skip nav  
 

Hoop and Grapes, City Of London

back to pub details

user reviews of The Hoop and Grapes, City Of London

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

Shepherd Neame pub a short walk down from Farringdon Station and not too far from Fleet Street either. The front bar is small. Although mirrors make it look larger than it actually is. Getting access to the bar can be difficult when busy. Bu service was surprisingly efficient. There are tables further back and a garden beyond. In addition, there is an upstairs bar too. Ales were Shepherd Neame Spitfire & Whitstable Bay Pale Ale. The guest was Black Sheep Best Bitter. CAMRA card holders get 50p off on pints or bottles only. Menus were on tables. But I didn't see anybody eating. Fairly standard city boozer.
blue_scrumpy - 27 May 2017 19:25
Ok Pub - GBG entry 2017. Full range of Shepherds Neame beers. I went for a well kept but not overly inspiring Whitstable Bay.

Nothing really to make the place stand out or make you want to go out of your way to return really.

Although there was plenty of free reading material, including London Drinker magazine.

Fleet Street Pub Crawl at http://bit.ly/2etkXjQ
Mappiman - 19 Oct 2016 13:02
we went with friends Saturday , we had "amber" ale, shame about barperson maybe we weren't interested in the sport or we were foreign,left and went to new bar across street Harrild and Sons ,was very nice and staff friendly,very very big selection of bottled beers,we had Camden Helles ontap .good !!!! maybe Hoop cross the street and get some tips on friendliness
william85 - 23 Feb 2014 19:20
A decent, unpretentious pub on the edge of the City. Shepherd Neame has not been one of my favourite beers but the Whitstable Bay is nice and light. Also this pub had a good guest beer from Holt's when I was there recently.
16jamesdoc - 16 Jan 2014 11:07
nice pub, nice atmosphere, nice staff, say no more...
tapflaps - 14 Dec 2013 13:53
Hi
With regards to your recent problems booking a function at The Hoop & Grapes please I can assure you that we are not in the practice of deliberately double - booking parties and then turning people away in Favour of Deloitte or indeed anyone else. We take numerous bookings for our function rooms every week and frequently turn away enquiries from Deloitte and other parties when the rooms are already booked.
It is standard practice that we take a deposit for bookings on busy days and therefore your friend should have had evidence that their booking was confirmed. It is possible that they had contacted the wrong Hoop & Grapes in error when making the booking or had spoken with a new member of staff who did not follow correct procedure.If you can provide the date of the event and the name of the member of staff spoken to i shall be a happy to investigate further.
Regards
Mike
HoopLandlord - 13 Jun 2013 11:56
Turned up here for a friend's leaving do recently. He had booked the upstairs room. We arrived to find someone else had booked it (Deloittes) So the Hoop and Grapes double-booked us and, worse than that denied ever getting the booking. So my friend's plans for the evening were wrecked. I'll never visit this dump again. My advice is don't ever book anything here: they can't be trusted to deal with any booking professionally and indeed I suspect they deliberately booked in Deloittes instead of us.
StudioM - 7 Apr 2013 11:12
Best pub in the area.
Good selection of ales (Spit, Bishops and 2 guest alternating). There are also 3 bottled ales which can be a welcome break from the regular beers.
The Asahi-Orangeboom-San Miguel choice of lagers is refreshing. (not a Fosters in sight).
Good pub-grub at reasonable prices, and 2 levels above the main bar provide plenty of alternate space should the bar be crowded, including two dart boards and board games!
All-in-all, a good boozer!
cockneystu - 23 Feb 2013 14:43
Very good food, really nice upstairs bar and outside seating area which really makes the place. I've never had a draught beer here: theselection of bottled beers is limited. Service has been good the last 2 or 3 times I've been. Ground floor is a bit dismal though.
StudioM - 20 Aug 2012 13:35
Luckily I was served by the lovely barmaid rather than the manager but I thought the pint of Hooky was very well kept indeed but now regret not trying the Olympics beer. Friendly black cat wandering in an out kept it nice and real and only slightly sullied by a dreadfully loud and obnoxious Estuary English office girl in the behind seating area. Please sharrup!!
cookster101 - 26 Jul 2012 13:37
This could be and would be a wonderful pub, if only it were run by a Manager who knew the basics of personal hygiene; BO or what? The guy stinks. Ever heard of soap and hot water? Washings been quite well practised amongst most of the British population for at least 500 years; (okay, I know your from Yorkshire, and you think the smell of stale sweat is macho? Well it isn't!) And so it's a sure fire put off in any pub when it comes to ordering food or a pint. Why risk it? The pipes must be dirty. A terrible shame for a great brewery such as SN to waste such a pub on a slutten slob. One assumes that he must be a gay or bi-sexual bed friend of the area manager or someone in the brewery? How else could a fool end up in charge here?
SANTACLAUSISWATCHINGYOU - 5 Jul 2012 01:18
very nice pub, with the best kept ale in the area. highly recommended.
tapflaps - 7 Jun 2012 17:42
The service is great, nice beer selection and very good food. I have been to this pub on a few occasions, and the staff is very accommodating. I booked out their second floor room for the Super Bowl, the owner arranged for all of us to have our own seating, Super Bowl magazines, and special menu. And best of all, unlike many other pubs and bars in London, there was no cover! Highly recommend this pub!
JeremyLamb - 7 Feb 2012 23:19
Went in to watch Plymouth Argyle's capitulation against Stourbridge. Small downstairs with three ales on - the IPA was okay but nothing special and service was a bit slow. Smaller bar upstairs with a roof terrace and Trelawney on. Much better.
DuchyBoy - 23 Nov 2011 13:36
The Hoop is now an award winning pub having been won the " Perfect Pint " award at the Shepherd Neame annual pub awards 2011.
Many Thanks to all our loyal patrons for helping us win this award by drinking lots of our lovely beer , thus keeping it in top condition !
MIKESTOKES - 12 Jun 2011 17:11
Well it would appear that FARTINGGHOST and WILLIAMSTEW are the barmaid and landlord for a competing pubs (More directed at you WILLIAMSTEW, I don't know why you would accuse BeerInTheEvening users of who have taken the time to enter a review of working for the pub they are reviewing).

I used to work in the Farringdon at the old Cardinal Tower before it was taken for Crossrail, and while I can say that I enjoyed the Castle EC1, and Ye Olde Mitre both, the Hoop and Grapes is a very nice pub indeed. Due to a strange twist of fate, my company is going to be moving back to Farringdon, this time right across the street from the Hoop and Grapes.

I had a chance tonight to try the White Swan as well as the Hoop and Grapes. Admittedly, I was there a bit early at 1645, but it started to pick up after my second pint. The pub is small, but it has a few things going for it. First, the Shepherd Neame ales were all three exceptional. Second, the three staff members that I saw were all helpful and even took the time to show me around the pub as I had not been there before. I can't say anything about former employees, but these three were very helpful. They gave me the card of Mike, whose last name starts with an S, sorry to poke a hole in your theory WILLIAMSTEW (in addition, MD16 already said she was a girl). Third, the pub facilities are very nice for a pub on Farringdon. The ground floor would probably be cramped at certain times, but when you take into account the first and second floors with darts, TVs, and a good sized sitting room with a couple of sofas, it makes for a great place for afterwork drinks with your workmates. The smoking patio out back was heated and had quite a few seats, and they have a first floor patio as well which was not open when I was there, but I was told opens most nights. The pub backs onto a very pleasant little courtyard as well.

All in all, I'm very excited for my company to move so that I can call this pub my new local. If you want to believe the reviews, which I think are becoming a bit dated, stay away--more room and beer for me. If you want to see a charming pub in the heart of Farringdon, come to the Hoop and Grapes.
cate0012 - 14 Mar 2011 21:32
Seemed OK for an after work beer, expensive as all pubs (except wetherspoons!) are in that area, but the beer is well kept, didn't experience any unpleasantness from staff either as some of these comments suggest.
jfrebrycn - 26 Dec 2010 18:08
Um, well I'm actually a girl, but there we go! I guess if you hate it so much then simply leave the pub to those who do like it.
MD16 - 16 Aug 2010 16:44
This place is a toilet with beer pumps connected to it.
FARTINGGHOST - 14 Aug 2010 20:10
Annabelle it would appear is the bar maid. And MD16 is Mike thelandlord. Indeed, self praise is no praise,particularily on beer sites such as this.
This is a very sad and badly run pub, which is a rare thing amongst SN establishments.
It's not a pub that one would go into,unless your work was nearby;then for a once in a lifetime visit. After that, you'd be better advised to stick to droping into a coffee house for flavour,fun and good service. Or enjoying a drink sitting in the sun of a City garden park or open space nearby? This place simply lacks all that's truely required for a pleasing pint.
Thankfully a few well run ale houses, such as The Castle, Ye Olde Mitre,orThe Gun Makers are within good walking distane. Seek them out do; and walk on by the Hoop & Grapes. Your hard earned is too good to waste there.
WILLIAMSTEW - 23 Jul 2010 09:35
Couldn't agree more with MD16 and babychambers - the H&G is a fantastic pub, and the staff are second to none regarding service. The food is great, and varied, and for those who like that sort of thing, the beers - I'm told - are also great.

I have - without exception - had fabulous experiences any time I go there. Working in the area means I have tried a variety of the nearby bars over the last 5 or so years, and this remains my favourite. Pre Mike, the landlord was surly, miserable, and shut the pub whenever he felt like it, regardless of the customers. Mike on the other hand goes well out of his way to make EVERY customer feel special and ensures that events go without a hitch. He's always happy to organise or assist with events, and in the last couple of years since he's been the landlord, I can safely say there is no pub in London that I'd rather spend time in.

I'm appalled that people are badmouthing the pub - and the staff - completely without justification. Shame on you all.
Annabelle - 30 Jun 2010 11:48
It's not dirty and the bar staff are neither surly or bored! Is this the same pub we're going to? :s
MD16 - 3 Jun 2010 14:22
The hoop and grapes has so much potential but is let down badly by the bored, surly bar staff and dirty interior. It's got to be the managers fault, aren't shepherd neame pubs usually quite nice?!
LionelRichTea - 29 May 2010 15:36
best pub in london, bar none. food is good and quick, beer is conditioned well and lovingly kept and staff are polite. defiantly worth a visit.
gregdd - 23 May 2010 18:13
Again, I would ignore all these horrible attacks on this wonderful pub. Mike is second to none as a landlord, and he and his staff go beyond and above the call of duty to make sure you are looked after in all aspects. I would even go as far as to say that the staff are THE best in London! My boyfriend and I were there one night and despite the kitchen about to close one of the barmen asked us if we would like anything to eat. I almost fell off my stool, usually around London the kitchen would close early and the chef would be running so fast out the door there would be flames in his path like the Delorean in Back to the Future. I have had some superb nights there, and despite living half way across London will always come back here. Long live the Hoop and Grapes! :) A whopping 10 out of 10 from me!!!!
MD16 - 15 Apr 2010 16:19
Please ignore the bad reviews of this pub.

The staff are second to none in their service. If you have a problem with your food or drink then they will do whatever they can to sort it out for you. A group of us regularly drink here as the atnosphere is friendly and we are always well looked after by the staff and the Manager.

The prices are average for this part of the city and the quality of the bar food keeps on getting better.

It's sad that someone obviously feels they need to personally attack the staff here as as far as I can see they all go out of their way to make sure their customers have a pleasant experience.

I would recommend this pub to anyone visiting the area because of it's lively atnosphere. It's also a great venue for events and parties. I've needed to organise a couple on short notice here and the service was outstanding.
babychambers - 7 Apr 2010 11:48
Pub was busy when i entered but service was very quick although had to take my glass back as it was chipped. This was replaced without hesitation by the very friendly barmaid. My pint of Bishop Finger wasnt great though. Very expensive even for this area.
nutsaboutbeer - 22 Feb 2010 17:01
We went along to celebrate Burns night there last week. What a big,big,big mistake. Never again. Poor service,cold and dirty plates and glasses. You'd be better off going to an old, second rate curry house for Burns night. Not at all impressed.
TALLTORQUIL - 30 Jan 2010 17:40
Oh Lordy, Lordy!!!!!!!!! The Devil get's everywhere.
Princemonolulu - 2 Jan 2010 21:38
Should it not be called something like 'The Pink oboe'?
Hodge1 - 1 Jan 2010 14:53
As the longterm partner of the Manager Mike,I'd just like to say that he does his best with this place. I know that he/we would rather be running a Gay bar in either Brighton/Vauxhall/Soho, but have to make do with the Hoops until something better comes along. We would like to encourage others to the Hoops and feel that the City and central London needs an openly gay real Ale bar such as this.
Gingerqueerboy - 1 Jan 2010 14:41
A poor piss house of a pub.
HarryHarryHarry - 31 Dec 2009 22:29
I can't abide the place, but love the brewery. Pop over the bridge and go to the Rose & Crown in Columbo Street for good service and a fine SN pub. Agree this place is terrible.
BoggieJim - 30 Dec 2009 17:10
A quick shuftey inside, confirmed the rumour of a sad old pub. Move onto the Cheshire Cheese or Olde Mitre instead.
CityBobby - 30 Dec 2009 12:42
Reading the landlord's playing darts at the pub around the corner and is forever swinging the lead from working in his own pub and drinking in other pubs in the area, answers alot about the state of this place; good pub Governor's don't have the time to slope off and play with themselves,if their wanting to run a pub to correct standards. The Hoop is hopless. Avoid.
Dragonhillknight - 16 Dec 2009 23:46
Beer badly presented. Poor performance. The City Retreat a far better pub; good service, beer, atmosphere/
FredWestPatios - 16 Dec 2009 21:24
Have to agree with previous comments; a poor, dreggie pub. Strange, considering it's central postion in the City. The Sugerloaf in St.Bride's is a far better bet for a warm welcolm, good beer, service. And it's Sam Smith's.
GlasgowGuy - 15 Dec 2009 23:03
A wasteland pub. Walk on by. Far better, nearby.
HAPPYGOD - 15 Dec 2009 00:28
And another alias , yawn...
most tiresome
anyone familiar with the establishment or who genuinely worked in the area would know that
1. most office developments in the area currently lie
vacant , at expense to the landlords and are therefore not profitable at this time
2. this pub is currently busier than it has been in many years
3. as a listed building it could not be converted into offices regardless
mikestokesambii - 13 Dec 2009 19:55
For your information i am NOT an alias of bailyhack or anyone else!!
whufanyeah - 13 Dec 2009 16:22
I'm afraid that's not the case mr stokes, you can't just dismiss all your critics as aliases of one malcontent. I suspect you've realized already that you're out of you're depth: what we all need is a frank apology from yourself for dissing a 74 year old man that only wants to earn a crust and have a craic with the general public, and while you're at it maybe an explanation as to why you feel the need to pass comment on pubs in the immediate vicinity of your business??


LionelRichTea - 12 Dec 2009 20:48
Ok everybody
this is how it is
i posted an honest and objective review of my experience at Ye Old Mitre, both the good and the bad as i saw it.
In hindsight maybe i should not have criticised someone who could probably be quite happily retired rather than working a busy pub , which is to be admired.
maybe if someone had politely requested i rephrased my posting i would have attempted to do so .
I for one though do not believe in kow towing to someone turning up on my doorstep and threatening me , acting like some sort of BITE secret police.
As a result we now have one person using many aliases psoting all sorts of nonsense and dragging the reputation of both this site and his favourite pub , Ye Old Mitre , into the gutter.

mikestokesambii - 12 Dec 2009 18:35
Anyone wanting to know aht is really going on here have a look at teh page for Ye Old Mitre , Holborn , and read the posting of Jay28.
Its one of the few postings not from the same guy using different aliases and aside from being comment from a neutral observer , is quite amusing .
mikestokesambii - 12 Dec 2009 18:20
Yet more aliases of " oldbaileyhack " / "Watchacock" as expected posrting their fictional experiences.
mikestokesambii - 12 Dec 2009 17:45
I agree with LionalRichTea, i had a look at what he posted on Ye Olde Mitre's page and am very disappointed that some one in the same trade would stick the knife in old man. I have had a pint or 2 in there and been served by him my self. He is nothing like mikestokes discribed. Perhaps it is jealousy on his part for no having such loyal staff but whatever his reason for publicly humilliating an old man i hope he feels ashamed. The pub trade has a hard enough time and should be pulling together not attacking each other. For this reason i will boycott the Grapes untill mister stokes makes an equaliy public appology to the old man in question and i will encourage others to do the same!!!!!
whufanyeah - 12 Dec 2009 14:08
perhaps if the guvnor of this joint spent less of his hours as some kind of self appointed local pub critic and more time in his own gaff it might improve somewhat. As it is, there are MANY superior drinking establishments in the immediate area for you to spend your hard earned in. Unless, apparently, it's 'nosebag' that you're after, but I wouldn't know anything about that.
LionelRichTea - 12 Dec 2009 13:10
It's a very sad reflection upon England's oldest brewery, Shepherd Neame, that they have somehow allowed a piece of pond life such as "mikestokesambii" below to manage their "Hoop and Grapes" pub in Farringdon road.
Is recruitment within the British drinks trade so pushed that such an in articulate and prattish prol can believe that he may pass comment upon one of the leading and professionally run pub's in the country, such as Ye Olde Mitre and get away with it with impunity? Can he in fairness attack the quality of the beer? No. The decor? No. The cleanliness of the place? No. The very Landlord himself, Scottie? No, he wouldn't dare and couldn't for that matter find any true fault. Why? Because he's a gutless coward!
He had to attack "Uncle John" instead. One of the Britain's very best barman and loved City characters of old. Anyone of worthy drinking note, who has ever had the pleasure of meeting John at the Mitre, knows him to be a hard working, well turned out, very pleasant, humourous, knowledable and attentive fellow. On first name familiarity with countless thousands of City workers and visitors over the years, and particularly with the heads, past and present of all the leading brewerys in the land, who treat him with the due respect that he has earned from hard work and service to the trade over countless years.
So frankly, "mikestokesambii", (Manager of the Hoops & Grapes in Farringdon Road), your attack against him as being, "slow and and difficult , the aged barman being deaf as a post and having to repeat everything", is insulting, untruthful, and illegal. As I pointed out to you last week, when I dropped by to ask you, for your sake and that of Shepherd Neame, to quietly remove it from this posting site. You have wrongly attacked John on his age, health and ability; all illegal under the present legislation. And costly to your employer, Shepherd Neame, as you find fit to speak for, without I am sure their true and full awareness, on this web site. My quite and friendly pointing of this simple fact out, you address as a threat. Very true, to the extent that I and other members of the public, will be reporting you to your head office, the media and every other British brewery group to your gross unsuitability for future employment within the drinks trade in South East England.
Having observed you face to face, you certainly have a damned cheek to comment on others in the pub trade; your unshaven and unkempt apperance. Dirty, unironed shirt and inarticulate and badly spoken state leaves a lot to answer for? No wonder "The Hoop and Grapes" is one of the worst managed Shepherd Neame pubs in London. Let's hope it improves with your soon removal?

OldBaileyHack - 11 Dec 2009 01:01
This pub was never demolished , in fact it was listed and protected and the internal staircase goes back to the early 1700`s.
The rest of " WATCHACOCK"¬s comments are equally inaccurate as anyone reading the other reviews here or visiting the establishment for themselves will soon conclude .
Obviuosly this person has their own agenda above posting honest views and is presumably the same person who came in the Hoop on friday night to threaten the landlord , before complaining about the beer and when a refund was offered necking his pint as quickly as possible while the money was counted out.
Pathetic...............................
mikestokesambii - 5 Dec 2009 21:26
I used to go into this pub many moons ago, before it was demolished, (with the exception of the original brick front facing). This was once a superb pub. Sadly not now; dirty, badly run. So strange for a S N establishement in central London. Truely the worst I have ever been in. And I love S N pubs and beer; The Bishop's Finger in Smithfield; The Prince of Wales in Kennington run by French Nick;superb!
I think a visit from Head office staff from Kent as soon as possible needs to be arranged to save this places reputation as a S N house; the landlord's "blind eye acceptence to punters sniffing "snow,talculm powder?" in the City of London is a sight one doesn't see often outside Soho these days.

WOTCHACOCK - 4 Dec 2009 22:46
The Hoop is a truly excellent pub - it's close to my office (as are many others) but is always chosen for apres work drinks and events due to the outstanding service provided by the landlord and his staff, the speed of serving even on the busiest of times, the delicious food and the great venue itself. Having a great outdoors area (complete with heaters) is a necessity when your friends smoke, and you don't wish to freeze if you decide to spend time with them, and is glorious in the summer. The mutli-leveled building makes it easy to hold private events, pub quizes, and social evenings, or just go for a quiet beer after work. Huge thumbs up.
Annabelle - 18 Nov 2009 15:19
WE HAD A LOVELY LUNCH HERE LAST SUNDAY. VERY FRIENDLY PUB.
natashaabc - 16 Oct 2009 14:11
I gave this pub a look in for the first time last week. Hadn't been back in the City for a while and this pub was a pleasant discovery. It was after 8 pm, there wasn't much footfall on the street, but the pub was still fairly packed, alway a good sign. Despite the throng, it took less than 30 seconds to get served at the bar and there were several ciders available.
I took a wander around and sat in the second floor games room for a while (quiet, with squashy sofas, perfect for a peaceful chat) and then settled on the terrace outside.

I had food off the barbecue (hot, fresh, decent veggie options, too) and a nightcap. I think I'll be back!
EstherK - 23 Sep 2009 21:40
This is one of my favorite pubs in London.
If nothing else then the service and attitudes of the bar staff are outstanding. They will go out of their way to look after you and, while the food may not be brilliant, it does the job.

There are a good selection of beers and ales, it's not rammed all the time and is the perfect place to go for a quieter after work beverage. The landlord has always been very helpful to us and remembers all our drinks orders. I always leave the Hoop and Grapes feeling like I've been looked after.
needadrink - 25 Jun 2009 17:04
This review is based on my experience at the Hoop and Grapes in April 2009:

I was stuck for ideas for a colleague's leaving do and went to the landlord of the Hoop & Grapes to see if he could help me with a pub quiz.

The landlord obliged and organised a lovely pub quiz for me and my colleagues. We were given an area exclusive to us including a private bar. The questions were catered to our interests and the effort that had gone into the preparation was quite something.

All my colleagues were impressed by the set-up and format of the quiz. The warm hospitality of the landlord and his staff made the night for us.

As this is our local watering hole, we're often there. But it was great to see how accommodating the place and its staff can be for alternative uses.

Hope this review helps.

Ash.
Ash_A - 28 Apr 2009 19:32
I have been drinking in Central London for around ten years now, and without a doubt this place has the best service I have ever experienced in a pub. Attentive, competent and friendly. The first time I was surprised, the second pleasantly surprised and since then bowled over. Delivering good service is tough, doing it consistently is very tough. Well done!

Another plus point, is the excellent selection of music; good choice for the core thirty and forty something punter. And at the right volume.

Minor niggle due to Shepherd Neme’s idiosyncratic choice of lager, which I put down to them not talking to the big brewers. Odd, but not really irritating.

Major niggle due to Alistair Darling. I cannot believe how much my ordinary drink after work cost, and how much it has increased in the six months since I was last in. I appreciate that this is not the fault of the ‘Hoop and Grapes’ management or Shepherd Neme, but when the five or six pints of lager after work cost the same as two cases of lager from the Sainsbury’s at the top of Farringdon Road, you really do have to question the world.

Still, the duty HM Gov imposes shouldn’t detract from an excellent pub, and if you can afford to go out in the City this is well worth a look.


SaltedPorkPie - 4 Dec 2008 17:20
Recently revisited this former regular of mine. The atmosphere and interior of the pub were still as nice as ever. The food, though, was almost inedible - probably the worst pub burger I've ever had, and definitely the stalest burger bun. I agree that a pub is primarily for drinking in, but they shouldn't be doing food at all if they can't get basics like burgers right.
grecian - 11 Sep 2008 01:29
Pubs primarily are for drinking in, rather than eating, and the ales I've had here have been excellent. Not eaten there, but would rather the landlord had Cask Marque accreditation than an award winning kitchen, as he is running a pub and not a restaurant.
Keep up the good work!
SJohnson - 4 Sep 2008 10:57
Visited this pub last week during a trip to London, really enjoyed my time there. Staff were happy to let me try samples of the ales before buying, all were excellent, but Spitfire particularly good.
The early doors atmosphere was friendly, with no loud music to ruin the conversations. Didn't try the food, but saw some dishes being served, looked nice.
I found the other pubs around the area to be charmless, would definitely return to the Hoop when visiting again.
gibsonic - 28 Jul 2008 14:16
having read the previous reviewers comments i would like to make all bite readers aware that since taking over the hoop in november last year it is now open until at least 11.00pm without fail, sometimes later having a 1.30 am licence, and i`ve yet to have to ask anyone to "drink up ".
in light of the otehr comments i feel it would be inappropriate to keep the £15 tip so generously left by the reviewers colleagues for the quality of food aqnd service received and it has therefore been donated to the hoop and grapes nominated charity, currently help for heroes.
many thanks
your landlord
mike stokes ambii
mikestokesambii - 21 Apr 2008 04:21
A friend and I had boycotted this pub for a number of months (despite it being close to work and doing good chips!). We had been there one summer evening enjoying a nice bottle of wine and had decided to get another one at about 10pm. At about 10.15pm, the barman decided that as it wasn't that busy he wanted to get an earlier train home and so more or less threw us out. We didn't have a problem leaving early as there are plenty of bars in the area, but we did object to having paid for a reasonably expensive bottle of wine, not being able to finish it within 15 minutes of buying it (and not being warned that they were closing early), and being treated very rudely.

We gave this pub another chance for a colleague's leaving do at lunchtime, but soon wished we hadn't. The landlord was very pleasant on the phone and we agreed that I would pick up a menu so that we could pre-order as there were 15 of us.

Drinks were served relatively quickly by a nice waitress and we had the upstairs of the pub all to ourselves.

Things went completely downhill from there. Having pre-ordered and the pub not being that busy, we expected the food to come out at roughly the same time. However, the meals came out about every 7-10 minutes, 2 at a time in the strangest order. People had ordered bowls of chips to go with a starter or a main and these came out well before the other courses, which meant by the time the main courses did come out they were cold. The chicken caesar salads came out last, but came without the chicken so had to be sent back. From the first meal coming out to the last arriving, we had been in there well over 45 minutes and so people were just starting their meals when others had been finished for a while. I had to keep going down to ask when the last meals were arriving. It was a shambles. In addition, the food was all deep fried and not very nice.

To add insult to injury, the 'chef' came out to ask us how it had been and as we mumbled 'mmm fine' in a very British way, he looked quite smug and self-satisfied as though it was a job well done.

Will not be returning.
barbiey - 7 Apr 2008 15:58

the hoop and grapes is now the first- and only- shepherd neame pub in the country with cask marque accreditation.
this means that the beer is independently inspected for quality by experienced brewing professionals.
it also means you are welcome to "try before you buy " to ensure that you purchase a pint that suits your taste.
cheers from your landlord
mike
mikestokesambii - 31 Mar 2008 02:40
A mate of mine has recently taken over the tenancy in here and he certainly knows a thing or two about keeping a cellar - after a "comprehensive quality control test" on my last visit I'd say that the Shepherd Neame ales are as good as you'll get anywhere in London - good work Mike, I'll be stopping by for a pint after work soon I hope.
tim_eyles - 10 Mar 2008 14:56
Typical dark-wood London pub interior, and surprisingly dull pint of Bishops Finger. Nothing special.
rpadam - 9 Jan 2008 20:40
This is now the 3rd visit I have made to this pub this year. It has changed quite alot under the new management. All the offensive posters have been removed and the place seems alot cleaner and friendlier. Would recommend a visit!
joe39 - 23 Mar 2007 10:31
I work nearby and must say I have been pleasantly suprised by this pub recentlty. The new management have really spruced the place up and are providing a freindly service. The food is good value and the pub just seems to have a nicer atmosphere.
Give it a try !!!
kb24 - 19 Mar 2007 10:24
I liked this pub, it is unusual for the area in not being a bar on the ground floor of an office block (or if it is it transcends that by its atmosphere). Someone is bound to complain about the Spitfire ads especially the 'ones that got away' in the back courtyard, but so what? "No Nazi aftertaste" indeed. Hee hee.
beeronaut - 15 Aug 2006 09:22
this is the kind of boozer you'd travel for. suffice to say on a bright sunny lunchtime it was dark and deserted. this is talking my kinda language.
tanderson7 - 14 Jun 2006 11:26
I live locally but have never been in here until last week - popped in at about 9 on a friday night. Just a few dreary suits sitting around drinking that awful Oranjeboom stuff brewed under license in Kent. This may have been a bad time to be fair - maybe it is better on a lunchtime. Was not impressed I'm afraid - barmaid was friendly enough but that was about the only positive thing I can say. The interior is very corporate - too many "patriotic" (i.e. rather crass) ads for Spitfire. Only two real ales on - Kent Best and Spitfire - both uninspiring. I admit to not being a fan of Shepherd Neame beer and pubs but the Betsey Trotwood, also an Sheps pub, further up Farringdon Road at least had Bishop's Finger so there is something worth drinking. Big thumbs down. Sorry.
anonymous - 20 Mar 2006 10:02
I believe that janiceontheroad is talking about a different incident as we visited the pub on 25 January, before she arrived in London.
AB__ - 16 Feb 2006 10:02
After five days in this lovely city I am about to depart to Paris. I was surprised to see the comment below and gratified to some extent since I have regretted not acting myself that day. I was in that intimate little pub in one of the secluded stalls and I heard that obviously inebriated man. The language he refers to went much further than the word he mentioned...he had a foul mouth. I felt very sorry for those young waitresses having to hear how he referred to them as women. As a lone woman I did not say anything because belligerent drunken men can react in very mean ways. However, having just walked over from a wonderful day at the Museum of London and having been much entertained by the exhibit on The Great Stink of 1858, I couldn't help wishing the Fleet River didn't still run by the door of this pub so that the man could have fallen in and been pulled with the rest of the sewage into the sea. I was glad the proprieter ejected him and only regretted he didn't put a boot to his backend and dust his hands off at the same time.
At any rate, the pub is a charming intimate one and the French chef Philippe is a treasure. I ate this salmon dish with a sauce to die for, and confess that I washed it down with a fabulous PORTER that rivalled the Yeungling Porter I quaffed in Pennsylvania..Yeungling being the oldest brewery in the U.S.
The pub is located in a wonderful old section of LONDON made for walking, and the proprietor very knowledgeable about the history of the area. Not only did he send me round the corner to the obvious St. Paul's Cathedral, he sent me round another corner to an old old medieval church that was compelling for its ancient silence and long ago footsteps of Henry VIII. It's just next the spot where he cast off the mantle of Rome and announced the creation of the Church of England. Not only that it's next the spot where William Wallace was hung, I still can't watch the end of that movie, and there were bouquets of Scottish thistles by the plaque...it was very moving. There are no end of other sites to see walking around this neighbourhood. Ask the proprietor of this charming pub, knock back a porter and say hello to Philippe. Enjoy! I'm off to Paris.
janiceontheroad - 3 Feb 2006 08:33
Initially my impressions of the pub agreed with the more recent positive comments. It was nice that on a quiet Wednesday evening the bar staff remembered what we were drinking and brought over another round to our table when we asked.

However, this positive impression was spoiled by the landlord making an absolutely ridiculous over-reaction to us using the F word in our conversation, basically escorting us from the near empty bar. If this had been a country pub on a Sunday afternoon with lots of children about I could understand, but we were a group of 4 professional people having a normal pub conversation.

To add insult to injury, the landlord was completely wrong in his argument about the etymology of the offending word being the reason for it not being acceptable language.
AB__ - 26 Jan 2006 10:41
Forget the so called theme pubs. The traditional English pub is alive and well at the Hoop & Grapes Farringdon Street London. During a recent visit my wife and I had lunch here and were most impressed with the menu choice and traditional seasonal English ales. The experience was made that more pleasurable by the excellent service, friendly and attentive staff. If you are looking for that old fashioned pub experience, this is the place to go. Many thanks to the management and staff.

Chuck T. Webster III – Ohio.

chuckwebster - 11 Oct 2005 20:12
An oasis of old world charm in the centre of London. The warm greeting by the staff was both genuine and well meant. The range of ales, wines and spirits was excellent as was the menu variety which includes vegetarian options. The premises are under a new management team who have greatly improved the service, food and ambience, providing a very pleasant and relaxing atmosphere in which to dine and drink. Customer comments relating to the standard and measures of drinks, under the previous management, could not, now, be further from the truth.. A thoroughly pleasurable visit for both local patrons and visitors alike.
paulmetcalfe - 9 Oct 2005 17:06
The Hoop and Grapes has recently changed from being a managed house to a tenancy. The difference is quite amazing. The friendly staff will do whatever they can to make your stay both pleasurable and enjoyable.

Add to this the uniqueness of a city pub with not only a beer garden, but also a first floor outdoor patio. My visit was complete with a Spitfire ale battered haddock fillet with hand cut chips (skin on, delicious) and mushy peas. I will definitely return !!
anonymous - 2 Sep 2005 13:10
As reported by the previous contributor, this pub is now called the Hoop and Grapes once more.
I didnt particularly like it as the Mash Tun and still dont as the Hoop and Grapes, but I do disagree that Sheps beers are inferior to Badgers.
The place lacks atmosphere and there are much better watering holes in nearby Fleet Street, only a short walk away, so I cant envisage coming here again in the near future.
I got served short measure - no excuse for this as the pub wasn't particularly busy.
The Spitfire was in good form but it's £ 2.75 a pint - hence my request for a top up on being short measured

JohnBonser - 1 Apr 2005 12:08
Now changed back to the Hoop and Grapes having been bought by Shepheard Neame from Hall & Woodhouse. Haven't been in since the changeover but am told it's more expensive, which is a pity. Also, SN ales are considerably inferior to those of H&W.
Grecian - 18 Aug 2004 15:27
Hall & Woodhouse pub. Does the usual excellent range of H&W ales and also serves excellent sausages. Nice atmosphere and impressively has two under-used upper floors; the bar will send drinks up by dumbwaiter!
grecian - 7 Jan 2004 11:31

got anything to say about this pub?

Please read our reviews policy before posting.
Only registered users can post reviews. Please log in. If you don't have an account yet, register here.