skip nav  

Ravensbourne Arms, Lewisham

back to pub details

user reviews of the Ravensbourne Arms, Lewisham

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

CLOSED end of October 2016.
Antic are taking over the premised of the Market Tavern up the road opposite the Lewisham Centre.

Was alright but not great.
southlondonbeero - 20 Nov 2016 08:35
The Ravensbourne is a little over a mile from my house but recently I made my first visit here since June 2012, who knows why I haven’t been in over 4 years as it’s a good pub in a decent location and sells decent ales as it’s part of the Antic chain.

My most recent visit was a Sunday afternoon with the wife. Fairly busy when we arrived mid afternoon with ambient music playing and Sunday roast’s popular. The food menu looks good and reasonably priced for the what looked and smelt good.

3 ales on the 5 hand pumps, which were Volden Pale Ale, London Beer Factory Beyond the Pale and my choice which was Kent Brewery Zingiber @ 4.1%, the 2 pints of Zingiber I had were both decent. On the back wall are 7 pump clips displaying which ales are coming next.

Just like other Antic pubs the Ravensbourne has missed match furniture and slightly odd decoration, the room to the left of the bar is like a lounge / reading room. To the front on the main road are benches but no shelter from the hot sun (as it was on this visit) or the rain.

A thoroughly decent pub, the wife liked it so I’m sure we’ll return at some stage and will probably eat aswell.
lezford - 18 Oct 2016 13:18
This could possibly be Lewisham's best pub. But it may be the best of a bad bunch. Service was prompt and the selection was reasonable - Sambrooks Pumphouse Pale Ale & Junction, Adnams Old Ale, Caledonian Deuchars IPA & Gipsy Hill Dissident. The cider was Westons Old Rosie. Football was on the TV and the place was reasonably busy for a Saturday afternoon. Would probably visit again if in the area.
blue_scrumpy - 1 Feb 2015 19:05
Pleasant enough pub but could do with some heating. Ales on at £3.60 which is enough for Lewisham,served very cold which is always a shame.
Miles007 - 29 Jan 2014 12:52
I recently moved to the area and was relieved that there was a Antic pub close by. Ravenbourne is great and a breathe of fresh air compared to a lot of the other pubs in Lewisham. Great range of beers, reasonable prices, cosy fit out and good mix of people. Food is also good. Get down there you won't regret it!
Brendylou - 28 Jan 2014 16:55
A spacious, prosperous place to brighten up Lewisham High Street, with 4 exotic beers on handpump. A slight quibble was that there were no session beers when I was there recently but the Hastings American IPA was excellent and blotting paper was provided by an exceptionally good lunch!
16jamesdoc - 2 Jan 2014 20:58
Mr Right's comments of 26 June 2013 are inaccurate in that the Ravensbourne is not essentially a gay pub as such though, they do welcome the gay community who are not as stereotyped as Mr Right would have us believe. Perhaps he was having an off night. Yes, go along and see for yourself. I am sure that you would be made to feel very welcome.
MrRighton - 19 Nov 2013 13:32
This pub looks a barn of a place from the outside and the area it's in is not great but don't let that fool you. It is in fact a lovely pub which serves top class beer really well. The bar staff are friendly and the food is really superb - all hand cooked, not reheated or served out of a packet. The bonus is that there is a large beer garden out the back - with a table tennis area. If I'm being fussy they could smarten this up a bit more but it was perfectly comfortable with decent tables and big umbrellas etc.
StudioM - 22 Aug 2013 12:39
Lewisham has long been a black hole in the pubs department, which is why I was so happy to discover another drinking establishment had set up shop in SE13. When the Ravensbourne first opened I was eager to pay the place a visit. However due to both professional and health-related issues, I only got round to checking this venue out recently.

The first visit was a revelation. A fantastic range of lagers AND ales, friendly staff and a spacious yet atmospheric interior. “Pinch me now!” I cried to my companion, who was similarly enamoured with the place. Finally a local I could frequent without out the fear of being bothered by crack and/or heroin addicts.

A few days later I decided to dip my toes in the water again. It was Tuesday evening, Holby City was doing my head in and I fancied a drink. Why not? I’m a working man and deserve to let my hair down once in a while.

What I encountered on this particular evening was a world away from the wholesome, family-friendly environment I’d enjoyed just days earlier.

I am aware that since the closure of Stonewalls, the Lewisham gay scene has been crying out for somewhere to flaunt their ‘wares’ (a fact the increasingly crowded Ladywell Park is testimony to). And who can blame them? Let’s remember, these guys contribute a lot to the economy through their hedonistic lifestyles and high levels of disposable income.

Well, from the scene that greeted me that evening, it’s clear that Tuesday at the Ravensbourne is the new spiritual home of the Lewisham-based gay male. It was only 20.45 when I arrived, but I was greeted by pumping house, pierced bar-staff and the unmistakable whiff of amyl nitrate.

This in itself did not bother me. I am probably the least homophobic straight guy on earth. I have numerous gay friends and colleagues all of whom regard me as a trusted friend and ally.

However, gay or straight, there is one thing I can not abide, and that is sexual bullying. Unfortunately, that night at the Ravensbourne it was rife.

After I arrived it was not long before I noticed a chap who seemed rather uncomfortable in his surroundings. Blonde and diminutive in size, this guy clearly wasn’t used to the rough and tumble of the gay scene. A pack of older, bigger men had gathered around him, and to be honest they were taking the piss.

I saw him tearfully purchase round after round for older, bigger gay men, and a stab of pity pricked my conscience. This guy was not having fun. His inescapable physical urges had brought him here, and now he was being shamefully mistreated by his peers in the gay community. There were cat calls, derogatory remarks about his physique, someone even managed to pull his trousers down!

I was keen to intervene, but my companion advised me to “keep my nose out of it.” Maybe she was right, who am I to interfere with the practices and rituals of the gay community? He was probably enjoying it. After one drink we left, but I could not help but turn around one last time to check in on our blonde friend. This time he caught my eye. I am sure that I saw him mouth the words “help me” as I exited the bar.

MrRight - 26 Jun 2013 16:34
I was around this area,so we thought I pop in the Ravenbourne arms for a spot of lunch,
First impressions it was quite quiet,there a girl at the bar doing hair & make-up. so we order a drinks , so we look around for somewhere to sit ,on doing so we pick some seats near the window ,chairs were all worn, the area look like it hadn't been cleaned for ages (maybe about 6th months ago) dogs hair all over the seats &dirty tables,floor & odd smell about ,which made us feel sick , so we decide on to leave our drink try the pub across the road where it was lovely & cleaned friendly.
we wont be come again as not the cheaps beersaround, so you need to clean up there act or maybe need to go on an health & Hygenie course. Don't think its bar staffs fault its must owner or managers . I would recommend Jolly farmer or Fox firkin much better pubs by far.
barflies - 29 Jul 2012 18:44
1st visit since it changed hands and I love it.

4 very good quality beers on tap and a strong good quality cider aswell.

Knowledgeable young staff behind the jump, the beer poured perfectly, music in the background that bothered no-one and the price was spot on.

The Coach and Horses was very much a locals pub where this place feels much more open and welcoming to all and sundry, an improvement no doubt to a place that was on it's arse.
lezford - 23 Jun 2012 18:09
Now one of my favourite Pubs in London. Ali and his staff are top notch; great choice of beers; good food; relaxed atmosphere; a pub cat; and now also a monthly comedy (stand up) night. A must visit if you're in SE London.
ioverlord - 19 Jun 2012 17:18
went in tuesday and had the BEST burger and fish and chips in london, really friendly atmosphere and nice comfortable surroundings. Pub was a little quiet but was a tuesday evening. Lovely back ground music, not to loud. Most seemed to be eating, will definitely go back again.
pchan - 29 Mar 2012 22:25
Recently reopened by the Antic Group as the Ravensbourne Arms, this pub has completely changed its character and become a welcome addition to the Lewisham beer scene. The clientele seem well mixed and all pretty chilled.

The interior has been stripped back to the original dark wood panels, making the place look a lot more spacious and the original wooden parquet flooring has been revealed. The whole place nice and clean and tidy, being, at the moment, beautifully decorated for Christmas.

There were five real ales on last Saturday, including a milk stout (very nice indeed) and a chocolate orange ale from M&B (alas, not as nice as it sounds.) These were served in either jugs or straight glasses and the manager proved very knowledgeable about his cellar, drawing our attention to an IPA which is brewed especially for Antic and making several suggestions of IPAs that various brewers produce.

There is a bar billiards table, also a table football machine, although they looked a little close together for both to be comfortably played at the same time! Various music events are advertised. The food served near us looked really nice and had the advantage of being priced rounded to the pound, not having everything --99p, which does grind my gears. The toilets were ok, but not quite as good as I expected.


flashharry1965 - 15 Dec 2011 13:55
Can corroborate the below, last time I was in this pub it had 5 excellent real ales on tap, all well kept and reasonably priced. Head and shoulders above anything in the area.
dylantisdell - 26 Oct 2011 23:43
I'm the General Manager of The Ravensbourne Arms and thought I'd update you a little bit. The pub is now owned by the Antic Ltd group. We have 5 real ales on the pumps at any given time (The current list being: Purity Pure Gold, Brew Dog 5am Saint, Adnams Old Ale, Doom Bar and Thornbridge Jaipur) and they all cost around 3.20 per pint. We have a very impressive range of beers and ciders both on the T Bars and in the fridges. Our kitchen has recently opened and is serving between 4pm and 10pm Mon-Friday, 12pm - 9pm on Saturday, and a beautiful Sunday Roast between 12pm and 6pm on Sundays. I guarantee you won't be disappointed with the food.

If any one would like to contact me directly please do so on 0208 613 7070 or email me at [email protected]

Happy drinking!
RavensbourneAli - 14 Oct 2011 18:44
Given a reboot by Antic Ltd, this is a large and pleasant pub - with beer garden. As anyone in the area will tell you Lewisham is not blessed with great pubs, so this immediately becomes a winner. 5 Ales on tap. Nice staff. Worth checking out if you're in the area.
ioverlord - 17 Aug 2011 17:26
What a transformation! Complete refurb. Nice beer. Really nice bar staff. Even the punters have scrubbed up nice & friendly. Let's hope it all keeps moving in this direction. Definitely back on my list of pubs worth visiting in this part of sarfeast lahndun. (After about 20 years of it most definitely being deleted from said list.)
spoonerthegooner - 18 Jun 2011 22:20
Coach and Horses has been closed and has re-opened under the name Ravensbourne Arms. It is now a real ale pub and totally different from what it was.
Trinker - 5 Jun 2011 15:58
I've only been to the coach and horses a couple of times and that has always been to watch boxing. Although on first appearances the pub does have a slight air of menace to it I think it is actually not that bad.

Admittedly I did get trapped in conversation with someone who said he was considering taking up drug dealing as his next career move and the landlord looks like he could kill you with his little finger but I didn't actually feel unsafe.

Beer was ok but I'm no expert and they had an amazing range of multicoloured spirits behind the bar which is staffed with amiable barmaids - just don't put your drink too near to the till...

It's obvious that plenty of people in the pub know each other pretty well and are fairly matey. So I'd echo the previous comment about the regulars being ok beneath the slightly intimidating South London veneer.

I'll keep going back to watch the boxing.
PeteinSQ - 6 Apr 2010 10:46
Loads of sport on lots of TVs. Good basic English food, really good value roasts on Sunday. Good range of beer but availability changes a lot. Bad toilets. Staff and customers are good people underneath the Sarf Lonnon hostile exterior!
Ian210cat - 24 May 2009 13:23
New management and a laudable policy to stay open til 1am most nights! Pool table and reasonably priced beer. Not the best, but certaoinly not the worst in the area. And rarely full!
jacl20c - 18 Dec 2008 14:16
the only gd fing bout this pub would be da its music upto date an varies from R'n'B to bashment.The introir i find laughable an unkept, the barr staff are just a discrase unfriendly and rude.and worst of all are da customers mosltel teeny boppers and over da top drug users. if u dont mind 14yr old kids poppin pills and startin fights den by all means go! If this is doesnt sound applyin 2 u den KEEP AWAY !!!
anonymous - 19 Aug 2007 16:11
Nasty estate type boozer. Avoid.
PigPen_in_the_Fens - 22 Apr 2007 18:00
I have to agree with several posts here that this pub is about as welcoming as herpes. The complete lack of any tasty beers is quite and achievement. There are plenty of no hoper thugs and twelve year olds if that is your favoured drinking company but otherwise is well worth avoiding. A true disappointment!
Handlebars - 16 Sep 2006 15:00
4 out of 10!! You are having a laugh. The worst beer and service of just about any pub I've ever been in and thats alot! It's dirty, the big screen are knackered, it moody and full of 14 year old chavs that can't wait to start a fight because you looked in their general direction. I would write something positive but can't think of anything. Oh....3 Pool tables is about its only tiny good point! AVOID
Foureyes - 15 Sep 2006 16:52
All of you lot moaning about it being rough...well you probably deserved a slap! It's a pub in Ladywell FFS! The OAP tea rooms in Herts' would probably suit you better. Excellent pub, lively, friendly, reasonably priced with wonderful staff.
Outback - 31 Aug 2006 14:56
MOOOOODY! Its useful if you want a game of pool thats about it.
Jamoo - 23 Nov 2005 15:29
Forced to drink here due to pool and darts matches. beer is terrible - we only risk bottles - and the staff are extremely slow and sparse. Get your act together!!
anonymous - 1 Jul 2005 17:07
Unfortunately can be very violent, as proven by a recent murder on the premises. My friend was macheted to within an inch of his life by the friendly locals, and there seems to be at least one very violent incident every Saturday.
sonoftherock - 6 May 2005 15:16
What do you want in a pub? Okay it's not quite got everything you want all in one place but there are some things you can definately check off. Music is pretty good, not too much of a queue to get served, bar staff okay. No fit blokes (boo hoo) and dodgy bimbo girls but all in all an okay night out. Late license too so thats gotta be worth something??
anonymous - 15 Feb 2005 16:11
MANDY - 19 Jul 2004 19:55
Having read all of the comments so far it stricks me a lot are not regulars,this a friendly pub with dj's friday & saturdays.The darts & pool teams are the best in the area. so come & judge for yourselves.
mark - 19 Jul 2004 19:36
this is a large pub with a late licence. the beer is always good and staff are friendly and quick. dj's are excellent with a range of music on diff days.most spirits available and if not then they will be ordered for your next visit. generally a good time had by all. i dont go anywhere else!!
sharon - 19 Jul 2004 15:54
Just because a pub has lots of tv screens does not make it a sports pub. However, if it's full of nutters this does make it, in my book, a nutters pub. Avoid.
James - 27 Feb 2004 09:18
Nasty, tho' the beer is usually, unusually good.

Pool tables and Tv's everywhere, but then it is in the loosest terms a "sports bar".

Located opposite the local A&E department, which can prove handy round these parts.
Rob - 16 Feb 2004 14:21
Massive sports pub cheap beer hundreds of TVs 3x Pool tables and Darts. Food very basic but very cheap
kate weldon - 24 Mar 2003 15:00

got anything to say about this pub?

Please read our reviews policy before posting.
Only registered users can post reviews. Please log in. If you don't have an account yet, register here.