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Duke of York, Borough

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user reviews of the Duke of York, Borough

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

Corporate interior with Central London prices - ale not up to much.
Snarling_Mallard - 30 Apr 2018 22:36
Great pub just talking to new management and staff been coming here for sometime now and have to say it's really chilled and good if you like real ale also really nice just to relax and let time and worries drift away. There getting the sports going soon so looking forward to just sitting down with a good beer and good company and have a great time. 5 star place and a good place to chillout
gwall - 23 Jun 2015 13:18
They ran out of draught beer at 7pm on a Thursday. Is this a record? A younger woman behind the bar couldn't have cared less, the manager was apologetic. They hadn't had many people in, we had booked space for 20 and had been there less than an hour, it is poor form for this brand of pub. A pity when it seems cared for and all other ingredients seem good, giving it a 2 for having a decent draught cider.
Lewism - 22 Apr 2013 22:23
I visited this pub for the first time on Friday evening 26/11/2010. From the previous reviews here I was looking forward to it. I guess it is under new management and has been 'done up'. There was a shiny new bar with lots of shiny chrome lager dispensers and 6 hand-pumps all with the labels turned round indication no ale. The music was extremely loud and of questionable taste. I walked straight out again. I couldn't bear to spend any time in there.
RickHarper - 27 Nov 2010 14:18
the two drawbacks were that a lot of the beers were off, and it was quite expensive. otheriwise, it's one of the nicest pubs i've been in. beutifully decorated and lit, just a really nice place to spend an evening. complete with board games. a real must-try.
Tescoid - 22 Nov 2010 13:45
5 handpulls with all but 1 pump clip turned round was not the best first impression for this pub. The solitary beer was Ossett Yorkshire Blonde, with Shepherd Neame Spitfire and Master Brew both absent. No Shepherd Neame beers in a Shepherd Neame pub? The interior is quite nicely decorated with plenty of wood - floorboards, chairs, tables, shelves etc. Puppets and toy soldiers add a slightly eccentric air to proceedings. Lantern type lighting above the bar and chandeliers above the seating give illusions of grandeur. Food was listed on a blackboard. Admirably there was no music and the TV was off. The landlady was friendly. But �9 for a 750ml bottle of cider?! This may be London. But it's one of the most expensive ciders I've ever consumed. Nice enough pub. But plenty of drawbacks.
blue_scrumpy - 28 Sep 2010 19:20
Really nice pub, good to drop in for a quick drink or as the starting point for a night out, nice staff, not too many scummy peeps and the food's very good also.
thecupv1 - 24 Jul 2010 03:11
Oh look another person so impressed by this place they ran straight out and registered on BITE and placed a glowing review!
Alfnoax - 6 Jul 2010 09:52
This is the best pub in Elephant & Castle area and possibly in London! It is always clean and well maintained. Nice quite and friendly crowd. Just off of Borough Road.Great place to visit before a night out in nearby night clubs. Well worth a visit!
tero - 6 Jul 2010 09:45
This is indeed a nice pub. However, the flurry of 'brilliant' recommendations from folk who've only reviewd one pub and were so impressed by this place that they registered and commented on the same day make me a little suspicious! May just boycott the place on principle.
Alfnoax - 5 Jul 2010 10:45
Love this pub and the atmosphere it has. Lively, friendly, fun and I have personally had many great laughs and fantastic nights here. It was one of my highlights while I lived in London. Am heading back in Oct!!
rachael_60 - 5 Jul 2010 09:44
A great pub that you have to visit if you are ever in the area, it really is an oasis in a concrete jungle. Hats off to the land lady who insures excellent standards of cleanliness and customer service, two qualities which are tough to find these days.

The pub has a fantastic selection of beers and wines to wet your palate. The food is home cooked and there is always something for everyone�s taste.
The atmosphere is friendly, warm and welcoming created by the inviting decor and superb staff.

I would highly recommend this pub to all, if you were visiting on your own, with friends or even somewhere to take clients.

Naz - 30 Jun 2010 16:54
I've been to this pub a few times now and have always been impressed. Good bar staff, great atmosphere. Well worth a visit.
nathalier - 29 Jun 2010 20:57
Strange, rated as 7.6, the last eight comments all made by one-comment reviewers who registered the same day, is this a record? Will visit in the near future to see if it really is wonderful.
TiaMariaJim - 28 Jun 2010 09:05
What a great pub! Super friendly staff and one of the girls is really funny. :0) The landlady was a gem and always takes time to say hello. Not obnoxious in anyway, I'm surprised by some comments on here as this pub is a very happening place. Stylish too with great beers. if you don't want to miss out then you should definately get down there. Fridays are BRILLIANT!
kAtn74 - 28 Jun 2010 08:07
What a gem! We came across this delightful pub almost by accident. At first sight it appears an ordinary boozer but once inside how different! The excellent staff are genuinely friendly. The place is stylish with a good atmosphere. There is a wide range of beers and super food. We chose some specials from the board- oustanding! The food on offer is agreat mix of oriental with traditional English.Something to please everyone. Go Try It!!
Alligator - 27 Jun 2010 11:47
I was introduced to the Duke by a friend that lives nearby, every time we visit we have a lovely time, the food is superb and the atmosphere is great.

The last time we visited we were talking to the landlady for hours :) it's nice to actually sit in a pub where the barstaff and landlady act like family :)

I've now regularly recommended this Pub to people even though I don't actually live in London!!!

williar1 - 27 Jun 2010 11:39
I have seen some comments posted which are totally appart from the reality. As a frequent client for the last 6 years I have enjoyed the superb drinks (fantastic beers, good quality wines) and food served. Staff is incredibly nice (I whish I could say the same for some other staff in other pubs!) so is the owner who definetly takes good care of her clients, whatever their profession or condition. So definetly one of the best pubs in London!
maite - 26 Jun 2010 15:35
Great pub - good atmosphere, friendly staff - couldn't recommend it more highly!
teeMar10 - 26 Jun 2010 14:00
Great pub, run the old fashioned way. Mainly young professionals but a very regular friday night crowd with occasional live music. The food is outstanding and very popular at lunch time and it can be difficult to secure a table but thats a good sign. Great mix of bar staff too.

Large selection on bottled beer and some funky stuff too like raspberry cider or something and well above average wines.


However tempting DO NOT press the little black glass cleaner things on the bar as that little venture has worn a bit thin now, i talk from personal experience... You'll see what i mean when you visit... try to resist at least.
automatontom - 26 Jun 2010 05:14
Great modern, light and airy pub. With a very relaxed, laid-back atmosphere, and a great selection of beer, makes for a fanastic place for a pint.

Chris77Jay - 25 Jun 2010 14:06
Yeah, I heard. She has fired more staff than Alan Sugar!
B52_Bomber - 11 Jun 2010 13:55
It is going downhill. The 'hard-n-fast' miserable-looking landlady is becoming bloody-minded, obnoxious and getting unbearably drunk regularly so her manners are to get to look worse (watch out for her "bad marks" notebook for boisterous drinkers!). The 'badly-paid & hardworking' barstaff's attitude are just ok apart from the few "undesirables". The few had refused to sort out the urinals which were blocked thus overflowed with urine. If you tend to drink or eat there, you are expected to fit in their "client profile" or you will fall outside the desired client profile. If the pub is very quiet, it tends to close early especially on Monday evenings. It doesn't open at weekends. No food on Friday evenings (elbow room only). Although the food is good, the specials are repetitive. The pub is definitley for the 'over-21s only' yuppies (young urban professionals). No children allowed (not even little tots in prams). Lodgers are not allowed to have sleep-in visitors (how celibate the pub is!?). My rating for this pub has come down to disappointing 2.
chrishn - 24 May 2010 13:39
Good selection of drinks, nice food, and away from the bustle. A little bit on the snug side, but worth exploring.
timlloyd - 27 Mar 2010 09:11
Solid looking street corner pub just down the road from The Ship, on which I have just posted.

The Duke of York ( or "The Duke" as it seems to like being called ) may be fondly remembered by older drinkers as The Goose and Firkin, the pub where David Bruce and his chain of home brew Firkin pubs kicked off all those years ago. Pleasant memories of pints of Dogbolter are but a distant memory now.

It's now a Sheps pub, but unfortunately with a rather more modern interior than many of Sheps pubs that I've done previously. The interior includes several sofas, but mainly consists of wooden tables and chairs packed as closely together as reasonably feasible. In one corner of the room is a fine painting of The Duke of York ( the person, not the pub ) but, despite some chandeliers and columns, the interior is somewhat characterless. There's the inevitable echoey feel that carpetless pubs invariably seem to have.

On my recent Wednesday evening visit, the pub was quite busy, mainly with a young urban professional crowd, which is clearly the target market. There's an emphasis on shots - Sambuca, Tequila etc - and wine and home cooked food ( not gastro food, but clearly a step up from normal pub grub ). The rather fazed look from the barman confirmed what I had already realised - namely that I fell outside the desired customer profile.

On the real ale front, most notably, no Sheps beers were available on the pumnps, but there were two guest beers - White Horse Village Idiot and Caledonian Over The Bar. The former, irritatingly served in a Spitfire branded glass, was a fine pale hoppy pint at � 3.15p.

This is not my kind of pub though and I don't envisage a return visit any time soon.
JohnBonser - 12 Mar 2010 08:57
Traditional-looking pub from the outside, but with a relatively modern interior. On a quiet mid-week mid-evening, with just a few groups of customers still in, the place had a very relaxed, laid-back atmosphere. My pint of Shepherd Neame's seasonal Top Hat (a beer I hadn't tried before) was in excellent condition.
rpadam - 28 Nov 2009 21:51
Used to be a really nice pub very relaxed and you could take your time ording drinks and picking your spot to sit.

It's a bit like the movie the beach you find a nice perfect place and then realise everyone else has turned up and spoilt it.

Now it's too busy on Friday nights, elbow room only.
SiamWarrior - 3 Nov 2009 16:02
The Duke is a great pub with pleasant staff and a friendly clientele.
The beer and wine selection is diverse and interesting.
You�re bound to find something you like.
The food served is also first rate.
A very pleasant experience.

Chancer - 25 Sep 2009 17:09
The Duke of York has a lively and friendly atmosphere. The pub staff are welcoming and attentive. A great pub to have a drink alone or equally meet up with friends, unwind and enjoy a good glass or two from a wide selection of quality beers and good wines after a busy day at work.
sullyd42 - 3 Apr 2009 14:39
Great pub with great ales...Whitstable Bay is fantastic...
Andrijadj - 28 Jul 2008 14:28
this pub is good, nice beers and nice food - nice sausages! A little bit too pricey for both food and beers. It has specific with clientele (office workers and university students/staff). The bar service would be better served if there are more barstaff as lunchtimes and early evenings tend to be very busy. Sometimes only one staff behind the bar and you could wait up to 10 minutes before being served. Nevertheless you will find this pub is high standard and you will enjoy drinking and eating there.
anonymous - 15 Jun 2007 15:00
Nice Beers and nice food - I recommend the sausages.

Can get rather busy at lunch times.
DH_PARKY - 21 Mar 2007 15:26
I have just sampled the Master Brew and have found it to be of excellent quality. The Duke is once again, being used by many people during the lunch period.
It's good to find the old place and Shep's excellent ales being cared for, as before. Cheers.
JohnnyBGoode - 20 Jul 2005 15:26
This is my response.
Hi Geoff,Thank you for your reply. I am very pleased to hear that the high standards have been restored, at one of the best real ale houses, near to where I work. I have previously brought several friends along, on many occasions, to sample the best Shepherd Neame ales that they were likely to find in London.
I can only assume that my suggestions to the bar staff, were followed up.
As for the predecessors, I know them to be very professional and caring. I have no doubt that they would continue to be so, even when faced with the prospect of not having a job. Regards John Bell

JohnnyBGoode - 19 Jul 2005 11:14
I have just received this reply from Shepherd Neame.
"As the Business Development Manager now responsible for the Duke of York,your e-mail was forwarded to me. After receiving it, I made an unannounced
visit to the House to carry out a beer in glass audit and to check standards throughout. All beers, apart from being dispensed at a marginally high temperature, were inexcellent condition, scoring top marks for taste,aroma and clarity. The cellar was tidy, clean as was the trade area and bar servery, continuing the high standards set.I am surprised about comments regarding the treatment of the previous
management, particularly as they have recently written to my predecessor thanking him for his understanding during their working relationship.
I do hope that I have reassured you that standards and quality of offer will not drop and hope that you will continue to enjoy a good pint in a popular pub.
Geoff Baker"

JohnnyBGoode - 19 Jul 2005 11:09
I have just had the most unfortunate experience of my first visit, to The Duke Of York, since the new tenants took over. The horrible "crack sound" of the dirty beer engine, being pulled, as the stale beer around the two sections gave way, is a sound I have not heard for decades in a real ale pub. The first 4 pints came up hazy and warmer than I am used to in this formally superb house. Even after at least 8 pints were pulled, the haze was still present. You used to be the first in at 12:00 and the ale was the best Shep's you could get. Unless someone can get the new tenants to perform like the management used to, this place will die a painful death. I can only assume that the regular users have stayed away in protest at the treatment of the former family, or due to the poor standards at this relatively expensive pub. Shep's will feel the wrath of my typing fingers very shortly.
JohnnyBGoode - 11 Jul 2005 14:22
Hi Phil, Jill & Flick, I hope that the South East London CAMRA Chairperson, Roz Cox, visited you on your last evening at The Duke. I also hope that CAMRA can offer some guidence and assistance. If you ever get to be involved with a pub or club which has live music and is licenced for bands,or you want a private party with live music, you can contact me on my mobile or my E-mail address on the letter that I left you. The very best of luck in finding new work. There must surely always be a demand in the trade, for top notch, genuine people like yourselves. Cheers, John.
JohnnyBGoode - 30 Jun 2005 09:55
I have recently received this reply to my e-mail.

Thank you for your recent email, which has been passed to me as District
Manager for this house.

I can assure you that the Duke of York is not closing but is going to be run by one of our Tenants and not one of our Managers, who will continue
running the pub to its current standard.

I hope this clarifies the situation.
Thank you for taking the time to contact us.

Yours sincerely,
District Manager

No mention of why Phil, Jill & Flick are taking redundancy and probably leaving the trade.
JohnnyBGoode - 31 May 2005 13:52
I have just sent this E-mail to Shepherd Neame, following the sad news that just after their honeymoon, Phil & Jill and their daughter Flick, are being made redundant, due to the change from Managed House to Tenanted House.
"As a frequent user of the Duke Of York, Borough, London, I am very disheartened to hear that the wonderfull family that manage this excellent showcase for your superb ales, are being made redundant. After so much hard work and genuine hospitality, this is no reward."
I would have written more, but there is not enough space given on the web site. John
JohnnyBGoode - 17 May 2005 14:52
Ham, Egg & chips is the nuts.

Lagers wet, cold & fizzy. Orangeboom great or if you want to eat some pavement, the Holsten is worth trying.
BeerGuru - 14 Apr 2005 17:30
The Duke is a great pub. Good atmosphere and lovely staff
K - 2 Nov 2004 15:49
What a great pub. The atmosphere is great. The food even better and there is always a service with a smile. Working near a pub like this is great.
Ralphius - 27 Oct 2004 16:07
If you like good beer and relaxing after work then this is the pub to be in...I should know I'm there most nights!
Jamie - 27 Oct 2004 12:53
God bless the Duke of York for pouring Orangeboom. By far the best draught lager in the world. Makes my day.
Aidan - 27 Oct 2004 12:39
The Duke Of York was never going to be a food pub. It's main focus is the excellent ales and unusual imported beers.It is difficult to create atmosphere with so many large windows, but I still remember how the "Goose" used to look. The atmosphere was created by the lively student regulars enjoying the live piano and occasional folk band. At least the spit and sawdust has gone. I for one, enjoy sitting in the "old farts" comfy chairs in the corner, sipping the wonderfull, if pricey, Shep's finest. John.
John - 25 Oct 2004 12:35
Ok, I will admit the beer is good, but the pub has no atmosphere whatsoever. If you like Dido, then this place should suit you to the ground. Too many 'aged' items like the laughable portrait of the Duke himself. If you want decent food, go to Terry's or El Vergel instead!
Nick - 22 Oct 2004 17:31
I have just had my first meal in this wonderfull pub and I was very impressed. If you are hungry, I recommend the ham egg chips & peas. There is plenty of it and top quality, for just over a fiver. John.
John - 12 Aug 2004 13:50
Lately I've found myself at this pub at least twice a week. A lot of their fancy Dutch beers are pricey, but the staff (who I have always found to be friendly and professional) do warn you of that when you order a pint! I usually shun poncey overpriced beer but most of the stuff here suits slow enjoyable sipping and is strong and tasty, so an evening here isn't more expensive than elsewhere.
Nicole - 19 Jul 2004 21:08
I have never had any problems with the bar staff at this very friendly place. It must have been late. If you fancy a session, it's always better to give yourself enough time. John.
John - 19 Apr 2004 20:12
Good pint of Sheperd Neame but visit on the evening of Monday 5th March spoiled when we were informed by the barmaid when last orders were (we arrived at twenty-five to eleven). It then became apparent that she was waiting to go out with a few of her mates who were clustered at the end of the bar and this was further confirmed when she started switching off the lamps and squirting Mr Muscle ostensibly on the tables but mostly into our pints. Won't go back.
pubclub - 6 Apr 2004 09:43
The perfect pub. The beer is just that - proper stuff, none of this Southern gassy muck you get in the rest of London.
And what a CD collection. Dido, Dido, and if you are lucky, James Taylor followed by Dido.
Clive - 2 Dec 2003 17:02
A newly aquired Shepherd Neame pub. Used to be the original Goose & Firkin. Perfect Shep's ales served with loving care by Phil, Jill & Flick. Wonderfull bar back full of bottled ales, Trappist brews, wheat and fruit beers, all served in the correct glassware. Nice clean air and refurbished/new facilities. If you want something special, this is the place.
John - 23 Sep 2003 04:34

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