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Boot, St Albans

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user reviews of the Boot, St Albans

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

Excellent choice of eight ales but mainly pale ales.
Oakham: JHB, Citra and Mandarina Bavaria.
Tring: Squadron Scramble and Bridleway.
Adnams: Mosaic and Ghost Ship.
And Doombar. What the bloody hell is this one doing here?

Baxterfish mentioned a year ago a pint cost £4.60 - it still does.
Mind you, I did read sometime ago that the pub's rent went up nearly 90% (Ye Olde Fighting Cocks' down the road went up 280%) at least the are both open!
One niggle was the unnecessary pipe music.
fugglehops - 14 Sep 2019 22:18
Busy due to it's location but the service is shit and the staff will serve whoever they feel like when they think they should. Can't be arsed with all that so went elsewhere.
Snarling_Mallard - 28 Apr 2019 11:19
ANOTHER PUB THAT I'VE BEEN PRICED OUT OF. Paid my first visit in several weeks to find they have increased their prices to a shocking £4.60 for normal strength ale (Oakham Hanger 17) so didn't stay for a second pint and won't be going back which is a shame as this is a great pub but it's just too expensive.
baxterfish - 7 May 2018 13:39
Another well known pub to me that I can say has improved.

The beer range is now excellent.... and in a night of great pints at 5 locations, the XT 1 taken here was the pick of the bunch.

Never thought I'd say that about the Boot.

Even more reason to love the place.

Visit blogged at
Mappiman - 6 Jul 2017 16:40
Much improved range of ales on my last visit: two milds, a porter and two IPAs. Probably now has a better choice than the Blacksmith's and it's certainly a nicer pub. Very nice in fact.
baxterfish - 16 May 2016 16:22
Good range of real ales and the food was very tasty. Busy on a weekday lunchtime.
Historic and characterful pub in the centre of town that's well worth a visit.
Number11 - 16 Apr 2016 14:03
Went to the Boot one afternoon just after Christmas. Place was very busy with a mixture of shoppers and locals. I had some sort of Golden Ale which was in good condition. Had a roaring fire which is always a good sign. Food look reasonable. Service slightly amateurish, but didn't cause a problem.
simontheeditor - 30 Dec 2015 19:22
Classic market town pub with low beams and a mixed clientele - disappointed not to come across the 'barfly' referred to by the previous two posters. I risked half an Anarchy Smoke Bomb as I occasionally like to dabble in rauchbier while Red Squirrel's Redwood American IPA was also good. Gets very crowded and has a roaring fire.
BoehmBawerk - 11 Jan 2015 12:10
I have seen that weird black guy shouting out loud in tesco and also skulking around Victoria playing fields and in St Michaels with a bottle in his hand. Will avoid this place if it's his local as I could not tell you whether he his care in the community or a serial killer to be honest.
Boost - 16 Dec 2014 00:35
There's an annoying barfly. A black guy who sits in the corner on his own wearing headphones. He shouts out to customers, takes his shoes off, hops around the pub. Bloody weird!
hertsboy - 3 Aug 2014 17:18
Lovely pub and an excellent man crèche while the better half goes shopping.
Beer prices can be a bit high but I don't always mind as the beer is always in fine fettle.
Never eaten there but from what I saw it looked appetizing.


drinkingdad - 8 May 2014 10:03

A rare visit to a pub in St.Albans, despite living only 7 miles away in the beer and cultural desert that is Hemel Hempstead, and being a regular visitor to the market. Very pleasant experience, Mrs Monk went off to do some Christmas shopping and I went to the pub! Decent range of ales on and most welcome was the number of dark/seasonal ales – I stuck solely to the Bateman’s Rosey Nosey which was superbly kept and very drinkable on a cold drizzly day. Even got chatting to similar aged football fan and we recollected the halcyon days of 1970’s soccer violence. Just as well the beer was excellent and served in a lined glass as it was a staggering £3.90 a pint – even more than the Harp just off Trafalgar Square. Mrs Monk joined me later and concurred on the quality of the ale, we also had some food which was excellent quality and good value. Will definitely return in the near future. The one awkward note was the fact that a lot of tables were booked and I hope this was only due to the nearness of Christmas, as it did cause a bit of a kerfuffle with a few would be customers. 8/10

Monkdawallydahonk - 15 Jan 2014 11:52
Daft name? First knew it when it was a Benskins pub, belonged to Sedgwicks in the 1900's. None of your Frog & Radiator stupid names here!
TiaMariaJim - 2 Apr 2013 09:47
Daft name, I don't think there were bars when this was named about five hundred years ago
Henners - 16 Feb 2013 19:11
Daft name which gives the impression its a bar rather than the traditional beer focussed pub it is. Does food and has a good beer range of around 7 different casks . Great atmosphere - looks, feels, and sounds like a proper pub.
SilkTork - 16 Feb 2013 14:54
Good news! The toilets (gents) have had a refurb and now look great.
Never had a problem with the bar staff and the ales are always drinkable when I visit. Great atmoshere, best pub in the town centre.
smac - 13 Nov 2012 21:37
"Disgusting toilets, poor service and unfriendly staff". A typical English boozer in other words.
A great selection of beers, all very drinkable in large quantities.
Keep up the good work Boot. There's not many like you left...You should get a government grant!
AbieVee - 24 Oct 2012 16:41
This pub has not changed.

Disgusting toilets

Poor Service

Unfriendly bar staff

hertsboy - 7 Oct 2012 13:31
good range of beer ,far too warm with no condition but helpful male staff member offered tasters so at least it could be made into a cold shandy ( needs must on a hot day ) for the price needs to try harder before the waterend barn soaks up all the dissatisfied ale drinkers.
THUNFAN007 - 19 Aug 2012 13:58
Went on a St Alban's pub crawl today - approx 20 years since my last visit - and I loved this pub! Ales were good, staff were attentative, locals/regulars friendly and chatty. Even a "turf" floor for the Olympics! Ace!
ecksact - 1 Aug 2012 01:40
This is a great old pub and full of character. But a word of warning - check your change ! Was very obviously overcharged on just two drinks twice in a row - that's never happened to me before in 40 years of visiting pubs. The two barmen did hand over more change when challenged. I'll be charitable and say they're very bad at adding up.
garabaldi - 4 Jul 2012 09:05
I have always like this pub ever since I found it after a St Albans beer festival. Always does good selection of ales, just don't be too tall as the roof is very low. Have never tried to see if they have food as I'm generally ale trying there. Best pub in the very centre of St Albans.
busker999 - 6 Jun 2012 20:31
I have been working in the area so I pop in every now and then. The beer was not to great but the staff are very friendly.
Wright66 - 6 Jan 2012 22:06
Dropped in here on Saturday and was pleasantly surprised. The place was quite busy but the bar staff were efficient and quick to serve. A good range of ales on offer & the Porter I tasted was excellent. A warm & cosy feel to the place which was most welcome given the crowds and cold outside.
BlueMoon - 20 Dec 2011 15:56
beer quality always rough some promising beers ruined by dirty lines ( old peculiar,vale,purity etc none tasted as they should have ) maybe just too many beers for what seems like a lager/bottle pub. otherwise well presented,clean pub,regular music .
THUNFAN007 - 15 Dec 2011 10:34
i like the pub unfortunately their larger is not great.the girls serving seem to more interested in talking to each other than serving customers,good atmosphere and always busy.
have not tried the food so cant comment.

sambucca941 - 28 Nov 2011 01:06
I was in here yesterday with my Brothers and Farther in Law On a regular Pub Crawl of the area. As already said this place looks more like a pub should nice old style building with plenty of character and it has some nice cosy corners too sit in. Its been modernised over the years but its not been wreaked and keeps a lot of its original character. There were a good selection of Red Squirrel Ales Plus other Ales on tap and between us we tried most of them I'm pleased too say they were all in excellent condition. We found the staff & other customers very welcoming & happy too give us advice on which Ales they had tried and enjoyed. I would say this is well worth a visit if your in the area. I think we will be putting this on one of our regular Pub Crawls as there are Not too many better Pubs nearby now days.
Alesonly - 18 Nov 2011 10:25
Love the gigs on a Sunday afternoon! So busy and the standard of music is great. You literally can't move in there and i'm too tall for the place but it's got loads of character and everyone is really friendly. Much better choice of ales and lagers on draught than most places in town. Great location right by the clock tower - sums up St Albans for me
fishoutofwater - 10 Nov 2011 14:55
The place to grab that granny you always dreamed of, beer is kept well but pricey, but then this is snorbens.........
weezel - 26 Oct 2011 02:21
Pub No.9

Good pub
Good beer
Ok service

Recommended: 7/10
whimbreltits - 4 Sep 2011 11:44
Nice pub, great location.
Popped in Saturday after a stroll around the market, had a couple of decent pints of Purity Mad Goose. On the whole i liked the Boot, my only grumble would be how dark it was inside at 4.30 in the afternoon.
topPINT - 10 Aug 2011 17:58
much quieter than it used to be but still a favorite.
anonymous - 7 Feb 2011 23:53

Busy town centre pub, ideal for messy nights talking nonsense to strangers. If you black out and can't remember part of Saturday evening, chances are that you were at The Boot.

Isambard_Lombard - 3 Jan 2011 14:13
A great pub in the centre of st Albans. Well worth a visit. I'll be back.
Pubfrog - 21 Dec 2010 23:17
A great pub in the centre of st Albans. Well worth a visit. I'll be back.
Pubfrog - 21 Dec 2010 23:16
Much better pubs in town
hertsboy - 27 Nov 2010 10:26
Muzak! yukk
mycetes - 21 Nov 2010 19:59
Handy town centre pub with fairly nice interior. Unfortunately the beer range is a little more bog standard than much of the competition and the quality left a lot to be desired. Saltaire Harvest Moon Ale, Battledown Natural Selection, Batemans XXXB, Youngs Bitter, Courage Directors, Everards Tiger, Black Sheep Best Bitter and Bass were the selection. Addlestones was the real cider. The pub has an old style with a few modern touches. Music was playing. But I couldn't spot a TV. Service was friendly. Slightly better than average, but I think there are better pubs in the town.
blue_scrumpy - 16 Oct 2010 10:40
A fine town centre pub ideal to relax in whilst shopping or just relax in period. Interesting selection of ales available. I even got a seat on market day! (Saturday) Worth a visit no doubt.
drinkingdad - 10 Oct 2010 12:24
Had a fantastic visit to the boot again with my wife and a few friends last night. This place is always a great night out with a great atmosphere. There seems to be a huge choice of ales now with different ales on each time I visit. Keep up the good work!!
realalerealfood - 10 Oct 2010 10:21
A real pub in the town centre. Great location. Good beer and very busy. watch out for low ceiling though! A welcome place after the pseudo wine bar refurb places that are spreading. Not sure if they do food but the beer and atmosphere were great! No garden so you're smoking in the street.
sliderman - 3 Oct 2010 12:41
I still use the Boot once a fortnight or so, but the standards of service are definitely slipping. Some of the newer barstaff, especially the girls, have absolutely no idea about serving customers in a fair order. If their friends come in, or if they just catch someone's eye, they'll go straight to those people and serve them. They might then repeat with someone else. Well, I'm fed up with waiting at the bar like a fool, and shall be spending more time in the Blacksmiths Arms from now on.
Terryadinfinitum - 4 Aug 2010 10:13
A busy town pub that is more of a bar than an eating place (even though they do serve food). Had four ales on but can only remember the one I had (which was StAustell Tribute and was a nice enough pint). Okay to drop in to but I do have bad memories of this place because I wanted to KILL the Man Utd supporters who infest the place. Okay on this visit though as they must hvae been hiding.
anonymous - 1 Aug 2010 18:00
Attractive looking pub in the city centre on the edge of the Market Square.

There's low ceilings, exposed beams, bare boards but, despite dating back to the 15th century, a bit of the inevitable city centre chain pub feel to it. The overall vibe however is traditional and not unpleasant. On my recent Saturday lunchtime visit, there was a good cross section of customers, seemingly mainly shoppers and traders from the market, creating a busy but friendly atmosphere.

As a city, St Albans has a nice feel good factor to it - and more than its fair share of decent pubs incidentally - and, without wishing to appear naive, I was therefore slightly surprised to see that it's over 21's only on Friday and Saturday night after 6pm. Live music is offered on Sunday evening. Somewhat oddly, the pub sign outside includes a phone number.

Beers on were Bass, Adnams, Butcombe Gold, Deuchars IPA, Batemans XXXB and Tribute. The Tribute - 3.10p - was really good - and I did notice that this appeared to be outselling all the other real ales put together.

I was reasonably impressed with this one.
JohnBonser - 12 May 2010 18:03
Had a bit of a refresh inside and toilets a few months ago. Still a good mix of people on the weekend and good atmosphere.

Beer been great last few visits as well, though kept running out of my choice...though as they have quite a few pumps always something to drink.
the_dragon - 5 May 2010 18:44
This is still a traditional old mans pub, impressive given it's central location in the city. Been here once with my gf and had a pint of cider. Think we were the youngest in the place by 20 years (30). If you're after a traditional boozer is probably a fair bet.
Greg. - 30 Apr 2010 15:32
Busy here on Sat night. My nemesis, the fred west lookalike thankfully wasn't there.
hertsboy - 8 Apr 2010 10:26
Cracking town centre pub - good range of ales on and well kept as well. Gets busy after work so in the summer you spill outside which is fine. Visit it at least once and try it.
dead_or_alive - 12 Mar 2010 17:41
Had a fantastic pint of Youngs here last night, my wife had wine which she was very impressed with. I haven't been here for a while as we have moved away but will definitely be returning!! Keep up the good work!!
realalerealfood - 3 Mar 2010 12:56
Unlike most of the other pubs we visited in St Albans, this was unmistakeably a city centre pub, but above average of its type. Lovely old wood-beamed building with a lively atmosphere early on the Saturday evening we visited. Our pints of Adnam's Explorer went down well. Other ales included Young's Kew Gold, Titanic Lifeboat, Directors and Cumberland.
grecian - 1 Mar 2010 10:49
They serve pizza and have bands her in this tiny pub. It hasn't improved.
hertsboy - 9 Feb 2010 11:18
Oh great, just what what the world doesn't need: a total arse chucking stuff onto the log fire and threatening to burn the pub down. Why don't the bar staff just chuck this numpty out the door?????? But no, they won't do it, shame on them.
Terryadinfinitum - 13 Jan 2010 21:42
Traditional good old fashioned pub with a good selection of beer. Visit.
RedHarvest - 18 Dec 2009 12:03
The Boot has been cleaned up, for which many thanks. Nothing vulgar, just a lick of paint and cleaner toilets. Good!
enterbluebottle - 4 Dec 2009 12:39
Some positive changes here.....

Came in with my wife on Saturday, great atmosphere before the fireworks with a new coffee machine. I had a great pint of Youngs Special and my wife had a coffee which I was told was very good indeed. Takeaway Organic Soup a big PLUS!!
realaleandrealfoodman - 11 Nov 2009 00:44
Happy 21st Jack!!
historyloony - 27 Sep 2009 21:39
I absolutley love this pub! The staff are always very pleasant and the beer at top quality!! The Boot is, what it is, a decent traditional pub in the heart of town! The building may not be perfect but the amazing atmosphere is not replicated anywhere in town! It is always busy which is a sure sign of its huge success, keep it up!!!!
realaleandrealfoodman - 14 Sep 2009 19:48
Was in last sunday, place was busy for a sunday night but that was probably due to band playing earlier.

Beer good, atmosphere great.....toilets shocking. Still can't beleive filler is slapped everwhere, including to fix a smashed urinal!....and is isn't smoothed off either (not that would make it ok). Without a dobut the worst toilets in St Albans.

Overall, great pub...just those toilets!
the_dragon - 20 Aug 2009 11:56
Absolutely heaving (maybe this is where all the Goat's customers went) in preparation for a live music session. When I saw the seven ales at the horseshoe-shaped bar I thought I was onto a winner...however the beer was a mixed bag; amongst the usual suspects I plumped for the Titanic which was grotty, whilst the York brewery beer was OK - I would have taken the Titanic back but I didnt fancy wading through the crush at the bar once Id managed to find a table. My negative feeling was compounded by a grubby interior and toilets that were a feculent pit. I'll give it another go and see if the beer consistency is better but I just didn't really take to the place on first viewing and wouldnt call it a first-choice pub in town until it gets a good scrub-up.
Quinno - 31 Jul 2009 01:51
This has received mixed opinions from punters on this site; some of the more negative material seems to centre on the quality of service and whether or not the atmosphere represents traditional earthy character or down-at-heel dullness. Whether these factors suit individual tastes or otherwise, the place does maintain a consistent reputation as one of the town's better pubs for cask ale provision. My recent visit found the beers to be kept well, and a reasonable variety appearing on the pumps. I suspect that notwithstanding any other failings, the Boot will always hold a rightful place in the heart of those seeking to remind themselves of why St Albans remains the proud home of CamRA, and who enjoy an unpretentious pub and an unusual - if not inexpensive - pint.

TWG - 27 Jul 2009 17:18
Three different pints, each costing 3.05, each mediocre, and the Gents still stinks
jandl - 20 Jul 2009 13:08
Have noticed a wider range of beer recently with most pumps on and been well kept. Also not seen power crazy barman for a while so things good.....well apart from the toilets that have had the ceramic repaired with filler!

Still a good place with good atmosphere....just time for new toilets.
the_dragon - 2 Jul 2009 11:48
A lot of people seem to agree with me about this...lousy service(with the exception of Becky), dirty toilets and limited range of booze.
hertsboy - 28 May 2009 19:18
This place as gone downhill since I last went in, beer not in best condition and choice really boring, Adams , Bass , Youngs , Pride etc of usually suspects. Got caught a bit short and had to take an unwanted away game in the Gents, no light, no lock on the door, no me come back to this pub.
Henners - 23 Apr 2009 12:23
I drink in both the Boot and the Verulam Arms reasonably regularly but the thing that puts me off about the boot is one of the power crazy, non customer focussed barmen (don't know his name).

Went in the other day and he was talking to someone at the side of the bar. It was 2 or 3 minutes before he bothered to come over (which is along time when the place is empty and you can see them feet away talking) but by then we had noticed there was only one real ale on out of 5 or 6 pumps and the cider we wanted was not on as we went elsewhere!
the_dragon - 14 Apr 2009 13:06
"Take Money Mabel..."
foghorn - 1 Apr 2009 19:33
The staff are personable, but the pub is cold and dirty, and I have never known a place where the beer I order runs out so often.
jandl - 24 Feb 2009 20:43
The gigs on Sunday afternoons are great despite the low ceiling! Fantastic gig by the Runaway Boys yesterday - the best I've ever seen 'em. More generally the Boot carries on; people either love it or hate it. The only problem recently has been erratic beer supplies: are Punch Taverns up to their old tricks again? Lord help us.
historyloony - 26 Jan 2009 20:00
Pub has a hard edge to it, plenty of space and the floor to practice your tap dancing though. The help yourself soup with roll (3.50) is a nice touch. Decent pint of Bitter & Twisted, worth a stop between pubs. As below, loo didn't win any awards.
Booze_Allen - 12 Jan 2009 17:31
Great historic pub with good vibe. Now has a "real" real ale on one tap at least. Music on Sunday and Tuesday. (very busy Sunday afternoon ) Staff are all really nice . (except one power crazy loon) !! "J" you are just a barman mate chill out ! Sometimes has an impromtu cheese club on a Wednesday. All in all how a Market Place pub should run , a couple ofdowners... The Gents toilet is a disgrace and need refurbing bad. is it legal? It is a bit grubby generally . Used to do a great roast could be an idea. Poss best Pub in St A

locationlocation - 16 Dec 2008 00:19
The place could do with deep cleaning, if it was a hospital it would be a hot bed for MRSA. Everything about it is dirty, I feel dirty walking in their, it's as if other people's sweat is airborne and sticking to me. It is worth a visit for the live music (have a shower when you go home) on a Sunday night.
Sherminator - 13 Nov 2008 22:15
I think this pubs great, i always have a good time when i'm here. The staff are friendly, the beers great and the live music is fantastic.
beerwench27 - 13 Nov 2008 13:21
Dropped in on Saturday afternoon. Busy but only one bar person, loooong wait. Place was filthy, as usual.
soodly - 3 Nov 2008 11:07
I visited this pub tonight. I tried the Adnams but it tasted off. I asked the barman to taste it but was told that it was a new version of Adnams and that he wouldn't try it. Please make your own conclusions!!!!
multiplexor - 2 Nov 2008 19:53
great selection of real ales, nice staff but the gents loo needs some attention.

snorbens1 - 27 Oct 2008 01:03
Yes, that's right Foghorn - I am clinically insane.
matt_k - 13 Oct 2008 16:34
Beer great, young staff shit, or maybe thats unfair ,but black polo shirt guy , I have a long memory and my wife will not always be there! See you in awhile but not too soon or you will know.
Henners - 26 Sep 2008 00:05
The thing is, I know this Who album. It's called something like "Meaty Beaty Big and Bouncey", and I bought a copy way back in 1975. It's a great record, but I grow tired and ancient when EVERY time I walk into the Boot it's playing. Bootguys and Bootgals, how about something different, not the Who, not the Beatles and not Dylan (the singer; the dog can look after himself :-) Just something different to listen to would be nice. Thank you for reading this. Everything else about the pub I still dearly love, apart from the left-hand wash basin in the Gents. Tim xxx
timkholman - 19 Sep 2008 23:49
I think it was Olivia Newton John who sang, "Summer days, drifting away, but oh-oh those summer nights!" How right she was! How aptly she summarised the joys of sitting in the Boot on a summer's evening as the lights fade. There we all are, drinks in hand, while the Clock Tower and Abbey chime out the hours as one slips either slips into oblivion or starts buzzing for a night of mischief. Happy times. Even better, sitting outside is allowed again. This pub remains a favourite.
historyloony - 16 Aug 2008 14:37
richerthanyou - 31 Jul 2008 16:07
First time I found myself here, a coupla years ago, it was horribly rammed on a Sat nt. Yesterday ~15:00 was a much more pleasant experience, allowing appreciation for the low-ceilinged, old wood-floored, ancient timbered 16c(?) surroundings. Plenty of standing room around the central horseshoe bar & the single large room surrounded by wood furniture & settles. Only one staff on, but pub was pretty quiet & she was more attentive than some erstwhile colleagues. Summer Lightning, Youngs Ord, Directors, Bass, Celt Golden (Caerphilly?), we tried the latter two & both were in great shape.
trainman - 13 Jul 2008 13:02
They do have a tendency in this place to fill the ales completely brimming to the top - classic Southern mistake. But I still like this place, especially without the 2 feet thick layer of smoke swathing the ceiling.
matt_k - 4 Jun 2008 17:26
Good lad.
lordnewt - 19 May 2008 16:21
Ok, i'll stop now :)
hertsboy - 18 May 2008 14:05
Oh blimey, hertsboy's back! Still making personal comments about the barstaff - bang out of order, if you ask me. Hb, your judgement about pubs is usually OK, so why spoil things with 'ad hominem' attacks?
lordnewt - 17 May 2008 15:23
I haven't been here for ages. Is that steve brookstein/fred west lookalike still serving benind the bar?
hertsboy - 17 May 2008 12:00
Lovely little pub this, good eclectic crowd, genuinely friendly barstaff and a nice range of beers and lagers. The only thing it's missing is a beer garden, but there's not much they can do about that, short of annexing the clock tower. Thoroughly recommended.
artvanderlay - 4 Apr 2008 15:16
Hertsboy! Where ya bin?! The Boot hasn't changed and neither have you, it seems. C U in the Vintry.
historyloony - 28 Mar 2008 14:43
Last night I popped into the Boot and had a legover. At my age that's such a rare treat. Oh, all right (how did you guess?) it was actually a beer: Daleside Old Legover. But it was still very enjoyable. Bravo!
timkholman - 26 Feb 2008 09:47
Basic but homely drinkers pub with an excellent and diverse selection of real ales from the seven hand pumps. OK place for a pint or two.

Millay - 24 Feb 2008 21:47
Here Here Tim,

This is getting quite ridiculous. If you dont like this place go somewhere else and leave us alone to enjoy a nice pint of Youngs Special! Maybe if you weren't so busy in your bedroom on the internet hertsboy you may like to pop into the boot for a drink sometime and see what its really like(that's after you've brushed your teeth!).

Anyone unsure of this guy should just check out his other comments to local pubs!

Happy New Year to everyone and the staff at the Boot!!

ps saw a poster up sayiong deaf shepherd are playing on the 3rd of Feb-should be good!

realalerealfood - 21 Jan 2008 09:54
I've always regarded The Boot as an OK place to stop for a quick drink but not one I'd spend the evening in. It's clear they have a devoted group of regulars who get looked after by the bar staff which is not unreasonable when not taken to exremes, unfortunately it was on my last visit. We went in at about four, the barman was serving the only other person at the bar, acknowledged our presence (nice touch), completed his transaction and then proceeded to serve a guy who'd walked in after us. We left. I suspect I shall leave it to the regulars in the future.
grilledsardines - 13 Jan 2008 09:58
Amen to that
matt_k - 7 Jan 2008 15:00
Enough already. Please get real, hertsboy. If you consider The Boot to be cliquey, and resent New Year's Eve entrance charges, why not go elsewhere and leave this pub to those of us who love it? As for the incident you mention, I wasn't there so can't say too much, but in my own experience The Boot is one of the least racist, snobbish, sexist or homophobic pubs in the area. If there was a reason why this person wasn't served, barstaff are not legally obliged to give one (whether you approve of that or not), or perhaps this was a one-off misunderstanding? I don't know, but probably you don't know either. By now it's obvious that you don't like The Boot, so why keep going on about it? People's tastes are different, and we all know pubs that don't suit us, so we take our custom to those which do. I suggest you do the same. Swings and roundabouts. Horses for courses. Despite everything, happy new year!
timkholman - 5 Jan 2008 18:48
Did the Boot charge an enterance fee New Years's eve?
hertsboy - 4 Jan 2008 11:27
Was at the Boot for New Years Eve and it was amazing!! Best New Year I have ever had. Well done to the runaway boys for another amazing performance and well done to The Boot for delivering yet again a faultless evening!!! I love you guys!!!

realalerealfood - 3 Jan 2008 17:14
Sounds like he's missed the point eh readers? Chortle!!
matt_k - 3 Jan 2008 16:18
It's always good to be reassured that there are real people working in a pub. It's just a shame they couldn't employ real bar staff as well.

Note to visitors: please remember that the staff at the Boot aren't here to make your visit a pleasure - their primary goals are to: chat to their mates ("Hey!", "Yah!", "Cool!"); serve the regulars; cock up your order and short-change you (not dishonestly, I suspect, but out of sheer incompetence). Enjoy.

Now, where did I put my lederhosen...

elwood_p_dowd - 3 Jan 2008 14:35
People who complain about the Boot are the type who had to wear short trousers right up their last day at school. This is a real pub, with real people, on both sides of the bar. Always worth a visit!
enterbluebottle - 30 Dec 2007 20:43
It's impossible not to be charmed by the building, and the setting by the clock tower is rather lovely. The beers are varied and interesting (if a bit crappily poured). Sometimes a bit cliquey, but so what? Bring some friends with you!
matt_k - 13 Dec 2007 15:39
I've never been to the Boot, but I'm struggling to think of why anyone would give half a crap that someone had an epileptic fit there. In what way does this reflect on the pub? Are publicans meant to check their clients' medical records before serving them? Are people not allowed to spend five hours in a pub drinking?

As it seems to be a matter of such pressing urgency that we have all these facts confirmed, could Man123 provide us with contact details for the ambulance crew? Does their story stand up under cross-examination??? Is it widely accepted that the consumption of alcohol can induce epileptic fits??? WHY?????
RageofKlugman - 5 Dec 2007 11:45
You can check with ambulance crew. That man was "disorientated" and claimed to have been in the pub for 5 hours...not popping in for a swift half.
man123 - 5 Dec 2007 11:23
FACT; the man who had a fit in this pub was in the pub for 5 hours.

There are 2 conclusions you can draw.
Either he was allowed to consume too much alcohol in that lenghty time Or he didn't drink much. If he didn't drink much and had only half a pint in 5 hours this is quite amazing. Did he fall asleep? Collapse? Did the staff notice this?
man123 - 5 Dec 2007 11:20
And another comment, when rating the "Waterend Barn" above this pub you really must question who Hertsboy is and why he is so attacking of this brilliant pub!
realalerealfood - 4 Dec 2007 01:22
A fabulous pub! I love it more every visit!! You only have to look at the history of fantastic comments to realise that this is possibly the best pub in st albans(ignoring the allegations by hertsboy who seems determined to destroy the integrity of this pub-I sincerely hope those false comments will be removed!)

The staff are wonderful, intelligent and most of them very talented musicians (Tuesday nights-a lot of them sing)A joy to be here!! Vive la Boot

ps beautiful log fire was lit over the weekend and they were selling chesnuts!!!
realalerealfood - 4 Dec 2007 01:16
their* even.
wr20 - 14 Nov 2007 16:47
Hertsboy I was there the day of the ambulance and that person had half of there pint and suffered an epilectic fit. I feel criticising The Boot for this is a bit off the mark.
wr20 - 14 Nov 2007 16:45
You don't have to be drunk to fit..
anonymous - 13 Nov 2007 17:30
I don't know why people are so quick to dismiss The Boot. The old guys having a quiet pint are great, as they point out..not cliquey at all. They add an air that they've been there for years and it's comfortable..not trying to be something it's not, no pub should have to apologise for having regulars.
There's nothing wrong with the staff contrary to all these weirdos!
The staff are all friendly and come have a chat about whatever whenever. It's not meant to be the most efficient's an old pub with a bar too small for the amount of people who go in, it's usually called CHARACTER. At least it's not clinical like some of these modern boxes filled with bimbos and booze..cough"vintry"
Best time to go in is during the day.
Yes.It gets way too crowded sometimes and yes that's when staff find it hard to cope.funny that.
Definitely one of the best in St Albans.

ps. Hertsboy,
Being concerned enough to call an ambulance over someone epileptic actually reassures me that the staff care.
blueliberty - 10 Nov 2007 20:27
Well done to the Boots team for decking the pub out for Halloween yesterday. It was quite tastefully done. The (female) staff looked good in their witches outfits too!
historyloony - 1 Nov 2007 12:09
Sorry Boot, you are potentially the best pub in St Albans city centre, but you wont be until you get some decent bar staff. Disappointing, again
elwood_p_dowd - 12 Oct 2007 09:36
by the way - the floor need varnishing again!
dozysharp - 18 Sep 2007 14:26
Excellent pints of Brains SA, excellent band last Sunday (Runaway boys) late license on a Friday and Saturday night, and a TV put in to watch the rugby world cup. Graet stuff!
dozysharp - 10 Sep 2007 13:09
I am new to the area, and have found some friends already, thanks to the Boot.
shygeezer - 26 Jul 2007 17:53
The floor was varnished today. As a woman, I care about these things! Y viva El Booto!
dulldolly - 3 Jul 2007 21:19
The new Sunday live music sessions are yet another reason to love this pub. Yesterday saw two stonkingly good sets (and this morning my ears don't seem to be functioning). The barstaff worked incredibly hard and the crowd was extremely good natured, to boot (sorry).
Can't think of anything else to say. The Boot really is at the top of its game right now.
timkholman - 2 Jul 2007 07:45
Or "El Booto Collapso", as it should be called! I sympathise with those who say that, really, this pub is nothing special and doesn't deserve all these high ratings. But, really, it is incredibly human as well as being red-hot on the beers, wines, lagers etc etc and therefore as far as I'm concerned it is more than welcome to a place in the BITE Top 40.
Terryadinfinitum - 28 Jun 2007 20:49
What I like about this pub is that its whole philosophy is "live and let live". You can sit at the window and watch the girls go by, or the boys go by, and no one gives a toss. Meanwhile the music is great and you can just be yourself here. Very rare, very special, love it!
lordnewt - 15 Jun 2007 21:34
Good selection of ales, always well kept. Quite a jolly crowd of folks and a friendly atmosphere. Exit Bluebottle, inebriated.
enterbluebottle - 15 Jun 2007 09:43
I like this pub more and more, but was very confused last night. In the Beehive everyone was in school uniforms, so I trundled up to the Boot to find ... a crowd dressed up as policewomen and escaped convicts. Confusion, confusion, this is all illogical!
dalekemperor - 28 May 2007 12:00
A shining jewel. The centre of St Albans is surprisingly lacking in decent pubs, apart from the Boot, White Swan and - time will tell - revamped Fleur de Lys.
The great things about the Boot include tip-top beers, keen staff (usually) and a friendly atmosphere.
When grossly sloshed I give it 10/10, but more generally an easy 8/10.
grosslysloshed - 23 May 2007 08:45
For a city centre pub, this is an excellent joint. Very good atmosphere inside, frequented by people of all ages. Exceptionally jolly. Sheeps Ale OK, but could do better.
seasiderMM - 22 May 2007 12:39
In all my years of illicit drinking, I've never heard St Austell beer referred to as "Snozzle" before. But that's what they call it in this place and - do you know what - it's rather good!
I also enjoyed the Exmoor Stag and Otter ales, which led to very un-dalek-like soporific behaviour and silly laughing etc. My exterminating powers became non-existent for a while, which I didn't like at all.
dalekemperor - 21 May 2007 20:16
Very good beer in this pub and a laugh a minute too! Excellent.
lordnewt - 19 May 2007 13:03
I've just found out that today is the 3rd anniversary of Will taking this pub over and starting its progress towards the 21st century!
Will, thank you for what you've done and thank you too for the free pint!
Some of the comments below are a bit weird but they are all constructive and reflect the positive sentiments that all Boot-lovers feel about this pub.
Ed's haircut is clearly a major talking point. He'll soon be gone, you know. Personally, I shall miss him.
But long live the Boot!
timkholman - 13 May 2007 22:14
Good fun and lively, and I've always enjoyed OK service here. A couple of the punters were so p****d they could hardly stand, but I suppose that's normal for a Saturday night.
The barman was telling EVERYONE about his haircut, which was quite funny. Hey, mate, we all have those from time to time!
I think the Boot's at its peak at the moment. With a bad manager it could go downhill fast, but let's hope that never happens.
I'll give this place 9/10.

garyatthebar - 29 Apr 2007 13:24
Good atmosphere, well-kept beers but erratic service.
onemorefortheroad - 26 Apr 2007 11:16
My best friends are in this pub, even if they don't know it.
From the outside it looks quite dull, but the beer is great, the atmosphere sensational and to be honest I cannot imagine a nicer "locals'" pub anywhere in the country.
Not only that, but Ed's had a haircut. Don't tell a soul.
I love this pub so much, I could die!!!!!!!!!

anonymous - 18 Apr 2007 20:55
Adjacent to a medieval clock tower, the Boot amply demonstrates its 15th century heritage. Anyone over six feet tall would struggle to cope with the low ceiling. Old beams and boarded walls give this one-roomed pub some character, amplified by the real fire. Five changing real ales complete the picture. A little smoky on my visit but that wont last. Clear air and great beer. Heaven!
Alerover - 22 Feb 2007 20:25
Don't understand why it is so popular, it is always crowded, dirty and smokey. With the second slowest bar staff in St Albans (after the Fighting Cocks).
anonymous - 2 Feb 2007 15:59
A classic old building thats been the "Boot" for about 500 years ( I think some idiots tried to change it to "Scruffy Murpthys a few years back!)Excellent beer choice,can be hard to get to the bar as its always crowded with people on the bar stools,but the staff give you that good eye contact that says I know you need serving.Cant tell you what it looks like as there is always a real pea souper of a smoke haze,maybe after the smoking ban Ill find out its an ugly old pub inside or worse instead of smoke it will smell of fatty bloke farts!8/10
Henners - 21 Dec 2006 18:13
The pub is excellent as far as beer and clientle are concerned, but even as a smoker myself, it was very smokey in there.

Always a good selection of beers and a lively atmosphere and smack in the middle of town and open until midnight.

The same team run the Verulam Arms a few hundred yards away and know how to run a good pub
bikerbeer - 29 Nov 2006 15:42
Im looking forward to visiting the Boot some time after summer 2007, once the smoking ban in enclosed public places takes effect. Its an interesting-looking pub with a decent selection of ales but unless you crave the smell of saltpetre or are taking an experimental beagle for a walk, Id give it a miss.

Also, should you have the misfortune to want to order drinks while the barman is taking a fag break, be prepared to be ignored, or given a look which roughly translates as why dont you leave me alone and take your business elsewhere. Readers, thats exactly what I did. A disappointing 4/10.

elwood_p_dowd - 8 Sep 2006 09:40
Top pub, Old, low ceilings, no flashing lights / music, knowledgeable barman & 5 very good real ales on the pumps... Other drinks were available from the bar, I think!!! P.S. Don't be the nominated driver for this one; it's not a pub to drive away from.
chris123 - 5 Sep 2006 09:55
Love it, love it, love it! The Boot's not much to look at (!) but the drinks and barstaff are great and most of the other customers are friendly too. The pub is also in a brilliant position, right at the centre of the city.
Why can't we have at least one decent pub like this where I live?
Oh yes - and it was funny to see that after I said the Fleur de Lys opposite was rubbish, it's closed down. The Curse of Gary strikes again!

garyatthebar - 24 Jul 2006 15:17
quiet well run pub good choice of beers, almost as good as Red Lion...
moclips2002 - 8 Jul 2006 08:54
Liked this one too - nice friendly barstaff. Last week visited the Boot, Verulam, and the Fleur, which was total pants.
garyatthebar - 14 Jun 2006 18:57
Well, what can I say? One of my favourite pubs seeing as I was asked for ID (something that has not happened to me in over 10 yrs and makes me feel much better since I am turning 30 next year!). Didn't stay too long as had places to go, but seemed really nice and in a fab location. Lots of character.
theduchess - 2 Jun 2006 21:47
Remains a great pub in the centre of town. Hard to fault the beers, food or friendly atmosphere. But I've noticed in recent weeks a slight lowering of standards by some of the newer barstaff. If they're reading a book, or gossiping with mates, they'll finish that then serve you at their own inconvenience. It's not yet a big problem, but it's a definite trend.
Sorry if that sounds a bit grumpy. But since it was me who nominated this pub in Nov 2004 I still feel very paternal towards it and don't want it to fall behind the competition!
timkholman - 20 May 2006 11:41
Great pub, great beer, great atmosphere but the staff on Saturday evening were the slowest I've come across in a long time.
exile - 8 May 2006 19:56
Girls' pub.
anonymous - 3 May 2006 20:48

A nice enough place to spend a few hours. Three or four real ales on; nice central location; quite a traditional interior; very friendly staff when I was in last week.
Hancock - 3 May 2006 15:28
Enjoyable lively atmosphere, and the 5 real ales are much appreciated. Can get busy in the early evening after 6pm, but I've never had any problems getting served. As St Albans pubs go, this one is marvellously un-cliquey.
anonymous - 30 Jan 2006 13:14
Interesting selection of real ales: good.
Candle-light and classical music: very pleasant.
Inability of potential customers to get served because of large groups at the bar (even when rest of the pub is empty): frustrating.
Permanent heavy fug of cigarette smoke: enough to drive away my custom.


anonymous - 26 Jan 2006 10:35
Reasonable selection of beers, quality usually OK. Ambience varies. Can be difficult to get to the bar at busy times. Certainly much improved in the past year. Don't quite know why I'm luke-warm about this one!
Hopsucker - 10 Jan 2006 13:32
Goes from strength to strength - and not just the beers! The combination of a relaxed, friendly atmosphere, excellent choice of drinks, good food and hardworking barstaff is very hard to beat. I always struggle with my conscience over these things, but at the moment this is my Number One pub in St Albans. The White Lion is number 2 and Garibaldi/White Hart Tap joint number 3. All right, pop pickers?! (Oops, showing my age there.)
anonymous - 2 Jan 2006 10:44
What a lovely pub. Very cosy, friendly and nice crowd too. A little gem of a place highly recommended!
dirtyarab - 13 Dec 2005 20:12
Always buzzing, really good, really nice. You won't be disappointed!
anonymous - 2 Dec 2005 22:57
If you like real ale (or even well kept lager) - this is the pub.
HarryJ - 11 Aug 2005 20:34
Well I haven't been in for a while but its one of the nicest pubs I have been in. Friendly staff cozy atmosphere and its so good to see because there was a worry that we may loose it but all credit to new management they have bought back the boot!
summer - 14 Apr 2005 15:55
Fantastic Up-market pub. Well worth the visit. Best Ale in St Albans centre. The staff are wonderful and the pub is really welcoming. I am so happy that the Boot is back. Well done to the new owners who over the last year have succeeded in turning a terrible place into the best pub in St Albans City Centre! A delightful experience.
therealaleman - 11 Mar 2005 14:00
Quality place, very busy now in the evenings as well.

dpiom - 6 Feb 2005 21:29
This pub is in the city centre by the Clock Tower, and is well worth a visit. It was refurbished in May 2004 and is well-run, lively and friendly. Don't be put off by the Benskins Brewery sign outside, I don't know why it's still there: in fact The Boot offers a wide range of drinks, including five real ales.
timkholman - 22 Nov 2004 20:02

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