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BITE user comments - chalkywhite

Comments by chalkywhite

The Jugged Hare, City of London

I registered this pub on BITE for the following reason:-

When I visited with a colleague I ordered a drink for her and a gin and tonic for myself, before we continued our conversation at the bar. When I turned to pick up my drink, I realised that some tonic had already been poured in by the barman, and that the drink was extremely strong. I asked if I had been served a double, and the barman said "Yes". "But I wasn't asked if I wanted a double" I protested, to be told, "It's our policy - we only serve doubles". I insisted on only paying for a single, and this was finally agreed to.

What a sharp and shabby practice by managers and staff who have no concept of customer service or retention!

24 Jun 2015 19:14

Willow, Winchmore Hill

Much to no one's surprise, The Willow is now CLOSED.

It turned out that people didn't want to meet and drink in what seemed like a 1970's working man's club on 'Cabaret Nite'!

Who'd have thought eh?

9 Oct 2012 17:52

The Oliver Conquest, Whitechapel

After years of waiting, we finally have a pub really worth visiting in Aldgate. As someone else commented, the Oliver Prospect has a nice relaxed, easy-going atmosphere with staff who (and here's an unusual thing!) seem genuinely pleased to see you.

I understand that in the past under previous management, this place had been one to avoid, but the new licencees have given it a really fresh makeover and the nice mix of locals and city folk rub along well together. Most of us drunk the very good Timmy Taylor and the landlady's homemade bar food, particularly the range of scotch eggs, really hit the mark when we wanted good ale, good atmosphere and finger food rather than a meal from the main menu!

9 Oct 2012 17:45

The Salisbury Arms, Winchmore Hill

As regular drinkers and diners at The Salisbury, we were keen to take our family there for dinner when they visited a few weeks ago.

When we arrived, we were told that there was a delay of, "about half an hour" for food, so we ordered main courses promptly at 7.45pm. Our meals arrived at 8.45pm and were very nice, so nice, in fact, that we all decided to have a dessert too. However, when we went to order at the bar (no table service this evening...!) we were told, very curtly, that the kitchen was closed - no apology, no empathy for the fact that we were ordering late because our main courses had take so long to arrive.

As the host, I found this very embarrassing.

Yes, it was a warm evening and, yes, the pub was busy. But at the very least somebody could have mentioned to us when the main courses were delivered that the kitchen would be closing soon. Of course, in some places, especially Freehouses, the Manager would have done the sums; 6 x 5 (desserts) = 30, + another round of drinks..........and given one of the chefs 10 to stay on for fifteen minutes.

Come on, Paul, it's these 'little' things that make a multi-million pound chain pub feel (and earn) like a well used 'local' all year round - even when the sun isn't shining!

7 Jun 2012 11:16

The Beehive, Epping Green

Curious - where have all the reviews gone? There used to be loads of them for The Beehive, but no more.

Nevermind, the food is always excellent, as is the ale. My only criticism is that the seats in the main bar need re-upholstering as they are tired and dirty, and the restaurant feels a little ' Olde Worldy Team Room' for my taste

11 Feb 2012 14:17

The Queens Head, Winchmore Hill

A great improvement, but why does the far left end of the bar always seem so cold and detached from the rest of the pub? This has bothered me for years, but now I've got it!! It needs a large mirror on the brightly striped wallpaper to connect both ends of the room - that's it - I've sold the problem really cheaply - c'mon Sue just 100 quid more and it will make all the difference!!!!!

11 Sep 2010 16:37

The King Arthur, Reynoldston

We were camping not far from here in June and, having been to the King Arthur many times before, set off for an early evening walk to our favourite Gower pub. After a couple of pints, and the it started to rain heavily and, not fancying the walk back to the campsite my wife and I decided to ask about staying the night at the pub:-

Me: "Do you have any spare rooms tonight?"
Barman: " Let me get the Manager"
Manager: "Yes we, only have one room being used this evening"
Me: "Great, what can you do one for? We're supposed to be camping, but fancy settling in here and having some dinner and a cosy room"
Manager: "You have to pay full price"
Me: "Surely you can do something, you only have one resident and we're going to stay for dinner"
Manager: "We don't do discounts"

We left, in the rain. No more drinks bought, no dinner bought - Come on, guys, be a little commercial and you might survive the recession!!!!

11 Sep 2010 16:30

Kings Head, Southwold

The King's Head used to be such a nice pub, with a warm atmosphere and good natured banter between the local (particularly the local rugger boys) and visitors. But then successive new owners looked at Southwold and spotted a 'gap in the market' - what this town hasn't got is a noisy sports bar with a huge TV screen...let's open one! Turns out, there was no market in the gap, and another once successful pub was lost to chancers hoping to make a fast buck, and missing the point completely

11 Sep 2010 16:19

The Goffs Oak, Goffs Oak

Judging by how slowly everyone moves behind the bar, I think your Grandmother might be working there!

20 May 2010 18:01

The Five Horseshoes, Little Berkhamsted

When will Chef & Brewer get the message about The Five Horseshoes? Not too long ago this was a wonderful pub that people would travel some distance to enjoy good food, good atmosphere and good ales.

Then they introduced the 'Pizza Hut' model of plonking a lecturn in the doorway and taking you to a table of their choice, rather than yours, and making it quite clear that this was a restaurant and not somewhere to come for a drink with friends.

Review after review on here shows that people care enough to post comments in the, apparently vain, hope that things will change. Eventually the supply of new visitors to the pub will dry up and, as no one returns for a second visit, one can only imagine that the'Horseshoes' will close. Perhaps this is what is needed to bring about the necessay changes?

11 Mar 2010 16:50

King Of Diamonds, Camden

I used to use the KOD every day, and returned last Thursday evening after being away for a couple of years. The front door was displaying a large, hand-written sign saying "CASH ONLY" and when we entered we realised there were no more than six other people in the main bar. Went straight to the empty bar and waited for the tall barman to finish his text exchange and amble over.
ME: "Hi, do you have any ales on tonight?"
BARMAN: "NO"
ME: "Right.......Is the pool table free downstairs?"
BARMAN: "NO"
ME (jokingly): "You're not really enjoying your job are you?"
BARMAN: "NO"

I can see now why what was, just a few years ago, a very good pub with warm and welcoming staff, has received such bad reviews. It may well be that my experience was a one-off, but it seems that customers have voted with their feet and moved to any number of the many alternative pubs within a stones throw of the KOD. Mitchell's & Butler's need to step in and address this problem quickly.

13 Feb 2009 14:33

The Crown, Newgate Street

Having grown up a mile down the road, I returned after a few years to find that, like the Coach & Horses and the Two Brewers in nearby Northaw, this pub has become popular with the 'new money' types spewing out of north London in search of country life. If you want to be served a reasonable pint of ale by non-communicative bar staff, and drink it in the company of braying sun-tanned Del Boy types give the Crown a go. Alternatively, if you fancy a quiet pint in a traditional pub with lots of charm and history, head into north London where, I'm guessing, the pubs are now completely empty!

11 Aug 2008 15:36

The Old House at Home, West Wittering

No surprise to read below that this pub is now serving dog for lunch. It can't fail to be an improvement on its previous burnt offerings and past-sell-by-date fish dishes!!!

11 Aug 2008 15:03

The Salisbury Arms, Winchmore Hill

Not too sure what is happening at the Salisbury. There seems to be constantly changing managers, each of which tinkers with the decor and alters the range of drinks available. The once wide selection of bottled beers, which was a strong feature of the re-launch a couple of years ago has all but disappeared. In addition, the quality of the food and service would embarrass a Harvester - and the lack of diners in this once popular pub/eatery reflects this. Overall The Salisbury, which always promises so much, is failing to deliver in every department and requires a firm manager with a clear vision if it is to pull out of it's nosedive and offer a real alternative around the Green.

11 Aug 2008 12:59

The Salisbury Arms, Winchmore Hill

Interesting review below this entry. It does seem that the reviewer is a little too well informed to be a genuine consumer - particularly given that he or she sees no positives in things, such as wide choice of beers and easy, relaxed atmosphere. Perhaps the reviewer should revert back to drinking/working/managing/owning the King's and/or Queen's, where, apparently, there is so much choice and better value to be had (better value in the King's - only if you have a 'key-code' to the till !)

28 Mar 2007 16:14

The Five Horseshoes, Little Berkhamsted

I agree with the previous comment. This pub has been a favourie for many years, even before it's major makeover a decade or so ago. One of its big plus points has always been that it managed to pull of the difficult pub/restaurant balancing act and, as a result, perpetuated a nice relaxed, welcoming feel. On our last visit, 10th Jan, I too was disappointed to be met with a sign at the door insisting that we waited to be shown a seat. We chose not to, and headed to the bar where we were quizzed about our eating intentions for the evening and told we might not be able to sit down if we were not prepared to commit to a meal. We decided that The Beehive down the road was more welcoming and headed off. There were six of us, all of whom have used the Horseshoes for 20 years or so, it's such a shame but perhaps people need to vote with their feet (and their wallets) so that the grasping new seating policy is ditched.

25 Jan 2007 16:23

The Salisbury Arms, Winchmore Hill

A refreshing new makeover, with a relaxed more upmarket feel. The new landlord has come over from The Gate in Hampstead so seems to have a good idea of the sort ambience that works well around the Green.

Well kept Broadside ofr cold winter nights, and a large range of excellent offbeat fruit beers to enjoy in the summer months sitting in the newly made over 'secret garden'. All beers are served in their appropriate glasses (including ale in jugs)which is an excellent touch which should be continued, rather than dropped once the first batch has been either broken or 'relocated' by visitors keen on car boot sales.

One last thought - small live fish kept in a tank in the bar? Take them upstairs out odf harms way, before they are poisoned by strawberry beer poured into the tank by someone with a pocket full of glasses!

An excellent start, Jim

4 Dec 2006 20:45

The Oakmere House, Potters Bar

Agree with both comments below.

Most of the beers seems to be "off" most of the time, and, if the place is full of young professionals, it's a pity they're not working behind the bar!

29 Aug 2006 19:33

The Sole Bay Inn, Southwold

I was "grubbed up" for years and has only recently been "scrubbed up" to cater for the new set of visitors.

Still a nice place to have an ale, particularly out the front, but it's lost much of its charm in the name of progress!

29 Aug 2006 19:24

The Lord Nelson, Southwold

Nicely put, dodgy.

It seems a shame that, like so many of our wonderful places, Southwold is now having its traditional relaxed and away-from-it-all feel squeezed out by a pincer movement of people from the top and bottom end of the affluence ladder. Unfortunately, both types seem to think they're the first to discover Southwold and, worst of all, both think the place now exists just to serve their needs.

My family have lived in the town for five generations and, of course, everyone is entitled to visit wherever they choose. But for those of us who have been coming to Southwold for longer than just a few years (please take note Ms Lipmann)it would be nice if we could be allowed to enjoy it still without feeling that the 21st Century has arrived with such a furore.

Oh, and by the way, "The Nellie" wins every time !

29 Aug 2006 19:20

The Lamb Inn, West Wittering

Good food, good atmosphere and great beer (particularly the Firsty Ferret).

If only the rear garden was lawned instead of paved !

13 Jul 2006 15:34

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