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BITE user comments - Alph_river

Comments by Alph_river

The Cricketers, Croydon

Ray's regular house beer is Redemption Brewery's award-winning Trinity which although being only 3% ABV is a gorgeous drink, and rare to find south of the river. Other regular beers featured inlcude Harveys and there are guest beers usually.

The Cricketers has been redecorated recently but retains its comfortable lived-in feeling. Tuesday nights feature decent jazz and the talented vocalist is worth the trip to Shirley Road. Simple hearty pub grub available.

Great pub in which to watch Palace matches! Ray must be CPFC's greatest fan.


4 Mar 2015 20:15

The Waddon Hotel, Croydon

I used to work up the road from this pub some years back and visited The Waddon on a couple of Friday lunchtimes. I don't remember the beer at all, and recall the place was rather dowdy. This was probably 15 years ago.
So finding myself recently stranded waiting for a train from Waddon station, I decided to pop in and see what was what. The place is now much smarter than I recall, and the beer on offer was Bass (seldom seen these days round here) and one from Caledonian. Can't remember which particular beer offhand.
The Bass, which was all I had time to try, was very good and I said as much to the barman.
It wasn't busy - there were only several others in there which was probably par for the course mid-afternoon on a weekday - so I cannot make any valid assessment of the quality of the other punters. Sorry John!
However, this seemed to me a decent enough place for a pint or two of Draught Bass. Where else would you get that in Croydon?

2 Nov 2014 15:06

The Pembroke, Coulsdon

Comfortable modern pub.
Decent beer selection.
I enjoyed my visit.

2 Nov 2014 14:48

The Smugglers Tavern, Coulsdon

Comfortable well-used local with some good beer selections, including, when we visited a few weeks ago, one from local brewery Cronx.
There was a darts match taking place and when the sandwiches came out for the teams we were offered some. Marvellous hospitality!
The landlord mentioned that refurbishments were due to take place and we expressed the hope that the "traditional local" ambience wouldn't be ruined. He assured us it wouldn't, so we'll see.

2 Nov 2014 14:43

The Joiners Arms, South Norwood

The Joiners has been under the care of Mavis Porter for over 40 years and she has maintained it as a traditional pub in every sense. As previous posters have observed, the decor is an eclectic mix of brasses and breweriana, copper measuring jugs featuring strongly.
The beer yesterday was Purity Mad Goose, Kelburn Dark Moor (4.5%), London Pride and Doom Bar. I had a couple of pints of the Mad Goose which was in very good condition indeed.
This pub is an oasis in what has become the publess desert of South Norwood and Woodside, there being no real beer across the road in the Beehive, none in The Gold Coast; The Denmark is long gone as is The Gladstone; The Duke of Clarence is gone as has The Two Bobbies ( The Queens Arms); and the Portmanor has recently been shut as has The Ship in the High Street. Only the Albert remains to serve cask ale with The Joiners. The next pubs serving real ale are in Addiscombe or East Croydon.
In conclusion, make an effort to visit the Joiners and congratulate Mavis on running on of the finest pubs in the borough. And if you are a CAMRA member rate the beer on the Beer Scoring System. you could help to get the Joiners considered for the Good Beer Guide. It deserves it.

6 Oct 2014 15:11

Ye Olde Clock Tower, Croydon

A very well kept traditional street corner pub with a definite Irish atmosphere. It's open, light and airy and the regulars quietly enjoy their Guinness in a friendly banter-filled bar.
The cask ale is Courage Best, and is usually fresh and tasty.

3 Feb 2014 02:24

The Sparrowhawk, Crystal Palace

Smart pub which some of my drinking buddies deem more restaurant than pub. However the well-kept locally-brewed Dark Knights beer kept us from moving on. I enjoyed the beer and the ambience. My daughters would like the place ~ deffo not an old man's pub, they'd say. I'd go back.

3 Feb 2014 02:16

The Queens Head, Rothbury

Impressive service ~ the barman brought our drinks to the table when he saw I was having difficulty. Marvellous.
The beer was excellent. A choice of four (fairly) local beers in tip-top nick made this visit a memorable one for our small group or walkers.
Comfortable sofas and armchairs completed the experience. Altogether a nice one.

26 Sep 2013 08:46

The White Hart Inn, Woodbury

Food-led village pub with a selection of real ales: Tribute, Jail Ale and Proper Job were served yesterday, but could have been in better condition.
The meals our party had were basic pub grub without too much pretention.
All in all, a reasonable place, popular with locals and tourists.

28 Aug 2013 03:22

The Hope, Carshalton

The Hope won't please those who want artificially produced lagers, Sky sports, wine-bar decor, glitzy transience, corporate branding, and mass-produced beers.

If, however, your idea of the perfect pub is understated elegant simplicity, superbly served real ales, enough quiet to hold an intelligent conversation with other adults, and a tranquil relaxing place to unwind after a hectic day, this is it. The Pressed Rat And Warthog was tippety-tip-top.

But don't go there. I'd rather it remained quiet!


19 Jun 2013 05:17

The Golden Lion, Croydon

Visited the Golden Lion last week for the first time in thirty years and was pleased to find it almost unchanged. There's a large open-plan interior with distinct drinking areas and a selection of pub games including darts. TV for the local sports fans was showing the last of the season's games and horse racing featured prominently.
The beer was Courage and Sharp's and was perfectly drinkable if not totally inspiring. A good experience. If there was more beer choice folk would come from far and wide to sup it tho'.

17 Jun 2013 16:56

Five Lamps, Derby

Hoping to visit his pub on July 3rd.

15 May 2013 16:25

Five Lamps, Derby

Hoping to visit his pub on July 3rd.

15 May 2013 16:25

The Hope, Carshalton

Great beer, knowledgeable staff, simple food, and blessedly quiet - free from juke-box, muzak TV and fruit machines.
I wish it was closer to my home.

23 Jan 2013 03:15

Marisco Tavern, Lundy Island

The only pub on Lundy, and which serves as a community centre for the island. Cosy and welcoming with two real ales, Old Light (rebadged St Austell Tribute) and Dartmoor Best when we were there last week. Breakfast is served every morning, and good-value meals are available at lunchtime and in the evenings.
The decor is plain and practical with wooden tables and whitewashed walls adorned with lifebelts rfom shipwrecks. If you're there for several days it's essential to start a tab.

21 Feb 2012 01:54

Bucket Of Blood, Phillack

Splendid pint of St Austell here today. Recommended and worth the journey.

29 Jul 2011 23:57

The Yorkshire Grey, Fitzrovia

Like Strongers, I can imagine this small Sam Smith's pub becoming uncomfortably crowded with the presence of relatively few people. There's a bit of seating - stools mainly, but most drinkers were standing.

The OBB was decent enough, and my pint was topped up without fuss when I asked. Still a bland beer however.

We planned on eating, but were told there was no food Friday evenings.

2 Oct 2010 19:50

Sheffield Tap, Sheffield

Never seen so many Thornbridge beers in one place before. A shame we only had 45 mins between trains, otherwise I'd have tried more. As it was We managed a couple, finishing with a half of the Murmansk Porter (7.4%).
A splendid station bar - highly recommended.

29 Jun 2010 08:55

Ardneil Hotel, Troon

The Ardneil has been closed since January 2010

22 Jun 2010 00:22

The Golden Lion Inn, Tipton St John

Popped in for a pint at the end of a walk along the river from Ottery St Mary, and sat in the sunny garden. Otter Bitter and Ale were pleasant.

A couple arrived - (evacuated to the village during the war & now visiting from Australia) - looking for a bite to eat and were turned away: "We close at 2.30" Their dream of an English village idyll shattered. These days trade must be scarce so why turn away custom? Oh, England, my England!

The food on the blackboard looked ambitious. And uncheap.


7 Jun 2010 22:14

The Old Fox and Hounds, Croydon

Just to correct Slerpy - Greene King IPA won the Gold award at the 2004 Campaign for Real Ale Great British Beer Festival in the Bitter category - but was merely runner-up in the Champion Beer Of Britain category!

Personally, I like GK IPA, but my point was that it is often kept poorly. Not in the Old Fox and Hounds however.

I was there again this afternoon and it was just as good. Consistency is important. Going there again tonight!

11 May 2010 16:53

The Cricketers, Croydon

Just to try and break the ubiquitous "slerpy"'s posting monopoly on this page. :-)

The Cricketers continues to serve a wide range of real ales in oversized lined glasses, in a comfortable, old-fashioned open-plan bar with distinct drinking areas and no less than three log fires, one of which was warming the rather chill air of last Friday when I visited. My pint of Dark Star Hophead ( a standard beer at this pub along with Harveys) was exceptional as was the following pint of Blue Monkey BG Tips.

I had a chat with Ray the guv'nor, who showed me the huge garden at the rear of the carpark, and he said he had plans for turning it into a sort of nature reserve for wild birds. Whatever, the blubells were just blooming and the place was perfect for supping a pint in the sunshine. Scant tho' it was!

The local branch of CAMRA are awarding him the Pub of the Year on Thursday 13th May and the following will (hopefully) be served: Pictish Black Diamond, Southport Golden Sands, Rudgate Ruby Mild, Dark Star APA, Black Hole Red Dwarf, O'Hanlons Port Stout and Harveys Sussex. Hope there's also some Hophead for me, Ray!

AR (

10 May 2010 09:55

The Old Fox and Hounds, Croydon

A deceptively spacious pub with a very interesting and relatively unspoilt interior, a rare thing in these theme-pub dominated days.

It was quiet when we visited and the manager greeted us pleasantly as if we were regulars tho' it was our first visit, and we felt welcome and comfortable - not always the case in this part of Croydon...

Greene King IPA and Abbot were the cask beers on offer, not very good news to one of our group who actively dislikes IPA and Abbot, but after sampling a wee half he had a couple of pints more!

The point being - GK IPA is ubiquitous in the free trade where it is often the token "real ale" in a pub dominated by lager drinkers. Very low turnover lets the beer go stale and reinforces the idea it's duff.

HOWEVER, when the manager knows what he's doing as in this pub, IPA can be a revelation as it was to us, more used to Dark Star and Thornbridge beers these days. It was fresh, well-balanced, and easy to drink, and as I've said, inviting enough to have a couple more. I enjoyed the Abbot as well, albeit a little sweet for by Hophead-blasted taste buds.

Visit this pub, and enjoy the well-kept beer in a traditional setting.

Good one.


5 May 2010 13:44

The Green Dragon, Croydon

The monthly meeting of the C.R.A.P.S. last night was enhanced by the presence of Esther, Croydon's most innovative manager, under whose stewardship the Green Dragon thrives as central Croydon's "local". She made us very welome as usual, and spent a while talking to us about the beer and other things.

It's not merely a high-street pub. Music from jazz to indie, and dance classes, and film, and food festivals, and beer festivals, and community events, give the Dragon a real buzz. There's a very wide customer base in my opinion. No particular age-group dominates, and whenever I've been in there's been a good mix of people enjoying themselves. You could take your mum here, or your daughter. It's one of the few venues in Croydon without "doormen" or bouncers, always a good sign.

The beer last night: 4 from Dark Star: Hophead, American Pale Ale, Victorian Ruby Mild (6.2%!) and Saison; Harveys Sussex Best and Twickenham Naked Ladies which came on to replace Westerham Audit Ale which ran out just after our arrival. Reader: I tasted all of them, leaving at midnight to catch the last bus...

5 May 2010 13:18

The Bree Louise, Euston

Good pub offering 50p discount on ales for students, nurses and CAMRA members. I only found this out on my second pint, but I didn't begrudge them a few pennies as the Sambrooks I'd just drunk was tip-top. It's a fine pub, with a shabby-genteel ambience, and an eclectic mix of clients. No music while I was there.
The Sambrooks Wandle Ale is now on permanently, and there were about 5 others on offer including Tom Woods Harvest Ale which was in good nick.

I'm certainly returning whenever I have to travel from Euston which is about a hundred yards away.


29 Sep 2009 14:53

The Crown Inn, Churchill

Wow, what can I say?

A delightful place with an excellent selection of cask beers. We arrived at opening time on a cold summer lunchtime and the barman joked about possibly having to light the log fire. A proper pub in every sense. The floors are stone, the furniture simple, a genuine rural retreat without any pretention.

My pint of RCH Hewish was in good nick, and went down well with a ham sandwich ~ tasty home-cooked of-the-bone ham of course. I'd like to have stayed and tried the full range of ales available, but afternoon engagements had to be attended to, sadly...

As has been already noted, a superb pub, and the best one we visited during a week in North Somerset. The Crown is now definitely one of my top 10 pubs.

Hard to find if you don't know where it is, but the satnav took us to the door. A "must visit again" gem.


7 Aug 2009 22:06

The Cricketers, Croydon

Slerpy ~ you got the date wrong! The festival is on NOW!!

12 Jul 2009 19:51

The Harp, Covent Garden

Visited The Harp again last week and had a couple of the best pints of Harvey's I've had outside Lewes. Well done to Sarah for her outstanding cellar skills.
Got into conversation with Binnie who tells me she's bought The Harp from Punch, so her beer choice will be expanding now she does not have to rely on them for her supplies. I did mention she ought to look at Dark Star brews, but that's just my personal opinion. If you are in The Harp, mention your favourite beer. Binnie: why not start a suggestions book?

28 May 2009 16:00

The Caddyshack, Troon

This used to be The Smugglers in the '60s when it was run by the eccentrically moustachioed Harry Scoffin who didn't mind serving pints of Guinness to 6th formers somewhat short of their 18th birthdays...

Since then it's been through several incarnations and changes of name. It's now a golf-themed bar decorated ~ as you'd expect for such a place ~ with appropriate sporting memorabilia. It's very comfortable and smartly kitted-out, with friendly regulars and a good range of malt scotch.

Sadly ~ for me at any rate ~ there's no real ale, but if you can put up with that lamentable omission, it's a decent place to meet your golfing cronies and down a lager and / or a wee dram.


3 Apr 2009 23:37

The Sun, Carshalton

Punch Taverns have now sold the Sun ~ apparently with a covenant which prevents the new owners from operating the premises as a pub.

25 Feb 2009 17:20

The Inn on the Chase, Cashmoor

"Last" obviously...

18 Jan 2009 16:18

The Inn on the Chase, Cashmoor

Lat night a fire "destroyed large parts of the first floor and the roof" according to the BBC today...


18 Jan 2009 16:17

The Old Loans Inn, Loans

Demolished ~ December 2008. Not missed...


8 Jan 2009 21:11

Cheeky Charlies, Troon

Update: Now has limited Real Ale selection. Over Christmas Ruddles County, Belhaven 80/- and ubiquitous but very tasty Abbot Ale were all found to be in good condition.

The friendly staff are efficient and help create a warm ambience..

8 Jan 2009 21:07

The Loft, Troon


17 Nov 2008 12:39

Bruces Well, Troon

A smart, decent bar serving a variety of cask ales which are advertised on the chalkboard. Cairngorm Trade Winds was a treat last week. A number of screens show various sports and don't detract from the character of the place as much as you'd think.

A place to come and contemplate the vicissitudes of life in the 21st century, do the crossword, chew the fat and sup very well-kept ale

Along with The Harbour Bar, one of Troon's best for cask ales.


14 Nov 2008 00:47

The Orchard, Croydon

Popped in mid-afternoon on Tuesday after hearing there were a couple of cask beers being served a week or so ago.

The place is comfortable enough, and the mid-afternoon punters - several senior citizens and a couple of lads in paint-spattered working gear - were ordering lager and Guinness from a good-natured barman. A lone female sat at the bar with a Bacardi Breezer, the last of several judging from her co-ordination...

There was one cask beer available Shepherd Neame Spitfire which was served thro' a sparkler which I didn't notice until the glass was full. However, it tasted cared-for if unnaturally "smooth" but it cost an eye-watering £2.90. I'd probably have stayed for another if the price had been 30 or 40p cheaper...

The place is decorated inside as it is outside, with mock half-timbering in dark wood, and amazingly it is not as naff as it sounds. Posters advertising various karaoke events line the walls. Not my cup of tea, but if you like that sort of thing then check this place out. All in all the place had, at the time of my visit, the general air of a rather superior working mens' club.

A quibble: an annoyingly random juke box clicked into play at odd intervals despite no-one seeming to feed it. The volume was set just loud enough to be intrusive & the distorted booming bass was definitely irritating. Sort it out landlord!

Food was available and looked like the traditional sort of pub offerings. I'd already eaten otherwise I might have been tempted. I'll return and follow up by trying the food, and checking if the beer range varies, and report again. When I'm feeling rich.


24 Oct 2008 14:41

Kings Head, Deal

A popular pub and hotel in a sea-front facing square. Real ale from Shepherd Neame and others was in good condition in September this year.
The interior decor relies on Tudor-type half-timbering - dark rough-hewn wood and so on. It's quite cosy if you like that sort of thing.
The pub grub seemed to be doing well during the Saturday lunchtime I was there, catering for a mainly elderly clientele.

We returned in the evening and found the place busy with younger drinkers sheltering from the torrential rain and enjoying the intimate atmosphere. Well, it was packed.

22 Oct 2008 10:52

The Railway Tavern, Carshalton

From last week's Sutton Guardian:

A Landlord and landlady are having a few drinks on the house after their pub was named best in the south east.

Jackie and Trevor Gingell received the award for the best cellar after an award panel visited their Carshalton pub and deemed their cellar the best kept and cleanest they had seen.

The couple, who have been running the Railway Tavern in Carshalton for 13 years, are delighted to have their hard work recognised.

Mrs Gingell said: “We are so happy to have won the award, especially from a trade magazine. It is extra special when you are praised by experts in the industry.”

The Morning Advertiser, the pub trades magazine, presented the award to the Gingells’s at a glitzy award ceremony at the Hilton Hotel. Mrs Gingell said: “The ceremony was wonderful, although we didn’t get to stay for the night, the evening itself was fantastic.”

Described as a real local’s pub, the homely feel of the Tavern didn’t go unnoticed by the judges. “They were really impressed with the whole place, they inspected the cellar and then had a look around the whole pub and they really liked it.

“It’s a really family pub, our daughter Louise, 22 always helps out around the bar, she is at the age where she can really appreciate the pub environment - well, its contents anyway.”

16 Oct 2008 17:21

The Catherine Wheel, Henley-On-Thames

Had a couple of decent pints here after paying over the odds at another nearby pub. The Hobgoblin and Abbot Ale were in good nick, and the pub quiet and relaxing.

A non-typical Wetherspoons in my humble opinion, but still rather anonymous. Worth a visit tho'.

13 Oct 2008 23:54

The Angel On The Bridge, Henley-On-Thames

Expensive Brakspears - £3.20 in a plastic drinking vessel - but a stunning riverside location. Apparently the local council insist on plastic as glasses were being thrown into the Thames...

Could be so much better with some care and attention.

13 Oct 2008 23:49

The Black Horse, Reading

An unspoiled country pub in a hard -to-find narrow lane. Completely unspoiled by modern intrusions of any sort, The Black Horse is a veritable time-warp. Quinno's description of the outside gents' toilet is quite accurate! I think the open fire in the small front bar must be a real treat on a cold winter evening.
We were made very welcome this lunchtime and our small party - the only customers - enjoyed the West Berks and Butlers beers until long after the nominal 2pm closure time. Very friendly indeed.
Food was simple - filled rolls with a choice of cheese, ham or beef.
A total gem. Visit before it becomes a gastropub, or gets a makeover. One of a vanishing breed.


13 Oct 2008 23:42

The Hope, Carshalton

The Ansell's Mild now replaced by Tetley's Mild. This pub is going to be one to watch, given its interest in serving a variety of proper beer. It's worth a visit if you are in Carshalton.


6 Oct 2008 23:44

The Greyhound, Carshalton

I've enjoyed drinking in The Greyhound for over 30 years, but recently the price-hikes, the indifferent attitude towards customer relations, and the beer quality have made it more of an effort than a pleasure to visit this fine old establishment.
Youngs management seem to be playing a peculiar game with their pubs in Croydon. Are they deliberately trying to run the businesses down in order to flog them?


29 Sep 2008 00:05

The Harvest Home, Croydon

I enjoyed myself drinking here. It's a pub for relaxing in with well-kept beer. Recommended.

16 Sep 2008 01:22

The Railway Tavern, Carshalton

Well kept Fullers beers in a traditional street-corner local. Well worth a visit for a couple of pints of very fine Pride.

17 Aug 2008 12:51

The Hope, Carshalton

My first visit last night and I agree with the last two reviewers. This is a proper village pub with a friendly feel. It hasn't been mucked about, it's unpretentious and comfortable.

The beer was superb: Ansells Mild was surprising to find, and very drinkable. The Harvey's Best was one of the best-tasting examples I've drunk outside of the Brewery or The Royal Oak or The Garland: Miles Jenner would be proud. The ale is limited to what Punch has on their A-list, but the landlady explained she was trying to get Punch to let her expand. Watch this space.

Avoiding the modish urge to gastropub everything, The Hope offers simple pub grub at reasonable prices, Didn't try any last night - they'd stopped serving - but what was offered on the blackboard menu looked reasonably priced (mostly £3 -£5) and appetizing.

I'd go back.

15 Aug 2008 18:34

The Gardeners Arms, Lewes

Sorry Trainman - I forgot to mention that 6 or 7 beers IS "a vast array" as far as I'm concerned!

Still well worth a visit - we went after a brewery tour and continued to drink Harvey's at The Gardner's Arms! (I recall it was a brew they didn't have available in the sampling room at the brewery, but names & details escape me. We'd had a few by that time...)

7 Jul 2008 01:24

The Rose and Lion, Bromyard

Alas - refurbished! All one bar with exposed wood and stone. Ill-advised. It was a glorious treat before the makeover. Simple and traditional. That's progress for you...

At least I saw it in its pristine glory. And the beer is still OK.


5 Jul 2008 23:58

The Green Dragon, Croydon

Popped in for a quiet lunchtime pint of Dark Star beer in Croydon's Pub Of The Year 2008. The Hophead was in good nick, and later I was tempted by the Summer Meltdown. Good stuff. Also available were Shepherd Neame Spitfire and Jennings Cumberland Ale. And there were two Hogs Back beers, Summer Ale and Hop Ale, waiting to be served later direct from their casks. The Green Dragon is serious about its ales.

A fine pub - and there's 15% discount for Camra members amongst others. Well worth a visit.


5 Jul 2008 17:30

The Orchard, Shirley

The freehold is up for sale but they hope that it won't affect business.
The governor leases it free of tie from the freeholder at the moment and he will continue there until the end of his lease or unless he wants to pack it up and sell his lease.

This is an out-of-the-way place, but a very decent local. It is quiet, but there is a core of ale drinkers who use the place at regular times. Worth a visit.

4 Jul 2008 19:59

The One Eyed Rat, Ripon

Stranded in Ripon for a couple of hours while Mrs AR investigated the local bellringing, I managed to find this superb pub after a couple of duds. Not only half a dozen real ales primarily from local breweries, but a fine wine list and proper food if you wanted.

This place draws a wide customer base: young and old, men and women, all enjoying the good things on offer in a serene atmosphere.

A lesson in how to do it. Eschew other pubs and try The One-Eyed Rat.


3 Jul 2008 23:16

The Three Tuns, St Keverne

We spent a pleasant sunny afternoon here relaxing after ringing the bells at the neighbouring church. I can't remember what the beer was, but it was good enought o keep us there for a while. Food looked tempting too. Fine traditional pub.

30 Jun 2008 18:20

The Blythe Hill Tavern, Forest Hill

Beautiful unspoiled interior with golf-themed décor. Staffed by gentlemen in shirts and ties serving fine Harveys and Westerham beers when I visited. A proper London pub, well worth a visit if tradition means anything to you.


29 Jun 2008 13:13

The Rock, Chiddingstone Hoath

As earlydrinker says, a gem. The Larkins Traditional (3.4%abv) was delightful in the June sunshine this afternoon. Customers arrived in mud-spattered vehicles fresh from the farm,; others sat enjoying lunch in a quiet corner of the brick-floored bar. Outside several dogs lazed sleepily while their owners drank and chatted under the naked siren sitting on the eponymous rock on the pub sign...

You'll probably need an OS map to find the Rock, but I think it's worth it.


25 Jun 2008 19:07

The Gardeners Arms, Lewes

A very fine pub serving a vast array of beers from micros. It can be very crowded, but that's half the fun; rubbing elbows with other people who think proper beer is worth seeking out.

The beer is this pub's strength: it's all tip-top, and after a couple you'll want more, and the whole place develops a rosy glow...


15 Jun 2008 15:21

Dorset Arms, Lewes

Lunched here after a tour of Harvey's Brewery on the recommendation of staff at the brewery. A good pint of Harvey's Copperwheat washed down a rather expensive sandwich, but I had no reservations about the quality.

A pub for families, I felt. Pleasant outdoor drinking and eating area with a separate area for smokers. Excellent arrangement!


15 Jun 2008 15:15

Tithe Bar, Northallerton

Modern Belgian-style bar decked out in bare wood with a restaurant upstairs - the Hop Bine Brasserie.
There's a selection of real ales on handpump all from local breweries and microbreweries, and all are clearly listed on a chalkboard above the bar to obviate squinting at the pumpclips. The three I tried were all in fine condition.
The customers - a variety of young and old, men and women - were obviously enjoying the experience of using this place, and appreciating the quiet relaxing ambience.

A reliable place for ale. (...and dare I say - a fine plate of sausages and mash with superb onion gravy.)


4 Jun 2008 13:31

The Crown Inn, Penzance

Spent the afternoon of 10th April here with friends drinking superb Otter Ale in this bright friendly pub. Ate a pizza to help soak up the beer, and found it to be tip-top.
The whole feel of the place is warm and relaxing, with a sofa-filled snug complete with open fire complementing the traditional front bar.

It's handy for the station which is just down the road & round the corner, and is the best pub we found in Penzance.


20 May 2008 01:30

Hoopers Bar, Camberwell

Visited again last night, and found a very convivial atmosphere, created by friendly banter about the merits of the three cask ales on offer: Rooster/Outlaw "Wild Mule" (3.9%); Red Squirrel "Dark Ruby Mild" (3.7%) and Hart Brewery "New Rose" (3.8%) All three were ideal for a session in the sultry weather being experienced in London at the moment.

Tasty snacks appeared on the bar at regular intervals, and the owner enthused about the coming beer festival starting Thursday. Sounds like a good selection of ales wil be on offer over the 3 days, including Oakleaf "I Can't Believe Its Not Bitter" 4.9% (a prize winning cask conditioned Lager)& beers from Dark Star, Nethergate, Stationhouse and All Gates.

I hope it goes well for them!

Worth a visit

14 May 2008 09:49

The Old Custom House Hotel, Padstow

Not a patch on The London Inn. A bland place catering for the easily pleased.
(Jollyjones & Tommytit (similar names, writing style and similar spelling errors, and both joined today!) seem to be easily pleased...)

6 May 2008 19:20

The Failford Inn, Failford

After reading Harz99's review i checked with the pub's website.
No sign of closure yet. I quote:

"Windie Goat Brewery's 2nd Birthday - Friday 16th May
We're delighted to send an open invitation to Windie Goat Brewery's 2nd Birthday at the Failford Inn on Friday 16th May. Join us to raise a glass to our little brewery that continues to thrive.

We'll show case four Windie Goat Beers;
- Priest's Wheel
- Peden's Cove
- Sheep's Linne, a new red malty ale
- and by popular request the Gutter Slab will be back."

Perhaps Harz99 ought to get along and have another look! I would if I could but Failford is 450 miles for me.


4 May 2008 00:31

The Harp, Covent Garden

Love the review Chav_man! Who said irony was a dying art...

You've recognized that this is one of the best boozers in London and your pithy recommendation will be appreciated by Binnie and her staff, who will no doubt be preening themselves in the glow of your praise.

Your review will serve to make those who have yet to enjoy the delights of the Harp even more eager to abandon lesser venues, eschew lager-drinking übergits, and head for Chandos Place...


25 Apr 2008 00:05

The Garland, Redhill

Bill and Shirley are retiring on the 30th of APRIL however their last day at work is next Monday the 28th of APRIL.

The pub will actually be closed on Tuesday 29th and Wednesday 30th of April pending a handover to a new tenant.

If you want to visit the pub before they go, you'll have to go there pretty quick.


24 Apr 2008 16:04

The Green Dragon, Croydon

Tonight the announcement was made that The Green Dragon is Croydon & Sutton CAMRA Pub of the Year 2008 - a worthy winner.
20 or 30 CAMRA members drank a couple of barrels dry, and ate mounds of sarnies celebrating this great pub's deserved place as one of the top venues in Croydon.

The Hophead, Bath Ales Gem, Elgoods, Butcombe and Hogsback beers straight from the cask made excellent drinking.

Looking forward to the Beer festival starting 21st April...


2 Apr 2008 00:39

The Horse and Groom, St Leonards on Sea

As Gruntfuttock rightly says, this is definitely one of St Leonards better pubs. It serves a selection of cask ales and is comfortable in an old-fashioned way which only English pubs can achieve.

23 Mar 2008 21:18

The Cumberland Arms, West Kensington

Smartly, but sensitively, refurbished traditional street-corner local serving a fine pint of Timothy Taylor's Landlord at £3.00 yesterday. Black Sheep was also available, but the London Pride clip was reversed.

The blackboard listed some ambitious - but unpretentious - sounding dishes at reasonable prices. Being on my way to a food and drink event at nearby Olympia I resisted temptation.

As Millay says, a successful compromise between trendy and traditional. It reminded me of the 1940s pub in "Goodnight Sweetheart" in some respects...

I'd go back.


16 Mar 2008 12:55

The Oakfield, Croydon

"Built originally as a pair with the Bridge Hotel (called the Goose & Carrot until demolished recently) which it faced across the railway bridge, the fine exterior has been well restored. Now converted to a single, comfortable bar with pool table at the left hand end. latest refurbishment lost the "Tavern" from the name."
(From Croydon & Sutton CAMRA website)

Will visit and report up to date scenario soon.

11 Mar 2008 19:18

Saints and Sinners, Croydon

Street corner pub with a small, single bar with bare wood floors and a raised carpeted area. The cask ale is Courage Best with the possibility of an occasional guest ale.
The emphasis is on food, served until 9pm Monday to Friday and 7pm weekends. Extensive menu featuring home made and home cooked meals and Sunday roasts. Curry night Tuesdays. Handy for visitors to Mayday Hospital just round the corner.
(From Croydon & Sutton CAMRA website)

11 Mar 2008 19:14

The Surprise, Croydon

Visited last night with 30 or so members of Croydon Male Voice Choir, who led the community singing after their concert nearby.

The service was excellent given the vast influx of punters, and the GK IPA was drinkable but not at its freshest. The London Pride was by comparison lively and refreshing, and got the thumbs-up from the landlord of The Royal Standard who was visiting with the choir.

A pleasant local with an intimate atmosphere. Worth a visit.


9 Mar 2008 17:28

The Ship Inn, Wandsworth

Popular and well-used smart local. A pleasant enough place, serving "Youngs" beers from Bedford, and catering for a mixed crowd. But the top pub in the land? Ha ha!

It's definitely the best pub in Jew's Row however..

9 Mar 2008 10:15

The Harlequin, City

Popped in last week for a pre "Peter Grimes" pint at this pub next to Sadlers Wells. The décor is bare floors and scumbled paintwork. Scrubbed pine tables. Chalkboards with the daily specials. Non-matching chairs. All doubtless carefully chosen to create the effect that it's a charmingly bohemian hotchpotch. A wee bit artificial for my taste, but wife (had she been there) would love it.
Now, the serious bit. There were two ales on: Black Sheep and Timothy Taylors Landlord. Didn't try the Black Sheep on this occasion, because the Landlord was as tippety-tip-top-tip as it gets. So we stuck with it for the second round. *And* the quick one during the first interval, hot-footing it round from the theatre. We'd booked interval drinks & paid for them, a handy feature. Yes, the beer was superb.

And the food looked good too. There was a theater goers offer at £10 per head, which included a glass of champagne at the interval as well as food before the show. Needless to say the ale sufficed.

All in all, a pleasant pub which wears its pretensions lightly and confidently. And the service was efficient and friendly: when it was noticed that I had a chipped glass, I was given the next drink free. Can't argue with that kind of customer service.

2 Mar 2008 01:04

The Calthorpe Arms, Holborn

Spent a pleasant couple of hours here this evening enjoying the atmosphere of a proper London pub which has avoided the passing fads of fashion, and which has remained a traditional local boozer.

The beer is superbly kept - and may be "only Youngs" to quote an earlier reviewer, but you won't find a finer pint of it for miles.

I'd go back.

22 Feb 2008 01:04

The Green Dragon, Croydon

We drank the Winter Ale until midnight.
All is good.
What a star this pub is.

19 Feb 2008 00:49

The Gladstone, South Norwood

Definitely NOT open - there is chipboard over the windows now. No sign of life...

17 Feb 2008 23:35

The Harp, Covent Garden

The Harp was packed last night for yet another award - the Society for the Preservation of Beer from the Wood (SPBW) awarded the Harp the honour of London Region Pub of the Year. All the beers were in tip-top condition as usual, and Binnie and Sarah led a super team of staff who made sure there were no queues at the bar despite the place being jammed.

If you appreciate cheerful friendly service, tasty O'Hagans sausages and a wide range of very well-kept cask-conditioned beer, then this bijoux pub is the one for you. Being so good, it does get busy tho'!

18 Jan 2008 16:51

Dan McKays, Troon

There was a sign in the window saying "No food as from 14th January" - new management apparently. The real ale selection was scantier than previously.

What's the future for Dan McKays? Without food and with a limited ale selection they face stiff competition from Bruce's Well just along the road. Indeed, the barperson in Bruce's Well told me they'd been attracting customers from McKays.

I do hope the new regime will not squander the huge amount of goodwill built up by the previous management teams over the years, and continue to offer the range of products and efficient service for which Dan McKays has become known.

18 Jan 2008 16:33

The Failford Inn, Failford

Visited on a dark, wet lunchtime and found a cosy bar, warmed by a wood-burning stove with a friendly barmaid who made us welcome. No Windie Goat beer on, but fine Amber Ale from Strathaven and Misty Law from Kelburn made up for it.

There are hundreds of beer mats and pump clips displayed showing the huge range of beers which have been served here. A suggestions book for future beers sits handily on the bar! This is obviously a pub which takes beer seriously, and has fun in the process.

We ate a colossal bacon (best Ayrshire) and egg (two, slightly runny, free-range) ciabatta roll each. Thoroughly recommended. The rest of the food looks good too.

CAMRA members get 20p off a pint, by the way.

One to visit when in Ayrshire. A gem.

17 Jan 2008 15:22

Victoria Cross, Thornton Heath

Traditional 2-bar pub with unspoiled original 1930s interior. It's a popular local with well-kept Courage Best at only £1.80 and a guest beer at £2.20. Ones I've tasted there have been from from Dark Star, Archers and Thwaites. The whole place seems cared for, and visitors are made welcome.

No food except for tasty well-filled rolls. There was a free bag of Kettle Chips being offered last time we were there.

Large-screen TV at one end of the spacious saloon bar shows whichever sport seems most popular amongst the regulars.

Recommended for those who like to drink in a "proper pub"

29 Dec 2007 16:41

The Golding Hop, Plaxtol

A superb pub serving well-kept cask beer in an isolated setting. We spent a cosy lunchtime eating and drinking before reluctantly leaving.

Closed in the afternoons I recall, but as stated before - visit while you can: the landlord was wondering how long he could go on making ends meet...


18 Dec 2007 20:19

The Cricketers, Croydon

This week there were 6 handpumps serving 3 Dark Star beers, Harveys, and 2 others I can't recall, because after 3 pint of Dark Star Original I couldn't remember the way to the gents...
Every time I come here it gets better. Croydon Male Voice Choir turned up last week and drank the place dry while leading the community singing. Excellent!

16 Dec 2007 15:18

The Red River Inn, Gwithian

We spent a most enjoyable hour or so here this summer, drinking a couple of pints of beautifully-kept local cask ale, while my wife had a pot of tea which, when it was ready, one of the locals brought outside to where we were enjoying the sunshine in the spacious garden.

A fine community pub which welcomes tourists as well as regulars. First class!


29 Nov 2007 17:07

The Fox Revived, Horley

This pub is not in Croydon! It is, however, near Charlwood, between Reigate and Gatwick Airport.

29 Nov 2007 16:45

The Rose and Crown, Croydon

Closed at the moment - probably due to lack of interest. This once-fine pub in a listed building needs some TLC.


28 Nov 2007 19:07

The Gladstone, South Norwood

The Gladstone is currently closed, and an air of dereliction is beginning to take over. The windows are broken, and it's looking sad. This seems to be the logical outcome of the lack of commitment this pub has suffered recently.

A shame, as the pub's been there since 1870, and once was a beacon of tradition in this area.

Any news about its future, anyone?

27 Nov 2007 16:35

The Alliance, South Norwood

Currently closed for refurbishment. Workmen busy in there this afternoon.


27 Nov 2007 16:29

The Kingfisher, Colyton

During a week in Colyton we used The Kingfisher several times. It's a cosy well-nooked place, decorated in up-to- date "ye olde worlde" style. The welcome is friendly enough, and the clientele were a cheerful 18 to 30 crowd in the main, with a selection of mature avuncular locals in support.

An appetising-looking pub-grub menu is offered tho' we did not eat here. A range of cask ales is offered, but during the week we were there, the quality was indifferent. On one occasion I could not finish a pint of Badger, and because we were with friends who lived locally & thought highly of the place, I surreptitiously surrendered it to the glass-collector ½ full, and tried my luck with something else which was only marginally more inspiring.

It may have been an off few days, of course. But several pints over 2 or 3 visits confirmed that out-of-condition beer was all we were going to get that week.

Hope to visit again and find the beer in better nick.

20 Nov 2007 13:19

The Gerrard Arms, Colyton

A proper pub with basic furniture and no chintzy frills. We stayed in Colyton for a week this summer, and enjoyed this pub's vibrant community spirit, the excellent range of well-kept beers from local small breweries, the unpretentious good-value food, and the friendly welcome. This felt much more like a well-used unpretentious traditional locals' pub than The Kingfisher down the road.

This is how pubs should be. Recommended.


20 Nov 2007 12:39

The Jerusalem Tavern, Clerkenwell

Best time to enjoy this special pub is late lunchtime and early afternoon, when it's not so rammed with drinkers enjoying the very special beers from the St Peter's Brewery.

That said, it's also enjoyable when thoroughly crowded...

A gem.

14 Nov 2007 16:24

The Jerusalem Tavern, Clerkenwell

Best time to enjoy this special pub is late lunchtime and early afternoon, when it's not so rammed with drinkers enjoying the very special beers from the St Peter's Brewery.

That said, it's also enjoyable when thoroughly crowded...

A gem.

14 Nov 2007 16:23

The Green Dragon, Croydon

Spent a most congenial couple of hours here on Halloween sampling brilliant beers from the selection Esther's chosen for the current beer festival which lasts until the weekend. Twickenham Naked Ladies was a favourite, and the Olde Trip was good too.
I couldn't resist a pork tomato & chilli sausage served with onions and ciabatta for only £1.50. Really good.
An eclectic mix of customers gave the place a broad appeal, such that neither mature drinkers nor younger clients would feel alienated. (As has been already noted by TWG!)

I'm impressed, and so were the others in the group I was with.

2 Nov 2007 10:58

The White Horse Inn, Stogumber

A friendly reception in a competently run pub with a selection of cask ales from west country brewers and a good if shortish menu - we were informed the previous chef had left some time ago, and an ambitious menu has become more manageable, and none the worse for that in my opinion
My ham and mushroom pancake starter was delicious and the following game pie was substantial and very tasty; my wife's stilton & spinach quiche was approved. Pudding was home-made apple and red fruit crumble.
Beer from the Cotleigh Brewery was drinkable but not quite in perfect condition.
All in all, a pleasant pub, trying hard, and providing a good service.


29 Oct 2007 10:08

Hoopers Bar, Camberwell

We were impressed by the selection of proper beer when we visited, including Hop Daemon and Bear Brewery ales. Jamie the guv'nor made us toasted sandwiches and made us welcome.
Not a particularly cheap pub, but well-kept, smart and modern in a traditional sort of way, if that makes sense...
A fine pub a short walk from East Dulwich station.

20 Oct 2007 23:22

The Harp, Covent Garden

Nicgooner (23rd Aug)- If your pint was foul the brilliant staff here would have replaced it instantly and given you a few more for nothing, probably. Was your review written from memory? I ask because all of your reviews were written on the same day. Are you sure you got the right pub? Never had a less than good pint here myself.

13 Sep 2007 16:31

The White Horse Inn, Beverley

Briefly visited this most atmospheric pub for a pint of Sam Smiths (£1.33!) while my wife rang the bells at the nearby St Mary's church.

Just superb.

A trip back in time to a gentler age.

27 Jul 2007 23:44

The Cricketers, Croydon

Just off to revisit this fine pub which is tonight awarded Croydon Pub of the Year 2007 by the local CAMRA branch. There are fine Harveys, Itchen Valley, Westerham, Gribble and Adnams beers on, and the likelihood of even more selection later.

The extensive no-smoking areas are a welcome foretaste of the nationwide ban coming soon, and the provision of a quiet area for drinking and talking is refreshing.

Honest reasonably priced home-cooked food available, which looks good.

12 Jun 2007 18:58

The Lord Nelson, Brighton

Easter Sunday afternoon, and after several pints of tip-top Harveys in this lovely place we felt all as if all the world's woes had melted away.
A first visit for us, and we all agreed we'd return.

A gem!


9 Apr 2007 10:22

The Victory, Thornton Heath

Closed since 2005. Currently being considered for conversion to a mosque.

21 Mar 2007 23:28

The Ship Inn, Irvine

Had a great meal here.

17 Mar 2007 09:37

The Cricketers, Croydon

Beers sampled here last week: Westerham BB; Itchen Hampshire Rose; Welton Old Cocky; Harveys Sussex Bitter. All were in particularly fine fettle, especially the Hampshire Rose. My mate was very impressed by his first visit, and intends to return bringing Croydon Male Voice Choir with him after their next practice! They like a decent pint apparently...

The landlord came over to our table and asked if we were enjoying the beer. We were impressed by his personal attention, and assured him we were enjoying both the quality and the range of products on offer. Too often a pub with more than a couple of ales have quality contron problems. Not the case here it seems.

He told us there will be another "Meet The Brewer" evening at The Cricketers on St George's Day, Monday April 23rd. This time it is the turn of Robert Wicks the founder of Westerham Brewery. Looking forward to sampling the beer. Last time I went to an evening here, there were about 9 or 10 beers available, not just ones from the visiting brewery either.

This pub is one to watch.

14 Mar 2007 16:07

The Sandrock Hotel, Shirley

A decent enough place serving Young's Ordinary Bitter (without the "benefit" of sparklers) and some tasty-looking lunches being served to the noontide customers today.

The 3 or 4 other people in the place had plenty of room, and were eating in sepulchral near silence or whispering.

I'd like to try and visit again one evening with a couple of pals to see if the slight gloom disappears when the light go on...

All in all,this is either a superb venue for a quiet, contemplative pint with peace enough to undertake an Aurucaria crossword, or, a lifeless graveyard with geriatric customers sipping halves. You choose...


8 Mar 2007 14:29

The Lion, Croydon

Popular free house in quiet street opposite the Croydon Cemetery. Two bars, the front one quieter, small and comfortable with a fine mirror, the back bar larger and noisier with games. A genuine freehouse serving (last month) a full range of Hepworths beers and the full range of Shepherd Neames beers. The range changes regularly. A true community local run by an enthusiastic manager and his team.

17 Feb 2007 14:37

The Cricketers, Croydon

Delicious Loddon Brewery ales this week, and Twickenham Beers, and Harveys, and Timothy Taylors, and I could go on. This pub goes from strength to strength. A landlord who is genuinely interested in beer, and friendly locals. Can't beat it!

16 Feb 2007 14:17

The Gold Coast Bar and Restaurant, South Norwood

Back again to try the food, but the kitchen was closed for refurbishment. It opens again in early March, and so the full menu is temporarily unavailable.

However, there were Chichinga (goat and chilli kebabs) and Kelewele (fried plantain), both of which were delicious.



15 Feb 2007 23:40

The Hope, Wandsworth Common

Continental beers at The Hope? What are they, pray tell?

4 Jan 2007 00:14

The Royal Oak, Borough

ChrisF, 27th Nov, must be jesting. Nothing here is "overcooked" or "murdered"! You will find perfectly prepared vegetables accompanying the best home-cooking in London. My wife, no mean cook herself, on her first visit here, declared she would be making this her first choice London pub for food.

For myself, I just love a few pints of Harveys, and trying the latest "seasonal" offerings from the full range stocked here. However,I stuck to an old favourite, the Sussex Best on Friday lunchtime. It just begged to be drunk...

17 Dec 2006 13:37

The Albert Tavern, South Norwood

Jenny and her staff are turning The Albert into what could be the best pub in SE25. The real ale selection (from corporate gobblers Greene King admittedly) is always in tip-top condition. Yesterday, the barman asked me what I thought of the temperature of the IPA, and produced a digital thermometer to demonstrate the impeccable cellarmanship. (It was 13.5°C. Ideal for real ale!)

Incidentally, the GK IPA here at £1.80 a pint holds its own taste-wise with the likes of Youngs Ordinary. When fresh and correctly served, it is, oh ye knockers of GK, a revelation.

All real ale is under £2.20 a pint by the way.

The lager drinkers of my circle inform me that all's well here as far as fizz is concerned. I even tried the Kronenbourg 1664 and found it remarkably inoffensive, nay palatable. Apostasy, I know, but some folks like it.

The Albert is used by a wide cross-section of the local community, and has been for over a century. The last few years have seen it knocked about a bit: The separate public and saloon bars were combined, and now the island bar has gone, ironically reducing the available space! The jury is still out on whether the latest makeover is an improvement. It's still fairly comfortable, tho' the nooks and alcoves have gone.

A wider selection of European beers, and guest ale from local microbreweries would really put this pub on the map, but GK being what they are, we are probably living in cloud-cuckoo land... Or are we?

Over to you, GK.


4 Dec 2006 11:48

The Glamorgan, Croydon

Just read the reviews below. Rest assured, there were no (crowds of) office workers at 7.45 when we rolled in to eat! These discerning bankers must be a lunchtime and early evening phenomenon.

30 Nov 2006 00:11

The Glamorgan, Croydon

Several of us ate here a few evenings ago, and found The Glamorgan to be a tip-top venue on several scores:

1. It's clean and bright without having suffered the currently ubiquitous "continental-moderne" makeover. It's fresh and friendly instead, and modern in a pleasing aesthetic.

2. The food was excellent value for money. The smoked duck spring roll starter, and creamy haddock risotto, (a special of the day) were artistically presented, and thoroughly appreciated. Others had similarly favourable experiences.

3. Theer's a choice of 3 real ales, as well as some interesting looking Belgians. I drank a decent pint of Black Sheep, but was slightly disappointed by a lacklustre pint of Wychwood Hobgoblin. (The pump clip was turned very shortly afterwards, so I assume the one I got was the cask-end, which would explain things..)

4. Although it styles itself a "Gastropub" an appellation which makes me run a mile usually, this is different. There is a clear drinkers' area at one end, and an eaters' area at the other. It does seem like a good restaurant when at table, unlike some eateries where ambitious nosh is served at inadequate tables. Not The Glamorgan: proper tables, cutlery, glasses and service.

5. Good service. Friendly, informed service. Service with a smile!

So. What's a spectacular place like this doing in Cherry Orchard Road, a spit from East Croydon Station? Your guess is as good as mine, but if you want to visit, go soon. My guess is they'll head for the west End and double their prices. They could, you know.

30 Nov 2006 00:02

The Cricketers, Croydon

Last night there were 8 different real ales on (9 if you count GK IPA) - 5 of them in casks on stillages! It was however a special event: the pub was hosting an Adnams "meet the brewer" evening. The Adnams Best was good, but the Broadside was excellent.

Ordinarily, Harveys Sussex is always on, and there's a revolving choice of up to 3 guest beers. The atmosphere was friendly with a wide mix of people of all ages all enjoying the free beer samples, snacks and prizes.

All in all, a pub to visit if you enjoy a good pint from a smaller brewer, rather than the run-of-the-mill stuff which unimaginitive licensees stock seemingly everywhere these days.

It's also a comfortable place to watch rugby and soccer. I'll certainly consider returning.


14 Nov 2006 23:00

The Evening Star, Brighton

For myself, I just like the way there's nothing to get in the way of drinking enjoyment in the Evening Star. True, it can be crowded, and its bare wood aesthetic might not appeal to all, but it's a fine balance: When a pub is unpopular, there's usually plenty of room. In the case of The Evening Star there's always plenty of room outside lunchtimes during the week. There are always plenty of seats if you don't mind budging up with others. They're a friendly lot, usually. Just try.

Music is always an issue in pubs. You can't cater for a broad range of musical taste without veering towards the bland. The atmosphere in pubs like this is brought with the customers. A wide range of customers! I'm no good at spotting whether or not particular punters are geography teachers from the cut of their jibs, but I do know that the last time we went we included two bus drivers, a trade unionist, a biologist, a club manager, a retired teacher (not geography!) a postman, an IT technician, 2 housewives, a househusband and a vicar. We had a great time, and didn't make classist remarks about each other or anyone else using this pub, or any other pub in the land. A diverse group, converging to appreciate some very fine beer. Atmosphere is a matter of opinion. I'd have probably avoided this place when I was 19 and on the pull...

I merely meant that this pub deserved a little more recognition than languishing in the 40's on this list's ratings.

9 Nov 2006 19:01

The Moon and Stars, Penge

A fairly decent Wetherspoons, but having said that... Our outings here during "Beer Festivals" have been slightly disappointing. The range of guest beers during the last festival seemed to be thin; many "Sorry - not available" handpump signs, and beers going offline as we were served.
At other times tho': capable service (for Wetherspoons), good selection of cheap and interesting beer. Never noticed the place being dirty as other have, but that might just be me :)


9 Nov 2006 18:07

Trafalgar Freehouse, South Wimbledon

Very fine TT's Ram Tam, and Sharp's IPA had been added by the time we got there last night. All were sampled, and helped to oil some genial conversation with old pals.
The large alsation was completely unfazed by the little yapping dog. However, when we opened the door she scarpered down the road pursued by her owner... Sorry!


8 Nov 2006 19:42

Ye Olde Reindeer, Banbury

My favourite pub in Banbury. It has a timeless quality only achieved by long careful, undisturbed maturation. I once asked if I could buy one of their Hook Norton tin trays, and was amazed to be presented with it free of charge. "You're the first person who's asked - they usually steal 'em!"

Beer is always in tip-top condition. A proper pub.


8 Nov 2006 14:11

The St Kew Inn, St Kew

The St Kew Inn is a must for us when we are in Cornwall. There are probably a few better pubs in the county, but I haven't found them yet. This place moves at a peaceful pace, and the calming effect works wonders on stress levels.

The beer (St Austell) comes straight from the cask and the food is home-cooked and imaginative. During the summer months there are barbecues in the garden opposite. The ingredients seem to be locally produced for the most part, and the quality shows.

The customers are mostly well-heeled and well-mannered, but the ocassional intrusion of a braying übergit or two shouldn't detract from your enjoyment.


8 Nov 2006 14:00

The Stand Up Inn, Lindfield

That's to say: I hope the Festival becomes a regular fixture, not the dropping of pasties...

6 Nov 2006 09:49

The Stand Up Inn, Lindfield

Went to the Cider and Perry Festival last week and enjoyed a fine time sampling what was on offer. My mate thought the single varietal Kingston Black cider was nectar, and I have to agree.

The only downside was when my pasty fell from the bendy paper plate. Luckily, the floor here is so clean I had no hesitation in retrieving it and continuing back to my seat.

I hope this becomes a regular fixture.


6 Nov 2006 09:42

The Old Loans Inn, Loans

I remember when this was The Bruce Inn, a name which fitted well with the area's association with Robert the Bruce. It was a fine pub in those days, serving well-kept heavy and light.

Going back recently I was saddened to see the way the place has been desecrated in the name of progress. The decor is plush upholstered meets 70's Indian restaurant. The young, brisk staff didn't seem interested in serving drinks (nothing other than the usual pseudolager culprits were available in any case)

If we'd expressed interest in being served a meal they might well have been less insultingly dismissive. However, a pervading odour of stale frying was enough to tempt us back to the door, in search of things drinkable and edible in nearby Troon or Dundonald.

5 Nov 2006 16:30

The Evening Star, Brighton

That little rush of bottom-fermented controversy seems to have bubbled the Star up to a more realistic position in the ratings, IMHO.


4 Nov 2006 09:11

The Evening Star, Brighton

...but lager only pretends to be beer in this country, and does it so poorly no one with any experience is fooled by the pretence.

On the European mainland, however...

2 Nov 2006 23:57

The Rake, London Bridge

I broadly agree with Stonch. We had a fine time at The Rake a couple of weeks ago, drinking tip-top O'Hanlons Stout before exploring the Belgian and german bottled beers with the friendly help and advice of a knowledgeable bar-person. They closed the outside at 10.30pm and ushered us indoors to continue drinking in the tiny bar.

Will go back again when I've saved up enough beer money. Choose wisely, and you'll find the prices are roughly in line with other venues... (They were, however, offering Thomas Hardy Ale at £6.60ish a bottle in the same week Wetherspoons were selling it at £2.80 or thereabouts...)

F.Y.I. moclips2002: there's no "Hophead" brewery; it's a beer from The Dark Star Brewery, Moonhill Farm, Burgess Hill Road Ansty, Haywards Heath.

If the beer is truly in poor condition, point this out to the staff. Try this next time; no self-respecting beer outlet would tolerate a reputation for ill-kept ale, and my impression is that The Rake is a place commendably interested in its reputation for beer and ale.


31 Oct 2006 10:39

The Harp, Covent Garden

It's Binnie's and Sarah's commitment to Real Ale that counts. They know how to look after it, serve it, and please customers. It is definitely one of the top ten pubs in central London, but this view might alter depending on when you visit: get the place to yourself and enjoy; hit the rush hour and you might be less impressed...

A great venue nevertheless!

29 Oct 2006 00:05

Ye Old Mitre, Holborn

AR finally made it to YOM, and found it to be on a par with the Bridge Inn, Topsham, and other such delightful timeless unspoiled places...

Clearly a serious pub in every way, The Mitre does not pander to the likes of those who cannot recognise the inherent merit of a bucket full of grass cuttings...

So... Avoid! Discerning drinkers do not need you cluttering up the valuable space in this holy of holies...

28 Oct 2006 23:55

The Stand Up Inn, Lindfield

Not a review, more of a notice...

I received an email from the lovely people at the Stand Up Inn reminding me of their CIDER, PERRY & CHEESE FESTIVAL.

It's on FRIDAY 27th, SATURDAY 28th, and SUNDAY 29th OCTOBER.

I'm fully intending to try and get to Lindfield for a session, as I said im my earlier review.


24 Oct 2006 13:51

Cheeky Charlies, Troon

A very friendly bar, recently renovated with decent staff. Sadly, no real ale.

22 Oct 2006 16:30

The Fox and Hounds, Belgravia

Alas, Mitomighty, Youngs & Charles Wells are now one and the same, and Bombardier is a "Wells & Youngs PLC" brand now. That's why it's there.

Youngs beers have not been brewed at Youngs Wandsworth Brewery since last month, and all Youngs beers are now brewed in Bedford.

Some say they are not particularly changed. You'll have to judge for yourself.

End of an era, as they say...

22 Oct 2006 11:00

The Hope, Wandsworth Common

SneakyT has only reviewed one pub - this one.

I must take issue with her (or his) assertion that The Hope boasts "...a huge selection of beer..." On three separate occasions over the last few months a group of us have travelled (..." from far and wide...") to Wandsworth for the express purpose of drinking at The Hope, drawn by its reputation for cask beer.

On all three occasions we were sadly disappointed: there was only one beer available the first time we visited which ran out after a couple of pints were drawn. There was no-one (apparently) who knew how to change the barrel, and we were told there was no likelihood of any more coming on that evening, so we drank up and wandered across to The County Arms which did have well-kept Youngs beers.

The second time a coupl of months later there was no beer at all! So.. Over to The County Arms again...

The third time, another couple of months later - no beer on, and none coming on, so...

The Hope's hard-won reputation for stocking a range of interesting beer has been well and truly defenestrated as far as the C.R.A.P.S are concerned. Sadly, discerning drinkers all, we will be reluctantly avoiding The Hope unless some consistency returns.

SneakyT wrote of the staff: "Generally they are fantastic and as with all pubs they will have there (sic) off days."

All very well, having fantastic staff, but they should have their fantasies and "off days" at home, and not while serving the public. And training someone in basic cellar management would ensure the vaunted beers can be served satisfactorily...

19 Oct 2006 22:24

The Lamb and Flag, Covent Garden

Robin76: The L&F is indeed a fine pub. Even Binnie from the Harp uses the L&F!

TheStickler: I have often drunk here, and am surprised that the staff served beer in poor condition. My own experience has been that the staff are interested in discussing the ales, take a pride in what they're doing, and would be happy to accept valid criticism.
I am hoping your recent sorry experience was an isolated incident - a bad day - and that I'm not going to be disappointed the next time I visit...

18 Oct 2006 11:21

Ye Olde Cheshire Cheese, Fleet Street

The Cheese has had sawdust on the floor upstairs since I can remember - at least since 1969, so I suspect it's "tradition" rather than pretention, Stonch.

On another note: I remember being fascinated by the visitors books which used to be kept on the shelf in the downstairs bar. A few years ago the (British) barman asked us one quiet afternoon if we'd like a look. The 1933-36 volume was brought down and we found entries by The Marx Brothers, John Betjeman, and a whole bunch of others.

The visitors books only go back as far as 1667 tho'. The earlier ones were destroyed in the fire of 1666...

The Sam Smiths OBB is certainly cheap for central London - Wetherspoons' prices in a genuine pub.

18 Oct 2006 09:43

The John H Stracey, Briston

Good family-run pub. The food is hearty stuff, and they keep a fine pint of ale. I had bed and breakfast here, and was put up one of the family's own rooms as all the others were full. Can't beat that.

16 Oct 2006 23:08

The Old Albion, Crantock

I meant "wonderful" of course...

16 Oct 2006 22:46

The Old Albion, Crantock

Had a crab salad which looked expensive on the menu, but when it arrived it was a huge mound of the freshest crab served with a well-prepared salad and a freshly-baked roll. Wondeful! Can't remember what the beer was, but it wasn't the star of the show; the salad was...

16 Oct 2006 22:45

The Brook House Inn, Castle Cary

Got pissed on wonderful cider here in 1970 on our way back from the 1st "Glastonbury" festival at Shepton Mallet. We were waiting for a train & decided to have a drink.

"Two pints of cider please," we eagerly enquired.
"Only serve halves."
"OK, two halves please."
These were duly pulled, INTO PINT GLASSES, half-filled!

The reason became clear pretty quickly: the old boys at the far table were shaking so much, a half in a half glass wouldn't have made it back from the bar.

Can't remember much until waking up at Paddington, but after 36 years, this place gets a 7 for the memories, which I think were happy...

11 Oct 2006 19:46

The Railway Medina, Newport

This was a fine Gales house once upon a time, where I enjoyed many a pint of HSB during the 90's. Glad to hear the pub's much the same, and that there might be Deuchars when I return. A cosy pub.

11 Oct 2006 19:12

The Old Bell, Fleet Street

I meant, of course, that I want it to remain a hidden haven, free of crowds...


8 Oct 2006 18:26

The Old Bell, Fleet Street

Just to add to RogerB's learned account: The "back" of the pub facing St Bride's Churchyard was originally the front. The narrow passage opening onto Fleet Street has only comparatively recently become the "front".

This was my local over 30 years ago, and was the only pub in the area serving White Shield. Went back with the C.R.A.P.S. recently and found a good range of real ales in good nick.

It still retains the atmosphere of a proper pub, and is an excellent place for sampling ales in a quiet haven just off Ludgate Circus. But don't go there - there's not room!

8 Oct 2006 18:23

The George and Dragon, Fordwich

Good beer and above-average food from this Chef & Brewer pub. This pub features as "The Hand of Glory" in the 1944 film, "A Canterbury Tale" by Michael Powell and Emeric Pressburger, although many of the shots were studio based.

Worth visiting.

8 Oct 2006 13:52

Coombe Lodge, Croydon

Johnbilly's ADVERT for this pseudo-pub is the only review he's ever written, so his judgement of this place is either based on very limited experience, or he can't be bothered to write any more.
Coombe Lodge is an old ladies' favourite lunching place - beware the hazards of walking sticks wobbling, and zimmer frames shuffling erratically in front of you as you make for the bar. They like it presumambly because of the "old manor house" ambience.

The food is standard grub: Wetherspoons also do it well more cheaply.

The beer is ok, but not worth making the journey for. You'd likely have to drive here and forego carousing in any case.

All that aside, the lovely conservatory is a pleasant place for an autumnal ale, and perhaps a low-fat starter while you try to impress your gran and persuade her into changing her will...

6 Oct 2006 13:56

The Gold Coast Bar and Restaurant, South Norwood

Has the immediate impression of an up-market bar on entering - comfortable seating, soft but not dim lighting, and a long well-stocked bar.

The only thing missing is a selection of real ales. I'd give this place 10/10 if they served a couple of well-kept local ales rather than rely on the usual national fizz brands.

Didn't try the food, but others tell me it's worth trying.

6 Oct 2006 13:19

The Stage Door, Victoria

First drank here in 1970 with a pal who worked on "The Black & White Minstrel Show" at the Palace Theatre. Can't remember much except we enjoyed ourselves.

Going back recently at lunch opening time I found the interior largely gone and replaced with space for vertical drinking. The choice of real ales looked good, but only one proved to be on. It was, however, in good nick, as it should have been, given the wince-making premium pricing policy.

A pleasant place to enjoy a couple while waiting for a train, or after the show.

4 Oct 2006 12:47

The Orchard, Shirley

Popped in today and had a tip-top pint of Harveys, so had to stay for another. The second pint I had was the last in the barrel, so of course, I had to stay to see what the new barrel was like. It was even better. On a par with The Royal Oak or The Garland. The locals like their beer, and were very friendly.

This pub is in the CAMRA Good Beer Guide 2007, and I think it's rightly included. The cellar here is obviously very well kept.

The architecture of the Orchard is 1960's square box practical, and it does look a bit dour from the outside. But try the beer!

Getting there is a problem if you're not local. Try the 367 bus, getting off at the stop for Edenham School.

29 Sep 2006 16:28

The Fox and Pheasant, Fulham

Wonderful cosy pub which is a complete surprise to discover, hidden away near Stamford Bridge. Leonard Rossiter used to live next door. A gem!

25 Sep 2006 22:53

The Hope, Wandsworth Common

Hopeless. On the last 3 visits here there has been no beer, and according to the less-than-interested staff, no early prospect of having any. We went elsewhere nearby and found proper beer served by professional staff. Pity, it could be a good pub.

25 Sep 2006 09:14

The Wheatsheaf, Vauxhall

Dear Quizmaster: just one last quick comment about my use of the word (not a phrase!) "gaff"

["gaff" - a phrase beloved of mockneys and other pretentious types." as you wrote.]

I thought you'd like to read the OED entry. Might be useful for a quiz later...

My usage was 2: possibly with hints of 3a, but I assure you, not 3b!

GAFF: n.4 slang.
[Of unknown origin.]
1. A fair.
1753 J. Poulter Discov. 31 The first Thing they do at a Gaff is to look for a Room clear of Company.
1811 Lex. Balatron. s.v., The drop coves maced the joskins at the Gaff; the ring-droppers cheated the countryman at the fair.
1821 D. Haggart Life 22 We stopped at this place two days, waiting to attend the Gaff.
2. Any public place of amusement. Hence the term has passed into the literary vocabulary as the name for the low class of theatre or music-hall to which it is most frequently applied by slang speakers. Also penny-gaff.
1812 J. H. Vaux Flash Dict. s.v., Any public place of amusement is liable to be called the gaff, when spoken of in flash company.
1856 Chamb. Jrnl. 11 Oct. 228/1 Would you root out the Penny Gaff, and compel the penny-paying find amusement elsewhere?
1861 Mayhew Lond. Labour III. 144 When a professional goes to a gaff to get an engagement, they in general inquire whether he is a good ballet performer.
1863 Q. Rev. July CXIV. 264 He knows them all..from the chief the humblest gaffs (as we believe they would be called in London).
1864 Sat. Rev. 30 Apr. 516 A piece of histrionics rather below the mark of a penny gaff.
1887 Contemp. Rev. Mar. 400, I had always wanted to see a Penny Gaff since I first read my Dickens.
3. a. A house, shop, or other building.
1932 G. S. Moncrieff Café Bar viii. 73 He went back to his gaff and broke into the gas meter.
1936 J. Curtis Gilt Kid ii. 20, I had it off last week.., not a big job, just a little snout gaff.
1938 G. Greene Brighton Rock iii. iii. 125 The barred and battlemented Salvation Army gaff.
Ibid. v. i. 188 It’s the best road-house this side of London... You can’t pick ’em [sc. girls] up in this gaff.
1961 J. MacLaren-Ross Doomsday Book i. viii. 86, I was keeping an eye on the gaff–seen you going in.
1971 Fremdsprachen XV. 63 Two new words..for a flat or dwelling are ‘pad’ and ‘gaff’.
b. spec. A brothel; a prostitute’s room.
1947 New Statesman 10 May 330/3 In most cases the girls do not live where they work (they call this their ‘gaff’).
1959 Streetwalker i. 14 Take a cab for the five minutes drive back to your gaff, or flat.


24 Sep 2006 15:49

The Wheatsheaf, Vauxhall

Ahh!! Just read DD's review to which you allude!! All becomes clear. No I've nothing whatsoever to do with him (or her). It's coincidence I used the same word "puffing". Probably due to spending too much time browsing 18th century theatre criticism...

Hope the quiz goes well, and you have some stinkers secreted up your sleeve to bamboozle them with tonight.

24 Sep 2006 14:04

The Wheatsheaf, Vauxhall

Dearest Pubquizmaster,

a) Never heard of Double Dutch or whoever or read his review. All I meant was that you were being HONEST! Advertising your own local, gaff, boozer, public house, tavern, gin palace, sports bar or what you will, and being open about it, unlike some sly boots who write glowingly in praise of their own hopelessly decrepit or unimaginitively restored drinking dens populated by the direst dregs of unreconstructed humanity.
And they do it PRETENDING to be punters!
YOU didn't. It matters not one whit that you have nothing to do with owning or managing the Wheatsheaf. You are advertising your pub, and it's "your" pub in the sense you drink there or run the quiz! And make a fine job of it too, nae doot.

b)You only used one "superbly inventive adverb" [brilliantly]!

c)Whitever gives ye the impression I "have an aversion to the Wheatsheaf"? Nothin' I said, if you read carefully! I'd never comment on a pub I had not visited.

d) Didnae Celtic dae well yesturday? I was cheering them on, rest assured.

e) Canny make it the nicht. But Ah'll be there someday...

f) PRETENTIOUS? MOI?? Whit aboot you pal!
"...The main bar is decorated with the same Oxford Blue and off-white walls and the restored wooden floor has come up beautifully (as has the floor in the other bar) and the furniture is of the mixed wooden variety - old church seats and so on.." Sounds like thon long-haired TV presenter :-)

g) No offence meant - just persiflage, as you know!

24 Sep 2006 13:23

The Cricketers Arms, Croydon

Now closed and boarded up.

A shame.

This was one of Croydon's oldest remaining pubs.

23 Sep 2006 00:12

The Portmanor, South Norwood

Several years ago this was probably the best pub in South Norwood. The beer range was competitively priced, challenging the nearby Wetherspoons. Guest ales from small independent breweries featured stongly.

Alas several regime changes put a stop to all that, and the Portmanor's star faded.

On the 21st September there were 2 real ales on: Courage Best and London Pride, a shadow of its former glory days when 4 to 6 ales featured, often selling out within hours of being put on...

Perhaps the new management could show some imagination, and stock a couple of interesting guests? There IS demand out there and it CAN be done as I've said above.

23 Sep 2006 00:00

The Wheatsheaf, Vauxhall

At least "Pubquizmaster" is honest about puffing up his own gaff on this website!

I'm definitely impressed by the huge range of positive adjectives he uses, and almost I am almost persuaded to visit. Can't do it this weekend, but I'll be there soon to match his proudly-crafted perception to the actuality.

Pubs are about beer, and it's unclear from any of the reviews Ive glanced at what beer is served. I mean of course proper English cask-conditioned beer, as befits a pub which has a long history. Too many pubs are revamped and rebranded into transient theme bars with decor which will be out of date in a year or two, and serve drinks to match. I hope I'll find this is not the case when I come a-drinking...

BTW: I know Steve Chalmers, one of "The Lisbon Lions" who scored the winning goal for Celtic against Inter Milan in the European Cup in 1967. He's my mum's neighbour. Do I get a free pint?

21 Sep 2006 09:23

The Blue Anchor, Helston

Lovely pub; lovely brews; just lovely (hic)

20 Sep 2006 23:55

The Rose and Crown, Croydon

If this place got some decent proper beer back in, as they used to some years ago, the crowds would flock here to drink it. Pubs are about beer, and those that haven't any don't get the custom they could.

20 Sep 2006 23:49

The Crown and Pepper, Croydon

Not a pub, although it looks like one. It's as if no one is interested or in control, and there's an ineffective committee making useless decisions which are ignored by the staff.

I was taken here by a lager-drinking pal who wanted to watch sport on the big screen, and thought I'd at least have a pint of decent beer. Alas, despite 35 years of CAMRA, this place does not have anything except bog standard fizz. Had a bottled Guinness. You have to TRAIN staff to look after living beer. The dead stuff merely needs a spanner to attach the gas.

The ambience is odd. It looks, as I said, like a pub, but lacks the genuine feel of one.

20 Sep 2006 23:44

Crown, Shirley

A balance maintained here between pub and eatery. The staff know their stuff and customer service is friendly. There's a good selection of proper beer, well kept and correctly served, which satisfies the "pub" part of this establishment. We were alsoimpressed by the interest shown by the staff in the product they were serving and their concern: "What do you think of the beer?" we were once asked during a mini beer festival.

The food is Brakes Bros best - the usual culprits from the freezer, but well defrosted and heated thoroughly, and reasonably cheap. Don't expect haut cuisine. This is pub grub with restaurant manners.

Bland middle of the road decor, designed to be as inoffensive as possible to as many people as possible. Take your gran for lunch - she'll love it.

20 Sep 2006 23:14

The Bulls Head, Croydon

A pleasant back street traditional pub usually serving real ale.

20 Sep 2006 23:00

The Beehive, South Norwood

The pub with no beer! Well, no proper beer when I went in last Wednesday. There were pumps with reversed clips tho'. The Guinness I had was OK.

The pub grub was the standard sort of ready-prepared stuff, nothing special, but my chicken goujon baguette was tasty in the same sort of way as most fast food: heavily reliant on condiments.

This once used to be a fine pub which took care with its beers and punters came from afar to drink here. Unless the beer - and this IS a pub isn't it? - improves, discerning drinkers will probably give it a miss...

18 Sep 2006 10:06

The Stand Up Inn, Lindfield

The "Brewery Tap" for Dark Star! Soothingly decorated and kitted out with bare wood tables, this is a place to reflect on how good life can sometimes be. The wonderful bar staff serve a full range of Dark Star beers, AND a couple of guest ales!

The Hophead is the best I've tasted - yes - even better than the Evening Star! The pasties are to die for. Didn't try the chilli & chocolate one, but the ale & beef was gorgeous.

We were made aware of the Cider Festival to be held there at the end of October. Will definitely try to get along.

17 Sep 2006 10:04

William Stanley, South Norwood

Apparently, Terenced, according to gossip I probably shouldn't have listened to, the manageress with the lackadaisical attitude is to move on in the near future. I have personally nothing against her, but she obviously does not enjoy serving the public, and she has favourites, some of whome are the begetters of the free-for-all. The beer was excellent this week, however!

"The Ship of Fools" is an example of a Wetherspoons which is run with some consideration for the customers, and although catering for a similar demographic, manages to have fewer loud, swaying characters. It CAN be done!

14 Sep 2006 12:02

The Lord Napier, Thornton Heath

A comfortable traditional pub serving well-kept Youngs (Wells?) beer. The landlord is an ale enthusiast, and the clientele are a wide cross-section from footie fans to jazz lovers.

13 Sep 2006 11:39

The Wheatsheaf, Fitzrovia

The back of the pub is the best place to sit and enjoy a quiet drink in Fitzrovia. The beer range is good, and the sandwiches reliable.

Those of a literary bent can soak up the atmoshere of the bar where Dylan Thomas met his future wife Caitlin for the first time, and where many other writer and poets drank.

13 Sep 2006 10:54

Postal Order, Crystal Palace

A decent enough Wetherspoons, with a more mixed clientele than some. The beer range was wide this week, but all seemed to be served through a sparkler, giving an unwelcome "cappucino" effect. Other Wetherspoons don't do this - why here? Next time I'll ask if it's possible to have my pint served naturally, and see what the response is. If negative, I may have to write to Tim Martin again...

13 Sep 2006 10:41

JJ Moons, Tooting

Does what it says on the box. Reliable real ale, reasonable prices, cheap edible pub food. Can't knock it! Those with vanity issues about being seen in the same place as their parents (or granparents) needn't bother darkening the doors. There's plenty of flashy lager-lounges willing to rip them off.

11 Sep 2006 10:56

The Two Brewers, Croydon

Recently redecorated but unspoiled. The beer has improved after an "off season" last year. and was in tip-top condition this week. Good home-cooked food.

6 Sep 2006 14:31

The Two Brewers, Croydon

Small pub and the only Shepherd Neame outlet in Croydon. Enthusiastic management and occasional live music. Comfortable (except when Crystal Palace are at home) and friendly. Good home-cooked food.

6 Sep 2006 14:26

The Sultan, South Wimbledon

The Sultan won't please those who want artificially produced lagers, Sky sports, wine-bar decor, glitzy transience, corporate branding, and mass-produced beers.

If, however, your idea of the perfect pub is understated elegant simplicity, superbly served real ales, enough quiet to hold an intelligent conversation with other adults, and a tranquil relaxing place to unwind after a hectic day, this is it.

But don't go there. I'd rather it remained quiet!

6 Sep 2006 14:14

The Royal Oak, Borough

Visited Friday 1st September for lunch. My wife, a fish-eating vegetarian was impressed by her smoked trout salad until she saw the size of my steak and kidney pudding. (Phnar-phnar!) A truly wondrous portion of home-cooking, and worth every penny. A pint of Sussex best and a pint of mild completed a hearty and memorable meal. My wife has decided to try and move her pals to here from another pub near London Bridge, especially as the food is served until 9.15pm.

2 Sep 2006 19:11

The Cherry Trees, South Norwood

After noticing the "under new management" sign outside The Cherry Trees earlier this week, and hearing that this management also controlled the Clifton Arms and also the Whiteleafe Tavern, I called in on Wednesday 30th August at about 4.00pm. I was apprehensive because this venue has been a rather grim lager lounge for a good while...

There were two handpumps sporting homemade clips announcing "Spitfire" and "London Pride". I sampled each and found them to be in good condition, considering they'd been on a couple of days and business seemed sluggish - I was the only punter, although several others arrived and ordered lagers while I was there. The third handpump seemed to be broken, and hung at an odd angle.

The young Polish barman told me it was to be repaired, that GK IPA was to be added soon, and that three more handpumps ("over there", pointing) serving a variety of guest ales were planned. One to watch, obviously. An acquaintance of mine chanced to arrive, and insisted on bying me a drink, so I tried another half of Pride which seemed even better than the first...

The Cherry Trees is currently rather shabby, but the barman informed me plans were afoot to remedy this, including a new wood bartop. No reason why this shouldn't be a comfortable proper pub again. I'm reserving a rating until I've had a chance to see what happens.

It would be good to have another real ale venue in South Norwood, but that depends on drinkers turning up and supporting the venture, and supping the ale while it's fresh. Handy venuefor Norwood junction, and Selhurst Park.

1 Sep 2006 17:26

The Robin Hood, Sutton

A properly run pub serving the best Youngs beer in Sutton. How long this will last after brewing is transferred to Bedford remains to be seen. Definitely worth a visit tho'. Sutton CAMRA Pub of the Year 2006

29 Aug 2006 08:33

The London Inn, Padstow

My favourite pub in Padstow. A relaxed atmosphere with locals coming and going talking about boats and fishing, great food (cheapest lobster in Padstein) and well-kept tasty real ale.

29 Aug 2006 08:20

The Star, Sulgrave

Almost the perfect pub. Excellent Hook Norton ales, cosy fire in winter, stone-flagged floors...

29 Aug 2006 00:27

The Square and Compass, Worth Matravers

This is one of my top ten pubs in the land. A perfect pub with fine beer.

29 Aug 2006 00:20

The Ship of Fools, Croydon

Probably the best Wetherspoons in Croydon, with fewer "Sorry Not Available" pumpclips than The George. The service is good (for Wetherspoons) and I've never had a duff pint in several years of occasional visits. The toilet problem alluded to in an earlier post must have been solved - all was sweetness and light recently.

29 Aug 2006 00:07

The Coach and Horses, Soho

I used to love this pub, and the Three Greyhounds next door, but Norman and Roxy have gone, and so has the charm. Some of the staff seem to think they have inherited Norman's legendary rudeness, but they have not the panache and it comes across as plain nastiness now. Far too expensive as well, and inhabited by faded old soaks. It's only a few minutes' walk to decent pubs that are trying harder, like The Harp in Chandos Place.

28 Aug 2006 23:50

The Cherub Inn, Dartmouth

A quaint and cosy pub with oodles of character, serving real ales in tip-top condition. A visit to the gents can be character-forming after a couple of pints - it's up *steep* stairs..

28 Aug 2006 23:39

The Bridge, Topsham

The Bridge became one of my top ten perfect pubs after my first visit 30 years ago - thanks James Pettit! It's a series of small rooms and the beer selection is served from the cask in one of them, much as it always has been. No passing fads and fashions here,just solid quality. I believe it's the only pub in the land that's been visited by the Queen.

28 Aug 2006 23:34

The Chandos, Trafalgar Square

The Sam Smiths is OK, but the pub is noisy, smoky and crowded.

28 Aug 2006 23:23

The Huntsman, Thurlstone

The best pub for real ale in the neighbourhood. I look forward to a session whenever I'm visiting Thurlstone.

28 Aug 2006 23:14

The Tinners Arms, Zennor

Many happy memories of Cornish holidays here. A lovely pub serving good real ale. Perfect for a conclusion to a cliff-top ramble.

28 Aug 2006 23:10

The Pride of Spitalfields, Shoreditch

A proper pub with well kept beer. 10/10

28 Aug 2006 19:16

The Rose and Lion, Bromyard

I loved this pub before it was a Wye Valley house, and I love it more now. I always make for it whenever I'm in Bromyard, and like the way it remains a beacon of calm in a troubled world. It's a proper pub, no noise or tawdry trappings. The decor is pleasantly plain and neat, a treat after the numerous ill-advised makeovers other pubs undergo in vain attempts to keep up with the times. This place is a delight - like someone's front room.
The beer is always in tip-top condition - try the Dorothy Goodbody's Stout if available. The staff are friendly and the service is professional. A great place to wait while your exhaust is being replaced at Bromyard Autos next door.

28 Aug 2006 15:40

The Harp, Covent Garden

For a regularly-changing carefully-chosen selection of well-kept real ale, the Harp is probably the best pub in central London. O'Hagans sausages (pork & leek, lamb& mint, etc) are wonderful! Binnie Walsh knows how to run a proper pub, and her well-trained staff deliver a very high standard of customer care. The Harp's popularity means it can be crowded at times, so choose your times wisely and enjoy a tip-top drink a stone's throw from Trafalgar Square.

28 Aug 2006 11:31

William Stanley, South Norwood

Random incoherency is an expected hazard when rubbing shoulders with all-day drinkers,TerenceD, but is it not the case that bar-staff are prohibited by law from serving alcohol to anyone who appears to be drunk? Why cannot the William Stanley staff see the obvious piss-heads and deny them service? The other punters can spot them after all. Then it might become that halfway-decent Wetherspoons dreamed of by Gunner1, full of little old ladies sipping brown ale, off-duty nurses, thirsty homeward-bound be-suited businessmen and women, and tidy twenty-somethings with centre partings.
And White Lightning sales will rise at Spar...

26 Aug 2006 15:36

The Half and Half, Croydon

Simply unique! Superb hand-pulled ales, wonderful ciders from the cask, and hundreds of Belgian, German and other European beers. No music or fruit machines. A C.R.A.P.S. favourite venue

24 Aug 2006 22:04

William Stanley, South Norwood

Cannot totally agree with "Chavsum"'s comment. On 1st August we visited at 11.30pm on our way home from the Great British Beer Festival at Earls Court. We were thirsty after almost an hour's journey, and the Stanley provided a welcome pint of tip-top real ale. The locals were cheerful, and although there was no food at this time of the evening, I remember eating here and the fare being far from "dredfull" or even dreadful. The area is down to earth working class without pretentions. Some may see this as "dodgy", but it's a friendly, mixed neighbourhood.

3 Aug 2006 11:32

The Orchard, Shirley

A hidden gem of a local. Friendly service and two evry fine well-kept real ales for the Fosters drinkers to try if it runs out again.

2 Aug 2006 22:56

The Old Loans Inn, Loans

Used to be a decent, honest, proper village pub. Now concentrates on serving chips in an alarmingly pretentious "restaurant".

2 Aug 2006 22:18

Rose & Crown, Longburton

Although it was after 3pm, the lovely landlady still served me. The beer was tip-top, the finest pint I've had for a while. Recommended, even if you have to travel a while to sample the delights offered here.

30 Jul 2006 12:32

Shave Cross Inn, Marshwood Vale

Superb beers and friendly service from Wendy. The food seems pricey until it arrives! Gorgeous garden.

30 Jul 2006 12:25

The Little Windsor, Sutton

On 10th July the Fullers bitters were in good form, as was the Jennings Cumberland Ale guest bitter. The staff were friendly, welcoming to 1st time visitors to the pub. There were sandwiches available "all day" according to the sign, and a selection of tasty-sounding food was described on the blackboard. The atmosphere was cosy, there was a small pleasant outdoor drinking are at the front, and a variety of nooks and crannies to choose from inside. Can't think why I never visited this pub before, except that it takes a bus journey from Norwood! I'll definitely be back.

11 Jul 2006 11:29

Dan McKays, Troon

Now a Greene King house, meaning IPA, Ruddles and Abbot, but a guest ale is still available. The choice is still greater than most of the other bars in Troon. Much quieter since smoking ban, but this applies generally.

10 Jul 2006 13:07

The George, Croydon

Often the most popular beer is "SORRY NOT AVAILABLE", judging from the pump clips. (The SKYLARK in Brighton Road usually seems able to provide a full range when The George cannot.) Otherwise a decent Wetherspoons with a very large no-smoking area. Mixed clientele: lager-swilling Croydon yoof; OAPs having good value meals and cups of tea; business types after work; "all-day" drinkers...
And of course serious ale-loving, crossword-puzzling intellectuals who enjoy the music-free environment to chat with mates...

8 Jul 2006 09:38

Ye Olde Cheshire Cheese, Fleet Street

The very best place in London for a reasonably priced pint £1-80 for Sam Smiths OBB. Soak up the history in the tiny bar, or eat in one of the more spacious resaurant areas. A must-visit pub, especially on a cold Saturday afternoon in January or February when the open fire is roaring away, and you have the place to yourself!

5 Jun 2006 14:17

Dan McKays, Troon

Real ale is the real reason to visit this well-run friendly street-corner bar. There's always a good selection of ales from independents. CAMRA pub of the year on at least one occasion.

25 May 2006 10:52

The Evening Star, Brighton

The perfect pub for grown-ups: Superb beer, intelligent conversation, occasional live music, discerning customers, and a high level of commitment from the friendly staff and management who ensure a comfortable and rewarding experience. A very short stagger to Brighton Station for the homeward journey.

25 May 2006 10:43

The Pawson's Arms, Thornton Heath

Great place to drink Westerham Beers, although the music was a little obtrusive when we were there. Friendly & welcoming bar-staff offered us a free pint to taste!

25 May 2006 10:33

The Claret Free House, Addiscombe

Croydon CAMRA Pub of the Year 2006. Another win for this bastion of excellent beer. Presentation on June 7th. Dark Star and Westerham featuring strongly recently.

25 May 2006 10:29

William Stanley, South Norwood

Paradise for "morning drinkers". Usually 'spoons is reliable for a decent cheap pint, but the regulars here seem more intent on quantity than quality. Shame tho'. It could be a nice place, but discerning drinkers seem to go elsewhere...

23 May 2006 11:29

The Ship, South Norwood

A decent pint of proper bitter at a reasonable price in a proper pub.

23 May 2006 11:20

The Three Tuns, Hay on Wye

The most wonderful pub I've ever visited! Long lazy afternoons during the Festival, drinking beer from the barrel, and cider from the cask...
A real gem from the past, but sadly no more due to the fire. I hope it is sensitively restored.

23 May 2006 11:11

The Royal Standard, Croydon

One of the finest pubs in London. The Fullers beers, now joined by a Gales selection, are ALWAYS in tip-top condition. The ESB is legendary here; an eye-opener if you've never had it properly served. Martin the licencee deserves a medal.

23 May 2006 11:02

The Gladstone, South Norwood

This pub used to be very lively and well-used, but they seved real ale then. A lager-drinking venue for those who like lager. I drank a pint of Guinness, while being underwhelmed by the atmosphere. Someone needs to care for this place a little more...

23 May 2006 10:38

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