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Latest comments by Kroeginspekteur

The Earley Retreat, Lower Earley

I first visited the Earley Retreat a few months ago. On that occasion I found the beer rather strange-tasting, but gave them the benefit of the doubt. The other day I went back and experienced the same problem. It was different beer on both visits, which leads me to believe that the pub isn't storing its beer properly and/or maintaining the pipework well enough. I didn't bother complaining as it was only a half - I just grimaced and necked it quickly. Also, by that stage, I wasn't confident that a replacement beverage would have been any different, given the place's track record.

The food is OK - you get what you pay for. The staff - or at least the barman who served me - was friendly enough, but both he and the chef looked rather unprofessional in sitting down out front at all opportunities to chat with their mates (a habit that has been noted by other posters).

I'm sure the pub would attract more people (and on both occasions I was there it seemed to be slightly lacking in custom) if the managers raised their game in both front-of-house and cellar management.

10 Apr 2012 16:20

The Highwayman Hotel, Kidlington

I went to the Highwayman a few days ago and was a little disappointed with the service. This was mainly to do with the fact that the barmaid did not honour the order of service at the bar: I had been waiting patiently for at least ten minutes when a local interrupted the barmaid and asked for a drink. He promptly got served before me.

I've nothing against locals propping up the bar - after all many pubs would probably go to the wall without them. However the rules of courtesy should apply in all situations, and in my book the barmaid was wrong to apply favouritism here. It looked even worse that the favouritism was not even concealed, but was obvious to everybody standing around.

On an unrelated note, if you have young children, the neglected gap in the fence (leading directly to the river) could well cause you fret rather than relax over your pint...

The Highwayman is a pub I won't be going back to in a hurry.

13 Feb 2010 13:28

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Kroeginspekteur has been registered on this site since 13th February 2010