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BITE user comments - BeerMonstersBall

Comments by BeerMonstersBall

The Prince Albert, Bletchingley

No entry since 18 Feb 2011 and so much has changed. Forget what has gone before with the absentee and caretaker landlords; revisit this pub, it has been transformed in recent months. The new landlord and landlady Steve and Mel have worked hard to make this a great village pub again. They are welcoming, friendly and obliging together with serving excellent food and great condition beers. That welcome extended to our 20 month old daughter, who was given a little gift of easter chicks, Birdeeeee! Bless.
Mel is the "cellarman" and her ESB is the best I have tasted in a long while. They deserve much credit for what has been achieved and justly deserve your custom. I am sorry that the regulars we used to see in there have gone elsewhere, perhaps they should try it again and hopefully never look back.
The garden has also been the subject of some hard work, cleared and tended, great for those summer afternoons.

27 May 2011 11:05

The Hopbine, Matfield

A really great old-fashioned boozer, friendly landlord serving beers in excellent condition. The food is tasty, home-made and very good value.
Great shame it is not open more hours, but then that is part of its old-fashioned charm. Highly recommended and has been in the Good Beer Guide for over 25 years.

31 Dec 2010 13:56

The Opera House, Tunbridge Wells

I should have added that getting into and out of the place requires that you run the gauntlet through the smokers on the steps and under the front canopy. The staff have clearly not told them that was made illegal in July 2007! I have nothing against smokers, but it does make the entrance and exit a little awkward and uncomfortable.

31 Dec 2010 13:44

The Opera House, Tunbridge Wells

I have to say that this is the worst run Wetherspoon's Pub I have ever attended. The staff are disorganised and often non-existent, the beers are never on (12 pumps and quite often only 2 or 3 beers on sale) and although it is a splendid building, for an Opera House, it has no natural light or ventilation, which makes for a somewhat gloomy feel. This pub has been so bad at times that I was motivated to write to Tim Martin about it; but alas nothing has changed.
On a more positive note, when the beer is on, it is in good condition and when you can find a member of staff they are generally polite and amiable, with a few exceptions!

31 Dec 2010 13:38

The Dovecote, Capel

I have to agree wholeheartedly with whybenormal. This was a great pub and one of my favourites, with well kept beers served under gravity. Charlie is a wonderful barman, knowledgeable on beers, a great character and something of an institution in this pub. The landlady is welcoming and friendly, as are the rest of the bar staff. Then there is the landlord, aptly named "Milk-Tray-Man" by whybenormal, enough to put anyone off going there again. I am afraid I don't like to be greeted with, "All right guvnor?" with a sense that he is trying to be your best mate. Unprofessional and unnecessary and thankfully I am not, his governor! Sorry Shelley and the rest of the staff I have had to score you low because of the this.

31 Dec 2010 13:28

The Halfway House, Brenchley

We have been using this great pub for about three years now and have always enjoyed our visits. Great beer, all served on gravity by the amiable George. Although we are not regular eaters here every meal we have had has been excellent quality, although not the cheapest. Look out for their special themed nights and the twice yearly beer festivals. This pub has been winner and runner-up of the West Kent Pub of the year on many occasions and deservedly so. Keep up the good work Richard and team, the pub is a gem and I have never awarded a 10 before.

31 Dec 2010 13:17

The Rose and Crown, Tunbridge Wells

I had passed this pub a number of times, but had never gone in as the exterior is for some reason off-putting to me. Never judge a book by its cover! I have been in twice this week at lunchtime and was surprised to find within that exterior a pleasant, light and airy pub. The landlady was welcoming and pleasant on both occasions. The HSB as a guest was in tremendous condition, so much so I had to have another! Today we ordered a tuna mayo sandwich, a mature cheddar ploughmans, a pint of Harveys Best (alas the HSB had finished) and a half Kronenbourg, all for 10.90. The previous day we had been charged 10 for two sandwiches in a Tunbridge Wells cafe!
The food was a little slow but the landlady apologised and said there was a problem in the kitchen. She then offered us a free drink in compensation for waiting so patiently, which we graciously accepted. The food arrived and we could not believe the value for money, both were excellent and plentiful. Our drinks and meal were enjoyed and all well within the allotted hour, hardly slow service at all. This pub deserves to be so much busier than it is, an old fashioned boozer of character. It seems to be well supported by its core of regulars and deservedly so. Ah! I nearly forgot, the Harveys was excellent too. The third beer was GK IPA, which I haven't tried as it is far from my first choice.

25 Jul 2008 15:04

The Abinger Hatch, Abinger Common

I visited the Hatch during the Abinger Fayre too, and was similarly surprised to see it so empty, but was I? Overpriced food, bad service and sometimes very variable beers, although on this occasion my Fortyniner was top notch! I think people have voted with their feet, IN DROVES.
Come on Bill, you made a good start when you took the pub, it needs constant fettling to retain its trading position.
Once a regular drinker here, but unfortunately no longer worth the 2 mile walk from home across the fields.

25 Jul 2008 11:40

The William IV, Albury

This used to be one of my favourite pubs. Formerly a Courage pub of great character. Bought by Mike and Linda S in the 80's and became a victim of its own success; you couldn't get in the place it was so packed! Great countryside, great walks and great location, just two miles walk from home. The latest owner, Giles, I had misjudged. He has invested well in the pub and it is now a great place to drink again after the rudeness of the previous landlord Mick D. His chucking out speach, "Right, I've had your money now f*** off," didn't really cut the mustard with my two lady companions at the time, although I should not speak too ill of the dead.
Excellent TEA, Shere Drop and other beers have been enjoyed here in recent weeks, well done Giles it has deservedly regained its popularity. Watch out for the rather limited opening hours though, it was supposed to open all day on Saturday for the summer, but last Saturday it was shut in the afternoon!

25 Jul 2008 11:28

The Prince Of Wales, Westcott

After fourteen years, sadly the landlord has left this pub, another victim of high rents, high rates and high beer prices; I thought that Fullers were better landlords than that.
I have enjoyed many a good pint of ESB in here and have got to know many of the locals over the last twelve years.
The pub reopened 11th July and we visited last Saturday. We were served by a young uncharismatic barman who did his level best not to be engaged in conversation. I later found out that he was in fact the manager. Pub was stark and empty and no food at all served. Hardly surprising! The pint of ESB was drinkable, but far from the best. Flat, lifeless and slightly musty tasting, will not ensure my return. If you want a good pint of Fullers go to the Cricketers in Dorking. Come on Fullers, sharpen up your act, get some decent and knowledgeable staff in these pubs, or they will be lost for good.
The demise of the great British Boozer?

25 Jul 2008 11:03

The Cricketers, Dorking

I have always liked this pub, especially since Fullers took it over in the 80's. However, it has had a chequered past with good and bad landlords. When Ian and Karen A were here it was simply superb and 450 barrels a year for a tiny pub was exceptional in a very competitive town. We visited two Saturdays ago and the pub has come good again, although unusually quiet. Gone is the moody manageress and poorly stocked bar, I hope the damage of previous years is not permanent. I enjoyed an excellent pint of ESB and a friendly chat with the barmaid.
Stay with it John, it will never make fortunes, but will give a good return with good strong trade. Always a boozer, don't concentrate on pretentious food, keep it basic. A few rolls on the bar to soak up the afternoon beer is a great idea, I wish you and your sister well.

25 Jul 2008 10:38

The White House, Guildford

Very pleasant sitting by the river on a summer's afternoon and an excellent pint of ESB too. Shame about the pansy stemmed pint glass, I shall ask for a straight next time.
We didn't try the food, but lots of people eating and no obvious returns, so it can't be that bad.

25 Jul 2008 10:27

The Wotton Hatch, Wotton

Alas, another great ruination of a beautiful pub. I have been using this pub since the late 1970's it was beautiful. Proper public bar, saloon bar, cocktail lounge and restaurant. It was a Fuller's gem and served a great pint of ESB. Many a pint drunk here over the years and some interesting?? 3 mile walks home afterwards. Under the leadership of Bob abd Julie B it was simply the best. They left the pub in 1985; then Fuller's started the trend downwards here with some very bad choices of management. When the pub began to fail they introduced their Country Fayre dining, gone forever was the silver service at very reasonable prices. Then a sale to Bass as a Vintage Inn and now M&B. Need I say more and no Phil isn't there anymore he went before the last refurb. This is very much a restaurant with a bar, if you want classical English pub this is not it. My rating would be zero for atmosphere and 8 for the beers which are well kept and well priced. The TEA is particularly good. The food is overpriced and pretentious, another zero there then.

25 Jul 2008 10:20

The Black Horse, Gomshall

I have used this pub since the 1970's when it was a Young's pub and small hotel. It was classy and fantastic, separate Shire Bar (public), saloon bar and restaurant, with hotel reception at the end of the entrance hall. I moved into the village in 1984 and used this pub most days, not bad for someone who regarded Young's beers as not the best, a pint of mixed, or a Ramrod and Special if you really wanted to hit the spot! Sold by Youngs to Whitbred in the early nineties and converted into a Mulligan's fish & chip shop. What they did to that building was little more than vandalism. Were the regulars consulted? Did the village need this? I have to answer no to both and the inevitable slide began. Apart from a brief dalliance with Thai Food under Frank and Dow Cook's leadership it has never done anything remarkable since. Oh yes, the Indian was good whilst it lasted, just a few months, but at that time it was hardly a pub! I am sure it will never reopen as a pub, Enterprise claws, high rents, high business rates and high (controlled) beer prices from your landlords. The vandalism continues under another name. When will these pubco's learn? Unfortunately they are only interested in property values and profit, not preserving community pubs, or restoring beautiful listed buildings. I vow never to enter another Enterprise pub; all similar minded people, I ask that you do the same.
Come back Frank indeed, at least he managed to put bums on seats and fill the place with drinkers. I have droned on for long enough!

25 Jul 2008 09:56

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