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The Black Lion, Hammersmith

We had high expectations of this pub, but felt badly let down. Maybe because of its lovely location, it feels it just doesn’t need to try hard (and regrettably, that may be the case).

We planned to spend a day by the river, as a group. The Black Lion’s website clearly said (and probably still does) it opens at 11:00 on Saturdays; but when we arrived, we were told it did not open until 12:00 — and the staff (already in the bar but not serving) were bordering on rude, offering no apology and all but accusing us of lying.

The selection of beer/cider is nothing special, and very pricey. Our sandwiches had delicious filling but dry bread. And perhaps the worst thing is the women’s loos — these would be totally inadequate, even in good working order; but one of the two cubicles was out of order. The resulting queue left little room for hand-washing at the sinks — an unpleasant experience.

Despite the surroundings and the pleasant interior decor, we will not be visiting again.

8 Sep 2013 16:15

The Forester, West Ealing

What a lovely place — definitely our find of the year so far! We went yesterday, when there was a very well run beer/cider festival and craft fair, and the atmosphere was great.

In the pub itself, the service is exceptionally friendly and efficient. It’s spacious and comfortable, and there’s a decent choice of food. Perhaps the only downside is that the women’s loos, though clean and well maintained, seem a bit on the inadequate side for such a large place (though I may have missed the fact that there’s more than one).

We live on the other side of London, and we’ll definitely make the journey again. If we lived nearer, we’d be there much more often.

8 Sep 2013 16:01

The Queens Head, St Pancras

This really deserves the term “hidden gem” — a real discovery! Lovely interior, relaxed atmosphere and exceptionally friendly service (even on a pre-Christmas Saturday afternoon, with a large party going on). There’s an excellent selection of both “real” and craft beers and ciders. Food is, very wisely, kept basic but very high quality, with an emphasis on generous portions for sharing.

The only slight downside is that the loos, while clean and well maintained, could do with a bit of refurbishment (like a cistern in the ladies’ that doesn’t take ages to refill between flushes — not great when there’s only room for one loo for all the females in the pub).

However, that will on no way deter us from making this a regular venue. It’s already claimed a place in our top 5 for the year.

16 Dec 2012 08:39

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Lizzie13 has been registered on this site since 12th September 2010