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BITE user comments - Neril

Comments by Neril

St. George's Tavern, Victoria

Quite close to the office where I work and I have been going there more and more often after it was recommended by somebody that lives nearby and I have grown disatisfied with other pubs in the area.

I've only been there at lunch, but I'm told it is packed in the evening with office workers from the nearby offices.

They have a very wide range of different sausages to go with their sausage and mash or in sandwiches, but the menu is quite varied if you don't fancy them. A very reasonably priced menu and not very busy at lunch time.

The last couple of times I visited in late 2008 the pub did smell a little odd (perhaps stale beer or drains), but it wasn't noticeable in the restaurant.

A mix of patrons: locals, office workers and possibly slightly lost coach/train passengers.

The upstairs is quite open - no obvious nooks to have private conversations, but tables range in size from 2 people to 8 or so. You can either order at the bar, or sit in the back and have table service. I haven't been downstairs.

The staff seem friendly and fairly efficient, though I have had to push for the bill a couple of times when eating in the restaurant.

If you find yourself near Victoria station and you're hungry or thirsty then I'd recommend it.

2 Jan 2009 22:08

The Victoria, Victoria

I work nearby and so I visit the Victoria on a fairly regular basis for lunch.

The main draw for me is the location (near to the office) and its size (large) which means we can be fairly sure of getting a table or two without any prior notice. The booths are good for quiet meals of up to four, the tables near the doors are good for larger parties.

The food is inconsistent, but never great. I have had some terrible meals there which have caused me to withhold my custom for a month or two, but it is sometimes its ok. The price is fairly reasonable for the city.

One thing that seems to stand out in my memory is the awful service I have received on several occasions. I often feel like I am incoveniencing the staff by ordering something. On several occasions there have been a large number of us queuing to order our drink nad meal and one person has served us one-by-one while another has stood and watched or been pottering behind the bar. Once, having ordered a large drinks order and being a little fed up watching them being done one-by-one in an otherwise empty pub I asked the by-standing staff member if they could perhaps help out their colleague and apparently they couldn't because of the difficulty it would cause with the till.

So, I go here and it's a good place to meet because of the location and the size but I have been increasingly looking around the area and finding better pubs in the area.

2 Jan 2009 21:51

The Blacksmiths Arms, Cudham

I have eaten here twice - both times at Christmas with fairly large parties (8+ with young children) and we booked in advance. It seems popular so I'd recommend booking if you are going for a weekend lunch.

I'd echo everything said before - a nice pub with a smokers "den" outside for the anti-social amongst us, in nice surroundings. I would recommend it. Friendly and numerous staff.

The food was good - portions were ok and cooked well. They appear to be fairly strict about parties sticking to their time slots: they leave notes on the table saying "please be done by 2pm" but were in no hurry to take our orders and so we skipped dessert because we would have overrun our deadline.

We will almost certainly be going back next year, circumstances permitting.

2 Jan 2009 21:34

The Fox and Hounds, Toys Hill

Returned to this pub today for the first time since my visit in Jun 2007 after another brisk walk around Toys Hill.

Still a great pub in my opinion. This time we ate inside for lunch with our baby daughter.

Still towards the pricey end, but the food was very good. We had a starter and two mains, plus three soft drinks and it came to 28 pounds. It must be a new/updated menu since we last ate there. I had a burger with fries and salad. The burger was home made and definitely not the run-of-the-mill pub burger, and the wife had a lamb curry which she enjoyed. We fed our daughter with food we had brought with us. As before I didn't see any children's menus, but I overheard the family next to us discussing child portions so they may be catered for.

Very nice children's high-chairs are available - clearly either very new or well looked after and very clean (manky, poorly maintained highchairs in pubs/restaurants are a particular bug-bear of mine). There were quite a few children present this time. The landlord appeared to be rearranging the reserved tables on-the-fly to ensure that people with children were kept in one area of the pub - something I suspect the other people without kids would appreciate.

The clientele this lunchtime were a mixture of locals, walkers and people in fancy cars who were presumably off for a drive in the Kent countryside. Small dogs on leads appear to be allowed inside but I don't know if there is any explicit policy.

The staff were attentive and friendly. The landlord was very welcoming from the moment I stepped through the door and came over and made a fuss of our baby and we had a brief chat about our circumstances and his family.

Today's newspapers were available to read in the bar.

My only negative experience was that they had signs referencing a "two main meals for 14.50 throughout January" deal but when I asked it turns out it starts on 6th January. Hmm.

Other details: No mobiles policy. A smoking area is signposted from the bar but since I don't smoke I didn't investigate and can't say whether it is a sheltered area or just the great outdoors. They may have had some problem with kids getting lost or hurt in the woods next to the beer garden as I saw a sign saying something like "Don't let your kids play in the woods. Danger".

On the whole though I was very happy and I will be going back the next time I feel the need to wander around Toys Hill.

2 Jan 2009 21:20

The Fox and Hounds, Toys Hill

Given the previous mixed bag of reviews for this pub I was nervous about going there. Still, after a lovely Sunday walk around Toys Hill (recommended!) I thought we should give it a try.

I'm glad we did.

The pub is situated on a quiet country road, has a car park for about 12 cars (which was packed full). The road is quiet enough that you can park on the road without too much worry. A lot of the trade looks to be from walkers and passing cyclists and there's nothing nearby of note besides the National Trust car-park for Toys Hill. There is a non-smoking and no-mobiles policy in the pub itself, but there is a garden with plenty of picnic tables. We were slightly put off by the shouting toddler in the garden, but it turns out he was ours.

Given the previous comments about the grumpy landlord I was a little nervous but he turned out to be courteous and friendly. He was also happy to chat to my two year old. The rest of the staff were also pleasant and checked we were happy with our meals twice and tidied up quickly after we'd finished.

The food was on the pricey side for a lunch meal: no main course for significantly less than a tenner on the Sunday menu. The food selection was on the higher end of quality - e.g. full roast, chicken wrapped in Parma ham with a nice sauce; no burgers/wraps/sandwiches here but had a nice Sausage and Mash (portions a little small but tasted good). There's a strange rule about not ordering starters without a main course, but I suppose that's to avoid people balking at the prices and just ordering a soup. Skipped desert - sounded nice, but too pricey for us (e.g. 4 pounds for 3 scoops of icecream). Menu definitely in the gastro-pub category.

Children seem to be cheerfully accepted, but they are not explicitly catered for (no high chairs or play area, no obvious child menu, etc.). We ordered main courses from the menu and asked for an extra plate for our sprog and he ate some of ours).

Can't comment on the beer as we don't drink, but it's a Greene King pub.

So, generally good in a great, quiet location. I'd suggest that you should not be put off by the previous bad reviews if you're in the area.

10 Jun 2007 15:45

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