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Railway, West Hampstead

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user reviews of the Railway, West Hampstead

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

Still having a serious gee-raff with it's prices £5.45. for a pint of Camden Pale in a fairly bog standard alehouse - even the Islington hipster bars give you industrial washing machines suspended from the ceiling for a bit less than that price.
Snarling_Mallard - 22 Feb 2018 20:29
Still not changed much inside but they now think that because they are in Pretend Hampstead they can charge Pretend Hampstead prices and match the Alice House (£5.20 for a pint of Samuel Adams).Clientelle still the same but seem to be happy at being fleeced to pay for the 'chnages'.
Pretend Hampstead is now more expensive and up it's own arse than the real version - at least proper Hampstead still has a decent pub.
It is worth strolling a little further down to the Czech bar..better atmosphere, better lager and far cheaper.
Snarling_Mallard - 24 Dec 2016 10:07
Currently being refurbished again, remains to be seen if it will go down the gastropub/style bar route this time.

I still think there is room in West Hampstead for a drinking/student/football watching pub different to the other samey places but we shall see.

I normally drink bitter but agree although they try the quality is poor, so tend to stay off it and drink lager/cider here.
mike_s - 27 Jan 2016 15:55
Now re-opened. the bar is exactly the same as before which leads one to believe that all the works were down to underpinning or some other structural problem. What has changed though is both the choice (now limited) and quality (now awful) of the ale. Needs to improve if it wants people coming back.
anonymous - 5 Jul 2015 01:49
Due to reopen in the next week or so. The outside would suggest it'll still be a drinking/football/student pub. Hopefully that's the case, but time will tell as all the other Gallery/Black Lion/Alice House type places in West Hampstead are slightly samey (though perfectly alright in an average way).
mike_s - 24 Jun 2015 13:43
Currently closed for refurbishment and not due to open until next March. Rumoured to become an 'up and coming venue' for the new West Hampstead Square development - hoping that is just a rumour.
anonymous - 20 Oct 2014 19:03
This is a decent pub to grab a pint and watch the football on the big screens. Prices are reasonable and service is generally quick. It's a large place so you can usually get a seat or a table. Food basic but cheap - they seem to have offers at certain times.

Interesting fact - upstairs used to be a music venue and Joy Division once played there.
StephenOgden - 20 Apr 2014 11:34
Went there last night and was very impressed. Very pleasant layout, good seating, fine beer and it was like old times. Just like a proper pub should be!
maidavale - 6 Sep 2013 18:17
Given most of the previous comments seem to be pre-2011 maybe what was the case then just isn't so anymore. The thing I love about this pub is its lack of pretentiousness - it's a good, honest boozer offering decent ales at decent prices Great place to watch sport and the bar staff, led by the manager Danny, work damn hard - if you're in there when there's a big match on you're more likely to be asked if you're waiting than you are to actually be waiting.. Usually 3 or 4 cask ales on and with Guinness at 3.55 (as at May 2012) what's not to love? Sure, it has a few oldies nursing a pint, but I see that as a positive - all are welcome. A pub for drinkers - but posers are welcome too!
foundryman - 17 May 2012 16:08
Not as much of a creche as in the past andmore a hard drinker's pub. Not particularly great but pubs are thin on the ground in West Hampstead. They had Purity Mad Goos which was okay but not asnice as it should be.
anonymous - 15 May 2012 21:56
not one to rush too and not one people are likely to rush back too!

that is unless you like being surrounded by the lower element of society who have little or no regard for anyone else but themselves.

beer is average to poor and service is only slightly better than that.

much better options within walking distance and probably one to be avoided
londonloon - 8 May 2012 11:53
Currently visiting a pub for every station on the London Overground. Did this one for West Hampstead. Very much a High Street style pub. Took ages to get served, then ordered two pints of Black Sheep and got them in plastic glasses. Awful pub.
hillzy - 18 Aug 2011 10:37
Chain pub by West Hampstead station, evening deal days are remarkably similar to Wetherspoons'! Three cask ales. Okay but nothing special (what is round here?)
alexw - 28 Jul 2011 13:47
The place was less of a playground for delinquent brats on this vist but the beer (StAustell Tribute) wasn't anything special.
anonymous - 4 Apr 2011 20:17
Unlikely to win any pub awards, but it's decent enough and you are hardly spoilt for choice in West Hampstead. Usually has a couple of ales on and shows the sport - often gets busy when there are matches on at Wembley, and it makes a decent meeting point being within a minute's walk of the tube.
rob1981 - 16 Feb 2011 23:27
Afraid I have to mark it down again. Unless you want to be surrounded by chav families and their multitude of brats running round unsupervised while the staff look idly on, then avoid this place around school chucking out time. If they don't get a grip this place will be back where it was a year ago.
anonymous - 8 Nov 2010 19:44
Ignore the low average score for this pub as I feel that it's based on previous reviews. The pub was clean inside with plenty of choice of seating, both in front of the sport (they were showing cricket and football) or away from the screens if you didn't want to watch. Was served a decent pint of Doomr Bar by a pleasant chap called Chris. Came in at 2.90 and I'm always surprised these days to get a pint for under 3 (unless you're at a Wetherspoons). Two Adnams ales were also on although they'd both gone when I went up for a second pint, replaced by London Gold. There seems to be a food / drink deal each day which again bring to mind a Wetherspoons but that's a little unfair as The Railway is better than that. Worth visiting if you're in the area, especially as West Hampstead seems to have a lack of decent pubs.
DuchyBoy - 20 Aug 2010 08:12
Vastly improved pub under the new management. The food looks good and the decor has been cleaned up. Friendly staff too. If (like me) you've previously written off the Railway as a Yob-controlled rat hole, then give it another chance. It's definitely gone up in the world and is worth another look.
gtillson - 6 Aug 2010 01:40
Used to live 'next door but one' to this place and always recall it as a shitehole but today it didn't seem so much of one. I thought I was in a Wetherspoon when I went in this time. All the same set up , menus , marketing. ..even down to the two ales on (the Harviestoun Schiehallion being a nice pint)... seems more like a pub (albeit a chain one) than it used to be and just about worth dropiing in if waiting for a train.
anonymous - 8 Jul 2010 21:09
I wouldn't say it's anything approaching a 9/10 pub to be honest, even allowing for West Hampstead being pretty poor for pubs/bars (although the Alice House which is quite new and which doesn't seem to be up on here is worth a look though pricy).

That said the Railway is a lot better under the new management than it has been in years. I agree it's a decent bet for sport, they seem to have pretty much everything on, and they are making an effort with real ale at decent prices as well.

I rated this (it would seem) 5/10 a couple of years back, but it's worth a 7 post the new management who have improved it significantly. It's a decent enough local pub now though, as opposed to anything really special.
mps77 - 18 Feb 2010 09:54
I've just moved to the area and this is quick becoming my local. It's by far the best place in West Hampstead for sport, with three screens (and two seperate sky boxes, which is great because they can show two different games)...but also if there's any sporting event on that you want to watch and they've not advertised they're more than happy to put it on for you.
I couldn't belive the comments listed by people before, or the rating, as every time I've been I've been treated really well by the staff, who are friendly and happy to make conversation, the ales are well stocked and in good rotation....only place I've found in the area where 2.50 can get you a pint of Broadside! From speaking to the staff and a couple of the barflies (they exist in this pub, as in every I've ever been to) there has been a big management change about 3 months ago and things have been on the up ever since.
The only downsides were nasty toilets and no real smoking area, but the atmosphere, especially on Tuesday nights (students and karaoke, what a combo) more than makes up for it.
Overall this got a nine, the only thing that needs changing is a bit of a refurb on the interior.
cdemw - 9 Dec 2009 14:08
Recently visited the area and this bar became an adopted 'local' as it seemed to be the only traditional-style pub in the area (most of the others were full of too-cool-for-school city types). Make the effort and the staff are happy to chat - especially the young manageress, your typical chirpy cockney. Sure, some of the clientele are a bit rough and ready but as always, if you don't act like an arse you wont have any problems. Beer is good and very reasonably-priced, food seemed fine. If you're in the area and you prefer 'normal' pubs then the railway is definitely worth a visit.
highlandpaddy - 28 Jul 2009 12:46
Avoid this pub like the plague. Last time I went in there is started raining and it started coming in through the windows and they weren't open. The beer, and by beer I mean real ale, is awful. It does stink. Why it is still open I don't know. You can't keep pubs open just because of nostalgia and I don't think there is anything worth saving anyway. I hope it joins the 52 pubs a week that are currently closing. It won't be missed!
nonecker - 22 Jul 2009 23:09
You know how sometimes you walk into a pub and just sense something's not right, well here you go.

9pm Sat night. There's a seedy air about the pub, looks like people have been here all day. Go to the bar. Lots of glasses on taps. 2 pints of Becks please. She brings back 2 bottles. No, 2 pints I say. We then have a long and difficult conversation made harder by the crap band in the background. She says something about problems with the taps and it looks like only the premium lagers are still on. Hmm, how odd.

She starts pouring a Stella. After about 5 minutes there's half a pint in the glass and it dribbles to a stop. Okay, 2 pints of Staropramen and she starts pouring Strongbow. I eventually get my Staropramen, get charged 6.50 and it's flat and luke warm.

The bloke next to me takes a good 20 mins explaining his order, amid much pointing to bottles, taps, glasses, you name it. Turns to me and says "Some boozer this, isn't it"

This place is a crap hole.

Lyncroft - 1 Dec 2008 14:37
The trouble is this pub plays its music very loudly and has a plethora of one armed bandit machines. Too noisy for my liking or for a proper social evening.

It does have a price list displaying beer prices - wow that's unusual nowadays, But they are not displayed very clearly and in a large enough typeface to read it properly.

Has London Pride among other beers
mycetes - 16 Oct 2008 11:47
Went in here for first time last week as I am soon to gig here with my band, The Capris.

This pub has a fantastic history, with legends such as The Rolling Stones, The Who, Jimi Hendrix and many many more having played here in the old days, in the function room upstairs which is sadly now closed.

Pubs like this need to be promoted for their nostalgic value and wherever possible, rejuvenated to that state or as near as possible - this could soon turn into a leading live music venue which would be awesome considering the number of pubs closing down or stopping live entertainment. New landlord has right attitude and I think you may see this pub go from strength to strength over the next year or two. Watch this space..

tombsie - 27 Sep 2008 07:49
Dropped in for a pint after work. Wow, what a pong. Combination of BO and stale farts. The bogs smelt better than the pub and that's saying something for this place. Pint of Fosters 2.50. This used to be quite a smokey joint which obviously covered up a multitude of sins.
Lyncroft - 22 Mar 2008 10:56
Serving vinegar through the Deuchars pump and smooth through the London Pride pump. Serving beer in plastic glasses, but allowing bottles of tramp juice to be taken outside. Not surprised that the police turned up yesterday evening.
axeman - 22 Nov 2007 06:44
Perfectly decent pub with friendly staff and very good food. The entertainmnet could be a bit more imaginative (if I hear any more Crowded House covers I'll scream) but overall a good pub.
Jack_Black - 6 Sep 2007 12:23
acceptable (no more, no less) station pub for a quick pint or if you're waiting to meet someone.
gets pretty busy before big matches at wembley, being so handy for the tube.
mps77 - 30 Jul 2007 13:25
went in having changed trains to go to wembley prior to the england brazil match, service adequate, quite busy but managed to find a decent seat even if the table was a bit of a mover! staropraman wasnt the best though. worth popping in for a quick pint if youre changing between the train stations and underground.
hbee - 3 Jun 2007 11:53
Always a bit suspicious of anonymous postings but I agree it's got tired the last few months. Same old bands, draft lager run out runs out, staff not as keen as they used to be and sometimes a bit of a "feel" about the place that you can't put your finger on.
Lyncroft - 12 May 2007 14:00
Gone down hill recently which is a shame, as it used to be a cracking little pub. The boss has lost interest and it shows all the way down to the staff.
anonymous - 9 May 2007 22:49
used to be a great little local, sadly gone down hill over the last year get the friendly staff back! loss the 18 year olds and maybe it will get better again.....
anonymous - 27 Apr 2007 00:38
Better than average boozer - fairly lively, efficient and friendly staff, plus points for table service with the drinks, minus points for the Karaoke but obviously a musical snob like me is going to say that :-)
tim_eyles - 21 Oct 2006 19:02
This pub used to be the Rat and Parrot when I used to go there in the late 1990's, pretty much the only thing that has changed is the name and the slightly extended weekend opening hours.

Standard pub, not particularly outstanding in anyway, but an OK pub nonetheless.
mike2004 - 25 May 2006 12:36
The criticism of this place is somewhat true: the clientelle can be a bit rough, however I find the staff to be quite good. Unlike most bars in London, the barstaff are constantly running around behind the bar, so that in busy times the wait is never too long. The table service is fast and efficient (even when busy) and the food is acceptable (not great, but not crap either).

The beers are OK and well-priced for the area.

Overall, the Railway is your typical average pub: a good place for a quiet drink with friends. It doesnt have the class of the Gallery around the corner, but also lacks the pretentious clientelle.
Rubber - 21 Apr 2006 17:09
1.75 for a glass of Leffe isn't particularly cheap - only marginally less than in my locals which are far nicer than the Railway and in a decent area.
anonymous - 21 Feb 2006 11:46
I have not been to this pub in the past few months as I have left the area but I used to visit regularly. I found the staff to be extremely helpful and to work very well under pressure. They had recently added a few more beers to the menu and I was sad to move away. In contrast to a previous post I have found the Aussie barmen were extremely friendly as were the other mixture of nationalities they have on board. Show me another nice friendly pub where you can buy a glass of Leffe for 1.75. Overall excellent table service from a young enthusiastic group of hard workers led by a good management team of a difficult-not-to-love Kiwi assistant manageress and a fantastic Irish manager. Thumbs up!
anonymous - 4 Oct 2005 01:20
Have to say every time I've been there the service has been excellent. It was heaving last Saturday but still got served quickish. The pint was pure gnat's piss though and warm with it. I find the comment about the bouncer being sacked odd as they've had the same 2 there since it reopened as far as I can make out.
Lyncroft - 22 Sep 2005 17:25
I live near by this place and I actually quite like it. Im always served quickly. However, I have heard some negative things from my friends about this place. It seems the bar staff can be prone to rudeness, but I still get better service in the Railway, then I do at the Ponce magnets in the surrounding area.
Dammers - 18 Sep 2005 13:49
Doesn't look very inspiring on first sight but is actually better than it appears. Always has two or three real ales on tap and a large selection of other drinks. Lively in the evenings but also fine for a spot of quiet newspaper-reading during the day. In an area as starved of decent boozers as NW6 this is not so bad a place.
grecian - 26 Jul 2005 11:54
Revisited this though I promised I never would and to be honest it's a well run pub. It's not the sort of place I go for but you have to take your hat off to the landlord and landlady who always seem to be present on busy Sat nights. The bar's always well staffed and you're quickly served even when the pressure's on. The lager's cold and cheap and the bands though not great are better than nothing. There's even the option of table service and they don't expect a tip (least I don't think they do!). Compare this to La Brocca up the road. Poor service and landlord does f*ck all except clog the bar up with his rugger mates. Anyway, well done. I'm sure the pub owners are destined for bigger things!
Lyncroft - 6 Jul 2005 21:44
The Railway has always been a great local for my partner and I. We are made to feel welcome each visit and the bar staff and Manager (who have been there for sometime now!) have made the effort to greet us by name and always provide friendly and efficient service.
Drinks are cheap, the pub is clean, table service is great.
Thumbs up!!
anonymous - 16 Jun 2005 13:57
Got a pint in here recently,..had two sips then went for a slash,......came back and the landlady (who served me!)had cleared my pint up and thrown it away. When i asked her for my drink, she said she thought that i had gone, and that, if i wanted to be sure of its safety, i shoulda taken it to the bogs with me! She was Australian
kmcs - 2 Jun 2005 13:34
Can't quite understand the snobbery about Sharons and Kevins - it's a north London pub, not a St James' gentlemens' club, what do you expect!? Definitely a loud, tacky gin palace feel to the place, probably more suited as a meeting place near the station than a cosy place for a session. Contrary to other messages, last time I went the service was impeccable - fast, efficient and friendly.
Hugh1971 - 25 Apr 2005 10:04
If it wasn't for the aussie bartenders in this pub, it would actually be quite a nice place to have a quiet tipple. If you're young, pretty and female, expect to be constantly badgered by the over-confident lads. if you're not young, pretty and/or female, don't expect to be served in a hurry.

Saying that, however, the drinks are cheap, the location is convenient and there's plenty of seating. So i suppose if the comments relating to the high staff turnover at the railway are true, it might be worth a visit in upcoming months..
anonymous - 8 Mar 2005 15:28
Putting a new sign up outside a rubbish boozer does not make it a good place to go. Especially when there's some fourth rate entertainment thrown into the bargain. Don't bother.
anonymous - 30 Nov 2004 12:04
The name has reverted to The Railway (or The Rail-Way according to some posters) scene of many famous bands in years gone by. Anyway went to check it to see if it's still as ghastly as its been for the last 10 years.

Simply dreadful. Appeared to be full of 18 year old Sharon and Kevins. Place was thick with smoke and they had one of the worst 2 piece bands I've ever heard. The most depressing aspect was it's doing great trade. People were loving it including one family who came through the door and started dancing. Mum was wearing tight white trousers and knee high boots, Dad was wearing a sheepskin coat a la Ron Atkinson. Daughter had dyed blonde hair. Passed them on the way home later as they were going into the kebab shop.

Landlord looks like Alexis Sayle and the bouncers seem to be everywhere

Cheap, cold lager though at 2.09 a pint. I won't be returning though.
Lyncroft - 21 Nov 2004 10:05
on the service, i agree with the negative comments. i have lived in w.h. for 6 years and barely ever seen the same staff member more than once, they change so quickly, and they are usually bad.
this pub has now changed its name back to the railway, and what i can't believe is that they have got rid of the no smoking area?! in this day and age, i find that ridiculous. they are, however, still advertising from the outside that they have one.
Dean - 8 Nov 2004 13:29
It's mugs like me that keep places like this going. A BLT for 3.95 made up of one of those cheap baguettes (25pence) and 2 rashers of bacon (50 pence tops).
anonymous - 30 Aug 2004 22:08
I lived in West Hampstead for over 6 months and I can say that the opinions expressed on this site to date are a total crock. The people who have written in thus far, sans Louise, must be out of their mind! The staff are some of the friendliest in London, the drinks and food are great. Sure it is a chain pub and could do with a screen to show sport however I think it is a warm friendly pub and would recommend it to anyone. Especially with Jess behind the bar!
Stu - 15 Jun 2004 16:38
Totally disagree with the statements so far! Friends and I went on a friday night, the staff were really friendly and always had a smile on there face. Yes the place needs a revamp but a good freindly local
Louise - 8 May 2004 22:03
totally agree with all the comments so far. a travesty of a pub - specifically the staff, who are all, without fail, hopeless.
shame is it's a good location and no doubt the building was splendid in years past.
ian - 1 Jan 2004 19:28
I have visited this pub numerous times over three or four years(only to meet friends in, rather than stay there for any length of time) and the service has consistently been awful. The staff seem to spend the majority of their time floating around behind the bar not doing anything except ignoring the waiting customers, even when there are as few as two or three people at the bar. God knows what its like on a busy evening...
mtgriffin - 11 Sep 2003 14:58
Used to be the Railway - venue to countless bands (Jam, Rolling Stones, etc) over the years and also used to have a successful comedy night thru' the back. Look at it now. Why do people go to places like this?
anonymous - 6 Aug 2003 17:22

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