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Plough Inn, Taunton

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user reviews of the Plough Inn, Taunton

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

I've been in a few times over the last few years, usually when Worthing RFC are away at Taunton, but on other odd occassions too.

You absolutely know what you are going to get here, a variety of local ciders, I tried a couple on the way back from the game, and as they have a variety there's something for everyone, sweet, medium, dry plus fizzies too if you aren't keen on the real thing.

On my way to the game, I opted for ale, one from the Otter stable, you can't go wrong there!

As previous posters have intimated, this is a little gem in a town where good pubs are a little thin on the ground. Also, very handy for the station.

A special mention for the curly haired bar man on Saturday who kept everyone entertained with his own brand of humour!

Finally, to those more local than me, who is Cellarboy? Is he ever happy?
Ade.The.Raider - 11 Nov 2016 13:52
I had high hopes for this pub so i saved it till the end of our pub crawl before catching the train.
You can't knock the place for it's selection of ales and especially real cider.
It is however much more expensive than it should be in here and with a somewhat strange lay out, the bar area was difficult to get served.
It almost felt like that this is the pub to be seen in, so sorry folks this ones not for me.

montie49 - 26 Jun 2014 20:24
Tried this pub yesterday, agree with the latest comments. Good little place with good range of ales (I've given up cider, it rots yer brain you know). Only trouble is, in this warm weather, you've no chance of keeping your beers in decent nick when they're all kept at street level behind the bar. Best use this place in cooler weather, I reckon, and I would certainly go again.
davercox - 3 Aug 2013 07:28
Lovely quirky little pub nice beers bit of a tight fit at the bar, shame there was a couple of drunk idiots in they kept serving one was even being sick outside then went back in for another drink, the other halfs wine was a bit pricey to over £4 for a small wine? other than that it looked a good place will give them another shot.
Crispy84 - 27 May 2013 22:13
Made a special trip to 'CAMRA's Somerset cider pub of the year' and safe to say I wasn't disappointed. Nine local ciders, staff who were very well informed. Beers looked interesting too, but was really there for the cider. Quaint pub definitely worth a trip from Bristol. Close to the train station too, so very daytripable!
CiderIncider - 26 May 2013 12:46
Long thin pub with the entrance door down the side of the building, good selection of beers and ciders, pieminister pies if you're hungry, whats not to like?
billybraggscombiboiler - 21 Apr 2013 19:31
In a town with its fair share of dodgy pubs, this small boutique venue is a real gem.
It has at least 4 local ales in barrels at each end of the bar, a warm open fire, and a delightfully oversized poodle that looks like an old mop.

It is just down the road from the station so makes for a nice ‘waiting room’.

JonnyConsumer - 26 Mar 2013 16:26
Great little pub with friendly bar staff who know their beer, and are making a real effort to promote local ale from Somerset as well as local cider.
anonymous - 4 Mar 2013 19:48
Cracking atmosphere always some interesting people in here. Prices keep the chavs away and even the bar staff seem public school. Someone must know what they're doing as it's ALWAYS a good pint with plenty of choice.
Bar snacks are good (of pricey) and pie & mash food Ditto.
A real character pub in a central superpub ghetto.
Handy for the Railway station & cricket ground too.
Keep it up fellas...
Oh and the manky looking poodle on the bar is sweet & lovable too.
Stuee - 9 Feb 2013 22:13
Popped in for an hour yesterday evening waiting for a train.

Beer quality much improved since my last visit - served at the proper temperature and no complaints. 4 beers available - Cottage Atlantic IPA, Otter, Tribute and a n other.

Service still so so but, too be fair, it was pretty busy as the cricket had just finished.

Much improved since my last visit.
cheshirecat - 29 Jul 2012 10:19
It looked like it had promise but that was soon knocked out by the disinterested bar staff.
Beer average, maybe too much on offer for the number of folks in there.

How much??
LickeyEndBooze - 8 Jun 2012 16:45
After the other two pubs the plough is definately better, not hard though!
Still not the best place I've ever seen, better atmosphere but it's full of yuppies on something. beer too warm and bar too small and crowded full of greasy smelly people.
Chopwood - 5 May 2012 00:13
Dont you just hate it when you are out with a group of mates who insist on visiting a pub that you know is crap. Thus I was forced to visit the plough against my better judgement, as I have known this place to have been a shithole in the past.
Well, I can confirm it is still a shithole now. Sour beer, dirty glasses, stinking toilets, disgustingly unhygienic staff, and not cheap either.
It didnt take much to convince my mates to move on, and not to return.
cellarbuoy - 30 Apr 2012 20:38
Made my annual visit to The Plough yesterday whilst waiting for the train.

Stillage seems to have been increased to take 8 barrels rather than the 4 of my last visit but only 5 barrels on the stillage and only 2 beers available. The Cotleigh barrel was very tipped and the beer definetly on the way out. On the other hand, and somewhat to my surprise, the Otter was excellent - but 3.15 for a free house in Taunton?

Service still very poor, one person serving although the pub was pretty busy, and, as usual, every table full of empty glasses, plates etc.

No compalints about the toilets or and smells!
cheshirecat - 7 Aug 2011 11:50
matttom.....Dr_Pangloss, Paris_Hilton and Final_Arbiter is playing with himself again.
hoonkerama - 28 Feb 2011 17:24
Advice to the Final Arbiter, I wouldn't bother.
As for Matthorn, it is mot my comments on the toilets that are objectionable, it is the toilets themselves, which you may not have realised having been there only once.
Dr_Pangloss - 28 Feb 2011 15:36
Dr Pangloss:

So we disagree about the ales, fair enough, everyone is entitled to their opinion but I enjoyed mine a lot the other day.

I object to your comments about toilet smells, which I regard as unacceptable and defamatory. The Plough has very clean and tidy loos and not a hint of any toilet smells anywhere.

I have no idea why you would make such malicious comments and I hope sensible readers of this website will completely ignore you.
matttom - 28 Feb 2011 14:13
I've never been in this place (Despite what hoonkerama may think!) but I noticed the sign for Harpoon Louie's years ago, and assumed it was a late night club/eatery. If I can find somewhere to park on one of my rare visits to Taunton, I may look in, but from what I hear, it's not worth a special trip.
The_Final_Arbiter - 28 Feb 2011 13:50
Once again I find myself in agreement with Paris Hilton. The staff here are completely clueless about serving ale. They find it hard enough to look after the keg stuff, and you dont need to enter in order to get the stench from the toilets, walking past is bad enough.
The beer is so bad even CAMRA have given up on the place.
I also agree that if the brewers knew how bad their beer was kept they would be reluctant to carry on supplying it to this place, it does nothing to enhance their reputation.
Mattorn clearly doesnt know much about pubs.
Dr_Pangloss - 28 Feb 2011 12:09
I've only been once, but I loved The Plough and I think most fans of "proper" pubs would love it too. I tried several of the ales and they were all well kept and delicious. I didn't try the numerous local ciders that were also available, but it's great to see such a huge variety on offer. I also had a pie and it was very good indeed. This is a place with real charm and bundles of character, epitomised by the excellent and very welcoming landlady and a team of friendly and helpful staff. There are some negative comments on here that I truly do not understand - go see for yourself, you will not regret it.
matttom - 28 Feb 2011 11:59
I paid another visit here as I had heard that the landlady had been advised on how to keep real ale without possessing a cellar. I don't know who offered the advice but it was obvious they don't know what they are doing.

On entry, and being hit squarely in the face by the smell from the bogs, I oredered a pint of Moor Revivial from the unimaginative selection which comprised Otter Amber, Exmoor Gold, Bath Gem (ok) and Cotleigh something. Someone should tell Justin at Moor, as it was awful, too cold (the opposite extreme to usual) flat, bland, watery: I drank up and left without trying something different.
Paris_Hilton - 28 Feb 2011 11:05
I've been drinking here for more than 2 years, long ago through the Harpoon Louie's manifestation and when it was the plough before that.
The reason I still go here from time to time is that it's a convenient meeting place prior to a crawl around town. Otherwise I would give it a wide berth.
Thankfully my drinking buddies are now beginning to agree with my views and we tend to meet elsewhere. Many others, it seems are also leaving this sinking ship. It is only the rats that remain; best place for them.
Dr_Pangloss - 27 Feb 2011 17:32
Dr_Pangloss, you described the place 'Grubby, suited to the people that drink there'

but you have been drinking there for over 2 years according to your regular updates mate?! You made your point, you dont like it. Most people stop drinking somewhere if they dislike it, unless of course, as a result of their constant moaning and mean-spiritedness, they've been booted out of every other pub in Taunton? Probably...

I worked there for just under a year and have nothing but respect for this pub. As did the vast majority of the customers.
georgelowe89 - 23 Jan 2011 16:30
I don't know why everyone seems so down on The Plough. I loved it. A proper boozer and the beer was lovely! And before you all start crying your eyes out, I have nothing to do with the pub what so ever, i live in south Wales. I popped in while I waited for my wife to come in on the train. I found the welcome warm and the atmosphere cozy. My beloved really liked it as well. We stayed for a couple of hours. Maybe the moaners should try that smart fizzy pop pub over the road, I hear the alchopops are lovely.
Ffunkdupp - 23 Jan 2011 10:58
Somewhat off putting, after having got half way through you pint to notice that the bar man who served you has been concentrated his efforts on some intense nose picking, pausing only briefly when required to serve another customer, after which nose picking activities were quickly resumed.
Judging by the look of the guy, it wasn't just his finger he had been putting up there
Dr_Pangloss - 9 Jan 2011 18:03
Previous comment by peterpumkin seems to go against the general feelings about this place, and since he is a sole poster he probably has some connection with this pub.
The reality is that the place is a filthy dive, the beer is rarely drinkable so best avoided, although they are sometimes able to serve a reasonable pint of keg cider, on a good day.
The barmaid was as sour as the beer, and obviously not enjoying her job, everything about the place is grubby and sticky, and the mangy dog that sleeps behind the bar should be booted out (dog was absent on last visit but flea ridden dog's bed still there.
If you fancy a pint between trains and have only a few minutes, hard luck.
Dr_Pangloss - 3 Nov 2010 14:30
Popped into this establishment and found a lively upbeat atmosphere, the locals were most entertaining, and the Beer was of excellent quality, (including, Cotleigh 25, Otter Amber and Doom bar, -there was another settling) I also was recommended the Pie and mash, I sampled the Snake and Pigmy pie, (steak and kidney!)and can honestly say it was the best steak and kidney pie I've ever had. Can't rate this pub highly enough.
peterpumpkin - 20 Oct 2010 13:17
Long, narrow pub with a small seating area at the front and stools at the bar. There is a further long narrow room behind this as well as two split level seating areas. The pub has a nice, traditional feel to it.
No handpumps, beer is served direct from the barrel. Beers available on my visit included Moor Revival and Otter Amber. Six ciders also straight from the barrel - I sampled Orchard Pig and Rich's Farmhouse - the latter was very nice but both were far too warm for my taste.
A nice pub but from previous reviews and my own experience they need to care for the beers/ciders properly.
I will give the place another go next time I'm in town.
holbornboy - 19 Oct 2010 20:40
Have to agree with cheshirecat, whenever I've been in the beer has been of poor quality and the service much the same. If I have the time between trains I head for the Racehorse; if I don't, I go without. I refuse to pay top dollar for sour ale. The set-up in the Plough may impress the locals, but then they don't have much to compare it with in poor old Taunton.
somertel - 22 Sep 2010 23:06
Visited again yesterday albeit it briefly whilst waiting for a train.

Yellowhammer and Otter available and they were actually using the cooling equipment! Well done - all you have to do now is sort out the useless staff - bloke behind the bar was clueless, empty glasses and plates everywhere. Not a good impression.
cheshirecat - 18 Jul 2010 11:41
Lots of cider on offer and, supposedly, 4 ales on gravity. Only 2 on this afternoon (as on my last visit) - one well on it's way out and the other a mild.

The place has water cooling equipment laid out near to the stillage - why the hell don't they use it? The beer was far too warm - as it was 3 weeks ago when I visited. Until they start cooling the beer, and training their staff, I'd avoid it except for a very quick one between trains.
cheshirecat - 11 Jun 2010 21:41
WOW this pub is amazing and i love it. I come along to Taunton for a days cricket from Essex that was unfortunatly rained off.

However in the evening i visited this pub after i checked out my good beer guide on my mobile phone and i am glad i did. I wanted some good scrumpy cider and without doubt i found gold and i have to say i had the biggest welcome.

The lovely girl behind the bar gave me a good tip of Sheppy's a local brew and i have to say it went down a treat. after having a couple i was invited by some locals to join in some quizzes and it was great. the entertainment in this pub is great and the atmosphere is really good.

They had comfortable chairs and i felt that if i lived in Taunton this would be my local.

I have to say well done to all the staff there and a jolly good thank you to the locals for welcoming me to your great pub. I would recommend this place to anyone who hates loud music fruit machines, all you need is great entertainment and some good locals and welcoming staff.

Visit this pub NOW.
tearle1974 - 1 May 2010 11:28
Upon getting off the train and finding myself a bit bewildered in a foreign atmosphere as such ,i strolled down through town to waste a hour or two until a colleague of mine met up with me for dinner, saw the plough and though it was worth a crack, after getting inside hanging my coat and thinking of what i fancy to drink i was greeted by what i later found was the landlady and what an exceptional first impression I received, not only was I made to feel like part of the crowd even if i was on my lonesome but the knowledge of local ciders was second to none i will in turn be back very soon to find my way through there ever changing vast selection of local ciders. Thank you willow for such a tantalizing experience! highly recommended!
Hathers - 9 Apr 2010 18:21
nice atmosphere, friendly and buzzing, often can't get a seat. Nice beer and lots of cider. Try tractor fuel, half and half cider and ginger beer! Pies are good but they can only cook 4 at once....
zedhorn - 9 Mar 2010 22:55
One of only two good traditional pubs in Taunton, though located in the rougher end of town. Popped in early last night between the railway station and home. A few drinkers in the bar or hiding away in the small cosy rooms at the back. The three ales on the bar served by gravity were Doom Bar, Otter Amber and Cotleigh 25. Went for the Cotleigh and it was fine, if a little warm (due to it being behind the bar rather than in a cellar).

Plenty of local cider available if you are that way inclined and a local told me that the pies are the best in town, if not in the County.

Well worth a visit.
Paris_Hilton - 30 Oct 2009 15:37
Dear Dr_Pangloss, Please let me know what pubs in Taunton you think are OK.

As far as I'm concerned this is the best pub in Taunton, bar none, by a country mile.
maesbrae - 29 Oct 2009 15:52
4 real local ales on gravity yesterday - although the barrels were fitted with water cooling, the beer temperature was a little on the warm side but still good. Busy place.
cheshirecat - 2 Aug 2009 11:55
A grubby little pub, well suited to those who go there.
Dr_Pangloss - 2 Aug 2009 08:37
A really excellent place for a drink, very comfortable, good ales and ciders, decent company, lively but cordial atmosphere- what more can you ask for really? Great pub for Taunton.
hammers101 - 12 Jul 2009 00:37
love the place.. end of

hmmmmmmm - 30 May 2009 10:29
Heard so much about this site thought I'd add my point of view and where better to start than here. The much talked about cider house.

Can see why it appeals to the eclectic clientel but not really my sort of place, bit too grungy and clearly anything goes, as the bar man was openly discussing with his mate when we popped in.

Not overly keen on the over hyped ale, bit too warm and unconditioned.

Popular place but not quite sure why, dirty, dingy but very much the in place to be if you like that sort of thing.
mm101 - 29 May 2009 17:44
I have always found The Plough a lovely little pub to drink in though I have only frequented it on weekend evenings. The selection of cider and ale is superb, the barmen are friendly and not to serious, it's warm and generally has nice music.

I was a bit put off to see that they are showing sport there now!
Happy_Life - 13 Mar 2009 18:35
The Plough is a good pub, always able to chat to people and have a sociable evening in here. Comfortable surroundings, decent ciders and ales, refreshing contrast to some of the dross in Taunton.
hammers101 - 11 Mar 2009 08:49
The front bar was bright and airy. Only two ales on at lunchtime - Cotleigh Harrier and Exmoor Gold, and the Cotleigh in good nick, served straight from the cask. Unusually shaped pub with entrance at the end of the alleyway. Barman friendly enough and I would definitely return again when passing through.
Dandillus - 7 Mar 2009 12:41
really well done, if that ware an actual anagram i would have given you credit, but i am sure you're a very witty man either way, you shouldn't be wasting your evenings on and a whole bunch of chatrooms no doubt, when you could be out badly reviewing other pubs in the somerset area, i hear the greyhound in staple fitzpaine have a bit of dust under the flowerpot by the fire!

oh do pop in for the rugby again soon as myself and all of the "objectionable tossers" in the plough can't wait to once more be cheered up with your jaunty outlook on all things bright and beautiful! :)
reggae_pothole_thug - 13 Feb 2009 23:28
Also an anagram of "THE P. GOT ROUGH ALE" LOL
Dr_Pangloss - 11 Feb 2009 19:48
ok.. firstly dr pangloss when you refer to barman as 'taking bites from a cornish pasty' i assume you are talking about the FREE cornish pasties that were given out to all at the pub for coming to watch the rugby and enjoying the chilled out environment..

secondly when you say that the barmans arse was 'hanging out over the back of his jeans' obviously just because his attire doesnt conform to your 52 year old standards this must be a sign of imcompetence!

lastly, if you disliked the pub so much on your first visit.. why did you revisit when they were handing out free pasties and showing you the rugby???

and yes as the anagram of my name does state this is 'george at the plough' with his new found fame on beer in the evening :)

reggae_pothole_thug - 10 Feb 2009 22:13
I'm not somebody who would usually take the time to review a pub, however having read some of the comments posted I feel insensed into joining and positvely reviewing this pub. The Plough is a revelation, nowhere else in Taunton offers a combination of a fantastic range of local ales and ciders, lovely decor and such friendly old fashioned service, I quite often wait for my train on my own there and will always be drawn into the conversation at the bar. The diverse crowd is also a draw, it seems to cross all aspects of society. All in all In my opinion this is the only 'proper' pub left in Taunton.
ciderman2 - 10 Feb 2009 11:52
There was a general air of chaos about the place when I visited - but friendly enough, and I was eventually served by one of the regulars. Good pint of Cotleigh on gravity. May well go back to try some of the ciders.
fromedrinker - 1 Jan 2009 23:58
Excellent pub, great atmosphere and decent drinks available. Sometimes ruined by local tossers who frequent the place mouthing expletives
hammers101 - 24 Oct 2008 08:08
There is a vast selection of local cider on offer here, 3 hand-pumps too. I thouroughly recommend it.

Taking a pee in the gents is a bit off-putting though; I got the feeling I was being watched through the window by the drinkers in the courtyard
Paris_Hilton - 22 Aug 2008 13:27
Sorry about the previous post, the reviews for this pub are listed under the section for the former name of Harpoon Louis
YoYo - 21 Aug 2008 16:21
WTF...where are all the previous reviews to this pub? I can't abide that all the previous reviews and ratings are gone.
YoYo - 13 Aug 2008 16:29
I went to the Plough on a recommendation last Thursday and I loved it! The bar staff were friendly, makes such a difference! The decor was sophisticated and understated...just like a couple of bars in London I often frequent. Highly recommend...
supercooper - 17 Jul 2008 23:38
Finally found a pub in Taunton with atmosphere! Hooray for the Plough!
vivaldi - 13 Jul 2008 12:43

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