skip nav  

BITE user comments - Komakino

Comments by Komakino

The Grouse and Ale, Lane End

One of the few options in the wilderness between Stokenchurch and Marlow, due to the glut of nearby closures over the last few years. Opened-planned, and given to both drinkers and diners, the four-ale offering is welcome, although only one is a local (Rebellion's Roasted Nuts - on very good form). Inobtrusive up-and-down background music playing during my visit, including that Texas/Wu-Tang Clan collaboration curio from the mid-90s.

19 Nov 2015 23:14

The Queens Head, Crowmarsh Gifford

Now free of Thai, albeit still under Fuller's auspices, this is a decent alternative to some of the 'tough to love' options over the bridge in Wallingford, even though a couple of minuses were the egg-chasing-themed Front Row being a bit 'end of barrelly' and the bare-wooded décor being somewhat bland.

11 Oct 2015 09:20

The Royal Oak, Wantage

Wantage outscores similar Oxfordshire market towns (think Abingdon, Bicester and Thame) by virtue of having two superb real ale-focussed pubs, and this probably shades The Shoulder of Mutton in terms of selection, with locals XT XPA and the alliteratively wonderful Maggs’ Magnificent Mild both on excellent form. There’s a cosy ambience to the place and the sound of the bell ringing for last orders at 2pm on a Sunday afternoon harks back to an almost forgotten time.

1 Oct 2015 13:24

The Queens Head, St Pancras

A decent pre-gig alternative for the nearby Scala prior to a Alanna McArdle-less Joanna Gruesome show (other pubs are closer, but are rather hit-and-miss), even if there does seem to be a little too much emphasis on the craft beers. On my return post-show, a mouse was scurrying in and around the floor, much to the bar staffers' amusement.

23 Sep 2015 09:58

The Goodlake Arms, East Challow

This imposing hostelry is the only pub in the drive-through village of East Challow and necessitates steep steps to negotiate prior to entry. The chalkboards affixed to the outside walls are evidence of its Morland past, and although it’s no frills, the only option – Doom Bar (shudders) – was in surprisingly good nick and the small L-shaped room was tidy and presentable. Plenty of emphasis on the darts, and Sky Sports also seems to play a key role in this pub’s draw.

9 Sep 2015 18:47

The Bell Inn, Ducklington

Worth the swerve off the A40 which separates this village from the market town of Witney. The Greene King livery unsettled, but a superbly well-kept pint of Ossett's Silver King and amiable service took the edge off, and the location to the left of a duck pond adds to the tweeness.

6 Sep 2015 09:04

Gardeners Arms, Emmer Green

Situated in an offshoot to a road running through a housing estate, The Gardeners Arms is certainly oddly-placed. As a Meet & Eat establishment, there's little to make it stand out on its own (hide-wrapped TVs notwithstanding) and the ale selection is somewhat leaden. The clientele is predominantly alpha male, and they were enjoying Scotland coming second to Georgia in a Euro 2016 Qualifier during my visit.

5 Sep 2015 10:16

The Grapes, Aylesbury

Awful as Stars, and more reminiscent of a similarly-named mid-90s nightclub in Weston-super-Mare. Now renamed The Tap & Barrel and part of the Artisan Tap chain with much focus on the brews. Disappointingly enough, the 3 (out of 4) available ales comprised GK IPA, Old Golden Hen and Doom Bar, so minus points there, but the décor is much improved, and there's enough on the crafty front to warrant a return visit. Also, the 'sinks' in the Gents are novel and worth a look.

11 Aug 2015 20:53

Ye Olde Dog and Badger, Medmenham

Reopened now, and much fawning over patrons as to whether they are eating or not. Décor is very much Banksyeque and there are more gins and whiskies than you can shake a stick at. Not my cup of tea, but a beer from a local stable (Malt the Brewery) was good to see, and having been closed for an age one hopes they can tap into the well-moneyed in this drive-through between Marlow and Henley.

9 Aug 2015 03:59

The Turners Arms, Ambrosden

Worth the schlep out of Bicester after visiting the overrated outlet shopping centre on a rainy July Sunday and I'm pleased to say that sloe_jane's comment of 2008 still rings true. A friendly welcome from both landlady, landlord and locals and a well-kept pint of Spitfire made me feel right at home. A dying breed; there were probably thousands of pubs like this around the country 20+ years ago. Be warned though, the opening hours can be erratic.

4 Aug 2015 00:01

The Red Lion, Stratton Audley

I can't decide whether the manorial Oxfordshire village of Stratton Audley sounds more like an estate agents or a West Indian cricketer, but nomenclature aside, this establishment isn't far off being the quintessential English village pub. The welcome was warm, the ambience cosy and there's much emphasis on the nags, judging by the paraphernalia on the walls. A hearty dish of bangers and mash was served piping hot and was washed down with a cracking pint of Moorhouse's White Witch. The only slight gripe might be the 'reserved' signs on all the tables, which I understand is there to prevent drinkers occupying the tables, yet seems excessive.

3 Aug 2015 23:42

The Coach and Horses, Adderbury

The busiest of the four pubs in Adderbury on the weekend of the British GP. It's a Wadworth house, so you can't have everything, but a pint of Farmers Glory did the job, and a no-nonsense Corned Beef & Pickle sandwich was enjoyed at the bargain price of £1.50. It's also conveniently located on the village green.

3 Aug 2015 17:05

The Bull Inn, Launton

A decent enough alternative to the rather lacklustre offerings of Bicester town centre. That it's owned by Greene King doesn't detract from their shtick, and a ploughman's lunch ticked all the boxes containing as it did both ham and cheese. Friendly and attentive service was also another feather in this establishment's hat.

13 Jul 2015 19:36

The Gunmakers, Marylebone

A narrow, off the beaten track London boozer, offering a decent selection of ales in traditional-looking surrounds. Food looked reasonably-priced for this area of London and it's ideally-placed opposite the Farmers' Market on a Sunday. Joy Division's 'Closer' album was being played unobtrusively in the background during my visit.

6 Jul 2015 15:11

The Goat, Upper Halliford

A welcome choice after a rather nerve-racking Under-16s driving experience at Brookland's Mercedes-Benz World. The carvery was well-judged and well-priced, as was the well-kept Bombardier (£3.20 a pint), which more than made up for the rather lacklustre service proffered. In terms of value for money though, well worth a visit, and certainly deserves more than its current sub-4 rating.

31 May 2015 03:43

The Castle, Cambridge

This once characterful Cambridge centre pub is now, in essence, a bar-cum-club, with drinks and décor to match. Having said that, the London Tube map that has the station names replaced by band names painted onto the wall as you walk upstairs to the toilets (a la Simon Patterson's 'The Great Bear') is a nice touch.

10 May 2015 21:03

The Devonshire Arms, Marylebone

Situated bang opposite Latin revolutionary Simon Bolivar's former digs, the Devonshire Arms sees it's fair share of suits (it's closed at weekends) and the metallic bar counter and stools give off more of a bar vibe than London pub. That said, there's an OK range of ales even though the slant is more towards the lager crowd.

7 May 2015 16:00

The Duke Of Wellington, Marylebone

With most tables set out for dining, an extensive wine list chalked up on one wall and a limited range of ales, this pub appears to have its foot firmly planted in one camp. Yet there are Banksy-esque and G&G prints, an eclectic music selection and crafty concessions on tap which are enough to keep the gastro pretensions at bay, although one would struggle to imagine this place heaving with the after-work crowd more through space considerations than anything else.

7 May 2015 15:11

The Temperance, Marylebone

Now The Royal Oak, with much emphasis on burgers (it doubles as "Burgershack"), this is a tastefully revived London corner pub just off the main Marylebone drag, despite the limited choice of ales. Background music was on the funkier side of Motown, and it houses a common London feature - a 2-Tone Gents'.

7 May 2015 14:57

The Fruit Bat, Reading

Hardly a pub, and the previous comments dating from 8-9 years ago still ring true, as a student bar also frequented by locals would sum the proceedings up nicely. That said, a surprisingly good pint of Marstons New World chimed in at a mere £2 and service was on the prompt side, even though there would be little to warrant a prolonged stay.

5 May 2015 22:21

Stag and Hounds, Farnham Common

A Greene King pub in lower case letters only thanks to a wonderous range of ales, focussing primarily on local brews – of the 10 handpumps available, only 3 were from the GK stable. Sandwiched between retail units on the thoroughfare through Farnham Common, it was busy with drinkers and a smattering of diners on a Friday night and although somewhat harassed, the two barmaids on shift made a fine job of sating both camps. Two XT beers on tap was also a welcome surprise.

25 Apr 2015 19:48

Stag Inn, Mentmore

Another pub reopened (at the end of 2014), and seeming to make a concession for all, with distinct areas set aside for drinkers (a bar with its own bar menu), cocktail bar and restaurant. The Chas Wells/Dogfish collaboration on tap was a surprise to see and eagerly snapped up. There's an Art Deco lean to the surroundings, which a lends a uniqueness to a tried-and-tested format, and the garden is an excellent sun-trap on a warm day.

17 Apr 2015 23:20

Old Swan Cheddington, Cheddington

Now reopened, this pub in the midst of Great Train Robbery land treads the fine line between gastro and country hostelry. On a warm April afternoon, the front garden was replete with drinkers enjoying the early 2015 warm spell; the inside packed with Easter weekend diners. A GK pub by stealth - the ubiquitous IPA was on tap - Upham's Punter was the other option but was unfortunately off. A bottle of Triple C went someway towards redressing the balance, along with a TV screen showing Watford v Middlesbrough, despite the limited area afforded for drinkers.

17 Apr 2015 22:58

The Rose and Crown, Wingrave

In the seeming wilderness between Aylesbury and Leighton Buzzard, it was a fortune to stumble across this pub which proffered a friendly welcome, excellent beer (the superbly well-judged White Park Stumped) and a more than convivial atmosphere. Traditionally set out with four separate areas - three of which are served by a main bar - this was a superb start to an Easter weekend pub crawl.

17 Apr 2015 22:42

The Enterprise, Holborn

The dark wood and ornate tiling are certainly an aesthetic boon for this pub just off High Holborn. Purity's Pure Ubu was in great form and made 'Non-Alignment Pact' course through my head during my brief visit. The WWI-era scale airplanes hanging from the ceiling evoke Oxford's (Jericho) Victoria, but are more than likely in homage to the major event suffered by the Dolphin Tavern opposite, in 1915. Good, but not great.

28 Mar 2015 13:40

The Library, Oxford

One of the few pubs actually located on Oxford's Cowley Road, and conveniently located a door or so away from the O2 Academy after a typically acerbic Sleaford Mods gig on a Wednesday night. The narrowness can be a drawback at busy times, but the extended opening hours are a fillip on a post-gig weeknight, and the sole real ale - Loose Cannon's Dark Wheat - was spot-on, as was one of the craft beers (Boston Lager). The décor is well-judged as is the background music, with songs from PM Dawn (the Spandau Ballet one), Django Django and Thriller-era Michael Jackson covering most bases for the mixed clientele. Jason Williamson popped in as I was leaving which gave it a further seal of approval.

12 Mar 2015 00:32

The Red Lion, Kidlington

Vies with (and probably beats) The Duke of Monmouth on Oxford's Abingdon Road for the award for most TV screens in one establishment. Part of the Pizza Kitchen Bar chain, but none the better for it; a lunchtime visit saw the usual characters that populate the pubs in the satellite towns of Oxford at that time of day, and a bowl.of nachos was served unnervingly quickly; with half of the portion consisting of dry, salted tortilla chips once the top layer had been consumed. Little to stand out from the rather lacklustre affairs Kidlington has to offer.

25 Feb 2015 17:23

The General Elliot, South Hinksey

Reopened towards the end of 2014 with much community fanfare, this off-the-beaten track boozer continues its popularity among locals and walkers and the wet and dry options offered are enticing. Busy on a Saturday afternoon, there's a cosy ambience about the place and I even saw a man who looked a lot like a dreadlocked Marc Riley during my visit.

22 Feb 2015 21:01

The Cock and Lion, Bond Street

Interior-wise, very similar to the tiny White Horse on Broad Street in Oxford, albeit without the Morsean paraphernalia. Thronged with black and white photographs of London past for the tourist hordes no doubt, with its rather prosaic ale selection and food menu there's little that makes this establishment stand out from the clutch of nearby pub options.

16 Feb 2015 17:17

Prince Of Wales, Didcot

In terms of layout and wet and dry offerings, not greatly divorced from the ubiquitous Brewers Fayre/Chef & Brewer/Meat & Eat/Sizzling (et al) chains that are dotted around this area of Oxfordshire. Although I didn't partake, four ales were on, and not all from the GK roster, although, as mentioned below, my 'pint' of Diet Coke also failed to reach the brim, even with the inclusion of ice. The Gents were another let-down with no lock on the cubicle and a glaring trip hazard walking out. Ostensibly a station bar, it would be good to see the South of the country attempt to mirror the North and provide some quality in terms of its offerings to thirsty railgoers.

25 Nov 2014 00:56

The Amhurst, Hackney

Now gorily-named the 'Hand of Glory', the darkened décor along with the wicker animal head lampshades, dried, twisted thorns hanging above the bar and museum-like glass sideboard housing animal skulls and taxidermic paraphernalia give somewhat of a Gothic air, but it seems to works with friendly staff, great beer and great music. The only 'slight' remark would be the '2-tone' (as in the record label) appearance of the Gents'),

9 Nov 2014 17:35

The Amhurst, Hackney

Now gorily-named the 'Hand of Glory', the darkened décor along with the wicker animal head lampshades, dried, twisted thorns hanging above the bar and museum-like glass sideboard housing animal skulls and taxidermic paraphernalia give somewhat of a Gothic air, but it seems to works with friendly staff, great beer and great music. The only 'slight' remark would be the '2-tone' (as in the record label) appearance of the Gents'),

9 Nov 2014 17:35

The Prince Alfred, Maida Vale

As below, the high-ceilinged Victoriana is a joy to behold, with the front section of the pub suitably maze-like along with the gin palace air. Food portions look ample, and it was bedecked with the checked-shirted on a Sunday lunchtime. The only gripe is the prices - I was put off of selecting the superb Charles Wells/Dogfish Head New World IPA after seeing it priced at £5.04 on the drinks menu.

9 Nov 2014 13:47

The Richmond Arms, St Johns Wood

Laminate-floored now, yet maintaining the Inter-war wood finishing all around, this is another of the Lisson Grove pubs where you'll find no real ale, but likely a character or two, although my early sojourn precluded that. The barmaid seemed to be in charge of the music, and hearing songs being played by Billy Joel, Chas & Dave and Neil Diamond were put into a dichotomy by being followed by 'Because I Got High' by Afroman.

24 Aug 2014 18:18

Lord High Admiral, Lisson Grove

Blink and you'll miss the Lord High Admiral on Lisson Grove's Church Street, and outward appearances likely enforce previous comments. Yet for a pub that serves no real ale (surely anathema for BITE) the interior proffers a clean, tidy community pub as well as a hospitable landlady with immense pride in the upkeep of the beer and cider she does keep; the Guinness I had was on great form. Having said that, it's possible that 'outsider' experiences of evenings and weekends may not reflect such positive leanings.

24 Aug 2014 17:52

The Pineapple, Dorney

Low ceiling with exposed beams and carpeted floor give off a traditional pub feel and the Windsor & Eton Guardsman was on good form. The extensive sandwich menu is novel and includes the wonderfully-named Wedge Ham United.

15 Aug 2014 19:11

The Palmer Arms, Dorney

A pub-cum-eaterie with much emphasis on the latter, thronging with the well-heeled on an early Friday evening. Whilst pleasant enough, the ale selection is a drawback, with the choice of GK IPA and Abbot suitably anodyne, and the pub garden is awash with a sea of tables and chairs.

15 Aug 2014 19:00

The White Hart, Wytham

Barely a mile from the clutches of Wolvercote, this country pub had a hint of the gastros but was thronged with post-Aunt Sally players on a Wednesday evening. A Wadworth house, the choice was limited, but the Horizon was in good enough nick, and glancing at the menu, this seemed a better bet than the popular Trout if you can put up with not eating 'dall'acqua'.

14 Aug 2014 18:31

The Trout Inn, Wolvercote

Approaching at 10pm, we were unable to appreciate the finer points of The Trout, but a convivial Australian barmaid and a well-kept pint of Cornish Trawler provided a warm welcome. Seeing a bar festooned in clingfilm seemed odd, but was done to keep the flies off, who were attendant in their droves. Light and bright and not really pubby at all, but nice to prop up the bar at what is predominantly a food-oriented establishment.

14 Aug 2014 18:26

Jacobs Inn, Oxford

Now known as Jacob's Inn and with gastro-style leanings, this pub borders just on the right side of prententiousness. Some of the trappings give off a 'Crazy Bear' air, and a stuffed fox replete with spectacles and the 70s-style Akai tape recorded are curious touches that just about work. The ale selection is on the OK side and one of the American craft beers went down well. Also, leaving the Gents' after applying hand cream to my mitts "après-pis" made me feel as if I were hatching a dastardly plan.

14 Aug 2014 18:16

The White Hart, Wolvercote

The most 'pubby' of the four Wolvercote options, this community-owned pub was hosting an match of that old Oxfordshire institution Aunt Sally during our visit. The welcome was warm and the Loose Cannon Bombshell was exceptional. The only drawback may be the lack of parking what with the proximity of The Red Lion (now Jacob's Inn) out front.

14 Aug 2014 14:49

Plough, Wolvercote

Busy on a Wednesday night, which knocked the service level somewhat, but a pint of Hooky Gold went down well and the amiable antics of a Jack Russell out front took the attention away from the Oxford-Bicester Line trains bombing along the track a mere 100 yards or so away.

14 Aug 2014 14:31

The Anchor, Tring

Despite its location away from the town's epicentre, The Anchor was the busiest of the three Tring pubs visited on a Saturday night. A mix of young and old is always a good sign, as was the Tring Fanny Ebbs at £3.20. A friendly welcome to boot from both staff and punters, alongside a collective hush at the start of the Commonwealth Games 4x100m Mens Relay gave a somewhat unexpected immersive experience.

3 Aug 2014 11:34

The Carpenters Arms, Windsor

Nestling in the shadow of the venerable old pile, this establishment could easily cash in on a skewed version of a traditional English pub, what with the continuous flow of foreign tourists. That it doesn't is to its immense credit. A choice of eight well-kept ales, good food and service, and a clean and tidy interior exemplify pride in a peculiarly English tradition, and even if £3.70 for a pint of GK XX Mild (what with it being only 3.0% ABV) seems on the steep side, as this is Windsor, I'll let them off.

2 Aug 2014 08:35

Mitre, Buckingham

A welcome respite after a long traipse from the nearby village of Chackmore on a hot summer's day. Five ales on handpump was a welcoming site and the Oakham Citra was an apt and enjoyable choice. An amiable landlord in residence to boot, and all in all a breathe of fresh air from some of the hit and miss establishments in Buckingham's twon centre.

21 Jul 2014 12:27

The Goose, Britwell Salome

The Mr Chubbs is indeed excellent, and you'll struggle to find a beer on their roster over 4% due to the fact that most people have to drive to the place, but thoroughly well-kept and moreish it is. As evinced by previous reviews, much emphasis on the food, which is superb, if a little pricey (a Le Manoir-trained chef I'm led to believe), but the pub does make concessions for the drinkers, and it was good to see a smattering of locals partaking of a Friday night. Friendly and attentive staff are another feather in this establishment's cap.

19 Jul 2014 08:15

The North Star, Maidenhead

Tiny backstreet pub on the outskirts of Maidenhead, a stone's throw from Crooked Billet pub-cum-Indian restaurant. The clientele may put you off, but the landlord is a diamond: more than happy to talk you through the ales on handpump. The front of the pub is also a nice little suntrap on a warm day.

18 Jul 2014 18:55

The Traders Inn, Lisson Grove

Smallish one-roomed London boozer in the unremarkable Lisson Grove district. In keeping with many of the pubs in this area, no real ale is served, which isn’t a surprise (keg favourite John Smiths notwithstanding). Unfortunately, there's very little to remark upon further; the basics are catered for and no doubt it serves its purpose in the location it’s situated in.

10 Jul 2014 16:16

The Victory, Marylebone

There’s a Sunday Times Magazine air about The Victory’s décor, and much emphasis on their cocktail menu. However, I have to say being served by someone on a mobile phone is a first for me, and I saw two people leave their pints and walk out during my stay there. Poor show on the service side and no real ale; it must be tough being located between the excellent Wargrave Arms and Duke of York, but must try harder.

7 Jul 2014 17:57

The Half Moon, Cuxham

Situated in the tiny village of Cuxham, between Chalgrove and Watlington, The Half Moon has had a chequered history of late - alternating between country pub, French restaurant and closure. Happily enough it has made a return to the former and the internal décor creates a nice ambience. The only sour note was that the solitary ale - Brakspear Bitter - was on the turn.

13 Jun 2014 17:25

The Red Lion Inn, Chalgrove

Charming country pub and the best of the three in the village. The ale selection is good as you'd expect from a freehouse, and I can also attest to the food being exceedingly good, having previously worked in Chalgrove. Despite being located opposite the very different beast that is The Crown, a twee air is exuded, exemplified by the family of ducks pottering around the edge of the pub's front garden.

12 Jun 2014 14:07

The Crown, Chalgrove

Of the three public house options in the south Oxfordshire village of Chalgrove, scene of the slaying of parliamentarian John Hampden, The Crown is the most 'no frills'. Laminate flooring adorns the ceiling, drink choice is minimal and the vibe is distinctly 'local', however, the beer (Morland Original) was well-kept and it was the busiest pub in the village on a pre-World Cup Wednesday night in June, thanks to a contest of that venerable old Oxfordshire game Aunt Sally being in full swing.

12 Jun 2014 13:33

The Wargrave Arms, Marylebone

Much for the carnivores in the array of burgers and ribs on the menu and the plethora of different scotches lends a uniqueness to what could have been an ordinary Young’s house. The vinyl album covers adorning parts of the walls aren’t a new idea, but the fact that they’re solely of Easy Listening artists is suitably naff but just about works, and there’s just about enough here to differentiate this pub from the glut of nearby establishments, even if the limited Young’s range may not be to everyone’s taste.

12 May 2014 17:27

The Globe, Lisson Grove

A basic, no-frills, one-roomed boozer betwixt Marylebone Station and Edgware Road. With the décor on the tired-looking side; one of the few redeeming characteristics was that a palatable pint of Doom Bar chimed in at just £3.00.

12 May 2014 13:08

The Lyric, Soho

Tiny corner pub slap-bang opposite the famed Windmill strip club just off Shaftesbury Avenue, now devoted to real ale with 18 on both tap and handpump during my tarriance. The Lyric is a wonderful display of Victoriana with its mahogany interior, ornate frosted glass and tiled entrance with the only sour note being the descent to the Gents which was giving off an ‘end-of-day fruit and veg stall’ aroma.

6 May 2014 17:59

The Carlisle Arms, Soho

Small, basic one-roomed pub to the north-eastern edge of Soho, just shy of the FA’s former stamping ground. Quiet for a Saturday afternoon. Music selection was a boon although a music channel showing videos concurrently (albeit on mute), leant a slightly confusing, if pointless air. Pop art frames of Sid Vicious, Christopher Walken and Ziggy Stardust-era David Bowie gave a contemporary feel to the place but didn’t detract from the ‘standard London boozer’ look. The Young’s London Gold was on the palatable side and was nice to see a player from the old county with Old Hooky on tap keeping that and the Pride company.

6 May 2014 14:39

The Masons Arms, North Leigh

A timewarp indeed and there's more than a hint of 'front room' about the place. As a free house, the ale range is uninspiring (Courage Best or Directors), but the selling point here is the pub games on offer with an onsite skittle alley, indoor and outdoor Aunt Sally pitches, bar billiards, pool, darts, dominoes and crib, and in an era where traditional pub games appear to be a dying breed, it’s certainly refreshing to see. Very quiet during my sojourn, but that could have been due to the imminent kick-off at Anfield of the Liverpool-Chelsea game.

2 May 2014 11:45

The Swan, Clewer Village

Proper, unprententious backstreet boozer with a basic layout and no frills. Cracking pint of Windsor Knot on the slightly steep side at £3.70, but as it is Windsor, I'll let them off. Top marks for friendly landlord and playing London Calling (the album) in the background.

25 Apr 2014 10:08

The Chequers Inn, Cassington

I’ve always been a bit dubious of brown signs on the roads indicating public houses of note as the establishments themselves tend to be rather hit and miss. The Chequers has this poisoned chalice from the A40 heading in (or out) of Oxford. Ostensibly an inn inasmuch as it offers accommodation, the focus appears to be on the food side. Perhaps this takes the focus off other areas as I found the Hooky Gold too cool to be able to discern any flavour, the music dreadful, the door to the toilets crying out in pain for a drop of WD40, and driving out through Cassington one wonders why the Red Lion wasn’t bestowed the ‘suggested’ honour on the A-road.

24 Apr 2014 14:32

The Oxfordshire Yeoman, Freeland

A world away from the similarly-named Buckinghamshire Yeoman in Aylesbury, this is a cracking village pub situated north-west of Oxford betwixt the A40 and A44. I had a superb pint of Tricerahops from the Hop Kettle brewery which was wonderfully fruity and hoppy and whilst the other ale choices of Marston Pedigree and Jennings Cumberland Ale sound seemingly anodyne, they were served, surprisingly, from gravity via barrels on the bar. A bingo night was in full swing during my sojourn, bar billiards and darts were available, and the unpretentious food menu (I didn't partake but the portions looked generous) all added to the ambience of a traditional country pub. Top marks and well worth revisiting.

24 Apr 2014 13:09

The Hand and Shears, Church Hanborough

Pleasant pub-restaurant in this idyllic small village north of Oxford. A Charles Wells house, so the range was limited, but the Eagle IPA went down well nonetheless. The church opposite adds to the tweeness, and if you can get over the cars coursing along the road if sitting outside the front, then this is a worthwhile detour from the hit-and-miss pubs of Bladon and Long Hanborough.

22 Apr 2014 13:34

The Dew Drop Inn, Oxford

One of the older buildings on Summertown high street, sandwiched between modern, glass-façade shops, The Dew Drop Inn is a two-barred beast; and if you enter to the left, you can see the trappings of a small, characterful Oxford boozer. Make a trip to the bar on the right, which is much larger, however, and you may as well be in a student common room; something which may well be to do with the preponderance of language schools dotted along the Banbury Road. That said, of the limited ale range, the Old Hooky was well-kept and reasonably-priced (£3.45) and the service attentive, although for something more ‘Oxford’ you’re always better off marching across to Woodstock Road and seeking out the delights of North Parade and Jericho.

11 Apr 2014 09:02

The Bird In Hand, Henley-On-Thames

The plaudits are well deserved for this agreeable off-the-beaten-track Henley boozer; the only free house in this Brakspear-dominated Oxfordshire town. Busy on a Tuesday night with a good selection of ales, the Hooky Mild was top notch and the ambience good. The only bugbear might be the small bar necessitating some slaloming to get to and from inbetween the regulars.

10 Apr 2014 13:57

The Star Inn, Waltham St Lawrence

Recently re-opened after a brief period of closure, The Star is an uninspiring Wadworth house on the main thoroughfare through the leafy village of Waltham St Lawrence. That said, my pint of Henry’s IPA was in fine fettle, the barmaid was particularly attentive, and like most of the village pubs in this area it was busy on the weeknight I visited which is always an encouragement in this era of continuous pub closure.

9 Apr 2014 13:53

The Bell Hotel, Aylesbury

Old worlde ‘Spoons on Aylesbury’s market square. The selling point here is probably the interior as the Bell Hotel has stood for many a year and still retains many of its original nooks and crannies. The ale selection is wide – 8 handpumps on – the Tring Brewery beer I had (I think it was Bring Me Sunshine) was on good form at a reasonable price (£1.99) and the TV tuned onto Sky News gave a welcome distraction from some of the less than salubrious clientele.

8 Apr 2014 14:27

The Green Man, Aylesbury

Narrow GK boozer on Aylesbury’s cobbled market square offering a limited ale range of GK IPA and Sharps Doom Bar; the latter was on the OK-ish side, chiming in at £3.65 and the range was limited to just this what with the IPA’s clip turned barwards. The shtick here is live music, much espoused by the notices dotted around the interior and exterior, but on a quiet Monday night, the jukebox was in good flow with songs from The Smiths, Blondie and The Kinks making an appearance and the crowd very much veered on the ‘studenty’ side. The pub has a tenuous claim to fame inasmuch as it is located next door to where comic actor Ronnie Barker made his theatre debut (the building now no longer stands).

8 Apr 2014 13:36

The Crown Inn, Penn

A Chef & Brewer establishment so you kind of know what you're going to get, but the ale range was good, the service attentive and the place was welcoming enough. Perhaps suffering from being away from the Tylers Green centre, where the triumvirate of pubs had attracted the majority of the Wednesday night clientele, but one does suspect this place is generally judged on its dry, rather than wet offerings.

3 Apr 2014 14:20

Red Lion, Penn

Busy on a Wednesday night and the influence of The Royal Standard crowd can be seen with the dark wooden interior, low lighting and eclectic furniture. The Chiltern Brewery Pure Gold was in great nick and the 18th century cartoons and lazy pub cat were further nice touches. Seeing Lowenbrau on tap gave the evening a surreal 'moment-in-time-from-the-80s (or 90s)' feel.

3 Apr 2014 14:09

The Old Queens Head, Penn

Busy on a Wednesday night, predominantly with diners, and the majority of tables laid out for this purpose gave an indication of the primary focus of this establishment. A three drink round seemed pricey at £12+, the ale options of GK IPA or Ruddles County seemed rather pedestrian, and the clement weather spared us what would have seemed an uncomfortable indoor drinking experience.

3 Apr 2014 13:59

Horse and Jockey, Tylers Green

Traditional-style pub in the leafy village of Tylers Green a few miles out from the sprawl of High Wycombe. Offered six ales on hand pump on our sojourn – the Wooden Head Cornish Mutiny in particular fine fettle – amid cosy surroundings and the odd smattering of breweriana. Although we didn’t partake on the food front, the menu veered on the side of pub grub and the portions of the food we did see brought out to diners looked generous.

3 Apr 2014 13:11

The White Hart, Holyport

Tucked away from the main thoroughfare through Holyport and away from the eateries of The Belgian Arms and The George, the White Hart with its boundless car park is a good solid bet for the discerning drinker. The Tring Side Pocket (which seems to be inveigling its way around the pubs in the Bucks, Berks and Oxon area), was on the steep side at £3.60 a pint, no doubt due to being a GK guest, but was nonetheless spot-on. Busy for a Monday night and very much a locals ‘air’ to the place, but it was cosy enough, the service polite and friendly and the bar billiard table, commandeered as it was by three well-behaved children, was a nice touch.

11 Mar 2014 13:30

The Bell, Kitchen and Bar, Waddesdon

A modern take on the country pub in this manorial Buckinghamshire village. Although the website, menu and some of the styling give the impression of pretentiousness, this is outweighed by a cracking ale selection (local brewery XT’s ‘14’ an exceptional bonus), friendly staff and a functional layout. Even the small TV tuned into BT Sport for those of that ilk and the Vampire Weekend tunes in the background didn’t detract from the trappings. Certainly the better bet of the three choices in Waddesdon.

10 Mar 2014 12:25

Ivy House, Chalfont St Giles

Neo-rustic Fullers pub/restaurant on the main drag out of the poet Milton’s former stamping ground, Chalfont St Giles. It’s hard to find anything wrong with The Ivy House; the Fullers beers are in good nick, the surroundings clean and contemporary and the staff pleasant; it just all seems a little too ‘safe’. Overhearing a conversation about the Window Tax was a bonus if somewhat unexpected.

7 Mar 2014 14:59

The Jolly Cricketers, Seer Green

The Cricketers has a well-heeled air exemplified by the marques in the car park, the dress sense of the clientele and the prices on the menu, but the service is friendly and efficient, the ale selection varied and the surroundings veer more towards cosy village pub than anything else which holds this establishment in good stead. Impressive.

7 Mar 2014 10:19

The Feathers, Burnham

Situated between Bourne End and Burnham opposite the infamous Cliveden estate, The Feathers has all the trappings of a gastropub, but four ales on the handpumps holds them in good stead and the friendly staff were another plus point.

6 Mar 2014 17:40

The Garibaldi, Bourne End

Friendly and welcoming community-owned local in tiny Hedsor village just outside Bourne End. Three ales offered – the Rebellion Ankle Tap was spot-on – and the little touches – the open fire, dartboard and general village pub ambience – made a great start to a Wednesday night pub crawl.

6 Mar 2014 16:39

The Bricklayers Arms, Aylesbury

Fantastic public house situated opposite The Aristocrat on the Walton gyratory. Very convivial atmosphere which lessened my frustration at having to wait nearly 5 minutes to be served as no barperson was in site, despite the pub being busy. London Pride and Tribute on tap, bar snacks aplenty and great to see two pubs in close proximity managing to avoid the standard makeover craze sweeping the country with ne'er a sign of a bright light or flagstone floor in appearance.

2 Mar 2014 17:11

Aristocrat, Aylesbury

As below, an amiable Fullers pub on the Walton gyratory in Aylesbury. Strangely quiet atmosphere against the backdrop of the Carling Cup Final, even with the presence of post-Sunday League football lads. Chiswick Bitter good value at £3.00 a pint, if slightly on the cool side.

2 Mar 2014 15:25

The Perch Inn, Binsey

Tucked away in tiny Binsey village way off the Botley Road, The Perch seems to have its lot very much thrown into the food camp. That said, a nice eclectic range of ale - Marstons Pedigree, Old Hooky and Pride of Pendle - the latter very good indeed - all against a very stone-dominated interior made for a welcome sojourn away from the bustle of the Botley Road.

2 Mar 2014 10:49

The Holly Bush Inn, Oxford

Stark and open plan with a small mix of locals and students on a Saturday night, the only ale on was Doom Bar at a reasonable £3.20. Nicely placed for those making their way into town for a night out to stop in for a cheeky one or two or those Osney Islanders who prefer an unpretentious drinking experience compared to the nearby Punter.

2 Mar 2014 10:42

The Seacourt Bridge Inn, Oxford

The clientele gave this largish boozer a 'Cowley High Street' feel (c.f. The Nelson and The William Morris) - one man even had tattoos on his head - but punters aside, The Seacourt offers reasonable beer and reasonable food in a setting that borders on Victoriana, with some fantastic smoked glass, ornate lighting and carved wood. Slightly reminiscent of The Bull & Gate in Kentish Town in its own way and the small 'dining snug' to the left of the main bar is a nice touch.

2 Mar 2014 10:30

The Watermans Arms, Oxford

The young men with beards and glasses count was high as was the shirt, jumper and jeans combo count. The art on the walls also pointed towards a slightly higher or more bohemian class of clientele, but The Punter still retains its backstreet pub air in this stretch of Oxford that is eerily similar to Jericho to the north, and you'd much rather this still be on your doorstep than becoming yet another private residence.

2 Mar 2014 10:15

The Kite Inn, Oxford

A backstreet gem just off the Botley Road near the station in the midst of student houses. The welcome was warm - the place has just been taken over by an Australian lad and his mother. The beer was good - despite the place being a GK house, I had a pint of Golden Galaxy (the brewer escapes me) which was extremely quaffable. The atmosphere was good - a nice mix of locals and students enjoying early evening tipples, and all-round plus points with no-nonsense decor, 5/6 hand pumps, pool table, quiz machine, jukebox, fruit machine and TV (sports results on quiet) gives this high marks indeed.

2 Mar 2014 10:06

Duke Of Monmouth, Oxford

An out-of-town exercise in the modern looking over its shoulder at the past, The Duke of Monmouth is a curious beast. As mentioned below, the offers on both wet and dry are there, and if you try not to spare a thought for its provenance, the Belhaven Best was good value at £5.58 for two pints. Once you get away from how many TV screens there are (and I don’t think I’ve seen so many in one place outside of an electrical goods shop) you notice the juxtaposition of the elements making up the décor – a dartboard and old photographs of Oxford on the one hand, and the afore-mentioned hide-wrapped TVs, leather-bound thrones and a bright, generic appearance seen in thousands of madeover pubs around the country on the other. Still, the place had a fair few in on a Thursday night, so they must be doing something right.

28 Feb 2014 12:01

The Berkshire House, Oxford

Formerly The Berkshire House, situated as it was just over the border in Berkshire prior to the 1974 county boundary changes, this pub-cum-B&B has a dusting of the contemporaries with its bright and clean air as well as some homely touches, with the ‘front room’ clutch of sofas in the bay window opposite the bar, although the pool room had seen better days. A handful of souls attendant on a Thursday night and GK IPA and IPA Special represented the limited ale range available, although the two pints of the former weighed in at a mere £5. A confusing nod to the past was to be had in the barmaid’s wearing of a ‘Berkshire House’ polo shirt. Not much to write home about, but with the spate of nearby pub closures over the last few years (Fox & Hounds, General Elliot, Grandpont Arms, Marlborough House, Seven Stars) it’s good to see this one hanging on, even if parking is virtually non-existent.

28 Feb 2014 10:06

Prince of Wales, Cowley

Large estate pub on the Horspath Road, formerly another escape out of Cowley, now turned into a dead-end road at the point it meets the Ring Road. This pub is split into two main rooms, a narrow room to the right with tables and chairs, presumably set out for dining, and a larger, more open public bar to the right. I can’t make a judgement based on the below comments, but the male and female (landlord/landlady?) I encountered seemed pleasant enough. A handful of locals were in on a Wednesday night, a Galatasaray-Chelsea Champions’ League game playing on a large screen to limited interest. I opted for the GK IPA which was vinegary to say the least, chiming in as it did at £3.00, however, I was in a rush, so didn’t have the time or inclination to complain. The décor is worth a mention inasmuch as there is a real Victorian University library-type feel to parts of the interior, imbued in the dark wood panelling. Camra bang on about the nearby Fairview Inn, but for me this and the Art Deco-style trappings of the (also nearby) Nuffield Arms are equally as impressive.

27 Feb 2014 13:57

The George and Dragon, Wendover

A pub that also serves Thai food as opposed to a Thai restaurant that merely has a bar (c.f. The Bell, High Wycombe and The Queens Head, Crowmarsh Gifford) The George gets the balance just right. Three real ales - London Pride, Wainwrights Golden Ale and Tring Side Pocket; the latter a steal at £3.10. Mix of age ranges in attendant on a late Sunday afternoon, barely discernible muzak in the background, Norwich-Spurs on for those of that inclination (Norwich won 1-0) all in a relaxed atmosphere set against the backdrop of an establishment that still bears the hallmarks of the coaching inn it once was. Very nice indeed.

24 Feb 2014 22:51

The King and Queen, Wendover

Smallish two-roomed pub; public bar with TV to the left, snug to the right with dining area out the back accessed via the latter. Two ales on - Youngs Bitter and Doom Bar; £3.00 and £3.50 a pint respectively. Warming and cosy ambience. Possibly the second-best pub in Wendover, buts falls some way behind the excellent Pack Horse.

24 Feb 2014 11:42

The Hobgoblin, High Wycombe

Dead quiet on a Sunday lunchtime inasmuch as I was the only customer in at 12.45pm (and the barman's first customer from opening at 12pm). Low-ceilinged, dark-beamed, narrow high street boozer offering 7 real ales, an eclectic jukebox (they even had Black Flag) and regular live music. The Loddon Hocus Pocus was in well-kept condition and the odd items of breweriana adorning the walls were interesting touches. A bit of a beacon amid the decline of High Wycombe and with The Antelope closing its doors recently, it and The Falcon remain the only High Street pubs left. .

23 Feb 2014 13:05

The Royal Oak, Stokenchurch

Tucked away from the main A40 thoroughfare through Stokenchurch behind The Kings Arms Hotel, The Royal Oak doubles as The Gurkha Hut Nepalese restaurant as well as serving Rebellion of Marlow ales. Both food and beer are good which, giving the limited choices for imbibing in the village these days, is reassuring.

23 Feb 2014 11:13

The Rothschild Arms, Aston Clinton

A proper, old-fashioned honest boozer. Darts and pool paraphernalia resplendent, weathered carpet, good-natured bunch of lads watching the Arsenal-Bayern game and open fire on the go with no guard. Only let-down was lack of real ale on tap - Tetley Smooth on keg or Hobgoblin from a bottle. Couple of tweaks here or there might make it a superb all-rounder, but with four pubs in Aston Clinton, this one seems to be fulfilling a particular need right at the moment...

20 Feb 2014 22:51

The Partridge, Aston Clinton

Stone's throw from The Oak, and, if you believe the old barfly I got stuck talking to, the busiest pub in the village - if we'd turned up earlier/on a Friday night/at the weekend, etc. Homely in a similar way the The Rothschild Arms (disappointly, not listed on BITE), but cleaner and neater as if pride had gone into its upkeep. Doom Bar or London Pride on tap – the former was the second-best pint I'd had all night after The Chandos and cheapest of the night at £3.10. The snooker room out the back is a quaint and novel touch.

20 Feb 2014 12:36

The Oak, Aston Clinton

Pleasant Fuller's boozer off the A41 drag through Aston Clinton. Two bars seem to separate the drinkers from the diners, so we naturally gravitated to the left upon entry. Service was attentive and the Chiswick Bitter and Front Row went down well. The old photos of Aylesbury and the poemed tribute to a former regular replete with photograph of the deceased were nice touchs...

20 Feb 2014 12:30

The Five Bells, Aylesbury

A pub with a focus very much on food. Opted for the Fullers Steel Blonde Ale over the Brakspears Bitter which was hoppy, light and citrussy - a taste almost out of season for mid-February. An all-encompassing wooden decor which hemmed in the many diners attendant on a Wednesday night. Surprising amount of single young females which lessened the blow of trying to explain football to my non-football-following drinking companion.

20 Feb 2014 12:18

The Chandos Arms, Weston Turville

Light and bright with the lingering smell of a recent paint job, this pub has the hallmarks of 'contemporary' pubs around the country, however the beer (Charles Wells/Dogfish Head DNA New World IPA) was top-notch - was one of the best pints I've had recently - and the place was busy with drinkers and diners for a Wednesday night. Also spotted the rarity of Japenese lager Kirin on tap. Place was clean and tidy, both inside and out, and there were like-minded nods to the past with the dartboard and metal oche line with the pub name on it which stood out from the wooden floor. The child wandering behind the bar may not have been to everyone's taste though.

20 Feb 2014 12:14

Talkhouse, Stanton St John

Fullers pub about 5 mins off the A40 heading out of Oxford with thatched roof and Cotswold-type stone. The interior is stone-walled and beamed with flagstone flooring. The emphasis is squarely on food and has traded on its reputation as a restaurant in recent memory, although standards may be slipping on that front if reviews on TripAdvisor are anything to be believed. Two ales on tap; London Pride and Seafarers. Must be my luck as the latter was on the turn, but exchanged with no quibble. Smattering of diners in and around created a culinary rather than potation ambience and the muzak was a come-down from the 80s new-wave at The Masons Arms in Headington Quarry I’d just experienced (another classic pub surprisingly missing from BITE). A shame that The Star Inn just around the corner is currently closed really.

19 Feb 2014 12:15

The Foresters, Cox Green

Touch of the nursery rhymes on a Tuesday lunchtime as a man I can only presume to be the landlord was counting out money at the bar upon my entrance. The working week meant I wasn't able to comment on the Courage Bitter or Tribute that were on tap, but the service was friendly enough despite my being the only customer in there. Located on the corner of Cox Green Lane and Cox Green Road, The Foresters is a largish estate pub with an L-shaped bar, to the right of which is a pool table and wooden flooring and the left various seating on carpeted floor. Some mention of live music and a large flat-screen TV showing Bargain Hunt on my sojourn. Can't speak for evenings and weekends but one suspects the White Van count in the car park to be on the high side.

19 Feb 2014 11:08

Cherry Tree, Steventon

Two-barred Wadworth pub seemly focussed on the food side, but with 8 real ales on tap. Low-lighting. Pint of St George & The Dragon was on the turn but was exchanged for a pint of Swordfish with no quibble. Seemed a little on the cool side but drinkable nonetheless. Much busier than the next-door Fox on both the wet and dry front.

17 Feb 2014 22:52

The Fox, Steventon

Largish GK pub next door to The Cherry Tree, surprisingly dead for a Monday night. Morland Original the only ale on tap, but in mighty fine fettle. Slightly too bright a decor for my liking, but the other solitary drinker and barman were affable even if, ironically, the majority of the conversation concerned the excellent North Star around the corner.

17 Feb 2014 22:42

The Tandem, Kennington

Uninspiring Hungry Horse chain pub off the beaten track south-west of Oxford. Busy for 8pm on a Sunday night. GK IPA in both guises and Morland Speckled Hen - the latter not a lot to write home about, but £2.90 a pint nonetheless. Reassuringly, you can have your favourite shot or 'bomb' in a pint of Red Bull for £3. If only I'd had that extra 10p...

16 Feb 2014 22:26

Dolphin, High Wycombe

Large, generic GK does food/offers drinks at funny prices. Plumped for a pint of GK IPA Reserve (5.4%) which was priced at £2.64. Nice pint although tasted slightly chilled. Filled with locals and trades at 9pm on a Thursday night. Several big screens kept me abreast of what was going on in the sporting world via Sky Sports. Apparently, Ravel Morrison is to be loanded out to QPR for the rest of the season. How the mighty have fallen. Nice barmaid.

14 Feb 2014 00:58

The Bell, High Wycombe

Can report that we still have a Fullers pub/Thai restaurant in operation here, and was leaning more to the former on a Thursday night at 21.30. London Pride and ESB still on tap (as per "1morefortheroad" below) three years later; the latter (£3.60) in good condition and served in its own 'special' glass. Bright and woody inside, generic pop and R&B through the speakers, perhaps in an attempt to compete with the Yates opposite and Butlers next door but one. Staff good.

14 Feb 2014 00:49

Half Moon, High Wycombe

Mid-sized one-roomed corner pub where Dashwood Avenue and Desborough Park Avenue meet. Brightly-lit bar with a TV behind it showing the Winter Olympics. Doom Bar and Spitfire on tap - the latter was on good form. Smattering of people in on a Monday night. Pop/dance music over the speakers. A corner reserved for a pool table where one man played against himself against the backdrop of a garishly-painted wall. Offer breakfasts on Sat mornings (9-12) and roast dinners on Sundays (£8.95; 12-5). Also have the occasional live music as well as Texas Hold 'em Poker on Wednesday evenings. All in all, gave me the impression of a pub that had been recently taken over and they were trying their best. Good luck to them.
PS. The highlight of my visit was seeing a dog humping a man's leg. Priceless.

10 Feb 2014 20:46

The Downley Donkey, Downley

Largish estate pub with a handful of trades in after work on a Monday evening. Had an OK-ish pint of Wychwood Dirty Tackle - the only real ale available. Large area to the right of the bar housed a pool table, and a sign outside stated 'under new management' which may have explained the limited spirits selection and 'word in progress' decor.

10 Feb 2014 20:33

The Fir Tree, Oxford

Solid Iffley Road boozer. Four real ales on. Good jukebox selection, semi-busy for a Saturday night and well-stocked on the spirit. Something 'studenty' about the place, but not in an obviously 'studenty' way. Barman was convivial. Would definitely drop in for a pint again.

9 Feb 2014 21:38

Folly Bridge Inn, Oxford

Now renamed The White House, I nipped in here in time to watch Fulham snatch a last-minute draw at Man United on some Scandinavian channel. A Wadworth house with 6X, Henry's IPA and Bishops Tipple; the latter, at £3.35, was excellent. The bar faces you as you enter, with an eating area to the right of the bar and TV and pool table to the right. Smattering of locals on a Sunday evening. Aunt Sally area outside to the right of the pub looked a bit a knackered, but it is out of season after all. A chalked sign at the bar declared that they were running down their stock due to an immiment change in their 'upper management'. Sounds like watch this space...

9 Feb 2014 21:06

The Head of the River, Oxford

Pitched up here at about half-five on a Sunday. There was a 'calm after the storm' feeling about the place. A smattering of people were dotted around the largish one-roomed, two-level bar: the Thames was lapping against the pub's foundation as the Abingdon Road had been closed due to the incessant rain and subsequent flooding at the time. Being a Fuller's pub, I opted for the Gale's Seafarer's Ale at the bizarre price of £3.59. However, it was well-kept and went down well. The flagstone floor was partially covered in places by large rugs, which broke up some of the cold starkness it can imbue. Rabbit pie was on the menu at £13.50. Be interesting to revisit in the summer to recompare tasting notes...

9 Feb 2014 20:56

The Lexington, Kings Cross

Large, high-ceilinged (although with unsightly air conditioning pipes) pub on the Pentonville Road, seemingly aimed at the in-crowd. Large selection of whiskies but they do real ale, despite some of the previous comments to the contrary. Eclectic music on the jukebox (a good thing) and a male, then female live DJ, were spinning some laid-back tunes in the background. The age range was mixed, so makes it difficult to categorise this place, but I liked it.

9 Feb 2014 12:33

The Green Man, Edgware Road

Backpackers pub. Expensive draught and bottled beers (£4+). Probably trading on its location more than anything. Clean but unspectacular and had nothing that would make me want to go back there again.

9 Feb 2014 12:23

The Carpenters Arms, Appleford

This pub became The Appleford Kitchen & Bar in 2011, but closed in September 2012. Likely to become a private house.

9 Feb 2014 12:16

The Carpenters Arms, Kings Cross

Dead for a Sunday afternoon which was a shame. Largish exterior fools as it is not that large inside. Ornate, one-roomed London boozer with large mirrors and dark wood. What struck me was how bright, clean and neat it was - all the bottles in the fridge were front-faced for example. One real ale - Bombardier - which was good. Barmaid not that engaging, but this is London, so no qualms there. I liked it.

9 Feb 2014 12:08

The Northumberland Arms, Kings Cross

Not sure if the clientele here are a fair reflection of Kings Cross as a whole, but the stark white interior and wooden floor is a world away from the welcoming 'pub from 20 years ago' Carps just down the road. No real ale, only the keg favs John Smiths and Worthingtons (the former just £2.85). An older, male-dominated, shouty crowd, albeit unintimidating, but may not feel that way to others. A rare sight in a London pub - a pool table.

9 Feb 2014 12:03

The Lucas Arms, Kings Cross

Clean and modern-looking 2-roomed London pub with dark mahogany the running theme and in a way tapping into a Victorian past perhaps. GK ales on tap but did not partake.

9 Feb 2014 11:59

The Bree Louise, Euston

Stone's throw from the station and a real ale mecca - six on draught and 10 on gravity on my visit. Walls covered in previous pump clips. Nice basic pub food menu as well as appetising cheese plates. £4 a pint isn't the cheapest, but they offer 50p off a pint to Camra car-carriers if you're of that inclination. No TV*, fruit or games machines or piped music and all the better for it in my opinion. Under threat of demolition if HS2 is pushed through parliament, which would be a shame.

*As I was leaving, the TV went on for a Six Nations game.

9 Feb 2014 11:53

The Constitution, Lisson Grove

This pub is now named The Bell House and is a bar and grill.

3 Feb 2014 22:56

The Old Sun, Lane End

Closed in 2011.

3 Apr 2013 16:30

The Crooked Billet, Stoke Row

Not a pub per se despite the Brakspear signage out front. Rather disconcertingly there is no bar, so at the time of my arrival (roughly 6pm on a weeknight) I was slightly confused as to where to go. Found a member of staff and requested a drink - they only do Oxford Gold, which I presume is served from cask out the back (no bar, remember). No bar snacks, but she very kindly offered me a plate of homemade pork scratchings which eased the imparting of £4.00 for the pint (and put the £4.80 for a packet of crisps and a drink at The Cherry Tree into the shade). Photo of George Cole and Dennis Waterman above the fireplace and caricature of John Mortimer on one of the walls. Definitely one for the foodies.

22 Mar 2013 16:52

The Cherry Tree Inn, Stoke Row

Low-beamed pub interior upon entrance with part-flagstoned, part-wooden floor. Eating areas through open doorways either side of the bar area. Two ales on: Brakspear Bitter and Oxford Gold, £3.50 and £3.60 respectively. Crisps (Salty Dog) £1.30. Piped beats and breaks seguing into jazz over the speakers. Hobgoblin-battered Takeaway Haddock & Square Cut Chips and caper mayo wrapped in the Henley Standard for £9.50 (don't tell Brakspear). In response to the below, Carol Decker and her husband traded for the last time on Christmas Day 2011.

22 Mar 2013 16:44

The Dog and Duck, Henley on Thames

Currently closed.

21 Mar 2013 19:06

The Waggon and Horses, Twyford

Cosy, wood-beamed, flagstone-floored pub. Good selection of ales and friendly barman/landlord. The Belhavens Grand Slam (it was that time of year) was extremely good.

12 Mar 2013 20:27

The Duke of Wellington, Twyford

Impressive Brakspear's pub. Busy on a Tuesday after work and good to see the bar not male-dominated. Brakspear's Bitter and Special on as well as Ringwood Fortyniner with wide selection of bar snacks. Bright, but not in a 'makeover' manner as still retained that 'pub' feel. Of the pubs in Twyford, this would be the one I would come back to...

12 Mar 2013 20:23

The Golden Cross, Twyford

Interesting blend of characters. Only one bitter on - Youngs Special - which was on good form. Loud dub reggae blaring when I entered (I like dub reggae, so no bother to me). Almost a carnival atmosphere for so early in the evening. Would have to agree with Quinno's summation further below...

12 Mar 2013 20:19

The Prince Of Wales, Iffley

Busy with diners when I visited this Friday lunchtime, but struck me as a pub that serves food rather than a 'food pub'. Nice pint of Elgood's Golden Newt and good selection of bar snacks. Friendly barman and nice ambience all round. Would definitely make an effort to visit one summer weekend.

1 Mar 2013 14:36

Red Lion, Brill

Now reverted to its original (c. 1700s) name of The Pointer. Interior bright and modern with stone flooring and clean-cut tables and chairs; almost too clinical in a way. Could do with a darker corner or two. Four ales on, although the porter I chose had gone (vinegary) was changed with no fuss. Bar staff polite. Wouldn't choose it as my local though.

28 Feb 2013 00:54

Britannia Inn, Headington

Betty Stoggs and Oxfordshire 'Pride of Oxford' on tap at £3.15 and £2.85 respectively. Bit generic in a pubco/foodie kind of way (Kids eat for £1, etc.), but the place was clean, the bar staff friendly and the beer in good nick and reasonably-priced, so can't really complain. Still retains its Halls Brewery plaque on the wall by the entrance.

27 Feb 2013 15:00

The Quarry Gate, Headington

Largish estate pub not far off the London Road. No real ale, which was a disappointment but Guinness seemed OK. Friendly barmaid informed me that the death knell is nigh for this establishment - it's up for sale and unlikely to remain a pub for much longer which is a shame. Have the image supplied above for prosperity...

27 Feb 2013 14:52

The Victoria Arms, Wokingham

Almost a similar story to Beer Spotter and FrankDS as on my visit my selection of Rebellion Mutiny was curtailed as it was end of barrel. However, the ubiquitous Doom Bar was on tap, so all was not lost. I was the only customer at 5:45pm on a Tuesday afternoon which was sad in itself, but even sadder was a poster on the wall proclaiming that The Victoria Arms was going and that they were having a closing down sale on 6th April...

27 Feb 2013 09:42

The Globe, Brentford

Impressive Fullers pub in the shadow of the Chiswick Flyover. Had a couple of well-kept pints of the Chiswick Bitter. Sport showing on several TVs, food being served (check out the Rest of the World burger) and friendly and attentive staff. A great find.

25 Feb 2013 13:55

William Morris, Cowley

The below review is one of the best I've seen on this site. Clientele mainly a better-class overspill version from The Nelson.

15 Feb 2013 15:23

The Nelson, Cowley

Hilarious. No ales, so went for the Guinness but one has to remark on the clientele. From the man who informed me that his nine-year-old son at the bar was 'one of eleven' to the people eating Pot Noodles at the bar, The Nelson is the home of the weird and wonderful. I would have felt slightly intimidated if it weren't for the fact that I was sporting a black eye from football the previous Sunday. Check it out for the novelty value...

15 Feb 2013 15:02

The Firecrest, Aylesbury

Very much a faux-Harvester. Brakspear Bitter and Purity Ubu on tap.

13 Feb 2013 20:15

The Swan Hotel, Kineton

Busier than The Carpenters Arms at 5-ish on a Wednesday evening. Persuaded by the friendly barmaid to go for the Spitfire as it was £2.50 (Happy Hour) so didn't need convincing. Nice atmosphere and would have stayed for another if I weren't driving!

13 Feb 2013 20:13

The Coach and Horses, Wallingford

Have to agree with downsview. Fullers beers good enough but the place is uninspiring, especially with commercial radio blaring out of the speakers...

29 Jan 2013 17:40

The Kings Head, Chinnor

The 'Hole-in-the-Wall' sadly closed in September 2012...

19 Nov 2012 17:00

The Plough Inn, Dorchester on Thames

Closed - now a private residence.

5 Oct 2012 14:53

The Railway Inn, Culham

Very friendly welcome. Good beer. Clean and tidy. An impressive find...

20 Sep 2012 14:01

The Bull Inn, Great Milton

Pleasant village pub located on the green around the corner from the famed Michelin-starred Le Manoir Aux Quat Saisons. GK IPA the only ale on. Sampled the Staropramen, albeit at 4.10 for a pint's worth. Popular haunt for Le Manoir staff after their shifts so I'm told...

15 Aug 2012 15:36

The Mole Inn, Toot Baldon

As below. Geared towards the restaurant side of 'pub-restaurant'. Two ales on - Hook Norton 'Hooky' and Oxfordshire Ales 'Churchill HPA'. Opted for the latter. Watery, but palatable. Friendly barman, but layout not really conducive to drinkers. Two AA rosettes for food, so they're doing something right there.

27 Jul 2012 14:36

The Three Horseshoes, Garsington

Two-barred, low-ceilinged GK pub with restaurant area. Much mention of food on the outside. Three real ales on: GK IPA, GK Celebration Pale Ale and Springhead Maid Marian Blonde. Dartboard, quiz machine and big screen TV in public bar. Relatively busy for a Friday lunchtime as schools had just broken up for the summer and mothers and children were frequenting the gardens. Sensed the place has community spirit. Good for them!

20 Jul 2012 15:29

The Cricketers Arms, Littleworth

Open all-day Friday the board outside proclaimed. Sadly, I was the only customer this Friday lunchtime despite the nearby industrial estate. Which is a shame as The Cricketers is a gem, hidden away in the hamlet of Littleworth just outside Wheatley. Three real ales to choose from (Hook Norton Hooky, Vale Brewery Brill Gold and West Berkshire Brewery 'Dr Hexter's Wedding Ale'). They offer a limited food menu, homemade pasties, Aunt Sally, bottle-conditioned ales for sale behind the bar as well as 'real' cider. Very friendly landlady. Very much worth dropping in for...

20 Jul 2012 15:12

The Queens Head, Horspath

Popped in for a Thursday lunchtime pint. Tucked away down the narrow Church Road. Restaurant bar to the left; public bar to the right; the latter adorned with signed sporting photographs and memorabilia. Four ales on: Fuller's ESB, London Pride, Shotover Prospect and Shotover Scholar. Tried a pint of the well-kept latter which didn't disappoint. Golf (The Open on TV), old boys at the bar, friendly landlord and landlady and obviously community hub with mention of Quiz Night, Aunt Sally, Meat Draw et al. Clean, friendly and impressive.

19 Jul 2012 17:00

The Constitution, Lisson Grove

Not sure if the below user is referring to 8 Bell St or The Constitution (91 Bell St) as having been demolished, as the latter is alive and well. Dropped in here for a pint last Weds (Nov 2nd). Although it'll never win any awards, the locals and staff seemed friendly enough and it was a welcome relief from the awfulness of The Phoenix just around the corner...

7 Nov 2011 13:45

The Royal Oak, Chinnor

Closed August 2011.

8 Sep 2011 15:19

The Red Lion, Stoke Talmage

Closed - now a private residence.

30 Aug 2011 16:48

Four Horseshoes, High Wycombe

Currently closed.

16 Aug 2011 12:05

The Rickety Press, Oxford

Had been closed for a time and now re-opened with new grey exterior and new name - The Rickety Press (see photo).

18 May 2011 13:06

The Brazen Head, Lisson Grove

Potential. No real ale. Guinness had gone. Fall-back options of Kronenbourg and Beck Viers not possible as both off - at Friday lunchtime. Haggled a bottle of Guinness Original for 3. Large one-roomed boozer. Presumably serves a purpose (and catchment area). Barmaid pleasant.

21 Mar 2011 04:25

Ye Three Lords, Aldgate

Spent some time in the pub a few weeks ago for my Uncle's birthday. Had the bottom bar commandered for our party and as it was mainly suits, flitted between downstaors and up. Both levels busy, with the staff kept on their feet, but as a non-Londoner (and a bar-staffer myself) found their attitude extremely positive and effervescent. Youngs' bitter in good nick too...

21 Mar 2011 04:15

The Old Blue Last, Shoreditch

Liked the high-ceiled interior, large Truman, Hanbury & Buxton mirror behind the bar and Rough Trade-supplied jukebox (Sex Pistols, Stooges and New York Dolls played during my visit - class). However, lack of any ales a disappointment as well as 4.50 for a pint of Stella Black...

23 Feb 2011 18:35

The Southampton Arms, Gospel Oak

Loved this place. Was served a robust pint of porter and plumped for a bar snack of a sausage roll, served with a dollop of English mustard. Nice. Options of pork rolls and cheese platters too. Also loved the vinyl-only policy (and only music that was recorded before 1969 - although they seemed surprised when I asked if they had any Velvet Underground); Bob Dylan's Highway 61 Revisted playing when I entered.

14 Mar 2010 20:09

The Swan, Bloomsbury

Had a cracking pint of Doom Bar, priced at a reasonable (for London) 2.90. Polite staff.

14 Mar 2010 20:03

The Wheatsheaf, Chinnor

Due to the nationality of the landlord, this village pub serves South African beers (bottled - Castle, Hansa and the Namibian-brewed Windhoek), wines and cuisine (Boerwers, Biltong, etc) as well as GK favourites such as Fosters, Carling, Stella, Guinness and Strongbow. GK IPA as well as one guest now available. A warm welcome and friendly locals; probably the best pub in the village.

6 Nov 2009 12:34

The White Horse, Oxford

Absolute corker and one of Oxford's hidden gems, situated snugly as it is betwixt two Blackwells' outlets. Tiny, cosy and welcoming, six real ales were on tap, so opted for the White Horse Wayland's Smithy (a pun on a character from The Simpsons perchance?) as well as a light bite - baguette and chips. Food was basic but unprententious and did the job. Ale was spot-on. Enjoyed the quiet-ish ambience so much I returned the next day. White Horse had been replaced by Idle Dog (I forget the brewery) so plumped for that. Had another bite to eat. Enjoyed Americans talking loudly and locals discussing Morse. Loved it. Up there with The Victoria and The Harcourt Arms.

6 Nov 2009 12:29

The Harcourt Arms, Oxford

Nipped in after catching a film at the nearby Phoenix Picturehouse. Small, yet cosy place. Not overly busy for a Saturday night, but refreshing to experience no big screen or piped music. Four Fuller's beers on tap. Plumped for the excellent Discovery and wasn't let down. Managed to squeeze in an extra half thereafter. Will be coming back.

27 Sep 2009 19:21

Victoria, Oxford

Fantastic. Nipped in after seeing a film at The Phoenix Picturehouse just down the road and treated ourselves to a pie and a pint. Pies are from Newitt's butchers in Thame which is one of the best in the country so we knew we were in for a quality bite. 5 a pop or 6.95 with chips. Loved the decor and ambience (despite the pub not being overly busy) and will definitely be going back...

1 Sep 2009 10:27

Lock Stock and Barrelage Ltd, Chinnor

Not sure why this is listed as a Chinnor pub as it doesn't exist! This building is next door to The Royal Oak on Lower Road.

27 Oct 2008 17:29

Back to Komakino's profile