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BITE user comments - Number11

Comments by Number11

Bustard Hotel, Shrewton

CLOSED. Now a therapy centre run by a charity called God Unlimited (GUL).

24 Mar 2017 19:56

The George and Dragon, Hurstbourne Tarrant

this is a duplicate entry

24 Mar 2017 19:52

The George and Dragon, Hurstbourne Tarrant

This pub has changed dramatically since I went in many years ago. It's gone gastro, but there's still enough room for the drinkers. Couple of real ales were on offer, but all I can remember was one was called Devon something, the other something like HBT. The latter was a bit flat, and I had a dodgy tummy today. Perhaps it was something I ate.
I would be happy to go back, but there are better real ale pubs locally like The Cricketers

24 Mar 2017 19:50

The Horse and Groom, Hatfield

Revisited this pub on Dec 30th. Business was good and five real ales were again on offer. My pints of Trelawney and Punter were in excellent condition. This is the best pub in Hatfield by a distance if you like your real ale and don't want a load of lager-drinking youths spoiling your evening. Value's not bad either with the ales priced at £3.40 a pint which is pretty good locally.

2 Jan 2017 17:27

The Two Chairmen, St James's

This pub is now under new management. We had our team Xmas lunch in the upstairs room and it proved cracking value with three courses for £19.99. The service was good too - and service with a smile not a snarl.
Downstairs there were four real ales on offer - and my pint of Sambrooks Junction was perfectly quaffable.
I would recommend this pub if you're in the vicinity.

2 Jan 2017 17:22

The George Inn, St Mary Bourne

A couple of Badger beers were available in a nice enough, if unremarkable, village pub. Food looked OK but also unremarkable. It would be nice to sit outside on a sunny day, watching the Swifts flying around the houses. Cricket club is a short walk.

27 Sep 2016 19:06

Needham House Hotel, Little Wymondeley

Refurbished Thistle Hotel which is hidden away on a side road. No real ale and a chatty barman which wasn't surprising as we appeared to be his first customers for a long while. Hotel looked comfortable, but the bar was huge and open and lacked any kind of atmosphere.

27 Sep 2016 19:01

The Bell Inn, Hythe

Old pub which has recently been refurbished, and appears to now be more foody biased.. Mixed clientele. Two real ales were available, one from Adnams which wasn't in great condition. Lacked character.

20 Sep 2016 22:30

The Old Town Bar, Stevenage

Refurbed McMullens pub previously called 2Dry.

20 Sep 2016 22:25

Two Brewers, Hertford

Tiny back-street pub in the residential Port Vale area of Hertford. The main room is dominated by a pool table unfortunately and the TV volume could have been turned down a tad. It's a locals' pub but it was friendly enough. Only one hand pump, but it serves guest real ales. When we visited the Opening Ceremony from Brains was in a superb condition and nicely chilled on a Summer's day. I'll visit again.

19 Sep 2016 18:57

The Mill Stream, Hertford

Four McMullens real ales were on offer, and both the ales I tried were in good condition. Nice seating areas to both front and rear, and I'm advised by a local resident that the Sunday Roasts are excellent. Nice barmaid with a sense of humour. Definitely worth a visit.

28 Aug 2016 21:50

Old Bell & Crown, Hatherden

Revisited this pub on a Friday evening but it was sadly deserted. Couldn't really understand why as the barmaid was friendly, and the Wadworths IPA was in good condition. Worth a visit.

28 Aug 2016 21:41

The Cricketers Arms, Tangley

Charming country pub in the middle of nowhere. Just one real ale but it was straight from the barrel and was well-kept. Food must be good as the eating area was packed with a well-heeled clientele. I sat outside the front and enjoyed the Tawny Owl hooting across the road. Marginally preferable to The Fox, despite the lack of choice of ales.

28 Aug 2016 21:38

The Fox, Tangley

Nice country pub with at least three real ales including Ramsbury Gold and Upham Tipster. I had the latter which was in a good condition. The Thai food is obviously attracting the punters as the pub was very busy with diners on a Friday evening.

28 Aug 2016 21:34

The Bishops, St Davids

The busiest pub of the four in St Davids. Clearly relies heavily on food rather than wet sales. The food was OK if rather over-priced for West Wales. I thought the food was more interesting in the Farmers Arms. The Felinfoel Double Dragon was passable and the garden has a great view over the cathedral. Recommended for the view more than anything else.

24 Jul 2016 22:45

Pommel Horse, Hemel Hempstead

New Hungry Horse chain pub in the leisure park. Targeted at families eating out at budget prices. Food was good value and the GK IPA was drinkable. However, by 9.pm on a Saturday evening, the over-worked staff were clearly unable to cope with the mess left behind by the diners and there was food sprinkling the floor. Not much of an atmosphere as you might expect.

24 Jul 2016 22:40

The Roebuck, Kennington

Closed in March 2016 - future unknown. See http://www.impact-sw8.org.uk//?s=roebuck

1 Jul 2016 19:14

The Royal Oak, Vauxhall

Cracking old-style boozer. It's what a south London pub used to be like, and I really enjoyed the bonhomie and atmosphere. Old geezers reading the Racing Post etc. Just two real ales available - Doom Bar and Cornish Coaster, but both were in excellent condition and nicely chilled. Friendly and efficient bar staff too. Recommended, particularly if rain stops play down the road.

1 Jul 2016 19:11

The Colonnade, Letchworth

Renamed again - now PLATFORM

8 Jun 2016 22:56

The Green Dragon, Barnet

Essentially a restaurant with a good reputation for food. Attractive location despite being so close to South Mymms services on the M25. Two real ales were on ofer - Sundial and Wandle from the Sambrooks brewery. My pint of Wandle was excellent. Nice bar staff. Definitely worth a visit if you don't object to gastro-pubs.

5 Jun 2016 00:01

Robin Hood, Botany Bay

Nice pub which is essentially a McMullens restaurant. The food looked pretty good to me. The garden on a still June evening was beautiful. Country, IPA and AK were available. My pint of AK was nicely chilled and drinkable, but at £4.05 is on the pricey side.

4 Jun 2016 23:57

The Clarence, Whitehall

This pub is certainly pricey - £7.60 for a pint of Sambrooks Junction and a small bottle of orange & mango juice. There were 6 real ales on offer and my pint of Junction was on the drinkable side of mediocre; it was a bit sour. The acoustics aren't great and it's difficult to hold a conversation. The bar staff were better than average for the area. This pub is aimed at the tourist trade with an emphasis on food. It's no better or worse than other pubs in the immediate area, and the beer's slightly better than the Shades next door. If you want real ale, try the Harp on Chandos Street 3 minutes walk away.

12 May 2016 21:25

The Coal Hole, Strand

This pub has deteriorated. On my evening visit, the music was deafening and I had to shout at someone only two feet away to make myself heard. I can't imagine the other clientele, many of whom were 40+, were too impressed either. There were six real ales on offer, but only one of them was a standard bitter. So I had a pint of London Pride which at £4.45 was on the expensive side, even for London. I was slightly short-measured. But my real problem was the quality which was awful. It was sour and there's no excuse for that when a large pub like The Coal Hole must have a high-volume throughput. There's clearly a problem with the cellar-keeping, although I doubt whether the mainly foriegn bar staff would have a clue what a good pint of bitter tastes like. Tourists may not know any better, but if you're a real ale drinker try the Nell Gwynne which is up an alley on the way to Charing Cross.

12 May 2016 13:28

The Cat and Fiddle, Hatfield

CLOSED - demolished, now flats

6 May 2016 19:01

The Station Bar, Hove

Large refurbished pub opposite the station. The music was too loud, the drinks were expensive, too few tables, a lary clientele with too much attitude - both the men and the women, and scruffy with all tables requiring a good wipe down. My pint was distinctly average - so average in fact I can't remember what it was. We amused ourselves for a few minutes watching a police squad dealing with a solitary wino at the bus-stop by the door. I'd only revisit this place again if my train was cancelled.

2 May 2016 22:39

The Sussex Cricketer, Hove

Visited this old haunt on the first day of the County Championship season and was pleased to find that there were still at least six real ales on offer including a number of local brews. A two course Sunday lunch (a big bowl of minestrone + roast beef and Yorkshire pudding) was good value at around £11. Very busy on the day.

2 May 2016 22:32

The Prince of Wales, Green Tye

Revisited this pub again on a Bank Holiday Sunday and was pleasantly surprised to find a beer festival in progress. Off the beaten track, this is a real traditional local which is strongly recommended. My only gripe is that the beer was a little on the warm side.

2 May 2016 00:03

The Rising Sun, High Wych

Friendly and busy (on a Bank Holiday Sunday) free house which has been refurbished in recent years with four beers dispensed from the barrel. These included Oakham, Courage Directors and Woodforde Wherry.
Competitively priced. Recommended.

1 May 2016 23:59

The Jester Hotel, Odsey

Country Inn now under enthusiastic new management. Food menu looked good and reasonably priced (e.g. Fish Friday has choice of 4 fish dishes with 2 for £15.95.
Relaxed atmosphere with country music playing at a low volume. Just the one real ale branded under the Jester's name; it was OK but it was probably the first one that had been pulled for a while so could have been better. Pub is right opposite Ashwell & Morden station. Worth a visit.

23 Apr 2016 20:41

The Royal Ship Hotel, Dolgellau

I think this place has improved judging from the reviews below. My pint of Unicorn was excellent. The food was delicious and unlike other pubs in town this place was bright and clean. The staff were eager to please. While it's not a boozer and relatively upmarket I quite liked this place. i'd bring the family to eat here.

20 Apr 2016 22:59

The Cross Keys Inn, Dolgellau

Great one bar local in the middle of town which even allows you to bring your own food in. Only two real ales, including Snowdonia, but both were very well kept. Friendly landlord. Great pub for a session.

20 Apr 2016 22:55

Farmers Arms, St Davids

3 ales on were Rev James, Farmers (brewed by Molson Coors) and Double Dragon.
Beers were OK if unspectacular. Food was OK if a little pricey. Pub is frequented by, er, large ladies. the best of the 3 pubs visited in St Davids. At least it felt like a pub.

20 Apr 2016 22:44

Torrent Walk Hotel, Dolgellau

Why is this pub so lowly rated? Five cracking real ales. Homely and slightly eccentric. Recommended as long as you don't mind being the only non-local. A real old-fashioned boozer and all the better for it.

16 Apr 2016 14:26

The Goat Hotel, Llanfair Caereinion

Terrific, characterful old pub with three excellent local real ales, and good quality food at reasonable prices, e.g. Sausage & mash and red cabbage at £7. Eccentric clientele, and great customer service. Highly recommended.

16 Apr 2016 14:23

Kings Arms, St Albans

This is now known as Dylan's at the Kings Arms. Nice historic exterior and more of a brasserie inside. My pint of Jeffrey Hudson was a bit flat, and the food looked a bit expensive - albeit the menu was superior to the average pub menu. You could bring your mum to lunch here.

16 Apr 2016 14:12

The Robin Hood, St Albans

Better than average traditional local with a reasonable range of real ales. Inside it's larger than it looks from the outside. A bit quiet early on a weekday evening, but a good place to have a relaxing pint.

16 Apr 2016 14:09

The Horn, St Albans

Live music pub which has recently been done up. A couple of real ales were on offer.
Worth a visit.

16 Apr 2016 14:07

The Crown, St Albans

Recently refurbished pub which was quiet in mid-afternoon apart from some mothers with children. Beer was OK but somehow this place seemed to lack character. There are better pubs nearby, such as the Robin Hood

16 Apr 2016 14:06

The Boot, St Albans

Good range of real ales and the food was very tasty. Busy on a weekday lunchtime.
Historic and characterful pub in the centre of town that's well worth a visit.

16 Apr 2016 14:03

The Five Horseshoes, Little Berkhamsted

The previous comments about the food are on the harsh side. My Mexican veggie burger was quite moist and tasty and my mother enjoyed her mango, mozzarella and asparagus salad. On the minus side my prawn cocktail was straight out of the freezer and consequently quite tasteless. The service was friendly but a bit slow - presumably due to the number of diners on an Easter Saturday. Four ales were on handpump including GK IPA and Ruddles best. My pint of the latter was OK. The pub has recently been refurbished and is situated in the centre of a picturesque village next to the church. For a chain pub it's not too bad and you'll find many a worse place to dine. The prices are reasonable as well.

26 Mar 2016 21:45

Three Mariners, Hythe

Friendly locals' pub down a back street in old Hythe. Excellent selection of six real ales - my Young's ordinary was in excellent condition. there was also a nice selection of cheeses available in the public bar. If it's real ales you want this is the pub in Hythe to visit.

26 Mar 2016 13:24

The Kings Head, Hythe

Well kept Shepherd Neame pub on the High street with a reputation for good food.
The landlord was very friendly and we had a good chat with him at the end of the evening. I would come back here either for a pint or the food. It's a place where you could go for a drink with your mates or take your mum for a nice lunch. Recommended.

26 Mar 2016 13:20

The Globe Inn, Hythe

Friendly Shepherd Neame local at the west end of the High Street. Beer was good and the atmosphere was relaxed. Worth a visit.

26 Mar 2016 13:16

Botolphs Bridge Inn, West Hythe

Four real ales were available including a lovely refreshing golden ale from Sambrooks straight from the barrel. The menu consists of classic British dishes and I had the lamb hot pot followed by the Bread & Butter pudding at a cost of £15. The portions were large and the food was delicious which may explain why the pub was doing a god trade on a Tuesday evening. Staff were pleasant. The pub's in the middle of nowhere and is recommended.

26 Mar 2016 13:14

The Hope and Anchor, North Mymms

Pub leasehold is up for sale, so the future is unknown. GK IPA was the only real ale available, but it was OK - or as OK as GK IPA can be. Enjoyed a game of pool. Pleasant barmaid.

17 Mar 2016 16:40

Harpsfield Hall, Hatfield

Huge hangar of a pub opposite The Galleria. Lots of gleaming metal, and feels like the canteen of a City bank, except the customers are the usual Wetherspoons mix of students, OAPs and winos. Still 12 real ales in a dump like Hatfield must be a good thing. My pint of Pompey Royal was a bit tired unfortunately, but the other brew whose name escapes me was fine. Not much competition in the town if you're a real ale fan, but the Horse & Groom in the old town has real ale and historical appeal.

17 Mar 2016 16:37

The Carpenters Arms, Burghclere

There appears to be a change of landlord, and the pub has been refurbished with a stronger emphasis on Arkells branding. I took my mum here for lunch on a Monday and the pub was doing a good trade - mainly for its food. My steak and ale pie was unremarkable although on the plus side there were three fresh vegetables. My mum greatly enjoyed her smoked salmon and prawns on a bed of salad with pine kernels. The price of £9.95 for each dish was reasonable. I had a pint of 3Bs which was in excellent condition. Wiltshire Gold and a darker house beer at 5% were also available. Nice outside area for eating and a conservatory. Accommodation is also available.

15 Mar 2016 00:19

The Ship Inn, Ashford Hill

Visited at 8.15 on a Sunday evening and the two of us were the only customers. Only one real ale was available - Spring Sprinter from the Fullers range. However, it was straight from the barrel and in excellent condition. About a dozen customers turned up around 9.30 and nearly all of them made the same choice as us. The interior of this village local has a nautical theme (well it is called The Ship), and the interior is dark, cosy with a lot of dark wood panelling. The side bar has a pool table. Most of the tables had a range of condiments so I guess food plays a major role here. I would be happy if this was my local.

15 Mar 2016 00:11

The Nags Head, Wellpond Green

CLOSED

22 Feb 2016 20:10

The Jolly Brewers, Bishop's Stortford

Cosy back street local with a friendly landlady, a pool table and four real ales. My pint of Landlord was OK but warmish. My mate's Speckled Hen wasn't great and was also warm. I think the pub would benefit from reducing the number of ales but increasing the throughput. Nevertheless this is a nice traditional two bar local. The home-made food is reputed to be good. Worth a try.

21 Feb 2016 18:17

The Castle, Bishop's Stortford

This should be a top real ale pub but it isn't. It's dark and quirky and down a back street, and one's immediate impression is that it's full of character, but actually it's tired and badly in need of some love and attention. Two hand pumps - but the GK IPA was off and I had to return my pint of Southwold bitter. It was replaced after a grumble from the lad behind the bar, but the replacement also had a sour after-taste. At least it was a bit cooler. I got the impression it was the first pint they had pulled that day - and it was 10.00 pm on a Saturday evening. There were a few listless customers, but it was quiet. Paper was peeling off the ceiling.

21 Feb 2016 18:12

The George Hotel, Bishop's Stortford

CLOSED - still a Prezzo

21 Feb 2016 18:06

The Wheatsheaf, Bishops Stortford

Looked closed when I passed it on a Saturday evening

21 Feb 2016 18:06

The Star, Standon

After three fairly average pints in Bishops Stortford we dropped into this historic pub opposite the church on the way home. I had by far the best pint of the evening in here - a Side Pocket for a Toad from the Tring brewery. My mate had one of the other three real ales on offer and he agreed his pint was also the best of the evening. Fairly quiet on a Saturday evening with about a dozen drinkers, but a nice atmosphere. Friendly barman and the menu looked good. Definitely worth a visit.

21 Feb 2016 18:00

The Albert Arms, Esher

Refurbed pub on the High Street. Heaving on a 6 Nations night. The Pie + a pint for £9.95 offer was good value on a Six Nations Saturday. My pint of Native from the Whitstable Brewery was in excellent condition. The Polish waitress was charming.I'd recommend this - but it's just a bit too busy.

6 Feb 2016 22:40

The Strathmore Arms, St Pauls Walden

Cracking real ale pub in the middle of nowhere, also with a great selection of dangerous ciders. A bit scruffy, but that makes it a bit more "real". Friendly landlord.
No telly, no jukebox, but enough biltong to feed a troop of Boers. Recommended.

30 Jan 2016 22:02

The Mallard, Stevenage

CLOSED - sadly this pub closed in Sept 2015 and will be redeveloped for housing.

24 Jan 2016 19:57

The Chalkdrawers Arms, Colney Heath

Community local off the beaten track. Very busy on Saturday night with some very pissed locals enjoying themselves greatly. This is a lager pub and make no mistake. The bar pump (Abbot) was out of use and the only real ale available was Abbot in a bottle. Friendly enough, but as outsiders we attracted a few quizzical looks. I'll pop in again in four or five years time to monitor progress.

2 Jan 2016 23:42

The Rampant Cat, Woolton Hill

Historic pub, previously called the Wheatsheaf, tucked away in a side road one mile from the A343 Andover - Newbury road. Four real ales were on offer - Landlord, Doom Bar, Tribute, and a festive real ale from Wadworths. The latter was unpleasant, the Tribute was tired and the Landlord was good. We didn't try the Doom Bar. The floppy-haired youth behind the bar didn't seem too concerned about the state of the festive ale, confessing he didn't drink the stuff. A TV was showing Sky in the corner but it wasn't too loud, nor was the music which was very 80's. Not a bad pub if a little unexceptional. I'd recommend cutting the number of real ales from 4 to 3 to ensure faster throughput and greater freshness. Food is available and this pub probably relies on this for much of its income.

1 Jan 2016 17:41

The Ship and Shovell, Charing Cross

Decent pub down a back passage off Villiers Street. Three beers from Hall & Woodhouse plus Harvey's Sussex Best, the latter retailing at a reasonable £3.50 per pint. Surprisingly busy on a Monday evening with a mixed but mainly male crowd. Popular with office workers and MOD types. Gents is a bit cramped. One of the better pubs in the locale.

7 Dec 2015 23:03

The Silver Cross, Whitehall

Terrible service from gormless Europeans. Hideously expensive with a pint of real ale and a gin and tonic coming to £10.40. Five real ales but the Rockin Rudolph had run out - at least the alternative was palatable. Heaving with office party-goers.
Could do so much better.

6 Dec 2015 17:53

The Two Chairmen, Trafalgar Square

CLOSED - possibly permanently and rumoured to be converted to flats. Damn I missed a visit to a new pub by a month.

4 Dec 2015 18:14

The Highwayman, Berkhamsted

Formerly the Raymond Blanc brasserie this has been converted into a large, modern gastro-pub. Although 75% of the pub is given over to food, there is still a fair-sized bar area. Five real ales are on offer including Pride, Doom Bar and at least one local brew. Youngish and fairly well-heeled clientele as you might expect in this prosperous town. Not bad at all although personally I prefer a more traditional pub.

4 Dec 2015 18:12

The Queens Head, Colney Heath

CLOSED permanently

9 Nov 2015 20:29

The Cock, Colney Heath

CLOSED

9 Nov 2015 20:29

The Falcon, St Albans

Absurd comment from weezel. On a Saturday night there were about a dozen customers and I don't think one of them was under 40. The pub has a cosy feel, and the other customers were chatty and friendly. Three real ales were on offer - GK IPA, Abbott, and a dark sweet guest beer from Belhaven at around 4%. Both the IPA and the guest were well-kept. This is a traditional locals' pub and I would quite happily revisit. Tiny car park.

8 Nov 2015 16:55

The Overdraught, St Albans

Bizarre comment from lucywillow - it was nothing like her description. This is a charming small traditional two bar pub catering for a local clientele. The barman was pleasant, and the dozen or so customers seemed friendly enough. The downside is that only two real ales were available (GK IPA and Abbott), but both were well-kept and nicely chilled. The food prices looked fairly standard for the area - £7.50 for a Sunday roast. My mate and I agreed that we wouldn't mind if this was our local. Worth a visit.

8 Nov 2015 16:48

The Pheasant, Tring

CLOSED. It wasn't demolished, but it has been converted into a house.

25 Oct 2015 18:40

Magoos, Berkhamsted

CLOSED - now the far superior Highwayman

25 Oct 2015 18:17

The Cricketers, Redbourn

It's 15 years since I last visited this smallish pub on the common. Then it was dark, cosy with flock wallpaper and good beer. The only thing that remained the same was the good beer. Five real ales were on offer - two from the Tring brewery (Brock and Side Pocket), a bitter golden ale from Leighton Buzzard, Tetley Gold and Doom Bar. My pint of Brock was a little tired but the Side Pocket was in excellent condition. The young bar staff knew a bit about the real ale which was a nice surprise. The rear bar is now a restaurant and I hear the food's not bad. Definitely worth a visit.

25 Oct 2015 18:16

The Bridge, Potters Bar

CLOSED and demolished with flats now built on the site.

23 Oct 2015 22:09

The Two Brewers, Northaw

Pleasantly refurbished but still retains a lot of its character. The small "public bar" area at the eastern end has been retained together with the dartboard. Three real ales were on offer - Bombardier, Eagle IPA and Wadworths 6X. Both the Bombardier and the Eagle were in excellent condition and a round consisting of one of each came to £7.50 which is fairly standard locally. This pub is preferable to the over-priced Sun just up the road. It still feels like a pub (although the food smelled good) rather than a restaurant. Recommended.

23 Oct 2015 22:04

The Fighting Cocks, St Albans

Nice old pub with lots of nooks and crannies. Six real ales were on offer and my Purity Ubu was excellent, if on the verge of being a short measure. Parking nearby is a nightmare however.

10 Oct 2015 23:58

Toby Carvery, Hemel Hempstead

Modern Toby Carvery next to the Premier Inn. Small and rather expensive bar with no real ale - in fact possibly no bitter at all. Small comfy seating area. I got the impression that you weren't particularly welcome unless you were eating.

9 Oct 2015 19:12

Craft and Cleaver, St Albans

Previously Bar 62, the Merry Minstrel and the Pineapple this is a newly opened trendy bar which specialises in meat-heavy meals and craft beers. I didn't spot any real ales on handpump although I subsequently learned that there are some hidden away at the back of the bar. Caters mainly for a youngish, middle class male crowd as far as I could see.

1 Oct 2015 18:07

The Coach and Horses, Soho

Still a great atmosphere and wonderfully ungentrified, but I'm afraid the Chiswick bitter was in very poor condition and gave me with a bad headache and a dodgy stomach the following day. Only one other bitter was available - some kind of Red ale. The barman didn't know how to serve a pickled egg. The owner needs to get his beer and bar-staff back on track.

30 Sep 2015 18:31

The Bree Louise, Euston

Very shabby but truly authentic real ale and cider pub in the backstreets a stone's throw from Euston station. The tattooed barman was a bit surly but his blonde accomplice was most helpful in guiding me to my preferred type of real ale. The Zinzan bitter was in excellent condition. This will be my preferred venue next time I'm in the vicinity.

30 Sep 2015 18:26

The Pump House Theatre and Arts Centre, Watford

Quirky theatre bar with two real ales on hand-pump. Open 3 - 4 nights per week. No frills and basic décor. No kids, no music, no telly, no fruit machines. I liked it.

28 Sep 2015 22:12

The Fairway Inn, Rickmansworth

Rather Spartan clubhouse for Rickmansworth public golf course. Usually has a real ale on handpump from the Tring brewery, but it was off when we visited. Rather soulless and our game of pool was constantly interrupted by bar staff moving chairs around. All told a bit disappointing.

24 Sep 2015 22:54

Engineers Arms, Newport

CLOSED permanently in 2012 and has now been converted to housing.

23 Sep 2015 21:58

The Ridgeway Bar and Kitchen, Newport

Large suburban pub in the wealthiest part of Newport. Three real ales were on offer and my Wye Valley HPA was in excellent condition. Trooper was another ale on offer and my companion rated it highly. The pub was very busy on a Friday night - many of the clientele were rather blowsy local women of a certain age who had dressed up to the nines. The large restaurant area to the rear also seemed to be doing a good trade. This pub has no historic appeal, but gets a lot of the basics right. Worth a try.

23 Sep 2015 21:54

Red Squirrel Brewery Shop, Berkhamsted

This is an interesting hybrid between a shop and a pub. From the outside it looks like a shop, but inside there are a wide range of real ales on tap, together with a fantastic range of bottled craft beers. There's also a cosy upstairs lounge and an area of decking offering a variety of drinking areas. The clientele is upmarket and you need have no fear of bumping into a lager lout in this joint. The beer was in superb condition and very competitively priced. Recommended - my only reservation is that I prefer somewhere that's more pub-like.

22 Sep 2015 21:01

The Royal Oak, Chipperfield

Currently up for rent at £28,000 per year, it's rumoured that this fine old village pub might be converted into an Indian restaurant. Was previously the best pub in the village. But the future looks bleak.

22 Sep 2015 20:55

The Brickyard, St Albans

Previously a decent pub called the Spotted Bull, this is now a pretty awful, hollowed-out pick-up joint for over-25s. No bitter was available in any form, and the bottled lager was hideously expensive. I've heard local residents are unhappy with the Brickyard. This pub might suit some people, but not me.

22 Sep 2015 20:49

The Tredegar Arms, Shirenewton

Ignore the previous post - it relates to the Tredegar Arms in Rogerstone.

17 Sep 2015 19:25

Tredegar Arms, Newport

Nice little village pub selling 3 real ales - Speckled Hen, Doom Bar and Scrum V bitter from the nearby Rhymney brewery. I had a pint of the latter which was in an excellent condition. The food left a lot to be desired, although it was cheap at £11 for 2 main courses. The fish cake was small and over-cooked while the sausages came in a gravy which tasted as though it had escaped from the Chinese Chicken Curry pot. I'd go again for the beer and the charming garden or the Spartan public bar, but not the food. The barmaid could be a bit more welcoming.

17 Sep 2015 19:23

Clarion Collection Hotel, St Albans

Built in 1911 by Samuel Ryder of Ryder Cup fame, this is a very smart, recently refurbished hotel in the heart of St Albans. The bar area is open to non-residents and when I visited a very swish 20's party was in full swing next door. The bar is small and stocks little in the way of beer. My Corona was warm, and you can forget about real ale. Nice bar staff. Bring your girlfriend here - if you are smartly dressed.

14 Sep 2015 22:25

The Tredegar Arms, Shirenewton

Nice little village pub selling 3 real ales - Speckled Hen, Doom Bar and a bitter from the Rhymney brewery. I had a pint of the latter which was in an excellent condition. The food left a lot to be desired, although it was cheap at £11 for 2 main courses. The fish cake was small and over-cooked while the sausages came in a gravy which tasted as though it had escaped from the Chinese Chicken Curry pot. I'd go again for the beer and the charming garden or the Spartan public bar.

14 Sep 2015 19:47

The White Lion, Watford

Revisited last night and my favourable impressions were confirmed. Good pint of Wherry, a lively but good-natured karaoke and traditional if run-down public bar. Oh, and I quite fancy the barmaid. I still think it's the bet pub in Watford.

5 Sep 2015 13:56

The Columbia Press, Watford

Ventured back but my Doom Bar was horrible. The music was way too loud. A marked deterioration over two months.

5 Sep 2015 13:51

The Reflex, Watford

I ventured with some trepidation into Reflex, which is an adjunct of Molloy's next door, and was pleasantly surprised to find a delightfully retro 80's disco-type bar. The bar staff and the bouncers were friendly, and the prices weren't bad either. A pint of lager and a large vodka with cranberry was around £8.50. Entry was free between 22.00 and 22.30. Quite empty when we were there, but being on the elderly side we had to get home for our Horlicks before the crowds built up. No real ale I'm afraid, but what do you expect in an 80's bar?

5 Sep 2015 13:45

The Rising Sun, Berkhamsted

Great pub by the canal. When we visited there was a beer festival in the back garden with 20 ales on offer - my Colchester ale was perfectly quaffable. The clientele is well-heeled and young and a bit noisy. But this is a deservedly busy pub.
Definitely worth a visit.

30 Aug 2015 20:32

The Crystal Palace, Berkhamsted

I'm not quite sure why this pub has scored so badly. It's a cosy pub frequented by locals, which makes a change from the upmarket bars found in the rest of town. There were 3 real ales available, including the local Side Pocket for a Toad which was well-kept. On a Saturday night both bars were quite full, and there were no TVs or jukeboxes blaring out. It's also very convenient for the station. One of the better pubs in Berko.

30 Aug 2015 20:27

The Hope and Anchor, North Mymms

Local pub for local people with a GK ale on the handpump. A bit rough and ready but OK.

27 Aug 2015 22:23

North Mymms Social Club, Welham Green

This is a social club which is open to CAMRA members. Two excellent real ales were on tap, and the ales rotate on a regular basis. A local club for local people, but preferable to the Sibthorpe Arms across the road. If I lived in the village I'd become a member. Don't be put off by the Nissan Hut-like exterior.

27 Aug 2015 22:20

Pre, St Albans

Now the GARDEN HOUSE HOTEL - see review

27 Aug 2015 22:16

The Lower Red Lion, St Albans

Excellent traditional old pub serving 6 real ales, including local brews. Most of the tables were taken by diners, however, which gives the place more of a restaurant feel. The food looked and smelled good, e.g. slow-cooked venison with red cabbage for £11.50. Definitely worth a visit, and in the attractive old part of town near the abbey.

26 Aug 2015 10:23

Blackwells, Chipperfield

This is an old village hall which has been converted into a café cum bar. Of historical interest it was donated to the village by the Blackwell family of Crosse & Blackwell fame in memory of their sons who fell in the First World War. Two real ales were on offer - Doom Bar and GK IPA. My pint of the former was good. The food (pie of the day with mash and peas) was average. The toilets were absolutely spotless, which indicates that real care goes into the upkeep of this asset which clearly still plays a central role in community life. Handy for watching cricket on the village green. Please note that Blackwells is sometimes closed for private functions - especially on Saturday evenings.

26 Aug 2015 10:18

Harrys, Kings Langley

I visited again on a Tuesday evening when there wasn't a private party. The pub consists of one large, sparsely furnished bar and a small room with a pool table. There's a small garden by the car park.Two real ales were on offer - London Pride and a rotating bitter from the Tring brewery. My pint of the latter was OK. The pub was fairly quiet, but the barmaid was friendly enough. Sky Sports was on the telly.

26 Aug 2015 10:06

Builders Arms, Potters Bar

Quiet foodie McMullens pub in the back streets on the north side of town. Difficult to find if you're not a local. Perfectly pleasant if a little nondescript. Three real ales were on offer, and my IPA was quite quaffable. Given the lack of competition in Potters Bar, the Builders is worth a visit.

22 Aug 2015 21:14

The Headingley Taps, Headingley

The Taps was recommended over the Skyrack by my daughter who was a student at Leeds Met, on the basis that there are more old men here (i.e. gents of my age). They served a decent pint of Leeds IPA at a competitive price. The music was deafening when we arrived, but to their credit the bar staff turned it down on request and without scowling either. If it's raining at the cricket you could do worse than go here, but the member's bar at Headingley is much better and it does serve a good pint of Black Sheep.

21 Aug 2015 22:19

The Skyrack, Headingley

Mike25 was a bit harsh - I've been in far worse pubs than this. There was a decent, competitively-priced real ale from Ilkley, and the food was reasonable value e.g. 3 sausages with mash and peas for £4.10. It's a bit characterless, but it was recommended by the stewards at a very wet and dispiriting Headingley. Perhaps it benefited from the absence of students when we visited. Not a lot of competition in the vicinity.

21 Aug 2015 22:14

Ye Old Elm Tree, Durham

Superb locals' pub on the western side of town. You have to ascend an extremely steep street to get to it, and it almost finished off one of the stouter members of our party. Five real ales including a superb pint of Lancaster Bomber, and an extremely tasty beef and vegetable pie followed by rhubarb tart completed the alimentary entertainment. A ceilidh was in full flow but not so loud that it interfered with conversation. The clientele was delightfully grumpy yet erudite. A great pub.

21 Aug 2015 22:09

The Half Moon, Durham

Five real ales were available when I visited, although only one was local - Durham White Gold which was bit too pale and bitter for me. Superb late Victorian / Edwardian dark wood panelling and an interesting array of porcelain whiskey containers. Worth a visit, although I preferred the Old Elm Tree on the other side of town.

21 Aug 2015 22:04

The Shakespeare Tavern, Durham

Decent historic pub in the centre of town. Popular with tourists, but five good real ales, including an excellent pint of Landlord and Theakstons Black Bull. Proceedings were enlivened by a lady of a certain age who perched on our laps. Worth a visit.

21 Aug 2015 22:00

Hogs Head, St Albans

CLOSED. Now the Blacksmith's Arms

9 Aug 2015 13:31

Dylans, St Albans

Perhaps better known as the (refurbished) King's Arms

9 Aug 2015 13:30

The Spotted Bull, St Albans

CLOSED. Now The (horribly expensive) Brickyard

9 Aug 2015 13:25

The Duke of Marlborough, St Albans

CLOSED. Now a house and has been for some time..

9 Aug 2015 13:18

The Crown, St Albans

Currently being refurbished.

9 Aug 2015 13:17

Buon Amici, St Albans

CLOSED. Now the St Albans Bakehouse

9 Aug 2015 13:16

The Heritage Bar, St Albans

CLOSED. Now the St Albans Bakehouse

9 Aug 2015 13:15

Camp, St Albans

Currently closed and rumoured to be up for redevelopment.

9 Aug 2015 13:12

The Blacksmiths Arms, St Albans

Very busy pub with a mixed age clientele. Perhaps a little downmarket compared with some of the other pubs in the vicinity, but none the worse for that. A live band was playing, which had attracted a few geriatric rockers. Good selection of real ales, although my pint of Ringwood Best was a little stale and lifeless. Nice garden with plenty of tables.

9 Aug 2015 13:10

Bar 62, St Albans

CLOSED. Now the Craft & Cleaver

9 Aug 2015 13:07

!CE, St Albans

CLOSED. Now Club Veeda.

9 Aug 2015 13:06

The Greyhound, Mansfield Woodhouse

Found this pub on the What Pubs website on the way back from the Notts vs Warks 50 over game at Welbeck CC.
Six real ales greeted us - and the Landlord and a 4.7% bitter called Trooper from the Robinsons brewery were sampled. The Landlord in particular was in excellent condition. Friendly landlady and locals inside the pub, although those outside the pub were pissed and potty-mouthed. The pub looked a little run-down with tiles missing in the Gents and the O in Greyhound missing from the pub sign. Nevertheless an excellent real ale boozer which I would recommend to anyone visiting the area.

26 Jul 2015 12:57

The Red Lion, Westminster

Very busy pub on Whitehall with sky-high prices. Almost a tenner for a lager and a bitter. London Pride was, however, good and it's a characterful pub.

21 Jul 2015 19:56

The Garden House Hotel, St Albans

Formerly the Pre Hotel on the Redbourn Road. More of an eating place than a bar, it serves keg GK IPA; the barman was a bit surly when we visited. The hotel and its grounds have an air of shabbiness which I thought added to the character of the place. Drinking my admittedly mediocre pint in the garden on a Summer evening was surprisingly tranquil. What does mark this hotel out are the outstandingly good value all-you-can-eat breakfasts at £3.99.
Worth travelling for.

21 Jul 2015 19:51

Pig and Truffle, Welwyn Garden City

Modernised restaurant cum trendy bar in the centre of Welwyn Garden City, which appears to be aiming for a certain degree of sophistication. Beers were expensive - a Peroni and a pint of Tribute (the only real ale) was about £8.75. My pint was mediocre, being warmish and lifeless. The food menu looked on the expensive side as well. Could do better.

21 Jul 2015 19:40

The King Offa, St Albans

Previous reviews are a bit harsh. I went in last night and my mate and I had a very pleasant chat with the Kiwi landlord who informed us that, sadly, it was likely the council would take back the lease in a month's time and close the pub. This is an estate pub and yes there's some swearing, and yes, the décor doesn't appear to have been upgraded for 40 odd years, and yes a couple rolled out completely pissed as we walked in, and no there's no real ale (this is a lager pub).
Having said that, this is a community pub in an otherwise pub-less part of town, and I can't say that the clientele were at all threatening. It reminded me very much of the uniformly brown town pubs I used to go to in Newbury when I started drinking in the 70's. So, in all, a bit of a journey back in time which evoked pangs of nostalgia in this correspondent. Visit it while it's still here!

12 Jul 2015 12:38

The Six Bells, St Albans

Nice old pub on the historic edge of town. Reasonably busy on a Saturday night and probably just shades the Rose & Crown next door. As we had just beaten the Aussies in the 1st Test I had a half of King of Swing, named after Jimmy Anderson. Not bad.

12 Jul 2015 12:27

The Rose and Crown, St Albans

Pleasant, old pub near the Abbey catering mainly for the lunchtime and early evening tourist trade. A bit quiet when I went in on a Saturday night. Three real ales were on including Deuchars IPA and Doom Bar. My Deuchars was OK but not exceptional - probably need to sell more of it. Chatty young barman.

12 Jul 2015 12:23

Blue Anchor, St Albans

CLOSED - rumoured to be converted to housing.

12 Jul 2015 12:18

Blue Anchor, St Albans

CLOSED - rumoured to be converted to housing.

12 Jul 2015 12:18

Eighty 3, Watford

Located on Watford's street of shame, this site was previously ocupied by Rehab and Bar Me. This is an identkit, dark and dingy yoof bar selling cocktails to pissed late teens and 20-somethings.

8 Jul 2015 18:07

The Travellers Friend, Crookham Common

Popped in again on a Friday evening and the place was much busier - bingo was in full swing. A couple of real ales were on tap, and I had a decent pint of Theakstons IPA. I'm upping my score for this pub as they appear committed to selling a couple of decent real ales. Nice location too opposite Crookham Common with its nightingales.

7 Jul 2015 19:56

The Three Horseshoes, Brimpton

I thought the previous review was a bit harsh. It's a proper village local which is becoming increasingly rare in this prosperous part of Berkshire. Two Arkells beers were on handpump - 3Bs and Wiltshire Gold, with a barrel of Good Ol' Boy under the bar. I had a pint of the latter which was OK if a little too near the end of the barrel. A folkie band was limbering up with Whiskey in the Jar, but I preferred to sit outside in the garden taking in the view. I'll be back when I can.

7 Jul 2015 19:52

The Pineapple, Brimpton Common

Picturesque village pub with 3 real ales - London Pride, Tim Taylor Blonde and the inevitable Doom Bar. My Tim Taylor wasn't too bad - perhaps a little lifeless. Food is reputed to be reasonable. I'll try and return soon. Lovely to sit outside on a Summer's evening.

7 Jul 2015 19:48

Modello Bar & Kitchen, Watford

CLOSED - became Baraka and is now the Twisted Monkey.

6 Jul 2015 00:00

Spirit Store, Watford

Previously known as Daly's this is a slightly odd out of the way bar. Although it's been modernised and refurbished it was full of locals, many of whom had clearly been drinking all day, if not all year. The blokes simulating sex with each other at the bar and blocking the way out were somewaht disconcerting. Bitter was only available in bottles. Not one for the casual visitor I'd say..

5 Jul 2015 23:47

Twisted Monkey, Watford

Newly opened bar on the site of Baraka. Aiming for a cocktail-drinking 20's crowd, this is no place for the mature drinker. No real ale on offer, and a half of lifeless Guinness and a half of lager came to around £6.50. Throw in some orange women and glaring bouncers and you'll get the picture. You might like it, but I didn't.

5 Jul 2015 23:42

The White Lion, Watford

In my quest to visit every pub in Hertfordshire, the experience of "doing" Watford was at times dispiriting. Snarling bouncers, putrid bitter, brain-shattering music, and moronic drinkers. The White Lion was the last pub I visited and by chance I'd have to say this was probably the best drinker's pub in the town. Only a couple of real ales were on but the Woodforde Wherry was excellent, the barlady had a sense of humour, there was a nice local clientele, and the women's footy was on the telly at a discreet volume. Nice beer garden at the back, and plenty of cosy nooks and crannies. A bit away from the centre, but definitely worth a visit if you're a connoisseur of proper town pubs.

5 Jul 2015 23:07

The Horns, Watford

Live music pub with four real ales. Was fairly empty on Saturday when local band Fubar was pumping out sub-Bruce Springsteen / Tom Petty covers. Music was too loud so the crowd was trying to distance itslef from the stage. Friendly bar staff and four real ales. My pint of Betty Stoggs was OK but a bit warm. I might visit again if I was in the mood.

5 Jul 2015 22:47

Bar Me, Watford

CLOSED, and so has its succesor Rehab. This is now the Eighty 3 bar

5 Jul 2015 22:42

Baraka, Watford

CLOSED - now the TWISTED MONKEY

5 Jul 2015 22:32

O'Neills, Watford

Now MOLLOY'S and serving four real ales. Grumpy barman and ersatz Irishness didn't appeal to me. The Deuchars IPA was a bit flat, but the atmosphere wasn't bad. I'd recommend the Colombia Press next door.

5 Jul 2015 22:30

Kandi Klub, Watford

CLOSED. This place must be cursed. Paparazzi has closed and its replacement, Fresh, closed within weeks.

5 Jul 2015 22:25

The Columbia Press, Watford

Cavernous Wetherspoons with 10 real ales and bouncers. Staff were a bit clueless, and the air conditioning was too extreme. Seemed to be a lot of pissed people inside and out. Nevertheless my pint of Rebellion was excellent, and this is one of the better drinking haunts in Watford.

5 Jul 2015 22:23

Swan Hotel, Kingsclere

Has recently reopened as Bel & The Dragon at The Swan. More of a hotel cum restaurant now than a pub. Food is reputed to be good if a little on the pricey side. I will visit presently.

2 Jul 2015 13:25

Sloppys, Hertford

Previously known as Number 11 and the Sugar Hut, this is a hell-hole yoof venue with ear-shattering music and sports screens. Nobody with a mental age of 25 or over could possibly like this place. Unsurprisingly real ale was unavailable, but if you like shots you won't be disappointed. If you want a nice pint, and a conversation with someone who shaves regularly (or ladies who don't) go to the excellent nearby Old Cross Tavern.

25 Jun 2015 18:57

King William IV, Hoddesdon

Lovely old pub hidden away on a minor road on the outskirts of Hoddesdon. Very much a lager-drinking locals' pub but friendly and was sadly, rather quiet on a Saturday night. I get the feeling that soon it will either be "modernised" or converted into a private house. No real ale I'm afraid.

25 Jun 2015 18:50

Cromwell Hotel, Stevenage

Previously known as Oliver's. Comfy hotel bar with free nibbles. Relaxed and welcoming but no real ale. You could take your wife here for a pre-prandial before going on to somewhere civilised.

25 Jun 2015 18:44

Sow and Pigs, Thundridge

Historic coaching inn on the old A10. This used to be a pub but it is now to all intents a restaurant. There is still a small bar area where I had a pretty decent pint of Doom Bar. Most of the tables were full on a Saturday night, and the food looked and smelled good.

24 Jun 2015 20:37

Hanbury Manor, Thundridge

Smart golf / country club with a public bar. Flowers bitter was available, albeit not on handpump. Nice polite barman. Our visit was marred by the unedifying sight of a lower-division footballer type having close to full on sex on one of the sofas. Eeeeurghhh!

24 Jun 2015 20:34

The George, Great Portland Street

I reckon this might be Edwardian or late Victorian. Lots of dark wood and ornate mirrors with a rather dilapidated feel about it. My comfy seat had a rip in it and must have been about 40 years old, and there was paper peeling from the ceiling. But rather welcoming nevertheless, and it was nice to see the barman, who may have been from eastern Europe, taking care to look after a blind customer. 5 real ales were on offer including Doctor Hexter's Healer and 6X. I had a pint of the latter - it was drinkable if a little over-chilled. Food looked a bit expensive - and mainly consisted of steak and burgers. This isn't a bad pub for the drinker given its location so near to Oxford Circus. I'd revisit.

23 Jun 2015 19:25

Jungle Bar, Hertford

Previously the Sportsman pub, this is now a live music venue which appears to be run by ladies of a certain age who I reckon can look after themselves. Dark and quirky with an eclectic mix of ages represented among its clientele. Doom Bar was on offer. Interesting.

23 Jun 2015 19:18

Venue, Hitchin

Previously known as The Phoenix and the Tut n'Shive, this is a comfortable modernised pub at the north end of the town centre. Very quiet on a Saturday night. Freindly bar staff, but not a drop of real ale. I get the impression this bar doesn't know what it wants to be, but presumed to be aiming at a sub-30s crowd.

19 Jun 2015 18:40

The Angel Vaults Inn, Hitchin

Large, new Wetherspoons which was absolutely heaving on a Saturday night. Usual wide selection of real ales, but I wouldn't say this was a drinkers' pub. Lots of women of all ages dressed up with somewhere to go, with rather surly blokes in tow or eyeing up the opportunities.

19 Jun 2015 18:36

The Beech House, St Albans

Soulless, new, modern pub aiming for the luncheon diner. Two real ales were on offer but the Brakspears was very badly kept. Flat, stale and rather metallic. The Cock across the road is a far superior venue, albeit the food is more expensive. On the plus side, it's not a bad place to watch the world go by from on a sunny day.

19 Jun 2015 18:32

Greenacres Tavern, Hemel Hempstead

Rather grotty estate pub, which mercifully served one real ale - Courage Best I recall. Quite a few of its customers were totally pissed, albeit not unfriendly.

19 Jun 2015 18:27

Bar 85, Hitchin

Despite its name, this is a locals' pub in the inner suburbs of Hitchin. It also looks pretty odd from the outside - more like a bungalow than a pub. One well-kept real ale was on offer, but Beerintheevening updates are so infrequent I can't remember what it was now.. On the downside, the music was deafening, and I doubt whether anyone from outside Hitchin has ever visited this pub. Attractive barmaid.

17 Jun 2015 19:44

Castle House, Hertford

This feels like a monastery which has been turned into a house which has been turned into a hotel cum nightclub. Tastefully refurbished this is a relatively classy joint catering to a well-dressed clientele. Very comfortable, but with no real ale. Adnams Southwold bitter was, however, available. Very comfortable and somewhere you could take your in-laws. But it's not a pub.

17 Jun 2015 19:36

The Windmill, Bushey Heath

Now a Harvester restaurant. Lots of noisy children on a Saturday evening. Bombardier creamflow was the nearest approximation to a real ale. Unmemorable.

15 Jun 2015 22:29

Rift and co, Watford

Previously known as the Rat & Parrot and subsequently Revolution. This is an identikit yoof bar with loud music, bouncers and no real ale. The best thing I can say about Rift & Co is that it was unmemorable - other bars in Watford tend to be memorably bad.

13 Jun 2015 18:28

Mangans, Watford

Previously called Shakers and the Wine Shack this is an Irish pub with a friendly barman. Just one real ale - Old Golden Hen - but it was well kept. One of the better drinking holes in Watford, although there's not a lot of competition.

13 Jun 2015 18:23

The Ship Inn, Ashford Hill

Traditional village pub. Worth a visit

11 Jun 2015 20:43

Olly's Bar, Hemel Hempstead

Gloomy cavernous sports bar on the run down Marlowes main drag. Watched the European Cup Final on one of the many screens, but at least the volume wasn't excessive. Both real ale pump clips were turned round, and I suspect they don't sell much in here. Inevitably there were acouple of bouncers, but they weren't aggressive. A venue for the under-30s

11 Jun 2015 20:41

The Old Maypole, Water End

CLOSED for good. Now a private house.

7 Jun 2015 00:33

Brookmans, Brookmans Park

Four real ales were on offer including a decent pint of Twitchells from the local-ish Buntingford brewery. Very smart, modern refurbished pub in the affluent village of Brookmans Park which is frequented by a a loud and rather lary clientele.

7 Jun 2015 00:31

The Crooked Billet, Colney Heath

Visited again last night. 4 real ales on offer, and I had quaffable pints of Vicars Ruin and Side Pocket for a Toad. Evening was spoilt somewhat by all the effing and blinding from the ruffians congregated outside.

7 Jun 2015 00:27

Woodman, Hatfield

I went here on a Friday night and had one of the worst pints I've had in my life. A rancid and chemical pint of Belhaven's Gold served by a sullen and miserable-looking Eastern European girl. I felt quite ill afterwards - and I only had a couple of mouthfulls. I'm told the food is OK but how a pub can serve beer that is so utterly nauseating and stay in buisness is beyond me. I didn't bother with the alternative, GK IPA.

7 Jun 2015 00:24

The Hogshead, Hemel Hempstead

Now Verve nightclub - wasn't open at 9.45 on a Saturday night when I passed by.

7 Jun 2015 00:16

The Plough, Tyttenhanger

Seven real ales on offer here - and I tried the On the Fence from the Brains brewery which was in good condition. Cost per pint was around £3.60. Mixed clientele with several CAMRA-types. Hidden away in the lanes to the east of St Albans the Plough is well worth a visit.

7 Jun 2015 00:14

The Rose and Crown, Essendon

Old pub in an attractive village with a growing reputation for food locally. Three real ales were on offer - Eagle IPA and Bombardier from Charles Wells, and Courage Directors. Both the Eagle and the Bombardier were in good condition. The bar staff were friendly, and there's a nice quiet garden at the back. It's difficult to believe this is less than 20 miles from London as the crow flies. Definitely worth a visit.

31 May 2015 10:44

The Bull Inn, Iver

CLOSED - possibly permanently

31 May 2015 10:37

The Lamb and Flag, Covent Garden

Plenty of real ales to choose from and a good place to stand outside on a summer's evening, without being run over. Too many sweary pissed twits for my liking, and expensive (£4.40 per pint), but you can do a lot worse in Convent Garden.

24 May 2015 00:42

The Moon Under Water, Watford

After the rst of the horrible pubs and clubs on Watford High Street this was a haven of civilisation. The gentle hubbub of conversation, a mixed clientele, and around 10 real ales to choose from. Sadly the Pigswill from Netheravon brewery was lifeless, but the next pint (which I can't remember) was fine. Typical Spoons and you can't knock it for that.

24 May 2015 00:39

Revolution, Watford

Closed. Now RIFT & CO

24 May 2015 00:34

Que Pasa, Watford

Large bar which, despite its appearance, isn't exclusively for the youngsters. Loud music but not unbearably loud. Bouncer had a sense of humour and the bar-staff were perfectly friendly when I inadevertently sat in a private party zone. No real ale and the cranberry juice was ersatz. There are far worse bars in Watford High Street

24 May 2015 00:29

Tudor Arms, Watford

Very large pub built in the 1930's I'd guess. Lots of TVs showing football, pool table, mainly locals. Had one of the most disgusting pints of London Pride I've ever sampled - couldn't drink it. My mate's Carlsberg was dead. Won't be coming back here - ever.

24 May 2015 00:23

Rising Sun, Watford

Soulless and modern Brewers Fayre joint which acts as an annex to the adjacent Premier Inn. London Pride and Brakspears available - I had a pint of the
latter but it was stale. As a previous reviewer says it serves a purpose.

4 May 2015 00:37

West Herts Sports and Social Club, Watford

Modern and clean sports club with an emphasis on cricket. Unlike those who found the staff rude and unpleasant in December 2013, I found the club to be welcoming - at least to those like myself who carry a copy of the CAMRA Good Pubs Guide, Five real ales on offer and comfortable seats to watch the England vs West Indies cricket. Nice atmosphere. Copmared to the rest of Watford this place is pretty good.

4 May 2015 00:31

Baroosh, Hertford

McMullens branded bar for the younger crowd. Visited on a Saturday night and the first bad sign was the three bouncers on the door. Inside it was pretty cavernous, and extremely busy. I never got far enough into the venue to notice that there were actually three ales on handpump - presumably McMullens ales. Crowd was predominantly young and dressed up, but there were a few old blokes (us included). Probably more palatable to the oldies during the week when it's less crowded. Not really a pub - more a bar. Don't bother with this place unless you're aged 21-35.

19 Apr 2015 21:40

Sportsman, Hertford

CLOSED. Now reopened as the Jungle Bar

19 Apr 2015 21:25

All Bar One, Charing Cross

Pick-up joint for 20-somethings in crap suits and trainee accountants.
I attended a leaving do and was told three times by a spotty youth that standing up was forbidden upstairs! No real ale - just bottles of Southwold and Explorer from the chilled cabinet. Single G&T and a bottle of Southwold was £10.60. Avoid unless you are a trainee accountant or a youth in a cheap suit.

16 Apr 2015 21:52

The Beehive, St Albans

Refurbished town centre local. The 11th venue on our 11 pub crawl round St Albans. I can't remember much except it had real ale, but I went for a Bloody Mary, and appreciated the fact that the barmaid gave me the ingredients and let me make it myself - it was excellent. Pub was OK but didn't stand out. The nearby White Hart Hotel and White Hart Tap are preferable.

9 Apr 2015 21:45

The White Hart Tap, St Albans

Refurbished back street local with an excellent range of real ales. Well-heeled and slightly boho clientele. A few too many dogs for my liking. But this was a good pub and well worth the visit.

9 Apr 2015 21:40

White Hart Hotel, St Albans

This was the 9th of our 11 pubs on our crawl around St Albans, and I really liked it. And that's not due to any clouded judgement either. The wood-panelled side bar was really cosy and traditional. The house bitter was superb. The bar staff were friendly and chatty. In the next bar there was a wedding reception with some really good vibes. I'll definitely come back here.

9 Apr 2015 21:37

The Peahen, St Albans

Large rather characterless McMullens in the city centre. Two bitters on offer. Friendly bar staff. Not unpleasant but fairly unmemorable. I expect it gets busier in the evening with a younger crowd.

9 Apr 2015 21:32

The Snug, St Albans

Refurbished historic pub. Ubu was the only real ale on offer but it was perfectly drinkable. I would happily bring my mum here - it's that kind of a place. and I suspect the tourists will love its quaint olde worlde charm. Personally I prefer a real pub.

9 Apr 2015 21:29

The White Swan, St Albans

Five real ales on offer at this excellent local in the heart of St Albans. My pint of Mojo from the Robinsons Brewery was superb. A rather mixed clientele - the mid-afternoon bonhomie was only slight spolit by the rather sour barmaid.
But I liked this pub nevertheless.

9 Apr 2015 21:26

Waterend Barn, St Albans

My God. At 3 in the afternoon they must have had several dozen coachloads of pensioners shipped in. There were even a few tables with pensioners down from the north. It was heaving. It's also the only pub where I've had to queue in line to get served. Weird! Otherwise it's a fairly typical Wetherspoons. 2x steak & kidney puddings at £7.69 were great value. However my pint wasn't up to the usual Wetherspoons standard, and there were chips scattered on the floor and our table top hadn't been cleaned for a few hours. Should do better!

9 Apr 2015 21:22

The Slug and Lettuce, St Albans

Bright and airy. More a cocktail bar than a pub, although it did have Doom Bar on. If you like the Slug and Lettuce formula this is for you (but not me).

9 Apr 2015 21:16

O'Neills, St Albans

Vast gloomy former library. Irish-themed pub with a burger-based menu + Irish Stew thrown in for a bit of genuine ethnicity. One real ale was on offer - London Pride. Not a bad pint but not a good one either. At 2.00 in the afternoon this place had the ambience of a crypt.

9 Apr 2015 21:13

Cock, St Albans

Very smart, a little bit touristy, but 6 real ales. On my 10-pub crawl round St Albans the pint of Lancaster Bomber I had in here was by some distance the best pint. Food looked a bit pricey at £11.95 for 2 courses, but it is St Albans.
Definitely worth a visit and far superior to the BeechHouse across the road.

9 Apr 2015 21:05

The Two Brewers Inn, Chipperfield

Large traditional pub overlooking the common which mainly caters for diners. However, there is a decent-sized area for drinkers. Four real ales were on offer and my pint of Redshank from the local Tring brewery was the best pint I had in the five venues visited last night. Bar staff were young an friendly. Well-heeled clientele from across the age groups. You would be happy to bring your mum here for lunch. The 3.9 average score awarded by the other reviewers is way too harsh. This is a pretty decent pub, although I didn't sample the food.

29 Mar 2015 10:20

The Essex Arms, Watford

Modern, smart Ember Inns pub in the more affluent Cassiobury area of north-west Watford. The emphasis is on dining, but there was plenty of room for drinkers. There were 5 bitters on offer, and my pint of Tribute was drinkable without being outstanding. Given the dearth of decent pubs in Watford, you wouldn't mind if this was your local - albeit a rather characterless venue.

29 Mar 2015 10:07

The Wishing Well, Watford

Friendly laid-back Irish pub. No irritating music but football was on discreetly. Only real ale was Doom Bar, but it was a bit metallic. You would come here for the relaxed atmosphere, not the beer.

29 Mar 2015 00:34

The King Charles Tavern, Newbury

Ignore the preceeding reviews. I first visited this pub as a 15 year old in 1972, when I was a Saturday boy at Woolworths. The main attraction then was the exotic dancer at lunchtime. Despite their evident lack of enthusiasm for their profession, they were a welcome attraction for a young lad. Since then the old landlord Tony has moved on - possibly to the great boozer in the sky and the pub drifted for years, becoming ever more tatty.
But in the last year it has been transformed, and is now arguably the leading real ale pub in Newbury. Completely refurbished and selling 7 real ales, it's a terrific boozer. I concentrated on the Good Old Boy from the local west Kennet brewery but also tried the Dogbolter from Tim Taylors. Both were very well-kept. The food looked a little pricey, but if you want a pasty or a cake the legendary Empire cafe is just across the road. This pub is a must visit for a real ale enthusiast, and is just a 250 metre stagger from the station.

21 Mar 2015 22:48

The Catherine Wheel, Newbury

This used to be a dark and dingy and slightly disreputable boozer in the Market Place. In the last year it has been transformed into a smart modern real ale pub. At least 5 real ales were on handpump including Green Bullet and TBA from the Sherfield brewery. I started with a pint of the latter but it was too earthy for my taste, so I moved on to the Roundhead bitter from the local Two Cocks brewery which was excellent. Friendly landlord and a nice mixed clientele. This pub is a must for any real ale tour of the town.

21 Mar 2015 22:40

The White Lion, Stevenage

This pub has been renamed THE MULBERRY TREE

15 Mar 2015 18:51

Almond Tree, Pin Green

This is not so much a pub as a bunker. Hidden away down a back passage in the badlands of Stevenage this modern McMullens estate pub is probably visited only by people who live within 500 metres. On a Saturday night the Sports Bar had been colonised by 5 pissheads, one of whom appeared to have combined his alcohol with a number of other substances. There were a lot of tattoos on exhibit. The McMullens AK was execrable but I'd guess there's not much call for it in here. On the positive side the barmaid was very friendly, as were the pissheads although I feared their mood might change dramatically for no apparent reason . Despite taking great efforts to avoid making eye contact one of them embraced me as I left; I couldn't understand a word that he said but I think it was affectionate. I will never go back.

15 Mar 2015 18:48

The Old Post Office, Stevenage

Rather scruffy modernised pub in the shopping centre. There was a noisy crowd at the two pool tables, but otherwise this place was quiet on a Saturday night. Two real ales were on offer, of which one was from the Wychwood brewery and the other was GK IPA. I suspect the real ale drinkers will go to the superior Standard Bearer next door. The two barmaids were friendly, but the pub was let down by its lack of cleanliness. This is a pub where a broom and cloth would be inadequate - you'd need a high-pressure hose and a mop.

15 Mar 2015 18:28

The Standard Bearer, Stevenage

I had a pint of Good Old Boy from the West Kennet brewery and it was superb. Fresh, slightly chilled and flavoursome. The staff were friendly and polite and so were the two doormen which makes a nice change. Nice mixed Wetherspoons-type crowd, and 2 pints cost £4.25. If you're in the town centre shopping area, this is not a bad place to grab a pint or two, and much better than the Old Post Office next door.

15 Mar 2015 18:21

The One Crown, Watford

Very old pub which would be better if it stocked a well-kept real ale. Only Bombardier was available and I'm afraid it was a rather mediocre pint. Nevertheless the barmaid was very friendly and chatty, and the clientele was a distinct cut above the lot just up the road at The One Bell. Watford is a a desert when it comes to decent pubs, but this is one of the better ones. Just sort your beer out.

1 Mar 2015 14:13

The One Bell, Watford

Friendly and chatty barman who carried a very obvious walkie-talkie - presumably to call for assistance if needed. Very dark with few customers on a Saturday night, and most of them you wouldn't want to make eye contact with. Awful karaoke, and minimal furnishings. As you might expect in a dump like this there was no real ale. I suspect this pub won't be around much longer - or at least not in its current state.

1 Mar 2015 14:09

The Oddfellows, Watford

Lively back street pub with a strong irish contingent on both sides of the bar. Close to Watford FC. No real ale unfortunately, so I had to go with the Newcastle Brown Ale. If it had some proper beer it wouldn't be that bad a pub.

1 Mar 2015 14:03

Woods at Borehamwood, Borehamwood

CLOSED but has reopened as the much nicer ALFRED ARMS

1 Mar 2015 13:51

The Star, Hoddesdon

This pub is NOT closed

1 Feb 2015 17:34

The Navigator, Ware

Now the WATERSIDE INN

1 Feb 2015 17:18

Jacoby's, Ware

An old building which has been sympathetically refurbished with the bar downstairs and a restaurant upstairs. A predominantly young and relatively well-heeled clientele. Music was at a tolerable level. Three real ales were available including Doom Bar, Adnams and Twitchells from the local Buntingford brewery. I had the latter which was passable if slightly lifeless. My mate had the Italian lager, and the round came to around £8.20 which is not cheap. Worth a look if you fall into the correct demographic.

1 Feb 2015 17:16

The Crown, Kingsclere

Bang in the centre of the village, near the church, this is a lively locals' pub, with a small, traditional public bar and a more extensive saloon bar. The service wasn't great - at one stage the bar was untended for 5 minutes at 10pm on a Saturday night. However, the Otter beer was good and reasonably priced. I'll go there again, especially as the Swan is currently out of action.

13 Jan 2015 20:20

Swan Hotel, Kingsclere

This used to be the best drinkers' pub in Kingsclere, but it's currently undergoing refurbishment and may well be up for sale. It's a fine old building.

13 Jan 2015 20:17

The Dun Cow, Stevenage

Dimly lit locals' pub just off the High Street in the old town. This was the 8th pub on my pre-Xmas Stevenage pub crawl, so my memory is a bit dim. However, I do recall there were about 4 real ales, and a reasonable atmosphere. I think either a telly or a jukebox was playing, but I don't remember it being too loud. I'll go back again when I'm sober. Worth a try.

13 Jan 2015 20:14

The Angels Share, Hitchin

Quirky, esoteric wine bar in The Arcade, with a mixed, slightly bohemian crowd, and guitarists playing West Coast ballads under the awning. No real ale on tap, but some nice bottled bitters. My companion was impressed with the variety of malt whiskey. You won't find a lager lout in this joint. Previously Corks Wine Bar.

13 Jan 2015 20:09

Draper Arms, Stevenage

Previously known as the Proverbial this pub has been refurbished and is owned by the Stonegate Pub Company. In many respects it resembles a Wetherspoons with a reasonable range of half a dozen real ales, brightly lit but not overbearingly so, and very busy young bar-staff. We went for the £8.45 for 2 meals option, and although one has to accept that you get what you pay for the grub was disappointing. My chicken curry slice was not very nice, the peas were few in number and rock-hard, although the chips were good. This was the busiest pub on our 10-pub crawl of Old Stevenage. It's OK but somewaht lacking in character.

9 Jan 2015 18:15

Premier Inn Hemel Hempstead West, Bourne End

Dreary chain hotel in a lay-by off the A41. Crap beer and a bar with no atmosphere. Depressing.

9 Jan 2015 18:11

Pendley Manor Hotel, Tring

Smart hotel on the outskirts of Tring. It has a very comfortable bar which is open to non-residents, and the bar staff were pleasant to the point of being courteous. Unfortunately there's no real ale, other than in bottles. But to its credit it is local ale from the Tring brewery, and nicely chilled at that. You will find many worse hotel bars.

9 Jan 2015 18:09

The Castle, Tring

I'm amazed that this pub has not found its way on to BITE before. It's a cracking little traditional unmodernised back street local which you find so rarely now in small towns in the south-east. The couple who run out know their stuff when it comes to beer. The ales from the local Vale brewery were in excellent condition. For me it's the best pub in Tring.

9 Jan 2015 18:05

Holiday Inn Hemel Hempstead, Hemel Hempstead

Former Post House just off the M1, the bar was a surprisingly smart and comfortable. Only Boddingtons creamflow available. Chain hotel but could have been worse.

9 Jan 2015 18:01

Baroosh, Bishops Stortford

Busy McMullens branded venue, where you might go to pick up girls (if you're a bloke). Very loud, with bouncers on the door. The beer wasn't bad, but it's not really a pub.

8 Jan 2015 19:43

Manor of Groves, Sawbridgeworth

Essentially a hotel cum golf and country club. Rudimentary bar with no real ale. If there's a function on you might find it difficult to park. Not a place to pop in for a pint.

8 Jan 2015 19:40

The Wine Bar, Buntingford

Used to be the Bacchus Wine Bar. More a bistro than a pub, this place was heaving on a Saturday night with quite a mixed crowd. Rather surprisingly, there were two wooden barrels dispensing some nice real ale, albeit a bit on the expensive side. Not to my taste but I could see its appeal.

8 Jan 2015 19:38

The Green Man, Potters Bar

Currently CLOSED and up for sale. Future uncertain.

8 Jan 2015 19:32

Manor House, Royston

A new, better than average, Wetherspoons conversion with the usual good range of beer. It was very busy on a Saturday night with a mixed clientele including a lady in her 80's wearing a Norwich FC shirt. Come on you Yellows!

8 Jan 2015 19:30

Countryman, Chipping

Delightful historic pub in the village of Chipping on the A10 just south of Royston. A freehold pub which is only open Friday - Sunday. The landlord is very friendly and will sell you eggs from his own chickens which he keeps out the back. Three real ales were on offer, and my Trelawney bitter was well-kept and tasty. I'd be very happy if this was my local, despite the restricted opening.

8 Jan 2015 19:27

The Cosy Club, Stamford

Cavernous conversion catering for a fairly well-heeled crowd in their 20's and 30's. It did serve real ale, although the barman charged me the price of a pint for my half. I put it down to his gormlessness rather than any criminal intent. Not unpleasant, but there are better places to eat and drink in Stamford.

8 Jan 2015 19:23

Hildyard Arms, Patrington

The youngest clientele of the 3 pubs in Patrington, though by no means a youth venue. I had to resort to drinking Tetleys heer with my reasonably priced haddock and chips. The Station Hotel is better for food, while the Holderness Inn is the real ale drinker's pub. Barman was friendly.

8 Jan 2015 19:19

Holderness Inn, Patrington

Cosy and welcoming traditional pub with an excellent selection of real ales. This is the pub in town for the real ale drinker. Definitely worth a visit.

8 Jan 2015 19:15

Hollywood Bowl, Watford

If you like a family night out in a place with the ambience of an amusement arcade this is probably for you. Naturally the bar had no real ale, and as a bloke in his 50's I felt distinctly uncomfortable in here. However in my quest to visit every pub and bar in Herts it had to be done. But never again.

8 Jan 2015 19:11

Garston Harvester, Watford

Above average Harvester in a suburb of Watford. Bombardier or John Smith Gold was available on keg, and the Bombardier was actually kept quite well, albeit it was keg. Comfortable seating area for drinkers, and friendly staff. Unlike most of the pubs in Watford there weren't any yobbos.

8 Jan 2015 19:03

Badger, Watford

Unpleasant pub on a Watford estate. Service with a snarl, no real ale, and potential for trouble. Best avoided unles you are related to everyone else in there.

8 Jan 2015 18:59

Roaring Meg Harvester, Stevenage

Standard Harvester in a retail park in Stevenage - says it all really. No real ale.

8 Jan 2015 18:56

Emperors Head, Stevenage

Estate pub with no atmosphere and no real ale. It did have a pool table. Pretty empty on a Saturday night, and I'd guess everyone in there lived less than a mile away.

8 Jan 2015 18:53

Rose and Crown, Flamstead

Wonderful, tiny two-bar pub in the hamlet of Trowley Bottom. 10 customers and it's cramped. Three real ales with superb Otter bitter at a mere £2.65 per pint. It's like going back to the 50's - in the nicest possible way. I don't think they do food.

8 Jan 2015 18:49

Holiday Inn Markyate, Markyate

A bland Holiday Inn located in a lay-by off the A6. No real ale, but if it's to your taste there are always the exotic dancers just down the road at the Waggon & Horses.

7 Jan 2015 18:59

Harvester Flamstead, Flamstead

A depressing, below par Harvester with particularly poor bitter. At least the food is cheap.

7 Jan 2015 18:55

Red Lion, Hatfield

Large and comfortable McMullens pub with an emphasis on food. Recently refurbished. There were 5 McMullens real ales on handpump. Nice barmaid. Just a little soul-less.

31 Dec 2014 21:01

The Horse and Groom, Hatfield

Lovely old pub in the Old Town, with a nice CAMRA type clientele. 5 real ales. Best pub in Hatfield by a distance, although the refurbed Great Northern isn't too bad.

31 Dec 2014 20:59

The Great Northern, Hatfield

Now the GREAT NORTHERN. Refurbished and much improved. 3 real ales were on when I went. The Rudolph's Revenge was well-kept and I could also have had the Speckled Hen or the GK IPA. Friendly barman and clientele. Definitely worth a visit if you're in the vicinity of the station or visiting Hatfield House.

31 Dec 2014 20:56

Bar 12, Hatfield

CLOSED

31 Dec 2014 20:53

The Royal Oak, Stevenage

Quite large, inter-war McMullens 200 yards off the High Street in a residentail area of Old Stevenage. Very comfortable, with a bit of Sky Sports to keep us entertained, at an agreeably respectable volume. I'd guess this was a locals' pub, unlike those on the nearby High Street. Barman wasn't over-friendly. But if I lived around the corner I'd be happy to have this as my local.

23 Dec 2014 18:50

2Dry, Stevenage

A rather quirky small one-bar McMullens at the northern end of the High Street. I wasn't quite sure what end of the market they're aiming for. It had McMullens real ales, but the bar itself seemed to be promoting shots-type drinks more than anything else. They didn't stock tomato juice, which surprised me, so I had vodka and cranberry instead. Mini-pretzel nibbles were provided free of charge which was a nice touch. We were there late afternoon, so you might get a better idea what this place is like later on. It doesn't open till 4pm.

23 Dec 2014 18:46

The Standing Order, Stevenage

While I'm not a great fan of Wetherspoons, finding them rather soulless, the Standing Order must be one of the best I've ever been to. Beautiful building, tastefully refurbished, not too cavernous with areas where you can get a bit of privacy, good range of beers and the usual selection of competitively priced meals. There was a nice mix of customers of various ages, and there wasn't the preponderance of mid-afternoon bums or lary youths you get in some 'Spoons. A good 7 mark from me.

23 Dec 2014 18:40

The White Lion, Stevenage

Very relaxing and very comfortable historic pub, which was number 4 on our 10-pub crawl around Old Stevenage. Just three real ales on offer - I had the Rocking Rudolph which was well-kept. The menu was more expensive than the Drapers Arms down the road, but the food looked better quality. You could bring your mum or your family here, and they would be fine. A greater range of beers would be preferred, especially as one of them was GK IPA.

23 Dec 2014 18:34

The Proverbial, Stevenage

This has been refurbished and is now THE DRAPERS ARMS, owned by the Stonegate Pub Company. In many respects it resembles a Wetherspoons with a reasonable range of half a dozen real ales, brightly lit but not overbearingly so, and very busy young bar-staff. We went for the £8.45 for 2 meals option, and although one has to accept that you get what you pay for the grub was disappointing. My chicken curry slice was not very nice, the peas were few in number and rock-hard, although the chips were good. This was the busiest pub on our 10-pub crawl. It's OK but lacking in character.

23 Dec 2014 18:20

The Red Lion, Stevenage

Very quiet on a Monday lunchtime - there were only three customers when we arrived, and one of them looked like an ageing roadie on his last legs. But I'd guess this place livens up in the evening, as it's known as a rock music venue. Minimal furniture - as far as I could see there are only two tables and a pool table. Pleasingly there were 3 real ales. Come in the evening if you want a livelier drinking environment.

23 Dec 2014 18:13

The White Hart, Stevenage

CLOSED - this is an Indian restaurant.

23 Dec 2014 18:09

Marquis of Lorne, Stevenage

On our 10 pub crawl of Old Stevenage this was undoubtedly the best pub. There are two bars - the public bar being a spartan working man's bar as it should be, while the lounge bar was comfortable, busy and welcoming. Nice historical drinking environment, and the home-cooked specials of the day looked good value at £5.75. Staff and clientele were good-natured. The only real downside for this pub is that it's GK, so the choice of real ales is not great. I had a pint of the Xmas special, Fireside, which was flavoursome and nicely chilled to cellar temperature. If you want to visit a nice pub in Old stevenage go for this one, if it's the real ale you're looking for, go to the Chequers 50 yards down the road.

23 Dec 2014 18:07

The Coach and Horses, Stevenage

I believe this pub is a music venue, but on the night we visited theer wasn't any - not that we minded. The TVs were pretty loud though. The pub iteslf has been recently refurbished, and its pretty cavernous inside. There was one real ale available, but if you want that kind of thing The Chequers across the road would be a better choice. Probably caters for a younger crowd than us. OK but not exceptional.

23 Dec 2014 18:00

The Chequers, Stevenage

Bizarrely at 12.45 on a Monday lunchtime, six of us were standing outside this pub (it's supposed to open at midday) trying to ttract the attention of the landlord so he could let us in. But to no avail. We came back later to find a refurbished pub with, I think, 6 real ales on. The beers were good, the pub's comfortable, but a bit more attention to the customers wouldn't go amiss.

23 Dec 2014 17:57

The Beaufort Arms, Stoke Gifford

8 real ales on when I visited on a Tuesday evening and priced at £2.49.I also had a good, reasonably priced meal. Bass was below par, 6X was OK and the Butcombe bitter was good. Nice bar staff, claen and comfortable. This is the pub to visit if you're in the vicinity of Parkway station - less than 5 minutes walk.

16 Dec 2014 20:43

Kandi Klub, Watford

This is now called PAPARAZZI

14 Dec 2014 22:37

Golden Lion, Watford

This has been refurbished and has reverted to its old name of the GOLDEN LION.
This was the end of an 8 bar pub crawl, so I was pretty tired and can't remember exactly what I drank. But I can remember it was a decent pint of real ale served by a friendly member of staff. The menu looked good too. Personally I just prefer the Estcourt Tavern just over the road, but this is one of the few pubs in central Watford I could recommend.

14 Dec 2014 22:32

The Estcourt Tavern, Watford

After 5 bars on The Parade it was a delight to find something approximating to a real pub which served bitter on a handpump. It's been refurbished recently and is quite smart. I had a pint of Tribute which was OK and there were two other real ales on. The seating was comfortable, and the footy was on at a low volume so we could actually talk to each other. The breakfast at 3.95 looked cracking value. This is one of the few establishments in Watford I would recommend.

14 Dec 2014 22:24

Bar Me, Watford

This is now called REHAB, and after visiting this sepulchral joint you might think rehab was preferable. Dark, dingy, and pretty empty. There was a party of girls at the next table who sporadically danced, although several were clearly too bladdered to attempt anything which required physical coordination. Bar staff were friendly enough though, and it's still a lot better than Mosquito just up the drag.

14 Dec 2014 22:18

The Walkabout, Watford

Of the five establishments we visited on The Parade this was the best - although that could be construed as damning with faint praise. At first it didn't look as though we'd be allowed in. My mate and I were both asked for ID - I didn't have any. Being two gentlemen at the wrong end of our 50's we were momentarily left speechless, before bursting out laughing,. This appeared to embarrass the doorman and he let us in to the vast hangar that is Walkabout. There was no real ale, but the Coopers Pale Ale (from Adelaide I believe), was tasty, the music wasn't deafening, and the clientele semed friendly. It could have been worse.

14 Dec 2014 22:13

Yates's, Watford

Normally I would give a place like this a low score, but having just come from the appalling Mosquito bar, Yates's came as quite a relief despite the pounding music, the rather downmarket clientele, and the litter lying all over the place. Unlike most of the places on the Parade, this did have bitter on tap - even if it was just GK IPA.

14 Dec 2014 22:07

Bar Naz, Watford

This is now called MOSQUITO and it's as nasty as one as well.
It's a large empty hangar which I guess is supposed to be minimalist, and minimalist it is too. Minimal choice of drinks, minimal seating, bar staff with minimal intelligence, minimal charm. One of the bouncers clearly wanted to pick a fight. A really horrible shit-hole, which I suspect will go down the tubes soon, and rightly so.

14 Dec 2014 22:02

Bar Bodega, Watford

Bar cum bistro cum nightclub feel. Loud music, and a mixed clientele with a slightly older crowd than you might find elsewhere on the High Street. Some of the ladies were pretty smartly dressed. The bar staff however looked about 14, but were perfectly pleasant. The beer pumps are unmarked and I was never able to work out whether any of them dispensed bitter.

14 Dec 2014 21:56

The Maidens Head, Whitwell

Sadly this lovely rural pub has been CLOSED by McMullens and will be converted to housing.

8 Dec 2014 22:53

Ivory, Hitchin

Lokks like an old theatre from the outside. inside it's a kids' bar with no real ale and horrible loud music. For some reason the door of the gents had been propped open so everyone could get a view of the cubicles. Not good. At least it was fairly cheap.

30 Nov 2014 00:50

The Cock Hotel, Hitchin

Long narrow pub packed full of 40 and 50 year olds on the pull. Beer is GK and my pint of IPA was distinctly average, as is the pub in general

30 Nov 2014 00:47

The Akeman, Tring

This new venue is about 2/3rds restaurant and 1/3rd pub. It has been recently renovated in a very trendy manner, without totally losing the building's historic charms. The clientele looks very prosperous, and I guess they'd have to be, given that a pint each of Nastro Azurri and Sunbeam came to £8.65 and the steaks cost around £25. The beer was well-kept and two other ales from the local Tring brewery were also available. Personally I prefer the traditional charms of the nearby Castle.

23 Nov 2014 12:25

The Pheasant, Tring

This pub CLOSED in August 2014 and will be demolished for housing

23 Nov 2014 12:19

The King and Queen, Fitzrovia

Cracking real ale pub with an atmosphere of the old Fitzrovia about it. Five superbly kept real ales. Nice bar staff. Clientele mainly male but nothing testosterone-fuelled about it. I could bring my dear old mum here. I will definitely visit it again.

19 Nov 2014 19:56

The White Hart, Hemel Hempstead

Old pub with fairly young, mixed crowd. More downmarket than other venues on the High Street. Quite a few tattoos and one or two rough looking types. Barmaid was also heavily tattooed, with piercings and shortly cropped hair. Sensed that trouble wouldn't be unknown here. Very loud old skool music from an oldish DJ on the turntables. Just one real ale on handpump - Kotuku from the Tring brewery. It was slightly sour. A bit loud what with the music and the shouty types at the bar. Probably won't come back.

16 Nov 2014 00:43

The Midland, Hemel Hempstead

No real ale unfortunately. Fair to middling pub with plenty of room. Very loud 80's disco when we visited with some very energetic dancing by a raven-haired youn lady. Food looked reasonable. Bar staff freindly enough. Gothe impression this was very much a locals' pub.

16 Nov 2014 00:35

The Three Tuns, Bishops Stortford

After a night in Baroosh, the Port Jackson, and the Bridge House it was a relief to visit a traditional local with music at acceptable levels and a pleasant buzz of conversation at the bar. Comfortable, friendly barmaid, and decent real ale, albeit limited to GK IPA and Abbot. Very convenient for the station and worth a visit. Unusually for Bishops Stortford there were no bouncers.

26 Oct 2014 20:09

The Port Jackson, Bishops Stortford

Swish new Wetherspoons with plenty of real ale at competitive prices. My pint of Everards Triple Gold was excellent. Very busy on Saturday night with a mixed crowd. Don't stand at the end of the bar nearest the entrance - you might be ignored. Like all other Stortford town centre pubs it has black-shirted bouncers.

26 Oct 2014 20:05

Bridge House, Bishops Stortford

Recently reopened. Fairly spartan refurbishment of this old town centre pub. Just one real ale (Bombardier) available which was a bit lifeless. Presumably the clientele which is predominantly young and male prefers lager or Magners. Got a bit loud and lary later. Barman was friendly.

26 Oct 2014 20:00

White Bear, Royston, Royston

CLOSED July 2014 and sold to a developer

15 Oct 2014 20:57

London Inn, Stamford

Several real ales on offer at this recently renovated pub. Bit too modern for my liking. A few couples were happily snogging in corners. Worth a visit.

11 Oct 2014 22:03

The George, Stamford

Three real ales on handpump - two of which I tried and were well-kept. Price of a pint was outrageous at over £4, but this is more than compensated for by a generous helping of complementary nibbles. Lovely historic bar with sumptuous leather armchairs, and no riff-raff or tattoos in sight. Visit this place for the historic experience if nothing else.

11 Oct 2014 22:01

The White Bear, Epworth

Old pub with lots of little alcoves. I had a decent pint of real ale (Black Sheep from what I recall, but I might be wrong. Fairly extensive menu, and the Hunters Chicken when it turned up was reasonable value at £8.95. Landlady was friendly enough. I'd drop in again if I was in the area.

11 Oct 2014 21:56

Crown and Anchor, Kilnsea

Very handy pub if you're visiting the nature reserve at Spurn Head, particularly if the weather's been horrible. Two ales were available - Tetleys and Landlord. I had the latter which was chilled and well-kept. Barmaid had a laugh like a shrieking banshee. Only stayed for half an hour. Food would have been available from 5.30.

11 Oct 2014 21:53

The Station Hotel, Patrington

The best place to eat in Patrington. Thai fishcakes at £8.95 were delicious.
Two well-kept real ales were on handpump, and I particularly enjoyed the Hupper Class. Pub was clean with friendly staff.
THe Holderness Arms in the village is better for real ale drinkers.

11 Oct 2014 21:43

The Gate, Bricket Wood

Maybe I visited on the wrong evening but this pub has gone downhill since my last visit. It's a small two-bar venue - one had been taken over for a birthday party, and the music was so deafening I couldn't hear what my mate was saying even when he shouted. The other bar had been taken over by a bunch of scruffy youths in baseball caps who were lolling around in an offensively proprietorial manner. The Youngs was off and the Bombardier was a bit flat. At least the barmaid was nice and it was better than our previous stop - the Badger in Garston.

5 Oct 2014 20:50

Moor Mill, Bricket Wood

Beefeater with a large working mill wheel right next to the bar. An attractive venue, although the bar area is small and rather lacking in atmosphere. Just one real ale was on offer - Adnams Ghostship, which tasted OK but was surprisingly fizzy. The bar staff were polite enough. Not really a pub, but better than a Harvester.

5 Oct 2014 20:44

The Star and Garter, Soho

An excellent old-style pub in Soho. Basic furniture, no fripperies and a mixed clientele. Heaving on a Thursday evening with three times as many on the street as in the pub. Beer's a bit uninspiring, but three real ales on handpump (Pride, GK IPA and Spitfire). The Pride was excellent when I visited. Watch out for the dark-haired barmaid with fantastic cleavage.

2 Oct 2014 23:11

Old Bell & Crown, Hatherden

Attractive thatched roof pub in the sleepy village of Hatherden.
Two Wadsworths beers were on handpump - 6X and Henrys IPA were both nicely kept and quaffable. Main courses were in the £9 to £13 range. My goats cheese tart was quite tasty but I could easily have eaten another one. My mate's steak pie looked fairly standard for this price range. Friendly bar staff.
A nice pub if not exceptional, although I'd be reasonably happy if this was my village local.

29 Sep 2014 23:46

The Abington, Abington

Regarding my earlier post, that's £7 for lunch - not 37.

24 Sep 2014 23:16

The Abington, Abington

Large, characterful Victorian pub very conveniently sited close to the cricket ground. The food is not exactly haute cuisine but is nevertheless excellent value. My bacon and black pudding stack followed by baked potato, cheese, beans and salad came in at just over 37. My companions' ham egg and chips and 3x speciality susages & mash were also favourably received. There were 4 real ales on offer, and my Doom Bar wasn't too badly kept. I have previously spent the best part of an afternoon in this pub while the rain delayed the cricket, and it was an enjoyable experience. On the downside? Well I'm probably showing my age, but I would prefer less heavily tattooed bar-staff.

24 Sep 2014 23:14

Seamus, Potters Bar

CLOSED. The Lal restaurant which replaced it has also CLOSED.

22 Sep 2014 19:44

The Railway Tavern, New Barnet

This is a blokes' pub, with little evidence of women except for the bar staff. It's also got a pronounced Irish element, so most of the drinkers were necking Guinness, lager or Magners. Lots of TVs showing sport, including a couple of screens in the urinals. The sound was too high and discouraged conversation.
Of the 3 handpumps, the Bombardier was off, the Eagle IPA was horrible, and the Charles Wells Summer Golden ale was good. To her credit, the barmaid apologised for the vinegary stench of the Eagle and swapped it for the Summer Golden ale without demur. Not too bad, but I'd rather drink at one of the other 3 pubs within a stone's throw (Kitchener, Railway Bell and the delightful and quirky backstreet Builders Arms.

20 Sep 2014 22:17

Railway Bell, New Barnet

Very smart refurbished Wetherspoons. 10 real ales were on offer when we visited - all competitively priced in the £1.99 to £2.75 price bracket. Comfortable seating, nice conservatory, and boasting the usual Wetherspoons price offer on food. Something to suit everyone, albeit lacking slightly in tradition. Not to be sniffed at by any means and a cut above the usual Wetherspoons. You can do a lot worse than this if you're waiting for a train.

20 Sep 2014 22:07

The Nell Gwynne, Covent Garden

Very dark and unlit pub with friendly bar staff and inaccessible Gents. Three real ales on offer including St Austell Tribute and Tea, both of which were very tasty, although my guts were feeling pretty bruised the next day. A hidden gem which is difficult to find down a back passage, and mercifully free of tourists.

20 Sep 2014 22:01

The Candlestick, West End

3 real ales were on offer including one from the Herts Red Squirrel Brewery and Youngs Ordinary. Both well kept. More of a restaurant than a pub these days, but it was still good to sit outside enjoying the views as the sun set, kept company by a Little Owl. Food here is reasonably priced and tasty.

20 Sep 2014 21:57

Our Mutual Friend, Stevenage

After a dismal pub crawl around the eastern and southern suburbs of Stevenage, we arrived at the wonderful Our Mutual Friend. Six real ales, no loud music, friendly clientele, nice bar staff with a bit of personality, and a landlord who truly believes in and loves real ale. I had a nice amber bitter from the Mighty Oak brewery, but I could have tried the Conservation from the local Red Squirrel brewery or the Woodford Wherry, or any of 3 others. My only complaint was that it was just a little on the warm side.
I have yet to come across another pub in Stevenage which comes close to Our Mutual Friend.

14 Sep 2014 21:27

Man In The Moon, Stevenage

Modern estate pub in one of the rougher suburbs of Stevenage, Walked in and, while trying to order, a totally bladdered bird in her early 20s lurched into me. I looked round and decided not to chide her, as she was being bumped around like a pinball by some tough-looking slightly less pissed blokes. My mate, who is hardly built like Kate Moss, said he felt very slim in this pub. No real ale was available so I settled on a 275 ml bottle of Courage Light Ale served by a frendly, albeit heavily tattooed lady in her 40's. I suspect we were the only people in this pub who weren't born and bred within 200 yards. Feeling a trifle vulnerable I downed my light ale quickly and left, never to return.

14 Sep 2014 21:19

The Coopers Inn, Stevenage

Pub is part of the Sizzling chain. Busy on a Saturday night with several families eating and some lary types at the bar. Two of the three hand-pumps were not in use, but the Adnams Ghostship was perfectly drinkable if a little over-chilled. Not a great pub but at least it had a bit of atmosphere. We sat outside and admired the views of the underpass.

14 Sep 2014 21:06

The Westminster Arms, Westminster

Pub off Parliament Square that's full of thrusting civil servants. Quite light and airy and not too busy, but busy enough to create an atmosphere. Beer was mainly Shepherd Neame, and although I'm not a fan of Master Brew (eeeeurghhh) or Spitfire, the Whitstable Pale Ale was very quaffable and at £3.85 per pint is reasonable value for the local area.
While not outstanding I'd go there again if I was in the vicinity.

11 Sep 2014 22:48

White Horse, Harpenden

Very smart refurbished large pub with much of it given over to food. Pricey - the all English breakfast cost £9.50. More gastro than pub. Nevertheless there were three real ales including Brock and Armadillo from the local Tring brewery - all served by a nice barmaid. This place probably suits the well-heeled residents of Harpenden and looked to be successful at what it does. Myself, I prefer something a little more earthy.

30 Aug 2014 23:20

The Plough and Harrow, Harpenden

Pub with geezers and geezers' birds. Average age around 45-50. Playing good 60s / 70s music like the Who, but a bit loud. Decent pint of Youngs. Not bad

30 Aug 2014 23:13

The Railway Inn, Docking

The pub is unrecognisable from the last comment. It's a really nice village local with three excellent beers on handpump - Woodforde Wherry, Adnams Ghost Ship and Vicenniale from Buffys Brewery - all three regional East Anglian ales. Lunch was extremely tasty - I had the whitebait followed by the Moroccan Bean Stew with potato cakes for £12 - it was very tasty but the main course portions were rather meagre. For an extra 10p they could have provided more potato cake and I've have given them an extra point. Unlike a lot of North Norfolk pubs, this was not exclusively patronised by comfortably off pensioners and prosperous families from the home counties. There were a couple of locals in the bar and they were friendly and welcoming, as were the bar staff. This is proper pub - so use it if you're in the area rather than the poncey overpriced pubs along the coastal road.

26 Aug 2014 23:30

The Carpenters Arms, Burghclere

Nice old village pub run by a friendly couple. Three beers from Arkells were on hand-pump and the 3Bs could not be faulted. The meals cannot be faulted on quantity, but unfortunately they aren't great if you don't order them when they are freshly made. Twice running I've had reheated pie - the charred pastry could be used as an offensive weapon. When the food isn't reheated it's fine. Nevertheless a nice place to enjoy some excellent real ale.

25 Aug 2014 20:19

Camp, St Albans

Pub serves the surrounding estate, and I'd guess there aren't many outsiders among its clientele. There is a huge contrast between the public pub which was full of extremely loud, sweary types and a little bit intimidating. Some yob had gobbed on the wall of the Gents. However, the lounge bar is nice and quiet with a very pleasant older crowd. The barman was very welcoming and didn't demur when I asked for a replacement pint of AK, having noticed he'd just changed the barrel. The public bar gets 3, but the lounge bar gets 8, so I'll award this pub a 6 overall.

17 Aug 2014 18:09

The Rats Castle, St Albans

Coincidentally, I was in the pub the same evening as panther98 and must disagree with him in several respects. Two fairly obscure real ales were on offer - Two Hoots Golden ale from the Jospeh Holts brewery and another whose name I can't recall, but I think had something to do with Scotland and trains. This was a decent pint. The clienetele is changing as the Fleetville area becomes gentrified, so there was an interesting mix of older men and younger professional types. The barmaid was very friendly but on the downside the music was far too loud. This pub used to be a real rough dump, but it's been refurbished, it's got real ale, and it's on the way up. Worth a try if you're in the vicinity of the station.

17 Aug 2014 18:03

The Baton, Marshalswick

Huge estate pub in Marshalswick. The pub was quite smartly refurbished. However, when we left at 9.45 pm on a Saturday night there were only two people left. It had the ambience of a morgue. I can't quite put my finger on what they were doing wrong, although my Doom Bar - which was the only real ale on offer - was pretty rank. All in all a bit depressing - although the garage next door does have cheap petrol.

17 Aug 2014 17:56

The Blackberry Jack, St Albans

Huge newish pub on the Jersey Farm estate. Part of the Sizzling chain owned by Mitchell & Butlers. Fairly busy on a Saturday night with a loud, but not aggressive, bunch of youths drinking outside at the front. Dining area looked quite smart. Contrary to the report below, there were two real ales on offer and the Bombardier was perfectly palatable; GK IPA was also available. I wouldn't go out of my way to visit this pub, but if you lived on the estate you'd probably be happy to use it.

17 Aug 2014 17:51

The Lord Nelson, Southwark

Based at the bottom of a tower block this is a very odd pub, which trades on irony with a heavy dose of kitsch in the furnishings. We visited the day that Cliff Richards' gaff was raided by the police, and they were playing the signature tune to Jim'll Fix It. Clientele is very hip, very new Southwark. It's also very difficult to work out which is the Ladies and which is the Gents. Only one real ale (Adnams Lighthouse) on offer, and I'm afraid it was metallic; clearly it had been a while since the pipes were cleaned. Interesting pub - I suspect you'll love or or hate it.

17 Aug 2014 17:47

The Woodman, Wild Hill

7 real ales were on offer last night. I had a superb pint of Rebellion IPA but there was a real ale for every taste. Sat in the garden and enjoyed the sunset at this hidden rural gem. A deserved winner of Herts CAMRA gold awards. My favourite boozer in the county.

10 Aug 2014 09:14

The Gate, Arkley

Visited on a Saturday lunchtime on a nice afternoon. The garden was very busy, but could have done without a yapping dog. The food wasn't bad although the barbeque sauce on my Hunters Chicken was far too sweet. The portions were good however, and the mains averaging around £12 were just about OK for the price. Three real ales were on offer - GK IPA, Abbot and Doom Bar. I had a pint of the latter which was slightly chilled and quite palatable. As your other reviewers say, it's more of a rstaurant than a pub, but overall this place is OK

10 Aug 2014 09:08

The Exchange Inn, Hove

I had an hour to kill before my train and the Station "pub" next to the station looked more like a cafe, so I wandered down the hill aned chanced upon the Exchange. It's a cavernous, dark one-room pub which mainly caters for locals under the age of 45, although I wouldn't call it a kids' pub. Three real ales were available including a summer ale, and a local Laines best. The beer was good and I found the bar staff friendly enough. On the down-side my table was swimming in beer and at no stage did any one come over to mop it up. I'd come again but they need to take about more care about the cleanliness.

10 Aug 2014 09:02

The Rising Sun, Reading

CLOSED. This pub has had a "For Sale" sign up for some months now, and is looking increasingly dilapidated.

3 Aug 2014 23:18

Falmouth Arms, Woolhampton

CLOSED. Owners have applied to redevelop site for housing.

3 Aug 2014 23:15

The Builders Arms, New Barnet

Traditional back street boozer which is a stone's throw from New Barnet station. Five real ales including a tasty tawny ale at 4.5% which I can't remember the name of. Very friendly front bar with characters, and a garden out the back abutting the East Coast main line. The larger bar had a pool table for the youth element. I had a superb Thai main course for £7.45; there were cheaper options. In my opinion the best pub in New Barnet by some distance.

29 Jul 2014 23:26

The Lord Kitchener, Barnet

Traditional rough and ready working man's boozer, and nothing wrong with that. McMullens AK and IPA on handpump, and despite the heat the AK was excellent. Very handy for New Barnet station.

29 Jul 2014 23:14

The Old Shades, Whitehall

This used to be my regular in the Whitehall area, but not any more. There were 6 real ales on tap, but of the three I tried one was rank and had to be sent back. The other two (Finchcocks and Adnams Explorer) were warm and had a nasty aftertaste. I was charged £8.60 for a pint of each, which is pretty appalling even for central London prices. The barman changed the rank pint without complaint, but shrugged his shoulders and said it was too warm, as if you can never sell a decent pint of ale when the temperatures over 70F. The music was also too loud. I won't be coming back here until they sort out their real ale.

27 Jul 2014 15:57

The Red Lion, Welwyn

Very smartly refurbished pub on the old A1 adjacent to Sherrardspark Wood. Nice big garden, although the still of the evening was spoiled by the roar of traffic from the AI(M) over the fence at the back. A couple of real ales were on tap; I had the Butcombe Rare Breed. Unfortunately it was a trifle warm and had an unpleasant metallic aftertaste. A shame that an otherwise favourable impression was spoiled by a failure to clean the pipes. Also a tad expensive with a bitter and a Peroni coming in at just under £8.

27 Jul 2014 15:50

The Waggoners, Ayot Green

Five real ales on tap (GK IPA, Abbot, the GK summer Golden ale, Pride and Doom Bar). I had a pint of Doom Bar which was fresh and nicely chilled for a warm summer's evening. My companion told me that the food was very good here. It's also a nice wooded setting, spoiled somewaht by the roar of the A1(M) at the rear. What I did object to was being charged £6.80 for a single measue of Jura malt whiskey and a half of Doom Bar. Pricey or what!

27 Jul 2014 15:42

Doctors Tonic, Welwyn Garden City

Went there on a warm Saturday evening. Pretty busy with lots of flesh, lots of tattoos and bouncers. GK IPA, Abbot and Speckled Hen were on handpump. The GK IPA was OK, or as OK as GK IPA can be. Handy for the Howard Centre, and quite close to the railway station.

27 Jul 2014 15:36

The Golden Fleece, Braughing

This pub was closed for a number of years, but has reopened, refurbished in a modern gastro-pub style. It was pretty busy outside, being a warm and humid evening. Two of the three rteal ales were on - an Adnams bitter and a red beer from the Saffron Walden brewery. I had a pint of the latter, but I ddidn't particularly like it. The clientele was a bit bling. There are better pubs in Braughing and Puckeridge.

20 Jul 2014 19:01

Crown and Falcon, Puckeridge

Excellent village pub with a relaxed atmosphere and friendly bar staff.
I sat outside on a sultry evening in the small pub garden while parties of screaming Swifts flew overhead. The 3.8% session beer from the Upham brewey was absolutely superb, and the lawn in the garden was immaculately weed-free.
Everything was right in the world. Must go back.

20 Jul 2014 18:56

Prince Of Wales, Leeds

I visited this pub at 6.00 on Tuesday evening, and it was closed with no sign of life. Peering through the window it looked as though this pub might have been redecorated in an unsympathetic manner.

10 Jul 2014 18:09

The Scarbrough Hotel, Leeds

Busy Nicholsons pub opposite the station. The Leeds Brewery's Pale Ale was excellent and there were around half a dozen other real ales to choose from. The food looked and smelled good. On the down side, the drink was expensive - my pint, 2 gin & tonics and a medium glass of red wine came to over£18! Music was too loud, and the bar could have done with a hoover.

10 Jul 2014 18:06

Chesterfield Arms, Chesterfield

Cracking real ale emporium with about 10 real ales the night I visited. Friendly bar staff and clientele. Well worth the walk from the town centre.

10 Jul 2014 18:00

Chesterfield Arms, Chesterfield

Cracking real ale emporium with about 10 real ales the night I visited. Friendly bar staff and clientele. Well worth the walk from the town centre.

10 Jul 2014 18:00

The Industry Inn, Chesterfield

Only real ale was Theakstons which was sour. Handful of drunks at the bar. Barman not too friendly. But the gin and tonics were strong. Go to the Chesterfield Arms next door.

10 Jul 2014 17:58

The Queens Head, Allens Green

Excellent village pub which regularly features among the CAMRA Essex / Herts award winners. Four real ales were available, and I had an excellent couple of pints of Cassowary from the Tring brewery. Plenty of dog lovers were in the pub and there seems to be a supply of free dog biscuits on tap. A nice touch at the end of the evening was that the barman rushed outside with my jacket which I had inadvertently left behind on my seat. That's what I call customer care. If I lived a bit closer this would be one of my regular haunts.

6 Jul 2014 13:29

The Prince of Wales, Green Tye

Visited this pub for the first time in around 15 years, and was pleasantly surprised to find a traditional village pub which had not refurbished in an identikit modern style. Just two real ales were on handpump - a perfectly drinkable if slightly warm Henry's IPA from Wadworths and Citra from Oakham. The Henry's IPA was priced at a reasonable £3.20. The menu is basic but proper ham egg and chips at £6.95 is good value locally.
This pub is definitely worth a visit if you're in the vicinity.

6 Jul 2014 13:23

The Old Forge, Stevenage

Toby Carvery with a couple of bitters - Bombardier was one. Quite comfortable, bland, not unpleasant, but a bit boring. You know what you'll get and you will neither be surprised nor disappointed. Bring the family here on a Sunday lunchtime for an inexpensive meal. but don't come for an ale-drinking session with your mates.

30 Jun 2014 20:44

Tom Tiddlers Tavern, Stevenage

The epitome of an estate pub. Modern red-brick bunker of a pub, albeit above ground. Festooned in flags of St George, boxing on the telly, busy and rowdy on a Saturday night. No real ale, although the Belhaven cream-flow wasn't too bad at all..I would guess that we were the only customers from outside Stevenage.

30 Jun 2014 20:39

The Coach and Horses, Soho

The Coach n'Orses is still a traditional pub in a studied manner. No expense has been incurred on the decor, which is the way some of us like it. It still attracts an interesting and varied bohemian clientele, and It's great to sit outside watching the Soho life pass by on a warm sunny evening. The pickled eggs in beetroot juice are surprisingly delicious. The Hopspur beer from the Redemption brewery was refreshing, slightly chilled and delicious, and my chum's Chiswick and Seafarers bitter were pretty tidy too.
On the downside, one is constantly harrassed by beggars (outside, but fortunately not inside), the pianist is very much an acquired taste, and the service from the barmaids can be haphazard and idiosyncratic. Worst of all is the price of the beer which can seem a bit random.
For 2 pints of Hopspur I paid £8, while 1 pint of Hopspur and 1 pint of Chiswick bitter set me back £8.45. Steep, if not vertiginous, even by London standards!

26 Jun 2014 21:08

The White Lion, Barnet

Nice Fullers pub at the northern end of Barnet. I had a pint of Seafarers ale from the Gales brewery which was not only exceedingly fresh and well-kept, but was brought to us in the garden, together with complementary peanuts, by a very welcoming landlord. At £3.50 a pint it was not too pricey in the context of Barnet prices. Also available were london Pride and ESB. One of the best pubs in Barnet.

19 Jun 2014 23:26

The Horseshoe and Castle, Cooling

Great pub at the eastern end of the village of Cooling. It's a free house which has a rotating local ale and Shepherd Neame Masterbrew. The local ale when we visited was a highly quaffable 4% bitter from the Rockin Robin brewery in Maidstone. There was also a local cider from the Biddenden vineyard, which the landlord allowed me to sample - it was like nectar. This pub is definitely worth a visit if you're visiting the RSPB reserves at Northward Hill and Cliffe Pools. Taxidermists will also love it as it's full of stuffed birds.

19 Jun 2014 23:20

The St Mary's Gate, Arundel

Busy when we visited, and very noisy with two Sky Sports TVs blaring out World Cup football and Test Cricket respectively. I didn't mind the latter, but the football was too LOUD. Conversation was impossible with the noise, and the narrow bar was so busy we were repeatedly jostled, though not in an unfriendly manner. We left for the more relaxed Kings Arms down the hill. The Badger beer was OK.

16 Jun 2014 23:12

The Kings Arms, Arundel

Friendly back street local with 3 real ales (London Pride, Arundel Gold + one other) on handpump. A proper pub.

16 Jun 2014 23:07

Cannings Wine Bar, Potters Bar

CLOSED

1 Jun 2014 18:28

Cannings Wine Bar, Potters Bar

This wine bar closed years ago. It is now The Coffee Lounge

1 Jun 2014 18:27

The Roebuck Inn, Stevenage

An old coaching inn which is now a Best Western hotel, which usually guarantees a reasonable standard. The bar is small, dark and cosy. One beer - Bombardier - was available on handpump. It was fine, if a little warm.
I'd be quite happy to have a beer in this pub again. It's certainly preferable to most of the dives in Stevenage.

1 Jun 2014 11:20

Crooked Billet, Stevenage

Visited this pub on Saturday night at 10.15 and apart from 4 lads at the pool table (who left soon afterwards) this pub was completely empty. A shame really as the pub has been recently refurbished to a good standard and it's in a nice location on the edge of Stevenage. It's a Greene King "Meet & Eat" franchise which limits the beer choice. There was the inevitable GK IPA together with something called How Green Was Our Valley, which I've never come across before; it was drinkable if unexceptional. The majotr downside as far as we were concerned was the appearance of the landlady's dog, which must be the noisiest yappiest little mutt in the county. Please get rid of it!

1 Jun 2014 11:14

The Old Maypole, Water End

This pub closed a couple of years ago and is being converted to private housing. Very sad as it used to be my local. It never recovered from the manslaughter incident.

25 May 2014 20:33

The Crooked Billet, Colney Heath

A deservedly busy pub yesterday evening with four real ales on the handpumps - Youngs Special, Oakham Inferno, Tring Brewery's Side Pocket for a Toad, plus one other I can't remember. I couldn't make up my mind between the Side Pocket and the Inferno so the barmaid helpfully proferred a bit of both. The Side Pocket was excellent. There are always four good beers on offer here, and my only complaint is that sometimes they can be a little on the warm side. The food here is also to be recommended.
A lovely old multi-roomed pub, but I must warn you that the main bar is a shrine to Arsenal FC. No accounting for taste.

25 May 2014 20:25

Harrys, Kings Langley

Previously called the Dog & Partridge, this pub was closed for a private party when we visited. It's a fine old pub which serves real ale, but I can't say more than that.

25 May 2014 20:17

Kings Lodge Hotel, Kings Langley

This is a hotel with a dark and cosy bar open to the public. Doom Bar and London Pride were on the two handpumps. I had a pint of the former which was very quaffable. Worth a visit even if it is a hotel. I also understand the food's OK.

25 May 2014 20:15

The Kings Head, Kings Langley

For some reason this pub appears 9 times on the Beer in the Evening website.
Location-wise it is in Hunton Bridge rather than Kings Langley. It has changed hands recently, and it looks as though the new licensees will have quite a job as the pub is in serious need of refurbishment. There were three real ales available - Pedigree and GK IPA on handpump, and London Pride straight from the barrel. I had the latter, but I'm afraid it wasn't very good, being flat and stale.
The clientele was raucous with a fair amount of effing and blinding. The pub was busy - perhaps because the other two licensed premises in Hunton Bridge had both been taken over by private parties.

25 May 2014 11:46

The Dog and Partridge, Kings Langley

This pub is now called HARRY'S.
It is open, but when I visited last night it was closed for a private party.

25 May 2014 11:35

Swann Inn, Newtown

It's the Swan not the Swann.

19 May 2014 22:11

Swann Inn, Newtown

Firstly, this is not really a pub - it's a Hall & Woodhouse eaterie which manages to sell a couple of Badger beers (Badger and Billy Stinger) at the bar. The beer was OK.
A party of nine of us visited to celebrate my mother's birthday. The tables were very nicely laid out, but unfortunately the service, while friendly and polite, was very slow. The food, I'm afraid, was not great. The king prawn starters had to be sent back becuase they were soggy and disintegrating, the cheddar cheese and potato rissoles, or whatever they call them, were distinctly uncheesy. Some of the mains such as the fish and chips were well-received, but the chicken and wild mushroom pie was just a pool of liquid with a few strands of chicken. The salad was disappointing.
The total cost for nine of us including a rather generous 10% tip, all things considered, came to almost £310. Given that this included only one bottle of wine, plus a few pints of ale and lager, was definitely on the steep side. To be frank, the meal was disappointing, given the price, and I won't be eating there for a while yet.

19 May 2014 22:08

The East Elstree, Elstree

This pub used to be called the Plough and has latterly been taken over by Punch Taverns with two-thirds of the interior devoted to a Chinese restaurant. When we visited around 9pm on a Tuesday evening, the restaurant area was completely empty, with about half a dozen regular types congregated around the bar. I've known a better atmosphere in a crypt. The barmaid of uncertain nationality tried to get us to have a meal but we settled for halves of lager and the only bitter - John Smiths. The latter didn't taste right and was a struggle to finish. I'm told the £5 lunches are excellent value, but given the absence of any pubs in central Elstree now it's a shame this place can't go back to being the Plough.

25 Apr 2014 18:38

The Kings Arms Harvester, Barnet

Standard roadhouse-style Harvester at the end of the A1(M). Quite well refurbished and fairly bland. It was quite quiet, but then again it was a Tuesday evening. The meal for £9.99 looked good value, and my companion vouched for its quality. The beer was creamflow Bombardier or John Smiths. Again pretty bland and inoffensive. The barman was polite and welcoming.

25 Apr 2014 18:30

Royal Oak, Ecchinswell

A lovely old pub by the stream in the picturesque downland village of Ecchinswell. It's the nearest pub to Watership Down. The pub had lost its way in recent years owing to regular changes in ownership, but the latest owners seem to be getting things back on track. There were 3 real ales on tap last weekend, all from local breweries. I had the Punter from the Upham brewery, but there was also the Two Cocks 1643 Viscount - a golden ale, and Dr Hexter's Healer from the West Berkshire brewery. The Punter was just a little flat unfortunately.
There was a nice atmosphere in the low-ceilinged public bar, and I hear the food is good pub grub at about £10 for a main course. I recommend trying the Royal Oak to anyone who finds themselves in the area.

23 Apr 2014 18:43

The Hollybush, Elstree

As of 21st April 2014 the Hollybush remains CLOSED.

23 Apr 2014 18:15

The Artichoke, Elstree

The Artichoke is most definitely CLOSED and is now the Elstree Shtiebel - a Jewish religious learning centre.

23 Apr 2014 18:14

The Cat and Fiddle, Radlett

After three poor pints at the Stirling Corner Harvester, The East Elstree and the Battleaxes, it was a joy to finish up at the Cat & Fiddle. This is a terrific old pub with lots of stained wood and alcoves. A very friendly chatty barmaid welcomed us and gave us the run-down on the 3x real ales and the 6x lagers. I sampled a couple of excellent pints of Otter. Speckled Hen and Ruddles County were also available although the latter was just about to be replaced by Lancaster Bomber.
An atmosphere of bonhomie pervaded the pub, and it's undoubtedly the best boozer in the Radlett / Borehamwood area. It's also very convernient for Radlett Cricket Club and Tabard Rugby Club on the south side of Radlett.

23 Apr 2014 18:07

Battle Axes, Elstree

This large pub in a semi-rural setting is part of the Chef & Brewer chain. It is very much a food-orientated pub doing a fairly standard 2 course for £12 menu. I was told by my drinking companion that it can get very busy and that the food is OK. We were here to drink and I'm afraid this was not a good move. Adnams Broadside and Wells Bombardier were the two real ales. I had a pint of the latter, and it was unpalatable and stale. We left after one pint. What else can we say? The bar staff were friendly enough and the crisps at 95 pence tasted better than the beer.

23 Apr 2014 18:00

The Mallard, Stevenage

One of the few back street locals in the older part of Stevenage but perhaps for not much longer. There was an Enterprise Inns "pub leasehold for sale" above the entrance, and it was immediately clear that the pub was being run down. The one handpump (Adnams) was off and the only real ale available was London Pride in bottles. As fas as I could see the only edibles were 3 kinds of peanut. Half the (one-bar) pub was in darkness, and there were only half a dozen customers. Nonetheless the barmaid was cheery and the locals seemed friendly enough. Fingers crossed this pub will rise again.

14 Apr 2014 19:22

The Granby, Old Stevenage

Visited this pub at 10pm on a Saturday evening. Given the nature of the clientele I was surprised to find four real ales on handpump - GK IPA, Abbot, Proper Job (St Austell brewery) and Granby Special Ale. I chose the latter which was probably a mistake as it tasted like a slightly rank GK IPA.
The customer base consisted mainly of very shouty testosterone-fuelled youths in their early 20s, a few girls in their late teens, and a few older blokes in black T-shirts with tattoos and closely-cropped hair. At one stage a youth and one of the oldies had to be held apart. There was also a group of kids making arses of themselves at the pool table, and some very loud music. The barmaid was rude.
If you're a 20 year old knob you'll probably like this pub.
Amazed to see other reviewers have given this pub an average 7.7 mark; I've given it a generous 3 and then only because it had real ale.

13 Apr 2014 18:35

Coreys Mill, Stevenage

This was the first time I had been to a Beefeater for a while. There were two real ales - Rev James and Doom Bar - on creamflow. The Rev James was OK but very cold which meant it had little taste. The service was a bit slow as the two young barmaids looked rushed off their feet. The menu looked pricey - £22 for a 20oz T-Bone seemed a lot. An OK pub, but like many chain pubs a bit dull and unexceptional. Still, at least it's safe which is more than you can say about some places in Stevenage on a Saturday night.

13 Apr 2014 18:22

The Red Lion in Barnet, Barnet

A capacious Toby Carvery on several levels. Food smelt good and there appeared to be several family parties who had come for a good feed. London Pride and Youngs were on handpimp but the Youngs had run out. The Pride was OK though. On the negative side there was a smell of sewerage as you opened the door to the gents. The young barman was surly and studiously ignored me with 5 minutes to go before closing time when he could have sold me another couple of pints. He was far more intent on chatting on his mobile to whoever. Bad attitude.

13 Apr 2014 18:16

The Travellers Friend, Crookham Common

I last visited this pub in 1977 when the landlord refused to serve me because I was wearing a leather jacket. I revisited on Saturday evening at 9pm to find the pub was largely unchanged, at least decor-wise. There were only two other customers. I had a pint of pretty average Eagle IPA in preference to the other real ale available (Courage Best). The venerable barman was friendly enough.
All rather sad really - I hate to see another rural pub close, but I can't see much hope for this one unless it can drum up more custom.

7 Apr 2014 22:11

The Pillars of Hercules, Soho

Went there last Friday - heaving by 7pm.
Drank several decent pints of Punter from the Upham brewery, and Wainwrights from Thwaites.
One of the better real ale haunts in Soho.

24 Mar 2014 16:16

The Black Horse, Hertford

Terrific back street local with 6 real ales and its own rugby team. It also sells interesting pasties, such as pheasant pie.
I wish I could remember which ale (something like Full Tilt) I was mostly drinking, but it was extremely palatable. I tried the Morlands bitter which was a bit off. But the bar girl changed it without hesitation. Side Pocket for a Toad from the Tring brewery was also available and an Old Ale from a small brewery in Sussex. Excellent pub, my only complaint being that the music was a bit too loud.

15 Mar 2014 21:58

The Queens Arms, New Barnet

This is a rough pub. Walked in with my mate, and all heads turned. Clientele kept glancing at us while we there, I suspect because they thought that the only reason 2 smartish gents would walk into a place like this would be to make preparations for a police raid. Many of the drinkers were under-age, and I guess quite a few of them would describe themselves as "travellers".
Having said that, the beer (McMullens AK), when we were finally served, was probably the best I had all evening.
We left fairly quickly as my mate was getting a bit twitchy about the safety of his car.

9 Mar 2014 18:04

Weavers Bar, Barnet

This is a two bar Irish pub - clientele wearing Celtic shirts etc. We drank in the comfortable and quieter lounge bar, the public bar being much busier and noisier. Only one reale was available - Doom Bar. It was a pretty sour and rank pint, made drinkable only by the fact that it had been chilled to such an extent that the taste was disguised. However, nothing could disguise the smell. If you want a decent pint of real le go up the hill into Barnet.

9 Mar 2014 17:54

The After Office Hours, Barnet

Still shut 2 years later

9 Mar 2014 17:48

The Cock and Dragon, Cockfosters

Very busy last night (Saturday) with all tables taken by 8.30. The majority of the clientele were tucking into some fairly tasty looking Thai food. So perhaps more of a restaurant than a pub. However, there were three real ales available - Greene King IPA, Wainwright from Thwaites, and one other. I had the Wainwrights which was OK but a bit warm. There are very few alternatives to the Cock & Dragon locally, so I supose we should be grateful that there is a pub in Cockfosters selling real ale.

9 Mar 2014 17:45

The Quiet Man, Hertford

This is a smallish, new, town centre pub which opened in 2013, but surprisingly it has managed to create the impression that it has been around for years. Very lively on a Saturday night, with a pianist knocking out modern hits with great gusto. An interesting mixed clientele,tending towards the well-heeled, and friendly bar stafff.
I had an excellent pint of Butcombe, while Tribute and one other real ale were also on offer. If you haven't been here before, give this a try. It's a lot better than many of the crowded yoof venues for which Hertford is well-known.

17 Feb 2014 19:01

The Old Barge, Hertford

A really nice river-side pub with four real ciders and at least four, and probably five, real ales. My Betty Stoggs was in excellent condition.
Friendly bar staff, comfortable seating areas with a bit of room, and no music to spoil the atmosphere. I will be returning to this pub.

16 Feb 2014 21:07

The Snug Bar, Hertford

Very loud and busy on a Saturday might. It's a cocktail bar rather than a pub, although I did notice that bottles of Bombardier were available. There were several groups of young girls and more middle-aged ladies who were dressed up to the nines. We made our excuses and left.

16 Feb 2014 20:59

Rights of Man, Lewes

Just down the hill from the Brewers Arms, this was the 2nd venue on our Lewes pub crawl. Of the 6 pubs we visited this was probably the smartest. It was also the emptiest as only one other punter appeared during our Monday lunchtime visit. We were told at the Snowdrop that this was where the younger drinkers congregated, but they must have been kept in school the day we visited. There were 5 Harveys real ales on handpump, and both the ales we tried were in excellent condition. The barmaid was friendly, and the music was kept at a pleasingly low volume. We occupied a bay window and watched the world go by for 45 minutes. A nice pub, which is worth a visit, particularly if you like your real ale in smarter surroundings than you might find elsewhere in central Lewes.

12 Feb 2014 20:10

The Snowdrop, Lewes

Pub number 6 on our Lewes pub crawl, and yet another great pub for the real ale drinker. My first pint, which was one of the Titanic ales, was actually rather cloudy. However, the barman unhesitatingly changed it for another beer at no charge, even though I'd necked half of it. Interesting music on the sound system at a sensible volume. We were greeted by The End by the Doors on our arrival, and this was followed by a selection of what I believe is referred to as "New Country". Interestingly, there was a good balance between the sexes among the clientele, which makes a nice change from the usual male-dominated pub environment. The menu looked good with some interesting dishes such as oxtail and rabbit. Probably the friendliest barman we encountered on our crawl.

11 Feb 2014 20:48

The Gardeners Arms, Lewes

Pub 5 on our Lewes pub crawl, and another great pub for the real ale drinker I can't remember what I drank but it wasn't Harveys, and it made a nice change. The pub is very sparsely furnished, which brought back some happy memories of drinking in basic working men's pubs in the 70's. An interesting mixture of punters, some of whom were decidedly eccentric. A most enjoyable visit, and a pub I would definitely visit again if I was in Lewes.

11 Feb 2014 20:36

The John Harvey Tavern, Lewes

Pub 4 on our Lewes pub crawl. A rather cavernous and dark pub on the banks of the River Ouse. The Harveys beer was served straight from the cask and was unsurprisingly in great condition. There was a steady trade from a largely male clientele which did prompt us to wonder what they all did for a living; lucky sods - I had to take a day off to join them.

11 Feb 2014 20:30

Lewes Arms, Lewes

The third pub on our Lewes pub crawl was pretty busy for a Monday lunchtime. A quirky old pub, with lots of small, higgledy-piggledy rooms. One room contained a life-size papier-mache Pope. An excellent range of real ales, and the home-made chicken and vegetable pie with neeps and tatties was filling and tasty. The clientele was slightly bohemian, and none the worse for that. Definitely worth a visit if you're in Lewes.

11 Feb 2014 20:25

The Brewers Arms, Lewes

The first venue on our pub crawl round Lewes did not disapppoint. The pint of Harveys Old Ale was excellent. The clientele on a Monday lunchtime was predominantly elderly and genteel - one old chap had already fallen asleep over his book about Churchill and it was only 12.15. I presumed he had not already downed a skinful.

11 Feb 2014 19:25

Spread Eagle, Ware

I visited this pub last August at 10pm on a Saturday evening. There was just a handful of customers, one of whom was a drunken middle-aged woman who swore loudly and regularly. Shame really, as it's not that bad a boozer, catering for locals. It's also very handy for the railway station. The McMullens AK was well kept and nicely chilled.

4 Feb 2014 19:23

The King Stag, Bushey

This pub has completely changed, having recently reopened as a gastropub.
I didn't try the food, but it smelt good, and the diners, who constituted the majority of the clientele, seemed to be enjoying their dinners. The pub has clearly moved upmarket. There were at least four real ales available, including Conservation from the Red Squirrel brewery, while I had a pint of Olde Trip from Hardy & Hanson. My pint was not bad but could have been a little fresher. The bar staff however were a little amateurish, and it took two of them five minutes to deliver my pint and my mate's half. This pub is now more of a restaurant, but I guess if that's the price of keeping open we have to accept it. If you're a real ale drinker who likes a more traditional pub, I'd recommend you try the Swan in the next street.

2 Feb 2014 17:59

The Swan, Bushey

Visited this small back street boozer on a Saturday evening, and found it to be very lively and busy. Three real ales were available (Youngs Ordinary, Landlord and one other - Pride perhaps), and my three pints of Youngs arrived in excellent condition and had clearly been kept by a landlady who knew her stuff. Like any good local the clientele were a good mix, and there was a pleasant friendly atmosphere. For those of you who like a traditional local the Swan is a gem.

2 Feb 2014 17:50

Bedford Arms, Hitchin

Visited this pub just before Xmas. It must be the darkest pub I have ever visited, which is probably just as well as I doubt whether it has been refurbished since the old king died. There was only one other drinker at the bar at 14.30 on a Friday afternoon. The gloom matched the mood of the barman. There was no real ale.

2 Feb 2014 15:08

Sibthorpe Arms, North Mymms

The Sibthorpe Arms has just reopened after renovation. Didn't look much different, though it was cleaner all round. This McMullens pub served four real ales, including one guest ale. I tried the AK which was a little lifeless, and was sold at £3.60 a pint. This is definitely on the high side for AK locally.
For a Friday night the pub was extremely quite with less than a dozen punters, though business will probably pick up at weekends when families take advantage of the competitively priced menu. There was no problem getting on the pool table.
A local pub for local people.

4 Jan 2014 11:22

The Cock, Colney Heath

This friendly, traditional, two-bar local sadly closed in November 2013, and like the Queens Head opposite will be converted to residential use. The residents will be Jim and Pam, the erstwhile landlords. So, in the last three years Colney Heath has lost two of its four pubs.

4 Jan 2014 11:14

The Prince Regent, Whitchurch

This pub is now called The Red House

30 Dec 2013 17:13

The White Hart Hotel, Whitchurch

We visited on the Sunday evening after Christmas, and there was just three drinkers when we arrived. This pub can't seem to make up its mind whether it wants to be a youth venue, or a more traditional inn trading on its historic heritage. It seems to be favouring the former, as there is a pool table dominating one end of the bar, and the two screens at the time of our visit had the Ibiza Rocks festival blaring out, albeit not at a deafening volume.
There were 3 real ales from the Arkells brewery of Swindon - 3Bs, Moonlight and Wiltshire Gold. These are fine beers, but unfortunately the 3Bs and the Wiltshire Gold were flat and lifeless, and the 3Bs had a slightly sour after-taste. However, it's worth a visit and hopefully you will find that the beer is fresher than on our visit.

30 Dec 2013 17:07

The Bell Inn, Whitchurch

This is the nearest you will get to a traditional old pub in Whitchurch. Cosy, friendly and welcoming and the lounge bar appeared to have had a lick of paint since my last visit.
In the past the real ale has been excellent, but this time the choice of real ales was uninspiring. We tried the three on offer - London Pride, Adnams Seafarers and Doom Bar, and I'm afraid all three were flat and not particularly pleasant. Hopefully, this is an aberration and the Bell will return to form by my next visit.

30 Dec 2013 16:55

The Nightingale, Hitchin

My mate and I visited Hitchin for a Christmas pub crawl, This was suppoed to be our first port of call but it was closed at 1pm on a Friday lunchtime. On our way back to the station, we revisited and this was to be our 9th pub before getting the train home, so the memory's a bit hazy. However, I do recall a nice, slightly down-at-heel local with four real ales. Sadly, it was bit quiet for a Friday evening with perhaps half a dozen other drinkers which may explain why the landlord was a bit morose. If I commuted from Hitchin, I'd be happy to pop in here on the way home from work for a quick pint. It's much better than the dreary Molly Malone's just down the road.

21 Dec 2013 19:11

The Albert Inn, Hitchin

Lively local with a good selection of real ales. Pleasant, friendly, with a nice barmaid. Not a bad stop-over for a beer before getting the train home.

21 Dec 2013 19:02

The Bricklayers Arms, Hitchin

A really top pub for the real ale drinker with 12 handpumps, of which 3 were dispensing ale from the local Shefford brewery. I visited this pub towards the end of my Hitchin Christmas pub crawl, and by this stage I probably missed a few of its finer points. There's also a good chippy next door if you need to soak up the Bricklayer's excellent real ale. It is probably just edged out of Hitchin's number one pub spot by the Half Moon which has a slightly cosier feel.

21 Dec 2013 18:57

The Half Moon, Hitchin

Visited this pub again after a gap of a few years, and was very pleased to see that it has gone from strength to strength. There were around 8 real ales, and both of those I tried were in excellent condition. The pub was very busy at 5.15 on a Friday afternoon, with a real cosy feel and a nice atmosphere. The clientele is mixed, but clearly everyone comes here because it is a great pub. My only complaint was that it is so popular I was unable to get a seat straight away. Probably the best pub in Hitchin for the real ale drinker and pub connoiseur, edging out the Coopers for its range of beers, and the Bricklayers (just) for atmosphere.

21 Dec 2013 18:49

Coopers Arms, Hitchin

We visited this pub on a Friday afternoon at 3pm, and found it welcoming and with a friendly atmosphere. The clientele was a mix of ages and everyone seemed to be having a good time without being too intrusive. The beer is McMullens which is not to everyone's taste, but my AK was well-kept and drinkable. Had a couple of very pleasant hours here, and this pub is definitely in Hitchin's top 5.

21 Dec 2013 18:41

The Sunrunner, Hitchin

This was one of the few pubs in Hitchin I had never visited, and having read that there were 9 handpumps in my admittedly ancient Herts Guide to Real Ale, I was really looking forward to having a couple of pints of real ale. What a disappointment, this place turned out to be. The joint had been redecorated in a garish manner, and the main room was cluttered up with a couple of tricycles which had been parked bizarrely in the middle. There were only two real ales, both 5%+. The first one I asked for was off, and the (very young) bar-staff had to ask her colleague what to do next, so I had a half of the only alternative (Black Adder). We were the only customers, and I suspect this place relies on a yoof market post 5.30. This is not really a pub, and if you want to drink real ale in Hitchin, go elsewhere.

21 Dec 2013 18:13

The Phoenix, Hitchin

I was going to pay this pub (now called The Venue) a visit on my Xmas pub crawl around Hitchin. However, there was a group of pissed, lary youths wearing cheap, badly-cut suits outside who were glaring at passers-by in as aggressive a manner as they could muster. We decided to give this sad establishment a miss.

21 Dec 2013 18:00

The Victoria, Hitchin

Visited this pub for the first time yesterday and the immediate impressions were good. The pub was busy without being crowded, there was an atmosphere of bonhomie, and there were four handpumps, albeit three were selling Greene King ales. I had the Xmas guest ale which was well-kept, although a little strong for a lunchtime pint at 4.8%. The food, however, was a disappointment. I ordered the cheese, potato and onion pie which was supposed to come with greens. The pie should have been called a potato pie as there was little evidence of either cheese or onion; the greens consisted of a handful of frozen peas. My mate had the ox-cheek and tongue pie which sounds great. However, when he cut into it, the meat appeared to have been incinerated - probably the result of being warmed up on more than one occasion. When he mentioned this to the member of staff (landlady?), all she could say was that someone else had also mentioned this. She clearly didn't give a toss. At £9.50 apiece, these pies were very poor value for money. I won't be eating here again.

21 Dec 2013 17:54

Molly Malone's, Hitchin

Virtually empty at 1pm. GK IPA was the only real ale available and that was stale. My mate had to send back his half of lager as it was undrinkable. Peeling wallpaper, a long-dead wasp lying among crisp remains on the window-sill.
Landlady was pleasant enough, but you wonder how long this pub will keep going. Depressing.

21 Dec 2013 17:42

Golden Griffin, Hertford

I popped into this large McMullens estate pub last night, and unlike a previous reviewer I found it to be friendly and welcoming. It served the three standard McMullens ales - Country, Cask and AK. I had a pint of the latter and found it to be nicely chilled and refreshingly well-kept. I left when the karaoke started up, but if you like a locals' pub with a sing-song, you'll be quite happy here.

1 Dec 2013 15:59

George & Dragon, Watton at Stone

I had a nice pint of Old Hooky here last night, while my chum had a Red Stripe and a Staropramen. Although this pub majors on food, and from what I saw the food looked pretty good, it is still somewhere you can enjoy a pint.

1 Dec 2013 15:51

The Grandison, Bramfield

I visited last night and had a perfectly pleasant pint of Encore from Lacons brewery in Great Yarmouth. My pint plus my firend's lager and a small bowl of pistachios came to exactly £10. I also noted that if you'd like to have a Christmas lunch there it is £85 per head.
As your previous correspondent opined, this is not a country pub; it is not even a pub; it is a London restaurant that has appeared in an attractive Hertfordshire village. Probably a nice place to sit outside in the summer.

1 Dec 2013 15:46

The Waggon and Horses, Watton At Stone

This lovely old pub has been fully converted into a private residence. It will never be a pub again.

1 Dec 2013 15:39

The Nelson, Wheathampstead

Now well established as L'Olivio Italian restaurant as of 15th September 2013. I can't see this ever reopening as a pub. Shame.

15 Sep 2013 14:24

The Crooked Chimney, Welwyn Garden City

Visited yesterday evening, and I was not overly impressed. The pub was cold and had no atmosphere to speak of. There were two real ales. The Youngs ran out as it was being poured, and was obviously cloudy. I had to point this out to the young member of staff who clearly did not know much about real ale. Her manger intervened and to his credit immediately offered me a pint of Brakspear instead. Unfortuately, this had a nasty metallic after-taste and I was unable to finish my pint. A rather depressing visit, and I won't be returning in the near future.

15 Sep 2013 14:21

The John Bunyan, Coleman Green

I think the last reviewer was a bit harsh. Although I didn't eat here, there were three McMullen ales (Cask, AK and Country) available, and the Cask was very drinkable. The pub was quiet for a Saturday night. The barman was friendly and welcoming. With its attractive and out of the way location, I'd certainly visit again for a a pint or two of real ale.

15 Sep 2013 14:14

The Swan, Wheathampstead

As of 15th September 2013, this pub was still undergoing repairs.

15 Sep 2013 14:10

The Bull, Wheathampstead

This is more of a restaurant than a pub. The only real ale - Doom Bar - was off, so the only bitter available was Tetley Creamflow (ugh!). It was very busy, although the food looked OK. With the Swan still closed (temporarily I hope) and the Nelson converted into an Italian restaurant, Wheathampstead has little to offer the beer drinker at the momnt.

15 Sep 2013 14:07

The Queens Head, Colney Heath

As of 1st September 2013, work to convert this pub into a private dwelling had almost been completed. The chances of the Queens Head reopening as a pub are nil, I'd say.

2 Sep 2013 22:28

The White Horse, Wareside

Country local, which has devoted most of its capacity to food. However, the public bar was quite cosy and welcoming. GK IPA and Abbot were available, although I chose the guest beer which was a pale summer ale from the Maldon Brewery - Golden Adder perhaps.
A nice pub, but a drinker may prefer the Chequers 50 yards down the hill

24 Aug 2013 20:41

The Chequers, Wareside

Characterful village free house with a mixed clientele. Contrary to the previous post, I'd say the pub is very welcoming.
Three real ales were available- Highwayman from the Buntingford Brewery, Theakstons Grouse Beater and Adnams Explorer.
I also purchased some very reasonably priced hot and spicy pickled onions.
I would strongly recommend this pub if you're in the area.

24 Aug 2013 20:35

The Old Maypole, Water End

Pub closed in 2010 and as of 18th August 2013 had been partially demolished.

18 Aug 2013 21:45

The Lion, Potters Bar

Sadly the Lion was closed when I passed it yesterday (17th August 2013).
It is now a Potty Pancakes.

18 Aug 2013 21:42

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