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Happy Man, Englefield Green

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user reviews of the Happy Man, Englefield Green

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

An old traditional style pub. Lots of small rooms. Theakston's Bitter, Rev. James Bitter and Hopback Summer Lightning on offer. Had the first two which were very good. Wide variety of food on menu from All Day Breakfast, through Fish and Burgers up to Thai Curries. Reasonably priced at around £6.99. Portion size OK, considering price, but food quality and staff service both good.
ramblethenlunch - 2 Jun 2014 16:51
Winner of best named pub ever attended. Looks a decent boozer, but despite all the good pub books behind the bar, the Black Sheep (my fav) was cloudy and very disappointing. Food looked very reasonably priced.
Mappiman - 14 Jan 2013 22:14
Small cosy place that retains it's proper pub / friendly local feel to it.

Aspalls AND Thatchers Gold Ciders available in pints. A pub without Strongbow makes an instant good impression on me.

I didn't try any Ale, but judging by the hundreds of ale clips on the walls, I would guess that they change on a fairly regular basis.

I liked this pub and would seek it out again if I was in the area.

Pat_Bateman - 19 Nov 2012 10:40
A great little real ale pub, not the smartest, but a pub that knows what is wanted, good real ale regularly changed, a barman who knows how to keep it, and good food at sensible prices. Wish it was more local.
Randyray - 2 Oct 2012 21:44
What a super little backstreet boozer, plain and simple inside, divided into seperate little areas, which I so much prefer to one-room pubs. Very friendly, and an extremely well kept pint of Skinners. Would be very happy if this was my local.
happy_wanderer - 17 Sep 2012 20:53
Popped in and had an excellent pint of Hopback Summer Lightning which is an unusual beer in these parts, and was in excellent condition. Usual friendly welcome and mixture of locals. Nearby Royal Holloway being used as Olympic Village for the rowing and sprint kayaking at Dorney so not many students at present, though no doubt will change in October, when there is also a Beer Festival planned. Yet another reason to go back.
spikefromsurrey - 24 Aug 2012 13:06
got to visit again b4 my long trip home. what a great pub cant understand why its not packed great beers and food
neeeiiil - 17 Feb 2012 13:31
excellent beer. great food. cant understand the last post about battered fish for that price what do u expect?. at least they get up early to catch them then batter them on the way. great pub
neeeiiil - 3 Feb 2012 08:54
Great pub for real ale . A good variety of local and specialist beers, all kept in great condition. Nice environment in the evenings if a little quiet the two lunchtimes I have been in. Food is not fantastic, especially the fish and chips which is evidently not battered on the premises. However will return for the beer.
Food_Drink_Friends - 17 Oct 2011 14:17
Superb pub for both students and locals alike without the cliqueness one may expect from such sets mingling. Beer always in tip-top condition with an interesting and varied selection to choose from. There are three guest pumps and one regular; Hopback Summer Lightning 5%. Welcoming & friendly manager and good bar staff.

Ecletic selection of homemade food, ranging from thai dishes to traditional English at v. reasonable prices. Contrary to the review below and having had most of the dishes on the menu, the food is homecooked and fresh. What do you expect the chef to do with scampi and chips? Rear his own scampi? Grow his own peas in the beer garden? What an absurd comment.

Great pub for lunch, dinner or a drink. Or possibly all three.
English_Gent - 30 Jan 2011 19:00
mmm.... would very hard to get that one wrong..........brake brothers,jus get the oil hot and microwave the peas.........still some people are very content with second rate microwaved and deep fried food brought in frozen.shame ther are some good pubs in the area doing homecooked food ie railway,foresters and red lion.arthur try some of these and see what you are missing. no rating given.
UNBIASEDOFEGHAM - 28 Nov 2010 18:28
The food I had was excellent (Scampi chips & peas) as was the (Ascot) ale. I shall certainly be returning, and have told family & friends how much better it is than when we were students. Dave himself is an ex-student from RHC(RHUL). Haven't been in much for nearly 20 years. Must visit again soon!
arthur256 - 22 Jul 2010 21:24
Great pub - friendly and very good beers-shame that it isn't bigger.Goes to show that a pub is about the manager. Why don't they buy the Barley Mow on the Green?
discerningpubfollower - 6 Jul 2010 22:27
Quite a nice little pub tucked away in side street. Very friendly with good selection real beer. Liked the mix of students and locals and very friendly welcoming atmosphere.
student_stu - 5 Jan 2010 22:48
Really excellent real pub. Good selection of beers and reasonably priced food. Friendly too.
micksimm - 3 Dec 2009 17:20
The best pub in the village, in my honest opinion. There is 3 guest ales and Summer Lightning on constantly. The people who run the pub are extremely knowledgeable and really know how to keep beer. The food is also very good and extremely well priced, also look out for when the Thai specials are on as they can be sensational. All in all a very well run pub with friendly staff and decent customers, everything a pub should be. Great mix of students and locals.
JohnnyMarr - 12 Oct 2009 17:33
Proper boozer, very friendly manager who certainly takes great pride in his beers and is always happy to offer a taster from his always changing selection of beers. Good food at good prices. Shame that Pubs n bars won't spend any money on upkeep.
sofakinwot - 31 Jul 2009 12:33
We visited here on a Saturday afternoon. The interior has a lovely array of separate small drinking areas. At the rear, there is a small patioed beer garden. The barman was extremely knowledgeable about his beer. There were 4 real ales - Hopback Summer Lightning, Hammerpot White Wing, Downton Honey Blonde and Hepworth Summer. There were also 2 real ciders from Westons - Scrumpy and Herefordshire Perry. I could have quite happily stayed here all day. An 8/10 from me. Whilst a very good pub, I'm not sure it deserves number 2 in the country. But it would certainly be in my top 50.
blue_scrumpy - 28 Jul 2009 21:00
A great pub not trying to be anything else. A knowledgeable barman who likes real ale, knows how to keep it and who works his socks off serving 3 customers at once. 4 real ales available all in good condition.
Randyray - 24 Jul 2009 11:04
Lovely old style village pub, and as lazybeer says, a gem. Very traditional with three seperate small drinking areas, parlour style, with wooden floors, wooden settle/benches with cushioned seats. There is a garden to the rear, where beer festivals are occasionally held. The bar mantle and several walls are covered with beer mats from previously served ales, there are pictures of classic comedians, but card players may enjoy the picture "The Winning Hand" in the main room.
I thoroughly enjoyed my short stay here, the landlord was very friendly, knowledgeable and interested in his beers and pleased to see my interest too, with tasters being offered both on arrival and when a new one was added. Normally four on but the guv stated today he is running at three due to the current hot weather as he needs the turnover to be quick enough to keep the beer in condition. No complaints with that honest assessment.
This afternoon had, Hopback Summer Lightening (the regular), Wayland GBA, and Andwell King John. A Caledonian banana beer was being pulled through for later as the KJ was going.
A fine example of an increasingly hard to find proper old pub, superb.
Maldenman - 4 Jul 2009 19:06
A little gem. A converted cottage with 2 front bars and 2 back rooms. Don't expect anything fancy, seating is basic benches and the walls are plain emulsioned walls with a few pictures. However both the pub and toilets are always very clean.
It gets a good mix of locals and students and always feels welcoming. Service is also good (how many pubs now always thank you when you leave). A changing selection of exceptionally kept real ales, usually with something local. They also have a good selection of more usual lagers and wines and usually a real scrumpy.
Food which varies from sandwiches to full meals is pretty basic but well cooked and very good value.
And as an added bonus it has a dart board with 1980's style electronic score board.
lazybeer - 17 May 2009 15:54
Lived in Egham for few years and not visited pub - so decided to walk up the hill and pay a visit. This is a small and very welcoming pub with friendly staff and good beer. As previous posters stated, a good mix of regular customers and students. It seems a very simple formula to make a good pub - that is friendly welcoming staff, good beer, why cant other pubs in Egham follow. Will definately visit again.
wanderin_star - 4 Apr 2009 22:30
The Happy Man continues to impress, a nice mix of students and ale drinkers.

Well worth the walk up the hill!
Quinno - 12 Sep 2008 17:08
Current North Surrey Camra Pub of The Year for 2008. An excellent gem of a pub. Landlord Dave has reinvented the art of real ale of the last few years here. The presentation of the award coincided with a tasting evening for the local Waylands brewery which this pub has also been supporting.
aleheart - 24 Jun 2008 19:10
Nice game of darts in here. Lovely pint and all in all a nice pub.
nickthefish - 13 Jun 2008 15:57
Never ventured in here before the smoking ban as it was difficult to see across the bar. However have now managed a visit and was not disappointed, excellent pub with excellent beer
CaptainDave - 4 Jun 2008 14:53
Excellent little pub, with four interesting ales on handpump. Very handy for the Royal Holloway campus, but obviously not just a student pub. Very apt name!
rpadam - 5 Mar 2008 22:18
Always a hearty welcome and a brilliant evening at The Happy Man. A great mix of students and old gits like me and my drinking buddies. Very fine, knowledgable staff happy to help you decide with samples of all real ales on offer, such as Snow Blind - a terrific beer. Excellent beer range, carefully cellared and expertly delivered to the glass. It's a great delight to visit this pub. It never fails to deliver a great evening out.
boozyoldgit - 24 Jan 2008 22:59
I was here just about every session when at RHC in the 70s, so it was f=great to get back to the Green to see the Happy Man still existed.

It does, and it's even better than it was back then. It has a friendly landlord, a good range of bitters kept and served perfectly and good food, too.
birchanger - 21 Aug 2007 19:22
Excellent pub with a good choice of four ales, which
are constantly changing. Good food too. Well worth a visit.
WindsorLad - 21 Aug 2007 15:10
Comments on the unfortunately named Monkey's Forehead suggest that Dave has moved from here to there but the new couple running The Happy Man seemed very nice on Sat. No-one appeared to know this, however, as there were only my group of 3 and a friendly glaswegian & his lady here on Sat eve when we stopped by. Good pint tho, and an nice extra half of Gales HSB before moving on. Note previous comments re students, so maybe it's busier in term time.
trainman - 2 Apr 2007 14:33
I live in Toronto, Canada and I visited Englefield green WAY back in 1967 as a 17 year old. We stayed in residence at Royal Holloway College for a week and, most evenings, my friend and I visited The Hapy Man. I have wonderful memories of my first British "Pub Experience" - the owners and the locals knew we were from "Canad-er" (as it sounded to our ears when voiced by a local !)and made us feel extra special... a feeling that I have never forgotten. I shall be returning, for the first time in 40 years, to Europe and I am making a special 2-day side-trip out to Englefield Green just to re-visit my old memories. I am looking forward to visiting The Happy Man on the evenings of May 27th and 28th - look for me if you are there then ... Regards, Peter from toronto, Canada
mgwlon - 22 Mar 2007 02:43
An excellent job being done here.

Four rotating real ales at competitive (2.40) prices, good food, a quizzer and a warm welcome.

Featured in the Good Beer Guide 2007 and rightly so.

One small complaint, very smokey (open the windows!). But otherwise, top drawer.
Quinno - 7 Nov 2006 00:32
Yes, many of the negative comments below (i.e. racists etc) refer to a previous unfortunate interlude when there was a brief roach infestation. The place has now been fumigated and these problems no longer occur. Nice pub, good atmosphere, food used to be great a few years ago but has slipped now. Bit poky but this only adds to the appeal.
GHRiskle - 2 Nov 2006 06:16
A pretty decent pub with an OK pub garden and friendly service which is usually a winner.
mike2004 - 6 Aug 2006 14:38
Has had a period of terrible managemnet and chavroach infestation, but return of the previous mamangement has seen the place restored.

Quality and price of ale first class (Hogsback on currently, devine!) including Hoegaarden at around 3.20. Food also excellent.

Will be rammed solid during term-time, so get in early!
Quinno - 23 Aug 2005 22:04
Student favourite; snuggish atmosphere but at the same time you could say that its small and pokey, and no great shakes for beer. Whatever I think, though, The Happy Man has many, many fans, among students, academic staff and locals alike...
Gagriff - 21 May 2005 02:27
Was a hotbed of students in the early 90s, Stu who now has the Armstrong Gun used to run this place with a bloke called Sparrow, those were the days, never finished your dinner, huge, great value portions of home-cooked food. Food did go off for a time but I'm assured it's back to a great standard again now. Very cosy place, only thing I would say is that the Stella is appalling. Think this is the only place I've ever had to leave a pint. The tarp over the beer garden could do with being shifted a bit in summer for those of us who like to worship the sun. Otherwise a fine little pub!
Cleversaz - 8 Mar 2005 17:18
Post below this is rubbish - friendly local/student mix features all races. Cosy small 4 room inn with garden. Real Ales a speciality Pride always on plus 2 guests ever changing from Beer Sellers wide range. Quiz on Sundays with a difference.
celerycelery - 7 Jan 2005 14:06
"You don't get filthy looks from the regulars as with some pubs in Egham." was written by someone. Not if you're Jamaican. I'll not be going there or taking my friends again.
Dave Kreng - 11 Jul 2004 20:07
It's a bit small, but not a bad pub. Not particularly good, but not bad. Got new managers I think now, so may be changing.
Aaron - 9 Jan 2004 01:35
You can't fault this place - cheap food, cheap drinks and friendly staff. Best of all, you don't get filthy looks from the regulars as with some pubs in Egham. The only problem has to be the low ceiling when going from the bar to the back of the pub - drinkers are advised to mind their heads, but it never seems to make a blind bit of difference!
John Palser, RHUL student - 14 Dec 2003 17:46
Happy days back in the early 90's, the 'Man was quite an institution back when it was run by mr rooker - hopefully it's still the same .....the beer garden on a warm wednesday evening was legendary...
walnut (rhbnc class of '95) - 30 Apr 2003 22:38
Top pub indeed - decent food, juke box and good atmosphere. Probably the best of the pubs near Royal Holloway.
Pauly H - 19 Sep 2002 11:30
Good fun local with young vibrant atmosphere due to local unitversity. Always has the footie and other sport on. Beer garden, great good value food, excellent choice of guest beers....and the landlords a northerner! Which is always a plus
Steve Chadwick - 19 Sep 2002 10:41

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