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Pawleyne Arms, Penge

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user reviews of the Pawleyne Arms, Penge

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

The Pawleyne Arms - keeper of dreams, maker of men, the end of the 176 bus route.

I wanted it to be like The Cowshed up Ladbroke Grove was. It wasn't quite like that. Ubiquitous line up on draught but that's alright as you can't keep pretending to like Gruntfuttock's IPA at £7 a pint.

Enthusiastic karaoke going on. Nothing unpleasant about it.
terenced - 2 Dec 2019 09:57
While so many of the areas old school pubs have gone replaced by gastropubs, supermarkets or flats this one has remained and not changed much. No ale, so had to settle for Fosters.
Went earlier in the year and they had a Ghosbusters pinball machine, when I went back it had gone.
southlondonbeero - 20 Nov 2016 10:06
Busy when I went in. Half carpeted, pool table near the High Street entrance, or exit as I prefer to think of it. A smashed punter stood, cue planted firmly on the ground slowly rotating and punching his first to the side in dubious rhythm to the tremendously loud music. This happened to be Westlife's meisterwerk Flying Without Wings. No real ale on pump, the line is drawn at a Guinness. Old fashioned, not expensive, not inherently bad but isn't likely to attract new people, unless they doze off on a bus and the Goldsmiths is shut. I sense the pub isn't too bothered by this.
BitterShurn - 5 Aug 2016 10:37
I had a wicked time people made me welcome and everybody was so friendly I came from nottingham with my children to see my friend (stu) for the weekend he is a brilliant manager and a great boss.. thankyou to all who made my experience a great one and hope to come again soon :) xx
lindseyslippergirl - 21 Jan 2015 18:15
The Pawleyne is a nice pub with wooden panelling, traditional carpeting, superb Guinness and great bar staff who know how to pull a pint. The internet jukebox is excellent and the landlord has ensured that it plays some great tunes from the 1950s, 60s, 70s and 80s (no rap). The toilets have recently been refurbished as has the beer garden. The landlord also plans to get potted plants as well. There are some great characters in there (I may well be the "spiv" that Rob1951 has alluded to!). There's also regular karaoke and reggae nights provided by Les Debolla, who treats his singers with respect, regardless of of their capabilities. I have found my fellow drinkers there to be friendly and they do not pre-judge you. Newcomers are made to feel welcome. I am pleased that the Pawleyne is now my local.
glenfarg - 10 Aug 2014 12:43
RobC1951 - if the clientele are wearing a suit you think they are a "spiv" and "think they are better than anyone else" but, you also describe others (presumably not besuited) as "brassy" and neanderthal". So basically if you are a regular of the Pawleyne you can't win.

glenfarg - 7 Aug 2014 12:35
Called in this pub (one of the few surviving in Penge) a few days ago, having been away from the area for about 3 years. What a horrible experience! Mostly noisy "neanderthals", a few brassy women, and one "spiv" in a suit who though he was better than anyone else! Was twice offered drugs by the local chavs; and as for the landlord - well rude isn't the word. I don't think he could string a sentence together without using an expletive! I certainly won't be going back!!
Rob_C1951 - 5 Aug 2014 15:20
Dave + Paula gone - new manager is called Stuart (Stu).
glenfarg - 18 Jun 2014 13:19
Old couple gone. New couple in their 40s - Dave and Paula. They seem really good. They also run the Golden Lion in Croydon. Fever karaoke here this Saturday and every fortnightly Saturday thereafter.
glenfarg - 19 Feb 2014 22:33
Now has new landlord and landlady, an English couple who are in their sixties. Karaoke this Sunday with Fever Karaoke (ex- of the Alexandra, up to the time Enterprise closed the pub.).
glenfarg - 30 Jan 2014 23:03
Terrible place. Aggressive staff who refused to refund my friend after short-changing him by £5, then told us to leave.

Also, the most watery Guinness I've ever had.
Stevenatandrat - 12 Jan 2014 17:07
Went to this pub for the first time as a friend has just moved to the area. I usually prefer the 'real' and more down-to-earth pubs and certainly prefer them to the redecorated gastropubs you get everywhere. However, this place gives real pubs a bad name. I paid for our pint and a half with a ten pound note, was given change for a fiver and when I politely pointed the error out to the barmaid, she denied everything, started to shout at me and telephoned the landlord, who arrived and refused to budge, except to tell me to come back at the end of the night or tomorrow when they'd checked the till (they wouldn't check anything there and then). Hardly ideal as I don't live in the area. When I continued to complain he became borderline aggressive, told me off for bringing up the issue with the barmaid as "this sort of thing happens every day, and she's just had 12 stitches in her throat so it's not a good time" and told me to finish my drink and leave, which I did. I later spoke to another friend who was drinking there earlier the same day and she told me she had been short changed by her as well, although with her she relented and gave her her change. So yes, this sort of thing obviously does happen every day. There's a clear scam going on at this pub. Avoid at all costs. If you must drink there, make sure you pay with the exact change only!
ale_never_fails - 11 Jan 2014 16:52
Now that the Alex is closed I shall make this my local
glenfarg - 23 Jun 2013 20:37
I never dared to go in the Pawleyne before - it looked dreadful - so im sad i didn't go having read the 5th Jan review

BUT we popped in for a few and it was clean and staff were pleasant and friendly - so i was very happy - esp after i tried the Alex which is SOOOOOOO not clean
madasapig - 19 Feb 2013 13:50
Since writing my last review on this pub back then it was the nice traditional irish pub of penge but now it was re-decorated the landlady of 25 years left and the rest of the bar staff have gone and i went in there a few weeks ago for the first time for a long time and there was a really rude horrible women behind the bar who would not serve us and horrible furniture and it was empty i feel really sad that the old pawleyne arms is gone forever the end of an ere but all good things must come to an end :(.
Buildstone - 3 Feb 2013 14:44
OH Dear!
chavsum - 8 Jan 2013 22:25
What a shame...

For 25 years this pub was a true diamond in the rough, a rose amongst thorns... Sadly most good things do not last, and that is certainly the case with the Pawleyne.

The pub itself, infact any pub, is just a building with a license to sell alcohol. You can then go so far as to make it clean, make it tidy, but ultimately, it is the people that make the difference.
The people at every level of a pub from landlord / landlady, to bar staff, and then the life blood of the pub, the customers, it is them that turn a building with a license into a place you'd return to again and again.

That said, the recent departure of the greatest landlady in South London history, has had grave consequences for the Pawleyne.
The writh wrath, unwelcome by staff and punters alike for all these years now have free reign to return, and returned they have, turning 25 previous years of chavlessness around in a blink of an eye.

The same happened all those years ago after Leo (God bless his soul) ran a tremendous pub at the Goldsmiths. After Leo's untimely departure to the great pub in the sky, The Goldsmiths swiftly fell to the dark side, and has never really returned, despite several attempts.

I don't foresee anything changing soon, in fact, the way the pub is now, I only foresee a Tesco Express in it's place in 12 months time.

Terrible shame, terrible loss, terrible times, and with a heavy heart, I have to say that the current Pawleyne, of the last quarter of 2012, and into the new year, is ( Sigh) a truly terrible pub.

I'd rather drink urine off a stinging nettle.

killarneylad - 5 Jan 2013 08:44
I popped in a few Thursdays ago after a few beers in the Alexandra and was pleasantly surprised to find Electric Experience playing there. Very nice.
glenfarg - 28 Dec 2012 06:33
Good news - Pawleyne has reopned. Must pop in soon. 'Tis hard to drag me away from the Alexandra tho'.....
glenfarg - 22 Oct 2012 04:36
The Pawleyne Arms has closed. This is a terrible shame as I thought it was a good pub. apparently the lease ran out..

I hope someone else can make a go of it. We've already lost too many real pubs..
glenfarg - 4 Sep 2012 20:53
I like this pub. The pool table costs just 60p a play and the Internet Jukebox is good value too.
glenfarg - 11 Nov 2011 01:15
I have been going to this pub for many years and it has remained strong to all the pubs shutting down in penge and inside it has a nice irish feel which makes you think you are in ireland and the people stay regular and they will welcome you when you go in and they give bottled coke instead of draft and at cheap prices to and what it lacks in decoration it makes up for in charm and i hope it remains opened for many years
Buildstone - 6 Jul 2011 13:22
I have been past this place literally hundreds of times without going in but, encouraged by the recent favourable reviews, I broke my journey to have a look. With a great act of faith it is possible to see that it might make a good local. Certainly the service was prompt and friendly. And it was mid-afternoon with only a few idlers watching nags over the sticks on the TV which is not the best time to judge. But, boy, you do have to like dirt and mess to feel at home here! The chairs had a layer of grease and dirt on them that called for oilskins. One sofa actually had more stuffing on show than plastic covering. Unless one review reports a new approach to furniture I think I will continue to see it only from the bus window.
guayabera - 15 Feb 2010 13:27
I have just moved into the area from another part of Beckenham and now use this pub as a regular haunt ....why ???

ok , it might look a bit dinghy from the outside , but when I walk into it sometimes the Fire is lit and I get the warmest of welcomes from Landlady all the way down to the customers.

The Guinness is FIRST class and one sup and its gone quality. , The toilets could do with a bit of a facelift , no food , just bar snacks , good pool table and always a race or a match on the TV.
give it a go and you will be pleasantly surprised........
cossy52 - 11 Dec 2009 11:58
The frosted glass windows of this corner pub prevent passers-by from looking in and thereby put a lot of people off daring to step in. Who knows what murderers and drug-dealers may be lurking within? But in fact inside is a real treasure: a very civilized traditional pub that has probably changed very little in twenty years. Cosy wood panelling on the walls, wonderful old high-chairs with arm rests at the bar and small tables meant for drinking not eating (as it should be).
To my surprise, a real ale was available Courage Best and it was in very good condition.
One of the windows still boasts that Courage Stout is available, and the pub sign (a coat of arms) has probably been hanging there for over half a century. I was especially delighted to see that although hanging flower baskets - that copy-cat curse of the modern pub were present, all the flowers had been left to die long ago.
Whitbread Best Bitter was offered on keg: is there really such a ghastly 1970s beer still being made?
Somebody should slap a preservation order on this place: it's a real breath of fresh air after all the chain pubs, Wetherspoons, etc. It must not change!

karloff - 9 Nov 2006 17:46
This is one of those pubs where time stands still. It appears to be unchanged from a ime when smoking was good for you, all pubs had the same manky carpet, pub food meant a bag of nuts pulled off a bit of cardboard with a naked woman on (until you bought all the nuts and discovered she was wearing a bikini), and a beer garden consisted of a concreted over area round the back with a couple of picnic tables. The wheelie-bins in the 'beer garden' are the only modern feature. Having said all that, not a bad place really.
ChrisF - 13 Oct 2006 14:18
Hey, why all the complaints? This is a straightforward south london pub with excellent beer and friendly and attentive bar staff (although anyone looking for a quiet evening at the weekend might look elsewhere...).
gilboy - 30 Sep 2006 23:47
Very smokey Irish pub with awful ale but good Guinness. Feisty but excellent landlady somehow keeps the salt of the earth clientel in order. Not one to take a lady on a first date...
Bovine_Juice - 3 Dec 2005 21:35
Yeah, can get smokey but a great mix of people young and old, with excellent sports coverage make this pub well worth a visit. It's not going to appeal to everyone, but which pub does? Excellent beer at reasonable prices for the area. Also predominatley Irish, so you know the people will be welcoming and friendly, who enjoy thier music and stout. All in all, the Pawleyne is a great pub which I personally recommend to any passing stranger.
anonymous - 18 Oct 2004 15:45
To smokey and no food,not even a sandwich to get with your pint,and they say it's friendly,,,What a joke!!!!!
Joe kelly - 4 Jul 2004 00:05
Very smokey with no ventilation,service is bad at times as it has two sides to the bar and a lot of the time it only has one bar staff working who also has to go out and collect glasses and clean ashtrays
anonymous - 3 Jul 2004 00:23
The best pub I have visited in a while, full of genuine people and not 'Pikeys'. The bar staff are execellent and I have not had such a good time in another pub in South London, let alone Penge.
S.Brown - 29 Oct 2003 16:43
I do not understand why people slag this pub off it has the best bunch of people drinking in it!!!! i have drank there 4 the last six years and i have never seen a fight yet BECAUSE the manageress is good at here job and so are the bar people.

no name - 13 Sep 2003 22:30
Great pub with excellent sports coverage, including all the GAA games. Genuine Irish bar, unlike some chain bars which claim to be. Also, the guinness is the best I've had in South London.
Conner - 20 May 2003 10:13
Tradiontal Irish Pub serving the best pint of guinness this side of Dublin. Well worth the visit.
seamus - 1 May 2003 12:18

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