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BITE user comments - alebarry

Comments by alebarry

Lewes Arms, Lewes

Not the most friendly barman. Rather dead atmosphere at 6pm on a weekday evening. Populated by some rather morose looking people. Ale rather poor condition - unusual, as most Fullers pubs tend to keep their beer well.

20 Jul 2018 13:58

The John Harvey Tavern, Lewes

Outstanding pint. Very attentive staff. As others have said, a little bit dominated by the serving of food.

20 Jul 2018 13:56

The Gardeners Arms, Lewes

Nice, laid back atmosphere. Perfect for relaxing after walking on the downs ... but beer seems a bit inconsistent on my visits. Yesterday, one great pint, followed by an ale that really needed to settle for some time before being served.

20 Jul 2018 13:55

Ye Olde Swiss Cottage, Swiss Cottage

Wonderful unique pub, slightly old school and a bit worn in places. Obviously not for those who like their pubs superficially tarted up (see below). Old Brewery is always in good condition, even in the hot weather. And, the pub is to be praised for providing a refuge from fat shouty men draped in the flag of St George by not showing the World Cup football.

29 Jun 2018 15:52

The Garibaldi, St Albans

Great pub. Very friendly owners and bar staff. Excellent well kept beer. Place for convivial conversation or to sit and reflect.

29 Mar 2018 20:10

The Cittie of Yorke, Holborn

Excellent pub, full of character and architectural curiosities. Like many Sam Smiths pubs the beer is always top quality (i know it's not to everyone's taste) and refreshingly old school. The ale here has the advantage of not sitting too long in the barrel and pipes like so many nearby pubs that seem to offer a 'choice' of different (bland, generic, inoffensive) beers. Always a diversity of people, socialising or pondering the mean of life, and I've been here quite a few times and have always received friendly service.

23 Mar 2018 19:23

Turners Old Star, Wapping

Disappointing. Called in at about 5.30 on a Thursday. A few locals drinking lager. One ale on - Fullers London Pride - but was told that it wouldn't be ready for drinking until about 7ish. Place seemed a bit run down.

23 Mar 2018 09:34

The Captain Kidd, Wapping

Had high expectations of this pub. Visited late afternoon on a Thursday. Not that many people - mainly tourists drinking lager. Thought the pub lacked atmosphere, particularly after The Grapes further along the Thames Path. Worst pint of OBB I have ever had in Sam Smiths pub - vinegary and stale.

23 Mar 2018 09:31

The Grapes, Limehouse

Atmospheric, historic boozer with place to mellow and watch the Thames at the back - as long as you get there before the tourists and curious. Decent quality ale from a small brewery.

23 Mar 2018 09:28

Ye Olde Mitre Inne, Barnet

Excellent pub, full of character and architectural curiosities. Like many Sam Smiths pubs the beer is always top quality (i know it's not to everyone's taste) and refreshingly old school. The ale here has the advantage of not sitting too long in the barrel and pipes like so many nearby pubs that seem to offer a 'choice' of different (bland, generic, inoffensive) beers. Always a diversity of people, socialising or pondering the mean of life, and I've been here quite a few times and have always received friendly service.

16 Mar 2018 17:43

Crown Posada, Newcastle

A fine small atmospheric old school pub with a nice mixture of non-trendy people and excellent local ales.

16 Mar 2018 17:37

The Lyric, Soho

Woefully kept ale - and, we were not the only people in the pub commenting on it.

19 Jan 2018 18:28

The Gardener's Arms, Oxford

Great backstreet boozer, tucked away. Well kept beer, always friendly staff whenever I've visited (admittedly only about 4 times over the past 3 years), nice laid back vibe. Never eaten here but the food is popular and very good, according to the locals.

18 Dec 2016 12:18

The Victoria, Bayswater

Great place. One of the best pubs in London. Always excellent ale, very friendly staff, great decor and ambience and very nice food.

4 Nov 2016 15:22

The Victoria, Bermondsey

Have not been down this way before. Classic looking old school boozer and some interesting terraced house just southwards down the road. Visited early evening, friendly reception. Only two ales on and my point was very tired and dull. Noticed everyone else was drinking lager.

28 Sep 2016 09:47

The Gregorian, Bermondsey

Bland. Disappointing range of beers and ambience for an Antic pub.

28 Sep 2016 09:43

The Calthorpe Arms, Holborn

Excellent old school boozer with carpet and curtains, very reasonable home made food.

23 Sep 2016 13:55

The Prince Arthur, Brighton

Really good version of the new type of local brew pubs. Beers on tap and from the barrel - not all perfect, but much better than so many of the soulless places in the centre of Brighton. And, you can stand outside and admire the view of the power station chimney (er, the i360 monstrosity)...

11 Sep 2016 10:42

The Hare & Hounds, Brighton

Calls itself a craft beer pub, but its almost entirely keg versions of 'craft' beer. Echoey, soulless, and a lot of vacuous people shouting at each other and creating a noisey din ... go round the corner to the Mitre Tavern for a real pub and real beer.

10 Sep 2016 19:18

Mitre Tavern, Brighton

Excellent old school boozer, with carpets and curtains. So few like this left in Brighton. Very well kept beer, very friendly bar staff. Good place to chill out alone or have a conversation in a group ...

10 Sep 2016 19:15

London Beer Dispensary, Brockley

Really good version of the new type of local brew pubs. Beers on tap and from the barrel - not all perfect, but much better than so many of the soulless places in the centre of Brighton. And, you can stand outside and admire the view of the power station chimney (er, the i360 monstrosity)...

10 Sep 2016 19:14

The Garibaldi, St Albans

Have heard good things about this place, so visited for the first time for 22 years. There was a karaoke night, which seemed to make me think I was actually visiting 22 years ago anyway. Odd. beer was excellent. Everyone friendly, but give me professional singers at low volume ...

30 Aug 2016 19:22

The Dove Inn, Hammersmith

A summer's day and it's full of tourists and in keeping with my last visit about 3 years ago the London Pride is woeful - how can a pub such a short distance from the Brewery keep their ale so badly? Part old school pub, part microwaved gastropub food, part suburban conservatory on the Thames. There are better pubs along the Thames and in Hammersmith.

21 Jul 2016 16:41

The Kings Arms, Waterloo

I have been here before and had well kept ale. But, last night I had to return a murky Adnams which should never have been passed to a customer and the next pint of some insipid mildly hoppy thing was very average. Too many ales being served in the hot weather.

7 Jul 2016 09:08

The Cockpit, Blackfriars

Dropped in to catch one of the Euros on the big screen. First impression is of a classic old school boozer. But, cellar management, along with toilet cleaning are clearly not on the agenda here. Quite possibly the worst pint of Taylor Landlord I have ever been served in a pub.

7 Jul 2016 09:05

The London Apprentice, Old Isleworth

Have to agree with the last comment; an unwelcoming pub full of tourists sitting by the river and moody looking locals. Asked to try a beer and the taster would have only been good as vinegar for the microwaved chips. Settled for a half of Ghost Ship instead - very average. How on earth is this place in the CAMRA guide?

7 Jul 2016 09:03

The Eel Pie, Twickenham

Dropped in on a Tuesday afternoon. Ale from Badger in excellent condition, nice laid back vibe. Manages to blend a traditional pub feel with some nice eccentric modern touches. Couldn't imagine anyone in here drinking cocktails when I visited.

7 Jul 2016 09:00

The Viaduct Tavern, St Pauls

Perhaps it had been a long day. Dropped in at about 10pm. Place was deserted. A decent looking old boozer. But, a very average and over-priced pint of Pride served by a miserable young woman behind the bar. Will not be dropping back...

9 Jun 2016 16:23

The Ivy House, Nunhead

Have heard a lot about this place so thought I'd combine it with a trip down to Nunhead Cemetry. Great interior, really well preserved. Ale very average - I've had much better kept pints of Brockley Pale. Worth visiting if your are in the area but not worth an expedition.

13 May 2016 12:05

The Kings Arms, Fitzrovia

Have been in here about 6 times now since McMullens took it over. Really nice old school boozer, very friendly staff, good mix of people and a nice atmosphere. But, ale quality really erratic - sometimes excellent and sometime very poor, which is a shame.

13 May 2016 09:10

Royal Albert, New Cross

Haven't been down this way for a while. Still a great place. But, they seem to have a lot more ales on tap and the quality of a couple of them was not so good as it once was. Maybe put fewer beers on so that the ale is not sitting around too long.

4 Mar 2016 11:57

The Mitre, Paddington

Dropped in here in the summer and had a couple of decent pints. Dropped in yesterday and was met by a surly barmaid who served up an obviously cloudy pint. When it was pointed out to her she seemed rather baffled but the barman told her it was 'the end of the barrel'. Had a half of Youngs Special that was in woeful condition. Utterly dead with no atmosphere at 5.30 on a Thursday - an utter contrast in all respects from the Victoria around the corner.
Is it so difficult to keep beer well and be friendly to customers?
Shame, as the pub has some important original features.

23 Oct 2015 13:00

Wheatsheaf, Southwark

Full of suited after work lager drinkers. Tried two ales - both in woefully dead condition.

7 Oct 2015 11:21

The Volunteer, Tottenham

Good old school boozer. Only one handpump on, but well kept.

20 Aug 2015 20:45

The Beehive, Tottenham

Excellent pub, good well kept ale, very friendly bar staff. Only unobtrusive children sitting with their parents when I visited late afternoon/ early evening. Best beer in Tottenham as far as I can see. Great interior.

20 Aug 2015 20:44

The Antwerp Arms, Tottenham

Pleased to see it's a community pub, bit of a mish mash of decor. Woeful poorly kept Redemption Hopspur when I visited - maybe I was unlucky.

20 Aug 2015 20:42

The Southampton Arms, Gospel Oak

Still Grim Up North London. For those who need to put their 'drinking' in inverted commas - see below. Dear oh dear...

1 Jul 2015 21:45

The Mermaid, St Albans

Finally got back to the Mermaid after a couple of years away and very glad to see that the new management has returned the place to what it once was - a friendly, decent old school boozer with a good atmosphere selling well kept ale - long may it continue!

13 May 2015 17:42

The Crown, Brighton

Good, old school boozer, down a side street, with well kept beer when I visited.

9 Jul 2014 12:37

The Farmers Boy, St Albans

I am only an occasional visitor to this pub. Sometimes the ale is good (usually when it is crowded and there is a band on). Frequently it is not. The other night I took the beer back and the barman was clearly quite aware that he was serving sour beer - he refunded my money promptly and without question. Really poor for a place that brews their own beer.

16 Apr 2014 16:20

The Three Tuns, Bishops Castle

Pub with a lot of character, next to the brewery, with different sections catering for locals and visitors. Outstanding ale and great food.

16 Apr 2014 08:35

The Halfway House, Edinburgh

Great little traditional basic boozer - tucked away. Excellent local Scottish ales.

12 Apr 2014 13:54

The Guildford Arms, Edinburgh

Lively pub with a lot of character and a great selection of well kept ales.

12 Apr 2014 13:52

The Elephant and Castle, Amwell

Atmospheric pub with great character. Very well kept ale. Friendly bar staff. A bit quiet for a Friday night, but it's out in the sticks. But - jeez. Why was it full of dogs? Ok, if you like drinking in a kennel!

12 Apr 2014 13:50

The Rose and Crown, Sandridge

Haven't been out this way for years and years. Dropped in on a Friday evening for a brief pint. Great pint of Tring Ridgeway and nice, mixed, atmosphere.

12 Apr 2014 13:47

The Farriers Arms, St Albans

What is happening to this once thriving boozer? Have dropped in twice in the past month, both Thursday evenings, and the place has been almost deserted - at one point there were only 2 of us in the entire pub at 9.45pm. No wonder McMullens sold it off - seems that the current owners might be up to the familiar trick of letting it go and then turn it in to housing.

17 Jan 2014 09:13

The White Hart Tap, St Albans

I don't get this. How is this in the CAMRA guide, let alone on the cover? Dropped in on a Thursday evening. One pint of terrible London Pride and 1 pint of very mediocre Taylor Landlord. Feels like sitting in a badly designed and made extension on the side of someone's house - there's more atmosphere and better kept beer in your average Wetherspoons!

17 Jan 2014 09:09

The Carpenters Arms, Marble Arch

Spent a few hours here on a Tuesday late afternoon into evening. Nice atmosphere, good bar staff, mix of people, reasonably priced beer. Very well kept pint of Harveys.

8 Jan 2014 14:00

Ye Old Mitre, Holborn

Haven't beer here since Fullers took it over. Pleased to find it still serving very well kept beer (and not just Fullers) with knowledgeable and friendly staff. Nice old school boozer with character after the soulless vibe of some of the new 'craft' places.

27 Sep 2013 13:15

Ye Olde White Horse, Aldwych

Interesting looking pub down a small side street near the London School of Economics. Dropped in earlier evening and tried a pint of Taylor Landlord - shame to say that it was in very poor condition.

27 Sep 2013 13:11

The Barley Mow, Marylebone

Very nice old boozer, nice iterior, lots of character - but when I visited the ale was not in very good condition.

22 Sep 2013 16:57

The Duke of York, Fitzrovia

Dropped in on a busy Friday night. Lively outside but seats free inside. Surprisingly excellent and well kept pints of Dark Star American Pale Ale. Seems to be one of the best bets in this area - will return soon to see if this was a lucky fluke.

11 Sep 2013 14:36

The Botanist On The Green, Kew

Had a very good pint of OK Bitter. But, the place doesn't know whether it wants to be a pub of bar or cafe. When I visited, early evening Friday, there were about 6 noisy children under the age of 7 running all around the place - shall not be returning.

24 Aug 2013 13:47

The Cinque Ports Arms, New Romney

Visited as I was stuck in New Romney for a night. Dire, characterless place full of morose people - most were drinking bottles of Corona or lager when I visited. Ale was poorly kept. Nearest half decent pub is at Ivychurch.

16 Aug 2013 19:12

The Filo (First In Last Out), Hastings

Brilliant little pub and outstanding ale that is so unique and with so much taste than so many of the bland hoppy ales around at the moment. If only it was my local!

16 Aug 2013 19:10

The Dispensary, Liverpool

Excellent old school boozer a short walk from Lime Street - great selection of well kept beers. Very friendly bar staff. You could miss your train back home in here ...

3 Jul 2013 19:03

The New Cross House, New Cross

Agree totally with Esty. Although they are clearly supporting local micro-breweries, they do not know how to look after ale - everytime I have risked a half it has been woeful. Take some lessons from the Royal Albert down the road. Totally lacking in atmosphere too.

3 Jul 2013 18:54

The Craft Beer Co, City of London

Sad to say that this is rapidly becoming a type of 'theme bar' for beer poseurs. The quality of the ale has dropped dramatically since the slightly balding Scottish lad has not been seen around. Maybe someone should clean the pipes.

3 Jul 2013 15:31

The Gunmakers, Clerkenwell

What has happened to this place? Is it under new management? No brewery names on the pumps, only chalked up. My drinking partner and I have been popping in here for a few years now - last night was the most mediocre, badly kept pints we have had in this time.

3 Jul 2013 15:28

The Dog and Bell, Deptford

Have not been down this way for a while. Excellent local boozer - few like this still around. Beer in very good condition. Excellent pint of pale ale from the Brockley Brewery, and Growler from Essex.

7 Jun 2013 15:27

The Plough, Tyttenhanger

Driven out here. Nice little village, bats swooping through the air. Very nice pub interior, but a dreadfully quiet weekday evening. Two different beers in mediocre condition - London Pride very cloudy. Was going to try another half but spent so long waiting for the bar woman to stop talking with a local/ friend that we gave up. Probably too many beers on tap for the number of punters.

18 May 2013 17:29

The Craft Beer Co, City of London

Have been coming here for quite some time and have never had a mediocre pint until very recently. Has there been a change of staff? Beer seems to have lost its edge...

22 Apr 2013 12:38

The Craft Beer Co, Brighton

Outstanding, well kept beer and staff who know what they are talking about and have a love of what they are serving - unlike so many other pubs in the area and beyond.

23 Nov 2012 10:45

The Royal Oak, Brighton

I am a lover of pubs as places to drink, in all their variety and splendour. This is not really a cafe and not really a pub. When I visited the other people were drinking coffee, water, coke and lager. I made the sensible choice of having a half pint. There is no point in having a 'good range' of beers if you don't attract enough beer drinkers to keep the beer in good condition. Totally lacking in character and atmosphere.

23 Nov 2012 10:42

The Six Bells, St Albans

Dropped in after work, early evening. Nice feel, no kids, no foodies yet, and a well kept pint of Tring Ridgeway ...

17 Aug 2012 19:26

The Lower Red Lion, St Albans

Never seems to have any atmosphere, and the beer quality is hit and miss. Earlier in the year I sat in the garden and had an excellent pint. Today, the beer tasted as if it had seen better days - and the pub and garden looked the same way.

17 Aug 2012 19:23

The Mermaid, St Albans

As others say, the pub has improved - could it have got much worse? But, the pint I had today (early evening) was only just about OK. If only the beer would go back to what it was about 3-4 years ago ....

17 Aug 2012 19:21

The Pineapple, Kentish Town

Woeful, insipid pint of Redemption Trinity, badly kept. Little atmosphere, permeated by the smell of generic, cheap 'Thai' food.

20 Apr 2012 14:24

The Southampton Arms, Gospel Oak

Perhaps I am an old, cynical fart, but this felt like stepping into the Private Eye cartoon strip It's Grim Up North London. My pint was also rather average.

20 Apr 2012 14:21

The Bree Louise, Euston

An over-rated pub. I agree with the other comments about its tatty, run down (and rather smelly) state. The beer is hit and miss - occasionally good, often mediocre, occasionally dire.

24 Nov 2011 13:08

Euston Tap, Euston

Outstanding beer. No atmosphere. Hit and miss service from behind the bar. When are they going to sort out the toilet, so that the men do not have to stand in a pool of urine when emptying the bladder? The Doric has seen better days - Fullers ruined the place.

24 Nov 2011 12:26

The Dog and Bell, Deptford

I've said nice things about this place in the past. But, I've visited twice in the last 6 months, early evening, and the beer has been rather tired tasting and the place has been lacking in atmosphere.

7 Jun 2011 18:53

The Blacksmiths Arms, St Albans

Oh dear, oh dear. Havenít been out this way for a bit so dropped in on Thursday night. Football on the TV, and a decent pint of Bauhaus (wherever that is from) and then an absolutely awful band start playing Ė forty somethings who are incapable of tuning guitars (you can get a little gadget that does this if your ears are not up to it), and then they start murdering Costelloís ĎOliverís Armyí, with the most atrocious out of tune singing. That along with a very ropey pint of Taylor Landlord meant that a swift exit was in order. Why put on a crappy band like that in a place like this; why not allow people to sup their pints, watch the footie and hold a conversation? Odd.

25 Feb 2011 14:47

The Holly Bush, Hampstead

Great old pub, but they have not been able to serve a decent pint for ages. Saturday night I took the precaution of ordering a half. Insipid, on its way out, mediocre. Retreated down the road to the Horseshoe for a decent pint (even if it lacks atmosphere).

5 Dec 2010 17:36

The Seafield Inn, Hove

Made the mistake of dropping in here thinking it would be a small, old school boozer. What a dump. Dingy, with a stagnant small, flies landing on my beer glass (at the end of September) and a truly awful half of Harveys (at least I was wise enough to avoid buying a pint).

30 Sep 2010 08:51

The Goat Major, Cardiff

A good traditional, cosy and convivial city pub with well kept Brains on my visit.

9 Sep 2010 17:32

The Cardiff Cottage, Cardiff

Interesting pub interior and well kept pints of Brains. But, rather lacking in atmosphere due to too many tables arranged for eating rather than boozing.

9 Sep 2010 17:29

The Cayo Arms Hotel, Cardiff

My first visit to Cardiff - what a friendly pub. Large, convivial spacious bar and outside seating, very well kept ale from Thomas Watkins.

9 Sep 2010 17:27

The Golden Eagle, Bond Street

Trad pub, always seem to have a lively atmosphere. Excellent Adnams when I visited this week.

21 Aug 2010 20:06

The Blacksmiths Arms, St Albans

Have dropped in 3 times in last week or so. Each time the ale was in top condition. Best choice of well kept beer in St Albans at the moment.

21 Aug 2010 20:00

The Bridge House, Tower Bridge

Dire place, no atmosphere whatsoever and poorly kept pint of best that could have been any average lifeless brown beer. Great shame that a place like this is the only Adnam's pub in London.

14 Aug 2010 12:48

The Robin Hood, St Albans

Not far from the station, so decided to check it out due to positive recent comments. Was I unlucky? Tried two halves of different ales. One very average, the other stale and undrinkable. 7.30 on a Friday evening and the place was more or less dead. Looks like it's seen better days...

17 May 2010 14:07

The Lord Clyde, Borough

Yes, this pub has character. But, I've never had a decent pint in here. I've dropped in four times over the last year, always hoping (having read other comments). Last week my companion and I had insipid, stale tasting ales (one was the Hooky but it might have been any generic, complacently kept beer). Perhaps the management could devote their efforts to looking after the ales rather then the bickering on this site.

25 Mar 2010 12:55

The Blue Posts, Soho

As others have said, a Soho pub that manages to retain that nostalgic 1970s feel (I hadn't visited it for over 25 years - scary). But, it feels like it has seen better days - and there were far more music biz and media people getting pissed after work in the 70s, which made it a much more atmospheric place in some ways. Reasonable pint of Adnams, albeit with something of a generic brown beer taste.

4 Mar 2010 18:28

The Old Coffee House, Soho

Yes, it's a down to earth, fairly typical non-poseurs pub. But I wasn't very impressed with the Brodies, tried two different ales and both seemed a bit lifeless. Most people were drinking lager - maybe it was a bad night as the football was on the TV ansd the volume was very loud.

4 Mar 2010 18:23

The Golden Lion, St James's

Beer in good shape on my visit - TEA and Adnam's Old Ale - there is a bar upstairs, a relaxing place during the late afternoon. Down to earth and worth dropping in to if you are in the area.

9 Jan 2010 13:38

The Dog and Bell, Deptford

Great back street boozer serving well kept beer from various brewers. A place for conversation or a quiet, thoughtful pint. Worth making the short trip from London Bridge and short walk from Deptford station.

15 Dec 2009 09:11

The Roscoe Head, Liverpool

Tucked away down a backstreet, maybe a bit pokey, although cosy and with definite character. Good range of beers but a bit too frothy for my liking (typical southernerís complaint). Locals not the most welcoming (typical Londernerís complaint in Liverpool). Not as good as the Ship and Mitre.

10 Dec 2009 15:03

The Eagle, Clerkenwell

A real pigs ear of a place. Not really a pub, not really a bar, not really a restaurant but an attempt to cram them all together in a very confined space, without bothering too much about the finer points of decoration. Only came here to meet people, but judging by the frustrated faces of those trying to get served with food I wouldnít think itís the most relaxing place to eat. Credit where itís a due: a well kept pint of IPA.

10 Dec 2009 14:56

The Royal Oak, Borough

A real, trad backstreet pub with character and some unique eccentric touches in the dťcor, where you can get a range of Harveyís outstanding ales that are always in perfect condition. A place for a quiet conversation, or a celebratory pint or a place to just mellow out thinking alone, letting the world pass by, communing with the spirit of Morse, as the complexity of the Harveyís Best takes the thoughts deeper and deeper. My only gripe is that at certain points in the evening the smell of the (admittedly very good) food can overwhelm the pubís atmosphere and the drinkersí nostrils (but, it is only very slightly touched by the plague of gastropubs that has infected so many once-fine boozers).

30 Nov 2009 11:56

The Evening Star, Brighton

Outstanding beer, never had a bad pint. Very friendly staff. A laid back yet vibrant pub. Shame about the big brick pillar and the slight lack of space. Very easy to have one pint too many before catching the train.

22 Nov 2009 21:19

The William IV, Leyton

I've visited this pub about 4-5 times over the past 7 years or so, when assuming that they were brewing their own beer, and was served ale that was average at best - on a couple of occasions I received pints that resembled murky pond water (served by staff who seem oblivious to the dire state of the beer). As recent comments suggest, and I agree, things have changed. Very well kept beer today. Great old traditional boozer. Let's hope it is now on the way up.

22 Nov 2009 21:10

The Nags Head, Walthamstow

In the last couple of years or so this village Ďlocalí has been romanticised by young professional aspiring arty-literary types who have discovered the quaint charm of this part of London, and written their occasional pieces for Time Out or the Mail on Sunday or Torygraph. Donít be deceived. Itís not your community pub. As others have commented, there are authoritarian signs - telling you how to behave - all over the pub and back yard (the Ďbeer gardení), and parents with children are simply not welcome. The charming owner is Roger. He can be pleasant in a rather gruff way, and he can be very rude - such is life. I once heard (I wonít say Ďoverheardí as it was quite a performance) a rant given by his missus, spouting on about how she hated children and if she had her way they would never be allowed in the pub. Now, personally, I have reservations about whether kids and pubs is a good mixture, and Iím willing to listen to any reasonable arguments about if, when and where children should be allowed in a particular pub. But there are two issues here that really bug me. First, this is Walthamstow Village: itís a small, middle class, clean and tidy, aspiring, calm enclave; a tiny bubble within the greater grit of Waltham Forest. Iíve visited this pub quite a few times over recent years and Iíve never seen a parent being anything other than responsible with their children and considerate of other drinkers (while they add to the takings of the pub). Second, this neurotic child-phobia springs from owners who quite obviously prefer cats to children, and (judging from their attitude to many of their customers) they probably prefer cats to people. Now this is not that unusual, I find it a recurrent trait of the alleged English love of animals. So, if mangy moggies are your thing then maybe this is the drinking establishment for you. If you find yourself stuck in this part of town, there are plenty of other reasons for not visiting this pub (and going, instead, to the Flower Pot or Village): The music (as pointed out elsewhere) can only be appreciated after considerable intake of alcohol and the cloying dťcor is an irritant. Letís be kind though, itís a vast improvement on what this pub was like before the current owner took over, and itís a handy place to meet before a night out. But, itís not a place to linger. As for the beer: Iíve tried the ales in here quite a few times. Whatever brew has been indicated on the handpumb, my pint has usually come out tasting like an average, slightly watery, generic brown beer. I was once served a light beer that clearly had not come from a barrel of the brew indicated at the pump (I started to think that maybe all pipes led to just one big bucket under the bar or down in the cellar). To be fair, the ales are never off. But then again, neither are they ever really good. In fact, the ale stands for everything that this pub seems to aspire to Ė mediocrity.

17 Nov 2009 14:55

The Rake, London Bridge

The beer is always excellent and well kept. How many pubs around here can you say that about? The constantly changing variety of ales on offer is part of the charm - you never know quite what to expect. You always have the opportunity to discover new beers. But, then again, you might return for that great beer to find only dark milds on tap. I don't find the ambience clinical, as stated by a previous reviewer; it has a simplicity and understatement to its decor that is rare. Yes, Brew Dog is overrated - so, don't drink it. Better a few posers than a room full of dreary old farts. Never experienced a rude member of staff. Best time for a leisurely visit is late afternoon.

16 Nov 2009 17:21

The Lion And Lobster, Brighton

Disappointing. This pub has a lot of potential and it has a cosy, relaxed feel - you could linger here alone or with a friend. But it needs a clean up and the staff need to look after the beer. My pint of Harveys was decidedly dull and in poor condition.

16 Nov 2009 11:54

The Farmers Boy, St Albans

I have visited this pub twice in the past 4 months. One night there was a band murdering the songs of Bob Dylan, the other night there was an over 50s hard rock band going through the motions. It was certainly lively though, rocking even, so maybe my musical judgement is just a bit too cynical. On each occasion I had a pint of the locally brewed beer (a different ale each time).Hmmm. It has a taste of citric acid blended with newly cleaned aluminium sink, and an aftertaste of sour stewed apples. It wasnít necessarily bad, just very odd, and, in the end, not very drinkable. Is it supposed to taste like this?

16 Nov 2009 10:32

The White Lion, St Albans

Why has this pub won so many awards? Have I missed something? Did I visit on an off night? A Thursday evening at 9.45 and the place was dead, only a few quiet morose looking drinkers and permeated by a stagnant, musty smell - as if a lot of wet, smelly dogs had been drying themselves by the radiator for a few hours and no one had opened a window for a week. The beer was dull and insipid and had seen better days, a bit like the pub really.

16 Nov 2009 10:22

The Blacksmiths Arms, St Albans

Dropped in on a wet and windy evening. Haven't been in this pub for many years as it has never been the place to come for a decent pint. I agree with recent comments below about the welcoming staff and the quality of the beer, although on the night I visited the range was rather unexciting - still very well kept though. Can't comment on the food, but don't see the point of going to a pub for food anyway. The decor/ ambience is a bit off-putting - a mishmash of styles, seemingly trying to cater for the sports fan (with unsubtle bit screens), the pub heritage fans (old photos and the like), the lager lads and those who want to eat in a pub that looks like a generic hotel restaurant. Maybe it's trying to be too many things. Doesn't feel like a place to linger.

16 Nov 2009 10:16

The Mermaid, St Albans

What is going on here? One night the ale will be outstanding, the next week it will be almost undrinkable.

1 Nov 2009 16:15

The Harpenden Arms, Harpenden

OK, so it's not the most atmospheric pub, and it's certainly buzzy when the football is on and unlike much of the restrained Harpenden vibe. But, it had very friendly bar staff and we had outstanding pints of London Pride. I see the cellar keeper has won various awards. If you get stuck in Harpenden, it's close to the station, and has much better kept ale than any of the other pubs nearby.

1 Nov 2009 16:09

The Carpenters Arms, Harpenden

Having read the previous reviews I was rather disappointed. The ale was average - the Harvey's was particularly poor. My companion, who knows more about these things, suggested that the aroma/ smell was due to unclean pipes from barrel to bar. Rather dull sort of place.

1 Nov 2009 16:04

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