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Old Ship, Hammersmith

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user reviews of the Old Ship, Hammersmith

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

This isn't in the Camra pub walk guide, but looked too imposing to pass on by. What a location. We sat outside and I had a Youngs Golden Something. Not shower, something else. Even finished off our meal started at the Black Lion by sharing a pudding here.

Handsome pub.
Mappiman - 28 Oct 2013 17:18
Youngs pub. Great location on the river with plenty of outside seating - some under a sun terrace. We sat on the terrace overlooking the river, which provided plenty of entertainment.

Inside is also good - solid and attractive. This is a well run pub with everything clean and efficient. Food is tasty, though not cheap; and while it is tasty, it isn't cooked to order - so while service is quick, the food may have been sitting under light for a while. Our Yorkshire puds were dry and the veg limp. For the price I would expect better. Beers are ordinary, Special and Bombardier. We had the Ordinary and the Special; both were lifeless, and at nearly £4 a pint that is unacceptable.

So - great location, but expensive, not good quality, and poor value. Service is, however, very pleasant. And the high point is watching the boats on the river - especially the yachts.
SilkTork - 12 Oct 2013 17:47
A group of six ex-colleagues met for a social evening drink and meal, however, we had our evening thoroughly spoilt by an officious, surly and arrogant manager, together with her duty manager.
My colleague would have liked to have our group sit upstairs on the open balcony, but was challenged by the manageress and told it wasn't open unless we were eating - we were!
On a second attempt at trying-out the balcony, my colleague was again challenged by the manageress and told where the toilets were - he was simply trying to set up a corner for our group of six.
I arrived rather later and went into the downstairs bar and waited for more than 10 minutes, but with no bar service - other people were served but we were ignored by the bar staff until another colleague of mine made direct comments to one of the bar staff.
We were advised that as we were waiting near the food ordering part of the bar, we would not be served any drinks - just a gentle reminder or enquiry whether we wanted to order food or drinks was all it would have taken.
We were told to get to the back of the queue by the duty manager, who said that someone had taken the signs from the bar saying that food only could be ordered from that section of the bar.
I wasn't at all happy with the duty manager's attitude - he was abrasive and had a perceived ego problem with his own self-importance - I asked for his name and then asked if we might be served by him now, which he took offence at and declined our request, then the manageress came out from behind a door and said that she'd heard all the preceding conversation and wouldn't have her staff spoken to in this was.
I asked her for her name and she duly gave this and then stated that we wouldn't be served at all again.
We had all arrived from different parts of London and further afield and we all felt humiliated by both the manageress's lack of social skills and spitefullness, together with the duty manager's over- inflated ego.
Hospitality is the key here (or lack of it) - this pub is not hallowed ground nor precious and deserving of aloof and prickly welcomes!
The management should be removed at the Old Ship, Hammersmith, in favour of customer-focussed and friendly staff.
This pub only had about 20 customers on that evening - I wonder why, and most certainly would not advise anyone to visit for a pleasurable experience.
postman1 - 31 Jul 2013 17:17
We went there and sat outside on the terrace and had an incident where some cutlery 'fell' off the upper terrace and landed on my head. I don't know what happened (supposedly staff were involved), but when the matter was reported to the manager, he handled it extremely well and gave us some drinks. I was impressed with the no-nonsense, professional way with which he dealt with the matter.

We ate there later on and I have to say the food was good. I'm not sure about the general layout and the decor of the pub, but the response of the manager to the earlier incident was good and has not put me off going to this pub again.
the_nutty_one - 30 Jun 2013 12:04
Came here for our office Christmas party on Friday evening. It's the first time I've been in here for a long time. The ground floor is fairly spacious and similar to most other pubs along the riverside, it is dominated by wood. There is also a large kitchen you can view. We had the upstairs room with a balcony looking out over the river. I believe Youngs Bitter & Special were on in the main bar, plus the 2 other beers we also had upstairs a Youngs Christmas beer and East London Nightwatchman. Meantime beers are available in bottles. The main pub was very quiet by the time we left at shortly after 5pm. I couldn't quite understand why they had failed to keep the upstairs bar manned and had closed it for the evening when there were around 30 people there. Eventually, we decided to take our custom elsewhere as a result.
blue_scrumpy - 23 Dec 2012 13:11
This use to be the pub of choice for rowers in the Hammersmith area, which often slightly put me off using it back in the day. If only I’d realised at the time, that this pub never had it so good! It’s been going steadily downhill ever since, and even the posh little ones rowing on the Thames seem to give this pub a wide berth nowadays.

Being a Young’s pub, the range of drinks is very poor; although they do seem more inclined towards their fizzy alcopops than ales here these days. Previous comments about this turning into a café are actually not that wide of the mark, and their summer barbecue days can be close to hell on earth. The first sign of sunshine and it’s drinks in plastic cups; although (as mentioned) you’ll struggle to find something that you want to drink.

To round it all off, a horrible noisy wooden layout and exceptionally poor staff. What a waste of time.

elegiac_stanzas - 7 Aug 2012 12:22
This place has gone downhill over the last 6 / 9 months. Used to be a great pub when I visited this area but staff changes and increased pricing have changed its character completely. The staff seemed badly trained and surely.

I ordered three pints of good real ale but because the girl/lady could not pour the pints properly more beer went down the drain than stayed in the glass. Also beer that was in a separate glass was used to top up one of the pints. I complained only to be told it was "just poured a few minutes ago". I did not take that pint and was told " I have poured it so you will need to pay for it". After a few minutes of polite discussion the manager came over and said " pour him another" and added "please leave when you are finished". As it was our first beers of the day we were happy to do so as there are plenty decent pubs in the area that value customers.
Todrungren - 29 Jan 2012 22:29
Shame!!!!!
Wedding reception, lovely atmosphere. The newly weds had booked a room upstairs... perfect!
But!!! When everyone was happy and about to leave.... We got told off by the manager asking us to keep quiet because "people were eating"... We were still in the booked room. Humiliating experience considering the Sunday roast was overpriced (let's not mention the price of drinks). I cannot believe how rude was the manager, no social skills, just wanting to spoil the mood. Shameful.
This became quite an embarrassing experience which completely put us off going back here.
Old ship should be called Patronizing Ship....

baguette69 - 29 Jan 2012 21:27
We were really pleased with this pub. Absolutely hammering it down but could sit outside under cover, with good views of the Thames. Good selection of drinks. Ale and Cider on tap (Addlestones cider). Really good bar snacks as well. Best pork scratchings I've had for years. Although do have to pay for them. At this point on the crawl we all agreed best pub yet. Good looking serving staFf helped to promote it's rating. Something some of the earlier pubs lacked.
R.Swipe - 16 Jul 2011 17:28
Don't bother with this place. Very poor service, Ignored by 2 staff members. The only desent thing in this place is the exit out. This place makes the william morris look good and thats saying something!
eveningwalk - 1 Feb 2011 02:44
Terrible service. Great if your a teenager.
steen21 - 19 Oct 2010 17:46
Used to a be a master of river side pubs...easy to have a good pint on comfortable seating close to the lazy thames........but then.......it became apparent that one couldn't have a quiet pint in the outside seating area without at least ordering a two course meal...to sit there without food is a no goer - you are moved on very quickly to the grubby picnic tables around the side of the pub. It wouldn't be so bad if the food remotely compared to the Black Lion (50yds away) or the Dove (500yds) away...but it doesn't. The grub is overpriced and sadly very very ordinary pub grub...it's a shame. Also watch out for the student invasion on summer nights - seems to be the warm up pub for the walkabout!
WE suggest - Great views - but simply sit on the wall out the front with a tinny or two...don't bother with the boozer.
upyourpub - 6 Jan 2010 12:34
They had Bombardier, Young’s Bitter and Kew Gold on. I had the Kew Gold which was fine, and at £3.20 a pint much the going rate for the area. It gave me the impression of being more of a restaurant than a pub – perhaps it was the waitress offering table service that made me feel that way! It’s a typical Young’s style made-over pub – sofas and magenta painted ceiling and walls. But it was fairly comfortable in there with some banquette seating with normal, but quite large, tables inside. There’s also a handful of tables outside at the front on a small patio area. The music was low-key and restrained. Not really my kind of pub, but it’s OK if you like these sort of gastrofied pubs.
RexRattus - 4 Sep 2009 13:02
i really liked this pub and have now chosen this pub as my regular if i am down the river. formally a fan of the dove however a recent change of management and standards has changed my opinion.
realaleabonus - 27 Aug 2009 18:08
Great location & that's about it. £3.75 for a pint of lager. Very poor pint of bitter. Manager is arrogant & rude. Food average. Trying to be a bar not a pub. There is the worst pub i have been to by the river.

As someone has said already 'Go to the DOVE' that has all the atmosphere that is missing from the old ship
properpint - 26 Apr 2009 12:58
Currently closed, signs say to be refurbished, no rating left.
Maldenman - 11 Jan 2009 18:39
FANTASTIC!
Loved this great pub on the water, a little over priced but hey, if you enjoy something you tend to forget about those things, the best Sunday roast I ever had!
citygirl - 28 Oct 2008 21:54
The Old Ship is one of the worst pubs I've been to in London. The location and look of this pub is amazing.... you would think perfect for a sunny afternoon or evening but unfortunately the drink selection is not great but more importantly the food and service is appalling.

As a local I've visited this pub a few times to give it a chance but on each occasion I've been dissapointed. At my last visit we were told by the staff that new management had taken over and as such everything had been cut-back including the type of coffee... which first had ground coffee floating in it and after a second attempt still tasted like dishwater. The tables and glasswear were dirty, the food was cold and overcooked, and the staff were either unfriendly or looked confused.

Don't waste your time here. I would agree with a previous reviewer "Go to the DOVE"
BettyS - 28 Oct 2008 16:32
I wouldn't bank on it, the pub has already been turned into a travesty long before Youngs decided they didn't really like pubs at all. We can but hope. The Black Lion is pretty good though.
rainlight - 22 Sep 2008 16:07
The Old Ship has been sold Youngs. Presumably this will result in better quality than recent contributors have mentioned. Might also mean higher prices though!
ianbeer - 22 Sep 2008 15:29
Riverside pubs should appeal to ALL river visitors including those that like REAL beer. Their counter looked like Blackpool Lights with their silly beer pumps. Only the Discovery was worth several glugs.

Go to the DOVE
paulio1966 - 25 Aug 2008 20:32
I never really used to like this pub, I used to think it was overpriced and rather soul-less but I have now changed my mind. The pub is very child friendly with friendly staff, even though I would not recommend it for a quite pint on a hot summer's day as it does get very crowded.
ulrica - 8 Jul 2008 15:44
On my second visit to this Pub I was extremely disappointed, not only did the inside of the Pub smell like sewerage, but the staff were unfriendly and not 3 but 4 different glasses we obtained from the bar for our Cider was either covered in Lipstick or orange pulp from previous users drinks. I visited this pub in Mid 2007 and thoroughly injoyed the visit, however, after this visit I will not return to this Pub. We stayed for 1 drink and left, carrying our bottles with us, we didn't even finish them there. I would not recommend this Pub.
tmp11 - 22 Jun 2008 22:24
This place is a massively inferior choice of riverside pub. Much much better is the Dove, about a 5 minute walk downriver. This place has been made to feel as sterile and un-publike as possible inside. A massively long bar with very average fare on tap, too. It's in a really nice old building. You get the feeling this place used to be better, and has been mauled and maimed by some seriously bad decisions. Given its location it could be a star.
Greshon - 10 Mar 2008 13:57
Not the sort of place I would normally choose (appearing rather soulless), but it certainly has a great position on the Thames. Few people in on a cold Friday night, but they served a perfectly respectable pint of London Pride.
rpadam - 2 Feb 2008 00:03
A largely characterless interior saved by its superior location. Frankly,the worst pint of Pride I have ever drunk: Cold, flat and suspiciously watery.
'Strongers' review suggests that the 'Old Ship'is a haven for families. However, our experience was the exact opposite.
We discerned more than a whiff of contempt for the punters. Or is that just London?
aleandhearty - 7 Aug 2007 15:04
I am not a fan of The Old Ship as I like to drink in a pub. Maybe it is nice sitting outside with a pint in the summer, but I noticed 8 high chairs stacked upon each other by the orangery, so I doubt it.

I think I’ll drink elsewhere and leave this place to the families and the diners.
Strongers - 26 Jun 2007 16:06
In complete agreement with below! I revoke my previous rating of 8/10 for a big fat zero!
CheekyShepherd - 9 May 2007 18:42
Visited recently for the first time in about eight years and was completely gobsmacked, what was once a great riverside traditional pub now is a completely souless tarted up rah magnet.
TSW - 6 May 2007 12:53
One of my favourite pubs in the area.A real pub atmosphere. Place to visit
spotcheck - 23 Apr 2007 19:18
Very popular pub at the weekends and in the summer, unfortuately has problems with food quality/pricing - still my main gripe with all the 'gastro-pubs' these days but I have yet to have any bad experiences with the staff.
And getting a table on the balcony upstairs in the summer makes up for all else, a great place to drink with friends in the sun!!
BarnesXV - 13 Feb 2007 13:00
Well everyone is right about one thing the Ship does get busy, both on sunny days and not so sunny days. I'm not sure I agree regarding the pricing though, I always thought the beer prices weren't bad.

A few years ago I felt this was a great pub, but as its got more popular there has been a slide in the overall quality. Food has taken over completely as the main point of the pub, and as it has done so the quality has gone down. Also they use to have a proper beer garden at the side of the pub but this was replaced by a restaurant (honestly the food isn't good enough to deserve a separate restaurant, its bar meal standard). Still it ain't a bad pub as you crawl down Hammersmith Mall and the food is still acceptable. As for the Antipodeans, well it is West London and they're not the absolutely worst people to share a pub with - some of them have English ancestors you know.
Sparky1 - 14 Dec 2006 15:30
Not really my sort of pub, it's hollow inside and the lack of soft furnishings make the acoustic a bit of a nightmare. I get the feeling that this is more like a beer supermarket for wealthy people who don't want to slum it in Hammersmith proper. Perhaps they enjoy looking over at the very posh people in Barnes and dreaming about a house over there.

There is a real feeling of pretentiousness, as the previous contributor said. I think that once the management figure out it's just a pub, and not The Ivy, they might be okay. Given the hordes denizens of the southern hemisphere in the area, I'd turn the place into a rugby pub.

Overall - pleasant enough, but it doesn't justify the expense.
ye73812 - 17 Oct 2006 22:55
Big pub on the river in Hammersmith with pretentious restauarant. Roast beef was too big and meat seemed to be of the laser cut slice variety.
lowroader - 2 Oct 2006 12:59
A good pub that serves good beer. Food's good too, but unfortunately ruined by them serving horrible sachets of sauce rather than the real thing. Even the vinegar is in a sachet! This gives the place an unwelcome pikey feel, similar to eating in a Berni Inn...I imagine.


TheGreenKing - 6 Sep 2006 14:52
The Old Ship looks inviting from the out side and has a nice atmosphere when you enter the building, that is until you are confronted with the staff who let this establishment down in a big big way.
After myself and friends ordered starters, a main meal from the carvery and at least five rounds of drinks we werer rudely informed that as we were sitting in the table service area and if we didn't order from the staff we should leave the pub.
When the bill for the food arrived and we did not pay the "optional" service charge the same memeber of staff came and agresevily contested it with us.
I then asked to speak to the manager or supervisor who kept us waitng for 20 minutes and whenshe did arrive brought a burly bouncer with her to make sure we would not experience any kind of customer service at all.
After spending well over £100 pounds in this pub and basically being insulted by the waiting staff and the managing staff, I fell I could never step foot in this place again.
If you want a nice relaxing Sunday afternoon drink with nice food and friendly staff I suggest you walk past the Old Ship and find one of the other pubs on the river side.

anonymous - 24 Jul 2006 09:34
Very busy pub. Full of Aussies but that's Hammersmith for you. Great pub when the sun's out, I've seen over 200 people mingling around outside on some days. Service is normally quick even when busy. Expensive like people say but most of the pubs in this area are.

The downstairs bar is pretty dingy and can almost resemble a meat market on some days. However, there's also an upstairs bar which is slightly better. The best place is to sit on the terrace overlooking the river, although you'll normally struggle to find seats there.
Cropstar - 14 Jul 2006 15:58
It's riverside location is the one saleable factor for The Old Ship. You can sit out on the grass and watch the massive cross-section of Londoners wander/jog/stagger past. When the sun hits the Thames and you've got that good beer buzz going it wouldn't really matter which pub had sold you the pint. On that subject, £3 for a pint of generic lager? £7.50 for a burger? And that's WITHOUT chips! Due to it's aforementioned location this place is pretty rammed in the summer. I'd probably recommend it as part of a river-based pub crawl but not to spend the whole night here. Unless you can take out a second mortgage for those prices that is. Lots of sniffing and snorting coming from the locking door Gent's cubicles last time I was in there too.
chopperbomb - 5 Jul 2006 20:03
The Old Ship has one major thing going for it: location. It has a good spot on the river and has a fantastic outdoor grass area which provides a fun environment for drinking in summer.

The downside is the price. £3+ pints, jugs of Pimms £21.50 (includes a £5 deposit on the jug). It can make for an expensive afternoon of drinking.

It is also true that there are a lot of antipodeans there, probably because of the outdoor drinking potential (well, I am an Australian and that is why I go there).


anonymous - 30 Jun 2006 14:41
If you want a seat here in the balmy summer months, get there early. I recommend a few minutes before the landlord turns up with his keys.
A nice enough pub on the Thames with no real uniqueness, unless you count the particular way the architect's laid it out. It's all very 'fresh new wood' and retains a chain air about it although I'm not sure who actually owns it. Pass the time by playing 'Spot the Saffa/ Aussie/ Kiwi', but you may get bored once you reach 100 in about three minutes. Rated 7 for reminding me of the summer, but that's only because of the location and the fact that the warm evenings mean that most people are smiling.
Ruby - 30 May 2006 21:33
On a late Saturday night a month ago wasn't overly busy and although expensive at £3 seemed a nice place and the staff were friendly enough. Summer should be nice and my new g/f just lives around the corner so a great summer ahead :)
RichLondoner - 10 May 2006 13:53
Went there in the weekend and it was pretty average. £3 for a beer for Carling (extra warm) - what a joke. Seems to be popular with antipodeans who have escaped their 3 bdrm flats shared with 9 other people. Some sleazy guys around too looking for a random pump.
Chav_man - 11 Apr 2006 15:59
Nice modern feeling pub/bar. V freindly and (I am told) fit staff. Good selection of beer and other drinks. They play sports on the big screen now and then which I personally would avoid so be warned.. Other than that is nice and inviting and I can't wait to sit outside in the summer!!
Tiny - 17 Jan 2006 23:18
Good for outside drinking in the Summer - especially if you are lucky enough to get a table on the balcony overlooking the river. People-watching galore.
Inside is pretty souless and doesnt really know if it is a pub or restaurant


ReneArtois - 12 Dec 2005 17:49
Another nice boozer ruined by a very shoddy makeover - now looks like an airport canteen .Walk up to the Dove and avoid this place if you can.....
squatter - 12 Dec 2005 15:33
Badly refurbished which is a sad thing to happen to one of the oldest (in parts) pubs in the area. Less like a pub and more like a Harvester every day. When it was turned round (literally) in the 1970s so it faced the river it had the opportunity to be a good riverside pub, but at the moment that isn't being exploited.
beeronaut - 16 Aug 2005 13:40
Looked okay wine was cheapish but too many w$%kers in it trying to be "cool". For sure. Staff were okay. But otherwise if you want a river few and some sun, well it's not too bad.
Randy_Campbell - 20 Jun 2005 13:15
If you want to sit out on a summers day/night in a by the river location then you can't beat the Old Ship. Food is okay but I've had a lot better for the price, beer adequate.

Okay sometimes you get a crap individual serving so that's a mixed bag and a nights drinking there is not cheap but if the sun is hot then usually the Old Ship comes to mind

7 overall, but 9 for location.
downthepub - 16 Jun 2005 13:21
Nice not!! sh1t food sh1t service and badly over crowded very over rated will stay at the Blacklion from now on on a few metres down the riverside and a hell of a lot better you now have our custom after lastweeks bollox
anonymous - 16 May 2005 17:04
Expensive, but it's on the river. Great food, great family atmosphere and incredibly busy on Summer weekends. A great place to drink!
CheekyShepherd - 29 Mar 2005 01:38
One of the new plastic pubs springing up,beer ok and so is the food(not to over priced)a nice place to take your Granma,a bit sterile.
jono194 - 14 Jan 2005 15:44
Great pub. Lots of wood, vodka and views of the river. Good starting point for a riverside pub crawl to celebrate your 30th.
Fleur - 21 Jul 2004 10:46
Rather indifferent riverside watering-hole. They've added a sort of fast-food bar thing inside, which sums the place up in my opinion. It provides beer and food for the hordes who descend on the river evry summer's evening or wekend afternoon, but there is something souless about the place. If you want a proper pub along the river I suggest you go to The Dove, The Blue Anchor or The Black Lion instead.
Johnno - 22 Jun 2004 14:30
The refurbishments are now complete. Great pub, home made flavoured vodka and good food.
Cameron - 20 Feb 2004 16:14
Great place to watch the football. Cracking plasma screens, and a sound system that works too. Why can't other pubs put on such a good show?
Nick Burger - 1 Nov 2003 16:56
Very enjoyable pub. They are refurbishing part at the moment (or were on the 12th Sep 2003), so the toilets have been replaced by portable-loos. hmmmm.
Dwane - 17 Sep 2003 16:08
fantastic balcony to watch the river life. good atmosphere worth a visit.
millym - 25 Jul 2003 21:46
Great pub, plenty of space for reunions or large gatherings etc.
Sunset views are spectacular. Very relaxed and reasonably priced.
Jacko - 7 May 2003 02:16
Good pub, but the security bloke was an absolute idiot, they should get rid of him. Manage to annoy plenty of people.
jj - 22 Apr 2003 09:57
Brilliant pub, great food and great after a walk along the river.
Eva - 28 Oct 2002 17:11
The Dove Inn combined with The Old Ship, is the best double Act in London. Ones quiet, warm and friendly- great place to have a chat and the old ship is brill if you happen to catch in on the right night. I heavily recommend New Years Eve...
Jason - 27 Aug 2002 14:09
Wicked pub, especially for watching the footie. They do great suitcases in there too!
Reefer - 20 Jun 2002 13:57

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