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The Grove Lock, Grove - pub details

Grove Lock

Address: Grove, Nr Leighton Buzzard, Bedfordshire, LU7 0QU [map] [gmap]

Tel: 0871 951 1000 (ref 6675) - calls cost 10p per minute plus network extras

Nearest train stations Leighton Buzzard (1.8 miles), Cheddington (2.7 miles)

Brewery: Fullers

Pub facilities/features:
Cask Marque accreditation

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> Current user rating: 4.3/10 (rated by 23 users)
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other pubs nearby:

Ship, Linslade (1.4 miles), Golden Bell, Leighton Buzzard (1.5 miles), Carpenters Arms, Slapton (1.5 miles), Sun Inn, Leighton Buzzard (1.5 miles), Falcon, Leighton Buzzard (1.5 miles) - see more nearby pubs

user reviews of the Grove Lock, Grove

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

5 most recent reviews of 26 shown - see all reviews

As others have said, this is a pleasant canal and lock side pub that was at one time the lock keeper's cottage and has since been extended and refurbished. There is a good amount of outside seating, consisting of both garden alongside the canal as well as wooden decking elsewhere.

Inside it's on a couple of different levels. The lower part where the bar counter is has quite a contemporary look and is roughly an L-shape. The upright leg of the 'L' has a large and open arched roof with plenty of oak beams and maroon paintwork, and this colour scheme extends to the walls. The flooring here is a dark parquet wood with some large rugs and there are a number of old black and white pictures of the locality dotted around the walls. A prominent feature at the rear was a modern fire-place with a wood burning stove and a large steel chimney rising up to the apex of the roof. The "fire" itself is actually on two different levels, with the upper and smaller part being the functional half, whilst below that is a pile of brightly illuminated logs. Seating here is mostly conventional tables and chairs, although there were a couple of sofas in front of the fireplace. A small glass display cabinet at the corner of the 'L' housed a collection of wine bottles and Fuller's beer bottles.

Up a few steps to the rear are a couple more rooms, and this is the original part of the building. Consequently it's much narrower here as opposed to the large open plan space on the lower level. The paintwork here is a pale green and the flooring is a mixture of more wood and some attractive mottled tiling. These rooms run alongside the canal lock so offer a good view of the activities outside to any punters sat here. There are also a couple more fire-places, including a freestanding dual aspect chimney, but although they were stacked full of logs I suspect these are more decorative than functional. A couple of sofa's and leather armchairs at one end provided a more relaxed space to sit and sup your pint.

The food menu consisted of a reasonable selection of dishes, mostly of the typical pub grub genre with options such as Pie of the day, Fish & Chips, Chicken Kiev and a Burger. That said though, the prices were a step up from your usual pub fair, with most of the mains being around the £10 mark. My Salmon & Herb Fishcakes were ok, but I've had tastier ones and at £11 they seemed expensive, especially considering all they came with was a Beetroot & Cucumber Salad (that was singularly bereft of any cucumber) and a small pot of herby Crème fraîche. A waitress walked past my table several times empty handed but didn't clear my plate away or ask I if I wanted anything else.

Beer choice was a little disappointing considering the eight hand pumps on the bar, and consisted of just three offering from Fullers - ESB, London Pride and Chiswick. The solitary cider was Aspall's Suffolk. Drink prices too seemed steep with a pint costing me £4.20, but I guess you're paying a premium for the location. Far enough on a pleasant summer's day perhaps when you can make the most of it, but do the prices drop at other times? I suspect not.

This is a slightly tricky one to mark. On one hand they've done a decent refurbishment of an old building, and it is of course a great location. On the other, beer choice was not brilliant, prices were high and service could have been better.
Blackthorn - 24 Apr 2013 07:38
Ordered a 12oz steak it arrived 4oz light and over cooked small size portion told table staff and they told me steak was 12oz before being cooked amazing, staff and manerment must have gone to the Basil Fawlty training school,emailed Fullers no replay so I will avoid there pubs and take my customer elsewhere
davidregis - 23 Jul 2012 20:49
The manager of this pub is a disgrace.

We visited with friends and family, and while waiting for our food, he aggresively ordered us to move tables (we had been shown to this table by a member of his staff)

On challenging his behaviour he became insulting and threatening, and we left as our young children were getting scared.

This manager's conduct needs to be addressed. Now.
redrocket - 9 Apr 2012 18:22
Seems this pub has attracted some negative feedback over the summer. However, popped in for a swift one on the way home and delighted to find Castle Rock Harvest Pale on tap in addition to Seafarers (plus usual Fullers ales). Pub not busy at that hour but bar service friendly. Situation might be different when busier but can only report my own experience.
mikey64 - 11 Oct 2010 20:35
After a recent two week long cruise along the Grand Union Canal, I was extremely disappointed after visiting The Grove Lock.

I visited this pub before a number of years ago and was delighted to hear to that it had been refurbished recently and was under new manage as during my last visit the experience of going to the pub was very poor. The dcor of the place was very modern and nice and I thought the afternoon would be a pleasant one.

However, my excitement was short lived upon entering the pub and the service that was provided to me at the bar. The young man that served me seemed as though he did not want to be there, and wanted to get me out of his face as quickly as possible as he seemed to be preoccupied with his mobile phone. Upon asking for a top up on my drink (as the head on it had gone down) I was met with an argument and the lad started to get very angry with me. I decided to let it go and went to sit down with my family.

We decided that we would like to have lunch at the location and picked out a selection of meals from the simple but good menu at the pub. This was yet to be another disappointment though, when I found that three of the four meals we wanted were out of stock and had to choose things that we did not particularly want. The price came to a very high amount, but never the less, I believed we would get some good quality food, so went and joined my family again.

After nearly one hour of waiting, the food still hadn't come and my children were starting to get very impatient. I was very bemused by this and wondered how it could take so long, seen as there were only around ten people in the entire pub I went to find out what was going, only t be confronted yet again by the boy that had served me first time. I asked him how long the wait on food was and he yet again started to get angry with me, and tried to convince me that we hadn't ordered anything. After showing him the receipt for our food, he went to the kitchen only to find that our order had been lost.

The food finally arrived nearly an hour and fifteen minutes later, and to my belief we did not get what we had paid for. The portions of food were very very small and my son said he was still hungry after the meal. The presentation of the food was also poor and it didn't seem very good quality food what so ever!

The final straw for me at this pub came, when after just finishing our meals, another staff member asked us to move tables as the one we were sitting had been reserved for later that evening. I decided that at that point it was perhaps time to move on.

I have been the manager of many different pubs over the last twenty years, and have turned many around from complete ruin to outstanding successes. This is possibly the worst pub I have been in, and needs some serious changes made to it if it is going to be a success in the future (mainly looking at how staff treat customers). It definately has a lot of potential.

This is not because this pub is part of a chain, as the other two Fullers pubs we visited on our trip (The Paper Mill in Apsley and The Boat in Berkhamsted) were both fantastic locations and I will more than willingly go back to them. However, until The Grove Lock is looked at by Fullers stringently, I will not be returning and would advise against other people from doing so.

Canalcruiser1 - 30 Jul 2010 22:38

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