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Old Bear, Cobham

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user reviews of the Old Bear, Cobham

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

Located at the entry to the high street. This pub is a glorified restaurant. The bar is drab with plain wood flooring and grey woodwork and walls. It is not particularly inviting to drinkers. The bar is dead ahead as you enter with all the tables to the left set out for food. There is a limited lounge to the right of the bar plus another area for food. There was an average selection of real ales which were rather pricey. It may be worthwhile considering for a meal but for a drink - forget it!
boozers_knows - 2 Jul 2011 14:26
in recent months this pub has deemed to close in an evening when there is not 'enough business' without notice. This very upseting when you have agreed to meet friends there. Not again.
I have heard that a local blind man who with the help of his guide dog has arrived after a lenthgy walk only to be told that they are closing early. His dog not knowing another pub has had to go home early disappointed. Terrible service, overpriced.
woolywors - 5 Sep 2010 22:52
Good eating pub, nice decor. Bit handicapped by small garden, so quieter in summer. Up for sale at the moment.
exguvnor - 28 Jul 2010 18:44
What an improvement, This place was a bit of a dump last time I visited. Has been tastefully refurbished and has a good menu for the foody types. It is no more expensive that the other pubs in the area, and the staff were numerous, very polite and helpful.
fetchman - 3 Jul 2010 13:14
Visited this place after reading a story in the Caterer, glad I did as this is a great find for the area. It's not the cheapest but it's well worth it.


ZacHoskins - 10 Mar 2010 15:13
I have to say I went to this pub not knowing what to expecting looking at other reviews it seems a bit hit or miss, but I have to say our experience was very good.
I see that alot of peopel coment on the price and it is one of the more expensive places to eat in Cobham , but I have to say that its no more expensive than any other good Gastro pub in London. Personally I'm very pleased to have some were serving London quality food and wine on my door step.
A highlight for me was the pork dish which was fantastic and this thing they have on the bar which serves great wines by the glass there is somthing at every price range.
The whole evening was capped off by the young friendly staff they have working there. I will be going back no questions of that
N6A6T6E - 3 Mar 2010 16:18
Extraordinary food, the chef is a gifted young man. Sunday lunch is a must.
Poecilotheria - 27 Feb 2010 19:05
It's a nice enough pub but we had a dreadful experience and will not be returning. The menu is extremely expensive - for example 16 for a pork loin with cabbage and potatoes. It was beautifully cooked, but the pork was mostly fat - there were about four small mouthfuls of meat. We complained and were told that "that's the cut of the meat", "that's how the chef cooks it" and the classic "no-one else has complained". The drinks are also very expensive - 3.50 for a pint of beer and an eye-watering 12.80 for a 175 ml GLASS of Pinot Noir. After much debate, they agreed to knock off the price of a couple of pints of beer and the service charge, but we still left the pub 45 poorer, hungry and angry at how we had been treated. My husband works in the pub and hospitality trade at a senior level, so we are used to eating out and are not professional 'complainers'. Until the owners of this pub learn to value their customers and price appropriately, my advice is to avoid it.
publoverswife - 25 Feb 2010 09:43
From the Internet reviews, this seemed to be a pub worth a visit and so we did. I was impressed by its website and the ease of online booking, which is quite rare with pubs, I think.
With a log fire at one end and plenty of wood panelling, beams (watch your head if you're over 1m 80cm tall) and floors, it appeared to be quite welcoming the staff continued that theme with politeness and attentiveness.
The restaurant area is a little dark and cramped but not too unpleasant. The menu was presented on a sheet of A4 paper (although cream-coloured and 120g/sqm) and dated for the particular day which gives the impression that it changes daily. It is not very extensive and lovers of steak and chips would have been disappointed - there was none.
Do take your credit card or negotiate an overdraft in advance, however. I had the cheapest starter, a modest-sized bowl of vegetable soup for 6. A roast eel salad (small portion lost in the middle of a huge plate) was 9. The mains were in the region of 14 - 17 and, again, it is very "nouvelle cuisine" with an island of food surrounded by a sea of white china. For customers who prefer a "square meal" I recommend you go elsewhere. The food is tasty, well cooked and courteously explained upon ordering but it is somewhat minimalist.
As for drinks, there is a small range of real ales plus the usual well-chilled lager suspects. A pint of "Hobgoblin", although a treat, was 3.50 and a small glass of white wine 4.35. Slimline tonic sets you back 1.50 and filter coffee is also 1.50 a cup. There is a bar menu which caters for the burger, bun and chips trade.
As stated above, the "Old Bear" has an excellent website, seems to be very professional and the staff make an effort: but don't go there for a huge meal! We came away joking about some of the portions!

bierkenner - 15 Nov 2009 14:32
I'm a big fan of this place, it's a great transformation of a very shabby old pub.
janeroo - 24 Sep 2009 12:54
My husband and I celebrated an anniversary with a lunch for 20 in the conservatory room at the back, last Sunday lunchtime.
The manager could not do enough for us, the service was excellent without being obtrusive and the food was excellent with the chef accommodating our gluten-free needs very well.
The weather was good so we used the direct access to the secure garden to full effect and the whole afternoon was an experience to treasure.
warbler91 - 13 Sep 2009 16:14
Hobgoblin, Black Sheep Bitter, Flowers Ipa, Spitfire was off. Hadn't been in here for years and despite the refurb didn't seem to have changed much. Decent beer garden.
GuideDogSaint - 2 Jul 2009 23:40
I love the village feel to the old bear. I noticed the food was very fresh indeed, with the menu varied and seasonal, I rate this highly!

I shall return again and again and again as it is at the end of my favourite walk through Surrey!

TomTomWhere - 5 May 2009 11:45
I had the most wonderful meal here- a gorgeous smoked haddock fish cake with poached egg and followed by homemade apple tart which was melt inthe mouth deliciouis. This pub looks and feels exactly like a cosy country pub should and the decor has been done ina very stylish yet traditional way. I will definitely be returning.
Treenie - 1 May 2009 15:18
Came in here yesterday, the new chairs look very pretty but are not comfortable at all, only stayed for one. barman looked like a rabbit caught in headlights when we placed our order (it was only two standard drinks)
won't come here again. shame. it was always a dive but at least it was comfy!
jef - 17 Mar 2009 11:40
What a great transformation. I saw it mentioned in The Times and thought I'd check it out and found as the review mention a great addition to Cobham.

I completely recommend it.
mikeG - 10 Mar 2009 17:54
Called in lunch but did not stay. The bar looks like a school canteen. The two blokes on the table right by the side of us were almost shouting. The food may be good, but it is expensive and for those prices I can get excellent meal in nicer surroundings.

The tables were dirty although the staff were standing around doing nothing. One elderly couple had to clear there own table - at these prices? The table next to us was dirty when we arived and still dirty when we left.

Spitfire was fine but it should at 3.40 a pint. The small glass of red wine was 5.75.

Like the advert says "Is this a gastro pub? Wel, they certainly have gastronomical prices".
surrey_sailor - 12 Feb 2009 22:13
Called in lunch but did not stay. The bar loks like a school canteen. The two blokes on the table right by the side of us were almost shouting. The food may be good, but it is expensive and for those prices I can get excellent meal in nicer surroundings.

The tables were dirty although the staff were standing around doing nothing. One elderly couple had to clear there own table - at these prices? The table next to us was dirty when we arived and still dirty when we left.

Spitfire was fine but it should at 3.40 a pint. The small glass of red wine was 5.75.

Like the advert says "Is this a gastro pub? Wel, they certainly have gastronomical prices".
surrey_sailor - 12 Feb 2009 22:11
Called in lunch but did not stay. The bar loks like a school canteen. The two blokes on the table right by the side of us were almost shouting. The food may be good, but it is expensive and for those prices I can get excellent meal in nicer surroundings.

The tables were dirty although the staff were standing around doing nothing. One elderly couple had to clear there own table - at these prices? The table next to us was dirty when we arived and still dirty when we left.

Spitfire was fine but it should at 3.40 a pint. The small glass of red wine was 5.75.

Like the advert says "Is this a gastro pub? Wel, they certainly have gastronomical prices".
surrey_sailor - 12 Feb 2009 22:11
Words fail me. The refit is great. Looks good. Very comfortable. The food was very expensive but well worth it. By far the best Sunday Roast i have ever had. Not sure when reopened but the staff need a little more training, perhaps they are just getting used to it. I would highly recomend this pub. It was great Well done everyone at the Old Bear.
peterjonsey - 4 Jan 2009 21:51
I drove past yesterday and still looks a few weeks away from re-opening.
bobinman - 25 Nov 2008 11:58
or go to the pubs in oxshott or around there.
esher_publican - 19 Nov 2008 07:42
the locals would go mad if they made this into a restaraunt i bet they would then all come to Esher.
esher_publican - 19 Nov 2008 07:41
as if the bloody local council would permit that they wont even accept a house refurbishment in Esher just because its near the green.
esher_publican - 18 Nov 2008 21:46
forgot to say i also heard it was going to be made into a modern development of 4 luxury 2 bedroom flats haha
esher_publican - 18 Nov 2008 21:41
im new to this but yeah.....yeah thats not true is it???? i bet you don't have a clue your just lying i heard its changing into loads of stuff first a bloody wine bar then a restaurant then a famous take-out then a local chain of pubs then i heard it was going to be a bloody driv-through take-out .............anyway i went to the bear in the beginning of September it was a nice quite cold day they had a lovely roaring fire going and although it was not very busy the atmosphere was lovely, the manageress/barmaid was very pleasant and helpful with a great knowledge of the trade and the food was excellent. i would definitely go again if it will still be around. Thanks
esher_publican - 18 Nov 2008 19:52
The Old Bear is undergoing an extensive refurbishment and is due to open within three weeks, it is still remaining as a pub but with a separate restaurant area from the bar. The conservatory is going to have sofas and a T.V. area. There has been a corridor fitted in the pub so as waiting staff do not have to go via the Bar when taking food to table. [as this was very unprofessional] The garden is going to be re-planted and paved and all windows and doors painted along with the interior and exterior of the property. All toilets have been re-fitted, and are now to a high standard. The Old Bear will not be a 'local student' hangout anymore it will be targeted to an 'middle/upper-class' style. They will now serve regular traditional Sunday Roasts and have a varied menu. There will be a new state-of-the-art kitchen with new modern appliances. so this means that the food should be fantastic. As said before by the looks of things at the moment it is due to open in the next 2-3 weeks.
theoldbear - 16 Nov 2008 15:36
Listed building consent given 15 August to turn it into a restaurant. Like the area doesn't have enough restaurants. What it lacks is pubs.
Make the most of this pub - it's going.
rainlight - 20 Aug 2008 15:24
Big oldfashioned pub which may apparently be about to be turned into a restaurant. This should not happen as it is the only proper traditional pub in the centre of Cobham.
Food was bangers and mash, and in the modern style that is exactly what you get, none of this messing around with vegetables and salad. Washed that down with a pint of Adnams.
Seems to be a locals pub but the blackboards advertise shots and 4-pint jugs and there is a warning notice on the door about age checks, so possibly it appeals to the yoof element of Cobham such as it is, as well.
Please don't let this turn into yet another restaurant.
rainlight - 16 Aug 2008 18:46
New Manager, Paul, extremely pleasant and courteous and brimming with ideas for attracting visitors back to this lovely pub, in such a pretty setting opposite the river. Live music throughout the week and wonderful fayre...go check it out, you won't be disappointed.
ladyjanegrey - 21 Feb 2008 15:07
Big pub that was virtually empty when I ventured in on a midweek evening. Food was nicely presented, cooked to order and reasonable value for this part of the world. Staff were friendly and the beer (Batemans) was good. I will be back
superowl - 17 Oct 2007 12:26
went 4 lunch few wks ago (first visit)food vv good service on the ball.made 2 feel v welcome . scottish bar staff brill will b back
anonymous - 1 Jun 2007 00:17
Distinctly average, but goodish by local standards. Popped in there for a quick afternoon pint with a friend just before Christmas and it was deserted, but the clientele were diverse in age and other aspects. The range of beers is good, if a little uninspired serving all the expected lagers and ales. Place is a little souless even if the staff do try their best to be friendly and accomodating. Even this, however, can be a little gruff.
anonymous - 3 Jan 2007 15:44
Thought I would have a little say as people seem to have artistic licence! So perhaps we can set a few things more than straight!! Oh where to begin....
Id like to say firstly that the food is well prced and obviously well thought out, cooked and presented - well done! Have to add that the "local riff-raff" are the target clientel for a small village public house, you would do well to remember that locals pay your wages, keep your staff in your employ and believe it or not generate a profit (might be a while before you turn a bit of that!) The bar staff are perfectly welcoming to the chelski wannabes though I hasten to add that their bar manner is rather cold and most def unfriendly to joe public. If you want a savvy restaurant bar, please look up Esher its not that far and really caters for those who like to impress and swim out of thier depths. All said and done, fantastic pub, great location and GOD WE MISS THE OLD BAR STAFF!!!!!
anonymous - 16 Dec 2006 20:29
Great old fashioned pub, changed hands recently now actually staff with smiles and service skills!! Far better than before. Great ales with a landlord and manager who care about customers and everything they sell even down to quality glassware they use! Bombay sapphire as the house gin! Living in London I can assure you that is rare. Food is great and what you would want in a country pub, bangers and mash with broadside gravy, steak and ale pie, fresh cod in a beer batter with chips absolutely sorted. Found out the chef is the owner and great things planned including a refub in the new year I cant wait next time I'm in Cobham I'll go back.
fromthehip - 27 Oct 2006 19:43
Very pleasantly surprised at the change around. The riff raff that used to frequent this lovely pub have been driven awat by the fact the new owner is offering excellent quality food at very reasonable prices, serving good beer and realising the potential that this huge pub offers.

The ubiquitous Adnams Broadside was in fine fettle as was Adnams Bitter. They also had a guest beer which I hadnt seen before.

All in all I had a very pleasant evening with great food and ale ..... I thoroughly recommend this place to first timers or to people that have not visited for a long time and are looking for a great pub in Cobham (not easy).
givemeale - 6 Oct 2006 14:38
This pub has recently changed hands and as i understand it will be going through a big re-fit early next year. The chef is the now the owner and as a result the food is fresh and delicious - interested to see what will become of this place as loads of promise and in a prime location - will definitely be back.
flakster - 23 Aug 2006 13:05
Went here for the first time today for lunch, the pub was really busy, really really fantastic atmosphere.
The menu was varied and very good value, food was served in good time and was cooked to perfection.
The wine list is more extensive than I would have expected, and was pleasantly suprised.
Spoke to the landlady and was told that the kitchen is open till later now so looking forward to coming for dinner in the near future!
anonymous - 21 Feb 2006 22:03
Me and my mates come down here all the time, theres never any trouble and the landlady joins in and has a laugh with all of us.
We've eaten here a couple of times now that they serve food later and it was well nice! Theres loads to choose from and it all tastes great.
Def come here, theres pool, juke box and great atmosphere.
anonymous - 18 Feb 2006 11:57
This pub has been a local of mine for years, the food is always fresh and well served, the bar staff competant and friendly, what more can you ask for?!?
The staff so obviously get along, its a real joy to listen to and join in the banter, everyone is made to feel most welcome and a good time is had by all.
anonymous - 18 Feb 2006 11:51
I visited the old bear on sunday, i had a lovely time the food was obviously freshly cooked and the sevice was excellent, I had a lovely chat with the landlady,,,,,, I then came home and to make a comment on this site, and i must say I was most surprised to see the very nasty comments made, obviously someone who has been barred for something, obviously sour grapes, I had a lovely time.
kellyj77 - 7 Feb 2006 20:28
The previous comment must have been added by a friend of Denise. The food is poor and of a microwaveable ready meal standard. The staff are next to useless and the pub has generally gone downhill since she unfortunately took over. I have no doubt she'll be moved on in due course to the sort of grotty estate pub that she belongs in somewhere like Grimsby.
anonymous - 30 Jan 2006 22:19
This pub was taken over by a woman called Denise about a year ago.
The sunday roasts are to die for, cheap and a pretty decent size for six quid! The puddings... now what can I say?? YUM!
The staff are alright, could smile more.
When I first started going there it was full of Chavs or Pikeys, not now Denise has barred a few of them! The only ones you have to watch out for now are the Chelski wannabies. Good food, good beers all reasonably priced. Good little local!
kellyj77 - 28 Jan 2006 20:50
Unfortunately deteriated from friendly local since Scottish&Newcastle sold it to Spirit Group. String of poor managers, incompetant bar staff, poor food and poor range of beers
expert - 26 May 2005 14:25
avoid! Full of cobham local chavs
fleurets - 4 May 2005 14:38
Historic value makes it worth the trip. Nice mates there, too!
Greg - 27 Feb 2004 01:30
very nice pub, good food and reasonable prices. gets a bit crowded but overall a very nice little local
joel - 26 Jan 2004 09:31
Very smokey but otherwise pretty standard Whitbread pub. If you're into real ales I should give it a miss, however if lager and/or pool is your thing you should be happy here.
Andy - 12 Jan 2004 16:19

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