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BITE user comments - agnes_guano

Comments by agnes_guano

The Brewery Tap, Brentford

A whole seven years since I first reviewed the Brewery Tap, it sill remains by quite some considerable way my favourite pub in the area and is consistently the best pub in Brentford. Food, music, quizzes and lively banter are still as good as ever and I would still recommend it to anyone passing through West London who might be lamenting the loss of so many other traditional welcoming boozers. Also, please ask the barmaids about the pickled eggs. They may claim that they don't have any in stock and that they can't get them out of the jar due to a rare but fatal pickle intolerance, but they're lying. The cellar is full of them.

9 Dec 2010 15:03

The Plough, Bloomsbury

This is more like it! A pub in Central London with an imaginative and large range decent well-kept beers, bar staff that can actually converse in coherent English and enough room to find a table, spread out and converse with friends. An upstairs lounge next to some minuscule poky toilets adds to the fun.

24 Sep 2010 12:36

The White Hart, Holborn

Shoulder barge through the small entrance clogged with desperate smokers, pass under the ludicrous and increasingly ridiculous claim to be the oldest licensed premises in London, and you may be lucky enough to grab a table in this pub that looks like it has been refurbished by someone who spends a lot of time reading Sunday supplement style magazines. All the swirly chintz and curtains and sparkly chandeliers can't hide the fact that they should perhaps spend more time reading the Food and Drink supplements instead though. The pint of London Pride I had made be gag and retch like a quivering meths drinking wreck and ensured that I left as soon as I possibly could into the wilds of Bloomsbury to search for a decent pint that didn't taste of stale vinegar and warm furniture polish.

24 Sep 2010 12:31

The Blackfriar, Blackfriars

A genuine pub despite it's tourist-friendly designs, The Blackfriar is a Nicholson's pub that serves a decent ale and has décor that will amaze and delight. If this pub were in any other major European city it would be raved over and celebrated. As it was, Sir John Betjeman and others have to protest back in the 60s to stop the bulldozers demolishing it for ever.

24 Sep 2010 12:23

The Magpie and Crown, Brentford

Recovering well from the more insane excesses of the Steve years. The Magpie and Crown is still going strong and is still a welcoming atmospheric local with some of the best beers and ciders in the whole of West London. If they could just bring their musical selections up to the high standards set when Lord Bungle reigned, well it might just be the essential Brentford boozer once again.

24 Sep 2010 12:18

The Golden Cup, Yoxall

A friendly local boozer in a quiet rural part of Staffordshire. Sky Sports and lively chat in the saloon and fine food and a bit of peace and quiet in the lounge. Marston's Pedigree is a staple and there is usually a guest beer lurking somewhere on tap. Possibly the largest pub garden I have ever seen, plastic swings for the kiddies while mummy and daddy argue drunkenly and a large field which rolls down to the river Swarbourne. As do some of the regulars.

31 Aug 2010 14:49

The Lion And Lobster, Brighton

Oh yes, a truly great selection of tasty local beers and a jolly convivial atmosphere and only a minute or two from the glitz and trash of the seaside. A good range of food (well the chips were good - I can't comment on anything else) and a roaring fire to dry out in front of if you've just been dragged from the sea by a rescue helicopter. My only gripe would be that on the Saturday I visited the volume on the TVs was way too high. Sitting in the back room with the big restaurant tables ready to stuff my face witth the aforementioned chips I literally couldn't hear myself speak in an otherwise empty room. Odd quirks are the gents' loo which has around 200 mirrors angled around the mirrors for a truly narcissistic experience and the strange radio anomaly that engulfs the pub. meaning it is impossible to achieve a mobile phone signal. Handy if you don't like idiots shouting down their phone at other idiots in other pubs to let all the other idiots in other pubs know which pub they are in, but not so handy if you have an urgent call to make. There is a three foot space with a signal to the right of the front door if you are desperate and need to check to see if your house is on fire, it's right by where the smokers congregate so don't breathe in.

19 Sep 2008 11:43

Founders Arms, Bankside

Essentially a really tiny pub with a dozen seats inside and outside seating for about eight hundred people. Which all means that you'll have to wait a week to get served by the incomprehensible East European bar staff and then walk half a mile along the river with your overpriced beer and eight mile an hour winds in order to find a seat. Its location is its best asset and hey it's always fun to throw your friend's possessions in the Thames.

19 Aug 2008 14:06

Doggetts Coat and Badge, Southwark

I suspect this place is awful but as it's on the end of my liver-punishing London Bridge to Blackfriars Run pub crawl, I've never really seen it and appraised it whilst sober. It's all big and swirly and there's a river or something nearby and occasionally I can have a beer and search the eight floors for a free pool table.

19 Aug 2008 13:59

The Defector's Weld, Shepherds Bush

I really hate this place. It annoys me and irritates me, like a parasitic tick painfully burrowing deep into my sense of taste and decency. Whenever anybody suggests we go here for a drink I feel like feigning an injury or better still actually injuring myself in order to escape. You know the sort of pub this is, they're all over London like an embarrassing sexually transmitted rash with their upholstered sofas, bare wooden floorboards and obscure hugely overpriced Belgian beers available on tap. It's a crowded, loud, gutted shell of a once great pub, it's impossible to get served by the indifferent shaven headed too trendy by half body piecing infested bar staff and it sells overpriced olives in tiny little ceramic bowls with portions that frankly wouldn't fill the belly of a pigeon. The bouncers are annoying and pointless and seem to change the admission rules each week on the merest of whims. If you thought Vesbar was full of braying BBC types shouting and guffawing and being pointless then come to the Defectors Weld and see the festering human zoo at feeding time. This place epitomises everything that is wrong with the modern world. It makes me happy to leave its trendy environs and actually glad to see the 24 hour tramp's circus that is Shepherd's Bush Green.

19 Aug 2008 13:53

The Baltic Fleet, Liverpool

Looking like an ocean-going tug run aground and sinking slowly into the increasingly yuppy Wapping area of Liverpool, the Baltic Fleet is an excellent pub, and an absolute gem. I can't honestly fault this place, the beer is exceptional (it is brewed on site), ridiculously cheap and the accompanying food imaginative and delicious. The staff are friendly and engaging, the atmosphere convivial and with the Arena crowds popping along between shows always lively. Do you yourself a favour and pop here when the shanty festival rolls into town and experience the phenomenal atmosphere of a packed pub (with a fine display of beards) shouting and swaying along at the top of their lungs to bawdy sea songs and table banging until the small hours. If their is a fault, it is that this pub should be about eight times the size! There are enough building plots around it, although I suspect its all round much discussed excellence would mean it would still become packed and sweaty with people who appreciate a good pub. A good reason to move to Liverpool!

23 Jul 2008 14:20

The Weir Bar and Dining Room, Brentford

Well it's alright innit - I mean they have carpets and that, but this site is called 'BEER in the evening'.com not 'sitting down with my embarrassing yuppie boyfriend and braying loudly like an excited donkey over a bottle of supermarket grade piny gringo while another little piece of old Brentford dies'.com. There are some beers and the Belgian selection tasted fine to me, but the priority here is expensive pretentious cookery served on stripped pine furniture and wolfed down on the trendy huge plates by the whole Guardian reading goatee wearing sandal and shorts brigade. Nothing against them personally, even if they do push those enormous child buggies all the way down Chiswick High Road, mowing people down in their search for a pavement cafe where their insipid progeny can enjoy a skinny decaff soy milk latte frappucino and a trip to Baby Gap. No really nothing against them, them and their towering canal side homes each worth the price of a small hospital ward, polluting the view like a row of medieval castles. Absolutely nothing. It's just that I like beer and in the Weir, for all its cosy walled garden and views over the canal, isn't about friendly welcomes, amusing locals and decent pints of fine froth British beer. It's about those people and their baggy shorts and their thick black glasses and their spiky hair chatting on their phones. Nothing against them though as I mentioned before.

20 Feb 2008 14:16

The Mitre, Holland Park

If you think gastro pubs are a good idea (and you're an overpaid dolt if you do) then come here and have all your opinions shattered, because this pretentious pile of utterly predictable stripped pine, bawling yahoos and chrome is frankly all gastro with not the slightest trace of pub. When I arrived the bitters were all off. Fair enough I thought, I'll have a Guinness. Then the Guinness ran out and then all the bottled beers ran out. So I spent the rest of the evening licking the ashtrays and sobering up. I mean really, why bother? Why? No really. If you're treating your paying customers with that much disrespect and loathing, why actually go to the bother of running a pub? Why not just sell your pub to a fast food chain or a supermarket or an abattoir and run away into the distance with a big wad of cash laughing your damned fool head off? Why not just hide behind a bush and trip people up? If this place did away with the showy open plan kitchen open to the elements and bothered to stock more than one type of beer it could legitimately call itself a pub, but until then avoid the sorry site that is the Mitre and all it's ridiculous £18-99 for a tiny non descript meal of char grilled pomposity on a bed of ostentation and a self important jus. GRRRR!

1 Nov 2007 18:09

The Station, North Kensington

One of the major features of this place is a huge garden that you could lose a half dozen oxen in. The pub itself is a fairly typical upmarket boozer in a fairly downmarket area, you know the sort of thing, all wooden floors, stainless steel bars, free newspapers and over the top post ironic decorations. There isn't a hell of a lot of imagination in the choice of beers, well actually there's none to be honest, but if you're not picky and just want to get slowly inebriated on a pint of generic with a non specific chaser whilst a tiny screen shows rugby in the background then go for it. The food is imaginative yet way too pricey, although the well made chunky chips will set you back no more than a couple of quid. The seats are all stolen from a nearby church and along with the tables look like they are all about to collapse in a sudden draft. Agree that the pub does get noisy, and it does draw in the trendy braying west London media types like a wheelbarrow of manure attracts flies. But hey, short of setting up a road block on the Portobello Road and frisking people for laptops, how are you going to keep them out?

5 Oct 2007 18:01

The Fox, Hanwell

A cosy friendly pub with a well chosen range of beers kept in absolutely tip top shape, this is one for the beer enthusiasts alright. Timothy Taylor and Archers when I visited with the fruity Fruli in chilled bottles. Tucked away in a peaceful spot in Ye Olde Hanwell Village, far away from the machinations of evil property developers and right by the Grand Union canal (though not near enough to catch its vile brackish whiff) this is an excellent service station if you are walking along the towpath or patiently piloting your boat through the rancid debris strewn waters. In fact seeing as Hanwell has around eight hundred locks lifting the canal twice the height of Everest and back again, you're probably better off ditching the boat for a few hours and getting hammered before even attempting all those taxing locks. Who cares if your drunken lock opening efforts subsequently drain the entire north of England of water and canal boats? It's a damp wet place full of querulous natives at the best of times, but gentle reader, I digress. The only thing I would say is that the Sunday lunch service is like a sort of Beckett play, or some lost surrealist experiment from the 1920s. God-awful music will blare randomly from loud speakers then stop entirely, the service will be slow and ponderous, the waiters will converse in a broken form of Pidgin English full of confused pregnant pauses and quizzical discourses on the existence or otherwise of hummus, the staff will then visit you regularly after forgetting who you are and walk past with random plates of food for hours, your meal will arrive with eight forks, ten serviettes and no knives and then no one will accept money from you in payment and look blankly and dejectedly at your bill as if it were a cuneiform tablet from the third millennium BC detailing some minor piece of Sumerian accounting procedure. But as I said, good beer.

22 Aug 2007 14:13

The Calthorpe Arms, Holborn

This pub deserves all of the many accolades it has earned over the years. Friendly staff, great beer well kept and lovingly served, free tasty fishy themed bar snacks (on the Sunday I was there anyway) and a lunch menu packed with well priced and unbelievably large portions of good solid grub, the kind guaranteed to soak up all of the previously mentioned great beer. Handy for Kings Cross and Euston and the west end, yet far enough off the beaten track in central London to ensure that the pub still fills like a cosy local transported brick by brick from a remote mountainside by an enterprising landlord. The pub can also boast a large comfortable and highly reasonable function room, as well as changing cast of inebriated dental students from over the road, should you ever lose a tooth or need some root canal work whilst you imbibe yourself insensible.

3 Jul 2007 13:06

The George and Dragon, Brentford

Like walking into the living room of someone who really doesn't like you. Just after you've parked your car on their dog.

22 Jun 2007 14:23

The Queens Head, Hammersmith

A good pub - but I would question the lack of soap in the gents toilet. Hate to be picky but if you can charge nigh on ten quid for a burger and chips without laughing out loud and cackling like an evil genius then you should be able to supply a few bars of soap for people. There's a Tesco over the road people!!! Other than that, good well kept beer, a large enough pub to find a spot to hide that suits everyone even on a busy day and an imaginative and tasty food menu. Oh and no soap. Did I mention that? I feel dirty...

29 May 2007 12:03

The Churchill Arms, Kensington

A top pub that has almost entirely gone over to the dark side of being a tourist trap, yet it is saved from the final step by its fine choice of beers (Fullers) and a friendly cheerful atmosphere. This atmosphere it seems is conjured mystically out of the ether by the combined tat of a thousand nameless car boot sales. Without exaggerating, almost every flat surface in this pub is covered in ceramic junk and tasteless ornaments that frankly would have made your granny blush to own. It looks like Mother Shipton's cave with hand pumps but don't let that put you off, the only real down side is that this pub can become unhealthily crowded, meaning that if you are wedged in the seat behind the door as I was that you will be repeatedly battered as people enter re-enter and dawdle around aimlessly on the doorstep pondering their life and wondering if the large pub shaped object they are contemplating is actually a pub and not some crazy late night cut prize Toby Jug sale for the lonely alcoholics of Notting Hill. You'll also find that reaching the toilets become a major trek worthy of Palin at his most distracted, it's quicker to leave the pub and wander down the street to the other entrance than to attempt to barge your way through.

16 Apr 2007 15:00

The Chainlocker and Shipwrights, Falmouth

Best choice of beer in Fralmouth from this nautical legend. The Chainlocker is a big sprawling beast of a pub with seating spilling out over the quayside for those keen on witnessing seagull attacks. Reasonably priced unadventurous food and a good selection of ales, the pub is lively without being intimidating and is a an excellent place to watch the sun set (or rise) over the harbour.

9 Oct 2006 15:23

Five Degrees West, Falmouth

I'm not the type who would normally rave about a fancy tarted up boozer - but by crimminy this one hits the mark. A splendid, and yes pricey, range of food that perfectly compliments the excellent choice of beer and cider. Plenty of seating both inside and eat and a top spot to relax in and enjoy a pint. I must admit I didn't go in the place pre-makeover so can't comment, other than that it was a lot more uninviting than it is now.

9 Oct 2006 14:59

The Sun In Splendour, Notting Hill

An accommodating enough pub - a wide and carefully chosen range of beers and some interesting food options combine in a smoke free welcoming atmosphere. The beer garden is not the largest or most scenic of open spaces, more like an old dank alleyway filled with mismatched and somewhat busted armchairs, but it is a good place to relax away from the hordes that rampage daily through Notting Hill pillaging and destroying all in their path. Also possibly the only pub I know where some of the bar snacks cost more than I would normally expect to pay for a pint! Bah! I pour scorn at your bowls of olives and seeds and £3 bags of chill nuts. What's wrong with a 30p bag of nuts, some Quavers and a pair of braised pig's trotter?!

30 Aug 2006 13:34

The Salisbury, Leicester Square

Even on a Friday night there is still a quiet corner of the beautifully decorated Salisbury that you can secure and sample their extraordinary range of ales. A rare gem in London's pub lists in that it is both historical and practical, catering for the tourist, the historian and the thirsty and discerning beer drinker alike.

15 Jun 2005 19:30

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