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Bull, Theydon Bois

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user reviews of the Bull, Theydon Bois

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

Lovely old pub, in the centre of the village, as short hop from the tube.

Low ceiling, long bar, TV. Very nice beer garden.

Youngs Bitter in excellent condition.
Mappiman - 22 Sep 2019 10:35
A building of some age, The Bull in Theydon Bois looks quite inviting from the outside. Inside we found it comfortable, and the beers we had (Young's Bitter and Courage Directors) were both in tip-top condition. The only downside for us was that there was no food available (the kitchen closes at 4:00 pm on Sundays).
beermann - 9 Nov 2015 15:00
Friendly and enjoyable pub. The Bombardier was in good condition, though being Youngs-Wells I was surprised there were no Youngs offerings - just Directors and the bland Eagle. Still, I suppose that's the luck of the draw! We didn't eat there, so can't comment about the food, but I'll try it next time. It's out of my area, but as I've got a mate now in Theydon (which is why I was there), I'll get the chance to visit again.
Charno - 1 Nov 2012 11:16
Stopped at this Pub at lunch time on our way down to Kent because it was dog friendly. We weren't allowd in the restaurant because of the dog which was fair enough. We had to sit in the bar which was basic but adequate for our needs. The food was delicious, freshly cooked, well presented and hot. We were served quickly and the bar staff (1) was very friendly and could not do enough for us. We took our time and were not hurried in any way. The toilets were clean and I took a peek at the Restaurant and it looked fine. There was a children's menu which my grandchildren loved. We thoroughly enjoyed our meal.
DianaMarston - 17 Feb 2012 20:32
This is a delightful pub in Theydon Bois and has homecooked food on the menu. We love the steak and ale pie and have been going to this pub for several years. Went there on Wednesday for lunch, really lovely day and we sat in the garden. Thoroughly enjoyable. Highly recommend this pub for its food.

Caroil & Steve.
caroil - 24 Sep 2010 22:30
The food here is need too so avoid.

Looking at the comment, like on Amazon there is a stream of comments that sum this place up well....very suspicious of some of the positive ones. such as EssexLady her first comment way way back would make U think she is a user, rather than a worker or a `friend'.

Went in here with a group of mates, all out food was DISGUSTING!!!

Get the impression that some of the commentors are men probably oldish. So from a view of mid 29 girls the serbice was BAD, rude staff, using it as a meeting place to chat with friends. OMG don't dare interupt their talks by asking 2 B served!!!

rachelgoth - 7 Jul 2010 21:38
I used to go to this pub a lot when I lived in Theydon Bois, it was better than all the others, and following my most recent visit a couple of weeks back it appears to be just as good. The staff have changed but the atmosphere and friendliness, and the beer was all just as good. A nice pub in a nice area.
RealBeer4Me - 22 Jan 2010 13:23
As EssexLady made a reference to my comment and given she is a worker here, I feel I should have right of reply.
If you are a worker here then how do you explain all the reviewers who complain about poor service, staff just using it as a meeting place for their friends, rather then attending to customers, the rudeness, and while I've not mentioned it yes the poor food to be avoided E17Fletch clearly did have the right pub. I would also agree with hanover...are you a pub or a playground, I prefer to drink without children running and indeed playing in the bar area. I have also noticed the misuse of the toilet facilities, hard not not to, why I wonder do the staff.
Yes the other pubs are fine in the area, to say this is the best is loyalty indeed. Given the large number and type of people who like to use your toilets maybe I am wrong the pub will not go under, in which case I say a pity for the locals, a pity for pubs. As the reviewer concerneddrinker points out maybe the pub should have its licence under review if it cannot tackle the abuse of its toilets.I for one now feel bad I have not used the free phone line, good pubs are part of our culture and should be protected. A local reviewer who is a resident of this beautiful village says hes concerned, while mate if you don't want a Leytonstone type pub with the problems they bring you are writing in the wrong place.
cantab - 21 Jul 2009 17:39
I'm not sure if E17Fletch has the wrong pub I recently had the chile con carne the mince was probably from an economy tin.
I certainly agree with many others the staff are usually too busy gossiping to attend to drinkers, I actually timed on my last visit how long it would take for them to stop, after 3 minutes gave up and asked for service. Then treated with the normal indifferent rudeness that passes for service here. Yes I noticed also you can be left waiting as they serve friends first, then you are normally left waiting longer as they start up conversations with their friends. Of more concer as I live local, is the large number of drug users mentioned by a previous commentator in the toilet, I do wonder why the police have not been informed, as local resident I'm concerned at the people the pub brings into the area. This activity clearly ignored by staff.
I would guess EssexLady has had her bar training from the Landlady very rude, and normally just sits with her friends.
The large number of children in the main bar area running around playing as if they were in a platground while their parents eat, is not what you expect when you go out for a drink. As for this being the best of the three pubs as a local I would say it is not. But drop in there for one to check it out, you will soon see the large number of reviewers other than myself, are simply people interested in good pubs, and giving you the information you need.
hanover - 21 Jul 2009 17:13
This pub has various things right and wrong... It's a perfect setting but the landlady is probably the most offensive person in there.

Additionally it has a slight problem in that a lot of the younger people in the place are abusing the facilities. It's not unusual for the mens room to be full...

I think that this place should be under review for it's license to be fair as the landlady is turning a blind eye to certain practices.
concerneddrinker - 16 Jul 2009 15:08
I love these old country pubs and apparently this one dates back to the 17th century. I only stayed in the bar area at the front whilst I watched Sky Sports on the plasma screen, but I was under the impression that the other side of the pub was more of a restaurant. I did spot a small paved beer garden out the back which is probably nice when the sun comes out to play.

Greene King IPA, Bombardier and Ordinary were all available during my visit alongside a standard draught selection and San Miguel. I had a pint of Bombardier which was well served and went down a treat.

My only gripe with this place is that I had to stand at the bar for a brief moment whilst the two young barmaids finished their gossiping. This is a minor point as once I was graced with the barmaids attention she was nice enough and I even got a goodbye when I left.

Based on my Saturday lunchtime visit I would go back to this pub again.
Strongers - 14 Jul 2009 10:45
No decent ales, poor quality service at the bar, unless you are a one of the small group of regulars. Very unfrendly. The only good thing about the recession is this pub will probably go under due to lack of return drinkers, as the regular base is too small to keep it going.
cantab - 30 Apr 2009 17:15
Yep, e17fletch must have been tired and emotional after his gastro experience. Its quite easy to get The Bull mixed up with The Railway Arms, a not too dissimmilar looking non-BITE listed pub a few doors further up Coppice Row nearer the Tube Station. But mixed up with the much different Queen Victoria the other side of Forest Drive does take some doing.
Gann - 24 Feb 2009 16:30
I'm confused e17fletch - sounds like you didn't have a great meal, but where?
johngill - 15 Jan 2009 23:41
This is a stereo-typical example of poor British bar food.
The 'Chef' looked like he was no more than 12 years old and was playing his GameBoy when we looked through to the kitchen.
Dinner was over so we were offered the 'light food menu' and had the painful experience of a Fish Finger sandwich (4.95), two cremated gujons looking shriveled and lonely inside a white slice of old bread.
A Breakfast Sandwich (6) raw bacon under a dry egg on top of a smashed up tomato.
Chips (2) twice cooked in rancid oil and dripping with slime.
A dish of cold mushroom soup slopped over the sides and stinking of damp socks.
Yummy, yummy.
Staff seemed bemused when we pointed out that the food was more than a little disappointing.
No wonder other nations (including the Fins) sneer at our cuisine.
Shame on you Queen Victoria.
e17fletch - 9 Jan 2009 18:36
Had lunch in here yesterday, top meal and quickly served. Friendly staff and decent Spitfire. Don't bother with the non-BITE pub nearby.
TiaMariaJim - 16 Oct 2008 11:45
In the past few months I have had reason to frequent the Bull at least twice a week (waiting for a lift home). I have always found the staff very friendly - though I am not a personal friend of theirs. They are always cheery and helpful - will modify orders to suit the diner. A very comfortable place for a person on their own to linger, very near the tube station.
briggen - 4 May 2008 14:56
I go in occasionally and really like it. There's a great selection of food, which is also really nice along with a great choice of beers. Everyone is really friendly and it's so close to the tube.

I'm not sure I agree with the waiting time, I've always been served really quickly and don't know any of the bar staff personally. I think every barman/maid in the country is going to be a bit biased towards their mates, I know I've seen it in every pub I've ever been to. I can't find fault with this particular one.
JimBobJenkins - 22 Jan 2008 12:17

Yes I agree with many of the other reviewers, the atmosphere is generally ok and the beer fine. But the landlord and landlady cleraly not in the right line of work; unfriendly to the point of rudeness. Some of the staff are ok, but yes I also found it annoying that mainly the younger staff spent their time talking to boyfriends rather than attending to drinkers: and yes the fact that they served friends first rather than those who are first really is a problem.
hanover - 1 Nov 2007 18:06
nice pub, nice beer garden, close to the station. usually have the sport on. ceiling's a bit low in places, mind your head.

hello, is that crowmeister general shouting them in?
DavidWaspnest - 16 Oct 2007 13:59
The selection of beers is fine and the food is very good. When you enter their is a sign saying Sally and Steve welcome you. This is the only welcome you will get from them, both are really noted for the fact that they ae not friendly, eept to their small group of friends that they drink with. There are a number of bar staff the older ones are excellent, but the younger ones are very poor at their job, spend most of their time talking to their mates, who they serve first regardless how long others have been waiting.
cantab - 23 Sep 2007 20:35
Have only been in here of a lunchtime when visiting nearby customers. But both the Beer and food have always been acceptable, even on a busy Friday.
Gann - 22 Sep 2007 13:00
Nice old pub close to the station and to Epping Forest.
Greshon - 29 May 2007 10:10
Following Sally and Steve's arrival last year, this has become an excellent, family friendly venue and is now my firm favourite of the four pubs available in Theydon Bois. Both bar and restaurant meals are all home cooked, portions are very generous and of good quality and value. The best Sunday Roast meals for miles around and the full menu selection is always available daily at lunchtimes and evenings (including Sundays). Meat freshly supplied by local traditional butcher in the village. Good selection of (well-kept) beers and wines. Staff are all well trained, polite and friendly, service is good. You'll definitely need to book a table in advance for a table in the restaurant at the weekends (restaurant area is non-smoking).
Richard_S - 1 Dec 2006 16:35
Looks a lovely pub from the outside and was greeted by a charming older lady behind the bar. She was friendly and appeared to be a well trained experienced barmaid. The beer was well kept and the service was good. Unfortunate that later the pleasant barmaid was replaced by someone who appeared to be the manageress/licensee and was cold and unfriendly. The food was average. Would prob visit the pub again. Very close to Theydon bois tube station.
Reginald_Guinness - 29 Mar 2006 11:44
Went there mid week found the service and the food to be poor.
anonymous - 4 Jan 2006 18:07
This is a real old fashioned country boozer. The chef and managers produce great homecooked food, including Fresh Fish, home-made pies, soups and light snacks. Live music has just started appearing with very good response, even the Elvis night went down fantastically and recieved many laughs. There are log fires and low beams (watch your head - this is a very old building) In summer there is a pattio garden, where you can sit and watch the world go by in the quaint little village of theydon and Sundays 12 - 4 they serve the best roast dinners around!
essexlady - 14 Dec 2005 16:01

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