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Colonies, Westminster

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user reviews of the Colonies, Westminster

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

It's okay for a GK pub but still didn't fancy risking the ale so went for a lager here. Plenty of screens for watching footy but it closes at 7pm on a Sat night.
Snarling_Mallard - 4 Dec 2016 12:07
Went in here for the first time on Friday evening after work.

I liked it. It was busy, but the bar service coped well, and the beer was crisp and refreshing.
AshingdonMan - 28 Nov 2011 15:08
Dropped in at lunchtime on a shopping trip. A decent enough pub — though, for a cider drinker, a pint of Aspall works out very expensive, because they only have the 330 ml bottles. Service and baked potato were both excellent.

Not a destination pub for me, but if in the area I would visit it again.
Lizzie13 - 3 Nov 2011 19:50
When I used this pub whilst working in Buckingham Gate years ago the landlord looked like Ken Bates. He wasn't pleased if you told him so (understandable, really). It was a reasonable place though.
jagsfan - 7 Jul 2011 12:35
If you can find this place then you're onto a good number - I did on a packed Friday night and although I hate busy, busy pubs then the crack was good and the real ale flowed magnificently. It's not cheap but it';s that part of town and it's full of government types, civil servants and TFL/LUL bosses and management. Once it quietened down then it's a nice place to relax and enjoy the beers.
Mcloj - 13 Apr 2011 13:00
Definitely worth a look if you're searching for Pubs near Victoria Stn. Plenty of room out back for Summer time. Gets crowded early evening, but soon thins out. All very friendly beer all okay.
Fractionale - 11 Apr 2011 11:07
Apologies kevmad for my mistake during my rant!

purpletia - 18 Feb 2011 15:02
Err Purpletia can you please explain how "eastern Europeans" are a nation?????
kevmac - 28 Jan 2011 16:47
Its a shame that people who drink in London pubs don't realise that most of the workforce in the pubs of London are foreign, and choose to use this as a chance to blame everything on them and generalise about a nation i.e Eastern Europeans. The fact is that they are the ones who want to work!
The food there is one of the cheapest in the area, always freshly cooked and very tasty.
The place has had a refurb and has a lovely warm atmosphere, and a great atmosphere on a busy night.
For such a small pub and a small bar I think they have plenty of staff on, sometimes 6 on a busy night (which with only two tills in a 20 foot bar is plenty), and I have never had a problem being served. In fact its a pleasure when someone asks me at my table if they can fetch me a drink from the bar.
I think Jeremy007 maybe went during the World Cup and how dare they have flags up and be pushing sport during a 4 yearly sporting event!!
Maybe he should start drinkning in a more sedate, quiet and boring pubs more suited to his taste.
purpletia - 28 Jan 2011 11:18
Went to The Colonies tonight for the second time (first trip was fine)

When I went to the bar the barman wandered off and took a few minutes to come back.

Then they decided to close at 9.50. brilliant.

He did ask how we felt about that, i said well it doesn't really matter we don't have a choice do we. He said well no not really.

won't be going back.......
popjoy - 22 Nov 2010 22:54
This pub has got steadily worse for several years now. I have been there many times and eaten lunch on at least 6 separate occaisons. My office is in Buckingham gate so this is one of the local pubs for the office community in St James Park/Victoria.

It is well hidden and missed by the tourists being situated between Palace Street and Buckingham Gate. They pride themselves on serving popular quality beers. The real problem is the staff.

Sadly, for the past year any decent employees have left in favour of lazy and moody Eastern Europeans. The service is slow and tardy and the staff rude to your face. Recently, at lunch having had to wait 45 minutes for a burger i was unpleasantly surprised to find it served with an overdone fried egg on it. When i queried it with the staff i was told "well this is the Big Ben Burger - in it" by a scruffy staff member who seemed to spend much of his time 'squaring' up to customers and staring laciviously at any female present.

The food is expensive and poor. The condition of the premises was also very bad for a while with some problems with the ceiling above the door. This has improved. There is no atmosphere in the pub other than a mildly aggressive football and flags theme which is of limited interest to the locals with the exception perhaps to some of the residents at the half way house in Palace Street who should be mostly avoided after dark.

Give this pub a miss until the accept that they are in the service industry.
Jeremy007 - 23 Sep 2010 14:34
Visited on a very busy Friday lunch...apart from the food taking quite some time to arrive...I was reasonably impressed by the pub...it felt "right"..and as others have commented, a good alternative for the area. Beer range is solid and dependable...
jeremyb - 21 Nov 2009 15:13
Average to good pub, but compares very well next to the other crappy tourist hell holes in the area.... It isnt great, that is for sure, but it is a place you can go for just about edible lunch and read newspaper.
golfprodigy - 17 Nov 2009 13:19
Ok clean & tidy used by local professionals nothing exciting but better than some of the more touristy tatty pubs in SW1.
steviewonder - 16 Nov 2009 14:53
I've worked around Victoria for years and never known about this pub - astonishing really. And I wish I had discovered it before.

It's a pretty ordinary backstreet pub, but that's why it's pleasant. If all you are looking for is a quiet, unobtrusive pub to relax in then this is the place to be. The beer is run of the mill, but it's a lot easier to get served and have a quiet drink in than the busier touristy pubs on Victoria Street.
andyshire - 13 Oct 2009 21:36
Tucked away in a very quiet back street the Colonies was actually reasonably busy when I dropped in. It's a pretty basic layout with bar on the right, an open centre area and a raised seating area at the back.

It was ok for a quick pint but not really somewhere I could see myself spending an evening in.
murgatroyd - 12 Sep 2009 09:08
Yikes! – I meant The Colonies!
HTM69 - 1 Sep 2009 07:28
Situated away from the bustle of Victoria Street and the modernized Cardinal Walk development is a rather non-descript, though be it, decent enough, hostelry called The Colonials: a place I occasionally frequent due to its proximity to my place of work, though not somewhere I could envisage visits to for any other reason. An attractive enough facade leads into a rather plain, formulaic, faux traditional-style interior, with very little to really catch ones attention. The approach and setup is somewhat basic, with wooden tables and chairs in the main bar, leading onto a carpeted raised area with further seating facilities and an old world map, to add a touch of character. Beyond this point is a courtyard to satisfy the smokers and alfresco drinkers – weather permitting, of course. Chalk boards aplenty are dotted around the main bar area, advertising the pub-grub and various drink promotions on offer. There is also a plasma television – switched off on my visits, thus far – which I presume, is used for those all important sporting occasions. Background music can be a little on the loud side and is pathetically MOR and overly poppy. Fellow clientele on my visits seem to have consisted of groups of stressed office-types – and in fact, few solitary drinkers. Choice at the bar is actually one of the pubs better assets. Amongst the mainstream keg offerings, four hand pumps are there to serve and please the ale lover: London Pride (£2.50) and three guest ales: my pint of Everards Sunchaser was served in prime condition – indeed, there are no complaints from this reviewer on the beer front, here. The bar personnel encountered, have been hardworking and efficient for the most part, though service can be impersonal, at times. To conclude: whilst I am happy to sup my post-work pint here – and it undoubtedly serves its core customer-base well – its lacks that little extra something to make it a worthwhile pit-stop for those not usually in the locality.
HTM69 - 31 Aug 2009 23:13
Awful, awful pub. What used to be a great place for a good beer has gone downhill so quickly and so far that a wholesale root and branch cutting of staff is probably the only way to rescue it from oblivion. Rude, surly staff who seem not to be bothered about you serve food that is slow, late and often cold. There are a number of other good pubs nearby which aer far more worthwhile so don't waste your time on this one
hydeblake - 10 Jul 2009 09:38
There seems to be some debate in the reviews below as to whether or not this pub is 'friendly'. If you think that being served by surly/downright rude bar staff that barely acknowledge your presence, don't smile, don't say please or thank you that makes a pub friendly then this is the place for you. Maybe I was unlucky as I was served by the same female twice and the other staff may have been better (not difficult). I won't be going back to find out though.
Johnstuartmill - 3 Jul 2009 09:42
Visited the pub yesterday after the marathon - so it was fairly busy. My boyfriend paid for a round using his card, and the barman took his card away for over five minutes, taking it completely out of sight. When he returned, we questioned him about why he took the card away and out of sight for so long, not great to do that in an age of fraud and card security.
All seemed ok, but then the manager came outside, and told us to leave the pub for questioning the trust of his staff. Very agressive, rude and unfriendly. Won't be visiting again, and advise paying by cash if you do visit.
brightstar - 27 Apr 2009 08:19
Popped in there yesterday for the first time in 10 years.Wish I hadnt bothered.Two other punters and a barman who seemed to have lost the will to live.

ARKent - 19 Dec 2008 14:46
Nice enough place, nothing to complain about. No loud music when I visited, good selection of decent beers, plenty of room. Worth a visit.
nich52 - 10 Sep 2008 11:55
The Colonies, what a fantastic little pub great food and beer wonderful staff and a manager with a true gift and a brilliant sense of humour 10/10.
Roscoe48 - 3 Sep 2008 17:55
Ignore the last comment, this is a great pub with friendly staff. If it is such a horrible pub, why is it packed every night?
Foggyxxx - 29 Jul 2008 19:32
A bad pub run badly. Overpriced food prepared from frozen. Unfriendly staff and management. Awful loud music and low-end clientele. Nothing redeeming about the place except perhaps the cute mice that run around towards closing time (hence best avoid the food).
avida - 20 Jun 2008 08:45
Pub grub was above average and though interior was very average. I would visit again for food if a trip to Victoria is imperative.
danrkelly - 24 Oct 2007 14:38
I like The Colonies but it is more of a summer pub than a winter hostelry. In the summer it is quite pleasant to sit outside and get drunk after work, because this is really an after work drinking establishment. In the winter you have in effect one relatively small room and the interior is not great.As for the beer; a decent turnover of guest ales if you like that sort of thing, and there is always London pride, which is drinkable in here.I think this pub is closed at weekends and so, as already suggested, caters largely for the office crowd.
Grigby1 - 13 Sep 2007 01:20
A shithole. Currently being tarted up. Will still be a shithole though.
jimd - 6 Sep 2007 17:05
Spent most of last summers Friday evenings outside this pub, sitting on the picnic benches out the back. Still one of the best pubs in the area if you and a few mates want to sit outside and have a laugh, but be warned it does get very busy on a warmish day.

Always have aguest ale on, but it can run out way too quickly.

They've changed the food menu recently, so can't ocmment on that but might be able to in the near future.
blueallover - 16 Apr 2007 13:54
Having been subjected to bloody Ha not so Ha's for so long it was a relief and a pleasure to spend a Friday evening in here the other week. My opinion is probably tainted cos anywhere looks great after pink neon hell (except the Zander Bar) but I really liked this place. Absolutely nothing spectacular about it at all, it's just a standard pub, but we got a seat. Was pretty busy when we first arrived but as with most pubs ascended upon by office workers of an evening, it thinned out quite nicely and we enjoyed a pleasant evening with normal lighting and no pink neon in sight. Will definitely return.
Cleversaz - 2 Mar 2007 17:05
Not the easiest pub to find being situated in the back streets between Westminster and Victoria. The pub is nothing spectacular, just a straight forward establishment catering for locals and office workers. The extended single room interior contains fairly standard pub décor with light papered ceilings, some nice wooden paneling, tiling around the bar and job lot pub carpeting. They have made the most of the floor space by putting in a t-shaped raised ledge in the middle of the floor although unless you are seated here in a group, it all feels a bit exposed. A well positioned and decent sized plasma screen will satisfy the sport fans. Liquid offerings include a guest beer (Everard’s Beacon on my last visit) however more often than not, there is no guest beer available leaving the rather dull selection of Youngs or Pride. They are Cask Marque accredited and I have had no complaints about the quality on my occasional visits. Prices are reasonable for the area (guest beer was £2.61 which I don’t consider excessive) although the food looks a bit more on the pricey side (around £7-10 for a rather mainstream selection). To the rear is a raised area behind some wooden railed screens with some interesting old photos of Victoria and St James Park and an Old World map. Beyond this are steps to an outside beer patio with some benches and a canopy if it rains but don’t expect a particularly interesting view. It can get busy especially towards the end of the week and the service can be indifferent. It is not unusual to have to point to the beer you want as just asking will usually gain a blank response. All in all, not too much wrong with the place but there is nothing special to make a specific journey for.
RogerB - 22 Feb 2007 15:52
I'm not sure why this pub rates high reviews. Staff were indifferent, service poor, prices higher than others in area. Interior and outside seating are nice, but one can get that elsewhere with better service.
ICBadger - 11 Feb 2007 15:01
Seems increasingly popular. I don't understand why as I find it expensive and I agree with others... the bar staff have a pooer attitude towards customers on the few occasions that I have been dragged here
douvres - 8 Dec 2006 20:04
This pub can get very busy as its popular with the local offices particularly on a Friday. A better pub to eat in than drink in.
WaitorseBoyz - 7 Dec 2006 09:39
Quite a nice pub let down by appalling staff who were very, very rude. Worth not going solely for this reason, which is a shame really, because it's got potential: even the "beer garden" (which is basically a cul-de-sac round the back) doesn't ruin it. It's just the staff. Maybe I just caught them on an off day, but I don't think I'll risk going again to find out.
Hzy - 16 Sep 2006 15:43
Interesting beer garden - a concrete back yard. Always heaving in the weekday evenings. Bar staff are unmemorable. White wine was warm... Atmosphere is okay but not vibrant - hopefully, it'll warm up with Summer.
LooseVixens - 24 Jun 2006 23:16
The Colonies has bags of potential. It has a wide selection of beers, ales and wine (very good wine selection for a pub, as well). The food is really quite good (I've only had the lunchtime selection, and can recommend the salmon and prawn salad). The seating is varied - from tall tables with bar stools to more normal pub benches, and standing areas with convienient shelves. However, you cannot sit at the bar (and one peek on a Friday night should explain why) - it gets PACKED.

It is an office pub - it fills very quickly, especially at 5.30ish. It is a popular haunt for the local office staff (of which I am one), and on a Friday night, you can barely move for all the warm bodies - indeed, both front and back heave as well.

There is a concrete courtyard in the back, with a couple of heaters. However, the heaters are quite pointless, as they are too small and too high up on the wall to be effective.

All in all, a decent office pub - though I'd imagine it'd be dead on weekends, if indeed it opens at all.
mattygroves - 4 Apr 2006 13:04
Good selection of ales and some interesting guest ones as well - quite refreshing for the area. Staff could learn a little more English!

Layout is a little odd, and remembering that they have 2 entrances can be difficult are a beer or 6.

Food good and served fairly quickly.
blueallover - 15 Mar 2006 12:33
Good selection of real ales, frequent turnover of guest Ales. Friendly staff and great sausages. The other food isn't bad either. Usually Packed with civil servants (usually quite young) and sundry office workers. At its best in the summer when you can sit out in the yard.

Conscientious landlord.
grigby - 22 Sep 2005 15:28
Bar staff are either deliberately slow or mildly cretinous - not sure which.

However, their homemade pies and saussies are worth the visit. I think they're only dished up at lunchtime, though. You get the odd decent guest ale here, too.

Good 'beer yard' for sunny days.
Nicklaus - 1 Aug 2005 17:25
Well run pub with good food.

Remember you can book tables outside in Pine Apple Court any day. A must for friday afternoon sessions.


jjbeck - 17 Jun 2005 08:49
It is indeed famous for its sausages, and they're not half bad. But aside from that it's not a bad place - though it does get absolutely heaving at seemingly random times, and you can't move out of the way of plates of said sausages steaming towards you for love nor money.
cid - 22 Feb 2005 17:19
Bangers-'n-beer! Can't be beaten. Very nice.
Rob - 21 Sep 2004 15:05
Very nice relaxed atmosphere & great selection of bitters. The staff are fast, friendly & efficient.
Robin - 11 Feb 2004 22:58
Beer garden is heaven in summer. However the pub tends to be packed to the rafters in winter, but cannot see why as this pub doesn't have too much to offer.
Bill - 6 Feb 2004 16:11
Sausages are great, but what makes this pub unique is the bar staff. Fantastic people!!!
Mands - 6 Feb 2003 14:26
Famous for its sausages apparently.
Clare - 3 Feb 2003 14:11

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