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Gibraltar Castle, Batford

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user reviews of the Gibraltar Castle, Batford

please note - reviews on this site are purely the opinion of site visitors, so don't take them too seriously.

I have known this pub for many years but never visited it regularly as it never felt quite right. It shutdown around the time of the Euros but there are now signs of activity. Hopefully the intention is to re-open it rather than develop it (prime location opposite a green and a river). However what it will need is a good landlord/landlady. The last landlords were out of their depth (they were temporary), the previous landlady cliquey and even 25 years ago unfriendly. Also the beer has only ever been average. Lots of unfulfilled potential though.
StephenM123 - 23 Sep 2016 12:36
The beer was of reasonable quality, but had to wait an absolute age for the food, which was not worth it.
Paying top price for fish and chips and only getting what can be best described as a pensioners portion is not good.
The only time I got a smile from any of the staff was when she handed back my credit card and receipt.
A return visit? NO.
Phantom_Pigeon - 26 May 2014 14:37
Always pop in here after ordering our meals from the nearby Indian takeaway (recommended) for a beer before heading back and picking the food up.

The beer are always in very good condition and it's nice to find a decent pint of ESB. As has already been said, the prices are on the (very) high side. I think I paid the same at the Old Bank of England in Fleet Street!

Service not too bad - even if we did stop the girl serving from chatting with her mates.
littledrummerboy - 27 Mar 2012 18:38
Nice pub brought down by expensive beer (London Pride @ 3.60!) and slow, sometimes brusque service. The had London Pride, Bengal Lancer (at 3.00, was a nice pint), Fullers ESB and a guest ale (Black dog?).
IMG1975 - 4 Feb 2012 14:07
Popped in for a lunchtime meal, nothing complicated. It took well over an hour to arrive. I admit that it was busy. I was then presented with what is probably the worst Pub meal I've had the misfortune to pay 10 for ( fish 'n chip). Cold chips, and peas warm fish tasting of nothing except the tartar sauce . Did they care, not a jot. Next time it's the local chippie for me.
tomsal - 22 Dec 2011 08:52
I have to agree with one of the posts below. The landlady seemed really off with me and my wife when we stopped off with friends on our way home to Luton. There was a bit of an atmosphere but having said that some friends have said she's a nice lady so perhaps she just gets a bit stressed out. food wise was okay but nothing special after what we had heard.
vincedeman - 13 Sep 2011 09:28
a bit puzzled by comments, the landlady i know from the Gib looks like she is in her thirties, has always been happy to serve food to end of service time and has never been bothered by how good looking my girlfriends are. should give it a try as the food is really good
jany - 13 Aug 2011 15:39
A cluttered kitsch-ridden Fullers house. They had Wye Valley on as a guest but it was a pretty insipid pint of it. Twin concrete hounds guard the doors - more Essex than Herts.
Snarling_Mallard - 31 Jul 2011 23:44
I'm a local and live within walking distance of this pub which is very picturesque from the outside. I have started visiting here much more often but both myself and my partner have been completely puzzled by the landlady's behaviour. The landlord is very friendly and the barman, Michael is warm and chatty but the landlady was openly rude, glaring at us the first few times we went in most recently. My girlfriend is a very attractive and if looks could kill she would have died on the spot with the look of contempt the landlady gave her. I would put her to be in her late forties and can only assume she has a major chip on her shoulder. The last visit was the worst, she openly criticised the barman for taking our food order, even though there was a few minutes till last food orders. she then proceeded to sit and glare at us while we ate our food outside and then was openly vocal and causing a bit of a scene as she followed her poor husband about, making various negative comments, some of which must have been aimed at us. At the end of the day we were spending our money in this pub and as such should be treated with respect but I doubt we will go back which is a shame as the food is nice and it is a quaint place and as I say, Michael is a great barman but if you can't go in there if your a good looking girl because the ageing landlady can't cope then you best steer clear. I know we will!
nashville101 - 28 Jun 2011 20:51
Found this gem of a pub purely by accident when driving back from Luton and looking for somewhere to have lunch a bit more upmarket than MaccyD's. Attractive exterior and the interior is covered with military memorabilia, but looking natural rather than contrived. Food was typical pub food, large portions, not messed around with and well cooked. Service was good and friendly. Prices towards the top end of what I'd pay for pub grub, 50+ for four of us. There looked to be 3 real ales available, but as I was driving I couldn't sample them, so haven't rated this pub (only rate pubs when I have tried the cask beer).
graham2 - 13 Mar 2010 13:48
Went along a couple Thursdays ago for a meal with the family and enjoyed some very nice food and good banter.
weedram - 12 Nov 2009 20:48
A fantastic Pub well worth a visit for beer or food with welcoming bar staff and friendly atmosphere.
MagnersMick - 18 Apr 2009 09:54
Well if staff from the Cross Keys are now in place, then I can only say oh dear. See the comments on their page - they echo exactly the negative comments on this one. And that can't be a coincidence ... The Cross Keys was cleaned out by new owners and is now much improved.
Captain_Swing - 27 Mar 2009 17:05
It may have taken a while for adjusments to be made, but since new management have taken over, the atmosphere in the establishment has become most enjoyable. Each time i come in the food and service has been exceptional and i have throughly have enjoyed spending time there...... keep up the good work!
Harpenden_Fan_Club - 3 Mar 2009 22:44
Dropped in on Friday evening. Nice to see Don (ex The Cross Keys) behind the bar, but the place was dead compared to how it used to be. The friendy, fun atmosphere has disappeared. As there was so few people in, I can't comment on the views of others, below.

The beer is still good though.
MartynG - 23 Feb 2009 13:16
Sadly I now have to agree with locationlocation.

Miserable barmaids who look at you as if you're sh1t and ignorant tw@t regulars who don't let you get near the bar.
Stella_mad_Martyn - 9 Feb 2009 15:58
This pub used to be fab. It used to have that real pub and great gastro balence oozing charm and quality. I went a week ago and it was shite. At lunch time we got a dirty stained menu and a terrible glass of warm white wine. The chavvy waitress was surly and not welcoming at all. The food was bloody dear and although the steak was a good bit of meat cooked ok it didnt warrant London prices. Used to be served by a fab Czech girl who we loved and had real food, good beer. Found out the lady who sorted it has gone. Avoid its now just a rip off riding on its old rep. Sorry to be harsh but 100 for lunch for 3 in a pub in Batford with terrible wine and ok food is piss take.
locationlocation - 15 Dec 2008 23:51
Excellent pub with a lovely pint of London Pride. Friendly staff. The food is a bit above average in terms of price, but then the quality does reflect this. Well worth a visit, but it can get a little crowded around the bar.
MartynG - 28 Mar 2008 13:47
Decent pub, drinks and food are palitable, if a bit overpriced.
anonymous - 30 May 2006 17:29
I use this pub quite a lot early evenings during the week. Friends tell me the food is excellent although I haven't tried it and the Stella is normally good WHEN IT'S ON.....dunno how they manage to run out of it so frequently.
Stella_mad_Martyn - 23 Sep 2005 15:54
Cracking pub, well worth a visit.
Chop - 25 May 2005 11:35
Great little Fullers pub for the after work drive out off the beaten track for Luton workers. Therefore, good for the illicit office romance I should imagine. My last visit was with an ex-colleague (though, honestly, there is/was nothing "going on") who took offence at the price of coke, argued with the manager about it, and ended up stealing a pocketful of condiments. Very strange.
Has lots of old English Militaria on the walls, if you (or your Mistress/Accounts Gigolo) are into that kind of thing.
DHooks - 18 Nov 2004 11:15

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