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BITE user comments - BeerEnthusiast

Comments by BeerEnthusiast

The Full House, Hemel Hempstead

This is a truly bad place.
Of course, it has the great merit of good cask ales at great prices, but is that worth what it comes with here?
The newest innovations are now TV with the sound blaring. And, joy of joys, films with a deafening volume. I wonder what happened to Spoon standards?
Tim Martin should look at this place and close it down again.

8 Jul 2014 08:48

The Benett Arms, Semley

Good choice of beers.
Woodburner.
Lunch seemed O/K.
But, I simply do not want to eat my lunch with the pub dog running around.
So, good for dog lovers but not for me.

16 Jan 2014 18:52

The Fountain Inn, Shaftesbury

There is a lot good about this pub. Decent ale, decent food.
Despite allowing dogs there were none in so we stayed for lunch. It was good.
This pub is well worth trying if you can.

24 Oct 2013 19:34

The George and Dragon, Northchurch

We try to support this pub whenever in the area, because it is a simple village pub of the sort that ought to be supported.
BUT...Last time we went the lines were being cleared and we had to wait ages for a beer.
This time we could not get lunch (told after we had the beer poured) as the kitchen staff were all on a course. This is poor, particularlry on a Friday.
Reluctantly I think we are at the giving up stage.

16 Nov 2012 20:53

Parish Lantern, Salisbury

I visited this pub at the reccomendation of a local resident.
I thought that it was a great place. Good welcome, local ale on, kept well. The lunch was very good and excellent value.
The place had a good atmosphere. What more could one ask? Well a log fire would have been nice!
Well worth supporting.
The proper phone number is 01794884392

1 Nov 2012 12:02

The Leather Bottle, Hemel Hempstead

This ought to be a super pub - but it isn't. It is a local footballers pub.
I tried the sunday roast. Pretty good, but I simply cannot and will not eat in a place with dogs running around. So, a waste of money.
Give it a miss until sorted out for customers without dogs.

16 Oct 2012 19:38

The Beaten Docket, Cricklewood

I have been using this pub for five years as it is the local of a friend of mine.
I have to say that it is certainly the best pub n The Broadway, but not much to beat.
It has the usual Wetherspoon, excellent Ales and reasonable value wine. But the pub is dingy and smelly and has the usual Wetherspoon urine soaked,seldom cleaned, toilets . What a mess!
Be prepared to run the gamut of the endless smokers at the door.
The food is of the frozen supermarket packet cuisine.
But...the best pub in the street!

16 Oct 2012 19:30

The Cardinal, Victoria

I am very puzzled. I wasted much time looking for this pub as listed in BITE Site. Only to eventually discover that it is now not The Cardinal but is The Duke of York or some such.
Anyway, the interior features are great. The beer is VERY limited, but good. The food I guess is standard Brake Brothers but inexpensive. So, worth viisting, better than most in the area, but not great.

PS Using this site is becoming close to impossible. It seems to be preoccupied with targetted advertising, selling 0870 numbers, sending me pop ups and loading me with Cookies that I do not want. And I thought that it had something to do with pub guides.

29 Feb 2012 20:23

The Old Ship, Mere

Licensees have given up the effort.
Pub closng very soon.

5 Dec 2011 10:54

George Inn, Mere

With The Ship "gone" and the Butt aiming at the dog trade the George inherits the mantle of being the iconic village pub. But with yet more new leaseholders in there now do they want the challenge?
Hall & Woodhouse is a matter of taste - but they should not sell very stale beer and short measures.

5 Dec 2011 10:51

The Butt of Sherry, Mere

Guided by the new management I am sure that this is now a very good pub for dogs.
Not good for drinkers and eaters I fear.

5 Dec 2011 10:44

The Phoenix, Gillingham

Still empty and closed with the "To Let" displayed at even date.
This high street has the smell of death about it. I would be pleasantly surprised if it is ever a pub business again.

8 Mar 2011 10:07

The Crown Inn, Shaftesbury

This pub is now closed and empty. Which is probbly for the best.

8 Mar 2011 09:58

The Mitre, Shaftesbury

This is a truly awful pub.
Everything looks filthy, everywhere. The furniture is jumble sale rubbish etc.
Dogs are encouraged; seem to have free reign, and the whole place stinks of dogs.
This s a place that would benefit from closing and is a must to avoid until it is clean and properly managed.

8 Mar 2011 09:54

The Full House, Hemel Hempstead

I visited again, because JDW beer is cheap.
BUT - this is still a terrible place. A few years ago I nominated it as the worst Wetherspoon in the UK. I am sure that is even more valid now.
Stupidly, as I was there I had a "meal". It was absolute rubbish.
Years ago I tried several times to tell JDW managemnt about the state of thsi place - but absolutely no constructive response.

Now we have had a very visible food poisening outbreak So good to see the sense of responsibility. A quote - Wetherspoons spokesman Eddie Gershon said: “This might have been spread in the busy pub, however, there is no suggestion that it started in the pub itself.” What a sad joke about such a filthy place.
Interesting to see that the "deep clean" did not extend to the toilets. They still look and smell as if they have not been cleaned for years. God knows what the kitchens are like?
Normal people should stay well away from this place. It is truly awful
Mike.

4 Feb 2011 15:49

Red Lion, Water End

If you want to go to an expensive Italian Restaurant then this might be on your list.
If you want a pub, look elsewhere (eg just up Red Lion Lane.

I think that this is a terrible place.

24 Dec 2010 17:50

The Benett Arms, Semley

Yes, this is a very quaint building with super potential and it did have a log fire.

Bu, I thought the beer was poor, and so very poor value. One cask ale was ridiculously cold, the other was the bottom of the barrel.
I thought the food was very poor, particular given the high prices. No wonder the restaurant area was very sparsely populated. Service was terrible and food cold.
Also, I do not like eating with dogs running round.
I think this pub needs to get some basics right. Until then I suggest that you give it a miss.

23 Oct 2010 11:54

Bull Inn, Olney

Yes, this is a decent pub.
The beer is very good and, by current standards, reasonably priced.
The food is O/k.
The dog policy (none inside) is great.
The centre bar has been refurbished by somebody who thinks that Olney really needs a pretentious Bistro style, but the rest is still pretty good.
Well worth a visit.

PS The table staff might be better trained to sweep up stale food off of the floor.

19 Sep 2010 18:15

The Walnut Tree, Mere

A family/children’s restaurant style pub with little character and staff who seem to have little interest in the bar.
But, the pub does sell a good range of beer, but not always well kept nor well served.

As I understand it the pub does do a lot to be part of the local community and so that is very commendable.

14 Sep 2010 17:28

The Butt of Sherry, Mere

This still has much of the feel of a village pub and it sells good cask ale well kept. It also has the rare merit of not being Hall & Woodhouse.
Well worth looking in if you are passing (as long as the Juke Box is not being played).

14 Sep 2010 17:21

Ship Inn and Hotel, Gillingham

We visited (for the first time) for lunch last Sunday.

There are so many things good about this pub. It has not been over refurbished, the bar staff are friendly and helpful, the beer is great. We had the Palmers which is an IPA that I am not familiar with. It was really good and well kept. The food was very reasonable as well.

BUT....I should have read one of the earlier reviews more carefully. I do not like dogs and I certainly do not like eating or drinking with dogs around. Fortunately we had finished lunch before the dog invasion struck (about 13.30). So, it was no problem to leave quite quickly.
I am sure that in such a well managed pub the landlord is clear that for some reason dogs cannot be left outside and that the current scheme is best for his trade. But I wonder?

So, a great pub, but do not go unless you love dogs and their habits.

14 Sep 2010 17:16

The Phoenix, Gillingham

I have recently visited this pub twice (I do not give up easily)!

Despite being Cask mark and in guides etc. it seems to have got very poor. Both visits both H & W beers have been poor (probably well past a use by date).

Strangely enough the unpromising pub next door (RedLion) was selling reaonable qulity beer.

29 Aug 2010 17:17

The Red Lion, Chenies

Visited on Sunday 25 July evening.
This is an excellent pub. Good range of cask ale, good "pub grub" food. Cheerful service and not refurbished by B & Q.
It is the sort of plavce that really merits support at the moment.

27 Jul 2010 17:30

Fishery Inn, Boxmoor

I have had an email so say that this pub is closing. That may be good, but the bad news is that it looks to me as if it is simply being rebranded by M & B to be one of their upmarket "Village Pubs" things.

So, that will bring high prices and pretentious food.
Whatever one thought of the food, this pub did keep a reasonable stock of cask ales and sold it at reasonable prices.. We will see what happens now.

13 Jul 2010 11:03

The Gate, Chorleywood

I visited recently, just happened to be passing and it looked a nice village pub. Not until I saw the familiar menu did I realise that it was the M & B village "upmarket" stuff.

On the good side it was reasonably well appointed, with a good Mediterranean style outside eating area.

On the downside. I found the food to be ridiculously overpriced ordinary stuff. The menu is very pretentious. Certainly nothing if you seek "pub grub" The cask ale at £3.15 is London priced in a Bucks. village pub. But the biggest problem is ever getting a drink. Clearly this place aims at the table service, not the bar. I am not sure that I have EVER had to wait for so long to get served a drink.

My wish is to see M & B providing half decent value and service? But the place was pretty full and frantic. So, I guess hey have hit the right spot with many people.

All in all an expensive and poor place, best avoided.

13 Jul 2010 10:49

Flying Horse, Clophill

I visited recently, just happened to be passing and it looked a nice village pub. Not until I saw the familiar menu did I realise that it was the M & B village "upmarket" stuff.

On the good side it was reasonably well appointed, albeit exceptionally gloomy with the massive extensions. The staff were amiable and keen (but see later).

On the downside. I found the food to be ridiculously overpriced ordinary stuff. The menu is very pretentious. If you want salad you will not find it. You have to look for “Leaves”!
The cask ale at £3.15 is London priced in a Bedfordshire village pub. Nice trick if you can do it.

The amiable staff seemed desperate for tips. I think that M & B should pay enough so that this is less blatant.

My tip to M & B is to see if they can provide better value?

All in all an expensive and poor place, best avoided.

13 Jul 2010 10:39

The Valiant Trooper, Aldbury

I viisted for lunch 3 June 2010.
I hesitated about going as about four years ago I had a thoroughly unpleasant experience with both the restaurant manager and my salad, which had a live worm in it.
Anyway, I put that behind me as pubs change every few months and visited again. What an enormous disappointment for a pub that used to have a good reputation.

The pub manager was, once again, one of those people who hated his job. New depths of miserableness are here.
The beer (which used to be a strength of this pub) was terrible. The Tribune was reject able (end of barrel) and then a later pint (new barrel) full of bits of yeast. At £3.10 this is not good.
The garden furniture is rotting to bits.
My lunch was dreadful. The terrine was so dry and crumbly that the bit I ate tasted like something from an oatmeal packet.

Somebody needs to get a grip of this pub as soon as possible.

3 Jun 2010 18:02

The Lamb Inn, Upton Noble

Visited recently. It is a pleasure to vist a pub where the landlord seems to like running a pub. So rare.
But he cannot resist the silly ritual of "have you booked?" despite the restuarant being pretty empty all evening. I will always wonder why we have to have this ritual?
Anyway, decent cask ale and good food. Wonderful setting. Well worth a viist (if you an stand the "have you booked" stuff).

24 May 2010 18:56

The Green Man, Eversholt

Visited yesterday.
Three cask ales on (for once not GK). So, a good choice. Perhaps, for a free house, a little expensive at £3.00 ++.
The lunch was excellent. The service attentive and helpful and good natured.
Log fires and a good atmosphere. A bit of a pity that the interior has been over modernised in a sort of "IKEA" type of design.
Enthusiastic energetic landlords.
All in all, a good pub well worth taking the trouble to visit.

1 Mar 2010 09:36

Spade Oak, Bourne End

Went today, following the Cask Mark listing guide.
The pub had loads of diners and plenty of trade. But frankly I thought that it was rather poor.
The man behind the bar was one of the most miserable people I have ever met. Why do these people work in bars? Why don't they find a job they like.
The very reasonable beer was consistently served as very short measures. The bar staff said that was what they are trained to serve! Topped up to only a fairly short measure very grudgingly. What on earth does cask mark mean?
Food was tiny portions, top prices and pretty poor.
One to avoid I think.

24 Feb 2010 17:12

The King William IV, Shenley

I think that this is a rather seedy, scruffy very average pub.
The trade seems to be local interior decorators.
Beer O/K despite being Greene King.
I cannot think of amnything much to reccomend about a pub of this sort except that it does seem to supposrt some local stuff..

24 Feb 2010 17:02

Rose and Crown, Tewin

I visited the Rose & Crown last Sunday, just travelling through.

The pub was really crowded, so they must be doing something right. It was full of walkers (and unbelievably some dogs) and a crowded Sunday Lunch restaurant area.

The staff seemed to have rather limited English language, but to be fair there were plenty of them. This place seemed much more like a Harvester than a village pub, but it was Sunday.

Having "not booked" one seemed about as welcome as rattle snake in a lucky dip. I felt the service was a little of the Basil Fawlty school. I had a couple of beers and left.

Incidentally this is a GK Pub (as are most hereabouts). The beer was O/K but at £3.05 for an Abbott we are in new territory for a village. I ended up in a Wetherspoon with the Ruddles at 99p.

10 Feb 2010 11:35

The Swan Inn, Sturminster Newton

I am just amazed at the rating of this pub. Perhaps the staff do the reviews?
It serves Hall & Woodhouse beers. The food that we had was terrible value. It was of the Brake Brothers Microwave bag sort. I could buy the same in Iceland for £1. A hotel of this size might be thought to merit a chef.
On the good side, the manageress was cheerful and welcoming.
But, this is the sort of chain pub that should probably close.

16 Jan 2010 19:42

Bull Inn, Sturminster Newton

Despite being Hall & Woodhouse beer this is a nice pub.
Enthusiastic and helpful landlords. Gas fire and nice atmosphere.
Well worth a visit.
Due to them having to close lunch due to a hospital appointment I missed lunch (and went to another pub which is another (sad) story. But I am sure that lunch, if I could have had it, would have been good.
This pub really merits support.

16 Jan 2010 19:30

The Plough, Byfleet

My visit was interesting. When I saw the outside and the area my heart dropped. But this pub has so many values. No music, no phones, but what matters is decent beer in a decent bar. It wasn't cheap for the area, but the ale was good.

I went at lunchtime. Slightly strange situation, not doing lunch but cheerfully rustled up something basic. Landlord was rather taciturn, but landlady was enthusiastic.

At lunchtime this was a male drinker's pub, but that is no bad thing. Give it a try if you are in the area.

Perhaps even the fire would be alight in teh vening.

16 Jan 2010 18:56

The Seymour Arms, Witham Friary


I am new to the County and a kind neighbour introduced me to this place.
What a cracking pub! It does right what pubs ought to do but seldom do. Good drink at good prices in a sociable atmosphere.
I cannot wait until I am able to go there again. I hope that you go as well. It is a gem.

12 Sep 2009 21:03

The Spread Eagle Inn, Stourton

National Trust captive attendees. Rubbish service from low cost emplyees.
Poor service and poor food all round.
Go to Kilmington instead and visit a good pub.

10 Sep 2009 19:53

Dolphin Inn, Peacemarsh

The big downer is that they only sell Hall & Woodhouse beer. No, choice, no guest. So only go if you can stand (or avoid) this beer stuff.

The "new" landlords are trying very hard and the food is reasonable (but expensive for what it is).

10 Sep 2009 19:47

The Buffalo, Gillingham

Had lunch today.

I thought that this was a handsome building, the sort of pub premises that I like, although it was engulfed by housing estates.
But (inevitably) it was Hall & Woodhouse beer. As always, no choice beyond Badger and Tanglefoot. To my taste I increasingly dislike what they are brewing. I find it bland and tasteless and it drinks as if it is was way below the alcohol strength listed,

The lunch was extremely ordinary (poor really). The menu said "home made". I suspect that it was somebody else's home, perhaps a Brake Brothers place. It was also top price for this sort of pub. At least I ate mine. At another table the customer left soon after the food was served.

The lunch time staffing was left to bored youngsters.

Poor beer, poor staff, ordinary food, top priced. I would give this a miss until it is better managed and sells a good guest beer.

10 Sep 2009 18:56

The Phoenix, Gillingham

I made one of my occasional visits last week.
This place really does have the good feel of a village pub for grown ups.
But. the beer is Hall & Woodhouse.
I had the lunch special which seemed to be home made (somewhere) and was really very good.
I guess that this is the best pub in Gillingham (Despite having Hall & W prices).

7 Sep 2009 20:25

The Silver Plough, Pitton

I visited his pub last weekend.
It is treading a path between being a restaurant and being a pub, fairly well. But, the beer is Hall and Woodhouse with all that entails.
The place is EXPENSIVE for what it is. The wine list is pretentiously expensive for a country pub.
The table service is of the youngster enthusiastic amateur sort.
I could only afford a main course and one bottle of the overpriced wine. But the food was good with evidence of a chief being there.
It would be good if they could get their prices under control.

7 Sep 2009 20:15

The Spread Eagle Inn, Stourton

This pub had very good ale which included an excellent offering from the local Micro Wessex Brewery. Good stuff.

But the restaurant meal was terrible, unheated room, poor food, non-caring staff and top price. Best give the food a wide berth. However, as somebody else has mentioned, the Red Lion at Kilimngton is not far away and serves exellent ale and food (lunch) - so best go there.

25 Mar 2009 18:00

The Farmer's Bar, Aylesbury

Seems a nice pub. Good range of real ales at £2.45. Well worth supporting.

11 Sep 2007 10:43

The Chichester Arms, Mortehoe

I visited this pub on 1st and 2nd of August.
Friendly bar staff serving excellent ale from local breweries. The beer was really very good. No doubt their high throughput helps make for the beer quality.
I went back next day for lunch to try that. However, I was too slow in reading the menu and when they say last orders at 2.00 pm they mean 2.00 pm NOT 2.01 pm. Only in English villages do you get such "service". So, we did not have lunch. It is good that they have so much income that on one of the busiest days in the year they do not want to serve lunch after 2.00 to the second.
I talked to a Summer resident of the village who was also drinking Golden Arrow. He felt that this was the best of the three pubs in Mortehoe. I am sure that he is right as long as you know the kitchen timetable.

6 Aug 2007 13:42

The Dolphin Inn, Combe Martin

I visited this pub on 1 August 2007.
It is old and tired, both the premises and the cask ale.
The girl at the bar could not have cared less about anything except reading her book. Fortunately for her there was only a couple of customers at lunch time on a beautiful day!
If ever one saw faded glory this is it. It could be a good pub given some care, but it isn't.
Avoid at all costs.

6 Aug 2007 10:09

The Walnut Tree, Mere

I popped in for a swift pint on 18 July 2007. This looks and feels like a modern building planted in a brand new housing development. It has the feel of a "wacky wharehouse" rather than a village pub and the bouncy castle must arrive soon! But clearly the place is energetically manged and trying to best meet the needs of the housing development. The pint was good, I did not have time to try the food.

23 Jul 2007 11:11

George Inn, Mere

I visited this pub on 18 July 2007. It is good to read the positive comments here – but my experience was not good. I like H & W beer but the lady at the bar was miserable and the short measures were miserable. I do not know if it is normal but the gents toilets were terrible. All the urinals were blocked as was the basin waste. The smell was dreadful, so they could have saved on signage as it was easy to smell where the toilets are.
I went to this pub to have lunch, but if the toilets are bad it makes you wonder what the kitchen is like. So, we left and went elsewhere for lunch.
I would not recommend a visit until it is well managed and clean.

23 Jul 2007 10:48

The Half Moon Inn, Shaftesbury

I visited this “pub” on 17 July 2007 (my second visit). It is not really a pub, it is a large restaurant. Their early adoption of a no smoking policy was to be applauded but I feel that this premises has rather lost it’s way. The interior design refurbishment has all the charm of an upmarket McDonalds and it has not even tried to maintain anything of a pub environment. The food and drink prices are top ticket for the area. The food showed no sign of a chef being present and was standard cook chill factory stuff, but O/K for what it is. I quite enjoy Hall & Woodhouse beer. I just wish this was a pub as well.
The serving staff were relatively cheerful.
A big plus is that the place is at least well managed being clean and tidy, including the toilets and car parks. Well done for that.

23 Jul 2007 10:38

The Kings Head, Salisbury

I visited this pub on 18 July 2007 to see what the refurbishment had provided. What a complete waste of time! They had NO cask ales on. Just a notice to say "apologies for inconvenience". So, having taken the trouble to vist I left. I despair. This seems typical of Wethersponn Management now and treats the customer as rubbish. DO NOT TOUBLE THEM WITH A VISIT.

20 Jul 2007 21:32

The Cock Inn, Wing

We visited (as refugees from Green King IPA) on 6 July 2007. They had an excellent range of beers including offerings from small companies. The pub was quite crowded and had a good "buzz" about it. It looks well managed and is a good place to visit

7 Jul 2007 09:18

The Queen's Head, Wing

Based on the rating (albeit of one) we visited this pub on 6 July 2007. What a disappointment. The nice man on the bar explained that the only cask ale that he had was Green King IPA! We do not like driving so far to just assist Green King in their world domination efforts with a very average beer.

Perhaps we just hit a bad day? Dog lovers and lager drinkers may well love it.

Fortunately the Cock Inn is opposite. We decamped their and they had an excellent range of beers.

7 Jul 2007 09:14

The Lion, Waddesdon

June 2007. Quite loud music (for a village pub) of the sort that was for the pleasure of the bar staff not the customers.
The guest cask ale (£2.90) was very stale and short measure. The Pride was O/K but one does not go to Waddesdon for a London Beer.
The interior conversion (furniture) was inappropriate to the pub.
The food (lunch) was pretty grotty, standard Brake Brothers type at top ticket price.
I can find nothing to commend this pub comapared with alternatives.

22 Jun 2007 10:55

The Valiant Trooper, Aldbury

I visited early evening 12 June 2007. I was a bit nervous of going back there as last year I had a disastrous lunch which included a worm in my salad and a hassle with the uninterested manager. So, I did not eat this time.

The range and condition of the cask ales was absolutely excellent and the bar staff were cheerful. The range included two offerings from our local Tring Brewery, so the beer was very good.

16 Jun 2007 13:00

The Crown, Berkhamsted

I visited the pub today (6 June 2007) for lunch for the first time for many months. As usual with JDW an excellent range of Cask Ale, here served with full measures, super pricing and at the right temperature. It was a delight to have a Wetherspoon not serve ale at Arctic temperature.

The bar staff were cheerful and helpful (much much better than I found previously).

BUT, I found the lunch food terrible. The lamb shank was so overcooked that it was mostly inedible. I fear that it must have been left over and reheated at least once.

So, I found this to be a really good pub to drink in, but best eat somewhere else first!

6 Jun 2007 16:10

The Queens Head, Chesham

Visited 1 June 2007. Did not try the food. Selection of cask ale was excellent and serving staff were of the young student type, but cheerful and helpful. Served reasonably full measures as well. Not long to wait now for the smoking ban which will further improve this pub.

Really nice setting. It would be great if the owners had the stream cleared out a bit.

3 Jun 2007 10:48

The Full House, Hemel Hempstead

I post this review in sadness because I value and use Wetherspoon a lot. I have sent them many notes about issues with my local Wetherspoon. Usually the elusive (non-exisitant?) "Area Manager" will deal with matters, but years on nothing ever changes. It might be fun to have a competition to find the worst Wetherspoon. The "Full House" would have my nomination.

Clearly houses are affected by clientele. And being in Hemel and next to the DHHS Benefits Office must be a problem.

On balance this is a really grim place. Dirty, uncared for and uncaring (But usuallly keeps good cask ale served ridiculously cold).

In sadness, Mike.

16 May 2007 13:05

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