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BITE user comments - Mike_Oxford

Comments by Mike_Oxford

The Rickety Press, Oxford

Although I'm not a fan of pubs changing their historic names to something more trendy, this revamping formula by Dodo Pubs / Arkells (how much are they linked?) seems to be successful. A selection of beers on tap and tasters offered – not all from Arkells but the 3Bs was very good. Although we didn't eat here, there's a straightforward burger and pizza menu. Quite why a quirky industrial interior design makes a pub attractive is a mystery to me, but it's a popular place with good beer.

7 May 2019 13:02

The Somerset Cocktail Lounge, Marston

As noted, The Somerset has been renamed the “Up in Arms” reflecting the local campaign to avoid the closure of the last pub in this part of Oxford. Now run by the Dodo Pub Company – a twist on resurrecting pubs near to extinction. It's been refitted in 'shabby chic' which is slightly ironic as it was derelict for a while and would have barely required the attentions of interior designers to supply 'distressed' furniture and décor. Offering a range of beers, mostly local, plus some bizarre shots together with a straightforward burger / pizza menu it was well-patronised and popular. It only re-opened recently, but let's hope this early success is enduring.

7 May 2019 12:23

The Three Pigeons, Witney

This pub hasn't been reviewed for a few years but it appears that little has changed. The locals still stare at you in a slightly disconcerting way as you walk in and if it was a “bit tatty” ten years ago it is rather more so now. A bit of a time machine, but not necessarily in a good way – just add some cigarette smoke and it could be 40 years ago. Food failed to live up to the expectations suggested by the menu description – edible but far from special. 3 hand pumps: London Pride / Tribute / Courage. Beer was clear but slightly past its best – which rather sums up the whole place.

7 May 2019 12:08

The Foley Arms, Great Malvern

As noted, an historic coaching inn now run by Wetherspoons and greatly benefits from being a 'proper' pub rather than a fabricated creation in converted premises. As always, cheap reasonable beer attracts the customers in a fairly predictable way. We stayed for one night in the hotel upstairs in a room at the back with wide-ranging views over the Vale of Evesham towards the Cotswolds – however only being on the first floor meant that we were just slightly above the bar terrace, so had the joys of 'spoons customers staring back into the window. Only at this chain can you have a reasonably priced breakfast whilst the bloke at the next table starts the day with a couple of lagers! All said, we'd visit again but ask for a second floor room.

7 May 2019 11:54

The Corner House, Windsor

Visited on the basis of good reviews but fogot the rugby was on TV and the pub was doing a roaring trade with the crowds of fans who were decimating the selection of ales on hand pump. Enjoyed a couple of pints of Neptune King of the Sea, a bitter I hadn't come across before. Clearly a popular pub but maybe visit on a day when punters aren't trying to drink it dry!

12 Mar 2019 13:14

The Carpenters Arms, Windsor

Historic Nicholsons pub in a cobbled narrow street close to the exit from the castle but surprisingly not full of tourists. Had a decent pint of Berkshire Brewery's Good Old Boy, rather than the more common options of Doom Bar or London Pride; Nicholsons own ale was off. We also chose a couple of their sandwiches - prices aren't cheap but neither were they stupidly over-priced to fleece the tourist market. A good town centre choice for those not wishing to go to Wetherspooons further down the hill.

12 Mar 2019 12:59

The Crispin, Windsor

Was planning to visit but another website said this pub had closed down. Perhaps somebody could confirm

12 Mar 2019 12:07

The Victoria and Albert, Marylebone Station

CLOSED. Premises are now a coffee shop.

7 Feb 2019 09:22

Belushi's, Hammersmith

Popped in for a quick pub lunch during a work event nearby. The good bits are the barmaid was friendly and welcoming and I wasn't ill afterwards. No real ale so I chose overpriced Guinness and an expensive snack. Interior surfaces a bit sticky and all the wires, pipes and services visible overhead for the industrial or incomplete ceiling look. Plenty of signs warning about pickpockets and bag thieves - lovely! The branding suggested this is a "happening" place - fortunately it wasn't that busy without much happening.

3 Feb 2019 12:45

Rose Revived, Newbridge

Reasonably busy on a Saturday in the middle of winter outside the tourist and boating season. Smart, clean and tidy inside - with the large car park and riverside gardens ready for the summer. Usual Greene King offerings - so I tried the Fireside Ruby bitter which is new one on me and a pleasant change from their usual beers. I would grade the food as 'average' - nothing exceptional and nothing wrong - but at higher than average prices.

29 Jan 2019 15:57

The Bath Arms, Brighton

Shepherd Neame pub in the middle of the historic Lanes area, with Victorian interior (which may or may not be genuine), which fits nicely with the local environment. All the brewery's usual beers were available at tourist prices but the Bishops was a little cloudy and was replaced by Spitfire. Efficient staff and pleasant atmosphere.

29 Jan 2019 15:48

The Plough Inn, Adderbury

As noted, it's now more of a gastro-pub so feels obliged to trade under the silly name of the Picked Ploughman. 2 real ales on offer: Ringwood Razorback (pleasant but not exceptional) and Young's (ordinary) Bitter which was a bit iffy. Both rather expensive. Clean and pleasant establishment. Food was good - as it should be for the price. There's nothing fundamentally wrong with the place (other than the renaming perhaps) but I won't be rushing back.

17 Jan 2019 20:41

The Crown, Glossop

Unspoilt Victorian pub - stepping inside is like going back in time with traditional interior, coal fires and remarkably cheap Sam Smiths OBB on hand pump. Welcoming & popular with locals; well worth a 5 minute walk up the hill from the town centre.

1 Jan 2019 09:25

The Rose and Crown, Ulverston

Traditional pub doesn't seem to have changed since the 2010 review and probable decades before that. Recommended by locals on the train. Plenty of diners in, but just time for a pleasant Robinson's Trooper before return to station.

28 Dec 2018 18:10

The Kings Arms, Oxford

A Youngs pub I've visited on and off for years; I grew up in London drinking Youngs beers and like a nostalgic pint! In November I'd hoped to see Youngs Winter Warmer (do they still make it?) but they only had one Youngs brew (ordinary bitter) amongst the selection on the handpumps. Maybe a sign of the times since the Charles Wells takeover and the closure of the Wandsworth brewery. Nothing wrong with the pub itself - still the usual mix of locals, unversity and toursists but rather lacking in the company's product.

21 Nov 2018 12:09

The Lamb and Flag, Oxford

I hadn't been in here for a couple of years and was pleasantly surprised by the wide selection of real ale on offer, which seems to change on a regular basis. They even had a choice of porters - from XT and somewhere else. The premises are unexceptional but OK: the historic /old side room at the back smells a bit damp and some tourists described the toilets as 'medieval' which isn't entirely fair - they need to travel more! Worth visiting for the choice of beer.

21 Nov 2018 11:56

White Horse, Silverstone

Six years on the Blackthorn's comprehensive review the details remain largely unchanged - although it isn't clear if it is still an Everards house as they still serve excellent Tiger, but there was also quite a selection of other real ales available. The staff, and indeed the locals, were friendly and welcoming and service was good. The food was tasty and reasonably priced, including the usual sunday roasts, or even their own special burger (an entire butchers shop between two buns!) or for those who prefer, a selection of vegetarian options. A very good village pub with a community feel - recommended!

21 Nov 2018 11:41

The Coeur de Lion, Bath

Excellent pub tucked away down an alley, slightly off the tourist trail. Smallest pub in Bath so understandably compact! Friendly pleasant staff and good selection of local well-kept Abbey Ales. Chef had apparently just quit so no food! However temporarily they were happy for customers to buy lunch from neighbouring businesses to bring in. Came back for a second visit - recommended

3 Sep 2018 19:41

The Fur and Feather Inn, Woodbastwick

Popped in for a drink after visiting the brewery shop next door (Brewery visits need to be booked). As expected, all of Woodforde's products were on offer, in good condition and available as tasting trays in smaller glasses. The barman was well-trained and knew all about what he was selling. Didn't try the food as we were there early. A well-presented showcase for Woodforde's.

3 Sep 2018 16:33

The Maltsters, Ranworth

Very popular pub that clearly attracts the tourists (like us!). Beer from the local Humpty Dumpty Brewery and friendly helpful staff. Food available from either the kitchen or a pizza oven outside - very pleasant but slow to arrive as they seem overwhelmed by the number of customers.

3 Sep 2018 16:28

White Horse, Upton

Award-winning community owned pub, run in conjunction with the village shop next door - shows what can be done when the locals pull together. Decent pints of Adnams Broadside and Woodforde's Wherry.
The menu looked attractive, not overly-pretentious and reasonably priced and the food was clearly popular but we hadn't planned to eat here... reservations perhaps required for summer weekends

3 Sep 2018 16:23

The Ship Inn, South Walsham

Definitely a gastro-pub; no unreserved tables inside for drinkers like us who are left to battle the wasps out the front. However, without prompting from me, the barman immediately rejected the dodgy-looking pint he had just poured and offered me an alternative (Charter bitter). A pleasant change from so many pubs that will happily pour you crap and gets a point back for good service

3 Sep 2018 16:13

The Ship Inn, Blaxhall

Decent village pub offering a selection of real ales including Mauldoons Black Adder, Timothy Taylors and Adnams. Friendly atmosphere and appears to be well-patronised by locals. Although we didn't sample them, they also offer food, accommodation and entertainment - mainly folk music.

3 Sep 2018 16:01

Bay Horse, Bromyard

One of the pubs that is still open in this town. Bustling and busy on walking in (unlike some others) and immediately welcomed - understandably they couldn't offer us a table to dine straight away, but found us space in less time than they estimated. Enthusiastic, helpful and friendly staff with well-kept range of beers from Wye Valley Brewery. Good selection on menu, including vegetarian options at reasonable prices. Sue and her team are clearly making a success of this pub - recommended.

24 Jul 2018 13:14

The Crown and Sceptre Inn, Bromyard

Not open when we visited; no idea if it is still trading.

24 Jul 2018 13:01

Hop Pole, Bromyard

No idea if this pub has been trading since the last entry but it is currently closed with 'For rent' signs

24 Jul 2018 12:58

The Gardener's Arms, Oxford

This pub remains one of Oxford's best. Excellent all-vegatarian menu and selection of beers & cider - although the rotation of different beers means that you rarely see the same one twice. At busy times it is so popular that getting a seat can be difficult - more so in winter when the garden isn't an option.

31 Jan 2018 12:14

The Bell Inn, Adderbury

Pleasant village boozer with well-kept Hook Norton real ale. Unpretentious basic food menu. Proper country pub - shows it can still be done!

31 Jan 2018 11:56

The Red Lion, Adderbury

This old coaching inn has wood-panelled rooms and up to recently, the decor has kept in theme - but some misguided soul thought some modern features would improve it - which was something of a surprise, having visited numerous times over the years. Food has become increasingly pricey and at the same time less impressive; vegetarians should look elsewhere. Service slow. As one of the upper echelons of the Greene King empire, the bar has the usual G-K beers plus guests at high prices. Probably ok if you want accommodation in a historic inn, but if you want a pub, walk across the green to the Bell.

31 Jan 2018 11:49

The Railway, Kew Gardens

As noted, now called "The Tap on the Line". Re-created Victorian interior in what used to be the station building, with some outside seating. Pleasant and quite popular. Fullers beers and food at typically steep London prices.

24 Jan 2018 09:19

The White Hart, Basingstoke

This pub tries hard to be all things to all people - sports bar with big TV screens downstairs and Thai restaurant upstairs. Greene King 'London' bitter is ok, possibly it's supposed to be a (inferior) copy of Fuller's London Pride. The Thai food was good but the service was rather slow. Atmosphere was pleasant enough, although the plethora of warning signs about not taking drugs in the toilets suggests otherwise - and decidedly off-putting for a family visit.

24 Jan 2018 08:59

The Somerset Cocktail Lounge, Marston

The Somerset has had several reincarnations over recent years. The 'For Sale' boards are up again to see if anybody else wants to have a go or will this pub close down forever.

6 Nov 2016 12:20

The Globe, London Bridge

The Globe has had a makeover! I recall the pub when it was shabby and Borough Market sold wholesale fruit & veg - now the market is artisan produce and the interior designers have done the Globe in theme with virtually black wood, ornamental bottle displays and even a chandelier. The layout is pretty much unchanged and apparently food is available upstairs. Still a decent place to drink and now offering craft beer from Sambrooks; Junction bitter is very good. And the best bit: the gents toilet is no longer the most revolting bog in town.

14 Mar 2016 12:17

The Australia, Porthmadog

As noted, this pub has been recently taken over by a consortium of local microbreweries and refurbished and the older dreadful reviews no longer apply. Welcoming, friendly and helpful staff (taster offered) and smart but simple decor with no gimmicks and a range of beers on handpumps, including Purple Moose, who have a brewery shop further down the High Street. Didn't get to try the food as we were too late the first day and the kitchen was closed for a periodic deep clean on the second; the menu looked reasonable. 2 visits in 2 days = recommended.

21 Aug 2015 15:16

The Jack Russell, Marston

Now closed & planning permission sought for demolition & redevelopment.

15 Jun 2015 17:25

The Pear Tree Inn, Hook Norton

Went to the Pear Tree after a tour of the brewery - the pub is very much company-owned and Hook Norton throughout. Pleasant staff, good selection of well-kept beer and a typical 'pub grub' style lunch. Prices a tiny bit higher than one might expect. Absolutely nothing wrong with the place, a good proper pub, but I wouldn't describe it as excellent or brilliant.

19 May 2015 08:26

The Princess of Prussia, Tower Hill

Visited here on the basis of good reviews and wasn't disappointed. Unspoilt Victorian pub with decent beer, pleasant atmosphere and friendly staff. Somehow this pub escaped the attentions of the Luftwaffe and redevelopment - well worth a vist.

10 Mar 2015 16:53

Lamb and Lion, York

I'm pleased we booked a table in one of the back rooms so we could enjoy a decent lunch and a choice of 4 real ales way from the hurly burly of York at the weekend. Pleasant staff and decent quality - prices seemed reasonable, but we are from "down south" where everything is expensive! Recommended.

26 Feb 2015 10:37

Plough, Wolvercote

Near the canal on the northern outskirts of Oxford, not far from Port Meadow and several good walks, but a bit tucked away if arriving by road. The interior designers have made one room look like a library - is this the "Oxford look"? Reasonable beer and food - nothing awful but not exceptional either.

1 Feb 2015 16:43

The Black Prince, Woodstock

Slightly away from the centre of Woodstock, so not always over-run with tourists, although still popular and best to book a table in you want to eat. Selection of decent food, including basic £5 meal range, and variety of real ale on hand pumps. Recommended - good quality and neither a tourist rip-off nor pretentious posh.

1 Feb 2015 16:29

The Boars Head, Ardington

Latest re-vamp has turned this into gastro-pub; smart bright interior and nothing like I recall from years ago. Pleasant, friendly staff and decent food, which isn't cheap, but the place seems popular - no doubt aided by the demise of rival nearby establishments. Real ale on hand pump, but this is more of a restauarant then a pub.

1 Feb 2015 16:21

Jolly Boatman, Thrupp

As soon as you walk in you feel like you have entered the Farrow & Ball Heritage Paint catalogue! But does justify the higher than average food prices? Plenty of friendly, but rather effective staff; canal-themed bitter was off (apparently not enough throughput to justify having another barrel racked ready - so if you're not busy, why so many staff?). In the middle of winter, the alternative was a "summer gold" type beer?! Yes, it is smart, clean and tidy, but that really isn't enough.

1 Feb 2015 16:14

Hogsmill Tavern, Worcester Park

Good value family-friendly Toby carvery; popular, pleasant atmosphere and decent food. Does what it says on the tin! Good choice if this is what you are after, but not a 'proper' pub, although London Pride and Brakspear bitters available.

1 Feb 2015 16:04

The Kite Inn, Oxford

As mentioned, this pub has received the attentions of the "interior design" department, giving it a clean and fresh feel whilst not realy keeping it character of the building itself. The Australian influence extends to the menu, including kangaroo and shark, adding a bit of variety to normal pub fare. Range of ciders and beers on hand pump, but unfortunately the majority of the latter were not available on the day of my visit. Probably worth a second visit.

12 Jan 2015 10:45

The Hare, West Hendred

Once again this pub is under "new management" with a "new menu". The menu was uninspiring and didn't cater for minority diets (but apparently is going to change again) and the food was mediocre and rather slow to arrive. Not all requested drinks were available. The place was empty at lunchtime and probably for good reason... Greene King better hang on to that "under new management" sign as they are likely to need it again soon!

4 Jun 2014 14:38

The Admiral Nelson, Daventry

Popped in during a weekend on the canal; not that busy on a Friday, but it's early in the season. Welcoming staff and decent Timothy Taylor's Landlord. Kids tried the Northampton skittles and enjoyed a dessert. Better than the current rating (5.5) - I reckon 7/10.

10 Apr 2014 10:47

The Foxton Locks Inn, Market Harborough

Popped in for a drink, but it's a gastro-pub and non-diners are not that welcome. Lovely location, the food might be ok, but their attitude really put me off.

11 Mar 2014 21:16

The Blackfriar, Blackfriars

A famous London pub, with grade 2 listed Art Nouveau interior saved from demolition by Sir John Betjeman - many visitors pop in for a drink and to view the decor. Decent selection of real ale, including some bizarre Christmas brews, which sadly the staff seemed to know nothing about, but the food was good. No doubt on the tourist trail, but still worth dropping in for a beer.

24 Dec 2013 08:40

Prince Arthur, Old Street

Never visited under previous regime, but pub still features friendly welcoming staff in a proper unspoiled old fashioned pub. Probably full of locals, but lovely atmosphere greeted visitors. Landlord keen to please. Decent Shepherd Neame beer: Masterbrew, Autumn Red & Whitstable. Well worth seeking out, visit this pub & keep gems like this is business.

22 Dec 2013 09:04

The Fox and Hounds, Peasemore

Gastro-pub with friendly welcoming staff - all enjoyed an excellent meal, but not cheap. Local ales including Butts beer available. Good for a special occasion.

10 Nov 2013 10:04

The Gardener's Arms, Oxford

Agree with others - wonderful atmospheric pub with good staff and excellent vegetarian food (not the usual sad offerings from the wholesale cash & carry). Selection of well kept real ale: Shipyard Double Thumper / Loose Canon / Brill Gold (Tasters readily offered) plus choices of lager & cider. Hidden away north of the city centre and well worth seeking out - one of the best pubs in the city and deservedly popular.

8 Nov 2013 20:15

The Pack Horse, Milton Hill

Now original Pack Horse name again - "Eating Inn" appears to be another creation Greene King's marketing department (why??). A lot of money was spent turning it into a would-be gastro-pub. It's ok, but it's in the middle of nowhere - I assume they are hoping the ever-increasing population of Didcot will drive out to here as most of the town pubs are awful. If you are not in that situation, not worth the bother.

8 Nov 2013 16:34

The Hart of Harwell, Harwell

Latest incarnation is definitely gastro-pub, run by an outfit with a handful of other pubs. Smart restaurant interior - decent food but a bit expensive and portions rather small. Not much for vegetarians. Last pub left in Harwell now, but doesn't feel like a pub any more. Morlands Original (Greene King now) adequate. Quite a few similar establishments locally - not sure I'd rush back to this one.

8 Nov 2013 16:14

The Grapes, Oxford

Pass the big chain pubs all along George Street, with their menacing bouncers and vomiting hordes to seek out this little gem. Restored Victorian tiled interior and good selection of Bath Ales make this genuine pub well worth a visit.

6 Nov 2013 10:57

Wetherspoons, Birmingham

If you fancy a beer at the NEC this is the best of a bad lot, with the ambience one would expect of a bar in an exhibition hall. As a Wetherspoons, at least it has reasonable real ale.

6 Nov 2013 10:30

Masons Arms, Headington

Decent old fashioned boozer with a selection of real ales, some from smaller breweries. Deservedly busy on a weekday evening. Tucked away on the edge of Oxford, but worth seeking out.

2 Nov 2013 16:42

The Rowing Machine, Witney

It's a "Hungry Horse" - cheap & cheerful but nothing special - it says on the tin.

12 May 2013 09:56

The Windrush Inn, Witney

Beer: Abbot OK but Cotswold Lion cloudy. Food & service mediocre - Father-in-law summed it up as "We could have had the same meal in Sainsbury's Cafe considerably cheaper". This pub would like to think of itself as a notch above a "Hungry Horse" but frankly it isn't.

12 May 2013 09:53

The Fox @ Excel, ExCeL London

The bars inside the Excel Centre are all plastic and horrible and this is a welcome alternative. Food ok, one real ale (sometimes), clean and comfortable - nothing brilliant, but nothing terrible either. A good choice if you are at an exhibition, but not really worth a special visit.

23 Oct 2012 15:55

The Globe, London Bridge

Unpretentious boozer squashed between railway lines which I have visited on and off for 30 years - the "Victorian" interior is relatively new! Sometimes the beer is good and other times it isn't. It seems to have escaped the gentrification affecting the rest of the Borough Market area, which in some ways is a good thing - until you see the toilets

23 Oct 2012 15:46

The Cavalier, Marston

Another pub in Marston which has closed down

23 Oct 2012 15:33

Victoria Arms, Old Marston

Pleasant pub in a wonderful location with a large garden going down to the River Cherwell. Excellent range of Wadsworth's beers and decent food - albeit slightly more expensive than one might expect. Can get very crowded on a sunny summer's day, tourists arrive in punts, the car park is packed and the quality of the service and the food has been known to slip. In some ways it is better in winter with the log fire, the Old Timer and the staff less rushed

25 Jul 2012 12:35

Royal Blenheim, Oxford

A proper pub that isn't full of tourists, which is rare in Oxford and worth seeking out! Linked with White Horse Brewery with most of their beers available plus a number of guest ales.

25 Jul 2012 12:09

The Friar, Marston

This pub has been closed for a couple of years. Tescos have bought the site and have planning permission to demolish it and build a new store.

1 Feb 2012 17:37

Three Horseshoes, Oxford

Planning permission has been sought to convert this pub into housing, like the much-missed former White Hart next door.

1 Feb 2012 17:33

The Bricklayers Arms, Marston

Planning approved for redevelopment into housing; the pub should be retained as a house although it has been damaged by arson. Goodbye.

1 Feb 2012 17:31

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