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BITE user comments - Mona_Growser

Comments by Mona_Growser

The Southampton Arms, Gospel Oak

An excellent, well-maintained pub of the bare floorboards and a log fire variety, although the room was a bit cool for me. Warm welcome from the barmaid and a great pint of Gun Brewery pale ale. You get your beer or cider in a pint or half-pint handled mugs here. They play vinyl LPs for the background music. Clean toilets, the gentlemen's outside via the garden. Quite busy on this Saturday lunch-time with a mostly younger aged clientele. We wish to return.

18 Dec 2016 14:35

Pommelers Rest, Tower Bridge

I liked this pub. It offered many real ales including: Ruddles Best Bitter, Fullers London Pride and By the Horns Brewery’s Diamond Geezer. They all were enjoyable and at a reasonable price, especially important for this high-priced area called Horselydown. (By the bye, pop down the road to see the statue of Jacob the dray horse.) At the time we visited, service was pleasant enough but a bit slow: they could probably do with another servant better to meet demand from drinkers and eaters. The interior layout has some six or eight person tables partially screened away from the mêlée of other customers, which slight separation assists a good natter. Do allow sufficient time to reach the (well-kept) loos as it is quite a trek downstairs (if you are not disabled). I should complain about a rather unpleasant klaxon that sounds from time to time – a win on the fruit machines or a fire alarm? All in all, well worth a visit.

2 Dec 2016 17:39

The Rising Sun, Smithfield

We found this a very quiet pub on a second visit. A friendly member of staff served an enjoyable Extra Stout. Interesting pictures on the walls if you have the time.

26 Oct 2016 18:02

The Railway Tavern, Hungerford

The landlord was pleasant enough, but this is a charmless drinking den. The external appearance is okay. Apparently only London Pride was on (five) taps, but the beer does meet the standard. There was an inquisitive dog that sniffs about you! Check opening times as the pub does not open much during weekday lunch-times. I'd only return if I had a few minutes before needing to scuttle across the level crossing for a train.

9 Oct 2016 17:28

Dundas Arms, Kintbury

It's good to stop here on a walk alongside the Kennet & Avon Canal. I can't comment on the beer because being a brilliant sunny mid-afternoon, a cooling pint of shandy seemed best. The focus does seem to be on food sales, but don't feel put off calling in to sit in the pleasant garden with a beer. Our fellow drinkers were most decorous.

18 Aug 2016 12:22

The Post Office Vaults, Birmingham

Friendly staff. Some interesting beer choices. No Birmingham beers though! I had a good pint of Hobson's Mild. Mostly boomer generation in at lunchtime. Appears to be a subterranean bar from the New Street entrance. Well worth a visit; I'd go back.

5 Apr 2016 14:38

Ox Row, Salisbury

I liked this place. Being a Fuller’s pub there is usually an irreducible standard applied in that company’s pubs, and this was a good one. I enjoyed their Oliver’s Island (3.8%), a summer-time pint with a “citrus” flavour as brewers often now boast. This couldn’t overcome our feeling about the very soggy weather outside, though we soon forgot the rain: it can be a session beer. The lady behind the bar was helpful and friendly. Good clean toilets. Within striking distance of the station.

26 Aug 2015 16:49

The Pheasant, Salisbury

Okay place, just about. The lady behind the bar was friendly enough. My pints of Ringwood Brewery’s Forty-Niner hit the spot – lighter tasting than I expected for a 4.9% beer. Some of my companions didn’t like their choice. The baguettes were poor quality bread, but the salad was nice and fresh (which is so often a fault). I wouldn’t return here. Very quiet at lunchtime.

26 Aug 2015 16:35

The Trout Inn, Buckland Marsh

A fine pub. I'm surprised it's so lowly rated, which doesn’t reflect previous reviews. Go there and sit in the garden on a summer day and you’ll be pleased. Boats on the Isis; Red Kite in the sky above; and a variety of folks quietly enjoying themselves: walkers, families, couples and dogs. Certainly the emphasis is more a gastro pub (and hotel) inside, but they cater for customers who only want a drink and a little food. I’d recommend their own Trout Inn Best Bitter. The staff are nearly all very pleasant.

19 Jul 2015 17:33

The Romany Inn, Bampton

I liked it, but it’s a funny place with the feel of a run-down hotel, as several have commented. The guy behind the bar was friendly and served a Jennings Cumberland pint off the hand-pump. It wasn’t a great taste, but I put that down more to a tasty beer elsewhere just before. Quiet on a Saturday afternoon with a few folks in. Big TV. They appear to do food. Try it once and see how you get on? Certainly visit Bampton and take home some prize winning sausages from nearby Strainge the butcher - eat as the Downton Abbey stars do!

19 Jul 2015 17:00

The Nova Scotia, Bristol

Great pub. It was really pleasant to sit in the summer sunshine on their dockside benches just across the cul-de-sac, with a pint of their eponymous brew in one hand and a sausage sandwich in the other. Genuinely friendly lady serving. The late nineteenth century interior is of great interest if you like heritage pubs: the bar has a screen lower than the ceiling separating the main bar from the private bar, which we know from the etched and frosted glass. Well worth a visit.

12 Jun 2015 17:41

The Talbot Inn, Eynsham

An Arkell’s Brewery pub that’s worth a visit. I had a nice, hoppy pint of Arkell’s Moonlight, in this case from one of the barrels at the back of the bar. Hardly anyone else in at midday during the week. Outside there’s a deck on which to sit looking at a pleasant view over a meadow towards Wytham (‘wite-ham’) Hill, but turn round and you’re looking at the Siemens magnet technology factory. Start an enjoyable walk from here down the Thames Path to the Trout at Wolvercote.

30 May 2015 17:30

The Bavarian Beerhouse, Tower Hill

Trying to be Bavarian, but not really succeeding in this location under a railway arch. Perhaps it's better when full and oompah noisy. The staff try hard. Had a really nice pint of Erdinger Hefe Weissbier in one of those very tall glasses; great but at an overall cost of more than six pounds you're unlikely to stick around for more. The "optional" 12.5% service charge on the bill is excessive in any restaurant . I liked the food, but I only tasted it as far as wurst and sauerkraut and a roll-sized pretzel. A bit of fun and worth a try, but it ain't the Munich Beer Festival!

17 May 2015 17:08

The Hoop and Grapes, Aldgate

Pleasant old pub with well-kept beer. They sell Sharp's Doom Bar. Staff respond to you with sufficient civility, but this is London, after all. Probably late 17 century, timber-framed building with elaborate cellars. The loos were reported here as smelly in 2012; they still are. And perhaps have been for centuries!

17 May 2015 16:52

The Ship, Tower Hill

Quite interesting pub building. Had an unremarkable beer here. Staff were not friendly. Make sure you get served something approaching a full measure in your glass. Watch out for the steep stairs to the gents - most men return safely!

20 Mar 2015 16:15

The Warwick Castle, Maida Vale

Returning for a second time for a pub lunch went well. Had a pint of Aspall’s Harry Sparrow award-winning cider off the hand-pump – just the job. It goes well with the Warwick’s ham, egg and chips, or Lincolnshire sausages, mash, seasonal vegetables and onion gravy. Reasonable price (for London) for pub grub and a pint. A pleasant looking bar and friendly staff. Nice and quiet. I’d visit again if I was thereabouts.

24 Nov 2014 14:32

The Old Green Tree, Bath

Quiet and cosy little place with wood panelling and fireplace in thirties style. Liked the mild and Goldrush bitter. Would go again, but you'd probably get a warmer welcome from the guy on the stool at the bar than from the barstaff.

9 Sep 2014 15:43

The Raven, Bath

Popped in here for a pint during a visit to Bath, on the recommendation of a local. He wasn’t far wrong. Pleasant pint of Raven’s Gold, graciously served. I suggest you go upstairs where it’s lighter. Worth a revisit.

9 Sep 2014 15:26

Jolly Boatman, Thrupp

A bit disappointed with this place. The trees on the opposite side of the canal tend to overcast the canal-side area. Nice to see the narrow-boats chugging by. Not many people in at the end of May, Saturday afternoon. Helpful staff. Mind your head at the bar.

1 Jun 2014 18:45

Joe Daflos, Southampton

Change of Name: Joe Daflo's is now called The Vestry Restaurant and Bar.

1 May 2014 11:20

Outlook, Reading

Girly pine and chrome pub, with a view over the river Kennet. It's probably popular with the young’uns in the evening. When we visited on a Saturday afternoon, most of the customers were oldies. Loudish music was playing, so we had to move our seats away from the speakers to make ourselves heard. Why haven’t publicans realised that the hearing of older folks often does not permit them to pick out speech from a noisy background? But a friendly welcome from the barman, and swiftly served a beautiful pint of the old Greene King St Edmunds. Most enjoyable. We would have stayed for more, but, the loud music, you know …

28 Apr 2014 19:22

The Bricklayers Arms, Marston

CLOSED - now a dwelling called "Bricklayers House".

14 Mar 2014 11:55

Nags Head, Reading

A one room drinking-den in a cosmopolitan part of town. Pleasant staff. They should turn off the intrusive muzak. Sports TV big screen. I had a quite pleasant pint of Redwood American IPA. (See nice little pub website.) Not my sort of pub, but other customers appeared to enjoy it, including some London Irish RFC supporters off to the match. Some good cartoons in the gents, I’m told.

3 Dec 2013 12:41

Afroba, Reading

8 Merchants Place is now The Shed café - actually an old forge rather than a shed, they say.

3 Dec 2013 10:39

The Butchers Arms, Witney

Now Himalayan Spice Nepalese restaurant and bar.

29 Nov 2013 16:01

The Palace, Witney

Still well worth a visit for the changing variety of guest beers. The pub has been praised for the quality of its toilets being awarded a platinum star in the Loo of the Year Awards!

20 Nov 2013 15:40

IZI, Witney

CLOSED This venue is closed at present.

20 Nov 2013 15:35

The Duke, Richmond

For me, The Duke is a gastro-pub and not the worse for that. Staff and other customers are friendly, which was not what I expected in this area. We just called in on the way to a rugby match for snacks which proved to be of very good quality and value for money. The Belgian Hoegaarden wheat beer was served in the characteristic hexagonal glass with a slice of lime. Enjoyable.

13 Oct 2013 14:39

The Spice Island Inn, Portsmouth

The guide on the Harbour Tour boat trip told us that Horatio Nelson (titles are left outside the pub) departed for Trafalgar from this tavern, now run by Greene King (or that part of it before the change of name and amalgamation). Our first attempt to visit the Spice Island Inn in 2012 was thwarted by renovation building works, which may be described as ordinary in outcome. It’s worth popping in, though. As to the positives: there are good views across part of the harbour (but upstairs was closed when we went, presumably for supplier-side ease of management); the staff member from middle Europe was very welcoming and interested in his customers; and the excellent Festival Ale 3.8% was something to write home about – “Festival Ale, American Style IPA, American Cascade hops, tropical fruit notes with a bitter linger”. The beer was part of their beer festival, so let’s hope it continues to be available afterwards.

26 Sep 2013 13:08

The Castle, Holland Park

We tried Green Jack Trawlerboys Best Bitter, but it was off and was replaced. The Sharp’s Doom Bar was its usual excellent self and served in a Doom Bar glass should you forget what you are drinking. Dutiful bar service (so no more nor less than can be expected in London). Plain pub with bare floorboards, which judging by the bar furniture was once much more ornate. The best bit of the building is the old Charrington’s tile frontage. By the bye, if you like these things, there is a rare K2 telephone kiosk nearby in Princedale Road at the junction with Holland Park Avenue.

18 Jan 2013 12:31

Ye Olde Cheshire Cheese, Fleet Street

In the eighteenth century this would have been described as an awful place: that means awe-inspiring in modern parlance, as many have writ below. Nice pints of Samuel Smith’s Old Brewery Bitter and their marvellous stout – prefer it to the former, actually. Go on; try it if you don’t normally drink stout. It is a tad sweeter than Guinness, by my taste-buds. Charles Dickens visited here: he adapted “A far better pub than I have ever been to before.” into a line in one of his novels.

11 Nov 2012 16:02

The Marquess of Anglesey, Covent Garden

Ordinary pub. Had an okay single pint of Wells Bombardier. Exepnsive, but this pub is in Covent Garden tourist honey-pot. I don’t like sitting high up on a stool with no back support: why do pub interior designers like them so much? I suppose it keeps you above the waist level you’d be at in a crowded pub. To be positive: the serving staff were friendly and attentive, and the lavatories were clean.

11 Nov 2012 15:34

The Queens Hotel, Newbury

I didnt think much of this place, so didnt stay long. To my mind its more of a drinking den. The Marstons Pedigree would have been better served at a little lower temperature; nice honeyed taste, though. The Brakspear bitter was much better; now produced in the Wychwood brewery in Witney Oxfordshire, not far from the Cross Keys PH where such first began.

7 Nov 2012 15:41

The Lock Stock and Barrel, Newbury

A busy pub on a Saturday lunchtime, it took an over-long time to be served a nice pint of the ever-reliable London Pride. Never mind, the barmaid smiled and apologised twice: that does make all the difference. Crowded and, for me, a bit too noisy inside, but it was really pleasant sitting in the open by the edge of the river in the afternoon sunshine. You can watch folks driving by in their boats on the canal and operating the lock.

21 Oct 2012 18:32

The Lady Hamilton, Portsmouth

Reasonable pub; bit of a railway carriage in internal layout. Service was pleasant. They do a good pint of Sharps Doom Bar bitter here and the excellent Real brand of hand-cooked crisps (not chips). The roast dinners being delivered to an adjacent table looked good but we didnt try them. Very handy for the Harbour station and the Historic Dockyard. (Actually, their postcode is PO1 3DT, if you're using satnav.)

3 Oct 2012 11:25

Duke's Cut, Oxford

Quite a pleasant pub with some seats overlooking a distributary of the River Isis. Friendly staff, who are pleased to serve. I had a nice pint of the very seasonal (just September) Bankss Fields of Gold. People with older ears will find it difficult to converse due to the background music. The pub used to be called The Queens Arms before the late Rosie OGradys unlamented make-over. Adjacent is the gatepost to the once Worcester Street Goods Wharf of the Oxford Canal.

9 Sep 2012 11:48

The Dolphin, Wallingford

Can't comment on the beer as I only had a shandy here, but the food was excellent: just burger and chips, and sandwiches, and both well-presented with a fresh salad that actually looked and was appetising. Staff were welcoming and fellow drinkers friendly enough. Mostly gaffers in one drinking bar; families and couples in the restaurant bar. This pub is certainly worth a visit for lunch until well into the afternoon.

8 Jul 2012 11:17

The Palace, Witney

The Company of Weavers is pretty good. JD Wetherspoon has done a great job in their adaptation of the former cinema. The pub retains cheerful features of the cinema (note the foot-worn holes in front of where the ticket office used to be) and references throughout to what was once the staple (apologies) industry of Witney, weaving. The black, yellow, red and blue stripes used in the local blankets are to be found everywhere, even in the toilets! There is a good choice of beers. Ive had lovely pints of Deuchers IPA and Sadlers Hop Bomb here, at only 2.20, and a great pint of Thatchers Gold at 2.30. The food is great value for money, i.e. very acceptable quality at low prices, though they could serve it hotter by warming the plates. Staff are really friendly. Happy mixed crowd of customers: college students, mums with children, old geezers, WI-members-who-lunch, and pensioners in for the specials.

1 Jun 2012 19:19

The Walkabout, Reading

Pretty grim! Industrial lagers, Fosters and Stella Artois. Perfunctory service. "Walkabout" must refer to the exercise one gets going to the lavs. Noisy, few seats. Only worth a visit if you like big screen sports.

6 Nov 2011 13:28

The Still and West, Portsmouth

Easy place to find: go down to the end of the A3 road and stop. The usual quality standard pint of Pride even if bar servants are cheeky. Reasonably pleasant fish and chips served in (fake) newspaper though knives and forks are available. (Nelson used a combined knife and fork when he ate at the next-door pub.) Seagulls hover for a chip and a juvenile starling has learnt to burrow for left-over food into the discarded fish-papers placed in a nearby bin. We thought it was a rat at first. Now make sure you get a table by the wall overlooking the entrance to Portsmouth Harbour so you may watch the ships and boats coming and going. Great to see the sun going down from there.

14 Oct 2011 17:27

The Grapes, Limehouse

Good idea to drift down here away from Canary Wharf plasticity. We received almost friendly service and well-kept beer. I tried Marstons Pedigree and Timothy Taylor. Adnams was not available on this visit. I liked the staircase rising in the middle if the pub. Small, cosy place that is worth a visit. The wind was a bit too chilly for sitting out at the back overlooking the Thames. The river air there smells as if it might serve to cure your whooping cough!
There is a rewarding pub crawl to be done beside the river to St. Katharines Docks.

23 Sep 2011 17:11

The Fine Line, Canary Wharf

Of a lunch-time, this is more a restaurant and you will be pursued for your food order. If you want a pub, it's next door - the reasonably pleasant Cat and Canary. Both are Fuller's premises.

23 Sep 2011 11:40

Tudor Rose, Coulsdon

This is a Mitchells & Butlers premises and a gastropub. Well worth visiting for a good quality set lunch served by smart staff.

26 Aug 2011 14:32

The Tudor Rose (Harvester), Coulsdon

The previous correspondent is correct: this is now a Mitchells & Butlers premises and a gastropub. Well worth visiting for a good quality set lunch served by smart staff. The refundable parking charge system has gone. It is OPEN: the BitE title should be changed and old comments and ratings before refurbishment deleted.

26 Aug 2011 14:21

The Red Lion, Cholsey

Good, ordinary village pub that is worth a visit if you are in the area. Tried the Brakspear Bitter: acceptable, but was past its best on this visit. They had Oxford Gold too and the excellent Real brand of handcooked crisps. Sitting outside in the late sunshine, tempting curry smells wafted down the street from The Memories of Bengal and mixed with the exhaust from cigarette smokers. Chatty locals drifted in and out for a quick drink. Quite a large restaurant area. Liked the place.

14 Aug 2011 18:50

The Green Tree, Wallingford

CLOSED Boarded up at 13 August 2011.

14 Aug 2011 18:10

The Alexandra, Wimbledon

Actually that's "Wandle" beer (not Waddle) though it may have that effect. Broadway Place restaurant in Hartfield Road is great for fish n chips.

31 Jul 2011 12:15

The Alexandra, Wimbledon

Very pleasant pub; best in Wimbledon town centre. Youngs, of course, but they well serve a pint of Waddle from Seabrooks Brewery. Quiet place, good for a natter; despite the many televisions attracting-in the Saturday afternoons geezers: the TVs sound was turned down low. Efficient and friendly staff who remembered you when you returned to the bar. Tiny toilets; and watch the trip hazard as you come out! Been coming here for decades and the character hasnt changed much.

31 Jul 2011 12:00

The George, Oxford

NOW CLOSED - Occupied by a TV and hi-fi retailer.
Incidentally was called "The George Inn".

24 Jul 2011 17:02

Oxford Retreat, Oxford

Reliable pint of London Pride to be had here. Friendly bar staff. The comfy and large armchairs separate drinkers making it hard to talk above the hubbub. Gale through the back door, left open for the smokers, blows in cigarette smoke, so sit elsewhere. This pub is a bit soulless. Good, because it's nearest the station for a last beer, but the excellent Real brand of handcooked crisps they offer is insufficient reason to go out of your way to visit.

19 Jun 2011 14:01

The Eagle Tavern, Witney

Never thought Id rave about such food, but we had a marvellous lunch at this quiet Hook Norton Brewery pub of the very best ham, eggs and chips that we can ever remember. The ham is soused in beer and then baked and served with Old Hooky Beer Mustard. The meat is delicate and has a wonderful flavour. We had a well-served glass of the seasonal mild HN SDM (its slightly sweet), followed by the prize-winning HN Double Stout. The server went especially to the cellar so that we could have it at room temperature rather than at the current fashionable chill. The stout is sweeter than Guinness and it went excellently with the food. The ladies toilets were spotless but the gents were a bit smelly. We received a warm, even charming, welcome from the landlady. Its a shame that this place isnt more widely known: you could easily walk past without noticing and it was under-occupied on a Saturday lunch-time. However, well be back.

28 May 2011 16:24

The Quart Pot, Milton under Wychwood

Still closed at 10 May 2011.

10 May 2011 20:02

The Isis Tavern, Iffley Lock

Now called the Isis Farmhouse. Check opening hours before make a special visit to avoid disappointment because the pub has restricted opening hours.

10 May 2011 19:06

The Bricklayers Arms, Marston

Closed and boarded up on 28 April 2011.

1 May 2011 16:43

The Gardeners Arms, Oxford

Pleasant older-style, heavy-curtained pub with friendly bar-folk. Interesting framed photographs on the walls. Piano in the corner. The afternoon was nice and quiet as the sound on the telly was turned down and the games machines were not in use. The pub may be better enjoyed by your older person. Good quality offerings of Aspalls cyder and Tyrrells varieties of crisps. Spotless toilets. Perhaps the two nearby pubs of the same name could differentiate themselves in the use of an apostrophe in Gardeners Arms: it is Oxford, after all!

18 Apr 2011 11:03

The Black Lion, Hammersmith

First impressions are very good: pleasant welcome at the bar, the gentle perfume of the log fire and such a variety of furniture to keep a chairologist happy. Nice variety of beers (see their website). Very much enjoyed the bar food (onion soup with melted cheese and ham baguette). Disappointed by the routine choice of ciders when they could stock, say, Aspalls or Westons, which would better fit with the general quality offering here. Expensive pub if one is looking for a carouse. Au revoir I hope.

5 Feb 2011 10:24

Victoria Arms, Old Marston

Warm welcome from the barman on entering. Great pint of Wadworths Swordfish beer served at a perfect temperature. Very acceptable lunch of Wiltshire ham eggs & chips and beef pie in a 6X gravy with efficient and friendly service at a value-for-money price. (Why do so many places serve hugely bouffant pastry lids that fly all over the place, rather than short-crust pasty which is so much easier to eat?) Nice and quiet; pleasant murmur of chat. Toasty log-burner. Clean toilets. Splendid view across the river Cherwell (char-well) to the water meadows beyond. On the terrace, the fictional Inspector Morse shared a drink with Lewis in The Remorseful Day episode as the sun set.

16 Jan 2011 16:51

The Charles Dickens, Southwark

A friendly welcome on entering. I had a nicely chilled pint of Aspall's draught cider of a flavour enjoyably similar to champagne. A late lunch of a large Yorkshire pudding filled with three toothsome bangers, mashed potatoes of a well-chosen variety and a floret of broccoli: well-cooked, tasty, speedily served and good value for money. A well managed pub; clean toilets. I liked this good, ordinary pub, but sadly am unlikely to be in the area again.

5 Dec 2010 11:41

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