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Old Buttermarket, Canterbury

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user reviews of the Old Buttermarket, Canterbury

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

As with most Nicholson's great interior, ruined by piped loud music
Wilson_MacDonald - 23 Oct 2018 18:13
Decent Nicholson's pub with a reasonable range of ales & decent food. Considering it's location, it's admirable that this pub does not rip off tourists. Worth a look.
baxterfish - 10 Jun 2018 17:34
His has something of the feel of an old fashioned London pub, all brass fittings and smart wooden panels – and the beers are decent – I enjoyed a very good porter from Shepherd Neame who are well represented in these parts. The location opposite the majestic cathedral get is unbeatable.
BoehmBawerk - 21 Jan 2018 09:44
Although the previous reviews of this pub in Canterbury town centre seem a bit old, I would suggest that they're also somewhat out of date; and 'out dated'..... Going on a day trip with the in-laws, we did have to wait for lunch (the pub was justifiably very busy!), but then, that's often the best time to sample a few of the pub's really good ales, and I vote Hopdaemon Incubus as a real find. Then, the food!! Fish And Chips is a very easy dish to make bland and uninteresting, but I can't praise the staff and the chef here enough. They were incredibly courteous, the fish tasted great, and the service was very good...... Surely not in accordance with the previous review... It's a Nicholson's pub (and I know some reviewers get prickly when large pub groups come into these kind of places?), but if all Nicholson's pubs train their staff to be this good, and this accommodating, then you can't fault it!! The nature of our trip meant that we didn't hit other places in town, but as an idea of what a pub should be like in Canterbury, you can't go far wrong with the Old Buttermarket.
mikeypr - 31 Aug 2013 12:36
Seems to have 'waiters' as opposed to bar staff. All mainstreanm ales apart from Cropton Blackout which I had and wasn't too great. A busy town centre pub that knows it doesn't have to make the effort - and doesn't. In the 2012 GBG - why ?
Snarling_Mallard - 5 Nov 2011 23:34
A great tasting pint of Thornbridge White Swan was quaffed,yum yum 7/10
fat_beer_badger - 14 Oct 2010 16:44
Visited this place with Malcolm, who laid my kitchen floor and did all of the tiling in the room upstairs where we keep mother (she can't last much longer, surely?)

I had a pint of Old Goombay Dance Band bitter while Malcom, who was designated driver for the night, had a pint of Old Minge Mild and a large whiskey chaser.

To eat I opted for the 55 set menu (cheese on toast, fish fingers and oven chips, spotted dick) while Malcolm really went to town. He had a dozen Egyptian oysters (275), stir fried mince with peas (156.76) and iced Mars bar (55.60).

We will definitely be going soon as mother's inheritence comes through
Ladhimself - 25 Aug 2010 16:25
Don't necessarily agree with previous posts about this place as I found it to be fine for a drink, and although we didn't eat the food looked both good with generous portions. The beer was in fact exceptional with 3 real ales on when we visited so whilst this is quite touristy - it's almost opposite the cathedral gat so to be expected - I would visit again.
meland - 23 Aug 2010 12:55
Surprised by previous reviews, however it was quiet when I went so can't comment what it's like when busy.

When I visited I thought this was a decent pub in the heart of the town. Good selection of real ales, well kept and was asked if I "wanted a handle" - always good.

Food menu was the norm for a Nicholson's pub but still pretty good, as was the service.
Venger - 7 Jul 2010 23:07
Terrible tourist trap! Went in after a visit to the cathedral, as we couldn't be bothered exploring any further afield and the menu looked quite good.
Was told upon ordering food that they were busy and it would be 30 mins.
An hour later, after seeing people who ordered after us get their food, went to the bar to complain and was informed that it was the next meal to come out. Another 5 minutes and another trip to the bar, the food finally came, cold. The only reason its not a zero rating was that at least they refunded the money.
kilonewton - 27 Mar 2010 19:01
The place looks amazing, like a traditional English pub geared up for tourists. The menu looks good with lots of choice. But the staff were unable to commit to conversation, just a chuckle and then walk away. Staff were unable to take orders for drinks and food correctly. The pint of bitter was actually 1/2 a pint with 1/2 a shandy poured in to top it up. My food order was forgotten then cooked in the microwave. I ate it as I was so hungry but spent the rest of the day feeling ill.

Very disappointing. Wouldn't go again.
theskinnyfatkid - 4 Aug 2009 21:04
Went in here a couple of times on a recent visit to Canterbury, both times with the main intention being eating. Getting a couple of basics out of the way first - the drinks were quite pricey, unremarkable, and the toilets are miles from the front bar. The food was good though. I had a different pie each time I went and both were good. The better of the two was the steak and pepper which was excellent and on both visits I was very impressed with the veg that accompanied the pies, nice mash, cabbage, carrots and gravy all of which seemed freshly prepared rather than frozen and was much nicer than having the usual oven chips and token 'salad'. So a good place to eat but in my opinion there are better places to drink. I would also be a little concerned about how it may be when Canterbury is much busier as it was very quiet when I visited.
nrj746 - 3 Jun 2009 08:15
Enjoyed my visit here. Fairly quiet to start off with considering its city centre location. Food was tasty and they have a good selection of different pies to choose from. Staff are friendly and the toilets clean. Decor is quite modern but still has a cosy feel to it.

A nice pub well worth a vist.

wezmiester - 26 Mar 2009 18:13
Went in on the 7th of Feb, Good Beer, Good Food, Friendly Staff. Slow Kitchen lost our food which marred the visit as we had to wait well over an hour for food which was promised in 30mins. We did get a free round of drinks out of it - and the manager said he had gone up to the kitchen to fry my eggs personally so I know he actually cared.
I would still say this was a pub worth visiting.

mikecterry - 15 Feb 2009 09:53
This place is now a must visit when in canterbury. a new manager ( Mark ) along with some of his family make this a very welcoming pub.
i used to drink in his pub when he was based in london and the same top service is continuing.

kiwiphil - 12 Aug 2008 12:39
Took the wife and kids to canterbury and decided to have lunch here and sit outside in the sun. Food, Beer and wine were all top notch very pleased
Gunner1 - 9 Jun 2008 11:23
We drank here twice on a visit to Canterbury - mostly because I love Kronenbourg and fancied a cold pint immediately after our long drive to get to C-bury, and it was a pub with a large outdoor seating area on a sunny day!

It's great for people-watching, being just outside the Cathedral Gate, but it did seem like it needed a bit of tlc to get it up to scratch as a 'great' pub. The outdoor seating is a boon these days for those of us still foolish enough to partake of the evil weed, so I didn't really experience the inside enough to complain about it, but the loos were clean and had toilet roll in them, which can be a huge hazard for a girl.

We didn't eat here, but it seemed to have a reasonable selection of pub grub, and a few hopeful looking punters awaiting the fare... good for a pint in the sun - but go elsewhere for evening atmosphere...
katerlina - 6 May 2008 15:30
Just a bit of 'correction' regading the history given... In 1987 it went back to being a managed (Allied as in Ind Coope)house from Tenancy.In 1997 it closed for a refurbishment and reopened in 1998 as a Firkin (managed) outlet.
It was eventually decided to change the pub to a more traditional venue 'but' there was an internal comment that its previous naeme of 'Olive Branch' not be used because it had had a 'rough' history. Personally this astounded me because I managed it from 1987 to 1997 as The Olive Branch and that period of time reflected 10 of the best years I had experienced managing licensed outlets. This was marred only by my business neighbour who believed the place should have been closed down permanantly!
searcher1 - 6 Dec 2007 03:28
Decent hostelry, spacious, selection on tap. Been in here at varying times, its got a charm to it. Would imagine student nights aplenty in here.
the_original_rawnsleys - 10 Aug 2007 10:40
went here two weeks ago-food service was slow, wifes meal was far better than mine. Good beer and friendly staff,
Johnnyh1961 - 7 Sep 2006 20:11
The 1908 building was built on the site of the 17th century Black Boy coaching inn which closed in 1908. It reopened as a pub, with the name The Olive Branch, in 1927. It was taken over by the Firkin pub chain in the 1980s, from where the current bare wood appearance comes from. It is clearly in need of some refurbishment, but has a sort of down at heel charm. The comfy leather armchairs by the fireplace give a good viewpoint of the comings and goings. Sells two cask ales - Bombardier and Spitfire - in good condition. The service was curiously indifferent, slow and full of mistakes. The price, after two queries, came down from 4.85 to 2.25. My partner was given the promoted chocolate in a half-empty and chipped mug with no cream. There was a soft background music. The large TV by the window lurches at a drunken angle on its broken support. The atmosphere is very relaxed and casual. Despite all the faults I quite liked the place, and - under good management - it could be a decent pub.
SilkTork - 28 May 2006 17:17
Very good for the tourists but thats about it! Food is not too bad but service is and always has been slow. seems to be down to been so short staffed all the time.
yohan - 7 Oct 2005 17:26
A terrible pub, despite those that might say otherwise! If you're not a regular you usually get ignored at the bar and when you are eventually served, it's in a slapdash fashion with beer that tastes like dishwater! I fully concour with the 5th Earl of Wimbourne who says a place best left to the gullible.
Phantom_Raspberry - 11 Aug 2005 15:57
Awful, just awful. Anyone who likes this place clearly hates pubs. Service is abysmal and the place is quite dirty. Great location, great potential, great disappointment.
anonymous - 27 Jul 2005 16:46
Just the sort of place to appeal to our continental cousins and gullible Americans. To be avoided like the plague. Shame The Locomotive can't be rebuilt - the beer was awful but it did have its own down-at-heel, shambling charm!
5thearlofwimbourne - 9 Feb 2005 15:54
It used to be called The Olive Branch in my not so distant and was a great pub, especially on a summers evening. I last went in about a year ago,I found the staff unenthusiastic, the beer shite and the atmosphere non-.existant. I felt that I was getting in the way of the bar staffs social life by asking for service, they only seem interested (like many pubs in the city) in tourists and the food trade. I am very saddened to see what it has become.

carbs - 13 Jan 2005 22:23
your all wrong its a brilliant place with great staff best in kent and top notch fish and chips ***** so there!!
jo - 25 Oct 2004 22:33
Not bad at all - right outside the entrance to the cathedral so easy to find, nice range of kick-ass shots too. Bit lacking in atmosphere though. Probably best as one of the first pubs in a pub crawl, or a warm-up.
anonymous - 25 Oct 2004 17:29
Very poor service opportunity waiting to happen, could be gold mine. Silly rule about no kids outsidfe after 6pm!
anonymous - 17 Jul 2004 15:25
v strange bar. my friend was served a gin and tonic in a pint glass about two weeks ago! staff are friendly though. great spot in the centre, could be made so much more of. don't understand having the outside tables in the middle of winter, i saw the staff having to scrape the snow off of the tables last year!
anonymous - 30 Nov 2003 23:57
Pub in the City Centre of Canterbury, Great Location but...
Anon - 24 Oct 2003 01:12

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