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BITE user comments - Delirious_Nomad

Comments by Delirious_Nomad

The Grape and Grain, Crystal Palace

The clueless clowns running (or should that be ruining) this place have just sacked their best and most conscientious member of staff, apparently for nothing more than not accepting being treated like a doormat by colleagues whilst they were away on holiday. They ought to be ashamed of themselves.

I certainly won't be drinking here again after this, and I doubt I'll be the only one. Beer festival this weekend, and I'm sure plenty more gallons will go down the drains at the end of it than would have been the case a week ago. 'Spoons can't take the place soon enough now.

20 Mar 2015 10:55

The Bridge House, Tower Bridge

I popped into Adnams' only tied house in London for the first time in at least five years. It feels more like a restaurant these days, with about five tables at the front fror drinkers and the rest all laid out with cutlery etc. It's smart and pleasant enough for what it is, but not really somewhere for a session, and not really my type of pub. Four Adnams ales were avaialable on handpump: Bitter, Broadside, Explorer and Seasider. My pint of Explorer was a bit mediocre, all the more so @3.50 a pint.

30 Mar 2011 15:12

The Anchor Tap, Tower Bridge

Lovely old multi-roomed warren of a pub. I stopped going here a few years back when they got rid of the cask ale, but gave it a try as I was walking past and the real ale is back. Sam Smith's Old Brewery Bitter @2.03 a pint. Drinkable, though could have been better kept.

30 Mar 2011 15:06

The Harp, Covent Garden

Having heard (somewhat to my surprise) that The Harp had won the CAMRA national Pub of the Year award I made a point of popping in to check it out. It's a lovely little old fashioned pub, no tables & chairs just stools & ledges, with another more comfortably furished room upstairs that I didn't really look at properly. Eight real ales were on offer, all from Home Counties breweries: Harvey's Best, three from Dark Star, two from Sambrook's, one each from Rother Valley and Red Squirrel.

I've visited occasionally over a period of several years, and whilst the range of ales has grown in number and become more interesting I have to say I've rarely had an absolutely superb pint. Don't get me wrong, they're not "off" or anything and I'm happy to keep going back, but all too often they're a bit under ripe or occasionally a bit flat. Yesterday was typical; Red Squirrel London Porter was flat, while Sambrook's Junction was slightly hazy and will doubtless be better by today. Both great beers, and both pleasant enough to drink here, but I've had better pints of each elsewhere. Maybe I'm just unlucky with the timing of my visits, but we are talking about supposedly the best real ale pub in the entire country and I've yet to see any evidence to justify such an exclusive accolade. Still worth a high mark though, and I'll be back again in search of that elusive perfect pint.

21 Mar 2011 12:33

The Chandos, Trafalgar Square

Nice "traditional" pub, plenty of seats & tables yet not too cluttered. Being Sam Smith's the drinks were ridiculously cheap too (2.03 for a pint of Old Brewery Bitter, not a particular favourite brew of mine but nevertheless well kept). It was a good place for a group of half a dozen or more to meet up as it's comfortable and you shouldn't have to wait long to claim a table.

Downside was that two young barstaff who were clearly very inexperienced and inadequately trained had been left to fend for themselves on a busy Sunday afternoon. I had to ask twice for my first pint to be topped up; I wouldn't have been overly fussed given the price, but it was literally not much more than three quarters liquid. Glancing around I could see most pints were being served well short, including lager & cider, not just bitter & stout. Eventually I just lost the will to live and accepted that if I was going to order six pints I'd only be drinking about five, and it was still relatively cheap. Huge numbers of empty glasses were lying around waiting to be collected and washed. This wasn't the fault of the two on duty who were trying their best, but clearly neither of them was a manager or supervisior and in over three hours we saw no sign of any other staff member, so someone supposedly "in charge" was clearly elsewhere and not pulling their weight during a busy weekend session.

21 Mar 2011 12:09

The Blue Boar Hotel, Maldon

I like this place more each time I go there. An absolutely incredible old building, the eclectic range of artefacts adorning the front bar is barking mad. Four Farmer's beers plus Adnams were available, all on gravity dispense. A couple of years ago I also stayed in the hotel for a couple of nights. That was great too.

16 Feb 2011 09:46

The Hurdlemaker's Arms, Woodham Mortimer

Lovely old fashioned village pub. Abbot and Mighty Oak IPA were the real ales on offer, I had a decent pint of the latter. I was in early evening and just a couple of other punters were there supping a pint. I suspect they rely mainly on food trade at busy times.

16 Feb 2011 09:41

The Original Plough, Chelmsford

Smartly refurbished pub. Eight real ales on offer, although with two banks of eight handpumps they could increase to as many as sixteen if demand and cellar space are sufficient. Efficient service from a friendly barmaid.

Only real criticism is there are too many tables and chairs. I was in late afternoon when it was fairly quiet, but somehow felt a bit cluttered and if every table and chair was occupied you'd barely be able to move around.

16 Feb 2011 09:37

The Alleyns Head, West Dulwich

Large post-war building on a prominent corner on the edge of a residential area. The bar is directly ahead as you enter, with five handpumps offering London Pride, Youngs, Adnams, Harvey's and one other I can't recall, all priced @ 2.50-2.70; all draught beers have their prices clearly displayed on the pump clip/font. My pint of Harvey's was fresh and well-kept. Ample seating areas sprawl away to both sides, and on a Thursday lunchtime most tables were occupied.

If I was looking for words to describbe the overall feel of the place I'd probably use "bland", "corporate", "contemporary"; although if that sounds a bit uncomplimentary I have to say the place looked clean and smart and fairly tastefully decorated - on the whole a bit like an upmarket Wetherspoon's, without the accompanying 'Spoons underclass. worth stopping off if you're passing, but not really worth going out of your way to visit.

4 Feb 2011 12:22

The Leathern Bottle, Godalming

I've been here a few times now over the past six years or so when visiting the adjacent football club. Small "traditional" boozer with TEA and London Pride on handpump. The TEA was especially well kept. Seemed busier than in the past with a nice friendly buzz. I was only drinking myself, but they seemed to be doing a good trade in meals which I hadn't noticed before. Far better than the Freeholders.

21 Nov 2010 10:27

The Freeholders, Farncombe

Didn't like this place. Five of us came in after watching a match at the nearby football club. As soon as we walked in a variety of middle aged locals congregated around the bar seemed to be looking round and staring at us as if we shouldn't be there. I almost felt like walking stright out again. One bloke said something unintelligible to me. I think he was attempting to take the piss out of me in some way but he sounded like he'd been in since opening time and didn't make any sense. Staff were friendly enough but my pint of London Pride was pretty mediocre. The Gents toilet absolutely stank, and the door was wedged open to allow the aroma to travel towards the rest of the pub. I won't be back.

21 Nov 2010 10:20

The Tiger, Denmark Hill

A lovely building and comfortable interior with character and clear views of the hustle and bustle around Camberwell Green. It's been competely transformed by "going back in time" to its original identity as the Tiger. Wadworth 6X, Young's Ordinary, Deuchars IPA and Sharp's Doom Bar were available on handpump. I was served a decent pint of 6X in a dimple pint pot @3.10.

19 Apr 2010 13:29

The Hermits Cave, Camberwell

An old fashioned no frills boozer of a type increasingly hard to find in Inner London. Two handpumps dispensing Loddon Shrimpers Bitter and Brodie's IPA were promising, however my pint of the latter, though drinkable, was very underripe and not worthy of the pub's entry in the Good Beer Guide. However, it felt like my type of pub and it was a pub I'd like to like, so I'll give it another go some time.

19 Apr 2010 13:24

The Bear Free House, Camberwell

Nice old street corner pub, but not quite my cup of tea. Stong emphasis on the food side with place mats laid out at all the tables when I arrived shortly after opening time on a Sunday; clientele predominantly young professional types. However I was mainly tempted along by its appearance in the Good Beer Guide, and two real ales were on namely Acorn Barnsley Bitter and Oakham Rollercoaster. The former was superbly kept, the latter slightly green and rather pricey at 3.45 a pint.

The pub istelf was furnished smartly and simply with bare floorboards and wooden tables & chairs with banquette seating along one wall, but despite nice big windows and sunny weather the dark brown walls and ceiling made it feel a bit gloomy. Painting the walls & ceiling in a much paler colour would be a big improvement.

19 Apr 2010 13:19

The Old Fountain, Old Street

Traditional style boozer in the middle of a terrace which, unusually, has an entrance in the streets on each side. Internally it's reasonable smart and typical of the type of London pub that hasn't changed much over the last fifty years, but what really sets the Old Fountain apart is the range and quality of the eight real ales on offer. Mostly from smaller southern breweries such as Crouch Vale, Dark Star, Mighty Oak etc. the four I sampled were uniformly perfect.

A shame the place doesn't open at weekends as it's clearly usurped the Wenlock as the best pub in the area for me. I like a down to earth boozer but unless ithe Wenlock has taken a turn for the better in recent months it's become just a bit too tatty and scruffy and the ales, whilst always drinkable, have rarely been kept as well as they might be on my more recent visits.

The friendly and efficient service at the Old Fountain also contrasts with the often surly and inattentive equivalent at the Wenlock.

1 Feb 2010 13:17

The Crown Inn, Stockport

Real ale utopia with sixteen handpumps offering a wide range of styles and strengths. I had Copper Dragon Golden Pippin, Allgates California, Oakham Porter and Outstanding Stout, all of which were served in perfect condition. Undoubtedly one of the premier real ale pubs in the country. A nice cosy boozer with a friendly atmosphere to boot.

1 Jan 2010 15:36

The Waterhouse, Manchester

Completely different to the typical 'Spoons; instead of the usual cavernous open plan layout this place is a warren of separate rooms in what looks like a large converted house. I popped in two mornings running, primarily for breakfast, so it was fairly quiet but there was a good range of ales and they were well kept.

1 Jan 2010 15:30

The Buffet Bar, Stalybridge

A classic, quirky, old fashioned ale house packed with a variety of railway memorabilia. The narrow layout can soon make it feel rather cramped, but being on a station platform it won't be long before seats and tables become available if you're staying for a bit longer.

The eight real ales are uniformly well kept. However, I feel the range tends to place a bit too much emphasis on offering obscure, rarely seen brews which can often be mediorcre, rather than old favourites.

1 Jan 2010 14:22

The Fox on the Hill, Denmark Hill

First time I've been here for a few years. Unlike most 'Spoons the building is a traditional pub, but otherwise a fairly standard example of the genre.

20 Dec 2009 22:08

The Clock House, East Dulwich

Like many Young's pubs, someone seems to have tried too hard to steer it away from the "traditional boozer" image and created an unappealling mess. Beer quality remains alright by the bland standards of Wells-Young's, but much of the furniture is uncomfortable and there's too much of it squeezed into too little space, and the decor creates an oppressive claustrophobic feel for me even when there are few people in the place.

20 Dec 2009 21:47

The Gowlett Arms, Peckham

Essentially a backstreet local, but with a slightly trendy/contemporary twist. Good Beer Guide listed for several years now, and rightly so as the four rotating ales are served in excellent condition, although the range tends to be a bit boring. (London Pride, Adnams, Abbot, Old Speckled Hen yesterday.)

The pizzas are especially good.

20 Dec 2009 21:38

Hoopers Bar, Camberwell

Smart "traditional" backstreet boozer, Jamie & Viv are very friendly and hospitable hosts.

I've just been enjoying another of their frequent beer festivals. Six or seven well chosen ales were on at one time, plus always plenty of bottled beers to choose from. Only real complaint is it's a bit pricey at 3.20 a pint. I also enjoyed the recent series of blues gigs on Saturday nights, although these seem to have come to an end for the time being at least.

20 Dec 2009 21:32

The Grape and Grain, Crystal Palace

Ignore the current low rating, which surely includes reviews from the pub's previous incarnation.

The Grape & Grain is not yet in the CAMRA Good Beer Guide, but surely will be for the 2011 edition (due out September next year).

The pool table and fruit machines have gone, there is Sky Sports on tv, but for rughy and cricket, not football, and there are no mainstream lagers - a selection including Bitburger, Amstel and Sagres. In short the new management have done their utmost to deter the chav element that previously set the tone in here, and so far it seems to be working perfectly.

The pub itelf is a large Georgian building with one oblong room, sofas at one end, tables and chairs suitable for diners at the other, and tall tables with stools in the middle part.

Eight handpumps dispense Purity Pure Gold, Thatcher's Cider, plus six changing guest ales, all @ 3 a pint with a 10p discount for CAMRA members. I've occasionally found that ales linger a day or two too long and become a bit flat, but are generally kept superbly.

24 Nov 2009 13:29

The John Harvey Tavern, Lewes

Good range of Harvey's ales, which goies without saying really, but not really my type of pub. Clientele mostly young and in "smart casual" dress, I prefer somewhere a bit more down to earth or off the wall.

24 Nov 2009 13:19

The Gardeners Arms, Lewes

My favourite pub in Lewes, the only real criticism being that it soon feels cramped with something of a bottleneck along the bar, but there's not much that can be done about that. Five or six well kept real ales, mostly from smaller brewers, classic rock music playing at a sensible volume, laid back slightly bohemian feel to the whole place.

24 Nov 2009 13:17

Lewes Arms, Lewes

My first visit since the Greene King/Harvey's saga. The place seemed mcuh the same as I remembered it in "the good old days", if less busy. Clientele consisted mostly of groups of middle aged folk who all seemed very convivial and to be having a good time. Several people exchanged pleasantries with a passing Londoner and I found no evidence of the cliquiness encountered by some reviewers.

A slection of pump clips around the walls suggested a healty gues ale policy, although on my visit all the handpumps were dispensing various Fuller's/Gale's beers plus the ubiquitous Harvey's, my pint of which was very acceptable.

24 Nov 2009 13:12

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