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Picture Palace, Ponders End

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user reviews of the Picture Palace, Ponders End

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

Make the most of The Picture Palace, its on the list to be sold off. The only decent pub in the area and looks like it will be going. I'm devastated! been drinking here from the very first night it opened in 2001. RIP
proost - 25 Jan 2016 13:16
This pub seems a fair walk from the nearest station (we walked from Southbury). But it's a nice example of a Wetherspoons branch and there's no prizes for guessing it's a converted cinema. The ale selection was reasonable - Adnams Broadside, Fullers London Pride, Greene King Abbot, Ruddles Best, Batemans XXXB, Cronx Kotchin Blonde, Brains SA, Caledonian Harpoon & Mordue Radgie Gadgie. The ciders were Westons Old Rosie & Gwynt y Ddraig Black Dragon. We took advantage of the early opening times and indulged in a full English breakfast. A few others were doing the same. Nice to see the toilets on the same floor. My favourite new pub of the day.
blue_scrumpy - 3 Mar 2015 18:27
I was in the area recently for a Tuesday night football game at Enfield FC so I arrived early with enough time to tick this 'spoons in Ponders End.

A short walk from Southbury station brings me to this old cinema that has been in the Camra GBG for 10 years on the spin.

Long bar area with plenty of seats and table with the typical ‘spoons bar in front of you at the far end. There are 10 hand pumps offering 7 ales and 1 cider on the bar. I stay for a couple of beers and drink Bath Ales Barnsey @ 4.5%. A very well kept and enjoyable pint.

Half busy with a mixture of people eating and drinking. A pleasant atmosphere and the décor is film orientated.

All in all a decent ‘spoon’s in what I believe to be a desert for real ale drinkers.
lezford - 10 Feb 2015 10:09
I was here last Saturday lunch so unaware of what happens at night.
Very nice JDW 12 hand pumps with guest ales @ 2.30
bjbrummiejohn - 5 Mar 2012 08:20
This place used to be well dodgy when I lived nearby. Good real ale (as usual for a wetherspoon) but not too nice to bring my friends who didn't live in ponders end. The Goat is hte place for this area, unless you crave real ale, in which case come here. And Ponders End young blokes will always do what they do in car parks. Just 'allow it'!
johnny_hay - 6 Mar 2011 00:44
I am a very regular regular here and can confirm that this is the ONLY pub to go to in the area. The beer is always in good condition and excellent choice, and if you are not happy with it they will change it with no fuss at all. BUT.
1. Please get some more staff! I have had three foot spider webs growing on me waiting to get served.
2. Please get some more Sunday staff! (see above)
3. Please can you get rid of the Brentwood Brewery, it all tastes the same.
4. Stop them young blokes doing what they are doing in the car park on Saturday nights.
5. Bring back Gavin.

proost - 6 Sep 2010 19:22
A oasis of real beer in the desert of Londen's north-eastern outer suburbs. Not that much to look at from the outside, but inside the conversion has been done pretty well with some sensible lighting drawing the eye to the interesting architectural features and giving the main bar area a comfortable feel (although the former lobby and another space of to one side have a more spartan atmosphere). Ten handpumps, with the usual suspects and two"available soon" but my pint of Winter Warmer from the relatively local Brentwood Brewing Company was excellent value at just 1.95. The barman was pretty efficient too, so overall this must be one of the best pubs in the whole area.
rpadam - 20 Feb 2010 10:37
Loved loved loved the atmosphere and the friendly stuff...very airy and conviniently situated for us girls as there are bus stops not too far from the pub.Ace.xx
rere - 6 May 2009 15:33
This is a strange 'Spoons, more like a library than a pub as mentioned below.
But for somewhere to get a decent pint and decent grub amongst all the fast food chicken shacks of the Hertford Road then it isn't too bad.
And as I remember with fondness going to the Howard Hall for non-alcoholic pre-teen discos when it was a Dance Hall , it scores as another historic building that Wetherspoons has saved from the wrecking ball by turning it into a pub
Gann - 2 Dec 2008 17:36
One of the blander 'spoons with absolutely no atmosphere at all.
BobOs - 13 Aug 2008 17:21
I visited this pub to-day. The first time for about 6 months. It is somewhat quieter due to the smoking ban.

There were only 2 guest ales on with a third promised but this did not materialise in the 4 hours or so I was there. There is a'new' menu available. I say new but it's only 4 actual new items. We ordered a new one, the fish pie. The contents were tasty but the pastry seemed to have been assembled by a trainee bricklayer! It was solid, not puff and slightly hard to digest. It was supposed to be accompanied by vegetables of the day. These consisted of peas, a mushroom, half a tomato and chips. I suppose in Wetherspoon's eyes chips would be 'vegetables of the day'!

I feel the pub has regressed since my last visit and this is reflected in my marking of 4. Unless I am in the area I do not think I would visit again.
wyndham - 24 Oct 2007 20:16
I actually like the Picture Palace, if for no other reason than that it's the strangest damned pub I've ever been to.

It's like a sanitised, civilised, silent, de-vikingised Viking feasting hall.

It scares me a little.

It's a lovely building - an old cinema (hence the name)with a great high roof, white walls and obsessively neat rows and rows of tables and chairs with a long aisle running down the middle from the entrance to the bar.

And the place really is silent.

Like a church.

You can see people looking around nervously to make sure that they're not speaking too loudly.

This Palace literally could be anywhere in any time and any time. As soon as you go in there you loose all perspective. On everything.

You're haunted by the silence. Your thoughts disappear up into the rafters. You're enraptured by 2 bottles of Holsten Pills for hours on end.

Because theres something hermetic and closed about the Palace

And then...

And then eventually you leave

And you step outside and you realise that this is the real world.

You're hit by the noise and the feel of the wind on your face and you realise that you might as well have just spent a couple of hours in the TARDIS.

Because there's something strange about the Palace.

Something unnatural.

And you swear you'll never go back again.

And for a few months you don't. For a few months you don't even think of the place.

But you always go back, because you realise that no matter how strange and unnatural it may be, it's a benign strangeness.

dreake - 21 Jun 2007 15:31
the most boring pub on the entire planet try not to cough or even breathe in here you might scare somebody
pubchic - 13 May 2007 16:59
Good pub , its big seating area, good beer and selection, its also open till late which is a bonus, no trouble ,friendly staff, all round enjoyabl experience.
bjam81 - 4 Apr 2007 15:35
This is one of JDW's better conversions of an old cinema. Very light and airy and quite spacious.

Good selection of real ales but not one of the advertised Christmas beers on offer. When the manager was asked about this he thought that they might be delivered on Thursday, 7th or the following Thursday!! (Note to Tim Martin. What is the point of printing a brochure listing about 24 or so beers specially for the December/Christmas period and not one is available).

Pleasant staff, good service and a pleasant pub to visit. A reasonable choice of real ales. Would definitely visit again.
wyndham - 6 Dec 2006 21:53
very odd atmosphere. still, this is where i discovered banks' festival mild, still my favourite pint. also scene of my biggest-ever fruit machine win, but then again i'm not much good at them...
big_andy - 24 Apr 2006 17:06
Great breakfast 1.99.....Very friendly service....Open from 9am.....Relaxing start to the day ahead.....very clean and architectually inspiring inside....Give it a go.........Mitch
lordhicks - 28 Nov 2005 19:36
The only Wetherspoon's pub on the entire planet that is worth drinking in.

Not too sure what Scott is going on about with the sounds of silence... surely if you're in company you've got enough conversation not to care or notice, but each to their own. Also, if you are on your own, with a paper or a book, it seems like the place to go for me.

Very comfortable, time flies past and you dont leave having spent 100 quid.

Works for me.
TapsPunk - 8 Oct 2005 10:12
Beer is okay. Pretty much what you expect from a Wetherspoons.
HartleyHare - 25 Mar 2005 20:05
Oh dear. For those who care about the all round pub experience and not just the beer and the price you may have noticed that Wetherspoon's pubs rely on the background noise of chatter to create their atmosphere. Foolishly they have decided here to put a large aisle right down the middle of the pub which runs from the main doors to the bar. The effect is to split the pub into two halves and leave a gap where no sound exists reducing the background noise and making the pub at times eerily and uncomfortably quiet. This major drawback aside, you are in standard Wetherspoon's territory here with the attendant wide range of drinks at low prices that are normally decent quality and where the barstaff are extremely variable. Seating is very comfortable and this is a haven for students from Middlesex University's Ponders End campus due to the cheap beer. I fyou do feel compelled to drink here at least avoid the beer patio in the summer as they have foolishly put metal furniture out there which will cause burns as it retains the heat from the sun beaming down on it relentlessly during the hot weather. It is also right next to the A1010 Hertford Road which is very busy so carbon monoxide poisining is also a concern as is the incessant noise of the traffic.
Mr.Monkfish - 11 Nov 2004 11:30
enormous wetherspoons pub that used to be a cinema . collossal range of ales . no fan of wetherspoons, but this is an ale-desert around here .
dan - 27 May 2004 13:30

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