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BITE user comments - BitterShurn

Comments by BitterShurn

The Alexandra, Penge

Reopened under new management this week. Deceptively spacious with a raised bar area to the front and good use of a railway arch to the rear which has been fully incorporated into the building. The fire escape map shows a large function room as well but I haven't seen it. Good range of beer including local brewery Southey, some Adnams and London Beer Factory. Slightly controversially serves in 2/3rd glasses rather than pints but I have to say I like that. Tres European. Absolutely rammed the first time I went in, like a crèche in the early afternoon but a really great locals atmosphere in the evening. Feels like a real destination place at the moment. They will be serving food but the kitchen isn't finished yet. They seem to be growing a large number of plants under the railway arch which makes for interesting decor. Glass of Beyond The Pale was £3. Very good.

25 Mar 2017 10:58

The Alexandra, Penge

Reopened under new management this week. Deceptively spacious with a raised bar area to the front and good use of a railway arch to the rear which has been fully incorporated into the building. The fire escape map shows a large function room as well but I haven't seen it. Good range of beer including local brewery Southey, some Adnams and London Beer Factory. Slightly controversially serves in 2/3rd glasses rather than pints but I have to say I like that. Tres European. Absolutely rammed the first time I went in, like a crèche in the early afternoon but a really great locals atmosphere in the evening. Feels like a real destination place at the moment. They will be serving food but the kitchen isn't finished yet. They seem to be growing a large number of plants under the railway arch which makes for interesting decor. Glass of Beyond The Pale was £3. Very good.

25 Mar 2017 10:58

The Briton's Protection Hotel, Castlefield

Remarkable and rightly preserved interior. Some spectacular decoration and a series of union murals. Still nicely subdivided in to small rooms. Good range including Moorehouse, Spinners Gold, Britons Protection, Unicorn and Cumberland. An essential stop off in the area.

26 Dec 2016 16:11

The Goldsmiths, Penge

Antic pub with good real ale range. Typical, attractive half finished look and generally has something on each evening. The quiz is entertaining albeit not without some controversial answers. Food decent, about what you would expect to pay. Well worth a visit, best pub in the square mile.

4 Dec 2016 18:03

The Mulberry Bush, Lambeth

Okay Youngs Pub with their usual range and a couple of guests. Bizarre make your own Bloody Mary with them supplying the cheapest tomato juice imaginable. It appears to like taking a large number of table reservations.

26 Nov 2016 20:47

The Rose and Crown, Wimbledon Village

Youngs range with some guests. Rustic interior; also has a garden. Large restaurant area. Advertising a Christmas menu disappointingly early in the year. Not cheap at £2.25 for a half and well over a fiver for a white wine spritzer. It is OK.

16 Oct 2016 19:02

The Golden Lion, Sydenham

I'm not too sure what to make of this pub. Nice walled garden, well kept interior with a variety of different types of furniture, plenty of space... But it had an odd, wine bar atmosphere and only a handful of punters. I saw Tea and an Adnams on pump. No queuing at this bar. Not unpleasant but there isn't a reason to drink here.

29 Sep 2016 22:42

The Anerley Arms, Anerley

Until you arrive, you might think that you have taken a wrong turn. Inside, plush leather seating, wood paneling on the walls and a 70s style carpet which may leave you with eye injuries. Samuel Smiths range. £1.55 a half of stout. Mixed age range clientele. I was enjoying the place until some scum came in. They stood out and hopefully the management will be able to gently encourage them to piss off somewhere else. They may have been refused service which would be a good start.

29 Sep 2016 20:24

The New Inn, Ham

Pleasant bar, almost in the round. Serves Youngs, Pride, Trooper and Broadside. £2 a half. Food smelt good. Great setting on Ham Common. A lengthy explanation of the name on a plaque at the front. Nice walled garden but too close to traffic to be better than a slightly quieter table with a view towards the cricket on the Common at the front.

11 Sep 2016 20:37

The Palmerston, East Dulwich

Bar divided to provide a main area and a smaller more restaurant like part with a rather nice mosaic floor. Some decorated pillars in the main part and solid wooden furniture. Timothy Taylor Landlord £4.10. Stocks a good bottle and can range including Brewdog, Beavertown and Camden Brewery. There is a house cocktail tariff and am extensive wine list, but worth losing your wallet if it is your turn to go to the bar. Food £9-12 range and looked decent on a Sunday afternoon. £4.40 for a half of Gentleman’s Wit and a bottle of coke which seemed reasonable so they can't be overcharging for a half by much. I've not seen this before, but they have hung blackboards with lists of their beers in the men's toilet. I guess it gives you something to think about. A nice place.

5 Sep 2016 21:53

The Gun, Shoreditch

Permanently closed.

19 Aug 2016 20:23

Williams Wine and Ale House, Hoxton

Surprising pub, lots of variety in real ale with a board of guests. Old fashioned set up, decorated with what I suppose must be vintage chic old Hitachi TV sets and 1970s board games. Slightly over £10 for four drinks, which, in these hard times, is quite reasonable. Unfortunately, it was not my round. I will go again.

19 Aug 2016 20:22

The Coal Exchange, Emsworth

Good local pub down by the sailing club. Always has several real ale pumps. Very crowded and lively Friday/Saturday nights and somehow manages to put on live music sometimes. Wear your grubbiest wooly jumper.

5 Aug 2016 21:05

De Hems, Soho

Unusual enough to be well worth a visit. Historic pub, very basic in design with heavy furniture and predominantly open plan. It goes without saying that it isn't cheap but the huge range of generally high strength bottled Dutch beer is good for novelty. It does get busy though I haven't found service to be a problem.

5 Aug 2016 15:27

Westow House, Crystal Palace

Cavernous and trendy, busy at night and weekends but more relaxed during the day. Good range of real ale on pump. Oddly, they have put frosted glass on most windows which makes it dark, presumably hiding some dubious views. Seems unnecessary. There is a garden but this junction on the triangle is too busy for it to be pleasant. I haven't eaten here - it isn't cheap. Beer, staff and general atmosphere good on my couple of visits.

5 Aug 2016 15:21

The Half Moon, Herne HIll

Still closed, mostly due to flooding in 2013. Has some kind of preservation order as an asset of community value so should be reopening as a pub at some point.

5 Aug 2016 11:55

The Harp, Covent Garden

Very good, very busy. No discernible change since the takeover.

5 Aug 2016 10:48

The Alma, Crystal Palace

Pretty good range of real ale, not cheap and did the classic heavy penalty for ordering a half pint. Clean and friendly. I didn't notice any issues with the drinks i had, but might not have been in long enough.

5 Aug 2016 10:46

The Pawleyne Arms, Penge

Busy when I went in. Half carpeted, pool table near the High Street entrance, or exit as I prefer to think of it. A smashed punter stood, cue planted firmly on the ground slowly rotating and punching his first to the side in dubious rhythm to the tremendously loud music. This happened to be Westlife's meisterwerk Flying Without Wings. No real ale on pump, the line is drawn at a Guinness. Old fashioned, not expensive, not inherently bad but isn't likely to attract new people, unless they doze off on a bus and the Goldsmiths is shut. I sense the pub isn't too bothered by this.

5 Aug 2016 10:37

The Alexandra, Penge

Still closed but has been taken over by Penge microbrewery Late Knights (Beer Rebellion in Sydenham, also have pubs in Brockley and Brighton). New windows in, scheduled to reopen this year.

3 Aug 2016 20:50

The Bridge House Tavern, Penge

The landed gentry have moved in here. Pleasant atmosphere, busy with buggies and pedigree dogs during the day. Theatre inside which is a good bonus. Expensive, such is the way of things in this kind of pub. Good quiz on a Thursday. Normally has three real ale on pump. My wife says they mix a fine Virgin Mary. Nice garden.

3 Aug 2016 16:12

The Hollywood East, Penge

Closed. Squatters peacefully evicted recently but no sign of it opening as a pub again.

3 Aug 2016 15:58

The Kent House Tavern, Penge

Permanently closed and being turned in to flats. Seems to still be some planning issues.

3 Aug 2016 15:56

Pig N Falcon, St Neots

Very good pub, shambling and old-fashioned, it distracted me from looking for meat ends in the nearby Waitrose Deli. A beer festival was on with an excellent selection of ales, 43 listed. They also advertise in excess of thirty foreign beers on a board above the bar. Friendly staff who offered samples of their favourites. Toilets like the Public Health Acts of the Victorian era were never passed. I had Cottage Brewing Co's Howling and Tydd Steam Red Baron. Recommended.

30 Oct 2011 21:56

The Craft Beer Co, City of London

I certainly concur with a lot of the comments below. It is excellent but charmless. The beer range is exhaustive but pricey. If it didn't have such an interesting and vast collection of beer on pump and in bottle, I would turn away from this pub which looks like the inside of a wooden sauna. It feels odd giving a good rating to a pub whilst being so critical of it... Still, an essential location.

23 Aug 2011 14:13

Carpenters Arms, Dunstable

Pleasant pub in a village with a mainline train station. The low beamed ceiling provides a challenge to anyone over about five foot eight who orders at the bar. Greene King IPA, Woodforde's Wherry, London Glory and Thwaites Wainwright on pump. That selection could be more inspiring, but hopefully changes over time. Large meal servings at reasonable prices. Friendly staff.

23 Aug 2011 14:04

The Queens Head, St Pancras

Good pub, old fashioned and narrow. Bar snacks expensive, but good, not the least sign of celeriac or wasabi peas. Noting some of the previous comments, I am pleased to report that they had the rather nifty Redemption Fellowship Porter on pump. They also had a cider and my memory has failed to record what was on the third pump. Friendly staff. No one else except a single 'well-established' gent sitting quietly in a corner, not too sure why as it was 1800 on a Saturday. Well worth a visit.

19 Jul 2011 01:16

The Village, Muswell Hill

No real ale on pump at all, just ultra-chilled lager and similar. A pint of some fizzy nonsense was ordered and the tap began spitting and frothing. The barman said he would change it, but we didn't really fancy having either the first pint of a new barrel or the dregs from the old one. The bar manager started to argue that there was plenty more 'in the pipes' but, to her credit, reacted to the unimpressive look on our faces by pouring something else. They had a two for one pizza offer. They were excellent and very good value. Two pool tables, much in demand.

19 Jul 2011 00:55

The Black Bull, Godmanchester

Picturesque old building. Three pumps, of which two were off when I visited leaving only the dreaded (for me) Hobgoblin. They have an alcoholic slush puppy style drink called 'Pink Pussy' behind the counter. Two meals for �12, which were rather nice.

23 Jun 2011 23:04

The Dove, Ipswich

Very good pub, a jewel in the Ipswich crown of thorns. Strong ale selection, pretty friendly for the 'switch. The idea that someone might 'visit' Ipswich can seem a bit odd to those of us who have lived there, but, if you do, take in this pub. Possibly the best in the town. It and the Fat Cat up the road should play 'Rock, Paper, Scissors' to sort out who is the prettiest.

16 Jun 2011 23:21

The Fat Cat, Ipswich

Excellent ale range. It can get crowded and does appear to be inhabited by a lot of people who have gotten dressed after watching 'Brideshead Revisited', but without doubt a major beer pub. Success breeds crowding. I don't begrudge it, popular doesn't mean bad, it just means you need to pick your time.

16 Jun 2011 23:16

The Compass, Islington

Reasonable pub, clean and well staffed when I went in the late afternoon. They only had Adnam's and a strong Perry on pump, a third was blank. Too pricey at �3.35, but I guess location is everything in Islington. I got a glass with a handle, always a bonus. They also do comedy nights here.

16 Jun 2011 22:56

Wetherspoons, Victoria Station

I endured three consecutive dreadful pints here at �2.90 a go (in a Wetherspoon's??? I thought they were supposed to be cheap?). They were all far too cold and flat. The venue itself has no soul and looks more like a sushi restaurant than a pub. Really not worth bothering with. You would be better off buying a can of Kestrel off the buffet car.

16 Jun 2011 22:52

Belstead Arms, Ipswich

One pump, Adnam's at �2.90, which was off. I had a bottle of Courage Light, the last it seems, for �1.60. There were a few bits of carpet and rows of benches all desperately in need of re-upholstering. The glass was filthy. The walls were filthy and streaked with brown drips. Worst of all were the punters who the management have got to sort out. There were a load at the pool table dressed in Nike tops, tracksuits and other sports wear. I have never seen a group of people less likely to break in to a run. Every other word was 'F*** this' and F*** that'. These scum had driven to the pub as I saw two go to different cars. Who are they? Where do they come from? Presumably, this is the last pub in Ipswich that will let them in. It was like being in the foyer of a bail hostel. There is a function room and small garden, though I would suggest Social Services need to get involved if any children are brought in to this hole. It has been bad for years, but I did not imagine it would be this awful. I haven't paid a visit to what was my local pub in 10 years or so. When a few of my friends suggested going there five years ago they left after less than a minute while I was drawing money out from the nearby garage so I didn't actually step inside. How wise they were. For what it's worth, it apparently serves breakfast from 0700.

Don't go anywhere near this place. The Kingfisher is half a mile away.

13 Jun 2011 17:48

The Black Swan, Martyr's Green

Four ales on pump in this cavernous, stripped down country pub (Regatta, Hogsback HBB, tea and Atlantic IPA). I rather liked the new, marble topped bar. They appear to have pulled out anything else that is in keeping with a traditional style pub. They had a barbeque menu on the Saturday afternoon I turned up and nothing cost less than �11.95. The cheapest starter was the soup at �4.95. It happened to be honey parsnip and celeriac, a combination made in the bowels of hell for, I would imagine, 40% of people. I plumped for a �9.95 Ploughman's lunch. This was nice and had a hunk of cheese that would alone have cost about �2.50 in a supermarket. There appears to be something of a French theme, even awarding the toilets the title of 'Salle De Bain' rather than a Thomas Crapper. Fair enough, they have nice round basins and taps that you are entrusted to actually turn off yourself rather than push-button ones. It was �4.40 for a half of Regatta and a pint of orange juice and lemonade. There is a large range of seating in the huge garden area from wooden benches welded to a pagoda (presumably to prevent nighttime thefts?) to beanbags (???!). Sitting outside gave me the chance to read the following sign, which I reproduce in its' entirety:
'Be courteous to others. No leathers. No singlets or bare chests. Dogs on lead. Think smart, think sharp'
Hmmm. A deliberate attempt to keep bikers out? Why? I don't recall ever being in a pub and seeing a group of bikers get smashed and trash the place, though I suppose it has... Overall, not a bad place, better than the accumulated low rating suggests, but ludicrously expensive for pub food. You could pay the same for a meal in a Michelin starred pub in Bray.

4 Jun 2011 19:41

The Kings Head, Guildford

Reasonable town centre pub adjacent to the castle gardens. Has a fair-sized garden on a quiet road. King John, Speckled Hen, Tea, Hobgoblin and Landlord on pump. Not keen on that selection myself, but the King John was alright. No food served after 1500.

4 Jun 2011 19:01

The Prince of Wales, Brixton

Turned up here on a pump-free evening when they hadn't had a delivery of bottled beer either. The staff were very nice and apologetic after my third attempt at an order was torpedoed. Really, the pub is too expensive to get away with this. The yard is a Soviet-style industrial enclosure with high walls like a prison. Worth leaving.

30 May 2011 17:44

The Dogstar, Brixton

Deliberately grimy pub/club, too cool for school, but has a strange charisma all of it's own. Mostly bottled beer and spirits. Turned into a club as the evening went on with the usual Brixton mixture of old school rap, dancehall and impenetrable, hardcore electronica. Challenged to table football doubles by a savagely drunk Polish man. Lost.

30 May 2011 17:25

The Kingfisher, Ipswich

Refurbished and reopened yet again, this place keeps making curtain calls. Considering it is in something of a toilet estate, it is rather good. Sports themed, huge and child-friendly, it also has a half decent jukebox. I'm pretty sure it normally has two ales on pump. Okay, it isn't great, but you will end up here if you are a local, and, though no longer one, I have a certain affection for this ugly offspring of the boozer and the day care centre.

30 May 2011 15:49

The Maypole, Cambridge

City centre pub, but tucked away from the main drag, so far as Cambridge has one. I counted eight ales on pump including Helter Skelter, Charter/Flight, Woodforde's Wherry, Summer Lightning and something called B G Sips. I'm not sure if they had increased the number available due to the beer festival on Jesus Green. The main part of the bar was crowded, but a smaller room was largely empty. Many students, a lot from the nearby performing arts faculties. So nice to be the hardest person in the pub...Guinness and local amateur sporting achievement decor, always interesting. Unobtrusive tv in the top corner so you can look up if your companion's conversation begins to bore you. The sign says Pubmaster, though I note other patron's comments. Pleasant, well worth a visit.

30 May 2011 15:29

The Peahen, St Albans

Okay, spacious and clean, soul-free with floor and decor like an MFI show kitchen. Nothing particularly decent or unusual drink. When I went, it was a beautiful sunny day and the paved yard was busy and pleasant. I'm not sure I would be so well disposed towards this place with a wet sou'wester wedged against the bar by trendies.

20 May 2011 01:23

The Grill, Aberdeen

Everything about the outside of this pub seems designed to stop you going in. Don't be put off. Superb whisky and whiskey pub with every malt you are likely to ask for. I didn't even get to the beer. An essential visit on the Aberdeen itinerary, along with the Brew Dog pub.

4 May 2011 21:02

The Moorings Bar, Aberdeen

Good pub down by the ferry port. Raven, Thrappledouser, Thatcher's Heritage and Mooring's Ale on pump. Two other pumps were off. It has an uncompromising heavy metal theme. This doesn't seem to have deterred the conservative gentleman lunchtime drinker. A sign on the toilet door advises patrons not to eat the urinal cakes. Wisdom indeed.

4 May 2011 20:58

The Old Blackfriars, Aberdeen

Fairly good chain pub. Deuchars IPA, Ossians, Creel Ale, Tetley's Mad Trumpet, Ruddles County and Belhaven on pump when I went. The dungeon-like doors open on to a mezzanine with a larger bar area down a small flight of steps. Tartan carpet. S'alright.

4 May 2011 20:49

Bennets Bar, Edinburgh

Nicely furnished bar, sparkly and with what seems to be thirties stained glass in the windows. Narrow, very crowded during my visit. It had Deuchars and Caledonian 80/- on pump. There was a private room at the back which was reserved for the night. At least it wasn't reserved individual tables. The football was on at first, two large flat screens at either end of the main bar.

8 Apr 2010 12:43

Kay's Bar, Edinburgh

Marvellous pub in a residential mews in the New Town. It had been many years since I visited, but I am pretty sure that one of the gents behind the bar was the same as then. They had Crown HPA (�3.40 a pint...appears to be almost standard in the city these days), Deuchars IPA, Abbot, Old Speckled Hen, Wadworth 6X and about four others. Also had a Herring Salad, good use of the most hard working of all fish. The burger and chips was apparently less enjoyable. The hand soap in the toilet smelt like Bakewell Tart. I look forward to my next visit. Hopefully by then they will have one of these Dyson Air Blade hand dryers like at the castle. It is the future of bog hygiene, I promise you, and will take over the world. This is an essential pub on any Edinburgh itinerary.

8 Apr 2010 12:35

The Halfway House, Edinburgh

Pleasant pub in Fleshmarket Close. Very small, so I had to turn away once. It appears to have a rotating range on pump. On my visit it had Kelburn Piro Estivo, Inveralmand XXX and another which my handwriting has failed to record with sufficient legibility. They did three thirds for �3. The food was reasonably priced (�4.40 for Cullen Skink, Haddock and Cheese Pie for �3.95). I was getting all local with whisky, but I have to be honest and say the friend I was with did not like the beers he had. I think this was more a taste thing rather than any comment on the condition.

8 Apr 2010 12:26

The Last Drop, Edinburgh

Pretty reasonable pub. Prices are good for Edinburgh, �2.95 for Dark Island. Alarmingly, it came from a tap like pump so probably went through what I am reliably informed is called a 'sparkler', but it tasted fine. 60's music playing in the background at first, though this later changed to something indescribable. As is so often the way, the TV's were on throughout this, displaying a silent interview with Rihanna. The food range was limited, but solid pub fare.

8 Apr 2010 12:13

The Castle, Angel, Islington

You know what, I was in here during the week and think I was a little harsh on it before. It served Doombar and Urban Dusk. The food appeared good, albeit expensive. It had a pleasant atmosphere. I can't put my finger on whether it has improved in the past few months, but it is an option in the area now I feel.

3 Apr 2010 23:45

The Bavarian Beerhouse, Shoreditch

Difficult to know how to review this place. Posters on the stairs as you enter demonstrate that, without a shadow of a doubt, it has Terry Venable's seal of approval. It was empty when I entered in a group of fifteen. They insist on table service, which rather than being convenient, is very annoying, particularly when people start getting bladdered and suggesting that the bill is 'divided up amongst us all'. Not at �4.10 for a third of a pint it isn't... It is over �8 for a stein which, whilst visually impressive, is only 1.76 of a pint, according to the menu. I had two 'thirds' of Erdinger Hefe Dunkel Weissbier. Admittedly, it was delicious, reminiscent of a porter. We had been there for over an hour before a few city waifs starting drifting in. I like the costumes and all the staff do appear to be imported from Bavaria, which is a nice touch. The food was astonishingly expensive, so I persuaded myself that the beer was food like some medieval peasant. One for the day after pay day only, I would suggest.

30 Mar 2010 16:52

The Chequers, Luton

Good village pub, probably the best one in the area. Cosy bar, full of families on a recent visit. Greene King range. On pump it had IPA, Moorland Original and Old Speckled Hen. Two others were off, alas, one of which was Old Skipper. It has a large car park, always entertainingly full of Terry-Thomas types and their Golden Age vehicles. There is now a considerate albeit bizarrely situated B&Q smoker's shack outside the main entrance. Also present was a mobile barbershop. No appointment necessary, apparently. On the Chiltern Way, three miles from Leagrave and good for a half by internal combustion engine transport.

29 Mar 2010 13:29

Tess Rileys, Liverpool

Reasonable city centre pub. Unsurprisingly, no bitter on pump or in bottle. Had a rather good Vindaloo for �4.95 and an averagely priced Guinness. Carpets were of extraordinarily vigorous colour, like something from the film 'Tron'.

26 Mar 2010 03:23

Mary McBride's, Cushenden

Cosy bar with vast extensions. Very idyllic setting with a sea-view of the Antrim coast. Van Morrison playing on the stereo. Guinness served, no reals. A Satellite dish is rather mournfully tied to a nearby tree, suggesting they show football etc. The place was empty when I went. Regret to say that, attractive as the pub was, I could barely get a word out of the solitary member of staff who dispensed with the usual courtesies like replying when spoken to. I assume the newspaper was riveting. Despite this, worth visiting, certainly in preference to the pubs of the similarly named and nearby Cushendall, unless you like being stared at.

26 Mar 2010 03:17

Wee Minnies, Gilford

Pleasant pub which claims to be the smallest in Northern Ireland. Certainly the main public bar is tiny with a few stools at the bar and benches along the wall. It has a larger separate lounge. Friendly, well worth a visit. Guinness served.

26 Mar 2010 03:02

The Betjeman Arms, St Pancras International Station

Very acceptable railway pub. Always has at least three ales on pump, including a novelty, Sharp's Betjeman, which is rather good. Always worth sitting out on the upper concourse to watch the Eurostar, though the heaters are not sufficiently effective. It is business-like. I agree with some of the comments already posted, and recall having to ask for a pint I had paid for after it hadn't appeared for ten minutes, but this is hardly uncommon in a pub without apparent long-term staff, is it? I can not think of a better station pub in London, and only the King Charles I is clearly superior in the Kings Cross area.

22 Mar 2010 19:46

The Nook, Bushmills

Next to Northern Ireland's most popular tourist attraction. Interior feels like it used to be a school. Unsurprisingly, it has no reals on pump, but obviously has Guinness, also Smithfields. I didn't eat here, but they seem to charge �5.95 for a main meal between 17-1900, which seems pretty competitive. Above average.

22 Mar 2010 19:10

The Philharmonic, Liverpool

Spectacularly furnished historic pub. I am rather puzzled by the low rating on BITE. Didn't want to take my shoes off to count the number of ales on pump, but there were at least 12 downstairs including Tournament, Cain's Best, Ffiagra, Thornbridge and Ubu. Upstairs is primarily a restaurant. The main bar is partially compartmentalised with rooms given names like 'Brahms' and 'Liszt'. Coldplay were on when I entered, in direct lineage from both I don't doubt. I chose the Brahms room as I dislike showy pianists. The room was dim but comfortably furnished. I sat in a leather armchair facing the main bar. Lots of people around looking very hung over from St Patrick's Day wearing 'Kiss me I'm Irish' tee-shirts and the like. This was rarely tempting. The only downside came with a visit to the Gentleman's Urinary Facility. The dryer was in a corner between the condom machine and the door. This makes it impossible to dry your hands without getting battered into a prophylactic dispenser by another's entrance.

22 Mar 2010 17:39

The Dispensary, Liverpool

Good pub near Lime Street BR. Cain's range, IPA special offer at �2.00, mild �2.30. Rooster was a guest and there was at least one other. Narrow bar with a raised mezzanine. Three large flat screens showing Cheltenham Festival footage wherein small men ride horses very quickly towards a pre-defined finish line. Nice internal tiling and stained glass, seem to be original late Victorian/early C20th. Appears to be one of the central CAMRA pubs in Liverpool.

22 Mar 2010 17:28

The King of Denmark, Islington

Top pub. Good range on pump, very friendly staff and landlord. You get the impression that they are open and serving because you are there. Jukebox and big Napoleonic-surgeon style wooden tables. Easily the best pub in the area at the moment. At no point was an attempt made to sell me an avocado based snack.

4 Feb 2010 16:09

The Charles Lamb, Angel, Islington

Very good pub. Three on pump, including Dark Star and Butcombe. Airy interior which maintains some semblance of separate rooms. It does, as previous reviewers have noted, border on full gastronomic dedication. Almost everyone has to sit facing inwards. Food is expensive. Staff were friendly and offered me a sample of each beer. Not sure about this cctv issue. I'd be interested in knowing where these cameras are. Does Chuck Berry run this pub?

4 Feb 2010 15:59

The Favourite, Luton

Currently shut by the police following some, errrr, interesting plants being found in one of the rooms and something that is suspected not to be Athlete's Foot powder.

4 Feb 2010 15:52

The Castle, Angel, Islington

Fashionistas venue, just qualifying for pub status. Small, clean downstairs room plus a mezzanine with a toilet view. Upstairs is a roof garden. They have at least surrounded it with a bamboo fence, but quite what the appeal is of sitting in a carbon fug above one of the busiest Monopoly board junctions is unclear. The one way system at White Lion Street is a convenient place for superheated buses to stop and expel all remaining engine and passenger gasses. I doubt someone sleeping here would last a day without collapsing their lungs.

5 Oct 2009 21:53

The White Horse, Tattingstone

Very old pub. Three bitter pumps, Woodforde's Wherry was on one. Good range of food, prices as you would expect, with some low at �6.95. Two main rooms differentiated only by purpose - one is the sort of restaurant part. Food in the evening appears to be served from 1900. This may not be what you are told when you phone up. Perhaps the telephone service in east Suffolk has interference that whispers 1830 down the line.

5 Oct 2009 21:35

The Tabernacle Bar & Grill, Old Street

Bar and Grill? Saw little evidence of either. Interior made of wood that seems to have been soaked for a few years and encouraged to rot. After carefully examining the selection of drinks available, I had a tonic water and stood outside next to a ledge with a sign reading 'Do Not Place Your Drinks Here'. I placed my drink there, which I would not have done with something as heavy as a pint. It survived for the five minutes it took me to decide I would not be staying. The toilets stunk like an armpit with a poo under it. This pub will be shut soon. Suggest that the Tesco Metro nearby is better, take your own brown paper bag.

5 Jul 2009 19:33

The Fox, Old Street

Passable pub in poverty stricken area for beer. It serves Harvey's and Pedigree, or did last week. Unusual in having a traditional style central bar which you can walk all the way around. Not sure how old the bar is. There is an upstairs as well, set aside for certain persons when we were there. The interior is very much a storehouse for cheap wood. Not altogether bad. The Artillery Arms is too close to make this worthwhile though.

5 Jul 2009 19:24

The Valiant Trooper, Aldbury

Pub in ridiculously picturesque Aldbury. Small, cosy interior. The furniture appears relatively new. I initially thought there was only the local Trooper Ale (Tring Brewery), but five more pumps are hidden behind the bar - Tring's blonde, Pride, Landlord (is this ever nice?), Brakespear and Oakham's excellent Jeffery Hudson Bitter. I didn't sample the actual menu but did manage to pay �2.00 for a pork pie. The garden was crowded, predominantly with famillies and canines. From here, you can look up to the spectacular ridge, part of the prehistoric path, and just catch a glimpse of the Bridgewater Monument between the trees. It is about a mile from Tring Station. Recommended.

5 Jul 2009 19:16

Morse Bar, Oxford

Opposite the Ashmolean. At first, I couldn't believe they would allow mud covered walkers in there, but they actually seemed quite pleased. Obviously, Morse memorabilia covers the walls. It is exactly what you would expect from a hotel bar, but a little bit better. Advertises itself as a cocktail bar and has at least 15 or so invented by members of staff, �5-15. A novelty.

26 Jun 2009 18:16

The Pembury Tavern, Hackney

Appears massive but, like the Napoleonic era Martello Towers of the east coast, quite compact inside. Six Milton brewery pumps, four of which I had never drunk, plus guests. Seems to have undergone some recent decoration. The overall impression is of pine wood. The large windows give it a pleasant, airy atmosphere. As you enter, enjoy what must be the smallest roundabout for a five way junction in existence. You won't enjoy it on the way out as it is so dangerous and you will need all your jaywalking skills. Recommended.

22 Jun 2009 20:51

Grog and Gruel, Fort William

Bit tardy with this one...An Teallach range of beer, seemed well kept. Expensive but quite good food. Gets very crowded, but there is not another pub in Fort William that most people would want to set a walking socked foot in. Narrow downstairs near the bar, upstairs reserved for gastronomes. I hardly need to say recommended. Try walking past some of the others and your feet will take you here, perhaps without your face getting punched. A sanctuary.

21 Jun 2009 00:42

The Freston Boot, Freston

Appears to have changed management again. The owner was greeting we punters at the door, which was nice albeit unexpected. London Pride, Adnams, Spitfire and Wharforde's Wherry at the bar. Food not cheap but good. The soup was haddock chouder, particularly delicious. One pot of cream per bowl, I fear... Quite a few gastronomically motivated visitors, but the public bar was also full. Recommended.

21 Jun 2009 00:17

The Kingfisher, Ipswich

Unfortunately, this pub is now shut, I'm not sure why. I was last in there about two months ago and it was an unpretentious quite family friendly pub with children's room, pool table and, errr, hand car wash. The closure of this means that there is only one pub between the Village of Belstead and the docks/railway staion. That is the Belstead Arms, make of that what you will... The Harlequin has been pulled down at Stoke Park shops to make way for an Asda, The Old Bell shut a couple of years back despite being centuries old and no pub was ever built in Pinewod. The Drum and Monkey by Portman Road has re-opened but I don't fancy getting glassed and firebombed by football 'fans'... O tempora, O mores.

20 Jun 2009 16:13

The Hoy Inn, North Hoy

I took the pub photo in July 2006 which must have been, from the other comments made, its last season trading. Shame. The landlady said she was thinking of leaving as it was too lonely. It was actually quite a substantial pub. I can't recall what it served, but the excellent Orkney Dark Island was everywhere at the time. It was just us, her and her dogs there. I remeber seeing one person, a local, about two miles away. It has got to be in one of the most desolate and empty locations in Britain. I think there are a couple of hotel bars some ten miles away down the B9047, but geographically I think Stromness is closer. A part time pub must be feasible in the area, surely?

11 Jun 2009 17:14

The Boathouse, Wallingford

Start with the positive - the river terrace would be pleasant on a nice day. Old Speckled Hen and Brains available. I ordered the latter and the barman serving me was having a tactical conversation with one of his compadres exhorting him to 'push the Brains'. Just as well. I was tempted to change my order to the Speckled just to see what would happen... It cost �9.23 for three pints. It has a large, seventies style interior. Sky Sports was silent in the background, lots of light were on and, just to make sure the electricity metre was swirling round with sufficient speed to damage the world's ecology, there was some dreadful muzak playing in the background which I am reliably informed was Mark Ronson. The combination of snooty boat people and scowling teenagers was dispiriting. Flies buzzing at the window also wanting to get out quickly. A huge number of children were smoking immediately outside the front door. It is a purgatory for anyone older than 25. Pay the ferryman and let him take you to the other side.

10 Jun 2009 16:42

The Kingfisher Inn, Shillingford

More accurately, the bar of a hotel. Two friends of mine walked up, found it shut and were walking away when the barman came out to open the front door (this was at about 1400). I limped in an hour later to find it deserted, except for said barman. The television, internet and Radio 3 were all on at the same time, something of a sensory overload after 11 miles of meadows and river bank. Brakspear was the only ale, but was pleasant enough. There were about 20 spirit bottles. Space age toilets from an Ideal Home exhibition. Tiled floor and Ikea bright furniture. Not bad at all, just very strange.

10 Jun 2009 16:25

The Dolphin, Wallingford

Greene King range. Open before 1000 on a Sunday and serves an excellent and massive Full English at �5.50. Not cheap, I know, but double pretty much everything. Wallingford is a architecturally very interesting, but full of chavs on a Saturday night. It was like being on a drag strip there were so many brightly coloured VW Golfs with alloy wheels racing up and down at 50 mph. Deeply unpleasant. This pub was heaving, but had a fair atmosphere.

10 Jun 2009 16:20

The White Horse, Oxford

Famous old pub in Broad Street. Served St Austel Tribute, Old Hooky, White Horse, Vale Brewery Best and others, well kept. Small inside, but classic pub look. Lots of seats round tables so clearly expects large groups of roving students looking to mix it with the salt of the earth. It was the first pub visited by Chief Inspector Morse in the first episode 'The Dead of Jericho'. Fact. Got involved in a conversation about seventeenth century Leveller activity in Oxofrdshire with two vagrants whilst leaving. Recommended.

10 Jun 2009 16:15

The Oxford Blue, Oxford

Unremarkable. Serves White Horse and Brakspears' IPA. I ordered one and got the other after the very affable barman mysteriously went out the back to pour it. There are lots of games for the punter to play. I went and sat outside. The food I ordered was expensive and consisted of a Shepherd's Pie that tasted shop bought and some frozen vegetables thawed by boiled water. It is quite spacious inside. Cricket was on the TV, but not too obtrusively. 'Probably Oxford's Best Kept Secret' - errr, no.

10 Jun 2009 16:08

The Old Tom, Oxford

Reasonable boozer serving Morris Mayhem, Greene King and Abbots (it is a GK pub). Narrow bar area becomes single file, side on should you wish to go out in to the rear yard as a games machine has been placed with reckless disregard for fire safety at the narrowest point. No carpets, full of students wearing some sort of satirical golfer's gear, friendly atmosphere. I went out back in to the yard. It was not aesthetically pleasing but was fine enough. It has two tiers. the upper one of which seems to encourage burglers to have a go at adjacent buildings. Incidentally, it is named after a bell.

10 Jun 2009 15:57

The Prince George, Hackney

If one were leaving one's bail hostel on Dalston Lane of a Summer's evening, it is doubtful that one could do better than this affable public house in the Hackney Central environs. It is set amidst the Georgian and early Victorian terraces between Queensbridge and Richmond Road in just about the only architecturally pleasant area of Hackney (De Beauvoir Square excepted). It has a Fullers range and others. The ambience is provided by dark stained wood and compartmentalisation provided by a pleasantly crowded arrangement of furniture. Good juke box of the flippy CD kind. Some of the music is good, some of it ironic. The clientele are much given to wearing stipped leggings, wool jumpers and other clothes that scream I am rich but wish to give the appearance of being poor. I was tempted to put make up on whilst crossing the room. It has a friendly atmosphere and, gasp, there were sufficient bar staff on so that people were not kept waiting.

Recommended. God knows where you would go afterwards, though. Perhaps the Pembury Tavern as we did, or a train somewhere else (Richmond to Woolwich line has some merit).

1 Jun 2009 18:33

The White Horse, Leighton Buzzard

Good pub, nice range of local ales, beer mats pinned to the wall and a 'classic' English feel to it. Particularly enjoyed the Tring ales, though I was not really in the mood for a session when I went in. Even the nuts were cheaper than expected in these days of ever spiralling nut and Kettle Chip prices (has anyone ever bought Kettle Chips outside of a pub?). I like these computerised Juke Boxes where thousands of tracks are playable. Bar staff were friendly and inquisitive as to what two weary cowboys were doing in the border town of Leighton Buzzard. Without expresing anything approaching an interest, I was spontaneously offered a room for the night at what I was assured was a competitive rate. I demurred on the basis that I only live 15 miles away, but, if I didn't, I expect it would have been rather pleasant to stay above this pub.


1 Jun 2009 18:17

The White Swan, Islington

Spacious aerodrome feel with furniture ranging from NASA approved re-entry stools downwards to the classic arse numbing bench. At least it was metal stool with comparable metal table for the most part, though some people were raised a good two feet above their resting pint. The layout provided some distinct areas including an upstairs so you can sit as far away from other people as possible. It appears to pride itself on offering cocktails. One member of staff appeared baffled and amazed to be asked for a Mojito. He denied that they did them. It was then pointed out by a chagrined punter that he was standing next to a sign offering said cocktail at a special discount price. Just when all observers thought he was going to relent and start crushing mint leaves, he turned the board and stated that they did not do them anymore. Touche. In keeping with the Wetherspoons tradition, the pub had a wide range of bitters and ale. One I had was vile, others were not. At least they are supporting small brewers, which is to be applauded. I ordered ham, egg and chips. After 30 minutes of waiting, an enquiry was made at the bar as to the whereabouts of my food. A trio of dishevelled gentleman sitting by the latrines was pointed out to me and the barman said 'Sorry, but it was given to those tramps and they ate it'. I sometimes buy the Big Issue, even give change, but had never previously given a fried meal to a street person, but I did not share the barman's apparent incredulity that someone who is hungry, on being presented with a free meal by an innumerate waiter, might defy convention and eat it. I enquired no further in that direction, but asked if perhaps, having messed up my order, they might send a new meal over to my table. This was promptly done. The egg was horrendously overcooked and looked like a half a tennis ball coated in congealed vomit. Did I mention the bouncer on the door? He was friendly enough but considered it part of his inexplicable remit to ensure that no-one smoking outside placed so much as a toe on any of the steps whilst partaking. He was clearly unable to prevent the waft of Marlboro Lights billowing in to the lobby or a substantive theft of ham and chips.

Meet here and go elsewhere. Or just go elsewhere.

1 Jun 2009 18:02

The Pig and Butcher, Islington

How unwise of me to enter this pub on a football night. It was crowded and full of people offering heartfelt advice to overpaid ball wranglers hundreds of miles away who were, unless I am much mistaken, unequiped with the necessary auditory equipment to hear and react to the tendered advice, even were they inclined to do so. It took me fifteen minutes to get served and I thought my manoeuvres in getting to the bar so quickly were worthy of those of the millionaires throwing themselves onto the grass to the embarassment of none on the big screens nearby. There were two bitters available at first, swiftly reduced to one when some cheeky non-conformist decided to order a pint of one (I think it was Black Sheep). This just left the London Pride which I enjoyed, perhaps a touch to much - did I detect some sort of creamer? Possibly, but shouldn't carp as I then had a second pint from someone who had had the forethought to set up a base camp near the dirty glasses tray. What I saw of the furniture was the usual mixed bag of hefty country kitchen style tables and soft charity shop style sofas, laid together like chalk and permanent marker. I spent most of my time here outside assesing the Tardis like properties of the inside and recovering from my Joe Simpson moment at the bar. I think the ratio of staff to punter was about 1:70. Hot tip - if you need to expel urine whilst at this venue, pop outside and walk round to the north entrance (I think on Old Royal Free Square). You will avoid crowds.

1 Jun 2009 17:29

The Alwyne Castle, Islington

Two dots after the name made me fear the worst. I believe there is only one full time pub sign painter left in the country and the minimalism displayed to the good people of St Pauls Road will not keep him in Witch Hazel for long. The place is so cool it appears to have dispensed with the word 'Castle' all together. 'If you can't work out it is a pub, you are beneath contempt' this approach says to me. Nevertheless, I ventured inside and was pleasantly surprised. It is quite spacious with a comfortable, if eclectic, selection of furniture (i.e. sofas and tables that in no sense go together). All in the modern idiom, of course. I think there were at least two pumped bitters and what seemed a wide selection of other drinks. The point at which I went to get a second round was when the fashionably modern problem of insufficient numbers of bar staff made me wish I carried a hip flask. Didn't try the food as it appeared expensive and I have no doubt black olives and hand peeled unsalted nuts would have dominated th menu. Also, I was not hungry. Beer was well kept. At the front it has a selection of garden furniture bought during the golden age of MFI in the late eighties and not painted since Margaret Thatcher was hounded from office. From there, you can watch the traffic crawl between Highbury Squareabout and the Dalston poundshops.

Not a bad pub.

1 Jun 2009 17:06

The Railway Tavern, Liverpool Street

Very large, multiple rooms and bars. Always crowded on a Friday night. The dulcit sounds of 'Don't Let The Sun Go Down On Me' and 'Mustang Sally' will drive you to buy drinks with a higher alcohol content and cotton wool to staunch the blood flowing freely from your ears. Last time I was there, a street person showed me bleeding wounds on his arms in an attempt to solicit money. He did not succeed. Wide range of drinks, can't recall what was on draught, if anything. Prices were as you would expect. The toilets were brightly lit china.

6 May 2009 15:27

Clockwork, Islington

MichaelBuffalo - I think I understand what you have written there, though it is customary to use capital letters where convention dictates. Since you have found the time to log on to Wikipedia and look up the word 'draught', I will clarify. As a beer drinker, when I say 'draught' I of course mean unpasteurised cask beer, hand-pumped. I apologise humbly for being unclear. I did not notice your solitary handpump. Where was it and what was it pumping? Perhaps you could also write on this site how much it costs? I am happy to learn of your great wealth in thinking that �10.70 is a good price for two tiny bottles of pale ale and one pint. I suspect that your good fortune in being so well off will cushion the blow when the pub has to close or change ownership due to the prices. Your prices far exceed any nearby pub I can think of. What on earth is a boutique import anyway?

Warning to any other users of this website - members of staff may be artificially boosting the rating of this venue. I'm sure you'll make your own decision, but be aware...

7 Feb 2009 23:18

The Artillery Arms, Old Street

Very good pub. Floorboards, decent and rickety chairs, prime location, Fullers range and a square bar in the middle so it retains some level of compartmentalisation. I'm so impressed I've even made up a word for this review. See if you can guess which one it is... I had two pints of Explorer which hit the spot after a 15 minute walk on a broken ankle. Unobtrusive television at the front. Long may it remain unobtrusive but on for watching whilst ordering.

31 Jan 2009 22:23

Clockwork, Islington

Errr, MichaelBuffalo, sorry if you have taken that review personally. What a strange thing to suggest that people on this website would criticise a pub without actually having been there...I clearly have as I took part in the quiz, described the inside and had the dubious pleasure of buying a round. You do not have any draught beer, unless you have installed them since the 12th January. Tetleys, John Smiths and all that heavily processed gunk is not beer. Nor is lager. Draught beer is pulled by pump, not tap. I'm rather surprised that a barman doesn't know this. Nothing can persuade me that �10.70 is a good price for one pint and two bottles. I think the bottles were about a third of a pint. I don't think that �10.00 for a pint, however nice it is, is a bargain. I paid it and, if I were to go again, would doubtless do the same, but don't tell me that they need such a huge mark up in price to make selling them worthwhile. I agree with your colleague that people should go and try the pub themselves. That review, which was neither negative nor positive is my opinion and, going by the other recent reviews, one shared by other people who write on this site. Commenting on it when you work there is petulent, though I respect your honesty in admitting that you actually work there. Thanks for your invite to go to a Wetherspoons, but I like a particular sort of pub and neither that nor the Lexington are it. I think I will go to the King Charles I, which is nearby.

31 Jan 2009 21:31

The Garden, Islington

A strange place. Carpets from a working men's club in the 1970's. What I assume are Christmas decorations courtesy of the sadly defunct Woolworth's bargain basement. Big screens at three points of the L-shaped public area, certainly good for sport coverage, should you choose to do that in a bar where you can share your disappointment at what you see on screen with everyone else by shouting, swearing and breaking things. No point in having them if they are going to be muted as they were today, unless you are aiming at a Ladbrooke's ambience. Everyone in here always looks slightly stunned, as if they have been coshed or perhaps gassed. Bombadier and Greene King IPA on draught. Selection of the usual others, should you wish it. Open yard at the front for smoking and watching people walk along Upper Street towards somewhere else. Not cheap, in the financial sense. I get the feeling this place may be on the verge of improvement, though it is uncertain if that will be in the direction of a traditional pub. Big Issue sold indoors on most occasions I have been there. Not something many people enjoy when having a quiet drink.

17 Jan 2009 22:34

Clockwork, Islington

Whoops, meant to select 6 not 7...No pub without draught and with such a dead-eyed clientele can have a 7.

13 Jan 2009 14:55

Clockwork, Islington

As already noted, now called the 'Lexington'. Truly bizarre layout as it seems to be an old theatre and still has gigs upstairs. Long bar altogether free of draught beer, though it does stock some tiny but credible bottles of American ale. One pint of Guiness and two pales came to an astonishing �10.70. I think people with a moustache get some sort of frequent user discount. Certainly every bewhiskered male in a grey jacket and red Trilby seemed to hand over a plastic card at the bar. As a man merely unshaven since 0700 a.m., for my hirsuteness I was allowed to use napkins to wipe down the puddles on the bar surface where my quiz sheet was to be placed. The quizmaster stood at what I can only describe as a raised pulpit. He had a Yamaha keyboard and made full use of its preprogrammed drum settings from 'Bosa-Nova' to 'Pop 4'. I was disappointed that he didn't find a chance to play that Chinese one all the Casios used to have. The quiz was enjoyable if brief and designed for the 'ironic' partaker. Brilliant round where you get someone who draws like a small child to sketch some album covers that people have to guess. Less good round with a Celebrity Big Brother round, though I did enjoy the manic rendition of 'You Spin Me Round (Like A Record)' to a Yamaha 'Rhumba' backing, Margarita Pracatan style. Modern toilets with a selection of buttons to press for your flushing needs. I selected the smallest buton for short flush as anything else suggests that you have done something a bit anti-social. Take it home, people.

13 Jan 2009 14:52

The King Charles I, Kings Cross

Good small pub in a prime location. Four beers on draught, can't recall what they were but it looked like an independent selection from Brodie's with guests rather than a chain's range. Bar billiards and wooden floors, no loud music or Monday night football coverage. Named after our beheaded king, it has an internal decor of huge African head masks. I felt like I was having a pleasant liquid picnic on Easter Island for half an hour. Yes, I know that isn't in Africa. Links in with a City Road crawl taking in the bizarre Lexington (see 'Clockwork') on Penton Street.

13 Jan 2009 14:35

The Water Poet, Shoreditch

Hmmm. A large chain pub, subdivided into small-ish rooms. Highly varnished wooden floors and good heavy furniture you could conduct an autopsy on. It had at least three draught beers at the main bar, definitely Fuller's London Pride, and I don't recall seeing the dreaded grey backing of a piece of card on any of them. There is a second bar in one of the rear rooms near the enclosed yard, though this had no draught. The yard is like the assault course on the Krypton Factor with a series sloping and swinging obstacles, but pleasant enough in good weather, I don't doubt. I was partaking of a buffet at an arranged do. What there was of the food was nice, except some sort of flaky soft cheese and spinach fajita. I find it hard to make any firm conclusions about this pub. Half the staff can also be seen at the nearby Poet on Middlesex Street, though this is by far the beter establishment. If you are going to indulge in a chain crawl, you could do worse.

15 Dec 2008 14:54

The Hamilton Hall, Liverpool Street

Rather harshly reviewed, it is at least an impressively cavernous room. I agree the staff are miserable, and that it a refuge for those too unimaginative and bewildered to find their way to the exit and walk fifty yards or so, but at least it is there and serves beer. The old JD tactic of having a lot of different types means staff can simply avoid saying 'but the manager will have to change the barrel' with 'we haven't got any of that one left..or that one...or that one'. Nevertheless, you will get one, even if it is not the first, or even fourth, one.

10 Jun 2008 01:11

The Hole In The Wall, Waterloo

Under the arches, traditional pub. Good range of beer including Doom Bar, Tea, Adnams, Greene King IPA and Youngs. Reasonable prices for a pub so close o a mainline station. Some people I was with had food. They were offered a cheese and salad baguette with the conditional added that there was no salad. I am assured that it tasted nice anyway, no surprise as everyone knows that salad actually tastes of nothing. A pungent odour of damps greets one as one walks in. Big screen telly, though not overly obtrusive. Perhaps not a great pub, but are unlikely to find a better traditional style boozer within one hundred yards of the entrance to any other station south of the river. Suggest a Borough crawl starts here...

27 Jan 2008 00:24

The George and Vulture, Hoxton

Unexpectedly good pub, part way between the twin hells of Hoxton scarf-wearing venues to the south and the utter toilet that is De Beauvoir Estate and environs. Well kept 3/4 bar. Good, clean furnishings. Several guest beers. Friendly, competent staff who, startlingly, don't need to be told to top up a pint. Seems to be particularly popular with hounds and their masters. Don't be put off by the location. Yes, you are in south Hackney, but you could take in this, the Wenlock Arms and the Prince Arthur before escaping. An exceptional pub in the traditional mold. God knows how it is still in existence.

14 Jan 2008 21:58

The Poet Bar, Liverpool St

Moorland Original and Greene King IPA normally served. You will have to get up very early in the morning to find both on at the same time. Bare floorboards as far as the eye can see. This pub gives the impression of space. Pool table by the front window. Often over-intrusive televisions, particularly on European football nights. All pints seem to be edging the �3.00 mark. Most clientele wear suits, so change out of your tracksuit at the door, if you were thinking of leaving the house wearing one. Food served, and it has to be admitted, is quite good. The Tuesday music quiz is well run in spite of a clear lack of support from the venue.

Really more a 'bar' than a pub. If you are looking for the latter, go to the Shooting Star nearby.

14 Jan 2008 00:52

The Butt and Oyster, Chelmondiston

One of the great pubs of Suffolk, or indeed anywhere. It is not a restaurant, despite other comments posted here and its own claims - it is a pub that happens to serve (mostly) seafood. Perhaps I just don't have high expectations of pub food to start with. The esturine location can not be bettered, new extensions have been incorporated into the old building with reasonable care and it just about retains the character of a working locals pub, despite the vast number of weekend visitors it attracts from throughout the county and beyond. Still calling itself 'world famous' after appearing in an episode of Lovejoy, I note...

Adnams range with guests. Not cheap due to captive local village drinkers and the fact so many people have to drive to it for one or two. Go moor your boat nearby before setting sale for glamourous Felixstowe container port.

14 Jan 2008 00:34

The Lamb, Bloomsbury

This pub is clearly on the 'at risk' register. Excellent decor with a theatre theme. Youngs range of beer, reasonably priced for the area. Still partially compartmentalised and with a three-quarters accessible central bar. Wide clientele including theatre people and local residents. When I visited recently, it was warm enough for a beer fly to have survived the winter to trouble my face.

14 Jan 2008 00:17

The Sekforde Arms, Clerkenwell

SUPPORT THIS PUB...Why was it empty on a Saturday night? A small traditional pub in an area where alot of pubs don't open at the weekend. Youngs range of beer, with an occasional guest. Average prices for the area. Good food menu, friendly staff. The open coal fire is normally lit. I thought there were some rules about this in the City? Still, there are also radiators for those who object. Steely Dan played unobtrusively in the background.

14 Jan 2008 00:11

The Museum Tavern, Bloomsbury

More typically English than queueing for tea bags in the rain with the vicar discussing rises in the price of houses. I assume this is deliberate with one of the world's greatest scientific institutes just opposite. Whenever I have finished looking at the weirdy-beardy sculptures of ancient Mesopotamia, I pop over for a pint of Theakston's Old Peculiar which they have been pouring here for years. It is, of course, a tourist trap and gets crowded, so I just stay long enough to finish my pint and stare with wonder at my change. A good addition to a Bloomsbury/Holborn crawl.

12 Jan 2008 14:07

The Eagle, Hoxton

Famous pub just off the City Road. Dark and relatively spacious inside clearly designed to cater for large groups of people with long wooden benches and tables. They don't bat an eyelid when you try to pay by card, which probably tells you what sort of clientele they tend to get. Good range of guest beers, including drinkable foreign lager, though I wouldn't recommend buying a round too often as it is basically over �3.00 a standard pint. Good but very expensive range of bar food. Nice paved beer garden where you can bask in parafin heat and listen to the police testing their sirens in the adjacent yard. There is a regretable tendency in this pub for someone to come round at about 1900 and put a piece of paper on your table saying that it is reserved from 2000. I suggest eating the paper with some Wasabi peas.

12 Jan 2008 13:59

The Freston Boot, Freston

Attractive old country pub, with moderate size public bar and an unobtrusive restaurant extension. Adnams beer plus guest, in January 08 Tournament. Range of food small but very high quality, though quite pricey as you would expect. When I went in, the music of Texas was playing in the background, and I don't mean wistful ballads about dogs dying and trailers burning down. There is an unsurprising boot theme to the decor and pictures by local artists for sale on the wall. Parking to front more than adequate.

12 Jan 2008 13:48

The Favourite, Luton

�2.40 pint Guiness

8 Jan 2008 20:39

The Favourite, Luton

Edge of estate pub (happily, at the south of Sundon Park Estate, away from Marsh Farm). Large and airy with plenty of space between tables. A lot of money has been spent on flat screen televisions so that it works well as a sports bar. Zany carpets, in the best tradition of the provincial town boozer. The only real gripe is that there is not one draught beer for sale, though they do serve Guiness. There are two large new billiard (sorry, I forgot to check whether they were snooker or pool...) tables and you can hire footballs for the back yard. Feels rather like an old fashioned working men's club in appearance and clientele.

8 Jan 2008 20:37

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