skip nav  

BITE user comments - HarryHawthorn

Comments by HarryHawthorn

The Chequers, Wareside

Cosy, old-school pub in a sleepy hamlet on the Hertfordshire Way if you like waking.

I would concur with the last poster - no way is this place cliquey or unfriendly. In fact, on my half-dozen or so visits over the last couple of years, I don't think there has been a single occasion where we haven't struck up a conversation with someone. The couple that run the place are really genial too.

Beer choice slightly limited for me, usually Buntingford Highwayman plus two nationals and a cider. Always well kept though, and food is very reasonably priced.

10 Mar 2014 11:10

The Whip Inn, Lacey Green

This place is one in the eye for all those who believe that pubs need to move with the times in order to be a success. No frills, just great beer and food in an unpretentious, old-school boozer.

On the way out we couldn't help but notice a beautifully kept vintage Mercedes Roadster which had just pulled up. It was only after we'd chatted to the owner for a few minutes that I realised he was Jay Kay. So there you go - Q.E.D.

1 Mar 2014 20:06

The Charles Dickens, Southwark

Why is this place not busier?

The interior is a bit spartan but there's always a good choice of ale, cheap food, SkySports, what's not to like?

8 Feb 2014 19:08

The Old Barge, Hertford

Excellent riverside pub on the Lea, a perfect place to end a long walk before catching the train back from nearby Hertford East.
There's about 7 or 8 handpumps, usually 2 or 3 are for cider, the rest do an ever changing selection of ales from all over the country with Dark Star Hophead a permanent feature.
The Sunday roasts are to die for although there's always loads of middle-class families there at the weekends with brattish kids.
There's also a smaller room with Sky and plenty of seats outside, some overlooking the river.

4 Feb 2014 10:52

The Slaughtered Lamb, Clerkenwell

Firstly don't be misled by the name - I didn't see any evidence of Hells Angels or Satanists - you're perfectly safe

This is the sort of place I wouldn't usually look twice at - stripped floors, dim lighting, candles on tables etc. not my concept of a pub at all but I found myself here for no other reason than the live music. Main bar is quite spacious but with plenty of seating and there's quite an eclectic choice of beer, some keg, some on handpump. There's another bar downstairs where the bands play with just keg beers, albeit from local micros. Drinks are definitely on the pricey side but then we had front row seats for two superb bands at no extra cost so pound for pound excellent value for money.

28 Jan 2014 13:55

The Spread Eagle, Camden

Popped in here this afternoon for the first time in about 5 years after being told it had improved a lot recently.
The interior is definitely more attractive and comfortable now and the choice of ales a lot better BUT £11 for two drinks?? AND I had to ask for a top-up

15 Jan 2014 22:30

Ice Wharf, Camden

One of the better 'Spoons pubs. Previous reviewer is spot on

15 Jan 2014 22:16

The Duke of Hamilton, Hampstead

With the axe hanging over the nearby White Bear and just about every other pub in the area having succumbed to gastroponceritis or worse still shut down altogether, it's reassuring to know that London's most picturesque suburb still has one decent drinking establishment. It is also virtually unchanged from the days when I used to visit as a teenager in the mid 1980's and my peers would spend the evening baiting a certain Barry Cryer whilst I cringed in the corner.
This afternoon I had a decent pint of Hophead and there were another 3 or 4 ales on, all Fullers (not my bag). Despite the la-di-da location, the clientele on my last couple of visits have been surprisingly down to earth folk - not at all what you'd expect in this part of the world. I'm amazed
this place has survived, let's hope it continues to do so.
Long live the Duke!

14 Jan 2014 20:11

The Washington, Belsize Park

This is a grand old pub that has had a trendy makeover but has retained a lot of it's original features. There's a reasonable choice of ales, predominantly national brands, plus several foreign beers on keg.

I got a decent pint of 'Top of the Hops' but at £4.20 I doubt I'll be back

2 Jan 2014 18:44

The Ladybower Inn, Bamford

Like a lot of the pubs around here, this is more of a restaurant, thankfully not of the modern, gastro variety, more old-school kitsch - like an upmarket harvester.
There's a good selection of beer though (mostly local) which, on my visit was kept well and served properly. It was also a good 50p a pint cheaper than all the other pubs I visited in the area.

2 Jan 2014 18:35

The Peaks Inn, Castleton

Not as cosy as the Cheshire Cheese next door and fewer ales on offer but a better option if you've got muddy boots on. Unfortunately, like the Cheshire Cheese, the staff are frosty and serve short pints.

2 Jan 2014 18:24

Ye Olde Cheshire Cheese Inn, Castleton

Popped in here a couple of times whilst staying in Castleton over Xmas. There's a really good selection of ales - all 6 were from different local breweries with tasting notes on the pump clips - a nice touch.
On the downside though staff were not particularly friendly and on my second visit I was served a pint that even with the considerable head was still well under.

2 Jan 2014 18:20

The Cheshire Cheese Inn, Hope

This is a cosy, historic pub, by far the friendliest of the four I visited whilst on holiday in the area - landlord & landlady were both very engaging and welcoming. Ales on offer were Peak Ales Swift Nick, Adnams Lighthouse plus 3 from the nearby Bradfield Brewery.

2 Jan 2014 18:05

Black Horse Inn, Chesham Vale

Just popped in here after regular weekend walk in the Chilterns.

4 pumps but stuck with the Side Pocket which was perfect.

Sat in the cosy snug by the fire gorging on the superb free roasties - sorry guys, we polished off the lot, but nobody else was indulging (presumably already full up) and they were just too good to waste!

Staff and locals incredibly friendly and the two resident Black Labs are impossible to ignore.

Like the previous poster I wish this was my local. I would be in every night of the week.

Maximum points, take a bow folks

8 Dec 2013 19:29

The Clock House Hotel, Chideock

Insular, decrepit, surly staff and the cellarman should've gone to specsavers

25 Nov 2013 19:03

The Moon Under Water, Watford

You know what you're going to get with 'spoons - cavernous pubs, cheap beer, cheap TV dinners, winos, pensioners, students...This one is a little bit smarter than the rest, which probably has something to do with the JDW head office being round the corner.

24 Nov 2013 17:11

The Viper, Mill Green

Character pub in idyllic location - one of the few wooded hamlets in Essex

Usually has about 5 ales on offer, all local.

Food is home made, top notch and incredibly cheap, especially given this is an affluent area - on my last visit I had steak pie, new potatoes and veg for £6.95, an absolute steal

24 Nov 2013 16:41

The Rising Sun, Berkhamsted

Cosy, unpretentious, great vibe, great beer, great location - as good as it gets really

Pictured on the front cover of the good beer guide a couple of years back

23 Nov 2013 23:19

The Land of Liberty, Peace and Plenty, Heronsgate

I have been an occasional but regular visitor here for about seven or eight years. It's only a 2 minute drive from the M25 but feels like it's a million miles away.

This is most definitely a drinkers pub - the only food available seems to be microwaved pasties or peanuts which keeps the families away - not a bad thing.

There's usually about six ales on, which are always well kept and served in oversized glasses so you're always assured of a full pint.

The resident Alsatian has always been sound with me, apart from the one time I went to stroke it and it got a bit defensive. Ironically this kind of mirrors the attitude of the aloof locals - it's like "you're welcome to drink here, but don't expect to interact with us"
This, together with the perennially miserable landlord are the only things that detract from what would otherwise be the perfect pub

21 Nov 2013 10:27

The Brocket Arms, Ayot St. Lawrence

This place used to be a bit run down, which was a shame, given it's picturesque location and illustrious history. Thankfully it has improved massively of late which I can only put down to the change of landlord - who cares what he wears to work.

Great selection of beer, 6 handpumps inc. the house beer from Nethergate, usually one from Tring and another from the nearby 3 Brewers in St. Albans. Had a Beer festival in the large garden last summer - lots to choose from.

Haven't eaten there but food looks good. Nice open fire too, which was just the ticket on my last visit.

21 Nov 2013 09:38

The Bottle Inn, Marshwood

Sought out this place whilst on a walking holiday recently. Received a warm welcome from staff, locals and Teddy the house Briard.
Excellent choice of beers - from memory there were 5 handpumps - I would normally have been more than satisfied with Dark Star Hophead but the Moor So'Hop was even better.
Food also excellent and reasonably priced.

Re the previous post; By bizarre coincidence, another one of my recent walks took me past The Stanhope Arms in Brasted. I considered going in but was put off by the reviews on BITE!!

21 Nov 2013 09:09

The New Crown, Southgate

Have to agree with the last poster - this place has really deteriorated in recent months. The tables are never cleaned and there are some staff (plump girl/blonde ponytail) who consistently serve short pints and then start harrumphing when you ask for a top-up.

It's a sad state of affairs when the only place for miles around that serves anything other than GK IPA/Pride/DoomBar/Abbott etc is a decaying Wetherspoons.

21 Nov 2013 08:53

Back to HarryHawthorn's profile