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BITE user comments - lezford

Comments by lezford

Wetherspoons, Leeds

A Sunday afternoon visit while I had a 45 minute wait between trains.

10 ales on the hand pumps, I had a decent pint of Dukeries Farmers Branch @ 5.0%.

It was pretty busy but with plenty of bar staff on, the service was quick and attentive.I have used this 'spoons several times over the last few years , its one of the better station pubs, never problem getting served, pleasant clientele and decent ale.

16 Feb 2017 13:57

Bar t'at, Ilkley

A Sunday afternoon visit for a beer with the wife.

8 ales on the taps, just like my last visit with my pint of Kirkstall Brewery Three Swords @ 4.5% being very drinkable.

Fairly empty except for a family with very annoying children that they didn’t seem to be bothered about keeping quiet or controlling, it’s a bar not a blinking playground!

The Sunday Roast’s looked good but we only stayed for the one pint. I like Bar T’at it’s very pleasant but this was my 2nd visit when it’s been quiet in here, I’ve no idea why as the ale is good and it’s in a good location.

16 Feb 2017 13:54

The Yard, Ilkley

A very late Saturday night, early Sunday morning visit to finish the night off, not through choice just chasing it a bit as it was the last late night drink available.

At least 3 ales on the cask hand pumps and a couple of keg choices, by this time I was done so went for vodka followed by a bottle of peroni!

Packed, mainly full of 20 something's, dj playing and lots of pushing as the bar area is pretty small.

I may venture back in the day on another occasion but cannot see myself returning for a late nighter again.

7 Feb 2017 13:06

The Crescent Hotel, Ilkley

Saturday night visit for a few pints with the wife and a mate.

I spent a good few hours on my only other visit in July last year and said how much I liked the pub, well my opinion is now enhanced, I love it.

The ale choice and they way they are kept is superb, service is great with knowledgeable bar staff, the decor is good and lastly the clientele are very friendly....really is a great place.

The 8 hand pumps each with a different ale, I worked my way through pints of Brass Castles' Snow Eater @ 4.8% and Hazelnut Mild @ 4.2% and Goose Eyes Goose Eye Bitter @ 3.9%.

Stayed for several hours and got through a few fairs pints.

Absolute cracking pub and firmly on my my visit list everytime I visit Ilkley from now on.

7 Feb 2017 13:05

Rose & Crown, Ilkley

Rammed packed at 8pm on a Saturday night. Fairly easy to get served, as all the barmen were on it and knew who was next. 4 hand pumps with 3 ales on, Timothy Taylor Landlord, Saltaire Blond and Leeds Pale which was very decent.

Open plan throughout with a separate dining area to the left of the door as you come in.

We stayed for a couple of hours and by 10pm it had emptied a bit with most people moving onto the other bars in town.

Never been here before but will visit again when next in Ilkley.

6 Feb 2017 14:17

The Parcel Yard, Kings Cross

Friday teatime visit with 2 hours to kill before my train north.

Its been a while since I've been here but it is one of my favourite train station boozers, just it is pricey but its almost Central London and that's something you just have to put up with!

Being a Fuller's pub there range takes precedence but they also have a decent range of guest ales, my 3 pints of Butcombe Best were excellent, again it ain't cheap but when the beer and surrounds are good I'll pay it.

Packed between 4.30 and 6.30pm and probably is the same every Friday night.

I like this place and would recommend a visit.

6 Feb 2017 14:12

Sylvan Post, Forest Hill

A Tuesday night visit not knowing that is was quiz night and boy is it popular. Myself and a pal didn't enter the quiz as it was already half way through when we arrived but we semi joined in without annoying anyone!

4 ales on the 5 hand pumps , with my several pints of Sambrook's Brown Dog Riot @ 4.5% all being on good form. Not normally I brewery I like but this ale was very good.

Food was popular and the smell of burgers did linger a bit around the bar, not something I normally like but I suppose with it being busy it kind of blended in and felt right.

I like this place but a couple of pals always complain about the prices so I don't visit as often as I'd like to.

Mis match furniture and spartan decor as is the Antic Pub Chains way but it works here as the pub doesn't have too many exposed walls or a damp smell.

Gets a decent score from me.

3 Feb 2017 13:27

The Dartmouth Arms, Forest Hill

Another pub in Forest Hill that I haven't been for a long time, which is strange as I drink at the Capitol enough but never seem to venture any further!

The Dartmouth has been more of a foodie pub for many years now but does still retain a small area in the middle where the bar is that's still like a pub, the front area is very foodie as well as the back room, with all tables lined up with napkins and cutlery.

2 ales on the 3 hand pumps which were Shepherd & Neame Spitfire Gold & Brockley Brewery Gold. My pal had the Gold and said it was more than drinkable, while I opted for a bottle from the fridge which was Brick Breweries Peckham Pils @ 4.8%.
Modern decor with old style tables and chairs, and some fancy wallpaper.

We stayed for just one pint, the pub is decent enough and had a few people in on the Tuesday I visited, not sure why I haven't been in for a long time as it's alright.

3 Feb 2017 13:26

Hobs, Forest Hill

It's been re-named The Signal for some time now. This is a pub that I think I've only ever been in once before and that was many years ago when it was called the Hob. My recollection of the pub & my visit on that occasion apart from the layout is non-existent.

My most recent visit is a Tuesday night in January and by 7pm its nicely full. Most people drinking in couples or groups with a table of 7 having a meal in the lower part of the bar. I didn't see or smell any food so on this I cannot comment.

On the L shaped bar are at least 14 shiny keg taps with lagers, Guinness, cider and a couple of keg ales. The cask pumps have 3 ales on which were Brixton's Effra Ale, Brockley Brewery IPA and Truman's Swift. My £4.20 pint of Effra Ale was very good.

The pub feels quite dark but I think that's down to the mood lighting, there's several lights hanging from ceiling across both parts of the open plan area. Wooden flooring throughout, a piano by the door and 2 really cool old school desks with attached seats. Great to sit in one of these and write this review !

To the side is a covered smoking area / garden and upstairs is a Bar, Rotisserie and Grill.

Service was good, the ales was very good, it had a nice buzz about it and is opposite Forest Hill station.

3 Feb 2017 10:28

The Horseshoe and Castle, Cooling

A visit on a Sunday afternoon for lunch with the wife, this pub was chosen for 2 reasons , first of all it appears in the 2017 GBG and secondly it was the only pub in the guide in the area that had tables available for lunch!

Bar area to the left as you enter through the front door with a separate dining area to the right. The pub was pretty busy and the restaurant being half full. There's only 8 tables in the dining room with seating for around 22 people.

3 hand pumps with 2 ales on, one from Shepard and Neame and my choice which was Nelson Breweries Revengence Bitter @ 3.7%.

Music played at a decent level through the bar and dining room.

The walls in the dining area have many paintings, drawings and history of the village and local area as well as several stags heads, antlers and some taxidermy. There's a cabinet stocked with miniature whiskey's, I didn't take a close look bit it seemed to be some collection.

The food was very good (especially if you like fish) and reasonably priced. Service was attentive and food arrived swiftly.

A flying visit really as after our meal and my 1 pint we left. As i didn't spend any time in the pub I cannot really comment, but the food was good and the pint I had was well kept.

3 Feb 2017 10:26

BeerheadZ, Retford

After a quick visit to the Idle Valley tap I made the short walk to this micro pub in a converted shop.

Pretty busy when I got here, the clientele can best be described as beer geeks!

5 ales, 2 ciders and a Perry on the 8 hand pulls. I tried 2 ales which were Black Rock’s Endless Summer & Odyssey Brew Co’s Hitting the Stiches #6, both decent ales. In addition to the ales on cask there’s a large & varied selection of bottled beers, the majority from Belgium, Germany & the US.

A decent micro pub, music playing from a laptop, the young barman looked slightly bored but he was engaging in conversation with some locals.

26 Jan 2017 13:58

The Eight Jolly Brewers, Gainsborough

Cracking little pub tucked off the main shopping street and a real ale lovers mecca.

8 hand pumps with a cracking range of ales on, mainly local or microbreweries' with every ale available being a new one for me, now that's a feat! I worked my way through a few pumps with my ales being Flipside Brewery Flipping Best @ 4.6%; Glenworth Brewery Iceman @ 4.5%; Lincoln Green Brewing Co Sherwood @ 4.4% and Tring Wooden Wonder @ 4.2%. There's also a decent Belgian bottle beer range.

The pub feels very much like a micro pub , maybe that's what it is!

Friendly & chatty locals I had a very pleasant time drinking here, scores highly from me.

26 Jan 2017 09:36

Canute, Gainsborough

A short step from the 'spoons is this large freehouse that appeared in the 2016 GBG but doesn't feature in the 2017 edition for reasons I am unsure however on my visit I think I know why.

The pub has the feel of a chain pub say like Slug and Lettuce, its large and open plan with tables chair and high tables dotted around to fill the space and sells reasonable priced food but it just felt soulless, perhaps the smattering of punters didn't help.

The bar has 5 hand pumps with 3 National ales and 1 real cider. I opted for the non National ale which was Timothy Taylor's Boltmaker, a decent pint at £3.00 then a nice 10% discount for having a camra card....happy days.

Plenty of tv's above the bar and round the walls, pool table by the front door and several fruit machines.

A pleasant enough pub for a quick late morning beer but I don't think it'd be my pub of choice if I lived in this town.

24 Jan 2017 13:54

Sweyn Forkbeard, Gainsborough

Large single storey Wetherspoons that apparently is named after the Danish King of England from 1013!

After a brisk walk from Lea Road station this is the first pub at the start of the pedestrianized shopping street. Shortly before 11am when I arrive and the place is three quarters full already, food and drink proving popular in equal measures.

The long bar that runs the length of the right hand wall has 2 banks of 5 hand pumps, across these 8 pumps have ales on with 5 choice's. Ruddles Best, Sharps Doombar and 3 local brews. I opt for a pint of Black Horse Brewing Executioners Assistant @ 4.3%, a decent pale ale and the perfect beer to start what should be a long day.

Fairly swift service from the all female bar staff. Standard 'spoons decoration that doesn't feel tired, the tables and floors are clean.

A tick from the 2017 GBG oh and of course the ales is cheap at £2.09 a pint.

23 Jan 2017 13:53

The Albert Arms, Esher

Still currently closed, though Fuller's are supposed to be in negotiations to take it over and re-open.

23 Jan 2017 13:49

The West Quay, Brighton

A Saturday afternoon visit to this huge & well appointed 'spoons in Brighton Marina.

This was my first visit and I was more than impressed. Yes it is a ‘spoons so the food is standard fair, on my visit there were 5 ales on the 10 hand pumps with the service from the many staff very quick and efficient. I had a few pints of Butcombe’s Atlantic IPA @ 5.0% which was extremely drinkable.

As pointed out by other reviewers there’s a gothic feel to the interior of this place and it works really well. Tiled floor to a large open dining area with the toilets on the ground floor which is usually not the case with ‘spoons pubs. But I guess as this is a purpose built pub they for once though about where the toilet’s would be located.

There’s a large frontage with tables and chairs over looking the marina and the boats, this was not used during my visit as the rain was teeming down but it’s still a nice outlook over the marina.

A thoroughly good pub.

23 Jan 2017 13:41

The Theobald Arms, Grays

The Theobald is very much a traditional pub across from the White Hart & it had a different vibe to it on a Saturday night. Where as the WH was packed and had live music, this one was quieter but was playing music from the well stocked jukebox.

The 4 hand pumps boasted a quality selection with the stand out ales being Brentwood Brewing’s Baldy @ 3.8% and the hard to find in the South, Stockport Centaurus @ 4.0%, both quality ales with the Centaurus just shading it for me.

The wall above the bar and bar itself have bundles of pump clips on them. The pub is fully carpeted with old style tables and chairs.

We stopped here for several pints until our train home at gone 10pm. If I lived closer I would certainly use The Theobald over the White Hart, it just had a better feel to it and the ales were excellent.

23 Jan 2017 13:37

The White Hart, Grays

On the way home from Canvey, we had time for a stop in Grays to tick The White Hart & the Theobald which both appear in the 2016 & 2017 GBG’s.

4 ales with the Mauldon Dickens @ 4.0% being on good form. The other ales were all smaller breweries so good to see no National brands on.

Very busy with the whole of the large front bar packed, a band were warming up so I guess this is why it was so busy. We took our drinks and retired to the back bar where there’s a pool table and the continuation of the bar with just a few lager pumps on it.

From my quick visit I can confirm the White Hart is obviously a big part of the local area and has a loyal following, the clientele are slightly rough rounds the edges, but this is Grays after all, a tough town.

23 Jan 2017 13:02

South Benfleet Social Club, Benfleet

A visit after a football game on Canvey a couple of Saturday’s back. The 4 of us were welcomed at the door by the steward who thanked us for our visit and explained a bit about the club, nice chap.

Mighty Oaks Maldon Gold was my choice from the 4 ales on the 4 pumps. I can report that all 3 pints I had were excellent.

Several families in with well-behaved kids, Football on the tv’s & large screen as well as several fruit machines.

We stayed for almost 2 hours watching the game on the box and enjoying our ales.

A thoroughly good friendly club that’s worth the walk up the hill from the station and 3 pubs close by. A planned visit on our next trip to Canvey is on the agenda.

18 Jan 2017 14:04

The Crooked Billet, Leigh on Sea

This very atmospheric Nicholson's pub that also appears in the 2016 and 2017 GBG's was the last of the 4 in Leigh that we visited and in my opinion is the best, it’s just a shame we didn’t have more time here.

Busy in the public bar where seating is at a premium while the other bar is more for diners. The seating area to the front was empty but it was a cold day so I’m not surprised.

6 ales on the hand pumps, the Bays Gold from Torquay was on top form and according to the barman was proving to be a hit with the punters. In addition there’s a good selection of European lagers and Symonds’s Cider on draught.

The Men’s toilets are outside in a stable type building.

I think the Crooked Billet is a really good pub and best in the Old Town area. Score’s highly.

18 Jan 2017 14:02

The Peter Boat, Leigh on Sea

The Peterboat is basically a very large restaurant with a bar and barely no seating for none diners, so not really the place for 4 blokes who had no intention of eating!

1pm on a Saturday afternoon and it’s jammed packed with everyone eating, plus the fire was on full blast and was blinking hot.

5 ales on across the 8 hand pumps, my first choice of Portobello's VPA was right at the end of the barrel and undrinkable, so I had a pint of Nethergate’s Old Growler which I can happily report was much more drinkable.

To the front is a large decking area overlooking the sea which I am told is very popular in the summer.

A decent choice of ales but this really isn’t a pub, so if you visit just for a beer be warned that a seat may be hard to find. I've given it a low score based on a pub.

17 Jan 2017 13:12

The Olde Smack Inn, Leigh On Sea

Large Taylor Walker (Greene King) pub next door to the Mayflower and pub number 2 of our short hop in Leigh.

Wide frontage, with the long bar running down one side. On the bar are 2 banks of 4 hand pumps with a total of 4 different ales on, my pint of Bombardier was very drinkable though its not one of my favourite ales.

The back opens up into several separate dining areas and there’s a couple of stood up boats turned into booths on the back wall, very quirky.

It was half busy with drinkers at the front and diners to the rear, live football on the TV with the sound on mute so this deterred anyway watching the match here.

Nice enough pub, better than the Peterboat but not as good as the Crooked Billet.

17 Jan 2017 13:02

The Mayflower, Leigh on Sea

First pub of the day and one of the two that appears in the 2017 GBG.

Our group of 4 arrived here just after 12 noon and the place was quite busy, though as the bar area is small it doesn’t take many punters to fill it up.

5 ales on the hand pumps , my choice of Mighty Oak’s Maldon Gold @ 3.8% was very good, in addition to the ales on cask there’s 1 real cider which was Weston’s Old Rosie.

Music playing and the tv was showing a news channel and was on silent. A nice place with good ales and a good one to start in.

16 Jan 2017 12:46

The Crosse Keys, Bank

Visited on Saturday morning for breakfast before heading off to the wilds of Essex.

Got here at 9.45am and was surprised by how busy it was. Mainly with people eating with the clientele halved between local constructions workers and tourists from the hotel next door.

A tad too early for alcohol so I ordered a large veggie breakfast and a tea. Delivered swiftly, hot and very edible, the tea was also decent.

Impressive building with a stunning interior, this alone makes the pub worthy of a visit.

My previous visits have been split over Saturday morning and weeknights, and for such a large pub it doesn’t get that busy in the evenings.

13 Jan 2017 16:59

Crate, Hackney Wick

A Friday night visit before a West Ham home game. Not sure whether it was due to being a Friday night or West Ham at home but it was ham packed.

It's not the biggest place and the bar is in a slightly awkward position with the open plan kitchen behind it, pizzas were popular.

As you would expect in a brewery bar the majority of the ales were from Crate , I duly sampled their Milk Stout @ 5.3% and the American Nut Brown @ 4.8% both on cask and both blinking excellent pints.

The building is basically a warehouse but when its busy it just feels like you're in a boozer. Worth a visit as it sells ales and I have on good authority the pizzas are decent.

12 Jan 2017 14:05

Willow Walk, Victoria

New Years day visit for a few pints before heading home.

Fairly busy but we managed to bag a table and was quietly enjoying my 2 pints of Thornbridge’s Jaipur. It was my round so I went to bar to order only to be told by the miserable looking female bar manager that this would be our last drinks! I questioned why and she didn’t reply so while she was pouring our 3 drinks I told her to stuff it and then walked out.

God knows what her problem was as we were not loud or offensive and certainly were not causing any trouble, maybe she got the 3 of us confused with another group.

Anyway it pi**ed me off and I won’t rush back.

12 Jan 2017 13:16

The Lamb, Highbury

A sign on the door and then reinforced by the doorman that it was Arsenal fans only allowed in here after a recent game at the Emirates. A quick flash of the match ticket and the 3 of us were in to sample the delights of this low light trendy pub.

It was dark outside and as dark inside with the majority of the lighting coming from behind the open bar that serves both the front and back areas.

3 cask ales on the hand pumps with a number of keg and quality lager choices also available. My pint of ELB’s Orchid @ 3.6% was fine.

I think I visited here before it changed it’s name several years back but my memory is a bit hazy. Only stopped for 1 pint on this occasion before moving back into town.

Decent pub that was busy after the match, probably worth another visit on a non match day.

11 Jan 2017 13:44

The Shakespeare, Victoria

I wouldn’t agree with the previous reviewer that this is the worst pub in London there’s certainly a lot worse than the Shakespeare.

It was packed with food being as popular as drink, lot’s of tourists plotting up here for lunch and to get out of the rain that was falling very heavily.

4 ales on the hand pumps, all fairly standard choice, I tucked in to a few pints of Westerham Breweries 1730 which is a decent session ale at 4.0%.

With no where to sit we stood at the corner of the bar for the next 90 minutes or so chatting and enjoying our drinks. The service was good, with all of the staff seemingly from Eastern Europe, you weren’t always guaranteed a smile 

As I say I have been in much worse pubs that this, it’s convenient for the station and sells decent real ale.

11 Jan 2017 13:21

Wetherspoons, Victoria Station

Extremely busy at lunchtime on New Years Day, partly to do with Arsenal playing Crystal Palace I guess.

This was my 2nd visit within 2 weeks and each time there was a good range of ales available, my pint of Mordue’s Radgie Gadgie @ 4.8% was decent.

Still appears in the GBG so I’m sure they must be doing something right with the way they keep their ales and the choice.

Seats all always at a premium here but thankfully there’s seating and standing areas to the front & rear. A decent ‘spoons that has more friendly bar staff than at the Willow Walk just outside!

10 Jan 2017 13:15

The Fox on the Hill, Denmark Hill

My most recent visit was at 12 noon on New Years Eve and they had just 1 member of staff on!!!

Because of this it was pretty chaotic with all the punters wanting food and drink so ordering took some time, no matter how many times I use this place it still amazes me how bad the service is.

Mr Martin needs to sort this place out as it’s gold mine that is surely under performing due to the poor staff and staffing level.

10 Jan 2017 10:53

The Bricklayers Arms, Sydenham

After visiting several other pubs in Sydenham we decided to finish here and watch the live football and darts on Sky.

Every time I visit the brickie’s it’s busy and this Friday night visit was no different.

I started on an ale named “A good stuffing” but after a pint I moved on to the Bombardier which was drinkable.

A very decent pub to watch the football in and have a few pints, though it does retain an air about it, if you wanted trouble in here I’m sure you would get it!

It’s does the job though and the bar staff are always welcoming.

9 Jan 2017 13:57

The Fox and Hounds, Sydenham

This is yet another pub in the area I've never been in before. Pretty busy at 7.30pm on a Friday with music playing & the various tvs showing Horse racing and sky sports news.

Large u shaped wooden bar dominates as you enter with a larger area to the rear on the right hand side.

Only 1 ale on which was Courage Best, it was drinkable that’s all I can really report.

The majority of the clientele here seemed to know each other and mainly consisted of blokes in the 40’s drinking lager. Not an unfriendly place but it wasn’t for me and after finishing our pints we headed to the Brickie’s to watch the football.

9 Jan 2017 13:43

The Railway, Sydenham

Yet another pub in Sydenham that I hadn’t visited before. It was now around 7pm when we arrived here and the pub was fairly busy.

Sports on various tv’s around the main bar area, I didn’t venture into the rear bar so I cannot comment what it was like back there.

1 ale on which was Courage Best and I can report it was a very decent pint.

Friendly service, slightly rough clientele but no problems.

Handy for the station so I may make another visit, it’s not that bad.

6 Jan 2017 16:07

The Dolphin, Sydenham

So I made my first ever visit to the Dolphin last Friday and god knows why I've never been in before. First impressions on entering it’s very large, has low lighting, lots of wood panelling and was packed!

It seemed that through to the right of the main bar was more for dining but with the lights being low I couldn’t quite make out if anyone was eating, it was busy through here though.

4 ales on the hand pumps, Moorhouse’s Pride of Pendle was drinkable but not that well kept. I cannot remember the other options.

We took our beers and parked up at the front by the large windows and close to the enormous Christmas tree that was sat in the corner.

I liked this pub from my short visit however the music was a bit too loud and that meant that everyone speaking was doing it very loudly making quite a din, if they rectify the music level it’ll be a very pleasant pub to return to in the future.

6 Jan 2017 16:06

The Golden Lion, Sydenham

Pub number 3 of the afternoon / evening and it’s a visit to a pub that I was in over 24 years earlier! And boy it is different from my last visit.

It used to be a traditional pub with a front lounge and pool table and public bar to the rear. Now it’s got a long thin almost restaurant type open room that leads to the garden with a smaller front lounge also laid for diners with a very nice wood burning fire in the corner. The lighting is also quite dim but I guess this is supposed to be atmospheric. The front lounge also has etched glass windows onto the main road.

There are 5 ales on the hand pumps & what surprised me was the selection with 3 ales on that I hadn't had before. These included 2 offerings from Wimbledon Brewery, I had a pint of their Copper Leaf @ 4.0% which was very decent.

Not many punters in during my visit but the ales were good and the welcome even better so this may be a pub that I return to sooner than the 24 years I waited last time!

5 Jan 2017 13:21

The Richmal Crompton, Bromley

My first visit here for well over a year and I'm pleased to report that on this visit the service was very swift, I was served by a pleasant young lady who seemed to having a good day, makes a big difference from previous visits when its taken ages to get served and then its by a surely bar person!

Still the clientele has remained unchanged and the whole pub has a slight air that any minute there might be a fight.

From the medium sized choice of ales I had a pint of Dorking Breweries Pilcrow Pale @ 4.0% which was a decent pint.

Only stayed for 1, this is a fine pub spoilt by the clientele and believe me it gets much worse in the evenings and at weekends, handy for the station but that's why it gets so busy.

2 Jan 2017 12:30

The Tom Foolery, Bromley

Dropped in for a quick pint on a Thursday afternoon between Christmas and New Year.

Relatively busy when I arrived with a mix of clientele and ages.

Only 2 ales on cask so I went for a keg option from the 17 hand pumps. These were a mix of ales, lager and ciders with all but 3 coming from the UK. My choice of Weird Beard's Little things that kill @ 3.9% was extremely good but a little hard to swallow at £5.15 a pint, blimey is Bromley really that expensive now!

A nice enough place that is more of a bar than a pub but with a good choice of ales and a calm atmosphere it's worth a visit.

2 Jan 2017 12:26

TP's, Bromley

Thankfully it's currently closed down....who knows if it will open and again, fingers crossed it won't.

2 Jan 2017 12:22

The Hare and Hounds, Leyton

Spent a recent Thursday night here with colleagues from work, some of which are locals here.

A bank of 5 hand pumps each with a different ale on but I had eyes only for Timothy Taylor’s Landlord which after supping 9 pints I can confirm was on excellent form.

A large pub with plenty of seating and standing areas as well as the large room to the rear of the pub housing on my visit a huge Christmas tree, a pool table and a large projector screen.

Friendly manager and staff made for a very pleasant evening.

31 Dec 2016 11:05

The Tottenham, Soho

I haven't been here since the name change and before that since the late 90's.

It's now a Nicholson's pub with a wide choice of ales across the 8 hand pumps. A couple of regular national brands like London Pride and Doombar alongside the very drinkable Cafe Phoenix from SA Brains craft range at 4.4%.

Just after 6pm on a Wednesday night before Christmas and the pub was heaving, workers from the local construction sites and tourists were the main clientele.

Internally the pub is stunning with walls stacked with Burmantoff tiles, several large wall painted artworks along with a large gold chandelier hanging above a glass domed ceiling towards the rear of the pub.

Plenty of tables, chairs and high tables are wedged at the rear of the pub towards the toilets making getting through a bit tricky especially during a busy visit like on this occasion.

Good selection of ales in a stunning interior, worth a visit for these 2 things alone.

31 Dec 2016 11:02

The Willoughby Arms, Kingston Upon Thames

Monday night football at Kingstonian so we choose the Willoughby as our meeting pub for the 2nd season in a row and just like on the last visit the pub, service and ales did not disappoint.

We sat in the back bar which is more of a sports bar with bar stools, tables, tv’s, dart boards, pool table and plenty of sports memorabilia on the walls.

From the 5 ales on I had several pints of Hoppy Blonde @ 4.3% from the Hop Art Brewery, a new brewery and beer for me.

Stayed for a couple of hours before leaving for the match. Good pub, good service and great beer oh and the dogs were a lot more friendly this time.

31 Dec 2016 10:58

Ye Grapes, Mayfair

Popped in for a quick pint before a meeting on a Monday lunchtime. It was surprisingly quiet, but it did enable me to bag a seat and a fast pint.

6 ales on the hand pumps with most offerings from the Greene King stable. My pint of Hardy and Hanson's Rocking Rudolph @ 4.2% was pleasant enough & did the job.

I like this pub, the ales are normally good and there's never any bother here. Nice part of town as well so a traditional pub is a perfect fit.

31 Dec 2016 10:54

The Kings Head, Earls Court

Another new pub for me, this quality Fullers pub is another fairly hidden gem in an area that is more known for it's convention centre, student hostels and restaurants than quality back street locals .

Being near Christmas this pub was full with Christmas parties when I arrived at 16.15 on a Friday afternoon, however within 20 minutes most of these left and the pub returned to a normal local.

5 ales on all from the Fullers stable, my pint of Wiseman @ 4.0% was very drinkable.

Interesting light hanging from the ceiling in the main bar that looks like a spider!

Decent pub but I've visited better today.

31 Dec 2016 10:42

The Queens Arms, South Kensington

My 2nd GBG tick on a Friday afternoon while in South West London.
The Queens is located in a mews just off of Queens Terrace and in my opinion you would need to know its here to find it. A charming pub that once you enter you realise it probably makes more money on food then booze however 8 hand pumps with 3 house ales and 5 guests no doubts help bring the punters in, in addition there is a large list if high quality lagers and craft ales on keg. My choice of Roosters Little Bird @ 3.4% was good.

The pub was packed, there was a large party in for there Christies dinner as well as several other large parties eating and drinking so there was quite a buzz about the place.

Only stopped for 1 beer but it was a good beer and another pub ticked from the 2016 GBG.

28 Dec 2016 16:08

The Anglesea Arms, Chelsea

Well its taken me nearly all of 2016 but I finally managed to get to the Anglesea Arms and tick it off!

On a busy main road but in a very nice residential area, this is a true locals pub and dining room.

The pub dates from 1825 and us just a stone's throw away from number 11 where Charles Dickens resided. A large open front with benches and umbrellas greets you as you approach, once inside its full wooden and brass.

The bar stands directly in front of the main door and had an impressive 6 hand pumps with a good range of local and national branded ales. My pint of Southwark Brewery Routemaster Red @ 3.8% was nicely kept and poured, enjoyed outside the pub where the weather was almost spring like!

Food is popular with a separate dining room to the rear down some small steps. The main bar area is fairly small with all tables and stools taken.

Appears in the 2016 GBG, on this my only visit I think its a worthy addition.

28 Dec 2016 15:07

The Sir John Hawkshaw, Cannon Street

Finished the evening here recently after a crawl of the surrounding areas pubs.

Several ales on the hand pumps but I ignored these to go straight for a can of Sixpoint’s Resin at a whopping 9.5%, a monster in a can!

Just under half full at 10pm on a Thursday night.

Pleasant bar staff, clean tables and no problem getting served….just perfect and of course less than a minute away from the platform that may train was on.

28 Dec 2016 10:48

The Bell, Cannon Street

As per the other reviews this is an intimate little pub just off Cannon Street.

3 ales on with the Sharps Cornish Coaster not too bad.

Feels like a locals pub, there’s hops & copper pots hanging from the ceiling, aertex on the walls and a thick old fashioned patterned carpet.

The bar staff are pleasant. All in all a nice simple boozer.

28 Dec 2016 10:33

The Pavilion End, Mansion House

Large Fullers pub that seems to be more of sport’s bar than the other pubs in the vicinity.

It was packed with loud music playing above the after work crowd’s even louder chatter, football was on the large projector screen with the sound off. The place was just a huge amount of noise so I opted for a bottled ale instead of a pint so that I didn’t have to spend so long here.

My bottle of choice from the decent selection was Pale Ale from Little Creatures in Australia.

I may make another visit but with so many pubs in the area I doubt it.

28 Dec 2016 09:30

Williamson's Tavern, Mansion House

My 3rd Nicholson's pub in one day and yet another new pub for me.

On arrival around 8pm it was already packed inside with loads of people outside aswell, I didn’t see the top tip before I visited but I did go to the back bar for my beer, a bit quieter, more staff and much easier to get served.

8 ales on the pumps (pretty standard for Nicholson's pubs), my pint of Woodforde's Tundra was decent.

Music played above the chatter. Most of the clientele appeared to be local workers.

Decent pub, a bit too packed to notice the décor but the ales were good.

25 Dec 2016 22:27

The Cockpit, Blackfriars

My first ever visit to this interesting and busy pub on a Thursday evening.

Stain glass windows and a barrelled door on the side give the pub a homely feel. Feels like it’s stuck in the 80’s which is nice as most of the other pubs in the area are more modern and either chains or a tad soulless, this one certainly isn’t with loads of jugs hanging around the walls as well as being fully carpeted.

I feel I also have to mention the toilets in the cellar which don’t seem to be cleaned that often and are extremely small, adds to the fun of the pub!

2 ales on my pint of Timothy Taylor landlord was drinkable but not that great.

I’m glad I was brought here as I don’t think I would ever have found it.

25 Dec 2016 08:53

The Old Bell, Fleet Street

Another Thursday afternoon pub tick from the 2016 GBG and another Nicholsons pub.

This part of Fleet St is not an area I have spent much time in so this was another new pub for me. Like The White Swan in Covent Garden again there were 8 hand pumps, this time in 2 banks of 4 & with 8 different ales on. At least 3 of these seemed to be guests. I went for a pint of Everards Sly Fox @ 4.0%.

Busy with a few larger groups, the pub is small so getting a seat / table that wasn’t already reserved was a bit of a mission, I ended up in a larger comfy armchair to the right of the bar. It’s a very quaint pub separated into a front lounge area & a smallish rear bar area, out the back is a terrace area overlooking the church.

Plenty of age to the pub coupled with a slopping floor towards the bar.

I liked this pub, stayed for 2 pints and only left when it started getting really busy.

25 Dec 2016 08:42

The White Swan, Covent Garden

Listed in the 2016 GBG & I finally got a chance to visit just before Christmas.

The last time I was here the pub was an O'Neils and pretty bog standard it was too. Its now a Nicholson's pub with 7 ales on the 8 hand pumps. Most of the ales were from National brands and can be found almost anywhere, apart from the Christmas offering from Thornbridge which was Wild Holly @ 4.8%.

At 3.30pm on a Thursday afternoon the pub was packed and there was a good atmosphere.

Lots of chatter above the non descript music that was playing, pleasant bar staff, neat decoration and a good location.

Certainly worthy of another visit.

25 Dec 2016 08:36

All Bar One, Canary Wharf

Dropped in for a quick pint mid afternoon on the way back to the office.

A couple of ales on the hand pumps, but I didn’t fancy a Doom Bar or whatever the other offerings were so went for a keg pint of Sierra Nevada pale, not cheap mind at £5.55 a pint, but this is Canary Wharf.

Pretty empty so no annoying local workers, it did the job for a quick pint.

23 Dec 2016 14:33

Manor House, Royston

As the name suggests this used to be a Manor House & its now a very large well appointed Wetherspoons.

Busy when I arrived at 5.30pm on a Tuesday and got busier during the 90 minutes I spent here. As mentioned below the layout is different to a lot of other ‘spoons in that there is not a large main open area but instead many smaller rooms all on one level.

2 banks of 5 hand pumps, each with 4 ales on with a couple having the same on, so the choice was down to 5 ales. All the usual Wetherspoons brands of lager, cider and keg / craft beer also available. My pints of Arkell's Sir Neol @ 5.0% and Caledonian Cold Comfort went down well.

To the rear is a large garden which was mainly being used as a smoking area due to it being December and pretty chilly.

According to a pal of mine that visited several other pubs in the town on the same day this was by far the best. I would tend to agree but then The Manor House was the only one I visited.

23 Dec 2016 14:18

The Bunch of Grapes, London Bridge

Popped in on a Saturday night for a couple of pints with a pal. It was packed with several groups so getting served took a short while due to indecisive punters and one or two bar staff not knowing who was next.

Being a Young’s pub all 4 ales were from their stable, there’s also a decent selection of London craft beers in cans and bottles. I stayed on the cask ales and had 2 pints of London Gold that were both very drinkable.

Nice pub, busy, not overly cheap but it is in a large tourist area. More than serves a purpose and is one of the better Young’s pubs in Central London.

23 Dec 2016 14:00

The Red Lion, Bletchley

I was in the area for a MK Dons game so this was the perfect chance to tick this friendly community pub.

We arrived after a 20 minute walk from the stadium in the pouring rain, greeted warmly by the landlord and a few chatty locals.

There is 1 bar that serves the 2 very different rooms, both of them had live rugby on. In the larger bar area there’s a pool table which helped pass the time while we enjoyed our beers and kept out the rain.

3 ales as well as Old Rosie on the hand pumps. The 3 pints of Rudgate’s Ruby Mild were all on very good form.

The Red Lion overlooks a lock but on the day we visited the rain was so bad you could barely see outside. The welcome is warm inside as was the fire that was on. The ales are good and being under a 2 minute walk from Fenny Stratford station the location couldn’t be any better.

23 Dec 2016 13:45

Chandos, Honor Park

My first visit on a recent Friday evening since it re-opened under new management a few months back. Very busy with the usual locals in the smaller bar to the right of the main bar area (where they have always been), I think they still have a tele in here that shows sport but to be honest I didn’t venture in so I cannot confirm that. The main bar was a more mixed crow with a lot of mid 20’s early 30’s trendies and hipster’s, not the sort of people that used to frequent the Chandos!

Food is now offered in the form of take away pizzas from the open kitchen area behind the bar, they were doing a decent trade during the hour I spent here.

5 ales on these were cask & keg ales, apparently the IPA was not on good form but the 2 pints of Camden Town’s Gentleman’s Wit @ 4.3% were both very good.

The refurbishment and change of owners and clientele have made a massive change to what used a be rough hole of a pub. It just shows how the area has changed in recent years.

23 Dec 2016 13:39

The George & Dragon, Westerham

Visited recently on a Sunday for a family meal with a dozen of us that had been pre booked in advance.

First time the wife and I had been here but other members of the family had been before. One remarked that the pub during the day is very different to the evening mainly due to the younger local crowd that gets in here at night.

2 ales on the hand pumps which were both from Fullers, London Pride and Seafarer’s. The 3 pints of Seafarer’s I had were all very decently kept and poured.

With a dozen people to feed with ages ranging from 14 from 82, I thought the staff handled this well and the food was decent….though it could have been a bit hotter. One of the older members of my party had a moan!

The George is a very nice pub, it’s obviously got some age to it but not as old as the King’s Arms opposite, though I think the George has more character.

I’ll possibly not return here just for a drink but I would for food as members of the family live fairly close by. It’s decent and worth a stop for food.

23 Dec 2016 12:21

The Firkin Alehouse, Folkestone

This is the 2nd Micropub in the same street but is much more of a true micropub with no phones or electrical devices allowed. If they are used then a £1.00 donation to charity is demanded.

4 ales on, Marble Ale from Manchester was on good form, there were also 3 real ciders on. A small place with only 4 high tables and around 20 stalls.
The owner serves the ales direct from the cold room just behind the main room and there is only 1 toilet which is shared between both sexes.

A friendly enough place but I have been in micropubs with more atmosphere than this one, it just seemed a bit flat to me. The whole idea is no phones encourages conversation, except the couple of locals didn’t seem like they could be bothered speaking to anyone and the owner was just as quiet.

Another tick from the 2016 GBG but as I say I’ve been in better.

23 Dec 2016 11:38

The Chambers, Folkestone

A tick from the 2016 GBG while in the town for football. This upstairs café and restaurant has a lower level bar that’s perfect for whiling away an hour or so.

Feel’s like an underground cavern as the ceilings are quite low in the bar part with a larger more open area for diners through a small arch, the toilets are also this way.

4 ales on the handpumps, my pints of The Millers Canterbury Ales @ 4.2% were both very good. Only 1 other punter in when we arrived but the place filled up within 30 minutes.

A nice bar with friendly service and if I remember correctly reasonably priced drinks. Worth a visit as in the Firkin ale House a few doors up.

23 Dec 2016 10:23

The Samuel Peto, Folkestone

Large ex Church of England chapel converted into a double level Weatherspoon’s.

Dropped in for a quick pint on a recent Saturday morning for only my 2nd visit here, it was already busy at 11.30am with several of the punters looking a bit worse for wear already!

A few decent ales on the pumps, I had a pint of the local G2 Brewing’s Southern Cross @ 4.8%.

Nice building, plenty of space but still the standard ‘spoons.

23 Dec 2016 10:17

The Crown and Sugarloaf, Bride's Lane

A first ever visit to this quality little Samuel Smiths that I didn't even know existed.

Having got crowded out of the old bell after just 2 drinks I found myself outside this little gem and immediately wondered why it wasn't as busy as all the pubs in the immediate vicinity. The answer is simple......its a Sam Smiths pub and doesn't cater for the lager and proseco drinking fraternity.

The interior is like a parlour, full wood and etched glass panelled walls with the same behind the bar. The ceiling is also very ornate and is the perfect thing to look at when you're sat on your own staring around aimlessly.

Usual Sam Smiths selection and I can confirm that the Old Brewery Bitter was on good form.

22 Dec 2016 14:29

The Bricklayers Arms, Bromley

After a visit to Bromley FC myself and a pal spent all Saturday night in this very homely and welcoming Shepherd and Neame pub.

3 ales on which were all from Shepherd and Neame, my umpteen pints of Late Red were all excellent and went down a treat, in fact they went down so well I completely forgot how many I had drank and for how long I had been in the pub!

Busy nearly all night with locals, but it did empty out a bit after the live game on the TV ended.

Cracking pub with a nice friendly welcome, certainly the best pub in this part of Bromley.

22 Dec 2016 11:38

The Phoenix, York

The wife's favourite pub in York so we had to visit it before we left for the big smoke!

Busy in both rooms when we arrived just after 9pm on a recent Friday. We quickly secured a table and a couple of seats before I headed to the bar where 5 hand pumps had 5 ales on, the Landlord being on the same top form as my last visit in April.

A couple of pork pies were purchased along with the loan of the jars of branston and coleman’s mustard.

Pork pie’s duly polished off we settled down to a long chat with a few locals while groups did the same around us.

This really is a cracking pub, not quite my favourite in York but it’s well and truly up there.

22 Dec 2016 10:38

The Hop, York

Straight opposite the Blue Bell and it was in The Hop for a re-visit, having been here at Easter for the 1st time.

11 ales and 2 ciders on the cask and keg, I had an extremely good pint of the rather odd After Rat Mint @ 5.2% from the Rat Brewery, plenty of mint and strong taste in this pint!

Barely any standing room and certainly no seats available, there was also a queue for the pizza restaurant part of the bar. Musicians were setting up for live music while the trendy staff poured ales and presented lovely looking pizza’s.

I like the Hop, the wife is less keen but the ales are aplenty and well-kept and I like the older crowd that it attracts.

Scores highly again from me.

20 Dec 2016 17:08

The Blue Bell, York

A re-visit to this little gem of a pub at the start of Fossgate. It’s 6.30 on a Friday evening and the 2 rooms were jam packed there’s even a couple of fellas standing in the hall way between the 2 rooms.

We managed to nab one chair & plotted up right next to the bar. On the small bar there’s 7 ales on, I had a very good pint of Treboom Breweries Hop Britannia @ 5.0%.

Stopped for just over 30 minutes before moving on and allowing someone else to take our space. The Blue Bell really is a gem of a pub and is one that I cannot praise enough, many more visits and reviews of this pub to follow.

Score’s highly from me.

20 Dec 2016 11:26

Eagle and Child, York

As reported below this is a large and newly refurbished Leeds Brewery pub just a few steps from the Minister.

8 hand pumps offering 4 ales from Leeds Brewery and 4 guests. I had one of the guests in the shape of Bad Co's Wild Gravity @ 5.2%, a decent pint and yes I did feel like a kid ordering from the high bar at the front of the pub!

Busy with a lot people coming back from Christmas shopping combined with the early Friday night crowd. We stayed downstairs and managed to find a table and a couple of seats to enjoy our drinks at.

The building dates from the mid-17th Century and is grade 2 listed, there’s wonky floorboards towards the rear downstairs and lots of timber beams.

Music playing softly in the background, plenty of bar staff, the pub had a nice feel to it. I do plan to visit again as it got a thumb’s up from the wife.

20 Dec 2016 11:25

New Globe Inn, Malton

Dropped in for a pint after the poor Christies lights switch on in the Market Place.

Not a pub I would choose to visit as the ale choice was pretty lame and the pub was empty, however the Theakstons Best was more than drinkable.

Barely no punters in, the tv was on showing the horse racing so in my opinion it wasn't that bad. Not a rough or intimidating pub just pretty non-descript.

I doubt I will ever visit again.

18 Dec 2016 15:53

Spotted Cow, Malton

The Spotted Cow was the last of the 3 pubs I needed to tick from the 2016 GBG and its possibly not what I was expecting.

The pub didn’t feel like it had a huge amount of history or a locally important interior as written about just felt like an old fashioned locals pub.

Situated next to the cattle market the pub is split into 2 areas, a snug room at the front that I didn’t visit as no-one was sat in here, and a slightly larger open plan area to the rear with a real log fire burning. The half a dozen punters were in this rear room with a couple more out the back smoking.

4 hand pumps with 4 ales , the Tetley's was on good form, the other choices all being from the Marston’s stable.

Stopped just for 1 drink before moving on. I didn’t really get the feel of this pub but not everyone in the GBG is a great pub they are listed for different attributes.

18 Dec 2016 12:44

The Blue Ball, Malton

An afternoon and evening spent in Malton for a few beers and the Christmas lights switch on!

We started here which was my 2nd tick from the 2016 GBG, the sign has been removed from the outside so you only know it’s the Blue Ball from the writing on the stain glass door.

Once you’re inside there’s multiple rooms with a room to the left of the bar set up with a tv (showing horse racing on my visit) and an original fireplace. The other rooms were empty and are all different, this really is a maze of a pub that is pretty much untouched. It does have a charm to it including the tiny bar area that’s barely large enough to get a person behind it.

This small bar top only allows for 3 hand pumps each with ales on which were Tetley's Cask, Brains Rev James and Timothy Taylor Landlord, my 2 pints of Tetley's were on good form, £3.00 a pint.

We stopped for over an hour, chatting to the locals, landlady and watching the racing on the tv. A friendly bunch of people, nice pub, good ales, worthy of a spot in the GBG in my mind and defiantly worth a visit in you’re in Malton.

18 Dec 2016 11:49

York Tap, York

A 2 pint visit after football at Bootham Crescent during midweek.

As per previous visits a very decent selection of ales on with 19 on cask with another 12 ales, lagers and ciders on keg. I had a pint each of the Glastonbury Thriller @ 5.0% and Tapped Mojo @ 3.6% both went down a treat.

Fairly quiet at 10.15pm but it’s a large place. Great selection of ales and yes it is a bit on the pricey side but it does keep the riff raff out.

18 Dec 2016 11:48

The Punchbowl, York

Deceivingly large Nicholsons pub in the centre of the City on Stonegate. A Tuesday evening stop for a bite to eat and a pint with the wife.

8 ales on with at least 6 of them from Yorkshire, I had a pint of Moles Mole Catcher @ 5.0%, well poured but this ale has a weird slightly overpowering taste.

We both ordered Chicken Burgers which came with chips and homemade coleslaw, a decent meal and not badly priced either.

The pub itself is very pleasant, has 3 different areas, 2 mainly for drinkers and a more of a dining room just off of the corridor, service is swift and conversation is able to be had without any blaring music.

I choose this pub as we wanted food and I like Nicholson’s pubs, they always have a good range of ales on, this visit did not disappoint and the food made sure the wife was happy.

15 Dec 2016 11:39

Major Toms Social, Harrogate

Am I really the first person to post about Major Tom’s? Looks like I am!

It’s a very trendy bar upstairs from a vintage clothing, ceramics and music emporium. The area is open plan with the bar to your left as you enter and a mish mash of tables and chairs in the middle & round the edges. The walls are adorned with vintage movie posters and there's a large bookcase with vintage magazines to read as well as daily newspapers.

Music plays softly, enough to listen to but not that you cannot speak over it without shouting.

Now onto the beers, the 4 cask pumps all have ales from Yorkshire on including Rooster's Major Tom's Social @ 3.7% which was my choice and was very drinkable and affordable at £3.00 a pint. In addition there's 4 ales on keg, these are priced per third or half, whereas the cask ales are all per pint, all prices are displayed on a board by the bar.

About a 3rd full on my visit, the bar has a really nice atmosphere to it and is a nice place to spend some time.

15 Dec 2016 11:38

The Winter Gardens, Harrogate

A Sunday afternoon visit to this cavernous 'spoons in the Winter Gardens building. A stunning conversion into a pub with most of the original features either left in tact or restored, this is a stunning building.

Was very busy but the place is so big there's a massive amount of tables, seats and standing area's.

The long L shaped bar has 3 banks of hand pumps totalling 15, with at least 8 ales on and a few ciders. I went for a pint of Rudgate's Ale Storm @ 4.0%., well kept and very drinkable.

Quick service from the many bar staff. A very good 'spoons in a stunning building offering a decent range of ales.

Another pub ticked from the GBG.

12 Dec 2016 12:38

The Ebor, Bishopthorpe

Another visit to the Ebor for a meal and a few beers.

Extremely glad to see that nothing has changed since our last visit here at Easter, the food is still good quality home cooked and served in large portions and the Old Brewery bitter is still under £2.00 a pint and very drinkable.

Busy again during our 3 hour stay. The Ebor is a great pub, good food, quality ale, old style décor and of course conversation is king with no music or fruit machines etc. in the lunge bar.

Still rated highly by this reviewer.

12 Dec 2016 12:37

The Ladywell Tavern, Ladywell

Popped in for a quick beer on the 3rd day they reopened under new management this week.

I'm impressed. The decor is good quality shabby chic , the flooring is stripped floorboards and the brickwork is exposed. A bit of artwork hangs on the walls and the lighting is atmospheric but not too dark!

4 cask ales on the 4 pumps, just like the previous version of the pub had. These ales were 2 from Sambrook's and 2 from Laine Brewery, I had a pint of Bestist Bitter @ 4.3% from Laine, a decent pint at a cost of £4.30.

A good mix of music played at an acceptable level, the new bar staff fluffed around the punters and put reserved flags out on certain tables no doubt for the diners that were due later.

My first visit was a success and I can see me using this pub regularly, it is after all just a 10 minute walk from my house!

11 Dec 2016 13:35

The Maltings, York

My first visit for over 2 years even though I’ve been back to York several times since my last visit so a return was long overdue.

Extremely busy at 5.30pm on a Saturday, the bouncers were on but the crowd inside were very well behaved. Quick service from the bar staff, this is a well oiled machine when it’s busy and glass collection is key, nothing left to be knocked over or any dirty tables.

7 hand pumps with cask ales plus another 4 with craft on. A real mix of breweries and styles. I went for a pint of Bragdy Heavy Industries Electric Welsh Landyland @ 5.5% on cask, as I’ve experienced here before the ale is well kept and this pint was no different. In addition there's at least 6 good quality European lagers and 2 ciders available on draught and a large number of craft cans and bottles, this really is a ale drinkers heaven.

The décor is well thought out with a large quantity of old advertising signs and newspaper cuttings lining the walls.

I love this pub, it’s easily one of my favourites in the country let alone York and I really should visit ever time I’m in the City.

If you haven’t been, then I suggest you make a visit.

8 Dec 2016 15:41

The White Horse, York

Thwaites tied house on Bootham and the perfect stop for a quick pre match pint.

5 hand pumps with 3 ales (all from the Thwaites stables) and a cider on. I went for the Lancaster Bomber @ 4.4%, a thoroughly decent pint.

On a Saturday afternoon it was catering for the sports crowd, with a few large screens showing the Rugby, a TV showing the horse racing and another the football scores. Pretty packed with both men and women, nearly all locals by the look of it.

Never been here before but from this quick visit I can recommend it for a pre or post-match pint.

7 Dec 2016 16:21

The Princess of Wales, Charing Cross

I used to use this pub extensively back in the 90’s when I worked in the area, in fact I was here so often my mother once phoned the pub to get hold of me, how things have changed as this was my first visit for well over 12 + years.

Now a Nicholson’s pub internally it looks extremely different to when I last visited, outside it’s pretty much the same.

Very busy with standing room only at 11pm on a recent Friday night, the bouncers didn’t seem to be restricting who was going in so it just got busier.

Half a dozen ales on the hand pumps, I went straight for a pint of their house beer brewed by St Austall. A fine beer but slightly annoying to be sold it in a hard plastic glass, this was the norm unless you had a bottled beer which they gave you in the bottle, work that one out!

Stayed for 1 drink before closing time was announced. I may wait another dozen years to return who knows.

6 Dec 2016 13:14

The Ship and Shovell, Charing Cross

A Friday night visit after an England game at Wembley. Probably more than 10 years since I’ve been here and I’ve always drank in the larger right hand pub (if coming under the arches) however on this occasion we went in the left hand bar,

Was a Harvey’s run pub on my last visit and is now owned and managed by Badger Brewery. 3 of their ales on the 4 hand pumps, I had 2 pints of First Call, both decent enough.

Busy with a wide mix of punters, no spare seats downstairs and the upstairs crow’s nest also seemed packed, this was judged by the amount of punters going up and down the stairs!

We stayed until throwing out time. Nice enough pub with decent ale.

6 Dec 2016 13:12

The Allsop Arms, Marylebone

Quick 1 pint visit on the way to Wembley for the England vs Scotland game.

I have used the Allsop several times over the years' when at Wembley for various sporting occasions.

On this visit it was strictly a quick pint of lager in a plastic glass , drinkable but unidentifiable.

Bouncers on the door and meatheads inside. I've had better experiences in this pub.

5 Dec 2016 13:44

The Marylebone, Marylebone

First visit here having walked past several months back when I was in the area pub ticking, I didn't fancy popping in that day.

On this visit I was disappointed to find only lager and cider on offer as I was informed by the barman that the real ale pump wasn't working!

Decorated very neutrally but with low lighting giving the pub a very dark feel to it. The bar is stocked with a large quantity of good quality spirits, this place did feel more of a wine bar than a pub.

Music played at an acceptable level but it was loud in here with most punters shouting above the music.

Nice enough pub but the absence of real ale wasn't good for me.

5 Dec 2016 13:43

The Capitol, Forest Hill

A late Saturday night visit a few weeks back on my own.

Stayed for 2 pints and tucked into Windsor and Eton’s Guardsmen @ 4.2% which was on good form.

Still a standard ‘spoons overall but it does the job so there’s nothing for this reviewer to complain about…well not on this visit anyway.

5 Dec 2016 13:41

The Limes Hotel, Needham Market

A short walk up the High Street from the Swan and the place to drink is the pub / bar that is part of the Limes Hotel.

It has a separate entrance from the hotel which brings you into a square room with timber beams and a large open fireplace. Behind the fireplace is an arch and a small tunnel running through it, most unusual.

Only 1 ale on which was GK Abbot Ale so it was onto the bottled ales, so a cold bottle of Old Golden Hen was purchased.

We stopped here just for 1 drink before moving on, a nice enough bar / pub but with only 3 other punters in and no tv or music it was a bit quiet for a Saturday afternoon.

5 Dec 2016 13:32

The Swan Inn, Needham Market

Large Greene King pub in the High Street and opposite the road to the train station.

3 ales on cask which were Speckled Hen, GK IPA and Fireside with East Coast IPA on keg. I had 2 pints of Fireside which were both drinkable.

A nice friendly pub with an eating area through an arch beyond the bar. Back towards the door before the small bar is a pool table, dart board and a couple of fruit machines.

Worth a visit if in the village.

1 Dec 2016 14:06

The Hamilton Hall, Liverpool Street

Sunday afternoon visit after a weekend away. Packed downstairs with no seating and barely any standing space so we went upstairs and bagged a table.

5 ales on up here, first pint was Legend from The Nottingham Brewery @ 4.0%, I then moved onto Milk Street’s Beer Blonde @ 5.0% both were very drinkable.

This pub always serves a purpose, good range of ales, fairly quick service due to the number of staff they always have on and perfect for Liverpool St station.

Certainly one of the better ‘spoons in London.

1 Dec 2016 14:02

The Joseph Conrad, Lowestoft

Time to kill before our train back on Sunday morning so we had a quick pint in this large 'spoons opposite the station.

At 10.50am it was already packed , most of the tables taken up with diners who were no doubt cashing in on the cheap breakfasts.

10 hand pumps with 7 ales on, I had a pint of Halloween inspired Boo @ 5.2% from St Peters.

Nice spoons, well kept with tables cleared regularly even though it was busy.

30 Nov 2016 14:12

Norman Warrior, Lowestoft

After a couple of ales in the Stanford we took a cab here for some food.

We sat in the dining area of the pub that looks like it’s been re-decorated recently. 2 courses ordered while tucking into the Wells Bombardier Reserve @ 5.2% from the choice of the 5 ales that were on, they also had 4 real ciders.

The food was good, not spectacular just good honest pub grub with quick & attentive service from the 2 waitresses.

After our meal we retired to the lounge area where we stayed drinking until close to midnight.

The lounge is different to the main bar area that has a pool table, fruit machines and a juke box. Older style decoration in the lounge a bit like a 1980’s front room, but it works.

Good pub, the ale was on fine form and the food was decent.

Get’s an 8/10 from me.

30 Nov 2016 13:08

Stanford Arms, Lowestoft

11 hand pumps and ales on, the pints of Three Blind Mice’s Table Liquor @ 3.0% I had were very good. In addition there was at least 4 real ciders on.

Was busy here when we arrived but then emptied out when the music started at around 7.30pm.

A proper traditional street corner pub that is in the heart of the community.

Cracking pub & deserves all of the awards it has won for it’s ale and ciders.

29 Nov 2016 13:34

The Factory Arms, Lowestoft

5 of us spent a few hours here watching the live football on a Saturday lunchtime while the landlady and barmaid were busy decorating the whole pub for Halloween!

No ales on cask so I had to settle for Adnams lager on keg.

Stayed until just after 2.30pm before heading off to Lowestoft FC.

Decent enough pub that serves a purpose as it's right by the football ground.

29 Nov 2016 13:24

Lord Nelson, Lowestoft

Midday on a Saturday and the pubs has 2 punters in when me and my pal arrive.

The whole place is done out ready for Halloween , fake cobwebs, netting on the tables and plenty of pumpkin lanterns…there was a pattern forming as the other 2 pubs I visited during the day also had over the top decorations for Halloween!

No real ale on cask but they did have 6 different ales in bottles in the fridge. All of them reasonably priced at £3.00 each. I opted for a bottle of Wychwood Breweries Dunkel Fester @ 4.4%, a strange Halloween style ale.

Radio music playing from the TV on the wall, the Pool table & dart board were both unused as the other punters that arrived during our short stay all settled at the bar and discussed the forthcoming Halloween party.

Not a bad pub marked up for having bottled ales in the fridge where as other pubs might not have bothered.

29 Nov 2016 13:17

The Jolly Sailors, Pakefield

A mid evening visit to this very busy pub and restaurant on a Friday evening, we got here just before the live music started and left about 20 minutes later!

There were 4 ales on the hand pumps, 2 from Adnams, Trawlerboys from Green Jack and my choice which was Grain’s Threeonesix @ 3.8%. It was okay but didn’t quite cut it with me.

A large open plan pub with a separate dining room to the right as you enter, once the music started the door was closed on the diners, may have been because there were kids in the dining room.

As mentioned above a live band were playing and to be honest this ruined our visit a bit as we couldn’t talk over the music (fair enough I hear you say) and that’s why we left and returned to the Trowel & Hammer.

Large frontage area over looking the cliffs and sea, might be worth another visit….the food I saw go past me looked good.

28 Nov 2016 16:29

The Trowel and Hammer, Lowestoft

A Friday evening visit to this homely local after a couple of beers in the Oddfellows.

3 ales on, Robinsons Trooper wasn't the best but it was drinkable, I didn't try the Doombar but the Bombardier Burning Gold was very good, several pints of this was sunk later in the evening while playing pool.

The pub is carpeted and has artex walls and some faux wooden beams. Up a few steps towards the back garden and car park is another seating area that had diners in on this visit. At the back of the pub is a huge very well appointed beer garden. Loads of seating & room for the kids to run around in, there’s also slides and swings etc. This garden leads onto the cliff walkway.

Back inside the pub tucked away around from the bar is a Pool table, dart board & fruit machine.

This was the pub we spent the most time in on the Friday night and I can honestly say it’s very good. Bar staff and punters all very friendly.

28 Nov 2016 15:24

The Oddfellows, Lowestoft

A Friday afternoon visit to this GBG listed boozer in a residential area at the top of the cliff overlooking the sea.

Fairly busy here, several walkers with their dogs in this dog friendly pub. 5 hand pumps, 4 ales on. I had a couple of pints of Green Jack's Pakefield Pride @ 3.8%.

In the bar area the walls are adorned with photos of old Pakefield and the surrounding coast. There is a restaurant area to the right of the small bar that's laid for diners, fish and local produce feature heavily on the menu.

With the weather being so mild several punters were sat out the front of the pub. Stayed for a couple of drinks before moving on to 2 other pubs locally.

The Odd as its known locally is a decent pub, with well kept ales and friendly staff and locals.

28 Nov 2016 15:09

The Watch House, Lewisham

Popped in for a couple of pints on Saturday afternoon on the way to football.

Busy with the usual locals, Lewisham style !

Quick service but only 2 bar staff on.

A decent selection of festival ales on, I had a few pints of Theakston’s Vanilla Stout @ 4.5 %.

Been several years since I’ve been in. Does the job.

28 Nov 2016 12:29

The Bootham Tavern, York


Currently closed, no idea if it will re-open

21/11/16

21 Nov 2016 00:38

O'Neill's, Wallington

A late Saturday night visit while in the area to tick both the Wallington Arms and The Whispering Moon.

It wasn’t on my list but one of my travelling party insisted on visiting so we did. Very bright, loud and busy when we got here at about 9.30pm.

3 ales on with all of them priced at £1.99 per pint, pints of Hobgoblin were enjoyed but not by me as I decided I’d had enough ale for the day and went onto the bottled cider.

Lots of blokes posturing and standing around the pool table, music played loudly, people chatted loudly and their was boxing on the large tv screens.

Stayed for a couple of drinks and watched the boxing on Sky, not a bad pub but could be a bit dodgy I guess judging by the clientele, not on my visit though, but unsure I’ll return as the Wallington Arms and The Whispering Moon are more my type of pub and both appear in the GBG.

6/10

11 Nov 2016 14:06

Whispering Moon, Wallington

Extremely packed on the Saturday evening I visited after ticking the Wallington Arms opposite.

The beer festival was on so the choice of ales were all from the festival range, several new beers on the hand pumps so I opted for a pint of Cameron’s Craft Press Gang @ 4.0%.

This used to be the local cinema and pictures of the old building line the walls along with several pictures of past film stars.

Seems to be a community ‘spoons with all of the punters appearing to be locals. Service was swift, the ale choice and quality was good and of course it’s ‘spoons prices.

Deserves a better rating than 3.1 (before my review).

11 Nov 2016 12:55

Wallington Arms, Wallington

A Saturday evening visit to this large Antic pub ideally situated for Wallington station and the ‘spoons opposite which along with the Wallington Arms make up the 2 pubs that feature in the 2016 GBG.

4 hand pumps, I opted for a pint of Wild Beer’s Bibble which was served in a dimpled jug as per the norm in Antic pubs, a straight glass is available you just have to let the bar staff know!

Busy during our 30 minutes visit with the clientele mainly made up of 30 something couples and blokes. The usual eclectic mix of furnishings and exposed brickwork and plenty of fairy lights.

With 2 more pubs to visit during this short stop in Wallington time only allowed for 1 pint. I like the Wallington Arms and may make another visit in the future.

11 Nov 2016 10:41

Penny Black, Leatherhead

Large Young's pub that was showing the football on a Saturday teatime so was worth a stop for a few pints. Busy inside with most people watching the 2 games on the screens, there was also several families with young children.

Long straight bar that has 5 hand pumps, 3 ales on I had several pints of Hop Stuff’s Pale Ale, a nice pint poured and kept well. Better than the pint of Wandle I had on a previous visit.

Even though it was busy we managed to bag a table to settle and watch the match.

Modern interior and as previously mentioned used to be the local post office.

10 Nov 2016 18:06

The Running Horse, Leatherhead

2 visits on a Saturday afternoon while in the town for football.

First visit at 2.15pm when the pub was busy (both bars), mainly with Dulwich Hamlet fans, a lot of people standing outside as the weather was good.

6 hand pumps with 4 ales on, 3 of them from Shepheard & Neame (it’s still a Shep’s tied pub), the other ale was Ranmore @ 3.8% from Surrey Hills Brewery, not a great pint but unsure if it was the ale or the condition but not that enjoyable.

Another visit after the match when it was raining really hard so again both bars were busy.

Pleased to report the landlord was in a happier mood than on my last visit, though him and staff are still slightly odd!

Appears in the 2017 GBG. A nice looking pub with low beams and hops in the front bar, a raised area for diners, small courtyard style garden, the other bar is open plan with a pool table and jukebox.

Worth a visit & very handy for the football ground

10 Nov 2016 18:02

The Spread Eagle, Croydon

A Saturday morning re-visit to this attractive Fullers pub. I was only the 2nd punter in at 11am on a mid October morning.

Warmly greeted by the smiling barmaid as I looked along the 6 cask hand pumps packed with 5 Fullers ales and Beatnik from Gypsy Hill. Another bank of 6 had the same ales on save from a spare pump that was displaying Gypsy Hills Southpaw as coming soon.

I only visited here at the end of July when I commented on what an attractive interior the Spreadeagle has, in the light of day it looks even more impressive.

Music played softly as I read the paper, occasionally glanced at the TV on mute and enjoyed my pint of Red Fox @ 4.3%, made all the sweeter by a discount received using my camra card.

A very nice pub in my opinion.

10 Nov 2016 18:01

The Blythe Hill Tavern, Forest Hill

A Tuesday night visit to watch football on the tv with a pal. It’s been a couple of months since I’ve been in but I was greeted like an old friend by Con the landlord on arrival.

We stayed until close and I can report that the Darkstar Hophead is still a perfect drop of ale.

As per my other postings this is a cracker of a pub, in fact it’s a proper pub.

9 Nov 2016 18:15

The Earl of Camden, Camden

Not review since my own one last year, so here goes this year's review......

A Monday night visit after working locally. Good to find out that all of the ales are £2.55 a pint on a Monday ,that’s a saving of over a £1.00 a pint.

6 hand pumps that had 5 ales on, I started on and stayed on Robinson’s Trooper all evening, the more I had the worse it tasted but after 5 pints I’d had enough of it.

It’s a nice enough large open plan sports and music orientated pub, the service is a bit slow and non-existent sometimes and the food I had on this visit (Nacho’s) were pretty damn ordinary, bland and fairly tasteless but full of jalapeno’s to give it a bit of a kick.

The clientele is mixed between locals and tourists of all ages. As I say not a bad pub but it feels just like a chain and can be a bit soulless, though it does serve a purpose..

Convenient for London Zoo, Regents Park and Camden.

9 Nov 2016 13:44

The Camden Eye, Camden

My annual visit was a on a Sunday night for quick pint just before closing time

6 hand pumps, I had a pint of Watney’s Pale Ale @ 4.2%. A decent pint but spoilt by the music being too bloody loud….and I mean seriously loud.

Even though it’s opposite Camden Town tube station it’s really not worth a visit unless you want to burst your eardrums!

9 Nov 2016 13:42

Flannery's, Wembley

I’m very surprised that this pub has no reviews.

After an uninspiring visit to JJ Moons the other side of the station we got here just as the Scotland football match was kicking off on the TV. Packed inside and out with a mix of ages, this really is one of only a handful of pubs and bars in this area and to be honest it’s pretty decent.

No ale on cask but they did have the very drinkable Guinness Hop House 13 lager, a tad pricey at £4.50 a pint but it was blinking good.

A real traditional Irish pub, it’s also very sport orientated, the Scotland football game was on 3 tv’s, rugby followed darts on another, plus there’s serval fruit and quiz machines and a juke box which kicked into life after the football ended.

We spent nearly 4 hours here with the Hop House 13 slipping down very nicely. Not my usual choice of a pub but this more than served a purpose and it’s a pub will use again when at Wembley.

Friendly bar staff and punters. I give this pub 8/10 based on this one visit.

7 Nov 2016 14:21

J J Moons, Wembley

At Wembley for a Saturday teatime England game at the stadium. 2 of us got here just before 7pm and it was starting to fill up with diners and the after football crowd.

A sign was up behind the bar advising everyone that it was normal pricing! This meant that 2 pints of Twickenham Breweries Naked Ladies was nearly £8.00, definitely not ‘Spoon’s normal prices.

It’s a large pub done out in a older style with several tv’s and a large projector screen at one end.

We only stopped for 1 pint before moving on, this is a fairly bog standard ‘spoon’s that on this my one and only visit was just above average.

5/10

7 Nov 2016 08:59

The Windermere, South Kenton

Football at Wembley so I took the opportunity of ticking this GBG entry in an otherwise desert for real ale.

Right outside the station is this huge & imposing 1930's brick built pub, its similar externally and internally as the Eastbrook in Dagenham that I visited a while back.

As I entered into one of the bars I felt like I had stepped back 30 years , its well kept with a full checked carpet, clean wooden tables, chairs and red velvet banquette seating around the edges. There's a tiled art deco fireplace with an art deco Courage mirror above it, doesn't look like its been used for many years but is well preserved.

The walls are fully wood panelled and the wooden bar tops sport the pubs name which is back lit.

Only I ale available which was Courage Best, the pints I had were all good.

A pool table on one side and several TV’s dotted about give the pub a sport’s theme.

Well run and well managed, my afternoon visit was very good and it’s on the list of pubs to use while visiting Wembley.

7 Nov 2016 08:58

The Victoria, Bayswater

A Thursday afternoon visit to this Fullers pub. Appears in the current GBG and also the 2017 version, I assume for its ale and interior which is cracking.

Surprisingly busy for a pub that doesn't strike me as being a locals pub. The clientele were mainly all office / city types. The area around the pub is made up of hotels, hostels and large expensive apartments and flats.

The walls are covered with framed pictures of Queen Victoria, the wallpaper is best described as opulent, there's a serious of wood panelling, ornate gilded mirrors, a wooden and tiled fireplace and some attractive lamps and chandeliers.

Seating is arranged around the outside with a quantity of stools at the bar. In addition to the main bar area there is also a theatre bar and library.....I didn't check these out.

On the 5 hand pumps were 4 Fullers ales and Gipsy Hills Beatnik. I opted for Chiswick Bitter, a nice well kept pint and at £3.60 a pint it was very reasonable in this part of town.

Has apparently been a pub for over 170 years.

Not an area I've ever really drank in, just a passing stop from time to time so no wonder I've missed this gem. Its well worth the visit and it's inclusion in the GBG.

9/10

4 Nov 2016 17:15

The Lion and Unicorn, Kentish Town


A well appointed and decorated Young’s pub with it's own theatre in the heart of a residential area.

4 ales on the 5 hand pumps, Redemption’s Big Chief @ 5.5% was extremely drinkable

Large front and rear beer gardens, plenty of food available and an open plan kitchen so you can see what’s being cooked (if that float’s your boat).

Again another pub that appears in the GBG. Nice pub & worth a visit.

3 Nov 2016 15:17

The Grafton Arms, Kentish Town

This large ex crap hole of a pub is now very trendy , I understand it sells good food but it’s the appreance in the Good Beer Guide for the last couple of years that had me visiting on a Tuesday night visit for the first time.

From the 8 hand pumps there were 4 ales and 1 real cider on. My pint of Purity Ubu was okay but I’ve had better pint’s of this ale before. Cracking interior with lots of restored features including the very attractive tiled bar spelling out the name The Grafton, in addition there’s wooden flooring throughout and large windows.

This visit was made on pub quiz night which most of the pub were participating in. I didn’t venture up to the garden area, it’s a really nice pub but very trendy and not as homely feeling as the ‘Admiral.

Still another one ticked in the area.

3 Nov 2016 14:22

Tapping the Admiral, Camden Town

After a quick beer in the Abbey I started ticking 3 of the 4 pubs in Kentish Town from the 2016 GBG, first stop this old fashioned corner plot pub in a residential area.

Apparently it has been saved by the community and is now a haven for good ale and conversation. I can certainly agree with the good ale part, with 7 ales on across the 10 hand pumps on my quick visit. The 2 pints of Acorn Barnsley Gold @ 4.3% were both excellent.

One side of the pub is rich in Navy memorabilia while the other side is decorated in a more traditional style with lamps and a privacy board. The ceiling by the bar is adorned with pump clips aplenty, far too many to count.

There’s a garden to the side and the pub’s black and white cat is also worth a mention, sleeping away on a stool by the door.

Decent pub that was fairly busy at 7.30 on a Tuesday evening.

3 Nov 2016 14:21

The Abbey, Kentish Town

My first ever visit here on a Tuesday evening for a quick pint and to pay some money for a party I was throwing 2 evenings later.

This large open plan street corner pub is pretty dark inside and has a full wooden floor. To the back of the pub past the kitchen is a small single room that hosts private events, this opens on to the large courtyard garden with heaters and covered areas for diners, drinkers and smokers.

On the bar were 3 hand pumps that had 2 ales on these were Sharp’s Doombar & Sambrook's Pumphouse Pale. I instead opted for a pint of Five Points Brewing Company Five Points Pale @ 4.4% on keg, a nice pint with a price tag of £4.40.

The open mic evening was being set up while we were here so we sat out in the garden area and then left before it started.

My visit back here 2 evenings later for a party was very good and again the Five Points Pale was on good form.

I like this pub.

2 Nov 2016 09:18

The Dutch House, Eltham


Closed in September the future of this pub is uncertain

2 Nov 2016 09:17

Kings Stores, Bishopsgate

Our 2nd pub on a Saturday evening, I've walked past here several times but this was my first venture inside.

A large stripped back pub with one bar serving 2 separate areas. The front area with its large plain windows is more a bar with lots of floor space, while the other area is packed with tables and chairs and is more for diners, however this area was mainly being used by groups like us who needed to rest our tired bodies! In this area they also offer waitress service which is dead handy if you are lazy and cannot be bothered to get up and go to the bar, beware though that 50p is added to your bill for this service.

When we arrived the pub was half busy but it filled over the hour and half we were here.

Now onto the ales, 5 hand pumps, I had a few pints of the Golden Ale @ 4.0% from Hackney Brewery

Upstairs are the toilets and a separate function room which was packed out.

I also thought this was a GK pub, maybe it was but I'm not sure it is anymore.

31 Oct 2016 14:16

The Magpie, Bishopsgate

A Saturday evening visit with a few pals.

I have only been to this Nicholsons pubs once before and that was to tick it from the GBG a few years back.

I like Nicholsons pubs, they are generally older style pubs that had been sensitively restored with the old features brought back to life, their ale choices are pretty good as well with a lot of smaller national breweries generally represented, the Magpie is no different with 6 ales on the 10 hand pumps. I had a couple of pints of Sharps Rising Tide, a very drinkable pint @ 4.2%.

Fairly busy with mainly tourists here for a few drinks and food, though I didn't see any good being delivered or eaten.

Quick service from the bar staff, usual Central London prices, a good place for a few ales, I like the Magpie and will use it again.

31 Oct 2016 14:10

Jam Circus, Brockley

A visit with the wife on a recent Saturday afternoon for a pint and a late brunch.

Busy with the back of the bar resembling a kids party / club, the noise was pretty loud but it was more sedate at the front where it mainly all adults, music played softly.

3 ales and a cider on the hand pumps, my pint of Brockley Pale Ale was decent, I cannot remember the other choices of ale. The food was good and served promptly, good value for money also.

Its been a couple of years since I've even popped I here for a drink, but this was a refreshing visit and there’s no reason why I shouldn’t be using this place as it’s so close to home, though the Beer Dispensary does have a more adult feel to it.

27 Oct 2016 15:03

The George and Dragon, Thames Ditton

With football in the area on a Tuesday night a few of us met at this very charming and ideally located Shepherd and Neame pub.

The weather was pleasant so we sat outside in the shade along with several; groups of locals, the pub was busy but most of the punters were in fact sat outside.

I only ventured in once and that was to get a round of drinks. On the bar was 2 banks of 4 hand pumps, offering a total of 4 different ales all from the Shepherd and Neame stable. The several pints of Spitfire Gold I had was on good form.

Internally the decoration is very homely and gives the feel of someone’s front room. A nice pub with good service and ales, therefore worthy of a visit.

27 Oct 2016 14:30

Bo-peep, St Leonards on Sea

After a day and night out in Hastings this was our last pub & last drink of the day, around 11.30pm.

Fairly empty when we arrived, but the music was playing from the juke box and a couple of the TV’s were on the oppsosite side of the bar where the 2 pool tables are.

I was pretty tired and had all but done with beer for the day so I opted for a pint of Strongbow, nothing to complain about with a pint of this fizzy cider.

Several bar staff on that were kicking back and relaxing. Nice enough pub but it was late & empty so not much to judge on.

Seems a nice enough pub though.

27 Oct 2016 14:14

White Rock Hotel, Hastings

The bar in this large hotel facing the pier appears in the 2016 GBG, so after a gig on the pier it was the perfect place to end the evening.

The Hotel looks like it’s recently been revamped and feels quite luxurious, the bar has 4 hand pumps with 4 ales, a nice mix of style’s and abv’s, my pint of Harvey's South Down Harvest @ 5.0% was very good.

It was a pleasant evening so we took our drinks and joined some friendly locals on the veranda at the front of the hotel overlooking the beach and pier.

We only stayed for one drink but I like this place, it had a good feeling to it and the ale was good.

27 Oct 2016 14:10

The Jenny Lind, Hastings

I had heard of this pub before but I thought it was a 'spoons! Its very definitely not a 'spoons, it doesn't have rakes of old men, cheap food or poor and slow service.... in fact it’s the absolute opposite.

10 hand pumps which are made up of 4 regular cask ales and 6 guests with the guests changing regularly. The wife and I spent a few hours here several Saturday’s ago and I can report that Bingham's Vanilla Stout @ 5.0% was on great form.

Packed when we got here just after 5pm and then got even busier when the band came on from 6pm playing a mix of Blues and Country they were very good and well received by the up for it local crowd.

There’s a quieter bar on the opposite side of the front bar where it seemed that conversation was king, the pub also has rooms above and a bar billiard table.

Out of the 6 pubs we visited in one day and evening in Hastings this was my favourite. Really quick and good service, great choice of ales, live music and a friendly bunch of locals. Score’s highly from me.

25 Oct 2016 09:45

The Filo (First In Last Out), Hastings

As mentioned by previous reviewers this is the official Filo Brewery tap.

The wife and I visited here late afternoon on a Saturday, it’s another busy pub in the old town area no spare seats so it was standing room only until someone left.

An older style pub with a large fireplace / well in the middle of the bar near the toilets, carpeted throughout in a 1980’s family home style!

5 of their ales on, this is a new brewery for me so I had a pint of Churches @ 4.2%, in addition to the 5 FILO ales they also had Adnams Broadside on.

We only stopped for as long as it took us to drink our drinks, a nice enough pub and maybe on my next visit I’ll work through the taps and spend a bit longer here.

24 Oct 2016 13:06

The Crown, Hastings

Pub number 2 and its the very trendy Crown which is just a short walk from the front in the Old Town. Another very busy pub this one with an older crowd and 30 something’s with their kids.

Revamped decor making it atmospheric aswell as retaining the charm of a pub. The front bar area was packed and very well managed by the ample amount of bar staff on. On the other side of the bar is a dining area that was also packed, certainly no room in this inn!

4 ales on the cask pumps with another 4 ales and lagers on keg. I had a very good cask pint of Downlands Brewery’s NZ Red @ 4.3%. In addition there is also a very good selection of European and Belgian bottled ales in the fridges.

We stopped here for around 45 minutes keeping out of the rain that suddenly fell. A cracking pub that really feels like it’s been transported from a hip area of London, but to be honest I found Hastings Old Town really good, a great selection of boozers and there’s certainly something good going on at this end of town.

As I’m the first reviewer on here I assume it’s just never been visited or added before, get yourself in here and get a review on.

24 Oct 2016 13:02

The Dolphin Inn, Hastings

A weekend in Hastings for a gig with the wife and with 5 pubs in the current GBG we started here mid afternoon.

Very busy when we got here with food being popular which was a result as we were both hungry.

4 ales on, 2 from Harvey’s along with Darkstar's Hophead and my choice which was Burton Bridge's Golden Flame @ 4.3%, bit of strange brewery to find so far South, though it was a very well kept pint.

There's a fishing theme here with nets, baskets and rope knots hanging from the ceilings. In addition they also have a very large collection of pump clips on the ceiling in the main bar area.

Good food, the cod and chips was very nice, though the wife said her burger was a bit too big! Good quality though.

Tables and benches to the front overlooking the huts and sea. On a hot September day these were all packed.

The town was buzzing with various events on, though I understand this is a popular pub anyway and a great place to start the day in.

20 Oct 2016 17:30

Pepper Saint Ontiod, Isle of Dogs

A Friday night visit for a few beers after work, I got here at 6.30pm and it was already pretty busy….but to be honest this pub is always busy in the evenings. Service was quicker than normal, they had more staff on and one of the young lads was very much on it.

4 ales on which were Doombar, Volden, Hop Stuff’s Fusilier and Truman’s Firestarter. Hop Stuff’s Fusilier and Truman’s Firestarter were both drinkable.

Having reviewed the Pepper a few times over the years there isn’t really much else to say, nothing’s changed since my last visit in July, they still serve a good mix of ales and the furniture and décor is still odd.

18 Oct 2016 16:48

The Sovereigns, Woking

A Tuesday night re-tick this to the GBG entry that’s located on the right side of the station for the football ground.

Large pub with various rooms and a good food menu….though I have never eaten here it just looks and smells good. On the bar are 8 hand pumps with a good selection of 8 ales. The several pints of Hadrian Border’s Tyneside Blonde @ 3.9% were very good, and they tasted even better knowing I had used my Camra card for a 10% discount!

On a warm September evening I took my pints and sat in the well kept beer garden to the side of the pub.

I like the Sovereigns, on both of my visits the ale choice has been good and the ale well kept, quick attentive service and a good location if going to a match at Woking FC.

18 Oct 2016 14:12

Belushi's, Greenwich

A Tuesday afternoon visit on a very hot day.

Only 2 or 3 punters inside with the same number sat outside on the benches catching the sun, which was roasting.

No ales on cask though they did have Meantime's Pale Ale and Yakima Red on draught, though the Red was empty as the barmaid tried to pull me a pint, I there fore went for the Pale Ale, both pints were excellent as you would expect, £4.50 a pint to boot, real tourist price's.

Nice enough pub, music playing quiet loud but as I sent my whole time outside this didn't really bother me.

Long time since I've been here and my first visit since it became Belushis. A higher score than usual mainly based on the benches at the front of the pub being free so I could enjoy my beer while topping up my tan!

18 Oct 2016 13:20

The Ravensbourne Arms, Lewisham

The Ravensbourne is a little over a mile from my house but recently I made my first visit here since June 2012, who knows why I haven’t been in over 4 years as it’s a good pub in a decent location and sells decent ales as it’s part of the Antic chain.

My most recent visit was a Sunday afternoon with the wife. Fairly busy when we arrived mid afternoon with ambient music playing and Sunday roast’s popular. The food menu looks good and reasonably priced for the what looked and smelt good.

3 ales on the 5 hand pumps, which were Volden Pale Ale, London Beer Factory Beyond the Pale and my choice which was Kent Brewery Zingiber @ 4.1%, the 2 pints of Zingiber I had were both decent. On the back wall are 7 pump clips displaying which ales are coming next.

Just like other Antic pubs the Ravensbourne has missed match furniture and slightly odd decoration, the room to the left of the bar is like a lounge / reading room. To the front on the main road are benches but no shelter from the hot sun (as it was on this visit) or the rain.

A thoroughly decent pub, the wife liked it so I’m sure we’ll return at some stage and will probably eat aswell.

18 Oct 2016 13:18

The Crown, Bloomsbury

This used to be my work local many many moons ago. I cannot remember the last time I visited but it’s at 15 years ago maybe even more!

A Samuel Smiths pub and as in the norm all of drinks are from their own range, very pleased to drink and of report that the Sovereign bitter was on good form. One of my favourite ales, not the most exciting but always dependable.

Busy inside and out, barely a standing space inside and no seats outside available, the weather was good but being a Sam Smith’s pub it’s the price of the drinks that will bring and keep punters here as it’s cheap for Central London.

Good attentive and quick service, nice untouched décor, good location and good ales….what is there to complain about with the Crown.

14 Oct 2016 11:56

BrewDog, Shoreditch

Myself and a work colleague popped in for 2 beers on a Wednesday afternoon after a local meeting.

Full range of Brew Dog ales that as mentioned by a previous reviewer are not cheap, I had 2 pints of their Electric India @ 5.2% that was almost £5.00 per pint.
Good bottle selection also available from both Brew Dog and other craft breweries.

This is a mecca for Brew Dog and craft beer geeks like all of their other bars are, you either like Brew Dog or you don’t and if you do then you need to be prepared for their high prices….after all it’s mugs like me that pay these prices.

14 Oct 2016 11:55

The Lion, Nyetimber

This large Hall & Woodhouse pub was the perfect place after football at Pagham FC to shelter from the driving rain.

3 ales on the pumps, the several pints of King & Barnes Sussex Draught Bitter @ 3.5% were excellent and went down at absolute treat.

Empty on the pub side when we arrived so we had a free run of the Juke box and pool table. We stayed here for over 3 hours playing pool and feeding the juke box while it still pee’d down with rain outside.

The restaurant part filled up after 7pm as did the pub and by the time we left the whole place was pretty packed.

The 4th pub in the village we visited during our short stay here and all of them were excellent, this was possibly my favourite along with the Inglenook.

13 Oct 2016 18:43

The Bear, Nyetimber

I’m surprised that there has been no review of this pub on here since October 2012. This was the 3rd pub of the day in the village, different to the Inglenook and Lamb in that this feels much more like a locals pub and doesn’t seem as food orientated as the previous 2.

Several ales on the hand pumps, I arrived a little after my travelling party so already had a very drinkable pint of Bombardier’s Burning Gold waiting for me.
Several different areas, the area immediately by the bar is large and had several tv’s on showing the grand prix qualifying, most of the punters were blokes with all of them standing in this area chatting and watching the tv’s. There’s also a pool table in this part of the pub.

Large fireplace down towards the female toilets which is to the left as you enter, we sat here around one of the various large round tables, sat in this area you can fully appreciate that there are bears everywhere, as well as the very large bronze standing one…which me and a pal had our picture took with!

Various events on here during the week, including quizzes and live music, the pub also has rooms at a reasonable rate.

Another very good pub.

13 Oct 2016 18:39

The Lamb, Nyetimber

2nd pub of the day after the Inglenook and it’s this well known local food pub with it’s low ceilings & old timber beams. Sits back from the main road with a large car park to the front and 3 gardens to the rear.

Busy during this Saturday lunchtime visit with most people here for the food, which is available in the bar and in the separate restaurant. A decent ale choice with 5 ales on the hand pumps my choice of Castle Rock’s Harvest Pale Ale was very good. I forget all of the ales but there were at least 2 from the local area.

Another very pleasant pub in the village and we still had 2 more to try before the day was out.

11 Oct 2016 09:24

Inglenook Hotel, Bognor Regis

This large Restaurant and hotel has a separate bar with good quality ales from around the UK and for this reason it makes an appearance in the 2016 GBG.

In the village for a football game and with 4 pubs to visit this was the perfect starting point just after 12 noon. Entering through the main door you come into the restaurant area before turning right & down a couple of steps into the bar.

There is 1 long bar which is separated into 2 by an arch and a large wooden door.
2 hand pumps on 1 side of the bar with 5 on the other. From these there are 5 ales on cask and 2 real ciders. The blurb on this pub reads that they like to have different ales on & this was certainly the case on this visit. I started the day on Arbor's Yakima Valley at 7.0% and then followed that with a pint of Langham’s Hip Hop @ a more safer 4.0%. Both pints were excellent and very well kept.

An interesting array of animals in this pub, there’s a large cage housing a rather large green Parrot, there was the pub’s cat wandering around with he’s food located in one of the back lounge area and then there were several dogs with their owners, one of them was particulary angry!

Adorning the walls of the bar are loads of pictures of the landlord with various celebrities, there’s also several signed pictures from Sports men and boxers.

Even though it’s a hotel and restaurant the bar areas give it a feel of a country pub and it works. It’s been owned by the same family for over 40 years apparently and that shows through from the staff to the running of the place.

We only stayed for 2 pints but this is a cracker.

10 Oct 2016 19:14

The Guinea, Mayfair

Its been about 10 years since I've been to the Guinea, this visit was made during a weekday lunch when the pub was heaving with local office workers and the famous pies were flying out the kitchen.

On my return at around 10.45pm on a Friday the pub and dining room were empty, even much so that I had to check they were still serving. Being a Young's pub the ale choice was 3 from their stable plus Sharps Doombar, the pint of Bitter I had was almost the last from the barrel but was still drinkable.

The Guinea is a lovely pub with a rich history and is another Young's pub that was visited by the late Queen Mother, the picture features on the wall. In the toilets are copies of various letters written to the pub congratulating them on a good meal, these letters are from stars far and wide, they range from Bing Crosby to Graham Norton!

Ornate features are still evident with the bar and dining room being separated by a wooden screen.

A cracking interior and exterior. The Guinea is a little gem of a pub and certainly worth seeking out.

10 Oct 2016 19:11

Coach and Horses, Mayfair

A Friday evening here with some work colleagues, being a sunny evening the pub was packed, most punters were outside with the inside being for people that wanted to sit down.

The bouncer placed outside to stop people spilling into the street with their drinks had he's work cut out for him and had to be on he's toes.

Enough bar staff on to deal with the hoards, the ale choice was not great and I'm sure it was on my last visit. Being a Shepherd and Neame pub the 2 ales were Spitfire Gold and Whitstable Bay, the pint of Spitfire Gold was not great so I switched to the Whitstable Bay which was much better and went down pretty well.

We stayed for several hours, spending the last hour inside as it started to rain. The clientele was mainly 20 something's that didn't short of a few quid.

A pleasant evening spent with good company in a nice pub.

10 Oct 2016 09:08

The Punch Bowl, Mayfair

Guy Richties pub, dining and club was busy on my Friday tea time visit, mainly with businessmen who insisted on shouting to each other being extremely blinking loud, music was playing in the back ground but you really couldn't hear it over the din of these chaps!

3 ales on the hand pumps, Adnams Southwold, Caledonian Deuchars IPA and there own ale which was Punch Bowl Ale...a rich and dark 4.5% ale, pretty tasty it was and £4.50 a pint, that's Mayfair for you.

Externally the etched glass windows depict the name of the pub, internally its dark with atmospheric lighting, wooden flooring, wooden bar and a large open fire. It's well kept but the area obviously demands somewhere like this and for the price they charge in the dining room it's clearly not aimed at the average Joe like me.

Very much not my type of place, thankfully I only intended to stay for 1 pint and that's exactly what I did....I doubt very much I will ever return here but the interior is very nice.

10 Oct 2016 09:06

The Queens Arms, Pimlico

A flying Wednesday night visit with a few work colleagues for a couple of pints.

I have been here before in June 2014 and no-one has reviewed since that visit of my mine.

I still like this pub, it was very busy with all seats inside and out on the benches taken. The punters were a mix of after work, pre theatre, groups and couples.
4 ales across the 5 hand pumps, I had 2 pints of the very good Truman's Rio Gold @ 4.2%. Unsure of the cost as I didn’t buy a drink while I was here, but it’s probably around the £4.00 mark per pint.

Decent pub that deserves more reviews on this site.

9 Oct 2016 19:21

JJ Moon's, Kingsbury

First visit to this 'spoons while in the area for a bank holiday football match at nearby Silver Jubilee Park.

A few of my pals were already here when I arrived around 12.30pm and they made most of the numbers up, maybe as it was carnival time this effected the normal clientele as ‘spoon’s are never normally this empty let alone on bank holiday’s.

10 hand pumps with a decent & varied selection of ales, I went through pints of the following Cronx Kotchin @ 3.9% (not a great pint and possibly going bad), Cerveceria Fort Barcelona Barcelona Session Ale @ 5.0% (very good) and Hop Stuff ‘s APA (Arsenal Pale Ale) @ 3.8% which was the best pint of the 3.

2 barman on and they struggled to cope even if wasn’t overly busy, one of the chaps was considerably slower than the other so this wound a few people up.
Older style ‘spoons, but it’s well kept and also has a nice garden to the rear, even though I didn’t venture out there.

Will probably only ever return if I’m there for a football game or visiting Wembley as it’s only 1 stop away on the Jubilee line.

9 Oct 2016 19:13

The Grapes, Limehouse

What an absolute cracker this historic pub overlooking the Thames is. There has been a pub here for over 500 years and in the 29 years I’ve been drinking I’ve never ever been here, what a travesty that is!

5 ales on the bar, I cannot remember what they all were but the couple of pints of Brentwood Breweries Golden Galaxy @ 4.0% I had were excellent. If I remember correctly it was £3.90 a pint, not bad for this area.

Extremely busy inside, the upstairs dining room was closed and food had stopped being served so it was drinks and board games all around inside. The clientele was 25 +, with a mix of groups and couples.

Lovely balcony area overlooking the Thames and the Anthony Gormley sculpture that is dedicated to a former neighbour of the pub (nice touch).

We had a couple of pints out on the balcony watching the traffic on the river go past. Cannot believe I have never been here before, it’s an excellent and warrants another visit and maybe food as menu seems pretty evenly priced for the standard of food on offer.

Great way to finish a Saturday off.

9 Oct 2016 18:17

The Narrow Street Pub & Dining Room, Limehouse

Wandering past on a Saturday evening as we were considering stopping for a pint, it’s definitely more of a restaurant and kitchen than a pub.

Apparently they still have real ale on tap but I didn’t venture in as it didn’t seem like the place or the crowd were quite my cup of tea.

7 Oct 2016 16:59

The Railway Tavern, Limehouse


About to re-open as a Craft Beer Co establishment.

The area is turning and judging by visits to other Craft Beer Co pubs this will be a good one….will visit soon.

7 Oct 2016 16:57

The Queens Head, Limehouse

This very attractive Young’s pub opposite the Old Ship was my 2nd stop and was thriving with punters on a Saturday evening. I understand that a deal is going through for the sale of the lease of the pub to a pub co, so that the Queen’s will remain. Judging by how busy it was they would be mad to not keep this as a pub.

The horseshoe wooden bar only had 2 ales on the 3 hand pumps, Young's Bitter and my choice which was Theakston’s Grouse Beater @ 4.2%, a very decent pint, well kept and poured.

With music playing, quiz machine and fruit machines, a TV was on mute and plenty of chatter this pub comes across as a local hub….similar to the George at Crossharbour.

We stopped for only a pint as we had another pub to visit before the evening was over. With Craft Beer Co about to reopen in the old Railway Tavern the area has a bit going for it pubs and ale wise so I shall be returning for another pint here when I’m back in the area.

5 Oct 2016 12:23

The Phoenix, Rainham

After visiting the other 2 non real ale pubs in the town we arrived here just before 4.45pm and what a difference the Phoenix is to both The Bell & The New Angel.

4 ales on the hand pumps but unfortunately the John Smith’s Cask was almost off and tasted vile, I asked the barmaid to change but during our 3 hours here it wasn’t changed!!

So for all the time we spent here I was on the very drinkable Abbot Ale, well kept, strong and lethal after not having any decent ale earlier in the day.
Busy we arrived here and busy when we left with a steady flow of punters coming through the doors. Football was on the box from 5.30pm and this brought a fair few blokes in.

The garden was also popular, it’s pretty big and was the perfect place to sit in on a very hot day, but not if you wanted to watch the football.

The Phoenix appears in the 2016 GBG and is the only one in Rainham that does but that’s really not a surprise.

I liked it here, the pub has charm, good ales and some very interesting and friendly punters. Older style decoration with heavy 70’s style carpets, but it all works.

Also very convenient for the train station.

4 Oct 2016 14:26

New Angel Inn, Rainham

Our 2nd pub in the town and it’s literally across the job from the Bell.
A pub that has some age to it but now has a modern interior and was full of chaps!! Slightly intimidating clientele with the epicentre being the pool table.

No ale on the taps so it was too the bottles again, not seeing anything other than Fuller’s London Pride I was feeling very under whelmed until I spotted a couple of bottles of Caledonian’s Coast to Coast @ 4.6% lurking in a fridge on the far side.

Large brick inglenook fireplace near the pool table, a tv screen either end of the bar both showing the football scores on sky sports news , as mentioned above lots of chaps / lads, not an overly friendly pub for an outsider but it was okay for a quick drink.

4 Oct 2016 13:50

The Bell Inn, Rainham

One of 3 pubs within a stones throw of each other, so having not drank in this town before the sensible choice was to start here and work down the Broadway.

The Bell is a fairly large pub with a L shaped bar and a separate room through an arch with a large fireplace and decorated like a women’s bedroom! The room was unused but the side door was propped open to allow air to circulate.

The main bar area is long and thin with the half dozen punters sat at the bar, listening to the music playing from the juke box (which was excellent by the way) and chatting loudly to each other.

Bottles only, but the choice of 6 was decent, all national brands that you can buy in a supermarket (these were from the local Tesco’s) but at least they made the effort. We each had a bottle from Shepherd & Neame and started to engage with the locals. A nice friendly bunch…….average age was about 60 years old!

Friendly pub but it really could have more made from it though maybe the area doesn’t need a trendy pub.

4 Oct 2016 13:33

The Eastbrook, Dagenham

Huge pub laying back from the junction that has stood as a pub since 1937. I've driven past this place dozens of times over the years without ever venturing in, that all changed a couple of weeks back when I attended a football game at Dagenham & Redbridge FC.

Appears in the GBG 2016 so knowing that and coupled with the area close to the ground being a real ale desert it was the perfect place for pre match drinking.

Feels like its still stuck in the 70's when you enter into the main bar area, the full wooden bar is coupled with stylish wooden and glass panelled doors into another large room that houses a pool table and plenty of tables.

Old style carpet , with traditional pub stools, tables and chairs are added to with a large quantity of football photos that hang around the walls and above the bar.

Judging by the drink choice this seems very much a lager drinkers pub, Fosters and Stella feature heavily across the taps, the 3 hand pumps only have 1 ale on from the Marston's stable which is Pedigrees' New World Pale Ale, a decent pint (not the best ale to be fair) and fairly priced at £3.40 a pint.

Music played, the tele's were on mute showing various football shows while the handful of locals / regulars chatted loudly about all subjects.

Based on my first ever visit I like the pub, it appears to be well run and certainly has great character to it...I may return one day.

4 Oct 2016 13:30

The Black Flag, New Cross

Now called the Fat Walrus, a few weeks back I made my first visit since its had new owners & changed its name again!

A Thursday night , the sun was shining I was walking past so why wouldn't I stop for a pint.

The benches to the front were busy and the large garden out the back was packed. Inside air conditioning was at a premium so only the hardy soles that don't like the sun were sat in here.

12 very shiny keg pumps offering top quality lagers, ciders and some craft ales...tucked away by the door are 3 cask hand pumps offering 2 ales and 1 cider. I had a very decent pint of Longman Brewery Pale Ale, decent price to boot at £3.80 a pint....i bet the keg lines are pricier.

I took my pint to the front seating area and enjoyed it and the weather facing the main road.

The clientele is mainly made up of students and young adults from the very nearby Goldsmiths College.

Good service and banter from the barman, well kept pint, good outside seating areas...why wouldn't you visit?

3 Oct 2016 14:41

The Central Bar, Shepherds Bush

A Thursday afternoon visit and I arrived at the busiest time of the day, it was absolutely rammed at the bar with the 3 bar staff rushed off their feet.

The beer choice across the 10 hand pumps that had 8 ales on was okay, mainly national brands. My first pint of Portobello Westway Pale was off so I backed it for the very drinkable Sambrook's Lavender Hill. So good i had another pint.

As well as being busy at the bar there was not a spare seat in the house. Very surprised at 5pm that it was this busy.

Decent visit and 2 good pints had in the end.

3 Oct 2016 14:38

Funky Munky, Camberwell

One of just a couple of pubs left in South East London to tick from the 2016 GBG so on a Saturday afternoon in mid August I finally made it here.

12.45pm and I was the first punter in closely followed by another. As described in the GBG this is the sister pub to the Hermits Cave across the road but couldn't be any different. Has the feel or more of a cafe bar than a pub, however no food served here just a large selection of ale and craft beer and a very good spirits list to boot.

Large open glass windows on to the main road, inside the floor boards are stripped bear and compliments the long wooden bar and ample wooden tables and chairs / stools.

The walls are adorned with repro craft beer signs, most of them being American and European.

As stated above the beer range is huge, with 12 keg pumps, 6 lager pumps and 6 cask handles. On this visit there were 15 keg ales on, 2 lagers, 3 ciders and 4 cask ales....plus the large bottle range which I counted as being 33+.....now that's some selection!!

I opted to have a keg pint with my choice being Moor Beer Company's Nor Hop @ 4.1%, a decent beer at £4.95 a pint. All prices of pints and bottles are displayed on various chalk boards.

I stopped for one beer but I may return, its not really a pub to me but the ale choice is very good, its varied and different from the choices elsewhere in the area and I don't live too far away.

Scores well.

2 Oct 2016 19:46

The London Inn, Okehampton

As there was no food available when we visited the Plymouth Inn we popped next door for a bite to eat.

2 ales on the hand pumps which were both from Greene King, Abbot Ale and IPA. My pint of IPA was decent enough.

Large open plan pub with a sporting themed area towards the rear, this has a couple of dart boards, a pool table, 2 fruit machines and a quiz machine. Lots of pine used in this area , flooring, bar and stage area.

The front bar is carpeted and there's also a seperate dining area through an arch to the left of the bar.

Small bar menu but the food was fine. Pretty quiet during our visit though the barman was very pleasant and helpful.

Not the best pub but an enjoyable visit and sandwich.

2 Oct 2016 18:47

The Plymouth Inn, Okehampton

Old fashioned pub at the far end of the high street and the only pub in Okehampton that appears in 2016 GBG.

A flying Thursday afternoon visit, we missed food by 30 minutes so had to settle for a beer in the well appointed beer garden while the sun was still shining.

The inside of the pub has a small bar and several seats with a tv perched in the corner. 3 ales on the hand pumps, 1 local ale, 1 national and my choice from Cardiff which was Brains Opening Ceremony @ 4.0%, an ale obviously brewed for the Olympics and pretty drinkable.

Several punters in on this visit but I must admit I found the pub itself to be quite drab and dull, I expected more for some reason.

A tick but probably a town & pub I will never return to.

2 Oct 2016 18:40

The Old Custom House Hotel, Padstow

After the poor showing in the Harbour we wandered next door to the very impressive Old Customs House.

A large corner pub that's been extended over the years and has a very smart glass conservatory dining area, a large dining and seating area through to the left of the bar and an adjoining coffee & cake shop.

8 hand pumps with 5 ales on, all from St Austell brewery. These were Proper Job, HSB, Tribute, Trelawny and my choice which was Grandview @ 5.3% from their small batch brew series.

Plenty of staff on meant that service swift and attentive, again very different to next door.

After 30 minutes we left just as it was filling up with dog walkers and diners. A really smart pub and the best of the 3 I tried in Padstow in one afternoon.

30 Sep 2016 14:17

Harbour Inn, Padstow

Attractive pub with some nice features and 3 ales on the hand pumps. My pint of
St Austell's Harvest Moon @ 3.9% was a new beer for me and decent...however after that I was moaning!

The surly and not very with it barman didn't seem bothered that the bar area was teaming with kids, banging the fruit machine and being generally noisy & unruly...exactly what the waste of time sign says kids shouldn't be doing in this area of the pub! When I challenged him he literally shrugged he's shoulders and said what can you do...great attitude!!

We sat in the courtyard garden opposite the open chiller where a young chef was gutting a fish....lovely!

While we sat here I observed 2 kids and there dad smashing balls around the pool table with no-one stopping them.

The is not a pub I will ever return to, very poorly managed even though it probably is a decent pub on any day but not on my visit.

30 Sep 2016 13:49

The Shipwrights, Padstow

Overlooking the harbour is this St Austell Brewery pub with benches to the front to watch the world go by.

An imposing looking stone building, inside there's a flagstone floor and wooden beams. The long wooden bar has the usual lager and Guinness on offer plus 3 ales from St Austell Brewery, I opted for a pint of Trelawney which was drinkable.

Half full on our visit with most punters taking their drinks and sitting out the front, kids and dogs welcome.

A nice enough pub but we spent most of our time outside so my report on the interior is pretty non existent.

7/10 from me

30 Sep 2016 13:45

Queens Hotel, Macclesfield

The Queens is a large old fashioned hotel right opposite the station and 1 of 4 in this area to serve the commuters and visitors arriving at the station.

The pub is multi-roomed but does seem like it’s seen better days. A small bar greets you in the large open plan lounge as you enter, there were 3 ales on the hand pumps, my pint of Holts Two Hoots was drinkable but to be honest I had, had a skinful by the time we arrived here!

The smaller room to the right of the main entrance has a pool table in it, with the toilets to the end of this room. Behind the bar is another room and then the bedrooms are above the bar.

A band was just about to start, but there were not too many people watching them with the TV on mute being a better option for some of the older punters.
Friendly landlord, old style pub, slightly dated décor but very handy for the station.

29 Sep 2016 15:39

Dog and Duck, Beverley

A one night stay in Beverley with the wife on a Sunday, the pair of us had never been to the town before so when the wife had finished her shopping we started on the 5 pubs that appear in the 2016 GBG.

Old fashioned style pub with red velvet bentwood seating, stools and carpet, original fireplace, a large amount of plates & nick nack china displayed on shelves in the front bar. The pub was busy with most of the seating in the front bar taken up with a local OAP singing group that had been preforming in the Market Place earlier in the day.

6 ales on the hand pumps with 5 of the them from Yorkshire. My pint of Timothy Taylor's Golden Best @ 3.5% was slightly vinegary. The pub has a nice feel to it, but I hope the rest of the ales are kept better than the pint I had.

Also has rooms available here to stay in.

Worth a visit.

29 Sep 2016 15:36

Early Doors, Skipton

One of 4 Micropubs in the town, the wife and I visited just before 6pm on a Wednesday evening before returning the following afternoon for 5 hours!!

Previously a bookies this has been a mircopub for the last 18 months and is run by 2 ex publicans now enjoying a quieter life. They know how to run pubs and it shows in this place, the mixture is just right....I love this place.

6 hand pumps with a mix of abv's and styles, at least 3 light / blonde ales on. During my 2 visits here I drank Wensleydale Breweries' Falconer @ 3.9% and Naylor's Blonde @ 4.3%, both extremely good and a bargain at £2.60 a pint, all their ales are this price regardless of strength.

Good locals and plenty of conversation, no one stays a stranger for long, especially if Mick I working as he gets everyone involved.

An absolute cracker of a micro pub that scores highly from me

29 Sep 2016 15:34

The Sir John Hawkshaw, Cannon Street

A 10.30pm visit on a Wednesday night for a night cap marked my first ever visit to this station platform Wetherspoon’s.

A decent enough selection of ales with a couple of kegs offerings also. My pint of Stone’s Levitation Ale was good but was slightly soured by the surly service.

Not many people here during my visit but that’s because of the time, I guess at 5.30pm on a weekday the place is heaving.

No toilets here so you have to use the ones across the other side of the platform, a bit of walk if you have a session here and have a weak bladder!

Neatly decorated and worth a visit I just hope the service isn’t always that surly!

29 Sep 2016 15:28

The St Mabyn Inn, St Mabyn

A Wednesday afternoon pit stop for a beer & some lunch on our way to Padstow.

As you would expect I'm never been here before and was lured here by the 2016 GBG. I cannot believe it's not been reviewed yet.

A larger pub with added dining room to the back and a large open garden. The 4 internal areas are all different, the bar has stools to the wooden bar where there's 5 hand pumps, 4 ales and 1 real cider. Back behind you up a small step is an open plan lounge area with plenty of seating with tables, a large stone fireplace and a wall of old original advertising signs.

Another room has a pool table, while a further room is laid for diners, all rooms are very well decorated with pictures of days gone by.

Now to the ales, all 4 from the immediate area with Sharp's, Tingtagal and Padstow represented. My 2 pints of Padstow Brewing Co's Windjammer @ 4.3% were very drinkable. The real cider is also from Cornwall.

A fairly small but well covered menu offers mussels, burgers, steak and Panini's among others, my venison burger with onion rings was very good and great value at £11.00 with chips and salad.

We stayed for a couple of drinks after our lunch and the pub completed filled up , mainly with diners. A very good pub, plenty of history to it, great ales, good food and very good service.

Last thing to add is the very nice and clean toilets.

9/10 for me.

26 Sep 2016 13:45

The Clifford Arms, Shaldon

A re-visit here for dinner and Jazz on a Monday evening in mid August.

This pub still features in the Camra GBG and on the back of my 2nd visit the ale is still good quality, though this may change as the landlord of the last 26 years is desperate to sell having had the pub on the market for last 10 months, still no buyers though.

2 x Dartmoor Brewery ales on, I had several pints of their Summer Gold @ 4.1% the other ale was Black Tor's Pride of Dartmoor, on the remaining the hand pump was a local traditional cider.

Busy with half of the punters listening to the jazz while the rest enjoyed their beer or dinner. I can report that the Jazz was okay even though it's not a style of music I normally listen to but the food was just above average.

A decent pub, loyal clientele, good ales but on this visit I would say the food let it down.

6/10

26 Sep 2016 13:41

Shaldon Conservative and Unionist Club, Teignmouth

So I am the only person to have reviewed this cracking little club. This was my 2nd visit to the club while on holiday in the area again with the Mrs.

A Monday night visit with the wife and 2 friends, we arrived just after 7pm and there was around a dozen people in with 2 fellas playing snooker on the full sized table.

3 ales on, my choice which was Exmoor Silver Stallion @ 4.3% was very good, the other 2 ales were both from Devon. The 4th pump had a real cider on.

Cheap prices, friendly locals and nice & calm, the con club is a fave of mine in Shaldon.

Another visit to follow next year!

26 Sep 2016 13:39

The Flying Boat, Dartford

A Tuesday night visit to what is now the only 'spoons in the town.

Pretty busy but also quite noisy, a group of local lads swilling lager at the bar were particularly loud!

The hand pumps had the usual range of ales on with the Hogsback Last of the Summer Swine very drinkable @ 4.0%

Lovely interior here, quick service but unfortunately it does attract your usual Dartford crowd!

26 Sep 2016 13:35

The Railway View, Macclesfield

Set back from the main road that runs from the football ground back towards town is this small Marston’s run pub. It appeared to be under new management on this visit with the bar maid / manager who was very friendly getting to grips with the pub and it’s very few locals.

No cask ale with only Marston's Pedigree on keg, not being a fun of older style keg it was a decent drop.

Very dark inside with a low ceiling and very low lighting, the walls are painted white artex and the floor is stone. At the far end of the bar is a pool table and then a door that leads to the small but perfectly neat garden to the rear that is fitted out like a train station platform.

Pub was okay, the garden was very decent but the clientele which was made up of 20 year old junior football thugs was very poor, still they didn’t pose my pal and I any problems so I have nothing to moan about.

6/10 but that’s mainly for the friendly welcome and the garden.

26 Sep 2016 13:27

RedWillow Bar, Macclesfield

A late Saturday morning visit to the tap bar of the local Red Willow brewery.

Unsure how long this has been open but it’s a cracking conversion of an old shop, done out in a very nice retro industrial style. Seating for diners and drinkers on the right as you enter with a long metal bar running along the opposite side.

A large LCD screen behind the bar display all of the ales available at any one time, on my visit there were 10 cask and 11 keg selections. I had a pint of their Stateless on cask at 3.9%.

Not that busy on this visit, we took our drinks and sat out the front in the sunshine overlooking the green.

Yet another bar I have earmarked for another visit at a later time.

21 Sep 2016 13:51

Ye Olde White Lion Inn, Mansfield

This review is from a visit on Saturday 9th January 2016. Pub has only just appeared on BITE.

This quirky looking micro pub is basically a cave with the cask ales being served from racks at the far end of the cave behind the small wooden bar.

3 ales on cask on my Saturday afternoon visit with the choices being Springhead Surrender, Grafton Caramel Stout and my choice which was Stancil’s Stainless @ 4.3%, perfectly kept and poured.

I stayed in the downstairs area and didn’t venture up to the “loft” bar. There were 6 other punters in with me and the friendly owner (?) and he’s family. Good banter & conversation between the 6 of us, I thoroughly enjoyed the 30 minutes I spent here with me only leaving as I wanted to visit the Beer Shack before the football kicked off at 3pm.

21 Sep 2016 13:20

The Golden Lion, Macclesfield

Large estate pub a short walk past Macclesfield Town FC. Popped in here for a pint before kick off.

Only 1 ale on cask which was Hobgoblin plus they had Boddingtons on keg which in my opinion was the better choice as everyone in the immediate vicinity of the bar was drinking lager!

Almost empty here but the pub is large so maybe it seemed empty when it wasn’t really. Football on the tv screens, an unused pool table in the back room, dart board on the wall this is definitely a sports lead pub.

Large garden to the rear with the lawn seeming very new. The houses are very close so I can imagine on a busy day the noise from the garden is pretty loud for the locals.

Friendly staff, a nice enough estate pub, not much for me to moan about expect the lack of decent ales. A good option away from the main drag into Macclesfield if here for football.

21 Sep 2016 13:11

The Macc, Macclesfield

This review is from my visit to the Macc and other pubs in the area on Saturday 6th August.

After a couple of beers around the station area we headed towards the football ground and stopped here for 2 pints.

A large open plan pub that seems to have been stripped out and refurbished in recent years. The L shaped bar had 5 cask ales on from a variety of breweries, the pints of Ossett Pale Gold @ 3.8% & Picctish Brewing Companies Alchemist @ 4.3% were well kept.

With the weather being good we took our drinks and plotted up on the green in front of the pub and right on the main road.

Stripped wooden flooring and a plastic covered lean to for smokers to the left of the front door. Football on the tv screens and mixed aged clientele.

Decent pub on the way to and from the football ground with a nice range of ales.

21 Sep 2016 13:03

The Albion, Winchester

Last pub of the day and I was pretty well on the way by the time we got here for a couple of “night cap” beers. Nearest pub to the station and also very close to a large food outlet which I had targeted for my dinner on the train home.

Corner pub with a small bar and seats in a wedge shape. The area to the left of the bar is more bar like with high stools in the window while the area on the opposite side has a fire and is more like a lounge / comfy seating area.

4 hand pumps with all ales from Flower Pots Brewery which is under 10 miles away from the pub. A new brewery for me, I had a few pints of their Goddens Gold @ 4.8% which was very good.

As I say I was a little worse for wear so we sat and supped our ales while waiting for the train. A nice pub that was fairly busy but with a laid back relaxed feel.

19 Sep 2016 12:21

Bridge, Shawford

A short train ride from Eastleigh brought us to this large thatched roof country pub run by Greene King.

Ideally located right by the train station with seats to the front as you enter into the pub through one of the low doors, mind your head if you’re over 6ft tall !

4 ales on the hand pumps, 2 new beers for me which were Itchin Valley Belgarum @ 3.9% & Andwell Brewing Company Ruddy Darter @ 4.6%, both nice pints but I favoured the Belgarum as it lighter and more refreshing.

Just before 7pm when we got here and I planned to eat but was told there was a 45 minute wait for food, it certainly was busy with diners than drinkers.

A lovely pub with plenty of age, beamed ceilings, stone flooring. We spent most of the time out he front enjoying the good weather before moving onto Winchester.

A flying visit but a good one, nice pub.

19 Sep 2016 12:16

Cricketers, Eastleigh

The nearest proper pub to Eastleigh's football ground, this Greene King pub is still a good 10 minutes walk from the ground.

An extended pub that looks like an old cottage and out building merged together, to the front is a large raised decked area with a white Pickett fence surrounding it.

Inside the pub is long with the short bar straight in front as you enter, there's seating and dining areas either side. Disappointing to see the 8 hand pumps had just 4 ales on, not much to choose from so it was a pint of GK IPA for me.

We took our drinks and sat outside as the weather was good.

Only stayed for 1 pint as getting another beer was a nightmare, 2 bar staff and a gaggle of locals all claiming they were next, this done my head in so we left and headed back to the 'spoons by the station.

Scored down on slow poor bar service

12 Sep 2016 16:38

The Wagon Works, Eastleigh

Small one level 'spoons opposite the station that appears in the 2016 GBG, the only pub in Eastleigh that does.

Very busy at 2pm when we arrived here, groups of blokes, locals and couples eating and drinking made up the clientele.

2 banks of 5 hand pumps with a decent selection of local ales alongside the normal 'spoons national brands. My pints of Itchin Valley Pure Gold @ 4.0% and Goddard's Inspiration @ 5.0% were both excellent.

A nice atmosphere here, well kept ales, has a community feel to it and of course very handy for the train & bus stations.

12 Sep 2016 16:37

The Eclipse Inn, Winchester

Opposite the Old Vine and very much in the middle of the touristy area , this is a lovely looking pub that dates back to the 16th century.

A free house with 4 hand pumps, no local ales with the beers from Sharps, Long Man Brewery, Hogs Back and Timothy Taylor. I had a pint of Landlord which was good.

Dark inside with low lighting, seating is arranged as benches in the front room with its small bar, to the rear is another seating area and the toilets. The punters were mostly eating, unsure the price of the food but the 2 plates I saw looked good.

Their is a lot of tables outside the front of the pub on the pavement, little sun trap area. Only stayed for one pint, decent enough pub.

12 Sep 2016 14:28

The Old Vine, Winchester

Quick stop in Winchester for a pub tick, after finding the Hyde Tavern annoyingly closed at 12.15 we walked through town to this City centre pub and hotel.

Very nicely decorated in a contemporary style in an old building that still has its original oak beams on the ceiling. To the front on Great Minster Street the bar is retained mainly as a bar but food is served here and in the large dining room to the left with a large open fireplace. On this visit the whole pub was more popular with diners than drinkers, probably being a Saturday lunchtime didn't help.

4 hand pumps, each with a different ale. I opted for a pint of Plain Ales Innocence @ 4.0%, a nice well kept beer but it was London prices here.

To the rear is a conservatory that is more of a dining area for families. Lots of bar staff to deal with food orders, punters wanting beer & those that were checking into the hotel.

A nice pub, good pint but definitely more for food than ale.

12 Sep 2016 14:26

The Hyde Tavern, Winchester

Very disappointed to find the Hyde Tavern closed at 12.15pm on a Saturday & no signs of life inside, when the advertised opening hours are from 12 noon.

12 Sep 2016 14:25

The Skylark, Croydon

My first visit to this large spoon’s that sits in the middle of Croydon’s restaurant quarter! I didn’t even know Croydon had a dedicated restaurant quarter until I visited here recently.

Apparently before it became a ‘spoons the this used to be the Green Shield’s Stamps building. It’s been tastefully renovated and decorated still retaining the original entrance, tiled floor and stair cases.

There are 12 hand pumps which were dispensing 10 ales & 2 real ciders. My pints of Sambrook’s Wandle & Westerham Brewery Finchcocks Original @ 3.5% were both good, though I’m not a lover of Wandle.

A nice pub but yet another one I probably need to return to as this was a late night 2 pint visit.

12 Sep 2016 14:23

The Spread Eagle, Croydon

Extremely large Fullers Ale and Pie pub that at 8pm on a Thursday night was heaving. The clientele were mainly locals and office workers, made up of groups and couple but mainly groups of blokes.

Prominent position by the old town hall and next to the Croydon Museum, inside it’s a interior designers dream, very opulent.

A good choice of 6 cask hand ale & 8 ales on keg plus Fuller’s lager, other high quality European lagers and a real cider. I had a pint of Fuller's Montana Red from the keg side @ 4.5%, a nice pint but slightly pricey.

This is a lovely pub and should be revisited when a) it’s not so busy & b) when I have more time.

7/10 for me on this visit.

8 Sep 2016 17:09

The Oval Tavern, Croydon

Another new pub for me, this one is very different and trendier than the Builder’s just around the corner.

Disappointing to see only 1 ale on the 6 hand pumps which was Robinson’s Trooper it was decent enough but I’ve had better kept pints than this one.

Has a feel of a club to it with fairly low lighting and dark walls, live music features regularly and the crowd are fairly hipster ish. Food available with the burgers looking very tempting, however the smell of old fat was fairly strong.

Being a short stroll from East Croydon station it’s surprising I’ve never ventured here before, but it’s ticked now and is worth the walk.

1 Sep 2016 16:59

The Builders Arms, Croydon

1st visit to this Fuller's pub while having a tick fest of Croydon GBG 2016 pubs on a Thursday evening .

4 ales on that are duplicated across 2 banks of 4 hand pumps, one in each bar area. The 2 pints of Fuller’s Summer Ale were drinkable but not the best I had during this evening.

7pm ish when we got here with several punters, most being in the larger bar area and garden. There’s 2 bars that are connected with a walk through at the end of the bar.

The large garden to the rear just past the comfy lounge. A decent enough pub but I’ve been in better and wouldn’t necessarily rush back, but it’s another ticked from the GBG.

1 Sep 2016 16:50

The Mulberry, Farnham

Huge pub that appears to have had a massive makeover and change of fortune since the last review on here, its certainly aiming towards the young and hip crowd.

The first thing that struck me when I entered was the loud music, the 3 young barmen needed to shout across the music to ask what I wanted to drink! Even though the music was good it was far too loud.

3 ales on, I had a pint of Bath Ales Gem, served in a jug (I had a choice) and very nicely kept. I took my pint and went to the garden mainly to escape the music but also to enjoy the good weather.

Huge garden in 2 parts with a covered area and large TV screen showing sports, beyond this is a patio area and then another level up to a wide grassed area.
Food was popular with plates of large burgers, chips and onion rings passing me at regular intervals. I only stopped for 1 pint as I had a train to catch.

Decent pub, nice ale choice, cracking garden, good location but maybe the music needs turning down a notch.

26 Aug 2016 18:08

The Nelson, Farnham

3rd and last pub from the 2016 GBG and this is by far the most historic but as a pub I found it lacking a bit.

The area the Nelson is located in is lovely, there's 19th century Almshouses next door and a very fancy golf course up the hill...though to be honest Farnham is a lovely town anyway, however this was the first pub I visited that I felt an outsider in, not in a threatening way just that I'm clearly not from Farnham and it seemed like all the punters here were!

5 hand pumps each with a different ale, I had a pint of Surrey Nirvana but it was wasn't a great pint, a reduced score for keeping the ale.

To the rear is a small courtyard garden with decking and seating for around 25, the canopy gave good shade from the sun.

I mixed feelings re my visit to this pub. Will I return? I'm unsure if I'll ever return to Farnham...however it is a nice looking historic pub...try it for yourself.

24 Aug 2016 14:07

The Hop Blossom, Farnham

2nd pub of the day, a short walk after football back towards town and I arrive at this back street Fuller's pub. Plenty of seating to the front with almost every seat being taken, inside it was equally as busy but a lot cooler. Hops hang above the bar, apparently these are replaced once a year and give off an amazing aroma once fresh...I didn't experience this!

Another attractive pub internally, the walls are decorated with repro advertising signs (why not buy original?) and one wall has a lot of framed local newspaper clippings.

The area past the bar is an addition and has a glass roof resembling a conservatory. On the bar are 6 hand pumps offering 5 Fullers ales and a guest from Long Man Brewery in Sussex. I had a very decent pint of Fuller's Seafarers.

Wooden flooring and furniture , interesting locals, large open fireplace, decent ales & another decent pub tick.

22 Aug 2016 13:32

The Jolly Sailor, Farnham

A Saturday afternoon visit to Farnham for football and a chance to visit the 3 pubs that feature in the 2016 GBG.

First up is the Greene King managed Jolly Sailor on West Street just past the football ground. Externally and internally this is an attractive pub with a warm welcome from the landlord on my arrival at the bar.

It's partly partisoned inside creating a split seating area, to the left of the bar is a tv that on my visit was on mute and showing motor racing. There are 2 gardens , one to the rear and the sun trapped side garden which is where I sat catching the afternoon sun.

8 hand pumps with 7 ales on, a mix of GK ales & ales from the local area, in this weather I went for a light ale and choose a pint of Bonds Brew Goldihops @ 3.9%, a nicely kept ale.

The 2 pub Alsatians looked very hot & bothered and certainly weren't very menacing in this heat!

I stopped just for 1 pint before heading to football, it's a nice pub and another tick for me.

22 Aug 2016 13:28

The Tailor's Chalk, Sidcup

After watching a local football game we headed to this High Street ‘spoons for a couple of pints to end the evening. Wednesday night and by 10pm it was pretty empty in this much smaller than your average Wetherspoon’s, it’s compact with a library style area to the rear and upstairs toilets.

What the pub lacked in size and punters it certainly made up on the beer front with 9 ales on the hand pumps, all of these were the usual standard national ales but this was added to by 3 or 4 from smaller and micro breweries, my pints of Rocking Robin Breweries Reliant Robin @ 3.7% were both very good, poured well and very drinkable.

A pub that is in the only one in the areas that appears in GBG, so this shows you that it’s not a good area for good quality or well kept real ales, the Tailors Chalk doesn’t disappoint.

I cannot believe I’ve never been here before but on this showing I shall return.

22 Aug 2016 13:22

The Ramblers Rest, Chislehurst

Our 2nd pub just a short walk from the Imperial Arms was the iconic and historic Ramblers Rest. Another pub that I have never been in before.

In an ideal position laying back from the common and main road, with it’s own parking to the front this is a very popular pub during the summer months, this visit was no different with no seating room outside as the locals had taken it over!

A weather boarded frontage and some dangerous looking steps from one part of the pub to the other outside, inside you feel like the ceiling is closing in on you in certain parts. To the front outside a sign depicts that the pub originates from circa 1684, oh how different the area would of looked back then.

4 ales on the hand pumps these were all national branded ales apart from the very dark & quite drinkable Ramblers Special Ale @ 4.1% and brewed by Scottish brewers Caledonian.

We stayed for 2 pint before moving on, on this visit I didn’t feel the pub staff or clientele were overly friendly but maybe the site of 3 chaps quaffing ale on a Wednesday night confused them, especially as none of us are locals.

Lots of history but not a pub that did much for me on this visit.

22 Aug 2016 13:13

The Imperial Arms, Chislehurst

A Wednesday night visit while in the area for a football game in very late July.

I’d never been here before & with it being in the current GBG I was expecting a nice pub with good ales, and this is exactly what the Imperial Arms is.

3 ales on the hand pumps with the Harvey’s Sussex Best being on good form, other choices were Doom Bar or Pedigree

Half busy during my time here, it was very warm and they were having problems with the air conditioning so we had to keep opening the door.

Friendly barmaids who were chatty and apologetic about the music that the juke box was churning out, it was fine.

We didn’t venture in the attractive looking beer garden, with it’s own bar area….I bet this is packed at weekends.

Stayed for over an hour, had several pints, London prices, locals fine, all in all worth a visit in my book.

9 Aug 2016 13:31

The George Canning, Denmark Hill

What a hole this place is!!

Very local clientele, 2 manic bar maids, sticky floor, bar and tables.

Extremely strong stench of food…burgers to be precise and barely drinkable pints of Brockley Breweries Pale Ale on tap.

Now I know why I past this pub and never go in, this was my first visit for over 5 years and will probably be another 5 years before I return again.

2 Aug 2016 13:58

The Phoenix, Denmark Hill

On an incredibly warm Tuesday evening I drank here as the Fox on the Hill so was packed I couldn't even get to the bar!

Not normally my pub of choice but it does always have a decent choice of ales, though it's pricey, even for this area.

On this visit the 4 hand pumps had 2 new ales for me, I had a couple of pints of
Portobello's Bronze Star @ 4.3%, a very nice pint but the £4.40 price tag did sit in my throat a little bit!

Fairly busy inside , this is the busiest I have seen this pub for ages though I'm sure the warm evening had a lot to do with this.

A nice pub, still not the quickest or best service but the ales good and it does have outside seating so you're not cooped up on a warm evening.

2 Aug 2016 13:54

The Stan Laurel Inn, Ulverston

The Stan Laurel is a lovely pub tucked away off the main drag, this was my last tick in the town from the current GBG.

As expected by the name its a shrine to Laurel and Hardy, with many figures, pictures and other various memorabilia from their career along the walls & bar area.

Busy at 9pm when we arrived, with most of the punters being over 50 yrs old, good to see most of the punters tucking into ale.

Music played at an un-intrusive level, and I can happily say the music was excellent.

6 ales available, 5 from Cumbria and the other one from Thwaites in Lancashire. I had several pints of Ulverston’ s Celebration Ale @ 3.9%, what a cracking ale that is.

In the room to the right is a full sized pool table with lights above it, also in this room is a tv that's on for sport, there’s also a bit of sport memorabilia on the walls in here.

Pleasant and attentive bar staff, a couple of friendly locals and best of ale great beer.

Scores highly and was a great place to round off a throughally good 2 week holiday in the North !

2 Aug 2016 13:51

The Swan Inn, Ulverston

A Sunday night visit to one of the last pubs in Ulverston that I needed / wanted to tick while staying in the town.

The Swan is a large open plan pub with windows at the front overlooking the hills towards Kendal, this made for a great view on a fine evening.

10 hand pumps with 9 ales on, these were spread from across the UK, with one from Essex, 2 from Cornwall, 3 from Yorkshire and 3 from Cumbria, with a range of breweries represented. I had a couple of pints of Rudgate's Hop Spin @ 4.0%. In addition to the cask ales there was Oakham Green Devil IPA, Fruli and Leffe Brune on Keg, very surprised to see Fruli and Leffe on tap in this part of the country.

Quite busy on this fine evening, with most people in the large rear garden. I would guess that all of the punters here were locals.

We stayed for around an hour, a very pleasant pub with sparten decoration, a couple of smaller rooms and a cracking range of ales. Another pub I’d like to re-visit one day.

2 Aug 2016 13:49

The Kings Arms, Cartmel

The Kings is a lovely looking pub, restaurant and hotel in the centre of the village. I visited with family on a recent Sunday having been to the races the day before.

The Kings appears in the 2016 Camra GBG so I had high hopes for this place. On the ale side it didn’t disappoint as there were 5 ales on, the pint of Hawkshead Lakeland Bitter I had was very drinkable however after this things went down hill slightly.

Being a Sunday we booked a table for 6 for lunch, we arrived slight early and the young bar man looked confused…perhaps it was me apologising in my South London accent for being early that confused him! We were shown to our table and given menus…however we were obviously not deemed to be important as the service was slow this included taking our food order then bringing said food with one of the meals not being complete. The waiting staff just didn’t seem to care about our party instead focusing on other groups especially the loud group of “regulars” sat behind us who were oh so important!!

The décor of the pub is excellent as is the location, the ale choice is equally as good, the food was a good standard and not too highly priced but the service…it’s slow and un-attentive, the sort of service that makes people not return…I may be one of these people but maybe next time I’ll just go for a pint and not bother eating here.

I have scored down due to the service but if you don’t eat here you’ll probably score it higher…I know I would.

29 Jul 2016 13:45

Devonshire Arms, Ulverston

A late Saturday night visit for 1 final drink after a long day.

Quite empty when we arrived but just from the friendly girl behind the bar and the nature of the locals I can feel the pub really is a quality local that is run well.
6 hand pumps with 5 ales and 1 real cider, 3 ales from Abbeydale Brewery & 2 from Saltaire, I had a pint of Saltaire's Stateside IPA @ 6.0% which was excellent.
A large pub with plenty of seating area even though the bar itself is pretty small.

There’s several televisions focused on sport and a sign saying all major sporting events shown.

I wished we had arrived here earlier to have sampled more of the beers and spent more time here but I feel there may be a next time.

It’s convenient for both the town and station.

29 Jul 2016 13:44

Millers, Ulverston

Now called The Mill at Ulverston, The wife and I popped in here on a Saturday night for the first of 5 pubs in Ulverston that feature in the 2016 GBG. We arrived here around just after 8.30pm and it was just filling up.

Inside the 5 bar staff franticly tried to serve everyone, for a few minutes it was chaos but they soon got their selves together.

10 hand pumps each with a different ale on, I had a pint of the local Stringers brewery Plan B @ 4.3%, though the selection was excellent and I was I had more time to sample a few of the others.

We moved outside to the front of the pub and managed to bag a table.

The building is an ex flour mill and you can see the restored waterwheel as well as a few other original features still in place.

Upstairs there's a restaurant and also a first floor outside terrace, I didn't go up here but it was also busy.

I wish I'd spent more time here or even returned the following night but I had 4 other pubs to visit.

29 Jul 2016 13:32

The Hop, York

This large Ossett Brewing Co run bar was the remaining pub in York from the current GBG that needed ticking and what a cracker it is.

The double fronted glass entrance on Fossgate leads to a stunning interior that needs to be seen to fully appreciate it. There's lots of light towards the rear, original tiles on the walls and floor and some pretty amazing art nouveau style chandeliers hanging over the bar. The interior is stunning!!

On my visit there were 11 ales on of which 2 were craft, also had 2 real ciders on. Great to see that all of the ales were from Yorkshire breweries. To start with I had a pint of Huddersfield's Rat Brewery Rat Trap @ 4.0% then followed that up with the White Rat @ 4.0%, both very good ales.

Really busy as it was Easter Sunday, the back was busy with families and couples enjoying the pizza’s on offer. The wife and I stayed here for a couple of hours, the atmosphere was buzzing, music played quite loudly and the beer was cracking.

A great place to visit for a couple of drinks, pizza or just to see the décor….get’s a 9/10 from me!

29 Jul 2016 13:26

The Engine Inn, Cark

Quick stop at this road side inn as we had 30 minutes for our train.

This is a re-visit for me as I ticked it 2 years ago while on holiday in the lakes.

3 ales on, I had a pint of Healey's Old Welly , a blonde ale @ 4.0% which was very well kept and drinkable.

Busy inside with quite a few people eating in the front dining room, I saw a few pies & burgers go past and they smelt blinking lovely.

Another quick pint which was enjoyed sitting out the front enjoying the sunshine.

25 Jul 2016 22:51

Pig and Whistle, Cartmel

Prominent Robinsons pub on the edge of the village that was heaving after the racing on Saturday.

We only had time for 1 drink, for me that was a pint of the very good Trooper, always a good pint and thankfully it was no different on this occasion. 5 other ales on the hand pumps with the majority of these from the Robinson's stable.

Cannot comment much on the decor as it was packed so we took our drinks to the large garden out the back.

Enjoyed a pleasant half and hour in the garden before heading off.

Decent enough pub, I did see they also have a restaurant on site.

25 Jul 2016 22:49

The Cavendish Arms, Cartmel

Popped in after racing on Saturday at Cartmel, when we visited last year after the same meeting their was live music on outside and the pub & streets were buzzing, very different this year though!

No live music and not so many punters knocking around with most people using the Royal Oak and Kings Arms instead.

4 hand pumps, 3 ales of which one went ran out as soon as I ordered a pint, so I was left with the choice of Theakston's Lightfoot or Kirkby Lonsdale's Cavendish Fox which is brewed for the pub and is a nice pint.

The lighting in the pub is very dim so the busier it is the darker it gets inside. Plenty of bar staff on so getting served isn't a problem.

There's also rooms and a restaurant on site. Decent pub when there's live music outside but too dark to sit inside for me.

25 Jul 2016 22:47

Red Lion Inn, Hawkshead

Less than a minutes walk behind the Kings and you reach the Red Lion, the 2nd pub to appear in the current GBG.

A completely different pub to the Kings, even though it sells food all day and has a separate lower level dining room its definitely more of a pub.

An L shaped bar with 5 hand pumps, one empty, one coming soon with the other 3 having Cumbrian ales on, I had a couple of very well kept pints of Cumbrian Legendary Ales Ryedale Red Ale @ 4.3%.

The bar is wooden panelled with a solid wooden top.

We ordered a late lunch and the food was excellent , very fresh and good value for money.

The Red Lion is a nice pub, this is just from a 2 hour visit on a very wet and miserable Friday afternoon, better than the Kings for me as its more of a pub.

25 Jul 2016 22:46

The Kings Arms, Hawkshead

The Kings Arms is one of 2 pubs in the village that appears in the 2016 GBG. I stayed in Hawkshead over 12 years ago and convinced myself I had been to this pub but I'd confused it with the Queens almost opposite!

This is a very quaint pub with a carved wooden bar, a couple of wooden beams & an open stone fireplace. There's also an interesting carved King that acts as a pillar holding up one of the beams! Apparently he's carved by a well known local woodworker.

Onto to the drinks, 4 cask ales on the 4 hand pumps, Hawkshead Red and Bitter , Rudgate Myraaj and Cumbrian Legendary Ales Loweswater Gold, there's also Jennings Cumberland Cream and Marston's Oyster Stout on keg. The pint of Red @ 4.2% I had was decent.

The bar is small but crams a lot into it with barely enough space behind it for 2 people.

To the right of the bar is an extension that acts as additional dining space, with all tables laid out for diners'. The pub also has rooms so you can stay here.

Obviously it's a tourist haven but this is a decent pub in a delightful little village.

21 Jul 2016 22:40

The Bridge Hotel, Buttermere

Opposite the Fish Inn, the Bridge is a very different style hotel & bar with an attractive south facing garden at the rear of the pub facing the small village.

4 ales, all from the immediate local area on the hand pumps, the pumps are in 2 banks of 4 on opposite sides of the bar, one side serving the front area as you enter from the garden and the other serving the larger lounge area.

I had a pint of Tram Shed's Mowdy @ 4.0%, a decent pint but quite pricey even for a touristy area.

Stopped for a well earned pint before moving on.

21 Jul 2016 22:36

Fish Hotel, Buttermere

Large hotel, bar and restaurant in the tiny but beautiful village of Buttermere, this is one of 2 here and when we arrived was very quiet, that all changed within 15 minutes as the garden got packed with walkers, most accompanied by their dogs.

Another Jennings run pub with 3 of their ales on plus another 3 as guest's & Old Rosie cider, the ales were all very decent brews but I had to have the very local Keswick Brewery Thirst Quencher @ 4.3%, nicely kept.

I cannot comment much on the interior as we took our drinks & sat out the back in the suntrap beer garden admiring the view's.

I rate this one 7/10 and that's for the ale selection and suntrap garden.

18 Jul 2016 23:25

Coledale Inn, Braithwaite

Lovely hotel and bars at the top of Braithwaite village with amazing views across the mountains.

We walked here from Keswick on a Thursday for lunch and a pint, it appears in the 2016 GBG so it also acted as a tick for me.

3 ales on the 3 hand pumps, my pint of Cumberland Breweries Corby Blonde @ 4.2% was well kept.

2 different bars that both serve a separate section of the hotel, the main bar as you enter from the front also the large garden has several tables & bench seats and the small bar, while across the way is a separate bar named the Georgian Bar which is a stand alone bar and lounge room & is very homely feeling, however it was closed on this visit.

We stopped for a pint and a sandwich before moving on, a very nice hotel and bar with superb views from the beer garden.

18 Jul 2016 21:49

The Pheasant Inn, Keswick

A Wednesday night re-tick on the way from town back to our digs.

Jennings managed road side pub that does a good trade in food, just like most pubs in Keswick during the summer.

5 ales on from the Marston's stables , 3 from Jennings, Sunbeam from Marston's and their house ale Pheasant Ale @ 4.6% also brewed by Marston's. I was drinking the Pheasant last year and it was thoroughly drinkable, pleased to report there's no change it's still very drinkable.

Busy inside with diners, we sat on the benches outside the front and enjoyed the last of the summer evening.

18 Jul 2016 21:19

Four in Hand, Keswick

Another re-visit from last years holiday and boy has this place changed, when we were here a year ago the pub had just reopened and was having a few teething troubles, its certainly grown since then.

Another pub that does a very good trade on food, but the Wainwright has more about it than just food. Its got a full wooden floor, the walls are wooden panelled and adorned with pictures, drawings and maps of the locals hills, walks and fells.

All of the doors internal and external have coloured stained glass panels.

The pub prides itself on selling Cumbrian ales with 6 available on this visit from the 8 hand pumps. A quick check of the pumps and I can report that the ales were from within a 50 miles radius of the pub.

I had pints of Stringers (from Ulverston) The North will rise again @ 4.9% and Cumberland Breweries (from near Carlisle) Great Corby @ 4.5%, both very well kept ales. All ales are 10% off with a Camra card, that'll do for me.

A good buzz about the pub now, it really has established itself as a top quality real ale outlet. No fruit machines or quiz machines, music played softly with the most noise coming from chatter.

The men's toilets are fully tiled & resemble a Victorian washroom, they are mightily impressive.

Scores highly for me for the ales and the impressive interior.

18 Jul 2016 21:13

Dog and Gun, Keswick

7 ales across the 8 hand pumps on, on my Tuesday evening visit to this popular dog friendly pub at top of the high street. This is the only pub in the town that appears in the 2016 GBG.

The ales on were split between nationals and locals with 2 from Keswick Brewery and another Cumbrian Ale. I went for a pint of Kirkby Lonsdale's Rushkins @ 3.9%.

The Dog and Gun is well known for its good food and this is certainly where it makes it's money, the place was packed with almost everyone eating or having eaten dinner. We ate here last year and the food was good.

Nicely decorated inside with flag stone and wooden flooring throughout, open range fireplace at one end and pictures of Keswick and Derwent Water on the walls.

A very good pub but beware food is king.

18 Jul 2016 21:11

Board and Elbow, Penrith

Visited at 4pm on a Tuesday for a late lunch after a long walk.

Large open plan inside with many places to sit for both drinkers & diners. Pleasant decor, the bar is traditionally wooden.

A full range of lagers, cider and Guinness as well as 2 hand pumps with 2 ales on, I opted for a pint of Springheads' Sweet lips @ 4.6%, a decent pint but the glass was a little grubby.

There's a pool table in the top room and kids are welcome, thankfully by the time we sat down the kids had stopped playing pool and left.

The seating area to the front on the pavement also acts as a smokers retreat.

Cheap meals, meant the pub was quite busy, more diners than drinkers. Food was decent for the money. The men's toilets are very nice and importantly clean.

18 Jul 2016 19:21

The George Hotel, Keswick

Very surprised that no-one has reviewed this large pub & hotel with a restaurant at the top end of the high street.

Run by Jennings with 4 of their ales on the hand pumps along with Marston's Sunbeam and Shipyard IPA. The couple of pints of Cockerhoop I had were excellent however the glass I had my first pint in had seen better days with a few too many smears from the dishwasher.

Within 40 minutes of being here the restaurant had filled up as had all of the available tables and chairs in the 2 lounge areas. We ordered food and I can confirm its excellent.

By 7.30pm the pub was only really fit for food as that's what all the punters wanted.

Away from the food, the George is a decent pub, dog friendly and worth a visit.

18 Jul 2016 19:18

Siennas, Keswick

Now called Legends, it's a long thin sports orientated bar at the top of the High Street. Not sure how long its be open be it feels fairly new, or maybe its just in the middle of a re-fit.

No real ale on cask but there's Belhaven Best and Tetley's Smooth on keg, I had a few pints of the Best while watching the Euro 2016 final on one of the many TVs.

The 2 bar staff were very pleasant but the rest of the clientele can be polity be described as 'locals', a mix of ages but most of the punters were under 25, this is probably why they have no cask ale on as all of these punters were drinking lager.

The drink is cheap, there's a pool table and dart board up on the mezzanine and plenty of TVs as mentioned above.

Probably won't return but it did serve a purpose on a Sunday night in July.

18 Jul 2016 19:17

Packhorse Inn, Keswick

First visit to this Robinsons run pub just off the main street, we missed this one last year as it appeared to be very foodie.

It does sell food and at 6.30pm was doing a good trade but it also has 6 hand pumps with 6 ales on 4 from Robinsons and 2 from Hartley's, I had a pint of their Cumbrian XB @ 4.0%.

The down stairs is where the bar is along with seating areas for drinkers and diners, upstairs there's more of a restaurant area.

Music playing at a decent level. Good attentive service, pictures of the local area and well known local people & a well kept ale.

17 Jul 2016 18:29

The Chief Justice of the Common Pleas, Keswick

A Sunday afternoon visit to the towns 'spoons started a week staying in Keswick.

Pretty busy, with half the pub watching the tennis (on mute) and the rest of the punters eating.

This is a re-tick as we visited this pub several times last year while staying in the area. For anyone that's been here before you will know its a cracking conversion of the towns magistrates court and former police station that was in use until 2000.

12 hand pumps with 10 ales on, 4 were the regular 'spoons national brands with the other 6 being from the local area. I had a couple of pints of RCH Breweries East Street @ 5.0%, a very good pint.

This is one of the wife's favourite pubs, I quite like it as well. Definitely worth a stop while in the town even if it's just for the layout and the old cells that you can sit in enjoying your pint or food.

17 Jul 2016 18:21

Old Gate Bar & Restaurant, Hebden Bridge

Arrived here 20 minutes before closing time on a Friday night as I wanted to tick it before it closed.

Busy inside, this large bar and restaurant is completely open plan inside, with an upstairs dining area.

As I say we only had time for 1 drink so I went for a pint of Atoms' Schrooder's Cat @ 3.5%, a decent pint. The 10 hand pumps had 7 ales and 2 ciders on, I cannot remember what they all were as I'd already had a fair few pints!

The bar is attractive and is copper topped.

Didn't spend enough time here to fully appreciate it.

17 Jul 2016 18:19

The Bounty, Workington

Aside from the 'spoons which I visited last year this was by far the nicest and least threatening looking pub in Workington on a Saturday afternoon.

Large open plan layout that has the feel of a 'spoons about it and with prices to match...who's competing with who ?

A lot of families and couples eating here at the front of the pub, towards the back is more of a family area with the long bar to the left in the middle of the pub.

Only 2 ales on the hand pumps, these were Sharps' Doombar and Tetley's Cask, I had a couple of pints of the Tetley's, it was very decent and just £1.99 a pint!

Nicely decorated and well appointed with plenty of tables and chairs for drinkers and diners.

I expected the Bounty to be as rough and dicey as the others pubs I walked past in town looked but I was very wrong. A good honest pub with a well kept ale and a bargain price to boot.

A surprising 7/10 from me.

17 Jul 2016 18:16

The Fox and Goose, Hebden Bridge

This community pub was the first of the 2 from the GBG to visit in Hebden Bridge.

9.15 on a Friday night and as I expected it was busy, not packed but busy enough. Being a community pub most punters knew someone, or one of the dogs that was roaming around!

5 ales on the pumps, I stuck with the very difficult to pour but extremely drinkable White Rat @ 4.8% from Rat Brewery.

A cracking pub that really is a community hub, the shareholders are doing a great job, the ales are good, the pub has a very relaxed atmosphere and the electric local's love it.

I don't reckon this will be my last ever visit.

17 Jul 2016 18:04

Calan's, Hebden Bridge

I never realised Hebden had a Micropub, the wife and I stopped here for a night and I had 2 tick from the 2016 GBG, Calan's doesn't appear in the guide (yet) so it wasn't on my radar.

Calan's is a very nice looking micro, the young bar staff (owners ?) were kept busy and there was barely a spare seat in or out side.

5 hand pumps with 5 ales on, 3 light & 2 dark. All ales at £3.00 as well as bottles of which they had a decent selection of Saltaire ales, I had a bottle of their Hazelnut Coffee Porter @ 4.6%.

Neutrally decorated inside with the small amount of space well utilised.

A thoroughly good micro.

17 Jul 2016 18:03

The Fleece Inn, Haworth

Mid afternoon visit to Bronte's village, lunch was needed so we combined that with a beer at this Timothy Taylor pub half way up Main St, The Fleece also appears in the 2016 GBG so it was the right place to stop.

4 Taylors ale on the handpumps, Landlord, Golden Best, Boltmaker & Ram Tam, they also had Mr Grundy's Sniper on as a guest ale. My pint of Golden Best was excellent and so was the Cajan Chicken ciabata I had for lunch.

Stone flooring through to the bar, with the carpets and comfy sofas in the lounge to the left of the bar, a small dining room is further on through the lounge area.

Nicely decorated, a nice attractive wooden bar and friendly service. This was the only pub in the village we tried but its very nice and worth a visit.

17 Jul 2016 17:55

Fanny's Ale And Cider House, Saltaire

Friday lunchtime visit to this traditional main road ale house while visiting Saltaire village and mill.

A busy place by 1pm it was half full. Soft rock music playing, that didn't deter chatter or the couple of blokes that were reading.

The decoration is of old photos of the local area, vintage metal signs and breweriana. The lounge is also gas lit.

7 ales on the hand pumps, I had a Saltaire South Island Pale @ 3.5%.

Cracking place that I feel I haven't given enough attention to as I made a flying visit here.

17 Jul 2016 17:51

Woolly Sheep Inn, Skipton

Stayed here for 2 nights on a Wednesday and Thursday in early July, a great choice for it's location, it appears in the 2016 GBG and its a Timothy Taylor pub.

5 of their ales on, Landlord, Golden Best, Boltmaker, Ram Tam & Dark Mild + 2 guest's, one from Ilkley I cannot remember what the other one was .

The pub is extremely well decorated and you can tell money has been spent on the interior, the front is a comfy lounge area with a small bar & large leather backed chairs while through to the rear is a more traditional bar area.

2 dining areas towards the rear are split level and serve good home cooked food, not cheap but the restaurant part does get booked up so it must be good.

At the back is a traditional courtyard with a covered decking area. The rooms are comfortable and reasonably priced.

A pub, restaurant and hotel all in one.

17 Jul 2016 17:31

Red Lion, Skipton

Large Greene King pub on the High Street and only one of three pubs that was showing the Wales vs Portugal Semi Final during the Euros.

At 7.30pm it was already busy with quite a few pi**ed blokes at the bar, fairly off putting coupled with the empty glasses and plates of food left on the tables, oh and the flies that were circling by the tv!

8 hand pumps with 8 ales on, only a couple of these were from the GK stable.
The several pints of Kelham Islands' Riders on the Storm @ 4.5% were extremely good, I have to say the ale choice was excellent.

Not a pub I would return to when I'm next in Skipton, it served a purpose for the football and the ale was good but that's it for me.

17 Jul 2016 17:26

The Beer Engine, Skipton

Skipton's 1st micro pub and a tick from the 2016 GBG.

5 cask ales on the pumps, I had a pint of Navigation's Eclipse @ 3.9%. All ales are stored in a cool room visible behind the bar. There's also a decent range of bottled ales, with Belgian and American available.

Busy with plenty of chatter going on, no piped or cd music, no TV and no fruit machines, those of you that know micropubs know that this is the norm.

Stopped for 1 drink before moving on, nice but didn't quite hit the spot with me.

17 Jul 2016 17:25

Bar t'at, Ilkley

Cracking pub and dining room that prides itself on local ale and good food.

The downstairs dining room was closed so all the punters in were here for the beer, and they certainly have a good selection on with 8 ales on the pumps, I went for the local Ilkley Brewery Ilkley Pale @ 4.2%. The hand pumps are in 2 batches of 4 across the split bar.

A large seating area is opposite the bar that has a mix of leather sofas and tables & chairs. There's open windows over the looking the side of the shopping area and to the back there's a courtyard terrace with benches etc.

According to a friend that lives in the town (who's never been in here) the place is a mecca for the local ale lover and the choice of ales and variety certainly bore this out.

Will return one day and spend more time here as I liked the atmosphere as well as the ale choice.

17 Jul 2016 17:13

The Crescent Hotel, Ilkley

Onto Ilkley for an overnight stay at the Crescent Inn, a good choice as it also appears in the 2016 GBG.

2 visits one mid afternoon & the other after 8.30pm, the attractive bar downstairs from the onsite French restaurant is complete with an original fireplace, gas lamp lights, oak flooring and copper topped tables.

The bar is the focal point of this pub with 8 ales on the hand pumps, 5 of these are guests with only one of them not being from Yorkshire. I had very good pints of Dave from Great Heck Brewing @ 3.8% and Bad Seeds' New England IPA @ 6.0%

Pleasant bar staff who were chatting to all the punters and kind of couldn't do enough. Music playing quite loudly but it wasn't intrusive.

Busy on both visits.

A very good pub in a historic building, the start of a good days drinking in Ilkley.

17 Jul 2016 16:29

The Three Tuns, Thirsk

Just like the Golden Fleece , Wetherspoon's Three Tuns is an imposing double fronted hotel positioned in the corner of Market Place.

This was the last pub we visited and as we were staying here for the night it made sense to end the evening here. The internal layout is a little strange, 2 large rooms either side of the grand entrance with it's high ceiling and staircase to the hotel part. The long bar is positioned to your left beneath a low ceiling giving it a slightly claustrophobic feel. Beyond the bar and behind the staircase is a long seating and dining area leading to a patio garden and smoking area. Off of this long room are 3 little snugs again for diners, these are really nice little areas.

Now to the ales, the 7 hand pumps had 6 ales, I chose a pint of Nick Stafford's Yorkshire Session Bitter @ 3.8%, a decent well kept ale.

Not much atmosphere here on my visit, I find the layout slightly odd as mentioned.

However the building is lovely and of course being a 'spoons the food and drink is cheaper than other local establishments.

17 Jul 2016 16:21

The Golden Fleece Hotel, Thirsk

Imposing hotel right in the centre of the Market Place run by Masham's Black Sheep Brewery.

Smallish bar to the left of the reception with a lounge dining area leading to the bar where there's 2 hand pumps, the ales were Black Sheep Cask Best Bitter and my choice Pennine Brewing Co Hair of the Dog @ 3.9%.

The bar is very tastefully decorated with lots of tartan style patterned chairs to go with the checked carpet. In addition there is plenty of horse racing pictures on the walls, along with horse themed wallpaper and a few glass display cabinets with local race badges in. The other seating area on the opposite side of the hallway is more like a library and reading room. Nice relaxed and friendly feel to the bar, with all punters made to feel welcome.

Of course this is a hotel and has a large restaurant but the bar shouldn't be ignored, you'll be pleasantly surprised.

8/10 and that's for the ale, decor and calm feel.

17 Jul 2016 16:15

The Royal Hotel, Thirsk

The Royal doesn't look much from the outside but it has an attractive and well decorated interior, is well lit and welcoming.

Half a dozen punters in at 6.15 when we arrived here, greeted by the landlord who apparently used to be a pro rugby league player for Hull FC.

2 ales on which were Sharps Atlantic and Theakston’s Best, the Best was very good.

Attentive service from the young barman. This is very much a sports themed pub, at least 3 TVs with horse racing on 2 and Tennis on the other.

Nice enough pub, nice looking garden to the rear but it wasn't the place to visit while the rain was lashing down.

Another one visited that probably won’t be returned to.

17 Jul 2016 16:13

The Blacksmiths Arms, Thirsk

Pub number 2 and its the very quiet Blacksmiths.

Long narrow pub with a small bar in the front area on your right as you enter with a longer bar in the centre of the pub.

A couple of lads playing darts and one other couple in and that was the total amount of punters at 5.30pm on a Monday evening.

2 ales on cask which were Timothy Taylor Landlord and Black Sheep Best, the Best was decent.

An okay pub, clearly more of a lager pub than for ale drinkers, pleasant enough but 1 pint & 1 visit is enough.

17 Jul 2016 10:36

Little 3, Thirsk

A one night stay in Thirsk, no pubs in the current GBG to tick so we just worked our way round the 8 pubs in the main square, starting off with the very attractive but empty Little 3.

6 ales on the hand pumps all ales from Yorkshire breweries, apparently there are 2 permanently on and the other 6 change regularly, the pump clips lining the wall and ceiling of the bar show how many have been served since the start of the year until 1st May when they ran out of space! I had a pint of Pennine Brewing Co’s Pennine Challenge @ 3.9%.

The pub used to be called The Little Three Tuns but apparently when Wetherspoon’s moved into the town and took over the Three Tuns the new landlord of this place changed the name to The Little 3, an interesting fact given to us by the really chatty and slightly bored young barman, as we were he’s only punters it gave him something to do talking to us.

Lovely old fashioned pub with original wooden beams, low ceilings, a couple of little seating nooks, very large open cooking range / fireplace. In addition there’s a large back yard with benches, to the top of the yard is a raised seating area with shelter, apparently the pub gets rammed when it’s race day.

A thoroughly decent pub with good ales.

17 Jul 2016 10:33

General Tarleton Inn and Restaurant, Ferrensby

Not a pub anymore as such, as it’s a very fancy bar, dining and rooms.

The wife and I stayed here for an evening recently for my birthday. The food is excellent as is the service.

No real ale on cask or keg, a couple of good quality European lagers, wines and spirits.

My score is for the food, decoration and ambience.

17 Jul 2016 10:17

Green Dragon, Beverley

The Green Dragon is a very misleading pub for me , from the outside it looks okay but slighty tired, however internally it has a lot about it.

It's huge and has at least 3 different areas, with a TV in 2 of the areas and another in the doorway. We stopped here to watch the football in Sunday night.

The long bar has 10 hand pumps , 8 ales Old Rosie cider and the other spare, I had a few pints of Rooster's California Common @ 4.2%. Cheap pub this one a pint of ale and a whiskey & coke for £5.45, so cheap I had to check the barman had put whiskey in the wife's drink!

Stopped here for a couple of hours, friendly barman, pretty busy, the pub sells sizzling plates of steak and ribs etc, all smelt good.

I don't normally do reviews on pub toilets but it has to be noted that the gents toilets here were spotless.

Out of the 6 pubs I visited in Beverley this was one of my favourites, there was just something very welcoming and decent about it.

11 Jul 2016 19:13

Chequers, Beverley

The first Micropub that opened in Yorkshire & it's a gem. Tucked away in a yard off the Market Place it was previously a bakers.

Large glass windows to the front with the bar towards the rear up a step. The walls are adorned with beer pump clips, brewery poster's and mirrors, there's also a large quantity of books on real ale on shelves opposite the bar.

5 ales on along with 9 real ciders. My choice of Half Moon Brewery Blonde @ 4.2% was excellent as expected at a 'pub' that prides itself on it's ales.

Busy with lots of chatter, no piped music , tvs or fruit machines here!

Only stopped for one drink but the Chequers has a really nice feel to it.

11 Jul 2016 18:54

The Woolpack Inn, Beverley

Westwood Road is one of the nicest roads in Beverley and the Woolpack is a very attractive pub. Hanging baskets outside along with benches, give the pub a very welcoming feel before you even get inside.

Once inside there's low beams and a lovely little snug to the right before you reach the small bar.

8 ales across the pumps with all of them from the Marston's stable, 3 of these from Jennings in Cockermouth, my drop of their Golden ale was excellent.

Most punters inside were eating, the food looked good and seemed to be big hearty portions, we took our drinks and sat out the front where it was busy with locals chatting and soaking up the last of the days nice weather.

The Woolpack is my type of pub, internally and externally attractive, plenty of character, a separate little snug to get away from diners, a good selection of ales (as long as you like Marston's ales) & friendly service.

Possibly the best pub in Beverley in my opinion.

11 Jul 2016 18:47

The Tiger Inn, Beverley

A short walk from the centre and you come to the very homely Tiger Inn which was a Camra pub of the year runner up in 2013.

Sunday is carvery day so the eating area was packed, when we arrived at 6pm food was still being served, the roasts looked really good.

A few couples in the front bar, the bar is wooden & painted black and white with a solid wooden top. The 5 hand pumps had 3 ales which were Sharps Atlantic, Timothy Taylor Landlord and Rooster's Yankee, 2 real ciders available both from Weston’s, Old Rosie and Rosie's Pig. I opted for a pint of Landlord.

The television was on mute and they had music playing at a very acceptable level, not sure if it was a cd or the radio.

Another pub where we stayed for just one drink, good service, nice atmosphere, well kept ale, the Tiger is a decent pub that's worth the short walk from the centre of town.

11 Jul 2016 18:17

Blind Jacks, Knaresborough

Blind Jack’s eluded me on my last visit to Knaresborough as it was a Tuesday afternoon and it didn’t open until 5pm so I missed it, that wasn’t g to happen this time.

A couple of punters in when we arrived, the bar is in front of you as you enter then there’s another room to the right and 2 further rooms upstairs as well as the ladies toilets, the gents toilets are in the outside courtyard to the rear.

Young friendly barman was only too happy to talk through the ales and allow some tasting, which was good for the wife so she could make the right decision! There’s 9 ales on with 4 on from Bad Brewing Co in nearby Dishforth, my pint of their Dazed and Confused with a 5.5% abv was superb.

We only stopped here for 30 minutes before we had to head off but this was the best of the 3 pubs I visited in Knaresborough in the afternoon, good choice of ales, friendly locals, central Market Place location the perfect place to shop.

Another visit is definitely needed to this pub.

11 Jul 2016 18:09

Cross Keys, Knaresborough

An afternoon visit to this Ossett Brewery run & managed pub just off the Market Place.

According to the Camra GBG this pub is done up in typical Ossett Brewery style which means it has exposed brickwork and original features like the fireplace, the walls have a mix of brewery mirrors & old photos of Knaresborough on them. It’s a double roomed pub with the main bar having a L shaped bar on your right as you enter from Cheapside.

7 different ales on the 8 hand pumps, 5 of them from the Ossett Brewery and the other 3 being guests, I opted for a pint of Silver King @ 4.3% while the misses had a bottle of Strawberry framboise.

A nice pub with a local community feel to it.

4 Jul 2016 09:48

The Borough Bailiff, Knaresborough


***Now known as the Commercial Hotel***

2 Jul 2016 23:41

Crown Inn, Knaresborough

A Saturday visit with the wife to this large & internally attractive 'spoons during an afternoon of pub ticking in Knaresborough.

We arrived around 3pm and it was packed already, no problem getting served however as there was ample staff on, not something you normally associate with a 'spoons.

A dozen hand pumps, but only 6 ales on, with the choice being mainly all national ales, I chose a bottle of Black Sheep's Pathmaker @ 5.6% from the extensive bottle menu.

Really surprised no one has posted a review since this pub had been taken over by Wetherspoon's, its a busy pub with everyone seeming like locals to me. Loads of tables and chairs and plenty of seating options. To the side is a small patio garden complete with a mural of a summer garden, a nice touch.

I like this pub and would recommend it.

2 Jul 2016 23:38

Pepper Saint Ontiod, Isle of Dogs


A Thursday lunchtime visit for a couple of pints with a work colleague, it’s been several months since I’ve been here.

3 ales on cask with the only option for me being Tiny Rebel’s Cwtch which is a cracking beer and from one of my favourite breweries.

Fairly empty on this visit and therefore quite soulless. A decent pub and on this occasion cracking ale.

Surely it’s time someone else reviewed this pub!

2 Jul 2016 23:34

The East Dulwich Tavern (EDT), Dulwich

Two of us arrived here just after 11.30pm on Saturday as it was the only pub open to get a drink after leaving the Cherry Tree.

A decent selection of ales on cask, I had a very drinkable pint of Revolution’s Should I stay or should I go @ 4.5%, is this named after the Clash song or on the EU exit?? Who knows.

I think the EDT is open to 1am on a Saturday, anyway I left around 12.30 and they were still serving and it’s was pretty busy. I’m still not a fan of this pub, don’t know why but I guess I should give it another try when I’m more sober as on this visit I liked it!

2 Jul 2016 18:57

The Fox on the Hill, Denmark Hill

A few of us spent last Saturday afternoon and evening here watching the Euro’s football on the tv.

Busy all day with lots of groups and the regular Saturday drinkers in.

Some good choices on the hand pumps but after having a pint of G2 Breweries Otava @ 4.4% I went on to Banks’s Lions Roar, not a great beer but it was obviously good enough as I had a skinful before leaving at 8pm for a curry.

2 Jul 2016 18:24

Equal, Honor Oak Park

Is now a mediterranean restaurant called Hattush.

No ale on tap but the bottles of Efes draught are excellent

27 Jun 2016 12:42

London Beer Dispensary, Brockley

A visit last Thursday night with the wife for a few beers and food.

My pints of Brockley Brewery’s Red Ale were all on good form however I was a little disappointed to find only 3 ales on cask, but they did have another 5 on keg
.
I haven’t eaten here since they added to the burger menu, both of our burgers were excellent.

Stayed for 2 and a half hours and it got quite busy, food was popular.

Still my local favourite.

27 Jun 2016 12:39

The Clockwork Beer Co., Glasgow

My first visit to this large bar, diner and microbrewery which is just a stones throw from Hampden Park.

It was a Saturday tea time and it was pretty busy with several groups of blokes plotted up either for the night or as a warm up place.

9 ales on in total with 5 of them from the on site Clockwork brewery, my pints of Cartside Red @ 4.4% were okay but the ale did have a bit of twang to it.

A decent place that probably warrants another visit at some stage.

27 Jun 2016 12:33

Laurieston, Glasgow

A re-tick while in Glasgow recently for the weekend. Busy on my Friday afternoon visit with plenty of locals and a decent sized hen crowd in, it stayed busy for most of the night.

3 ales on with 2 from Fyne Ales, the Hurricane Jack was excellent until it ran out, then it was onto the Jarl followed by Auld Alliance which at 5.5% topped the night off nicely.

Great barman and landlord, leather banquet seating that’s seen better days, mis-matched chairs, formica tables the Laurieston has it all.

What a cracker of a boozer.

24 Jun 2016 13:13

The Feathers, Helmsley

While staying in the village for the weekend, we visited here first off late on the Friday night and it was packed, mainly with youngsters who looked like they were getting tanked up before going on somewhere else.

The atmosphere on this visit wasn’t the best with a lot of the locals pretty drunk and loud.

Our second visit was on the Sunday evening when it was a lot quieter and more relaxed. We got the barman to put the boxing on which went down well with a few of the locals

4 ales on, Black Sheep Best Bitter, Tetley's Cask, North Yorkshire’s Mayhem plus one more which I didn’t get the name of. My pints of Tetley's Cask and Mayhem were all well kept and served.

The Pickwick bar has low wooden beams and is done out in a country style, apparently throughout this bar and the hotel bar (where the food is served) are 10 pieces carved by the distinctive Robert 'Mouseman' Thompson. On the Sunday evening we stayed until closing time (11am), the barman was extremely friendly and helpful and most of the locals were alright. A very different pub to the Royal Oak, maybe not as welcoming but this is more of a locals pub than the Royal Oak.

19 Jun 2016 20:31

Crown Hotel Suddaby's, Malton

A Sunday afternoon tick while in Malton for the food festival and I must say with 3 pubs to chose from in Malton from the 2016 GBG I think I choose the wrong one, I just didn’t enjoy my visit here.

It’s a strange pub in my opinion, the front bar had half a dozen locals in at around 3pm with a couple in the conservatory and a few other punters in the garden to the rear. The front bar is very tired looking and has a musty old person’s front room feel to it. On the bar was Suddaby's Double Chance @ 3.8% plus 3 other ales, Thwaites Lancaster Bomber, the house ale brewed by Leeds and a Single Hop IPA from an unknown brewery. My drop of Double Chance was good enough.

There’s a large barn to the rear after the conservatory and before the patio garden. This barn houses the 3 times a year beer festival and still had the beer list chalked up on the wall. There’s also a bottle shop on site that was closed on my visit.

Maybe I didn’t spend enough time here but as a pub I just didn’t feel it, however the beer was okay.

4/10

19 Jun 2016 20:27

The Perseverance, Lisson Grove

4 of us visited here on a Sunday evening, as most other pubs around Baker Street were shut after the football at Wembley.

From the outside The Perseverance looked very inviting inside it was pretty empty and extremely soulless. A central u shaped bar looks far too big for the pub and out of place, the decor is described as sparten at best.

Only one ale on which was Doombar, it tasted okay and was drinkable.

Not a pub I think I'll ever return to however the barmaid was extremely friendly.

14 Jun 2016 11:05

Metropolitan Bar, Baker Street

Meet a few pals here for breakfast on a Sunday morning a few weeks back before heading to Wembley for a day of football.

Arrived at 10.30am and it was already doing a good trade, mainly in breakfasts.

I cannot remember how many or which ales were on as I went safe and had a Doombar with my full English.

Large open plan 'spoons the service was very good on this visit.

Nice enough and very handy for pre match drinks before Wembley.

14 Jun 2016 11:03

The Lansdown Arms, Lewes

Popped in on a Friday evening while waiting for our train home, packed when we arrived with people standing outstanding enjoying the mild evening.

The selection of ales was okay, I opted for a pint of Timothy Taylor Landlord.

Music playing but not that intrusive, I still get amused that there’s a tree inside the pub!

Decent enough stop for a beer while waiting for your train.

14 Jun 2016 11:00

The Elephant and Castle, Lewes

The last of 5 pubs in Lewes before heading to football in Falmer, the Elephant is a re-tick for me, having visited several times in the last few years.

On this visit it was already pretty busy by 5pm, seemed like a works leaving do was taking place. 4 ales on, the Great Heck Yakima IPA @ 7.4% was superb.

Food not available until 6pm so my travelling companion was disappointed he couldn’t eat as he’s favourite place to eat in Lewes, good job the chip shop round the corner was open, that kept him happy!

The Elly as it’s affectionately known is a thoroughly decent pub and well worth a visit.

13 Jun 2016 15:07

The Pelham Arms, Lewes

This large open plan pub owned by Hall & Woodhouse has original oak beams, an inglenook fireplace & is full of age-old charm however it was too large and empty on my visit to experience or comment on atmosphere.

Large wooden bar with all of the regular European lagers, several ciders and 2 ales of which both were from the Hall & Woodhouse stable, my pint of Bouncing Bounder was okay, not the best pint of the day

The bar area is open plan with a tiled floor, grandfather clock & plenty of wooden pew type seating.

The garden was busy and looked inviting. The Pelham is a nice enough pub but apart from the building that’s not much to draw me back, oh and the lingering food smell wasn’t exactly welcoming.

There’s better pubs in Lewes but if you walk this far up the High St or are walking back from the Black Horse it’s worth a stop not least to see the interior.

13 Jun 2016 15:06

The Black Horse Inn, Lewes

A trek up a hill and back towards the High Street brings us to our 3rd pub and by far the busiest we have visited.

7 ales on the hand pumps plus a real cider. I didn’t realise that this was a Greene King pub on my visit as most of the ales on were non GK ales, I had a very good pint of Gun Brewery Double Five, a well poured pint with a strong abv of 5.5%.

Lovely pub with wooden flooring in the front main bar area and carpeted through to the rear dining area. The walls are adorned with pictures of the local area, as well as having plenty of beer pump clips.

To the rear is a garden and smoking area.

Food served but no-one eating during my visit, I wonder how many people take on the paella for 4 at a cost of £50.00!

2 televisions in the front bar, one showing the cricket and the other one not on.

Not the best pub in Lewes in my option but still a very good one and worth the walk up the higher end of the High St.

12 Jun 2016 14:20

The Swan, Lewes

After a quick pint at the Kings Heads we headed along Southover High St to make my first ever visit to this attractive Harvey’s Brewery tied pub.

The public bar to the right as you enter has been converted over to a dining area with “all the drinking action” taking place in the private bar.

3 ales & 2 real cider both from Weston’s on the 5 hand pumps, I opted for a pint of Harvey’s Knotts of May, @ 3.0% it’s a perfect session mild. After commenting on the barmaid’s music choice that was playing on vinyl we took our drinks and headed out to the attractive patio that then leads onto the walled garden. Thinking the pub was empty was a mistake as all of the punters were in the garden enjoying food and the sun.

I’m not sure what I expected from this pub but I was genuinely surprised how lovely it is, being busier than the Kings Head it was easier to feel that theirs some atmosphere here, the bar staff were all fairly young and hip, which might not be to everyone choice’s but it works for me especially if they are enthusiastic and friendly.

Lovely pub, lots of character, good beer and a cracking garden and patio area.

Certainly worth the walk the “wrong way” from the station, scores 8/10 for me and yet another pub earmarked for a return visit.

12 Jun 2016 14:17

The Kings Head, Lewes

A Friday afternoon re-visit while in Lewes, on arrival early afternoon there was only 1 other punter in who was eating he’s fish and chips looked good. A short wait for the bar man / manager to serve us but when he did he was extremely jolly and helpful. 3 ales on which were Harvey's Sussex Best Bitter, Fuller's London Pride and Dark Star Hophead...the Harvey's Best was decent.

The King’s is a nice pub but with only one other punter in and the barman it was hard to tell whether it’s more of a restaurant than pub.
The décor is quite spartan and the leather sofas are battered, it doesn’t feel unloved but pub does feel like it’s a little bit forgotten.

An attractive antique tiled fireplace sit underneath a portrait of Anne of Cleaves.
Nice clean toilets, music playing, 3 ales on, friendly barman, the King’s appears to be a decent pub so hopefully in the evenings and weekends its a lot busier.

12 Jun 2016 14:14

The Falcon, Clapham Junction

Popped in after football at around 10.15pm on a Saturday evening and the pub was heaving.

Several bar staff on so getting served wasn’t a problem.

I’ve always liked the Falcon since it’s been taken over by Nicholson’s as the beer choice is large and varied and on this visit it was no different.

We stayed for a couple of beers, first up was a pint of Drygate’s Gladeye IPA on cask followed by a bottle of Siren’s Undercurrent.

Another good visit to this near excellent pub.

11 Jun 2016 12:26

Wellesley, Waterloo

With 30 minutes to kill before our train to Kingston for football a pal and I popped in for a quick beer. Rugby seven’s on television kept some of the punters entertained.

Fairly quick service form the bar staff, several ales o the hand pumps, all pretty much bog standard ales, I opted for a pint of St Austell’s Tribute, which was decent enough.

As per my last posting, the Beer house serves a purpose for a beer while waiting for your train and without having to leave the station. Pleasant enough.

8 Jun 2016 14:01

The Lyric, Soho

After a brisk walk through Mayfair and onto Soho we arrived at the Lyric just before 4.30pm.

Pretty busy inside with mainly shoppers and couples, that was until a large stag group arrived all dressed in golfing outfits!

The Lyric internally is a very attractive old fashioned pub with wooden flooring and tiled panels on the walls, there’s also a lovely art nouveau tiled entrance onto Great Windmill Street
A free house the choice of ales on both cask and keg being very good, on this visit there was 6 ales on cask and 10 on keg along with a real cider on cask, in addition the bottle and can selection is also very good, several smaller London breweries represented. We stayed for a couple of drinks, my pints of Big Smoke Solaris Session Pale @ 3.8% & Wild Beer Co’s Pogo @ 4.0% were both very good.

For some reason I have never been here before, I must of walked passed it over 50 times! Now I know what the ale range is and with its location I will certainly visit again.

Good attentive service from the chatty bar staff, decent priced ales and a great location….yet another pub that need’s another visit.

8 Jun 2016 10:49

The Coach and Horses, Mayfair

4th pub of the day and another from the 2016 GBG. I worked in the area for a long time and oddly I never visited the Coach and Horses before.

I met a friend here and we stayed for 1 beer. 3 ales on the selection wasn’t great but they did have Greene King’s Purple Reign @ 4.2% which has been brewed especially for the Queen’s Birthday.

Pretty busy in the small bar area with standing room only, the dining area to the rear was also popular. There’s also an upstairs dining room, no idea how busy this was a I didn’t venture up.

Lots of wooden panelling and beams.

Decent pub with good service

7 Jun 2016 13:58

The Golden Eagle, Bond Street

Another tick from the 2016 GBG and its the small but busy Golden Eagle just off Marylebone High Street.

The clientele were mainly made up of couples of mixed ages. Seats to the front on Marylebone Lane were full as the weather on this visit was good.

4 ales on, fairly bog standard offerings but they did have Samuel Adams Blonde Ambition @ 4.5% on cask so that was my choice.

Small red painted bar, dark red carpet throughout and nice stain glass windows to the front and sides.

A very nice little pub that feels more like a local than a pub found in Central London and is another one that's worth seeking out, very calm and relaxing, a perfect stop for a pint.

7 Jun 2016 13:54

The Gunmakers, Marylebone

My 2nd pub of the day just around the corner from the Tudor Rose and it couldn't be more different.

Externally its a very attractive pub that draws you in and grabs your attention, internally its nicely laid out with all the seating around the outside allowing easy access to the well stocked bar straight in front of you. Large windows to the front give plenty of light.

3 televisions mounted on the walls, all showing sport but all on mute, allowing the music that was being played to be heard and for conversation to be king.

Food is served and every table has a menu, sauces and cutlery on it ready for the diners.

Now to the ale, 4 hand pumps with 4 good quality ales. 2 offerings from
By the Horns I had a very good pint of Mick the Miller @ 4.0%.

Fairly busy during my visit with the landlord and all the bar staff interacting with the customers, I assume most if not all of them were locals / regulars.

The Gunmakers appears in the 2016 GBG and for me on my first visit i think its well deserved. Interesting to note that there's no fruit or quiz machines in here.

Worth a visit in my opinion.

6 Jun 2016 14:24

The Tudor Rose, Marylebone

A Saturday afternoon of pub ticking in Central London started here just after 1.30pm and I was the only punter in!

The pleasant landlord broke away from watching the Grand Prix on tv to serve me, 3 ales on Fuller's London Pride, Brains Rev James and Caledonian Decuhars IPA. My half of Rev James was pleasant.

Great sign behind the bar advertising their Spam Fritter Burger at £3.75, I didn't partake but I would like to see it!

Internally the pub is very dark with lots of wooden panelling. Stained glass windows show that the pub used to be a W Younger & Co tied house.

To the front are half a dozen or so wooden benches and umbrellas.

Not a bad place to start, nice enough, well kept ale but the pub needs more punters.

6 Jun 2016 14:22

The Blythe Hill Tavern, Forest Hill

3 visits in the last 3 and a half weeks on Wednesday nights & Saturday afternoon to watch the football on the tele.

Extremely well kept and poured pints of Darkstar’s Hophead always go down a treat and is the only ale I drink when I’m here…it’s that good I don’t need to try anything else.

Quality service from the bar staff, good quality ales, good banter all in all the Blythe really is a cracking pub.

2 Jun 2016 14:57

Railway Tavern, Stanford le Hope

This is my first visit since I posted a review on 17 Feb 2014 and I’m not surprised that no-one has posted a review since!

No change to this pub since my last visit, they still have no real ale on cask, Worthington Cream Flow on keg, Guinness and the usual lagers….with such poor choice I opted for a refreshing pint of Strongbow, for the 2nd time today.

We came in on Bank Holiday Monday purely to watch the football, there were only a dozen or so punters in all of which were locals.

Not a great pub but it serves a purpose.

2 Jun 2016 14:51

Rising Sun, Stanford-le-Hope

A revisit on Bank Holiday Monday teatime to what is by far the best pub in Stanford. Regularly appears in the Camra GBG and is consistently serving good ale.

4 ales on this visit with the Crouch Vale Essex Boys @ 3.8% being superb.

There was a group of around 15 of us so we occupied the smaller room to the right as you enter. The main lunge bar and garden were both busy.

A really cracking pub, good banter, friendly locals and more importantly great ale.

2 Jun 2016 14:37

The Bull, Corringham

So no-one else has posted a review of this pub since I did back in April 2014, either no-one has visited it or no-one wants to admit to it!

My most recent visit was also for a football game at nearby East Thurrock United, this time it was early May bank holiday Monday. Half a dozen of us came in after the game and again there was this air of threat from the locals….maybe it’s just me they don’t like!!

Unlike the last visit there was no real ale on cask this time with the only ale option being John Smith’s smooth on keg, therefore it was onto the Strongbow.

Like last time we only stayed for 1 drink before heading back to the safe haven of Stanford Le Hope.

I’m sure the Bull is a very nice pub, it’s attractive and had character but I just don't like the locals

2 Jun 2016 14:24

Crown Rivers, Heathrow Airport

A quick pint in this ‘spoons while waiting for a flight one Sunday afternoon.

I have only used this place once before, then it was fine and the same again this time.

5 ales on, I had a pint of Greene King’s George & the Flagon @ 4.5%. Not as cheap as your regular ‘spoons but cheaper than other bars at Heathrow.

Food was popular and they had the television on showing a re-run of the day’s London marathon.

2 Jun 2016 14:13

The Pride of Spitalfields, Shoreditch


Another Saturday evening visit after a day in Suffolk watching football.

On arrival around 8pm it was packed with the now to be expected locals and hipsters.

The ale selection was good but I stayed on Truman’s Budburst all evening as it’s a cracking session ale.

The pub cat was comfy on a stall and was hardly bothered at all.

Another good Saturday evening had in the Pride.

2 Jun 2016 14:09

The Rampant Horse, Needham Market

A quick pint in here around 6 weeks ago after a football game at Needham Market FC and before heading off to the station.

A decent looking pub that makes it into the 2016 Camra GBG and as mentioned below is owned & managed by the Calvors micro brewery.

3 ales on the hand pumps, I choose a pint of Colchester Breweries AK Ale @ 3.7%, having not much time to drink it I necked it and what I remember it was decent.

Pretty busy with locals & football fans, the pub has a nice feel to it. One that I aim to spend more time in next season when I return for a game at Needham Market FC.

2 Jun 2016 13:58

The Royal William, Stowmarket

After a short stroll from the Kings Arms we arrive at the 2nd & final pub in town to appear in 2016 GBG.

On arrival we are met with an empty pub and only the landlord at the bar, he greets us fondly while we peruse the list of ales available that’s pinned up on the wall. Today's selection is from 10 ales with all beers served direct from the barrels which are stored in a cold room directly behind the bar.

We stay for several beers and work our way through Mighty Oak’s Flying the flag @ 3.7%, Buffy's Nine X @ a whopping great 10.0% & Nethergates Perle Anniversary @ 4.4%

The Royal William is a cracking pub with plenty of character and good banter from the landlord, bar maid and a few elderly punters. The TV was on mute with the radio playing over it, pies & pasties are the food choices and supplied fresh by a local pie maker, served with lashings of pickle…a bargain at £2.50 and a good belly filler.

St Georges flags hanging outside the pub as it was St George Day when we visited.

Out of the 4 pubs we visited in one day this was by far the best….9/10 for me.

1 Jun 2016 14:51

The Crown Inn, Helmsley

Permanently closed

31 May 2016 20:30

The Kings Arms, Stowmarket

First pub of the day at 11am in Stowmarket.

The Kings is very handily placed for the station being almost on the car park as you leave the station. Its a corner shaped building with the small corner bar to your left as you enter.

4 ales on the hand pumps and 2 boxes of real cider behind the bar. 3 of the ales had abvs between 3.2% and 3.7% but I choose to start the day on Hellhound Breweries Soul Survivor @ 5.7%, a drinkable beer served by the strange barman!

A couple were sat in the bar area with 2 other punters in the small back room that had the Snooker on the television.

I have visited the Kings before , that was around 4 years for a quick drink while waiting for a connecting train.

Several piece's of breweriana are dotted around the bar area.

Time for one pint before moving onto another GBG pub a short walk away.

The Kings gets 7/10 from me.

26 May 2016 17:48

The Barley Mow, Epsom

This Fuller's pub appears in the 2016 GBG, therefore it was a must visit for me after a Wednesday afternoon at Epsom races.

Fuller's ales on the hand pumps with a guest from Everards. My pints of Olivers Island @ 3.8% and Everards Ascolon were both very decent.

Packed full of locals with several different seating areas including a mainly for diners conservatory towards the back of the pub that leads into the rather large and impressive garden. The whole pub dopes have a village feel to it.

One thing to note is that each time I ordered drinks the dopy bar maid got my order wrong and I had to correct her!

I would say it’s hard to find a better pub than this in Epsom.

26 May 2016 17:30

The Hare and Billet, Blackheath

Meet a friend here on Tuesday night for a catch up and a few beers. The Hare was my pub of choice in Blackheath as it has a nice feel to it and a good range of ales.

On this visit the 10 hand pumps had 7 cask ales & 2 ciders with the remaining pumps being empty. In addition there was 1 lager and 2 “craft” ales on keg served from the 3 taps at the back of the bar. There’s also a decent range of bottles and good quality lagers on keg.

We stayed for 3 hours and worked our way around the selection, beers sampled were Joe's Norfolk Ale “Knot Just Another IPA” @ 5.0%, Partizan Brewing “Porter” @ 5.1%, Portobello’s “Star” @ 4.3% & “London Pilsner” @ 4.6% and finally Signature Brew’s Bullhorn @ 7.3%...the last one was a whopping £7.00 a pint! Pricey but worth every penny.

Pretty busy for a Tuesday night, nice atmosphere, good attentive service and cracking beer.

Best pub in Blackheath for me.

23 May 2016 16:42

London Beer Dispensary, Brockley

Popped in on a Saturday afternoon recently and enjoyed a couple of pints of Late Knights Peckham Rye IPA @ 6.3%.

Filled up during the hour I spent here, mainly with “hip” young groups and couples.

A great bar, cracking beer and a stone’s throw from my house. If you haven’t been it’s a must visit.

23 May 2016 15:06

The George, Isle of Dogs

It’s been nearly 5 months now since the landlord sold up and moved abroad, selling the pub to Hippo Inns.

Both bars have been closed at separate times this year while they were decorated and down up tastefully with the toilets in the saloon bar being upgraded.

The 4 ales have stayed the same but the price of each pint has been increased by around 30p. Tim Taylor’s Landlord is still very good but not quite as good as when the previous owner had it, not sure why it just doesn’t taste quite as good.

There’s more emphasis on food now but it’s not become a foodie pub and that’s due to the clientele and locals that still frequent in their droves and his includes me.

Half of the previous bar staff still remain and the atmosphere in the pub has not really changed. The garden has been extensively changed ready for the summer.

Still a cracking pub and one of the best “work” pubs I’ve ever had.

23 May 2016 15:05

The Essex Arms, Brentwood

A few of us had several post football pints in this large pub that’s very handy for the station.

Even though I lived in Brentwood for 18 months I never ever drank here. Looks like it’s had a bit of a make over recently, the bar area is large & open plan with several high tables and stools by the window opposite the bar.

6 hand pumps with 5 ales, good selection of local and national brands, my pints of Brentwood Brewery Blonde @ 3.8% were all very good.

Juke box on playing some very decent music, several locals in a large group near the bar and apart from our group of 6 the pub was empty, apart from the very chatty and friendly bar man

Nice enough pub

23 May 2016 15:02

Rising Sun, Brentwood

My 1st visit to the only Brentwood pub that features in the 2016 GBG and obviously one I had to tick.

3 of us arrived just before 6.45pm and with only an hour before kick off down the road we forced 3 quick pints down. The pub is almost open plan with no doors between the bars but 2 separate serving areas at the bar, the larger side was pretty busy while the smaller side that houses a tv and dart board was empty.

5 hand pumps with 5 ales on, I opted for Brentwood Breweries Marvellous Maple Mid @ 4.2%, a fairly potent drop even though it’s only at session abv.

Lots of chatter at the bar area between the barman and regulars, the interior is a bit tired looking but it works and gives the pub a homely feel to it.

I liked the Rising Sun but I have to mention the strange smell in the smaller bar area, smelled like a cross between blocked drains & stale beer.

19 May 2016 13:43

The Dairyman, Brentwood

No previous reviews of this Wetherspoon’s I am surprised.

I made my first visit here on Tuesday night while on my way to football at Brentwood Town.

Arrived just after 6pm and it was already half full, I meet some pals here who were in the middle of eating when I arrived.

A long pub with the large bar running to your right as you enter off the High St, it’s nicely decorated inside and still has a new fresh feel to it. The majority of the clientele were aged between 35 and 55 and seemed to be slightly better than your average ‘Spoon’s clientele.

8 ales on the hand pumps I had a couple of pints of Yeovil Ales’s Lynx Wildcat @ 4.3%.

I lived in Brentwood for 18 months back in the early 00’s, the local pub scene hasn’t improved much since then but this ‘spoon’s is a plus point.

17 May 2016 15:51

The Clarence, Mayfair

Final pub of the evening and it’s my Central London go to pub.

Quiet when we arrived at 8pm but then got stupidly busy at 10.30pm when a large group (25+) of young toffs arrived before hitting Maihiki next door, god they were annoying!

Anyway back to the ales, again like on my previous visits there was a good selection of 6 ales on, I drank Truman's Runner all night with every pint being very good.

Regardless of previous reviews I do like the Clarence, they have good attentive bar staff, decent ales and is just a nice overall pub.

17 May 2016 15:36

The Goat Tavern, Piccadilly

This is was pub number 3 we arrived here around 6.15pm after the very disappointing Running Footman and it was busy outside but almost empty inside.

I’m sure I’ve been here before but I cannot remember much about my visit and it would almost have certainly been more than 10 years ago.

Now a Taylor Walker pub with 4 hand pumps offering 3 ales, Portobello Brewing Co Westway Pale Ale, Greene King London Glory and Sambrook's Scrumdown. The Westway Pale Ale was very good, served to me by a very surly looking Eastern European barmaid, I reminded her that smiles don’t take much effort but this fell on deaf ears.

Internally there are stained glass mirrors & stained glass door panels, an attractive brass & wooden bar top and a very cosy feel.

Smoking is allowed to the front of the pub where they are heaters above to keep people warm.

An attractive pub, decent ale and surly bar staff what more do you want from a Central London boozer.

17 May 2016 13:43

The Only Running Footman, Mayfair

Pub number 2, a 30 second walk from the Coach & Horses to the renamed Footman that was previously the only pub in London named The Only Running Footman!

Another pub I have never been in and after this visit I’m unsure I’ll visit again.

Internally there’s wooden flooring throughout, plenty of seating for diners & wine drinkers all to the back drop of a neutral dull decoration, all in all it’s a bit poncy really. Oh and the smell from the toilets was overpowering, there’s clean and there’s the strong stench of bleach.

Now onto the beer choice, being a Greene King pub the choices were limited with IPA, London Glory & the brewed for the pub Footman's Best @ 3.9% on offer. I went for the Footman's Best, it was an okay pint but served a little too cold for an ale.

Not much more to add about this pub over what I put above.

17 May 2016 12:35

Coach and Horses, Mayfair

A first visit here for me on a Monday afternoon with a work colleague, this was the first pub of an impromptu pub crawl around Mayfair!

The Coach and Horses is a Shepherd and Neame pub and had Whitstable Bay and Spitfire on cask. Not fancying either of these I opted for a bottle of Samuel Adams Rebel IPA.

Just before 4pm when we arrived and it was not very busy, in fact there were more bar staff than punters!

A medium sized pub with a pleasant décor, plenty of wood and mirrors hanging on the walls, above the bar hang brass lanterns there’s also an attractive marble and wood fireplace to the back of the pub.

Nice enough but empty so hard to judge what and if the atmosphere is like when it’s busier.

17 May 2016 12:17

The Bricklayers Arms, Sydenham

2 postings in less than a month, the Brickie’s has become popular!

Came in on a Saturday tea time a few weeks back to watch the football on the television with a few pals. It was already very busy by the time we arrived, everyone was local and seemed to know each other.

A fairly large pub that is shaped like a wedge with a conservatory / smoking area to one side.

4 hand pumps with 3 ales however the Burning Gold was off. Young's bitter and Bombardier were on, the Bombardier wasn't the best, this restricted me to just 2 pints!

Stayed for the duration of the match and then moved on. This was my first visit for well over 20 years, will I return again ? Probably.

10 May 2016 15:59

The Southwark Tavern, London Bridge

Popped in on the way home after football on a Tuesday night a few weeks back.

6 hand pumps with 4 ales on, these were St Austell Tribute , Timothy Taylor Landlord, Sharps Doombar and my choice which was Navigation's Britannia @ 3.8%.

I have not visited the Southwark Tavern for several years, it still has a lovely interior. Wood panelling, wooden flooring & some interesting lights hanging above the bar.

Half full on this visit but as it got close to last orders the pub emptied pretty quickly. A few bar staff on including the female manager, music playing in the back ground.

This is a decent pub but probably needs to be visited before 10.30pm to get a glimpse of the atmosphere as there wasn’t much about on this visit.

10 May 2016 14:13

Preston, Wembley

A short stroll from Preston Road underground station and you reach this large Ember Inns pub set back slightly from the road.

The reason for my visit to this part of North London on a Tuesday night was for the England vs Holland friendly at nearby Wembley stadium.

My first ever visit to this pub though I have drank in the area before. 6 ales across the 7 hand pumps with a nice mix of styles & most of them at the lower end of the abv scale. I opted for the brewed for Ember Inn's Black Sheep Ember Pale Ale @ 4.0%, a nice pint even through a plastic glass!

Large pub with plenty of tables for seating and dining, food was extremely popular it appeared to be fairly priced, looked and smelt good.

Very nice decor in a modern neutral style with carpets looking clean and shiny and having a feel that it’s been fairly recently made over.

Plenty of bar staff on probably due to the football but it did mean service was very quick.

I met a pal here and we stayed for a couple of beers before heading off to the match. The Preston is a thoroughly decent pub and one that I will use on my next trip to Wembley.

10 May 2016 13:33

The Phoenix, York

This was our last pub of the weekend and time for a revisit to one of the wife’s favourites.

We arrived just as the live music in the back room was about to start so we sat in the front sung area & chatted to the barman.

4 ales on the pumps, I had a couple of pints of Ridgeside Brewing Co’s Roosevelt @ 4.5% and Timothy Taylor’s Landlord which were both on fine form.

The music was lively, entertaining & not to loud or intrusive from where we were sat.

We whiled away a few hours chatting to the locals & enjoying our beers in this quality pub, another one for the will return to list…which is growing!

10 May 2016 13:26

Meltons Too, York

As per blue_scrumpy’s post this is now called the Walmgate Ale House and Bistro. This was the 2nd to last pub visited on Easter Sunday after a day of shopping, drinking and ticking in York with the wife.

It’s nicely decorated inside with several separate seating areas both in the front and back, the bar is situated on your right in the middle of the building.

5 ales available with my pint of York Breweries Walmgate Ale @ 4.2% very decent. As well as the ales they have a decent spirits list though perhaps they need more staff on as the queue for drinks was long and slow while the 2 barman asked far too many questions about which type of spirit and mixer was required! They were both very pleasant but didn’t have much clue ... bless em!

Upstairs is the dining area, I didn’t see the food but the menu suggests it’s decent.

I liked the Walmgate but they need to have more of a focus on the bar area along with the ales as this place will attract the curious ale drinker until they get wind that the service is slow!

Still worth a visit and always good to support news pubs & bars that stock a decent range of ales.

10 May 2016 13:25

The Golden Fleece, York

This is an attractive looking Theakston’s pub on the pavement that I've walked past many times but have never been in before. Reputably York's most haunted pub, this is a myth they play on I suspect!

It was raining on my visit so unsurprisingly people headed inside the pub to shield from the weather, both the front bar and the back eating area were heaving, not allowed to sit in the eating area if you are not eating!

4 ales across the hand pumps in the back bar / restaurant area, my pint of Theakston’s Best was good.

As I said above the pub was busy and quite buzzing. Food looked okay but the wife and I were here just for a quick drink.

I may visit again the next time I’m in York.

5 May 2016 14:15

Harkers, York

This large Nicholson’s pub situated in St Helens Square opposite the famous Betty’s Tea rooms was packed to the rafters during my Easter Sunday visit.

8 hand pumps with 8 ales on, 4 from Yorkshire with the other 4 from around the UK, my choice of Ilkley Brewery Mary Jane @ 3.5% was a new beer for me. Busy at the bar with the 4 bar staff coping admirably well.

I don’t need to explain what this pub used to be as other reviewers have mentioned it below but it’s a lovely building with high vaulted ceilings & chandeliers.

The downstairs toilets were a bit pokey and smelly but this is probably down to the pub being so busy & possibly not having enough staff on to cope with the amount of drinkers and diners.

My first visit here, there’s better pubs in York, but the building is lovely and the ale choice is extensive…worth a visit any way especially if it’s raining like it was on my visit.

22 Apr 2016 10:46

The York Arms, York

On Easter Sunday wandering around York the wife and I stopped at this Samuel Smith pub right next to the minster for a beer and sandwich.

1pm when we arrived, the lounge bar was half full with diners, the snug was packed and the saloon was banged out, all 3 areas served by 1 barman who was being run ragged but was doing a sterling job.

The York Arms has a very traditional interior with wood panelling in the lounge bar & stained glass windows, it’s also carpeted throughout.

The usual range of Sam Smith ales, I had a pint of Old Brewery Bitter while the wife a bottle of Organic Cherry beer, which is one of her favs in Sam Smith pubs.

Food was popular for this lunchtime visit, the sandwiches we had were very good and along with the beer was well priced, especially for this part of York as it’s quite touristy.

Will visit again as it has a nice homely feel to it.

19 Apr 2016 09:13

Rumours, York

The wife and I popped in here late on Easter Saturday evening for a couple of beers to end the evening. I haven’t visited since it became the Falcon Tap and heard good things about it.

The front bar was busy with not a seat available so we headed to the back bar which was almost empty apart from a few people stood at the bar chatting to a bouncer and the 2 bar men.

5 ales on the 6 hand pumps in the back bar, a decent selection of ales and abv’s, I opted for a few pints of Saltaire Kardinal @ 5.7%, a new beer for me and thoroughly decent.

We stayed for just over an hour, had a couple of drinks each then headed off. I like the Falcon but the back bar was a bit quiet and dull, will try the front bar area on my next visit.

14 Apr 2016 17:00

The Vine Inn, Manchester

Saturday afternoon visit to Manchester with the wife over Easter. Several pubs I wanted to tick but with the rain lashing down we got to the Vine Inn and stayed there for a couple.

The pub dates from the mid 19th century and has a fairly tired 1980s style interior. Apparently its on the site of Manchester's oldest brothel!

We stayed in the main bar area where there's 2 ales on draught and several European lagers. My pints of Cooper Dragon's Golden Pippen @ 3.9% were well kept and poured. In the Malt & Cask cellar bar there's a further 6 ales on and a couple of ciders.

Half full with punters, music playing from the juke box, TVs on silent, clientele is mixed with a few small groups of lads and lasses and several couples.

Decent enough city centre pub and a tick from the 2016 GBG.

12 Apr 2016 14:00

The Ebor, Bishopthorpe

Easter Friday evening, the wife and I came here for a few drinks and a meal.

The 3 pubs in the village are all very different with the Ebor being the locals local, it’s also the villages only Samuel Smiths pub so all of the drinks on offer are from the Sam Smiths range including spirits & soft drinks.

Sovereign bitter is one of my favourite ales as its always dependably good, thankfully the Sovereign here was not a let down and all 4 pints I had were excellent.

Packed with diners and drinkers, there's no music as conversation is king and everyone talks to each other, great if you like talking to strangers. We first visited the Ebor in November 2015 on our last visit to the York area and will not hesitate to return the next time I'm in the area.

Great old fashioned pub, friendly locals, good beer, cheap prices....ticks all my boxes.

12 Apr 2016 13:34

Unicorn Hotel, Ripon

Another re-tick for me while in Ripon, this was my 3rd visit since last November. The wife and I arrived around 11.45pm on the Thursday before Easter and it was pretty busy….not surprising as it was bank holiday.

The Wetherspoon’s real ale festival was on with 5 of the pumps given over to festival ales, my pints of Greene King Benjamin & Hyde's Bruges were good with the Benjamin being particularly decent, it went done well.

With the pub open to 1am the clientele was mixed and very friendly. We wiled away a couple of hours here chatting and drinking after a particularly long drive up from London.

I know it’s a ‘spoons but I do like The Unicorn.

12 Apr 2016 10:19

Royal Oak, Ripon

Another visit to Ripon with the wife and I staying at the Royal Oak on the Thursday before Easter, we arrived at 9.30pm so had time for several drinks before it closed at 11pm.

On arrival it was very busy, several couples, a group of girls but mainly blokes.

Like my previous visit’s here the ales are excellent, on this visit I tucked into several very good pints of Timothy Taylor’s Landlord. Other ales available were Golden Best, Ramtam, Boltmaker and Saltaire Blonde.

Cracking pub and I can highly recommend the full English breakfast we had the following morning.

11 Apr 2016 16:14

Jackson's Arms, Hartlepool

Me and a pal came visited on a Saturday evening just as boxing was about to be shown on the TV in one of the bar’s. This bar was absolutely packed mainly with blokes while in the other larger bar area there was a singer on, this was also packed.

Only 2 ales on during my visit which were Hobgoblin and Jennings’s Cumberland Ale. I had several pints of the Cumberland, even though it wasn’t the best kept pint it was drinkable. John Smith’s Smooth on keg is popular as is lager, in fact most of the pub was drinking lager.

The 2 of us spent the whole time in the lounge bar to the left of the front entrance so I cannot comment on the other bar at all. The décor was a bit tired looking but it’s homely & cosy. The staff are friendly and efficient.

A fairly rough looking town centre pub & a real locals place but the pair of us spent several untroubled hours here.

Late licence on a Friday and Saturday evening.

Unsure why it makes the Camra GBG as the ale choice was small and as said above the Cumberland wasn’t that well kept, worth a visit to form your own opinion.

11 Apr 2016 14:42

Rat Race Ale House, Hartlepool

This former newsagents on the station is an absolute gem and was the one place I wanted to visit while in Hartlepool.

7 of us arrived here just before 6.30pm and it was already busy. All drinks served by their number from the large blackboard which all the locals adhere to and then the drinks are brought directly to your seat by the owner and he's wife, cracking service but not always with a smile!

3 ales, 1 cider & 1 Perry on cask, alongside a reasonable sized range of Belgian bottled ales. My choice was Mordue Amber Ale, a cracking beer with good flavours and colour and a nice session beer @ 4.3%.

This place has won many awards since it opened and I can see why, they have served almost 1200 different ales by the time of my visit, with at least 2 new ales added during the 90 minutes we spent here.

No lager, spirits or alcopops sold, there’s plenty of signs dotted about warning people of this.

The locals are very friendly and we chatted & had decent banter with them, we were even recommended a curry house for dinner, that proved to be excellent.

Easily the best place to drink in Hartlepool, the location couldn’t be better as it’s right on the station however I would just warn you to check the opening times as they are around the train, closed on Sunday and Monday.

11 Apr 2016 10:48

Cameron's Brewery Tap, Hartlepool

This brewery tap is next-door to the brewery & doubles up as the starting point for guided tours of the brewery.

2nd pub of the day, I drank pints of Cameron's Gold Bullion @ 3.9%, also available was Strongman & Northern Line Stout across the 4 hand pumps

The walls are full of pictures of the brewery and give a insight into the history of the town and how much the brewery forms an integral part of the town. There’s 2 separate sides as you enter from the main road with the area near the small bar being more like a traditional pub while the other side has an open fire place and leather chairs & sofa & is more like a lounge.

Friendly bar staff and a few bar snacks available, books on the shelf that can be loaned and purchased, giving the bar a community feel to it.

Definitely worth a visit if you’re walked down this end of town.

7 Apr 2016 13:54

The Causeway, Hartlepool

A Saturday in Hartlepool for football with the Causeway being our first port of call. This is lovely multi roomed pub with a nice interior in the Stranton area of town which is a short walk away from the train station.

Original stained glass windows, wooden flooring throughout, separate snug area, pool table, music from the juke box, television’s on silent…..this pub has it all.

Apparently Cameron’s Strongarm is the biggest seller here even though it’s not a Cameron’s pub, so popular it’s on 2 of the 4 hand pumps with Banks Bitter & a real cider on the others.

We stayed for 2 pints before moving on, a tick from the GBG and a very nice pub that’s worth the short walk from town.

7 Apr 2016 13:45

The Bankers Draft, Eltham

Last pub of the day after a fairly long day, we reluctantly stopped here as we missed our bus.

I haven’t been here the first day it opened, 20 odd years ago. This place has had its knockers over the years and has had a reputation for being unfriendly and sometimes dangerous, thankfully neither of these elements were in evidence on this visit.

I think there were 4 ales on, I cannot remember what they all were apart from Doom Bar and my choice which was Adnams Prop Hop @ 4.0%, a decent pint but by this time I frankly had, had enough and ended up nursing my pint before we left just after 10.30pm.

Fairly busy but as already pointed out this is a very small ‘spoons and seating is at a premium.

During recent years Eltham has improved in terms of real ale outlets , coupled with Wetherspoon’s always offering several ales in each of their outlets the Banker’s Draft is worthy of a visit, but just be careful none of the nasty elements are present.

11 Mar 2016 16:04

The Jolly Fenman, Blackfen

This imposing main road pub is huge inside, it’s open plan and absolutely spacious but pretty uninspiring.

Only 1 ale on tap which was Otter Ale which I didn’t fancy so I opted for bottle of fruit cider while my pal had the Otter which apparently was drinkable but not the best pint he’d had that day.

Busy with mainly blokes. The Fenman isn’t a horrible pub, it’s nicely laid out inside but it’s overly welcoming and staying for 1 drink was definitely enough time to spend here.

Having never visited before I doubt very much I will be back.

11 Mar 2016 15:40

The George Staples, Blackfen

I’m sure I visited this pub around 20 years ago on a random and very drunk night out, that’s when the pub was known as the Woodman. It’s been renamed George Staples for several years & has appeared in the 2014 & now the 2016 good beer guide.

Being only a few steps from the Broken Drum it would of been wrong not to have visited here while in the area.

Me and a pal got here at about 8.30pm and stayed for 2 pints each. The pub is really not the type I expect to find in the GBG as it’s quite family orientated and serves cheap meals, on this visit food was very popular and there were quite a few families with kids aged around 7 years old, a bit too young in my opinion to be in a pub at 8.30 on a Saturday night! The place was packed but the young bar staff served everyone in a timely and orderly manner.

Now to the reason of my visit and the reason this pub is in the GBG and that’s because of its ales. The 5 hand pumps had a varied selection of 5 ales with IPA’s, mild’s and best bitter on offer. I opted for the Brentwood Marvellous Maple Mild with an abv of 3.7% and it was excellent. If you are a Camra member and card holder you get a discount, which I think was 15%, 2 pints for £5.40…not even I can argue with what.

The ales are great and the choice was surprising but it’s a strange pub, the place is huge and there was a singer on round the other side of the bar…he wasn’t bad but he did clear the bar a bit when he was singing with a large chunk of the punters going outside to the smoking area while he performed!

If you like your ale and visit the Broken Drum take half an hour and pop in here as well, ignore the food and kids and concentrate on the ales…you won’t be disappointed.

11 Mar 2016 13:28

The Broken Drum, Blackfen

My first ever visit to this micro pub after leaving the Door Hinge in Welling and a short bus ride.

Only 4 punters in when the 3 of us arrived and the governor looked bored so I think he was pleased to see us as it gave him something to do for 5 minutes. 3 ales and 3 boxed ciders available, the pints of Old Diary Brewery Blue Top @ 4.8% were excellent, all ales are well priced at £3.00 a pint.

As with most micro pubs there is no music and conversation is king. The décor is neutral.
I’ve been wanting to visit this place since it opened last April, it’s very pleasant, coupled with the George Staples a few doors away Blackfen is finally worth a visit for a few beers.

9 Mar 2016 16:00

The Door Hinge, Welling

Another re-visit for me and one of the reasons for wanting to spend a Saturday afternoon at Welling United, the 5 of us headed here straight after the game and managed to get a table before it filled up.

3 ales on, I managed to get a couple of pints of Kent Brewery Pale Ale which went down a treat before the barrel ran out. We were then told we had to wait 15 minutes while the owner changed the barrels, at this point we decided to bail out and head off to Blackfen.

In the 90 minutes we spent here the chatter was lively with the majority of the punters having been at the football.

I really like the Door Hinge, it’s a cracking little micro pub but I agree with other reviewers that the owner can be a little difficult and certainly isn’t everyone’s cup of tea. Regardless of that visit and make your mind up, the ales are worthy of a visit alone, looking at all of the pump clips on the walls will tell you how many ales have been offered here since they opened.

9 Mar 2016 15:33

The New Cross Turnpike, Welling

My first visit here since it reopened earlier in February after the fire last year and like the review from Zaphod I feel they have over used the space near the bar and crammed to many high tables and benches in, making the access to the bar and toilets far too overcrowded.

Saturday at 1.30pm when me and 4 pals got here and it was really busy. The bar staff were not too sure who to serve next so I just jumped in and ordered my ales, this would normally annoy me if I was waiting but the young lad really didn’t have a clue who was next!

12 hand pumps with 8 ales on, most of the choices were uninspiring but the Rockin Robin Blizzard of Oz @ 4.5% was more than drinkable.

The refurbishment is good but they have filled all of the floor space and I spent more of my hour here moving out of the way of staff going past with plates of food. A decent ‘spoons in a part of the High Street where pubs are at a premium, worth a visit but maybe when it’s not so busy.

9 Mar 2016 10:29

London Beer Dispensary, Brockley

Dropped in twice on a Saturday a few weeks back, once at 2.30pm and the other at 6pm at both times it was pretty busy.

It’s been a short while since I’ve been in, reliable if some what uninspiring ales on during this visit, my choices were Brick Brewery Red Brick Rye @ 5.1% & Late Knights Morning Glory….the morning glory is always a dependable pint.

Rugby being shown on the tv in the back seating area and burgers being served in the front bar.

The LBD is going from strength to strength and is a welcome addition to Crofton Park.

7 Mar 2016 16:39

The Great Eastern, Isle of Dogs

After the disappointment of no real ale on draught in the Lord Nelson it was good to find Doom Bar and Old Rosie Cider on the 4 hand pumps, the other 2 had no ale on.

In addition to Doom Bar being on there is a good range of bottles, the Trooper went down a treat until they ran out then it was onto bottles of Flying Dog IPA.

It was busy with the locals enjoying the food and drinks. Re the food, the burgers smelt good but after 9pm when the food had stopped being served there was a strong smell of fat and grease in the pub which was quite annoying.

Lovely décor with high ceilings and lots of lighting giving the pub a very bright feel to it.

Good service from the friendly barman, decent selection of bottled ales but at over £4.00 a bottle I feel these are slightly overpriced, still worth a visit.

7 Mar 2016 15:35

The Lord Nelson, Isle of Dogs

Popped in on a Friday evening with 3 work colleagues for a few beers and were immediately perturbed to see there was no ale on tap with all of 3 pump clips turned round. The chap behind the bar offered us bottles of Spitfire or Doombar, we took the Spitfire but it was straight from the cellar and was far too cold.

This is my 3rd or 4th visit (I’ve lost count) in the last couple of years and every other time I come here it’s alright, on this occasion it wasn’t.

The karaoke was far too loud, the beer too cold, the lights on full pelt making the pub look like it was in daylight and there was a baby being changed on one of the tables…..hopefully when I visit again it will be better.

7 Mar 2016 14:38

The Elephant and Castle, Lewes

Football in Lewes on a Tuesday night and time to revisit the Elephant for pre match drinks & some food. I was promised good home cooked food and it didn’t disappoint.

A few of us arrived here just after 6pm and the pub only had a few punters in, this changed within 10 minutes as we were followed in by a group of 8 more Dulwich Hamlet fans….we get everywhere!

4 ales and 1 cider on cask, with a couple of good quality American pale ales and lagers on keg and a “menu” of bottled beers. Having been promised good food by a travelling companion I ordered the Chilly Elly burger, a bargain at £13.00 for 2 meals, knocking at least £1.00 off of each meal. Served with chips, salad and coleslaw the burger did not disappoint and washed down by pints of Naked Beer Co's Streaker & Langham’s Arapaho both were good with the Arapaho being slightly nicer.

The Elephant has an electric décor bordering on the slightly odd in places. The room to the left of the bar has a pool table and several televisions which are always showing sport and the pub gets particularly busy when live sport is on.

This is only my 2nd ever visit with both visits being when in the town for football. It’s worth the walk from the town and the station for the ales alone, the burgers aren’t bad either.

7 Mar 2016 14:22

The Lord Clyde, Borough

A friend of mine had an artist show on a Tuesday night in a space a few streets away from this back street pub, so while in the area and with it being in the 2016 GBG I took the time to “pop” in for a couple of beers.

Being only a stone’s throw from Southwark Street but tucked away in a residential area this pub has never been on my radar until now. The exterior tells of years gone by with the full Truman’s insignia and eagle very prominent.

Once inside it’s atmospheric with a very old fashioned but important interior, curtains inside the doors and full carpeted. The bar is in front of you as you enter with 4 ales on the hand pumps. My pints of Hogsback Tea were all excellent and perfectly poured. There’s also a cider on cask along with the regular Guinness and lager offerings,

This front bar has seating around the edges, with a TV on to the left of the bar which was showing football. There’s a back room with a serving hatch to the bar. The TV was also on in this room and was showing the football, this was where Liam Gallagher was parked with he’s girlfriend and a few friends tucking into the Guinness.

I stayed for a couple of hours enjoying my pints and the gentle charm of this pub. The staff are friendly and attentive, the locals didn’t both me and the ales good…gets a decent score from me.

7 Mar 2016 13:55

The Flying Boat, Dartford

This large purpose built 'spoons is just to the east of the town centre in an area with a couple of “okay” pubs and the excellent Dartford Working Man’s Club.

10 hand pumps that during my visit had 6 ales on, 3 national brands and 3 guests. I had a couple of pints of Rockin Robin Breweries Reliant Robin @ 3.7%, a decent pint that was well kept.

Busy with most people eating late breakfast / lunch, a fair few families but all of the kids seemed well behaved.

The Flying Boat has a large open plan interior with 2 smaller eating / drinking areas to the rear and a large beer garden. Upstairs toilets that were clean.

A decent enough ‘spoons.

7 Mar 2016 13:32

North Star, Staines

Popped in on a Tuesday night while I had 30 minutes wait for my train.

The Star can be described as follows :-

Full of blokes…1 female bar staff, 1 female punter
Intimidating
Rough
Devoid of character
Noisy
Pool table
1 ale which was London Pride and was completely undrinkable

To sum this place up….it’s horrible and I vow never to return

1/10 and that’s me being generous!!

7 Mar 2016 13:14

The George, Staines

A re-visit to this town centre Wetherspoon’s on a Tuesday night in early February for pre football drinks.

Around 6.15pm when I arrived and the downstairs was pretty busy with only 1 or 2 spare tables. My pals were sat upstairs on their own, the upstairs bar was not open so the only people going up there were using the toilets.

A good choice of ales on the taps, I had a couple of pints of Twickenham’s Summer Down Under @ 3.9% which was very drinkable.

The George is an older style ‘spoons with what seems to be a very loyal clientele, definitely worth a visit especially as the rest of Staines Town Centre is pretty devoid of pubs selling real ale.

7 Mar 2016 13:11

Scotts Arms, Sicklinghall

The Scott’s Arms features in the 2016 GBG so we choose to eat here on the way back from Ripon on a Sunday afternoon. This attractive main road pub has a small bar area with a large restaurant through to the right as you enter from the large car park.

Having checked the website that raves about the food we made a booking for lunch at 1.30pm and it was a good job we did as by 2pm there were no tables spare.

4 hand pumps with 2 regular ales which were Theakston’s Old Peculiar and Black Sheep Best Bitter along with 2 guests, these were Thwaites Wainwright & Timothy Taylor Landlord. My pint of Best was well kept and served.

The restaurant has low lit lighting, candles on every table, wooden beams and 2 large stone fireplaces at either end, one of these was lit and kept the large room warm.

Staff hurried around cleaning tables and serving food while the young bar man took food and drink orders. It’s a well oiled machine but maybe they need another bar person.

Good ale, good home cooked quality food and a nice location, the Scott’s is a good stop for lunch and / or dinner.

23 Feb 2016 13:37

Royal Oak, Ripon

Another re-tick for me after dinner at the local Italian restaurant on a Saturday evening in late January. We arrived here at 11pm for a couple of drinks as I knew it was open to midnight.

Older crowd in here than the Unicorn around the corner, it was about a 3rd full with most of the tables and chairs taken up by groups or couples, food had stopped being served so the restaurant part was empty.

Timothy Taylor's Golden Best was again in excellent form just like on my previous visit.

I’m due to be back in Ripon in March and we are planning on staying here next time as they have rooms.

The Royal Oak is another cracking pub in Ripon, great little City with friendly locals and good pubs.

22 Feb 2016 13:53

King William IV, Ripon

Large pub a short stroll from the market square with a split front room and a smallish bar.

Busy when the wife & I arrived here at around 7pm on a Saturday evening. On the bar are 4 hand pumps which on my visit had the following ales on Theakston Best, Village Brewer White Boar Bitter, Nick Stafford's Bitter and Peek Blonde. My pints of White Boar and Peek Blonde were both very good.

3 TV’s in the bar that were showing football and rugby, both didn’t have the sound on, but this was probably because the music that was playing really loudly (in fact too loudly) from the pool room to the left of the bar. It really was quite intrusive.

The King Billy as it’s known locally really is a drinkers pub, there is no food available here which is nice to find as nearly every pub these days does food.

Unsure why it hasn’t made the 2016 GBG having appeared in the 2015 version but the ales I had were well kept.

22 Feb 2016 13:47

The Black Bull, Ripon

New management and re-named So bar & eats, this large pub and dining room sits in a prominent position in the centre of town.

The wife and I popped in for lunch on a Saturday.

As you enter through the main door the pub is split into two, with a dining area with table service to your left with the traditional bar to your right, with its attractive tiled floor just beyond the small bar.

3 ales on the hand pumps which were Rudgate Chieftain, Theakston Best and Tapped Brew Co’s Rodeo @ 4.2% which was my choice. There’s also a good selection of European lagers & Thatcher's Gold cider.

We sat in the main bar area where there are a couple of high tables and a few comfy leather chairs along with the standard tables and chairs. The food was good and very fairly priced.

During our hour here the pub got quite busy mainly with couples, music played and the bar man couldn't do enough for you.

Decent pub with good food and service, recommended.

21 Feb 2016 10:20

Unicorn Hotel, Ripon

The wife and I stayed here for 2 nights in late January and was very surprised with the quality and size of the hotel room and en suite bathroom.

The downstairs bar area of this hotel / pub looks like it may need a bit of touching up but the rooms upstairs are off a high standard.

Being a ‘spoons there is a good choice of ales which was better on this visit than the one I made at the end of November, during my various visits to the bar over my 2 night stay I drank Daleside Bitter @ 3.7% & Moorhouses Pride of Pendle @ 4.1%, both good well kept ales and at a cheap price.

On all my visit to the bar the service was quick and attentive.

Busy at all times but especially busy between 10am and 12 noon for breakfast and lunch. The bar closes at midnight but as a resident you are allowed to take drinks to your room which is a bonus.

Decent ‘spoons, good ales and the hotel part is excellent value for money.

18 Feb 2016 13:41

The One Eyed Rat, Ripon

A re-visit to a pub I thoroughly liked when I first came here a few months back. That visit was on a Monday evening and the pub was fairly empty, on my return at 10pm on a Friday (end of January) it was packed with barely a seat available.

6 ales on the hand pumps, my couple of pints of Saltaire Blonde were very good.
I really like this pub, the chaps behind the bar are chatty but not intrusive, the locals are all extremely friendly, especially the couple of chaps that we’re playing the piano while a young lady sang, which was very pleasant and rounded the evening off nicely.

Pleasant décor and very ale and good quality lager orientated, just like my last visit I score the one eyed rat highly.

18 Feb 2016 13:28

The Anerley Arms, Anerley

Went to go in here for a couple of pints on Wednesday night but the loitering clientele outside put me off.

I may venture back and actually go in on another occasion but I won’t rush

17 Feb 2016 13:10

The Bridge House Tavern, Penge

Having never been here I choose to pop in for a quick pint on a Wednesday evening.

Around 9pm when i arrived at this large main road pub. The area as you enter had a dozen or so people in across 2 groups with rest of the punters sat up the top in the room behind the bar towards the garden area.

The small bar area had 4 hand pumps but only 2 ales on my visit. Sambrook's Wandle and Whitstable Bay which was very drinkable if not a little hard to swallow at £4.20 a pint.....maybe I spend too much time up North but that's a bit lumpy for me.

Music playing softly over the intelligent conversation was nice and gave the pub a bit of ambience.

I enjoyed my pint and left within 25 minutes or arriving. Would i visit again, yes I probably would but I wont go out of my way to come back.

Pleasant enough and completely inoffensive clientele.

15 Feb 2016 17:02

Urban Tap House, Cardiff

With Tiny Rebel being my current favourite UK based brewery I had to stop at their city centre outlet while I was in Cardiff for football.

7 ales and 3 ciders on cask & a further 10 ales and 1 cider on keg. Out of all of these 11 were from Tiny Rebel, add to this a large bottle selection from across the UK and you can immediately appreciate why this open plan tap house is so popular.

5.15pm when I arrived here and I managed to bag myself a stool at the bar. I’m unsure what type of drinking / clubbing establishment this place used to be but it’s been put into good use by Tiny Rebel. It’s trendy with a bohemian feel, the downstairs bar area is like a warehouse with exposed pumps and an aluminium floor, while the other room near the staircase is much more retro and has a completely different feel to it.

Loads of bar staff (in excess of a dozen) kept the drinks flowing while music played and the place filled up with a late afternoon / pre night crowd.

My cask and keg choices were Boho @ 5.0%, Fubar @ 4.4%, Straight Outta Sherwood @ 4.0% & Cali @ 5.6%, all of them perfectly kept and served, with Cali being the standout.

Even after my first visit I have decided that I love this place, the ales, the atmosphere, the chatter & banter it’s a very good place to kill a couple of hours.

Scores highly in my book.

15 Feb 2016 16:30

The Lansdowne Hotel, Canton

A short trip from the city centre towards the football ground and I have time to tick the Lansdowne in Canton.

This corner plot pub has been “gentrified” and has wooden flooring throughout with an attractive green painted wooden bar decorated with hops & a huge amount of beer pump clips on the ceiling of the bar. 3 rooms that have been opened up into a dining room / lounge area and a larger open plan bar with bench seating under the windows that face onto the main road.

On that bar are 5 hand pumps dedicated to ales and 1 for real cider. The choices are good and I opt for pints of Tudor Blorenge Pale Ale @ 3.8% & Wadworth’s Horizon @ 4.0% which were both very good and well kept.

With Cardiff City being at home the pub was busy just after 1.30pm with half the punters ordering and eating food. I ordered a plate of home cooked faggots, mash and mushy pies and it was very good. Served steaming hot and good value at just over £8.00.

All of the crowd here were locals and it’s obviously a good choice for pre match food and drink. A decent choices of ales, prompt service, nice décor, good home cooked food, all in all a decent pub and worthy of it’s place in the GBG.

15 Feb 2016 12:02

The Queens Vaults, Cardiff

The Queens wasn't my first choice for a beer while I had an hour to kill before meeting a pal in the City Arms but apart from the 'spoons was the only pub open just after 11am, and it was already fairly busy when I arrived here.

The Queens seem very much a Cardiff City match day pub as a lot of the punters had City shirts on. The walls are adorned with Welsh Rugby photos and a few framed shirts, not surprising as the pub is almost opposite the Millennium stadium and Cardiff Arms Park.

5 ales on the 6 hand pumps, I went for a pint of Mordue Brewery 5 Bridges @ 3.6%, a nice pint but for some reason it was served in a warm glass! Pointless in my opinion & ruined my drink.

This is a large and spacious pub with a rasied dining area looking onto Westgate St, the large curved bar is towards the rear with 3 pool tables in the back. There's a Guinness bar in one corner which was closed on this visit. Lots of tv screens and fruit machines give this city centre pub a 'proper' feel to it.

Above the bar are plenty of beer pump clips from breweries all over the UK. Music was playing from the video juke boxes .

Toilet doors being open into the pub was a bit odd but this is a very decent pub but they shouldn't serve their ale in warm glasses!

6 Feb 2016 10:34

Ship, Monument

Attractive looking Nicholson's pub tucked away off the main drag but within spitting distance of Bank and Cannon Street stations.

As with most Nicholson’s pubs the ale choice and selection was very good, across the 10 hand pumps were 7 ales, the pint of Conwy Breweries California was decent.

The Ship is a strange shape, being long and thin with overall wooden flooring that opens into a larger room on 1 side. This room had the television on. The pub was pretty busy with most of the punters being local brokers and office workers, however the heating was being pumped out of the ceiling heaters and made the place far too hot and uncomfortable.

I had never been here before and didn’t even though this place was here, lucky for me my mate did.

Will I return, I don’t know but they had good ales on and it was quite busy at 9.30pm on a Wednesday night…just a bit too warm for me.

6 Feb 2016 10:31

The Hung, Drawn and Quartered, Tower Hill


After a couple of pints in the Draft House we moved on to this large Fuller's pub which sits in a prominent position on a busy junction between Tower Hill and the Embankment. I have driven passed this pub many times over the years but until now have never visited it.

On the bar is the full choice of Fuller’s ales and lagers across the 6 hand pumps, my pint of Oliver's Island @ 3.8% was very good.

Being a large pub it was around half full, no food being served on this visit but it is one of Fuller’s pie and ale establishment.

Nice interior with columns, drapes & brass chandeliers, complimenting the wooden and brass bar.

We only stayed for one drink before moving on as there wasn’t much atmosphere on this visit.

6 Feb 2016 10:02

The Draft House, Tower Hill

2 of us arrived here just after 8.30pm on a Wednesday & it was already pretty busy, the crowd mainly being young workers, the dining area part of the pub was also busy & food was popular.

Plenty of cask and keg options and a good and varied bottle selection, with offerings from Belgium, USA and the UK.

I had 1 keg beer which was Farmhouse Ale Moo Thunder & their cask ale of the day at £2.75 a pint which on this day was Milestone’s Hoptisim, not a great tasting beer.

Music playing fairly loudly but it kind of worked. Chatty barman who was knowledgeable about the ales.

A decent enough bar with good ale choice, that’s now been ticked.

4 Feb 2016 13:54

Beer Shack, Mansfield

This single roomed micro-pub was the first to open in Mansfield 18 months ago.

As soon as I knew I was going to Mansfield for football I consolidated the GBG and found the Beer Shack listed, I decided then it would be the one place I would visit before and after the game and boy did it not disappoint.

My first visit was just after 2pm when I was the only punter in so I had time & space to enjoy my ales and chat to the very friendly owner James. During both visit there were 5 ales on the hand pumps and 5 boxed ciders, the ciders were as popular as the ales.

I returned after the game when there were more punters in and immediately was made to feel welcome and part of the crack. I drank & chatted solidly for over 2 hours before having to rush off for my train back South.

I got through several pints with the picks being Great Orme Brewery Celtica, Walls's Yorkshire Gold & Shefford Brewery Plum Mild, all beers were well kept and poured and if I remember rightly were priced between £2.75 & £3.00 a pint, good value even for Nottinghamshire.

I regularly visit good pubs and always vow to return but with the Beer Shack I am confident I will be back sooner rather than later, the place is cracking. Good ales, good music (vinyl played from a record player), clean toilets and a good bunch of locals…the Beer Shack really is a must visit.

2 Feb 2016 12:41

The Lamb Tavern, Leadenhall Market

First time visit on a Wednesday night to Old Tom’s Bar underneath this pub. As you enter the bar after negotiating the narrow steps you are immediately greeted with tiled walls making you feel like you are in a butcher’s shop (as commented on by blue_scrumpy below)

2 young bar staff on with both of them seemingly wanting to spend time talking to their friends than serving new punters, after a short wait and a few eyes towards one of the said bar person’s I choose a pint of Young's Winter Warmer from the 3 ales on the hand pumps, London Gold & Young’s Bitter being the other 2 choices. It was raining outside and was also pretty cold so a Winter Warmer also takes the chill’s away however not when it’s served in a freezing cold glass! It was like holding a glass full of ice, making what is normally a warm hearty ale very cold like generic lager!!

Music playing at a higher than average level, I guess the bar staff thought this was appropriate as the place was only a quarter full.

The interior of this bar is amazing and is worth a visit just for that alone.

29 Jan 2016 10:59

The Cranbrook, Deptford

Currently boarded up, unsure if it will re-open as a pub.

27/1/16

29 Jan 2016 09:45

The Arbitrager, Bank

It's certainly not closed anymore and was very busy when I arrived here last Wednesday to meet a friend for a few beers, the 12 taps busting with 10 ales and 1 cider, all drinks served in either 1/3’s or 2/3’s.

Music playing softly and busy with what was an after work crowd, the manager and female bar person were both very friendly and receptive to letting try before you buy, with such a varied selection this is certainly worthwhile.

I mixed my drink sizes between both 1 and 2/3’s and worked through the Five Point Five Point Pale Ale @ 4.4%, Mondo Brewery Kemosabe IPA @ 6.4%, Sambrook's excellent Battersea Rye @ 5.8% (this was the best of the lot) and the coffee flavoured Weird Beard Black Perle @ 3.8%. All ales extremely well kept and at the right temperature.

The Arbitrager is quite small inside and once you have a seat or standing place you don’t want to give it, there’s a nice relaxed atmosphere here and the ales are excellent. I was tempted here by my pal who visits quite often and raves about it, he’s not wrong…..it’s well worth an hour or so of your life.

26 Jan 2016 14:05

The Capitol, Forest Hill

Popped in for a couple of quick pints on the way home from a recent Dulwich Hamlet home game.

5.30pm on a Saturday evening and the pub was half full, lots of food being eaten by small groups and families.

Good choice of ales, I had been drinking Baird’s Rising Sun earlier in the Fox so I carried on with the same ale here and it was also on good form.

Still quiet busy when I left at 7.30pm.

22 Jan 2016 10:36

The Fox on the Hill, Denmark Hill

My most recent visit was Saturday 16th January for a Dulwich Hamlet home game.

I arrived just before 12.30pm and just beat the coach of Northern football fans that had pulled up outside.

At least 5 bar staff on plus the manageress, meant that getting served was extremely quick on this visit and of course enabled me to drink more in the 2 hours I spent here!

The Baird’s Rising Sun was on good form.

21 Jan 2016 14:05

Widow Frost, Mansfield

This is the 2nd 'spoons in the town, and has a more modern feel to it than the Court House probably because of it’s low level open plan nature.

It’s busy when I arrive with the majority of the older OAP style crowd ordering or eating food. At least 5 staff behind the bar but to be honest they were all pretty crap & the service was particularly slow, while ordering my pint I immediately decided this was to be my one and only pint here!

10 hand pumps with the selection being pretty good, my pint of Pheasantry’s Dancing Dragonfly @ 5.0% was decent when I eventually got served.

I took a seat in the main dining area until I was moved on by 2 ladies in excess of 70 years old that decided they wanted my seat and table, I couldn’t say no.

Not really a great deal else to say about the Widow Frost except that the toilets were very clean and smelt good.

18 Jan 2016 16:47

Courthouse, Mansfield

After leaving the Railway I head off to the White Lion, I then get slightly lost & find myself in Market square opposite the Court House so as it was on the list anyway I popped in earlier than I planned. This large 'spoons is in the most prominent position in the square.

Half busy at 11.45am with 3 bar staff behind the fairly short bar and plenty of girls scooting around serving food and clearing tables.

I counted 8 hand pumps on the bar, across these were 5 ales. I felt the choice wasn't that great with 3 of the ales being regular 'spoons national brands, I went for a pint of Conway Breweries Scrumdown @ 4.0%, a decent pint and it tasted even better when the barman wanted £1.75 from me...happy days!

The pub has several rooms with a large dining and drinking area at the front and an equal size room to the right of the bar.

The Court House is an okay ‘spoons and a decent enough pub but it seemed to be lacking something. I later found out that this is one of the pubs that Wetherspoon’s have on lease and are planning not to renew the lease in the coming year.

14 Jan 2016 14:06

The Railway Inn, Mansfield

In all my years I've only ever had 1 pint in Mansfield and that was around 13 years ago when I was here for a football game on a Tuesday night that got postponed.

Back in Mansfield on the 2nd Saturday in January to tick the football ground and try and get as many of the 8 pubs in the town ticked that appear in the 2016 GBG.

First stop the Railway Inn at 11am. I'm the 4th punter through the door with the 3 before me here for an early lunch. Checking the menu the food seems extremely well priced, its home cooked and from the plate I saw on its way to a hungry OAP looked pretty good.

The bar with 4 hand pumps is very cosy with 4 separate area's for seating and dining. 3 ales on which were, Full Mash Grease Monkey, Dunkeries Lord Furnival and Ambridge Sticky Dog @ 4.0%. I went for a pint of the Sticky Dog as it's an IPA and just the right abv for the first ale of the day. A chalk board displays 11 ales as coming soon, 4 each from Dunkeries and Abbeydale.

The friendly barmaid was juggling the food orders with putting a new ale on and pouring the others through.

Wooden banquet seating and wooden tables. Each table had a carving of a steam train on it, nice touch. The bar itself is very small with a front hatch , hanging on the ceiling inside the bar are 20+ brewery and whiskey water hugs.

The Railway Inn has a real charm to it and feels a bit like you're in a time warp, smooth radio was playing at an acceptable level.

A great start to the day.

14 Jan 2016 13:57

The Station, Hither Green

My first visit to the Station for over 20 years, so as it appears in the Good Beer Guide for the last 2 years I thought I had better visit and give my own opinion.

10pm on Saturday night and out of the 11 hand pumps there were 7 ales on with 3 of them coming from Timothy Taylor, My pint of landlord was very good.

Busy with all of the punters either sat or standing in the pub part with the food area being empty.
At least 4 bar staff on which meant there was no waiting to be served. Music playing, darts on the television’s (on silent).

I quite enjoyed my visit to the station but I will return as I think the pub has more to offer especially as on this visit I was at least 10 pints in & quite tired.

12 Jan 2016 12:34

The Punch and Judy, Tonbridge

Arranged to meet a pal here after football on a Saturday evening, just before 7pm when I got here and the pub was pretty busy with several people enjoying the football on the television.

Harvey's Best was in good form here and the 3 pints I had all went down very well.

A thoroughly decent back street pub that was filling up as I left just before 9pm.

Interesting outside inside mens toilets near the front door.

11 Jan 2016 15:27

George and Dragon, Tonbridge

Popped in here for a quick one on the way back to town after football at Tonbridge Angels FC.

Open plan with a seating area to the right as you enter, the pub was extremely busy with almost all of the clientele being blokes. 2 pool tables in the top part of the pub and football on the every television…which is at least 5 tv’s!

5 hand pumps with 5 ales, the Harvey's Sussex Best was alright and drinkable but not the best kept Sussex Best I’ve ever had.

Decent enough pub but felt very male orientated and therefore 1 drink was enough before moving on.

11 Jan 2016 12:47

The Humphrey Bean, Tonbridge

The first Saturday of the new year and its football in Tonbridge with 1 tick only in the GBG, which is the town's Wetherspoons.

A few minutes before 11am when I walk in and it's pretty busy already with breakfast being very popular.

12 hand pumps in 2 banks of 6. One bank has 6 different ales on while the other bank has 2 each of Doom Bar, GK IPA and Ruddles. My pints of Flack Manor’s Flack Catcher @ 4.4% were all very good.

My first visit to this ex post office. One level throughout with a raised level towards the toilets for diners. There is a pitched roof running almost the full length of the pub with slanted windows that let a lot of light in.

Large garden to the rear which also acts as a smoking area.

I've heard bad things about this place but on my Saturday visit that lasted over 3 hours I was impressed. There were at least 4 bar staff on with most of them actually knowing what they were doing. The clientele were mainly above 40 yrs old but I'm sure this changes at night & like a lot of town centre 'spoons probably takes on a less safer feel.

On my visit however I couldn't fault it.

11 Jan 2016 09:38

The Railway, Blackheath

It seems like I’m the only person that has reviewed the Railway in the last 18 months, so here we go again after another recent visit.

Our last pub on a Wednesday night, 2 of us arrived at 10.55pm for one last drink. It was pretty busy still.

5 ales on, I had a pint of the Hopback breweries Winter Lightening @ 5.5%.

Even though it was busy getting a space to stand wasn’t a problem.

The bell was promptly rung at 11.15pm and then within 10 minutes everyone was thrown out, pretty surprised as I thought the Railway was open later.

Still a decent pub in my opionon though my pal who lives in Blackheath hates the Railway with a passion…he has no idea !

10 Jan 2016 17:37

The Somerset Arms, Gravesend


With 30 minutes wait for a train we decided to pop in here for a quick beer, however on arrival there was only 1 ale available from the 3 hand pumps which was GK IPA special reserve (my pal commented to me that it wasn't that well kept). No bottles of ale available so I had a couple of vodka and lemonade's instead.

Empty when we arrived apart from the 2 bar staff, who were both pleasant then within 10 minutes 3 chaps arrived to play pool.

Thankfully I didn’t get the impression the Somerset is a swinger’s pub or did I get propositioned, it is however a large pub with an amazing bank of seating in the room by the pool table that has to be seen. Plenty of other original features but the pub does seem on its backside a bit.

Handy for the station and far better than the Goose in town.

10 Jan 2016 17:33

The Compass Alehouse, Gravesend

The compass is a true micro pub and was the place that I was most looking forward to visiting during our tour of Gravesend.

4 ales on cask. I had the IPA from Brighton Bier @ 4.5% which was good but having had several pints throughout the day I then went onto the bottles. Only a small selection left but they had Tiny Rebels' Urban IPA so that did for me.

Table service which in this size of place works well. Both the husband & wife who run the Compass are very friendly and work well with the loyal crowd that during my visit were made up of groups of blokes and couples.

We stayed until closing, which is 9pm on a Wednesday. The Compass is a cracking place which along with the Rum Puncheon are the best 2 places for ale in Gravesend in my opinion.

I do love a micro pub so this is most definitely on the “to return to” list.

10 Jan 2016 17:03

The Grapes, Gravesend

I’m surprised that there hasn’t been any review for the Grapes since July 2010. A corner plot Shepherd and Neame pub that is wandering distance from the High Street.

2 ales on the pumps, Shepherd and Neame’s Christmas ale and Whitstable Bay, I had a half of both and they were both well kept.

Busy when we arrived just after 5.30pm with a mix of workers and locals. The juke box playing very decent music.

Standing and seating area to the front of the pub with a raised seating area to rear of the pub by the toilets.

Doesn’t appear in the GBG but is worthy of a stop regardless.

10 Jan 2016 17:01

The Pembroke, Gravesend

As mentioned in the review below from March 2015 this is now called the Goose and is part of the Goose chain which have never been my favourite type of pub as they don’t normally have much ale choice and the ales they do have are from my experience not that well kept.

Large open plan and quite soulless to be honest, around a dozen punters in who were spread around with a few couples eating the cheap food available, the plates I saw go past me all looked average, that’s why the food is cheap!

4 hand pumps with 3 ales available which were Sharps Doombar, Courage Best and Tetley's Christmas Cracker which was my choice and was a decent seasonal offering with an abv of 4.3%.

Televisions on and music playing above the tv’s. We only came in for a quick beer and that’s all I think this place is good for.

10 Jan 2016 15:55

The Rum Puncheon, Gravesend

The Rum Puncheon is a lovingly restored old fashioned pub with 7 hand pumps that on my visit had 5 ales on with all of them bring offerings from Kent breweries. I had a couple of very good pints of Tonbridge’s Union Pale Ale @ 4.7%.

The interior is spartan with wooden flooring throughout, at the top end of the bar are several chandeliers that nicely compliment the stain glass windows, unfortunately since the post by Snarling_Mallard on 12th April 2015 the large window is still broken and boarded up and the front door is still not used to enter or exit the pub.

Half a dozen punters in when we arrived mid-afternoon with 2 people finishing off their lunch which looked pretty good.

The very friendly and chatty barmaid rounded off this visit nicely, the Rum Puncheon is a pub that I will aim to return to next time I’m in Gravesend.

10 Jan 2016 11:30

The Three Daws, Gravesend

The Three Daws is a large pub and restaurant overlooking the river at the bottom end of the High Street. This was the first pub apart from the spoons that was genuinely busy with food being very popular.

6 ales across the hand pumps, I managed to get the last 2 pints of Whitstable Breweries Winckel Picker @ 4.5% before the barrel was empty. My pint (which came first) was drinkable but my pal’s wasn’t though he did manage to drink it all!
As mentioned by every other reviewer the pub is full of alcoves and nooks and crannies, it certainly has some history to it aswell as the large river frontage garden, not the right weather for us to sample the outside area.

Behind the bar is an old wooden boat / tug sign depicting the name Hilda, there is a lot of ship and boat memorabilia on the walls.

Bar Billiards table in the small room to the left of the bar.

A decent enough pub but for some reason I didn’t enjoy my visit and was pleased to leave and head towards the Rum Puncheon.

10 Jan 2016 11:29

Robert Pocock, Gravesend

Mid afternoon visit to Gravesend's Weatherspoon’s, this was pub number 3, beer number 3 and cheap lunch also.

Table found, food selected then to the bar to survey the hand pumps for refreshments. A good selection of ales with 3 seasonal offerings available.
The pair of us both selected a pint of Kelham Island’s Pale Rider @ 5.2% which was a great compliment to my steak and ale pie.

Busy inside this large pub that used to be a bed shop before ‘spoon’s got hold of it. Out of the 3 pubs visited including this one, it’s no surprise that this place is by far the busiest with the clientele being a mix of drinkers and OAP types having their lunch.

The upstairs toilets meant I got to see the stunning stain glass panels, which are worth a look.

A decent enough ‘spoons but the clientele did seem a bit rough and that’s from a mid afternoon visit on a weekday

10 Jan 2016 11:00

The Jolly Drayman, Gravesend

Walking back towards town and its a stop in the Jolly Drayman which is in the shadow of the huge and a tad garish Guru Nanak Temple.

The pub appeared in the 2015 GBG but does not appear in the 2016 edition. A strange looking pub from the outside as it seems a mish mash, upon entering you are immediately greeted by very low beams and lots of wooden panelling, the bar has a very old feel to it.

Darkstar Hophead, Skinners Betty Stogs, Whitstable Brewery Christmas Spirit and Batemans' Rosey Nosey on the hand pumps. My pint of Hophead was drinkable.

Another quiet pub with only 1 other punter in when we first arrived , during our half an hour here the crowd swelled to at least 9 including us and the barmaid!

The well-kept front garden was quite inviting and certainly doesn’t have the height restrictions that pub does, being 6ft 4” the low beams were a bit of a challenge!

The Drayman is no more than an average pub with well-kept ale, ticked so no reason for me to return.

10 Jan 2016 10:50

The Windmill, Gravesend

A Wednesday afternoon for me and a pal in Gravesend with a plan to tick the 5 pubs that appear in the 2016 GBG.
First stop at noon was this quaint local in a smart residential area which is a solid 10 minute walk from the station.

5 hand pumps, the ale choices on my visit came from Shepherd and Neame, Greene King and Muskett Brewery, with Muskett being a new brewery for me i opted for a pint of their Fife and Drum @ 3.8% which was a decent and well-kept ale.

Only 3 punters in including the 2 of us. We had a choice of seating so we sat in the comfy bench seats in the bay window and enjoyed our ales. The television was on showing the news but this was on silent while soft background music played.

The Windmill is a 3 roomed pub with the room to the right of the front door being laid for diners, the large bar area is to the left and at the back is a light and airy room with plenty of seating. Large garden to the rear that apparently in the summer hosts functions.

We only had a quick stop here, the beer was good and the landlord was friendly.

8 Jan 2016 11:02

The Elusive Camel, Victoria

Now called The Brougham this is an attractive looking corner plot pub in the heart of Pimlico. Popped in here on the way back to the station from Cask.

It was around 10.15pm when we arrived and the pub was around a quarter full.

No hand pumps on the bar meaning no real ale available but they did have bottles of Wells Bombardier, which my pal had and was asked by the barman if he wanted a glass with ice! This rather perplexed my pal.

A bottle of bombardier, single whiskey and a gin and tonic giving me a small amount of change from £20.00.

Large open plan lay out & a nice range of seating but not a pub I will be rushing back to.

8 Jan 2016 11:01

CASK Pub and Kitchen, Pimlico

A re visit for me on the 28th December with a few friends old and new who all like their ale so this was the perfect meeting place.

10 different ales on the 10 cask hand pumps and a similar number of keg beers also available, and then there’s the bottle selection which must be close to a 100 bottles. The price of the cask ales is a bit high in my opinion, keg ales are always more expensive.

We stayed for around 7 hours going through the cask and keg ales, sharing a few plates of chips and soaking up the buzzy atmosphere.

Knowledgeable bar staff who know their beer and are on hand to offer samples of the ales and advice. As I said it’s a bit pricey but has a great range of ales and a friendly and relaxed atmosphere, certainly worth the walk from Victoria station.

7 Jan 2016 14:02

The Blue Posts, St James's

My first visit to the newly re-opened and refurbished Blue Posts which is just around the corner from the Ritz.

5 ales and 1 real cider (Old Rosie) on the 6 hand pumps. I was drinking Tribute’s St Austell until it run out then I was on the GK IPA, both ales were decently kept but I’m not a GK IPA fan.

Monday night the week running up to Christmas and the pub was packed. The crowd were a mix of office workers and tourists. Service was good on my visit but you had to catch the eye of the bar person as they won’t that clued up on who was next in line, most of the bar staff were non English but that doesn’t bother me.

Nicely decorated and still has a new feel. Decent enough pub in a convenient location for Green Park station.

7 Jan 2016 14:01

The Glebe, Stoke on Trent

This Joule's brewery pub was the last of the 3 I wanted / needed to visit in Stoke so with it being convenient for the station I popped in after the game with 50 minutes to kill before my train home.

2 Joule’s ales on the hand pumps, I resisted the very good Blonde (which I’ve had previously) to go for a pint of Slumbering Monk @ 4.5% as it was a new beer for me.

Lovely décor inside this classic looking pub with original tiled floor and restored stained glass windows with the Joule's motif on them. The walls are adorned with plenty of beer and breweriana advertising.

As it was just after football it was pretty busy here with the crowd mainly being football fans.

Another thoroughly decent pub that along with the Wheatsheaf and White Star has well kept ale, worthy of a visit in my opinion.

7 Jan 2016 13:39

The White Star, Stoke-on-Trent

After a couple of very good ales in the Wheatsheaf I wandered around the corner to the Titanic Breweries tap White Star. 12.30pm when I arrive and just like the 'spoons its pretty busy already with doorman on as there’s football on.

4 ales from Titanic on the hand pumps so I have a few pints of White Star @ 4.5%. White Star is normally a good ale and on this occasion it was no different, not badly priced at £3.10 a pint.

The pub is completely open plan with the bar in the centre that splits the front bar / drinking area and the rear seating area. The décor is pleasant, all the staff wear t shirts with crew on the back which is a nice touch, the ales good, the location is good so I cannot really fault this pub. Only to say it’s one of these places that feels when it’s busy you need to be in a crowd and not on your own like I was on this trip.

If I return to Stoke I will make another visit here.

5 Jan 2016 13:54

The Wheatsheaf, Stoke on Trent

The last Saturday before Christmas and another football trip has me in Stoke on Trent at 11am, I have 3 pubs in the area to visit and I want to tick them all before kick off.

My first stop is this lively smaller than average size 'spoons in Stoke High Street.

Just after 11am and the pub is rammed, barely a table free with the 'spoons breakfast going down like a storm.

On the bar are 2 banks of 6 hand pumps which each pump offering a different ale with several on offer from smaller breweries. I make a quick decision and decide on a pints of Celt Experiences' The Lost Antlers @ 4.4% and Wincle Brewery Wibbly Wallaby @ 4.4% both at the reliable 'spoons price of £2.20 a pint.

I’m unsure what the building was before Mr Martin's company got hold of it but it has a feel of an old furniture shop about it. A sign written on a blackboard by the bar proudly display's that the pub has been in the GBG since 2008, based on the couple of pints I had I'm not surprised, the ales were very well kept.

A very nice pub with good ales and friendly, attentive service this was a good start to the day.

5 Jan 2016 13:39

The Pride of Spitalfields, Shoreditch


After a very pleasant day in Bury St Edmunds 4 of us ended up in what used to be my old work local up to a couple of years ago.

The Pride in my opinion has always been an excellent “proper” pub with good quality ales and cheap food, this Saturday night visit was no different with 4 ales on. I had several pints of Crouch Vale Brewers gold which were very drinkable.

2 Saturday’s before Christmas and the pub was very busy with hardly any seats remaining inside and the pavement outside being rammed, the crowd was mostly under 30 and what people would call hipsters! Pleasant crowd none the less that helped create the good natured atmosphere.

The pub’s cat was on good form and was certainly getting a lot of attention, he is a good lad.

We stayed until just before midnight without realising how late it was, the other 3 in my party were making their first visit to the Pride and all enjoyed their time here.

9/10

5 Jan 2016 13:30

The Old Cannon Brewery, Bury St Edmunds

The Old Cannon brewery and pub is a short walk from town heading back towards the station in a street of terraced houses giving it a real back street local feel.

Open plan inside with the 2 silver mush tuns in full view & wooden flooring throughout.

On my visit there were 3 of their own ales across the pumps, my choice of Gunners Daughter @ 5.5% was excellent, their other ales on were Best Bitter and Black Pig, apparently the Black Pig was also very good.

Food served and was being enjoyed by 3 locals who along with my group of 6 were the only punters in.

We stayed for nearly 2 hours enjoying our beers and having a crack before leaving for the football. This is the sort of pub that I use the GBG for as I wouldn’t have found it otherwise being away from the town and not exactly on the walk from the station.

Scores highly from me for the quality of the ales and the pub itself.

5 Jan 2016 13:28

Oakes Barn, Bury St Edmonds

Mid December and it’s a football trip to Bury St Edmunds, this was my 2nd visit to Bury in 2015 and my 2nd visit to this privately owned new build pub.

6 of us arrived at 12.15 and there were just a few other punters in then it got busy around 12.30pm with locals before being swamped by other Dulwich Hamlet fans from 1pm.

6 ales and 1 real cider on the hand pumps, I had several pints of Woodforde's Norfolk Nog @ 4.6% and every pint was very decent.

I do like the Oakes Barn on both of my visits here the bar staff are friendly and there’s a nice atmosphere here, coupled with the good range of well kept ales.

A must visit when in Bury.

4 Jan 2016 13:48

The Hamilton Hall, Liverpool Street

A quick beer on my recent Saturday morning visit before my train departed at 10am.

Fairly busy as it always is here, quick attentive service from the manager. I somehow always seem to be served by this chap.

10 different ales on the pumps with several festive offerings. I went for a pint of Everards Nutcracker @ 5.0% to set the day up nicely.

Lovely building & a decent ‘spoons that always has a good choice of well kept ales.

24 Dec 2015 12:36

The Sun, Pickering

A Friday afternoon visit in late November to this award winning pub which has recently voted runner-up of best pub in Yorkshire.

The outside gives you the feeling this is a large pub but once inside it's quite small with the bar in front of you as you enter and a seating area to the right….however as you go through to the men’s toilets you pass through a large barn type room with tables and chairs and a dart board. Apparently this room hosts live music events.

7 ales on, of which 4 were guests. My drop of Small World Beers Secret @ 4.0% was very good. There is also Tetley’s on draught, this is as requested by the locals as the pub used to be a Tetley’s House.

The walls are decorated with brewery signs and trays mainly from Tetley's which isn’t a surprise. Next to the bar is a blackboard which display's a tally of 988 different ales that have been served here, it seems that all of the pump clips are displayed on the ceiling.

Out of all the pubs I visited in North Yorkshire during my week here in November this was one of the least friendly. Not in a bad way it’s just that the barman and locals didn’t seem that bothered about interacting with outsiders.

It’s worth a visit nonetheless as the beer was very good.

24 Dec 2015 12:31

The New Malton, Malton

A Friday afternoon visit to Malton in late November and having consulted the 2025 GBG we decided to have a beer and some lunch here.

With 3 ales available on cask I went for a local brew from Rudgate in York which was Brew No 1 Vanilla Mild @ 3.6%, a creamy but drinkable mild.

Very busy for food on our lunch time visit, good locally produce food served , my ploughman's was handsome.

Nicely decorated pub with the original fireplace in the smaller bar area.

Plenty of seats and tables in the 3 separate areas, with the small wooden bar serving the 2 front bar areas

Good food, ales and great service makes the New Malton another good tick from the 2015 GBG.

23 Dec 2015 14:22

The Blue Bell, York

This was the last pub that features in the current GBG that I needed to 'tick' in York. Having been too busy for us to stay when we visited a few days earlier I duly returned on a Thursday evening when it was a little quieter.

2 distinct drinking area's, the front room is a small snug while the smoking room to the rear is rather cosy. The snug only has enough seats for about 16 or 17 people and standing room for another half a dozen.

A good choice of ales on the hand pumps with 7 ales available . My pints of Roosters Longhorn @ 4.3% and Rudgate’s Ruby Mild @ 4.4% were both very good.

The fire in its original tiled fireplace was burning in the snug with a grate in front of it.

No hot food served here but they do sell fresh baked bread and home made pork pies.

A reasonable sized crowd in on my visit with lively chatter between the small groups and the 2 bar staff.

I’m glad I managed to get back to the Blue Bell as it’s a very good little pub selling extremely well kept ales.

23 Dec 2015 14:18

Duke of York, York

Opened in October 2013, the Duke of York is a relatively new city centre pub owned by Leeds brewery and is a conversion of a former estate agents split over two floors.

On the bar are 12 hand pumps, with 4 Leeds Brewery ales (3 on 2 pumps each), 4 guests from 2 Welsh breweries and 1 real cider. Being a Leeds Brewery pub I had to stay true and opted for a pint of Leeds Best @ 4.2% which was very good. In addition to the cask ales there is a good selection of European and American bottled ales.

Really busy here at 6.30pm when the wife and I visited thought we did manage to find a table to sit at.

Nicely decorated in an open plan fashion with plenty of places to sit or stand, the space has been used well.

Overall the Duke of York is a nice pub with good service and quality beers.

22 Dec 2015 15:50

The Three Legged Mare, York

A re-tick for me on a Thursday tea time mainly because I wanted to try York's seasonal ale Snowflake @ 3.7% and it didn't disappoint.

Including the Snowflake there are 4 York Brewery ales, 2 guests and 1 real cider on.

Service on this visit wasn’t as good as the barman barely raised a smile. It was half busy but a bit too quiet for the time of the day.

A nice enough pub but there are better close by.

22 Dec 2015 15:49

York Tap, York

A flying visit on a Wednesday night and it was very busy. As per my previous visit’s there’s a great range of ales on but I was surprised that they seemed to have upped the price of their “craft” ales.

I went for a half of Celt Experience’s Brigid Fire @ 6.3% and Siren Craft Brew’s Baby Wheel @ 7.1% and was charged over £6.00 for both halves! I asked the barman if this was correct and was informed that both beers were over £6.00 a pint so my answer was yes it was correct!

I’m still impressed by the glass dome in the centre of the ceiling, both my ales were excellent and regardless of the price I still like this Tap.

Worth a visit.

16 Dec 2015 13:44

The Windmill, York



Popped in for a quick pint on a Wednesday night in late November but was put off by the 'fart' smell near the bar which is usually the sign of uncleaned pipes, so I turned on my heels and promptly left.

16 Dec 2015 13:44

Beer Rebellion, Peckham

A Tuesday night football game so me and a couple of friends decide to start our evening in Beer Rebellion right close to Queens Road station.

I’m a massive fan of Late Knights beers and their bars with the London Beer Dispensary being my local, so having known about this place for some time I finally found an excuse to make my first visit.

I’m unsure what the use for this bar was before but it’s now a cracking drinking venue just like their other 2 in South East London. 16 draught options available that were made up of 12 keg ales, 2 ciders and 4 cask ales . I went for a couple of the cask options, Late Knights Palace Pint @ 4.4% and Brick Breweries Thomas Gardyner @ 3.8%.

The style of the bar is hipster shabby chic with lots of wooden seating, including a couple of bench seats to encourage communal chatter, music playing at a very decent level, trendy barman who was very knowledgeable regarding the ales and minimal food offerings.

Having visited just once I am now a massive fan and will be returning soon.

16 Dec 2015 13:42

The Volunteer Arms, York

After a couple of pints at the very nice Fox down the road we made a mid-evening stop at this GBG entry back street local.

The friendly but slightly surly looking barmaid waits patiently while I peruse the 8 ales & 1 real cider on the hand pumps. These ales are made up of 5 regulars & 3 guests, I went for a guest which was Maxim’s MXM triple hop @ 4.5% which was okay but not the best ale I’ve had recently.

There was music playing at an acceptable level from either a juke box or from behind the bar. On the walls are photos and pictures of York.

I haven’t got a great deal more to say about the Volunteer Arms as I found it slightly dull, I probably won’t be returning.

16 Dec 2015 09:23

The Fox, York

This extremely large main road pub is owned and managed by the fairly local Osset Brewery and makes an appearance in the 2016 GBG.

Pretty busy at 5pm when we arrive on a Wednesday in late November. Multi roomed community lead pub with a 2 sided bar as well as a side hatch onto the main corridor.

There were 9 ales & 1 real cider on the hand pumps during my visit with 4 ales from Osset. I opted for a couple of pints of Rat Breweries White Rat @ 4.0% which is a very good ale.

Each room still retains the original features and this theme runs through the pub including a stained glass window in the corridor depicting a fox.

We stayed for a couple of drinks and enjoyed the friendly atmosphere.

The Fox is a very nice pub with a lovely untouched interior & to echo what the previous reviewer said it’s well worth the walk out of town.

15 Dec 2015 16:31

Muse Ale and Wine Bar, Wetherby

There’s one pub tick from the current GBG in Wetherby so I had to visit while in the town for racing.

It’s was 11.30am on a Wednesday and the place had half a dozen people in when we arrived.

Muse is a single storey building that lays behind the main square and looks more like a restaurant from the outside. Once you enter there is a dining room to the right and a small bar and seating area to the left.

6 cask ales on, I opt for a couple of pints of Hop Studio’s Obsidian @ 5.0% which is a black IPA & very drinkable. In addition to the cask ales there are 8 kegs offering cider, wheat beer, stout and fruit beer.

The manager and bar man are chatty and engage with all of the customers, I discuss beer and horse racing with a friendly local while enjoying my beers.

I’m unsure what the other pubs in Wetherby are like but on my next visit I will make sure I return to Muse as it’s a good alehouse / wine bar and a very good tick

15 Dec 2015 16:29

The Mitre, Knaresborough

A Tuesday afternoon visit in late November to this large pub and dining room for another GBG tick. Handily situated next to the train station in this attractive town, the Mitre is a Market Town Tavern owned pub who apparently are a Yorkshire pub chain (I was told this by a local in the pub).

7 ales on with 6 from local breweries, the other being from Okells on the Isle of Man. I stayed local for my pint and had York Breweries Oh Vienna @ 4.0%, which was very decent.

The walls are plastered with beer pump clips displaying all the ales they have served here in recent times.

Nicely decorated & welcoming in the main bar area with dogs also welcome. A few punters in on my visit with the food looking and smelling good.

A nice pub for a stop, I may return for a longer visit the next time I’m in Knaresborough.

15 Dec 2015 10:35

The One Eyed Rat, Ripon

My 3rd pub tick of a flying visit to Ripon with the wife on a Monday afternoon. We arrived here just after 6pm, not that busy but the chatter was lively.

7 ales on the pumps available, all ales were light in colour with the exception of the porter from Hop Studio. In addition there are 2 real ciders and a few top quality lagers. My choice of Phoenix’s Flash Flood @ 4.1%, which was very good.

Narrow frontage opens up into a long thin pub with a large open seating area to the rear with a piano. In the front seating area a real fire was burning and added to the relaxed atmosphere.

The landlord was chatting to several locals at the bar. The One Eyed Rat has been in the GBG for over 20 years and in my opinion (from this one visit) guarantees you a friendly welcome along with cracking ales and no quiz or fruit machines or televisions.

Another must visit pub if you haven’t been already.

15 Dec 2015 08:59

Unicorn Hotel, Ripon

This imposing looking ex hotel in the Market Place has been thoroughly renovated in 2011 by Weatherspoon’s.

Even though the pub is a slightly strange shape there is plenty of seating with booths down one side in the side bar and plenty of tables and chairs in the dining room towards the rear. The walls have a fair amount of wood panelling, local interest pictures on the walls with the Cathedral featuring heavily especially in the side bar towards the Market Place.

On the bar are 8 hand pumps with 6 ales and 2 with coming soon labels on them. Only 1 local offering which was Saltire’s Pride @ 3.9%, a decent kept and served pint.

6pm on a Thursday and not that busy but it did start to fill up as we were leaving, as expected food was popular.

The Unicorn has one of the smallest bar's I've seen in a spoons. Another tick from the current GBG for me.

15 Dec 2015 08:56

Royal Oak, Ripon

Timothy Taylor pub just off the Market Square.

4 Timothy Taylor ales on the pumps, which were Landlord, Ram Tam, Boltmaker and my choice Golden Best @ 3.5%. The 5th ale available was Saltaire Blonde.

2 seating areas at the top of the stairs as you enter the pub with the U shaped bar to your right. Light and airy inside with lots of trendy lights hanging from the ceilings. The walls are painted a different colour in each room, while hanging on each wall are pictures, drawings and photos all in gold frames, this adds a warm decorative feel to the 2 large rooms. To the rear is a large dining room with an open fireplace.

Music playing softly, a couple of locals chatting to the barmaids at the bar, not that busy on my visit but still a very nice pub

14 Dec 2015 10:11

Ralph FitzRandal, Richmond

My first ever visit to Richmond and with time to visit just one pub I choose this extremely large 'spoons on the outskirts of the Market Place.

It’s early Monday afternoon and the place was just over a quarter full with most of the punters in the large dining / family room to the rear.

On the bar are 10 hand pumps which were offering 5 ales, 3 national brands, Rudgate Battle Axe and my choice which was Partners Brewery Evolution @ 4.0%.

There was a roaring fire in the family area with a large Christmas tree next to it.

A nice enough pub, unsure how long it’s been open but it still has a new feel to it.

Visited and ticked.

14 Dec 2015 10:10

The Golden Ball, York

8pm on a Sunday evening and the pub is busy with plenty going on. The 2 small snugs are empty, the back room has a folk band playing with every seat taken while the main bar room has a group of fellas playing dominoes and several groups of young and mature adults chatting and enjoying their ales.

7 cask hand pumps on the bar with 6 different ales, I had several pints of Treboon Breweries Tambourine Man @ 3.9%, a very decently kept & poured ale.

The Golden Ball is well known for being York’s first community owned pub, meaning it’s owned by locals, this is very evident as the pub feels like a community centre more than a pub and it’s excellent.

All rooms have their charm, the main bar area has lovely original decorative tiles below the bar and a fascinating North Yorkshire map as wallpaper on the back wall. The snugs are untouched have been restored and one of them has a bar billiards table.

The Golden Ball is a bobby dazzler of a pub with a real community feel.

10 Dec 2015 16:28

The Hub Alehouse and Kitchen, Liverpool

I knew this pub was more of a foodie place but I wasn't expecting how much of a food lead place it was.

About 6pm on a Friday in late September & there wasn't a seat in sight that wasn't taken or reserved for diners.

A large queue at the bar so we turned on our heels and headed to the Bridewell....the Hub remains unticked.

10 Dec 2015 16:12

The Last Drop Inn, York

After a busy day shopping in York and with the Blue Bell on Fossgate being packed we ended up here as it was emptier and we could get a seat....we also had nearly a dozen bags so were proper laden down!

York Brewery owned and managed with 6 cask pumps offering 4 of their ales and 2 guests. The staples are Ghost Centurion Ale, Yorkshire Terrier and Guzzler with Otherside IPA @ 4.5% as a York Brewery guest plus 2 other guests which were Ossett Brewery Big Red and Barngates Brewery Old Growler. My pints of Otherside were both excellent. In addition there are 2 keg ales, a lager from York Brewery and several bottles of Belgium fruit beers.

When we arrived the pub was pretty quiet but got busier after 5.30pm, there was a live Jazz performer in the front seating area which was pleasant.

In addition to the ales there is a decent selection of whiskeys available with in excess of 25 on the shelves'.

The walls have exposed brickwork and there's stone flooring in the bar area towards the rear, the front area as you enter is wooden flooring.

A decent pub with good ales, therefore worth a visit.

7 Dec 2015 17:33

The Marcia Hotel, Bishopthorpe

Our last pub of the night in Bishopthorpe and at 11pm it’s very busy with the majority of the punters in the bar to the left of the main entrance.

Everyone appeared to be local (which is good) and the chatter was lively.
On the bar were 4 cask ales which were Timothy Taylor's Landlord , Leeds Pale Ale, Roosters Yankee and my choice which was Treboom Breweries Yorkshire Sparkle @ 4.0%. The sparkle was very good and is well kept.

Music was playing a bit higher than background level with the music controlled by the 2 young bar staff.

Apparently the Marcia was extensively refurbished in 2013 and does look a lot different now to the photo’s I have seen before the refurbishment. There is a dining area to the right and having checked their website the foo seems to be affordable home cooked fare, I didn’t see anyone eating on my visit but it was late.

We stayed for a few drinks, enjoying the atmosphere and the music. Another decent pub in this cracking little village.

7 Dec 2015 17:31

The Ebor, Bishopthorpe

After a nice meal at The Woodman I wanted to visit the other 2 pubs in the village so we start at this lovely looking Samuel Smiths pub which is sat back from the main road.

Lounge bar to the right as you enter and the lounge to the left. We sat in the lounge as it was quieter and enjoyed our drinks. The lounge bar has a dart board and had music playing but was not as busy as the lounge.

As to be expected the full range of Sam Smiths drinks available, the Old Brewery Bitter was in fine form.
The interior is of traditional form with the walls adorned with photos of the pub over the years, local area maps, plenty of horse brass & china plates hanging on the walls. Hanging from the bar are a large amount of horse racing entry badges and a framed picture with a badge from each of the 59 UK racecourses.

Lively chatter from the locals and the 2 bar man, giving the pub a real welcoming feel.

I must mention the interesting and loud tiles in the gents toilet these are very eye-catching! There’s also a small collection of beer mirrors hanging in the gents.

To the rear is a large garden, kids play area and patio, being 10pm at night and mid-November I didn’t venture out.

Apparently the landlord has been here for 30 years and is clearly doing everything right as the Ebor is a cracking village pub, very traditional and welcoming.

5 Dec 2015 21:32

The Woodman, Bishopthorpe

Traditional looking pub in the centre of the village that is very food-oriented having been bought and is now owned & managed by a well-known local chef.

We arrived for dinner at 8.45pm on a Saturday evening and the place was over half full, with food service ending at 9pm apparently the place was packed earlier. This isn't a food review so all I'll say is the food was very good, well priced & with quality ingredients.

3 ales on cask and John Smiths on keg. The cask ales were Timothy Taylor's Landlord, York Brewery Guzzler and Ossett Brewery Yorkshire Blonde. The Guzzler was very good.

Flooring is a mix of stripped wooden, flagstones and original tiles. All of the walls are in a neutral colour. Medium sized wooden bar with ornate brass foot rail.

I found a nice friendly atmosphere on my visit with the all the bar man being chatty and attentive giving a great service. The ales choices were good with my pint being well kept and poured. More of a food pub than a traditional pub but does great food and does retain a bar area with high stools.

5 Dec 2015 21:30

The Red Hart, Blyth

A Saturday afternoon stop in Blyth for some lunch on the way to York with the wife, with 3 pubs in the village to choose from so I opt for the one that has appeared in the last 10 GBG’s including the 2016 edition.

The Red Hart is a cosy looking pub / hotel with 2 separate rooms at the front. The lounge is laid out for diners with a large open fireplace in the centre of the room. There are 2 hand pumps on the bar this side (and 3 on the other side) with Doom Bar and 2 local offerings. One was a porter so I went for the lighter offering which was Tool Makers Brewery Pull Saw @ 4.4% which was a light & refreshing beer that was extremely well kept.

Most tables were taken in the lounge room where we sat and enjoyed the home made steak and veg pie from the ample menu. The front bar that has a pool table in was fairly quiet.

To the back of the pub is a large room that I assume is used for breakfasts in the mornings and additional diners in the evenings.

The building apparently dates from the 17th century when it was a coaching inn. Décor in the main bar is wooden panelling and neutral colours while in the lounge the walls are papered and there’s lots of pictures of the local area and old Blyth…some of the pictures need straighten or is the walls that are wonky!

Out the back is a large car park and beer garden. All in the all the Red Hart is a thoroughly nice pub with good ales & very good home cooked food, worthy of a stop.

5 Dec 2015 21:28

The Bricklayers Arms, Bromley

An early football kick off at Bromley FC on a Saturday in mid November, so I stop for a few pints in this well maintained Shepherd and Name pub a short stroll from Bromley South station.

It’s many years since I've been here and I think they have moved the bar, I'm sure it used to be in front of you as you entered from Mason’s Hill. Now the pub has an open plan layout with the bar curling between both rooms. The room on the left is more of a bar with a dart board on the raised area & some leather seats. The room to the right has a cosy front room feel and is carpeted throughout, there’s leather seating around the windows and plenty of tables.

3 cask hand pumps on each side of the bar each offering 2 ales which were Master Brew and Whitstable Bay. I opted for the Whitstable Bay which was a decently kept beer.

As its match day and an early kick off the pub is heaving by 11.40am with the all day breakfasts proving extremely popular.

The 2 bar staff were both pleasant and efficient and seemed to know most of the punters that were in or that came in during my time here. The Bricks as it’s known locally is a much better pub for a few pints before football than the over crowded and unwelcoming ‘spoons opposite Bromley South station and it’s certainly worth the short walk up the hill.

5 Dec 2015 21:24

Duke of Wellington, Haggerston

Time for a quick pint before dinner locally so I headed for this old fashioned pub on the green close to Haggeston station.

On entering it’s clear that at 6.30pm I’m the only non local in here (not a problem at all), the friendly bar maid greets me warmly and I opt for the only ale on cask which was Sharp's Doom bar & available on 2 pumps.

The pub is carpeted throughout though the carpet does look like it’s seen better days. As have the bench seats which are covered with black tape as most of the fabric has been ripped!

Music playing softly, football about to be shown on the televisions and the punters at the bar chatting amongst their selves.

Not a bad pub and it’s quite nice to find one in this area that hasn’t been gentrified!!

5 Dec 2015 21:21

The Argyll Arms, Oxford Circus

My first visit to the newly refurbished Argyll Arms on a Wednesday afternoon for a quick pint. This pub has been extensively renovated by Nicholson’s but it has kept all of it's charm and splendid decor.

The long bar serves the 4 separate drinking areas with each of these areas separated by wooden and etched glass partitions, parlour style. Lots of wood behind the bar and brass taps on the bar.

8 hand pumps with 4 regular ales and 3 changing ales. Today's guests were Windsor and Eton Knights of the Garter, Adnams Broadside and my choice which was SA Brains Bread of Heaven @ 4.0%...brewed by this Cardiff based brewery for the recent rugby world cup.

Pretty busy while I was here with a mix of tourist and shoppers. The bar staff were attentive and friendly and added to the charm of the pub.

There is an upstairs dining room that I didn’t venture to as I only had a quick pint and left but this give me enough time to fully appreciate the pubs stunning interior.

Cracking location & great décor, the ale choice is very good just don’t be put off by the prices this is the heart of Central London after all !

2 Dec 2015 14:14

William Jolle, Northwood Hills

A Tuesday night football game at Northwood FC so this gives me the perfect excuse to tick this 'spoons next to Northwood Hills station on my way to the match.

It's 7pm when I arrive and straight away I notice that nearly everyone here is drinking, barely a meal being served or eaten in sight....most strange for a 'spoons.

12 hand pumps offering a range of varying strength ales with a couple of obscure ales. I go straight for 2 pints, which are both dark ones in Cotleigh's Redfire @ 4.8% & Dorset Brewing Co Jurassic @ 4.2%. The Jurassic was excellent.

The usual Wetherspoon’s natural decoration including the standard carpets throughout and then tiled floor by the bar area. Quick service at the bar from the 4 on duty, this is obviously a representation of how busy this pub is. To the front is a heated patio that is mainly frequented by smokers.

I sit in a booth with my pints and while away half an hour. This is a very good pub made even more surprising as its a 'spoons, they seem to know their clientele and the pub does feel very much like a traditional locals pub.

Worthy of a visit in my opinion.

2 Dec 2015 14:11

Howl at the Moon, Hackney

I arrived here at 10pm on a Tuesday evening with a couple of work colleagues after eating locally.

13 keg taps with ciders, lagers and ales and 6 cask hand pumps that were offering 2 ales & 3 ciders and Perrier's. My pint of New River Breweries Riverbed Red @ 4.2% was decent and very drinkable.

Obviously this pub was an old fashioned corner plot pub in the market but it’s now a trendy hipsters local with stripped wooden flooring, old wooden tables, mis-matched chairs and extremely loud music…too blinking loud to be honest!

The décor is mainly made up of beer related posters and signs and there’s also wooden ale barrels hanging from the ceiling, preciously balanced!

I was unsure what to expect from this pub other than a decent choice of ale and have come away feeling a little bit empty, unsure why I feel like this as the staff was friendly enough the ale choice was good plus the décor is quirky…but I’m not satisfied. Oh well !

2 Dec 2015 13:20

The Railway Tavern, Carshalton

Homely corner plot Fuller's pub very close to the station, so it was the perfect place to head to after football on a Monday night in late October.

Monday night at 10pm and it's packed inside mainly I assume because the quiz was on. The last time I was in the area at another pub around this time it was also quiz night and was busy!

A decent selection of Fuller’s ales on the taps, my pint of Red Fox was adequate at best. Kept well just not a very good pint.

Not a great deal to say other than the Railway seems to be a honest locals pub that’s worth a stop to or from the station.

30 Nov 2015 13:37

Flying Pig, East Dulwich

This restaurant conversion opened well over a year ago and having passed it many times I finally made my 1st visit here a few Saturday afternoons back.

2 cask ales on during my short stay, I went for a pint of Wharfe Bank Brewing Co California Common @ 4.8%. In addition there were 8 ales on keg and an extensive range of bottles from across the UK.

Fairly busy during my late afternoon stop. Food was popular and the I have to report that the burgers looked good.

Decent decoration inside this long bar with the back area past the bar being more of a casual dining area. A nice enough place but I’ll have to make another visit to cast a better opinion.

30 Nov 2015 13:34

The Sandgrounder, Southport

I only had time for a quick tick in Southport so I choose the centrally located Sandgrounder on Lord Street. It’s Saturday at 12.45pm and it's busy with most of the punters being male & watching the 2 football games on the many televisions around the pub.

Feels like a ‘spoons but it’s not and has been open since 2012 and appears in the 2015 GBG. 4 hand pumps with 4 cask ales, I went for a pint of Problem Child Brewing’s Scallywag @ 3.7%. Not a great pint (kept fine) just slightly weak but decent value at £2.90 a pint.

2 pool tables at the back of the pub and a rake of fruit machines. I assume this pub gets packed due to it’s location close to the town and near the sea front.

Not a bad pub and probably worth a 2nd visit on my return to Southport.

30 Nov 2015 12:41

The Pumphouse, Liverpool

The Pump House is a large Greene King pub at the entrance to Albert Dock in the old pump house building!

We visited here on a Friday evening in late September with the other bars and drinking options in Albert Dock not looking up to much.

On arrival it was a tad soulless as it felt like a new build pub even though its not, but within 20 minutes the pub filled up and it took on a good atmosphere.

Impressed by the 10 hand pumps with 4 ales from Liverpool Organic Brewery. I had 2 of their offerings, Best Bitter @ 4.2% & Shipwreck IPA @ 6.5%, the Shipwreck is a very good ale.

Really surprised how quiet the Albert Dock area was as I thought it was banging at weekends, but equally as nice to find a pub with a good range of ales on for a quiet drink. Worth a visit in my opinion.

30 Nov 2015 09:44

The Watch Maker, Prescot

This large 'spoons in the centre of Prescott used to be a Watch Making Factory before closing down and the building falling into disrepair.

Open plan inside with a long bar on your left as you enter. A range of 10 hand pumps with 6 ales and 2 real ciders. I went for Wadworths Dungarvan Copper Coast @ 4.3%.

The bar area has several large clocks on the walls, all telling the correct time which is obviously a nod to the building previous incarnation. There’s a large glass partition showing the inner workings on a watch.

In the large centre seating area are 3 large wooden cable reels hanging from the ceiling, Prescot used to and maybe still does manufacture copper caballing. The 3rd seating area has a wooden slopping ceiling with comfy sofa's.

Busy at noon on a Friday with everyone being local and a group of very loud girls, I bet there noise was unbearable 2 hours later!

A thoroughly decent and modern 'spoons that even though it’s not in the Camra GBG it’s still worthy of a visit.

30 Nov 2015 09:40

The Sun, Carshalton

A visit to Carshalton on a Monday evening for football and our pub of choice for pre match drinks was the much liked Sun. A fair better pub than the Hope in my opinion with better kept ales, though I’m probably in the minority with this opinion.

On the bar are 5 hand pumps which on this visit had 4 ales on. I had several very good pints of Vale Breweries Wychert @ 3.9%, a dark coloured beer with pleasant flavour and a good abv for a session beer.

The Sun is a lovely old pub with good respectful decoration and what appears to be decent quality food. Several couples came in near to 7pm and were starting their meals as we were leaving, I can report that the food did look good.

Beer garden to the side of the pub, clean men’s toilets (always a plus point), good friendly bar staff, pleasant locals and a good range of ales on the coming soon board. The Sun is a winner for me.

19 Nov 2015 17:01

Brockley Jack, Brockley

Visited the Brockley Jack on a Sunday afternoon in mid October for another family meal & this was my first visit since the new manageress took over.

13.30 when we arrived and the pub was packed, all tables reserved so a good job we booked. A couple of new ales on the hand pumps, the Woodford’s Wherry was on good form while my father had a pint of Twickenham’s Naked Ladies and said it was decent.

A new food menu offering a slightly reduced amount of starters but still all the classics along with a large and varied choice of mains including Sunday Roasts. 5 of us ate and all enjoyed our lunches.

The Jack is a decent place to eat but does seem to be becoming more of a food destination than a regular pub.

The current bar staff could do with being a little more switched on, especially at busy times!

19 Nov 2015 16:41

The Derby Tup, Whittington Moor

This Castle Rock run pub a short stroll from the football ground was the one I really wanted to visit during my day visit to Chesterfield and it certainly didn’t disappoint.

On the bar are 10 hand pumps with a good range of ales and 2 real ciders. I had Brightside Brewing Company’s Kiwi @ 4.6%, Castle Rock’s Screech Owl @ 5.5% and a few glasses of Darkstar’s Revelations direct from the cellar, this was by far the freshest Darkstar I’d ever had. Well done to the young barman for fetching these from the cellar.

The landlord also brews he’s own on site, I didn’t have a taste but apparently it was quite hoppy.

The Derby Tup is a proper pub with an older crowd. There’s a piano in the main bar area & I cannot forget the Rams head that keeps watch near the bar.

I stayed here for almost 2 hours and could of stayed all night had I not had a train to catch.

A worthy entry into the GBG and quickly becomes one of my favourite pubs…another 10/10 for me.

19 Nov 2015 16:39

The Beer Parlour, Chesterfield

I stumbled upon this place on the way to the Derby Tup after football on a Saturday afternoon and as a bonus it appears in the 2016 GBG, result!

8 cask ales on, I opted for a pint of Wentwell's Little Tick @ 4.0%. As well as the cask pumps, there’s a huge range of bottled ales & 12 keg lines, there offerings are mixed between ales and lagers. Looking at the bottles on offer they appear to have the full range of Thornbridge Brewery ales with at least 17 on display, a very good effort.

Busy in here, I found out that this place used to be a Gun shop before becoming a micro pub 2 or so years ago.

The decoration is sparse but there is an interesting backwards clock hanging above the door. Television was on near the bar showing a game from the Rugby World Cup. I stayed for 45 minutes as I wanted to head off to the Derby Tup.

18 Nov 2015 17:31

The Market, Chesterfield

My 4th pub of the afternoon and it’s the popular Market Tavern in as you guess the market area of the town!

There are 9 hand pumps which have 8 ales and 1 real cider on. I go for a pint of Welbeck Abbey’s Henrietta @ 3.6%, it’s a nice pint.

Several bar staff on and I receive a friendly welcome from all of them, always nice when you enter a pub and feel welcome.

There’s flagstone flooring throughout with a seating area for diners towards the rear of the pub. The food is extremely popular and there’s not a spare seat anywhere in this area. I take my pint and park myself opposite the bar and soak up the very friendly nature of this lovely looking pub.

The 4 pubs I have visited so far in Chesterfield have all been different but equally as good as each other and all with a good selection of well kept ales.

18 Nov 2015 14:25

The Rutland, Chesterfield

My 3rd pub to tick and it’s the very welcoming Rutland Arms which is sandwiched between the shopping area and the Crooked Spire church yard. It’s 1pm when I wander in and its pretty busy inside with a mix of football lads and diners. The food is proving popular and every plate that passes looks handsome! The Rutland is well known locally for it’s food quality, portion size and value for money.

8 ales across the 9 hand pumps with a wide range of breweries and styles on offer, I opt for a pint of Wentworth Hoptoberfest @ 3.8%. Perfectly poured but quite a hoppy ale and not one of the best I had during my Chesterfield visit.

I stayed for 45 minutes and soaked up the atmosphere that was being generated by the locals, the jovial landlord and the music playing in the back ground. A thoroughly decent pub and a fine range of ales.

18 Nov 2015 14:06

White Swan, Chesterfield

I waited patiently to visit the White Swan as earlier in the day I got here before opening, I'm extremely pleased I did make the effort to come back.

The windows to the front are etched at the top with Swan emblems and are coloured. I'm unsure of the history of this pub but its obviously been transformed recently as its open plan now & attracts a different crowd to the Spa Lane Vaults. The pub is managed by the Raw Brewing Co.

Now to the real reason I'm here, which are the ales! 12 cask hand pumps that had 11 different ales on. 8 Northern breweries represented, 10 of the 11 are from smaller breweries with only Greene King represented as a National brewery in the form of Abbot Ale. With such a choice I worked through a few of the smaller breweries with my choices being Instant Karma Brewing Company Nirvana Cascade @ 4.9%, Raw Brewing Company @ Grey Ghost IPA @ 5.9% an excellent beer and Yeovil Ales Glory @ 3.8%. In addition to the cask ales there's 5 traditional ciders and several keg ales along with an impressive range of bottled ales.

A cracker of a boozer made even better by the amusing bar staff. The Swan is a must visit in my opinion and somewhere I have earmarked to return to.

18 Nov 2015 14:05

Spa Lane Vaults, Chesterfield

My first pint in Chesterfield and with the White Swan not opening until noon I made my way to this modern looking 'spoons a few doors down.

2 bar staff having to deal with a fair few punters at the bar, why do Wetherspoons never have enough bar staff in? To be fair though the duty manager was very good and was able to serve a few customers at once.

13 hand pumps with a varied selection of ales with 3 from the current International beer festival. I stayed local and opted for a pint of Kelham Islands' Wild Rider @ 5.5%.

The pub is an L shape that's carpeted almost all the way throughout with netural decoration on the walls. Fairly bland but certainly not offensive. The majority of the punters were 40+ during my visit.

The Wild Rider was very good and the pub offered a shelter from the increasingly heavy rain that was falling.

Police van parked outside as football was on in town...the reason I was here of course!

A decent start to the day.

17 Nov 2015 14:02

The Worlds End, Hampton

A short stroll down the High Road from the Railway Bell and you reach the World’s End, which is a very different pub with a different breed of punter inside.

It’s my 3rd visit to this place having used it almost every time I’ve been here. It is a proper drinkers pub full of locals that on my visit were getting ready to watch the football on television (Chelsea).

4 ales to choose from with my pint of Hepworth Red Export @ 4.5% being very good. The pub is carpeted throughout with a pool table one side. Small garden to the left hand side that also acts as a smokers area.

I have found in the past that the locals can be a little unfriendly but on this occasion one of them was very helpful and gave me the lowdown & directions to the nearest take away food shop when I went back in after the game for a quick pint.

The World’s End is a better pub than the Railway Bell.

17 Nov 2015 13:44

The Railway Bell, Hampton

A Tuesday night in Hampton and it’s my first ever visit to the Railway Bell. I am here for football at Hampton & Richmond Borough and with 2 (open) pubs between the station and the ground it makes sense to start here.

Even though it’s dark when I get here you can tell that one of the best selling points with this pub is the large garden to the front. Inside it’s quite busy with a good smattering of locals as well as people here for the football.

The chap behind the bar who I assume is the landlord greets us in a friendly way and chats while I peruse the 5 hand pumps with 3 ales on, which were Wells Bombardier, Courage Best and Otter Bitter. The Otter was decent & drinkable.

We took our pints and sat near to the bar with a couple of local chaps. The décor is pleasant but the walls could do with a paint job & the lighting is a bit dim.

Worth a stop for a pint.

17 Nov 2015 13:43

The Earl of Camden, Camden

I made my first ever visit after working locally on a Monday night having spent the last 10 days walking past the pub almost twice a day!

The Earl is a huge place with ample seating and standing area, lots of screens up showing the football game that was live on sky, there on this visit the pub was quite empty, probably because it was a Monday.

4 ales across the 4 hand pumps, with more offerings on keg including Sam Adams Boston Lager & Camden Hells. I opted for several pints of Ringwood Best Bitter on cask with everyone being a decent drop.

The food deals were good but I don’t recall seeing anyone eating.

I stayed for several hours in this pleasant pub, with the music being played at an acceptable level that also allowed chatter. Decent enough pub.

13 Nov 2015 10:06

The Camden Eye, Camden

I popped in on a Sunday evening just before closing time for a quick pint after working locally.

6 cask ales on the hand pumps, my pint of Deuchars IPA wasn't the best and tasted a bit vinegary to be honest. In addition there were 2 Theakstons offerings on keg which were Barista Stout and Peculiar IPA, maybe I should of gone keg on this occasion.

Quite busy inside with a group of drunken Rugby fans making a fair amount of noise. I stayed for a pint then headed home, it’s very convenient for the tube station but there are better options for well kept ale in the area.

13 Nov 2015 10:03

The Fox on the Hill, Denmark Hill

I'm back to watching Dulwich Hamlet at home regularly which means pre game drinks in the Fox on the Hill.

My latest visit was a Saturday afternoon and I find its day 2 of the international beer festival with all pumps offering a mix of regular ales, odd national brand offerings and several overseas ales. I decide my pints will be from UK based breweries and opt for pints of Butcombe's Chinook IPA @ 4.2% and Everards Stateside Rye @ 4.5% with the Rye being the better drop.

Packed as it always is on a Saturday with the usual drinkers as well as families seeking cheap meals.

Me and my group stayed until just after 14.30 before heading down the hill to football.

‘Spoons pubs get a lot of bad reviews but they are cheap for drinks and food and nearly always offer the ale drinker a better choice that many other High Street pubs. Service can sometimes be slow but it can be particularly bad some days here, though you get served eventually.

12 Nov 2015 17:17

Crobar, Soho

I arrived here just before 2am on a Friday morning after lots of drinking in and around Chalk Farm.

Having been born and bred in London I don’t ever remember knowing this place existed.

The group of Americans I was with use this place regularly, mainly because it’s a late night drinking venue and they play very loud heavy metal and rock music….not really my scene but fine to listen to after a lot of alcohol!

Being a tad worse for wear I went straight for cans of Red Stripe without evening looking at the pumps or any bottle options.

I must of stayed for an hour or so before heading home. The Crobar is a good place to know for a late drink in the Soho / Charing Cross Road area, but it’s not massively my thing.

12 Nov 2015 14:03

The Monarch, Chalk Farm

A works outing on a Thursday night in mid October was my reason for visiting this ex Wetherspoon's pub near Chalk Farm station.

My only previous ever visit was in the early 2000's when this was a 'spoons. I am unsure when this pub changed into private hands but it doesn't retain much of the previous incarnation with the pub being a music venue with 3 bands playing the night I visited.

On arrival at 6.30pm the pub was filling up nicely and by 8pm was pretty packed this included the group of 20 I was in. We reserved a couple of booths and ordered food. Most went for the burger and chips option including myself, it was decent & not too filling.

The only cask ale was Doom Bar which I didn’t fancy so I opted to drink Greene King East Coast IPA on keg. Every pint was good so the lines are obviously clean in this pub.

The pool table provided good entertainment for an hour or so and then my group got into the music when the bands started at 9pm. Small garden to the rear acts also as a smoking area and the addition of heaters helped as it was getting a bit chilly outside.

We stayed all the way to closing and I personally thoroughly enjoyed my time here, maybe I’ll visit again next year when I’m working in the area.

12 Nov 2015 13:44

The Spread Eagle, Camden

Almost a year since I last visited this Young’s pub while working in the area I return on a Thursday evening with a few work colleagues.

It’s 6.15pm when I arrive here and the pub is packed. There are 5 ales on the hand pumps but the one I choose is immediately off so I go to the keg options and choose a pint of Meantime’s Fools Gold. A good pint but it’s slightly too cold for me, doesn’t stop me drinking it though and 2 further pints!

As reported on my last visit the pub is nicely decorated and is a very pleasant place for a few pints.

12 Nov 2015 13:22

The Duke of Argyll, Soho

Late night visit on a Tuesday in mid October after being at a party locally.

This was my first ever visit to this traditional corner plot Samuel Smith’s pub right in the heart of Soho. Even though it was late it was still pretty busy.

As expected the bar had the full range of Sam Smith’s ales on and the Sovereign bitter was in very good form.

The interior looks fairly untouched with stained glass panels and mirrors and a mosaic floor running up to the bar.

I’d like to say I will visit again but with so many pubs on my “tick” list who knows if I ever will.

12 Nov 2015 13:20

The Glassblower, Piccadilly


I needed a pint after a meeting in the Soho area so it was a stop at this Taylor Walker pub just off Regent Street.

Busy with tourists at 5.30 on a Monday night. Food being served with almost all tables having a meal, everyone standing by the bar was drinking!

4 ales on the pumps, I went for a Truman’s Bold As Brass @ 4.2%, decently soured by the barmaid however she could of smiled while she poured it!

Long time since I visited here but it’s an alright pub and I may come again when in the area, but there’s lot of choice in this part of town.

12 Nov 2015 11:19

The Albany, Great Portland Street

My once a year visit while the art fair is on at Regents Park on a Sunday tea time.

The inside layout has changed from my last visit with more open floor space after the removal of the banister type railing that used to be near the bar.

Plenty of bar staff on ready to serve. I was a tad disappointed to see only 2 ales available across the 5 hand pumps. Purity UBU and my choice which was Sunny Republic’s Red Bus @ 4.8% which was a decent pint.

Busy with the rugby world cup on the TV’s, most of the punters were tuned into this with the average age being early 30’s.

A nice enough pub, it’s handy for several tube stations and the ale is decent I just have no other opportunity or reason to use this place other than every October.

7/10

12 Nov 2015 11:17

The Craft Beer Co, Brixton

My 5th and final pub in one afternoon and it’s this trendy and busy Craft Beer franchise in the middle of Brixton market. Judging by how busy it is it’s obviously the must visit bar in the area as it was rammed at 4.30pm on a Saturday.

8 cask ales, 15 keg ales, 1 cask real cider and 2 keg ciders and a large range of bottles as well. The one thing this place isn’t short of is choice of ale, with a good mix of styles and abv's.

We all this choice I went for a stout type offering Revolutions Brewing Co Manifesto @ 6.0%. A good pint but I should of ordered something lighter considered the weather and the other ales I had drank earlier in the day. Still a very good pint though.

Neatly decorated with plenty of standing and seating areas downstairs. Upstairs there is another fairly large seating area that is a bit quieter than the downstairs bar. There’s also seats outside the front by the market, this was a popular area for the few large groups that were drinking here.

Now I’ve ticked it and know it’s decent I shall return the next time I’m in Brixton for a concert, which shall probably be soon.

8/10 for me and that’s mainly due to the cracking ale choice.

11 Nov 2015 09:26

Crown and Anchor, Brixton

I’ve been meaning to visit the Crown & Anchor since it was entered into the GBG but being between train stations I’ve never found the time until a couple of Saturday’s ago.

The rugby world cup is on the television during my visit so the place was pretty busy. Good quality looking burgers and other bar food was proving popular from the open plan kitchen at the back of the pub.

On the bar are 10 hand pumps offering a very wide selection of ales that included 2 real ciders. My choices of Big Smoke Brew Co’s Bonfire @ 4.5% & Sunny Republic’s Hop Dog @ 5.5% were both extremely good. In addition there are 14 other ales and lagers on keg, a couple of these I haven't seen in South London before like Jopen Meibok. As expected the kegs beers are more expensive than the cask by almost £2.00 a pint

The caps behind the bar we all young and trendy and seemed to be into their beer with one of them being extremely helpful to a group that had no idea what style of ale they wanted.

Opposite the bar are big open windows that look onto the side street and there are a couple of seats outside aswell.

All in all the Crown & Anchor was a good tick and easily reachable by bus from either Kennington or Brixton.

10 Nov 2015 15:23

The Clarence, Mayfair

Popped in last night (9/11/15) for a quick pint and was surprised and pleased to find Tiny Rebel's Urban IPA @ 5.5% available on keg. 3 cracking pints later I headed home for me dinner.

Decent pub with good ales, the Clarence keeps on giving.

10 Nov 2015 14:18

The Mansion House, Kennington

A few steps from the Old red Lion is Oakhams Ales from Leicestershire flagship pub & restaurant. Oaka is very different to Old Red Lion in that it’s a very nice done up pub which is divided half as a bar and the other half as more of a dining area.

Appears in the 2015 GBG so it was on my “tick list”. Relatively quiet with 2 couples finishing their lunch and 2 guys have a quick drink. I took a stool at the bar and chose from the 5 Oakham ales across the 10 hand pumps, worth noting that each ale was on twice. 3 stronger abv ales are available on the keg lines.

I had halves of Bishops' Farewell @ 4.6% and The Burglar @ 4.9%. £4.00 for 2 halves which I assume is the cost of a pint. Both decent ales with no compliant of the quality.

Rugby world cup on silent on the television with ambient music playing gave the place a bit of atmosphere but with no many punters in it was hard to gauge what the pub would be like when’s busy. I assume it does get busy at it’s almost bang opposite Kennington underground station.

10 Nov 2015 14:05

The Old Red Lion, Kennington

An impromptu afternoon of ticking in Pimlico and Kennington brought me to Antic's Old Red Lion.

This is a large 2 roomed pub that has obviously fallen on hard times and has now been 'brought back to life' by Antic. The Antic style is all over this pub with lots of books, various unconnected nick nacks, open fire place, exposed brickwork and mish mashed furniture

4 ales on, I went for a pint of Wild Hop @ 5.0% Antic's own Brewery Volden. A very good pint & as always in Antic pubs the ale is served in a jug. You can of course request a straight glass if you really want one.

Out the back is a large open area with a couple of very small snugs that have original tiles exposed. The pub is electric and trendy but is quite dark inside due to the lights having energy saving light bulbs I guess!

There’s also a garden and food was being served. Off to Oaka next.

10 Nov 2015 14:04

The Constitution, Pimlico

The Constitution makes an appearance in the 2015 GBG so with the year running out I took the opportunity to tick it as I don't think it appears in the 2016 edition.

1pm on a Saturday when I arrive at this old fashioned locals pub that once inside you realise it’s very much a blokes drinking pub with all the clientele being male. The friendly landlord is chatting to a group at the bar who were watching both the football and horse racing that were on the televisions.

4 ales and 1 cider on the cask hand pumps. Greene King IPA, Spitfire, Sambrook's Wandle and Sharps Doombar. My pint of Wandle was very good, sometimes Wandle isn’t the best pint and from my experience is pone of those ales that suffers more than others if kept poorly.

I took a seat by the front door and watched a bit of the football and listened to the locals chatting. I only stayed for a pint but it was enough time for me to appreciate this pub.

Honest locals pub.

10 Nov 2015 14:00

The Prince Albert, Peckham

My first visit to the Prince Albert at 10.45pm on a Tuesday and there's 7 punters including us 2 in the pub. The barman gives us a warm welcome and offer’s some advice on the 2 available ales across the 3 hand pumps which were Clarkshaws Gorgons' Alive and Brick Breweries Sir Thomas Gardyner.

I opted for a couple of pints of the Thomas Gardyner for the 2nd time tonight having had it earlier in the Beer Rebellion at Queens Road station.

There’s an original tiled floor at the bar and the rest of the pub is very nicely decorated with the added bonus of very clean toilets…even at almost 11pm!

The Albert is a very pleasant pub therefore I have no idea why I haven’t been here before.

9 Nov 2015 09:16

Kentish Drovers, Peckham

The 4th pub of the night and it was rude not to visit this ‘spoons while in Peckham pub ticking.

There were 4 ales on but the choice was not that great with 3 national brands and Westerham Brewery Single Hop. I went for a pint of the single hop @ 4.0%. A decent enough pint poured by the very jovial barmaid, who was singularly the happiest person I met during this night out, she must have been on something!

We stayed for an hour and ordered some food which was a bit better than your average ‘spoons food as the barmaid asked the chef to ass a couple of Caribbean spices and they certainly had a kick.

Pretty busy, nice and calm, cheap food and drink not a bad ‘spoons at all.

29 Oct 2015 13:56

The Hope, Peckham

This Antic pub has been on my “hit list” for a couple of months now as I was intrigued to see if it was like the majority of the other Antic pubs…i.e. shabby chic.

The Hope is actually a really nice pub the décor is more interesting than eclectic and it seems that more thought has been put into it then the usual “fill it with all sorts of crap” idea that Antic is famous for.

8pm on a Tuesday night and the pub is about a quarter full. There are 4 ales on the hand pumps and a good range of bottled ales. My bottle choice of London Beer Factories Paxton Pale Ale @ 5.0% was spot on.

Music playing at a decent level and a game from the Rugby world cup was on the television near the front door but this was on silent.

A thoroughly decent pub that is worthy of further visits in the near future.

29 Oct 2015 13:50

The Clayton Arms, Peckham

A friend of mine drove past the newly reopened and renamed Dolls House (ex Clayton Arms) as couple of weeks ago so while in the area on a Tuesday night we decided to tick it. The first impressions as you enter is they have spent some money doing it up.

Open kitchen to your right as you enter.

Very nice décor with a large glitter ball behind the bar, decorative wallpaper and an large open fireplace. To the back of the bar is a room that wasn’t being used on my visit and I assume will be used as a function room, though it’s not that big.

No cask ale on but there was 1 keg ale which was Theakstons Peculiar IPA, I’m sure it’s a decent pint but we decided instead to have one of the 3 bottles of ales which are all from Monteith's in New Zealand. At just over £4.00 per bottle my mate got a shock, but he is a bit of a tightwad!

Around a dozen other punters in on our visit with most of them being couples.

The female manager is a tad moody but he dog was certainly friendly. A nice enough pub but I won’t rush back until it starts selling cask ales.

29 Oct 2015 13:48

The Two Chairmen, Trafalgar Square

I was in the area for a work thing so brought a few colleagues here at 10pm on a Wednesday evening for a couple of drinks.

My first visit here since June 2014 and before that I hadn’t been for a long time.

3 ales on the taps, my choice of Andwell Brewing Co’s King John @ 4.2% was very drinkable.

We stayed until closing time, the pub was pretty empty on this Wednesday night but it’s a decent enough pub and the ale was good

29 Oct 2015 13:30

The Chandos, Trafalgar Square

A Wednesday evening at the end of September I popped in with 4 work colleagues for a couple of pints.

I was here a few months back and spent my time drinking in the upstairs bar, this visit was no different.

Extremely busy with pre theatre goers, no where to sit so standing near the bar was the best option.

The Sovereign bitter was on very good form and slipped down a treat while we killed an hour before moving on.

I do like the Chandos, it’s a proper pub with quick service and of course good ale.

28 Oct 2015 14:13

Wellesley, Waterloo

On then way back from football in Kingston on a Tuesday night and wanting a couple of beers before home we opted for the “newly” named Beer House opposite the platforms at Waterloo Station.

This was my first visit to this pub for a very long time, the last time I was here it was named something else (the name escapes me so I cannot confirm it was called Coopers) it was pretty grotty & from memory had a poor choice of ales.

The Beer House is now a Greene King pub and this is reflected on the 6 hand pumps with the ales being from the GK family. The pair of us both had a couple of pints of GK’s Scrum Down @ 4.2%. A decent ale and not badly priced either, especially for this area.

Pretty busy with a mix of drinkers and people waiting for their trains home.

It’s certainly no Kings Arms but it’s not a bad option if you want a beer and cannot be bothered to leave the station.

28 Oct 2015 14:11

The Kings Tun, Kingston Upon Thames

A Tuesday night football game in Kingston so me and my pal decided to meet in the Kings Tun.

I got here around 6.30pm and as expected it was busy. A mix of ‘spoon’s punters, local workers and football fans all enjoying the cheap food and drink.

Food was popular with the 3 people in front of me at the bar all ordering food, while I only need a few pints. Quick service from the 4 bar staff meant I didn’t wait too long.

A decent range of ales (like one my last visit), I went for a few pints of Twickenham Breweries Summer Sun @ 4.4%. 4 pints for less than a £10.00, I no longer have a problem with ‘spoons pubs especially as 9/10 times the ale is well kept.

We stayed for less than an hour but like the last visit the Kings Tun is a decent pub and worth a stop especially as it’s practically opposite the station.

28 Oct 2015 13:58

The Boot Inn, Chester

This cracking Samuel Smiths pub on the high walk above Foregate Street was the last pub we visited in Chester at 10pm on a Sunday night.

Having discovered it by accident while walking back to the hotel I was surprised to find it busy inside with students but there again being a little out of the way and cheap drinks I’m not that surprised.

The bar is at the far end as you enter this quaint low beamed bar with seating either side as you walk through. The full range of Sam Smith’s ales on the pumps with the Sovereign bitter in cracking form, good beer always tastes better wh3en it’s under £2.00 a pint!

Unfortunately we only had time for 1 drink here as being a Sunday the pub stopped serving before 10.30pm.

I do like a Samuel Smiths pub and the Boot Inn is a cracking example.

28 Oct 2015 11:52

The Dublin Packet, Chester

It’s 9.30pm on a Sunday and its pretty dead all over town but the Dublin Packet has 3 punters in plus the barman!

2 ales on the hand pumps but I opted for a punk IPA from Brew Dog. Being a keg beer it was good but a little too cold for me.

The attractive bar with original tiles compliments the original fireplace to the left of the bar.

Not a place I will rush back to as it’s pretty dull in my opinion.

28 Oct 2015 11:34

The Pied Bull, Chester

We arrived at this brewery pub shortly after 8pm on a Sunday after a meal locally and it was the busiest pub in town that we found as well as being the last of the 7 pubs from the 2015 GBG that I wanted to visit while in Chester.

6 hand pumps with 5 Pied Bull ales and 1 guest. I selected a pint of Pied Bull Pied Eyed @ 4.0%. My first beer from this brewery and it was very good, good strength even thought it’s only 4.0% and was kept well.

The building is very old, as well as the pub also has accommodation available on site as well as selling food, it’s a real all-rounder!

Probably a very good pub on another day (though the ale was very decent) but on my visit the place was pretty soulless so after just 1 pint we moved on. This may sound harsh but my opinion can only be based on my visit.

6/10 for me.

27 Oct 2015 14:46

The Brewery Tap, Chester

After a beer in the Cross Keys we made our way across the road to this Spitting Feathers Brewery tap with an impressive line of 8 hand pumps consisting of 7 ales and 1 real cider.

I had several halves of ales during my hour long stay here with my selections being Phoenix’s Black Bee @ 4.5%; Elland Helium @ 3.8%; Spitting Feathers Thirst Quencher @ 3.9% and Ironbridge’s Gold @ 4.4%. My 2 favourites were Black Bee and Thirst Quencher.

The Brewery Tap is suited in a lovely building that is named Gamul House, a grade II listed hall which was home to one of Chester's most powerful families and was apparently visited by Charles 1st.

Nice relaxed atmosphere in side this large hall with diners situated in a small room to the right of the bar and the main door. Good, friendly attentive bar staff that were only to happy to help with beer choice and offer advice on the current range of ales and the ones about to be put on.

Probably the best pub I visited in Chester during my weekend there, 9/10 for me oh and the wife likes it as well!

27 Oct 2015 14:35

The Cross Keys Inn, Chester


The 5th of 7 pubs from the 2015 GBG that I wanted to tick so we stopped here just before 4pm on the Sunday.

The Cross Key’s is a Joule's brewery run pub and therefore is pretty much a tap house with 4 of their ales on, 1 guest and 1 real cider. I opted for the Joule's Blonde @ 3.8% which was a decent pint.

This really is a stunning building outside with stained glass windows depicting various city emblems then the theme continues inside with lots of etched mirrors and complete wood panelling and wooden fireplace. The pub has a old feel to it but I understand the decoration has been replaced in recent years, whatever…it still works and is a nice place to sit and enjoy your pint.

Busy with quite a few people finishing their Sunday lunches during my visit. The food portions were ample and the quality looked good as well…especially the roast beef and Yorkshire puddings!

Music playing at a nice un intrusive level, stunning interior as mentioned, good choice of ales…all in all the Cross Keys is a very good pub

27 Oct 2015 14:31

Telfords Warehouse, Chester

A Sunday afternoon pit stop from shopping with the wife in town.

This pub is a large ex warehouse by the canal that is popular with cyclists, families and ladies who lunch.

6 hand pumps with 3 of the ales being guests. I had a pint of Wincle's Sir Philip @ 4.2%, a new beer from a new brewery for me and very good it was too. As well as the cask ales there's Timmermans, Punk Dog IPA and La Chouffe on keg as well as a good selection of European lagers.

The walls are adorned with old advertising signs and there's a large mechanical waterwheel in the centre of the main bar area. Original wooden flooring throughout with old wooden tables and chairs, there’s large glass windows that look out to the canal below. The room to the left of the bar hosts music nights and up a few steps is a room that was more laid for diners and was busy on my visit.

Lovely building and setting with good ales, perfect for a Sunday afternoon pit stop.

27 Oct 2015 14:19

Olde Cottage, Chester

Our last pub on a Saturday night and it’s 10.45pm when we arrive. The pub is buzzing, extremely busy with all of the punters being locals.

Load music was playing (but it worked and didn’t intrude on conversations), the television was on showing match of the day, people were playing darts and pool in 2 separate areas.

4 hand pumps on the bar each with a different ale on. Having never had any ales from Brimstage Brewery I opted for their Rhode Island Red @ 4.0%. A very good pint made even better by getting 30p off a pint with camra card.

We stayed until last orders chatting to a pair of locals and then reluctantly left, we should of come here earlier in the night…it’s a cracking real locals pub with no fuss or grandeur.

9/10 for me.

27 Oct 2015 14:16

The Old Harkers Arms, Chester

This lovely old building in it’s canal side location houses then very good Old Harkers Arms.

Our 2nd pub after the Cellar Bar and even though it’s busy it’s nowhere near as packed as the Cellar was.

Large inside with the bar directly in front of you as you enter and 2 large seating areas on either side.

On the bar are 9 hand pumps with 9 different ales on. With all this choice I opted for a few pints of Weetwood’s Cheshire Cat @ 4.0% which were very good. There are a number of real ciders available from direct in the cellar as well as a selection of decent lagers. Quick service from the many bar staff every time I went to the bar.

Loads of pictures on the walls of many different subjects, including several of the local area.

We stayed for a couple of hours, the atmosphere in the pub was really good with a good mix of punters.

Food available but I only saw desserts being served.

Good location, Lovely building & a cracking pub.

26 Oct 2015 14:15

Cellar, Chester

First stop for a beer in Chester on a Saturday night and the place was heaving with post race goers and people watching the England vs Wales rugby world cup game on the televisions.

Easy to get to the bar with the 2 barmaids working quickly to get the punters served and away from the bar.

6 hand pumps with an eclectic mix of ales available. The only brewery I had, had before was Celt Experience so I choose a pint of Cellarium III @ 4.1% from the local Deva Craft Beers. As well as the 6 cask ales there is a large selection of bottles available, with again several from smaller less known breweries .

We only stayed for 1 drink as I wasn't interested in watching the rugby.

26 Oct 2015 14:13

The Pheasant Inn, Hightown

The Pheasant Inn is a large roadside foodie pub just outside Little Crosby.

Stopped for a family meal on a Saturday afternoon in late September while in the area. Only 1 ale on, which was Caledonian's Autumn Red @ 4.4%. A very good pint. All the usual lagers, Guinness and Aspall's Cider also available.

Nice decor with a flag stone floor at the front of the pub & a wooden floor leading through towards the back.

Half full on our visit. Quick attentive service from our waiter who was a very cheerful chap. The food is modern British with a European feel to the menu. Good food and keenly priced fir the quality and portions size.

More for diners than drinkers but worth a stop for a decent pint and good food.

26 Oct 2015 14:11

Liverpool One Bridewell, Liverpool

A visit around 6pm on a Friday night to this attractive looking ex police station Bridwell that has individual cells inside which act as 'mini' booths with the doors remaining open!!

The bar area is quite small and is to your left as you enter, it has more of a wine bar feel to it than a pub. On the bar are 4 hand pumps each with a different ale on. I go for a pint of Sandinista @ 3.9% from local brewery Red Star. It was poured well but was not a great pint.

The wife and I took our drinks and when and sat in the front courtyard garden. Pretty busy here with various groups from student types to families and ladies who lunch!

A tick from the 2015 GBG but it wasn’t up to the standard of the other pubs I visited during the day and I have to note that the Gents' toilets stank of p**s, do they never clean them or use toilet duck!

23 Oct 2015 14:13

The Dispensary, Liverpool

An Impromptu stop here on the way back into town. It’s just before 5pm on a Friday and it is already packed and feels like a proper drinkers pub (that’s not a bad thing at all).

Etched glass mirrors cover the walls, stain glass windows and tiles by the doorway which displays the Grapes name as does a sign in gold lettering above the bar. There are 6 cask ales and 4 keg choices. I went cask and had a pint of Fernendes Cascade Torrent @ 4.6%.

Lots of old brewery and advertising signs dotted around the pub give the place a real locals feel and for some reason it just doesn’t seem like you’re almost in the centre of a very large City.

Another cracker of a pub and this one was the wife’s favourite during our Liverpool trip. 9/10, boy are Liverpool pubs good.

19 Oct 2015 18:28

The Roscoe Head, Liverpool

Absolute stunning boozer that is under threat with a wide spread save the Roscoe Head campaign currently in full flow.

Small bar with 6 ales on across the 6 hand pump's. I opted for a pint of Salford based brewery First Chop Brewing Arms' Cha @ 5.0%. Every beer I've had from this brewery has been top draw and this pint of Cha was no different.

A tiny snug is through the glazed door on your left and there's another snug at the front with an open fireplace. The back room is similar to a reading room and is a bit of more peaceful. Original tiled floors throughout the pub, this place just oozes charm it’s a cracking boozer from the décor to the bar staff to the amusing clientele.

This pub has to be saved from the bulldozers, it would be a tragedy.

I would score this pub 11/10 if I could

19 Oct 2015 18:14

The Grapes, Liverpool

Corner plot pub a short walk up Duke Street from the Baltic Fleet.

The things you notice as you enter is the strange décor and eclectic nick nacks, this is in stark contrast to the stained glass windows & hanging chandeliers!

The bar has 9 hand pumps with 9 ales on. A great choice and after a bit of deliberation I opt for a pint of the local Melwood Beer Company’s Life of Riley - 4.5%. This is a great pint and is kept very well.

It’s pretty busy with a mix of punters from a group of Camra tickers (like myself) to a group of tourists to a lone local worker.

The wife and I only stay for 1 drink as I want to tick a couple more in the area and she want’s to look in the shops before they close!

The Grapes is a decent pub and a good place to spend the evening, the next we’re in Liverpool we will work out instead of working in.

Worthy of a visit and get's 8/10 from me

19 Oct 2015 18:01

The Baltic Fleet, Liverpool

Large wedge shaped pub right by the docks. Reminds me of the flat iron buildings in NY. The front bar on the main road side was being decorated on our visit so all the pump clips were turned round so service can be made from the hatch in the back bar.

6 ales on with 2 of them from the on site Wapping brewery. My pint of 70/ @ 3.7% was excellent.

The back area is painted in neutral colours and has a series of arches in the ceiling and is full of ships mementos' including lots of posters of the Cunard Line.

Food served and it looked decent especially the pies as previously mentioned on here .

Open range fire in the centre of the room, this pub was a good start for a few beers in Liverpool and of course a tick from the 2015 GBG

19 Oct 2015 17:50

The Phoenix, Denmark Hill


Came in just after 10.15pm on a Tuesday evening on my way home from football.

Only a handful of punters in.

Sierra Nevada - Festival Bier £5.55 a pint !!!!

Staff putting chairs on the tables at 10.30, very unwelcoming. This place could be so good. It's on the station so has access to lots of punters but the staff just don't seem to care.

19 Oct 2015 17:28

The Angel, Soho

Ah The Angel, I used to work opposite the Angel between the ages of 16 to 20. Back then it was “an old man’s pub” & therefore extremely popular with the older chaps I worked for. I spent many a Friday afternoon in here after several pints when I should of been back in the office! The £1.50 cottage pie was legendary aswell.

So over 20 years after my last visit I popped into this Samuel Smiths pub for a couple of pints on a Wednesday lunchtime.

Having not visited for so long I had forgotten what a stunning pub internally this is, all original features with 2 sides of the bar with the side nearest the courtyard being split into 2 with an internal partition. The full range of Sam Smith’s ales and I can report that the Old Brewery Bitter was in great form.

I stayed for a few beers, the pub didn’t get too busy even though it was lunchtime but I’m sure the place still does a good trade.

While I was here it got me thinking about all of the other pubs I used to use in the area, I think I may make a trip to them all for old times sake soon!

19 Oct 2015 15:46

The Kings Arms, Waterloo

Thursday evening with a friend in the Waterloo area and I chose one of my favourite pubs in London…The Kings Arms.

7pm and the pub is heaving already both inside and outside. We go to the smaller bar with it’s 3 hand pumps with the other 6 being through in the main bar.

9 ales on in total that changed while I was here so I started on the Truman Bold as Brass @ 4.2% being moving onto Bexley Breweries Golden Acre @ 4.0%. Both pints perfectly kept and poured. In addition there are a couple of keg beers and “fancy” lagers.

During my last visit I don’t recall there being Thai food available in the back room. This was a bonus as we were planning on moving to a local curry house for food so plans were changed and we treated ourselves to the good value & authentic food.

We left around 10.15pm and the pub was still very busy. Great pub, cracking selection of ales, quick and friendly service, a little on the pricey side but this is a trendy part of London now. The Kings Arms is a must visit.

12 Oct 2015 14:57

The Fire Station, Waterloo

I planned a night out with a friend in the Waterloo area and was looking for somewhere to meet so I chose the recently reopened Fire Station. I’m unsure how long the bar / restaurant has been closed for but it’s only been open a matter of weeks.

Thursday 6pm and it’s already packed both inside and out the front where there are 2 standing area separated from the main road by metal barriers.

As you enter through the main entrance all tables for dining are to your right and to the rear. On the left is a long bar that after pushing my way to the front was served very promptly. 3 ales on the hand pumps with my choice of Brakespears Oxford Gold being very good and keenly priced for the area.

I took my drink and went out the front as the weather was good and I had a bit more space to stand. During my 30 minutes here the place got busier and took on quite a nice atmosphere.

Seems like it’s the place to go after work and also being very close to the main line station it serves a double purpose for food and drink.

I may return for another visit soon

12 Oct 2015 14:56

The Clarence, Mayfair

Another meeting in Mayfair and I need an alcoholic drink so the very convenient Clarence is perfect for this.

It’s just after 12 noon on a Thursday and there’s already quite a few people in, mainly local workers. The friendly bar man greets me with a smile and I choose a pint of Hook Norton’s Lion @ 4.0%, a decent enough pint if not that exciting.

I had a couple of pints and stayed for an hour before heading back to the office.

Decent pub The Clarence and worth a stop while in the Green Park area, I don’t really agree with the previous review as I’ve never had bad service here and the ale choices are always varied.

12 Oct 2015 14:17

The Blackfriar, Blackfriars

Another quick Saturday night visit on the way home and like the last time it’s very busy when I arrive at 8.45pm.

My choice of ale was Redemption’s Rising Sun @ 5.0% and it was in very good form.

I took my pint and stood outside as the evening was still warm and killed the time between my trains with this decent pint. I’m sure it won’t be too long before I make another Saturday night visit.

12 Oct 2015 13:49

Wigan Central, Wigan

The Wigan Central is a cracking bar under the railway arches by North Western station that somehow maintains a train station bar feel but it’s not on the station.

I rocked up just after 5.10pm straight from the match and before hundreds more people joined me! I was aiming to head back into town to tick a couple more pubs from the 2015 GBG but the town was on lockdown due to the earlier National March that had caused havoc in town.

7 cask pumps and 5 keg lines. All ales are priced as per their abv starting at £2.60 for 3.8%, £2.80 for cask beers under 4.0% up to £3.40 a pint for anything over 6.1%. Alongside the ales there is an extensive range of UK, European and American bottled beers, these are also available to take away.

Plenty of standing space, with old fashioned train carriage seating on 1 side and a couple of old oak barrels being used as tables.

I had time for 2 pints so I choose Celt Experience’s Native Storm @ 4.4% and Coach House Brewery Cheshire Gold @ 4.1%.

The are tv screens on the walls showing train times for both Wallgate and North Western stations.

I understand this place has made the 2016 GBG, if that is true then it’s an early tick for me. Though I’m not surprised if it has made the guide as it’s a superb place for a beer or 2 couple with good bar staff and great ales.

A real surprise for me to find this, 9/10 for me.

11 Oct 2015 17:01

The Raven Hotel, Wigan

Pub number 3 and it’s time to visit this internally stunning pub that has recently been restored to it’s former glory with all it’s original tiling now on show.

With the National Front march just finishing but with still some tension in the air I’m not surprised to see doorman as I enter the pub.

Inside it’s pretty busy, the bar area has football on the television’s near the front window. Food is also being served with the pie’s looking particularly good.

3 people behind the bar ensures quick service from the 6 hand pumps with 6 different ales on, Timothy Taylor's Landlord was in fine form.

I only stayed for 1 pint and chatted to a very friendly local at the bar. I aim to visit Wigan again quiet soon and will make sure the Raven and Anvil are on my list along with a couple more pubs I missed as I didn’t have time before heading to the DW Stadium.

11 Oct 2015 16:54

Anvil, Wigan


Pub number 2 and I'm back in town to tick this highly regarded pub with a good reputation.

This Hydes pub has 10 hand pump's, 7 of them with ales on. My pints of Allgates Nellie Melba were both very good and obviously tasted even better at £2.50 a pint!

Busy with mainly blokes, I assume due to the reputation of the pub coupled with football on the television. The decoration is fairly stark with plenty of brewery memorabilia on the walls but not much else.

Beer garden to the rear was mainly taken by smokers.

The Anvil is a cracking pub for a few good value ales with a friendly clientele. Out of the 4 pubs I visited in the town on 1 afternoon this was the best pub with the Central running it a close 2nd.

11 Oct 2015 15:01

Brocket Arms, Wigan


A Saturday in Wigan for football and I have 5 pubs on my list to visit which all appear in the 2015 GBG.

Off the train from London at 10.30am and I head straight for this large Wetherspoons pub and lodge on the outskirts of town.

A brisk walk and I'm in and sat down with a pint before 11am. A fair few people in with the majority tucking into breakfasts'.

Quick service from the chatty barmaid as she pours me a pint of Acorn Brewery Drop Kick @ 4.0% from the 2 banks of 5 hand pumps across the bars.

With a proposed National Front march in town the other 'spoons is closed until later so it appears more people are arriving here for their food and drink.

A very modern looking interior with lots of light wooden panelling and light coloured carpet.

I stay for an hour and as the pub fills up it takes on a nice atmosphere.

The Brocket is one of the nicer 'spoons I've been in recently.

11 Oct 2015 14:54

The Elephant and Castle, Elephant and Castle


At long last this pub is closed. Unsure what the future holds but I doubt it will re-open as pub again.

11 Oct 2015 14:50

The Surprise at Pimlico, Pimlico


***Closed when I went past on 10th October 2015***

11 Oct 2015 14:49

Wetherspoons, Victoria Station

Dropped in for a few beers at 10pm on a Wednesday night after I’d been to Chelsea for football and it was still busy.

2 bar staff on who were quite slow and didn’t really know who to serve first then the manager appeared and he was very much on the ball.

6 hand pumps with 4 ales on, my choice of pints of Hawkshead Cumbrian 5 Hop @ 5% were all very good and perfectly poured.

The interior has been re-vamped since my last visit and has a trendy kitchen look and feel to it. More seating has been added and the lighting is very good. They also seem to have removed a lot of the fruit machines that the pub used to have.

I was surprised to find that even though the pub shuts at midnight they were still serving food after 11pm, do you really want a Wetherspoon’s meal that late ? I guess the answer is yes as several plates of burger and chips and steak’s passed by me while I enjoyed my pints.

Convenient for all the platforms and in my opinion better than the ‘spoons outside the station.

10 Oct 2015 11:46

The Red Lion, Westminster

This Fuller's pub at the bottom of Whitehall near Westminster station and the Houses of Parliament was absolutely packed on a recent Wednesday at 6pm mainly with local office workers / civil servants.

After a fight to the bar I find 3 ales from Fuller's on cask and various other offerings including Frontier lager and their own Stout on keg. As the pub was so packed I quickly necked several pints of Seafarers which were excellent.

We managed to find a standing space towards the door and sup our drinks without being bumped and pushed too much. The pub is laid out like an old fashioned parlour with etched glass windows, several interesting looking hanging light's and chandeliers.

On a wall hangs a large picture of William Pitt the Younger and there’s also a script about William Shakespeare visiting the pub.

A very attractive pub inside with a large separate dining room up stairs that was also very busy on my visit.

Worth a visit.

10 Oct 2015 11:28

The Trading Post Bar, Tunbridge Wells

Another pub that wasn't on the pub tick list in Tunbridge Wells but as it was on the route back to the station from the football ground it needed to be stopped at.

Large Restaurant looking pub just off of the main road with a very pleasant interior. The bar is to your right as you enter and I was greeted by 2 young and keen bar staff.

2 ales on offer which were Harvey’s Sussex Best and my choice which was Tonbridge Brewery Union Pale Ale @ 4.7%. The Pale Ale was thoroughly drinkable.

We took our beers and sat in the neat garden to soak up the late afternoon rays. Half a dozen punters in the back ground (all locals) with the clientele all looking pretty well to do.

Food was popular with a decent number of groups and families inside eating what looked like bar snack food.

A very decent bar with well kept ales, worth a visit.

10 Oct 2015 11:09

The Lily Bar, Ambleside

On a very rainy Monday the wife and I drove to Ambleside for a walk around aswell as ticking Ambleside's only 2015 GBG entry.

More of a cafe bar than a pub but very nice nonetheless. Extremely modern interior with comfy leather chairs and smart wooden tables.

4 ales on the hand pumps, 2 from Cumbrian Legendary Ales, 1 from Barngates and 1 from Hawkshead. I opted for the Langdale @ 4.0% from Cumbrian Legendary Ales.

3 other groups of punters in with everyone including us eating. A fairly small menu but perfect for us, we both ordered the Burger and it was handsome.

Good ale, good food, good service, this'll do for me.

10 Oct 2015 11:00

Skymaster, Burtonwood

Large purpose built Marston's pub and carvery right by Gemini Retail park.

Popped in on a Sunday night as we were staying in the travel lodge next door.

Extremely spacious inside with plenty of tables for diners. Good neutral decoration with half of the floor with wood panelling and rest carpeted. Inglenook style fireplace on one side in a snug type area.

Music playing at an acceptable level. Only a handful of punters in as food had stopped so it was just the stragglers left.

Friendly and chatty barman. The 4 ales were Ringwood Boon Doogle, Marston's Pedigree, Hobgoblin and Marston's Help for Heroes' , however both the Boon Doggle and Help for Heroes' had finished so I went for a couple of pints of Pedigree and they were perfect. At the time of my visit all ales were at a special price of £2.50 a pint, bargain.

We stayed for a couple of drinks and left just before 10pm which was closing time.

10 Oct 2015 10:57

The Ladywell Tavern, Ladywell

The wife and I dropped in just before 11pm a couple of Saturday’s back for a night cap knowing it would still be open.

Several years since I’ve been here for a beer and I have no idea why as I pass it twice a day.

Live music was on when we arrived and it was pretty good. The group were playing a mix of blues, jazz, 60’s and 70’s tunes and the front man was decent. A fair sized crowd still in the pub with everyone a local.

Choice of 3 ales on the hand pumps with 2 being national brands and the 3rd from the local Brockley Brewery. I opted for Timothy Taylor’s Landlord with both pints I had being well poured and kept.

We stayed for an hour listening to the music and chatting while we enjoyed our drinks before succumbing to a burger from the kebab house across the road.

The Ladywell Tavern has always been a decent pub I just have no idea why I don’t use it much.

10 Oct 2015 10:55

The Willoughby Arms, Kingston Upon Thames

With the rain lashing down in droves me and a pal walked from Kingston station to the Willoughby Arms on bank holiday Monday for a few beers, it was also a tick for me from the 2015 GBG.

A decent sized corner plot pub that has 2 very distinctive areas for drinking. The front bar (as you enter from Willoughby Road) is a traditional bar with carpet, bench seats and small wooden tables. The bar is a u shape with the other side of the bar being more of a sport’s bar. The area has stripped floorboards, high tables and stools, a quantity of framed and signed football shirts, lots of movie memorabilia, a couple of dartboards and a pool table.

On the bar are 7 hand pumps that on my visit had 7 different ales on them. I had several pints of Weltons William Webb Ellis @ 3.5% with each pint being extremely drinkable.

The rest of our football group arrived and we ended staying for several hours before the match.

The landlord is a friendly chap (the large Alsatian not so friendly to some punters!), the ale is good, the atmosphere was friendly and toilets were clean. All in all the Willoughby is a very good back street boozer.

Well worth a visit in my opinion.

9 Oct 2015 10:27

The Kings Tun, Kingston Upon Thames

Almost a year since my last visit I dropped in at 11.45am on August bank holiday Monday for a quick beer while on my way to football locally.

Miserable weather outside but very dry inside (of course) and this is probably part of the reason it was so busy. 2 girls behind the bar who were very good therefore getting served was not a problem.

11 ales on the 12 hand pumps. I went for a new ale for me which was Sequoia @ 4.5% from Thornbridge. A very nice drop and made all the better as it was ‘spoons prices.

A decent ‘spoons that I’m sure I’ll visit again in the near future.

5 Oct 2015 15:13

The Blackfriar, Blackfriars

Dropped in just after 10pm on a Saturday night at the end of August for a quick pint.

Busy inside but I was served pretty quickly after opted for a pint of Berkhamsted Brews Wild Boy @ 3.7% from the decent selection on the pumps.

I stood at the side of the bar and enjoyed my pint.

As has been mentioned on numerous occasions on this site the Blackfriars is a stunning building but it’s also decent pub with a good choice of ales and is very handy for Blackfriars station.

5 Oct 2015 14:48

The Rutland Arms, Sheffield

I had an hour to kill between trains in Sheffield so I did a quick pub tick to kill the time. I remember the Rutland from 20 years ago when it were a pub you wouldn't visit, how times have changed including the area.

A fair sized corner plot pub with an open plan bar area that was previously 2 separate drinking areas'. Now a days it's home to lots of old beer bottles, various trophies and a large amount of pump clips.

7 cask hand pumps, my choice was Blue Bee’s Hillfoot Best Bitter @ 4.0%, an interesting ale but still drinkable. A very good range of small brewery ales on the taps, in addition to the cask hand pumps there was a another couple of ales on keg.

I stayed for about 45 minutes reading a couple of the beer magazines that were left on the window ledge, the crowd in were very mixed with ages ranging from 25 to 65. All in all this is another tick from the 2015 guide and a decent pub away from the crowd's at Sheffield station

5 Oct 2015 13:59

New York Tavern, Rotherham

This recently taken over pub is now home to the Chantry Brewery and is their tap close to the “new” football ground. I got here at 2.30pm on a Saturday in late August & it was packed with football fans, mainly home supporters.

12 hand pumps dispensing 11 ales and 1 real cider. I went for a pint of Chantry Breweries Summer Calypso @ 3.7%, a thoroughly decent pint and great value at £2.10 aswell.

Being football day there were loads of bar staff on and as it was only 30 mins to kick off most of the crowd left within 10 minutes of me arriving allowing me time and space to enjoy my pint.

Shame I only had time for a flying visit as this is a cracking pub that I would of liked to have spent more time in.

5 Oct 2015 13:49

Blue Coat , Rotherham

A brisk stroll through town from the train station & you reach this large multi level Wetherspoons. Apparently the building used to be a charity school and it became a 'spoons in 2001.

2 banks of 5 hand pumps with a total of 9 different ales on. I used my camra discount voucher and got a pint of Kelham Island Brewery Kelham Best @ 3.8% for £1.49. A good ale well kept and poured. My other pint was Elland Brewery Elland Bitter @ 3.8%, another good pint.

1pm when I arrive here and it's not that busy, a surprise considering how busy the half a dozen pubs I passed on my way here were & also with Rotherham United being at home.

Food popular as it normally is in 'spoons pubs. Plenty of staff serving behind the bar, with equally as many serving food and more importantly clearing tables.

A nice clean pub, quick and friendly service and a good choice of ales, worthy of a visit and a place in the GBG.

2 Oct 2015 15:02

Nellie Dean's, Rotherham

Football in Rotherham on a Saturday afternoon and I'm following the 2015 GBG, first port of call bang opposite the station is the Bridge Inn.

It's just after 12 noon when I get off the train and wander in, it's pretty busy already but there's around 8 bar staff on and they are all very keen to serve.

9 hand pumps with a decent range of ales. A good mix from Old Mill and Harthill Village Brewery. I went for a pint of Harthill's Little Mester @ 4.1%, £3.00 a pint and very well kept.

Very much a match day football pub , football being shown on the televisions, team scarves hanging all over the ceiling, signed football's in glass cases, hats, caps etc.

Stripped wooden flooring leads into chequered tiled flooring and then carpet.

Ale pump clips all over the back of the bar, there's literally hundreds, the bar man tells me they have all been served here , good effort I say.

For first pub of the day, a football pub, a town centre pub...this place ticks all the boxes and is a cracker. One of the better pubs I have been in recently.

2 Oct 2015 15:00

Winstons, Paignton

Visited on a Thursday tea time in August after getting off the steam train from Kingswear.

Packed to the rafters but I'm sure this was due to the cheap drinks offers. Bays Summer Ale on cask but I went for a pint of keg Tetley at just £2.00 a pint. It was a decent until I found a hair in my pint!

Not a pub the wife liked and I'm sure it gets more raucous as the evening goes' on.

2 Oct 2015 14:55

Steam Packet Inn, Kingswear

A short walk from the Ship Inn is the Steam Packet. This is a small bar area with 3 hand pumps and 3 ales. Otter ale, Skinners Betty Stogs and Hunters Devon Dreamer were on during my visit. I went for a pint of Betty Stogs and it was decent.

Cracking views across to Dartmouth and of the River Dart from the bay window.

As said above this is a small bar with a handful of seats and a bench in the front window that can seat 4 people.

Decent bar that certainly seemed popular with the locals. I like this place and will return if I ever return to Dartmouth

30 Sep 2015 14:05

The Ship Inn, Kingswear

Close by the station and foot ferry and then up a slight hill you will find the Ship Inn that appears in the 2015 GBG and has done for the last 10 years.

5 hand pumps that on my Thursday afternoon visit had Sharp's Doombar, St Austell Trelawny , Otter Ale and Adnams Southwold Bitter on them. My pint of Trelawny @ 3.8% was good.

2 bar areas served by 1 circular bar, the barmaid was efficient and friendly. It was just before 4pm when we arrived and within minutes it filled up and became really busy.

Outside area overlooking the bay and Dartmouth.

A decent pub but I have been in better, the ales was good though

30 Sep 2015 14:00

Dartmouth Arms, Dartmouth

Laying back from the river in a lane but with a seating and drinking area right on the river this was the most popular pub we went in during our afternoon in Dartmouth.

Corner plot pub with a long bar area running from the street entrance to the back of the pub, the bar is on your left.

2 hand pumps, Sharps Doombar & Otter Ale were the choices. The Otter was good & more than drinkable.

The majority of the punters inside were a group of young sailor type lads who were playing spoof and getting quite loud and drunk as the game went on.

We took our drinks and went outside by the river. The sun was shining, a busker was playing, kids were crabbing, we sat and enjoyed our drinks taking all this in.

A decent pub but on this visit it was all about the outside area.

30 Sep 2015 13:57

The Dolphin, Dartmouth

After a wander around town we arrived at this lovely looking pub on the edge of Market Square in the centre of town.

The exterior is extensively tiled with an area given over to original Star Ales Plymouth Breweries tiles on the outside.

2 hand pumps offering St Austell Tribute and Otter Ale. My pint of Otter was decent. All drinks served in plastic during Regatta week which was when I visited.

The service was a but crap with the young lad bordering on rude, he just didn't seem interested in serving me

Lots and lots of naval memorabilia including flags, oars, plaques and pictures adorned the walls.

1 bar but 2 different areas, the front bar area is a pub with the back room up a step being more for diners.

Fairly busy with a mix of locals and tourists. The Dolphin is nice pub with a stunning exterior even if the barman was slightly rude.

29 Sep 2015 14:21

The Shipwrights Arms, Shaldon

Having visited a couple of pubs in Shaldon last year that appeared in the 2014 GBG , we headed to the other side of Shaldon to tick the Shipwrights' Inn that appears in the 2015 GBG.

4 ales on the hand pumps which are Sharp's Doombar, Teignworthy Reel Ale, Otter Ale and my choice which was Otter Regotter @ 3.6%. First time I've had the Regotter and it was well kept & poured.

Smart netural decor with a nautical theme throughout the main bar area, there's also a mezzanine seating area for diners. To the left of the bar are 2 smaller rooms which had tables laid for diners. These rooms both look like they need some decoration.

The current manager & he's wife had only been here a week when I visited and both were very amenable & helpful.

We took our drinks and sat in the beer garden as the weather was good. The Shipwrights is a decent pub in a decent location and a good place to while away an hour or 2.

Good luck to the new manager's I'm sure they'll do a great job.

29 Sep 2015 14:17

York Hotel, Morecambe

My last pub of the day in Morecambe and it’s the large York Hotel just on the outskirts of town.

It’s pretty busy when I arrive with the majority of the punters being Accrington Stanley fans as they are playing at Morecambe (of course).

3 separate areas with the small bar being located in the main area as you enter. There were 3 ales on cask and 1 on keg. My pint of York Guzzler was very drinkable and keenly priced.

Old fashioned décor which looks slightly tired, carpeted throughout with a front snug and a pool table in the room towards the back garden. There are a couple of television showing football in the various rooms.

A nice enough pub that’s worth the short walk from the town centre.

29 Sep 2015 14:10

The Layton Rakes, Blackpool

A weekend of football and pub ticking in Lancashire start's at this large 'spoons near Talbot Square that only opened in 2011.

I arrived at 11.45 on a pleasant Saturday in August 2015. With most of Blackpool already heaving the Rakes was an unexpected oasis of calm, very different to Yates's next door!

3 floors to this pub, there’s a bar on the ground and 1st floor, the top level is the roof terrace. The ground floor bar has the most ale pumps, 8 hand pumps with 3 more on the 1st floor. All the usual mix of 'spoons national ales supplemented with several local offerings, my pint of Prescott Chequered Flag @ 4.1% is a decent drop and very good value at £1.80 a pint.

As I said the pub is an oasis of calm with plenty of staff behind the bar as well as serving food & cleaning tables. Being new the interior is very modern with plenty of light coming through the windows and doors. There’s the usual array of fruit machines etc.

For Blackpool this is a very decent Spoons'.

29 Sep 2015 14:08

White Horse, Bromley

After a good few beers and the monthly quiz in the Anglesey Arms we wandered to the White Horse which is just a few doors away.

The first thing that struck me was what a difference a few yards makes, this place was empty apart from 3 punters and the bar maid.

I’m unsure if this is a gay pub, not that it makes much difference to me but it would explain the lack of punters. Not an unfriendly pub but also not overly welcoming, the odd couple of punters were playing pool to the right of the bar.

1 ale on which was Doom bar, not a great pint but it was drinkable and we only stayed for a quick pint anyway. I feed the juke box & listened to my choices while watching Sky Sports news and supping my pint.

The White Horse is a decent enough pub but there are much better options in the area if you like your ales.

29 Sep 2015 14:03

Commodore Inn, Grange over Sands

After spending a few hours at the races in Cartmel we arrived at the Commodore shortly before 8pm on a Saturday evening, on our arrival it was relatively empty apart from a group playing pool and some diners.

The Commodore is very large pub with lots of seating areas aswell as a large area to the front where the wife spent a lot of the time out there smoking!

5 hand pumps with 5 different ales, I had several very decent pints of Bowness Swan Blonde while enjoying the contents of the juke box.

A great night out with friendly locals, efficient service, great juke box and a good mix of clientele. Based on my night out it scores highly.

29 Sep 2015 14:01

Horse and Farrier, Penrith

The Horse & Farrier is a very nice 300 year old village pub that appears in the 2015 GBG. Even though it’s just a short drive from Ullswater there was not a tourist in sight, in fact the wife and I were the only punters here during our Friday afternoon visit in July 2015.

On the bar are 4 hand pumps with 2 ales, my choice of Jennings Cumberland was decent enough but did have a slight vinegary taste to it.

Old fashioned & quaint décor inside with an old range in the main bar area, the tables in here are made out of Singer sowing machine tables as noticed by the wife.

Dining area to the side in a separate room with another room that houses a pool table , there's also a darts board in the front bar.

Lovely old building and a decent pub though my ale could of been better.

29 Sep 2015 13:58

Pooley Bridge Inn, Penrith

This large Robinsons pub and restaurant in the middle of Pooley Bridge village is one of 3 pubs here and the one we choose to stop for lunch in during our holiday in July 2015.

Old fashioned inside with a modern twist, exposed brickwork, fireplaces at each end, long wooden bar & a smattering of comfy leather sofas. To the front is a very large & neat outside seating area, this would be ideal in sunny weather...unfortunately on my visit it was a bit gloomy.

2 offerings from Robinsons, 1 from Hartley and 1 real cider on the hand pumps. All the bar staff were young but very attentive, friendly & helpful.

We stopped for a sandwich and a pint. My pint of Dizzy Blonde was decent and the sandwiches were also very good.

Overall a very decent place for a pint and food in a prominent location by the lake.

29 Sep 2015 13:55

Royal Castle Hotel, Dartmouth

Straight off the boat and into the large and dominating Royal Castle Hotel that sits between shops and restaurants & sits back from the harbour.

2 bars, the smaller one on left as you enter is more of a sports bar and was busy, the larger bar at the back of the hotel just past the reception area is for drinkers and diners and that's the bar we headed to.

Lots of age to this hotel, the main dining area has low beams and dark furniture. The walls have a mix of sporting items on the walls, including guns and sailing memorabilia.

4 hand pumps on the bar, the ales on during my visit were Sharps Doombar, Otter Amber, Dartmoor Jail Ale & Exmoor Ales Crew @ 4.8% which was the pint I went for. Being my first visit to Dartmouth and also with it being Regatta time I soon learnt that all drinks are served in plastic. Not normally something I like to drink my ale out of but this does enable you to wander the streets with your drinks (which people were doing) so during my visit I accepted it.

Busy with diners with several locals drinking at the bar.

A good start to the day.

21 Sep 2015 17:34

The Queens Arms, Brixham

This gem of a back street local which is accessed up steep steps from the harbour is in my opinion well worth the walk.

8 hand pumps with 1 real cider and 4 ales on. I had a couple of pints of Hunter's Brewery Crack Shot @ 3.8%, a good pint that was well kept and poured each time.

Friendly and extremely helpful barman, who we had a bit of banter with. There were a smattering of locals in along with a family having their dinner. I didn’t see the food but I heard member of the family saying it was decent.

Old fashioned décor inside with a small garden to the rear.

Television on low level allowing for chatter between the punters. A good range of beer magazines from Camra branches all around the country.

The Queen’s is an excellent pub and well worth the walk, which was echoed by the rest of my party.

9/10 for me.

21 Sep 2015 17:28

Isaac Merritt, Paignton

Large community based Wetherspoons on the main road just a short stroll from the High Street. It's 2pm on a Tuesday and the pub is pretty near packed. The rest of my party ordered food and it was served pretty quickly, as in all 'spoons the food is extremely well priced and on this occasion apparently was very good.

Now to the ales, there were 12 hand pumps, with 11 different ales on with Doom Bar being on 2 pumps. I went for a pint of Exe Valley Exeter Old Bitter @ 4.8%, priced at £2.35 and was well kept.

We stayed for about an hour and during this time the pub just got busier.

A decent 'spoons and a good GBG tick.

21 Sep 2015 17:22

Henry's Bar, Paignton

In the parade between the sea and the high street is this locals cider and ale bar.

An outside seating & smoking area to the front leads into a homely bar with seating on both sides before you reach the bar which is on your left hand side.

The long bar has 5 hand pumps that had 4 ales and a real cider on. My pint of
Exmoor Silver Stallion @ 4.3% was very good and great value as all ales are £2.70 a pint. The other 4 ales were all from Devon. There's a large quantity of local Devon ciders available in bottles and 4 in polyboxes.

Tuesday afternoon and the place is fairly busy, food on offer with the pie's looking particularly good.

We spent 30 minutes in here and with the rain not relenting several families came in during our time, I believe kids are allowed in until 9pm.

Decent bar and a good tick from the 2015 GBG

21 Sep 2015 17:18

The Smugglers Inn, Dawlish

On the road out of Dawlish towards Teignmouth is this large road side inn with views across to the sea.

A huge pub with half of it arranged as a restaurant & the other half as a pub with lots of seats, a few fruit machines and pool table.

On the bar are 4 hand pumps which had 2 ales on, these were Dartmouth Brewery Legend and Teignmouth Reel Ale. My pint of Legend was very good.

A friendly pub with a huge amount of space and apparently good value food. The weather wasn't that good so the large outside patio area was empty but on a good weather day the coastal views would be excellent.

18 Sep 2015 14:00

The Anchor, Cockwood

After lunch and a couple of beers in the Ship Inn we took a short walk to the Anchor Inn.

This is an imposing building with plenty of history including a reported haunting by a man and he's dog. This inn and former seaman's mission is apparently 450 years old.

Full of naval memorabilia including a large amount of plaques with names of naval warships. Timber panelling, low beams and snugs, mind your head if you're taller than 5ft 10" in certain areas like on the way to the gent's toilets!

The old Seaman's Mission part of the pub is a restaurant with the original inn being more of a pub with comfy chairs as well as the snugs.

6 hand pumps with a good mix of national and local ales. My pint of Tintagel Castle Gold @ 3.8% was extremely good. Ordering at the bar is done via 3 small service areas, getting to see the pumps can be a little trickey.

A very nice pub and restaurant, the seafood menu & mussels look really good , lots of history and finally a lovely setting, both pubs in Cockwood are worth a visit.

18 Sep 2015 13:58

The Ship At Cockwood, Cockwood

A Monday afternoon visit to Cockwood for some lunch and a couple of beers.

First stop was the Ship Inn. A very homely pub with an old open fireplace, wooden beams and an overall nautical theme.

4 hand pumps with 4 ales, 1 from Otter, 1 from Dartmouth and 2 from Hanlons. The couple of pints of Hanlons Yellow Hammer @ 4.3% I had was excellent.

Food is popular with an extensive menu and a decent amount of fish options on the special's board. The 4 of us all had sandwich's which were very good and decently priced.

A very nice pub, good food and service, good choice of ales, The Ship is worth a visit and is recommended by me.

18 Sep 2015 13:55

The Blue Anchor Inn, Teignmouth

The 2nd pub I wanted to visit in Teignmouth is this back street local towards the docks.

They had 6 ales and 2 real ciders on across the 8 hand pumps during my Sunday afternoon visit. My pint of Bays Tall Order @ 4.3% was alright, but tasted a bit vinegary.

One small bar inside with a pool table and a couple of televisions and a smattering of tables and chairs. MY friend tells me that place hasn’t changed since the 80’s apart from the pool table being added!

Not many punters inside with most of them sat outside on the large patio / smoking area enjoying the end of August sunshine.

A decent little back street pub that was doing a decent trade and certainly looks a better choice for a beer than the nearby Teign Brewery!

16 Sep 2015 14:16

Cellars Bar, Teignmouth

Another St Austell brewery pub in town.

This lower level bar is in a large white building overlooking the sea on the front.

Empty inside on my visit, apart from the four of us the only other person was the solitary barman

1 ale on the hand pump which was St Austell Proper Job, which I didn't fancy so I had a bottle of BrewDog Vagabond Pale Ale.

Large concrete area to the front was a bit of a sun trap so we took our drinks and sat out watching the world go by....not that much went by during our visit.

Decent little place but I doubt i'll be rushing back.

16 Sep 2015 14:06

Brass Monkey, Teignmouth

St Austell pub tucked away from the station down a side street that on my Sunday lunchtime visit was pretty empty.

2 ales on the 3 hand pumps, Tribute (on 2 pumps), the pint of HSD I had was very drinkable.

Friendly welcome from the manager who I spent quite a bit of time talking to.

Music playing softly, fruit machine and a pool table in the back room along with a dart board.

A decent pub that is worth a visit.

16 Sep 2015 14:00

The Capitol, Forest Hill

My latest visit was on a Tuesday night with a few pals for a couple of beers that turned into a longer heavier night than expected.

Steak night on a Tuesday at ‘spoons so the pub was busy with food orders but it didn’t take too long to get served at the bar, each of the 3 barmen were on good form and served the punters quickly.

A good choice of ales on this visit with my choice being a craft offering from Marston’s which was Canadian Red, every pint I had was extremely drinkable.

16 Sep 2015 13:56

Eric Bartholomew, Morecambe

After 2 pints in the Palatine it’s time for a visit to the local 'spoons which is named after their most famous son.

This is a large double level pub with all drinks and food ordered at the downstairs bar, where the locals form an orderly q to be served!

Not a great deal of choice on the hand pumps during my visit, most are national brands but I do find a Dick Turpin from Warrington’s Coach House Brewery, so I plump for a pint of that and it was decent enough.

As to be expected on a Saturday lunchtime the pub is pretty busy & of course food is extremely popular as it is in most 'spoons pubs.

Nicely kept interior, decent enough ‘spoons and just £1.59 for a pint of ale, ticks all the boxes.

15 Sep 2015 17:48

Lamb Inn, Grasmere

The Lamb is the bar in The Red Lion hotel in the centre of Grasmere.

Visited just before 6pm on a Thursday evening in mid July & there were a couple of families in eating.

3 ales on the hand pumps these were Marston's EPA, Jennings Cumberland and Hawkshead Red. I had a couple of pints of the Red and they were very decent.

Even though its a Hotel bar it does feel more like a pub. Lovely open slate fireplace on one side, not original but a nice feature anyway.

Friendly service and a nice alternative to Tweddies but not with as much ale choice.

15 Sep 2015 17:46

The Pheasant Inn, Keswick

Right beside one of the main roads into Keswick from the A66 is this very attractive Jennings pub and the nearest to the holiday cottage that we had in mid July this year.

Benches to the front with a small beer garden tucked away at the back of the pub.

Inside there are 5 hand pumps offering 5 ales, 3 from Jennings, Thwaite’s Wainwright and Marston's Pheasant Ale brewed for the pub and extremely drinkable @ 4.5%. I had several pints of the house ale and it was handsome.

Packed inside with everyone eating, almost all the space in the pub is given over to diners with only a couple of tables and a few stools for drinkers.

Being close to our accommodation we did return for food later in the week & it was very good.

Well kept ales, good home cooked food and friendly service.

15 Sep 2015 17:42

The Palatine, Morecambe

A Saturday afternoon visit to Morecambe for football with my first stop for a pint being the Palatine.

A healthy selection of 6 ales across the 8 hand pumps. 3 from Lancaster Brewery, 2 from Kirkby Lonsdale and the remaining ale from Allgates. My pints of Kirkby Lonsdale Loose Head @ 3.7% were both very good.

Only a few punters in during my lunchtime visit. The interior has stripped wooden floor and exposed brickwork the wooden tables and chairs compliment the wooden bar and ambient lighting gives the pub a nice feel to it.

Food available, I didn't look at a menu but a chap near me ordered a sandwich and it looked good.

Good start to the day and yet another pub in Lancashire ticked.

11 Sep 2015 16:16

The Talbot, Brockley

I popped in on a Friday night with the wife for a couple of pints a few weeks back. 5 hand pumps with 5 different ales on, 3 of these were locales. I had 2 pints of Brockley Brewery Summer Ale, each pint well kept and poured.

Pretty busy when we arrived at 6pm with a few people eating.

Modern decor, off set with a mixture of wooden tables & chairs, a note to the couple of really good painted murals on plain white walls of dogs.

The Talbot is a decent pub with well kept ales, a small garden and a seating area to the front….I really should visit her more.

11 Sep 2015 15:57

The Limes, South Merstham

The Limes is a large estate style pub in the middle of a residential area and is a proper locals pub.

As you enter from the car park area there’s a long wooden bar immediately in front of you. 2 ales on the hand pumps which were Shepherd & Neame Spitfire and Greene King IPA. Again this seems like another pub where lager is king!

Pool table and dart board to the right of the bar as well as a few television’s dotted about.

Loads of seating and stools lined up at the bar but on this visit the pub was pretty empty thought I’m sure to have this many stools the pub must get busy at some stage

A decent enough estate pub with adequately kept ales and very close to the football ground. Probably the best of the 3 I visited in one evening in Merstham.

11 Sep 2015 15:19

The Feathers, Merstham

Just over the road from the Railway the Feathers looks a lot more inviting from the outside & is a lovely pub internally.

Art nouveau fireplaces, old period furniture this pub looks like it has plenty of age to it but I couldn’t find out actually how old it is.

The bar had 5 hand pumps but annoyingly only 2 ales were on which were GK IPA and Sharps Doom Bar. The pint of IPA I had was drinkable but not that great.

A separate food area to the left of the bar with bar meals served all across the pub. The food looked good but I have no idea on price.

Large garden area to the side by the main road with benches and umbrella’s.

A pretty decent pub but I wish the ale choice on my visit was a bit more adventurous.

11 Sep 2015 15:16

The Railway, Merstham

A Tuesday night visit to Merstham for a football game & a perfect opportunity to “tick” the 3 pubs in the village.

First off is this busy local pubs at 6.40pm. Only 2 ales on which are Sharp’s Doom Bar and GK Abbot Ale. My pint of Abbot was drinkable but I don’t think the ales here get drunk often as it’s definetly a lager drinkers pub.

Television on, music playing, a bit of swearing from the locals, original fireplace, pool table out the back, fruit machines and the pub needs a good lick of paint!

A proper builders pub that is worthy of a very quick stop only, I wouldn’t want to spend more than 30 minutes here but it served a purpose.

11 Sep 2015 15:14

The Bunch of Grapes, London Bridge

A re-visit here for a quick pint on a Tuesday evening while waiting for a train.

It’s just after 5pm when I arrive and its already pretty busy, mainly with local workers.

3 Young's ales, plus Doom Bar on tap. My choice of Young’s London Gold was decent enough.

Music playing, decent crowd and beers are alright, worthy of a stop.

2 Sep 2015 17:08

The Royal George, Euston

Popped in on Sunday tea-time after my train back from Preston. The George as I have always known it is busy outside with a few groups but it’s empty inside however it still took too long to be served !

6 hand pumps with 4 ales on, 3 of them were locales. I went for Hackney Breweries Red Ale @ 4.1%, it’s a decent drop of ale.

Now a Taylor Walker pub and has recently been added to the Camra GBG, it’s not bad but not much better than the last time I was here which was several years ago.

2 Sep 2015 17:07

The Market Tavern, Preston

Straight after football at Deepdale I made the 15 minute brisk walk to the Market Tavern.

Through the market and this attractive pub is in front of me, I get here at 2.15pm and the pub looks good from the outside, this is until I see the signs on the doors that say 'Under new management'! This is always off putting and so it proved on this occasion.

A lovely tiled floor leads onto a wooden floor, there’s an original tiled fire place, original mirrors, marble top bar however the leather seating is ripped and the tables are very worn, this isn't good.

3 ales on which are Robinsons Dizzy Blonde, St Austell Tribute and my choice which is Theakstons Old Peculiar. Its a decently kept and poured pint.

Lots of old photos on the walls, a few locals in, pop music playing on the jukebox, the Market is pleasant and the pint I had was decent but it's not the pub I was expecting and I will be surprised if this makes the 2016 GBG.

It's been ticked

2 Sep 2015 17:06

Twelve Tellers, Preston

Sunday morning in Preston and on my way to the football ground I had to stop at this brand new Wetherspoon's conversion of the former Trustees Savings Bank.

The Twelve Tellers is very grand with original chandelier lighting hanging from the ornate ceiling in the main room as you enter. The 2 original marble entrances with gold painted gates are still in position either side of the entrance through to the bar.

I counted at least 10 hand pumps on the bar. As the bar was mobbed I plumped for the first ale that caught my eye which was Moorhouses Twelve Tellers @ 4.4%, I assume this is brewed exclusively for the pub.

Restored wooden panelling lines the walls on which hang a couple of very nice original paintings in addition there are 2 extensively wood panelled former boardrooms that have tables and chairs in.

A stunning building that has been well restored by Wetherspoon’s and turned into a decent pub. Packed at 10.30am as Preston North End were playing Middlesbrough at noon.

Doesn't appear in the GBG (yet) but deserves a tick.

1 Sep 2015 14:09

The Black Horse Hotel, Preston

The last of the 4 pubs I wanted to tick in one evening in Preston and architecturally this is by far the best.

This Robinsons pub sitting in the middle of the shopping area is absolutely stunning. Original Burmantoft tiled bar, a full mosaic tiled floor, stain glass windows, tiled half walls, snug seating areas, hall of mirrors seating area...this pub is chuffing beautiful.

8 hand pumps, 4 with Robinsons ales on, 3 guests and 1 spare pump. I start with a guest from Norwich’s Fat Cat Brewing Company Wild Cat @ 5.0% before moving onto Robinson’s Trooper, both ales are excellent but the Trooper is exceptional.

The 2 bar man are very chatty and knowledgeable about their ales, the juke box is stacked with quality music and it great value at 4 tunes for a £1. I stayed for a few hours on Saturday (I was the last to leave), then went back for a couple more pints of Trooper on Sunday afternoon before my train home.

Stunning interior, great ales, sharp service, perfect location this is another 10/10 for me...a proper bobby dazzler.

1 Sep 2015 14:07

The Grey Friar, Preston

Modern cavernous 'spoons situated in a prominant location on the junction of Friargate and the A59.

It’s 10.30pm when I enter and it's pretty empty, though to be honest the pub is huge. On the bar are 10 hand pumps, not a great choice with most of them being the ‘spoons national brands, though I do spot Acorn’s Old Moor Porter @ 4.4%, I use my camra voucher and this of course make the ale taste much better.

Another pub with older punters, quick and friendly service and has a nice atmosphere.

It’s worth a tick but it's a regular 'spoons so don’t be disappointed.

1 Sep 2015 13:42

Ale Emporium, Preston

An unscheduled stop for me as I was disappointed in the ale quality at the Dog & Partridge and wanted a decent pint before I got back to pub ticking in the Friargate area.

After checking the location I made my way here briskly, I’d only read about the pub in a magazine the day before. This used to be a pub (the name escapes me) and is in the same building as The Ferret pub but is completely unconnected and from what I saw is very different.

10 hand pumps offering a cracking selection. I had ales from Rat Brewery in Huddersfield and Fernandes in Wakefield, there were also 2 additional ales on keg.

10pm Saturday night when I visited & it was half full but there was still plenty of good humoured Northern banter.

Neural decoration there’s wallpaper on the ceiling & old fashioned carpet on the floor. The back room where the pool table is located has a couple of comfy leather sofa’s and a television.

Superb place that is well worth the walk from town.

1 Sep 2015 13:35

The Dog and Partridge, Preston

Less than a minute walk from the Black Bull and you're at the music orientated Dog and Partridge. It’s had an extensive make over and has only been re-opened since June 2015.

Pretty busy when I enter with Black Sabbath pounding out of the speakers, it's so loud everyone is shouting to each other.

There are 5 ales on the hand pumps with 2 from Moorhouse’s which were Black Witch & Pride of Pendel & 2 from Marston's / Hobgoblin...I ignore all 4 of these and go for a pint of Joseph Holt Bitter @ 4.0%, it was shocking and barely drinkable. I know this pub makes the GBG for it's ale but the pint I had was not up to scratch.

Decent interior with plenty of seating areas and a very nice marble bar top but the music was just to loud for me. I won't score the pub down but I am disappointed in the quality of my pint.

1 Sep 2015 13:26

The Old Black Bull, Preston

My first pub in Preston on a Saturday night & I have 4 to tick with all being in the Friargate area of town.

The Old Black Bull is a Moorhouse’s pub with an original tiled floor, there’ s a small room to your left named the Paddock that has a dart board in it, the L shaped bar starts here and runs through to the main bar.

The wooden and brass bar houses 10 hand pumps in banks of 4 and 3’s. All the ales are from the surrounding areas, I go for a pint of Lancaster Duchy @ 3.9% and it's very good. Every hand pump has a price tag hanging on it displaying the price of each ale, I've seen this down South before but not up North that I can remember.

I come in just as the band are starting up, I stayed for half and hour and the pub got busier and busier, mostly with an older crowd.

A very decent place to start my evening I will return here on my next visit to Preston.

1 Sep 2015 13:24

Thomas Drummond, Fleetwood

My 2nd 'spoons of the day a few weeks back and another very decent effort from Mr Martin & Co.

Apparently the pub is named after the man who helped design the town.

Large & open plan inside with the bar at the far end from the front door when you come in from London Street.

6pm on a Saturday evening, the pub is fairly quiet bar the few that were eating with most of these being families.

10 pumps with 9 ales on. A couple of Lancashire breweries and 2 offerings from Hawkshead in Cumbria. My pint of Windermere pale was very good.

A nice looking pub for a relatively new build , conservatory and garden to the side look like recent additions. From what I saw the other pubs in Fleetwood weren't up to much so I probably went to the best 2 in the town.

1 Sep 2015 13:20

Strawberry Gardens, Fleetwood

A short walk from Highbury stadium is this huge pub that is also the home to Syd Little's restaurant, unfortunately I didn’t see or meet Syd on this visit!

I came here straight after the match so was sat with a pint by 5.05pm. I only went into the bar on the right where there is raised seating, a dart board, pool table, television and the bar with it’s vast amount of pumps, I counted at least 13 but there might have been more. A wide range of breweries and ales , I opted for a pint of Thornbridge Lord Marples @ 4.0%. Decent value at £3.00 but even better with 20% off for camra members.

Minimal amount of pictures on the walls but there is a trophy cabinet displaying various trophies for the pub’s Darts team, who seem quite successful. This is very much a community pub with the emphasis on good ales and friendly service. A proper traditional pub close to the football ground and tram stop as well as appearing in the GBG.

Decent tick for me.

20 Aug 2015 16:34

The Victoria Hotel, Cleveleys

A huge corner plot Samuel Smiths pub which is a brisk walk from Cleveleys tram stop and another pub that's in the 2015 GBG.

Externally the pub is very attractive, a sturdy brick frontage gives way to a wooden beamed interior as you enter off the main road.

The main bar area is open plan and very large with seating around the outside and in little booths that give the pub an even more open plan feel to it.

On the bar is the full array of Sam Smiths drinks, again I opt for a Sovereign bitter and its £1.82 a pint...top draw.

Concreted area to the front of the pub with bench seating and a grassed area with a hedge around it. There’s an old fashioned looking shop with Samuel Smiths ales and advertising in the window.

A lovely building, surprising interior, good ales, excellent value...what more does a Southerner want when he's up North….9/10.

20 Aug 2015 14:10

The Bispham Hotel, Blackpool

A short tram ride from the North pier and I alight at Bispham for the 5 minute walk to this Art Deco pub, as I approach I immediately think it's closed and on it's backside...how wrong was I!

The large circular wooden bar is in front of you as you enter and they have full Samuel Smiths range on offer. I order a pint of Sovereign bitter and am blown away when the barmaid charges me £1.82...why don't we have pubs this good & cheap in the South !!

The interior of this pub is stunning, the vast majority of the Art Deco features have been kept and there's Art Deco style mirrors hanging in the 2 rooms that flank the main entrance. Original coving around the walls and the centre dome is also still in place.

Busy on my visit with the majority being blokes over 50 who are chatting in groups and studying the horses.

Visually stunning inside, cheap and cracking beer, good banter all in all this is a superb pub.

10/10 for me and I don't give this score often.

20 Aug 2015 14:08

The Garibaldi, Redhill

We arrived around 8pm and there a few punters in, music playing at an acceptable level and the television was on in one corner.

4 hand pumps offer Pride, Doombar & Sharps' Cornish Coaster. We stayed for a couple of hours and drank the Coaster, a decent pint kept and poured well.

Carpeted throughout with the decor having a country pub feel to it, quite homely and all in all its a nice pub.

The barman was accommodating in changing the channels so that we could watch the live boxing on Sky.

The Garibaldi has appeared in previous good beer guide's in the past but not recently, still worth a visit as the rest of the pubs in Redhill apart from the Sun, Hatch, Garland and Home Cottage aren't up to much.

20 Aug 2015 13:40

The Hatch, Shaws Corner

2nd pub of the day and it’s this Shepherd and Neame pub on the outskirts of town.

The friendly barman greets us as we enter. On the bar are 8 hand pumps in 2 banks of 4 but only 2 ales on which were Whitstable Bay and Spitfire. I have a few pints of Whitstable Bay and each one is well poured and kept.

It’s not very busy with another group of 4 and then some diners entering during my hour long stay.

In the back room to the left of the bar are wooden beams and an old original fireplace, this looks to be more the original part of the pub. Above the bar are a quantity of very old beer mats, most from ales that don’t exist anymore
.
The Hatch is a lovely pub that is worth the short trek from town and in my mind is worthy of a place in the GBG.

20 Aug 2015 13:37

The Sun, Redhill


This large ‘Spoons right in the town centre was the first of 2 pubs that I visited in Redhill from the 2015 GBG.

Just before noon on a Saturday and its pretty busy & raucous already.

One barmaid on but she was quickly joined by the manager who served me. 12 hand pumps across 2 banks of 6 with most of them being National brands. I went for a few pints of Conwy Brewery Surfin' IPA @ 4.8%.

Very large pub that used to be a Magnet & Southern showroom, loads of seating in an open plan manner therefore the pub does not feel cluttered with tables and chairs.

Mixed clientele, a decent ‘spoons that’s definitely worth a visit when in Redhill.

20 Aug 2015 13:35

The Fanny On The Hill, Welling

***August 2015***

Pub currently closed and apparently has a demolition order placed on it.

20 Aug 2015 13:34

The Toby Carvery, Beckenham

Having visited at almost the same time last year and gave a favourable review I was stunned on my latest visit to find this pub has turned into a “crap hole”.

It was very busy on my latest Thursday evening visit with everyone drinking (it was 9.30pm), not sure if food had stopped being served but there was no one eating.

3 ales on which were Fuller’s London Pride, Breakspears bitter and Hobgoblin. The grumpy looking barmaid (maybe the same one from last year) asked me what I wanted so I ordered and then she asked me again! The pint of Breakspears she pulled was very flat so I asked for another pint and at that point was told by the manager the pint was perfect…what a dick. I asked it to be changed for a pint of Pride and it was, the Pride was drinkable but still not great…I then poured the flat pint away while the manager looked at me in horror, I’m sure he was going to sell it to the next punter!

We stayed for just over an hour for while for our train and every pint of Pride I had was drinkable.

Now to the clientele, I'm unsure why this pub has changed but there were a lot of men and women all clearly locals and they were drunk, loud and quite aggressive….this gave the whole place an intimidated feel and though I wasn’t directly threatened it didn’t give me a pleasant experience.

Apparently earlier in the evening the food was good but still the service was poor, that’s from a pal who ate there.

18 Aug 2015 11:40

The Railway Hotel, West Wickham

Pretty busy on the Thursday evening I visited this food led pub for a few beers with a pal before football locally.

Opposite the station in a perfect location, the pub occupies a large plot and has plenty of outside seating separated from the road by a white picket fence.
Inside the décor is netural and homely with plenty of tables and chairs for diners, aswell as stools and high tables.

6 hand pumps with 4 ales on. Harvey's Sussex Best Bitter was drinkable but its worth noting all the ales are from gravity.

The first time I have been here and it’s decent enough and in a handy location for the station.

Food was of course popular, I didn’t look at the menu to check prices but it looked good from the plates I saw served up.

18 Aug 2015 11:38

The Opera House, Tunbridge Wells

Our last pub of the night and it’s a visit to Tunbridge’s Wetherspoon’s.

Having done no research on this pub we literally stumbled across it & wow is all I can say about the interior….what a cracking building, the Opera House is stunning, absolutely stunning.

We come in on Saturday tea time & it’s half full but the place is huge with plenty of tables on the old stage area for diners. We stay for several hours and around 8.30pm the atmosphere & clientele changes as the Saturday night youngsters come out.

11 hand pumps on the bar, I chose Rockin Robin Brewer’s Pale Side of the Spoon @ 4.2% as my first pint and stick to it all night. The pub itself is a regular ‘spoons but what makes this place is the interior.

Decent ‘spoons, gorgeous building…so for that I score this place 8/10.

18 Aug 2015 11:36

The Lava Bar, Tunbridge Wells

The Saint Johns Yard is a pub & kitchen as proclaimed on it's website.

Very busy at 5.30pm on a Saturday evening when we arrived. 3 ales on the hand pumps I opt for a pint of Greene King’s East Coast IPA @ 4.0%. A decent pint that is poured well by the energetic barmaid.

Lovely old pub inside with little rooms off to the side of the bar and secluded seating areas.

To the front on the main is outside seating but the real gem for this place is the large garden to the rear. There’s another bar out here that wasn’t open on this visit.

There’s a separate function room in an annexe in the garden and this was hosting a kids birthday party so the adults had spilled into the garden, enjoying their food and drinks in the sun.

A decent pub that from the outside I wouldn’t have ventured into as it looked a bit too much like a trendy bar to me but it was worth the stop.

18 Aug 2015 11:34

The Ragged Trousers, Tunbridge Wells

After The Compasses it’s time for another pub from the 2015 GBG. A short walk back down the High St to this trendy pub in the Victorian Pantiles area of town.

The sun is shining so on my arrival it’s packed out the front with only 1 table spare which we nab.

Inside it’s pretty quiet, there’s stripped wooden flooring all the way through and an overpowering stench of garlic from the kitchen which is pretty off putting. 4 ales on the hand pumps with a couple of local offerings, I go for a pint of Larkins Brewery Traditional @ 3.8%, it’s a decent pint.

The Ragged Trousers is nice pub but being in the Pantiles it is very foodie and on this Saturday afternoon visit there were much more people ordering food and eating than their were drinkers.

I may return as the ale was good and the location is great for people watching but beware the stench of garlic.

18 Aug 2015 11:30

The Compasses, Tunbridge Wells

Pub number 3 of the day and my first one that doesn’t appear in the 2015 GBG. Almost across the road from The Grove so it’s rude to not visit it.

It’s about 1.30pm when we get to this large Greene King pub, it’s empty inside but extremely busy in the outside seating area at the front with food proving very popular.

3 ales on the hand pumps and I opt for a pint of Head Brewers Club Trial Brew No 8 @ 5.0%. The barmaid asks me if I’ve ever had this beer before and I say no she then laughs and say’s it’s interesting! Not an ale for the summer this is really a Christmas ale with a very strong spiced taste and smell. Kept and poured well and therefore drinkable.

I didn’t venture back inside to check the décor but it’s a very decent looking pub and on this visit it’s one I would recommend.

Just to add that the food looked good.

17 Aug 2015 16:58

The Grove Tavern, Tunbridge Wells

Pub number 2 was The Grove which is one of Tunbridge Wells oldest pubs.

A short stroll down towards the Pantiles and a sharp left to old Tunbridge Wells village and The Grove is located on a corner.

It’s 1pm when we arrive here and there are 3 people in of which 1 is the barmaid. A friendly greeting was given to us as we perused the 4 pumps with 4 ales on. My choice was Truman's Lazarus @ 4.2%, a decent pint.

Lots of beer pump clips all over the walls by the dart board, I never get bored of checking all the clips and seeing what ales have been served.

In addition to the Dart board there’s a Pool table by the front door and a television on the back wall near the toilets, though on this visit none of these were in use.

Wooden flooring & panelling throughout this lovely pub, almost like a pub should be.

17 Aug 2015 16:56

The Bedford, Tunbridge Wells

Pub number 1 of a day of pub ticking & football in Tunbridge Wells.

Smallish corner plot pub right by the station that is very focused on ales. I wasn’t aware of this having never been here before so I was pleased and surprised to see such a cracking selection of ales that are charged as per their abv. 11 hand pumps with a different ale on each pump.

Due to it’s location I ended up visiting twice in 1 day. Visit number 1 @ lunchtime I went for Hardy and Hanson’s Bedford Steam @ 3.9%, on my evening visit I had Old Diary Brewery Summer Top @ 3.6%, both very good pints & kept well.

6 punters in who were chatting to the landlord and chef when I first visited then in the evening @ 10pm it was pretty packed with music playing and a mixed crowd.

Friendly little pub that I will be returning to on my next visit to TW not just because of it’s convenient location by the station.

17 Aug 2015 16:55

Pepper Saint Ontiod, Isle of Dogs

I seem to be only person reviewing this pub! Does no-one else on here ever visit the Pepper ?

My most recent visit was a Friday night in late July with some work colleagues.

Busy downstairs so we bought our drinks and food a seat in the upstairs bar. The bar was closed on the upper level but there were plenty of seats and the balcony was open for smokers.

3 ales on tap but I only drank ELB Cowcatcher @ 4.8% all night. A cracking pint that was very well kept and extremely drinkable.

Always busy here but for some reason getting a drink during this visit was a breeze, normally it’s a bit of a ’mare.

Decent pub with good ale but The George is my pub of choice in E14.

17 Aug 2015 16:50

The Red Lion, Bromley

This was supposed to be the 4th pub of 5 but it ended up being 4 of 4 as the Freeland’s Tavern was closed when we left the Red Lion.

Busy at 10.30pm at this GBG 2015 listed pub. A re tick for as I first came here 15 months ago to tick it, on that visit I liked the pub but it felt a little bit clicky and to be honest I still have the same opinion. Don’t get me wrong I like the Red Lion but it’s not someone I come to regularly so I’m always here just for a quick pint.

Now to the beer there were 5 hand pumps with a good choice of ales, I had St Austell Liquid Sunshine @ 3.9% and it was throughally good.

Again only a quick stop as we tried to get last orders in the Freeland’s.

17 Aug 2015 12:09

The Anglesey Arms, Bromley

This Shepherd and Neame pub that I don't think I've ever been to before was part of the 4 pubs in one night during my Bromley North crawl.

3 ales on all from Sheps on tap, during my stay that took in the monthly quiz I had several pints of Golding's, each one decent and well kept.

Small seating area to the front. Inside is a smallish bar with a lounge area on either side.

The Anglesey is old fashioned and homely, decent service, good choice of ales and a fun quiz.

I will return

17 Aug 2015 11:55

The Crown and Anchor, Bromley

Pub number 1 of the 5 in the old Bromley North village and first up is a pub I have never been in before.

Large pub with a dozen or so punters inside and another half dozen sat out the front on the wooden benches in the sun.

4 pumps with 3 ales on. I opted for a new beer for me which was Skinners Lushingtons @ 4.2%. The barmaid informed me this was her favourite beer and if I didn’t like it she would happily drink it for me, what a lovely girl.

Sport playing on the television but it wasn’t getting many viewers with most of the punters chatting in their own groups.

We only stayed for a pint but I got the impression that this was a decent place to have a few beer in. Friendly bar maid and the punters were also fine.

Who knows why I have never been here…..off to the Anglesey Arms next.

14 Aug 2015 12:22

The Railway Hotel, Bromley

A re-tick for me as pub number 3 of a small crawl in Bromley on a Tuesday evening.

5 ales on during my visit. My pint of Thwaites Straw Poll @ 3.9% was interesting, a nicely kept and poured pint.

Only one other punter in apart from the 2 of us and 2 bar staff.

The weather was good so we went and sat in the garden.

As with all of the Antic pubs the Railway has that “semi demolished / half built” feel but it actually works better here and is part of it’s charm.

I really like the Railway and will continue to visit here when in Bromley.

14 Aug 2015 12:21

The Prince Frederick, Bromley

Greene King pub tucked away around the back streets off Burnt Ash Lane that if you didn’t know it existed you wouldn’t stumble upon it.

Fairly busy on the Tuesday night in late July when I made my first visit for almost 25 years. The garden was particularly packed as the sun was shining.

On the bar there’s 4 hand pumps offering 4 ales. 3 from Greene King and Camerons Strongarm. The pint of Strongarm I had was very good.

A decent little pub, a little clicky but no bother for a couple of strangers wandering in…I may be back sooner than 25 years from now!

14 Aug 2015 11:41

The Edmund Halley, Lee

My first visit to this rough 'spoons for a couple of years. It's a Tuesday tea time and on this visit it's not quite so rough as the last time I was here which was a Saturday afternoon in June 2012!

5.30pm and the pub is more than half full with everyone clearly a local. 3 staff on and all of look as rough as the customers!

7 ales across the 8 hand pumps. My pint of Brewsters Aromantica was alright, poured okay but it didn’t taste like it was kept that well.

I think out of all the ‘spoons I’ve ever been in this one is right up there with one of the worse. The pub looks fine, okay it’s a bit tired but it’s alright…it’s the punters that make the pub so rough.

I won’t be rushing back!

14 Aug 2015 11:39

The Cavendish Arms, Cartmel

Through the arch at Cartmel village and slightly away from the crowd after the races and you come to the Cavendish.

Free house with 4 ales on. I went for several pints of Theakstons Lightfoot with each one being well kept and poured.

Very busy after the races but service was very quick as there were lots of bar staff on.

Live music on outside that kept the punters happy.

A decent pub with good ale and a nice addition to have live music on after the races to keep the punters at the pub spending their money.

14 Aug 2015 11:30

The Old Crown, Hesket Newmarket

My trip to the North Lakes on holiday wouldn't be complete without a visit to Britain's first community owned pub, The Old Crown.

Situated in the centre of this pretty village its also the home to the Hesket Newmarket Brewery. The only beers are from HN and there were a total of 9 available during my visit. I went for a pint of Skiddaw @ 3.6%.

Lovely carved wooden motifs on the bar front. Open plan fireplace, lots of plaques and pictures on the walls, including the 2 plaques depicting Prince Charles visits in 2004 & 2007.

A real gem and a lovely pub, that even though it's fairly remote to get to without a car its a must visit.

10 Aug 2015 15:19

The Glen Rothay Hotel and Badger Bar, Rydal

Another tick in the area for me from the 2015 GBG following a short bus ride from Windermere.

Right on the main Kendal to Keswick road. A welcoming bar area awaits you as you enter.

5 ales on the hand pumps with my choice of Old School Brewery Badger Bar Ale @ 3.8% brewed exclusively for the bar & very drinkable.

Wonky floors and an amazing room to the left of the bar that has to be seen to be believed, anyone that's been here will know what I mean.

No fruit machines or televisions just a quality little bar.

I only had time for 1 beer but a good tick anyway.

10 Aug 2015 14:18

The Albert, Windermere

Large Robinsons pub on the corner at the bottom of the High Street in Bowness.

Attractive looking from the outside and very prominent. Inside it's modern and geared up for food on one side and drinkers on the other with a large TV positioned towards the beer garden area.

5 ales on the hand pumps, 4 offering Robinsons ales and 1 offering Hartley's Cumbrian ale. My pint of Trooper was good.

A lovely building, good selection of ales, nice outside seating area but the service needs a bit of work still worth a stop for a pint nonetheless.

10 Aug 2015 13:26

Bank Tavern, Keswick

Jennings pub at the bottom of the High Street that has low beams & is dark inside. The patio to the side is a great place to sit and enjoy your pint when the sun's out, there's also a covered area near the back door to shelter you in colder & wet weather.

On my visit there seemed to be more tourists than locals in & food was very popular.

8 hand pumps offering 4 Jennings ales & 3 from the Marston's chain plus my choice which was Taverners Ale @ 4.2% from Keswick Brewery.

Attentive and friendly bar staff ensured quick service.

Nicely laid out pub that does well on food (most in Keswick seem to), worth a visit.

10 Aug 2015 13:24

Royal Oak, Braithwaite

The other pub in Braithwaite village near the bus stop so it had to ticked, but it's not in the GBG.

A Jennings pub with 4 ales on & the 5th from Marston's (who own Jennings). My pint of Jennings Bitter was very good.

The Royal Oak is a lovely pub internally with various maps of the area and lakes, a couple of brewery mirrors & ample seating for diners.

Large car park to the front with seating areas to the side.

Busier out than in as the sun was shining. A decent pub that's on various bus routes to and from Keswick so you can tick both pubs easily.

10 Aug 2015 13:07

The Middle Ruddings Country Inn and Restaurant, Braithwaite

At the end of the village of Braithwaite is the large Middle Ruddings Country Inn, hotel & restaurant and another entry from the 2015 GBG.

After a long bus ride around the mountains and lakes we arrive here at 3.30pm and are the only ones here.

Not a pub as such but more of a bar in a hotel, with a choice of 3 ales on all from Cumbria. I went for a pint of Strands Gold Wing @ 4.0%. All 3 ales have little colour pots in front of the pumps so you can see the colour of the ales, nice idea and something I've seen in a few pubs up here.

With us being the only punters and 1 women running reception and the bar it was hard to gauge any atmosphere as there wasn't any!

Patio area to the front overlooking the lawn and with Skiddaw in front of you was the ideal place to sit while we supped our drinks.

A decent tick with good ales but not one I'll be rushing back to.

10 Aug 2015 13:05

Scafell Hotel, Keswick

A bus ride from Keswick to have lunch at this GBG 2015 entry and a tick for me.

We sat in the Riverside bar where there are 6 hand pumps. 4 ales on the pumps all from the local area. I went for a pint of Barngates Tag Lag.

Open plan area with seating around the outside, all tables laid out ready for diners'. There's an outside patio area to the rear with the river running next to it, very picturesque.

A lovely little bar, good selection of ales, well priced & tasty food...another tick from the trusty guide.

10 Aug 2015 13:01

The Chief Justice of the Common Pleas, Keswick

An early Wednesday morning visit to this town centre 'spoons, was the first of 3 visits within 2 days.

This former police station, opened as pub in September 2014, and even 9 months in the place still has that clean and new feel to it still, though being here at 11am when it was fairly empty helped me to make this decision.

I don't think I've ever been in a pub with so many rooms and seating areas, the place really is a rabbit warren.

The long bar is at the end of the pub if you enter from the main road. 12 hand pumps with 10 ales and 2 real ciders. I went for the an ale from the towns own brewery, Keswick Thirst Fall @ 4.8% & very good it was too.

The decor is very well done with local stone walls off set by a carpeted and wooden floor giving a bright and airy feel to it inside. Out the back is a paved garden with a smoking area the back opens out onto the car park.

We re-visited for food the same and the following night and even though it was busier, service for food and drink was still swift.

One last thing to mention is the old dock for the court room is still in place and you can sit here and eat, you can also do the same in the old cells….a nice touch with the building very much in keeping with the local buildings.

Well done Wetherspoon’s, a cracking conversion.

10 Aug 2015 12:35

The Bush, Cockermouth

2nd pub in Cockermouth from the 2015 GBG and its this very smart looking Jennings house conveniently located by the bus stops which was exactly the reason I was saving this one to last.

7 hand pumps with 6 ales on (Jennings Bitter was on 2 taps). The majority from Jennings, 1 from Daniel Thwaites and 1 from Lancaster. My pints of Jennings Bitter were cracking.

This pub more than any of the other 2 has a more local pub feel to it, its quaint and relatively dark inside but this is a positive thing. The barman was attentive and chatty.

To the rear is a sun trap courtyard garden which was perfect on the afternoon I visited. The Bush is a really nice pub with good ales, friendly service, a nice garden area for these reason I deem it a must visit during your time in Cockermouth.

7 Aug 2015 14:01

The Brown Cow, Cockermouth

The Brown Cow is an inviting looking pub on a corner right in the centre of town.

As you enter it feels very new , though on closer inspection the tables and chairs are quite worn.

For some reason I assumed this pub was busy when I was looking in from the outside but there's only 2 punters and a dog in!

3 ales on cask which were Sharps Doombar, Jennings Cumberland and my choice which was Lancaster Blonde. The Blonde was more than drinkable.

Not in the GBG but worthy of a stop nonetheless.

7 Aug 2015 13:58

The Castle Bar, Cockermouth

This is a stunning pub and restaurant in the attractive town of Cockermouth. I had 2 pubs to tick here with this one being the first.

1 real cider and 5 ales on the hand pumps with Jennings Smooth on keg. I went for a pint of Cumbrian Legendary Ales Loweswater Gold @ 4.3%.

A very nice bar area with wooden floor, wooden bar and plenty of old photos of the local sports teams and old Cockermouth.

Music playing at an acceptable level, the pub was quite empty on my visit.

Plenty of seating to the rear for diners as well as the separate restaurant upstairs and a garden to the rear.

A very good pub and a decent pint.

7 Aug 2015 13:55

Henry Bessemer, Workington

Pub tick number 1 while on a day trip to Workington & Cockermouth from Keswick.

This large ex Cinema has been sympathetically restored and turned into a nice looking 'spoons, we came in just after noon on a Tuesday and it was half full but the pub is huge.

10 pumps with a couple of real ciders and 7 ales. Only 2 were locales with the rest being the usual Wetherspoon national brands. My pint of Yates Golden @ 3.9% was good.

2 barman that were quick and attentive, all the usual fruit machines but no televisions or music.

A very decent 'spoons and a good start to the day.

7 Aug 2015 13:53

Tweedies Bar at Dale Lodge Hotel, Grasmere

My last tick of the day on the way back to Keswick and its this guide regular based in the Dale Lodge hotel.

Large imposing building in the centre of the village, the hotel is in a lovely settling with a sprawling lawn to the front as you enter into the bar area.

A whopping 10 hand pumps with 8 ales and 2 real ciders. I went for a bat of 3 ales, my choices being Cumbrian Legendary Ales Cascadian Dark Ale @ 4.5%, Highland Brewery Orkney Best @ 3.6% and the wife had a Perry from Two Trees.

Extremely busy at 7.30pm when we arrived, most of the punters were enjoying the food and it looked very good.

Hundreds of pump clips lining the walls and ceiling beams , I guess all of these ales have been served in this bar.

Tweedies is a cracking place with a real nice atmosphere, quick attentive service from knowledge staff, good range of ales and a great location.

Another great tick for me.

6 Aug 2015 16:42

The Sun Hotel, Coniston

My 2nd pub to tick in Coniston and what a stunning building this is topped only by the view from the terrace.

The bar is part of the much larger Sun hotel complex.

On the bar are 8 hand pumps with 8 ales from the local area. The pint of Hawkshead Windermere Pale @ 3.5% I had was lovely.

Quite busy at 6pm with a group of locals at the bar chatting about all things beer. The rest of the punters were sat on the terrace or in the garden.

A good selection of ales kept & served well in a 400 year old building within a stunning backdrop of the local area.

The Sun is on my to return to list as 1 pint and only 30 minutes isn't enough time here.

6 Aug 2015 13:58

The Black Bull Hotel, Coniston

After a short drive from Ambleside to Coniston the next stop is the Black Bull which is home to the Coniston Brewing Co.

An old fashioned interior with lots of dark wood tables and red velvet banquette seating set off with red carpet. The walls are adorned with pictures of Donald Campbell and he's ill fated Bluebird mission.

Food available and it looked pretty good.

Home of Coniston brewery so there were 4 of their ales on the hand pumps and 2 more on keg. I went for pints of Old Man Ale @ 4.2% and Infinity IPA @ 6.0%

This is a large pub that on my visit was fairly empty, there is a great seating area to the front, the ales are good and it's a perfect village location.

Another from the 2015 GBG ticked.

6 Aug 2015 13:56

Queens Head, Keswick

I'm surprised this pub has not yet been reviewed.

Tucked away off the High Street down the side of the Golden Lion is the Queens Head.

A decent looking bar / pub with an open plan interior and an upstairs bar. Overall the place has the feel of a sports bar.

Stone flagstone floor that then goes into a wooden floor with a very attractive open fireplace to the left of the bar, there's a Pool table to the right of the bar.

Only 2 ales, which were Jennings Cumberland and Ringwood Boon Doggle. My pint of Cumberland wasn't the best but it was drinkable.

More punters outside (small seating area where you can smoke) than in, a couple of people eating and again the food looked good.

A pleasant enough pub but in my opinion there are better options in Keswick.

6 Aug 2015 10:24

The Oddfellows Arms, Keswick

4th pub of a Sunday afternoon in Keswick and its a visit to this Jennings pub in the middle of the High Street.

Internally it's dark & tired looking but is saved by the huge outside seating area to the rear.

The ale choice is all from Jennings as expected, these were Sneck Lifter, Best, Cockerhoop & Cumberland. The Cumberland I had was decent.

Friendly barman, a few punters inside but overall this is an alright pub that I don't think would be popular without the outside area as it's just plain dull inside.

A note about the food, it was reasonably priced and the portions looked huge.

5/10 for me.

6 Aug 2015 10:22

Lake Road Inn, Keswick

Robinsons pub at the top of the High St a stones throw from the Dog & Gun.

4 pumps offering 3 Robinsons ales and a local Cumbrian ale. I went for the house beer which was Lake Road Inn Bitter @ 4.5% and brewed by Robinsons.

Small inside with a neutral & modern decor, there is a very pleasant courtyard garden to the rear, this is also where the Lake Road Inn barn is, tables in here I guess for sheltering from the rain. The outside men's toilets were clean and well looked after.

Pretty quiet at 4.15 on a Sunday afternoon with a few people inside watching the tennis.

The Lake Road Inn is a decent enough food led pub with a nice selection of ales, not much more to say than that.

6 Aug 2015 10:06

Dog and Gun, Keswick

The Dog and Gun is the only pub in Keswick that appears in the 2015 GBG and after my visit I can see why.

Only the 2nd pub of my visit but already it seems hard to beat.

A very nice welcome from the 2 barmaids as we enter and I'm immediately faced with an array of 8 hand pumps offering a great selection of cask ales. I go for the locally brewed Keswick Brewery Woof and Bang @ 3.6%.

All the tables in the pub are laid for food and it's certainly popular. I don't normally eat in pubs but the wife and I did on this occasion and it certainly did not disappoint, hearty portions at good value.

Dogs are welcomed and there's even dog treats for sale at the bar for a £1 a bag.

Very well decorated inside and has that overall welcoming feel to it, hence why its so popular and food is of course key to that.

Very good pub but it really is food orientated that is saved from a slightly lower score by having a large choice of ales that are well kept.

6 Aug 2015 10:03

Four in Hand, Keswick

****Re-opened in early May 2015 as The Wainwright Pub****

This review is from my visit on 12/7/15.

Billed as Keswick's newest pub the Wainwright is a free house at the top of the High Street. Only been open 10 weeks when I visited on a Sunday afternoon and it was pretty busy.

6 hand pumps with 5 ales from the lakes and 1 from Lancaster. I went for a pint of Tirril Brewery Borrowdale Bitter @ 4.2%. Camra card holders get a 10% discount which is always nice.

Wooden floor's throughout & neutral decor with prints and maps on the walls of the local area.

The young lady behind the bar who was possibly the manager was very nice and was serving everyone on her own while the lad who was hanging around seemed pretty useless.

A good start to my holiday in Keswick, lots of pubs to visit here & I aim to do as many as possible!

6 Aug 2015 10:01

Moo Bar, Penrith

The Moo Bar only opened 2 years ago, when I was in Penrith last September it looked very new so I decided not to visit on that occasion, who knows why!

So on a recent visit to Penrith I weren't going to miss it this time. After a quick drink in the Agricultural Hotel it was a short wander down the hill to this very welcoming & intimate bar.

6 hand pumps offering 5 ales and 1 real cider. The majority of the ales were from Cumbria and the Lake District. I opted for 2 pints of Fell Brewery Tinderbox IPA @ a whopping 6.3% (£3.50 a pint) & Barngates Brathay Gold @ 4.2% (£3.00 a pint). Both extremely well kept ales and very drinkable.

I took a seat on one of the long benches by the window and immediately struck up conversation with a local that lasted several hours.

A cracking bar, great ale choice, well kept ales, friendly locals. What a great place and a deserved entry in the GBG, for me this is a must visit in Penrith.

5 Aug 2015 13:55

The Agricultural, Penrith

I had a couple of hours in Penrith to tick the 2 2015 GBG entries, first up is the large Agricultural hotel near the station.

It's 2pm on a Saturday and its not that full, a few locals drinking and watching the racing and a hand full of diners.

Open plan bar area with the food mainly served in the dining area up the step on the left. A fairly rear Victorian shuttered bar is home to the normal lagers, Guinness plus 6 hand pumps offering 6 different ales. 3 from the local Jennings Brewery in Cockermouth, 2 from Ringwood and an offering from Marston's. The Jennings bitter I had was very good.

Good service from the friendly landlord, well kept ale and a good location. A decent tick.

5 Aug 2015 13:52

The Kings Arms Hotel, Kirkby Lonsdale

We were staying for 1 night in cottages leased by the Kings Arms so it was rude not to pop in for a pint. When we walked past at 7pm it was busy but on returning at 9.30pm it was pretty empty.

Music playing, locals playing darts and a solitary barman...that's my first impressions of the pub!

Its a pleasant enough place but is a bit rough and ready.

2 hand pumps offering Thwaites Wainwright and Theakston Best Bitter. I went for the Best and it was decent enough.

The barman was friendly and the locals didn't bother us but its not the best pub in the village by a long chalk.

5 Aug 2015 13:45

The Red Dragon, Kirkby Lonsdale

Large and busy Robinson's pub and restaurant in the village centre.

Came in just before 8.45 on a Friday night and most diners had finished eating, the smell of food lingered a little but wasn't too off putting.

Nicely decorated which makes the pub feel very welcoming as soon as you enter. The front bar area was full of men drinking.

A stone floor at the front then into a wooden floor towards the toilets. Large open fireplace also towards the rear of the dinning room.

5 cask ales on with 3 of them from Robinson's. My pint of Trooper was good. The other 2 ales were both from Cumbrian breweries.

A nice looking and welcoming pub with a good range of ales, that's worth a visit if you're in Kirkby Lonsdale.

5 Aug 2015 13:43

The Orange Tree Inn, Kirkby Lonsdale

We only had 1 night in Kirkby Lonsdale and I need to tick The Orange Tree from the 2015 GBG.

A short stroll through the church yard brings you to this very nice Kirkby Lonsdale brewery tap. Multi roomed with the bar and friendly barman facing you as you enter.

5.15 on a Friday afternoon and it's pretty packed already, all locals and the bar man seemed to know everyone.

5 cask hand pumps offering a regular, 3 ales from the very local Kirkby Lonsdale Brewery and a guest from Hawkshead. This being the KLB tap it was rude not to have one of their own. I went for Stanley's @ 3.8% and as expected it was well kept and well poured, a thoroughly decent pint.

A group of lads playing darts, the tennis was on the televisions but with the sound very low.

A huge range of pump clips adorn the wooden beams, meaning I guess these ales have all been served here.

Carpeted throughout with the carpet depicting Orange Trees. A couple of original fire places.

Food is offered from an extensive menu, no one eating on my visit, probably too early.

A decent pub with good ales and a nice buzzy atmosphere worthy of a visit.

5 Aug 2015 13:41

Farmers Arms, Muker

Having consulted the 2015 GBG we make a detour on our way between Whitby and Kirkby Lonsdale to this quaint ex slate mine village In the heart of the Yorkshire Dales.

The Farmers Arms is on the main road through the village and cannot be missed, though there's not much parking available.

The ample seating area to the front is a sun trap and was the perfect spot to sit with a pint and a sandwich.

Very traditional inside with low ceiling beams and a flagstone floor. Several diners were inside to escape the warm weather.

4 cask ales available, Theakstons Old Peculiar, Black Sheep Best Bitter and 2 from Yorkshire Dales Brewing Co , I went for the Farmers Bitter @ 3.7%. A cracking pint that was well poured and kept.

The wife and I each had a sandwich for lunch and it was very good, fresh with good ingredients.

Lovely village pub that I wouldn't have even have considered without the help of the GBG and my sat nav.

5 Aug 2015 13:39

The Ship, Whitby

Decent little pub right on the harbour. Much better inside than it looks from the outside.

8pm on a Thursday night and it's free jukebox time (all day every day!), I do like a free jukebox!

The front room overlooking the harbour is like a snug with the bar just through to the left as you enter. The back room houses the machines and a more locals area.

3 hand pumps offering 2 ales and 1 real cider. My pint of Black Sheep Golden Sheep was very good, not quite as good as the same I had in the Golden Lion earlier in the day but very drinkable nonetheless.

9pm on a Thursday and the front room is given over to the local folk club, it was packed with at least 4 different musicians on.

Decent pub, friendly and attentive barmaid, I will return.

5 Aug 2015 13:35

The Dolphin, Whitby

On the way back into town from the old town and we stopped at the imposing Dolphin.

Busy out the front with people enjoying the last of the day's sun.

Double fronted with the bar to your left as you enter. Nautical themed throughout.

6 hand pumps offering 6 different ales with 4 of them being todays guests. Offerings from Scarborough and Whitby Breweries, I went for pints of Whitby Brewery Saltwick Nab @ 4.2% & Scarborough Citra @ 4.2% both decent pints but the Saltwick tasted slightly vinegary. I noted that all 6 ales are cask accredited so obviously the ales are normally well kept.

Busy and then went a tad quiet then got busy again just before 7pm when a group of rowdy lads from Leeds arrived.

A very decent pub that even though its not in the guide I will definitely re visit on my next visit to Whitby.

5 Aug 2015 13:32

The Endeavour, Whitby

With all 6 of the pubs in Whitby from the 2015 GBG ticked it was time to try a few of the others, first up the Endeavour.

5pm on a Thursday and there's just 2 punters in when we arrive.

On the bar are 4 hand pumps offering 3 ales and a real cider. All of the ales are from down south so with not much choice I go for a pint of Wychwood Hobgoblin. A decent enough and drinkable pint. The wife went for the draft real cider, fruity and tasty was her opinion!

Music playing at an acceptable level with a little bit of chatter from the barman & the 2 other punters.

A decent pub, good size, nicely decorated, clean toilets, good ale & don't forget the friendly pub dog named Shandy!

7/10 for me.

4 Aug 2015 17:35

The Black Horse Vaults, Whitby

The 5th and final pub I needed to tick from the 2015 GBG in Whitby.

A very friendly little 2 roomed 2 bar pub with a courtyard to the left as you enter. The back room has a very nice stain glass window with the words 'Black Horse Vaults'.

Both rooms are adorned with pictures of the local area, while the front has an interesting light hanging from the ceiling.

3 guest ales and 2 regulars on cask, both of the regulars from Tetley's. I opted for a guest which was Robinson's Wizard @ 3.7%, a very nicely kept pint.

Friendly barmaid, quaint décor, good beer .... this pub scores 8/10 for me.

4 Aug 2015 17:31

The Board Inn, Whitby

After a walk up the 199 steps to the Abbey & back down again it was time for pub number 4, this being one of 2 pubs in Church Street for me to tick from the 2015 GBG.

Carpeted throughout with old wooden beams, wooden and brass tables, very old and tired decor but it does add to the charm. Look out for the port hole in the wall near the bar.

Pictures on the wall depicting the sea and old Whitby.

4 ales on the hand pumps, Caledonian Deuchars IPA, Theakston XB, Old Pecuiler and my choice which was Double Cross IPA @ 4.2%, another decently kept beer.

Dining room to the rear that overlooks the harbour and the front snug has a nice view of the steps to the Abbey.

4 Aug 2015 17:29

Golden Lion, Whitby

Small 2 room pub just at the bottom of a steep hill opposite the swing bridge.

My 3rd pub in Whitby to do and after 3 it was sitting in 3rd place! Nice old fashioned decor however on my lunch time visit it was very quiet, with just a couple of local blokes in. As we were leaving a large group of fellas came in and filled the small room at the front.

3 ales on cask, these were Wells Bombardier, Black Sheep Best Bitter and Golden Sheep. The Golden Sheep I had was very well kept and poured.

Worth a tick but not the best pub here in my opinion.

4 Aug 2015 17:27

The Little Angel, Whitby

2nd pub and its the very popular Little Angel, just a short stroll down towards town.

We entered from Flowergate straight into the main bar area with the smaller popular bar to your right.

9 hand pumps that had 6 ales on and 1 real cider. A good mix of ales from across the North. I went for a pint of Brass Castle Lifes a Beach @ 3.6%. A new brewery and ale for me...very good it was as well.

The main bar areas are carpeted with a wooden floor at the bar. Low wooden ceiling compliments the wood panelling that's on a few walls. Interesting selection of lights on the ceiling and walls, a right mish mash.

Music playing from the jukebox at a really good level that still allowed plenty of conversation.

A cracking town centre pub.

30 Jul 2015 14:01

The Granby, Whitby

The wife and I had 2 nights in Whitby having had a flying visit here last September.

5 pubs to tick so we start with the one nearest our apartment which was the Granby Hotel.

We come in around 7.30 on a Wednesday night and the pub mainly consists of diners, we didn't eat but the food was certainly popular and looked blinking good.

2 separate rooms with a split bar running between the 2.

4 ales on cask which were Camerons Strongarm, Hobgoblin, Marston's Pedigree and my choice which was Jennings Sneck lifter. A decent pint though the young barman didn't show much interest in serving the drinks...he's phone was more important!

A decent start to my Whitby ticking trip.

30 Jul 2015 14:00

The Hayburn Wyke Inn, Cloughton

Off the beaten track between Scarborough & Whitby this was a must tick from the GBG as I was in the area.

Extremely large hotel with the bar in front of you as you enter with 2 further dining rooms and a games room on the way to the toilets.

Rustic decoration inside and outside. Large seating area and an even bigger garden. Interesting furniture made of horseshoes.

Now onto the beer. 3 ales on cask along with Black Sheep Best Bitter @ 3.8% on keg which was my option, very good it was too. The wife had a York Guzzler on cask and that was excellent apparently.

Just a quick stop so onto Whitby now.

8/10 for me.

30 Jul 2015 13:55

Bonhommes Bar, Filey

2nd GBG 2015 tick in Filey and a very different place to the Imperial.

Part of the old Royal Crescent hotel complex just a stones throw from the front.

2pm when we wander in and we double the number of punters to 4.

Small bar area situated to the right as you enter. The usual array of lagers and ciders on keg with 4 ales on cask. My drop of Scarborough Brewery Stout @ 4.6% is perfectly kept. £2.50 a pint is a decent price as well.

Old fashioned decoration with some of the tables looking a little tired, but this is a pleasant bar and again a good tick for me.

30 Jul 2015 13:53

The Imperial, Filey

1st of 2 quick pub ticks in Filey on our way through from Bridlington to Whitby.

Cosy back street pub with 2 sides to the bar in an open plan manner. Full wooden panelling on the walls lined on 1 side with music memorabilia these include records, radio's & signed photos of various artists.

2 regular ales these are John Smiths Cask bitter and Copper Dragon's Golden Pippen. Add to these 3 guest ales, disappointingly none of these are locales. I opt for Marston's Jimmy Anderson's King of Swing @ 3.8%. Not a great pint as the glass tasted of cider!

Pool table and dart board in the back towards the toilets and music playing.

A very pleasant pub that if I ever return to Filey I will make sure to spend more time here.

Another good tick for me, shame the beer I had wasn't the best.

30 Jul 2015 13:52

The Telegraph, Bridlington

A Tuesday lunchtime visit to tick off my remaining pub in Bridlington that appears in the 2015 GBG.

From the front and the bar area the pub is very much a 2 room locals pub, but once you enter it's clear money has been spent to do it up but by keeping it traditional. There's a small semi circular bar with 4 ales on the hand pump's, 3 locales with the 4th being from Camerons in Hartlepool. I went for Wold Top Anglers' Reward @ 4.0%, they also have Sam Smiths Dark Mild on keg.

No more than half a dozen punters in with the barmaid chatting to all.

We took our beers and retired to the very welcoming garden, with smoking patio and large grassed area to the rear. As the sun came out the patio becomes a sun trap, lovely.

Music playing at an acceptable level inside.

We then returned the same evening for the local folk club’s night in the annex room at the back of the pub before spending another 90 minutes or so in the pub, it’s that good I made 2 visit in one day!

Cracking pub that I'm very pleased to have visited and ticked.

30 Jul 2015 13:47

Prior John, Bridlington

The only 'spoons in town and it's on our way from the Marina Bar back to our hotel with a slight detour!

We arrived just before 10.30pm and it was still quite busy but with an older crowd, which was a relief to the wife as she's not a 'spoons fan.

Large rotunda shaped pub with a spiral staircase to one side and a semi circular bar.

Usual Wetherspoons lagers plus a whopping 10 hand pumps with 10 different ales on. I opted for the fairly local Rooster's Blind Jack @ 3.7%.

It may have been because it was a Monday or that it was late but the pub was a lot nicer than other 'spoons, a lot calmer and quick service.

Not a bad effort and worth a visit.

30 Jul 2015 13:43

The Marine Bar, Bridlington

First night of 2 in Bridlington and I have 2 pubs to tick from the 2015 GBG.

My first port of call is the rather surprising Marine Bar which is part of the Expanse Hotel.

A brisk walk along the prom and the hotel sits proud at the end with the marine bar facing out on the corner.

Large American style diner of a bar with an extremely homely feel to it. Just after 7.30pm on a Monday and its half full with what mainly seem like locals. Food served until 8pm so we ordered a couple of fish meals.

There's 3 regular ales and 2 guests on cask. These are joined by Theakstons Best and Stout on keg. I went for one of the guest's which was Pennine Brewing Co's Natural Gold @ 4.2%, a nicely kept pint.

Back to the food, our meals were handsome. Good quality fish, nicely cooked and good value.

A regular in the GBG since 2008 and I can well support that as the ales are excellent.

Well worth the walk along the prom.

9/10 for me.

30 Jul 2015 13:39

The Black Lion, Plaistow

Popped in on Thursday 2nd July after the West Ham game and it was packed to the rafters, both bars were mobbed as well as the garden.

At least 7 bar staff on who dealt with the line of punters pretty efficiently.

Their were 3 ales on which but my choice Bombardier only had 2 pints left in the pipe so I switched to Courage Best. The first pint of Best was slightly ropey the next 2 were excellent.

The young bar man short changed me first time around but when I challenged him he gave me the right change back, good lad!

My 3rd visit here and I will return again as it’s a decent pub with good ales in an otherwise desert for real ale drinkers.

29 Jul 2015 13:59

The Captain Kidd, Wapping

5th and final pub of my short crawl of Wapping and we decided to finish it here in this quality Samuel Smiths pub

Around 9pm when we arrive and it’s busy inside and out.

A full compliment of Sam Smiths ales and lagers on tap and in the fridges. I had several pints of Best and treated myself to a £12.00 bottle of Yorkshire Stingo. A beer that is limited edition and in my eyes was worth the money…it was handsome.

Only one barmaid one at the time of my visit but she was very competent and speedy.

Drinks purchased we took a seat in the nice outside area and soaked up the atmosphere.

Historic pub with plenty of history and in a great location.

My review this time is much better than from my last visit when it was winter and the pub felt incredibly dark inside…in the summer it’s a cracker and a must visit along with the Town of Ramsgate.

29 Jul 2015 13:57

The Town of Ramsgate, Wapping

4th pub of the evening and a re-visit to this superb local.

4 pumps with 4 different ales, I went for Long Man American Pale Ale, a thoroughly decent pint.

Half busy inside with people finishing their meals, we took our pints to the back garden area that overlooks the river.

A decent pint later and it was time to move onto the Captain Kidd.

This is a cracking little pub & one of my favs in this part of London.

29 Jul 2015 13:49

The Lava Bar, Tunbridge Wells

Now known as the Saint Johns Yard Bar & Restaurant.

Review to follow

26 Jul 2015 22:44

Turners Old Star, Wapping

3rd pub of the evening and yet another new pub for me in Wapping.

3 pumps with 2 ales and 1 cider, I went for Elgoods Old Star Special @ 3.8%, a decent pint brewed for the pub.

Amazing tiled windows here that add real character to the pub. The garden is a nice little sun trap aswell.

All punters on my visit were locals & it was less than half busy with several of the chaps playing pool.

Quite a decent pub, another one that has avoided too much modernisation.

24 Jul 2015 17:10

The White Swan and Cuckoo, Wapping

Pub number 2 of my small crawl of Wapping and it’s also my first visit here.

Only Doombar on tap which I didn't fancy it so I went for a pint of Estrella, a decent pint but it’s lager and not my normal tipple!

Half busy mainly locals and the pub’s fat ginger cat that was sprawled out by the fireplace.

The pool table was popular and there was tennis from Wimbledon on the television that no-one was really paying attention to.

Nice neutral decor, wooden floor through out.

Not a bad pub, not modernised in anyway really so that’s nice to see as there’s so many pubs that have been modernised these days it becomes the norm.

24 Jul 2015 16:32

The Prospect of Whitby, Wapping

Tuesday night pub crawl in Wapping and the first port of call @ 6.30pm is the Prospect and it’s already busy in the garden overlooking the Thames.

Modern interior with lots of wood and low lighting.

Five Points Brewing Co Five Points Pale @ 4.4% is my a choice from the 5 hand pumps, there’s also 2 more on keg. A thoroughly decent pint but with change of just 20p from a tenner for 2 pints it’s not overly cheap!

Great water frontage and also food available which looked pretty good, I can understand why it’s so pricey but it’s not the best pub in the area.

24 Jul 2015 15:47

Woolwich Equitable, Woolwich

While in Woolwich and finishing my pub ticking I thought I might aswell try the newest Antic pub to open in the area in the historic Woolwich building.

Not the normal shabby Antic interior , it’s light inside and you can see the bar and the other punters…this is a tip that the Catford Constitutional Club needs to take on-board!

Rows of old cinema seating on the right and regular seats on the left hand side. Lots of features of the building left in place including the plaques in the entrance area, these are worth stopping at and have a read.

4 ales on but I opted for a couple of pints of scrumpy which was excellent…though £4.00 a pint is a bit lumpy for Woolwich as per the previous review.

Outside seating area which on the gorgeous day I visited was a great place to sit and watch the world go by.

A decent pub in a lovely building, great location opposite the station…I will be returning soon.

24 Jul 2015 14:14

The Prince Albert (Rose's), Woolwich

My 4th pub of the day and my 4th GBG 15 tick in South East London.

I thought I had been here before many many years ago but on entering I realised I’ve never been here before.

I would say this is a traditional ale house and a real surprise in Woolwich, it’s very spacious inside with a traditional interior, plenty of seating around the sides but it has an uncluttered feel. Wood panelling with a wooden bar and bar top.

6 hand pumps on the bar with a couple of guest ales, I went for a pint of Westerham’s Grass Hopper @ 3.8%. A really poor pint that tasted like it was off, but to be honest I think it was the beer more than the condition.

Half full with everyone being locals & regulars, horse racing on the tele in the back seating area. On the way to the toilets make sure you stop and take a look at the 2 lizards in their vivarium, apparently they are called Ronnie & Reggie.

A decent and friendly pub that is worth a visit, along with the Woolwich Equitable (new Antic pub), The Great Harry (‘Spoons) & The Dial Arch (Young’s)…drinking in Woolwich is looking up.

24 Jul 2015 14:09

The Star Inn, Plumstead

Wow what a welcome surprise this pub is. After walking from Plumstead High St the last thing I expected was a throughally decent trendy pub...to be honest Plumstead is not a very attractive place!

I happened to visit on the day the new landlord was throwing a party for the re-opening.

An old style pub with separate public bar and lounge bar areas that have been opened up but still retaining all the old charm, very well done in my opinion.

There's a dart board and pool table in the front bar.

Now to the drinks. A couple of cask pumps that were serving Wells Bombardier and my choice the very local Hop Stuff Pale Ale @ 4.5%. A very good pint served in perfect condition.

As it was the opening day the place was pretty packed, the garden was also busy as that's where the food was being served plus with the weather being cracking it was the place to be.

For my first visit I obviously timed it right and may have got the best possible service and ale selection, but i'll take this and I shall return again.

24 Jul 2015 13:58

The Prince of Wales, Belvedere

My 2nd pub of the day after a 30 minute walk from Bexleyheath.

Another tick from the 2015 GBG and on first impressions the pub doesn't look half as inviting as the Eardley Arms across the road.

Inside I'm given a warm welcome by the landlord and he even offers me a try of a couple of the ales before I make my decision on a pint of Elgoods Bee's Special @ 3.8%. Other ales available are Doombar, Spitfire and Brains SA Gold.

The interior is dark and pretty dated but it does have a homely feel and actually works.

All the clientele are local with clearly only me being the outsider.

A good pint and a another pub from the GBG ticked, next!

24 Jul 2015 13:47

The Robin Hood and Little John, Bexleyheath

I finally made my 1st ever visit here, having visited a few years back without realising they close between 4pm and 7pm on a Saturday.

This is a friendly locals pub in a residential area with 8 pump's offering 6 regular cask ales & 2 guests. One of these was Bob from the local Bexley Brewery, a decent pint @ 4.2% and just £2.95.

Old fashioned country pub style interior with a friendly welcome from the barmaid. The ceiling has a large amount of pewter jugs hanging from it. There are front and back gardens. The front has benches and tables set back from the road and is decorated with hanging baskets.

Half a dozen punters in on my Saturday lunch time visit.

A nice pub with good ale, worthy of a visit but make sure you check the opening times.

24 Jul 2015 13:44

The Pig and Whistle, Earlsfield

Large modernised Young's pub on Merton Road

6 cask hand pumps, 5 serving ales. 2 from Young's, Wells, Sambrooks Wandle and my choice which was Twickenham Summer Ale

Mid afternoon on a Tuesday and it was pretty empty

Music playing at an acceptable level

The front drinking area with bare floorboards and lots of wooden furniture, the raised seating area to the rear is carpeted and has more of a dining feel to it.

A good tick for me

24 Jul 2015 13:40

The Woodman, Wimbledon Park

My first ever visit here on a Tuesday afternoon to meet a friend and the first thing that greets me on entering is the strong smell of food, it’s not that overpowering but it’s much more than just noticeable.

3 ales on draught which were Fullers London Pride, Thwaites Wainwright and my choice which was Otter Amber Ale...not a bad pint but not the best I've ever had.

Fairly busy with most punters eating (probably hence the smell!). One barmaid on who was polite and efficient.

The Woodman is a large pub that is nicely decorated and with a decent garden to the side. Not the most exciting pub in the world but it’s alright and not as bad now as the last review which was over 3 years ago.

23 Jul 2015 14:44

The Wibbas Down Inn, Wimbledon

My last visit here was Easter 2014 when I was part of a group on my way to football and got hideously drunk in several hours of hard drinking! Not so on this visit as it was a quick pint while as I was early for lunch at a nearby restaurant.

A quarter full but still it took a little too long to be served, however I was kept occupied by deciding which beer I wanted from the large amount of pumps.

I opted for a pint of Ascot Ales Single Hop @ 4.6% and I got to use my 50p off camra voucher, a decent ale and a result all at once!

This is a decent 'spoons that is worth a visit

23 Jul 2015 14:36

The Barrowboy and Banker, London Bridge

Came in for a quick pint after watching football at The Sheaf on a Saturday night.

This is another pub in the LB / Borough area that I haven't been for several years.

Packed at 10.30pm mainly with groups of blokes and to be honest the crowd felt quite hostile.

Full range of Fullers ales on the pumps with a new one for me being Oliver's Island @ 3.8%. A throughally decent beer.

We only stayed for 1 pint, I like this place but on this visit the clientele made it a little intimidating

23 Jul 2015 14:34

Wheatsheaf, Southwark

My first ever visit to this GBG listed pub that is neatly tucked away underneath the Hop Exchange.

Came here to tick it & also to watch the Champions League final. Just before 7.30pm and the pub is pretty packed.

Plenty of bar staff on so getting served was not a problem.

10 ales across the pumps, split into 2 lots of 5. I went for pints of Frog Island Lock, Stock, Barrel @ 4.0%, a decent pint and I decided to stay on this for the whole evening.

Good manager who gave us a couple of free burgers while the game was on.

Decent crowd enjoying the footie, good ales, plenty of choice so the Sheaf is worthy of a 2nd visit.

22 Jul 2015 16:56

The Rake, London Bridge

My first visit for several years on a Saturday evening in late May.

Always a good choice of ales on tap, this normally includes a number you wouldn't normally find in other pubs. There were a couple of choices from Arbor, I had a pint of Dynamo @ 4.8%.

I also had a 3rd of Single Hop Imperial IPA @ 10%, boy what a beer!

Busy inside but a lot busier outside where all the garden tables were taken.

The Rake is very popular but it's always a decent place for a quality and different beer.

22 Jul 2015 16:52

The George, London Bridge

A quick pint in the famous George, several years since I was here but even though the outside area was packed it's always worth a stop here for a pint.

Barely a spare seat at any of the large amount of bench tables but the inside bar was pretty quiet and very easy to get a pint.

6 pumps offering a mix of ales however 2 had just run out so my choice was easy, a pint of Southwark Harvard, a new beer for me from this very local brewery. A decent pint but pretty strong for its %.

Not much more to say about this pub, the interior is superb as is the history, a bit too touristy? Of course it is but that's never been a problem for me.

For anyone reading this that's never visited before then make an effort when in the area and get it 'ticked'.

22 Jul 2015 16:49

All Inn One, Forest Hill

A revisit for me as the last pub on a small Saturday night crawl.

My first visit since January 2013 and only my 2nd ever visit.

It’s busy with food proving popular.

After visiting a couple of local pubs this was a welcome as it’s calm, has a nice class of punter and well-kept beer.

3 ales on the hand pumps on my visit, I went for pints of Cottage Brewery Iron Duke @ 4.3% & Head in a Hat Tommy @ 4.2%. Both kept very well and served with a smile.

A quick mention about the toilets, they are very clean.

I’m unsure why I don’t use this pub more often but I think I will change that from now on, it’s definitely worth a visit.

5 Jul 2015 08:18

Prince of Wales, Forest Hill

Another pub that I have never visited before even though I used to go to school round the corner and have driven past here on hundreds of occasions!

It’s just before 9pm and the pub is hosting an American night for the 4th July and it was very busy. A live singer / guitarist is playing and there’s food on offer in the garden.

3 cask ales which were Wells Bombardier, Bass (an alright pint) and the very poorly kept Southwark Bermondsey Best so bad I had to change it. A quick check on the locals and I notice almost everyone is drinking lager so this explains why the ale is badly kept.

We finish our pint and leave, I won’t be rushing back.

A decent looking pub that advertises real ale though to be honest they need to learn how to keep it.

5 Jul 2015 08:01

The Perry Hill, Catford

Over 20 years since I was here when it was called the Two Brewers.

It’s about 8pm on a Saturday night and it’s a third full, all punters are clearly locals. Music playing very loud in the bar we enter, there’s also a pool table.

2 cask ales on which were Sharp's Doom Bar and my choice which was Long Man Brewery Long Blonde...not a bad pint but not kept that well, good value at £2.80 a pint.

We take our beers and head out to the large garden at the side and rear, there’s a very large decking area with lots of benches.

Food is served inside but on this visit the only food option was a bar b q that was going on in the garden, food actually looked decent to be honest.

Not a pub I will return to as it is a bit if a dive though the staff and punters were friendly enough.

Ticked and that’s it for me.

5 Jul 2015 07:36

The Perry Hill, Catford

Over 20 years since I was here when it was called the Two Brewers.

It’s about 8pm on a Saturday night and it’s a third full, all punters are clearly locals. Music playing very loud in the bar we enter, there’s also a pool table.

2 cask ales on which were Sharp's Doom Bar and my choice which was Long Man Brewery Long Blonde...not a bad pint but not kept that well, good value at £2.80 a pint.

We take our beers and head out to the large garden at the side and rear, there’s a very large decking area with lots of benches.

Food is served inside but on this visit the only food option was a bar b q that was going on in the garden, food actually looked decent to be honest.

Not a pub I will return to as it is a bit if a dive though the staff and punters were friendly enough.

Ticked and that’s it for me.

5 Jul 2015 07:36

The Perry Hill, Catford

Over 20 years since I was here when it was called the Two Brewers.

It’s about 8pm on a Saturday night and it’s a third full, all punters are clearly locals. Music playing very loud in the bar we enter, there’s also a pool table.

2 cask ales on which were Sharp's Doom Bar and my choice which was Long Man Brewery Long Blonde...not a bad pint but not kept that well, good value at £2.80 a pint.

We take our beers and head out to the large garden at the side and rear, there’s a very large decking area with lots of benches.

Food is served inside but on this visit the only food option was a bar b q that was going on in the garden, food actually looked decent to be honest.

Not a pub I will return to as it is a bit if a dive though the staff and punters were friendly enough.

Ticked and that’s it for me.

5 Jul 2015 07:36

The Bunch of Grapes, London Bridge

I arrived into LB early for a few beers with a pal in the LB / Borough area so decided to visit the Bunch of Grapes, a pub that I'm not sure I've ever been in before, which is mighty strange for this area.

A Young's House with 3 of their ales on cask London Gold, Special and Bitter. The 4th offering was Star from Portabello. I went for a pint of London Gold & it was very drinkable.

Attentive bar staff and worth noting that at 4.30pm on a Saturday there were lots of staff in the pub, better than being under staffed!

Stripped wood flooring thorough out with little tucked away area’s with glass partitions.

Garden to the rear was very popular. There’s a dining room upstairs but I didn't venture up. Food available downstairs also and it looked good, but seemed a little pricey but it is a good catchment area for tourists and visitors.

A very decent pub that I feel is worthy of another visit

3 Jul 2015 17:25

Eltham GPO, Eltham

4th and last pub in 1 afternoon in Eltham and it’s my first visit to the Antic run Eltham GPO.

I used to drink here in the early to 00’s when it was the Old Post Office and this was the pub I met the wife in, in January 2005.

Re-opened in February 2014 by Antic. The external signage still shows The Old Post Office as the pub name!

Spacious inside and is furnished in typical Antic shabby chic style with various bric-a-brac wall and floor standing adornments like typewriters, sewing machines, postal items and other various knick knacks.

There were 5 ales on and I opted for a pint of the Antic’s own brewed Vim.

Food is available and was proving quite popular.

Fairly dark inside like other Antic pubs and it’s worth noting there is a side yard garden for outside drinking.

A decent enough Antic pub with good ale choice.

3 Jul 2015 17:19

The Park Tavern, Eltham

3rd pub of the day and this is the first “proper” pub we visited.

I haven’t been here for around 20 years and it’s changed considerably.

Busy on the Saturday afternoon with plenty of people eating, the food looked pretty good.

Several ales on the hand pumps with my choice being Castle Breweries Harvest Rock, a very decent pint.

Mixed clientele, but very much locals and of all ages. The bar is slightly bizarre I’m unsure if it is original or not, but it doesn’t look original.

Overall a nice pub but slightly soulless to be perfectly honest.

3 Jul 2015 17:12

The Long Pond, Eltham

After a couple of pints in the Howerd Club it was a short walk to this fairly new micro pub that even though it doesn’t appear in the GBG it still needed ticking.

6 ales on which are all served from a cool room behind the bar (like all of the micro’s I have visited). I went for a couple of pints of Tonbridge Breweries Pond Life @ 3.6% which is brewed specially for the Long Pond. Other options were Kent Black Gold, Caveman Shopper Gold, Whitstable Native, Gadds No 5 &Wantsum Black Prince. Worth noting that all ales are priced between £3.00 & £3.40

Only the landlord was in when we arrived but within 15 minutes a few more punters arrived.

It’s been open a short while and is nicely decorated and laid out. A special mention for the extremely clean toilets.

The Long Pond is well worth a visit, just check the opening times before you do.

1 Jul 2015 16:42

The Chapel, Broadstairs

Sunday night in Broadstairs and with live music advertised the Chapel looked very inviting. The music was provided by a 3 piece band that were playing a mix of old and new country music, they went down a storm.

6 barrels on behind the counter that were offering 4 ales with all of these being local Kent ales. Goachers Real Mild, Wantsum Ravening Wolf, Gadds Dragons Blood and my choice which was Tonbridge Blonde Ambition @ 4.2%. As well as the ales there was a decent selection of boxed ciders also available.

if you are unaware this is no ordinary bar it’s a bookshop aswell ! They also do small plates of food.

A cracking little bookshop, bar and music venue that needs to be seen to be enjoyed, but be your own judge and make a visit I personally don't think you'll be disappointed.

1 Jul 2015 16:06

Foresters Arms, Aberdour

With the Cedar Inn closed on my visit it only left me with one pub to tick in Aberdour.

The Foresters is right at the centre of this small village and was jam packed on my Saturday night visit, with a mix of young and old.

4 ales across the pumps, I went for a pint of Mordue Brewery Northumbrian Blonde @ 4.0%.

With no seats spare I stood up and watched the locals play pool and chat while enjoying my pint.

Music played quite loudly but it wasn't a problem, the Tele was also on showing an International football game.

I only stayed for 1 pint but this is a decent pub and worth a visit.

26 Jun 2015 09:16

The Crown Tavern, Burntisland

Having finished the pubs in Kirkcaldy I take a taxi to the Crown in Kinghorn for another GBG 2015 tick.

Saturday evening at 19.15 and the pub is packed , no room at the bar but I manage to push through and order a pint. There are 2 ales on and I choose the local brew which was Beeches Brewery Pale Ale @ 3.8%. A creamy beer but decent and drinkable.

Very much a local's pub right in the heart of the community, friendly enough to a stranger.

Decent enough but a special mention needs to be made of the men's toilets, the tiling is superb. Delft style blue and white tiles all-over.

26 Jun 2015 09:12

The Corn Exchange, Bury St Edmonds

This review is from my visit to Bury St Edmunds in February 2015

After a quick pint in the Nutshell I had time for a drink in this stunning ‘Spoons before the football.

I think this may be the first ‘spoons I’ve ever been in when you have to go upstairs to the only bar and drinking / eating areas. It’s just before 2.30 pm and it’s extremely busy with a lot of locals eating and drinking.

The ale choice across the 10 hand pumps is very good but I get a bit bamboozled so I go for a bottle of Adnams.

The Corn Exchange really is a lovely building, the large glass celling gives a feel of a conservatory.

Service is swift, there’s a buzz in the air and this is the 2nd busiest pub I visited in Bury. Very good and worth a visit even just for the building alone.

25 Jun 2015 14:12

Oakes Barn, Bury St Edmonds

This review is from my visit to Bury St Edmunds in February 2015

With 3 pubs on my list this is the first pub of the day in Bury on a dull weather looking day. 11.30am and it's quiet at the new build Oakes Barn free house.

2 friendly barmaids greet us as we enter and scan the 6 ales on the bar across the 6 hand pumps while there’s another one for real cider.

My choice's were Cliff Quay Breweries Sea Dog @ 5.5% and Panther Brewery Golden Panther @ 3.7%. Both very good pints and are kept well.

There is 1 large room with wooden beams and tables around the outside. The seating / smoking area to the side of the pub as you enter has a small bit of cover and I understand they are about to open a beer garden.

Very nice and friendly staff, good ales, good choice and a good starting point.

25 Jun 2015 14:10

Casey's, Canterbury

Now renamed The Shakespeare

This review is from my visit to Canterbury on the last weekend in January 2015

After dinner it was time for a few drinks so we headed to this attractive looking Shepherd & Neame pub which was very busy by 8.30pm.

On the bar were 4 hand pumps serving 3 Sheps ales but I went for a bottle of their India Pale Ale @ 6.1%.

Even though it was packed the service was very quick.

Having read the pubs website it seems it only opened in 2013 hence the trendy feel to the interior.

This is a large pub with plenty of seating and standing areas as well as a large central courtyard for the better weather and of course smokers.

Decent beer, quick service and a nice feel to it…all in all a good pub for a few beers.

21 Jun 2015 18:49

Wrotham Arms, Broadstairs

Wandered into this Shepherd & Neame pub just before 7.30pm on Bank Holiday Sunday night and it was only about a quarter full.

The band had stopped at 7pm so we missed them.

Being a Sheps pub the cask range was Whitstable Bay and Master Brew with Stout on keg. Bottles of Bishops Finger and East India Pale Ale were also available.

The interior is open plan with stripped wooden flooring and some exposed brick work. There are the obligatory hops hanging above the bar.

Friendly bar maid that was quick and attentive once she had spotted us.

Music playing at a soft and manageable level.

All in all a decent back street pub

21 Jun 2015 18:44

The Thirty-Nine Steps Alehouse, Broadstairs

My first ever visit on a Sunday afternoon while in Broadstairs for a night stop over with the wife.

4 ales served direct from the barrels with my choice being Rudgate Brew No 17 Dark Cherry Mild @ 3.7%, a very decent and tasty pint.

Busy in this ex Pet shop with only a handful of spare seats available. A very nice local couple offered us the use of their table and we engaged in conversation about the local area and real ale.

The whole place had a mixed crowd with ages ranging from early 20’s to late 60’s, a few small dogs were also in.

Lots of pump clips on the ceiling and a sign behind the bar saying since 30/11/12 they have served 1146 different ales from 558 different breweries.

Obviously another Kent micro pub but if they are half as good as this then all the remaining ones I have to visit will be excellent.

21 Jun 2015 18:40

Ales of the Unexpected, Margate

This review is from my visit to Margate in January 2015

After a day in Margate and watching my football team have a cracking win @ Margate Fc it was time for another Micro pub and my 3rd of the day in the Margate area.

Close to the station and on the main road into Margate. As you enter and go through to the bar area there are hops hanging from the ceiling and large maps printed lining the walls.

4 ales on with my first pint being Attwells Brewery Hoodeners @ 4.3%, a very good pint. However I am unsure what my 2nd pint was as my friend forgot to ask!

Ciders also available as well as small bar snacks.

Pretty busy with most of the crowd being Dulwich Hamlet fans.

A really decent place that needs another visit when I am more with it!

19 Jun 2015 13:06

Full Moon, Swansea

This review is from early September 2014.

A proper sports pub, the like I haven't been in for several years.

2 football games on the televisions, a large quantity of team pennants, scarf's and a few flags from various clubs. A few framed signed shirts from Juventus, Barcelona and Man Utd.

On top of this there's a cracking collection of framed Boxing memorabilia with the emphasis on Muhammad Ali...some really good pieces here.

Now to the booze, no ale on tap apart from a cold option from John Smiths , its all lager and most punters were drinking cans of Carling...pretty strange as they also had it on tap! I went for a bottle of Newcastle Brown Ale, straight from the fridge but it was alright.

Loud music playing but it kind of added to the atmosphere.

Not normally my type of pub when I'm on my own and it had no ale on tap but its a decent and honest pub.

19 Jun 2015 13:01

Duke of York, Windsor

An unscheduled stop right by the football ground after a 15 minute walk from the last pub.

A pleasant enough place that had half a dozen locals in.

No real ale available but there were a selection of bottles, I opted for a bottle of Wells Waggle Dance which was served a bit too cold for me.

Pleasant decor but a bit like a b&b inside with that tired look.

Okay all in all but not one I would rush to return to.

15 Jun 2015 09:25

The Chandos, Trafalgar Square

Visited on a Friday evening a couple of weeks ago and this is yet another pub that I haven't been to for over a decade

For as long as I can remember this has been a Sam Smiths pub and has also been really decent

Full range of Sam Smiths ales, lagers & their own cider on the taps, with plenty of bottled options also. I had 4 very good pints of Sovereign Bitter in the upstairs bar which was not as busy as the downstairs bar.

Good bar staff meant that getting served was never a problem.

Cracking pub with a lovely interior, a real pub in the centre of Central London.

12 Jun 2015 14:59

The Vansittart Arms, Windsor

Pub number 7 and the last pub of 4 in Windsor to tick. The Vansittart Arms is a main stay in the GBG.

Large Fullers pub in a residential area that very much feels like it is at the heart of the community.

The pumps were offering all things Fullers with a guest being Joseph Holt Two Hoots @ 4.2%.

Busy inside and out , the pub garden was packed and their was a bar b q on the go.

Worth the walk from the football ground and then the long stroll to the station, quite possibly the best pub of the day.

12 Jun 2015 14:48

The Alma, Windsor

Our 2nd unexpected stop after football and on the way back towards town.

A quaint back street pub in a very residential street.

3 pumps offering Green King IPA, Sharp’s Doom Bar and Fuller’s London Pride. I opted for a bottle of Sam Adams Boston lager as I didn’t fancy any of the cask ales.

The walls were adorned with film posters, old signs and various nick nacks. There’s also lots of miss matched furniture

Locals oriented with very much a community feel. A decent back street that’s worth a stop and a beer in.

12 Jun 2015 14:34

The Acre, Windsor

After the Two Brewers it was a short walk to pub number 4, the former Windsor Liberal Club which is now a very nice and friendly pub called The Acre.

Around 10 punters in on my visit with all of them being locals , the barmaid afforded us a friendly welcome.

3 pumps with 3 different ales, I went for a pint of Binghams Rattlesnake Rye Pale Ale @ 5.0%. A decent pint but my pals pint from Windsor & Eton (the ale name escapes me) was pretty ropey.

Nice neutral décor with lots of faux leather chairs and neat wooden tables

Music playing softly in the background.

A decent place and worth a stop and another tick from 2015 GBG.

12 Jun 2015 14:16

The Two Brewers, Windsor

Pub number 3 and even though it’s a decent pub with a lovely interior it was the most disappointing of the day.

A combination of being Bank Holiday Monday and very nice weather the outside seating area to the front was packed and it was pretty busy inside too. However the first thing I notice on entering the pub is the extremely strong smell of fish. I know it’s lunch time but the smell is really strong and off putting, it made me grab my drink and head outside.

On the drink front there were 3 ales on cask which were Fullers London Pride, Sharp’s Doom Bar and St Austell Tribute. Not fancying any of these I went for a pint of Orchard cider.

Back to the interior, there’s plenty regarding old history on the walls along with a large amount of books, a very decent collection of matchboxes and most importantly The Royal Standard which was hanging from the ceiling.

Being by the entrance to the park this pub does attract a lot of tourists. The pub is externally well kept with lots of attractive hanging baskets and is very welcoming to said tourists…however it’s not a pub I would rush back to as it’s now been ticked!

4 Jun 2015 14:04

The Carpenters Arms, Windsor

A Nicholson’s pub which is just a stone's throw from the castle & was pub number 2 of the day.

An older style pub that is carpeted throughout. 3 split levels to the rear of the pub and apparently the lower level has an now unused tunnel that runs into the Castle!

Masonic symbols on the windows are interesting and well preserved, there’s also several other original features including a corner fireplace.

Ale wise there are 8 hand pumps that offered a mix of pale ale and stouts. I opted for a pint of Alchemy Starlaw @ 3.5%...a decent pint & more than drinkable.

It was around 12.30pm and was already pretty busy inside.

A decent enough pub for a pint, not too expensive or touristy on my visit.

1 Jun 2015 16:16

The Watermans Arms, Eton

The Waterman’s Arms just over the bridge from Windsor & Eton station was our first pub of our day of ticking in Windsor on Bank holiday Monday.

8 hand pumps offering 8 different ales, I opted for the pubs own brew which was brewed by Caledonian & aptly named Waterman's Arms @ 4.1%...a very drinkable pint as well.

The pub is large inside with little nooks and cranny areas.

Friendly barmaids, the landlord is also worth a mention as he was very welcoming to us.

To the side of the pub there is a beer garden with plenty of benches and tables, this is a decent little suntrap.

Food was available from noon, however I cannot comment on what it looked or tasted like.

A decent pub to start the day in.

27 May 2015 14:15

London Beer Dispensary, Brockley

First visit for over a month at around 6.30pm on a Saturday a few weeks back with a couple of pals.

4 ales on keg at varying % and price. I opted for the cask ales which on this visit there was a full compliment of 8 barrels available.

My choices were both from Southwark Brewery Harvard APA @ 5.5% & Bermondsey Best @ 4.4%

Pretty busy with all the tables at the front taken, so we grab a few stools and sat at one of the barrels near the bar area.

Great beer again, the LBD never disappoints….I do love this place.

27 May 2015 14:08

General Napier, Forest Hill

After a Saturday afternoon spent in the Blythe Hill Tavern I made my first ever visit to the General Napier a few weeks back.

It was just after 5pm when 2 of us arrived, there were several punters in with every single one being a local. This is very much an old fashioned back street boozer with an interior to match….a special nod to the very interesting wallpaper!

On the drinks front there was only Courage on the taps which was a little disappointing but it was a good pint so that’s a saving grace for someone that likes choice but also a good pint.

Television was on with sound, music played, people chattered and the atmosphere was friendly, it’s just a slightly dull pub for a early Saturday evening.

There’s also a dart board.

27 May 2015 14:04

The Blythe Hill Tavern, Forest Hill

Until very recently I hadn’t been in the Blythe since mid 2010 and even then it was a flying visit on a Saturday night.

In the last 4 weeks I have used this pub regularly along with a pal of mine who uses the pub at least twice a week.

Things to note about this GBG entry friendly Irish pub :-

There are 4 ales & 4 ciders on cask with the Darkstar Hophead being extremely good.

On every visit I have made recently the pub is busy and gets even busier after 5pm.

The landlord (Con) is a top bloke and greets everyone like a long lost friend. The rest of the bar staff are also very friendly.

The ale is pretty cheap even for this part of South East London.

Sport is shown daily, whether it’s Rugby, Football, Snooker or the ever popular Horse Racing

A mixed clientele with not everyone being a local, this adds nicely to the mix & creates a nice relaxed atmosphere.

And best of all the pub is just over a 10 minute walk to my house!

A cracking pub with good ale and a great friendly welcome…a must visit!

27 May 2015 13:51

The Derby Arms, Ramsgate

***24/5/15***

Closed and up for sale

25 May 2015 21:15

The Lord Nelson, Broadstairs

***24/5/15***

Closed and sold by Greene King, due to be turned into flats pending planning application approval.

25 May 2015 20:59

The Hare and Billet, Blackheath

The last pub of 3 in Blackheath on a Thursday evening and the one that we settled in.

Its been almost a year since I've been here and can easily say this is the best ale selection in Blackheath and also the best pub.

10 cask hand pumps serving 8 ales and 2 real ciders. My choices were Caveman Shopper Gold @ 4.0%; Siren Dinner for Four @ 4.3% & Wiper And True Small Beer No 8 @ 3.3%.

Aswell as the cask pumps there are 4 keg ales on, most offered in halves at around £4.00 a half.

Now onto the bottle selection which has a varied array of European and UK bottles. The last time i was here I had a good go at the bottles and this visit was no different. All priced upwards of £4.20 a bottle my choices (which were carefully picked) were Hardknot Infra Red @ 6.2%; Omnipollo (Sweden) Mazarin @ 5.6%, Tiny Rebel Hadouken @ 7.4% and To Ol (Denmark) F**k Art The Heathens Are Coming @ 5.4%

As the evening went on the pub filled up with eaters and drinkers. The food looked and smelt very good but I didn't sample any, I was only here for the beer!

Good and attentive service from the 2 barmaids.

Cracking pub , good ale, friendly and quick service, perfect location with a small pond to the front....the Hare and Billet is a must visit.

9/10 for me.

5 May 2015 14:54

The Railway, Blackheath

After the Princess of Wales I moved onto the Railway to meet my pal.

It’s been almost a year since I visited the Railway & it’s always been a favourite of mine in Blackheath.

5 hand pumps offering 4 ales and 1 real cider. I had a pint of My Generation Beer Co My Generation @ 4.2%, a new beer for me which was very well kept.

Busy just after 7pm with a good crowd, good quick and attentive service.

I do like the Railway.

5 May 2015 14:13

The Princess of Wales, Blackheath

Quite a few years since I was here so with 30 minutes to kill before meeting a friend I popped in for a quick pint.

5 pumps in the front bar offering 5 ales, Black Sheep Best Bitter, Caledonian Deuchars IPA, Fullers London Pride, Sharps Doombar & Brains Reverend James. I went for the Black Sheep Best, drinkable but not outstanding, £4.20 a pint. The rest of the taps had a varied selection of local and European keg lager, including offerings from Meantime and Sierra Nevada.

18.30 and it was pretty busy and quite loud especially a group of 5 fellas who were very vocal!

Food on offer & it looked alright but not outstanding.

Nice neutral decoration but it’s a fairly bland pub which is just how I remember it, the large back garden and common to the front are the saving grace of this place.

There is better in Blackheath.

5 May 2015 13:56

The Capitol, Forest Hill

Popped in at 11pm on a Wednesday night and stayed until they closed.

Busy still at 11pm but this is a huge pub so it never feels packed, I was surprised however to still see people eating this late at night.

Good choice of ales across the taps, I went for Adnams The Herbalist @ 4.8% which is a new featured beer for ‘Spoons and a new beer for me from one of my favourite breweries.

As with the majority of ‘Spoons pubs the price is never a problem it’s just the service and clientele the pubs attract due to their cheap beer.

The Capitol is slight different as the staff are always quick and attentive and the clientele are not that bad, again being a big pub it’s easy to avoid any such nightmares!

Long live the Capitol.

5 May 2015 13:48

The Whyteleafe Tavern, Whyteleafe

Wednesday night football a few weeks ago at Whyteleafe FC so it was decided the Whyteleafe tavern would be the perfect meeting point.

My first ever visit but dead handy for the station.

Very much a locals pub in the heart of the community, the interior is a bit old hat but there’s plenty of seating areas, a pool table, darts board and various tele’s for watching sport on.

Out the front on the main road is a large seating area with umbrella’s to shade from the sun!

Drink wise the ale choice was minimal with only 2 ales on, Fullers London Pride plus Young’s Bitter, neither were that well kept but that’s not a surprise a most of the punters were drink lager.

Not a bad pub and served a purpose for a few beers before football.

5 May 2015 13:47

The Royal Standard, Blackheath


***Closed for refurbishment until 6th May 2015***

1 May 2015 10:33

The Castle, Harrow On The Hill

After a local football game a few Saturday’s ago I took the opportunity to tick this Fullers pub in the rather quaint Harrow village.

The Castle has featured in the Camra GBG but has eluded me on my 2 recent visits to the area.

Arrived here around 18.15 and the pub was pretty busy. Full fullers range on the taps and my choice of Seafarers was on good form.

The interior has many original features including old gas lights & coving, there is also a collection of clocks that adorn the walls. The stained glass windows are also very nice.

As the time got nearer 7pm the pub took on a more foodie edge with a fair number of couples arriving to eat.

I only stayed for 1 pint before moving on, a decent pub in a very nice part of Harrow…I may return.

30 Apr 2015 16:53

Moon On The Hill, Harrow

My 2nd visit to this small ‘Spoons a couple of Saturday’s ago.

We arrived here just after 12 noon and was greeted with 5 pumps offering 5 different ales. Sharp’s Doom Bar, Moorhouses Farmhouse @ 4.6%, Nogne O Brewery from Norway Asian Pale Ale @ 4.5% and 2 others.

I had several pints of both Farmhouse and the Asian Pale Ale, both very well kept and of course being a Wetherspoon’s it was particularly cheap.

As I said above this is a small but busy ‘spoons, the majority of the clientele was made up of the local Irish community.

All in all a decent ‘spoons that is now firmly on my visit list when I’m in this part of town.

29 Apr 2015 15:12

Brockley Jack, Brockley

6.30pm on Easter Sunday and another visit to the Jack for a family meal.

Table booked for 5.30pm but easily changed on the phone for an hour later and on arrival the table was ready and waiting for us.

The GK Brockley Jack ale was in good form as was the food and the service. The food menu has been changed and the food was better that last time, warmer and healthier.

Pretty busy probably due more to the fact that it was a bank holiday the following day.

A decent option for pub food in my area.

10 Apr 2015 13:56

The Phoenix, Denmark Hill

Popped in on Easter Sunday visit for a quick pint with the family while we waited for a train.

Good choice of ales on both cask and keg. I went for a pint of Wild Beer Co’s Bibble @ 4.2%. A thoroughly decent pint that was well kept and poured.

Pretty busy inside and out with a mix of couples and families with a lot of them having finished lunch.

Much better than my last visit but it was a Sunday and the sun was shining.

10 Apr 2015 13:46

The Partridge, Bromley

My last pub of the day and again a pub I haven’t been in for several years.

It was just after 5.15pm on Saturday and football was about to start on the television so the pub was filing up and getting busy.

6 pumps on there were offering 3 Fullers Ales, they were London Pride, HSB & ESB, Watkins OSB , Adnams Ghost Ship and Butcombe Adam Henson's Rare Breed. I had 4 pints of the Rare Breed and each one was excellent.

Extremely good and attentive staff meant it never took longer than a minute or so to get served.

The décor is nice there are large chandeliers hanging, lots of wood and 2 small snugs at either end of the bar.

A cracking Fuller’s pub that is definitely worth a visit.

10 Apr 2015 13:42

The Shortlands Tavern, Shortlands

Pub number 3 of the day of my short ticking trip in Beckenham and Bromley and it's another pub I visited for several years.

It was mid 2010 when I last came here and to be honest the pub was on it's backside, what a transformation to how it looks today.

A real community pub in an area that's always been a small part of Bromley rather than a place of its own.

6 hand pumps that had 5 ales on, the choices were Thwaites Lancaster Bomber, Westerham British Bulldog, St Austell Tribute, Clarkshaw's Hellhound IPA and my choice which was Brentwood Brewery Hope and Glory @ 4.5%...a cracking red bitter.

The decor is pleasant in a restored way, the food looked and smelt lovely and clientele were friendly with a mix of ages. An upstairs room for dining is also available.

I cannot quite believe its the same pub I used to visit as a teenager and the one I visited a few years back.

5 stops on the train from my house so its one I'll be back to soon.

10 Apr 2015 13:34

The Jolly Woodman, Beckenham

My first ever visit to this quaint village style pub a short stroll from Beckenham High Street. Its been in the GBG for a few years and until now I've never managed to get here.

You enter with the bar straight in front of you and are greeted with
6 hand pumps each serving a different ale from 6 different breweries. The selection was Harvey's Best Bitter, Timothy Taylor Landlord, St Austell Tribute, Adnams Southwold Bitter, Young's Bitter and my choice which was Woodforde's Wherry. My pint was excellent and very good value at £3.65.

A lovely relaxed atmosphere throughout, no music and no television. Makes a change to have both of these but its very refreshing.

The front bar has old and collectable bottles on the shelves , a couple of old brewery mirrors, going through to the back there's plenty of tables & chairs, old pictures of the area on the walls and the door out to the back garden which is very nice but not the right weather today to sit out in.

I didn't expect this pub to be so nice, it's a corker.

9 Apr 2015 14:50

The Bricklayers Arms, Beckenham

My first visit here for over 5 years so today being Easter Saturday and me being at a loose end seemed the right day to return.

Just before 12.15pm when I came in and there was about 10 punters in. Music playing from the radio and the television was off.

4 ales on the pumps which were St Austell Tribute and Proper Job, Young's Special and Harvey's Sussex Best. I chose the Sussex Best and was surprised and pleased when offered a discount for being a Camra member. The Sussex best was drinkable but it wasn't the best kept pint I've had.

Good neutral decoration with large sofa's, stripped wood tables and a welcoming brick fireplace. Bizarrely there is a large Spiderman climbing up one wall. In the corner there is an original American gas pump, beautifully restored.

A decent honest locals pub. Hopefully the other 3 ales are better kept.

I shall return to try the other ales.

9 Apr 2015 14:49

Edward Wylie, Glasgow

The last pub tick of the day and indeed the weekend, its been a long weekend!

This 'spoons was the last one I needed to tick every pub listed in the 2015 GBG in Glasgow and now I've done it.

I come in just before 9.45pm on a Sunday and its not that full.

10 hand pumps with 8 different ales on. Some very good selections, I opted for pints of Wadworth Ye Old Admiral @ 5.0% and Hilden Brewing Co Nansen Street @ 4.8%%..both priced at £1.95 a pint, a great price for a city centre pub.

I rest my weary body at a table and enjoy my ales.

There's 2 large sized groups in but the rest of the punters are couples or singles.

A decent 'spoons with good ale choice and a nice relaxed atmosphere.

8/10

2 Apr 2015 13:40

The Granary, Glasgow

Large Nicholsons pub situated on a cross roads.

Busy with football fans especially as the Rep Of Ireland were on the television against Poland.

The ale choice was pretty poor with only the dependable Caledonian Duechars IPA on cask. I went for this and as always it was very drinkable and a steal at £2.65 a pint .

As I said above it was very busy so I found a spot to stand in and drink my pint.

Probably a very decent pub but I felt a flying visit was a enough for me.

Ticked and I probably wont return.

2 Apr 2015 13:29

Sir John Stirling Maxwell, Glasgow

After the game at Hampden I made the 15 minute walk to Shawlands to tick this 'spoons and the Granary a bit further along Kilmarnock Road.

Large open plan pub that apparently used to be a supermarket. A nice ceiling with inserted roses that house the chandliers and a tiled hatch by the glass collection point.

6 pumps offering the cask ales which are all priced at £1.85 a pint. After my first choice runs out I opt for a pint of Weltons Churchillian @ 6.6%, a mighty strong drop of ale.

Half busy on my Sunday visit, another 'spoons and 2015 GBG tick.

2 Apr 2015 13:26

Laurieston, Glasgow

Pub tick number 4 and the one I have been wanting to tick for the last year.

Bang opposite Bridge Street subway station so getting here couldn't be easier from town.

Busy at 15.15 probably more so as Scotland are at home but still a very decent trade.

3 ales on, I go for the Fyne Ales Hurricane Jack @ 4.4%. Possibly the best pint I will have today, its superb.

I have a long chat with the landlord who's had the pub for over 30 years, a thoroughly nice and knowledgeable chap.

As mentioned below, lovely interior with post-war fixtures and furniture, including the formica table tops!

A top pub, scores 10/10 for me and I don't give this score out often.

2 Apr 2015 13:22

Inn Deep, Glasgow

The 3rd pub I needed to tick in the West End and I was really not prepared for Inn Deep.

For starters I almost walked passed it having expected a more frontal signage.

Down stairs as if you are entering a basement bar or club. Once you enter, the bar is too your left.

3 guest keg offerings, 3 casks and 6 house beers on keg. Even though there's a rake of Williams Ales from Alloa on I went for a pint of Atom's Gyle IPA @ 5.6%. A very good pint enjoyed sitting in a booth listening to the music choice of the bar staff.

The main bar looks like a bunker with a circular concrete ceiling, there's a few brewery signs on the walls however the back of the bar is adorned with pump clips mainly listed in order of the brewery.

Another good tick and one for the ' to return to list'.

2 Apr 2015 13:11

The Wise Monkey, Glasgow

Another name change, it's now the The Crafty Pig

A quick stop off on my way to Inn Deep on Great Western Road.

This bar is billed as a Brewhouse and smoke pit it was worthy of a quick half.

Ribs and chicken and all things bar b q feature heavily on the menu and it certainly looked and smelt good.

12 taps dispensing a mix of ales, lager and cider. I went for a half of Thwaites 13 Guns @ 5.5% as this really was a quick stop.

Decorated in a bar style with little booths and large bench tables. Out the back are 2 pool tables and cages that house the extensive bottle selection, a quick scan of the menu shows in excess of 30 bottles from all over the UK further afield.

A really cool place , I may even bring the wife here for food at some stage!

Worth the stop.

2 Apr 2015 13:07

Curlers Tavern, Glasgow

Pub number 2 and its the Curlers Rest on Byers Road. The exterior looks like a regular locals pub but the inside is very different, the lighting is low, soul music is playing and its pretty trendy.

There are 5 hand pumps that have 4 cask ales on, 2 from Harivestoun Bitter & Twisted and Broken Dial, Caledonian Deuchars IPA and Stewart's 80/-. On keg there are another 3 ales and I go for a pint of Purity Longhorn IPA @ 5.0%. A good pint that is well kept and served but I think £4.45 a pint is a bit steep. I've had this in pubs before when they put a premium on keg ales.

The walls by the bar are adorned with pump clips, there's certainly been some ales served here.

A strong smell of food , around half the punters were here for food.

A large pub with plenty of tables and chairs and comfy sofas in the large room opposite the bar. Upstairs there's a dining room area with another small bar.

Another tick for me.

2 Apr 2015 12:59

Ubiquitous Chip, Glasgow

Pub number 1 of day 2 in Scotland and it's the wonderfully named Ubiquitous Chip in Hillhead, Glasgow.

I'm in Glasgow for the day on a Sunday for football and have 5 pubs to tick to almost finish the Glasgow pubs in the 2015 GBG.

Tucked away off Byers Road down the very pretty Ashton Lane is this large restaurant, pub and wee pub. Only the larger pub was open just after 12 noon when I arrived.

A group of 8 Germans were in and they were enjoying pints of Shipyard IPA and gin n tonics. The only ale on was the brewed for the pub by Fyne Ales Chip 71 @ 4.5%. A very good dark beer.

A full slate floor along with slate bar top. On the far wall are lovely original white tiles. Not a great deal of seating inside but there are tables and chairs to the front on the lane.

Another tick for me.

2 Apr 2015 12:57

The Cumberland Bar, Edinburgh

My last pub of the day which takes me to 7 ticks, a decent effort if I say so myself!

Another New town pub and this one is on the way back to my hotel.

8 hand pumps with 6 ales on. 2 offerings are from the very local Pilot brewery, a new brewery for me so I went for their Mochccino Stout @ 5.5%, cracking ale.

Probably the 2nd best pub of the day for interior but by far the best actual pub. Its around 10.15pm and its half full with mainly locals.

The bar area and the room to the left and the snug have pub advertising mirrors and signs a plenty, some of these look quite rare and must have taken a good effort to collect them all.

A buzzy atmosphere with the bar staff getting involved in the chatter with the punters.

I was knackered after a long day so I only stayed for 1 beer but this is most definitely a place I'll return to.

9/10 for me.

2 Apr 2015 09:11

Smithies Ale House, Edinburgh

Back in Edinburgh after my day in Fife and this was my 6th tick of the day. Smithies is a real ale house with the emphasis on drinking.

I arrive just around 10pm and there’s music playing at a decent level.

On the bar are 3 pumps serving 2 ales, Fyne Ales Jarl and Caledonian Deuchers IPA. I went for the Jarl & it was excellent.

It’s busy with mainly blokes & most of them were drinking lager, however my Jarl was very well kept

A decent find that I wouldn't of known about without the help of my trusty Camra GBG.

2 Apr 2015 09:10

The Robert Nairn, Kirkcaldy

The 3rd and final pub on my list in Kirkcaldy was this large Lloyd's Number one pub.

Its just before 6.30pm when I enter on a Saturday night and the pub is busy but not too stressful or loud.

A few large groups of people eating with the rest of the clientele made up of couples and drinkers.

The bar offers 6 pumps that have 5 ales on, I opt for a pint of Kelburn Misty Law @ 4.0%. A very good pint and a steal at £2.10 a pint...quickly brought down to £1.60 with my Camra voucher!

The decor is typical 'spoons and nothing to write home about, though its pleasant.

A decent enough pub and a double tick as it's in the 2015 GBG and its a Wetherspoons!

31 Mar 2015 13:40

The Harbour Bar, Kirkcaldy

After football at Starks Park I made my way to the Harbour Arms.

My 2nd pub & very different to the many I passed in the High St. 2 rooms as you enter with majority of the punters in the bar I entered on the right.

6 ales on of which 2 were from Scotland. A Varied selection of ales but all styles being the same...hoppy. I opted for pints of Allgates Gidlow Wash @ 4.1% & Kelburn Goldihops @ 3.8%. Both new ales for me with Allgates of Wigan being a new brewery for me as well.

Above the bar on the chalk board is a list marked as 'Ales coming on shortly' these numbered in excess of 15 which is a great effort.

A decent number of punters in with the average age being late 40s.

Music playing from the jukebox at a nice level and not to loud to drown the chatter out.

A thoroughly decent pub and worthy of it's inclusion in the GBG.

31 Mar 2015 13:36

The Feuars Arms, Kirkcaldy

My first pub of 3 I needed to tick while in Kirkcaldy for football.

After a Long walk from town up the hill trying to find the Feuars I almost missed it.

Nothing much to look at from the outside, with the real beauty being inside and what an amazing interior, tiles everywhere just stunning. The interior of this pub just has to be seen as it cannot be described to its full glory.

Tiled mosaic floor throughout, there's even tiles behind the front of the bar. The bar is also 59 ft (words and measurements borrowed from the GBG) long

Loud rock music playing that was being enjoyed by the half a dozen punters that were in on my lunchtime visit.

As much as the pubs interior is stunning the choice of ales was slightly disappointing as there was only Fullers London Pride on tap. A decent pint though.

A high score for the interior and I must admit it was worth the walk.

31 Mar 2015 13:31

Leyton Technical, Leyton

Popped in last Thursday early evening for my 2nd visit.

Since my last visit the interior doesn't seem as worn as it did before and the slight dusty smell has disappeared.

A range of 5 different ales on but I only had eyes for Tiny Rebels' Cwtch. Tiny Rebel are one of my current favourite breweries so it's always good to see their ales on tap. A thoroughly decent pint served in a choice of straight glass or dimpled jug.

Relatively busy when I entered but by 6.30pm when I left it had filled up.

Good pub and good ales.

31 Mar 2015 13:27

The Palmerston, East Dulwich

On my way to Champion Hill and onto Lordship Lane with time for a pit stop in the Palmerston, a pub that I have not been in for over 5 years & have never reviewed on here.

A lot more quieter than the previous 2 pubs but this mainly down to not doing brunch (maybe a tad too late) and not having the rugby on.

3 pumps with real ales which were Timothy Taylor Landlord, Harvey's Sussex Best Bitter and Sharps Doombar. None of these took my fancy so it was another bottle selection, Bude Breweries Black Rock @ 5.1%

A very dark interior greets you as you enter and it does feel slightly gloomy inside. Full wood flooring is great and there's a smart original marble fireplace to your left as you come in from Lordship Lane.

Relatively busy with probably more people drinking than eating however the Palmerston does feel more like a restaurant than a pub.

Not bad and is saved from a moderate score by a good bottle selection

26 Mar 2015 13:19

The Actress, East Dulwich

After my visit to The Great Exhibition I made time to visit The Actress a short walk away.

Another new pub for me and one I have been meaning to visit for some time.

Again it was pretty packed with a lot of families and groups earing and enjoying brunch. Not as busy as the Great Exhibition but still turning over a serious amount of money this lunchtime.

Lager drinkers are well catered for with several European lagers in the shiny taps but only 2 ales on. Which were Truman's Zephyr and Greene King IPA. I went for the Zephyr @ 4.6% and it was very drinkable.

As i said above lots of people eating and the food looked good especially the pizzas.

A thoroughly modern pub with not many original features though the open pizza open is a nice modern feature.

Very good

26 Mar 2015 13:18

The Actress, East Dulwich

After my visit to The Great Exhibition I made time to visit The Actress a short walk away.

Another new pub for me and one I have been meaning to visit for some time.

Again it was pretty packed with a lot of families and groups earing and enjoying brunch. Not as busy as the Great Exhibition but still turning over a serious amount of money this lunchtime.

Lager drinkers are well catered for with several European lagers in the shiny taps but only 2 ales on. Which were Truman's Zephyr and Greene King IPA. I went for the Zephyr @ 4.6% and it was very drinkable.

As i said above lots of people eating and the food looked good especially the pizzas.

A thoroughly modern pub with not many original features though the open pizza open is a nice modern feature.

Very good

26 Mar 2015 13:18

The Crystal Palace Tavern, East Dulwich

My first visit here and I wasn't expecting how busy and noisy it would be at 1pm on a Saturday.

Brunch was the reason the place was so packed, not a spare table in site and only room at the bar for a beer.

5 hand pumps with 3 ales on which were Sambrook's Pumphouse Pale Ale & Junction & Laine's Best Bitter. Again I opted for a bottle which was Fordham - Copperhead Ale - 5.0%

This is a large 1 bar establishment with plenty of tables aswell as original features these include large industrial style ceiling lights above the bar, big glass fronted windows, attractive decorated glass and wooden bar and bizarrely a large cows head with horns on the wall in the rear garden / smoking area.

A decent pub but hard to judge whether its a great pub as brunch was the most important thing for 95% of the punters during my visit.

Another one I will return to.

26 Mar 2015 13:17

The Fox on the Hill, Denmark Hill

I use the Fox before nearly every home game at Dulwich Hamlet now and to be honest it does what it says on the tin.

The ale choice is normally pretty good with at least 4 different guest ales on, sometimes the ale isn’t always that well kept but to be honest this is only now and again.

The food is served promptly and is nearly always hot but sometimes could be hotter.

Service at the bar is a little hit and miss but if you make yourself known you normally get served pretty quickly.

The clientele is okay but sometimes it’s better than other times.

There are much worse ‘spoons than this so it serves a purposes, cheap beer, decent enough food and is handy for football and Denmark Hill station so it does for me.

6/10 but I could stretch to 7/10.

23 Mar 2015 12:39

Herne Tavern, Forest Hill

Only my 2nd visit to the Herne and again its a Saturday lunchtime.

A bit busier today than on my last visit and for that reason it was more enjoyable.

Music playing at a decent level, television on in the main bar that was already showing the rugby, it was the final day of the 6 nations...so apparently it was important!

The 4 ales across the 5 pumps were St Austell Tribute, Young's Bitter, Ringwood Best Bitter and Sambrook's Wandle. With none of these drawing me in I went for a bottle of Pistonhead's Kustom Lager @ 4.6%

A nicely decorated pub with original stain glass windows at the front, plenty of wood panelling and a conservatory and garden.

Food was popular.

On this visit I've slightly changed my opinion and now think its a decent pub.

23 Mar 2015 12:37

The Claret Free House, Addiscombe

Another re-tick for me a couple of Saturdays ago

I first visited here in the summer and thought it was excellent so when given the opportunity to visit again I had to take it. We arrived here just before 10pm on Saturday night and I admit I was a little worse for wear.

A cracking selection of ales. I chose pints of the very smokey Binghams Woodsmoker Porter @ 5.0% & a pint of Gipsy Hill’s Beatnik, which is always a very good pint.

Extremely busy with a very good bunch of mainly locals.

Lots of chatter and music, the tele was also on showing Match of the Day.

I’ve decided I like this place and will return again soon.

17 Mar 2015 20:07

Hatters Inn, Bognor Regis

Extremely large ‘Spoons in the centre of Bognor.

My first visit a couple of Saturday’s ago around 5.30pm and there were 10 hand pumps on the bars. A decent selection of ales with my choice being the South African offering of Nils Oscar @ 5.3%...a very decent pint.

Busy with mainly blokes but quiet in the pub, not rowdy at all.

The television was on and they were showing the news.

I’d heard a lot about this pub and it wasn’t good but on my visit I found it to be thoroughly decent ‘Spoons.

17 Mar 2015 20:03

The Red Lion, Arundel

Again like our last visit to Arundel in May 2014 the Red Lion was our 2nd pub of the day, another re-tick and this is still one of my favourites in Arundel.

Just as we entered the pub was in the middle of a power cut so all the lights were out but thankfuly the beer was still on!

4 pumps selling 4 different ales, 1 of them was Arundel's Sussex Gold. I started off on the seasonal offering from St Austell which was Ruck n Roll @ 4.0% before this ran out and then I had the Sussex Gold.

Pretty busy with a mixture of drinkers, diners and dog walkers.

Good friendly and attentive bar staff, this may be my favourite pub in Arundel.

8 Mar 2015 15:47

The Swan Hotel, Arundel

It’s a Saturday and we have football in Bognor, so it gives us an opportunity to stop in Arundel for a few beers.

My first re-visit of the day and it's just after 11.30am when we enter this Fullers run Hotel and bar.

4 ales on the hand pumps, I went for the Seafarers' which well kept

A few punters in with several enjoying teas and coffees, like on my last visit in May 2014 this is a pricey pub / hotel but extremely pleasant.

Worth a stop while in the town.

5 Mar 2015 09:05

The John Harvey Tavern, Lewes

My 2nd visit here in the last 6 weeks after having an afternoon in Brighton and before football at Lewes FC.

I got here around 5.30pm and it was already busy but I guess that was due to football being on in town, however it had a much better feel than when I visited on a Saturday afternoon between xmas and new year.

I had several good pints of Harvey's Armada Ale @ 4.5%. A beer I have had before but on this occasion it was very good and extremely drinkable.

Decent service and a nice pub.

2 Mar 2015 16:18

The Evening Star, Brighton

The Evening Star, what can I say ?

This was pub number 4 and I certainly saved the best for last. I have been told on numerous occasions that this is a must visit but had never been here until now.

As previously mentioned on this site this is the Dark Star tap, with their full range plus some very decent guest ales.

I decided to spend a bit of time here and work my way through some ales I’d never had before. These were Brighton Bier Thirty Three Black @ 3.3%, Dark Star @ Revelation @ 5.7% and my personal favourite Tiny Rebel’s Dirty Stop Out @ 5.0%.

Busy with real drinkers as its a haven and a must tick in Brighton, it’s now firmly on my list and will visit every time I’m in Brighton now.

Music playing at a decent level. There’s also a good range of old bottles of beer on the shelves about the seating areas.

All in all this is a cracking pub and another 10/10 from me.

2 Mar 2015 15:43

The Prince Albert, Brighton

My 3rd tick and the Prince Albert is probably the most surprising.

Large frontage with benches onto the road, the entrance that looks rather grand brings you straight into the old public bar with a snug just behind and a couple rooms tucked away off of the corridor.

It’s pretty busy but nothing close to how busy the Basketmakers was several minutes earlier when I left & made my way here.

There’s 6 pumps dispensing mainly local ales with 2 offerings from Burning Sky. I went for the strong pale ale Aurora @ 5.6%. This was another very good ale, drinkable and enjoyable.

The decoration is similar to the clientele which can best be described as odd. I mean this in a good way re the punters. Nick nacks a plenty with the front bar displaying footbal scarves, Che Guevara & Cuban flags, bank notes and lots of beer clips.

Music being played at a high level but it worked well.

A thoroughly decent pub however the outside men's toilet was a surprise.

3 pubs down, all very different but all very good.

2 Mar 2015 15:32

The Basketmakers Arms, Brighton

Pub number 2 literally behind North Laine is the rather surprising Fullers tied Basketmakers.

From the moment I enter it hits me how loud the pub is, there is so much chatter going on among the packed crowd but not only chatter a lot of laughter...its only Wednesday afternoon!

8 pumps on the bar with most of them offerings from the Fullers family. I went for a pint of George Gales Spring Sprinter, perfectly served and kept.

Very good service from the barman who everyone seems to know, its like Cheers!

2 rooms but only 1 entrance with the bar stretching between both rooms.

The walls are plastered with signs, posters, beer mats, tins, bank notes, coins etc all of which are vintage.

I was not prepared for a pub like this on my short tour of Brighton pubs but I love it. What an absolute gem.

Visit now but only post if you like it.

10/10

2 Mar 2015 14:45

The North Laine, Brighton

On my way to football in Lewes for a Wednesday night game so I decided to go via Brighton to do four 2015 GBG pub ticks.

First stop just after 2pm was this large brew pub on the edge of the Lanes. Home to the Laine Brewing company the pub is extremely spacious with lots of benches and tables spread across ground and mezzanine level.

Around a 3rd of the tables were taken with a mix of diners and drinkers.

5 of the in house brews were on the 8 hand pumps. I chose a pint of Amber Sky @ 3.7%, quite hoppy but drinkable.

The decoration is quite minimal with a quantity of large industrial lights hanging above the bar and in the of the large open plan rooms. The mash tuns are visible behind the bar but there was no brewing going on during my visit.

Old soul music played gently in the background. As I expected the majority of the clientele were very much hipster locals.

A mention must be given to the vintage Crown Hotel sign that hangs in the bar, its a cracker.

A very well put together brewery tap and a great place to start my ticking.

2 Mar 2015 14:43

The Devonshire Arms, Cambridge

The last pub of 3 in the same area of Cambridge & it was time for this Milton Brewery tap.

Again busy inside with front and rear drinking areas, the rear of the bar having several benches and tables for diners.

There’s a good range of Belgian bottled beers to compliment the 8 hand pumps that had 7 ales on during my visit. I opted for Milton Brewery Pegasus. My first Milton beer and it was good.

Old fashioned pub with lots of wood and a really nice feel to it.

If the 3 pubs I visited in Cambridge are anything to go by I should arrange a full day here soon.

2 Mar 2015 14:37

The Kingston Arms, Cambridge

An unexpected stop between the Geldart and Devonshire as I was wandering past and noticed it was in the 2015 GBG.

Extremely busy on the Saturday night I popped in. There’s 11 hand pumps offering a reasonable range of ales, I chose Thornbridge’s Jupier which is always a very good pint. A large selection of bottled beers in the fridges behind the bar.

The walls are adorned with lots of posters and old advertising signs.

Beer garden which only had a couple of hardy souls smoking out there, but I imagine it’s very popular in the summer.

Food was popular and smelt good.

A decent little pub that I’m glad we stopped off in.

2 Mar 2015 14:32

The Geldart, Cambridge

Having spent the afternoon in Bury pub ticking & watching football a couple of us decided to add a few more ticks to our day by stopping off in Cambridge.

After a walk from the station we came across this fairly hidden back street pub.

It was around 7.15pm & it was already pretty busy in the large front bar area. There are 10 hand pumps 5 of these were guest ales. No new ales for me so I opted for a pint of Adnams Lighthouse @ 3.4%, more than drinkable.

The open fire in the bar to the left as you enter was burning nicely. Food was being served from the open kitchen hatch, it looked and smelt cracking especially the cook at your table food!

Old juke box in the front bar with a box of vinyl that you could help yourself to. Continuing the musical theme there was an accordion hanging on the wall.

A thoroughly decent back street pub that surprised me and made the walk from the station worthwhile.

23 Feb 2015 17:03

The Beerhouse, Bury St Edmunds

With football over we had time for 1 more beer before the train back to Cambridge.

I’d been leaving the Beerhouse to last as it was a re-tick for me. It was rather busy at 5.30pm with rugby union internationals being shown on the large screen.

My last visit for a few years back and the pub has been refurbished since then with the addition of the Brewshed at the rear.

A fine selection of Brewshed ales on the bar, I had went for their Rioja Porter @ 4.7%. A very good and rich pint.

I just had time to literally neck my pint before heading for the station.

Next visit I’ll make more time for this place and it’s a good pub and a great place for a beer near the station.

23 Feb 2015 17:02

The Nutshell, Bury St Edmunds

After ticking the 3 pubs I had left from the Camra GBG I thought I’d give what is portrayed as the smallest pub in Britain a try.

To be honest I wouldn't argue with that statement but it was pretty disappointing. The pub holds around 25 people max and seating is at a premium.

I know it’s a GK pub but I expected a bit more. 2 ales on the pumps which were GK Abbot and GK IPA...my Abbot was decent but was over £1.00 more than the ales in the other pubs I’d been in that day.

A good mix of customers with all of them friendly including the barman.

I am reliably informed that the addition of upstairs toilets is quiet a new concept but I didn’t try them out.

Glad I’ve been in as the last time I was in Bury I couldn’t get in here.

20 Feb 2015 14:24

Rose and Crown, Bury St Edmunds

My 3rd and final pub from the 2014 GBG to tick and its this GK pub within a stone's throw of the GK brewery.

The Oakes Barn was very good, The Dove was a cracker and the Rose & Crown is just decent.

It’s an unassuming small old fashioned back street boozer. There are 2 bars with most of the pumps being in the front bar.

6 ales with 3 of the offerings being from GK and the other 3 guests. My choice was Wolf Brewery Dog Star @ 4.4%. A decent enough pint

Pretty quiet even though there’s quite a few punters in, as I say it’s just a decent pub nothing fancy but good for a beer.

Sandwiches were being served and they looked good.

Towards the back of the pub there are a few shelves with books on, all books for 50p and the money going to charity. A nice idea by the pub.

7/10 for me.

20 Feb 2015 13:50

The Dove, Bury St Edmunds

My 2nd pub and a short stroll from Oakes Barn and its this lovely free house tucked away on a residential street.

On a Saturday its open 12-3 then from 5-11....so at 12.45 its heaving when I arrive.

There are 6 ales on with most of them locales. I chose a pint of Grainstore Steelback IPA @ 4.2%. A very decent drop and is brewed a few steps away at the GK Westgate Brewery.

The mix of clientele is wide, with a cracking atmosphere, lots of good banter with people of all ages. Very much a locals pub just a stone’s throw from town but it’s superb.

Spartan old fashioned decor and the pub still has a parlour. There’s a brick open fireplace in the middle of the room.

This is the best pub of the day in Bury for me, I visit 6 in total and this wins.

On my next visit to Bury I will head straight here.

20 Feb 2015 13:34

The Clarence, Mayfair

Dropped in a Monday afternoon for a quick pint. My 3rd visit in the last 4 weeks.

Again a good range of ales on offer with a few ales I hadn't seen in London before.

One of these was Woodforde's Bure Gold @ 4.3%. Nice to see this on offer but it wasn't the best pint I'd ever had, it tasted slightly vinegary.

Pretty empty at 3pm on a Monday but still a good stopping off point in Mayfair.

20 Feb 2015 13:27

Catford Constitutional Club, Catford

After a couple of pints in the London & Rye I made my first visit to the Antic owned Catford Constitutional Club.

I know Antic pubs very well and was prepared for what I would find on entering...very dim lighting and a shell of a pub that really looks like its in the throws of either being decorated or knocked down!!

Now I know that Catford is on it's knees when it comes to pubs these days but I'm unsure if this place really is the right type to drag the area into the modern times. Don't get me wrong I'm more than happy that a club that had laid derelict for over 17 years is now revived and more importantly is trendy & sells quality ales, I'm just not sure Catford was/is ready.

6 pumps with 4 ales on, I decide on a pint of Darkstar Partridge Best Bitter @ 4.0% and take a seat on one of the mish mash of sofas that Antic pubs are famous for.

I am one of around 15 punters in on my visit and am the only one not eating. Food certainly is popular today.

Top quality soul music playing, bizarre decoration that of course works, however the decoration or food can not take the musty smell out of the air.

I like this place but I'm not too certain I'll be coming here again next week.

20 Feb 2015 13:23

The London and Rye, Catford

Saturday lunch time and I decide its time to revisit this 'spoons for the first time in almost 10 years, I cannot believe its been so long.

Having an entry in the last 2 Camra GBG's has made me want to visit and see why it's made it into the guide.

Normal 'spoons set up with 10 hand pumps, across the pumps there are 3 with coming soon on them, restricting the ale choice to 3 guests plus Ruddles and London Pride. For my first pint I opt for Cronx Kotchin @ 3.9% a very decent pint and priced at £2.35. However I wait for what seems an age to get served! My 2nd pint was Windsor & Eton’s Hurricane IPA @ 5.0% another decent pint and the service this time is much quicker.

The pub is nicer inside than I remember but the clientele are what I expected. A couple of obnoxious and loud fellas spouting crap but thankfully the place was empty enough for me to sit away from these people.

I can now understand why the London and Rye is in the GBG as the ale is very well kept.

Worth the visit and i promise not to leave it another 10 years until my next visit.

20 Feb 2015 13:22

The Bowl Inn, Charing

On the way back to London from Canterbury we stopped for a pint and a sandwich in this isolated country pub just outside the village of Charing.

Found via the trusty sat nav and the 2105 Camra GBG.

We arrived bang on 2pm on a Sunday and the pub was very busy and buzzy. Plenty of families enjoying lunch. The main course meals looked really good.

4 ales on cask. Sharps Doombar, Hopdaemon's Incubus and 2 offerings from Wantsum. I opted for the lower strength More's Head @ 3.5% and it was very good.

A huge inglenook fireplace dominates the bar as you enter which also splits the pub into 2 separate areas. There are carpets throughout and the walls are adorned with local images and brewiana.

Large garden to the rear and ample parking at the side.

A very nice pub that I wouldn't of known about without the GBG.

8/10 for the welcome, service, food and ale.

17 Feb 2015 16:49

City Arms, Canterbury

After my disappointment of being able to end the evening at the Foundry we went back onto Butchery Lane and ended the evening in the City Arms.

The City Arms is a very quaint pub on a site where there has been an Inn for over 300 years.

Part owned by Canterbury Brewers and a sister pub to The Foundry, this is a real adults pub, music playing via the bar but it was at a decent level and allowed the wife and I top have a conversation.

6 pumps on the bar that had 1 real cider, 3 Canterbury ales and an offering from Ramsgate Brewery, the other pump was spare waiting for a beer or cider to be put on. I opted for Foundry Torpedo @ 4.5%. A nice beer that was very drinkable.

This pub appeared in the 2014 Camra GBG but hasn't made the 2015 edition...however its a really decent city centre pub and is worthy of a visit.

17 Feb 2015 16:47

The Foundry, Canterbury

I pinned all of my Saturday night hopes on this pub as in I was planning to work through their beer pumps and stay here to near close to closing time….that was until the music started upstairs!

The Foundry is the home to Canterbury Brewers & was intentionally left as the last of the 4 pubs I wanted to tick on my 1 day in Canterbury.

The bar was very impressive with 7 of their ales on the hand pumps and another 6 ales and lagers on keg. I started with a pint of Biggleston's Birdman @ 3.6% but this is as far as I got.

It was only just gone 9.00pm and the atmosphere was really nice and chilled, however by 9.30pm the music upstairs was pumping & as there are no doors between the upper and lower levels we might as well have been sitting upstairs!

Aswell as the music being loud and quite distracting the crowd become young very quickly and resembled a bit of a school playground with lots of screaming.

The room to the right of the bar house's the mash tuns, the food menu looked interesting and the staff were knowledgeable but I won’t make the mistake of visiting again on a Friday or Saturday night as it spoilt my experience.

Gutted!

17 Feb 2015 16:46

The New Inn, Canterbury

After braving the snow flurries and a quick stop in The Parrot we made our way to the 3rd pub from the 2015 GBG on my list and possibly the best so far.

On a side street just off the main road and resembling more of a house than a pub The New Inn was busy with ale drinkers just after 5.30pm when we arrived.

6 hand pumps with 4 ales on & an additional pump with real cider. I went for Castle Rock Breweries Red Riding Hood @ 4.5%. This was another new beer for me and very drinkable.

Small bar area with most punters in the front room and no-one in the 2 small alcove rooms out the bar in the conservatory.

The interior is Spartan but it works. There was no music or television on but the chatter was plentiful.

Another very good pub but it seriously looks like someone's house.

As I say probably the best pub of the day.

13 Feb 2015 14:42

The Parrot, Canterbury

An unscheduled pit stop at this very attractive and olde worlde Shepherd Neame pub and restaurant.

On the bar are 6 hand pumps offering 5 ales all from Shepherd Neame, my choice was Amber Ale @ 4.5% and was thoroughly decent.

More of a restaurant than a pub but it’s worth a visit just to see the interior of this lovely building, there’s low beams, inglenook fireplaces, lots of wood panelling, hops hanging around the bar….a cracking interior.

The majority of tables were reserved for dinner later in the evening so the choice of seating was limited apart from the bar.

Semi busy at just after 5pm on a Saturday.

Decent pub, good beer and a cracking building. 7/10 but mainly for the building

11 Feb 2015 12:59

The Dolphin, Canterbury

With the snow starting to full quite rapidly the wife and I headed off to pub number 2, the thoroughly modern with lots of old fashioned twists...The Dolphin.

5 hand pumps with 3 ales and 2 ciders on. The ale choices were Sharps Doombar, Timothy Taylor Landlord and my choice which was Ramsgate Brewery Uberhop @ 5.2%. A very good pint and a new one for me. The ciders were both from Westons, Old Rosie and Rosie's Pig.

There's an extensive list of Whiskey, Whisky and Bourbons with a total of 26 listed and all served in 35ml measures. A fact that is proudly displayed!

The 1970's style price board displaying the prices and selections of wine, gin and snacks is superb and something that had me thinking of my childhood.

A very nicely decorated pub with special mention of the collection of Home pride Fred's, Michelin Men & Bertie Bassett's. Some very good advertising signs with an attractive Walls Ice Cream & Champion Spark plugs one at the far end of the bar.

The old fashioned coloured letters spelling The Dolphin above the bar are excellent and in fantastic condition, really adding a nice touch.

There’s a selection of board games available. Food also served but I was a bit early and didn't see any being served.

A very good pub and one I would like to return to.

10 Feb 2015 15:01

Unicorn Inn, Canterbury

My first ever visit on a Saturday lunchtime while in Canterbury for the weekend with the wife.

With up to 7 pubs to tick in 1 day we started at the furthest from our hotel.

An ex Fremlins pub that is very quaint and old fashioned inside.

4 ales on the hand pumps. Shepherd & Neame Masterbrew, Sharps Doombar, Timothy Taylor Landlord and my choice which was Caveman Brewery Neanderthal @ 4.4%. Always good to see Caveman on tap as the owner of the brewery is a friend of a friend

Pretty busy with a few tables of diners and the rest consisted of drinkers. The pool table in the back area was being used but the beer garden out the back was empty, most probably due to the cold weather.

Lots of historic beer bottles dotted about, old framed pictures of Canterbury on the walls and horse brass around the bar.

A very decent and friendly pub and a good place for our first drink of the day.

10 Feb 2015 15:00

The Clachan, Soho

After several hours in the Cock and after some dinner I popped into the Clachan on a Wednesday night for my first ever visit.

Large Nicholson’s pub with lots of traditional & original features. Being a Nicholson’s pub there was a great selection and variety of ales on the 10 hand pumps. 9 ales on initially then a 10th was added.

I opted for several pints of McEwans Signature @ 4.8%, a very drinkable ale.

Upstairs dining room that was closed on my visit this was probably due to the time of night.

Busy in the bar but no problem to get a drink with the efficient bar staff coping extremely well.

Quite noisy with lots of chatter above the fairly high level of the music but this is a very decent pub with good ale choice that is well kept.

10 Feb 2015 14:58

The Argyll Arms, Oxford Circus


***Currently closed for a full refurbishment***

10 Feb 2015 12:52

The Cock, Oxford Circus

The Cock is a Samuel Smith’s pub that I haven't visited for over 14 months but that changed when I came in late on a Wednesday afternoon.

It was pretty busy with hardly any seats available but plenty of standing room. Amazing tiled floor throughout and attractive ceiling roses also.

Full range of Sam Smiths ales and lagers on with other choices being available in bottle form. I started off on the Old Brewery Bitter, always a dependable ale and kept me going for most of the evening!

I stayed for several hours with some colleagues and it only got busier and busier.

The Cock has always been a central London favourite of mine but I really don't visit often enough, it really is a cracking pub and is internally stunning.

An absolute must visit for any London ale drinker and historic pub enthusiast.

10 Feb 2015 12:51

The Ship, Borough

My first ever visit to this Fullers pub on a Wednesday afternoon.

The Ship is a pub I have been meaning to tick since 2013 but hadn't got round to it, so after a meeting in the local area it was a good opportunity.

A friendly barmaid greets me as I approach the bar. There are 5 hand pumps offering 4 different Fullers ales. These are London Pride, ESB, Seafarers & Chiswick Bitter. The Pride is on 2 pumps.

I choose a pint of Chiswick and it’s very good, well kept and refreshing.

The pub is more than half full with a mix of locals and workers. There is football and racing on the television screens in the front bar with the back bar area being a little more quiet.

I sit at the bar with my pint watching and listening the locals.

The Ship appears to be very much a community pub aswell as being a favourable place to watch sport with lots of up coming football and rugby games advertised.

I may return and there’s a few pubs in the area that I haven’t been in so The Ship could be part of a crawl soon.

10 Feb 2015 10:11

The Picture Palace, Ponders End

I was in the area recently for a Tuesday night football game at Enfield FC so I arrived early with enough time to tick this 'spoons in Ponders End.

A short walk from Southbury station brings me to this old cinema that has been in the Camra GBG for 10 years on the spin.

Long bar area with plenty of seats and table with the typical ‘spoons bar in front of you at the far end. There are 10 hand pumps offering 7 ales and 1 cider on the bar. I stay for a couple of beers and drink Bath Ales Barnsey @ 4.5%. A very well kept and enjoyable pint.

Half busy with a mixture of people eating and drinking. A pleasant atmosphere and the décor is film orientated.

All in all a decent ‘spoon’s in what I believe to be a desert for real ale drinkers.

10 Feb 2015 10:09

The Lucas Arms, Kings Cross

I dropped in on a Monday afternoon recently for lunch and a couple of pints, it was 12.45pm and we were 2 of only 4 punters.

Friendly efficient service from the bar maid / manageress.

A varied selection of ales on cask but I opted for a couple of pints of Goose Island IPA from the keg taps. 2 very drinkable pints.

Myself and my colleague both ordered food with my choice of cod and chips being particularly good but very filling, good food and value for money.

The last time I visited was also for lunch and a couple of pints but this visit was much more enjoyable, perhaps it was the selection of 80's music that was playing.

10 Feb 2015 10:07

The William Web Ellis, Twickenham

After several beers and football in Hampton I decided on having a few more beer and another tick at this large Wetherspoons that is named after William Webb Ellis who is said to have invented rugby.

12 hand pumps. A great choice of ales but I only had eyes for Redemptions Big Chief @ 5.5%, it did not disappoint a cracking pint that was kept superbly.

Half busy when we arrived just after 7pm on a Saturday night. Typical spoons food available, 2 of us decided to eat with the food served quickly and hot.

Groups of young men and women ready for their night out made up most of the crowd.

I only found out after leaving the pub that the building used to be the home to Twickenham's post office.

One of the better 'spoons I have been in recently.

9 Feb 2015 11:21

The Jolly Coopers, Hampton

It’s a Saturday lunch time and I finally get to tick the Jolly Coopers while making my 3rd visit to Hampton and Richmond Borough FC.

The Coopers is a mainstay in the Camra GBG and after only being here half an hour I can see why. The choices from the 5 pumps are Caledonian Deuchars IPA, Courage Best, Hop Back Summer Lightning, Shepherd & Neame Amber Ale and my choice which was Ascot Ales Alley Cat Ale @ 3.8%. The Alley cat is on special at a reduced price and is going down a treat.

A tapas food menu on offer that was served in the bar and in the restaurant out the back.

Half full on my arrival but by 2pm the pub had filled up nicely and was a buzz of chatter.

A thoroughly decent pub and well worth the visit, one I will return to on my next visit to Hampton and Richmond Borough FC.

9 Feb 2015 11:10

The Shakespeare's Head, Holborn

My 2nd visit to this large 'spoons & a revisit due to it now appearing in the 2015 edition of the GBG.

12 hand pumps offering 10 different ales. With the addition of 4 casks behind the bar that had a mix of American craft lagers and ales. With a fair choice in front of me I went for a pint of Oakleaf Brewery Blake's Gosport Bitter @ 5.2%.

Even though it was just gone 3pm on a Thursday afternoon it was pretty busy, most punters drinking but there was a heavy stench of food in the air

Another lovely ‘Spoons conversion into a pub very tastefully done.

A point to make that even at 3pm these was a lot of bar staff

Decent ‘Spoons and worth a pit stop while in the area ticking The Ship…a cracking pub just around the corner from here.

4 Feb 2015 14:17

The Swan, Bloomsbury

I popped in to tick this one bar pub on a Thursday afternoon. Around a dozen people inside and out during my January visit.

A good selection of keg ales and lagers as well as the cask selections. From 8 cask hand pumps I choose London Fields Brewery Texan Tea @ 6.0%, a very strong black IPA but not as strong as the price...£5.00 a pint!!!

A Taylor Walker owned and managed pub with a good variety of ales. 4 of the ales from Hackney Brewery & London Fields Brewery.

Attractive lamps hanging above the bar, not that many more original features that I could see.

Appears in the 2015 GBG.

Decent pub but I've ticked it now so probably no need to return.

4 Feb 2015 13:48

The Windmill, Mayfair

Popped in on a Wednesday lunch time for a pint and lunch having not been here for at least 15 years.

Always was a Young’s pub but now it’s a very attractive “posh” pub grub lunch pub. Testament to this is the cracking pie that I had for my lunch, for this area of London it was good value at £12.00

All the Young’s range of beers on tap, I had a couple of nice pints of Young’s Bitter, perfectly served and more than quaffable.

Very busy in the front and back seating areas @ 12.30pm with hardly any tables spare.

Great service, very swift and attentive.

All in all a very good pub especially for lunch

4 Feb 2015 13:47

The Clarence, Mayfair

Tuesday evening in mid January and I make my 1st visit to this Nicholson’s pub just off Piccadilly.

An entry in the 2015 GBG so it’s the perfect time to tick this pub as it’s not too busy.

There are 8 hand pumps serving 8 different ales, I went for Knights of the Garter from Windsor and Eton brewery, so good I had 2 pints!

Good quick service from the ample bar staff. The interior is fresh and modern but the layout is slightly odd, as some of the seating areas are too close together.

Food advertised but I only saw chips being served in the downstairs bar, there is a more formal style restaurant upstairs.

Nice enough pub but the beer is better

4 Feb 2015 13:46

The George and Dragon, Wray

This review is from my visit during late September 2014.

After having some food in Morecambe I used the 2014 GBG to find this pub as its pretty much right in the countryside and not one I would if found if I didn't have the guide and a sat nav!

Very quaint looking pub that is deceptive from the outside as there's 2 sides when you enter with the bar in front, lounge to the right and dinning area to the left, behind the bar is another large room that was laid out for a private function.

The garden is huge with an Avery that had cockatoos' and cockatiels' among other birds. There’s also plenty of seating areas and a bit of shelter for those pesky smokers!

4 ales available, 2 Northern ales and 2 Southern ales, I opted for Everards Beacon @ 3.8% and it was very good.

A real community pub in a picturesque village, we didn't try the food but it smelt good.

30 Jan 2015 13:18

The Northern Belle, Margate

4th pub of the day and a short walk from Harbour Inn, this was our first proper pub. Reportedly the oldest pub in Margate.

Shepherd and Neame pub that was extremely busy when we visited.

Master Brew & Whitstable Bay on hand pump. I opted for the Whitstable and it was a very good pint

I took part in the lunchtime meat raffle that was great fun even if I didn’t win anything, great entertainment for the while sum of £1.00!

Only stayed for 1 pint as we wanted to get up to Margate FC for our match.

A couple of my travelling party didn’t really enjoy their visit here but I did and will return on my next visit to Margate if I have the time.

25 Jan 2015 13:54

The Harbour Arms, Margate

Our 3rd pub of the day and another micro pub.

A short cab ride from Westgate and we arrived at this lovely little micro bar right on the harbour wall and a few steps from Turner Contemporary.

3 real ales on but an amazing 10 real ciders also on. I opted for a pint of Northumberland Brewery On the Pull @ 4.0%

Tiny and busy, full of bits & bobs, there are nets above your head that hold all of things including a couple of surfboards!

Friendly owner / bar staff, outside toilets on the harbour, a little food kiosk next door…all in all this is a very good little place and worthy of anyone’s time when visiting Margate.

25 Jan 2015 12:59

Bake and Alehouse, Westgate on Sea

A short cab ride from Birchington and we arrived at one of the first micro pubs to be opened in this part of Kent.

The Bake Alehouse just off the High St used to be a Baker's shop.

With a capacity of around 20 people it was pretty busy on Saturday afternoon and of course almost full.

5 ales on with my choice being Timothy Taylor Ramtam @ 4.3% out of the other beers on 3 of them were Timothy Taylor beers. Boltmaker, Landlord & Velo.

The pork pies looked good and I was very tempted but didn’t really have the time. The walls are full of pictures, there’s a quantity of cider jugs & kitchen utensils on shelves towards the back of the pub.

The Bake is quirky and is worth a visit, however check the opening times before visiting.

23 Jan 2015 23:11

The Wheel Alehouse, Birchington

A day of ticking and football in then Margate area starts with this nautical themed micro pub in Birchington.

When I say this is nautical themed I mean the walls are covered in nautical memorabilia….lots and lots of it!

5 ales on the blackboard of which only 3 were on during my Saturday lunchtime visit. Also 3 ciders served direct from cask. I opted for pints of Isla Vale Bosun's Best @ 4.2% and Maldon's Lemon Adder @ 4.0%. The other choice was Bridgestone's Vanilla Porter @ 4.6%. All ales priced at £3.00 per pint

Amazing number of pump clips on the walls, there's also a chalk board above the door to the "beer room" that states they have served 537 different ales since 11th March 2013. The “Beer room” I refer to is where the beers are served direct from the cask from a temperature controlled stillage room

This converted shop is like a front room and is obviously a much welcome addition to the local drinking scene. Nice friendly locals and owner…even though he does support Coventry City!

Barrels for tables help utilise the space. Upstairs to the toilets and additional seating.

This is cracking place and a good start to the day.

22 Jan 2015 18:31

All Bar One, Greenwich

This review is from December 2014.

With 30 minutes to kill between eating and seeing PIL at the Indigo the wife and I had time for a beer here.

Saturday night and with a few things going on in the 02 it was fairly busy in here with several groups crowding around the bar. Managed to fight my way through and was greeted with almost no available real ale on the pumps (well nothing I considered drinkable anyway!) so I went for a Peroni. Decent enough pint of generic European lager.

I have always found the All Bar One chain to be disappointing, unsure why that is.

A quick pint and a bottle for the wife later and we were out the door.

Okay pub for a drink but there are better options outside the 02 like the Pilot which is less than a five minute walk away.

22 Jan 2015 18:21

The Boot Inn, Burnley

This report is from my visit in November 2014

Unscheduled stop in this large 'spoons in the centre of town.

Prominent corner plot with many entrances. Split level bar that runs from one corner to the other, several harassed bar staff but it didn't stop me getting served quickly.

10 hand pumps split into 2 banks of 5. Out of the many choices I opted for Gooseeye Breweries IPA @ 4.1%. And at £1.99 a pint I do love the Northern beer prices.

Tastefully decorated with lots of boot related pictures on the walls.

Very busy as mentioned above, decent enough 'spoons now but not as good as the pubs I came to Burnley to tick.

21 Jan 2015 18:04

BrewDog Camden, Camden

Busy on the Saturday night I visited in mid October 2014.

Usual Brew Dog set up with all of their ales on tap and a range of bottles from the like’s of Rouge & Mikkeller.

Having scanned the beer menu I went for a pint of Dead Pony Pale Ale. This was the cheapest on the menu and one of the only beers that they sell in pints, as expected a very good pint.

I like Brew Dog beers but I’m not mad on their bars. They always showcase the full range and have knowledgeable staff but this particular branch just felt really expensive.

Decent enough bar but great beer.

19 Jan 2015 17:07

The Penny Farthing, Crayford

I made my first and only visit so far here in mid September on a Tuesday night while I was in Crayford for football.

This new micro pub had only opened the Thursday before and was making steady progress at the time of my visit.

Larger than a few of the other MP’s I’ve been in recently. I think there were 4 ales available direct from the cask in the temperature conditioned room close to the bar. I cannot remember what I drank but I do recall it was decent.

I love the signs that say no mobile phone conversations to be had in the bar. As my visit was so long ago I am due another visit soon to check on how they are progressing.

An early entry into the 2015 GBG and hopefully they are keeping the beers up to scratch.

Worth a visit to the beer oasis that is Crayford just for the Penny Farthing…however make sure you check their opening times.

19 Jan 2015 16:50

The Punchbowl, Underbarrow

This review is from late September 2014.

Very attractive pub in the village of Underbarrow and another pub that appears in the 2014 Camra GBG.

Large parking area & a welcoming garden to the front as you enter.

We came in just after 5pm on a Friday for a tick as I was in the Kendal area it seemed rude not to.

Their appeared to be a wake just finishing as we arrived at the pub.

Welcoming and chatty bar maid greeted us at the bar where there are 3 pumps that had 2 ales on, these were Hawkshead Bitter and Lancaster Blonde. The Bitter was very good.

A couple of families in waiting for the food to begin at 6pm, apart from them, us and a few stragglers from the wake that was it.

Large and very well done dining room just up the stairs from the bar that looks a bit like a banqueting suite, there’s also a pool table in the room to the right of the bar.

All in all another very nice looking pub with a friendly bar maid and decent beer.

16 Jan 2015 17:18

Villiers Arms, Swansea

Small locals pub on Neath Road between Liberty Stadium and the train station.

Popped in for a quick beer to break the journey up and it was like stepping into a time warp!

Front bar packed, not many available seats so I stood by a group and soaked up the local banter.....very lively it was too.

No real ale on tap so I settled for a pint of Worthington's cream flow....better than a lager but that's about it.

Friendly enough pub but I didn't want to out stay my welcome so it was off after my pint and onwards towards the station.

15 Jan 2015 18:21

Farrs School of Dancing, Dalston

This is yet another Antic pub and its large like the others they “rescue”, however this one felt mega trendy obviously to do with the area & clientele.

A mis mash of seating and tables as you come to expect from Antic pubs, along with bare floor boards, large draped curtains, stripped walls and brick work & wait for it….A motor bike hanging from the ceiling by the door as you enter.

6 pumps that had 5 ales and 1 cider. All ales from Truman's or London Fields, I went for London Fields Brewery Shoreditch Triangle IPA @ 6.0%, a lovely pint and served in a dimpled jug, I told you the pub was trendy!

Music playing which was funky and at a good level.

Very interesting building which can be appreciated more when going upstairs to the toilets.

A decent place that I will certainly use again.

15 Jan 2015 18:19

London Beer Dispensary, Brockley

I have been a regular visitor here since the opening day in May 2014.

My visits are usually on a Saturday lunchtime or a Sunday tea time, though I have been known to frequent after work during the week and Saturday evenings.

This was the 2nd of the brewery taps for Late Knights Brewery in Gipsy Hill.

No bar, just a large barrel acting as a post to rest and order your beer from the umpteen barrels that are racked with the beers being dispensed directly from these.

Food has been on offer since mid June & mainly consists of burgers, all food looks good but sometimes the smell from the kitchen is a bit much.

My latest visit was yesterday evening (11/1/15) when there were 6 ales on. 3 from Late Knights, 2 from Crate and 1 from Southwark. I opted for a pint of Southwark's LPA and it was excellent (as are all the beers I have had here). All pints of ale are served in dimple jugs and are now £3.50 a pint.

Cider is also served and I believe it's £3.70 a pint but as I haven't bought any I cannot be 100% certain.

In addition to the ales and cider in the casks there is a large range of bottles in the fridge and you can also take the ales and cider home in carry out boxes.

The best thing to happen to SE4 in terms of drinking and long may this continue....I love this place.

I would give 11/10 if I could.

12 Jan 2015 13:57

Brockley Jack, Brockley

Came in on Boxing Day with my father for a couple of beers and the place was just dull.

The beer is fine and reasonably enough priced but my goodness is this place boring.

Was back in yesterday (11/1/15) for another family lunch (not my choice). Food was very good and very edible, the beer was good…I had several pints of GK St Edmunds but again the rest of the pub is just dull.

Arguably my nearest pub but not one I wish to spend much time in especially since the LBD opened.

12 Jan 2015 13:44

The Engine Inn, Cark

This review is from early October 2014.

A short drive from Cartmel brings me here to the Engine Inn, in the tiny village of Cark and another 2014 GBG tick.

Small car park & a seating area to the front of the pub before you enter the low door into the narrow entry hall. A lounge with comfy leather chairs to your left and a dining area to your right before you come into the open plan bar and another seating / dining area to your right.

6 pumps serving 3 ales and 2 real ciders. 2 ales from Cartmel's Unsworth Yard Brewery and my choice which was Fell Breweries Pills @ 4.5%. Not a great beer to be honest, the beer was a tad vinegary.

Large open fireplace, various brass plates above it. On the window ledge are various trophies but I didn't check what they were for.

Decent pub, their dog Jasper is very friendly but the beer could of been better, maybe I chose the wrong one.

Also has accommodation

12 Jan 2015 13:34

Teign Cellars, Newton Abbot

Another review from mid August 2014.

An evening of Horse Racing and being our last night in Devon on our weeks holiday and I drag my party to Teign Cellars for a couple of beers.

Busy and extremely friendly is the best way to describe this pub. The bar man is very knowledgeable, there are 4 keg & 4 casks serving ales & these present a great choice. I go for Brewdog’s Clown King and it’s stunning though very strong.

There’s pump clips all over the walls along with plenty of beer and ale posters and signs on the walls. Food was being served, it looked & smelt very good.

Great pub, excellent beer choice and the best of all is the off licence downstairs with huge fridges and a ridiculous amount of bottled beers for sale on site and off.

10/10 for me and I will return on my next visit to Devon.

12 Jan 2015 13:30

Treby Arms, Plympton

Another review from my visit in mid August 2014.

We stopped here late morning on a Tuesday on our way to Dartmoor Zoo.

This is a smart & trendy food oriented free house in the tiny village of Sparkwell right close to the Zoo.

When we walked in we were the only 4 customers, the 3 attentive bar staff served us quickly with a smile on their faces.

4 pumps offering the following ales Otter Velvet Ale, Dartmoor Jail Ale & Legend & Bass Premium. I went for the Otter Velvet and it was handsome.

Lovely inside with a beautiful open stone fire place with large cast iron fire and an interesting copper divers helmet!

The bar to the right as you enter had tables laid with cutlery and glasses, the bar to the left is more of a pub lounge. Quite a few people came in within 20 minutes of us being there with the majority in for lunch.

Cracking little village pub which was a great tick for me as it appeared in the 2014 GBG, however it’s not in the 2015 version.

Highly recommended if you’re ever in the area.

12 Jan 2015 10:32

Shaldon Conservative and Unionist Club, Teignmouth

This review is from my visit towards the end of August 2014.

I have to start this review by saying I love it here. We came in just after 5.30pm and the female manager kindly let us in even though 3 of my party were not members.

Dartmoor Brewery Legend @ 4.4% and Teignworthy Reel Ale @ 4% were my ale choices from the 3 pumps, the other ale was also from Dartmoor Brewery and it was Jail Ale.

As well as the ales there were the regular lagers & a box of real Cider from Cornwall Cider Co. Apparently the Cider is very popular and they sell a couple of boxes a week.

Full size snooker table and a seating area with a television at the end near the stage area. Within 15 minutes of arriving a group of locals arrived including the Steward for the club & they were all very friendly.

To re-cap this is a really friendly club that if I lived in the area I would most certainly be a member of.

A great tick for me.

8 Jan 2015 17:18

White Horse, Southminster

Another review from August 2014.

The White Horse was our 2nd pub in Southminster and was also very busy like the Station was on my Saturday evening visit.

Music was loud but alright and kind of added to the atmosphere of the pub.

1 ale on, but I don’t remember what it was. Good attentive manager who was a local and was filling us in on the history of the local pubs.

Busy with locals, loud as mentioned, darts being played & lager being necked this place has the potential to be very good.

It’s not a great looking pub from the outside but was blinking busy.

8 Jan 2015 15:01

The Railway Hotel, Burnham on Crouch

After a good day drinking and pub ticking in Burnham in August 2014, this was our 8th and final pub in Burnham and my 9th pint of the day, so my recollections may be a bit hazy!

Only 1 beer on tap which was Sharps Doom Bar, this was decent enough & very drinkable.

Large establishment that looks like half of it is not in use, all of the friendly honest punters were squeezed around 1 side of the bar with really only the toilets round the other side.

Nice wooden curved bar with a brass bar top, some nice glass mirrors above the bar, ornate coving and bizarrely a full size Charlie Chaplin in the corner !

Handy for the station and worthy of a stop for a pint.

8 Jan 2015 14:53

The Star Inn, Burnham on Crouch

This review was written during my visit in early August 2014.

Pub number 7 of the day and by now the beer had been flowing.

This large pub is carpeted throughout and has a really old feel to it. Pretty busy both in and out but there was very quick service so getting a pint was not an issue

2 ales on the taps, I opted for Greene King’s Sun Dance @ 3.6%, a very drinkable pint.

Great area to the back of the pub that faces the sea wall and acts as a sun trap.

Another decent pub

8 Jan 2015 12:54

The New Welcome Sailor, Burnham on Crouch

A Saturday lunchtime visit as part of my day out pub ticking in Burnham during August 2014, this was pub number 1 with the most striking thing you notice as soon as you arrive is how exceptionally clean and tidy the pub is, they either have a superb cleaner or the landlady is a whizz with the mop bucket, hoover and dust clothe!

4 pumps with 3 ales available, these were Wibblers Brewery Dengue Ale , Dark Star Hophead and Sharp's Doombar…..I opted for the Dengue Ale and it was very good. Also great value at £6.00 for 2 pints.

Televisions' were on with the sound down while music played.

There’s a nautical theme with a few things on the wall including a ships wheel and a model ship sitting up on a shelf.

This is mainly an old fashioned style pub, but it’s lovely, it was pretty empty as it was just gone noon when we arrived here, the landlady was very friendly and chatty and it was a shame to leave but with another 7 pubs to do in Burnham we couldn’t hang about.

I’m planning another trip to Burnham and this place is definitely on the list.

7 Jan 2015 17:29

The Victoria Inn, Burnham on Crouch

Pub number 4 of the day in Burnham during early August 2014.

Nice enough pub 2 bar pub, one clearly for playing pool and drinking and one for food.
3 pumps on the left hand public bar but only 2 ales which were Wibblers Dengh IPA and Bishop Nick Ridleys Rite. We had a couple of pints of Ridley’s Rite and it was drinkable.

Only 1 other small group in the left bar with us but the other side was pretty busy, with a strong smell of food.

Large outside area to the side of the main bar.

Not a bad pub but certainly not the best of the day.

7 Jan 2015 17:26

The Ferry House, Isle of Dogs

Attempted a visit here at 2pm today (7/1/15) but it was closed.

The pub does seem open and their was no signs that it had closed down, maybe it doesn’t open on a Wednesday lunchtime.

7 Jan 2015 17:23

Tompkins, Canary Wharf

A bar & restaurant at the bottom of a large apartment block right next to South Quay station.

As this is the 2nd closest drinking establishment to my office I use Tompkins at least once a month.

It’s nearly always busy especially in the good weather when a lot of people stand or sit out the front.

No real ale on tap but they do a very good pint of Murphy’s Stout and the European lagers like Amstel are good.

Never eaten here but I have watched friends eat the pizza’s and apparently they are excellent.

7 Jan 2015 17:21

Maidenhead Conservative Club, Maidenhead

Now the pub has been added to BITE I can add my review from early August 2014.

After watching football next door @ Maidenhead United I headed into the Con club for my 3rd & final 2014 GBG tick in Maidenhead.

Camra members need to be buzzed in and show their current membership card prior to being served.

5 pumps offering the following ales, Fullers London Pride, Seafarers & Summer Ale. Then 2 offerings from both Mordue brewery & Butcombe brewery. My choice of Summer Ale was very good.

Apart from myself and 3 others at the bar, the large bar and seating area was empty, however there were people playing snooker next door.

I only stayed for the one pint before moving back towards the station.

Friendly place though, pleasant barman, great location & well kept beer

6 Jan 2015 12:57

Social Bar, Leeds

Now the pub has been added to BITE I can add my review from July 2014.

I stumbled across this Craft beer bar late on a Saturday night while walking from the station to North, it was raining really hard so I took refuge here not knowing it was a fairly new addition to the Leeds Bar & ale scene.

There are exposed brick walls, with a few corner sofas and several chunky wooden tables with mismatched chairs big enough to fit you and all your mates on.

I’m unsure what this place used to be, maybe just a shop but they have used the space wisely & created an open plan bar which also has a foosball table.

The beer is good value at £2.90 a pint, the choices from the 2 pumps on my visit were Kirkstall Three Swords and an offering from Moorhouses (who’s name has escaped me), in addition to the ales there’s a selection of bottled and draught lagers, including The Social’s own & Brooklyn Brewery,

Food is also served but I didn’t see anyone eating on my visit.

A thoroughly decent bar that was busy with a late 20s crowd, pretty trendy and worth a pit stop.

6 Jan 2015 12:44

The Lansdown Arms, Lewes

After a long day in Lewes and a lot of beer there was just enough time to finish off in this pub right by the station.

It was pretty packed around 8.30pm when we dropped in for a quick beer while we waited for the train.

Several ales on offer however the first pint we ordered was flat as a pancake and undrinkable, the barmaid didn't seem bothered about changing it so we spoke to the manager and after testing it disagreed it was ropey but he changed it regardless and we got a fresh pint which was perfect. This was Harvey’s Sussex Best.

Managed to get a seat by the door, the majority of the clientele were young adults…..mostly getting ready for a night on the town.

Not a bad pub for the station and will try again if I need a pint while waiting for a train.

5 Jan 2015 16:45

The Brewers Arms, Lewes

Having ticked all of the pubs I wanted to do in Lewes on Saturday there was still time for a couple more pints.

With our travelling party down from 7 to 2 we took the short walk from The Rights of Man to The Brewers Arms.

It was around 7pm when we arrived, the front bar which is a lot cosier was fairly quiet back the large back bar was busy with the TVs showing darts and football.

The first pint was had while sat in the peace of the front bar before we moved into the back bar to watch the darts, pool table and dart board also in this bar.

A good selection of ales, I had a few pints of Long Man American Pale Ale @ 4.8%.

We stayed for over an hour, mainly youngsters in & it was encouraging to see most of them were drinking ales.

I’ve been here before on a Saturday afternoon when it was a lot busier.

A decent pub that is worth having a pint or 2 in.

5 Jan 2015 16:10

Rights of Man, Lewes

The last of the 5 pubs I wanted to tick in Lewes and it’s around 6pm when we wander into this Harvey's pub.

Harvey’s have really pushed the boat here, it’s a lovely pub inside with 2 distinct areas aswell as nooks and cranny’s.

All the Harvey’s staples on the bar. I went for the IPA and it was very well kept.
The pub was filling up nicely and there were a few characters in.

Nice outside area to the rear behind the back bar which is perfect for a dining area.

Food was on offer but I didn’t see any being ordered or served but I was taken with the lunchtime tapas menu, again maybe next time.

Fully expecting this place to feature in the 2016 GBG.

5 Jan 2015 15:13

Lamb, Lewes

A detour from the ticking list as it’s almost opposite the Lewes Arms and there was no reason not to stop here.

The Lamb is an absolute cavernous pub & live music venue but it was pretty empty apart from the 7 of us that turned up en-mass

The bar runs the length of the pub on the left as you enter. 4 pumps which were serving Dark star Hophead, Greene King’s Olde trip and Abbot. Not fancying any of these beers I looked to the bottle selection & went for a bottle of Brooklyn Lager.

Large outdoor area towards the back and a small cosy area the other side of the fireplace.

An okay pub but more of a music venue I guess.

5 Jan 2015 14:38

Lewes Arms, Lewes

After a couple of pints in the “Ellie” we arrived here at 5pm and it was nicely busy.

This Fullers pub was 4th on the list and the 6th pub of the day….it was also the only Fullers pub we visited.

It’s a proper ale house, the like you don’t see very often in London. The front bar was pretty full so we moved to the side bar.

6 ales with all but 1 of the ales from Fullers. Interesting to see the bar maid serving the side bar from a hatch.

The food looked good especially the scampi and chips, maybe next time.

A very busy & friendly pub and a great tick.

5 Jan 2015 14:20

The Elephant and Castle, Lewes

5th pub of the day this community based back street pub with a good choice of ales is worthy of the short uphill walk from town.

The pub has obviously been stripped back in recent times and this has worked well. During my visit there was 4 pumps with 3 ales on, I went for a pint of Bedlam’s Hoppy Golden Ale @ 4.2% then followed this up with Long Man’s Long Blonde @ 3.8%. Both were very good pints with the Long Blonde put on while I waited.

We went into the side bar that had the pool table in & also the TV so we could watch the football scores. A couple of old pub signs hang on the walls and a stag's antlers with Christmas lights above the TV.

The larger bar at the front also had a TV in and most of the punters were in this bar.
A stench of food came from the kitchen when we entered but this soon passed.

A very decent pub and again is worthy of another visit on my next trip to Lewes.

5 Jan 2015 13:49

The John Harvey Tavern, Lewes

A 2 minute stroll from the Gardeners and this is our 4th pub of the day.
Right opposite both the brewery and the large brewery shop in the High Street.

It’s just after 2.30pm and this is another pub that is very busy. The pub has three separate areas, the main bar to your right, a quieter room on the same level that was being used as an eating area to the left and an upstairs restaurant/function room.

A couple of attentive bar ensure the wait for a beer is very short. There are 4 ales on tap, there’s also many casks on the racks behind the bar.

My choice was Harvey’s IPA was good but not the best beer I've ever had.

I managed to bag a window seat which was nice as we could survey the pub and take the conversation in.

Another decent pub, Lewes really is a good drinking town!

5 Jan 2015 13:17

The Gardeners Arms, Lewes

After an unscheduled pit stop at The Dorset it was time to move onto our 3rd pub in Lewes and back to my list.

The Gardeners in Cliffe High Street is very small (and I mean small) but it’s an absolute gem.

There are 6 pumps offering 6 cask ales and another pump with a real cider. I went for a pint of Raw Raspberry Blast @ 4.6%. A strange taste but a thoroughly decent pint.

Small inside with the front bar barely having enough room for a couple of bar stools. The back area is larger but not that big, several round tables and chairs.
Rugby on the television in the back bar. The pub was pretty busy, the clientele are sort of friendly & we were the only punters that were not locals.

This is a good tick for me and was easily my favourite pub of the day.

5 Jan 2015 12:27

Dorset Arms, Lewes

2nd pub of the day and a short walk from the Snowdrop is The Dorset. A Harvey’s tied house and not a pub that was on my list but it seemed a shame not to try it!

The front bar area as you enter was mainly occupied with punters eating, there was also a dart board in 1 corner. A horseshoe shaped bar with 2 sides both of them with 4 Harvey's beers on tap, I opted for a pint of Bellowhead Revival @ 3.7%. Not a great pint to be honest.

The back bar area is more for drinkers with a large fireplace and comfy sofas facing it. To the rear of the pub is a dining room but it does lead to the garden (paved over and laid with benches that over look Tesco).

Decent enough pub but we were really the only drinkers in as the other punters were there for the food.

Ticked and will probably never return.

5 Jan 2015 11:20

The Snowdrop, Lewes

With my football teams game at Lewes being postponed due to the wet weather it was decided to travel to Lewes anyway and tick the 5 pubs in the town that were on my list.

Our 1st stop after a 15 minute walk was the Snowdrop, a very busy free house.

I'd been told this was a food pub and this is very true. By 12.30pm the majority of the punters in the pub were ordering food or eating.

On the bar there are 6 pumps dispensing 5 cask ales and 1 cider. All of the ales from different breweries including the dependable Harvey's Sussex Best. I started the day with a pint of Blackjack Brewery Shuffled Deck @ 3.8%. A cracking pint that unforateluy was so good that by the time I wanted a 2nd it had run out, so my 2nd beer was Bristol Beer Factory’s Milk Stout @ 4.5%, another decent drop. In addition to the ales there are several pumps offering good quality “craft” lager and also a good bottle range.

Inside the pub is pretty quirky with lots of bits and bobs hanging from the ceiling these include a couple of surfboards!

Outside there are 2 garden areas but with the rain hammering down these were not the place to be.

Even though food was being served I only saw a couple of plates of chips pass me so I cannot comment how good the food is however it was certainly popular.

All in all the Snowdrop is a smashing pub and a great place to start the day’s ticking trip.

5 Jan 2015 10:23

The Wheatsheaf on the Green, Esher


***Currently closed for a full refurbishment***

31 Dec 2014 21:33

The John Baird, Muswell Hill

After finding that the Three Compasses in Hornsey High Street was not open until 4pm I had to quickly go to plan B for a pub so a quick bus ride up the hill brought me to Muswell Hill Broadway and then a short walk to the John Baird.

A large corner plot pub that houses a Thai restaurant at the back 'The Black Orchid'. Food was quite popular but there were more punters drinking as there was a crowd of a dozen in on their way to the darts at Ally Pally.

8 hand pumps on the bar serving 6 ales and 2 ciders. A decent range that made my choice difficult, however after much deliberation I went for the seasonal offering of Wadworth’s Dray Bells @ 4.1%.

Neutral decoration throughout with quite a few Christmas decorations up as it’s that time of the year again!

Very decent pub that I'm glad I ticked as the rest of Muswell Hill looked a bit barren ale wise.

30 Dec 2014 12:33

Three Compasses, Hornsey

Annoyingly changed their opening hours over the Christmas period and didn’t open until 4pm on Saturday.

I only found this out at 2pm when I arrived and found a note on the door.

Will return another day.

29 Dec 2014 16:36

Spouter's Corner, Wood Green

A break from ticking the GBG with a stop at Wood Greens 'spoons.

My first visit here and being a Saturday afternoon I thought it would be a lot worse than it actually was.

Only a smattering of the local dredges but this was more than compensated for by the 2 friendly and effective bar staff.

10 hand pumps again offering 9 ales and 1 cider. I chose another seasonal offering this time in the shape of Titanic's Festive Thirty Five @ 5.0%. A very good beer.

Large purpose built pub , the decor is tasteful, there are tributes to the local Salvation Army and other images of the local area on the walls.

A steady stream of punters but unexpectedly they were all well behaved, maybe North London isn't that bad after all!

29 Dec 2014 16:31

The Dog and Duck, Winchmore Hill

3rd pub to tick and after a short walk down Green Lanes & along Woodbury Avenue I'm at the Dog and Duck.

This Irish owned pub appears in both the 2014 and 2105 GBG's.

Small one bar pub with an emphasise on sport as one side of the bar is adorned with various trophies. I didn't take a closer look so I cannot comment on what they are for. Lots of golf pictures on the wall and posters advertising sport on television.

4 pumps serving GK IPA, Timothy Taylor Landlord, Fullers London Pride and Young's Bitter. My drop of Landlord was very good.

Walled beer garden and smoking area to the rear.

Another very nice old fashioned pub that appears to serve the local community well and another tick for me.

29 Dec 2014 16:23

The Orange Tree, Winchmore Hill

2nd tick of the day and 1 of 2 in Winchmore Hill.

Friendly community Greene King pub just off the main road from Palmers Green to Winchmore Hill.

This award winning pub has been in 20 consecutive GBG's. A warm welcome when I entered from the landlord, this immediately puts you at ease and makes you feel valued as a punter.

4 ales, Old Speckled Hen, GK IPA, GK Orange Tree Landlords Choice and my choice which was Batemans Miss Lapland - 4.1%. A very nice pint priced at £3.90.

2 roaring fires one on each side of the bar, pool table and dart board in the back near the toilets. Fully carpeted throughout. The walls are decorated with plates and brass ornaments. Selection of toby jugs behind the bar and pump clips on the bar supports at the front.

Very nice traditional pub that is probably very good in the evening as on my visit I was the only punter.

29 Dec 2014 16:19

The Alfred Herring, Palmers Green

With football postponed I decided to tick a couple of pubs in deepest North London, first stop this modern 'spoons in the heart of Palmers Green.

Apparently this 'spoons opened in 2006, it's modern in style and is open plan with the long bar to your right as you enter. Carpeted throughout with the usual seating areas that you expect from this chain. No music on my visit and the televisions were on silent.

I came in just after 10.30am on Saturday there were only a handful of punters in with most of them having breakfast.

10 hand pumps serving 9 different ales and 1 cider. A couple of seasonal offerings and an overseas ale from Full Sail Brewing Co, Wassail @ 6.0% this was my choice and was pretty good.

A pleasant pub, friendly bar staff, decent ale choice & quality, the perfect start to the day.

29 Dec 2014 16:15

The Gun, Coldharbour

Having first visited here in April 2014 I have since been a frequent visitor and have also eaten here a couple of times.

The service is always very good, the ale choice and quality is excellent and the food is superb.

It’s not your normal pub food but it’s superb and reasonably priced for the quality.

Obviously a much nicer outlook in the summer but it’s not that bad in winter.

Worth a visit for sure.

29 Dec 2014 12:38

Richard I, Greenwich

Tuesday 23rd December and I needed to pop into Greenwich to pick something up for the wife, with a wide range of pubs to choose from for a quick pint I decide on Richard 1st.

I haven't been here for at least 16 years when I lived in Greenwich. My memories of my last visit are hazy but I have been aiming to come back here for several years now.

A thoroughly modern Young's pub with food a plenty. Island bar to your left or right as you enter depending which door you use. The 2 rooms are split by a dividing wall opened up by a couple of arches.

Out the back is a large open plan dining area and a conservatory aswell as a large beer garden, the dining room was quite busy during my lunchtime visit.

The bar had a good selection of ales with Special and Bitter from Young's, Session IPA and Oatmeal Chocolate Porter from Hackney Brewery & White from Portobello. I opted for a pint of Oatmeal Chocolate Porter @ 4.8%. Typical local price of £4.10 a pint but very well kept.

In addition to the cask ales there's also keg offerings from Portobello, Meantime, Camden and Wells. Lagers are Peroni, Fosters, Estrella & Heineken and there's also Aspall's cider. The fridges are well stocked with a good selection of ales and lagers.

Music playing softly in the background, chatter from punters and the sound of the coffee machine fill the air.

A very attractive pub internally that has been nicely brought into the modern world from my last visit. The area is non touristy and is 'real' Greenwich. If like me you haven't visited before or for several years now is the time.

Enjoy!

29 Dec 2014 12:37

The Morden Arms, Greenwich

The Modern is a pub I have never been in, in Greenwich so I thought a Tuesday afternoon would be the ideal time….wrong!

I approached from the main road and it looked very much open, sign board outside and the door open…however upon entering there was just a woman sat towards the end of the bar with a cuppa & reading the paper.

1pm and it’s not open….I shall try again on another day!

23 Dec 2014 16:45

The Honor Oak, Honor Oak

First visit since it has re-opened and to be honest its almost the same as when it closed i.e. full of families even on a Saturday evening at 6.30pm.

Large dining room now at the back of the bar running along the main road, there were a few couples eating in there.

The bar area was busy but as I said above there were a lot of families in. I'm not opposed to this but I am opposed to kids running wild while I'm trying to have a pint!

4 ales on the pumps with a couple of seasonal offerings, I choose one of these in the form of Black Sheep’s Blitzen @ 4.0%. A very nice pint even though it tasted stronger than the 4.0% abv.

The pub has been improved internally and externally, the dining room is impressive, the decor is clean and crisp but please cut back on families and kids on a Saturday night.

As I’m local I will give it another try soon as it at least deserves that for the beers alone.

23 Dec 2014 16:09

The Swan and Mitre, Bromley


It’s more than 10 years since I’ve been in here but during a walk past last Friday evening it looked like it’s on it’s last legs.

I may be wrong and it may have been the wrong time of the evening as this side of Bromley is seriously in need of a cash injection…it kind of seems sorry for itself.

23 Dec 2014 15:45

The Star and Garter, Bromley


***Currently closed, awaiting news on if and when it will re-open***

23 Dec 2014 15:42

The Railway Hotel, Bromley

Friday early evening & it’s pretty busy as I enter for my 1st visit since it’s been reopened under the Antic banner.

The Railway was also a large pub that seemed to be on it’s downers. During my visits here over the years it’s been a biker’s pub, an old man’s pub and now it’s shabby chic with the decor as you have come to expect from Antic.

4 cask ales on the pumps with all ales served in dimpled jugs. I opted for a pint of Duchars IPA as my first choice of Brains SA Gold had just run out.

I only stayed for 1 pint but the Railway on this visit was quirky, busy, with good friendly service and decent ales.....keep up the good work and I will return in the not too distant.

23 Dec 2014 15:40

The Green, Shepherds Bush

My last here was in late 2001 so as I was in the area last week I was going to have a quick pint but it didn’t look that inviting.

On my next visit to SB I will stop for a quick one here to see if it’s better inside than it looks from the outside.

23 Dec 2014 14:51

Walkabout, Shepherds Bush

***Very much closed and boarded up***

23 Dec 2014 14:46

The Defector's Weld, Shepherds Bush

My 2nd visit this year was a Thursday night just before a gig at the Empire.

Being close to Christmas and a Thursday I guess that was the reason it was very busy and loud. Most of the clientele seemed to not be there for the gig I was attending so I can only assume it is this busy normally.

Good ale choice again, I opted for Christmas Cave from Caveman Brewery. Bit of banter with the barman while I ordered my drink.

Contrary to the reviews below I still rate this pub but maybe I see or want something different in a pub to others.

23 Dec 2014 14:44

The Duke Of Wellington, Portobello Road

My first visit here last week even though I have walked past several times over the years.

On my way to Shepherds Bush for a gig so the wife and I stopped for a couple of pints.

Young's pub with 3 of their cask ales on the pumps which were Bitter, Winter Warmer and Special there was also Well’s Bombardier. Also 4 craft beers (mainly lagers) on the pumps along with a decent bottle selection.

Apparently the pub dates from 1850, there’s an impressive island bar with a tall bar back, stripped wooden floors, wooden tables and mismatched chairs. To the front is the outside area with benches and was mainly used by smokers on my visit (as I guess it always is)

Busy on my Thursday night visit with most of the punters seeming like locals. A decent pub, the food looked but one complaint from me is that the music was turned up just before 7pm and it was a far too loud however the bar staff didn’t seem to mind

Another tick for me from the 2014 GBG.

23 Dec 2014 14:39

Admiral Hardy, Greenwich

First visit for a long time with the wife on the way to the 02 for a gig. It was very busy as football was on the Saturday evening I came in.

I think my last visit was at least 12 years ago so it was about time I paid another visit.

2 cask ales on the 3 pumps which were both from Adnams. Lighthouse & Ghost Ship, I opted for Ghost Ship, it was drinkable but not the best kept pint I’ve ever had.

4 interesting retro lights hang in the main bar, there are lots of tables and chairs rammed in. The walls are adorned with music artist pictures and this stretches into the back room and the toilets, some very good posters and pictures.

The Hardy is a decent enough pub but it is a bit touristy for me.

23 Dec 2014 14:12

The Old Vic, Preston

After football I decided to blow my last pub in Burnley out to get to Preston early so I could tick The Old Vic, which was the nearest pub to the station that appears in the 2015 GBG.

The Old Vic is literally opposite the train station which means its perfect for a pit stop between trains which is exactly what I did. Its just after 6pm when I come in and it’s very busy, 2 bar staff on but they were experienced and served very quickly.

A few ale options with most of them from the local region, I opted for 2 pints of Kirkby Lonsdale Brewery Monumentale @ 4.5%. The ale was a bit more pricey here compared to Accrington & Burnley at £2.70 a pint.

I took my pints to the seating area at the back of the pub to rest my weary body and watch the “action below”…which mainly consisted of an inebriated chap stacking it in a corner, if he wasn’t so hammered he would of hurt himself.

The walls are covered with lots of old pictures of the station & town, there's also lots of plates on the shelves running around the back seating area.

The Old Vic is very much an old fashioned pub but it serves decent ale and is doing something right hence why it's so busy and appears in the GBG.

Will pop in again on my next visit to Preston.

23 Dec 2014 13:51

The Talbot, Burnley

After visiting the Brun Lea and Bridge Beer Huis this was my 3rd of the 4 I wanted to tick.

A short walk brings me to the Talbot which is a huge establishment located on the corner of a busy main road.

2 very different bar areas but both have pool tables in. This is very much a match day football pub and today was no exception half a dozen bar staff serving the thirsty hoards!

The 8 hand pumps each had a different ale on. Out of all of the choices I opted for a couple of pints of Tetley Gold Cask. Very good pint and again £2.00 a throw.

Very busy but as its so such a large pub there was plenty of room to find somewhere to stand. Football was on the large screen in the main area with it also on in the smaller room that had a stunning original tiled fireplace.

Another very nice pub with good ale and perfect for Turf Moor.

22 Dec 2014 16:48

The Bridge Bier Huis, Burnley

The 2nd pub from the GBG for me to tick and most probably the best and biggest ale range in Burnley. The pub itself has obviously been reinvented from an old down on its luck pub as the stained glass windows lend testament to.

Inside the floors are all stripped back wood with wooden tables and leather chairs. As mentioned above the choice of ales is very good there are 6 pumps offering 6 cask ales and from this selection I opt for a pint of Moorhouses Premier-Ship @ 3.7% again an absolute steal at £2.00.

I take a seat and start to peruse the extensive beer menu which is very Belgian and German lead. Aswell as the bottles there's a nice selection of Southern German ales and lagers on tap.

The manager / landlord (unsure which) is behind the jump and a character he certainly is. There’s a group of older Burnley FC fans in the corner of the pub and they are laughing and joking with said manager / landlord. Food is served here and looks good value, especially the pie and gravy.

A really cracking selection of ales sets this place apart from other pubs I have visited in the town.

Overall the pub is decent but the ales make it a belter.

Loving my Northern ticking trip!

22 Dec 2014 16:14

Brun Lea, Burnley

Football day in Burnley and I had another 4 pubs to tick after my 4 in Accrington the night before. 1st port of call was the Brun Lea a short walk from Manchester Road station.

Its just before 10.30am and the pub is filling up nicely. Large open plan layout with most of the tables for eating put to the sides and front.

I’m Unsure how old this pub is but it has a new feeling to it but maybe its just kept very clean.

10 pumps on the bar in 2 sets of 5. The ale choice is decent with a few seasonal selections. As it’s only a month to Christmas I opt for J W Lees Christmas Plum Pudding @ 4.8%, perfectly poured, rich and fulsome and a bargain at £1.99 a pint.

I stopped for an hour and by the time I left the pub was pretty packed...remarkable for 11.30am but it was a Saturday and Burnley FC are at home.

A very decent 'spoons but it might be a different place when the sun goes down!!

1 pub down 3 to go.

22 Dec 2014 16:08

The Abbey Hotel, Accrington

The last of the 4 pubs I had to tick in Accrington and this is the pub I finished up in.

The Abbey is a minutes walk from Grants in a side street and is a very different pub, this one is very much a locals pub and somewhere that you instantly feel welcome as you enter as a stranger like I did.

As you enter from the street you are faced with the bar that serves 2 separate rooms with a total of 6 pumps across the 2 sides. 3 cask ales on these pumps so I went for Moorhouses Pride of Pendle @ 4.1%. I've had this beer before and its always good, these pints were no different.

I stayed for a couple of hours as I was plotted up at the bar and the enjoying the music coming from the juke box playing in the back bar. The place was pretty busy and with the music it was like a party…good group of punters and plenty of Northern banter.

Unsure why this pub didn’t make the 2014 GBG as it’s beer is every bit as good as the other 3 pubs I visited but the selection was not quite so vast.

Again another great pub, that’s at least 3 in Accrington.

22 Dec 2014 15:43

The Hargreaves Arms, Accrington

Pub number 3 on the list and pub number 4 of the day.

Grants is a good 15 walk from the football ground the other side of town and is the home to the Big Clock Brewery. 10 hand pumps on the bar which had 8 ales on and only 1 wasn't from the onsite brewery, my first pint I opted for Sunny Boy @ 3.8% and my 2nd was Dirty Blonde @ 4.2%...both are very good beers and were kept well. Both pints pulled by the quick and attentive barmaids.

The brewers' barrels are clearly visible from the bar and are not hidden by perspex or glass like in other brew pubs.

Interesting clientele as most of the punters were over 40 but I was busy none the less.

The decoration is sympathetic and tastefully done, leather chesterfields, nice lamps and a decent carpet.

A worthy pub for the GBG and I'm very glad I made the effort to come here...another cracker.

22 Dec 2014 15:24

Victoria Hotel, Burnham on Sea

Pub number 4 of the day in Burnham during early August.

Nice enough pub 2 bar pub, one clearly for playing pool and drinking and one for food.

3 pumps on the left hand public bar but only 2 ales which were Wibblers Dengh IPA and Bishop Nick Ridleys Rite. We had a couple of pints of Ridley’s Rite and it was drinkable.

Only 1 other small group in the left bar with us but the other side was pretty busy, with a strong smell of food.

Large outside area to the side of the main bar.

Not a bad pub but certainly not the best of the day.

22 Dec 2014 13:09

The Crown Inn, Accrington

This is the pub nearest to the football ground so even though it wasn't on my list it was rude not to have a pint here as I was going to the match anyway. I found out before entering that its owned by the football club, that made me want to have a pint here even more.

Lovely 1 bar pub that has service from either side of the bar . 4 pumps offering 4 different ales, I went for a pint of Hartley's Cumbria Way. A bit creamy but more than drinkable and again another pint in Accrington for less than £3.00! This is heaven for a cockney!

Busy with football fans but everyone was well behaved.

Friendly and extremely quick attentive bar staff is exactly what you want in a football pub and that's exactly what you get at the Crown.

Cracking pub and worthy of a stop for home and away fans.

5 Dec 2014 17:06

Peel Park Hotel, Accrington

A brisk walk from town up a slight incline brings me to the Peel Park Hotel, pub number 2 on my list and another one from the GBG.

Now this is a proper pub and its right next to the site of Accrington Stanley's original ground, yes you guessed it Peel Park!

A grand entrance brings you towards the small bar that crams in as many pumps as it can not leaving any space left. There are 6 hand pumps offering 6 different ales, even though the cask Tetley is tempting I start off with a pint of Elland Breweries White Prussian @ 3.9%. A lively pint for the barmaid to pour but it settles down nicely and was good . My second pint was Bank Top’s Flat Cap @ 4.0% again another very good pint.

There are 3 separate drinking areas and another room with a pool table in. Most of the walls are adorned with sporting pictures , these are predominantly Football and Cricket related. Above the bar is a collection of German Steins and hiding behind one of the CCTV cameras is a gollywog, I wonder how many people spot this?

I stayed for over an hour before moving on. The pub was packed with locals with more arriving by the minute.

Cracking ale, lovely building, lots of regulars....no wonder this pub survives and makes it into the GBG….9/10 for me.

2 Dec 2014 16:55

Regency Bar, Accrington

***Now called The Commercial Hotel***

I was in Accrington for football on Friday evening and had 4 pubs to tick so I started with the nearest to the station which was this large and fairly new feeling Wetherspoon’s pub even though it’s been open since July 2011, previously it was called the Regency bar.

It’s just before 4.30pm & the pub is already pretty busy, a mix of the normal spoons clientele, families, work colleagues & also a group of very rowdy woman!

10 hand pumps with 8 of them serving ales 1 real cider & 1 was spare. I opted for a pint of Lytham Breweries Harvest Gold @ 4.4%, a decent pint and at £2.15 a pint very good value.

Lots of photos and posters giving a nod to the Accrington of the past with lots of faux Art Nouveau glass and plenty about the Tiffany glass production that used to happen in the town.
Quick service at the bar with the 3 bar staff dealing promptly and accurately.

A very good pub to start my evening in hopefully the other 3 are of an equal high standard.

1 Dec 2014 16:47

Black Horse, North Greenford

The Black horse is a Fullers pub on the bridge just up from Greenford station.

8 pumps on the bar that had just 2 ales on which were London Pride and ESB. My pint of ESB was very good and served in a proper ESB marked handle pint jug, extra points scored for this! Full range of Fullers bottles also available.

I came in just before 4pm on a week day but as its a large pub the pub felt quite empty though there was a few punters in.

Large projector screen at one end of the bar and a smaller tele at the other.

There’s the addition of a lovely looking garden by the canal to the rear and side but it wasn't the right weather to sit out in.

Good honest locals pub and another tick from the 2014 GBG for me.

27 Nov 2014 17:03

The Railway, Greenford

I was in the area for a meeting and when it came to lunch my client decided they wanted to eat at this rather large Flame Grill chain pub.

Not only is this pub large its blinking huge, the seating area to the back of the bar goes on for almost ever!

First to the beer selection. It was better than I expected however there were only 2 ales on which were Thwaites Wainwright and Fullers London Pride, there were of course all of the regular lagers, Guinness, wine and a fine selection of alcopops!

Being a Flaming Grill pub this place is very geared up for food and the menu is full of belly busters, almost all of the food is of larger than normal portions and the prices are very cheap for the amount of food you get, the quality is decent enough and is probably on a par with a Beefeater.

The clientele was mostly made up of manual worker types and what seemed like locals.

A pleasant enough pub and maybe better than it looks from the outside as the interior is nicely styled. Friendly and quick service but this place definitely survives on it’s food.

27 Nov 2014 17:01

The Red Lion Inn, Horsell

Packed with people eating and drinking on my visit but being a Saturday night it’s not surprising, especially as the Crown doesn’t seem to offer food. The food looked good and was reasonably priced, judged just by looking at the menu.

3 pumps on the bar, I opted for a pint of Caledonian Autumn Red @ 4.4%, always a decent pint and no different on this occasion.

Stayed for around 30 minutes but I was a bit drunk so my mind is hazy though I’m sure this is a decent enough pub.

I’ll probably never visit again.

27 Nov 2014 13:39

The Crown, Horsell

After a couple of pints in the Woking Railway club a very kind local offered us a lift up to Horsell so that we could tick this well respected community pub

We entered the larger bar area and was greeted by 4 pumps serving 3 ales. The Bingham's Brickworks Bitter @ 4.2% & Marston's Pedigree New World Pale Ale @ 3.8% were both very good.

Apparently in this pub pizzas on sale but I didn't see anyone order or eating them so I cannot confirm whether this is true or not.

A friendly landlord but a sour faced looking bar maid tended the bar that was busy mainly with locals. Interesting to note that there was a phone in from a regular at the pub who is sailing from Africa to the Caribbean in a team of 4. There is a map on the bar that is charting their progress and all guesses for how far they have travelled that week are donated to charity, I hasten to say we were well out with our guesses!

After almost an hour here a musical performance was about to start so we finished our pints and went across to the Red Lion.

A decent tick from the 2014 GBG and certainly needed the assistance of a car to get here as I didn’t realise it wasn’t walkable from Woking station!

27 Nov 2014 13:35

The Sovereigns, Woking

2nd pub of the day and it’s just a short walk to Sovereigns which is the other side of the station from the ‘Spoons. This is an Embers Inn bar as previously mentioned and very nice it is too.

Large corner plot on a one way system, benches outside with plants and small trees up to the door welcome you as you enter.

6 ales across the pumps with a very good choice, I went for Long Man Brewery Old Man @ 4.3% a cracking but strong pint even though its only 4.3% abv.

Nicely decorated pub that was busy but bizarrely as it wasn’t a cold day the heating was on full pelt.

Food was being served and looked good, I checked the menu and the prices were very reasonable.

Ember Inn pubs do have a corporate feel but as a chain they are pubs that I like and this one was no exception.

25 Nov 2014 13:36

The Herbert Wells, Woking

The Herbert Wells was the 1st of my 4 pubs in Woking to tick in one day. I came in just after 12 noon and it was pretty busy though we managed to bag a table and some chairs.

Long bar with lots of pumps, usual Guinness & lagers plus 12 hand pumps. 6 ales and 5 ciders across these pumps. The ales ranged from National brands to a couple of local breweries. My choice of Three Castles Brewery Tornado @ 4.3% was very good. Pleased to see normal 'spoons prices and not the hiked up costs some of their Central London outlets charge.

Fairly soulless 'spoons décor it’s fully carpeted there are wooden and glass booths....though to be honest there’s not much to inspire the decorative mind!

Good pub to have a few beers in and another tick for me, off in search of pub number 2 now.

25 Nov 2014 13:28

The George, Isle of Dogs

So pleased that the pub appears in the GBG 2015, the standard of the ales served here really are superb.

Cracking pub, well priced and tasty food, superb beer and great service.

An absolute gem.

10/10 again from me

24 Nov 2014 14:29

The Trinity Arms, Brixton

Popped in for my first visit on Friday night on my way to Brixton Academy.

Old fashioned back street pub that has been refurbished and is now a very nice and welcoming Young's tied house

Usual range of Young's ales with the addition of Winter Warmer which at 5.0% was very good.

Busy & pretty trendy not what you would of thought a back street Brixton pub would of been like 10 years ago, now it’s more than norm than not in this area.

Stripped floor boards, books on the shelf, fancy wallpaper, food on offer, large coffee machine and very smart gents toilets…no wonder this pub features in the Good Beer Guide.

All in all a very pleasant pub and just a stone’s throw from Brixton station.

24 Nov 2014 14:19

The Bow Bells, Bow

2nd pub in the area on a Wednesday night, the Bow Bells is a million times better and friendlier than the Little Driver.

The Wednesday night quiz was in full flow on this visit. The pub was very busy but not everyone was involved in the quiz.

3 ales on tap which were Fullers London Pride, Sharps Doom Bar and Shepherd & Neame Spitfire. I went for a couple of pints of Doom Bar & it was very good.

A good bottle selection in the fridge however most are available in local supermarkets.

Quick service at the bar, good selection of ales, a proper pub that has survived without going all foodie all in all this is a very decent pub.

24 Nov 2014 14:13

The Little Driver, Bow

Dropped in for a quick beer after being at Upton Park a couple of Wednesday’s ago.
This was only my 2nd ever visit with the 1st one being a few years back. On that occasion it was a Friday night and the pub was quite empty and the beer was just about drinakable.

On this visit the 3 pumps on the bar were only serving 1 beer which was Fullers London Pride, this was on 2 of the pumps and was priced @ £3.60 a pint but to be honest it didn’t taste that good.

The Little Driver is a lovely looking pub inside but it needs a fair bit of TLC there are still a few of the original features and with a bit of cash I’m sure this could be a really decent pub.

Good juke box & interesting locals, the ale just needs to taste better.

I have been in far worse pubs than this one.

24 Nov 2014 13:59

The Goldengrove, Stratford

Wednesday night and on my way to football at West Ham so the Golden Grove seemed the most logical pub to meet in.

I've not been here for around 18 months but its always been a 'spoons that I like and this visit was no different.

A decent selection of ales on the pumps with my choices being Sambrooks Junction and Hackney Brewery Golden Ale, both very good with the Hackney offering being slightly better.

I've never seen this place empty with always a decent crowd of locals and drop by’s, quick bar staff meant the wait was very short.

All in all a decent older style 'spoons.

24 Nov 2014 13:47

The Phoenix, Denmark Hill

After several pints in various local pubs it was time to head home but not without grabbing a cheeky half while I had 10 minutes for my train.

It’s been a while since I have been here, the beers are always decent and normally are quite varied however the pub is nearly always soulless, whether this is the fault of the staff or the punters I never know.

On this visit I just had enough time to neck my choice of Red Squirrel’s London Porter @ 5.0%, a very decent beer.

Again the pub was almost empty.

24 Nov 2014 13:45

THE CAMBRIA, CAMBERWELL

A couple of weeks back I made my first ever visit here on a Sunday afternoon and I was pleasantly surprised.

It was around 3.30pm when myself and 2 others arrived and the pub was pretty busy. Food was being served and was proving very popular.

Not much ale choice so I opted for the only beer that was on, this was Sharp’s Doom Bar which is one of my personal favs and so good that I had 4 pints.

The pub has been transformed from a flagging back street local to a very good gastro pub with an upmarket clientele.

After an hour or so a jazz singer and her band started playing, the music was good and didn’t really disturb us while we talked.

Apart from only 1 ale on this is a very nice pub and maybe next time I may try the food, definitely worth a visit if you’re in the Loughborough Junction area.

24 Nov 2014 13:35

The Fox on the Hill, Denmark Hill

Popped into the Fox the other Sunday afternoon and had 2 decent pints of Backyard Brewhouse’s Hell Bound @ 5.4%.

The sun was shining so I took my beer and sat out the front of the pub.

Usual clientele inside with quite a few people eating, and as it was a Sunday there were a higher number of kids than normal.

Still a decent ‘spoons and worth a pit stop for a few ales.

20 Nov 2014 17:24

Pepper Saint Ontiod, Isle of Dogs

Came here the other Friday for a work colleagues leaving do that just happened to coincide with Halloween, all of the bar staff were dressed up to reflect Halloween except one bar man who was dressed as Alan from the Hangover films complete with baby Carlos!

At 5pm the pub was already pretty busy, it was also pay day aswell so the combination of this, Halloween and a Friday was the reason.

Easy enough to get a drink though as the bar staff are very efficient and serve in order without getting confused and just shouting next.

3 ales on with my choice being ELB's Cowcatcher @ 4.8% I had numerous pints and each one was as good as the last.

I left around 8pm and it was still packed.

19 Nov 2014 14:56

The Door Hinge, Welling

After a couple of pints in the New Cross Turnpike it was time for my first ever visit to this lovely micro pub that to be honest Welling is crying out for.

The Door hinge is all of these objectives, welcoming, small, quirky and odd! This used to be a shop and once you go through from the bar towards the toilets you can feel it’s previous use. The bar area is full of photos and pump clips, there are hops hanging above the windows and doors.

3 ales and 1 real cider are all served from a cool room that you can look into, there is a blackboard hanging by the serving area listing the beers, their breweries and %

4 of us had 3 pints each in here and stayed for a good hour chatting and enjoying the beer.

I’m not surprised this place has got such rave reviews from ale drinkers (only 1 review on here so far!) it really is a cracking place.

Check the opening hours before planning your visit as it’s only on a Saturday when you can almost guarantee they will be open.

19 Nov 2014 14:54

The New Cross Turnpike, Welling

My first visit here for at least 10 years and it’s much better than I remember it was, it’s a lot calmer than on my last visit!

Busy at 5.45pm on a Tuesday when I came in. The International beer festival was still on and has I had been advised the pub now stocks a very good range of beers. I went for a couple of pints of Artisan Craft Beers (Evan Evans) Cluster Nut @ 4.4%

Interesting interior with a large mezzanine above you as you walk in with the bar directly in front.

Lots of staff and a few punters in as well, with most of them drinking.

A very decent ‘spoons and worthy on another visit soon.

19 Nov 2014 11:32

The East Dulwich Tavern (EDT), Dulwich

Popped in for a quick beer on the way to Dulwich Hamlet on Saturday.

The pumps had 4 ales and 1 cider on. Even though the choice was decent I went for a bottle of Brixton Breweries Atlantic APA @ 5.4%, £4.50 a bottle though!

Busy, football on the televisions in the bar to the right as you enter

Families and groups of friends in the other bar eating and chatting, this is quite a loud place...no need for music!

Still not a fan of this pub but it gets a 5/10 for the beer choice alone

27 Oct 2014 13:49

The Capitol, Forest Hill

Popped in for a pint from the International Beer Festival.

Almost all of the same crowd as always in here, a mix of drinkers and people having lunch.

Decent pint, good service and worth a pit stop.

27 Oct 2014 13:46

Sylvan Post, Forest Hill

Only my 3rd visit here and my first since April.

Just after 1pm on Saturday afternoon & apart from a family of 4 having lunch the pub is empty.

The friendly bar man greets me as I stand at the bar looking at the 4 ales across the 5 pumps, a quick decision has me deciding on a pint of Full Moon @ 6.4% from the local Late Knights brewery.

As I know & expect from Antic pubs this one still doesn't disappoint. Mix matched furniture, strange lights, plenty of formica and a nod to the buildings previous existence as the Forest Hill post office make it very quirky.

Soul music playing at an acceptable level

I've heard people criticising this place due to the cost of the ales, but £3.90 is pretty much average these days in London for a good quality ale. No complaints from me this is a more than decent place to relax with a good quality well conditioned ale.

Has an entry in the 2015 GBG to go alongside the one from 2014.

27 Oct 2014 13:44

Brockley Jack, Brockley

Dinner with the family on Friday night for my Dad's 70th birthday.

We arrived just before 8pm and the bar and food seating areas were packed to the rafters.

The range of ales have increased since my last visit, the pumps now have Timothy Taylor landlord, Everards Tiger and Greene King IPA as well as Belhaven Best on gravity.

Service poor to start with but got much better as the evening went on and in the end the Manager was very good and attentive.

Food was good but the food service was a bit jumbled as the young lad did he's best.

As previously reported this used to be my local until 4 years ago and since then this is only my 2nd visit, it looks like I may be coming back again to give the place another chance.

27 Oct 2014 13:42

The Camden Eye, Camden

Right by Camden Town Station so I popped in on Sunday night around 11.15pm only to be told they had stopped serving.

Not to be deterred I return the following night around 8pm when I knew they would be open.

Busy with the pizza’s going down a storm, they smelt and looked blinking good!

6 ales on the hand pumps with my choice being a couple of pints of Robinson’s Trooper. My first time on tap for this beer as have only ever drank it in bottles. Cracking pint and very well kept and poured.

Only stayed for 2 pints, the pub was very busy and a chap was just getting ready to play some live music…I hot footed it out of the pub before he started.

Perfect location for the station and a decent pub with a good beer range. I shall return.

23 Oct 2014 16:16

The Prince of Wales Ale House, Highgate

After an afternoon of drinking in Camden & Highgate this pub was my last stop for a couple of pints. I didn’t know they did Thai food!

A short walk from the Gatehouse & you come across this 2014 Camra GBG entry & to be honest this is a proper boozer.

4 ales on the pumps, during my stay here I had several pints of Cottage Brewery DB5 @ 5.0%. Very drinkable and well kept.

2 barman on and they were providing fast and efficient service to the Saturday night crowd.

A steady stream of Thai food being served as myself and 2 companions hadn’t eaten it seemed like a good idea to order food. Food ordered and arrived promptly it was cracking, great tasting, good spices, good value & pretty filling….a great way to finish a visit to a really good pub.

Yet another pub I want to revisit soon !

23 Oct 2014 16:15

The Gatehouse, Highgate

This large and imposing Weatherspoon’s is a proper gatehouse building that sits on a roundabout and is a short stroll from both The Flask and Prince of Wales…these were my 3 pubs in 1 evening on Saturday.

As I entered the pub I am taken aback by the size and what a stunning building it is. This is a beautiful conversion into a pub.

It’s the first day of the Weatherspoon’s International beer festival and with a decent choice I opted for a pint of Two Birds Brewing (Australian) Golden Ale @ 4.4%.

It’s a Saturday night and this is Highgate so I shouldn’t be surprised the pub was very busy but no problem getting served as the bar staff were very efficient.

Hops hanging around the pub giving it an old fashioned and homely feel.

Even thought this is a ‘Spoons it’s a very nice pub and another pub I’d like to return to.

22 Oct 2014 11:42

The Flask, Highgate

Extremely large building housing a Fullers pub as you approach Highgate from Camden as I did in a taxi.

The first thing you notice is the large outside area to the front, plenty of seats and this is required as the pub has an very oldie worldly feel inside.

I accidently entered via the restaurant and was told by the friendly bar maid that they didn’t have ales on this side of the pub and directed to the other bar. Quite a few people eating, the food looked good but the smell was quite over powering so it was good to retreat to the “main” bar.

A good range of Fullers Ales along side 2 guests one from the East London Brewery and my selection which a pint of London Fields Harvest Pale ale @ 5.0%. A very nice pint.

We took our drinks and went back outside as the weather was decent.

This is a cracking pub and a great place to start a mini crawl of Highgate, off to the Gatehouse next.

21 Oct 2014 15:21

The Black Heart, Camden

Visited this proper trendy and very cool bar for the 1st time around 6pm on Saturday night and I love it!

A good choice of ales & lagers with the emphasis of local ales and American, I went for a pint of Camden Towns Camden Ink on ta it’s supposed to be a stout but was more like a black lager. Nicely kept and very drinkable. As well as the tap selection there is a large and varied choice of bottled beers there’s even a menu to help you decide.

Pool table by the door as you enter, plenty of sofas and booth seats, food served from a hatch at the end of the bar, the food mainly appeared to be chicken and burgers. The menu had me hooked but I didn’t see any being served and as this was a flying visit I was only here for the beer.

Large compliment of beer pump clips running across the bar ceiling, many clips from beers I’d love to try.

Loud music playing but it worked well as this is a very cool place.

Worth mentioning the unisex toilets.

A great place that I’m already itching to go back to.

21 Oct 2014 15:19

The Colonel Fawcett, Camden

Another old fashioned looking pub tucked away just off Camden Town.

As you approach you notice the large front seating area with benches before going inside to the very open plan area and the bar to your right.

3 ales on and I went for a pint of Revolution’s Signature Pale @ 4.1% It was a decent pint.

Lots of bar staff but most of them were in a state of bewilderment and it took a few glances from me to get recognised, there were only 2 other people being served!

I was informed that this is THE place for Gin in the area and judging by the selection of Gins listed on the blackboard this is certainly the case, however I didn’t try any.

There’s also a garden out the back.

20 Oct 2014 13:44

The Bell House, Camden

After finding that the Prince Albert was closed for a private function I came here for a quick pint.

This is an old style locals pub right by the canal

3 ales on the pumps....the Sambrooks Pumphouse Pale Ale was a decent pint.

Locals watching football on a dodgy satellite feed in side so I took my pint out to the large beer garden / smoking area at the rear.

Decent place but I spent the whole time in the garden so I cannot really comment on the décor etc.

19 Oct 2014 22:30

The Lock Tavern, Camden

Came here last Wednesday for drinks and food with a few American clients.

4 pumps but only 1 ale on which was Adnams Southwold Bitter & to be honest it wasn't great, there was also a Sambrooks Junction clip facing the punters but I was told it wasn't on. After a ropey pint of Southwold I went onto Camden Pale Ale on tap which was excellent and very drinkable.

Sat out in the garden under shelter from the rain with the heaters on, it has a hidden gardens of Babylon feel to it!

The 7 of us took advantage of the burger menu and all of the food was excellent and well worth the money.

Busy inside and in the garden, nice atmosphere and all in all a very decent place for drinks in the evening.

19 Oct 2014 22:26

Metropolitan Bar, Baker Street

Popped in on Thursday night for a couple of pints of Hook Norton's Chinook Gold @ 4.7%.

Pretty busy and was filling up with groups enjoying the cheap 'Spoons food.

Fast service from the miserable looking bar maid but she didn't spoil my beer.

Decent pub, but it's a 'Spoons so you should know what to expect.

18 Oct 2014 10:31

The Albany, Great Portland Street

Came in for a beer just before closing time on Tuesday evening.

Choice of 5 ales, with regulars like Doom Bar & Pride I went for a pint of Hopdaemon’s Skrinshander IPA @ 4.5%. A decent enough pint.

Earlier on (9.30pm) the place was mobbed but after 11pm it had almost emptied.
2 efficient bar staff.

A decent pub with good beer choice.

15 Oct 2014 15:24

The Green Man, Great Portland Street

I haven’t been in this pub since Euro 96 was held in the UK in 1996!

Having found that the Albany was packed to the rafters at 9.30pm on a Wednesday night the next best option was the very close Green Man.

Large Taylor Walker owned and managed pub with a good choice of ales. I had several pints of Tribute Extra from St Austall. First time I have seen this beer and it was good.

Busy here as well but it emptied out quite a bit after the football ended.

Friendly and quick service from the bar staff, regular London prices, decent deco…all in all a worthy substitute for when the Albany is too busy.

15 Oct 2014 15:11

The Spread Eagle, Camden

Quiet on a Tuesday afternoon when I visited recently, a total of 4 punters and the bar man!

I went for a very good pint of Meantime’s Yakima Red @ 4.1%, this was against the range of Young’s beers they had on.

Still a very nice pub but I hope it’s not always this empty.

15 Oct 2014 12:47

Ice Wharf, Camden

My first visit to this rather large canal side ‘Spoons.

Popped in on a Tuesday lunchtime and it was fairly empty, though to be fair it’s so blinking big. I'm sure it gets packed at weekends.

Right on Camden lock with tables and benches outside for the smokers and I guess it’s a great spot in the summer.

10 pumps, 2 of these are were serving ciders. I took an offering from East London Brewery (ELB) which was Pale Ale. There was another ELB ale but the others were all bog standard, however the lager choice is very good.

Lovely curved building as previously mentioned.

Normal cheap ‘Spoons prices, not a bad place and certainly worth a stop.

15 Oct 2014 12:26

The Shipwrights Arms, London Bridge


Popped in on Saturday afternoon for a couple of quick pints.

4 ales across the 5 pumps which were Sharp’s Doom Bar, Caledonian Flying Scotsman, St Austall Tribute and Wells Bombardier. I had 2 pints of Scotsman which were very good though at £4.30 a pint it was quite steep!

Half busy, quite a bit of food being served to the punters that were in.

Decent pit stop when gagging for a beer

12 Oct 2014 16:24

The Dublin Castle, Camden

Its a Friday evening and I've been working locally so why not pay my 1st visit to the famous Dublin Castle. I arrive just before 7pm and it’s pretty empty inside but there’s a fair few out the front smoking, I can faintly hear a band warming up out the back.

3 ales on tap which are Young's Bitter, Wells Bombardier and St Austell Tribute. I don’t see anyone else drinking any of these so I opt for a pint of Camden Hells lager, there’s also Camden Pale Ale available.

The lighting inside is very red and it matches the old fashioned bar and interior.

A decent enough pub but obviously receives more praise for a being a well known music venue.

11 Oct 2014 12:43

Jack Sprats at the WIndmill Inn, Leamington Spa

Stopped here for lunch on Saturday on my way to watch Leamington FC.

Large pub on the way in / out of town depending which way your heading!

Good range of food on the menu something to cater for everyone, both of our food choices were well cooked and good value for money.

3 pumps on the bar offering 2 ales, Old Speckled Hen and my choice which was Black Sheep Bitter.

Busy with most people here for the food.

All in all a decent stopping point, no wonder it was busy.

6 Oct 2014 16:23

The Watermill Inn, Ings

Lovely pub and brewery on the main road from Kendal to Windermere in the small village of Ings.

13 ales, 1 real cider and Framboise on tap. A quantity of the ales are from the onsite brewery which is aptly named Watermill Inn & Brewing Co. Having never drunk any of their beers before I chose a pint of Collie Wobbles @ 3.7%.

Ordered a couple of Panini's, the wife had a Cumberland sausage and I had the Tuna, both were very well presented & blinking tasty

Dog friendly pub with plenty of dogs in the River bar

Brewing was in process in the brewery that is visible from the River bar.

Overall a cracking pub and one that I will spend more time at on my next visit to the Lakes

5 Oct 2014 16:11

Harrogate Tap, Harrogate

5th and final pub in Harrogate after managing 4 of the 6 I set out to visit.

We only had a small amount of time to kill so it made sense to stop here.

Having visited a few station taps I was under no illusions what to expect price wise and this one was no different, though its a very decent place for beer.

A great choice of ales on the cask which were numbering a dozen, along with another 9 on keg with the majority of these being American. My first pint was Black Sheep Breweries Reaper @ 4.1%, followed by Baildon Brewing Company Brunette @ 3.9%, both were excellent.

The plus for this place is it's location which is perfect for the train & bus stations, the size of it and the decor, speed of service, how knowledgeable the bar staff are and of course the ale choice.

Now to the down side of these 'trendy' tap bars, they take the p**s a bit on their non ale drinks and their snacks. All ales on tap have clearly displayed prices but every other drink and snacks appear to have hiked up prices.

Bad point aside this is a cracking pit stop with very good beer.

5 Oct 2014 15:51

The Blues Bar, Harrogate


Pub number 4 and the Blues Bar is very different to the previous 3 I've been in.

As the name suggests this is a music bar, looking at the posters on the walls there's plenty of live acts playing over the coming days. On my visit the music was being played at a respectable level.

4 ales available and again another pub where all offerings are from the surrounding area. My choice was from Halifax's Stod Fold Brewing Co, Gold @ 3.8%.

Relatively empty but its a small bar so it didn't feel that empty, the music helped.

This is a decent bar that I wasn't quite expecting having visited 3 'proper' pubs before coming here. I would like to return one evening when the bar is busier to listen to live music.

Good beer choice and the pint I had was well kept.

5 Oct 2014 15:45

The Fat Badger, Harrogate

A few doors down from the Old Bell is the White Hart Hotel which is home to the Fat Badger public house and number 3 on my ticking day in town.

Opulent looking bar once you enter, where large chandelier style lights hang from the ceiling and smaller attractive lights hang above the bar. Many of the seats are old fashioned leather recliners' , don't be caught out!

The bar itself is stunning, 3 mirrored cabinets occupy the back of the bar off set with arched windows housing bottles of wine and spirits.

8 pumps dispensing 6 different ales, again all from Yorkshire based breweries along with the usual fancy lagers that places like this sell, I went for a pint of Saltaire's Pride @ 3.9%.

Its around 3pm on a Thursday and there's a steady stream of punters, ranging from office workers, ladies who lunch and a few tourists.

A nice relaxed atmosphere, music playing softly, attentive bar staff, luxurious surroundings all in all this is a very nice pub and worthy of a visit while in Harrogate.

5 Oct 2014 15:43

The Old Bell Tavern, Harrogate

A stones throw from Hales Bar and I'm at pub number 2 and this is one owned by the Isle of Man brewery Okells. The choice of ales on the taps is excellent, 9 offerings with all breweries on offer being Northern. In addition there are 21 Oktoberfest beers on offer which are all priced at £4.00.

We ordered food as the wife was hungry and I had a pint of Okells Autumn Dawn @ 4.2% to wash down my ham, egg and chips.

Large double fronted pub overlooking the old pump house and the Crown hotel, was converted from the old toffee shop in 1999 on the site of the previous Bell pub.

The Farrah room to the right is more open plan than the front bar, plenty of places to sit and eat.

Interesting wooden bar area , plenty of pictures and beer advertising hanging on the walls.

Above the bar area on the ceiling is a huge quantity of beer pump clips.

Cracking pub, great choice of ales, decent food, steady stream of punters.

2 down 4 to do!

5 Oct 2014 15:39

Hales Bar, Harrogate

There's 6 pubs in Harrogate in the 2014 GBG and it was my intention to visit them all in a 6 hour visit, first stop of the day was Hales Bar on Crescent Road.

A very interesting bar, we sat in the lounge bar with its glassed taxidermy and bar top cigar lighters. There's also walls full of mirrors, old notices and framed pictures of the local area.

6 pumps in the luxurious lounge bar offering 6 different ales. A display on the bar shows what the beers are, where they are from and what the distance is to the pub from the brewery.

I opted for a pint of Daleside's Hales Ale @ 3.7%, the nearest brewery to the pub with a distance of 1.9 miles!

A few other punters in bit it was only just after 12 noon so it was pretty empty.

This is Harrogate's oldest pub and it really is a cracker, a great place to start the day.

5 Oct 2014 15:39

The Woodlands, Silverdale

The 2014 GBG says this place is in an elevated position , well I didn't expect it to be as high up above the village as it was.

4 real ales and 4 real ciders available. All the ales were priced at £2.50 a pint while the ciders are £3.00 each. I went for a pint of Celts' Castell Coch @ 4.7%, a very good and well kept pint.

All the punters in one large room with the bar but the building is huge, if you enter via the right of the building you come into the most amazing tiled entrance hall.

The building has obviously fallen on slightly hard times but the pub is surviving, testament to the locals for their support.

Inside the bar is pretty dark so we took our drinks outside where there are stunning views over the village.

They are holding a beer festival here this month (October) where they will be offering 30 ales.

One of the better ticks I have made on my Northern road trip, I do love the Camra GBG!

5 Oct 2014 15:37

Pheasant Inn, Grange over Sands

Large food pub on the main road in/out of Allithwaite and impossible to miss as it sits right on the corner.

Ample parking to the rear with a very nice garden area, lots of large umbrellas to shelter you from what looks like it could be a sun trap in the summer.

5 ales across the pumps, choice of Marston's Pedigree New World, Jennings Cumberland Ale and 2 others, I opted for
Pennine Brewing Co Best Bitter @ 3.9%.

A few people inside eating and a large group in the front garden.

Friendly staff, nice location, the food looked decent but on my visit on a Wednesday afternoon the pub was fairly quiet.

5 Oct 2014 15:36

The Shovel Inn, Carnforth

The first thing I notice as I walk up to enter the Shovel is that its up for rent.

Once you come inside you sort of understand why the pub is up for rent, there's 3 separate seating areas but only 5 punters and they are all stood at the bar ignoring the football!

3 ales across the pumps, Twaites Wainwright, Jennings Cumberland and Marstons New World. The Cumberland was excellent.

Within 10 minutes of being in the crowd doubled.

This is actually a decent pub that's a bit on its arse but has decent ales that are kept right, a friendly clientele and a happy chatty bar man.

5 Oct 2014 15:20

The Snug, Carnforth

As the name suggests this is a small real ale joint on Carnforth station, an entry in the 2014 GBG having opened in August 2013 and also appears in the 2015 GBG aswell.

5 ales and 2 real ciders on offer, also a large range of Belgian and Stone Brewery (American) bottles available.

My first couples of pints were Bowness Bay Swan Blonde @ 4.0% and then I went onto Bristol Beer Factories Independence Ale @ 4.6%

Good crowd of real ale drinkers and connoisseurs' in on my visit, everyone seemed to know their beers.

Absolutely cracking little place if only I lived here, gets a high score from me.

Revisited on Friday night before we left Carnforth and the pub was heaving, another cracking pint had and this just enforces the need for 10/10.

Superb.

5 Oct 2014 15:18

The Queens, Carnforth

Closed and up for sale or lease.

If this ever opens again as a pub the landlord will have to go some to beat the Snug...hands down the best place in the area.

5 Oct 2014 15:17

The Station Inn, Ribblehead

First pub of the day and as I've always wanted to visit the viaduct at Ribblehead it made sense to stop at the Station Inn.

The Station appears in the 2014 GBG and is certainly in an isolated spot on the dales.

The 3 ales on offer are all local ales, I opted for a half of Wensleydale Bitter @ 3.7%.

Two large rooms with the front room as you enter laid for food. We missed lunch by 30 minutes so had to settle for pork pies, which we took with our drinks and sat in the lounge where the pool table was, television was on showing the previous nights football.

Large rear garden that overlooks the viaduct and the bleak moors.

Good tick for me.

5 Oct 2014 15:14

Eagle and Child Inn, Staveley

The 3rd place to have a beer in the village and the 2nd proper pub as you head out towards Kendall.

Eclectic mix of bits and bobs dotted around the pub including a wall of mirrors on the right as you enter.

5 pumps dispensing all local ales, I went for a pint of Bathgate's Breweries Cat Nap @ 3.6%

A friendly and attentive barman welcomed us as we enter and then answer's my questions regarding the signed football shirts that hang in the back area towards the toilets.

Large open fireplace in the front bar. Lots of space for diners dotted around, various glass cabinets selling silver, glass and china add to the charm.

Food served from 6pm in the evening and from this time the place was filling up nicely.

Opposite the pub is a large beer garden with a stream running through it.

Very handy for the bus to Lancaster and Keswick as the stops are outside the pub.

5 Oct 2014 15:13

Hawkshead Brewery Beer Hall, Staveley

A short cab ride from Windermere station and we arrive at this 2014 and 2015 GBG entry on a trading estimate just a stones throw from the village.

As the name suggests and as per previous comments this is the Beer Hall at Hawkshead Brewery.

Light airey and a really nice place to sample their beers and there are certainly enough to try!

Cumbrian 5 hop @ 5.0% was 1st choice from the 15 various ales on the taps. My 2nd was New Zealand Pale Ale @ 6.0%. Only 1 offering wasn't Hawkshead and that was the Belgian beer Friuli.

I wandered upstairs to view the brewing process just to be nosey.

The hall downstairs was fairly busy with brewery workers, locals and walkers.

Knowledgeable bar staff give this modern hall must visit status, the only shame is that it closes at 5pm on a Monday.

5 Oct 2014 15:12

The Elleray Hotel, Windermere

This large hotel & pub is close to Windermere station and appears in both the 2014 and 2015 GBG.

After a short bus ride from Bowness and a walk around Windermere I dragged the wife into here for a pit stop.

5 ales on offer with all but 1 of them from the local area. I went for a pint of Heskett Newmarket Breweries Red Pike @ 3.8%.

Food was being served but I didn't see any of it.

Decent decor, clean toilets, a large garden and smoking area, friendly bar maid and if there were more punters in I could of also commented on the atmosphere.

A decent pit stop, off to Staveley now.

5 Oct 2014 13:36

Queen's Hotel, Ambleside

After a 90 minute bus ride from Carnforth we arrived in Ambleside and headed straight for the Queens Hotel for a drink.

Large and imposing hotel in the centre of town. The bar is in front of you as you enter and has 2 separate lounge's.

Long wooden bar with 8 pumps that had 7 different ales, the majority being Cumbrian ales. I went for a Cumbrian Legendary Ales Langdale @ 4.0%, a nice light beer to start the day.

Music playing fairly loudly, I think it was Black Sabbath!

In the front lounge area overlooking the main street is an original fireplace with extremely decorative tiles.

Lots of nick nacks on the shelves and a miss mash of pictures and advertising plaques.

A good place to stop for an ale as the choice is very good.

Another good tick for me.

5 Oct 2014 09:41

Bridge Inn, Tatham

Another pub that you wouldn't find unless either you know the area or are looking for it which we were.

Busy at the small bar area, 2 big parties were in for food. There's 2 dining rooms upstairs, another down stairs to the left as you enter & you can also have food in the bar.

4 pumps that were offering 3 ales, Black Sheep Bitter, Tetley Cask and my choice which was a half of York Breweries Guzzler @ 3.6%.

Horse brass on leather, a collection of tractor plates, a cabinet with miniature bottles of whiskey and other horse ornaments are scattered around the pub adding to the character of the place.

Friendly bar staff , 2 pub dogs and great looking food.

A cracking pub that I wished I could of stayed longer in.

5 Oct 2014 09:38

The Shrimp, Morecambe

Stopped for food with the wife's family after finding nothing in Morecambe food wise on a Sunday afternoon.

2 ales on tap which were Thwaites and Wainwrights.

Large and modern, the whole purpose of this place is to serve carvery food to the masses! But to be fair the food was very good as was the service, wasn't my choice to eat here but on this occasion I was proved wrong.

5 Oct 2014 08:33

Beehive, Carlisle

Right opposite the football ground and packed with fans before the match.

4 pumps offering 4 different ales as well as John Smiths Smooth. A couple of offerings from the local area, I opted for a pint of Hawkshead Breweries Lakeland Gold @ 4.4%.

Modern brick built building with a small seating area to the front which is on the main road.

Couldn't tell much about the decor as it was so busy.

5 Oct 2014 08:27

The Rudds Arms, Marton

This large Greene King pub was opposite our hotel for 2 nights near Middlesbrough.

Large, modern & to be honest fairly soulless inside, but my was it busy. Karaoke in full flow, it was very popular on our Thursday night visit.

Full range of lagers including Peroni on tap and 3 ales. I went for the brewed for the Rudds Arms Ale which was a best bitter.

We ordered food it was 2 meals for £8.99, good choice of options and the food was alright.

Stayed for a couple of drinks, alright option without going too far food and drink.

5 Oct 2014 08:25

The Station Inn, Whitby

We arrived in Whitby for a couple of hours on our way to Teeside. Lunch to be had and the wife wanted a wander around town so out of the 3 pubs I wanted tick I made a decision to make the Station Inn the one pub I visited.

As the name suggests its opposite the station and has an assortment of railway artifacts on the walls.

8 cask ales on, a good and varied choice I plumped for a half of Whitby Breweries Platform 3 @ 3.6%. There's also real cider in Weston's and there are also fruit wines available.

Not many people in during our afternoon visit bit it's obviously a popular pub and is worthy of another visit when I came back to do the other 2 I missed

5 Oct 2014 08:23

The Victoria Hotel, Whitby

The 2nd of 2 pubs in Robin Hoods Bay that feature in the 2014 GBG.

Sat on the hill at the top of the bay, this is a large and imposing hotel with amazing views across the bay.

Main bar was rammed as there was a wedding being held on the lawn...i hope the weather held off for them as there was rain in the air!

Old features inside the main bar area and now we get onto the beer's, a great range of 6 different Yorkshire ales on the pumps but unfortunately I only had a lemonade as I was driving and wanted to save myself for a beer in Whitby!

Large area to the front with benches and tables to sit and watch the world go by.

Rooms available upstairs.

5 Oct 2014 00:16

The Dolphin, Robin Hood's Bay

On our way to Whitby and we made a quick stop in the lovely Robin Hood's Bay. 2 pubs here to tick so I choose the furthest of the 2 to start in.

A stroll down the steep hill to the front and you're moments away from this olde-worlde pub that really is quaint.

Inside to the cosy bar and there are 4 ales on offer as I was driving I went for a half of Cameron's Strongarm @ 4.0%, a good ruby beer.

A shelf that had a quantity of old beer bottles on it is part of the eclectic mix of memorabilia that is dotted about.

Food was starting to be served, the sandwiches looked good.

A decent pub that I'd like to have spent more time in.

5 Oct 2014 00:08

Scholars, Scarborough

Cellar style bar just behind the shopping street and stumbling distance back to my hotel!

It has an entry in the 2014 GBG and I presume its for the amount of ales and their condition more than the bar itself that is the reason it appears in the GBG.

7 ales on the taps, my choice was Fernandes Breweries Good Night Vienna @ 4.0%, a decent range of ales, all different with the 8th pump being empty.

Came in around 10pm and it was very busy with quite a few of the customers showing signs of having too many, the barmaid was also sluring so maybe she had been enjoying a few jars herself!

Okay place but i did feel we had wandered into someone else's party.

4 Oct 2014 22:47

The Alma Inn, Scarborough

A new entry into the 2015 GBG so it had to be ticked.

The Alma is either reached from the Angel by walking through town like we did or follow the road round towards the station.

A decent looking pub that has 3 areas for drinkers, a large front bar with an arch that leads to a nook type bar & between the bar and toilets is a room with a pool in it.

The bar offered a large choice of ales and I was in 2 minds what to have so after much deliberation I went for a pint of Mansfield England's Pride which is a good honest pint.

A fair crowd of locals in with the wife and I being the only non locals.

Loads of toby, whiskey & ale jugs hanging above the bar and on the shelfs.

Without knowing this pub had made it into the 2015 GBG I wouldn't of bothered coming in as it wasn't on my walking route back into town, worthy of a stop though.

4 Oct 2014 22:11

The Angel Inn, Scarborough

The Angel is a sweet little pub a few minutes walk from Indigo Alley but almost a world away. This is a proper pub and I mean proper, it's like friends where everyone knows each other.

4 pumps on the bar offering a selection of ales, the wife and I chose the same which was Cooper Dragon's Golden Pippin @ 3.9%.

Carpeted floor all the way through, 2 very friendly bar maids I think they were mother and daughter. A good mix of locals with all of them over 40, no youngsters in this pub.

Just a quick pint for us as I wanted to visit 2 more before the evening was out.

A really nice and welcoming pub.

4 Oct 2014 21:42

Indigo Alley, Scarborough

On the way back into town I ticked Indigo Alley and to be honest it's not quite what I expected.

6 pumps that were dispensing 4 ales and 1 real cider , the other pump was spare. I opted for a pint of Rudgates York Chocolate Stout @ 5.0% which was excellent and well poured.

Having never visited here before I have no idea what it was like before but its been stripped-down inside and really has lost a lot of it's charm.

Pretty empty expect for us and one other punter, the landlord is friendly enough but its pretty soulless.

The beers great but the lack of features and punters let Indigo Alley down in my opinon.

4 Oct 2014 20:27

North Riding Hotel, Scarborough

I made the wife walk here from the seafront and I think it was another 100 yards further she would of turned back!

I'm glad we made the slog from town as its a cracking pub that is well worth the walk.

6 cask ales and another 3 craft beers on the taps. With a varied choice I opted for a pint of Bridestones American Pale Ale @ 5.0% followed by a pint of the on site breweries Motueka @ 4.3%. Both were very good beers and well conditioned.

We sat in the larger bar towards the front of the pub where most of the punters were sat chatting. Television on but no sound.

Still retains the hotel feel and has an upstairs dining room and rooms for the night. I didn't venture upstairs so I cannot comment on the food aspect.

Apparently over 2,000 different beers have been served since the pub was taken over from the old lady and turned into Scarborough's only brew pub.

Worth the walk for the ales alone....cracking pub

26 Sep 2014 11:43

The Hare and Hounds, Staxton

After 2 days in York it was time to move on. On our way to Scarborough, this pub couldn't be easier to find as its right on the A64 and the perfect place for a quick stop.

4 pumps that had 2 ales on , these were Caledonian Flying Scotsman & Wold Top Mallard. I went for half of Mallard, very drinkable indeed.

Collection of beer and whiskey jugs hang above the bar.

2 other punters in who were obviously locals, the pub dog Adam was wandering around looking for food.

As I say just a quick pit stop but worth the stop nonetheless

26 Sep 2014 11:29

The Swan, York

Stunning corner plot pub that is a real throw back to the 50's. Split rooms with the old bell for service still on the wooden panelling.

Old fashioned lights hang from the ceiling's, wooden benches with red covering, old wooden stools etc this place has bags of character, no wonder it's one of Britain's real heritage pubs.

5 ales of which 2 of these are guests. I had a pint of Tetley cask, the wife had a real cider.

We sat in the public bar area with the others that were in, no music but a good mix of chatter.

I have learnt that the lobby is of West Riding style and it certainly is stunning, the pub really does have oodles of character and is worth the trip from town.

26 Sep 2014 11:22

The Slip Inn, York

Old fashioned back street pub that I needed to seek out during my time in York. With the rain smashing down on a Tuesday night we took a taxi the short way from town.

Another pub that features in the 2014 GBG so another tick for me.

4 regular ales and a guest which was Great Heck Blonde @ 4.3% and was my choice, it was perfectly poured by the young bar man.

Music playing and football on the television.

Old style tables and red leather stools as well as leather benches make up the seating area in the front bar. There's a lounge towards the rear that leads to the covered outside smoking area.

Really nice and friendly pub that's worth the short walk (or cab ride if it's raining) from town.

Off to the Swan now

26 Sep 2014 11:20

The Maltings, York

A revisit for me to this cracking pub.

I first came here in April for my 1st ever visit and have been wanting to come back ever since.

Always a good and varied range of beers and a couple of real ciders on.

I went for a pint of Bad Seeds' South Pacific IPA @ 5.8% while the wife had a bottle of Belgium fruit beer.

I love the interior and all the old signs on the walls, too many to read them all.

Again this pub gets a high score from me.

26 Sep 2014 10:29

The Yorkshire Terrier Inn, York

One of the 3 York Brewery pubs in town and a decent little pub for a quick stop while shopping with the wife.

6 pumps on the bar, that were offering 3 York beers and a guest ale. I opted for a pint of Centurion Ghost Ale @ 5.4%

The friendly barman helped the wife choose a beer as she couldn't decide what to have.

Old fashioned looking interior with a nook at the rear with a large open fire place.

Food served downstairs in the bar area and upstairs where there seems to be a restaurant, but I didn't venture up there.

Large collection of beer pump clips all over the bar and entrance hall.

Shop at the front selling York Brewery beers and merchandise

26 Sep 2014 10:26

The Phoenix, York

The Phoenix is a pub that eluded me on my last 2 visits so on this visit it was a must tick.

9pm on a Monday night and the front bar is busy while the back bar has a meeting going on, cannot remember what they were meeting about.

In the front bar there's 5 pumps all serving ales. My first drink I opted for a pint of Salamander Thunder Thief @ 4.8%. My 2nd drink was a bottle of Wold Top's Scarborough fair IPA.

About half full, but this doesn't take away that this is a proper well run pub. Knowledgeable and friendly bar man, good choice of draught and bottled ales, original decor and in a position just inside the city walls that makes you walk from town to get here...and it's well worth it.

25 Sep 2014 22:51

The Rook and Gaskill, York

Came in as it's been recommended and looked decent from the outside, it proved to be a good choice.

A lovely stone floor greets you as you enter, the lighting is quite low but this adds to the atmosphere.

Less than half full with all the punters except the wife and I being students.

8 ales and 3 real ciders on cask. I opt for a pint of Doncaster Breweries Sand House @ 3.8%. The keg beers number 7 with a cider aswell.

I notice a poster advertising the pub is in the 2015 GBG, that's a result as its now a tick for me!!

Small cabinet at the back of the pub with a good collection of brewerian.

Actually having taken time to enjoy my pint with a good sound track in the background this is a very decent pub and worthy of a visit.

3 pubs so far and 3 good beers.

25 Sep 2014 20:19

The Waggon and Horses, York

A surprising pub inside as it don't look much from the outside.

My first opinion was this is a little gem.

We visited around 7.30 on a Monday evening and it was pretty busy, a group of fellas getting ready for a poker tournament.

6 ales across the pumps & 2 real ciders. With a varied choice of beers I was spoilt for choice so I went for a pint of Hales Brewery Fallen Heart @ 4.3%.

A good mix of locals and a rather drunk Geordie woman added to the atmosphere, landlord and bar maid very chatty and welcoming.

Bar Billards table in one room and sky sports on in the main bar.

A thoroughly decent pub that serves a varied selection of great beer.

25 Sep 2014 20:18

The Rose and Crown, York

The wife and I stayed here for 2 nights recently.

The interior features amazing tiles on the floor in the entrance hall area, there's also a Yorkshire Rose. The walls also have lots of ceramic tiles, these are original.

Map of old York on the wall and some very decorative lights throughout the bar areas.

There is one L shaped bar which serves the 3 different rooms, with the main bar area being at the front on Lawrence St.

6 pumps that on my visit were dispensing 4 ales and 1 cider. I opted for a pint of Roosters Der Kaiser @ 4.8%.

Food looked good with plenty of choice.

Great location for getting into town by foot and equally as easy for driving, there's ample parking at the rear.

25 Sep 2014 18:25

The Ship Inn, Bawtry

After our visit to East Markham the wife and I were in need of some lunch and thanks to the 2014 GBG we found the Ship.

This is a large Marstons pub just by the crossroads in Bawtry. Large car park to the side that also houses a small smoking area.

Inside there are 2 bars, one for drinking and the other for eating. 4 pumps on each bar. 4 regulars and 4 guests. I chose one of the guest's which was Jennings Blazing Saddles @ 4.0%.

We both ordered pie and chips which was very good, the portions were too big too finish but very good nonetheless.

Nice and friendly service from the attentive waitress and definitely worth the stop before heading north.

23 Sep 2014 19:21

The Queens Hotel, Newark

The wife and I were on our way to York and I wanted to stop at a pub and have lunch. Having checked the 2014 GBG & the pubs website we settled on this Everards run pub in the pretty village of East Markham.

However even though the website mentioned it doesn't open until 2pm on a Monday I failed to spot it also says it doesn't serve food until 5pm! Oh well it was worth a stop and a quick beer.

Large car park and beer garden out the back, we entered into the bar area, where we were the only 2 punters in, they had just opened.

5 ales on the pumps, all Everards except for Bath Ales Barnsey. My choice of Equinox was very good and my wife's Sunrise was even better by her standards.

Very chatty and attentive bar maid, 2 distinct areas one with 8 tables laid for food and the other has a pool table in it.

Lovely little village pub that even though I got the food timings wrong on a Monday was still a very good tick for me.

23 Sep 2014 19:20

The Crayford Arms, Crayford

Our last pub of 3 in an hour and this is more like it. It's a stumble from the Dukes Head but it might as well be in a different town they are that different.

The Crayford Arms is a lovely village style pub and just doesn't seem to belong in the same High Street as the Dukes Head.

It's a Shepherd and Neame pub with the full selection on the taps, I had a very good pint of Whitstable Bay.

Massive outside area to the back, but being 10.30pm it was empty.

Good service from the friendly bar maid, odd clientele though in one of the bars (this was the popular side), I cannot say why they seemed odd they just were. The other bar seemed more food orientated but food had stopped by the time we arrived.

This is a cracking little gem of a pub and it's most definitely worth another visit soon.

I visited 5 pubs in Crayford in one evening and this one and the very new Penny Farthing were by far the best.

21 Sep 2014 21:22

Dukes Head, Crayford

Pub number 2 of the 3 wanted to visit on the way to the station.

This is an open plan pub at the top of the High Street. It's just gone 10pm and it's half full with a mainly young crowd.

There are lots of wood panelling on the walls and it's a fairly grotty looking to be honest.

No ales except Courage Best on tap, it was alright but nothing to right home about.

A garden out the back and a large car park to the side, that's about it for this place.

21 Sep 2014 21:15

One Bell, Crayford

After football my group and I decided to visit as many of the remaining pubs in Crayford we could before our last train home. The first stop at the top of the hill was The One Bell which is now owned by the ex footballer Jimmy Bullard, and as I understamd was bought for he's Dad

The 3 ales on the taps were GK IPA, St Austell Tribute and Hansons Olde Trip. I opted for the Olde Trip and it was very good.

This is a very large pub, nice area with benches to the front and very spacious inside. Though to be honest it was quite empty at 9.40pm on a Tuesday night.

The decor is of a decent design and the 2 large fireplaces' have been kept either side of the bar.

Music playing while the televisions were showing sky sports.

All in all this is a decent pub and one I will visit next time I'm in Crayford but hopefully there will be more punters in!

Off to the Dukes Head now.

21 Sep 2014 20:57

The Bear and Ragged Staff, Crayford

A large and soulless Greene King pub right on the Crayford one way system

I visited this place many years ago and my memory tells me it wasn't that great before and to be brutally honest it's still not that great!

It's around 7.30pm on a Tuesday night and my and 2 pals are greeted by 2 young surly looking barmaids, though to be honest once one of them starts chatting she isn't that surly anymore.

3 ales on the pubs but my pint of Timothy Taylor's landlord was ropey, it must of been the pumps as landlord is normally a very dependable pint.

Wooden floorboards throughout and as I said before just soulless.

Food was being served but i didn't catch the sight of smell of any of it so I cannot comment on this.

I won't rush to return.

21 Sep 2014 20:50

The Westminster Arms, Westminster

It's a Thursday evening i've been at a conference all day and need a stiff drink. I come out of the conference centre turn to my left and i see the Westminster Arms. It would be rude not to make my first visit to this traditional Shepherd and Neame pub.

It's very busy outside but luckyily there's room at the bar to order and stand. I'm greeted by 5 bar staff who are working quickly and efficiently

On the bar for ale drinkers are 7 taps all offering Sheps ales. The several pints of Goldings I have during the course of the evening are all very well kept.

Large mirrors adorn the walls giving the impression the pub is bigger than it actually is. As i said earlier this is a very traditional pub.

There's also an upstairs dining room & downstairs wine bar, so plenty of oppertunity for this pub to cash in and during my visit it certainly was.

I'm really unsure why i haven't been here before as it's a cracking pub.

Very close to Westminster Abbey & St James's Park.

21 Sep 2014 20:43

The No Sign Wine Bar, Swansea

The last of my 4 pub ticks before the game in Swansea the other week.

This is very much like 2 bars in 1. It used to be called Mundays and is now called No Sign Bar.

The front bar is a very trendy wine bar type of place, it’s light and welcoming and has 4 pumps with a good choice of ales and flavours, I went for a pint of Three Tuns - Rantipole - 3.6%. It was very good & I especially enjoyed using my camra card for a 10% discount on my pint.

Busy but I managed to find a seat close to the bar and chill out. There’s a large choice of wines and spirits as well as the pumps offering ales and decent lagers.

A large amount of beer pump clips on display, obviously ales that have been previously served and some of them are cracking, these are ones I have first hand knowledge of.

The back bar is more like a chain type pub but I understand this is a new addition.

All in all this is a great little place and very different to the other bars in Wind Street.

The best of the 4 pubs I visited but this and the Westbourne was head and shoulders the best ones.

8 Sep 2014 17:06

Westbourne Hotel, Swansea

2 minutes walk from The Brunswick down Duke Street and I'm at The Westbourne, which is a very clever, trendy, foody, family, welcoming pub!

I really didn't expect any pubs today in Swansea to be like this one. The first thing that strikes you as you enter is the food on offer, nearly everyone was eating. Then I notice that a few tables have pumps on them and then on the far wall are 6 pumps where you can insert a tab card and pour a pint. Great idea but it was not being used much on my visit.

6 pumps on the bar offering a decent range. I opted for a pint of Kite Brewery - Cwrw Gorslas - 4.0%.

A good pint, a lovely pub, great forward thinking, the food smelt and looked good, quick service.....all adds up to a cracking pub.

I hope the self service catches on and infiltrates London.

8 Sep 2014 14:20

The Brunswick, Swansea

A fast 5 minute walk from the Potters Wheel and I get to the Brunswick.

Nice looking pub from the outside and even better inside, church pews as seats are dotted about this low ceiling pub, in fact there's a lot of wood and some lovely iron legged tables aswell.

The bar is fully wooden and the 2 bar maids are complaining about the fact the pub accepts cards as both of their current customers are paying by them!

I'm studying the 6 pumps and am really surprised to see that all but 1 are turned around. However there are 4 casks on the back wall, however only 1 is an ale! With the others being real cider and an alcoholic lemonade. I opt for the ale from the cask which is Mumbles Breweries Mumbles Gold @ 4.3%, a decent and very drinkable pint. £3.25 a pint, maybe the Potters Wheel is stupidly cheap.

Radio playing at a reasonable level, a bit of chatter from the regulars at the bar.

Decent pub but I'm slightly disappointed with the ale choice, my thoughts are similar to Snarling Mallard, oh well at least I've ticked it.

8 Sep 2014 14:11

Potters Wheel, Swansea

First pub in Swansea and I decided to head to this large corner plot Spoons' pub.

I arrived just after 12 noon & it was already busy. Quite a few diners but the majority of the crowd were enjoying the cheap ale and lagers.

10 ales across the 10 pumps, 5 serving regular ales like Ruddles and Doom Bar the other 5 offering guests. I opted for a pint of Lady Jane @ 5% from Grafton brewing, a good pint to start the day with and very cheap at £1.79.

This is a large older style spoons with a raised area to the rear that has the feel of a library about it. The whole pub is open plan with booths for diners.

Good pub to start my day in.

8 Sep 2014 14:09

The Kents, Wellswood Village

After a visit to Kents Cavern we went to The Kent's for a few beers and a meal.

I have been here before but that was around 4 years ago. A choice of 5 ales, 4 locals and GK Phoenix. I had 4 very good pints of Dartmoor’s Jail Ale.

The pub side was very busy, all food tables were packed and you needed to book if you wanted to eat...and this is on a Wednesday night!

Decent good quality pub food, menu with lots of choice, was presented well, promptly served and tasted good.

All in all a nice pub that sells good food.

If I lived in the area this would be one of my locals. The wife like’s it aswell !

8 Sep 2014 14:02

The Wild Goose, Combeinteignhead

After nearly 4 years since a review was written the pub certainly seems to have changed.

This was my 5th pub of the day.

4 ales on the pumps, I had the offering from Otter which was Velvet Ale and it was very good, the other ales were also proving popular.

Food was being served mainly in the back bar / restaurant are and it looked good.

This pu8b has a lot of character about it. There’s an Art Deco cabinet with a clock on top, a Chess board, dart board and bar billiards' table.

Large fireplace at one end with blacksmiths tools and another fireplace facing the bar. There is also a large collection of pump clips on the ceiling

In the gent's toilet were lots of old cartoons and Wills cigarettes advertisement's.

The other customers were quite friendly but it did seem a bit of a locals pub, however still a superb pub that ended a great day of ticking for me.

8 Sep 2014 13:55

The Union Inn, Moretonhampstead

4th pub of the day while I was dragging the wife and friends (one of them was driving) around Dartmoor and the surrounding area.

Quaint little pub situated in the centre of this small village.

The front bar was full of tables that were reserved for diners, while the back room had a pool table and a small seating area. Further to the back of the pub and towards the toilets and beer garden is a large function room and another bar.

Busy bar with 3 locals sat enjoying their beers and a chat.

4 ales on which were Fullers London Pride and 3 offerings from Red Rock. I opted for pints of Red Rock's Pale Ale and a Best Bitter, both decent but the Pale Ale was better.

Nice enough pub with low beams throughout and fully carpeted.

Again a tick for me

8 Sep 2014 13:44

The Warren House Inn, Postbridge

This is an extremely isolated pub that is really for people who walk or drive. Apparently it’s the 3rd highest pub in the UK.

We stopped here on the way from Princeton to Mortonhampstead as a special' tick just for me. The pub is famous for the fire that never goes out.

3 ales on the hand pumps, my choice of Black Tor Brewery's Pride of Dartmoor was very good.

4 rooms inside laid out as follows, 1 for food, 1 bar area, 1 snug and a really large room that's also laid out for food and looks like a function room.

Lots of wooden panelling, small wall lights and a medieval style chandelier hanging in the large back bar along with a collection of plates.

Amazing views to the front across the moors, during our visit the rain stopped the sun came out and a rainbow appeared across the moor.

8 Sep 2014 13:40

The Plume Of Feathers, Princetown

On our way to Dartmoor Prison we stopped here for a late lunch.

Reported to be the oldest surviving building in Princetown.

Small bar area offering 6 ales, 4 from Dartmoor Brewery, Fullers London Pride and St Austall Tribute. I opted for a pint of Jail Ale (appropriately named)

Two bar man, who were quick and pleasant. I ordered food along with our drinks. The food was decent pub grub, though it took a bit time to arrive at our table.

Old wooden beams, little booths with slate table tops, old fashioned carpet throughout. A few nick nacks and pictures of old Princeton and Dartmoor prison hanging on the walls

A decent pub but Princetown is a very strange town…very much “league of gentleman” !!

Another good tick for me however while I was in the area on holiday

8 Sep 2014 13:38

The Ness House Hotel, Shaldon


After a few beers in Shaldon in various pubs it was time to head to The Ness for dinner.

A short stroll along the front and up a hill brings you to this imposing looking food oriented pub that has stunning views across the estuary to Teingmouth

This is a Hall & Woodhouse pub that was serving 2 Badger Ales and the full range of their bottled ales.

Pretty busy on a Monday night so it was a good job we had booked a table.

The beer was good, the food was good for the money with a decent selection on the menu. The service is good but this is a pub website and this place is more of a restaurant than a pub but it serves good beer.

Worth the walk for the view and building along with the beer.

1 Sep 2014 13:54

Ferry Boat Inn, Shaldon


Popped in here between the Clifford and The Ness. The Regatta was on so it was pretty busy with most of the punters out the front by the water.

4 ales on tap these were Greene King Abbot Ale, Teignworthy Old Moggie, Sharps Doom Bar & Two Beach Brewing Shag…which I’d had the day beer at a beer festival.

My choice of Old Moggie was excellent. The service by the 3 attentive bar staff was very quick.

A large Nautical themed inside the pub with lots of references to the pubs closeness to the sea.

A mentioned above there’s a nice area at the front which faces the sea, standing room only here so we enjoyed our 1 drink each inside the pub.

The pub grub looked pretty good.

1 Sep 2014 13:48

The Clifford Arms, Shaldon

After a couple of decent pints in the Shaldon Conservative Club me and party of 3 moved onto the Clifford Arms.

5 pumps on the bar offering 5 ales. I choose Oarsome from Two Beach Brewing Co @ 4.6%. Two Beach beers are brewed a few doors away behind a café & restaurant in Shaldon and they certainly travel well!

A decent sized pub that was pretty busy with a different crowd to the Conservative Club. This is obviously a very dog friendly pub as there were at least 4 dogs in with their owners…all very well behaved (the dogs not the owners!)

Nicely decorated inside with a large courtyard garden out the back. Half of the pub is food oriented but none was being served on my visit even though a lot of the tables were reserved ready for dinner.

After a quick pint it was time to move on. A very decent pub in a cracking little village that I will return to.

28 Aug 2014 14:14

Kingsmeadow, Kingston upon Thames

Came in on Monday night when my team played at Kingsmeadow.

Decent bar, it's a good size so on my visit as the crowd was only 400 odd it wasn't too busy.

Usual array of lagers and 2 real ale pumps that were both dispensing Hobgoblin. I had a few of these and they were all good and very drinkable.

A very good football club bar.

15 Aug 2014 16:21

The Kings Tun, Kingston Upon Thames

Large spoons close to the station that I haven't visited for over 10 years until last Monday.

12 pumps that has a great choice of ales with 6 of them being guest’s. I had 3 of then which were Baker City Brewing’s Barley Browns Black IPA @ 5.2%; Binghams Brewery Space Hoppy @ 5.0% & Arundel Brewery Summer Daze @ 4.7%

Fairly busy but as there are no meal deals on a Monday this was probably the reason that it wasn’t too busy.

Stayed an hour or so before heading to Kingsmeadow for football.

All in all a very pleasant place, great beer choice and best of all toilets on the ground level unlike most other spoons!

14 Aug 2014 14:21

The Victoria and Albert, Marylebone Station

Popped in here on Sunday on me way to Wembley for the football.

4 ales on the pumps, lots of staff and very fast service

£4.85 for a pint of Morland Old Golden Hen....really???

Busy with Arsenal and City fans, nice and pleasant and handy for Wembley but what a rip off.

Marked down from 7/10 on my last visit, due to the price!

14 Aug 2014 14:04

The Artillery Arms, Old Street

The last pub on my Friday evening crawl, pub number 6 and by now I was pretty tired and had a few decent beers inside me.

A short walk from the old fountain and you arrive at this Fullers pub which is opposite the cemetery.

4 fullers beers on offer, I opted for the Seafarers. A decent pint but I couldn’t finish it.

Good traditional boozer with half wooden floors half carpets, a full wooden bar

Friendly bar man and staff, not that busy by the time I was here but extremely pleasant and probably requires another visit when I’m not at the end of the evening.

If you like Military memorabilia it’s worth taking a look at the Military prints on the rear wall aswell as the framed collection of cigarette cards

14 Aug 2014 13:53

The Old Fountain, Old Street

After the 15 minute walk in the rain from Exmouth Market I finally visited the Old Fountain. I’ve been meaning to come here for almost a year now but never really had the chance.

8 cask ales, 7 on keg and 1 cider make for a great selection and very difficult to choose a beer!

Busy in both areas in this split level bar with seating areas to suit, comfy seating upstairs, wooden tables and chairs downstairs towards where the food is prepared in the open kitchen, food had finished by the time I arrived.

Music being played through a juke box or i-pod but at a decent level and lots of chatter going on from the customers and regulars alike.

The wooden floor in the lower bar deserves a mention as it’s like a chequer board and obviously has some age to it.

There’s a roof garden but I didn't visit it, this will be on my next visit.

Overall this is a quality pub and is well worthy of it's place in the Camra Good Beer Guide, a true London family run free house…this is a must visit.

14 Aug 2014 13:47

The Exmouth Arms, Exmouth Market

Pub number 4 and time to venture into Exmouth Market.

The Exmouth Arms is a lovely old fashioned pub that's been rescued from a poor backstreet local and turned this busy, hip, trendy pub that serves quality looking Burgers….I didn’t eat here but the Burgers did look good.

There are open plain glass windows facing the street with stain glass tops above.

Music playing loudly but it fitted and wasn’t a problem to have a conversation or order a drink.

Busy bar area, there are 4 pumps offering 4 different ales but as there were people q’ing for a drink I was unsure what they were. I opted for a bottle from the large bottle fridge. A superb choice of quality beers including a large number of American craft beers. I choose a 750ml bottle of Rogue Ales Voodoo Doughnut, pricey at £20.00 but worth every mouthful…a real treat to find a beer like this on my Friday night crawl.

Really busy but inside and out and when the rain came down it got busier.

Nicely refurbished toilets in the basement, interesting to note a large number of barrels being stored down there, unsure if they were empty or not.

This was probably the best pub of the night but the Old Fountain runs it very close but they are very different pubs.

Superb but that’s mainly for the beer choice.

14 Aug 2014 13:32

The Betsey Trotwood, Clerkenwell

After 1 pint in The Crown it was a short walk to pub number 3 and the first chain pub of the evening.

This Shepherd and Neame pub occupies a corner plot right on Farringdon Road.

5 pumps all serving Sheps ales, I had the Summer Sizzler, it was very good.

Quick service from the small bar area, it was very busy inside with tables outside also all taken.

Very interesting wallpaper and some odd portraits hanging above the bar as decoration.

As it was busy inside we took our pint and went outside were there are barrels to rest your beer on, attractive lanterns also hang outside.

Even though it’s right on a busy main road and close to a busy junction it’s a friendly homely feeling pub that’s worth a stop and a pint.

14 Aug 2014 13:30

The Crown Tavern, Clerkenwell

Pub number 2 on my Friday night crawl.

The sun was shining, the evening was balmy and the pub was absolutely packed with hipsters & trendy locals.

Packed outside with inside also very busy but quick enough to get a drink.

5 pumps which had the following ales on Timothy Taylor Landlord, Caledonian Duchars IPA, Black Sheep Monty Pythons Holy Grail, Sharps Doom Bar and Everard's Xingu. I opted for a pint of Xingu and it was very good. As well as the ales they also had Camden Hells Lager, Fruli & Bernard Dark on tap.

This is a lovely old building that used to have a theatre upstairs but it’s now a dining room. Attractive tiles on the outside lower wall and parlour style stained glass doors.

Overall a very attractive pub, good beer choice and busy. Definitely worthy of a stop on a pub crawl in the area.

13 Aug 2014 13:00

The Seven Stars, Chancery Lane

A short walk down from Chancery Lane brings me to pub number one of my Friday night crawl.

I’ve never been here before and am quite taken aback but what a lovely old looking pub this is, it’s almost hidden in amongst the buildings

Hanging baskets outside give a colourful look to the dark building that apparently dates from 1602!

Old floor boards inside, it feels very Intimate. There are a few impressive mirrors advertising breweries hanging on the walls giving the impression it’s larger inside than it actually is.

Now to the beers….5 pumps which were dispensing 3 ales they were Dark Star Hophead, Adnams Southwold & Broadside. I opted for 2 pints of Hophead and they were both excellent.

Unfortunately I didn’t see the pub cat on my visit.

A great pub to start a Friday night pub crawl in, now onto Clerkenwell.

12 Aug 2014 14:31

The Kings Head, Southminster

After beers in the Station and then in the Old White Horse we staggered into The Kings Head around 7.30pm.

I went for a pint of Fuller’s London Pride but it wasn't that great.

Another busy pub with pool tables and music playing at an acceptable level.

Crap clientele, quite chavey.

Overall this is a friendly enough pub but with sh*t locals. I shall not be rushing back.

12 Aug 2014 14:11

The Station Arms, Southminster

After a long day in Burnham we caught the train one stop to Southminster for another GBG 2014 tick and the only pub in Southminster which appears in the guide.

A short walk from the station brings you to this cracking pub, that had 5 ales on. My choice was Red Fox Brewery, Bespoke Bitter @ 4.2%. It was a very decent pint.

Busy with locals , plenty of spots to sit and a decent outside garden area also.

Quaint with floorboards throughout. Quick service from the friendly barmaid.

Great pub with a good atmosphere, so good that after a few beers in 2 of the pubs close by we returned on our way to the station for another visit. On this visit i went for a pint of George's - Lest - 4%.

Definitely worth the extra trip Southminster.....10/10 for me.

12 Aug 2014 13:24

Ye Olde White Harte Hotel, Burnham on Crouch

After a quick pit stop at The Anchor it was a short stroll to pub number 6.

This is lovely looking place, there’s a large & grand fire place the grate has date 1630 impressed into it.

A Grand father clock stands to one side and there’s lots of wooden panelling.

The bar is shaped like a ships bowel and is accessible from both sides.

On the bar there are 3 pumps dispensing 2 ales which were Adnams The Bitter and Crouch Vale Brewers Gold. My pint of gold was good.

There’s a large terrace on the water at the front but it was quite windy by now so we sat inside.

It was fairly quiet and a little soulless inside but at there’s so many pubs in Burnham I’m not surprised so much and the Anchor does offer a better outside seating area.

Again worth a stop for a pint.

7 Aug 2014 14:42

The Anchor Hotel, Burnham on Crouch

Pub number 5 on my day of ticking and this one sits in a prominent position on the front, a short walk from the High Street.

Dark and low inside, there’s 2 ales on the pumps and my choice was Mighty Oak’s Maldon Gold @ 3.8%.

The food looked pretty good.

Pleasant enough inside, friendly bar staff and quick service. However the real selling point of this place is the great outside area, we managed to grab a bench facing the estuary and watched people pass while we enjoyed our beer.

Cracking location, nice enough pub, a couple of ales all in all this is another decent pub in Burnham.

7 Aug 2014 14:29

The Ship Inn, Burnham on Crouch

After the Queen’s Head this was pub number 3 and the start of the pubs that don’t appear in the guide but were worth stopping in for a beer.

The Ship is an Adnams pub occupying a position on the High St, which obviously doesn’t have as many punters walking along as the front does.

2 ales on the 3 pumps which were Broadside and Southwold bitter. The Broadside was decent enough and certainly drinkable.

Old fashioned pub which is carpeted on 1 side then floor boarded throughout. Separate front bar and back, but it’s open plan so you can see through from the front to the back where tables are laid for food, there were a few people eating but I didn’t see or smell the food.

Music playing in the front bar.

Pumps have ships painted on them and a few hand painted ship plates are hanging above the bar.

Not quite the same as the first 2 pubs I visited but it’s a tidy and friendly place and worthy of a stop.

7 Aug 2014 14:23

Queens Head, Burnham On Crouch

After the New Welcome Sailor we walked down the back streets and into the Queens Head.

The Queens is the other pub that appears in the 2014 GBG after New Welcome Sailor.

4 ales on the pumps which were Dark star Hophead & Original, Red Fox Brewery Coggeshall Gold & Wibblers Providence IPA, as well as the ales there is a good range of Belgium bottled beers with one of them on offer at over 10%...I may try that next time!

We were greeted by a very friendly & chatty landlord who was only to happy to stand & chat with us.

There’s wooden floors throughout, a mini size pool table and a dart board.

Nice collection of pewter pint pots hanging above the bar as well as a large selection of pump clips from beers they have had on…some really interesting beers here.

Food is served in the form of huffers (large rolls).

We stopped for 2 pints and both of my Red Fox Brewery Coggeshall Gold were excellent. A cracking little pub that is worthy of it’s place in the GBG, again this will be on my radar on my next visit to Burnham.

4 Aug 2014 16:01

The Montague Arms, New Cross


My first visit here last Tuesday on my way to Denmark Hill and it was certainly worthy of the stop.

3 ales on the 4 hand pumps which were 5 points Hook Island Red. Triple FFF India Pale ale and Clarkshaws Hellhound IPA.

All ales are £3.70 a pint with 30p off a pint and 15p off a half for camra card holders.

2 meantime lagers also on offer and a few good bottles aswell…I shall take a closer look at these on my next visit!

The décor is excellent, mad, eclectic and other words I cannot even think of to describe it….there are 3 interesting globes and various other nick nakes kicking about, then there’s the raised seating off to the left with sofas at the far end and some hanging jester masks, not forgetting the large collection of taxidermy, some of it good & some of it needs work…there’s bears, foxes, stags, rabbits / hares etc etc.

I was the only punter in here between 5.30 and 6pm when I was joined by a couple who looked a little shocked when they entered.

2 large copper stills supplied by Meantime greet you as you walk in and there’s a stage at one end of the bar area which is used for the regular music nights.

It really is a mad looking place but it works and the beer is awesome, both pints I had were excellent.

4 Aug 2014 14:01

The Cleveland Arms, Bayswater

My last pub of the day after a day out in Maidenhead and to be honest I was pretty much finished by the time I came here, so this review is based on notes only!

Nicely updated and very modern throughout, the tiles by the entrance are lovely and even the wooden flooring is trendy

Flowers hanging in basket’s outside the front give the pub a homely and welcoming feel.

3 pumps offering GK IPA, Timothy Taylor Landlord & Magic Ring’s Master…I opted for a pint of Brewdog’s Fake Lager while I sat at the bar trying to keep myself awake and write this review.

A decent pub that I shall revisit on an occasion when I’m not feeling worse for wear!

4 Aug 2014 13:52

The Bell, Maidenhead

After having a fair few pints at other establishment’s in town I stopped here on my way to the station.

There was 1 real ale which was GK’s Golden Abbot, I decided against this and went for a bottle of cider instead.

Extremely large pub, that was fairly empty both inside and out, the Pizzas on offer looked and smelt good and in hindsight I should have one instead of a ropey sandwich from Sainsbury’s next door!

The weather was great so I took my drink and sat in the large outside area.

Probably a decent place for a night out and some food, will I come back ? Probably not as I’ve “ticked” Maidenhead now and also been to the football ground.

Very handy for the station though and shouldn’t be overlooked.

4 Aug 2014 13:17

Greyhound, Maidenhead

After visiting a really nice ‘Spoons in the Bear I headed onto this “modern” pub close to the football ground.

It was pretty busy with the football crowd but as the pub is very close to the ground I wasn’t surprised.

5 ales across the 10 pumps with 2 of the pumps dispensing ciders.

Open windows onto the Main Road give the pub an “airy” feeling and didn’t make it seem so busy and stuffy

4 bar staff working quickly and keeping all punters “watered”.

Decent enough ‘Spoons but not one I would rush back to.

1 Aug 2014 16:54

The Bear, Maidenhead

My first pub of 3 that I wanted to tick in Maidenhead while I was there for a football game.

The Bear is a very good conversion of an old pub by Wetherspoons.

It has a large outside area at the front with tabels and chairs in a roped off area on the cobbles.

The sun was shining so it was very busy inside and out. The service was slightly chaotic but efficient with the manager running around trying to serve everyone (bless him)

9 hand pumps as 1 was out of action which was serving 6 different ales. I opted for a pint of Twickenham Breweries Naked Ladies @ 4.4%, noting that it was 70p dearer a pint here from the Moon and Spoon in Slough, £2.75 here.

Very smart pub, good location and worthy of the walk down the High St to reach it if coming from the station.

1 Aug 2014 14:13

The Moon and Spoon, Slough

My 2nd stop on my way to Maidenhead and another Wetherspoon’s.

This large and busy ‘Spoons at the end / start of the High Street is just a short walk from the station.

This is first time I've ever been to Slough for a drink, with the pub being in the 2014 GBG it was worth of a stop.

Eclectic clientele , fairly busy during visit with most punters drinking, a lot of the tables on the raised level that would normally be for diners were empty.

2 bar staff serving but no problem or wait to get a beer.

12 pumps offering 6 different beers, my selection was decent and being a ‘Spoons it was good value.

Overall a decent and friendly pub that I shall put on my pub radar if I’m passing through Slough again.

1 Aug 2014 14:13

The Rockingham Arms, Elephant and Castle

Modern Wetherspoon's on the large roundabout at Elephant by the subway tunnels.

Never been to this pub before, so as I was passing around 11am on Saturday I decided to drop in for a quick pint. It was fairly busy with quite a few people eating breakfast

8 ales on the hand pumps, I went for a pint of Bruins Ruin from Beartown.

Quick and friendly service, I took my pint and sat out the front enjoying the sunshine. I choose a decent time of the day to visit as I understand it gets a bit rowdy in the evenings.

30 Jul 2014 14:51

The Toby Carvery, Beckenham

Popped in on Thursday night after football @ Beckenham Town FC

Busy outside with a large party of blokes enjoying their selves and drinking heavily.

3 ales on the pumps which were Fuller's London Pride, Brakespear's Bitter & St Austell Tribute. The pints of Tribute I had were good but the service from grumpy bar maid was awful, she really didn’t look like she wanted to be there.

Nice enough pub, being a Toby Carvery it's very food orientated but it's very handy for the train station and a nice enough place to while away time waiting for the train.

30 Jul 2014 13:16

The Claret Free House, Addiscombe

I came in for my first ever visit around 5.30pm on a Thursday and I wasn't prepared for the place to be so busy this is definitely a bar more than a pub, very similar to Irish or Scottish pubs.

Carpeted throughout with old and worn looking tables and chairs filling every space on the floor.

Music playing and the television in the corner on mute.

Mixed clientele but most were 40+, there was a steady stream of punters during the hour I spent here.

6 hand pumps offering 5 ales, I went for Dark Star Summer Meltdown @ 4.8% & Marmalade Cat from the Fat Cat Brewery. There is a board on the wall opposite the bar displaying which beers are on now and next .... Currently the beer's on next have 16 listed which is excellent for a small independent bar

A main stay in Camra’s GBG and that was the reason for my visit, certainly glad I did as it’s well worth a visit.

30 Jul 2014 13:00

Village Inn, Pinner

Another ‘Spoons that apparently used to be a shop. My 2nd tick of the evening last Tuesday.

A short walk from Rayners Lane station and I was greeted with 10 pumps that were offering 5 ciders and 5 ales

I had a pint of Windsor & Eton’s Kohinoor @ 4.5%, but I was very tempted by 3 other offerings, 2 from Twickenham Fine Ales Grandstand and Redhead & Welton’s Strawberry Cream Stout

Busy at the front with drinkers, mainly punters eating down the stairs towards the garden then smokers in the garden. The sun was shining so I took my pint and retired to the pleasant garden area.

This is another spoons that is in the 2014 GBG, it’s certainly better than the offering in Harrow I was previously 30 minutes before hand.

Much more friendly and welcoming, good quick service, close to the station....all in all a very nice pub.

28 Jul 2014 13:52

Moon On The Hill, Harrow

Popped in here as a stopping off point on my way to Rayners Lane last Tuesday night.

A short walk from Harrow on the Hill station is this old original style 'spoons with an eclectic mix of customers.

Pretty busy inside with a real proper drinking crowd of which certainly all were locals and regulars, food was being served but the beer was more important to most punters.

6 ales on the 6 pumps which were Ruddles Best, GK Abbot Ale, Marston's Old Empire and 3 guests....of the guests I went for Growlers' Hound Dog @ 4.2%. Well poured and a nice pint.

This was a tick for me , so I had the 1 pint and headed off to Rayners Lane. No real rush to go back but it is handy for the station, so if I’m in Harrow again I’ll probably use it.

28 Jul 2014 13:44

The Royal Oak, Orpington

Another family birthday so we booked a table for 8 on a Saturday lunchtime.

Always good food, good beer choice and extremely good service…this occasion was my Mother in Law’s 80th birthday and the staff all gathered to sing Happy Birthday for her which was a lovely touch.

My beer choice was 2 pints of Brakspear’s Bitter which was poured perfectly and allowed to settle before being brought to the table.

One slight complaint was that there were a couple of slightly dirty knife and forks laid for dinner, as soon as I asked for them to be changed they were.

The family love it here and it’s worth a visit for a meal or just for a drink, always at least 3 ales on and the usual European lagers.

28 Jul 2014 13:18

The Plume of Feathers, Greenwich

4th and final pub of my mini crawl, came here just before 10pm and this might have been the best of the lot.

4 ales on the pumps, my selection of Harvey's Best was very good and a good way to end the evening.

Not too many punters in, the ones that were in were friendly and along with the good attentive service gives the pub a really nice fell.

This is a really nice boozer occupying a great position overlooking Greenwich Park.

I was here around 11 years ago but haven’t returned since, I won’t make the mistake of leaving so long until my next visit.

28 Jul 2014 13:13

The Star and Garter, Greenwich

3rd pub on my mini crawl of East Greenwich.

Came in just before 9pm, the only ale on tap was Young's Bitter. Decent enough pint.

Friendly bar maid and staff, pretty quiet to be honest group watching the Racing on television in one corner, a couple of fellas playing darts and the rest of the clientele sitting and chatting at the bar.

Carpeted throughout in the front bar, wooden floor in the back bar where the Pool Table and Dart board is located

Music playing to an acceptable level.

Decent place but more for locals and I would imagine they don’t get too much passing trade, worth a visit though as is it a solid boozer.

28 Jul 2014 12:44

The Pelton Arms, Greenwich

My first ever visit to the Pelton after 2 pints in the Pilot and a brisk walk.

I walk through the door and approach the bar and instantly I feel a little uncomfortable. The inside bar is open plan and is pretty full with locals, there is a band starting up on the stage as I wait patiently to be served. After a short look of the eyes on the barman I manage to get myself a pint of Nelson Breweries Cat o'Nine Tails….as I have found with all of Nelson’s beers this one tastes a little odd but it does improve as I drink it.

There are 6 ales and 1 cider on the pumps so the ale choice is pretty alright.

From reading reviews I know that this is a locals community pub but it does feel slightly off putting for a stranger.

I take my pint and move to the good sized outside area which has lots of benches and is pretty much full. The atmosphere out here is nicer.

I decide to head off to another pub after just 1 pint, unsure if I came in on the wrong night or expected a friendly atmosphere but I didn’t feel that welcome.

I’m not sure I’ll return but that’s probably more my loss than the pubs as it seems to do well and has been around for years.

25 Jul 2014 16:56

The Pilot Inn, North Greenwich

My first visit to this pub for more than 20 years.

Good range of Fullers ales on tap, these were London Pride, ESB, Summer Ale, Seafarers Ale and the guest was Portobello Pale.

Has recently been extensively modernised inside and out with what appears to be more emphasis on the food side.

The weather on my visit was stunning so I took my pint and retreated to the superb back garden. This is a cracking outside area with plenty of seating and also boasts an upstairs decking area with seating…I think this may be more of dining area but I didn’t venture up there.

Decent pub that is worth the short walk from north Greenwich jubilee line station, however I agree with previous reviews the homely ness has disappeared.

25 Jul 2014 16:32

Wetherspoons, Leeds

Popped in on Sunday week for a quick pint while I waited for train to be prepared.

Good choice of ales on the pumps and I opted for a local brew Wharfe Bank, Lanterne Rouge @ 4.4%.

Cheap ‘Spoons prices.

Pretty much banged out, there was a large and noisy group of women I guess either finishing or starting a hen party!

The only pub on Leeds station I have used, no complaints from me.

22 Jul 2014 14:19

Wetherspoons, Leeds

Popped in on Sunday week for a quick pint while I waited for train to be prepared.

Good choice of ales on the pumps and I opted for a local brew Wharfe Bank, Lanterne Rouge @ 4.4%.

Cheap ‘Spoons prices.

Pretty much banged out, there was a large and noisy group of women I guess either finishing or starting a hen party!

The only pub on Leeds station I have used, no complaints from me.

22 Jul 2014 14:19

Veritas, Leeds

Superb that's how this review should & will start. After a pint in the Victoria Family & Commercial I took the very short walk along Great George Street and into Veritas.

8 ales on the hand pumps, from 7 different Northern breweries. I had a pint of Pommies Revenge @ 5.2% from Keighley’s Goose Eye Brewery.

I took my pint and sat down at a table in front of the large open glass window facing the hospital while I ponded what to order for lunch.

The menu had a good variety if food and after much deliberation I went for the Pollock with Whitebait. Very good but the portion was huge, good value for money though.

As well as the ales they offer continental lagers, ciders & stouts on tap and a decent range of European bottle ales and lagers.

Time was running out so I only stayed for a pint and lunch but I will return here as I just cannot praise this place enough.

Ignore that it looks a bit like a café or restaurant and make a visit, for the ales alone you wont be disappointed.

22 Jul 2014 13:45

The Victoria Hotel, Leeds

Sunday lunchtime visit to this Nicholson’s pub. I’ll come to the interior in a bit.

Another Leeds pub that appears in the 2014 GBG so it was a tick that I had do.

Very large inside with the main bar to the right as you go through the front door, a long wooden and brass bar appears to your left and offers 9 hand pumps that on my visit were serving 6 different ales. My choice was Black Sheep’s Monty Pythons Holy Grail @ 4%. A very decent pint poured and topped up without asking by the friendly bar man.

As with all Nicholson’s pub there was the board up on the wall showcasing the up and coming ales.

Very ornate interior, coving, ceiling & hanging lights are lovely but the huge fireplace in the main bar as you enter is stunning, it’s a real talking point and should always be preserved.

Quiet on the Sunday lunchtime I visited, just 2 other punters who both ordered food, definitely worth another visit soon....really attractive pub with a good range of ales.

I’d like to come back at a busier time.

22 Jul 2014 13:31

The Little John Inn, York

After the Parish and a wander around a few pubs that were far too busy we settled for 1 drink in the Blue Boar.

5 pumps offering a mix of ales from local and a bit further afield, I settled for a pint of Timothy Taylors Golden Best @ 3.5%. A decent pint but the service from the surly female bar staff leaves a bit to be desired.

Wooden floors, plenty of seats, music playing in the background but a bit louder than background music.

Food was being served but I didn’t see what it looked like.

Nice courtyard but you’re not allowed to take your drinks outside, even though it was sweltering inside.

Most probably my one and only ever visit.

22 Jul 2014 13:11

The Parish, York

Next pub / bar on our visit of York but this place is really not my thing.

No ale on tap, I wasn’t surprised for I opted for a bottle of European lager.

Stayed for 30 minutes while everyone else in my group finished their beers before crossing the river for “more delights”.

As mentioned above this type of place is not for me, however the building is lovely, even has an old tomb on one side of the building.

Worth a visit just to look at the interior.

22 Jul 2014 12:54

The Corner Pin, York

Pub number 4 and after walking down Mickelgate and turning left we come to The Society Bar, no way am I going in there so I cross the road and enter The Corner Pin.

The Marston’s pub has 3 pumps, offering 3 ales and I opt for a pint of Cumberland from Jennings. Decent enough pint but the server is a bit miserable.

I take my drink and look for somewhere to sit, it’s all a bit stuffy inside so I had to the large garden at the side of the pub and find myself a table.

The pub is busy again with race goers', quite a few drunk people by this time, the chatter is loud and there’s a few tw*t’s out in the garden.

I finish my beer and had outside to meet the others, not a bad pub but this wouldn’t be on my radar for another visit.

18 Jul 2014 17:58

Brigantes Bar and Brasserie, York

3rd pub of the day and for me this was by far the best.

I tried to get in here 3 months back on my last visit to York but ran out of time, I was not going to miss out this time around.

8 ales on the pumps and with a great choice in front of me I opted for a pint of Great Heck Brewery’s Navigator @ 3.9%

Again it was very busy in here and an orderly queue formed for the bar, the staff were extremely quick and getting served was no problem at all.

Massive range of bottled beers also on offer along with a few decent looking ciders. Breweriania all over the walls, church style bench seats, great beer and service what more does any ale drinker want ?

For me what more do I want in a bar / pub, nothing! Brigantes does it for me, this is an place and has to be on people tour map when drinking around York.

***Superb***

18 Jul 2014 17:35

The Punchbowl, York

After the Bay Horse we moved onto this Large, older style spoons just before you enter Micklegate

There were door staff on as it was race day but inside it was pretty calm and with plenty of staff getting a drink was no bother.

8 hand pumps with 5 guest ales on I opted for a brew from the local York Brewery which was Yorkshire Terrier, nicely poured and a very good pint.

Large garden where a lot of the punters were positioned, due to the cracking weather and being able to smoke.

Stayed for 1 pint and then moved on.

18 Jul 2014 17:24

The Bay Horse, York

On the way back to town from the racecourse I stopped here on Saturday. This is a decent little locals pub that is very handily placed.

Separate little rooms and nooks inside with a large garden area with a gazebo type shelter in the back, perfect for the warm Saturday evening of my visit.

3 ales on hand pumps, I had a very decent pint of Theakstons Lightfoot, the other choices were Theakston’s Old Peculiar and John Smith’s Cask.

Relatively busy with most people sat out the back.

Friendly bar staff. All in all a nice retreat away from the madness of Micklegate on race day…I had 1 pint then moved onto the Punchbowl.

15 Jul 2014 12:50

The North Bar, Leeds

The last pub of the evening in Leeds and it was probably the best of the night…though The Templar run’s it a very close 2nd.

I came here just after 11pm and the place was already very busy. Lots of couples and mixed groups, the bar staff and punters are all very trendy.

Great range of ales, my choice was a pint of Magic Rock’s High Wire @ 5.5%...perfect served and extremely drinkable.

This is a bar and not a pub, the lights are really cool & there’s some very interesting photos hanging on the walls. Also the photo booth towards the back is great fun and was mainly being used by the staff on Saturday night which was my quick fire 2nd visit…again it did not disappoint and from a choice of new ales on the taps I had Acorn Brewery’s Sticklebract @ 5.0%, again it was perfect.

Yet another top place for a good drink in Leeds.

15 Jul 2014 12:24

Templar Hotel, Leeds

After a long day in Leeds I had 2 more pubs left to visit, after moving from the Palace I walked up Vicar Lane and into the Templar.

I was greeted by a mass of people all enjoying conversations and their beer. 8 hand pumps offering mainly local beers, I opted for a pint of Main Line from Settle Brewing Co @ 3.8%. As well as the ales they also had Brew Dog Punk IPA on tap, surprising to see in a pub like this.

Busy with a cracking friendly atmosphere again not the sort you would find in a city centre down south.

Original Burmantoff tiles adorn the outside wall.

This place really is a hidden gem and is a must for any ale drinker visiting Leeds, I personally would head to here then North if you are short of time. I'll be back soon.

14 Jul 2014 17:00

Palace, Leeds

I visited this Nicholson’s pub around 10pm on Friday night.

I went straight into the front bar, the place was busy but it was easier to get a seat.

11 pumps serving 9 ales & 1 cider. I choose an ale from Woodforde’s in Norfolk and it was perfect

Constant chatter amongst the regulars made this pub feel very much like a cosy little local instead of a pub in a major town, credit to the staff and locals, it’s a great trait for a pub like this.

Nice old signs around the pub.

Yet another very decent pub in Leeds.

14 Jul 2014 16:44

The Grove Inn, Holbeck

Our next stop after Midnight Bell was this little hidden gem.

Very traditional pub that has survived the local development going on and with the amount people drinking here after work I’m not surprised.

Several different rooms inside with the bar to your left as you enter from Back Row.

Busy but the bar staff were both friendly & helpful…which you don’t always get in London.

8 taps serving a good range of ales.

With the sun beating down the addition of a garden to the side of the pub is very welcome.

Another cracking pub that is worth the walk out of town.

14 Jul 2014 14:04

The Midnight Bell, Leeds

After a couple of beers in The Scarborough & The Hop we arrived at this Leeds brewery Tap.

It was around 4pm when we got here and it was already pretty busy , most of the punters were out the back in the large outside area by the canal, this is a great spot for drinks in the sun

Good range of ales and continental lagers, quick and attentive service from the bar staff.

Another very decent pub that is worthy of another visit.

14 Jul 2014 13:59

The Windmill Tavern, Waterloo

I have been here before but it was quiet unmemorable, as was my latest visit late on Saturday evening.

4 beers on the pumps so I opted for a pint of Young's, Humming bird @ 4.2%. Service was quick but I found the barman slightly rude and abrupt.

It seemed pretty busy inside, the kitchen was still open and the food looked very decent.

I took my pint and went and sat outside as the evening was warm.

Friendly pub but doesn’t really do it for me.

9 Jul 2014 16:44

The White Hart, Waterloo

Another pub I have used a few times but I haven’t visited in probably the last 3 or so years.

Came in on Saturday evening, it was pretty busy and started to fill up for the Holland vs Costa Rica World Cup game.

4 or 5 ales on the hand pumps…I cant actually remember all of the beers but the 3 pints of Daniel Twaites 13 Guns @ 5.5% I had were very good.

I stayed for the first half of the football then moved onto another pub.

Decent enough pub for a few beers, the food looked okay.

Service is quick and good.

9 Jul 2014 16:37

The Kings Arms, Waterloo

Another visit to this cracking pub that is quickly becoming one of my favs in London.

A good selection of ales on, on Saturday evening but I was only interested in Clarkshaws Phoenix Rising @ 4.0%....the reason I came to the Kings and the beer did not disappoint.

Busy with a good mixed crowd, a group of chaps all dressed as Old English Gentleman, the usual selection of guest beers which included an interesting Chilli Porter. I didn’t taste it but have it on good authority that it was very good.

Not much more to say about this little gem…if you haven’t been already then make a bee line for the Kings Arms

7 Jul 2014 14:02

The Ledger Building, Canary Wharf

I have used this Lloyds Number 1 / ‘Spoon’s several times over the years and have always found it to be too busy and rather disappointing service wise.

A good range of ales with 15 hand pumps on the long bar. At least 5 are guest ales. My pint of Growler IPA was very good.

Huge building in a great location with a large area at the front for drinkers and smokers.

Back to the service, this can be very hit and miss and sometimes you feel like you need to shout or make a scene to get noticed let alone get served.

Price wise, I don’t find the Ledger Building that expensive, but it’s not your average ‘Spoons prices but it is in the Canary Wharf area so you need to remember that when criticising the prices.

Nearest ‘Spoons to work but a bit too far to make it worth going regularly.

7 Jul 2014 12:56

The Cat And Canary, Canary Wharf

My first visit to this Fullers pub for a while and it was busy at 5.15pm with people watching the World Cup on the large screen and TV’s inside.

6 ales on the hand pumps....3 ales from Fullers plus 3 guests which were York Guzzler, Notting Hill Blonde & Fullers Two Halves which was my choice and was fine.

Decent quick service though I had to remind the girl of the drink I did want and not the one she started to pour.

Not cheap however, probably as you would expect for the area…nearly £9.00 for a pint of ale and a bottle of Sol.

4 Jul 2014 11:21

The Gate Clock, Greenwich

I haven’t been here for several years so I took the opportunity one lunch time to pop in for a couple of pints.

I arrived just before 1pm and it was already pretty busy inside and outside.
A choice of 8 ales across the 10 pumps, a couple of guest ales and I opted for a few pints of Bateman’s Black & White, which I was then informed had been reduced to £1.29 a pint as the manager had ordered 6 barrels by mistake and they were struggeling to sell them! No problem for me to neck a couple of these cheap pints…the quality was not compromised at all.

Regular afternoon ‘Spoons crowd as you would expect.

The service was swift and friendly.

With the sun shining it was perfect weather for sitting outside on the tall chairs enjoying my beer.

Not exactly what you expect pubs in Greenwich to be like but it’s a ‘spoons, it’s cheap, it serves decent beer and does what it says on the tin.

2 Jul 2014 16:47

The George, Isle of Dogs

I use the George a couple of times a week and it really is a great locals pub.

Not would you would expect for the area but definitely worth a visit.

4 ales on the hand pumps and these normally are Fuller’s London Pride, Sharp’s Doom Bar, Young’s Bitter & Timothy Taylor’s Landlord. I normally alternate between the 4 but the Landlord is normally the best pint, though there isn’t much difference as they are all well kept.

Nearly always busy, whether it be a lunch time or an evening.

In this good weather we are currently having the garden is getting a lot of use.

One note re the food, it’s excellent and extremely well priced….the Egg and Chips is too die for!

The George goes from strength to strength for me and now deserves 10/10

1 Jul 2014 11:54

The Spinnaker, Docklands

***Just about to be turned into a Pret A Manger***

Sadly it seems like this place will never be a pub again.

1 Jul 2014 11:42

All Bar One, Canary Wharf

I have used this place a couple of times in the last few years.

No ale on tap and the service is a bit crap….European lagers on offer, seats outside like the Pitcher & Piano just not as nice.

It’s a chain and All Bar One’s are normally fine, just not my thing but it serves a purpose if you need a beer.

1 Jul 2014 11:38

Lebowskis, Glasgow

My 3rd pub / bar of the evening on Argyle Street and this is another uber trendy place, this one with an American Ten Pin Bowling theme based on the movie…the Big Lebowski.

Not much to offer hand pump wise but a good range of beers in the fridge…with a couple of Williams Brothers ales tasking my fancy.

Extremely busy with very good music playing, a mainly young crowd in and lots of beards on show….very trendy indeed!

Another decent bar to while away a few hours on a Friday night.

1 Jul 2014 11:16

The Captains Cabin, Piccadilly

****Now demolished****

1 Jul 2014 11:10

The Rockus, Glasgow

After a beer at Neighbourhood I decided to venture into here for a pint. Rockus can only be described as a proper rock bar, loud music playing via the DJ, visuals projected onto the back wall and graffiti scrawled all over the walls….very trendy and very busy on my visit

Now to the beer, there were 2 ales on draught, both from Fyne Ales and my choice of a pale ale was very good, so good that I stayed for another.

Not the sort of pub you would come for a quiet night out but a place you would visit for a good night out or as part of your evening out.

Set on the up and coming Argyle Street area of the West End this is a must visit place.

1 Jul 2014 11:05

The Two Chairmen, Trafalgar Square

I worked opposite this place in the late 90's and only visited once so a return was long overdue.

Popped in on a Friday evening when the sun was shining and it was busy with an after work crowd.

Nice little traditional pub that has been modernised. 3 attentive and efficient bar staff kept the drinkers topped up.

3 ales on the hand pumps, Fullers London Pride, Timothy Taylor Landlord and Truman's Swift......I opted for the Swift, decent and very enjoyable.

Nothing remarkable decor wise but a very decent genuine London boozer....I won't leave it 18 years to I visit again.

30 Jun 2014 09:21

Red Lion, Gatwick Airport

Air side North Terminal Wetherspoons that is by far the best place for a beer while your awaiting your flight.

My Sunday afternoon visit coincided with a very busy airport day and i have to say the staff coped very well, the queue was dealt with very quickly.

A choice of 6 ales across the pumps had me deciding on an American beer brewed in conjunction with Adnams, 5% and just £3.25 it was the perfect tonic for my delayed flight.

Very decent 'spoons, doesn't seem as expensive as the air side offering at the South Terminal.

Good quick service, decent choice of ales, prime location what is there to dislike?

26 Jun 2014 15:36

Neighbourhood Bar, Glasgow

New renamed Neighbourhood, this is a corner plot bar in the trendy West End of town not too far from Charing Cross.

I came in the other Friday night, music playing, busy with no seats available inside only standing space.

Good crowd, which was mixed with small groups and couples.

8 pumps offering the finest European and American craft lager, 2 ales on tap.

Stopped for just the one pint before moving on, decent place that is worthy of another visit.

26 Jun 2014 15:25

The Bon Accord, Glasgow

This is a pub I've been wanting to tick for a couple of years now, and i finally made it here the other Friday afternoon.

I was not disappointed with this pub, 11 pumps dispensing 10 ales, many of the choices being from Scottish breweries, my first pint was a golden choice from Itchen Valley and was excellent.

I ordered some food as it was lunchtime, Scampi and chips, again it was very good & done the trick.

Busy with a lot of customers ordering food.

Plenty of pictures on the walls, and a very impressive selection of awards the majority for the quality of their beer.

Absolutely cracking pub that is well worth the short walk from the City Centre.

24 Jun 2014 12:47

Lord of the Isles, Glasgow



Last pub of the 5 from the 2014 GBG that i visited in 1 day and I was pretty disappointed to be honest.

Very average out of town modern Spoon's, the clientele reflected this perfectly as did the service.

12 hand pumps of which only 1 was serving a real ale....I was dumbstruck!
The beer that was on was extremely good, American craft ale for £1.85 a pint...that certainly redeemed things a bit for me.

However the whole place just felt very much like an airport pub, the sort of place where no one actually belongs.

One and only visit, ticked & done.

17 Jun 2014 13:38

Harvies Showbar, Paisley

A 10 minute walk out of Paisley and possibly worth the walk is where you will find Harvies Bar, but don't expect too much in the way of real ales.

There are 2 hand pumps dispensing 1 ale which was Golden Hops though I am unsure who the brewery are.

Pretty busy with the crowd being mainly male, same as most of the other pubs I'd been in locally with the television's on as well as music playing.

Friendly barmaids, nice relaxed atmosphere but lacking in ale choice, however it's a bit of a gem & worth going out of your way for.

17 Jun 2014 12:40

Burgh Bar, Paisley

Large corner plot pub on the way in to / out of Paisley.

Very much a locals pub with the pub better looking than the locals !

Central bar with an attractive stained glass ceiling dome.

No ales on hand pump so i opted for a pint of McEwen's special.

Pretty quiet even though there was a crowd in.

Not a bad place, but not that exciting.

Get's 5 out of 10 mainly for the attractive ceiling dome!

13 Jun 2014 16:48

Finlay's Bar, Paisley

Now called Kennedy’s, this is a bog standard corner plot pub a stone’s throw from town.

No real ale on draught so I opted for a pint of Tennants extra cold lager at £2.80 a pint, it was that Guinness or a rather dusty looking bottle of ale!

Fairly busy with music softly playing in the background.

Decent enough pub but having no real ale it wouldn’t be one I will rush back to.

13 Jun 2014 10:57

The Bull Inn, Paisley

My 3rd pub in Paisley and this was the most attractive, a proper old fashioned ale house with lots of charm.

Lovely stain glass windows, lots of wood panelling & an interesting ornate wooden bar.

4 hand pumps dispensing 3 ales, the pint of Kelburn Regnitz was very vinegary & not very enjoyable, but that might have been a combination of the beer itself and unclear pipes.

Overall it’s a nice pub but I feel the beer let it down on my visit, if I’m in the area again with time to kill I’ll give it another go.

13 Jun 2014 10:54

The Wee Howff, Paisley

Pub number 2 of my little tour, and another pub in the 2014 Good Beer Guide.

Small inside as the name Wee suggests . Only a few other punters in during my visit.

Televisions were on with sound as well as music playing from the jukebox, a odd mix but it’s not unusual in Scottish pubs, especially during the day.

2 ales on hand pumps, Old Speckled Hen and Prescot Hill Climb...both listed as guest ales. My pint of Hill Climb was decent and good value at £3.45 a pint.

Very old fashioned interior with low lighting giving the place a “dingy” feel but that’s not the case, though the décor is a little old and tired.

Pleasant locals pub in a High Street of charity shops.

11 Jun 2014 14:06

The Last Post, Paisley

I had 4 pubs in Paisley to tick off so i started in this extremely large and imposing building that used to be Paisley's main post office and is right outside Gilmour Street station.

Typical Wetherspoons with a large selection of ales. 12 hand pumps dispensing 11 different ales, 6 of them were from Scottish breweries. My pint from The Orkney Brewery at £2.20 was great value for money.

The crowd were mostly 40 something's and upwards, pleasant and with constant chatter, there's no reason not to like this place unless you're not a fan if Spoons'.

Efficient bar staff unlike a lot of ‘spoons establishments, not so many “creatures” but maybe I got lucky!

All in all it’s a decent pub that more than serves a purpose.

11 Jun 2014 14:03

The Queens Arms, Pimlico

My 1st ever visit to this place was late afternoon on a Saturday a few weeks back.

Trendy with food being rather prominent, there are lots of eclectic tables & chairs so seating is not a problem. The bar staff are friendly and attentive.

3 ales on hand pumps, my choice of Cottage Brewing Wessex Red @ 4% was very good, so good I had a couple of pints. They also have a good American beer selection in the fridges, I’ll work my way through these on my next visit.

All in all this pub was a nice surprise for me as it wasn’t on my list for the day. Good location, busy with a steady crowd, friendly staff, reasonably priced for the area…so get yourself down here and have a few beers in the area I doubt you’ll be disappointed.

11 Jun 2014 13:56

The Jugged Hare, Pimlico

Large Fullers pub that used to be a branch of National Westminster Bank.

Very good decor, marble columns, high ceilings, ornate lighting etc.

There is also a stunning large picture hanging on the wall opposite the bar.

Food is served and looked pretty good, prices seemed reasonable as well.

5 hand pumps offering 3 Fullers & 2 guests…which were from Brewster’s and Truman. I opted for a bottle of Golden Pride while the wife had a whiskey.

Busy Saturday afternoon crowd, a couple of large groups of touring School Kids where hosted in the upstairs seating area…must bring good revenue into the pub, especially at weekends.

Good location with bus stops right outside and a short stroll from both Victoria and Pimlico.

11 Jun 2014 13:50

CASK Pub and Kitchen, Pimlico

My first visit to this cracking pub / bar.

10 cask ales on the hand pumps, a good selection with prices varying according to ABV. Also a large range of bottles, some as expensive as £23.00 a bottle!

Busy on a Saturday afternoon with an older crowd, with most drinking the ales on offer

Bright and airy inside, a few tables and chairs outside for the smokers.

Me and the wife had a couple of drinks here, both of the ales I had were very good and perfectly served.

However I was slightly put off by the over powering smell of urine in the gent's toilet...nice tiling on the walls though.

Very much worth a visit if you like your ales, regular meet the brewer sessions are held as well.

10 Jun 2014 15:21

The Cask, Pimlico

My first visit to this cracking pub / bar.

10 cask ales on the hand pumps, a good selection with prices varying according to ABV. Also a large range of bottles, some as expensive as £23.00 a bottle!

Busy on a Saturday afternoon with an older crowd, with most drinking the ales on offer

Bright and airy inside, a few tables and chairs outside for the smokers.

Me and the wife had a couple of drinks here, both of the ales I had were very good and perfectly served.

However I was slightly put off by the over powering smell of urine in the gent's toilet...nice tiling on the walls though.

Very much worth a visit if you like your ales, regular meet the brewer sessions are held as well.

10 Jun 2014 15:21

The Hare and Billet, Blackheath

Wow the choice of ales in this pub is amazing. 7 different ales on hand pump with another 7 on keg followed by a large quantity of bottled beers.

All 14 beers on the taps were very different beers. However it’s not cheap for keg beer…most of the keg beers sold as halves.

A decent pub that sits in a great position with the heath right outside the door.

It was very busy throughout the night as this was the 3rd and final pub of my Blackheath night out.

Lovely decor through out with a very interesting diagram of a cow on the wall with meat cuts highlighted, makes a good talking point.

Decent bar staff, friendly and knowledgeable, good bar food...cheap and very tasty…cracking pub with a good atmosphere and superb beer selection.

Number 1 choice in the village for real ale.

3 Jun 2014 13:31

The Crown, Blackheath

2nd pub of the 3 in Blackheath in one evening.

Another pub I haven’t used for several years but used to always come in during a night out.

Large outside area to the front is one the best selling points of this pub, but the inside is now also very decent.

According to previous reports it’s appears to have had a make over in 2012 as there is now a flash glass entrance door and the bar has been moved further back and is in front of you as you enter.

A Shepherd & Neame pub with the full range of ales available, my pint of Whitstable Bay was very good.

Busy inside with most of the seats and tables taken, a comedy evening was about to start upstairs the night I was in.

Worth a visit.

3 Jun 2014 13:30

The Railway, Blackheath

It’s been a few years since I’ve drank in Blackheath so I thought I would change that and have a 3 pub session one night last week.

First pub of the night was the rather convenient Railway, located as you would assume right next to Blackheath railway station.

This pub was made over around 10 years back from a normal fairly nondescript local to a Gastro-type pub. I used this pub many times over the years and at one time I was a regular.

Anyway back to the present day, 4 pumps on the bar offering a range of beers, I had a very decent pint from Great Heck brewery while my companion had a pint of Meantime’s Pale Ale. I know Blackheath is not cheap but I was still surprised that for 2 pints I only received change of 80p from £10.00.

It was just after 6.30pm and the place was half full, a few people in the garden enjoying the good weather.

Fine and decent enough pub my only gripe being against parents that allowed a rather annoying child run wild with her doll & push chair…in and out, slamming the door as she went….it’s a pub not a blinking nursery!

2 Jun 2014 16:16

The Greyhound, Bromley

Popped in for a quick pint last Saturday after finishing some shopping in town.

Neigh packed to the rathers, with families, shoppers and locals. A lot of food was ordered and served, as with most Wetherspoon’s the food is cheap and most of the time decent.

I stopped for around 30 minutes enjoying my pint of American Ale.

Decent standard ‘spoons, but they do need a few more lights or at least brighter bulbs.

Not sure I’d want to spend all afternoon or evening here

2 Jun 2014 16:02

The Jolly Gardners, Putney

Absolute cracking pub that is worthy of the short walk from the High St and past The Coat & Badge.

This was my 3rd pub in Putney in one evening and I love it.

We came here around 10.40pm and was cheerily greeted by the bar maid. 4 pints of Navigation’s Ice Breaker @ 4% were duly ordered and knocked back.

Large open planned boozer with lots of wood. There are books and board games available and live music is also offered.

Even though it was late on a Wednesday evening the pub had a really nice chilled atmosphere about it and I’m sure when it’s busy it’s a great pub to spend an evening.

£4.00 a pint which is about right for this area but I’m happy to pay this when the beer is good and well served.

I suggest you ignore the reviews (apart from mine) and visit here as it’s much better than previous reviews suggest.

29 May 2014 09:55

The Coat and Badge, Putney

Came in last night after football and was surprised to see that they only had 1 real ale available across their 3 hand pumps…this was their own beer brewed for them by Wells & Young, it was pretty decent but smelt like it was slightly on the turn.

My 2nd visit here the last one being about 7 years ago. It’s a lovely looking pub with a large area to the front with heaters and lots of tables and chairs. Inside there is a large quantity of rowing memorabilia on the walls but this place is a bit too pouncy for me.

A quick pint and it was time to move on.

I totally agree with papamike , the Jolly Gardeners is a much better pub.

29 May 2014 09:42

The Bricklayers Arms, Putney

I've used this pub half a dozen times in the last 10 years and it's always when football is on at Craven Cottage.

My most recent visit last night was no exception as we used this pub before the Scotland vs Nigeria game at the Cottage. Already very busy when I arrived at 6pm mainly with Scots fans singing and consuming lots of lager.

5 pumps on the bar offering 5 different ales, the majority of them from Cotleigh Brewery. The 4 pints of Long Eared Owl I had were excellent.

Service was swift even with a crowd all requiring alcohol, they are more than used to Saturday home games when Fulham are at home.

The Brickies really is a decent back street boozer. The ales are well kept and ever changing, good service, nice friendly atmosphere.

29 May 2014 09:35

The Lucas Arms, Kings Cross

I last visited the Lucas Arms in 2004 and have passed it many times since without making another visit.

It’s now a Greene King pub and the layout of the bar has changed since my last visit.

I had a meeting close by so I and 2 colleagues came in here for lunch after the meeting around 12.30pm, not that busy but it soon filled up while we were in there.

2 ales on tap from the 3 pumps, GK IPA & Summer lightening….I went for the IPA and it was fine, dependable and more importantly drinkable.
Food wise, I recommend the burgers, the deal is good…£8.99 for burger, chips and a drink…food good quality, nicely presented, served hot and fairly quickly…actually good quality pub food.

The pub itself is fine, nothing too exciting but it does lack a bit of character these days.

13 May 2014 07:47

Beer Rebellion, Gipsy Hill

Last pub of the evening of my 4 in Crystal Palace & Gipsy Hill and by far the best…what a cracking this place is.

Came in here around 10pm after watching football on the tele in the Railway Bell with 2 friends.

7 ales dispensed directly from the barrels, the ales on offer were from the following breweries Liverpool Craft Beer Co, Late Knights, Whittlebury, Totally Brewed, Brighton Bier and Pitfield and in addition there were 5 ciders dispensed from boxes and a great range of bottled beers.

Between the 3 of us we had 9 pints and all were top quality, I had the 2 offerings from Liverpool Craft Beer Co and 1 from Pitfield….cracking beers from Liverpool Craft Beer Co…worth trying if you like your IPA’s.

I need to also mention the great service, really was top notch.

Top beers, good & varied choice of whiskeys, extremely large bottle selection, marble slab counter, burgers to enjoy in the small seating area, music playing at a decent level….this place gets 10/10 from me…superb!

13 May 2014 07:26

The Railway Bell, Crystal Palace

The Railway Bell is a re-tick for me as I came here on Bank Holiday Monday evening to watch football on the tele with a few pals.

My first visit here in May 2013 was on a Saturday lunchtime when the pub was half empty but what a difference visiting on a busy evening makes, this is a very decent back street Young’s pub, friendly and efficient bar maid, nice atmosphere and more importantly well kept beers.

The 3 of us each enjoyed 3 pints of Young’s ordinary and each pint was good as the last.

I will return again, cracking little pub that just need more customers and a few of my pals.

9 May 2014 09:27

Postal Order, Crystal Palace

Came in on Bank Holiday Monday evening for a quick pint while my drinking companion got some cash out of the tills at Sainsbury’s.

Just after 7.30pm when I came in, pretty much full inside with half eating and half drinking.

5 ales on tap, my pint of Portobello’s VPA was excellent.

Only my 2nd visit since May 2013, still an older clientele in here and is a decent ‘spoons…let’s see if the new “Grape & Grain” Wetherspoon’s affects their trade…I feel it wont personally.

8 May 2014 14:33

The Black Sheep Bar, Crystal Palace

Now boarded up and seems to have been like that for some time.

8 May 2014 14:30

The Royal Albert, Crystal Palace

My 1st visit to this chain pub that is adequate enough but was neigh on dead on Bank Holiday Monday evening. A pub I have walked past far too many times and to be honest I think most people do the same.

Pleasant inside, the decoration consists of carpeted floors, wood paneled walls and a decent and attractive collection of ceramic jugs on the shelf behind the bar.

3 hand pumps but only 1 ale which was London Pride, the bottles in the fridge were Newcastle Brown and Old Speckled Hen.

Usual standard lagers and Guinness also on offer.

Attentive barmaid but really not busy enough.

8 May 2014 14:28

The Grape and Grain, Crystal Palace

Popped in at 11pm on Sat night for the first time in over a year this was also the first time I had seen the new landlord.

Very busy as there was a band playing, barely any room to sit. The band were very good.

Good & varied choice of ales, I think it was 8 on tap but it might have been 6 or 7!

50p off a pint when you present your camra card, glad this is still valid even though the pub has changed hands.

Very decent pub that I have always liked I just don’t visit often enough, however since my recent visit I have learnt that the pub has been purchased by Wetherspoon’s & will change over during the summer…apparently this will not effect their other pub The Postal Order on Westow Street.

8 May 2014 14:18

The Maypole, Yapton

I discovered the Maypole by accident after a cab ride from Arundel to the Lamb Inn only to find it had been demolished.

Up a small dead end road you will find this attractive 2 bar pub. Public bar to the right and a larger bar to the left as you enter & this is where all The action happens.

8 pumps greeted me....2 ciders Westons Wyld Wood & Old Rosie, the beers were Titanic Plum Porter, Wessex Brewery Wyndham Pride, Sunny Republic Huna Red, 1648 Brewery Signature and Darkstar Hophead. I opted for 2 pints of Wyndham Pride and they were both excellent.

Busy in this bar, with all people being locals, there were also a few people in the garden to the side, this is also where the smokers were.

We called a taxi from here to the station around 9pm.

Decent little tick this one, good range of beers, decent atmosphere and soft music playing.

8 May 2014 13:52

The Lamb Inn, Yapton

7 pubs ticked in Arundel so onto the Lamb we thought….however after a 6 mile £17.00 cab ride later we arrived at the now demolished Lamb Inn!

If only the cab driver knew this and had indeed informed us!!

8 May 2014 13:46

The White Hart, Arundel

This was pub number 7 and the last one in Arundel though pub number 6 (Norfolk Arms) was closed.

A Harvey’s pub just to the south of town and on the way back to the station.

Modern interior and bar area, 3 hand pumps offering 2 ales but only the Harvey's best was available, not normally a bad pint and no different this time around, however this pub is not cheap. Other pubs in Arundel like the Swan were pricey but this place was more expensive.

Busy inside so we retreated to the large outside garden, though there a fair few kids running up and down which ain't my thing especially when they are being noisy and bouncing basketballs…after a few words with the parents they were controlled!

8 May 2014 13:44

The Norfolk Arms Hotel, Arundel

Extremely large hotel with 2 bars that dominates one side of the High St.

However it was closed at 5.30pm even though there were a couple sitting in the lounge area no-one came to the bar area to serve.

So there’s nothing to comment on and my opinion it that’s poor having a bar open but no-one to serve.

The place scores 1/10 and that's just for the building!

7 May 2014 14:13

The St Mary's Gate, Arundel

This Hall and Woodhouse pub ie selling Badger beers was pub number 5 on my tour.

Only 2 ales on tap which was Badger and Tanglefoot however there was a full selection of bottles from their range. I opted for the Badger which was decent.

Large, long & thin interior with the bar to your left (depends which door you come through!) as you enter just after the entrance to the large back garden. With the sun shining the decking area was the best place to be though its a proper sun trap, wear a hat if the weather’s good.

There was a wedding on in the church so the pub was busy, it’s a decent pub but it’s a little bit too foodie for me. One of the better one of the day.

7 May 2014 14:06

The Eagle, Arundel

Pub number 4 and note quiet in the same league as the Kings Arms in that it doesn’t feel as loved and therefore not like a proper pub that the Kings is.

This is an Enterprise owned pub with a choice of 3 ales on tap, Doom Bar, Otter Ale & Harvey’s Sussex Best...good pint of Best which was nicely kept.

Soft music playing random types of music....a bit of Johnny Cash never goes a miss

Fairly busy on Saturday lunchtime, I sat in the front bar by the main street to watch the world go by!

Nice old fashioned interior with an original fireplace & wood floors throughout.

The Kings has a nicer feel and welcome about it.

7 May 2014 13:53

The Kings Arms, Arundel

Back street pub a short stroll from the High Street which was pub number 3 and possibly the best of the day.

Benches at the front of the pub as you enter with a small garden area at the back up a couple of small steps.

3 ales on tap, my choice was Longmans Copper Hop...which was very good.

No food served but you can bring your own, the benches out the front were full of people eating and drinking on this visit.

Excellent collection of old beer mats dotted around, some absolute gems.

Very clean toilets that are so clean they deserve a mention in this review!

All in all this is a quality pub that's well worth the short stroll from the High Street, now to the Eagle.

7 May 2014 13:52

The Red Lion, Arundel

2nd pub of the day and the only pub in Arundel that we visited twice in the same day.

Came in just before noon and it was empty inside but there were a few people in the large garden out the back. As the sun was shining it was great and it’s a bit of a sun trap so beware!

The ale choice was Dark Star American Pale Ale, Shepherd & Neame Spitfire, Sharps Doombar and my choice which was Arundel Brewery Sussex Gold @ 4.2%. They also had Westons Old Rosie as the cider option.

By the time we left 30 minutes later the inside was pretty busy with most people eating. This was the case during my evening visit with the pub being pretty packed and again almost everyone was eating.

Large decent pub that is worth a visit and appears in the 2014 GBG.

6 May 2014 14:45

The Swan Hotel, Arundel

First pub of the day in Arundel and the surrounding area.

This large Fullers' pub and hotel is at the start of the High St.

4 ales on the bar which were Pride, HSB, Seafarers & Spring Sprinter. I had the Seafarers which was good, a bit pricey as already mentioned but the beer is good.

Friendly & quick service from the 2 barmaids even though there were only 5 other punters in during my visit

Wooden floors, plenty of seating, nice old photos of the cricket team and local area adorn the walls, the bar area is nice and bright and there’s an eating area just through to the right as you enter.

Decent pub to start the day in.

6 May 2014 14:35

The Snooty Fox, Canonbury

Popped in just before 9pm on a Thursday evening and the place was heaving.

Good quality food was on offer with most people eating or had eaten

4 ales on....Redemption Pale Ale, Shepherd & Neame Spitfire, Otter Ale & Darkstar Hophead also 1 cask cider and 2 in boxes behind the bar and continental lagers like Peroni.

Good decor and the old fashioned jukebox is a great talking point, however this pub is far too trendy for me, in fact it’s uber blinking trendy!

6 May 2014 14:28

The Cock and Dragon, Cockfosters

This is a huge pub just off Cockfosters Rd...but is this a restaurant..that’s the question?

3 ale's on tap which included 1 guest from the Flack Manor Brewery...not the best pint I've over had but it was alright and was poured fine.

Busy with most people enjoying the Thai food on offer, it was certainly popular with the food being dispatched at a rate of knots.

The restaurant part of the Pub dominates most of the area but the pub part is large enough though it does feel like a restaurant.

A good number of bar staff on and getting served was not a problem.

2 May 2014 16:56

The New Crown, Southgate

I came in here on the way to football in Cockfosters on Thursday evening, my first visit to Southgate and to this ‘spoons.

It was pretty busy at 6.15pm when I walked in. 2 bar man ready and waiting to serve me my selection from the 10 hand pumps on the bar which were dispensing 10 different beers...my choices were Everards Original @ 5.2% and Saint Archer (USA) Pale Ale @ 5.5%.

Both pints were excellent and as always with Wetherspoon’s you cannot fault the prices.

This is an older style spoons, it’s friendly, has quick service is in a great location being close to the station so for me all in all it's a very decent option for a pint or 2.

Thursday night is curry night and the food looked better than your normal ‘spoons fair….I like this pub and will return as my football match was postponed.

2 May 2014 11:53

The Bull, Corringham

After watching my team win at nearby East Thurrock United we popped in here for a quick beer while we waited for our cab back to Stanford le Hope.

I have been here once before several years ago, the sun was shining and I sat in the bar garden it was very pleasant.

My visit this time was not so pleasant. The Bull is a lovely looking pub in a quaint setting but it seems to attract dickheads!

Football was on the televisions and the small crowd in on this visit were mainly 20 something blokes that didn’t appear to be very friendly...my small group of 5 (extremely none threatening I hasten to add) were all "eyeballed" as we walked in and then after purchases our pints of Doombar were starred at and made to feel slightly uncomfortable. Not really what I expected from this attractive looking pub.

A quick beer each and with the cab waiting outside we departed...I'll try this pub again the next time my team play here and hopefully it'll be on a Saturday and will be a little less threatening!

30 Apr 2014 14:33

Mulberry Street Bar and Bistro, Glasgow

Inviting looking bar & bistro occupying a corner position on Pollockshaws Road.

Myself and a friend came in around 10.30pm on a Saturday night last June and the bar area was half full.

There were 2 beers on tap with the 2 pints of Fyne Ales Jark @ 3.8% I had being very good.

Prompt bell rung for last orders then the Manageress (I presume) went around all the tables at 11.30pm sharp getting people to drink up and leave.

Decent little bar in a street with traditional pubs serving lager!

29 Apr 2014 13:43

The Factory Arms, Lowestoft

Very busy on the Saturday evening I came in just before Christmas.

The only ale available was John Smith's Smooth on gravity, so it was a choice of either bottles of Old Speckled Hen or Golden Hen from the chiller.

Nice enough back street local, that was full of blokes with only 3 women (1 being the bar maid) in the pub. Most of the chaps were playing Darts, there's also a pool table & there was a group playing cribbage.

28 Apr 2014 13:52

Stanford Arms, Lowestoft

Popped in here after football at Lowestoft Town and it was already getting busy.

Green Jack Brewery tap offering the full range plus a guest from Brewster's.

Tiled floor & a good collection of beer trays hang on the walls.

I sat talking to some fans that had been to the game and they were very friendly, great little pub that I will return to next season.

28 Apr 2014 13:38

Royal Victoria, Prestatyn

Large pub / hotel on the north side of Prestatyn High Street and Station.

Came in just after 9.30pm on a Friday for my first ever visit. Music playing in the back room which looked like it was set up for karaoke. Front bar relatively busy with Rugby League on the large screen but the sound was on silent.

3 pumps dispensing 2 ales, Sharp's Doom Bar and Holt's Bitter. The bitter poured fine and was a decent pint. There was also a Holt's Mild on gravity.

Large pub that looks like it needs a gimmick to pull punters in BUT it's a million times better than Offas just over the footbridge.

This could be a really good station pub just needs a spruce up.

28 Apr 2014 13:34

Offas Tavern, Prestatyn

Large pub on the south side of station that has a for lease sign hanging above the door, this was in September when I made my one and only visited...unsure if it's been sold or leased or is even still open.

No real ale offered except John Smiths Smooth on tap....not exactly real ale!

All customers shoe horned into 1 side of the pub and therefore rather clicky.

Not a great place but everyone was pleasant so it's probably not as bad as I've made out.

28 Apr 2014 13:05

Pen and Wig, Newport

The Pen and Wig is just a short stroll from Newport train station.

It was in the 2013 Good Beer Guide and with their 5 varied ales on this is a decent beer drinkers heaven.

The choice of ales were St Austall Tribute, Bass, Pontypridd's 04 Colombo, The Kite Brewery Cwrw Gorslas and Tiny Rebel's Cwtch Welsh red ale. I opted for the Cwrw Gorslas, very good, nicely kept.

Most locals standing or sitting at the bar with a good level of banter. Nice to hear some Welsh accents after spending the day previous in North Wales where everyone was either from Liverpool or Manchester!

I was scrumping for beer mats and the landlord kindly went and retrieved some for me.

All in all a really quality pub, that should be on any beer drinkers radar when in Newport.

23 Apr 2014 13:45

St Machar Bar, Aberdeen

Quality bar located in the middle of the university in the picturesque part of Aberdeen.

Upon arrival I received a welcome from the friendly barmaid.

4 ales on hand pump, the 2 pints of Harvieston Mr Snoball I had were excellent.

Again another bar with a huge range of Whiskey's on offer, far too many to count.

Great bar that should be a must visit when in Aberdeen even if it is a slight detour from town.

23 Apr 2014 13:36

The Clwydian, Prestatyn

A Smith & Jones chain pub with the emphasis on cheap food and drinks.

3 ales on offer Courage Best and 2 from Brains, Bitter and SA Gold. I choose the Brains Bitter and was bowled over when the bar maid charged me £1.85! Blimey that's stupidly cheap, no wonder it was so busy at 5.30pm on a Friday.

This place is fine but I'm sure after dark it turns into a free for all type establishment...still a pint for less than £2.00 does me.

Will never return as I doubt I'll be in Prestatyn again but I have certainly been in worse pubs than this.

23 Apr 2014 13:34

Sylvan Post, Forest Hill

An Attic Pub Co conversion of the old Forest Hill main post office. It's taken me some time to make it here but what a cracking pub it is.

A lot of the old features remain including the flooring, some of the hanging lights and the interior mail slots for 'Abroad', 'Country' and 'London' as well as the pigeon holes for the mail and the original counters.

5 ales on tap from which I had Conqueror from the Windsor & Eton brewery which is a very good dark IPA. £3.60 a pint but to me worth every penny.

Large amount of quirky furniture that is mostly mismatched but like other Antic pubs it works.

4 large booths that were all taken with diners. Family orientated with young children being escorted / followed by their happy fathers.

Interesting selection of framed post codes adorn the walls of the gents toilet, certainly beats staring at a blank wall while having a p!

All in all a very quirky and likable pub, I will be back.

23 Apr 2014 13:29

Babbacombe Inn, Torquay

Very large pub on Babbacombe downs overlooking the bay.

Full food menu on offer in a pub that is probably more for food than drink.

3 real ales on draught, I had Summer Ale from Bays the local Torquay brewery which was perfect as all of their beers that I've sampled over the years.

Lots of European lagers on draught with all prices being good.

Mixed crowd on the Friday night I was in, the German Oompah night was on the downs which was just opposite the pub.

23 Apr 2014 10:32

The Phoenix Bar, Dundee

I had my first beer in Dundee for over 20 years at the Phoenix Bar, it was a pint of Luckie Ales, Best Bitter at 4.4% and being Scottish it was of the creamy head type.

Plenty of character inside this bar, first of all it was almost full to the brim with punters eating and drinking. A well stocked bar with many different Sambuca's, bottled beers and a neat little range of fruit flavored Belgium beers.

3 Camra awards hang behind the bar depicting that for the last 3 years this pub has been runner up in Tayside Camra pub of the year, maybe better luck this year!

Really nice stained glass windows depicting a Phoenix with the sun behind it adorn 2 of the front windows.

5 real ale pumps, 4 Scottish with the 5th being Timothy Taylor's Landlord.

Nice feel to this place, it was buzzing but the punters and staff feed off this and it made for a pleasant spot for a beer.

Music played at a respectable level and football was on the 2 televisions though the sound was off.

23 Apr 2014 10:29

The Granite City, Aberdeen

Large purpose built Wetherspoon’s at Aberdeen Airport.

Much like other airport pubs this one is just soulless and relies on travelers wanting food or a beer.

Decent ales on tap however, 4 good beers though odd to see that all 4 on were from South of the Border, something I hadn't seen all weekend while in Aberdeen and Dundee.

If you’re at Aberdeen Airport & you need a beer this is the place to go but don’t expect to pay normal Wetherspoon prices…it’s an airport pub after all.

23 Apr 2014 10:27

The Worlds End, Hampton

Popped in this ex Fullers Pub on the way back to the station yesterday after football.

Pretty busy with locals, 2 decent bar staff on...loud juke box but the music choices were excellent so it wasn't a problem.

3 pumps serving Hogsback TEA, Windsor & Eton Red Rye and Zinzahs Drop. I opted for a couple of pints of Red Rye @ 5.8% and it was very good...strong but good!

This pub has changed since I visited a few years back but it's a decent honest pub...will visit on my next visit to the football.

22 Apr 2014 13:46

The Wibbas Down Inn, Wimbledon

I haven't drank in Wimbledon since I lived in the area, reckon I'd visited the pubs enough during that time not to have returned anytime soon!

Off to football in Hampton so the Wetherspoon's was the pub of choice for our 11.30am meet up.

Extremely large spoons a short stroll from the station. I remember coming here a few days after it opened.

Fairly empty when I arrived just after 11am but it started to fill up, most people ordering breakfasts but the drinkers soon arrived.

In excess of 16 pumps across the 2 bars, a quantity of the beers left over from the recent beer festival....I was spoilt for choice....so my choices were Hilden Brewing Co Nut Brown @ 3.8% and Orkney Breweries Meridian Best @ 3.9%.

Decent pub but as with all 'spoons the service sometimes let's them down, this one is no different. Surely when you open you expect a crowd so you should have enough staff to deal with...it's not fair on the few girls to deal with an ever growing & impatient crowd.

22 Apr 2014 12:59

The Gipsy Moth, Greenwich

After seeing the family off the wife and I wanted another couple of drinks before heading home, so we walked to the 'spoons. Upon arriving it looked like freshers week with loads of teenagers and early 20 somethings shouting and screaming inside so we quickly swerved that and went to the Gypsy Moth.

Again another pub in Greenwich I hadn't been to for 7 or so years, always used to be a good pub with a good range of ales.

Very busy inside and out but the first thing that struck me was the level of the music that was playing, it was far to f'ing LOUD....jesus no need to be that loud...it wasn't even good music!

However the beer choice didn't disappoint, again 5 ales faced me with another 2 also on offer according to the chalk board. I choose a pint of Woodforde's Flagondry, the wife had a bootle of Sol....I know this pub is the height of tourist action being right by the Cutty Sark but nearly £9.00 for 2 drinks of which one was a pint of ale...blimey that's worse that Central London. No compliant re my ale it was very good.

I couldn't stand the noise anymore so we headed to the garden.

Decent pub, good choice of ales, fantastic location but please turn the music down!

22 Apr 2014 09:51

The Coach, Greenwich

Good Friday and I find myself in Greenwich with extended family from up North.

Being in a mixed group of ages from 9 to 75 and with a dog in tow, I suggested we go to the Coach (used to be the Coach & Horses) as on my last visit (nearly 7 years ago) the outside area in the market was pleasant and you could get food.

So we found a couple of tables in the outside area close to some overhead heaters and settled down.

I proceeded to the bar to get the drinks and was pleasantly surprised to find a choice of 5 ales on the hand pumps....I opted for a pint of Hop Stuff's Fuseiler which was a decent pale ale style beer....I think the round came to around £18.00 which included 4 alcoholic drinks and the rest being soft....not too bad for a tourist area.

Everyone wanted food and this was being served from 6pm so we enjoyed our drinks and waited patiently....food was ordered with everyone more than satisfied with their choices and the quality and service.

My sausages and mash was excellent, all food was of high pub food quality.

Another round of drinks and we left....I was unsure whether being a tourist area whether the food would just be adequate but it more than surpassed that expectation and with a good choice of ales the beer drinkers were also more than satisfied.

Good old Coach (and Horses).

22 Apr 2014 09:50

The Parcel Yard, Kings Cross

Large & fairly new Fuller’s pub in Kings Cross station, was opened for the Olympics in 2012 and is a cracking pub…though a little expensive.

I have used this pub on numerous occasions when I’ve been passing through Kings Cross
.
Usually has the full range of Fuller’s ales and lagers on hand pump and also a guest or 2.

Food looks and smells good but I’ve never had the time to eat here.

Lovely use of space and is definitely one of the better station pubs around.

22 Apr 2014 09:47

The Lamb and Flag, Covent Garden

Another pub that I haven't been in for a very long time.

I always liked the Lamb & Flag and my recent visit has not changed my mind, now a Fuller's pub...it may have been before but I don't remember.

8 hand pumps dispensing 7 Fullers ales and 1 from Butcombe. I had a very good pint of Brit Hop.

Food had stopped being served by the time we arrived so we tucked into the Mini pies and pork scratchings that were served in a glass.

Half busy when I visited, decent pub that is worthy of another visit, it's proper traditional, old and has real charm.

17 Apr 2014 13:16

De Hems, Soho

Made my first visit on Monday night after about 20 years.

No longer a purely owned Dutch bar but now owned by Nicholsons.

Most of the “dutch” beers were off including Doom Bar. London Pride was on as were the lagers so I opted for a bottle of Orval.

Not that busy, but most of the patrons were tourists.

Not a great anymore pub, it used be fantastic back in the early 90’s…but times have changed and I have got older.

17 Apr 2014 13:13

Thomas's Bar, York

Was drawn here by the building and the crowd that seemed to be enjoying theirsleves.

Bar one side, pub grub the other.

4 ales on the pumps, all being local offerings

Faux traditional in a chain pub type of way but it sort of works....lots of English memorabilia, great to see as a lot of pubs don't like showing this side.

Decent place, not outstanding but it's worth a stop on the way to the station.

16 Apr 2014 14:17

The Three Legged Mare, York

This is a York Brewery Tap pub. Good range of their beers available and a couple of guests.

I'm not the biggest fan of York's ales as I find them all a bit creamy....the pint of Yorkshire Terrier was no exception, decent but creamy.

This pub appeared in the 2013 GBG but hasn't made the 2014 edition, unsure why but it's not up to the standard of the others I've visited this weekend, decent but not outstanding.

Worth a look if you like York Brewery ales and its in a good circuit location but personally I've been in much better pubs in York today.

Service houwever was excellent.

16 Apr 2014 14:16

The Minster Inn, York

Came in after the match as the pub is a short walk from Bootham Crescent on the way back into town.

6 ales on the pumps, which were 2 each from Marston's, Banks's and Jennings.

I went for Jennings Red Rascal @ 3.8% and £3.20.

This is a Marston's tied pub, it's friendly, with the landlord, landlady and locals all chatty & welcoming.

Busy after the match but it slowed down within 10 minutes of me arriving.

Real log fire burning which took the chill off.

Attractive pub and worthy of a tick

16 Apr 2014 14:05

The Snickleway Inn, York

Very traditional pub half way up Goodramgate.

Lots of nick nacks on display inside with a few old beer signs aswell.

5 pumps offering a range of ales from various breweries, 2 of them locales, I opted for a pint of Purple Moose Brewery Glaslyn Ale @ 4.2% and some chilli nuts, which were excellent and good value at 60p.

Busy Saturday afternoon crowd, mainly all locals.

Nice pub overall and slightly different to the others I had already visited in town.

16 Apr 2014 13:56

The Old White Swan, York

4th pub in York, another Nicholsons house...with a good and varied range of ales.

5 ales on the hand pumps, my choice was Jarrow Brewery's Isis @ 5.0%, another quality pint.

Superb barman, not come across a guy this good for a long time. I commented on he's cheerfulness...truly a good worker with a smile on he's face....you don't see in London very often!

Large pub that on the day I visited had a separate bar and dining room, though the dining room was not that busy when i walked through it.

High vaulted ceilings, with wagon wheels on display.

Again a quality town centre pub.

16 Apr 2014 11:15

Pivo Cafe Bar, York

Part of the Tap group of pubs....Pivni is worth popping into.

Good range of cask and keg beers, my 2 half pint choices were both different and very good.

Small downstairs bar area but it works as it quirky.

Love the glass cabinet with the bottle selection all with price tags around their necks...again it's quirky.

Yet again another excellent pub / bar in York....my day of ticking has started off extremely well.

16 Apr 2014 11:13

Royal British Legion, Castleford

Popped in for a quick half of Tetley's as I had 10 minutes for my train back to Leeds.

Friday night and the place was half empty at 10.30pm.

Friendly place, only Tetley's on draught for an ale drinker but pleasant enough.

16 Apr 2014 09:40

The Junction, Castleford

The Junction features in the 2014 GBG and with good reason.

In the centre of town and just a stones throw from the bus station.

This is not a Sam Smiths pub but does have a very good range of their beers available plus 6 guest ales. My choice of Walls Pale and Easy @ 3.8% was very good and with in keeping with my ale choices of the day.

Traditional pub inside but the exterior doesn't make you think there's much hidden inside. Snug room with original fireplace in a glass partitioned area.

Original tiles in the toilets.

Relatively busy and got busier as I sat enjoying my pint.

Very decent pub that is much better than it looks from the outside

16 Apr 2014 09:39

The Maltings, York

Blimey this is another quality pub....2 out of 2!

This is a proper old style pub with vintage metal advertising signs hanging inside on the walls, some lovely ones as well.

I was greeted by the very friendly and chatty landlord who had pleasure in assuring me I won't have a pint as good all day as the Arbor's Doolackie that I ordered, he wasn’t wrong actually...a cracking beer and pint.

Small serving area so the pub filled up with a couple of dozen people very easily.

7 ales on cask and 2 more on keg....a bit dearer than the York Tap but you get a good pint.

The reclaimed doors that hang from the ceiling in the small area by the door are very different and interesting as is the reclaimed Toilet in the corner by the window.

Another 10/10 for me.

15 Apr 2014 14:15

York Tap, York

Wow what a beer selection the York Tap has.

Opens at 10.00am on a Saturday and was pretty busy when I arrived off the train at 11.30am.

20 pumps dispensing 18 different ales & 2 ciders, a lot of the offerings being from local breweries.

Quick attentive service with the staff being knowledgeable about the beer they are serving.

Plenty of interesting bottles and cans in the fridges, many from America.

This is the former tea rooms, the stain glass windows and ceiling domes are stunning.

Perfect for the station as it can be entered from platform side.

15 Apr 2014 14:12

Wetherspoons, Leeds

Last pub and beers for the evening which ended a busy day of ticking.

Came in just after 11.30pm and the clientele were a mix of last drink of the night and getting ready to go on elsewhere.

Good choice of ales with half a dozen from the current beer festival.

My 2 halves were both well kept.

I sat and enjoyed my beers while unwinding from the day.

Decent modern 'spoons.

15 Apr 2014 14:05

Glassblower, Castleford

The 3rd and final pub that needed 'ticking' in Castleford before I went off to the Jungle for the game, this is the only 'spoons in Castleford (Xscape don't count!).

Busier than normal due to a big crowd expected for the RL game just down the road, plenty of staff behind the bar and they served the waiting hordes well.

Last weekend of the beer festival and the choice of ale was fairly decent though my 2nd beer choice run out mid way through pouring!

This used to be the Post Office according to local reports and the pub takes it's name from the industry that the town used to have.

All in all a decent 'spoons

15 Apr 2014 14:00

The Shoulder of Mutton, Castleford

First stop in Cas was the Shoulder of Mutton that appeared in the 2013 GBG but not in 2014's guide.

Tetley's bitter on tap was the only option for us ale drinkers....not usually a beer I'd go for but this pint was handsome.

2 bar pub with punters only in the bar to the right as you enter. Half a dozen very chatty locals who made me feel right at home.

The pubs seems to have fallen on hard times but it's a decent honest local that used to sell a wide of ales from across the country....the display of pump clips prove this.

Is it worth the walk from Cas station if you haven't been here before....well you'll only find out it if you do it.

15 Apr 2014 13:54

The Ship, Leeds


Pub number 4 just a few hundred yards up from Whitelocks.

The Ship Inn is bang opposite Harvey Nicholls and couldn't be further apart in terms of appearance BUT appearance's can and are often deceiving.

The Ship is a class little boozer, different to Whitelocks but still oozes character.

6 handpumps, offering mostly breweries from Yorkshire or the surrounding counties....my choice of Kirstall's Three Swords was wise and yet again very drinkable.

3.20pm when I came in here and it was already bordering on busy...not quite heaving but being a small pub the bottom bar area was packed.

Traditional style interior with wooden floors. Rock music playing but the level was perfect for chatter and banter.

Another quality little pub in the city centre.

15 Apr 2014 13:51

Whitelocks, Leeds

I was on my way from the Hop to the station when I got sidetracked and decided to walk on a little further, then I discovered this proper hidden gem which is tucked away from the shopping area of Briggate.

Very narrow inside just like outside....wooden floors, plenty of brass & the most amazing tiled bar front you'll ever see. This is a quality pub, dates from 1715 and obviously has been preserved with lots of love, care and hard work.

8 ales on the pumps, all from guest breweries....I went for Kirkstall Breweries Kirkstall Pale Ale @ 4%....again another decent pint.

Busy at 3pm with locals....plenty of chatter and good Yorkshire banter.

Yet another pub far too many miles from my home that I would love to have as a local.....absolutely quality. I'm back in July and will definitely be back in here.

10/10 from me.

14 Apr 2014 11:37

The Hop, Leeds

Ossett brewery tap in Granary Wharf under the station and it just happened to be opposite my hotel.

Pub number 2 & beer number 2...11 ales on the pumps with 4 offerings from Ossett Brewery, I opted for a pint of their Pale Gold @ 3.8%. Listed as a session ale this is quite a creamy beer and maybe not what I was expecting....good nonetheless and superbly priced at £2.70....makes the Scarbrough Hotel seem expensive!

A few drinkers in on my mid afternoon visit.

Large seating area out the front which is perfect to sit out in decent weather, which Friday was.

All in all a very good bar, great beer choice and cheap too.

Brewery Tap or 'Spoons next decisions decisions!

14 Apr 2014 10:08

The Joseph Conrad, Lowestoft

This is JD's first establishment in the town and is right opposite Lowestoft station, it opened in July 2013, my visit is based on the weekend before Christmas 2013 when I had a weekend in Lowestoft.

This pub used to be a large shop selling all sorts for a £1 or something like that.

No ale on the hand pumps due to a flood in the cellar, but there were 16 barrels which were dispensing 6 ales of which 5 were different however most of them were from Adnams.

Large, spacious & pretty busy on an early Friday afternoon, office parties, local drinkers etc.

Decent 'spoons and worthy of a visit.

14 Apr 2014 09:37

The Scarbrough Hotel, Leeds

First pub of my Yorkshire weekend break, bang opposite Leeds station and after a 2 and 1/2 hr journey this pub was just what the doctor ordered.

Large and attractive Nicholson's pub with a great choice of ales.

Of the 7 available ales on my visit I opted for a pint of Rudgate, Brew No 8 Cherry Pale @ 3.9%....priced at £3.20 which to me as a London lad is good value.

Lovely interior which has been very tastefully decorated.

Busy with punters both eating and drinking.

Perfect location as mentioned, this is a smashing pub and the perfect place for me to start my tour.....off to The Hop next.

14 Apr 2014 09:29

The Gun, Coldharbour

Having worked in the area for over 14 months today was my first visit to The Gun...I have no idea why I haven't visited before today.

4 cask ales....my pints of Stringers Yellow Lorry @ 4.0% & Jugged Hare's Pale Ale @ 4.3% were both excellent.

The front bar has tables laid for food to the left as you enter and "pub" seating areas to the right...the back bar is more like a pub and leads on the terrace that has a small standing area and a large covered area for diners.

River views are a massive plus, the pub has decent and attentive staff, good well kept ales & the food looks blinking excellent.

Tucked away from the main road this is a quality pub that is worthy of another visit ASAP.

9 Apr 2014 15:21

The Fox on the Hill, Denmark Hill

Now my pub of choice before the game at Champion Hill.

The service has improved over the last year or so and the beer has also improved.

This is a ‘spoons and does exactly what a ‘spoons should do…i.e. sell cheap food and cheap decent beer.

By far not the best pub ever but for this area it’s pretty decent.

7 Apr 2014 11:24

The Sun and Doves, Camberwell

Quirky pub behind Kings College Hospital at Denmark Hill. As with all Antic pubs, the place feels unfinished but it works.

Mismatched furniture and lights, exposed brick work, open plan kitchen, trendy music playing at an acceptable level, cool bar staff and a decent selection of ales.

4 beers on the hand pumps, selections from Adnams, St Austall, Brains and Shepherd & Neame. My choice of Shep's Early Bird was decent and served in a jug. All ales at £3.50 which is fine for me. Not as cheap as the Fox but this is not a 'spoons after all.

If you're not a local then this pub is worth the short stroll from Denmark Hill station.

7 Apr 2014 11:22

The Lord Nelson, Isle of Dogs

2nd visit to the Nelson on Friday night.

It's been over 7 months since my last visit and the pub has had a mini face lift and has smartened itself up.

Food was being eaten on my arrival, it looked okay.

3 ales on the pumps now, my 2 pints of Doombar were very good.

Still plenty of locals in the pub but they are fine and in no way spoil a visit to this pub.

The area is rough around the edges but the people are honest and fair.

Get off the DLR at Island Gardens and experience it for yourself.

7 Apr 2014 11:18

The Surrey Docks, Surrey Quays

F**k me this place, not many 'spoons let alone normal pubs left like this!

Tuesday tea time, the sun was shining and all of Rotherhithes finest were out in force both inside and outside.

The pub itself is fine with a cracking selection of ales on the hand pumps, the beer festival was on and the ales available were impressive. The service was quick & attentive, the pub is clean.....the clientele well what really can I say.

Being a local lad who hasn't lived in the area for over 35 years the people are well how do you say....local!

This really isn't a bad pub but you need to remember where you are if you're not from the area when / if you visit. I'm not giving the pub a bad review, actually the opposite...I'm just making you aware of the customers.

Enjoy

2 Apr 2014 12:17

The Hole in the Wall, Torquay

Popped in on Saturday evening while in Torquay for a meal. It was fairly empty at 7.15pm but there were a couple of groups eating and by 7.45pm when we left it was filling up nicely.

11 pumps on the bar that were serving 1 cider (on 2 pumps), Spitfire, Butcombe Bitter, Doom Bar, Otter Ale and Otter Bitter. 9 pumps on all together. The Jail Ale was off....which was a shame as that was the 1 beer on the pumps that I hadn't had before.

Usual fare of lagers, Strongbow and Guinness completed the tap range.

Lots of nautical items, including a large a Buccaneer figure standing by one of the doors.

Uneven floor, wooden booths and wooden beams, making the bar feel quite low.

Soft background music played while the 2 bar staff attended the bar area and the waitresses served the food.

Very decent pub with a great history, apparently it's head and shoulders above the Devon Arms opposite.

31 Mar 2014 10:52

J J Moons, Hornchurch

This is the only pub in Hornchurch and the surrounding area that appears in the 2014 GBG.

My first visit last night and I was pretty impressed.

This is an older style 'spoons with a decent selection of ales on the hand pumps. I had several pints of Wicked Weed's collaboration with Everards which was Sir Ryan @ 4.7% and also a pint of Burton Bridge Brewery's Top Dog Stout @ 5.0%.

By 7pm on a Tuesday night the pub was neigh on packed, most tables were taken, food was being served pretty rapidly and plenty of beer & wine was being downed.

It's a shame this 'spoons is so far from my house as it's a cracker that I'd love to have as my local.

26 Mar 2014 16:29

Jam Circus, Brockley

My first visit since it's re-opened was 2 quick beers with a mate last Tuesday.

I was surprised to see that there were 6 really good ales on the hand pumps which have increased from 3 to 6. It seems like they have taken a much better view of real ales and especially of local breweries.

My 2 pints of Porter from Brockley Brewery were excellent. As well as the ales there were the usual suspects of Guinness and Lager with Laguintas IPA also on tap.

I always liked the Jam Circus but before it closed due to the fire it seemed to be going down the Mother and Baby route too much, maybe it's still like that during the day (the jars of sweets & home made cakes suggest that), but on the evening I visited there were no kids to be seen!

Cracking little place again and with the addition of more ales on tap I'll be back to being a regular.

25 Mar 2014 13:18

The Swan, Maidstone

2nd visit to this pub with my team playing at Maidstone United.

Not so impressed on my 2nd visit, maybe I wasn't in the mood as much as last time.

Still a very good local pub but on this visit the beer choice was a bit more ordinary and not quiet so large in range.

I will try again but it's still a lovely little pub.

24 Mar 2014 12:40

The Dog and Gun, Maidstone

4th and last new pub of the day visited after the match at nearby Maidstone United.

The is a Shepherd & Neame pub a stone's throw from the prison. This pub appeared in the 2013 GBG but has not made the 2014 version, unsure the reason why.

3 Sheps ales on hand pump plus 2 guests, the guest I had was okay but I'm not sure it was the freshest pint I've ever had.

A smallish crowd in, with most people either watching the football on a dodgy satellite feed or the 6 nations on the other television.

Decent enough pub but probably the worst of the 4 "new" pubs I visited that day, would I go back...yeah possibly.

24 Mar 2014 12:37

The Rifle Volunteers, Maidstone

My 3rd pub of the day heading back into town. The Rifle Volunteer is a Goacher's tied pub that is left back in the 70's....which is quality in my book, the landlord looks like he hasn't seen daylight for many a year.

3 good Goacher's beers on tap as well as Hurliman's lager.

No music, no television and no fruit machines just good honest conversation.

This really is a decent old fashioned back street local that has to be visited during a Maidstone trip, you will not be disappointed if you like ale and conversation.

24 Mar 2014 12:27

The Pilot, Maidstone

My 2nd pub of a busy Saturday afternoon had me at the bottom end of town visiting The Pilot.

A Harvey's of Lewes tied pub with a range of 5 of their beers on tap. Best Bitter, Armada Ale (my choice), Old Ale, Dark Mild and Porter.

2 other punters in the pub during my early afternoon visit.

Friendly enough landlord who didn't engage in too much conversation.

Very old style pub with a wooden floor. Piano against the wall that I'm sure gets a fair amount of usage considering the amount of live music that is offered.

Small seating area to the right of the bar which is accessed just up the small steps as you enter.

A few old photo's of the area hang on the walls including a cracking old pub sign.

Decent pub that's worth the short walk from the High St.

20 Mar 2014 17:35

Society Rooms, Maidstone

First pub of a 4 pub tick in Maidstone on Saturday afternoon.

Started off in this large 'spoons very close to Maidstone East station.

Busy on Saturday lunchtime with a mix of regulars, locals and football fans (Maidstone United were at home)

10 hand pumps offering 9 beers as 2 pumps had Ruddles on. My pint of Springhead's, The Leveller @ 4.8% was a decent poured pint but it's not a great beer.

Rugby Union (Italy vs England) came on the television so the curtains were drawn and volume increased, this was my cue to leave and walk to the Pilot.

19 Mar 2014 14:30

Camperdown Place, Glasgow

2nd visit here early evening on a Friday.

Decent old style 'spoons...usual fare on tap plus some decent cans from 21st Amendment Brewery in America.

Good friendly crowd and cheap drinks.

I will visit again the next time I'm in Glasgow.

19 Mar 2014 12:45

The Ark, Glasgow

Busy student type pub at the back of Queen St station.

Visited at around 4pm on a Friday afternoon, 4 pumps from which there 3 ales were on. I had Duncan's IPA from Inveralmond Brewery, which was decent

Brew dog's Punk IPA also on draught along with the regular lagers and Guinness etc.

Television's and big screen on but all on mute while music played.

Decent enough pub that I'm sure get's busy during the evening.

19 Mar 2014 12:42

The Babbity Bowster, Glasgow

My 2nd visit here and again it’s on a Friday lunchtime.

I loved this place on my 1st visit and I still feel the same after my 2nd.

Choice of 3 ales on tap of which my 2 pints of Jarl were excellent.

I decided to eat this time and ordered the Haggis, neaps and tatties…which was superb.

Good banter with the landlord, great beer, great food, interesting building…what more do you want from a pub.

Another 10/10 from me.

19 Mar 2014 12:35

Coach and Horses, Cheshunt

Popped in here while I waited for a train at Theobalds Grove.

I was the only punter in just gone 5pm on a Saturday. No real ale on hand pump. GK IPA Smooth on gravity...bit cold and creamy but perfectly drinkable at £3.00 a pint.

Nice marble floor as you enter with 2 attractive tiled pieces on the way to the bar. This really is more of a bar or restaurant than a pub...lots of tables laid for dining. I didn't see a menu and as mentioned before I was the only punter in here so I cannot comment on the food or atmosphere.

3 Mar 2014 10:01

The King James, Cheshunt

A trip to Cheshunt for football and after walking past the 3 pubs from the station....none of them looked very inviting I arrived at this 'spoons.

Uncomplmentary reviews had me in no fear of what this pub was like. Well my opinion is that it's not too bad. It's an old fashioned 'spoons that feels like an estate pub with clientele to match!

Drinkers at the front of pub where the tele's are located with eaters to the rear. One note on the food...the large hot dogs looked bloody good.

10 hand pumps on the bar, 2 turned around the other 8 had 2x Ruddles, 2x Abbot Ale, 2x Ciders, Brains SA and my choice of which was Long Man Brewery American Pale Ale @ 4.8%. My pint was alright, not brilliantly kept and maybe it was on the way out as after my pint they turned the clip around!

I have been in worse 'spoons, at least this one feels safe. The locals are seem to be honest and just up for a few beers and a chat.

If I ever return to Cheshunt I will visit again.

3 Mar 2014 09:58

The Windsor Castle, Carshalton

After leaving the local football ground I brought my band of pub "tickers" to the last of the 3 in the area that are currently in the GBG.

We arrived at The Windsor Castle just after 9.50pm and the pub quiz was in full flow. Not noticing we had entered the pub full of quizzers we proceeded to speak at the bar amongst our selves until I realized we were being glared at and we hushed our tones.

Now this review goes from the good to the utterly bizarre.

The good was the ales on tap. 3 in total with my 2 pints of Growler's Hound Dog @ 4.2 being extremely good and the best beers of the evening.

Once the quiz ended the pub was pleasant, apart from the quizzers & us 4 this was the clientele for the evening.

The utterly bizarre refers to the young Boxer dog that came around the pub after the quiz had ended. Having sniffed various people and places for a minute of so, the dog proceeded to squat and take a sh*t on the wooden floor close to where we were sitting and outside the gents toilet! The young lad behind the bar leaned over the bar and sort of told the dog off. It was then at least a few more minutes before another bar man appeared with gloves on & picked the sh*t up...by this time the sh*t had started to smell and was most off putting while trying to drink our beers. Then he went into the gents toilet and I presume dumped the sh*t down the lav...lastly he took a large can of air spray and sprayed the area...not wiping the floor..leaving the air with another bad smell.

What a bizarre turn of events that marred my visit to this pub....unsure if I'll ever return based on these events.

If you do visit watch out for the Boxer dog and pay attention if he stops and squats!!

27 Feb 2014 11:07

The Hope, Carshalton

After a couple of good pints in The Sun we wandered around to the The Hope.

Being a football night and with Dulwich Hamlet in "town" the pub was busy with a mix of football fans and locals. Nice friendly bar staff, who are obviously very knowledgeable and into their "beers".

Traditional pub with lots of beer pump clips plastered over the walls and timbers, also a decent collection of jugs hanging above the serving area behind the bar.

8 beers on tap of which both of the pints I had were not that great..these were Brodie's, Bethnal Green Bitter @ 4% & Downton Brewery New Forest Ale @ 3.8%. There were 4 of us in our round and the 3 drinking pints all remarked that the quality was pretty dire. Maybe we choose the wrong beer but with 3 different ales in a total of 6 pints you would think most would be good quality.

There were also a decent selection of craft lagers, beers and European Ales in the fridge.

Maybe I expected more of The Hope but I must say the quality of the ales disappointed me. Decent pub, friendly locals but indifferent beer.

The Sun is the winner out of the 2 for me.

27 Feb 2014 10:37

The Sun, Carshalton

Football brought me to Carshalton on a Tuesday night with 3 pubs in my sights. I started in The Sun.

This is a lovely looking ex traditional corner plot pub that has obviously been lovingly restored and is now pulling the crowds in (though not as many as The Hope). The Sun has been in the Good Beer Guide for the last few years and in my opinion is worthy of it's continued entry.

3 ales on the 6 hand pumps which were Slaters Supreme American Bitter, Bristol Beer Factory Bitter kiwi and Brighton Bier West Pier Pale Ale. The West Pier Pale Ale were my 2 pints of choice and @ 4.0% was a cracking pint (best of the night to be honest).

The flooring is mainly laid to wood throughout.

Tables had cutlery on them in a bucket ready for food being served.

There are Sun's displayed behind the bar and on the walls which brighten the place up, mix of locals and professional people in here.

After my couple of pints I moved onto The Hope...review to follow...however The Sun is much better and is an excellent pub.

26 Feb 2014 13:16

Ye Grapes, Mayfair

The last pub of my 2 quick "ticks" in Shepherd's Market last Thursday night.

Very busy and traditional pub that was heaving at the seams both inside and out, service was extremely quick even though the European barmaid had to ask me twice what beer I wanted, maybe she just didn't hear me first time.

6 beers on hand pump I opted for a pint of Ellgood's CXXX which was excellent. While I was there one of the beers was changed for a fresh barrel, I didn't catch what they put on.

Decent pub and one of the better one's in the very busy and excellent Shepherd's Market area.

Worth a visit but prepared that after work on a week day it will probably be rammed.

26 Feb 2014 12:36

The Shepherds Tavern, Mayfair

2 room pub on the corner in Shepherd's Market.

First visit early evening on a Thursday, pretty busy with local (posh) workers.

4 ales on hand pump, my chosen beer was Portobello Star @ 4.3%, a decent if not slightly yeasty pint.

Rather stale atmosphere, most punters in pairs and talking amongst their selves.

Nice traditional pub but it needs an atmosphere.

26 Feb 2014 11:55

The Cock Inn, Halstead

The wife and I travelled out here by car a while ago for Sunday lunch having spotted the pub previously while passing through the area.

Half pub half restaurant with a few friendly locals in the bar area as we entered.
Choice of 3 ales on tap but as I was driving I opted for a soft drink, the wife had a bottle of beer.

This is more of a food review than a pub review. The food was good but not outstanding. Started and main course both at a decent price but I’ve had better / outstanding food for less money. Service was prompt and courteous but again it’s only a pub so it shouldn’t be that difficult to get the service right.

Nice place, decent food but unsure I will ever return as it’s a bit of a trek from home for something I can get better and much closer to home.

26 Feb 2014 11:53

The Marlborough Head, Marble Arch

Popped in after a client meeting in the vicinity last Thursday.

5 ales on hand pump which were, Jennings Cumberland Ale, Sharp's Doom Bar, Wychwood Hobgoblin, Shepherd Neame Spitfire and Fuller's London Pride.

Being just off Oxford St this is defiantly a tourists pub, which isn't normally a good thing though they have hired friendly and attentive bar staff.

Very busy just before 5pm, music playing at a reasonable level, food being served which looked and smelt good unsure of the prices as I didn't look at a menu.

There are better pubs in the area but this one serves a purpose and is actually pretty alright.

26 Feb 2014 11:42

Simon The Tanner, London

My last pub of the night after a very long day and lots of beer.

I have read and heard mixed reviews on this pub but my opinion is based purely on my visit and it's all good.

The pub was busy but I managed to find a place to stand near the bar and "watch the world go by"...the pub lighting makes the place feel pretty dark, the clientele were mainly 30 something's and most seemed like trendy locals.

Food had stopped being served by the time I arrived.

My recollection of the full beer selection is hazy but my pint of Otley's Oxymoron @ 5.5% was very good.

There's an abundance of traditional pubs converted and upgraded to trendy pubs in this area but this is a worthy addition and therefore worth the walk from London Bridge station to find this place.

26 Feb 2014 11:09

The Shipwrights Arms, London Bridge

Came in here on Saturday night, after to be honest far too many beers and I can't remember the beer I ordered or drank!

The pub was busy with a mixed crowd, the 3 of us were left alone and supped our pints while stood at the bar.

I've been here before but never left a review, this is a honest working mans that's worth the short walk down Tooley Street.

Very impressive tiled mural hangs by the door onto Tooley Street, this is worth a visit alone.

19 Feb 2014 14:07

The Wheatsheaf, Borough

3rd pub of the evening in the LB / Borough area and it was back to an old favorite in The Wheatsheaf.

Came in around 9.30pm and both parts of the pub inside and outside in the court yard were heaving.

I couldn’t decide on a beer so I opted for a Young's, Double Chocolate Stout...delicious.

Cracking pub that even when it's mad busy it still doesn't disappoint.

17 Feb 2014 16:53

The Market Porter, Borough

After a day in Essex watching football I came here on Saturday night to meet a few pals.

I haven't been here for at least 18 months and I'm pleased to report that nothing has changed. The beer choice is still vast, varied and excellent..so many choices.

I had all 3 beers from the Sunny Republic brewery which were Beach Blonde @ 3.7, Cherry Chocolate Porter @ 5.5% & Huna Red @ 4.2%.

Central London prices as you would expect, £4.40 for a pint of Guinness, thank god I don't drink Guinness!

I was here for around 90 minutes and the pub was packed the whole time with quite a few people standing outside even though it was pretty cold.

I want to dislike this place as it's touristy, a bit pricey etc but I can't...the beer choice is too good and the service is super quick.

Cracking pub that should be on everyone's list while in the LB / Borough area.

17 Feb 2014 11:32

Duke Of York, Mayfair

Came in here 2 weeks ago after a function close by.

It was a Monday night and football was on the television (Aston Villa vs Arsenal), the place was pretty empty while The Loop across the road was much busier.

I wasn’t drinking so I didn’t sample the choice of ales that were on…3 in total…though my J20’s were excellent!

I have used this pub at various times over the last 18 years and have never had a bad pint here.

Worth a visit as it’s a traditional pub and not a gastro type like many area these days.

17 Feb 2014 11:27

The Rake, London Bridge

My first visit here for a couple of years.

I love the Rake and their choice of beers either on draught or in bottles never let's me down...however I don't come here as often as I should as it's a bit of the small side and I get a bit fed up with not having anywhere to rest myself while sampling my well chosen beer.

3 of us came here on Saturday night and as expected the place was heaving...though it did empty out a bit after half an hour or so.

My first beer was a bottle of Partizan Brewing's IPA @ 6.6%...good wholesome and strong. We were about to leave when I convinced my pals to stay for another beer...this time it was a bottle of the recently released Brewdog's "Hello my name is Vladamir" @ 8.2%...what a cracking beer this is.

As always with The Rake, service is swift & the knowledgeable staff never let you down. Yes it is a bit on the pricey said but you do get beers served here that you would struggle to find elsewhere in London.

Don't come to The Rake expecting a large space to relax in as even the outside area is rammed...but you should come here at least once especially if you're a beer / ale lover.

17 Feb 2014 11:16

The Market Porter, Borough

After a day in Essex watching football I came here on Saturday night to meet a few pals.

I haven't been here for at least 18 months and I'm pleased to report that nothing has changed. The beer choice is still vast, varied and excellent..so many choices.

I had all 3 beers from the Sunny Republic brewery which were Beach Blonde @ 3.7, Cherry Chocolate Porter @ 5.5% & Huna Red @ 4.2%.

Central London prices as you would expect, £4.40 for a pint of Guinness, thank god I don't drink Guinness!

I was here for around 90 minutes and the pub was packed the whole time with quite a few people standing outside even though it was pretty cold.

I want to dislike this place as it's touristy, a bit pricey etc but I can't...the beer choice is too good and the service is super quick.

Cracking pub that should be on everyone's list while in the LB / Borough area.

17 Feb 2014 11:03

The Lobster Smack, Canvey Island

First visit here and we timed it perfectly as they had only been open a week after their refurbishment.

5 ales on pump, Adnams Broadside & Ghost Ship, Wyhcwood Hobgoblin, GK IPA & Abbot Ale. However only the Hobgoblin and GK IPA was on, the barman was slightly stressed as he was serving all the drinkers and taking care of the drinks ordered with food..service was quick and he maintained a smile while doing it.

As mentioned above now it's re-opened this is obviously much more foodie than it was before. The crowd inside at 1pm on Saturday tells its own story as almost everyone was eating.

The food looked good but the portions seemed a little on the small side.

This is a really decent pub / restaurant that is worth the trip out...£10 in a cab from Benfleet station...the other pubs on the island are all very similar so I expect the "new" Lobster Smack to do very well.

17 Feb 2014 10:54

The Half Crown, Benfleet


Deceptive looking pub, looks crap from the outside but is very decent once you enter.

The ales on offer were GK IPA, GK Abbot Ale & Fuller's London Pride. My pint of Pride was fine but one of my travelling party didn't enjoy there's.

Nice tiles under the bar area, the rest of the pub is nicely decorated with "fancy" wallpaper on the far wall near one of the television's.

Music playing of the juke box while the tv's were on mute.

I won't mention the pub dog.

17 Feb 2014 10:03

The Anchor Inn, South Benfleet

Large attractive looking pub just up the hill from the Half Crown and Hoy Helmet.

At 11.40am on a Saturday this was the only pub of the 3 open.

Wood laminate flooring, plain white walls and exposed beams throughout.

2 ales of hand pump, Wells Bombardier and Sharp's Doombar. The Doombar took a while to pour but it was worth the wait.

Cannot really comment on the atmosphere as along with myself and my drinking partner there were only 3 others in the pub and the barmaid was one of them.

17 Feb 2014 09:33

Railway Tavern, Stanford le Hope

After a couple of decent pints in the Rising Sun and with a wait for a taxi of around 15 minutes, a group of us popped into The Railway for a "quick one".

The first thing that greeted us as we entered was all the locals turning around from the bar and having a nose....not that this was a problem, then the bizarre Greek landlord appeared like a Duracell bunny and quickly run through the order of drinks in an extremely manic way, while constantly moving...very strange!

Now to the beer, there were 2 bitters on gravity but nothing on hand pull...., though the John Smith's Smooth was currently off so in fact all there was Worthington Cream Shield...as the name suggests it was very creamy and very cold...but was drinkable.

This pub is huge and it appears that most of it is currently unused, unsure for what reason.

If you like fizzy lager and maybe the occasional nutter talking to you then this pub is perfect, however if you want decent ale in a nice relaxed atmosphere head to The Rising Sun.

17 Feb 2014 09:24

The Coach and Horses, Covent Garden


I'm certain that the last time I visited this pub was either on my 21st birthday or very close it...either way it was over 20 yrs ago!

Now has an entry in 2014 GBG...again another pub that beer wise I was expecting a little more, but this is a lovely little place. Has a very homely feel and the Irish barmaid was very friendly.

Spitfire and Courage Best on hand pump...my spitfire was very good...no complaints on the beer front.

As mentioned above it does have a homely feel and I sharnt leave it another 20 yrs before returning.

11 Feb 2014 13:33

The Sun, Covent Garden


The Sun appears in the 2014 GBG but I must say I was slightly disappointed.

It's a nice friendly pub but more on that later...onto the beers first.

Only 2 ales available, GK IPA on hand pull and Flowers on gravity...I opted for the Flowers and it was decent and worth the £3.65 I was charged....I expected more ales, there didn't appear to be any in the fridge either.

Back to the pub, it's a small and cosy one bar establishment, lovely wooden interior and a bare brick exposed wall. Apparently it's a converted 19th Century market porters public house.

On my afternoon visit it was fairly empty but the music was at a nice level and there was football being replayed on television which was muted.

Nice pub, good feel to it but I expected more beers....that's just my opinion.

11 Feb 2014 13:31

Rising Sun, Stanford-le-Hope

My first visit to this 2 bar pub just opposite the church on the hill from the station.

On arrival just after 6pm the front bar was busy with locals so the group of 7 of us retired to the back bar to order and enjoy our beers.

4 beers / ales on tap, which were Lodden Ferryman's Gold: Wentworth Gold; Wychwood Brewery Hobgoblin and Resolution (unsure of the brewery of this last beer). My 2 pints of Ferryman's Gold were very good, I have enjoyed this beer previously so it was good to see it on tap.

The 3 bar staff were all nice and friendly, we stayed around 45 minutes before heading off to the cab office via The Railway (oh dear).

11 Feb 2014 13:26

Pepper Saint Ontiod, Isle of Dogs

My 2nd and latest visit to this Antic pub was on a Friday lunchtime as I needed to get out of the office.

3 ales on hand pump...Truman's Blindside @ 4.4%; Late Knights Old Red Eyes @ 4.5% and Sharp's Doom Bar. I opted for the Blindside as it was a new beer for me, £3.30 a pint served in my choice of a straight glass or a mug....always nice to be given a choice.

Typical electric furniture and decor as you expect from Antic....stripped bare floorboards etc etc.

I was unimpressed on my first visit, but now I understand and appreciate this place and its worthy of a visit.

7 Feb 2014 14:15

Churchills, St Johns Hill

A Fizzy lager pub looking pub a few doors down from the Beehive.

Busy with a mixed crowd, Female Singer on stage, who to be honest was that not that bad actually.

Thai food was being served which smelt & looked good but there was nowhere to sit so we couldn't eat and ended up leaving after 1 pint in search of food.

7 Feb 2014 09:20

The Beehive, Wandsworth

After a bus ride from the Red Cow in Sheen we arrived at another Fullers pub...I have certainly visited a few of these today!

The hand pump range consisted of London Pride, ESB & London Porter. I opted for a bottled ale (the name escapes) me but my 2 colleagues both had Pride and said it was excellent.

Busy, old fashioned & cozy are the words I would use to described this pub along with very traditional....worth a trip up the hill from Clapham Junction station.

7 Feb 2014 09:19

The Red Cow, Richmond

After failing to get into the pub 30 minutes earlier while the rugby as it was banged out, I ventured across the road and then returned.

While the White Horse was full of families and kids the Red Cow was very different and much more "grown up".

Victorian painted glass panels behind the bar, with the beer selection being St Austall's Tribute, Young's Bitter & Twickenham Redhead on hand pump.

A very decent pub that I aim to come back to in the near future...great position on the main road and a short stroll from Richmond station.

7 Feb 2014 09:12

Tap East, Stratford

Came in on a Friday evening. There were 10 ales on draught along with a really good selection of UK and overseas beers along with 3 from their own micro brewery which is visible through large glass doors at the side of the bar.

Inside Westfield shopping centre but does feel like a locals pub, has music playing and is open plan but it works. There is however a strange mix of customers but again it seems to work.

The bottled beer selection is impressive as you would expect if you had visited Utobeer or The Rake in Borough Market.

No complaints re this place, I ordered a pint and the barmaid informed me it was £6.50 before pulling it. I proceeded and it was well worth the money. You want craft beer you pay the money!

Lots going on here so get yourself down for a pint and a pork pie.

7 Feb 2014 08:58

The White Horse, Richmond

After trying unsuccessfully to get a drink in the Red Cow while the Rugby was on, I headed to this Fullers pub just off Sheen Road....the first thing I notice is Food and Kids!

Almost every table was taken by families with loads of kids...to be honest most seemed well behaved but it was gone 6pm on a Saturday, some of the kids were young and it was very noisy. Good smelling food was being served but I was only in here for a quick beer.

4 beers on hand pump...Butcombe Bitter, Fuller's Seafarers, London Pride and Bengal Lancer.

As mentioned about it was very noisy and we definitely more a pub come restaurant than just a pub. Interesting decoration with a Rhino lamp in one corner.

Nice enough place but not my thing when there's so many kids in a pub.

5 Feb 2014 16:23

The Red Lion, Barnes

Very large Victorian coroner plot Fullers pub....4 Fullers beers on hand pull Chiswick, ESB, Pride & Jack Frost.

After leaving The Sun and wandering up to the Red Lion I entered the pub with around half an hour of the France vs England rugby game left to play on TV...the pub was busy with a lot people watching this game...personally I cannot stand Rugby Union so I sat on a bar stall away from the television.

The bar is laid throughout with floorboards & the back room has a lounge like feel to it.

Decent pub and in my opinion a lovely looking place.

4 Feb 2014 16:03

The Sun Inn, Barnes

I walked in here about 15 minute after the France vs England rugby game had started on Saturday. As expected the 2 bars were both heaving.

2 very different bar areas with the back bar being where food is served and having a good style about it.

Attentive bar staff that were quick and served the "hoards" that were requiring refreshments!

4 pumps dispensing the following ales...Sharp's Doombar, Fullers London Pride, Kirkstall Dissolution Ale (this was a very good pint) & Roosters ?? South....I didn’t catch the full name of this beer and research has not yet located it.

I left half way through the rugby match and headed up the hill to the Red Lion.

4 Feb 2014 15:56

Halycon Quest, Prestatyn

I Decided to stay here as I had a night in Prestatyn.

Pub is nicely done but does need a bit of attention. Lots of Camra reading material which was good.

4 ales on draught, 2 from Dark Star in Sussex and 2 offerings from Welsh breweries. I opted for a pint from Fuser and it was decent.

Rooms need quite a bit of attention but if you want to just get your head down this place does the trick.

Back to the pub, nicely poured and conditioned beer and at £2.55 a pint, no complaints from me.

Only 1 other customer in at the time I had my pint.

3 Feb 2014 16:24

The Coach and Horses, Barnes

2nd pub on Saturday afternoon that I visited near Barnes Bridge.

This is a nice and friendly Young's pub, with a real old fashioned feel about it. Amazing stained glass windows and wood paneling.

3 ales on hand pump, Twickenham Naked Ladies, Young's Bitter & Special....also Addlestone's cider.

There is a large outside area to the rear with a courtyard and a separate restaurant called the jug and bottle.

Friendly enough pub.

3 Feb 2014 16:10

The Bull's Head, Barnes


Very large & imposing Young's pub opposite the River Thames and just a short stroll from Barnes Bridge station.

Beautiful decorated inside and it appears to have be professionally interior designed....stain glass windows, roaring real fire, books on shelves spelling out the name of the pub. Then there's the full wood floor.

3 ales on tap Young's Bitter, Sharp's Cornish Coaster & Twickenham Grandstand. The Grandstand was good and at 3.8% was a nice beer to start the day with.

Food available, though I didn't notice anyone eating, there's also bar snacks including quails eggs on offer!

Has a Jazz room out the back and a full dining area.

Fairly busy, nice feel to the pub, the design must of cost a fortune as it's got a classy feel to it.

3 Feb 2014 11:41

Westow House, Crystal Palace


In it's previous guise before it became Westow House I regular came here on Friday and Saturday nights and it was always a bit of hit and miss, sometimes packed, sometimes empty, beer good, beer bad etc etc.

My first visit under its new name & ownership and my is it trendy! Saturday afternoon and the crowd was made of mainly 30 something's in groups enjoying the vast array of beer and food.....food was proving hugely popular during the half an hour I was here.

8 hand pumps dispensing ales, 2 offerings from Adnams, Sharp's Cornish Coaster with the other 5 being 'guest' ales...Thornbridge and Rooster were 2 of the breweries being offered.

Friendly efficient bar staff dealt with the masses in a timely and polite manner.

Music played at a reasonable level, tables were cleaned quickly and the pub has a lovely feel to it.....what's not to like, cracking pub.

29 Jan 2014 13:00

The Moon and Stars, Penge


My first visit to this spoons, I thought it was time having won a place in the 2014 GBG after a short absence.

Old style 'spoons, laid out open plan style on 1 level apart from the rear where there is a raised seating area mainly given over for food consumption.

17 hand pumps on the L shaped bar, 12 dispensing ales & 1 cider. Nice to see a range of local breweries represented, also a selection of decent bottled ales.

Busy, fairly normal 'spoons crowd & age group, pleasant though and definitely warrants another visit soon.

29 Jan 2014 12:52

The Goose, Walthamstow

Popped in here on Wednesday night to meet a mate before heading else where.

Doom Bar on tap was well kept and a decent price.

Didn’t stay too long, just a pints worth but the pub seems fine…looks like a good pub to watch football in as there’s plenty of screens.

Don’t dismiss this pub but the outside pop in and have a pint or 2, I will stay longer next time.

29 Jan 2014 12:40

Air Balloon, Horley

Walked in on a Saturday tea time and walked straight our again as it was like a kids club!

Probably fine if you have kids and want to eat with them but for a beer as an adult without kids it wasn’t ideal.

29 Jan 2014 12:21

The Albion, South Norwood

Came in after a game at Selhurst Park some time ago....beer was fine but the choice was not up to much.

Atmosphere pretty divoid and service was friendly enough.

Alright pub but I wouldn't rush back.

The Ship sounds okay currently.

29 Jan 2014 11:37

Tudor Barn Eltham, Eltham

My latest visit was on Sunday when I brought the family here for lunch.

Table booked for 1.15pm, arrived a few minutes early, shown to our table that was already prepared by the young lady.

Good range of Sunday lunch, all starters and mains ordered were very good...drinks no problem, coffees ordered at the end and 2 of the 3 ordered arrived cold...changed with no hassle.

Based on eating here I would recommend it, as per my last review this is more of a restaurant than a pub.

£134.00 for 6 adults each having 2 courses, drink and coffee...good value for money.

22 Jan 2014 15:57

The Uxbridge Arms, Notting Hill

Tucked away just off of Notting Hill Road this tidy back street pub is worth a visit.

A wooden bar greets you as you come through the doors, 3 ales on hand pump which were London Pride, St Austall Tribute and Harvey's Best.

Workers and regulars in on my Monday night visit....no music playing and the tele was off meaning conversation was king.

Attentive bar staff, newly painted walls (from brown to beige apparently), a nice friendly welcome and general niceness make this a decent pub for a pint and relax after a days work.

22 Jan 2014 15:49

The Defector's Weld, Shepherds Bush

Lovely stripped back interior, odd chairs, food at reasonable prices, good range of ales, what more do you need or want in a pub?

5 ales on hand pumps from various breweries (some London based) represented by a mix of brewing styles...IPA, Porter, Bitter etc. Also a good range of bottled ales and craft lagers...lots of high quality American beers with Lagunitas on tap, IPA and the rarer Little Stumpin...very impressed.

It opens at noon and I was the 2nd customer in, food was available so being lunchtime I went for the pulled pork torpedo roll with 'slaw & a drink for £6.50....and I can happily report that it was excellent

Music playing at a decent level, good to listen to but didn't drown talking out....good barman, good vibe, cool decoration so all in all an excellent pub that is well worth the trip to Shepherds Bush for.

21 Jan 2014 16:02

The Rose and Crown, Mayfair

First visit was on a Friday lunchtime and to be honest the place was rather soulless. 3 people having a drink and a group of Italian's ordering lunch who along with the 2 bar staff were the only people in the pub.

Downstairs bar with an upstairs dining room.

3 pumps on the bar that were dispensing 2 ales...Black Sheep Best Bitter & Wells Bombardier....European lagers on offer were Estrella, Beck's Vier, Stella, Kroenberg & Staropramen.

Background music playing, bog standard decoration and that's about it...really not much to report and in my opinion not really worth a visit...pleasant enough but that's it.

21 Jan 2014 15:13

The Radcliffe Arms, Hitchin

2nd pub visited on Saturday evening on my way from town back to the station.

As this one also features in the 2014 Good Beer Guide I decided to stop in..having already been warned that’s it more of a restaurant than a pub.

Nice place, lacking slightly in atmosphere as the only people inside the pub were a group of 5 (3 men, 2 women) who were obviously locals and sat at the bar…there were others in the pub but they were sat outside smoking.

Again another pub where I didn’t sample the ale…there was only 1 beer on which surprised me.

I was too early for food so cannot comment on portion size, smell or taste.

I’m sure there’s better pubs than this one in Hitchin apart from the Half Moon that sell & keep good quality real ale…though I may be wrong as I’m not from Hitchin.

15 Jan 2014 16:24

The Half Moon, Hitchin

I came in here around 5.15pm on Saturday evening for my first ever visit as The Half Moon features in the 2014 Good Beer Guide.

2 permanent ales on tap Youngs Special & Adnams Bitter…6 “guests”, 2 cider’s and 5 “guests” and 1 perry…great selection.

Very cozy pub, nice and warm on after a walk on what was a chilly afternoon…friendly bar staff (5 bar staff on at once…very impressive) and also a real nice atmosphere.

Groups, families and couples in the pub, various ages and types.

I wasn’t drinking so I cant comment on the quality of the beer but I saw plenty of pints being poured and served and no-one was complaining, this is the sort of pub I would like as my local.

15 Jan 2014 16:16

The Red Lion, St James

A fine Fuller's pub just off Jermyn Street and away from the hustle and bustle of Piccadilly Circus.

Unassuming outside but inside you will find a Victorian interior with etched glass & lots of wood panelling.

1 bar that is split into 2 rooms by the central bar and glass partion divide.

6 hand pumps on 1 side and 2 on the other dispensing the full Fullers range including ESB and Seafarers.

Very busy and almost full to capacity on the Saturday night I visited...this was a mixed crowd but mainly the age was 40 +.

This is another pleasant and genuine London pub that needs to be visited.

5 Jan 2014 13:02

The Queens Head, Piccadilly

I visited this quaint locals type of pub in the heart of Soho on a Saturday evening around 10pm.

As mentioned before this is a Freehouse now that has 5 handpumps on the bar dispensing 3 ales which were Twickenham Winter Cheer, By The Horns Stiff Upper Lip and Sambrook's Wandle, also a decent selection of American and European bottled craft beers in the fridge.

2 bars, I was in the downstairs bar and it was very buzzey with plenty of chatter from the groups that were gathered, music played above the chatter but not too loud that it drowned the chit chat out.

2 large ornate chandeliers hang along with faux period lighting above the above.

This really is an old fashioned pub that is excellent and well worth a visit.

5 Jan 2014 12:55

The Spinnaker, Docklands

Currently closed awaiting the new owners / tennants to move in...unsure when this will be.

30 Dec 2013 16:48

The Slug and Lettuce, Bromley

***Update***

This is now a Tesco Metro

30 Dec 2013 12:24

The Tom Foolery, Bromley

My first visit here since the name and decor changed from the Tom Foolery.

Now has an entry in the GBG 2014 but is still wrestling away from being a Bromley High St pub. The clientele & costs is similar to the other pubs in the High St area....ie expensive and full of people that think they are 'something'.

4 hand pumps that had 2 ales on, the gravity taps number in excess of a dozen and boost a couple of ales alongside the craft lagers.

Good selection of bottled beers but you need to stare them out to find them. I went for a bottle of Bear Republic's Hop Rod Rye @ 8%...just over £4.40 a bottle. It sounds steep but its the same as you would pay in San Francisco which is a damn sight closer to where this ale comes from. My 2nd choice was a beer from Koha Brewery and was pretty much the same cost, yet again though another quality bottle of craft American ale.

The layout has remained pretty much the same but credit to Fullers as this feels much more like a free house than a owned and managed brewery pub, hats off to them for that.

At last Bromley has some decent pubs in the High Sr area.....its long overdue.

30 Dec 2013 12:20

The Greyhound, Bromley

Wetherspoon's conversion of a failing pub which was dragging this end of Bromley down. I used to frequent The Greyhound 10 years ago and even after a face lift the pub was on it's backside.

Nicely converted with a full wooden interior and pictures of old Bromley on the wall.

10 pumps dispensing 10 ales, Ruddles, Pride, Abbot, Doom Bar and 6 guests which included numerous Christmas ales.

Large seating area for food out to the left of the pub as you enter beyond the toilets

Fairly busy on the Saturday afternoon I visited, nice enough crowd.

30 Dec 2013 12:16

The Slug and Lettuce, Bromley

Closed and looks like it will never be a pub again.

Used this place many times over the years always as a meeting point but I did have quite a few nights here having never been bothered to move on.

Never a great place, but service was good, the prices were okay and the atmosphere was what you made it.

Bombardier used to be the only drinkable ale but sometimes that wasn’t on so you had to revert to lager.

Not that sad to see it go.

27 Dec 2013 14:28

Wine Lodge, Lowestoft

Stayed here a couple of years ago, but on my recent visit it didn't look open.

23 Dec 2013 14:02

Royal Oak, Lowestoft

My 2nd visit here, it was very busy on Friday night, I came in around11.30pm.

Karaoke was on and was proving a real hit with the crowd who were all locals.

2 ales on the hand pumps, Fullers London Pride and Wells Bombardier. The pints of Pride I had were very good.

Much more a lager and spirits pub than a ale drinkers pub I would guess.

I got abused by the landlady as I left but having turned tailed & returned we sorted the non problem out!

Good for a late drink, so good that I also returned on Saturday night but it was less than half as busy as the previous night.

23 Dec 2013 14:01

Marquis of Lorne, Lowestoft

Me and a friend came in here around 10.45pm on Friday night, 2 large bars of which there punters in 1 bar only..though the lights were on in the opposite bar!

No ale on hand pumps, but they did have Adnams Southwold Bitter on gravity aswell as in bottles. The bottles were my choice and were as you would expect.

Empty apart from the manager, her husband and the barmaid & the 2 of us, a pleasant enough place but empty on a Friday night.

Another pub in the town that is up for lease or sale..sad really as this place is huge and with the right landlord and crowd could be very good, though to be fair the current Manageress is trying, she’s started doing food and had a few bookings for Sunday lunch.

23 Dec 2013 13:38

Norman Warrior, Lowestoft

Large pub that it’s worth getting a cab to from town that working your way back.

This place sits on a massive plot with a large car park to the front and garden to the back.

We went in the “locals” bar where there were 6 beers on hand pump, a helping of friendly locals, dart board, pool table and juke box…cracking old style “estate” pub that’s how this place feels.

A large collection of beer pump clips under perspex hangs above the bar.

Decent pub that is worth making the journey to, you won’t be disappointed.

23 Dec 2013 13:15

The Mariners Rest, Lowestoft

Quality locals pub with 6 different ales on during my all too short visit.

Friendly locals and bar staff, I only stayed for 1 pint as we had a meal booked back in town and had a cab waiting.

I expect to back in Lowestoft some time in 2014 and will definitely be spending more time here.

23 Dec 2013 13:09

The Triangle Tavern, Lowestoft

2 visits on Saturday, one around 2pm and the other at 10.30pm, both visits very different.

My afternoon visit was similar to the other visits to the Triangle, beer drinkers in the front bar with cyclists and walkers, the back bar having locals and pool players. The full range of Green Jack beers on tap, I went for the 10.5% Baltic Trader…this beer is not for the faint hearted!

My evening visit was quite different. The front bar had a band on, all seating areas taken and having such a small bar no real room to stand. The back room was also very busy with pool players taking up a large chunk of the space. The juke box was also pounding out sounds.

Still a decent pub and a good outpost for Green Jack beers.

23 Dec 2013 12:55

First and Last, Lowestoft

Large corner plot pub just a few steps from the Oak Tavern.

After a couple of pints in the Oak I thought I'd stop for a pint here before heading back into town.

Toby Bitter and John Smith's Extra Cold on gravity but no hand pumps on the bar. I went for a bottle of Spitfire, £2.65 and to be honest a bit too cold but I’d rather drink this than crappy lager.

Only half a dozen blokes in on my early Saturday afternoon visit, but this isn’t a bad pub but nothing much to report, pleasant enough.

23 Dec 2013 12:47

The Oak Tavern, Lowerstoft

Myself and 3 friends visited this excellent locals pub on a Saturday lunchtime.

Greeted by the barmaid with a smile and chit chat while we perused the 4 ales that were on tap. 3 of us opted for the rather good but strong pint of Timber Wolf from the Wolf brewery, this gave us 3 stickers on a loyalty card wherein 6 stickers = 6 pints and entitle you to a free pint.

A lot of darts and pool trophies sit on the shelves, showing this is a real community gem of a pub.

Well run, friendly, football on the tele, music playing...all in all a cracking pub.

23 Dec 2013 12:45

Bayfields, Lowestoft

Currently closed and up for sale or lease.

23 Dec 2013 12:37

The Hamilton Hall, Liverpool Street

I have used this pub on many occasions over the years and it’s always pretty much the same.

Standard ‘spoons but with more bar stuff and a decent manager.

After being closed for a short while it’s now open again with a face lift. There are new wooden standing areas, a new bar, the lighting is brighter, the toilets have been moved and there’s a more food orientated seating area where the men’s toilets used to be.

I popped in yesterday afternoon and the majority of the ales on hand pumps were Christmas offerings, my pint was perfect.

They seem to have lowered their prices a bit as well or maybe I was just sober for once so the price seemed lower.

Decent ‘spoons in an area that’s not short of pubs selling decent kept ales….and of course it’s blinking handy for Liverpool St station

23 Dec 2013 12:34

Longwall, Oxford

I stayed at the hotel with the wife at the weekend during a Christimas shopping trip to Oxford.

We used the pub on 3 occasions, staying in there most of the night on the Saturday.

Usual lager, Guinness and smooth ales on pump options but also a very good pint of Old Hooky on hand pull.

Full Beefeater menu served in the bar, half busy both nights but I have been in much worse restaurant pubs than this one.

19 Dec 2013 09:39

Three Goats Heads, Oxford

I only visited the cellar bar of this Samuel Smith's pub during my quick Saturday afternoon stop while I was Christmas shopping.

Usual range of Sam Smith's beers and bottles available. Food was being served, it looked and smelt good.

Wooden floor with antique green tiled on the lower part of the walls, stain glass windows depicting the Sam Smith's logo.

Busy on my visit, very decent cellar bar that I'm sure gets a fair amount of traffic from the students and locals.

Worth a pit stop.

19 Dec 2013 09:23

The Kings Arms, Westerham

Large Hotel, restaurant and bar (small bar though) right in the middle of Westerham.

GK IPA & Old speckled Hen were the 2 ales on hand pump....along with Peroni, Fosters, Stella, Guinness and Aspall Cyder on tap.

As mentioned above the bar area is small but is nicely decorated

Across the way from the bar is the large hotel entrance with the restaurant to the right as you enter from the Main Rd.

I ate here on Sunday in a party of 11. Christmas dinner was mainly the order of the day the food was good and promptly served but the service was a little patchy.

Music was playing softly in the back ground.

Decent for a family meal of mixed ages but not the place for a few beers unless you're eating.

2 Dec 2013 08:58

Williams Wine and Ale House, Hoxton

Interesting pub tucked away on Artillery Lane just off Bishopsgate. This is a pub you need to know about or you won't find it as it's tucked away and not very prominent from the main road.

14 hand pumps on the bar that had 9 ales and 1 cider on...most ales were locAle's with East London well represented. 2 craft lagers and a cider on hand pump behind the bar. My beer choices were Wadworth Swordfish @ 5% and East London Brewery Jamboree @ 4.8%...both were very good pints.

Walls stripped back to brick with lots of old photos of the local area and breweriana hanging on the walls. Music playing softly and a rather annoying chap tuning the piano....constant piano dinging isint the best background music!

Aside from 'Pianoman' this is an excellent pub and definitely worth seeking out when in the Liverpool St area & it's a stones throw from Spitalfields.

Excellent pub that is now firmly on my "radar".

Please note that this pub is chain free and is not a GK pub anymore

2 Dec 2013 08:55

Woodins Shades, Liverpool Street

Corner plot Nicholson's pub almost opposite the side entrance to Liverpool Street Station.

This is a re-tick for me but at 11am on Saturday this looked more welcoming than Dirty Dicks with the Hamilton Halls (Wetherspoon's) closed for a re-furb.

7 ales on hand pump with the morning selection being, Fullers London Pride, St Austall Pale Ale, Top of the Hops Golden Ale, Ilkley The Norseman, Harivestoun Sleigh Driver, Brains I see Santa and Lancaster Brewery Ginger Snap which at 4.4% was my choice for my first beer of the day.

Wooden floor and bar with chrome rails, lots of wooden tables, bar stools and chairs...fashionable wall paper with large flowers hangs on a few walls.

Nice stain glass spells the name of the pub as you from the main road.

Nice pub

2 Dec 2013 08:52

The Fox and Firkin, Lewisham

An early Friday night visit to the Fox, the first time for a few years.

I go past this pub twice a day and thought now would be the right time to have another visit.

For the first five minutes of my visit I was the only punter in here, there were a few staff members put a whole host of xmas decorations up and they looked pretty good.

The 6 hand pumps were mostly redundant apart from the 2 Sambrook's ales that were on...Junction and Wandle. I opted for the Wandle, it was fine and it £2.95 was good value for money though I'm not a fan of Sambrook's beer.

There were a couple of interesting lagers on tap namely Brahma and Frankishaner.

Music playing which helped to not make the pub seem so empty.

Nice enough pub, put different ales on and I might come back sooner.

29 Nov 2013 19:45

The Prince George, Hackney

My one and only visit so far to this pub was after attending a game at the Emirates.

We got the bus down to Dalston Junction and then walked round here later on a Summer Sunday afternoon.

Busy outside, empty inside due to the good weather.

3 ales on hand pumps, I had 2 different beers and both were good. The services was fine but I was made to feel slightly like an outsider while I waited to be served.

Not much more to say about this place, I probably will return if I'm in the area and wanting a pint of ale

29 Nov 2013 13:48

The Richmal Crompton, Bromley

I visited twice last night and...the first time out of the 8 ales on tap only 4 were available and only one of these was not the normal 'Spoons ales.

On my return about 3 and a half hours later there were 7 beers on...much more impressive and exactly what you would expect from this establishment.

Still soulless on a Tuesday night (both times) but at least the staff were on the ball.

27 Nov 2013 11:50

The Red Lion, Bromley

Nice little back street free house just a few minutes walk from Bromley North station.

Pretty busy on the Tuesday night I visited. Traditional interior with a few pub mirrors on the walls and a nice array of pump clips on display around & above the bar.

5 pumps that were serving 4 ales. My pint of St Andrews from an unknown brewery was very good and at £3.50 it was reasonable.

Music on at a soft enough level to allow for chatter and the football was on the television but on mute.

27 Nov 2013 11:44

The Exmouth Arms, Euston

My 1st visit to this old fashioned locals pub last night.

There are 6 pumps, dispensing 5 ales which are GK IPA, GK Old Speckled Hen, Sharp's Doom Bar, Fullers London Pride & Adnams Broadside along side the regular Guinness and lagers.

Me and my partner in crime each had 3 pints of the Doom Bar and all of them were perfect.

Friendly enough pub, fairly quiet in the downstairs bar but the upstairs was rammed as there was a Folk Singer on...I didn't catch he's name but apparently he's well known.

The only thing that spoilt this place slightly was the loud mouth local t**t in the bar who thought he was very amusing shouting things out intermittingly to various people coming in and out of the pub!

24 Nov 2013 18:38

The Allsop Arms, Marylebone

Came in here late on a Saturday afternoon after being at Wembley for the rugby.

5 GK beers on the taps, Abbott, Fireside, Old Speckled Hen, IPA & Alsopp Arms Best Bitter...brewed especially for the pub.

Standard London pub with wooden floors, non-English staff that were pleasant, very quick and attentive though a couple were on the surly side

Xmas decorations were hanging from the lights and around mirros etc...music playing slightly too loud for the size of the crowd so the noise was quite loud.

Decent enougb place for a few pints but it's standard Greene King

24 Nov 2013 14:25

The Victoria and Albert, Marylebone Station

Pub on the station that opens at 10am so it's a decent start for a few beers before heading off to Wembley...which is exactly what I did on Saturday.

4 pumps offering the following ales GK Abbott, GK St Edmunds, London Pride and Courage Best.

Decent pub with enough bar staff to accommodate with the crowds waiting for a drink....no complaints from this reviewer.

Food looked fine but though the portions looked slightly small.

24 Nov 2013 14:18

The Kings Arms Bar and Hotel, Brentford

We missed our train by a minute last night and had 30 minutes until the next one…so we went into the Kings Arms.

The landlady said we had 10 minutes to finish our drinks which was fine as it was blinking freezing outside!

2 beers on offer. Fullers London Pride and Hobgoblin…I had the Hob and it was alright…not that great but drinkable.

No-one else in this large pub so I cannot comment on the clientele.

I would use this pub if I had to wait for a train again…not the best pub but it seemed okay

21 Nov 2013 13:52

The Griffin, Brentford


As previously mentioned this is a Fullers pub, with well kept beers and a bit of character.

This was the only pub of the 4 on the corners by Griffin Park that I visited and stayed for 2 pints.

4 ales on, being Red Fox, ESB, Pride and Honeydew. The Red Fox I had was decent.

Fairly busy at 10pm on a Wednesday night with a couple of groups sitting and chatting. On my one visit I’m happy to say this is a quality pub that is worth a visit.

21 Nov 2013 13:44

The Magpie and Crown, Brentford

My first visit with a few friends on a Wednesday night. The pub was pretty much full at 6.15pm

8 pumps that were dispensing 6 beers & 2 ciders. There were also 3 cask ales on.

Varied range of ales with my beer choices being Viking Gold from Peerless Brewing Co; Wadworth’s Blunder Buss & Crafty Devil from Thwaites…all of them were very good with the Blunder Buss being slightly the better beer.

All in all a great pub and worthy of it’s inclusion in the Good Beer Guide

21 Nov 2013 13:39

Hoy & Helmet, South Benfleet

My first visit here to coincide with a football match on Canvey.

Decent Barras managed pub, a short walk from Benfleet station.

4 pumps dispensing, GK IPA, Adnams Broadside (which was a decent pint), Courage Best and 1 other ale.

Friendly bar staff with quick service, nice enough pub with well kept beers.

21 Nov 2013 13:19

The Cock, Oxford Circus

My 2nd visit to The Cock was about 15 years since my 1st visit!

Came in here yesterday afternoon, the pub was a quarter full with one bar man serving.

Being a Samuel Smith's house their full range was on offer. I opted for a bottle of Organic Chocolate Stout...a great drink but not sure this should have been kept in such a cold fridge.

Original tiled floor by the doors as you enter, wooden bar with privacy screens above some of the pumps.

Decent Central London pub, made better in my opinion by being a Sam Smith's tied house.

20 Nov 2013 13:07

The Queens Head, St Pancras

After a meeting locally I ventured in here around 16.15 with a couple of colleagues.

A large Victorian pub that has been revamped with the original features left in tact.

A good selection of ales, ciders & lagers with 3 ales on hand pump. I had 3 good pints of Grapevine Tryst @5.4% from Fallen Brewing Co each pint served in an old fashioned pint pot...very good.

Friendly bar man who was attentive and efficient.

Steady stream of punters during the 2 hours I was here.

Decent pub and worthy of a place in the GBG

1 Nov 2013 13:39

The Queens Head and Artichoke, Regents Park

The Queens Head is a pub full of character, tastefully restored with some of the original features remaining in tact.

My first visit a week or so ago on a Monday night for tapas and a few beers with work colleagues.

A good selection of 5 beers, I opted for Adnams Southwold and it was perfect time.

As there was a large group of us we were given the whole of the upstairs dining room, the food was plentiful and quickly dispatched to our tables. Good value for money, with quality ingredients used...I must say I thought it was some of the best Tapas I have ever had.

Attentive and quick service from the waiter / server...all in all I had an excellent experience here and will not hesitate to come back

29 Oct 2013 13:33

The Spread Eagle, Camden

One bar traditional pub up from Camden Town station.

Young's pub with 6 ales on hand pump. 3 Young's plus Bombardier, Surrey Hills Shere Drop and Robinson's Dizzy Blonde.

Lots of old photos of Camden adorn the walls.

Decent bar, good barman, nice atmosphere.

29 Oct 2013 13:28

The Oxford Bar, Edinburgh

This small and homely bar in the New Town area was my last pub of the day before my flight back to London.

3 beers on, I had a pint of Lantern Jack from Broughton Ales which was a decent pint.

The real log fire was on full pelt in the back room which in turn made the bar very warm…almost too warm.

Decent pub / bar that’s worth searching out for a few beers

29 Oct 2013 13:27

Queens Arms, Edinburgh

From the outside the Queens looks like a small underground pub…however once you enter you realise it is surprisingly deceptive inside.

Very busy at 7pm when I visited, a good mix of clientele, couples having a few drinks, groups starting their evening and a few lads watching the football & rugby that was being shown on the televisions.

4 ales on tap, all of them Scottish ales. The pint I had from Inveralmond was excellent.

I love the booths with the little doors on them, that separate the booth from the rest of the bar area.

Apprently this pub was named after Mary Queen of Scots.

A superb pub, off to the Oxford Bar now.

26 Oct 2013 11:28

Robert Hamilton, Airdrie

This is a large modern 'spoons in the centre of town.

Busy but it's pretty soulless, plenty of @drinkers@ at the front of the pub with the diners relegated to the rear (so they should be!)

6 ales on draught, not a bad choice...mainly Scottish ales.

Service was swift even though only 2 bard staff were working on the Saturday afternoon I was in.

Well kept toilets and the staircase to toilets is worth a look.

25 Oct 2013 18:10

Vulcan, Coatbridge

My first beer in Coatbridge was in this old fashioned Wetherspoons and I only came here as it's in the Good Beer Guide 2013.

With the raining chucking it down outside this homely pub was a welcome respite.

6 pumps dispensing 3 festival beers along with Abbott, Deuchars IPA and another Scottish beer.

Very quiet on my visit but this wasn't a problem, not much to speak of regarding the decor but the warm welcome and good beer was more than enough.

Excellent little 'spoons.

25 Oct 2013 18:06

The Standing Order, Edinburgh

Very large spoons that used to be a counting house for the Union Bank of Scotland.

Wonderfully grand building with original mouldings and cornices.

18 pumps, serving a wide range of beers including a good selection of the festival beers.

Quick service for food and drink on a Saturday morning, plenty of staff available.

25 Oct 2013 18:06

The Edinboro Castle, Camden

Large old fashioned pub that has been made over and is now a trendy pub and restaurant.

4 ales on draught, the Doom Bar was excellent

Food was reasonably priced and good, but one meal from our 11 was not cooked with the original order and this took another 15 mins to arrive.

Nice pub and good overall experience

25 Oct 2013 17:16

York and Albany, Camden

Pouncy but very well done and quitensensally English.

2 beers available....Bitburger and Meantime London Pale Ale.

Pizzas on sale but I didn't see anyone ordering or eating them, it was only 6.30pm though

Nice stainless steel bar, offset by the beer being nearly a fiver a pint.

I doubt I'll visit again

24 Oct 2013 14:17

The Albany, Great Portland Street

I had never been in this pub right by Great Portland Street station until a week ago and now I've been 3 times in a week as I was working in the area.

On all of my visits there 5 ales on...my 1st visit the beers were Doom Bar, Moles Mole Catcher, Leeds Brewery Gathering Storm, Itchen Valley Belgarum Black, Windsor and Eton Knight of the Garter. 2nd visit 3 of the beers had changed and by visit number 3 all beers except Doom Bar were different...a great choice with ales from all over England..Northern and Southern breweries both well represented.

During visit number 1 on a Sunday tea time there were lots of tables laid for food, the other 2 visits were later at night and therefore the tables were back to normal.

This is a trendy version of a nice old Fashioned pub, the beer is not expensive for the area and just for the ales alone is worth a visit.

On my last visit the bar maid who was on her own decided she would flirt with a punter for a few minutes rather than serve me and a couple of others..bit annoying so say the least but I got over it.

Worth a trip

24 Oct 2013 14:13

The Bree Louise, Euston

Another pub in the Euston area that was a first visit for me a few Saturday nights ago.

Old style pub with no television or juke box but it was still busy with a fair few camra / beer geeks in (including me!)

Great range of beers dispensed directly from the barrels behind the bar, the pint I had was excellent.

Friendly bar maid, good atmosphere and now I’ve been I will be going back

24 Oct 2013 14:07

Euston Tap, Euston

Came in here for the first time around 10pm on a Saturday night. The place was fairly quiet but it’s so small it seemed busy!

A really good range of beers, most offered as halves so they are so pricey…I had 2 pints from Buxton Brewery at £5.80 a pint

Good atmosphere, very varied range of beers, right by Euston station all in all this is a cool place for a pint but not a session.

24 Oct 2013 14:03

The Rose and Crown, Hemel Hempstead

4th and final pub of our short crawl.

2 sided bar, busy on 1 side but empty on the other…perhaps the locals aren’t allowed around the other side!

2 beers on, the pint I had was good.

This is a nice enough pub but it didn’t feel over friendly, though maybe 8 blokes coming in isn’t the norm.

18 Oct 2013 09:03

The White Hart, Hemel Hempstead

3rd pub visited in the High St and probably the least attractive but the best in terms of atmosphere.

Small bar area with 2 hand pumps one of which was Tring beer.

Half busy at around 7.30pm

18 Oct 2013 08:59

The Spread Eagle, Marylebone

Small traditional pub sitting back from Oxford St near Bond St tube station.

3 real ales on, Nelson Brewery 1805.....Two Cocks brewery 1643 Roundhead & 1643 Cavalier.

Busy with a mix of after work customers and tourist.

Pleasant enough Central London pub.

16 Oct 2013 14:14

O'Neills, Soho

Popped in last night for the last 20 minutes of the England game on the tele.

Busy pub that emptied a bit after the game ended.

No ales available but the pints of Kozel I had were perfect.

Not really my sort of pub but not bad

16 Oct 2013 14:11

The Olde Kings Arms, Hemel Hempstead

2nd pub of 4, this is an old fashioned large pub with exposed beams, it has a homely feel even though it was fairly empty on my visit.

Though my biggest criticism was that it was F'ing freezing.....it felt like the cellar door had been left open.

3 pumps, dispensing 2 ales...Wells Bombardier and St Austall's Trelawny. The Trelawny was decent, but it was so cold we drank up and crossed the road to the White Hart.

15 Oct 2013 16:29

The Old Bell, Hemel Hempstead

A few of us came here after Football on Saturday so this was the first of the 4 in Old Hemel High St that we visited.

2 real ales on...Doom Bar and Duchars IPA....I had the Doom Bar and it was perfect.

A nice looking pub with a lovely interior, plenty of nooks, cranny's and little seating areas.

I found this pub to be busy but with a nice atmosphere....decent pub.

15 Oct 2013 16:23

The Full House, Hemel Hempstead

Full House, Hemel

Large Wetherspoons that used to be a cinema...apparently the last 2 films shown were Star Wars and Labyrinth starring David Bowie!

As to be expected with these pubs there was a large amount of ales on offer...18 pumps some beers were doubled up making a total of 8 different beers available and a couple of ciders.

Busy with a large amount of staff meaning that getting served was not a problem.

Pleasant customers making my visit all good and if i'm ever in Hemel again I will return.

14 Oct 2013 18:04

The Spotted Bull, Hemel Hempstead

This was pub number 3 on a quick crawl of Apsley and this was by far the strangest pub of the lot. It has obviously fallen on hard times as the lease is up for rent, there's no real ale on hand pump but there were bottles of Old Speckled Hen available.

There were only 2 other punters in as well as me and my companion and the friendly barman.

Not a bad pub it just feels like someone's front room and was almost empty.

14 Oct 2013 17:47

White Lion, Apsley End

Another Fuller's pub on the High St towards Hemel, we came in just after 12 noon on a Saturday as the landlord was opening up.

3 Fuller's ales on hand pump, London Pride, Seafarers Ale and Traitors Gate, myself and my drinking companion both went for the Seafarers and it was perfect.

This is a quality little local pub that is basically decorated but is equally nice and friendly.

Good to see a proper pub doing well still.

14 Oct 2013 13:56

The Oddfellows Arms, Hemel Hempsted

Tried to get a pint at 12 noon on a Saturday but it was still closed so we moved onto the White Lion and Spotted Bull.

14 Oct 2013 13:22

Paper Mill, Hemel Hempstead

This is a large modern Fullers pub just off the main road and by the canal with narrow boats parked up

Christmas market was being set up on one side of the pub, in the middle was a real log fire burning...it wasn't too cold outside but it’s a great addition.

4 Fullers beers on hand pump Red Fox @ 4.2%, Traitors Gate, Pride and HSB with Honey Dew on gravity.

The pint of Red Fox I had was very good, average price of £3.80 a pint.

Nice pub but its definitely aimed at families more than regular drinkers like myself...worth a visit though.

14 Oct 2013 13:20

The Wheatsheaf and Pigeon, Staines

Another cracking pub in Staines. My 3rd and final pub of my short hop on a Tuesday night.

3 strangers walked in and were given a lovely warm welcome from the bar maid like we were regulars .

5 pumps but only 3 real ales on. These were Otter, Courage and Surrey Hills Brewery's Shere Drop. I had 3 pints of the Shere Drop and all were excellent pints that were well poured

We wasted a good hour here, this truly is a great local pub that you would really not know exists being hidden towards the end of Wheatsheaf Lane at the junction of Penton Road.

9 Oct 2013 14:22

The Bells, Staines

This idyllic Young's pub is a million miles away from High Street in terms of clientele and service.

A little bit of a walk down Church Street brings you to a lovely area right by the Church with The Bells nestling on the corner.

4 pumps dispensing 3x Young's beers and Dartmouth IPA as a guest. I had the IPA, poured fine but was a bit hoppy for me.

There's a nice feeling inside even though it was about a 1/4 full, food was being served and most punters were in groups.

Good interior and nicely laid out, it just feels really welcoming and all in all is a cracking pub and definitely worth the walk.

9 Oct 2013 14:13

The George, Staines

Large Wetherspoons at the end / start of the High Street right on the 1 way system.

Came here on a Tuesday night around 6.30 and it was half full on my visit with the usual 'spoons clientele. Very surly bar staff as well, a young lady that didn't crack a smile and a "manager" that looked bored sh*tless!

All 12 pumps had ales / ciders on, made up of 5x ciders, Ruddles, Weltons King or Queen, Hammerpot Brewery Shooting Star, Sixpenny Brewery India Pale Ale and 6D, Courage and GK Abbot Ale. I had

Nice building with large windows that open onto the one way system also has a rather impressive iron sweeping staircase up to the toilets.

Good range of beers, nice building, miserable looking staff.

9 Oct 2013 13:55

The Gowlett Arms, Peckham

Again another new pub for me in the local (ish) area. The Gowlett is a community pub that obviously has a loyal following.

My visit was at 2pm on a quiet Saturday afternoon so my review is based on this experience.

4 ales available, Harvey's Best, Adnams Explorer and Southwold, Brians The Young Rev. I opted for the Young Rev, no problem with this beer, nicely kept.

Bearly a dozen people were in with the majority being in a group of 6 that had ordered the stone baked pizzas....damn they looked and smelt good.

Pleasant enough pub, the 3 bar staff were busy preparing the bar for later, I'll come back one evening to have another look and a beer.

6 Oct 2013 11:41

The Old Nun's Head, Nunhead

A shocking confession that I am born and bred Peckham but I have never had a beer in the Old Nuns Head, poor I know!

This is a real community pub with a large % of the customers on my Saturday afternoon visit being families with young children, I am happy to report they were all very well behaved.

Lovingly restored pub back to what appears to be it's former glory.

8 pumps, dispensing 7 beers. Saltaire Brewery were on take over with 4 selections offer, Amarillo Gold, Pride, New World Red and Cascade Pale Ale. Also on offer were Sharp's Doom Bar, Westerham's William Wilberforce Freedom Ale and Twickenham's Vanguard.

I opted for 3x 1/3 pints of 3 of the Saltaire offerings, leaving out Pride. Excellent beers and perfectly kept / poured. All 3 beers together priced as a pint, which was £3,85.

Food was being served pretty frequently and smelt good though I did hear a 'mushroom' complaint.

Excellent pub that I won't leave another 41 years to visit!

6 Oct 2013 11:37

The Sanctuary House, Westminster

My 2nd visit last night with a group of work colleagues.

We booked a table for 8 and this was laid out ready for food on our arrival.

Traitor's gate was a new Fuller's beer for me and was on tap so I had several pints with my dinner.

4 out of 8 of us had the pie's and along with the others everyone said their food was excellent. All brought to the table together so no-one had to wait with every meal being hot.

This trumps my first visit and I have scored it higher than before, good Fullers beer and excellent home cooked food.

4 Oct 2013 14:16

The Speaker, Westminster

Much loved corner plot pub just off Victoria Street.

It was busy the evening I visited, with the majority of punters being local workers.

Very snug inside but there's a handy standing area to the front of the pub....its called the pavement!

Attractive interior with wood panelling on the walls and a lot of political drawings and charactuiers.

5 beers on with the majority being locales, Ascot and Tring were represented. I went for Trings, Colleys Dog and @ 5.2 it was a good wholesome beer.

Nothing negative to report for this pub, so to the landlord keep up the good work and to the regulars keep supporting this gem of a pub.

4 Oct 2013 14:10

The Rose and Crown, Walthamstow

My first visit to this pub was at 10pm on a Wednesday evening.

I walked in and was immediately greeted by the sound of a live band playing I was both surprised and pleased, I didn't catch the bands name but they were good, playing a mix of old and new songs. Whether it was because of the band or just groups of friends meeting on Wednesday night the pub was very busy, the clientele is mixed but there's a great atmosphere.

6 pumps on that were dispensing Kelham Island, Atomic Blonde; Elland Brewery, Moonbeam Rider; Green Jack, Orange Wheat; Ilkley, Mary Jane IPA; Rooster, YPA and Streathavan, Midnight walk.

My 3 beers were Moonbeam Rider, YPA and Midnight Walk...all of them extremely well kept and excellent.

Outside the front is an Italian Pizza place with a full oven and chef cooking up delicious looking pizza's. There's were going down a storm (nearly everyone in the pub had one!) and is a fantastic idea for a pub that doesn't have food for sale.

A really good pub that is now on my "radar"...get yourself here I cannot praise this pub enough.

4 Oct 2013 14:06

The Nags Head, Walthamstow

I really don't understand some of the negative reviews below, I came in here last night for the 1st time and found this pub to be a good quality friendly pub.

It's charming and being in the village is a million miles away from regular Walthamstow pubs!

A group of friendly locals greeted me at the bar as I decided which one of the 6 available beers I would try first.

There were 8 pumps, with 2 turned round, but the 6 offerings were Tim Taylor Landlord, Otter Bitter & Amber, Mighty Oak Oscar Wilde & English Oak, St Austall's Tribute. I had both of the Mighty Oak beers and they were excellent being very well kept.

The interior is large and open plan will out the front are wooden benches and large umbrellas, perfect to sit at and watch the locals pass by.

All in all a great pub & defiantly worth a visit.

3 Oct 2013 17:19

John Wallace Linton, Newport

Large 'spoons just across from the station that isn't half as bad as the reviews below make it out to be.

10 ales on pump being Abbot, Ruddles and the rest are Welsh offerings with several being from Micro breweries.

I go for the Chilli Plum Porter from the Waen Brewery @ 6.1%.

Busy at 6pm on a Saturday with plenty of people getting ready for their night out as well as being several hen do's in.

Decent pub with a nice atmosphere, the last of the 3 pubs in visited in Newport and enjoyed all of them.

29 Sep 2013 14:00

Ye Olde Murenger House, Newport

A real quality Samuel Smiths pub that offers all of the usual Sam Smiths fair. I went for a pint of the Double stout & it was excellent.

Old fashioned timber interior, loads of historic pictures on the walls including a great homage to the trainsporter bridge.

Nice welcome from the landlord, with around half a dozen locals at the bar chatting away.

I can understand why this gets all the accolades it's a cracking little pub.

29 Sep 2013 13:56

Swan Inn, Rhyl

The Swan Inn is a nice traditional 2 bar pub. Very different to the other offerings in Rhyl and I can certainly understand why this has made the Good Beer Guide.

4 beers on hand pull of which all were offerings from Thwaites. Lancaster Bomber, Nutty Black (reduced to £2.20 a pint), Original and Book 'em Danno, which was my choice. The usual lager offerings & Guinness also Warsteiner which was a bit of a surprise.

Nice friendly pub, 2 different drinking areas and a large seating area to the rear.

Altogether a very pleasant pub and worthy of it's place in the GBG.

29 Sep 2013 12:37

Sussex, Rhyl

Modern looking 'spoons in the pedestrian shopping area of Sussex Street.

10 hands pumps of which only 6 beers were on, 4 beers were displayed as coming soon, 1 american guest, 1 Welsh beer, Ruddles, Abbot and 2 from the West Midlands.

I opted for a pint of mild from a Wolverhampton brewery, very good and great value at £2.15.

Busy on the afternoon I visited with lots of food being consumed, but i didn't see any on the floor. Infact there was a chap who was cleaning tables almost quicker than the food was being eaten!

Decent 'spoons which was better than expected given the look of the other pubs I walked past to get here!

29 Sep 2013 12:35

The Great Western, Wolverhampton

I had 20 minutes between changing trains so decided to tick this one as it's always got rave reviews

7 ales on draught, 5 from Holden's as you would expect, 1 from Bathams and 1 from Old Gate Ales.

I had the Holden's Golden Glow & at £2.55 a pint it was great value and a very good pint.

Home cooked food offered at responsible prices, cheese and onion & beef and onion rolls on offer on the bar, the beef and onion was handsome

Adorned with railway memorabilia all over the walls some of it very interesting.

100's of pump clips are scattered around the bar and back wall, showing the amount of quality ales that have been served here over the years.

Traditional back street local that has bags of charm & one I will almost certainly return to some day.

29 Sep 2013 12:23

Britannia, Euston Station

Euston station pub above the concourse, that also serves food and coffee's etc catering for the train brigade as it should.

I have used this pub many times over the years but this is my first visit this year.

5 ales on draught all priced at £3.95 a pint. 3 choices from Greene King plus Tribute and Spitfire. I opted for the GK IPA Gold. Funny taste to the pint but I was only in for a quick beer so it was drinkable.

Fairly soulless place but livened up by friendly and attentive barmaids.

The Doric Arch is the best bet for a good beer when at Euston Station but when the Doric is closed this place does an adequate job.

29 Sep 2013 12:19

Tudor Barn Eltham, Eltham

I must have driven past this place 100 times or more over the years without ever stopping and coming in.

On Saturday I had the perfect excuse to visit, I was invited to a wedding being held here!

The building is absolutely stunning, it’s been tastefully and lovingly stripped back and has been well looked after.

The downstairs bar is of a fair size and was staffed by at least 2 barmaids / barmen at any one time. 2 lagers (San Miguel & Holsten Vier) on offer along with Adnams Lighthouse but unfortunatly this was off and wasn’t on the downstairs bar all evening. There’s also a cider on draught.

Prices not too bad and the food on sale smelt and looked good as did the cream tea and cakes selection.

For me this is more of a restaurant with a bar than a pub but just for the building alone it is worth a visit.

23 Sep 2013 14:03

The Lord Nelson, Isle of Dogs

My first ever visit to the Lord Nelson last Friday night.

After several beers in The George, myself and 2 work colleagues moved on the Nelson not knowing what to expect.

The pub is large with the bar to your right as you enter. A Ska dj was on “OLAS BOSS” so the pub was pretty full, most seemed local & to know each other.

No real ale on hand pull, the only hand pull they had was turned round. My pint of Smooth was fine and the barman was a very pleasant chap.

Garden / Smoking area out the back, fairly non-descript décor but a pleasant enough pub.

It’s close to work so I may return

23 Sep 2013 13:51

The Ivy House, Nunhead

My first visit to the re-opened Ivy House last night and I was blown away with the selection of ales on offer.

Truman's Runner, Brockley Brewery Pale Ale, Clarence & Fredericks Golden Ale, Late Knights ’By the Dawns Early Light, Dark Star Hophead, Five Points Pale, Brockley Brewery Gold and Rosie Pig Cider all on hand pull along with 3x Meantime, Pilsner Lager, London Pale Ale and Pacific Pale Ale, Camden Wit, London Fields Brewery Ale and Beavertown, Gamma Ray also on tap.

One slight criticism is that out of the group of 6 of us, there were 3 not so great pints pulled. Each pint was returned & changed by the bar staff with no fuss. I am sure the beer quality will improve.

As previously mentioned this pub is now locally owned by customers and supporters of the pub.

Even at 6pm the place has a nice atmosphere, the bar staff are courteous and attentive.

Old fashioned full wooden interior with mixed table and chairs, giving a nice urban feel to.

Stage for music in the back room and a dj stand.

This visit could signal the first of many.

18 Sep 2013 13:31

Moranos, Canons Park

Snug Irish bar just a minute from Canon's Park station.

I visited on a Saturday afternoon when Barnet were playing at home and the bar was made up mainly of football fans, all nice and friendly along with the locals that were gathered there for a few pints.

The decor is modern and welcoming, the young bar man working on he's was doing a great job.

No ale on hand pulls but they have John Smith's Smooth on draught and at £3.00 a pint it's a worthy replacement for 'proper ale'.

16 Sep 2013 13:21

Toronado, San Francisco

By far the best bar in Frisco and one of the best I have ever been in.

The on tap range is superb, almost all are American and a lot of these are from the surrounding states.

No food but you welcome to bring your own. There's a great hot dog / sausage shop next door.

Loud music provided by the juke box but it works and adds to the charm of the place.

Worth an hour's of anyone's time when in Frisco.

Simply excellent

12 Sep 2013 15:56

The Thirsty Bear, San Francisco

First stop on my recent visit to Frisco.

Brought my travelling party with me and everyone was very happy.

Great range of Thirsty Bear's beers, including a very good seasonal brew.

Reasonably priced but very good quality tapas makes it a great place to stop for a few beers and a bite to eat.

12 Sep 2013 15:52

Magnolia Pub and Brewery, San Francisco

Large brewpub and restaurant that was extremely busy on Labour Day when I visited.

The full selection of Magnolia's ales + a couple of guests were available.

Food looked and smelt good but I didn't have any.

All in all a very cool place and worth a stop

12 Sep 2013 15:50

Great Harry, Woolwich

Came in here last night (Wednesday) for the 1st time, It's blinking awful.

Poor un-attentive staff, all very young.

Dirty tables

Not a great range of ales which is unlike 'spoons, they advertised a pint as being "gold" but it clearly wasn't as the color was more like a mild. When I asked the bar maid what it was she said it's beer! I then asked her to find out the name and brewery, off she goes, comes back 2 minutes later and walks straight past me. I challenge her and she says she doesn't know so I gave up. God knows what it was I drank!

I won't be coming back but I'm sure they won't notice.

12 Sep 2013 13:26

Dial Arch, Woolwich

This is a large Young's pub in the old Royal Arsenal.

A superb building externally and internally, very historic and has a cool warehouse feel to it..

Music playing softly in the background.

8 pumps offering 6 different ales. 3x Young's, Bombardier, Charles Wells DNA and Directors. My pint of DNA was perfect but rather pricey @ £3.94 a pint.

Decent pub though and definitely a worthy addition to Woolwich

12 Sep 2013 13:22

The Wrong 'Un, Bexleyheath

Old style 'spoons that I haven't visited for over 15 years.

Still a decent pub with none of the plebs that frequent the Broadway pubs further up.

8 pumps offering ales with 4 of the pumps being given over to Adnams on my visit. I opted for the Fat Sprat Amber Ale and it did not disappoint. Again as expected a very reasonable £2.15 a pint.

All in a very decent pub / 'spoons...I understand the Robin Hood is the best, I'll be back on another day for that one.

8 Sep 2013 13:42

The Rose, Bexleyheath

Busy locals pub on the Broadway.

5 pumps offering 4 beers, Spitfire, Doom Bar, St Austell's Trelawny and Harvey's Best.

I opted for the Trelawny and to be honest I shouldn't have bothered. It had a slight vinegar taste which indicates it's on the way out.

Pleasant enough pub, attentive barmaids, tv on mute and juke box at a reasonable level.

Probably my one and only visit this lifetime.

8 Sep 2013 13:39

The Furze Wren, Bexleyheath

Very large 'Spoons by the bus terminus in the Broadway

10 pumps dispensing 7 ales and 2 ciders on my visit. 3 new beers on offer so I opted for a pint of Googly from Weltons at 4.2%.

As to be expected with 'Spoons all drinks at very reasonable prices.

Busy with a mixed crowd of shoppers and drinkers. Many families also eating but all the children were under control.

Fine on a Saturday afternoon but not my thing for a Friday or Saturday night as it does get a bit lively!

8 Sep 2013 13:37

The 21st Amendment, San Francisco

Came in twice in 3 days, this is an excellent brewery tap pub.

9 of their own ales and 1 cider from Two Rivers on tap. A choice of 4 own ales in cans and 3 guest bottles as well as a large range of spirits, wines and cocktails.

I had all but 1 of the ales on draught during my visits and I can't fault any of them.

Food is also very good and the ribs are superb, a real favorite with the wife!

All ales at $6.00 of a 12 oz pint.

All bar and serving staff very attentive and knowledgeable.

All in all definetly worth searching out when in the Bay Area.

4 Sep 2013 23:23

The White Cross, Richmond

My first visit to this large Young's pub on the river's edge.

Various pumps all dispensing Special, Bitter and Bombardier. My pint of Special was perfect.

Downstairs bar is a strange shape, busy on my Saturday tea time visit so standing spots were at a premium and seats even more so!

Nice building, large outside area but the weather wasn't so great so the majority of people were inside.

Quick and attentive bar staff, so no complaints re this place from me.

19 Aug 2013 13:52

The Richmal Crompton, Bromley

Since this place opened I have probably used it at least once every 2 months…and each time I vow not to return unless I’m blinking desperate….well I must be desperate as I keep returning when I’m in Bromley!

The choice of ales is always good and I’ve never had a bad pint.

Service can be very slow sometimes, even when it’s not a Friday or Saturday night, I suppose serving food is more important than the paying alcohol drinkers that keep pubs afloat.

Nearly always packed to the rafters at weekends, normally several under age looking drinkers. Occasionally there’s also trouble hence why the pub employs door staff.

13 Aug 2013 13:55