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Winchester Pub Hotel, Highgate

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user reviews of Winchester Pub Hotel, Highgate

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

Closed, with a sign advising that it hopes to re-open in September 2015, so I'm guessing that it's closed for good....especially as "luxury" flats are being built in the area directly above the pub.
Perry - 28 Apr 2017 20:17
After a tenure of being closed, it's reopened again but reluctantly it would seem, as according to the barmaid the owners had wanted to turn it into a supermarket! It’s back, but maybe a little scruffier in its latest incarnation. The beer was not particularly well kept and frankly the pub itself could do with sprucing up. It remains friendly and a relaxing enough space to have a pint but I would say a shadow of its former self. I do hope they return to form soon and wish them well.
Richard_ReadingFC - 22 May 2014 14:28
The grey haired wig wearing ferret seems to have accumulated a lot of eastern european friends since i last commented. He seems to spend his time squinting around, licking his lips and handing small lottery tickets to associates who are busy running to the toilet or into cars outside. Nursing a pint of fosters this poor squinting creature is most annoying when drunk.
brianbrain - 17 Nov 2012 21:53
Amazing interior - needs to be seen. Recently upped the amount of real ales. Gets absolutely packed when the football is on (this is Arsenal territory). Ales fairly unadventurous but well presented - staff friendly - good local.
StatusBaby - 3 Jun 2012 23:36
Some new faces recently, including a small grey haired ferret faced old man who acts supiciously and stares at any female under 40 with his thick pebble glasses.
brianbrain - 26 Feb 2012 08:53
Popped in here in the week. First time and the place is very large but with no atmosphere what so ever. A few people were seated at the bar on the right hand side who seemed like locals or indeed the landlord/landlady.
Attractive young girl serving behind the bar who was very friendly.
Ok and friendly but like previously stated devoid of any atmosphere but maybe it because it was midway between Xmas and new years where most establishments are at their dullest?
Still would probably be a lot better in the height of summer considering its ample outside seating and size. :)
ganger - 31 Dec 2011 06:41
A very good pub. It's got a lot of space, some big tables (and some small ones) and does good food. No coffee machine though, it's a pub not a Starbucks. Stick to booze and mixers.
drinkingfella - 8 Oct 2011 17:37
The best pub in Highgate/Archway.

Val & Pat are great. The lovely bar staff are wonderful.

Whether you're in for an full-on evening session, a quick half or some nosh, this is the place to go. No hassle, no pretension, just a good old fashioned boozer.

My idea of heaven.
marksamujels - 17 Nov 2010 01:24
The most surly and unfriendly bar staff I have ever encountered in London and that's saying something. Not just the odd one but all of them as if it's a part of the job description. With new staff would be a decent pub.
anonymous2000 - 20 Sep 2010 10:29
Beertom is talking pure dribble but looking at his other comments on another pub I think he may fancy himself as an "amateur" pub critic who clearly does not know what a good pint is.

The winchester is a great pub! Great atmosphere, lovely people and exceptional staff. I have lived in the area for over a year now and have yet to be able to fault this bar. A good pint is not just about the beer its about the people you share a drink with, the staff that serve it and the warm welcome you get when you enter the bar. You get all this from the Winchester.

Pat & Val who own the pub are great hosts, very welcoming and accommodating. They do know however when its time to eject the riff-raff which makes the place more relaxed.


P.S I usually visit the pub every evening on my home from and Pat is busy cleaning the pipes every evening. I would suggest you cleanse your palate instead of criticising the beer OR get a better knowledge of beers and their tastes.
149man - 7 Aug 2010 16:08
This pub is horrendous and it's a massive shame because it could be turned it to one of the best pubs in London. In terms of design and history it has everything going for it but you go in there and it smells and the decor looks unkept.

The beer-garden may as well not bother because it's always empty and unappealling, again it could be given a face-lift.

It's probably about time the management move on because this could truly be made in to a great pub. I guess the small hardcore will keep it ticking over but it should really be attracting a larger more varied crowd.

...and clean the bloody beer pipes. the beer tastes terrible!
beertom - 27 Jul 2010 17:15
I dont know why John_thomas is complaining about this bar! This is one of the best bars in Highate and also the least pretentious! I have drank there on numerous occasions and have always found the bar staff to be pleasant and hospitable.

The food is good, not great, just good but then again is doesn't imply itself to be a restaurant.
barspy2010 - 26 Jul 2010 16:28
Will never step foot in this pub again. I've come across some ignorant bar staff in my time but I've never seen so many in one place!

I went to the pub for a birthday party so couldn't leave early, and every time I ordered a drink I was made feel like I was making the bar staff do something that wasn't in their job description. Absolutely shocking behaviour and ultimately spoiled my night out.

There are many nice pubs in the Highgate area. This, however, is not one of them. Steer clear.
john_thomas - 3 May 2010 16:07
Great pub. Nice staff.
Food isn't as good as it used to be but can happily sit here with friends all day.
starquake - 21 Jan 2010 16:38
I used to drink here in the mid 90s, and haven't been there for a long while, so this is a bit of a nostalgia trip for me. It became my local (even though I lived up the far end of Highgate), when I was sort of unemployed, and was spending the bank's money.

Me and my mate came here regularly, playing pool, drinking heavily and having a great time. The pub was full of characters, especially an old woman who used to tell dirty jokes, and a good scouse bloke who'd talk about the football with us. It was tatty, and a bit loose at the seams, but I loved it, and it remains my favourite pub of all time, the kind of place where you walk through the doors and it feels like walking into your own lounge.

Watched tons of football here, had loads of great afternoons and evenings, and usually ended up chatting to anyone and everyone. It was that kind of place. As I say, I don't know what it's like now, but I am determined to visit very soon. God bless the Winchester. Ray Davies should write a song about it.
mattsay - 19 Mar 2009 11:20
I used to live round here four or five years ago, and I dimly recall visiting the Winchester around that time and not being impressed. On a recent re-visit, I felt things had improved a bit. The interior of the pub is lovely and worth visiting for alone really. The pub was quite quiet on a midweek early evening and the pub was a bit dominated by a television programme being shown on all the screens. There was, IIRC, one real ale, so could do better on that front. But for someone having to contend with the very depressing walk along the thundering A1 from Highgate tube down to Archway, this would be a worthwhile point for a brief stop!
grecian - 2 Jan 2009 15:09
Used to drink here 15 years ago, lovely Irish family ran the place and I had a bit of a fling with a young Kiwi barmaid, Heather I think her name was. Great place for playing pool and watching football.
dalglish - 20 Sep 2008 14:34
I love this pub. Such a relaxed atmosphere. Full of local characters. Bar staff are friendly and drinks are at a decent price. Never had a bad night at The Winchester, but do prefer it during the summer when you can sit in the Garden area. What a great place.
Garylynch - 15 May 2008 04:58
Nice elegant Victorian pub on Archway Road with very good food.
Greshon - 28 Oct 2007 14:58
Excellent pub with many original features, including an very beautiful bar, plus lots of fancy glass everywhere. Nice high ceilings - real Victorian style. Had a recent refit and thankfully hasn't been ripped/stripped. Added many new screens which is ok - they seem to be HD - + gets busy when football is on. Real ale is well kept. My only criticism would be the music - gets v. loud sometimes and now the screens behind the bar are on all the time, with little speakers either side pumping out MTV dross. Have a look at how many speakers there are in this place. They're even in the beer garden! Does not need shite music to make this place special - loads of warmth and atmosphere. 10/10 minus 2/10 for noise = 8/10
Disley - 12 Sep 2007 00:41
This is a big pub with high ceilings and a huge bar. The barmaid seemed nice enough when I was in there watching some cricket on the small screen Friday afternoon.

The lager was good and I think Ill probably go back again.
Strongers - 30 May 2007 13:35
I am a little biased about this place as I remember staring into it as a seven year old so it gives me childhood nostalgia. It does not seemed to have changed much and I go back a long way!.Still, this is quite a nice drinking pub though one feels that if they made a greater effort, It wouuld not be a bad place.
tinsoldier - 25 May 2007 20:35
Kind of strange. Often quiet - although that doesn't necessarily mean quick service. Could be much improved but perhaps that is something to love - its done pretty well holding out against a gastropub make over - although I imagine its takings would go through the roof were it to submit to such a thing.
Thursday - 7 Mar 2007 12:55
If I worked in a pub, I would aim to treat all customers like they were regulars - that is how you ultimately earn true regulars. When paying for a round of drinks, I asked if they offer a cash-back service, I was told "You can have 10, unless you're a regular, in which case you can have up to 20". I lied and said I was a regular - she disappeared to check with the 'manageress', then returned to say, "sorry, it's 10 for you". The money was intended to be spent over their bar!

Petty I know, but I won't be returning here because they openly discriminated me, which was embarrassing and incredibly rude. Needless to say, I finished my pint and left with my measly tenner firmly grasped in hand.

brynweb - 23 Feb 2007 11:05
Decent pub, with a lot of drinkers, and nice decor.
Lazmac - 27 Nov 2006 23:47
This pub is nothing more than an average - if not slightly below average - local. It has the space and architecture of a victorian london pub, but that's to be expected. Nothing wrong, but nothing at all special.
roastchicken - 26 May 2006 19:46
My girlfriend took a whole football match to finish her lamb shanks yesterday. I hink it was a whole sheep.
meady - 13 Feb 2006 11:45
It isn't the pub used in the film, that pub is in south london - se14 somewhere.

The story behind Shaun of the Dead is that Simon Pegg use to drink the Shepards Arms just up the road (now the Boogaloo) where they would discuss how to survive a zombie uprising. Pegg said he would hole up in the Shepards because he knew its layout, and because there is a gun shop nearby (a few doors down from the Wincester).

When it came to the film, the called it the Wincester because that is the type of rifle used in Night of the Living Dead, and also just happens to be the name of a pub near his beloved Shepards Arms. Pegg still lives firly close by in Crouch End.
yetiboy - 5 Jan 2006 09:53
DOES anyone know if this IS the pub from shaun of the Dead?? As i've got a friend who is a zombie enthusiast who would love to go on a night out in the winchester pub! PLEASE PLEASE PLEASE get in touch if you know for sure!
vitriolic - 5 Dec 2005 15:06
I heartily agree with the comments below. Stumbled in to get out of the rain - stayed for three hours! Lovely high ceilings, interesting decor and friendly staff. Well worth a visit.
anonymous - 15 Sep 2005 08:30
i used to live in archway about 5 years back and this pub was literally a stones throw from my rented flat... i drank in this pub for 2 years solid virtually every night.. i cannot fault it in any way... from watching football, to eating, to even winning money on the fruit machines..!!! I remember one st patricks night, they even served us all free irish stew and free guinness.... the perfect pub in my view... still drink in their occasionally if in the area....
tonyso - 13 May 2005 13:23
I have lived in north London all life,and have eaten Sunday lunch in many different places. But The Winchester stands head and shoulders above all others.The food there is outstanding, and very reasonably priced. The portions are very generous as well. And the welcome you get from Pat and Val is always warm and genuine,no matter how busy they are. I would recommend the lamb shanks to anyone. The beer is good,its comfortable and welcoming.I like the fact that is usually full of locals.In fact,why should I be telling so many people about it?
mickthegreek - 25 Apr 2005 10:28
My local and marvellous it is.

The landlord Pat runs it like a proper London pub - which it is. Large, central bar in the Victorian gin palace style.

Big projection screen for the evening live footy, but it doesn't overpower the pub.

Food's top notch and the Carlsberg is all I ever need - although the Guinness is rather good to agree with the earlier posting.

And it's not exclusively a gooner pub as I'm a Spurs ST holder and meet up there with Spurs mates to watch TV away games. The banter's good in there but everyone's friendly and there's always a lovely atmos whether you're a regular local or a newbie.
tommy10pages - 14 Jan 2005 16:28
A first rate pub for the boys. Big Arsenal supporter pub. Safe, though. A cozy treat. Lots of locals who are always friendly to non-locals.
Bill - 29 Sep 2004 17:51
The Winchester is a very well run establishment which extends a warm welcome to both locals and visitors alike. The cellar is well kept - Guiness here is particularly good. Food is well prepared (fresh ingredients) and generously portioned rather than ground breaking cuisine. A reasonable range of wines is available. This is one of the few "proper" London pubs still in existence. Whether you want to meet someone to build you a house or a Q.C. to get you out of trouble, try this Victorian masterpiece.
Gee - 6 Jul 2004 14:43
This is a fantastic pub that does what all pubs should do - (1) impress as a proper old-fashioned smokescreened pub full of locals that keeps its doors open to newcomers and (2) serves traditional lovely food with no gastropub tartiness (3) is big, pretty, beautifully decorated and always has a comfy seat.

A winner.
Pearly - 18 Dec 2003 17:30

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