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BITE user comments - murgatroyd

Comments by murgatroyd

The Purple Turtle, Reading

I know nothing about this place but this phrase caught my eye...

"Me and me husband went for a very short holiday to Reading."

Apart from the fact that the grammar calls into question the literacy of the writer, who the hell goes on holiday to Reading? You deserve all you get and probably more.

13 May 2012 22:42

The Yorkshire Grey , Holborn

Fairly quiet when I dropped in mid-evening. It does seem to hover between pub and bar but I quite liked the atmosphere. Three beers on - Brakspears and two from Ringwood - Best and Boondoggle. My Brakspears was well-kept.

This is a nice enough place for after work drinks but nothing special to travel for.

17 Apr 2012 08:29

The Duke of York, Clerkenwell

Nicely refurbished since my last visit and, as previous reviewer says, the name has been changed to the Clerk and Well. The layout remains pretty much the same though with a large space at the front of the bar and a smaller area with pool table tucked away to the left and rear of the bar. A couple of wall mounted flat screens cater for the footy fans.

Only two pumps but Oxford Gold and Landlord - two I like - so I wasn't too disappointed. I had a well kept pint of Landlord. I didn't try the food so can't really comment on that aspect but this is a nice place for a pint.

17 Apr 2012 08:26

King Of Diamonds, Camden

Much improved as the Argyle this is a somewhat unattractive building but with a very pleasant interior and friendly welcoming bar staff. There is a terrace bar upstairs which is a little unusual.

Beers on were Brakspears Oxford Gold, Harviestouns Bitter and Twisted and something called Slap and Tickle. My Oxford Gold was very tasty.

If I'm in the area the Mitre is always my preferred destination but this is a good alternative particularly for larger groups

17 Apr 2012 08:22

Ye Old Mitre, Holborn

Remains one of the very best pubs in central London. Dropped in last week mid-afternoon (the best time in my view) and thoroughly enjoyed a quiet pint by the fire reading the paper.

As usual the ale selection was excellent - Pride, Discovery, Seafarers, Deuchars IPA (my choice), Broadside, Blue Monkey Evolution and Titanic Iceberg.

A fine establishment.

17 Apr 2012 08:18

The Golden Eagle, Bond Street

A splendid pub and in my view the best in the area. The bar itself is small - with seating for perhaps 20 people - and traditional in style and atmosphere. It tends to attract and older crowd and the whole pub has a relaxed air about it.

Four ales on offer. Two of the usual suspects - Pride and Tribute along with the less often seen Everards Tiger and Woodforde's Nelson. I had the Tiger which was in fine fettle.

This place is really worth visiting.

5 Apr 2012 11:10

The Angel in the Fields, Bond Street

A Sam Smith's pub on the High St with their usual collection of drinks - you'll either like them or not.

The interior is dark wood panelling with what appeared to be red lino on the floor and some impressive stained glass windows around two walls. I rather liked the pub but not a huge fan of Sam Smith's so only stayed for one.

5 Apr 2012 11:07

The Tudor Rose, Marylebone

A slightly run-down establishment with dark wooded interior and frosted windows. This can make the pub seem dark even in broad daylight. It's about midway between Marylebone High St and Baker St and is such is quieter than a lot of other pubs in the area. I rather liked this though.

The ales on offer were Pride, Adnams and Old Speckled Hen. By this point in the evening I needed something a bit lighter so had a lager. The food menu included such traditional favourites as cod and chips, shepherd's pie and - gloriously - spam fritters (1970's school dinners here we come).

Not the best pub in the area but useful if you are by yourself and in need of a quiet pint

5 Apr 2012 11:04

The Gunmakers, Marylebone

The Gunmakers is a very good pub. It manages to have a modern comfortable interior while maintaining a traditional feel. There are some splendid wall displays - I particularly liked the cases of different bullets and cartridges which are, of course, very appropriate given the pubs name.

It's an L shaped bar area with the slightly small bar tucked into the corner. Ales on were Landlord, GKIPA and Hardy & Hanson's Olde Trip (another GK beer). I had Landlord which was fine. Clientele was varied but nothing chavvy or snobby.

I can well recommend this establishment.

5 Apr 2012 10:57

The Prince Regent, Marylebone

Very, very similar to the nearby Marylebone but with a better ale selection Doom Bar, Pride, Broadside and Copper Dragon Golden Pippin.

Bar staff courteous and efficient. A decent enough place to meet friends but you will be doing well to drag me out of the Golden Eagle around here.

5 Apr 2012 10:54

The Marylebone, Marylebone

Looks like some of the staff have been posting reviews .

By and large I really like Marylebone High St. The Marylebone (it is no longer a Tup) is a nice enough pub but catering rather more for the lager / G&T set than ale drinkers. There is one pump tucked away at the far end of the bar and not facing the majority of it - Deuchars IPA as it happens - not a bad choice if you are only going to have one on.

A serviceable place but not the best in the area - the Golden Eagle wins that and the Gunmakers is good as well.

5 Apr 2012 10:46

The Apollo, Marylebone

Corner pub with a collection of eclectic furniture that currently seems to be in fashion for pub makeovers. It was pretty quiet when I dropped in late afternoon but most of the clientele seemed to be local office workers. Only two ales but ones not seen in many pubs - both by Red Squirrel - RSX and Hopfest. Hopfest was very nice.

Bar staff were friendly and efficient. All in all one of those pubs that you will use if you work or live nearby but not one to make a great effort to travel to.

5 Apr 2012 10:41

The Globe, Baker Street

It's some years since I've been in this pub and the interior has changed considerably. It is much more pleasant than the Globe of old but still has the same sort of clientele - footy fans heading to Wembley and tourists heading to Madame Tussauds. There's no regular crowd as such and it feels a little like a station pub.

This said the pub itself is pretty good with a decent selection of ales - Bombardier, Young's London Gold, GKIPA, Old Speckled Hen and Abbot. Normally I'd opt for the London Gold but I had a pint of Abbot which was very good.

Overall this is not a pub to pick for an evening out but if you're heading for Wembley it's a reasonable stopping point.

5 Apr 2012 10:37

St. George's Tavern, Victoria

A Nicholsons pub which, given it's proximity to Victoria Station is more than acceptable. Long narrowish bar subdivided into two areas of which the rear one seemed more set up for eating. As usual with Nicholsons there was plenty of ale to choose from. 6 pumps - 5 in use with Nicholsons regulars Doom Bar and Pride being supplemented by Tribute, Skinners Cornish Trawler and Nicholsons own. I had the Tribute which was in good order.

There was a fair smattering of people for a mid-afternoon who mostly seemed to be from local offices and the atmosphere was relaxed and pleasant.

If you are at Victoria with time to kill I recommend nipping out through the shopping centre to this pub rather than any of the dumps inside or, even worse, the excruciatingly bad Sherlock Holmes out the front.

23 Mar 2012 10:37

The Clarendon, Pimlico

Still closed and boarded up with no indication as to future use. When I lived in Pimlico in the 1990's this pub (in its previous incarnation as Grosvenors) was the best in the area. Sad to see.

23 Mar 2012 10:07

The Wig and Gown, Highbury

More of a bar than a pub although nothing like crappy chain bars. The interior is longish and narrow with a low ceiling giving the whole place a slightly claustrophobic feel. It is very popular with Arsenal fans before matches and the team's record during the 2003-4 is proudly emblazoned above one end of the bar. Cheap and cheerful food is available on match day (burgers, hot dogs, chips etc of the sort you would get from a van).

There were two pumps without clips and the juke box was too loud.

This is a convenient place for a pint before and after Arsenal matches but has nothing other than that to recommend it.

15 Mar 2012 12:14

Duke Of York, St John's Wood

St John's Wood is one of those areas of London that is not really culturally British being host to an array of wealthy expats and despite the presence of Lord's there are few pubs in the area - a number having closed and been transformed into places like Cafe Rouge.

The Duke of York in man ways reflects this. Years ago it was a bit of a dive but has been refurbished in a pretty appealing way with comfortable seating in a U shaped bar area. If you don't like lager the drinks list is pretty limited - no ales on pump and just Guinness and Greene King IPA on tap. Staff are pretty lax but the food being served looked good. If you visit the toilets downstairs then you may see your meal being cooked as the door to the kitchen is adjacent to the toilet door which for some reason I found a bit offputting. The toilets themselves (well the gents at least) are acceptable enough but tiny.

Is this still a pub? Questionable really but in this wasteland for traditional establishments it is at least a serviceable place for a drink. Lack of local competition means it does get crowded in the early evening.

2 Mar 2012 12:02

The Brewery Tap, Wandsworth

Still not showing any signs of re-opening or being converted to alternative use. Wells should be ashamed of what they have done in Wandsworth.

13 Feb 2012 12:04

Grand Union, Wandsworth

Not really a pub in my view - more of a trendy bar with black floral wallpaper and most seating being sofas and armchairs. Although there were three pumps none were in use (disgraceful given where this pub is located) so ale drinkers were relegated to bottles of Young's or Bombardier on my Thursday afternoon visit. I have to say the burgers i saw being served looked very good indeed.

Somewhere to take your girlfriend for lunch rather than proper drinking.

13 Feb 2012 12:02

The Grapes, Wandsworth

Nice traditional boozer with rather a timeless quality. The interior is old style but appears to have been spruced up in the not too distant past giving the place a pleasant and comfortable atmosphere. 5 pumps although only three in use on my midweek visit - 2 with Youngs ordinary and one with Special. The Ordinary was in very good nick. There are also covered benches in the courtyard to the rear.

The Grapes is a no-nonsense traditional pub of which there are a diminishing number in London and a real haven for those who enjoy a quiet pint while reading the paper. The only real drawback is that it is on part of the Wandsworth one-way system meaning that traffic noise can be a bit of a pain.

Well worth a visit if in the area though.

13 Feb 2012 11:57

Yates's, Leicester Square

Looks like someone at Yates's coerced the staff into posting positive reviews of this place.

13 Jan 2012 08:09

The Hour Glass, South Kensington

An old style pub located on the Brompton Rd. Don't be fooled by the photo - the pub has a reasonably wide frontage but is very shallow with the bar area being much wider than deep. On entering I fould that the bar area is wedge shaped with the narrower end to the left, a central bar and a larger area to the right. On a cold winter evening the left hand side offered the distinct advantage of an open fire.

Furnishing was traditional and comfortable and the ale offerings were Pride and Butcombe with Fullers Jack Frost as a seasonal guest. The barman reminded me of Nobby the Leeds United supporting barman in Love thy Neighbour from the 1970s

In an area full of poncy bars and restaurants this pub was a real find

7 Dec 2010 14:45

The Beauchamp, Knightsbridge

Beauchamp St is a fairly narrow shopping street running of the south side of the main Cromwell Rd. The shops manage to combine tweeness with massive expense so it's never been a shopping destination of choice for me although I am a fan of the Ofado Portuguese restaurant.

The Beauchamp pub is about half way down the street and is a double frontage with a central door that leads into a single room with a bar along the right hand side. This should be a pleasant place to drink but the rather nasty decor consisting of dark brown leather sofas, armchairs and worst of all brown leather upholstered cubes as stools takes away a lot of the appeal. Upstairs to the rear left there was some slightly more conventional seating but really the decor here is pretty poor.

The bar offering was limited with three pumps two of which were not in use and the third having GKIPA

Could be much, much better than it is

7 Dec 2010 14:38

The Tea Clipper, Knightsbridge

The Tea Clipper is a pleasant wood pannelled single room and despite the inevitable overflow from the nearby shopping streets it managed to retain a reasonable atmosphere on my midafternoon visit. It is located at the bottom end of the very pleasant Montpelier Sq ( I seem to remember a second pub at the rear right hand of the square years ago but that seems to have gone)

Ales were Marston EPA, Ringwood Best and, my choice, Hobgoblin which turned out to be rather good.

A word of warning - the toilets are not signposted properly and are in fact up the staircase on the front wall opposite the bar

If you are out and about in Knightsbridge the Tea Clipper along with the Paxtons Head are about the best options

7 Dec 2010 14:34

The Tattersalls Tavern, Knightsbridge

A place fully devoted to the lunchtime shopper trade with a heavy preponderance of eaters. I found the pub rather soulless despite the reasonably comfortable interior. Ales were Youngs Gold, Old Speckled Hen and Adnams Southwold

There are better pubs than this within 10 minutes walk

7 Dec 2010 14:30

Paxtons Head, Knightsbridge

The Paxtons Head is tucked away on Knightsbridge out of sight of the main drag and hence suffers less from the tourist influx than some other pubs nearby. It has an impressive wood and etched glass interior that makes it a pleasant drinking environment. A large flatscreen TV hangs on the rear wall.

Ales were split between the regulars - Pride, Youngs London Gold and Tribute and the guests which on my visit were Stonehenge Pigswill and Okell Red. I would imagine there is something here to interest most hopheads.

Environment was ok - at lunchtime it was still a bit dominated by tourists eating fish and chips but it is better in the evening after the shops have shut

7 Dec 2010 14:28

Ye Olde Watling, Mansion House

Remains an excellent staple in the area. The Watling consists of two rooms situated diagonally to each other. The front room with the bar is supposed to date back to the late 17th century. It consists of a bar against the rear wall, a small number of high tables with stools and further stool aginast a ldge on the wall to the left of the bar. The room to the rear and right of the bar appears to have been built at some later point and contains more conventional tables and chairs.

Ale offering is varied ( I think it must be a Nicholsons pub based on what they had but didn't notice for sure) with seven pumps dispensing Pride, Tribute, Doom Bar, Landlord, Jarvik Blond, Acorn Old Moor Porter and Williams alcholic ginger beer.

I've always liked this place - it has a genuine old world feel to it and is a convivial place to pass an hour. I would imagine it is more difficult in the evenings when the after work crowd pitch up but if you can find the right time well worth looking in on

7 Dec 2010 14:24

The Golden Fleece, Bank

A largish Greene King pub with an impressive dark wood interior around a central bar. Seating is plentiful and comfortable with a mixture of high and low chairs.

It was very quiet when I went in mid-afternoon so a little difficult to gauge what it would be like when more crowded in the evening.

Ales on offer are some of GK's standards - GKIPA, Abbot Ale, Royal London, Old Speckled Hen and St Edmunds and one of their seasonal ales - Rocking Rudolph mixed with a couple of guests - on my visit these were Wickwar Rite Flanker and York Brewery Autumn Kiss.

This is a good pub and the ale range good so if you are in the area it is worth calling in

7 Dec 2010 14:18

O'Neills, Cannon Street

Of the chain pubs O'Neill's is the one I find least offensive (although this is a little like being the tallest dwarf). This particular establishment used to be a fairly grotty place called the Sugar Loaf 15 or more years ago.

It has shown some improvement since then with the bar area being extended at the rear into the adjacent building and there was a nice relaxed atmosphere when I arrived in mid afternoon.

As seems standard for O'Neills the only ale on offer was Pride although there was also Smithwicks for those who a like a pint they need to chew.

It's a pretty inoffensive establishment but with the Watling and Golden Fleece nearby not a place I would use as a destination of choice in the Mansion House area

7 Dec 2010 14:12

The Pavilion End, Mansion House

Modernised high ceilinged pub on the narrow and old style Watling St. It does have an outside area to the rear although as I visited during the recent cold snap this was redundant and the high ceilings made the pub some somewhat austere and cold in atmosphere. There is also a downstairs bar to take the overflow in the evenings.

From the beer selection I presume this is a Marston establishment with four ales on offer being Brakspears, Marstons Pedigree, Hobgoblin and Mansfield Old Baily. I had a decent pint of Hobgoblin if slightly too cold although I put this down to the Arctic conditions outside.

This is a reasonable if unremarkable pub and I wouldn't come here over the Watlin for example. In the summer however, the high ceilings and outside space make it a more attractive proposition although I have to say it did used to get rammed a few years back which would put me off a bit

7 Dec 2010 14:06

The Shipwrights Arms, London Bridge

The Shipwrights is an unmodernised pub located along Tooley St from London Bridge Station and tourist haunts like the London Dungeon. A lot of redevelopment has taken place on the other side of the street over the last 20 years and while some (like Hays Galleria) are well done the area immediately over the road from the pub boasts a fairly nasty glass office block and perhaps the most hideous Hilton Hotel I have ever seen (looks like it was built out of Lego)

The interior of the pub is pretty much unmodernised - there is a central bar with chairs and tables scattered around and walls festooned with nautical pictures and instruments.

Despite some of the previous comments I found the bar stuff friendly and helpful although the landlady did appear to take her dog behind the bar which I was less keen on. The atmosphere was fairly relaxed with a mixture of office workers and tourists. Ale selection was reasonable with Price, Harveys Best and Deuchars IPA on offer - I enjoyed my pint of Deuchars.

This is a very reasonable pub that is worth a look in if in the area although I would not make a special effort to visit

7 Dec 2010 14:00

The Lord Clyde, Borough

There are a lot of decent pubs in the Borough area and a number of very good ones. The Lord Clyde stands comparison with any of them. It is located on a very small side street just off Marshalsea Rd in a fairly unpromising location up against an estate. The exterior appears completely unspoiled with Truman's motif on the wall and the two doors indicating public and saloon bars even though they open into the same space.

The main bar area is L-shaped with the bar in the centre and comfortable deep red decor with some particularly comfortable upholstered benches along some of the walls. As an added winter bonus there is an open fire on the left hand side of the room. A second smaller room is located to the right and rear of the bar. All the walls are covered in historical prints, posters and photographs and I was particularly interested to see a Truman's price chart for 1966 in the rear left corner - all pints around the two shilling mark.

There are 5 pumps with a fairly standard selection of Youngs Ordinary, Pride, Adnams, Doom Bar and the slightly more exotic Hogsback TEA. My pint of Doom Bar was fine. Basic but appetising food was being served when I was in with the burgers and doorstep sandwiches being the best looking.

This is an excellent local pub which is well worth making the effort to visit.

7 Dec 2010 13:55

The Masons Arms, Mayfair

Smallish single roomed pub with a mock tudor frontage as can be seen in the photograph. It's a Greene King establishment and as such one of the better ones I've been to in London. Ale offerings were St Edmunds, GKIPA, Old Speckled Hen and Royal London.

In the early evening this pub had a very relaxed atmosphere and while it might get busier later I found it a very pleasant place to while away an hour and read the paper.

19 Nov 2010 08:41

The Windmill, Mayfair

Tucked away on a little side street the Windmill is actually a reasonably large pub particularly for Mayfair. It is an L shaped pub split into three sections - two at the front and one to the right and rear of the bar. The decor is warm deep reds and because of this is probably one for cosy winter nights rather than scorching summer afternoons. I dropped in late afternoon and there were plenty of people inside without it being overcrowded.

6 ales on offer - Youngs Ordinary, London Gold and Special, Bombardier, Wandle and Doom Bar. Bar staff were friendly and efficient.

The Windmill is a good pub and definitely worth dropping into if in the area.

19 Nov 2010 08:38

The Guinea, Mayfair

The Guinea is tucked away on Bruton Pl away from passing foot traffic. Despite being very close to Berkeley Square and Curzon St the road is very quiet - more of a mews type street although most premises seemed commercial and as the previous reviewer said there is a Pizza Express opposite.

The Guinea has a very comfortable interior with a tartan carpet and comfortable seating including some a very nice upholstered bench in the right hand corner. The walls are also covered in pictures and on the whole the ambience is very pleasant. The carpet and seating made me feel rather like being somewhere in rural Scotland and it would have been no surprise to see a grouse shooting party come through one of the doors.

It's a Young's pub so standard Young's offerings - Ordinary, Special,London Gold and Bombardier. There is a fairly limited lunchtime menu although the pub is proud of its Steak and Kidney pies. In the evenings the food is limited to the pies and sausage rolls.

The Guinea is a classic establishment and well worth travelling to visit.

19 Nov 2010 08:33

The Iron Duke, Mayfair

There aren't many Fullers pubs in the West End that I am aware of so the Iron Duke is a bit unusual in that respect. It's a single L-shaped room with plenty of traditional seating and a nice quietish atmosphere (despite being near South Molton St).

There were six pumps but half were duplicates so choice was Discovery, ESB and Pride. Given the Fullers range is wider than this it seems odd not to have more variety - perhaps the volume of business doesn't support it.

All in all I liked the Iron Duke - not the best pub in Mayfair but certainly a good place for a pint after a pounding in the shops.

19 Nov 2010 08:26

The Grosvenor Arms, Mayfair

I found this pub to be a little odd. It has a regulation bar but as davewat says below all the furniture looks like it belongs in a cafe and one from the 1970s at that. In the early evening the lighting was very low particularly at the front of the pub and there was a small candle on each table.

Ales on offer Landlord and Pride with one clip turned round.

Weird environment means there is no reason to choose this pub over some of the better offerings nearby like the Windmill or Iron Duke.

19 Nov 2010 08:23

The Swan, Bloomsbury

Pretty standard sort of place with a preponderance of tourists in attendance. The interior is longish and quite narrow with the bar along the right hand side and plenty of seating scattered about.

Ale offering is pretty decent with Pride, Old Peculier, London Reindeer, Old Speckled Hen and Broadside available.

This pub is decent if unremarkable but has too many tourists and is not as good as some of the nearby competition.

15 Nov 2010 09:38

Queens Larder, Bloomsbury

Tiny place tucked away off Russell Square the Queens Larder at least offers outside seating to take the overflow from inside. The area has a lot of hotels and so is heavily infested with tourists which does drag the pubs down a bit. The nearby Royal National is the starting point for Kontiki European coach tours so lots of Aussie yobbos as well.

All in all though the Queens Larder has a nice environment and while the service was a little quirky I didn't have any of the problems that seem to have afflicted some of the previous reviewers. GKIPA, Old Speckled Hen and Royal London on pump so for some people the appeal may be dictated by their liking or otherwise for GK offerings.

It was quite late when I arrived here and the pub was relatively quiet and thus I found it very pleasant. If it was more crowded then I would be less enthusiastic but you can do worse than drop in here for a drink if in the area.

15 Nov 2010 09:34

Marquis of Cornwallis, Bloomsbury

Decent pub with a crowded studenty feel to it on the evening I visited. Decent ale selection with Exmoor Antler, Pride, Ryedales Winter Tale and Tribute along with a standard selection of lagers.

This pub was ok but so crowded that I found it difficult even to find a comfortable place to stand so if you want a quiet drink with friend it is one to steer clear of.

15 Nov 2010 09:28

The Lord John Russell, Russell Square

Pleasant but crowded pub north of Russell Square. When I was in there were plenty of drinkers enjoying the friendly environment. Didn't see much food and I suspect this is a place for drinking rather than eating.

Plenty of choice on the ale front - Wadworth 6X, Deuchars IPA, Bombardier and John Smith cask as regulars and Holt Maplemoon and Robinsons Mr Scrooge Bah Humbug bitter as guests.

This is a good pub and well worth visiting in the area.

15 Nov 2010 09:26

The Norfolk Arms, Russell Square

This may have been a pub once but it is no really a tapas bar with limited facility for drinkers. On the evening I was in every one of the tables was occupied by diners with the drinkers clustered uncomfortably around the bar. It has the environment of a restaurant with a bar rather than a proper pub - this feeling is further exacerbated by the hams and salamis hanging from hooks around the bar

GKIPA and Theakstons XB on pump but really if you are looking for a pub in the area this is not the place and you would be better of going to the Skinners, Boot or Lord John Russell.

15 Nov 2010 09:21

The Boot, St Pancras

A back street pub in the area just south of Kings Cross the Boot has a heavy Irish influence and a warm environment. Lots of bric-a-brac on the walls and over the bar.

A downside for ale lovers is that there is nothing on pump - if you don't want lager then it's either Guinness or Caffreys. Plenty of food was being served when I was in - basic stuff but looked and smelt pretty good to me.

If you are in the area and want somewhere cosy for an evening the Boot certainly fits the bill. The lack of real ale might deter some but I can certainly recommend this place if in the area.

15 Nov 2010 09:18

The Skinners Arms, Kings Cross

Large busy corner pub in the area between Kings Cross and Russell Square. On the evening I was in there were a lot of local office workers and the whole place was quite noisy but with a good vibe.

There is lots of seating but unfortunately the numbers forced me to stand next to one of the ledges. It's a Greene King pub so ales on offer GKIPA, Abbot and St Edmunds.

I liked this pub a lot - it had a warm friendly atmosphere and the only downside was it is clearly extremely popular with the local office workers so hard to get a seat.

15 Nov 2010 09:14

The Dolphin, Kings Cross

Two roomed pub on a quiet street running parallel to the main drag outside Kings Cross station. The room to the left contained a pool table and some unfriendly inbred locals who I would associate more with estate pubs.

The room to the right was a bit more appealing despite the 70s middle class estate decor. The customers in here were a mix of local office workers and Kings X travellers. Only Pride on offer but this room at least was bearable for a pint.

Reading the previous reviews on here and going by the hostile atmosphere in one of the bars it is difficult to recommend this pub over the many superior alternatives on offer

15 Nov 2010 09:10

Ye Old Red Cow, Smithfield

Bizarre little place on two levels near Smithfield market. The downstairs bar is very small - certainly a lot smaller than the frontage on the photo suggests. There is a very tiny bar on the right hand wall - so small that the espresso machine sits on a shelf to the right hand side. The limited bar space also seems to restrict the drinks offered on pump/tap.

There are two pumps without clips and it was only when I got right up to the bar I could see that the beers were chalked on a board in flat in front of them. In fact it was both the Sambrook's beers - Wandle and Junction. Only three lagers plus Bulmers and none of the better premium lagers. All in all this sort of limitation puts me off places.

The seating (at least downstairs) was limited to 5 or 6 tables of varying kinds. Although I didn't go upstairs I have to assume it was somewhat larger as it extends over the alleyway on the left of the photo.

In the end this is not a particularly appealing pub and the fact that the Hand and Shears is about 10 yards away through the alley to the left means that it is very unlikely I'll bother returning here.

15 Nov 2010 09:01

The Hand and Shears, Barbican

A quick visit to this excellent establishment in the middle of last week. The environment remains unchanged and can only be recommended to the discerning pubgoer in the Barbican/Farringdon area.

Courage Best and GKIPA on pump but really you should visit this place for the ambience.

15 Nov 2010 08:53

The Lord Raglan, St Pauls

There was a period in 1989 when I was working near St Pauls tube that I seemed to spend my life in this place. The rather small frontage shown in the photograph gives access to a surprisingly large interior with a bar down the left hand side and plenty of seating throughout. There are several flat screens on the walls so watching midweek footy here is probably a big thing. There is an upstairs area for eating - years ago I seem to remember it being a mezzanine type arrangement with a lot of plants but if so that is long gone.

The ales on offer were the fairly standard selection of Pride, Doom Bar, Youngs London Gold and the less common Adnams Explorer. I had the Doom Bar which was ok.

There aren't many good pubs in the immediate vicinity so the Lord Raglan has it a little easy but it is still a decent place to come for a pint.

15 Nov 2010 08:51

The Bull, Bishopsgate

When I first came into the Bull aroud 18 years ago it was a spartan fairly nondescript place. It is one of a number of pubs (Magpie, King Stores, Williams) located in small side streets off Bishopsgate near Liverpool St station. It has been transformed over the years into somewhere rather pleasanter than its former self.

It is a single room ,wider than it is deep, with well upholstered booths along the walls and a number of chairs and tables at the front. Although it was lunchtime the fact that all the tables were laid with cutlery AND wine glasses suggests they are more interested in what you want to eat rather than drink.

Two pumps at the bar one dispensing Pride and the other - supposedly for a guest ale - without a clip. A few premium lagers also on offer. I had a pint of Peroni which unusually for London was less than 4.

There is quite a nice ambience to the Bull but it was hard to escape the feeling this was more of a diner than a pub. There are lots of superior establishments nearby but this could be a good place for lunch.

11 Nov 2010 11:40

The Clarence, Mayfair

Smallish Nicholsons pub located yards away on one side from that long standing cattle market the Dover Street Wine Bar and on the other by the much newer and almost as bad Mahiki.

The decor is standard Nicholsons dark wood although the brownish painted walls made the interior even more gloomy than usual. The walls were adorned with lots of ornately framed paintings and mirrors. A lot of customers were eating when I was in and the food looked good albeit off a fairly standard Nicholsons menu. Most customers looked like local office workers - a little surprising when you consider the pubs proximity to tourist hot spots like Green Park and Piccadily. The environment was quietish and comfortable.

As with all Nicholsons pubs now there was an extensive ale offering with rergulars Pride, Doom Bar and Landlord joined by Castle Rock Harvest Pale, Titanic Tomahawk, Thornbridge Jaipur IPA, Morland Original and Kelham Island Dark Island.

It's not a bad place at all this and worth dropping in if you are in the area

9 Nov 2010 22:59

Back Door / Burlington Arms, Mayfair

I thought I'd been to all the pubs in Mayfair but stumbled across this small establishment tucked away at the back of the Savile Row police station although the didn't appear to be too many Met officers inside.

It is a small corner bar with mainly red decor and a small number of tables - maybe 8 or 9 in all. There are also some tables outside on the footpath but the temperature prevented outside drinking on my visit (well except for the poor smokers). The overall envionment is a comfortable one and as a few others below have noted the score here seems artificially low.

Four pumps and they are having a bit of a Real Ale festival so the offerings were quite unusual - Brewers Choice Hop Monkey, Hopback Brewery HOP, Wolf Brewery Howler and Tring Devils Dyke. I had the Hop Monkey which was in good condition. The sign outside sugggested these will rotate so if you are in the area and want to try something different it might be worth dropping in.

Another nice backstreet Mayfair pub .

9 Nov 2010 22:52

Mulligans of Mayfair, Mayfair

Hard to know what to make of this pub on a quiet street between Savile Row and Bond St. Most of the rest of the street is given over to art galleries so that might dictate where the customers come from.

The sign outside advertises the place as an Oyster Bar and Restaurant so make of that what you will. On entering I found that is a Balls Brothers with an Irish angle so drinks emphasis is on Guinness, wine and Irish whiskey rather than beer. Other than the impressive array of Guinness taps the only other offering on tap was Pilsner Urquell. Nothing here for the ale drinker. As I hate Guinness I opted for the Pilsner even though it is not really a favourite.

The ambience in here was more of a restaurant and there is a downstairs area for dining. If you re looking for a pub there are better places in the area altough given where it is the place probably does well knocking out wine and food.

9 Nov 2010 22:46

Kings Head, Mayfair

Most pubs in Mayfair are small but the Kings Head is one of the larger ones with two separate areas on the ground floor with dining upstairs and a cellar bar down. I've got a nagging feeling that this place used to have a different name a few years ago - perhaps something literary like Keats or Byron.

It's a Ncholsons pub so its mainly dark wood decor and the ale range is pretty extensive.There are ten hand pumps which are split between the two areas - four on one side and six on the other. There are clips attached to bottles on each side of the bar so you know what else is on offer the other side. There were a couple of duplicates on my visit so 8 different ones in all being Pride, Landlord, Doom Bar (all Nicholson regulars in London), Harriestouns Bitter and Twisted, Seafarers, Brew Dog IPA, Cornish Coaster and Lee's Brewers Dark. Hard to see how anyone can complain about that variety. It's also worth noticing the last five are somewhat different to other Nicholsons pubs I have been in recently (notably the Magpie and the Clarence) so there must be some rotation.

It was mid-afternoon on my visit so can't describe the evening atmosphere but I liked this place and would return if in the area.

9 Nov 2010 22:41

The Goat Tavern, Piccadilly

Nice small pub on Stafford St which although yards from Bond St is in a quiet part of Mayfair. It is a small narrow pub with mostly dr furnishings and decor. It has an intimate atmosphere and a TV mounted on the wall near the front of the pub that was showing Sky Sports news when I was in. A dining area is located up on the first floor.

Ales on offer were Pride, Broadside, Youngs London Gold and Doom Bar which while perfectly acceptable does not compete with one or two of the Nicholsons pubs nearby.

I liked this pub and it was ideal for a quiet afternoon drink. It is probably more unpleasantly crowded in the evening but I quite liked this place.

9 Nov 2010 22:32

The Mash Tun, Victoria Station

There was a bit of chaos on the trains one evening recently and I was presented with a delay of unknown duration but looking likely to be reasonably short. Not wanting to leave the station concourse and unable to face the JDW upstairs I dropped in on the Mash Tun.

The interior is tiny although there are a few tables out on the concourse. Clientele were mainly seedy looking businessmen unble to face the journey home and domestic evening without some fortification as well as a few people like me killing time until the trains got sorted.

The only pump was Pride although there were two not in use (seems to be a theme in station pubs).

The Mash Tun has a few small advantages - it is tolerably clean, not the JDW and is near to the platforms. It is not quite as depressing as the Oast House in London Bridge or Boadicea in Charing Cross but is still a crappy station pub that is suitable only those with train delays.

7 Nov 2010 10:57

The Prince of Wales, Kensington

The Prince of Wales is a very narrow fronted pub on Kensington Church St a few yards off the High St itself. Although the frontage is tiny the interior is wedge shaped - widening gradually as you go past the bar into a more spacious rear area.

The interior is ok but a little run down and rather like the Bunch of Grapes in Knightsbridge it seems mainly to be used as a refuge from the retail horrors of the High St. There were 5 ales on pump - Youngs Ordinary and London Gold, Spitfire, Pride and Bombardier.

The pub has a bit of a transient feel to it and whilst perfectly acceptable for a quick Saturday afternoon pint I couldn't recommend it as somewhere for a long session.

7 Nov 2010 10:50

The Goat Tavern, Kensington

When I was a much more frequent visitor to the area it always used to surprise me that in such busy shopping street in an expensive area there was only one pub on the High St itself and that was the rather shabby Goat Tavern.

Roll on 15 years and the Goat retains its unique position (its actually right at the Hyde Park end of the High St) but has been sympathetically refurbished and actually a pretty good place to visit. It is a long narrow pub with the bar along the left and a well lit rear area. Decor is very comfortable and the pub has a Cask Marque with the offerings when I was in consisting of Hobgoblin, Deuchars IPA, Youngs Gold and Pride.

It was pretty empty on my afternoon visit which is surprising given how busy the High St is but perhaps people don't realise it is there tucked around a bend in the road near Hyde Park. In any case I found the Goat a pleasant place and would recommend it to people if in the area.

7 Nov 2010 10:46

The Greyhound, Kensington

A nice pub located on the rity Kensington Square just behind Barkers the Greyhound is actually also surprising large. The narrower front area with the bar opens out in to a large rear room with a projector screen TV. Obviously footy watching is an important part of this pubs operation.

The decor is traditional and pretty impressive red upholstered benches in alcoves to the left of the entrance and a nice set of chairs and tables in the rear room.

Beers on offer were pretty standard - Pride, Doom Bar and Bombardier.

I liked this pub and wouldn't mind returning in an evening. I did have to mark it down slightly though because it had bloody Christmas decorations up in early November - just bizarre.

7 Nov 2010 10:40

The Builders Arms, Kensington

The Builders Arms is a pub that left me with mixed feelings. Its exterior has been painted pale green since the photo was taken which is quite frankly pretty ugly. If anything the interior is worse with dark olive walls and furniture that seemed largely to consist of hideous sofas and upholstered benches.

This is a very expensive residential area and the pub is also adjacent to Richmond University (the American international university) so that will inform you about the clientele. When I was in on a midweek afternoon there were a few suits outside drinking but most people inside seemed to consist of the sort of students and trustafarians you would like to administer a good kick up the arse to.

So far so bad however the Builders does have a number of redeeming features. The bar staff were friendly and attentive and the drinks offering is pretty impressive. Three ales on pump (Cornish Coaster, Deuchars IPA and Doom Bar) along with three ciders on tap (Bulmers, Aspells and Gaymer) and an impressive selection of continental lagers. Drinks prices were very reasonable particularly for this part of London.

There were a number of people eating and the food looked and smelt pretty good. The menu was varied and almost identical in offering and design of the menu itself to that in the Crown and Greyhound in Dulwich village so I assume they are run by the same people.

As an added bonus there is a free comedy night on Mondays.

As I said at the start of the review I had mixed feelings about this pub. I could recommend it for lunch but in the end the decor and clientele pretty much put me off coming here again.

7 Nov 2010 10:35

Gloucester Arms, Knightsbridge

I used to live in this area about 15 years ago but hadn't wandered up to this end of Gloucester Rd since then. Many of the old shops have disappeared and the old Harrington pub is now a French cafe. Only the splendid Da Marios pizzeria remains from the area I remember. The Gloucester was a pretty run down pub then but after doing a spell as a plastic Paddy establishment (called Finnegans Wake if I recall correctly) it has revived as the Gloucester and undergone a sympathetic refurbishment.

The pub itself is an L shaped single room with loads of seating ( high and low) and several flat screens mounted on the wall for sport viewing. Decor is mostly dark wood and the pub has a pleasant atosphere that makes it easy to imagine spending a whole evening here.

The ales on pump were Youngs London Gold, Spitfire, and Doom Bar. I've noticed recently that Spitfire is now on offer in many non-SN pubs and Doom Bar is almost everywhere so the brewers involved must be making considerable efforts to get their products in view.

I liked this pub and would return here if in the area.

7 Nov 2010 10:24

The Stanhope Arms, Kensington

The strip outside Gloucester Rd tube station is a pretty unappealing area without being particularly grim. There are a lot of low and middle market hotels in this neck of the woods and despite being expensive residentially this small area is dominated by tourists. The Stanhope is in keeping with this. The pub itself is a single irregularly shaped room with a central bar - seating is high tables and stools to the left of the bar and more conventional chairs and tables to the right.

Most of the customers on a Wednesday lunchtime were tourists dining and there were quite a few pre-teen children which always puts me off. The rest appeared to be local workers grabbing a swift pint. Ales on offer were Youngs Gold, Speckled Hen, Spitfire and Pride.

The Stanhope is not a grimy as it used to be but impossible to recommend as it is dominated by the transient and lacks any real character. If you are in this area walk 5 mins down to Hereford Square and go into the Hereford - it is much better

7 Nov 2010 10:18

The Hung, Drawn and Quartered, Tower Hill

I've driven past this place dozens of times without actually going in. I'm guessing its about 15 years old and it turns out to be one of Fullers better City offerings (without surpassing the excellent Swan in Leadenhall Market). Fullers have clearly spent quite a deal of money on this place - baroque wall and ceiling decoration and a large number of repro portraits in ornate frames hang on the walls. It all lends to the atmosphere and there is a full range of Fullers beers on offer - Pride, ESB, Chiswick, Discovery and Trafalgar on pump and Honeydew on tap.

Clientele heavily male dominated and the only real drawback is that the road outside is noisy and busy. Still it's worth dropping into this place if in the area.

3 Nov 2010 09:07

The Ship, Tower Hill

The Ship is a nice traditional albeit small pub. The decor does have certain nautical feel to it although is reasonably basic. There were around one hundred ties hanging from one of the beams as part of a charity sponsorship event for which the pub raised over 2,000. This tells me that there is a sense of spirit and community to the pub which is not found in many City establishments. I will say that the clientele on my visit were almost exclusively male - I only counted two women out of around 30 customers when I was in.

Ale offering is decent with Butcombe, Doom Bar, Everards Tiger and Brains Dark (the latter two I've not really seen anywhere else in the City). Lager selection was pretty weak though - only Kronenbourg as a premium brand.

This is a nice friendly pub which I would definitely use if working in the area.

3 Nov 2010 09:02

The Crutched Friar, Tower Hill

An interesting place this - it's obviously a fairly recent creation but unlike many similar establishment works pretty well. The photo does not really do justice to the pub as it shows only the left half of the bar. The entrance to the right hand side of the picture is, in reality a central entrance.

Rather strangely you enter up a gently sloping ramp of maybe 15-20 metres with the bar at the upper end. To the left and right are seating areas with the one on the left (pictured) being comfortable chairs and tables for drinking and the one on the right being rather more elaborately decorated and more directed at eating. There is another drinking area with high tables and stools to the left of the bar and behind that a courtyard for outside drinkers (and presumably smokers).

The Crutched Friar then is a fairly large establishment but still manages to retain a decent atmosphere. There is a good range of ales with the usual suspects like Pride, Landlord, Doom Bar and Tribute being supplemented by less common offerings - Copper Dragon Golden Pippin and Adnams Ghost Ship - on my visit. A long list of ales on a blackboard (perhaps 30 in all) suggests regular rotation.

This is a decent place to drink and I'll probably return here.

3 Nov 2010 08:55

The Cheshire Cheese, Tower Hill

Tucked under the rail tracks out of Fenchurch St the Cheshire Cheese is an unreconstructed City boozer of which there are a diminishing number. The decor is 20 years ago but it remains a comfortable drinking environment. Ales consist of Bombardier Pride and Marstons EPA and food and drink prices are very reasonable for the City - Stella at 2.95 for example and two meals for 5.50.

This is the sort of pub I would use if working in the immediate vicinity.

3 Nov 2010 08:48

The Minories, Tower Hill

Back in my youth in the early 90s when the City had far less bars and clubs (and a lot closed at 8 or 9 pm) the Minories was the Square Mile's premier meat market. I've seen the Pitcher and Piano in Liverpool St referred to on here as the gateway to Essex but this is the original.

It's wedged under a couple of the arches of the rail tracks out of Fenchurch St and adjacent to the entrance to the Tower Gateway DLR station. The pub itself is large and rambling with a bar area under each arch. It was quiet on my early afternoon visit last week with clientele mostly consisting of dining tourists. The offers on shots and cocktails behind the bar though suggests that in the evening it is still a destination for Basildon's finest.

Surprisingly the Minories has a Cask Marque although the ales on offer consisted of LAndlord, Pride and Bombardier. Old Rosie on pump is also available for those who don't give too much thought to the state of their liver.

I'm not totally sure what to conclude about this pub - the environment is perfectly pleasant (notwithstanding the trains rumbling overhead) but I suspect in the evenings it's still pretty nasty.

3 Nov 2010 08:45

The Harp, Covent Garden

First visit here for a good while last week. Last couple of times I've rolled in the evening it was absolutely jammed so didn't other. This though is the only issue I would have with this excellent establishment.

The Harp is a small pub with the walls covered in various portraits - some of whom I recognise and a larger number that I feel I ought to know but can't quite name.

As usual the ale offering on my visit was excellent - Harveys Best, Wandle, Dark Star Original, Dark Star American Pale Ale, Moles Landlord's Choice, Black Country Pig on the Wall and Milestones Dark Mild. A mild of course being quite unusual for London. I had the American Pale Ale which was excellent.

There are many tributes to this pub on this site and I'm not sure how much I can add other than to say that the Harp is well worth a visit and hopefully it won't be quite as long before I drop in again.

3 Nov 2010 08:37

The Garden, Islington

Now refurbished and re-named the Vineyard. Interior is a strange collection of chairs, tables, armchairs, and sofas with a multicoloured chequerboard upholstered bar. Food is good, reasonably priced and with a heavy South African influence.

It is not too difficult to imagine a cast array of Islington nobheads showing up here in the evening but on a weekday lunchtime it was pretty pleasant.

Ales were Doom Bar, Landlord and GKIPA along with a standard mix of lagers.

OK if in the area

1 Nov 2010 08:38

The Kings Head, Islington

Quiet on my Saturday afternoon visit but there were one or two absurdly dressed acting types knocking around the place. The walls are a treasure trove of theatrical memorabilia but I found the seating and general decor of the place pretty shabby and unappealing. Rather like the Old Blue Last in Hoxton it has ransacked an old theatre for some of its seating.

Ale selection was Adnams, Youngs Ordinary, Bombardier and Landlord. I had the last of these and it was in good order.

The pub obviously has some historical noteworthiness but I wouldn't make a special effort to visit.

1 Nov 2010 08:34

The Florence Tavern, Islington

Twenty yards or so off Upper St and tucked in behind a petrol station the Florence lacks the pretentiousness of many of the pubs and bars on the main drag itself. A sign on the wall outside bills it as "a proper pub" and it does indeed fit that description.

I wouldn't describe it as a "Sky Sports hell hole" like the previous reviewer but it does have a rugby angle as evidenced by some of the memorabilia on the walls. I found it a relaxing and pleasant place for a pint. It also has a dart board which always marks a pub up in my estimation.

It did let itself down on the ale side a bit with 2 out of 3 clips turned round and only Pride on offer. I stuck to the premium lager.

Other than that I can well recommend the Florence - much more relaxing place to drink than many of its nearby rivals.

1 Nov 2010 08:29

The Field, Mayfair

Almost deserted on my visit. The decor was pleasant enough but with cutlery laid on every table it is clearly looking to attract diners. I am not a big fan of this. I didn't see anyone eating and can't really comment on the food.

Ales were Pride Adnams, Spitfire and Doom Bar so nothing too original.

This pub is ok for a pint if in the area but not worth any special effort to reach

1 Nov 2010 08:24

Ye Grapes, Mayfair

Mid afternoon visit meant most of the lunchtime crowds had dispersed by the time I arrived. There were a few outside drinkers but the interior was almost deserted. The decor is pretty spartan with the points of interest coming from a number of glass cases containing stuffed birds and fish and a couple of wall mounted antelope heads.

Ale offerings were interesting with some of the usual suspects - Wandle, Pride, Doom Bar and Spitfire - mixed in with a couple of in-house brews - Ye Grapes Bitter and Ye Grapes Best. I was in a bit of a hurry so did not sample the latter two. My pint of Doom Bar was fine.

There is nothing particularly special about this pub although it does offer outside drinking which may influence whether you want to visit it or not.
It is worth noting that there is also a Thai restaurant upstairs.

1 Nov 2010 08:22

Market Tavern, Mayfair

The former ONeills has received a bit of a trendy makeover and on my visit was a lot noisier and crowded than its neighbours. Plenty of people eating (and food looked and smelt good) as well as goups of drinkers both inside and out. The decor is somewhat eclectic with a mixture of high stools, tables and the odd sofa. Of particular note is a sofa arrangement in the back corner around a large marble topped coffee table. It is also worth mentioning that there were no spare seat when I arrived so I was forced to stand at the bar - if you want a table here at lunchtime get in early.

The drinks offering here was pretty impressive (the range reminded me of the Crown and Two Chairmen in Soho but don't know if its the same owners). Three ales on offer - Doom Bar, Wandle and Centurion Ghost Ale - as well as Addlestones and Aspells Cider. The lagers on tap ranged from the common (Becks, Staropramen and Heineken) to the more unusual (Peroni, Estrella Damm, Kirin, Pilsner Urquell) through to more exotic continental brands (Fruli, Leffe, Franziskaner)

I did like this pub but it was a bit noisy for a lunchtime and I found the Shepherds Tavern preferable on that basis. I would imagine it gets quite raucous in the evening so if that is you thing it is probably a place to visit.

1 Nov 2010 08:18

The Shepherds Tavern, Mayfair

A small traditional pub at the west end of Shepherds Market, Shepherd's Tavern is probably the best of the 4 pubs in the market area. The bar area is fairly small with 10 or so tables and a few high stools. I was in on a Thursday lunchtime and most of the other customers were couples or small groups eating appetising looking lunches. The atmosphere was quiet and relaxed and it was definitely a pleasant place to pass an hour or so reading the paper.

Ales on offer werre Youngs, Bombardier, Spitfire and Broadside.

I am not sure what this place would be like in the evenings - the market area is pretty popular for after work eating and drinking and the restricted space here may mean the bar area is quite cramped but other than that I would have no hesitation in recommending this pub for eaters and drinkers.

1 Nov 2010 08:10

The Magpie, Bishopsgate

A splendid Nicholsons pub on a narrow road of the east side of Bishopsgate. This area of the City really is good for pubs with the Shooting Star, Williams and Dirty Dicks also within a stone's throw of here.

The interior is mainly dark wood with plenty of seating and the street outside offers plenty of space for outside drinking in the warmer months. The ale range is impressive - when I was in the offerings were Pride, Landlord, Doom Bar, Tether Blond, Morland Original, Acorn Old Moon Porter, Cotleigh Tawny Owl, Harvieston Bitter and Twisted and Skinners Pennycomequick. I doubt whether any other pub in the area can match this although Woodins Shades does come close.

Clientele was heavily male dominated and as you would expect most dipping into the impressive selection. I have to admit to being a bit unimaginative and having a pint of Landlord but it was in very good condition.

I can really recommend this place particularly for the ale lover.

29 Oct 2010 01:59

The Bell, Cannon Street

Nice smallish traditional pub alongside Cannon Street station. Quite crowded the lunchtime I was in with a lot of people eating appetising sandwiches and pub food. Three ales on offer - Sharps Cornish Coaster, St Austell Tribute and Harveys Best. I had a pint of Harveys which was fine.

The pub has a nice atmosphere and is worth visiting if in this part of the City

29 Oct 2010 01:45

The Bunch of Grapes Inn, City of London

Tucked away at the back of Leadenhall Market the Bunch of Grapes is a single wood panelled room with the bar across the back wall. It is very spartanly furnished with only a few stools around the walls and a single small high table. Ergo expect to be standing if you drink in here.

Reasonable selection of ales with Pride, Adnams Southwold and Doom Bar on offer. My Doom Bar was fine.

This is a reasonable pub but with the Lamb and the Swan in Leadenhall Market there are better places to go nearby.

29 Oct 2010 01:40

The Hatchet, Mansion House

A traditional City watering hole of which there are rather too few these days, the Hatchet has changed little in atmosphere over the last 15 years. A small single room with bar along the right hand side there are not many tables so really for after work vertical drinking. The back room - which has no natural light at all - is still present but is a bit of a dungeon.

Although the beer offering is weak - GKIPA and Abbot Ale - the atmosphere more than makes up for it.

29 Oct 2010 01:37

The Princess of Wales, Charing Cross

I hadn't been in this place for several year but dropped in a couple of weeks ago to find a refurbished and much improved pub. The previously manky interior now has an impressive dark wood replacement. I'm not sure how long ago this took place but it has certainly taken the pub from one looking to catch the overspill from Charing Cross (no doubt escaping the horrors of the Boadicea) to a genuinely pleasant place for a pint.

The beer range was also impressive with regulars like Doom Bar, Pride, Landlord and Seafarers interspersed with less common Brains SA and Thornbridge Jaipur IPA across the six pumps. The pint of Seafarers I had was fine.

If you are in the area and can't be bothered to walk over to the Ship and Shovell this is a very acceptable alternative.

29 Oct 2010 01:32

The London Stone, Cannon Street

This is a real cave located below ground level with no natural daylight. The bat has a gothic theme with gothic arches prominent everywhere in the mirrors, chairs and booths. There are assorted skeletons and gargoyles dotted around the place to lend extra atmosphere. As it was a week before Halloween when I dropped in additional decoration in the form of cobwebs and wall decorations had been put in place.

So quite an atmospheric establishment if a little unusual for the vicinity. On the downside the bar offers no real ales with John Smiths on tap the nearest you can get. The toilets are through a door in a fake bookcase but once the novelty of this and the decor wear off you a left with a pretty average pub.

29 Oct 2010 01:26

The Constitution, Pimlico

My initial impression upon entering this pub was not favourable largely as the customer base seemed a bit down market. As I settled down to my pint I realised that the pub was somewhat better than I first thought.

A single wood panelled room with a nautical them there are also several TVs scattered around and clearly the football plays a significant part in the life of the bar. Four ales on offer GKIPA, Abbot Ale, Spitfire and Courage Best. Clientele largely drawn from the white van driving community in the early evening and while this grated a little initially there was no bad behaviour or drunks in evidence.

There aren't many good pubs in Pimlico and the Constitution is better tha most of its nearby rivals.

12 Oct 2010 06:00

The Pride of Pimlico, Pimlico

Pimlico is an area of contrasts with a grid of neat stucco residences in the centre fringed by a number of estates and the railway lines from Victoria. Tachbrook St is one where the two worlds collide with one side of the road given over to said stucco buildings and the other side to a red brick 60/70s estate.

The Pride of Pimlico (and never has a pub been more inappropriately named) inhabits the ground floor of one of the estate blocks and is all you expect from such an establishment. Having fought my way through the gaggle of surly smokers in and around the entrance I found my self in a largish irregular shaped single room bar. Bench and table seating in the front of the pub, bar in the middle and pool table to the rear.

Decor can only be described as fake Irish shabby with a few Gaelic football jerseys adorning one wall. As one would expect it is all slightly dishevelled with bits of last years Christmas decoration still stuck to the ceiling to add to the overall impression of sloppiness. There is a very large flat screen (50" I should think) mounted on the wall in the front bay area which indicates sport watching is an important part of the activity in this pub. A further TV in the central area was broadcasting racing in the middle of the afternoon which is never a very good sign in my view.

The clientele were a colourful cast of the aged and unemployed (and probably unemployable) - as with all these sorts of pubs there were a considerable number for mid-afternoon. It is not too difficult to imagine this place getting quite lairy later in the evening.

No pumps that I could see - just a selection of lagers, Guinness and John Smiths.

A genuine shithole.

12 Oct 2010 05:51

The Gallery, Pimlico

I'm not sure why this pub has such a low score. My visit last week was perfectly pleasant. The pub is a little larger than it appears and has been sympathetically refurbished. The floral print curtains are much in evidence and there is a variety of comfortable seating scattered around. A couple of discreetly placed TVs suggest that while sports watching may be available it is not the centrepiece of the pub. An opening in the ceiling to the first floor near the front of the pub showed an upstairs eating area which was closed at the time of my late afternoon visit.

There were 4 hand pumps with Bombadier, Pride, Doom Bar and Harveys Best on offer as well as a selection of premium lagers. As a previous review says the prices are on the high side - north of 3.50 for a premium lager. It was difficult to judge the customer base or bar staff as the pub was very quiet at the time I visited - perhaps it fills up with braying idiots and surly unhelpful staff later in the evening but that was not my experience.

In relation to the last post there is a clear sign on the door of the pub that no dogs are allowed other than guide dogs.

Not a bad place at all but expensive.

12 Oct 2010 05:40

The Coach and Horses, Covent Garden

Fine small traditional pub in an area where you need to look hard to find such establishments. The room is small carpetted and with a mall bar serving Spitfire and Courage tucked into the left hand corner. TVs are mounted high on the walls and I had the pleasure of watchig Jeff Stelling's silent animation as Man U went down to another defeat when I was in.

It's a respite from the horrors of the West End and well worth searching out if in the area.

24 Dec 2009 06:05

The Globe, Covent Garden

The photo of the pub gives the impression of a small traditional hostelry however nothing could be further from the truth. The guts have been ripped out of this pub. It is now a single sterile room with three large handeliers above the bar giving it a brightness that was almost painful.

Ales were Pride and Seafarers. If this is a Fuller's pub they should be ashamed of themselves but I suspect it is just a prime example of what happens when pubs fall into the wrong hands.

Avoid like the plague - there is a better pub next door (Marquis of Anglesey) and a much better one three doors down (Coach and Horses). All that is wrong with Covent Garden in one small room.

24 Dec 2009 06:02

The Crown and Anchor, Covent Garden

This was the pub I spent my last evening in before getting married in the mid 90s and I have to shamefully admit I probably haven't been in it since. It's been refurbished since then although not in a bad way. Most of the customers were refugees from the nearby shopping streets (which have improved dramatially in that time).

Ales were Spitfire Harveys Best and Deuchars IPA. There was slightly too loud RnB style music on which I don't like and would discourage me from returning in the daytime but overall this is a decent pub.

24 Dec 2009 05:58

The Crown, Covent Garden

Wedge shaped old style boozer on the Seven Dials just north of Covent Garden. The pub is effectively divided into two rooms although it is possible to walk right round the smallish central bar. The front room is mainly standing with a TV above the door for watching the football. the smaller back room has a couple of sofas (Boo Hiss!!), a fireplace and a small number of tables. As an added Christmas attraction the fireplace had a pair of Santas legs hanging down to give the impression he was stuck in the chimney!!!. Christmas card hanging up in the bar gave a bit of a homely feel to the place as well.

Ales on were Adnams and Pride (GKIPA was off). Overall the Crown is a pleasantly traditional place with that slightly scruffy feel that I rather like There are not many pubs left like this in the area and it's worth a visit if you are in the vicinity.

24 Dec 2009 05:55

The Duke of York, Marylebone

Small traditional single roomed pub with a sporting theme - lots of rugby and golf pictures and some models of rugby players on top of the bar. As one would expect in this sort of environment there are screens for watching matches.

There was nothing special about this pub and while it's ok for a quick one I would head for the Windsor Castle if in the area.

24 Dec 2009 05:49

The Victory, Marylebone

Unfortunately this is a pub with all the character ripped out of it and consists of a fairly large single room with quite a few of the dreaded sofas. There is no ale that I could see and the only customers when I was in were a few local soaks. It might be better in the evenings but I don't think I'll be returning to find out.

24 Dec 2009 05:46

The Wargrave Arms, Marylebone

This is a largish Youngs corner pub with furniture in the style of several decades ago. Ales on offer were Youngs, Youngs Special and Bombardier and the pub also seems to specialise in single malts of which there was a large selection behind the bar. As the previous reviewer says though there is quite a cold atmosphere perhaps due to the high ceilings and relatively spartan decor rather than the attitude of staff or customers. With an outside drinking area though this is probably a pub better suited to the warmer months than the depths of winter.

I wouldn't mind looking in on this place again in spring/summer.

24 Dec 2009 05:44

Windsor Castle, Marylebone

This is a very nice welcoming pub just off the Edgware Road. It is effectively divided into two rooms with a central bar area and there was an open fire in the left hand side on my visit which made the whole place very cosy on a cold winters afternoon. The entire pub is covered with bric-a-brac relating largely to the entertainment industry and royal family. The walls are covered with picture and other mementoes (even some stuff about Norman Balon in one corner) and the ceiling is covered with glass cabinets containing assorted plates. Even the front of the bar is glass covered containing all manner of old bottles.

Although this is quite kitsch it does seem to work and I liked the atmosphere of this pub. Ales on were Adnams, 6X, Youngs Special and Bombardier.

Overall a good London backstreet pub.

24 Dec 2009 05:40

Ye Old Mitre, Holborn

Marvellous old pub down an alleyway just above Holborn Viaduct. The pub is split into several rooms - the rear room I was in had Tudor style wood panelling with pictures to match and somehow chairs that also fitted in.

Ales on offer were Pride, Broadside, Cotleighs Rainbeer, Bank Top Santa Claus, Deuchars IPA and Seafarers. I tried the last which was very good indeed.

This pub deserves all the accolades it has received on here and despite one or two noxious people in the pub is generally a fine place to drink

One for both ale lovers and those who just appreciate fine historic pubs.

22 Dec 2009 00:53

The One Tun, Farringdon

Tucked away on Saffron Hill just off Farringdon Road this is a nice L shaped room with a relaxed atmosphere. Beers on offer were Black Sheep, Adnams, 6X and Brakspears Oxford Gold. There was a mixed crowd in here and it seemed a decent place to spend the evening.

22 Dec 2009 00:50

The Hope and Sirloin, Farringdon

Bit of a pit this place really - the impressive glass facade conceals a single room with dark wood on the lower walls and upper area and ceiling painted red.

The room is fairly spartan with benches and tables round the outside and slightly too loud music playing. Despite this apparently being a Youngs pub there was only Youngs bitter on offer.

There are a number of superior pubs in the immediate vicinity so I can't really recommend this one.

22 Dec 2009 00:47

The Fox and Anchor, Smithfield

Haven't been in here since the refurb a couple of years ago but it seems to have been sympathetically done and the dining rooms at the rear look to have been retained. Beers are a bit off beat with the pumps offering Sharps Nadelik, Adnams Old Ale and UPU Purity. The taps had no signs but there was only one lager apparently brewed in Greenwich.

The interior of this pub is still impressive and it was more crowded than many in the area. Didn't seem to serve Guinness though so a pre-Test match breakfast here will not be the same for many people I know.

I got the feeling that while this pub is pretty good it could easily be better.

22 Dec 2009 00:45

Smithfield Tavern, Smithfield

Deep single roomed pub with a fairly narrow street frontage. The place gave the impression of being a bit dishevelled to me with a wide variety of chairs and tables - some of the tables were clearly too low for seating comfortably at even with low stools.

4 pumps but only Bombardier and County Perry on offer which seems pretty poor for this area to me.

This is not a bad pub but there are a number of better offerings within 10 minutes walk.

22 Dec 2009 00:41

The Bishop's Finger, Barbican

Nice dark wood single roomed Shepheard Neame pub on the south side of Smithfield market. Master Brew, Bishops Finger, Late Red and Spitfire on pump. The backdrop to the bar was impressive as is often the case in SN pubs.

It was relatively quiet on my visit and a nice relaxing place for a drink.

22 Dec 2009 00:39

The Butcher's Hook and Cleaver, Smithfield

The photo here is quite deceptive as it makes this pub look like it has quite a narrow facade. In truth the front of the pub is at leat three times as wide as the signed bit shown.

On entering it's a large high ceilinged room with a mezzanine area to the right of the bar and a seating area under this that is cosier than the main bar. As a Fullers pub it has a full range of their beers on offer - Pride, ESB, Discovery, Chiswick and Jack Frost on pump with London Porter and Honeydew on tap.

I generally like Fullers pubs although their offerings in the City are mixed - the Swan in Leadenhall is excellent while the Fleetwood and Telegraph are rather average. This pub despite appearing rather new is towards the upper end of the scale and if you're tired of the 1940s surroundings of the Hand and Shears a 5 minute walk here will be worthwhile.

22 Dec 2009 00:37

The Rising Sun, Smithfield

Sam Smiths pub with (as is usual for them) a well maintained interior including a dartboard with electronic scoreboard.

Clientele and ambience were perfectly acceptable and it's a nice place for a drink as long as you like those that Sam Smiths pubs sell.

22 Dec 2009 00:32

The Hand and Shears, Barbican

Splendid old pub with a timeless quality rather like the Royal Oak in Borough. Entering from the longer side of the pub it is divided into 4 with small front section, a tiny section to the right and larger rooms to the left and rear. I opted for the room on the left which had a fireplace and a small number of tables.

The ales were Courage Best, 6X and Directors with Adnams as a guest although I couldn't see the pump for that one.

This is an excellet old style pub of which there are rather too few in central London. Well worth a visit if in the area.

22 Dec 2009 00:30

The Court, Tottenham Court Road

Bright, loud, full of students, no ales and service that could possible see you dying of thirst before you get served. In fact it was so bad that I left without getting a drink.

One to avoid - there are much better places in the area.

19 Dec 2009 09:08

The Grafton Arms, Fitzrovia

Tucked away on a side street off Tottenham Court Road the Grafton is one of those smallish comfortable London back street pubs tht I enjoy. The sign outside advertised a roof terrace but given the temperature I felt no need to verify this). It's a Greene King pub offering IPA, Abbott, Old Speckled Hen, Royal London and Orsell.

The pub has a nice relaxing atmosphere and was a bit quieter than some of the pubs on Tottenham Court Rd itself. I'd definitely return here if in the area and maybe even check out the roof terrace.

19 Dec 2009 09:06

The Northumberland Arms, Fitzrovia

Smallish one roomed pub with a small outside seating area (an irrelevancy for an early December visit unless in desperate need of a cigarette). Despite supposedly being a free house ale was limited to Doom Bar. Lighting was a bit dim but the eating was comfortable and as with many pubs in this neck of the woods clientele was varied without being offensive.

Ok if in the area.

19 Dec 2009 09:01

The Prince of Wales Feathers, Warren Street

Single roomed pub on Warren St a stones throw from the tube. The interior starts out quite narrow but opens out into wider area at the rear. There are a number of flat screens dotted around but no one was paying them muh attention on my visit (perhaps because it wasn't a great game showing).

The ales on offer were Pride, GKIPA and Rudolph (from Shepherd Neame I think) but there was a far more impressive display of clips and mats behind the bar indicating that the selection might be a bit more imaginative at other times.

Clientele was varied in age and demeanour but no chavs or anything else that might be considered painful.

Not a bad place for a pint if in the area.

19 Dec 2009 08:58

The Bunch of Grapes, London Bridge

Single room bare board Youngs pub close to London Bridge Station. This a reasonable place with the usual Youngs ales and a relaxed atmosphere. It's not as good as some of its competitors in the area but if stuck in London Bridge station its proximity means it's handy for a swift pint while waiting for the next delayed train.

16 Dec 2009 06:07

The Oast House, London Bridge Station

I'm not a big user of pubs inside station - my experience pretty much limited to the Wetherspoons in Victoria, the one in Marylebone and (the only one I found acceptable) the Bridge Bar in London Bridge.

Since the latter has now been demolished in order to build the Shard I dropped into the Oast House when I had half an hour to kill in London Bridge. It was immediately apparent that this is a dingy depressing bar with no toilets and a gloomy atmosphere. It wasn't even clear if ale was on offer (clips for Courage and GKIPA half turned) and my pint of Stella was foul.

Find somewhere outside the station if you happen to be caught round here.

16 Dec 2009 06:05

The Globe, Lisson Grove

Another single room pub with a largely older male clientele. The end of the bar seemed to be storing some of the summer furniture and a couple of broken amusement machines which gave the fairly small space an air of neglect. A large flat screen TV on the wall provided football results and the only ale on offer was Abbot Ale (which seemed a pretty odd solo offering to me)

The only real advantage this has is being about 2 minutes from the entrance to Marylebone station and its definitely better than the bar in there although the thirsty commuter would be better off heading in the other direction towards the Hobgoblin.

16 Dec 2009 06:01

The Perseverance, Lisson Grove

Single L shaped bare board room with an excellent blown up photo of the Rat Pack in the rear area there was no sign of chavs on my visit - in fact there were no signs of many customers at all. The ambience of the room was quite nice and actually some real ale on offer for fans of that (even if it was the fairly bog standard GKIPA and Pride). My pint of Stella though was pretty warm and flat so I'm not sure what the quality of the ale would be like.

Better than some in the area but still nothing special.

16 Dec 2009 05:58

The Constitution, Lisson Grove

This appeared to be a real locals pub - convesation seemed to stop when I walked in - but actually friendly enough. It is a single carpetted room and most of the clientele are at the older end of things but although one or two already seemed the worse for wear in the late afternoon nothing aggressive or unpleasant. Snooker and racing were on the two tellies.

As seems to be the norm for this area there was no real ale and whilst it was interesting for a one-off visit it's uinlikely I will return.

16 Dec 2009 05:55

The Phoenix, Lisson Grove

I wasn't even sure if this place was open when I went in a couple of weeks ago as the bar was deserted. The pub has a bit of a nightclub feel to it - black chairs with red velveteen upholstery and a black painted bar. There are no real ales (which is not uncommon in this neck of the woods) and wasn't a place I felt particularly at home in.

There is a hostel upstairs which has the entrance in the bar and this ensured a trickle of travellers through the pub dragging their luggage. Thai food is on offer (even take away and delivery) but didn't try this.

Better places within a reasonable walk (although they most require crossing the A40)

16 Dec 2009 05:52

The Brazen Head, Lisson Grove

Single room backstreet pub in an odd area hemmed in by the A40, Edgware Rd and Marylebone Station. There are quite a lot of pubs in this area but most are pretty poor and the Brazen Head is no exception. It's a single room pub with some nice chairs and tables and an impressive backdrop to the bar. The rest of the decorating though looks half done and the room is not particularly warm or welcoming.

There is no real ale which keeps the beard and anorak quotient low but when I visited the chav quotient was relatively high.

No reason to visit here again.

16 Dec 2009 05:48

The Green Man, Edgware Road

Fairly uininspiring single room traditional style pub offering only Marston Pedigree on pump as well as a range of normal and premium lagers. Furniture mostly traditional chairs and tables but a couple of the dreaded sofas and two or three flat screens on the walls for footy watching.

Live music is offered on Thursday evenings and although this is not a great place it is better than most of its neighbours.

16 Dec 2009 05:45

The Horseshoe, Clerkenwell

Bit more earthy than most other places in the area the Horseshoe is bigger than the photo suggests - it extends into the building at the left of the photo. Old style frosted windows stop the ladies seeing whether the old man is inside and I have to say the bar had something of the demeanour of a northern working man's club. The chairs and bar stools were pretty nasty wood and chrome numbers but there was also a well set up dart board with electronic score board. Two or three flat screens to satisfy the sport viewers and some Laurel and Hardy memorabilia serving an unidentified purpose.

If I lived in the area I'd probably use this place but with the Crown, Sekforde and Three Kings nearby it wouldn't be top of the list.

6 Dec 2009 22:03

The Sekforde Arms, Clerkenwell

Nice traditional backstreet Youngs boozer that seemed to be mainly for locals and had a very friendly atmosphere. It's basically a one room pub although on walking in the main entrance there are tow archways to the right one leading to a nice seating area and the other to the upstairs.

Youngs beers plus one guest which (similarly to Maidenman) was Courage best. It's a bit like the Calthorp over towards Russell Square a bit and hopefully will continue to operate in the same way for many years to come (without undue attention from the Wells / Youngs redeoration squad)

Drop by if you are in the area.

6 Dec 2009 21:57

The Crown Tavern, Clerkenwell

I enjoyed the Crown a lot. It's much bigger than the photo suggests - it's an L shaped room extending to the right of the photo and at the end of the L there is a further room. Plenty of pleasant seating and a mixed crowd when I was in on a Thursday evening. Three or four beers on offer including Brains and something called Right Flanker. Music on in the background but not intrusive.

The pub was busy but not unpleasantly so and I found it (along with the Sekforde) to be pretty much the best in the area.

6 Dec 2009 21:53

The Jerusalem Tavern, Clerkenwell

The beer here has been eulogised many times before and I have to say my Golden Ale was very good. The Jerusalem though is a pretty unpleasant drinking experience. There is not much seating and not many places to stand that aren't in the way. You can drink outside but hey it was November and it's mandatory plastic glasses if you want to do that.

I guess the building is old and it has a bit of a Dickensian feel but if it was only opened in the mid 90s - well there are other places in London that are the real thing

There are better places within 10 minutes walk let alone the rest of London. I'd return in mid afternoon but it's not the place it's been hyped up to be.

6 Dec 2009 21:49

Castle, Farringdon

Walked past this place many times but never been in until last week. Found on entering that it was dark, had loud music and seemed to have rather more studenty types than one would expect in this part of town. Ever the soldier I advanced to the bar only to find that whatever bar staff were on duty had found other things to do rather than serve the increasing number of waiting customers. After 5 minutes I actually gave up and left.

Awful

6 Dec 2009 21:44

The Three Compasses, Farringdon

Just down the road from Farringdon tube the Three Compasses has a fairly small unimposing street front that leads into a larger room than expected. It's pretty bland though and almost "All Bar Oneish" in environment. A couple of plasma screens on the walls provide the sports entertainment. The clientele were mainly suits in for an after work pint and quite frankly they're welcome to it.

6 Dec 2009 21:42

Vale Inn, Bollington

Cracking little pub in a Bollington side street. It's a single room - wider than it is deep - with a nice slate bar tucked away in the back right corner. The room is stone with wooden furniture and a nice warm laid back atmosphere.

Beer is mainly from the local Bollington brewery - Bollington Best. Bollington Nights, Oat Mill Stout, White Nancy and Dark Ale on offer when I was in. There is a locally brewed Czech style lager - called Muravka I think and a couple of guests (Yorks and Hedgehopper). I tried the Muravka,Best and White Nancy which were very good and others I was with enjoyed the stout. I don't think these beers are served outside a small number of pubs in the Macclesfield/Bollington area but you can buy reasonably priced take-outs.

The food here is also excellent - the steak I had was very nice and the chips superb.

Can really recommend this place if you happen to be in the area.

6 Dec 2009 18:20

Corney and Barrow, Broadgate

Small, overpriced, poor beer selection enhanced only by Hahn and a dreadful overpriced menu.

Avoid.

4 Dec 2009 03:08

The Golden Heart, Shoreditch

Heart of Spitalfield - I meant Pride of Spitalfields

4 Dec 2009 02:52

The Roebuck, Kennington

A tough place to find this - a few hundred yards down a dark residential side street actually had me a little apprehensive.

The exterior of the Roebuck is appealing and totally out of place for this part of London. Inside there are the dreaded sofas to the left of the door and some nice chairs and tables to the right. A conservatory to the rear right was not in use when I dropped in.

Bar staff were extremely friendly and even brought my drink to the table. Clientele seemed mostly regulars but also friendly. Juke box is excellent and there were no intrusive TVs

Hard to sum this place up really -it's probably great after international cricket at the Oval (I always go to the Royal Oak on the way to Vuaxhall station but I'd happily come here as well) but as a destination I suspect it's locatio lets it down.

4 Dec 2009 02:46

The Grey Derby, Kennington

Classic South London boozer with frosted windows so the Missus can't see whether the old man is inside enjoying a pint. It's a long narrow pub with the front half being bare boarded and the to the right and seating to the left. As you get to the end of the bar there is a step up to a rear carpetted area.

TVs mounted on the walls allow for the showing of sport events and there was a sign behind the bar insisting on a minimum spend of 5 (meaning 2 pints I suppose) during a game. Having observed many, many, "make my half of OJ last an entire match" merchants in the last 10 years I have some sympathy with this. Also being a Chelsea fan and a seeming jinx on their TV games I normally get through about four pints duing a match so I can claim moral superiority in this regard.

Still I find it hard to see how you enforce the rule and the lack of sofas and a decent bottle of Sauvignon Blanc in this pub mean it's not likely to attract the shandy nursers.

Overall this is not a bad place - it's a mirror image of the Hannover 20 yds away but with better prices.

4 Dec 2009 02:39

The White Hart, Bishopsgate

I'm surprised at this pub's lowish rating. I know it's opposite a station and I've had bad experiences in her myself but still on my recent lunchtime visit it had markedly improved.

8 pumps and a respectable variety of beers would get the anorak wearers into a frenzy if offered somewhere else. The pub was also clean and chav free.
My only criticism was that the quiz machine is parked right next to the door to the gents. It's hard enough deciding whether Ann, Emily or Charlotte Bronte wrote Wuthering Heights without getting a whiff of disinfectant / stale urine.

Stiil I think it's a better place than it's being credited with.

4 Dec 2009 02:19

Ye Olde Watling, Mansion House

When I worked in this area between 1994 and 1997 the exterior of the Watling always seemed to me to be the ideal for a Victorian City hostelry.

First visit for about 10 years last week and it was gratifying to see things hadn't really changed. 6 pumps in the main bar with a variety of ale and the old back room down the corridor to the right of the bar. The front room has some high tables and stools and fortunately during my lunchtime visit there were few enough people to make it easy to find a seat.

The only real change I could find is that the old frosted windows have been replaced with clear glass -this may make the pub lighter but also increases the chance of me staring at my boss in the street.

Still a great City pub.

4 Dec 2009 02:12

Williamson's Tavern, Mansion House

Williamson's is located in a small courtyard off the pedestrianised Bow Lane. It consists of two rooms with the front bar being to the left of the couryard and the back room being at the far end. Years ago the back area was called the Library Bar and suitably furished with bookcases but this has been dispensed with in favour of cramming in more tables for eating.

Until my visit last week I'm guessing I haven't been here for more than 10 years and to be frank I don't think the place has improved in that time. The front bar is still the better place to drink being lighter and not so obviously given over to food. The old Library Bar now seems totally devoted to eating and is mainly distinguished by its patchy lighting - quite bright round the bar but too gloomy to read a book in the distant corners.

It's nice to see this place hasn't been sold to a shitty pine and chrome chain but I left feeling that somehow it isn't quite the place it was 15 or 20 years ago.

4 Dec 2009 02:07

The Pride of Spitalfields, Shoreditch

This pub is just off Brick Lane - an area of London I normally avoid because basically it manages to be both grubby and tacky. The pub itself is tiny - an L shaped room with the bar tucked neatly in the corner and the food counter - "Mary's Pantry" at the far end.

The decor and clientele are most definitely old style East End boozer as is the great value for money menu. Nothing more than 3.50 and old style pub classics like Sausge Chips and Beans or Steak and Kidney Pud. Sandwiches start from 1.30 which in this day and age is nothing short of amazing.

Pride, ESB, Doom Bar and Brewers Gold on tap means the pub also has something to offer the ale drinker. Not sure how long it will survive given the area it's in but this place really is a classic and anyone who appreciate traditional pubs should make an effort to visit.

4 Dec 2009 01:59

The Golden Heart, Shoreditch

Popped in last week - it's a nice traditional two-room wood-panelled pub with an open fire roaring and an appealing little dog snoozing in front of it. Unfortunately the warm glow of the fire was more than negated ny the fact that they had the street door wide open - in fact the place was freezing.

Beer was Adnams Bitter and Broadside - so not much variety.

The plus point of this pub is that it has a somwhat rustic feel despite being on Commercial Rd and opposite the newly souped up Spitalfield Market. The downside is that management appear unaware of this advantage and do very little to make the place stand out.

Williams and the Heart of Spitalfield are better options within 10 mins walk as well as The Gun, Shooting Star, Dirty Dicks....

So no real reason to visit here other than curiosity.

4 Dec 2009 01:52

The Water Poet, Shoreditch

If the photo is meant to give the impression that this pub is somehow edgy then don't bother.

The Water Poet is only a couple of hundred yards NE of Broadgate yet the invisible barrier between City suits and Hoxton plumheads is somehow crossed.

Its a much bigger pub than it appears when you first approach down a side road from Shoreditch High St. The interior consists of a number of - well not really rooms but areas - painted deep red with baroque mirrors hanging on the walls. Seats are varied but mostly look uncomfortable.

The bar area to the right of the pub whilst maintaining the bordello colour scheme also sports a couple of old-style weighing machines. The beer is Fullers but I have to report that my pint of Stella was pretty foul and so I only stayed for the one and headed out.

It does have pool tables (at the left hand end) and perhaps it picks up later in the evening but 'd wager a fair amount of money that it doesn't and so I'd recommend if you come to this area head for Williams or the Pride of Spitalfields.

4 Dec 2009 01:46

The Doric Arch, Euston

The main thing here is to try and forget this is a station pub on the mezz level of a 60s office block.

Having done that the pub itself is quite nice and with 10 pumps enough to give any anorak wearing CAMRA member an extra couple of inhes of beard growth. The 5 at my end of the bar offered Landlord, Centurion Ghost, Pride, Discovery and Kelham Island Brewery Pale Rider.

It's still a station pub though and for non-ale buffs like me doesn't really offer much to return to.

2 Dec 2009 00:50

The Royal George, Euston

This is really a station pub - it's not as bad as the Shakespeare at Victoria or most of the pubs around Paddington or Kings Cross but a station pub it is.

The strong whiff of the gents when I opened the door and the faint odour of sick in the rear area set the scene for my very quick pint.

GKIPA, Courage, Pride and Broadside were the ales on offer and I have to admit the food bein served around me looked and smelt good. Still the overall ambience was not great and I doubt I'll be returning to this particular estblishment.

2 Dec 2009 00:46

The Rocket, Euston

Large pub on the north side of the Euston Rd but doesn't really distinguish itself in any way. A bewildering array of lager - must have been about 20 taps - but nothing on the ale front other than Tetley (which probably doesn't really count for the serious beardie).

To be honest this was more like a bar/club than a pub even at 7pm and given the competition round here I can't really recommend it.

2 Dec 2009 00:42

Mabel's Tavern, Euston

Cosy Shepherd Neame pub (as most of them are) with a full range of SN beers on offer - Spitfire, Bishops Finger, Master Brew, Kent' Best and Late Red.

Being south of Euston Rd helps this place and despite a few obviously transient types the atmosphere was warm and friendly. Clientele were a wide variety without anyone being offensive and there was plenty of seating.

Try it out - better than most in the area including the Euston Flyer and Doric Arch.

2 Dec 2009 00:39

The Euston Flyer, Euston

Nearer to Kings Cross than Euston of truth be told this is a nice Fullers pub on the main Euston Rd. There was Pride, ESB, Butcombe and Seafarers on offer for the ale drinker and the atmosphere was post-office but relaxed.

Raised areas to the right and rear of the entrance make it easier for office parties to book a do and I have to say that most of the food I saw being served looked very appetising.

It's a good pub this and reminded me a bit of early day JDWs before they started attracting drunks and lowlife.

Well worth a visit if in the area.

2 Dec 2009 00:35

The Southerner, Temple

Meant to say it wasn't rammed with drunken oafs.

13 Nov 2009 23:22

The Old Coffee House, Soho

I really liked the Old Coffee House. The brown tinted windows and pleasant interior gave it a real feeling of cosiness. Given that there are some real poseurs pubs near here the clientele was also pretty down to earth and I felt it is a pub that is easy to spend an evening in.

If you are looking for a good pub in this area that isn't too rowdy or full of tossers then you can do much worse than the Old Coffee House.

13 Nov 2009 23:15

The Endurance, Soho

Arrived in here quite late in the evening - it was not that crowded but with plenty of signs that the number of clients had been higher earlier in the day with a lot of uncollected glasses and a general sense of grubbiness. Combined with dimmed lights and ear splitting music it was not a pub I found comfortable at all. Small noteworthy point is that is on the ground floor of the tower block pictured on the front of the Oasis album Whats the Story Morning Glory.

Tons of better options within 10 mins walk.

13 Nov 2009 23:12

The Blue Posts, Soho

An old fashioned boozer of the kind I really like although they are diminishing in number both in Soho and London. The decor was firmly in the 70s but the pub had a certain comfortable ambience and a mixed crowd. Certainly it was quite crowded but the main noise was that of conversation rather than ear splitting music. As has been mentioned earlier the photo is not of this Blue Posts.

Not the best pub in Soho but one where it is possible to have a reasonable evening.

13 Nov 2009 23:09

The Southerner, Temple

NZ themed bar with a full range of Speights and Steinlager on tap for the lager drinker. Rather surprisingly for an antipodean bar it was rammed with drunken oafs. Rather it was quite empty despite a Champs League game showing on the wall mounted flatscreen. The bar was quite bright and lacked the cosiness of some of the other pubs in the area. The wine bar upstairs was much more crowded with (as one would expect in the area) legal types.

Since it was the only pub I found in the immediate vicinity showing sport then it does have that to attract but there are better options nearby.

13 Nov 2009 22:58

The White Lion, Covent Garden

Small corner pub on the walk down from Covent Garden tube to the main piazza. It was quite crowded and the small size meant not only was it difficult to find a seat it was even tricky to find somewhere comfortable to drink standing up. Given it was a Tuesday night at around 10:30 I suspect this is the default state of affairs in the evening at least. Managed a quick pint of Landlord but while this is a cut above many of the supposedly trendy bars in the area it is not a pub that distinguishes itself in an way.

Best for meeting someone before heading to more convivial surroundings

13 Nov 2009 22:53

Prince Of Wales, Covent Garden

There are quite a few pubs like this at the eastern end of Covent Garden. The PoW is a largish single room without the annoyance of TVs or loud music but with nothing in particular to distinguish it either. There seemed to be quite a lot of older tourists or casual visitors when I went in. The beer was ok but while it's ok for one there was nothing to really recommend here other than it's not some horrid bar.

13 Nov 2009 22:47

The Freemasons Arms, Covent Garden

To my mind this is the best pub in the immediate vicinity - a largish single room with a lot of comfortable traditional seating. It's a Shep Neame pub and I quite like their drink selection which also marks it up for me. It's also far enough from Covent Garden to have more of an office crowd rather than tourists or lairy types on a big night out. Quite a bit of masons memorabilia around the walls but no one gave me the secret handshake and I didn't see any senior judges or chief constables in fishnet stockings.

Well worth a visit if in the area.

13 Nov 2009 22:44

O'Neills, Holborn

I don't mind O'Neills as chain pub go and this is one of their better efforts. A nice cosy low ceilinged pubs with lots of alcoves and an oversize flat screen against the back. Clientele reasonable and if I worked in the area I'd be happy to drink in here. A good place to meet up if in the area.

13 Nov 2009 22:40

The Hercules Pillars, Holborn

Decent single room pub that appears to have had a reasonably recent refurb although not a bad one at all. TVs for the sport watcher and a reasonable beer selection. Better than the nearby George and Newton Arms but not one to make a special effort for.

13 Nov 2009 22:38

The Norman Arms, Fulham

Unfortunately it's the Pumphouse that has been demolished and not this particular dump. Still open when I went past in a cab this evening with its usual sprinkling of chavs on the steps at the front.

13 Nov 2009 19:46

The Edgar Wallace, Temple

A slightly strange place this - I found the interior less welcoming than the Deveruex, Cheshire Cheese or Milfords but the ale selection trumps all of them - 8 pumps (although they are tucked away behind a pillar at one end of the bar) and other than Adnams and Brakspears all relatively uncommon.

This was busier than any of the other pubs the evening I visited - a fact I suspect driven by the ale selection as most people seemed to be drinking that. Consequently the pub was quite male dominated.

Not a bad place but not one I'd return to in the area unless with an ale loving colleague.

9 Nov 2009 16:29

The Devereux, Temple

Old style single L-shaped room with traditional decor and furniture. The Devereux is in a courtyard away from any main rod and would seem to be mostly populated by legal types. I do recall in the late 80s and early 90s though this was the haunt for some of my friends from Arthur Andersen just up in Arundel St.

Although it's a nice enough pub with a decent beer selection I prefer one or two of its competitors in the immediate vicinity.

9 Nov 2009 16:26

The Cheshire Cheese, Temple

Splendid interior and a very cosy atmosphere. In my view this is the best pub in the immediate vicinity although the beer selection (Pride, Bombardier and GKIPA IIRC) is not the most imaginative. Some London Irish memorabilia on the walls gives lie to the landlord's origins and there is a slightly incongruous TV on the cabinet at one end of the pub which was not in use when I was in.

I'd recommend a visit here if in the area.

9 Nov 2009 16:23

Milfords, Temple

Small single room bar (with an upstairs to which I did not venture) seemingly mostly populated by members of the legal profession. Indeed one could easily imagine Rumpole at a corner table with a bottle of claret and lighting one of his small cigars (at least before the smoking ban).

Seating was limited but comfortable although the beer selection (Bombardier and GKIPA) was uninspiring. Ok for a drink but not one to make a special effort for.

9 Nov 2009 16:21

The Princess of Shoreditch, Old Street

This place has gone fully gastro - all the tables were set for meals when I went in leaving the drinker stuck with three or four stools at the bar. The doorway greeting by one of the staff was further confirmation that this place sees itself as an eatery rather than a pub.

All that said the interior was ok and there were three reasonably interesting beers on tap - Wandle, a locally brewed London Pale Ale and a beer from the Tring brewery with a complicated name (Slide in the Pocket?)

Peroni however was north of 4 quid a pint and the focus on food means it's unlikely I'll ever return here and I can't really recommend it for drinkers.

9 Nov 2009 16:18

The Griffin, Shoreditch

Run down exterior belies a run down interior - I suspect this is something to do with some kind of Pseudo Hoxton trendiness (a suspicion somewhat confirmed by some of the fliers for events around the walls) but although I like slightly shabby pubs this was just too grubby and had a bit of a niff to boot.

All the clips were turned round when I was in so I'd imagine any passing ale lover would have left straight away. As a trap for young players the first table I sat at didn't have the top attached to the legs almost resulting in my pint flipping on to my lap when I leant on it.

If you want comfortable and traditional in this are walk 5 mins down the road to the Old Kings Head - much much better than this tip.

9 Nov 2009 16:15

The Newton Arms, Holborn

The Newton looks like an estate pub wedged under a 1960s office block.

There is nothing too spectacular about the interior but there are plenty of TVs for footy watching - it was showing both Champs League games when I was in. I suspect it draws its clientele either from local offices (mostly suits when I was in) or sports watchers as there aren't too many places to watch a game in the immediate vicinity.

Ok for one but I couldn't really recommend for an evening.

29 Oct 2009 07:12

The George, Holborn

The name "The George" conjures up images of a traditional hostelry with a roaring fire and a busty barmaid pulling pints of ale for the customers.

Nothing could be further from the truth in this case. The George is a modern bar on the ground floor of an office block. It seemed to be full of junior suits trying to impress Tracy from Accounts when I went in.

A minor plus is an outside drinking area but I really would steer clear of this one.

29 Oct 2009 07:09

The Lemon Tree, Covent Garden

I was heading for the Harp but it was absolutely packed so dropped round the corner into the Lemon Tree. It is a small single room pub without a great deal of seating but there are stools around ledges at the side and front so I made do with one of those.

It's a nice atmosphere and not dominated by tourists like many other establishments in the area.

Nice place to come for a pint or an evening if you're looking for somewhere fairly quiet.

29 Oct 2009 07:05

The Lamb and Flag, Covent Garden

The Lamb and Flag remains an excellent historic pub in an area that has too few of them. The pub is small despite the fact that the original two rooms have been knocked into one and its popularity means that many drinkers spill out into the alleyway and street outside.

Courage and Youngs beers on offer and in the back area one or two interesting mementoes including an award for London Cheese pub of the year. It was interesting to see that the landlord who took over in 1983 came from the Wenlock.

I'd definitely recommend coming for a drink here but the popularity means it is often crowded particularly later in the week.
Perhaps a Monday night visit might be the best option.

29 Oct 2009 07:03

The Sussex, Covent Garden

I've been to this pub quite a lot over the last twenty years - in the early 90s was very definitely a regular. When I stopped in a couple of weeks ago though it was the first time for two or three years.

The pub appears to have undergone one of its regular refurbishments. It's had many guises over the years - when I first went in it was two rooms with the bar much further forward than now. I seem to recall it having a spiral staircase in the middle of the main bar at one point - leading down to a wine bar in the basement and of course the bomb going off in the mens toilets in the early 90s also forced changes.

The current environment though is comfortable dark wood floors with high tables and stools off to the left of the main entrance and more traditional seating to the right. This is a pleasant drinking setting although the location means that there are many tourists and transient drinkers ( and perhaps a few getting up the courage to visit Stringfellows next door)

It's a good meeting point if you're in the area - certainly better than the many crappy bars nearby but I wouldn't make a special effort to come here.

29 Oct 2009 06:58

The Kings Arms, Clerkenwell

Small nondescript corner pub in a quiet st near Grays Inn Rd. The interior of the pub is fairly spartan with wooden chairs and tables. There is not too much to recommend this place given nearby competition although there was a sign offering free pool on Monday nights which showed a touch of imagination.

Ok for one if in the area but not somewhere to head for the evening.

18 Oct 2009 12:15

The Yorkshire Grey , Holborn

The exterior is somewhat different to this photo - it has been repainted a uniform bluey grey colour. On the whole I prefer the whole facade. Inside it falls into the category of establishment that doesn't know whether it wants to be a pub or bar. Given the prominent location on the corner of Theobalds and Grays Inn Roads it's the sort of place I would meet someone unfamiliar with the area before taking them to one of the many superior establishments nearby.

18 Oct 2009 12:13

The Griffin, Camden

Just like Shoreditch High St caters for the City the Griffin caters for the lawyers.

Take plenty of pound coins.

18 Oct 2009 12:02

The Duke of York, Clerkenwell

Large pub on the main road with a pool table in one corner. It was quite late when I arrive and there seemed to be quite a few drunks in there which never appeals.There is nothing that stands out about this pub and you would be better of walking 10 minutes more to the Lamb or Calthorpe

18 Oct 2009 12:02

The Apple Tree, Clerkenwell

Right opposite the sorting office the Apple Tree has a fairly traditional exterior but has had the full modernisation inside. It was almost deserted the night I dropped in so difficult to gauge the atmosphere when it is fuller. As someone previously mentioned the art on the wall is a bit dodgy.

I suppose this would be ok if you worked across the street but I can see no real reason to return here.

18 Oct 2009 12:00

The Pakenham Arms, Clerkenwell

The Pakenham overlooks the Mount Pleasant sorting office and I imagine it gets most of its custom from there. It's a nice welcoming exterior but the inside is somewhat disappointing - it has clearly had a pretty ropy refurbishment and the presence of two projector screens in the single room indicates that the footy rules here. Having said that there beer selection was good and it's not a bad place to drink.

18 Oct 2009 11:58

The Calthorpe Arms, Holborn

This is how London pubs should be - a fine traditional interior that the "modernisers" have not yet touched. The Calthorpe is aYoungs pub (I don't think there are many in this area) and is a single room with tables and benches around the external walls. There was a quirky range of customers (quirky in the manner of entertaining rather than offensive)

It's hard to describe why this place is so good but it is and I'll be returning when next in the area.

18 Oct 2009 11:55

Blue Lion, Holborn

This more like a bar than a pub - on walking in you find that room is dominated by a large central bar. This however opens out behind the bar to a fairly large rear area with a plasma screen and pool table. I chose to sit in the high booths on the left hand side of the bar. This turned out to be a mistake as the upholstered seats had no foot rail and were too high to rest my feet on the ground (I'm 5' 11" so no shorty). This left me in the uncomfortable position of having my legs dangling like a 5 yr old on the Tube.

The menu here looked pretty good and the beer was ok but there are better places to visit in the vicinity.

18 Oct 2009 11:52

The Duke (of York), Holborn

An interesting corner pub on the ground floor of a building that looked to be about 70 or 80 years old. The pub itself is separated into two rooms. The front room (at the front of the photo) was very quiet when I visited (only 2 or 3 other customers) and had dark wooden floor and furniture including some high backed pew style benches. I have to say this gave it the feel of a Victorian schoolroom. The back room seemed to be mainly for eating.

This is a reasonable pub but far better to take the extra 5 or 10 minutes and walk to the Lamb or Calthorp

18 Oct 2009 11:48

The Rugby Tavern, Clerkenwell

This is a pleasant back street pub tucked away in a very quiet set of streets north of Theobalds Rd. One of the main attractions is that part of the street outside is pedestrianised so there is a proper outside seating area of which many people were taking advantage when I visited. Inside it is a single room with a central bar and plenty of traditional tables and chairs. The beer is Shepherd Neame and as the day was warm an Oranjeboom for me.

This is a nice pub in a quiet location that is a comfortable place to drink with the added advantage of being 5 minutes walk from the Lamb

18 Oct 2009 11:45

The Bedford, Balham

This is a large two room pub that hosts other events upstairs. It was the Evening Standard Pub of the Year in 2002 and the sign is still proudly displayed on the wall of the main bar. The pub itself however is nowhere near the quality that this suggests.

The main bar is large and quite airy with a lot of different types of chairs and tables scattered about and a couple of sofas in front of the fireplace. There is also outside seating for those who want it (and there were many on the Sunday I visited) although a panoramic view of Sainsbury's car park and the raised main southern railway line are probably not everyone's cup of tea. The smaller side bar always seems to be for the hardened drinkers whenever I've dropped in.

This is an ok place and the main bar is fairly nice but there are preferable places around Balham. I can't comment on the evening entertainment but that would seem to be the source of most of the attraction this pub has.

18 Oct 2009 11:37

The Old Nun's Head, Nunhead

A pub in a part of London that is normally well off my beaten track but was in here for a football match last week. A single U shaped bar with chairs and tables scattered around and some of the despised sofas off to the left which also appeared to be the main footy watching area.

Clientele and pub itself were perfectly acceptable and the food that was being served looked very good (although I didn't eat). It's fine for the area but not worth making a special effort for.

There is another pub across the green called the Man of Kent which does not feature on this site - that one I would steer well clear of as it seems to be home the SE London pikey element.

18 Oct 2009 11:30

The Selkirk, Tooting

A large comfortable looking (from the outside at least) pub tucked away in residential streets a couple of hundred yards of Tooting High St. The inside is a little disappointing the two rooms are quite spartan and lack the warmth one might expect in a pub of this type On the upside though there is a pleasant conservatory area at the rear and a nice garden both of which are unusual in London.

The clientele is more of the Clapham type than some of the pubs on the High St itself and the bar staff were young but friendly enough on my last visit.

If I lived nearby I wouldd probably use this place quite a bit and along with the Castle it's probably the best pub in Tooting (although there is not a great deal of competition)

18 Oct 2009 11:26

The Rose and Crown, Southwark

Other than a few people sitting at the tables outside there was no one in here when I arrived mid evening a fact that may be explained by the loud music being played inside. The pub is a spacious affair split into two sections by a doorway near the corner. The plethora of external doors may indicate that it was further split in times past.

I'm not a big fan of loud music in pubs so had my pint and left. I might come back here in a group but that would be about it particularly given some of the competition nearby.

18 Oct 2009 11:21

The Blue Eyed Maid, Borough

In an area rich with good quality pubs the Blue Eyed Maid has clearly decided that competition on the beer front is not worth it and has opted to be, effectively a sports bar. There are a large number of plasma screens scattered around what is a fairly small pub and I would imagine that it get crowded when a big game is on. Other than the nearby Belushis there are not many pubs around Borough Station targetting the footy fan so I suppose it has found a niche.

I'd come here for a football match but not much else.

18 Oct 2009 11:18

Kings Arms, Borough

An L-shaped single room pub in the street directly behind Guys hospital this is a pleasant drinking environment with a varied but inoffensive set of drinkers. There is nothing that makes this pub stand out but perfectly acceptable for a drink if passing.

18 Oct 2009 11:15

The Whitesmith Arms, Borough

A small narrow pub living about 30 years ago by my estimation. It's in the middle of an estate at the back of Guys so has two nearby sources of patronage. The evening I was in the bar was sparsely populated and one can only hope that things pick up when there is football or something similar to attract people. There probably are not many pubs left like this in Inner London and it would be nice to think it will still be the same in 30 years time.

18 Oct 2009 11:12

The Gladstone Arms, Borough

I must admit to a feeling a little uneasy as I approached this pub- just down a side street next to Borough Station and into a housing estate it had the look of somewhere that could be quite rough. My fears were unfounded though and when I made my way inside it was to find a small cosy single room pub with dimmed lights and a very pleasant atmosphere. It is not a place for large groups but as a place for a quiet pint either by yourself or with one or two others it is very good indeed.

Unlike the last comment they did have a couple of ales on (Doom Bar and St Austell Tribute) and I was even tempted to return for one of the many music nights advertised around the pub.

Well worth a visit if in the area

18 Oct 2009 11:09

Dover Castle, Borough

It's a strange place this - from the outside it looks like a pub but inside - well that's a different thing altogether. The single room is fairly spartanly furnished with the main seating being provided by a number of sofas in one corner. I don't like sitting on sofas in pubs so it didn't really work for me. The bar (I shall call it that rather than a pub) is dominated by a pool table just inside the main door.

The clientele are interesting to say the least - quite a lot of body art and piercing on display. There is a hostel in the upper floors of the building and perhaps this provides some of its client base.

There is no beer on pump and no reason for the discerning pub goer to visit this establishment particularly as the magnificent Royal Oak is 2 minuteswalk away.

18 Oct 2009 11:06

The Royal Oak, Borough

An absolute gem of a pub. Although many people have commented on the quality of the beer it's the ambience that does it for me. The pub is divided into two rooms traditionally designed without the interference of TV or music. Really you could be sitting in pub 40 or 50 years ago. A relaxing environement interrupted only by the gentle buzz of conversation.

Oh yes and a full range of Harveys that's pretty damn good as well.

18 Oct 2009 11:00

Duke Of York, Mayfair

Small rather anonymoous pub a (short) block south of Oxford St.

The smallish room is dominated by a spiral staircase that leads to both the upstairs and downstairs bars. The presence of the staircase means that quite a lot of the limited seating in the ground floor bar is quite cramped. The upstairs bar which seems mostly used for eating is airy and fairly pleasant - the downstairs one is quite but basically a cave.

The gents - I don't normally comment on the toilets but.. - are reasonable but appear to be located under Dering St.

Actually the most notable thing about the pub is the splendid traditional haberdashers' - MacCulloch and Wallis - across the road. Open since 1902 the facade is probably still the same.

No compelling reason to visit this pub but if you're on Oxford St and desperate it serves a purpose.

3 Oct 2009 20:37

The Woodstock, Bond Street

Basically does lunches for tourists and chavs - steer well clear

3 Oct 2009 20:31

The Artillery Arms, Old Street

Another classic pub on the fringe of the City. The Artillery Arms is very popular with dozens of people drinking outside on either side of Bunhill Row when I arrived in the early evening. Inside it's a very small square central bar with slightly shabby chairs and tables around. The clientele is a little different to most pubs in the area as the suits are complemented by a fair number of students from the adjacent Cass Business School.

The small bar is a bit of an issue as the popularity of the pub meant that people were two or three deep around the bar. It's also a bit of a problem for the bar staff - there were 4 on duty and whilst it was fine for the number of patrons it meant they kept getting in each other's way.

This is a small gripe though and there is a full range of Fullers beers to give heart to the ale drinker. In addition to Grolsch and Guiness there is also Kronenbourg for the lager drinker.

This is a very good pub and worth seeking out particularly compared to some of the dumps at Moorgate and Old St.

24 Sep 2009 23:08

The Morpeth Arms, Pimlico

Not bad at all in here - probably hasn't changed that much in 20 years. I'm guessing the crowd in here was mainly residents and the atmosphere was a bit more relaxed than some of the post-office pubs in Westminster.

Not sure I'll find myself in this part of town too often so unlikely I'll return.

24 Sep 2009 22:59

The Westminster, Westminster

A bar masquerading as a pub - the pub exterior belied an interior with dimmed lighting and some hideous sofas. Given some of the alternaitves in the area there is no reason ever to return here.

24 Sep 2009 22:57

The Royal Oak, Westminster

The Royal Oak was a very pleasant find on my wander around Westminster. A Youngs pub it is an odd shaped single room with the front part (seen on the photo) consisting of stools next to ledges and a high table or two. The smallish bar sits behind this and to the right of this is a comfortable seating area with upholstered benches along the wall and traditional table. The landlord here was very friendly and attentive and clearly knows his trade.

A comfortable place to drink that I would recommend.

24 Sep 2009 22:56

The Barley Mow, Westminster

Much bigger than other pubs in the area and much more geared for sport watching with a number of TVs scattered around the bar. Although there were quite a lot of people in the size of the pub made it fairly easy to find a seat with a view of a screen. If I was in the area and wanted to see a match I'd head here but otherwise nothing much to distinguish the pub.

24 Sep 2009 22:52

The White Horse and Bower, Westminster

As can be seen from the photo this is a long narrowish pub (it extends back to the right hand side of the photo). Shepherd Neame and fairly comfortable although I agree with rpadam that there is not much furniture giving it a spartan look. One flatscreen TV against the backwall which doesn't dominate the pub and has virtually no effect at all on the front half. Happy to have a pint in here but given the alternatives in the area I'm unlikely to return.

24 Sep 2009 22:50

The Marquis of Granby, Westminster

Along with the Royal Oak about the nearest competitor to the Speaker in Westminter. Approaching down Romney St there were dozens of people drinking outside on both sides of the street - not sure what the local residents think of this.

Inside is a dark wood traditional interior with a mix of high and low tables and a good selection of ales - even Brains SA ("Skull Attack"). Patrons were mostly office workers and the buzz of conversation was not drowned by either loud music or sport on TV (despite it being a Champions League night).

If I worked in the area I'd happily come for a pint in here.

24 Sep 2009 22:45

The Westminster Arms, Westminster

A Shep Neame pub just off Parliament Square the Westminster Arms is a single room with an impressive backdrop to the bar. Although the room is quite small it also has quite a high ceiling. I normally like SN pubs but this one has no seating other than a few high stools next to ledges round the wall. Hence it lacks the cosier atmosphere normally found in their pubs. Ok for a quick one after work but I am not likely to return here.

24 Sep 2009 22:41

The Old Star, Westminster

Opposite the entrance to the tube station the Old Star was pretty busy when I ventured in. It's large enough that I was able to find a seat but the stripped pine flooring only added to the slightly unpleasant volume generated by the after office crowd. There's nothing too much wrong with it but I prefer the Adam and Eve and Two Chairmen in this part of town.

24 Sep 2009 22:38

The Two Chairmen, St James's

It's a pleasant exterior with a bit of space outside for drinking on the pavement. Inside it's quite a low ceilinged single room with dark decor. The bar is on the left and the seating area to the right is separated into three by lowish dividers. Unfortunately on the evening I dropped in the central (and largest of the three) was booked for a private party.

This made it impossible to find a seat and despite finding the pub initially appealing this put me off somewhat. I know pubs need to make money where they can but when 50% of the seating is a no-go it doesn't do much to attract. It loses marks for this although I would be happy to return.

24 Sep 2009 22:36

The Queens Arms, Pimlico

This establishment is very definitely on the gastro side of things - it's had the stripped pine refurb and there are jars of olives and pistachios on the bar. Rather surprisingly it has a reasonable beer selection and I even had a pint of Harveys.

Really though this is somewhere to take your other half for lunch or dinner rather than proper drinking and it loses marks for that reason.

12 Sep 2009 09:40

The Cardinal, Victoria

Large Sam Smiths pub in a quiet street between Victoria St and Vauxhall Bridge Rd. As is usual in Sam Smiths pubs the decor is dark with half wood panelling, dark wall paper and what looked like a dark maroon ceiling. It's a central bar with (to its credit) a dart board on the smaller right hand side and traditional chairs and tables to the left.

The rear of the pub looks a bit odd - seems to be a glassed off food preparation area but as it wasn't in use when I went in so couldn't really tell. The toilets though are tiny for a pub this size and in the gents if someone is washing their hands it is hard to reach the urinals without becoming more intimate than one would wish.

There were quite a few people in here but the size of the pub meant it was easy to get a seat. As usual with Sam Smiths pubs the atmosphere was pleasant without music or TVs. I'm not a huge fan of their drinks though so while I could recommend this pub for the environment I'm not likely to spend an evening here.

12 Sep 2009 09:38

The Greencoat Boy, Victoria

Standard London pub with not too much wrong with it. Its a fairly large wedge shaped single bar with a mixture of high and low tables. Didn't see any TVs other than a small old one showing a terrestrial channel without sound so I don't think it's a place to watch sport. There is a large space outside for summer evenings and most people were taking advantage of this when I was in.

Ok for a quick pint but I wouldn't make a special effort to return here.

12 Sep 2009 09:29

The Speaker, Westminster

The Speaker is the best pub in the area by a considerable way. Located in a quiet back street it is a single room comfortably furnished without the intrusions of loud music or fruit machines. There is a good beer selection and the atmosphere is very relaxing.

Definitely the place to head for in this neck of the woods.

12 Sep 2009 09:27

The Strutton Arms, Westminster

Although the pub has a narrow frontage it is quite deep although not very well laid out. There are a lot of beams and tables in the central part of the pub making it a little difficult to move about and get a decent spot to watch the football. One nice touch is a series of alcoves on the right hand side each of which have a small TV mounted in them. Food was pretty cheap and looked good (although I didn't eat myself).

The pub is a somewhat gloomy and there was a mixed crowd in (probably due to the football). It's ok for a quick one or two but with some of the alternatives in the area not somewhere I would spend an evening in.

12 Sep 2009 09:24

Kings Arms, Victoria

A bit too close to Victoria and while not nearly as bad as the Shakespeare it is a bit of a "station pub". Didn't find the bar staff too friendly at all and was glad to finish my pint and head off home.

12 Sep 2009 09:20

The Bag O' Nails, Victoria

This pub is directly behind Buck House on the main drag down to Victoria so lots of tourists. The interior is dark and fairly pleasant but seemed to have too many chairs and tables crammed into it. A decent enough pub but nothing to make a special effort for.

12 Sep 2009 09:18

The Phoenix, Victoria

Largish pub with plenty of outside drinking space the Phoenix has had a pretty nasty refurb with lots of pastel colours, stripped pine and uncomfortable looking sofas. It also seemed to have more than its fair share of braying types so didn't do much at all to recommend itself to me. Can't remember what the beer selection was like but it's irrelevant as I won't be returning here.

12 Sep 2009 09:16

The Cask and Glass, Victoria

Although this pub is slightly wider than the photo suggests (it extends to the window on the right of the door it is still very small indeed. As it is wedged into a street corner there is no depth to the pub and it would be crowded with 20 people inside. Fortunately there is some outside drinking space as can be seen from the photo.

Its a Shepherd Neame pub (which I usually rather like) and has a nice atmosphere. Seating is upholstered bench along the front wall with a small number of tables. Again clientele seemed moostly local office workers and seemed a very pleasant place for an after work drink

12 Sep 2009 09:14

The Colonies, Westminster

Tucked away in a very quiet back street the Colonies was actually reasonably busy when I dropped in. It's a pretty basic layout with bar on the right, an open centre area and a raised seating area at the back.

It was ok for a quick pint but not really somewhere I could see myself spending an evening in.

12 Sep 2009 09:08

The Buckingham Arms, Westminster

As soon as I walked through the door this pub screamed refurb at me and looking at some of the earlier reviews this indeed took place a year or two ago. I thought this was one of Youngs better efforts in this regard but it would have been interesting to see it a few years back as other reviewers have complained off loss of character.

The seating is comfortable enough - a few armchairs at the front of the pub, high stools along a ledge on the right hand side and more traditional tables and chairs at the rear. There were some high benches at the rear left that looked too high for the tables they were at so Iwould avoid those.

As its Youngs it has their usual collection of beers on pump and bottles and rather like the Adam and Eve it seemed to be mostly office workers.

It's an ok pub but there are others in the area that are preferable.

12 Sep 2009 09:06

Adam and Eve, Westminster

The Adam and Eve is located just along Petty France from St James's Park tube and has a pretty much traditional interior. It's a pretty much square room with bar on the right and a set of high stools round a table in the centre of the room. The left hand side is given over to more traditional pub seating with some dividers in place.

For the serious ale drinker the beers are probably somewhat uninspiring but I liked the ambience in this pub. Clientele seemed to be mainly office workers and there was no intrusive music. Perhaps it gets more riotuous on Friday nights but it seemed to me a good place to come for a few pints after work.

12 Sep 2009 09:02

JJ Moons, Tooting

Ducked in here for a quick one to see if it's as bad as its sister pub up in Balham - it is.

The best JDWs are those where they take over an already impressive building but this is at the bottom end of their scale which is very low indeed. It's a deep narrow pub which looks like it was originally built to be a shoe shop. Bar is on the left with (as usual for JDW) a decent selection of beers. The prominent presence of wine on tap though gives a clue to the sort of clientele the pub us hoping to attract.

There is the usual collection of JDW furniture and fittings but these sort of pubs have no character at all and no amount of refurbishment will change that.

The clientele are also standard bottom end JDW - the very young, the very old, chavs and alkies.

I suppose these places need to exist but I certainly won't be darkening its doors again.

12 Sep 2009 08:55

The Bailey, Highbury

Rough and tumble place on the way to the Emirates from H & I station. The decorating always seems half done and the back of the pub looks like it's a storage area for crap furniture that they don't want near the front of the pub.

Probably does no business most of the time but always full whenever I've had the dubious pleasure of attending midweek games at the Emirates.

9 Aug 2009 00:24

The Famous Cock Tavern, Islington

The Cock's ok to drink in and has a convenient location right outside the station.

Cock though could also describe some of the Arsenal fans who drink here on match days. Honestly some of them are like chav versions of Prince Charles - lamenting about the good old days and how things were done properly then - I have some sympathy for this but just move on.

To be fair pubs near Anfield have probably been similar since 1990

9 Aug 2009 00:20

The Devonshire Arms, Marylebone

Almost empty when I went in but the interior seemed nice enough and beer selection ok. Trouble is I can see no real reason to head for this pub unless you work nearby and the Three Tuns 5/10 mins down the road is much better.

8 Aug 2009 22:57

The Pontefract Castle, Marylebone

Not much to write home about in here but it's not too bad either. Seemed to be trying with the ale selection but the music was a bit crap and I don't see any need to return here given some of the alternatves nearer Marble Arch

8 Aug 2009 22:55

The Three Tuns, Marylebone

For a pub one block off Oxford St the Three Tuns is excellent - low ceiling, darkish interior means this is a pub for winter warmth rather than the hazy days of summer but it's an excellent wlecoming interior with a good range at the bar.

The main noise when I was in was the buzz of conversation which is always a good sign to my mind although there was some classic rock in the background which was pleasant without being intrusive.

I have the Three Tuns marked down as a good place to drink and will try and return here in the near future.

8 Aug 2009 22:52

The Carpenters Arms, Marble Arch

Good selection of beers and welcoming but a little too bright for my liking and so the Masons just down the road wins out for me. Still this place is better than most and worth visiting if you have the time.

8 Aug 2009 22:48

The Wilton Arms, Belgravia

Much bigger than the nearby Nags Head this is still a good pub with a nice ambience. Shepherd Neame so their usual collection of beers and lagers. The exterior of the pub is appealing and the interior is comfortable without being shabby.

Recommended particularly for larger groups as the Nags Head is really too small for more than about six.

8 Aug 2009 22:35

The Castle, Tooting Broadway

There's a lot of crap pubs around Tooting Brodway but the Castle is a cut above most of them.

Long single room with a bar almost the whole way along the right hand side (and a function room at the back). Mixture of wall benches, high tables and traditional tables the interior is very comfortable and on a Thursday night not too crowded or noisy ( in fact if pressed I would say slightly worringly quiet). Toilets are very spacious and clean.

Clientele tended towards the older end but emhatically this is not Wetherspoons.

A comfortable and pleasant place to drink and probably your best bet if around Tooting Broadway.

8 Aug 2009 22:29

The Nags Head, Belgravia

Tiny, quirky and packed with bric-a-brac like old arcade machines.

I'm not quite sure how to describe this place but it's special and worth visiting

4 Aug 2009 21:47

The Grenadier, Belgravia

Another splendid Belgravia mews pub - if you don't now where this is you'll never find it as it's down a hook shaped cul-de-sac and invisible from any road a cab will take you along.

Up the stairs at the front and it's a pleasant bar area with a room off to the rear left that is mainly for eating. It's a warm pub and one that I've enjoyed on my periodc visits over 15 years.

Just great and hopefully it keeps going for many a long year yet

4 Aug 2009 21:30

The Star Tavern, Belgravia

Another one of Belgravia's excellent hidden pubs. A pleasant interior of the kind of which there are too few in central London means that this is somewhere you can spend a very comfortable evening.

If you can take the time to walk here it is well worth the effort.

4 Aug 2009 21:14

The Horse and Groom, Belgravia

Maidenman describes this pub very well but on a Thursday night there were probably 50 people plus outside so on a summer night the pub can accomodate two or three times the number that can be squeezed into the interior.

The interior itself is fine and I found the high tables and tables fairly comfortable. Perhaps the only anomalous feature for me was a flat screen TV in the upper corner between the bar and window.

Overall this is a good pub and I'll be back here next time I'm in the area.

4 Aug 2009 21:12

St James Tavern, Piccadilly

Last time I was in it was dark, loud and full of drunk tourists - most noticeably the two middle aged northern women at the next table.

I know these places have to exist in the West End but I also know there is no reason for me to visit any of them in general and this one in particular ever again.

4 Aug 2009 21:00

The Lyric, Soho

Is it shut again - I was in a couple of months ago and celebrating the reappearance of a Soho classic. Admittedly it wasn't as splendidly shabby as it used to be but the prime people watching location opposite the Windmill was still full value.

Gutted if this place has shut again.

4 Aug 2009 20:57

The Marquis of Granby, Cambridge Circus

It's a bit shabby although with a few interesting opera posters on the walls. Nothing offensive in here at all (although there was a party of beardy IT nerds at the next table) but I'd head for the Cambridge if looking for a beer round here.

4 Aug 2009 20:43

The Spice of Life, Cambridge Circus

I haven't been in here for a good long while until a few weeks ago. It's been redecorated and I have to say that on the whole it's been well done. The problem for the pubs on Cambridge Circus is that they attract all sorts of people who are in there for a quick one before a show at the Cambridge Theatre (or that other one on Old Compton St) or a meal in Soho somewhere.

It means the atmosphere is a bit like a station pub and the Spice of Life suffers more than a little from that. Still the surroundings- if not as good as the Cambridge- are more than acceptable and I oculd easily imagine meeting someone there to start off the evening.

4 Aug 2009 20:38

The Coach and Horses, Soho

This pub is still trying to live on the reputation engendered by Norman Balon, Jeffrey Bernard et al. It clearly hasn't been redecorated for about 30 years as evidenced by the signs for Ind Coope, Double Diamond and Skol behind the bar. There is a certain quaint charm in this but the 70s was not a high point in pub decoration and the nasty red patterned carpet and furniture rescued from a northern working mans club do not make this the most comfortable of environments.

The clientele appeared to be a mix of tourist poseur and Soho regular but the staged pub sing-song at the piano at one end of the bar made me feel like I was at some kind of themed restaurant.

This pub has seen better days and there really are better places to drink in the area

4 Aug 2009 20:32

The Cambridge, Soho

The location right on Cambridge Circus is not a plus point but I have to say the Cambridge is a very pleasant pub indeed. For some reason it seems to attract less of the tourist element than some others nearby.

There is outside seating and the interior is a very pleasant surprise indeed. Rather than shabby or horrid chrome / pine there is a warm dark wood setting with benches around the front wall and some rather nice ceiling panels. It is also smaller than the photograph above suggests.

It's a good drinking environment and I'd come back here if in the area

4 Aug 2009 20:26

The Tottenham, Soho

First things first - the Tottenham is on the north side of Oxford St so one place it isn't is Soho.

It's location means it really should be a total dump but remarkably it's not.

The interior is much larger and impressive than the rather small street front suggests and while there are many tourists in here it's actually ok.

There's no way I'd ever arrange a night in here but it's better than you would think for a quick one

28 Jun 2009 20:28

The Rising Sun, Tottenham Court Road

Deceptively large pub because of the back area it was crowded when I was in and the competition for seats was fierce. The only reason I could think of for the numbers was the proximity to the Uni but the prices belied any serious attempt to attract students.

Let's face it Tottenham Court Rd is not anyone's destination of choice but the Rising Sun was slightly above the average for this area and so it is possible I might one day end up in here again.

28 Jun 2009 20:25

The Jack Horner, Tottenham Court Road

Large variety of people in here although - in my view at least- transients and tourists. The service was efficient enough and it was easy enough to chat to people.

Still I ended up with the impression that this was the sort of pub that would be opposite a London mainline station of someone was willing to spend a bit of money on the decor and keep the worst alkies out.

Can't ever see myself back in here again.

28 Jun 2009 20:22

The Northumberland Arms, Goodge Street

Nice single bar place on Goodge St - probably the sort of place large breweries are itching to make over but it was crowded when I went in and they should just leave it alone as it's a nice friendly after work pub.

28 Jun 2009 20:05

The One Tun, Goodge Street

Single bar Youngs pub on Goodge St. The interior when I arrived (early evening) was pleasant enough but messy, messy, messy.

If I want to drink in that sort of environment there are numerous Wetherspoons I can frequent which are at least cheaper. It's a shame as the clientele seemed decent enough.

Maybe they were having an off night but it doesn't encourage me to return.

28 Jun 2009 19:49

The Duke of York, Fitzrovia

Single roomed (L shaped room though pub at the top end of Rathbone St. The hour I spent in here was very comfortable and I could imagine it being very cosy in the winter time. I'd return here without question - better than many of the other pubs in the area.

28 Jun 2009 19:40

The Newman Arms, Fitzrovia

Tiny pub with the almost mandatory laneway at the left hand side. The ground floor bar is tiny with about three tables at the front aand half a dozen stools at the side. The decor was something like a kitchen after it had been stripped down before the painting and tiling had started. God knows how places like these carry on - it's not offensive in any way but has nothing much to recommend it.

28 Jun 2009 19:38

The Marquis of Granby, Fitzrovia

Nice single barred pub looking down Rathbone Crescent on a kink in the road. It's got an outside drinking area and the bar staff are efficient enough.

Right now for the downside - the toilets (at least for the gents) are up a staircase on the right hand side of the bar - to say they are cramped is an understatement and it isn't to hard to imagine desperate blokes fighting to get through the door and the narrow space behind it.

As an added bonus on my visit a few weeks ago they had some kind of problem with the drains and every time I opened my mouth to take a sip of my pint the intake of sewer gas massively over compensated for any pleasure the beer might have given me. Notwithstanding my previous comments about the efficiency of the bar staff their nonchalance in regard to this issue suggested they were sensorily deprived.

All in all a decent place not seen to its best effect when I was in.

28 Jun 2009 19:34

The Wheatsheaf, Fitzrovia

A nice Fitzrovia pub with (rather like the Bricklayers nearby) a laneway on the ground floor of the building on the left hand side.

It's a long narrowish single bar pub although pleasantly there is a proper window at the rear of the pub allowing for natural daylight to permeate these areas. Befitting the area it's in the pub has some literary pretensions with copies of articles on the walls at the front of the bar highlighting the fact that people like George Orwell, Anthony Burgess and Dylan Thomas frequented both the area and the pub itself.

It's a nice place this and I'd return rather more frequently than I have over the last 20 years if it wasn't for competing commitments.

28 Jun 2009 19:27

The Bricklayers Arms, Fitzrovia

Just off Rathbone Place this is a traditional Sam Smiths pub with interesting architecture. There is a laneway under the left hand side of the building and the pub itself is clearly divided into a front and back room.

The front bar had a timeless (and indeed customerless) quality on the Wednesday afternoon I dropped in. The front of the bar, appropriately, was brickwork but the rest of the room could have been decked out any time between the 1890s and 1950s. It was in very good order though and the hour or so I spent in here was well worth it particularly with the organic lager at around 2.16 a pint.

There are still pubs in central London that exist as an oasis of calm and this seemed to be one of them.

28 Jun 2009 19:20

The Black Horse, Fitzrovia

Single roomed but deep pub with a traditional interior just north of Oxford St - service ok and pleasant enough for a lunchtime drink. The raised upholstered benches at the back are very comfortable but far enough away from the front window that the time of day becomes immaterial. It's as good a place as any to escape the squalid eastern end of Oxford St but there are better places further north along Rathbone Pl / St

28 Jun 2009 19:14

The Crown, Bloomsbury

Sam Smiths pub of which there a few round here - nice traditional interior although not quite the Sam Smiths prices you get elsewhere. Ok for a quick late one but I don't ever see myself arranging a full night here.

28 Jun 2009 19:11

The Old Crown, Bloomsbury

It's pleasant enough in here although the beer selection is dire and the prices reflect the wannabe nature of the establishment. It's not the worst of the trendy bars in the West End but I struggle to think of a reason to come here rather than some of the better pubs in the area.

The prices don't help either.

28 Jun 2009 19:05

The Plough, Bloomsbury

Traditional ub near the British Museum that, whilst not being as pleasant as the Museum Tavern still offers convivial surroundings once the tourists have gone. There's three or four TVs in here so sport watching is on offer (rarer than you might think around here).

Rather like the Museum it's one to avoid during the day but pleasant enough later on in the day.

28 Jun 2009 19:02

The Museum Tavern, Bloomsbury

The proximity to the British Museum virtually guarantees that this place is a bit of a hellhole in the daytime and on weekends.

On the Wednesday night I visited though the tourists had long gone and what was left was a very pleasant pub ideal to meet someone for a quiet drink(s)

It looks like it was originally a two room pub that has been opened up into a single area although it is not excessively large at all. Decor and beer selection are fine and the lack of TVs mean that the football crowd are not drawn into the pub.

Avoid during the daytime but as an evening venue the Museum offers a comfortable environment far enough away from Leicester Square / Covent Garden to avoid the worst of the West End crowds

I'd come back here again.

28 Jun 2009 18:59

O'Neills, Clapham

Been in here in both it's previous guises - Plough (I think) with old timers drinking their pensions and SW4 with chavs looking to get lagered up and stare down their fellow patrons. It's massive and so has never seemed that full to me.

The O'Neills version at least offers a more pleasant interior although shifting the bar from the centre to the right hand side of the room makes the pub seem even more cavernous than it did previously.

I do however share the reservations of the previous reviewer about the customer base which seems to have derived from SW4 rather than attracting a more sensible crowd.

It was relatively quietish at 5pm on a Friday when I was in but two drunks started a shouting match at the front of the pub which continued on to the street outside (which I suppose is preferable to some of the alternatives).

I'm old enough and there is enough choice in the area that I don't need to drink in places with that sort of thing going on. It's a bit of a shame as I find O' Neills the least offensive of the chain pubs - still the Alex is over the road so no great loss

28 Jun 2009 17:58

The Railway, Clapham North

Clapham bar in pub clothing. Has the advantage of outside seating - which is always crowded when I pass in the spring or summer. It's ok in here (and it was quiet when I was in) but I can't see any reason to elevate it above the Alex or even the Bellevue further down the high street

28 Jun 2009 17:39

The Clapham North, Clapham North

I seem to remember this being a rather dingy pub a number of years back but it's been given the Clapham bar treatment. That said it is not over the top at all and I found the interior rather comfortable and the eclectic set of tables well suited to the interior. It's clearly set up for sport watching as there are a number of flat screen TVs dotted around the walls and fliers around the pub confirm this.

On a Friday afternoon the bar was naturally quiet but I could quite easily imagine it being deeply unpleasant on Friday nights or sporting Saturday afternoons

28 Jun 2009 17:37

The Bath House, Soho

Nice traditional pub at the northern end of Soho that hasn't been given the modernisation treatment at all and is all the better for it. That is not to say the pub is run down as it is not.

There are enough tables to offer comfortable seating on the midweek evening I visited and I would come back here to meet friends or even spend an evening.

28 Jun 2009 17:29

The Nellie Dean of Soho, Soho

Smally slightly shabby Soho corner pub of which there are a number in the vicinity. There's nothing particularly wrong with this pub but if you're looking for something small and quietish (at least during the middle of the week when I last visited) then the nearby Dog and Duck and Bath House are superior alternatives.

28 Jun 2009 17:27

The Crown And Two Chairmen, Soho

Not sure why this pub has had a few bad reviews - it's not quite a traditional Soho boozer (dimmed lighting in the evening, loudish music) but it offers a range of real ales, continental lagers and even ciders that is matched by very few if any of the other pubs in the area. There is also outside drinking and whilst it may not be ideal for a quiet evening pint it's definitely worthwhile for a group of friends or a work evening out.

Interior decor is quite acceptable and I'd definitely be willing to return here in the right circumstances.

28 Jun 2009 17:20

The Dog and Duck, Soho

Tiny place and bizarrely the bar is against the outside wall of the pub. The back area has 4 or 5 tables and the front bit seating for another 10 or 12 but anything more than about 30 people in here would be uncomfortable

Luckily for me numbers were well below this on my last visit. It's a nice pub and the sort of place Soho needs to persist in order to maintain a bit of character. Would definitely return here as it was a nice atmosphere.

21 Jun 2009 23:11

The Carlisle Arms, Soho

Unlike many pubs in Soho the Carlisle appears bigger than it really i. The widish street front conceals a single room bar that is wider than deep. Although there is bench style seating around the wall on the right hand side of the door the left side lacks much seating other than a few high tables.

As there were about 6 people in there on my visit the lack of seating didn't really matter much. Beer was fine and I'd probably go back here depending on how convenient it was to whoever I was meeting.

21 Jun 2009 23:07

The Pillars of Hercules, Soho

It's an appealing exterior butnalmost empty when
I ventured in on a mid week night at around 10pm. There were a few arsey student types (what college is in Soho????) but that was about it.

The interior was ok and the beer acceptable but I have to say it was a bit difficult to assess the pub with very few people present.

21 Jun 2009 23:04

The Imperial, Soho

Staggered in here after a gruelling afternoon at the shops - in an area dominated by crappy bars it's a quite traditional pub and at 4pm not packed with baying chavs.

Unfortunately it let itself down by serving the worst pint of Stella I've tasted in an awful long time - flat, warm and tasting like someone had dumped the ash of a cheap brand of cigarette in it ( a Lambert and Butler perhaps). If I hadn't seen it come out of the tap myself I would have suspected it had been conjured up from the slops tray.

If pub can't serve up a decent pint then there really is no hope for it.

21 Jun 2009 22:11

The Red Lion, Soho

A Sam Smiths pub which I guess will dictate whether many people like it or not. The wood panelling is quite distinguished and lends the pub a bit of an aura of a gentlemans club (old style rather than one invloving girls called Tracy or Yelena gyrating nakedly in your face for a tenner).

It's quite a deep place with two room separated by a staircase cutting across the bar. Since the back room has no windows and is blocked from the street by said staircase it has a rather gloomy funereal atmosphere even on a sunny spring afternoon. The lack of customers when I was there didn't help either although the pub does get a bonus point for having a dart board.

Another one, like many in the area, that is ok for a pint but not really good for an entire evening.

21 Jun 2009 22:01

The Clachan, Soho

Single room traditional style pub that doesn't have anything special to recommend it but nothing much against it either. Ok for a quick one rather than a destination for a full evening

21 Jun 2009 21:52

The Argyll Arms, Oxford Circus

Having avoided this place for years due to its proximity to Oxford Circus I ventured in a few weeks ago for the first time. It's like quite a few pubs in the West End in that the interior is much larger than the rather small street front suggests (The Tottenham at the eastern end of Oxford St is similar).

It's a single room split into three by dividers and the glasswork is impressive. The rear area is the biggest and it's to that area I made my way. Despite there being two or three staff behind the bar they seemed to be intent on finding any excuse to do something other than serve thirsty patrons a pint. After several minutes of watching them do this (and while several other customers joined me in pub purgatory) I gave up and headed out for somewhere with a better grasp of customer service.

I doubt I'll ever be back in here agains

21 Jun 2009 21:49

The White Horse, Soho

Just off Carnaby St this is good pub that offers outside drinking as well as a reasonably welcoming interior. It does get crowded in the evenings but hey this is Soho and there are a lot of dumps nearby so give it a whirl.

21 Jun 2009 21:40

O'Neills, Soho

I remember this place being the Dog and Trumpet years ago, changing into a Firkin before morphing into an O'Neills ( I await the inevitable change into an AB1)

It's a bit deceptive here - the front area is spacious enough but along the narrow area to the right of the bar is a pleasant back room with a frosted conservatory style roof that is a nice place for a pint.

The area means that it's a bit touristy but if you can sneak a seat in the back room it's really quite ok.

21 Jun 2009 21:37

The Shakespeare's Head, Soho

Along with the Punch and Judy in Covent Garden this must be about the biggest tourist trap of a pub in the West End. Make no mistakes Carnaby St lost any edginess it might have had in the 70s and 80s a long time ago. Punk clothing stores have been replaced by Starbucks and Boots and there's no real reason for London residents to come here.

Having said this the Shakespeare's head is not quite as bad as you might expect although it's another pub with a slightly too small bar jammed in one corner. I certainly wouldn't dream of coming here for a night out but for a quick pint it was ok although the international gang of gawpers making up most of the customers were not the best.

21 Jun 2009 21:30

The Crown, Soho

More than acceptable Soho boozer (of which there are many similar in the area) although the back room to the left of the bar is a bit of a cave. Very mixed crowd when I was in and had an amiable couple of pints with some (British) out of towners. Seems like the sort of place where spending an evening wouldn't be a big problem although not somewhere to really make a special effort for.

21 Jun 2009 21:17

The Glassblower, Piccadilly

Always been a tourist trap this one and it remains so. I seem to recall the bar being along the left wall years ago but it's now in the far left corner (and too small!!). Early Saturday afternoon wasn't too bad in here and it was fine for a single pint break from shopping.

I suspect it's a bit of a nightmare on Friday night though.

21 Jun 2009 21:14

The Leicester Arms, Piccadilly Circus

I've liked this place for almost 20 years but hadn't been in for a good while until a few weeks ago. It's been redone but is still pretty much the same style I remembered and my favourite table on the small landing on the stair is still in place.

It's close to Regent St so there are many tourists during the day but they don't seem to spoil the character of the place and it remains one of the better pubs at this end of Soho.

21 Jun 2009 21:11

The Duke of Wellington, Aldgate

Like the Old Kings Head the other side of Bishopsgate this is an old style pub that is not flash in any way but an enjoyable place to drink. Although it's close to Commercial Rd it is still quite hidden away and the street it is on has quite a few derelict buildings that look ready to be knocked down.

Quiet and comfortable and any pub that still has a dart board is to be commended.

21 Jun 2009 21:08

Williams Wine and Ale House, Hoxton

Refurb here has been very good - the interior is much more comfortable and the previously rank toilets have improved immeasurably in quality if not in size.

It remains at the head of a number of good pubs just east of Bishopsgate around Middlesex St. One thing to note is that it doesn't have Sky but they do show ITV Champions League games for which it is much less crowded than most of the opposition.

Still an excellent City watering hole

21 Jun 2009 21:05

The Old Kings Head, Hoxton

Around the fringes of the City there are still a few old style pubs like the Old Kings Head clinging on. It's been refurbished since the last time I visited but despite what looked suspiciously like a love seat in one corner it's still pretty much a traditional interior.

The streets round here are a bit of a no-mans land wedged as they are between the suits in the City and the laughable "trendiness" of Hoxton. Most of the buildings are run down offices housing the service companies that feed off the City giants ( you know IT services, Corporate travel agencies, couriers and so on). The age and demeanour of the patrons and the dishevelled suits suggest that these are indeed the employers that the pub draws most of its clientele from. It might be nominally in Hoxton but spiritually it's miles away.

It's a good place this and the quietness of the streets around (helped no doubt by the local council shutting down roads and using one way signs) mean that drinking outside is easy and pleasant. I'd walk past most of the other pubs in the area to come for a pint here.

21 Jun 2009 21:00

The Old Blue Last, Shoreditch

Tired looking interior that I suspect is a deliberate attempt to recreate the atmosphere of Camden pubs in the early 1980s. The seats around the outside of the pub that have been rescued from a theatre (still with numbers on them) are a novel touch but being Hoxton it attracts many, many people who I would prefer to out of sight and hearing when I am unwinding in the evening.

There is a rather magnificent mirror/ glass emblem in one corner but the toilets are foul and I could do without the studenty / trendy company.

21 Jun 2009 20:52

The Fox, Old Street

Spartan "stripped pine" sort of place in the maze of streets between Broadgate and Old St.

I suspect the Fox is not somewhere that gets much passing trade but gleans much of its clientele from the slightly shabby 60s and 70s offices that occupy much of this area.

I've drunk in here a couple of times in the evening and it's never been really crowded. I will say I've worked less than 5 mins walk from this pub for more than 5 years and wasn't aware of its existence until about 8 months ago so I suspect it would benefit from a bit of publicity.

Ok but nothing exceptional here

21 Jun 2009 20:48

The Windmill, Moorgate

Looks like a traditional pub from the outside but the red interior walls make you half expect strippers to appear with pint glasses for collecting pound coins.

It's not that sort of place though but the times I have been there make me wonder what sort of place it is trying to be. Ok for a swift one or two after work but there are better pubs in the area.

21 Jun 2009 20:43

The Master Gunner, Moorgate

Single room pub but quite large (certainly deep) - the bar and rer are a little reminiscent of an All Bar One but this is definitely more of a ub. It's not too bad but looking around this area there are many better options.

I was watching a match the last time I went in but the lack of big screens doesn't make it an ideal destination for sports viewing.

No real incentive to come here unless it happens to be the closest pub to where you work

21 Jun 2009 20:40

The Trinity, Borough

Ah yes - the old Hole in the Wall - I used to quite like that place but the refurb and name change has cast the pub into no mans land. The interior is a little spartan and the clientele (mid Friday afternoon) seemed to have come from the direction of Elephant and Castle rather than London Bridge. Handy for Borough tube but the pubs further up the High St are much better.

8 Feb 2009 19:46

Corney and Barrow, Liverpool Street

Expensive and soulless this is a favourite for office based functions but not much else. The only redeeming thing I can say is that it was useful for watching the last World Cup on the big screen in the circle

7 Feb 2009 15:32

The Old Thameside Inn, London Bridge

The interior is ok (if fake) and there are nice views of the river but this is really a pub for tourists and to be avoided by the discerning local drinker

7 Feb 2009 15:27

The George, London Bridge

Old ramshackle pub consisting of a long series of 5 or 6 rooms with a couple of bars. I first drank in here in 1990 and I'm pretty sure it hasn't changed in the slightest since. Unfortunately the bar at the front end of the pub was closed and hence if you wanted to sit in the front (ie closest to Borough High St) room - which I believe is the most comfortable - the a trip to the bar required a walk outside to the middle bar. Said bar was quite crowded - probably would be better to have both open.

There's a lot of tables in the courrtyard outside although at this time of year they are redundant for all but the hardiest of chain smokers.

The unique nature of this place makes it worth the occasional visit but not somewhere I'd make a special trip to get to.

7 Feb 2009 15:21

The Wheatsheaf, Borough

Didn't manage to get in here for a last drink before it closed last month. Was still boarded up when I went past earlier in the week but it looked like it was being preserved so perhaps it will reopen at some point

7 Feb 2009 15:08

The Southwark Tavern, London Bridge

Lively when visited earlier in the week and it did take a little while to get served but the wait wasn't exorbitant. Decent selection of drinks including what looked like a disused tap at the far end of the bar for Addlestones Cider - brought back some deeply buried but vivid memories that did. Anyway decent mixed crowd and in the evening at least a decent place for a group outing.

7 Feb 2009 15:02

The Old Kings Head, Borough

The sign on Borough High St beckons you down the lane where you reach the Old Kings Head hoping to find a cosy back street boozer. The reality is a little disappointing - a single high ceilinged room with bare floorboards that but there's a decent crowd in here (as indeed in most pubs round here) and a reasonable selection of ales for the beardies.

There's certainly better competition in the area but this is not a bad pub at all and one of the few in the area showing the football on Wednesday type (and hence a heavily male dominated clientele).

7 Feb 2009 11:20

The Duke of York, Victoria

Somewhat surprised at some of the negative reviews. Dropped in here on the way home during the week and was pleasantly surprised particularly given the pub's proximity to Victoria. Pub was reasonably busy but not unpleasantly so. The interior was warm and welcoming helped by the leather benches around some of the walls and the orange lightshades.

Given the some of the dreadful places around and inside Victoria I have to say the Duke of York is a pretty decent place to meet someone for a few drinks before getting on the train.

7 Feb 2009 11:11

The White Horse, Parsons Green

Pretentious beyond belief but the outdoor area is pleasant enough on sunny Sundays. Years ago there used to be soe hard drinking West Indians round to the left side of the bar but they seem to have long gone.

Male customers - whack on the cravate and blue blazer or get that Ralph Lauren polo shirt collar turned up and drape the jumper over the shoulders. You'll look like a total tosser but no one will notice because they'll all be dressed the same

For the ladies white sweater with pony tail is pretty much de rigeur - make sure you have big teeth and a laugh like a hyena - it will help you fit in better

Basically a good pub let down by the customers

25 Jan 2009 23:15

The Southern Cross, Fulham

Only been here recently after midweek Chelsea games and it seems decent enough and certainly better than when it was the SW6 hangout for the rougher end of the Kiwi population ( a role since assumed by the Slug and Lettuce on the Broadway).

Ok for a swift couple after the match

25 Jan 2009 23:10

Brogans, Fulham

FFS - why do we need so many pseudo Paddy pubs in London. This is not the worst by any means and is ok for a beer on match days but at any other time is to be avoided - it was far better as the White Swan with bands on a Sunday lunchtime

Symptomatic of how grim Fulham Broadway is along with the Slug and the old White Hart where the guy was shot a short while back.

25 Jan 2009 23:07

The Slug and Lettuce, Fulham

Truly awful - if drunk bellowing antipodeans are your cup of tea in the evenings then this is the place for you. I would advise wearing your wellies though to paddle your way around the revolting conveniences.

The equivalent of Tiger Tiger for our backpacking friends

25 Jan 2009 23:03

The Lamb, Bloomsbury

A proper pub in all senses of the word- every time I visit this fine establishent it's like stepping back in tie 30 or40 year.

A poignant reminder of what central London was like when it was still civilised.

Well recommended

25 Jan 2009 22:53

The Belle Vue, Clapham Common

Pleasant hybrid of pub and bar particularly in the summer months. My usual preferred destination in this neck of the woods is the Alexandra but the light airy atmosphere in the Belle Vue appeals on a bright sunny day. Not one I'd watch sport in though.

10 Jan 2009 20:51

The Finborough Wine Cafe, West Brompton

Ducked in here before the Chelsea v Bordeaux game earlier in the season.

I haven't been in for a number of years and it is one of the few pubs I have been to where the refurbishment has done it a real favour. Much less grubby and cramped now although I suspect it is a pub for the brighter months rather than the depths of winter. Good for one on the way to the game.

10 Jan 2009 20:48

Bangers, Broadgate

A City institution and excellent for hiding in as it is downstairs and there are plenty of nooks and crannies. Never been much on the Old Wallop after a particularly heavy night on it about 15 years ago but the own brand lager was ok. Really though I go for the ambience.

10 Jan 2009 20:45

The Red Lion, Westminster

Probably the best of the pubs on Whitehall probably because it's the furthest from Trafalgar Square and diners are banished upstairs. Hence it resembels a pub rather than feeding time at the zoo.

Small bar area with plenty of political memorabilia on the walls this is a comfortable drinking environment. Obviously there are the tourist element here but in smaller numbers and less obtrusive than further up Whitehall. Worth a visit if in the area.

10 Jan 2009 20:41

The Ifield, Brompton

When I went past after the Chelsea game last week it was boarded up pending yet another refurb according to the sign outside.

10 Jan 2009 20:37

Yates's, Gatwick Airport

Never been here but why would you convert a Yates's into a Spoons - bit like converting gonorrhoea into syphilis

29 Dec 2008 21:41

All Bar One, Moorgate

Lunch in here last week was good (as per usual for AB1) but for the drinker - appalling

They seem to have taken it upon themselves to insist on tale service - had I been asked I would not have been able to nominate a way for AB1 to become less attractive to drinkers - they have managed to do it though.

Just become a restaurant chain and leave the pub stuff alone - there'll be a better chance of surviving Gordon's recession.

29 Dec 2008 20:15

The Feathers, St James's

Cavernous front area gives way to a more snug rear part. This seemed serviceable enough and far enough away from Parliament Square to cater for local civil servants rather than tourists.

Given the nearest department is Jackboot Jacqui's Home Office though I would suggest having an alibi lined up

Ok to drink in while waiting for your passport to be processed

29 Dec 2008 20:03

The Sanctuary House, Westminster

I presume this is attached to the adjacent hotel of the same name. The newish "old" interior is ok. It's also a bit bright but generally ok. Not one to go out of your way for but if the alternatives are some of the tourist traps on Whitehall then rock on.

29 Dec 2008 19:58

The Clarence, Whitehall

I did quite a bit of summer evening drinking here in the early 90 as a close relative was in the FCO at the time - the interior remains as splendid as ever but the ubiquitous tourists have taken hold.

Hopefully the pub remains as it was in the evenings but it is almost impossible to recommend it to the discerning daytime drinker.

These pubs are becoming beyond parody - barstaff with heavily accented English serving fish and chips and Greene King IPA to clientele with similarly heavily accented English.

All desperately seeking to capture the traditional English pub environment. Why bother?

29 Dec 2008 19:54

The Old Shades, Whitehall

Opened the door, saw the ruck at the bar smelt the fish and chips and deicded to give this one a miss. Might as well knock through the wall to the Silver Cross next door - will save on bar staff at least.

29 Dec 2008 19:49

The Silver Cross, Whitehall

A large fish and chip shop for tourists masquerading as a pub.

To be fair the interior is well done and in a different time and place this would be a good pub. Problem is that as well as the decor and beer, the clientele are also a significant contributor to the overall pub environment. When most customers are wolfing down the fish and chips before zooming back out to get on the open top bus or trying to get a photo with a member of the household cavalry without Ethel and Herman from Oklahoma getting in the way then there is a downside.

Get rid of the carpets and nice decor and do metal furniture bolted to a bare concrete floor. Most of the customers won't notice and it will be much, much easier to clean.

29 Dec 2008 19:13

The Sherlock Holmes, Charing Cross

Interior and exterior tick all the right boxes being suitably genuine looking but the warning signs are there for the discerning pubgoer.

Under the picture of the great man himself on the sign outside is the motif "A traditional pub".

Yes folks what we have here is that great staple of this area - the tourist trap.

Venturing inside for what turned out to be a very swift pint it did indeed transpire that most of the occupants were our friends from over the Channel or the Atlantic (how do their arses get so big) all guzzling fish and chips and trying to drink Guinness without grimacing. The sillier ones ask the barman for "4 beers" at which point he pours them tasteless crap like Carling.

The only useful function this pub serves is to lure in tourists before they reach the Ship and Shovel 50 yards away.

Best described as a necessary evil.

29 Dec 2008 19:05

The Ship and Shovell, Charing Cross

First time here or a number of years and it remains a superb and probably unique place being in two parts either side of Craven Passage. Dropped in earlier today (the smaller half was closed) to find a very crowded bar. Wood panelled wall and naval and military prints added to the cosy atmosphere.

Service was a bit slow which I can put down to the amount of lunch being served plus one plum who was taking orders individually from members of his round while being served - effectively acting as a messenger to the barmaid. Listen mate - get the drinks requirement first then approach the bar you dipstick.

Badger beers for the ale minded and a very clear tasting lager (can't remember the name but it was German) for the likes of me.

All in all a great place - only slight concern is I'm not sure what it's like later in the evening once Heaven gets going under the arches (if it's still open that is).

There are many crappy places in the West End but still a few gems of which the Ship and Shovel is one.

Well worth a visit.

29 Dec 2008 18:57

The Blue Posts, St James's

A bit livelier than most of the other St James's pubs today this place could do with replacing some of its furniture - one of the upholstered benches has more tape than upholstery on it. A serviceable place and almost over the road from Le Caprice so not a bad place to meet if dining there - not as good as the Red Lion or Three Crowns though

20 Dec 2008 18:25

The Golden Lion, St James's

Tiny place with a very impressive exterior particularly the windows. Inside is a little spartan with only a few higher bar type tables and a few stools against the ledge on the wall. Beer selection slightly odd with Doom Bar, Pride plus Jack Frost and some kind of super strength Santa based ale from the Hogsback Brewery (7.5% so I'd suggest going easy on that one).

Very much off the beaten track particularly on the weekends

20 Dec 2008 18:23

The Three Crowns, St James's

A brilliant little boozer - it's hard to believe it's only 200 yards or so from Piccadily. Rather like Mayfair, St James's has quite a few decent pubs (how many are there - I can only think of about 5).

A bit bigger than the nearby Red Lion the Three Crowns is a nice place to spend an hour escaping from the horrors of the West End

20 Dec 2008 18:17

The Bear and Staff, Leicester Square

It's a nice little pub this - it's main problem is that the location attracts an unholy mix of tourists, people up to London for their big day out and the sort of baboons who think Leicester Square is ideal for a big night out. It was nice and quiet earlier today although one tw*t at the bar was dressed as close to Ali G as I've seen anyone in London.

Go in the daytime - it has nice beers and you can enjoy it more

20 Dec 2008 18:13

The Brewmaster, Leicester Square

I've lived in London for 20 years and walked past this place hundreds of times without actually venturing in - largely because it looked ghastly inside.

Earlier this week though I went past in the daytime and thought - "Why not". It was ok - relatively quiet and the food my neighbours were eating looked appetising.

There's no way I'd go anywhere near this in the evening but was acceptable for a quick lunchtime pint

20 Dec 2008 18:08

The Fine Line, Clapham Junction

Thanks for putting this up as pub of the day - it's prompted me to remind everyone how crap and bland this place is

Bars on Northcote rd are pretty much unspeakable and this place is about unspoken as it gets

19 Dec 2008 00:34

The Pelican, Fulham

Ok place close to Stamford Bridge. Unbelievable ruck at the bar last season before the Olympiakos game - so much so that many fans (me included) opted to buy a couple of tins from the offie a few doors down and drink in the street.

I've been here recently on non game nights though and it's ok for a quiet drink with friends. Not worth crossing London for but a good venue if living local or in the area

14 Dec 2008 20:28

The Fox, Twickenham

I'm a fan of the Fox - makes it easy to know where to head before the rugby with the Eel Pie close at hand as well. Nice atmosphere and well worth a visit if in the area

14 Dec 2008 20:02

The Eel Pie, Twickenham

One of the best pubs in Twickenham - quite simple really. Helped by the street being available for outside drinking on match days.

14 Dec 2008 19:49

The Cabbage Patch, Twickenham

Nice little place but gets totally rammed on match days being the closest pub to Twickenham station. Even on saturday before the Quins match it was uncomfortably crowded - but a decent bar all the same

14 Dec 2008 19:47

The Running Horse, Mayfair

Two hundred yards and two hundred light years from Oxford St this is a throwback to the 1940s. Wood panelled room that surely hasn't been decorated in the last 50 years it is a great place to pass a quiet hour. Not much joy in here though for beardy anorak ale drinkers as there were only three pumps two of which were Pride and the last Broadside.

6 Dec 2008 19:47

The Audley, Mayfair

Impressive exterior with an inside to match. Popular at lunch times but if you can get a seat a great place to while away a couple of hours. Back half is basically a restaurant but this is mainly a pub and a bloody good one at that

Also 5 minutes away from the amazing Mount St Gardens - an undiscovered oasis of calm in the middle of London.

6 Dec 2008 19:43

The Hog in the Pound, Bond Street

I can not imagine why anyone other than the most gullible of tourists or thirsty of alcoholics would venture in here do yourselves a favour and walk further into Mayfair - there are many, many superior alternatives

30 Nov 2008 21:52

Coach and Horses, Mayfair

Not to be confused with the pub on Bruton St with the same name this is also decent place although has been pretty quiet on my visits including my most recent one. As previous posters have said it's a Shepherd Neame pub ( meaning of course Oranjeboom for the lager drinker). One of many pubs in Mayfair I enjoy.

30 Nov 2008 21:48

The Northcote, Clapham Junction

When I first started going in here about 10 years ago it was a bit of a pit with sticky carpets and offensive toilets. A refurbishment a few years back introduced decor more in keeping with some of the bars down the road (and move of aforementioned toilets to the first floor).

It remains a fairly nondescript venue though lacking the bar type atmosphere that seems to attract the more obnoxious of the younger locals but not really offering the discerning drinker and pub enthusiast anything like the environment of the Eagle or Nightingale

IT's ok here but not somewhere that would ever be my venue of choice

30 Nov 2008 21:42

The Antelope, Belgravia

On my recent visit it's appeared to have a refurbsihment which makes it seem a bit colder than previously. Still a good place though.

2 Nov 2008 19:19

The Prince of Wales, West Brompton

Not a bad place at all - the location is horrible though - no man's land between Earls Court and North End road

as others have said quite a large place but will always struggle to overcome where it is.

2 Nov 2008 19:09

The Queens Arms, South Kensington

Lovely pub and the classic car show room opposite merely enhances the experience although the Iraqi embassy next door is not the best. Would be way better if there were less students from Imperial but you can't have everything.

2 Nov 2008 18:57

The Prince of Teck, Earls Court

If drunk antipodeans are your thing this is the place for you

2 Nov 2008 18:55

The Blackbird, Earls Court

It's a relatively new place this despite appearances - I'm guessing not more than 10 or 12 years old. I think it used to be a Barclays.

To be frank I'm not sure why Fullers bothered with this - it's nowhere near the league of the King Head and while somewhat better than the Courtfield is not good enough to make a mark

It's ok to meet someone for a quick one but not much else

2 Nov 2008 18:54

The Walkabout, Covent Garden

If you like paddling around in piss and listening to antipodean oafs bemoaning Britain whilst earning may multiples of the wage they could earn back home then this is the pub for you.

Was probably at its best when England beat the Aussies in the 2003 World Cup final if only to listen to the extended whinges of the regulars.

The Aussie equivalent of Red Lion pubs in Benidorm.

26 Oct 2008 20:27

The Salisbury, Leicester Square

Popped in here on Friday nght - haven't been in the place for years

Still a decent liitle boozer rather like the Angel over the road. Good for a pre theatre or cinema drink particularly if you despise holes like AB1.

3 Aug 2008 23:04

The Wheatsheaf, Tooting Bec

Another Wheatsheaf classic on Wednesday last week

Most of us were trying to watch the Man U v Baarcelona game but never ...oh no... never let that get in the way of karaoke

Assorted pissheads got up on stage but the evening was capped off by one of the barmen doing a turn. A bit of heckling from one of the aforementioned pissheads and lo and behold you have the classic chav brawl/ shoving match.

Most normal readers will now see why this place is a bit of an issue

27 Apr 2008 22:37

Duke Of Wellington, Belgravia

It's a nice place this - God knows where the punters turn up from - they're not fat Arabs or louche Russian oligarchs so I assume they don't live local.

It's a bit hard to understand how places like this keep going but they do and we're all the better for it.

30 Mar 2008 21:01

All Bar One, Leicester Square

It's an All Bar One

It's in Leicester Square

Need I say more

23 Mar 2008 10:10

The Angel and Crown, Leicester Square

Another decent little pub if in the area. Not worth making a journey for but a good option compared to some others nearby

23 Mar 2008 09:59

The Moon Under Water, Leicester Square

A pub for people who can't go to the cinema without filling themselves up with booze beforehand

23 Mar 2008 09:56

The Zoo Bar, Leicester Square

Hell on earth

23 Mar 2008 09:53

The Garrick Arms, Trafalgar Square

Faux old style pub looking largely for the tourist trade. At least it's not an All Bar Slug and Parrot which is not saying much really

23 Mar 2008 09:52

The Porcupine, Leicester Square

Better than it has a right to be given the location. Dropped in here for a quick couple before going to the Alex show just before Christmas and was pleasantly surprised. A wide mix of people although none objectionable. Have to agree with a previous poster though in that it is geared for standing up drinking so probably not great for a long session

23 Mar 2008 09:50

The Kings Head, Earls Court

Best of breed in the Earls Court area - the shittiness of Earls Court Road seems to infect most places round here. The King's Head though is fine local with a welcoming interior. Really can't see why anyone in the area would bother going somewhere else. Well worth a visit if in the area

23 Mar 2008 09:46

The Courtfield, Earls Court

Location opposite the station seems to attract the detritus of society (rather like Earls Court Rd itself. Grubby place that really does nothing to recommend itself to the discerning drinker.

23 Mar 2008 09:35

The William Morris, Hammersmith

The decor of a lap dancing club and the clientele of a Wetherspoons - what could be wrong with that.

Desperately bad even compared to some of the other dumps around Hammersmith

23 Mar 2008 09:22

The Scottish Pound, Moorgate

It's a dump - a really bad one

Just avoid this place - it''s for back office types desperate for twenty eight pints before heading out to nightclubs at places like Leigh on Sea and Grays

24 Feb 2008 22:44

The Globe, Moorgate

Quick one here on Friday and it's no better - loud and City prices.

Not worth the bother quite frankly

24 Feb 2008 22:41

All Bar One, Broadgate

Well it's not getting any better - the food is still ok but as a pub it's appalling - semi trained bar monkeys trying to extract tips from the already bled white punters

If this is the future of the British pub industry then all I can say is that whichever giant brewery or pub chain that owns this place is overdue for a good kicking

24 Feb 2008 22:39

The Gloucester, Knightsbridge

Wretched in the daytime when rather like the Bunch of Grapes it serves as a refuge from over dressed Russian and Middle Eastern millionaires in Harrods and the Sloane St fashion stores

In the evening though it's better and can serve as somewhere to meet friends or colleagues for a quiet drink.

24 Feb 2008 21:12

The Bunch Of Grapes, Knightsbridge

Horrendous during the daytime on Saturdays when it is mobbed by haggard refugees from the Knightsbridge shops.

The interior is impressive though and it's good value on a weeknight when the tourists have disappeared back to shitty 100 quid a night hotels in Victoria and Paddington

24 Feb 2008 21:09

The Rose and Crown, Mayfair

I like this place - it's pretty much adjacent to the Hard Rock meaning it gets quite a bit of tourist trade.

Last time I was in late last year I enjoyed an entire evening here and had a decent steak to boot. Probably not somewhere you would travel across London to visit but if you are in the area you can do worse tyhan the Rose and Crown

24 Feb 2008 21:06

The Kings Arms, Mayfair

In my view this is the best pub in Shepherd's Market which is a bit like being the tallest dwarf As Gilo says its a boozer not a restaurant.

There are a lot of better places in Mayfair unless of course you just need somewhere to get up a bit of Dutch courage before a visit to one of the local working girls

24 Feb 2008 21:03

The Barley Mow, Mayfair

I like the Barley Mow - despite the close proximity to vile Oxford St it attracts a reasonable crowd and you can drink outside without being choked by carbon monoxide.

Can't comment on the food as didn't eat

24 Feb 2008 20:55

The Red Lion, Mayfair

I'm a great fan of Mayfair pubs and this is closest to the best.

Sneaky location means that the tourist trade are largely absent and in the evening the snug bar makes it seem like somewhere outside London rather than right in the heart of it.

Quite a few Scotsmen in their skirts and furry purses last time I was in so can only assume there was a ball or similar at one of the big hotels on Park Lane

If you are looking for somewhere nice for an evening in Mayfair this is well worth the effort

24 Feb 2008 20:47

The Coach and Horses, Mayfair

Nice little place this and good for taking a break from the retail horrors of Bond, Regent and particularly Oxford St.

I've only really been in here in the daytime and it can get uncomfortable crowded during the lunch period but its great a little later in the afternoon when the drones go back to their desks.

24 Feb 2008 20:44

St. George's Tavern, Victoria

Better than one might think given the location at the back of Victoria Station but the combination of office workers and residents seems to be ok.

I've been in here now and then over the years and its always been fine and post the last refurb that hasn't changed

24 Feb 2008 20:37

Wetherspoons, Victoria Station

Well its a Wetherspoons and in a station so that should give you some clue as to what this hole is like

Offers the single adnvantage of drinking with a view of the departure schedules but the totally soulless atmosphere, sticky carpets, lax bar staff and offensive toilets more than compensate.

Drink in here if you are desperate and waiting for a train but you really are better off buying a couple of tins in the Whistlestop and drinking them on the train

24 Feb 2008 20:32

The Shakespeare, Victoria

A veritable boil on the backside of London. Smells like a particularly bad gents convenience

I know pubs near stations are meant to be crap but this one really takes the biscuit - manages to make the Wetherspoons inside Victoria look relatively appealing and that my friends really is saying something

24 Feb 2008 20:29

The Orange Brewery, Belgravia

The Orange Brewery has been very variable over the years

Back in the mid 90s when I lived in Pimlico and it was a proper brewery it was a good place with decent beer - when the brewery stopped it seemed to go through a period of neglect and really wasn't worth the bother particualarly with places like the Fox and Hounds and Antelope just a few minutes walk away

I'm happy to report though that on my recent visit things have improved and it now seems once again a reasonable place to spend an evening

24 Feb 2008 20:25

The Fox and Hounds, Belgravia

Dropped in here recently for a pre dinner drink (the fabulous Hunan if you must know) for the first time in many years

Refurbishment seemed fine and it still has the great atmosphere of being in someone's front room. Belgravia has a number of very good pubs and this is one of them

Well worth a visit if in the area

24 Feb 2008 20:21

The Alleyns Head, West Dulwich

As others have noted its rather like a hotel foyer and devoid of atmosphere. The food is decent here though and they don't rip you off on soft drinks (about 50p for a pint of lime and soda). They also make an effort with the ales - it was south western week of the festival when I was in and the guests were Doom, Pigswill and Otter ale.

All in all though somewhere to take you retirment age parents for lunch rather than a night out with 10 of your mates

10 Nov 2007 09:15

The Only Running Footman, Mayfair

Used to be a decent little boozer now just another shitty gastropub

4 Nov 2007 01:36

Ship, Monument

Excellent - along with the Swan in Leadenhall about the best pub in the City

Small but authentic with plenty of space in the alley for outside drinking.

And still people go to the P&P, AB1s of this world

Madness

4 Nov 2007 01:23

The Swan, Bank

An old friend this one but I don't get in there as much as I should since I moved office up to Broadgate. Popped in again a couple of weeks ago and it doesn't change. Downstairs bar for lunchtime - upstairs for the evenings - just great

5 Oct 2007 19:18

The Green Man and French Horn, Covent Garden

NOn-descript little place but one of a few decent boozers wedged in between the hellholes that are Leicester Square and Covent Garden

9 Sep 2007 21:44

The Hanover Arms, Kennington

Paddy Briggs is totally correct - got charged 3.80 for a premium lager before the last test against India

I used to often drop in here for a sharpener before the cricket but probably won't bother again

9 Sep 2007 21:42

The Royal Oak, Vauxhall

Just fine - the Royal Oak has probably had been redecorated a few times since the 1950s but I'm betting the style hasn't changed.

By far the best pub around Vauxhall for a pint after the cricket - helped by the fact it's not on the direct route from the Oval to Vauxhall station

9 Sep 2007 21:40

The Three Greyhounds, Soho

I'm going to use a phrase I've seen elsewhere on this site - reverse Tardis

This place looks reasonably large from the outside but is quite small. It only needs about 20 people to seem crowded. I like it though - it's nice, friendly, unpretentious without any of the camp media types further along old Compton St.

One of the better pubs in this part of Soho

11 Feb 2007 22:16

Golden Lion, Soho

Small spartan and loud music - what can there be to complaion about.

If you're in the area (and straight) the Three Greyhounds is much better

11 Feb 2007 22:10

De Hems, Soho

Oh this is good - very good. Pray it doesn't change - just gets a bit crowded sometimes but we need places like this to persist

11 Feb 2007 22:08

The Polar Bear, Leicester Square

Why can't this place work - since I've known it - ot's been a Soho dive, an Aussie pub and a gay pub. The location is great - perhaps another Waxy's because there aren't enough places for dickheads to go round Leicester Square.

11 Feb 2007 22:06

Waxy O'Connors, Piccadilly

Large loud and full of our Southern Hemisphere cousins who like to slag the UK off whilst earning many multipoles of te wase they can expect back home

I have to say the staff here though are pretty good but if it's meant to be an Irish pub it must be the biggest plastic paddy joint this side of New York

11 Feb 2007 22:04

The Sports Cafe, Haymarket

Expensive and they've got those annoying toilet monkeys who try to extort a pound from you for handing over a towelette. When the footie's on it's Lad City but it turns into a club later and not an upmarket one that's for sure

11 Feb 2007 21:12

The Captains Cabin, Piccadilly

Probably the only pub in the vicinity of Leicester Square that hasn't had the makeover in the last 20 years. Sneaky location means most tourists don't stumble on it and it gets more marks for that fact alone

11 Feb 2007 21:09

The Tom Cribb, Piccadilly

Small but ok particularly for the area - always sneak in here for a quick one if meeting someone in the area

11 Feb 2007 21:08

Tiger Tiger, Piccadilly Circus

Quite possibly the biggest shithole in London (and there's no shortage of competition)

Once went here for a Christmas do and the number of lager swilling Essex men and slappers with Bacardi Breezers was mind boggling

When I was 16 and desperate for my first shag this place may have had some appeal but unfortunately I'm a grown up and it was bloody laughable

Avoid unless you're not fussy about who you wake up next to on Saturday mornings

11 Feb 2007 21:05

The Punch And Judy, Covent Garden

Do people who live in London actually still go here - the downstairs bar resembles a sauna in temperature and an abattoir in smell.

Before I became older and wiser I'd been in here a few times - seen an awful fight in the downstairs outdoor area between West Ham and Spurs fans and wondered at how a pub that was inexplicably rammed had so few bar staff.

Those of us who know better stay well away from Covent Garden these days - the bars and clientele resemble a giant sewerage treatment plant

11 Feb 2007 20:53

The Roadhouse, Covent Garden

A classic meat market - if you can't get a shag in here you must have either a serious personality defect or resemble Timothy Spall.

The live bands they have are actually ok but the prowling sex offenders and low rent slappers make this a place for anthropological studies rather than serious drinking

11 Feb 2007 20:48

The Chelsea Potter, Chelsea

This is the best pub on the Kings Rd - certainly at the top end. I've enjoyed the Potter for nearly 20 years - my wife and I used to do NYE's here when we lived in Sth Kensington.

It doesn't really change and that's a good thing - right?

11 Feb 2007 20:43

The Hogshead, Leicester Square

Full of tourists and prats like the rest of Leicester Square.

Those who live and work in London and can read and write avoid this whole area like the plague - and quite rightly too

11 Feb 2007 20:39

Waxy's Little Sister, Piccadilly Circus

This used to be the Falcon and was a fine pub for a late night snifter after dinner, the movies or a show.

Like the whole Leicester Square area it has gone distinctly down market - one for 19 yr old chavs from Kent

11 Feb 2007 20:37

The Kings Head, Tooting

Lovely building and the back room is great - although the TV'sa are too high on the wall for comfortable viewing. The front room is a bit wasted though - could be a lot better. Still though I like this pub and would use it more but it's a tad too far down Tooting High Road from where I livr

11 Feb 2007 20:17

The Rose and Crown, Tooting Bec

I tend not to do re-reviews of pubds but I'm going to make an exception for the Rose

The more I go the better it gets - not flash in any way but just a really comfortable place to have a drink and the landlord/lady and staff make you feel very welcome.

The fact that this pub does not do food (other than the plates of sandwiches mentioned by other reveiwers) is a ver good sign - it means that they focus on serving drinks rather than worrying about the kitchen

Has become my boozer of choice in the last few months

11 Feb 2007 20:12

Dixie's, Battersea

THe food here is ok but nothing to write home about - not really a pub either more of a restaurant with a bar attached. It gets crowded later in the week and you can drink outside but Battersea Rise is the South Circular and I would prefer my drinks not to be flavoured with carbon monoxide

11 Feb 2007 20:04

The Slug and Lettuce, Clapham Junction

A bit better than it's knocking shop equivalent over at Fulham Broadway but not much use other than for meeting someone close to the station. THe Falcon next door is better

11 Feb 2007 20:01

Yates's, Clapham Junction

What a dump - midway between the genteel "Between the Commons" and the grotty estates north of the railway lines - I will give you no prizes for guessing whch area this chav palace looks to for its customer base.

I've had the odd one in here because I used to be a member of Fitness First on the two floors above and its bloody grim.

If you can write your own name you are probably better off steering clear

11 Feb 2007 19:59

The Duck, Battersea

Proper pubs do not have large pizza ovens in the main bar

11 Feb 2007 19:56

Babel, Clapham Junction

It's ok during the day and early in the week here but the usual Northcote Rd crowd tunr up later in the week

I will say that the previous reveiwers who decry the whole area clearly don't know it very well - the excellent Eagle is a mere 10 mins walk from here and the almost as good Nightingale a further ten

11 Feb 2007 19:54

The Hereford Arms, South Kensington

This pub was better a few years back when it was painted black and didn't have clear windows. IT is a decent place still though and better than the rather grubby Stanhope just up Gloucester Road

It's gone a bit more gastro recently but would certainly be my pub of choice round Gloucester Rd

11 Feb 2007 19:50

The New Moon, Bank

Not bad - and because it's in Leadenhall Market offers outdoor drinking even in bad weather. Trouble is there are better pubs in the market - the Lamb and particularly the Swan.

The previous reviewer who nominated the Jamaica as a superior alternative clearly hasn't been there recently

11 Feb 2007 19:31

The Counting House, Bank

I'm normally against large drinking barns but this room is so impressive that it is worth going to. Like most large pubs though it gets bloody noisy.

Worth noting that the function rooms at the back are very useful - a couple of years ago I went to a mateds birthday do in one of them and we were able to sneak in a "rough as a badger's arse" stripper that took me right back to the 80s

11 Feb 2007 19:26

The Crosse Keys, Bank

Enormous old banking hall that feels like drinking in an airport departure lounge or one of London's larger mainline stations.

Just too big although the City location means that it has less down and outs than most Wetherspoons

11 Feb 2007 19:24

The Jamaica Wine House, Bank

I'm not usually in favour of capital punishment but someone needs to be strung up over this.

Back in 1991 I used to work in Birchin Lane - our fire exit opened into St Michaels Alley right by the Jamaica and we used to nick out for mid afternoon sharpeners here. Back then it had a classic interior and closed at 8pm (the downstairs bar though appeared to have been imported straight from some boycie pub in Essex)

It's just been ruined - can't ever be bothered going in here again

11 Feb 2007 10:27

The Pitcher and Piano, Bank

More plums in here than an orchard - the only redeeming thing is it's not quite as bad as the cattle market P&P near Liverpool St. Why do people go to these places?

11 Feb 2007 10:24

The Old Doctor Butler's Head, Moorgate

Brilliant place - genuinely old feel to it (but as the last reviewer said TV looks out of place) and I've had a decent sandwich in here as well.

Has managed to steer clear of disastrous makeovers like the one the similalry named Butlers Head received just across the other side of Moorgate

11 Feb 2007 10:22

The Lord Aberconway, Liverpool Street

Nice and dingy with booths for really hiding in. Mostly I've been in here at lunchtime as it seems to suit rather than the evening. Always seems to have plenty of bar staff and a fair sprinkling of dissolute looking City workers.

11 Feb 2007 10:19

The Red Lion, Moorgate

This is a good one but quite small so sometimes gets very crowded. It's a place where I feel comfortable spending the entire evening which is unusual for this area

11 Feb 2007 10:17

Fleetwood, Broadgate

Bland, bland, bland - ok to meet someone but there are much better places in the area

11 Feb 2007 10:15

The Flying Horse, Broadgate

Classic unreconstructed boozer at the back of Broadgate - much better than any of the bars or pubs in complex itself

Not the sort of place to attract any poseurs from your office so ideal to slip into for a quiet one after work

11 Feb 2007 10:14

Ye Old Axe, Shoreditch

As one or two on here have pointed out this pub has a rather impressive interior. As "pound in a pint glass" strip joints go it is probably about the best - unfortunately it is at the far end of Shoreditch High St from the City so I'm alway fairly blathered by the time I arrive. Girls are usually ok but as with all these places there are always a few mingers lurking

In his list of pubs Andrew Smith forgot the classic "Crown and Shuttlecock" - a real dive where the pool table doubled up as the stage for the girls.

11 Feb 2007 10:03

The Sir Paul Pindar, Bishopsgate

Not good - has about 10 different lagers on tap which should tell you exactly the sort of clientele it is hoping to attract.

Have been here to watch the football a few times and it just doesn't work. Most of the ground floor has a very low ceiling but the TV's are in the corner where it is open to the first floor and so high on the wall you can't see them if below the aforementioned low ceiling

Bar staff have been a bit iffy here as well - last year at the England - Trinidad World Cup game one Eastern European girl was pulling pints so badly they were ending up with three inch heads on them and she didn't know what a lager top was ( and no it wasn't me ordering it)

Couold be much better than it is

11 Feb 2007 09:49

The Market Trader, Aldgate

Rather interesting to see revews on here congratulating the Market Trader as a traditional London pub because it had the dreaded makeover and name change about 12 years ago (it used to be called The Bell).

It's an unfortunately rare example of a good makeover though and does have a nice feel to it. It is also far enough along Middlesex St that it doesn't attract the sort of back office arses that places on Bishopsgate tend to get.

A good place to meet a mate and have a few quiet ones

11 Feb 2007 09:39

The Barracuda Bar, Bishopsgate

The only reason to come in here is to watch the footy as it has the biggest screen in the City that I know of. Unusually it also has enough bar staff on when matches are being played

Other than that it is a vast soulless cavern that hasn't got any better despite regular name changes. Beardy ale drinkers won't find much joy in here and there are many better places to go nearby

11 Feb 2007 09:33

Kings Stores, Bishopsgate

Suffered from the notorious pub makeover this one - it's ok but there are better pubs in the immediate vicinity.

I spent a lot of time in this one in the early 90s drinking Moosehead and generally getting rat arsed on a Friday night but it's not the pub it used to be that's for sure

11 Feb 2007 09:26

The Shooting Star, Liverpool Street

This is a good one and one of a number in Middlesex St and immediate area (see also Williams, Dirty Dicks, the Gun and the Market Trader)

Good Fullers ales and not quite as old as it appears - I'm guessing it's been around for 10 or 12 years. Must be unique in the City as a relatively new place that isn't a plastic craphole catering for Essex men(see AB1, P & P etc)

11 Feb 2007 09:19

The Regent, Balham

I think this pub rather depends on when you go. First thing though is too make sure you visit a cash point on Balham High Rd cos it's pricey

When the rugby's on it gets packed with the worst kind of Balhamites and even though I'm a rugby fan I always stay well away. It is much better on a hot summer afternoon when the cavernous interior makes it an oasis of cool.

When Champs League games are on they sometimes show both games involving English clubs - one on each big screen which is good and doesn't happen anywhere else in Balham that I know of.

It's ok in the right circumstances but there are better pubs nearby

2 Feb 2007 09:52

The Globe, Moorgate

Every time I go in here it's deafening (conversation not music) - never stayed for more than one or two. Just another bland City pub - not much wrong but not a great deal to attract either

2 Feb 2007 09:47

The Crowders Well, Barbican

I used to work very near here and despite the pub's location at the bottom of one of the ghastly concrete behemoths in the Barbican it's actually not a bad place although not that big so it can get crowded.

As for views of the water don't expect panoramic views of Lake Victoria - it's just one of those large artificial Barbican ponds against a backdrop of yet more concrete.

Worth a visit if you are in the area particularly if the alternative is one of the crapholes on the podium level

2 Feb 2007 09:45

The Hamilton Hall, Liverpool Street

Something wrong about this place. I think it's two things. Firtly it feels like a post training course drinks reception for junior and middle management of a large chain of car dealerships. Secondly the room is too big and too high celinged (is that a word?) to be a decent pub

THe room itself is quite impressive but it's being put to the wrong use. The only reason Id ever go in here is if I was meeting someone totally unfamiliar with the area and then it would only be for one

2 Feb 2007 09:39

The Railway Tavern, Liverpool Street

Didn't know about the BNP thing but if true will never go in here again

Previously I'd thought the biggest drawback was the large clear glass windows overlooking Liverpool St where any passing colleague or member of senior management could see you as they wandered past

2 Feb 2007 09:33

Corney and Barrow, Broadgate

Only ever go here when there's a corporate do on as it seems to be deemed appropriate for senior suits in a way that better pubs and bars are not.

Laughably expensive - the only redeeming feature is they stock Hahn - a boutique lager from Sydney that really is good

THe only interesting thing I've ver seen here is one December a couple of years ago when a lot of people decided at 10pm that a run around on the ice rink would be a good idea. Amazing that there were no serious injuries

2 Feb 2007 09:29

All Bar One, Broadgate

Lunch in here is ok but the drinks and soulless atmosphere are typical AB1 and the barman have that effing annoying habit of giving you change in a little silver tray

2 Feb 2007 09:24

The Broadgate Exchange, Broadgate

Average in all respects the only time it's worth drinking here is on a warm summer's day or evening as Exchange Square is one of the better outdoor drinking locations in the City.

Problem is it tends to get rammed at these times and getting served is a bit of a problem.

2 Feb 2007 09:16

The Wheatsheaf, Tooting Bec

Largish fairly shabby pub although the bar itself is quite impressive.

Clientele are definitely on the rougher side and indeed can make one feel as though one has stumbled on to the set of the Addams Family.

Having said that I've never seen a whiff of trouble on the few occasions I've been in here and usually end up having a chinwag with one of the regulars (although it is often difficult to establish the point they are making and sometimes even the words themselves).

Didn't see any handpumps on the side of the bar I was on so suspect it's not a place for beardy anoraks from CAMRA. Guinness is good though

It's ok here but the only reason I ever go in is because it's right next to the tube and it's convenient for a quick one on the way home. If you have a bit of time the Rose and Crown - 10 mins away down Tooting Bec Road is better

2 Feb 2007 09:11

The Gun, Shoreditch

Well Spitalfields Market has been completely redeveloped but fortunately this has completely bypassed the Gun.

Looks like it was last decorated in about 1960 and is definitely a decent place for a pint - they even have San Miguel on tap which makes a nice change.

The food is basic but quite good - the biggest problem in coming here for lunch is making it past Sausage and Mash without being tempted in.

I have some sympathy with those who complain about the prices but everywhere in the City is that way these days and I'd rather pay in the Gun than some of the plastic bars which now proliferate in the Swquare Mile

27 Jan 2007 11:22

Williams Wine and Ale House, Hoxton

First of all this pub is not in Hoxton - which is a major plus.

Hard to find for those not in the know William's is a proper pub and very useful for a quick lunchtime pint as people from my office are not likely to find it.

The menu's a bit ropey but more than made up for by the fact that there is no deafening music and you can get a decent pint.

Hopefully it doesn't get re-branded or refurbished like some many others in the area

Worth walking to this place.

27 Jan 2007 11:11

The Pitcher and Piano, Bishopsgate

A complete hellhole but have to agree with Jack Carter that it keeps twentysomething arseh0les out of pubs that I like (especially Dirty Dick's and Williams)

Having been dragged here by younger colleagues a couple of times I can report that the clientele is mainly represented by the following:

Men: - back office nobheads with hugh tie-knots, square-toed shoes and zits on the back of their neck quaffing Stella as if there is no tomorrow despite the fact that two pints appears to make them lose what little intellectual faculties they may have had upon entrance.

Women: short-skirted, bottle blonde slappers wearing large hooped earrings and displaying a complete inability to comunicate below the level of hogh pitched shrieks.

Topped off by deafening music this pit realliy is a refuge for peeople from points east seeking solace in strong lager, Bacardi Breezers and, by the end of the evening, each other - by which point it really does resemble sonething out of Dante's Inferno

Anyone with more than two brain cells who enjoys a decent pint and likes to hear what their companions are saying really should stay away

27 Jan 2007 11:06

Dirty Dick's, Bishopsgate

Excellent just excellent

This place has barely changed since I first started drinking here in 1989 (indeed I can remember seeing Cameroon tonk the Argies in the opening game of the 1990 World Cup)

Small moment of apprehension when the Essex man/girl magnet P&P opened next door but Dirty Dick's sails on as one of the finest City watering holes

27 Jan 2007 10:56

The Clarence, Balham

Popped in for lunch a few days ago - quiet for a lunchtime but the food was very good

Budvar was tremendous!

The eclectic decor works well - many different light shades and chairs. Don't know what the pub is like in an evening but would definitely return for lunch

21 Jan 2007 18:37

The Cock and Woolpack, City Of London

Nice small pub hidden away behind the Royal Exchange

I remember it back from the early 90s when all the obnoxious wide boys from the Liffe floor drank here. It was pretty unpleasant then but has reopened as an amiable watering hole.

Good for a quiet lunchtime pint

11 Jan 2007 21:44

The Red Lion, St James

Small but perfectly formed - really impressive wood and mirrored walls.

Smallish range of ales (the Landlord appeared to be off when I was in there but they had Black Sheep and one or two others) and it seems to have avoided becoming a tourist trap despite being yards from Jermyn St.

Can well recommend the Red Lion - the only small drawback is that it can be a little difficult to get a seat.

10 Jan 2007 08:55

The Ifield, Brompton

Been here in its many guises over the years - never seems to know quite what it wants to be - my view is that the local with rugby viewing - like it was in about 1995 - was the best option.

28 Dec 2006 22:16

The Wilton Arms, Fulham

In the mid 90's I used to share a house with a load of people two doors down from this pub and so we ended up there quite regularly

Despite being initially a bit daunting we found the landlords and regulars totally friendly

Indeed in the summer they used to let us take our round back to the house as our garden was much nicer than the fairly horrid patio.

The best thing that ever happened to me in the Wilton was one Saturday afternoon when somehow we'd locked ourselves out of the house. We retired to the Wilton to consider the matter.

Whilst discussing it in the back bar one of the regulars (with whom we were acquainted) chipped in to help - apparently in a previous life he'd been a burglar and he offered to get us back in

Needless to say we jumped at the opportunity and were suitably gobsmacked when he jiiged open the kitchen window in under ten seconds without any sign of forcible entry - a lesson for us all

Anyway - the Wilton (which doesn't seem to have changed much) is an old style Fulham local whcih might take a bit of effort but is well worth it

28 Dec 2006 21:58

Kavanagh's Irish Bar, South Kensington

I lived in Sth Ken between 94 and 97 and Kavanaghs was definitely the best place to drink

I remember turning up to watch a 5 Nations match there in about 96 and the Fiorentina Ultras had taken over one of the bars, The unflappable manager at the time treated them with utmost courtesy and as a result probably increased the days takings by several hundred pounds

Sundat afternoons were always great drinking pints of Bud and watching the match

Only thing I'd say is that last time I went it was a bit squalid on a Friday night - still its better than coming home from the Tube and elbowing your way past photograohers waiting for intellectual giants like Elle McPherson and Naomi Campbell emerge from the old "Bank" nightclub.

29 Oct 2006 01:07

The Antelope, Belgravia

The Antelope is a great pub in a great location - the average Sloane Square gawper won't find it.

Only downside is that it seeems to attract a large number of poseurs who would like to live on Eaton Terrace but are more likely to follow the junior Maxwells route to social standing and wealth.

Alterantively there's quite a few who still believe the social mores of the 50s still work. You know how it goes..

"Well I was buggered at Eton and it did me no harm so I can't see how it could be bad for him"

Still - I'd well recommend this place - went on my first date with my now wife here. It is really good particularly when compared to anything you might find with signs like O'Neills, Yates's or All Bar One over the door

29 Oct 2006 00:48

The Hoop and Toy, South Kensington

Well I'd never eat in here - it always seemed to me (when I lived in the area) designed to catch tourists on the way to and from the museums to the tube.

Not much wrong in here but not much right either - many many better places within 15 mins walk to go

29 Oct 2006 00:38

The Zetland Arms, South Kensington

I lived in South Kensington for three years in the mid 90s - problem with the Zetland then (and it sounds like its the same now) is that it was completely out of step with the inhabitants

I used to drink in Kavanaghs (under the Jurys Hotel on the corner of Queensgate and Old Brompton Rd) and would recommend the extra three minutes it takes to walk past the Zetland and go in there instead

Oh - and in case you are wondering I locked myself out of the flat one night and had to stay in the Jurys - it's completely overpriced for the quality of accommodation.

29 Oct 2006 00:12

The Jackdaw and Rook, Balham

This is a good place - sports on the TV, pool, table football and loads of comfy sofas mixed with standard pub tables and a few higher bar type tables near the front.

Balham is definitely on the up - the Clarence, the Jackdaw and the Duke of Devonshire backed up by bars like Blithe and Be at One.

At this rate we'll soon be able to shift the chavs at the Witherspoons down to Tooting and open up somewhere clean in its place

29 Oct 2006 00:00

Blithe Spirit, Balham

Having been here a few more times since my last comment I will say that

- the manager seems to be a great bloke plus he supports Chelsea

- the Sunday lunch is a lot better than previous posters have suggested

- with the Witherspoons over the road for the pikeys and the Tup for the braying Hoorays, the BS seems to attract a fairly decent crowd

28 Oct 2006 23:53

All Bar One, Battersea

big_fat_barsteward:

I'm afraid from a beer point of view ABO is the same as Fine Line or Pitcher and Piano and Babel and all the other pretentious places along Northcote Rd.

Antone in the know goes to the Eagle and gives all the tossers a wide berth

28 Oct 2006 23:46

The Alexandra, Clapham

Best pub in Clapham to my mind. Great range of people but very few who are objectionable. Manages to have a good atmosphere for a quiet afternoon pint and more riotous Friday and Saturday nights.

Would much recommend going here rather than the poseur's places round in the Old Town

10 Apr 2006 19:26

The Rose and Crown, Tooting Bec

A really decent local boozer - staff and landlord are efficient and friendly

You get a few noxious drunks in the side bar but mostly genuine characters. For most of us the front bar is preferable.

Managed to retain the ambience of a good South London pub without succumbing to the effluent that inhabit Spoons or the Hoorays making their way ever further down the Northern line from Clapham

6 Apr 2006 20:37

All Bar One, Battersea

One of a succession of bland bars along Northcote Rd. The only reason to go in here is to eat - food's good - but would not bother otherwise

The only other useful function this bar serves is to keep braying "Between the Commons" types out of decent boozers like the Eagle

20 Mar 2006 14:06

The Eagle Ale House, Clapham

The Eagle is an aboslute gem.

No food, fruit machines or chavs (if you want those go to the Gardeners over the road which had a murder outside it a couple of years back)

Instead good wines, real ales and selection of malts

Friendly manager and staff and a great place to meet friends, watch sport or just read your paper

20 Mar 2006 14:00

The Falcon, Clapham Junction

Usually busy with a mixed crowd of all ages ranging from chavs to suits.

Beer is good and atmosphere lively without being menacing or riotous

Often seems to be have a fair number of red faced boozy types from the sorting office up Lavender Hill which may go some way to explain the state of the mail service in this country

20 Mar 2006 13:56

The Moon Under Water, Balham

Pikey paradise - a motley collection of drunks and lowlife. Never actually seen any violence in here but always seems to be bubbling just under the surface.

Beer's cheap but that is outweighed by the awful ambience

20 Mar 2006 10:21

Blithe Spirit, Balham

Good food. Best for reading the paper on a Sunday. Elevator music

20 Mar 2006 10:15

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