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White Hart, Crystal Palace

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user reviews of the White Hart, Crystal Palace

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

I like this pub. It has a good atmosphere with friendly staff. The music can be quite loud at times tho but overall it's not bad. Worth a visit. Good range of beer and reasonably priced when compared to the alma across the road.
suppinguy - 10 Oct 2013 21:39
Popped in here recently looking for Sunday lunch and can only say I won't be returning. Got my lunch but it would have been better value in a number of the areas "greasy spoons" Ordered the pork, described as organic hand reared etc etc, well it may well have been but it was so overcooked and tough it could have been a frozen supermarket joint and the portion size would have left a toddler hungry! And the pile of overdone veg, watery gravy, brittle Yorkshire pud and three small barely-browned spuds didn't help either. Nowhere near value for money.
Decidedly indifferent service from a mainly teenage staff more interested in chatting to one another than serving was another turnoff, as was the constant badgering for feedback (chance to win a meal for two? No thanks, knowing my luck I probably would!!)A decent glass of wine was the only bright spot in an otherwise depressing visit, and there's plenty of places in the triangle that can provide that with a decent meal too!
LondonWhippet - 23 Sep 2013 20:33
It is a great shame, but I have just been disappointed too many times with this pub. I find the staff excessively laid back, with an arrogant indifferent attitude, and not professionally service minded. I reckon they have somehow become complacent and too lucky for their own good.

I came there on New Years eve and wanted to buy a bottle of Champagne for four friends at 23:40 only to be told that the staff had taken a break and there was no more servings till after 00:00. No Champagne, no wine no nothing. ? Could you imagine this kind of service and attitude in a trendy funloving bar/pub in Barcelona, Copenhagen or Berlin!? No. The times I have eaten there, we have had to wait up to 40min.only to be served the incorrect dishes with a careless shrug. But, saying that IF you really like staff with lots of piercing, tattoos and dirty finger nails/hands, then you will love this place. I am not going there again: lots of other & far better venues in Crystal Palace. Best of luck to any new management - anytime soon!
Strawberries - 31 Jul 2013 21:17
Seems to have improved of late, it had 2 Dark Star ales on at the weekend, the last time I went in here all the real ale was off and that was in the middle of the afternoon on a Saturday! If it keeps serving up good ales such as the Dark Star range the I'll be back for sure!
Scotsaledrinker - 10 Jun 2013 11:03
Oh dear. I used to love this place but it's so in love with itself its forgotten us customers.
ONscotland - 11 Aug 2012 14:52
I like the White Hart. It has a good atmosphere, and nice staff. It has a new manager now & some things I dont like. Things that you wouldn't notice if you haven't worked in pubs. I don't like the fact that there are no tongs for handling lemons and lime. I am saying this after hearing the manager tell a customer he couldn't use the same glass, as if it touched the beer nozzle it would be cross contamination, yet he lets the staff pick up fruit for your drink with their unwashed fingers. I dont like the fact that you are charged for a full bottle of tonic water, yet you arent given the bottle - its just topped up from what they didnt give the last customer. I worked out that they save a third of a bottle for every G & T they serve (great for his stock). I also dont like the fact that if you order a spirit & cola/lemonade, they serve it to you in a small glass with ice (4/5oz) and charge you for an 8oz dash of cola/lemonade. 10oz is a half a pint. I know its the brewery that puts pressure on landlords to make sure they have a good stock, but its a bit of a rip off. Oh, and what does annoy me a lot that the toilets have been without a lock and a working light since shortly after the new guy took over. Come on, sort it out - its not rocket science!
Laggers - 5 Jun 2011 06:03
I cant go anywhere that would allow Ellie to sing Maggie May on karioke night!
mjs1411 - 25 Apr 2011 12:39
Went in last weekend, only ale was Porter, not my favourite style of ale and unbelievably no dry white wine for the lady. The mis-management in this pub is becoming legendary.
wellinformed - 18 Mar 2011 11:07
One of the best pubs in the area. It gets busy, but the barstaff are always friendly. Definately worth a visit.
cplover - 5 Sep 2009 14:03
I've reviewed this pub before but I feel the need to do so again. This pub, like so many others, seems to have a multiple personality. The service varies depending on how busy it is and whether it is night or day.

During the day the service seems fine and my wife and I have never felt that the staff were rude. A tad slow sometimes but never rude.

My only big criticism lies with the food. It's okay but not stellar and certainly doesn't warrant the prices charged. Their homemade nachos are awful and should be avoided at all costs.

The other thing I cannot stand is their obsession with what they call "skin-on" chips. They are served with almost everything. They try to make them sound trendy but what they really are are chips that the chef couldn't be bothered to peel before frying. A few days ago I asked if I could have ordinary chips instead and was told "sorry sir it's the only kind we do". I'm sorry but it cannot be beyoned the wit of the management to get some frozen chips in to give customers a choice and it's hardly as if it is hard to peel a potato.

Come on guys try harder. As others have said - you do have a lot of competition. You need to be worried when the local Wetherspoon is offering a better range of food than you are (and for half the price).
norwoodeyes - 2 Sep 2009 11:22
went here last week and in an effort to make us leave sooner the barmaid took our (still half full) drinks and walked off, adding that she didn't care if we didn't come back.

shame because we had been really enjoying ourselves.
iamdavelamb - 16 Aug 2009 22:30
Went in last night, no real ale and no interest from the staff. There were glasses strewn everywhere and again the staff were too busy talking to their friends to care. It is dirty, overpriced and poorly managed. It had begun to pick itself up but a change of management a couple of months ago has seen a sharp decline. It should remember it has a lot of competition in the area.
wellinformed - 13 Aug 2009 12:05
I don't recognise the pub that some people are painting. I have been in here many times over the past few years and I have always been treated with courtesy by the staff. The food is a little over price and just above average but that is fine as long as you know what you're getting.

The range of beer and wine is good. I would come back here again.
norwoodeyes - 3 Aug 2009 13:06
The garden was disappointing, the lighting garish and the staff so rude my friends and I left with our drinks only half-drunk. Okay so you don't let builders in, just put a sign above the entrance instead of halfway though the pub on a cheerfully worded sign reading: NO SITE CLOTHES, BOOTS OR HATS. I have visited this pub three times, just to make sure it wasn't simply a one off. It wasn't.
In all honesty, decent beer is about all this place has to boast, and what's decent beer without a decent pub to drink it in?

There are many nice pubs in the area, give this place a miss, it is not one of them.
inadequateservice6012 - 12 May 2009 19:20
The staff in this pub now are extremely helpful and friendly, can't talk for last year, I understand there has been a change of management.

I really enjoy my time spent here, tasty food, great choice of drinks and always a lovely warm welcome.

5 stars!

markmcl - 9 Feb 2009 15:10
Am interested to read previous comments as I've always found it to be a ovely pub, very nice staff and gorgeous Sunday dinners.
halfafarthing - 25 Nov 2008 17:48
Previous posts about the disgraceful attitude of the staff and management are not over exaggerated. I have been in there only 3 times and on each occasion the service was surly, uninterested, and slow. And so much for the 20 minutes of drinking up time that us punters are legally allowed!! The rudeness as soon as time is called is something to be seen!
A pub can be made by great service. This has the potential to be a great pub. But I will never ever go back until attitudes of staff and management radically change. Oi! You are in the service industry! Act like it!!
misterwoppit - 22 Aug 2008 16:16
the concept of service in the pub has died - i think the staff would rather cut their wrists than pour a pint or simply acknowledge you with a smile. Are they are all manic depressives or is it simply inertia - the management - they must hate their customers as they simply seem to want rid of them
slimjim - 4 Jul 2008 00:25
I had been a fan of the White Hart until very recently - it used to have a great atmospere - helped by regular quiz nights and live music. However, things have gone down hill during my recent visits - in my view, mainly down to the staff. The staff who are there (and at the weekend this only seemed to be 2 visible - and only one serving) are badly trained - the wine list has disappeared and the staff had no idea what wines they served and they could not even pour a pint properly. The food also took over an hour to arrive - and when if did it ws cold. Poor show indeed - what a shame.
klh29 - 9 Apr 2008 12:14
Was in last night, and the bar staff were fine, friendly even.
ONscotland - 26 Dec 2007 20:32
This is a great bar- well it started off great, but I would have to agree with previous comments, the bar staff aren't up to much.
Christianstanley - 18 Dec 2007 23:17
I am sure the bar staff ignore customers on purpose, I dont think they can cope with new faces, who wants to go somewhere to be served by such a stroppy lot of misery's. Management sort it out!
mscheeky - 17 Dec 2007 21:07
If you want to have a row with somebody, go to the White Hart in Crystal Palace. I promise you the staff will give you plenty of chances to have one. I can’t believe this pub is still in business. I couldn’t agree more with the previous review about the attitude the management seem to have. I also live near by and I like the décor of the pub and it looks cosy. I’ve been there a few times, but the last time I learnt the lesson and will definitely not return. They simply hate you for being there making them busy. They seem to forget that the money that keeps them in business actually comes from the customers!
The past times I went I had also decided not to return as the attitude my friend and I were given by the male behind the bar was outrageous. For his luck I’m not a violent person and I have a great control of my temper, because he really puts himself at great risk of a physical attack. A friend told me he’s not working there anymore, so I decided to go back with my girlfriend because I like the pub. We ordered a meal consisting of 4 platters. When the waitress arrived with 2 plates I asked if we were going to have the other 2, just to ensure our order was correct. She said: “I’ve only got 2 hands” and walked away. How on earth does a waitress think that is the way to talk to a customer who’s having a romantic evening meal with his girlfriend? What’s wrong with a simple: “the rest is on its way” or something similar? What’s the need of giving out that attitude??
Avoid. Life is too short for getting frustrated over people like the staff at the White Hart

frankie74 - 24 Nov 2007 05:33
I like the way the White Hart looks and I live locally, so I gave them the benefit of a second chance a few times but now I’ve had enough and won’t go back because of the attitude problem the management seem to have. They need an intensive training on basic standards of customer service and learn how to raise the level of tolerance for pressure, if they want to run a pub. At the moment they make the customers feel guilty because they are busy. It’s sort of intimidating approaching them. I’m talking about the management, the rest of the staff seem nice. Also, I had the most tasteless steak I’ve ever tried.

There’s a male that serves behind the bar and normally wears very filthy tracksuit pants as if he has been wiping his hands on them for the whole day. He taps his fingers on the bar while you are trying to decide on what to order. That is so rude. Once I said to him my wine seemed corked. With an obvious annoyed look on his face he grabbed my glass and poured the wine in the sink, then made a pathetic attempt to sound professional and said: “What would you like instead, sir?” I was surprised so I asked him if he didn’t want to check the wine. He said these words: “If I check it I will probably tell you there’s nothing wrong with it.” I don’t think training would help him. He shouldn’t be doing any job that involves customer service, as simple as that. The blond Aussy or Kiwi woman seems she has potential, but she has a lot of work to do on her attitude as at the moment it’s unacceptable. She should understand that her stress is not a customer’s problem.

I have managed a few restaurant and bars in London for a few years working on a hands-on style. I know what being under pressure means, but if any of my staff ever dared only once to speak to any customer like I was spoken to at the White Hart I would have a serious chat with them and probably ask them to leave.

anonymous - 18 Oct 2007 17:40
A magnificent transformation from a very dingy O'Neills to a vibrant urbane alehouse. The formerly dilapidated backyard is now an imaginative and spacious outdoor area and there's a top quiz on Monday nights. Could do with a few more buzzing DJ nights maybe?
clarky_cat - 3 Aug 2007 06:34
An interesting place. How can three people behind the bar take ten minutes to get around to serving three people on my side of the bar? Busy doing nothing?
realmeerkat - 5 Jul 2007 00:20
Yeah aspirational clientele ("Isn't Carling Black Label just so 1983 Godfrey?") who think reading the Guardian makes them less tedious.

Not a bad pub but self-important clientele do spoil things a little.

Service is not always the best and it's not the kind of pub where they know your name or what you drink... but Jasper and his life-partner don't mind...
But these people need somewhere to go. Otherwise they'll start mugging the elderly and the vulnerable.
terenced - 29 May 2007 11:05
A nice pub if you are the so-called young professional type who wears Che Guevara t-shirts (even though you don't know what country he was from), jeans half way down the back of your ar$e (as you think it is a "cool, urban, look"), £25.00 flip flops, wear Buddy Holly glasses and have a girlfriend called Jennifer who has only let you out for an hour as Penny dropped by at the flat on the brink of tears, asking to discuss her current relationship troubles.

The beer's ok, though, the landlord seems like a decent fella. Just some of the clientele wind me up.
Hurlock - 25 May 2007 13:33
I've been using the WH as my local for about a year now (I live across the road). 12 Months ago I couldn't believe my luck, that I had such a cool local with such a varied range of beers and wines and a decent food menu. Since then I've seen the standards drop to the point where I would probably wander off somewhere else along the Triangle for a pint now than spend my hard earned cash here. Firstly, the service has deteriorated considerably. The current manager can often be seen sitting around chatting with mates while the staff, with sullen expressions and little charisma, attend to one task at a time with little ability to multi-task or remember an order larger than three drinks. The beers I used to love are more often than not off the menu and the wine has become over-priced for such average fare. The food menu changed recently which was a blessing... the current menu is OK but you'd get a better Sunday Roast in the Albert for less. The entertainment is amatuerish.. the pub quiz is so badly run it's open to serious cheating and with cash at stake that's quite frustrating. The bands on Weds are good but the general background music is clearly the staff's choice and consists of some obscure CD's of average Aussie soft-rock combos. I suppose what's most frustrating, si that after a year as a reasonably regular vistor I'm still a stranger to the staff... After two visits to the Alma the bar staff knew my name... The venue has style and enormous potential as a great place to hang out but currently with staff who clearly see their work as an onerous task, over-pricing and average entertainment it's less appealing than it could be. Perhaps CP current popularity and success has made the management and staff complacent, and I'm sure they will always make money, but with minor tweaks and smiley faces they could be the most successful food/drink establishment in SE19.
SilverBullet - 24 May 2007 00:24
Was here last night and really liked it. Staff were really friendly, nice selection of beers, and a good mixed crowd - all ages were there.
ONscotland - 11 Feb 2007 10:30
It’s a very nice place to go. I like the relaxed atmosphere of the clientele. Food is good but not great, I think they may do it with a little bit of revamp. The wedges and the home made tortillas were both savagely burnt and I struggled to eat them.
I like the variety of the beer and positively surprised by the fruity beers, not my cup of tea but it was worth trying it and it makes a change.
It’s a bit of hit and miss with the service, I had very slow responses in the past but recently they have been extremely good and friendly. This is certainly a plus.

rugbyboy - 2 Feb 2007 14:58
Obviously, ‘Pinballwizard’ is someone with lots of money and ‘arty’
If you think these prices are ok the obviously you drink in Kensington.

chavsum - 16 Jan 2007 22:31
great pub, great range of beer, good staff. please to here someone with the login name chavsum (posted comment 23rd nov)doesn't want to drink in here
pinballwizard - 24 Nov 2006 15:47
Fantastic pub. Went here for a quiet drink on a Wednesday night and it was packed! Filled up even more about 9pm when a jazz duo came on. Love the decor, the range of beers and the food in here. Only downer is the surly staff. Can't agree with people who say this place is pretentious - it's like unless it has a toothless barmaid and sawdust on the floor it's not worthy. What's wrong with something a bit different?!
boozehag - 19 Oct 2006 16:34
Dreadful. 7 quid for a sandwich? yeah right. Went in there with my wife and she could not believe the prices!
Big range of beers which is ok if you apply for a second mortgage on the way in.
chavsum - 2 Oct 2006 18:35
Quirky, great food, slightly patchy service, welcoming staff, fun quizzes, good live music, very cute beer garden and and and....just love it!
HillBilly - 8 Aug 2006 16:24
An improvement on the declining and poorly run O'Neill's that pre-dated it and peaked in 1998.

You cannot fault the breadth of beer on offer here.

However the smugness and aspirational nature of the place is not to everyone's taste. It feels a bit like a refuge for birkenstock wearing dads having a naughty Belgian beer while the au pair takes the kids to piano lessons.

It does seem to be making some kind of effort which is laudable but it somehow manages to conform and become sterile.

Bizarre policy in here on football shirts as well.
terenced - 1 Aug 2006 13:20
To be honest, this pub is a bit pretentious.

Its quite lush inside, but goes to the point in feeling a bit un-pub like. Im not saying its not worth a visit, but id prefer popping in for a quiet hour than visiting for a whole evening.

In a nutshell, its an okay pub but I don't think its worth the 'roll out the red carpet' points its generated
the_original_rawnsleys - 13 Jul 2006 10:57
Agreed this is definitely the best pub in the area. In fact I travel quite a few miles to make this one of my regular haunts. It has a buzz to it at the moment which is unlikely to last, but the varied age range in the punters is quite promising.

Any place in South London that serves good Yorkshire beer like TT's Landlord gets my vote; together with the draught lagers (proper ones not pseudo-Aussie pish) this pub has one of the best draught beer ranges around without going to a Belgian-type beerbar.

lipster - 8 May 2006 01:11
Obviously the best pub in's bound to get a few naff reviews 'cos there are so many dozy sods frequenting the area. They work hard at this bar, serve very interesting and tasty beer, and yes, the food could be improved but the general ambience is spot on. If you want a pint of lame beer then there are loads of other rubbish pubs in the area to choose from. Gets my vote - 8/10. Cheers chaps and chill-blains!
rjbradburnesq - 2 May 2006 02:50
A very nice pub, fitted out with a bit of flair and imagination by owners who are clearly very enthusiastic about what they're doing. A bit trendy for my personal taste, clearly pitched at the young professional/postgraduate crowd and a bit pricey, though not excessively so for what you get. Three real ales at a time from a varying range, no fewer than 14 decent draught lagers and fruit beers with no Fosters/Carling/Guinness/creamflow-type rubbish. I didn't order any food but that looked good too, and generous portions.

My pint of Landlord was very tasty and served in a dimple pint pot. Twenty years ago you'd get served ale in these as a matter of course and I didn't like them - you had to ask if you wanted a straight glass - now it's the other way round and I quite enjoy the novelty.

It's clear that our anonymous contributor further down is either (a) an idiot or (b) has a personal grudge against someone who works here.
Rich66 - 2 May 2006 00:04
If you want accurate and up-to-date comments I suggest you're most likely to get them from SarahG (who nominated the White Hart for inclusion on BITE in December 2005) and other comments since then by people who actually put their names to what they have to say instead of posting anonymously.

As I said yesterday, I haven't been in since it reopened but I live locally and it certainly didn't open in it's present guise until shortly before Christmas 2005. Therefore comments posted on other websites two years ago are somewhat irrelevant.
Rich66 - 20 Apr 2006 18:33
Great pub. Even better when Nathalie is working. Great @rse!
anonymous - 18 Apr 2006 15:55
This place has the best range of beers in London, i do believe.
From Star to Leffe, via Paulaner and some amazing fruit beers... Belle Vue & Fruilli.
Served by great staff in a great atmosphere.
This is the type of place that will change your opinion about pubs... go and have a look!

anonymous - 11 Apr 2006 12:39
'An improvement on the old O'neills'... could that BE any more of an understatement.
Sweet jesus, this pub has around 20 beers on draught, where in south london (even London) are you going to get that selection tell me???
There can be no pleasing a stella drinker!
I think the seating thing is probably down to how busy a pub is, which is a good thing to me.
Maybe spending too much time alone is not a good thing.

For me, this pub is the best thing about crystal palace.
And that includes most of the people!
anonymous - 10 Apr 2006 02:35
Definitely an improvement on the old O'Neills. Good real ales and quality lagers (Kirin, Amstel, Staropramen)and some interesting Belgian numbers. Can be difficult to get a seat sometimes, and not a great deal of space to stand at the bar because of its proximity to the window seats. Haven't eaten there yet but it looks good.
A thoroughly decent effort, if a little pricey.
misterwoppit - 6 Apr 2006 12:13
I thoroughly enjoyed monday night at white hart. The pub just seems to get better and better. The Quiz last night was a great success, with a funky but very friendly atmosphere. The staff are great, the place is comfy and cool and the beers are very special. And the quiz master was a hoot. (fit too.) Now i'll be in there every monday evening...
anonymous - 4 Apr 2006 14:29
God Save The Quiz.
I haven't had so much fun on a monday night for absolutely ages... great, electric atmosphere, amazing selection of beers, good food and a quiz that beats all other competition into the ground.
The staff are fab, friendly and fit, well managed and really looked like they were having fun.
The Quiz, on a monday night started slightly later than the advertised 8pm, but nobody really cared.
I still have a smile on my face, if a slightly sore head. Everyone in White Hart last night looked like they were having fun... it was like a well organised party, not a monday night.

I urge people to go to The Quiz.

(But, get there a bit earlier to bag yourself a table... i will be!)

dervla - 4 Apr 2006 14:19
Sheez, the toad in the hole is big, hearty and tasty. There's more class beers than you can wave a Belgian stick at, and the staff here really seem to be bothered that you get a good deal. Even if you only go to enlarge your knowledge of beer, it's worth the effort. Only drawback is there is not a pub like it in Sydenham.
saintcreep - 20 Mar 2006 23:30
I agree with what everyone else has said; this pub is very impressive. There are 18 beers on draught (including some quite obscure continental ones), plus three real ale taps which I was told get changed every week. Well worth calling in.
pubcollector - 15 Mar 2006 21:39
Very excited about this place. As already mentioned, exactly what this area needs. I visited last night for the first time and was impressed with pretty much everything. It has a great atmosphere; predominantly full of young professionals (there are loads of us living around here) and those wishing to sit in a warm, lively atmosphere. Some great wines available and loved a sip or two one of my favourite lagers on draught..Staropramen. Seating is well thought out; there are some comfy window seats, the eating area is cleverly segregated and the general seating is varied throughout the pub; loved all the little nooks. The ambience was perfect and the interior decor just fabulous. Loved the soup of the day cauldren on the bar and the olives were great too. Also noticed a heated outside area. Staff are very friendly and great at giving you suggestions and alternatives. I know I'm going to be spending lots of time here...
LJ77 - 15 Jan 2006 20:27
We had a lovely evening at this new venue. The no smoking section actually works and there were a lot of people drinking, eating, chatting and generally having a good time. Good beers, reasonable wine list, sweet staff and very good bar snacks are a definite plus; too loud music the only minus but the bar staff are willing to turn it down if asked. We shall go again and I have a feeling it may become our local!
eclectic - 3 Jan 2006 13:45
Been in there a couple of times now. A vast improvement on O'Neills. The food's pretty good and they have proper old fashioned pint glasses. It is a bit pricey but if you want cheap then go round the corner to the Wetherspoons.
Winkleman - 27 Dec 2005 15:42
Sarahg is spot on - this place has re-openned and is no longer an O'Neills. It was stunning. Visited last night. Great atmosphere, friendly staff. the design is brilliant, really interesting and they have managed to get an open kitchen into the place with the grooviest leather frontage! The furniture is eclectic and eye catching and the whole place has the feel of a true independent pub. The best thing has to be the beer though - I saw Paulaner, Star, Becks, Kirin, Franziskaner Wheat, Leffe, Fruli Strawberry, Belle Vue, and loads more - ALL ON DRAUGHT! and for ale drinkers there were also the old fashioned pint jugs. Think I might just move in there!
anonymous - 20 Dec 2005 15:28
Hi all, Just to let you know I was walking past this place the other night - it used to be an O'Neills - and they have really done it out nicely. It looks much better. It's called the White Hart now and looks like we're finally going to get a decent pub in the area. I popped my head round the door (they're still putting the finishing touches to it) and had a quick chat with one of the blokes there and it's opening tonight (7th Dec). Also they're going to be offering loads of tap beers and lagers so I've got high hopes for a decent pint as well as proper pub environment. I'm going to check it out properly tonight and suggest anyone else around does too!
sarahg - 7 Dec 2005 14:36

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