Blakes, Dover - pub details
Tel: 0871 951 1000 (ref 14698) - calls cost 10p per minute plus network extras
- Food served, Real ale
- Outside seating
other pubs nearby:
please note - reviews on this site are purely the opinion of site visitors, so don't take them too seriously.
5 most recent reviews of 23 shown - see all reviews
|Worth dropping a fresh review for Blakes as I'm advised that the previous incumbents, Peter and Catherine, have moved on - reportedly to retirement rather than another place in the pub trade. A shame, for they knew what they were doing with beer, albeit perhaps with a faint air of knowing superiority which I think one of the earlier reviewers objected to. |
I didn't stay long and only indulged in a wee half, so my judgement wasn't so much impaired as ill-informed. But my take on it was that in essence, the good features of the old Blakes were in check: a range of 3 cask beers (all pumped though - no casks now) from a diverse array of sources were served; well-heeled but not overly-snooty locals occupying the cavernous and characterful bar area; a range of decidedly un-snooty meals (chips 'n' gravy for £2.50!), and a nice tucked-away beer garden for when weather is more clement than it was on Friday when I last turned up.
We were served by a friendly and homely-looking sort of lady whom one can only assume was the licencee although I've no evidence for it. She was perhaps less-business-like than Catherine, and certainly less-intimidating than Peter, so perhaps that might help draw some doubting Thomases back to Blakes (hell, if you live here and love good beer I doubt you can afford to be that choosy!).
Saying that though, it somehow lacked a certain vim and vigour of its past. Maybe it was to do with the lunchtime lull - it always was more vibey of an evening in my recollection. But besides being a little quiet, the ales lacked a certain summat too; my Adnams Lighthouse was, well, okay but hardly sock-knocking. My mate's Canterbury Ales (damn can't recall which one) was rather lifeless and flat. I'd say that while choice was gratifying enough, conditioning was lacking a little and there is room for improvement here. The Peter touch was all-too-evidently amiss in this regard - he had the presence of a sergeant-major, but he applied a military discipline to keeping his beer which was worth the salute every time!
Don't know when next I'll be back in Dover but I'll be interested to see how things progress. I'd say don't be lackadaisical; be brisk in business and the customers will briskly follow. A subterranean venue like this needs that bit extra to draw people below as its appeal cannot be displayed from the kerb.
TWG - 23 Jul 2012 17:29
|Friendly and with excellent quality ales, the best pub we in found in Dover, by a long way.|
biggles221 - 14 Mar 2012 06:58
|Two years ago I visited Blakes of Dover and wasn’t impressed. I would so dearly love to have this place in my top ten list of pubs. It has everything I rate in a pub. It’s off the beaten track. It’s downstairs in an obscure basement. It has decent ale – and the ale is from the barrel. It has pickled eggs. |
One of it's main problems however is that it also has bar staff who also know how marvellous their pub is.
And it's other main problem is that rather than having clientele or regulars, it has an “in-crowd” who make a point of staring at the newcomer.
On my last visit I rather slated the place in my review, and today’s visit gave me no reason to change my opinion of the place. In fact my opinion has gone down as the barrels of beer have gone.
MankyBadger - 8 Nov 2010 20:04
|Shame it was closed at 10:00 on Sunday evening!!|
stevane - 18 Aug 2010 18:34
|Marvellous! Beer in tip-top condition; friendly staff and a lovely cosy atmosphere make this a worthwhile place to visit.|
markcp1981 - 14 Mar 2010 07:48
see more reviews