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Duke of Edinburgh, Brixton

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user reviews of the Duke of Edinburgh, Brixton

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

Just really poor. Which is a big shame as we'd had two separate hugely enthusiastic recommendations prior to choosing it for somewhere close to Brixton Academy, with outside space and decent food in order to catch some pre-gig early rays and be fed and watered. The website proclaimed all boxes thoroughly ticked.

It gets the one point for the huge beer garden. The biggest I have ever seen in London. But you can have too much of a good thing. The surly staff seemed completely unprepared for one of the sunniest days if the year so far. I arrived first out of our party and those of us that hadn't been before soon all agreed that the beer garden (and Save The Rhino mural) were brilliant. It soon filled up and inside also became suddenly really busy - Man Utd v Bayern will do that to a pub with screens.

The menu looked fab - a sign of former glory perhaps? A couple of people have said the pub has changed hands recently. A really interesting variety of burgers in the main, all with pickles and salad, but also tempting salads and staples like fish & chips, all for just £9, including a side. Extra sides £3. I'd had the halloumi burger recommended so went for that with fries, plus a side of coleslaw. My sister plumped for the spiced chicken thighs with salad and a side of potato salad and others had traditional burgers and fish and chips. Well over an hour later, in danger of missing some of the gig the obviously harassed bar man plonked the most embarrassing excuse of a chicken salad - two tiny thighs, a pile of iceberg lettuce and a tomato cut in half - in front of my sister, saying there was no potato salad, but she could have chips. I got a burnt bap containing the tiniest bit of uncooked halloumi, no salad, no coleslaw and not a pickle in sight on any plate! It was dark by this time, but the advertised items were definitely missing. We asked for cutlery and were told we had to trudge all the back to the bar to get our own. There was only three forks and four knives - we needed four of each. I asked the same guy for an extra fork to which the reply was "We haven't got any." When I made it clear that wasn't good enough he finally, after finishing serving a huge round, returned with some plastic forks. By the time I returned to the table, my food was stone cold and the fish and chips eater had given up and eaten with his fingers! This was a couple of hours ago and I still feel sick. So disappointing.

Needing to get to the Academy sharpish by this point and with the bar being rammed, I didn't bother to queue to argue the toss over the three quid they owed me for the lack of coleslaw, being pretty certain if the reaction I'd get. But I won't forget and I won't be back. Shame.
LMNtry - 1 Apr 2014 22:07
This has been a post football haven for about ten years now. After initially wondering why we were going here I've come to respect this pub. I has had it's ups and downs but at heart its always been a relaxing place to drink good beer, watch the footy and listen to good music later in the evening. Recently the downs have been followed by further down culminating in the final insult this evening. The six beers advertised on the chalk board were all off. the only other non lager alternative was £540 a pint. The football was impossible to watch through the hoards of Knitting ladies. I think Knitting is a fine a worthy hobbie. But should a pub be taken over by it? No beer, and Knitting. We are going elsewhere from now on.
Mrsausages - 19 Feb 2014 01:38
I've lived just across the railway for nearly 20 years and never gone in. I'd noticed signs of new ownership but still never bothered until someone, actually, an estate agerixnt doing a valuation on my place mentioned it and called it a "destination pub". Given the general reliability of estate agents I'd not given much thought to it, but in a rare moment of sun this weekend thought why not.

I'm quite glad I did.

First the downside. Some sort of important football event meant the place was packed. Literally sardine style claphamites/brixtonites.

Plus points in no particular order. The back yard is massive and will be rammed come summer proper. Lots of benches, pergolas for shade, bean bag things. An outside bar. Probably outside BBQ in summer, and a big outdoor screen (which was fine until the soccerites demanded the volume up, and to be honest not that intrusive after). Eclectic decor.

They probably sell lager, but ale was Sam Brooks Junction (nice), Tribute (yawn) and a summer guest from Bath Ales (nice). Sunday roasts, including Brixton hat tip, 1/2 jerk chicken looked pretty good but I didn't eat. Advert up for Cider and Perry festival at the end of the month. That they referred to it as Perry rather than "Pear Cider" speaks volumes.

I don't have a local as such. The closest would be the Canton Arms on South Lambeth Road as it intersects my cycle ride home, but this might turn into one.

Giving 8/10. Brixton isn't big on decent pubs - particularly not in residential areas, and especially not 5 minutes walk from my place.
devlinse - 15 May 2012 16:34
They do seem to try hard. It's definitley much better than a weatherspoons. The inside is nicely decorated and the fire in winter is ace but the food is too expensive for what it is - Significantly dearer than the White Horse- and no Ales. The black furniture in the beer garden is shame - makes a potentially great space appear like a cross between back burnt scrub land and Grand Central station for the ghost train. Drop the food prices. Get some Ales. Paint the Furniture. Turn the football volume down. Or I spose I could just F-off and make a pub of my own.
Noelnoelnoel - 3 Dec 2011 11:12
Seems to change hands frequently. Lived in Ferndale Road fifteen years ago when Frank Henley (I think) ran it and was a frequent visitor over the proceeding years. The beer had got very pricey and has thankfully come down a bit. I had stopped going here because the bitter was frequently off or sour and the Guinness often fizzy. Popped in a week ago and the bitter was better so hope it will be better kept by current Landlady. PS not keen on paying to use a debit card. Garden great in the summer and at least its still a proper pub.
flombard - 29 Dec 2010 13:32
Revisted this pub (Thursday evening) and enjoyed the quiz. Decided to post an updated review of a positive nature in terms of this place's progress, only to find I've been accused of being a "Sock-puppet" (which smacks of irony given it's by a user who's only comment on BITE comes after being asked to post "by the chef").

Seriously guys, take the criticisms given with a pinch of salt, or take on board what people are saying. I've never been asked to leave any pub, let alone this one - get over the fact that people are expressing their individual opinions and concentrate on making your business your priority.

I praised the landlady for her welcoming attitude in my last review, but if this is how her chef acts in a public forum (even if it is out of loyalty and pride) you have to wonder if he'll have a job come the New Year?
potatojammin - 24 Dec 2010 19:30
amazing pub, atmosphere, people. best pub in brixton by a mile
ciderftw - 13 Dec 2010 15:32
Potato, Darren or Charlotte, whatever your name is today) - Ben the Chef told me about the slating you've given his food here, so I came to have a look at your comments . I drink & eat there regularly, and personally, I think your review is dishonest nonsense, which is in fact obvious by your use of 3 sockpuppet account to make a point. I also think you are bitter because you were asked to leave the premises because of your antisocial behaviour.

The 1960's peacock chair you mentioned doesn't bother me at all. Why do you allow yourself to be offended by a chair?If the pub isn't your kind of place then you might want to just find somewhere that is.
movis - 7 Dec 2010 21:39
I've rated this pub a 7 because it's very promising, but there's lots of room for improvement. Am local and have been here 10 or 11 times now since the start of summer.

The positives: the landlady (at least I assume she is) is very friendly, welcoming, and on quiet times I've yet to see her not interact with any new customers or regulars. You just don't get this level of enthusiasm and attention from most publicans.

Good selections of drinks, attentive bar staff, pool table and all sorts of other entertainments including a big screen TV and what appears to be a cinema screen in the garden!

Negatives: I'm afraid, the one thing I'd echo would be about the food. I've eaten here twice. The first time was during the summer - it was a BBQ. Potato salad was well made but had been left to sit in the sun along with the salad and accompaniments. These should be kept chilled - it's just standard. The burger itself was OK, but didn't really stand up to the WOW-factor that the garden, impressive BBQ set-up and general atmosphere had created. If those burgers were perfected, it's be busy all summer long.

The second time, and another burger (this time indoors 2 weeks back), whilst it looked good it was virtually impossible to cut in to.

What I'd recommend is finding a good burger recipe and sticking to the can't-go-wrong staples (especially as it's almost winter) of Ham, Egg & Chips, Chillis, Jacket Potatoes and Sunday Roasts. Please don't take the criticisms to heart (I've read the previous comments) - the reason your punters are commenting on the food is because it's the only weak point of an otherwise amazing local pub. Perhaps you should look around at some of the others locals offering food?

Have a menu relaunch, because if you nail the food you'll be rammed.

Oh... and get rid of that horrible wicker chair!

potatojammin - 12 Oct 2010 17:19
Tee hee this is back again sorry its been a while I work 7 days a week, Ok this is going nowhere but let me just say this, my company peaches and cream l.t.d is dedicated to giving my customers the benifit of my experience at an affordable price quality of meat check out Frank one of the best butchers in this city, blah blah blah the point is im dedicated to my livelyhood and customers which is why i get a little pasionate about people who seem to have nothing better to do than post potentialy damaging comments about my business,I love food and this town and this pub and the people I work with who give nothing less than 110% trying to give the people somewhere to call there own.


bennybagz - 12 Sep 2010 14:38
Bennybagz- isn't it possible that the customer who had to send his food back in your pub, had his bad experience prior to the date he registered on B.I.T.E?
Also if you are the sole chef of the duke, then why did you post a review on here claiming to be a customer that had a wonderful dining experience in your own pub?
you guys cannot keep coming on here attempting to discredit other peoples reviews- for example calling misterbiscuit a liar, and claiming some of the other reviews were written by disgruntled locals who have been bared???? and calling the reviewers rabble??? also writting two positive reviews yourselves (within 14 minutes of eachother??? on the same day????) its all a little bit sad and very arrogant.
please just stop the keyboard warrior stuff, and Just accept that not everybody likes whats happening with the pub, or enjoys your food as much as you clearly do.
personally ive not been tempted by your food, if you are from a fine dining background then why have you been reduced to working in a Brixton pub?, if your food is as great as you claim then why are you the only one on here praising it?
ive no doubt that you guys will post something insulting claiming im a liar, or a disgruntled former employee, or a local that was barred in 1974 or whatever, or prehaps you guys can post a couple more glowing reviews of your own pub?
Also your website- "best pub in brixton"???? I guess you guys dont, leave your own pub and get out and about in brixton much then? again very arrogant
Lastly- colonial decor??? does a multi cultural, multi racial, area like Brixton need reminders of colonialism?????
ill check back here in a few days for your response guys
charlotteweb - 7 Aug 2010 12:04
This message is for Mr biscuit two reviews below who registered 23 7 2010

As the sole Chef of the duke I am upset by you B.S comment about sending back cold food, I have been BBQ food outside since that date TO ORDER so its impossible for you to have sent anything back cold as you would collect it yourself, get a life mate, I come from a fine dining background and cook to at least a 1 rosette standard on a bad day.
bennybagz - 1 Aug 2010 22:34
had bbq here a couple of times on way home from work, pretty good value for 7.50. internet connection was pretty slow on wifi, but other than that, a very pleasurable evening out
missvictoria - 26 Jun 2010 16:39
lovely pub. been a few times over the past few weeks. great bbq, super atmosphere, a bevy of beauties behind and in front of the bar. definately one of brixtons little treasures. highly recommended. i discovered it after it was reviewed on the bbc website as being a great place to watch the world cup.
shandos - 26 Jun 2010 16:14
avoid this pub like the plague! visited very recently, and despite the place being empty it still took an age for our food to arrive- when it did, it had to be sent back (twice!) as it was cold!
we could barely hear ourselves talk over the pounding dance music playing throughout the entire pub, and to top it all off the barman managed to get a very basic drinks order wrong, and then short-changed us!!!!!!
0/10 unimpressed and unlikely to return!!!!
misterbiscuit - 23 Jun 2010 12:43
In response to the post below, I'm not local, and I'm not barred, I wrote my review based on recent experiences I've had in the d.o.e, For example trying and failing misserably to watch the football in the garden- a dim barely visable poorly lined-up image projected on to a ugly wooden contraption, zero atmosphere, Misserable staff, and a 25 minute wait for a pint.
I don't know anybody that has been barred to be honest, from what I can gather most of the regulars have defected to other pubs of their own accord?
The winter will be the real test for this pub, it was the regulars that kept the place ticking over in the colder months when the garden was closed- now they all seem to be staying away what happens?
Also it's fairly obvious that the landlord (beany/benny bags) did write his own review, hence the "watch this space" remark, I would imagine he also played quite a big part in writting yours as well, eh mate?
Lastly your remark about the wetherspoons is quite ironic, as tragically that pub now has a better atmosphere than the d.o.e

swbang - 18 Jun 2010 17:14
so guys lets look at this, I have become quite friendly with the owner recently whom by the way is not "benny bags" and to be frank the posts that have gone up are buy a small bunch of locals who were promptly barred and for all the good reasons. If you want to that sort of rabble i think there is a weatherspoons on the high st....
zeeberdee - 13 Jun 2010 14:06
agree totally with the comments of the below poster, avoid this souless joke of a pub at all costs, the fact that the landlord (benny bags) has come on here and wrote a review praising his own pub (because nobody else will) says it all really. also avoid eating there if at all possible, the back garden runs parallel to a railway line so it doesnt take a genius to realise there are quite a few rat/mice nests in the vaccinity.
If anyone is planning on watching any world cup games here dont bother- the grand uninon in acre lane has a much nicer garden, several 60 inch outdoor plasmas, the food is about twenty times better, the drinks cheaper, and they clean their lines out propperly so the lager doesn't taste of bleach like it does in the d.o.e
the duke of edinburgh used to be such a great pub its a real shame its been ruined
swbang - 3 Jun 2010 12:37
an awful pub absolutely ruined by the new management, "the dukes" used to be a great pub with some real local characters, most of whom have now sadly been driven out by the new landlord who arrogance is unbelievable!
the late nights, unbelievably happy atmosphere, and regulars dancing around the "dukebox" are gone, and have been replaced by a drab decor, overpriced food, and club casualties that the landlord has accosted outside the dogstar in coldharbour lane, and bribed into comming back to the pub in a sorry attempt to boost profits.
turning a traditional backstreet boozer into a souless gastropub was a terrible idea, this pub has been ruined
brixtonism - 30 May 2010 19:27
Visited on the recomendation of friends. Great beer garden, its huge! and now the weather is heating up i shall be visiting again. From what i can see they are trying to cater for everybody. The food was excellent, we had the Steak bagette and the sausage and mash, Mmmmmmm, and i understand that they do a sunday roast. The bar staff were very busy but that is a sign of a popular bar. A good selection of wines, spirts and beers on tap.
We shall be visiting again on sunday for a roast as it saves the washing up, and to enjoy the garden........
Drbrie - 16 Apr 2010 16:39
This pub is great!

Recently under new management with a very relaxed atmosphere and a kind of colonial feel to the decor, the beer was as beer should be, they keep that cellar well.

The duke is a grade two listed building, panelled with English oak and framed with stained glass windows that throws an array of colour on the walls when the sun streams through..

I had sausage and mash from a very balanced bar menu and would have paid double for the quality of the dish in any reputable restaurant, the chef who brought the food to my table explained to me that he came from a fine dining background and had plans to put the place on the map.

There is a large garden at the rear from which they intend to screen the football in the summer, and according to the chef the BBQ should be a riot.

Watch this space =)

bennybagz - 6 Apr 2010 13:24
Been going to the Duke for a while and really, what a shame!!! lovely pub but badly run. But recently all seems to be getting better, the front has had a makeover, the beer has got better and all seems friendlier on Ferndale Rd. Really getting to quite like this pub, as opposed to having somewhere for a drink on the way home from work.
zeeberdee - 5 Mar 2010 20:16
Went to the Duke to watch football and have a few beers before a gig at the Brixton Academy. Was very disappointed and would not recommend or go back to. My specific complaint was the bar staff - they seemed friendly enough, but couldn't tend a bar, which you think would be important in a pub. Disorganised, obviously untrained (one gave a guy at the bar next to me a bottle of wine with the cork still in, then had to be shown how to uncork it!!), moved slowly even when serving a full bar, and worst of all, totally unaware of who should be served next. This lead to them using nonsense method of looking up only when finished serving one punter and saying "Whose next?" to a full bar 3 people deep.
Every time someone had to go get a round it was a lottery of anywhere between 15 and 30 minutes to get back.
The guy who seemed to be the duty manager (tattoo sleeves and lip piercing) didn't have a handle on the situation at all, and didn't seem to mind that people were getting totally frustrated at the long wait for service. Any good points about this pub for me were totally negated by this inability to serve their punters.

A_M_P - 28 May 2009 09:03
Surprisingly pleasant little pub fairly near the centre of Brixton. Ales by Wychwood (including Paddy's Tout), decor from the 1930s suburban style and it still has the 1970s-style 'Trumans' and stripes lettering on the outside. The beer garden is curious - not connected to the pub, it's down an alleyway to the back, but is well frequented.
rainlight - 16 Apr 2009 07:40
One of the best and biggest garden bars in London. They are now doing a great bbq Friday evenings and Saturday and Sunday from 2.30, great food. 3-4 Min walk form Brixton Tube or 8min from Clapham high st. Friendly and fun staff, all very relaxed in a professional manner. Great hidden treasure off the busy roads
master - 15 Jul 2008 13:56
this pub is great- the regulars are without exception some of the nicest people you will ever meet, ignore the post below, NONE of the regulars have stopped going.
moonpig - 10 Jul 2008 20:09
The reason this pub is empty is because all the regulars have left in droves. Unfortuantely the new management seem to be doing everything you should not do to a lovely friendly pub. These include:

1. Putting up a huge 80s style neon sign with 'Shakers' written on it behind the bar. When asked what the reason for this was, it was claimed the management had intended to sell cocktails. In a local pub. In Brixton.(It has been there for 3 months and there are still no cocktails.)

2. Leaving all the lights on full so it is reminiscent of a hospital waiting room. And then putting candles on the tables.

3. Shifting all the tables around so the pool table is right in front of the big screen and everybody fall over each other when trying to get to the toilets.

4. Not having any beer. In a pub. Honestly, 2 weeks running there was no beer, only lager.

5. No food. Ever.

6. Always giving you beer in the wrong glasses.

I could go on. Last week they advertised the Arsenal Inter game by writing on the chalkboard 'Wenesday football'.

Really is so sad when pubs are run into the ground. Bring back the old Duke!
lozzaw - 24 Feb 2008 18:41
Went here last night, no Thursday night quiz and despite 2 pool tables, and 2 open fires there were only about 4 people in there.

Nice pub, tonnes of seating, just completely empty.
mazlaws - 11 Jan 2008 09:42
Under new management this week. They tell me they will be introducing Harveys Sussex Best as well as a new menu and live entertainment so expect a few changes but hopefully nothing that will diminsh the pub's character.
RogerB - 9 Oct 2007 12:40
great pub ! in brixton... you have to try .beer garden is summer is the place to relax ..
squirejim - 4 May 2007 22:59
What an amazing find!

I recently moved to the area and being the Yorkshire lass that I am, went straight to the local pub. From the minute I stepped through the door, I felt immediately at home, the bar staff are lovely, the putters are great, the first night out there I laughed until my sides hurtand I havent stopped yet!

I really would recommend this place, and you never know you might meet me there!

anonymous - 9 Mar 2007 15:07
Perhaps not the most inviting pub from the outside but the Duke has now become my regular pre Academy haunt. Sufficiently off the beaten track to lose the crowds and yet only 5 minutes walk from the venue and more importantly, it sells a couple of decent beers ( Brakespear and Hobgoblin). The smaller front bar houses 2 pool tables (until recently there was table football in one of the pool tables places) and a screen for sport. Furnishings are basic with a couple of pew seats built into the recesses. The main bar to the rear has been extended and is quite spacious. The abundance of oak paneling gives the impression of being in 70s version of a Great Hall and the solid brick windows with their frosted and stained glass panels create a wonderful lighting effect when the sun is right. The rows of good solid furniture has now been broken up by the recent introduction of some sofas around a coffee table and gives the bar a less severe and more relaxed feel. There is a Big screen at the rear but the other TVs are really too small to be of much use. The large brick fireplace with its large Trumans mirror acts as a good focal point although the portable radiator currently standing in front of it rather detracts from its grandeur (someone actually came in and chained a bicycle to it when I was here last week). Either side of the fireplace are 2 more pew seats although there are no tables or anywhere to put your drinks if you sit at them so they little practical value other than a feature. Finding a seat is not usually a problem and in summer, the huge beer garden is a splendid surprise. Meals are sufficient and served quickly and I have never had anything other than top class and friendly service here. Note that all the flat surfaces in the toilets have been textured to deter drug abuse which can only be a good thing. The Duke is almost a museum piece in a Worthington E kind of way and whilst dated (especially the bar), it is certainly not unattractive. There are not many of this sort of pub still around and in an area where good pubs are few and far between, I would thoroughly recommend making the effort to pay a visit if you are in the area.
RogerB - 27 Feb 2007 15:23
A good all rounder of a pub with a great 'local' feel (even if you're not a local!). Basically it has everything you would want from a pub...pool, food, sofas, fire, sunday roast, pub quiz, the beer garden is a particular perk in the summer and I'm loving the promise of live music! In addition the staff are v friendly and always love a bit of banter!
anonymous - 18 Jan 2007 17:10
Thought I had better put something up to date on here - An awesome night out whether you want a chilled mid week drink with friends and some tasty grub or a lively night at the weekend, or even football (if you are that way inclined). Always a great atmosphere in here and friendly faces behind the bar! A cozy fire in the winter or down the secret path to the amazing garden and bbq in summer. This pub has everything you need and more and hardly a suit in sight - hurray!
anonymous - 16 Jan 2007 11:01
Fantastic rear garden, inside not so hot. It really could be three or four different pubs - inside with pool players, inside with the big screen for football fans, an area in between which is general pub and outside in the large garden. Only probelm with garden is that it can get a bit noisy when the trains passby
anonymous - 9 May 2006 23:30
Miserable back street pub that is luckily without serious competition elsewhere so manages to get a young crowd in. Busy in the summer due to large back yard with tables, bbq and assorted drunks. Handy for SKY football.
redrocket - 10 Aug 2005 16:06
One of the better pubs in Brixton, the beer garden has to be seen to be believed. There's a little bar with a pool table and table footie. Gets busy with the big matches, don't people have tv at home for wasting time watching sports!! They've finally sorted out the music there cos it was pretty pants for a few years i've got to say, used to have terrible techno at an absurd volume but now its chilled out beats mostly. Good menu too...
tobias - 10 Aug 2005 11:49
Was terribly busy when I went the other friday night. Lots of officey types - not too sure where they all came from cos the pub is not obviously near any offices. In the summer though it's very nice to sit in the garden, and they do an okay bbq as well. Music can be a bit loud inside sometimes, and bit of a weird lay-out in the bar. Lacking in atmosphere.
roxy - 2 Mar 2005 12:27
As the Duke would say, get off yer horse and drink yer Milk (expect no Milk in here!) Loadsa Beauties, great Beer, great food, friendly staff - what a day/night out - Go there, go now if you can
5 stars!!!!
Darker73 - UNBEATENALLSEASON.COM - 21 May 2004 10:50
Horrible inside - bad house/trance/whatever played at deafening volume in what would otherwise be a reasonably nice pub. Great garden, but it now seems to be closing at 10.30, forcing you inside... which as I've described above is really not nice unless you enjoy shouting over bad music. Baffling...
why - 17 May 2004 17:27
This pub has everything. Good music, massive beer garden with excellent food at weekends, live sport, pool table, table footie, late licenses etc etc etc
Dominic - 12 Sep 2003 12:29
They have revamped this pub, with a 40 grand investment in the massive beer garden (it now has outdoor gas-fires and all). Barbeque throughout the summer.
John Rattagan - 8 Apr 2003 11:46
stays open late, good music, has a massive beer garden out the back. a bit hard to find at firts, but worth it when you get there. an exceelent pub to go to.
olij - 10 Jul 2002 12:19
On a warm summer's night, there is no better place to be in south London than in the vast, forest like beer garden. Spliffs abound, and the Brixton grunge/media set love it here. Watch your bags if crowded in the beer garden. A personal favorite.
Mango - 5 Jul 2002 12:31

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