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BITE user comments - SimonM

Comments by SimonM

The Albion, Hampton Court

Visited a couple of weeks ago for a shift half in early evening. The pub has been knocked through and modernised at some stage - yet it is still . It was quite busy but had little wait for service and the ale was in decent nick. Parking is very difficult - there's no car park and the roads have permit holder restrictions. However it's right by the railway station and seems to have a lot of local trade. Room to smoke at front and cosy tables by the windows.

9 Nov 2012 09:57

The Royal Oak, West Molesey

Cosy old fashioned country-ish local. Sadly on my recent visit the ale wasn't in very good condition.

8 Nov 2012 13:46

The Poyntz Arms, East Molesey

Roomy and well appointed pub with a good atmosphere. Unfortunately for me I can't stand Shepherd Neame beers although the Master Brew was in good nick they always give me a headache.

8 Nov 2012 13:44

The Dublin Castle, Camden

Not so much a pub, more the waiting room for the venue at the back with seating round the edges but standing room only in the middle. Nice pint of Deuchars though.

8 Nov 2012 13:25

The Spread Eagle, Camden

Young's pub both spacious and cosy. Guest ales as well as Young's - the Young's Gold was in decent nick. Typical Young's interior, toilets reasonable although there was a whiff on the stairs down to them. Decent pub and the place to go if you want a proper pub in the area.

8 Nov 2012 13:24

Hand and Flower, Fulham

Yet another knocked through bar/pub/eatery with a courtyard garden. However, unlike the nearby Jam Tree and Imperial, this one is slightly less modern in decor and boasts a naturally well lit seated rear dining area and a decent courtyard garden. Also a plus for sunny weather is that the frontage has doors all the way across so some or all of space can be opened to the street which was a bonus on a sultry evening. No machines but TV at side and rear and a board advertising the Euro 2012 schedule - not sure if this is a one off but looks like they'll show the games. Two ales on - I didn't try the "Hand and Flowers Best" but the Dark Star Original was in good condition.

25 May 2012 13:08

The Imperial, Fulham

Another knocked through bar/pub/eatery decorated in a modern style with a small courtyard garden but with a "gallery" featuring what I'd call soft core porn as well as photos of rock stars like Hendrix. Some tables at rear with "arty" magazines arranged as a display - a tad pretentious for me. A couple of real ales on - I had a satisfactory half of Deuchars. There are tables out front so that in decent weather you could have a drink here without having to get distracted or offended by the "art".

25 May 2012 12:58

ONE, Fulham

Working under the name "The Jam Tree" since at least April 2011, as you can see from their website this is a knocked through bar/pub/eatery with modern decor a decent sized courtyard garden with no machines or TV. Only one real ale on tap which was TT Landlord. I was wary when the chap serving me at 7pm has to ask "has anyone served the Landlord today?" and got the answer "no". However, he then proceeded to test it, and finding the first mouthful hot from being in the pipes on a hot day, he then pulled through until satisfactory. So he may only have one pump but he keeps it well. Gets a 7 for that.

25 May 2012 12:51

Pratts and Payne, Streatham

Re-opened on Fri 9 Mar. The interior is still a barn but the raised area has been removed and the bar now runs along the back walll to the right. The new decor is an eclectic mix of fifties and sixties stuff I think, with a mix of bigger and smaller tables. Toilets seem much improved. It was busy on both the Fri and Sat nights with a young to middle aged crowd. Half a dozen real ales on including Haviestoun Bitter and Twisted, a Mild, Jaipur IPA, Adnams IPA - I had a couple of pints of the mild on Saturday and it was in good order. Food marked up on a board but not too much sign of it at 10pm on Saturday. No garden so smokers tend to go out front to the side alley. No telly or machines but piped music which reverberates off the walls and uncarpeted floor. Has promise.

12 Mar 2012 21:31

The Duke of Buckingham, Kingston Upon Thames

Two bar pub with 70s interior. A couple of parking spaces at front but no car park. Two real ales on - Marston's Pedigree and Greene King IPA - I had the IPA and it was in decent nick. Big screen tv and games machines in one bar. Looks like an ok local but not one for ale buffs.

20 Feb 2012 16:53

The Wibbas Down Inn, Wimbledon

A large retail conversion Wetherspoon. So large that if you enter from the Wimbledon Theatre side you might not realise that the larger of the two bars is at the other side. When I went on a Monday night there was only one staff member and a queue at the small bar but more staff and no queue at the large bar. Small bar had six ales labelled and the large bar a dozen - not sure how many actually on - at least one pump clip was there to disguise a broken pump. However, the Butcombe Bitter and Exmoor Beast were in excellent nick. Food was as other Wetherspoon outlets - cheap, decent and speedy - handy for a swift nosh before the panto.

11 Jan 2012 17:18

The Prince of Wales, Wimbledon

A Taylor-Walker pub serving London Pride, Doom Bar, Old Golden Hen and Youngs Gold - Pride and Doom Bar were in decent nick on my visit. An old Victorian pub with bars knocked through into a cavern. Big telly all round for sport with sound blotted out by background music and slot machines. A good example of a "railway arms" type pub - mostly passing trade I'd guess. Ok for a swift one while waiting for a train but more drive through than destination.

11 Jan 2012 17:08

The Waggon and Horses, Surbiton

Been years since I've been here which was before the refurb. So now we have a at front a large bar area with high chairs round cask-tables all set far back from the bar, presumably to put folk off from standing at the bar. With a "bar" like beige and brown decor but insufficient light to read. Big telly installed but not on on a Sunday afternoon when there was F A Cup football available. There's a small seated area separated off for eating to the right and much more of that to the rear. Background music was on but no sign of fruit machines. Not really a boozer then but ok for a quite-ish pint. No parking now, but there are a few roadside spaces round the corner in Beaufort Rd but they have restrictions.

Yongs Ales (Ordinary, Special, Winter Warmer) and Twickenham Original as a guest, which was in good nick.

Overall not bad, but not convenient for a visitor to the area.

11 Jan 2012 17:03

The Falcon, Clapham Junction

Large but welcoming Victorian pub with small dining area and authentic decor. Wide selection of ales - I stayed with Wooden Hand Pirate's Gold. Over a three pint visit after work I found good service by three or the four staff on and no problem with change. A good pub for the area and very close to Clapham Junction BR.

5 Jan 2012 13:37

The Cock and Bottle, Notting Hill

Welcoming and traditional two bar pub - front room with decent size screens for sport which you could hardly hear from the rear room with the christmas tree and fireplace. Three ales on - London Pride and Harvey's Sussex Best both in good nick. Lovely pub.

8 Dec 2011 13:02

The Bedford Park, Streatham

One year on and the Bedford is still shut behind builders screens. No idea what's happening now.

23 Nov 2011 20:58

The Wheatsheaf on the Green, Esher

Decent village-y boozer to rear of Esher with Fuller's London Pride, "Young's" (pah) Ordinary and Doom Bar - Pride in decent nick. Car park at rear entrance with entrance to left of front. Outside seating at front and rear. 7/10 is about right.

5 Sep 2011 00:59

The Speaker, Westminster

Light and airy one room pub - as they say on the signs: no big screen, no music, no fruit machines. Four ales on tap: today TT Landlord, Youngs Ordinary, Youk Blonde and another blond (real lager? not Schiehallion). I had the Blonde and the Landlord and they were tip-top. For food sandwiches and such and today's special was Sausages and Mash with Onion Gravy. Yum.

23 Aug 2011 15:45

The Kings Tun, Kingston Upon Thames

Huge shop-conversion Wetherspoon on two levels - in my childhood it was a Pier One Imports. Sadly it's a bit dark on the inside but as often the case with a JDW it has a wide range of ales - I had a half of Loddon Ferryman's Gold which was in good condition. As with many recent JDW conversions it has many framed accounts of local people and places of note - in this case, even dogs, since the resting place of Nipper, the dog from the HMV logo is in town.

12 Aug 2011 19:32

The Wheelwrights Arms, Kingston Upon Thames

Smallish corner pub, modernised and very light with many windows - also many HD TV screens. Opens at 12am and when I went in at about half past it still smelt of floor cleaner - sadly, so did my half of Tribute. But worth a second chance.

12 Aug 2011 19:20

The Druid's Head, Kingston Upon Thames

Now A Greene King pub, the Druid's Head has been modernised inside but not cmpletely knocked through so you can still feel the old coaching inn that was. Shame you can't hear it for the piped music. Unlike many GK pubs, they managed a decent guest ale (Hyde's Swict Delivery) alongside the usual GK pap. Staff were helpful and polite on a quiet lunchtime visit.

12 Aug 2011 18:25

The Ram, Kingston Upon Thames

Greene King pub, was a lovely Youngs house in my youth. Many pumps, little ale. Nothing to recommend it currently.

12 Aug 2011 18:20

The Cambridge Blue, Cambridge

Terraced two room pub with large modern extension and larger garden. Excellent selection of ales and food with polite and knowledgeable staff. Beer heaven. I don't give many 10/10s but this is one. I can't for the life of me think of any improvement you could make.

7 Aug 2011 20:12

The Grape and Grain, Crystal Palace

Large knocked through pub - comfy indoors and large seating area to watch the Crystal Palace grodlock. A lot of unusual ales with the staff asking without prompting for the 40p CAMRA membership discount. I've given it 8/10 - it would be nice if BITE had some form of "aging" old marks or wiping the slate clean if a major change has occurred as it has at this pub, and in this case a change definitely for the better.

7 Aug 2011 20:03

The Anchor Inn, Shrewsbury

Decent pub just opposite the Severn Theatre - had a swift one before a concert on a Friday night. One Hobson's, Hppback Crop Circle and one other on pump - I had the Hobson's and it was a decent pint. Interior has been modernised at some point but still has a small pub atmosphere. Plenty of parking close by so not bad at all.

26 Jun 2011 14:20

The Ship of Fools, Croydon

Standard Wetherspoon - clean place, efficient friendly service, many decent ales. I had a swift half of Dorking Brewery Dry Hop Gold and almost couldn't resist the lesser spotted Cotleigh Long-Eared Owl. Yum. May not be everybody's taste in terms of atmosphere and clientele but at least you can enjoy the beer whilst waiting for a train at West Croydon.

7 Mar 2011 15:19

Arkwrights Wheel, Croydon

I remember this place ten years ago as being the one place to have a decent ale in the beer desert that is Croydon. Fast forward to a Monday lunchtime and there's just Courage Best on draught and almost no-one for company. Looks like whatever life the place had has been sucked out of it by the Ship of Fools.

7 Mar 2011 15:12

The Old Fox and Hounds, Croydon

Greene King standard pub - take it or leave it.

7 Mar 2011 15:07

The Royal Oak, Tolworth

Pub with a single knocked through bar - bit of a barn with no soft furnishings and few hard ones. Big screen available but was not in use on a Saturday afternoon when I popped in - maybe because the only sport on TV was cricket. Pool table and games machines with background music on. Decent size garden but unkempt - seems mainly used for smoking area. Two ales on draught - Courage Best and Youngs Ordinary - I had a pint of the Ordinary and it was ok. Collection of football shirts fixed to the most disgusting coloured (khaki?) ceiling that I have ever seen. Few punters in - little atmosphere except a noticeable smell.

26 Feb 2011 15:39

Brave New World, Surbiton

Spacious knocked through pub with colourful decor more appropriate for a tapas bar. Popped in for a quick pint while the footie was on the big(-ish) screen on a Sunday. Only ale on draught was Doom Bar in decent nick. Not busy but not quiet. Pool table in a separate room to the left hand side as you look at the place.

And when did it change from being the Bun Shop? It must be nearly thirty years since I went in it as such but it lives long in the memory.

7 Feb 2011 16:07

The Earl Ferrers, Streatham

Still the best pub in Streatham - no changes to note. Sambrooks' Wandle, Junction and Powerhouse Porter on draught.

6 Feb 2011 12:45

The Manor Arms, Streatham

Still closed

6 Feb 2011 12:41

Duke of York, Surbiton

Greene King pub focusing on food - a stale barn with hard surfaces reverberating with noise. IPA, Abbot and Old Speckled Hen on the pump clips but none of these are what they were in their heyday.

29 Dec 2010 15:35

The Black Lion, Surbiton

Authentic feeling boozer with different areas as if grown organically over time. Decent beer quality on my visits but can get packed easily when there's sport on TV. If you want sport you'll be likely to get a better view at the Victoria as it's rooms are wider and if you want to avoid the sport and/or get something other than Well's and Young's the nearby Lamb is the one.

29 Dec 2010 15:27

The Victoria, Surbiton

Large pub with traditional looking fittings and a number of sections so you don't have to be drowned out by TV sport if you don't want, as decent a pint of Young's as you'll get post-sellout, and (from my experience) friendly staff and friendly customers. Not my favourite pub in Surbiton (that's the Lamb) but if you're at the shops or going to/from the station this is where I'd stop for beer.

29 Dec 2010 15:21

The Surbiton Flyer, Surbiton

For a Fullers pub right next to a Station, this has been pretty quiet whenever I have been in. A pub with a modern interior, friendly staff and decent ale and no background noise however but somehow a bit lifeless.

29 Dec 2010 15:18

The Manor Arms, Streatham

From the Streatham Guardian 11th November 2010:

The Manor Arms pub in Streatham has been sold and will be closed for a 12-week, 300,000 refurbishment.

The well-known landmark in Mitcham Lane was bought by Who Cares Wins Ltd which purchased the freehold from a private individual for an undisclosed sum.

It plans to introduce cocktails, and a high quality food menu including Sunday lunches, a spokesman said.

He said: There will be cocktails and a great wine list, while staying true to their pub roots and serving a selection of premium beers and cask ales. With this high end offer they hope to attract clientele from the increasingly affluent and densely populated suburbs that surround the Manor Arms.

The pub will cater for children with baby changing facilities and pram storage.

28 Dec 2010 16:14

The Bedford Park, Streatham

Planning Application 10/00771/FUL was granted by Lambeth Planning as a delegated decision on 27/04/2010 for "Conversion of upper floors to provide 6 self-contained units, involving the erection of a three-storey rear extension and a rear dormer roof extension with the installation of two rear rooflights. Demolition of part of the boundary wall to create access and exit gate to the rear at lower ground floor level, creation of a new entrance to the residential units to the front elevation and the removal of existing decking to the rear elevation at lower ground floor level and the creation of a cycle store to the rear elevation."

No mention of the pub apart from the decking but work has begin.

28 Dec 2010 16:11

The Antelope, Surbiton

Somewhat clinically renovated pub. Knocked through with loud background but music in front and sport on decvent-sized TV at rear with pool table. Pinball table - hoorah! Sadly not working - swallowed my quidlet. Friendly servive with three real ales on - Greene King IPA, Greene King St Edmunds and Hardy and Hanson Olde Trip (now there's a pub). I had a decent pint of Olde Trip. Near my gaff this would be a good'un, but there's stiff local competition.

22 Nov 2010 23:27

The Fox And Hounds, Surbiton

Spacious "knocked through" pub with roaring fire, dart board and pool table. Courage Best and Bombardier - I had a pint of Bombardier and it was in good nick. Couple of flat screen TVs but not in use on this particular Saturday afternoon even though there was rugby on terrestrial. Radio providing what seemed like loudish background music.

21 Nov 2010 13:09

The Lamb, Surbiton

Charming two-room knocked-through pub with candles on the tables, no TVs for sport and a gentle touch of background music. Tables almost all full and stools occupied at the bar. Three "LocAle"s on - Sambrooks Junction, Twickenham Sundancer and Surrey Hills Ranmore Ale. I had a pint of Junction and it was fair. Good service and local atmosphere. Some nice pubs in Surbiton but on this visit this would be my pick. Seems to be a lot going on in Seething Wells.

17 Nov 2010 23:40

The County Arms, Wandsworth Common

I am ashamed to say that I had never been in the County Arms pre-refurb despite having lived no more than a few miles away for nearly twenty five years.

The legend "Proud to be your Local" is painted on the outside wall. However, despite being just along the road from Wandsworth prison it is a million miles away.

Parking is limited and with no train or tube nearby it is a local by necessity rather than ambition.

This is a pub which has been opened up into a noisy barn by a refurb, obviously concentrating on food and aimed at the local well-to-do young trendies. The central island bar is big to allow being staffed at a minimum and service was slow as a result of that and the focus on food.

Three hand pumps all with clips to front advertising ale: Youngs Ordinary, Special and Twickenham "Naked Ladies". I asked for Special for old times sake as a regular Youngs drinker for a couple of decades but that was not available. I then asked for the Twickenham despite the daft name and that was almost pure vinegar. So I settled for Ordinary - and Ordinary it was. At least there was no argument about getting it replaced.

Atmosphere? No sport which may please some but piped music, no sport and the incessant reverberating yabbering of media types.

26 Oct 2010 22:22

The Chancellors, Hammersmith

This one gets a raised mark from me partly by virtue of it's proximity to and resonance with the Riverside Studios, partly because you have to walk a bit to get to a better pub and partly because I'm a Fulham fan. Two real ales on - ok but not brilliant.

22 Oct 2010 15:45

The Blue Anchor, Hammersmith

This was a lovely, quaint gem of a pub (not a boozer IMHO) before the 2008 refurb so I think the comments are divided into those who knew it before the refurb and those who did not. Personally I preferred it the old way but it is still rather better than the nearby competition, albeit focussed on vertical drinking and food.

22 Oct 2010 15:41

Navigation, Stafford

Two bar pub with dining room overlooking the busy canal. Small beer garden next to pub and larger section with smoking gazebo on the other side of a decent sized car park. Front bar with darts and pool table. No televised sport.

I visited for a late-ish Sunday lunch - good menu with roasts (beef or ham today), steaks and fish to the fore. Roasts helpfully came in small, medium and large. Very good service.

Three well kept real ales on draught - Banks's Mild, Banks's Best and Reverend James. Dining room was busy but with available tables but front bar was empty, probably due to a televised football match being shown elsewhere.

3 Oct 2010 20:44

The Red Lion, Thames Ditton

Decent pub in village with one real ale (Bombardier) in decent condition. Comfy chairs for watching one of the may TVs, pool table, pub game machine and dart board. Large sunny dining room at rear with garden seating also. Small car park to left but if that's full parking will be tricky. Quiet but pleasant on a Sunday afternoon.

29 Aug 2010 18:22

The New Prince, Surbiton

Popped in for a quick pint on Bank Holiday Monday. Four ales on - I had a very nice pint of Gales Festival Mild. Friendly local atmosphere, nice large beer garden although parking is probably a bit of a bugger on "normal" days. The kind of place you would spend time in if it were your local.

4 May 2010 09:46

The Earl Ferrers, Streatham

Popped in for a quick Xmas Eve beer, stayed for two - situation normal. The best pub in the area although the Leigham Arms is closer to my home; great atmosphere, two real ales on (Twickenham Original and Christmas Cheer) and a really inclusive local feel. Bit dim in the evening to read and there's music on so not a quiet drink tonight - but a funky playlist. Friends have had food here recently and recommend it. Hard to fault.

25 Dec 2009 00:42

The Old Red Lion, Islington

Nice old pub with good range of real ales (Landlord, London Price, Sussex Best, Crop Circle). The interior is a game of two halves, the nicely-preserved screened area and the open room beyond. Dropped in for a swift one late last Saturday night - pub was busy but with plenty of helpful bar staff so quick to get served.

25 Oct 2009 11:29

The Bedford Park, Streatham

The Bedford appears to have closed and the furniture and carpets downstairs have been removed. According to the land registry, the freehold of the building was sold to Langholm Property Co Limited on 26 January 2009. I believe that the freehold was previously owned by Watney Combe Reid & Company Limited. The lease which was owned by Young's was for the term of 25 years from 29 September 1984. It would appear then that the lease has reverted from Young's to Langholm Property. There have been planning applications this year for converting the upper levels of the building into flats which have been refused by Lambeth Planning. There do not appear to be any restrictive covenants in the freehold which would prevent Langholm Property from leasing the property as a pub.

Fortunately where one door closes, another opens, with the re-opening of the White Lion, although as before, sadly with no real ale.

10 Oct 2009 16:21

Prince Arthur, Euston

Decent boozer near Euston with ale, food and roadside seating out front. Decent pint of TT Landlord but non-smoking beer lovers will head for the Doric Arch instead.

28 Sep 2009 10:04

The Bear, Esher

Note to self: never return to the scene of the crime, even if the crime was drinking and the return is 25 years later. Another traditional place gutted by a refurb and trying to turn into a food parlour. At 5pm on a Sunday the place was almost empty - Youngs Ordinary and Special on pull - the Special was rather iffy. The only benefit in comparison with the Albert is the patio area - when I looked in there it was as empty.

29 Jun 2009 00:58

The Carpenters Arms, Marble Arch

On a sunny Friday night the place was very busy with the punters spread over the pavements. Three real ales on - Hopback TEA, Stonehenge Heelstone which were ok and a Cottage one that tasted like cleaning fluid. Nice pub with little nearby competition.

28 Jun 2009 01:21

The Black Lion, Kilburn

Gorgeous interior decoration in a roomy pub with a lot of window space which lights up the place on a sunny evening. Landlord and Doom Bar on draft in quaffable condition. Small outside area to the side.

13 Jun 2009 12:15

The Pillars of Hercules, Soho

Popped in for a quick pint before a gig at the Borderline - on a hot Spring evening the Thwaites Wainwright went down well. Pub was almost empty inside because everyone was drinking on the pavement!

2 Jun 2009 08:27

The Junction Tavern, Kentish Town

Reasonable selection of beers (Rebellion Smuggler, Adnams East Green, Brakspeare Oxford Gold, Fullers London Pride) but this is really a restaurant with a public bar, and not that big a one. If you're coming here for beer, you might want go to the Pineapple instead.

8 May 2009 16:26

The Pineapple, Kentish Town

@zabadak: Good for a pre-Forum pint or two also.

On pull last Wed were Tewdric's Tipple and Kingstone Gold from Kingstone Brewery, Crouch Vale Brewer's Gold, Timothy Taylor Landlord and Bass. Small pub at the front , bigger at the back but a gem all over.

8 May 2009 16:19

The Red Lion, Thames Ditton

Decent local, friendly barman (landlord?), pool table and dart board. Only Courage Best on pull.

4 May 2009 18:22

The Griffin, Claygate

I popped in today (Sunday afternoon) for a swift one. Buzzing pub with London Pride and Hook Norton Hooky Gold, both in good condition. Nice local.

1 Feb 2009 18:49

The Hole In The Wall, Waterloo

The HITW is a two-room boozer serving six or seven real ales. Recently I have been drinking the Purity "Pure Gold" but the Sharp's "Doom Bar" was going down well last night. Staff attentive.

A major attraction for some is that has a pinball table--a Williams "Medieval Madness" which is in very good setup and condition.

18 Jun 2008 17:31

The Rose, Dartford

I visited the Rose last evening for a swift one before a gig at the Mick Jagger Center. The Viking himself was there. There appears to be some refurbishent or new build happening at the back so the pub's a bit short on space at the moment.

But there's no real ale currently (Courage Best on pressure) and it's a bit of a walk from the station, but there is a pay and display car park right by it which is free from 6:30pm.

SO I'm giving it a lower score for this visit with the expectation that it will improve once the work is complete.

18 Nov 2005 09:21

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