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BITE user comments - grilledsardines

Comments by grilledsardines

The Carpenters Arms, Harpenden

Priceless. The risible frothing below is a reasonable indicator of what you can expect if you visit this pub. That my chutzpah in holding an opinion that differs from those of the landlord's mates has generated such impotent outrage is a joy. I did give this place another go a few days back and I found it as charmless as I had done previously. I would strongly recommend avoidance, there are four other pubs not five minutes walk from The Carpenters. Three are nothing to write home about but each one is preferable.

24 Sep 2008 14:09

Silver Cup, Harpenden

I'd heard good things about this place but hadn't been until last night and I thought it was excellent. Sat in the bar which is a bit tight but clean and like a proper pub. The food was really good, there were four of us and we were all well pleased with dinner. The bill, with a couple of rounds of drinks, came to just over �70. You could get away cheaper elsewhere but given the quality it's more than reasonable.

24 Sep 2008 11:14

The Vintry, St Albans

There is a tragically pissed woman who drinks in here and they continue to serve her no matter how paralytic she is. I've asked the manager if she's alright and been told that they "know when she's had enough". I suspect that's when she runs out of dough as it's clearly not when she becomes incapable of speech or motor function. My previous affection for this place has evaporated, not only is the service truly shit the way they exploit this unfortunate is cynical in the extreme.

31 Jul 2008 19:24

The Carpenters Arms, Harpenden

A CAMRA pub! Suddenly everything is as clear as an unmuddied stream. How the air of dissatisfied pomposity didn't flag this to me as the habitat of the ale dullard I'll never know.

22 Jun 2008 23:55

The Peahen, St Albans

Really comes into it's own in the summer as the garden is a well appointed sun trap. It's heaving on Friday and Saturday nights which I would give a wide berth but the rest of the time the food and drink are good and the service is excellent.

22 Jun 2008 23:53

The Engineer, Harpenden

This is a fine pub, went for a pint yesterday afternoon and lunch today. Nice rooms, good beer, friendly staff, good food, great snacks, nice garden. If they keep doing what they're doing I'll keep going.

15 Jun 2008 22:22

The Carpenters Arms, Harpenden

The lager is cold and so is the welcome. Why a misanthrope chooses a career in service industry mystifies me.

25 May 2008 00:03

The Duke of Marlborough, St Albans

Had a cracking night in here last week. The new owners are thoroughly good folk and the place seems to be deservedly fuller than it used to be. Well worth a try.

11 May 2008 22:28

King Harold, Harold Wood

Visited Harold Wood last week so I popped into the Harold for a couple and it was perfectly decent. It's probably five years since I last had a pint there and the intervening years have been very kind. That's not to say it's anything more than average but in comparison to the toilet it was it's a million times better. I was so glad to see the vile turds who used to congregate around the lounge bar have been flushed away, let's hope they're gone for good.

21 Apr 2008 23:20

King Harold, Harold Wood

I've not left a rating as I've not drunk here for years. That said I grew up in Harold Wood and according to folk I know the change of management and the refurb have made arguably the worst pub in the country into a mildly inviting prospect. What a great shame that there seems to be one sad case with an axe to grind and little better to do than create BITE logins and exhibit his inadequacy in public. Next time I'm seeing the folks I shall definitely pop in for a few to judge for myself crossing my fingers that the git in question has dragged himself off to one of Havering's many dreadful pubs where he'll clearly feel at home.

2 Apr 2008 00:01

The Plough and Harrow, Harpenden

Deceptive boozer this. Looks quite quiet from the outside but when you cross the threshold there's a loud jukebox (playng shite), a clutch of fruitys and the big screen unfurling for the first of however many Premiership games Sky can shoehorn in to one afternoon. The tranquility is also somewhat marred by quite the vilest carpet I've ever seen. Not bad in any way but probably to be avoided when sport's on if that's not your cup of tea.

3 Mar 2008 20:23

The Airfield, Hatfield

Had a refurb six odd months ago and it was done pretty well. The manager is a nice guy and the beer's OK but service is slow and the food is rubbish. It's bad news when a "chef" can't even cook frozen chips properly. Also extremely expensive for what it is. In short quite a poor pub but given the dearth of alternatives and the presence of thousands of thirsty workers across the road it's not like they really have to try. I would guess they do about ninety per cent of their business Friday lunchtime as the place heaves.

27 Feb 2008 18:56

The White Lion, St Albans

The White Lion is always a pleasure and never a chore. I popped in for lunch today and was reminded what a smashing pub it is. There's nothing complex about it, just the basics done really well.

27 Feb 2008 18:33

The Duke of Marlborough, St Albans

Changed hands again. It's relatively early doors and there's not much difference as yet although the new management seem to have acquired a couple of BITE logins.

27 Feb 2008 17:52

Bar 12, Hatfield

Drink here at lunchtimes occasionally and it's not bad. Staff are nice, surroundings are OK and the food is pretty good. It is a bit chilly though and the beer's not the best but I've not found a better place in Hatfield.

25 Feb 2008 23:45

The Vintry, St Albans

The service in The Vintry has got really patchy recently. It seems to be at it's worst when the pub is quiet. I went this evening and found it virtually empty but littered with empties sitting around on sticky tables. It took me the best part of ten minutes to get served even though there was only one other customer at the bar. When you charge the sort of money they do you shouldn't keep folk hanging around, it's sloppy and spoils an otherwise good pub.

25 Feb 2008 23:40

The King Harry, St Albans

No longer good in parts so no longer even a curate's egg. Any passing heavy goods drivers feel free to take the front off again as it desperately needs a shake up.

17 Feb 2008 23:49

The Deansgate, Deansgate

Mrs Sardines thought this place looked dodgy but we went in regardless and it is has been painstakingly and beautifully refurbished. Drinks were fine, service was fine but they paled into insignificance given the surroundings which were just lovely.

17 Feb 2008 23:21

The Goat, St Albans

It's a long time since I'd been to The Goat as on my last few trips it seemed to have settled irrevocably into mediocrity so I was pleasantly surprised tonight to find it in good nick. My third pint was cloudy but it was swapped without demur for a fresh one which was as good as the previous two, so good I had a subsequent two to be sure. Quite busy for a Tuesday but the service was sharp. Word of warning, there was a dominoes league in and they looked like they could have turned ugly at the drop of a hat.

6 Feb 2008 00:08

The Beehive, St Albans

This used to be one of the dirtiest pubs I'd ever seen. It's now condsiderably cleaner but not much improved in any other way. There's nothing much wrong with it but nothing hugely right either. You can get a late drink here without being surrounded by the type of egregious ringpiece attracted to some of the other late boozers in town and the garden's big for the summer but it's pretty average.

5 Feb 2008 19:48

The White Swan, St Albans

Pleasant pub the White Swan. It's always been relatively quiet when I've gone in but with a pleasant atmosphere, nice staff and a gentle clientelle. Beer is decent enough and with twiglets and mini cheddars it scores high on bagged snacks. I've not eaten but by all accounts the food is solid and reasonably priced, traditional pub grub rather than anything drizzled in "jus" on a bed of "mixed leaves". If you want to kill an hour in a comfortable, quiet pub without schlepping out of the town centre you could do a lot worse.

5 Feb 2008 19:35

The Boot, St Albans

I've always regarded The Boot as an OK place to stop for a quick drink but not one I'd spend the evening in. It's clear they have a devoted group of regulars who get looked after by the bar staff which is not unreasonable when not taken to exremes, unfortunately it was on my last visit. We went in at about four, the barman was serving the only other person at the bar, acknowledged our presence (nice touch), completed his transaction and then proceeded to serve a guy who'd walked in after us. We left. I suspect I shall leave it to the regulars in the future.

13 Jan 2008 09:58

The Red Lion, Radlett

Soulless and at �11.40 for two pints of Nastro Azzuro and a GT laughably over priced.

20 Oct 2007 11:47

The Glass House, St Albans

To be fair I was in here on Friday night and it wasn't at all bad. Bloke behind the bar was fairly pleasant and pretty efficient as he seemed to be on his own and, it wasn't quiet and we got served smartly every time. Lager still a bit on the flat side though.

24 Sep 2007 21:01

David's Place, Aldeburgh

Jesus wept, what a dive. Brutally unpleasant bar which seemed to be run by and for the local junkies. Staff and punters alike appeared desperate to live up to the streotype of the surly bumpkin proudly displaying a chipped shoulder to anyone without intimate knowledge of their immediate family. If Aldeburgh were a pleasant cotage garden David's Place would be a crapulous pool of vomit in the middle of the lawn, avoid.

21 Sep 2007 15:44

The Vintry, St Albans

Well stack me. Previously I�d have crawled over broken glass on my belly with my flies undone to escape The Vintry but since it�s refurb it�s actually quite nice. The layout�s still the same so loads of space around a big bar but the new look is good. The range of lagers is fantastic including a couple of nice white beers and the wine list looks OK although substituting some decent French, Spanish and Italian stuff for some of the Australian ribena would be welcome. I didn�t eat but the menu looks promising and the kitchen is in open sight so the grub is less likely to be straight out of the freezer and into the microwave. Be aware though, cheap it most certainly ain�t. A friend of mine has been told that the prices have deliberately been pitched high to actively discourage the return of the previous core clientele so good news for The Waterend Barn and great news for St Albans drinkers who don�t enjoy blue alcopops and zit-faced attitude.

18 Sep 2007 08:57

Bar 62, St Albans

Went last night and was quite impressed. Fairly busy but got served without much of a wait, good selection of lagers and the garden's looking good.

22 Jul 2007 15:22

The Duke of Marlborough, St Albans

The Duke is about four hundred yards from my front door but I�ve probably been there fewer than a dozen times in three years. I got on OK with the previous landlord but he pretty much ran the place for the benefit of three or four middle aged geezers who sat up at the tiny bar and took major umbrage if anyone disturbed them by buying a drink. The new bod seems very young and enthusiastic, he�s gone in for the sports theme in a big way and seems to be making an effort with comedy nights and other bits and pieces. Also seems to have put a lot of work into the garden and it�s very nice. The beer has taken a turn for the better, not great but reasonable and the girl working last night was a winner. Sadly she was woefully underemployed as my friends and I were the only punters. They�re obviously working hard on the place and I hope it pays off but I wonder if geographically it�s doomed. There�s not much housing in the immediate area and it�s quite a trek out of town with the prospect of the drag back up Holywell Hill at the end of it.

19 Jul 2007 16:29

The Glass House, St Albans

I gave this place another go a while ago. New colour scheme, everything else the same. Last summer two folk I know paid to have events at The Glasshouse, money changed hands, extravagant promises were made and then promptly broken. The area of the pub supposed to be sectioned off wasn�t on either occasion and the sumptuous nibbles paid for were a couple of bowls of cheap crisps. Shabby. If it�s changed hands since then hopefully their business practices have improved as the people running it last year only had a nodding acquaintance with the concept of integrity.

19 Jul 2007 15:44

The Six Bells, St Albans

Smashing pub. Food and beer are both more than adequate and the staff are very pleasant. The garden's been extended and had a shelter added. It's been deservedly busy on my last few visits.

19 Jul 2007 13:17

The Portland Arms, St Albans

Very pleasant pub. I'm not a bitter lover but I drink it here as it's so well kept. Food is good and the atmosphere is pleasant. I've been told it's dying on it's arse since the smoking ban, I do hope not, St Albans has plenty of pubs that deserve to close, this isn't one of them.

19 Jul 2007 13:14

The King Harry, St Albans

A curate�s egg if ever there was one. I like the d�cor and the atmosphere and they play nice relaxed tunes at an inoffensive volume. The beer�s not bad, although they do go in for a few too many zany choices rather than doing simple things well, and the wine is pretty decent. On the other hand the service really ain�t all that, the garden is tatty and down at heel and the food is an abomination. Basically they�ve tried to steer away from standard pub grub which is fine if you can pull it off but they can�t. The menu�s clich�d and unimaginative, the ingredients are poor quality and the cooking is just plain bad. The prices are silly, St Albans is never going to be a cheap place to drink but that�s not an excuse to actively rip your clientele off.

19 Jul 2007 12:58

The King Offa, St Albans

I've got a soft spot for the Offa. It is what it is, an estate pub and not a bad or a rough example of the genre. If you're foolish enough to go to an estate pub and then be horrified by all the howwid, howwid commoners drinking there it's probably better for you and the world if you don't breed.

19 Jul 2007 12:43

The Fighting Cocks, St Albans

Don't waste your time in the Fighting Cocks, you'll pay a lot of money for bad beer and slow service. Basically they're well aware that due to location and being the oldest pub in England (yeah right) the place will often be undeservedly full so they simply don't try. A nasty, cynical place. Carry on walking past the lake and have a beer at The Six Bells which is wonderful.

25 Jun 2007 14:15

The Glass House, St Albans

Curious reverse Tardis effect in operation here, looks big enough from the outside, tiny once you get in. Very poor lager, whatever you drink it's warm, flat and charmless. Atmosphere's quite pleasant and the decking outside is good for the summer although it does mean you have to look at the moronic slogans they've posted up as if they are some kind of benign dictator commanding you to have a good time, "Relax", "Do lunch", "Life's too short". I can think of one to add to the bottom.

17 Jun 2006 20:36

Barney's Bar, St Albans

A woeful bar. Staffed by folk who give the impression they are doing you an immense favour by taking your dough and customered by dross who labour under the misapprehension they are on the Croisette at Cannes. To top this off it's expensive and very dirty.

17 Jun 2006 20:27

Cock, St Albans

The food at The Cock is very good, there's a short bar menu featuring a truly magnificent burger and a more extensive restaurant menu which is well cooked and pleasantly, if anonymously served. For a pub the wine list is astonishing, an immense range on offer, heavy on decent European stuff and almost all available by the glass which would seem like commercial suicide. What's a bit odd is they're obviously going for a sort of gastro pub/wine bar sort of vibe but have a plasma screen stuck on one wall of the bar meaning if there's a game on 25% of the smallish bar is taken up by public schoolboys in achingly new Chelsea shirts pretending to know about football.

17 Jun 2006 20:17

The Hare and Hounds, St Albans

I've been drinking at the Hare for a while and since it's changed hands it has improved out of all proportion from the dreary days of constant Sky Sports News and only ever filling up for the football. The Landlord and staff are brilliant, the selection of beers excellent and they cook really well, if you ask for a rare steak they cook it rare rather than assuming you don't know what you mean and cremating it. I only used to drink here with my most disreputable mate as everyone else I knew thought it a miserable dive but it's recently become a favourite with friends who can chew with their mouths closed as well.

17 Jun 2006 20:00

The White Lion, St Albans

Possibly my favourite pub in St Albans at the minute. The interior is somewhat old-mannish but not without it's charm. The Landlord is pleasant, not the hail fellow well met sort but obliging to the point of nipping off and cooking a veggie dish of his own design for a couple of friends who didn't fancy anything off the menu. That was the only time I've eaten there but it was late on a busy Sunday and both the veggie nonsense and everything else we ordered was excellent. Best thing about it is the garden, an absolutely lovely place to have a beer and watch the sun go down. One minor criticism would be the lager selection whihc comprises Carlsberg for cooking and Wifebeater for premium, so Hobson's choice there but you can't have everything.

17 Jun 2006 19:47

The Goat, St Albans

The Goat's a good pub for a drink, it's got a couple of lovely rooms, decent selection of beers, fair wine list and a pleasant little garden. The bar staff are nice enough and the atmosphere is always pleasant and relaxed even allowing for the occasional braying, rugger type. The food has declined badly in the last couple of years though, a house specialty seems to be an overcooked chunk of meat on top of a mound of glutinous mash sculpted into the shape of Ayers Rock.

17 Jun 2006 19:32

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