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BITE user comments - R3NW5

Comments by R3NW5

The Beaten Docket, Cricklewood

Generally a Spoons fan and my football team played their home games at Wembley for the season just gone. As I live on the Thameslink corridor, so getting to Cricklewood is easy, and this pub is near to Willesden Green station for the short hop on the Jubilee line, I decided to pay a visit.

Very standard across the board, wasn't busy at all on football days with glass glasses in use, good real ales on selection as per Spoons policy, food quick, app efficient if you're lazy like me. Usual punters. Some of the conversations you hear are fascinating. Needs a lick of paint but I supposes it disguises a good honest institution.

Now the season's over I guess I won't be back for a while - but next time we're at Wembley I know where to go.

17 May 2018 14:22

JJ Moon's, Kingsbury

Standard older member of the London Spoons stock and a solid pre-Wembley boozer, being only one stop up an often surprisingly efficient Jubilee line on matchday (yes, more efficient than the Met line). In the Good Beer Guide this year for the first time in over 20 years.

I was here between about 90 and 60 minutes before kick-off and although plastic glasses were in use and there were a fair few other football fans, anyone that's experienced the Torch will find this a dream.

24 Feb 2017 14:52

The Bull and Gate, Kentish Town

Am sad that NW5 lost such an iconic place, but glad in part that it has reopened as a pub. It looks very pleasant as you'd expect.

However, although I like the pseudo-craft stuff they sell and will happily pay a bit more on occasion, I couldn't help but internally sigh on being asked for another 35p when handing over a fiver for my Camden Hells. This is what is becoming of so many pubs in London. Soaring rents price out leaseholders on the old characterful places, they're forced to close and pubcos/big brewers steam in. Emphasis on fancy food and beer with prices to match. This was once a rough-around-the-edges London gem. Now it's like all the rest.

15 Jul 2016 16:34

Gilpins Bell, Edmonton

Sadly gone now. Was a great boozer with a cross section of Edmonton's ethnic communities, more than can be said for a lot of other places in the area. I never visited on match days even though I'm a Spurs fan but would enjoy a stop off in the area for cheap and respectable food and beer.

Hearing it may well be reopened by the same people that run the Coach and Horses a few hundred metres south. I expect the prices to go up and beer quality to go down, but at least the option remains in the area.

23 Mar 2016 10:16

The Two Brewers, Tottenham

The outside gives you the impression you're about to walk into someone's front room and the deceptively large, busy interior strikes you straight away. Felt more like a social club than a pub as there are few bells and whistles in terms of furnishings, save for a jukebox, and it's keg only on draught. The crowd is quite friendly and welcoming (to fellow Spurs fans!) - it's very much the place you see the people you often meet if you go to Spurs away matches regularly. The last time I had been in there a chap approached me in the Paxton upper just before kick-off and said "You were in the Brewers before the game!" Typifies the friendly kind of place it is. Not a single replica shirt to be seen. Beer cheap and service very efficient.

Sometimes before the football I do like a real ale in a proper glass and in a slightly more subdued boozer, but there is something about this place that I really like. People say we're strapped for good options as Spurs fans but I think this is a solid choice.

7 Feb 2016 16:39

The Dove Inn, Hammersmith

Charming and has a country feel about it, but on a winter visit on a Thursday night (it might be the season) it looked to all intents and purposes a restaurant. Tiny, though pretty bar area with a nice cubby to the right of the bar. Food emphasis sways it for me though. As local Fullers go I prefer the more spartan Salutation.

29 Jan 2016 10:24

The George, London Bridge

Historic and a worthy tick on the bucket list, but horrifically expensive. Had a standard lager for £5.30 (!) before making for the Market Porter across the road for a good pint at £1.50 less. It was nice enough, but I won't be back in a hurry. Sam Smith's don't cash in on the stories their places tell. Why have they felt the need to here?

21 Jan 2016 16:08

Robinson Crusoe, Stoke Newington

Back open as the Robinson Crusoe after spending a little while as a Tommy Flynn's.

17 Dec 2015 16:02

The Spread Eagle, Camden

Not a great deal wrong with this one, indeed I used to be a consistent visitor prior to last year's refurb. Always a decent pint of Young's ordinary on tap at a good price for the area. Lagers inevitably more expensive, almost hitting £5 in some cases.

The sticking point is that I'm not fond of the recent trend spattering of 'craft' on anything and everything - the Spread Eagle is a case in point, now having 'Craft Pub and Dining House' proudly adorning its sign. Pray tell, Young's, what on earth is a 'craft pub'? It appears that they think this new word is worth a few bob, even when making nonsense out of names, as the case is here.

Decent boozer for Camden, atmosphere fine and prices okay if you stick to their own bitters. Don't touch the food if you want to keep your arms and legs.

26 Jun 2015 14:46

Ice Wharf, Camden

One of the better pubs in the immediate vicinity of Camden Town tube station. Not somewhere I'd take a traditionalist or a tourist seeking 'pub' surroundings, but with mates during the day or on a weeknight, it's a solid choice. As is usual with Spoons, good real ale options, cheap prices and a cross section of London citizenry.

As a pub enthusiast, it is a pity that one of the more respectable establishments in the area is a modern glass-walled Spoons, but I can think of few other places in Camden Town that are half as decent as this. The tourist trap World's End and softball beer garden rah Edinboro Castle come immediately to mind.

As it's a Lloyd's there's a DJ on Friday and Saturday nights.

There are a million and one places in London I'd probably rather go, but none in Camden. 7/10

26 Jun 2015 14:35

The Assembly House, Kentish Town

Airy Victorian boozer with a decent amount of natural light and pretty decor.

Definitely an adherent to the 'craft' craze with a fair few Camden and Meantime keg beers. Prices for these are of course to match. I went for their own cask Assembly Ale which came in at £3.40 - not bad considering the rate at which prices are going up in London.

Fun, accessible pub quiz on Sundays.

Regarding the service, it does seem to slow quite a bit after work and when there's a gig on at the Forum - more than should be normal. If it's busy, you can find me in the Southampton Arms or the Pineapple. Pity as it's miles better than almost all pubs down the road in NW1 - but there's a lot of competition in NW5.

22 Jun 2015 12:51

The Princess Louise, Holborn

If you're hosting a foreign visitor, he's inevitably going to have 'typical pub' at the top of his viewing list. I've long given up on the notion of 'typical', because as a pub enthusiast the plethora of ensuing ideas causes chaotic indecision in my mind. But I'll gladly have 'historic' as a near-synonym. And then I think of this place.

The layout and décor are first-rate. Stepping in here feels like warping back to the 19th century. The panels and side booths give an air of old-fashioned intimacy. The flooring eclectic as would be expected of the era. Yes it's been restored and refitted a number of times. But I wonder what the state of the wood would be like now if it had been left untouched since 1891...

So classic layout, check. The following point is common to all Sam Smith's houses, but it feels especially appropriate in tandem with the layout. The tied-ness of the place and restriction on beer availability also makes it classically English. Proper tied houses are a dying breed in the UK. Taylor Walkers and Nicholsons don't count. Every time I walk past a Watney's or a Charrington sign I wonder what pubs would be like if they had survived the lager wave.

All kinds of complaints fly about regarding the beer, and that is admittedly a bit of a minus - but there's also an excellent Wetherspoons round the corner catering to your real ale thirst. Talking of real ale, the cask OBB here isn't actually that bad, and at £2.80, is still under par for the area.

Busy at weekends but the bar staff are excellent. Emphasis on food just right - they do little things, which is how pubs used to be and should still be.

So perhaps not typical of today, but certainly classic and historic, and an absolute gem at that.

24 Mar 2015 13:32

The Harp, Covent Garden

Have been a few times since the takeover, and I've been delighted by Fullers holding true to Binnie's old decor and beer policy. The only difference is that Pride's now available, and although I'd never drink it on purpose here, it's overlookable seeing as the place of old has always served a couple of standard lagers.

For a person that likes pubs and appreciates pub etiquette, the Harp is a dream. Staff excellent and always know what they're serving. Punters respect each other and make this place when it's heaving a rare case of 'a good kind of busy', as my friend puts it. Not for you if you're very claustrophobic, but the ambience makes the confined space all the better.

If I had to pick one thing to not like it's the Football Free Zone sign. Comes across as a bit aloof. But then again, I am a football fan and I can say the best pubs in London are ones that don't bother with football. Prices creeping up too, but still good value for the location.

The excellently kept, well-priced beer and convivial atmosphere makes this establishment deservedly rated as one of the very best in Central London.

30 Dec 2014 12:44

The Elephants Head, Camden

I like the Ellie Head, but there's definitely a time I'd choose to go there and a time I'd choose not to. It's great in there gone midnight and when you're after a drunken singsong.

Lively enough crowd, a fair few friendly tourists, and door staff are fine. Prices high, but by that time you're past caring. During the day though, I can be found in the Wharf in my budget-conscious (relative) sobriety.

25 Jul 2014 16:34

The Doric Arch, Euston

Very respectable boozer. If you're coming for the football, this is a much, much better choice than the Flyer up the road and far less likely to be as heaving. Staff jovial, Fullers ales well kept. Nothing you'd expect from a station boozer; think it's just that distance from the entrance that clinches it. The unassuming station crowd seem to pile into the Britannia at their peril anyway. Would come here more often if it wasn't for the Tap's brilliance. 7/10.

19 May 2014 16:04

The Twelve Pins, Finsbury Park

Spurs fan here also. Nothing wrong with this place even with the cannon above the door. Prices reasonable, bar staff efficient, beers well kept. Not the place I'd choose for a socialising session, but very good for live football and meeting people before heading elsewhere.

As said, no ale. But 1) that doesn't bother me as there are plenty of decent places serving the English juice in the area, and 2) it's an Irish pub so what do you expect.

19 May 2014 15:48

The Bree Louise, Euston

This used to be an absolute favourite of mine. Plethora of real ale, an older and more interesting clientèle than the crowd usually found at gastro-craft beer refits, relatively low prices and nostalgic 1970s décor. I returned a few weeks ago and was shocked. £4.10 for an ale in an ale pub. An off ale at that, and the staff tried to persuade my friend to keep it by saying 'they're all like that'.

People have been telling me that this place isn't what it once was and now I reluctantly say I have to believe them. Go to the Tap up the road, the prices are much better and the beer far better kept.

12 May 2014 14:56

Robinson Crusoe, Stoke Newington

Walked past this pub the other day and it appeared to have closed down.

26 Mar 2014 14:57

The Albion, Barnsbury

Suggested this place to a friend as I live a tube ride away and it was one of the few places remaining for me to do in Time Out's list of best beer gardens in North London. Well, the pervading sentiment is the following: is it a pub and beer garden? At £4.20 a pint for the Deuchars I should have felt the warning signs straight away. Then, on proceeding to the garden, half of the tables had the damned signs on them and we had to stand. Not too bad on reflection, but I don't really do pubs for food, let alone look favourably on pubs that devote about three quarters of their space to diners. That's not what a pub is. If I'm hungry and want pub food, I go to Wetherspoons. And after two, we ended up in the White Swan and paid £7.50 for two beers and chips. Job well done.

Won't be returning, not because of rudeness or slow service or anything, but because it doesn't have what I look for in a pub; much the opposite in fact.

2 May 2013 23:43

The Faltering Fullback, Finsbury Park

I absolutely love this place. Let's be honest though, the comparisons with the Old Dairy are slightly unfair. As it's an Irish pub I'd be more inclined to put it up against the Twelve Pins, for example. You don't come to the Fullback for ale, that's for sure. You come for the garden, the sport and the Thai food. I'm a big lover of the English juice, and in general I visit more real ale pubs, but when I'm after it and don't want to go far I go to the Dairy or the Brownswood. I don't come here.

My most recent visit was yesterday, Lowenbräu was my choice. At £3.80 it's more than most ales but less than you pay for a lager in an ale pub these days. Had one in the garden before moving in to watch the football, and the room soon filled up with fans creating a lively atmosphere.

If you like live sport, cold lager and a lovely place to while away a few summer hours, the Fullback's your place. If you insist on well-kept real ale being served in every pub you enter, it's not.

29 Apr 2013 10:07

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