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BITE user comments - Lizzie13

Comments by Lizzie13

The Black Lion, Hammersmith

We had high expectations of this pub, but felt badly let down. Maybe because of its lovely location, it feels it just doesn’t need to try hard (and regrettably, that may be the case).

We planned to spend a day by the river, as a group. The Black Lion’s website clearly said (and probably still does) it opens at 11:00 on Saturdays; but when we arrived, we were told it did not open until 12:00 — and the staff (already in the bar but not serving) were bordering on rude, offering no apology and all but accusing us of lying.

The selection of beer/cider is nothing special, and very pricey. Our sandwiches had delicious filling but dry bread. And perhaps the worst thing is the women’s loos — these would be totally inadequate, even in good working order; but one of the two cubicles was out of order. The resulting queue left little room for hand-washing at the sinks — an unpleasant experience.

Despite the surroundings and the pleasant interior decor, we will not be visiting again.

8 Sep 2013 16:15

The Forester, West Ealing

What a lovely place — definitely our find of the year so far! We went yesterday, when there was a very well run beer/cider festival and craft fair, and the atmosphere was great.

In the pub itself, the service is exceptionally friendly and efficient. It’s spacious and comfortable, and there’s a decent choice of food. Perhaps the only downside is that the women’s loos, though clean and well maintained, seem a bit on the inadequate side for such a large place (though I may have missed the fact that there’s more than one).

We live on the other side of London, and we’ll definitely make the journey again. If we lived nearer, we’d be there much more often.

8 Sep 2013 16:01

The Queens Head, St Pancras

This really deserves the term “hidden gem” — a real discovery! Lovely interior, relaxed atmosphere and exceptionally friendly service (even on a pre-Christmas Saturday afternoon, with a large party going on). There’s an excellent selection of both “real” and craft beers and ciders. Food is, very wisely, kept basic but very high quality, with an emphasis on generous portions for sharing.

The only slight downside is that the loos, while clean and well maintained, could do with a bit of refurbishment (like a cistern in the ladies’ that doesn’t take ages to refill between flushes — not great when there’s only room for one loo for all the females in the pub).

However, that will on no way deter us from making this a regular venue. It’s already claimed a place in our top 5 for the year.

16 Dec 2012 08:39

The Crown Tavern, Clerkenwell

This should be a really good pub. BUT…

(1) Their website (which publishes a completely different food menu from the one they actually serve) explicitly says they open at 9:00 on Saturdays, when in fact they don’t open until 12:00. When I pointed this out, the barperson said “I don’t know who produced that website, but it’s wrong.”. Uh?

(2) The Orchard cider is excellent (not “real”, for the purists, but all the better for that as far as I am concerned); but £4.50 a pint seems a bit extreme.

(3) There is neither hand dryer nor towels in the women’s loo.

All of those points mark it down for me.

2 Dec 2012 17:19

The Royal Oak, Isleworth

We would have given this pub a high rating first impressions were very good. Nice decor, comfortable, friendly service, good beer, Aspall cider (yes, i know its not real, but some of us like it a lot). And we were sorry that the weather did not allow us to take advantage of the garden.

However the signs outside promise food all day, and menus stayed on the tables throughout, with no indication of time restrictions. But when we tried to order food, at 2:20 on a Saturday afternoon, we were told, with no further explanation, that they were not taking food orders. Soon afterwards, we heard other customers complain that they had ordered burgers half an hour ago and were still waiting. Not good enough, so Im afraid the rating drops a few points!

10 Jun 2012 14:25

The Jolly Gardners, Putney

We had an excellent day here its a comfortable, friendly pub, with a good choice of food and drink, and relaxed ambience. We were particularly impressed by the TV policy they dont advertise it, so as not to attract clientele that comes in just for the sport, but we were able to watch the Grand National in comfort.

15 Apr 2012 10:18

The Queens Head Inn, Harlow

Just for information, they no longer close during the afternoon (well, not on Saturdays, anyway).

2 Mar 2012 11:46

The Warrington Hotel, Maida Vale

Lovely interior (and full marks for the loos), but we too were unimpressed by the service and the prices. The staff, while not overtly rude, were offhand, inattentive and inefficient, and generally lacking any aptitude for bar work.

The Kingstone Press cider was fine, and none of my colleagues complained about the beer or the wine. But as for food prices my meal of two small potato croquettes, a fried duck egg and just half an oven-dried tomato was delicious, as and as much as I wanted but for 8.95 hardly represented value for money. I was brought no pepper and salt, so walked across and fetched them myself, without apology from the staff; and, of course, the pepper mill was empty! Symptomatic of the generally uncaring, slapdash attitude.

20 Nov 2011 09:15

The Bree Louise, Euston

I used to love this pub, but now I feel that it is resting on its laurels not a good thing to do given the increasing local competition. The tatty, grubby decor, the stained, rickety chairs, and the awful loos just dont make for a pleasant experience.

Personally (and I know people will think this isnt the point of this pub) I would like it if they served better keg/bottled cider, such as Aspall or Inchs they do have the execrable Strongbow, so its not as if they are purists.

13 Nov 2011 18:00

The Bull, Highgate

We were very impressed by this pub. Id give it pretty near 10/10 for most things excellent beer, good range of cider, lovely food at reasonable prices, staff that were friendly, attentive and helpful without being intrusive, pleasing decor, good loos definitely a place we will revisit.

The main downside to our visit was that, on a mild autumn day, the fire was blazing and ventilation was inadequate (the windows where we sat could not be opened), so it was intolerably hot.

Another minor gripe is that, like all too many pubs, they lower the lighting as soon as natural light starts to go, which is annoying for readers and crossword solvers. However, it was not remdered as gloomy as some places are.

13 Nov 2011 15:50

The Fentiman Arms, Kennington

This could be such a good pub, if they didnt apparently assume they already were.

On the rather warm Saturday we went, there wasnt room for us all outside, so we sat inside where it was absolutely stifling, to the extent of making us feel ill. Why not even ceiling fans?

Presumably the pub had opened early for World Cup Rugby. When we left, early in the evening, the used glasses fromthe morning were still stacked high and unwashed on the bar. Why was it not possible to employ someone for an hour or two to wash up?

Staff werent rude, but neither were they particularly conscientious or friendly.

One of our group ordered a BLT, which was disgusting flabby, fatty, undercooked bacon, artfully arranged on a wooden slab with bread which was either very lightly toasted or stale, she simply couldnt tell.

Wake up, this pub! Realise your potential! Stop messing your assumed captive audience about.

3 Nov 2011 20:01

The Colonies, Westminster

Dropped in at lunchtime on a shopping trip. A decent enough pub though, for a cider drinker, a pint of Aspall works out very expensive, because they only have the 330 ml bottles. Service and baked potato were both excellent.

Not a destination pub for me, but if in the area I would visit it again.

3 Nov 2011 19:50

The Craft Beer Co, City of London

This has the makings of a great pub, but has a little way to go.

As a cider, rather than beer, drinker, I had a rather bleak day. I was astonished that there was just one draft cider (and that was very much not to my taste, nor to that of a companion who also sometimes likes to drink cider) and no bottled ciders at all. Given the fantastic range of bottled ciders now available, this seems like a wasted opportunity.

Also, they do not do food (unless you count pork pies and scotch eggs, which I definitely dont), so I went to a nearby shop for sandwiches. We asked if it would be OK to eat these upstairs, with our drinks (promising not to leave a mess), and were told that would be unacceptable, so we had to stand outside in the rain, with the smokers.

Loved the decor, and the range of beers, but wont be going again until they broaden their offering a bit.

17 Jul 2011 13:59

The Victoria Stakes, Muswell Hill

I am surprised at the largely negative reviews of this pub. We visited recently and were very impressed good, well kept range of drinks, flexible menu (easy to order a light snack if you dont want a full meal), comfortable atmosphere etc.

The best bit is the service (i) one of us wanted to buy a bottle of wine, and they readily offered a choice between keeping it in the fridge or supplying an ice bucket; (ii) when a friend queried his pint on the grounds that the glass was scratched, they immediately poured him a new one, bno questions asked.

15 May 2011 19:46

The Pride of Spitalfields, Shoreditch

The major plus point about this pub is that the service is charming. However, if you have any kind of breathing difficulties (or claustrophobia), avoid it the dark, fuggy atmosphere is compounded by hairs from the resident cat, and you will not feel well. The beer was fine, but it would be nice if they stocked better cider (like bottled Aspall).

15 May 2011 19:35

The Harp, Covent Garden

We visited on Saturday, and found the Harp even better than we remembered, with a great selection of beers and ciders, and exceptionally friendly and efficient service. We sat in the upstairs room, which is wonderfully comfortable and has a lovely view.

10 Jan 2011 08:54

The Island Queen, Islington

We have stopped going to this pub, because of the attitude of the staff. Some are very friendly and obliging; others display a level of overt rudeness that supasses anything I have experienced in any other pub. How do they ever get away with it?

Reading these reviews, I am relieved to see that its not just me being paranoid. On the bar, ironically, is a box with a label Tips for staff; my tip is try being polite to your customers and maybe we will return.

17 Oct 2010 20:01

The Castle, Harrow On The Hill

As anticipated, we revisited this pub yesterday, and were rather disappointed. We had greatly looked forward to lunching there, but that was impossible bizarrely, a childrens birthday party was taking place on a Saturday afternoon, and the penetrating shrillness of their screams made this a marginally less pleasant experience than drinking and doing crosswords next to someone operating a pneumatic drill. I am not condemning out of hand the child-friendly pub, but if an adult were to make such astonishingly intrusive noise, s/he would be barred!

Having lunched nearby, in an inferior but peaceful pub, we returned. The child-shrieks were no longer in evidence, thougn older children still seemed to have permission to run around wherever they wanted to. Early in the evening, as the natural light waned, they operated the apparent London-wide (and very irritating) policy of dimming the lights. When we queried this, the barman very sweetly and quickly brought candles to our table, for which many brownie points.

Beer and cider both excellent.

17 Oct 2010 19:47

The Castle, Harrow On The Hill

We (a group of about 8) visited this pub earlier in the summer and found it all but faultless efficient, friendly service; excellent food, providing both for those who want more sophisticated, gastro-pub fare and those (like us) who prefer something more basic; great choice of beer as well as Aspall cider; lovely loos; a beautiful beer garden.

I simply do not recognise the place featured in some of these rather disparaging comments.

We plan a return visit soon, and look forward to it.

12 Sep 2010 12:34

The Charlotte Despard, Archway

A group of us spent the afternoon and early evening there the first time we have visited (we heard of the pub through Camra). We were impressed the staff were extremely friendly and helpful, and the food was fantastic value for money.

Its sad that MuswellHillGirl had a bad experience when she visited, but I think she must have been very unlucky. While we were there, the atmosphere was entirely pleasant, and the sometimes enthusiastic support for the football never descended into abusiveness.

12 Sep 2010 09:55

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