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Horniman at Hays, Southwark

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user reviews of the Horniman at Hays, Southwark

please note - reviews on this site are purely the opinion of site visitors, so don't take them too seriously.

Pretty big Nicholson's pub on the riverside end of Hay's Galleria. Some standing space outside by the river, which is OK in the summer. I used to work nearby, so I've been here a few times in the last few years.

Fairly busy on the Thursday evening I was there with mostly office workers having a drink in small groups. £3.95 for a pint of alright Doom Bar. The pub is OK, if unremarkable, but they still suffer from their age old problem of not having enough staff on. I've just had a look at the comments here going back to 2003 and by far the most common complaint is the slow service, a problem that appears to continue. The night I went they had 3 staff working between 6-7pm which I think is just not enough for a pub of this size with this many customers. I had to wait ages to get served.

This pub basically keeps going due to the captured market of thousands of local office workers and passing tourists. It's a classic example of a corporate pub, without much charm and inadequately staffed - all in a prime, fail safe location. It probably makes loads of money. 4/10.
Goldings - 16 Jan 2014 14:06
Fantastic location. A few decent ales and london pride was fine. My barman looked very tired, but was polite. I was a tourist.
Mappiman - 19 Jun 2013 21:24
Basically a massive pub with plenty of passing trade and trade from local offices, so if you have any kind of complaint, they won't care.

I was there with a group, we were served a bowl of chips which was half full. We asked the manager about it and he was extremely rude and dismissive. Value for money here is terrible and he told us he wouldn't replace the chips. So rude. Don't bother going here.
londonsu - 2 Nov 2012 08:04
Not enought staff - but can't believe someone has seriously made a comment about pub/bar staff in London being foreign. Maybe they don't get out much.
Mickburr - 24 Oct 2011 11:48
not a bad pub...would be better without the tourists who seem to take up the outside seating and sit and talk for hours with their COFFEE!
Otherwise it not a bad pub - good location, good beer. Staff were ok....mostly foreign...had to ask for a top up on the ale..Another Nicholsons pub..
d.franks - 8 Oct 2011 17:02
It seems to me that the staff couldn't care less due their complacement attitude re: the "tourist" trade. Appalling service. I'm surprised that "Marcus" is actually still employed by Nicholsons. Rude, ignorant and quite frankly disinterested. A Friday lunchtime in a bar this size, only staffed by two bar staff. An orderly queue formed. My friend (eventually) ordered lunch which was 45 minutes in arriving at the table (outside). Said lunch was cancelled due to the fact we had to go back to work. Again - staff disinterested. Marcus is NOT the manager by the way. I could go on. However, my view on this place is that they really couldn't care less - as they are relying on the tourist trade due to the location so every day is a different punter (vernacular). If you want a nice view and don't mind waiting 20/30 mins to get served (don't bother ordering food) then yes, very nice only if you do manage to get a seat outside. Other than that - bring your own and sit on the one of the benches.
bluegirl26 - 2 Sep 2011 15:50
A large and expansive Nicholsonís pub alongside the Thames. There is limited seating around the perimeter at entrance level with the main bar area down a few steps, although this is a pleasant elevated position to sit and watch the rest of the pub. There are four large pillars at the front of the pub which makes negotiating the seating here slightly tricky.

This main bar area is a large open space with four big chandeliers, an ornate plastered ceiling and an impressive wood panelled back drop to the bar with an integral clock built in to the top. There is a strip painting on the wall above the bar, and this continues around the side. The floor of the bar is tiled, with a couple of large inlaid brass plaques bearing an ďHHĒ motif. I only spotted one plasma which was turned off, and discretely disguised with a brown leather surround to it!

At the left hand end is an upper area with a good view of the bar, and below this another bar area that was crammed full of small square tables and chairs. There is also a good amount of outside seating adjacent to the river.

Food offering seems to be a standard Nicholsonís affair, which nonetheless offers a good selection of ďpub grubĒ at reasonable prices, although here the prices seemed to be a pound or so higher than some of their other outlets. I guess thatís the price you pay for a riverside setting. A queuing system seemed to have developed at the bar, with all punters waiting patiently to order at one of the two till points at the end. Iím not sure if this is always the case as I didnít see any signs to this effect, but it worked well enough.

There was an excellent choice of beers on tap as follows Ė Doom Bar, London Pride, Jaipur, Timothy Taylor Landlord, Butcombe Old Vic, Brainís Milkwood, Coach House Gunpowder Mild, Caledonian Flying Dutchman, St. Austell Proper Job, Adnams Lighthouse and finally Honey Blond which is apparently brewed exclusively for them by Thornbridge. After this, the choice of ciders was slightly disappointing with just Aspallís Suffolk.
Blackthorn - 28 Mar 2011 10:08
Busy last evening and many of the hand pumps were actually working. There were no rules about where to queue and everyone seemed to get served fairly quickly - so maybe Stevepb's complaints have done some good.
GrahamA - 15 Jan 2011 07:36
I've been in here- vast expanse of a place in which hoardes of dazed foreigners abound wondering why britiain is the only country in the world outside the british isles with no waiter service- ages to wait to get served and if the staff spoke english it might help them to provide a more welcoming service- oh well- this is what Britain has become- a machine- beer was ok
alezilla - 8 Jan 2011 19:12
The views from outside are brilliant, unfortunately I left them behind and entered the place. Friday evening so it was busy, but the staff slow and disinterested, didn't see one of them smile all night. Once the pub emptied a bit I thought it would be easier to get a drink, ah no! Several of the bar staff when missing and the 2 remaining refused to serve anyone who did not queue in the centre of the bar, therefore making it as long as before to get served, and to be honest the standard of the ale served was not worth the wait. Oh, and the cleaning agent they use, the pub smells of cheesy feet!
I will not be returning, it's basically a rip off tourist trap which gives London a bad name. What a great shame, ideal location terribly spoilt by uncaring staff and management.
ian09 - 8 Jan 2011 18:19
Called in as part of the Dick Whittington ale trail and been back since. Very busy pub right next to HMS Belfast, good atmosphere inside, service was quick and no complaints with the beer. First time there had a fish platter to share which was very good, usual Nicholsons fayre. Nice place to sit by the river and watch life over a beer a three!!

Only observation was despite having a large selection of beers some pumps weren't in use, seemed that they were showing whats coming soon rather than what was available.
phill1110 - 10 Oct 2010 18:21
Me and my partner visited this pub as it was the pub we had our first date in a year ago. Generally the pub was busy, being a warm day all the outside seating was taken, so we decided to sit upstairs in the mezzanine area. Unfortunately, as we found out after taking a seat by a window, we could not sit there without ordering food.

After asking for a reason why to several staff members, I was finally pointed towards the manager who would explain it. Needless to say, I got the same stock reply, ' it's a restaurant '. When I challenged her on this and asked what pub chain ran them, she became very aggressive, stating that I had had a bad day and I shouldn't be rude to her. When I mentioned the reason why we sat there was that there where no seats downstairs available, she took a look around the pub, pointed to a table near the toilet door and sneered that there was one there.

Shocking service from someone who is supposed to be the manager. A little bit more of an explanation, such as the fact they offer full table service in this area opposed to ordering at the bar and the fact that there should have been a member of staff at the head of the stairs to explain this would have been all it needed.

Other negatives where half the beers not working, but I was ordering Bulmers fortunately and one half the bar closed due to refrigeration issues.

On a positive note towards M&B pubs, after putting in this complaint I have had a phone call from one of their regional managers and have been offered a meal to make up for the poor service.

Shame as the pub is a nice little place that just needs a decent management team to sort it out.

Stevepb - 30 Jul 2010 12:49
This pub has history and therefore some reputation and is included in several pub walk itineries, including those of CAMRA. It seems superficially smart and expensively fitted out and on the face of it a pleasant environment, but on my visit on 27.07.10, after tasting a number of ales, I settled on a pint of Taylor's Landlord which was at least drinkable (the others weren't). Not a place I would revisit.
Stamfordian - 29 Jul 2010 10:24
If this isn't the worst pub in London I don't know what is. Horrible. Full of toursits with massive suitcases, you can hardly move in the pub, full of idiots in suits, terrible decor..........
richakn - 24 Jun 2010 21:08
I have been to this pub a few times as it is very close to my office - I shall not be returning!! My friend and I had just shared a bowl of very average potato wedges - when we were visited by a mouse, who was very content munching away on leftovers. I alerted a member of staff of the mouse who just looked shocked and ran away - we then asked for the manager - she came over to us and before we could say anything began her defensive tyraid, saying if we ask for the door to be opened then mice will come in (the door was closed and we didn't ask for it to be opened!) apparently the whole of the Hay's Galleria has mice and so do the other pubs in the area (I'm sure they would be happy to hear that!) and that we should look at her book that says they do not have rodents. Overall the manager was rude and agressive and I would rather have spoken to the mouse - who by all accounts seemed very happy - a lot happier than the customers who they are not afraid of loosing with their shocking attitude.
Rhe - 15 Nov 2009 18:35
Popped in here for a half on the way back to Fenchurch St. Was rather taken with the place and vowed to return sometime soon. Good choice of ales although a number were unavailable on a busy sunday afternoon. Will try the food next time.
ButchEgg - 8 Oct 2009 15:20
I agree with the other posts about the fantastic decor and great views over the Thames but it's very frustrating waiting to get served there. There's an impressive 7 ales available though the food was decent and the service prompt.

Is it worth a visit? Yes even though it may be flooded with tourists but with the range of beers and amazing London scenery who cares..?!?

wezmiester - 9 Sep 2009 08:26
I like this pub when it is not full to bursting. Being a Nicholsons pub you know what you are getting.
A good selection of real ales And typical Nicholson menu. This one is a fish pub.
he bar is set down low and there is seating at street level around the windows.
Onee comment is there never seems to be enough bar staff so you may have to wait a while to be served.
CambridgeBlue - 7 Sep 2009 12:22
Big soulless pub serving pretty good beer.
crossfield - 13 Jul 2009 15:49
I have finally given up on this place.

As usual, terrible service. Very slow, despite bar being only moderately busy - bar staff incapable of multi-tasking or even remembering who was next etc.

Eventually after 15mins of waiting, arrived two of the flattest pints of lager ever to be seen. Could not be arsed to go through the rigamarole of getting them replaced, as I just wanted to leave. However, idiotic bar staff gave me too much change, so didn't feel bad about leaving our beers only half drunk.

What a shame, decor is nice, location is good, and the pies are brilliant, if you can actually manage to put an order in.
Rayzer - 26 Jun 2009 16:36
Large Tourist pub situated on the Banks of the Thames. Nicely decorated with Chanderlers and a mezzamine,but as it was a summers evening I joined the others on the Riverbank Terrace. This was packed (NOT BIG ENOUGH). London Pride, Timithy Taylor Landlord, Jennings Cumberland. Would go back when it was quiter and it was packed with Tourists and City Worker alike. Beer got warm quickly and I had the last pint of London Pride before it went. On reflection should have refused it because it was not up to much and I am afraid the Thames got almost half of it.
Bitter_Man - 19 Jun 2009 10:46
An update on my earlier post

I complained to the brewery about the insinuation that there had been an attempt to con the pub

Although it took a time the pub manager rang me - apologised and said if I came in again I'd get a free drink or two. Whilst I wasn't that keen to go back I did feel that they had my money and so it wasn't unreasonable to get something for it

The duty manager was very nice and I did got more than my money's worth

I have to say the attitude of the manager and duty manager was very good indeed!
NeilC - 11 Jun 2009 14:29
I have been there twice recently once on a friday night and it was predictably rammed but not the worst pub by a stretch. Then for sunday lunch, which was not too bad but we were there earlish.

Service was fairly slow both times and the staff have no desire to do anything but the bare minnimum. No check back when we were eating, no engagement at all with us as diners. Food wasn't bad but could have been a lot better. Basically its a cheap watering hole that serves food for people who have had a few pints and want dinner. I would go there again but not deliberately to eat.

Harleenquinzel - 4 Jun 2009 09:41
Had a bad night in here last night. My friend took 20 minutes to get served, a number of the beers weren't on and I am pretty sure I was short changed.

I thought I'd given the barman a £20 note but got change as for a tenner. When I queried it the guy next to me waiting to be served confirmed that I had handed over a twenty. This was disputed by the bar staff and they went away and cashed up the till and came back and said, in fact, they were a fiver down. Clearly they thought me and the guy next to me at the vbar were in cahoote - which we weren't. From their pov I can see that people will try this on and they have to be suspicious (and good on them for cahing the till up - they could have just faced me down) but it left me with a bad taste

I think it's easy for the pub not to have to try too hard. It's got a great position and they will always get passing trade tourist and Londoner alike.

I've used it quite a bit in the past (including hiring part if the pub) but won't be passing through their doors again. Nor will the friends I were with

I suspect that this won't bother them one iota
NeilC - 16 Apr 2009 12:18
Best on a Sunday evening due to the fact it's reasonably quiet. However they do seem to run out of some of the beer...two of the guest ales were off as was the London Pride. I just about got a pint of Jennings before it had run out but the barmaid was very careful to make sure it had settled properly before serving it.
Generally a good pub, fair prices and despite the reports of mice i'm still going to try the food next time.
Griff3375 - 8 Mar 2009 23:57
I wouldn't eat here if I was dying from starvation...... passed 10pm you can see mice running around everywhere. If you can see them running around in the pub when people are around, can you imagine what it's like out back???
No word of a lie, I spotted 9 in less than a minute.

bev9428 - 12 Feb 2009 13:48
They had a nice pint of Sharp's Doom Bar when I visited in the week, I reckon the pub is much better than its 4.2 rating. Yeah it was full of suits and tourists but most places are...
oldstein - 8 Feb 2009 11:08
True Story. My sisters, my partner and my three kids were all visiting a friend who works near Hays galleria. My sisters were visiting from Switzerland and Germany, It was 30th December, so they wanted a day in London and traditional pub lunch. We went into the Hornimans and were served by Marcus who identified himself as the manager. My six year old was thirsty and my partner had a sigg(like flask) bottle of water from home and gave her a sip. We asked Marcus for some tap water. He saw our kid take a sip. He then refused to serve us, took back all 8 drinks we had paid for, through them down the sink and asked us to leave for giving our six year old a sip of her own water. All those present were horrified at this man's behaviour, we asked for the manager and he said he was the manager. Other people said they would never come back. He did not care. We get tourist trade, why do we care was the response. Why should anyone put up with this kind of service? He through out 8 people and lost our business because our daughter wanted a drink. You decide.
kfaizi - 12 Jan 2009 12:42
I think many of the reviews are a little too harsh. Granted, among others there are a couple of "exchange students" behind the bar, but the publican himself is genuine enough, and all staff have been very friendly and helpful when I've been there (maybe half a dozen times in the past couple of years, it isn't local to me). I also have no complaints about the food, my brother and I had a very nice meal there yesterday, and the pork belly is highly recommended -- perfectly cooked and very tasty (and rich, as it should be).

Beerwise, the usual complement of stuff under pressure, plus a good range of familiar ales as well as a good selection of guest ales, and you can have a taste before you buy.

Pricewise, very reasonable considering the area and the phenomenal views of the Thames.

bilse - 25 Dec 2008 19:23
Location is ideal, views are great across the river, only the staff are very very slow, couldn't understand English, didn't know the menu or the ales that they sold. Won't be going there again, unless I read that the service has drastically changed.
Firpo - 5 Dec 2008 19:40
To quote Cathrine tate " whaaaaaaat a shithole" , ages to get served , blocked toilet, over cooked inedible food. worst of the area. we wont do lunch here again
The_Pub_Inspector - 26 Nov 2008 18:09
better than i expected considering the inevitably touristy location! fast friendly service and i love the mock-victorian gin palace interior.
mozzzzzz - 10 Oct 2008 16:57
Went in there last Friday - there were plenty of staff, but still had to wait ages to be served. Aslo had some food - ordered cheese and bacon edges and they arrived with a whole rasher of bacon dumped on the top - what's that all about?! Won't be going back, if I can help it
battybat - 22 Aug 2008 21:13
Went in there last Friday - there were plenty of staff, but still had to wait ages to be served. Aslo had some food - ordered chesse and bacon edges and they arrived with a whole rasher of bacon dumped on the top - what's that all about?! Won't be going back, if I can help it
battybat - 22 Aug 2008 21:13
Nice pub, great location but sort out the service. Total let down.
cider_murray - 8 Aug 2008 14:50
Popped in for a quick pint on the way to The Ceremony of the Keys at the Tower of London. Great location by the river but so busy it ruined the atmosphere somewhat.

The Timothy Taylor Ale was superb and well priced - under £3 which is a plesant surprise in the city.
Doyler - 8 Jul 2008 09:48
Ė good range of bitters at prices that are average for this area
- err, thatís it

- Suits paying with a credit card
- running out of certain beers by 7PM
- waiting 20 minutes to be served
- everything else.

An awful pub. Wont be going there again.
topcat455 - 24 Jun 2008 16:32
I once managed to get served here. People still write to me about it.

But seriously, I wish they'd have just one bar person doing all the suit's credit card payments. And then the rest of the staff serving us normal human beings who take cash into the pub and therefore don't hold everyone up with pin numbers and receipts and all the rest of their city b****it.
ronmanager - 5 Jun 2008 16:28
Urrrgh Nicholsons strikes again....lovely interior, thats about where it rubbish, staff rubbish, just an expensive tourist trap really.
mrse1 - 22 May 2008 16:37
Visited this pub about 3 years ago and I remember then that the service was terrible. Nothing has changed. In fact I think it's actually got worse.

Avoid at all costs. If you want to drink on the river, walk in the direction of Waterloo, plenty of decent pubs there.

....and serving wine in plastic glasses while sitting in side, what's that all about??

Sorry, never again.
Withnail_I - 16 May 2008 13:13
Further to Mercurial's post....

I was the one who went back to complain. The member of staff was adamant that the beer was Bombardier. When I pointed out that (for starters) it was the wrong colour, she went off to consult "a manager". When she returned, we were issued with a refund.

Nice location, otherwise hopeless. Avoid.
Pub_Inspector_2 - 14 May 2008 14:21
Visited yesterday afternoon when the weather was really pulling the punters in. Service was a bit slow, despite being the only customer waiting at that particular moment and the girl behind the bar was very unsure of what she was doing. That said, the location is excellent, the staff were polite and friendly and the pub itself is smart with a decent atmosphere.
Will certainly give it another go.
Wheel154 - 13 May 2008 15:15
Disappointing. Generally I'm a fan of Nicholson's pubs - a better chain than most. This place has a lovely location on the south side of the Thames alongside HMS Belfast.

So I expect it to be busy. And touristy. And on a sunny May Saturday evening it was both, although hardly full to bursting. But as previous posters mention, long on bar, short on staff. Fortunately, someone else was doing the waiting for me, so I left them to it., and joined my co-alcoholics outside. And given the length of time before the drinks-wallah reappeared outside, the service was obviously slow.

And then there was the beer. 'What do you want?', my friend asked. 'Surprise me.' I replied. And they did.

'Name that beer.' they said. Very pale, watery, with a taste of ginger. 'Hmmm, not sure' I said.

'Bombadier' came the answer. I DON'T think so. But it definitely came off the Bombadier tap. And I won't even go into what happened when they returned the drinks to complain.

Disappointing for a Nicholsons. I would like to think its a one off, but previous posters suggest otherwise.
Mercurial - 13 May 2008 09:28
Went in this place without having read the below reviews and I concur wholeheartedly about the awful service. It's a big pub with lots of tourist custom and a long bar, so it doesn't take a genius to work out that you'll need quite a few people pulling pints to keep up. Instead we had just two, both of whom were doing their best but were quite unequal to the task. No shortage of staff elsewhere in the place, but none of them seemed interested in helping out. Which is a pity because Nicholson's pubs are usually reasonable, and this one looked to have a better ale selection than most (five or six on the pump including two or three interesting-looking guests; I wasn't drinking so can't comment on the quality).
grecian - 21 Apr 2008 10:06
Whoever said the service here was slow dramatically underestimated the situation. Went on a quietish Tuesday night and the wait was so long that strangers were teaming up with each other at the bar so that whoever got served first would get the round for everyone. This is great for social networking but no way to run a pub, however what does the landlord care? With the location there'll always be enough gullible tourists to keep the tills ticking over. Shame as it could be a great pub.
usualdog - 9 Apr 2008 10:03
Very good selection of ales, haven't had problems with slow service when I've been there - guess I've been lucky. Food was good too.

Really good location, and you can sit outside by HMS Belfast and the Thames. If I had the time I'd probably rather head into the pubs in Borough nearby, but for a quick pint or two its fine.
old_at_heart - 4 Apr 2008 18:24
The service in there yesterday was fine, so I hope this will help balance the comments out a bit.
john_the_jester - 18 Dec 2007 13:34
Agree with what others have said about the wait. Can be awful. Location is nice, decent sized pub and right by my work but apart from that not too much going for it
Tim76 - 21 Jun 2007 12:03
Visited here last Friday, and have to say that the service was so slow that I gave up and went elsewhere after 15 minutes waiting. The staff seem completely useless & poorly organised, also there aren't enough of them to cope with the number of customers in this prime riverside location.

A customer in front of me was kept waiting 10 minutes for his change after queuing for ages to be served, the barman who took his money disappeared and other members of staff seemed to find it amusing when he complained ! Won't be going back.
sam_buca - 28 May 2007 17:05
Interesting to see that people are still suffering from slow service here. I used to go there fairly regularly about 10 years ago and the appalling service is one of the reasons I haven't been back since. It boasts one of the longest bars you could wish to see.Sadly, it is almost impossible to get served at it.
It's a shame because as others have said, the location means this pub should have a lot going for it.
Cover_Point - 21 Mar 2007 10:59
Outside at the tables provides a wonderful view of the Thames. Typical range of ales. We had GK IPA and Pride. Even though I am not a fan of GK, both were good. My wife really enjoyed the outdoor ambiance.
endoderm - 24 Feb 2007 16:42
I took some colleagues there today for what was supposed to be a quick lunch. 25 mins after ordering simple food, I asked the bar staff to check on the progress, 10 mins after that we asked again as we had no response. 45 mins after ordering, the food arrived, not only lacking in taste, but also lacking an apology for the delay. Upon paying, i complained to the manageress. It turns out that they had a problem with the electronics on the till that attaches to the kitchen. I appreciate things go wrong, but for christs sake let us know what is happening! Because of their lack of communication with the customer, they will lose out. I also thought that when I approached the bar staff initially, there was a feeling off 'i couldn't give a toss'.
I shaln't spend another penny there.
moaneytony - 18 Jan 2007 16:30
This pub is not as bad as a '4.0'! The location gives it a great deal of kudos - who wants a great pub that looks out onto the M25, for example (is there one?) The wood flooring is nice, the bar is long and interesting, and the non-smoking balcony area is large and pleasant to be in. Yes, it's full of suits but, as I often find myself writing, if you don't like suits, don't go drinking in London Bridge - it's a no-brainer really!

With two pubs closed (for refurbishment?) on Tooley St., this is by far the best pub in spitting distance of London Bridge, has good beers and when one considers it could easily be a Slug & Lettuce or an All Bar One, it should be given a lot more credit than it seems to have received so far.
sirensofsilence - 8 Jan 2007 22:45
Great location. Awful soul-less decor. I had a warm glass of house white that tasted extremely average. Clientelle mainly suits talking business so I sat outside taking in the pubs only redeaming feature...the wonderful view of The Thames & the beautiful red glow from the lights on London Bridge.
iggy - 11 Oct 2006 14:12
Great location, but that's the only good thing I can say about this place. Bar staff are completely unhelpful and unbelievably slow. Last time I went there I actually walked out as there looked like no chance of ever getting served. It wasn't even that busy.
andrewm - 14 Sep 2006 14:21
Have to agree with those below - fantastic location spoiled by a terrible bar. Service was polite though... just v slow and there's no character to the place. Don't think they'll bother to do anything as the location means it will always be busy which is a shame.
KatrinaD - 5 Sep 2006 18:10
Having worked in Hays galleria in one of the offices for 3 years I used to have to use this at lunch just because of its location. The only pub I could get to without getting wet if it was raining! It is poor and as stated before the service is the main problem. Its not cheap either! best left for the tourists who no doubt think it is a traditonal english pub.
Tomi - 29 Aug 2006 17:01
What a disappointment - as someone has noted before - this could be such a great pub. Went there with small group of friends (6) for some evening drinks. Some of us hadn't eaten, so at 9.30 decided to order food (posters stated food served until 10). Asked at the bar - met with a dismissive "No" and barmaid just walked away! Tried to enquire further and told that had taken a large order and the chef wasn't going to cook anymore!

Constantly hassled by staff to move inside at least 40mins before the stated time to clear the outside - suspect they couldn't be bothered to wait.

Beer OK, but not brilliant.

Just get the feeling that no one that works there gives a damn, including the manager. Would not go back there.
philknox - 14 Aug 2006 18:38
Oh dear, oh dear. First visited when I began work nearby a year ago, and haven't been back since. Beers are average, service is poor (I dare you to try and get served after work on a Friday night), food cold and unappetising, the staff are as miserable as sin...Do you want me to go on? No? Good, because it's just depressing.

Full of w***ers too.
burnsy - 17 May 2006 13:28
Bad, bad, bad beyond belief....scruffy, rude, slow inattentive staff. Try to get a drink when the sun is shining. I dare ya!

Have been twice. Won't be back.
anonymous - 25 Apr 2006 10:24
pleasantly suprised - good quality beer, fair prices (considering its touristy location) cant comment on food as not tried, the wine list seems very competively priced - worth dropping by if your in the area - but not a patch on the Market Porter - but then is any other pub around this part of London ??

moclips2002 - 9 Apr 2006 12:56
Visited 10 Nov 05. I read all the reviews before coming here, and was fearing the worst. It was busy, and there were arguably too few staff, but they kept on eye the order that people arrived at the bar. Consequently I didn't feel that I had to wait too long, and the service was friendly.

Four real ales were on offer, but I felt that there was not a great deal of thought given to the range. All four were of a type, easy drinking session beers, nothing wrong in that, but if you have the facilities, surely you would want to serve a variety of styles. For what it's worth the Smiles Bristol Blond was in good condition.
cackgsy - 11 Nov 2005 08:57
Food was served cold-ish on a hot plate (obviously not reheated properly) - a relatively trivial issue that is easy to fix, you'd think. No.

Bar staff totally dis-interested in acknowledging the problem. Asked to see manager, still the staff made no effort. Eventually, after getting a bit antsy the manager finally makes an appearance - although I had to go to her, she couldn't manage to make it to the table. It soon became clear she also didn't care. Throughout all this, not once could someone manage an apology - which is all it would have taken to make things better.

In the meantime, someone at a neighbouring table accidentally smashed an empty pint glass on the floor. Staff members carefully picked their way round the debris rather than go to the effort of clearing it up; the shards remained there until closing time.

In summary - the staff clearly don't give a toss about their customers or the environment. Pretty pathetic. Given the location, this *could* be a fantastic pub. Unfortunately, it isn't.

ptofp - 24 Oct 2005 16:22
A mouse was scurrying around by our table so I politely told the waiter. He simply shrugged his shoulders and said "What do you want me to do about it?". The manager was no more apologetic.
olly8910 - 17 Oct 2005 09:18
Not too much to say that has not already been said; the location is wonderful with good views of the thames; the prices are also reasonable for the area.
On the down side, service genuinely does take ages most of the time and the staff tend to be a little grumpy. The food is of low average quality.
lennie384 - 28 Sep 2005 12:26
Absolutely dreadful! Impressive decor and proximity to the Thames but there was a twenty-five minute wait for every drink. The busier this pub got, the fewer the available staff. Perhaps close the kitchen earlier and concentrate on good bar service. Don't be tempted; the poor service and condition of the toilets was enough to ensure I will not be drinking in this pub again. Make the most of the passing tourist trade, Nicholsons.
Jhn1 - 18 Aug 2005 14:26
Nice pub... shame about the staff. Yes its busy, and the landlady tries, but basically, they need more staff, especially on Friday nights.
And while we're on the subject of the staff, I actually saw one of the barmen pick his nose and wipe it on the bar. I've not been back since!
Nailed - 30 Jun 2005 12:06
Unbelievably poor service - staff who move at a snails pace and don't keep an eye on the heaving queues of customers. Its a shame as it has the potential to be a nice boozer by the river, albeit touristy as... When I was there, my food went missing, and it took up to 40mins to get served at the bar and I had to argue with staff in order to get my money back re: food. regardless of view, I won't be going back there - I go to work to get stressed!
scat - 24 Jun 2005 12:33
Was in there only yesterday (15-06-05) and spent 15 bloody minutes waiting at the bar and it wasn't that busy. I'm just glad it was my day off or I would never go there for lunch. A pity as it is a lovely pub in a perfect setting. But the fact that it has little or no competition could be why the service is so poor.
peterg - 16 Jun 2005 14:50
10/10 for location. 5/10 for everything else.
alister - 30 Jan 2005 12:44
nice pub good decor, food took far too long for what it was...lovely pink haired barmaid though...shame about the boys!
swinging through - 4 Aug 2004 23:15
My particular impression was how long it took to get served too, even when it wasn't busy. Food took ages too so if you're pushed for time in your lunch hour I wouldn't bother. Otherwise, nice position and the galleria next door is a vast improvement on what it used to be like around there.
homer - 16 May 2004 19:11
I agree with the previous posting regarding bar service. You'll grow a beard in the time it takes to get served.

It's nice during the day for a drink and a gander at the HMS Belfast. They sell Hoegaarden too!

Wouldn't eat there personally, as me and my workmates have watched the odd rodent dashing around (this might have something to do with gaps under the doors though rather than hygeine).
Mark - 12 Mar 2004 21:03
Yes it's beautiful, yes it's by the river, but boy oh boy it's packed! In the summer of course this isn't too bad as you normally secure a riverside seat amongst the Spanish tourists taking pictures of HMS Belfast, but when the temperatures drop, so do your chances of finding anywhere to sit that isn't going to cause a fight. And as for getting served, do what I do and hoard a number of pints every time you go to the bar otherwise you'll sober up in between drinks whilst attempting in vain to attract the over worked bar staff. Expensive pints of always decent beer are available, as are shelves full of useless tat masquerading as character. My advice, this is a great pub, but for a quiet pint in relaxing surroundings, you're better off sipping a small sherry in a rugby scrum.
Agnes - 21 Oct 2003 16:16
large pub with good views. Food is good too
justvisiting - 17 Oct 2003 13:37
Beautiful views, beautiful bar

simon - 27 Sep 2003 15:30
great pub on the river....very nice to chill out in the day-time
Sarah - 17 Apr 2003 16:13

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