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Puzzle, Earlsfield

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user reviews of the Puzzle, Earlsfield

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

I have visited recently only to be ignored by the posing bar staff who blatantly serve their friends ahead of customers. Some of them should remember their manners. It is usually quite cliquey with the staff all jousting with each other rather than paying attention to what they should be doing.

Which is all very unfortunate because it is an attractive looking bar and the food is very good - if over-priced - needless to say. The beer selection is excellent, in fairness, apart from the fact that on more than one occasion a certain ale was off.

Nothing unusual with that - except it looks a bit silly and slapdash that a pub named 'The Wandle' can't even produce a reliable flow of locally-produced Wandle ale.

Popular with braying southern hemisphere Earlsfielders with credit cards, incidentally. Paying with cash is not the norm here, it seems.

Anyway, The Wandle has it's good points (beer selection, good beer garden) but whoever runs the place should understand that it could - and should - be so, so much better.
shoegazer - 2 Apr 2012 00:37
This pub has totally changed since being rebranded as "The Wandle" The interior decor is much better and they seem to be really trying to upgrade the ladies loos (which trust me were dire before) The garden area is lovely and in the summer (which seems long ago now) it was a delight to sit in. There is table service available and all staff I have met have been polite and friendly. A tad middle class and I wouldn't suggest visiting for an authentic pub atmosphere but a nice spot to spend an evening.
jag80 - 10 Nov 2010 19:51
This pub is now called The Wandle, under new management I guess. I like it. It usually has 2 ales on (Wandle/Doom Bar/ Adnam's Broadside) they are usually in good nick (all 3-3.10/pint, cheaper than the Young's pubs nearby). It has a nice garden, with covered seating with flat screen TVs. It has many screens indoors. Staff are very polite. They have BBQ & food available every day it seems, and the food has been good when I've tried it. Clientele varied, mainly late 20s-30s I would say. Live music on the weekends (not always to my tastes but at least they're making an effort I guess).
I would recommend this pub if in the Earlsfield area.
razorlaugh - 28 Sep 2010 19:41
Hell on earth. Unless you idea of a good pub is loads of Saffers watching South African state rugby discussing who can drink the most out of their shoe.
richakn - 24 Jun 2010 21:17
What's happening with this place?? use to have plenty of friendly staff that were always pleased to see customers and never waited a long time to be served. i was here last night and last saturday for the super 14's. service was really poor, not enough staff on and the ones that were, were well unhappy, hopefully this weekend will be better, if not i might have to go to another bar to watch the sport as i am not waiting 15 mins to get served!!!
saffainlondon - 26 Feb 2010 17:02
Just want to say a big thank you to Tony and all your staff at The Puzzle for the fundraising that you did for me and my husband to go to the Baby Intensive care Unit. It costs so much to help these babies and the effort and contribution you all put into raising money has been appreciated by so many.

Many many thanks
sugarbell - 11 Jan 2010 14:54
The new manager should get photos up of this pub - what a turn around it has been....Gone are the days of the red rusted double-decker bus in the garden!
I haven't been to the Puzzle for a while and was pleasantly surprised - friendly bar staff, good selection of beers and a fantastic outside section. Above all, it doesn't feel "seedy" anymore.

Try to head there on a sunny day, have a Bulmers on tap and enjoy a bbq chicken burger - summer doesn't get much better than this!

Good to see the footy on the big screen too......all that remain is better entertainment; did someone say Elvis impersonator?!

domingo_rodriguez - 21 Sep 2009 18:45
I've been going to the Puzzle on and off for the past three years and can honestly say since the new management has taken over the place has been transformed. They have one of the nicer outside garden areas where you can chill. The staff are extremely friendly and the management team are accommodating to all needs. The food is better than any other pub I've been to and the drinks are fairly priced with various specials available. They show all the live sports and you are guarenteed a good night out there!
Tiaan - 18 Sep 2009 11:56
At least this pub knows how to treat its customers, i rang every rugby bar in wimbeldon, earlsfield, putney and southfields, the puzzle was the only venue showing the tri-nations match live at 8.30am and i even managed to have breakfast with a beer. Well done!!! and thanks every much for getting up early.
hez - 12 Sep 2009 20:17
Myself and boyfreind have been going to the puzzle since January this year, we have found it to be one of the most nicest pubs we have been to-my boyfriend is a site manager and travels all round the country- so we have visited lots of pubs-The puzzle offers everything you want under one roof which is a fantasitic and only being a 2 min walk from his flat that is an extra bonus- the landlord and staff are very friendly and helpful-the clientel are also friendly-enjoying mixing. We had a fantastic day on sat 29th Aug at the beech party-my daughter, boyfriend and grandchildren traavelled all the way from Norwich too- they all had a great day-my grandson loved it and all the (as they have been called saffe males) were fantastic with him-and played with him. So if you want a good local or just visit the go for The Puzzle.
janh - 1 Sep 2009 19:35
Larry 1976 you are so right, awful drunken saffa fest. It is a shame that this place is crawling with morons as it would be nice for there to be a lively, busy pub in the area. During the day, or the week, the place is amicable. It boasts a lovely big garden and the staff are friendly. Unfortunately the over rowdy idiots it attracts on the weekend makes The Puzzle a definite no no for most of the people I know in the area.
hulahoops - 21 Aug 2009 15:21
larry1976 you've hit the nail on the head.
Notasaffa - 12 Aug 2009 20:37
The Puzzle has the potential to be a great place to enjoy sport. However, it is ruined by the typical Saffa male- you know the type: tight shirt, sunglasses on his head, lots of hair gel, moans a lot about the weather and the wingeing Poms- the type who does bicep curls in front of the mirror at the Southfields Virgin Gym...
A lot less testosterone, and a lot more enlightenment would go a long way in a new country.

Try new things, explore a bit and stop being the stereotype that gives the rest of us that do integrate a bad reputation.

larry1976 - 31 Jul 2009 22:28
I definately disagree with the remark below, i have been visiting the pub for about 1 year and the puzle is nothing like how its described, maybe u were here along time ago. the pub is very busy during the rugby matches, but i personally think its the best pub in the area now with very friendly staff, great food and even better drink prices. its nice to be able to watch my local team this week [the Leopards] as no one is showing the currie cup as well as the Tri-nations match too.
hez - 21 Jul 2009 14:22
I used to live very close to the puzzle and it was an absolute nightmare on the weekends. At closing time everyone would congregate on the street outside, there was lots of shouting, fights would start, glasses would smash etc. This would continue for the next half an hour to an hour. Furthermore the next day the surrounding area looked like a bomb had exploded, with rubbish everywhere. There are a lot of complete thickheaded idiots who visit this pub, and desipite living in Earlsfield for 3 years and being in such close proximity I only went in 3 times. In fact this pub is the reason I moved away eventually! Awful, Awful, Awful!
krispyuk - 24 May 2009 09:57
I visited The Puzzle on Sunday 19th. the pub was clean, the staff seemed friendly & helpful, and there was a pool table outside in a covered area.
After a game of pool I watched the FA Cup semi on one of the two projector screens (loads more tv's around too), I then fancied a bite to eat.
Whilst I was eating an excellent Chicken Parmigiano the sunday pub quiz
got underway. I wished I had waited and eaten later as the quiz seemed
good fun. Nice pub and I will go again, more so as the girlfriend liked it too !
came_on_a_sunday - 22 Apr 2009 02:49
Visited yesterday, early evening. Plenty of seats available as the pub is large and it was still relatively early. A pint of Adnams Explorer and a Heineken came to 6.30 so not too expensive. S Africa - Australia one day cricket on the big screens but pub was not rowdy and the atmsophere seemed relaxed. Didn't see anyone eating so can't comment on that. Was getting busier as we left but everything still seemed calm. So all in all pretty good I think.
nrj746 - 18 Apr 2009 13:01
The food here has improved from before xmas, i like the BBQ on a saturday hopefully it will bring the weather with it!! great that i dont have to visit a walkabout now to watch the super 14's [even at 8am] and still watch the 6 nations too. Service good but can suffer during matches, beer prices are lower than most around which is good in these times. overall a clean place with good staff but can get crowded at weekends. thumbs up from me!
hez - 10 Mar 2009 15:19
Another bar run by Aussies, and if that is not enougth it shows sport.It is an empty and souless moneycow. I get the impression that the manager (who is ausie)is not interseted in he needs of UK punters, but only that of bloody aussies. AVOID!!!!
TheWizard - 31 May 2007 03:47
When i moved to Earlsfield my colleagues told me : you will see the Puzzle it's a great bar. And indeed it is ! First it 's quite big so you have plenty of room, some sofa to have chat with your friend seated confortably. There are two big screens are avalaible for sport events. Finally people coming here are really friendly and making the atmosphere nice and moreover the staff is great. Greg
greg_g - 12 Jan 2007 13:31
"What more Do You Want" - Well how about plenty of easy, rich and attractive women to start. Hic.
MikeHunt69 - 7 Jan 2007 17:41
This has been my local for a few years now and i have to say its a great pub.. Atmosphere is electric and staff are half mad which we all love... Keep it up! Drink good , place clean what more do you want!
cheekyone - 7 Jan 2007 17:39
RE. Message below imagine having this establishment on you doorstep, you woludn't consider those regulars a good laugh!
anonymous - 10 May 2006 21:26
Love the mix of people, the place was really buzzing when i went excellent plus cute doormen
katiexx - 9 May 2006 15:41
This review refers to Friday and Saturday nights:

The Puzzle in Earlsfield can be described as boisterous, jovial and feral - so if you're in that frame of mind you can have an awsome time no matter your background or nationality. Yes the place is frequented by a lot of South African's, who are usually a good laugh, but it's certainly not reserved for them or any other specific group of people (i've been there with my English and Australian mates and we've had a great night with loads of fun). EVERYONE is welcome, nobody cares where you're from, just smile, drink and make sure you're in an easy-going party mood.

It's one of those'll either love it or hate it.

No dress code, no pretentiousness, quite debaucherous, very drunkard and LOUD, pints of snakebite being spilled on your shoes, dancing to classic rock balads, laughing and striking up a conversation with the guy that bumps into you, guys pulling girls, girls pulling guys, overall quite messy...

So take it for what it is and if you can join in you'll have a great night guaranteed ;-)

If the above doesn't sound like your kind of vibe, then simply avoid it. Personally it's not my type of place but once in a blue moon it's okay.

No worse and no better than the Walkabout in Shepards Bush, or the Slug 'n Lettuce in Fulham. Very similar to those places...
anonymous - 7 May 2006 15:32
Ghastly gaff, it should be relocated to nearby Southfields. It may have been a shit hole when it was the Sailor Prince but a better place all the same (in those days you almost expected Regan & Carter to burst in).

Thesedays you're more likely to bump into Geo Cronje or Eugene Terre Blanche.
Notasaffa - 17 Apr 2006 22:09
Let's not bring nationality into it - just a poor excuse to slag off each other. For the record, it's not the worst of pubs (though probably - going by the comments here - the most controversial!) it does exactly what it says on the tin. I've found the barstaff to be helpful and most of the punters fairly sound. Has it's good days and bad, like any other boozer.
E1_Norton - 10 Nov 2005 17:11
i find it rather sad that most people posting comments on this site have such a bad attitude toward south africans! my opinion: the puzzle in earlsfield rules - if you can't handle it go somewhere else.....
if you live in sw18, you don't take yourself to seriously and you feel like a good pub night the puzzle is the place to go. 10/10!!!
saffa_chick - 24 Aug 2005 09:50
Good idea to have all our antipodean guests in one place. Unless you live next door of course.
anonymous - 10 Aug 2005 12:27
Oh dear. This pub seems to have touched a few raw nerves.I hardly think its any good rambling in a racist manner about us and them. Lets all get pissed together!
gazzard - 10 Jul 2005 10:06
what a disgrace, this is now the most ferel pub in london, the redback and walkabout shepherds bush are a million miles ahead in cleanliness and standards. this was a lovely pub only a few short years ago, we live about 200 yards from it and sadly do not bother anymore. surprising seeing that the owner of the puzzle pub co only live about 10 doors away, you would think he has a bit of pride in his pubs. this place lowers the tone of an up and coming area. something to do with the ignorant south africans starting to populate it? hmmm.
anonymous - 9 Jul 2005 15:35
Despite the bad reviews on this pub, it's not always that bad and the heated beer garden outside is nice in summer. It is what you make it, so don't always be so quick to blame the pub or everyone else in it...
sprogley - 30 Jun 2005 14:27
Ugh! Noisy, full of brattish braying South Africans, bouncers on the doors, expensive.

The sight of young men AND women urinating in the gutters at closing time is not uncommon.

Awful beyond belief.

anonymous - 16 Jun 2005 16:51
Some of the critism of this pub I must say is a bit overwrath. Yes the place is a bit heavy on South Africans, if that offends you go and drink in the rose and crown or some such. Some of the barstaff ARE quite decent thou admitedly about 50% of said staff are not just inept, also down right rude. However the vibe is generally pretty decent, and the huge beer garden which is open all evening (its heated) lends a nice change of atmostphere
kexiled - 6 May 2005 12:48
I was walking past the Puzzle a few Sunday mornings ago. Outside the front door there were two pigeons eating from a pile of vomit. I really wish I'd had a camera on me as the picture would have really summed this dive up.
anonymous - 23 Mar 2005 14:45
Out of all the Puzzle pubs I have been to I can honestly say that this is the worse. I do not know if "The Puzzle" pubs are a chain or a franchise but seriously, this one needs to be addressed. I have only been there twice this year, both on Saturday nights, the atmosphere is loud (which is what I went there for), music is great but the bar service is poor, very poor. The staff are totally inept, it took three of them to process my bar tab, three people to do one job - as a result the queue had gone for being near impossible to get served within 15 mins to totally impossible! I am sure that no-one likes to queue for thier beer. Likewise, both times I have been the toilets had been flooded and the WC overflowed, not pleasent and not redeming.

As for the clientel, I have no problems with drinking with people from all nationalities, the only people that do let the place down are the "boneheads" you get in all societies, but in this case they are the "Afrikaans of the S.A race" built like rocks but with less brain cells. Apart from that everybody is friendly and the banter amusing.

Finally, the food is awfull, if you do eat in there keep it simple. Part of me thinks that the bar staff take turns at putting on the "old chefs hat" if they do have a chef I would not even call he/she one.

Apart from that my only wish is for the place to be refurbished with the provisions of more relaxed seating, change the decor as it's not the 90's anymore, the staff sacked and replaced by those with brains, manners and personality. Finally, rather than try and let the world and his wife in, why not limit the numbers so that there is space to move and a chance of being served.

If the above is not going to happen then I wish it would dissapear, as there is no place for it in Earlsfield anymore.
anonymous - 22 Mar 2005 15:38
i have just read all the comments that have been posted by you all, and oh my god, you bunch of boring soles...seriously, do any of you have nothing better to do with your time than complain about a pub..and all your complaints are stupid, firstly any pub you go to is noisy,crowded, and full of atmosphere, so complaining about that is pointless, as far as not liking the types of people who go there...heres a big ol hint...DONT GO THERE....if you know that a certain pub will be full of people who are from a country you dont like then piss off and go somwhere else, cant believe you are all debating a topic like this, why do you all let it bother you....
you know what im from australia and back home you are all over in our country making arses of yourselves too, overcrowded our pubs with your.."innit, you what i mean right..." this is what happens in life,...people travel , and run amuck and make arses of yourseleves....all the saffas and kiwis are over here for a good time and thats what we are doing..all you people who are complaining dont have a life and are basically jealous of us, cos we know how to laugh ,take the piss out of ourselves and not effing complain.....whingin people.....
the puzzle is a place where you go to have a laugh get blind rotten drunk, not judge ,let loose, pick up, dance around and have a good ol time, if you arent in to that then bugger off somwhere else, simple guys....
and by the way there are sh*tloads of pubs here that are just as worse full of old pommy men with no teeth and geezery guys and slappa women who treat us just as crap as you d*cks think we treat you...
so get over it all stop writting comments that quite frankly are just boring top read and go to pub....
you are all a bunch of f**king poo heads ....and thats all...
anonymous - 22 Feb 2005 14:55
My experience of this bar is limited to a couple of Friday and Saturday nights over the past 12 months.

The Puzzle in Earlsfield can be a fun place to go if you're single and the mood for some rowdy drunkeness - so make sure you're pissed and on the same wavelength as everyone else otherwise you're likely to hate it.

The place gets PACKED!

The bar service can be slow when it's busy, sometimes you'll wait 10-15 minutes just to get to the bar and be served.

The usual and most popular beers, ciders and alchopops are sold - in my experience there Stella and Fosters tastes a bit 'odd' (chemical)....but maybe that's just me...

I've never seen any agro and think the atmosphere is very spirited - your typical antip bar.

The ratio of guys to girls is great if you're a guy, and the antip girls seem pretty easy (and friendly) if you're not sleazy...

The outside section ('beer garden') is very spacious with plenty of seating, so in summer it's could do with more 'decorating' though as it's basically just an empty quadrant with tables and chairs.

About the only real negative I can think of is how loud the music sometimes is - you have to scream to be heard and you go home with ringing ears...

The last few times I've been on a Saturday night there has been a queue to get in after 8....

noel - 7 Feb 2005 15:01
The Puzzle's a great place to meet friends, esp on a hot(ish) summer day when you can sit in the beer garden and enjoy the sun and good food. Evenings can be hit and miss (depending on how many cringe-worthy drunk youngsters (and some not-so-youngsters) you have the unpleasant misfortune of being bumped into by). I have read other comments suggesting Bar 366 as an alternative. Perhaps an alternative to going home and watching paint dry, but not as a place to have a good time with your friends. I strongly suggest that if you don't enjoy hanging around with overserved youngsters (regardless of nationality) don't go to the Puzzle.
zzzzzzzz - 29 Dec 2004 15:34
Why don't they change the name to The Sprinbok Bar and be done with it? Enter at your own risk.
anonymous - 23 Dec 2004 09:53
This pub is a disgrace! if you are british, do not go here. You will no way feel welcome in this s**t saffa pub.
anonymous - 22 Dec 2004 12:30
It makes my poor little heart sink when I read some of the comments about this pub.

Like many of those who have lived in Earlsfield and its' surrounding areas for the entirety of their lives, I found this pub to be a breath of fresh air when it first opened way back when.

Fast forward to the present day and I have to say that it is arguably the worst pub in South London. There is something wrong in the world when you go to your local and you are made to feel like a foreigner in your own country!!

I have nothing against with Saffa's or Antipodeans but there is a definite us and them attitude which judging by the comments here, sometimes spills over into mindless violence against us British folk. Can you imagine the uproar if it was the other way around?

If you guys don't want to mix with us born and bred folk and play "nice" then pack up your bags and go to the numerous Walkabout and Springbok bars around London, where you can watch Rugby and criticise Britain and the British to your hearts content (Why you would, I do not know as it would seem that the whole of white South Africa is over here)!

P.s. - It would also be nice to be served by bar staff who are not off their little Saffa noggins' on who knows what!

anonymous - 21 Dec 2004 17:00
Whilst ordering a round at the bar I was made to feel totally unwelcome and a complete leper for ordering in English as opposed to some odd Olde Worlde Dutch dialect.....never again!! This branch has destoyed the credibility of a chain I could rely on for pleasant staff who aren't as drunk as the clientele, and no urine soaked toilet floors.
jezza1 - 17 Dec 2004 23:01
Awful pub full of drunken antipodians wearing fleece body warmers and moaning about how cr*p London is (*yeah, yeah, change the bloody record or don't choose to live here!*).
If you prefer a more civilised drink go to Bar 366.
anonymous - 9 Dec 2004 13:34
touche actually barman is only one of the jobs i have like many of the staff at the puzzle. as for taking the mick out of my spelling and english get a life its an internet message board!! finally yeah some of the barmaid will feel fine about moving on to the next customer but when a regular customer tries to chat to them some ppl feel uneasy about bein rude and ignoring them strange as that might seem to you. fair enuff the puzzle may have a rowdy atmosphere but i feel some of the posts on this board have gone over the top making it seem like the place is on the verge of erupting into a riot which is far from the case, as for the ugly incident which happened to the irishman that was out of order and im sure if you had alerted the management action would have been taken we do have door staff for such occassions
puzzlebarman - 9 Dec 2004 13:24
Yes there is Atmosphere, but it is unpleasant. So I would rather go to a pub with no atmosphere that one like this. The comment before about the unfortunate Irishman being accosted in the toilet just shows how terrible this place can be. I was there the other night and three very pleasant girls were serving and doing very well. As for the 'gentleman' below and his comments. The staff decide on if they want to get chatted up or not. It is very easy to move on and serve the next customer. With your amazing grasp of written English and understanding of rudimentary retail practices. How come you are still working as a barman?
anonymous - 25 Nov 2004 16:23
there are loads of english pubs to go to in london so i dont understand why the english ppl complain abou t the puzzle, and lets face it woodnt u rather go to a pub like the puzzle where there is loud music and atmoshphere instead of a dark dank soul less english pub where eveeryone keeps to themselves, as for the service half and hour to get a drink? yeah rite be realistic, it mite be quicker if the male punters didnt try to chat up the barmaids every 2 minutes and stop them from doin their job, also u have to speak up when u order as the music is VERY loud
puzzle barman - 19 Nov 2004 13:25
I was in the pub last Saturday with my husband, after watching the Ireland-SA rugby in a pub in Putney. We live on Earlsfield Rd, so it was a natural place to go for a quick pint before we went home. My husband, wearing an Irish top, was at a frigging urinal when some big SA came up behind him, grabbed him from the back of his collar and started swearing at him, threatening him for wearing that top in a saffa pub. sorry, but it's the closest pub to our house, and we actually own a flat in the neighbourhood, so I don't see why we shouldn't feel as much a right to go there as anti-podeans? or why we have any less of a right to express allegiance to a country in this pub? Why is it any more this big violent animal's pub than it is my smart, funny, chilled-out husband's? (who actually contributes to a good atmosphere and who doesn't want to punch anyone because of the colour of their top). That pub is out of control - I often get the distinct impression that it is teetering dangerously on the brink of a brawl.
alison - 18 Nov 2004 13:58
Wow! There's a lot of discussion about this one. I live in Earlsfield, and I'm English thru & thru. Came to the Puzzle as soon as it opened cos it was a good vibe, close to home with bands on, good atmosphere & packed with Aussies (spent a year down under & have never had such a great time). Don't go there so regularly now, mainly cos a lot of my mates have moved & I go further afield, but partly cos of the service & the fact there seemed to be a lot more aggro there than in the 'early days' of a couple of years ago.

Don't have a problem with it being a 'walkabout by a different name', or with people being patriotic away from home, but the problem I have had the last few times is that English people seem not to be as welcome there as people from SA, Aus, NZ etc... Maybe that's because of comments like those below, but hopefully I've just misunderstood. I'm still gonna go there every now and then cos it's a great place to dance like a loon, get drunk & sing along to cheesy bands, but I really hope it can go back to being a laid-back, welcoming place with better service!!
Rich - 5 Nov 2004 13:20
"If you don't like the service don't go" Shouldn't that be "if the service is bad tell everyone" Isn't that the whole point of this website?
If you think that Ikea is a good place to buy furniture and snake bite is your drink of choice then you will like this characterless place. Its so crap it has table football.
Jon B - 10 Aug 2004 13:10
Perfectly acceptable as a meeting place, or even for a few drinks if you can get a seat. Service is crap but please remember you're still within the M25. Music and customers are normally loud. Advice for the more reserved Englishman (or woman): If you don't like our Antipodean cousins' antics, don't like the atmosphere, or the service, don't go! Surely it doesn't take the brains of an Archbishop to work that one out?
burnsy - 21 Jul 2004 12:55
As regular goers to the puzzle especially from Thurs to Sat night, we must admit it has a great vibe and the bands are excellent esp Mad Cow. We use to love going there & still do, the only deterant is the service and as much as we love the puzzle because its close we would rather go somewhere where it doesnt take forever get served. If the bar staff aren't drunk or on some kind of high, speed & good service is not high on the agenda, never mind being short changed every time. And unless you are a personal friend of the bar staff or a possible shag you can wait for over 30 min or longer and with these British drinking hours you can agree with me that other places where fast service & sober staff sound more appealing even if its a bit further to travel. I sincerely hope that the management will start taking control or be replaced before an accident or something more dangerous occurs. In south Africa & in most pubs in Australia, staff are not allowed to drink on duty and can store up drinks paid for by customers to have after shift. Afterall if your staff is intoxicated, how can you be sure that your tills balance and your stock count is done correctly? Its time for you to do something about it before you get more trouble than you can ask for and your decent SA/Aus/NZ find somewhere better to go... Nobody likes shit service not even you... So do something about it... please
Tracey & Angela nevermind our friends - 12 Jun 2004 22:45
Have to agree this place has gone downhill quite a bit.
The last few visits the food has been very poor(BBQ sauce on a steak two visits in a row when peppercorn sauce was aksed for & BBQ sauce isn't on the menu). My friends ciabatta was disgusting and drowned in mayo. Simple items such as fries / club sandwiches were the only ok orders.
It's a pleasant enough spot for a few beers during the week (and whilst there are a few antipodeans it's hardly any different to any other pub in the area/london and preferable to English beer boys) but I'd avoid thursday - saturday nights unless you want a loud one.
karl - 9 Jun 2004 15:34
I agree with Gummy, this is a typical pub where Saffa's/Ozzies/Kiwis go to so they can do what they want drink as much as they like with no regard to anyone but themselves. I looked through the comments and its pretty damn clear that if you from south of the equator and love Rugby you will like the pub, but otherwise forget it. Its really amazing that even English people find this place is unsophisticated! Are there any South Africans out there who don't like these sort of places??
Jez - 24 May 2004 14:50
I have to back poundlover in this ongoing debate. For everyone who actually visits the Puzz on a regular basis knows that at any time of the day or night there will be someone there that you will know or they will know you. You get greeted by friendly good looking barstaff and you are allowed to basically get up to any mischief you want in there. The bartenders are usually the drunkest in the place and the bands on the weekends rock. Who wants to sit in an old, smelly English pub where the same guy is still sitting at the bar where he has been for the last 30 odd years of his life telling the same boring stories drinking the same beer? The crowd that goes to the Puzzle are young, hard working, living abroad SA/AUS/NZ and the odd brit. There are no pretences, no images and basically everyone is there to meet others and have a couple of drinks. Now I am not saying go there all the time, but what I am saying is that it is a great place and alot of people love it for a reason.
Gummy - 21 May 2004 16:40
Poundlover, you seem to be missing the point. This site exists is to review pubs, not just to complement them. I understand that you like the place, it caters for you and all the other antipodeans who want to associate with each other in another walkabout. But is isn't a great 'pub', The beer is badly kept, the service is poor, the food expensive and distinctly average. And the decor and furnishings? hard, cold, uncomfortable and bland. Better pubs in Earlsfield? Bar 366 for service, The Open Page for food, The Pig and Whistle for beer. I can guarantee that Garry didnt spend his time in SA in 'English Pubs' chatting to english people wearing English football shirts and saying SA is shit. But thats what you seem to say, that English Pubs and English food are crap. I have eaten in great places in Stanford, to be honest I have neevr eaten steak like it again in my life. But I am telling you there are some fantastic French, Italian, British, Japanese and any other type of food you want in London.
What does the Puzzle do well? Cater for South Africans and thats it.
Andy - 21 May 2004 11:10
Now listen - I'm not claiming that the puz is the best place you'll ever visit, far from it. It is what it is and claims to be nothing more. It's far too easy criticise. Just reading you comments, collectively you are asses. If you don't like a place don't go there. 'Only a couple of rich, elite english speaking whites' - I can tell you now that talk that is going to get your head kicked in. You don't have the slightest mate. I'm not even going to argue the point because you are so far wrong and we prob deserve a little apology.
And I promise you, we embrace your culture, we all donate to your charities, flock to your cultural events and generally take part in everything the country has to offer - and love it. Take a look around Earlsfield - where else can you go? Where else is better? The food is average, the service is sometimes a bit laboured, true. The food is decent though, the beer isn't that bad. The staff are friendly and have a bit of personality. If you're looking for a quite drink, plan a bit better. I can also guarantee that if you had any constructive citicism to offer the management, they would listen. And Gary mate - I'm sure you loved SA and I'm glad you had a good time. Now look at the contrast - I'll freely admit that the Premiership is huge in SA, there's a massive following. As far as the English rugby goes - rugby is SA's first sport. In summer we don't play rugby and there are guys who live, eat, drink and sleep the game. I doubt there was a massive following for the game, so maybe they were catering for the tourists or had an English manager. And as for the food being great - no surprises, the quality of food in England is not great. And just a question mate - did you surf while you were there?
Poundlover - 20 May 2004 17:37
Sorry, but I must agree with Andy. I remember when the Puzzle first opened it's doors, it was about 4-5 summers ago. It was a cracking place to go for a few beers. Never a problem to get served, never any trouble etc etc. I went in there the other Thursday - what a toilet.
With regards to Poundlovers comments, I visited Cape Town in South Africa last December for 3 weeks, now we visited many pubs, clubs and bars, and do you know what - none of them where like the Puzzle. They where all really nice, great service, good food and friendly service. They did not have any surfing on the TV, all they had was BRITISH FOOTBALL, BRITISH RUGBY. So I don't understand why all S.A. Pubs in London are such shitholes ?

Garry - 17 May 2004 10:51
Poundlover, the retard wouldn't understand my comments, I think that if he manages to get up in the morning take a piss and get dressed, he's had a good day. I wish that my comments would be as powerful as you claim, but alas they are not. But do you think it would be inaccuarate to describe this place as a walkabout in all but name? I am going to take you up on your challenge to discuss it like men (as long as you are not very big or hard)

Andy - 12 May 2004 12:40
Quite brave over the net, aren't we? I'd love to share a snakie with you partner, carry on the discussion like men. And then we can talk about how you can run a place into the ground with your comments, almost likening it to having a drink in crack den, but still drink there week in week out. And how such a terrible place has 50 people queuing as early as 8 o'clock waiting to get in. Would also be nice to see what the 'retard' thinks about your comments.
Poundlover - 10 May 2004 14:29
Ok Poundlover you win..I cant argue with that. I will drink a snakebite in the puzzle with you, but you will have to stand on the sticky carpet in the Halfway House and have a horrible warm pint of bitter with the me and all the other freaks that go there...
Love to you all, no disrespect meant.
Saw the match there Saturday (proper football) There was a small brown haired ozzie girl and a cropped haired ozzie bloke serving and they were both very polite and very quick. (mind you the other bloke that was ther was a complete retard).

Andy - 10 May 2004 11:42
Andy, come on now. Aren't we getting a little bitter. How many people go the Puzzle on a busy night and come away having had a crap night? Sure if you get there with an hour till closing time you are going to wait a while to be served. It might also just be the resposibility of your fellow drinker to have enough manners to point the staff in the direction of the person that's been waiting a while. Some of your comments might be justified but the way you put them across is a little suspect. You would like us to embrace your culture? Right, let's change the look a bit. Lay some manky carpets, slap on some paisley wall paper and hang some gardening tools on the wall. Dim the lights and chuck in a couple of fireplaces. Brilliant, revenue doubled, service spot on and not an antipodean in sight. Happy now? Come on Andy, grab yourself a snakie, a nice tanned Antipode bird, get to know the people and our culture and maybe, just maybe... you'll see that we're on the right track. Failing that, just drink somewhere else and quit your whining.
Poundlover - 8 May 2004 16:15
Clyde, I have no problem with Australians. "Your average South African has travelled more than the English". No they haven't, maybe a couple of the rich elite English speaking whites have travelled, so what?
The point is its pub with Autrailian flags everywhere, WHY?
Read what I said, BENIDORM is in SPAIN!, your point about English abroad on Greek Islands, is the same point I made.
You accurately describe the pub with one sentance.'blokes caught 11-24 hrs from their home, Expressing a little national pride in familiar surroundings'
If thats what you are looking for then fine, but it makes it a crap PUB for 99% of the poulation.

Andy - 4 May 2004 15:31
Andy mate - you couldn't be further off. Spot the pom who tries to colonise every Greek and Spanish resort each summer holiday. I totally agree with embracing the local culture and broadening your horizons but have a thought for the blokes caught 11-24 hrs from their home. Expressing a little national pride in familiar surroundings is not so bad. As to your comment "xenophobic, insular and uninterested of everything else London has to offer", I can guarantee you the average antipodean and South African has seen and experienced more of Europe and the World than the average Brit. Onto the pub itself, I agree that the bar service could do with improving. Hopefully the recent return of a few old managers will sort this. Final word - it's my belief that once you get a few beers down yer neck, near anything can be enjoyable. Shouldn't really advise this but the mad, post-11pm dash up the road to late-nite GJ's is a must.
clyde - 29 Apr 2004 18:56
Eye of the Beholder you are spot on. Every single person in theis pub wears billabong t-shirts, sandals, holds a rugby ball and has oakley sunglasses on their heads. The live music is the very worst of crap accoustic combo's singing crowded house covers. Why on earth do people travel to the otherside of the world to sit in their rugby shirts and drink Snakebite? Imagine the very worst English bar in Benidorm, this is the Australian equivilent. I reckon there are as many Italians and Spanish in London as Ozzies and Kiwi's, but you dont see them all wearing there national football shirts in Italian bars and eating Tapa's every corner of London do you? This pub is the antithesis of everything that is wrong with ignorance, nationalism and arrogance. Its bloody expensive as well. Only go to this pub if you are a xenophobic, insular and uninterested of everything else London has to offer. The furniture and service is the worst possible and the atmosphere like a student rugby club.
Andy - 26 Apr 2004 10:04
I like this pub its a nice sociable pub with bands, tablefootball, and other games but the Service GEEZ!!? The management must be so poor that they just dont care! 35minutes to get served is just not necessary! the staff are slow, unorganised and cant remember more than 2 drinks! also if you want food ask 3 different staff to find out when the kitchen closes because none of them seem to know the correct time and the customers go hungry!
Dissapointed! - 26 Apr 2004 02:07
whats the deal with the bus in the garden?!!! If you havn't seen it, go check it out... it looks like it fell from the sky!
Great summer pub...great vibe in the beer garden especially (even with the bus!)
Dom - 17 Apr 2004 23:23
Eye of the whatever? You're kidding me? Who surfs in London. Not actually in London, but probably a large majority of the 35 000 antipodeans that live in Earlsfield/Southfields probably do or have an interest. The place has such a cool relaxed vibe with everybody there to have a good time. You obviously walked past on a Monday lunchtime, when all the regulars are working, hmmm prob in the city? It's time to broaden horizons my friend, instead of passing judgement on pubs you pass on the way to the dole queue...
Regular - 8 Apr 2004 17:25
If you like the Springbok and the Walkabout, you'll love this pub. If not, keep the hell away!!! I will, having been there just once.
MIKE - 7 Feb 2004 15:51
The food service is painfully slow and as for the quailty, well it's just doesnt cut it. As for the bar , well i can only agree with previous comment's.. Very slow, staff more interested in their friends than offering a service. Basicaly this a very poor bar, worst in the district and best avoided....! (unless of course you like bad service or are a friend of the bar staff)
Rob - 29 Oct 2003 18:57
The Puzzle used to be a quality evening Thursday through to Sunday but it seems to have quietened down a bit. Not sure if this to do with the recent change in staff but definitely not the same vibe. Come on guys - sort it out. And to all the xenophobic ignorant fools posting unnecessary comments about the antipodeans and South Africans, just remember that any evening is what YOU make of it. If you're not up for sharing a pub with people out to have a good time, why don't you go to the boozer down the road with the bright lights, no atmosphere and seventies decor.
clyde - 17 Oct 2003 13:54
Good place, but the earlier comments about the service being slow are correct. Unless, of course, you are South African or Australian, in which case the bar staff will immediately and unashamedly serve you despite the fact that others may have been waiting for half and hour. Live music hit and miss. Barmaids are attractive, but if you're English, don't even bother (see note about service...).
Delme Jones - 16 Oct 2003 12:33
The bar staff have no clue how to serve properly. If you want to be served you have to stand next to whoever is being served at the time, as they do not look up and down the bar to see who has been waiting.
Barney Gumble - 9 Oct 2003 16:58
Just moved into Earlsfield, and the puzzle is the place to be, the staff and atmosphere is wicked, it's well worth the crack!!!!
Milky - - 11 Aug 2003 11:14
it has the best beer garden, i've seen for awhile
anonymous - 26 Jun 2003 19:02
Sponsor of the Mighty Bec Old Boys RFC. Great Pub
anonymous - 10 Apr 2003 17:21
All I can say is the two dark-haired South African girls behond the bar in the skimpy black nighties on New Years were grrreaaat! DAMN SEXY!!! we want to see more of them behind the bar!!!
david - 5 Mar 2003 12:02
This is the greatest pub in London. Great staff, great live music!!
J - 28 Feb 2003 16:00
Great Pub .... Wild NYE party! There is a red head behind the bar and she is hot! The band's rock especially Benny Family! How sexy are they !
Skip - 3 Jan 2003 12:00
Great pub for rugby - watching England destroy South Africa surrounded by clinically depressed Boks was very worthwhile - the beer and food ain't bad either. Good bands and a nice feel - a bit too antipodean perhaps?
Olly - 26 Nov 2002 11:45
great bands sexy manager, skinny bloke with a goatie is a bit of a geek
struth - 22 Nov 2002 18:32
had some really good shooters, pulled an aussie chick and spent the whole night singing to the band and playing air guitar, no trouble and the doorstaff were cool when i fell on my arse drunk. i think they have dj's but i really cant remember
suzy - 22 Nov 2002 17:39

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