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BITE user comments - _grobag_

Comments by _grobag_

The Princess of Wales, Primrose Hill

Camden Hills stout was surprisingly pleasant nay superior as a stand-in for Guinness.
Apparently the Sunday jazz went pre-COVID.

27 Mar 2022 19:10

The Sir Richard Steele, Belsize Park

*Make that Seven, not Twelve. Fumble-fingers.

27 Mar 2022 19:08

The Sir Richard Steele, Belsize Park

Any current user comments would be interesting to read - I passed by late afternoon during the week recently and the place wasn't open but appeared not to have been closed down.
Visible through the window is an odd choice of wall-hanging - what appears to be a photo of Sir William Empson ("Twelve Types of Ambiguity") - maybe he was a regular?!
Otherwise, happy memories of the place from 2008....

27 Mar 2022 19:06

The Gaslight, Finsbury Park

Pub was named "Silver Bullet" for last 6 appx years, closed June 2016, reopened October 2016 as ‘Zelman Drinks’.

21 Oct 2016 20:48

The Royal (Harvester), Boston Manor

Went in late afternoon. Place divided into two, basically 1) bar and associated seating and 2) dining area.
No one approached me in the eats area so I went to the bar and waited for a few minutes while the barmaid continued to chat to a customer who appeared to have been served already. Tiring of this, I put my wallet back in my pocket and left.

5 Sep 2015 21:13

Delvers, Bradford

This entry duplicates

and should be expunged.

5 Sep 2015 21:05

The Tottenham, Soho

Renamed FLYING HORSE (its original) July 2015, though little chance of confusion as it is the sole pub on Oxford Street. Grade II* listed. I read it has been refurbished and now has another "beer-oriented bar" (?) in the basement. [source: p62 CAMRA 'London Drinker' Aug/Sept 2015]

5 Sep 2015 21:00

Sir Michael Balcon, Ealing

In the other day and they served the scoff with the usual efficiency. Standard of service remains uniformly high over the last several years to my certain knowledge though agree the beer range can be 'unadventurous' or even a tad offbeat now and then.

5 Sep 2015 20:44

The Glass Works, Angel, Islington

CAMRA 'London Drinker' Aug/Sept 2015 reports (p30) that the Glass Works is one of several pubs put up for sale by JD Wetherspoon and will remain trading till sold. Meantime JDW are reported as saying they will continue to open new pubs...."

Personally, never been in, given JDW's 'Angel' pub round the corner.

5 Sep 2015 20:35

The Rising Sun, Smithfield

Good to see reviews remain positive. Sam Smiths presumably doing something right. Just as well, given (from 'London Drinker' Aug/Sept p.61) e.g.:

"EC1, SMITHFIELD TAVERN (ex-Punch). Closed, future uncertain.
EC4, WHITE SWAN (Enterprise), 1820 Farringdon St. Closed, future uncertain."

5 Sep 2015 20:21

The Bull and Gate, Kentish Town

According to CAMRA 'London Drinker' Aug/Sept 2015 (v37n4) this reopened April 2015 after its refurb.

"To the consternation of music fans, the venue (former billiard room) is now used for dining. . . .Boulogne Bar cocktail lounge upstairs. Wells Young's Bitter, Special and seasonal, plus a guest, e.g. Redemption."

Happy memories of several gigs here in the '80s, hope they can be reinstated some time.

5 Sep 2015 20:13

The Angel, Angel, Islington

Last 4 reviews are accurate imo. Pub often has more interesting range of beers than some other 'Spoons eg the much bigger one on Kingsway, Holborn.
Oddly, there's another 'Spoons, The Glass Works, in very close proximity to The Angel, about 200 yards away off Liverpool Road opposite Sainsbury's, though I've never visited.

31 May 2015 11:04

The White Hart, Whitechapel

Was busy when visited Sunday after reopening a few weeks back but disappointed with the microbrewery ales and porter, all I tried were flat. Hope this is just teething problem as in other respects it's looking good.

10 Oct 2013 23:33

The Sidings, Castletown

Reviews below hold good as of this post. Sign outside says it won some CAMRA award in 2012. In addition to the beer comments as aforesaid, has covered smokers' area and a large tree-surrounded back garden with benches and tables.

Mainly middle aged / elderly men drinking early evening. Hard to say offhand who its regular clientele is.

Given the recent sanitisation of many (most?) pubs in Douglas, this Castletown pub could well rank now as a leading contender for best pub on the Island, at least if you attach as much if not more importance to what you're drinking as to the place you're drinking in.

Incidentally, beers very reasonably priced, both by Island and London standards - one or two e.g. Old[e] Peculiar - getting on for half the latter.

28 Aug 2013 17:59

The Springfield Bar & Grill, Bounds Green

First glance suggests mainly lagers/Guinness, but good Youngs Bitter and Courage Best were available and priced very reasonably.

Gents' OK, new fittings and soap dispensers and driers working.

Building looks a bit tatty because of what looked like small building works. Keeping the plasma screen to reasonable volume levels except weekends and maybe adding another cask would help, not aware of any close alternatives, seems worthy of support, expecting further improvement once the cosmetics are done.

18 Aug 2013 17:31

The Albert, Primrose Hill

External colour scheme has changed since photo, for the better imo.

Good Timothy Taylor's Landlord was had and I noted another couple of cask/draught.

Pleasant interior, still has feel of a pub although they do food too (not sampled).

Noted a mega screen in the corner but volume was agreeably low at the time.

Service prompt.

Could wish for more e.g. wider array of cask but frankly, no complaints.

23 Apr 2013 16:35

The White Hart, Whitechapel

Well, my gripes previously posted have largely been addressed. Service remains consistently prompt and efficient.
Should really be a photo of this attractive brick Edwardian building with inside iron pillar supports.

11 Mar 2013 16:44

The Artillery Arms, Old Street

Small Fullers with upstairs function room. I've visited only rarely because it's mostly full/busy but the service was prompt and the beer has always been in good condition although as stated it's Fullers so given that and the area, tending to the pricy side. (There is however a 'Spoons a couple of hundred yards up the road).

Reportedly a 2 week beer festival started 28 September 2012, check before travelling if from afar:
Week 1: London breweries.
Week 2: other British beers.

29 Sep 2012 12:21

The White Hart, Whitechapel

Mix of good and bad points - overall I think it worthy of encouragement but they need to decide who is their market and spend a very little money on improving appearances (mainly cosmetic) to attract it.

1. Comments about one or two (cask) beers being off - a drinking buddy of mine said his was off. I didn't notice but my sense of smell and taste is sub-par.

2. Toilets: the gents' needs a soap dispenser even if only plastic bottle style. Scalding hot water from tap. No drier, hand wipes on unmounted cardboard roll and used ones seem to get left on floor rather than in bin. Needs some paint or whitewash to cover up graffiti.

3. Food cooking smells - ventilation needs fixing especially with the eternally pongy pizza.

4. Lot of wasted space to right of stairs at back with low slung lights getting in the way, they should be removed. At front to right, lots of furniture and other junk stacked up.

5. Some quite excellent live big band and jazz on Sunday evenings but while it's playing the pub staff have left the mega-screen tvs on with sound off or very low. Quite a few customers listening to live music but a number seemingly uninterested. Managment need to decide who they are catering for - make the music night music only and have the footie/news or whatever on the screens the rest of the time? The present mix doesn't work but could easily be fixed.

6. Cask ales on at gbp2.60/pint and overall mine have been fine when I've visited but comments about an occasional off-beer suggest possibility of a glitch with keeping that needs diagnosing and fixing.

7. Good service, attentive and prompt.

Pub is at corner of Mile End Road and Cambridge Heath Road, a convenient 5 mins from Whitechapel Tube/overground.

29 Sep 2012 11:57

The Charlie Butler, Mortlake

JIL online update to paper July edition now reports pub as having closed. Not corroborated.

14 Jul 2012 19:53

Sir Michael Balcon, Ealing

Was in here Friday evening a week or two ago and no bouncer visible.
Busy but service good enough in the sense that they seem to try and take customers' orders in the order of arrival.
Good selection of guest beers, at least the 'Spoons standard.
Want a really CAVERNOUS Wetherspoons? Try The Lord Moon of the Mall in Whitehall.

10 Apr 2012 10:48

The Charlie Butler, Mortlake

Jazz In London (monthly) April 2012 which is compiled about half way through March lists gigs here on 12, 19 and 26 April so presumably not closing in the immediate. Can you update on current status pls?

10 Apr 2012 10:35

The Clarendon Hotel, Douglas

"The Clarendon, which, on something of a depressing note, will be demolished in the next few weeks...." From article "The Manx Music Exchange: Has Douglas lost its mojo?" in iomtoday 11 March 2012.
I wonder what is scheduled to replace it? A Tesco local perhaps?

12 Mar 2012 10:07

The Fighting Cock, Bradford

It's generally basic but not spit & sawdust. Wide selection of ales etc etc etc as noted by others and even on a very busy evening the service was excellent.
I was given directions by two people on how to find it and I detect a developing meme that it is a hike. However from the University central precinct it took me all of ten minutes' sedate walking down Richmond Road, left and across to Preston St and I was there before I knew it. Recherche unnecessary.

12 Mar 2012 00:39

Jacobs Well, Bradford

Yes, still closed as of mid March, unbelievable, another Bradford Institution at risk of disappearing.

12 Mar 2012 00:26

The Black Swan, Bradford

The 2 cask as noted were nice enough but on a slightly rainy midweek evening the place was basically empty, one or two customers only. Has a large car park so despite not being in central Bradford maybe they get more from daytime trade. Otherwise hard to see how it is viable. Certainly pleasant interior and all the makings of someone's local.

12 Mar 2012 00:15

Delvers, Bradford

Very, very long established pub looking tired but with potential, but can't recall seeing any cask ales.

12 Mar 2012 00:08

The Fountain Inn, Heaton

Could not find this pub as of March 2012.

12 Mar 2012 00:03

Hare & Hounds, Heaton

An Ember Inns pub although I saw also M&B literature there.
Overall impression is of a very slightly upmarket Wetherspoons, much emphasis on selling food and has the usual Guinness/lagers array but also 3 or so cask beers which were OK.
Pleasant internal decoration with piped music not too intrusive and one widescreen on but silent. Covered smoking area and decent sized toilet accommodation with functional soap and driers.
Seems to depend a fair bit on the motor trade, being located on a main road leading out of west Bradford. Plenty of customers when visited early evening.
A pub of this name has been on the site for at least 45 years to my knowledge and despite the homogenous corporate-branded style of place that it is, I tentatively rate this the leading pub in Heaton. That position being due in part to the closure of at least two other pubs in the area and the uncertain viability of at least one other.

12 Mar 2012 00:00

The Kings Arms, Heaton

The current local CAMRA mag. reports some possible concerns over continuing viability as a pub although I am not in a position to corroborate. Was always well patronised, but now seems to be 1 of only 2 pubs left in Heaton following closure of The Fountain (qv).

10 Mar 2012 11:16

The New Beehive Inn, Bradford

Interesting pub offering accommodation also. Divided into several rooms (one with smoky open fire) including pool table(s) and external covered seating. Cask ales. Making an effort so deserves support.

10 Mar 2012 11:13

The Castle Hotel, Bradford

Underrated estabishment located near to Bradford's central markets and shopping area. Good selection of beers well kept and decent atmosphere. Would agree it is worth supporting.

10 Mar 2012 11:10

The Bradford Arms, Bradford

*Belle Vue. (As in the school name).

10 Mar 2012 11:06

The Bradford Arms, Bradford

Conveniently located for the Job Centre adjoining.

Looks to be now the only pub on Manningham Lane following the closure of The Bele Vue nearby (today an Islamic cultural/religious teaching establishment seemingly) and the wanton act of civic vandalism that was the demolition some years ago of The Royal Standard near North Parade.

10 Mar 2012 11:04

Chellow, Bradford

Can confirm as of this week that this establishment is terminated as a pub despite the presence still of the hanging sign outside with faded "Enterprise Inns" (?) and pub name on it.

A publican elsewhere in Bradford told me it is now a madrasah. (c.f. The Belle Vue pub, Manningham Lane).

10 Mar 2012 11:00

The Fox and Duck, Broomhill

Judging by the exterior (no time to vist and sample), this pub is in fact seeing far better days *today* than in the past (30+ years ago) from what I recall of it then; also NB: it has been expanded.

10 Mar 2012 10:54

The Boardwalk, Sheffield

Apparently this venue (formerly The Black Swan / The Compleat Angler) was a major music venue going back to at least the 1970s and beyond and attracted some top line bands of the time. So as I happened to be in the area this week I visited it and found... a poster saying the place is "temporarily closed" and items of value have been removed from the premises.

10 Mar 2012 10:44

The Elgin, Maida Vale

Now (always?) "The Elgin BAR AND GRILL". Reports are currently most beers off, emphasis as regards drink being on wines/spirits/cocktails. House red was said to be quaffable.

7 Jan 2012 21:44

Strand 58, Douglas

Local topography and answer from a passerby indicate this may be the establishment now called RENDEZVOUS on the east side of Strand Street, since the only other pub in this street before it becomes Castle St. / Marine Road is Brendan O'Donnell's further north in the Castle St. stretch. But the whole Duke St./Strand St./Castle St./Marine Rd. prom is unnumbered so locals' corroboration needed.

Visited the place briefly a few years ago and have no particular recollection but it seems to have some sofas visible inside.

18 Dec 2011 18:34

The Stakis Hotel, Douglas

Colours Bar (ex Stakis) IIRC was mentioned briefly in CAMRA MerseyAle latest.

Stayed at the hotel in 1987, that part does not look any different now. IoM Jazz Festival had appearance here in 2007 or thereabouts now discontinued.

18 Dec 2011 18:26

The Jungle World, Douglas

Could not find any trace of an estabishment by this name, absence of a street number does not help, also could not find any other pub or bar on Central Promenade with the exclusion of the Palace Hotel Colours Bar (ex Stakis) which IIRC was mentioned briefly in CAMRA MerseyAle latest.

18 Dec 2011 18:22

The Forresters Arms, Douglas

CLOSED - there is no pub at this address or in the entire street currently for that matter.

18 Dec 2011 18:19

The Breeze, Douglas

No trace left, absence of street number means any successor business cannot be traced, delete entry.

18 Dec 2011 18:18

Bar George, Douglas

Viewed the exterior on Sunday when closed, constructed like a masonic hall or high security arms depository, but the small bin of discarded fag ends and the presence of its shingle in good nick suggest it is operational.

18 Dec 2011 18:10

Angiolino's Trattoria, Douglas

Could not locate this establishment under the captioned name, also because the continuum of commercial premises that is Duke St./Strand St./Castle St. is unnumbered, cannot be sure of new identity, but at what appears to be the same location there is now "Alessandro's Pizzeria Ristorante".

18 Dec 2011 18:03

The Admiral House, Douglas

Not yet visited, the JAR ("Just Another Restaurant") Bar is in the basement of the Admiral House (hotel) and judging by its own publicity material on the web looks well appointed.

18 Dec 2011 18:00

The Waterloo Hotel, Douglas

Drank here once some years ago. Yes, definitely no longer there, indeed no pub at all and not even the street number is readily visible anywhere. The only pub I can see in this thoroughfare on the west side now is Samuel Webb & Co right at the far end on Marine Road; Brendan O'Donnell's at 16-18 Castle Street and Rendez-vous also on the east side.

17 Dec 2011 22:58

The Vibe, Douglas

No establishment of this name visible. On Peveril Square opposite Sea Terminal there is a Danny's wine bar/restaurant with town planning application posted in the window for early 2012 seeking change of use to offices etc. Current entry might conceivably be referring to Bordello WIne Bar and Club but that is just a few yards round the corner (and still open) by the roundabout at end of Victoria Street leading to Peveril Square.

17 Dec 2011 22:52

C'est La Vie, Douglas

Another unnumbered Victoria St. establishment which I couldn't immediately locate, nearest in external appearance I could find was named ARTISAN and is located around the upper part of Victoria St. numbered at or about #28. An earlier comment of 13/7/2004 tends to confirm this although Manx Telcom has itself moved from its former address. Externally seems decorous, not yet visited.

17 Dec 2011 22:38

The Lounge, Douglas

There is no pub of this name in Victoria Street and the current linked gmap reference does not point to Victoria Street. However the entry appears to relate to the establishment at 21-23 Victoria Street IM1 2LW, currently named Macbeth's. Not had time to visit yet but when occasionally passing during opening hours it's usually seemed well patronised.

17 Dec 2011 22:26

The Gaslight, Finsbury Park

Well, it's still here and has a calendar of events for some nights, Tuesday looked like a group swing dance tutorial to recorded music then live modern Jazz, house band followed by jam. Good variety in performers.

Located on the bus pull-in by the Tube station, sepulchral gloomy black painted interior probably repels many. Strange interior configuration with island music console is awkward, just painting it all in a brighter colour would probably attract more although it looked pretty well patronised when visited.

Detected a lager/Guinness type emphasis but they have Speckled Hen and another more exotic beer in bottle, San Miguel on draft and quite a good red wine.

Friendly efficient service, not cheap prices given the grotty decoration and location, but some sort of entertaintment is usually provided.

17 Dec 2011 01:32

The Railway Hotel, Douglas

Pleasant interior with plenty of seating, have had the occasional drink here in the last four years but Okells Bitter now 2.65 is vying with London prices. On recent visit the piped music was far too loud, may have been a disco evening or similar starting up Closed weekends or maybe just Sundays IIRC.

17 Dec 2011 01:05

The Corner House, Douglas

Offices/flats now. Delete entry.

9 Dec 2011 17:08

The Clarendon Hotel, Douglas

Externally looks rather down at heel but inside has some remaining architectural features of interest including a rather fine c19th stained glass window (Morris?). Okells cask bitter, slight Guinness/lager emphasis at time of visit. Pool table IIRC and seems now to attract younger customers possibly for (spasmodically?) occurring music events. Has it taken over in this regard from the now defunct Corner House?

9 Dec 2011 17:05

The Douglas Hotel, Douglas

Listed Douglas Hotel and neighbouring Clarendon on North Quay have been subject to redevelopment proposals for some time, visual inspection when last there indicates Douglas Hotel remains closed. Locals please comment on current status if a commencement date for work is known and/or on any change of use proposal that may have been raised.

9 Dec 2011 16:49

The Princess of Wales, Primrose Hill

Place definitely has ambience, with friendly atmosphere, but the accent is on selling food, perhaps now a commercial imperative.
Hope they don't do anything else like the fairly recent installation of the mega screen because it's going to destroy the character of the place, and not necessarily bring in any more custom - or at least, custom that's wanted.

8 Dec 2011 13:19

The Castle, Acton

Fullers as noted below, as per usual, all the offerings are more than drinkable but a bit pricy, particularly for this area which is basically an industrial park surrounded by motorways.

Large interconnecting rooms with adequate seating, loos accommodation seemed a bit small for the size of the pub, large ceilinged smoking area with seats and tables.

If travelling via North Acton Underground (Central Line) ensure you take the left hand route out of the Tube Station whereupon you will see the pub near opposite; taking the right hand exit leads to an alternative universe where street signs seem to have been removed, possibly in fear of alien invasion, the road layout appears to bear no relation to the arrangement in the A-Z of a few years back, and the only passerby you can find to ask for directions is a distracted looking Australian who seems nearly as uncertain of his exact location as you may be yourself.

24 Nov 2011 15:50

The Bay View, Port St Mary

Drank here once around 2009, friendly place, but when I passed in Nov. 2011 it seemed closed down again. Anybody confirm?

24 Nov 2011 15:36

The Peveril, Peel

Worth at least a 6. Free wifi, friendly cat (only observed once), nicely kept Okell's bitter. There was at least one other cask beer too.

13 Nov 2011 12:06

The Central Bistro, Restaurant and Bar, Peel

Now seems to be called simply "The Central". I have not been in yet but Winter 2011 MerseyAle (p.36) seems ecstatic about the place, it having been closed for some time apparently. Reportedly when they visited the beer was Copper Dragons Golden Pippin, Thwaites Nutty Black and Holdens XB and it's closed Sundays.

13 Nov 2011 12:01

The Viking Hotel, Castletown

Bank opposite The Sidings p.h. Civilised atmopshere and I have enjoyed eating here a few times over the last several years. But very recently saw it advertised for sale. I hope that doesn't mean an impending closure and conversion into flats.

13 Nov 2011 11:50

The Saddle Inn, Douglas

Snug, the Okell's bitter was fine but they've stopped selling Okell's mild.

12 Nov 2011 20:07

The Rosemount Hotel, Douglas

Was in here briefly early evening a week ago having noticed the exterior looking to have been redecorated. Okell's bitter pleasant enough and friendly enough environment, a few curses thrown at the onscreen sportsmen only. Fairly central location, pub has potential which might be improved with some basic food if they find there's a market for it.

12 Nov 2011 20:02

The Quarterbridge Hotel, Douglas

It's still here as I can attest having enjoyed a half here today. Seems to be doing business happily enough. Pleasant, a bit awkwardly located for non-locals and pedstrians reliant on busees but overall no complaints from a quick visit.

12 Nov 2011 19:53

The Terminus Tavern, Douglas

Although wholly different in character, for reasons of ambience probably my favourite Douglas pub since the Corner House closed around 2008. Good beer and food too.

12 Nov 2011 19:16

Trafalgar Hotel, Douglas

Enjoyed a very occasional drink in here 2007-8 but it has been closed for some time and now it seems is undergoing renovation/conversion work for transformation into house or flats. Sad.

12 Nov 2011 19:10

The Horse and Plough, Braddan

I wasn't expecting to have time to visit but spent a short while here during the day, taking the alternate route of bus no. 1 from lower Douglas and walking (15-20 mins) from the roundabout .

The place is big with interconnecting spacious rooms, one with large TV screen for sports and a pool table, also 2/3 quiet dining areas with tables and seating - a welcome feature for those who want to talk or just have a quiet spell. It was well patronised when I was there. I noted local Okells draught and Shepherd Neame, may be others. The small jacket potato with side salad I ordered when it appeared was considerably more substantial than its modest description had suggested.

Only enough time for a thumbnail sketch but the general impression was positive, the only potential negative for those not living or working locally is its being on the outskirts of town.

12 Nov 2011 18:50

The William Blake, Old Street

Got a pint of Young's cask bitter here recently for under gbp3 which is competitive. Place has potential but near-adjoining Wetherspoons is stern competition.

12 Nov 2011 11:09

The Horse and Plough, Braddan

As of 10:49 12/11/2011 the gmap link on this page is wrong as it is directing to an address in Yangon, Myanmar (Burma) not to the pub's location in Isle of Man Business Park up the road from Spring Valley Industrial Estate on the Cooil Road, north-west suburb of Douglas, Isle of Man, British Isles! Currently bus #21 from Douglas Lord Street.

MerseyAle Winter 2011 (CAMRA Liverpool & District Magazine) records that **** the Isle of Man section of "The Good Beer Guide" for 2012 includes several new entrants, including The Horse & Plough (Bradden) ****, and that these will feature in future MerseyAles.

12 Nov 2011 11:05

Dignity (Taylors of Finchley), Finchley

It definitely has the outward appearance of a soulless office building (which is probably what it actually forms part of) but it's at least functional. When I was last here quite a few weeks ago they had among others:

1. Sharp's Atlantic IPA
2. Sharp's Doom Bar
3. Vale Brewery Special
4. Blue Moon
5. Estrella Barcellona. . .
6. Peroni, Leffe and even more lagers

I didn't notice any of the beers being noticeably (or at all) badly kept and the lagers among them were OK. Also the bar service was prompt.

If you want atmosphere you probably will have to travel, but you would anyway in Finchley Central, would you not?

22 Sep 2011 00:35

Ye Olde Cherry Tree, Southgate

Initially depressed by the sight of seeing nothing but Guinness / lagers, I went round the bar and found cask (i) Young's Bitter, (ii) London Pride and (iii) iirc <hic> Doom Bar. Haven't checked out their bottled stock.

Definitely for diners, but when I was there the bar staff were quick and attentive for the drinks-only, so who cares?

Enough seating after the very busiest period and the Gents' was OK so pending future review, it's a 6.

22 Sep 2011 00:24

Shaker and Company, Euston

Has reportedly changed hands, awaiting update on music and other features.

12 Aug 2011 14:30

The Crown, Cricklewood

Monday night jazz back on. Give it a listen.

12 Aug 2011 14:26

The Plough Inn, South Ealing

I like this pub, good service, handy for transport and nice Fullers beers although at the pricy end. Pity about Mr Petomane in the Gents doing his Trumpet Voluntary, as a very occasional visitor I do hope he isn't a "feature".

12 Aug 2011 14:25

The Grove, Ealing

Large pub, while no specific major negative points their selection of beers seemed to number a couple that were "coming soon" but never arrived.

OK as a music venue.

12 Aug 2011 14:19

The Victoria, Highgate

Wednesday evening swing/jazz from small group seems to be on again. Excellent!

29 Apr 2011 23:59

The Duke of Kent, Ealing

High quality establishment and well patronised when I visited for the first time the other day. No criticisms worth mention, but note it's a 25 minutes (mainly uphill) hike from Ealing Broadway station.

29 Apr 2011 23:39

The Bell, Ealing

If I hadn't read the comment below noting this place changed its name from The Bell to The Lodge Tavern some while back I'd have thought it was an entirely different establishment from the bar I visit once or twice a month on Sundays to hear the excellent live jazz/funk.

More expensive than the excellent Sir Michael Balcon (JDW) a few doors down the Mall, but entry for the Sunday music has been free. Service fine, relatively limited on the beers side (mainly cocktails, wines and lagers and food sales).

Entry needs re-listing under the new name.

29 Apr 2011 23:30

Sir Michael Balcon, Ealing

Often come here on Sunday evenings and find the service consistently good plus bar food like sandwiches likewise and promptly served. Also they have the Wetherspoons array of guest / real ales. Pleasant ambience and well kept toilets.

12 Apr 2011 18:40

The Bellemoor, Southampton

"food and drinks about three times the price"

Hyperbole Alert!

12 Aug 2010 12:47

The Star of Kings, Islington

More on this... I see from the listings etc freebie "SNIPE" Vol. 1, Issue 4, 1-31 August 2010 page 12 that the management claim a dispute with Enterprise Inns, and have give more info on the managment's Facebook page. "It is not known what Enterprise's plans for the building are" writes Daryl Chamberlain in the SNIPE piece.
Another music pub is said in the article to be in nearly the same position.

7 Aug 2010 11:48

The Star of Kings, Islington

Seems to be baorded up and no-one at home... any news on what's up?

3 Aug 2010 15:14

Shaker and Company, Euston

Generally good atmosphere but they do consistently run out of draught beer, lager and even some bottled stuff.

24 Jun 2010 18:26

The Grand Junction Arms, Harlesden

Sunday afternoon 2-4pm Jazz reportedly re-starting 30 May 2010, Alex Garnett / Brandon Allen et al., 6 June Art Themen / Colin Oxley et al., and so onwards...

2 May 2010 14:11

The Crowders Well, Barbican

"Bar" has indeed supplanted pub.
Quite a bit of money appers to have been spent on updating from its previous incarnation as the Crowders Well. That fact and its expensive location probably go to explain the necessary emphasis on food.
The IPA wasn't bad and at 2.85 or thereabouts not overly expensive for the location but to my mind this place is stylistically too sterile to have the potential ever to develop the easygoing, well lived in feel necessary for it to become one's 'local'. And in fairness, that is due in part to the limitations imposed by its close proximity to Barbican Estate flats (concerns over noise etc etc).

1 Jan 2010 14:22

The Crown and Anchor, Euston

Agree with hexenductionhour's "... I got a better vibe than in the Bree Louise." Always have the sense at the BL that the beer is a bit flat and sort of tepid, despite its plaudits from CAMRA. Also the BL table tops seemed habitually sticky...

This place in contrast tends more towards bar ambience than conventional pub. Overall positive on weekend visits in the last month or two. Friendly and efficient bar service, one or two nice independent beers including Black Sheep, lager includes the strawberry fizzy pop Fruhli. Bar snack type thing OK.
Piped background music but thankfully unobtrusive as is the overall conversation level unlike the pubs in Camden including even the more august like the Spread Eagle where atmosphere is destroyed as tweenies vie with each other to scream the loudest.

Quite discreet and worth going if in the area.

1 Jan 2010 13:54

The Green Dragon, Croydon

Last visited midweek, good range of beers, well kept, bar service curiously a bit more hit and miss than at weekend but... NO SOAP in any of the dispensers in the gents', upstairs or downstairs. A common fault but surprising to encounter it in this cathederal of excellence.
Management please note.

1 Jan 2010 13:34

The Bellemoor, Southampton

Fairly anonymous pub on the interior and festooned with spy cameras to survey the various and plentiful carrels and other seating nooks 'n' crannies but otherwise not demonstrably a bad pub: prompt and not unfriendly lunchtime service, reasonably priced basic food (sandwiches, jacket potatoes and main meals), some decent guest draught beers as noted by other review below eg London Pride, toilets well kept. Handy location on the junction with the eponymous Bellemoor Road and opposite Southampton Common.

Main impression was that it's rather like an above-average Wetherspoons but forgot which brewery it is.

They seem to be trying and the standard is above average so overall, worth at least a 5/6, I think the current 4.1/10 rating is unrealistically negative...

2 Nov 2009 13:40

Shaker and Company, Euston

No real ale as far as I could see, lagers included red Stripe and Grolsch, also John Smith's Smooth....
Service fairly prompt.
Previous review seems reasonable enough though speaking personally I will probably go again at least on the occasional Monday as they now have some decent live jazz on every couple of weeks.

8 Oct 2009 23:18

The Old Fountain, Old Street

walked past on a few weekends and it looked shut. M-F only? if so, waaggghh! cruel and unusual punishment!

6 Sep 2009 11:35

The Red Lion, St Osyth

Stopped here for quick pub snack and didn't have time to scope the place but like the rest of the village it gives the impression of having plenty of history and character. I did note that they have Hopback Summer Lightning, which in my haste I managed to miss having bought a San Miguel, but whose presence is a good sign.
Mainly locals seen drinking.
Food OK and prompt.
Worth looking at if in the area.

29 Aug 2009 01:03

The Blackfriar, Blackfriars

Two or three respectable beers available e.g. Landlord, Pride and service prompt.

But the place is spoilt immeasurably by the excessively loud piped muzak which is wholly out of character with the rest of the pub. I suggest management dispense with it.

16 Aug 2009 21:12

Wheatsheaf, Southwark

Although a "cellar bar" it is only a couple of steps down from pavement level and the doors are left open at least in summer so not claustrophobic and quite light inside.
Plentiful seating with sofas and dining booths/rooms.
Good selection of respectable beers and lagers including a rather nice porter sampled last weekend - though not sure how well the Guinness was kept.
They've been hosting free jazz it seems once a month or so which was nice, see Jazz in London for any upcoming events.

13 Aug 2009 00:53

The Lower Ground Bar, West Hampstead

I've now been a few times since my original posting and agree with brucerob 22/7 except I think it's OTT saying the beer is crap - I don't think there *is any* (except Guinness)(?)! IIRC I paid 3.40 for draught Grolsch which is not out of line for a bar with entertainment (though entry for latter now up from 3 to 5 for Tuesday night). Wasn't particularly flyblown in the gents, just constricted.

Overall one to support if going for the music as there is a diminishing number of venues for good Jazz. Other nights - can't comment.

26 Jul 2009 12:19

The Princess of Wales, Primrose Hill

Am given to understand there was some publicity indicating management (or ownership?) had just changed hands... if so then here's hoping the new regime don't turn it into a brasserie, sanitise it or otherwise try to be creative and 'improve' the place...

19 Jun 2009 20:12

The Spread Eagle, Camden

Concur 100% in the positive reviews as regards beers and ambience.

After several months' visits can say the only negative is not the pub at all but some of the (weekend at least) punters - bawling and shouting oiks and oikettes who can't hold a conversation without screaming at the top of their voices - to the extent of drowning out a conversation at the other end of the room.

"There was a time when English pubs were treated as churches".

That said, for a civilised drink and/or bite in Camden this is the place unless you want to wander down by the canal for the seclusion of The Constitution...

10 Jun 2009 21:30

The Old Fountain, Old Street

An extravagant encomium is indeed deserved for the selection of quality beers - including I noted today Hopback (Summer Lightning) and others of equal calibre.
Prompt and friendly service, spacious setting.
Did wonder for a moment about the canned music but an interesting mix so I soon warmed to it; relatively unobtrusive.
Gents' has functional soap dispensers and drier etc.
Certainly deserving of further custom.

1 Jun 2009 23:39

Trafalgar Freehouse, South Wimbledon

Prior posts and info are sufficient testimony to the fact this pub is a serious place for the discerning drinker. Viewed excellent gypsy jazz evening Sat 30 May with Bernie Holden and excellent new jazz violinist Ben Holder . Regret not knowing of this pub when lived in the area.

31 May 2009 15:58

The Wibbas Down Inn, Wimbledon

Many years ago the building now occupied by this pub was a large sprawling Tesco (before Tesco went (sort of) upmarket).

Very dark inside. Service fairly slow on the larger front bar and you get the feeling that regulars when recognised are consistently queue jumped. Staff look very young, don't recall seeing anyone over about age 25/30 tops.

Food OK, drinks service friendly enough once it arrives.

Not a leading Spoons but not a disaster either.

So that's the dirty fork - but here's the dirty knife:

in at least one of the gents' there are what appear to be cameras in the ceilings.

One wonders if that is _really_ necessary, even nowadays. Management hereby invited to comment.

30 May 2009 15:14

The Star of Kings, Islington

Been to a couple of their music events over the last few months and been well satsified. Good selection of beers and lagers, large music room, offbeat atmosphere.

23 May 2009 00:45

The Macbeth, Hoxton

From my brief visit no draught beers available only Guinness and lagers - the latter at 3.30/pint, served in a Guinness glass with what appeared to be a unique serial(?) number etched on the side.

24 Apr 2009 23:55

Charles Holden, Colliers Wood

Haven't visited this pub yet but their Latin subscript is a bit cosmic: "Oves Optimae Sunt" i.e. Sheep Are Best. Is this some covert and demeaning reference to their customers or (worse yet) to the reputed habits of some members of one of the great Rugby nations? (Yes I know a Tup is a ram i.e. male sheep).

Positively unsettling.

24 Apr 2009 12:48

The Salmon and Ball, Bethnal Green

Free house. It seems this place presents a different face on different days/times so I will be scrutinising it further as and when in the area and may check out the Saturday music when on in May 2009... noted they have Websters Green Label on draught (can't recall if tap or hand pump but would assume it is the former - Webster's has been John Smith's owned for some years). Had the omnipresent large video screen with footie on but not unduly overbearing.
Fall out of Bethnal Green tube straight into this place (or vice versa perhaps?)

19 Apr 2009 13:15

The Green Dragon, Croydon

Visited for the first time recently and impressed by the good selection of respectable beers including (microbrewery/local?) products. Also well known for its ongoing Sunday jazz sessions upstairs.
Ignore the drivel about young and friendly bar staff, service was fine but do young and friendly (or old and GRUMPY) necessarily go together always??

13 Apr 2009 13:53

The Anchor Tap, Tower Bridge

Went once on a weekday evening in March and found it VERY busy, with wall signs warning of dips!

Good bar service, beer was kept OK.

Not quite as folksy and recherche as a few reviews would suggest. But easily above average Sam Smith's.

12 Apr 2009 11:54

The Victoria, Highgate

Since posting the brief comments in December last year have been back a couple of times and been consistently impressed by the high level of service from the people serving on the bar. Landlord's and at least another respectable beer are on draught (can't recall if hand-drawn or tap) plus a couple of better lagers also on draught in addition to the usual staples of Guinness etc.
In addition to the Wednesday evening jazz I think there's a piano-based sing-song routine on Sunday evening as well, perhaps more on other nights?

Good atmosphere, consistent standards.

12 Apr 2009 11:50

Metropolitan Bar, Baker Street

Had a couple of drinks here today and reportedly the Guiness in particular was very well kept. Quite prompt bar service although a bit reticent. Impressive interior with stately columns, heraldic / borough arms on the ceiling etc well maintained. Is rather grand and given its proportions and appearance one might think it would be better suited to use as a club or restaurant with dancing. This being based also on observing at least two pairs of fairly seriously contorted necking couples.

8 Apr 2009 01:58

The Green Dragon, Stockton On Tees

I patronised this pub now and then throughout 2008 and found the beer well kept and , of course, cheap, being SS's. A few jack-the-lads in evidence now and again but no different from neighbouring establishments in that regard.

27 Mar 2009 22:18

The Bell House, Camden

Concur with the preceding comments from Dec 2008 which succinctly state the pub's attractions, additionally there is a basement bar area which is used for jazz on Monday nights - I've enjoyed one or two although occasionally sets have been a bit off the mainstream for my taste...

27 Mar 2009 22:04

The Red Lion, Soho

Nice interior, service prompt and the OBB was OK today but no running hot or cold water in the gents', no signs up indicating transient problems so this seemed a bit odd.

27 Mar 2009 21:51

The Watch House, Lewisham

I had the afternoon deal fish and chips here about two months ago and the food was fine, served promptly and no problems. Was not in for a drink so no comment on the beers but looking around it seemed to me like at least an average JDW so I can't begin to guess what inspired the exultant claim of dissatisfaction.

27 Mar 2009 21:49

The Lower Ground Bar, West Hampstead

Finally got round to visiting this venue, exclusively to see the Tuesday night regular jazz set, this time a jam featuring several well known names. It was packed at 10pm but thinned out a bit later - they might consider an earlier start than 9/9.30.

I don't think this could ever be considered a beer drinker's place (and I saw nothing to indicate it was being sold exclusively as such). But for Guinness and lagers (Grolsch, Carling and maybe another one or two) I could see no draught beers or ales although there appeared to be a few bottled ciders and so on plus an array of spirits.

Someone also in the audience suggested to me that there had been a change of management (or ownership?) in the last year or two.

Fairly small or at least compact downstairs location with two sets of women's toilets it seemed but only one cramped gents'.

I don't know what they offer on other nights but the high standard of the Tuesday jazz on this occasion for me justifies at least another visit for further investigation if only for the music rather than the drink...

25 Mar 2009 13:37

The Stanley Arms, Southwark

Concur with the review from a year ago.. nothing has visibly changed, pleasant local.

Am intrigued why the Stanley Arms sign/name including the Isle of Man triskellion device was chosen for the pub, does it have some local association...? As I had understood it the Stanleys were originally a Lancashire family who were the first to take the title of Lord of Man before the island was finally made subject to the English Crown in the eighteenth century. Interesting to find out if there is some Bermondsey connection.

23 Mar 2009 22:25

The Angel, Rotherhithe

Generally, well updated Sam Smiths pub I visited today, excellent views over the river upstream and down (including over to the other visible Sam Smiths, the Captain Kidd, on the opposite bank). Although a stranger I think I preferred the atmosphere of the Angel to the ambience of the Captain Kidd, had the impression the Angel was identifiably local custom so more of a regular meeting place whereas the Captain Kidd seemed to be a mix of some locals, passing trade, tourists, early finishing City/Canary Wharf workers and a bit transitory.
Beer well kept/served, only minor niggle - I find the odd sized stable (half)doors dividing up the sections of the downstairs a bit twee, had seen the similar in the Earl of Lonsdale (also SS) in W11 and thought them equally odd there.

23 Mar 2009 21:12

Ye Olde Swiss Cottage, Swiss Cottage

I was quite impressed by the energetically negative reviews and thought I owed it to myself not to miss an opportunity to see what I imagined could turn out to be the worst pub in England.

Imagine my disappointment then on visiting the pub this last weekend to find a rather gloomy and poorly lit Sam Smiths of cavernous proportions but otherwise with no really serious objectionable aspects.

- No pervasive urine odour (and the gents' loos themselves are spacious, with hot water and, unusually, soap filled dispensers and hand driers that worked - only crit.: the sign on the outside of the gents' door needs repairing ).
- Usual range of the competitively priced SS beers, lagers etc, and those tried appeared well kept.
- Friendly and informative local at the bar, pub well patronised in the evening and nothing out of the ordinary customer-wise.
- Bar staff not obviously sullen or otherwise off, service was prompt enough.

No food available and the upstairs was I think closed so no comment on that.

I did watch out for the reported hand fondling the upper portions of the glass but nothing seen on that account when I was there - tho' if I had, I would have objected, as I did in another (non-SS) establishment when the barman refilled a customer's glass from the handpump.

This place is, as regards appearance, idiosyncratic in a genuinely unattractive, kitsch kind of way, but I reckon it still merits at least a 5 because the quality and price of the drinks and absence of serious downside otherwise more than cancel that out. In fact, I think it has tremendous *potential*, but the sombre internal decorations really need improving by redecorating or installing suitable lighting. (It may have a Grade II listing which could limit what they can do with it). Likewise not much can be done about its location on the roundabout - in Swiss Cottage it seems Car is King.

23 Mar 2009 20:54

The Podium, Moorgate

This pub is closed (actually now for a while) following the JP Morgan redevelopment plans for office expansion (which plans themselves were changed following local opposition)...

12 Mar 2009 18:25

Pommelers Rest, Tower Bridge

I concur, it's an above average JDW. Friendly service and the food was promptly delivered and well prepared.

23 Jan 2009 12:47

The Spice of Life, Cambridge Circus

Took me a few goes to find this one in Advanced Search (ref. Moor Street) since the address known to me (and confirmed from the pub's own website) is
6 Moor St., Cambridge Circus, London, W1D 5NA
-- and not as captioned in this entry. Maybe Royal Mail reassigned the address/post code?

Very variable and mixed crowd both in the ground floor main bar and the basement. I can affirm the Tuesday blues night in the basement bar is worth attending (steer clear of the occasional well-cut rough diamond as the evening wears on) as are the Friday lunchtime jazz sessions ditto when you can make it. Seemed quite toppy beer prices but then again it is the West End and the place has evidently had money spent on it; loos usable etc etc. Didn't like the McMullens beer but personal taste only... Quite fast service and people seem to eat here so overall positive.

22 Dec 2008 13:29

The Wheatsheaf, Vauxhall

Dee Byrne / Marcus Hill / Dematiga Qrt. jazz sets (inc. guests) has been on here 8/8.30pm Tues nights, haven't been for a few weeks so might be best to check with the pub before making a trip in case this turns out to be another victim of the Jazz cull sweeping London's pubs in the current economic downturn...

Based on the experiences of my visits every 3-4 weeks in the last 5 months or so I don't particularly agree with the comment about the place being sad, dirty etc etc. Beer seemed to have been kept OK too, haven't tried the food.

22 Dec 2008 12:46

The Grand Junction Arms, Harlesden

As of 20/12/2008, Sunday afternoon jazz is off again according to Jazz In London's website, late programme changes section...

22 Dec 2008 12:38

The Masque Haunt, Old Street

Harsh words (hyperbole!) noted about the food.
If you are squeamish, then consider the "afternoon deal" fish and chips for 3.20 (as of 8 Dec 2008). I have savoured them a couple of times, found them perfectly edible and no ill after effects. Price also included a tea or coffee. Lower price for this than any of the other 4/5 Central London JDs I have visited in the last few months.
As noted elsewhere, wide range of guest beers and promos as well as the staple of cheap lagers such as Coors at 2.10 which I might add is perfectly potable.
Excellent :)

16 Dec 2008 17:22

The Cittie of Yorke, Holborn

Agree with graham2 that often best to try and avoid the after-office-hours peak spots (very, very busy) if you are there mainly to sample the drinks/view the surroundings. Interesting Legal London c19th prints and so on.
More extensive selection of the Sam Smith's offerings than some of its other London pubs - includes here Taddy *Lager* on tap, nice change from Alpine etc.

16 Dec 2008 17:02

The Victoria, Highgate

Pleasant suburban pub, mainly relaxed older set on the Weds evenings I went there a couple of times early in 2008 to listen to the live (free) Jazz... performing were some of same musicians who have appeared at the Wenlock Arms nr. Old St.

(If approaching from Highgate Tube: I found it easier/quicker to get to on foot by proceeding up Archway Rd, turning left into Church Road and then 2/3rd left into North Hill and walking south - seemed quicker than the TfL suggested route).

16 Dec 2008 16:57

The Princess of Wales, Primrose Hill

In light of the demise of the Monday night Jazz at the nearby Steele's, it's heartening that the PoW continues with its programme of Sunday lunchtime/afternoon Jazz and also the Thursday night Dave Chandler swing Jazz.
Only crit is that getting served reasonably promptly on a Sunday afternoon can be quite hard sometimes. But that's a reflection of the popularity of the place, nothing more.

16 Dec 2008 16:46

The Sir Richard Steele, Belsize Park

Great atmospheric pub and many happy Monday evenings spent listening to the excellent live Jazz. Until 12 Dec. 2008, that is. Late programme changes section of JazzinLondon website reports "We hear from Darryl Kenworthy that the regular Monday night gig has been cancelled as of now."
This really is a great shame and I do hope the gig can be revived. The pub's still worth a visit but in my case it isn't likely to be on a Monday night now...

16 Dec 2008 16:40

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