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Grape and Grain, Crystal Palace

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user reviews of the Grape and Grain, Crystal Palace

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

Sadly, now closed.
ONscotland - 15 Jan 2018 21:03
Yesterday was a return visit to the Grape & Grain for me. Whilst I've heard people raving about the place, I've never been won over. The beer selection is good for the area. But there's countless better pubs across South-East London, let alone London as a whole. Whilst up to 12 beers can be served, yesterday there was 8 - Rudgate Brew No. 1 Vanilla Mild, East London Brewery Night Watchman, Dark Star Hophead & Original, St Peters Ruby Red Ale, Adnams Bitter, Hogsback Tea & Brewsters Sarah Guppy. There were 2 real ciders - Westons Old Rosie & Gwynt y Ddraig Black Dragon. Gents toilets were out of order, meaning a queue for the solitary disabled toilet. Disappointing.
blue_scrumpy - 22 Jan 2017 23:44
Go There every Sunday for the music and Sunday Lunch.
Today 1 Hour 20 minutes wait for food. I realize sometimes there are problems in the kitchen.
The problem is they did not mention it when ordering.

chavsum - 14 Jun 2015 21:58
The clueless clowns running (or should that be ruining) this place have just sacked their best and most conscientious member of staff, apparently for nothing more than not accepting being treated like a doormat by colleagues whilst they were away on holiday. They ought to be ashamed of themselves.

I certainly won't be drinking here again after this, and I doubt I'll be the only one. Beer festival this weekend, and I'm sure plenty more gallons will go down the drains at the end of it than would have been the case a week ago. 'Spoons can't take the place soon enough now.
Delirious_Nomad - 20 Mar 2015 10:55
Large pub with similar layout and feel to a Spoons house (its only disadvantage). Although the uniform grey is rather depressing, persevere as the beer is excellent (choose from a range of micros and national brands such as Adnams) and the food very good (and offering value for money). Try the Spanish stew if it is on - very tasty and unusual. We were there late afternoon on a Saturday and the place was slowly filling up with drinkers. Well worth a visit.
simontheeditor - 5 Jan 2015 18:51
One of my favorite pubs in South London.

Great selection of ales and whiskey. Comfortable seating. Extremely polite and helpful barstaff. We also go especially to hear the bands on the weekend who always turn out to be very accomplished and experienced musicians.

The music styles range from rock and roll, swing, rhythm and blues, blues and sometimes reggae. Also with jazz bands on Sunday and Monday.

It is fantastic to see and listen to live music.

Escape from the deadening mummer-mummer of Wetherspoons and live a little while you still can!


StClare29 - 2 Dec 2014 16:09
Dropped by the newly redecorated Grape on 27/9/14 with a few mates. It looks great, but smells a bit like a greasy spoon cafe. This pub used to be one of the best pubs in South London, never mind Crystal Palace. It was almost empty, which should have rung alarm bells, but we ordered anyhow. After a couple of insipid pints of Adnams' and an ice cold Guinness, we went across the road to the Westow for some tasty beer, decent craic and good service.
Buster1958 - 28 Sep 2014 14:19
Went in on Thursday last week, four people at the bar. Tumbleweed central.

It appears that the owners are seriously miffed by the pub not having made it into this years Camara good beer guide. So what did they do? They stopped the 50p discount on ales and cider for Camara members. And the result? We have all gone across the road to The Westow House or the Wetherspoons.

As much as I like The G&G (see my previous post), I'm not paying West End Prices in SE19.


Gramsci - 19 Sep 2014 21:42
Went in Friday night. No more 50p discount for CAMRA members, half empty, a dreary, ageing, blues band playing to (presumably) member of the Sydenham Blues Club. Bumble has wrecked a good pub!
cosmikdebris - 13 Sep 2014 01:21
Hi Lezford just to let you know that JD Wetherspoon don't get back our lease until December 2016 and we are digging our heels until then. We love the Grape and to prove our staying power we are in the middle of a mini refurbishment . The outside has been re-painted and internally smartened up. Please come in everyone and tell us what you think! We have our fab beer fest arranged for October as always . Hope to see you there.
Heathernurse - 1 Sep 2014 18:51
Popped in at 11pm on Sat night for the first time in over a year this was also the first time I had seen the new landlord.

Very busy as there was a band playing, barely any room to sit. The band were very good.

Good & varied choice of ales, I think it was 8 on tap but it might have been 6 or 7!

50p off a pint when you present your camra card, glad this is still valid even though the pub has changed hands.

Very decent pub that I have always liked I just don’t visit often enough, however since my recent visit I have learnt that the pub has been purchased by Wetherspoon’s & will change over during the summer…apparently this will not effect their other pub The Postal Order on Westow Street.

lezford - 8 May 2014 14:18
Firstly...live music is much much better than Sky Sports or somesuch boring nonsense. I discovered this pub last March and have been quite a bit - it didn't look that great outside but the ales and the friendly atmosphere brought me back. There is always a great selection of well kept ales, porters etc. I've been when there is live music and when there is not. The quiz is pretty fun on a Thursday too. However, the pub can be calm!
Poose - 18 Feb 2014 11:17
This used to be my favourite pub in the Palace with its' superb selection of ales, friendly staff and CAMRA discount. Unfortunately, the landlord thinks it's a good idea to put crap blues bands on Friday and Saturday night who play too loud in a venue that, as mentioned below, is simply not acoustically suited to live music.
I e-mailed landlord expressing this opinion and, to his credit, he replied, stating more cash is taken on nights when live music is played and, at the end of the day, it's money that matters. Pity.
jonathan1461 - 7 Feb 2014 20:59
50p off a pint for CAMRA members!!! Don't forget your card my dears. A huge selection of beers served by knowledgeable friendly staff and did I mention 50p off a pint!!!
thirstyoakpark - 23 Nov 2013 22:54
I've been looking forward to visiting this pub for a while. But it somehow missed the mark for me. The pros - an excellent range of beer yesterday - Plain Ales Indulgence & In The Sun, Hogsback Tea, Goddards Duck's Folly, Clarence & Fredericks Golden Ale, Green Flash Green Bullet, Milestone Shine On, Clarkshaws Gorgon's Alive, Theakston Best, Ascot on the Rails & By The Horns Lambeth Walk. The cider and perry selection was also good - Westons Old Rosie, Wyld Wood & Country Perry, Gwynt y Ddraig Black Dragon & Abrahalls Medium Still Cider & Thundering Molly. The CAMRA discount is welcome (50p off per pint) and service was knowledgeable and friendly. What I felt this pub lacked was atmosphere. The interior felt fairly soulless with a hotchpotch selection of sofas and other seating that felt a little cluttered. It was also a bit too bright and airy for my liking. It just didn't feel like a traditional British pub. Nevertheless, the beer selection was worth the effort of coming here and I will definitely be paying a return visit one day.
blue_scrumpy - 10 Nov 2013 13:48
I must disagree with the previous commentator. Ok you don't like music but there are plenty of people who do. The pub has always put on live music.. Probably not when you were there.
However as a lady I can massively disagree with the cleanliness of the loos. Not only do they smell better, have paper towels & soap always available. A detail you wouldn't be bothered by is the supply of ladies waste disposal instead of a grotty bin infrequently emptied. Also the lime scale around the sinks has been removed. Honestly, we girls notice these things!
Heathernurse - 15 Oct 2013 19:16
Used to come to this pub on many weekends but have stopped coming recently as they always have live tedious blues bands on that crank up the music so loud you can't hear yourself think.

The pub is not now catering to general members of the public but only to a small section of blues music fans. I cannot recommend this pub now which is a shame, unless you like your ears being blasted out by boring blues bands that is. I've also noticed that the cleanliness has taken a nosedive especially in the loos.
suppinguy - 10 Oct 2013 21:34
Excellent pub, plenty of choice for real ale drinkers and discount for CAMRA members. Now has live music every Fri & Sat nights, definitely well worth a visit.
david737 - 24 Aug 2013 16:28
Since the opening of the Overground, The Grape & Grain is now in easy reach for those of us who travel from "North of the River". With a range of 11 well kept and varied real ales, friendly and knowledgeable staff, comfortable seating, good music, excellent food plus a discount for CAMRA members - what can I say? - possibly the finest real ale pub in London!
DaveE6 - 24 Aug 2013 15:40
I used to visit this pub every Friday and Saturday night. With the change of ownership we now have live music in a one bar pub which, acoustically, is simply not designed for live music. I have been in a few times for a pint but the noise is deafening. So many regulars who used to frequent this pub for a chat are no longer present as it is impossible to talk. I myself prefer now to go to the local Wetherspoons. The new landlord can get away with live music in the Summer as those who wish to escape it can get some relief outside. However this will not be an option in the colder months of the year. A decision has to be taken, is the G&G going to continue be one of London's leading real ale pubs or is it going to be the bar for the Sydenham Blues club?
kellyseyenumerouno - 13 Jul 2013 01:25
The Grape And Grain is now under new management but, to all intents & purposes, nothing much has changed. The new fellow (whose name I've forgotten, sorry) was a friend of the previous co-owner Rick, thus he knows his beer & is sensible enough not to change a winning boozer. The atmosphere in the summer is little short of superb & this continues to be a must visit pub
carlj - 9 Jul 2013 19:09
"I don't mean that in a gay way. He was a good barman"

===

Don't worry catbert. We're enlightened people.
eddybeer - 14 Apr 2013 18:38
A haven for ale drinkers, offering a regularly changing selection of perfectly kept beers. Its Sunday Jazz sessions are great and for my money it is now the best pub in the district. Not many comfy chairs or soft furnishings but a good honest boozer. Its an example of how to turn a dodgy, dump of a pub into a proper local.
Gramsci - 25 Feb 2013 00:03
I don't mean that in a gay way. He was a good barman.
catbert - 21 Feb 2013 02:58
Popped back again for a swifty.

"London Fields Hackney Hopster". Can't help but say that in a Welsh accent.

Young gentleman at the bar was of a high calibre.

Lovely.
catbert - 21 Feb 2013 02:56
Delighted to see from the reviews that this place seems to have changed, from what it was when I looked in a few years back.
eddybeer - 18 Feb 2013 13:25
Finally popped in, was glad I did. Good range of beers, something like 12 pumps I think, although perhaps a few too many ordinary session bitters to be truly exciting. Settled on an interesting port stout, and was pleased with that.

Interior is clean and nice enough, if a little sterile.

Prices are absolutely reasonable. Not sure what the guy below was drinking pints of. Champagne?
catbert - 2 Feb 2013 13:57
Take out a second mortgage befor you get a pint
chavsum - 16 Jan 2013 21:06
They are holding their Spring Beer Festival on 1st - 4th March, with over sixty real ales and ciders. This will be the sixth one, they have two a year, Autumn & Spring, I have been to all the others and they just seem to get better and better.
wellinformed - 9 Jan 2013 12:10
This is a real beer drinkers pub. We go there a few times every month even though it is a bit of a journey - it is worth it.
Always 6-8 real ales and 4-6 real ciders. Yesterday they had (Roger) Wilkins sweet cider - didn't taste that sweet to me and was brilliant.

Venue is a mixture of tables with stools, and sofas. Caught the start of some smoky laid-back jazz. They also have a book club. Very good pub.
mark555 - 31 Dec 2012 17:18
Some of the comments below seem a little churlish. This seemed a great local - all were welcome, which is the sign of a good pub for me. There were at least eight beers on offer - anyone who hesitated was offered a 'taster' which is rare, in my experience. I was asked if I was a CAMRA member and was given the 50p discount without even having to show the card. The live jazz on Sundays was good, especially the six piece band in the evening. Food was fine - my Sunday dinner was on a par with most. Service was rapid, friendly and efficient. And as for it being a 'gentleman's club' - if that's what having some comfy seats and newspapers means, then lets have more of them!
ericonabike - 26 Nov 2012 16:58
Nipped in for some food and a pint. Ordered the chicken and ham pie with mash and onion gravy.
A soup bowl arrived full of gravy with the mash in it, now turning to slush, on top was a small pie which was very mushy and not crisp pastry.

Not worth 8 quid! you could have bought a better pie and some potatoes in Sainsburys for a lot less.
Disappointing food and expensive beer, this is Crystal palace not Kensington!
chavsum - 21 Nov 2012 21:36
The decor would be regarded by some as somewhat tired but I have no other complaints. The beer festival which started on 5th October was superb, the Fyne Jarl being particularly impressive. With the festival beers being served under gravity and at 3 a pint for CAMRA members, a long session was called for. Even were it not for the festival, the regular display of handpumps would have satisfied all tastes.
16jamesdoc - 11 Oct 2012 08:40
We went to the Beer Festival today and I was very pleased that the ales that we tried were the correct temperature, the staff were excellent, roughly half the beer list was available, mostly on stillage, the dark( mainly stronger) ales were on handpump, someone is thinking correctly as they last longer and the stillage can only remain in place for so long.On presentation of a valid CAMRA card the beers were 3.00 a pint.We moved on to the Westow House which is diagonally opposite which we slightly prefered. The Grape and Grain is a smart looking pub and has a table devoted to various publications but it does mimic a "gentlemans club " which is obviously not to everyone's taste.
slerpy - 6 Oct 2012 19:06
They have got a huge banner up advertising their next Beer Festival, 5th - 8th Oct, over 60 ales and ciders, i have been to the previous festivals and they are fantastic, well organised and some superb ales, definitely worth a visit.
wellinformed - 19 Sep 2012 10:34
A truly lovely pub, with welcoming staff who champion real ale.
3 a pint with a CAMRA card too.
On Sundays there's live music from about 4.00pm, and on Mondays a 17 piece swing band. It's just a great great pub. I wish BeerInTheEvening would note when ownership changes, as the 6.0/10.0 rating is undeserved.
ONscotland - 11 Aug 2012 14:46
If you want cheap, then Wetherspoons is where you go, if you want quality, then The Grape & Grain. I've always found their ales great value, and importantly, great quality, i guess its horses for courses, but the Grape and Grain remains a firm favourite of mine and i can't recommend it enough.
wellinformed - 7 Jun 2012 12:59
Went for a quick drink with the wife. 1 Amstel, 1 Gin and Tonic 8.80!
This is Crystal Palace not chelsea!
chavsum - 6 Jun 2012 14:46
Don't be put off by the uninvitingly brutalist exterior
This is a very friendly, welcoming and spacious pub, well laid out and comfortable with cracking beers.
curioushistory - 2 May 2012 18:10
A lovely pub with great staff. Nuff said.
suppinguy - 1 May 2012 14:04
As good as the beer and the relaxed atmosphere is in this place, I've been let down on a couple of occasions when wanting to eat here after persuading family and friends to go out of there way to come here. The first time was a few months ago when we turned up on a Thursday, only to find it heaving with no free tables and the loudest, most obtrusive pub quiz ever. OK, my fault, should have checked ahead what events were on first.

The second time, yesterday, I did just that. Only a book club meeting showing up on the events listings on the website, confirmed that food is served Tuesday to Sunday. Even checked the Twitter feed @thgrapeandgrain to make sure I wasn't overlooking anything. However, when we arrived there were no menus out and after inquiring I was told there was no food on because the chef had friends over. Of course, they're entitled to close the kitchen when they want but they could have gone to the minimal effort of tapping out a tweet to alert customers. Quite an annoyance when we'd travelled a distance to eat there. We ended up having a steak club dinner at the Wetherspoons round the corner.
dubbel - 29 Feb 2012 17:46
Like the two reviewers below I was staggered to see the rating for this place! While it doesn't look stunning from the outside, it is very welcoming inside. A good range of beers, immaculately kept and served by attentive staff who seem to know their beer.

A decent pub quiz and a bar billiards table adds to the appeal, as does the decent mix of clientele: not just bearded CAMRA types, but younger folk too.
ChrisBass - 24 Feb 2012 09:01
I remember this pub from a few years back, when it was the Sportsman and then Jack Beard, it was a terrible place but since it reopened as the Grape and Grain it has been the difference between night and day Everything about this pub is top quality, great range of ales, friendly staff, good customers and fantastic live music. Give it a visit.
Scotsaledrinker - 28 Jan 2012 13:45
I agree with SimonM's suggestion that BITE might introduce a policy of wiping the slate clean when there has been a big turn-round in a pub's fortunes - perhaps because there's a new manager/landord - and begin the marking again. Looking at the comments below from 2005 onwards, this clearly once was an absolute s****-hole. I used to go past it in its previous guises and never once went in. I am sure it deserved the appalling reports it was getting.

Now, an intelligent and customer-friendly crew have made it into the best pub in the area. Since my last posting I have been back when the Beer Fest was on - brilliant selection of beers - and for a jazz night, with a super atmosphere and great music. A mass of people from all walks of life were having a fabulous time and this is what pubs are supposed to do if they do want to be taken seriously as centres of the community. If pubs were intended just to be beer-sodden refuges for the sad and lonely seeking cut-price oblivion and the pungent aroma of eau de chip fat then Mr Weatherspoon would have scooped the board years ago.

Let's hear it for a decent, independent pub that pulls a lot of people in by giving them what they want.
guayabera - 4 Jan 2012 13:58
Spring Beer Festival 2nd - 5th March 2012
60 Ales and ciders from the best micro brewers across the UK.
Food available all weekend, Live music, discounts for CAMRA members on ale & food.
Free Entry
wellinformed - 22 Dec 2011 11:17
Great pub with wityh very friendly bar staff. Once you have been there a few times the seem to remember your regular tipple, and will start to pour without prompting.

The landlord is very welcome and open to suggestions for any guest ales.
randomjack - 16 Sep 2011 13:40
Beer Festival 7th - 10th Oct 2011
60+ ales from Micro's across the country
discount for CAMRA members on food as well as ale.
Live music each night of the festival plus Hog Roast on Sat 8th.
wellinformed - 13 Aug 2011 11:15
This is a really impressive pub with a great selection of beers well worth a visit - especially as it is so close to the train station. As others have said it seems to suffer unfairly because of the marks awarded to its previous incarnation - Jack Beard's
Deggo - 12 Aug 2011 13:01
Large knocked through pub - comfy indoors and large seating area to watch the Crystal Palace grodlock. A lot of unusual ales with the staff asking without prompting for the 40p CAMRA membership discount. I've given it 8/10 - it would be nice if BITE had some form of "aging" old marks or wiping the slate clean if a major change has occurred as it has at this pub, and in this case a change definitely for the better.
SimonM - 7 Aug 2011 20:03
Very impressive; everything a good pub should be; a selection of quality ales instead of cak lager, decent but unobtrusive live music, spotlessly clean.
youngian - 19 Jul 2011 13:41
Fresh and inviting pub with outside seats , inside sofa's and a half decent selection of drinks.

Was there on a thursday evening whilst a a lack lustre pub quiz was in session with maybe 5 tables playing. They have a bar biliard table but was covered over to allow the pub quiz organiser a loudspeaker unit on it.


jfk2000 - 15 Jul 2011 10:02
Another quick visit last week and I do continue to like this place; so, yes, 5.9 does not do it credit. BUT, I too got caught out by the "no food on Mondays" rule. A bit daft as it wouldn't be too difficult to lay on a few sarnies or baguettes even if they want to give the cook a break from the hot stuff. And, with respect to slerpy, if he thinks 3.40 a pint is "sky high" he must know some cheap dives - I have already, though admittedly in Central London, had to pay well over 4 quid.
guayabera - 14 Jul 2011 14:33
In here on Thursday 12 May and was very impressed. A great range of ale, I tried the Kissingate and the Wickwar which were both in good nick. Others included Landlord, Westerham, Caledonian, King and Purity. Old Rosie cider and keg Meantime Kollner. 3.40 a pint as stated below but 40p discount for CAMRA members and we were asked unprompted if we were members. Excellent pub, can only assume 5.9 rating is inherited.
GuideDogSaint - 15 May 2011 08:27
Went a few weeks ago on a Bank Holiday Monday, beer range decent, in ok condition, service pleasent and yet something not right. No food despite advertised and not many in. Wallpaper falling off one wall (cavonous place). Worth a second visit next time the football gods send me to Crystal Palace.
loveleedshatebates - 15 May 2011 07:05
How can the best pub in south london (as stated on poster) only have 5.9 here. Sat outside and watched the never ending traffic jam.
Mappiman - 11 May 2011 20:30
Whilst this is clearly the best pub in the area on my visit it lacked atmosphere and the prices (3,40 a pint of ale) were sky high. It is decorated rather like a gentleman's club but with bare floorboards. It is always difficult to make a judgement on just one visit so i must re-visit but I feel that S..,London Branch of CAMRA have much better pubs than this in their area.Beware it is now the local of "Mad Mike"!
slerpy - 6 May 2011 18:01
The excellent range of well- kept ales served by a friendly landlord was just what we needed after viewing the dinosaurs in the park. On the downside, the pub is a little lacking in character with it's 'contemporary' decor and what a crap name for a pub. None-the-less, highly recommended.
baxterfish - 19 Mar 2011 11:03
Along with all the below glowing reviews, I too can attest to this pubs popularity on here
Emerging as one of the better pubs in the triangle, it has a solid range on tap, comfy feel to the interior, and friendly service, with the only negative points being it can get too packed at times to find seating, and the toilets seem to be located in a different area code the time you get to them.
However very much worth going out of your way for
the_original_rawnsleys - 10 Mar 2011 16:00
Great pub. One a like to call my local even though it is a couple of miles away.

Always a superb range of real ale (usually 7 on). All tend to be guest beers so it is like a constant beer festival.

There are regular specialist nights including my personal favourites; The Big Beer Band on a Monday and a quiz night on a Thursday.

Food also served. Although I have only eaten there once. Mussels I had were pretty good.
rwjc22 - 9 Mar 2011 17:50
Good pub, friendly staff and good selection of well kept beer. Been going here for the last 6 months and can't recommend highly enough
Buckers80 - 6 Feb 2011 22:31
Large modern styled pub.

Impressed with the range of ciders ... Aspalls, Westons and Westons Ice. I'd never seen Westons Ice, before. It's basically a cider Slush Puppy, but very nice indeed. Would be a great Summer drink.

The timer on the Bar Billiards lasts nearly double the time of a normal table, so be prepared for a long game lasting well over 15 minutes.

I'm sure the low rating for this pub will increase pretty quickly.

Very decent pub.
Pat_Bateman - 17 Jan 2011 09:31
And a PS to my post of 17 December: the beams are covered in beer mats and when I asked the guy behind the bar whether this was just somebody's private collection he said No, every one of the beers on the mats had previously been on the pump. Quite an achievment!
guayabera - 14 Jan 2011 15:38
Top marks. Fantastic range of ales, including a delicious Hog's Back Brewery number. Very customer focused - even to the point of creating a covered outside smoking area complete with wood-burning stove! Easily the best ale pub in this part of South London.
misterwoppit - 7 Jan 2011 14:13
Went to this pub yesterday lunchtime after a visit to the Dulwich Picture Gallery. I agree with the comment that it's a bit cavernous when there aren't many people in, but the atmosphere soon warmed up as more people arrived.

There was an excellent selection of beers, with a variety of strengths and styles (always a plus for me). I was cheesed off when Young's ruined the Dulwich Wood House, which was our old choice for a post-art drink. The Grape and Grain is a great replacement, and I'll be back soon.
paul154 - 4 Jan 2011 09:46
BIE definitely needs to amend its ratings for this pub. It's a gem. We had 2 pints of well kept beer from a selection of 6 real ales- most of which were new to me. We had a very good, filling, delicious, and inexpensive lunch with excellent puddings. The atmosphere was great, the pub was super clean, and the service above and beyond. I would heartily recommend this pub to all!
rsatterley - 2 Jan 2011 18:16
Like other BITE-ers, I remember this place from its grim earlier manifestations. (At least from the outside - i never cared to go in). But, boy, is this place now up and running! I have been two evenings in a row for a quick couple on the way home and I was VERY impressed. Well selected range of beers, lots of activities like jazz nights, a clear indication - not always apparent in pubs in this part of the world - that the staff and management actually care about the customers and all in all a good place to hang out. The discount to CAMRA members makes me wish I hadn't let my membership lapse and I might even review the decision.
guayabera - 17 Dec 2010 15:57
Bit of BITE admin badly needed here as the low rating is reflective of the previous "It's fight night every night" pubs that occupied the site where the G&G is now.

The G&G on the other hand is intelligently run with a fine line up of well-kept beers. Bar service is friendly and efficient.

Only shortfall (which is an unfair criticism really) is it can feel slightly cavernous when not busy so atmosphere can be a bit flat at times. But a minor point.

The G&G is a very good, well-run pub and deserves to do well.
terenced - 26 Oct 2010 14:50
Guv got a well deserved New Star Award from CAMRA last night. Beer Fest kicked off Friday. Pub was packed out with a good humoured crowd and there was a great atmosphere. I had been out for most of the day so couldn't stay to the end. Great beer, good food and CAMRA member discounts on beer and main courses. Very good jazz band - think music on a Saturday is a great idea and would be good to see this more often.

I sincerely hope that this place gets the success it deserves in terms of lots of customers spending their dosh as this pub just gets better.
ripitupandstartagain - 10 Oct 2010 14:44
Beer Festival 8th - 11th Oct 2010 20+ ales from Micro's across the country
discount for CAMRA members on food as well as ale
rickthelandlord - 16 Sep 2010 11:19
The guy running this has made a huge effort with what was always a pretty rough, dull boozer.
Some great beers now, food is improving all the time and he sources a lot of produce from Kent and Sussex. It's a big space and must be hard to fill but there's Jazz on Sundays and a swing band on Mondays.
It's not quite there yet IMHO; the front garden could do with prettying up a bit more and if it was made more child friendly there's a huge customer base not being catered for elsewhere in SE19.
It's nice and clean, it just lacks that spark, a bit of atmosphere that makes it stand out from the rest.
anse_soleil - 22 Aug 2010 22:11
Now re -opened.
slerpy - 9 Aug 2010 13:38
Just popped in after walk through SE London. Excellent selection of ales, including some local ones and nice ciders... Even does carbon neutral Adnams. Food is good price, good quality and good portion size. Huge place and not too many in on Sat lunchtime, but starting to fill up as we left. Only minor criticism is the room is a bit too cavernous... perhaps leftover from previous owners?
efficiencyfreak - 31 Jul 2010 18:25
We are re-opening on Monday 26th July at 5pm, and it will be business as usual. Angela and i have taken on the lease after Jack Beards went bust last week. We are completely free of tie, focusing on micro breweries, with eight real ales and a good selection of continental lagers. So if you are in SE London on Monday eve pop in, i can promise a great celebration !!!
rickthelandlord - 23 Jul 2010 15:16
The GRAPE- VINE ( awful pun) says that it is currently closed.
slerpy - 19 Jul 2010 18:51
Agree with previous reviewer who said the low rating must count the marks given when it was still Jack Beards (which was grim).

The new landlord has worked wonders on the place. Here is what he has done:

Fully refurbished
Discounts for CAMRA members
Guest Ales every month
FREE Live Jazz performances every Sunday
Good food
A Book Group which meets up once a month
Friendly staff
Comfy sofas
Nice beer garden

8 out of 10
MingtheMerciless - 14 Jul 2010 13:54
Been using this pub for about 4 months and pop in for an hour or so on Sundays to hear(free) jazz. Have seen 4 different acts - all have been very good. Sunday lunchtime customers seem like an older chilled out crowd there for jazz not sure what it's like in week but hope to find out soon.

Can't really fault the place - great quality real ale range, wasn't too sure at first whether there was trade to support the amount of handpumps but the quality suggests the beer is being turned over. Some interesting brews to be had.

Food simple pub grub - good portions/quality/prices ok.

Pub fitted out to a very high standard including spacious loos.

Good outdoor area at front.

Guv seems to have a vision and seems like a no nonsense guy. He really deserves to succeed and I hope he does as a simple pub doing things well seems to be a difficult thing to find these days.

So, if you live in the area give it a go!


ripitupandstartagain - 8 Jun 2010 21:51
Upped the mark from previous review as beer was in very good nick on next occasion I visted. If quality can be maintained this should become the No1 real ale destination in a broad swathe of SE London.
JonW999 - 15 Feb 2010 22:47
The Grape and Grain is establishing itself firmly as a beacon of quality in the whole area of South Central London, not just Crystal Palace. Always a good selection of real ales - good ones like Woodfordes Wherry, Pure Gold and Darkstar Hophead, not just whacky seasonal beers (which are often hit and miss and breweries should think twice before making them!)

We go there every week after our band rehearsal and the welcome from the staff is always fantastic and friendly. The landlord even put on a Christmas spread for us this week and we returned the favour with some carols. Not many pubs in London with this sort of friendly atmosphere - I wish there were more.

With the opening of the East London Line link to Crystal Palace this year putting South London on the radar of tube-focused North/East Londoners, this pub should be a good destination pub worth travelling for the beers alone. Just a shame the other pubs in the area don't make it "crawl worthy".
lipster - 18 Dec 2009 12:27
Ignore the current low rating, which surely includes reviews from the pub's previous incarnation.

The Grape & Grain is not yet in the CAMRA Good Beer Guide, but surely will be for the 2011 edition (due out September next year).

The pool table and fruit machines have gone, there is Sky Sports on tv, but for rughy and cricket, not football, and there are no mainstream lagers - a selection including Bitburger, Amstel and Sagres. In short the new management have done their utmost to deter the chav element that previously set the tone in here, and so far it seems to be working perfectly.

The pub itelf is a large Georgian building with one oblong room, sofas at one end, tables and chairs suitable for diners at the other, and tall tables with stools in the middle part.

Eight handpumps dispense Purity Pure Gold, Thatcher's Cider, plus six changing guest ales, all @ 3 a pint with a 10p discount for CAMRA members. I've occasionally found that ales linger a day or two too long and become a bit flat, but are generally kept superbly.
Delirious_Nomad - 24 Nov 2009 13:29
Purity Gold and Dark Star Over The Moon in good condition. Pleasant clientele. Friendly service.
weakbeermonster - 16 Sep 2009 09:48
Reasonable pub with a good range of quality beer but can't help feeling that eight working handpumps is too much for them to be able to maintain quality. The two pints I had were rather flat and lifeless and I can't see given the custome level how it will turn over quick enough. But a worthy endeavour nonetheless.
JonW999 - 19 Aug 2009 17:13
Popped in at lunch just to see what had happened to one of the worst pubs in London, the unlamented 'Jack Beards'. Very pleasantly surprised. Terrific range of beer, friendly staff and a good atmosphere. Recommended.
ianbeer - 18 Aug 2009 03:13
One of the best selections of beer I've seen outside of a beer festival! Eight hanpumps with micro-brewery products including Dark Star, Westerham, Elgood's and Harviestoun beers. My Elgood's Golden Newt was in good condition and correct temperature - 3 per pint. Also an interesting selection of keg beers including a Meantime Brewery beer.
weakbeermonster - 12 Aug 2009 10:26
Wishing Angie and Rick all the best in their new venture. Those who live nearby have just got very lucky.
imdownthepub - 21 Jun 2009 12:32
I have a review kept in obeyance in the hope that BITE will action my request for a new profile for the Grape & Grain, rather than just a name change to the record previously belonging to the awful Jack Beards, & subsequent inheritance of that pub's desevedly low rating.
Completely different now, and selection of well kept beers on my visit, detail to follow - hopefully on new page.
trainman - 22 May 2009 22:42
just to keep you updated- we now have FREE live jazz every sunday (1.30-4pm), with more live music coming up in june & july. also , we'll be showing the lion's tour of south africa live, with a special offer on beer & food. and a book club( 2nd meeting on 2nd june 8pm) . so plenty to keep you occupied!
wellinformed - 22 May 2009 20:23
Twas opened anew on 3 April with eight real ales, two meantime brews, foreign lagers etc. The Grape and Grain is looking decidedly on the up. I wish it well. Whether it can sustain that many casks open all the time? I hope so. Its near two other pubs with each having a different clientele and drinking experience. Its by the bus station, park and on the main road. Mostly the ales were on form, but a couple did feel like they were on the second half of the barrel and had been on the go for a few days, which is strange as this was its opening night (vented too early?). That said, the Hogs Back Hop was very fine indeed.
Trinker - 5 Apr 2009 10:23
Going past the pub today, it is still being refurbished but the new sign is up. The new name is The Grape And Grain.
john_the_jester - 30 Mar 2009 20:37
Currently closed, due to re-open start of April after refurbishment and will focus on being a well run real ale pub. Eight ales on offer predominetly Micro's as well as interesting bottled beers. Lagers will be less mainstream, imported and quality.
Watch this space !!!
rickthelandlord - 7 Mar 2009 15:50
What a horrible place. Didnt feel easy in here, finished my pint and left, and wont be going back. Beer was ok, but nothing special.
sideshowbob - 24 Jan 2009 19:58
Nah. it's not the same pub. don't waste your bus fare.
anonymous - 10 Oct 2007 11:30
So for those of us north of the river who are confused, is this the same pub called Crystal Palace that has a rep for good real ales worth travelling for?
Martinl - 18 Jul 2007 20:45
I felt threatened even in the middle of the day. Dreadful place. Horrifying, even.
grosslysloshed - 18 Jul 2007 20:37
You have to ask yourself, in this era of sudden prosperity in Crystal Palace and the wave of 'trendies' whos parents can't stretch to helping them out with a deposit on a flat in Clapham... Why the f**k this place is still the s**thole it is? The only reason for this place to still exist is that it concentrates all the chav scum in the area in one place so that the rest of us can drink in relative peace and safety around the Triangle. Even the regulars must realise it's a dive. I think it's the reason why the BlueBottle has such an anal door policy... gotta keep'em out!
SilverBullet - 24 May 2007 00:46
GREAT PLACE FOR A FIGHT, FULL OF ATTITUDE, FULL OF IDIOTS AND THE BEER WILL KILL YOU,

A GREAT NIGHT OUT !
BECKENHAMFRED - 17 Jan 2007 00:09
Agree with last postings. Do not bother unless you're looking for a fight. Average age of clientele: about 17.
anonymous - 25 Nov 2006 01:38
I would rather spend an evening slamming my genitalia in the kitchen drawer than spend an evening in here. Uninterested staff, crap music, obnoxious clientele, and an all-pervading reek of piss.
misterwoppit - 6 Apr 2006 12:07
A true experience... not to be experienced twice!
cunno98 - 17 Feb 2006 10:33
Awful pub. If you want a fight go here. The only saving grace is it has a late license.
Paul77 - 6 Feb 2006 14:10
Only visited this pub for 20 minutes or so. I watching a mate box at the sport's arena and got there early. I have to say that I loathed it. Bear in mind I was in there at about 5pm with no-one in there - and they were playing deafening hip hop!!! I did get free peanuts with my pint but given that they probably contained traces of other men's urine, it's not much of a consolation.
pedro1982 - 15 Nov 2005 18:23
Awful.

Pikey & Chav Paradise.
anonymous - 9 Nov 2005 19:19
I visited this pub for a Karaoke yesterday. The door staff outnumbered the customers at one point! The bar staff cannot speak English, the Karaoke sound quality (Kevin) was poor (unlike the previous week, when it was hosted by "Fever", who were excellent), and the toilets absolutely disgusting. And it rained as i left the pub (but i can't blame the landlord for that, I suppose!).
glenfarg - 16 Sep 2005 12:03
A very historic nineteenth century public house that has gone through a number of name changes over the years:
1.)Royal Crystal Palace Hotel because Queen Victoria is supposed to have stayed there.
2.)Crystal Palace Hotel
3.)The Sportsman
4.)The Occasional Half
5.)Jack Beard's at the Palace
Melvyn Harrison - crystalpalacefoundation@hotmail.com - 30 Sep 2003 19:45

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