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BITE user comments - Jay28

Comments by Jay28

Ivory Peg, Chelmsford

To any regular users of the Ivory Peg I would recommend you download George Formby's "Blackpool Prom" and then adapt the words accordingly...

I queued for lager, I queued for ale, I queued for a sandwich which was stale...

I queued for a table, I queued for a chair, I queued for a view of the barmaid's pair...

...and after 60 minutes there, I queued in a queue for the loo.

23 May 2014 17:23

The Original Plough, Chelmsford

I don't like the re-fit. It looks more like a restaurant now. The old "open-plan" Plough was much more to my liking. Agree with the chap below, they have shoved far to many tables in the place.

Since the refit they've also taken the opportunity of jacking the prices right up. Sorry, but this does it for me. I'm voting with my feet. There are other pubs in the area with a better atmosphere and more reasonable prices.

Sure, they have a good selection of beers, but this is not unusual in Chelmsford, and frankly, they're generally 50p/pint over the odds.

Hard to see much appeal for me now. mark reduced to 6/10

28 Feb 2011 12:52

The Woolpack, Chelmsford

It's improved a lot recently. The beer festival is excellent and fast becoming a regular callendar feature in Chelmsford. Seems to be a bit more trade during the week as well and a bit of an improved atmosphere.

Rating raised to 7

13 Sep 2010 17:31

The Two Brewers, Chelmsford

Tried this pub again the other day, and sorry, but it's still rubbish. Why can't they provide a couple of decent real ales on tap, or even a decent lager for that matter? There was a gang of stiff necked working-class androids standing at (in fact hogging) the small bar area. I was definitely given the cold shoulder, although the barman was friendly, and well he might be having just pocketed over £3.50 for a bottled lager that would have cost about 70p in the Tescos over the road.

The place has had a bit of a ponced up re-fit, but it really is still lagging well behind many other similar pubs in Chelmsford in terms of the range of drink and the atmosphere.

I am keeping my rating at 5.

13 Sep 2010 17:27

The Coal Hole, Strand

Quite poor really. Wes_mantooth below puts it well.

I wonder how long it'll be before every pub in the centre of London is owned by Nicholsons/Fuller/Sam Smith? We'll all be have to choose from the same list of drinks, order food from the same plastic menu and give our order to the same east european bar staff? Terrific. Drinking in London is becoming like a kind of self-inflicted deja vu these days.

28 Apr 2010 16:07

The Griffin, Camden

Holy smoke! Phwooaaar, eh lads, Phwooaaar. You don't get many of them to the pound, eh. Oh, you do.

25 Jan 2010 16:59

The Yorkshire Grey , Holborn

Would it kill them to provide a bit of carpet or upholster the chairs? Maybe all those "solicitors and media folk" enjoy re-living the discomforts of their public school days in these barebones, arse, ear and foot-ache inducing wine bars. Is this the "nice contemporary twist" they are talking about? Seriously, check out the blurb posted in the pub description above.

It appeared to me as if someone had taken a rather promising looking London corner pub and systematically stripped out everything of interest and tradition, replacing it with an ersatz European style cafe.

Go there if you like, I am sure that it appeals to many, but I won't drink there as I can't escape from the conclusion that the owners and management are patronising vandals.

19 Jan 2010 17:01

The Queen B, Chelmsford

Now re-opened after almost a year. Ever get that thing where you walk to a bar and realise that they don't serve a single thing that you enjoy drinking? Me neither, until I walked in here the other day.

11 Dec 2009 12:00

Ye Old Mitre, Holborn

Good grief, OldBaileyHack, you really need to get out more. I like the Mitre, but this ridiculous over-reaction to any criticism of the pub by some people on this site is getting a tad creepy. I'm actually less likely to visit the pub in future as some of the regulars are coming across as complete swivel-eyed fruit loops.

I think people can judge for themselves the value they place on reviews such as that of 30th Nov by mikestokesambii, within the context of this thread, they don't need some dopey bar room lawyer like you wading in with a load of half baked PC nonsene.

11 Dec 2009 10:59

The Orange Tree, Chelmsford

An admirable place. Comfortable pub with a great selection of beers. Great landlord and regular punters.

Isn't it ridiculous that you can wander the windswept streets of this County searching in vain for a decent boozer, and then find two crackers (Queens Head and Orange Tree) within a few doors of each other, ripping each other's throats out to attract the limited amount of punters this part of Chelmsford can supply, in order to survive.

Bloody barmy. If either pub goes under in this recession, and some corporate khazi in the town centre survives instead, it will surely demonstrate, beyond reasonable doubt, that this Country has finally gone to the dogs.

13 Nov 2009 16:33

The Golden Lion, Settle

On a raw October afternoon, with time to kill, this place proved to be a great choice for hunkering down for a few pints in front of the roaring log fire. The girls behind the bar were attentive and great fun to boot.

Isn't life grand.

26 Oct 2009 12:28

Craven Arms, Appletreewick

What a great place. An extensive choice of beers to suit any taste. The food is pricy but tasty. Blazing fire, staff were friendly.. Why are more pubs not like this?

26 Oct 2009 12:18

The Angel, Chelmsford

Went back to the Angel after a long hiatus and have used it a good many times this summer. Now serves Adnams plus one guest and has a good range of lagers. The beer is better than I remember.

Speaking as a Misanthropic Git, I find the interior to be too busy and full of families with kids on a sunday lunchtime (Jesus! I go to the pub to get away from my own family, not to have other people's inflicted on me) the Garden offers some escape from this intrusion, especially when it's a bit overcast as this tends to deter most Britons from venturing outside, doesn't bother me, I own a coat.

The staff seem better than I remember too, although the pub still seems to be run by a bunch shavers from the sixth form I can't really fault them for their friendliness and efficiency.

I am pleased to up my rating to a 6.

12 Oct 2009 16:32

The Wheatsheaf, Chelmsford

If you're into Lager and football and you read FHM this place is definitely (or should that be "defo"?) for you.

If you are over 30 and have read a book in the last 10 years you are going to find it hard work.

12 Oct 2009 13:05

The Walkabout, Covent Garden

You can watch cricket in here. 1 mark

You can also pay £3.50 plus for a small bottle of poorly chilled Australian beer. take away 1 mark.

0/10

Nothing else about it really worth mentioning

12 Oct 2009 12:44

Ye Old Mitre, Holborn

His grace Cardinal Wolsey recommended this plafe to me. Divers ales and succulent pies were on the bill of fayre which we confumed with relish under the watchful gaze of our lord and sovreign good king Hal VIII as rendered on canvas by mafter Holbein.

30 Sep 2009 16:08

The George, Liverpool Street

Consensus seems to suggest that it ain't as bad as the Hamilton Hall. Well, that is very true, but think on... Would you rather spend your hard earned on two pints in a fetid wetherspoons beer canteen with the down and outs, or would you rather have one pint in a gutted out, stripped down and ponced up bar with the loud and preening Cityrati.

... or do you just move on to somewhere better?

23 Sep 2009 14:16

The Shakespeare's Head, Holborn

Not nice. Cavernous 'spoons beer canteen catering to the winos and low budget tourists. Leave it to the amateurs and the tightwads and go for a few pints in the Ship Tavern round the back.

18 Sep 2009 17:06

Edwards, Romford

I had to laugh at elsm's review below "I was overcharged, treated like scum and even hit in the face". Welcome to Romford mate!

18 Sep 2009 16:39

The Sugar Hut Village, Brentwood

In these dark and worrying times with recession and war besetting us on all sides a little snippet of good news can appreciably brighten up the day.

Apparently The Sugar Hut Village has burned down.

15 Sep 2009 17:15

The Spread Eagle, Margaretting

I know times are hard, but expecting customers to go to the bar to ask for the light to be switched on in the gents when they need to spend a penny is a bit much.

The only ale was Spitfire and it was rancid, and on a Saturday night, too!

Carry on in either direction and try the Red Lion or the White Hart instead.

24 Apr 2009 12:14

The Rose and Crown, Belgravia

Trying to get a drink around Sloane Square is a bloody nightmare. Yes, I know it's my own fault (what was I doing there in the first place?), but someone was offering me a lift and we had arranged to meet there. I had half an hour to kill so trudged around a bit gazing through the plate glass of various poncy-woncy bars and was beginging to despair until I stumbled across a down at heel backstreet boozer, the Rose and Crown.

There was stale spitfire on tap and a pool table, I loved it. Could have done without the lip from the drunken Oirish git propping up the bar. Get the sense there are some "local" issues in here. A thoroughly deserved 4/10.

14 Apr 2009 14:06

The White Horse, Chelmsford

The Horse has recently been redecorated and my previous criticism of the standard of cleanliness is no longer valid.

Still has the bar billiards and darts and cricket on telly {although sadly, the quiz machine has disappeared :-(}. Still serves a good selection of guest ales. There is a slight question mark over beer quality, but on the odd occasion when I have been served a bad pint they do change them for you without fuss, which is good.

This is a really good little all round boozer. It's now my pub of choice for this area beating off stiff competition from the nearby Ship, Original Plough and Royal Steamer, and I am upping my rating to a 7/10.

10 Mar 2009 13:15

Barnes Farm, Chelmer Village

Snagsy has reviewed Barnes Farm 6 times in the last 4 months. He/She likes the place, OK we have got the message. Why don't you try reviewing some of the other pubs you have been to, as this would be of more use/interest to the membership than seeing you constantly "bigging up" the same one pub. This just smacks of a cheap advertising campaign by or on behalf of the management.

Personally, I rate Barnes Farm as a 3/10 as I feel that it is below average in terms of beer choice, beer is very expensive for the area, the restaurant service is shockingly slow, and generally the place has very little to recommend it. How it manages to rate an above average 6.5 is a mystery to me, probably old Snagsy giving it a 10 has distorted the rating, what a pity.

3 Feb 2009 11:46

Thomas Mildmay, Chelmsford

When this was the Lloyds no.1 bar I would have crawled over broken glass and hot coals to avoid going inside, such was the repulsive, chavtastic, braindead, nature of this lager-only "venue". However, passing by the other day I noticed that the toxic brand name of Lloyds has been all but removed and an attempt has been made to turn this into something more like a standard Whetherspoons pub. I am not sure whether this is still holds true at night, or whether the place reverts back to crap pseudo-nightclub mode, and frankly, I am not willing to find out.

What I can report is that during the day the place is quite relaxed and pleasant, attracts a reaonably well behaved and sedate cleintele. I was also pleasantly surprised by how clean and tidy it was on my visit, certainly compares well with the Ivory Peg and Edwards in that respect.

There were some real ales on offer including the ubiquitous 99p Greene King IPA.

Actually, I can now recommend this place for a couple of daytime pints if you happen to be at this end of Chelmsford. whilst by no means a classic pub it certainly rates an above average mark of 6/10, although I have to qualify that mark to daytime use only.

29 Jan 2009 11:53

The Fleece, Chelmsford

As a Chelmsford resident of many years standing I have been unable to avoid occasionally going into the Fleece as it seems to be one of those immutable laws of nature (Judge Tindal's Law) that, try as you might to avoid it, you always end up getting dragged in there by someone, usually at the fag end of a pub crawl, or when taking that long thirsty walk down Duke Street between visits to better pubs.

So it came to pass that Tindal's Law struck me this Christmas and I found myself in the Fleece with a group of mates.

What can you say about it. The place has no real soul at all, it tries to be all things to all men and consequently means nothing to anyone. Loud Music blares, silly shots and coctail offers festoon the garish bar area, mass market lager dominates the pumps. The obligatory sofas are dotted about on the bare wood floor. This is the sort of place where people who don't really like pubs go, it's impersonal, anonymous, grey, there's nothing there that you have to make your mind up about, so don't bother bringing it with you, it'll only get in the way.

Manly populated by the lager brigade, I noticed that they have made a stab at serving Real Ale, <shudder> Bombardier. A bland mass produced pint, but none the less, an ale. Suffice it to say that it was utter shite and I stuck to lager for the second round.

I consider that a 6.2 rating is far too high for this place, the average mark should be 5 and to my mind this place is below average.

Oh, and you can keep y'r bleedin' Jaegerbombs. 4/10

22 Jan 2009 12:49

The Duke of York, Clerkenwell

Earl_Barrett, forgive my ignorance, but what the f*ck are you talking about.

13 Jan 2009 14:46

The Queen B, Chelmsford

Closed awaiting a new tenant/buyer. The writing has been on the wall for some time as the trade has declined alarmingly over the past year, come to think of it, since the last re-furb. It will probably get another makeover now and be "relaunched" as something else.

22 Dec 2008 17:40

The Compasses, Littley Green

Having briefly been a Green King house after the takeover of Ridleys, The Compasses is now back in the ownership of a member of the Ridley family and no longer appears to be tied to Green King. They have replaced the GK with a rotating group of guest ales and real ciders. The ale is still poured directly from the barrels kept in the cellar at the back of the bar.

On recent visits I have knocked back many pints of this perfect antidote to modern life. The whole ambience of the place, the coal fire, the benches and tables laid out around the bar, the calm and friendly locals, immediately washes away all the cares and concerns and makes you appreciate that wherever there is still good beer and a little oasis of calm to be had, there's nothing that life can't throw at you.

If only I still lived out that way I would be there more, but for now it has to be only the occasional visit. Don't go, you'll ruin it.10/10

18 Dec 2008 16:45

Yates's, Chelmsford

I ventured into this dreadful place recently, for the first time in a decade. It was 5'ish in the afternoon and I was looking for a quick snifter before a meeting I had up the road. What the hell possessed me, I don't know, one of those mischevious impulses. There I was squelching my way to the bar across the reeking beer and vomit infused carpet, the dulcet tones of Kylie and Girls Aloud winging me on my way.

Oh, the agony of choice! Which particular brand of lager should I choose? Do I go for the smouldering antipodian promise of Fosters, that charming favourite of the royal court of Copenhagen, Carlsberg or a treat from the renowned Belgian stable of beer making, Stella? But stay, what's this, Kronenberg Blanc, now that's my sort of thing, a pint of that please barmaid... oh dear, it's off. Well it looks like Stella then.

I take my ease on a 5 foot high stool swaying gently in the breeze, at a varnished wooden topped table to which both the bottom of my pint glass and the elbow of my bespoke cashmere overcoat stick. Whilst sipping the tepid yellow nectar I take in my fellow punters. A group of the leisured class of Chelmsford, teenage mothers, feed fried potatos to their buggy bound toddlers. An aggrevated looking young man clad in sports attire remonstrates loudly and profanely with the beloved object of his affections. A grizzled derelict wafts past, the reek of week old cigarettes adhereing to his crusty clothing.

I battle with the local wildlife in the form of a multitude of tiny flies who are attempting to get inside my pint glass. Where are they coming from? It's an intiguing question, but not one I feel like getting to the bottom of right now.

Having finished reading a most stimulating aritcle on pig breeding, I roll up my copy of Country Life, and bidding the serving staff a hearty good afternoon I head for the door.

Thank you for the experience Yates Wine Lodge, but not one I think shall be repeated for some time. 1/10 for entertainment purposes only.

18 Dec 2008 15:00

Green Dragon, Youngs End

Hmmm, it seems that all reviews of the Green Gragon have been removed. I wonder why....

18 Dec 2008 13:14

The Compasses at Pattiswick, Pattiswick

This Pub used to be a Braintree legend. In years gone by no summer was complete without at least one afternoon trip out to the Compasses for a few pints of good ale and a cheap and cheerful scampi & chips in the beer garden.

Sadly, it has now been converted into a trendy gastro-pub complete with appalling post-modern decor, poncified waiting staff, nauseatingly precious and overpriced restaurant menu and a booze sales emphasis on bottles of plonk-wine at eye watering prices.

Beer is now just something they sell you while you are studying the menu and waiting for your table to be ready.

Goodbye England of my youth FUBR. It would be pure spite to give this pub less than 3/10, so I will give it 2/10.

18 Dec 2008 13:12

The Fowlers Farm, Braintree

Standard Vintage Inn's chain pub situated on a picturesque roundabout on the Braintree bypass with sweeping views of the retail park, dual carriageway and Holiday Inn carpark.

I have a personal prejudice against Fowlers Farm, as every time we go there (which is admittedly not often), I end having a row with the wife. Perhaps something in the atmosphere turns me into an obnoxious git.

I don't mind this particular chain as much as some of the others but I do find them rather bland, albeit dressed up in Olde English Charme (TM), so/so, 5/10.

18 Dec 2008 11:43

The Lots Road Pub and Dining Room, Chelsea

A place where the monied and leisured classes go and pretend that they are just like the rest of us plebs. Oh Yah, it's just so down to earth, yeah? Looks a bit like a pub, but really, it's a poncy restaurant catering to the millionaire Sloanes who inhabit this bit of London. Surprisingly, it serves a good pint of Adnams and pork crackling as a bar snack. So, far from a waste of time in my book, although maybe a waste of money as cheap it ain't.

If you happen to be in the area (not that you would be) and are at a loose end, and happen to have £20 in your wallet that you are itching to see the back of, then pop in, you might like it. 6/10 seems fair to me.

17 Oct 2008 11:37

The Melton Mowbray, Holborn

The quality of this pub suffers from it's position as it doesn't have to try very hard to get customers being just outside the tube station and law courts. Consequently it is overpriced and bland.

Almost £10 for half a cold soggy pork pie and a scoop full of chips is not what I consider to be reasonable, neither is average Fullers ale consistently priced at well over £3.

The interior is an open plan yawnfest and there is a slight poncy-ness lurking there in the background somewhere that you can't quite get your finger on. Not one I would go to again, especialy as it is within footslogging distance of the excellent Castle, Olde Mitre and Cittie of York.

Although not many particularly offensive features about it I can only summon up an average 5/10 rating for this bland pub.

2 Oct 2008 13:34

The Original Plough, Chelmsford

I have to take exception to Dr Motherfudger's review of the beer in the Plough as "borderline acceptable". I have been going in the Plough for many years and it has one of the best kept and widest selections of real ale in Chelmsford. You may have a gripe about the food and service, fair enough, but leave the beer out of it.

My rating of 8/10 refelects the fact that this pub sells good quality real ale and provides a pleasant atmosphere and surrounduings in which to drink it. Couldn't really give a monkey's about the food to be honest.

23 Sep 2008 16:14

The Railway Tavern, Chelmsford

Hornchurch John, I don't think the Railway has a bar billiards table. You may be thinking of the White Horse which is round the other side of the station.

15 Sep 2008 13:33

The Admiral McBride, Plymouth

First impressions of this pub were good, a couple of real ales on and location on the Barbican were plus points. Imediately ruined by a member of staff. Youngish, short bloke with a furtive, chippy look about him and an earring in, stood there talking to some regulars at the bar despite having seen me standing waiting to be served and there being no other customers waiting. I tried to hail him, from about 6 feet away, but he steadfastly refused to even glance at me. After a few minutes of the "silent treatment" I was served by a young girl who was perfectly pleasant. My pint was fair and I have no complaint on that score. On going to the bar for a re-fill, bugger me if the same thing didn't happen again, the little chippy bloke just stares at me menacingly and I have to wait for the girl to be available before I can be served.

What a joke. This bloke either mistook me for someone else, or he makes a point of taking an instant dislike to certain customers, or he is just a bully who expects the poor young girl he works with to serve all the customers.

Sorry to rant (not my usual style) but sometimes an incident like this is just so preposterous that all other aspects of the pub experience are completely wiped out of ones mind.

I was prepared to give the place a try, and all I got in return was a slap in the face. Sorry Mr Chippy it's got to be 0/10.

2 Sep 2008 12:42

The Bank, Plymouth

By comparison to the other drinking establishments in the Royal Parade/Union Street area this one is a goodie. Proper pub with upstairs and downstairs bars. Drink selection is a bit limited but the draught Bass was good. Pleasant and agro free atmosphere. The touch of class and adult feel to the place tends to deter the real muppets who have a more than ample choice of dross chain bars just down the street.

In another location I would say the place was average/mediocre, but situated where it is, it's outstandly good by comparison to it's competitors.

However, it is not top 40 material by any stretch on the imagination, so a rating of 5/10 is a fair reflection of it's relative merits.

2 Sep 2008 12:15

The Fox and Raven, Chelmsford

An offering from the Vintage Inns chain. On first impressions all is well with this charming looking pub, a pleasant and spacious car park, a large garden overlooking Watermeadows, a charming period farmhouse building, everything in the garden seems peachy right up until the point you reach the bar and are pulled up with the kind of jolt to the nervous system which normally only occurs when you slam your tallywhacker in the car door.

You have definitely entered pub-chain hell; from the overpretentious descriptions of the re-heated cardboard food, the crappy plonk being promoted with crass faux-wine buff jargon, the restricted beer selection, the permanently marked chalk boards full of "specials". Welcome 21st century England, the big corporations have our balls in a vice and we are not even yelling.

Ale is run through the chiller, swanneck and sparkler which makes you feel as if you are drinking a pint in Yorkshire, not Essex (hint; the beer in this county is usually served a cellar temperature and should be only mildly effervescent).

The place is always packed out and service is consequently slow. The service is also identikit corporate British with name badges and set greeting phrases. Soft drinks can only be ordered by the brand name, don't think of mistaking a Coke for a Pepsi or a Britvik for a J2O, this will provoke the staff into the kind of psycotic pedantry usually only exhibited by Courtroom lawyers.

The food is asembled in a factory, blast frozen, lorried over to the pub and re-heated and put on your plate. This is standard with most chain pubs. The result is much akin to chewing on a plate of pulped newspaper which has been liberally sprayed with salt.

However, despite the above mauling I can manage to sqeueeze of a few points out for the Fox and Ravens. Firstly, The place is clean and tidy and pleasant looking inside and out. Secondly, The staff do work hard. Thirdly, (and this is really a negative positive) there just ain't that many better places in Chelmsford.

3/10

26 Aug 2008 16:09

Barracuda, Braintree

This is a large bland looking glass fronted bar on Braintree High Street, apparently supposed to have a South African theme, although you would not suspect this unless you had been told.

Inside there is plenty of comfortable table seating and also sofas, big TVs for sport watching, patio at the back for smokers. But the overall effect of the interior is nothing to get worked up about. You can easily imagine yourself to be in any cheap airport hotel bar in the Country. It has the usual uninspiring blandness of any modern chain pub.

The beer choice (or should I say "lager choice") is remarkably poor. Perhaps the citizens of Braintree have entirely given up on our native beer making tradition (i.e. cask ales)? I suppose that in fairness to Barracuda it is not really trying to attract the discerning real ale drinker, and its business model is more geared towards filling up the young and undemanding with overpriced fizzy ethanol based products.

The clientele in any establishment in central Braintree are never going to be anything other than rough around the edges, and this place certainly does not buck that trend.

How it has managed to score an average of 6.6 is beyond me, so in an effort to try and restore some sanity to this site I have to give it a mediocre 3/10.

25 Jun 2008 16:43

The Porcupine, Leicester Square

With most Porcupines the pricks are on the outside, but with this one... lets just say it attracts a "mixed bag", and leave it at that.

Olde Corner pub with a certain amount of charm. The bare stained wooden interior is attractive enough and the upstairs bar is quite snug if you can get a seat. Drinks selection varied. There were 4 handpumps in operation and the ale quality was good.

Crowded with the exact mixture you would expect; bewildered tourists, kids in from the 'burbs taking in a bit of the West End, argrieved brickies "up west" glugging lager and swearing, outraged middleaged theatre goers grabbing a quick libation before the play. From this you will garner that the atmosphere is not exactly harmonious and not always pleasant and relaxing, but what can you expect from a pub a stone's throw from Leicester Square?

Clientele and crowdedness drag this pub down to an average 5/10

24 Jun 2008 17:02

The Castle, Holborn

Considering its proximity to the Fatcat Lawyer Hell that is Chancery Lane this small victorian street corner pub is relatively unpretentious and relaxed. There were 8 ales on, yes 8! I only got through a couple but they were good. Sat at a stool in front of the big clear glass windows and watched office girls scuttle back and forth dressed in their summer clothes (mmmmm)whilst sipping some really decent beer. Well done The Castle, you provided excellent beverages in a pleasant atmosphere.

8/10

24 Jun 2008 11:35

The Queen B, Chelmsford

Recently introduced Greene King IPA (better than nothing I suppose). And guess what... it's shite.

Why oh why do I keep going back there... like a dog returning to it's own vomit.

Still 3/10

4 Jun 2008 15:04

The Woolpack, Chelmsford

I try quite hard to like the Woolpack as it is fairly convenient for me but it just doesn't really have much charm.

There are elements there which are good: The real ale is well kept and they do a fair selection. They have Czech Budvar on tap, which is normally a good sign. It has preseved its pleasant Victorian corner pub layout and decor. It has a pool table and a small garden. These good elements draw me back on a regular basis, but what drives me away again is the unpleasant, dead atmosphere.

It just lacks any kind of hospitality, it is generally pretty empty and most of the customers seem to be boring, surly, young, single blokes who treat the place as if it belongs to them and feel that anyone else who might fancy popping in for a drink is trespassing on their turf. The bar staff seem to encourage this attitude, presumably because it means they have less work to do as no-one else comes in.

In the right hands it could be so much more. 5/10

4 Jun 2008 14:58

The Lopes Arms, Roborough

A large two bar pub in the village of Roborough on the edge of Dartmoor with beer garden, also has en-suite accomodation.

I have stayed overnight in the Lopes (but not for a few years now) and have regularly eaten and drunk there at lunchtimes and evenings on my occasional trips to Dartmoor over the years. I have a certain affection for the place and it has many good points.

Firstly, the beer, usually a couple of ales on which included excellent Doom Bar last time I was there. Beer is kept and served to a good standard.

Secondly, the Food is good honest English pub food, freshly cooked and good quality, reasonably priced.

Thirdly, the landlord and staff have always been first rate.

The only minor criticisms I have are that I prefer a wider ale choice and I sometimes think that because the pub concentrates on food so much it does have more of a restaurant feel to it, which can be a little offputting if you come in on your own. But on balance, a creditable 7/10

3 Jun 2008 17:29

The Skylark, Clearbrook

In a wonderful setting in the small Dartmoor village of Clearbrook, I always enjoy my visits to the Skylark. A traditional old Devon village pub with a pleasant beer garden.

The bar serves a good pint of real ale and seems to rotate the guest ales regularly. It has to be said that the pub is very popular for food and most people go there for a meal, but don't let this discourage you drinkers as this place is well worth a visit just for a decent pint in a pleasant atmosphere.

The landlord is very proud of his food and can be heard haranguing the kitchen staff to ever greater culinary efforts at meal times. But this is no Gastropub, the food is basic honest English pub food at its best and reasonably priced too.

I love the place and give it an 8/10.

3 Jun 2008 17:15

Edwards, Chelmsford

They say the British like to queue and boy, were they right. Why is it that we Brits crowd into these kind of places until they are so full that our prospects of ever getting a drink, having a conversation or even crossing the room to spend a penny are seriously impeded? These days, entering an Edwards on a Friday night seems to me about as pleasurable as taking a crowded commuter train into London on a weekday morning.

You can say that under 25's like this kind of atmosphere, but to be frank that's a bit patronising, and I am not even sure that they really do. It wasn't that long ago that I was one of those under 25's myself and I can't recall actually enjoying Edwards style bars all that much. I know you are supposed to and everyone says they do, but I dunno.

Sure, they're OK for a bit of girl watching, but the queuing, the provocation and intimidation from the door staff, the standing, the noise, the lack of ability to get a drink, the pressure to pull a bird and the probability that you won't, the constant hovering threat that some pissed up lout will smack you in the mouth for looking at him in the wrong way, it isn't much fun being young and hip.

These comments probably apply to every Edwards I have ever been in. So, what about Edwards Chelmsford? I hear you say. Well, it's an Edwards, same wherevener you go. Loud music, bland lager, bar staff keen but worked like galley slaves, open plan, split levels, shiny surfaces, vaguely stale smell masked by a cacophony of aftershave, unlikely to get a seat, bit of a patio area at the front which is nice in the summer if you can get a seat (unlikely).

I can only really find reasons to give it a couple of marks; a) the staff work hard and b) I quite like the patio area at the front. Other than that, not my cup of tea at all.

2/10

29 May 2008 15:34

The Moon and Stars, Romford

JD Wetherspoons, the pub chain equivalent of Poundland or Primark. Providing affordable food and drink to the fiancially challenged or incorigable tightwads.

This one is a particularly fetid den of iniquity, usually quite filthy, rank and dingy inside. Most notable is the group of hardcore drinkers who get in when it opens at about 9am and then proceed to drink all day save for occasional trips to the bookies nextdoor for a punt.

The ale is the usual Wetherspoons fayre. A selection of big name bitters served reasonably well and at knock-down prices.

Food is of the "hold it down if you can" variety. I once saw a Wetherspoons employee asked by a customer "if the meal had shellfish in it". The employee went away and came back out of the kitchen with a big cardboard box, which must have held about 50 of these pre-cooked meals and had the cooking instructions and ingredients list on the side, and held it in front of the customer's face so they could read the ingredients. Fresh, my arse.

So, not a pleasant place to while away the hours in my book. Having said all this, the Moon and Stars does redeem itself slighty as it is 1) The only place at that end of South Street which sells real ale. 2) The ale is really not too bad 3) It's cheap and unpretenious.

So, a solid 4/10 in my book

23 May 2008 16:57

Golden Lion, Romford

The Lion is an oasis of old English charm in the bland desert of dreary 1960s box buildings that make up Romford's town centre. A classical 18th century coaching inn that one might walk into expecting to see a young David Copperfield nursing a pint of porter and warming himself at the fire.

The temptation is to avoid going into pubs at all in Romford unless you happen to be one of the "10 pints of strong lager/you lookin' at my bird/smack in the mouth" fraternity or the "world's shortest skirt/20 alcopops/dose of clamydia" sorority. But this is one place you can go in and be reasonably certain of an evening or afternoon without intimidation or irritation.

At the pumps they have real ale (Yes, in Romford!) and the quality of the pints is not too bad. At least, I have never had a dodgy one in there. The bar is usually pretty packed out with a mix of people encompassing market traders, shoppers and office workers. There is an overflow room upstairs with plenty of tables.

The staff are friendly, efficient and competent.

So overall, must be a high scoring pub. The only areas where it loses marks are that it is usually crowded. Not the pub's fault this, but still, a bit annoying sometimes. Also, the selection of beer was not terribly broad and the quality, whilst not bad, does not make you sit up and say "Wow, that's good".

So all in all a solid 7/10.

22 May 2008 17:25

The Kirkstone Pass Inn, Kirkstone Pass

A sight for sore eyes for those with sore feet. Descending into the Kirkstone pass after a day up on the tops we were treated to a choice of four delicious ales on handpump served by two lovely East European ladies. The setting is bleak and high at the top of the pass, and it certainly doesn't lack grandeur. The building claims to date back to the 15th Century and has a kind of run down higgledypiggldy whitewashed charm. Inside it is dingy with coal fires and cosy tables and seating. Outside you can sit and feel small and anonymous in the most imposing of lakeland scenery. Not to be missed. All somewhat spoilt by the procession of noisy motorbikes burning past at speed. Middle-aged bikers often pop in for their orange juice and sanatogen before burning off to inflict their noise on other lakeland residents elsewhere.

12 May 2008 11:07

The Brotherswater Inn, Hartsop

With the stunning backdrop of the Kirkstone pass this pub is the perfect place for a post walk pint on the terrace (if fine) or in the bar with it's big picture windows (if wet). Also has accomodation and a camp site. There are 4 handpumps in operation serving Jennings ales and 2 guests. Cumberland ale was particularly good when I visited. Evening Meals are pretty good basic fayre but the breakfast they serve is simply wonderful and worth a detour before heading off to the hills in the morning. The only thing which mars the enjoyment slightly is the constant stream of bikers racing past. The Kirkstone pass seems to have been adopted by the Babyboomer Motorcycle Prats Fraternity (BMPF) as an impromptu racecourse for their noisemaking deathtraps.

12 May 2008 10:54

The Queen's Head, Chelmsford

Is this the perfect pub? The nearest you’re going to get to it in Chelmsford anyway. Delightful selection of real ales served in peak condition and at reasonable price. Interesting lager and draft cider selection (definitely no Carling or Strongbow in here!) No music/TV on and genuine, friendly conversation at the bar. The new landlord is a great character and makes every visit a pleasure, and boy does he knows how to serve a great pint. Staff always make you welcome and service is quick and efficient. Real fires, pub dog, newspapers provided. If you like a wide choice of delicious beverages, an open fire, a relaxing atmosphere and good company this is the place for you. If not, stick to the Fleece or Chicagos where you belong.

Previous poster should try again as the atmosphere was not at all as he described the last few times I have visited.

23 Apr 2008 15:38

Bar:me, Romford

I have been in to Bar Me during the day and have never seen more than a handful of customers in there. On occasion there has been literally just the barmaid and myself. Odd, as Edwards nextdoor usually does a roaring trade at Lunchtimes and the set up/food/beer is pretty similar. Perhaps it's the daft name that puts people off.

16 Apr 2008 11:29

The Hamilton Hall, Liverpool Street

Too big, too busy, too grotty. Clientele of drunken loudmouthed idiots, suits, brickies, down-and-outs, dregs. Atmosphere crackles with the incipient threat of drunken violence at any time of day or night. Getting served at the bar is a nightmare of Wagnerian proportion. Even having to pass by the place when you reach the top of the Liverpool Street escalator sends a shiver down the spine of any honest drinker. The walking pace and heart rate slacken appreciably once you have turned the corner and are out of sight of the place and the mind relaxes and directs one towards the more civilised drinking establishments that the Capital can offer.

15 Apr 2008 12:29

The Square and Compasses, Fairstead

Shalford ale from the the barrel was pretty good, although there was no other choice of ale when I visited.

Food is unpretentious, reasonably priced and well cooked. Service was brilliant and the place seemed to be run by a chap and a lady I took to be the owners who made the visit a pleasure.

The main bar is really just a restaurant which seems to get very busy so you need to book. The smaller bar is more for drinkers and was full of locals when I visited. I will be returning, but on first impressions I would recommend this place highly.

10 Apr 2008 11:54

The Union Rooms, Plymouth

This is one wetherspoons where you will not get a good pint of ale. The beer is usually stale and badly kept. I suspect this is because it is mainly a lager drinkers' pub. The staff are a bunch of useless spiky haired wombats and there has been no obvious sign of an adult there to manage them whenever I have visited.

General atmosphere of squalor and barely supressed violence.

10 Apr 2008 11:00

The Notte Inn, Plymouth

As an occasional visitor to Plymouth I used to go in the Notte Inn in the early 90's and it was a real spit and sawdust back street boozer packed out with local characters and serving a good pint of ale.

Went back recently and was disappointed to see it had been totally refurbed in a kind of "wine bar" style. However, I was quite pleasantly surprised by the nice ale straight from the cask served by the drop-dead gorgeous girls behind the bar. Fell into conversation with a group of blokes drinking at the bar and had a thoroughly good evening.

4 Apr 2008 12:59

The Garrick Arms, Trafalgar Square

Big open fronted bar serving Green King. One of the better ones around Leicester Square, but still not up to much.

4 Apr 2008 12:44

Kings Head, Braintree

Good friendly local pub with beer garden. Serves a fine pint of GK IPA.

1 Apr 2008 15:19

The Custom House, Romford

This is my favourite bar/pub in this end of Romford, which sounds like faint praise, and it is.

The atmosphere is at least friendly and you are unlikely to get into a drunken scene(fight) with the local pondlife in here. Not much else to actually recommend it other than that.

Standard lagerpub with no proper ale, decorated in a style which is a cross between a modernist loft appartment and an Edwardian Gentleman's club (go figure!), I would never eat there(or anywhere else in South Street, Romford, anyone who does deserves all they get.

1 Apr 2008 13:11

The Woolpack, Chelmsford

Not a bad pint, but I found the staff and management are not particularly warm and welcoming.

26 Mar 2008 17:35

The White Horse, Chelmsford

Friendly place, good selection of ales, but they are a bit hit and miss and I have had the occasional bad pint in the Horse.

You do feel like you need a bath after you leave the place as it is pretty filthy, especially the toilets.

26 Mar 2008 17:33

The Ship, Chelmsford

I go in there regularly and the staff are always friendly. The ale is always good. Don't understand the last comment about the beer being flat, this is Essex mate, it's supposed to be flat!

They do a good bit of grub in there too.

26 Mar 2008 17:29

The Railway Tavern, Chelmsford

Popped in recently and was really put off by the fetid atmosphere in there. Also, my pint was disgustingly off. Not recommended.

26 Mar 2008 17:24

The Queen B, Chelmsford

Recently refurbed, and they have now made it even worse! (if that was possible). The beer is now ridiculously overpriced. Over £3 for a pint of Stella. No proper ale whatsoever. Always full of badly behaved kids running around the bar. Cheap, nasty food. Typical "chain pub" really.

26 Mar 2008 17:21

The Original Plough, Chelmsford

Always serves a decent pint and has a good selection of real ale.

26 Mar 2008 17:15

The Jolly Sailor, Heybridge Basin

Good, friendly local pub serves a tidy pint of ale.

26 Mar 2008 17:11

Ivory Peg, Chelmsford

Good choice of well kept real ales and ludicrously cheap. I have spent many a happy hour in there sampling their selection.

Service can be very slow at busy times.

There is a clientele of hard-core drinkers who are a bit unsightly at times but mostly harmless.

But don't eat there unless you're not fussy and have a strong stomach.

26 Mar 2008 17:09

The Compasses, Littley Green

Terrific. Proper unspoilt picturesque pub serving ale straight from the cask. Ale quaffers should definitely make a detour to visit this place.

26 Mar 2008 16:59

Baroosh, Chelmsford

Overpriced, trendy, lagerpub devoid of any real character . Run by muppets for muppets.

26 Mar 2008 16:48

Barnes Farm, Chelmer Village

I have to agree with the previous poster. We waited almost an hour for our meals on bank holiday Friday lunchtime, and it wasn't as if the place was exactly teeming with people or short on staff. The waitresses are very nice, but the kitchen seems far too slow at turning the food out.

26 Mar 2008 16:43

The Angel, Chelmsford

The IPA and other cask ales are served too cold so they don't taste right. The pub is staffed by surly teenagers which totally spoils the atmosphere.

26 Mar 2008 16:38

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