from afar many times, I finally made the diversion from Borough High Street to see what was on at 'the Glad'. Worrying strains of something vaguely country-ish could be heard as you approached, but it immediately became apparent on entering the small L-shaped bar that the music was at the alternative end of the spectrum. A mixed clientele, but a very relaxed atmosphere. My pint of Black Sheep was in good shape, served in a traditional glass jug.
rpadam - 12 Jun 2009 20:09
Paid a brief visit last weekend - quite enjoyed it. It's a little twee, and yes - "boho" is probably accurate. But it was pleasant enough, the beer was good (Dartmoor Best and Tribute were on the handpumps), snacks were excellent (chunky pork scratchings and delicious wasabi peas). I must also confess to having a bit of a geek-out at the painting of The Shadow on the side wall coming up from the main road. Marvellous!
scissorkicks - 18 Mar 2009 10:52
Yes indeed, 'Boho' is just the right word for this place.

The outside of the pub is pretty interesting what with the two big paintings of Gladstone glaring down at you, so it certainly stands out a bit amongst the hundreds of other pubs nearby.

The interior is surprisingly small with the aforementioned boho touches. Mrs Quinno's cup of tea was served in a trendy 'right-on' mug with some sort of left-leaning sentiment (I forget what) so don't take any Sun/Daily Hate Mail readers in here.

So I was quite looking forward to my beer - there were two on (Black Sheep and Adnams, I think) but both were of questionable quality. Shame.

I want to like this place so I will try it again but have to admit I left disappointed by the beer experience. It isn't THAT hard to keep a decent beer if you actually understand what it is you're selling, especially given the high standards set elsewhere in the area.
Quinno - 18 Feb 2009 20:36
Yep, Bohemian is the word, excellent little pub. My Black Sheep wasnt perfect, maybe it was just a bit too chilled, but was it was drinkable and I am a fussy old bugger.
beerandpaperman - 19 Jan 2009 13:44

Great pub. Great atmosphere, happy friendly staff staff, good music. Makes my day to end up there.
happy_beer_drinker - 17 Jan 2009 21:46
Fantastic place. Genuinely cool - as opposed to 'trendy' and wonderful Cornish beer.
BobC65 - 14 Nov 2008 13:29
A fanastic, quirky, homely and friendly pub. I wish I lived near enough to call it my local. It deserves a much higher rating than it has. There's live music on a saturday night and personally i think it's the best pub in the area by miles.
Hockers - 18 Aug 2008 13:07
Good word! bohemian. Picture of Ronnie Lane on the wall, beer served in a "jug" and for that reason alone I wanted to like this pub. Beer was average but like "Mercurial" might try on a Sunday. Room for improvement but i will go again.
TheHorsesMouth - 2 Jun 2008 14:20
Stopped by on a Thurs lunchtime for my first ever visit to the 'Glad'. The word used by both my co-drinker, and a couple of articles on the wall, was 'bohemian'. And that's probably as good as any to describe the feel.

Its a small pub, which clearly prides itself on live music - in fact it has a folky/R&B house band who play most Sundays and, whilst not entirely clear to me, they may have something to do with ownership of the pub. I imagine it would get full very quickly. Similarly, the music/jukebox (whichever it was) wasn't blaring, and clearly its choice is influenced by the band's style rather than simply being the latest 'Now Thats What I Dont Call Music 93'.

I was pleasantly surprised to see Black Sheep & Deuchars on offer. That said, I could only stay for one, and the pint of Sheep I had was average. So, 'could do better' on the quality front. Service was quick and friendly, albeit that the pub wasn't very busy anyway. I didn't try any of the pies mentioned in previous posts.

I will try to make it back for a Sunday music sesh at some point. Overall, whilst decent enough and a little different, there are 2 or 3 better pubs in the area.


Mercurial - 23 May 2008 13:08
Stopped by on a Thurs lunchtime for my first ever visit to the 'Glad'. The word used by both my co-drinker, and a couple of articles on the wall, was 'bohemian'. And that's probably as good as any to describe the feel.

Its a small pub, which clearly prides itself on live music - in fact it has a folky/R&B house band who play most Sundays and, whilst not entirely clear to me, they may have something to do with ownership of the pub. I imagine it would get full very quickly. Similarly, the music/jukebox (whichever it was) wasn't blaring, and clearly its choice is influenced by the band's style rather than simply being the latest 'Now Thats What I Dont Call Music 93'.

I was pleasantly surprised to see Black Sheep & Deuchars on offer. That said, I could only stay for one, and the pint of Sheep I had was average. So, 'could do better' on the quality front. Service was quick and friendly, albeit that the pub wasn't very busy anyway. I didn't try any of the pies mentioned in previous posts.

I will try to make it back for a Sunday music sesh at some point. Overall, whilst decent enough and a little different, there are 2 or 3 better pubs in the area.


Mercurial - 23 May 2008 13:08
This has become a nice little pub now, with kinda traditional but kinda 70's decor and kinda folky live music when I went there last night. Black Sheep ok, but would benefit from another lighter bitter on tap, but all in all a friendly place.
PeoplesPalace - 16 Nov 2007 11:54
Went in tonight for the first time in ages. First time it was a traditional pub, then it went all white and too trendy - now it's gone back to a more traditional feel with the emphasis on music, good service and friendly staff.
ONscotland - 12 Sep 2007 00:53
been a couple of times now, great small pub
imp123 - 31 May 2007 14:13

a definate improvment since the taken over. small but perfectly formed. friendly staff and good tasting beer.

love the mural on the side of the building
woodiesregular - 13 Apr 2007 17:15
Someone who knows what they are doing has taken over it would appear. Lovely pub, lovely manager, lovely PIES! (and a lovely pie minister - super gloves and super PIES!) Great music, and a really great atmosphere. Highly recommended!
amyamyamyamy - 13 Apr 2007 16:41
Dont know what Homeboy is whining about -although note this may be over a year old. Its a great pub - really nice and comfortable - with a smashing bar man.

Good vodka selection and well kept Guiness .

What else do you need ? except some cracking live music - and last night - free mince pies !


jaynebrowne - 22 Dec 2006 11:34
Went to this pub for first time in a year couple of weeks ago (no Im not gay I just used to drink in their when it was gay).

What an improvement. The place is now owned by the same people that own Filthy Macnasys in Islington only this is really smart, clean with a massive selection of spirits.
The night I went Rhoda Dakar who was in the Specials aka and the Bodysnatchers was playing and it was a really laid back Greenwich village kind of vibe rather than a full on gig venue.

I was so impressed I went back again last thursday which was quieter but still cool.

Place could benefit from some food though. thats my only negative thoght.

Kev White
KevinWhite - 13 Sep 2006 18:38
Can't comment on its previous incarnation, but theres nowt wrong with this place, that I can see. Very nice friendly landlady.
anonymous - 7 May 2006 01:45
What a great idea - take a small, busy, friendly, gay backstreet boozer, rip the physical and emotional guts out of it, paint it magnolia, try to fill it with straight posers who want to pay over 3 for a 330ml bottle of lager and show sport that no-one watches (because there's never anyone in there!).Then stand back as a large group of former loyal, high-spending and well-established locals desert the place(almost without exception) in droves. Very satisfying when there are more ex-locals round a table in a pub across the road at 7pm on a Monday evening than in the whole of the Gladstone at 9pm on a Friday night. Failure hopefully imminent - then let soneone who knows what they're doing take over!

homeboy - 2 Nov 2005 10:45

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