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John Baird, Muswell Hill

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user reviews of The John Baird, Muswell Hill

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

seem to busy serving their mates to be bothered with you
Pubpunk2018 - 14 Jul 2018 20:32
After finding that the Three Compasses in Hornsey High Street was not open until 4pm I had to quickly go to plan B for a pub so a quick bus ride up the hill brought me to Muswell Hill Broadway and then a short walk to the John Baird.

A large corner plot pub that houses a Thai restaurant at the back 'The Black Orchid'. Food was quite popular but there were more punters drinking as there was a crowd of a dozen in on their way to the darts at Ally Pally.

8 hand pumps on the bar serving 6 ales and 2 ciders. A decent range that made my choice difficult, however after much deliberation I went for the seasonal offering of Wadworth’s Dray Bells @ 4.1%.

Neutral decoration throughout with quite a few Christmas decorations up as it’s that time of the year again!

Very decent pub that I'm glad I ticked as the rest of Muswell Hill looked a bit barren ale wise.

lezford - 30 Dec 2014 12:33
Yup, indeed civilised, clean and excellent service. Superb range of ciders and ales. Thai food is pretty good, beer garden renovated. No complaints really.
greenwhiteorange - 7 Nov 2013 10:22
Best pub in Muswell Hill by a mile (not that theres too much choice). The main reason this pub stands out for me is the courteous service. It's also an attractive pub and just the kind of place where a man can relax in the knowledge he is in a civilised place. Great range of beers and a good place to watch footie without all the usual boorishness that this can entail. The Thai food is excellent.

Nice one.

The Strange Torpor.
strangetorpor - 9 Jan 2013 20:09
Went in here for the first time the other week when the Man U v Arsenal Game was on. Had a couple of pints of Doom Bar - both as flat as a witch's tit. Shame really as it looks like a decent local pub as opposed to all the gastro-places that infest this part of London. Whoever's in charge needs to get someone who knows what they're doing when it comes to serving proper beer.
Ivan_Dobski - 10 Nov 2012 22:34
Yes - the beer has suffered over the past couple of months - a change in the cellar man and the new guy is not up to scratch - hopefully he will learn. As regards being served a flat beer by the owner - I assume you mean the manager - he is teetotal - so he really wouldn't know. The cellar man should though. Another recent gripe with this pub is shutting early - calling last orders 15 minutes before the published time is very frustrating when you have made a special effort to get there after work.
StatusBaby - 3 Jun 2012 23:03
Some of the eulogies about the beer are rather over the top. I've frequently had a bad pint in here, and I stopped going for a while when it became a very regular occurence. The last straw was when the onwer once served me a totally flat dead pint, presuming I wouldn't notice. I didn't until I got back to the table, as I was a tad pissed. That was a wake up call. On the plus side, the Thai food is consistently excellent. And so are the staff who are always unfailingly very nice.
pbarney - 24 May 2012 21:07
If you're into real ale and in N10 this is the only place to be. Regular themed beer festivals e.g. Welsh Ale festival or Yorkshire Ale festival add variation to what is always an interesting pub for beer. Coupled with a real cider or 2 and a perry this is a pub for the discerning drinker.

Can't understand Alesonly's complaint about the food - and suggests he head to Harley Street for attention to his hooter - the food is great and the aroma of other drinkers eating only ever makes me feel hungry!

However - the pub has several large screen TVs and does get very busy with the lager crowd on football nights.
StatusBaby - 29 Mar 2012 22:11
I was in this Pub a few weeks back on my way home after the GBBF as its only about 200 yards from my house. The good points are they have some very good guest Ales on Tap and there always in excellent condition last night time was no exception plus theres several other good bottled Ales & Lagers all the ones I tried were in excellent condition. The Pub is always clean & tidy and the Staff are always very polite.
The only bad point I find is that they allow food too be eaten anywhere in the Pub not just in the restaurant part and I find the smell tends to put me off my beer as it smells like sweaty socks. But this apart its not a bad Pub providing you go in there when theres no sport on TV. All in all Its worth a visit just for the Ales & Its much better During the weekday Evenings or during the day time as its a lot quieter.

For Beer & Ale Quality 10/10 overall score 7/10 due too the constant smell of stale food. I feel it would be much better if they rebuilt the wall and kept food at one side then it would be much more popular like a lot of the Craft Beer Houses that are becoming.
Alesonly - 16 Aug 2011 15:49
very nice pub. and good thai food in the back as well. Double thumbs up!
Lieven - 6 Apr 2011 17:44
Having spent a considerable amount of time staying in Muswell Hill for work, I have become an 'occasional regular' in the few pubs there are up here, and the John Baird stands head and shoulders above its competitors. I've always found the staff to be friendly and efficient, particularly for London, and the drinkers tend to follow suit. During a recent visit a chap asked whether he and a friend could share my table, and gathering that I was alone they asked whether this was my first visit to the pub. After a pleasant chat they continued their conversation and I went back to my paper until my (excellent) Thai curry arrived. They left, and the seats were quickly taken by a couple who were in for the pub quiz. Again, they noted that I was an unfamiliar face in the pub, and made me feel most welcome in their local - this seems to be the rule, not the exception.

The landlord clearly has a passion for real ale, and the broad selection (usually 8 brews) changes very regularly. I have never had a disappointing pint here, and god knows that's rare enough in these parts. They generally have several guests on the go, and I have discovered a couple of beauties - try Sharp's Atlantic IPA if you get the chance.

An oasis in a bit of a real ale desert.
tommarto - 23 Mar 2011 18:07
very nice food and a lovely atmosphere. we will def be back.
thevirg02 - 18 Mar 2011 10:50
Had an excellent pint of Dark Star Old Chestnut on my visit but the place is a little too 'open plan office' for my liking. It seems laid out for people in groups and not too many places for a couple or somoene on their own to inhabit which makes it not so sociable a venue (i.e. you're unlikely to interact with other punters). Has an area to the rear laid out for diners under the guise of Black Orchid Thai restaurant.
Snarling_Mallard - 13 Nov 2010 12:09
Have been to this pub quite a few times when I've been in the area, and while the Thai food is very good, the beer isn't. I've had quite a few duff pints here, and the real ales are often fairly flat, insipid brews you've never heard of. Not always, of course. but quite often. Overall, good food, but too often disappointing beer. So I'm reviewing my score downwards till the beer improves.
pbarney - 6 Nov 2010 08:32
If you're in N10 and you want real ale this really is your only option - and a very good one it is too. Recently added to the Good Beer Guide, the staff are always friendly and even when busy service is prompt and professional.

The Thai food is excellent, the beer garden great in the summer - and there is a heater for the smokers in the winter.

Runs irregular beer Festivals - usually themed (e.g. Welsh beer).

StatusBaby - 26 Aug 2010 23:41
At 4 for a pint of lager, this pub has got a bit too pricey...even bars in the City are cheaper!
CannyRogue - 23 Jul 2010 13:59
fantastic staff, manager, ales, food. must visit
arty22 - 21 Jul 2010 17:52
This is not a bad Pub it has some good Ales on tap & staff are good . But I feel its being unnecessary spoilt by allowing people too eat food in the Pub Part it should be kept in the restaurant section only. Other down side as already said by another poster is Why are the TVs always on full blast its impossible to talk with Friends If you stop both these annoyances it would be 10/10 from me.
half_tuppence - 3 Jun 2010 23:46
Modern pub/restaurant in the centre of Muswell Hill, featuring lots of wood and modern furniture. However this is just as much a Thai restaurant as it is a pub. In fact, there were more Thai staff for the restaurant than the were serving staff for the pub. The food did look quite nice though. The drinks range is good - Brakspear Bitter, Caledonian Flying Dutchman, Greene King Old Speckled Hen, Black Sheep Bitter, Wells Bombardier, Sharps Doom Bar and Courage Directors, alongside Westons Traditional Scrumpy & Stowford Press, Aspalls and Addlestones. Despite the modern surroundings and shared restaurant, I would quite happily visit this pub again if in Muswell Hill.
blue_scrumpy - 31 May 2010 13:59
I really rate this pub. I've started going there recently and have been very impressed by its friendly atmosphere. A lot of the regulars have become friends and the staff are always very helpful and smiley. The Thai food is really tasty and its good that you don't have to be in the restaurant section to eat but can sit anywhere in the pub. The beer garden is quite big and very well kept and is a brilliant drinking venue in the summer. All in all very worth a visit, and much more welcoming than somewhere generic like o'neil's.
elizatetley - 13 Apr 2010 08:55
I been into this Pub a few times on Saturday evenings as its only about 200 yards from my house But I only occasionally use it. Good points are they have some very good guest Ales on Tap and there always in excelent condition. Its Always clean & tidy and the Staff are always very polite.
But too me these are out weighed by the bad points It only has one small Gents Toilet in a big pub this size. The TVs are always on Blasting out so loud it makes it Impossible to talk or have a normal conversation. Even on the Saturday evenings when we went in it had the usual Saturday night drivel on that most People go out just too get away from.
To me the main Problem is it feels just too much like your drinking in a waiting area provided for the Restaurant the lack of carpet & curtains dont help and tend too make the accoustics & atmosphere even worse .
For Beer & Ale 9/10 for Ambiance 3/10
Alesonly - 25 Feb 2010 21:08
Margot_and_Gerry. I am still about. I wonder if you knew the place many years ago. It was full of locals all day. Friendly people.some lonely. It was a meeting point for those who wanted companionship or somewhere warm for a quiet pint a chat or to keep warm. I know pubs aren't charities but it was a focal point of the community- a place where you could find work, find out local newsetc etc. A lot of money was spent their. All those people -maybe about 30-40 are either berred or not welcome in the new place/. No disrespect to the governer- he wanted a 'differnet' type of client and it looks like a very well furnished gastro-pub out of a catelogue. But a good local where you could always see friends and come in dirty after work was RUINED.

brianbrain - 20 Jan 2010 13:48
Brian Brain, not sure if you're still around...but you couldn't possibly get it more wrong. Just because a pub doesn't have dirt everywhere doesn't mean it isn't a 'local'. Quite the opposite, the Baird has a great following of local drinkers, and I do believe some of them are actually working class if not a good percentage. The staff actually remember your name, and are all genuinely welcoming and there's a west country beer festival on at the moment, with 30 odd ales on 3 or 4 at a time depending on how quick the barrel goes. Can't praise the place highly enough.
Margot_and_Gerry - 6 Nov 2009 16:42
Popped in here, albeit rather briefly, for the first time at the weekend. On the positive side three handpumps dispensed a variety of guest ales, although on this occasion I didn't sample. Still, this looks a better real ale range than anything else I've seen in Muswell Hill. Also on the positive side, I think this pub used to be a John Barrass pub and it's certainly a bit better than that now. Plus there's a beer garden out the back. On the negative side, though, I just didn't warm to the place particularly: I agree with the comments that the interior, while very modern, is characterless, and the ceilings in the right-hand side of the bar are rather low making the whole place rather hot and claustrophobic on a warm afternoon. The left-hand side of the bar is given over to a bolt-on Thai restaurant, which didn't inspire me (although I don't like Thai pub food as a general matter). I think some thought has gone into making this a decent boozer, and I will head back to sample the ales at some stage, but overall I think it's lacking a certain something.
grecian - 28 Sep 2009 10:24
I have used this pub on and off for 14 years ,as owners landlords changed the john baird went from a great local pub to a shadow of its formerself .
now thanks to a small company with great vision and an intrest in what we want in muswell hill ,WE have a great local and I would travel for this pub as well .
if you like real ale a great selection with guest ale on a regular basis,a very good selection of larger ,ciders on tap and bottled ,a superb wine list and great selection of spirts.
my partner smokes the john baird as a neat good sized garden,I love my football ,as do many other regulars ad many teams are supported in the baird and the atmosphere is always great and friendly .
LASTLY but not least the thai food is of a stardard that can not be praised highly enough it looks good ,smells good and tastes better, at seat service pay drinks bill with food at end of your meal ,eat in retaurant,or in bar same service.
my thanks to keith his great staff his family and the new owners who uncommonly treat us as part of their pub not just a paying visitor .

eltelw - 18 May 2009 10:04
This is a great pub! Awsome atmosphere and friendly staff. I am definatly coming back, and bringing friends, the thai food looks great!
flower_power23 - 17 Feb 2009 17:11
i would just like to say i moved to the area about 2 half years ago i first went to the john baird when it was run down and a horrible crowd was there.on returning there 6 months ago i was shocked by how much had changed,the atmosphere was very good,helpful staff,no larger louts,good food both thai and english.keith introduced himself to me and my mates on the2nd visit which we thought was a nice nights a must!! great atmosphere,
realpubmerchant - 17 Feb 2009 13:10
this is an awful souless place which has no character and whilst very well decorated and run is not a 'local' anymore and you'll find more atmosphere on the moon. Looks like every other 'gastro-pub' with wood flooring and mood lighting and over-priced drinks.....the working class not required! Hardly any decent pubs in the area now as they all have been destroyed -try the royal oak or even the 'o'neills' for a 'real' local pub.
brianbrain - 31 Jan 2009 21:36
This is a great pub that we're very pleased to have as our local...the Staropramen always tastes great, my partner assures me the ales do as well, and the food is good too!

Good place to watch football.
CannyRogue - 8 Jan 2009 11:14
This place is relaxed, friendly, clean and a real-ale drinker's paradise. Everything here feels well run and organised, including the delicious Thai kitchen. Well worth a visit.
David67 - 10 May 2008 11:19
Fist visit to this place on Saturday night. We ate in the Black Orchid, Thai restaurant which is attached. Very nice food, reasonably priced and really good service. As for the pub, well it was having a West Country beer festival and the three I tried were very nice. Staff very freindly and efficient. all in all a really nice place to spend an evening.
Alfnoax - 28 Apr 2008 11:00
lovely pub . well done the food also very good
hidihi - 9 Apr 2008 15:21
Nice but..............
When a customer points out a lack of toilet paper in the ladies...
Do something within minutes and don't ignore the problem
elsiepop - 15 Mar 2008 22:34
Made over it may have been but it is still recognisably a pub, which on the hike up Muswell Hill is a rarity. Four real ales on including Itchen Valley Fagin's; plus the Thai restaurant out the back. Found the people friendly and the pub comfortable. Pleased I persevered uphill and found this place.
beeronaut - 22 Feb 2008 16:49
Went to the recent ale festivasl in the pub and had a great time. I also tried the food which was excellent. Well done to all.
wolfie - 11 Dec 2007 14:46
Awful. Devoid of any atmosphere. Theres nothing overtly wrong with this place but it just doesnt work. If homebase did flat pack pubs this would be the result; functional but soulless.
jon201179 - 4 Dec 2007 14:31
Been away for a while and thought i'd pop in to see if they had kept up the good work and they really have! The pub is STILL clean and there are STILL no kids running riot in there. It's great to see they haven't slipped back into old habits.

The Ales were looking good when i was last in and now they've gone a step further and put a festival on! It's amazing to think that this place was such a dive only a year ago. Hat's off to the manager (Keith I think) and his team.

Xander - 29 Nov 2007 20:41
I have to agree with all the latest comments that The John Baird has vastly improved since the refurbishment.

I had a few San Miguels last night whilst doing the quiz. Its a pretty basic and easy to follow quiz, which is good, and the play your cards right rollover was a good touch.

The barmaid was extremely friendly and the manager was making a visible effort to be welcoming and helpful.

The Black Orchid thai restaurant that is at the back of the pub is very well laid out and separate enough from the pub that it actually feels like a restaurant.

My only gripe is that the tall tables and chairs by the window are a little cumbersome, which makes it a little difficult to get comfortable. I cant really moan though as there are enough seats in the rest of the establishment to sit at.

I think this may become my Muswell Hill local and Ive doubled my previous rating.
Strongers - 5 Oct 2007 10:14
another improved local pub... old white lion, then the alex, bald faced stag, this one and soon clissold arms!
anonymous - 31 Aug 2007 17:35
Went in here two weeks ago its much better than before. The Beer London Pride was very good the pubs clean & bright now vast Improvement.
The Only down side is they still show sport and the TV is never turned Off even when nothing is on and no one is watching it.

Alesonly - 19 Aug 2007 18:45
wow... went back in for the first time in a couple of months last night for the quiz, and what a change! no loud music or shouting youths, you could actually hear the quiz master for a change. they are already non smoking which is fantastic for me, but for smokers they have also done up the garden.
have also heard good things about the new food menu, will have to try it over the weekend.
chris_f - 29 Jun 2007 15:15
they have really turned this place around. Amazing decor and a really comfortable place for a hassle free drink pre-cinema. The food is great and highly recommended. No more kids with attitude and an over 21 policy is fantastic! Well done to Keith and his staff.
brianbrain - 28 Jun 2007 10:29
I popped in a few days ago to have a look at the 'new' John Baird. Crikey what a big difference, No pool tables, no kids and no-one haseling the staff. Great beers aswell. The Strawberry Fuli is lovely. Haven't tried the thai food but it does smell good. Maybe on my next visit! Well Done!
Xander - 27 Jun 2007 17:41
who is this brianbrian what are you talking about have you been in the pub lately great turn around,well done new management.
smiley_x - 27 Jun 2007 00:31
what a great turn around this pub is new refurbishmenthas to be seen if you remember the old place new thai restaurant saets at a quess 40 lovley garden for smokers,large selection, of ales that taste very good, and very nice staff well done to the,new managementlast time i was in was 6 years ago and i said then, i would never go back im glad i did no more kids with attitude over 21 policy witch is great well done i will be back there very soon.
smiley_x - 27 Jun 2007 00:26
What a pleasant surprise to revisit the John Baird following it's recent refurbishment! a great selection of real ales including London pride and Bonbardier as well as a Thai Restauarant. Full marks to the new owners who at last offer the locals of muswell hill and decent pub to drink in
wolfie - 26 Jun 2007 23:36
I got a feeling whilst in The John Baird that it is a drinkers pub. There are a couple of pool tables at one end of the pub and a nice seated area around the corner at the other end.

One of the mens toilets was out of order when I was in there and they have no Strongbow and the Stella was off, but the San Miguel was very good.

I only stayed for a pint, which is probably the same as Ill do next time Im in there.

Strongers - 28 Mar 2007 10:27
I've no idea who put on the quote below me a few days ago. The place is a menu limited and seems to be on the whim of staff and such a bad atmosphere. Been in twice and there have been quite serious fights both times, lots of young kids with attitude. Avoid!!!!
brianbrain - 17 Jan 2007 17:57
Change in management is fast making the John Baird the best local in Muswell Hill. With a welcoming, home-like atmosphere maintained by friendly staff and a good crowd- old or young- the Baird is definitely the place to go for a pint! It has an excellent selection of draught beers, ales and spirits to satisfy even the fussiest of drinkers. Quiz nights on Thursday are particularly entertaining and the extra new pool table resolves the old problem of it being hogged by regulars. Thumbs up!
Isabella88 - 13 Jan 2007 16:08
At last we have someone who cares about this great pub. Things are really on the up here and well worth a visit to see the real side of Muswell Hill.

It offers a good selection of Real Ale and Lagers but best of all it offers a friendly place for a beer.
anonymous - 16 Nov 2006 23:51
Has gone up in price a bit, but still a good pub - great for watching football and nicely unpretentious. Good atmosphere and good beer.
n10_n17 - 26 Sep 2006 15:43
The service and the beer has improved drastically recently. They usually have Old Speckled Hen, Youngs Special and Bombadier on tap, and the mixed grill is enormous.
The_Farseer - 20 Apr 2006 16:36
What a great boozer in muswell hill. Friendly staff and great meal deals (2 for 1) on Monday and Thursday. All the football shown inclusing PPV. Pretty basic beer garden in the summer. Seating is a bit old and toilets are often flooded but it has a good lay-out. Pool table and several new fruities if thats your thing. Juke box is brand new. Perfect for a pre or post cinema drink. Can get a bit busy Friday and Saturday nights.
brianbrain - 5 Nov 2005 23:16
Lager cold and not flat. Had a cheese sarnie. Pretty basic but liked the place. Staff very friendly too. Was a pile of puke though on the ground just be the beer garden. First time to Muswell Hill and it all seemed a bit poncey really.
Lyncroft - 29 Aug 2005 18:52
Have only been in there once and there was a rum ol' mix of people. Friendly enough and I'll probably pop in there again soon as it's possibly the best pub on/off Broadway.
MikeyBee - 18 Aug 2005 16:05
A bit rough round the edges but so what. Still better than any chain pub by a country mile!
ganger - 7 Apr 2005 00:55
My beer was a bit flat so the assistant manager came to talk to me... A-B-S-O-L-U-T-E-L-Y D-R-U-N-K!!! It's a shame, one of the nicest places to have a pint when there's football on.
Stacy - 22 Aug 2004 16:47
Go here and count how many different styles of ceiling and wall mounted light fitting they have. It's bizarre. Interior was redone about 2 years ago and it is awful. Like one of those lighting shops you sued to get in the eighties. Beers alright though and there's a pool table.
Dan - 14 May 2004 11:51
Always has a good pint of Directors for all you real ale fans
StatusBaby - 13 Feb 2004 20:45
Good pub for a Sunday lunch while the football is on. also just across the road from the cinema, so very handy for a pre/post-film pint. plenty of room inside, and a comfortable atmosphere as well.
anyonebutmanu - 13 Jan 2004 16:19
I consider this pub the only truly complete pub in Muswell Hill. At a time when all the decent pubs are turning into overpriced bars and kitchens it pleases me that the only makeover this pub has had in the last 10 years has been a new lick of paint.
The selection available at the bar is vast and caters for all my needs, and the food is good value. It has a big screen, pool table, dart board, juke box, garden and as much seating as you need.
Recently taken over by the John Barras chain, the vibe is friendly and warm, especially during the winter months. The John Baird is one of my favourites.
Dickie - 7 Jan 2004 17:46
This is a great pub. First off, The lagers that I have tried in there were very good; Fosters, Kronenbourg all in the proper glasses (if that's your bag). They serve food in there though I have never tried it. I was in there the other night watching football and they served food non stop. It looks very good). Other features are a jukebox, pool tables, games machines, darts. The staff are on the ball when it comes to serving people, making sure that people are not standing there waitng to be served and then just serving the next person they see. There is an outside bit out back but I think it's just a few seats near the carpark (don't quote me on that as I havn't had a proper look). Oh and they have a big (5ft x 4ft) screen in there for the footy/sports etc.

Boozehound - 25 Sep 2003 15:12

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