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Defector's Weld, Shepherds Bush

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user reviews of the Defector's Weld, Shepherds Bush

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

Had an East London Brewery cask beer which was ok and the only the one of interest on the bar. However the stupid price being asked stopped us having more than one round. At a more reasonable price we would have had two rounds and returned but hey a few days later we found somewhere selling Barki Star Hophead at £3
Steamer1 - 28 Apr 2015 16:45
My 2nd visit this year was a Thursday night just before a gig at the Empire.

Being close to Christmas and a Thursday I guess that was the reason it was very busy and loud. Most of the clientele seemed to not be there for the gig I was attending so I can only assume it is this busy normally.

Good ale choice again, I opted for Christmas Cave from Caveman Brewery. Bit of banter with the barman while I ordered my drink.

Contrary to the reviews below I still rate this pub but maybe I see or want something different in a pub to others.
lezford - 23 Dec 2014 14:44
Went here for a friend's birthday. Very nice decor, good food, small but decent cocktail selection. Not enough bigger tables to accomodate larger parties, which is a shame, but otherwise nice.
littlequill - 17 Sep 2014 19:13
Singularly one of the worst pubs for attitude. I've been about 4 or 5 times, mainly through meeting friends to go to concerts at the Empire. They have thick meathead 'doormen' who seem to challenge almost everyone. On one occasion they refused entry to a friend joining us at 7.30 saying, they 'didn't like the look of him'. We're all middle-aged fairly well off so I don't know what his problem was. Even our barrister mate couldn't persuade the lunkhead on the door.

It's a very loud, very busy gastro pub, expensive too. Seems to be populated by Hoorays and wanker media types - and I used to work in the music business, that's how bad it is!

We've all agreed not to go here ever again. There's a fairly reasonable pub on the opposite corner, The Green, nothing fancy but much cheaper and attitude free. Ot the Bush Theatre bar just down Uxbridge Road if you fancy something quiet and a bit arty.
rockit99 - 23 Jan 2014 11:04
Lovely stripped back interior, odd chairs, food at reasonable prices, good range of ales, what more do you need or want in a pub?

5 ales on hand pumps from various breweries (some London based) represented by a mix of brewing styles...IPA, Porter, Bitter etc. Also a good range of bottled ales and craft lagers...lots of high quality American beers with Lagunitas on tap, IPA and the rarer Little Stumpin...very impressed.

It opens at noon and I was the 2nd customer in, food was available so being lunchtime I went for the pulled pork torpedo roll with 'slaw & a drink for £6.50....and I can happily report that it was excellent

Music playing at a decent level, good to listen to but didn't drown talking out....good barman, good vibe, cool decoration so all in all an excellent pub that is well worth the trip to Shepherds Bush for.

lezford - 21 Jan 2014 16:02
In my craft beer mood so went for the US IPA for £5 which to be honest was marvellous. Enjoyed a real ale here last time. Want to hate it but I can't.
mtaylor40 - 4 Sep 2013 20:04
Entering for the first time, I had the distinct impression that I should have been dressed in flannel and have an ironic snarl on my face.

The selection of beer was ok with a few cask ales. Having the porter and it filled up as it should be.

Very loud, hard to talk to others, and that was only 4:30pm?

Not too sure that I would be want to go back. £6.50 for a pint of beer and a soft drink or the area is a bit pricey.


victrola - 13 Apr 2013 22:28
It makes no difference how good, bad or indifferent this pub is. When I arrive on your doorstep respectable and sober, during opening hours, then I not unreasonably expect to be allowed to spend my money inside. I do not expect to be refused admission by some meathead because there's a football match in the vicinity. At worst I expect a polite refusal, an explanation and advice as to the nearest decent alternative. I don't expect a sarcastic comment and to be told to come back later. If you don't want my money now I don't want your beer in two hours time.

djw - 14 Feb 2013 22:25
Shepherds Bush needs a pub that looks like Defectors Weld, but it definitely doesn't need one that acts like it. Staff are complacent, unwilling and lack humility.

They had a good 2011 - what's gone wrong? Zombie waiters now plonk food on the table. The bar won't set up tabs but still insist on 10 minimum spend. When I pointed out an underpoured wine measure on behalf of a friend, I got no apology and an inference that we had drunk the shortfall! (Actually, it was a member of staff too lazy to find and open another bottle of the same wine.)

The staff even manage to turn a selling point - the choice of ale - into a downer. Blokes chatting at the bar asked me what I recommended, I replied. Barman took this as a cue to pour extra beers and charge me. Rather than laugh at the mistake, he got defensive and told me it was my fault for gesturing.

Humourless, paranoid, self-centred - just like the suspicious Tuesday night 'sniffers' in the men's toilets.


tomfooleryale - 17 Oct 2012 14:42
mordern looking bar opposite the green , comfy sofas etc expensive looking but somehow very bland . Five ales on which were not particularly remarkable but Ive only been here once so maybe other days choice is better. Best bet within short distance of station for an ale if that's your taste.
Henners - 26 Sep 2012 17:11
Well located bar on the corner of Shepherd's Bush Green with a modern interior. There are 5 handpulls for cask ales, with a good range of more unusual cask offerings and what looked like an excellent bottle selection. Ales on were Itchen Valley Godfathers, Trumans Runner, Redemption Pale Ale & Adnams Bitter. A Purity pumpclip was turned round, whilst Hogans cider is also served. I did find that the music was turned up far too loud to enable relaxing here for too long. I'd imagine this place becomes quite lively in the evening with a young crowd. There was a DJ box, which would indicate late nights and even noisier activities.
blue_scrumpy - 18 Sep 2012 20:21
Visited this pub for the first time yesterday. As already mentioned there is a good selection of real ales - often from the newer London brewers - but and it's a BIG BUT !!!! 3.60 for a pint - 1.95 for a half!!!!!!!!! I complained but got the bog-standard answer "It's what comes up on the till Sir!" Let's see what the management have to say to this total rip-off. I may use the pub again as the beer was good and the food looked interesting but I will only have the one pint and certainly no halves. CAMRA please note - you have put this pub in the guide for 2013. I hope you have put some note about the cost of half pints!!
mcroyal - 12 Sep 2012 13:38
Working at the Beeb on a contract I use this place regularly. Good selection of local beers and also Purity beer, one of my favourites. Lively but generally good service and well kept beer. Pricier than the pub across the road but much better atmosphere.
addlened - 3 May 2012 17:21
Popped in for a quick pint before football (only QPR fans are allowed in on match day). Whilst the pub gets crowded the service is OK. Good range of real ales, my pint of Ringwood 49er was very good.

I would imagine this is a very good pub when not full of fans but have marked based on experience but also potential.
twineyboy - 26 Jan 2012 21:40
very nice dimly lit "trendy type bar" with four handpumps,visited after seeing a show filmed at nearby bbc white city,the pint of itchen valley "ginger tom"was very good and at just 3.45pint ok for London prices,8/10
fat_beer_badger - 18 Sep 2011 22:47
Best pub in Shepherd's Bush? Possibly. Not much in the competition stakes though.
Plus point : Very good selection of beers. Could easily spend a lot of time here going through the drinks menu.
Minus point : Prices hovering around the 4 mark.
There seems to be an unofficial dress code which means all the blokes have to wear cardigans and thick glasses.
papamike - 30 Jun 2011 19:29
Popped in here last Sunday before a gig at the Empire, & was pleasantly suprised. It's a bit trendy for an old duffer like myself, but the Adnams Lighthouse & Old Ale were in good nick, & my friend gave the thumbs-up to the Purity Pure Ubu & Mad Goose too.
What particularly impressed was when the young lad serving overheard us discussing some of the less familiar lagers on draft (including a dark lager) he brought us over taster glasses of a few of them, unbidden, & talked about them with apparent knowledge & enthusiam. Interesting range of bottled American craft beers too, & promising whiskey shelf!
brotherdan - 17 Nov 2010 09:12
I thought the music in here was great both times I went.
ringtailedlemur - 23 Aug 2010 16:20
This is, by far, the best pub in She Bu! A great place for after work drinks (awesome cocktail offer - get the second one for a quid!) and really tasty and fresh food if you fancy a nibble. The staff can get a little rushed off their feet but they are far from rude - always have the time to say hi and smile! Have been going to the Defector's for ages and won't be stopping anytime soon - love it!
Lucy251 - 17 Aug 2010 10:32
This dingy pub was never great but it's really going downhill. Little money has been spent on maintenance. The place looks tatty and the loos are filthy. Top that off with rude bar staff, an uninspiring range of beers and pricey food, and you realise the only reason it's popular is the location and late(ish) opening times.

If you're after a nice place to drink in Shepherd's bush, you could do much worse than to pop over the road to Albertines, head up to The Bull in Westfield or the Green Room on Goldhawk Road.
mooooohlah - 11 Aug 2010 15:15
This is easily the best place in Shepherds bush to go!
srsarar - 23 Jun 2010 10:28
Lovely Ale's on - good to see Doom Bar on sale! Found myself going here loads recently. Food is really good and reasonably priced, can't recommend the roasts highly enough. I like this place because it transforms from Pub to Bar to Club seamlessly. Can't find anything better in the Bush at the moment!
good_pubs_are_rare - 1 Apr 2010 15:20
had the misfortune to be dragged here again with friends who work in the bush...still grotty, dark and souless..only took 20 mins to leave...phew.
upyourpub - 26 Feb 2010 10:13
Glad to see these guys putting more effort into ale. have had some really good, interesting and different pints in there recently. Well done. Shame those two pumps are still disused though...
angrynoel - 18 Feb 2010 16:25
Went in here on Friday and was pleasantly suprised. A friend had said they'd had a terrible encounter with rude doormen here but the guys we were met by were polite and professional (found out later that it's a brand new door team!).

The bar was packed and it took 10 mins to get served but the staff seemed efficient and were just busy.

Drinks were a little pricey but that tends to be the deal if you want to drink in a nice pub. They had a DJ playing some party tunes and the crowd seemed to be loving it.

Smoking area out the back was rammed but was quite cosy and better than nothing. Got chatting to a couple of randoms and had a laugh while polluting my lungs!

Found a nice booth near the back of the pub and ended up getting very pissed and braved the dance floor.

Will be going back next time i'm in west London.


spike45 - 1 Feb 2010 15:29
Bar is lively and a nice crowd but the current bar staff are awful. If it's busy they are too precious to read the bar - which seriously pssed off all around. Hopefully this childish set will be kicked out for staff with experience.

thesweeney - 25 Jan 2010 11:46
This establishment describes itself on a sandwich board outside as a "tarted up boozer on Shepherds Bush Green". Well they're right about the location at least.

This is a large contemporary style lounge-like younger persons venue that somehow feels at odds with the general sleaziness and fast food takeaways of the surrounds. Perhaps Shepherds Bush is becoming gentrified - although I saw precious few other indications of this on my recent Sunday afternoon joint.

There's a couple of nice fireplaces and the warm fires were welcome on a cold wintry day, but this place has a distinct night clubby feel to it. I noticed that a 2nd tier price list comes into play after 11pm on Friday and Saturday when prices are hiked up ambitiously.

2 real ales were on - Jennings Cumberland and Spitfire, both at 3.30p ( 3.65p after 11pm !). The Jennings was not very good. This is not a beer drinkers pub and, although there were 2 other unclipped hand pumps, I would imagine that real ale trade is negligible. Food, on the other hand, is a major draw and, although I didn't eat, what I saw looked tasty and appetising.

The place was quite busy, so it's obviously fulfilling a need locally, but this is not my type of place at all and I'm not marking it down for a return visit. In fact, I'm wondering now how I ended up going in here in the first place.
JohnBonser - 19 Jan 2010 12:22
Have been coming to this pub for a few years now. Have always had a good time here but under the new management recelently the food has been excellent, the beers always cold and the cocktails well made.

If you like an alternative independent pub that has a bit of character, good drinks, great music and the clear touch of individuality that is only afforeded to pubs that are not tarnished by the dreaded chain ownership then this is the place for you.

Also popped in for the NYE bash the year which was great fun and in the typical good spirit that is comon in the defectors weld.
MattyC12 - 8 Jan 2010 16:17
......no i am, and my names Alex.
alex_notley - 7 Jan 2010 19:00
um...is 3033y the pubs manager!!
upyourpub - 6 Jan 2010 12:28
Ended up going to the Defectors Weld on New Years Eve after having to leave another pub a mate dragged me to on Goldhawk Road that was serving up some serious dross on the stereo post midnight. Ended up having an awesome night and glad I decided to change venue. Unfortunately I wasn't wearing fancy dress as everyone there seemed to have made a pretty good effort, even the bar staff were well kitted out. Didn't have to wait to get served at any point in the night and the
quality music was shaking the glasses and bottles on the bar. Saved my New Year from being a complete disaster, quality pub.
jtothejizay - 4 Jan 2010 22:48
I have nothing but praise for this pub. The staff are friendly and quick! The musics always good and alternative, no cheese or stuff that annoys you when listening to the radio! Its busy with media types on Friday nights, but all the decent places in London are on a Thursday and Friday nights!! Ok the door staff are strict but in my view they do a really good job at keeping the idiots out! It has to be the first place Id think of going in Shepherds bush, and thats coming from a local!! GREAT NYE PARTY TOO!
3033Y - 4 Jan 2010 14:37
it feels like 2am all the time, dark and grim - half-full of very young BBC admin-type staff! Music is unforgivingly random and loud. The garden is a concrete slither of an area next to smelly loos and the service is simply very slow with v.young and arrogant staff...I complained only to be told that I didn't have to go there..and it was our xmas do - through choice of course...good point...I won't.
upyourpub - 8 Dec 2009 15:00
Was in on Saturday night and wasn't excessively busy which made a nice change. This is without doubt the best place in Shepherds Bush and full support to the door staff for refusing large groups of guys. This is not the walkabout or equally herondous 'Green' across the road. If you're so bothered about the strict door policy then take your business elsewhere.
coolio - 8 Dec 2009 12:06
Went to the Defector's on Friday with a few friends.

Previously had trouble getting in as a group of blokes with the bouncer saying letting too many blokes into a pub/bar eventually leads to places turning into a gay venue. Erm...

We phoned ahead this time and were assured by the duty manager that we'd be let in and that they had no such discriminating door policy. They still do.

Avoid.


odh999 - 7 Dec 2009 10:59
Have been there a couple of times, it's noisy but an interesting mix of people get there. However. Last Friday I arranged to meet 5 friends there at 7pm for a drink before going to see a band at the Empire. I was there first with my g/f and managed (!) to find a table and seats. Our friends got held up, the next two to arrive at about 7.20 were told by the doorman that they couldn't come in as 'the place was full'. It wasn't anywhere near full.
I asked the very supercilious doorman what was the problem and he said they had a big booking to fit in. There were no signs anywhere to say there was a private party and even as I watched for a while he seemed to think girls were ok to come in.
When the rest of my friends turned up I again remonstrated with the doorman (no swearing, no threats) pointing out that we were only there for about 20 minutes before going to the Empire. He eventually relented and said OK.
We're never going there again, the beers available are uninspiring and it's very noisy with crap music. Bar service was good though on this night, in particular the nice blonde barmaid with the lovely smile.
By the way, we were all well dressed, 40 to 50 year olds, of which there were many there.
rockit99 - 22 Nov 2009 18:16
Pretentious berks from the people who run the Lock Tavern.... Not surprised it's as awful as it is.

Save your money and stay away.
Rand - 21 Nov 2009 17:00
No real ales & 'orrible chemical tasteing larger. Loud rubbish music & microwaved food. Not for me i'm afraid......
JimmyJacksonJones - 31 Oct 2009 14:34
Lav
realalesnob - 12 Oct 2009 18:58
Really like The Defectors, convenient for the tube, comfy and loads of good lagers (including Fruili) on tap.

On Fridays and Saturdays it can get busy with media types from BBC but during the week abnd on a Sunday you can grab a booth, the papers and one of the best burgers (skin on chips are a delight!) in town and relax for an afternoon or evening.

Nice but small smoking terrace out the back as well!
natashav - 12 Oct 2009 17:42
This is probably the best bar in the Shepherds Bush Green area (there are better pubs nearby) but the staff are rude and dis-interested. They seem to be part of this new wave of uber-cool (at least they think so of them selves) bar people that seem to be sweeping West London like a plague. Pricy for the area but not a bad vibe in the place despite the majority of the staff.
bunchoftits - 4 Sep 2009 12:28
No real ale and loud, crap music blasting out earlier tonight
oftenscore6 - 30 Jul 2009 21:28
Waiting for someone, so popped in here for a pint about 3 on a friday afternoon. Friendly service, clientele a variety of types from students, girls sharing bottles of wine to old blokes propping up the bar. Not a bad place to kill a bit of time during the day I suppose.
raysi - 28 Jul 2009 18:59
I liked it on previous occasions but regretted meeting a friend there before a gig at the Empire. The doorman tried to tell me I wasn't on the guestlist (!!!?) I tried to explain that I was meeting someone in there and that what he said was ridiculous, eventually he did let me in and I did meet my friend but it seems doorstaff/management got the wrong attitude towards people who just want to meet for a pint before a gig (can't have been the first time people tried to give them money for that...it's pretty close to a major London music venue!)
lynshroom - 21 Jul 2009 14:56
I visited last Friday about 1700, just as it was starting to fill up from local offices. Service was OK although I do wish the staff would pay attention to the customer they are serving rather than talk to each other! Deuchars IPA and Youngs Bitter on offer at 3.30 were, I thought, rather on the warm side. Didn't really get the impression that it was a real ale pub - everyone else seemed to be on cocktails or lagers. Convenient for the station so I'd probably go in again if in the area but wouldn't travel to visit it.
cheshirecat - 28 Jun 2009 12:27
I completely agree with the last review. Was here over the weekend and had no problems being served and found the staff to be very welcoming. Even the doormen were friendly and surprisingly good looking.
This is bar far the best pub in the area and definitely worth a visit.
JLO223 - 22 Jun 2009 13:47
Some of these reviews are really surprising, was here for the first time last night and had an amazing time! Good staff that happens to be good looking! no complaints there.
Had an excellent pitcher with friends and was happy (and surprised) to hear real music instead of the same radio bullocks I have to endure everywhere else. Didn't know pubs still do that! Will definitely be coming back
biddybird12 - 20 Jun 2009 06:20
I actually love this pub. the staff seem more busy than unfriendly but the music is some of the best around and is the main reason I come back. the improvement on the food is an added bonus but the best part of Defectors is still the dj and lager.
cy_lyons - 19 Jun 2009 03:45
blah blah blah blah blah blah blah
good_pubs_are_rare - 12 Jun 2009 11:31
The reviews of this bar are dissapointing but accurate.
Sadly this wonderful pub is let down by the young & image conscious staff. I have been going to the Defectors for years as it is convenient from work, and there are a few things I am sure of...1) The Staff are arrogant, unfriendly & slow. If the owners sat at the end of the bar for a night & watched the amount of people leave as their staff slowly walk from one end of the bar to the other uninterested in the queues or clientelle they would be concerned I'm sure
2) The food is good value & has improved even further in the last few months (Not the cheapest...but it's fresh & really tasty. Unlike it's neighbours that serve 2 for 5 meals. WHAT DO YOU THINK YOU'RE EATING FOR THAT PRICE?)
3) The music is always appropriate to the mood and DJ's create a great vibe (unless the staff jump in and then it goes tits up)
4) The range of lagers/ales that they serve is the best in that area except when the taps are (regularly) off.
All said & done, if you are thick skinned then Defectors is the place to go in Sh B. But if you are likely to head butt someone with no manners and no real desire to serve you & your mates, then stay away.
oh_noamelie - 11 Jun 2009 16:41
Had unpleasant experience here. It may look the part but the staff and management reflect much more on what you can expect. Unwelcoming and unfriendly...arbitrary rules on access, My friend who is several months pregnant protested as her partner was not allowed in as he had flip-flops on!! Not the rubbery cheap kind either...The manager, who quite frankly needs to sort his own attire out before picking on others, would not explain why the footwear was an issue but did say he did not want our kind in his bar, tho we had been drinking and eating for the previous hour. If you are going to have a discriminating policy it should be clearly visible and you should be prepared to explain your policies and not say 'I don't have to justify myself to you' He even had the nerve to say to my friend 'you shouldn't be drinking in your condition' since when has water or cranberry juice been considered dangerous to an unborn child!! I got a refund on my pint, shame I had already had one and some poncy overpriced food, tho I almost felt sick to the stomach at the way were treated. We won't be returning and do not recommend this hostile (defected) pub..and yes you are a public house however, refined and trendy you are pushing to be.
Anna3 - 23 May 2009 13:27
I ended up in here last night to meet friends before the placebo gig, and from having mediocre food experiences here before, passed on food. My friends didn't however and when their food came out I wish I hadn't either. The food was really good (this gathered from the look and smell and stolen mouthfuls.) Apparently they have got new chefs, but whether they are new or just got their act together, they have put that pub back on my favourite list.
b.c. - 13 May 2009 17:51
Typical gastro pub - nice seating area, decent atmosphere and menu. I've been twice and both times the service really let it down. Surly, unfriendly bar staff - couldn't crack a smile, no communication etc. Very slow service - bar staff don't keep track of the next in line. There are much cheaper bars in the area where you get treated as a valued customer.
scottinthesky - 11 May 2009 11:44
There are four ale pumps in this pub; two of which are unused and the other two were being used for Youngs Ordinary and Deuchars IPA (which was ok). There is also a selection of very expensive premium lagers that most of the young professionals seemed to be tucking into.

Im not a fan of these places and even though I actually found the barmaid that served me to be very polite I would rather drink the cheaper more superior beer over the road.
Strongers - 11 Mar 2009 07:46
Nice venue if it's not a pub you're looking for. Staff more interested in music than service, we found the beer to be poor though food is palatable. Handily located close to stations and at least it's another style of choice for an area heavily endowed with licensed establishments.
wembley - 10 Mar 2009 12:09
Had a great xmas party in the upstairs bar on Saturday. Wonderful three course meal with xmas crackers and mince pies. Went downstairs afterwards and danced til 2am. Excellent night!
good_pubs_are_rare - 15 Dec 2008 13:14
Slow bar staff, rude door staff, glasses not filled up, no drinking up time, expensive beer, pretentious patrons, loud music, uncomfortable chairs, expensive food.

But some people like this sort of place.
stash - 11 Dec 2008 04:17
I was in this pub on Sunday, I really really fancied a quick pint after an exhausting time christmas shopping with the better half in the westfeilds shopping mall set just behind the defectors, my intention was to stay for 1 then head off but we ended up staying all night, the atmosphere was electric, there were board games being played all around the pub and the cocktails were flowing and also very reasonably priced, there must have been a promo on or something. There staff were fantstic and they were all working with a smile enjoying the music being played by the dj set next to a roaring fire, probably the best open fire in the world. The Christmas trees and their splendid sparkling lights braught a tear to my eye and it was at this very moment that I realised life was at its best. The smell of winter wonder had taken over as the warmth of the roaring fire gently touched my cold face, shopping bags full of christmas magic and perfect smiling faces chomping merrily away through home cooked platters and hand cut chips, laughter was free and we became fat with happyiness and as the twelve days of Christmas approached with a flouresect glow from yonda horizon I thanked the lord for the almighty adventure of the defectors weld.
Arnold_Grey - 6 Dec 2008 19:55
I love this place, if you wanna get away from the regular old man rubbish in the bush then this place is a real gem. Great music and in contrast to what some other reviews have said I found the staff there seem really cool. I mainly head over there on sundays with my housemates and get some roasts (which really are perfect on a sunday afternoon) and then on to cocktails. I sometimes head over there on a fri/sat night and my friends we have had some amazing nights there. The crowd generally seems pretty cool with some nice guys (on both sides of the bar!) and the girls in there all seem like the right kind of people. I think this bar is run by the same people as The Lock Tavern in Camden so if thats your kind of place then I would say you have to visit The Defectors. Overall it's got great music, good food, cute barmen and an increadibly cool atmosphere - one of my favourite bars in London!!
tara_g - 6 Dec 2008 19:36
I often used this place in its Beaumant Arms days, a proper pub with the Jam & the Stranglers blasting away in the background. Since its conversion to Edwards I think I only ever used the place once and it was more out of curiosity that I gave it a try under its latest guise as the Defectors Weld (the meaning or origin of which is totally lost on me). On the face of it, its a pleasant if rather pretentious place, expanded at the rear since its original pub days. The front and one side have an upmarket pubby feel whilst the rear and remainder of the bar circuit present a more ambient loungy dining feel with a sucession of sofa and armchair sections that feel a bit like wandering through a soft furnishings showroom. A couple of impressive fireplaces are hardly enhanced by the artwork above them although the lighting is so subdued that it is almost impossible to make out anything above the dim glow of the table candles. Staffwise, the barman didnt exactly exude personality and it was a tough call for him to decide which of his 2 customers needed serving first (sorry to the bloke who was there before me tee hee). 4 hand pumps but only 2 Ales - Pride & Landlord (expensive at 3.20) supplemented by a range of upmarket draught beers (Peroni, Fruili, Leffe, Hoegarden and the like). Fairly sedate and comfortable early evening when not busy but the presence of a DJ stand suggests that it becomes more clubby later in the evenings. Pubs like this are not really my thing and too many good traditional pubs are being destroyed to accommodate such places (why cant they take a leaf out of Wetherspoons book and convert carpet warehouses for such ventures?). Not a place I would choose to return to but for what it is, I have been in far worse and I can see the attraction to a certain social demographic, but just not really mine.
RogerB - 4 Dec 2008 13:18
The only thing the place has going for it is that it's open late. Saying the service is horrible and rude is being kind. Ordered a bottle of wine and waited 10mins for it...wouldn't even try pints. The doormen are on a powertrip like you wouldn't beleive. Even by London standards the staff here are appalling. Stay away!!!
jo_leblanc - 27 Nov 2008 15:15
I Agree with the last comment, Service was poor and EHO would have a field day - staff were using their hands to put ice and fruit in the drinks ! Food was good, but again service on this was terrible they took the best part of two hours to clear the plates
Caz100 - 14 Nov 2008 16:06
Nice looking pub, but the staff are sooo rude and seem to busy talking to one another instead of serving people at the bar, I saw some barperson scratch her head and then use the same hand to put ice and lemon in a drink !!!! Not nice, the food was alright we had a platter but it was nothing to shout about, I wouldn't recomend this pub to any one !!!!
carrie7781 - 14 Nov 2008 13:27
I had a great party here. I hired the Snug Bar for a leaving do and had a great time. Everyone commented on what a cool room it was to hold a party, the drinks were reasonably priced and the manager, Lucas was really helpful. I had DJs playing and although there is a volume limit on the music, this wasn't noticeable and didn't spoil the night. The Snug bar closes at 1 but you can then carry on downstairs until 2. This venue was recommended to me and I would definitely recommend it to others.
jodilauren - 20 Oct 2008 10:35
Much better than when it used to be Edwards!!!

.
good_pubs_are_rare - 26 Sep 2008 23:34
Great pub, great


good_pubs_are_rare - 26 Sep 2008 23:28
Totally agree with the last review. Even the food has gone downhill of late (the burgers used to be pretty good), so now ther's no redeeming features to speak of; never had a problem with the doormen but the bar staff are the rudest I've ever come across - even when there's hardly any punters at the bar, there could be four of them behind it ignoring the few poor sods who are actually waiting. You'll see them walking around, moving bottles in the fridges for no apparent reason, chatting amongst themselves, anything but actually serving customers. When they finally do get round to serving, they don't give a sh*t about who's been waiting longest. I've known them to actually 'forget' to return your change (!) and I honestly can't remember the last time I saw any of them SMILE! :)

The pub itself looks nice but it would be nice if they'd wipe the tables down every so often as they're usually filthy.

This could be a great pub (esp. with the cosy snug bar upstairs which does live music) but they've got to sort their lives out first; as it stands, avoid it like the plague as it really is P*SS POOR!
BillCar10KingRoad - 25 Sep 2008 12:46
I'm not going to have a go about the BBC types, especially given the lack of choice in the area. But what I really can't stand is when bar staff leave you standing there for ages, and just rudely walk past going nowhere in particular. I end up in here before going to the music venue but in future I'll take my chances elsewhere. What does it really cost to just say 'be with you in a minute'???
bethm - 5 Sep 2008 17:34
Wow three bad reviews in a row. This pub doen't deserve that. If you don't like BBC types then drink somewhere else, if you wear 3/4 trousers on a friday evening then go to the Walkabout and if you want to buy 'a pint' of coke and watch everyone around you drink alcohol so that you can cry and make everyone at your next AA meeting really proud of you then please don't do it here.

I've been a regular at the Defectors for a couple of years now and i'm rarely disappointed. The bouncers have always been friendly towards me and my friends, the staff can be a bit straight faced sometimes but thats normally when they're very busy and the drinks/food are always tasty and good value.
I recently reserved their 'snug bar' upstairs for a colleagues leaving do and we had a great night.

If your looking for a great pub in Shepherds Bush then this is it - closely followed by the 'Goldhawk'.
good_pubs_are_rare - 30 Aug 2008 01:12
"We don't serve pints of soft drinks" - well, you stock soft drinks and you stock pint glasses, so why and earth not? Add to that, unnecessary security on the door and the cheerless gutting of a traditional pub to bring it into line with the hallmarks of Theme Park Britain, and you have a mediocre pub indeed. THe upstairs room is pleasant enough and helps the pub avoid a lower mark
BoehmBawerk - 24 Aug 2008 15:39
I really hate this place. It annoys me and irritates me, like a parasitic tick painfully burrowing deep into my sense of taste and decency. Whenever anybody suggests we go here for a drink I feel like feigning an injury or better still actually injuring myself in order to escape. You know the sort of pub this is, they're all over London like an embarrassing sexually transmitted rash with their upholstered sofas, bare wooden floorboards and obscure hugely overpriced Belgian beers available on tap. It's a crowded, loud, gutted shell of a once great pub, it's impossible to get served by the indifferent shaven headed too trendy by half body piecing infested bar staff and it sells overpriced olives in tiny little ceramic bowls with portions that frankly wouldn't fill the belly of a pigeon. The bouncers are annoying and pointless and seem to change the admission rules each week on the merest of whims. If you thought Vesbar was full of braying BBC types shouting and guffawing and being pointless then come to the Defectors Weld and see the festering human zoo at feeding time. This place epitomises everything that is wrong with the modern world. It makes me happy to leave its trendy environs and actually glad to see the 24 hour tramp's circus that is Shepherd's Bush Green.
agnes_guano - 19 Aug 2008 13:53
Went here Saturday and Sunday night as we had consecutive gigs at the Empire. Decent selection of beer including one decent (Addlestone's) cider and Fruli (not cheap but then it never is). Staff pretty friendly. Good selection of music being played. Didn't have any problem getting seats. Tried the food (i had the Frank's burger which was very good and apparently the chicken caesar wasn't bad either).
I've not tried any nearby pubs to compare it to other than Walkabout (the less said about that the better) and Ginglik (which i assume is a club only having ever seen gigs there).
Probably not the cheapest place around but for somewhere relaxed to meet people before going to the empire, for me still a good choice.
Mardagg - 15 Jul 2008 15:25
A friend of mine had her birthday here on Sunday and had booked a table so we didn't have any problem getting a seat, but I can see how it would get difficult.
Was excited to see roast pork on the roast menu as most places just do the standard beef or chicken, not as excited about the price, but once I had eaten it... definitely worth the extra quid!
They also had a DJ on in the afternoon and a cocktail special that meant you could get 2 Mojitos for 8!! Needless to say, ended up staying till quite late and didn't feel too great at work today!
All in all, really like this place.
b.c. - 2 Jun 2008 17:48
Nice place, when you can get a seat, although the beer can be a bit hit and miss, the food nice but probably overpriced
mmmpktge - 4 May 2008 22:25
The defectors is in serious need of a make over. Its still a great place for the Shepherds bush greeners as other counterparts leave a lot to be desired. Good mix of people, bar staff are good most of the time, but it can take a while to get served on the weekends. The food menu is pretty average. Some of the veggie options are pitiful. But, this place has never been known for its food.
If you want to take a side step away from the vulgarity of the bush its a good place to be and is worth the expense. Good seating for groups and has great booths etc. However, this pub is in a state of decay and it is increasingly more difficult to spend money in a place that seems to be seeping into the general dcor of the surrounding venues.
Also the passive smoking incorporated into loo visits is ever so pleasant.


Bags - 7 Apr 2008 12:12
It doesn't claim any more than a "tarted up boozer on shepherds bush green" and that's all it is. Expensive beer, expensive food. Thinks highly of itself but not exactly sure why. Staff re-stocking or too busy chatting when they should be serving. Would go the Green across the road instead, and that's not great either, but least you'll save a few quid!! I'm giving it one and that's only because they had real ale on tap when the green were "awaiting a delivery!" Definitely one built for the BBC lovies.
slimgym - 10 Mar 2008 20:53
An oasis of calm in a swamp of common vulgarity.....
good beer, decent BBC-type clientele and smashing views of Shepherds Bush Green urban hell outside the window...


TS77 - 6 Feb 2008 12:55
Probably the best pub on Shepherd's Bush Green but that's not saying much. I was in there last week. It's expensive and the majority of staff can't be arsed to serve, prefering to chat to boyfriends or to stare vacantly into space. At least the beggars are busy. We were approached 3 times for money
stevecole - 29 May 2007 13:30
Bowl of chips for 18? Crikey, you've been had mate.

This pub is quite nice. Full of bbc people, you get the occasional braying twonk but is still a nicer atmosphere than most other places in the blighted Bush.
newmalden - 26 Apr 2007 16:38
very nice bar, which does get quite busy but even so never seems "packed" like many other bars. it is quite large with lots of nice nooks and crannies for you and mates to lose urself in. can be a little dark in places, and the female bar manager has never once smiled, which is a shame as she has a great bar to work behind.
anonymous - 29 Mar 2007 14:05
CORRECTION to previous review, I meant to say a Wednesday night (24th Jan 2007).
fysh - 25 Jan 2007 15:07
My flatmate and I happened upon this place after trying to see a show at the nearby Television Centre. We arrived about 7pm on a Thursday night.

Pub was pretty busy, but we were served by a friendly and very cute blonde, and with not much wait. No table, but the pub is huge and we joined another group at a table. Didn't see the upstairs.

Didn't try the real ales but the Amstel was nice and we also shared a large platter of cooked meats, chorizo, sauces, bread etc and a bowl of chips for 18 (really good but their other food looked great too and in the 7-8 range).

Service very good, always got served at the bar almost immediately. Atmosphere very friendly, ended up staying three or four hours and would definitely go again. Can't comment on the door staff - didn't see any! Worth going if just for a pretty blonde with a nice smile...

fysh
fysh - 25 Jan 2007 15:05
Interesting to read the comments about bouncers - the night i went in (tonigh actually) it was FREEZING so i was wearing a woolly hat - far from being over zealous and intimidating as previously mentioned i had the opposite - a nice and friendly Russian (?) doorman approached me and explained that it was company policy to have no hats inside - i obliged by taking my hat off, he said thanks and left - hardly a problem unless you make it one? ... I'm perfectly happy with the IPA pints, its not a 'real ale' scene so no drama that it doesn't have 11 clever guest ales - Nice, friendly, good vibes, good music, decent people - i'm happy.
waikato_fc - 21 Dec 2006 22:48
Busy, noisy and bouncers to 'welcome' you. Good wine selection, but very limited real ale choice. Quite a nice modern look to the seating layout, though.
rpadam - 10 Dec 2006 15:37
The bouncers were a bit self-important, with the bizarre request that you needed a home QPR ticket to get in. Still, he waved us in.

Four ale pumps and only the dull GK IPA on, although served in a glass tankard which was a nice touch. It was very busy, the service wasnt great and lots of guys with suits on, which is not Saturday night attire. Ive been in here a couple of times during its previous guises and the space and layout were fine, but I think it is a place for an afternoon pint rather than an evening drink.
AleKing - 27 Nov 2006 12:30
went here on saturday night for a drink, with some mates who had been before - and had an otherwise nice night evening ruined by bizarre and over-the-top bouncing:

1st up, me & a mate went in a couple of minutes after our friends, the bouncer took one look at our shoes (trainers?) and proceeded to tell us there were 'too many blokes' inside. tried to explain we were just out for a drink, and what diference did it make how many blokeswere inside (it was pretty empty, for a saturday night) and eventually got in by showing the bouncer that we'd already been bought pints.

once inside, told i had to 'take off my hoodie' (it's not like i was wearing it up, obscuring my face, or doing anything other than drinking a pint) and another mate forced to literally take off an anorak, as it had a hood on it too!

and so it went on... got followed into the loo by another bouncer (nice, always welcoming). had them telling other people to remove hats (a wooly one. dangerous), hovering over the tables, saw them trying to chuck another guy out of the loo for literally doing nothing, and generally hassling the punters.

yeah the beer was okay (but pretty pricey), and the music was good, but this ain't ibiza, i'm not some kid trying to start a fight, and any pub with a 'shoes and shirts' policy is a pub i don't go to. cross that one off the list.
lorrin - 20 Nov 2006 13:44
Met the wife at T.D.W. on Wednesday then met some more pals later, then on to a gig. Had some okayish pie and mash, did the job. IPA was a bit tangy but they changed it without question. Quite fit ladies behind the bar. So, pretty much did the job, considering the location.
Decor, dreary? Yes, but tastefully done. To be quite honest though, I rarely rely on pub decor to make my night. Good conversation with pals is usually much more fun than worrying about the colour scheme of the walls.
rjbradburnesq - 17 Aug 2006 19:48
This has overtaken the Vesbar in my opinion as 'Best Bar On The Green.'

Good atmosphere, no problems with the staff, (even the bouncer is pretty chilled,)and beer... well, we live in London so all the beer's expensive right?

It gets busy but it's a pretty big place so there's almost always someplace to sit/stand and upstairs there's a little known about second bar and often some leg room to chill.

AngusVW - 11 Aug 2006 13:55
Yes it aint a traditional pub but as long as that isnt your number 1 priority then its a nice place. Good sized pubs with comfortable lounge seats and armchairs dotted about. It was busy when I was in, just before a gig at the Empire but still found a place to sit. Booze is ok, nothing special. The missus had a nice glass of wine, should be at 4.50, and I tried the Guiness and the Staropramen. All the ale, bar London Pride and IPA was off. So would have suited some ale drinkers.Nothing spectacular from either pints but they werent a bad pint.

Must have been there on a bad night for bar staff. Very attentive and quick to serve but no good looking ladies for me!

All in all a nice place for a pre gig drink, though I would have been happy there all night.
selondoner - 6 Apr 2006 10:23
The other posters who slagged off this venue obv caught the Defectors on a bad day I love this place!!! Would def recommend this place for the music and the gorgeous staff alone...oh, and somewhere decent to get a Sunday roast.

anonymous - 27 Mar 2006 16:02
Have been here loads always good...really cosy atmos....fab music....but the staff are USELESS !!!!! Such a shame coz the food is pretty brilliant....last time went there tho, 3 of our 16 lunches ordered were 'forgotten'....and no apology whatsoever....I had to demand a couple of glasses of wine on the house. Pity....perhaps they've become lazy because they know in this location there's no competition.
anonymous - 18 Mar 2006 00:51
Have frequented this place on a number of occasions prior to gigs at the Empire. Nice decor. Reasonable ambience. Spolied by surly barmaids who clearly think they are above pouring drinks.

Services spoils the overall package.
anonymous - 17 Mar 2006 09:54
I think this jostles with the also-excellent, but nicely different, Vesbar for being the best bar in the Bush. I actually always find the crowd in there very friendly; ditto the staff (yes, even the guys on the door).

It's a great place (and utterly unpretentious) to have a relaxed drink, and I've actually never found it to be TOO busy. If it's tricky to get a table anywhere, though, surely that's a good sign....? It's intimate enough for a date, but large enough for a birthday party. Good skills.
scillo - 19 Dec 2005 18:09
The DF is a considerable improvement over its previous incarnations (especially the awful Edwards) and has re-introduced real ales that were well kept, though the choice of Greene King IPA and Fullers London Pride is a bit boring. Food was expensive but nicely done. When it is not full it is a relaxing, comfortable place if you like large lounge-like places and deserves recommendation for the Shepherds Bush area.
LovePubs - 7 Dec 2005 13:00
Obviously the downside of this place is that it is in West London (meaning it's miles from me), but a great accidental find for a pre-Shepherds Bush Empire gig drink - nice music and cocktails. Flyer suggests it might be gracing the green courtesy of the people that do The Lock Tavern in Camden - not sure, used to live near The Lock and it would explain the cool-quota and the music if it is - lucky West London I say.
boozey - 19 Sep 2005 13:24
Begrudgingly went to a friends birthday here, that was before I knew bars like this existed in parts of West London that werent stuck up! Really nice place, friends that live there said it used to be naff but current version was really cool. Lovely room upstairs, great music up there but dj rocked when we went down later on, really good food, well made cocktails and beer in a pre-frozen glass (for Stella and the Leffe!), staff were busy but polite and my brother assured me the girls on the bar were super-hot! Nice to see a good bar in this part of town - at last!
anonymous - 5 Aug 2005 13:20
The only decent pub on Shepherds Bush Green, and excellent food.
manonabus - 10 Jun 2005 15:23
Bit of a letdown. Looks great when you walk in, excellent dcor, but full of fashion victims all trying to vie for the most attention, yawn! Their square pies were a bit disappointing as well, greasy, too much pastry and not much filling. Pity really, cause the wine was good and the bar staff were rather delicious!
anonymous - 27 Apr 2005 16:29
Not as great as some comments below are making out at all! One for the upper class shall we say out to catch the beebs elite! 3.00 for a pint of Stella! No wonder the bar staff smile so much! Granted it's comfortable and an improvement but at a cost! Your pocket!
Lagertop - 10 Mar 2005 10:51
wow, what a difference a refurb can make, had a brilliant roast here and then great tunes from a dj actually thinking about what record to play rather than a boring predictable set, the jam 'thats entertanment'on a sunday in shepherds bush, yes please
anonymous - 14 Dec 2004 10:26
Loved it! Managed to get one of the massive booths at the back for a mates birthday and had a wicked night. The smiley staff humoured us as we 'sampled' every cocktail on the menu. We didn't try the food but the menu looked great....will definitely be returning!
rachelc79 - 8 Dec 2004 14:33
What a difference! Excellent pub, good food, friendly staff, quality music (owned by Jon Carter who often plays there)- just what was needed for She Bu.
The Weld is my new local and it's only been open for a month.
Keep up the good work guys.
anonymous - 8 Dec 2004 12:00
does anyone know why it's called Defector's Weld?
tim.charles - 3 Dec 2004 13:54
Stumbled into this new tastefully refurbed pub in
Shep,s Bush. Amazing transformation from what it used
to be like a few months back. Great atmosphere, fast service and really friendly staff, who even had the time to explain what had been done. Then I went up
to the new Upstairs Bar / Dining area. Absolutely
brilliant and food fantastic.Odd that such a place
has appeared in grimey Bush, but with gaffs like this
the future looks up. Well worth a visit or two.
nickjohnp - 3 Dec 2004 09:30
What a nonsense Time Out quote. You can go to the Walkabout or O'Neills and not feel you're on Shepherds Bush Green. And why? Because those places have exact replicas everywhere. Boring boring boring. And that's what this gastro pub is - yet another bland unindividual characterless anti-community pub for people who don't like pubs.

And thanks to Time Out it will be full of sulky people crying into their red wine because they're somehow trapped in horrid ghastly Shepherds Bush. But at least the pub makes you feel like you're not there.
travis - 1 Dec 2004 17:29
To me Travis's post was an honest assessment. I would be surprised if Stokleygreen doesn't have a stake in the place, viewing his comments. Frankly I'd like to know what Time Out mean by this. Like the Evening Standard they constantly slag off working class areas as being undesirable and their reviews are always along the line of oh what a great bar in oh what a terrible area. Anyway I was in there on the same day in question. George Melly was there which was nice but there is nothing to recommend the pub at all beyond the fact that it was comfortable If you want this style of pub, with similar food, real ales and broadsheet newspapers in the area you will find a better atmosphere in the Goldhawk or The Crown and Sceptre. Lastly the music was rotten when I was there. Who is it that sells this light reggae/ vaguely latin muzak to these pubs? It's the biggest crime since lift music in the late 70s/80s.
JohnMcC - 30 Nov 2004 19:59
This place has just got a brilliant review in Time out 'This place is so good, you even forget your on shepherds bush green..'so bearing in mind travis dislike of the lock tavern who aparently own defectors i know who i believe....
stokleywebster - 30 Nov 2004 16:14
This place is now called "The Defector's Weld" and has been reopened now for a couple of weeks. A cute enough name, but everything inside is a clone of the Lock Tavern in Camden, right down to the same dreary colour scheme, and a bunch of foolish looking blokes sitting around a coffee table drinking red wine.

The staff are a bit clueless when it comes to the football, the guy on the door would first ask "are you football fans" and then when some people said "yes" in a broad London accent, he asks if they're Wigan or QPR fans. Take a guess fella.

Unlikely to find out much more about the pub as the London Pride costs a breathtaking three quid.
travis - 23 Nov 2004 13:52
its closed down now (on the 30th of august) because it failed to suit the area. has been taken over by the same people who run the lock tavern in camden town...
Ian williams - 22 Sep 2004 15:09
Nonsense place that sums up the general quality of pubs in the Bush. Bland, characterless and utterly pointless. I fail to understand why anyone would choose to drink here.
travis - 3 Sep 2004 11:25
ok pub, nothing special though. had an awesome night here with the dog and fox boys to send off the porn star
Joel - 24 Jun 2004 05:03
Pointless redecoration of the old Beaumont Arms which survived being 'facelifted' by the Luftwaffe in WWII but has now no sign of its original character. Cash point inside because it's so expensive.
beeronaut - 28 Dec 2003 21:54
DJ's/party night friday, saturday nights
cash point inside
Tim - 26 Nov 2003 14:02

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