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BITE user comments - Arctium_lappa

Comments by Arctium_lappa

The Horse and Groom, Holbeach

I spend a lot of time in the Fenland and have to admit that decent pubs are pretty thin on the ground. However this is a pleasing exception and, by a distance, the best pub in Holbeach. The beer range isn't very dramatic (most recently Greene King IPA Gold, Old Speckled Hen and Adnams Southwold Bitter) but the quality is good. The place is bustling, spic and span and with friendly bar-staff. The bar morphs from a kind of lounge through the bar area to a pool-room area, and the citizens of Holbeach (across the age ranges) seem to like it.

7 Apr 2013 21:21

Admiral Wells, Peterborough

Strangely no reviews (other than RedRosterRocker) since the horror story from Angel153 - I have used this pub rarely but over 20 years and tend to believe that the events of July 2009 are now far enough in the past to have been a serious lapse but one from which the pub has moved on. For myself, I tend to look in after work in the Holme or Ramsey St Mary's area and find the beer quality exemplary, if showing a rather limited variety of styles. Big TV screens but helpful bar staff, actually quite friendly locals and a menu that looks pretty unadventurous but also not at all expensive. My overall judgement would be that the Admiral Wells is a good enough pub to have served its sentence after Angel153's horrible evening of July 2009 and deserves a second chance. Certainly if you're visiting the Great Fen, give it a try.

7 Apr 2013 21:08

The Flying Pig, Cambridge

I think (and hope) the future of this pub is secure. Certainly all my recent visits (admittedly always in the couple of hours after the end of work) have found it bustling with a young to middle-aged clientèle. It may come across as somewhat contrived - rather dark and lit mainly be candles on the tables - but actually it seems to work. People talking away, sampling a range of 5-6 beers including some slightly uncommon beers drawn mainly from local brewers. It does stand out as an isolated older building amongst new development but that is part of the charm. This pub is maybe not quite of the standard of the cluster of establishments near Mill Road (Live & Let Live, Cambridge Blue, Kingston Arms, Devonshire Arms & increasingly the Alexandra) but this is a well above-average pub and a good option for a before or after-show beer at the Junction (just across the bridge to the south)

7 Apr 2013 20:45

Oliver Cromwell, St Ives

The most reliable pub in St Ives over the past 30 years. Easy enough to find if you follow the Quay from the chantry bridge, and an attractive old frontage. Plenty of exposed wood in the front bar and not a bad menu. Good beers, some of which are less common, and usually a draught local cider too. Covers backyard drinking area and the tokens mean that the beer price becomes more reasonable. All in all, the one to head for in this town.

3 Mar 2013 14:53

Ye Olde Sun, St Neots

Has been a good pub in the past and now seems back almost to its best. Low ceilings and with a bar billiards table (all too rare these days), small rooms with timber and stucco that fill up quickly and with a mainly middle-aged and above clientele. Six beers on draught including a mild (Mardlers), a stout (Marston's Oyster) and a stronger IPA (Marston's Old Empire) - so nothing rare but covers a decent range of styles. The staff provide a good welcome and are on good terms with regulars and strangers alike. The food is unadventurous but surprisingly cheap for an urban pub (lunch, evening and Sunday roasts). Provides useful choice in the town centre.

3 Mar 2013 14:32

The Back of Beyond, Reading

In most respects an average Wetherspoons and an easy walk along King St from The Alehouse, if one wants a more middle-of-the-road ambience. The food appeared somewhat better than average 'Spoons - certainly people were enjoying it. The beer variety average but quality patchy. The manager not especially helpful - this being the one Wetherspoons we'd been to when the CAMRA discount vouchers weren't accepted for 2 halves of the same beer (making one pint) - so ask for a pint and an extra glass CAMRA members, or avoid a place with such a jobsworth.

28 Feb 2013 20:44

The Six Bells, Fulbourn

I used to live in Fulbourn many years ago and tended to frequent the Baker's Arms, but there's no doubt now that the Six Bells is THE place in the village. A very warm welcome to a returning stranger, half a dozen beers in excellent condition covering a range of styles. The food is interesting , varied and of high quality. A friendly little public bar and a larger comfortable but relaxed lounge bar. The pub is in the village centre and provides a hub for all sorts of activities including occasional jazz evenings. Altogether admirable

28 Feb 2013 20:12

The White Horse Inn, Eaton Socon

Such a well established and attractive pub but its gone through highs and lows. Right now may be on an improving trajectory. The food in the White Horse also seems to be getting better though its a fairly uninspiring carvery style. Limited range (ca 3) real ales, though the Adnam's Lighthouse was very good for such a low gravity beer.

28 Feb 2013 19:57

Nags Head, Reading

Splendid large and bustling pub with its dozen hand pumps arrange in strength order - weak to the right ,stronger to the left - and an early warning as to the next beer to come up on that pump. Wide range of people talking, people playing crib, pairs playing backgammon, a retreat for Reading FC fans after evening matches, friendly and helpful landlord and staff - hard to fault it anywhere - even some funny cartoons in the gents loos. Just off the Oxford Road and an easy stroll from The Ale House or the station, across the inner ring road (A329).

28 Feb 2013 19:37

The Alexandra Arms, Cambridge

Looks to be improving under the new management - nicely sparse interior and beers well-served, with friendly people behind the bar. There is stiff competition nearby in the shape of the Cambridge Blue, but this neighbourhood should be able to support both - one hopes so.

28 Feb 2013 19:24

The Mitre, Cambridge

TWG's review speaks for me too - nothing especially wonderful about this and stiff competition from established multi-ale freehouses - not least the nearby Maypole. Still a welcome addition to north of the city centre

28 Feb 2013 19:19

The Maids Head, Wicken

Latest incarnation (late 2012 and early 2013) seems to be on the way up again. Still not one to justify going out of your way but now a reasonable alternative to others nearby (Stretham etc). As a regular/frequent visitor to Wicken since 1969, I'll be following this one with interest

26 Feb 2013 00:39

Blind Jacks, Knaresborough

VERY good pub with several small rooms, bare brick walls and a key position at the southeast end of the Market Place, where you may be able to park if need be. Definitely a pub where friends meet for a good conversation and the ale fans are well supplied with anything from a dark mild to Knaresborough Mea Culpa (7.5%) and most styles in between.

26 Feb 2013 00:35

The Greyhound, Barnoldswick

The Barlicker Bitter was on as we passed through and the place was extremely lively. It was clear from our sadly brief visit that this was the centre of the neighbourhood, catering for all ages and interests. If this is an example of community pub, there need to be more of them - even itinerant ale collectors like our group were made very welcome. Fairly basic interior but none the worse for that

26 Feb 2013 00:30

The Wallace Hartley, Colne

Well-appointed Wetherspoons up the hill in the main street - smarter and fresher than most and with a range of mainly northern beers.

26 Feb 2013 00:24

The Bon Accord, Glasgow

First tried the Bon Accord in the early 1980s when it was an oasis - sadly did not return until a few years ago and with some trepidation, as things change. Happily there was nothing to worry about - this remains an excellent bar just west of the M8 and not far south of Sauchiehall St. Maybe 10-12 handpumps with at least 8 of them devoted to guest beers that. The place can be very busy but seems always well-staffed so that one doesn't have to wait. Good facilities generally, with food lunch and evening. A must if you're in central Glasgow.

26 Feb 2013 00:20

The Three Judges, Partick Cross

Old pub on cross-roads just east of Kelvinhall SPT station, with split level interior and a bank of ca 8 hand-pumps. This has been a regular place for our visits to Glasgow for several years. The beer range is excellent, covering plenty of styles, although the selection seems less adventurous now than it was 4-5 years ago. Doesn't really do food, though there'll sometimes be pork pies as a snack. Can get busy when service is bound to be slow, but we've always had a good time here.

26 Feb 2013 00:08

Strawberry Gardens, Fleetwood

A fine pub to visit if you're in town to watch your team play Fleetwood Town - the ground (Highbury) is by Park Avenue a few 100 metres to the southwest beyond Memorial Park. Plenty of room though plenty of customers too. A dozen pumps with several on offer from the local Fuzzy Duck brewery, covering a range of styles. Friendly locals, a pool table and the whole place smart and professional.

25 Feb 2013 23:51

The Lower Angel, Warrington

Unless you're a real fan of Wetherspoons, this is much the best option in Warrington town centre. Old traditional pub where beer and conversation are the rule - the former including a decent mild from their house brewery Tipsy Angel and half a dozen other good ales.

25 Feb 2013 23:40

The Looking Glass, Warrington

One of a pair of decent Wetherspoons in Warrington and close by the Lower Angel (which is a much better option than either). Maybe a little slow service but the beer range is good

25 Feb 2013 23:34

Friar Penketh, Warrington

Above average Wetherspoons based upon good staff and a better range of less common beers than many. Otherwise you've seen one.........

25 Feb 2013 23:30

The Westbridge Public House & Dining Rooms, Battersea

Large modern bustling pub on a junction not far south of Battersea Bridge, catering mainly to the less venerable drinker. Some hand-pumps (e.g. with beers from A Head in a Hat brewery) and a good menu of non-UK bottles. Lots of tables and plenty of staff moving the customers along. Even for a peaceful drink, not at all bad and a good venue for a group night out.

25 Feb 2013 23:25

The Lamb Brewery, Chiswick

Maybe because we turned up late on a Saturday morning, the service was not at all bad and there were at least four adequate to good beers on. The bar connects the eponymous passage with a sheltered patio and access to Chiswick High Rd. Lots of wood and metal in a modernised interior> House beers (Lamb brewery) mainly in German style, but also some UK beers e.g. from Botanist and Shepherd Neame. So - not apparently as bad as many recent reviews, but nothing real to tempt us back.

25 Feb 2013 23:15

Coach and Horses, Wellingborough

Older pub on Oxford St with plenty of parking in the supermarket off Sharman Rd. Comfortable, well-appointed and clean with maybe 10 real ales, though with a less interesting selection than the Locomotive on the outskirts of town, and not such a warm welcome either. No real complaints though

25 Feb 2013 22:34

The Locomotive, Wellingborough

Rather idiosyncratic decoration and a welcoming bank of hand-pumps, with a good turnover of less common beers (e.g. Dunscar Bridge Bombshell and Arkwright's Golden Ale). A small car park and a little out of the town centre on the Finedon & Wellingborough road. Certainly one of the better Northants pubs

25 Feb 2013 22:26

The Earl of Dalkeith, Kettering

Bog standard Wetherspoons without any real redeeming or exceptional features - the beer variety is sometimes reasonable

25 Feb 2013 22:16

The Beerhouse, Bury St Edmunds

Of the recent reviews, I'd side more with TWG than with toolster. We had good service in the scrubbed wood bar and as well as four Brewshed beers (Pale Ale, Best Bitter, Cloudy Summer and American Blonde) there were some interesting guests from Reedley Hallows, Peerless and Cambridge Moonshine. I've known the Cannon a lot longer and probably prefer it to the Brewhouse, but mainly through good memories and if trying the two for the first time, would be hard-placed to split them in quality

25 Feb 2013 00:31

The Cittie of Yorke, Holborn

One of those pubs one goes into to see the interior and then stays because the booths are perfect for a long evening of chatting and sipping. Beer quality is OK though it does seem to do just Sam Smith's Old Brewery Bitter. Its tourist route image tends to be associated with so-so service.

25 Feb 2013 00:24

The Bustard Inn, South Rauceby

Definitely a gastropub and it's into the recent Michelin Eating Out In Pubs Guide, which is probably merited. It's had a big refurbishment and is quite attractive inside. The beers include "Cheeky Bustard" from Oldershaw's (3.8% probably a rebadge of something else) and the odd guest (e.g. Navigation Lynx). At these prices, one expects the food to be exceptional and some of it is indeed high quality, but some is rather poorly cooked. They have a 2-tier menu of expensive (£16-£24) and "classics" around £10-15 - the desserts and starters were probably the best things there. The staff were friendly and helpful, although the woman who took our order on one evening needs to learn an alternative answer to "No Problem" with a rising intonation when an order is placed. This pub is trying quite hard but needs to look at quality and pricing to really rate a high mark

25 Feb 2013 00:19

The Glebe, Stoke on Trent

I liked this pub which is handy not only for the station and for Staffordshire University. The roomy "Victorian" interior is actually very attractive, especially the windows and we had a good welcome both lunchtime and evening by the staff. This is not a bad adornment to the returned name of Joules and the beers (Blonde, Pale Ale & Slumbering Monk) were all eminently drinkable. This is a really good take on a modern reconstruction of the "big town pub".

24 Feb 2013 23:55

The Alford Arms, Frithsden

Giving this a high rating as a a restaurant with bar attached rather than as a boozer. Having said that our group (3 adults and a child) were given a very good welcome having arranged a table at the last minute before we made a circular walk in the rain through the woods. The weather forced as back early, wet and muddy and we were liberally treated with high quality nibbles (some of them free) at the bar whilst we waited for our table to be clear. The food was delicious on that night, trying everything from interesting vegetarian food to out-and-out carnivore fodder. The food was amongst the best I've had in a pub in recent years. Red Squirrel "Hopfest" was a well kept draught beer, but it was the friendliness of our treatment that'll take us back again and again.

24 Feb 2013 23:49

The White Horse Inn, Exning

Fair enough if you're passing by and several friends said it performed well when a group of them turned up after a wake. My own experience tallies with JonRambo, a bit drear and forgetable, needing to be taken in hand although the beer quality was decent (if the variety was ordinary)

24 Feb 2013 23:40

The Nelson Head, Horsey

I was there a week after Hodge1 and agree with their review, although I did eat here would score the pub highly for atmosphere, beer quality (mainly from Woodforde's) and friendliness of the staff. However the food was way below average and I'd choose to eat in Winterton and then resort here for a beer at sunset.

24 Feb 2013 23:27

The Fishermans Return, Winterton on Sea

I had a week in Winterton working at much the same time as BothamsAshes and agree with most of his comments. Food in large (even too large) portions and beer quality (Belhaven, GK and Adnam) fine if not adventurous. Very popular with locals and holidaymakers, who mix well - the main downside seemed to be a darts board with blunt arrows that youngsters could not make stick meaning they bounced rather dangerously toward those dining. A Morris side turned up on one evening and all in all this is an above average holiday area inn

24 Feb 2013 23:22

Three Cups, Bedford

Maybe bedding in, not too bad though hardly meriting some of the best reviews nor the most dismissive. Give it a few more months - it's a relaxing enough place in a pleasant part of the town

24 Feb 2013 23:17

The Embankment, Bedford

The main strengths are its location overlooking the Great Ouse, with a patio drinking area and plenty of space inside. Some guest beers occasionally from Bateman's and busy, despite the cost.

24 Feb 2013 23:14

The Glen Clova Hotel, Glenclova

I've used this hotel off and on for meals and a beer over the past 20 years, usually after walking in Glen Doll. If you don't get in before 9 p.m., you won't get any food though. They have music and beer festivals and a pretty good standard of beer e.g. Orkney Three Sisters. Not much competition locally of course, but not a bad place for food and drink despite that

24 Feb 2013 23:04

The Greyfriars, Perth

Tiny simple pub with a restaurant upstairs and serving Strathbaan Head East from the narrow bar. On a quite lunchtime, a pleasing place to relax and chat with the locals

24 Feb 2013 23:00

The Tappit Hen, Dunblane

As a follower of Thistle, I'd have bought jagsfan a beer had we overlapped in our visits. Lovely and comfortable pub on a street corner opposite the cathedral and close enough to the station to make a foray when travelling by train. There were four Scottish beers on for my last visit, from Williams Bros, Caledonian, Harviestoun and Kelburn, served by the friendly barman and with chatty locals. Certainly one of the best Perthshire pubs.

24 Feb 2013 22:55

The Sir John Oldcastle, Farringdon

Adequate Spoons and a cheap and cheerful alternative for those who find the Craft Beer Co too expensive.

24 Feb 2013 22:05

The Chequers, Woolsthorpe-by-Belvoir

Though made 7 years ago, Zim's review is still accurate. The food quality is very good and, although not cheap, is worth the price and deserves its listing in the Michelin Eating Out In Pubs Guide. The restaurant service was also good, despite the place being extremely busy after a wedding anniversary the last time I was there. Beer quality is also good, and the bar a good place for a snack and a chat.

24 Feb 2013 22:02

The King Charles I, Kings Cross

Others' accounts of a poor reception aren't anything I've encountered - indeed the opposite. The last couple of times I've been there were when some of our number had consumed a few beers already, but we were treated in a friendly way with no grumpiness at all. Brodie's beers and bar billiards (all to rare these days) and a pleasantly dark and intimate interior

24 Feb 2013 21:56

The Craft Beer Co, City of London

I side with the recent high scores rather than the bad experience of elegiac_stanzas. One may not be able to get the precise beer you're after but allow the selection to guide your visit and you'll have plenty of high quality variety. Tends to open rather later on a weekend (noon) but worth waiting for. There is some food - high quality pork pies and similar bar-top snacks. Prices ARE indeed steep, in some cases exceptionally so, but after a deep breath, one does not mind QUITE so much.

24 Feb 2013 21:49

CASK Pub and Kitchen, Pimlico

I have tended to turn up here on Saturday lunchtimes before the place gets too busy. At such times it's hard to fault the pub, splendid selection of beers (draught and bottled, including many from abroad), very good and friendly service and straight-forward uncluttered interior with decent loos. The draught ale selection has the plus of a proper range of styles, with stronger beers (6% +) well represented. Not sure how I'd like this if it were heaving on an evening, but my visits have been very positive.

24 Feb 2013 21:42

Wetherspoons, Victoria Station

Better than the other nearby 'Spoons (Willow Walk), especially if you sit outside on the balcony watching the travellers in the station concourse below. The modern bar also seems to have a better selection of beers than its neighbour, and the quality is fine. If the comments about the WC and interior are a guide, this bar can get too busy for proper maintenance and really there is no excuse for that.

24 Feb 2013 21:35

Goat, Frognall

Stands out as one of the best Fenland country inns, and is very popular - hence the large car park. A moderate range of beers of pretty good quality. As assessed by Southerner1974, the food is undistinguished and probably mainly mass-produced but pleases the clientele well enough.

24 Feb 2013 21:28

The Wheatsheaf Inn, Hubberts Bridge

Large pub near the railway crossing with adequate facilities - maybe stands out because rural pubs in this part of Fenland are often of low quality - this one at least provides the basics in an adequate way.

24 Feb 2013 21:25

The Affleck Arms, Dalham

Really pleasantly positioned pub, with immaculate beer as you'd hope from a GBG entry, even though the range was not very special. The welcome is good and this would indeed be a good local, but as we stopped here for food, were disappointed by the nondescript offering - maybe one expects more in a rural Suffolk pub

24 Feb 2013 21:21

The Waggon and Horses, Eaton Socon

Has had its highs and lows over the past 30 years, but now seems to be on the up with beer well kept and a range of meals. In summer quite a pleasant outside drinking area, though by a busy road. Following the demise of the Wheatsheaf, this is probably the best of the Great North Road pubs, though you might go to the Old Sun for a pizza or the White Horse for the building.

24 Feb 2013 21:17

The Red Lion, Preston

A community pub on a junction in the country lanes between Stevenage and Luton Airport. ca 4 types of draught beer, well kept and good, if generally conventional, food. Does a good trade from locals (who own the place) as well as townies like me driving into the sticks.

24 Feb 2013 21:12

The Bulls Head, Manchester

As others have said, the absence of a decent bar at Manchester Piccadilly is more than made up for by this large Marstons city pub close to the lower entrance to the station. Well kept beer, spacious and busy (as you'd expect here).

24 Feb 2013 21:04

The Basketmakers Arms, Brighton

Very popular and busy in the Laines not far SE of Brighton Station. Beers mainly Fullers and Gales but well-kept. The menu is not particularly adventurous but both quantity and quality are good, and service fairly brisk considering how many people can be in the queue before you. All in all a good reliable town pub - maybe go to the Evening Star for the beers and here to eat?

24 Feb 2013 20:56

The Hopbine, Cambridge

The redecoration did make the pub a little less atmospheric but it's spacious and convenient and, as a free house, has acquired a reasonable diversity of beers with a decent turnover, allowing the odd and the new to turn up. I would nearly always chose the Maypole across Jesus Lane if I'm in the area.

24 Feb 2013 20:24

The Free Press, Cambridge

See John Bonser's entry of Aug 2009 for a full and accurate description. This was one of the pioneers in the revival of pubs in the 1970s and has maintained an extremely high standard for >30 years, with food quality holding up well too. Not a pub for the beer collector, maybe, but certainly one for those who value quality.

24 Feb 2013 20:17

The Bell Inn, Aldworth

Maybe I would not be quite so fulsome in my praise as The Hermit (Nov 2012) but their description is spot on. Its reputation is wide and you will find it crowded on most nights, but if that forces you into chatting with your neighbours - all to the good. The one negative is also a positive, the width of the serving area is very small, so you'll have to wait your turn, but the interior is so lovely that any modernisation for ergonomic reasons would be a crime

24 Feb 2013 20:11

The Alehouse, Reading

As noted by others - should now be filed under "The Alehouse". A splendid small pub with nooks and crannies for a good chat, bare boards, occasional beer festivals and a generally interesting range of ale (ca 6 at a time) with good cider also available. The pub comes as a surprise, presumable a relic of the old town centre, now largely obscured by modern shopping development. Maybe because I normally go in briefly in mid-week, the "Alehouse" is not always crowded but it does not take many folk to make it so. Together with the Nag's Head, makes central Reading a high class place for a drink, and the Zerodegrees is there for teh non-traditionalist.

24 Feb 2013 20:00

Zero Degrees, Reading

I'm not quite sure whether to score this as 6 or 7 and my feelings are rather those of Newbury_drinker. Spacious and convenient for the shops, with 5-6 of their own beers - generally the same selection (Wheat Ale, Black Lager, Pale Ale, Pilsener) but with variation in the fruit and wheat beers. These are quite drinkable, though quite bland or overcooled - maybe the wheat beers and Black Lager are the most distinctive. The modern glass and steel is combined with comfortable seating and the staff are helpful enough. All in all, 7 is the score though by no means all pub-fans will agree with me.

24 Feb 2013 19:51

The Bladebone Inn, Chapel Row

This really does seem to be a pub on the up, given that I'm awarding it a 7 and suspect that more visits might make me increase that further. We contacted the pub in advance as we were just passing through and the landlord was most helpful, as were the staff when we arrived, asking for a beer from Two Cocks which was ready but not on tap yet - they got it from the cellar. The other beers we tried (Vale "Isis Tawny" and Ardwell "Crouch-Hold-Engage") were all very good. The pub was very busy, maybe due to a French Wine Tasting Dinner that was announced on their website. However, the mix of ages and the fact that women outnumbered men that night speaks well of the pub's style and atmosphere, as well as the welcome to walkers and dogs. The menu (bar and restauant) is attractive/interesting and judging from the folk there, is well-prepared too. This looks like a pub to follow and to support and see whether this improvement is sustained.

21 Feb 2013 17:42

The Cross Keys, Covent Garden

Comfortable and friendly pub to provide the Harp (Chandos Place) with some competition - very good and well-kept range of Brodies beers and good service. As with several of the better city centre bars, both gains and suffers from being small - makes for a splendid atmosphere but soon gets crowded

18 Feb 2013 00:52

The Freemasons Arms, Covent Garden

Would not differ from nmckenn one jot

18 Feb 2013 00:49

The Town Wall Tavern, Coventry

Close to the Gatehouse and more traditional, with public bar and snug, but a poorer range of beers. A worthwhile component of a crawl - Gatehouse, Old Windmill and Whitefriars

18 Feb 2013 00:46

The Gatehouse Tavern, Coventry

Close by Spon Street and to my mind better than pubs along that drag. Its origin as a factory gatehouse is quite obvious and makes for a spacious interior. Beer range above average and quality good

18 Feb 2013 00:42

The Old Windmill, Coventry

Has been a higher quality oasis in Spon Street since the 1970s and is certainly better still than most others locally, though the atmosphere can be a bit drear. Ma Brown's stood out in 30 years ago but now there are maybe better alternatives - notably the Whitefriars

18 Feb 2013 00:37

Flying Standard, Coventry

I tend to agree with Spookyhead, though Wetherspoons tend to go up and down in quality frequently. The food quality seemed better than usual, though the menu is generic

18 Feb 2013 00:31

The Whitefriars Olde Ale House, Coventry

Following the move of a colleague to Coventry, I've had the chance to check the city centre bars out on several occasions. It soon became clear that this was the best one within strolling distance of the university. Very good beer range and a pleasantly basic atmosphere.

18 Feb 2013 00:28

The Man of Kent Ale House, Rochester

I have only used this as a stopover for an interesting beer on my way to East Kent. Beer quality has always been exemplary as has the range, and I've had a good welcome as a occasional stranger - despite some of the recent negative comments. The style of the pub is to be applauded,

18 Feb 2013 00:22

Thomas Ingoldsby, Canterbury

Somewhat above average Wetherspoons, but prone (as they can be) to being heaving with folk at peak hours

18 Feb 2013 00:19

The Foundry, Canterbury

Really attractive conversion with plenty of trade and really helpful staff. The Foundry beers proved excellent and the range of food satisfied traditionalists, carnivores, vegetarians and those seeking a quick snack. It does guest ales too and I would cite this as a fine example of the new breed of brew-pubs

18 Feb 2013 00:17

The Kings Head and Bell, Abingdon

Very busy and clearly catering to many satisfied customers. The courtyard and general facilities are quite attractive and the beers (from Hook Norton and Box Steam) were up to scratch. On the last occasion I ate there, 10 of us were in the group - my meal was tasteless and generic and none of the others looked very interesting. Maybe some attention needed in the menu and execution

18 Feb 2013 00:10

The Radnor Arms, Coleshill

Very cozy old bar with its own brewery that produced four decent to good beers. The staff were excellent and in almost all respects, this was a well above-average bar though the food was not hugely special (though perfectly OK).

18 Feb 2013 00:06

The White Elephant, Northampton

A bustling town pub that specialises in pizzas and an adequate range of beers, with usually one fairly interesting guest ale. The building is well worth a close look and the staff have always treated me well. Not a bad urban bar

18 Feb 2013 00:00

The Crooked Billet, Stoke Row

We had a celebratory lunch here and found that, although there is quite a bit of hype, on most criteria that mattered, this pub delivered. The food was not vastly overpriced (a pleasant surprise) and all of us were satisfied - no-one complained about over-salting. Of the group of four only I had the real ale, and it was perfectly drinkable. I will happily return for similar meals, though hardly a place for a beery session in the evening

17 Feb 2013 23:56

The Langdon Beck Hotel, Forest-in-Teesdale

Really good fuelling stop (food & drink) near to Widdybank Fell and Cow Green, Caters for passing trade and people staying/camping nearby with hearty meals and at least 2 well kept beers e.g. Jarrow "Rivet Catcher". Recommended as one of the very best options in this part of Pennines

17 Feb 2013 23:38

The Teesdale Hotel, Middleton-in-Teesdale

Decent small hotel in the centre of this Upper Teesdale town. I have used it as a base for work in this area and found the breakfasts were OK, with the evening meals often well above average. The bar has access from the car park and from the front, it is not especially attractive but the staff made residents and locals equally welcome, with 2-3 well-kept beers from a range of styles. The passage for cars through to the carpark might daunt those with 4WDs or larger cars. Not sure whether I'd use the place for a holiday but as a work base, it supplied all I needed

17 Feb 2013 23:34

The Moulin Inn, Moulin

I've been using this pub since the early 1990s, as it has a splendid position close to the A9 and ready for the walk up Ben Vrackie. Comfortable cubby-holes, a very good range of food and at least five beers from the house brewery. I was delighted to stop by again recently and found the quality up to previous visits. I noticed some reference to these beers being available also in the Bothy Bar of the Atholl Arms Hotel (Blair Atholl) but wasn't able to confirm that.

17 Feb 2013 23:12

The Six Bells, Beenham

A good village pub, with a wide menu, well-kept beer and a pleasant welcome. One worth checking out after a walk.

17 Feb 2013 23:01

The Kings Head, Norwich

I too endorse reviews of this pub. I have sampled a range of Norwich pubs on several occasions, but together with the Kett's Tavern and Fat Car, this is the one I happily go back to. Simple furniture, good conversation and a good welcome, as well as high quality beers

17 Feb 2013 22:50

The Ketts Tavern, Norwich

Many positive attributes to this pub - well-appointed, staff friendly, loads of interesting beers including five from Norwich Bear. The position up from the station makes this the ideal first or last bar on a visit to the city. Well worth locating

17 Feb 2013 22:42

The Mermaid Inn, St Mary's

Super position and stuffed with nautical paraphernalia, the beers were reasonable quality but being a seaside tourist pub, there seemed to be little real spirit to the place and no reason to go back

17 Feb 2013 22:40

The Bishop and Wolf, St Marys

Really rather typical seaside pub with nothing especially wrong, but nothing to tempt you to revisit. Everything quite formulaic with Proper Job and a range of St Austell beers

17 Feb 2013 22:35

The New Inn, Tresco

I was thoroughly expecting prices to be steep on Tresco but was pleasantly surprised - just behind the quay and with Ales of Scilly and St Austell beers, this proved to be a good bustling bar which did not misuse its relative monopoly.

17 Feb 2013 22:31

The Old Town Inn, St Mary's

I found this pub away from the main tourist traps a real change and preferred it to those in Hugh Town. Beers from the Ales of Scilly were, as hoped, good quality and, despite the fact that I was manifestly a visitor, I was given a warm welcome.

17 Feb 2013 22:24

The Fraggle Rock, Bryher

In some respects, it has a captive audience - if you're on Bryher. The cafe style is actually quite refreshing and there are plenty of places outside to sit and sip. The landlord was a mite grumpy for our visit, somehow thinking we were rushing him, but we found it relaxing and the Doom Bar was good enough.

17 Feb 2013 22:21

Atlantic Inn, St Mary's

Not a bad pub though I cannot comment on food. The St Austell's beers were fine, the view from the terrace fine, though the seagulls were a bit too attentive.

17 Feb 2013 22:18

The Doric Arch, Euston

I like the layout of this pub and some of its idiosyncratic features. In my opinion, beer quality and range are usually rather better in the nearby Bree Louise and Euston Tap. However, as JonnyConsumer says, this is maybe more likely to be the place where you'll find a cosy corner and simply sip and chat the night away

17 Feb 2013 22:11

Euston Tap, Euston

Yes, this place can be a challenge on a weekend evening when downstairs can be seething but if it's warm enough to drink outside, I would still recommend going out of one's way to get there. The stylish gatehouse building and layout, together with proximity to Euston station make it a regular stop over for me and there are beers for those who like Continental bottles as well as UK draught. Maybe I'm more assertive than some reviewers, but I've never had bad/slow service here.

17 Feb 2013 22:05

The Harp, Covent Garden

One of the very best pubs in the city centre and convenient for a beer before or after a meal/show, or a session in the National Gallery. It IS small and VERY popular, meaning that standing up will be the rule. But in all other respects it is hard to fault - excellent range of beers and styles and friendly cooperative staff (remarkable in such a hectic place - but maybe explaining why it's so busy!). Loos upstairs. I agree with reviews that say it's getting even better and a model fore urban bars.

17 Feb 2013 21:55

The Mitre, Greenwich

Happened upon this pub whilst visiting RN College - it was far better than it looked and the Jenning's beer was of reasonable quality. This seemed to be the type of pub that occurs on street corners throughout the capital, but proved to be above average

17 Feb 2013 21:44

The Wenlock Arms, Hoxton

I was taken here by a friend who knows my preference for straightforward, unspoilt and unpretentious pubs - he thought I'd like it and I DID and have been several times since. It does look vulnerable to redevelopment so I would strongly suggest that all pub fans passing through London N1 go here and give it the support it deserves. Excellent beer and showing a proper range of styles - not just the ubiquitous golden beers at ca 4% ABV. Basic facilities but exactly the kind of local where one relaxes at once.

17 Feb 2013 21:40

The Crown and Mitre, Kings Lynn

Hard to be sure about this pub. The building and the interior were beautiful and/or quite fun. Beer quality was excellent. One one Monday mid-evening, I was the only customer for the hour that I was there - I wondered about the combative/racist behaviour attributed to the landlord by other recent reviewers and whether this had made what LOOKS like an excellent pub into a place which discriminating customers give a wide berth. I'd like to return but really want more reviews.

17 Feb 2013 21:34

The Lattice House, Kings Lynn

Really does not feel like a Wetherspoons and the building itself is lovely. The menu brings one down to earth at once as the usual reliable/cheapish if uninspiring Spoons menu applies here despite the cosy ambience. Beer quality is good and on my visits, the service was better and faster than in most Wetherspoons - maybe because it does not have quite the stack-it-high sell-it-cheap atmosphere of a typical Spoons.

17 Feb 2013 21:26

The Globe Hotel, Kings Lynn

Like RogerB (2009), I have stayed at the Globe on a couple of occasions (spring 2011 and late 2012) - there was no police emergency I'm relieved to say, but the noise for my first stay very nearly made be decide never to return. But as a budget hotel, it's fine, service helpful and facilities pretty good. Breakfast was a idyll of calm. So I would endorse RogerB's review, but suggest that you use the place judiciously and consider the Crown & Mitre or Lattice House for a beer or an evening meal. Parking is compromised by use of the Tuesday Market but street parking is fine.

17 Feb 2013 21:22

The Drapers Arms, Peterborough

Reasonable Weatherspoons, rather more welcoming than most a good place to wait for a train at the nearby station and with large windows that make the place more airy than most such pubs on summer day. Beer range is reasonable though not very adventurous and quality good. Easy to find at the west end of Cowgate near the Bourges Boulevard/Thorpe rd roundabout.

17 Feb 2013 21:13

The Kingfisher Inn, Shillingford

BitterShurn's review still holds true - it's quite easy to miss the bar and dining room and walk out again, but persist and give it a go. Colleagues of mine have used the accommodation here, giving high marks for quality and pretty good food. Beer quality is surprisingly high given that this is hardly a high turnover bar, more a hotel/restaurant with bar attached.

17 Feb 2013 21:07

The Hand and Heart, Peterborough

Excellent old-fashioned community pub of the type that all but disappeared in the latter part of the 20th century. Always has an excellent range of beers thanks to Bram's commitment, and the occasional festivals are probably the best-balanced and most interesting smaller festivals in this region. Deserves success and repays the walk up Lincoln Road from the city centre.

17 Feb 2013 21:01

The Coach and Horses, Weatheroak Hill

Splendid pub, especially in summer when one can sit outside. On the borders of the Birmingham conurbation and very convenient for junction 3 of the M42 if one wants to take a meal break on a longer journey. The food was OK, if a bit unadventurous, and the "transport-cafe style" restaurant was the least attractive part of the pub. The Weatheroak Hill beers are brewed here and aren't at all bad.

17 Feb 2013 20:55

The Dog and Duck, Soho

The range of recent reviews seems to give the right impression. The only problem could be the size, which because of the well above average quality makes this popular bar heave at certain times of the day. One of the best places for a beer in this area prior to or after a meal in one of Soho's restaurants

17 Feb 2013 20:48

The Ship, Soho

Much better than many of the other pubs in Soho, and a friendly oasis of pretty good beer and a wide range of clientele.

17 Feb 2013 20:43

The Pheasant, Keyston

Have known this pub for 35 years and it has generally maintained high quality of beer, and especially of pub. The latest owners (from ca 2007 onward) have continued to stress the restaurant side and made the Pheasant one of the very best places to eat in Hunts. The pub side is more restricted but still accommodating and with places to sit outside on summer days, this has to be one of the better places locally to sit and watch the world go by.

17 Feb 2013 20:39

The Packhorse Inn, Sleaford

Yet another reasonable but not outstanding Wetherspoon's - this one lacks any real charm and unless you're after the usual reliable 'Spoons features, then maybe pass it by. Beer selection not as good as Wetherspoons in larger towns.

17 Feb 2013 20:33

Corner Pin, Westwood

Our visit was not quite so action-packed as Blue Scrumpy, but every bit as positive. Four beers from the Naked Brewer (brewed on the premises) were available and of high quality. We were made very welcome and so far as I can see the only negative was the difficulty in finding the pub if you're a stranger. If this pub continues on this course and maintains its following from locals (with the best kind of friendly atmosphere) then this pub should move up yo 8/10 or even higher. One to follow and support.

17 Feb 2013 20:23

The Derby Tup, Whittington Moor

Lots of good things to say about this pub, which seemed to us the best of the 6-10 we've tried in town. The beer is exemplary, the interior, locals and staff make for easy chat. A pub like this caters well for its its local and is also a perfect place for away supporters to refresh themselves when coming to watch a match with the Spireites. Taken together, these should give the Tup a healthy future.

17 Feb 2013 18:59

The Market, Chesterfield

Wood bedecked and somewhat contrived town centre pub, but comfortable, with good staff and reasonable beer quality

17 Feb 2013 18:50

Spa Lane Vaults, Chesterfield

An adequate but not hugely distinguished Wetherspoons, where other pubs in the town centre (and especially out on the Sheffield Road) are a better bet.

17 Feb 2013 18:46

The Devonshire Arms, Cambridge

The 21st century incarnation of the Devonshire Arms is a real plus for Cambridge and makes a wander along Mill Road even more attractive. As others have noted the beer range is dominated by the Milton Brewery but there's always something interesting here and quality is high. Spare and simple decor, coupled with good staff, make this a lovely place for the brief visit or a full evening.

17 Feb 2013 18:36

The Riverside Cafe Bar, Sheffield

Does not really stand comparison with the Harlequin, Fat Cat and Kelham Island Tavern, but of itself isn't bad - pleasant decor, good position (especially in decent weather) and what seems like an adequate menu.

17 Feb 2013 18:21

The Bricklayers Arms, Whittlesey

The Brickies has now closed - it seems even the coming of the Straw Bear could not make it viable

17 Feb 2013 18:11

The Pot Kiln, Frilsham

Despite some poorer reviews in 2009, this seems to be a place worth seeking out. Somewhat hard to find - head east from the village proper and get onto the Yattendon to Bucklebury road. Even so the pub doesn't shout its presence - look for the carpark. We confined our visit to the bar, which was well appointed with simple wooden furniture. Four good beers including a house ale from West Berkshire brewery. Bar food fairly limited and rather sparse in quantity given the price, but the quality is fine. Staff were excellent, hospitable and efficient, especially considering that we turned up just after normal bar food hours (due to not being able to find the pub readily). Men's loo accessed from outside (right of the front door). I imagine this would be an excellent summer evening inn

28 Jan 2011 00:40

The Jolly Brewer, Stamford

Comments over the past year by "Blackthorn" and "Stamfordian" provide a very fair assessment. Vibrant pub on a more important road west from Scotgate (and the Green Man) that seems to be doing all the key things well. Plenty of outdoor drinking space, lots going on and well chosen range of beers.

28 Jan 2011 00:17

The Green Man, Stamford

Well-appointed and pleasantly spic and span pub on the main road north out of town to the A1. Good mixture of people using the pub and though ESPN sport monopolised a big screen (silently) on a Saturday night, this did not detract from the chatting mixed pub clientele. The staff are efficient and the beer quality exemplary, as well as interesting in its variety. Does accommodation - consult their website. Worth a visit if in the town or en route on the nearby A1

28 Jan 2011 00:09

The Railway Inn, Whittlesey

Hard to understand why previous ratings for this pub give it a score of 9. It in't at all bad, but it certainly isn't on the verge of being the perfect pub. Spacious lounge bar on the edge of town and convenient (as one might guess) for the railway station. Well-appointed (WCs, games, car park all above average), comfortable with customers mainly trying to have a pleasant chatty safe night out. Beer quality good though range sorely restricted.

27 Jan 2011 23:06

The Hero of Aliwal, Whittlesey

Not the original Hero, which was down Station Road, but this pub has borne the nickname of Sir Harry Smith for several decades. Good position near Briggate River on the Ramsey Road, with a good carpark and within a stone's throw of the Boat. Quite old with both intimate and spacious rooms and frienndly staff. Beers normally quite restricted but occasionally with an interesting range. A fine base for the procession of the Straw Bear.

27 Jan 2011 18:43

The George Hotel, Whittlesey

Has been a Wetherspoons for several months - out of the ordinary in that they've converted an existing old pub/hotel rather than a bank/PO/cinema/shop. The result is pretty typical Wetherspoons though swisher than many and with lots of different and quite distinct sitting/drinking areas. Seems to have gathered a strong following bringing in a variety of people in from the town and around. Plenty of old local pictures that are fascinating to the native or naturalised Fenman. Beer range is good though not exceptional for a Wetherspoons and the staff are efficient. Key position by the Butter Cross and the Market Square

27 Jan 2011 18:36

The Bricklayers Arms, Whittlesey

Nice pub on the edge of the town centre, with places to drink outside, first class beer and staff who'll go the extra mile to make you feel at home. Has been above average for many years and now looks on the up.

27 Jan 2011 18:26

The Minster Tavern, Ely

Pluses include high quality beer, location near the cathedral and plenty of space. The downside comprises rather tacky interior, somewhat offhand staff and a menu that is clearly using a caterer or chain. May be a pub to frequent only at quieter times

27 Jan 2011 18:15

The Piper, Kettering

Spacious estate pub that is easy to find and handy for Wicksteed Park. This is the kind of pub that can get undervalued, simply because it looks and at first feels ordinary and unremarkable. However it has good standard facilities, a splendid range of interesting beers and welcoming folk behind the bar. mtaylor40's summing up is spot on.

27 Jan 2011 17:29

The Pilgrims Progress, Bedford

Better of the two Wetherspoons in the town, handy for the bus station and with helpful staff. So - better than adequate

12 Apr 2010 21:21

The Wellington Arms, Bedford

Hatter90 is right in most respects, though I would not rate it quite so highly. Definitely the best pub in the town however, with varied and fine quality beer, lovely surroundings and friendly locals - enough said

12 Apr 2010 21:19

The Bankers Draft, Bedford

Adequate 'Spoons with good quality beer but nothing else to either recommend it effusively or criticise it harshly

12 Apr 2010 21:14

North Riding Hotel, Scarborough

A pleasingly old-fashioned small urban hotel cum basic boozer. A little bit of a walk up from the beach and town centre but worth every step. Recent descriptions on BITE seem spot on and the range of beers was great when I turned up (Brown Cow "Mrs Simpson's Nutty Ale", York "Guzzler", Elland "Tomahawk" and BrewDog "The Physics"). Locals chatting away and a laid-back atmosphere. Not posh enough for some folk but hard to fault as a place for beer and conversation.

12 Apr 2010 21:11

Valley, Scarborough

The Valley does not look like a pub but rather a basement bar of a small seaside hotel - persevere! There is a large patio drinking area and once inside the bar is tidy and very welcoming, with expert and committed staff/owners. Renowned for its ciders/perries (there were 6 interesting types there on my visit) and also a menu of some 100 Belgian bottled beers, though recent changes in the : conversion mean that the full variety is not currently available. Real ales are varied and of excellent quality - on my visit Iceni "Cascade", Dark Star "Saison" and both "White Hot" and "Red Dust" from Consett. Enough off the beaten track to be frequented by a mixed clientele of locals and more adventurous visitors. There is a big TV but the sound turned down and text for those intent on watching. As a stranger in Scarborough, I was made to feel very much at home by the people who run the Valley and would recommend this to anyone visiting the resort. The proximity of the Cellars makes this a good area for the discriminating local or visitor.

12 Apr 2010 21:02

Cellars, Scarborough

(Like the Valley a few doors up Valley Road) at first an unpublike pub, with the basement bar below a large house that has a large outdoor drinking area out front. The bar itself is small but welcoming and combines a well mixed clientele including children and "lads groups" as well as older people and some live music. There is a big screen with football and around 5 pumps (e.g. Durham "Frostbite", Black Dog "Whitby Abbey Ale" and Great Newsome "Pricky Back Otchan"). Quiet and low-key but worth the trouble.

12 Apr 2010 20:46

The Station Tavern, Grosmont

Could not as for a more convenient position if you're travelling the steam railway between Pickering and Grosmont. A no frills family-run pub with high quality if not very out-of-the-ordinary beers (Black Sheep, John Smith & Strongarm). Maybe its best feature is the outdoor drining area by the front door, where one can watch the world and the trains go by.

12 Apr 2010 17:36

The Birch Hall Inn, Beck Hole

Of course pubs are a matter of personal taste. It is easy to recognise a bad pub - unfriendly, foul beer/food and filthy surroundings. A good pub is more difficult, but the Birch Hall is right up my personal street. On the basis that nowhere is a perfect 10, this one is a very solid 9. Remarkably lovely setting with places to sit outside and gaze across the valley. If you arrive on foot, this is the place to rest up - if by car, you may have to park a little way away. The shop is in the middle with bars on either side. These rooms are simple but with enough comfort to make your stay truly restful. Photos of Beck Hole in the post WWII period remind one how times have changed but the Birch Hall hangs on to some of the better aspects of the past. The food is very simple and restricted in range but high quality with good local pork-pies and stotties with tasty fillings. The beers inlude a house beer from North Yorkshire called Beckwatter and the guest beers are well chosen. Service through a hatch is friendly and very rapid - the stotties made immediately to order. Maybe not everyone will like the Birch Hall so much as I do but you'd have to be hard-hearted not to think it a remarkable and worthwhile place

12 Apr 2010 17:30

The Blacksmiths Arms, Lastingham

Don't quite understand the negative comments of some recent reviews - mine was a fleeting visit but the place seemed to do everything pretty well. The lovely building opposite a fascinating old church was well used with cosy trooms and plenty of eating space. The guest beer was a good drivers' ale of just 3.4% (Daleside Spring Frenzy), the landlord happy to chat and the mixture of locals and diners seemed content with what was on offer. Did not have the chance to make a longer visit but will certainly try.

12 Apr 2010 16:59

The New Inn, Cropton

Lots of good things to say about this pub. Their own beers are top notch and the guests are interesting and well chosen, though on my visits staying in the village, lower gravity beers were less well represented. Service was helpful and quick. Lots of people (locals and trippers) come in for an early supper and then it becomes more of a straightforward pub. The menu is not adventurous but the quality was fine and one doesn't need every place to become a gastro-pub. The interior is typical country inn. 25 years since I was last there, but the standard has remained high.

12 Apr 2010 16:52

The Imperial, Exeter

Had high hopes for this one but found it strangely disappointing. The building is enormous and the Orangery impressive - like sitting in a huge ship. We were there on an ordinary weekday and yet the place looked messy - spilt beer and wine all over the place. There weren't that many customers but the service was slow and perfunctory. Having said all that, the beer quality was good, there was plenty of varied and comfortable space and the usual strengths of Wetherspoons are evident (price, range of available beer/food and an interesting building). Worth visiting to see the place, but I would head quickly along the New North Road into the centre and the Old Fire House

12 Apr 2010 16:43

The Old Fire House, Exeter

A well above average pub close to the city centre - set back from the street through imposing gates from the old fire station. Dark and multi-roomed with a lot of outside drinking too. Went in with quite a large group but service was friendly and quick. The stillage had amongst others Teignworthy "Old Moggie", Cotleigh "Peregrine Porter" and Chesil "Pilsener". As far as I can see, this must be the outstanding pub in the city centre, especially for those also wanting to eat.

12 Apr 2010 16:29

The Plough, Little Downham

At first I thought this place disappointing, lacking in atmosphere and welcome - but I had turned up on opening time on a rainy Friday afternoon. The surroundings were cluttered in an endearing way and the beer was excellent (I had Elgood "Cambridge" and Brandon "Rusty Bucket"). People soon began to drift in after work and the place changed markedly - lots of chat, plenty of locals of all sorts, many coming in to eat (clearly the Thai food had a good reputation). Overall, its high rating seems deserved - it simply takes a while to get going.

12 Apr 2010 16:23

The Bankers Draft, Sheffield

Not really a very special Wetherspoons - the beer quality was OK (as one would hope) but the surroundings are a bit dingy and the general feel of the pub was not very uplifting. As others have said, not bad but hardly good enough to go out of one's way.

12 Apr 2010 16:15

The Kings Head, Bristol

Hard to fault this pub except the beer range was rather pedestrian, and seemed not to have changed since Booze_Allen was there 3 weeks earlier. Splendid comfortable old interior, with lots of features to repay just sitting and staring around one. Better though to go there for a beer and a chat - just the kind of place for a ground of friends on a cold evening. Easy to find on the road down from Bristol, Bridge toward Temple Quay. Beer quality was good though the loos were a mite cramped. One to visit if on a day trip to Bristol - go here for the surroundings and the Seven Stars for the range of beers - both supply a fine friendly atmoshere.

5 Mar 2010 21:31

The Seven Stars, Bristol

During a weekend based at Temple Quay, this was definitely the best pub we found - tucked down a back street on the way to Bristol Bridge. Recent reviews are accurate, and to them I'd add splendid welcoming and friendly staff. We got in early on a Sunday evening when it was quite busy but not heaving and with a good mixed clientele. The barmaid twigged immediately to the fact that I was probably a Camra member (all too obvious maybe) and offered without prompting a discount, meaning beers ranged from 2.10-2.35 a pint. These included Severn Vale "Session", Tudor "Blorenge", Coastal "Winnie's Honey Heaven", GWB "Edwin's Ruby Porter", Kingstone "Challenger" and Arbor "Hornbeam IPA". Also a good place if you like blues-influenced classic rock. Basic but comfortable boozer with good loos.

5 Mar 2010 21:24

The Commercial Rooms, Bristol

Really fine building with a high domed ceiling and boards bearing the names of past Bristol worthies. Plenty of room, as you'd expect from a Wetherspoons and the beers were of a quite good standard, though even on a quite quiet Sunday evening, the bar was understaffed. Again, as is often the case for 'Spoons, the toliets were remote and upstairs, but sadly in this pub, they stank (despite the regulation nortice assuring us they'd been recenly checked - maybe by someone with anosmia!)

5 Mar 2010 21:11

The Bank, Bristol

Tucked away down John Street not far from the Grand Hotel. the Bank is a pub for beer and conversation in a basic old-fashioned bar. On my Sunday evening visit, it was nigh on deserted but still managed to be welcoming. Four good beers, plus draft cider and perry. Would be fun in the summer with really pleasant outdoor tables. The loos (despite other's comments) aren't bad, but the gents are confusingly downstairs by the bar rather than through the labelled door.

5 Mar 2010 21:02

The Bag O' Nails, Bristol

Recent reviews look right - a basic but welcoming 1-bar local with a few happy and gentle inebriates on a cold Sunday evening. Beers obviously change often - here we had good Weymouth "Chesil" and Keystone "Cheer Up". The loos are fine. Make sure if you're following the road out from the Cathedral that you perist round the corner by the roundabout into what feels like another street but is still St George's Road.

5 Mar 2010 20:50

The Prince of Wales, Moseley

Main street pub with a variety of rooms - a pretty lively front bar with 9 or 10 hand-pumps (range of beers improving but still a bit pedestrian) and the "dining-snug" off the corridor lined with upholstered benches and with an open fire and platefulls of hearty meals, as well as a relaxed place for a chat (either quietly with friend or more expansively with the welcoming and varied locals). Moseley has a good range of restaurants and the PoW is the ideal place for a pre- or most-dining drink - or, if you simply want to stoke up on reliable food with your beer, why go elsewhere to eat?

27 Feb 2010 14:05

College Arms, Peterborough

Not a bad Wetherspoons, especially of one goes in there whilst shopping or immediately after work. The beers are of a high standard with Wentworth always well-represented. Very typical Wetherspoons layout, but with the toilets quite a trek upstairs from beyond the far end of the bar, and with the staircase/landing seeming to provide a lot of extra drinking space

7 Feb 2010 21:39

The Coalheavers Arms, Peterborough

Generally I agree with Trainman and Young_Camra_LE3_Crew - the welcome is excellent, the beers always good, from the House Bomber's Drop and Milton beers to guests drawn from a long distance. The rolls on the bar are really dire, however - stick with crisps/peanuts. Their beer festivals are excellent affairs too. Either drive there along the London Road or walk from Charters or across the park from the Palmerston Arms - the Coalheavers is visible some 200m away off the main road and has some street parking

7 Feb 2010 21:34

The Brewery Tap, Peterborough

I first went through the doors here to "sign on" when it was a labour exchange. The modern usage is much friendlier, though the Tap has lived under a planning curse for years now. Plenty of space, airy, very well kept beers with the Oakham beers obviously exemplary, but the guests often interesting too. Comfortable seating and good staff, very convenient for the station and also for Queensgate. Has a strong following, which will be hugely saddened if at last the place is demolished.

7 Feb 2010 21:25

The Palmerston Arms, Peterborough

Trainman's review is a good one - I've been going here for 15 years or more and also preferred the old-fashioned layout with the upholstered homely lounge and the more basic but comfortable bar. The pub is still very good, but seems to have lost some warmth and character, and the landlady is someone who does not like (even positive) criticism, and can look askance if one ask questions about the beers. Nonetheless, there has been an attempt to marry tradition with modern facilities, and one should applaud the effort if not always its realisation

7 Feb 2010 21:20

Charters Bar, Peterborough

Renowned amongst Peterborough drinkers. Manages to have a fine range of good (and even rare) beers, regular live music and plenty of seating - including some outdoor space (where the pub will hold its beer festivals in a gazebo). The interior is somewhat claustrophobic, without the views that one would get in a conventional pub. However the conversion of the barge has been excellent and the combination with the oriental restauarnt on the upper deck makes this a place that repays visit after visit.

7 Feb 2010 21:12

The Ostrich Inn, Peterborough

As Bogarts this pub was OK but rather down-at-heel, without the compensating friendliness. Has recovered as the Ostrich - I hope it's a success.

7 Feb 2010 21:08

The Old Post Office, Wallingford

Slightly strange combination but it (sort of) works - large restaurant area at back, what can be a bustling modern bar at the front, and comfortable alcoves where one can just sit and chat (toilets upstairs). Carries 2-3 real ales that were of reasonable to good quality, and the staff were pretty helpful despite my last visit being on a very busy night after a meal elsewhere. The frontage still looks like the Post Office it was, but on balance I'd say this was worth visiting, though purists might want to walk out of the twon centre to the Coachmakers or the Cross Keys

7 Feb 2010 20:30

The Slug and Lettuce, Cambridge

Two years since CambridgeBlue's review and no improvement - avoid

7 Feb 2010 20:12

The Eagle, Cambridge

JohnBonser's review from August 2009 is very fair. Yes, at the wrong time you'll feel hemmed in and of course it doesn't have the personality that a pub with a landlord/landlady might have, and it IS pricey. But the building is attractive and interesting, the beers very well kept and the food not at all bad. As tourist pubs go, not a bad one.

7 Feb 2010 20:08

The Granta, Cambridge

The recent reviews are accurate. Beautifully placed by a mill pool, plenty of space on a patio to drink, adequate Greene King beers etc but too obviously a tourist place. Still if it's a sunny day, hard to fault as a place to sit and sup a beer

7 Feb 2010 19:59

The Globe, St Neots

No reviews beause it has fairly recently closed - a pity because in some of its incarnations, it was a decent pub

7 Feb 2010 19:50

The Lord John Russell, St Neots

Since 1st February has changed management - evidently the new people are committed to good beer and good cheer, so give it a go.

7 Feb 2010 19:48

The Boat Inn, Whittlesey

A basic pub but none the worse for that. Usually the full range of Elgoods beers including the lovely Black Dog mild, as well as interesting ciders and malts. The Boat does accommodation and has had a loyal following of folk who always stay here when in the Peterborough area. The local mythology has it that there were once so many pubs in Whittlesey that they ran out of names to call them, resorting to letters - hence the Letter A (which became an art shop/gallery) and the Letter B which survives near St Andrew's church up from the Boat. Many pubs have now closed, but there is no doubt that of those that survive in the home town of the Straw Bear festival, the Boat is definitely the best.

7 Feb 2010 19:23

The Red House, Longstowe

Not bad but not exceptional. Old red house by the former main road with a big car park. The stress here is on food, and opinions there seem to vary with who you consult. The beer quality is good, usually 2-3(-4) ales often with something out-of-the-ordinary. The drinking area feels more like a lounge, and can have diners taking up the space - a bit twee but is still welcoming, and the lower level back part of the bar is a good place for a quiet chat.

7 Feb 2010 19:12

The Red House, Longstowe

Not bad but not exceptional. Old red house by the former main road with a big car park. The stress here is on food, and opinions there seem to vary with who you consult. The beer quality is good, usually 2-3(-4) ales often with something out-of-the-ordinary. The drinking area feels more like a lounge, and can have diners taking up the space - a bit twee but is still welcoming, and the lower level back part of the bar is a good place for a quiet chat.

7 Feb 2010 19:12

The Manners Arms, Grantham

Not a typical pub, still feeling like an old country hotel or the hunting lodge it once was, with strong associations with horse-racing. Given that it won't appeal to all, it has a lot going for it - high quality beer, food well above average, a roaring fire to warm cold limbs after a winter walk along the canal towpath and plenty of space and comfort in which to unwind.

7 Feb 2010 18:55

The Red Lion, Histon

JohnBonser and trainman have said it all - visit this pub!

7 Feb 2010 18:40

The Tram Depot, Cambridge

Useful pub for Anglia Ruskin U and the Grafton Centre - not exceptional but with enough better features to make it worthwhile visiting e.g. beer quality high (though more out-of-the ordinary beers not always available), plenty of room and patio drinking outside and a good-value menu of well-prepared food (better than average if you're shopping around lunchtime). The sofas at one end are far too low and you may require help to stand up!

7 Feb 2010 18:33

The Regal, Cambridge

Not a great Wetherspoons, but it suffers mainly because it's on the city centre crawl for undisciminating noisy hordes of a weekend night. But at lunchtime and on a weekday, it's not too bad - the beer is usually good quality, the staff adequate and, being a Wetherspoons, there is of course lots of room. That said, I would still recommend strongly walking over to the Elm Tree, the Tram Depot and down Mill Road to the Cambridge Blue, the Kingston Arms and the Live and Let Live - with pubs like that, why waste your time in the Regal?

7 Feb 2010 18:26

Elm Tree, Cambridge

Probably gets my nomination as "most-improved pub" in Cambridge, though even as a straight Charlie Wells pub, it wasn't that bad. Nicely placed by footpaths between Parker's Piece and what was known as the Kite. The beer and drinks menu (on a folder on the bar) gives the customer a great description of what's on offer, and as well as the consistent Banks and Taylor and beers from the Wells & Youngs list, the guest beers are often rather interesting and always well-served. Friendly staff and clinentele, and comfortable long single bar. Stop off here on your walk between the bus station and the Mill Road trio or coming into town from the railway station.

7 Feb 2010 18:15

The Cambridge Blue, Cambridge

Rob372 is spot on - probably for consistency the best of the Holy Trinity of pubs off Mill Road (Kingston and Live and Let Live being the others). Once the Dewdrop (in 1970s), it entered its present incarnation under Chris Lloyd (Free Press) who established the multi-ale and good food character, as well as having a smoke-free bar before it was mandatory. Jethro and Terri have built on that foundation to make it even better - though sometimes I do miss the rowing paraphernalia that used to decorate the bar. This is THE place to come for interesting and varied beer in Cambridge, the food is varied, tasty and very good value and the rooms simple but comfortable coupled to a large beer-garden with plenty of seating. Jethro, Terri and their staff are really welcoming and the pub is often full/vibrant with locals, staff/students coming across the cemetery from Anglia Ruskin U and people from further afield who've heard what a great pub this is.

7 Feb 2010 18:05

The Kingston Arms, Cambridge

The Kingston has been up and down in recent years, with the range of beers still wide but not quite so adventurous and the ambience becoming a bit more like a restaurant ("reserved" signs on tables). But still this a fine pub with high quality beer, helpful staff and good food (though again I'd say the quality/imagination on the menu needs perking up a little). They've tried beer festivals which have been quite successful. Backstreet pub with covered back garden drinking area and no extraneous noise. There are a couple of terminals to check your e-mails and the Interent for free.

7 Feb 2010 17:51

The Live and Let Live, Cambridge

This is a splendid part of town for the discriminating drinker, with at least 3 very good pubs (the others being the Cambridge Blue and the Kingston Arms). The L&LL used to be an ordinary Allied tied house but turned into a really great free house with basic but comfortable seating. At quiet times of the week the atmosphere here can be a bit downbeat, but generally this is a great pub with a special range of beers.

7 Feb 2010 17:29

Strugglers Inn, Lincoln

As a regular though infrequent visitor to Lincoln (maybe twice a year), I had got into the habit of drinking at the nearby Victoria and walking past the Strugglers to do my shopping in Bailgate. It did not look all that inviting - how wrong I was! Once inside, you have a classic warm, pleasingly-scuffed local with everything in the right place. I got a friendly welcome and the beers I tried (Rudgate Ruby Mild, Wold Top Wold Gold and Northumberland Premium) were all on top form. The pub's clientele was mixed in age and happily chatting away. The food was basic/simple, with an emphasis on burgers (though quite a variety) but the quality was good. The real fire added to feeling of wellbeing and a fine place for a lunchtime pint on a dreary winter's day. I'd put the Strugglers slightly ahead of the Victoria now, but together they make this part of Lincoln a fine place for a beer and snack.

7 Feb 2010 17:11

The Victoria, Lincoln

A Victorian brick-built local behind the castle and with plenty of car-parking nearby, including the Lawns opposite. Keeps a very good range of real ales, which are always of high quality. The interior is pleasant and a lot of outside drinking space too. The food is not especially imaginative but of fairly good quality, and not exorbitant. Has been the pub of choice for visitors to the Castle and Cathderal for a decade or more - to my mind the Victoria isn't quite as special as it once was, but is still very worthwhile.

7 Feb 2010 16:54

The Wig and Mitre, Lincoln

Like Firedrake, I was a bit mystified going into the Wig and Mitre, having had pleasant memories from the early 1980s of a cosy and welcoming old pub with Sam Smith's OBB. Now realising that this is a different building, all makes sense. The position near the top of Steep Hill is excellent and some of the rooms, especially upstairs or further back from the street and comfortable and quite pleasant in a contrived sort of way. The beers (Black Sheep and Bateman's XB) were over-smooth and bland, without any distinctiveness or character, though not off as such. The food was ok I suppose (we had soups and ciabattas) though entirely forgetable. If you NEED to eat/drink on Steep Hill, then this pub is adequate, but I wouldn't make a special trip.

7 Feb 2010 16:45

The Bell Inn, Crowmarsh Gifford

Spatious with formulaic food and bog-standard beers. As a Hungry Horse, the facilities and approach are very predictable but the Bell is well run and it does provide an affordable options for families.

7 Feb 2010 16:30

The Coachmakers Arms, Wallingford

First knew this pub ca 1980 when I used it as a watering hole whilst passing by on the Thames - at the time the best pub in Wallingford. 30 years later and rather smartened up, it is still probably the place to go in town for pleasant and comfortable surroundings, first-rate quality beer (Brakspear's Bitter plus A.N.Other) and good conversation, as well as excellent service - Roni DOES run a friendly establishment. May not appeal to the folk using the Boathouse or the Dolphin, but to anyone who likes to relax in a pub, this is where to go in Wallingford.

7 Feb 2010 16:26

The Carpenters Arms, Windsor

A pleasant surprise - a pub this close to a major tourist attraction that is old, with tables outside for warmer days and food/drink that are remarkably cheap for the location. The interior is a bit scuffed, but that does not detract from the atmosphere. Interesting range of well-kept real ales - I tried Thornbridge "Kipling" and Cropton "Dangleberry" during my visit. The food is generally in the 5-10 bracket and focusses on being tasty and filling, if not especially adventurous - the range of pies is impressive however. I was there with a group of friends from central and eastern Europe, and they were favourably impressed with food and drink. The staff were also helpful. This must be the best pub for the casual visitor to Windsor Castle, and would make a good local too

29 Jan 2010 15:43

The Ship Inn, Dunwich

Very well placed for walks along the Suffolk coast, or visits to Minmere, Aldeburgh, Walberswick and Blythburgh. The bars is very inviting, with a warm fire, tiled floor, scattered furniture and a view to the sea. The beers were in good condition, though the current incarnation of Adams Bitter has lost a lot of teh distinctiveness that made it so special. During our visit, the kitchen was closed and much refurbishment was under way. Hence not really fair to assess the skeleton menu, which was basic, rather undistinguished but OK. Been an occasional visitor to this pub for 20 years and it has maintained a good standard - some room for improvement but hard to fault for its atmosphere, position and beer

29 Jan 2010 15:31

Linen Hall, Enniskillen

When travelling through Fermanagh from/to the republic, this Wetherspoons feels like an oasis of decent and cheap beer. Taken in the context of Wetherpoons in general, this is not an especially good one and is pretty standard overall, but certainly worth the stop for refereshment.

10 Jan 2010 18:51

The Chequers, Chipping Norton

Pub with varied space - a cosy older bar and then open airy back room. The Fullers beers are very well kept. Last went there with 10 people looking for a meal (we hadn't booked) - the outstanding staff coped well with all our demands, and the food when it arrived was well worth the money, with some fine vegetarian options.

10 Jan 2010 18:46

The Maids Head, Wicken

Been through a number of managers in recent years and none have quite delivered what should be a fine pub - position by the village green, plenty of locals and visitors to the nearby National Trust nature reserve should allow it to develop positively, but it remains steadfastly average. The food is non-descript though the beer isn't bad (usually 2-3 beers from smaller East Anglian brewers). More encouragement required?

10 Jan 2010 18:36

The Kelham Island Tavern, Sheffield

The rave reviews you'll read here are spot on - this is a stalwart amongst the pubs that make Sheffield such a great place for the discerning devotee of pubs and beers. I won't add to (or repeat) the detail you'll see here - just go and visit the KIT and see for yourself what a good pub should be like.

10 Jan 2010 18:23

The Fat Cat, Sheffield

Something of a trailblazer in pubs, providing smoke-free drinking before it became mandatory, fantastic range of beers and fine food since at least the late-1980s. Nowadays there are several other equally fine places to drink in Sheffield but the Fat Cat holds its own. More well-upholstered than it used to be but vibrant and always with something worthwhile drinking

10 Jan 2010 18:13

The Hillsborough Hotel, Sheffield

Slightly out-of-town from other pubs on a Sheffield crawl but easy enough to get to by public transport and handy (of course) for the Wednesday ground. Spacious, above its own brewery and good for beer, chat and even accommodation. Hop on a tram and go there

10 Jan 2010 18:05

Harlequin, Sheffield

Once again for Sheffield, glad to simply endorse recent reviews for the Harlequin. Different people will prefer the Fat Cat, or the Wellington, or the Kelham Island Tavern on a Sheffield crawl, but the Harlequin can hold its head up in that company. The strengths of this pub are the space and comfort, simple but good food, the range of high quality beers, the friendly staff and even the piped music is far better/more varied than the normal conversation-sapping pap.

10 Jan 2010 17:56

The Wellington, Sheffield

Sheffield is a contender for the best place for a city crawl in England, and the Wellington would be short-listed as the best pub on that crawl. Small, basic but very comfortable, and for our visits with a fine mixture of locals, others making a pub/beer tours and staff - all of whom seem to find the place stimulating to conversation creating a very friendly atmosphere. Even the most "widely-drunk" members of our group (I.e. those most experienced in rare real ales) find the selection at the Wellington impressive. The people who come to this pub, however, make it much more than a beer-collectors Mecca.

10 Jan 2010 17:45

The Bath Hotel, Sheffield

Known the Bath for 25 years and it is still one of the best pubs in a great city for beer and bars. I always seem to turn up there when it's very quiet, and I'm therefore worried about its viability (hope I'm wrong). So please read the accurate and useful reviews for the last 6 months and then go and give this excellent place your custom

10 Jan 2010 17:32

The Devonshire Cat, Sheffield

By and large Quinno's review speaks for me too and I was also there out of term on a very wet Saturday lunchtime. It felt as though when there weren't the student numbers to keep the beer flowing, there was not quite enough trade to ensure quality for that number of handpumps. Worth checking out though because it is trying and maybe will succeed

10 Jan 2010 17:22

The Benjamin Huntsman, Sheffield

An above average Wetherspoons with good and varied beers, convenient location between the station and the city centre, food standard (but well done) and staff helpful, though I've always been there for an early lunch.

10 Jan 2010 17:15

The Lamplighter, St Helier

For beer and surroundings, probably the best pub I have tried In Jersey, though maybe a pity that the best the island has to offer is a town pub when people often come here for the coast and the countryside. However, if you are in St Helier make a beeline for this pub. During my visits, it had >7 real ales and Jersey cider, all were good quality. The staff were helpful, there were comfortable cubby-holes to sit and chat and the building was an attractive spot to relax.

10 Jan 2010 17:01

The Old Portelet Inn, St Brelade

In my opinion, both colinwood and ericonabike have some valid points. The location and exterior, with plenty of parking and access to the coastal paths, are outstanding, with many places to sit and relax. The interior DOES rather resemble all those big-chain pubs but actually is better, more authentic and more individual than that. Courage Directors and Bass on hand-pump accompanied the keg ales for my visit. Can't speak about the food but there was some variety available. Better than average for Jersey and deserves some encouragement for the more positive aspects

10 Jan 2010 16:52

The Forresters Arms, Beaumont

Should be a choice place to go, with age of building and real locals a pleasant change from the more touristy bars on the island. However, the place reeked when I turned up on an early evening (that hard-to-place hybrid of dirt, stale drink and fossillised tobacco), the staff were off-hand (OK - I was apparently a grockle), there were no real ales and no apparent reason why a stranger should want to remain. Has evidently been run-down and is now meant to be recovering. I wish it well, but it has a long way to go.

10 Jan 2010 16:40

The Old Court House Inn, St Brelade

The Granite Bar is adequate rather than outstanding. The position is indeed good, but the facilities and all else are rather ordinary. Courage Directors on handpump as the only real ale for my visit. The kind of place that gets plenty of tourist custom and doesn't feel the need to try too hard for either its locals or for the more discerning visitor

10 Jan 2010 16:30

The Old Smugglers Inn, St Brelade

Excellent setting and managing to provide the basic things well - several real ales (though all commonplace brews), good range of reasonably-priced food and efficient service. However, in Britain this pub would be thought average to quite good rather than outstanding and the fact that this is one of the best handful of pubs on Jersey is more a comment on the competition.

10 Jan 2010 16:22

Le Moulin de Lecq, St Ouen

Really nice setting and with space to sit outside and comtemplate nature, as well as quite a pleasant converted mill building. The beers are well-kept, though rather pedestrian in terms of choice. Fine on all counts and certainly well above average for an island where the pubs are often disappointing

10 Jan 2010 16:08

The Alexandra Arms, Kettering

Points made by all the recent reviewers are accurate. I've been using this pub as a regular but sadly infrequent patron over five years or so and it is easily the best pub in Kettering and district, especially if interesting and varied beers are your criterion. My only reservation refers to the landlords who run an excellent pub with very friendly clientele, but who are not themselves very welcoming to "out-of-town" visitors.

10 Jan 2010 15:49

The Griffin Inn, Shustoke

Like "LittlefamilyFish", I used to come here regularly in the late 80s and early 90s - the pub is conveniently placed for the M6/M42 and meeting friends coming from elsewhere around the Midlands. Coming back this year after a gap of some 10-15 years, it was good to see that the pub has maintained, even improved, its standards. Helpful staff, fine beers (of varying gravities for all tastes, including the pub's own "Terry the Tent" and guests such as the dangerously drinkable Baz's Bonce Blower from Parish) and cosy rooms with the only noise coming from good conversation. Plenty of parking but take a second look leaving/entering the car park - the right-angle bend right by the pub makes one vulnerable to less careful drivers on the B4116

10 Jan 2010 15:39

Butchers Arms, Canton

Straightforward and bustling with welcoming family-friendly atmosphere. Does the range of Brains' with excellent classic Dark and a guest ale. Parking is difficult but probably the right place to have a pre-match beer if on the way to see the Bluebirds or Blues at home

10 Jan 2010 15:23

The Mochyn Du, Cardiff

This neighbourhood holds the two pre-eminent "pubs for visitors" (the other being the Cayo Arms) in Cardiff i.e. the places where someone who doesn't know or can't find the best back-street locals in the city can locate good food, good beer and a pleasant atmosphere in which to relax, especially in association with a game at one of the major sports' grounds nearby. This pub has an older portion and a large conservatory extension with fine beers from Vale of Glamorgan and other predominantly Welsh brewers. In good weather its location next to the park makes the pub especially attractive and there is plenty of parking - useful if you're intending to visit the Cayo Arms too.

10 Jan 2010 15:16

The Cayo Arms Hotel, Cardiff

Convenient for the football/cricket/rugby and easy to find, this is a really pleasant place to visit with good beer (notably the Tomos Watkins brews) and a wide range of good-value food in comfortable surroundings. Though not a traditional "authentic locals" pub, this is probably the best choice (especially if combined with the adjacent Y Mochyn Du) for the stranger to Cardiff on a day trip to refresh themselves in friendly surroundings.

10 Jan 2010 15:05

The Continental Pub, Preston

Certainly a pleasure to go to this pub. At least five real ales on during my visits and all in good form, as well as a good selection of Continental beers in bottle or on draught. The staff were anxious to make sure that the beer was served at its best and when serving food or guiding us through the menu, they were helpful too. We were able to get food at after 1430 on a winter Sunday. A fairly limited menu of a bistro style, but the dishes we tried were solid, tasty and worth the somewhat steep (for Preston pubs) prices. The pub is a venue for music (especially jazz but also blues/rock), a poetry/literature club, comedy evenings and lots of other events. Fairly recently reopened and refurbished, the Continental has a growing and good local reputation, and several friends/acquaintenances said it was now the best all-round pub in Preston and a pleasantly balanced escape from the cacophony of the town centre drag. Access to the local parks, a nature reserve and the Ribble make this even more appealing winter and summer. Recommended if you're visiting Preston - it would be my local of choice were I to live there.

6 Dec 2009 23:34

The Penderel's Oak, Holborn

Grecian's review is accurate. A convenient Wetherspoons but not one of the best - dark/drear and a bit muggy inside. The beer quality is, as one would hope, fine but there is no other real pleasure in visiting this place.

29 Nov 2009 14:40

The Princess Louise, Holborn

Been going there off and on for decades - there are downsides (crowds and a limited range of real ales) but choose the time of your visit carefully and it's worth it. The "heritage" pubs of London can sometimes make one feel like a package-tourist, but this one is simply beautiful inside and SO much better than the drear Wetherspoons further down High Holborn.

29 Nov 2009 14:35

The Bree Louise, Euston

Ahscum has a point - the beers did seem a bit below-par on the 28th (a risk in a multi-ale pub that turnover won't always be fast enough) - but this is a fine place and worth encouraging - more trade, more certainty the beers will be on form. Probably THE pub to make for if you're visiting London and using Euston (or for that matter King's Cross/St Pancras) - basic interior and lack of extraneous noise.

29 Nov 2009 14:25

The Rake, London Bridge

Much smaller than the nearby Market Porter and Brew Wharf but with its own charm - one could just about discern its origin as a cafe. The beers were high quality and the staff welcoming. The enclosed "terrace" was full of people. Worth a visit and certainly Southwark seems a great location for a high-quality crawl

29 Nov 2009 14:14

The Brew Wharf, London Bridge

SilkTork, who went there 2 days before we did, is spot on in their review. Definitely NOT a pub that everyone will like, but it does add to the vatiety around the Borough Market, providing something different in that context. Many will prefer the Market Porter, as I did, but there's room for both kinds of pub. The "Sly Pumpkin Pale Ale" was quite tasty with a spicey note thats eemed to suit the season.

29 Nov 2009 14:05

The Priory Arms, Stockwell

Handy for Stockwell tube if you're a stanger to the capital and worth it. Good range of excellently kept beers in a partly modernised bar that was about to receive a "refurb" and one could see why (it was a mite tired). The service was friendly and quick, with a menu that looked to cover most tastes and seemed to be going down well with our fellow customers - the kitchen opens directly into the bar through a large hatch. Certainly a pleasant change to many pubs in the area and the right kind of quiet - no unnecessary piped blare.

29 Nov 2009 13:37

The Florence, Herne Hill

The kind of pub that divides opinion strongly. If you like airy modern bars with excellent beer and pretty good food (admittedly with prices to match), then you should like the Florence. It felt like a good place for a Saturday lunch after the working week and on our visit, the service was good (though it was quiet). The Weasel was a splendid hoppy beer, whilst the Beaver wheat beer took a while to come though (but was also worthwhile).

29 Nov 2009 13:30

Willow Walk, Victoria

Fairly standard urban Wetherspoons and adequate as a place in Victoria to have precictable food and drink at something less than city-centre prices. So not worth a special journey, but why not if you're waiting for a bus or train?

29 Nov 2009 13:21

Carlton, Sheffield

With so many fine pubs in the city centre, it's good to find one further out (and quite convenient for the journey to the Don Valley Stadium). Very friendly community local, with comfortable lounge and a range of real ales always available.

4 Oct 2009 00:23

The Strathmore Arms, St Pauls Walden

Splendid rural pub - really worth going to, either with a friend driving or by bus. The beers are always good and the festivals worth putting in the diary.

4 Oct 2009 00:17

The White Lion, Aldershot

Triple fff beers and a pleasant interior make it worth searching for this pub - a grand place for a pre-match beer. A pleasing change to some of the rather drear pubs in the town centre

4 Oct 2009 00:12

The Prince of Wales, Farnborough

"Oldboots" is spot on - best in the area.

4 Oct 2009 00:04

The Cock Inn, Hemingford Grey

Probably the best place to eat in the Huntingdon and St Ives area, with sausages, seafood and desserts strengths. Manages to combine what is clearly a restaurant (right hand door) with a scrubbed and simple public bar (left door). That means that locals and visitors are content. Takes its beers (and other produce) from a limited radius around the Cock, meaning that local micro-breweries are well represented and their products well served. Staff seem to enjoy their work and that means they deal with customers well.

4 Oct 2009 00:02

Sir William Peel, Sandy

Some interesting beers but sadly no longer its own beer. A bit dingy inside but still a friendly free house where people chat to strangers

3 Oct 2009 23:55

The Blue Bell, Annan

Really liked the multi-level panelled interior, and the feeling that this was a pub where the people of Annan wanted to sup and not a concept foisted on them. I was in there after a football match (Annan Athletic) and the atmosphere was friendly, happy and noisy - despite the home team having lost. Very good range of beers and nothing duff found amongst them by our grpup.

3 Oct 2009 23:45

The Cavens Arms, Dumfries

The best pub in the town - comfortable, varied food and exemplary beer. Success means that it can be packed even on a lunchtime, but that is a price worth paying for somewhere of quality

3 Oct 2009 23:41

Robert The Bruce, Dumfries

Very standard Wetherspoon's with beers well-kept and the conversion had made this one quite airy. Saturday lunchtime service was slow, and it seems that the manager has not read the accurate and constructive points about understaffing.

3 Oct 2009 23:38

Sir Thomas Gerard, Ashton In Makerfield

A good Wetherspoon's with all beers sampled by our group of 4 on form and standard but well prepared menu - we were there for breakfast on our way north to Dumfries. Seemed to be the best place to try in town for a stranger - we've been back since and were equally happy

3 Oct 2009 23:33

Crown Rivers, Heathrow Airport

No atmosphere of course, but for an airside bar, a good range of excellent beers (though inflated by a Wetherspoon's festival). When some UK airport bars appear to be giving up on real ale altogether, it is good to see at least one that offers something worth drinking as one waits for yet another delayed flight. The food on offer is standard Wetherspoon and with prices not so inflated as most airside bars/restaurants

3 Oct 2009 23:26

The Wookey Hole Inn, Wookey Hole

Hardly a pub, more a fine quite upmarket bistro restaurant with a bar. Having said that, the beers are very well kept, with a strong Belgian representation and ales from Bath, Glastonbury and Cottage. The food IS expensive - this is a place for a more special night out, rather than "pub grub" - but the quality merits that. The interior could indeed be described as poncey, but actually is a pleasant change to standard country pubs - though one would not want EVERY pub to follow the Wookey Hole Inn. If you like variety in your pubs, and fancy a meal with your best beloved or sampling Belgian beers in a great garden, then try this pub. The staff are friendly and are not the pretentious twerps that the decor might suggest.

3 Oct 2009 23:14

The Panborough Inn, Panborough

I've known this pub for over 30 years, and though it's had its ups and downs, it has always been one of the most reliable places to drink and eat neat Wedmore. The current phase looks like an improvement, with good beers from Palmer and Cheddar, and sound food at reasonable prices. The interior is still a little "1980s Indian restaurant" but one feels that too will improve. Nice big car-park. Has a solid local reputation and following.

3 Oct 2009 23:04

Crown and Sceptre Inn, Torquay

A grand pub with excellent beers, decorated with (as reported) weird memorabilia. A real pleasure to find in a tourist town, where pubs seem to be either deafening pick-up joints or staid hotels. Friendly staff and locals and even a pleasant small garden out back (quite a surprise when one sees the pub frontage). The people of Torquay are in safe hands.

3 Oct 2009 22:36

The Halfway House, Pitney

Pubs find it diffcult to be uniformly excellent over 2 decades, but this one has managed better than most. Recent criticisms re clientele are probably deserved, but all in all the positive description given by somertel and others is fair and accurate. This is a pub that for beer, food and interior, we would all like to have just doen the road.

3 Oct 2009 22:27

Hunters Lodge, Priddy

Some might call it shabby, but to those who like their pubs unspoilt by needless frippery, this place is one to savour. Four local beers (from Cheddar and Blindman's) served to perfection, exceptionally good value faggots and peas and a no-nonsense helpful landlady catering for regulars and passers-by. The place to visit after a strenuous day's potholing or other physical exertion, but you don't need that excuse to revel in good beer, cheap wholesome food and unspoilt surroundings.

3 Oct 2009 22:10

The Crossways Inn, Highbridge

In previous years, I would have doubted the review from "iain40" but this is a pub that seems to have declined. I've been using it for 20 years as a place to eat when working locally and under its long-serving landlord of the 1990s and later, the beer was good and varied and the meals were varied if basic. Under new management/ownership, it felt as though all aspects were being left to slide. Although the beer quality was still OK, the food was mass-produced, formulaic and boring. Not too late to save this pub, but certainly not the reliable place it ince was.

3 Oct 2009 22:01

The Ring O'Bells, Ashcott

A regular place for me to eat in the evening when working in Somerset - has maintained a pretty high standard for at least 15 years. Never had a bad beer here and the food is reliable and varied, if sometimes a bit dull and stodgy. Certainly worth a recommedation and though in the back-streets, it is well signposted.

3 Oct 2009 21:43

The Red Lion, Cricklade

The recent reviews for this pub give the right impression - this looks to be the best pub in the small town and well worth a visit. The pub has taken to offering beer in third of a pint glasses - excellent if one wants to work round the pumps and stay compos mentis

3 Oct 2009 21:37

Fortescue Arms, East Allington

Smart pub with lots of people eating on a weekday evening. The beers were very well kept and the food was varied, with something for most tastes. Pub would have got a higher mark if its staff were just a bit more welcoming. However, seemed to do most things well

3 Oct 2009 21:30

The Bell, Wendens Ambo

Should be a guaranteed success, and deservedly so, seeming to have an enthusiastic set of village locals, and close enough to the Audley End station and stately home to bring in passing trade such as me. Beers were varied (and seem to turno over frequently) and the 2 I tried were both on form. Meals were varied, not criminally expensive and showed some imagination - on a summer Saturday lunch, the place was full of diners. The interior is cosy, dark and attractive - staff businesslike

3 Oct 2009 21:26

The All Nations, Madeley

I first went to the "All Nations" in 1979 when it was amongst the handful of surviving home-brew houses. 30 years later, it has changed but hung onto traditon whilst updating its facilities in a reasonable way. The pub has simple seating and tables, full of contented people chatting away on a rainy afternoon. The beers were excellent, especially the dark mild, and although this is not a pub for a meal, the snacks were fine, including good pork pies and a formidable black-pudding and cheese toastie. I am not surprised this pub has a good local following and would recommend it to anyone passing through Telford, especially if they're visiting the museums in Ironbridge and Coalbrookdale.

3 Oct 2009 21:19

The Hope and Anchor, Blacktoft

The setting is excellent (picturesque isn't a word one can say for a lot of pubs around Goole) and one does need to have the confidence to keep going if driving there for the first time. It is clearly a popular place for local people to eat out, and one can see why - the menu was not adventurous but the pub did the ordinary things well (my fish and chips was very good). The beers included a good dark mild, and I didn't find a duff one among the three I tried. The landlord and staff were helpful and friendly, fitting me in when it seemed every table was reserved. A sunset walk along the river floodbank to finish - splendid.

3 Oct 2009 20:51

The Half Moon, Willingham By Stow

Really liked this pub - Willingham-by-Stow happened to be on my journey and I looked in to try their own beers. Small and unspoilt is right (on a side street down the hill from the church on the main road), and the 4 house beers were excellent, though all variations on the same theme. The staff made me feel instantly at home, and it seemed to one of those pubs where local people meet for a good chat over a sandwich or a pint. GBG recommended - so it will get visit from people like me who are passing but this pub really had the makings of one you'd like as a regular local.

3 Oct 2009 20:44

The Olive Branch and Beech House, Clipsham

Been going here for 5-10 years on an occasional basis, and it has maintained a well-above-average standard. As other reviewers have said, not really a pub, rather a restaurant with a public bar. The food is modern English and normally very good, though has been once or twice a bit disappointing in terms of quantity or imagination. The beers (including Olive Oil) are very well kept - when I was last there, they served a brilliant Ossett Cherry Porter. The staff (bar and waiting) are friendly and helpful, and all round, this is worth knowing about for a night out from Grantham, Oakham or Stamford.

3 Oct 2009 20:27

White Hart, Stamford

Not maybe a pub for a crawl or a boisterous night out - but then that's not always one's goal. For a really civilised atmosphere, irreproachable beer (from the house brewery) and good English food, this is a place to make for. Very pleasant bar (mixture of old and new) and staff who do make one feel welcome. Lunchtime break or dinner - excellent.

3 Oct 2009 20:01

Pig N Falcon, St Neots

It is a little early to be sure about the Pig and Falcon, but this pub deserves encouragement for providing the best array of high quality beer in the town (with constant representaion from the Potbelly brewery) and a landlord who wants to make a distinctive success. It is in a great position for a beer after/before/while shopping with a tiny dark interior but a useful outisde drinking area. Sometimes competes for noise with other pubs locally by putting on live music.

22 Sep 2009 10:27

The Lord John Russell, St Neots

St Neots has been short of truly good pubs for some years, the LJR is not exceptional but the best available in this town of ca 30,000 people - "best", that is, if you are interested in the simpler pleasures of good beer and a friendly welcome without too much extraneous racket. Has regular beer festivals - one of which is happening soon (24-27 September)

22 Sep 2009 10:18

Engineers Arms, Henlow

Consistently good over 5-10 years now. It IS convivial, it IS well-run, and the bar staff ARE friendly. Nice variety of rooms depending on whether you want a quiet chat or to watch the football. Beer range nearly always interesting and always well-kept. For those not wanting to drive, the walk from Arlesey station is certainly worth any effort.

10 Sep 2009 14:10

The Rainbow, Middle Assendon

Maybe hit the pub on a very quiet night and the landlady was away, so limited food. Bearing this in mind, a pub that really does provide variety in an area where "gastropubs" do rather dominate (fine but not for every night). Food traditional English and a bit undistinguished. The Brakspear Bitter was exemplary and the people serving us were both helpful and friendly.

10 Sep 2009 14:01

The Ship Inn, Alnwick

I too was there with foreign visitors (from Romania) but was very happy with the Ship. The house beers were excellent, and the food was simple but fine ( we had Craster Kippers and fish-cakes). The serving area was maybe a mite restricted for all the customers, but on a Friday holiday lunchtime, the queue moved quickly, the service was friendly and the food arrived well before the first pint had been consumed. During our visit, reasonable weather meant that there wasn't too much crowding since the outdoor tables accommodated most visitors - it might be different on a wet evening. The location is special and worth the drive. I have been happily recommending this pub to people since first visiting it in July 2009 - but then (see norbitonpaul) I'm a Guardian reader!

18 Aug 2009 20:04

The Boathouse, Wallingford

My own experience tallies with the other negative reviews. I gave the Boathouse the "benefit of the doubt" several times, and won't again. The only factors that prevent my rating being an absolute zero are the location on the river and the remarkably cheap food (some options) for the Thames valley - but the quality of the food is fairly dire, so that price is not enough compensation.

17 Aug 2009 19:26

The Black Horse, Reading

The "Black Horse" came as a great and welcome surprise and shows that pubs that have been managed by the same family for a long time tend to be the best. Easy conversation in the bar with locals and owners, first rate West Berkshire beers and, on warmer nights, enough benches and tables outside to find somewhere to contemplate the trees and quiet countryside. Yes, there is no real food option (except occasional sandwiches I understand), but if you're not after a meal, it would hard to fault this rural pub. Certainly enough local people seem to value it very highly.

17 Aug 2009 19:18

The Red Lion, Brightwell-cum-Sotwell

Since begining to work in the Wallingford/Didcot area, this is the best all-round pub I've found. The people who run the pub are welcoming and make a real effort, the beers combine commitment to local micro-breweries with occasional interesting guest ales. The food I've had has been imaginative and (for this region) not at all expensive. I've tended to use the pub on weekdays, when it is truly relaxing, but busy enough to indicate genuine popularity with locals.

17 Aug 2009 19:11

The Bear Inn, North Moreton

Mixed feelings about this pub. The staff/owners are really friendly and helpful. The food is a bit bland but generally above average. The surroundings are comfortable and the overall quality of the Bear at Home higher than the great majority of pubs in this immediate area. On all these criteria, a rating of maybe 7 or 8 would be reasonable. However, I've occasionally found the other people using the Bear spoiled my evening e.g. when someone collapsed in a drunken stupor at the bar, and on another occasion when someone thought it was amusing to rip my newspaper out of my hands as I sat minding my own business relaxing with a beer after a long working day. I COULD have been unlucky but after 3 such instances, I'm a bit tentative about recommending this pub wholeheartedly

17 Aug 2009 19:05

The Chequers, Little Gransden

This is a REAL pub where even a stranger is likely to fall into easy conversation with the locals or the owners (Bob and Wendy). The beer in irreproachable and the "Son of Sid" house brewery continues to experiment with new and interesting brews - the Muckcart Mild is a personal favourite amongst Bob's impressive array. Although food is very limited (mainly Friday night), this is of very high quality and it is worth ringing ahead to see whether they have enough fresh fish available for one of the best fish and chips in inland Britain. This pub is the heart of Little Gransden and in robust health!

17 Aug 2009 18:55

The Queens Head, Newton

Though not a local, I've known this pub since 1971 and it remains a place I go to whenever I'm in the area (maybe 4-5 times a year). It does the simple things extremely well - the beer is exemplary and they have sensibly maintained a limited (soup and sandwiches) menu which enables them to keep high standards. Other reviewers' comments about the "red-bracered Hooray Henrys" are not entirely misplaced, but the bulk of the clienetele and the welcoming Short family themselves (owners) mean that you'd have to be very unlucky or sensitive to have this spoil what should be a truly relaxing visit

17 Aug 2009 18:48

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