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The Florence, Herne Hill

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user reviews of The Florence, Herne Hill

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

A combination of creche and office space during the week. If you like to drink poorly kept beer whilst surrounded by crying babies and people talking about spreadsheet synergies then this is the place for you.
ShelfStacker - 9 Mar 2023 17:14
Busy pub near to Herne Hill Station. Always seems to have familiies in there. At my visit there yesterday was a Santa Claus there for the children.
It sells lots of craft beers, ans subsequently is rather expensive. I had a By the Horns Mayor of Garrett 4.3%, which was £4.10. and came in a jug.

southlondonbeero - 4 Dec 2016 15:57
This pub advertises as opening at 11:30. Whatpub says 11:00 on a Saturday. But at 11:30 yesterday, there was no sign of life. So I headed back to the Commercial. Came back here at midday to find that it must have opened some time between, as a few other customers were already in. Took a look at the real ales and was asked why I'd want to drink a warm beer on such a warm day! I opted for a Hawkes Urban Orchards keg cider. The ales were Trumans Zephyr, Sambrooks Lavender Hill & Weasel Beer from the on site brewery. A slightly more upmarket pub, as you can tell from the prices.
blue_scrumpy - 5 Jul 2015 14:24
Very good brew pub / resturant / kids cub.

The 3rd pub in the same afternoon after visiting Price Regent & Half Moon and this was by far the best and certainly the busiest.

Groups of 30 comething's playing board games, food was being eaten by a lot of the customers (it looked good) and a fair few families out the back with their children.

The kids didn't come into the bar area so they weren't a problem to me but as i've said in previous reviews I don't agree with kids in pubs...not matter how child friendly they are and the area needs it!

4 ales on draught of which 2 were from the brewery on site, both decents brews. A friend arrived and had 2 pints of the pubs own brewed lager and aid it was very good.

Nice to visit a pub on a Saturday afternoon that has a lot of customers in that aren't just watching the racing.

A cracking pub that I will visit again soon.
lezford - 6 Jan 2013 14:58
Very smart, middle class, non-pubby pub, distinguished from other over-modernised pubs only by its status as a brewpub and by its enthusiastic and professional staff. 4 beers on when we were there - they only ever have 2 of their own on at once, which seems a massively wasted opportunity, given they brew more than that. Both own-beers (the darker Bonobo and a paler beer of similar 4%+ strength whose name escapes me - either Beaver or Weasel) were very pleasant and well conditioned. But nothing much about the place gave a clue to the fact that they were brewed on the premises. Overall, nice enough but needs to try harder to show it's different to all the other bland gastro-ised pubs out there. 
Teddy_Boy - 31 Dec 2011 08:43
I have been in The Florence a few times now. There is a good selection of lagers and ales, but all seem to be at least 5% - why are they all so strong? Prices match the high alcohol content, cheapest lager £3.70. There was a very nice London Pale Ale at a bargain £4.10 a pint! Food is good here. I think many bars miss a trick here. Why fill your bar with 'premium' lagers/ales and charge an average £4 a pint. Believe it or not, many people are happy with a 3% ale or a 4% lager and surely these could be charged a little closer to @ £3 a pint? I, and many people I know, do not want to drink in Wetherspoons, but we would like the choice of a 'non-premium' beer at a 'non-premium' price.
ReddieRed - 16 Nov 2011 09:16
There's a good range of stuff on at the bar but the fact that the pub is so overrun by kids who aren't kept under manners by their smug bourgeois parents makes it a no-go area for law enforcement agencies at the weekend.

I know you think your kid is being creative and exuberant but I've just paid 4 quid for a beer and it don't move me particularly.
terenced - 20 Oct 2011 09:35
In here late afternoon Weds, quiet. The two Florence beers Weasel and Beaver (£3.40 for a half of each) plus Adnams Explorer and GK Sun Dance. Meantime Pale Ale and Lager on tap together with light and dark Budvar and Erdinger. Some English and foreign bottles. Stripped down look, a bit shabby around the edges.
GuideDogSaint - 31 Aug 2011 16:48
It's certainly punchy on the wallet but I've always found the Florence to be a great place for a session, lively enough without bringing blood out of your ears and also big enough that you don't feel too cramped. The beers are all good, if fairly strong - this place has got me hammered too many times - and the food is really worth a try. Not sure about the creche out of the back though - talk about broken britain. The only downside is that sometimes they can seem understaffed so waiting at the bar can be an ordeal. One of the best pubs in the area though.
oldjg1 - 19 Jun 2011 13:20
Visited last night for the first time.

Young-leaning, spacious multi-roomed brew pub with central island bar, modern decor and subdued lighting. Comfortably-pitched varied background music. Pleasant colourful beer garden.

I rather enjoyed their site-brewed ales WEASEL and BEAVER, which were both rather hoppy but rounded with rich maltiness. Food is rather good and quite reasonably priced in comparison to the beer prices. I recommend the steak burger which was lovely, and seemingly very popular. Note that you cannot order your food at the bar; table service only. Whilst the lady who served me at my table was very friendly and helpful, it was 15 minutes before she was able to reach my table as she was the only one on!

Anyhow I found the place rather nice, and stayed longer than intended. Will return.
lad_newton - 2 Jun 2011 18:17
I disagree with most of the complaints made by xaventaner, I have visited The Florence a number times (in the evening) and have always found it acceptable. Friendly staff and good beer,I must say that the food didn´t look great but the prices looked reasonable and I never tried it so can´t honestly comment on it. I had heard of the manager though (Scott, I think) and he didn´t disappoint. Arrogant, Ignorant, Rude. Won´t be going there again.
jbrown - 27 May 2011 21:31
Sadly, "xaventaner" tried to co-opt me into his babbling pseudo-socialist rant, so I'm forced to respond.

- £4 a pint is par for the course for a premium beer in London. South London is no different. It's a shame but it's true
- the "music" (and I use the term quite loosely) problem has been addressed for the time being
- the waitresses do not dress as "lap dancers". Anyone who claims that has clearly not visited this establishment. I simply (and perhaps chauvinistically, I'll grant) commented on the fact that one waitress is naturally and breathtakingly beautiful. She dresses very modestly
- people of all races drink there, so we have another sign that "xaventaner" is not a regular visitor. Black, white, asian, posh, poor - I see them all and I don't care. The customers are all as objectionable as each other in this place, quite frankly

The rest of the commenter's rant is nonsensical gibberish. This bar is not perfect, but hey, at least "xaventaner" doesn't drink there.
catbert - 12 May 2011 22:45
Came back here a year after my last visit. They’ve expanded their empire to include a crèche area at the back and the food is now a bit more reasonably priced. There is still a good selection of beer, but as always it's hideously overpriced. It’s bad enough paying £4 a pint at London Bridge let alone in this area. The monkey beer (Bonobo?) which they brew is very pleasant, they also have London IPA (Meantime) which I swear is getting more and more bland each year, and the Pilzner from the same brewery. They have the Blonde and Dark from Budvar and a mixer tap if you’re a prick and want to put them together. Whenever I see this I’m reminded of that scene from Alan Partridge: “Still or sparkling?”..”errr half and half”. As for their pricing policy; economic apartheid is a phrase I’m fond of using to describe these places.

As the below reviewer points out there is a curious disparity between the supposed family friendly atmosphere and the loud aggressive music piped around the place. And indeed the waitresses are very attractive. However one has to ask the question why the managers feel it acceptable for families with small children to be served by young girls dressed as lap dancers? Perhaps a bit of research into the practices of Capital Pub Company towards their waitresses might shed some light on this. All this is only rumour you must understand, but it is a prevalent one. The rich banker class do enjoy being surrounded by young flesh. This is a practice with a history traceable at least to the mixture of couture, cuisine and brothels of Mayfair’s Shepherds Market. That this model may be infecting the suburbs should be a concern for anyone interested in social justice. Perhaps we might even see a correlation between the increase in family friendly provisions and the cohabitation of affluent sleaze.

The Florence knows its market, they build these places and they come. I pointed out to several people who were drinking with me that there was not a single black or Asian face in the building, the reaction was one of surprise followed by trotting out a few cultural stereotypes about “they” not sharing our cultural practices and other such ideological nonsense. If this is your bag then I heartily suggest you fill it with what the Florence has to offer. If not then I’m sure you know what to do.

xaventaner - 5 Apr 2011 13:07
It's hard to sum this establishment up in a sentence or two, not least since the place itself doesn't seem to be able to make up its mind about what it is. "Gangster rap with obscene lyrics played at deafening volume while legions of spoilt toddlers run around screaming" is the best I can do.

It's basically a creche that tries to be trendy at night.

A new manager is in place now, and the ear-splitting volume has been reduced, meaning you can actually sit in the conservatory without feeling nauseous. But I can't see the armies of obnoxious little Harries, Charlies and Alfies going away any time soon.

Excellent range of beer, if you like lager. The prettiest waitress I've ever seen working in London. Shoreditch-style idiots in flat caps and floppy hats, Sizeable gay clientele smoking and having lovers' tiffs in the garden. Dedicated children's play area with Cbeebies piped in. The occasional Brixtonian or vagrant from the surrounding council estate.

Dunno, can't work it out myself.
catbert - 5 Apr 2011 02:30
Does exactly what it says on the tin

A handsome looking if slightly sterile pub in a rich, gentrified part of South London that caters for rich, gentrified South Londoners and their kids
If you dont like wimpy 'new men' running round after their badly behaved little darlings while their braying women folk yak away -avoid.
If you like a fine selection of beers and some quite good grub then tuck in.
bigmeuprudeboy - 12 Jan 2011 15:58
Went there for the first time on Saturday 18/12/2010, relaxed and spacious, felt like the places you find in Primrose Hill and Hampstead with unfortunately the mixture of bar and creche with couples with three or four kids taking up all the tables at the back sipping cokes and lemonade, but thats not the owners problem. Unfortunately the food has the same price bracket as chi·chi North London, the burger i had boasted 21 day old gourmet pedigree, it may well have been but the animal must have been a pygmy as it looked the size of a flat mushroom which had been shown a bit a melted cheese and accompaned by anerexix fries which i could have used as toothpicks. Drinks fine just wouldnt go back for the food as its overpriced kiddies portions.
ybot1983 - 23 Dec 2010 15:28
Hello mb_to_the_zee

We just wanted to re-assure you that we have launched a brand new menu today, which should hopefully re-captures the imagination. Lots of innovative new dishes, along with some re-worked favourites. The whole menu is available at an introductory 50% off for Wednesday 3rd, and Thursday 4th November.

I hope that you will see your way to coming along to try it all out. I would love to order up a good few dishes for you to try. I can be contacted directly at [email protected]

Glad you seem to so like the rest of what we have to offer, and hopefully we have now completed the package again in your eyes.

(Just for the record, we have never tried to be, or have any wish to be considered a gastro-pub, just want to sell good pub food which people enjoy).

Phil Sutton
General Manager
TheFlorence - 2 Nov 2010 15:40
I used to espouse the excellence of this place to all who listened. Great food, good range of drinks, friendly crowd and dog friendly, however it now needs a sizeable boot up the jacksie (sp?).

The drinks are still good and the service willing if a little slow when the place gets rammed which is generally when the sun's out. Little Creatures pale ale is great, if somewhat expensive, and Erdinger on tap is always good. Wines on tap are also worth a look if your looking for a cheap but tasty enough glass to meet the standards of a good house wine. Being antipodean, I don't do ales so couldn't comment in this regard.

However, their food has taken a turn for the worse.

The steak burger is still juicy as heck, but the size of the hamburger has shruken to a point where it is enveloped wholly by the bun and would do better on a kiddies menu. The cod burger suffers a similar fate and has been this way for some time. The rest of the menu is uninspiring (chicken lasagne, completely unremarkable and has no place on a gastropub menu) and has largely remained the same for more than a year. The nibbles, foul, various forms of deep fried beige.

Of course this is a beer site, so perhaps these comments are out of whack, but The Florence passes itself off as a gastro pub, and one must judge it so, and it is currently failing on this point. Standards have slipped we went there last week and then haven't been for months before that such is the decline.

Was great, now only ok, looking forward to this plae recapturing some of its past glory.
mb_to_the_zee - 26 Oct 2010 16:55
I'd like to like this pub more. It is great to receive table service for drinks when they're less busy and it's a nice, spacious place. Also good to see they monitor their online reputation.
But the food has become way overpriced whilst the quality has declined massively. My wife used to love the "fillet steak" burgers here (I'm delighted to see that that menu item has been corrected - it certainly was never fillet and nobody in their right mind makes burgers from fillet steak) but the last couple of visits she has been served what look like two, shrivelled, dry little hockey pucks. The kitchen really isn't up to scratch - head chef needs the boot it would seem. I've been so unimpressed with the food on the last few visits that I genearlly eat before or afterwards now rather than spend a lot of money on mediocre food at best.
Do simple food, small menu and do it well. Used to live in NYC around the corner from a place called Corner Bistro - menu was one item: burger. The queues were invariably round the block because they were the best burgers in town.
Bongaloo - 12 Oct 2010 10:10
Having recently moved to Herne Hill The Florence has definately become one of my favourite pubs in the area. There is a nice outside space and the inside is always clean and tidy. The food and drinks are of good quality and for the most part the staff are very friendly. I agree with a previous comment that it can take a long time to get served when they are busy and could use some more staff behind the bar but all in all a great place to have nearby. Keep up the good work.
2rachel - 27 Jul 2010 11:30
Hi JdsNW3

Glad you enjoyed your visit. We do indeed offer table service for drinks, so not sure what happened there I am afraid.
Had a look back at the date that you visited, and it was indeed a particularly busy saturday night. We always try and staff appropriately for expected trade, but sometimes we do get caught out. Hope you can visit again when normal service will be resumed!
TheFlorence - 7 Jul 2010 22:45
Nice pub inside and nice crowd. They need to get more staff on a Saturday... had to wait a long time to get served when I went. You also can't order drinks from the waiters even if you have ordered food.
Table service for food and drinks would be great.
JdsNW3 - 7 Jun 2010 15:33
Funny enough, I've seen them too;perched on the seats. I haven't come across any dog that cleans up it's own mess yet. So theses dogs are dirtying the seats with their arse,paws and fur. A complete turn off for a place to drink in SE24.
FARTINGGHOST - 14 Apr 2010 14:01
I disagree with the anonymous guy/gal. Those two dogs are ridiculously well behaved and make up part of the welcoming atmo of the pub for me. I'm down to the Florence about twice a week and I've never seen them wipe themselves on anything. Normally they just curl up in a corner and go to sleep.
Eggybread1975 - 14 Apr 2010 13:27
A clean and civilized pub with good, intelligent conversation (Dublin John) in the evening. Yer Man!
Princemonolulu - 2 Jan 2010 21:57
Happiness in Herne Hill in a glass or two.
BoggieJim - 30 Dec 2009 18:04
Speaking as one whose family have lived in Herne Hill for a goodly 200 or more,Xaventaner is talking aload of tosh. This place was a great pub, up until the early 1970s, when it was the Brockwell Tavern. With the influx of dreggs into the area,squatters,druggies and their ilk,this place began to go down the pan. Ending up as an Irish doss house pub.
Well done to the new owners for bringing a little bit of true old Herne Hill back in the guise of the Florence;a clean,welcoming place.
Bad luck xaventaner,we are the workers and masters now;try getting a job for once and paying for your beer with hard,earned money like the rest of us. It must be a bore reading your income support benefit book for fun each week. Loser!
Dragonhillknight - 17 Dec 2009 00:07
The only chip on my shoulder is the fact that when I was going out in this area ten years ago (back when most of these Shires folk, were back in their Arga heated country cottages) the pricing and atmosphere was inclusive of the vast majority of the population. Now it's a haven for the well healed desk killers of the square mile. I have no problem affording the prices, what I have a problem with is the quality and ideological perversion of my home, and the facade of choice/diversity that masks the truth of class/ethnic division.
xaventaner - 13 Dec 2009 19:36
Xaventaner what r u on about . Perhaps we should all just put up with old run down boozers . I know .... Let's all not have change and diversity in this new and modern world . Perhaps I can recommend glasses for your good self .as someone who has been drinking here at the Florence for a while I can vouch for the fact that there is a healthy mix of all creeds and colours. As for the cost, you get what u pay for . Obviously u are not aware there is a KFC in Brixton where the whole family can eat for a tenna. Go enjoy and whilst you are at it take the chip off your shoulder . Regards always ; )
Graham76 - 12 Dec 2009 00:45
xaventaner was clearly able to save on food by noshing into the enormous chip on his shoulder. I went there for a quiet pint on a sunny day and there were plenty of people there who you might describe as "visibly ethnic minority" but as so many of Lambeth's 40% ethnic minority population are Polish or Portuguese I can't work out the demographics of a pub at a glance. The waitress was definitely a recent arrival and no-one asked me to open a tab or treated me with hauteur.

If a pub caters to the people who've moved into the area in the last few years, very few of whom I would suggest are independently wealthy, then isn't that what a pub is supposed to do, cater to the local populace? And if you choose to cater to people who want a meal rather than sport and pool why is that treated as an act of class oppression. Why is a gastropub more offensive than a gay bar? Pubs are closing at the rate of 50 a week--they need to attract paying customers to survive.

Personally I find loud music and Sky sports more destructive of pub atmosphere than posh fish and chips--who wants to go out to watch TV or listen to the bar staff's mixtapes? It's nice to have a choice--that's called tolerance of difference.
mysterybadger - 10 Dec 2009 12:05
The kind of pub that divides opinion strongly. If you like airy modern bars with excellent beer and pretty good food (admittedly with prices to match), then you should like the Florence. It felt like a good place for a Saturday lunch after the working week and on our visit, the service was good (though it was quiet). The Weasel was a splendid hoppy beer, whilst the Beaver wheat beer took a while to come though (but was also worthwhile).
Arctium_lappa - 29 Nov 2009 13:30
Lat visited Friday 13th November.

The Florence is another in the ever expanding list of establishments being set-up by the Capital Pub Company in the London area. They fall firmly into the gastropub genre, however their take on the form is a particularly exclusive brand of upper middle class myopia that has resulted in nothing less than a form of cultural and economic apartheid emerging in a once vibrant multicultural part of London. For those not accustomed to being greeted by a large room full of Caucasians in a borough with an over 40% non white demographic, this disparity will hit you immediately. The bar staff and waitresses one all three on my visits were also exclusively white. The food is a upmarket variation of British gastropub staples; fish and chips, burgers, sausage and mash, etc, and is decently prepared for what it is. They have an excellent selection of draft and bottled beers if you are prepared to pay the grossly inflated prices, they also brew their own on a small scale; I‘ve only tried the Beaver beer, which was a passable IPA with a light citrus finish.

As other reviewers have commented, you cannot order food at the bar and are positively chastised by the pretty waitresses if you try. The emphasis on sit down eating and drinking where you are encouraged to stay at the table to be waited on is highly detrimental to the social aspect of drinking and gives the place a haughty, overly formal aura. The offer of setting up a tab is mandatory, and the look of disdain on the girls face when you answer no is also I imagine overdetermined. She did not utter another word, or even make eye contact with us for the rest of the evening, treating my friend and I as if we were filthy soot covered commoners fresh from the local pit. Herein lies the second aspect of the divisive nature of the these kinds of establishments; Lambeth is one of the UKs most deprived boroughs and yet in all of Capital Pub Company’s outlets the price for food and drink is prohibitive for a great proportion of the local populous (and as we know, it is those aforementioned minorities that make up the bulk of those on lower incomes).

Viewing the attitude of the staff as relative moodiness is not satisfactory, their attitude reflects the ideological constellation of the pub and it’s parent company, and is reflected in the majority of these kinds of establishments I have visited. That is an emphasis on exclusivity, primarily economic, catering to the independent new wealthy that have moved into south London boroughs over the last ten years, that is primarily white and middle class. They are intolerant of difference and institutionalise the sort of conservative apathy and cultural vapidness that is the signifier of today’s financial services industry. Building enclaves of sameness and sowing division into the social experience of once integrated communities. Pubs like this are the drinking equivalent of gated communities.
xaventaner - 14 Nov 2009 14:48
Dear PintyPinter

I am glad to hear that you have some positive thoughts about our pub, and hoped I could address some of the negative ones.

I would contest a touch that our menu is “gastro”. Whilst our menu may not follow the general convention of a number of other pubs (which can tend to all look very similar), we try to choose classic pub dishes, and add a modern approach utilising the skills of our chefs who cook everything on our menu from scratch – the only thing which we sell which we have not prepared is our ice cream, for which we prefer a local specialist from Battersea.

Whilst we would not wish or proclaim for our food to be regarded as cheap, I would say that for the quality of ingredients we use, and the care and attention to detail which goes into their preparation, we do offer very good value for money. As I have previously mentioned on this site, I do sympathise with customers to whom we have not adequately explained the reasoning behind our policy on separate side dishes, but would once again propose that a lot of our main courses do not require them, and perhaps pose the question that if you go to a fish and chip shop, then don’t you have to order the chips separately if you want them?

As to the service with receiving the wrong food, I can only apologise and ask that you let me know the next time you attend in the hope that I can offer my apologies in person, and go some way to hopefully redeem ourselves.

TheFlorence - 21 Oct 2009 13:16
The Florence is a typical gastro pub... A wee bit pretentious and somewhat over priced. I have been to the Florence a couple of times now and have had mixed feelings.

The selection at the bar is good, and the menu typically gastro.... Having to order the side separately is really my pet hate! I just can't stand it. What the Florence charge for a main.... -it should come with all the bells and whistles!

I have eaten there only once and probably won't do so again. When the food finally arrived it was not what I had ordered and the service could have been better...
PintyPinter - 20 Oct 2009 16:15
Went here for the first time on Saturday, attracted by the microbrewery.

The Weasel beer is indeed excellent and it was good to have a look at the microbrewery itself, encased in a glass box at one end of the bar.

I have some issues with the service. I went to the bar and asked if I could order food, to be told that I could not order at the bar but someone would come over to take our order.

Ten minutes later and nobody had turned up, so we caught the attention of one of the staff to ask if we could make our order. She promptly agreed and then forgot about us, only taking our order after another reminder several minutes afterwards.

The waitress seemed somewhat inexperienced which generously I could put down to her having started recently, but if so she didn't seem to be getting much support from other staff, and the general co-ordination of staff seemed poor with service at the bar also being quite slow.

That said, the food was good. As for the general decor and clientele, it's definitely marketed at the upscale young professional market, perhaps excessively so, which is a shame as it might put off different demographics who would otherwise be attracted by the beer. (I did spot some ale enthusiasts scattered between the trendily trousered youth)

It's interesting to hear people talk about Herne Hill 'gentrifying' as I came here frequently in my youth to visit my grandparents who lived in the area and their street at least was always solidly middle class - maybe a matter of perception.
simonk - 5 Oct 2009 09:42
Dear m4mac,

I must apologise for the service which you received last Saturday 15th, as this is certainly not the experience which we try to provide.

I totally agree with your comments about tips. My team are very aware that a tip is something which is something which should only be hoped for when they have exceeded the expectations of the customer whom they are serving. In this instance, they do not appear to have been able to meet our minimum requirements.

As part of our continuous ongoing training, I will be using your experiences as an example of how we can quite easily fall short, to try and ensure that it is something which you will not experience again.

With regards to our policy or serving sides, I can assure you that our entire motivation for this is to offer the customer a better choice for their meal. A great number of our customers appreciate the option of being able to share sides, get a selection for the table, or not be forced to pay for part of the meal which they do not particularly want. Something which I believe is reflected in the relative costs of our main courses compared to other establishments. It is a system which has proved to be popular in a number of our establishments for over 4 years now. I feel I must once again apologise, if we have failed to convey this sentiment correctly.

I would very much like if you could get in touch do discuss this matter further, to ensure that you never have to be dragged back to the florence, but would prefer to come of your own free will! I can be contacted at [email protected]

Kind Regards,
Phillip Sutton
General Manager.

TheFlorence - 26 Aug 2009 11:20
Right. I have had enough of this place. The only reason I continue to go to the Florence is because other people drag me in there.

The service is consistently rubbish. Take tonight. Friend's birthday. I order a steak, the girl is about to run off to process the order when I ask her "What does that come with?". Her reply: "Three onion rings." So she was happy to take my order and deliver to me a slab of meat and three onion rings - no chips or vegetables - you are supposed to order these separately. The steak - frankly was like a piece of leather. No steak knife provided - of course.

Tip to the proprietor of this establishment - go and have a steak at Pullens (adjacent to Herne Hill Station and 100 metres away) and learn how it's done. A good chance it will be cooked by Alan - the proprietor. It will come as a complete meal - all on the same plate instead of this silly thing of separate pots of everything 'on the side' which seems to be a fad these days. They did this with a burger I ordered a few weeks back.

Another tip - staff should visit tables and ask if everything is OK. Then we can ask that the table be wiped down - or even (radical concept) order more drink. Finding a member of staff is ... needle .. haystack.

I didn't tip. Why would I?

Pullens ... go there instead.
m4mac - 16 Aug 2009 00:57
Hello Haldir,

Just wanted to apologise for the experience which you had eating at The Florence, as it sounds that the food which you were served was certainly not up to our usual standards.

I would be most grateful if you could get in touch to let me know some more details of when you attended, so that I can investigate the matter further Also to try and put your confidence back into the food quality and selection which we endeavour to be so vigiliant about.

Look forward to hearing from you soon.
TheFlorence - 7 Aug 2009 11:11
Oh dear, the food is going downhill very fast. Went there last week (we go fairly regularly for a drink) and decided to eat. Husband had an awful fish and chips in beer batter. Note to chef: batter is supposed to be crispy, and fish shouldn't smell of ammonia. The chips were crap too. Shame, as we have had many good beers/food there before.
That said, when it's not packed to the doors and noisy, it's a nice place for a leisurely drink.
Haldir - 4 Aug 2009 00:02
The comments about unfriendly staff are rather surprising as I found the team behind the bar to be very welcoming on our visit yesterday. The barmaid had even remembered our order of 7 drinks by the third round as she just asked if we wanted the same again. Impressive. The Weasel beer is very tasty and there's a nice big beer garden for when it's sunny. Didn't try the food but the selection on the menu looked good.
DuchyBoy - 19 Jul 2009 18:12
The Beaver beer was tasty but inside it was like a noisy cafeteria. Are there no proper pubs around Herne Hill ?

Miles007 - 11 May 2009 16:40
This establishment is a snapshot of everything that is wrong with the great British pub. It thinks it's a restaurant, but the food is anything but quality-wise, but worst of's like a creche. Attracting the ugliest elements of yummy mummy, ball-less menified middleclassville, you honestly can't move in the garden without encountering a £400 pushchair or grown men playing peek-a-boo. Add to this the fact that the staff are as haughty as they are useless, and also that this sort of pub is becoming the norm, and you can see why most people choose to stop at home for a beer. Vile.
sposedoe - 10 May 2009 13:00
I came in to the Florence last Thursday, lovely venue which looked as good as on the website. However my boyfriend and I were very disappointed with the welcome we received from the bar staff. As we have just moved to the area, we were looking to find our local but the offish attitude from the bar has just meant that we will probably look elsewhere, which is such a shame.
labobs - 8 May 2009 15:29
This pub houses a micro-brewery, and although they served a mainstream ale in Adnam’s Broadside, they also had on a couple of ales that, not surprisingly, I had not encountered before – Weasel Beer and Dam Tasty Beaver Beer. I went with the Weasel Beer with some misgivings (being not sure about the advertised citrus finish) but actually I found that I liked it a lot. It’s a good, refreshingly hoppy ale just right for sitting outside a pub on a warm sunny spring day.The inside of the pub is more like a wine bar than a pub, with an odd mix of distressed leather, and wooden seating. It’s not really my kind of place, as I prefer the more traditional type of pub, but I would certainly pay a return visit for the ale.
RexRattus - 23 Apr 2009 19:16
A very nice pub. We ate there last night and the food and service was excellent. Good choice of menu and a good choice of ale. The ‘Weasel’ bitter is especially worth a go.
As an added bonus, the Assistant Manageress is friendly and incredibly beautiful. Lily Allen fans will be most impressed, as she looks a bit like her, but more attractive.
middletonb - 23 Apr 2009 10:28
Quite obviously I posted the message below, "New team etc..", was meant for The Durell arms in Fulham.

Apologies one and all
thebishop - 14 Mar 2009 08:58
It was Valentines night and my girlfriend was coming in a couple of hours and I realised I'd not even though about planning anything - damn, I thought - it would be really great to go and have dinner and some drinks tonight... I ended up on THIS very website and to give thanks for what I received from it I'm writing a little something for those who may be interested in this pub. Because I live just up the road from it, it was very convenient but I looked at many others before realising that this is the one to go for not only because it's close. I printed the menu, whose prices I found not too bad (around 6-9 £ for a main - not including the side salad/chips though which was a bit crafty). Still, when arriving through the door we were hit with a barrage of noise from the jukebox and swiftly made the way round to the back by the open kitchen where it was nice and quiet with tasteful lightning and a conservatory area. It's quite a big venue. We were served promptly by a very sweet waitress and I ordered a great beer which is brewed ON SITE and my lady had the house wine which she said was actually not half bad for a change, having complained about the general state of house wines on the walk there. Also on the way she already decided that it had to be the pork belly. I opted for the rump steak burger and was not disappointed. Then we ordered a final drink and chatted and grinned at the cackles emanating from the table football (the only obligatory game for any public site in my opinion and far superior to the actual game dare I say it to all those addicts of this inane pursuit). Atmosphere second to none and ambience not bad for a local. Recommended for the food above all else.
shiranami - 15 Feb 2009 19:19
great boozer , a tad pricey tho. Food is worth the wait too. Staff a little poncy but then so is the whole area now !

mikeh1 - 6 Jan 2009 19:18
How wonderful to find that a former "Irish" dive of a dirty, druggie, dregs pub has been pleasantly transformed into a clean, cheerful and welcoming beer house. The place was packed last night, but despite having to wait, the natives were friendly and plenty of female eye candy to view. A true find and well worth aiming for of an evening for good beer selection and a happy few hours of good company.
anonymous - 25 Oct 2008 16:31
last sunday the two best barmen this pub has had so far, keep them on. didnt have to wait.
rachelmac - 16 Oct 2008 15:38
Excellent food (especially the pork belly on a Sunday), friendly staff and very nicely designed. Oh and great on-the-premises- brewed ale. SO MUCH BETTER THAN THE BLOODY ROSENDALE!!!!!!!!
meatboy - 4 Oct 2008 00:11
A lovely surprise in what used to be the Brockwell. Sunny, clean, marvellous selection of beers. And now a garden on the old coal yard at the back. A must visit for anyone to Herne hill. Best pub in the area by far.
SUSSEXSAXON - 27 Sep 2008 06:44
Decent sized pub with good food. Beer Garden at front and rear.
ScaryBear - 29 Jul 2008 13:18
A mixed bag is the Florence.
Interesting range of lagers and beers on tap. Extensive beer garden which is very pleasant to visit.

However, careful when you visit.
Visit at the wrong time and expect to have vast quantities of small children running about, illegally parked bugaboo's, dad's called Nigel drinking Erdinger and trying to avoid eye contact with Miranda who spots that a nappy needs changing somewhere next to that poor old geezer sitting with his half of guinness wondering what happened to the old Schweppes parasols.
terenced - 30 Jun 2008 14:45
A very pleasant place, and judging by how busy it can be a very welcome addition to Herne Hill. Every time I've been staff have been friendly and helpful, which is a a winning feature in itself. The pork Sunday roast is very good indeed and worth trying. No TVs or Sky Sports on sight- another welcome feature. Dog friendly at front, child-friendly at the conservatory at the back for those who must bring children with them...

The music seems a bit random at times and if they must play they could IMO make a bit more of an effort, but at least it's not loud and intrusive.

Overall a nice pub with a nice vibe and some interesting beers.
caligula - 19 May 2008 18:18
I went to the old Brockwell Tavern once when we were hunting late drinks and I'll admit it was a laugh listening to the karaoke after a drink too many and the atmosphere seemed good.

The Florence is a great change though. They've got the right idea with the food; good food and reasonable portions rather than the other way around. There's enough space for kids as well which is a blessing for those with a family who don't want to be locked in their homes or the Brixton Rec.

I'm glad that someone has invested in the area (plc or not), and for a public venue. The alternative could have been that the pub property was turned into flats (which is happening all over London) and people could then stay at home with their wide screen tvs and tins of beer and not be social at all (rant).
Gond - 14 Feb 2008 10:18
Whats the deal here? I live in West Norwood a place with the real sarf london pubs everyone here seems to think are the kudos locations.. Get real,most of them are awful places that stink, with poor beers, no real ales and rubbish food (often fairly expensive too). The Horns is about the only place worth going in the door of and it could do with a spot of TLC.

I found the Florence a pleasant place to go for a few beers, had a hot dog and some chips to ballast myself and all was good. OK it might not be cheap as the old Jack Stamps in Streatham was, but its not full of old irish blokes that smell of urine...

Ganleys was a hole, ok it had the footy, but it was a desperatly sad old boozer. Maybe some drinks promo's and a big screen for big matches would be nice.

And lastly - get a less acidic cider in please, Aspnalls plays merry hell with me guts after a cider binge.. A scrumpy would be ace ;)
mattylad - 14 Jan 2008 16:43
Anonymous Scott again. The landlord (manager), telling people to go in drink in Tulse. Tell you what, why dont you go back to East Dulwich and take our gay 'pub' with you.
Griffter - 11 Dec 2007 17:25
'What once made Herne Hill special has slowly been eroded' - what planet have you been living on ... at long last we have a couple of decent pubs worth frequenting (The Commercial and the Florence) ... Herne Hill is getting its act together ... I suggest you go drinking in Tulse Hill and leave Herne Hill to move on up!
anonymous - 27 Nov 2007 10:23
I really appreciate the range of drinks on offer here. I am one of those people who will go out of my way to establishments offering an interesting range, and tend to overlook their flaws in other areas.

But sadly the vibe (and it deserves to be called a "vibe") was all about posing and preening. Self-important idiots shoving their way in front of others at the bar, sneering commentary on the commonfolk passing by ("We" are better than "them" and all that), uncontrolled children rooting around other people's belongings. By all rights I fall into the young professional/middle class/braying demographic so my displeasure is more than just a knee-jerk class-war response to gentrification as a whole.

I hate giving this place a bad rating just because of the clientele -- good drink selection, surroundings were OK and the staff were fine. But my experience was so unpleasant, I'd prefer the company you'd find on a Saturday night in a Walkabout. Is this the management's fault? I'm not so sure.

8/10 if it were empty
5/10 as it was
0/10 (and I'd shoot myself) if the same crowd was in Ganley's, the pub's previous incarnation
anonymous - 11 Oct 2007 14:37
interesting that every positive comment about this pub is by "anonymous".... aka "the manager" perhaps?
tattie - 11 Oct 2007 13:34
Well its official Herne Hill is now simply a clapham clone. What a rubbish bar. I am sorry that I have been part of the gentrification area. What once made Herne Hill special has slowly been eroded. The Florance is a horrible example of this. Pretentious, over priced, staffed by morons more concerned with their appearance than actually serving customers.
Jesper - 13 Sep 2007 13:21
now called the florence and must say what a great pub full of life and a great range of drinks, used to be called GANLEYS and was a complete dump were the staff were rude and the beer was really bad all the time, what a great new pub for the area will be visiting here more often now
anonymous - 1 Aug 2007 23:03
Can't believe that The Florence is copping so much flack ... I tried this place for the first time on Saturday night and was impressed ... they have clearly spent a packet on the refurb and the it is well laid out ... not the dingy boozer it used to be ... it also proves that when something decent comes along the local residents come out to play... the food incidentally was good and very reasonable ... if you want dingy pubs with dodgy food then have a pint elsewhere. Herne Hill is finally getting it's act together! Well done the Florence!
anonymous - 16 Jul 2007 09:05
Thought as much. It's a chain. Although the way Scott was talking, you'd have thought he owned the place.
I went passed there yesterday and couldn't believe how many mothers and babies were in there. Was the same in the Prince Regent. Have people mistaken the word pub for creche. Pathetic
Griffter - 9 Jul 2007 16:42
Visited here last Saturday with a group of friends. The transformation from its previous incarnation as an "airport departure lounge theme pub" is impressive. Removing the celtic crosses etc has opened the whole place up and seemingly doubled the space inside.

Good range of beers if you like to go down the Paulaner/Erdinger route, although not much to choose from in the way of lager. Still, it's nice for a change once in a while.

Unfortunately, we didn't stay long due to feeling very uncomfortable amongst the new clientele. I arrived first and initially became convinced I had stumbled into a private launch party or something. The best thing I can compare it to is the few times I have had to visit a "bar" in an area such as West Hampstead. My friends and I are your standard pub drinkers - probably even what you might describe as "young professional" - but we were grateful that the rain stayed off for long enough for us to sit in the relative oasis of calm in the beer garden. There are reasons we avoid places like Putney, Fulham etc for an evening out.

It was also suprising, on a Saturday night at around 9pm, that there were so many small children running around both inside and out. I was under the impression that licensing laws dictated under 18s should not be allowed in pubs after something like 7.30; I may well have my facts wrong on that one but in any event it is not something I personally look for when planning a Saturday evening with friends.

The staff were friendly enough and the beer isn't unreasonably priced compared to other places these days. This place is unashamedly marketed at those residents of Herne Hill and Brixton who have been forced to move down here because of rising house prices. On the evidence of the crowd in the place on Saturday night there is a hitherto hidden mass of them who appear to have been lying low waiting for such a place to open.

However, it is not for me or my friends. Other pubs such as the Prince in Brixton, the Prince Regent and the Commercial have gone for the upmarket approach to their redevelopment, and whilst I know (judging by some of the other reviews on here) that is not to everyone's taste, they are establishments I feel comfortable drinking in. Unfortunately the one emotion I experienced in the Florence was one of irritation, and with this in mind I don't think I'll be going back. I would go out on a limb though and say - decor and location wise - it would make a fine venue for a quiet pint with your boy/girlfriend. Perhaps during the week when everyone else is at the gym or working late in the City.
tattie - 25 Jun 2007 20:46
Dear anonymous,
you are partly correct. The capital pub co PLC. do own 'the florence' and 21 other pubs, so not exactly a huge corporation...
Their vision when they launched was "to buy free-of-tie pubs that would be non-branded and unthemed and each would serve its local community. As genuine free houses the pubs would be able to offer customers a wide range of products served by friendly and well-trained staff".
This is a philosophy shared by myself which is why I agreed to enter into a partnership with them.
The beauty of the internet & PLC companies is that everything is out in the open. When the next company accounts are published you will find that I am far from 'the hired help'.

I hope this allays some of your fears.

With respect

thebishop - 21 Jun 2007 19:04
Why is the Florence not in the CHAIN section of this website? They are portaying this pub as being owned by one guy in touch with his local area. In fact, it is owned by the Capital Pub Company PLC. Look them up. They are a huge corporation. Slug and Lettuce, Firkin. Customer psychology reports tell them that people don't like corporations - starbucks indeed - and so their pubs are presented as old fashioned landlord run. But they are not. Scott, you are not in fact the owner but the manager of the Florence, or are we misinformed by Capital Pub Company PLC?

anonymous - 17 Jun 2007 14:11

I think you've missed the point here. Intentionally or not, The Florence WILL exclude certain sections of the community. You may prefer the Florence to Ganleys, but I don’t think you can argue that the Florence brings more diversity to the area. We already have The Commercial, The Escape, Number 22 and a selection of wine bars/restaurants selling a wide selection of beers and wines etc. The back room of the Half Moon has now been turned into a Pizzeria, and the barman tells me the big screens are being taken out of there soon too. Ganley’s was far from perfect, but it did catered for a different demographic and for that reason it was valuable

I myself am from a middleclass background, but I want to be able to drink with people from all walks of life, and that’s why I feel strongly about this. There’s nothing wrong with a few rough edges, that’s what keeps things interesting - not middleclass wannabes with aspirations of celebrity, and this relentless sanitization which is creeping into every aspect of our society.

BennyBeans - 14 Jun 2007 09:49
The Florence really seems to have stirred up a reaction here.

I've lived in Herne Hill for some time and have drunk in this place both when it was Ganley's and also now it is The Florence. I have to say I think it is a massive improvement, what a great pub we now have in Herne Hill.

The choices available in terms of drinks is much wider now both in terms of different brands and also strength of beer (previous posts stating you can only get premium strength products are just wrong). The service is more pleasant and the atmosphere is much more accomodating.

The references to it not being for 'real' people I think are really ignorant. I assume you are referring to young professionals/middle class people/people just different to you as unreal? - not very clever. I think this sort of pub is encouraging variety and bringing the area up to date. Having worked in the pubs and bars industry independently for years I have visited thousands of pubs up and down the country and am a farily good judge of what makes a pub work. I can say with confidence that Ganley's was not a bad pub but was certainly much more restricting in terms of the range of people it marketed itself towards.

I think there are a few scared people who have posted here. Go on try something different to brands like Foster's and Guinness, it won't kill you. Try drinking in a pub with people who are from different backgrounds to you, again it won't kill you and you might actually make friends - just because there are different types of people in a community doesn't mean you lose community spirit!

I think this is a great little pub doing some really interesting things. I can still watch the football and drink in a trad boozer in the Half Moon and if I fancy something different I can head to The Florence - brilliant
liarlandlord - 9 Jun 2007 17:01
The bottom line is Herne hill needs variety, i cant understand why the same type of venues are popping up everywhere. Surely you would want a bit of differentiation from the rest. The increasing number of wine bars that open breed these sterile atmospheres, were everyone pretty much looks the same. Having a good old boozer aint asking for much, its not about juke boxes and snooker tables. Its how you feel inside. When i went there i felt you got to be dressed up and socialising with the 'it' crowd when all i want is a drink.

I still remember the faces of the locals that used to drink there and im pretty sure they wouldn get in let alone fit in.

Ravish - 7 Jun 2007 17:13
Benny & Grifter,

From your musings it would appear you have based your facts on a single visit during the first week of trading (not the best time to visit a pub to unlock it's true personality). I hope you can be convinced to pop in again when the dust has settled, I may even force you to change a couple of your opinions (there is no leather to be scuffed & Ganley's was for sale on the open market for 2 years..)
Why don't you pop in for that pint I offered you ? We can put our heads together, Who knows ? We may even devise a pub concept that unites whole communities, pleases EVERYONE & is commercially viable.



thebishop - 7 Jun 2007 10:19
Hello Scott,

Thanks for your comments. My earlier posts are a bit ranty so I'll try and keep it more civilised this time.

I agree with BennyBeans in that Ganley's was far from perfect, and did need improvements, but it did have a good down to earth atmosphere which I feel is now lacking in the Florence. I think it was thriving (maybe not so much on Friday and Saturday nights), but the the landlord obviously saw a chance to take the money and run, with real estate prices in SE24/SE22 going through the roof. Who can blame him.

And who can blame you for seeing a great opportunity to create a funky bar in Herne Hill for the ever growing number of upwardly mobile professinals who want somewhere cool to drink.

To me it feels like it's all gone very selective, as you know well that ordinary folk are not going to want to drink beers at those sort of prices or frequent such a place anyway. (Minimum LAGER price is £3.10 @ 5%) Also, if you have no screens in the pub showing sport, you again will be rid of the 'undesirable' elements of the community. This is all quite cynically contrived and a deliberate squeezing and pricing out of a large section of the community.

Sure, there are no laws to say you can't do what you're doing, and in your scene, you're obviously a big success,.I'm just disappointed that I no longer can pop down my local boozer and be surrounded by a broad range of people, watch sport and not be irritated by nerds who for some strange reason believe they are cool.

It feels very bland and shallow in there now, and don't get me wrong, it's good to see the back of the old irish blokes on the wall and the celtic crosses but it was a darn sight better than what's there now.

I think it's about getting a balance within the area, and with the Escape Bar and the Commercial both attracting fairly similar crowds to the Florence, and not showing sports or being tradional, we are now in a situation where there is no variety. The Prince Regent is now right off since that was done up.

I'm sure I'm very much in the minority now and probably seem bitter and old fashioned, however I'm sure if you were to do some local research you may find alot more people like me who haven't bothered to complain.

Regardless, I wish you luck in your business venture.

PS the footie season may be over, but it's just the small matter that England are playing Estonia tonight in a crucial qualifier and half of Herne Hill will be in a small bar in the Half Moon trying to get a view of the only TV in the area that will be showing it.
The Florence will be half empty. What a waste of such a great building!
Griffter - 6 Jun 2007 17:24
Hi scott - thanks for your response,

Firstly, I’d like to point out that the fact the pub was sold has little reflection on it's previous ability to pull a crowd. My understanding is that the last owners were made an offer they couldn't refuse. That's all fair enough in business, but let's not try and pass it off as something other than a buy-out.

Secondly, the football season may be over, but I'm still left having to bus it to Clapham for the England game tonight. I won't be too quick to pass judgement at this early stage tho, and if you say there may be screens in the future, well time will tell. However, I have a funny feeling when next season does arrive the new clientele will NOT be baying for the Merseyside derby.

Thirdly, If I'm wrong about your prices and menu then I apologise, but if your pub's giving off those kind of vibes then maybe there's a separate issue that needs to be addressed. I personally was not the biggest fan of Ganleys. While I enjoyed the atmosphere I always felt there was room for improvement in terms of service, decor etc. I think compromise is the key word here, but sadly I do not believe this has been achieved.

Finally, when I use the term “traditional pub” I am not talking about some thousand-year-old inn from a time long before any of us were born. Equally my idea of a “traditional Christmas” is not a medieval get-together where everyone receives a walnut in a sock and a nasty dose of smallpox. My definition of traditional would be a relaxed atmosphere, laughter, wine and song. You get 1 out of 4.

And with all due respect I can’t see any “weary travellers” popping in for refreshments anytime soon, because they probably wouldn’t get past the bouncers. And besides, you wouldn’t want them scuffing the leather!

Your comments are appreciated tho and I wait with baited breath for the arrival of the big screens next season!



BennyBeans - 6 Jun 2007 16:25
Grifter, if it was a thriving pub, why was it sold ?

Ravish, the football season is over..., if there is a demand for football we may re-install screens.

Grifter, beer offering ranges from 4.3%-5.6% and £2.50 to £3.60

Bennybeans, there is not a ciabatta insight on closer inspection you will find doorstep sandwiches, hot dogs & chip butties with horror upon horror........traditional roasts on sundays.

Kids are only allowed in the conservatory area & garden, so no buggies in the pub area. The same pub area that has a micro brewery to brew beer, not a winery to produce wine...

Fruit machines & big screen sport do not maketh the pub. In fact I would guess that taverns/inns & public houses have been around for around a 1000 fact

The inhabitants of the British Isles have been drinking ale since the Bronze Age, but it was with the arrival of the Romans and the establishment of the Roman road network that the first inns, in which the weary traveller could obtain refreshment, began to appear. By the time the Romans left, the beginnings of the modern pub had been established. They became so commonplace that in 965 King Edgar decreed that there should be no more than one alehouse per village.

Imagine... but then what have the romans ever done for us....?

Surely 'the florence' is more of a traditional pub now that it eschews the juke box, fruit machine, karaoke, televised sport, poker machine & frozen food and favours a huge selection of ales & beers ,beer brewed on the premises & home cooked robust food offering as well as ....dare i say it WINE (the oldest known evidence suggesting wine production in Europe and second oldest in the world comes from archaeological sites in Greece and is dated to 6,500 years ago)

Chaps if you fancy a second visit, seek me out and I will buy you all a beer and we can discuss this further...



thebishop - 6 Jun 2007 09:51
I went in saturday night for a pint and how disapointed I was, a souless hell hole trying desparately to be trendy. Yet another local pub trashed for a quick, another part of the community ripped out.Oh yes, they only cater for people who like lager the strength of rocket fuel.

anonymous - 4 Jun 2007 20:47
Congratulations to the new owner of Ganleys who's probably set to make a lot of money, but considerably fewer friends. While I appreciate there is a growing demand for wine bars and gastro pubs, and understand the pressure on landlords to diversify their businesses in preparation for the no-smoking laws coming into effect this summer, I am also a staunch believer in the need for local pubs. In this increasingly homogenised society community spirit is in decline, making the role of the local as a meeting point and social hub more important than ever. For me, the only positive is that this kind of establishment will attract people to the area, thus increasing the value of my property. But do I really want to live along side people who are happy to drink in a "pub" like this? If that's what I wanted I would have moved to East Dulwich.
So what is it our local community needs? Another 3 wheeler pram park serving over priced ciabattas and "cool" beers at £3.50 a pop, or a good old fashioned boozer serving hearty roasts, a good atmosphere, and the possibility of some interaction with real people?
Surely business owners have some responsibility in maintaining diversity in the local community.

BennyBeans - 1 Jun 2007 15:16
Yes I agree Ravish. Although, if a Starbucks was to open I would expect it to be full of arty farty sissies wearing rupert the bear scarves and trilbys, but I dont expect to find them in my local pub.
There is only one pub left in herne hill where you can watch football (Half Moon) and they now only have one tiny screen, and there are rumours that is going to go as well. What's happening to our community. It's being eroded by sterile cretins from planet yuppy.
Griffter - 1 Jun 2007 11:11
Im really distraught that yet another wine bar has opened up to match the other pretentious bars already in that vicinity. The former pub known as Ganleys had what this commuinity is now lacking. The locals have dissappeared and the place is full of pretentious people sipping on wine. There are no TV's to watch football with your mates over a few beers and chatting with the locals. I can see Herne Hill is beginning to lack the vibrancy it once had. I guess all that’s missing to complete the look is a starbucks.

Save london from these influx of wine bars and bring back the traditional pubs!!

Ravish - 1 Jun 2007 10:58
Where do I start with this. I was pretty gutted in the first place when I was told that Ganley was selling up, but when I found out that it had been bought by the same people as the Bishop in East Dulwich I was mortified. Although, I did hold out a bit of hope that the new owners would show a bit of common sense and keep some of the traditional pub features (not the tacky celtic crosses and fake irish stuff) but keep it as a thriving local pub which shows sport and serves beer at reasonable prices.
When I found out it was gonna be called the Florence and saw the outside I cringed. Yet another poncy, pretentious pub (wine bar). When I actually went inside my heart sank. What a soulless, cold place. Only 5% beer at a minimum price of £3.10 a pint, full of wannabe yuppies with about as much charisma as a sack of potatoes. What a shame that these people think that this is good for a local area when all it does it drive out honest local people who enjoy the craic, a few pints and a good game of footie. The man/WOMAN, who responsible for the fake rubbish should be ashamed of him/herself. Bring back the local boozer. boycott this rubbish
Griffter - 1 Jun 2007 09:58
As a Regent regular and customer of the old Ganleys I was eager to see what had been done. Its much smarter inside now with an extended outside area which will appeal to people with kids as its secure and away from the road. The new menu reads well and is competitively priced. The lagers (ok its early days) seem to be all premium and 5% or over which may limit it appeal as I would prefer something lower (you cant drink many pints @ 5%). Wine - red, white and rose is on tap (not quite like the old Stowells range but still a bit offputting, although I haven't tried it). The biggest minus for me though is that all the screens have gone meaning that there is nowhere left in Herne Hill to watch football. Note its all non-smoking, hurrah. Finally the staff seem helpful and friendly, not sure about getting the change on a silver tray though!
LordRegent - 30 May 2007 14:14
there is no chrome here, a little brushed stainless, but no chrome. Two real ales on draft with a third ale brewed inhouse (ready in a couple of weeks). a further ten draft beer/cider options.....
thebishop - 30 May 2007 10:14
Used to go here 'til the handpumps were removed. Could see no real ale in the 'Florence' resurrection, lots of chrome though if you like that sort of thing.
jharryj - 29 May 2007 19:33
closed for refurb - to emerge soon as The Florence sister pub to The Clarence and The Bishop
anonymous - 22 May 2007 13:57
Used to go here regularly as it was the only local which showed footy. A large place with plenty of flatscreens, and a horseshoe bar in the middle. Big garden too. Food is nice and well-priced compared to other pubs in Herne Hill. Locals can seem a bit rowdy, but, well, it's a pub isn't it? Even has a roulette/poker machine – not necessarily a good thing.
anonymous - 31 Jan 2007 16:54
I used to like this pub for watching Premiership football, but recently the quality of the draught beers has really gone downhill. On 2 recent visits, I tried 2 different premium lagers & Guinness, none were very good. The lagers were very flat, and the barman said 'It must be a full moon tonight, everyone's complaining about the beer'. I thought to myself, 'have you ever wondered why?'. I think there might have been a change in manager. I switched to Old Speckled Hen, which was decent. The food is good. I've tried a Sunday lunch, a burger (both very good) & other grills & steaks (decent or better). Good for watching sport. But can't recommend it like i used to be able to, due to the poor quality beer. Hopefully it's a temporary blip, but I don't hold out much hope. Someone tell the owner!
razorlaugh - 28 Aug 2006 11:45
What is a Irish Pub suppose to Be like, if it was like the Old Brockwell Tavern as it used to be called then im shocked as this was a bit run down, toilets were smelly, atmosphere felt hostile some regulars being rowdy. Today this is a Wonderfull Pub with comfortable leather gothic Arch headrest design Chairs/benches. The Chalk ridden Pool tables are now replaced with solid pine tables and chairs on clean tiled floors with various options on the Menu and the Kitchen area is a glance away so you can see whats being cooked as main choices are Grilled.
This is a great Family pub over the weekends with a conservatory area and rear patio garden area. Ideal pub with Plasma screens mounted within eye view to watch most live sports with a great atmosphere to it. Ashtrays and Empties are constantly cleared away and Staff are very friendly. pop in for 1xpint and il bet you be there for another as plenty of drinking options.
Bombproof - 24 Jul 2006 12:15
been in this pub twice now and its just like the other one in morden but worse a stupid plastic paddys pub im originally from co mayo and none of my local pubs back home are like this the only good thing about this pub is to watch g.a.a games the beer also isent the best should be AVOIDED the prince regent pub would be a better bet
anonymous - 15 Jul 2006 16:35
I have to correct those that are calling this place to Oirish. The slightly naff decor, the furniture, the music, the tater crisps, the red lemonade and the lucozade behind the bar are all genuinely irish pub traits. If any of the complainers had ever actually been to Ireland they'd know this.

Its a great pub, light, airy, large, friendly both staff and locals, great garden, a real slice of Eire, not Oirland. Oh and the food is very reasonable too.
piersy - 4 Jul 2006 09:53
Last summer after a sweltering day in Brockwell Park, I retreated to Ganleys for a few pints, heaven. Fine lager combined with a nice atmosphere made the visit a pleasant one. The manager who was on his break took time to talk to me about the Cavan-Meath game that was playing that day. Something I didn't expect but decent all the same.
Notasaffa - 8 Mar 2006 00:27
This used to be my fav pub in the area then the dreeded refurb, took it from being a genuine Irish pub to some form of monstrous Orish theme bar.

Since then I have once again warmed to its charms the beer garden is grand for a nice cold pint of magners the staff are friendly and the horrible shinneyness is slowly being eroded.

I think what makes this bar is irt clientelle with a great mix of auld codgers each with a few great stories and the young locals.

Jesper - 12 Dec 2005 16:59
Nae bad pub, always well populated with local folks, and it's lively, although a lack of a minority customer base raises questions somewhhat considering the area is Brixton.

Maybe this is because it is too 'Oirish'. Personally I find the decor absolutely tasteless and I've a theory that it was created by some mad Bulgarian who's never been to Eire.

Completley naff and amateur 'homestead' feature in the back, aswell as oddly carved 'Celtic themed' high back furniture really does say that this pub is trying too hard to please people who haven't a feckin' clue what Irish pub culture is about.

Let the locals, live music, friendly staff and the food be the arbiter of how Irish a pub is, not how green the paint is or the fake Irishness of its manufactured museum pieces at the back.

SepulchreBrit - 5 Oct 2005 16:54
brilliant food and a cracking pint of Guinness. unfortunately saw the Lions lose there, but the pub helped make up for it. best pub in the area
JohnWallace - 17 Sep 2005 13:48
Our local, and we are lucky. Agree with others on green paint, though. But it is a huge place that brings in the neighborhood on Sunday for roast and sport. Great conservatory and beer garden in back...
anonymous - 22 Aug 2005 12:55
Flew from Boston to London on St Pats Day, hailed a cab from our Hotel , The Dorchester, and picked an Irish pub called Ganleys. We had such a great time, the people were nice, the food incredible, and the Beer was so good we didnt leave ! Great atmosphere out in the Beer Garden and the fresh air felt great after our long flight !! We will be back every year for St Patricks Day!!
Bostonirish - 20 May 2005 13:52
What a great pub!Like being back in Ireland. The food is great,lovely atmosphere,and very friendly bar staff. Had a very enjoyable day out in their fab new beer garden. And a great place to watch the GAA matches. Up Limerick!
ashley167 - 19 May 2005 14:27
friendly enough place, but none of the hand pumps have been working for the last three weeks, which is a pretty poor show. ditto the previous comments about the green paint
grr - 15 Mar 2005 16:21
What the hell is that horrible pea-green gloss everywhere. Like a Disney-land Irish pub. Dreadful.
christopher - 19 Feb 2005 11:50
Good Irish pub, like its sister pub in Morden. Great steakhouse restaurant as well.
katie - 5 Jan 2005 18:59

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