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Original Plough, Chelmsford

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user reviews of the Original Plough, Chelmsford

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

Maria. Not sure your review is for the OP. Popped in on Saturday before the cricket and everything was as I remembered from my previous visit in February. Good range of ales at just over £3.00 a pint and an extensive reasonably priced food. No obvious signs of Nicholsonisation.
twineyboy - 5 Aug 2014 01:00
Under new ownership after Nicolsons spent £450,000 on moving toilets upstairs and hiking prices! Visited tonight...3rd time in 3 years "Landlord" @ £3.85...naff left half pint..rubbish! Go to Ale House....£3.50 a pjnt well enough ...first class!!
maria6812 - 1 Aug 2014 22:52
Decent enough place. Popped in for a pint and a sausage bap prior to visiting Chelmsford Beer Festival. The Moorhouse Black Cat was in fine nick and the sausage bap was cooked well too. Sky Sports showing the cricket, so my brief visit was worth while. Barman friendly and food was promptly served.
ng10 - 11 Jul 2013 08:47
Generally ccall in most nights off the train. Good range of beer on and the pricing not bad. Staff have always come across as friendly and was impressed to see some new bar staff being instructed on the art of pulling a proper pint.

Can't really comment on general atmosphere as tend not to stay that long but its become a regular stopping-off point.
EssexElvis - 28 Mar 2013 13:28
OK for the station but thats about as far as it goes.

Food OK but a little overpriced for what it was - no real complaints though, beer was certainly average - not very well kept at all (very long in the tooth), and the service was non evistent, very bad indeed. If youre waiting for a train, why not. Otherwise dont bother, there are plenty of other better establishments with a better offering.
Neil123 - 10 Dec 2012 16:49
Stopped in here for the briefest of halves during a 45-minute stop in Chelmsford en route back from a trip to some brew-pubs in Bury St Edmunds.

Pretty standard Nicholson's fixtures and fittings - and nothing too shabby in that as the traditional robust-looking interior suited the building, and of course there was fine ale and food to be found. Cask-wise the choice was wide, and the quick sample I tried (sorry, forget what it was) seemed in decent nick and I only hope it was representative of the overall quality (beer's usually not a problem in a Nicholson's house).

Maybe not ground-breaking but outside of the usual London context a Nicholson's pub has more of a novelty value around it.
TWG - 15 Aug 2012 16:57
Large pub with a good choice of ales on tap, some of them pretty rare in these parts.

Only had the 1 pint as i was waiting for a bus to Maldon.

Pleasant barman who greeted everyone that came in as a friend, television was on mute in the corner and generally the place had a nice feel to it.

Food was not being served when i was in (too early) so cannot comment on the price, look or smell of it.

Very handy for the station and will use again when in Chelmsford as the beer selection was a big selling point for me.
lezford - 24 Jan 2012 13:33
I don't like the re-fit. It looks more like a restaurant now. The old "open-plan" Plough was much more to my liking. Agree with the chap below, they have shoved far to many tables in the place.

Since the refit they've also taken the opportunity of jacking the prices right up. Sorry, but this does it for me. I'm voting with my feet. There are other pubs in the area with a better atmosphere and more reasonable prices.

Sure, they have a good selection of beers, but this is not unusual in Chelmsford, and frankly, they're generally 50p/pint over the odds.

Hard to see much appeal for me now. mark reduced to 6/10
Jay28 - 28 Feb 2011 12:52
Smartly refurbished pub. Eight real ales on offer, although with two banks of eight handpumps they could increase to as many as sixteen if demand and cellar space are sufficient. Efficient service from a friendly barmaid.

Only real criticism is there are too many tables and chairs. I was in late afternoon when it was fairly quiet, but somehow felt a bit cluttered and if every table and chair was occupied you'd barely be able to move around.
Delirious_Nomad - 16 Feb 2011 09:37
No longer Original. Obviously the recession has made Nicholsons reduce their signwriting, it's now just The Plough. Not yet been in there since the takeover.
TiaMariaJim - 5 Feb 2011 03:29
Nicholsons have refurbished this quite recently, and the result is a depressingly familiar chain pub with neutral decor throughout and Sky Sports News playing in the corner with the volume down. Great range of ales though, which would be enough to get me through the door a second time.

rob1981 - 10 Jan 2011 23:45
The pub has recently been taken over by Nicholsons. As a Friday night regular to its former incarnation of The Original Plough I returned with friends to assess the "damage". Much relief all round - it could have been a lot worse - and in some ways it was a lot better. The toilets have been moved upstairs to provide more seating downstairs and the whole place has much more classy look. There is a greater emphasis on food, though drinkers still seem welcomed by the friendly young staff. About 8 beers were on and I tried Tribute, Sharp's Cornish Coaster and Doom Bar which were all good. It was a relief to hear that Pete was still looking after the cellar.Prices are higher than they used to be, but not excessive. It's like an old friend who's just been on a makeover show , you still like them but they are now a bit too goodlooking. Once the newness has worn off a bit I'm sure it will be the home from home it always was.Phew!
knottyathome - 20 Nov 2010 14:34
Perhaps 10:30 on a hot Friday night after a T20 match not the best time to judge a pub but a bnit of a curate's egg. Good range of beers on, my pint of Marston's Old Empire was in reasonable condition, but warm rose wine? Surely it's not rocket science. A bit rowdy but not in a threatening way at all.
metrology_man - 28 Jun 2010 08:13


6 real ales on display on my visit. The ubiquitous GK and 5 other very original offerings. Slater's Top totty in excellent condition. 2.80 a pint. Other beers very reasonably priced too, and in consistently good condition.

Friendly and knowledgeable barstaff. Mixed patrons with the odd didicoit.More enjoyable midweek than a busy Saturday, but that's my fault for getting old.

One criticism. Very slow to replace beers as soon as one goes off.Sometimes only 4 or 5 on.

Any visit to Chelmsford by real ale lovers probably requires a visit here.I do recommend trying the railway tavern (opposite) too.

R14
Polypinmath - 22 Mar 2010 09:46
Being the sort that is allergic to (if fact, hating everything about) the likes of Edwards, Lloyds and Yates, this pub is a welcome treat. Good selection of real ale, busy during sporting events, ideally placed for the post work pint (which also brings about the added benefit of continual passing trade) and pretty good service at the bar (also, reasonably priced).

If you haven't tried it, give it a go. Not my regular but a great pub.
pumpermuncher - 27 Sep 2008 18:57
I have to take exception to Dr Motherfudger's review of the beer in the Plough as "borderline acceptable". I have been going in the Plough for many years and it has one of the best kept and widest selections of real ale in Chelmsford. You may have a gripe about the food and service, fair enough, but leave the beer out of it.

My rating of 8/10 refelects the fact that this pub sells good quality real ale and provides a pleasant atmosphere and surrounduings in which to drink it. Couldn't really give a monkey's about the food to be honest.
Jay28 - 23 Sep 2008 16:14
Visted for the first time in five years on 27/8/08. Quite relaxed and welcoming pub, seems a little brighter inside (a good thing as my 2003 memories were of the pub being quite dingy). Ten handpumps offering eight ales on my visit, mainly from small breweries. Mauldon's Summer Gold (4%) was a very pleasant, refreshing, quenching pint, costing an equally refreshing 2.55! Sausage & mash was very plentiful for the cheap price of 2.99. Quiet music noted, and TVs were on showing racing and cricket matches.

A good pub, handy for the food and proximity with the rail station, and a good range of ales.

8/10.
lad_newton - 29 Aug 2008 10:28
I rarely spend my nights out in chelmsford any more, but when I do I sometimes come here. It's an ok place I think. Not amazing, but I reckong it does what it says on the tin. (Obviously not for the previous reviewer's food though)

Poor spelling of the word "Wetherspoons" in the review below, but that's just me being picky :-)


Harvor - 19 Aug 2008 11:05
Beer was borderline acceptable. Service was poor with food being served 45 minutes after ordering - we were warned that it gets busy on Friday, this Thursday lunch at 12.00 there looked to be approximately 5 tables eating and they struggled with service. So good luck on Friday.
Some members of our party were served after 10 minutes of our lunch hour with others receiving their 10 minutes before the end of our lunch hour - requiring speed eating and indigestion.
Orders arrived either incorrectly (requiring return to the kitchen) or not as described in the generic menu.
If you want your pub with no atmosphere and poor food, you might as well just go to a Yates or Weatherspoons.
There were a good selection of ales on offer and staff were apologetic for errors and delays, however this does not change the experience.
DrMotherFudger - 10 Jul 2008 13:23
Always serves a decent pint and has a good selection of real ale.
Jay28 - 26 Mar 2008 17:15
A very decent pub. reasonable beer and interesting people. Worth a visit, you may like it.
Blackmirror - 2 Aug 2007 01:22
Always found this to be an interesting place ....got some funny (ok odd) clientele but good selection of beers ?
W980501 - 18 Jul 2007 10:29
Reasonable chice of ales, can't recommend the food though.
biggles221 - 4 Jan 2007 22:32
Excellent condition ales and not bad prices for the area. Shame the no smoking rule at the bar is not properly enforced.
wobblybob - 26 Dec 2006 14:45
Well done boozer situated next to the train station. Surprisingly broad range of beers at good prices by friendly staff. Very spacious interior with stone floors makes the place very atmospheric. Excellent for watching sport as it gets a good crowd in and there are plenty of TVs to ensure an unobstructed view. Food is good also with huge portions available at reasonable prices. All in all not that different from 100 other pubs in terms of what's on offer but that elusive magic that turns a normal pub into a very good pub has been captured here. Well worth a visit.
Mr.Monkfish - 1 May 2006 10:54
Decent enough boozer with a good selection of real ales. Compares favourable with The Ship - a similar sized pub just around the corner.
rhunt - 20 Feb 2006 12:52
I love this pub! Whenever I get of the train at Chelmsford this is ALWAYS my first visit (thankfully it's right by the station!!) Chris (the landlord) is a rugby fan so rugby games are shown as are football games, if you're a beer loving, sport loving afficionado then make sure you visit this establishment on match days!
The beer (looked after by Peter and Luke) is always up to (and usually beyond) acceptable standards and if you don't know about any beer just ask for a taster they're more than happy to impart their knowledge!
Admittedly it DOES get busy of a weekend but, hey, what pub doesn't!
Enjoy yourselves in this pub - I most certainly always do!
muttley75 - 2 Nov 2005 19:47
Can get too busy on Fridays and Saturdays, but if you manage to get a table, it's well worth the visit.

You will be rewarded with a selection of fine Ales, my favourite at the moment being the Calaedonian Deauchars.


krakonos - 24 Oct 2005 15:01
A good drinkers pub, but food is not so good. Ales well kept with an excellent choice inclusding the rare Ind Coope Burton Ale
ahscum - 30 May 2005 11:40

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