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BITE user comments - nickdavies

Comments by nickdavies

The Jolly Farmers, Purley

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26 Jul 2018 23:03

The Enterprise, Holborn

Smallish Victorian boozer which has suffered, though not too seriously, at the hands of the gastrofiers in recent years. The narrow, bay windowed front remains quite attractive and pubby, there's still a fireplace and many of the original features remain. It goes down hill as you go further back. Even further back there's a yard for smokers. Thanks to the bare boards and overloud music it gets very noisy even when not too busy, meaning conversations become shouted. Not a relaxing experience.

Deuchers IPA, Old Hooky and Black Sheep bitter seem to be permanent fixtures judging by comments below, as does the noise level.

Pretty average then, you can find better round here.

29 Jan 2010 13:01

Pink and Lily, Princes Risborough

This pub is OK. An interesting and varied interior from a cosy snug at the front to a conservatory at the back. Though there's the usual gastro pretensions on the food front, not surprising considering the area, all that is kept separate from the pub side of things and very pubby it remains, refurbishments have been sympathetic. Nice range of beers, we stuck to the excellent Brakspear's due to driving but there's something for everyone in this GBG listed house. Indeed the GBG satnav file lead us here from a somewhat underwhelming and drink-free experience at the Plough down the road.

Well worth a visit.

31 Dec 2009 18:40

The Plough, Lower Cadsden

About 3pm, people in pub with full pints. Girlie behind bar glares at us while we walk up to the bar then waits for us to decide upon which GK offering to go for before telling us they're shut. Considering it has rooms and welcomes Ridgeway walkers, I'd be very annoyed to roll up late afternoon to be refused drinks. Anyway it didn't look all that inviting, the refurbishers have sadly taken their toll.

30 Dec 2009 20:53

The Blue Anchor, Tadworth

Still M&B. It's never stopped being M&B, just refurbished into their latest unbranded brand.

14 Dec 2009 12:51

The White Hart, Chipstead

As predicted now converted to a Brunning and Price outlet - not that you can tell thanks to the complete absence of branding - it's not even on TRG's website and you have to dig to discover that its own website is registered to B&P.

And it is a massive improvement on what went before. The front bit is pubby again, plenty of people on Sunday lunchtime having just a drink and not being harassed about food. The beer is good, a reasonable selection (see below) in good condition. At last they've figured out that it is worth cultivating the locals who bring in regular income rather than drive them away because the head-office bean counters insist food is the only way to go. You can only fleece people so many times for factory processed food served by bored teenagers before they stop coming back.

It's now head and shoulders above the wretched Hungry House and Rambler's Rest in the valley and recommended for a couple of pints and makes a nice destination if you're out walking in these parts.

14 Dec 2009 11:31

The Walnut Tree, Lillington

Closed and boarded up

23 Nov 2009 13:34

The White Hart, Chipstead

The Restaurant Group (TRG) whose crimes against humanity include Garfunkel's and Frankie and Benny's have finally figured out that turning harmless village locals into cold soulless pretend gastropubs doesn't go down too well with the drinking regulars, who turn up once to see what it's like and then never return. Even those who actually like Brake Brothers food realise they can get it cheaper elsewhere, and in cosier surroundings.

Many Blubecker's outlets are therefore being rebranded into Brunning and Price, which is TRG's attempt at traditional pubs. We shall see what transpires but it couldn't get any worse.

15 Nov 2009 19:51

The William IV, Albury

Quite rightly a GBG regular with TEA and Shere Drop in good order the other day. Very much the typical English village pub so yes, the tiny main bar is usually taken over by the locals - why would it be any other way - they are the ones who really pay for it all. Well worth a visit, one of the many decent pubs hereabouts.

14 Oct 2009 13:06

The Mint, Banstead

Strawberry - you never noticed that it's a Vintage Inn M&B Ember Toby chain pub and then expected real food then ?

10 Sep 2009 20:38

The Horseshoe, Warlingham

I'm surprised this pub has avoided being listed in Bite for so long, I can only imagine that it was always overshadowed by the White Lion next door, and there was never any reason to go in. Thanks to sterling work by M&B the White Lion isn't what it was, meaning this pub is worth a look if you're around here.

What you have is a classic 30s roadhouse much chopped and changed over the years, but by some oversight much of the main bar area has survived relatively unscathed. It's friendly enough and a perfectly pleasant place to while away an hour. Some very nice Harveys best the day we called in.

It does think a lot of itself on the food side, regularly indulging in advertorial pieces in the local press aimed at those who must take their in-laws out for Sunday lunch, a purpose for which it's entirely suited, although the smell of boiling lamb fat emanating from the kitchens while we were there suggests they might regret it later.

Conclusion: nothing special, stop for a quick on if you are passing.

15 Jun 2009 15:22

The Old Hatchet, Winkfield Row

This is a fearsomely upmarket pub but then it's a fearsomely upmarket area. The locals will try to maintain the fiction that it's a genuine country pub in a genuinely rural setting. It was once but now it's in that semi-rural semi-suburbia that persists for thirty odd miles around London.

Anyway it's been reasonably sympathetically, though of course needlessly, refurbished by Fuller's, who can be as dreadful as any when they set their minds to it. So there's a touch of the leather sofa disease but it isn't too annoying. And a touch of the gastro pretensions too, they like that round here, but that's reasonably low key and you can, remarkably these days, get a sandwich on a Sunday.

The beer? Well it's a GBG pub so it's fine, usual Fuller's/Gale's suspects but no Chiswick annoyingly.

Not a destination pub but if you are passing or staying in the area it certainly deserves a look.

6 May 2009 20:06

The Willoughby Arms, Kingston Upon Thames

Finally here after years of trying to get to this fine old-fashioned boozer full of fine old-fashioned boozers. It's as good a community local as you'll get and shows what can be done with some imagination and of course a lot of hard work. If only the same could be said about so many other pubs in the area. A whole range of beers on for their current beer festival, I'm not going to list them as they'll doubtless be different next week but suffice it say all top notch stuff. A destination pub of course if beer is your thing but in any case the best bolt hole in town should you need to seek refuge from the nearby retail hell that is Kingston.

26 Apr 2009 12:53

The Red Cross Inn, Reigate

Spurred on by TWG's account I popped down for a look. Indeed it is good for beer - the other that TWG missed was Ringwood Fortyniner, but sadly no Pilgrim on Saturday afternoon. Anyway the beer was in good shape and at the moment the pub isn't bad for Reigate though in many places it wouldn't be worth a second glance. It is a pub of two halves, the left hand side very much for the younger end of the market, but the 'over 21s only' right hand side is reasonably comfortable. I suspect it's pretty awful weekend evenings, like all pubs in Reigate but for an hours break from the shops it's perfectly adequate. Oh and don't take much notice of many of the reviews written since November which are the work of a single individual despite the various names.

20 Apr 2009 16:37

The Original White Hart, Ringwood

This should be the best in town but falls far short. An old coaching inn, it would have been the top spot in town once, the place where the local worthies wined and dined, had their weddings and wakes and Rotary dinners.

Alas no more, very much a mediocre chain pub complete with the usual microwave menu and poor beer quality, run for the benefit of the accountants. No need to linger.

30 Mar 2009 13:01

The Good Intent, Puttenham

One of the best! Called in for a break on a what is a regular run and wondered why we'd never stopped here before. Will certainly factor it into the itinerary for a longer break next time we're passing. If only it were our local.

30 Mar 2009 12:46

The Pembroke, Coulsdon

I'm not a fan of chain pubs, but the arrival of the Pembroke brings long awaited relief to the beer desert that ha been Coulsdon for so long. It's one of Barracuda's Smith and Jones brand so it's big, in converted shop premises (this was the Co-op) and quite smartly done out, less traditional in feel than a Wetherspoons but still reasonably pubby. I think it's attracting a rather wider range of customers than they expected, which is hardly surprising given the lack of competition - Pistols has held on to its niche market - so there's folks from all age ranges, not just kids, which makes for quite a pleasant atmosphere.

What do you get: well there usually six beers on, which isn't bad going, though nothing slightest bit interesting, Pride, GKIPA, Directors, Youngs Ord, the usual stuff; and not inspiring in quality either, drinkable but not top notch - 3/5. Food is the usual Brakes/3663 if you like that sort of thing.

It's not a trip out pub, just a bog standard town centre chain pub, but a godsend to those who live round here.

26 Mar 2009 12:28

The Coachmakers Arms, Wallingford

Wallingford always was a mixed bag when it came to pubs. The Coachmaker's however remains the best one at this end of town, more so now with the long decline and eventual demise of the opposition across the way. Because of its situation it's always going to be a locals' pub rather than special trip material, but there's nothing wrong with that. All rather too bright inside at the moment, too much white paint but hopefully that will fade in time. Friendly welcome and the beer in reasonable though not perfect condition the other day,

8 Mar 2009 18:36

The Bull, Stanford Dingley

This is a pleasant spot well off the beaten track. A traditional two bar village pub that has been refurbished quite sympathetically with a newish looking accommodation block to the rear. They couldn't keep the paintbrush away from the wood panelling but nobody's perfect.

Thankfully none of the gastro pretensions that bedevil so many pubs in this part of the world, it's still obviously a pub with a friendly welcome and most importantly a superb choice of local beers, mainly West Berkshire and a Marlow example too, all perfect condition. My only substantial criticism would be the lack of heat. It was distinctly nippy on the evening we called.

Well worth a visit, you'll need a map or GPS if you don't know the area.

8 Mar 2009 18:06

The Hurtwood Inn, Peaslake

Oh dear what's going on here. Judging by the smell of paint a recent and very ill-advised refurbishment. I've no idea what it was like before but it can't have been worse than what we have now, a stark bare boards bare walls and bright lights affair with those horrid horrid sofas and big tables. As there's only three sets of them it means once three groups are sat down that's it, you're stood up. Despite the excellent Bill King beer it feels dreadfully uncomfortable. Stop for a quick one if your out walking but if you want to linger there are many far better choices round here.

11 Feb 2009 23:01

The Farmyard Inn, Youlgreave

This is a nice spot. We stayed in the Stable room too, warm and cosy on a freezing night.

Pub is warm and cosy too, big open fire and very friendly welcome. GK beers but the Morlands was in good order, food OK - evening menu the usual stuff you get in pubs like this but an excellent breakfast, which is always the best meal in such establishments.

Excellent spot for a couple of beers or a couple of days break.

3 Feb 2009 11:35

The Fox and Hounds, Northampton

From the outside you see a splendid stone building on fairly grand scale for a village pub. Once you get inside your hopes are dashed as you find yourself in one of M&B's Landmark Leisure abortions. It been been cynically refurbished into yet another identikit gastropub, so there's nothing pubby about it at all. It of course appeals to the more tosserish residents of Northampton, who think fifteen quids worth of Brake Brothers boil in the bag sea-bass is the pinnacle of eating out, but anyone expecting a comfy village pub to go and have a drink in will be sorely disappointed.

I'll give it a couple of points because the TT Landlord was in good nick but tha'ts the best I can say about it.

Avoid.

2 Feb 2009 11:29

The Ramblers Rest, Chipstead

This place has been a pub for less than twenty years yet the amount spent on refurbishments in that time could probably bail out a reasonably sized clearing bank. Whitbread gave up on it, clearly an unbranded Beefeater wasn't working, and so sold it on to M&B who gave us...an unbranded Vintage Inn. Spot the difference. Well, the food might come from Brakes rather than 3663. Or vice versa. Who can tell?

We went for the first time since the last refurbishment the other day. We walked the couple of miles from home looking forward to a couple of pints and a snack and a sit down, hoping for an improvement on Beefeater days. There was no real ale. The few tables in the bar area were taken up with families with screaming kids. We weren't allowed to sit anywhere else without eating. We left unrefreshed and fed up and went back home for lunch.

One day some head office wallah might actually decide to come down here and figure it out. Not for nothing is it called the Rambler's Rest. It's in a superb location with walks all around for visitors and locals alike. By all means keep your pretend gastropub that the branding consultants tell you you must have, so you can mug a table for four £100 for their microwaved dinners. But have a proper pub, a public bar even, as well, somewhere the rest of us can have a beer and a sandwich and then carry on with our trip out.

25 Jan 2009 19:48

The White Horse, Epsom

Very quiet on a wet Sunday lunchtime, just a couple of families on nice-looking roast dinners and us stopping by for a drink. To be honest I'm surprised it's got the BITE rating it has, as there isn't much to distinguish it from many others. Certainly the beer range mentioned below seems to have gone, with just Tribute and Rev James carrying the torch. Friendly people though, and the beer was very nice.

Not, on current evidence, a destination pub, but well worth a look if you're passing or have business at the nearby hospital.

25 Jan 2009 18:12

The Midday Sun, Chipstead

Recently been refurbished and new management installed.

Not that you can tell. OK to sit outside for an hour in the summer but that's about all.

25 Jan 2009 12:39

Blacksmiths Head, New Chapel

Basic, friendly sort of place deservedly in the GBG with spot-on Harvey's. Worth a look if you're in the area, and as it's got highly rated accommodation looks a reasonable option if you need an overnight before an early flight from Gatwick.

18 Jan 2009 20:02

The Wiremill, Lingfield

I surprised so few people have reviewed the Wiremill. Maybe, like me they've driven along the A22 so many times, been distracted by the Mormon temple, then seen the sign, and made a mental note to stop next the time, and next time, and next time and never quite got there.

It is however well worth making the effort and turning off down the lane past the stockbroker belt houses to find the old mill there perfectly situated by the lake. Inside it's a quirky sort of building on at least three levels and, despite some gastro pretensions it has managed somehow to avoid the excesses of pub design consultancies.

There's a nice range of beers, including examples from Dark Star and Westerham as well as Harvery's Best and TT Landlord this morning, and even on a Sunday lunch you are not shoved in a corner to enjoy them to make way for the eaters. Despite the gastro-ness they've kept it reasonable pubby in style.

Well worth a visit, good in winter and it must be brilliant on a hot summer's evening.

18 Jan 2009 19:55

Engine, Kenilworth

Called in after a break of many years. Still a pleasant enough local now enhanced by a very decent beer range. Friendly atmosphere and a good choice if you fancy a bit of a sesh.

1 Jan 2009 20:19

The Red Lion, Horley

TomTom led us to this pub (we've got the GBG as PoIs) on a long cross country run. Horley is a tiny Cotswold stone village well off the tourist trail and I suppose the Red Lion reflects this, it's very much a locals local. So it's olde worlde, beams and open fire, all of that, but also a big telly at the back and a disco set up for the evening's bacchanalia. There's nothing at all wrong with any of that, it's doing exactly what village pubs should do, provide a service to the community and a friendly welcome to all comers, rather than shut out the community in favour of flogging 3663 dinners to your in-laws. However if your in-laws are me and like delicious Hook Norton beers with a pickled egg and a packet of crisps in pleasant company they'll be in seventh heaven.

30 Dec 2008 20:13

George Inn, Eccleshall

Rather a strange looking place at first sight especially if you approach via the right hand entrance, which has the feel of a seventies Italian restaurant to it; the slightly scruffy exterior doesn't help either. Once you're in and discover the main bar, the beams and open fires bit, the scales fall from your eyes. This is where Slaters brewery showcase their beers and very fine it all is. Five (out of six I think) beers on when we stopped for lunch on Boxing day. With friendly, knowledgeable service and delicious hot roast beef sandwiches there's little more you can ask for.

30 Dec 2008 19:29

The Wheatsheaf, Ewell

Thanks to it being in the GBG, TomTom led us here for refreshment on the way back from the retail hell that is Kingston on the Saturday before Christmas. And a very pleasant half hour it was too.

A few years ago this would have been yet another unremarkable suburban boozer which we would have passed by and left to the locals. Now of course most of them have either turned into flats or been refurbished into the gastrosphere: even more so in this part of the world. So yes, nothing much has changed here in years, and - indeed paradoxically - how refreshing that is.

Anyway all clean and tidy, friendly service, friendly locals and decent smokers' arrangements. Beers appear to be Youngs/Wells oriented plus TT Landlord which was in decent shape.

It's never going to be a destination pub, but definitely worth a look if you're passing and after a proper pub. I for one would be jolly pleased if it were my local.

20 Dec 2008 19:57

The King Edward VII, Stratford

Strange split personality here. The front is a proper pub and looks much the same as it has done for decades. The back is faux gastropub, complete with pastel coloured paint over the wood panelling and those horrid horrid leather sofas, dim lighting and awful loud music. Which is fine in its way, all those who don't really like pubs can go and sit out the back on the sofas being deafened leaving the rest of us to enjoy quite a decent pub at the front with very decent beer.

I've no idea why anyone goes specifically to eat in town centre pubs like this, it is almost always regretted.

11 Dec 2008 10:51

The White Lion, Fewcott

Nice pub, a warm and pleasant pit stop on a dreadful winters night run up the M40. Unusual range of beers, Willoughby's has only been going a few months and I'm surprised it's got this far from home yet but was in good shape and very welcome. Unusual taste in furniture too, strangely high is one way of looking at it it I suppose. Well worth a stop, in just 5 minutes from the dreadful Cherwell Valley services you can't do better, or make for a longer visit if you're in the area anyway.

10 Dec 2008 16:44

The Blacksmiths Arms, Cudham

It is difficult to believe that only 15 odd miles from central London you'd find a pub a rural as the Blacksmiths. Anyway everything you migtht expect from a country pub including a friendly welcome, log fires, spot-on Sussex Best, and all the tables reserved for eating early on a Saturday evening. Pity about the last bit, but you can of course go and sit in the very cosy smokers den instead.

30 Nov 2008 20:18

The Skimmington Castle, Reigate Heath

Open again, which is an improvement.

Other improvements include stripping the main room bare of all the decorations, potties, ephemera and the ring the bull game, closure of the tiny bottom room, installation of a garish lager font, having the most basic Punch Taverns beer range and having every single table reserved for eating.

As we had to stand in a corner blocking the path of the waiters to-ing and fro-ing with their Sunday bloody roasts we didn't stay long enough to discover any of the new management's other improvements. Points reduced from 8 to 5.

30 Nov 2008 19:56

The Museum Tavern, Bloomsbury

I'm always surprised how good the Museum Tavern is considering its location and who owns it. Spirit Group can get it right when they set their minds to it. On a midweek evening the tourists have all gone back for dinner by around seven and you're left with a very pleasant, typically atmospheric London pub with a broad mix of customers. And a broad mix of beers too, Doombar and Otter both in fine fettle lately. If you're in the area at the right time of day you won't do much better.

29 Nov 2008 20:19

The Plough, Bloomsbury

Bog standard Spirit Group offering, could be anywhere really. OK for a quick one, helps if you like GK beers. There are much better places than this around here.

29 Nov 2008 12:02

The Royal Oak, Rusper

An excellent pub in every respect and a truly deserving Pub of the Year. All the Surrey Hills range - the Albury Ruby winter brew was as nectar - plus various others in perfect condition and a warm friendly welcome on a dreadful sleety day.

It's too good for a quick trip out: coupled with some other outstanding pubs hereabouts this would make an perfect target for a weekend expedition.

23 Nov 2008 17:35

The Evening Star, Brighton

There's one major drawback to the Evening Star and that's missing one train after another, so tempting is the range of spot-on beers here. Just a quick one on the way back to the station? Don't even consider it!

22 Nov 2008 11:55

The Beachy Head, Eastbourne

Now a Vintage Inn and a particularly hopeless example for this dire M&B brand. 1pm on a routine dull Sunday lunchtime and they're completely out of their depth, quoting 45 minutes to reheat the factory produced meals, and that's once you've waited for what seems like for ever to get served at the bar. Even getting a cup of coffee was difficult, requiring someone to go out and clear up some tables and wash some cups up. The one saving grace was the Harvey's best, which was in reasonable condition.

This place, and so many others like it, is extraordinary popular with the Daily Mail reading classes taking their in-laws out for lunch. Indeed for them it's the pinnacle of dining out. It only goes to show that there's no accounting for taste.

16 Nov 2008 19:37

The Bree Louise, Euston

Can't add much to the vast volumes already written. Superbly situated for the station and a wider range of beers than the Doric Arch. And it won't take long to make your Camra subscription back. I will echo some comments on beer quality though, both that I tried last night were I would say 3 points out of 5 - good, worth another pint - but not outstanding. I suspect they're going on too soon due to high turnover compromised by lack of storage space.

13 Nov 2008 14:34

The White Lion, St Leonards

Cracking pub off the beaten track in the Chilterns. Everything you expect from a country pub. Friendly welcome on miserable Sunday evening and delicious Hobgoblin. Well worth seeking out.

3 Nov 2008 15:04

The Fox and Hounds, Ardley

Worryingly empty at 7:30 on a Friday evening, just us for the twenty odd minutes we stayed. Surroundings pleasant though chilly - the log fire wasn't making much impression on what was admittedly a raw night. Sadly the beer was Pride Pride or Pride, which is a bit of a let down if, like me, you don't like Pride.

It is indeed very handy for a break from the motorway, but there are several better options with a couple of miles or so.

3 Nov 2008 14:53

The Shepherd and Cock, Burmarsh

We were led here by TomTom - I've got the CAMRA PoI file and picked this one as a lunchtime stop on the way down to the ferry. Always a going to be a lucky dip without a description but all the more fun for that.

It's one of those little museum pieces. A glance through to the kitchen and a visit to the loos reveals that everything is kept clean, tidy and up to date, but of course the main room has changed little since the 50s, and it's worth a visit just for that, though we should indeed gloss over the signed photo of Enoch Powell (oops I've said it).

Adnam's and Arundel on the handpumps. Driving so I had the Admans which was fine,and the sandwiches we had were pub-traditional, perfect for what we wanted.

I think I was the youngest person present for a while, and I'm 50. Pubs like this are vanishing all the time because both the customers and the people willing to run them are dying out. It's a great shame but times do change. Catch it while you can.

19 Oct 2008 19:52

The Friend at Hand, Bloomsbury

Nothing special, typical Spirit Group establishment, there are dozens of identical pubs in central London. The beer range hasn't changed since Millay's last visit. Handy if you want somewhere to meet by Russell Square tube but otherwise you can do better than this. Oh and go wrapped up, icy blasts from the air con last night, it was colder inside than out - many of the punters clearly found sitting out in the autumnal drizzle more comfortable.

3 Oct 2008 14:34

The Kings Arms, Sandford on Thames

Perfectly located on the river by Sandford lock, the Kings Arms is unbeatable on a summer's afternoon. OK so it's a Chef and Brewer, so the food is mass produced, the interior much knocked about and the service dreadful on a sunny Sunday lunchtime when half the world turns up but you don't go there for that. Just sit with a pint or two - it's Youngs and Wells related beers in good condition - and watch the boats going in and out of the lock, the ducks and swans scrambling after crumbs thrown by the kids and the gorgeous views over the meadows.

Well worth a trip out.

30 Sep 2008 09:54

The Skimmington Castle, Reigate Heath

Shut tight and deserted at lunchtime today, Saturday. Does anyone know what's going on?

13 Sep 2008 18:59

The Tide End Cottage, Teddington

You can do far worse than here. It's still pubby, something which is becoming a rarity this gastropub obsessed part of the world; everyone's friendly enough; and the beer, mundane GK range though it is, is well kept.

The only real problem is getting served: it suffers from the stools at the bar problem, whose bulky incumbents render anyone standing behind frantically waving a tenner nigh on invisible.

Well worth a look if you're passing this way, or are doing a river walk, though it's not really special trip material.

25 Aug 2008 20:28

The Black Swan, Martyr's Green

Unfortunately I never knew the previous incarnation but it's obvious upon crossing the threshold that an atrocity of monstrous proportions has occurred. If you can blank that from your mind and repress the urge to turn tail and look for somewhere resembling a pub you will discover a reasonable selection of beers including some Belgian bottles and currently a wide range of ciders. Both Doom Bar and Shere Drop in fine fettle this afternoon.

Once you've got what you want your chances of finding a seat inside are pretty thin as it's nearly all laid up for eating so best to go outside to use some of the daftest garden furniture I've ever come across.

It was surprisingly empty for a Bank Holiday Sunday afternoon. I suspect that the gastropub joke is wearing a bit thin these days, even in fabulously wealthy recession-immune areas like this, and that the pubcos will have to dream up some other dastardly scheme to torment us with.

24 Aug 2008 19:48

The Cricketers, Croydon

Pleasant enough for an early evening aperitif on a Saturday night, comfortable atmosphere despite unwatched Arsenal match on the TVs. If they got rid of some of those tellies and had a better choice of beer than Pride or Pride it would be one of Croydon's better offerings.

24 Aug 2008 10:51

Old Surrey Hounds, Caterham

It's pleasant enough, a typical town centre pub, but particular reason to go there unless other business brings you to the area. Useful if you're waiting for the train.

Punch Taverns/Spirit Group so a Chef and Brewer under the skin with the usual lack of imagination that that implies.

16 Aug 2008 19:02

The Sportsman 'Time Well Spent', Mogador

It's always worrying to see builders anywhere near rural gems like this, but this looks like more of a rearwards extension than wholesale refurbishment and as long as it's in keeping with the original and not a blot on the landscape that's not a problem. We shall see come the final unveiling.

Anyway things are looking on the up. The existing rooms have been smartened up nicely without destroying the original character, the menu not overly gastro - not overly cheap either - and the beer range improved: Doom Bar in good condition yesterday if rather too cold.

Let's hope that when its finished it doesn't veer too far to the restaurant side and the walkers and riders who've enjoyed this pub for decades remain welcome to stop for a pint and a packet of crisps.

3 Aug 2008 11:12

The Skylark, Croydon

One of Wetherspoon's better offerings. Everything clean and tidy in this interesting conversion.

Very nice drop of Westerham Grasshopper when we finally got served by harassed bloke coping by himself on a slow midweek evening.

11 Jul 2008 11:31

The Fox And Hounds, South Godstone

It's fine, far better inside than it looks from the road. Very friendly and pleasant, and the Greene King beers as good as they're going to get. Well worth a look, it's on the old line of the A22 so an easy diversion, but do note it shuts at 9PM.

Anyhow let's hope that it is far enough off the beaten track to avoid discovery by the refurbishment brigade.

29 Jun 2008 15:49

The White Hart, Chipstead

It's always interesting when a company has to walk away from its own brand because of its negative image but clearly that's what Blubeckers are up to. Name reverted to simply the White Hart and you have to look hard to find the word Blubeckers.

But that's all that's changed, it hasn't stopped it being bloody awful. Today being father's day you couldn't actually sit down inside at all if you just wanted a drink, all tables instead reserved for Redhill chavs, for whom this sort of place is entirely suited.

OK there is a place in the market for this sort of thing, but its a pain when it has to be the only pub for miles that's like it. Stick these places on a bypass next to a 24 hour Tescos where they belong, rather then ruining what few village locals there are left.

15 Jun 2008 19:49

The Oast House, London Bridge Station

That's perfectly normal for the Oast House. We were in it yesterday afternoon. Everything off but 'beater. Some things don't change.

It's better than the Boadicea I suppose.

15 Jun 2008 13:20

Kings Head Hotel, Beccles

Very pleasant coaching inn still fulfilling its purpose after hundreds of years. Much changed over time, but retaining some lovely features like the splendid little library. Attracts an older clientele, especially so in the mornings when it seems to cater mainly for ladies of a certain age taking coffee.

Spot on Adnams beers, and the food is good though the restaurant thinks more of itself than maybe it should. Rooms are fine and so makes an excellent spot for a weekend break.

8 Jun 2008 20:20

The Hare and Hounds, Godstone

Only pub left in Godstone not to suffer the depredations of M&B. Indeed the only proper pub left in Godstone really. Refreshingly cool Harveys in good condition on a hot afternoon, and no Curse of the Sunday roast here either, you can have a sandwich if you want. Rare is that these days.

A bit rough round the edges, not a destination pub, but if you're looking for a break from the M25 it's a great alternative to the nearby Clacket Lane services.

8 Jun 2008 14:59

White Hart Hotel, St Albans

Don't know how this one has managed to avoid getting into Bite for so long. Traditional coaching inn , the front part certainly hasn't changed in decades, so it's avoided the refurbishers as well as Bite. Beer range fine, good mix of customers, well worth a look.

1 Jun 2008 13:00

The Queen's Head, Nutfield

More restaurant than pub, yet another one ripe for refurbishing into the traditional village pub it once was. Just getting rid of the sofas would help.

Anyway the beer, Harveys Best, was in excellent condition today and landlord perfectly pleasant.

All who like run of the mill gastropubs will be content here.

31 May 2008 20:41

The Garland, Redhill

Nothing much has changed, looks like the previously high standards are being being meticulously maintained. Only (!) six beers on the other day, the three we tried between us were in excellent condition.

Oh one thing - it's open in the afternoons now, which is a definate improvement.

28 May 2008 15:29

The Red Lion, Turners Hill

One of Harvey's classics. Worth a major expedition, let alone a run out.

Just pray that the beancounters and rationalisers and refurbishers don't take control and it goes the same way as so many of the other family breweries.

Use it or lose it.

28 May 2008 15:24

The White Horse, Holtye

A strange one, I don't think it's changed much since the 80s. Glass underfloor fishtank, when did you last see one of those? Very grandly laid up dining room, all starched linen and three glasses per place setting and the bar similarly laid up with white cloths on every table. So not rally a pub in the accepted sence thought the Harvey's was OK.

28 May 2008 15:15

Molly O'Grady's, Victoria Place

It's OK for what it is, better than some station bars I can think of, possibly too remote for the usual low life such places attract.

22 May 2008 22:46

Collyweston Slater, Collyweston

Another village pub that has suffered at the hands of the refurbishers but despite those bloody leather sofas it's been done fairly sensitively, we're too far from London for the shaven head and retard's glasses brigade to become involved.

Anyway if you can stand all of that it's got a reputation for its food and the Everards is OK. One corner of it is still vaguely pubby. Not really worth calling for a drink, there's lots of better places for that than this, but it does make an excellent overnight if you're doing a long haul up the A1 - rooms aren't too bad, though pricey if you pay the rack rate, and the breakfast is excellent

18 May 2008 12:22

The Flowerpot, Derby

It's let down slightly by its location on the inner ring road but once inside it cannot be faulted. If you can only visit one pub in Derby make it this one.

18 May 2008 12:09

The Crown Inn, Cleobury Mortimer

Ancient coaching inn in lovely spot on the Clee Hill road just outside Cleobury. Emphasis is on the restaurant and hotel side of things all of which are very well done. As far as the pub side goes there's a comfy public bar with nice beer and if you're lucky enough to get a warm sunny afternoon (this is Shropshire) a pleasant garden by the river.

I wouldn't make a trip of it for a drink, stop by if you are passing, but you could do far worse if you're looking for somewhere to stay the night.

15 May 2008 22:48

The Betjeman Arms, St Pancras International Station

Dreadful. They couldn't have made it worse if they tried. Getting it up like a trendy gastropub is a bad start. Sticking it in a remote corner of the station doesn't help. Neither does the fact that it stinks of chips. And that horrid loud music. And why are the loos half a mile down a gloomy corridor? What on earth must those who experience this place as their introduction to British pubs think?

The rebuilt St Pancras is much overrated, as anyone who has to cart heavy cases from from the tube to the trains will tell you, all style over substance, so this pub fits in perfectly.

Give it to Wetherspoons, at least they do shite station and airport bars well.

14 May 2008 10:26

The Lamb, Bloomsbury

It doesn't get any better around here, indeed it doesn't get much better anywhere. Let's just hope Young's bean counters and refurbishers can keep themselves away.

4 May 2008 14:12

Crown Inn, Peopleton

Very pleasant unspoiled village local, friendly staff and locals. Average (but then again might have been having an off day) Hook Norton amongst other beers when we called. Well worth a visit if your passing this way.

23 Apr 2008 17:16

The Inn On The Pond, Nutfield

If I remember rightly there was GKIPA, Ruddles County and Old Speckled Hen. So which one isn't Greene King then.

I visit, and like, lots of pubs. Unlike beentherebefore who has only visited the one.

16 Apr 2008 15:27

The Cask and Bottle, Leamington Spa

No idea what this is doing with 30 users scoring but not review in two and a half years.

Its an identikit chain pub no different from 1000 others. It was well worth 7.5 points when it was the Greyhound but the refurb - in fact complete wanton destruction - negated that. The Somerville is orders of magnitude better.

13 Apr 2008 09:26

1911 Bar, New Delhi

The Cobra there is now brewed somewhere in Rajasthan. The coals have definitely returned to Newcastle.

13 Apr 2008 09:16

The Bell Inn, Godstone

SOunds about right. It's Landmark Leisure, ie Vintage Inns/Harvester/Ember Inns ready meals without the big sign to warn you off.

17 Mar 2008 09:59

Wattenden Arms, Kenley

Yes pity they allow kids in, always annoying.

It is now filthy dirty in there. They'd made the mistake of leaving the door to the upstairs open this afternoon, which was strewn with litter and fag ends and obviously not been hoovered for years. You can see into the kitchen too, and then wonder when the floor last saw a mop. So best, if you desire a long life, to pass up on the chance to sample the standard issue M&B ready meals from the sticky tables.

One saving grace - the TT Landlord was top notch.

15 Mar 2008 19:28

Tudor Rose, Coulsdon

As I said about it pre-name change in BITE....

They haven't made it any better either. Now refurbished into an Ember Inn "desirable surroundings you’d want at home and genuine friendliness make it the best Pub for comfortable and relaxed conversation" - M&B's suburban version of Vintage Inns. So out with the infamous salad cart, in with the pretend gastropub. Indeed all pretty smart.

But the service is, I'm afraid , M&B standard dire, just like before. Half the beers off and no-one can bothered to change them, that is if you can be bothered to wait for someone to serve you.

You get what you deserve for going in these places.

9 Mar 2008 20:09

The White Hart, Chipstead

Just to remind you all of you who like a laugh

Blubecker's website says..."We choose attractive buildings full of character and charm to create relaxed and friendly establishments for both drinkers and diners to enjoy."

9 Mar 2008 20:04

Saints and Sinners, Croydon

Rather strangely refurbished street corner local. Only real use is it's about 20 yards from the hospital should you need stress relief after a visit there.

21 Feb 2008 13:07

Queens Larder, Bloomsbury

Pleasant enough corner. Very small so best go in the afternoon if you want a seat. Greene King beers unfortunately but there's Leffe on draught if you're feeling rich.

20 Feb 2008 11:41

The Shy Horse, Chessington

It's a Vintage Inn. You get all you deserve.

17 Feb 2008 20:04

The Inn on the Green, Tadworth

Just one uncomfortable table with a couple of "toadstools" to sit on right in front to the bar for drinks only punters today - meant really, I guess for those waiting for a dining table.

It should give up the pretense of being a pub.

10 Feb 2008 19:13

The Fox and Hounds, Walton On The Hill

Normality has indeed returned. It needs now to be unrefurbished - unpaint the wood panelling, unsuspend the ceiling, unconceal the lighting, remove the canteen furniture - and it could be a great pub again.

10 Feb 2008 19:06

The Jolly Farmer, Horley

This one's OK, something for everyone here. Eighteenth century pub in an out of the way location, so little passing trade but lots of locals. Still got separate drinking areas, pool table and all that one end, loungish bit in the middle and restaurant at the other. It doesn't have the pretensions of so many pubs round here. Let's hope it stays that way and keeps below the radar of the refurbishment brigade. Anyway everyone's friendly enough and they do a nice drop of Harvey's.

Not a destination pub but worth a look if you're in these parts.

10 Feb 2008 15:59

The Anchor, Wisley

Putting a sign up in the road saying "turn in here for the best hospitality in the country" is always going to be a hostage to fortune unless you've got a Michelin star or three,or you are my mum. Making out there are 'real chefs' in the kitchen is only going to compound the misery.

A BLT sandwich is a simple classic. A doddle to do well but just as easy to ruin. If there were any real chefs in this place they wouldn't microwave the bacon until the fat is barely set, slather the stale bread in industrial quantities of factory fresh mayonnaise and send it out with a plateful of undressed salad. However a sixteen year old kid who probably thinks bacon is a kind of fish, because that's what the catering pack bacon tastes of, would have no difficulty churning out this stuff. And Hall and Woodhouse have no problem rushing you a fiver for it.

Beer is usual Badger range, but no ordinary bitter yesterday lunchtime, which is a pain if you're driving. I just can't believe they had run out on a Saturday morning. I can believe, given that there was no member of staff aged over twenty around, that there was no-one who knew how to change it, or could be bothered to even if they did.

This was our first visit to the Anchor since the refurb, and I didn't want to be too hard on it considering what went before, but I'm afraid it's still relying on the gorgeous location within half an hours drive of about three million people. If you piss off a few punters, what the hell, there are plenty more where they come from.

Inside, by the way, it is standard faux gastropub, indistinguishable from thousands of others.

It is of course, because of the location, a lovely spot to while away a sunny afternoon, or a stop for a pint on a walk along the canal. Just don't expect the finest hospitality in the land.

10 Feb 2008 13:27

The Dog and Bull, Croydon

One of the greats. Keep using it, the current Young's management will kill it with ruthless efficiency if you don't.

24 Jan 2008 22:19

The Waggon and Horses, Surbiton

Hmm...pity the guest beer was Courage Best the other day. Lack of imagination notwithstanding it's hardly a guest when it's from the same brewery.

11 Jan 2008 13:04

The Derby Arms, Epsom Downs

Landmark Leisure....bizarre attempt by M&B to unbrand themselves.

9 Jan 2008 13:41

The Gate House, Wallingford

Lease For Sale outside at the moment. There is hope.

6 Jan 2008 18:31

The Waggon and Horses, Surbiton

Called in for the first time since my day-release days at Kingston Poly. Kingston Poly has gone up in the world in the intervening quarter century but little has changed at the Waggon beyond a rather ill-advised knocking through and refurbishment of the public bar. As has been said, still a proper boozer serving proper boozers. Ordinary was fair-to-middling, but it so often is these days.

Worth a look if you're in this neck of the woods.

5 Jan 2008 18:46

George in the Tree, Balsall Common

Its a Beefeater so you get what you get. The A446 makes a restful change from the motorways around Birmingham these days - it used to be the primary route and a nightmare - and this pub is indeed useful for a half hour's break if you're passing, the next one north towards Lichfield is a fair stretch away.

29 Dec 2007 12:25

Black Horse, Leamington Spa

Gone, but not forgotten.

29 Dec 2007 12:15

The Ramblers Rest, Chipstead

Do remember that when Whitbread got rid of Out and Out they kept the most profitable and in most cases rebranded them to Beefeater. This one was experimentally left unbranded to attempt to kid people that it is upmarket and doesnt have the chaviness of a Beefeater.

But have no illusions, it is a Beefeater under the skin with all the dreary mediocrity that goes with that.

20 Dec 2007 22:30

The Ramblers Rest, Chipstead

can;t post to this pub...

20 Dec 2007 22:24

The Old Post Office, Wallingford

Laurel got hold of the old post office in order to install a Slug and Lettuce, much to the dismay of the towns grown-ups, who quite rightly thing that one binge-drinking establishment in the town, the Boathouse, is one too many. Serious opposition meant Laural had to install a Forno Vivo - pretend Italian pizza restaurant, which didn't get them very far. So recently it's been reincarnated into a La Vina, a pretend Spanish restaurant and bar, with more emphasis on the bar side of things.

Spanish it is not. True you could parachute it into somewhere on the Costas and no-one would turn a hair, but you could do the same with a Wetherspoon or Kentucky Fried Chicken. Parachute it into a provincial Spanish town and it would be a fish out of water.

My guess is that they'll keep it up for eighteen months or so then convert it into the Slug and Lettuce they always wanted saying they've had a bar there all along and it caused no trouble, what's the problem?

We shall see.

19 Dec 2007 13:15

The Greyhound, Redhill

Closed and boarded up

17 Dec 2007 15:23

The Garland, Redhill

Closes Sunday afternoons, irritatingly.

17 Dec 2007 12:59

The Yew Tree 'Time well spent', Reigate Hill

Stopped by this afternoon and will have to revise my opinion I'm afraid. Most of the the place laid up for a what looked like a rugby club (shirt and tie with jeans is the giveaway) dinner. So one end had that lot, noisy pissed and obnoxious even as they were assembling, while the other end had several tables of equally noisy chavs left over from lunchtime.

In the twenty or so minutes we stayed I served two couples come in and walked straight out again, the ambiance clearly not their cup of tea. Most likely customers lost for ever. I'm sure there were to be more as the evening progressed.

They're going to have to sort out what sort of custom they're after if they want to move this place on from the Yew Tree of old.

Reduced to five points.

16 Dec 2007 20:01

The Plough, Earlswood

Spurred on by GDM's report we went back for a look this afternoon and indeed all is well, that village green local you expect to find is all present and correct. Friendly welcome, pleasant surroundings and people and Harveys in decent condition. They've even managed to get rid of most of the horrid crematorium chars and big tables. Points score increased 3.5 fold.

Well worth a visit now.

16 Dec 2007 19:43

The Woodman, Woodmansterne

Car park full of vans again this evening, dogs returning to their own vomit. Predictable infestation of shaven heads, beer guts and load swearing inside.

This pub can smarten its act up, it's happened before, but clearly we're on a downhill run at the moment.

11 Dec 2007 22:06

The Yew Tree 'Time well spent', Reigate Hill

It's fine. I never was a fan of the Chipstead enterprise but this one is great. It is indeed now a classic 30s roadhouse and well worth a trip just for that. Something more adventurous on the beer front than Pride and Young's Ordinary and it would be the best in Reigate.

11 Dec 2007 21:27

The Du Cane Arms, Witham

There something not quite right about this place I can't quite put my finger on. Maybe it's because it feels like it wants to be a village pub but the management would rather they were running a restaurant. It certainly isn't cheap. 16 quid for steak and chips?

Decor is stuck in the seventies, but the garden is fine. Worth a look if you need a break from the A12.

Greene King IPA, sadly.

4 Dec 2007 16:23

The Bell Inn, Great Yarmouth

Claims to be the oldest pub on the Broads. Don't know about that but the location is nice enough. It was on its last day before refurbishment when we called in.

4 Dec 2007 16:05

The Crown, Southwold

Ignore the identikit bareboard gastropub at the front and soldier on until you get to the cosy wood panelled snug at the back. Suddenly it all becomes worth while.

Top notch Adnams, of course.

4 Dec 2007 15:59

The Church Farm, Burgh Castle

It could be a cracker situated there on the waterfront with views extending to the horizon, but exists mainly as a canteen for the residents of the many static caravan sites and 'holiday parks' around here. The cuisine features barbequed sausages taken on tressell tables complete with plastic table clothes in a draughty barn, with large parties of chavs up from Harlow and Basildon for half term for company.

You may want to try elsewhere.

1 Dec 2007 18:58

The Fox Revived, Horley

It's a bit strange to walk into a pub round here at 3:30 on a sunny Sunday afternoon to find yourself alone but for the bloke behind the bar. We ordered two halves of Pride and were given the disgusting keg version. That must be why everyone's gone somewhere else because the surroundings, should someone bother to do a bit of cleaning and tidying occasionally, make it a fine place to while away an hour or two.

1 Dec 2007 17:47

The George Hotel, Bishop's Stortford

Being an ancient coaching inn it should be the best in town but it has all long since gone to seed: the surroundings, the management and the customers. A good shake up would restore its former glory, and provide excellent lodgings for Stansted.

1 Dec 2007 17:25

The Lion, Eastwick

The village of Eastwick is cut of from the rest of the world by the busy A414, but you may want to give the Lion a try if you're passing. It's a fairly basic village local, unaltered since the seventies I would say, but friendly enough despite proximity to Harlow. Very nice McMullen's.

1 Dec 2007 17:18

The King and Queen, Caterham

No idea why I've managed to avoid the King and Queen for all these years: maybe the reputation of some of the other pubs round here hasn't helped, but finally found my way here this lunchtime while seeking refuge from the still dreadful Tudor Rose in Coulsdon. Anyway my eyes have been opened, it really is spot on, nothing else to add to the perfectly accurate comments below.

1 Dec 2007 16:55

The Tudor Rose (Harvester), Coulsdon

They haven't made it any better either. Now refurbished into an Ember Inn "desirable surroundings you’d want at home and genuine friendliness make it the best Pub for comfortable and relaxed conversation" - M&B's suburban version of Vintage Inns. So out with the infamous salad cart, in with the pretend gastropub. Indeed all pretty smart.

What they've failed to refurbish is the service. In the ten minutes I was waiting to be served I counted six people all very busy faffing about doing anything but serve customers. There was no sign of anyone taking charge and organising things. When I was eventually attended to it was discovered that the Harvey's Best was 'off' though I suspect it never had been 'on' all morning but that no-one had bothered to check and turn the pump clip round. We decided to cut our losses and retreated to rather more genuine desirable surroundings you’d want at home blah blah blah.

Still gets 0 points as I didn't get to have a drink and doubt I will ever want to in future.

1 Dec 2007 16:45

The Fox, Caterham

It was shut the other week but is open now. Just had a pint in it. No idea what they've done to it, if anything, looks the same as ever, same Vintage Inn mediocrity you get all over the country

29 Nov 2007 21:53

The Builders Arms, Leamington Spa

Smoke carrying a strangely familiar herbal aroma was drifting out of the loo window when I walked past not long ago. The Builders always did have a dreadful reputation. One to steer clear of.

28 Nov 2007 22:06

Black Horse, Leamington Spa

A shadow of its former self, the Black Horse used to be a Hook Norton pub and was something of an institution, well certainly its landlady was. Hook Norton have departed and its now hanging on by the skin of its teeth with the entire place going to rack and ruin. It will to take a considerable amount of cash to turn it around.

28 Nov 2007 22:00

Hope and Anchor, Leamington Spa

There's a plaque outside saying it's an 'Ansell's Heritage Pub' and indeed nothing's changed here in decades, even the table service bell pushes are still there. Alongside the usual Carlsberg-Tetley offerings they had St Austell Tinner's the other day, rather spoilt by the local taste for swan necks and sparklers.

Well worth a look.

28 Nov 2007 21:45

The Revolver, Bishops Tachbrook

Now called the Revolver. We called in the other night for the first time in decades. And walked straight out again. The last thing you're going to do in there is enjoy a comfortable pint.

Whatever it is, it isn't a pub.

27 Nov 2007 10:26

Bowling Green, Leamington Spa

It's a fine, unreconstructed local. Nothing's changed much since at least the 70s. Pubs like this are getting scarcer all the time and need supporting.

26 Nov 2007 20:08

The Castle Inn, Ottershaw

Excellent. Delicious TT landlord and Harvey's Best this afternoon, and massive open fire building up a nice smoky fug. Yes it's expensive but they don't do cheap round here. Easily the best stop on this stretch of the M25.

25 Nov 2007 20:13

The Leopard Inn, Bishops Tachbrook

Now called the Revolver. We called in the other night for the first time in decades. And walked straight out again. The last thing you're going to do in there is enjoy a comfortable pint.

Whatever it is, it isn't a pub.

25 Nov 2007 19:45

The Queens Arms, South Kensington

Eh? You have to walk past it to get to where Google Maps says it is.

19 Nov 2007 16:14

The Tudor Rose (Harvester), Coulsdon

Shut for refurbishment. They can't make it any worse.

17 Nov 2007 18:51

Marneys Village Inn, Weston Green

It's fine, exactly as described below, and easily the best pub round here. Well worth seeking out.

11 Nov 2007 19:10

The Red Lion, Brightwell-cum-Sotwell

Now changed hands, run by two 'ladies of a certain age'.
Spot on beer from just up the road in Appleford.

5 Nov 2007 16:59

The Garland, Redhill

As good as it gets in Redhill, and pretty good for anywhere. You may well pass it by assuming it's yet another venue for some of the large population of lowlife round here but you would be much mistaken.

Well worth a trip out for all the reasons spelt out below.

30 Oct 2007 16:46

The Three Willows, Birchanger

It's OK as a pub, nothing special really, not certain what it's doing in a long succession of Good Pub Guides. However if it didn't shut at three on a Sunday for the rest of the day and wasn't exclusively Greene King it would be a perfect alternative to the nearby motorway services.

22 Oct 2007 16:16

Harringtons Bar and Grill, South Kensington

Closed and demolished

14 Oct 2007 10:39

The Hoop and Toy, South Kensington

Never choose any pub in London like the Hoop and Toy if you want cooked food. Most of those running Typical London Pubs are only interested in the wet side and food only exists because their area managers insist that it does. 100% disappointment guaranteed.

11 Oct 2007 18:53

The Castle Inn, Chiddingstone

Well I think it's fine. Nice Harvey's and great public bar. Dunno about the food I would never dream of eating more than a snack in such a place anyway.

11 Oct 2007 18:39

The Kings Arms, Hampton Court

It's not that bad. Comfortable surroundings though they could make a lot more space by getting rid of those sofas. There's room for all of six people to sit in a big chunk of the bar, the rest of it take up with sofa.
Badger beer in good condition. Can't speak for the food but instinct suggests it's going to be identikit faux gastropub.

Oh and they were perfectly friendly and helpful to a couple of lost Americans.

Probably the best stop on this busy ratrun between Heathrow and Kingston

22 Sep 2007 20:38

The King William IV, Hailey

Revisited after a long - maybe more than 10 year break. Not of course what it was - it hadn't changed much in decades when I knew it before. I wonder where all the farm implements went. But not at all bad for a 21st century country pub. A bit too sanitised, menu a bit too pretentious, can't have a sandwich, all the usual stuff. They've got draught lager now which is a shame, its absence used to keep the riffraff away.

But the Brakspears is spot on and still on gravity stillage and the views are as perfect as ever. Well worth an expedition.

9 Sep 2007 18:23

The Mill at Elstead, Elstead

As everyone says it's worth it for the setting alone, but it could be so much better. It was very quiet on Sunday afternoon when it should be mobbed out. At ten quid for a burger and chips I'm not surprised. Even the sort of people who live in this area have to draw the line somewhere. And it didn't even look nice, a couple near us were battling with plates of grey slop masquerading under the name of lasagne. If you just want a sandwich they don't want your trade. The service is pretty slow too. The bar staff were too busy nattering to their mates to to do any real work, indeed none of the tables were cleared in the 40 minutes we were there.

On the upside, the beer is fine. Well worth a trip out on a sunny afternoon, but have you lunch first.

20 Aug 2007 11:22

The Hen and Chicken, Upper Froyle

Better than you might imagine for a dual carriageway roadhouse which are usually at the horrider end of the chain pub market. Nice Badger related beers and fairly standard pub grub food selection. Nowhere near worth a special trip but if you want a break from the A31 for half an hour it's fine.

19 Aug 2007 19:18

The Cherry Trees, South Norwood

Nice adverts, three in 16 minutes, all off the same computer do you reckon?

13 Aug 2007 17:02

The Woodman, Woodmansterne

Getting better at the moment. One of those pubs the smoking ban has improved a lot. White Van Man was born with a fag in his hand and removing this lot from blocking up the bar and being generally obnoxious makes it a great deal pleasanter for everyone else.

13 Aug 2007 16:03

The Plough & Attic Rooms, Rusper

Now back open and not at all bad. Very pleasant traditional pub with no sign of the usual refurbisher's antics, plus nice large garden.

Despite the rubric above the food is on the rather expensive and pretentious side - you can get a seven quid panini but not an ordinary sandwich or ploughman's, and kangaroo steak anyone? hmm - and the Greene King related beers are far from local.

At any rate certainly worth a look but remember there are at least two outstanding alternatives within ten minutes drive of here.

4 Aug 2007 18:52

The Prince Albert, Bletchingley

Looks like BITE has some new members here....

24 Jul 2007 11:06

The Kilvert's Hotel, Hay on Wye

Stayed a couple of nights and very good it is too. Friendly staff, spot on Wye Valley beer and decent food, especially in the restaurant. Recommended.

9 Jul 2007 11:52

The Parrot Inn, Forest Green

Extensively modernised but in reasonable taste. Very wide range of beers, nice Ringwood Best and Thumper plus several others and worth the trip just for that. Staff made to look like dickheads with those silly floor length aprons they have to wear, so no wonder they're a bit standoffish. Smokers' tent.

1 Jul 2007 19:28

Plough at Blackbrook, Blackbrook

Well worth a look. Pleasantly quirky and friendly. Not keen on Badger beers myself but in good condition. Smokers' tent.

1 Jul 2007 19:23

The Moon in the Square, Bournemouth

Not the worst Wetherspoons in the world, you have to go to Brighton for that, but getting there. Half the problem is the clientele these places attract, who are far more interested on getting pissed on the cheap than the quality of their surroundings. No wonder the bar staff couldn't give a toss given what they have to endure.

18 Jun 2007 11:17

Goat and Tricycle, Bournemouth

Only proper pub for miles. Excellent beer in top notch condition, pleasant staff and friendly locals. Fortunately far enough from the main drag and hotels to get mobbed out by trippers.

18 Jun 2007 11:10

The Inn on the Green, Tadworth

Put it this way, they couldn't have made it any worse. The potato heads have been driven out. That's not actually all that difficult to do. Make a place look and feel reasonably respectable and the lowlife end of the white van brigade soon relocates to less reputable premises.

And indeed it is all OK, clean and tidy and everyone's nice to you. It feels comfortable but what it doesn't do is feel like a pub. Maybe something to do with rather rather strange decorative getup, which perpetuates the mainly black colour scheme of the previous regime.

The Harvey's Best was in decent form today. Worth a stop if your passing on a nice day and want to sit outside for an hour, but there are far better - and one or two outstanding - alternatives in this neck of the woods if you want a real pub.

3 Jun 2007 20:01

The Compasses Inn, Gomshall

OK for a sandwich and the beer is spot on but be careful about cooked food. Woman next to us was losing a battle with what was optimistically called lasagne, in fact about a cubic foot of stodge amid a sea of chips.

8 May 2007 14:46

The Inn on the Green, Tadworth

Has two outside patio's?? Presumably to attract the greengrocer's and their apostrophe's.

7 May 2007 17:10

The Leathern Bottle, Lewknor

Excellent village pub about one minute from the M40. Low beams, several rooms, nice garden. Friendly welcome and Brakspears in good condition. An infinitely better place to stop than Oxford services, but it is unfortunately shut in the afternoons.

7 May 2007 16:57

The Black Horse, Reigate

It's not a Young's pub, never was

15 Apr 2007 18:09

The Kingswood Arms, Kingswood

They've snazzied the garden up making it very pleasant on a sunny lunchtime but boy do you pay for it. Seven quid for a pint and a V&C. You can pay less in West End hotels. For some reason yesterday the clientele was mainly rich looking and loud sounding women in their 20s/30s. No idea why.

15 Apr 2007 18:07

The Six Bells on the Green, Warborough

When I first came to know it 30 odd years ago it was one of Brakspear's many gorgeous village pubs. It's still not too bad now. They've managed to avoid knocking the small rooms together but the homely clutter has gone and the usual gastropub stripped wood and big tables have arrived. However it's not too identikit for all of that.

Mother's Day and everyone was on vast stodgy looking roast dinners which they didn't seem to be enjoying much judging by the amount on the plates going back.

Anyway Brakspear's in good form and on a summer's day it's a lovely spot. Worth a trip out.

18 Mar 2007 22:17

The Jolly Farmers, Purley

It's OK at after work time at least, though presence of smoking teenage girls with kids in prams is a bad sign. Beer is OK, good choice, everything clean and tidy, and staff friendly enough but it's only really good for a quick one if you're waiting for a train or something. Despite its vast prosperity Purley is a dreadful area for pubs.

14 Mar 2007 23:11

Three Horseshoes Inn, Sidlow Bridge

This is fine. No delusions of grandure here, it does exactly what pubs should do. Traditional local, friendly welcome, nice bunch of locals and decent Harveys. Food is the basics, sandwiches or things and chips, which is all I ever ask for in pub food.

Let's just hope that the gastropub refurbishers can be kept well clear.

It's not a special trip pub, but well worth a look if you find yourself in the area.

11 Mar 2007 18:40

The Fighting Cocks, Stottesdon

One of the best. Superb village pub with shop selling local produce. Delcious Hobson's beers. Well worth a trip out.

11 Mar 2007 00:55

The Wobbly Wheel, Warmington

Before the M40 was built this was one of the main routes between the south coast and the Midlands, and the Wobbly Wheel was a popular comfort stop. This stretch of the former A41 is now a little used B road across a bleak stretch of the Cotswold escarpment. However the pub retains it former purpose, they've bolted a travelodge on for tired M40 drivers and once inside any illusions of a quaint country pub will soon disappear. So expect the usual anonymous Harvester/Beefeater/whatever setup, you can bet it's packed out on Sundays with people from Banbury and Warwick taking their inlaws out for lunch.

No point stopping at all unless the Plough is shut or you need the loos.

11 Mar 2007 00:38

The Grasshopper on the Green, Westerham

Nice traditional three bar local in perfect situation on the green. Westerham ales in reasonable, but not tip top condition. Pity about the blackboard obsession, and the somewhat cheerless service. No please, thankyou or goodbye for doing them the favour of returning our glasses when leaving. No point eating here unless you're crazy enough to pay nine quid for mince and onion pie and chips.

Worth a look if you're passing but don't make a trip of it.

10 Mar 2007 23:23

Harringtons Bar and Grill, South Kensington

Unfortunately not long to go as this building is coming down soon. Hopefully a replacement for the replacement will be found

10 Mar 2007 19:06

The White Bear, Fickleshole

If you were teleported in you'd think you'd arrived at a remote hilltop pub. In fact the famous New Addington estate is but a few hundred yards away, and dealing with one of the greatest concentrations of chavs in south east England has always proved problematic for the White Bear. However it has put its grim reputation as a haven for bank robbers behind it and is doing pretty well.

Although too restauranty for my tastes - I can understand why given the area - there's a good beer selection: Westerham, Shere Drop, Harveys all in good condition, but not much room for the drinker with so much space given over for dining.

Food is at the sous vide Vintage Inn end of the market, though I don't think this is a VI. "Hunter's Chicken" is a big give away. I suspect Brake Bros. Anyway Croydonians who like to take their gran out in the Mondeo for Sunday lunch will be in heaven.

Anyway well worth seeking out for the beer alone, a nice destination for a sunny afternoon.

4 Mar 2007 00:41

The Bridge Bar, London Bridge Station

Not as bad as it could be. It could be the Wetherspoons at Victoria.

1 Mar 2007 14:23

The Ramblers Rest, Chipstead

It's problem is that from the outside you see a traditional country pub then are completely let down by the chain pretend gastropub you find inside. If it was on a city ring road next to an edge of town Tescos you wouldn't give it a second glance. I wonder how many have based walking trips around this pub and been sorely disappointed. The Well House is a thousand times better.

1 Mar 2007 14:19

The Misty Moon, Barnet

I suspect it was better off as a Wetherspoons, at least the beer would have been OK. Now one whole row of pumps out of use and just GK IPA and Speckled Hen on the other, both in dubious condition. Otherwise all a bit scruffy, and very quiet. And bogs dreadful, no lock.

1 Mar 2007 13:53

The Wenlock Arms, Hoxton

There's a touch of the 'emporers clothes' going on here. Would it attract such rave reviews without the wondrous beer selection or its proximity to the City? There as still thousands of identical locals to the Wenlock around, most of which you wouldn't give a second look to unless you lived in the area. Truth be told it's pretty grotty and the locals..well the kind of locals who usually inhabit such boozers.

Strip away the real ales and you'd cross the road to avoid it.

25 Feb 2007 16:07

The Black Horse, Gomshall

Probably unique in containing both a curry house and a Thai restaurant, and not at all expensive considering where we are, cheaper in fact than my local suburban ruby. Pub OKish, Shere Drop fine, though dearer than my local suburban boozer. At the end of the day there's nothing here to stop by for, if you're passing you'll be in the Compasses.

25 Feb 2007 15:41

The Coach and Horses, Soho

Rather refreshing on a Sunday afternoon when most of the obvious choices are horrid chain pubs full of tourists. Staff friendly enough and clientele about as normal as you expect for this part of the world.

19 Feb 2007 13:33

The Doric Arch, Euston

As good as you're going to get this near a station. If only we had one near Victoria. I guess the stairs and loo arrangements are too complex for the usual station low life to navigate. Nice guest beers as well as usual Fullers range of reasonable quality, someone knows what they're doing behind the scenes. Bar service is typical central London hopeless.

14 Feb 2007 22:51

The William IV, Bletchingley

Recently taken over by Youngs. Been redecorated and tidied up, all the cosy clutter has gone but still a friendly atmosphere, and beer in good condition. Suffers the Curse of the Sunday Roast I'm afraid. That's all these is on a Sunday. If you just want a snack you're out of luck. Why these pubs can't put a bit of said roast between two slices of bread and flog it to you for a fiver (this is Surrey) I've no idea.

It's still worth seeking out though.

4 Feb 2007 17:45

Three Tuns, Honiton

Called in for lunch when passing through so picked pub at random. It's OK for what it is, friendly enough and fine as a local. Strange selection of beers, Broadside or Bass, when did you last see that? So nothing really for drivers but quality certainly OK.

30 Jan 2007 13:13

Lugger Inn, Polruan

Nothing wrong here, better than anything on the other side of the river. Spot on St Austell, friendly staff, food OK. You do need to time your visit to avoid the crowds.

30 Jan 2007 13:08

King of Prussia, Fowey

Rightly popular because of the location, but suffers from the big tables and leather sofas disease so you can't get seat when there more than about a dozen people in there, which is often. So chances of standing outside with a plastic glass in the rain are rather high. There are better pubs in Fowey. Horridly decorated restaurant downstairs.

30 Jan 2007 12:58

Ship Inn, Fowey

Best in town by a short head. Nice and comfortable, friendly staff, log fire. Separate eating areas. Gets crowded quickly and at spurious times due to people wandering around Fowey in large groups, so you need to pick your time to get a seat. Spot on St Austell.

30 Jan 2007 12:52

The Cross Keys, Sherborne

Stopped in Sherbourne to break a long cross country trip and of course had to pick this one. Typical.

It doesn't look too bad from the outside. Inside, if you can cut through the smoke, you find kid with baby in pushchair drinking vodka and coke in the short breaks between fags, plus lads skiving off community service. Place filth dirty, only visit the loos if you're used to Indian Railways. Despite all of this an acceptable pint of Ringwood. Given the location and layout this could easily be the best in town. Maybe it was, once.

30 Jan 2007 12:47

The Eagle, Amersham

Stopped by while passing through on a Sunday afternoon - fine though looks like it's suffered at the hands of the refurbishers. Beer OK. Worth a look but there are better pubs around here.

21 Jan 2007 18:40

The Somerville Arms, Leamington Spa

Called in after a long gap and nothing's changed, still as good at it gets for a traditional neighborhood local. Two bars, spit and sawdust public and comfy snug. Nice beer range, all top notch. You won't do better in Leamington, certainly worth seeking out.

21 Jan 2007 18:35

The King William IV, Mickleham

It is good but probably best to steer clear Sunday lunchtimes, all tables reserved for the roast dinner brigade. Beer nice, everything nice though 12 quid for a roast dinner is indeed pretty steep. As is the lane up here. Parking impossible, if there's no space by the Italian restaurant at the bottom your best bet is to go further on by the Running Horses and walk back. Well worth a special trip.

14 Jan 2007 23:03

The George and Dragon, Thames Ditton

I think it's OK - more rugby oriented than football but nice and comfy, pleasant atmosphere, Spitfire top notch this afternoon. Food reasonably priced for where we are, no gastropub nonsense. Certainly worth a look when you're passing

13 Jan 2007 20:12

The Fox, Caterham

What we might want to get our heads around is that it was 'cheap ready prep'd bought in dross' in 2001/2002 and for years before that, on account of it being a Vintage Inn. Look it was shite then, OK it's shiter now but it will never get back to better than shite as long as M&B have anything to do with it. Just give it 0 marks and move on.

13 Jan 2007 20:00

The Plough (Harvester), Worcester Park

Umm... well it's a Harvester. Surprised the rating's so high to be honest.

6 Jan 2007 19:18

The Town of Ramsgate, Wapping

OK yesterday afternoon. Mainly locals of all sorts, pleasant enough atmosphere, though I suspect it gets fairly manic on summer weekends. Beer range standard, and both Young's Ordinary and Pride in poor condition, any worse and they would have been returnable. Food of the vast plates of stodge school, fine if you like that sort of thing, most of the punters in there clearly do.

A decent enough stop if you're doing a crawl down this stretch.

2 Jan 2007 11:17

The Liberty Bounds, Tower Hill

New Year's Day lunchtime and the place was hardly busy, populated mainly by East End low life, being the only open pub for miles around, and a few odd tourists. Even so all the free tables were covered in dirty plates and glasses, and we were told there was a 30 minute wait for food. Usual Wetherspoon standard of service then. We left.

2 Jan 2007 11:04

The Red Lion, Brightwell-cum-Sotwell

Perfectly pleasant old village pub, friendly atmosphere, young and old, slightly eccentric landlord. Delicious Hook Norton. Can't speak for the food myself but my mum says it's OK and she does know about these things.

Well worth a detour.

29 Dec 2006 18:45

The Abinger Arms, Abinger Hammer

Well I think its OK. Looks better outside than in, too much space taken up with very expensive food - seven quid for a sandwich is a bit much even around here - but the refurbishment brigade have been low key so far. Badger related beers in good condition. There are lots of nice pubs to choose from around here, in some areas this would be a honeypot, just here I'm afraid not the best.

16 Dec 2006 18:38

The Nags Head, Covent Garden

It's fine, you won't do much better round here. Beer spot on. Most of the pub crawlers only stop for one drink due to lack of what some term atmosphere - Sky Sports and loud music - so you will get a seat if you wait a while.

7 Dec 2006 23:26

The Plough, Earlswood

Called in for the first time this afternoon so unlike most of you below I can't comment about the previous administration. I was hoping for an ancient village green local but....

...my initial thought was that it was a victim of the usual head office inspired refurbishment, what with the horrid green paint over what I suspect is proper wood panelling, pine furniture with tables so big you have to shout and what I call crematorium chairs - those with narrow high backs that just need a pocket on the back for the hymnbook. Anyway turns out it's a freehouse which makes it all the more disgraceful. Clearly expensive consultants have been involved.

So what you've got is an identikit gastropub, no different to hundreds of others these days. Worryingly for this one there were all of three punters in there when we arrived about four on a Sunday afternoon, and nobody else turned up for the half hour we stayed. No-one finishing off a late lunch. No locals having a boozy afternoon.

The beers was OK though, pity it was all strong stuff so only one pint for us drivers, and astonishingly expensive. A pint and a V&C was over six quid. I can think of places where it's less than four. Consultants to pay?

I can't imagine we'll be returning somehow, there's lots (and I mean lots) of better places in the area.

3 Dec 2006 20:18

The White Lion, Warlingham

Stopped for a quick one as I happened to be passing, to see if it had settled down from the refurb.

Not really. It'll never be the same. Bloody vandals.

28 Nov 2006 11:12

Wattenden Arms, Kenley

Unpleasant White Van Man infestation the other day, blocking access to the bar, all standing in the way swearing loudly.

Menu now standard corporate, beer quality poor despite Cask Marque signs. Suspect it's changed hands recently.

I'm afraid it looks like it's going down hill.

27 Nov 2006 10:26

The Arkle Manor, Betchworth

Second pub along this stretch of road to go from a dreadful chain eatery (this one was a Harvester) to an ultra pretentious and completely atmosphere free gastropub. It's more like entering a branch of World of Leather than a pub, both in sight and smell. Usual bare boards and horrid sofas you can't get up from. It took us all of 30 seconds to realise that having a pint here was going to be such an overwhelmingly depressing experience that we decided to relocate to the more down to earth pleasures of the Dolphin.

21 Nov 2006 16:21

Whyte Harte Hotel, Bletchingley

Despite being a hotel, so you pay hotel prices (no I don't understand why either), it's very pubby and not too bad at all. It's suffered countless refurbishments, but still retains several drinking areas, exposed beams and open fires. Currenty going through a leather sofa phase but hopefully, like everywhere else, it'll get over that.

Worth making a trip for the beer, Ringwood and St Austell today as well as Pride, and all in good nick. Assming the rooms are OK it would be a good choice if you need to stay in the area and like your beer.

19 Nov 2006 18:03

The Dukes Head, Tadworth

Going downhill fast. Full of noisy pissed rich kids blocking up the bar, even worse if there's football on.

13 Nov 2006 13:55

The Square and Compass, Ashill

Nice old pub in the middle of nowhere, just a few houses hereabouts. Open fires, usual rural pub clutter and a friendly welcome. Spot on Exmoor ales. Well worth a visit, and it's just off the A303 if you want an alternative to the Little Chef. However it's closed lunchtimes midweek so check first, and if you don't want roast dinners it's no use on Sundays. As we found out. Would be an eight pointer but for the Curse of the Sunday Roast.

13 Nov 2006 13:43

The Cotswold Arms, Burford

Pleasant and friendly, front bar a bit scruffy and loos need sorting out but otherwise fine during the day at least. I suspect it changes in nature later on. Nice pint of White Horse. Food looked dodgy.

13 Nov 2006 10:57

The Three Horseshoes, Benson

Nice spot off the main road, well worth a look. Spot on Brakespears, food looks OK, Indian specials this week. Welcome could be a little more friendly to strangers, too much time spent on Friends of Guvnor.

30 Oct 2006 14:20

The Wotton Hatch, Wotton

Why are you all complaining? It's a Vintage bloody Inn. What on earth do you expect?

22 Oct 2006 01:40

The Arkle Manor, Betchworth

I can only imagine that it's taken till now for this pub to get into BITE because no-one went in in its Harvester days, and that it's now such a celebration of pretentious tosserishness that no self respecting BITE reader can bring themseves to visit. Well we gave it a go and lasted all of 90 seconds. Barely distiguishable from the equally dreadful Jolly Farmers down the road, the inside looks, and unfortunately smells like a branch of World of Leather, all horrid low sofas and bare floors. Usual ostentatious anti-smoking policy you get in these places. And don't get me started on the nonsensical gibberish that is the menu. There's a section called 'Leaves' right, so that's what we did, and went to the Dolphin.

21 Oct 2006 18:22

The Anchor, Wisley

I can only imagine that the reason this pub makes money is the superb location by the canal, and that the many punters who come to sit outside on summer afternoons tolerate the shameful mediocrity that they are offered within. The first thing that greets you is an odour of stale fat combined with staler cigarette smoke. Then you notice the sticky tables and full ashtrays, and the scabby dog allowed to run around after its ball thrown by similarly scabby owner. Clearly eating here is out of the question if you desire a long life. Drinking is problematical too. Badger related beers, should be fine but the pint I had was tired, flat and far too cold. And they don't sell something as basic as orange juice. The guy before me at the bar was offered some luminous bottle of chemicals of the Sunny Delight persuasion, which he sensibly declined. I hate to say it but this would be better if it were a Vintage Inn. At least they do mediocre well. The management here clearly don't give a shit, relying on the ready made trade generated by the location.

1 Oct 2006 18:51

The Harrow Inn, Caterham

Now much improved, clean and tidy, warm welcome. Used to suffer from the white van disease but now too posh for them - truth be told that's not difficult to achieve but too many publicans seem content to cater for a few loud swearing shaven headed fat bastards at the expense of everyone else.

Anyway a nice mix in the Harrow now, young and old, reasonably priced food, good beer range, Ringwood in top condition. Worth a visit, great spot to base a walk from.

3 Sep 2006 14:52

The Good Companions, Warlingham

Big 30s suburban roadhouse, from the outside you would quite rightly expect a Beerfeater/Harvester with all the doom and gloom that that implies. Inside it's not so bad, a family oriented locals' pub with popular restaurant out the back. It cetainly no longer attracts the particularly murderous end of the white van market - a reputation it is trying hard to shake off.

Worth a visit for the Westerham beer alone, in very good nick if a little warm to my taste.

26 Aug 2006 16:38

Watermill Inn, Dorking

Brewer's Tudor 30s roadhouse on the edge of town, currently one of Spirit Group's Chef and Brewer branded eateries, so the usual stuff. I expect it was nice once. By the way, what is a welsh rarebit baked potato? A baked potato with cheese on toast? Never mind, the only possible reason for going here is to sit out on the terrace on a summer's afternoon enjoying the view over to Box Hill. For some reason the oudoor furniture is bolted down. Didn't think Dorking was like that.

Ostentatious no-smoking notices all over the place. Not that you'll stay long enough to want a fag anyway.

25 Aug 2006 18:30

The Smith and Western, Boxhill

What on earth is this doing here in the Box Hill caravan site wasteland? You wouldn't guess there's a gorgeous beauty spot nearby. A wooden structure with a faux American diner/saloon inside. Walk in, most of it is laid up for eating, even outside, but anyway the bar is to the right. Order two pints. No way - they don't sell pints. You can either have a half or a two pint jug and two half pint glasses. Sod that. You're already getting the feeling you don't want to be here. but order two halves anyway now you are. That's over three quid they've just lost because of the no pints dickheadery. Calm down a bit.

Once you've calmed down a bit you could look at the menu, but approach with caution. It's nine quid for a burger. That's nine quid right? For a burger? In a wooden hut with paper tablecloths? Full of screaming chav kids who think this is dining out?

You don't want to be here.

25 Aug 2006 18:15

The Kings Arms, Dorking

Nice pub but as others say too smoky..and I'm a smoker. And the beer was in poor shape, too warm and tired. I realy hope I caught it on an off day.

19 Aug 2006 18:19

The Hay Waggon Inn, Hartfield

The best of the three round here I reckon, by a short head over the Anchor as far as lunchtime goes. Need an evening trip to separate them properly but again, well worht a visit

13 Aug 2006 19:33

The Anchor Inn, Hartfield

Came here after finding the Dorset Arms allegedy shut and well worth the slight detour it was too. Absolutely delicious Harvey's and friendly service. Well worth a look.

13 Aug 2006 19:27

The Dorset Arms, Withyham Hartfield

3:30, Sunday afternoon. Enter busy bar, people with full pints. Girlie behind bar asks if she can help us, which she does by telling us she 'stopped serving' at 3PM.

It *looks* like it could well be a 9 pointer, but shutting to passing trade on a summer Sunday afternoon...is this place run for the punters, or for the staff and their friends?

13 Aug 2006 19:22

Barley Mow, Banbury

Useful loos if you get caught short along this stretch of road. No other reason to visit unless you are unfutunately landed with it as your local.

7 Aug 2006 12:09

The Walnut Tree, Lillington

It was open when we passed yesterday...haven't been in for years because it was so dreadful, though it looks like it's been tidied up a bit. Must take a look next time I'm in the area.

7 Aug 2006 10:40

The George and Dragon, Fritwell

What on earth are they playing at here? 1:15 on a Saturday lunchtime and we're the only customers beyond two kids playing pool to loud music. You could be in a bus station cafeteria what with the bare white walls and redundant works canteen tables and chairs. The makeshift bar has only the basics, I doubt that liquid of any form has passed through the handpumps this year or last. And a completely unappetizing menu for those brave enough - cheesey chips anyone? Surreally the only other car in the car park was a recent model Jag.

Don't go there.

7 Aug 2006 10:36

The Trout Inn, Wolvercote

The trouble with the Trout is that it's a Vintage Inn, which is a great pity. You get what you deserve if you must use these places.

At least they put a sign up to warn you off.

31 Jul 2006 11:20

The Plough, Byfleet

From the outside it looks like a typical sticky carpet job but appearances can indeed be deceptive. Very friendly welcome then super range of beers in excellent nick, not cheap but then we are in one of the richest corners of Europe. Food prices, strangely, below what you'd expect round here. Well worth an expedition.

30 Jul 2006 19:34

The Chequers, Walton On The Hill

All very pleasant, typical Young's offering. It's not really a 'typical village local', Walton is too suburban for that these days, more a typical upmarket suburban roadhouse in traditional brewer's tudor.

29 Jul 2006 16:36

The Running Horses, Mickleham

Pleasant enough place for a pint, better than the Stepping Stones but they don't need to try very hard to do that. Standard expensive Surrey menu, don't ask me why people eat in these places when you can go to a proper restaurant with proper service and better food for less money.

29 Jul 2006 16:24

The Gate House, Wallingford

If you think the Boathouse is bad try here....

26 Jul 2006 12:51

The Boathouse, Wallingford

It could be so much better, it really could. OK to sit outside in the afternoon but forget evenings. Needs to go up a couple of classes to scare the chavs away.

26 Jul 2006 12:17

The George Hotel, Wallingford

The George is famed in the town for its dreadful standard of function catering, anyone who's been to a do there will tell you. But the bar isn't too bad, usual hotelish range and pricey for what it is and there's a nice courtyard for hot days.

26 Jul 2006 12:13

The Royal Oak, Windsor

Nice to sit outside on a hot day while waiting for a train or the boat to the races. Otherwise a bog standard pub of the sort in which Windsor seems to specialize - not much you can say for it, not much you can say against.

25 Jul 2006 10:37

The Edgar Wallace, Temple

Nothing really special inside but being down a quiet corner makes it better than some of the other choices around here. Decent selection of beer in good nick even on a baking hot day.

20 Jul 2006 11:09

The Star Inn, Ringwood

Attactive enough pub with pleasant selection of locals, unfortunately all squeezed into the back bar because the front is no smoking. Doubles as a Chinese retaurant/take away. Not a place for the kids to go and enjoy themselves but fine for everyone else.

9 Jul 2006 19:24

Finn M'Couls, Ringwood

Once a old coaching inn, now gutted to be a fake Irish pub. Don't ask me why.

Anyway don't go there, there's far better pubs in Ringwood than this.

9 Jul 2006 19:19

The Dolphin, Betchworth

Not too bad today though I'd rather go back to the old regime. Don't turn up looking for just a snack on a Sunday any more. For some unfathomable and infurating reason known only to pub managers you've got to have a Proper Meal or make do with crisps.

The rest of the week is fine, sandwiches and whatnot. But not Sunday lunch.

9 Jul 2006 19:09

The Prince Regent, Herne Hill

Review in the Observer today recommends it for "boisterous Sunday lunches when the kids run rampant"

No points there then.

25 Jun 2006 19:24

The Black Horse, Reigate

Weird. You think you've gone into a department store furniture showroom by mistake.

Gastropub pretensions, so horridly expensive, a fiver for a bowl of tomato soup, I ask you. Standard beer range. But it is clean and tidy and they are nice to you. Not worth an expedition considering the outstanding alternatives hereabouts.

24 Jun 2006 19:18

The Langdon Beck Hotel, Forest-in-Teesdale

Great pub in remote, spectacular setting. Two nice cozy bars with good beer selection, dining room at the side. It seems to have got bigger since I last visited 25 years ago, strange that but I do remember the beer was nice then....some brilliant walking around here.

21 Jun 2006 14:07

The High Force Hotel, Forest-in Teesdale

Splendidly situated in a well known beauty spot. Nothing really special inside, but a nice range of beers. I suspect it get horribly crowded with coach parties sometimes. You can avoid paying to see the waterfall simply by crossing the bridge about half a mile downstream and walking up the other side of the river. Indeed carrying on to the next bridge and working your way back is a very pleasant way of working up a thirst.

21 Jun 2006 13:56

The Cherry Trees, South Norwood

I agree with londonse25, it is pretty grim. Just like the Jolly Sailor.

19 Jun 2006 21:33

The Jolly Sailor, South Norwood

Nice ad, pity about the pub.

19 Jun 2006 21:30

Miners Arms, Nenthead

Only pub for several miles in any direction in remote village high up in the Pennines. Eighteenth century but it's difficult to tell due to rather 70s style refurbishment. However the beer's nice and everyone's friendly and it's handy for the mining museum across the way. Even handier after a long tramp over the hills on a baking hot day!

19 Jun 2006 17:07

The George and Dragon Inn, Garrigill

This one's a cracker, surprised I'm the first to suggest it. Unspoilt old pub on village green, nothing's changed much for years. Nice range of beers, Black Sheep etc and food OK. Only drawback, as we found to our dismay after walking about ten very hot miles is that it's shut on Tuesday afternoons. We tried again the next night and they were soon forgiven.

19 Jun 2006 16:56

The Coach House Inn, Alston

Although advertised outside as a pub it is far more of a hotel bar than perhaps it would like to admit, and is mainly meant for feeding the hotel guests when the restaurant is shut, which is most of the time. Very little passing trade, and no regulars. Furnished for eating, not drinking but..clean and tidy, friendly staff, log fire, nice garden. Food OK though a bit pretentious and keenly priced but off-puttingly large portions. I wonder if they wonder why they sell so little dessert.
A handpump exists but was not used in the three nights we stayed. The hotel side of things is fine, by the way.

19 Jun 2006 16:36

Alston House, Alston

Big old building, looks like it's had a recent conversion into being a hotel, with work still to be done. Too much of the bare boards look to my taste. Nice Black Sheep and food OK despite a certain pretentiousness in the menu writing department.

19 Jun 2006 14:55

The Victoria Inn, Alston

Basic pub on main street, friendly landlady. Popular with 'lads from village' so can seem a bit intimdating. Not the place for quiet relaxation.

19 Jun 2006 14:44

Indigo Alley, Scarborough

Nice selection of beers in fairly basic surroundings. Don't let the silly name kid you into thinking it's going to be full of pissed teenagers, fortunately not that sort of pub. A welcome haven from the town centre chaos.

19 Jun 2006 14:32

Coombe Lodge, Croydon

Another wretched Out and Out. Caters for the easily pleased and those residents of the bolted-on travelodge who are too lazy to get the tram into town.

19 Jun 2006 14:15

Jack Beards, Islington

Formerly the Oakley Arms.
Unreconstructed neigbourhood pub in desolate area away from the main drag. Fine for what it is, staff friendly and beer OK. Interesting decorative features in the gents and, I am told, the ladies.

8 Jun 2006 13:11

The Spring Tavern, Ewell

Ember Inn now. Looks like it was great once. Pity.

27 May 2006 21:37

The Reef Bar, Victoria Station

Now shut. Never mind...

21 May 2006 19:22

The Barley Mow, Tandridge

Go through the front door and you are confronted with a sea of tables laid up for eating. But don't give up, carry on and you find a proper country local at the back. Badger beers in good nick, and yes, a nice take on tapas as well as a poor take on punctuation.

21 May 2006 19:21

Wetherspoons, Victoria Station

Clean toilets???? You are kidding? I fear to think what your idea of dirty ones is like!

18 May 2006 10:49

The Fox, Caterham

Oh for crying out loud it's a Vintage Inn. What on earth do you lot expect?

8 May 2006 23:01

The Red Lion, Betchworth

Every single table laid up for eating at four on a Sunday afternoon so you've got to take your drink outside if you want to sit down. In fact no-one at all was inside eating, not surprisingly considering the eye-watering prices, 10 quid for a roast dinner. No chance of a sandwich. If they want a restaurant why don't they go and open a sodding restaurant rather than have a pretend pub? On those prices I'd expect proper restaurant service rather than order at the bar then some kid slaps it on your table half an hour later. And the beer was cloudy.

7 May 2006 19:45

The Mash Tun, Victoria Station

Dreadfull, but it's near the bogs and is still open after the Bonapartes shuts if you need a quick half and can't face the Wetherspoons.

7 May 2006 01:01

The Kenley Hotel, Kenley

Scratch through the grime and you'll find a Victorian station hotel/coaching inn under the surface. Despite many alterations a lot of original features are still visible, like the ornate carved back bar, iron pillars and fireplaces. With sympathetic management this would be a gem, however the reality is the usual sticky carpet local boozer popular with the local alkies but ignored by everyone else. Real ale in principle but it's very likely to be 'off' one way or the other.

6 May 2006 19:32

The Club Bar, Victoria

There is one quiet refuge on the station which 99% of punters would never think of using. Used to be the Harvard Bar in the Grosvenor Hotel but the branding consultants have gratuitously renamed it all. Very comfortable, leather seats, wood panelling, rowing theme, not changed in years so doubtless the refurbishers are waiting in the wings. Eyewateringly expensive, as London hotel bars are, no real ale, rich tourists to laugh at, but for all that a very pleasant oasis if you've got half an hour to kill. Contrast and compare with the Wetherspoons!

6 May 2006 10:58

The Dew Drop Inn, Hurley

Seeming far more remote than it really is being down the end of a narrow lane, once there you've found one of Brakespear's finest. Very much a pub rather than a restaurant, popular with walkers and cyclists. Indeeed with half a dozen pubs within a mile or so the area is excellent for a two-wheeled pub wobble.

Well worth seeking out - clearly signed off the main road at Hurley.

1 May 2006 18:32

The Mint, Banstead

Q - 'what sort of person takes a 3 year old into a pub?????'

A - someone who uses Vintage Inns. Another good reason to steer clear of them.

10 Apr 2006 14:39

The Castle, Outwood

Best of the three pubs round here. Remarkably pubby for Surrey, plenty of space given over to drinking - the refurbishers must have been having a bad day. Pleasant staff and clientele - the pretentious 4x4 tossers and their screaming kids tend to use the Bell. Harveys top notch. Well worth seeking out.

9 Apr 2006 18:31

The Inn on the Green, Tadworth

Scruffy, smokey and dingy, everything painted black. In desperate need of a refurb, which would give something for the vast number of white van drivers who patronise the place something useful to do. I hate to say it but the Vintage Inn up the road is a better choice.

8 Apr 2006 18:41

The Shy Horse, Chessington

That Posh and Becks eat at Vintage Inns says a lot about Posh and Becks.

6 Apr 2006 11:44

The Star, Malden Rushett

Get ever so busy though not clear why as it's all a bit scruffy. Maybe the large number of White Vans outside explains it. Bog standard beer choice. I suppose it's not the Shy Horse which can only be a plus.

6 Apr 2006 11:42

The Wotton Hatch, Wotton

One day I'll figure out why people even bother stopping. You know exactly what you are going to get from a Vintage Inn, and they helpfully put a big sign outside to warn you off.

6 Apr 2006 11:27

The Kings Head, Holmbury St Mary

Not the easiest pub to find and don't even think about parking anywhere near at busy times. Largely given over to food but there remains a proper drinking area with an excellent selection of mainly local brews. Not the best pub in the area but then again there is some cracking competition round here. Worth seeking out.

6 Apr 2006 11:19

The Two Brewers, Croydon

Nice pub in an out of the way corner, you won't do any better in this end of town

3 Apr 2006 13:03

The Blue Ball, Walton On The Hill

Apart from one exception the pubs are a mediocre bunch around here. The one could be so much better with its superb setting. Beer is not too bad though, Harveys last time I went

3 Apr 2006 13:01

The Olive Tree, Jacobs Well

Externally rather suburban given the semi-rural setting, internally it has suffered the standard gastropub refit, wood panelling painted pastel shades, bare floor, horrid sofas. If you're a Pretentious Tosser it's home from home. Only pretentious tossers would pay nine quid for ham egg and chips....but the beer's fine, Harvey's and Landlord, though if you just want a drink you'll be pushed to find a seat away from the noisy PTs and their screaming kids. Not worth a diversion, let alone a special trip, but if you must go its not easy to find, follow the sign for Sutton Green from Jacobs Well.

2 Apr 2006 17:45

Wetherspoons, Victoria Station

Going steadily downhill, getting really scruffy with clientele to match, allow half an hour even if you want a quick half, the service now really is shocking. The Worst Wetherspoon In The World is probably the one in West St in Brighton. This one will run it a close second if it gets any worse.

31 Mar 2006 13:54

The Crown, Groombridge

Clicky?

31 Mar 2006 12:20

The Morning Star, Cholsey

Oh dear. Stopped by about 4PM on a wet midweek afternoon. Scruffy, smelly bar populated by a few local alkies spending their benefit money and the barman playing darts against himself. The fake Morlands was OK though.

13 Mar 2006 13:38

The Bear Inn, North Moreton

Called in on a Saturday lunchtime after a break of many years. Not the village local I remember, of course.

Severely, and pretentiously, food orientated, and full of pretentious 4x4 type families with screaming babies and kids running around out of control. However you don't feel too out of place just having a drink of the nice range of beers, although I suspect the sight of even an unlit fag would cause flamboyant arm waving and coughing fits all round.

It might well be alright after about 10PM when all the foodies have gone home to bed.

13 Mar 2006 13:28

The Dolphin, Wallingford

Not the best Wallingford can manage but not bad for a town centre pub. Pity it's Greene King now, but the fake Morlands is OK.

13 Mar 2006 13:16

Crosskeys, Wallingford

Just been back in after a longish gap - still much the same as it was in the days of those first under-age (sorry Joe) drinks there thirty years ago. As good a local as you could wish for.

13 Mar 2006 13:13

The Ramblers Rest, Chipstead

I take back what I said about the clientele, clearly reasoned debate is beyond them. Down to nil points.

A Moron.

20 Feb 2006 10:12

The Botley Hill Farmhouse, Warlingham

Its main attraction is seventies tribute bands and acts that attract a similar audience, Chas and Dave, that sort of thing, in a marquee at the back, very popular amongst the Croydon Mondeo owning classes it is too.

However even if you can't stand the thought of all of that as a pub it isn't bad, olde worlde stuff, log fires and beams, respectable range of beers, food the Vintage Inn (despite it isn't one) type stodge appreciated by the punters attending the above. Nice to sit outside in the summer for the views but it is a very exposed spot in winter, you can get blown away just walking from the car.

12 Feb 2006 18:39

Amet Haveli, Udaipur

Another lovely spot, in a garden by the lakeside. Popular with locals, very cheap though the kitchen looked a bit iffy. Kingfisher.

6 Feb 2006 16:28

Jagat Niwas, Udaipur

Old building well worth seeking out in the labyrinth that is Udaipur, the rooftop terrace is the perfect place for a sundowner overlooking the lake. Good food here as well, and the rooms are excellent value. Kingfisher.

6 Feb 2006 16:10

Ajit Bhawan, Jodhpur

Lovely old wood panelled bar is an oasis in what is a pretty crummy city by anyone' standards. Gorgeous gardens if you want to siz outside, and the food is good, too. Kingfisher.

6 Feb 2006 13:04

The Cavalry Bar, New Delhi

Considering the Maidens is a 'Heritage Hotel' the bar is rather a let down, rather small and stark though the service is friendly enough and it's not expensive. Kingfisher.

6 Feb 2006 12:56

1911 Bar, New Delhi

If if you can't afford to stay at the Imperial the bars are as good as it gets in India. Wood panelling, stained glass, very atmospheric. Popular with rich locals as well as visitors. Not overly expensive by our standards. Draught Kingfisher as well as genuine Bedford brewed Cobra amongst the wide range.

6 Feb 2006 12:49

The Cricketers, Cobham

Don't be too hard on it, it could be a lot worse. It could be a lot cheaper as well but we are in one of the most prosperous corners of Europe, so I guess the punters don't mind paying over a tenner for fish and chips or twelve quid for a roast dinner. Or a hundred quid for dinner for two on St Valentine's Day. No chance of a simple sandwich. Location superb, bar areas cosy enough, and the beer range has improved, Hogs Back and Gales (catch it while you can) at the moment. If it abandoned its gastropub pretensions it would be a cracker. Stop by if you're passing but don't make a trip of it.

5 Feb 2006 19:35

The Clifton Arms, Caterham

Don't worry about the dull suburban exterior, there's an Aladdin's Cave of mainly military memorabilia inside - until recently there was a big Guards barracks nearby. Worth a trip just for that. Nice if bog standard Pride, Adams etc and real cider. Very comfortable old fashioned pub, thankfully untouched by the refurbishment brigade.

5 Feb 2006 12:03

The Bulls Head, Reigate

One of Reigate's better offerings, perfect for a cosy retreat from the shops on a bitterly cold day. A bit more imagination on the beer front (ie chuck out GK IPA) and we'd be getting into the 'not worth a detour but stop by if you're passing' zone

30 Jan 2006 13:47

The Market Hotel, Reigate

They've got two Bill King beers at the moment but if I were Bill King I'd pull them from this pub. Beer in poor nick and the barman clearly had no idea what he was doing. As others have said the pub needs a sort out.

30 Jan 2006 13:37

The Tickled Trout, Wye

Very nice spot, pity it closes in the afternoons

17 Jan 2006 14:08

The Queens Arms, South Kensington

I have never, in twenty five years of working accrss the road fro it, heard it called the Three Legged Dog.

16 Jan 2006 11:10

The Woodman, Woodmansterne

They do try hard - everything kept neat, nice garden, beer always up to scratch. Food the usual vast portions of stodge you get in chain pubs - why these places insist you want a vast plate of chips with your sandwich is beyond me.

What lets it down however it the large group of Kevs and Traceys permanently congregated round the bar making it difficult to get served even when the pub is quiet.

16 Jan 2006 11:06

Dukes Head, Brockham

Could be anywhere really. Have a quick one so you can say you've been then retire to the Oak.

16 Jan 2006 10:36

The Ramblers Rest, Chipstead

Much improved. All signs of branding gone though the beer was cold, tired, flat, and included Pride and GK IPA, all sure signs of of a managed chain pub. The clientele seems to have taken a welcome step up market as well. However some previous comments still apply - this pub is still all fur coat and no knickers. Would give it five points now but dock it two for the no smoking policy.

11 Dec 2005 19:31

The Well House Inn, Mugswell

Still shut but it's not obvious what's going on. Lights are still on, table umbrellas deployed. Wierd.

11 Dec 2005 19:23

The Tudor Rose (Harvester), Coulsdon

Why are the few pubs in this area so dreadful. At least this one doesn't have the pretensions of the Vintage Inn down the road. They know they're shite and don't care. Tables with half eaten meals left on them for hours, ashtrays overflowing. I've been to better motorway services. No real ale.

10 Dec 2005 18:50

The Sloe Bar, Victoria Station

Now sells beer again after two weeks so back to 5 points

8 Dec 2005 16:55

The Mint Arms, Lower Kingswood

Now closed, to be redeveloped as housing

6 Dec 2005 13:58

The Lamb Inn, Ringwood

Bog standard town pub, could be anywhere really.

6 Dec 2005 13:21

Railway Hotel, Ringwood

Nothing's changed here, apart form the beer, for a good 30 years. Well worth a pint or six.

6 Dec 2005 13:17

The Queens Head, Cubbington

Ok regulars' pub - nothing special though perfectly friendly. Does get too smoky even for me, and I'm a smoker.

2 Dec 2005 16:06

The Sloe Bar, Victoria Station

No draught beer for the last week and £3.35 for a bottle of warm Becks is outrageous. Looks like Compass really are on the skids.

Down to 0 points unless they get some beer again.

30 Nov 2005 16:59

The Well House Inn, Mugswell

Considering the amount of front of house socialising that went on I'm not especially surprised.

25 Nov 2005 13:28

The Greyhound, Carshalton

First visit since they did it up a few years ago. As usual with pub refurbishments, why? Getting rid of all the separate rooms is always a mistake. Beer is fine.

21 Nov 2005 12:48

The Abinger Arms, Abinger Hammer

It does indeed make a welcome change, whith the kind of scruffyness that disappeared from most pubs round here years ago. Beer is fine and the food looks OK, though a bit dear considering the surroundings. However you can tell the sort of area it is when even here they can get away with advertising Christmas Dinner for £35 a head

21 Nov 2005 12:02

The Mint, Banstead

No standing at the bar... but it's a Vintage Inn - the last thing anyone would want to do would be to stand at the bar and have a drink. Mind you there is little else you would want to do in a Vintage Inn. Use the loo I suppose, but even that is cleary a worry.

8 Oct 2005 18:47

The Jolly Farmers, Betchworth

Well it is different! Not clear why Vintage Inns got rid of it, it always seemed popular enough with the type of people who like Vintage Inns. No loss. I suspect when it beds down it's going to attract the more repulsive end of the foody market - the sort who write in the Observer mag, you know who you are, and won't be the place for those who want a beer and a sandwich, who will be with me in the Dolphin.

Anyway a lovely pint of Landlord. I gave it three points as a Vintage Inn. It would be worth seven but for being ostentatiously non-smoking, so it gets only five.

2 Oct 2005 18:45

The Cock Inn, Headley

Much improved now it's been done up a bit, but that isn't difficult. Nice pint of Harveys but menu too restauranty - no chance of a simple sandwich.

1 Oct 2005 18:39

The Horse and Groom, Caulcott

Very nice but very small old thatched pub, delicious bacon sandwich and pint of Brakspears. CAMRA oriented so other beers (eg Hook Norton)doubtless on good form Main course menu looked OK as well Makes a far more satisfying break from the M40 than the nearby services.

19 Sep 2005 17:01

Willow Walk, Victoria

Both times I have gone in here I've come out ten minutes later having failed to get served. Not worth missing your train for.

8 Sep 2005 13:16

The Coulsdon Manor Hotel, Coulsdon

Victorian manor house which has long been a four star hotel plus golf course. The bar itself is standard posh hotel, no surprises there, but the attraction is the patio outside which is very pleasant on a summer's evening with lovely views over the golf course. Not excessively dear if you are used to Surrey pub prices.

8 Sep 2005 13:06

The Hoop and Toy, South Kensington

The 'Oop. What can you say for it? - Well it sells drinks and it's right on top of the station. And against? Well it attracts exactly the sort of clientele you expect in pubs next to stations. Don't ask me why people eat cooked food in these sort of pubs, which almost by definition showcase the true nature of the British mass catering industry. But they do.

28 Aug 2005 19:42

The Prince Albert, Bletchingley

Rambling old pub with rambling old locals. Bigger than you think, nice garden out the back. Unusual range of beers, certainly worth a stop if you're passing this way.

27 Aug 2005 19:17

The Plough, Leigh

Attractive old pub on the village green. Proper unpretentious public bar, other side more of a restaurant, food not too ponced up considering this is Surrey. Ex King and Barnes pub. Worth a detour.

21 Aug 2005 17:52

The Seven Stars, Leigh

Most of it is gastropubby for my tastes but there is a proper smokers' bar on the left hand side. Unimaginative beer range and don't bother if you want a basic sandwich. However in an area with a lot of decent pubs this one is very attractive and not to be left out if you are having a tour round.

21 Aug 2005 17:46

The Stepping Stones, Westhumble

Yet another unfortunate refurbishment. All opened out and painted in stupid pastel colours which were trendy for ten minutes a couple of years ago. Trying to be a gastropub where it ought to be a village local/walkers pub. Nice pint of Ringwood Best mind you but far better pubs than this locally to try first. Five points, would be an eight pointer if it went back to being a proper pub.

20 Aug 2005 11:16

The Leather Exchange, Borough

Indeed strangley out of place for where it is, the result of an ill-advised refurbishment by Fullers. However as is said below that doesn't stop the customers treating it like the locals' pub is should be rather than the gastro wine bar it aspires to be. Certainly worth a look if you fancy a change from the many other decent (some outstanding) choices hereabouts.

4 Aug 2005 10:11

The Compasses Inn, Gomshall

Nothing much wrong here, perfectly good stop on a particularly well pubbed stretch of road. Nice garden by the river, good range of beers, no pretensions in the food department. Could do with a lick of paint. In some areas it would be considered worth a trip out to but here there are several better options nearby. As I say worth a stop if you are passing but I must mark it down slightly to be fair to the competition.

30 Jul 2005 18:41

The Lamb, Rusper

Typical old English pub in a out of the way corner, well worth seeking out, especially for the Bill King beers. The food is pretty good as well. Would be a 9 pointer but for closing in the afternoons.

25 Jul 2005 13:52

The Prince Regent, South Kensington

I should have said Prince Regent but 'Price' is pretty accurate

1 Jul 2005 13:00

The Prince Regent, South Kensington

Now refurbished and renamed The Price Regent

1 Jul 2005 12:59

Gloucester Arms, Knightsbridge

Now refurbished and reverted to its original name of The Gloucester.

1 Jul 2005 12:59

The Well House Inn, Mugswell

They do need to sort the dog issue out - it just isn't on to stroke the dogs then carry on serving food and drink without washing hands first - something that they do all the time I'm afraid. Pity.

16 May 2005 14:33

The Regency Tavern, Brighton

No problems here. Locals' pub with mixed clientele out of the way of the vast crowds of dickheads who decend on Brighton at weekends. Beers spot on, only gripe is, as with so many pubs these days, roast dinners only for Sunday lunch. Well worht a visit.

16 May 2005 13:30

The Bright Helm, Brighton

I agree with the last poster - I didn't think Wetherspoons got this bad. Filthy dirty, feet stick to the floor, bad beer - only one real ale on the other day, bogs smelling of puke, all this at 1PM on a Saturday lunch.

16 May 2005 13:22

The Smugglers, Brighton

Usual vertical drinking emporium for the usual Brighton weekend clientele. No real ale.

16 May 2005 13:14

The Vineyard, Lamberhurst

Is it a pub or is it a restaurant? Well there is a tiny bar complete with chavs sitting at the counter smoking but the rest of the place, which is owned by the vineyard, is given over to food. They claim to be a gastropub, so everything fancied up in oversized soup plates, £6-50 for a sandwich and so on which is all very well if you get to eat it. We were told to take a table and they would come and take our food order. Nobody did for forty minutes despite us being sat right by the
counter. They then quoted a forty-five minute wait on top before we got fed. Of course we had long since given up any hope and had resorted to crisps for lunch. And they weren't the slightest bit apologetic for such dire service. So two points only for a delicious pint of Harveys.

3 May 2005 11:30

The Crown, Groombridge

Fine pub well worth a visit. Nice beer but £6.50 for a panini? I think not. If it didn't sell food it would be a ten pointer, but I drop it down to six for daylight robbery.

2 May 2005 17:17

The Crown, Capel

This pub could quite easily be 100 times better than it is. Rambling old building with two tiny bars and far too much space given over to the Greek (why..?) restaurant. Public bar given over to under age drinkers, the grown ups go next door. Impossible to get near the counter in either because they insist on crowding round it but there is a nice range of ales which you'd be better off taking into the pleasant garden if you want to escape the loud music. And it is very expensive even by Surrey standards. Only stop if you happen to be passing and need the loos.

24 Apr 2005 18:09

The Surrey Oaks, Newdigate

Excellent multi-roomed old pub - unlike too many rural pubs not given over entirely to eating - you don't feel out of place if you just want a drink and a smoke - anyway excellent food and range of beers, delicious Timothy Taylor's Landord. Well worth a trip out.

16 Apr 2005 18:22

The Horseshoe Inn, London Bridge

Not as bad as it looks considering the scruffy surroundings and the electric soup brigade from the nearby hostel assembled outside. Nice range of real ales and the food if OK. Not worth seeking out considering the choice of pubs in the area.

10 Apr 2005 15:01

The Dukes Head, Tadworth

Certainly the best of the three pubs along this stretch of road. Somewhat curious refurbishment, must admit I preferred the genuine thirties roadhouse interior.

8 Mar 2005 16:51

The Blue Anchor, Tadworth

Bears all the symptoms of being a Vintage Inn without advertising it as such - maybe M&B are doing a bit of unbranding. Anyway usual fakery like four different types of chair, one of each round each table, mediocre food and drink. The Dukes Head is much better.

8 Mar 2005 16:48

The Sloe Bar, Victoria Station

Small bar very convenient for the Brighton platforms. No real ale and ever so dear but the location and pleasant staff considering where we are compensate.

9 Feb 2005 13:20

The Bell Inn, Outwood

Recently taken over and refurbished by Fullers. Now more pubby than it was, less emphasis on prissy food. 17 Century building that didn't need a refurb, but they can't resist it can they? Worth a run out.

9 Feb 2005 13:15

The Hole In The Wall, Waterloo

I absolutely agree, the'Ole is a one off. Nothing much has changed (including some of the customers) in the 25 years I've known it and I suspect little in the 25 years before that.

3 Feb 2005 10:24

The Midday Sun, Chipstead

I did post a comment pointing out that it's a Hungry Horse so you get pretty much what you'd expect from this particularly hopeless pub chain - but it got deleted - maybe I wasn't subtle enough.....

3 Jan 2005 17:49

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