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Woodman, Highgate

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user reviews of the Woodman, Highgate

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

Six guys in our mid 40's having a low key 'school days' catch up on a pretty quiet Thursday night.
The garden is a nice space, lost of shelter and heaters, not so cramped that it gets smokier than the insides of pubs in the old days. Spoilt by big TV screens.

At 11pm we were asked to move inside. In a very abrupt, 'I wish I wasnt working here tonight' kind of way from the barmaid. We didnt say anything just shuffled to a table inside. Then at closing time got another abrupt 5 min 'warning', and then exactly 5 mins later she interrupts all conversation to say we have to get out. When I started to point out that she had handled the situation rather poorly she threatens to call the police. We just laughed and walked out.
Whoever runs the place should spend a quiet evening there observing how utterly p1ssed off their bar staff come across.

mudmucks - 9 Oct 2015 11:51
I recently had my worst experience in over 30 years of pubbing at the Woodman. They pretend to serve food at tables as in a restaurant yet when we ordered I was asked if I wanted to leave my credit card behind the bar to run a tab. I said no, as I had a previous problem with card fraud doing that. They said OK. During the meal, I was then asked 3 more times to give them my card until it felt like extortion. In the meantime I had been presented with a bill before the food even arrived!

Wait, it gets worse. We were going to have a smoke on the terrace before dessert so I asked the bar manager if that was OK and explained where we would be. Within 7 minutes or so we had been accosted by two more bar staff and a bouncer demanding that we pay. Finally, I tried to explain to yet another bar manager, who yelled at me. It was truly disgusting, being treated like a thief.

Don't ever go to the Woodman unless you are happy handing your card over to a stranger to keep before you eat or drink anything.

rikevans - 30 Oct 2013 13:28
This is simply the best pub in Highgate, great beer served by friendly willing and efficient staff.
There is a fantastic covered outside area at the back complete with heaters and well positioned TV screens showing all sporting events, even three O'clock Saturday Premier League games! As well as a large beer garden that is more than often packed and buzzing in the summer months.
The food is splendid and sourced from all British produce.
All together a class act!
philberg - 25 Oct 2013 14:32
This is a lovely pub really with a really nice location but oh dear-the service.

On a hot summer night and a full beer garden the bar is simply to small to cope and the staff seem overwhelmed. The food ordered turned up after lengthy inquiries just before last order for reasons unexplained meaning that The Strange Torpor had the inevitable five pints on an empty stomach feeling. Their card machine had broken down leading to a mass procession to the cash point across the road.

Still a nice pub though!
strangetorpor - 4 Oct 2013 17:17
Lots of pubs in Highgate but this one now stands out as the best. Beer, food and service all very good. And a very well done outside seating area.
jjss - 14 Aug 2013 11:07
Located right next to Highgate LU station, worth popping in for a pint before or after the walk up the hill to the Highgate village pubs (for those of us on the big side who need a breather!)

A big open plan pub with a large outside drinking area it offered six real ale on draught i tried the "battleaxe" beer which was very good.

Unlike other reviewers i found the bar staff to be pleasant and efficient, either i have lower standards than others or i caught them on a good day!

beershot - 13 Jun 2013 17:31
Food - Excellent
Beer - Excellent
Decor - Excellent
Beer Garden - Excellent
Toilets - Excellent

Staff - atrocious attitude! They really let this bar down a bag full! I avoid it now when I can which is sad because I really like it! Working in the hospitality industry requires you to be warm, welcoming and HOSPITABLE and they are none of these.

The manager can whine all he wants about trying to run a pub in hard times - they will be harder if his staff don't buck themselves up a bit
barspy2010 - 23 Mar 2013 13:50
I used to be a kind of regular at this place (once every couple of weeks or so), if only because it's right outside the exit from Highgate tube on my way home.
As other reviewers have mentioned, there has always been an issue with the neverending stream of joyless Polkranian women who pass themselves off as "bar staff" in the Woodman.
Since the place was spruced up a few months ago (presumably under new ownership) they have taken to offering table service, although without the smile, obviously. The trouble is, they never write anything down but then refuse to accept it when they inevitably get things wrong, as they did with us the other night.
Try keeping your temper when they threaten to call the police because you "refuse to pay" the bill that you just paid five minutes ago.
Dreadful, ignorant people, don't give them your custom. There are at least a dozen better pubs within walking distance.
AleRider - 1 Mar 2013 15:25
Maybe Pub landlords read the comments here. The staff were delightfull, even offering table service to people just drinking in the lovely beer garden. I ate here.... Food was good, touch pricey and served on a chopping board. Suppose it sums up the area! Specked hen was perfect. Would come again.
Mappiman - 26 Aug 2012 19:44
Sadly this is my last review for bite as I have got a bit sick of the abuse from bad landlords who go nuts when you dare point out that there pub is a toilet!
Ive wrote many good reviews and plenty of bad ones and i know the best pubs in London and the worst (The Shakespear at Victoria is the worst pub in the world!!!)
Bite has been of great use to me and many others and long may it continue....
Its fitting my last review should be on a pub around the corner as Ive used it a few times lately and have to give credit where its due, massive improvements in all areas........
Food very very good
Toilets, excellent
Ale well kept
Garden huge and well kept(nice lighting etc)
Nice mix of clients but is very white and Middle class but so is Highgate!
So well done to the owners they have transformed the place and deserve credit where its due!
Now get some staff with a smile please !!!!!

jackbar - 27 Jul 2012 12:40
Patronising and rude staff who speak to customers as though we are their children make this large pub on the heavily polluted corner of Muswell Hill Road and Archway Road one to avoid at all costs. The only reason I can think of to use this pub is if you get caught short and need the toilet urgently. (They're not much better than the staff attitude by the way.) In all other circumstances take the trouble to walk up to Highgate Village where there is an abundance of delightful, traditional village pubs. Try The Angel Inn, The Prince of Wales and best of all, The Bull on North Hill
PoloPony - 23 Jul 2012 14:40
I went back recently after a few months away. The staff were polite and didn't seem to have the 'I'm only doing this until my record deal comes through' feeling that you get with most young bar staff in middle-class areas. Beer was ok with a couple of summer ales though two others were off. Lunch (sausage and mash) was good, with polite table service. I took a deep breath and decided to risk the loos...Wow - what a change! They have been transformed from something like the Camden Town pub toilets from 'Withnail and I' into a pristine, gleaming palace of hygiene! Well done. However, I wonder how long the Victorian porcelain bog flush handle will last...
Hugh1971 - 10 Jul 2012 10:38
Oh dear oh dear oh dear, popped in with a friend on Saturday to catch the end of the play offs.
Like i said toilets are amazing compared with what they used to be and im told the ladies are like something out of Hollywood however we were back to the miserable unsmiling and unfriendly staff again all yapping amongst themselves whilst its 3 deep at the bar.
jackbar - 21 May 2012 14:00
Despite being kind of banned for daring to comment on the state of the loos and told to drink in Wetherspoons by the Attitude full landlord (see where the staff get it from) took the wife in over Easter when we got off the tube and the place has been transformed,toilets renovated etc,had a delightful meal,decent pint and shockingly the service was reasonable and friendly.
Still not a patch on The bull or The wrestlers but competition is fierce in Highgate and i would say fair play for trying
I will be popping back just in case the level of service was a fluke and will keep you all updated.
Well done The woodman.
jackbar - 14 Apr 2012 14:35
I have to agree with jackbar. Some comments to Tom. Fair play you are trying hard you say to turn the place around but here are some points:
Its all very well having 'roast pigeons' on the menu but I would be more concerned with the urine soaked toilets -last time i was in (2 months ago) the hand drier didnt work and no paper towels so I dried my hands on my trousers!. No one cares about fancy food if you cant wash your hands. The toilet wouldnt pass a heath inspection. It doesnt need 80K, mop the floor, toilet paper, a drier that works and decent lightbulb!

The bar staff (not everyone) are surly and rude. The girl with a nose stud and mixed race guy took the biscuit - utterly pig ignorant fools and never smiled. So much so I dont bother going there unless a last resort. I know lots of people who feel the same. I live locally and have been a resident for 40 years.

Table service outside - isnt needed -just have enough bar staff at the BAR! To serve the patrons...the table service is just to get 'tips'.

You have a great location and will be busy reagrdless due to location next to highgate tube (the prime location and a nice beer garden)

I will try the place again in a few weeks and see if anything has changed.
brianbrain - 2 Mar 2012 04:51
Hey did anyone else notice the comments from Tom the owner finish with his user name charlie69............Scroll down and find the one good review on the pub is from ........wait for it....charlie69............The games up Tom this sites for drinkers to offer honest opinions not for self promotion,like your pub you are a disgrace.
jackbar - 27 Feb 2012 14:59
The Woodman saga rumbles on,the wife was out with the girls on Tuesday evening and i asked her how her evening went,oh she said we had a fab time we we went to the woodman as it was easy for the girls getting off the train,food was superb , friendly service , reasonable value , lovely warm atmosphere.......i had to check she was in the right pub,!!!Last night i picked an old mate up from Muswell hill and as we driving back to Highgate i said do you fancy a quick one in the woodman...NO he screamed id rather eat my own face than ever go back to that place,so the moral is you take as you find and the review below by barney miller is so obviouly the landlord its untrue! this site is a gem as it gives us all a chance to point each other in the right direction and helps a great deal if you dont know an area but really Barney only one review and thats on your own pub and that gives your game away as we all write lots of reviews to help our fellow drinkers.
jackbar - 11 Feb 2012 13:23
Great pub. Well done in rejuvenating a dying venue. Jazz on a Tuesday is worth a visit, especially with the gorgeous waitress with the glasses on table duty. Good selection of beers with a few good but hard to find brews from Scotland. A pint of 80/- , a lovely lady serving, live music. Nice.
BarneyMiller - 24 Jan 2012 23:07
Omg, Tom the landlord has the cheek to rip me apart and accuse me of drinking at Wetherspoons because i dared to comment about the state of his pubs toilets and usually grumpy staff.
I dont drink at Wetherspoons Tom but im not such a snob that i would hold it against anyone who did !
I except your comments on the prices may have been a little unfair ,but stand by my comments on the toilets ,staff and food but also except i may have just been unlucky although looking at the other reviews and theres a lot of unlucky people!.
You will be pleased to know i dont visit your pub anymore (but bought an excellent xmas tree from your garden this year)
Best Regards
jackbar - 2 Jan 2012 10:49
Hi Jackbar

Thanks for your comments about The Woodman - That was twice this year.
Your comments were about the prices, toilets, staff, food and location.

I can't move the pub - it is where I bought it, but we have improved the exterior of the pub with additional seating, hanging baskets, a couple of outdoor tvs, fairy lights on the trees and replanting the garden.

The toilets - fair play - we have been waiting to do a refurbishment but issues with Scottish & Newcastle who own the building mean this is continually getting delayed. The latest date was 23rd January 2012 - but S&N put another £80K (40% extra) on the bill after we had already agreed everything 7 months earlier - so we are still negotiating. As I am paying the bill price is key

The staff - we are one of the few pubs that offer table service - and we never put a service charge on the bill - we hope our customers will recognise good service and tip if they injoyed the experience.
I started beind the bar when I was 13, so nearly 30 years and I think I've got most of the staff trained well most of the time - but I am not sure what you expect? We may not get it right everytime but I do believe from comments emiled to me we get it more right than most. As our staff on average serve 4,000 customers and 7,000 drinks a week - getting 10/10 is hard.

Regarding price? £3.60 for a pint of larger is pretty standard for the area. The only place cheaper overall is Weatherspoon's in the village. We have 5 real ales and our wine list is populated by 13 award winning wines, helping people to make an easier informed selection. I think that is a good choice.

Food wise - as an example - have pigeon on the menu at the moment. It was shot in Kings Langley at a farm next door to my parents - plucked, gutted and roasted by my team and put on the specials for £8.95! This is incredibly good value and the chef comes from a 2* AA Rosetted restaurant so the skills are there whether game is to your taste or not.

The pub may not be to your taste or suitable for your budget (Weatherspoons for you, I believe) but what I can say is that we transformed a pub that was a dead duck and full of the wrong sorts in 2007 to a good place to go with our sales more than trebling in the process.

Please - if you don't like what I have done to the place - stop drinking there. I am a small business owner that is working hard in an industry that is in decline and in a recession to boot and managing to buck the trend. Where I am happy to take criticism on the chin when deserved - when you are repeating yourself twice in a year there is a touch of the malicious in it. Please save your comments for one of the many faceless chain pubs - a few of which you will find in Highgate Village.

Best wishes

The Woodman
charlie69 - 29 Dec 2011 22:28
Wow,over priced,useless staff, filthy tolets,cold food,garden overlooks the A1 and is noisy and polluted,have a walk up the hill and you have a choice of cracking pubs with much more to offer AVOID
jackbar - 19 Oct 2011 20:17
while the food is OK, the staff have serious attitude problems. ask them for a drink and they will huff and sigh like their doing you a MASSIVE favour.

one time i was waiting at the staff-less bar to buy a drink, eventually two staff members emerged wiping their noses, giggling, serving themselves two tequila shots before turning to serve their customers.

shame because this (was) a local pub before the locals left - the previous management were much nicer. bring them back or someone complain to the manager!
jess321 - 17 May 2011 09:08
Agreed about the food not being up to par but i've never encountered any moodiness from the staff myself . The 'drinks service' IS very annoying . And pointless. I doubt it will remain for long as one can bet their bar takings have decreased since it was introduced. There's no greater testament to the 'if it's not broken - don't fix it' ethos than the exchange of money for drink over a bar!

Firky1 - 19 Mar 2011 01:08
I've never had any problems with the staff here and they are better than some places I've been to - however, the innovation of waitress service for drinks is a bit annoying and rather pointless too as it's quicker to just go up to the bar. The drinks prices are no higher than I'd expect for the area, although if you want a good quality selection you best find somewhere else. There are two big screens for sports, a good size outside seated area and this place is one of very few in this area which has it's own car park - although it only holds about 6 cars. The main negative as others have said is the toilets, which frankly are disgusting.
puppyfeat - 15 Mar 2011 16:36
Anyone know where Gavin's gone? Mick or Kerry from Roses? I know it's from awhile back, but looking for Gav. He worked at Roses in 1998. Hit me up.
ecoamiga - 15 Mar 2011 03:55
Very expensive souless place with moody staff. Revolting urine soaked toilets-an utter disgrace. Food is expensive and beer very expensive. Nice beer garden in the summer although close to the main archway road so you can smell the traffic. The ultra moody bairmaid with a nose ring seems to have left but the bar service is very slow and understaffed as they try and encourage you to get 'table' service and give them a tip! Could be such a great pub location wise if cleaned up and run well.
brianbrain - 4 Mar 2011 07:46
Moody staff,unfriendly pub,very expensive,filthy toilets however you can sit in the lovely garden and suck in the bus fumes from the nearby archway road,better places nearby.
jackbar - 19 Feb 2011 15:47
I was really disappointed when i took some friends that came to visit from out of town. Ive had food at the woodman which was really good that is why i suggested it, but this time was totally different. We went for lunch on a saturday - my friend ordered the steak pie and mash - the mash looked and tasted about 2 days old, i ordered eggs benedit - what i got was two fried eggs! another friend ordered chipolatas which were oily and didnt taste of anything - probs because they were defrosted in the microwave. really disappointing as ive had some really nice food there. Its gone down - wont go back again.
LivesinHighgate - 6 Dec 2010 16:53
i have a bit of a love/hate arrangement with this pub. it really does change your opinion every time you go...The beer is decent without being brilliant, and the atmosphere is generally good but needs something to bring it to life.

agree with the most recent comments about certain surly staff, but the majority are quite hospitable again. (funny you mention the nose pierced girl - i'm likewise yet to see a smile. it must be torture for her working there!). they really did go downhill at the beginning of this year, but certainly seen improvement recently.

beertom - 18 Nov 2010 17:03
must agree with half_tuppence. Glad to see i'm not the only one being served expensive pints half an inch short -the most grumpiest rude stroppy barmaids I have ever seen. One particular barmaid with a nose stud looks in utter misery, never says please or thank you and the most sneering miserable face I have ever seen. Why on earth work in a service industry and not even smile or say hello. Avoid this place - much better pubs about like the Highgate Inn or Royal Oak or even Archway...
brianbrain - 5 Nov 2010 08:17
This Place has gone down hill since my last visit. The staff with no manners. Short Pints by up too a Inch. Ales too warm & far too expensive If I'm paying £3.60 for a Pint I expect a Pint not three Quarters. You always notice when a Pubs failing they start having quiz nights.
half_tuppence - 11 Oct 2010 01:10
Monday night is now quiz night at The Woodman. The Monday Night Quiz runs from 7.30pm every week, with a cash prize for the winning team and prizes from the bar for runners up. Entry is £1 per person.

Follow us on Twitter (@mondaynightquiz) and at in order to receive a bonus question ahead of every quiz.

Rob (Quizmaster)
robcowen - 18 Aug 2010 16:09
Well my experience was totally different from the last two reviews. I watched all the England games there - so the pub was packed each time. I was sitting in the beer garden with around 150 others watching on the outdoor screens and we had waiter service the whole time and didn't have to go to the bar onceand we had 6 rounds of drinks!
Had a great night there Thurday where they had a paino player in doing "posh" karaoke. Fantastic night. You don't get many nights in London like it - and it was FREE!
charlie69 - 3 Jul 2010 15:51
I have to agree. I too have lived in Highgate for a few years and used to love the Woodman pub. I work just up the road as well and so my colleagues and I have always chosen to go there for functions, after work drinks etc.

The management used to be polite, they knew their locals and they paid attention to what was going on around them. They have since been replaced by the moodiest and rudest staff I have ever seen. They expect you to tell them who is next at the bar. The women serve the men first no matter how long you have been waiting. The food has taken a nose dive and on the two occasions I have complained, the response was absolutely nothing. Not even an apology – I even once sent food back untouched and was expected to pay for it. Utterly ridiculous.

They have a good spot for the footie, but I fear once the football is over, they will lose a lot of custom. I for one don’t plan on eating in their again. With pubs a plenty in Highgate and Muswell hill, I don’t need the aggro – I just come out of there wound up. It has made me so mad I am writing this!

Change your management, get better food and have a decent customer service policy!

Barham - 25 Jun 2010 13:41
I've lived in Highgate for years and The Woodman has always been one of those pubs that's good one minute and bad the next... And so the trend continues!!!!

It was on a down for a long time but about a year ago it really picked up.
There was a great team of bar staff, an amazing chef, good beer, the only bad thing you could say about the place was the music, which was, and still is rubbish. Everybody would be sat chatting by candle light to the sound of European electro or something... v weird indeed, anyway...

Just recently half of the good, friendly team were replaced by a couple of the rudest, miserable, p*ss poor excuses for bar managers imaginable... honestly, you walk up to the bar & they make you feel as though you were barred in a drunken stupor the night before or something (maybe i was) ... what ever happened to service with a smile & common courtesy & good manners????!!!!!!!

Nobody wants to hand their hard earned cash to people they don't like!

louielouie1 - 18 Jun 2010 09:12
had the most delicious food here the other day, really impressed as i have always walked by this pub not thinking much of it (had the duck salad and risotto MMmmm). Inside looks lovely... cant wait for summer to sit in the garden though.
newintown - 7 Apr 2010 17:41
Ventured in here the other Sunday to watch the football. 3 Ales on and a great sunday lunch menu meant we stayed in here long after the final whistle. Very cosy and welcoming interior with fire and sofas at one end.
UrbanGenieThing - 3 Apr 2010 15:47
Next to a zebra crossing in a busy road the real ale on sale was limited guess things were different when Pink Floyd used to practice here in the 60's.
hogshead - 22 Feb 2010 09:58
I really like the food in this pub and it looks great, however, someone needs to tell the owners that the secret to a great pub is friendly happy staff. I sometimes get the impression that I'm bothering them by going to the bar to ask for a drink. If you're there at a quiet time this isn't so much of a problem but if you're waiting at a busy bar on a Friday or Saturday it makes a big impression...
There are so many brilliant pubs within a ten minute walk unless you really want something on the menu head up the hill.
Ergsun - 5 Jul 2009 20:30
Large pub next to the tube station, convenient for a meeting place. Beer was OK, interior nothing special. I very much like half_tuppence'c comment, that he will DEFIANTLY visit here again. Me too!
nich52 - 16 Jun 2009 18:04
They've definitely smartened this pub since I last went in it (at least four years ago) but the whole effect still left me a bit cold - very dark and self-consciously trendy feel to the place with some ghastly modern jazz or somesuch playing. The road outside Highgate tube station is not a hospitable place and the Woodman wouldn't make me stop there - hurry on up to the village, I say.
grecian - 29 Oct 2008 10:41
Yes another much Improved Pub with a better Range of Real Ales & Wines Will defiantly visit again and recommend to Friends. Also a good stopping point on the way home if you of the tube at Highgate.
half_tuppence - 16 Jun 2008 00:34
Excellent place to stop in as a half-way point on the Finsbury Park to Alexandra Palace Parkland Walk. Good food, cosy decor, and relaxed atmosphere. They've also got a couple of pool tables tucked away unintrusively at one end. The one downside was the ale selection - 4 of my least favourites (Courage Best, Directors, Bombadier, and GK IPA). However, I liked the pub so much otherwise that I'll definitely return next time I do the walk.
topdog_andy - 26 May 2008 18:19
Went to this pub with 8 colleagues for a lunch meeting on a Wednesday. It was nice and quiet with a welcoming open fire. The bar service was excellent - very friendly barman (Dan?)and the food was fantastic. Great selection of starters, mains and desserts all sensibly priced and freshly made. I chose seared Crocodile tail salad to start as I had never tried Crocodile and never seen it on a menu - delicious! The chef (Xavier) came out 2 or 3 times to help the server bring the food and to check that everything was in order - which it was.

We spent about 4.5 hours in the pub and couldn't find anything to fault it. Perhaps when the barman isn't on duty they have someone working who isn't as good, hence the previous review, because nothing was too much trouble for the guys who served us.
nitrox11 - 17 Apr 2008 11:30
Are you serious saying you had to leave your Credit Card with someone behind the Bar before you could get served? That’s too risky for me taking my card out of sight to be cloned or misused I would have cancelled that card immediately I have been ask in Pubs and Restaurants to do this but always refuse even on my Business Accounts cards when with colleagues these days. You should know that no one should take your credit card out of your sight for security reasons how do you know that it was not cloned or misused whilst you were absent. No respectable Place would ask you for your card until presented with the Final bill then you pay at the till or by remote device. Please check your next statements carefully and if any transactions look suspicious report it immediately to the appropriate authorities. Have you never heard of Identity fraud? These People have now had the time to take or copy you Name bank card details account number & even the security number on the back of card. If you complained at the time and left your address they will have that as well?

I think both you and wimc should both write to the owners of this Pub and make an official complaint because if both these statements are true it seems extremely serious and not something that should be discussed here.

anonymous - 16 Apr 2008 12:13
I liked this Pub, especially for food and its handy to pop into on the way home from work.

This weekend we took my partners parents and had a couple of drinks and some food - lovely. Then it all went horribly wrong, when I went to pay I knew something was afoot when I was asked to pick my credit card from a book containing all cards of customers that had set up a tab!

My bill was around half what I expected it to be so I did the honourable thing and said so, big mistake. I spent the next 15 minutes being humiliated at the very busy bar. My “complaint” was viewed with deep suspicion; I was passed to very grumpy, rude busy women who prepared four drinks orders for others while I was left standing at the bar. She spoke to the staff about me as if I was not there, “did you serve her, what did she have etc”.

My mother in law is disabled and a wheelchair user, we had carefully selected the table beside the disabled toilets, I asked four times for this key but by now I had been deemed the “trouble maker” and all my requests were ignored. Not even the sight of her hobbling at crawl speed to the main toilets with a stick prompted any action.

I am a forgiving sort but this is unacceptable, when someone is telling you have not charged them for everything they had and that they would like to pay £55 not £31 you should have the common decency to treat them with grateful Thanks.

laidhome - 14 Apr 2008 10:01
Made my first visit recently and seems to have had a gastro refit; think it was previously more of a Mr Q's type of place.

Decent enough.
Big_Lad - 11 Apr 2008 16:49
just gets better & better...
seanspenn - 28 Mar 2008 13:06
I would think this would be highly Illegal If you’re saying the woman’s toilet has a monitor that shows whats going on in the gents then some men would deliberately wave it around for all to see? As soon as it was Know I think someone pulling your chain.
anonymous - 21 Mar 2008 22:02
Went there for the first time last night and found it to be an extremely nice pub with excellent service, and good food to boot.

Shockingly they have CCTV in their restrooms. The fact that there is CCTV without any kind of warning or indication is not the scariest part, but the way they use it is. In the men's room is a hidden camera inside the roof, seemingly right next to the light. The image from this is being displayed on a screen in the ladies room. The reason for this setup would not be disclosed - only the fact that the police OK'ed it(I didn't ask if they did - it was used as a means to avoid the question).

To me it looks quite voyeuristic, and I wonder if there are other hidden cameras in more, um, questionable parts of the WC, and maybe in the ladies' too? Surely this is not common practice in restrooms?
wimc - 26 Feb 2008 12:03
Not a very inspiring beer range when I visited. That said, the pint of Bombardier was better than I expected. I actually like to go to the bar to get drinks. The waitresses seemed to think that was odd. As for the future plans, a 300 seater heated beer garden is not exactly good news for the environment!
southdown12jack - 23 Oct 2007 13:40
First went to this pub in 1980, same name, nearly the same configuration. College buddies drinking Guinness after Guinness. At the time it was a hangout for the local Kiwi community, of whom there were lots.

Just went again; appears to be a pleasant place, making an effort to upgrade beer selection and food service.
uskev - 19 Oct 2007 21:25
visited yesterday and had a beautiful roast. smiling, attentive staff which creates the perfect atmosphere.
highly recommend. new management has certainly made this a lovely pub.
georgedrinksbeer - 9 Jul 2007 08:46
I have just bought the pub (25th June).
In January 2008 it will be completely refurbished, which will include a 300 seated and heated beer garden.
Until then, what you will find is :- friendly table service - so you don't have to go to the bar; quality home cooked food with a daily changing menu; an extensive wine list; 3 quality real ales (will be 5 later) and a beer garden that currently sits 140+
Over the previous 6 months I ran the pub on a mangement contract where we have been focusing on good service and managing out the less desirables. If you haven't been for a while I think the pub is worth a 2nd Look.

Many thanks for showing an interest
Best wishes

charlie69 - 28 Jun 2007 14:53
Full of chavs and polish builders. Horrible beer garden. The only 'black swan' among the pubs in Highgate.
anonymous - 4 Jun 2007 23:34
The Woodman is a pretty relaxing over 21’s pub with a couple of pool tables.

The barman was very friendly, although one of the barmaid’s friends needs to learn some manners. Lots of paintings of half naked women for sale on the walls (the paintings, not the women).

I didn’t think the beer garden was that bad, even if it is right next to a busy road.

The other half said this wasn’t one of her favourite pubs, but she would like it in there now, so it must have changed quite a bit in the last few years.
Strongers - 24 May 2007 16:25
Found a winner here. Cozy atmosphere, friendly international staff, good value, great fun. Great to have such an un-pretentious, relaxed place to hang out in Highgate. Bar staff are super helpful and bring your drinks to your table! Warm vibe, candles on tables. Comfortable sofas and small intimate corners. Good for watching football matches or chilling out in the garden. And I hear they are even going to make it better by doing the place up a bit. Has changed very much recently as before I found it to be nothing special and didn't think I would come back. Recommended. I also managed to reserve tables for a mate's 30th this weekend without any hassle.
anonymous - 8 May 2007 23:48
Yeah have to agree the Saturday nights are absolutely rocking! I have been on other days as well. It seems Archway is looking up! Its such a good venue to go with a large group of mates - there are diffrent drinking areas + pool tables. Excellent for birthdays and work do's and also for reunions etc! This pub is starting to show its potential! Also the people were nice and the owner is such a nice bloke and gives the place a decent feel and secure environment to have a drink and a laugh.
anonymous - 23 Sep 2005 17:02
Yeah i agree this place is brill, went there on Saturday night for their regular indie rockin dj bash. Quality place and quality music. The beer was ok and the staff were brilliant. This is a great boozer, just how we like it. Places to sit and completely unpretentious...Keep it up!
anonymous - 11 Sep 2005 21:41
Ho ho ho - isnt competition a lovely thing! Why are we so cynical of this board? The comp must be worried that this pub is starting to reach its potential!

Ok here is the truthful review of The Woodman. It has new management as from around Mid 2005. Slowly but surely all decent locals are realising and respecting that this pub has CHANGED! Its run nicely and it is a place where you can feel safe and relaxed while having a drink and a chat. I started to use it as a drop in after work, but have since been to a couple of the nights they have put on. Indie Dj on Sat nights is brilliant, we hear one of the top indie dj's in London. Also saw some live music that was also good + its also good for the sport and has a couple of decent pool tables and of course an excellent beer garden. I suggest you check it out - its an old unpretentious london boozer that is friendly and unpretentious...
IndiMan - 28 Aug 2005 11:13
Have visited the place a few times and it's not one that I'd consider recommending, to be honest. As Hugh said, the toilets are pretty grim. I also found myself being attacked by flying insects in the beer garden which is right on Archway Road. Inside is OK and it does have big screens for the football but there have been some rough old customers in there the few times I've visited which, to be honest, were only because I was gagging for a beer after getting off the tube at Highgate ! Shame - it has so much potential.
MikeyBee - 18 Aug 2005 16:33
There is new management and slowly but surely a decent clientele are coming through the door. went and sat in the beer garden last week and just had a nice chilled out time. The new guvnor is a lovely bloke, always willing for a chat in a good old fashioned period boozer. Must say that the outside was a bit shabby, shame because the inside is lovely!
anonymous - 15 Jul 2005 14:06
Although open plan, this pub manages to maintain the old class divisions of the saloon and the lounge. On the left of the bar you have the saloon with the big screen telly and snooker, catering for the Burberry Brigade. On the right you have a nice lounge area with a fireplace, leather armchairs etc, so all tastes are catered for.

Nice arts and crafts building. Two or three real ale pumps but usually just Bombadier etc. Occasionally has live jazz. Good sized beer garden but a bit close to the traffic on Archway Road. I've never had any problems with service, but the gents' toilets pretty vile.
Hugh1971 - 25 Apr 2005 10:27
Went in for one drink on a Saturday afternoon. Friendly barman, outside seating, reasonable price. Did the job for a quick thirst stop.
keep_it_green - 18 Apr 2005 16:35
Bad, bad service. The building's ok, as is the beer, but the staff are simply terrible. Just how hard is serving drinks? Very hard, if you were to ask the staff in this place.
fatherpierre - 10 Feb 2005 00:16
This place could be good - but it's not.

It has just about the worst level of service I have ever seen in any pub.

Loads of staff doing nothing and a 15 minute wait for a pint doesn't cut it.
Peter - 30 Oct 2004 14:56
What have they done to this place? It was great before it was tarted up.

Bring back the old men, and the Jukebox. this is not what apub should be.
Dan - 27 Jun 2004 20:28
superb authentic thai food is now available
fiona - 4 Jun 2004 20:10
great pub great atmosphere and a great pint of guiness
paul - 4 Jun 2004 20:08
Barmaid couldn't pour a pint of Guinness if her life depended on it, but OK in an average sort of way.
Steve Burnham - 18 May 2004 17:34
Distinctly average pub, with a rather sparse and uncomfortable interior.
grecian - 16 Mar 2004 17:16
lovely pub, lovely scenery, brilliant atmosphere both day and night
Amy - 22 Jan 2004 14:36
Friendly bar staff, and a generally relaxed atmosphere. there are pool tables, and the football is usually on in the background. can get quite busy around the screen on a sunday afternoon. since the demise of the Shepherds pub (now Boogaloo), the Woodman has become my favorite alternative for a pint on the way home from work.
anyonebutmanu - 13 Jan 2004 15:20
Good meeting point as close to tube and recently refurbished. The Sunday Lunch looks good value though I have not tried it myself.
David - 28 Dec 2003 18:24

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