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Salt House, St John's Wood

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user reviews of the Salt House, St John's Wood

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

Now closed, no doubt to become yet more housing
mike_s - 15 Feb 2018 11:25
Wouldn't go out of my way to visit but decent enough if in the area. As the previous poster says it has improved under the most recent management team.
mike_s - 21 Feb 2017 13:37
The pub changed hands just before Christmas. Its now well run by a new management team, has 4 well kept real ales on. On my last visit they had Timothy Taylors Landlord, Abbey ale, Darkstar Hophead and Adnams Jack brand Mosaic pale ale. Well worth a visit.
LordCarson - 8 Jun 2014 12:08
I popped in here one lunch time this week as I was in the area and fancied a drink with a bite to eat. The pub was deserted (at about 1.30). The two bar staff were sitting at a table doing paperwork and completely ignored me for some time. I saw the 12.5% obligatory service charge on the menu and immediately walked out.

I will willingly give a tip (gratuity) for good service. I do not pay a service charge on demand. Nor should anybody!
docjohn - 24 Aug 2012 11:46
" Someone needs to train the staff on handling Ale here! "
Norton.77 - 20 Dec 2010 13:16
From a distance it looks like the pub it was, but this is now a soul-less bar where you can eat. I needed a place to wait for someone so drank a half of real Czech Budvar Budweiser. It was fine, if not cheap. No reason to stay; no reason to avoid. Meh.
strongarm - 19 Aug 2009 13:04
I like the food but ale makes a pub. Too many times I've been here and it only has Old Speckled Hen or Abbot on. Both beers are not at all suitable for the Summer and not that well kept either. Why can't it do itself more justice and bring its beer up to the same level as the food. If you want a pint I'd suggest going to the Clifton instead.
nonecker - 22 Jul 2009 23:14
Surprised to find I've not previously reviewed this pub. It's a gastropub, and at the "gastro" end of the continuum: the front part of the pub is more pub-like, but still dominated by the NW8 crowd dining, whereas to the rear is an out and out (and rather smart) dining room. Ale-wise it's not brilliant: they've only ever had Abbot on my visits, which is too strong an ale when you've only got one to choose from, in my opinion. Food-wise it's been mixed: I've been there several times with the wife and it's ranged from the very good to the awful. I recall the chef is (or at least used to be) prima donna-ish about special requests (e.g. "no chocolate ice cream" or whatever). Overall it's not great and there is a rather snooty atmosphere to the place.
grecian - 29 May 2009 11:03
Food place really and certainly overpriced, but it's not as bad as soon reviews suggest in my view in an area bit lacking decent pubs/bars. 5/10
mps77 - 14 May 2009 12:33
So overpriced and rude staff. Snooty is the right word- they have no idea about how to run a good pub. Shame because it's a pretty pub but I live on the same street and I will avoid it at all costs. If you're in the area try The Clifton instead- 1005 better!
emmaceridwen - 5 Jan 2009 09:41
I visited to the Salt House today. Went to the bar. Ordered a burger and a coke. I said I'd pay up front. When I came to pay I saw on the computer screen that a 12.5% service charge of £1.50 had been added. Even though I had gone to the bar, placed the order myself and offered to pay there and then. I should also mention that this was not something they were going to mention had I not seen it on screen. I politely asked if this could be removed. My request was greeted by the following reply:

“I’m a barman. My job is to serve drinks, therefore my bringing you food from the kitchen constitutes service.”

I then asked the barman (not waiter you understand) if he seriously considered taking a burger from the kitchen to a seat outside, a distance of no more than 5 metres and a time of less than one minute, to be worth £1.50 he answered:

“Deadly serious.”

Paying for service is at the discretion of the paying customer, not at the instance of the provider. It is not compulsory and should not be applied as such. For anyone considering going to the Salt House be prepared for poor service with an attitude which you will then have to pay for.

ollylucan - 29 Aug 2008 13:36
Great location and good atmosphere. But they need to do something about their prices. You can go elsewhere close by, but pay half the price and get better food (and better service).
Heeler - 1 Dec 2007 22:58
As others have said it's overpriced. G.K Abott Ale was the best beer on offer. My non-beer drinking friend was charged £6 for a large wine.
On the plus side the chips were good!
giantelf - 30 Oct 2006 20:27
This is more of a restaurant than a pub but does do a half decent pint. If you want more of a pub atmosphere best go to the Clifton, which is not too far away.
nonecker - 23 Sep 2006 00:11
Staff let this place down. The place is pretentious and has no right to be. often found it to be dirty. sad really as it used to be one of the best places in london. sorry guys you may have changed the name back but you still have a long way to go.
anonymous - 4 May 2006 00:30
A bit dull this place and the barman who served me seemed quite uninterested. Next time I'm in this area I'll try the Clifton down the road which is by all accounts far better.
illhaveastella - 30 Jan 2006 23:30
3 strikes and out, better than the black days,much better now, staff still rude that has not changed, food is over priced, cold and arrives at different times. it used to be really nice when the locals used it, all in all I will use the pub round the corner the clifton,(I think thats its name hard to tell with the letters missing from the sign) Food is easy not fantastic, but what you would make at home and half the price of the salt house. better beers and ales to choose from,staff are nice and they talk to you.
Its what a pub should be,,full of local people having a good time, you can walk in and feel right at home.

topcat101 - 5 Sep 2005 14:08
Is this place now called The Abbey Road Pub and Restaurant??
anonymous - 23 Aug 2005 21:10
Done up quite well. Being a QPR fan it was pleasant to see Terry Fenwick in there. In fact the guy seems to be living in bars in West Hampstead these days.
Dominic - 5 Nov 2004 08:58
Redone since my last visit (the goth style). Quite pleasant. Relaxing environment, quietish music. Big downside was the very warm lager.
anonymous - 25 Jul 2004 08:50
The Salt House has been beautifully made-over in a colonial/oriental style. The highlight is the small upstairs private dining room but the allover-pink ladies loo is really amusing and well done. Mr Harvey, who comments so adversely below, should realise that, in life, there is no such thing as 'taste school' - style is innate and the Salt House has it in spades!
CD - 13 Jan 2004 13:15
fantastic glossy black upstairs, food also good though service was extremely chaotic. Expensive for what it is but strangely I would still go back.
Amphalon - 10 Oct 2003 10:32
If you like the middle eastern brothel look and have large sums of money this gastro-pub is well worth a visit.But in my opinion
the new owners have recked this pub, and the interior designer should go back to taste school.
Andrew harvey - 4 Sep 2003 17:34
Used to be a pub which did food now. Not sure what it is now. Awful.
anonymous - 4 Aug 2003 14:38
This bar has recently been taken over by new managemnt who have managed, very effectively, to destroy everything I used to love about the Salt House. The atmosphere is awful, it's full of rich kids, and their parents, who have no taste and the staff are beyond rude. The decor is soo tacky even Samantha Fox wouldn't go there.
Don't waste any of your time going, there are much nicer bars in the area.
HBar - 1 Aug 2003 17:22
I like this bar/ pub. It's all black inside which would appeal to goths, except it's strangely on the glossy side, plus they sell Hoegaarden which is a bonus. It's situated on the Abbey Road - the studio's at the other end - and the Salt House has the dubious honour of being a kind of marker point deliniating Scumsville from Poshingham. The road from the Kilburn end onwards is pretty grim as it trundles through the Abbey Road estate and past the local rock biter's pub, then suddenly is the fence-fringed Salt House and all is money and opulence. Very odd, that.
Ruby - - 15 Jul 2003 13:17

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