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Montague Arms, New Cross

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user reviews of the Montague Arms, New Cross

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

Excellent range of cask ales, friendly staff. And on my next visit a full on ale festival. All good.
dirtypj - 9 Feb 2015 23:05

My first visit here last Tuesday on my way to Denmark Hill and it was certainly worthy of the stop.

3 ales on the 4 hand pumps which were 5 points Hook Island Red. Triple FFF India Pale ale and Clarkshaws Hellhound IPA.

All ales are £3.70 a pint with 30p off a pint and 15p off a half for camra card holders.

2 meantime lagers also on offer and a few good bottles aswell…I shall take a closer look at these on my next visit!

The décor is excellent, mad, eclectic and other words I cannot even think of to describe it….there are 3 interesting globes and various other nick nakes kicking about, then there’s the raised seating off to the left with sofas at the far end and some hanging jester masks, not forgetting the large collection of taxidermy, some of it good & some of it needs work…there’s bears, foxes, stags, rabbits / hares etc etc.

I was the only punter in here between 5.30 and 6pm when I was joined by a couple who looked a little shocked when they entered.

2 large copper stills supplied by Meantime greet you as you walk in and there’s a stage at one end of the bar area which is used for the regular music nights.

It really is a mad looking place but it works and the beer is awesome, both pints I had were excellent.
lezford - 4 Aug 2014 14:01
So happy to see The Monty has re-opened. London's maddest pub has has come back from the ashes courtesy of a team who actually seem to give a damn. I've been in semi-regularly since it opened and am pleased to report that, for anyone who likes their music-pubs to have the requisite rough-edges, the Monty still has them in spades. So, the big stage is still there and hosting bands and the whole place still feels like it was found in a jumble sale and just parachuted there. Not the sort of place to bathe in sunlight pouring through the windows - it's definitely more of a "nighttime" feel but that makes a good change from the fishbowls that many modern refurbs resemble.

The beers range from some local ales from Brockley Brewery to American pales like Anchor Steam and the like. The latter are quite pricey at about a fiver a pint but that's on a par with plenty of other places selling low-volume craft imports.

Food is limited to Pieminster pies (with trimmings) and roasts, so limited but very tasty. Punters are a varied mix of old farts like myself, all the way down the years to arty types from Goldsmiths, down the road, all of whom seemed to be represented at the very daft, very fun Sunday quiz night I went to here.
Caractacus - 19 May 2014 19:30
Pleased to say the Montague has reopened :) They've done a good job of recreating the old atmosphere (unfortunately all the old bric a brac was sold off), with lots of quirky items, although with a less cluttered feel than before and it is also much cleaner than I remember. A good selection of ales including delicious Mauldons Blackberry Porter were on great form and the stage area looks the same as I remember it. Basically its the Monty I used to love, just with a few less curios, a bit more space and a lot cleaner, cant wait to go back :)
mannyowar - 9 May 2014 11:19
One of the oddest pubs I've been to with odd opening times and very odd decor, yet I totally love this place. Always a good atmosphere and run by what must be the oldest bar team in the country, they even know all of the prices and sums like the backs of their hands.
Stocks some Sam Smiths drinks (always a bonus for me) and I'm told do a good sunday roast on the cheap (yet to be discovered personally).
Not somewhere I would go back to often, but a wonderful place for an occasional visit
Roydwin - 30 Oct 2011 17:39
Went to visit This Pub on July 8th 2011 after walking from New Cross was disappointed it to find it closed. In fact it looked like it had been shut for months. Has it closed down or does it just have strange opening times?
coffinjoe - 12 Jul 2011 17:42
I love this pub. It's great for a meal with friends or family. It has a comfiness about it. You kinda feel that you are at your grandparents for dinner. You can see them scurrying about in the kitcken. The food is tops and very cheap. I love all the quirky bits and bobs hanging around. Go there, you'll love it.
mario_2 - 16 Dec 2010 16:26
A surreal, yet fantastic experience.

We visited on a Sunday and the place was packed. Entertainment provided by a blind man playing the keyboards created a nice atmosphere.

This pub has a fantastic layout / decor. A strange mixture of nautical bits and pieces mixed with stuffed animals.

A large selection of Sam Smiths Ales, lagers and ciders available in bottles.

We didn't eat, but the food seemed very popular and looked very nice. 6.50 for a Sunday roast (dessert included) is a quite amazing price these days.

The bar service was a bit slow, but I didn't really mind because the staff are so friendly.

A hidden gem ... I will be back for sure.

Don't be put off by the exterior, as it looks like a total dump.

Pat_Bateman - 30 Nov 2009 10:44
It's easy to see why this has been described as London's best boozer. The only thing more amazing than the decor is Mr and Mrs Monty (as I think of them), the couple who have run the place for the last 40+ years. Never in my life have I been made so welcome at a pub.

The decor, by the way, is a constant source of fascination - from the mounted heads to the brass nauticalia. Anybody into steampunk, get yourself down there this instant.

Now, I admit the pub can be a little foreboding from the outside and keeps slightly idiosyncratic hours, but I was utterly charmed the moment I walked in the door, and would move in if they did rooms.

There are regular nights of music, comedy, art and other entertainments, but nothing can quite compare to the Sunday roast - a full menu, hand prepared and sufficient that both breakfast and dinner are out of the question. If you're lucky, you'll also be treated to an unobtrusively marvellous live medley of familiar tunes on the house organ.

There are generally four varieties of ale available, as well as a range of lagers, ciders and non-intoxicating beverages

And to the couple who piped up last week that "I know it's Sunday, but don't you have any dancier music", you just don't get the Monty.

One final note: it's a cash only pub, so don't be caught out. The nearest cashpoint is about 5 minutes walk, the Barclays at the corner of New Cross Road.
amckinna - 20 Jul 2009 00:45
We went there for Sunday lunch and it was really very good. 6.50 for roast beef and all the trimmings with desert (Apple Strudel) included in the cost.

I hadn't been in before and had always assumed that it was the sort of pub you might get killed in. How wrong I was, coach parties should definitely stop here if they can find somewhere to park!
PeteinSQ - 9 Feb 2009 09:55
I really like the Montague Arms, and I hope for the sake of both the staff and clientele that it retains its distinctive character and doesn't get bought out by one of the big pub chains like Wetherspoons. The barstaff are freindly, the decor interesting - lots of stuffed animals and what looks like items that have been recovered from a sunken navy vessel circa 1854 - the prices reasonable, and a good choice of beer and food.

If I have one minor criticism, it's that they could be a little more discriminating in terms of the live bands they hire. The only downer about spending last Friday evening there was having our conversation drowned out by a truly dreadful band - No One You Know, I think they wer called - whose vocalist (I hesitate to call him a singer) had a voice that sounded like the heat howl of a dying walrus. Apart from that, it's an excellent pub.
musette - 4 Sep 2008 08:06
Its o.k, not the best pub in the u.k by a long shot
workshop6 - 3 Sep 2008 14:16
I can see how this pub COULD be very special. The decor is mental, absolutely fantastic, it has a genial, laid back feel, the staff are lovely and there's plenty of spacious seating.

However, the overall atmosphere was terrible, in part due to the yowls and jarring chords of the thunderous organ player (and his not-so-merry band) - you could hardly hear yourself think, let alone talk to anyone. The range of beers was disappointing, and the place was pretty dead for a Saturday night (not that this is such a bad thing, I'd rather it were half-dead than jam packed, but it was eerily deserted!)

Not a particularly comfortable experience overall then, though I do intend to return on a different night of the week and give it another go, seeing as we live locally. Hopefully the organ is a one-night-wonder (or disaster!)

irisetta - 17 Aug 2008 16:38
For me, a great pub is primarily about good booze and a comfortable and pleasant atmosphere. Intriguing decor gives a pub a novelty character but it doesn't make a pub by itself.

This pub has only an average ale selection and it's also overpriced. If you want a pub atmosphere where you can talk to your mates without shouting, then you'll not like the music which is loud and distorted. If you want a gig atmosphere then that's probably different. The decor /is/ something special though I'm not sure the fairylights don't make it feel too trashy. The staff seemed pleasant.

I think the above reviews are inflated since everywhere else in New Cross is a complete dive. This pub is therefore the correct choice for anyone unfortunate enough to be in New Cross but /not/ unfortunate enough to be on fire.

Didn't try the food (Sunday Lunch). Maybe next time I find myself fitting the above criteria I'll give it a shot.

However first impressions are the Dog & Bell in Deptford or any number of places in Greenwich are far superior.
sparkprime - 17 Aug 2008 15:04
I went here for the first time yesterday having been "dragged" out to the wilds of southeast London for a Sunday roast by one of my best friends. All my grumbling about the fuss and buses stopped the instant I walked through the door though.

The interior has to be seen to be believed. A marvellous mix of seafaring paraphernalia, tools, taxidermy, and other assorted fittings made for one of the most interesting inns Ive ever been in.

London Pride, Speckled Hen, and Black Sheep were the ales on and several pints of the latter were had with a great value Sunday roast. Not really a place for vegetarians, apart from the assorted mammals adorning the walls, but there were two dishes for those who dont eat meat.

We were also regaled with some most excellent renditions of "The Wheels on the Bus", "Run Rabbit Run", and "Norwegian Wood" on a keyboard.
The_Puzzler - 14 Jan 2008 11:10
Great gaff, been going in here when I can for the last 10 years or more now. Great on Sunday lunch time with Peter London warbling away and also some cracking stuff on entertainment wise during the week. I think it's only Wednesday night when the Monty is actually shut these days. Organic larger and a stuffed zebra in a carrage what more do you need in life? Sump Puppy night on every 2nd Thursday is the best night. Hats off to Stan and family for keeping this place so welcoming for so long. Long live the Monty!
MingtheMong - 1 Mar 2007 19:26
The monty is the best. I see from the reviews that we've been worrying about its popularity ruining it for 30 years, since the old standup comedy albums were recorded and the Saturday band were young. I've been going for 5 years & just noticed the glass-fronted coffin by the bar. My absolute favourite and rivalled for clutter only by the Canny Man's in Edinburgh.
I'm quite sure it will remain unchanged as the "in-crowd" can't take the walk from the station. If you visit one pub in London before you die, make it the Monty.
cablebasher - 30 Sep 2006 12:47
It's brilliant here! Lovely staff (who know their music despite being a bit 'mature'); cool live music, etc. Go and get your picture taken next to a mooses' head! (the moose is dead, btw). Only drawback is wine only comes in one size which costs a fiver. But the glass is a huuuuuuge one, so, bygones.
KilgoreTrout - 24 Jun 2006 22:22
I only really dive in here on Sundays for the fantastic Sunday dinner and a few pints after - well worth the effort, but the other comments on here have convinced me a weekday evening would be a good idea.

The beer's well-kept, service fast, friendly and courteous, and the food's proper Sunday Roast fare (with not one but THREE vegetarian options always on the menu), and plenty of it. Fantastic - 10/10 to Mac, the guy who does the cooking.

Best pub in New Cross on a Sunday afternoon - everyone else here says the same thing about other days too, so I feel I've probably been stitching myself up only doing Sundays. I'll definitely try a few weekday nights as well from now on.
anonymous - 22 Jun 2006 16:12
The pub transports you back to a by-gone age.

A very surreal drinking experience indeed.

Makes me proud to live South of the River.

If you are in the area, and have not visited before, you will not be disappointed!!!

Get yourself down there, and have a dink on me!
markwilliamson - 24 Sep 2005 19:38
Oh I forgot there is also the Eclectic Electric night too.
JamesW - 4 Sep 2005 02:23
The best pub in New Cross. Definitely worth crossing the river for its music nights i.e. Fear of Music, the Lost Club, Greenwich Pirate, I Love NX and the new Wolfgang Bopp night. It is open every evening (except Wednesdays) and Sunday daytime too if you fancy a fantastic Sunday lunch. Free board games and a really bizarre interior (e.g. a stage coach with zebras head and a penny farthing). This pub is so good both New Cross and Peckham claim it as their own (BTW it is just in NX).
JamesW - 4 Sep 2005 02:22
Bloody brilliant: on a full night the busy bar looks like you'll wait for ages but then lots of grey haired ladies appear to take your order of London Pride with a quiet efficiency. It's like the wombles cave, with bits of cars, bicycles, diving equipment, skeletons, giraffes and other animals. ALSO has a music licence which is simply wonderful. Think an American road house managed by the Great Uncle Bulgaria.

TomAngel - 18 Mar 2005 14:29
Wow Montague Arms/Fear of Music is superb - great venue, great music - saw Riton and Zongamin both very cool Zongamin particularly good (Third Uncle a particular hightlight), then saw an brilliantly demented band called Clor on 26th Nov and was totally blown away where do you find these bands/people? - whoever is responsible keep up the good work as it is well worth the trek best night I've had in ages
ropoypka - 27 Nov 2004 22:31
Going for sunday lunch there today been there before lots of fun. Has strange opening times so check before you go. Mmmm sunday lunch.
Jack - 26 Sep 2004 11:52
The Lost Club is always a good night out, great atmosphere.
rudy mentri - 14 Sep 2004 00:07
Fret Not. The Monty is only open Friday night, Saturday nights and Sunday lunch time.

Live music on Friday, crazy organ player Saturday, lunch-frenzy on Sunday. Go then!
MrScott - 6 Sep 2004 10:50
Read all the great reviews here, and seeing as I have just moved to New Cross, thought I'd check it out...... Disaster - I went 1st Sept '04 and looked Closed down. Door was boarded up and no sign life... maybe a refurb? Temporary closure? Please can anyone advice as I'd like to go!
Mark - 2 Sep 2004 13:41
great pub and now its my local im chuffed! i have noticed it getting a lot of attention recently in timeout, standard etc which is fully deserved but might ruin the secret. ps fear of music rules!
fluf - 28 Jul 2004 23:55
Possibly the greatest pub in the world. They have great, themed music nights most Fridays. Been to Electic Electric and Funk My Monkey recently. Dying to give The Lost CLub and Fear of Music a go.

German or Cheeser coach parties in Saturday nights to be insulted by the blind organ player. Hammond-organ version of Jerusalem? Oh yes!
MrScott - 7 Jun 2004 13:56
The only pub worth going to in New Cross.Well worth the walk from New Cross Gate station. Come on one of the last Fridays of any month for their busiest nights.
Jake - 31 May 2004 02:12
the montague arms is by far the best pub ever. the warm atmosphere, the weird and wonderful wall displays, the endearing bar-tenders and on a proper concert night, the music is wicked. it's unlike any other pub i've been to. classic.
thisperson - 20 May 2004 20:09
Yup the 'Fear of Music' night has gotta be one of the best nights i've been to for ages and it's in New Cross!! Rory from Trash/Our Disco was wicked last month. Apparently this month live guests are Kinky Disco and up and coming local band Clor. One of those resident DJs definitely needs a haircut though.. think e's called Quaidos or summat!! + Inclusive DJs vs the Anarchic Hand. more info [email protected]
Jeff Garrison - [email protected] - 27 Apr 2004 16:07
The Montague is unforgettable- completely authentic and deliciously weird.. The old dears may take ages to serve a pint, but they're so perfect you forgive em the occasional dodder...
Thanks a lot for the kind comments about our Fear Of Music night, anyone who wants to get on the mailing list for future events send me an Email.. see u there..
IanM - [email protected] - 27 Apr 2004 15:35
I have been going to this pub for over ten years and I love it like an old friend. The owners have been there about forty years. The recent music nights have been a relevation, I have to say the beer is a little dodgy but this is the last true bit of New Cross standing, Gone is the old new cross inn and the goldsmiths tavern which are now like sitting in pine laden greenhouses. Get down there, see the amazing array of stuff on the walls, its a living legend!!!!
andrewfws - 15 Apr 2004 17:55
Coolest night is the 'Fear of Music' night run by the Anarchic Hand - DJs and bands such as Spectrum. This is held on the last Friday of every month.
The next best night has to be the Lost Club - poetry and bands.
Harry - 14 Apr 2004 03:23
Now the Goldsmiths Tavern has been ruined this is the best alternative venue in the area.
Bands often play here and it has the bizarrest interior for many a mile. It could do with having a later licence though.
james wild - 4 Mar 2004 18:43
Forget the Tavern. The Montague Arms is the best alternative pub in New Cross. This is on the outskirts of New Cross Gate but worth a trip. On the outside it doesn't look like anything but on the inside it is full of weird ornaments including a penny farthing bicycle and a real carriage (as in horse and ...). They have bands here quite often and once a month on the last Friday it is really busy with bands and djs. Many of the old Tavern crowd go here. I reckon the Ska night should be put on here rather than the Paradise bar as it feels much more like the old GMT. It is a great venue for putting on events and does (Ive been told) and excellent Sunday roast. I hear they sometimes have tourist coach parties too as its so unusual inside.
James - 4 Mar 2004 18:38

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