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BITE user comments - spit_the_dog

Comments by spit_the_dog

The Sun, Saffron Walden

The Sun has closed and has had the metal shutters treatment, which does not bode well for it's future as a pub.

26 Jul 2011 17:27

The Queens Head, Littlebury

My local, which I sadly don't get into enough. The Queens Head has changed hands many times over the past 15 years. It was a very decent Good Pub Guide free house with really good food, but the landlord's brother (the chef) ran off with the landlady and it all fell apart, changed a tenanted/managed house, with various, mainly large brewery owners, the chains fleecing a variety of well meaning and hard working landlords/ladies over the years.
A very old, nice looking inn, with decent rooms, a restaurant area (I used the restaurant a couple of times, a few years ago now, and the food was good then) the usual bar food/snacks, and most importantly, a well kept cellar.
Sometimes it could get very quiet (the fault of people like me), and had a touch of the "Slaughtered Lamb" about it, but the standard of the beer served here has remained consistently high. The current managers have really put great effort into making it a success, running quiz nights, theme evenings and similar, so if you like that kind of thing you're often be in luck .
Though a proper traditional pub, with a couple of outsize original open fires, it does have a few mod cons like decent flat screen tellies (not 50" jobs, but in keeping with the size of the bar) which get turned on for special sports events, and an electronic dart board (a couple of darts teams are in the local leagues) large and attractive garden, and an occasional bouncy castle for the small pubsters.
The rooms are up the narrow stairs, and are not big, but clean (I had a look when planning a possible family event), and apparantly much in demand by people going to the open air concerts up the road at Audley End.
Has a loyal local following, as well as many from the villages round about, and is the after match venue for the local cricket team.
Watch it when turning right out of the car park, as the visibility is not good, and the main road suffers from speedsters, but you could always go left and left again to get back to the main round in 2 mins.

17 Jun 2010 15:35

The Crocus, Saffron Walden

Friday-night visit for band, so was pretty busy. Feels like a "locals" pub, but none the worse for that, as it had a friendly atmosphere - not a "slaughtered Lamb". Friendly, efficient, bar staff including an attractive barmaid - sorry, barperson.
Guinness was fine, if a bit cold, otherwise a typical mainstream selection.
New management are making a big effort, and have brightened the main bar up, so it no longer has the gloomy feel that traditional "fag brown stain" pub paintwork offers. Hopefully they will also be a bit more adventurous with the beers on offer.
Bogs (gents anyhow) clean and tidy.
Delux darts kit indicates the thriving darts teams (the Crocus are in at least the local leagues). Also pool tables / teams.

1 Mar 2010 11:19

O'Neills, Leytonstone

Two recent daytime visits for the 6 nations rugby, so friendly amosphere. Guinness (ordinairy) great value at 2.07p / pint, a bit cold, not much of a bitter seclection on the day (just very cold IPA). Pretty rapid and fairly friendly service. Lots of screens offering a decent view, and mate who is local says they opened up another big room with very large screen, but we didn't go in there. Stinky bog, though clean looking, and all the soaps/drier in order. Food looked OK. Overall, OK, but not sure I'd want to go there just for the beer.

1 Mar 2010 10:40

The Bluebell Inn, Hempstead

I've been in this pub a few times over the last three months. I'm not sure if the same people run this as were in charge when the food problems happened, but I have to say I found the welcome, food, cleanliness and service all top notch.
The pub has an authentic old pub feel, not at all pseudo-"olde worlde", relaxing atmosphere and genuinely friendly staff. The landlord is often behind the bar in the evenings (the only time of day I've been in).
The beer was also good - as far as I could tell, being the driver I've so far been restricted to single pints of bitter shandy.
The Bluebell has local folk / traditional musicians every Tuesday night (and special guest acts at other times) , who come in and do an informal "jamming" session.
Don't be put off - I'm not a folk fanatic but really enjoyed their performances. They all seem to be very good (definitely not just some bloke/girl strumming weedily), with a mix of instruments. There is still plenty of room to sit and sip even when they are in full swing.
The pub has an international reputation for the quality of the music.

22 Feb 2008 11:42

Hardys Freehouse, Greenwich

Has changed hands recently and this might not be good news for those looking forward to the friendly Irish welcome.
One of the great features of this place was the vibe - you really felt they weren't just after your money 'till twenty past eleven and then lights up and out the door.
The mix of different types was great too - everyone just rubbed along fine. It would be a shame if it turned into just another boozer.
It's still early days, so they deserve a chance.
The bar staff are willing and seem pretty capable, and the Guinness is OK - although the "normal" (not ice cold) option has gone.

15 Oct 2007 18:54

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