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BITE user comments - Mr.Monkfish

Comments by Mr.Monkfish

The Horse and Groom, Great Portland Street

Another fine addition to the list of Sam Smith's pubs that I've had the pleasure of drinking in. Again, a nice building with old school elegant decor and very cheap but good quality beers. Old Brewery Bitter at £3.10 a pint in an area where the going rate for a pint is creeping north of £5 is not to be sniffed at.

14 Nov 2016 19:27

The Jolly Sailors Inn, Whitby

Nice Sam Smith's pub that isn't perhaps as picturesque as some of their other pubs, but has a homely charm of its own. Beer was as ever lovely and prices even cheaper than in London where Sam Smith's are always amazing value.

14 Nov 2016 19:23

The Laurel Inn, Robin Hood's Bay

Lovely traditional pub that is worth braving the steep roads of Robin Hood's Bay for as long as you can keep your footing. The main bar is a gorgeous cramped affair decorated with bric-a-brac that will serve you a world class pint of Adnam's Ghost Ship (or at least it did when I visited!) in a convivial atmosphere enhanced by a nice real fire (which to be fair was overkill on a balmy October day when I called in). The other smaller bar is sparsely decorated but has comfortable seating carved directly out of logs and was mercifully a few degrees cooler. The only downside was of all things the gents toilets, which are outside the pub and consisted of a cramped and grotty room with a single urinal and a barely functioning sink. This is however a minor gripe. An excellent place to stop off for a few jars.

14 Nov 2016 19:20

The Grosvenor Hotel, Whitby

Cosy and friendly enough pub at the top of the hill which will serve you a presentable pint of Timothy Taylor's Landlord for a very reasonable price. The main attraction here though for my money is their exceptional Sunday roasts. Generous portions of tasty, hearty grub that please the taste buds and amply fill the belly. As a drinking establishment, I'm not sure that I'd choose to spend the whole evening in here, but if I lived nearby I think the majority of my Sunday afternoons would involve a visit for lunch. One of the best roast dinners I have ever eaten. 10/10 for food, 7/10 for the pub so a strong 8/10 overall.

14 Nov 2016 19:14

BRB at The Gate, Alexandra Park

Now sadly shorn of its previous U.S.P. of a pizzeria after the most recent refurb and change of hands, this is still a very good pub. The increase in the number of different draft and bottle beers somewhat compensated for this however, and wisely the best decorative features of the pub have been left intact. Service was responsive and agreeable paced. Prices are a little towards the hefty side, but due to the lovely environment and quality of drinks and service I don't mind treating myself to a night in here once in a while. A pleasing hum of conversation supplemented by a reasonably diverse selection of background music generates a nice busy, but not racous atmosphere and the revamped food menu still looks (and smells) tasty, but might be a little overpriced. All in all, if the bank balance will stretch to it, this is well worthy of your consideration for a nice night out drinking with friends or loved ones due to the building, the booze and the atmosphere all being not just good but markedly better than any of the other pubs in the Wood Green area.

3 Nov 2015 19:21

Cowper Arms, Letty Green

A perfectly solid mid-sized pub in the country, which has decided to eschew (bless you) the trappings of a traditional rural boozer for the more modern slightly-gastro model of a modern pub. Decor is quite fancy and sleek, but perhaps at the expense of the cosiness that one would normally associate with such a venue. It is however still a comfortable and warm place to spend a late autumn day sheltering from the weather. The beer was good, only two real ales on (Black Sheep and Doombar) but both were in very drinkable condition and went down very easily. Food wise, both of my companions enjoyed the home made Burgers very much, whilst my Steak, Mushroom and Doombar Ale pie with mash was pleasant with a good solid pastry crust but had been slightly over-cooked and was as a consequence a little dried out, good but could have so easily been a bit better. Service was friendly and fast, but the prices were a little on the steep side. Worth a visit if you are in the area with a reasonable budget and fancy a meal. Other than that, I guess that you'd probably enjoy popping in for a couple of pints, but struggle to make an evening of it.
One random nice touch is a bowl of doggy treats to cater for any four-legged drinking buddies you might care to bring along.
So all in all nice enough, but not a world-beater.

3 Nov 2015 18:36

Three Compasses, Hornsey

First visit here last night for several years to try the pub quiz as myself and my mates were looking for a new decent pub venue to enjoy a few pints and have a laugh stretching the old grey matter, and I'm please to report that this is still a lovely pub. The decor has been revamped but in a tasteful way and there is plenty of comfortable seating and cosy corners to settle in for the night. The beers are good even if they did run out of Brooklyn Lager and the Timothy Taylor Landlord took an age to pour and the prices are standard for a North London pub of this type. Service was pleasant and they were very apologetic for the problems encountered.
The quiz itself was good, the punters seem like a very nice bunch and the atmosphere is very pleasant. Definitely worth a go if you're in the neighbourhood. This little stretch of Hornsey is something of an overlooked gem for pubs and restaurants amongst a lot of North Londoners that gravitate towards Islington, Crouch End or Camden by default. Take advantage now and sample its delights before it becomes more popular and you end up paying more money for the same things if you can even squeeze into any place along here!

21 Oct 2015 13:54

The Chequers, Wareside

Delightful classic village pub that I was lucky enough to stumble across recently. This place pulls off the rare trick of simultaneously feeling very cosy, whist also being spacious largely by having a lay out consisting of several small separate areas. Either side of the door are two areas with comfy sofas and views of the road outside, then there is a square room behind the bar where the regulars seem to congregate in a snug-style environment and opposite that is a larger area seemingly dedicated to dining and a jolly nice place to settle in for a meal it would undoubtedly be.
So enough about the building, what of the drinks, food and service? Well the former are very pleasant, they had two real ales on Hobgoblin and the less frequently encountered Buntingford Highwayman IPA which myself and my companions had. Jolly nice it is too, a quaffable beer with a nice earthy taste to it. The beer was well kept and at £3.30 a pint, very reasonable too. There was also a real cider available.
Food was generously portioned and tasty. I had the locally farm produced Sausages with mash and onion gravy which consisted of some plump, robustly flavoured bangers a hefty dollop of creamy mash and a very rich gravy swimming with onions, all very good. My companions had generous plates of ham, egg and chips which I am told were very good.
The service was friendly and attentive, setting up a tab without our requesting it and checking everything was fine throughout.
In conclusion, if you find yourself in the Wareside area and are either hungry thirsty or just fancy somewhere to relax a while, you'd be a fool not to pop into The Chequers.

21 Oct 2015 13:42

The Boston Arms, Tufnell Park

I visited "The Dome" a music venue/club located upstairs above this pub many a time during my youth, but never knowingly went into the pub itself until last night. It's a little spit & sawdust but I quite like the odd rough & ready boozer, if you don't - this probably isn't the place for you. It was about half-full on a Saturday night and my friend and I managed to bag a table under a telly, so we could watch MOTD with the sound off whilst listening to a pretty entertaining Irish folk band do their thing at the far end. Service was quick and cheerful and the beer (the lesser seen Holsten Vier) was cold, crisp and very cheap (two pints for £5.20, beat that in this neck of the woods if you can!). Clientele seems to be a range of regulars that treat the place like a second home, but crucially don't give you any grief if you are a newcomer, so in review this is a solid, if nothing special pub that offers great value beer and has some semblance of atmosphere but which probably won't appeal to those of you with a taste for the more refined gastropubs an bars that seem to have taken hold over the vast majority of North London. I however quite like it. So there!

9 Aug 2015 17:36

The Grafton Arms, Kentish Town

Very nice, very nice indeed. I'd walked past this place a couple of times in the not-too-distant past, but had always been in a rush to get somewhere else and as such not been able to pop in even though it looked very tempting. Finally on Saturday evening I found myself in the area and with an hour or so to spare, so I persuaded my mate to take a chance on a bit of a stroll off the route to our destination ( a gig at The Forum) to check it out and my decision paid dividends.
The exterior looks like a grand old corner pub and the interior is a light and airy space with lots of nice plain wood furniture to nurse your pint at. They seem to have done a good job of the difficult juggling act of maintaining some of the best features of a classic old pub building (the half-tiled/half dark-wood bar) and more modernizing touches. The pints you relax with can come from their range of real ales (the two we tried were both very quaffable),a regular range of bitters and ales or their fairly standard lagers. There is also a fair old wine list range of spirits and mixed drinks on offer. Prices are surprisingly affordable for this kind of pub in this area and service was first-class. All in all thoroughly pleasant, and highly recommended.

9 Aug 2015 17:26

The Regal, Gloucester

When a Wetherspoon's is done properly, they can be excellent places to spend your hard-earned cash on a few pints and a bit to eat in a comfortable environment. When Wetherspoon's go wrong (Or "When Wetherspoon's Attack! as Channel 5 will one day doubtless bill a behind-the-scenes reality TV show about them) you get this place which is frankly abysmal.
First off, it smells. As soon as you walk in there is some kind of dank rotting smell that permeates your nostrils and makes you regret your decision to enter. Secondly, the service is at a pace which glaciers might look at and say "Blimey they're taking their time". Thirdly, a lot of their draught drinks seemed to be off when I was in there greatly limiting the range of drinks which is one of the almost universally acknowledged benefits of going to a Wetherspoon's in the first place.
The positives such as they were consist of a fairly nice building in a good location, an acceptable meal and as ever cheap prices, but I found myself thinking I would have happily paid more if the service was better and the basic maintenance on the environment and stock of drinks had been taken care of. Avoid.

9 Aug 2015 17:16

The Imperial Inn, Gloucester

I so wanted to like this pub. It has a beautiful tile exterior and once inside you will find an old-man's style drinkers pub of the type I am from time to time very partial to whiling away a few hours in. I arrived mid-afternoon, the barman was friendly an quickly took my order and I was just mentally congratulating myself on having found a top notch pub at my first attempt upon venturing into Gloucester and settling in to watch the cricket on the telly, when I took a sip of my beer - and then my illusions were shattered. I had a pint of the normally ever-dependable Doom Bar and my friend had a pint of Bass and both were lukewarm rather than cellar cool and tasted like the lines hadn't been cleaned for quite some time. They weren't off, but barely drinkable and as they were the only two ales on offer and the choice of lagers was uninspiring, we quickly downed them without letting them linger long on the tastebuds and left for happier pastures. A real shame, as if some effort was put in on the beer front this would be wondrous rather than a wash-out. All in all I visited 6 pubs in Gloucester on my recent trip and it was a mixed bag with 2 being outstanding, 2 being moderate and 2 being deeply disappointing, sadly this joined the local Wetherspoon's in the final category.

9 Aug 2015 17:07

Fountain Inn, Gloucester

Gorgeous old coaching inn on the main drag in Gloucester. It is a nice environment but crucially the owners haven't used its prime location and history to excuse themselves of putting in any effort and instead you have welcoming and efficient staff, good food, a wide (and from the pump labels on display on one of the walls) constantly changing range of real ales supplemented by a choice of lagers and bottled beers. The prices were on a par for the area and the quality of the pints was very high. If pushed I'd say that The Pelican is the only pub I visited in the area which beats it for beer quality, but that overall this was my favourite pub I drank in when I was in town. I would say that both this place an The Pelican qualify as "must-sees" if you are in Gloucester and enjoy a pint in a high quality pub.

9 Aug 2015 16:56

The Lower George Inn, Gloucester

Solid citizen of a pub that has a classical dark interior, a good range of high quality beers and won't break the bank. One quibble might be that on a late Friday afternoon/early evening when I visited some good background music aside it was a little flat in terms of atmosphere, but maybe it gets going later? Definitely worth a visit for at least one or two pints for the real ale lovers among you though.

9 Aug 2015 16:49

Dick Whittington, Gloucester

One of several pubs in the area that I recently had occasion to visit and all in all this place makes a fairly good effort, but stops short of being anything exceptional. There were four ales on and a nice guest cider, the latter of which I heartily enjoyed. The front area is a bit like a café style lay out which has many adverts for what seems to be a thriving second life as a live music venue, so maybe we weren't seeing it at its best. The rear of the pub is a good classic timeless pub which the traditionalist among you will find pleasing. The downstairs area was closed when I visited (apart from the toilets, which did let the place down a little) but seemed to be very in-keeping with the rear of the upstairs decor. Overall, not unpleasant but more of a place for a quick drop-in than a long-stay for my money. That said, I didn't eat here but the smell of the steaks served on what seemed to be a hot stone, smelled incredible so it might be worth a punt if you are hungry.

9 Aug 2015 16:46

The Pelican Inn, Gloucester

Bloody marvellous little pub within easy walking distance of the town centre. A cosy little building with a nice clutter-free interior and a range of excellent Wye Valley ales. Every beer we tried was a fine brew and in robust health and the prices were reasonable too. Well worth investigating if you find yourself in Gloucester with a thirst on. The regulars seemed like a very nice bunch too.

9 Aug 2015 16:34

The White Hart, Coleford

A thoroughly presentable high street pub which was surprisingly completely devoid of any other customers when my friend and I ventured in here at about 9.00 PM on a Friday night a few weeks back. Lots of comfortable seating arrange in various little areas, so you could always keep yourself to yourself if that' what you fancy (not that we had much choice on our visit!). The drinks on offer were reasonably priced and of good quality, although there could have been more on offer. Unsurprisingly, service was quick and attentive, but that is not meant as a back-handed compliment and the barmaid was very good at her job. The place has a very good jukebox which we availed ourselves of and was also given a workout by the only other three drinkers that dropped by about an hour into our two hour visit. Frankly it was hard to see anything wrong with the place and I hope this was just a freak one-off quiet night or else I fear we could lose another perfectly serviceable local pub to the hands of the ever-lurking property developers. If you are a local or just visiting the area like me, try popping in for a pint, it's nice enough and you may just help keep the place open.

9 Aug 2015 16:27

The Speech House, Coleford

More of a hotel bar than a pub per se. Nice place for a wedding reception, not sure that you'd want to just stop in for a pint unless you were staying here or visiting for a function though. The building is lovely and there is a fair-sized beer garden and a conservatory to enjoy your drinks on a warm sunny day, but the bar area itself is crowded, range of drinks is minimal (although they served two very well kept real ales to their credit) and price is slightly above average for the area. Pleasant enough if you find yourselves here for a reason other than going out for a drink and just fancy a quick pint or two, but definitely not a destination to head for if you are after a night in the pub.

9 Aug 2015 16:18

The Kings Head, Enfield

Most recent refurb makes the place look nice but has somehow served to dampen the atmosphere. Also, seems to be pitching more for the foodie vote than to those who just fancy a couple of beers. Beer was good as was service, prices are ok, but all in all it is not quite at the outstanding level it achieved in the past.

12 Jul 2015 10:11

The Old Red Lion, Barnet

Waaah, say it ain't so! Yet another decent North London pub is confined to the drip tray of history. Went past the other night for the first time in a few months to find the place in complete darkness on a Saturday night and with the pub signage all removed. No signs indicating this is a renovation in progress, so I'm afraid we must assume the worst. Perhaps the loss of match day revenue from Underhill when Barnet FC moved out proved to be a fatal blow. A genuine shame.

23 May 2015 16:03

Bar Form, Enfield Town

Much preferred this bar in (what was for my money) its heyday about 7-8 years ago. Back then minor gripes aside, it was a pleasant place to have a couple of drinks on a weeknight, tried to do some different things and was as good a place as any in the area to end your Friday or Saturday night. There were lots of different beers and cocktails to try and the mood and crowd seemed eclectic and slightly off-beat.
On more recent visits (on the rare occasions it seems to open these days), it seems that a lot of the better thing about have been sacrificed in an attempt to appeal to a broader and more mainstream punter. The music is much less varied, the bouncers seem less inclined to let people in, the range of drinks has shrunk and the prices haven't. Still not completely irredeemable but a sad shadow of what it once was and as it never seems to open on weekday evenings anymore, the chance of just having a nice couple of pints in here in relatively comfortable surrounds has gone and now you can only squeeze in alongside the already drunk hordes on a weekend evening.
Sad to see what was initially a welcome and unusual addition to the Enfield drinking scene slowly fading and turning into something altogether less agreeable.

17 May 2015 21:04

O'Neills, North Finchley

I was fortunate enough to miss the O'Neill's era fro what I read on here and first visited this place in its first incarnation as "The Bohemia" which was very good and sorely missed when it closed a couple of years back. Heard on the grapevine that it had re-opened under the same name but having had a major re-fit which included turning the cavernous unused area at the rear into a micro brewery and adding a bigger kitchen and focus on food. Finally got back here a few weeks ago, and am pleased to report it is now even better than it was before. Nice airy space with enough different types of seating to suit your mood and a pleasant buzz of background chatter. The beers whether brewed on site or guest ales are all very well kept and all of the various pints myself and my friends had (including but not limited to Beer Street and High Rise) were very good and reasonably priced. Extensive range of ciders, bottled beers and spirits are also available including an always welcome Rausch beer (you know the smokey tasting one that nobody ever remembers the full name of) - a personal favourite. Food was good if a little over-priced for portion size. All in all a very good pub. Well worthy of your hard earned beer money.

17 May 2015 20:52

The Black Horse, Barnet

After having heard some good things about this place since its refurb, I recently had cause to visit and have to say it is better than it was before by quite a margin.
The decor is a bit less soulless and no longer too bright. Seems more spacious than I remember but that might just be my imagination and the beer garden is still lovely.
Good range of beers now including some from their own in-house (well, out the back if you want to split hairs) brewery, one of which that I had a couple of pints of was called "The Cat and Lantern" presumably named in honour of the long defunct pub of the same name that used to be in East Barnet Village, but which I am pleased to report was much better than its namesake and is worth trying if it's on when you visit. Prices are not terrible and beer quality was uniformly good as far as my friends and I were concerned. Worth a visit if you are out that way, but I'd stop just short of saying its worth a special journey for.

17 May 2015 20:41

The Hop Poles, Enfield

I have now ventured in a few times since the re-opening and it's uncannily similar to how it was before the brief period of closure. Pleasant enough, with perfectly acceptable beer available at a not-cheap but yet not-too-dear price. Decor is as you were. The function room area seems to be open less frequently now, making it fairly cosy, and there is an increase in the frequency of live music in the smaller space in the front, rather than the occasional band in the function room which used to be the main reason to visit here.
Nice enough particularly if you want to watch the football, but presently lacking anything the would specifically make you come here in preference to any other half-dozen perfectly serviceable pubs in the area.

9 May 2015 21:01

Vine Inn, Waltham Cross

Good pubs are distinctly thin on the ground in the Waltham Cross area, but this certainly qualifies as one of the better ones.
Fairly bland but inoffensive modern decor job in what is a nice old style pub building and the furniture is both comfortable and practical enough. If you can get a seat somewhere near the fire when it's cold outside, it is nice and cosy.
Plenty of space inside and service is courteous and prompt. Drinks wise it is a typical McMullen's - so nice real ales but only their own brews, with limited range of lagers, spirits and wines. However, all drinks are very nice and well kept (a decent pint of Country Bitter is served here) and the price is fairly good.
Worth a visit if you are in the area.

8 Mar 2015 19:12

The Moon and Cross, Waltham Cross

I have visited this pub on a few occasions in the last couple of months and am pleased to say that it has raised its game somewhat. It is now a perfectly acceptable Wetherspoon's, nothing more but crucially given my previous visits, no longer anything less.
Drinks are of decent quality and as ever for this chain are very reasonably priced and there is always a good choice of drinks for almost any mood. The service is better than before both in terms of speed and friendliness. The furniture seems to have been given a slight makeover nothing drastic but at least there is some spring in it these days. Not what you'd call a destination pub, then again Waltham Cross really isn't very much of a destination, but it's perfectly acceptable for a few pints and maybe a meal. Oh and the customers are nowhere near as bad as some rumours would have you believe.

8 Mar 2015 19:06

The Beef and Barrel, Ponders End

Now this is the sort of thing that really irritates me, this pub has now been closed for the thick end of a decade and for at least 4 years of that it has been reduced to rubble, which the neighbouring Police Station has also now been turned into. What has been built on the site so far? Nothing! That's what. Why has an important community asset been demolished and left to lie in ruins for this length of time? Even if the previous owners couldn't turn enough of a profit from the pub, and even if inevitably the area was going to be earmarked for a block of flats at some stage in the 15 years that followed them locking their doors for the final time - surely, there could have been a short-term leasing option to keep the place in use until such time as the property vultures finally swooped in to knock it down and replace it with more faceless housing developments that are too expensive for locals to buy? Apparently not, so now we have no pub, no housing and an ugly scrap of wasteland on the high road (insert your own joke about Ponders End resembling a wasteland here) with nothing on it but rubble. Really what's the bloody point?

8 Mar 2015 18:41

Moon Under Water, Enfield

A pretty decent version of the Wetherspoon's template that brings all the usual rewards and drawbacks, but I have had occasion to drink here fairly frequently over the last couple of years and I do have a very soft spot for it.
What it does well; 1) It's cheap! 2) The range of drinks available of all types is impressive and well maintained, 3) It's spacious and reasonably comfortable with generally quite a nice atmosphere, 4) Service is generally of a good standard,5) It's open in the mornings, so for those rare occasions when you need somewhere to go for a coffee, breakfast or just a quiet pint before midday - this place has you covered & 6) The Aberdeen Angus Rump steak is as good a piece of steak as you will get anywhere in Enfield, unusually for this kind of establishment - they can actually cook it how you want it with some degree of accuracy, and you won't find equivalent quality anywhere for the same price.
What it doesn't do so well; 1) There are elements of the clientele that are somewhat obnoxious and very loud, many of whom really are old enough to know better and their behaviour seems to go unchallenged by the staff even when they are clearly making other drinkers uncomfortable, 2) The old nickname of "The Moon Under Age" still seems to apply on Friday and Saturday nights when some suspiciously youthful looking people seem to be served alcohol and vast quantities of it in here, 3) Some of the meals (especially those on as a special or part of a deal - the Fish & Chips on Friday in particular) are extremely stingy in terms of portion size with some meals that seem to come "with chip" rather than "with chips" & 4) they close really promptly and early as if the variance in licencing laws never happened.
All in all I firmly believe that the positives outweigh the negatives though and would recommend with the above reservations. If you are ok with Wetherspoon's and are in the area - you can do a heck of a lot worse and I have spent many thoroughly pleasant evenings in this pub which as now been a part of Enfield's landscape for over 25 years (is it just me or does that make anybody else feel old!)

8 Mar 2015 18:01

The Boundary House, Enfield

Da-da-dunk-dunk-dunk Another One Bites The Dust.
Yes it's another case of a permanent closing time for a North London boozer.

8 Mar 2015 17:24

The Blue Posts, Fitzrovia

A perfectly decent Sam Smith's pub, a little on the quiet side but very cozy and pleasant. The usual own-brand drinks were all in good order and the service friendly and efficient. Classic old-fashioned decor and pub furniture which is always fine by me. The only real draw back to what is a very good pub that might well be a go-to place in another area, is that it is a brisk two minute walk away from The Champion which is a superior version of the same sort of thing.

18 Nov 2014 15:10

The Champion, Fitzrovia

Gorgeous Sam Smith's corner pub. The usual hallmarks of tasteful old-school decor, good beer and very resonable prices are all present and correct. Extra marks for the fact that it has stained glass windows all around which creates a lovely backdrop and atmosphere and would be a suitable place to impress any visitors from overseas if you had some with you as it is in effect a slightly idealized version of a traditional British boozer. Nice touch of the dart board in a alcove. Seems a little cramped when you enter but there's more room upstairs. Service on my visit was very good, no long waits although it was reasonably busy, no sign of a bad pint or short measure and very polite too. Highly recommended.

18 Nov 2014 14:59

The Hop Poles, Enfield

Re-opened now under new management. Haven't had the opportunity to have a drink in here since, but a cursory look in the window when passing indicates that very little has changed. That another pub has survived in the current harsh climate of closures and redevelopments (see the Holly Bush or rather what used to be The Holly Bush just up the road for details) is a cause for celebration. So find time to raise a glass to this treasure of a local boozer in a lovely building in such a prime location for many Enfield pub goers! Cheers!

8 Nov 2014 17:36

The Red Lion, Soho

A gorgeous little gem of a Sam Smith's pub just off Carnaby Street in geographic terms but seemingly from another world entirely. For those who don't know the drill with Sam Smith's pubs you really need only know three things and they are as true of this pub as any; 1) They don't serve anything other than their own brands from beers and spirits through to soft drinks, 2) They tend to be in lovely buildings and decorated in a strictly old school style and 3) They are normally cheaper than the other pubs in the vicinity.
This has a particularly lovely rear room which resembles a classic European "brown pub" with extensive dark wood pannelling, a fireplace and lamp lighting and is an ideal refuge from the hurly-burly of the west end. The drinks were as ever excellent and reasonably priced. Service was good, but I would qualify that only by saying that it was very quiet when I visited and there was only one person manning the bar, so hard to judge how it would fair when it's busier.
All in all a good find and well worth visiting for a drink if you're passing that way.

8 Nov 2014 17:30

The Wonder, Enfield

Now firmly ensconced in my list of favourite pubs to visit. The kind of pub where you might drop in for a quiet pint of a Tuesday night to find an entire table of middle-aged ukelele players practicing some classic pop songs (true story). The lounge bar is still as cozy and lovely as it ever was, but I find myself growing equally fond of the saloon bar. They seem to have added another draft lager and some more bottles to their range of top notch McMullen's ales too.
The thing that has struck me about this place on my more recent visits is how timeless and traditional a pub this is. When the weather was a little better about two months ago, I sat outside enjoying a pint or two and a chat with some mates as a couple of musicians played a set of folky/music hall type songs inside and I commented to my friends that part of the appeal of this place is the thought that the way we were spending our evening would have been roughly the same as a group of friends drinking here at any point in the last 70-odd years. Some things were never broken and didn't need fixing, and traditional local pubs like this are one of those things.

8 Nov 2014 17:19

Finley's, Enfield Wash

Made my first visit to this pub this afternoon, and found it to be a reasonably pleasant place to pass an hour or so away over a couple of pints. Nice enough environment with some exposed brickwork, some tiffany style lamp lamp shades and a nice little fire place. There is a variety of seating which all seemed comfortable and in good nick. The bar staff were welcoming and quick, somewhat at odds with a sign I noticed on the door when I was already half way in which stated "regulars only at all times". No real ales but a variety of lagers and bitters, all at very reasonable prices. The wine my friend had was I am reliably assured very drinkable and again the price was good. An advert on our table indicates that the prices for spirits and mixers are similarly attractive.
The regulars didn't seem as hostile as the sign outside might have led me to believe and the atmosphere whilst on the quiet side was pleasant.
For entertainment there is a decent jukebox that isn't turned up too late, a few screens showing the sport and mercifully out of cueing range of all the drinking tables, there is also a pool table occupying the rear conservatory area.
If you happen to be passing it's worth popping in for one or two, but perhaps not worth heading to as your main destination for an afternoon or night out.

13 Oct 2013 22:34

The Old Sergeant, Chase End

Sadly the last post has now been played for The Old Sergeant. Enfield probably has fared better than most in terms of pub closures, with some that were shut being reopened and so forth, but the loss of a good local boozer such as this should still be mourned and the drinkers of Enfield are poorer for it being gone.

12 Oct 2013 22:42

The Southbury Hotel, Enfield

The Southbury (as surely it will always be known to the good burghers of Enfield) has now been refurbed and rebranded as "The Meeting" complete with a funky sign with flashing lights underneath.
The Thai restaurant which previously was confined to the small area closest to Southbury Road has now moved into the larger space on the far side of the pub, and jolly nice it is too. The pub section now consists of the middle section and the area which formerly housed the Thai food and you can still get the food in the pub bits.
As this is a pub review site rather than a restaurant site, what is the pub like now?
Pretty good is the answer! It's a mixed bag to be sure (no real ales, slightly dearer than some other places in the area, can be a little cramped and has that "new pub" vibe which can feel a little soulless at times), but I firmly believe that the positives (comfortable seating, good karaoke and DJ nights, a nice crowd, efficient and friendly bar staff, good quality screens for sports and reliable drink quality) outweigh the negatives comfortably. The "beer garden" or "large expanse of tarmac with outdoor furniture on it" as it should more accurately be known, is still pleasant enough on warmer days and for smokers nipping out for a quick cigarette in the winter months as long as you can endure the fumes from Southbury Road. Given that there aren't that many pubs in the immediate vicinity, it's well worth a visit if you find yourself living in or visiting the area.

12 Oct 2013 22:13

The Ranelagh, Bounds Green

Very popular pub and deservedly so. It seems to be aiming for the slightly up-market crowd, but whilst the prices might well have been designed to keep the likes of myself and the other riff-raff out, it's actually a lot more welcoming and comfortable to fans of a more traditional local pub than the majority of that ilk. A comparatively broad range of draught lagers and real ales are on offer, and I've yet to have a bad pint here. Particular favourites are Sierra Nevada Pale Ale which is always a treat on draught and the beers from the local Redemption Brewery in Tottenham. The pub quiz on a Tuesday night which is my main reason for visiting the place is more entertaining than most and of a fairly high standard. A decent sized pub in a very nice building and the outside area is very pleasant on the few days of clement weather that North London gets every year. Service is always courteous and rarely takes too long. Well worth checking out if you are anywhere nearby. Haven't tried the food yet, and it is a bit of a gastropub, but what I have seen and smelled from neighbouring tables does seem very appetising.

10 Jun 2013 13:58

The Mash Tun, Brighton

Agreeable somewhat student-orientated pub. Quick service, reasonable beers and the prices are ok for the area. Worth stopping by for a pint if you are in the area, but probably not the kind of place you'd want to spend the whole evening in for some reason that I couldn't quite put my finger on.

10 Jun 2013 13:46

Maze Inn Bar, Oakwood

Predictably for the Borough of Enfield, this is now flats.
This represents an improvement over the Maze Inn era, but is a shame when one thinks of the late-era Merryhills Pub that preceded that debacle.

19 Mar 2013 22:22

The Oakwood Tavern, Oakwood

Been coming here more regularly for a little while now, the interior including the mural of famous Irish celebrities which ranges from the sublime (reasonably accurate) to the ridiculous (just plain ridiculous) which has to be seen in full to be believed, is still present and correct. But the atmosphere is pretty good these days, service is top class, there is now one real ale (Doombar, always), prices are very reasonable and the quiz on a Thursday night is always good for a laugh and a free sandwich.

19 Mar 2013 22:19

Crown and Horseshoes, Enfield

The building, garden, staff and so forth are still as good as ever, but now come with a vastly improved food menu that is well worth investigating. It was hard to see how this pub could have improved without compromising the things that have made it good for so many years (like previous ill-fated experiments with a pool table and live jazz bands for those with long enough memories), but it turns out the new range of largely flame-grilled/smoked dishes might actually have been the one thing that could kick it up a notch.

19 Mar 2013 22:11

The Black Horse, Enfield

Hard to see who this pub is aimed at now. What was once a fairly unfussy little local pub has had a facelift outside and in, but into an oddly schizophrenic way. The outside has been improved with a sort of decking area and lights which make it look more modern and clean, however inside there is still a sense of the past as the food-orientated end looks like a 70's/80's sitcom version of an old neighbourhood restaurant and the other end is a riot of faux leather and chrome which screams of an 80's TV producers idea of an American style bar or perhaps a soap opera version of a "trendy yuppie" wine bar complete with pool table for anyone wishing to do their Tom Cruise in The Colour Of Money impression (youtube it, or maybe don't).
Neither traditional boozer enough for the local pub loving crowd, nor cool enough for the younger crowd looking for the bar/club vibe.
All that said, it's not actually unpleasant in any way and is ok for a couple of pints. Beer range not great put prices alright and quality passable. No attitude from the regulars and bar staff are pleasant enough. A rare pub where they actually had normal terrestrial shows on the TV rather than constant sports.

19 Mar 2013 22:05

The Golden Hive, Brimsdown

Poked my nose round the door a few weeks back to check out the newly reopened Golden Hive and I'm sad to report it seems even worse than before. No feeling of hostility toward outsiders that I could detect, more a sense of shock that anyone new would want to pop in. The decor has been cleaned up nicely but in such a bland natural earth tones style that the little atmosphere it once had has been further diminished.

19 Mar 2013 21:55

Izaak Walton, Brimsdown

Extensively refurbed not long ago (under the Green King Local banner) and renamed as The Station Tavern, well at least on some signs/logos - this is an improvement on how it was before, but is now a bizarre mix of the unimaginative/generic new pub and the aftermath of some kind of explosion in a homeware store that has left seemingly unrelated and incompatable sections of carpet, paints and furniture sitting side by side in a near-psychedelic assault on your eyes.
Bar staff still good, prices as reasonable as before, beer ok it not awe-inspiring. Sadly the clientele seems to have taken a turn for the more loud and unruly, but not to an extent that they would deter you completely, but it is a little less welcoming than previously.
As with many pubs, when there are major changes it's a little bit swings and roundabouts and it seems whilst some bits have improved, other bits are now less appealing.

19 Mar 2013 21:52

The Jolly Gardeners, Vauxhall

Excellent German pub hidden inside a traditional London corner-pub exterior. Nice decor and atmosphere. The range of draught German beers is very good and supplemented by several decent bottled options. The food is delicious, the Munich Schnitzel in particular is recommended. Bar staff are friendly and keep waiting times down to managable levels even when it's busy.
The best place in London to watch the Bundesliga or 2.Bundesliga on big screens and some games (particularly those featuring FC St.Pauli) attract a fair size crowd.
Draught beers are normally £4.50 a pint, and Schnitzels anywhere between £10-£16, but they have a Happy Hour on Monday Nights where pints are a mere £3.50 and all Schnitzels are £7.95. However, beware that they shut early on a Monday although it's probably the best day to check this place out if you aren't 100% sure it's your cup of tea. If you are a German beer and cuisine enthusiast though( which includes me), any time is a good time to come here!

23 Feb 2013 18:22

The Kings Head, Winchmore Hill

Sadly this nice old bulding which could be really superb has gone down the gastro pub route and at least half the floor space seems to be given over to dining, leaving little space and very few tables for those just seeking a drink. If it's warm enough the stable-like area at the rear is your best option, if not it's a case of standing cheek-by-jowl with all the drinkers in a rather cramped area around the bar and woe betide he that stands in the way of the food service! The little bit that looks like a cross between a library and a West End members club is okay, but by crikey you'd better have some cracking conversationists wth you as it is as devoid of atmosphere as it is pretty to look at. Range of drinks not too bad despite all that and the beer is kept well. Expensive and given the space/atmosphere/feels-like-you-are-intruding-in-a-restaurant drawbacks, you can and should do better by spending your night elsewhere.

1 Jul 2012 16:43

The Salisbury Arms, Winchmore Hill

Good-sized pub with a surprising range of beers for a pub in the suburbs of North London. Brooklyn Lager is always welcome on draft as is Sierra Nevada Pale Ale which are both present here along with several more traditional English Ales and a range of lagers. Prices aren't great but given the environment and the choice you get, it's actually a little cheaper than you might reasonably expect especially when compared to some of the local competition. The little "beer garden" which consists of little more than a patio out front is actually a pleasant place to sup your pint. All in all pretty good, perhaps a little too "posh pub" for my tastes but it's not unwelcoming and I will probably call again...even though my pint of Brooklyn Lager was a little on the past-its-best side.

1 Jul 2012 16:38

The Builders Arms, New Barnet

Bloody marvellous, what every local pub would be like in an ideal world (well at least the front bar is). Went in for the first time in ages a couple of weeks back and was pleased to see that it has maintained everything it did well, good welcoming, cosy atmosphere where decent conversation provides the bulk of the entertainment is allied with good service and it has now added a wider range of ales which can be no bad thing.

23 Nov 2011 19:22

The Worlds End, Brighton

Pleasant enough environment, that we visited based on its reputation for BBQ food. Beer selection and price were fine, service good, and quality ok. The pub has a little of something for everyone with TVs at one end showing Italian football adjacent to some pool tables, whilst at the other end a live band was striking up with enough different little pockets to sit in between to ensure a favourable environment for almost any tastes.
The downsides were oddly the food and music, The BBQ Chicken and Ribs combo featured some very well cooked chicken with some slightly too tough ribs both covered in a not so much the "smokey BBQ sauce" described as literally the taste of smoke and nothing else and it wasn't even a pleasant mesquite style smoke taste. I always support any place that makes the effort to put on live bands that play original material, but sometimes (like Saturday evening) this makes me question my own sanity as we were subjected to some funk-free funky jazz noodlings with some quasi-rapping in a Cockney accent over the top that was devoid of hooks, melody or anything worth saying. In short, not a bad place to pop in for a couple of beers, but make sure that you check the bands out online before risking it when a live band is on.

26 Sep 2011 19:30

The Regency Tavern, Brighton

Bizarre but likeable pub, from outside it looks like a standard-issue old-fashioned local boozer, once you step through the door however, you will find yourself in a pub quite unlike any you have been in before. The decor is a riot of Pink and Gold striped wallpaper, with leopard skin seating and various other completely contrasting colour schemes in other nooks of the building. It has a piano and unlike in many pubs where this would be little more than an ornament that occasionally serves as a focal point for a drunken sing-song, this actually comes complete with a painist playing selections of instrumental scores from vintage Hollywood movies and Broadway stage shows. The beer selection is good (it's a Shepherd's Neme pub) and for the lager drinkers the lesser-spotted Oranjeboom and Asahi are available on draught, all at par prices for the area. The Roast Dinner looked lovely and was well priced. The service was friendly and welcoming. The toilets however need to be seen to be believed with their weird kitsch wall of mirrored tiles on the way in and pitch black paint with loud pink door frames and window ledges. Odd but the world is probably a much better place for having pubs that defy convention and challenge your expectations of what a pub can and should be. Worth a look if you are passing.

26 Sep 2011 19:11

The Fortune of War, Brighton

When I am grey and old (well older and when what remains of my hair gives up the ghost at least), I shall look back on the afternoon I spent in this pub sitting by the open window upstairs in this pub, overlooking a fine late summer afternoon on Brighton beach with a gentle sea breeze cooling me, as I enjoyed a couple of nice cold lagers chatting with my mate and listening to an excellent soundtrack of reggae and ska playing at a nicely understated volume in the background, and remember it as one of the most pleasant experiences I have ever had in any pub anywhere at any time. Simply bloody marvellous. Should you not have the good fortune to catch it on such a day, the sea view, lovely dark wood decor and good drinks with pleasant service should mean that you find yourself in a very good pub anyway. Catch it on a good day, and you may achieve pub nirvana!

26 Sep 2011 19:02

Hop Poles, Brighton

The Spotted Dog as it is now known is a very nice airy modern decored pub with a nice outside patio area with a roof to allow you to enjoy it no matter what the weather. Service is good, prices a little steep but roughly on a par with other pubs in the immediate area. The pints of Brooklyn Lager were delicious and went down a treat. Nice laid back atmosphere to enjoy it in too.

26 Sep 2011 18:54

The Market Inn, Brighton

Really nice old fashioned pub, good beers, reasonable prices and attentive service. The food is a mixed bag however, my roast lamb shank was delicious with well cooked vegetables, tasty gravy and was just what the doctor ordered on a lazy Sunday afternoon, however both of the friends I was with opted for the Steak and Kidney pudding option and were disappointed by a crispy overcooked texture to the pudding and thought it also overpriced.
In short, good for beer but play it safe if ordering food.

26 Sep 2011 18:51

The Pump House, Brighton

Unlike some of the other reviewers, I had a very pleasant experience in this pub, maybe I was just lucky or they were very unfortunate and caught it on a very bad day? The beers here were very well kept (for some reason myself and my friends all opted for Cornish ales on draught, I had a very good pint of the ever-reliable Tribute, they were equally pleased with their Doom Bar), the prices were fine and no short measures to speak of either. Sitting in the front of the pub by the window is an excellent spot to pass an afternoon away people watching in the lulls in conversation. Very nice building, cosy decor, friendly and efficient service, all in all a very decent effort indeed.

26 Sep 2011 18:40

The Cricketers, Brighton

Nice pub, good building, classic old school decor, friendly service and good beer. The backgroud music was at the right level to function as such and was reassuringly good. The only drawback as many other reviewers have observed is that the prices here are a little on the dear side to say the least. Ultimately if money is no object, you could probably spend a very pleasant evening here, for those of us not blessed with such wealth, it's still worth stopping by but probably just for the one drink.

26 Sep 2011 18:35

The Royal Standard, Brighton

Cosy enough little pub on the main road up to the station, reasonable selection of beers, prices about par for the area. In a rare move for the local area it also shows the football, so worth visiting over other superior pubs in the local area if there's a match you want to see on at the time. Other than that, your money might be best directed to one of the myriad other good pubs within easy walking distance.

26 Sep 2011 18:29

The Evening Star, Brighton

Now this is much more like it! A very decent pub indeed, the facade may be unimpressive and the decor very basic with wooden bench style seating attached to the walls and bare wood throughout, but it is very welcoming and has a good atmosphere. More importantly, or at least as importantly, it is an absolute treasure trove for the beer connessieur! As you might expect the beers from the Dark Star brewery which owns the place are in very good nick and there is a good selection (The Espresso Stout in particular was gorgeous as was The American Pale Ale), but that is just the tip of the iceberg as the extensive range of bottle beers means that there should be something to suit all tastes. Service is very good and the prices are very reasonable. If you visit Brighton or live in the area, and you love good beer, this needs to be a regular port of call for you. Can't wait to return.

26 Sep 2011 18:24

The Battle of Trafalgar, Brighton

Servicable but unremarkable old fashioned pub. My enjoyment of it was somewhat marred by the presence of a live jazz guitarist, but in terms of service, quality of beer and price it was fine. Beer Garden looks good, sadly it was a little late in the day for drinking outside when I arrived. Not worth making a special journey up the hill for, but not entirely without merit either.

26 Sep 2011 18:13

Bush Hill Park Hotel, Enfield

Glad to report that despite concerns over the future of this site, the pub is still very much alive and kicking at the moment.
Enjoyed a few pints in here yesterday while watching the football, and was pleasantly surprised that it had more atmosphere than previously and on a warm afternoon with the doors open it is a pleasant place to spend your time enjoying a few pints. The selection of drinks isn't the widest (the only real ales are a few room temperature bottles of various Adnam's beers), but the prices are reasonable and the service good. Enough screens so that everyone can get a good view of the game should they wish to. Friendly crowd and whilst it still looks a little shop-worn, it is not without its charms.

11 Sep 2011 13:34

Longshoot, Nuneaton

A "solid citizen" of a pub that isn't exactly fantastic but won't let you down either. Nothing fancy just a fairly large local with a carvery attached. Average range of drinks but price and quality both fine. They seem to put entertainment on too which shows they are making an effort, sadly this consisted of a failry lacklustre DJ on the night I popped in whilst staying at the attached hotel (more of a US style motel in truth) but all in all pleasant enough. In no way worth going out of your way for, but if you find yourself in the viscinity with a couple of hours' downtime to spare, you could do worse than have a couple of pints in here and perhaps a nice roast dinner.

29 Aug 2011 11:44

The George Eliot Hotel, Nuneaton

I have to say that I am extremely surprised by some of the negative reviews of this place, I was in Nuneaton for the first time yesterday and happily whiled away a few hours in this terrific pub. It is a lovely spacious pub with lots of standing room and ample seating including some very nice semi-circular leather bench style seats ideal for small groups. The prices were very reasonable and there was a decent range of drinks (that said as mentioned previously just the two real ales, but a slightly less predictable selection this time including Pere Ubu) and the service was very friendly with no real waiting time to speak of.
This is an excellent venue for watching sports with numerous screens positioned so that you can watch a game from pretty much any nook or cranny in the building, they also were showing more than one game at a time so all supporters were kept happy.
All in all a very decent effort, shame the weather wasn't quite good enough to brave the small first floor level beer garden (more of a patio). If the good burghers of Nuneaton don't appreciate this pub, I can only assume there must be some absolutely fantastic boozers nearby which makes a return an appealing prospect. To these jaded old eyes that have been in many pubs in many town and cities around this country and overseas though, this one will do nicely.

29 Aug 2011 11:38

The Phoenix, Oxford Circus

I really liked this place, nice comfortable seating, good vibe, quick and helpful service and both Brooklyn Lager and Sierra Nevada Pale Ale (two of my favourite American beers) on draught. Not too pricey by West End standards. Seems to attract a nice laid back clientele too which is a bonus. They have some club nights there too according to various posters and fliers dotted about the place including a 60's Soul night which I have to say tempts me, especially when the beer is as good as it is here.

16 Jul 2011 13:51

The Crown and Sceptre, Fitzrovia

Terrific location, nice airy building, great range of ales and lagers, good food (Battered Black Pudding was delicious, trust me it's a lot better than it sounds!), plenty of standing room for a pint outside on the pavement on a summer's evening and price wise, just above average for the area. All in all, should be world-class, but is strangely lacking in atmosphere and does seem to attract a high number of slightly too self-satisfied drinkers and staff. Worth checking out if you are in the area though as the beer is good.

16 Jul 2011 13:46

The Yorkshire Grey, Fitzrovia

Good but small Sam Smith's pub, if you've drunk in a Sam Smith's before you'll know the rub and all the usual hallmarks of the brewery's pubs are present and correct. The roped area outside on the alley is a very pleasant place for an al fresco pint if you're happy standing and the weather is clement, but I can imagine the place being a tad cramped when all the customers are forced to drink inside in less favourable conditions. Prices as ever, very good for Central London. Beer in very good nick indeed, cheers!

16 Jul 2011 13:40

Cricketers, Enfield

Much better now than it was previously, still nothing to write home about but at last it's at least an ok place to have a pint of your favourite McMullen's beer. The cricket theme is a little heavy handed, but I actually find it quirky and charming rather than tacky or annoying.
Good stop on a pub crawl, but sadly the lay out (long narrow area in front of the bar which is immediately ahaed of you upon entry that expands at each end into two more spacious seating areas completely obscured from one another) does little to help generate an atmosphere, and it's the lack of this crucial ingredient that stops you wanting to visit for anything more than that.

10 Apr 2011 20:00

The Purple Turtle, Camden

Not sure whether anyone actually uses this place just as a pub, but as a venue to watch bands play or as a disco/club it is not without its merits. As per usual with this type of place, don't expect much in the way of colour - everything is pretty much black or shiny metallic in here. The prices for drinks aren't too bad and there is a reasonable amount of choice. Service at the bar is fairly quick and polite and the quality passes muster (no real ales though as you have probably come to expect from London live music venues and clubs). Decent sized stage and dancefloor area for watching live music or dancing to whatever the DJ plays. A slightly more mellow little area to the rear where the bands sell merch and there are a few tables and stools to rest your feet at. There seems to be a nicer seating area upstairs with padded bench style seating but that was shut when I visited.
If they are having a club night that takes your fancy or there is a band you like playing here, I would heartily recommend visiting, if there's nothing on you'd probably be better off trying a "proper" pub instead and Camden has plenty to choose from.

27 Mar 2011 19:11

The Hope and Anchor, Camden

A classic corner pub with a certain scuzzy charm to it, that's ok for a quick pint or two but not somewhere you'd choose to spend the whole evening. Selection of drinks is reasonable but unremarkable and the price is ok for the area. Service was fine, nothing more nothing less. It has a jukebox which wasn't on whilst I was in there, a pool table and TVs showing with the sports channels for entertainment. There are some nice features to admire in the building itself and sitting looking out the window as the people of Camden pass by is a reasonable way of spending an hour or so.
The raised rear area is spacious, but I definitely got the vibe that it was an area for the regulars and that passers by are less welcome here than in the lower front area.
The main drawback to the place (other than the fact that there are many better pubs within a short walk) is that it has a rather unpleasant smell to it (a combination of stale beer and rot) which makes you less inclined to stay than you might otherwise have been.

27 Mar 2011 19:04

Izaak Walton, Brimsdown

Visited for the first time on Saturday, but I'd be prepared to guess that this pub has seen better days. Slightly frayed round the edges kind of look to the place. However parts are quite comfortable and pleasant. The atmosphere is ok. Range of drinks isn't the most varied you'll ever see and no real ale around at all, but prices are very cheap 1.99 a pint of Carlsberg compared very favourably with anywhere else nearby. Bar staff were quick and attentive. Entertainment boils down to a couple of pool tables, a dart board, a jukebox and a handful of flat screen TVs. Seems to be a mostly locals/regulars type of pub, but is not unwelcoming.
All in all, not a bad effort and with a bit of spit and polish it could easily be better as it's a reasonably big space and some of it is a bit underused at the moment. Not one to go out of your way for, but if you are stuck waiting for a train at Brimsdown station (which I have certainly been more than once), it's not a bad place to pop into for a quick pint.

21 Feb 2011 08:13

Westbury Park Tavern, Bristol

Ok, I freely confess that I have never been to this pub (or Bristol for that matter), but I do know one piece of semi-interesting trivia about it which I thought I'd share with you all.
In the episode "Boring" from the classic 80's sit-com "The Young Ones" the lads go to their local pub "The Kebab & Calculator" and the exterior of that august istitution was played by none other than...The Westbury Park Tavern. Worth having a pint in here if you are passing for Young Ones fans for that reason at least.

9 Jan 2011 16:54

The Old Manor, Potters Bar

A good timeless classic of a pub. A beautiful building that is comfortbaly decorated and furnished, with a well-behaved clientele, polite and attentive bar staff and waiting staff and delicious food. I must confess that on both of my visits here it has been for a meal, but fortunately on both occasions I have had a chance to have a couple of drinks before hand and the selection of drinks isn't bad at all (although perhaps at least one more real ale would be a good idea) and they are all of a good standard, but slightly overpriced although not enough to deter me for one as sometimes it's worth paying the little extra for the benefit of consuming your beer in a decent environment.
A very good effort in the final analysis, if forced to pick a fault apart from the aforementioned slightly over-the-top pricing, it would be that for some tastes the place is a little bit staid. Not a lot by way of entertainment for those craving a big night out, however for those wishing for a nice quiet few jars and a chat with your comapanion(s) whilst the unwind from the stresses of the modern world, this is a very good place to head for. I would also heartily recommend it for a place to go for a nice meal.

4 Dec 2010 13:21

The Kings Head, Enfield

Re-opened at long last and generally the new owners have done a good job with the refurb. All carpets have been stripped out and bare wood floors are the order of the day, this not only looks nice but enhances the acoustic properties of the place so it positively reverberates to the buzz of conversation more or less drowning out the background music.
Furniture is plain wood but surprisingly comfortable. The walls have had a lick of paint in muted colours and there is the odd bit of mood lighting, plus for no reason I can fathom there is now a small boat suspended from the ceiling in the rear area.
Staff service was quick and friendly. The "range" of real ales was down to Green King IPA and Theakston's XB, but there are more lagers than before with Heineken and Amstel the pick over Moretti and a couple of others. Decent draft cider. Prices are slightly higher than average for the area, but all in all it's once more a pretty good place to drop in for a beer or five.
There was no access to the old upstairs games room when I visited but one of my fellow drinkers enquired at the bar and was told that it is now empty and that work is to carry on upstairs to build a new kitchen and some guest rooms.
In closing, I would say that it is not quiet as great as it used to be before the last closure, but it's early days yet and it's already better than The George, The Taps or The Stag making it once again the best pub in Enfield Town centre.

6 Nov 2010 10:42

The Bath House, Soho

I have to confess that this is not so much a review as a rant against the destruction that the Crossrail project has wrought on this area. As well as this lovely pub, we have lost at least one other in addition to the destruction of not one, not two, but three live music venues (Astoria, Mean Fiddler, Metro) and countless other shops and businesses. I know that it is being done in the name of progress and that unfortunately sometimes old things have to be removed to make way for other equally wonderful new developments, but at present I really am struggling to see how in terms of things like culture, entertainment and community the project in question can ever hope to adequetely replace all that we have lost in its name. That is truly saddening. Functionality is great for survival, but ultimately what is life worth without the things that make a life worth living and enjoying?

26 Sep 2010 13:21

The Edinboro Castle, Camden

Hmm, I'm not sure places like this should be allowed to be called "pubs" it's misleading to the regular pub goer, perhaps a new term is in order, something like "a poncery" instead?
This could be a lovely pub, which makes it all the more infuriating that it is rather one of the worst pubs I've ever had the misfortune to visit. The raw ingredients are all there, nice building, spacious beer garden, good location and when you eventually get to speak to one of them, the staff are very friendly and extremey competent. However, the sad fact is you may never find out about that last part unless you have a spare 15-20 mins to spare queueuing at the bar 4 deep along the entire length of the bar like sardines, whilst the three people that some genius thought would represent enough staff to cover the shift struggle manfully to serve a never ending scrum. When the beer does come up, all the choice is good, the quality is indifferent and the prices high.
The food looks and smells wonderful, but is slightly overpriced for what you get and one can only imagine the length of time it would take you to actually get an order in and receive the food.
The beer garden is nice and well lit and has lots of booth style seating under canopies which makes for a nice atmosphere as does the long rows of bench seating in the middle. It's a nice place to enjoy a pint, but I'd suggest you bring your own!
This pub is obsessed with image at the expense of practicality and customer service, it gets the basics "Can I get a drink?" for example horribly wrong and as such is nicer to look at than it is to spend any time in. It's a real pity.
The customers seem to be a mix of more-money-than-sense would-be hipsters that clearly are happy to pay over the odds for something deeply, deeply underwhelming and more "regular" folk wandering around looking dazed and tutting in disbelief at what they are expected to tolerate. I'm in the latter camp in case you didnt guess already.
Whilst watching the sands of time slip agonisingly through my fingers at the bar for the third time and engaging in pleasant conversation with other incinvenienced punters with a thirst on, I compiled a mental list of activities that I would rather do than give this place my custom again in future. These included Juggling Box Jellyfish, Bobbing for Land Mines and worse still drinking in The Worlds End. That should give you a rough idea of how irritating and yet unjustly smug this pub is. Everything that is wrong with trendy, "cool" pubs is made manifest here.

22 Aug 2010 19:40

The Crown and Anchor, Edmonton

I made my first trip back here for the season on Saturday and felt compelled to once again sing its praises.
All of the bar staff are friendly, enthusiastic and efficient, the crowd in the pub are a very friendly bunch. There may not be many beers on offer (no real ales at all) but what they serve they serve well and it's not expensive. Good TVs for Sport, great background music, and just a really pleasant and cosy atmosphere.
A pub is as good as its landlord and this pub has one of the best.
Keep up the good work. An essential port of call for anyone in the area in general.

15 Aug 2010 15:49

Three Compasses, Hornsey

Simply superb. A lovely building with comfortable and airy interior, just about the best service I've ever encountered, a good range of well kept beers ("Landlord" and "Bitter & Twisted" were both absolutely out of the top drawer and even the lagers were good), and prices that are fair for the area.
Food wise, both the Sausages and Mash (three plump, meaty, tasty cumberland bangers on a lovely light bed of mash and a rich and flavoursome onion gravy) and the sticky chicken breast were delicious and portions were good. Price wise, it could have been a little cheaper, but you couldn't argue that what you got was anything other than value for money.
Entertainment wise, there is background music and a pool table on the average day (such as this afternoon), but apparently there do have other activities on specific evenings, as well as the ubiquitous TVs.
There are pictures of the area and its history on the walls including one charming shot of the owners and the regulars all proudly beaming at the camera in a shot taken just after the pub was refurbed in 2004, the enduring image is of pride in the place, and based on my encounter it is well founded and continues to this day.
All in all, absolutely lovely and well worth a visit. I shall be returning as soon as I can.

11 Aug 2010 19:18

The Black Horse, Barnet

Best of the three pubs I tried on or around Wood Street last night (The Lord Nelson and The Alexandra being the other two), but still a fair way short of being anything more than a servicable watering hole.
Green King IPA was pleasant, price was fair, service was very good and the environment approchable enough inside (if a little too bright and "new pub" looking with light wood and those little spotlight things and so on) but if you can cope with the noise of the traffic going by (it's right on a main road) the beer garden is very well maintained and the better bet on a clement evening.
They are quite keen on putting on entertainment here from the look of the notices around the pub, but last night's effort of a geriatric covers band that looked almost as bored to be playing their insipid covers of various standards as I was in listening to them from the beer garden, doesn't bode well for the general standard. Full marks for effort in bothering to put live music on though.
This being the closest of the Wood Street pubs to Barnet town centre itself, I would say it's probably worth checking out at least once if you have exhausted all the drinking options in that locale and fancy a change, but it isn't worth making a special visit for. At least it's only a 5 or so minute walk back to Barnet's best pub (in my humble opinion) The Mitre, should you not care for it particularly.

31 Jul 2010 12:32

The Alexandra, Barnet

Nothing special but reasonable enough pub. Doesn't have the largest floorspace in the world so fairly packed even when there are only a dozen or so customers in. Range of drinks is somewhat limited but the pints of IPA I had were pretty decent (and much better than the beers we had just down the road at the unbelievably overrated by local CAMRA branch Lord Nelson) and price was fair and service good. The also do Tayto crisps which is a bonus. Beer garden doesn't crack particularly easy on the eye, but is a nice place to enjoy your beer without feeling claustrophobic in the main bar.
Seems to have a higher ratio of TV screens to square footage than most pubs and with the compact and intimate atmosphere, I would imagine this would be a pretty good place to watch your choice of sport with a little atmosphere.
Not worthy of a trip out of your way, but if you happen to be passing approach wihtout fear.

31 Jul 2010 12:23

The Lord Nelson, Barnet

Perhaps my companion and I should take a share of the blame for the underwhelming experience we had here last night, as we went to a Young's pub and instead of drinking Young's beers we had pints of Heineken and Tribute instead. However a good pub should maintain quality standards across its entire range of beers, rather than serve an absolutely rank pint of "on the turn" lager and a lifeless and too cloudy guest ale.
That major drawback aside, I wouldn't rule out the possibility of a return at a future date as the building (down an anonymous side street) is very pleasant and the quirky decor with a vaguely nautical theme, the bar staff are welcoming and efficient and the food men u looked pretty decent. I'll just remember to stick to Young's beers exclusively.

31 Jul 2010 12:16

White Horse, Beyton

Good honest village pub that is excellent for food. Classic decor, albeit somewhat marred in the bar where the food is served by a ceiling that is painted in a shade that I am reliably informed is called "Suffolk Pink" and is a common colour for house exteriors in the area which can't be changed without permission, the thing is it's makes the room a little too dark and given that the exterior of the pub and all the other walls are in different colours, it could really do with changing. But that is a really minor gripe.
It's a Greene King house, so it's the usual suspects on the beer front, but with the exception of one less than superb pint of Heineken all the drinks were of a very good standard and prices were ok. Food prices are great value, for just over 8 I had a lovely big bit of rainbow trout cooked to perfection with new potatoes and veg and my companions's meals of Lasagne, Toad In The Hole, and Tipsy Lamb Casserole (which I had a quick sample of and can confirm was absolutely delicious) were all of a very high standard.
The public bar is nice and relaxed and more "pubby" but the pool table seemed incongrous in a fairly sedate and chatty environment. Background music was mercifully just that. Bar staff were very polite, quick and helpful to us despite the gripes we heard from another table.
Also worth a look here is the well inside the pub concealed under a grate in the floor of the corridoor that links the two bars and leads in from the entrance. It's quite an odd sensation looking down a long drop under your feet as you walk in.
All in all recommended particularly for food but it might be a little dull for some tastes purely taken as a drinking establishment.

22 May 2010 11:33

The Nutshell, Bury St Edmunds

Apparently this is the smallest pub in England, and I for one am certainly not going to argue with that claim as I really cant see how you could lose any more space from here and still run a fully functional pub.
If you can squeeze in, and particularly if you can get one of the bench style seats that seem to be extensions of the window sills, this is a very pleasant place to spend half an hour or so enjoying a pint, I would however struggle to recommend it for any more than that.
The dcor is an array of largely money based bric-a-brac that includes various foreign coins surrounding the door frame and a virtual cornucopia of various funny money notes on the ceiling, amongst other things (including a signed picture of Al The Pub Landlord Murray) dotted about the wall.
Service was friendly and prompt, which in fairness it ought to be when you are pretty much full to capacity with only customers inside, but I have seen quiet places get it wrong in similar circumstances before so kudos for that.
The beer is classic Greene King and the IPA was very nice thank you kindly and the price nothing to gripe about.
Entertainment wise, there isnt space for anything barring background music, but given that when I was in there they were playing some classical music that had additional heavy metal guitar and drums added and which worked surprisingly well, Im not complaining.
If you wanted to boil the essence of this place down into a very small, convenient prcis that distilled its totality into a very small number of words (hmm, if only there were an easier way of putting that!), it is a bit of a novelty pub that will be a hit with tourists and is actually pretty good of that ilk, but not somewhere youd wish to spend the whole night.

21 May 2010 17:17

Belushi's, Shepherds Bush

Good rather than great bar, but one of the better ones in this area. Clean, tidy, good atmosphere, background music and TVs to keep you amused, very comfortable booth seating at one end. Food and drink uniformly good and prices not too dear. Good range of bottled antipodean beers (including the always welcome VB and Steinlager), and decent draft lagers. Nothing for the real ale seekers though.
Wouldn't necesserily recommend spending an evening in here, but for a quick lunchtime drink or a couple of "looseners" before going to a gig at The Empire, this is pretty much ideal.

17 May 2010 17:53

The Sporting Green, Enfield

Now at the best it's ever been and my most regular drinking destination once again.
They have now started doing food and bloody nice it is too (Lovely Roast Beef was 6). There has been increasing instances of live music and karaoke and they also now have a 3D TV for the football (a strange but overall good experience). There is a regular crowd that is friendly that is starting to grow and fortunately there seem to be more new faces popping in too.
The jukebox is good, the prices reasonable, the service always top notch and all in all this is a fabulous local pub that's getting pretty much everything right.

2 May 2010 23:21

First Class Sports Bar, Wembley

Decent enough little boozer very close to Wembley Stadium and Arena and as such an ideal meeting point before any event and a nice place to have a couple whilst the crowds disapate on the way home.
Very friendly service which is also quick, decent drinks and not too steep on the prices (especially in comparison with the prices charged inside the Wembley complex itself!). Loads of sports memorabilia all over the walls, so if you have even the vaguest interest in sport there should be something somewhere here to at least briefly peak your interest.
Well worth a drop in if you are in the neighbourhood.

28 Apr 2010 18:16

The Old Wheatsheaf, Enfield

The better lower bar has just reopened after a refurbishment and it must be said they have improved it by making it a bit more minimal and it now has a classice timeless pub feel rather than the slightly dated (although quite nice) ambience it used to have. They've also created more space by removing a few of the bench style seating, and the wooden floor exposed in one of the window areas is a nice touch.
Popped in for just the one whilst waiting for a train, and the atmosphere was good, the service excellent and the beer (a pint of Doombar if you're asking) was very nice indeed. The only problem is that I had to paay 3.25 for my pint which for a 4% ale in Enfield is akin to daylight robbery.
I still come down on the side of recommending the place for a few quiet drinks, but be sure to take your piggy bank as it could get expensive over the course of an evening.

12 Apr 2010 08:11

The Catcher in the Rye, Finchley

Put simply, this is pub for people that don't really like pubs.
It has gone down the Gastro pub route and feels more like a wine bar than a pub, everything from the decor to the clientele look like they are here for a meal of a couple of glasses of wine and the beer pumps constitute little more than a token afterthought.
Service was at least pleasant and helpful, but even considering the location 7.10 for a pint of Grasshopper and a pint of Guinness is pricey by any reasonable measure. The beer was in its defence of good quality, but not so impressive that it was worth paying those prices.
If you are looking for a place for a nice relaxing wine after work with some nice food and have more money than sense, you may have found your perfect destination, if however you want an actual pub with good, reasonably priced beer and some sort of atmosphere, it's better to steer clear.
Oh and the incessant jazz funk soundtrack is another mark in the "cons" column too.

12 Apr 2010 08:05

BRB at The Gate, Alexandra Park

Pleasingly I have had several opportunities to while away a few hours in here over the past few months and it is rapidly becoming one of my favourite watering holes. Always liked it in the past but hadn't been in for a good few years and I'm very pleased to say that it is still visually beautiful, has a relaxed vibe, serves a nice range of drinks, isn't too expensive and does lovely food. Service has distinctly improved of late too and there is a bigger commitment to entertainment now days with more TVs showing the sport, a decent jukebox (the regulars also appear to have discerning musical taste, which helps), and even a quiz on a Sunday night which I intend to participate in before too long. Several deals on 2-4-1 pizzas on certain nights, will help keep the cost down if you decide to enjoy the food as well as a few jars. Lovely, would that this kind of place was the benchmark that most pubs lived up to, but sadly it's excellence is all too rare.
My rating has now improved from 8/10 to 9/10. Give it a go, you won't regret it.

20 Mar 2010 17:43

The Horn, St Albans

Made my first visit back this way in about 5 years on Thursday Night this week and am pleased to say that it is not only as good as I had remembered but had even improved a little. There is now an ale on in the form of Brackspeare's and the lesser spotted Weston's Iced is also on draught for the cider drinkers amongst you. The Red Stripe is still very good and prices are acceptable. Service was quick and polite and the crowd here are very friendly. Great venue for live music, nice relaxed pub just for a drink too. Oh and they finally sorted the loos out too and have installed novelty urinals that look like giant mouths in the style of the old Rolling Stones logo, which are not only visually amusing but are actually kept relatively clean as well. If you are local, this is an essential place to put on your list of favoured watering holes. If like myself, you are from further afield, it's worth checking out if you happen to pass this way and well worth paying a special visit to if they have a band you like playing here. Up from an 8 to a 9/10 now.

20 Mar 2010 17:35

Belushi's, Camden

I'm normally predisposed to liking Belushi's bars for the odd beer, a legacy of having stayed in one of the St.Christopher's Hostels (that these places always appear in tandem with) in Berlin and having enjoyed myself greatly there. However, this is the worst I have been in of the lot. Almost completely atmosphere free unless full and when it is this particular branch seems to attract a somewhat boisterous crowd and not in a pleasant way. These things highlight the slightly overpriced beer and indifferent staff, the former of which is normally masked by the absence of the latter in every other outlet of this chain I've been in.
Avoid this bar, which is an example of how (quite often) an attempt at an American-style bar by British owners fails dismally being neither particularly authentic nor interesting and appealing in their own right. However, don't let it put you off of Belushi's in general, the ones in Shepherds Bush, Covent Garden, Hammersmith and Berlin are all from my experience much better places to spend your hard-earned.

30 Jan 2010 16:15

The Crescent, Mornington Crescent

Bland but inoffensive pub opposite Mornington Crescent and Koko. Prone to crowding, slightly too expensive (in fairness, not noticably more than any other dozen or so similar establishments in the area), and service isn't particularly quick. However, bar staff are generally good once they actually get to you, the range of lagers is fair (only one real ale though) and the place is very clean and tidy.
Usual TVs showing Sky Sports News and nothing much to particularly commend it as a destination pub, then again nothing to really deter you from popping in for a couple. The food looked pretty good for standard pub fare. The atmosphere is not unpleasant but pretty unremarkable.
All in all, neither one to enjoy nor endure and the kind of place you only drop into once in a while due to its convenient location, before heading off to wherever you are ending up that evening.

30 Jan 2010 16:05

The York, Islington

Very pleasant traditional pub in a good location a short walk from Angel Tube. Lovely building, dimly lit but comfy interior with a touch of elegance about it. Bar staff were very good and the prices are about average for the area. The beer is fantastic and well worth a visit for. A range of guest ales supplement the usual array and for fans of Timothy Taylor's Landlord, I have to say that this pub served me the best pint of that particular brew that I have ever had when I was here the other night. Food looks and smells amazing too, but unfortunately I didn't have time to eat on my flying visit.
The only downside is that it can be uncomfortably crowded in here at times, but if you can manage to get in here during a quiter moment and grad yourself a table, this is a very good place to while away the hours with some good company and a top quality pint.

20 Dec 2009 17:38

The Old Ale Emporium, Harringay

Charming little pub on Green Lanes. Has passed by many a time without ever venturing in and was pleasantly suprised when I finally did.
This pub's biggest strength and oddly equally its weakness is its size. This is a tiny little place that can barely hold more than about 20 customers with any degree of comfort. The small scale allows for a very cosy and friendly environment and the necessary intimacy means that you never have to queue for long for a drink and that the barstaff normally remember your order and have time to chat with you, making you feel more at home than you have any right to on your first visit.
The exterior has been changed pretty drastically since the photo at the top of this page was taken and as a consequence of the much maligned smoking ban, this now has a very nice terrace type area at the front where in summer months, I'd imagine it's a lovely place to sip a pint in the evening shade and is a better place than most for the smokers in your party to feed their craving.
Inside there is lots of light wood and the lighting is fairly bright which does at least partially succeed in giving the illusion that the pub is a little bigger than it really is. Furniture is not cushioned but comfortable nonetheless. There are a couple of tellies to watch the sport on, but I can't imagine people piling in to watch the football in here. There is a nice little section to the right and rear of the pub which would be ideal for the more private amongst you that prefer to keep yourself to yourself.
Choice of drinks isn't the widest but what they do they do well and the prices are favourable in comparison to any of the others nearby.
All in all very good, and I particularly liked some little quirky touches that show that this place has an identity all its own, such as the chalk boards above the bar advertising a Hot Toddy at a very reasonable 1.80 a throw, and some special horse racing betting related bargains. From the look of the clientele when we were in there (a very mellow, slightly older crowd) I can't imagine there is much uptake on the latter as it certainly isn't the kind of pub populated only by hardcore daytime drinkers that pop out to the bookies every half hour (unlike some that I have unfortunately endured at times). A very nice little place that's worth a drop-in if you happen to be passing.

29 Nov 2009 14:30

The Beaconsfield, Harringay

One of many lovely classical pub buildings in this area, this is certainly an impressive environment in which to have a couple of jars. The entrances have a certain grandeur to them and it is blessed with big windows that allow plenty of light into the airy seating area and also allow you to cast an occasional eye on the world going by should you wish to do so. The ceiling is nicely ornate but for some reason has been painted a particularly murky green colour which somewhat detracts from its beauty.
Dark wood prevails on the floors and in the furniture and jolly nice it is too. The central island type bar is also from an era where as much thought went into the look of an object as well as its practical application. The bar staff were polite, efficient and helpful. The beer was good (they only have two real ales on at any time from what I could see and unfortunately one of those was off) and they have a fair choice of lagers and spirits. Price wise it was neither the cheapest nor the dearest that you'll ever come across and was very much par for the course in this locale.
Entertainment wise they have the ubiquitous flat screen TVs showing the sport, but this seems to be more of a background feature than a focal point. They also have a seperate area at the rear with a pool table that is accessed through a purely decorative (bt nice nonetheless) arch.
It was very quiet when I visited, but that was in fairness at about 6.30 on a Sunday evening, and I would imagine that people that require a lively buzzing atmosphere in which to enjoy their beer might not appreciate it's more subtle, gentle charms. However if you fancy a quiet drink and a chat or just a place to read your book or paper over a pint, this is an ideal place. Probably not a destination pub, but certainly one where you could while away a lazy afternoon quite happily.
My only criticism is relatively spurious and entirely personal to me and that is that there is far too much Arsenal paraphenalia littered throughout the pub, which might cause a Spurs fan such as myself to feel a little unwelcome.

29 Nov 2009 14:14

Whitewebbs House, Enfield

Now a Toby Carvery, very good if that's what you're after, but not the greatest place when judged solely as a pub.
Standard range of drinks, so-so prices, pretty good service though and the building is wonderful and the decor and furnishing pleasant and comfortable. Nothing by way of entertainment and the constant flow of people flocking in to queue up for a roast dinner prevents it from being a great place for a quiet drink either.

15 Nov 2009 19:21

The Rose and Crown, Enfield

Lovely building with a good but slightly less impressive pub tucked away inside it. Should by all means be something like the quaint country village pub that it looks like from outside and if it was would fill a nice niche in the Enfield pub market. Instead it's a fairly bog standard local that looks nicer than it is. Worth a walk about inside to look at the building itself and the drinks aren't too bad for quality or price (if a little underwhelming in terms of choice), food (if they still do it) was always pretty good if memory serves me correctly and always seemed reasonably friendly, but with the superior Fallow Buck a short(ish) walk up the hill, it's better just dropped into for one or two along the way rather than being a destination to head for.

15 Nov 2009 19:18

The Old Wheatsheaf, Enfield

One of those pubs teetering on the fine dividing line between being a decent pub and being somewhere to steer clear of.
In the plus column, this place has excellent real beers and in the lower bar is quite a cosy and homely little place to hide from the weather and horrors of the world outside. It has TVs to keep you up to date with the sport and whilst not an ideal pub for watching such things in, it serves as a welcome background feature if you just happen to be in here for a drink anyway. Ditto the quiz, which is a little lacklustre, but fine as an aside if your visit coincides with it. The smoking area/beer garden is perfectly pleasant in warmer months too.
The negative column is occupied by the baffling decision to stop serving food, the sometimes glacial pace of the service and the slightly too high prices and the comparitive lack of atmosphere in the upper bar. For my sins I work nearby, and used to come in at least once a week for lunch, as well as pop in on the odd occasion after work. Since they stopped doing food this is strictly limited to the occasional quick pint after work.
A bit of a waste really, this is a nice building and the commitment to proper beer is welcome. A teeny bit more effort from the landlord and it could easily rise above the mediocre and become a good watering hole. However, the prevailing trend in my series of visits over the last three and a half years or so is regrettably towards decline rather than resurgence.

15 Nov 2009 19:12

Bush Hill Park Hotel, Enfield

Where do you begin with a pub like The Bush Hill Park Hotel? I have a soft spot for the place and there is much to commend it, but it is alas far from perfect and your experience of the place on any given visit may differ radically from your previous call.
The plus sides are that it is a lovely building, and in the lesser used back room (primarily reserved for functions and bands), this shines through and the place is nearly as visually pleasing inside as the exterior might lead you to expect. The main bar is however a little bit worn and tired looking.
The range of drinks is nothing to write home about and hardcore CAMRA members will doubtless leave disappointed and empty handed, but the lagers served are normally cold and the quality well maintained. Prices are ok. Service is generally pretty good. So far, so average.
I have been in this pub on a quiet night, and on those nights quiet is a word that barely does the sobering lack of atmosphere justice, it is at least trouble-free which distinguishes it from other Bush Hill Park boozers, but doesn't have much of a "buzz" about it.
However, I have also enjoyed nights in here (such as when they ran regular Rock nights for a while with various local bands playing live) that show what this pub can be like when more densely populated and very good it is on such occasions. In short, busy nights light this place up like a Christmas Tree and it becomes a good place to spend a night. Unless you are feeling particularly maudlin and want to keep yourself to yourself it is perhaps best avoided at other times.
Hope that it stays around an plays to its stengths (community centre of a pub, very good for live music) and doesn't join the ever-growing ranks of half-decent pubs sold off to developers!

15 Nov 2009 18:57

The Rising Sun, Tottenham Court Road

Nice classic corner pub type building that is fortunately still kept in decent repair inside. Dark wood floors and tables along with a burgundy painted ceiling and not-too-strong lighting make for a very pleasant environment not a million miles away from a classic European "Brown" Pub. A fair selection of real ales (although two were off during my visit) and a choice of draught lagers and all the usual wine and sprits options are all present and correct and prices are standard for the area. Service was a little too easily distracted, but pretty friendly nonetheless and neither myself or my companion had to wait long at any point although the pub had a fair number of people in and there were only two people working. Drinks were of good quality and background music was pretty tasteful and not too loud.
Food was very good, we both had the Sunday Roast (Beef) and quality wise there were absolutely no complaints, however at 7.95, the one (admittedly reasonably big) slice of beef seemed a little on the stingey side.
Worth a visit, but I suspect more a daytime or straight after work, relaxed type of a drink is what you'd want here and it's not a detination pub.

1 Nov 2009 22:30

The Mortimer Arms, Bloomsbury

I really liked this place when I visited this afternoon. A nice little front bar and a larger space to the rear are very comfortable and cosey, big screens are available to watch the sports and there are various framed black and white photos of London past and present on the walls to study if that doesn't take your fancy. Not extensive but reasonable range of ales and lagers and the prices are fairly good for this far into town. Service was friendly and there was no waiting.
Very tastefully decorated, kept spotlessly clean and with nice dim lighting, this is the kind of pub that does what it sets out to do very well and once you are ensconsed at a table, you may well find that you don't want to leave anytime soon, I know I didn't.

1 Nov 2009 22:22

The White Horse, Harborne

Friendly and charming little pub tucked just off the high road. Decor is basic but comfortable and reassuringly classical. Has a very good range of ales on draught and a decent range of other drinks to satisfy other tates too. The music was of the classic pop variety and set at the right level to give you something to tap your feet along to without meaning that you had to shout when talking to your freinds.
Friendly staff and locals make this a very welcoming place to visit.

1 Nov 2009 22:15

The Proverbial, Harborne

Hmm, my experience was somewhat different from most of the other reviewers listed on here. In fairness I visited on a Saturday afternoon and not in the evening, but to these old jaded eyes, this seems like a pretty good pub. Nice spacious building, good decor with particularly comfortanle bench seating by the window. Drinks were fine, service friendly, prices OK and the food was very good (The bucket of chicken wings is particularly recommended). Was a good venue for watching the football with several decent screens in enough locations to make sure that anyone that wanted to could find a good view of at least one of them. Shame that it proved unlucky for all of the various teams that myself and my drinking buddies support! I personally wouldn't hesitate to drink in here again during the afternoon, but will refrain from recommending it for an evening drink as based on previous reviews, I'll have to see what it's like in there after dark myself before giving it the Monkfish seal of approval for a night on the lash.

1 Nov 2009 22:11

The Old House At Home, Harborne

Pretty much identikit chain pub (can't remember which chain, but if you pop in you'll recognise some of its sister establishments instantly), but in fairness, very comfortable nonetheless. The drinks they do serve are all of an acceptable standard if unremarkable, but aren't expensive. Service was friendly and prompt. Good place for watching the football and food seems pretty decent. All in all, a pretty average pub that is a slight waste of a very nice building in a location with very little direct competition. Oh, and will someone please turn the heating down, it's absolutely roasting in there!

1 Nov 2009 22:05

The Wellington, Birmingham

Simply one of the best pubs for real ale that you will ever encounter. The environment is just a classic old-school local pub with no frills, but very comfortable. Ask the polite and proficient staff for any one of the ten or more ales by pump number from the beer menu displayed on screens in a couple of locations around the pub, or one of the real ciders, you will be served with a very good pint at a very reasonable price. No entertainment (save for a dart board), no food served, no gimmicks, but for a nice place to enjoy good beer and to have a nice chat with your mates, you really couldn't ask for a much better location.
The only problem for me is that I live in London and visit Birmingham infrequently, does anyone know of a similar pub to this in London? If there isn't one, somebody should definitely open one!

1 Nov 2009 21:59

The Sporting Green, Enfield

This place is getting better all the time. The aforementioned changes to the windows has now been completed and along with the new blinds and curtains that have been put up, the landlord has succeeded in making a fairly large pub that used to be a bit rowdy into someting resembling a nice cosy little hideaway from the grim reality of EN3. Service and drinks are still top notch and apparently the landlord is now giving serious consideration to putting some live bands on. This is rapidly becoming one of my regular watering holes again. One can only hope that he manages to expand his pool of customers and make things a bit more lively on weekends without falling into the pitfalls that have seen this pub become a bit of a "trouble hotspot" in some of its previous guises. The guy seems to know what he's doing though, so watch this space as this may now be able to reclaim its former title of "Best Pub in EN3" from the current incumbent The Red Lion.

18 Oct 2009 21:48

The Bull, Islington

Very pleasant pub in a prime location on Upper Street.
Light and airy as a consequence of nice big windows, nice low-key decor and an extremely pleasant atmosphere make this a worthy place to spend your precious down time and money.
Bar staff were very friendly and service was quick. Good choice of beers, all of which seemed to be in good order and prices are slightly cheaper than most similar establishments in the locale. Extremely pleased with my first visit and certainly hope to call again in the not-too-distant future.

18 Oct 2009 21:40

The Wonder, Enfield

From outside this pub looks massive, but once inside you'll find what is actually a very small cosy pub divided into two bars. The public bar is a lino-floored area that oddly seems quiter than the lounge around the other side, although there is a piano in there which suggests that there is some entertainment from time to time.
The lounge is much nicer, classic pub decor, very friendly atmosphere and the whole place gets its atmosphere primarily from conversation. Don't worry if you are a stranger (this being myself and my friends' first visit, we certainly were), you'll soon find yourself engaged in chat with the regulars who seem like a jolly nice bunch.
The service is quick, friendly and accommodating. The prices are reasonable and the beer is absolutely fantastic. The selection of beers may not be to all tastes (exclusively McMullen's ales, only one draft lager and that's Foster's!, hardly any bottles) but this is a place that clearly concentrates on doing one or two things very well rather than spreading itself too thin in an attempt to please everyone. The Country Bitter that I was drinking was absolutely top notch and even had the environment and company not been so pleasant and enjoyable, I'd have returned here anyway just for the beer.
The only drawbacks to the place are that whilst the toilets are nice and spacious, they take up too much room and seem to work on the basis of one urinal per customer. If somewhow they could rejig the place so that there was a little more room in the lounge in exchange for a smaller loo that would be ideal as at present seats are at somewhat of a premium. The public bar could also use a lick of paint and needs to have something on in there at all times as unlike the lounge, it doesn't have a prticularly good atmosphere in itself on quiter nights.
Thoroughly recommended for anyone that lives nearby and enjoys civilised and adult company with very good beer in a nice environment. Worth a longer trip just for the beer if you are a McMullen's fan.

19 Sep 2009 17:31

The Montagu Pyke, Charing Cross Road

Normally a solid if unspectacular pub, that is often a port of call for myself and my companions when we venture into the West End, but sad to report that on yesterday's visit, standards appear to have slipped a little. Prices are still cheap, although not as cheap in comparison as they once were. Service was a little slow considering the place was a quarter full at best. A lot of debris from meals and empty glasses and bottles were still littering most of the tables for the entire time we stayed there. Drinks were actually fine, so at least that was nice. The main problems were to do with the environment and atmosphere, on an overccast and cool Sunday afternoon they saw fit to have some kind of cooling system on making the temperature in some parts of the bar almost Arctic, and decided to play some of the most soporific music known to man (Simply Red, Sad, Eric Clapton Unplugged) at a volume that was slightly too loud to be talked over comfortably. Net result was a bunch of people staring at their drinks mournfully and little conversation happening throughout the bar, the background hum of which is normally an essential ingredient in making this place seem more like a pub and less like a museum.
Probably just an off day (at least I hope so), but a very dissapointing performance from a normally reliable pub.

31 Aug 2009 13:13

The Coal Hole, Strand

Paid my first visit here yesterday for what must be two or three years now, and am delighted to report that this is still a very fine pub. Gorgeous building, quick and friendly service, good range of draft beer all in good nick, and with a nice atmosphere. If there is any complaint, it would only be those age-old bugbears of West End pubs that it can be a little pricey and at time simply isn't big enough to comfortably accommodate everyone that wants to drink there.
Well worth a visit though.

31 Aug 2009 13:02

The Chandos, Trafalgar Square

Paid another visit here yesterday afternoon, and as ever felt compelled to post a glowing review. Fantastic pub in a great location, atmospheric interior, unbelievably cheap prices and Sam Smith's beers are to my tastes uniformly excellent. The Pure brew lager that I plumped for on one of my rounds was without doubt one of the best pints of lager I have ever been served anywhere at any time. I just wish that this kind of excellent establishment where the building, the drinks, the service and the atmosphere all come together to be more than the sum of their parts and where you can buy a round for 4 people and often see change from a tenner, were the norm rather than a sainted exception.

31 Aug 2009 12:59

The Moon Under Water, Leicester Square

If you can actually manage to get inside with any degree of comfort (the place is often rammed to the rafters due to its prime location) as I did yesterday afternoon, you'll find a pleasant enough Wetherspoon's that has all the usual advantages that the chain offers (cheap prices, good variety of drinks) and most of the usual drawbacks (variable service). There was some nice local colour though with historical scenes and info on the walls, and the guest ales selection was impressive including a nice drop called Ponting's Pain. All bottles were served ice cold and although it was somewhat unneccessary yesterday, the air-conditioning is first rate.
If you find a quiet time here, it's a solid enough choice for a quick couple of cheap drinks before moving on to somewhere a bit more interesting. Not a destination pub by any stretch of the imagination, but fine as a quick pit stop on your way around the West End.

31 Aug 2009 12:54

The Sporting Green, Enfield

Here we go again! Now under yet another set of New Management and in fairness, jolly nice it is too. Very promising so far. For a start the pub has been tarted up a bit with a new dividing wall making a nice cosy little section in one corner, the seating is much more comfotable and decent flat screen TVs have been put in throughout the pub. Heineken is now on draft which is a massive bonus to me at least.
New Landlord is a very friendly guy and service was quick, polite and efficient. Quality of drinks was very good and prices about par for the course in Enfield. Further rennovation of the pub is apparently planned with Georgian windows next to be installed. Stage area is now a raised seating area complete with nice banister.
All in all back in the best shape that it's been for about 3 1/2 years or so, with decor better than at any time in memory, good service, decent choice of drinks and reasonable prices. However, only time will tell as to how it fares on the entertainment front. Pool tables and internet jukebox thingy are still there along with the aforementioned TVs which show all the sport. The question is, will that be the extent of it or will this pub return to its heyday when the various entertainment nights (live bands, karaoke, DJs) made this the most fun pub to visit in Eastern Enfield?

17 Aug 2009 11:01

Rose and Crown, Blackpool

Nice, clean, comfortable pub. Plastic "glasses" are sadly never as good as the real thing, but the beer was good and so was the price. Sunday carvery looked and smelled world class. Very pleasant.

11 Aug 2009 09:27

Jolly Butchers, Enfield

Unbelievable, as Chris Kamara might well put it. This place has changed drastically for the better since my last visit a few years back. Popped in as part of a crawl and was tempted to abandon our original plans and just stay here instead.
Where this place used to be dingy and musty, it's now bright and airy. Where once it was like a member's club that was seemingly bemused by any strangers wandering in, it is now friendly and welcoming. The environment has been much improved by some light and tasteful wallpaper, greatly improved furniture that still has some spring in the chairs, the unearthing of the fireplace and some decent carpet. They've also upgraded the TVs and put a couple more in, which makes it a good place to watch whatever happens to be on (during my visit the Eurovision Song Contest of all things).
The Beer is good, all your usual McMullen's faves plus a very nice drop of Heineken and the prices are ok.
They do food here too apparently, I hope to return soon to check that out as if it is of a similar standard to everything else the current owners have done, it should be terrific.
Please disregard my previous review of this pub as it is now woefully out of date and inappropriate. This is now a pub to actively seek out if you find yourself in the vicinity.

17 May 2009 11:49

The Old Bell, Enfield

Can't say that I ever came in here on a regular basis under the previou smanagement, but FFS people can we just let by-gones be by-gones now. This is a decent pub, one of the very few left in Enfield. It has a good crowd, a nice atmosphere, decent service, reasonable prices and they bother to put entertainment on regularly which is more than can be said for many pubs round here. The landlord and landlady have always been friendly and pleasant to me. Now can people please stop wasting their own and my time by coming on here and constantly bleating about how they want the previous owners back. I'm guessing that's never going to happen and in the meantime there are plenty of us that actually like this pub just as it is at the moment that don't need our buzz killed by constant griping from reactionaries that want the pub to change back to how it was X number of years ago. Get over it, seriously.
This is a good pub, there are plenty of others that may be more to your taste nearby, why not go to one of those instead of bitching on here like a broken record? I'd love to go back to some of the pubs I used to frequent when they had owners and a style I prefered (The Sporting Green - this means you!), but have had to reluctantly accept that things change and have changed my choice of pub accordingly. Seems a more sensible approach. Count yourself lucky folks, two of my all time favourite pubs are now either rubble (The Enfield Arms) or Boarded Up and decrepit (The King's Head), I've had to learn to put them behind me and drink elsewhere, I suggest that you do the same.
Oh, and before the inevitable questioning of my character for defending the pub, I wish to state clearly for the record and I am not the owner of the pub, I don't work for the pub, I'm not a relative on anyone that owns or works in the pub and am not a close personal friend of the owners either...I just happen to disagree with you and think that they're doing a fine job. Cheers.

19 Apr 2009 23:37

The After Office Hours, Barnet

Not really my type of place normally and certainly a comedown from The Mitre just down the street where I had spent the early portion of the evening. That said not all that bad at all. Sure it's a modern shop-conversion type of place with the attendant lack of charcter of soul (however the fish tank was nice try to add some measure of individuality). Ales not really catered for, lagers are however plentiful and well served and it's not overly expensive here. Entertainment when I was in there was a good solo act acoustically covering a surprisingly diverse selection of material.
Not worthy of going out of your way for, but certainly tolerable for a quick couple before going elsewhere.

13 Apr 2009 01:11

Ye Olde Mitre Inne, Barnet

Firstly, I must start by chastising my Barnet-based friends for never informing me of this place or arranging to meet me here prior to yesterday! This is a marvellous pub and by far the best I've been to in this neck of the woods.
Classic dark wood interior with a nice fireplace and comfortable traditional pub furniture. Raised bar is a nice centre point and the service is speedy and friendly. Range of beers was very good and the Black Sheep and Tribute ales were in very drinkable shape. Prices were reasonable and the atmosphere inside the pub cosy and welcoming.
All in all an absolutely splendid pub, worthy of a visit if you are in Barnet at any point.

13 Apr 2009 01:06

The Argyll Arms, Oxford Circus

If this pub wasn't located slap-bang right in the heart of the touristy heart of the West End (mere seconds from Oxford Circus tube station, on the same street as The London Paladium and very close to Liberty's and Carnaby Street) then I'd imagine it'd be pretty near perfect, unfortunately it is and as such whilst it is a great meeting place, the sheer volume of customers makes it too much of an ordeal to spend any real length of time here and that is a great pity.
The building itself is lovely and the etched glass and dark wood interior is atmospehric and gorgeous. There are a couple of different little nooks and crannies to squeeze yourself into and service is as quick as could possibly be expected given the huge sea of humanity crammed inside as well as being friendly. They have a good range of ales, lagers, wines and spirits and prices are actually very good for the area. I was playing it safe and drinking Heineken, but am reliably informed that the ales were in pretty good shape including the green-hued "Sign Of Spring" which apparently tastes a lot better than it looks.
Clientele ranged from regulars, to office workers, to tourists and beyond and the atmosphere was convivial. Sadly due to crowding I spent most of my time outside on the pavement in the "al fresco" drinking area, I say sadly only because the interior is so nice, it has to be said in fairness that the views outside are very nice.
If you could ever find this place on a quieter moment, it'd be well worth settling in for a few. As it is, you'd be better off using it as a meeting place for a quick couple before venturing onwards.

4 Apr 2009 18:06

The Camden Eye, Camden

A very good effort from the owners has turned this once deliberately avoided place to the deafult starting point for any Camden based drink for myself and my friends. Not necessarily somewhere you'd choose to drink in for a whole evening due to it tending to get a little claustrophobic at times, but definitely a good place for a couple of jars before heading off somewhere else.
Decor is cosy and a little bit of kitschy character can be found in places, the furniture is off the high stool and table variety but comfortable nonetheless. Bar staff are very polite and friendly and you rarely have to wait very long for service even when it fills up. Range of drinks is pretty good, prices are on a par with most of the pubs in the viscinity and quality faultless. The drinkers seem to come from many different walks of life and are friendly enough but generally keep themselves to themselves.
Background music is generally very good, a right mixture of odds and sods that often pricks the interest. They have TVs but they seem to be strictly background features and rarely have the sound on.
The view from the pub is great for people watching as well which is a bonus.
Well worth a visit and if you don't mind a crowd it might just become your Camden boozer of choice.

4 Apr 2009 17:50

The Plough, Enfield

For once I am actually pleased to report the closure of a pub. This place had the grills put up on its windows about 3 weeks ago now. Whether any of the staff or regulars are still inside and whether they have noticed it's been shut down if they are, is a matter for conjecture.

22 Mar 2009 21:31

Gun and Magpie, Enfield

Officially the worst pub I have ever been in, bar none.
Unfriendly locals, poor beer, nasty atmosphere that makes you think violence might start at any moment. Tatty decor.
A reminder of what crap people thought they could foist upon the general public as a local pub back in the grimmer moments of the early 80's only without any warm glow of nostalgia, just the same sort of rude awakening you get when you see a TV show you used to love as a kid when you are grown up and realise that it was rubbish.

22 Mar 2009 21:28

The Cat and Lantern, East Barnet

Now shut again.

22 Mar 2009 21:25

The Stag, Enfield

Actually, this pub now has another use. The Monday Night quiz is pretty entertaining and competitive and they even bring out free nibbles during the interval.
So now, late nights when everywhere else is shut and you fancy a couple more OR quiet monday nights when you fancy a bit of a laugh are the times to head here. Still probably best steered clear of at all other times.
Oh, and what is that smell in the Gents toilets? I can't identify on it but it make me want to spew everytime I go in there.

22 Mar 2009 21:22

The Angel, Highgate

Nice enough pub if a little unremarkable. Popped in here to finish the evening after a few at the superior The Flask just up the road and found it a perfectly enjoyable place to sink a few pints whilst chatting to friends, but perhaps lacking anything that would make me desire to come here again in future. Nice and spacious, very presentable looking and a fairly laid-back atmosphere, but the beer choice and price were pretty much middle-of-the-road. Service was fine but could have been a little quicker, prices ok but not the cheapest.
Not bad, but needs to find something extra to take it to the next level such as some entertainment or perhaps an improved slection of drinks.

21 Mar 2009 09:39

The Flask, Highgate

A proper old-school pub and all the better for it. Used by many primarily for food and in fairness it looked and smelled amazing, but my companions and I used it for it's more traditional purpose of drinking and frankly not to do so is to miss out.
Good range of beers and ales, all in fine form when I visited and considering the area and the wonderful decor of this fine building, the prices were surprisingly reasonable.
This is one of those places with lots of little nooks and crannies in which to secrete yourself and the atmosphere is very pleasant relaxing and cosy whilst the use of largely uncovered wood throughout means that it is visually pleasing as well.
Heartily recommended, visit soon.

21 Mar 2009 09:34

The Beehive, Tottenham

Popped in here for the first time for just a couple of drinks earlier this week and was pleased that I did. My friends and I sat in the rear bar which was remarkably spacious and enjoyed a pleasant drink at an affordale price. Despite the scale of the place, it seemed to still have a very cosy atmosphere which gives you the best of both worlds.
Bar staff were quick, polite and apologetic if they couldn't fulfill your requests. Plasma TVs were used as nature intended as a background feature rather than dominating the pub with loud volume and the jukebox similarly served more as ambient noise rather than conversation killing din.
Worth a visit as it's a nice building, tucked away down a quite sidestreet that seems a million miles away from the busy and loud section of Tottenham High Road near Bruce Grove station despite being only a few yards away from it in reality.
I visited in the late afternoon when the place was faily sparsely populated, but the clientele seemed like a friendly enough bunch.
Definitley worth another visit and if you find yourself near-by, why not pop in and check it out - I think you might like it.

21 Mar 2009 09:29

The Prince Arthur, Tottenham Hale

Mannion's as this place is better known, is a testament to the once very sizeable Irish community that used to exist in Tottenham but seems to have since disapated.
Situated at almost exactly the arse-end of nowhere, this is a pub that you are highly unlikely to just stumble upon and that's a bit of a shame. This place won't be to all tastes, but I confess to quite liking it.
The decor has seen better days but the ceilings are impressive and the furniture comfortable. When I was in there they were showing live Gaelic Games with commentary and interviews in Gaelic in the big screen at one end of the pub and the clientele does seem to be largely Irish or of Irish stock, but despite not sharing their ethnicity my friends and I were welcomed.
The walls are adorned with an array of seemingly random pictures and nick-nacks ranging from paintings of racehorses to pictures of the Mayo Gaelic Football and Hurling teams, signposts which suggest certain parts of Ireland are much closer than is factually accurate, some 70's nude paintings and the odd piece of Spurs memorabilia to remind you that you are in Tottenham.
The bar staff are more of the efficient but taciturn variety, but never rude. Guiness as you might expect was very good here and not overpriced. Bit of a shame that they only serve Walkers crisps and not the superior Irish brand Taytos.
Nice enough place to stop into but probably not a destination pub, which given it's location probably means that is destined to survive purely on the trade from its regulars.

21 Mar 2009 09:20

The Bath House, Soho

Really liked this little boozer on the fringes of Soho. Oldish-fashioned pub that is good to stop into for a chat over a few pints with your friends. Nice atmosphere mostly generated through the steady hum of background conversation but enhanced by some non-intrusive, mainstream classic pop music.
Seating is comfortable and comparitively plentiful. Bar Staff were very welcoming and quick and drinks were reasonably priced particularly for this locale. Draft beers were good, the choice for lager drinkers better than for real ale but nonetheless all beers of both types seemed to be of good quality.
Really cosey little hiding hole from the hustle and bustle of this part of the West End and worth a visit.
They had a comedy night on upstairs too, which shows that they offer some entertainment as well which makes me like this place even more.
The loos need work though! Although big enough overall the bizarre outlay of the Gents means that it is seemingly impossible to get in or out or to the basin and hand drier without having to queue or backtrack to allow someone past even if they are less than a quarter full.

18 Jan 2009 01:15

The Old Queens Head, Islington

Odd pub that is far from the worst I've ever drunk in, but isn't one I'd head back to very often. The place is a little pretentious and has a confused decor which muddles the atmosphere a little. There is a dentist chair in the corner for no discernable reason, the impressive fireplace is Eastern themed and clashes somewhat with the lampshade made of antlers that hangs near it, parts of the rest of it look gothic but an incongruous pink neon sign paints yet another different picture of what they were thinking of when they decorated. Still at least the chairs and tables are more uniform and comfortable in a posh pub/low-end Soho members club type of way.
Music shifted in volume but not style throughout the night and was generally pretty listenable indie stuff but became a bit too loud towards the end of the evening making conversation difficult.
Service at the bar was fine, it was very busy upon my visit but waiting times were never long and the bar staff were reasonably friendly, which is more than can be said for a few of the self-satisfied punters.
Prices were cheap for the beers in comparison to similar places in the neighbourhood, and the beers were good. Cocktails not so much as my Mojito seemed to be 99 parts ice to 1 part drink and it's fair to say the price didn't reflect this.
Food was very good, we had a mixture of starters and sides which were very pleasant if not overly generously portioned, however the Chicken Satay is highly recommended.

18 Jan 2009 01:07

The Bavarian Beerhouse, Shoreditch

As you approach this place down the stairs from the street it isn't immediately obvious how big this place is, but once inside you might find yourself placed anywhere in various nooks and crannies of this atmospheric but airy cellar.
Seating is often of the conventional European style where you share a long bench with other parties and this helps make for a convivial experience.
The beer is good quality German lager as one would expect, although some wheat beers and the like are available as are a goodly range of spirits which in retrospect I probably should have avoided (Pornoshots - a combination of a packet of sherbert you pour into your mouth and a shot of vodka which you then mix with it by shaking your head - are fun but can cause dificulties later!), however due to the aforementioned seating arrangements myself and my companions were having a good laugh with some American ex-pats and they made it seem like a good idea at the time.
Beers are served in steins and the steins hold approximately two pints each will give your wrists a good work out, be careful that you keep track of how many you have had as it's easy to lose track after a while and drift into the realms of the seriously sloshed.
Table waitress service is the order of the day and jolly nice it is too, with attractive young ladies in traditional Bavarian dress providing, dare I say it?, a ruthlessly efficient service and serving your orders to the letter. Seriously, very friendly service and the beers and food show up quickly however it can be hard to get their attention when things get busy which they will on most weekend evenings.
Food is gorgeous (although the pretzels we had were slightly stale), the Leberkasse (Meatloaf made mostly of liver as I understand it) and Bratkartopfflen (Fried potatoes with onions and bacon) is in particular highly recommended.
Entertainment on the night I was in was a nice duo of fraulines singing traditional German drinking music and the odd Europop number which they did admirably. They were also accommodating for photo ops and the like.
All in all a good place for a party night out. Make it your only port of call of the evening and get into the spirit of things and I doubt that you'll regret it(provided you keep track of how many beers you have actually had!). My only criticism would be that it will cost you a fair few bob and doesn't really lend itself to just a quick couple of pints before moving on elsewhere. However if you can afford it, and can get a good little crowd together that really shouldn't matter as you can have plenty of fun in here.

22 Oct 2008 21:10

Hill Street Blues, Amsterdam

Waaaaah. Wub-wub-wub. Waaah!
Excuse me crying like a baby, but sadly Hill Street Blues as I knew and loved it is no more. An absolutely crushing blow to me as it was in my top 5 favourite watering holes on Earth. Oh sure, the building is still there, and it's still called Hill Street Blues but thereafter all similarities to the real thing that for the thick end of ten years I considered my home away from home when in Amsterdam is gone.
You know the lived in decor with the customer graffitti covered walls? Gone.
You know the wicked atmosphere? Gone.
Worst of all, remember the alcohol? Gone as well!!

Now it's just another nondescript "coffee shop" in a city already overloaded with such establishments.
There has long been a second Hill Street Blues in the city that has always resembled what this revamp has turned this once great bar into and it seems that nowadays in Amsterdam the bar/coffee shop owners are being forced (presumably by local government) to choose between offering beer or cannabis but not both, so more and more places are specialising in one or the other. Given that the other HSB already existed and that it already catered to the coffee house corwd, surely to goodness it would have made more sense to get rid of the smoking in this HSB and left it as the drinking den half of the chain, complete with charming in grubby features? Still what do I know? I know that one of the best bars in the world is now effectively dead to me...that's what I know!!!!

21 Oct 2008 16:33

The George, Enfield

Much much better than it used to be since the refurb from the new owners.
Food is good and very reasonably priced. Range of drinks is pretty good and most prices are cheaper than anywhere else in the immediate viscinity. The quality of the draft drinks is also much better now and is consistent.
The new layout is nice and there seems to be a lot more seating available and of lost of different types, so you should find somewhere you feel that you can settle into no matter what your tastes.
Service is very friendly and much quicker than before.
All in all, it's still not the best pub in the area, nor is it worth going out of your way for, but it is quite pleasant and pretty good value too. I'll be back from time to time that's for certain.

21 Oct 2008 16:08

The Prince of Wales, East Barnet

A pleasant surprise. The last time I was in here was prior to the implimentation of the smoking ban, and the all-pervasive fog of smoke that was a feature of the pub back then made it a fairly unpleasant environment to drink in. Now, however this is a nice airy environment to drink in with a pleasant atmosphere.
Range of drinks seems to have improved as well (amongst other draft ales they had a very good drop of "Bear Sknifull" ). Prices are reasonably cheap, service is good and the food is also tasty and value for money. Stay near the bar for a cosey local type atmosphere, or move round the back for a more modern and spacious area where they also have TVs for showing the football. There is a small beer garden to the rear as well, which is nice for summer evenings as indeed are the few benches out on the front of the pub overlooking the street.
Overall nice and worth a drop in if you are in the area, however not so great that you would go out of your way to head there. If they added the little extra something this lacks to change it to the other side of the good/great divide (possibly some form of entertainment, or maybe a more specialised food menu) then that could quickly change.

26 Aug 2008 09:14

The Lincoln Arms, Bush Hill Park

Nothing wrong with the building itself or most of the furniture.
Plenty wrong with service and "lively" punters.
Beer choice is limited and quality is generally poor.
A stereotypical estate "dive" pub that is best steered well clear of.

17 Aug 2008 20:34

The Lincoln Arms, Bush Hill Park

Nothing wrong with the building itself or most of the furniture.
Plenty wrong with service and "lively" punters.
Beer choice is limited and quality is generally poor.
A stereotypical estate "dive" pub that is best steered well clear of.

17 Aug 2008 20:34

Bar Form, Enfield Town

Still a really great place to pop in for a few post work beers. Great selection of beers(plus cocktails), nice decor and not as dear as it used to be in comparison with other local watering holes (I believe they have merely held their prices at the same level for longer whilst others have raised theirs dramatically rather than any actual price cut being involved). Nice choice of different seating, most of it very comfortable indeed.
The only downsides are long waits and a slightly self-satisfied crowd on busier nights, a distinct lack of variety in the background music at other times and the fact that the once impressive toilets (replete with video screens above the urinals and a hidden hand drier) have fallen into complete disrepair to the point that they are now disgusting and for some reason the home of the dimmest lightbulbs known to man. The video screens have long since ceased to function and the hand drier not only smells damp and musty but has the drying power of an asthmatic gnat blowing on your hands. It's a shame that the level of effort put into the rest of the bar wasn't given to the loos.
Minor gripe, still very good and the only "bar" style establishment in Enfield Town worth it's salt.

17 Aug 2008 20:29

The White House, Enfield

Oh man this was such a great pub back in the early to mid 90's! Back then it was the local Rock pub and many a happy Friday and Saturday night was spent in here ignoring the pub's tatty decor and enjoying Rock DJs and live bands in a packed house that had a genuine sense of community about it. Pints of Snakebite & Black of seriously variable quality were consumed in plentiful quantities from plastic pint "glasses" whilst we watched such legendary Enfield music acts as Born Evil and Chips Kebab.
Hadn't been in here in an absolute age until I popped my head round the door for a quick pint a few weeks ago and I'm sad to report that it still looks as run down as it used to, the beer still isn't much cop or overly cheap and that these things are more noticable now as the pub is far less busy and the convivial band-of-brothers style atmosphere has been replaced by a stand-offish "you aren't from around here are you boy?" type of locals only clientele.
A damn shame.

17 Aug 2008 20:21

The Stag, Enfield

This place is only worth visiting now late on a Friday or Saturday night when they have a licence which allows them to stay open until 2am and the place gets a bit of atmosphere about it, even if this does come at the expense of comfortable personal space. Apart from the obvious advantage it has of being open later than 99% of pubs in the area on those nights is the fact that by the time you get there you'll probably be too drunk to notice the indifferent quality of the draft beers and the service. You'll miss out on the food, which is one of the pub's stronger points, but frankly over recent months the size of portion seems to have decreased somewhat noticably, the choice is no longer as varied as it once was and the prices (already far from cheap) seem to have been hiked a little. Although the decor is still nice, smart and the place is nice and light and airy during the day, it badly lacks atmosphere at these times and in the cold sober light of day the prices (over 3 for a bottle of Beck's in Enfield!) are a major deterrant.

17 Aug 2008 20:12

The George, Enfield

Currently closed for redevelopment by what appears to be a different pub chain, here's hoping they don't ball sit up as thoroughly as the last lot!

17 Aug 2008 20:03

The Old Bell, Enfield

Wow, I am seriously surprised by the negativity being directed at this pub! Have been visiting here on a more regular basis of late, initially for the Thursday Night Music Quiz (which is still very enjoyable) and subsequently on more and more other occasions too. I have never found it to be less than charming, friendly and warm. Barstaff are all good, polite and efficient. Beer isn't super cheap but is very much competitively priced with all the other pubs in this part of town apart from the outlet of one well-known cheap pub chain, and as is the nature of those places - you have to forego the entertainment that this place offers in the form of live bands, a good jukebox, the aforementioned quiz and so forth.
This pub has a very nice, peaceful, friendly and welcoming bunch of customers and feels like a little community, although equally well you are not pressured into unwanted social interaction if you don't want it.
Range of beer could be better (especially as Heineken seems rarely to be on anymore), and in a couple of places the decor is a little too shop-worn, but in some ways it adds a liver-in charm to the place.
All in all a good pub, simple as that.

30 Jun 2008 10:31

The Red Lion, Enfield

This pub is bucking the trend for Enfield Boozers by actually getting better on a consistent basis. So many have shut down of late or seem content to plod along slowly deteriorating with little hope of a resurgence, but this place is going from strength to strength.
Hadn't been in for a fair while prior to Saturday just gone and it's been tarted up again since then in a very agreeable way. Still home to the nicest clientele in this neck of the woods, which is always a positive but now the bar staff have really raised their game too; friendly, quick, and painstakingly professional - I never had to wait very long for a drink though the place was very busy, sub-standard pints were poured away rather than being served to me and whilst I was annoyed that they have now stopped serving Beck's Vier, the barman at least took the time out to explain to me why and offer all the alternatives.
This pub has a healthy commitment to entertaining the punters as well and to this end had a very good covers band (The Remedy) playing on the stage and their performance was video relayed to all the flat screen tellies in the pub as well so that all could get a good view. They also have DJs and Karaoke in here at various times as well as showing all the sport.
Has now managed to find that elusive X-factor that makes me want to return more often and given its proximity to Monkfish Manors, I shall be popping in a fair bit more in future.
Very Very Good and now comfortably better than the previous holder of best pub in this part of town The Sporting Green which has been revamped slightly less successfully than this place.

30 Jun 2008 10:17

The Cambridge, Soho

Good solid little pub that is sadly due to its location and size very prone to overcrowding. If you can get there at a quieter time, it is a very pleasant place to have a few beers. Good range of real ales that are in good nick but are very pricey. Heineken on draft was spot on and the lagers in general are more competitevly priced. Food looks and smells great, reasonable price as well but I was in there too late for eating.
Cosy atmosphere and comfortable seating are two of its stronger points and a nice mixed clientele also makes this a decent place to while away a few hours. If anything the only slight drawback is that classic Central London syndrome of complacency. The upstairs serves mostly as a restaurant and whilst it was fairly busy downstairs they never thought to open the upstairs area bar so that some of the growing crowd could move there and ensure a more pleasant environment for all. There was also one particularly inebriated gentleman sitting in one corner spitting phlegm into a newspaper for at least an hour of the time I was there and despite many people moving away from him or leaving altogether and complaints being made, no steps were made to ask him to stop or alternatively to remove him.
These are however minor gripes and in general this gets the Monkfish seal of approval.

5 Jun 2008 11:29

The White Hart, Holborn

Pretty decent effort of a pub all in all. Cute barstaff that have obviously bucked their ideas up since previous reviewers visited, as there was no long wait for a drink and they were perfectly friendly to strangers like myself.
Choice of beer about average, but quality pretty good and prices par for the course.
Nicely decorated with comfy furniture and not too rammed or noisy, so a nice place to drop into for a couple of pints and a chat with your friends.
The pictures behind the bar of various drinkers who range from the local "characters" to C-list celebs are a bit off-putting but it doesn't seem to be particularly up itself or self-consciously whacky despite this.
If you are in the neighbourhood you can do a lot worse but not really worth making a specific destination for an evening's drinking. Although one of the barmaids is very attractive.

5 Jun 2008 11:22

The Pembury Tavern, Hackney

My initial impression upon entering was that it looked more like a canteen than a pub and that the atmosphere would probably by a bit odd as a wrong could I be? The pub is spacious so you feel that you can really spread out and relax without intruding on anyone else's personal space. There's enough chatter for there to be a buzz about the place without it being too noisy and raucous. The furniture is comfortable and the place is pretty much spotlessly clean. The bar staff are good and friendly enough without being too chatty, which isn't always a bad thing. The pool table is a welcome distraction and has enough room to cue comfortably and the people that tend to play on it are more frienly and jocular than some of the people that normally congregate around the pool table in other, grimer pubs.
The beer is awesome. Not just in terms of selection (a great range of Milton beers, several guest ales and an array of bottles), but in quality too. Prices are refreshingly cheap for London. I spent most of the evening drinking the excellent Sparta and had a delicious pint of Pegasus to finish the evening off.
Don't be put off by the location (I know full well that Hackney isn't exactly a popular destination for a lot of people despite it's efforts to regenerate itself) as this is a wonderful Oasis of a boozer that is worthy of you custom.
All in all, great beer, good prices (food is a little dearer but looks great and probably still just about represents good value for money), pleasant atmosphere all in a nice building. What more could you reasonably ask for?

26 Apr 2008 10:25

The Queens Hotel, Crouch End

Have you ever been to The Salisbury in Green Lanes, Harringey? If so, this pub will seem instantly familiar.
Like The Salisbury, this is a nice building in a pretty good location that has an impressive bar, dark wood panneling and is generally very, very good.
Unlike The Salisbury, the range of beers seems to be good rather than exceptional, but all are in good order, served by friendly and prompt staff and the prices are less out-of-step with neighbouring pubs.
The only major gripe with this pub is that a good third of it seems to have been completely given over to food to the extent that the area in question more closely resembles a restaurant than a pub, which leads to the rest of the pub being very crowded even when this area is quite empty.
All in all, very good and the background music and level of conversational buzz ensure that the place has a good atmosphere even though there isn't much in the way of entertainment. Some of the customers are a little "up themselves" but are generally harmless nonetheless. Worth a visit, but perhaps not a "destination pub" unless you want to go somewhere private for a chat over a few jars.

13 Apr 2008 00:46

The Sporting Green, Enfield

The fluctuating fortunes of this boozer have changed again. Now under it's second bout of new ownership within the last few months.
It is now an Irish pub as the fresh green paint job outside and various bric-a-brac inside (including a cardboard shamrock)is at pains to indicate and nice enough it is too. The clientele has naturally changed to a more Celt-centric bunch, but they are warm and friendly to the rest of us. The bar staff are slower but very chatty and get your order right. Prices are much as before and jusging by the various posters up and around the place, the new owners are attempting to make an effort to put plenty of entertainment on (albeit primarily revolving around Irish music).
Seats and tables are more plentiful than before and very comfortable.
A pretty good effort so far. Time will tell if it will get back up to the high-water mark standard that was set here about 2-3 years or so ago, but it's certainly an improvement on the thankfully short-lived spell under the immediate predecessors and seems to be moving in the right direction.

25 Mar 2008 11:38

The Railway Tavern, New Barnet

I am now officially in love with this pub.
Sunday afternoon in here is a little slice of nirvana. A nice crowd of customers but not too busy, great friendly barstaff and landlord as ever was very hospitable and attentive. Beer (Eagle Smooth) was delicious and reasonably priced. High Quality TVs showing the football made it a good place to while away the afternoon, but best of all was the Sunday Carvery.
Not sure where some previous reviewers ate, but it almost certainly wasn't in here! The roast dinner was absolutely delicious and came in portions that myself and my equally "rotund" mate struggled to finish, depite the fact that the girl serving us apologised that there wasn't much left. Can't begin to imagine how big the normal serving is! At 7.95 a pop, you really can't complain.
It really is hard to see how this place could be improved for such occasions!

28 Jan 2008 09:40

Lowlander, Covent Garden

Marvellous. A good atmosphere that gets somewhere close to the genuine article of this kind of establishment as one might experience it in either Belgium or Holland.
Range of beers is not as vast as in some other places in Town but there are some unusual ones to try and there should be something to tempt even the most fussy drinker.
Service isn't quick, but is polite and spot on when it arrives.
I had a delicious coconut fruit beer which was served in a plastic mock-up of a coconut shell which was a bit tacky looking but went down an absolute charm. The draft Kriek is a darker ale based affair that is extremely pleasing and drinkable. They also do a range of flavoured Jenevers (a Dutch/Belgian spirit that is effectively the pre-cursor of Gin)and the Chocolate one is a very nice way to close off the evening.
Food is very good and not too expensive if a little bit less generous in terms of portions that would be ideal (I had the Toulouse Sausage with mashed veg which came with two admittedly thick sausages, where three would have been a much better feed). The Moules Marinaires for starters were delicious as well and I'm reliably informed that the soup was very good too.
Not sure that I'd go here just for a drink as it is definitely geared up towards the food side of things, but it's well worth taking your time and having a good meal as you sample some of their fine range of beers. Oh the Mango Fruit Beer is also excellent for cleansing your pallette after your meal.
All in all very good and worthy of repeated visits.

13 Jan 2008 00:36

The Cat and Lantern, East Barnet

Er, obviously that should read "now The Village Bar" rather than "not The Village Bar". My bad, terrible typist!

11 Jan 2008 18:44

The Cat and Lantern, East Barnet

Possibly the finest recovery since Lazarus!
This is not The Village Bar and is an entirely different and infinitely preferable establishment to the decrepit old flea pit it replaced.
Completely redone from top to toe this is now a clean, minimalist and even dare I suggest it half-way trendy bar but not one that is in any way stuck-up or exclusive.
The internally lit bar is visually impressive and manned by efficient and friendly staff. Furniture is off the modern low, cube-shaped lumps of upholstery school that aren't terrible by any means but aren't comfotable enough to encourage you to settle in for the evening.
It shows all the football matches you could want on good quality screens which are placed so as to give a good view from any angle in the pub and has a nice, not-too-boisterous but not too quiet atmosphere when matches are on. There is some football memorabillia to see on the walls as well, and the governor is a Spurs fan which is always a bonus!
Drinks wise, range is ok but a bit on the limited side and no real ales are present. Beck's Vier is lovely though. Not cheap but not as expensive as your initial visual assesments might lead you to believe.
Worth a visit.

11 Jan 2008 18:43

The Sporting Green, Enfield

The pub has now reopened under new management. Haven't ventured in myself as of yet, but am reliably informed by some trusted acquintances that it's much the same in terms of some of the bar staff, range and price of drinks, etc. but that the furniture is a bit more comfortable and almost unbelievably the punters are a bit more "lively"/lairy/tasty (delete as you prefer). Seems all the good work done by previous owners to drag the image of the pub and type fo drinker up to more respectable and non-violent levels is being eroded to the stage where it is getting back to how it was when it was known colloquially as the Top House (as it is at the top of Green Street)when its very name was synonimous with a "no-go area". A great shame.

11 Jan 2008 18:28

The Kings Head, Enfield

What can you say? Another sad loss to the ranks of Enfield's pubs. The last night there was fun with the staff in fancy dress and a live band playing to a full house, just a shame that depite the obvious charms of the place and a firmly established clientele, this wonderful building is now lying empty and once more the more discerning drinkers of Enfield are forced into a nomadic existence wandering in disparate groups in search of another pub to call "home". Nearly as gutting as when they closed The Enfield Arms...nearly.

11 Jan 2008 18:24

The Victoria, Thurston

Made my second visit here last night, almost a year to date after my previous one. My initial opinion has been reinforced - Environment, food and service are very good but the beer needs more attention.

11 Jan 2008 18:19

The Fox and Hounds, Thurston

Great pub that's worth the trip to Thurston for as long as you're somewhere near the area.
Real Ale range was limited on my visit last night but what they had (primarily Cottage's Norman's Conquest)was absolutely fantastic to my taste buds and was fresh and lively. Draft Adnam's Bitter was a bit more obvious a choice than the other guest beers that I had hoped to sample but was similarly fine. Prices were unlikely to cause much damage to your finance either.
Atmosphere was very cosey and welcoming especially in the non-pool lounge. Staff were friendly and attentive and I never waited more than a couple of minutes to be served despite the pub becoming steadily more busy throughout my time there. Decor and furniture were unfussy and comfortable and helped me feel instantly at ease.
It was a shame that I'd already eaten before my visit as Thursday night is their "Steak Night" where in addition to a list of fine sounding steaks you could also enjoy some more exotic meats such as Ostrich, Kangaroo, Wild Boar and even Crocodile for a not particulalry cheap but certainly reasonable price. If the food is as good as the beer this may well be on the way to acheiving some sort of Pub nirvana!
Oh and as an added bonus the clientele are generally polite, considerate and well behaved.

11 Jan 2008 18:16

12 Bar Club, Soho

Tiny but good venue for bands and a nice relaxed bar for drinking in. The right balance is struck between the place looking a bit low-rent and yet still being relatively clean and tidy and the red and black colour scheme helps make for a nice ambience. Draft Asahi was nice, range of bottles ok. Red Absinthe was a nice touch. Toilets are pretty grim. The pleasure of being able to hear the live bands and watch them on the TV screens rather than trying to pack into the small back room that houses the stage and enjoying your beer in relative comfort is not to be sniffed at.
Reasonably cheap and cheerful for this kind of place, particularly in such a prime location. They do food apparently, which I assume that you eat in the front of the place that looks more like a caf and seems to be farely standard fare for the type of European bar/caf (particularly those in Amsterdam and Berlin) that this place resembles.

2 Dec 2007 00:33

The Sporting Green, Enfield

Guess what? Yep, that's right yet a-blimming-nother pub in Enfield has bitten the dust. It closed down this past Saturday and whilst it had dropped below it's peak form a long while ago, it will still be sadly missed.
Thanks for the memories!

6 Nov 2007 19:57

Schnaitl Musik Pub, Salzburg

Really nice studenty type pub that plays good music, has a relaxed and friendly vibe and is fairly cheap as well.
Pool tables are good and there is no trouble around them which is always an unexpected bonus to those used to them being a flashpoint for lairy tossers in English bars.

7 Oct 2007 12:52

Shamrock Irish Pub, Salzburg

Watched the end of Ireland vs. Argentina in the Rugby World Cup (The proper code of rugby obviously) in here with some downhearted Irish friends. A really nice building that goes back a long way and has the ambience of being in a particularly cosy and well-decorated cave.
Beer was great and not too dear, but be prepared to wait...and wait...and wait for service. There were upwards of 70 people in here when I visited and only one barman.
I am reliably informed the food is very nice, but I daren't think how long it takes to arrive once you've ordered.

7 Oct 2007 12:49

Weavers Bar, Barnet

This is one of those pubs that has put the effort in, in terms of appearance, entertainment, service and food but which is tragically hampered by the people that drink in there.
Had a couple of pints here recently and a decent meal from the Sunday carvery (a little over-priced at 8.95 in fairness, but tasty nonetheless). Beer was good and fresh and priced on a par with most boozers in this area. The furniture was comfortable and everything was clean and tidy. The screens showing the football were well places and all had good views and they were showing as many games as possible to appeal to all comers. Could have been a near perfect Sunday afternoon experience, but the whole thing was marred by the proliferation of lairy "geezers" shouting the odds at each other over the distance of the pub and indulging in some frankly pathetic macho posturing. Football mood was poisonous and highly charged rather than being just a bit of harmless banter.
Shame. The owners and staff deserve far better than this in return for their efforts.
Would drink here again but only when it was quiet.

21 Aug 2007 14:46

The Lucas Arms, Kings Cross

Comfortingly traditional style local boozer that is airy and surprisingly spacious. Unfussy, uncomplicated and rarely for the area unpretentious. Barstaff are amongst the friendliest and most attentive Ive encountered in a very long time.
The range of drinks is standard for a Greene King House and thats certainly ok if perhaps lacking that little something special for those who wish to try something a bit out of the ordinary. The pints of Guinness Extra Cold that I had were all top notch and reminded me of exactly why I should drink it more often.
The furniture and dcor are relatively Spartan if comfortable but there is a classic loud but durable red with paisley pattern pub carpet to keep things homely. There are a few TVs positioned at various vantage points but they definitely seem to be there for background entertainment rather than the huge flat screen centre points that dominate many a sports TV orientated pub.
Prices were very reasonable especially in comparison to neighbouring pubs/bars in the wannabe trendy but actually very run down Kings Cross area.
All in all a splendid little pub that reminded me of how pubs used to be before theme pubs, cheap chains, and sports bars came to dominate so many areas. A really good place for a good chat over a few pints with some good company, perhaps it is better suited to that kind of midweek drink than a lively weekend drink.

7 Aug 2007 09:53

The Goat Tavern, Enfield

Yet another on the growing list (Enfield Arms, Rose & Crown, White Horse, Beef & Barrel, The Plough on Crews Hill) of Enfield pubs that have become defunct in recent years. A very alarming trend bucked only by the arrival of The Taps and Tommy's Bar.
This place was ultimately the victim of either underfunding or incompetent and complacent management. A simply gorgeous big building with it's own sunken beer garden that was always a good place to head for on a warm summer's evening. Sadly, inside there was never the money or perhaps the inclination to keep the place looking nice and welcoming and they seemed content to try to survive only on their regular local trade - never offering anything of note to pull in drinkers from slightly further away.
In the right hands this could have been brilliant, in the wrong hands it'll be yet another block of flats!

10 May 2007 17:12

The White Horse, Enfield

Sadly despite the notices placed round the pub stating that it would be staying open despite the building being sold it now seems to have shut down.
There is a note in the window staing that the pub would be closed for the evening of 1st April due to a gas leak, but as of a few days ago that notice is still in place and all the pub furniture has been removed, so it seems highly unlikely that this fine pub is much longer for this world.

26 Apr 2007 16:58

The Southbury Hotel, Enfield

Ok, The Southbury is now back in my good books. The new management have addressed the problems that were blighting this pub and turning it from a pub I'd regularly visit to one that I avoided at all costs, primarily this is in respect of service which is now much more pleasant and quicker. Decor is as you were with the dark wood tables and red leather upholstered wooden chairs and benches, the games room has been done away with and replaced with a Thai Restaurant which is very welcome. There is now a decent jukebox with a big selection that plays throughout the pub at just the right volume. Prices are roughly the same (cheaper than most normal pubs, more expensive than Wetherspoon's and their ilk) and the beer is good. Some hand-pumps are now in place and Greene King IPA has been added to the menu.
Nice atmosphere and the new owners seem keen to entertain the punters with a quiz night about to start and special events like a forthcoming Casino night and they're friendly to boot.
Thai food can be ordered to your table in the pub itself if you don't want to go round to the restaurant area and is very nice and generously portioned but not particularly cheap.
A good effort all round and this place has been rescued from the jaws of the abyss to become a good pub once more. Keep up the good work!

3 Apr 2007 17:23

Village Inn, Gatwick Airport

Comfortable Wetherspoon's which whilst cheaper than most other airport bars is still a lot steeper than the average high street outlet of this particular chain.
Barstaff were quick and friendly (and in the case of one East European barmaid perhaps a little too interested in exactly why I was going to Amsterdam)and the beers that they actually had on during my visit were all served well.
Better than the alternatives but no great shakes all in all.

5 Mar 2007 14:15

De Bekeerde Suster, Amsterdam

Gorgeous pub that became a regular port of call on my most recent trip to Amsterdam. Located near Nieuwmarkt, this is an incredibly friendly and atmospheric pub that lends iself to a few beers in a cosy environment. Barstaff and waitress service are unfailingly pleasant and welcoming. Brewing takes place on site and the copper piping makes for a very attractive appearance inside.
Good range of beers, reasonable prices, well worth checking out and superior to it's sister pub known simply as Beiaard just across town, although that is itself a fine place for a drink.

5 Mar 2007 14:08

The Black and White, Amsterdam

Not a bad bar, good music and lively enough wihtout being too corwded or boisterous. Not the greatest range of drinks but quality is fine on those that they do.
The only complaint is a surly bottle collector whose attempts at sarcastic humour prompted me to leave early.

5 Mar 2007 14:00

The Old Red Lion, Barnet

Absolutely cracking pub located near the football ground and the cinema that is ideal for a pre or post entertainment pint, but is actually worth heading to at other times for just a good old fashioned night down the pub.
First class bar staff give welcoming service and move things along quickly and the beer (McMullen's for real beers, nice pints of Heineken for the rest of us) is top notch and not at all pricey.
Food is good value and is a rare combination of genuine chicken in a basket type fare and a surprising range of Greek Cypriot cuisine, both of which are delicious.
Decor is warm cosy old pub style and the leather benches are very comfortable. Clientele seem like a good bunch and it is all in all a bit like the kind of pub you would wish to have as your local in an ideal world. It's reminiscent of a well-run village pub but in a more suburban environment.
Really nice, go here now.

17 Feb 2007 10:17

The Cobden Arms, Camden

A pretty good pub made to look that much better by the fact that it is a rare unaffected pub in an area dominated by theme and trendy pubs.
Beer is good, decor cosy and it's well worth dropping in especially if you are off to a gig at KOKO (Camden Palais) just down the road as it's far from the most expensive pub in the area as well.
TVs showing sport are well placed so that everyone should be able to see them or ignore them as pleases them and the food looked good although I haven't partaken of it myslef yet.
On the high street of a less pretentious postcode this would be a good solid boozer, here it is definite must visit.

10 Feb 2007 09:39

The Alexandra, New Barnet

Solid enough pub that represents the gateway point whereby you exit the good pub desert of East Barnet and enter the relative drinking paradise of the New Barnet end of the street.
Nice wood panneled room on one side with a pool table, dart table, telly and incongrously long table and bench set-up n the corner. Beer selection is good but nothing much for the real ale brigade to get excited about, prices are ok and what they serve they do well.
Was nice and warm on a cold winter's night except for in the loo which as well as smelling pretty rank was a good 20 degrees Centigrade colder than the rest of the pub.
The other side seems to be a nice carpetted area that is much more for just sitting and talking with your friends over a quiet drink and seems almost ideal for that purpose.
All in all a good effort and worth popping in for a pint or two before perhaps heading off to another of the decent pubs in this area.

10 Feb 2007 09:27

The Cat and Lantern, East Barnet

Dropped in on a Friday night as part of a crawl round the area. Initial impressions when you walk through the door aren't inspiring, but we gave it a chance nonetheless. Reminiscent of a local pub in a small midlands backwater that has a Uni the 1970's.
There is a fish in a glass as part of the bar that was apparently caught in Lake Windemere in 1927, it appears to be one of the younger regulars.
On my visit the bottle fridge was out of order, tow of the lagers were off and after a protracted attempt to obtain a beer they could actually serve me with, I plumped for a pint of Guiness Extra Cold which was very poor.
Seating was plentiful (understandably)and quite comfortable and the big picture mirror is a nice touch. The jukebox hasn't got the greatest range in the world but is very cheap, which at first seems like a good idea but seems much less so when someone with a serious ABBA fixation has got there before you and put their entire back catalogue on.
Avoid unless you are truly desperate and for some reason unable to walk to one of the other pubs nearby.

10 Feb 2007 09:21

The Victoria, Thurston

Went here for lunch with my Mum and her Husband who have recently moved to the village and was impressed by the service and the food (steak and beer pie was outstanding). The decor was clean and reasonably cosy if a little on the clinical side. Prices weren't that great but the food at least was great value, sadly the beer was not so. This like so many other pubs in Suffolk and now days far beyond is a Greene King house, so the first distinctly iffy pint of IPA that I received is inexcusable. The second (after a swift barrel change) was better but considering the proximity to the HQ of Greene King it was profoundly disappointing that I regularly get a far better pint back home in North London than I got here.
To sumarise - Nice place to go for lunch, avoid for any kind of drinking session.

4 Jan 2007 23:04

The Misty Moon, Barnet

Long narrow former Wetherspoon's pub opposite "The Spires" shopping centre. Barstaff are very friendly but are few in number so service whilst good may take a while.
Nice atmosphere if a little on the quiet side and a good choice for a venue to watch football as they show every game they possibly can on good high quality plasms TVs.
Beer selection is reasonable and quality variable but generally good.
Prices are very competitive. Kitchen was closed when I visited so no idea what the food is like sadly.
Not bad at all in the final analysis but more one for a quiet pint with the paper or a good spot for a private conversation rather than a boisterous night out.

1 Jan 2007 21:05

The Golden Fleece, Edmonton

Nice building and reasonable atmosphere if a little ramshackle. Beer range isn't great or of particularly high quality but the prices are fairly cheap. Lots of screens for showing football and the background music is unusual and not half bad. Alright for a quick drop in, but not a destination pub. There are worse pubs in the vicinity but a short walk up the road to the Crown & Anchor is a much better bet.

26 Dec 2006 20:55

Railway Bell, New Barnet

Basic Wetherspoon's in an area where despite there being many better pubs, it still serves a purpose as a place to have a couple of quick cheap drinks and maybe a good value for money bite to eat.
The conservatory area is the nicest part of the pub but can get distinctly chilly unless you sit at one of the tables right next to a radiator. Had a good meal here that was a lot of grub for not many pennies and the drinks were cold and as ever much cheaper than anywhere else nearby. Service was very good on my most recent visit but like any chain pub in general and Wetherspoon's in particular, it can be vary variable.
Sensibly there is a large bush/fence to the rear of this pub that stops anyone from seeing The Builder's Arms from the rear window and running off in that direction for a superior pub environment.
Good at what it does and worth considering for a brief stop but under no circumstances would it be advisable to set up camp here for the evening.

25 Dec 2006 12:43

The Bank, New Southgate

One of those Barracuda Pubs which are always hit and miss as they tend to have the look of a Wetherspoon's or Goose & Granite but whereas those chains have prices that may make you tolerate their somewhat soulless atmosphere and appearance, this place like its sister pubs can't compete on that front and as such it neither provides a nice traditional pub atmosphere nor a particularly cheap evening out.
Barstaff were friendly and knew what they were doing and range of drinks was ok but unremarkable. TVs were too small for this to be a decent place to watch sport and they were actually just an unneccessary distraction. Background music was on the soporific side of the mainstream and the food menu so limited that we gave it a miss.
This is actually quiet a good building in a prime location for New Southgate train station and to a lesser extent Arnos Grove tube and there isn't a lot in the way of competition nearby, but that seems to have merely made the place complacent.
Ok if you live local and don't fancy a long trek to go for a couple of pints and a reasonable venue for a couple of drinks if you happen to be on your way to or from the stations nearby, but definitely not one worth seeking out.
Oh and the clientele were like the typical daytime asoortment you would find in your local Wetherspoon's but like the pub, they were slightly less interesting or pleasant.

25 Nov 2006 14:38

The Beef and Barrel, Ponders End

Now closed. Bit of a shame really.

17 Nov 2006 22:36

Plan B Bar, Brixton

A pleasant alternative to the crowded pubs along the High Road if you are on your way to the Academy for a gig. Exposed brickwork and comfy minimalist style furniture make for a nice relaxed atmosphere and there's plenty of space inside umlike the Goose or The Backstage Bar just round the corner.
They do a good deal of a 2 for 1 Happy Hour on bottled beers on gig nights which helps eliminate the price difference between this and its rival venues in the locale, which might have been the only drawback until now.
Bar service is fairly fast and attentive but they do that annoying give your change back on a tray thing implying that it is the done thing to tip a barman for going to a fridge opening a door, getting out a couple of bottles of beer and opening them before plonking them on the bar in front of you, which surely is their bloody job, n'est pas?
Cocktails looked nice but they are extremely expensive (about 9 a throw and no happy hour on those, oh no!).
Not a place I'd choose to spend the whole night, especially as the music (ranging from easy listening to techno)isn't to my tastes, but a nice place to pop into for a couple.

17 Nov 2006 22:35

The Black Bull, Whetstone

I forgot to add that Cobra is rarely seen on DRAUGHT outside of Curry houses, let's face it the bottles are everywhere.

12 Nov 2006 22:06

The 3 Lions, Camden

Strange little pub with some very dodgy looking clientele and judging by the strange lump in the floor that is in a prime location to ensure beer spillage, quite possibly home to a dead body under the carpet. Staff were friendly enough, TVs for Sports and not the worst juke box but beer isn't up to much in terms of quality, variety and price. Got the feeling that passing trade is neither a common occurance nor encouraged.

12 Nov 2006 22:03

The Plough, Enfield

I have lived in this part of Enfield for 19 years now and it wasn't until this week that I ventured into this pub despite it being a stone's throw from my house.
Once inside I immediately realised why. This is a very tired looking pub that is lost in a time-warp that is a reminder that not everything traditional is good. I love old pubs that have been cared for and have character, however there are good reasons for the sometimes-justly maligned modern chain pubs coming into existence and it's places like this that most clearly demonstrate it. Those of you old enough to remember may recall pubs with a locals only atmosphere, threadbare yet sticky carpet, unclean glasses, lagers and soft drinks stored on shelves rather than fridges, uncomfortable and worn out seating all complete with stand-offish service and inflated prices. Sadly, they were once the widely accepted norm in this country and this place harks back to those dark days. Now days most pubs have woken up to the idea that providing a nice clean and comfortable environment and decent drinks in good nick without fleecing your clientele is not only a good idea for profits but the bare minimum requirements of a pub.
My drinking companion asked me what I thought might improve the place and initially I replied "A bulldozer". This was a tad harsh in retrospect as the building itself is lovely and could easily lend itself to being a decent country-style pub with a bit of rennovation and TLC plus a Landlord with a sense of pride and hospitality. Until then stay clear, you can rest assured that I will.
Oh nearly forgot the beer - The range of beers was far from vast and the beer tolerable rather than enjoyable.

7 Nov 2006 18:16

The Earl of Camden, Camden

Went in here last weekend for the first time since its refit and renaming. Nothing much has changed except the chairs seem slightly more comfortable and the paint job is a shade or two darker. Prices and range of beer(big brand name lagers, bugger all ales) seem identical. Still a decent enough pub if you just want somewhere to have a drink that isn't too quiet but where it is still possible to hold a conversation with your drinking buddies. Not overly pricey and can end up being a good place to settle into for the evening if you can grab a table.

28 Oct 2006 11:22

Quinn's, Camden

Sometimes in life you have to be man enough to admit that you got something wrong, so *swallows pride* I felt that after a recent visit I had to come back on here and review this pub again. My initial review was favourable but not really glowing, I see now the error of my ways - this is comfortably the best pub in Camden and one of the best destinations in London for lovers of beer.
Apart from the staggering range of beers (at prices which were not as bad as I had remembered them to be, especially in the context of what you can pay for lesser beer from a smaller range in less pleasing environs - The Porterhouse this means you!) and a very nice comfortable decor, the thing that elevates this above the norm is the genuine passion for the pub and the beer that the Landlord brings to the place.
On his recommendation I had several gorgeous bottles of Belgian beer that I had never heard of let alone tasted before, sadly the high alcohol content has erased many of the names from my memory, but I do remember a gorgeous 9% fruit beer made with blueberries called Bon Secours Myrtille which was divine but deadly. Better than that though was the fact that he would actually bother to come over to our table and check back on what we thought of them and add his own tasting comments. We asked him why he didn't stock Lindeman's Kriek Max (a very good palet cleanser if you have too much of a "beer mouth") and he replied that he didn't like it as he thought it was "just a gimmick". Although I disagree with his viewpoint I was impressed by the fact that he knew of its existence, had tried it and rejected it on grounds of taste. This is a man that takes his beer seriously and knows what he is doing. It is no coincidence that the range of bottled beer is so impressive as it is obviously compiled with much love and care.
Fantastic. Go there now. It also has the advantage of largely exisiting off of the radar of all the wannabes, sheep, goths,punks and the other Camden "tribes", so the clientele are a good mixed bunch of "ordinary" people.

28 Oct 2006 11:16

The Melton Mowbray, Holborn

Spacious Fuller's pub that's well worth a visit. Good beers in good condition and the price isn't too bad. Lovely dark wood decor that along with the seemingly permanent crowds adds to a cosy atmosphere. The barmaids are efficient, friendly and very attractive.
Not sure that this is a great place to spend a whole evening but dropping in for a couple if you are on your way somewhere else in the area is highly recommended.

28 Oct 2006 11:02

The Black Bull, Whetstone

One of the best pubs on Whetstone High Road but in fairness that says as much about the area's pubs in general that The Black Bull in particular.
Nice spacious pub with one of those modern decors that initially seems pleasant enough but grates a bit once settled in as the place lacks any type of character or soul.
Not cheap by any means but there was a reasonable range of beers available on my most recent visit (including the rarely spotted outside Curry Houses Cobra beer) and they were trying to make an effort with some sort of beer festival which is to be applauded. Quality of drinks was good and service was friendly and fairly quick for a Saturday evening.
Background music was very monotonous and bland and was set at a slightly too loud volume for you to be able to ignore it completely whilst trying to talk.
This is an Ember Inns esatblishment and as such will come into its own in the next few months when the fires are put on and a cosy atmosphere will hopefully be generated.
All in all, not the best place to spend the night but given the dearth of any competition worthy of the name nearby, you can do a lot worse especially on a cold winter's night.

15 Oct 2006 17:18

Paule's Metal Eck, Berlin

Surprisingly good pub that has a broader mixture of clientele than you might imagine. The building is a nice corner pub furnished in dark wood that is very comfortable and the candle light makes it an easy place to settle in for the night. Beer is good and prices on a par with anywhere else in the area, and the bar staff are definetely amongst the more friendly you will meet. The only obvious visual concessions to this being a metal bar take the form of a dragon's head and a fierce looking metal demon poking out of the walls. Musically this place does what it says on the tin and if you aren't a fan of the more heavy and extreme end of the rock spectrum the constant background music and videos could rapidly become a little hard going, but for those who are into this type of music it makes a refreshing change from the ususal bland background music you'll find in most bars in Berlin and beyond.
Worth checking out for all rockers, and a nice pub for anyone else when it's quieter as long as they can tolerate the background music.

27 Sep 2006 00:16

The Mulberry Bush, Lambeth

Like a good many other people I dare say, this is a pub that I only ever venture into when I'm waiting to go in to or gagging for a pint after a night over the road watching a TV show being taped.
That said I've always found it to be an agreeable place to spend an hour or so. Bar staff tend to be relatively urgent and intelligent and the beer is normally fine. Prices aren't great but given the location that's hardly a shock now is it?
Comfortable pub with a nice buzz that isn't normally too rammed. Best place to head for if you find yourself in this neck of the woods largely because of the lack of any worthwhile competition within walking distance.
Pleasant but unremarkable.

11 Sep 2006 19:45

The Bell and Buck, New Barnet

This area of Barnet is rapidly becoming one of my favourite destinations to head to for a drink as there are so many good pubs within easy walking distance of each other. The pubs aren't just good but they are all distinctly different from each other which means it's hard to get bored round here and a crawl is an ideal way to pass an evening.
The Bell & Buck is a medium sized pub set just back off the main road and is a distinctive rounded building in a good location. Inside there is a large central bar where you will be served quickly by friendly staff. Choice of beer isn't the widest especially for "real" ale drinkers who should probably head elsewhere, but the drinks that they do serve are fresh, cold and tasty. Prices aren't exceptional either way.
They have TV's, background music and apparently live bands on occasion as well for entertainment and although the majority of drinkers seem happy to drink sitting or standing at the bar itself; there is a very nice set of comfy low sofas on one side of the pub and a cosy area by the front windows which is very pleasant to nurse your drink in whilst watching the world go bar.
A good effort all round, not exceptional to the point that you'd go out of your way for it but very pleasant if you find yourself in need of a pint whilst in the viscinity.
It also seems like it might be the local "Meet Market" pub where singles looking for company drink in small clusters, but it's nowhere near as tacky as places that normally end up being the venue for such encounters are.

10 Sep 2006 16:02

The Lord Kitchener, Barnet

I'm amazed at some of the other comments about this pub. Popped in here last night for the first time as part of a crawl of the local area and found it to be very pleasant. Once you climb the stairs to the door, you'll find a traditional "local" type of pub with plush but taste-free carpet, dark wooden tables and proper old-fashioned seating. The locals seem very friendly and welcoming except those who were just having a quiet pint whilst doing the crossword or watching the large flat screen tellies.
Bar service was well-intentioned but the young lad who served us first seemed somewhat confused by a relatively simple order. Not a long wait though and the beer was fine and whilst not particularly cheap wasn't ridiculously expensive either. Pints of AK and Best were in good nick.
They also have an internet jukebox with volume set at a level that ensures you get value for money and the pub seems comparitively silent whenever it stops, such as when my mate managed to cause the bloody thing to crash on two occasions (sorry!).
Perfect for a quiet pint, a quality jukebox or watching the football. Worth a visit and I certainly saw no signs of the "Facists" described in previous reviews as I certainly wouldn't have been there if I'd have seen them.

10 Sep 2006 15:49

The Water Rats, St Pancras

To Stonch.
More often than not in my experience of North London boozers, they have at best three lagers on draught. More often than not these consist of One "premium" (nearly always Stella or Kronenbourg 1664), and two "normal" lagers (typically Carling, Fosters, or if you're slightly luckier Carlsberg). You get the same chains selling pretty much the same brews over and over till it all becomes very homogenous.
To me any pub that has four or five draught lagers plus additional bottles qualifies comparitively as having an extensive range. When those beers, draught Becks Vier (as opposed to bottled Beck's which is more frequently available), Staropramen which is much less often encountered than the likes of Kronenbourg 1664 and 4X which whilst crap is at least different from the all pervasive Foster's and Carling axis; I consider it an unusual range.

8 Sep 2006 11:29

The Water Rats, St Pancras

Good solid and relaxed pub with an excellent venue for unknown live bands at the rear. Bar service is good and the selection of lagers is both extensive and unusual (Beck's Vier, Staropramen, Castlemaine XXXX & Stella from memory and I believe there was at least one other), the quality is good but the prices are a little over-the-top. There was Bass, Spitfire, Boddington's and Guiness available for the non-lager drinker. Comfy leather sofas line the walls and the floor is bare wood. Food menu looked impressive but was unavailable when I attended (which in fairness was at about 8.30 at night).
I'd imagine this place is a good one to while away the hours on a lazy day off with a few quiet pints, but it is much busier when there is a gig on and has a nice buzz about it at those times.
A fairly strong effort all in all.

22 Aug 2006 10:36

The Hop and Berry, Islington

To be fair this wouldn't be the type of pub that I'd normally drink in. It's a gastropub and has all the attendant prententions and a typically braying, self-satisfied Islington type of clientele. However, my friend(a newly card-carrying member) said that it was on CAMRA's list of recommended pubs and so he dragged myself and my other drinking buddies along to check it out. The CAMRA recommendation was a bit of a red herring to be truthful as they had a very limited selection of "real" beers(is lager fictional?) of which one was an inoffensive to the point of being offensive brew called "Sunchaser" which was devoid of any type of flavour and is best avoided, another however was a top notch drop of Timothy Taylor's Landlord. I stuck largely to lager in the form of draught Amstel which was cold, crisp and fresh.
The decor wasn't unpleasant if a little too minimalist to create much of a feeling of an inviting place to drink for any length of time. The "chandeliers" made of upturned wine glasses were a nice touch though.
Barstaff were fairly quick and unfailingly polite and friendly, but the price of 3 a pint was a bit much.
Sitting outside on the sadly uncovered pavement is the best way to enjoy this pub and it's quite a nice place to while away the hours watching the world go by.
All in all not irredeemable but not worth straying off of the beaten track specifically to visit.

12 Aug 2006 09:53

The Glass Works, Angel, Islington

Have drunk in here a few times en route to gigs at The Academy just across the way on the other side of the shopping centre. Typical Lloyd's No.1 in that it's basically a Wetherspoon's minus the good points(cheap beer, good range, cheap and cheerful grub and the absence of shite music) and as such is much less appealing than a pub from its sister chain.
Prices are still competetive with most in this area though and it's location means that I'll probably call again despite the distinct absence of atmosphere. Sometimes convenience is King.
Food's ok if a little pretentious and dear for microwave re-heated ready meals, bottles of Red Stripe are always welcome and at least they keep them good and cold. Music is poor and not very varied. Hard to know who it is that voluntarily frequents such places as they aren't trendy enough to attract the sheep that follow fads, but nor are they inviting enough to entice the less "cutting edge" drinkers that want to "keep it old school" as they have impersonal interiors and service, the prices are nothing special and it just comes over as trying too hard.

4 Aug 2006 10:29

The Elephant and Castle, Toronto

Nice enough bar in a prime location on Yonge Street that's a good place to eat and sink a few beers but which is about as wide of the mark in terms of being an authentic British pub as it is possible to get wihtout visitng a Goose & Granite!
The environment is nice and has the traditional wooden bar with pillars and a plush but ugly carpet, but thereafter the similarities with a real boozer end.
Sit at the bar though to enjoy some good Canadian beers(better than the imported and sometimes badly served British beers) and some much more professional and friendly bar service. Waitress service is available elsewhere in the pub and is always spot on.
Over half the pub is given over to tables primarily designed for the service of food and the food is very nice indeed and is served in generous portions but once again authenticity on the "traditional" dishes leaves something to be desired but fortunately the food is good on its own merits.
Somewhat more expensive than other bars in the neighbourhood but a nice enough place to visit and a goo dsource of unintentional humour for those of us lucky to have drunk in a genuine British pub.

4 Aug 2006 10:01

The Heartland Brewery (Empire State Building), Manhattan

Well worth checking out on your inevitable trawl round the tourist attractions of NYC. Part of a chain of microbreweries/restaurants dotted throughout the city, this is one of the best places to escape nonsense beers like Budweiser and Coors (Sex in a canoe beers, i.e. f***ing close to water!).
I had the punningly titled Indiana Pale Ale and it was absolutely delicious and very refreshing on a humid summer's day. There was a range of about five different draught brews seemingly unique to the chain, I also tried one of the lagers which was pleasant and had a good deal more substance than the aforementioned globe spanning brands and was perhaps more of a relative of the excellent Brooklyn Lager or Sam Adams. I came unstuck however on my third drink when I noticed on the menu that they did lager and lime and decided to plump for that as their take on this particular concoction seemed to differ from the English standard of one shot of lime cordial in a pint of beer and seemed to be an almost 50-50 mix of lime and lager which was way too sweet.
Service was exemplory (try to find somewhere in the States where this isn't the case and you'll find it's harder than finding somewhere where it is-although the CBGB gallery/boutique/bar that was next to the now defunct legendary music venue was a good place to start!)and prices very reasonable. Stay upstairs for people wathing through the windows or head downstairs for the slightly dimmer lit bar where you can leave the world outside behind.
Try the food as it's delicious and comes in gut busting portions but won't break the bank.
Well worth a look if you're a little too nervous to go into the more authentic neighbourhood bars out of the Touristy heart of the city.

4 Aug 2006 09:49

The Alfred Herring, Palmers Green

Credit where it's due to the oft-maligned Wetherspoon's chain - on those occasions where they get it right they really get it right. This is just such an occasion.
Firstly all the elements that Wetherspoon's normally do well are all present and correct; cheap prices, cleanliness, and a vast range of beers and spirits. Add to that they have managed to overcome the two perennial bugbears of the chain by hiring staff that are well mannered, keen to help and capable of taking your order correctly whilst showing the necessary urgency to keep the queue moving and also finding kitchen staff that pay due care and attention to the food preparation. I went on a busy curry night and never waited longer than was reasonable, got the right drinks with friendly service and had a very tasty meal indeed.
Better than all of this though is the interior of this place where the designers have excelled themselves. Just the right mixture of cosy feeling separate areas each with their own mood but also the feeling of spaciousness. There are comfortable leather benches in one section which also houses a nice couch and a range of comfortable chairs around different types of table, some of which are conducive to drinking and conversation, others more practical for food. There are some good lamp shades that give a modern but not trying too hard look and candle light in some sections makes for a nice ambience. The sections to the front of the pub that have the benefit of large open windows so that they remain cool and you can watch the world (or at least Palmers Green such as it is) go by are well worth bagging if you get there early enough. The carpetted mid section is reminiscent of a more traditional pub and all in all there should be a table to suit most people's image of a good drinking environment.
Truly outstanding and the best pub in Palmers Green by a mile easily outdoing the previous incumbent The Fox. Also this is now the best Wetherspoon's within a five mile or more radius seeing off Wetherspoon's Wood Green by a comfortable margin.

4 Aug 2006 09:29

The Gun, Shoreditch

Popped in for a quick drink on the way back from a particularly fiery curry on Brick Lane and was immediately impressed. Bar service was instantaneous and friendly, beer was cold (lager, don't fear real ale fans!)and prices no more or less than anywhere else in the environs. Selection of beers ran to four real ales, three draught lagers and Guiness with a small range of bottles including the increasingly rare Light Ale to supplement them.
The look of the pub is appealing, it's a nice building on a corner for starters and inside you are treated to carpets resplendent with cannon motifs in case you forget where you are and need a visual aid, long curved leather benches that form booths of sorts, a nice bright ceiling, some wood panneling, some much needed rotary ceiling fans and one of those old fashioned display fridges for food, in no particular order.
Clientele when I arrived was devoid of the suits (it was about 9.45 and well after the post work crush after all) and was a good mix of studenty types and more grizzled looking older regulars and the atmosphere was relaxed and cosy.
Hope to visit again in the near future and may try the food next time which I am assured by reliable sources is very good.

3 Aug 2006 09:42

The Toll Gate, Hornsey

Pretty much the boggiest of bog standard Wetherspoon's you'll ever see.
Usual cheap prices, variety of beers, indifferent service et al. Slightly tattier environmant than some and a more varied mix of people distinguish it from any dozen other such pubs.

31 Jul 2006 17:11

The Coach and Horses, Tottenham

The Coach and Horses is a very mixed bag of the pub; by no means the worse you could ever drink in but perhaps slightly closer to that end of the spectrum than you might hope for. The pub in general seems to be in a bit of a state of disrepair and the environment isn't the most conducive to a long stay. Selection of drinks is about par for the course but there do seem to be too many of the more watery American lagers on tap. Prices aren't too bad and barstaff and regulars all seem a friendly enough bunch. They stock the Irish "Tayto" brand crisps which is a welcome touch.
The main room of the pub is fairly small but there is a fair sized beer garden which also houses a marquee which is a nice cool place to sit on a hot summers day if it's not too crowded. The marquee has an extra bar that is only ever used when Spurs are playing at home. The rest of the beer garden is a bit tatty but has extra seating.
Entertainment is mainly background music and TV, but at least the music is quite good. Toilets are sadly grim.
Not the busiest pub in the world unless Spurs are playing when it becomes something of an endurance event to drink in. Spurs memorabillia takes pride of place above the bar which is a nice touch for my fellow Spurs fans, although it's probably best enjoyed if you pop in on a non-match day.
It's hard to be too harsh on this pub due to the people that run it and the welcoming regulars, but really it could be so much better that it's not somewhere I'd recommend. There are better pubs not too far away and if you're in the neighbourhood for a drink I suggest you try one of those instead.

29 Jul 2006 12:39

The Sun on the Hill, Birmingham

Nice airy pub with plenty of dark wood seating and mood-enhancing dim lighting. Prices for drinks are good and if you add that to a fairly impressive range of beers that are in top nick it represents a very good place to spend your hard-earned beer money. Bar staff are helpful and quick. Food comes from a limited menu but is very reasonably priced and tasty with generous portions.
The huge screen is good for watching Sport, and it was a nice and cool place to seek a brief respite from the tropical temperatures outside when I visited.
A good solid pub for either a quiet lunchtime pint or a proper session. Infintely preferable to the over-priced, slightly too smug wine bar up the road with it's pitiful food menu at much higher prices. Do yourself a favour and "keep it real"(as I understand the youth of today say) by going to this proper pub and doing your tastebuds and bank balance a favour.

27 Jul 2006 10:27

Windsor, Birmingham

Good Greene King pub that has a Tardis like bigger on the inside than it looks from outside type set up. Beers are cold, and very drinkable and the price is extremely good. Nice enviroment ranging from surprisingly comfortable stools round high tables, to sofa booths and a very realaxing atmosphere. Bar service is quick and friendly. The interior doesn't get a lot of light (no windows except the two large shop front style ones either side of the door) but the constant shade helps keep the place cool in the summer despite no discernable signs of air conditioning. All in all a very good effort.

27 Jul 2006 10:15

The Builders Arms, New Barnet

Pretty much the dictionary definition of a hidden treasure, nestling as it does in an out-of-sight location on a side street behind a Wetherspoon's on the main road.
Lovely looking pub both inside and out. Hanging baskets are attractive outside and the old fashioned look inside is equally easy on the eye.
Vey good range of beers that are of a high standard and not overpriced. Bar service was quick and painless and friendly.
The back room has an excellent pool table, a pretty darn good jukebox and TVs to pass your time, but the smaller front bar is best if you just fancy a nice chat over a couple of pints.
Splendid. A reminder of what a good local pub can and indeed should be able to achieve in the right hands.

17 Jul 2006 14:14

The Railway Tavern, New Barnet

I must have gone by this pub a hundred or more times on the bus but never thought to venture in until Friday night just gone and I now regret my previous oversight.
Friendly and spacious pub with a good range of drinks(including the always welcome draught Red Stripe. Seating is comfortable and there is a small beer garden. Bar staff are friendly and do their best to keep the beer flowing when the pub is busy but sometimes are less than 100% successful in their efforts.
Food was lovely and came in generous portions and the price made for very good value for money.
Nice bustling atmosphere without getting too boisterous and the falt screen TVs would make this an excellent venue for watching the football.
Highly recommended and the fact that a couple of my friends are moving nearby over the coming months means that I'll have a good excuse to drop by more often in future.

17 Jul 2006 09:26

The Buck's Head, Camden

Not the worst pub in the world by a long shot but far from the best. Fair range of drinks and prices about par for the area, barstaff are reasonably good once you distract them from more pressing matters like discussing the previous evening's telly.
The main problem I have with this pub is that whilst from the outside it looks very much like a proper pub, and inside it has most of the paraphenalia you would asociate with a proper pub, it has the appearance and air of a brasserie or canteen rather than a pub and as such doesn't lend itself easily to settling down for a good few drinks.

13 Jul 2006 09:55

The Stag, Enfield

Revisited this pub post-refit and regime change and was pleasantly surprised.
What was once dingy and musty is now light and airy and seems more spacious. Seating is more comfortable, choice of drink has improved along with quality. Prices seem unchanged but the improvements make tham much more palatable. Barstaff were friendly and urgent. Video jukebox is a nice touch and an improvement on the barely audible old-fashioned model it replaces.
The only downside is that it seems to be trying a little too hard to be modern and exclusive and there are still superior pubs in the vicinity (although in fairness post-upgrade there are also far worse).
The food remains the pub's biggest selling point and seems to be of a similar standard as it was previously, namely exceptional.

12 Jul 2006 10:15

The Salisbury, Leicester Square

If you want to impress a friend visiting London for the first time or just a passing tourist looking for advice on where to go; take them here to see one of the most visually stunning and beautiful pubs you'll ever come across.
The exterior is pretty enough but it's the etched glass mirrors, pannels and windows that dominate the interior which is this pub's most breathtakingly beautiful feature. That said however, a drink on one of the tables in the alley outside on a warm day is also very pleasant.
Add in a cosy yet refined atmosphere, good bar staff and a wide variety of drinks to chose from(about half-a-dozen real ales and at least three different gins, for starters) almost make you forget the overly hefty prices, but not quite.
The pub's location near the heart of theatreland is reflected in a collage of posters for shows plastered on the walls of the stairs down to the toilets.
All in all worth visiting for the stunning decor and a good range of drinks that from my experience were of good quality, but be sure to bring plenty of cash!

12 Jul 2006 10:01

The Oxford Arms, Camden

Presentable but unremarkable boozer that at least has the advantage over many of it's neighbours of not trying to be particulary "trendy" or "funky". Alright for a couple of pints but nothing more and not worth going out of your way to visit.

5 Jul 2006 10:33

The Caernarvon Castle, Camden

Great place to see live bands and a bog standard but likeable boozer the rest of the time.

5 Jul 2006 10:31

Ice Wharf, Camden

Superb location, reasonably tasteful and comfortable decor, great range of drinks but not as much cheaper than the competition than they once were. Barstaff are slooooooooow and then some. Nice for a quick drink on a hot day but strangely devoid of any atmosphere so not a place you'd chose to stay in for very long. All in all, one of those places that has the potential to go either way (beer selection, location and decor suggest it could become a great pub, service and atmosphere lead you to believe it could be a terrible pub) but ultimately it's just mediocre.

5 Jul 2006 10:28

Remember, Amsterdam

The name is somewhat ironic as whilst this bar is perfectly nice and approachable, neither myself or my companions can ever remember exactly where it is and due to advanced states of inebriation(an occupational hazard in wonderfully beery Amsterdam) some of our number can't recall visiting it.
Those of us sober enough to remember though recall one of the more pleasant and laid-back bars in the heart of the canalsides of the red light district. Good service, nice beer, reasonable prices and particularly soothing dim lighting and tasteful decor.
Worth popping into on your travels (if you can find it!) but might prove a touch soporific if you stayed for more than a couple of drinks.

21 Jun 2006 11:46

In de Wildeman, Amsterdam

Gorgeous pub with a very atmospheric decor including an impressive stack of barrels at the rear.
Beer was exemplory and we were spoilt for choice, prices very good for the very central location.
Hidden just far enough off of the main thoroughfares so as to avoid over-crowding. Very nice indeed.

21 Jun 2006 11:29

De Beiaard, Amsterdam

Good range of beers in an excellent location for watching the world go by. Food is particularly good here as well. Seating ranges from nice long padded benches along the wall, to a small conservatory with wicker chairs and table to al fresco tables. Kriek Max was excellent and palate cleansing. Worth stopping by for just the one slowly nursed drink at most times and for a longer stay if you are feeling peckish.

21 Jun 2006 11:25

Cafe Gollem, Amsterdam

A cosy little slice of beer heaven located down a side street that doesn't see much sunlight.
Small but perfectly formed pub with limited seating and tables but an unbelievable selection of draft and bottled beers. Barman when I visited was very professional but relaxed and made myself and my companions welcome.
Prices as you'd expect and given the choice and haven from the harsh realities of the outside world vibe, that represents superb value.
Worth seeking out, but I'd take a map or you might miss it.

21 Jun 2006 11:22

The Bailey, Highbury

Another of those pubs where something just doesn't quite click and a potentially good boozer drops into mediocrity. The building's fine and the pale wood flooring and tables make it seem light and airy. The music is inoffensive and some of the couches are very comfortable, but the beer is non-descript and slightly over-priced. Service isn't terrible but could most definitely be better. There's a huge screen for showing sports but the seating is arranged in such a way that very few people will get a good view. Overall this place feels soulless and more like a pub simulator than a real pub.

1 May 2006 11:08

The Original Plough, Chelmsford

Well done boozer situated next to the train station. Surprisingly broad range of beers at good prices by friendly staff. Very spacious interior with stone floors makes the place very atmospheric. Excellent for watching sport as it gets a good crowd in and there are plenty of TVs to ensure an unobstructed view. Food is good also with huge portions available at reasonable prices. All in all not that different from 100 other pubs in terms of what's on offer but that elusive magic that turns a normal pub into a very good pub has been captured here. Well worth a visit.

1 May 2006 10:54

The Wig and Gown, Highbury

Did you know that when you come out of Highbury & Islington tube station you can also turn left? Who'd have thought it! Should you take this option you can avoid the familiar parade of Upper Street boozers and find "hidden" gems like this little beauty. A quick note to those who are strict traditionalists or footsoldiers in the CAMRA army however; this place won't be to your tastes.
This is essentially an American style local neighbourhood bar transplanted onto the Holloway Road and yes, there is Americana on the walls. For some of you this may instantly set you against it and you'll start mumbling something about cultural imperialism and all that. I take the view however, that if we have no choice but to tolerate the presence of unwelcome facets of American culture such as McDonalds and Starbucks on every high street; we might as well enjoy some of the things that they actaully do very well and that includes this type of bar. That said this American style and not actually American as nobody working there had an American accent.
The bar is basically one long but fairly narrow room, with folding windows/doors at the front and benches around tables or chrome stools lined up at the bar for seating. It also has one worn-in but not yet worn-out set of leather armchairs and a couch set around a low table at the rear, which are without doubt: The most comfortable seats in any pub or bar in the world.
The selection of lagers is good (both draft and bottled) and there are ciders and Guiness to be had as well but nothing in the way of real ale. Barstaff are faultless and as for the price it's safe to say that you can, have and will pay more for your drinks in the locale but that it's not remarkably cheap.
There are a couple of huge flat-screen TVs which were tuned to the Scuzz channel all night but the sound was down which meant that you could enjoy the benefits of the cheap and unusually ecclectic jukebox.
Never got too crowded even on a Saturday night, but always had just enough people in to give it a bit of a buzz. Apparently they also have a live band on once a week and a DJ on one of the other nights.
Ultimately a very mellow, chilled-out place to spend the evening whilst enjoying a few beers, some good company and varied but quality background music. I've been searching for a bar like this for most of my adult life and now I've found it I'll be back as often as possible.
Absolutely lovely.

9 Apr 2006 08:40

Phibbers, Islington

Quite impressive and spacious pub just off the Holloway Road. Manages to retain a cosy pub atmosphere despite it's size and has a well stocked bar which isn't too expensive and is staffed by friendly barstaff. Quite good for settling in for a relaxed evening but perhaps better for having a more raucous night out due to a loud Top40 and classics playing DJ and live bands. Excellent big screen TVs for sport. Bouncers patrol regularly so there is no chance of trouble but they have enough skill to stop their presence becoming distracting or intimidating and are courteous. All in all a good pub to pop into as part of a crawl down Holloway Road/Upper Street.

27 Mar 2006 11:12

The Three Crowns, Edmonton

Once upon a time this would have been a serious contender for the worst pub that I have ever drunk in. Now after a change of ownership and a lick of paint is merely very bad.

21 Mar 2006 12:10

The Enfield Arms, Enfield Town

Ok, I know that this place has been closed for over a year now and that I should be over it and that nobody is actually reading this anymore, but...
Going by the site where this magnificent pub used to stand still upsets me. Now there are only ugly wooden boards surrounding what seems to be an equipment storage area for the builders working on the new Shopping Centre expansion; the advent of which sealed the Arms' fate. The brewery decided to sell up and let the building be demolished instead of moving one of the walls back a couple of feet or so to allow the expansion of the road as part of the Town Centre's wonderful new and improved one-way system introduced to cope with the anticipated influx of out-of-towners visiting the new shopping mecca. Now, what have we got? Worse traffic congestion than before and no decent pub with the same mixture of characters that populated the Arms to moan about it all to over a few pints with some top quality tunes playing over the jukebox, that's what! If that's progress you can stick it firmly and squarely up your backside. It makes me want to weep and causes my blood to boil just thinking about it.
Will somebody with some money please, please open up a pub similar to this somewhere near Enfield as soon as possible? I am suffering from withdrawal symptoms.
Still cheers for the memories.

15 Mar 2006 16:36

The Blind Beggar, Whitechapel

If you are the kind of tosspot that would visit a pub just because the Kray twins once shot some poor sod in there( Still it's alright, they kept down petty crime, only hurt other villains and perhaps most importantly lved their mum) then you frankly deserve to drink in this dive. Go back to your safe middle-class neighbourhoods, sit on your Habitat furniture and enjoy a nice Marks & Sparks ready meal (they are such good quality I don't mind paying the extra sweetie)and have a long slow think about your life and your library of sub-Janet & John literature from the Real Crime section at Waterstones you rubbernecking ghouls.
A pub best avoided for any of the usual reasons; bad beer, bad prices, shitty service by any sane human being. Happened to pop in here once whilst waiting an inordinate length of time for a bus on the street outside and have no desire to repeat the experience and have hated myself for it ever since.

2 Mar 2006 11:55

The Queens Arms, New Barnet

Good looking big McMullen's pub in a prime location for the cinema and the football ground. Clean and tidy inside and very comfy. Prices are good and quality and range of drinks are both as good as can be expected. TV for sports. All in all would be a very good pub indeed if it wasn't for a couple of major downsides; namely the bar service and some of the clientele. The place was over-run by yobbish young chav types who spent most of the evening loudly smacking the passports they had brought down to prove that they were of legal drinking age against the table and shouting obscenities at each other. Far from discouraging this, some of the barstaff were so busy fraternising that it took far longer than it should have to get served in an at best quarter full pub. Good barstaff try to calm down drinkers that are clearly annoying other drinkers, they certainly shouldn't be encouraging them to act up even more which one barmaid certainly was.There were also some older punters that should have known better conducting an unneccessarily boisterous game of darts in the corner which added to the human zoo atmosphere.
Ultimately it's a good place for one or two quick drinks on the way somewhere else and might be a decent place to spend the evening as long as the more annoying drinkers aren't in and the bar staff look at least half interested.

28 Feb 2006 10:20

The Black Heart, Camden

Hit and miss pub secreted up an alleyway that runs parallel to the High Road. The first thing you notice it it's unusual design, the large folding doors which are often opened in warmer months are a nice touch and the open-plan interior makes the place seem light and airy but mean that it doesn't look much like your typical pub to the extent that you might inadvertently mistake it for a restaurant or bar rather than a "proper" pub. The atmosphere varies between eerily quite when less than half full and very loud and bustling when the football's on. Watching sport here is most definitely one of the place's strong points, there is always a good crowd that is excitable but stays the right side of loutish and there are enough screens with a decent picture to ensure a clear view.
Bar staff are friendly and do their best to keep queues moving but unfortunatley there are rarely enough of them to cope when it's busy so it can take a while to get served. A fair range of draft and bottled beers are on offer but the prices are not particularly competetive which in an area where being overcharged is commonplace is not conducive to making you want to spend the whole evening here once the football is over.
The food looks and smells absolutely fantastic but tends to be a little too fussy and expensive for this reviewer. It is however definitely something that they put a great deal of stock in and if you fancy a nicely prepared alternative to pub grub or the various local take aways you probably should check this out.
So to recap: Positives - Good range of beers, friendly barstaff, excellent for watching football, decent food.
Negatives - Can lack atmosphere when no sport on, slightly poncey, very pricey and can take ages to get served.

24 Feb 2006 10:21

The Compton Arms, Islington

Ok, most of you that read this site are amongst the more discerning pub goers so I don't mind telling you about this place but please; check over your shoulder to make sure that nobody else is reading this and once you have read about it-keep your trap shut. Otherwise you will risk ruining this unspoiled paradise for beer drinkers.
Located about a two minute walk but metaphorically a million miles away from Upper Street down an innocuous looking side street/alley this pub is hidden away from the hordes of wannabe trendy drinkers just around the corner and is all the better for it.
Appearance wise it has more in common with a small village local pub than anywhere within a hours' walk of it. There are exposed wooden beams and old-fashioned windows. The furniture is of the classic dark hard wooden stools and benches with small cushions sewn on variety and look like they could have been manufactured at any point in the last 200 years. There are pictures of the local area in by-gone areas mounted on the wall and various titbits of information about the pub and the history of this part of North London written on the wooden beams. The only obvious concession to the 21st Century are the large flat-screen TVs showing the Football. There is no background music and no room to host any other entertainment, but the power of conversation creates a warm and cosy atmosphere.
The barstaff are excellent and take the time to be friendly and remeber your order whilst keeping the queue moving briskly. The beer is excellent and very well priced for this neck of the woods and although during my visit there last night they only had Greene King IPA and Ridley's Rumpus on, an impressive array of pump labels stuck on one of the walls indicates that this is a very strong ally to the CAMRA brigade and is a place to try something diffrent for the rest of us.
The food looked and smelled amazing, but unfortunatley by the time my friends and I considered the question of sustainance they had finished doing food for the evening.
Overall this is a simply brilliant pub that has only one major flaw; it's too small, hence my plea for a little discretion in who you let know about it as it would be very easy for this place to become unbearably cramped and uncomfortable thus ruining one of the few truly outstanding watering hole sin Islington.

11 Feb 2006 12:22

Golden Lion, Soho

Pleasant if unremarkable old-school pub on the fringes of Soho. Prices typical of the area but environement and clientele a little more relaxed and friendly. Beer is up to standard and if you can find a little space to satnd inside it'll do you fine for a couple of drinks on the way to somewhere more intersting. Background music is always good at least.

7 Feb 2006 12:13

O'Neills, Soho

Superior version of a normal O'Neill's that is convenient for a West End drink but is tucked just far enough away from the main crush so as to be a little less busy and therefore more comfortable than most pubs in the area.
Mixed clientele and no evidence of either snobbery or thuggery, so a nice place to settle into with your companions.
Service was first class; friendly, quick and they even offered table service when it was quiet!
Prices are as you'd expect for such a prime location and the beer is excellent particularlt the draft Heineken. The window seats are also excellent for watching the world go by, but the sofas are very comfy if you don't fancy perching on a stool all night. Background music is bland and inoffensive with a slightly Irish theme but that seems to be the extent of the entertainment.
Well worth a visit.

5 Feb 2006 22:41

The Quays, Holloway

Impressive building that the owners have sought to make the most of. Very good when it's a little quiter in the daytimes/early evening and you can get a seat. Huge screen for sports with several smaller TVs spread liberally throughout the venue which gives everyone a chance to see. Bar service varies greatly in speed but is always friendly. Beer is good qaulity, and the food is well worth a punt but both tend to be very expensive. Live bands on weekends are normally of a very high standard and their performance is broadcast on the TVs around the venue so you don't all have to pack into the stage area. Downstairs is a very nice dark wood type affair with traditonal style pub tables and charis, upstairs is a modern area that is more like a bar than a pub and is very comfortable indeed.
Can and frequently does get absolutely rammed on Friday/Saturday nights and can become a bit of a cattle market full of young drinkers looking to cop off with someone or have a punch up(fortunately mostly outside afterwards and not in the pubitself), all of which is fine if you like that sort of thing but it won't be to everyone's taste and is best avoided at these times if that's not your scene.

25 Jan 2006 11:03

Monaghan's Tavern, Wood Green

Grim. Don't bother going in unless you are a friend of a regular unless you enjoy shifty looks and slow service. Beer isn't up to much, prices don't reflect this. Very, very Irish pub in so much as that if you aren't Irish(which incidentally I'm not) you will stick out like a sore thumb, but sadly the legendary and generally true irish hospitality is lacking. Cramped and uncomfortable. Go somewhere else.

25 Jan 2006 10:43

The Hawley Arms, Camden

Must try harder. D-.
Expensive, devoid of atmosphere and distinctly up itself.

18 Jan 2006 15:26

The White Horse, Enfield

What a pleasant surprise this turned out to be. Have drunk in here on and off(more off in fairness) for a good many years but noticed recently that it'd had a bit of a refurb and a change of hands, so went in to investigate and whilst in many ways it was still recognisable as the slightly run-down but friendly boozer I knew and liked, in other ways it was almost another pub entirely.
A very clean modern ,without being imposing, decor and many comfortable seats have been added as have two large flat-screen TVs and another mini screen actually built in to one of the tables in a booth in the corner. The number of pool tables has been reduced from three to one and the raised conservatory at the rear of the pub which once served as the pool area is now a sizeable non-smoking area.
They now do food as well with an extensive menu of fairly predictable but cheap and plentiful dishes such as burgers, scampi and the usual suspects. Best of all though they now have a curry night and a Sunday roast, which isn't bad for a place that a few moths ago didn't even do food.
It seems from the bottom of the menus that this place is now run by Greene King and as such IPA is available on draft and it's a lovely drop especially at a very reasonable 1.85 a pint! Lager drinkers can choose between Carling, Fosters or Stella Artois on draft with other bottles avaialable. Spirits are all present and correct at reasonable prices. They even perhaps uniquely for EN3 have a wine list, however upon closer examination there were only two reds available and they were the not exactly disparate choice of Cabernet Shiraz or a Shiraz Cabernet.
Bar service is quick and welcoming and all in all this is an exeploary effort at making the best of a pub which has perhaps in the past not made the most of it's potential.
Will be here again...probably far too frequently for my own good.
At the present it's not too crowded either, so get in quick as I would imagine that once word of mouth gets around it'll start getting packed as people that like a "nice" pub are not particularly well catered for in this part of town and will swarm to it to escape the alchopops. karaoke and punch-ups prevelant in some of the other pubs near here.

16 Jan 2006 14:05

The Alwyne Castle, Islington

To me this started off as an example of everything that is worng with certain types of pub in this area. Went here to meet some firends and nearly walked by as the,admittedly stylish, exterior seemed to suggest a restaurant rather than a pub. Once inside my heart sank as it seemed to be another triumph for "style" over substance. Trendy decor that was largely minimalist but counterpointed by kitsch objects such as a Zebra-skin(presumably fake to avoid the wrath of The local Guardianistas) chair and a chalk board behind the bar replete with a long list of wines handwritten in an overly fussy way really had me wanting to spin on my heels and leave, especially as many of the clientele appeared overly smug or just trying to hard to be cool.
However, despite these initial misgivings this isn't too bad a place for a night's drinking. A good, varied selection of beers both bottled and draft are there to be had and the prices on these isn't too dear. The draft Amstel and Sleeman's were both top notch. Service at the bar was not the quickest I've ever encountered but not worthy of severe criticism and the barstaff are friendly and know what they are doing once you get your order in. Wine however was ludicrously overpriced at around 5 for a glass of (I believe) the House White!
Seating was deceptively comfortable and the background music was a very eclectic mix that didn't drown out conversation but helped enhance the atmosphere which might otherwise have consisted of saelf-satisfied braying laughter( you know the kind, not a genuine laugh but a laugh that screams "look at me I'm laughing, aren't I great").
Enjoyable enough evening all in all, and if someone suggests going here it's probably worth the occasional visit but I can't see anyone voluntarily making it a regular haunt and it's not worth going out of your way to check out.

16 Jan 2006 13:44

BRB at The Gate, Alexandra Park

Marvellous little pub opposite Ally Pally train station that has the unusual advantage of an in-house pizzeria.
Drinks are more expensive than anywhere else in this neck of the woods, but they do offer some fine drafts, an impressive selection of bottled beers and even some pretty decent cocktails.
Bar service isn't for the impatient but is assured and efficient when it finally arrives.
The regulars seem very tolerant of infrequent and first-time visitors which always helps a place and the background music is surprisingly ecclectic with something for more or less everyone being played if you stick around long enough.
The food is exceptional and not badly priced either. If you are in a group of four or more I recommend the following tactic: Whoever gets a round in orders a pizza as well and you share it when it comes, repeating the process when every member of your party's turn to buy a round comes. By the end of the evening you'll have each eaten roughly a whole pizza but had many different toppings and not stuffed yourself all at once making you feel bloated.
Run by the same company behind the equally splendid Junction pub near Highbury & Islington Tube station.

19 Dec 2005 11:35

The Fox Public House, Palmers Green

This local landmark of a pub has survived numerous refurbs and wildly different incarnations over the years and is currently in just about the best shape it's ever been in.
A large bar that is surprisingly well staffed in terms of both the number working at busy times and the quality of service they give. When it comes to the drinks, all seems in good order. Lagers are fresh and fizzy and served in their respective branded glasses and there is a choice of at least three on draft. Ale & Bitter drinkers are typically for this kind of modern establishment aimed at drinkers in the 18-30 age range, not as well catered for, but what they do serve is at least well kept.
Price is a bit of a drawback as 2.70 for a pint of lager this far out from the heart of town is unlikely to compare favourably with other pubs in the area, however as most of the other pubs in Palmers Green are execrable, they'll probably get away with it.
The new lay out, furnishings and paint job have all improved upon previous efforts and it's a very comfortable pub that is modern without being soulless.
Live bands show a commitment to entertaining punters which almost makes up for the demise of the comedy club that used to take place out back.
All in all a largely successful effort at creating a quality drinking establishment in the drinking wastelands of N13 and even the doormen are friendly.
Avoid on Friday and Saturday nights if you are claustrophobic though, as it gets stuffed to the gills and if you don't get in early enough to bag a table, it can be uncomfortably crowded in the standing area near the bar.

19 Dec 2005 11:21

The Oakdale Arms, Harringay

Tried this place out on the strength of the reviews on this site and am pleased to report that they are accurate and I wasn't disappointed.
To say this pub is a little of the beaten track might be an understatement but persist in seeking it out and you'll find a positive temple to beer in an area that The Salisbury on Green Lanes aside, is crying out for decent boozers. This pub must not be allowed to close!
From the outside this looks like a bog-satndard local pub, once inside your heart may initially sink as the decor owes more to a seventies working man's club than to a cosy traditional pub or a modern clean & "interior designed" chain pub. But settle in and it's comfy enough if a little lived-in.
Now to the reason for the existence of this place; the beer. In a word it's fantastic. Well kept and reasonably priced real ales that you won't find anywhere else locally that taste absolutely gorgeous. I had pints of Jericho which sadly ran out or I'd have sunk a fair few of them, but my alternative choice Aphrodite was also splendid and prevented my initial sadness at the end of the Jericho from ruining my evening.
Not much for lager drinkers(which noramlly includes me) except Budvar, but in fairness that's a fine beer in it's own right and there are plenty of other paces to go if you want to drink lager.
Well worthy of a visit, I shall be calling again.

5 Dec 2005 10:36

The White Hart, Brimsdown

This place used to have a terrible reputation for trouble, but like many Mr.Q's it seemed to have bucked it's ideas up recently and I'd popped in a coupe of times for just the one pint over the last eighteen months. I found that the decor was modern yet comfortable, the pints were good and at very competetive prices and that it was a good place for watching the sport.
However, as I attempted a pub crawl of Ponders End last Sunday, myself and my friend were just about to walk in through one door when I stopped him and said we should skip this pub as I could hear a scuffle going on at the other entrance. Sure enough as we walked by, the door flew half-open and a bloke came carreering out on the end of someone else's fist(not in the sexual way!) and banged his head hard on the door. He lay in the doorway with nobody attempting to help him and at least two blokes still standing over him looking to "finish the job off".
In short, it's a shame that despite the efforts of the owners to clean the place up a bit the issue of trouble-hungry punters hasn't been addressed. It's best if you avoid this place unless you like being assaulted (as several people I know have been in the past) or are as hard as nails.
Deeply unpleasant.

1 Dec 2005 14:33

The Bull and Gate, Kentish Town

Somehow forgot to review this gem of a pub until now. Yes, it is pricey but it's a really fantastic old school pub with a cosy atmosphere and appearance. The drinks are good which helps compensate for the price and the Staropramen is particularly lovely. Bar staff are efficeint and reasonably friendly.
Also you get the option of the Chronicles of Narnia style experience of enetring the gents and coming out the other side in an excellent live music venue. The venue has it's own bar and fortunately the same prices and quality and retains a lot of the charm of the pub area but is also an outstanding place to watch up and coming bands.
Sadly the place is up for sale at the moment and rumours persist that this historic pub may soon be redeveloped beyond all recognition and lose it's current charm and it's status as a vital venue on the London Live Music scene. Enoy it whilst you still can!

1 Dec 2005 10:30

The Vibe Bar, Shoreditch

A wise man once said "Hell is other people", he was wrong; it is in fact this sh!th0le.
Painfully predictable mixture of incessant "Cool" dance music and kitsch samples with really deep "meaningful" short films accompanying them. Dingy and unfriendly with uncomfortable seating and quelle surpris it's expensive too.
Hideous, and to the previous poster you should know that with age comes wisdom young padwan! We are not jealous of you, we just have the perspective of having once been as patheticaly sheep-like as you and also believing we were being rebellious or trendy whilst we were in fact just buying in to a different form of conformity. I've learned me lesson and grown out of it, in time you'll learn yours, and I don't fancy going through that again, so I've no reason to envy you or your 5 a drink moronathon bars.

21 Nov 2005 15:16

The Sports Cafe, Haymarket

Not terrible by any means but not as good as you might hope or expect. A decent venue for sports watching as you might have been led to believe by the name of the place and not bad for a meal or a quick pint or two at other times. Can get a bit rammed and rowdy on weekend nights which is surprising as the doormen can tend to be a bit on the fussy/surly side.The music is way too loud when the place is in "club" mode. Pricey, but Hey! That's the West End for you. Not as good as it's sister venue in Birmingham.

15 Nov 2005 11:12

The Walkabout, Birmingham

Typical Walkabout pub which isn't necessarily a bad thing. As usual it has a good range of bottled beers which are always nicely chilled, not much choice in the draft department but a good array of spirits. Barstaff are generally friendly and range between locals with an atipodean attitude and the genuine article. TVs for sport and music videos, nice variety of background music and occasional live bands help with the entertainment factor. Clean, simplistic design which maximises available standing room, but if you can get one of the comfortable seats and a table the food is well worthy of investigation. Some unusual meats(Kangaroo, Springbok,etc.) which are very tasty or more standard steaks, burgers and chicken for the less culinary adventurous. Prices are pretty good and whilst you might not want to spend the entire evening here, dropping by for a few hours for a bite to eat and some nice beers is always an option worthy of consideration.

15 Nov 2005 10:48

Scruffy Duffys, Birmingham

Cool rock orientated bar right in the heart of Broad Street. Drinks are fairly cheap and selection is ok if unremarkable. Barstaff are friendly and skilled at their jobs and the general atmosphere and decor of the place is very comfortable and has a "come as you are" type ethos sadly lacking from many of the bars in this neck of the wood. Has live music on a regular basis and of a pretty good standard. Seating is comfirtable and the rock themed bric-a-brac on the walls is entertaining. Nice crowd who ask politely to get by when it's crowded rather than just barging you out of the way and everyone seems to come for a good time rather than spoling for a fight.
All in all a good venue to spend a night out if you want a change from the more trendy bars in the City Centre.

15 Nov 2005 10:42

The Sports Cafe, Birmingham

The second branch of this particular chain that I have visited and so far, far and away the best.
You should know by the name if the place what to expect here and it certainly won't disappoint. This place is positively crammed with TVs that can be seen from anywhere in the building including ones set into the urinals!
The front of the building has a nice modern look with big plate glass windows affording you a view of Broad Street if the sport is not holding your interest and has a well stocked and maintained bar staffed by employees wearing football kits or similar. This is also the area given over to food, which seems much more of an afterthought here than at the branch in London.
The large rear area (which I am led to believe doubles as a dancefloor) is Sports heaven. Two large screens, one at either end of the room are supplemented by a plethora of other smaller screens and all sports being shown live on TV at that time ar eon somewhere in the place. The lack of seating means that the place gets nice and full of people and generates a really good atmosphere. Nice long bar for ease of access and normally enough staff to keep the beer flowing freely.
Also, you can amuse yourself by looking around at the genuine sporting memorabilia located on every available spare bit of wall.
Oh, and there's a nice pool room downsatirs too.
Excellent, if you are in Birmingham and fancy a pint whilst watching the footie/rugger/gymnastics; this is the place for you.

15 Nov 2005 10:33

The Dog, Smethwick

Not a bad effort for an Ember Inns establishment. Little bits of the old pub building poke through but are made to look somehow fake by the modern decor and furniture which is a shame as I bet it looked smashing once upon a time.
The fire is nice on a chilly day and this is the kind of pub that you could easily lose a whole afternoon/evening in as it has a very relaxing and cosy feel to it.
Good range of beers including some nice guest ales unfamiliar to a Londoner like me. Price is approachable and barstaff are quick and friendly even if they need a little help locating their own products.
Food is very pleasant in terms of options and quality although it could definitely be cheaper in this respect and locals are at least tolerant of outsiders if not particularly welcoming.
You could definitely do worse for a lazy Sunday.

15 Nov 2005 10:23

Waxy O'Connors, Piccadilly

Cavernous Irish Theme Pub near Leicester Square/Piccadilly Circus that is not without it's charms. Extremely impressive decor with a huge tree trunk running through the middle of it and a Church-like ambience in the lower bar. Drinks are uniformly good and when it's quiet (daytimes & the odd weekday evening) it can be a lovely place to settle in for a few beers and the downstairs is always lovely and cool on hot summers days. Don't recall ever seeing any trouble either and the barstaff and punters are generally friendly enough.
But (and didn't you just know that one of those was on it's way) this place is horrendously expensive even in comparison to the other pubs in this "If we charge it, some mug will pay it!" area of the West End and whilst fairly good it's inexplicably over-popular which leads to it being uncomfortably crowded with alarming frequency. Worth checking out if you are passing and it's quiet, but unless you want to know what a rush hour tube would be like if alcohol was served on it, it's best avoided at weekends.

10 Nov 2005 10:54

The Comedy, Piccadilly

The Comedy Pub is probably best known for it's intimate downstairs bar which acts as a venue for up-and-coming bands and as the name of the place suggests comedy gigs and in this respet it is fine and dandy and an excellent place for an evening's entertainment with the performers literally feet away from you.
It is however also a pub, and on this score it's not quite so good. It's a sizeable building with bars on three floors, a nice unfussy appearance and reasonable laid-back atmosphere. Barstaff are friendly and by no means slow and prices are not any worse than any of the other couple of hundred over-priced boozers that litter the touristy areas of London and perform licensed muggings on drinkers. However, selection of drinks is limited and the quality is pretty poor. Every bottle of beer seems warm no matter which bar you buy it from or what time of day or night it is. Draft beer ranges from tolerable (Guiness/John Smith's) to nigh-on undrinkable (Any of the lagers). It's this key detail that lets the pub down, if as much attention to detail was put into the drinks as they put into organizing the entertainment side of things, this would be an excellent boozer as all the other key ingrdients seem to already be in situe. Not terrible, just disappointing.

10 Nov 2005 10:41

Reflex, Birmingham

Brilliant place for a night out for people of a certain age (pushing thirty or over). Fantastically 80's kitsch decor (Rubik's Cube Light a particular treasure), great atmosphere and songs that take you back to your childhood and make you dance like a loon are all present and correct. Be warned: some of these tunes do not sound as good as you remember! Drinks are very cheap for a place with a late licence and they have been known to do good offers on doubles. Very friendly, no trouble, definitely a place to consider for a night out. Warning: Due to the pleasant atmosphere and cheap booze you may end up trolleyed by the time you leave here! Remember although this may be the music you listened to as a teenager: you are not a teenager anymore and sever hangovers may be experienced.

25 Oct 2005 11:12

King William IV, Edmonton

Nice pub with character on the main road. Slightly old-fashioned but always a pleasant environment. Barstaff and punters tend to be friendly and welcoming. Beers are good and reasonably priced depending on current offers. Quite a good atmosphere when football's on or at weekends, nice place for a quiet half hour away from the worries of the world with a pint at others. Don't go out of your way to visit but if you are passing, it's worth dropping in.

25 Oct 2005 10:22

Cart Overthrown, Edmonton

Large pub situated at the junction of Bounces Road & Montagu Road. Modern decor inside and cheap prices especially on the very generously portioned food. Range of drinks is solid if unspectacular. Very spacious with a few different areas suited to different types of drinker. Pool tables and TV for football all present and correct with the usual quiz and fruit machines. Can get very rammed and is known to most Edmonton drinkers as one of the only places with a late licence on the weekend. Atmosphere generally quite friendly but can get a bit geezerish at times. Not bad over all and worth a visit if you are fiarly local and fancy a good deal on a meal and a pint.

25 Oct 2005 10:12

The Wheatsheaf, Enfield

Don't let the hideous pale green paint job on the outside of this pub dissuade you from venturing inside where you will receive a friendly welcome in a traditonal pub with two seperate bars. Range of drinks is surprisingly good and this is to my knowledge the only pub in Enfield that has draft Red Stripe(Delicious). Barstaff know their stuff and are polite and speedy and prices are possibly under what you might expect. The larger bar is very nice and has a very large screen for sports and a stage area for the live bands and karaoke that they have here fairly frequently. The other smaller bar is nice and cosy without being musty and murky. Good all-rounder of a pub that is equally suitable for a quiet pint or a more exuberent evening out.

23 Oct 2005 18:18

The Victoria, Tottenham

Pop in here occasionally for a quick pint as I work nearby. I'm not Irish and have never noticed any hostility towards myself or my various drinking companions of various ethnicities.
Good as a hideaway pub where you can hunker down in the corner and leave the outside world behind. Not the widest range of drinks I've ever seen but they are looked after well and it's not that dear. Barstaff are a little on the relaxed side but friendly enough. Cosy place with nice comfortable seating and a 70's looking wood pannelling effect on the walls. irish bric-a-brac is of course present but not all pervasive. I have an alarming habit of putting "The Can-Can" by Bad Manners on the jukebox everytime I visit, please accept my sincere apologies for this!

21 Oct 2005 14:33

The Crown and Anchor, Edmonton

Unpretentious local boozer with an old-fashioned but not archaic feel. Comfortable seating and big and little screens for sport. Free jukebox & half-decent pool table as well. Bar staff are friendly and quick. Range of drinks is good for this type of establishment and the draft Heineken is always divine. Cheap enough without being Wetherspoon's cheap but you get value for money. Karaoke is fun on Saturday nights. Has a Beer Garden of sorts but there's no obvious greenery so perhaps it should just be called a "Beer"? Locals are very welcoming and I know I'm going to hate myself for letting the cat out of the bag, but this is the best place to drink before or after a Spurs Home game as it's within reasonable walking distance of the ground but doesn't get as crowded and noisy and has a mixture of fans and normal drinkers which is a much more pleasant propostion than the Home Fans only pubs right by the ground. Well worth popping into and either before or after check out the Spice Villa restaurant across the road for a top notch curry.

21 Oct 2005 11:06

The Carlisle Arms, Soho

Not a bad old-fashioned local style pub that seems strangely lost and cut adrift amidst all the trendy pubs/clubs/bars in Soho. Won't have too big an impact on your wallet, but is perhaps best described as strictly for tradionalists. Not bad for the footie and most of the time it's not too crowded.

21 Oct 2005 10:43

The Royal George, Charing Cross Road

Hmmm, normally I have no problem whatsoever formulating an opinion on a pub I've had a beer or two in, but this place leaves me confused.
Neither as fantastic as some would have it nor as awful as certain others would suggest. Prices are typical West End so no complaints there. Service when I went was pretty poor but the beer was good. It's the look of the place and the atmosphere that perplex me though. Neither feeling comfortable enough to really settle in nor being so trendy that normal blokes like me stick out like sore thumbs. In a short time there the atmosphere seemed to continuosly oscillate between being strangely quiet and dead to very noisy and boisterous without any obvious reason for the change. Wouldn't whole-heartedly recommend it but can't advise against giving it a go either. Will probably return for further drinks here but there is a nagging suspicion in my head that the other pubs nearby are better if not as oddly complelling.
Sorry if this is no help to anyone!

21 Oct 2005 10:37

The Edinboro Castle, Camden

If you look in the dictionary under poncey, you'll find a picture of this pub.
Sadly the attempts at being "hip" undermine the enjoyment of a good range of beers. Overpriced and with barstaff bereft of any sense of urgency, you will find this pub is generally populated by people with more money than sense (even if they've only got coppers in their pocket).

13 Oct 2005 12:25

The Spread Eagle, Camden

Best bet for a traditional style pub in Camden. Good location, nice building and decent beer. Could be cheaper but then again where couldn't? Nice relaxed atmosphere where you can easily get chatting to other drinkers or keep quiet and not be hassled if you just fancy a pint in peace.

13 Oct 2005 12:20

The Worlds End, Camden

More like two very different establishments welded together in a Frankenstein-esque experiment than one large pub. One entrance leads into a down-to-earth little boozer with a nice cosy feel and a real pub atmosphere, the other into a huge gaping chasm of a more modern pub design with louder music, fewer chairs and a fake set of shop fronts for reasons I can't quite fathom. Toilets are grim. Service at the bar is , shall we say relaxed (like Rip Van Winkle) but some of the rarely seen beers are on draft(Lowenbrau anyone? Don't mind if I do) and the barstaff are normally pleasant enough. Price is a little hefty but you can easily be ripped off for larger sums in this locale. Good meeting place, best avoided for long sessions.

13 Oct 2005 12:14

Old Orleans, Enfield

Y O Y O Y O Y O Y?
Why would anyone choose to spend an evening drinking in here? As a restaurant it's ok but as a bar it's poor. Limited selection of beers that aren't always up to the required standard for the discerning drinker and a pretty poor range of cocktails if truth be told, especially in comparison to the superior TGI Friday's about five minutes walk away. Prices are way too high unless they have one of their special offers on, which seems to be increasingly rarely. Decor is, in fairness, quite different and effective when compared to most Enfield pubs, even if it is very tacky Southern Gothic, but the boozed up post-work and/or pre-Eros night club crowd make it unpleasantly crowded on some evenings, whereas it's like a ghost town (aah-aah) on other nights. Unimaginative DJ pummels your brain into submission on Friday nights with bass turned up to "kill". Barstaff are friendly and good at what they do but there are often only two working at any one time even when the place is rammed, so be prepared to wait for a while. There is normally some good eye candy in here but are you prepared to endure the empty pockets, disappointing drinks and either tube train in rush hour atmosphere on Thu/Fri/Sat or quiter than Highbury when Arsenal are losing effect on most other nights?

13 Oct 2005 11:53

Yates's Wine Lodge, Wood Green

Imagine if you will the bar of your nightmares, where you are forced to stand shoulder to shoulder with noisy brain-dead ne'er-do-wells who can't handle their alchopops or strong lager(for those who are desperate to prove how macho they are) with slow and disintersted bar staff, naff warm drinks at dearer than you may have been lead to believe prices. Now soundtrack this with overly loud top 40 urban music that negates the possibility of any conversation and drowns out the screams of the damned. Got that image in your head?
This is much, much worse than that.

12 Oct 2005 10:08

Spouter's Corner, Wood Green

One of the best Wetherspoon's I've ever drunk in (which is a fair number if truth be told) and a semi-regular destination for me & my friends on a Friday night. Lovely spacious building with a modern but tasteful look and even very nice toilets. As expected by those with experience of this chain, prices are ridiculously low and the variety of beers and other drinks has to be seen to be fully appreciated. The only major drawback with this pub is bar service so slow it could severely test the patience of a saint and on one occasion was so poor that I walked (flounced, I'm afraid) out. Staff are friendly enough and know what they are doing once you get to see them but there never seem to be enough of them and some could do with a boot/bottom interface.

12 Oct 2005 10:02

The Nelson, Wood Green

Reasonable pub if you get in early, comfortable if unspectacular environment, decent bar service and a reasonable range of well looked after drinks. Price is pretty average. Has one of those internet jukeboxes so you can get a variety of music played at certain times but there is a tendency to show R'n'B flavoured music channels on the TV and play the sound throughout the pub in the evenings. Have seen trouble in here, but rarely in fairness and neither myself or my mates felt intimidated or in iminent danger of coming to any harm on any of these occasions.
Has a late license, so always an option for a last couple of drinks on the way home, but be warned that for this reason it can get uncomfortably packed with drunken fools after 11.30.

12 Oct 2005 09:54

The Jolly Anglers, Wood Green

A genuine contender for smokiest pub in Britain.
Shame really as quite a nice traditional boozer other than that and they tend to make an effort to provied good entertainment.

12 Oct 2005 09:47

Goose, Wood Green

For a Goose & Granite, this isn't half bad. Good size building with a little hint of character in a prime location opposite the tube station. Variety and price of beer is good, sometimes though quality isn't quite what it should be(never awful but often insipid). As for customers, as a rough rule of thumb; giggling students at the back and world-weary middle-aged locals at the front, but given the location it has a fairly high degree of passing trade from all walks of life and nobody should feel out of place or unwelcome here. Don't sit within smelling distance of the toilets if you know what's good for you as the stench would turn a slaugtterhouse worker's stomach. Food wise prices are fairly low and you get what you pay for, they have a tendency to run out of various items though.

12 Oct 2005 09:45

The Garden, Islington

Do you like oppressively dark rooms? Does bad noodling Acid Jazz music float your boat? Are you prepared to wait for quarter of an hour to be served by disintersted barstaff, then pay over the odds for at best average beer? If so you are some sort of brain-dead tosspot and this is the pub for you where you can spend time amongst your own! If you answered "No" to any of the above; a) You are probably a splendid human being and b) This place should be avoided at all costs.

10 Oct 2005 09:59

The Steam Passage, Islington

Best of a poor bunch of pubs at the Angel end of Upper Street. The building reminds me of a good old-fashioned pub but the management are aiming for a more studenty/trendy feel, however that said myself and my friends are neither students or trendy(some try-they fail!) and we all felt welcome and comfortable in here. Not the widest range of Lagers but they are of a good standard and there is always Caffrey's if youhave a taste for loopy juice. Prices as you'd expect. As mentioned in a previous posting, barmaids tend to be very fit here.

10 Oct 2005 09:50

Cricketers, Enfield

Any similarity between this pub and any good place to spend the evening living or dead is purely coincidental.
No animals were harmed in the making of this review.

6 Oct 2005 13:56

The Junction, Islington

Modern pub that is home to a good range of well kept beers, some nice grub(pizza in particular), some very comfy seating and possibly the longest walk to the toilets of any pub in the known universe!

5 Oct 2005 11:03

The Fighting Cocks, St Albans

If you were to write a list of grievances about pubs in general on scraps of paper and put them in a hat, then pull one out at random; a)You'd have way too much time on your hands & b)It'd almost certainly apply to this pub.
Service that moves at the speed of continental drift, poorly kept beers at inflated prices. A food menu which would cost you an arm & a leg for standard pub lunch if they actually had anything advertised on their menu available to order. Overcorded inside and the back garden has been overtaken by a giant game of Jenga with small children endangering themselves and nearby drinkers with collapsing 8ft stacks of wooden blocks. Avoid like the plague! Memo to all the tourists who wind up here: Whilst most English pubs might not look so olde worlde and charming as this from outside, nearly all are better once you go in. Investigate your other options.

3 Oct 2005 15:37

The Salisbury, Harringay

Grandiose looking but not at all stuck up boozer in an area where good pubs are thin on the ground. Excellent spacious interior with nice tiled floor, stylish big windows and a huge bar. Plenty of seats if you are prepared to scout around in the nooks and crannies for them. Range of beers is inspiring and well kept. Bar staff are unfailingly friendly but can be a little bit too relaxed. Only downside is that it's a little steep for this neck of the woods in the way that Mount Everest is a little steep. All in all though a fantastic pub worthy of making the trip to Green Lanes for. Wrap up warm if you are going here in the winter though as it gets very chilly.

3 Oct 2005 15:20

The Dublin Castle, Camden

Fianlly feel qualified to review this place as I have actually been in for an evening's drinking and not just to watch a band out the back. I like this place. It has character, a somewhat run down character, but charcter nonetheless. Not great from a visual point of view inside although it has a nice exterior and the often signed posters of bands that passed through on their way up are a nice touch. Service at the bar was quick and friendly and prices very agreeable. Lagers were available on draft, in bottles and even in cans and there was a good selection. Good mixture of punters that created a nice buzz. Decent pub all round.
Venue at the rear of the pub is one of the best small venues to see unsigned bands in London, environment is nice but quality of band is extremely variable!

3 Oct 2005 10:54

The Earl of Camden, Camden

Didn't Hogsheads used to be micro breweries as well? Oh well, whatever, never mind. Smart, modern boozer on Parkway with a good range of lagers (although not much out of the ordinary). Atmosphere always pleasant from my experience. Prices slightly below the typical rate for the area. Music isn't bad and doesn't deafen you. No complaints at all really. Worth getting a table though as standing area can get packed.
One question though-Why is there one of those blacklight lamps in the cubicle in the gents toilets? It ruins your concentration somewhat!

3 Oct 2005 10:37

The Hen and Chickens, Islington

On balance this is a moderate pub. Drinks are pleasnt but tend to be overpriced. Clientele very varied with a slight predmoinance of pseudo intellectuals that are somewhat up their own fundament. Environment and seating are very pleasant. Bar service not as quick as I would have hoped but of a good standard once they take your order. Live bands of a disproportionately high standard for largely covers acts. Worth visiting when there is a band on but get in early as it can get packed. At other times, The Junction across the road is probably a better bet.

30 Sep 2005 10:57

The Hope and Anchor, Islington

1)Nobody cares about your pathetic little bands!

2)The likelihood of anyone going to see your band based on reading your shameless self-promotion on a site dedicated to reviewing pubs is at best minimal.

3)This is a good pub with a cool jukebox, friendly and attentive barstaff and a good pool room upstairs. At it's absoulte best on quiet daytimes in the warmer months.

4)Venue downstairs is actually great for live music and well worth checking out for quality unsigned bands, I just object to them hijacking this site to promote gigs. I mean the review stays on the site permanently and what use is it to someone looking on this site for it's actual purpose inding out nothing about the pub itself other than some no-mark with a Smiths/Pixies/Oasis/Dylan (Delete as applicable) fixation played the venue here fourteen months ago?

30 Sep 2005 10:39

The Good Mixer, Camden

Forget the whole Britpop thing and just enjoy a good old fashioned unpretentious pub. Inexpensive, good atmosphere, a lovely lived-in charm and a decent jukebox.

29 Sep 2005 10:34

The Chandos, Trafalgar Square

Yes, I probably will. No typing errors this time...phew!

28 Sep 2005 16:52

The Chandos, Trafalgar Square

Cheers Jockstrap! I'll remember to try this "beer" of which you speak next time...I'll mis my peer though!

28 Sep 2005 16:50

The Bricklayers Arms, Tottenham

Think flamejob is talking about a different pub as this one is on Tottenham High Street. Although tatty, grubby flea pit on Tottenham High Road seems remarkably apt. On matchdays it's full of the kind of annoying fans that sing their heads off in the pub and then shut up once inside the ground, or worse the kind of plum who shows up to a pub near the ground on matchdays in a football shirt, sings songs at the top of his voice but stays in the pub instead of going to the game. Seats ripped from the old stands make a nice feature for Spurs fans (like myself for my sins!) but really not a very nice place at all.

26 Sep 2005 14:49

The Corner Pin, Tottenham

Strange pub with an odd 80's style decor. Purple and not in a good way. Friendly enough though and unlikely to break the bank. Selection of drinks not likely to cause a headache and I'd stick to bottled beer rather than draft unless you fancy a Guinness. Absoultely rammed on Spurs macthdays as it's within a nanoseconds walk of the ground, at best half full at all other times. Has a big screen which shows pop videos and a jukebox that plays completely different tunes, which can lead to graet moments of unintentional comedy.

26 Sep 2005 14:39

The Pymmes Park Inn, Edmonton

Bit of a dive with a dusty flavour and chairs with no spring left in them. Not much choice but reasonably priced. Nice view of the park accross the way where you may witness a mugging or two. Not ideal for a long session but surprisingly entertaining on Karaoke nights on a Friday.
Be warned-This is a friendly pub but some of the people have that far-away look in their eyes that suggests that they may be one drumstick short of a bargain bucket.

26 Sep 2005 14:16

Robin Hood, Botany Bay

Nice enough pub with ideas and prices above it's station. Once famously refused to serve Chas & Dave as they looked too scruffy and that frankly is inexcusable! Beer garden is great in the summer though.

26 Sep 2005 14:08

Quinn's, Camden

Environment: Nice
Clientele: Varied
Beers: A myriad of wonderful brews.
Price: Ouch!

26 Sep 2005 13:52

Railway Inn, Enfield

Every time I have ever been past this pub, it has been empty save for a couple of gnarled looking regulars. Not terrible but like outer space it has no atmosphere.

26 Sep 2005 13:48

Pied Bull, Enfield

Nice old-fashioned pub as long as you manage not to concuss yourself on the particularly low ceiling beams. Ideal place to drink if you are a smurf I would imagine.

26 Sep 2005 13:44

The Assembly House, Kentish Town

Likeable but expensive pub in a prime location for Kentish Town tube and The Forum. Nice building with a good high ceiling and plenty of very elegant looking old fashioned windows. Nice place for a quiet pint most of the time but can be very crowded if there is a big gig on down the road. Bar staff are reasonably friendly and have at least some idea of how to do their job and there is a fair amount of choice in the drinks department. The major downside is the price, which even for this area is more than a touch steep.

25 Sep 2005 12:06

The Tally Ho, Kentish Town

Sure, the Tally Ho is a little downmarket compared to the majority of pubs in this neck of the woods, but it's not the terrible dive that some claim.
A fairly spacious environment that does look a little shop worn but is generally pleasant. The seating is nice and comfortable particularly in the booths. Bar staff were very friendly and I felt welcome despite not being a regular or indeed an "Alkie". Not the greatest range of beers you'll ever come across but pretty standard for a small neighbourhood pub. Pints were of a decent standard and the price was one of the best in this area. Sports theme to pub means that there are plenty of TVs to watch the sport of your choice (Aussie Rules was on when I was in there). Not a place you'd choose as a destination for a whole night out, but good for footie, a quick pint on your way elsewhere or a port of call on a pub crawl.

25 Sep 2005 11:59

The Montagu Pyke, Charing Cross Road

Currently in the worst of the three incarnations of watering hole I have been to on this site, The Marquee had the benefit of live music and the original "standard" Wetherspoon's The Moon Under Water was cheaper and had a different and vastly superior atmosphere.
That said this is a case of could do better rather than being a completely lost cause. Still cheaper than many bars in the West End. Bar staff change so frequently that the level of service is predictably variable, but drinks are normally well looked after and there is always a vast array of choices on offer. Seating is comfortable if you can get a seat! Food no longer good value and the menu is a little too pretentious for a mass-produced pre-packaged food warmed up in a microwave style chain pub. Bland Top40 Music has added nothing to the benefit of the atmosphere and has detracted from the background buzz of people talking which was one of the better features of the pub when it was The Moon. Back bar is the best place to settle in for a few drinks and the big screen in the main area used for the football is absolutely huge which helps create an atmosphere on match days that is sadly lacking when a match isn't in progress. You could do worse, but there are better locations to spend the night within easy walking distance.

23 Sep 2005 16:22

The Green Man, Barnet

Worth checking out if you live locally when there is a band on as there are very few decent venues for live music in this neck of the woods.
Once went in here for a drink on a non-gig night though and wouldn't recommend it. Downstairs bar is like a ghost town and has a shabby but charming quality to it, but beer was nothing to write home about. Service was friendly but, considering the very low volume of customers, also painfully slow. Music was good in the background, but not a lot of atmosphere or entertainment to commend it and for a night's drinking there are better pubs nearby.

23 Sep 2005 16:00

Ben Crouch's Tavern, Fitzrovia

Good effort all round. Lovely tacky mock Gothic decor, good drinks(range and quality) and nice atmosphere. Sound effects in the toilet are a nice touch. Unlike some theme pubs that you may have drunk in before, this remembers to not overdo things on the gimmick front to the detriment of it's actual main use as a drinking establishment. As such it's just a slightly unusual looking but comfortable and welcoming pub rather than a Goth theme park. The crowd is generally a good mix of people from all walks of life with a slight bias towards goths and rockers, but not to the extent that you might imagine. Music has improved since previous reviews. Only downside is price, but just off of Oxford Street that is only to be expected I suppose.

23 Sep 2005 12:06

The Kings Head, Enfield

Popped in here recently for the first time in about four years and was pleasantly surprised. It's always been a lovely bulding in a great location but until recently it seemed that the owners thought that they didn't have to make any effort whatsoever because of this. Now, it's improved greatly. Nice cosy and friendly atmosphere. Good dim but not dingy lighting which is always benificial to a pub. Drinks are good and there is a fair degree of variety. Prices better than I remembered from previous visits. Nice place to escape to on a cold winters night. Oh and the view from the admittedly somehat dilapidated pool/darts room upstairs is one of the best in Enfield. Now giving The Taps a run for it's money as the best pub in the Town Centre, well worth a visit and far less crowded than the woefully inferior Goose across the way.

22 Sep 2005 16:42

The Chandos, Trafalgar Square

Lovely pub with character that avoids being a tourist trap despite it's prime location. It's a Sam Smith's so the beer is good but unique to the brewery and the "famous" and "premium" brand name drinks are not served here. Lovely wooden floored area downstairs with nice booths to secrete yourself in. Upstairs offers a warmer, more comfortable environment with more sofa style seating than standing room. If the windows are open in summertime it's a good place to watch the world go by. Lovely building all in all, with good peer at a very acceptable price. Bar staff are generally on-the-ball and friendly too.

21 Sep 2005 13:54

The Trout, Hammersmith

Located inside the tube station building which makes for an intersting if not particularly pleasant backdrop, this pub is not actually all that bad. Gets crowded when the rush hour spills out a great many thirsty workers at the station and is alway srammed when a high profile band are playing at the nearby Apollo and it can take a loooooooong while to get served at those times. However, most of the rest of the time it's reasonably quiet. Bar staff are friendly and I've always found them to be efficient too. Prices aren't great but drinks are generally good. Worth a quick drop in if you are passing with time on your hands but not the best location for a decent session.

21 Sep 2005 13:40

The Roadhouse, Covent Garden

Better than you might expect downstairs bar in the heart of Covent Garden. Prices reasonable for the area especially for the cocktails. Reasonable range of bottled beers and vast array of spirits available. Music is normally good with live bands and DJs keeping the atmosphere going. Sitting at the bar is advisable if you get there early enough as it makes getting served, which can be difficult here, very easy. Cocktails are nice. Food is ok. Nothing about this place is too grand or flash but if you want good old fashioned unpretentious fun in a friendly environment, this should be ideal for you.

8 Sep 2005 15:34

The Coal Hole, Strand

I like the Coal Hole a lot and always have. Nice building with a lot of atmosphere and character. Beer is always good and prices are par for the area. Good mixture of people in there normally and bar service is efficient. Best place to go for a drink on The Strand. If you can get one of the few seats on the upstairs bit, it's a very pleasant place to settle in for a drink with your nearest and dearest.

8 Sep 2005 15:27

Vine Inn, Waltham Cross

A quiet but welcoming pub that somehow manages to escape from the depressing yobbish crowd that generally drink in and around Waltham Cross. Decent beers in a nice environment tucked away off of the high street. Haven't been for a little while, which is a shame but many happy afternoons/evenings have been spent here as an adult and as a kid. Always used to be a good pub to go to if you had kids with you as it had a decent garden but this may now have been curtailed by the recent road expansions near by.

8 Sep 2005 15:15

The Happy Pig, Waltham Cross

Dive! Dive! Dive!

8 Sep 2005 15:09

The Moon and Cross, Waltham Cross

Breathtakingly average Wetherspoon's. It's a little bit grubbier and shows more signs of wear and tear than most pubs in this chain, but still has the good prices and range of food and drink on offer. Service is unpredictable ranging from friendly and attentive to couldn't care less but is slightly more positive than negative. Better than most of the local competition and therefore popular. Better in the daytime or on quite nights than when it's packed. Toilets are clean to the extent that they are almost preferable to drinking in the bar area, but not quite!

8 Sep 2005 15:08

The Britannia, Monument

Haven't visited for a while but always used to be good. Downstairs bar is very pleasant and they were one of the first pubs to offer a wide range of flavoured vodkas if you fancied a break from the well kept beers. Gets busy as you would expect between about 5.00 and 8.00 at night, but is pleasant enough at most other times.

8 Sep 2005 14:59

The Southbury Hotel, Enfield

Hate to say it but this place is going downhill. Lovely building, great location and cheap prices should add up to one of the best pubs in Enfield. Sadly, it all falls apart when it comes to service. Not that individual bar staff are incompetent or rude, just that there never seem to be enough of them there and the manager is a particularly surly individual who is rude to all and sundry to the extent that it's hard to believe some of the staff have stayed there as long as they have. Quality of beer has been distinctly variable of late as well. Food seems cheaper but takes a while to come and the steak is poor. Still far from the worst pub in the world at the moment, but at the current rate of decline it's advisable to get in there quickly before it becomes unberable.

8 Sep 2005 14:51

THE Distillers, Hammersmith

Nie enough pub. Spent a couple of hours having an al fresco drink on the pavement outside. Prices weren't expensive, beer was decent and bar staff were friendly and easy on the eye. Worth a couple of pints on a nice mild evening, not too crowded and convenient for a pre-gig drink if you are headed to the Apollo round the corner.

8 Sep 2005 14:28

Goose, Brixton

Better than average Goose & Granite pub on Brixton High Road that is ideal for a few pints prior to a gig at The Academy round the corner. Staff are quick and efficient and there is always a nice friendly buzz about the place. Beer is cheap and largely very good. Can get very busy but it's quite spacious so you should find a decent spot to stand and enjoy your drink.

22 Aug 2005 10:03

The Sweeney's Bar, Chelmsford

Nice Irish pub in a quiet side street right in the town centre. Walls are adorned with the usual Irish bric-a-brac including a full set of Gaelic football (or are they hurling? Never could tell the difference) shirts hanging from the ceiling, but this feels homely rather than tacky as is so often the case. Drinks are good and not too pricey and the barstaff are friendly. Quite cramped inside but seats are comfy and atmosphere convivial. Nice place to escape the outside world. Not normally too busy either so not claustrophobic. I like to drink in here every time I vist Chelmsford and have never had less than an excellent experience here. Check out one of the best hidden treasures in Essex.

16 Aug 2005 11:04

The Bay Horse, Chelmsford

Excellent pub for the rock/alternative/student crowd. Cheap drinks but well kept. Building has character. Absolutely superb jukebox set loud enough to hear properly. Apparently hosts live bands too. Good friendly crowd. Bar staff very helpful and quick.

16 Aug 2005 10:26

The White Swan, Islington

Standard issue Wetherspoon's made more appealing than it might otherwise be due to it's location in an area where virtually every other pub/bar feels compelled to charge way over the odds and seem to get away with it without complaint. Upstairs area is good for people watching and there is always a nice buzz about the place. Only real downsides are typically inconsistent Wetherspoon's bar service ranging from the efficient and charming to painfully slow and surly and the amount of drunks that either fight or fall over on their way out every single time I visit.

27 Jul 2005 13:50

Temple Bar, Amsterdam

Is there no escape from poorly put together Irish theme pubs? Not in Amsterdam there isn't that's for sure. Fussy entry policy, slow disinterested service and poor food let down a potentially nice pub in a good location. Identikit attempt at faux-Irishness that doesn't capture the atmosphere of a genuine Irish boozer at all. Beer was ok, but nothing to write home about.

27 Jul 2005 13:40

The Old Bell, Enfield

Decent enough pub of a decent size and with a reasonable selection of drinks at a good-for-a-tarditional-boozer price. Jukebox is good and the regulars appear to have very good taste in music. Service quick and pleasant. Nice environment that is both clean but comfortable and lived-in. Hard to understand why the pub was only half-full on a Friday night, but in fairness I'm not complaining as I got a seat.

25 Jul 2005 11:02

Point 101, Bloomsbury

Charmless and expensive bar under Centre Point. Decor is grim 70's swimming pool inspired. Drinks are nice with a fair selction of bottled beers and some good cocktails, but service can take aeons. Depressingly wannabe trendy crowd and painfully retro-chic soundtrack make it hard to spend any length of time here. Ok for a quick one or two once the pubs have kicked out though.

12 Jul 2005 13:43

The Jolly Farmers, Enfield

Not bad at all, I'm not a frequent visitor to it but have found it very pleasant every time I've been there. Prices aren't too bad, drinks are good and environment is lovely in a modern but tasteful way. Always seem to end up in here on Christmas Eve for no good reason that I can fathom, but doubtless I'll be back again this year, so it's obviously doing something right. Nice for an occasional evening out when you are bored with your local, but not the kind of place that you'd want to frequent regularly.

4 Jul 2005 14:02

The Pillars of Hercules, Soho

Nice enough little Soho boozer. Can get very cramped and of course the prices are inflated because of it's location, but it's very cosy and welcoming and has a decent range of beers.

29 Jun 2005 11:09

Crown and Horseshoes, Enfield

Used to be a regular here throughout the 90's but was driven away by the ridiculously inflated prices and the complacency of the management that meant that the pub had gradually deteriorated from a lovely place for a drink and one of the best pubs in Enfield to being a place that my friends and I conciously avoided.
I am very pleased to say that these problems have now been addressed and the pub is once again a good place to head for on an evening out. Bar staff are friendly and quick, the whole place has had a lick of paint and new furniture and carpets,etc. which has improved the environment immeasurably. Prices have come down to a reasonable level and the choice of drinks has improved as has the quality. Food is approachable if nothing special and a little bit steep. Now has decent TVs for watching sport and pool tables if you are bored. Beer garden is still the largest and best of it's kind for miles around. Great location and at last the owners are making the most of it. Highly recommended, may well become a regular haunt again.

31 May 2005 11:23

The Punch And Judy, Covent Garden

Two words: Tourist Trap!
Overpriced, overcrowded and hellish. Avoid.
The (I suspect) soon to be ex-manager under-ordered for the recent Bank Holiday weekend and was left with a lager and for a change punter free boozer when the last of the amber anesthetic had run out by mid-afternoon on the Sunday. Can't see the owner being pleased with all those missed profits on one of the busiest drinking weekends of the year!

31 May 2005 10:56

The Nags Head, Covent Garden

A bit of a mixed bag this one. On one hand this is a nice enough old-fashioned London watering hole, with a reasonable selection of beers, friendly and efficient staff and a great location. On the other hand it seems to be somewhat lacklustre and the atmosphere and value for money aspects are not all that they could be. Inexplicably much more popular than it deserves to be, not that it's bad or anything but just not quite worthy of being packed all the time and raved about in some quarters, especially given that there are superior pubs within a short walk of here. One plus point though is the sight of the local street performers popping in for a pint after their show whilst still made up as robots, statues,etc. Call me old fashioned but no matter how long I continue to live in this wonderful city, things like that always make me chuckle and raise my eyebrows.

31 May 2005 10:51

The Cove, Covent Garden

Surprisingly well hidden pub right in the heart of Covent Garden Piazza. I daren't think of how many times I'd walked past this place and never noticed it, hidden as it is above a cornish pasty shop. Worth the time to check it out though, as the beer is good and reasonably priced and is served by pleasant and quick bar staff. Crowded and cramped inside but gorgeously atmospheric decor still made it a pleasant enough environment. Balcony is your best bet, but beware that you may struggle to find enough space to raise your elbow to drink whilst watching the street performers(not a euphamism for prostitutes!) below and just generally people watching. Nice on a sunny evening though. The pasties from downstairs are excellent and can be delivered to your table, the traditional is lovely as you would expect but for heathens that would tamper with the sanctity of a traditional pasty; the lamb & mint ones are very nice too.

31 May 2005 10:42

Bradleys, Fitzrovia

Dropped in for a quick couple of pints on the way to a gig at the Astoria nearby and was sorely tempted to give the gig a miss and carry on drinking the night away here. A lovely hidden treasure of a pub just off Oxford Street on the road that loops round to join Tottenham Court Road. Decor was homely, old-fashioned but with a charmingly lived-in feel. Jukebox was excellent and played the kind of stuff that you wouldn't normally hear in a pub. Bar staff were friendly and efficient. Sadly most of the beers were off when I was there due to the high demands that bank holiday weekend drinkers had put upon the place, but the draft San Miguel was delicious. Not overly pricey for a pub in such a prime location either. Well worthy of visiting again and again.

31 May 2005 10:32

The Old Sergeant, Chase End

Have never noticed the bears of which Meach speaks, sounds a bit bloody dangerous to me. Still at least the beers are good!!!

24 May 2005 13:45

The Red Lion, Enfield

Decent pub with good beer and a nice convivial atmosphere. Prices not cheap but reasonable in comparison to other pubs in the area. Makes an effort to put on entertainment and is full of comfy seating. Smallish beer garden for summer drinking. It is largely trouble free which is a distinct advantage for a pub in this neck of the woods. Somehow, though the pub is good, it never seems to inspire me to return on a regular basis and lacks that vital "X" factor that distinguishes a nice or good pub from a truly great pub, if i ever figure out what that difference is I will find a way to bottle it and be a millionaire(woo-hah-hah!). Worth dropping in for a pint if you are in the area, and the occasional visit for locals. As HartleyHare rightly spotted the Mehec Indian restaurant across the road is brilliant so why not pop into the Red Lion for a pint before and after a top notch curry?

19 May 2005 16:35

The Railway Tavern, Edmonton

Nice little pub built into the shopping centre that mainly depends on the market traders for it's custom. Inside it is dimly lit and comfortable, barstaff are reasonably friendly and quick, not the greatest range of drinks,no food and prices are a little on the steep side considering it's location, but all in all a decent place for an afternoon pint or two. One of those pubs that is inexplicably hard to leave once you are settled in, at least partially because it makes you forget that you are actually in Edmonton Green which can only ever be a good thing. Only major drawback is that it tends to shut early as once the shops shut there are few people to generate passing trade and if truth be told the shopping centre is something of a no-go area once it gets dark.

19 May 2005 16:24

The Beef and Barrel, Ponders End

Decent pub with a nice variety of drinks and a very cool jukebox. Nice atmosphere even if, like myself, you aren't a student or one of the increasingly small number of "real" regulars from the local area. Can get very busy at times and hard to find a seat (at my age you need one!) but is generally a decent venue for a few beers. Prices are reasonable even for those of us that haven't got a yeallow card. Never had food here as the kitchen rarely seems open when I am there.
For fans of alternative music, this is a decent replacement for the now sadly defunct Enfield Arms.

19 May 2005 16:02

The Taps, Enfield

Definitely the best pub in the Enfield Town Centre area. A pleasant surprise located on the site of a long defunct trendy wine bar. A rare modern pub that seems to have a little bit of character to it. Vauguely Irish theme running throughout but not in the usual style of O'Neill's et al. Service is friendly enough and reasonably quick. Prices are neither great nor dire, but the beer is good. At it's best on a weekend afternoon or straight after work where the narrow gangway leading from the bar (on the left hand side immediately as you enter) to the back of the pub isn't congested with human traffic, and as such drinks can be procured quickly and easily and ferried to your seat without undue spillage. Nice flat screen TVs for sport and clean toilets! Wooden benches are surprisingly comfortable. A good effort all round and worthy of investigation.

12 May 2005 14:02

The Famous Cock Tavern, Islington

Ok, so you wouldn't necessarily want to spend your whole evening in this pub, but it has been on the wrong end of some unfairly harsh criticism here! It's a reasonable pub that has acceptable service, a nice atmosphere, comfortable seating and standing areas and a decent big screen for watching the footie. Granted it's pricey and there are better pubs within a few minutes walk, but for use as a meeting place, part of a crawl or for a quick marginally cheaper pint before moving on to watch a gig over the road in The Garage, this is a perfectly good option. In my opinion it has more character and more of an "organic" pub feel than the usual plastic places that spring up this close to a tube station and the Buffalo Bar downstairs is also good especially on a Club Beer night.

10 May 2005 11:57

The Coburg, Liverpool

Cracking little pub stuck in a lost wilderness of travelodges and Industrial estates in Liverpool. Nicely decorated so as to be welcoming and cosy but also reasonably modern and stylish without being in any way flashy. Bar staff were quick and friendly, prices were excellent and the beer was very drinkable (that's my excuse anyway!). The locals didn't seem to mind a bunch of strange Londoners in their midst and were very friendly. Background music was just that and did the job of giving you something to tap your feet to without killing converstaion. Flat screen TV's show the sport and the barstaff are accomodating if nobody is watching and there is something that you'd like put on instead. The food is excellent both for quality and value (Cajun chicken, highly recommended!). All in all a lovely pub that gets busy enough to have a "buzz" but no so crowded that it gets uncomfortable. If I lived in the area I would definitely be a regular here. Check it out if you are ever in the neighbourhood. I know that I will next time I'm on Merseyside.

10 May 2005 11:46

The Maple Leaf, Covent Garden

Enough with the Canadian bashing already!
This is a nice pub full of a good mix of international drinkers and should be judged on it's own merits. Besides which the punters at this place seem to be an entirely different bunch everytime I pop in as is the case with most West End Pubs. Sorry that you bumped into some rude Canadians on your visit guys but try the pub again sometime and you may find it full of a more friendly crowd as I have on every one of my visits. Never trust anonymous reviews from people having a pop at those from different nations or cultures!!!!
P.s.Toronto is not a toilet(That's Calgary!) and the Quebecers are not as all siree bob!

10 May 2005 10:57

The Stag, Enfield

Oh dear, oh dear, oh dear. Where do you begin when it comes to explaining how poor this pub is? Cramped, dusty and looking not so much lived-in as died-in, the environment is not good for starters. Add in poorly kept beers and a not particularly wonderful selection of drinks and some not terribly friendly regulars who at their age are too old to indulge in the infantile "banter" that they perpetuate much to any passing drinkers' chagrin and combine with ridiculously inflated prices and add a lack of decent entertainment to taste. Appaling as a boozer and best avoided unless you are massochist with deep pockets. Bar staff are at least reasonably friendly on the plus side and it would be churlish to mention this establishment without drawing attention to the excellent restaurant located upstairs which is well worth a visit...just don't arrive early for drinks or risk an after dinner tipple downstairs afterwards.

18 Mar 2005 16:43

The George, Enfield

One of those pubs that has been refitted by a cheap beer chain and in the process lost most of it's character and atmosphere. It looks and smells like a new pub in the worst sense of that phrase. Attempts to add book cases and little booths acheive the rare feat of making the place seem musty and old-fashioned at the same time as reeking of fresh paint and the desperation of a place trying too hard. Drink selection is decent and prices low but quality of pint is extremely variable. Oddly, service at the bar seems better when they are busy, but my word do I mean busy! Avoid this place on weekend nights unless you wish to participate in the world's largest game of sardines and are content to put up with one half-spilled pint per two hours. Not terrible on weekdays in the afternoon or early evening post-work, but you sense that it's a compromise option of a destination for most and nobody would make it their first choice of a place to spend their evenings.

18 Mar 2005 16:34

The Horn, St Albans

A really nice pub with a quality music venue attached. The pub itself is a bright modern looking affair, with an excellent jukebox and a relaxed yet welcoming atmosphere. The games room is nice and has a decent enough pool table and a couple of video game machines. Drinks are reasonably priced and quality is average, not much choice though. The venue is good if a little cramped and the bar stays open late. Toilets are pretty grim though. All in all good for a relaxing pint if you don't want to watch the band, and an excellent place for a night out if you do.

18 Feb 2005 15:02

The Enfield Arms, Enfield Town

An excellent suggestion from V70Rog I think. It makes a lot of sense. Rather than have the regulars scattered to the four corners of the globe(or Enfield at least) or trying to ingratiate themselves in a pub that already has it's own core of drinkers, a little bit of foresight could lead to a proven good and profitable pub surviving, albeit in a slightly different form rather than a derelict building or another "trendy" bar or pub moving in to appeal to a segment of the drinking market already very well catered for in the local area.

16 Feb 2005 16:43

The Spice of Life, Cambridge Circus

A really nice pub, simple as that.

15 Feb 2005 11:37

The Oakwood Tavern, Oakwood

Nice enough boozer, the fact that it is a single shop unit conversion makes for a slightly odd layout and atmosphere and it has the potential to be a little claustrophobic when busy. Bar staff were friendly and prompt, drinks pleasant and price reasonable. Seating is comfortable. Decor was a little bit cliche in the Irish Theme Pub style, but not overly tacky. No funny looks or comments from the regulars which is always a bonus. The "entertainment" on the night I was there was pretty poor and consisted of one man attempting to sing hits of the 50/60/70s whilst playing a keyboard, but I'm sure he wont be returning and it would be harsh of me to mark this pub down for that!

15 Feb 2005 11:29

The Hop Poles, Enfield

A pub that makes an effort is always to be applauded and this is no different. A nice friendly welcoming pub with a decent selection of drinks, helpful bar staff and a good atmosephere. Looks very nice as a result of it's recent rennovation and suits all different types of drinker. The restaurant/dining area;raised up to the right as you enter is cosy without being cramped and serves a good range of food. If you just fancy a quiet drink then this area is good as is the area immediately surrounding the main door. There is a pool table and jukebox in the central section, where as the back area has a big screen for sport and hosts live music on weekends. It also has it's own bar that opens only when it's busy. The building itself is lovely and something of a landmark in the local area. Only downside is that drinks are a little bit dear. However, a pub that serves decent food, caters for the quiet drink or a more lively evening out, is well decorated and maintained, offers good entertainment and a nice selection of well kept drinks is to be celebrated and enjoyed. Also is rumoured to have the added attraction of a Poltergeist named "George" that periodically re-arranges things in the cellar and the bar, that is alleged to be the ghost of a former employee that was killed in an accident nearby! Spooky, isn't it?

15 Feb 2005 11:08

De Hems, Soho

Lovely boozer. A wonderful reminder of the benefits of living in a cosmopolitan city; A Dutch pub right on the edge of Chinatown. A lovely big old building with plenty of character. Nice wooden floor and a few dark wood tables and stools but the majority of punters stand. The beer is excellent, various Dutch beers on draft with a wider selection of Dutch and Belgian bottled beer. Bar staff are friendly and do their best to keep the potentially mamoth waiting times down despite the fact that the place is almost permanently busy especially at weekends. Very nice if you can get in there on a weeknight after the initial post work crush has filtered out as you may actually get a seat and easy passage to the bar. At it's absolute best when there is an International football tournament involving the Dutch on the telly as the atmosphere is brilliant. A lovely place.

4 Feb 2005 13:46

Europub, Amsterdam

Nice modern pub right on the edge of Dam Square itself. Draft Bavaria is lovely and service is quick and pleasant. Comfortable seating, music in the background and TV screens make it a decent venue for a good few drinks. Only problem is that it's a bit on the pricey side.

3 Feb 2005 14:22

Hill Street Blues, Amsterdam

Best place for a good time in Amsterdam. Sure it's also a "coffee shop" but it doesn't neglect drinkers like myself like some other places and has nice draft and bottled beers as well as Magner's Cider on draft. The atmosphere is welcoming and laid back and it has become a home away from home for myself and many of my friends. The music is varied but always good. Good on evenings at the weekend when it is packed and lively, but perhaps at it's best on a quiet morning or afternoon if you sit downstairs right at the back overlooking the canal and Damrak. Cheap as chips as well and the staff is friendly. The charmingly ramshackle decoration consists of hundreds of messages scrawled on the wall by previous visitors as well as various beer mats,etc. stuck on once there was no wallspace left to write on. Absolutely lovely, don't get caught in the usual tourist traps (The Grasshopper-this means you!)and head straight for this wonderful watering hole. Just writing this has made me all misty eyed and nostalgic, so I'm off to book a flight to Amsterdam immediately as I am really missing this bar.

3 Feb 2005 14:20

The Nelson, Sheffield

Top quality pub. I was recently visiting Sheffield when myself and my mates stumbled across this excellent boozer for the rock/alternative music fan. Friendly and welcoming with decent music played at a fair volume. Upstairs is a nice wooden floored area with a minimal scattering of tables and chairs that allows a large number of drinkers to occupy the bulk of the floorspace. Getting to the bar was surprisingly easy, barstaff were good and drinks inexpensive. Reasonable selction too. Music upstairs leans towards contemporary rock/metal, whilst downstairs in the more cosy and traditional pub type bar it's classic rock. An excellent find and a must for anyone wanting a few drinks before heading to The Corporation. Cool pictures on the walls as well, the version of the London Underground tube map with the stations replaced by all the pubs of Sheffield is particularly brilliant. Just wish that I lived local so as to be able to visit more frequently...but I will be back,oh yes!

27 Jan 2005 09:52

Jolly Butchers, Enfield

With a little help from guest reviewer Yoda: "Hmmm, crap this pub is! Atmosphere, decent service, a selection of drinks the landlord seeks not these things. More like a private members club it is. The Dark Side of the force I sense here, stay away young Jedi"
Strictly locals only type of pub. Old fashioned but not in a nice way. expensive in comparison to other pubs in the area and offering little to entice the passing drinker inside this is best avoided. Possibly the worst pub in Enfield, which is no small boast! Although in fairness it will have to work hard on it's all encompassing crapness to catch up with The Gun & Magpie, but it's made a promising start in this area.

24 Jan 2005 17:01

The Porterhouse, Covent Garden

Truly fantastic selection of beers but sadly the labyrinthine nature of the place and the permanent over-crowding that restricts easy movement from bar to seat to toilet makes it a better place for a quick drop in rather than a place to spend the evening. Expect a fairly long wait when attempting to get a drink but helpful service once you are actually being dealt with.Prices are as awful as you might expect in this neck of the woods and the place is strangely soulless. All in all an expensive and uncomfortable environment that is only worth enduring on an occasional basis to try there many wonderful beers from all over the world. Would get a 9/10 for beers but only a 3/10 for layout, atmosphere and value.

24 Jan 2005 16:43

The Maple Leaf, Covent Garden

Ok, you might think that I'm slightly biased due to my English/Canadian dual nationality which was always likely to draw me to this pub, but I genuinely think it is one of, if not the outright best pub(s) in the West End. A lovely friendly bar populated by natives of London, Canada and beyond that serves good Canadian beers including Molson Candian, Molson Dry (both on draft as well as in bottles), Moosehead and Sleeman's (no Kokanee or Rickard's which is a shame)and shows the Hockey. The food is nice and reasonably priced. Candaiana in the form of Hockey memorabilia and a Mountie uniform adorns the walls and the back of the pub is decorated so as to resemble a log cabin, all of which may sound tacky but actually works really well. Barstaff are friendly and efficient, prices are a little steep but where else are you going to get a pint of Canadian in London? Good for a relatively quite drink and a bite to eat on midweek days, but also good for a more lively night out at weekends.

24 Jan 2005 16:34

The Classic Rock Bar, Sheffield

Nice place, welcoming and friendly and plays decent music. Bar staff were very quick and prices and the beer were all good. Nice enough decor inside and with either DJs or Live Bands playing music at a decent volume it's well worth a visit. The only complaint is that the place is obviously far too small for the number of people that drink there. Was there on Saturday night and enjoying myself but felt compelled to leave earlier than I would have liked as I felt a bit claustrophobic due to the limited floorspace and the ordeal of trying to force my way back to the bar throught the throng.

24 Jan 2005 11:05

The Bankers Draft, Sheffield

Avoid. Laid out like a typical Wetherspoon's, the cheap prices are also present and correct however the draft beer was appaling and lifeless, they were out of stock of many drink and food items by lunchtime on a Saturday afternoon and they employ without doubt the single rudest and most unhelpful barman that I have ever encountered anywhere. I hope his manager wises up to him soon as myself and my two companions will never drink here again and we overheard at least two other customers expressing similar sentiments because of the treatment and service they had received. There are many good pubs in Sheffield to choose from, so despite the attraction of the low prices, you are better off exploring your other options.

24 Jan 2005 10:58

Plough, Crews Hill

Nice quiet and quite old-fashioned pub tucked away in the Crews Hill area. Nice cosy feel in the snug or the area surrounding the main bar, with a more airy and spacious environment available in the conservatory. Drinks are pretty much the standard sort of thing for a local pub but are a little bit dear. Food is very nice but once again pricey. Good for a relaxing drink and chat on most nights, but better on quiz nights which are always good up there. Landlord and bar staff are all friendly and welcoming. A very nice place to spend the evening, so ultimatley worth the extra expense.

20 Jan 2005 09:53

Bar Me, Enfield

Crap pub for the trendy crowd that don't mind paying West End prices in the sticks. Alchopops and the inevitible strong lagers for those who can't hold Music is far too loud and not particularly good. Horrible looking place from outside but in fairness quite tastefully decorated inside. Was much better in the daytime when the smart casual cattle market crowd were not present looking for a quick knee-trembler or a row. Now closed, it will not be missed especially by the local Police who seemed to have a permanent residence outside on weekends.

20 Jan 2005 09:38

The Railway Tavern, Liverpool Street

A nice big pub that is well worth investigating if you find yourself stuck waiting for a train in the area. Modern decor without trying too hard to be trendy. Flat screen TVs dotted liberally throughout make it a good place to watch the football and the background music is just that and not set at conversation killing levels. Not as pricey as some in the area, but still not exactly cheap. The mezzanine level is a great spot for a quiet chat or people watching and has very comfy sofas, however negotiating the narrow metal spiral staricase becomes dificult when laden with drinks from the bar downstairs and even more challenging once the drinks have been consumed! the Cigar dispensor machines are a nice touch. Has several hand pumps dispensing a wide variety of beers all called "London Pride" and all tasting suspiciously like "London Pride". Decent variety of lagers and spirits though. It was clean and service was quick and pleasant. Only real down side was the food. I was in there at about 6.30 and half the menu was unavailable at that point although they serve food virtually all night.

20 Jan 2005 09:30

The Goat, Ponders End

Decent pub in the heart of Ponders End. Makes an effort and The Lark In The Park days when live bands play out in the car park is always good fun. Drinks are reasonably priced and there is a fair selection. Different areas of the pub have very different decor/seating and mood, with older regulars in the comfortable and staid front area and younger drinkers in the more spacious area with fewer seats at the back with the pool table, jukebox and big screen for sports. Well worth dropping inot if you are passing by. a lovely building as well with a distinctly incongrous set of cobbled stones outside on the otherwise modern urban thorughfare that ir Ponders End high street.

14 Jan 2005 16:01

The Golden Hive, Brimsdown

If you have seen the movie "An American Werewolf In London" and/or the TV Show "The League Of Gentlemen" then this pub may seem eerily familiar as this is most definitley a local pub for local people that is somewhat suspicious of strangers. Not the largest pub in the world and rarely the busiest, drink selection isn't too bad and the prices aren't too steep but there is very little to tempt people in the area away from the superior and more welcoming pubs in the vicinity. If you aren't a familiar face service can take a fair while.

14 Jan 2005 15:55

The Merryhills, Oakwood

I have to say that contrary to the opinions of the majority of other reviewers I have recently started having an occasional drink in this pub and have found it to be very friendly and a nice place to visit. Admittedly this has been on week nights when there are no bouncers in sight but I haven't seen any trouble that would warrant their presence. The beer is well kept and cheap, barstaff are efficient and friendly and with a choice of plasma, normal TVs and a big screen projector it's a great place to watch sport. Video jukebox isn't too intrusive. The pub is comfortable and clean with a nice fire for cold days. The quiz they do is good fun and not too challenging. A good place to have a mid-week drink and the food is approachable and reasonably priced too. It is ultimately just a Q's(formerly Mr.Q's) pub but is a much better than usual example of it's type. If you like pool the tables are pretty good as you might expect in this ind of place, if you don't want to play, you can sit well away from the corner with the tables and enjoy your beer in peace.

10 Jan 2005 10:54

The Enfield Arms, Enfield Town

This great pub has now sadly closed for good. The last night was a good laugh. For those who never made it there it was your loss I'm afraid and you can't put it right now.
Rest in Peace, you will be sadly missed.
thanks for the memories and the pint glass memento.
Hope to see all the wierd and wonderful people that drank there at another location in the near future.

10 Jan 2005 10:41

The Sporting Green, Enfield

A modern pub with a white washed exterior that has the pub's name painted on the wall. Inside friendly and helpful barstaff will serve you from an average mix of drinks at a slightly expensive price but nothing too terrible. Quality of drinks varies but I like the pub overall as it makes an effort. Nice wooden floors on one side and surprisingly tasteful carpetting on the other. Comfortable leatcher sofas compete with nice high wooden stalls for a nice place to settle in with your drink. Live bands and DJs play here regularly and there is a jukebox as well as pool tables to entertain you at other times. Good for watching sport as the name of the place would suggest as they have several smaller TVs mounted on the walls around the pub as well as a big projector screen. Varies between resembling a ghost town on some week nights to looking like the world record attempt for getting chavs in one room on Friday and Saturday nights. A much more lively and interesting pub than any of the others in the Enfield Highway area.

16 Dec 2004 11:27

The Old Sergeant, Chase End

Pretty near perfect. Good beers at a reasonable price served by friendly and efficient staff who are at pains to make you feel welcome. Plasma TV gives a much clearer picture for the sports than the usual big projector screens and rugby is given as much of a chance as football. Pool table area is pleasant if smokey. Has one of those new-fangled jukeboxes with millions of tunes on it which is set at a sensible volume so that you can hear the music without having to shout over it. Even the toilets are clean and tidy. A nice place for a quiet drink or something a bit more lively as the lay out means that all kinds of people can find an environment to suit them(even grouchy old SidneyP!). Definitely one of the best pubs in Enfield.

16 Dec 2004 11:02

Bar Form, Enfield Town

Compare this to the awful Bar Ten just round the corner to illustrate just how spot on the owners have got this bar. Nice laid back atmosphere and comfortable seating, great selection of beers & cocktails served by knowledgable staff and it won't break the bank either. Also puts in the effort by offering a wide variety of entertainment from Funky DJs to Rocking Live Bands and with a very good comedy night thrown in. an excellent place to chill out in after work (it's opposite the train station for the uninitaited) or after shopping.

15 Nov 2004 11:55

The Picture Palace, Ponders End

Oh dear. For those who care about the all round pub experience and not just the beer and the price you may have noticed that Wetherspoon's pubs rely on the background noise of chatter to create their atmosphere. Foolishly they have decided here to put a large aisle right down the middle of the pub which runs from the main doors to the bar. The effect is to split the pub into two halves and leave a gap where no sound exists reducing the background noise and making the pub at times eerily and uncomfortably quiet. This major drawback aside, you are in standard Wetherspoon's territory here with the attendant wide range of drinks at low prices that are normally decent quality and where the barstaff are extremely variable. Seating is very comfortable and this is a haven for students from Middlesex University's Ponders End campus due to the cheap beer. I fyou do feel compelled to drink here at least avoid the beer patio in the summer as they have foolishly put metal furniture out there which will cause burns as it retains the heat from the sun beaming down on it relentlessly during the hot weather. It is also right next to the A1010 Hertford Road which is very busy so carbon monoxide poisining is also a concern as is the incessant noise of the traffic.

11 Nov 2004 11:30

Owl, High Beech

A nice enough pub situated in the middle of nowhere which unfortunately precludes at least one member of your party(the driver) from drinking for the evening. Quite old fashioned inside but normally clean and comfortable. Service at the bar not too bad and whilst there isn't the greatest selection of drinks and the price is not particularly cheap the beer is always drinkable. Comes into it's own in the summer when it's beer garden affords a good view down the hill and there is plenty of space to enjoy an al fresco pint and the place becomes a bit more lively as people come from further afield than usual arrrive to bolster the small but perfectly formed number of regulars.

11 Nov 2004 10:59

The Avenue, Barnet

I went to this pub on a Sunday afternoon to watch Football on the big screens, several of which are dotted around the pub and liked the place so much I stayed until closing time. Never saw any bouncers surly or otherwise. Prices weren't the worst and there were some good deals on selected drinks. Food was excellent. Nice big pub with comfortable seating and enough different little areas to provide a suitably pleasing drinking environment for almost anybody. Music was ok and there are quiz machines and pool tables for those who wish to waste good drinking time playing games. Very nice I look forward to visiting again.

10 Nov 2004 15:24

Gilpins Bell, Edmonton

A good advert for Wetherspoon's pubs. All the selction of drinks you would expect at a very cheap price in a nice spacious and clean environment. The food is atypically good for the chain. The Beer patio out back is nothing to right home about but that aside a very nice pub. Best avoided on days when Spurs are at home as it's very busy then due to it's proximity to the ground and you could wait hours to be served. Other than that it is one of the best pubs in the area.

10 Nov 2004 15:12

Cricketers, Enfield

Dire. A pub almost entirely devoid of any good points.Rarely busy for reasons that become obvious once inside. No atmosphere, limited drinks selection and high prices conspire to make it a wretched place to spend the evening. Nothing much in the way of entertainment to compensate. Has the potential to be nice as it is a decent sized building in a good location but the brewery have dropped the ball badly.

10 Nov 2004 15:06

The Hope and Anchor, Islington

Not here to promote a band! Only seen a few gigs here but have used it for it's main purpose as a pub on several occasions. The upstairs pool room is the best place to head for on Summer days, especially if you put some good songs on their excellent jukebox and ask the very accommodating bar staff to turn the volume up upsatirs. From the pool room you get a lovely vantage point for people watching down Upper Street. On the ground floor the seats are comfortable and the beer is reasonable in quality and price. Can get quite busy but rarely uncomfortably so. The venue for gigs in the basement is nice but due to it's size can get cramped and sweaty and it's hard to order your drinks at the bar over the sound of the bands.

10 Nov 2004 10:42

The Angel, Soho

Nice pub tucked away from prying eyes behind Centre Point. Space is at a premium inside but it's cheap and cheerful both in terms of drink prices and decor. A real old fashioned boozer that gets it's atmosphere mostly from conversation rather than gimicky entertainment. Being a Sam Smith's pub it serves very little other than Sam Smith's beer so those looking for more familiar brand names will be disappointed but they shouldn't be as the lager is very nice indeed as are the ales.

10 Nov 2004 10:33

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