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BITE user comments - apbj

Comments by apbj

The Old Quay Inn, Truro

This village pub has greatly improved under the current management (a couple who used to run the Pandora Inn until 2009). Lots of social activities on different nights, including music sessions and quizzes, make it friendlier and less cliquey than it used to me. The managers make a real effort to welcome everyone, not just regulars. The food is on the expensive side but nonetheless very good value in my experience; indeed such is the demand for food now that it is a good idea to reserve a table for dinner, even on a quiet Monday night. Local beers are Doom Bar and Stoggs. Having lost its post office and shop, Devoran is lucky to retain a pub as well-managed and sociable as this.

25 May 2011 13:25

The Tavern Inn, Kemble

An odd place, but surprisingly pleasant. Ended up here waiting for a train. Was given a very friendly welcome by the staff (if not the regulars) and offered the choice of having my Cornish pasty microwaved instead of the usual cooking in the oven in order not to miss my train. Large beer garden. Apparently under new (good) management. Not quite good enough to be a destination in its own right, but nice enough - and a curious exception to the 'rule' that pubs near stations are always ghastly.

13 May 2011 18:41

Norway Inn, Perran ar Worthal

I didn't think i was possible, but the service in this place appears to have got even worse. Grossly overpriced food dragged out of the kitchen by disinterested staff. The pub does not provide the advertised service standards set out by the brewery. Complaints are met with stroppy attitude. St Austell needs to do something about this place.

13 May 2011 11:16

Norway Inn, Perran ar Worthal

This place has gone sadly downhill in recent months.

Still a St Austell brewery pub with all the beers you'd expect with that, and they serve a good pint of Tribute. Aside from that, it is a disaster with offhand, if not downright rude, service.

The restaurant section, in particular, is staggeringly overpriced. 16.50 for a fish main course is what I would pay at a good central London restaurant but neither the food nor the service at this place matches the cost. Had to wait *an hour* for main courses in a half-empty pub on a Monday night. Starter of scallops priced at 8.75. Vegetables have to be ordered extra (3.50 per person) and consist of microwaved carrots. Garlic bread starter was two bits of burnt baguette.

A particularly charmless manager seems to have set the tone for the staff. Ordered a Carlsberg to be told by the barmaid: "It's off, that's why it has got a bag over it." Well, thanks for speaking to me like an idiot but the (plastic!) bag was over the Carlsberg on the *other* set of taps so how the hell was I supposed to know it was off completely? Orders for dessert were greeted with "We've got none of those left". No apology, no explanation of what *was* available.

Overall, this has moved from a favourite spot to a place to avoid. If you splash out on a meal in this area, do it in Rick Stein's (better service) or the Pandora Inn (better food) or the Old Quay Inn at Devoran (lower prices) instead.

Hopefully a drop in custom will force a much-needed change in management.

11 Aug 2010 13:33

The Phoenix, Victoria

Looks nice and theoretically has nice beer (including Doom Bar) but full of insufferably rude customers and the most outrageously incompetent and lazy bar staff. Took ages to get served because the inept staff kept serving whoever could was braying his or her order the loudest rather than who was actually next. One of the other customers was sick on the floor; cleaning up vomit was a fitting punishment for the staff. Also shockingly overpriced.

25 Sep 2009 16:52

Abacus, Bank

Most of the beer was off when I went here on a recent weeknight, so the pair of us ordered two large gin and tonics and were charged 18. Fortunately this stupidity looks to have paid off as there were only a handful of insensibly-drunk city morons in the whole place so, with a bit of further luck, this pit of pretension will soon go bust and be replaced with something better.

1 Jul 2009 11:46

The Shakespeare, Victoria

The most digusting pub in London by a considerable margin. A soul-less, unclean meeting place staffed by cretins and patronised by tramps, thieves, thugs, oddballs, random office types who have missed their train and poor tourists who must wonder what sort of country allows an establishment as appalling as this to exist.

Claims to show sport but has only one screen and, on Friday nights, plays deafening dance music so loud that you have to roar your order over the bar (assuming you get served before the smell of sick and piss makes you faint).

The most disturbing aspect of this place is that people appear to eat food. How could anyone with ordinary gag reflexes could eat with the atrocious smell and the dirty (FILTHY dirty) surfaces is beyond me. The basement toilets can be smelt from street outside - in the case of the gents, a blocked urinal trough, a short-circuiting hand-dryer and two cubicles splattered with vomit and shit.

The fact that a stinking dump as bad as this can attract any customers at all explains why this disgraceful place is still in business: the absence of alternatives and the constant supply of new unsuspecting victims from the station.

26 May 2009 18:04

The White Hart, Whitechapel

Not as unfriendly as it seems at first glance and the beer is very good value (Fosters is 2.30 a pint). A real mix of ages and backgrounds and, despite the appearance of some of the customers, no trouble whatsoever. Perhaps this reflects a laid-back community spirit, or perhaps the effects of the unusual tobacco being smoked at the outside tables. A great pub to watch the football or have a chat. The staff are on the ball, keeping a close eye on the bar. Great pub - better than anything else in the area.

26 May 2009 17:36

The Prospect of Whitby, Wapping

A terrific pub that is badly managed.

On my weekend visit some staff were wandering aimlessly with no intention of serving customers, others were very pleasant and helpful but rushed off their feet. Long wait to get served with no-one in charge. Almost all the tables are marked for food service, which means more food orders - and more profit from the absent management - but too much work for the lazier staff and consequently tables are littered with uncleared glasses and plates (and flies on a hot day). Add to this mix the random arrival of coach parties occupying space yet ordering three capuccinos between 10 people and it quickly becomes intolerable.

All in all, a trade-off between the magnificent location and decent beer selection and shockingly poor management.

26 May 2009 17:30

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