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BITE user comments - charlie_m

Comments by charlie_m

The Edgar Wallace, Temple

Great selection of ales, great food, great staff, great eccentric advertising-related decor. Great pub. Shame about the mainly legal clientele, though.

1 Jun 2013 13:19

The Bernard Arms, Aylesbury

Should add to the review below that anyone who'd planned on stopping off at the Bernard Arms on a walk or similar (it's listed in quite a few pub walk books) should head down Church Lane to the side of the pub and they'll find the Swan half a mile down the road is still very much open.

1 Jun 2013 13:16

The Swan, Great Kimble

Under new ownership for slightly less than a year, the Swan remains a friendly, welcoming, unpretentious two-bar village pub.

A new policy promoting LocAle means that there are usually two ales on tap from the likes of XT, Vale, Tring or Malt the Brewer. Beer quality is usually very good. The other pump is currently Youngs.

Pleasant gardens and the front and back and well situated for walkers looking for refreshment on hikes around the Chilterns. Food is available and is beginning to feature some interesting specials (e.g. duck confit).

Occasional live music and themed events. A nice touch is an informal art gallery in the lounge, featuring work by local artists.

1 Jun 2013 13:13

The Bernard Arms, Aylesbury

Closed since August 2011 and decaying into dereliction. Ironic as it's located opposite the back entrance to Chequers -- it's an example of the way successive governments have bled the pub industry dry.

1 Jun 2013 13:08

The Old Fountain, Old Street

Great ale pub -- selection of beers too numerous to list but O'Hanlon's Dry Stout was good and there's always a couple from Dark Star.

Can get a bit chaotic trying to get served around the bar but the staff are efficient.

The rooftop terrace is well worth a visit but this part of the pub tends to attract the Shoreditch-Tech City hipster contingent so choose your spot carefully.

1 Jun 2013 13:05

The Charles Lamb, Angel, Islington

Great pub. Excellent beers. Was very busy on a Friday early evening -- only complaint was it took a while to get served with yuppie wine drinkers not observing pub queue etiquette. Well worth taking the detour off Upper Street.

1 Jun 2013 12:59

The Wenlock Arms, Hoxton

The pub will officially re-open, as mentioned below, on 3rd June. However, it has been 'trying out' the new equipment and I was fortunate enough to help out.

Ten handpumps with some excellent ales -- likes of Dark Star, Sambrooke's, Windsor and Eton, etc. The quality was excellent.

The CAMRA types will probably be less impressed by the large number of keg taps for craft beers like Camden Hellas but that's part of the ongoing craft vs ale debate. So long as there's excellent ale available I don't see why the keg taps should matter (hasn't done the likes of the Euston Tap any harm).

The refurbishment hasn't substantially altered the pub. Various features have been restored (original mirrors reproduced) and layers of grime removed to reveal novel fixtures and fittings. The clutter and randomness of the old Wenlock have disappeared, which may disappoint some, but there have been vast improvements in areas such as the toilets, which are now some of the smartest you'd find in a pub.

This famous pub was on the verge of being lost forever but now it's back as a great beer destination. With the Old Fountain round the corner, it's an excellent basis for a crawl.

1 Jun 2013 12:56

The White Swan, Pimlico

Agree with Captain Ted. Had exactly the same long wait with other people being served in a random order. I complained to the barman and he said 'Well I'm serving you now'.

This pub only seems to survive because of its location.

8 May 2012 20:07

The White Hart, Sherborne

This pub features (at least its exterior) in the film Tamara Drewe, which has just come out on DVD. I've not visited but I plan to do so if I'm in the area.

2 Apr 2011 23:36

The White Lion, Covent Garden

Popped in again yesterday. Initially had to wait a while to be served as one of the bar staff was changing the barrel (sadly it was Timmy Taylor's Landlord). Good selection of alternatives -- Sharp's Doom Bar, Pride and one from a smaller brewery which I've sadly forgotten. Doom Bar was in good condition.

Amazing to get a good real ale pub in such a touristy area.

7 Nov 2010 10:03

The Bree Louise, Euston

Less should be more for the Bree Louise. 16 real ales seems about 6 too many from the condition of many of the gravity served beers I tasted. None was off but the lack of carbonation in some suggested they'd been hanging around in the cask too long -- a pint of Hop Back 'Odyssey' was like drinking cold tea or ribena. Beer from the barrel doesn't have to be like this -- as many beer festivals show -- but I'd guess that without the livening up of being pulled through a pump that declining condition shows up quicker with this method of dispense.

And in case anyone thinks I just got off the train at Euston from The North and was expecting a pint with an inch thick head pulled through a sparkler, you're wrong. Even southern, headless beers ought to have a lively condition.

This is a shame as the Bree Louise is a nice, busy pub with plenty of exemplary and helpful staff (unlike, say, many understaffed national pub chains) and they clearly evangelise real ale. I just feel that some of those ales would have been better turned over more quickly.

23 Sep 2010 16:20

The Rising Sun, Little Hampden

Pub has been closed and turned into a private house which is currently up for rent. A few sad bits of pub furniture and fittings are still in a skip outside.

Shame as was a classic, isolated rural Chilterns pub.

16 Sep 2010 22:10

The White Lion, Covent Garden

The White Lion is exactly the sort of pub that CAMRA beer snobs don't ever go to because it's easy to find and near a tube station and not next to some dilapadated sink housing estate.

It is a Nicholson's house and had loads of pump clips of interesting beers on the wall showing that the Jaipur wasn't a one-off: Summer Lightning and Crop Circle were well represented. Purity UBU and Otter Ale were coming up.

Beer quality and range was spot on. Far, far better than one would ever dare expect in this location.

Can't really judge service too much as it was quiet but no complaints and the prices were reasonable -- 3.25 for the strongest beer.

Don't drink too much Jaipur IPA at 5.9% or else you might feel a compulsion to whack the idiots outside who pretend to be statues or other such supposed performance art designed to fleece tourists.

21 Apr 2010 23:41

The Blackfriar, Blackfriars

Fascinating interior and exterior architecture given renewed impetus by enlightened beer policy that had eight interesting real ales on a Friday night. Busy but coped ok. A good place for ornithologists too.

15 Apr 2010 00:16

The Swan Inn, Stewkley

Re-invigorated under new management. Well kept real ale from local breweries. Live music on occasion.

15 Apr 2010 00:12

The Bootlegger, High Wycombe

Previously the Flint Cottage and now relaunched as a real-ale and bottled beer specialist. Several real ales and many bottled beers -- under the same ownership as the Sausage Tree in Wycombe and Bird Cage in Thame (as far as I'm aware -- these things change often).

14 Mar 2010 16:24

The Wheel, Naphill

The Wheel in Naphill is a great example of a community local -- running several beer festivals a year and having four good real ales. It also has some of the best provision for smokers in the local area.

14 Mar 2010 16:18

The Euston Flyer, Euston

Impressed with the service at this pub -- 6pm on a Wednesday and the bar was busy but lots of pleasant bar staff lined up waiting to serve.

Beer also very good -- Seafarers', Pride, Discovery, ESB and London Porter. I had the last two, which were very good. A mark deducted, however, for the outrageous price for the porter -- even for London 3.70 is extracting the urine.

14 Jan 2010 07:41

The Sekforde Arms, Clerkenwell

Great friendly local boozer -- not too far from City University. Good Young's Winter Warmer. Was packed out with people eating chilli con carne from big shared casseroles.

11 Dec 2009 10:02

The Prince Albert, Frieth

Very friendly, cosy unspoiled pub -- a real gem. Good Brakspear's too.

3 Dec 2009 23:33

The Chequers Inn, Wheeler End

Nice, well run pub with excellent beer.

3 Dec 2009 23:31

The Dark Lantern, Aylesbury

Called something else like Mango's now. Not what you'd consider a pub any more.

28 Nov 2009 14:33

Bull, Aylesbury

Great, traditional pub with two very different rooms -- smart lounge bar to the rear and public bar with ESPN and Sky for sports on television. Beer is very good -- the landlord loves his real ale.

28 Nov 2009 14:29

The Woolpack, Stoke Mandeville

Back in business after a stunningly quick rebuild with three real ales including one from a micro -- Purity's UBU -- perhaps a further sign that drinkers as well as diners will be well catered for?

28 Nov 2009 14:27

Falcon, High Wycombe

Pub is certainly shabby -- Wetherspoons need to spend a lot of money on smartening the place up -- particularly the stairway to the toilets. Staffing is generally on the low side so they can be overwhelmed by relatively small numbers of customers -- nevertheless they tend to be efficient and friendly.

There are a lot of dodgy looking people in here -- plus loads of students, especially on a Friday evening but I've never seen any trouble.

The beer can be a bit hit and miss but is often superb. The Thornbridge Pioneer (a real ale they brewed for Wetherspoons 30th anniversary) was spectacularly good and ridiculously cheap at 1.79 a pint.

Wetherspoons take a lot of stick from CAMRA types but, if it's the beer that counts most, then this pub beats most of the local competition.

28 Nov 2009 14:21

The Lambert Arms, Aston Rowant

Pumps at the front of the bar now after the makeover. Mainly GK beers with a guest from Vale. Quite a corporate sort of hotel/conference centre -- not surprising given the location near the motorway -- but quite a nice one at that. Attractive staff.

28 Nov 2009 14:15

The Eight Bells, Long Crendon

Wonderful, old-fashioned country pub with very friendly landlady (and dog). Five real ales is about the right number to get good turnover. One alcove is dedicated to the Long Crendon Morris Men -- which says quite a lot about both the pub and the village.

28 Nov 2009 14:02

The Cross Keys, Thame

Pub completely turned round from what it was a year or so ago (although some may miss the strippers). Turned into a real ale emporium with five or six ales and now a brewery based in the back yard. A clever idea is the little glasses of ale in front of the pumps that aren't for tasting but give an idea of the colour (and likely heaviness) of the beer.

28 Nov 2009 13:59

The Shepherds Crook, Crowell

Excellent free house with constistently good beer. Landlord a real ale enthsiast and good food. Rural location with a rustic contingent of locals. Only bad thing about the pub is that the local bus service (the number 40) only runs until 6pm or so and not at all on Sundays.

28 Nov 2009 13:54

The Grenadier, Belgravia

Decent Timothy Taylor Landlord. Seems to trade a lot on its touristy reputation -- several came in when we were there for a couple of pints (and they were taking photos).

It's another place with an absurd no mobile phone rule (or, actually is a little into the 21st century as it only bans voice calls and ringtones -- you can text). These rules seem to be popular with small minded, luddite little Englanders but tend to pepetuate an outdated view of the relationship between landlord and customer -- that the punters are receiving a favour by being served. Were this pub not in a tourist trap but in some ordinary suburb then this attitude would probably see it boarded up long before now.

OK to visit for the location and the beer's fairly good but no reason to return there with much enthusiasm.

28 Nov 2009 13:51

The Nags Head, Belgravia

The pub has a no-mobile phone policy which was displayed on a board outside which was obscured by (guess what) people standing outside using their mobile phones. This ridiculous 'rule' might have been popular in the early 90s when people shouted like Dom Joly into their brick phones but is worse than anachronistic now -- especially given that people tend to text more than speak and no-one needs to shout. In fact there's far more volume created by the sort of suited Hooray Henries after a few pints who seemed to be filling the pub. The Grenadier nearby has a similarly bone headed policy. However, they are at least polite in their enforcement of the rule. The landlord in this pub was exceptionally rude when a mobile phone rang -- does he really expect people to turn their phones OFF in his pub over and above not making calls?

I won't be rushing back to this place. When good pubs are going to the wall all over the country it's infuriating to see petty house rules implemented with relished rudeness.

Shame as the Adnams' wasn't bad.

28 Nov 2009 13:14

Coach and Horses, Mayfair

Two Shepherd Neame real ales, neither of which was very nice. Bizarre seating arrangement at the back of the bar led us to be barricaded in by obnoxious junior management consultant types who obviously had no proper friends.

Otherwise fairly non-descript. Service was quite good.

14 Oct 2009 11:51

The Coach and Horses, Mayfair

Full of obnoxious suited and booted hedge fund manager types on a Friday evening. Despite the clientele, a decent selection of ale -- Taylor Landlord, Warwickshire Darling Buds, Pride. Diacetyl on the Landlord but pretty good service. Not much space inside.

14 Oct 2009 11:49

Old Plough, West Wycombe

Don't even think of going there with children.

4 Oct 2008 21:32

The Red Lion, Bradenham

It is in CAMRA's Good Beer Guide now (2009).

Landlord arrived with a good reputation from a previous pub.

The pub seems to keep fairly inconsistent opening hours. Good if you happen to find it open.

4 Oct 2008 21:30

The Hop Pole Inn, Aylesbury

Very good pub although Deep Thought is misinformed about CAMRA's support of the pub's turnaround -- which has been wholehearted. The piece referred to was a letter published in a newsletter from a reader who was protesting about the closure of another pub and who complained that all the CAMRA members were in the Hop Pole and King's Head instead of the pub under threat. The editor of the newsletter is very supportive of Vale and the Hop Pole.

Excellent landlord at the moment and a well deserved Pub of the Year.

Only drawback is that it is a 10 minute walk from the town centre

4 Oct 2008 21:23

The Whip Inn, Lacey Green

Fantastic pub for real ale. 5 handpumps with beers rotating through them at a rapid rate -- 700+ in 2008.

Very friendly staff and nice barmaids (as mentioned below).

Publican actually takes care to cook his own food, which is very reasonably priced.

On the 300 bus route between Aylesbury and High Wycombe to boot.

4 Oct 2008 21:13

The Swan, Great Kimble

Also agree that the very negative comment below doesn't sound like this pub. There is a TV but it's not on very often and I don't think the landlord would subscribe to a music channel (no satellite here -- which is a good point for many).

The Swan does consistently good beer -- St. Austell Tribute and Adnams Bitter.

It is a good village pub that does good pub food, has a nice log fire and is well worth a visit.

4 Oct 2008 21:08

The Crown Inn, Shorwell

Food appeared very quickly on our visit -- early Saturday evening, late September.

Very friendly staff. Very good local Goddards bitter.

An excellent pub overall.

4 Oct 2008 21:03

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