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Barley Mow, Southsea

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user reviews of The Barley Mow, Southsea

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

its a personal thing i know but I prefer the beer and the legroom that this pub provides but the hole in the wall always gets the awards. Sounds like a fiddle to me. This pub is friendly, great ale choice and interesting both in side and in the garden. best pub in the immediate location.
odbod - 9 Apr 2019 11:14
It has a cat that plays the piano. What more do you need.
baxterfish - 23 Nov 2015 21:00
a good evening with a good range of beers, a very nice pub
littlecon - 25 Aug 2014 22:07
Friendly pub with good selection of real ales but a bit pricey
pompeyfatboy - 16 Aug 2013 11:44
Good atmosphere. Nice pint of Stowford. Will seek it out if I'm in the area again
WelshOwl - 27 Aug 2012 17:15
Lovely pub divided into two bars served by one bar, the saloon bar has a pool table and is clean but fairly basic with some sport shirts on the walls.

The larger lounge bar seems to be the heart of the pub with plenty of interesting memorabilia on the walls concerning local history.

Had 6 real ale on draught, tried the Havant brewery "started" which was in excellent condition.

Has a decent sized beer garden for own centre pub which has some giant sized games available for use.

Food prices looked very good but did not try any on this visit.

Good, pleasant bar staff.

Possibly the best pub in Southsea?


beershot - 8 Aug 2012 17:32
not a bad pub, eggs a plus if u want breakfast the next morning ,
keelajane - 5 Jul 2012 22:27
Wish this was my local. Cosy yet spacious, lots of stuff on the walls to look at, comfy seats, very friendly bar staff and locals and excellent range of beers.

Separate games room and garden too, but what really impressed me was that you could buy eggs!
Southerngirl - 22 Jun 2012 11:31
Smashing old world (or should that be unspoilt?) pub. Quiet but friendly atmosphere and a very warm welcome from the landlord. Nice little beer garden too. Didn't check the ales but would strongly reccomend as worth a vist.
gravedigga - 7 May 2012 14:40
Nice pub. The beer is very good. They do have very good beer festivals. Shame that it is expensive.
the_islander - 29 Jan 2012 14:25
Nice pub and the ale is always in good nick. A bit expensive compared with the hole inthe wall around the corner but at least you can always get a seat here if you need it and the atmosphere is always convivial.
odbod - 12 Oct 2011 12:51
I went in yesterday afternoon. Very quite at that time of day, but the few that were in the pub seemed friendly. The beer was good with a nice choice.
regg3y - 18 Aug 2011 21:13
Excellent friendly local. Good beer choice (I had Hopback Summer Lightning and Fuller's London Pride). Quirky quiz on Thursdays, range of bar games including pool, darts, bar billiards, and a magical beer garden with additional ladies' and gents' toilets.
piglets2 - 26 Jul 2011 16:06
Proper pub, cosy, good for putting the world to rights over a foaming pint
Reverend - 6 May 2011 19:11
I can echo the sentiment of the previous commentator in that on a recent Saturday lunchtime visit, my friend and I were made to feel most welcome. There was a gaggle of ladies all busying themselves in the backgrond very industriously - although only a handful of punters were in by noon I can only assume this indicates trade becomes more brisk. And so it might, for at the Barley Mow, besides a sense of homely congeniality and local grittiness, one can find a series of rather well-attenuated ales! I believe all were local on my visit, and the halves sampled were on fine fettle. Like many of its nearby counterparts, the pub made me feel slightly peeved - nay guilty - about having to leave it after such a short stay. But it's better to love and leave a pub than loath and leave it.

This really provided a splendid pick-us-up following a decent brekkie at Lou-Lou's in the centre. Good work folks, and don't ever think you need to change.
TWG - 14 Feb 2011 18:05
Great pub with a charming landlady, she made us bunch of srangers very welcome. beer also on top form
caskforce - 10 Feb 2011 17:52
More expensive and quieter than the nearby Hole-in-the-Wall, but still a good pub and usually has a dark beer in it's range(Oakleaf Stoker's Stout on my visit). First pub on a great crawl back to the train station( Hole-in-the-Wall, King St Tavern, Eldon Arse, White Swan).
baxterfish - 29 Jan 2011 22:20
Went in the bar half which is dominated by the pool table and other pub games (they even have a chess league). A number of ales on (chalked up on a board in the bar half) and fresh eggs on the bar in the other half. A nice enough local but was disappointed with the pint of Welton Heatwave I had as it was a bit cloudy and only just about drinkable.
anonymous - 18 Jul 2010 10:00
Plenty of ales but the choice was mostly the usual suspects. We tried the Hop Back Stout which was warm and flat. With the Hole In The Wall not coming up with the goods either, we felt it was not worth the walk to this part of Southsea. Disappointing.
GazzaTheBeerMan - 10 May 2010 12:07
visited back in october, amazing little gem of a good beer guide pub. feel like u are sat in some excentric person's front room, the pint of bottle wreck porter was beautiful, 8/10
fat_beer_badger - 2 Jan 2010 19:14
Visited for the first time last weekend. Very friendly. Made to feel very welcome by the landlady and customers, especially the two nice ladies sat at the bar. Beer choice is excellent and enjoyed a wonderful pint of Bottle-Wrecked Porter. Just down the road from the equally excellent Hole-in-the Wall. Worth the tain ride from Southampton.
baxterfish - 24 Dec 2009 14:13
A 'local' pub in the best sense of the word. They have an excellent, constantly changing range of well-kept ales, including many from small/obscure breweries that I've not come across before. The open-plan lounge bar is comfortable and the garden, though fairly compact (good luck with your double pushchair!) is well-maintained and a pleasant place to relax with a pint when the flora is in bloom. I've always been made to feel welcome there, even with a baby or toddler (and there are loads of games and toys to keep them amused for the duration of a pint). There is clearly a vibrant community atmosphere, as evidenced by the variety of groups and activities advertised on the walls, and they levy a fine for any use of mobile phones within the bar (phone users are 'invited' to take their call in the open-air annexe adjacent to the front door). An antediluvian jukebox stands against one wall, but I've never seen it working, so I don't know whether it is ever in service or simply there as a remembrance of times past.

There's very little to criticise this pub - and it's not helpful to post a review of a pub that you last visited six years ago. Give it a go, Thomasgx1, you might just be pleasantly surprised.
tommarto - 25 Aug 2009 11:10
this has changed loads since i was last there on 2000.7 ales on handpump and 2 ciders.

Only reason i left was the price. £,3.20pint, i thought i was in london
Splodge68 - 6 Jun 2009 18:27
Has something drastically changed? I used to go to this pub back in 2003 and it was a run down sh1t hole?! The sign on the front of the pub had letters missing, it was dirty, carpet was a state and it smelt of smoke (ok, so it was pre-ban). Pool table was free one night a week but all the balls ran to one side of the table.. cramped too. The lager was flat and the staff couldn't raise a smile - maybe because we were students not locals.

Maybe its all changed but i'm skeptical, if you want a better boozer nearby try the Eldon Arms.
thomasgx1 - 29 May 2009 11:02
The Barley Mow is a friendly welcoming pub. There is always a good atmosphere and the staff are friendly and happy. This Barley Mow has darts, pool, cribbage and bridge, something for everyone. There are games for children and the garden is particularly nice, the hanging baskets are now coming into bloom. The real ales are excellent and there is enough choice to keep everyone happy. A great all round pub.

christinemurray - 10 May 2009 15:14
Backstreet local with a pleasant atmosphere. Caught a brief glimpse of the resident long-haired cat! During our lunchtime visit today, they had 7 real ales on - Irving Admiral Stout, Gales HSB, Arundel Castle, Fullers London Pride, Wychwood Hobgoblin, Hogsback Tea and a Ringwood beer. There's also 2 ciders from Westons - Old Rosie and Stowford Press.
blue_scrumpy - 22 Mar 2009 20:01
There should be more pubs like the Barley Mow - great people and beer!
georgeclooney - 5 Mar 2009 11:23
On my first visit recently had two good beers, Altons Pride and Palmer Dorset
Gold. Good patio area. I will drink here again when in Southsea.
fivedaysfiveshirts - 22 Feb 2009 13:35
Ringwood Best, Hammerpot Red Hunter, Yates YSD (went), Hogs Back Winter Ale, HSB, Pride, fff Pressed Rat & Warthog. Two-roomed pub, separate entrances, plain public bar with no handpumps at the servery, pool table & two dartboards. Larger more atmospheric saloon, carpetted, wood tables, upholstered chairs, old jukebox, upright piano in corner, homey lounge style area to rt of bar with more tables, sofas, real fire (unlit). Wood panelled walls carry plenty of naval photos, nice wood canopy bar-surround with upper glasswork lead-lights. Pleasant flagstoned patio beer garden, as currently shown in main image above. The only one of 3 target pubs in the immediate area to open early Sat (11:00), and good bluesy soundtrack and good beer make this, for me, a must visit in Portsmouth.
trainman - 17 Feb 2009 09:48
great pub, no more description needed!!

alealealeale - 6 Jan 2009 17:29
I've been staying in Southsea a lot recently and I've used the Barley Mow every day. Nothing's changed since my last review (Oct '07) except the guest beers and the addidition of a rather nice pub cat (called Mo -naturally) who got the pub featured on the front page of the local newspaper. The Barley still oozes charm and freindliness, and I still can't recommend it highly enough. If you're in or around Southsea, you just have to give it a visit (especially if you like your real ale!)
chrissmurray0 - 19 Dec 2008 18:50
Quick visit on a sunday afternoon, proper pub with a meat draw and people playing games, beer well kept including a porter which was a rare and nice surprise
guestale - 12 Dec 2008 21:26
I visited this pub this week and was so impressed with the dedication to old style local pub tradition. I'm not a regular to the Portsmouth and so have nothing to gain from giving this pub a glowing review. I was impressed before entering with the sign on the door warning people that it was a no-mobile phone pub (EVEN THOUGH THERE WERE A COUPLE OF PEOPLE BREAKING THE RULES). The barstaff were just right. Attentive to the regulars and respectful of the visitors. The (barmaid/owner/manager) with long hair was particularly nice. Thank you for a short visit but an enjoyable one.
Cornershop - 11 Oct 2008 00:26
Popped in on Friday afternoon between the Hole in the Wall and the King Street Tavern. Not a native of Portsmouth I was just having a stroll. This pub was very freindly, the mild I had was very good, I'd be happy with it as my local.
Alfnoax - 4 Oct 2008 23:39
Great beer friendly staff this is as good as it gets if you like a local boozer!!
banjonick - 3 Oct 2008 23:12
Service was ok. Busy and fussy. Felt that the bar person would rather I wasn't there. I can see through all of this and the beer choice/condition was fantastic 7/10. Will visit at end of may and will rate according. Be open minded.
safehands - 8 May 2008 17:11
Congrats Judy and team on your award, you kept that quiet didn't you.

The Barley Mow, Castle Road, has won a prestigious award for the quality of its real ale. The accolade, devised by Greene King in conjunction with The Publican newspaper, saw the pub beat hundreds of other contenders in the nationwide search for the country's Best Cask Ale Pub.
THEALMIGHTYLALA - 28 Mar 2008 17:20
Lovely frendly local pub that I wish was one of mine.I have only been twice but on both occasions had a friendly welcome and a nice pint of beer.The first time I visited they had a Porter and a mild rather than just Bitters.Cheese toasties at £1.50 go down well too!
Henners - 4 Feb 2008 17:46
What a fantastic Christmas and New Year we have had. A big thankyou to all the regulars and staff who have joined in and help organise the various events we have had during the last 2 weeks from the Christmas dinner with Secret Santa for 60 people to the cracker competition. Christmas Eve and Newyears Eve had such a fantastic atmosphere you just had to be here to believe it. Thanks again and may we continue to entertain in 2008. Landlady.
Froggi - 1 Jan 2008 18:46
Landlady here again.Pictures 1,2,3,5,8,10 and 12 need taking of the site please as they are last years. There are too many on the site. Please could picture 7 be the first one. Thank-you very much.
Froggi - 22 Nov 2007 16:06
Superb, friendly pub with a 'you're welcome' atmosphere. Well kept beer, efficient staff and contented regulars (as well as not-so-regulars) seems to be the norm, and the range of activities (for inside and outside)is staggering. An absoute gem for the occasional visitor or anyone wanting a genuine 'local'
chrissmurray0 - 8 Oct 2007 11:51
Congratulations on your entry in the Good Beer Guide 2008! Well done.
georgeclooney - 2 Oct 2007 15:02
I am the landlady of this pub and I have uploaded new photoes to go on this site. I have tried every way of contacting you eg via e-mail and the 'contact us' thing but they have not been uploaded. Just wondering when they could be put on the site. It is the last 5 not the first 3 as I could not see how to delete them. This seemed to be my last hope. Many Thanks
Froggi - 13 Sep 2007 20:21
On our recent visit to the Barley Mow at Southsea we were very pleased with all aspects of the service and wide selection of beers and we were made to feel especially welcome. Also the pub entertainment for both adults and children was exemplory and I have no hesitation in recommending this pub to other users.
topninja - 31 Aug 2007 04:16
One of the best pubs I went to one my trip to England. Amazing service and hospitality by the landlady Judi. Very Fun giant jenga game in the back garden. The beers were very good and even better when I went back the second night she changed the taps and I got to try even different beers. Very friendly even into the late night. Loved the pub and the atmosphere.
qwakmattix - 30 Jul 2007 21:15
the barley mow is a nice and friendly local pub with a fantastic garden. the beer, what can i say, its simpley the best pint i had in a long time well worth a visit .
gemmaisastar - 18 May 2007 21:41
Mad, fun and brilliant! Traditional, friendly and rare pub with excellent staff, and eccentric, hilarious locals. The pub has really well kept and frequently changed real ales so there is lots to try. Sunday lunchtimes have a great atmosphere. Definitely worth a visit!
boyholdaway - 18 May 2007 16:31
Madder than a bucket of greased eels - a cross between Fawlty Towers and the Rovers Return (with a bit of the Queen Vic thrown in for good measure!) A real traditional friendly community pub - excellent real ale and lagers. The Landlady's pickled eggs are to die for! Highlight for me is Sunday lunchtime - banter, meat raffle and very attentive bar staff and, if you're really lucky, an afternoon disco hosted by non other than the legendary south coast's No1 DJ 'Duffy'. What more can I say. Well worth the visit.
georgeclooney - 12 Mar 2007 18:50
Have heard through the grapevine that The Barley is going in to the 2007 Good Beer Guide, well deserved in my honest opinion. Pub been taken over by landlady Judy recently probably the most organised person I've met in the trade, if I was half as organised as Judy I'd be doing well. Well worth a visit:)
THEALMIGHTYLALA - 18 Feb 2007 15:07
Was very disappointed having read reports - the beer did not have much taste the day we visited - very smokey atmosphere - they advertised some interesting beers outside - Hook Norton but not available inside
smithmr49 - 3 Jan 2007 17:13
proper locals boozer, with a good range of guest ales, sunday lunchtime is just great like pubs should be
littlecon - 16 Jun 2006 16:53
If you liked pubs in the 70s then this is the pub for you. The landlord is an ex-local who couldn’t bare to see the place close. A nice wood panelled lounge untrammelled by the bodgers who ripped the heart out of pubs in the 80s and 90s. Its even got an old juke box; free of course. Recent additions are an enclosed patio garden which has had quite a bit of work done to beautify it.
anonymous - 19 Feb 2006 12:32
Definately a traditional locals pub. Although it does have live music on a Thursday night and a pool table in a seperate bar. Another functional bar really, nothing outstanding, but it serves drinks with a local banter filled atmosphere.
SpecialPlates.com - 6 Dec 2005 00:21

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