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London Apprentice, Old Isleworth

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user reviews of the London Apprentice, Old Isleworth

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

A real disappointment. A pub with a great location close to Syon House and amid tranquil Thameside surrounds but touristy. Beers are just the ride side of OK with the local Twickenham brewery represented in typically unexciting style as well as Greene King’s festive offering Rocking Rudolph. Service was brusque and impatient while a steak and kidney pie as very poor – overcooked pastry with congealed filling.
BoehmBawerk - 21 Jan 2018 10:00
Have to agree with the last comment; an unwelcoming pub full of tourists sitting by the river and moody looking locals. Asked to try a beer and the taster would have only been good as vinegar for the microwaved chips. Settled for a half of Ghost Ship instead - very average. How on earth is this place in the CAMRA guide?
alebarry - 7 Jul 2016 09:03
unwelcoming pub full of unwelcoming locals... Tourist trap
bigalfish1 - 10 Jan 2016 09:29
Good local pub at attracts plenty of passersby and tourists. Good selection of real ales plus the usual lagers ciders and soft drinks. Food good and plenty of it if a little bit pricy. On a sunny day the outside area can get very busy which overlooks the river.

Good place for a passing drink but not for a serious session.
droggs - 8 May 2015 14:10
Paid my first visit yesterday while out walking another stretch of the Capital Ring with my friend. Lovely atmosphere, friendly staff and an excellent range of ales. We both opted for Okell's from the Isle of Man and it duly proved to be a good choice as we had another! We both chose good, old-fashioned bangers and mash for our lunch and the Boroughbridge sausages were divine so I asked where I could get some. A very historic pub with such famous personages as Henry VIII with Catherine Howard, Lady Jane Grey and Charles Dickens all having crossed the threshold for a crisp one! Not to mention the smugglers who used the cellar and tunnels to stash their booty! This is a top-drawer pub and will hopefully be visited again.
roobs52 - 17 Oct 2014 23:24
Visited yesterday. Staff very friendly and food good. Only strange thing is that this is a riverside pub but views from the riverside terrace obscured by flower troughs!
Alltold - 22 Aug 2014 10:58
first visit sat 16th june quiet but staff ok, and a gorge pint of Purity mad goose @ 3.55, which is favourable compared to what you can pay in some brighton pubs for catpiss.sat and watched the river roll by for a while,v.pleasant.
darkman1828 - 23 Jun 2012 13:31
3.80 for a mediocre pint of "London Pride"! This pub is vastly over-rated. It's probably the best in that area but that's not saying much if we're honest.
StrawhillJ - 22 Jun 2012 12:53
Called in from a meeting just down the road. Fairly packed at 6pm, took a while to be served. Emphasis seems to be on food rather than beer early in the evening. Pint of St Austell Tribute. Clean glass, well poured and then knocked on the beer pump as passed over to me resulting in a short pint, no attempt was taken to top it back up. Sat outside alongside the river. 'Garden' full of businessmen on mobiles talking loudly. All in all, not the best visit.
Fuller_Beer - 14 Jun 2012 10:42
Gents toilets an absolute disgrace last Saturday. Floor covered in mixture of urine and leaking water. My wife could smell it from outside.
Food OK, but not great.
allend - 27 Feb 2012 19:24
Great Pub, Great Staff.. A pleasure to drink in .
monty02 - 17 Feb 2012 18:28
Popped along today for a late lunch. Enjoyable Sunday Roast washed down with Hogs Back TEA.

Good service all round, quality in the food and ale.
mch1907 - 18 Dec 2011 19:05
NIce pub, good food, good choice of ale's, friendly and helpfull staff, worth a visit 8/10 for me
love_a_pint24 - 22 Oct 2011 14:05
Located in the ye olde part of Isleworth right on the river next to the converted Norman Church (Have a walk around the graveyard at the back if you get a chance, its like a mini Highgate). Good selection of beers, usually have Doombar or Summer Lightning on as well as common stuff from Youngs. Food is pretty standard but reasonably priced. Had steak and eggs on my visit, well cooked and plenty of chips and salad.

Has a fantastic outside area which stretches out over the river so you can watch herons in the summer. There is also a little grass section on the side with some benches. Its pretty quiet here during the day which makes it a great place to chill out during the summer months. Cosy during the winter.
Nice mix of locals and adventurous tourists. Well worth a visit.

xaventaner - 5 Apr 2011 13:28
I have lived in the area for over 30 years and was looking for a pub to go to on a sunny Sunday lunchtime in winter where we could park as I am currently on crutches. I last went about 15 years ago and thought the service was terrible but thought it must have improved as all pubs have in the last few years. It was packed, lovely staff, filthy carpet and still smells of smoke. Dreary formulaic menu and as the Roast was so cheap decided not to risk it and went for Chicken burger and Chips - how wrong could that go - appalling, tasteless and dry! What a waste of a pub with a stunning location - please do not give it your custom - there are so many better places to eat! Shame as lovely staff - so probably ok for beer on the jetty in the sunshine!
mozartsmother - 14 Mar 2011 20:29
not bad selection of beer, bit pricey.

The lunchtime food has gone right down hill, the fish and chips would be better off called batter and chips, dirty tables, one couple cleaned there own table. staff seemed more interested in playing a computor game, food failed to arrive.

Will not return to eat.
anonymous - 7 Mar 2011 17:18
i love men [email protected]
johntango - 17 Jan 2011 20:46
the last review is correct about it being more of a food pub - having said that, I thought it a very good pub of that type, having gone in here for the first time in a decade, I'd definitely go back..,
TheGP - 7 Dec 2010 20:09
The London Apprentice is a well known attractively situated pub on the river in the old part of Isleworth. The pub is named after apprentices from the City livery companies who used to row up here on their days off and partake of liquid refreshments. The pub also has - perhaps inevitably - a number of historical connections, among them being Henry VIII, Nell Gwynne and Cromwell.

An attractive Georgian frontage leads into a low ceilinged pub with a number of different areas. A recent refurbishment has created something of a rather chain pub style interior, although some original features remain - most notably some etched Isleworth Ales windows and double doors on the Church Street side, indicative of a former multi-room layout and a former off- sales facility. It's now in the Punch Taverns portfolio and, on my recent visit, staff were wearing the usual black corporate shirts.

In one corner of the pub are a few rugby related pictures / photos and there's also some interesting old photos of the area. An attractive outside verandah affords fine views of the river and Isleworth Ait opposite. An elegant and impressive upstairs function room - "The Riverview Room " - has some attractive original decorative plaster moulding on the ceiling which is worth a look.

The pub has that typically transient tourist pub feel to it and, on my occasional visits here, I've never detected anything of a local or community pub atmosphere. Food now appears to play a more dominant part in proceedings.

On my most recent visit last week, beers on were mainly the usual suspects - Deuchars IPA, London Pride, Doom Bar, Youngs London Gold, Hop Back Summer Lightening plus, notably, Purity Mad Goose. The Summer Lightening - at a pricey 3.37p - was reasonable. The London Gold - 2.95p - wasn't desperately good. Pleasingly, and in contrast to pubs across the river in Richmond, plastic glasses are not required for outside drinking.

If you haven't been here before, it's worth popping in if you're in the area, particularly on a pleasant summer's afternoon.
JohnBonser - 10 Jun 2010 12:53
nice pub but better to head around the corner to THE SWAN INN
lormac31 - 8 Apr 2010 19:32
really you should go to this pub. it is a wonderful, wonderful location, on a peninsula opposite kew gardens (you can cross the river by boat in summer) - probably one of the nicest locations in the whole of london.

the pub itself is quite old, but has become sadly just a bit too touristy; the experience lacks genuineness and basic quality.

but what a place. see the birds swoop obver the iyot. watch overblown rich tourists come back to find their car four feet underwater. extraordinary.
stoichkov - 14 Oct 2009 20:48
Nothing nicer than staring across the river from the terrace over a pint of TT Landlord. Does get busy but nowhere near as barmy as nearby Richmond.
realalesnob - 21 Aug 2009 15:29
The real ales on were London Pride, Doom Bar, Broadside, GKIPA, GK Abbot Ale, and Doom Bar. This is a pretty good selection of ales, even if there is nothing particularly interesting from micro-breweries. Its a Spirit Group pub, having that sort of pubco feel about it perhaps its the faux chalkboards that give it away. But its one of the better Spirit Group pubs that Ive been in, with its superb riverside setting. The windows proclaim it to have been an Isleworth Ales pub, plus there is an unused door with the glass in advertising entrance to the Public Bar. Its now a one-room pub of course, but its nice that they retain at least some of these original features at least they looked original to me. Anyway, I had the Doom Bar, which tasted fine, and at the decent (but literally odd) price of 2.79 a pint. I think that this is a fairly good pub, but if I had to improve it I would bin the out of place games machine and the cash dispenser. Ive no doubt that these are now necessary evils, but they do detract from the character of the pub. Definitely worth a visit to sit outside (weather permitting) on the riverside terrace and enjoy the view.
RexRattus - 20 Apr 2009 18:42
The pub is located in an attractive (and probably lucrative) riverside location with a comfortable terrace outside overlooking the Thames and some creek entering it. Inside, the main bar has wooden floors with black and white tiles to the front of the long bar down one side of the room. Seating areas are seperated by opaque glazed screens but these are fairly recent I guess. Two adjacent entrance doors give a clue to the original layout. A few old Isleworth Brewery etched windows have been retained. The music playing was a touch too loud certainly for the afternoon.
Another room to the rear is quieter, carpetted and with fairly old good quality wooden tables worthy of a fairly grand dining room.
The outdoor terrace was really rather pleasant on a sunny March afternoon although I reckon space and tranquillity would be at a premium on a sunny summer weekend. An adjacent slipway gives access to the river and its "beach".
Beers were Doombar, Adnams Broadside, GK IPA and Flankers Tackle and Gales (Fullers?) Swing Low. The Doombar was clear and smelled ok but tasted a bit flat, as if past its best.
Maldenman - 21 Mar 2009 12:01
This pub used to be one of the finest in West London, but standards have dropped over the last few years. There's still a great range of beers, but I found staff who knew nothing about them and this shows in the presentation. For me, still best visiting after about 8 in the evening when there are no kids allowed or around. I still love sitting in their beer garden of a summers evening. It's an idyllic spot by the Thames> [email protected] continue to visit but look forward to a return to it's glory years
Hanwale - 13 Oct 2008 13:29
I had a pleasant weekday lunchtime in here recently. 6 real ales were available along with a variety of premium and bog standard lagers. Granted it wasnt very busy, but the barmaid was very friendly and service was instantaneous. I was on the Pride and found it to be top notch.

The pub itself is lovely looking with lots of room around the bar and a separate room at the rear with conservatory attached. The back of the pub opens up onto a fantastic terrace area with great views of the river.

I didnt eat the food whilst I was there, but the beer was great and that is why I went in the first place.

Strongers - 30 Sep 2008 09:42
Excellent pint of Timothy Taylor Landlord here, highly recommended. - 31 Aug 2008 17:46
Too many children. Ones too many mind.
nickthefish - 10 Jun 2008 13:56
Great location, and much improved since the misreable scotsman left. Food's not great, but better than it was. haven't had a Sunday roast though - let's start a campaign to ban the dreaded microwave.
flummery - 1 May 2008 18:00
Trying to get served in here on a Saturday night is past a joke. I was in last night with friends and had to shout to get a drink from barmaids who would look at you and then keep disappearing to collect glasses, deliver food and bottles of champagne to various corners of the pub that at times seemed to be overrun with toddlers. (yes at nearly 10pm) Supposedly 5 beers on tap but 2 ran out while we were there and as usual "London Pride" off.
This seems to be the usual Saturday night scenario now from a "pub" that is rapidly going downhill.
StrawhillJ - 27 Apr 2008 10:54
Been here twice and both times have had to endure Abba on rotation. Sausages and mash, at nearly a tenner, appeared to be value sausages, smash (59p a packet last time I checked) and oxo. This place will always be full because of its location, but really, they don't deserve the river.
JonP - 5 Apr 2008 10:26
The food in here is abysmal. Not only did it take forever to arrive but one of our group's was cold. They heated it up in the microwave. Mmmm, microwaved roast dinner, great. Hard potatoes that seemed to have been cooked last week and meat that wasn't a joint of lamb, it seemed more like one of those cheap frozen roll things.

One of our group is disabled and she had to use the disabled touilet, which was locked, so we had to wait ages before they found the key which, it turned out, had been left in the toilet all along. Add to that there was no light bulb in the toilet so they had to put candles in there - which they cleverly positioned under the fan so it went out immediately.

Shocking. Shame cos it's a nice location but a disappointment every time. Perhaps I should give up.
Cleversaz - 27 Mar 2008 16:35
Nice pub in the summer!
annom1 - 10 Feb 2008 16:10
Well worth a visit because of its stunning position on the river. Cosy downstairs bar and a slightly blander restaurant upstairs.
mozzzzzz - 4 Jan 2008 16:13
First visit since the refurbishment. Much nicer.

Had a couple of very pleasant pints there although it was early so not many in. The potential is obviously there if they can keep the beers well.
danbert - 29 Dec 2007 22:34
Just had a major refurb and certainly looks a lot better than it has in the past couple of years. The function room upstairs is a bar option now too. Went there on the night of the Varsity Game so it was pretty rammed but all good natured with a few people trying out the new menu too. Early doors for the new landlord still. Since this is a place that really comes into its own in the summer maybe he could drum up a bit of atmosphere in the darker months with a music or quiz night? They've been a bit hit and miss in the past but Murray seemed to get them working. Too a good a pub not to be busy and the best view a snoutcast smoker could ask for.
arthur_dinari - 12 Dec 2007 11:03
Nice bar but since new manager bar has went down hill
anonymous - 16 Nov 2007 01:04
A pretty pub. Usually busy. If you get a seat in the pub side you feel like youre in a real pub, if you have to sit in the food side (which happens quite a lot as the pub side is quite small) you feel like youre sat in a hotel conference room. Outside has lovely views of the Thames and the Isleworth Ayt, but does get very crowded at obvious times. Worth a visit, but get in early to get the most from it.
bootsy36 - 4 Sep 2007 13:48
Nice traditional well known riverside pub. Note the old Isleworth Brewery etched windows. Timothy Taylor's Landlord was on good form. Pub very busy yesterday evening - Tuesday - and the service was a bit slow, but, despite it often being overrun with tourists and visitors to nearby Syon Park, this pub is well worth seeking out.
JohnBonser - 6 Jun 2007 13:10
Was here last night, very friendly service in a village-like location. Recommended.
ONscotland - 23 Feb 2007 14:56
I had a nice pint of 'Landlord' in here on Sunday night with the 'Squire', 'cos they'd run out of London Pride! Nearly spilt the lot when the young bargirl with the low-cut top bent forward for something..!! Steady now..!
Not a bad little boozer. Difficult to get to if you haven't got wheels. (Couldn't take the boat.. its having its 50,000m service..)! TJ
TeeJay - 23 Aug 2006 16:00
Good views of the river and a pleasant spot therefore for Summer outside drinking. Beer prices have gone up since my last visit - now 2.64 for London Pride - but still not unreasonable for the area. Now doing live music some evenings, not sure a pub like this really needs to. Note the old etched Isleworth Brewery windows at the front of the pub - people like me notice such things
JohnBonser - 18 Jul 2006 09:34
Decent pub. Clearly a great location - large terrace on the riverside. Decent pint of Landlord. Decent sandwiches. Friendly service from gaggle of female bar staff.

Doesn't really feel like a pub you'd linger in but a decent lunch stop.
anonymous - 10 Jul 2006 11:58
Don't know why the new landlord, I believe his name is Tom, decided to install two flat screen tv's and new bar staff, most of whom don't know how to give service with a smile . The money would have been better spent fixing up the toilets which are in the most terrible state of disrepair. I agree with others re- the food, not as good as it could be, though the sandwiches aren't half bad. You couldn't get a better view of the river which probably hasn't changed much in centuries. People will always go there because of the location and the history but money needs to be spent on the upkeep.
jojo2 - 16 May 2006 11:10
Gone completely downhill since Oisin and Charlie left the business. All the friendly staff left as soon as the new landlord took over, the food has gone terrible and the real ale is usually undrinkable, that's if you can get served at all. What a brilliant ruined again by poor management.
anonymous - 12 Apr 2006 09:47
Visited on Sunday 9th April 2006. I was shocked to find that the London Apprentice has dispensed with their bar billiards table, a real shame that more and more pubs are going for that one extra tiny table they can squeeze in rather than sticking with and promoting this fun, traditional game. Sunday lunch was absolutely awful and shockingly overpriced at 8.95. Roast lamb was overcooked and covered in mint sauce and the veg were overcooked and greasy. The selection of beers was as good as ever, but sadly someone isn't looking after their cellar as the TT Landlord was quite disgusting. And as a final finishing touch to a disappointing outing, there were two sources of music contrasting and competing with each other which did nothing for my hangover! This is a beautiful pub in an amazing setting - surely they can do better than this!!!?
Oolybel - 11 Apr 2006 16:52
The LA's been in decline for some 2 decades now, being a boozer totally lacking in atmosphere, personality or warmth and relying solely on it's historic value. The only good thing you could say was that it was the best in the immediate area, but hey look at the opposition.
Under the new management of Charlie, Osher & staff though it's becoming a fun place again. Let's hope it lasts.
StrawhillJohn - 21 Mar 2006 22:51
Have to disagree completely with the last comment. I've moved to Isleworth recently and I can faithfully say that this is definately the only decent pub in the area. The food is good, the drinks are fine and the staff are great and really friendly. Maybe they were texting me!
anonymous - 13 Mar 2006 15:24
Poor atmosphere, Staff who look like they dont belong, dont want to be there and stood around reading newspapers and texting when they could be looking after the customers! Poor food and limited menu. Lovely surroundings though.
anonymous - 26 Feb 2006 18:07
Manager Charlie is a top man, he used to work in St Margarets Tavern. Nice friendly barstaff. Quality food, good fun pub and they let you finish your drinks at closing time not like the last lot of miseries who couldn't wait to shoo you out into the cold at 11.15.
anonymous - 23 Feb 2006 09:33
I visit the London Apprentice regularly and improvements over the last few months are amazing. Gone are the grumpy staff who hadn't a clue what they are doing - replaced by well trained and friendly staff. It's a pleasure to go in now for a nice pint and great food!
anonymous - 25 Jan 2006 08:28
After yesterday's visit to the London Apprentice I was very impressed with both the service standards and the variety and quality of Real Ales. There is a large choice of Ales which tasted up to scratch. The atmosphere was welcoming, the bar staff were helpful and knew what they were talking about. It has certainly changed for the better since my previous visit six months ago; the management has changed and you can definitely tell!
anonymous - 23 Jan 2006 17:50
never ever ever ever been to a pub thats over priced so much and then your drink is served in a plastic cup (if your sitting outside) were not all football thugs!!!! and then to complete the cheek of it serve ladies bottles of wine with wine galsses (outside)!!!!???????? bar staff are much nicer in the town wharf and prettier (girls) that is. beer much cheeper and it's nice to try different beers. cider is top notch.
anonymous - 20 Jan 2006 12:32
Seems to have changed for the better recently. Beer has improved and there are new friendly barmaids who don't scowl at you and it's clean and tidy.
anonymous - 1 Dec 2005 09:36
There's a reasonable atmosphere in the pub. The beer is OK, but you would be better off going to the Town Wharf up the road.
julesbaby - 27 Oct 2005 20:28
Great for hot summers days, sitting out by the river. Friendly aussie staff, beer a little more expensive than most the locals, but the surroundings make up for this. A few years back, used to take my old mum here for Sunday lunch, was decent quality and fairly priced. Unfortunately the quality of the food has gone way hill while the prices have gone the other way. Better food = more customers = more beer sold.
Selly - 8 Aug 2005 14:59
Agree that the beer is far better then the dreadful 'choices' on offer down the road in the Town Wharf and have spent a few pleasant afternoons in here, lovely riverside location. Wouldn't recommend the food tho - overpriced and, well, crap really. Sunday lunch was a huge disappointment.
Cleversaz - 3 May 2005 00:37
Used to have a bar billiards table, bit sadly this has been removed recently for no apparent reason. It's not as if it took up much space.

Still a decent pub though, and nicely authentic.

Incidentally, someone asks why you'd drink in the Apprentice when the beer's cheaper in the Town Wharf just down the road. The answer is that the beer in the Wharf is awful. Samuel Smiths, so that means no Guinness and no lagers you've ever heard of. Beer in the Apprentice is fine though.
Tony303 - 20 Apr 2005 16:32
Seems to be much improved recently. Staff appear knowledgeable and friendly and the beer was on good form on my visit yesterday. Nice to see a pub like this, where you might expect to find the beer below par, proudly displaying the Cask Marque stickers on the handpumps and serving a splendid London Pride at only 2.52p. ( it's now 2.60 at the nearby Fullers - tenanted Swan Inn )

Very pleasant indeed sitting outside by the river in the spring sunshine watching the tide come in.

Note the old Isleworth Brewery and the Jug and Bottle etched glass - Nice that the pub owners - The Spirit Group - have resisted the temptation to vandalise the pub and take these out.

Other pub companies / owners take note please !
JohnBonser - 29 Mar 2005 13:48
cant argue with comments about situation, beautfull views. BUT BUT NEEDED THE EXTRA BUT very over priced food, which used to bee very good BUT is now very very average. shame nice venue and have had very good times there V
anonymous - 2 Feb 2005 23:02
Too many kids screaming about, antipodean barstaff not too up on their knowledge of uk drinks and local area if you are a visitor. Great manager in Murray an family
dizzyblonde - 17 Aug 2004 20:41
this place is what summer daytime drinking is all about!
a long terrace along the river, lots of seats, reminds me a bitof some cambridge pubs in that sense. perfect for watching the world/ducks/boats go by.

screaming kids are irritating though. no doubt about it.
JT - 10 Aug 2004 13:50
Quite a nice pub, although it is twice the price of the Town Wharf next door, so why you would to spend an evening in the Apprentice instead is beyond me.
TheGP - 9 Aug 2004 16:21
Pleasant enough pub right by the river Thames, in one of the best spots in London to watch the world go by and make time for a relaxing pint. The pub is friendly enough, serves London Pride and has a slight rugby theme going on. But yes, beware the many small children fresh from wallowing in the filth of the river bed whose mission it is to spill things and scream.
Agnes - 6 Apr 2004 11:52
Cosy in winter and a good beer garden for the summer, The Apprentice is well worth a visit. It retains a good character, although on afternoons there might be a few kids around - no doubt a by-product of Sion Park revellers hitting the pub for a post family day drink. Bit pricey too and the atmosphere can occasionally feel a bit flat.
Good for: week day afternoons in summer and Sunday evenings in winter.
thenationofjames - 20 Feb 2004 10:25
Great location, indifferent real ales (in fact, no real ales at all on one visit!). Antipodean staff appear to have little or no knowledge of the product they sell. OK pub, but could be so much better.
Jim - 10 Nov 2003 12:46
tish and pish, this place is excellent-especially after a visit to syon park-and the garden centre.
Lord suffer-fools-not-so-gladly - 10 Sep 2003 12:17
fantastic outside terrace for sunning & watching the boats go by on the thames. friendly aussie bar staff. food ok. cosy indoors on cold days/nights. can be overrun outside by whinging brats esp on sundays.
millym - 25 Jul 2003 21:19
Bit pricey for beer. Sunday lunch good, but small amounts and sometimes a little on the cold side - but fire and leather chairs make up for it.
Clare - 27 Nov 2002 20:05
Top bar good ale I wish I could live there
Ann Moore - 22 Nov 2002 18:59

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