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BITE user comments - Goldings

Comments by Goldings

The Lord Clyde, Borough

Quality pub with authentic feel and decent beers. Pint of T.E.A was about £3.75 and very drinkable. Good atmosphere with a genuinely friendly vibe. 9/10

10 May 2014 17:41

The Horniman at Hays, Southwark

Pretty big Nicholson's pub on the riverside end of Hay's Galleria. Some standing space outside by the river, which is OK in the summer. I used to work nearby, so I've been here a few times in the last few years.

Fairly busy on the Thursday evening I was there with mostly office workers having a drink in small groups. £3.95 for a pint of alright Doom Bar. The pub is OK, if unremarkable, but they still suffer from their age old problem of not having enough staff on. I've just had a look at the comments here going back to 2003 and by far the most common complaint is the slow service, a problem that appears to continue. The night I went they had 3 staff working between 6-7pm which I think is just not enough for a pub of this size with this many customers. I had to wait ages to get served.

This pub basically keeps going due to the captured market of thousands of local office workers and passing tourists. It's a classic example of a corporate pub, without much charm and inadequately staffed - all in a prime, fail safe location. It probably makes loads of money. 4/10.

16 Jan 2014 14:06

The Barrowboy and Banker, London Bridge

This pub is like show home for Fuller's. I don't remember being in Fuller's pub that was so obviously promoting their beers etc. It's a fairly big old place with a mezzanine floor that seems to be for eating only.

I went for the seasonal Red Fox which was OK, but... £4.15! Maybe the regular ales were cheaper. And Heineken was £4.45. This is not a cheap place to have a drink. It's location is pretty front and centre by the end of London Bridge and opposite the station, so I suppose that explains it. Still, that's pretty expensive for pubs round these parts.

Pretty busy when I was there with quite an interesting range of people from office people to young types in the early 20s.

The weirdest thing was the massive screen showing Valencia v Swansea in the Europa League. Why? No one was watching it. That screen and the other smaller TVs elsewhere in the pub surely completely undermine the Fuller's showcase. Very odd.

Having said that, I sort of quite like this pub's airy feel and I'm partial to the Fuller's beers, but... this place is just too expensive. 5/10

20 Sep 2013 22:30

The Wheatsheaf, Borough

Fun, friendly, Young's pub by Borough Market. It's a lot bigger on the inside than it looks from the outside. Recently refurbished, it's a pretty good looking pub in all. The outside area underneath the railway viaduct is quite big actually with its own bar in a converted campervan in the corner.

The Youngs Bitter (£3.74) was clear, golden and very drinkable. The bar is possible slightly cramped to get served, but then again it was pretty busy on the Thursday night I was there. General mix of people, typically office workers in 30s.

Seemed quite a convivial sort of place to have a pint. Happy staff and reasonable value. 8/10.

Just to clarify the history of this pub. I've read up on this quite a bit! There has been a pub on this site in Stoney Street called "The Wheatsheaf" for several hundred years. The freehold is owned by the local United St Saviour's Charity. At some point, Young's took on the lease. The pub was temporarily closed in January 2009 due to the construction of the new railway viaduct. The pub's top floor was demolished during that process. The Wheathsheaf reopened in December 2012, still with Young's. it's been completely refrubished with a new outside area.

Back in April 2009 the manager of the recently closed Wheatsheaf opened a pub called "The Wheatsheaf" in the basement of The Hop Exchange in Southwark Street (just around the corner). That is owned by Red Car Pubs. There's a separate entry for that pub on BITE, but some of the comments on this page relate to that new venue.

I get the impression feelings ran quite high at the prospect of The Wheatsheaf closing back in 2009. It would seem there were lots of regulars and others who were very fond of the place in its old form. The refurbished Wheatsheaf is quite different in vibe to the old setup. Is that a good or bad thing? Who knows? All I can say is that when I was in there the other night, everyone seemed to be enjoying themselves. Sounds good to me.

20 Sep 2013 14:06

The Kings Arms, Waterloo

Very good backstreet pub with plenty of ales are various strengths on. Stuck to the Butcombe all evening as it was going down a treat. Good, efficient staff. Technically there's not much space outside on the pavement, but everyone spills out there. All in all, an interesting and solidly decent pub that is well worth a visit. 8/10

1 Sep 2013 15:07

The White Hart, Waterloo

Pretty decent, modest sized pub not far from Waterloo Station. Busy on a Friday evening, but where isn't round these parts? Friendly service, small space outside on the pavement. Could only stay for one (Doom Bar, fine), but would certainly come back. The current rating of 4.2 must relate to different management in the past, because it's much better than that. 7/10

1 Sep 2013 15:02

The Rake, London Bridge

Curious little pub next to Borough Market. The bar area is all white with a tiled ceiling. There are various messages handwritten over the walls. I think the seating area outside is bigger than the bar.

It's definitely a very beery pub with various interesting ales on. Staff are definitely into their ale. I can't make my mind up on this one. It's either a real gem or a bit odd and a bit of let down. I only had one pint (name forgotten), so I'll give them the benefit of the doubt. 7/10.

23 Jul 2013 14:07

The Dickens Inn, Tower Hill

Really big pub with outside area facing St Katherine's Dock. The building is old and interesting, but there's a real lack of charm about the place. It wasn't entirely touristy, but I think that must be their main market.

But Greene King IPA at £4.25 and Heineken at £4.75 is just too expensive for somewhere like this. It just looks like a random 50p tourist tax being slapped on.

I suppose it's suitable for groups both inside and outside, but I wouldn't fancy being the first one to buy a round at those prices. But to be fair, if I was a tourist having wandered around the Tower of London and all that, it would be quite a attractice place to sit down and relax whilst looking at the boats. But as I'm not, it's 5/10 from me.

23 Jul 2013 13:58

The George And Dragon, Fitzrovia

Nice little backstreet pub from the Green King stable. IPA was fine. Plenty of space outside to stand around in if the weather's nice. Wasn't in here so long, but seemed a perfectly reasonable place. 7

4 May 2013 18:18

The Porterhouse, Covent Garden

Well, what can be said about The Porterhouse? It's basically a massive, Irish-themed superpub in Covent Garden. Always rammed at the weekends. I've experienced several Friday sessions at this pub and ... I suppose it's a bit like a Las Vegas casino really, where you don't know what time it is and you end up sucked into a vortex of craziness.

They seem to mostly have their own beers plus some guests in bottles. I've had their Red ale quite a bit, which is OK. There is also Chiller larger. So it's not a place for your regular brands. The price is pretty reasonable as well. And the staff are always a friendly bunch.

If you're in a big group, you'll have a good time. If you're not, you might get annoyed by all the people in big groups. I can't say I really like this place (my heart sinks just so slightly when it's suggested), but if you're up for a laugh and are prepared to ride the intensity of the place, then just take a deep breath and embrace it. 7

4 May 2013 18:06

The Moon Under Water, Leicester Square

Well, what can you say really? A Weatherspoons in Leicester Square: it's like a bar at the centre of the universe! I've been coming here every very occasionally for many years as it's very easy for anyone visiting London to find.

It's probably a little on the small size for a Weatherspoons. All you're typical Weatherspoons beers and food are all present. Astonishingly cheap considering its location, just normal central London pub prices (especially food). Staff were friendly and efficient when I went recently.

Obviously with a bit of imagination there are a million better licensed premises within half a mile of this pub, but you know - if you need a drink, maybe a bit hungry and you find yourself standing outside, why not? 6/10

5 Jan 2013 16:39

The Ship and Shovell, Charing Cross

Fantastic little Hall & Woodhouse pub in a backstreet by Charing Cross station. As a rule of thumb I find pubs near stations tend to not be that great, but The Ship & Shovell is a notable exception.

The Badger First Gold was in tip top condition. Only £3.35 a pint. Tanglefoot and Pickled Partridge were on as well. Pretty busy of a Tuesday evening, but it was the week before Christmas. Famously this pub is split in two halves, but I didn't go in the smaller bit. The place just has a nice, cosy welcoming feel. There is quite a blokey, slightly middle aged sort of punter round this parts, but what's wrong with that? It's definitely one of the best pubs round these parts. 8/10

21 Dec 2012 09:27

The Northcote, Clapham Junction

Rustic design with a modern sort-of Sunday Telegraph feel, this is not such a bad place. It's a Geronimo Inn - i.e. it's a gastropub. Essentially it's one big room with all wooden tables and sofas and stuff. Young's Best and Doom Bar were on and we're fine, but it's possibly more of a lager and wine place. Round these parts it's your classic 20s/30s sort of crowd. Pretty much full on the Saturday afternoon on account of the rugby. Decent sort of menu, food was fine.

Friendly and happy waiting staff. Slight tendency for short pints at the bar. I can forgive the occasional one when it's busy, but not every time. Oh, and it was £3.50 for the Young's.

All in all pretty decent sort of place for a group of friends to meet up, quite women friendly. And good location for Clapham Junction, just five minutes down the road. 7/10

6 Dec 2012 12:45

The Lamb and Flag, Marylebone

Functional little pub from the Taylor Walker stable. Straightforward sort of place with a room upstairs with a dozen or so tables. Ales were London Pride, Bombardier and a special Santa's Spirit (I think it was called). I suddenly noticed the big range of standard lagers on tap: Estrella, Becks, Peroni, Carlsberg, Kronenberg and a few more. Can you have too much selection in a pub?

Anyway, staff were firm, if efficient. TV with the football on (no sound). Wednesday night office workers basically. It's never going to be the best pub ever, but a OK sort of place I suppose.

It struck me that the room upstairs would be appropriate place for a secret assignation. The chances of bumping into anyone you'd know would be pretty low. Hmm - what kind of recommendation is that? 6/10

22 Nov 2012 12:17

Ye Grapes, Mayfair

Interesting little pub with a small outside area in the dinky little street/square that it Shepherds Market. Completely rammed at 6pm with office workers on the Friday that I was there. (That'll be me then.) But bar service was quick and friendly. Pride, Doom Bar, Spitfire and a few others were on. Had three pints of Pride which were fine. Slight tendency to not pour a full pint, but were topped up with no complaint.

Worth seeking out for cheeky one or two. Must be nice in the summer. 7/10

9 Nov 2012 14:04

The Square and Compass, Worth Matravers

A spot-on village pub with a big beer garden. Mixture of walkers and people who'd specifically come out here. A few pints of Copper Ale and a pasty went down a treat. There's also a little museum inside the pub with lots of fossils and other curious relics.

Slightly confusing at the bar which is more like a tap room really, but it's all fine. Staff friendly, if a little impatient but then again it was a busy Saturday afternoon. Definitely worth a visit if you're round this way. 7

3 Aug 2012 13:43

The Regal, Cambridge

Massive Weatherspoons in a converted cinema. Everything you'd normally expect beer and food wise. Lots of ales were on, generally priced from 1.99 to 2.99. I had a few Ruddles which I've not drunk in years. Had some Butcombe Mendip Spring as well which is a straight-down-the-line session beer. Perfect. Food was pretty good. I was in there about lunchtime/early afternoon, so it was fairly quiet. I suspect it's rammed in the evening, although I went past later that night at about 3am, I can't quite remember what was going on at that point. 7/10

25 Jun 2012 14:06

The Two Chairmen, Trafalgar Square

Nice little pub very close to Trafalgar Square. It's in a quiet street, so there's often quite a few people standing outside. There's a fairly narrow bar inside with more seating upstairs. It's quite busy and a variety of people, not just people from the nearby offices at all. Staff are OK. I've been here quite a few times and it's always pretty much like that.

London Pride and Timothy Taylor Landlord are your ales - both well kept. About 3.80 a pint. Various lagers as well. I've also had a few Jagerbombs and Tequila in here, but unsurprisingly I can't really remember what happened after that.

So if you find yourself over this part of London, then it is worth hunting it out. It's not an amazing pub, but perfectly OK. 7

19 May 2012 13:42

The Theodore Bullfrog, Charing Cross

Ended up in here on a recent Thursday night at about 9pm. It's all bare floorboards and feels more like a bar than a straightforward pub. Fairly busy, but not rammed. Mostly office workers, but that's not surprising as it's so close to Charing Cross station. Tried the Greene King IPA, which was fine. There were a few other ales on. We had some chips as well, which were quite nice. Staff were friendly.

Overall it's a fairly unremarkable place, but inoffensive. Probably best for a group after work. It's interesting that this is the first review for this pub on BITE for two years even though it's been open all that time. Kind of sums up everyone's experience of this place I suppose. 6

19 May 2012 13:01

The Red Lion, Pall Mall

A rather wonderful little pub tucked away behind Pall Mall near St James's Palace. Extremely tiny with a cosy carpet and a very homely feel. Perhaps it hasn't got the widest range of beer, but the sheer character of place more than makes up for that. A great place to have a quiet pint with a mate - or indeed to just read a book on your own. 8

13 Mar 2012 20:09

The Golden Lion, St James's

Interesting pub right in the centre of St James's. As it's a bit further away from Piccadilly Circus it is very much a local office worker's sort of place. I think it's a free house and range of beer was pretty good (although can't remember as I'd had a few earlier on!). A pretty good place for a stop-off if you're doing a crawl around this part of London. 7

13 Mar 2012 19:58

The Red Lion, St James

Great little Fuller's pub just off Jermyn Street. Amazing interior, pretty good staff and beer seems well kept. Well worth a visit. Gets busy though! 8

13 Mar 2012 19:54

The Three Crowns, St James's

Decent little pub just off Jermyn Street. It's a Taylor Walker pub (a brand of Spirit) so it's very much like all the other Taylor Walker pubs in London. Not that this is a bad thing, just don't expect too much individuality.

On the other hand, not being tied to a brewery means there is quite an interesting range of beers. Youngs was there as was Old Golden Hen from Green King, which I'd not seen before. I can't remember the others, but there were quite a few more. Staff seemed pretty friendly. I was in a big group and a good time was had by all.

All in all, a perfectly good pub only a few minutes from Piccadilly. 7

2 Mar 2012 09:26

The Tom Cribb, Piccadilly

Ultra tiny, lovely little Shepherd Neame pub just a few seconds from Piccadilly Circus. Masterbrew tasted fine. All the others were on, but no time to try out!

It felt like a real local to me, which is very unusual for Central London. Definitely worth a quick visit if you're passing this way. 7/10

6 Feb 2012 14:02

The Crown and Anchor, Covent Garden

First visit for me for some after work drinks a few weeks ago. Absolutely rammed, but not surprising considering it's right in the thick of it. Ales on were Harveys Best, Deuchars IPA and Greene King IPA. Had a few of the latter which were OK. Staff were quite nice. Prices normal for the area (I think about 3.60 a pint.)

All-in-all, it's a perfectly decent pub. It's not a bad choice if you're trying to meet up with people in Central London before heading off somewhere else. 7

2 Jan 2012 19:37

The Lemon Tree, Covent Garden

An absolute gem of a pub. It has a cheeky sort-of smallness to it that feels immediately charming. Welcoming staff behind the bar; very warm and friendly. There's also a tiny little room upstairs.

When I visited they had Harveys, Deuchars IPA, Doom Bar on tap. The IPA was very drinkable and the Harveys (perhaps an acquired taste to some) sharp and hoppy. There's a Thai food menu, but a plate of chips for 2 was went down a treat.

What's quite interesting about The Lemon Tree is that the punters seem really relaxed and chilled out. I know that sounds like a weird thing to say, but I think it's because everyone is thinking the same thing: "What a nice little pub I've found". 9

11 Nov 2011 14:06

The Roundhouse, Covent Garden

This pub looks a lot bigger on the outside than inside - it's not actually that big, not that's a bad thing. And it is round, perhaps more semi-circular. A Fuller's place so all their ale was there as you'd expect, but I got very excited when I saw Timothy Taylor's Landlord, perhaps my favourite pint. But then I felt a bit deflated after drinking it. It was completely OK, but maybe Landlord has that taste that varies from place to place.

Anyway, the pub is probably best for a group for post-work drinks - it's all floorboards and a couple of TVs. An easier-ish place to find in Covent Garden on account of it being round(!) and on a corner with other streets. It probably serves the usual lagers, but these days I don't even look at them anymore! 6

11 Nov 2011 13:51

The Lamb and Flag, Covent Garden

Titchy little pub now run by Fuller's. All their beers were available, Discovery was decent quality. Completely rammed on a Thursday night with a big courtyard to the front. It's one of those intense sort of Central London pubs where the beer flows freely and it's all sort of crazy and lively - but is it a good pub? It's perfectly serviceable and a good stop off perhaps, but it's missing that "something". 6

11 Nov 2011 13:41

The Cross Keys, Covent Garden

Lovely little pub from Brodies (East London brewery). Cosy and welcoming sort-of place. Lots of their different ales on. Had a pint of "NZ Bitter" which was fine - was even offered a small taster before I ordered - a sure sign of a quality establishment. The road outside is wider than many nearby, so there is quite a big area to hang around in. Well worth a visit. 7

11 Nov 2011 13:32

The Curtain's Up, West Kensington

A pretty decent pub of the modern variety: typical lager available, several ales and quite nice food. It's all stripped wooden floorboards, simple tables and chairs and a good sized bar in the middle of the main room. Staff efficient and polite. Was briefly in here the other day and tried the Adnams Lighthouse (3.4%): a very clean, amber beer with a solid hoppy taste. Could drink that all day. A very good pint to recommend to someone unfamiliar with ale.

I did once spend quite a long session in this pub, pretty much from mid-afternoon until quite late, and the fact that I can't remember much about it, is surely a recommendation.

All in all, The Curtain's Up is the kind of place that if you live locally you'd probably find yourself in here quite a lot. It's not a "local" in the classic sense, but what's wrong with that? 8

30 Oct 2011 16:52

Bonds, Mayfair

Do you know, Bonds is not such a bad bar really. On paper it doesn't bode well for sports-friendly bar just of Oxford Street. But it's quite nice inside, decked out in a fairly typical city centre bar style (high stools and tables, sofas and all that). It's a good size for a group. It was pretty busy with a sort-of late 20s - early 30s age crowd in. Toliets were fine. Typical bar food available too - looked alright.

There are loads of TVs showing whatever is on really (Premiership followed by Serie A followed by La Liga when I went), but if you're not interested then it's not that intrusive. I've heard that Bonds is popular with Chelsea fans, so that's either reason to go or stay away when they play.

Beer wise, usual suspects of Peroni, Guinness, Becks, Strongbow and a few others. On the ale front there were two seasonals of Adnams "Ghost Ship" (4.5%) and Greene King "Gangly Ghoul" (4.2%). Ghost Ship is amber coloured, interesting and quite drinkable. Gangly Ghoul is a bit too nutty for my taste, but absolutely fine. I think both beers were in the 3.60 range.

My last comment is about the staff. For a change and amazingly for a place like this, the staff were excellent. Friendly, quick and sensible. I even had my pint topped up unprompted!

Bonds is never going to be some sort of quiet local to pop into for a cheeky half, but all in all, it's actually not that bad. 7

23 Oct 2011 15:13

The New Moon, Bank

Came here early on a Friday evening. Greene King pub with IPA etc on, but I went for the guest ale of Harvest Pale from Castle Rock. Not too bad. The pub itself is on the corner of Leadenhall Market so benefits from a roof outside. It was getting pretty busy by the time I left at 6ish. Seems like an alright sort of place, probably quite good in a big group. Having said that, could be an interesting place to take a visitor to London on account of the Market building itself, which is fantastic.

3 Oct 2011 13:42

The Harp, Covent Garden

This might be heresy, but I wasn't that bowled over by The Harp. Clearly to have a pub with a wide range of ale located right in the centre of London is a fantastic thing. It certainly deserves a visit and you could spend all day in here. But it's the pub itself that left me a bit non-plussed. It is very small and now that everybody knows about it, it's completely rammed! But I hope its success continues - to have decent ale available a stone's throw from Trafalgar Square has got to be a good thing. And I must admit that it must be very handy if you come in or leave from Charing Cross.

27 Sep 2011 20:15

The White Hart, Crawley

I thought I'd post a review as the last one was 18 months ago. Came in here on a early on a Friday night a little while ago having never been here before.

It's not a typical Harveys pub at all. It definitely has a town centre feel to it, but aimed at older drinkers not the kids. Most of the beer was your typical larger (Fosters, Carling, Kronenbourg) with the standard Strongbow alongside. To be honest, I think pretty much everybody was drinking larger in here.

The ale was Harveys Best with two seasonals on: Old Ale and South Down Harvest. The Harveys was OK and the South Down was a first for me: quite interesting and a bit tangy. (There might have been one other ale on - didn't stay long enough to check.)

The pub is quite big with lots of chairs and tables and even some music playing. The staff seemed OK. I imagine it can get busier later on in the evening and maybe on a Saturday. I don't know what add really. I suppose it's just a bit underwhelming particularly if you expect that something special that you usually find in a Harveys pub. The place felt much more like a managed pub from one of the large chains. Harmless I suppose, but... well, there you are.

27 Sep 2011 20:03

The Bunch of Grapes, London Bridge

A Youngs pub with a fairly big downstairs, an outside yard and a big room upstairs (although without a bar). You can expect the various Youngs beers, but also Bombardier. It's perhaps not as great as it could be (and I mean that as a strange sort of complement), but it's pretty good all round. Very good location if you're going/coming from London Bridge station.

22 Aug 2011 18:51

Wheatsheaf, Southwark

A quality pub with a good range of beers (although I can't really remember what I had to drink.) There's something about it that makes it feel like a party kind of place, so your younger real ale drinker might find it a bit more accessible. Local workers might find it an ideal place for a Friday night debrief.

22 Aug 2011 18:45

Cooperage, London Bridge

There's nothing special about this pub, but then again it's fairly harmless. It's another "made up" sort of place with fixtures and fittings to give the impression of something much older than it really is. I understand that the beers all Shepherd Neame ales masquarading under Davy's titles. I made the mistake of drinking out of one of the pewter tankards. It's really not worth it.

It's probably a OK place to go with a large group (especially if they're drinking wine), just don't expect too much.

22 Aug 2011 18:30

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