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BITE user comments - earlydrinker

Comments by earlydrinker

The Crown, Otford

llcoolg, are you sure you were in The Crown? I haven't been there for some time, but unless The Crown has changed radically, I would suspect that the pub you're describing was The Horns, further down the High Street, which is indeed a restaurant.

25 Jun 2013 18:35

The Cardinal, Victoria

Well something obviously got under davidb's skin. I've been an infrequent but regular drinker at The Cardinal (or Windsor Castle if you really insist ) for years. I'm sorry they felt it necessary to refurb it, and even sorrier that the prices have gone up - but they're still relatively cheap by London standards, and personally I like Sam Smith's and have always found it well served here. Likewise the service. I've never met with anything but politeness , and increasingly wonder if the people who complain about rudeness might perhaps profitably look to their own attitudes.
Personally, I like The Cardinal and shall carry on drinking there when I'm in the vicinity.

27 Nov 2012 18:00

The Rose and Crown, Stoke Newington

Just popped in for a quick couple of pints when I was passing earlier in the year, and wished I could have stayed longer. I like this sort of large roomy urban pub, and this one hasn't had too much tinkering done to it. The atmosphere seemed relaxed and comfortable, the clientele quite mixed, and the beer I had (Cally Deuchars) was very drinkable.
It's a bit off my normal territory, but I'd be very happy to go back for a few more any time.

27 Nov 2012 17:43

The Rising Sun, Scholar Green

Popped in briefly for the first time recently. and only had time for one quick pint. But that was enough to convince me that this is a place worth coming back to - as I certainly shall. Really warm friendly atmosphere, evident as soon as you're inside the door, and a pint of Pedigree in top class nick. Well worth finding.

27 Nov 2012 16:43

The Hare and Hounds, Kingskerswell

It's not my idea of a pub - it's an eatery on a big scale, and you wouldn't really go there unless you were planning to have a meal. But the fact that such a big place is nearly always full of happy eaters testifies to the fact that the food IS good. The carvery is a big attraction, but if you don't like that, there's a good choice of well cooked food, served by friendly and efficient staff. And actually the beer's well kept too.
Not my kind of place - but it obviously and justifiably is for lots of others.

27 Nov 2012 16:37

The Haywain, Chelston

Not really my cup of tea (or pint of beer, come to that). The place seemed to be completely dominated by TV screens showing football from every possible angle.
But basically not a bad place; I've been in much worse.

27 Nov 2012 16:30

Bucaneer Inn, Babbacombe

Nothing very special about this place, apart from the views from out front. But it's a nice enough place; the staff are friendly and the Tribute very drinkable. The food's very reasonably priced too, but also nothing you'd go out of your way for.
If you're nearby, you could do a great deal worse.

27 Nov 2012 16:26

The Hole in the Wall, Torquay

On the basis of admittedly limited experience, Torquay seems to be a bit short on decent pubs. This possibly one of the better ones; it claims to be the town's oldest, and it's certainly a place with some character, serving well-kept beer and quite reasonable food. But it's not a place I'd make a large detour to go back to without good reason. OK, but nothing special.

27 Nov 2012 16:20

The Beartown Tap, Congleton

I'd heard, from sources I trust, that this pub had taken a turn for the worse, which upset me, as it is a great favourite of mine. i was therefore very relieved to find that nothing much seemed to have changed since i was last there; same quietly convivial atmosphere, same fine choice of well-kept beers. I enjoyed my first experience of the excellent Polar Eclipse stout. The only negative was that they seemed to be burning scented candles; something anyway was producing a 'fragrance' that irritated my nostrils and didn't enhance the flavour of the beer.
But I'm not going to write the place off quite yet!

27 Nov 2012 16:12

The Hanging Gate, Sutton

Well, the landlady (who I believe is a Lithuanian Swede, or vice versa) is certainly a character, but I find some of the hostile comments below quite bewildering.
We went there for Sunday lunch recently, and had a really good quality, well cooked meal and a thoroughly enjoyable time.The aforementioned landlady did express the opinion that my menu choice was hardly manly enough for one of my (obvious!) masculinity, which I suppose some people might have found intrusive - but there was no question of bullying. Perhaps some people don't understand that banter is a central feature of pub of pub etiquette.
I liked her, and I certainly liked her pub, of which she is justifiably proud, and to whose atmosphere she is pivotal. The situation is stunning (even more so, I imagine when there's no low cloud),the Hyde's beer was in top-notch condition,the open fire cheerful - and altogether I'd find it hard to find serious fault. Go there. Enjoy it. It's 250 miles from my home, and I'll be back!

27 Nov 2012 16:00

The Vigo Inn, Vigo

When I saw that it was in the new GBG, I went back for only the second time since The Vigo reopened and was very sadly disappointed.
Of the 3 handpumps only one was on, and I quickly discovered that that one was 'off'. To be honest I can't remember what the beer was, but since there was clearly no alternative, and since I'm a peace loving sort of bloke, I thought I'd drink it, which I proceeded to do, helped down by a packet of Mini Cheddars. Inevitably this attracted the pub dog, and when we'd finished the packet (he let me share about 50/50) he (or she) lay down at my feet and proceeded to fart repeatedly and fruitily.
This used to be my favourite pub(see earlier reviews) bur it isn't any more.

27 Nov 2012 15:36

The Vigo Inn, Vigo

When I saw that it was in the new GBG, I went back for only the second time since The Vigo reopened and was very sadly disappointed.
Of the 3 handpumps only one was on, and I quickly discovered that that one was 'off'. To be honest I can't remember what the beer was, but since there was clearly no alternative, and since I'm a peace loving sort of bloke, I thought I'd drink it, which I proceeded to do, helped down by a packet of Mini Cheddars. Inevitably this attracted the pub dog, and when we'd finished the packet (he let me share about 50/50) he (or she) lay down at my feet and proceeded to fart repeatedly and fruitily.
This used to be my favourite pub(see earlier reviews) bur it isn't any more.

27 Nov 2012 15:35

The Chimney Boy, Faversham

It wouldn't be my first choice, but i think the previous review is a bit hard on the place. I've found the service cheerful and friendly, and the beer OK. I do agree though about loud music; here and in too many places it's one of the curses of the modern pub, and seriously limits your choice if you can't stand it.

27 Nov 2012 15:18

The Black Horse and Hoodens, Borough Green

Alison has done wonders for this place. It used to be the sort of establishment I'd decidedly have thought twice about before entering; now it's a really top-notch village local, by far the best place to drink in a village which not so long ago had at least 6 pubs and now (I think) has only 2.
Very pleasantly decorated, there's plenty of space but a warm cosy atmosphere. The beer has always been in fine nick whenever I've been in, with Old Dairy Red Top as the regular house beer, and varying guests. No food now, I believe - but that can be an attraction for some, if the opposite for others.
Highly recommended.

27 Nov 2012 15:07

The Rifle Volunteers, Maidstone

I think Paul Rochdale's right, but also quite wrong. It IS a decidedly odd place; it can be a bit like drinking in a morgue.But it's eccentricity is one of the best reasons for loving this place, and others like it (if any such exist!).
As for its opening hours, I believe the landlord is Maidstone's longest serving, and personally, being of a generation whose drinking habits were formed when EVERY pub was shut at 3 in the afternoon, I don't begrudge him a bit of time to put his feet up.
I don't visit the place often, but I'm very glad to know that it's there when its idiosyncratic atmosphere happens to suit my mood.

27 Nov 2012 14:55

The Royal Oak, Tunbridge Wells

I was delighted to 'rediscover' this pub, which was a favourite of mine some years ago, but which I hadn't visited for some time; even more delighted to find that, in essence, it hadn't changed a lot. The photo above could mislead you into thinking the whole place had been done over in the style illustrated; in fact most of the pub is much more traditional. Though it's a biggish place it has quite a cosy atmosphere, with several different drinking areas around the central bar.
Personally I'd prefer it without the TV on all the time, but the sound's generally turned down, and it's not too intrusive.
Excellent range of well kept beers, with local breweries always well represented; pleasant and knowledgeable bar staff.
Altogether highly recommended.

27 Nov 2012 14:33

The Bell and Jorrocks, Frittenden

Billyfish has nailed it concisely in his review. The B & J continues to demonstrate what a village local ought to be - good beer and a great atmosphere. Keep up the good work.

27 Nov 2012 14:22

The Chequers, Sevenoaks

I used to be a frequent visitor at this establishment in my youth, but I hadn't been back for a good many years before dropping in recently. Pleased to find the place relatively untouched by the passing years. As other reviewers have remarked, a pleasant atmosphere and some good beer. Being so centrally placed for the town centre, it's well worth a visit.

27 Nov 2012 14:15

Ye White Hart, Barnes

Young's actually, unless it's changed hands very recently.

5 Mar 2012 22:30

Crown Point Inn, Seal

You're right, mtaylor, it is there! I couldn't believe it, so I just went and checked, and there it is in the 2012 edition. Why indeed? The only beer I've tried there was almost undrinkable. Perhaps we've both just been unlucky - but I suspect not....

5 Mar 2012 22:27

The Union Inn, Moretonhampstead

I'm amazed to find that it's nearly 5 years since I last visited this place, but I was delighted to find that it was just as I remembered it. It calls itself Moreton's traditional pub, and that's just what it is - a real focus for the local community. Good beer, good atmosphere: excellent.

8 Feb 2012 16:30

The Drum Inn, Torquay

Well, the food we had seemed to be very good value (but then we do live in the South-East); the service could not have been friendlier or more efficient. The pint of Butcombe I had was in first rate nick, as well.
It's an interesting place, designed by Lutyens, in a very attractive setting. Obviously it's food centred, and generally that makes for the kind of pub that I personally am not so keen on - but I liked this place; it was warm, comfortable and friendly, and I'd certainly be happy to go there again if I was in the area.

8 Feb 2012 16:25

The Portcullis Inn, Bristol

Absolutely excellent: great beer range, friendly atmosphere, warm fire on a cold night - what more do you want?

8 Feb 2012 16:14

The White Hart, Sevenoaks

It's quite a rarity these days to visit a pub which has been totally done over, and to be able to say unreservedly that it's better in every respect than it was before. Not, to be fair, that it would have been hard to improve on the ghastly monstrosity it had been turned into in its 'Blubecker's' days; but the current incumbents deserve real congratulation for restoring the authentic 'pub' feel that the White Hart always had, while at the same time enlarging it and developing its potential particularly on the food side - without which it would not stand a cat's chance in hell of survival, located where it is. The result is a roomy and very attractive place, either to eat or drink - and you can certainly just do the latter without feeling in any way out of place.
I didn't try the food; the menu looked interesting, though the prices rather as one would expect in Sevenoaks (ie high). The beer choice was good, and what I had was in first class nick.
I shall certainly be in again before too long; well done, and good luck to all concerned.

8 Feb 2012 16:10

The County Arms, Wandsworth Common

... though having said which, I dropped in again a week or so back for a couple of pints of Warmer, and found that since my last visit (some time ago), it seemed to have drifted back, slightly but perceptibly, to the more relaxed and 'publike' atmosphere it used to have in the good old days. Keep it up!
The Winter Warmer, by the way, was fine but expensive - still, worth it for one who can't find it close to home.

19 Jan 2012 22:27

The Fat Ox, Tenterden

It's apparently very slightly more highly rated than the (very) nearby 'Fat Ox', with which it curiously shares the same address.

3 Jan 2012 20:19

The William Caxton, Tenterden

Was in for the first time shortly before Christmas, and very favourably impressed. I don't know whether it's the only one in Tenterden, but it certainly has the air of a 'traditional pub' - warm and welcoming, and a generally cosy atmosphere on a night when you needed it. I'm not a great fan of Shep's beer, but what was on offer was in good nick.
Altogether, somewhere I shall be returning to before long.

3 Jan 2012 20:17

The Padwell Arms, Seal

Haven't we had enough of this bickering now? It's the season of good will, after all.
I suggest you all get along there on 27 Dec. when the Tonbridge Mummers will be providing an hour or two of good- natured traditional arsing around in the evening, have a few beers and forget your differences.
Happy Christmas.

14 Dec 2011 21:35

The Kentish Rifleman, Dunks Green

Well OK - some people prefer the Padwell, some people prefer the Chaser - but the fact remains that this is a genuine and very decent pub, serving good beer, and perfectly happy for you to go there and simply have a pint or two, and also serving what in my experience are well-cooked and very edible meals, on the high side pricewise maybe, but not unduly so. Yes there are pubs I prefer, too; but this is one I'm always happy to visit, and we should value it for what it is, in these days when pubs are closing by the dozen.

27 Nov 2011 18:41

The Good Intent, Puttenham

It has got a car park, in fact, but you need to be a fairly confident (and certainly sober) driver to negotiate the entrance, which is through a very narrow arch at the side of the pub.
I love this place, and am pleased to hear that it continues to deliver the goods. Must get in again soon.

15 Nov 2011 16:06

The Foresters Arms, Tonbridge

This used to be a friend's local, and I've shared a good few pints with him here in years gone by. I recently dropped in once again, and found the place almost unrecognisable. What was once a comfortable, old-fashioned, rather down-at-heel local boozer has been 'modernised' into something cold and rather soulless, dominated by a pool table at one end and a TV set at the other.It was almost deserted when I was in, but I guess it gets quite a lot of student trade at other times.
Only cask beer on was Kent's Best; I'm not a great Sheps fan, but this was very drinkable - though not sufficient to lure me back without some other good reason to be there.

8 Nov 2011 18:07

The Horns, Otford

It's a bit unfair to slag this place off for not being a good pub, when it isn't a pub at all. It's a restaurant; not a bad one, and not particularly expensive by home counties restaurant prices - but no, definitely not a pub. If you went in just for a pint when they weren't busy, you'd probably get served, but you'd probably feel a bit out of place. The current beer is St. Austell Tribute, by the way, and unless you ask, you'll get it, rather quaintly these days, in a jug. In good nick though.
My main complaint with the place is that their bright new signs do specifically call it a pub - and it ain't!

7 Nov 2011 12:35

The Chequers Inn, Ightham

Now, sadly, appears to be boarded up. Another one goes to the wall - and quite a decent pub at that.

3 Oct 2011 17:06

The Gun and Spitroast, Horsmonden

I've spent 2 or 3 evenings there over the last few months, and was much more favourably impressed than I had expected after my previous experience here, when the place seemed dead.
In fact it's quite a thriving village local, serving a variety of beers including some from local breweries like Tonbridge, Tun. Wells and Old Dairy. Nothing flashy or spectacular - just a decent pub serving its community in the way pubs ought to and always have.

3 Oct 2011 12:24

Live and Let Live, Bromyard

The story of this pub's resurrection is well enough known not to repeat here - 11 years of closure, and numerous attempts to convert it to residential use. It's now back in full action, and is a most impressive and delightful building in a lovely setting, some way from the road in the middle of Bringsty Common. Pity about the smokers' 'marquee', though - it does rather detract from the aesthetic appeal of the place, though I suppose it's handy if you're a smoker.
It's as attractive inside as out, and though we didn't eat there, we had a look at The Thatch restaurant upstairs, which is beautifully done.
Downstairs, the first open fire of the year for me, on a miserable day that made it very welcome, a couple of pints of good local beer (Ludlow Bitter) and pleasant friendly service.
Definitely worth finding.

3 Oct 2011 12:04

The Lord Raglan, Staplehurst

The Raglan continues to maintain a high standard of excellence; there aren't many places to compare with it in this neck of the woods. The beer's unfailingly in excellent condition - I'm a Goachers fan, where I can find it, but the Harveys is good too, and they're both still very reasonably priced by local standards.
The food here is really first rate; they run a small and fairly unchanging menu, it's all cooked to order, and that may sometimes mean a wait - but when it arrives you know it'll be worth eating. The simpler lunchtime menu is excellent too.
There's a regular local clientele, but I've never found it cliquey; the only problem is that if you're not eating you may have difficulty in finding somewhere to sit.
Overall, absolutely first-rate.

2 Oct 2011 20:56

The Shaven Crown Hotel, Shipton under Wychwood

Stayed a couple of nights here earlier in the year - the first time we'd been back for many years. It's a most impressive place, though the most impressive part of it - the main hall at the front - is only accessible as part of the hotel, and seems to be barely used at all, which is a pity.
The bar at the back, which is really where it all happens, is very pleasant and comfortable with a genuine 'pubby' atmosphere, attracting plenty of local trade. Beer in good nick - I stuck to Hook Norton Bitter; good value food, served by pleasant and helpful staff.
The room we stayed in was comfortable, though rather dark, and was not too expensive.Altogether, a pleasant stay, and one we shall hope to repeat before too long.

2 Oct 2011 20:37

The Nightingale, Balham

It's still escaped Youngs' determination to ruin all their once great pubs, and turn them into soulless eateries. The Nightingale's still a real pub - and has been said before, a damn fine one too.

2 Oct 2011 19:30

The County Arms, Wandsworth Common

Oh for the days when it was 'a bit of a dive'.

2 Oct 2011 19:26

The Abergavenny Arms, Rodmell

As Jack Spraggon says, food is the main thing here, but drinkers have the space to enjoy a pint without feeling they're in the way. Care has obviously been taken over the design and decor, but I'm afraid I don't like the end product; to me it just doesn't feel like a pub any more. But that said, I've known a lot worse, and I wouldn't be averse to stopping off here if the occasion arose.

2 Oct 2011 19:21

The Rose and Crown, Beckley

I'm very fond of this place, though I don't get in very often. It retains the quality of a real village local (which is what it is) but remains a place where an occasional visitor can feel welcome and at home. Generally a good range of beers, always in my experience in good nick. The landlady is a real character, and presides over a pub which is full of character too.

2 Oct 2011 19:15

The Coopers Arms, Crowborough

I've only been in 2 or 3 times, but my impressions have been almost entirely positive. I've always found the barstaff - landlord or otherwise- pleasant and welcoming, and they've had some interesting beers, always in good nick - for example, beers from Dark Star, and a house beer brewed I think by Marstons (can that be right? Good, anyway). The pub's done out in a fairly basic, bare boards style, which I like but which may not appeal to everyone - but above all, this is still a real pub, and that's becoming an increasingly rare commodity these days. Worth finding.

2 Oct 2011 19:08

The Rose of Denmark, Bristol

In an area rich in good pubs, this is another one well worth a visit. Stripped down, fairly basic decor, good beer. Not being a fan of loud music, that would be my main reservation about this place - but it's a decent boozer, worth dropping in if you're in the vicinity.

2 Oct 2011 18:41

The Adam and Eve, Bristol

The pub's recently changed hands, and is still finding its feet under the new management. I hope they'll make a go of it - I've spent some very enjoyable evenings in here over the last few years, and it would be a shame to see it go to the wall, or have to change its character in order to succeed. Good luck to them.

2 Oct 2011 18:35

The Harrington Arms, Gawsworth

Deservedly famous pub (see previous reviews for details re CAMRA Inventory listing, etc). But aside from all that, it's just a really nice place for a drink, either inside in one of the varied farmhouse style rooms, or, if it's fine, outside in the attractive garden set in thoroughly rural surroundings.
I'm always happy to drink Robinson's beer, and what's on offer here, in my (admittedly limited) experience, is very well kept.
Altogether, well worth a detour; I'm looking forward to another visit.

2 Oct 2011 18:22

The Princess of Wales, Blackheath

A pleasant pub, deservedly popular and consequently often busy. Decent beer, reasonably priced food, child friendly (though this aspect may not endear it to all readers!). It's a place worth a look if you're in the area - it's convenient for the heath and Greenwich Park - but not one I'd go out of my way to visit.

2 Oct 2011 17:59

Holly Bush Inn, Priors Marston

It's curious that this place has such a low rating when nearly everything in the reviews seems to be positive. I'd go along with that, too. Although food is obviously a primary consideration here, they've retained a bar area with a genuine pub feel, where drinkers can feel relaxed and unhassled, and where I drank some very pleasant Hook Norton beer, in first rate condition.
The restaurant area is large, and clearly does good business, being pretty well full the night we were there. Good, well prepared food, and not over-expensive for what you're getting.
They have bedrooms too, and these are remarkably cheap, and were clean and comfortable.

2 Oct 2011 17:46

The Mug House, Claines

A unique place - a pub situated in the local churchyard. Full of character, with several small, traditionally furnished rooms inside. Outside there's an attractive garden, and it was very pleasant to sit supping the excellent Banks's beer in the shadow of the church . Only been here twice, but I'm inclined to echo Tancredi in saying 'I love this place'.

2 Oct 2011 17:35

The Talbot, Knightwick

What looks like fairly major building work appeared to be in progress on the hotel section when we were there recently, but that didn't prevent this place from standing out as the best in a locality remarkably well provided with good pubs.
I think I'd need to be around for a bit longer than I was to feel at home in the taproom, which is the kind of old fashioned locals' public bar you don't often come across these days. The other bar, though catering for the pub's flourishing food trade, nevertheless retains absolutely the character of a traditional pub.
They make a point here of emphasising the local origins of everything they serve (bar the fish). The food, though I agree it's quite pricy in the restaurant, is very reasonable in the bar, and they offer some original ideas, always, in our experience, of excellent quality. The beer is from their own Teme Valley Brewery situated behind the pub, and is also first-rate, as well as being cheap (�2.35 a pint for 'This' bitter). The service was friendly and helpful - it was nice to be recognised and welcomed on only one's second visit.
Altogether, it's hard to find fault; it's a place I'd make a sizeable detour to visit again.

2 Oct 2011 17:23

The Champion of the Thames, Cambridge

This comes close to being my absolute favourite pub anywhere. I can't think of anything about it I'd want to change. It might be different, i suppose, if I was one of those who have objections to G.K. beers - but I haven't, and particularly not when they're as well kept as they are here. So - great beer, great atmosphere. This is what pubs used to be like, and what they ought to be like.

1 Oct 2011 23:01

The Beartown Tap, Congleton

I gather there have been some changes in management since I last reviewed this pub over 4 years ago - but to the occasional visitor like me it seems unchanged, and unchanged in its excellence. This is a model which many less successful pubs could do well to copy: great beer, great atmosphere, no rubbish. Absolutely first rate.

1 Oct 2011 22:54

Admiral Rodney Inn, Martley

A pleasant pub with a very attractive situation in lovely country.
The bar is light and airy, with attractive pine tables, and a calm but friendly atmosphere. Good local beers - I drank Bird's Thunderbird. We didn't eat there, but the food looked good, though not particularly cheap. Well worth a visit.

1 Oct 2011 18:05

Red Hart, Blaisdon

An attractive place, still retaining very much the atmosphere of a pub despite clearly placing a heavy emphasis on food. The food can be expensive, but at lunchtime at least there were very reasonable alternatives on the menu, and the quality was good. A fair selection of beers; the Hook Norton I had was OK but no more. We certainly didn't find the staff rude or unhelpful - in fact quite the contrary. For those who are interested, the pub is dog-friendly.

1 Oct 2011 17:59

The Royal Oak, Wainfleet

A basic, down-to-earth town centre boozer, serving a decent pint of Batemans. This sort of place is closing down by the hundred every year, and pubs like this are well worth preserving.

1 Oct 2011 17:52

The Nelson Butt, Spilsby

A good honest traditional local in the middle of the town. It used to be Batemans pub, but is no longer tied and serves a variety of beers - Greene King in evidence when i was last there. This is the kind of place that is closing down by the hundred all over the country; The Nelson Butt is well worth supporting an keeping it alive.

1 Oct 2011 17:49

The Old House, Ightham

Having now visited The Old House several times since its resurrection, I can only concur with the unanimous praise showered upon it in recent reviews. This is one of the great pubs of England, not just of this locality; go there, drink the beer (or even wine, these days, if you prefer it), enjoy the atmosphere, and just thank God that pubs like this still exist and flourish.

1 Oct 2011 17:42

The Old House, Ightham

Having now visited The Old House several times since its resurrection, I can only concur with the unanimous praise showered upon it in the recent reviews. It's one of the great pubs of England, not just of this locality - go there, drink the beer (or even the wine these days, if you prefer it), enjoy the atmosphere, and thank God there are still pubs like this flourishing.

1 Oct 2011 17:38

The Wheatsheaf, Bough Beech

I hadn't visited this pub for probably more than 20 years before I did so again quite recently. It was curiously different from how I'd remembered it, but very pleasant all the same, close to one's image of what your 'traditional pub' ought to look like. In fact like a lot of 'traditional pubs' (the ones that haven't closed) it's a lot more food focused than they 'traditionally' used to be. Nevertheless, this is still a real pub, and not just a restaurant pretending to be one. They had very drinkable Harvey's and a Westerham beer on when I was there, and the food itself was actually very good.Worth a try.

1 Oct 2011 17:28

The Dovecote, Capel

As most of these reviews say, this place continues to deliver the goods. There's always an interesting choice of beer, always in excellent nick, the food's very good value, the staff always friendly, welcoming and sometimes entertaining. It's a tiny little place and there's not always a lot of room inside; it's also rather dark. But these are petty quibbles - this is a top rate place.

1 Oct 2011 17:16

The Greyhound, Charcott

I may just have been unlucky in the timing of my visit - there had been some function during the afternoon and everything seemed a bit chaotic and tired (including the beer) . But that said, I remember this place as one of the few surviving basic old fashioned country pubs in this part of the world, and I was shocked to find it done over in what seemed to me fairly dire taste, which removed the last vestige of character from the place. But at least it's still open - and that's a major plus these days.

1 Oct 2011 17:09

The White Rock, Underriver

A pleasant country pub in a lovely setting. A nice enough place to sit outside and enjoy a few pints of what was quite decent beer when I visited.

1 Oct 2011 17:01

The Bullfinch, Riverhead

It's great that McMullens have acquired a pub in Kent; but less pleasing is the style they've gone for in refurbing it. It's more or less indistinguishable from dozens of other places all over the country - all 'in the best possible taste', but all completely soulless. As the previous review says, the staff were friendly and polite, and the beer was good - but I just don't like this sort of place, and there are too many of them. Still, I suppose it's better than closing pubs, which seems to be the alternative.

1 Oct 2011 16:58

The North Pole, Wateringbury

I don't know what to make of this pub. I've been in several times now since it re-opened, and have come away with a different impression every time. The beer's always excellent - the landlord knows his stuff and is genuinely interested. The service has on occasions been very slow; the pub has sometimes felt very cliquey. The food is said to be good, and I believe these reports, though I haven't eaten there. They've made a very good shot at retaining a pub atmosphere, and not letting the food side take over. A lot of thought's gone into the decor, but I don't like it.
Altogether a mixed impression; I'll keep going back, and see what emerges.

1 Oct 2011 13:47

The Bull Inn, Benenden

It's a lovely pub in a great location. The beer's good, and I'm sure the food is too. I ought to really like it - but for some reason I don't. Perhaps it's because on the, admittedly few, occasions I've been there it's always seemed somehow unfriendly.
I must give it another try.

1 Oct 2011 13:39

The Padwell Arms, Seal

Dropped in recently for the first time in a year or more (more, probably). Favourably impressed. They've tidied up the outside drinking area, which with its orchard views is one of the pub's big attractions, but inside it seemed much as before (though the new landlord did point out some redecoration in the restaurant - I don't notice these things). What I did notice was a wide and interesting range of beers, several from local breweries. I drank several pints of Hogs Back bitter, which was in first-class condition. From memory, beers from Hopdaemon, Tonbridge, Larkins and others also featured, all reasonably priced at �2.90
The present management seem to have set themselves on the right course, and I hope the pub will thrive under their management.

1 Oct 2011 13:34

Bull, Barming

I drive past the Bull frequently though I don't call in very often. I don't recall it being boarded up, but if it was, it certainly isn't now, and wasn't when I last dropped in not so long ago. It seemed very much as it was when I last reviewed it over 2 years ago, except that the only cask beer available was the inevitable Harvey's. That was OK, though more choice would have been welcome. I guess this is largely a lager drinkers' pub, though, and I'd rather have one ale in good nick than several tired offerings.
The pub's OK.

1 Oct 2011 13:20

The Kings Head, Bessels Green

The pub's changed hands (possibly more than once) since the last review. I was in there just after the present incumbents had taken over, and things hadn't really settled down. But they seemed to be working along the right lines, and if the pub hasn't become too entirely food based (which is always a danger, and often a death-knell) it looked like having a chance of success. I hope so, because I like the place.

1 Oct 2011 13:10

The Bull, Otford

This place has changed from being a Beefeater to a Chef and Brewer (or maybe it's the other way round). Whichever way the change is, it's for the worse. It's a soulless commercial operation, entirely food oriented - and the food, when we tried it, was poor. Sad, because it's a magnificent, historic building, and ought to be worth visiting

1 Oct 2011 13:02

The Good Intent, West Farleigh

I had high hopes of The Good Intent when the new incumbents took over; their ideas seemed good and with the pub's marvellous situation it ought to be a gem. Sadly though, they're lumbered, willy-nilly, with their old clientele, who are an uninviting crew, and the place seems to have stayed very much where it was. Last time I went in there was no cask beer available, and I haven't tried again for some time, so maybe I'll give it another go - but I'm not optimistic.

1 Oct 2011 12:52

The Vigo Inn, Vigo

First and foremost, it's great that The Vigo is up and running again. That said, I've only been in once since it reopened, and while the beer was excellent, I found the emphasis on 'live music' (which inevitably means loud music) something which is not likely to attract me back too often. Good luck to the new owners; I hope they can make a go of it - but I do miss Pete, Peta and The Vigo as it used to be.

1 Oct 2011 12:45

The Padwell Arms, Seal

Really pleased to hear The Padwell's in good hands and doing well; I'll make a point of looking in again in the near future,
But 'a wasteland of gastropubs'?! In a location hardly more than a mile from the classic Old House at Ightham Common, and not more than three from The Golding Hop near Plaxtol? Not taking anything away from the Padwell, which I've always liked, and have used for many years - but these certainly aren't 'gastropubs'. And personally I like Larkins Traditional, too.

27 Aug 2011 21:55

Hop Bine Inn, Cranbrook

This is the pub formerly known as The Knoxbridge (which is where it is situated).

30 May 2011 21:22

Knoxbridge, Frittenden

This pub is now called The Hop Bine, and is listed under Cranbrook

30 May 2011 21:21

The Home Cottage, Redhill

...and what about The County Arms (Wandsworth), The Britannia Tap (Kensington), The Buckingham Arms (Westminster), The Brook Green Hotel,The Dulwich Wood House, etc, etc. (It wouldn't be hard to continue the list).
Don't get me wrong - I love Youngs, I think they've done wonderfully well in maintaining continuity since the inevitable move to Bedford; but to suggest that they've 'modernised without affecting character' - well, sorry, it just won't wash.
I just hope The Home Cottage has some recognisable features when it reopens.

22 Apr 2011 21:57

The Stag Inn, Petworth

Well, I hope G.R.T. is right - though I just have a niggling feeling in the back of my mind that he (she?) may have some slight connection to the new management. Anyway, good luck to them - and good luck to Hamish where ever he's gone. He ran a great pub.

14 Apr 2011 20:23

The Old House, Ightham

Absolutely tremendous news. I haven't been able to get there yet since it reopened, but I'm told that Nick has done wonders in smartening up the old place without losing any of its unique atmosphere. This pub is one of England's treasures; thank God it's not been lost, and get along there as soon as you can manage it.

8 Oct 2010 20:51

The Vigo Inn, Vigo

Which photo? The pub was certainly closed in March 2009, and as far as I'm aware it remains so. All the fittings (handpumps, etc) still appear to be in place, so I hope they're still trying to find a buyer to re-open it as a pub. Otherwise, R.I.P. Vigo.

27 May 2010 18:29

The Rose and Crown Hotel, Tonbridge

The Greene King IPA is now �3.40 a pint, which is really a disgrace - even when it's in first class condition, which I admit it was the last time I was there.

18 May 2010 16:20

The Stag Inn, Petworth

Stayed a night here earlier in the year, and I can endorse everything that's been said below - this is a cracking example of everything a pub ought to be.
The landlord and staff are outstanding - welcoming and helpful in every way. The bar is small, with a roaring log fire when we were there. A full house of locals, but we weren't made to feel unwelcome or out of place. Badger beers aren't my favourite, but the 'Sussex' was very drinkable.
If I was eating here again I think I'd opt for two starters (or perhaps just the one!) My wife and I were both so full by the time we'd finished these that we weren't able to do justice to our main courses (though we made up for it with the 'full English' the following morning). The dining room is decorated with a mass of fascinating sporting prints and drawings - this is a pub very much with its heart in the country.
Bedrooms quirky, comfortable and full of character.(And if you're staying there, you don't have to use the outside toilet in the middle of the night!)
Altogether, there's not much to fault about this place; I hope to be back sooner rather than later.

6 May 2010 14:27

George and Dragon, Tudeley

I'd heard good reports of this place, which I hadn't visited for some time - so called in the other day. I can't believe how different it was from my memories of it - and much nicer. It's deceptively roomy inside, with several different drinking areas, and a sizeable restaurant at the end. The main bar area is cosy and traditional, with a woodburner (still going on a cool late April evening). Nice homely feel, with plenty of locals round the bar, but not unwelcoming.
The beer is Greene King, which won't please everybody, but I'm very happy with a well-kept pint of IPA - which this was. Didn't sample the food, but it looked OK, and seems remarkably good value.
Altogether, somewhere I shall be visiting again before too long.

6 May 2010 14:08

Crown Point Inn, Seal

Dropped in the other day because we'd heard that it had changed hands and was much improved. I don't know whether either of these things is true, but if it's improved, it must have been pretty dire before. Of course, we didn't eat there, which means that our experience hardly allows a fair assessment of the place, because eating's what it's all about, with staff hovering to show you to your table as you walk in. That said, there is still quite a large area devoted to drinkers, but all done out in the soulless style typical of this kind of eatery. They had three cask beers on, all local (which is to their credit); however the Nelson beer that I tried was practically undrinkable; I should have sent it back, but I'm always reluctant to do that on a first visit anywhere, and frankly, by the time I'd even sat down, all I wanted to do was to get out. Definitely not for me.

6 May 2010 13:57

The Bull Inn, West Malling

This is a first rate pub - an excellent example of what a village local ought to be, Pleasant welcoming and friendly atmosphere, knowledgeable and enthusiastic landlord, and interesting beers, always, in my experience, in tip-top condition. On the subject of beer, Goachers Dark and their admirable Gold Star are (I think) always available, but the pumps supplying them are not visible from the bar - so if you want them, ask!

5 May 2010 22:53

Queens Arms, Edenbridge

I'm pleased to be able to reassure rashmack that his fears are ungrounded. The pub is still fully operative. I was there last night to see the excellent Trio Threlfall, and the place was packed. The Adnams' was in fine fettle, the sausage rolls likewise, and though Elsie herself was not in evidence, she's reportedly continuing to make a good recovery. The sign has indeed fallen off the wall, though.

18 Apr 2010 17:43

The Chequers, Walton On The Hill

This used to be an old favourite of mine, and I dropped in with some misgivings recently, for the first time since the makeover.
I was delighted to find that, though the back part of the pub (what I think of as the 'new' part) had been transformed, the part I like, and have always used - the bar with the fire immediately inside the front door, and the little snug bar to its right - had been left completely untouched. Great planning - well done Youngs (for a change).
The beer's a bit expensive, but you'd expect that in these parts, and it was in good nick and served by competent and friendly staff. My only gripe was not with the pub but with its customers. The management have gone out of their way to preserve the ambience of the 'old' bars I referred to by putting up clear signs indicating that they're out of bounds for children. But despite the fact that the kids have about half an acre of bar-space to run around in in the refurbed area, this doesn't stop some parents ignoring the signs and allowing their little darlings into the banned section. Their fault - not the kids'.
However, this was only a minor negative - overall I was really impressed with the place, and cheered to be reassured that refurbs don't have to be for the worse.

31 Mar 2010 12:35

George III Hotel, Penmaenpool

One of the most beautifully situated pubs in Britain, to my mind, with ever changing views across the Mawddach estuary. To sit outside with a pint on a fine day, and simply absorb the view, would make it well worth visiting, even if it had nothing else to offer.
In fact, it's a pleasant place, offering a decent range of beers and quite good, fairly standard pub food. Its position makes it very popular, and it can get very crowded, even out of the high season - you often need to get there pretty early if you want to eat; but it's well worth finding.

25 Mar 2010 12:42

The Fox and Hounds, Toys Hill

This is all very entertaining reading, and the multitude of similar reviews means one can't question what they say - which makes the whole situation all the more tragic. In Hazel Pelling's time, this was one of the county's (and indeed the country's) gems - a pub with a unique atmosphere that you'd go miles out of your way to visit, and never come away feeling disappointed. Its situation is unrivalled; it could and should be marvellous - but look what's happened to it. Truly a disaster.

24 Mar 2010 15:39

The Cardinal, Victoria

I was in again last week, and was told that they're due to close for a refurb some time in the next couple of months. Was promised the atmosphere wouldn't be ruined, but you never can tell - so if you're a fan of the place as it is (like me), get in quickly, and make the most of it, in case the worst happens.
By the way, I always find the service very good, and the manager in particular is very friendly and helpful. And of course, the prices.....

18 Mar 2010 22:24

The Bag O' Nails, Victoria

Fairly run-of-the-mill sort of place. Pretty heaving when I was in last, as you'd expect early Friday evening. Nothing too dire - the beer was OK and the service civil and competent enough - but equally nothing to make it stand out as a place you'd choose to go.

18 Mar 2010 22:17

Seven Stars Inn, Aberedw

An excellent little pub, set in beautiful country, though it can take a bit of finding. It was saved from residential development a few years ago by concerted local action.
Stayed a night there last year, in comfortable and well equipped accommodation.
I can't recall what the beer was, but I know that it was sufficiently drinkable for me to consume several pints. The food was reasonably priced and well cooked - nothing fancy, just good pub grub, well done.
Very friendly and welcoming landlord and landlady, and a healthy gathering of pleasant locals of all shapes and sizes.
Altogether well worth finding.

11 Mar 2010 23:24

The Ostrich Hotel, Robertsbridge

In again the other week, and pleased to report that things were greatly improved on my last visit - that is to say that, though Harvey's was the only cask beer on, it was extremely drinkable, and I drank quite a lot of it. The Ostrich remains a somewhat eccentric pub, and probably all the better for that.

22 Feb 2010 23:13

The Royal Oak, Barcombe

Yes, paulfitz has nailed it - a 'no-nonsense, genuine English pub'. Unfortunately that too often these days means a large screen telly dominating affairs - that's the case here, and for me a negative.Still, I enjoyed several pints of impeccable Harvey's Old here earlier this year, and the service is unfailingly friendly and helpful, so altogether there's a lot more to praise than to criticise here, and it's a pub I'd be happy to spend time in whenever the occasion arose.

22 Feb 2010 23:04

The Bear Hotel, Devizes

I see it's nearly 4 years since i last reviewed this place, but everything i said then still holds good, except that the food has improved. I think the atmosphere here is quite unique, and absolutely to my taste; I hope it never changes.

7 Jan 2010 21:39

The Good Intent, Puttenham

I only get in here about once a year, but I wish it were more. A cracking pub - absolutely everything you could want. Good food, great beer (always in first class condition), friendly and efficient service, pleasant locals and a warm welcome for non-locals - all this and a blazing open fire too. Oh - and no piped music. Brilliant.

7 Jan 2010 21:34

The Muggleton Inn, Maidstone

I suspect this place is very different in the evenings from its daytime atmosphere. I actually marginally prefer it to the other Maidstone 'Spoons - I rather like the slightly gloomy atmosphere - it still feels a bit like an old fashioned bank. No complaints about the service or the availability of the beers when i was there. The Everards I had was not great, but quite drinkable; the midday atmosphere rather drowsy and not overrun by the local youth, who are certainly best avoided when possible.

7 Jan 2010 21:22

The Druids Arms, Maidstone

Stopped off for a bit of dutch courage before setting about my Christmas shopping, and found it a very pleasant place at that time of day for quick pint or two. Plenty of lunch trade (though i wasn't eating), but quick and efficient service and very drinkable G.K. beers, including a souped up version of Abbot at 6.5% (I can't remember what it was called - Abbot Reserve, I think). Relaxed, comfortable atmosphere - all in all, a pleasant surprise.

7 Jan 2010 21:14

The Crown, Otford

Was in just before Christmas, and was favourably impressed. A good range of mainly local beers, though I chose to drink Woodforde's Wherry, which was excellent. Keen and helpful landlord, very good lively atmosphere, nice (though rather smoky) open fire. Pleased to say nobody was stabbed while I was there. Altogether, a pub on the up, I'd say.

6 Jan 2010 22:11

Redstart, Maidstone

I have subsequently discovered that the strangely tatty atmosphere on which I previously commented rather favourably was because the pub was in a state of limbo, awaiting a major makeover, which has now taken place. It's all been done in the best possible taste, but frankly I preferred it the way it was in September.

6 Jan 2010 22:06

The Goat Tavern, Piccadilly

An excellent, friendly little boozer ,with a really nice atmosphere. As Strongers says, it remains relatively peaceful while the place across the road is heaving, and that's a big plus for me. Very drinkable Pride, too.

19 Nov 2009 13:05

Turmeric Gold, Tudeley

....but hardly justifying continued inclusion on this site.

19 Nov 2009 12:59

The White Hart, Sevenoaks

I'm told it's had another makeover and is now much more of a pub again, though still food-centred. Will certainly give it another go in the near future and report back.

19 Nov 2009 12:53

Unicorn Inn, Dolgellau

Revisited again this year, and was pleased to be less overwhelmed by television - it was on (only one this time), but wasn't too obtrusive.The GK IPA was in good nick - Bass also on,I think.

19 Nov 2009 12:49

The Royal Ship Hotel, Dolgellau

Revisited this year, and was very disappointed. Perhaps because out of season the turnover's slower, or for whatever reason. the beer was in poor condition on both occasions I tried it. the food's still good, but the service was somewhat haphazard (though well-intentioned). OK for a meal, but not really a pub.

19 Nov 2009 12:45

The Cross Keys Inn, Dolgellau

Revisited this year. The Cross Keys is definitely the best real pub in Dolgellau. Everything I said below still applies, except that the beer selection seemed better, and it was always in first class condition. Very Welsh, but very friendly.

19 Nov 2009 12:41

The Rock, Chiddingstone Hoath

Great news, Laura, and good luck with the pub. It's one of the few real pubs left to us in this part of the world, and it would be a tragedy if it were to be lost.

12 Nov 2009 18:52

Duke of Wellington, Ryarsh

Yes, a nice pub, attractively laid out with bare boards on the floor, comfortable seating and plenty of room. Same beers on as mikey64 reported in July (the Adnams' is Broadside). Tried the Wherry which was first rate. Service was pleasant and friendly.The only negative for me was that the music was too loud, but I'm afraid I find this the case in a lot of places.

10 Nov 2009 20:57

Redstart, Maidstone

I used to use this pub quite a bit, but I hadn't been in for some time when I visited earlier this year. Quite a change. The place had become decidedly tattier, but in a strangely attractive way.The interior seemed curiously at odds with the outside (which is classic 1930s). Pleasant, friendly and slightly weird atmosphere (or perhaps it was just me). I can't remember what the beer was, but it was OK.
Odd. I rather like it.

10 Sep 2009 19:06

The North Pole, Wateringbury

Closed and on the market. I'm not optimistic about its prospects.

10 Sep 2009 18:35

The Five Bells, Seal

Yes, another change, and , on first , brief impressions, not for the better. The loud 'background' music's returned, and the place seemed to be slipping back to the state it was in before its brief move in the right direction. Sad - it could be (and has been) a gem.

10 Sep 2009 18:32

Queens Head, Mereworth

Some people may remember this place in the days when it was run by Bob Shard, a landlord of the old school, and a bit of a cult figure. It's changed a bit since his day, but it's better now than it has been at times during the interim, Was a Sheps pub, but now a genuine free house, with beers as stated by mikey64. The Doombar was OK, too.
Basically a locals' pub, and pleasant enough - but I don't think I'd go far out of my way to drink here.

10 Sep 2009 18:27

The Woodman, Otford

I feared the worst earlier this year when I saw that Sheps had put this place on the market - it looked a hot candidate for yet another closure. Delighted that it's been privately bought, and that the new owners have put a lot of effort and cash into doing it up.
Sadly, it's not to my taste, but it seems at present to be doing OK and is obviously filling a need not met by Otford's other 2 (3?) pubs. Large screen TV much in evidence, smoking area seems to have more occupants than the pub itself - but good luck to them, if this is what the punters want.

10 Sep 2009 17:57

Vauxhall Inn, Tonbridge

I didn't think this place could be as bad as it seemed to me after a brief visit the other night (encouraged by its iclusion in the GBG). However, after reading the comments below, it seems that other people agree about its awfulness, so perhaps I was right after all.
As stated, the service is bad. I stood at the bar,alone, for some minutes while the 2 children behind it completed their chat; then one of them looked straight through me, while the other one placed herself in front of me without saying anything. Taking this to mean she was prepared to serve me, I ordered a pint of Pride, which was drinkable, but on the dead side.
rpadam's right about the way this genuinely old and interesting building has been treated; in trying to make it look 'olde worlde' they've merely succeeded in making the whole place look fake - and as someone has said, it's gloomy and airless to boot. It is indeed truly sad; you can do up an old pub without ruining it - and you can certainly do something about lousy service.

5 Aug 2009 21:21

The Dovecote, Capel

I think deesouthgate must have hit a bad night; I ate here again recently and had an excellent meal (from their distinctive range of 'rosti' dishes) which was not only delicious to eat, but extremely good value for money too.
They continue to offer an interesting range of beers, always, in my experience, in good nick. Friendly and entertaining service, no background music, and a really nice atmosphere. I agree with LDW: one of the best locals in the area.

11 Jul 2009 22:01

The Adam and Eve, Bristol

Was in here a couple of nights recently, and enjoyed two of the best steaks I've ever eaten (one on each night!).
I take the point about the 'reserved' tables, but on one of the nights we were there, they seemed quite happy for drinkers to sit there until the time they were reserved for, when a member of staff politely requested a move. All seemed quite amicable.
A quiet relaxed and friendly atmosphere, nice bar and waiting staff, excellent food (much better than it used to be) and decent beer. A pretty good mix, all in all.

2 Jul 2009 16:18

The Royal Paper Mill, Maidstone

One of Goachers' two tied houses. Close to the brewery, and generally offering a substantial range of Goachers' excellent products - but perhaps suffering from the fact that (on the evidence of my infrequent visits) most of the clientele drink lager. Certainly I've had one or two pints there which don't represent the best that Goachers can offer - which is very good.
A pleasant enough place, but tends to be dominated by a huge TV screen which , the last time I was in, seemed to be devoted to a series of vapid pop videos.

2 Jul 2009 16:05

The Bucks Head, Godden Green

It seems to have changed a lot since I was last there (some time ago, I confess). Various parts seem to have been done up and opened out. Decent enough beer for a Sheps pub, but I found the food decidedly ordinary, and quite pricey for what you got.
Pleasant service and a delightful setting. I shan't be going out of my way for a return visit in the near future, but if someone suggests meeting there for a pint or two I shan't object.

9 Jun 2009 12:41

The Kentish Rifleman, Dunks Green

The fire really did this place a service. The refurb which it necessitated has made it much more of a traditional country pub than it was before. It's not quite what it was in the days when Ron Williams was the guvnor (there's a carpet on the saloon bar floor, for one thing), but it feels much more like it did in the old days. Fair selection of beers (Westerham, Harveys and two from GK) and' though we didn't eat there, the menu looked promising (not too long) and the food smelt good.
No complaints about the service. Didn't meet the blonde, but the middle aged lady who served me was very pleasant, and bore no resemblance to the one described in the previous review. We shall certainly be back again fairly soon.

9 Jun 2009 12:27

The Stile Bridge Inn, Marden

Yes, rpadam's right - it's much more of a pub (as opposed to Bar/Restaurant) than it was when I posted my previous review a couple of years ago; and this applies at normal times, not just when there's a beer festival on. Sadly the quality of the food seems to have declined correspondingly, but I suppose you can't have everything, and overall I think the change is for the better.

30 May 2009 12:52

The Chequers, Farningham

I really like this pub; it deserves its high rating. It's like what pubs used to be about - beer rather than food (though I think the food's quite good). The place is always pleasantly busy, with a slightly shabby, 'lived-in' air about it; always a good hum of conversation almost but not quite drowning the often strangely eccentric choice of background music. Wide choice of beers - mostly, but not entirely, well known names, on my last visit. Pleasant and very efficient service from some extremely attractive young ladies. Strongly reccommended.

30 May 2009 12:44

The Green Man, Longfield

M & B (if that's who it is) have certainly put some effort and money into this place, and in its way it's been very nicely done, though the effect is of a pub trying hard to achieve a 'traditional' feel, rather than of a truly 'traditional' pub. Still, it's comfortable and relaxed, and is obviously popular with families - early evening, when I was there, there were quite a lot of (very well behaved ) kids about the place.
They had Spitfire, Harveys and Adnams Broadside on - what I had was in good nick. Service was slow, but pleasant enough. I didn't eat there, so can't comment on the food.

30 May 2009 12:34

The Bull, Horton Kirby

Well, it's OK, and most of the things people have said are to some extent true: friendly staff and locals, enthusiastic and knowledgeable landlord, excellent beer. But 'heaven on earth'? Come on, be reasonable....

26 May 2009 21:00

The Olde George Inn, Shoreham

I've known this pub all my life, and while it's not quite what it was back in its glory days, it's still a very pleasant place to drink and eat, and certainly much improved on my few recent visits.
A sensible selection of beers (Harveys, Westerham & Black Sheep when I was there ) in good condition, and a reasonably priced menu of very acceptable, if unexciting, food. Friendly , helpful, if slightly chaotic service, and an atmosphere which is just what you ought to expect from a traditional country pub like this. Well worth a visit.

21 Apr 2009 18:27

The Crown, Shoreham

Hardly a review of The Crown, moredave. if you gave some indication of the reasons for your low rating it would be of more value to other readers,
I don't get to Shoreham a lot, but next time I'm there I'll make a point of visiting The Crown so that i can post a review which actually says something about the pub.

12 Apr 2009 21:59

The Lamb, Bloomsbury

There used to be seating outside (see the photo above). Perhaps it only appears in the summer months. Hope it hasn't gone for good.

7 Apr 2009 13:16

Bull, Barming

Dropped in the other evening, and was very favourably impressed. A good range of cask beers on the go, at least three from small local breweries. The Nelson Pieces of Eight I tried was excellent.
The clientele were very mixed - always a good sign as far as I'm concerned - and the place has the feel of a pub, rather than a restaurant, as is all too often the case these days. Pool table and TV are well up at one end, and needn't obtrude unless you want them to. My only gripe is the music. Why does it have to be so loud? (Frankly, why does it have to be there at all?) It really does put me off the place, but I suppose some people must like it.

5 Apr 2009 23:08

The Bell and Jorrocks, Frittenden

I didn't do this place justice when I posted my earlier review, last year. I've been back several times since I wrote that, and can vouch for the fact that it's an absolutely first rate pub - the hub of the community, with the feel of a real local, while at the same time being friendly and welcoming to non-locals, Good beer, good food, and a warm and comfortable feel; what more could you ask?
They've opened up an interesting and well presented function room in the old stables at the back, too.

5 Apr 2009 22:58

The Bull Inn, Linton

I tried it again a week or so back, and agree with rpadam that it's improved. A large part of the place is devoted to food, as tends to be the case these days, but the beer was in good nick (though Sheps would never be my first choice), and the atmosphere was lively and pleasant. Friendly and helpful service, too. And of course, with the summer months coming up, a fantastic view from the garden.

30 Mar 2009 18:54

The Good Intent, West Farleigh

This has everything in its favour to make it a great pub - a viilage gereen setting, with a unique view across the Medway valley to the North Downs. Unfortunately, like Farleigh green, which is a bit of a tip, the pub is a real let-down. The Harvey's was drinkable, and they did have the grace to tell me that someone had said the other cask beer tasted like vinegar - but not, apparently, the energy to change the barrel. If you're the kind of person who feels at home here, I can see that you'd quite like it: but it's not for me.

26 Mar 2009 13:04

The Kings Head, Staplehurst

I was impressed. They've made a few changes over the years, but the general feel of the place is still much the same as it was 30 years ago - a nice traditional low-beamed village local. The only addition I'm not wild about is the obligatory large screen TV, but even that can be almost completely ignored if you sit in the right place.
Shepherd Neame beer's not my favourite, but it was in excellent condition. They had a guest on, too - from Elgood's - which is pleasing to see in a Sheps pub. Unfortunately i noticed it too late to try it.
Well worth another visit.

26 Mar 2009 12:57

Mulberry Tree, Boughton Monchelsea

This is the pub formerly known as the Red House, which has survived strenuous attempts to obtain permission for change of use to residential accommodation. We all ought to support it, if only on these grounds, where so many other local pubs have foundered, but I must admit that I haven't been in yet. I believe it's more restaurant than pub now - but at least it's not a private house.

26 Feb 2009 22:11

The Rose Revived, Hadlow

The sign outside NOW claims that it is a friendly family pub (as opposed to a bar/restaurant as previously billed).
I went in to see if things had changed. Sadly, they hadn't.

19 Feb 2009 21:39

The Artichoke Inn, Hadlow

How can this pub have achieved a rating? It was closed 5 years before it appeared on this site!

19 Feb 2009 21:36

The Rose and Crown Hotel, Tonbridge

It's a hotel bar, not a pub. When I was there the bar area was dominated by large screen cricket, which (I suppose) is fine if you want to watch it , but obtrusive if you don't.
As stated in previous reviews, it's seriously expensive - �3.20 for GK IPA, �3,45 for Abbot. That said, both beers were in first class condition, though the former ran out halfway through the evening.
Not a place I'd choose to drink in, but not unpleasant if you have some reason to be there and can afford the prices.

17 Feb 2009 22:50

Kings Arms, Offham

Apleasant enough village local, which I visited a week or so back for the first time in ages. Pleasantly unaffected by change, a decent pint, and a nice fire. With all these plus points, I don't know why it just didn't grab me more. It's OK - I'd be happy to drink there any time, but on the basis of this one fleeting visit, I wouldn't make it a special port of call.

5 Feb 2009 21:40

Society Rooms, Maidstone

I'm not a regular frequenter of Wetherspoon's establishments, but was in here briefly with some friends the other night and found it quite a pleasant place for a couple of quick pints. Busy and noisy, as you'd expect on a friday night, but everything seemed well under control.

25 Jan 2009 14:43

The Elephant and Castle, Lewes

Busy and noisy as you might expect on a Saturday evening - but totally unthreatening - everything well under contol.
A good range of beers on, including an Old from King's of Horsham. Everything I tried was in first rate condition.
Altogether, a very favourable impression, despite it's not being what I would have expected to be my sort of pub. I shall certainly be back.

25 Jan 2009 14:39

The George and Dragon, Ightham

I think the answer to ThirstyMing's problem is that, sadly, there's not much call for cask beer in this place as it is now. The people who use the bar drink lager, and the ones in the restaurant drink wine. And the restaurant trade is certainly where the emphasis lies.
I haven't been in since I was there after a christening in the summer; they have a nice function room upstairs, did us very well, and the beer was OK - but it's not my sort of place for day to day drinking, I'm afraid. Pity - the building's an absolute classic.

13 Dec 2008 12:49

The White Hart, Wadhurst

Bog standard village local. Could be really nice - it's a great building - but in its present form, not my scene.

13 Dec 2008 12:36

The Greyhound, Wadhurst

I've always quite liked the Greyhound, so I was very disappointed the other night when I dropped in to find the place resembling a morgue. I don't mind a quiet pub - in fact I rather like it that way; but somehow the pub just had a dead feel about it. Admittedly it was quite early, and there were more people inside when I passed by later on, but with only one ale on (inevitably Harvey's) and the other 2 pump-clips turned round, I didn't feel encouraged to stay very long.Hope it was just a one-off, and the place is doing OK.

13 Dec 2008 12:33

The Barge Inn, Honeystreet

Great place - scruffy, eccentric, friendly, with good beer (as listed by previous reviewer), excellent value food, and a nice warm fire too. What more could you ask for?

12 Dec 2008 18:10

The Good Intent, Puttenham

Called in last week for our annual 'near-Christmas' visit. Still an absolutely cracking pub, I'm pleased to say. Warm, in atmosphere and in temperature, with a cheerful fire burning, good value food and - most important- a great selection of beers. In fact I caught the end of the barrel of Ringwood, but the Cornish Coaster was in first rate nick, and there were plenty more if you wanted something stronger, First rate; one of my all-time favourites.

10 Dec 2008 17:10

The Home Cottage, Redhill

Dropped in for some Winter Warmer recently - excellent.
The whole place seemed to have smartened itself up a bit since my last visit, and to be back to its old self - which in my opinion makes it a top place for a few relaxed beers. Warmly recommended.

10 Dec 2008 17:02

The Two Brewers, Hadlow

Sorry it,s me again.Just an update to the previous review.
When I wrote that, I had not visited the pub for several months. Called in again recently, and found it considerably improved. They've changed the layout somewhat, removed the partition between what were previously two separate bars, created a new dining area and made the place feel altogether warmer and more welcoming.
I went in hoping to find 'Old'; sadly it wasn't on, so I had some mild instead (being in a dark mood) and that was excellent. Hadlow and Best also on; Christmas Ale (8% plus!) due any day now. Even more worth trying than before.
PS I'm not the licensee, an employee or even a regular - it's not my fault if nobody else writes reviews of the place.

10 Dec 2008 16:57

The Nightingale, Balham

Paid an all too rare visit to The Nightingale last week. Topdog-andy's right - it's a damn fine pub. It's hard to see why Young's seem so intent on transforming places like this into soulless 'upmarket' eateries.
Not, in fact , that there are many places like this; the heart of the community, catering for a widely varied clientele, serving excellent beer (and, I gather, good food). It's hard to beat it. My only gripe is �3.15 for a pint of Winter Warmer - but that's a sign of the times, I suppose. And the Warmer was excellent.

24 Nov 2008 11:14

The Ivy House, Tonbridge

I'm told it's about to close down (may already have done so, in fact) presumably for the refurb that recent reviews (including mine) suggest that it badly needs.
Hope they don't do anything too drastic to it; it's s pub with real history, and major changes should not be undertaken lightly.

15 Nov 2008 12:21

The Chaser, Shipbourne

'Service could be quicker if the bar area wasn't clogged with folks sitting on stools'! Strangely enough, they're sitting on stools at the bar in order to enjoy a drink - which is what pubs used to be all about. But yes, come on, let's get rid of them. Perhaps they could take their offensive stools outside, and join the banished smokers.

5 Nov 2008 18:13

The Five Bells, Eynsford

A nice, traditional two bar local - quite a rarity these days.It has a comfortable, 'lived-in' feel (I suspect that's the same as what a previous reviewer calls 'tired and in need of a refurb - but I like it).
Three ales on when we were there -Harvey's, Taylor Landlord and another which I forget. A quiet, relaxed atmosphere,unspoilt by loud music or other diversions.Overall, if not a pub I'd go miles out of my way to visit, certainly one I'd be very happy to come back to if I found myself in the locality.

5 Nov 2008 11:00

The Castle Hotel, Eynsford

It's not a place I'd choose to frequent, but I have to say that on the basis of one rather fleeting visit, it didn't seem quite as bad as some of these reviews make it seem.
It does have a distict 'character' of its own; I'm not sure I like it, and I certainly can't define it - but the place definitely isn't the soulless clone that too many pubs have become.
On the plus side, it has a nice open fire, and the Spitfire was very good (though sadly the only cask beer availabe when we were there).
On the other side -very loud music.

5 Nov 2008 10:51

The Duke Of Wellington, Marylebone

I'd never been there before the make-over, so I can only judge it on its own terms (while agreeing to be saddened by the trend that its transformation represents).
On this basis, I have to say that I was very favourably impressed. The service was friendly and helpful, and, while admitting that nothing's cheap here, the beer, wine and food were all good. The atmosphere was much better than I'd feared - a surpisingly mixed clientele, with lots of people just in for a drink, denying the impression that this is now an entirely food-dominated establishment.
Not bad at all.

5 Nov 2008 10:40

The Cardinal, Victoria

It clearly takes all sorts! I was in the other night, and was thinking that I needed to upgrade my previous review. I'm with jonjames &ChrisP87; this is absolutely a 'top boozer', and I can only see any attempt to make it less 'scruffy and seedy' ruining the place. Leave it alone - it's great as it is.

5 Nov 2008 10:26

The Castle Inn, Brenchley

I like this place - a real old fashioned pub, with an interestingly mixed bunch of locals, and a particularly friendly landlord, of some years' standing. When I last visited, I was the only person in the place who wasn't a regular, but I wasn't made to feel in any way unwelcome or out of place - quite the contrary, in fact.
If, like me, you tend to look for an alternative to Harvey's (heresy, I know) the Adnams' was in good nick when I was there.

12 Oct 2008 14:54

The Woolpack, Benover

A very attractive pub on the Yalding-Horsmonden road. Done up a few years back, but not spoilt.The bigger bar (on your right as you go in) is mainly food orientated, but they've maintained a nice traditional feel in the other, smaller bar.
I've been in a couple of times over the last few months.I'm not a great fan of Sheps' beer, but it's been in respectable condition on both occasions. The food's quite good, too, but let down when we ate there by rather haphazard service, which was a pity.
Not top of my list, but I wouldn't put anyone off trying it.

12 Oct 2008 14:44

The Hesketh Arms, Southport

Just called in for a couple the other week when we were in Southport for a wedding. Having read the previous few reviews, I was expecting the worst,and was therefore delighted to find not only an attractive and pleasantly situated pub, but also attractive and pleasant young ladies behind the bar, who were prompt and efficient, and really left me nothing that I can think of to complain about!
We didn't eat there, but friends had done so the the previous night,and reported very favourably.

21 Sep 2008 16:40

The Bull Inn, West Malling

My first visit to The Bull since it was radically refurbed - I was amazed to learn that this was 5 years or more ago; time flies!
In its present incarnation it's a pleasant, relaxed drinkers' pub, run by a friendly and knowledgeable landlord. Youngs Ordinary in good nick, together with Goachers Dark (less frequently found than their Light) - and also the excellent Goachers Gold Star, which is worth travelling a long way to find (so long as you're not driving).
A really nice pub; it certainly won't be another 5 years before I'm back.

21 Sep 2008 16:27

Boars Head Inn, Crowborough

I had not visited The Boars Head for many years (not, I think, since the road past it was re-routed, which really dates me). I therefore feared the worst when I dropped in the other day, expecting to find the place changed beyond recognition, and, as is usually the case, all for the worse.
I was amazed and delighed to find that it was pretty well exactly as I had remembered it. The landlady seemed extremely pleasant, and the locals very civilised. The Harveys and the Adnms were both in good nick when we were there; we didn't sample the food, so I can't comment on that.
I shall certainly aim not to leave it so long before my next visit. Well worth finding your way off the main road for.

21 Sep 2008 16:17

The Bleeding Wolf, Scholar Green

Classic pre-war 'Brewer's Tudor' pub, with a really comfortable, lived in feel.The Robinson's beers appeared to be in fine nick when we were there, and the food was good value. Big garden outside if the weather's ever fine enough to use it.

21 Sep 2008 15:55

The Victoria, East Farleigh

It's quite nice, these days, to find a pub with separate and contrasting 'public' and 'saloon' bars, neither of which is a restaurant. Friendly landlord and locals; decent pint of Harvey's, though that was the only cask beer on when I was there. Worth a visit.

18 Aug 2008 19:05

The Bold Arms, Churchtown

It's a PUB, for god's sake, Pubs are where men in working clothes go to get a drink. If they stop being that, 'respectfully', they're not worth visiting.

13 Aug 2008 22:32

The White House, West Farleigh

In fact it's not all that little - far more spacious than it looks from outside. It certainly isn't your conventional 'country pub'. The decor is idiosyncratic to the point of eccentricity, though all in 'the best possible taste'!
I should have stuck to the Goacher's Light, but was lured into a pint of Silver Star - a mistake, as it had obviously been sitting around in the barrel for far too long.
All in all, though, it's a pub well worth a short detour, if only because it's something of a 'one-off'.
Doesn't open till 7, by the way.

5 Aug 2008 18:19

The Chequers, Loose

It's in a lovely situation, close to the stream running through a most picturesque village. I found the atmosphere fine, with pleasant and helpful staff - a top-up for a less than full pint was offered before I'd even noticed it was needed. And the garden's great, with comfortable seats instead of those horrible 'picnc sets'(as the Good Pub Guide insists on calling them).
All fine, then - except that the beer was awful. The T.Taylor Landlord had a curious taste which made me switch to London Pride for the next pint. I should have sent that back, but instead I made a swift exit. Pity; I hope it was a one-off; I'll try again some time.

5 Aug 2008 18:09

The Bull Inn, Ticehurst

Its first obvious attraction is its proximity to Bewl Water. This, combined with a lovely situation, an attractive old building and two pleasant and extensive gardens ought to make it a candidate for a top rating.
Sad to say, whenever I've been there over the years, it's failed to match up to its potential. The beer's OK, though nothing special, and the food was not as good as it should have been for the price last time I sampled it. The atmosphere somehow has something lacking.
It's not as bad as the current (4.5) rating suggests, but it could be so much better.

5 Aug 2008 17:59

The Gunmakers, Clerkenwell

I haven't visited the place yet, but I see from CAMRA literature that it's now managed by Jeff Bell, alias 'Stonch', lately of this parish. From the remarks below, I surmise that he took over between 28 May and 24 June!

5 Aug 2008 17:46

The Plough, Cock Marling

Only been here twice, and never eaten here - but on both visits the beer's been very good and the atmosphere pleasant and relaxed. I agree with the last comment about the pub's appearance; inside it's clean, attractive and well kept.
I don't know who's running the place - Dick and Babs, Martin and Peter, or someone else entirely; but on the strength of my limited experience, I'd say they're doing a pretty good job.

29 Jul 2008 18:26

The Great House, Gills Green

This used to be The Duke of Wellington until it was bought a few years back by the present owners, who are French, and renamed it( can't think why!).
It's definitely food orientated, and low on cask beers.It's Harveys or Harveys - though it's fair to say that in my limited experience the Harveys is good. I'm told the food's good too, but haven't tried it personally.
Pleasant enough, but not really my kind of place.

12 Jul 2008 11:53

The Rose Revived, Hadlow

Used to be a great pub - now it's not really a pub at all (as, to be fair,the sign outside makes clear).
Why do they do it? And why, if they're going to do it, can't they at least do it well?

7 Jul 2008 22:47

The Two Brewers, Hadlow

Harveys bought this place (formerly The Fiddling Monkey, before that The Albion) a few years back and remamed it The Two Brewers - themselves and the long defunct Kenwards, whose old brewery in Hadlow is now converted to flats. To mark the acquisition they renamed their 'cooking' bitter 'Hadlow'; apparently they've always bought hops from a local farmer.
I've been in a few times, They've made a real effort to produce a basic, traditional village pub, with no frills, and they've done quite well, though I found it a bit soulless. But it deserves support.

7 Jul 2008 22:41

The Artichoke Inn, Hadlow

The Artichoke has, sadly, been a private house for at least 5 years now - probably more. I don't know how the planning authorities operate; I had always been led to believe that to be granted change of use the onus was on the applicant to prove that the business was not viable. Few pubs in Kent were more viable than The Artichoke, but that didn't stop them, and now it's gone the way of so many others.

7 Jul 2008 22:25

The Royal Ship Hotel, Dolgellau

This is really a hotel bar, rather than a pub, and when the weather's fine most of the drinking gets done outside, where you have an entertaining view of the main town square.
The bar itself is small, but pleasant and comfortable. Good Robinsons Top Tipple and Unicorn.
The food here is particularly good, and not over-expensive. I believe the landlord has just taken over as tenant rather than manager,and the food side is his province. On the basis of our experience, he'll do very well.

26 Jun 2008 19:14

Unicorn Inn, Dolgellau

I was in a couple of times during a recent stay in Dolgellau, and on both occasions found the place completely dominated by the television. Indeed, on the first occasion TWO tellies were on, showing different programmes! Not surprisingly, there was hardly anyone inside the pub - what punters there were had wisely decided to drink outside, but when the weather's not so good, they presumably have to put up with it, or go elsewhere. I know what I'd do, and it's a pity, because, as a building, this could be the nicest pub in the town.

26 Jun 2008 19:04

Stag Inn, Dolgellau

It could be quite a nice pub, and maybe it is, but on the occasion I was there, the television, which was switched on so that someone could watch Emmerdale, completely took over. I felt sorry for the couple who were just starting their meal (it looked quite nice) about 3 feet from the large screen. This is a real problem in too many pubs now - not just in Dolgellau - and I don't know what can be done about it.

26 Jun 2008 18:55

The Cross Keys Inn, Dolgellau

A real traditional working men's boozer, probably the best in the town. It's basically a locals' pub, and largely Welsh speaking, but as an English speaking visitor I never felt intimidated, and the bar staff are particularly friendly. Only one cask beer on; Evan Evans Warrior, which at 4.6% is a bit strong for an evening's drinking (for me, anyway), but it was in good nick. As with all the pubs in Dolgellau, TV plays quite a part, but it doesn't dominate here, as it does elsewhere.

26 Jun 2008 18:49

The Cardinal, Victoria

I can't remember why I stopped using The Cardinal a few years back, but whatever the reason, I was delighted last night to find it back as it was about 20 years ago - a real, traditional London boozer, pleasantly dingy, with its marvellous dark ceiling giving it a slightly cavernous aspect. Sam Smith's beer at less than �2 a pint is a bonus - and not a negligible one, these days. I shall certainly be there more often, particularly now that The Buckingham's been ruined.

26 Jun 2008 18:39

The Buckingham Arms, Westminster

Yes - the last few reviews tell you the story. One of London's great pubs ruined for no obvious reason. The beer, which has in the past been unfailingly excellent, is now too cold; the refurb does nothing for the comfort or aesthetic pleasure of the punters; and worst of all is the appalling 'music'. An earlier reviewer refers to it as 'background music'; last night it was so loud I couldn't hear myself think. All very sad.

26 Jun 2008 18:31

The Harp, Old Radnor

Sorry to monopolise the contributions on this place - but that's not my fault!
Back again for a night last month. It's better than ever - one of the finest all-round pubs I know. Good beer (I was drinking Woods' Shropshire Lass), excellent and reasonably priced food. Absolutely faultless service - friendly, welcoming, helpful in every way - and friendly locals.
This pub now gets 10 from me, with no reservations. Absolutely first class.

19 Jun 2008 16:01

The Pump House, Hotwells

Marston's have spent a lot of money doing this place up. I'm not sure I really like the end product unreservedly, but on a sunny evening it's a nice place to sit outside, enjoying a pint of good Butcombe (or indeed anthing else you fancy). Cheerful service, pleasant atmosphere.

19 Jun 2008 15:53

The Nova Scotia, Bristol

I know this pub has a high reputation, and I've only been there once, so I make my comments with slight misgivings. Neverthelesss....
Dropped by on a lovely evening when everyone was drinking outside (great situation), and the pub itself was empty. Tried joining thye crowd outside, bur some moron was making that intolerable by playing hiphop (if that's what it was) at high volume. Retreated inside. It's exactly the kind of place I normally enjoy - pleasantly 'lived-in', slightly battered; but there was (different) quite loud music here too in the main part of the bar, and the bit that was quieter quite frankly smelt. I'm told empty pubs do, since the smoking ban, but this was too much.
Other than that, OK!

19 Jun 2008 15:47

The Bush, East Peckham

It's not closed; it's called The Bush, Blackbird and Thrush, and has a separate entry on this site under its full name.

26 May 2008 18:07

The Padwell Arms, Seal

Still operating happily enough last week, with a decent number of punters enjoying the early evening sun on the terrace outside, and, in my case at least, enjoying a particularly good drop of Larkin's.

26 May 2008 17:57

Turmeric Gold, Tudeley

Now an Indian restaurant.

24 May 2008 22:20

Queens Arms, Edenbridge

Elsie's? 'Cute'? Good grief....

16 May 2008 23:57

The Tally Ho, Knockholt

Very attractive situation, close to the less obvious attractions of downtown Biggin Hill. Friendly enough, but the extremely loud music would put me off drinking inside. But there's a large and pleasant garden area outside, and the beer was in immaculate condition (I confess to really enjoying GK IPA, especially when I'm very thirsty).

15 May 2008 14:40

The Rock, Chiddingstone Hoath

Since I suggested adding this pub, perhaps I'd better write a review. I was hoping others would comment first, since I've only been in once in the last year or so. The place seemed exactly as it's always been -very quiet when I was there, with just a few locals chatting amiably. The same old uneven brick floors, 'Ringing the Bull' still there (same old bull, or buffalo, or whatever it is).
The main difference from the old days was the beer. This is, as far as I know, Larkin's Brewery's only pub -more or less the brewery tap, simnce it's just down the road; so it's the place to go to sample the full range. The limited quantity I tried was in excellent nick.
Surrounded by lovely country, in a perfect setting - well worth a visit.

15 May 2008 14:30

The Beachcomber, Seaford

As previously mentioned, the location is terrific; apart from this, it's hard to think of any reason why you would visit this pub. That said, I found the Harvey's remarkably good, considering that this is to all appearances almost exclusively a lager drinkers' pub, and the bar staff were efficient and cheerful and didn't threaten to fight me or anyone else on the occasion I was there.
Sadly, I'm told that the place has, in fact, had its day, and is scheduled for demolition to make way for flats or an old people's home or something. That's the way the world's going - and the pubs are going with it.

6 May 2008 19:17

Counting House, Congleton

Come on, guys. The 4 of you have given this pub a rating higher than the top-rated establishment on the nationwide BITE list. If it's so good, tell us something about it. I'm not in Congleton very often, so I need to know these things if I'm not going to waste my valuable time.

4 May 2008 22:07

The Buckingham Arms, Westminster

I've never worn a suit and I've never felt out of place. Sorry to hear about the background music, though.

26 Apr 2008 18:45

The Rising Sun, Kemsing

I can put up with scruffiness and a pub being a bit run-down; I can tolerate a bit of dirt, in the right places. I don't even care all that much about the food.
But rudeness, and - centrally - poorly kept beer just make a pub a write-off in my book.
As so many people have said, this pub's setting ought to make it one of the gems of Kent. Until it sorts itself out, you'd be better off finding your way down the road to The Fox and Hounds at Romney Street, even if you need a map to do it.

23 Apr 2008 19:02

The Rose and Crown, Mayfield

I also had a very good meal here a few months back. There was a time when this was a really great pub, with an excellent range of beers, good food, and a flourishing clientele of local regulars. It would be nice to think that it's moving back in that direction,
When we were there, the only cask beer was Harvey's, in good nick - it would be nice to see a bit more choice available.
But the signs look promising.

10 Apr 2008 23:01

The Bell and Jorrocks, Frittenden

Happened to look in the other week when the place was packed to capacity for some folk music event. Still,they were coping admirably, the beer was good, and, though they made nonsense of Davidgeorge's comment below, the folkies were friendly, as well.
I'll go back again when it's quieter.

9 Apr 2008 18:46

The Ivy House, Tonbridge

This ought to be (and used to be) one of the nicest pubs in Tonbridge (though, frankly, the competition's not very hot),
Unfortunately, whenever I've looked in recently, the place seems to have a slightly run-down air - the sort of thing a lot of the previous comments draw attention to: scruffy hand-written labels on the pumps, long waits in the top bar, sometimes rather offhand service. Nothing much in themselves, but they add up.
Still, the Harvey's is still under �3.

9 Apr 2008 18:40

The Tudor Rose, Marylebone

Nothing special, but a pleasant enough place for a quiet pint. The Pride was OK when I was there, and I suppose I'll get used to paying �3.20 a pint...

9 Apr 2008 18:18

The New Inn, Salisbury

A couple of pints of Tanglefoot did not go down badly at all. Pleasant, comfortable relaxed atmosphere at lunchtime on my only visit - I liked the place.

6 Apr 2008 22:24

Royal Oak Inn, Staffhurst Wood

I feared the worst last time I was in, and found building work in progress in the 'public bar' area; now Campfire has confirmed my suspicions. I shall certainly look in again, when I'm in the area, to see the damage for myself - at least it means the pub's thriving and looking to expand, rather than closing down, like so many places. But it's a shame; that little bar was a gem.

6 Apr 2008 22:18

The Padwell Arms, Seal

HHGTTG seems to have cornered the market as far as comments on this pub are concerned - 8 out of the last 10 reviews. It's hard to see why he/she keeps coming back, since the bulk of the comments seem to amount to a prolongued moan about the declining state of the place under sundry changes of management. If I am to interpret the last, rather arcane, prediction correctly, HH expects the pub to stop trading within 6 months.
With this in mind, I visited the other day, for the first time in about 3 years, with some misgivings. It was admittedly quiet at lunchtime, but the beer was good, the service friendly, they were serving what looked and smelt like appetising meals, the fire was burning brightly, and there was no music, loud or otherwise. On this basis, I see no reason why it shouldn't still be thriving for the foreseeable future.

27 Mar 2008 16:19

The Lamb Inn, Eastbourne

I'm not often in Eastbourne, and not familiar with its pubs, but I must say I was very favourably impressed on a chance visit to The Lamb recently.
It's a great big pub, with several different drinking areas; the atmosphere seemed comfortable and relaxed in all of them.
The beer was excellent -Harvey's Hadlow, Best and Armada on when I was there.
Altogether somewhere I'd be pleased to visit again when the occasion arises.

27 Mar 2008 15:59

The Bell, Coxheath

It's now become 'The Spice Lounge'; I haven't been in, and probably never will - but it seems to be doing better business than it did either as The Bell or as Stocketts.
Should it still be on this site at all, though? We shan't know until someone who's actually been there posts a review.

7 Mar 2008 23:25

The Lamb, Bloomsbury

Really? Seems improbable.

3 Mar 2008 18:58

Bush, Blackbird and Thrush, East Peckham

Glad to see that this pub's now appeared under its full title.

I called in last year, mainly because someone had told me the place had closed down. Nothing could be further from the truth - it's a thriving village local, providing, to all appearances, just what its varied clientele want from a pub - good beer, good food, and a pleasant, relaxed atmosphere in which conversation thrives.
It's a nice surprise in this part of the world to go into a pub and find a lively game of darts in progress. Nice too to see a few old faces surviving from the time, a good few years ago, when I used this pub a lot more regularly.
Well worth finding.

26 Feb 2008 19:14

The Kings Head, Bessels Green

I must apologise for failing to close my brackets at least twice in my previous review (25 Jan. 2008 : close brackets). My only excuse can be an excess of the good Young's at the King's Head.

14 Feb 2008 22:03

The Swan, Maidstone

Basically a locals' pub but I've always found it friendly and welcoming. Though I'm not a great Sheps' fan, the beer is exceptionally well kept here' and you get the interesting seasonal beers not to be found widely. Worth a stop-off.

14 Feb 2008 21:55

The Beacon Hotel, Langton Green

The current average rating for this pub is absurdly low. Whatever faults it may have (and there are some, to judge by the comments below) no pub which serves T.Taylor Landlord in such immaculate condition, at a not over-exorbitant price for the area, can possibly rate only 4.5. Add to that the outstanding situation, with its amazing views, together with what has always seemed to me to be friendly and helpful service ( notwithstanding the comments by SADE87 below) and you're looking at something considerably higher.
I'm sorry it's become even more food focussed - but that's the way things are going, I fear.

14 Feb 2008 21:45

The White Hart, Claygate

A real pub. The owners used to run the Bull in East Farleigh (which plunged into the abyss when they left) and in the few years they've been at The White Hart they've continued the good work; it has a real old fashioned public bar at the front, a little 'saloon' behind, and a sizeable restaurant doing good value food.
Strong support for local Goachers - light and dark were both on last time I was there - also Sheps: all well kept on every occasion I've sampled them. Real fires in the winter, and a big garden for warmer weather.
A genuine pub, of which there are fewer and fewer left in this part of the world. Well worth seeking out.

7 Feb 2008 23:01

The Five Bells, Seal

This pub has been through a lot of changes over the last 20 years or so. I used to go there quite a bit in the mid 80's, when it was pretty much my idea of the perfect village local - good beer, great landlord, interesting social mix of regulars, a nice little open fire and a meat raffle on Fridays.
Since then it seemed to be under different management every time I called, and went from bad to worse, so I had no plans to go back until I noticed the other day that Sheps had acquired it, and I thought I'd see what changes they'd made.
Excellent. They've opened up the fireplace, which some fool had blocked off; there's no longer ear splitting music (none at all when I was there). The layout's been altered to give a more roomy feel in what is a tiny pub. I don't know if they're doing food, but they're certainly not making it the number one priority, This has again become a really nice village local, and though I'm not much of a Sheps fan, I hope to be able to up my rating after another visit, which will be before long. Keep up the good work.

29 Jan 2008 13:22

The Eagle, Cambridge

Theologians, eh? Crick and Watson? Well, maybe, after a few pints of Abbot....

25 Jan 2008 23:37

The Kings Head, Bessels Green

If you go here on Sunday lunchtime you will find that, like probably the majority of pubs in this part of the world, most of the punters are there to eat; but to suggest, on this basis, that this is not a real pub is simply misleading.
The little bar in the middle has a real traditional public bar feel (though , being Sevenoaks, you won't find many heavy industrial workers or mud-shod sons of the soil drinking there at any given time). The restaurant to the left is, indeed, a restaurant. The other bar, on your right, has tables at which you can eat(as many cutomers do, from quite an interesting, though not inexpensive menu. It also, however, has a bar-billiards table, which you won't find in a lot of restaurants; and at present, regrettably, a large-screen T.V. showing, when I was there, some obscure African football tournament, in which, to their credit, none of those present seemed to have the least interest.
The beer (Adnams, Youngs, Sheps) was excellent (the Youngs, anyway - I didn't try the others, though not cheap.
This place deserves massive credit for bucking the trend and reverting from a period as a rather second rate restaurant to being again a real pub, despite previous opinions to the contrary.

25 Jan 2008 23:20

The Nightingale, Balham

I assume the two previous comments relate to Lucius (or is it Feargal?) Both have been present every time I've been to the Nightingale, and I must say I think the place would be the poorer without them. Come on, JohnB; you say say yourself that this is one of a 'rapidly diminishing breed' of traditional pubs; weren't dogs always part of the mix?

4 Jan 2008 16:42

The Lobster Pot, West Malling

This pub seems to vary considerably from visit to visit. Called in last summer and thought it was pretty awful, with a poor range of beers and a rather unpleasant atmosphere. Several more recent visits, however, have been much more favourable. The wide and regularly changing beer range is back to what it was like a year or two ago, with some quite unusual offerings, and the atmosphere is that of a well used and thriving drinkers' local. I shall certainly be back.
PS No food at present; doesn't bother me but some people will want to know.

4 Jan 2008 16:32

The Harp, Old Radnor

I gave this pub a rating of 9; I note that on the basis of a second rating its average score is now 6.5, which means that the other user must have given it 4.
It's a pity they couldn't be bothered to say why they thought so poorly of the place, in view of the wide discrepancy between our views; I should be interested, for example, to know whether there have been major changes for the worse since we stayed there earlier in the year.

29 Oct 2007 21:51

The Red Lion, Snargate

CJG says marshman should 'celebrate difference' - but in fact I think that's what he's trying to do. I happen to agree with the majority; I love this pub, and would not want to change a thing about it. But I completely respect the right of marshman or anybody else not to find it to their taste, and in fact I'm glad there are people who feel like him. The world, and pubs, would be pretty dull if everybody liked the same thing.
But please don't change the Red Lion.

14 Oct 2007 12:47

The Bluebell, Smallwood

An attractive pub, way out in the country, though not far from Congleton, from where we reached it via a pleasant walk on good footpaths. Reasonably priced food and decent beer; child- friendly (but don't let that put you off!).

24 Sep 2007 22:29

The Harp, Old Radnor

This pub must have one of the most beautiful situations of any in Britain, at the top of a steep hill, in a little dead-end road next to the church, with an attractive green falling away in front, giving the most stunning views.
We stayed there for a night earlier in the year, in a comfortable and reasonably priced room. The welcome could not have been warmer, and we were well fed in the attractive, traditional bar, with excellent beer on tap, including local Three Tuns from Bishops Castle.
Lots of tourists like us, obviously, but a good crowd of locals too, and altogether a really warm and friendly atmosphere. Excellent.

24 Sep 2007 22:21

The Moat, Wrotham Heath

I'm very happy to be corrected, but I believe this is one of only two Hall & Woodhouse pubs in Kent (the other, The Hopbine at Petteridge, they inherited when they took over K & B).
They've really gone to town on this place, completely gutting what was a fairly moribund establishment, and refurbing it as one of these giant eateries which seem to be springing up all over the place.
I don't like it - but at least for the time being it's saved the place from becoming a housing estate, and to be fair, if you do like this sort of place, it's been done with quite good taste. But not for me.

24 Sep 2007 18:52

The Cock Inn, Luddesdowne

I don't know what it is - I've been in this very highly regarded pub a good few times now, and I just can't really warm to it.
The beer's good, it's not unfriendly, the (admittedly limited) food I've had there's been OK- so what is? Maybe a bit cliquey? Perhaps, but that's something you only complain about when you're not one of the clique. So it remains a mystery, and fortunately I seem to be in a minority of one. So good luck to the place.

24 Sep 2007 18:43

The Golden Lion, Luddesdowne

This place has one of the most picturesque settings you could ask for. It's not a bad pub, but it could make so much more of itself. I don't know it well, but with some money spent on improving the interior and a bit of imagination in all directions, it could be on of the gems of Kent; as it is, it's ordinary.

24 Sep 2007 18:36

The Egerton Arms, Astbury

A deservedly popular pub, serving a varied clientele from all around. Good Robinson's beer, good reasonably priced food.

24 Sep 2007 18:30

The Golding Hop, Plaxtol

Difficult to find if you don't know the area, but well worth the effort - this pub is a classic, and one of the most attractively situated in Kent. I'm delighted to report that it doesn't seem to have changed much in 40 years, apart from the telly in the bar. Beer's still served direct from the barrel, the landlord's still as laconic as ever (though it can't be the same guy as was there 40 years ago, surely?).
Altogether, one of the few real pubs still around; get there quickly, before it disappears like the rest.

24 Sep 2007 18:26

The Dovecote, Capel

I hadn't visited The Dovecote for some time before a couple of visits earlier this year. I don't know why - I think it was a local Camra pub of the year a few years back , and deservedly so. The beer range is extensive, and includes some unusual ales for the area; I had some absolutely first rate Ringwood on both my visits.
I've eaten there very well in the past, and judging by what kept appearing from the kitchen, the standard's being maintained.
Entertaining bar staff, and quite original live music too, from time to time, if that's your thing.

24 Sep 2007 18:17

The Fox, Maidstone

A good, honest, down to earth local in a residential area on the outskirts of town. There's nothing glamorous about it, but it serves good beer, and it serves its community. In other words, it's basically what being a pub's all about.

24 Sep 2007 18:04

The Bush, East Peckham

This pub's actually called The Bush, Blackbird and Thrush. I called in not long ago, mainly because someone had told me the place had closed. Nothing could be further from the truth - it's a thriving village local, providing, to all appearances, just what its varied clientele want from a pub - good beer, good food and a pleasant,relaxed atmosphere in which conversation thrives.
It's a nice surprise in this part of the world to go into a pub and find a lively game of darts in progress. Nice too to see a few old faces surviving from the time, a good few years ago, when I used to use this pub a lot more regularly.
Well worth finding.

24 Sep 2007 17:55

The Cottage Inn, Bristol

Its situation is undoubtedly this pub's main selling point. To sit outside with a pint on a fine day watching the constantly changing view across the floating harbour is a very pleasant way to spend some time.
The beer's OK, the service is friendly and efficient enough; I haven't tried the food, so I can't comment on that.

24 Sep 2007 16:44

The Three Chimneys, Biddenden

Called in the other day for the first time in some years. Physically it's pretty much as it was in the days of Ted and Grace, except that they've knocked a little gap next to the bar between the public and saloon. The barrels are still ranged behind the bar - no Fremlins now of course, but very acceptable Adnams'. In terms of atmosphere, we were in very early, so it's hard to judge - but the place seemed to have been 'tidied up': all the assorted business cards, dog-eared photos and drawings, including the old 'Pheasant Pluckers' record sleeve - all gone, and somehow the place seemed to have lost a bit of its soul, But maybe if I'd gone in later it would have been different; the dartboard's still there, and it's still one of the most perfect public bars I know anywhere.

24 Sep 2007 11:22

The Fighting Cocks, Horton Kirby

A fairly run of the mill village local, though I didn't visit at a suitable time to experience the garden, which seems to be one of the pubs biggest attractions.
The Millis Kent Red was a bit tired (not selling quickly enough?) but the Harvey's was fine. I didn't sample the controversial food.
Would be quite happy to call again, but I wouldn't go out of my way to do so.

23 Sep 2007 18:47

The Blue Bell Inn, Beltring

Yes it is OPEN; I eventually got round to dropping in a week or two back.
This place has been done over so many times in the past that if you haven't been there recently it's hard to know what the latest changes are. It's certainly better than it was last time I was there (whenever that was) - but it's nothing like the true classic that it used to be many years back before they started mucking about with it at all. Some bits are genuinely old, but in trying to make the whole place look 'traditional', they've actually succeeded in making it all look fake.
Unfortunately my brief visit was marred by the dominance of the conversation at the bar by a particularly loud- and foulmouthed youth. Otherwise not a lot to say, except that I can't see why anyone should choose to drink here when The Chequers at Laddingford's a mile down the road.

23 Sep 2007 18:38

The Ship Inn, East Grinstead

I like this pub; it's pretty much the way Young's pubs used to be before they started doing wholesale makeovers (though they used generally to be free of piped music, which I can do without).
The service was friendly and efficient, the beer absolutely excellent.As for prices, �2.50 for a pint of Ordinary is, if anything, on the cheap side these days, sad to say (I've more recently been charged elsewhere �3.00 a pint for Harvey's).
I'd certainly visit The Ship again if I was in the area.

23 Sep 2007 18:25

The Swan, Wittersham

I guess it was voted local Camra pub of the year because of the wide range of ales. The Titanic Iceberg I had was cloudy but tasted OK; I suspect, though, that the turnover's not as quick as it might be - everybody else in the pub appeared to be drinking lager.
The welcome at the bar was friendly enough, but both the interior and the outside drinking area seemed rather bleak and cheerless, and as for the clientele, I have rarely encountered a more weird and scary bunch. I was quite grateful to drink up and make a safe getaway.

23 Sep 2007 18:15

The Swan, Edenbridge

Pleasant enough, but nothing out of the ordinary. Friendly bar staff and good beer - but very expensive.

23 Sep 2007 18:06

The Long Hop, Meopham Green

To avoid confusion; The Cricketers, Meopham Green, is not 'another pub nearby' (see above); it's The Long Hop under its old name.
Unless it's improved by a quantum leap since I was last there, its present rating, under either name, is ludicrously high - but of course it may have done so.

16 Sep 2007 18:00

The Lion, Clifton

Why does nobody who really knows this pub write a review of it?
In their absence, I'll have to do my best. Only been there once, towards the end of a pleasant evening early in the summer. There was quite a good Irish singer/guitarist doing his stuff for a small but appreciative audience. The atmosphere, to a complete stranger, seemed quite friendly, the beer was OK, and, in general, we spent a pleasant enough hour or so there. I'm not sure I'd go too far out of my way for another visit, but I certainly wouldn't want to put anybody off.

28 Aug 2007 19:08

The Buckingham Arms, Westminster

I was in early on Saturday evening and checked on Lovesong's comment re Sat. closing; I was assured that they are OPEN as always on Sat. evenings.
As usual whenever I go into The Buckingham I felt that this is one of the great pubs. Early on a blisteringly hot and humid evening, it was an oasis of cool peace, with people quietly going about their business and, principally, enjoying pints of beer in absolutely 100% excellent condition. I love this pub.

26 Aug 2007 11:57

The Ostrich Hotel, Robertsbridge

Visited again last week - sadly disappointed. Fuller's L.Pride close to undrinkable; Harvey's opaque. First time I've had bad beer here - hope it was just a one-off. As intimated below, this is a pub I've always had a lot of time for. I'll certainly try again, but with some misgivings.

23 Aug 2007 18:59

The Cock Inn, Boughton Monchelsea

The Cock continues to maintain a high standard of excellence; it's by some margin the best pub I know in the immediate vicinity of Maidstone.
The Young's beer remains superb; to my taste it's sometimes on the cold side during the summer months, but I've very rarely had a pint that wasn't in immaculate condition.
The service is efficient and friendly; it's great, in a pub like this, to find the landlord/landlady (and often both) so often behind the bar.
Absolutely first rate.

5 Aug 2007 18:42

The Havelock Tavern, Kensington

It may show them little respect, but it doesn't stop them coming in, does it?
It's a long time since I was in the Havelock, but I always quite liked the place, and my main complaint was that it was always touch and go as to whether you'd get a seat.
I don't know how much it's changed since the fire, but if I was in the neighbourhood I'd think it worth a small detour to find out.

5 Aug 2007 16:07

White Horse Inn, Moretonhampstead

I'm not sure about the last comment. The first problem I found had to be overcome was how to get into the place. Having gained entry I had to make my way past assorted builders' gear to get into the bar where I was confronted by a set-up apparently either left over from or ready to accommodate live music (it was about mid-day).
At this point I decided this wasn't the place for me, and without sampling either beer or food I retreated to the Union up the road.
Perhaps I'll give it another try next time I'm in the area.

5 Aug 2007 15:27

The Union Inn, Moretonhampstead

On brief acquaintance, this seemed to be the pick of Moretonhampstead's pubs. Friendly locals and a pleasant, relaxed atmosphere, which was only enhanced by the landlord's apparent potential for explosion at any moment; he seems to be a real character, the kind more pubs need.
A good range of beers; The Butcombe that I drank was in first rate nick. I didn't eat there, but on my second visit, large numbers of people were doing so with apparent relish.
I'll certainly call again if I'm in the area.

5 Aug 2007 15:16

The Bell, Moretonhampstead

Seemed a pleasant enough place, especially on a rare fine morning, with the sun streaming in at the open door.
The landlady was helpful and chatty, and the Dartmoor best, as mentioned below, was excellent.
The only negative was the somewhat racist conversation of the few locals who were in, but you can't really bear that against the pub.

5 Aug 2007 15:04

The White Hart, Sevenoaks

My first reaction was one of shocked amazement at the transformation of what used to be a nice old fashioned traditional pub into yet another of these overdesigned highly polished bar/restaurants. I don't like them, and there's too much of it going on all over this part of the country (and probably everywhere else).
All that said, the Adnams' was in excellent condition, the food was OK, and not vastly overpriced, and as for the manager, about whom such differing views have been expressed, I just couldn't fault him; he went out of his way to be helpful, was friendly, courteous and attentive without being obsequious. It's just a pity he's running this place and not a decent pub.

21 Jul 2007 11:17

The Chequers, Walton On The Hill

One anonymous poster says they've messed up the front bar; another one says they've left it unchanged. Very odd - I shall have make a trip round the M25 and decide for myself.

19 Jul 2007 22:11

The Chequers, Farningham

A genuine drinkers' pub. There were at least 8 cask beers on tap when I was in, including the outstanding and rarely found Goacher's Gold Star, at quite a reasonable price and in top class nick.
The pub itself is pleasantly shabby with an excellent display of plastic hops above the bar and round the top of the walls, which are adorned with the aforementioned murals, all in the best possible taste.
When I was there, the pub was pleasantly busy, but the unseasonal burst of fine weather, together presumably with the smoking ban, meant that there was plenty of room to find a seat inside, undisturbed, I'm pleased to say, by intrusive loud music.The young ladies behind the bar were delightful and their grasp of English appeared flawless.
An excellent establishment, well worth a visit.

9 Jul 2007 22:56

The William IV, Bletchingley

KITCHEN, you were there on June 1st, or shortly before. An excess of Young's is clearly affecting your memory'

9 Jul 2007 20:57

The Chequers, Laddingford

6 postings in nearly 2 years up till the end of April'07 - then 13 in a single month, all glowing.
What is it that makes me suspect that the 'community' this pub is (rightly) so famous for serving have got together over this one? Could it be that none of the contributors from brianhogg to janpan (inclusive) have posted anything before or since?
Don't get me wrong; it's a good pub, and I've no reason to take issue with any of the foregoing comments - but I couldn't help wondering....

4 Jul 2007 17:34

The Eagle, Cambridge

There was a time when I wouldn't have dreamt of visiting Cambridge without a few pints at The Eagle; bugger Crick and Watson, Clive James (and even the Rev. James) - it was just one of the greatest pubs in the world.
The refit may be sympathetic -it probably is -but it's not the same place now, and ,like Lord Radlington, these days if I'm in the middle of town, I tend to take a 5 minute walk to The Champion.

1 Jul 2007 22:09

The First and Last, Maidstone

Inspired by the comments below, I dropped in for the first time in years. The refurb is indeed impressive - they've smartened the place up but managed to keep the feel of a real traditional boozer, which is basically what this place is.
The TT Landlord was good but not cheap; the atmosphere was relaxed and in keeping. I just wish that like so many places they didn't feel the need to play the music so loud (or to play it at all, in fact).

18 Jun 2007 18:00

The Greencoat Boy, Victoria

Had a pleasant few pints in here a bit back, after discovering that The Cardinal wasn't a place we wanted to drink in any more. Nothing special, but decent beer, and a cheerful atmosphere. Wouldn't object at all if someone suggested meeting there for a jar or two.

17 Jun 2007 22:31

The Lamb, Bloomsbury

I continue to love this place and everything about it. I've never had a bad pint in 20 years, I've never encountered rude or incompetent service; I've never eaten there, so I've never felt overcharged for food.
So I've been lucky, and it's still my favourite pub in London.

14 Jun 2007 19:04

The Wenlock Arms, Hoxton

I don't know about 'dive', though it's certainly shabby, and I can't see any reason why this should stop it being a great backstreet boozer. Whether or not it is I don't feel qualified to say yet; this was my first visit to the Wenlock. The beer range is terrific, and the one I sampled was in excellent nick.The atmosphere's relaxed and friendly, the clientele pleasantly mixed. If I lived nearer I'd certainly be back soon; as it is, I'll have to suspend a more substantive judgment till I can make it to the area again. But all the omens look good; a 'real pub' it certainly is.

14 Jun 2007 18:55

The William IV, Bletchingley

It seems to me that KITCHEN's being a bit hard on them for having one night off from providing food! I can think of more than one comparable pub which is closed altogether one day a week. Running a pub's a demanding business - give them a break.

14 Jun 2007 18:30

The Beartown Tap, Congleton

Back again the other week, and pleased to report that the Tap's unfailingly high standards seem to be being maintained.An absolutely top class establishment, and I'm pleased to see now getting an average rating closer to what it deserves.

13 Jun 2007 22:59

The Merchants Arms, Hotwells

I'm afraid JoanCrawford's reassurance (4.1.07) regarding the telly was a bit too sanguine, for my taste, at any rate.
I was in The Merchants the other evening, and found one side of the front bar entirely occupied by one punter,watching some fairly obscure sporting event on the (rather loud) box.
He was probably a regular, and I'm not - and as I said before, there's plenty of room at the back to get away from it; but as far as I'm concerned it does detract from the charm of what could be a near perfect pub.
The beer certainly remains excellent.

13 Jun 2007 22:50

The Iron Duke, Victoria station

Absolutely no reason to drink here unless you need a pint badly and it's only a few minutes before your train leaves. The last pint I had there was more or less undrinkable, but I drank it anyway...
Not recommended.

29 Apr 2007 22:36

Bear Hotel, Cowbridge

It's almost exactly a year since I was last in The Bear. It's a good, traditional style hotel, with several varied drinking areas, a decent pint, and very acceptable food. The place has a warm, friendly atmosphere.

24 Apr 2007 19:01

The Pepper Box Inn, Ulcombe

Prior to last week, it had been several years since I was in The Pepperbox - can't think why, as it lives up to everything the previous comments say about it (though I didn't eat there, so I can't comment on the food).
Marvellous location; great atmosphere (busy but peaceful, dominated by quiet conversation); friendly, helpful service; good beer (and I'm not a great Sheps' fan, in normal circumstances). Altogether first-rate; I shall certainly be back.
(By the way, just for the sake of accuracy, the pub's high on the greensand ridge, not the downs.)

24 Apr 2007 14:51

The Blue Bell Inn, Beltring

It was open tonight when I drove past. Will stop next time I'm in the area and see what's going on.

18 Apr 2007 22:56

The William IV, Bletchingley

Dropped in for the first time the other week, and was favourably impressed. A quiet, relaxed atmosphere; one bar seemed to be mainly occupied by locals, but the general feel was friendly and welcoming, the bar staff were efficient and cheerful, and the beer was excellent.
Unlike some people ,I'm perfectly happy to drink Bedfordshire Young's, especially when it's as well kept as this. I hope to be back for more.

13 Apr 2007 22:27

The Home Cottage, Redhill

A longtime favourite of mine - for some reason it had been ages since I looked in. Chose a bad time to revisit - after work on the evening before the Easter holiday, and a warm afternoon to boot. The place was heaving: it was almost impossible to get to the bar, and when you did it took an age to get served. But that was my fault, for bad timing.
I'm still very fond of this place; I like the wide mix of people you always seem to get here, and I've never had a bad pint in 20 years. I don't know what the food's like these days - they used to do a mean burger and chips in the days when Eugene (later of the Buckingham Arms) was in charge.
I shall certainly be back.

13 Apr 2007 22:20

The Chequers Inn, Ightham

Pleasant,straightforward village pub - no gimmicks, but a comfortable relaxed atmosphere and a decent pint. Nothing special, but you could do a hell of a lot worse.

11 Apr 2007 22:01

The Bull, Otford

Had lunch here last Saturday; easy enough to get a table if you arrived early, but packed solid by the time we left.
It's a very attractive old pub - mostly genuinely old, with some later add-ons. An interesting selection of cask beers; food fairly standard pub grub, but well done, and not unreasonably priced.
My gripe about food-oriented chain-pubs like this is that you really do get the sense that it's a business operation, rather than a traditional pub. So the bar service, while unfailingly polite and efficient, was also entirely impersonal. I suppose if you got there in time to bag a table, and then just sat and drank they wouldn't complain, but you get the feeling that it's just not what this place is all about - on a weekend lunchtime, anyway.
Interesting to compare it with, say, The Cock at Boughton Monchelsea (not a million miles away) - architecturally similar, also doing a cracking food trade, but still absolutely a pub, with an ever-present landlord and landlady.

21 Mar 2007 18:25

The Lamb Inn, Wartling

Lawhouse's review merely confirms what Sussex, Hastings and I have said in the 3 previous postings: it's a restaurant, and if you're not eating, they're not interested in you.

15 Mar 2007 21:39

The Three Chimneys, Biddenden

I assume this strange entry refers to The THREE Chimneys (named, apparently, in the time of the Napoleonic wars when French POWs, detained at nearby Sissinghurst Castle , were allowed as exercise to walk as far as the meeting of the 3 roads (les trois chemins, rather than cheminees).
I used to go there a lot, but haven't visited recently enough to give a review of any value. It was one of Kent's great pubs - maybe still is.

12 Mar 2007 18:13

The Horseshoes, East Farleigh

The last time I visited The Horseshoes, many years ago , it was a little old, pretty basic country boozer of a kind that is, sadly, all but extinct, in this part of the world anyway.
What a transformation! M & B have really gone to town with this refurb, and while I have to admit that what they've turned it into isn't really my kind of place, I'll also have to admit that it's all been done very tastefully, and with some style, combining the traditional (eg several real open fires) with the contemporary (the furniture and decor).It's much better done than the ersatz 'cottage' style (books on shelves, assorted clutter, etc) that too often seems to be the style of choice for modern pub designers.
If they can fill it, they'll see their money back OK, because it's huge. I'd have thought it was a bit of a gamble in this location - but good luck to them; at least they've kept the old place alive.
I didn't try the food, which of course is the main thing here, but the prices looked reasonable, at least. The only cask beer was T. Taylor Landlord, which was expensive but excellent.

11 Mar 2007 18:41

The Vigo Inn, Vigo

...closed at present for structural repairs. After that its future is uncertain, which makes it all the more important that, if and when the Vigo does reopen, anyone who cares about pubs should go out of their way to visit what is one of the truly great classics in Kent.

23 Feb 2007 17:25

The Rose and Crown, Tunbridge Wells

Over the years I've been in the habit of dropping in here if I happened to be in T. Wells around lunchtime, and in the mood for a bite and a pint.
I must say I'm quite amazed at some of the foregoing comments. I've never felt in the least unwelcome or intimidated , either by the staff or the locals. The beer's always been excellent, and as far as I can recall, quite varied as to what was on offer. And they do a mean toastie at bargain prices.
Don't be put off; this is a real pub - give it a crack.

20 Feb 2007 17:13

The Stile Bridge Inn, Marden

This isn't really my kind of pub; it even calls itself a Bar/Restaurant, which would normally make me run a mile. I have to confess that for me, pubs are first and foremost about drinking - good food, if available, is an attractive, but optional, extra.
However, having had 2 really first-class meals at the Stilebridge over the course of the last year, it seems only fair to suggest it and see what other posters think.The last, in early December last year, included a truly memorable starter of kidneys, followed by what is probably the best cooked pheasant I have ever eaten.
The layout and decor isn't particularly to my taste; the cask beer selection was limited and expensive, though very drinkable.But the food's good.

20 Feb 2007 16:33

Royal Oak Inn, Staffhurst Wood

No, I have to disagree with Anotherpint.. ; to call the Royal Oak 'a restaurant with a bar attached' gives a quite false impression . There are plenty of this species about - too many, in fact; and if I didn't already know the Royal Oak, this description would seriously put me off visiting it.
So let me stress -this is a genuine PUB, with what I believe is a very good restaurant attached. For some of us -me included, as I said in my previous review about a year ago - the principal appeal of this place is the totally unspoilt 'public' bar, to your right as you go in, regarding which Anotherpint's review would be totally misleading.
I'm glad to hear the beer remains good; I've always found it excellent, too.

12 Feb 2007 16:03

The Wheatsheaf, Rumbolds Hill

Drinking Magner's - whatever the price - is not reasonable, but lots of people still do it.
(Sorry, this has nothing to do with The Wheatsheaf, which I have never visited, but which I'm sure is delightful - even more so when VIC CRACKNELL is performing live there, as he so regularly does.)

7 Feb 2007 16:06

The Chaser, Shipbourne

Well,I finally got round to visiting this much hyped establishment in its present incarnation -I've had a passing acquaintance with it, over the years, in a number of varying guises.
I can't say that there's much wrong with it - it's just that it's a style that leaves me cold - literally, in fact, today, since the place was packed, and the only way to get a seat was to go into the garden. And that's nice enough; even nicer in the summer when Shipbourne green's a mass of wild flowers. But it wasn't what I was looking for today, when what I wanted was a couple of nice lunchtime pints in a congenial atmosphere. And no food.
That's the trouble, because when it comes down to it, food's what they do here, and there's not a lot of space for non-eaters (though I have to say that the beer was in first-rate nick).
But all in all I was grateful to move on a few miles up the road to a real pub atmosphere at The Old House.

4 Feb 2007 22:23

The Nightingale, Balham

My favourite pub in this part of the world (though I haven't yet tried The Grove since its refurb).
The Nightingale always has friendly and welcoming feel,and the beer's good. A real pub, and a great community local.

30 Jan 2007 18:23

The County Arms, Wandsworth Common

It was never a great pub, but at least it WAS a pub, and felt like a pub, and I've enjoyed many a pint of decent mixed in what used to be a rather cosy little section between the big front bar and what used to be the 'food' section at the back.
But why reminisce? It's all changed now, and as the last 2 contributors have pointed out, the emphasis is on food now, and the atmosphere's gone (for better or worse).

30 Jan 2007 18:15

The Rising Sun, Kemsing

I was interested to read DavidCook's comments. It's more than a year since I was in The Rising Sun, so I'd abstained from commenting before, on the grounds that things might have changed for the better since I was last there. Certainly some of the very favourable reviews it's had would make you think so.
But in view of DavidCook's comments, I have to say that they reflect pretty accurately my impressions on my last few visits.
It's a pub I've known more or less forever - I go way back to before any of the extensions were done, and you entered down a little passage with the serving hatch at the end and the 2 bars on either side - the one on the left with the big fire.
Over the years I've kept going back, but I must say that in recent times I've been depressed by the run down and rather scruffy atmosphere of the place, and some fairly indifferent beer and food.
I hope this is inaccurate, and that next time I'll find it's as good as some of these glowing write-ups suggest - but I'm not over-optimistic.

24 Jan 2007 22:37

The Malt Shovel, Dartford

It seems that some posters on this site are obsessed by the allegedly high prices charged in Young's pubs. Like Pigpen, I am a great fan of Young's (yes, even since the move to Bedford) and drink in many of their establishments. I can't say I've ever found their prices markedly different from the norm in London and the Southeast. I was charged �2.90 for (very ordinary) Harvey's in Sussex the other week; I can drink excellent Goacher's for �2.00 if I go to the right place. Young's are normally somewhere between the two.
I like The Malt Shovel very much, especially the little front public bar - but I haven't been there for some time, so my information may be out of date.

24 Jan 2007 19:03

The Bell, Coxheath

This place is no longer called 'The Bell', but is now a bar/restaurant known as 'Stocketts'. I haven't been inside, but it seems to be doing fairly good business, judging by the number of cars in the car-park.
It certainly looks less run-down than it did towards the end of its time as 'The Bell'.

24 Jan 2007 18:49

The Puzzle, Westminster

Ziggy66 - try The Royal Oak in Regency St. It's only a few 100 yards away. You may not like that either of course, but I think it's OK.

11 Jan 2007 16:28

The Merchants Arms, Hotwells

Old bloke-ish suits me, Joan - and thanks for the reassurance concerning the telly.
I shall return...

4 Jan 2007 22:26

The Two Doves, Bromley

This is an absolutely excellent pub. Anywhere with a sign on the door banning vests gets off to a good start with me, and this place doesn't let you down. A warm, quiet, friendly atmosphere, Young's in absolutely first-rate order, and delicious, fresh rolls under a plastic cover on the bar counter (or made to order). This is how things used to be, and how things ought to be.

21 Dec 2006 11:55

The Partridge, Bromley

Over the years, I've been a regular , if infrequent, visitor to this place, mainly as a handy stopping-off point amid the terrors of Christmas shopping in Bromley.
Up to now I've always liked it. The conversion from a bank was tastefully done, the atmosphere's been pleasant, and the beer and service fine. This year, however I was extremely disappointed. The place was a mess; no tables appeared to have been cleared or cleaned for some time, the volume of the music seemed several decibels higher than I remember it, and the big TV screen, showing what appeared to be adverts for American products (I may be wrong about this, since there was no sound, thank God) was just a pointless distraction.
To top it off, for �2.75 I got a pint of Gale's Winter Brew that was just about drinkable, but which gave no pleasure or satisfaction whatever. That sadly sums the whole experience up, in fact.

21 Dec 2006 11:46

The King's Head, Wells

The hot honey behind the bar when I looked in appeared to be a somewhat unprepossessing bloke wearing a vest.Awesome indeed.

17 Dec 2006 23:02

The Lord Raglan, Staplehurst

I'm amazed so few people have posted reviews of this pub. Whenever I'm in, either at lunchtime or in the evening , it's always pleasantly busy, with a great atmosphere of comfortable conversation, undisturbed by background music or other distractions. The beer remains consistently good, and the food (which admittedly I haven't sampled very frequently) is, as Anon. says, excellent. A real pub, well worth a detour.

15 Dec 2006 23:13

The Barge, Gillingham

Too right it's difficult to find! I decided the easiest way was to park the other side of the cemetery, and do a 5 minute walk.
Worth it when you get there, though. Personally I find the (non-live) music too loud for my taste, and not conducive to conversation, but that said, everything's positive. The landlord's a star, and the atmosphere's lively and friendly , if a bit noisy.
The beer's good too.

15 Dec 2006 11:36

The Crown Hotel, Wells

Very sad. The situation of this establishment could hardly be better - right in the middle of a beautiful city, only a few yards from one of the country's finest cathedrals.
But what does it make of this? I can't speak for the hotel side of things, and I can only assume that that's where all the effort is directed. But the 'pub' part is grim. Again, it starts with every advantage - a lovely, low-ceilinged (now single) room, with two big fireplaces (of which almost nothing is made), in an ideal situation. But they seem to have gone out of their way to make it unattractive. The decent wooden tables are all covered with tatty plastic cloths; why? The food we tried was indifferent (though admittedly inexpensive). On the plus side, the service was cheerful and friendly, and the beer was fine.
But what a disaster: this place could be a pub you'd travel miles to visit; as it is, you can't call it more than very ordinary.

15 Dec 2006 10:54

City Arms, Wells

Pretty dire. Most of the pub seems to be decked out as some sort of cafe; the 'bar' area was full of a rather unwelcoming collection of blokes trying, apparently, to demonstrate how 'hard' they were. It could be a nice pub; just a pity it isn't.

14 Dec 2006 15:09

The Horse and Groom, East Woodlands

Two anonymous contributors have between them given this pub a rating of 5.0, but couldn't be bothered to explain why. Pity - it's much better than that. The beer's good (I drank the Butcombe), and the food quite surprisingly excellent. The beef in my baguette was some of the tenderest and tastiest I've ever had, and the bread was good too. So were my wife's whitebait (or 'blanchebait' as they rather eccentrically prefer to call it here).
In fact, it's a slightly eccentric place altogether, including the bar staff and some of the locals - but all in the nicest possible way. Everyone was really friendly and welcoming in the public bar; with that, a good log fire, great traditional barroom furniture, and good food and beer too, how can you go wrong?

14 Dec 2006 15:01

The Good Intent, Puttenham

Called in recently for my (more or less) annual visit ,and was pleased to find things much as usual. Beer (Ringwood in my case) was in tip-top nick, the fire was cheerful, the service efficient and friendly, despite it's being a very busy lunchtime. No loud music (no music at all, in fact), all the bars full of people doing what pubs were meant for: drinking, eating, talking, and in general having a good time. Excellent.

14 Dec 2006 14:42

The Walnut Tree, Maidstone

Yalding Walnut Tree is now listed.

23 Nov 2006 14:57

The Merchants Arms, Hotwells

The review I posted when I originally suggested this pub seems to have got mislaid, so I'll write another one.

I've only been here once, but got a very favourable impression, which was why I suggested it. It's a classic of its kind - small, cosy and friendly. I was there in the early evening, and the place was busy, but not overcrowded, full of people doing what you go to the pub for - drinking and talking. Altogether a really good atmosphere.
They have the full Bath Ales range on here, and from what I tried, in very good nick.
I was slightly worried by the TV screen, and talk of football on later that evening - I hope the relaxed, chatty atmosphere isn't spoilt too often by this; but there's another nice bar at the back to escape to if you don't like it, I suppose.
A great new find , as far as I'm concerned; I'm just surprised nobody's suggested it before. Maybe they don't want it to get too crowded.

20 Nov 2006 18:40

The Curlew, Bodiam

Buxtedian, townvisitor - thanks for the information. I may look the place over sometime (though I'm still not much wiser re. the beer). By the way, I have a friend who was born in this establishment, of which her father was then the landlord, many years ago, when it was called The Junction.

17 Nov 2006 11:44

The Red Lion, St James

I have a picture of this place on my wall at home, by the great Michael Smee, Britain's finest painter of pub interiors.
In fact I've only been there once myself, but the reality fully justified painting it. Small, cosy; chatty atmosphere; beer (Pride in this case) good when I was there. Well worth seeking out - I must do it again.

17 Nov 2006 11:25

The Dog and Duck, Soho

They owe Stonch a pint or two next time he's in, since, like Iceinthecider, I was srongly influenced by his comment (that and convenience) in choosing The Dog & Duck for a pint or two on a rare visit to Soho the other day. On first impression, I was slightly apprehensive regarding both the size and the ambience of the place, particularly since I had 2 elderly ladies with me - but my fears proved totally groundless, as we managed to find a seat straightaway, and thoroughly enjoyed the excellent T. Taylor Landlord, and also the genuine mix of age, class, nationality and probably, for all I know, religion and sexual orientation among the clientele. Didn't see Madonna and didn't giveadamn.

16 Nov 2006 13:10

The Walnut Tree, Yalding

Until a few years ago, Yalding had 5 pubs. Now it's down to 3, and of those The Walnut Tree is by some margin the best. It starts with the advantage of being a very attractive old building, but that alone's never going to make a decent pub, and The Walnut Tree's certainly that. Normally an interesting choice of cask beers, usually in pretty fair nick. Good food -cooked on the premises, and excellent value (especially if you're an OAP; the lunchtime bargains are amazing.
It can get pretty crowded , but basically it's a genuine locals' pub, and a pretty good one.

13 Nov 2006 11:58

The King and Queen, East Malling

Its odd; I go in this pub now and again, and really don't dislike it in any way that I can put my finger on - the beer is well-kept (if a bit pricy), the food is quite good - a huge improvement on the almost infinite variety of (presumably) frozen/microwaved meals they used to offer. So that's all positive - and yet for me somehow it just doesn't quite seem to work as a pub. I can't pin it down: the staff are polite and competent, the clientele seem civilized (though they do seem to smoke a lot by modern standards). So - I can't give a totally positive view, but at the same time , I can think of a great many pubs that are a hell of a lot worse.

13 Nov 2006 11:43

The Ostrich Hotel, Robertsbridge

Yes, it's a good place - I always try to look in when I'm in the area. There's something slightly off-beat and quirky about The Ostrich which I like, but which I can't quite pin down. It may be to do with the architecture, or it may be the aforementioned bohemian regulars; I don't know, but it produces a jizz that I like. Worth giving a try if you don't know it.

4 Nov 2006 18:58

The Curlew, Bodiam

'Lobster sausage with tandoori foam'!!!I'm not paying �50 for that.
This is Beer in the Evening - do they sell any at this place? Noone's thought to mention it so far, and I'd like to know before I venture forth.

4 Nov 2006 18:50

The Kings Head, East Hoathly

I'm inclined to agree with the last comments. I looked in briefly the other week, mainly because I'd just been reading the diaries of Thomas Turner, who owned a shop in E. Hoathly and, for a time, this pub, in the 18th Century.
I was slightly disappointed by the inside, as compared to the inviting exterior of the pub, but it had the air of a good, honest village local, and I certainly didn't find the inmates either rude or unfriendly - quite the opposite, in fact.
The 1648 beer was a nice surprise too; I hadn't known about it when I went in, and the one pint I had was a good introduction.

2 Nov 2006 14:50

Trevor Arms, Glynde

I think TWG is inclined to use the word 'organic' in a slightly idiosyncratic and potentially misleading way. I don't think there was anything particularly 'organic' about the ham baguette and chips (if that's what it was -I forget) that I had here during the summer; and I don't believe Harvey's make any such claims for their beer. But if TWG is implying that the pub has the air of having developed naturally out of its village background, and of fitting happily into it, then I think he's right. As he says, it's a classic village pub: good beer, good grub and a pleasant, friendly atmosphere.

2 Nov 2006 14:28

The Mark Cross Inn, Mark Cross

I take the point about the 'Tardis' aspect of this pub. You go into what from the outside looks like a rather ordinary village pub - and it's vast; it just seems to go on forever.
Somebody's obviously spent a lot of money doing the place out - and in a way it's very impressive. But who's it all aimed at? The Chaser group obviously has a lot of fans on this site, so maybe if I'd gone in later in the evening I'd have found the place humming - but I have to confess that to me it all seemed totally ersatz, and really rather soulless.
Still, it was an experience. I don't think I've ever had Harvey's so heavily chilled, and I'm pretty sure I've never had it dispensed through a sparkler. Interesting - but not interesting enough to make it worth �2.90 a pint. Still, I suppose they've got to pay for the refurb somehow or other.

1 Nov 2006 00:33

The Kentish Horse, Mark Beech

I'd go along with everything GrahamH has to say This is a real honest traditional village local. Haven't been in for a while, but earlier in the year we had an excellent meal there - simple,but very good value. The beer's good too, as GrahamH says; the Larkin's brewery's just down the road so it doesn't have far to travel. Altogether, well worth a visit.

23 Oct 2006 22:48

The New Inn, Etchinghill

I'm on the techman's side. Funny - the 5thearl's usually a pretty sound judge.

19 Oct 2006 19:06

The Mall, Clifton

Not a bad place. It's not really my sort of pub - I generally increase the average age by about 10 years when I go in there, but I've never felt conspicuous or unwelcome. I've always found the bar staff both competent and friendly, and though it doesn't have the air of a 'real ale 'pub (if there is such a thing) the cask beer has always been in good nick.

29 Sep 2006 12:26

The Ship Inn, Wandsworth

Sorry to come back again so soon , but when I wrote the last comment I hadn't read Michaeletc's of 31 July. Fancy having a peppermill left on your table - that really would bugger up your whole evening.

18 Sep 2006 17:34

The Ship Inn, Wandsworth

Far from being a turnoff, as far as I'm concerned the unspoilt little front bar is the best thing about this place (apart from the beer). From some of the previous comments it sounds as if it'll be under threat if a makeover's imminent,so I'd better revisit it soon, not having been in the area for some time.

18 Sep 2006 17:28

Ye White Hart, Barnes

This is an old favourite of mine, but I hadn't been there for a year or two till I dropped in for a quick pint the other day. No such thing as a quick pint here, though, on a sunny Sunday afternoon. The service is, indeed, awful - not rude or intentionally offhand, just disorganised and incompetent. The Young's Ordinary was, however, in absolutely first- class nick, and no more expensive than most beer in London and the home counties. This pub's fantastic position on the river is both its making and its downfall - more punters than it can really cope with, when the weather's right. I'll still keep going back, though, when I'm in the vicinity.

12 Sep 2006 15:12

The Old House, Ightham

Does 'looking like a pub from the outside' have some intrinsic virtue that I'm unaware of? I think when Quinno mentioned it, he thought of it as one of this pub's attractive eccentricities. Perhaps Sir Percy has a thing about cascades of garish hanging baskets. Or perhaps he likes huge plastic signs advertising all-day wide-screen TV ? Personally, good beer, pleasant surroundings and friendly company will do me, and as far as I'm concerned, they're all here. And, for the record, I'm not a local.

12 Sep 2006 14:53

The Walnut Tree, Maidstone

On second thoughts, I suspect he means the 'Walnut Tree' just off Dean Street at East Farleigh, which is also so far not included on the BITE list, and which I haven't visited recently enough to comment on. It used to be a smashing little pub in Norman Wait's time - does anyone remember him?

3 Sep 2006 20:02

The Ypres Castle Inn, Rye

This place has certainly changed a bit since I was last there. The present landlord is obviously more interested in the food trade than in the beer, and has transformed a traditional style boozer into an eatery. It's very nicely done out, if you like that sort of thing, but it's not my style. I don't like being conducted (or even guided) to a table as soon as I'm through the door. Having been 'settled', we then had to wait about half an hour for 4 very ordinary, and very expensive sandwiches. I didn't find the landlord offensive; it's just that he's basically in the wrong business. I got the impression that he'd really be much happier if noone came in at all, spilling beer and vinegar over his nice clean tables, and sitting down in the wrong places It all causes trouble!

27 Aug 2006 22:56

The Portcullis Inn, Bristol

Dropped in for a quick pint the other day, the first time I'd been here. Tiny little bar (though I think maybe there's another one on the upper level?) full of entirely male clientele, doing what you go to the pub for: ie drinking and talking. Though it's obviously very much a locals' pub, it wasn't in the least intimidating, and the guy behind the bar (the landlord, I suspect) was friendly and chatty. Good beer, as you'd expect in a place like this. Worth a visit, if there's room inside.

31 Jul 2006 19:06

The Adam and Eve, Bristol

Dropped in for the first time the othjer day, and was very favourably impressed. Pleasant, quietly relaxed atmosphere, helpful and welcoming bar staff, and good beer (though the first pint was better than the second - I think I was near the bottom of the barrel). I gather the food's excellent, though I haven't tried it yet myself. I'll certainly be back.

31 Jul 2006 18:56

The Lamb Inn, Wartling

I visited this place once, on a weekday lunchtime in Winter. The pub was moderately busy, with smart looking business types and 'ladies who lunch', all wanting to order their meals. I was neither smart nor a lady, and I just wanted a pint. I stood there for at least five minutes, and was totally ignored. No 'Sorry to keep you, be with you in a minute'. No nothing. So I left. For good.

18 Jul 2006 12:31

The Lobster Pot, West Malling

Glad to read the comment by becked. I haven't been in The Lobster Pot for some time - it used to be a mecca for beer drinkers, then went through a bad period after it changed hands. Last time I was in it seemed to be back to something like its old self, and becked's review suggests that it's keeping up the improvement.

18 Jul 2006 12:02

The Man of Kent, East Peckham

I hadn't been to this pub for some time - it went through a spell a few years back when it was pretty dire, and I stopped going there. Dropped in recently, encouraged by the comments on this site. I don't think it's quite as fantastic as the most enthusiastic of them suggest, but all the same, it's pretty good. The beer was excellent, though expensive (�2.60 for Westerham Finchcocks 3.5%) Still, it was in first class nick, and the best Westerham beer I've tasted. The setting's great, of course, and the service was friendly and efficient. The natives seemed friendly, too. I shall definitely be back.

11 Jul 2006 21:59

The Beartown Tap, Congleton

How can this place have such a low rating? It's an absolutely classic example of what a pub ought to be. Excellent beer (my first encounter with Beartown ales - first rate) in excellent condition, and lots of people just getting on with it, drinking, talking and enjoying themselves. 'NO jukebox, NO fruit machines, NO swearing' it says on their ad. in the local CAMRA newsletter; sounds pretty good to me. I'll certainly be back.

11 Jul 2006 21:44

The Walnut Tree, Maidstone

I think Davidgeorge must be thinking of the Walnut Tree at Yalding, near Maidstone, which as yet is not on the BITE list. His comment certainly doesn't apply to the Tonbridge Road Walnut Tree, which is right on one of the busiest main roads out of town, or even to the Loose road Walnut Tree (also definitely not tucked away in the country).
Whether his other judgments are correct I'm not qualified to say, as it's a long time since I visited the Tonbridge Rd version -perhaps I'd better rectify this in the near future.

30 Jun 2006 14:39

The North Pole, Wateringbury

This pub went through several changes of landlord during the last few years, during which time it was generally pretty dire. Things seem to have settled down under the present management, and this is again a decent little boozer. Good range of cask beers, in reasonable nick, good value food, and a quiet but lively atmosphere. Worth dropping in if you're passing.

28 Jun 2006 22:44

The New Inn, Etchinghill

Pretty awful. We dropped in by chance for a couple of pints, and immediately regretted it. The beer, admittedly, was passable, and if you want to sit in the garden then maybe it's OK, but otherwise you'd have to be eating to get anything out of this place. The service was rather bored, and despite the numerous signs about the 'No Smoking Policy', it didn't prevent a member of the kitchen staff standing next to us and blowing smoke all over us. Shan't be going again.

18 Jun 2006 11:11

The Old House, Ightham

There aren't many like this left, sad to say. In fact there probably never were many pubs which could compete with the general all-round excellence of this one, where good beer and conversation are the things that matter.
A friendly and welcoming landlord; a changing selection of beers straight from the cask - no food; an amazing fireplace with a log fire all winter; but first and foremost just a great atmosphere. This is what pubs ought to be like - get there quickly, before it disappears.

26 May 2006 13:26

The Royal Oak, Clifton

A really nice traditional pub. Beer and conversation are the thing here ; there is a friendly atmosphere and the place has a comfortable, lived-in feel about it. Good Sharp's, Courage and Bass; a lively, mixed clientele, with rugby a prominent feature.

3 May 2006 18:41

The Padwell Arms, Seal

A great pub to sit ouside on a warm evening -it's not bad inside, either. Usually a good selection of beers, inluding some unusual ones, in decent nick. Can get pretty crowded at times.

25 Apr 2006 19:35

The Champion of the Thames, Cambridge

I was trying to think what to say -but Dodgy's said it all. I agree with every word (and I've been drinking in Cambridge, on and off, for 40 years).

25 Apr 2006 19:14

The Chequers, Walton On The Hill

Has been a favourite of mine for a long time, and continues to be. A classic example of 'Brewers' Tudor', with its low ceilings and collection of little snug bars at the front, it has stood up well to the addition of the more spacious bar at the back, giving access to the pleasant garden, The music in this part is easily avoided if you want to. Pleasant, efficient staff, excellent Young's beer.

25 Apr 2006 14:31

The Bear, Esher

I must just have struck lucky. It seemed to me like a typical Young's-style pub before they started 'cafe-bar'modernisations - large, rather imposing, slightly impersonal. I was there twice last year, and both times the bar staff were competent and civil, and the beer excellent (Young's Ordinary, no double vodkas,so I can't comment on them). Beautifully cool inside on an oppressively hot day,pleasant outside on a slightly cooler one. Music can be loud, but it's easily avoided. P.S. I was wearing jeans and T-shirt.

25 Apr 2006 14:16

The Tickled Trout, West Farleigh

The car park's always packed whenever I drive past during opening hours, so the masscatering style food obviously pleases a lot of people, but effectively it means that this is really an eating place rather than a pub. Last time I was there we sat in the garden, which is very nice - well kept,with a good children's play area; I tried two different cask beers - they were both expensive, and both in pretty awful condition. Not for me.

25 Apr 2006 13:58

The Buckingham Arms, Westminster

How can this place have such a low average rating? It's a classic, businesslike, workmanlike London pub. I like the middle aged civil servants -but I mostly like the complete mix of people who always seem to be filling the place when I'm there. I've never had a bad pint there in twenty years, and yes, the Buckingham Burger is probably the best value food in London. Keep it up.

24 Apr 2006 23:08

The Lamb, Bloomsbury

Simply the best pub in London, and probably in the world

24 Apr 2006 22:55

The Kings Head, Bessels Green

Since Tim B. wrote, there's much more positive to say. It's become a real drinkers' local (in the small cosy front bar) and also a roomy comfortable meeting place for all sorts, serving good food. The beer (Shep's, Young's, Adnams, etc) has always been in first class nick when I've been there, which isn't often enough.

24 Apr 2006 22:49

The Halfway House, Brenchley

Restored to life under new management a few years back, it's now a very nice pub. Friendly service in bar frequented by regulars (also friendly) offers good range of beers, all those sampled in good nick. Open fire, great children's play area outside.

24 Apr 2006 22:39

The Bear Hotel, Devizes

This is a real old-fashioned hotel -quite an up-market one; but it's also a real pub, humming lunchtimes and evenings,and a focal point in the heart of the town for morning coffee and afternoon tea. Full range of good Wadworth's beer, good value bar meals and a separate restaurant. Pity there aren't more places like it left.

24 Apr 2006 22:29

The Chequers, Laddingford

Nice pub, good beer, good food, and very much the heart of the community. Maybe that's the reason I've sometimes found it a bit 'cliquy' ;but the staff are nice,and there are far more positives than negatives about this pub.

24 Apr 2006 22:17

Royal Oak Inn, Staffhurst Wood

I don't get in very often, but when I do it always seems like a first-class establishment. Top-class restaurant (I've never tried it),pleasant,comfortable 'eating' bar -but best of all is the genuine unspoilt public bar area. Mainly locals here, but it (and they) always seem friendly and welcoming. Beer (Adnams, etc.) in excellent nick. There's a spectacular garden, too.

24 Apr 2006 21:54

The Good Intent, Puttenham

I wish this was my local - it's an absolute classic. As it's not, I don't get in often,but I've always found it warm, friendly and welcoming. Always drink the Young's, which has invariably been first class. Food's excellent value,too.

24 Apr 2006 21:44

The Bulls Head, Chislehurst

A classic Young's-style pub before they started modernising them in the 'cafe bar' fashion. Roomy, imposing but at the same time cosy and as intimate as you want it to be.Top class beer, good conversation; I'd always drop in if I was in the vicinity.

24 Apr 2006 21:34

The Lord Raglan, Staplehurst

Excellent proof that you can serve food without turning a traditional pub into a restaurant. The food here is excellent - some of the best pub meals in Kent -but it remains a genuine drinkers' 'local' as well, with(usually) excellent Harvey's, Goacher's plus changing guest beers. Well worth a visit.

24 Apr 2006 20:25

The Vigo Inn, Vigo

A unique pub - not to everybody's taste. but certainly to mine.The beer(Harvey's, Young's, Westerham) is (nearly) always in first-class nick, there's no food beyond pickled eggs, two wood-burners and Daddlums. Basically a locals' pub, but friendly and welcoming to all-comers. An absolute 'must' for all lovers of a fast vanishing breed of real English boozers

24 Apr 2006 20:14

The Cock Inn, Boughton Monchelsea

I've never drunk better Young's than they serve here - and as a serious Young's fan. I've drunk in more than half their pubs. The landlord and landlady are friendly and welcoming, the bar staff polite and efficient. I prefer no music at all, but it's usually not too loud or obtrusive. Never eaten here, but the food looks good, though it's quite expensive. Architecturally a classic; fantastic fire all winter.

24 Apr 2006 19:16

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