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Railway Telegraph, Forest Hill

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user reviews of the Railway Telegraph, Forest Hill

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

This is a large pub and it was always going to be difficult to refurbish it in a way that made it cosy/welcoming, but I think the new owners have done a great job. They've created smaller areas, kept the dartboard and locals, while appealing to a wide range of new people who wouldn't have gone in in its previous incarnation. I like that it has a good mix of people, some there to drink and some there for food, and everyone seems to coexist well.

I like that they are dog friendly, the food and wine list is good and personally I don't see why you can't play Sinatra or jazz just because you're opposite Topps Tiles and a storage depot on the south circular! Lots of candles lit at night and comfy sofas. A good example of how to do a pub up without losing its charm.
wobblybee - 13 Feb 2015 13:56
Shepherd Neame have refurbed the place inside and out. Playing jazz/ Frank Sinatra last time I went at lunchtime. Music choice did'nt suit the place at all considering it is facing a warehouse on the South Circular. Cask ales were good not brilliant and bloody pricey at nearly £4.00 a pint. Bar staff were ok. I'll stick to the Capitol for now.
Masterpint47 - 27 Nov 2014 00:07
I went to see Kenny Thomas - the big 90's UK soul star & Angie Brown. It was a fantastic night out with excellent DJ's and a great atmosphere. All for only £15.
I see they have Caron Wheeler from Soul to Soul next month and then Aswad.
This pub is absolutely great.
daisyg94 - 21 Jan 2013 16:07
Excellent pub . I can’t sing enough praises after attending an event with Winston Ready and Carol Thompson. The crowd were great and the owner Pam and her partner were so welcoming.
If you are ever in the area I recommend that you pop in as all the bar staff are lovely and there really is something for everyone!

Ellie11 - 17 Dec 2012 09:38
"Spoke to the manager who tells me that every month end there are live artitis appearing...."

Well, I'm not going there! I don't want to risk contracting artitis!
The_Final_Arbiter - 7 Apr 2011 15:01
When I was in the area I visited there again. It has much in the way of entertainments. Saw flyers out listing all events & this was quite impressive. Janet Kay (Silly Games) had made an appearance recently and I noticed that Romina Johnson from Artful Doger is there in April & one which I will be definately going to see & that is Rose Royce (Gwen Dickey) at the end of May. Spoke to the manager who tells me that every month end there are live artitis appearing....

I had a glass of chilled wine and my partner tasted the new Japanese beer (Asahi) which he said was great. Tried some Carribbean food as well.

I will be making a return visit in the near future.
daisyg94 - 7 Apr 2011 14:54
Great range of lagers on tap including Hurlimann and Oranjeboom. Good range of spirits with interesting house Vodka and Gin.
Lots of entertainment including Pool table, Poker Night, Quiz Night and DJs on most weekends. Show Sky Sports. Not exactly child friendly although I have seen kids running around.
As a woman I wouldn't necessarily go there on my own though...
newbySE23 - 30 Mar 2010 19:19
This is a very imposing looking pub, standing high and proud alone on a corner site, with stone steps leading up to the entrance. Its a Shepherd Neame house, but with only Master Brew and Spitfire on. The Master Brew was OK at 2.60 a pint. Theres a pool table at the front; a large pull down screen at the side, presumably for showing major sporting events, and at least three other TV monitors in various corners. None of them were on during my weekday lunchtime visit. All the walls are painted red. Theres nothing about this pub that would lead me to pay a return visit.
RexRattus - 6 Dec 2009 16:36
Visited last night - had a good pint of Masterbrew but I didn't care much for the loud and obnoxious people at the pool table. Judging by the looks I got, they didn't care much for me either...
pubcollector - 29 Oct 2009 20:44
This pub has recently come under new management & it has been revitalised. I enjoy Shepherd Neames products & the beer always tastes good.
The new owners are putting on alot of entertainment, DJ's most weekends with a 2am licence & the occasional Karaoke & Live Band. There are darts teams & pool teams & a new addition is Knockout Dominoes every Monday & Poker evening on Thursday.
On Sunday they have begun a new game called Open the Box followed by a Quiz and Play Yoyr Cards Right.

I enjoyed visiting the pub and will certainly make it my regular.
daisyg94 - 19 May 2009 12:24
How can a pub that has Twiglets having boring crips, anon? :-)

I really appreciate the effort they have made to create a nice garden area for their smokers. Not many pubs in the area have bothered. It isn't a very promising setting on a busy road, but they have managed to create a pretty green haven - thank you.
spincat - 31 May 2008 07:45
Quite good atmosphere in this pub when I visited a few weeks ago. Only thing is I am not keen on SHepherds neame beers so the score could be higher if you like orgranboom etc.
birdnhandroger - 12 Nov 2007 16:44
boring pub boring staff boring and boring crisps. still they do twiglets
if it gets that boring however theres always the oppurtunity for a game of guess who but with me and my big ear with the pork scratchings stuck in it i always get caught out first. even by the dog
yours erik x
anonymous - 25 Oct 2007 16:28
This is a cracking pub with well-kept beer (including the superlative Shepherd Neames Master Brew), a pool table that you can usually get to, plenty of space and a friendly and welcoming atmosphere. If you want to watch a big football match in an unintimidating environment with a bunch of friendly locals this is the place for you.
william1 - 21 Sep 2007 00:27
about 40 of us desended on this pub after a family funeral in the area,the landlord had laid on a very nice buffet,and the pub was clean and well run,the beer was good with a wide veriety,allthough Bishops Finger didn't appear to be on,there was spitfire and master brew,but I can't comment on there condidion as I stuck to the hurlimans,I didn't see any dodgy looking characters lurking about,but as I said we where mob handed so unlikly to be intimidated,seemed like a nice family run traditional boozer,with a great two tier beer garden,would certainly go back if I was in the area,I'll go with the landlady and give it a 7/10
vinnnie - 14 Sep 2007 13:28
I drink in this pub most weeks and although like most pubs in the area it can be a bit intimidating at times (to No fault of the management)It is well run ,clean & tidy.the entertainment could be better but thats just my opinion.This along with the Forest Hill Hotel is the best place to drink
anonymous - 24 Jul 2007 21:41
As the landlady of the Railway Telegraph (and very proud of it) I have to lol as anyone that knows anything about pubs, especailly in Forest Hill is that they ALL have thier ups and downs. We have had some less desirable characters coming in over the last few months and we have been moving them on as quickly as possible. As the police are trying to close a very undesirable pub in the area, we have had abit of an overflow from there, we have worked very closely with the police and our highly valued customers to ensure there isn't too much of a negative inpacked on our pub, I can assure you that we have no desire to have any 'low life' in our establishment! We run very successful evenings in the Railway Telegraph, and have a new food and wine menu available soon! We run a family friendly pub, where well behaved childrn are welcome until 8.30pm.(High chairs available for mini diners!)I would strongly recommend that anyone that has got a negetive impression of the Railway Telegraph to come in, have a drink and see what you think, it may not be your 'cup of tea, or beer'! But we like it. I would rate my pub an 7 out of 10 as there is always room for improvement. lol:-)
the.guv - 2 Jul 2007 15:09
Full of chavvy scum & troublemakers who are barred from all the other pubs in the area & therefore can be very intimidating. Avoid
anonymous - 1 Jun 2007 15:31
Okay....Just.
anonymous - 16 Jan 2007 21:53
Has this changed hands again? When I popped in last week the landlord was nowhere to be seen and a pregnant woman was behind the bar!
localbloke - 12 Dec 2006 11:03
my only gripe is that the management could be more discrete when they want to tell the staff off. i've been in a few times when the landlady has told the barman or one of the barmaids that she wants a word in private, except the way she says it is obvious and usually you can hear what's being said anyway. i couldn't personally put up with it especially as they always seem to be run off their feet when i come in. i do like that sue, she's ever so bubbly, her and the bloke whos there all the time make a great double act. I think the telegraph has improved in the last year (especially entertainment-wise, would like to see some more soulful acts too)although i must say i'm not looking forward to the smoking ban next year. any plans for a canopy outside? i would also like to say that it is nice that the seasonal ales have been brought in, before they only had the spitfire and master brew, and although i do love a pint of master brew its nice to have a change once in a while.
anonymous - 1 Sep 2006 13:05
lol... Nice to see the management have took the time to post on here... lol

After reading the mixed reviews about this pub i decided to pay a visit and check this pub out for myself, and i must admit it's one of the best pubs i've visited in Forest Hill for a LONG time. I was served by a lovely barmaid called sue who was very friendly & chatty. It was fairly busy as the football team had just returned from training and were all queuing up for their pints!! But i was served within 5 minutes so as for those comments about the staff being too slow...i think within 5 minutes of stepping inside this busy pub was good enough for me!!). The garden was lovely and the food (combo platter) was great. Wonderful people & excellent staff and management. I will definitely be returning to have a drink here again. A message to people who are thinking about visiting this pub but are put off by the bad comments (which might i add are not true), pop in and see for yourself, i think you'll be suprised. It's the best pub in forest hill by far. I look forward to hearing lots more positive comments about this wonderful pub!!!
anonymous - 4 Aug 2006 17:13
After reading the mixed reviews about this pub i decided to pay a visit and check this pub out for myself, and i must admit it's one of the best pubs i've visited in Forest Hill for a LONG time. I was served by a lovely barmaid called sue who was very friendly & chatty. It was fairly busy as the football team had just returned from training and were all queuing up for their pints!! But i was served within 5 minutes so as for those comments about the staff being too slow...i think within 5 minutes of stepping inside this busy pub was good enough for me!!). The garden was lovely and the food (combo platter) was great. Wonderful people & excellent staff and management. I will definitely be returning to have a drink here again. A message to people who are thinking about visiting this pub but are put off by the bad comments (which might i add are not true), pop in and see for yourself, i think you'll be suprised. It's the best pub in forest hill by far. I look forward to hearing lots more positive comments about this wonderful pub!!!
anonymous - 17 Jul 2006 16:00
I have never been to this pub, and there is no urge to do so. I just called them to ask them something. A lady picked up the phone. After I introduced my selfs (Hello, this is ... speaking from Amsterdam, Holland) she said I must have dialled the wrong number and cut the connection. Very friendly indeed.
Patrice - 4 Jul 2006 13:34
I think people should think back to the pervious landlord who ran the telegraph...she was miserable!! There was never any entertainment & you only had to cough too loud & u'd be barred! I personally love the telegraph & have never been intimidated at all!! Try drinking in some of the other pubs in forest hill & u'll know what real intimidation is!!
I do agree that the new bar staff are quite slow, but I wouldn't go as far as to call them chavs - they may be slow, but they're always polite!
The new managers should be congratulated on changing the pub for the better; you can tell they are really putting an effort into providing for the customers - food, live music, karaokes etc all make the telegraph a great pub to drink in!!!
anonymous - 26 Jun 2006 11:32
Things have got worse in this pub since the new manager took over. He has allowed the place to the delight of other local landlords, to be overtaken by a load of local chavs from the other local pubs (He even employs these people to work behind the bar as well!!!) They can be very intimidating at times and are also constantly in and out of the toilets. I am a bit upset that the manager allows this to go on and does not seem to care what the regulars who have been drinking there for years think. Things are not improving here by a long shot and dont seem to be showing signs of doing so in the near future either.

I have decided that the only option is to take my custom elsewhere.
anonymous - 20 Jun 2006 07:59
i don't think this pub is up to much at all. the beer is seriously over-priced, the staff are slow and the it doesn't have much atmosphere. All i can say is that the young lad running the place is a top geezer and is wasted there. the sunday roasts are alright too.
anonymous - 30 May 2006 14:45
all the decent staff have left! you could be waiting forever at the bar with all the new birds that work there and they're also not as friendly as the ones before. despite this i do enjoy this pub, the beer garden is really nice and the live music is the best in the area by miles.
localbloke - 9 May 2006 16:53
I have to agree with Anon that this place hasn't really changed since the new management took over. Having said that it is the best place in or around Forest Hill to watch footy. They have a big screen which is a bit shite for afternoon games as the pub is very bright and the screen goes too dark. There are smaller tellys in most corners though so you can always see the game.
Beer does seem quite pricey for the area but it's normally pretty good (watch that Oranjibooooom! 4.1%, my arse. That stuff is very naughty).
The place does seem very local-y, you won't get served before a regular, and despite a slight pikey element there's never any trouble in there.
daytripper - 21 Mar 2006 21:48
The new management have made a few changes but nothing to get too exited about. Okay for the odd pint but a bit too clicky for my liking.
anonymous - 25 Feb 2006 17:26
hello, me again, the pub facilities listed above only appeared after i posted my first comment, i wasn't repeating it all for the sake of it but since the new management took over they have added so much and made it a much more fun environment.
the_barmaid - 3 Feb 2006 01:48
hiya, i am one of the barmaids at the telegraph and would like to point out that we have:

Sunday Roasts
Big Screen including PremPLUS and pay per view
beer garden
kids allowed
food served daily 12-2.30 and 6pm-9.30
pool table
quiz machine
quiz nights
karaoke
race nights
live music
dartboard
pool table
jukebox
dogs allowed
large car park
the_barmaid - 2 Feb 2006 19:29
i think the telgraph is a cracking pub, and they've started getting in live music and karaoke at the weekends which s excellent. The quiz night every other wednesday is a great laugh. The staff are really funny and the sunday lunches are really good value, and this one barman is so yum, so my girlfriend says, i think his name is Luke.
smokie_tearz - 29 Jan 2006 16:48
Master Brew's a nice pint, and there's always pool here. Good place to be if it's empty...
jonnyt - 25 Nov 2005 13:42
This pub is very expensive but is okay. Shame there is no decent entertainment at weekends.
anonymous - 9 Nov 2005 19:30
My favourite local pub for watching sport in a good atmosphere with a good range of beers. Very close to garden centre, which can be good for domestic harmony.
Donnington - 24 Oct 2005 12:02
This pub has got so much better since the management took over!!! Its got a friendly atmosphere & a great beer garden!! Yeh the drinks are a bit pricey but considering its the only place in forest hill where there isn't trouble every saturday night, u dont mind paying!!
ClaireD - 21 Jun 2005 16:06
my local. fantastic atmosphere, beautiful terrced area which has heater lamps all winter to sit out. events and bbqs on celebratory days (st george, firework night etc) the only negative point would be the prices of the drinks. pricey!!
pachabelle82 - 29 Apr 2005 13:31

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