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BITE user comments - LondonWolf

Comments by LondonWolf

The Thornbury Castle, Marylebone

The most expensive pint I've ever bought in a UK pub, £4.80 for a Heineken, which rather makes any comment about atmosphere or surroundings redundant. Ale that formed part of same order weighed in at £3.80. I fully understand the difficult circumstances pubs are operating in, but that is plainly ridiculous. Rugby theme, so guess those on corporate jollies will stomach the prices here...

6 Jul 2012 00:28

The Crown, Bloomsbury

Stopped on a crawl today,worst pub of the day by a considerable margin. Young lad fiddling with his hair behind the bar didn't even greet us on arrival as too busy chatting to his soppy female friends, place was otherwise empty despite being a bank holiday,and raining! The whole pub clearly,and overwhelmingly,stunk of bad drains/sewerage. Presume Sam Smiths have given up on this one as the excellent Princess Louise is only 100yds up the road. Avoid.

5 Jun 2012 22:43

The Brewmaster, Leicester Square

Popped in on a recent afternoon session. Uninspired by the choice of Speckled Hen or the instantly forgettable GK IPA opted for a Becks Vier which was fine. Pub smelt of furniture polish or similar cleaning products, staff bored and disinterested, toilets the same as every other pub in the area - small, dirty and involving a staircase. A somewhat bland tourist-trap, we were away to pastures new within 20 minutes.

15 Mar 2012 12:14

The Brewmaster, Leicester Square

Popped in on a recent afternoon session. Uninspired by the choice of Speckled Hen or the instantly forgettable GK IPA opted for a Becks Vier which was fine. Pub smelt of furniture polish or similar cleaning products, staff bored and disinterested, toilets the same as every other pub in the area - small, dirty and involving a staircase. A somewhat bland tourist-trap, we were away to pastures new within 20 minutes.

15 Mar 2012 12:11

The Bankers Draft, Sheffield

Happened to be staying close-by and pub options limited in the immediate surrounds, so ended-up in here for a couple on a recent Sunday evening. As so often is the case, most of the 'Sunday night Wetherspoons' crowd were those of the most desperate or determined kind in a large pub that was otherwise relatively quiet. Some shouted inane nonsense into mobile phones near the front of the pub, another table were kicking up a huge fuss over a glass that supposedly had a cut in it and were looking to work a 'free food & drink for the rest of eternity' scam as a result by intimidating the young barstaff, and three-quarters of the punters were out the front for a smoke every 15 minutes. On reflection, I should have just walked that bit further....

15 Mar 2012 11:36

Ye Olde Cheshire Cheese Inn, Castleton

Good mix of locals and walkers on a busy Friday night, if anything the latter group perhaps in the majority. Cosy pub, good atmosphere, two lovely pints of 'Barnsley Gold' and they even played erstwhile classic 'Ain't no pleasin' you', so a fine watering hole in my book!

15 Mar 2012 11:27

The Brown Bear, Sheffield

Efficient service in a busy modern-ish (by Sam Smiths standards) two-room pub, the same central bar area providing service to either side. £2.01 for Taddy Lager (would never be £2 would it, but who's complaining!?) as against £3+ for the same in London. Generally a good mix of Saturday night drinkers, though by sheer bad luck we of course got collared by some sozzled old boy who wanted to tell us his life story and kindly 'pulled up a chair' to do so. Had to sup up and leave when his increasingly racist quips fell the wrong side of Jim Davidson as was becoming a bit unpleasant and just didn't want the hassle of asking him to cut that nonsense out. However, just bad luck that he wandered over to us, the pub were in no way responsible. Would definitely return.

15 Mar 2012 11:20

The Magpie and Crown, Brentford

Significantly improved under new management, a cleaner and more welcoming environment in which to drink, especially for the occasional visitor. The 'blackboard' system of old is still in place, and can frequently inspire curiosity and debate around the bar as the incoming ales are chalked up (a refreshingly male trait there!). Pints range from £3.20-£3.60, with Belgian beers understandably more. Excellent pub.

21 Feb 2012 20:21

The Regent, Walton on Thames

No real surprises here, other than the small upstairs area was hotter than the sun on our visit on an otherwise chilly winters night. Still, would be churlish to complain about such luxury in these austere times. Only 2 ales from the advertised range of 6 'Burns Night' Scottish ales were actually available despite the pump clips still enticing us to the bar, but that's hardly a revelation for a Wetherspoons. Service, and what beer that there was available, absolutely fine.

21 Feb 2012 20:01

Globe, Liverpool

Popped in for a pint on way to Goodison, stayed for three! Friendly locals, very efficient staff and plenty of football chat around the bar. Clearly gets very busy due to central location, but an excellent option nevertheless.

21 Feb 2012 19:50

The Philharmonic, Liverpool

A ten minute, albeit uphill, walk from Lime St/Central stations, the Phil is certainly worth a visit on architectural grounds alone. As a pub, it was perhaps something of an anti-climax, if only since London drinkers such as ourselves see similar food and beer menus throughout the capital across the dozens of similar Nicholsons pubs and I hadn't been aware that it was part of the chain prior to our visit. Personally I found the other options nearby a bit more intriguing as a result, but still a pleasant place to raise a glass or two.

21 Feb 2012 19:42

The Village House Hotel, Findon

£5.70 for a pint and a half of Fosters....difficult to see how the pub trade is going to survive even in rural areas such as the tranquil and beautifully-set Findon with such pricing. Surely the number of patrons for whom this is affordable/sustainable, and likely to focus their social lives around pubs nowadays must be diminishing? 'Robust' pricing aside, a pleasant enough place with above average pub food and some great racing mementoes on the walls.

21 Feb 2012 00:35

The Charles Dickens, Worthing

Friendly welcome, attractive barmaids behind the ramp, well-presented smart multi-level pub half a mile from what I guess would be termed the 'town centre'. Personally I found it a little too bland whatwith the incessant lounge/chillout 'muzak', and somewhat sanitised air, but the bar had a decent trade throughout our Saturday evening visit, so clearly doing plenty right. The all-conquering Doom Bar was on offer, along with 2/3 other ales.

21 Feb 2012 00:21

JBs, Worthing

Visited at approx. 10pm on a cold wet winters' night, albeit a Saturday. Pub was very tatty, the 15 or so exclusively male patrons all long since past the point of no return booze-wise for the day. Whilst not exactly hostile, the language and drunken demeanour of the locals cluttered round the bar did not make for a pleasant, nor even civil drinking environment. Not sure if there was any ale on offer, in all honesty I wouldn't have chanced it anyway as settled for a pint of cooking lager and a swit exit. Certainly didn't see anyone else drinking anything other than lager or misc. bottled fare. Worthing is far from a drinking mecca, but you can certainly do better than this....

21 Feb 2012 00:13

The William Web Ellis, Twickenham

As you'd expect, getting served is something of a lottery given the predictably huge bar. Once successful, you then tend to find that at least a third of any items you were intending to order may no longer be available for various reasons which will be imparted with varying degrees of enthusiasm, but again that's standard Spoons fare. Generally, this place is fine. Decent prices (during the week) of at least a pound a pint less than many local competitors make it a relatively attractive if somewhat clinical option.

27 Oct 2011 22:17

The Druid's Head, Kingston Upon Thames

Given the drastic shortage of decent pubs in Kingston town centre, you'll invariably find yourself having a couple in here if on any sort of crawl locally. It's fine, little in the way of character or charm, but half-decent beers at reasonable prices. Decision to close the upstairs bar at around 10pm every Saturday bemuses and frustrates everyone up there in equal measure.

27 Oct 2011 21:58

The Griffin, Brentford

Have been in here many times, pre and post Brentford games. Always seen a mix of home and away fans, invariably mixing perfectly happilly and chatting about their respective teams. Furthermore, have never heard any 'chanting' of any description, or unruly behaviour aside from a handful of bitter Welshmen a decade ago. For a pub literally across the road from a ground, service is efficient in a practised and admittedly somewhat unsmiling way. Critically, given the location, they haven't had to resort to the dreaded plastic 'glasses' on my visits. Best of the 4 corners by a margin.

27 Oct 2011 21:48

The Church Inn, Ludlow

Lovely pint of HPA in a busy and atmospheric pub which seems to offer appeal across the board with a wide range of interesting ales, bright and modern interior decor and friendly, efficient service. The pick of the central hostelries in a lovely town.

27 Oct 2011 21:35

The Square Peg, Birmingham

Recently had the pleasure of experiencing the 'Monday Club' whilst chancing upon The Square Peg. Evidently the membership requirements of this 'club' are stone-washed denim jeans and/or jackets, tattooed knuckles and the possession of an urge to spend 8 hours throwing down £1.99 pints whilst glaring at anyone within a 10 yard radius. Not good, even by the modest pub standards of Birmingham city centre.

27 Oct 2011 21:23

The Guildford Arms, Edinburgh

Thanks for the update jacko72 - bad luck indeed, missing out on 10 new ales just a couple of days later! Just my luck, at least the Wolves won against Hearts. Hope all that made the Jazz Festival had a great time and I'll be sure to give the Guildford Arms another try in the future.

9 Sep 2010 17:09

BN21, Eastbourne

Visited a couple of times over the past few days - toilets are indeed a disgrace and staff are not exactly welcoming albeit perfectly competent. However, the general pub itself was very clean, beer (having sampled both the 'Everards Sunchaser' ale and 'Becks Vier' lager) was consistently in very good condition and at excellent prices. I thought the place was certainly a far more inviting option than the 'Terminus' next door which seemed to be populated by all manner of waifs and strays from 11am onwards each day. There were a few youngsters in the 'Devonshire' but didn't seem to be up to anything untoward, if anything I would have said they were students as against local scroats out for a scrap in any event. Having not seen the pub in it's previous incarnation, I can only assume it has improved dramatically. That said, I wouldn't eat in here, bargain breakfast or not!....

9 Sep 2010 12:37

Lewes Arms, Lewes

Now a Fullers pub. Despite the pleasant exterior and quirky layout, I suspect that much of the original character of this pub has sadly diminished. The small bar area was dominated by the 8 or so regulars who needed a bit of gentle encouragement even to move aside to enable us to examine the drinking options and order, which was somewhat irritating and I'm sure would deter a fair few other potential customers. Got the impression that the pub was being run for the the hardcore local devotees as opposed to the wider public, which can of course bring difficulties in these testing times. We felt relaxed if not exactly welcome. Beer fine, if somewhat forgettable. On the whole slightly disappointing.

5 Aug 2010 17:11

The Barrels, Hereford

Excellent range of Wye Valley beers at around £2.40 a pint, friendly service, dogs pottering around without a care in the world and a superb curry house across the road. So, can't complain!......Best pub in Hereford by a mile to my untrained eyes.

5 Aug 2010 16:59

The Gardeners Arms, Lewes

Wandered through on a pub crawl last weekend. This pub duly went on to be declared our favourite Lewes hostelry, largely due to the friendly welcome by staff and customers alike, and of course some curiously enticing ales. A beacon even amidst this town of excellent pubs.

5 Aug 2010 16:54

The Bow Bar, Edinburgh

Lively, friendly & 'beardy' place with an enticing range of ales from across the UK. Character abounds and the Castle Rock 'Harvest Pale' was an intriguing alternative to the Deuchars we'd been generally stuck with elsewhere. Recommended.

5 Aug 2010 16:50

The Guildford Arms, Edinburgh

Perhaps we were exceptionally unfortunate, but having been recommended this pub by friends as something of an ale mecca, we were somewhat disheartened to find only the somewhat pedestrian 'Deuchars' available yesterday afternoon. Regulars will be able to advise whether this was a temporary blip - quite a decline from the 8-10 pumps mentioned in previous reviews (?!) or indicative of a more worrying decline. Nevertheless, the place was clean and staff friendly, so would certainly give it another try.

5 Aug 2010 16:46

The Oak Inn, Lyndhurst

Very much a 'gastropub' so if that's your bag then I'm sure this place will tick all the right boxes. As I only stopped for a quick couple of pints I felt somewhat out of place but staff were friendly enough and beer perfectly acceptable. Beautiful setting.

18 Feb 2010 12:12

The Fox, Twickenham

Currently in a 'transitional' phase as new owners are in the process of smartening the old place up a bit. The flowers dotted around the bar and more modern, intimate feel about the place are clear indications of the direction the place is moving but in fairness the place had become a shambolic hole in the latter stages of 2009 with only a very suspect London Pride on tap - something had to be done! Hopefully this place will rise like the proverbial phoenix from the flames....

18 Feb 2010 12:07

The Cabbage Patch, Twickenham

Gadzooks!.......£3.70 for Fosters and an eye-watering £3.95 for Guinness, with no proper ales available in the function room upstairs. I guess those rugger boys must be jolly wealthy chaps......

18 Feb 2010 12:02

The Magpie and Crown, Brentford

Yes the beer is good, and there is much in here to inspire curiosity - but the landlord seems to regard any visit by groups that don't frequent the place at least 4 times a week as some sort of intrusion. Surely a questionable philosophy when there are a number of housing developments and a thriving football club on his manor that would bring a great deal more custom given even a modicom of a welcome? My overwhelming impression is always that this place could be so much more - I invariably find myself wishing I'd had a 'Fosters' just to inspire the reaction that suggests I've soiled myself in the public bar (I checked, I hadn't....)

9 Sep 2009 16:21

The Swan Inn, Old Isleworth

Looks superb from the outside so was somewhat disappointed to find a somewhat bland though modern interior. Main room seemed largely given over to televised rugby on our visit. As it wasn't an England match this seemed to be of little interest to all but a handful of Antipodean customers, slightly frustrating when the sound and big screen set-up tends to dominate the room. Beer acceptable if forgettable Fullers fare.

9 Sep 2009 16:14

The Guide Dog, Bevois Valley

Also visited the 'Guide Dog' last Saturday having pulled a couple of names out of the CAMRA bible in advance of a football awayday. Loved the 'Goodens Gold', sausage rolls (of sorts) on the bar and friendly welcome from staff and locals. Don't be too phased by the rather run-down main road and surrounding area, this one is well worth seeking out.

9 Sep 2009 16:09

The Prince Albert, Twickenham

Solid, friendly Fullers pub that seems to draw a good local trade. Live music on at least some weekends, regulars may be able to advise if this is a weekly fixture. Bus stop immediately outside to inspire bold requests for a cheeky 'last pint of the night' for those like myself living on the other side of town!....Recommended

9 Sep 2009 16:04

The Fox, Twickenham

The presence of Twickenham Ales used to jutify the odd visit here, sadly only a decidedly average 'London Pride' remains on tap (lagers-apart) on the evidence of my last couple of visits, so best look elsewhere. Where once I appreciated the place for it's 'character' it really is beginning to look rather shabby. Not quite a write-off yet but hopefully the apparent downturn in customers will prompt a bit of a managerial rethink.

9 Sep 2009 15:57

The John Snow, Soho

Once again this pub is another Sam Smiths establishment that requires us punters to make something of a compromise in exchange for the enticing charms of good cheap beer in traditional pub surrounds. In the case of the John Snow, the staff make it easy to make a case for steering clear of this pub and heading one of the more welcoming SS pubs (Duke of Argyll, Red Lion) in the area. On my recent visit, 2 of us had 4 pints apiece over a couple of hours, standing at the bar (by choice) throughout. Of the 8 pints, we had to request 2 to be topped-up (normally something I’d prepare to let pass but this was an inch or so ‘short’ and concerned an ‘Alpine’ lager not the OBB). On 2 of the 4 rounds purchased we had to ‘interrupt’ the discussion of the male and female barstaff in order to get served, despite the fact they had quite clearly seen we were looking for a top-up. On the 4th round, the female member of staff decided to pour a ‘Sovereign ‘ bitter rather than the OBB that we’d had on the previous 4 rounds – then merely glared confrontationally at me when I queried this by saying ‘well you didn’t say which bitter you wanted’. Quite why this would encourage her to pull a pint of Sovereign was not clear, surely the easy option would be to ask me – stood a metre away...The only discussion that I overheard during my visit concerned her recounting how much she had drunk over the proceeding days, perhaps explaining the complete absence of any degree of customer care. My change was duly dropped straight onto the bar with a look of disdain. In the 2 hours of our visit, very few customers were offered anything like a greeting, and none given the resemblance of a farewell. In Sam Smiths it seems, as in life, you pays your money and takes your choice……

2 Jun 2009 10:11

The Cabbage Patch, Twickenham

The place actually looks quite appealing - but sadly let down by appalling service. Probably the most infuriating form of poor service as well - blokes behind the bar serving their mates ahead of anyone else and having a great laugh about it too. We walked out when this occured for 2 rounds in a row. As ever with these places, what passes for jolly banter between rugger fans would be arrestable offences if a football stadium happened to be within a mile of the vicinity - expect the full array of raised kilts, racist songs, blokes throwing up, if you're 'fortunate' enough to be here on a rugby weekend.

17 Aug 2007 15:49

The Crown, Soho

Used to be particularly cheap in here but not so now. The inevitable crowds should not be taken as a sign of popularity, the location does most of the work for this place in getting people in - and the staff seem to treat most punters somewhat disdainfully. Just about acceptable if you're passing for a pint, but the rich array of fine Sam Smiths premises in the area offer far greater appeal.

17 Aug 2007 15:41

The Duke of Argyll, Soho

No messing about in here. Proper boozer, good atmosphere - quite often you'll get small groups of folk getting well plastered on the cheap ales, but not intrusively so. No airs and graces behind the bar, and rightly so. Decent service of good beer at great prices, another feather in Sam Smiths' cap!

17 Aug 2007 15:38

The Shakespeare's Head, Holborn

The service is typically hit and miss, the range of bottled foreign beers is excellent, the clientele a mixture of students, office workers and the somewhat downtrodden. It's a Wetherspoons - you should all know what to expect....By all means stop for a Duvel, but expect to endure 10 minutes of haphazard service to get it.

23 Aug 2006 13:06

O'Neills, Wimbledon

Does exactly what it says on the tin. No surprises here, but a decent pint and friendly table service. If the 20 minute train journey into town is too daunting, this may be your best bet locally.

23 Aug 2006 13:01

Pennycomequick Hotel, Plymouth

Not the best pub by some distance, but friendly enough for away fans if you're here for the football. Since it's heading away from the town it does feel somewhat isolated and can't really boast any notable local character - but as a stop-gap to stave off the headache after the long train journey you will have inevitably endured getting here, it does an adequate job. Plastic 'glasses' on matchday, Booo!!

23 Aug 2006 12:56

Golden Lion, Soho

In here last week - it was a bank holiday Sunday evening so three-quarters of the people in there, including our good selves, were three sheets to the wind. Liked it though - good banter around the bar, small enough to have a decent atmosphere, large enough to steer clear of potential fruitloops.

2 Jun 2006 14:32

The Silver Cross, Whitehall

Large indistinct barn of a place, empties and full ashtrays all over the place. Seems to have a high turnover of punters just nipping in for a quick pint, use the toilet, or what have you. That said, there are plenty worse places around and the service and range of beers was better than in most places. Adequate if little more.

2 Jun 2006 14:29

The White Horse, Soho

Sam Smiths. Friendly service, decent beer at good prices. Nothing sensational but well worth a stop if you're in the area.

2 Jun 2006 14:24

The Red Lion, Westminster

Traditional in appearance, woeful in service. Interior tables 'reserved' for non-existent diners - the procedure for ordering food is apparently to be harried by a spotty, spikey haired chap with him prodding a modest menu of overpriced microwave tat at you. Disappointing - please reassure me that we were just unfortunate to be visiting on a Sunday?....

2 Jun 2006 14:19

O'Riordans, Brentford

3 of us walked in here after a recent Brentford game and immediately thought 'Oh dear, here we go...' as heads turned, the Irish memorobilia caught our eye and some pretty large rugby fans appeared by the door. Pleasingly first impressions were definitely wrong - the bar staff were very friendly, the chaps at the bar wanted to have a chat about the football, and we invited to take seats by the fire to dry out whilst our Guinness was poured. Great atmosphere in here, only problem is the place is a little bit isolated for crawl purposes.

14 Feb 2006 13:11

The Halfway House, Earlsfield

Expensive Youngs pub with standard decor. Friendly staff, a good quiz night and a decent mix of locals mean it's always fairly busy. If you're in the area then the HH has comfortably enough plus-points to ensure that a trip into the dire Puzzle is not necessary. Perhaps slightly worrying that Earlsfield drinking has become so polarised over recent years - but I suppose that's a discussion for elsewhere.

14 Feb 2006 12:58

The Red Lion, Soho

Nice pub, cheap Sam Smiths beers and handy if you fancy a game of 'arrers too!

14 Feb 2006 12:50

The Essex Serpent, Covent Garden

Pretty dire - the fact that even the lager tasted flat is probably a strong indication that they will doubtless also fail to look after their ales properly. Staff disinterested, and so very soon were we.

14 Feb 2006 12:48

The Royal George, Euston

The toilets are awful, but the general condition/hygiene in the place didn't seem particularly bad. In fact, now I think about it (and perhaps rather worryingly having seen some of the other comments) we even had a fry-up in here which at the time seemed very tasty and good value! Only word of warning here is to check out the football fixtures to see which fans may be using the pub on a Saturday (ie. travelling via Euston). I've been caught out on that front here a couple of times.

14 Feb 2006 11:10

The Crown And Two Chairmen, Soho

Cheap drinks and the staff are generally on the ball. The atmosphere in the pub tends to be dictated by what, if anything, is being shown on the multiple TV screens. For example, last Friday saw some sort of Antipodean rugby on - the final whistle saw a mass exodus of those sporting sportswear and rucksacks, then on came the Winter Olympics (met with a mixture of abuse and apathy) followed by Championship football (general indifference). On the whole, a very handy boozer well worth a stop.

14 Feb 2006 11:04

The Crown and Cushion, Waterloo

Good service, excellent Guinness, decent prices. Very much a boozer, and therefore a decent alternative to the rather bland bars that have widely infiltrated the area. Ropey old jukebox mind.....

14 Feb 2006 11:00

The Fountain Inn, Plumpton Green

Great place to come before racing. Very friendly management, log fire, a proper English breakfast to kick-off a long days' drinking in style. Well worth the walk up from the station.

10 Feb 2006 10:15

The Clachan, Soho

Great pub - decent service. Kingly Street is well worth a pub crawl in its own right. Very busy on Saturdays, which is exactly what you would expect given the location.

10 Feb 2006 10:12

The Wellington, Waterloo

A pretty soulless venue which is functional but little more. Above average prices are no doubt in place to take advantage of the captive market of commuters popping in for a quick pint on their way home - I would suggest that if you're only after a quick snifter the 'Hole in the Wall' around the corner will cover that job perfectly adequately. If you're not a rugby fan, avoid like the plague before, during & after Twickenham internationals. Braying Ruperts take the place over and there are pints getting knocked over left, right and centre.....

10 Feb 2006 09:52

The Carlisle Arms, Soho

A reasonable pub - ideal for a swift couple of pints if you want to check the football scores or take a break from Oxford St shopping. Bateman St also boasts the 'Dog and Duck' & 'The Crown and 2 Chairman', pretty similar set-ups which are all handy if you're going to a gig at Ronnie Scotts or The Astoria.

10 Feb 2006 09:45

The Princess Louise, Holborn

Cracking drinker right in the middle of town. Happy mix of 'locals' (generally to the right of the central bar if using the main entrance), tourists and office-types. Good atmosphere and useful point to start a crawl down into Covent Garden from Long Acre around the corner.....Bare in mind if you're visiting at a weekend that the PL will then tend to be a lot quieter, and there aren't any TV's if you want to catch-up on the football/racing/peanut-carrying

10 Feb 2006 09:41

The Magpie and Crown, Brentford

Was in here on Saturday. A great pub, good atmosphere and good mix of characters drinking here. Only slight problem was strange 'pikey' woman who was collecting glasses (NOT a member of staff I hasten to add!). Rather rude and intrusive, and quite unnerving! Otherwise, comfortably the best pub in Brentford, well worth a try.

11 Apr 2005 13:24

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