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BITE user comments - guayabera

Comments by guayabera

Jackson Stops Inn, Stretton

I am surprised that nobody has reviewed this pub in over three years as it is an absolute gem. The food is excellent and, for what it is, very reasonably priced. Service is first rate and the atmosphere super. But best of all it remains a village pub with non of the "gastro-destination" nonsense that some pubs aspire to. If you just want to have a pint you are just as welcome as you would be for a full lunch.

28 Jun 2014 22:38

The Cork And Bottle, Leicester Square

Since this is a wine bar it is perhaps not too surprising that it is not strong on real ale and perhaps should not have a place in the BITE guide. But since it is, I should record that it has changed management - a couple of years back, I think - and although it has lost a little of its former bohemian charm it is still an excellent oasis in the living Hell of Leicester Square. Whilst undeniably on the expensive side, it is still well worth a visit.

10 Aug 2013 15:18

Railway Inn, Ancaster

I have never drunk in this pub but have had food from the Chinese take-away times. It is absolutely top class, good size portions, delicious and very reasonable.

10 Aug 2013 15:03

The Captains Cabin, Piccadilly

The news in the last post is devastating! Can this really be? I was in there earlier this week - my Nth visit over the years - and it was still the wonderful, cool oasis in the rush of Piccadilly that it has always been. It will be sorely missed.

9 Aug 2013 15:35

The Lamb and Flag, Covent Garden

Haven't been in for quite a while but earlier in the week I was in the area and dropped in. Still an excellent selection of beers, quick staff and an interesting range of clientele but - great news - THE SMELL HAS FINALLY GONE!! Back amongst my favourites.

14 Jun 2013 17:50

Black Dog, Grantham

First visit at lunchtime and a nice little boozer. Good selection of beers, food menu (though I didn't try anything) looked comprehensive and good value and it had a nice atmosphere. I think the other BITE-ers have got it right.

14 Jun 2013 17:44

The Cholmeley Arms, Burton Coggles

Neighbours had raved about this pub for ages and we finally got to go with them for lunch. No doubt about it - excellent. Tiny bar, and the taller amongst us need to watch the headroom, but a real, working, welcoming country pub. Lunch was delicious and, whilst not cheap, was we thought well worth it. Good beer in the bar and the place escapes the trap some rural pubs fall into of being self-consciously twee and "destination", A cheery shooting party lunching in a big side room added to the feel that this was a pub at the service of the community.

26 Nov 2012 16:57

The Packhorse Inn, Sleaford

If this is what the great British pub has descended to, is it any wonder that more and more people buy cheap supermarket booze and tank up at home?

21 Jan 2012 23:40

Barge and Bottle, Sleaford

Paid a first visit. Initial impressions confirmed runga1978's pretty favourable views (though I did not eat there). But, sadly, as his/her comments proceed I have to agree. I too had a pint of Black Sheep and, even if not absolutely off, it had a decidedly sour taste. And that, taken with other BITERs' comments, is odd. This is clearly a beer-drinkers' bar. I did not see a lot of wine being quaffed so why can't they get the draught beer right? The lager crowd seemed happy enough - but then you have to put a lot of effort into fouling up a metal barrel of goat's outflow - but with all that ale on the pump they must notch up a lot of disgruntled drinkers each day.

21 Jan 2012 16:42

The Partridge, Bromley

And did you see that Tom got in the local paper when the local MP (whose name escapes me and pretty well everybody in the constituency) paid a visit to launch The Partridge as CAMRA's SE London HQ or some such? Very dapper.

Standards as good as ever, with delightful staff (let's hear it for Silvia!), well-kept beer and decent food: though why they continue to make the pie cases out of discarded roof tiles beats me.

4 Jan 2012 14:03

The Grape and Grain, Crystal Palace

I agree with SimonM's suggestion that BITE might introduce a policy of wiping the slate clean when there has been a big turn-round in a pub's fortunes - perhaps because there's a new manager/landord - and begin the marking again. Looking at the comments below from 2005 onwards, this clearly once was an absolute s****-hole. I used to go past it in its previous guises and never once went in. I am sure it deserved the appalling reports it was getting.

Now, an intelligent and customer-friendly crew have made it into the best pub in the area. Since my last posting I have been back when the Beer Fest was on - brilliant selection of beers - and for a jazz night, with a super atmosphere and great music. A mass of people from all walks of life were having a fabulous time and this is what pubs are supposed to do if they do want to be taken seriously as centres of the community. If pubs were intended just to be beer-sodden refuges for the sad and lonely seeking cut-price oblivion and the pungent aroma of eau de chip fat then Mr Weatherspoon would have scooped the board years ago.

Let's hear it for a decent, independent pub that pulls a lot of people in by giving them what they want.

4 Jan 2012 13:58

The Kings Arms, Grantham

I'm not surprised nobody has reviewed this place. On my only visit I went in and came right out again never to return. The initial impression was of the oddest chemical smell of burnt plastic or rubber. Visual inspection was harder since, although it was a gloomy day outside, the lighting was turned down to night club levels but through the gloom I could just see that on this bustling weekday lunchtime the place was deserted apart from a couple of the undead, who normally gravitate to a 'Spoons location, lifelessly gazing into their glasses. What, I wondered, without staying to find an answer, is this place for?

1 Jan 2012 17:46

Eden Wine Bar, Grantham

I am surprised that nobody has previously reviewed the Eden since in a town that, frankly, is a bit short on decent watering holes (the scene is dominated by a 'Spoons and a Goose) this place stands out as a welcome oasis of civilization. I only ever use it at lunchtimes when it is pretty empty - great for the customer wanting a comfortable seat; less good for the cash flow - but regulars tell me that in the evenings, especially Thursday, Friday and Saturday, it is packed to the gills.

Sensible choice of not too pricey wines in the Manager's Selection, decent sandwiches, full range of other drinks and generally pretty restful atmosphere. Well run, clean and tidy, pleasant staff so all in all a good venue.

23 Dec 2011 10:59

The Lamb and Flag, Covent Garden

I take the point about keeping it in the (brewing) family and the full range of Fullers beers - which sadly many of their pubs do not seem to stock - is pretty impresssive. During a recent visit to the Lamb I had a couple of pints of the excellent Bengal Lancer, though 4 quid a pint begins to make a hole in the pocket. I dread to think what a refurbishment will do to this old gem. Too many pubs start off as part of the heritage and end up as some twat's idea of what a trendy Miami bar would look like. What's that sad wreck in Neil Street? The Crown & Anchor? A terrible warning.

The one thing I hope it will do is finally get rid of the ghastly smell about which many BITE-ers have commented and which on my last visit was as persistent as ever. This is probably the reason why my intake at the L and F is always liquid and I have never had the urge to eat there.

18 Dec 2011 16:08

Golden Lion, Soho

Well, I went in on a quiet Saturday lunchtime and nearly a year after the last posting so perhaps the pub is better when there isn't a mad rush on or maybe there's been a turnover in management but I had a perfectly enjoyable visit. It seemed a tiny place but I saw, but unlike mikeyr1234 did not try to explore, that there is an upstairs bar too. They would need it if more than 50 people decided they wanted to use the place. A couple of pints of well-kept Abbott and although I did not myself eat a number of people were tucking into what looked and smelled like perfectly good bar food at not unreasonable prices. I would agree with TWG that it is nothing out of the ordinary but there are times when a quiet, well-run boozer that makes no demands on you is just what's wanted. That said, the sports TV was heavily advertised but mercifully not on. I would not like to be there with that blaring away and a lot of fans putting the worlds to rights.

18 Dec 2011 15:58

The Lamb and Flag, Covent Garden

Beerquaffer's experience is inexcusable, and having used this pub for 30 years I am appalled that they should stoop to these depths. I don't know either whether it is illegal - I suspect it is - but it is certainly unethical and I suggest that BQ write to the Chairman of Fullers in no uncertain terms about this practice. Fullers, though I have my complaints about their exclusion of guest beers and their disinclination to feature New World wines, run a pretty tight ship and ought to know what the manager and staff of one of their star pubs are doing.

22 Nov 2011 22:45

Exeter Arms, Rutland

Well, I've checked the postcode and website and this just has to be the Exeter Arms that we went to with my cousin and his wife at the weekend. If so, then it sure has changed since anonymous wrote his highly critical review in 2009. It has a proper restaurant - it's not just a pub that does food - but it seems to have kept it character as a village local in a beautiful part of the country. No music, at least none that intruded on a very pleasant meal well served. Maybe Anon hit an off day or there has been a change of management but this place seemed deservedly popular.

15 Nov 2011 16:55

The Coal Hole, Strand

Went in yesterday not having been there for, heck, 10 years? Quietish when I went in around 4.30 and had a pint of the excellent Jaipur - but was on my second pint before I noted from the list on the wall that it is 5.9% ABV! Changed to something lighter after that. By the time I left around 6.30 it was packed to the seams and standing room only. I know what the last poster means about crowds and enjoyment but it's the same old paradox - if a pub's any good lots of people will want to go to it and it will be full but if you find a place that's got room to hold a dance it's probably a dead-and-alive hole. I might give it a go one weekend, when it may be less busy, since this is clearly a popular post-office destination. So, allin all, a prime boozer.

15 Nov 2011 16:37

U Pinkasu, Prague

Nearly 2 years since I last went to U Pinkasu but I have to say, on the basis of a recent visit, that the improvement in standards that I noted last time has held. Beer is still great and the tripe soup was just superb.

3 Nov 2011 14:48

Crown and Anchor Inn, Welby

First visit and well impressed. Nice atmosphere and friendly service by lady who we supposed was the licensee. Bit of a shortage of good pubs in this area, with one recent closure apparently, so plenty of scope for a village-y pub that makes you feel welcome. And, although I am not a dog owner myself, I do like a pub like this that welcomes them - too many pubs court the spending power of the parents by allowing toddlers in to shout the place down whilst banning (often on spurious Elf and S grounds) a well-behaved canine who only wants to lie beneath the stool and have the odd crisp. Right sense of priorities here!

4 Oct 2011 16:00

The Lamb and Flag, Covent Garden

First visit since Fullers took over. My big grouse against them is their iron rule against guest beers but the ESB was exceeedingly good. Does a good trade but it seems to be mainly regulars - seeming visitors tend to take one look at the mob (or one sniff of the plumbing) and go on their way.

16 Sep 2011 07:55

Treaty of Commerce, Lincoln

After my disobliging review of 12 February I got a message from another Bite-er saying that I must have visited the pub under the old management and a change had made the place a lot better. Today was the first chance I had to go in to check and I am delighted to say that it is a different place.

Pretty empty when I went in around 1 pm with nobody behind the bar but a pleasant guy appeared pretty quickly and served me with a splendid pint of BXXX, or something, that went down a treat. A young lady joined him behind the bar and dealt quickly and politely with a stream of visitors, though I would have thought they deserved a bit more trade. Maybe it picks up in the eveing but Lincoln does seem to me to be a bit over-supplied with pubs. But this one deserves to do well.

24 Aug 2011 20:04

The Grape and Grain, Crystal Palace

Another quick visit last week and I do continue to like this place; so, yes, 5.9 does not do it credit. BUT, I too got caught out by the "no food on Mondays" rule. A bit daft as it wouldn't be too difficult to lay on a few sarnies or baguettes even if they want to give the cook a break from the hot stuff. And, with respect to slerpy, if he thinks 3.40 a pint is "sky high" he must know some cheap dives - I have already, though admittedly in Central London, had to pay well over 4 quid.

14 Jul 2011 14:33

Ox Row, Salisbury

noggin48 is right about the price - a pint of run-of-the-mill bitter and ditto lager left me with not much out of a tenner. "Charmless" is the kindest thing I could say about the place. Pity, as it's a prime location and should be buzzing - it wasn't.

14 Jul 2011 14:25

Stag, Barkston, Grantham

On the basis of a first visit I reckon a rating of 5.9/10 is more than a touch generous. I would go along with the comments about a nice pint of Tiger but overall is was something of a disappointment. It's a fine looking building on a prime site in a smashing village: it looks like one of those pubs the British Tourist Authority promotes to foreign visitors and I thought we would be in for a treat. But inside it's the opposite of the Tardis: little bar and cramped dining room. Prompt service from a cheery and efficient barmaid/waitress could not detract from the fact that the place needs to be cleaned and redecorated and the carpet looks like it is nearing the end of its useful like. Food was OK-ish but nothing special and not cheap by the standards of other places around here. Would I go back? Well, if I found myself in Barkston waiting for a bus and it came on to rain - Yes. Otherwise - you can guess!

16 Jun 2011 16:28

The Captains Cabin, Piccadilly

My post of 19 Jul 2010 may have been the last time I was in this place until last Friday and I am glad to report that it has kept up its standards. Again, an early visit when it was not too crowded but very brisk service, nice atmosphere and the menu looked extensive and reasonably priced. BUT, I think this was the first time, outside a hotel bar, that I have paid over four quid for a pint - 4.10 for Staropramen.

11 May 2011 22:40

The Partridge, Bromley

I had not been in for several weeks when I visited last week. Still the same pleasant local. Glad to see that the delightful Polish Barmaid, Silvia, is still there and the pate I had was pretty OK. But, my usual moans, why can't they have guest beers? Why is the wine so expensive and limited, largely, to France and Italy? And why does most of the food cost twice what it does in many of the other pubs I go to?

11 May 2011 22:36

The Lamb and Flag, Covent Garden

I paid a visit on Friday after quite a time away and made a curious discovery; I had always put the truly awful smell in the bar, noted by expertoppinion and others, down to the gents' loo. But to my surprise when I went in there on a call of Nature it smelt of roses (or at least a lot of industrial strength air fresheners) so I can only conclude that the real cause lies dead and buried a few feet inside the door near the bar. It truly is awful but it does not seem to keep the punters away. At least at this time of the year you can rush in, grab a drink and retreat to the fresh air in the alleyway outside.

11 May 2011 22:32

Tollemache Inn, Grantham

Since my post of 19 Dec 10 I have been back several times and continue to like the place. But, my usual moan about 'Spoons pubs, whilst the staff are great there just aren't enough of them on duty at any one time. On my last visit a few days ago I went in at a busy time and there was NOBODY behind the bar!! After a few minutes,. whilst the queue of thirsty punters grew, one little lady appeared and was promptly swamped by customes who clearly believed that one of the roles of a pub is to dispense liquor. I know the booze and food are cheap because they keep overheads down but this is taking things to absurdity.

14 Apr 2011 23:38

Ermine Way, Ancaster

This pub is gone, it is no more, it is boarded up and looking for a tenant. Which leaves this area pretty devoid of pubs. The Railway up the road, not tried but reports do not encourage me, or the excellent Plough in nearby Wilsford.

22 Mar 2011 17:22

Goose At The Bank, Grantham

Beerhugger is lucky to have had big chips in her bowl. Mine (see post below) were disappointingly small and floppy.

22 Mar 2011 17:18

Blue Bull, Grantham

Went in at lunchtime, conversation stopped and one or two heads turned towards me. But I put this down to the fact that I was the only man present wearing a tie and things quickly resumed. A few pumps on the bar but no indication they were connected to barrels. So had a pint of Stella - hard to get that wrong - and sat for a while. Nice little place with, I suspect, a pretty loyal local crowd. Nothing to rave about but solid and unfussy.

21 Feb 2011 19:52

The Magna Carta, Lincoln

A nice little pub, well positioned to revive the weary traveller after a hard walk up the aptly named Steep Hill. Beer and wine fine and prices not too bad for a city centre. And our food - a mixed grill and some sort of chicken platter - was pretty much par for the course. But, a common complaint, why do busy pubs cut costs by having too few staff on at peak times. One (quick and pleasant) young woman was on her own and her cheery "Back in a couple of minutes" turned into 10 minutes as I stood at the bar waiting for a refill and she cleared the debris of a party of about 20 students. In the end I just gave up. They need at least one behind the bar and one serving/clearing. Pity, because otherwise it deserves to do well.

16 Feb 2011 15:10

Boadicea, Charing Cross Station

Actually, Leekitts has done us all a service in that since his views of what constitutes a good boozer are obvioulsy 180 degress off from what the rest of us think in future if he posts that somewhere is good we can avoid it like the plague and, contrariwise, if he pans a place it is probably going to turn out quite decent. Anybody who thinks the Queen B is worth even Zero has serious problems of reality and perception.

12 Feb 2011 22:52

Champagne Charlie's, Charing Cross

Although it does serve an excellent pint of ale in a pewter tankard, I have always used this place as a wine bar and in that category it, in my view, excels. Excellent and, for the West End, not too pricy wine list and super sandwiches - the roast beef is without equal. My only moan is that they serve wine in the 175 cc glasses and that is a bit small if you just want the one.

12 Feb 2011 22:46

The Five Bells, Bassingham

I am surprised that nobody has done a review of this pub since mid-2007. My wife and I went in there one lunchtime a couple of weeks back and were surprised and pleased by what a nice place it is. Doing a good trade with obvious regulars. We had a couple of light snacks for lunch and they were perfectly well prepared and presented. Good selection of beers and wines and pleasant people behind the bar. My only complaint would be that they really do need to declutter the place by about 80% of the knick-knacks with which every available space is plastered. But otherwise I wouldn't mind having this as my local.

12 Feb 2011 22:36

Ritz, Lincoln

Visited once and never again! Busy lunchtime and 'Spoons economising as usual by having only 2 bar staff working their thingies off trying to keep pace with the thirsty hordes. Average wait to be served around 12 minutes. Then, on return from one trip to the bar, found some scumbag had knicked my glasses case. Though they had had the good taste to leave the specs behind - a quid from Poundland.

12 Feb 2011 22:30

Treaty of Commerce, Lincoln

I went into this pub around noon. Totally empty except for one woman on the phone in front of the bar and one woman behind the bar. I went up to the bar - no reaction: Woman 1 carried on speaking into the phone and Woman 2 carried on talking to her. Thinking that perhaps they imagined I had come to read the gas meter I walked along the bar and took out my wallet whilst looking at the beer pumps. Zero reaction. Finally, I walked out and neither could even be bothered to call out "Good riddance", or whatever. I had a quick look into the next shop window to make sure I had not vanished from sight. Why do people like this even think of working in the pub trade?

12 Feb 2011 22:25

The Beehive, Grantham

Sorry to spoil the fun but on a lunchtime visit I found it near empty, gloomy and uninviting. The only guy serving was sitting front of bar reading the paper and clearly found it an unwelcome chore to have to go behind the bar to pour a pint. That said, the result - the Bear Island lauded below - was excellent and good value at 2.80. Maybe I just hit the wrong time but it will be a while before I give it the benefit of the doubt and try again.

10 Feb 2011 16:09

The Grape and Grain, Crystal Palace

And a PS to my post of 17 December: the beams are covered in beer mats and when I asked the guy behind the bar whether this was just somebody's private collection he said No, every one of the beers on the mats had previously been on the pump. Quite an achievment!

14 Jan 2011 15:38

Goose At The Bank, Grantham

I went in for the first time this lunchtime and was pleasantly surprised. Not as crowded as the 'Spoons place down the road normally is and, unlike said 'Spoons, enough staff to serve the customers without too long a wait. I stuck to red wine, which was perfectly drinkable and dead cheap, and had the Rib Eye steak. One day I will learn not to have steak in Britain outside a really top specialist place. This was OK but no more, bit on the chilly side and straight from the fridge to the pan. But with a good helping of chips and peas it filled a gap and, like the wine, it was good value. As always, you pays your money and you takes your choice. If I wanted to take my wife out for a quiet drink and a smart meal I wouldn't be coming here but if what I wanted was a table and chair, a couple of cheap drinks and a bit of peace to read the paper The Goose would certainly pass muster.

11 Jan 2011 17:33

Blue Pig Inn, Grantham

I think "could do better" (Bart above) is just about right. In the back doubles of Oxford or off Belgrave Square in London this would be a cult destination. It's a beautiful building, reeks of history, quaint inside (though the doors are dodgy for anybody who is 6'+) and all in all Ye Olde Worlde English pub. But the feeling I got was nobody really cared. It was flat, the service offhand and the atmosphere dreary. Maybe that's what the punters want.

20 Dec 2010 14:12

Tollemache Inn, Grantham

Based on one visit, I would agree with Stamfordian - for a 'Spoons boozer this one is not too bad. Bit of a shock (and smell) on entry - piles of used plates and glasses making it hard to find a place to put your glass and a number of elderly locals clearly dug in for the day and not shifting - but it all got cleared up quickly. Obviously very popular with all ages and circumstances, singles, old geezers, women taking a break from shopping and masses of families. The great pull is clearly the pricing - a range of beers for a couple of quid and a large glass of house plonk for 2.95. Not for the fastidious but fine for a couple of midday pints.

19 Dec 2010 08:43

The Grape and Grain, Crystal Palace

Like other BITE-ers, I remember this place from its grim earlier manifestations. (At least from the outside - i never cared to go in). But, boy, is this place now up and running! I have been two evenings in a row for a quick couple on the way home and I was VERY impressed. Well selected range of beers, lots of activities like jazz nights, a clear indication - not always apparent in pubs in this part of the world - that the staff and management actually care about the customers and all in all a good place to hang out. The discount to CAMRA members makes me wish I hadn't let my membership lapse and I might even review the decision.

17 Dec 2010 15:57

The Phoenix, Denmark Hill

I have popped in a couple of times en route between hospital visiting at King's College down the road and catching a train at the station. I have to say that I have found it a very comfortable and welcoming boozer. Main complaint is that it is gloomy at the best of times and yesterday they put the lighting down even more. This is not a night club! Prices not too bad, at least compared to Bromley. But super food. I had a chicken, camembert and bacon sandwich that was the goods. Again, not too expensive and this one was vast.

17 Dec 2010 15:49

The Captains Cabin, Piccadilly

Since my enthusiastic posts in March I have been back twice just to make sure I had not hit a lucky and atypical patch. Both occasions on Saturday early afternoon, so things may be a bit different at other times and on other days. But each visit was a rerun of the first: clean and tidy, cheerful lass behind the bar, decent pint. Long may it continue to please!

19 Jul 2010 15:56

The Three Greyhounds, Soho

I dropped in on a Saturday lunchtime and had two pints - Landlord and Doom Bar - both perfectly OK. The pub was fine and a cool (in the purely climatic sense) refuge from a rather sticky Old Compton Street. Spick and span, not too crowded and with comfortable seating. Their summer schedule promised a good range of beers on the pump and the menu looked pretty good, though rather heavy on pies.

But why, oh why can't somebody run a course for foreign bar staff in Soho that might stress how the traditional English pub is meant to be a warm and welcoming place? At her frequent best the Polish (or whatever) barmaid is a joy - educated, willing, cheerful and a crowd-puller - but too often the smile gets left behind as here. If you think the work is beneath you then don't do it.

17 Jul 2010 18:55

The Gordon Arms, Chislehurst

I have been in a couple of times in the last month and I think that old_at_heart has got it right. I would guess that every guy in the place (and it is overwhelmingly male this side of the bar) is a long-term regular or son of one. I agree with the compliments below to the female bar staff and it was nice that after my second pint the young lady could remember what I was having. Only problem is that the beers on the pump are along a section of the bar just below the TV screen and one would have to elbow aside an impressive scrum of guys to see what's on offer - I would guess an unwise move - so I stuck to lager.

Chislehurst boasts one or two good pubs and some pretty missable ones - the Gordon is a bit of a one-off.

13 Jul 2010 20:24

The Queens Head, Chislehurst

Finding myself in the area I popped in to see if things had improved since my unflattering post of 22 February. I am delighted to say they had. It was, mind, early on a weekday evening rather than a busy weekend like last time, but a decided improvement. The ladies behind the bar were quick off the mark and quite cheerful, prices of beer were pretty reasonable and a sample from the menu (chicken breast with brie and bacon) was perfectly edible and quite cheap.

Maybe it's new management or just lack of pressure on this visit but it went well.

21 May 2010 17:32

Halfway House, Salisbury

It's not a bad little place if you don't fancy pushing on further towards Salisbury. Last time I was in there I ordered a pint of some local bitter and had to ask the barmaid to repeat the price - it was about a quid less than I pay in London and a very good drop too.

Heavily local, as you would expect, and if they do food I have never seen anybody eating, but don't be put off.

23 Apr 2010 19:44

The The Old Monk Exchange, Westminster

I popped in here last week after an absence of about five years. (It used to be quite a regular mid-day retreat of mine.) Very much the same, though the thrust is now much more towards beer than before when it was first and foremost a wine bar.

But no matter. A good selection of both and of cider and or the first time in years I was tempted to a pint of it. But which? No problem, said the guy behind the bar, here's a small glass of a couple of them to try. More common these days but still a nice, customer-friendly touch. I opted for a cloudy scrumpy at 6.5% which went down a treat, especially at (I think) 3.20.

Bags of room and so ideal for groups from work, several of whom were happily stretching the definition of lunch hour into mid afternoon - and clearly enjoying it. Nice, well-run retreat from Victoria Street.

18 Apr 2010 09:26

The Red Lion, Bromley

What a great little pub! Only a brisk stroll from the High Street but in a different world. This is Old Bromley - narrow streets, terraced cottages with window boxes and The Red Lion as its local. Lucky North Road.

All the attractions described by other visitors: good beer, wall of books, the papers laid out, pretty extensive food menu (I had a perfectly good grilled BLT sandwich for 2.20) and a good crowd of, I would guess, long-term regulars. (Note for trendy gents: dress code appears to be physics teacher meets DIY enthusiast.)

One TV tuned to sports but small, high on the wall and the group of guys watching it were several stages on the right side of the screaming hysteria of the town centre pubs.

I just thought this place was great and I will be back and back.

18 Apr 2010 09:16

Kings Head, Mayfair

I had had a quick one in The Goat opposite and thought I would just look into the King's Head for another. Very smug young man behind the bar, once he deigned to serve me. I chose the Punjab IPA at random and it came out of the pipe as froth. No suggestion from our glam kid that he might let it stand and top it up. It took about 3 minutes for it to be drinkable. Was it worth it? Well, if you suspend any preconceived ideas about what IPA is about it was not too bad but I have had a lot better. Nicely done out place, menu looked good, pity route to the loos take you through the (very smart looking) restaurant but otherwise OK if you happen to be in the area. But don't make a special effort to get to it.

15 Apr 2010 17:37

The Goat Tavern, Piccadilly

Popped in this afternoon after an absence of many, many years. Pretty quiet but good lass behind the bar, restful atmosphere and well worth the visit. The King's Head across the road was doing better trade but a short visit there suggested that there is no justice in the world. I'll report on that separately.

15 Apr 2010 17:28

The Moon Under Water, Leicester Square

Well, it's a 'Spoons so what do you expect? I could barely make it past the door and any idea of queueing for a pint was out of the question. From as near to it as I could get, the selection at the bar looked mainly fizz-from-a-tap but, I have to say, the punters seemed to be enjoying it and the solid stream of happy looking people coming out appeared to have enjoyed whatever it was they did. OK if you're pushed and don't mind waiting but there are better (though I am sure more expensive) boozers in the area if you know where to look.

28 Mar 2010 09:54

The Sussex, Covent Garden

Another pub I have passed hundreds of times and never gone in. Did so yesterday and I reckon Murgatroyd has got it about right. Good position, nothing to complain about, decent pint of Youngs Gold, a beer I did not know, and a welcome absence of TVs, soccer shirts and music. Better than most of the dives in the area but I wouldn't make a special journey to go to it.

28 Mar 2010 09:51

The Blue Posts, Piccadilly

Encouraged by some good posts I have tried a couple of times to go here but been beaten by the crowds. But yesterday (Saturday) lunchtime it was doing a good trade, with a fair number of regulars, but space for me.

Well worth it. Quirky atmosphere with, not surprisingly for the area, a bit of a Chinese touch in some of the kick knacks behind the bar and two of the staff. The middle-aged chap with the Fu Manchu facial hair and the scarlet Mohican was a scream.

3.20 for a pint of Hobgoblin sounded good thought he reality was a bit flat and boring. I know this as a bottled beer and I missed the liquorice kick that I am used to.

But a small point. Overall a very nice boozer that was doing a good line in food and I shall be back.

28 Mar 2010 09:47

The Partridge, Bromley

I'm afraid that I have not seen the delightful blonde lady for a while now but there is a very cheerful new brunette (Alison?) and, of course, the delightful Polish Silvia is still around.

25 Mar 2010 18:42

The Captains Cabin, Piccadilly

I am afraid the little devil that lives inside my computer cut me off in my prime as I was posting following a lunchtime visit to the Cabin on Saturday. I had meant to go on to say that service was quick and efficient (though paying 3.85 for a pint of the very excellent Staropramen was a bit of a shock to the system!) and it is nice to get a cheery "Thanks, bye" on leaving.
I did not sample the food, and nobody else was eating so I couldn't judge second-hand, but the menus on all the tables listed what looked like a good selection of simple basics at reasonable prices and the suroundings looked clean and inviting. I might give it another go when it is a bit busier to see if standards are kept up under pressure of normal drinking demand.

16 Mar 2010 14:09

The Captains Cabin, Piccadilly

What a great boozer! I have been around Piccadilly weekly all my adult life so why is it I have never been in this place before? I went in today (Saturday) bang on noon and it already had a few - I guess - regulars around. But it was still empty enough to see that it is nicely laid out, attractive, clean and (thanks be to God!) not suffering from that gagging smell that so many pubs have now there is no smoking to cast a pall over the less desirable odours pubs throw up.

13 Mar 2010 20:27

The Lamb and Flag, Covent Garden

The solution to the smelly loo problem might be as follows. Drink away in the Lamb and Flag until Nature calls then pop round to the famous Italian restaurant on the corner where, if you can slip past the reception desk, you can use the A1 toilets in the basement.

22 Feb 2010 14:24

The Crown and Anchor, Covent Garden

When I recently suggested that the Round House not far away might head a list of decent pubs that had gone to the dogs I had forgotten the Crown & Anchor. Once a Prince of Pubs it is now beneath contempt. What a waste of a prime location.

22 Feb 2010 14:20

The Queens Head, Chislehurst

Shagnastie has hit on a great gripe of mine - however busy a bar is it doesn't take much customer-facing aptitude to flash a quick "Hello, mate, be with you in a minute" or somesuch. But nobody has told that to the staff here. I have had one of them walk to the pump under my nose as I have been waiting with a fiver in my hand and not even give a nod to show I had been clocked in the queue.

One Sunday - unsurprisingly the last time we have been there - we went with the idea of having lunch. It was a beautiful day and the pub was full but when we went to the bar to order we were told pretty briskly that the kitchen would be closed until 4 because the staff could not cope.

Well, hello, doesn't somebody look out of the window in the morning, see the sun and think "Boy, we're going to be busy today" and ring round a few casuals to come in? P****d off, we went to the Tiger's Head which was having no such problems feeding the swarms in there. Out of interest I asked how many they had in the kitchen to cope with a clientele much bigger than the QH's. Oh, about three was the answer.

I'm afraid that quality will out and the Queen's Head does not have it.

22 Feb 2010 14:15

The Grenadier, Belgravia

I have not been in this pub for donkey's years but the news that they have introduced a no mobiles rule cheers me up no end and I shall make a point of going soon on a Sunday lunchtime, always its high point.

19 Feb 2010 20:17

The Roundhouse, Covent Garden

BITE might like to try its hand at compiling a list of pubs that used to be great but have headed pretty sharply down hill. The Round House might well occupy pole position.

15 Feb 2010 13:58

The Pillars of Hercules, Soho

OK if you are on your own and just want a quick pint whilst waiting to do something more worthwhile.

15 Feb 2010 13:53

The Dog and Duck, Soho

Maaaaany years ago this used to be a regular haunt of mine and I went back last week to see how the years had treated it. Well, nothing can take away the fact that this is a gem of pub architecture - offhand, I can't think of another like it. But it seems to have lost something. I had a pint of a beverage called Golden Best that I should think bumps up against the Trades Descriptions Act - Dullish Mediocre might have been nearer the mark. And I did not get the impression that the young lady behind the bar derived much pleasure from her job. Even when, as I suspect, your first language is not English, it is not too hard to master "Good morning, what can I get you?" and "Goodbye, thanks".

15 Feb 2010 13:50

The Partridge, Bromley

Looking back at some of the posts from the middle of last year, there is quite a lot about the rudeness of the staff. I was going there quite often and don't recall that being a particularly bad time but I think the critics would agree that the bunch behind the bar now are a pretty good crew. I think the only thing may be that there is usually such a crush at the bar that they are not rude but simply do not have the time to engage in banter if they are going to keep the service going. But I do go back to my earlier point - it would be so nice if there was a guest beer now and again.

15 Feb 2010 13:36

The Pawleyne Arms, Penge

I have been past this place literally hundreds of times without going in but, encouraged by the recent favourable reviews, I broke my journey to have a look. With a great act of faith it is possible to see that it might make a good local. Certainly the service was prompt and friendly. And it was mid-afternoon with only a few idlers watching nags over the sticks on the TV which is not the best time to judge. But, boy, you do have to like dirt and mess to feel at home here! The chairs had a layer of grease and dirt on them that called for oilskins. One sofa actually had more stuffing on show than plastic covering. Unless one review reports a new approach to furniture I think I will continue to see it only from the bus window.

15 Feb 2010 13:27

The Round Table, Leicester Square

Based on one short visit my conclusion is that the main function of this pub is to allow you to say that, however lousy any other pub is, it can't be drearier than the Round Table.

7 Feb 2010 11:52

Browns Restaurant and Bar, Leicester Square

I am surprised that this place has not had more reviews, though it is reasonable to say that it is a restaurant with a bar and not a pub - I have never seen anybody go there just to prop up the (very handsome) bar. Taken as a lunch restaurant it's OK but needs to try a lot harder. It can take an age for somebody to come to seat you. Then to maximise space they have crammed tables in all sorts of places where they should not be - under arches and right next to serving stations. Service has always been good though too often slow. AND, if places list a Dry Martini on their drinks menu it might be a good idea to have somebody behind the bar with a modicum of experience in how to make them. Water should NOT be the principal ingredient!!

7 Feb 2010 11:50

The Lamb and Flag, Covent Garden

I went back last week for the first time since my post on 29 December and am glad to report that a new wave of vitality has struck the bar staff. Service was quick and efficient and my pint of Youngs was good to quite good. All they have to do now is something about the odd smell that has been rather apparent since the ban on smoking removed other pervading odours.

7 Feb 2010 11:41

The Marquess of Anglesey, Covent Garden

I popped into this place for the first time last week. I am sure kendy, prefab and the others have accurately recorded their impressions so maybe I just hit a lucky day but I have to say that my experience did not tally with those in the most recent reviews. Bit short of light for those of us who like to get stuck into the crossword but otherwise doing well. Staff OK, pint fine, looked more like a tourist drop-in than a pub for regulars but I wouldn't mind going back.

7 Feb 2010 11:37

The Abbaye, Bromley

My wife and I had lunch there the other day after a fairly long gap. It's not bad, in terms both of selection and price, and the food was "hearty", as one would expect from a Belgian-themed establishment. But I do wish they would decide whether they are a pub or a restaurant. If they want to run both they really ought to sort out the tiny bar and schoolroom seating and benches at the boozer end.

7 Feb 2010 11:27

U Fleku, Prague

With respect to dableywolf, I have known this pub since 1988 and it has ALWAYS been a tourist rip-off. Mr Wolf probably knows a few other decent places to go but sadly many people form their views of Prague pubs solely from visiting this place.

27 Jan 2010 16:14

U Pinkasu, Prague

This place went through a bad patch about 18 months ago - the cook made the not-to-be-repeated mistake of challenging my wife's explanation of how Czech food should be cooked! - but is now well and truly on the mend. well deserves its high reputation again.

26 Jan 2010 20:47

Hostinec U Cerneho Vola, Prague

One of the great pubs in Prague, I go every time I visit the city. Sorry if some find it unfriendly but it is a typical local Czech pub and, frankly, they are not too concerned whether you come back or not - they serve the neighbourhood not tourists. Going there with a Czech speaker helps.

26 Jan 2010 20:39

The Cork And Bottle, Leicester Square

Sorry nobody's rated this place for a couple of years as it does deserve recognition as a quiet, well-run retreat from the Dante's Inferno that Leicester Square has become. rampantwurzel clearly does not know his claret from his "can-full-of-p*** with a top, mate" since the selection and quality of wine here is consistently good. Actually, the absence of reviews might be a good thing as it will keep the like of old wurzel away from the place!

22 Jan 2010 16:46

Gordon's Wine Bar, Charing Cross

I have been going to this place for 30 years and it has its up's and down's. Much depends on the quality and knowledge of the staff behind the bar and on my last visit I suspected that the pair on duty might know a little more about vodka and plum brandy than what would be a sharp, dry white. With a couple of other good wine bars in the area, Gordons main use is as a novelty to show foreign visitors before moving on elsewhere.

22 Jan 2010 16:41

Postal Order, Crystal Palace

I let rip with the odd "colourful phrase" now and again but, boy, the clientele here would make Gordon Ramsay at full pelt sound like David Cameron addressing the WI. Yet another reason for not going to the place. Crystal Palace has lots of much better places.

22 Jan 2010 16:35

The Fox and Hounds, Toys Hill

How sad to read rightshedfred's review. I have not been in the place for a good few years but it used to be a gem. It was run by a delightful lady, her daughter and a real card of a husband/father who had a whiff of the military and the stage about him. Whenever the going got tough - i.e. if he had to work out change for a round of drinks from a tenner - the place rang with his rallying cry of "Hooooooolly!!!" at which daughter would come and fix it in a jiffy.

Places like this off the beaten track and with people conscious of drink/drive limits need to work treble hard to attract locals and the passing trade. Any thoughts I might have had to make a pilgrimage to see how the place is doing are now on hold until the reviews pick up a lot.

22 Jan 2010 16:28

The Imperial, Soho

I went there at the height of the Swine Flu scare, ordered a pint and watched whilst the barmaid sneezed her head off, wiped her hands on a tea towel and proceeded to dry my glass with it. I cancelled, walked out and have not been back since.

22 Jan 2010 16:19

De Hems, Soho

Great if you have night vision goggles and veeeery long pockets. What's so special about Dutch beer that they think we want to pay those prices?

22 Jan 2010 16:16

Wetherspoons, Victoria Station

Yes, it's a Wetherspoons boozer and, yes, it's on a railway station but surprisingly this is not that bad a place. OK, I wouldn't make a beeline for it if I wanted a few quiet drinks in Victoria. But when South Eastern are playing silly b*****s with the timetables and you need to kill half an hour it will do. The great thing about it is that however busy the place is the staff behind the bar have absolute recall of who is where in the queue and you don't get bumped off by some ego-tripper wanting to be first. Downside, the old trade of Glass Clearer has disappeared from our pubs and the tables can be covered to overflowing with everybody else's remains.

22 Jan 2010 16:08

The Tom Foolery, Bromley

I'm not sure whether it's crass stupidity or brilliant positioning by Fullers to have two pubs within a few doors of each other on the High Street. Perhaps they reason that drinkers fleeing from the Swan and Mitre can take refuge in the Tom Foolery and those avoiding the Compass can use the Partridge, so they get the trade both ways. I prefer the Partridge and have only recently used the Tom when the P has been packed out. It would only work for me as a pub if they raised the roof a few feet, put in some decent lighting, lowered the prices and extended the bar.

29 Dec 2009 13:45

The Bulls Head, Chislehurst

Been to the smaller bar a couple of times recently. I have always felt that, being in the Royal Parade, this place has ideas above its station. Bit slow behind the bar and prices are more West End than BR. But all in all a cheery place especially at this time of the year when the weather is foul and they have a fire going.

29 Dec 2009 13:29

The Red Lion, St James

Tends to trade on its location and bijou qualities. That said, outside peak hours it is not a bad place for a quiet and reasonably well-kept pint. Much depends on the staff behind the bar: when it's crowded the weaker ones tend to ignore who's in line and just serve the one who shouts loudest.

29 Dec 2009 13:25

The Lamb and Flag, Covent Garden

jothebulb has a point about priority for locals. I was in there yesterday lunchtime when it was pretty full but with only two "serving" behind the bar. Actually, Madam was not budging from her comfortable perch in the corner and the bloke pulling pints was engaged in some lengthy conversation with his old chinas that did not permit serving other customers. Whatever happened to "Back in a minute - what's yours guv"? I've been going to this pub for yeeeeears so did not want to lose my cool. But I can imagine a casual visitor might well decide he was unwelcome and take a walk.

29 Dec 2009 13:16

The Essex Serpent, Covent Garden

When in Covent Garden I usually patronise the Lamb and Flag but by way of a change I have used the Essex Serpent a couple of times recently. The other comments are pretty fair. It's not a bad boozer but a bit dark and dreary and, since the management cuts costs by only having one bar staffer on at a time, the tables get piled up with empty glasses which, in a small place like this, cuts down on elbow room.

29 Dec 2009 13:08

The Tigers Head, Chislehurst

My wife, a friend and I eat there a couple of weeks ago after a bit of a gap. Very full, but then it's very popular. They have reduced the menu from the wall-full of items they used to have to something more manageable. Food was superb and in good quantities. Excellent service. Glad we went back.

6 Nov 2009 07:44

The Compass, Bromley

A bit of a last resort if you are waiting for the bus outside Boots. Plus point is some cheap beers and a lot of cheap wine. But I do get the impression that it is run for the benefit of the staff and a few lumpen regulars. Not much atmosphere and no spark.

1 Nov 2009 10:49

The Horse and Groom, Salisbury

The pub I use in the evenings when I go to Salisbury to fish.

Super place! Great food and big portions. Excellent staff - I do like it when you go in and, however busy he is, the barman catches your eye and says "Evening, be with you in a minute" - and a friendly atmosphere.

Always a good crowd in but never too crowded.

5 Sep 2009 20:14

The Partridge, Bromley

My local. One decent pub in a town which is, a couple of backstreet gems aside, devoid of them. Nice atmosphere, alot of regulars but good passing trade and packed out when there is sport on the big screens. Excellent staff and attentive service. Downside? Food is OK but pricey and (by, I think, the brewer's policy) a lack of guest beers. And, because of its deserved popularity, it can be hard at times to get a table to eat at. But well worth a visit and it might become your local too.

5 Sep 2009 14:09

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