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Old Chestnut, Earlswood

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user reviews of the Old Chestnut, Earlswood

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

Still not in any way shape or form a regular at The Chestnut, but in case anyone's at all interested on this site, it did re-open for business (a couple of weeks later than scheduled), and has been transformed into a far-smarter and wide-rnaging venue, yet without losing its essential local pub character. On my only visit thus far I spoke to the licensee who confirmed Punch to still own the freehold - perhaps not surprising given how much money had been put into the refurb; it's heartening for once to see a large pubco taking a punt on one of its locals and allowing enough investment to appeal to a wider audience and hopefully flourish.

Obviously the place was in decent nick - could still smell the paint etc. Amongst the continued emphasis on branded lagers and other mainstream drinks, there is a slightly greater accent on cask ales - three now on offer (Sharp's Doom Bar, Fuller's London Pride and a guest which has varied although the clip isn't always facing frontwards - I doubt there's much of a market for the real stuff round here but I'm pleased they're trying). Also, cheap pub meals are served with general deals (can't comment on quality - I'd guess it's trying to compete with JDW), and Lavazza coffee seems to be a big noise here now - I think they even open some mornings to serve it with breakfast, but personally I'll be staying loyal to Matt at nearby Earlswood Station!

They have made a beautiful job of the front garden area - a vast improvement on the crumbly tarmac of old. I understand Sky Sports, pool and the local favourite darts are all still available as before. I don't think they're likely to alienate the former punters, yet there is some chance they may glean a few new ones here and there. As always, time will tell.

No rating as I don't really know what's what after only one drop-in. Find out for yourselves.
Gamboozler - 20 Jan 2015 17:52
I'm still not clear as to whether Punch have sold this gritty local boozer on now and if so, to whom, but what I can confirm if anyone's at all interested is that it's currently undergoing some fairly invasive refurbishment, both inside and out, with the promise that the revitalised Chestnut will reopen its doors for trade on Thursday 6th November.

Whilst I would encourage something of an overhaul as the place had slid into a rather unkempt state in recent years, and a more modern mix of traditional and current decor may be welcome, I do hope whoever is now at the helm harbours no silly ideas of trying to render the OC more upmarket. It is an earthy local drinkers venue where fine food or craft beers play little part; brand lager and plain crisps are the order of the day here, and as far as I know most locals who use it regularly prefer it that way. Trying to turn this into anything but a solid local for the working men of Earlswood would likely be a big mistake. For all its faults, the OC was always swelled with punters and if it changes, I imagine all that good custom will be lost forever.

A cautious optimism I think around the refurb. Best wishes to whoever has taken it on and I hope you play to its former strengths while keeping a lid on its past weaknesses.
Gamboozler - 10 Oct 2014 11:20
Rick, the trusty licensee of some years who always wanted to do more with the pub but couldn't owing to his lager 'n' pool-driven clientele, and the constraints of being a Punch tenant, has now moved on and the lease is up for sale. Popular though the Chestnut is locally, it really could go either way in future, depending on who takes over the reigns...
Gamboozler - 9 May 2014 13:05

A useful venue to meet before or after a visit to the neighbouring curry house. Never going to win prizes for beauty, but it is a better environment inside than the exterior apperarance would suggest.

Usually one useful beer on - most recently Hogs Back TEA.
mafiosi - 15 Mar 2011 20:18
wolfdog - 10 Sep 2010 09:52
By way of update to my review of 12 Oct '06 I should echo the sentiments of Lady1 and say that happily, the Chestnut does now appear to be in the right hands, and has seen a surprising epiphany in recent months.
Whilst it remains an undeniably basic local, with an emphasis on Sky TV and sports, mention must be made of 3 things that have worked wonders in improving the fabric of the place and broadening its appeal: the decor, the beer range and the staff.
The pub has been sensitively overhauled and the phoenix that has risen from the ashes is clean, modern, airy yet not lacking in warmth. No longer is this place a '70s relic.
Next, the licensee, Rick, appears to be desirous of engendering more interest in local beers, and he now serves a well-kept range of ales that are rarely seen locally; Pilgrim Progress, Hog's Back TEA and Hobgoblin Best have all featured lately. Whilst many locals might not favour these over flavourless fizz, hopefully the word will get out and a broader set of drinkers will start to appreciate what is now offered.
On top of this, apart from the congenial Rick and his wife(?), I have found all the young bar staff to be friendly and efficient, and happy to engage with all customers regular or otherwise.
So all in all, a significant improvement, and it just goes to show what can be achieved in a short time by the right people. I hope they stick at it and that their efforts are rewarded by greater custom in future.

TWG - 30 May 2007 10:22
The "Nut" - Well I would like to post an up to date review of this pub as I feel some of the others are a bit out of date! The Old Chestnut has been under New Management since May 2006, who are really friendly and welcoming. Since this date the Nut has changed for the better! In this time there have been many improvements, including the wider range of bitters that have gone down really well with customers. The Magners is now only 3.00 a bottle which is about right. As a customer myself I can say there have been no Rucks or fights and actually that Friday and Saturday nights are really good in there. They are regualrly trying to do events, such as charity nights, discos, fancy dress, pool and darts nights etc and welcome any new suggestions from customers. I would recommend anyone passing by to pop in and actually see all the good results that the new managemnt have achieved. Well done for making the Chestnut a lovely place to come.
Lady1 - 20 Mar 2007 11:50
The "Nut" is full of local ne'er-do-wells and old pirates, which in a perverse kind of way does make for a certain gritty honesty and character which many local pubs lack. The previous licensee managed for a time to ban the use of pool cues as offensive weapons, and the yobby underclass which used to frequent it went elsewhere, but it seems it's back to its old ways now.
What a waste; this could be a decent community local with the right person running it - Earlswood isn't entirely populated by marauding morons with no taste for anything other than violent confrontation.
TWG - 12 Oct 2006 13:21
another punch up at the weekend
qwerty - 9 May 2006 15:57
it still cant shake the violent nutters so worth avoiding on Fri/Sat nights
ploppy - 16 Apr 2006 15:12
fighting again outside the other night , not a good place to go
newboy - 4 Jan 2006 11:46
New management at the chestnut... it's actually worth going in. Really liked it there. Only every been on weeknights where it's a bit dead but dead in a good way.
Excellent juke box...
strangeone - 29 Jun 2005 01:28
Blimey, what has happened to the Chezzie? I went in there the other night to grab a quick beer while I was waiting for my take away and the place looks 100X better mind you it was a bit of a kip before. I would definitely go there just for a bevvie in future, even though they did have a couple of Arsenal fans in there
scooterroy - 10 May 2005 11:09
The Pub will have new owners in by the 10th December 04. A 2 Week Makeover in the new year, Watch this Space.
iamgritter - 2 Dec 2004 13:19
I have felt this pub to be very unwelcome due to the amount of travellers go in there. They do have a pool table and sky tv but seems to have nothing enhances the local character should have.
emma_clark - 30 Nov 2003 00:53

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