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BITE user comments - jcraf

Comments by jcraf

The Hercules Pillars, Holborn

Reasonable beer, and staff not too unhelpful. The day I went there was little on the menu except Nachos, as the food delivery hadn't turned up.

I spent an amusing hour watching various punters trying to order food to no avail. Put me in mind of the Monty Python Cheeseshop sketch, if you know what I mean.

7 Jul 2009 19:29

The White Swan, Covent Garden

I like this place. I frequently use it fairly early in the day, at around 1100, as my days in London usually start very early indeed. Unusually, I think it actually opens at 0930 or some strange hour.

The 2 Irish barmen (one is the Landlord I think) are always friendly and welcoming, as are the other bar staff.

Beers are fine, a good selection, and I have always found the food very decent and good value. The latter is available early too.

Plenty of seating, and quiet corners, but can be a bit dimly lit if you're trying to read. Only drawback is a trudge out of the bar and up a large flight of stairs to the WCs.

Convenient for Covent Garden's attractions, if that's your bag, but just far enough away from CG's crowds.

15 Apr 2009 07:22

The Shepherds Tavern, Mayfair

A real shame, this one. As has been said, a good location but a very poor pub. Extremely grubby, with limited and shabby seating, poorly arranged.

My pint of London Pride was OK, and on my visit the barmaid who served me was at least polite, but I could bring myself to have another beer here and so drank up and left.

Badly needs a renovation.

31 Jan 2009 07:24

The Iron Duke, Mayfair

Very pleasant little Fullers pub, with nice range of ales on tap. Plenty of seating but can get quite full.

A good, off the beaten track watering hole and well worth a visit if you're slogging around the Oxford St and Bond St areas.

31 Jan 2009 07:19

The Foxham Inn, Foxham

I have taken to popping in here for lunch when grinding down the M4 between London and S Wales on business.

It's always very welcoming and quiet, a true country pub, in a very 'off-the-beaten track' location. Dedicated parking opposite, and plenty of seating inside.

Yesterday, I had a very passable sausage baguette (filled with 3 juicy, quality bangers), plus salad, and very nice cheesy chips (highly recommended, but I'm sure very bad for you!). All washed down with a very nice Bath Ales 'Gem' bitter.

There are more main courses available for lunch too, some quite exotic, as well as other bar snacks.

Nice chat with the barmaid, and then on my way into the glorious wintry sunshine.

A perfect bar snack lunch, in a very nice English country pub. Well worth a visit and not too far off the M4, 'twixt J16 and 17 (get off at one and rejoin at the other or vice-versa)

21 Jan 2009 20:09

Yard Bar and Kitchen, Cardiff

I stay in the Cardiff Marriott near here frequently when on business.

I occasionally drift into here for a jar after a bit of shopping. It is pretty soulless, (metal, metal and more metal as another reviewer says) and is the antithesis of pub cosiness. When I was in here last night, there was precious little custom. Signs of the recession perhaps?

Still, devoid of cash, I could pay for my single pint using a card. Progress indeed!

Safe enough, but very city-centre.

21 Jan 2009 19:57

The Flitch Of Bacon, Little Dunmow

A pleasant little watering hole, off the beaten track and well away from the large new housing development in Little Dunmow. Pleasant inside with beams, log fire etc. Not a chain pub; a traditional village one.

Good choice of beers including London Pride, local ales and the usual lagers. Food more than adequate, and staff welcoming.

No complaints at all; worth a visit for a quiet pint.

18 Jan 2009 14:03

The Countryman, Staverton

Had a pre-Christmas meal here on a Friday lunchtime in December 2008 with 4 colleagues. Pub was 'seasonally' busy, but despite this the staff were attentive and the food was fair, and certainly better than many establishments seem to be able to manage during the Christmas rush.
I didn't drink as I was driving, but there seemed to be a good variety of beers on tap.
Overall quite a pleasant experience from an attractive little watering hole.

8 Jan 2009 18:32

The Shooting Star, Liverpool Street

Safe bet for a decent pint within staggering distance of Liverpool Street.

Fullers beers are well-kept and the place is hospitable enough, with an interesting and roomy layout.

30 Dec 2008 16:13

The Butcher's Hook and Cleaver, Smithfield

Been here twice recently (in Dec 08); the first time we had a decent enough lunch on the Cloth Fair side of the pub, with service at table. The staff couldn't have been more helpful.

Went in yesterday to a completely different experience; indifferent and surly staff who weren't interested. At 4.30pm I was told the kitchen didn't open until 5pm, only to see 2 other punters then being served meals at 4.32pm!! Thinking s*d this, I drank my ESB and left.

Not likely to try this place again anytime soon

30 Dec 2008 16:10

Lion and Lamb, Little Canfield

I pop in here for the occasional jar, and it is always a reasonable place to have a beer. Plenty of parking, and open all day.

The staff are usually business-like, but not over-welcoming.

The beer is well-kept but fairly expensive - well over 3 for Stella.

Seating arrangements are a bit odd as the bar is long and narrow with a chimney breast slap in the middle. Never tried the food but it looks OK, and again is available all day. There is also a more formal restaurant area.

In short, a safe enough bet, but little competition out here in the wilds of Essex.

24 Dec 2008 07:16

The Nags Head, Brentwood

Pretty soulless place, and far too arty-farty for my liking.

In fact, it hardly warrants being classified as a pub really. Parking can be difficult, as the car park fills up quickly, so it just goes to show that you can fool a lot of the people some of the time.

Be interesting to see how relatively expensive places like this fare in the recession.

18 Dec 2008 17:29

The Tower Arms, South Weald

Not a bad place for a beer and a bite. The conservatory area out back gets a bit hot in the summer, but there is the choice of alfresco eating on the patio, which I agree is a bit run down.

There is usually adequate car parking, but occasionally if there is a function on in the village school the car park fills with illegally parked parents' cars, with the owners having no intention of using the pub. Perhaps the pub should invest in a clamping service!!

Otherwise a safe enough bet, in a quaint location, but nothing to get too excited about.

26 Oct 2008 00:36

The Black Horse, Brentwood

Not bad for a chain pub. The staff are courteous enough and the extensive menu changes regularly, in line with a corporate policy no doubt.

Usual variety of commonly available draught beers.

Plenty of varied seating, a bit of wooden-beamed character and a reasonable outdoor area make this a painless place to have a few jars and perhaps an adequate, if unmemorable, meal.

26 Oct 2008 00:30

The Saracens Head Hotel, Dunmow

The SH is one of only a couple of watering holes in Dunmow.
It is a matter of regret to me that this pleasant little town has little in the way of decent pubs!

The SH is an innocuous enough place for a pint, but the bar is a bit soulless and there is limited seating. However, it is a hotel bar and not a pub, so perhaps that's fair enough. At least there is no widescreen TV (yet) showing endless football, or other such stuff.

The beers are generally standard fayre, but there is draught Peroni lager which is slightly uncommon.

So if in Dunmow, not a bad place if you're thirsty, but then you have little choice.

26 Oct 2008 00:24

Williams Wine and Ale House, Hoxton

I agree that this is the best pub anywhere near to Liverpool St station. Not bad for a quiet, comfy pint, at least in the afternoon hours when I went. Staff polite and attentive.

They must have sorted the loos out now, cos the gents (at least) was clean, but a little cramped. At least a visit didn't involve the usual London subterranean trek - the bogs are at ground level.

Beer well-kept, but usual main-stream brands on tap. Didn't try the food.

26 Oct 2008 00:16

The Beehive, Marylebone

Popped in for a spot of lunch the other day. The draught beers were not bad at all - from a Microbrewery in Greenwich as I recall. Not sure I agree that the club sandwich is up to the claim below; mine was a one-piece panini-type affair, but tasty enough.

In all a bit too gastropub for my liking, and it rapidly filled up with guffawing, baying, business types who cannot converse at anything less than full volume, so not the best place for a quiet pint either.

On balance worth visit for the beer, but not much else.

26 Oct 2008 00:09

The Standing Order, Southampton

Having been on the road from 0530, I went in at 1130 on a weekday after my journey for swift quiet pint, to be faced with a sea of pensioners all drinking beer.

Most looked like they'd been there some time, as this gaff opens early. A surreal experience, seeing all these oldsters getting it down their necks.

A little bit cheesy, even by 'spoons standards. All surfaces seemed sticky and tacky. Buggered off to my hotel after one pint, leaving the coffin-dodgers to their beers.

16 Jun 2007 20:11

Eli Jenkins, Cardiff

Cheesy. Barman thought he could supplement his income by short changing me, and was surly when I pointed out his error.

Floor and tables were sticky with unidentifiable residues.

Lets the Cardiff Bay redevelopment down.

9 Jun 2007 14:34

The Litten Tree, Redditch

Had to visit Redditch on business. Popped in here for a quick drink after my meeting.
Now known as 'Huggies', it did indeed resemble the inside of a used nappy.

28 Apr 2007 15:21

The Salmon and Ball, Bethnal Green

Went in for a safety beer en route to the West End after standing in the heat watching the 2007 London Marathon.
Very smoky, and nothing to really make it stand out. Bar staff friendly enough and beer OK.

23 Apr 2007 19:01

The Cask, Pimlico

A week on, and a return visit confirmed my initial views.
The Landlord, Paul, is that rare breed; attentive, courteous and interested in his customers (and his beers!)
The food is honest fare too; only 5.95 for a large portion of fish, chips and peas, piping hot and very tasty.
This place deserves to succeed!

13 Apr 2007 20:04

The Cask, Pimlico

Never gave it a second glance because it looked so dire.
However, what a pleasant surprise when I popped for a mid-afternoon jar the other day en route to Pimlico tube. Would agree with all the other comments, and the landlord is indeed a real gent and a runs a super little pub.
I'll be going back soon!

7 Apr 2007 13:43

The Plough at Langford, Langford

Agree with previous comments. However, at lunchtimes it always seems to be empty!

Don't understand why, since it's a pleasant place to eat and drink, with an attentive landlady and landlord.

24 Jul 2005 08:06

Engineers Arms, Henlow

A truly excellent pub. Loads of well-kept real ales on tap. Serious beer drinker's paradise.

Holds its own well-run real ale festivals ( there's one in October) in the 'beer garden' (back yard actually) which gets covered over against the weather for this event. Countless ales to be sampled.

Hot pies are available, but no nancy-boy food. Industrial-sized bags of pork scratchings too.

The very clean toilets (well, I can only vouch for the gents), have daily postings of very funny and topical jokes (usually via e-mails) on a board above the urinals. Also nice soap and towels provided!!

If I had to cite one drawback, it's the lack of off-road parking.

Give it a try if you're anywhere near!!

14 Jun 2005 18:41

The Mad Bishop and Bear, Paddington

Not bad, plenty of room and perhaps doesn't attract the casual drinkers like the platform-side pubs such as the Duke of York @ Kings Cross, so never seems overcrowded.

Oh and the beer's OK too. Fullers range is worth a sip.

14 Jun 2005 18:33

O'Neills, Holborn

Despite being an O'Neills, it's a good place to drink, with attentive staff and decent beer. Food is passable too.

A nice place to while away a few hours with friends or with a good book. And that's some recommendation from a miserable bastard like me.

11 Jun 2005 22:47

The Skinners Arms, Kings Cross

The best pub in this particulary sh*tty part of London.

Good for a quick, safe, jar en route to Kings Cross, and better than the other candidates, such as The Dolphin (qv).

Can get crowded, which shows there's b*gger all competition locally.

11 Jun 2005 22:38

The Lamb, Bloomsbury

I like this pub. It's great to fall into after a long meeting nearby (yes, I'm a Doc). I like the quirky split-level setup, and the beer is v good. It scores highly on my places_to_get_pleasantly_pissed-o-meter.

10 Jun 2005 17:46

The Ivy House, Holborn, London

Well I thought it was crap. Like drinking in a warehouse. Cheesy. Never again.

10 Jun 2005 17:43

Fitzroy Tavern, Fitzrovia

OK, and I liked the wheat beer. It might be UK-brewed, but as one who has lived in Germany, it passed muster.
Agree with the inadequate staffing comments. I nearly died of thirst waiting for a jar.......

10 Jun 2005 17:41

The One Tun, Goodge Street

Great little pub. Good beer, friendly staff, and often quiet. A nice place to while away the hours with a good book and a few pints. Never tried the food though.

10 Jun 2005 17:37

The Lukin, Warren Street

Good staff, friendly service, and often quiet. Good for a few hours boozing with a good book....

10 Jun 2005 17:34

Queens Larder, Bloomsbury

This pub, I think, has recently been refurbished/bought out. I was in there (again) last night, and all the bar staff including 'Posh David' were wearing black shirts, black trousers and black ties.
It all looked a bit 'corporate', and a far from 'Posh David's' usual image. He seemed a bit subdued, but I might have been imagining it. I got the impression that it had become a plastic pub, but I'm not certain.
Still, the beer hadn't suffered.......

10 Jun 2005 17:28

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