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BITE user comments - HenPen

Comments by HenPen

The King's Head, Wells

I had been hoping to have lunch (and a pint, of course) here today, but it is now boarded up. Too bad: it has been a good place.

30 Jul 2017 16:18

Drovers Inn, Gussage all Saints

Surprised that there is only one has review (1 year since the re-opening). This is an excellent community-owned pub with an extremely good range of local beers and one outstanding still cider. The (locally sourced) food is very good too and it isn't all that expensive. It's off the beaten track, most of its clientèle are locals. but it is a friendly place, well worth searching out.

24 Jul 2017 08:47

The Sherlock Holmes, Charing Cross

Stuck in London for a few hours near Charing Cross, so I gave this a try (I hadn't been here for a few years). Not bad, especially for the overpriced area, but still a Greene King fairly ordinary place. Decent food, though. My wife and I were the only Brits in the place, the rest being Americans. 5.5/10

13 Jul 2017 21:31

The Grapes, Oxford

Sad to see so much of BITE taken over by bots (offering knockoff shoes, etc.) and reviews taking a back place. The Grapes was a decent place, but to allow unashamed HTML ads (for a closed pub) suggests that the BITE management ought to put in an HTML filter. Suck "junk" can only put people off.

24 Feb 2017 09:34

The Bridge Inn, Amberley

This is a very good place indeed. I have tried several times to get here, but parking spaces near it are in very short supply. A decent choice of well-kept beers and very good food in giant portions. Very much worth a detour around Worthing for. 7.5/10

17 Dec 2016 17:39

Four in Hand, Keswick

As has been said, this much-changed place is now one of the best in Keswick (though I still prefer the Dog & Gun, but that is usually VERY crowded). A v pretty good food as well. A very good selection of beers, many local, and good food in enormous portions. 8/10

26 Sep 2016 10:07

The Pembroke Arms, Fovant

Well, driving past at least, it looks to me as in this place has been closed and made into a private house. It has been a LONG while since it was open and I suspect it will never open again.

20 Sep 2016 16:53

The Plough, Smallford

A bit out of the way, but worth a visit if you are near Hatfield and the A1. It is only 1/2 mile from the A1, but could be in deepest Hertfordshire for all the quiet. This was a " discovery" and I will have to give it a few more goes. Beers, as has been said, are Greene King and St. Austell. A friendly place.

25 Jul 2016 22:24

The Crown and Horns Inn, East Ilsley

I don't usually get down this way, but on Sunday stopped by for a bit of lunch and a pint. A very decent, friendly place, with reasonable, but undistinguished, beers. It IS more of a "restaurant" now, but still caters to the drinking trade. 7/10

25 Jul 2016 22:11

John O'Gaunt Inn, Horsebridge

Re-opened (as of January 2016) and still a good, reliable, and friendly place to come, with excellent food. Not such a wide range of beer as before, but still one of the better places if you are in the area. 7/10

16 Jul 2016 10:05

The Bear, Maidenhead

Another "review" before he's been there! But then he ("Arsenalfan36/Paul36, now 11Pints) IS an "habitué" of the Bear and most of the other 'Spoons of the Thames Valley. Reminds me of why I'm not particularly keen on 'Spoons.

2 Jul 2016 09:16

The Tavern Inn, Kemble

Oops! A slip meant that what I intended to be "5/10" came out as "5/5".

30 May 2016 13:40

The Tavern Inn, Kemble

Lovely views from one side of this place (which is why I stopped, having remembered it from years ago); but it a pretty average Arkell's place with not very much to distinguish it. Service and beer were also pretty average. Still, clean and reasonably friendly. 5/5

28 May 2016 19:36

Three Hammers, St Albans

To say that "service can be slow" is an understatement. This is not a bad place to stop, but if you are waiting for food, be prepared for a LONG wait. The beer is all right, but when it gets down to it this is a M&B chain pub. I have used this place several times as a break from the long journey from the South West to East Anglia (it's about 1 mile off the M25), but I doubt I will use it again. 5/10

11 Apr 2016 16:26

The Quay, Wareham

Amazed that this place has only average reviews. It seems a far above average place, with good choice of beers (Timothy Taylor, Ringwood, etc.) as well as still ciders. The food was excellent, the service well above the ordinary, and the location a very good one. A very friendly place too. 7.5/10

11 Mar 2016 22:42

The Fox, North Waltham

Stopped by again today for a quick lunch (they don't insist you have a Sunday Carvery, but can have a sandwich). This is still a lovely, very friendly place to stop, just off the A303. The "guest beer" was "New Year" and very welcome it was. Even though it was crowded, they still manage to be friendly, efficient, and careful. (The Bacon Butty, by the way, is excellent.) I'll now give it 7.5/10

7 Feb 2016 15:42

Three Crowns, Salisbury

Closed. Now a guest house.

20 Jan 2016 16:36

Crossbush, Arundel

A very ordinary Beefeater restaurant (next to a Premier Inn which, I imagine, provides a large proportion of the customers) with a bar that sells reasonable drink. Only go to if you want "the Beefeater Experience"; it's well out of town and it's not a "pub" in the sense that other, quite good, pubs in Arundel can be. 5/10

17 Jan 2016 17:03

Kings Head, Keswick

I remembered this place as being not too bad... but that was in the past. Nowadays, as others have said, it has "gastro" ambitions and has become accordingly high-priced. The beer is not what it could be (chain pub, probably not that much turnover) and the food "all right" but not worth what it costs. The East European staff have some difficulty with English: asking for some "Worcestershire sauce" sent them looking for some "oyster sauce" (and they found some), not quite the same thing. I doubt I'll be back. 4/10

14 Jan 2016 10:16

The Queen's Head, Sherborne

Drove past this week and it is up for sale as a B&B, not as a pub. Still boarded up, though.

20 Dec 2015 20:00

The Cow, Cambridge

Just re-opened in yet another reincarnation as "Reys", a (Pizza Express owned) "rotisserie chicken restaurant", mixing "roasted chicken and spicy Asian cuisine". Yeah, you try to figure it out. The number of decent pubs in central Cambridge declines every year.

21 Nov 2015 12:33

The Bell by the Green, Devizes

A fairly ordinary Wadworth pub: nothing at all special. 5/10

27 Sep 2015 17:25

The Swan Inn, Sherborne

Not been a pub for some time. Now it is to open as a tapas restaurant called Vida Comida. It hasn't been worth a visit for a LONG while.

22 Aug 2015 22:47

The Fountain, Cambridge

This place wasn't ever all that much, but now it has become a trendy "Café Bar" and is named "Novi". Really horrible from the look of it. I give it a year at most in this incarnation. At least the olf Fountain lasted a good long while. 2/10

2 Aug 2015 16:54

The Red Lion, Stratton Audley

A popular village pub, with pretty good food. The beer was a reasonably wide choice and what I had was well kept. The landlord seemed to me to be a friendly and civilized man (in spite of snert's experience). I don't often get to this part of the country much nowadays, but I am well disposed to this place. 7/10

26 Jul 2015 17:23

The Castle Inn, West Lulworth

In all of my walks along the Dorset Coast (and there have been many) I have never visited this place. I wish I had years ago. This is a Paradise for cider drinkers (not the Mangers on ice or Woodpecker sort of thing, but the REAL farmhouse article, with 40 available). As others have said, it has lots of character, has good food, and the beers are well-kept. However, the ciders have to reign supreme here. It's out of the way, about a mile from the sea and the Coast Path, but it IS worth the "extra mile". Oh, and the lunch-time food is pretty good as well. (Curiously, I was served by an Aussie barman, with an accent so strong you could tie down a kangaroo with it.) 8/10

10 Jul 2015 17:46

The Ram Jam Inn, Stretton

Closed? Certainly looks that way, driving past on the A1, boarded up looking fairly desolate. Haven't stopped here in years, though.

18 Jun 2015 21:16

The Bear and Ragged Staff, Stonymarsh

Had lunch here today after finding that the John O' Gaunt up the road was shut. It's about average for a Fullers pub: relatively decent food, passable drink, but the operation lacks any real sort of individuality. 6/10

11 Jun 2015 19:34

John O'Gaunt Inn, Horsebridge

I was passing this way and I had hoped to have lunch (and a pint) here, as I had thought it was a good, reliable place. But it is closed and boarded up, with no sign if it might re-open. So I went on to the Bear and Ragged Staff down towards Romsey instead.

11 Jun 2015 19:31

The Eagle And Child, Stow On The Wold

Now refurbished and opened as a part of the "Porch House" Hotel.

26 Apr 2015 20:05

The Plough, Stretton-on-Fosse

This has had a make-over since the last time I was here (new landlords?) and has "gone up market". The ciders today were down to two: one still medium local one and Westons fizzy-pop Gold. Yet it has won the CAMRA Winter award for 2014/15 for its beer and has a decent range of local and nationally-famous (e.g. Timothy Taylor Landlord) on. The biggest difference was food. This is more expensive and more complicated (and is now served not on plates, but on slabs of slate, not one of my favourite things). "Sandwiches" have now become either baguettes or pannini, and the cooked food tends to be more up-market too. The place used to be packed with OAPs having lunchtime specials. Today there were two other customers whilst I was there on Friday lunch.

24 Apr 2015 18:15

Old Rooms Inn, Weymouth

This deserves much better than its "4.4/10" rating. The beer is good, with a fairly good range and they give 10% discount to card-carrying CAMRA members. The food portions are enormous and are both good and good value. (And the loos were spotless.) It looks out over the Old Harbour with an excellent view. I feel that a 7/10 is a more accurate rating.

4 Jan 2015 16:30

Drovers Inn, Gussage all Saints

Boarded up for about a month now. Locals say that a "change of use" application is in, so probably Good-Bye to an excellent country pub.

3 Jan 2015 12:01

The Grapes, Cambridge

A nice place, but I'd feel more assured if it had a hygiene rating of more than "1*/5*" ("Major Improvement Necessary") by the Cambridge City Council. A good place to drink, but I would be hesitant about food until it's got a better rating

24 Nov 2014 16:56

The Avon Brewery Inn, Salisbury

Apparently it's under new management with a Portuguese cook and Anglo-Portuguese cooking, whatever that may be like. I thought I'd try it today, but waited a few minutes and no one behind the bar. There was a note that the kitchen was closed for refurbishment and a few silent customers were at the bar, apparently nursing drinks. No service, so I walked out.

2 Nov 2014 18:03

Bell Inn, Wilton

An answer to my question if it would re-open: NO, it is now an antique shop. A pity because it was one of the best locally.

30 Oct 2014 21:38

Four in Hand, Keswick

Currently closed and up for sale (for "offers greater than £129,500"). With the new 'Spoons opened last week in Keswick, I doubt this place will see the light of day again.

6 Oct 2014 21:51

The Ship Inn, Burcombe

Well, it's closed now. According to the Salisbury Journal, the place is now closed with a loss of 20 jobs. The landlord said, according to the paper, "We hung on for 12 years at The Ship but ran out of steam. We have had no help whatsoever through the recession, they didn’t lower our rent and they wanted to put the rent up. If our landlords had helped, we would still be there." And the landlords? Ent*rpr*se Inns. Mind you, I had gone off the place a bit, thanks to its gastro-pub stance and its high prices.

23 Sep 2014 21:20

The White Hart, Oare

A very good place indeed. An accident had completely closed the A303, so (to get to E. Anglia) we had a choice: follow the HGVs towards Salisbury and the A30, or strike North, towards Swindon. This was a good discovery. It is a very friendly place. The drink is a decent range of Wadworth (well kept) and the food was generous portions of quite good pub food. This is not in the least pretentious and is an excellent "local" in the best sense of the world. I hadn't known it before, but I will be sure to stop back again when I am in this neck of the woods. 6/10

20 Sep 2014 09:55

The Thatched Inn, Hassocks

This is a place that is rather mixed. Whilst the beer is reasonable (Harvey's, with two other guest beers and lots of fizzy things like foreign lagers) and whilst the servers try very hard and are very friendly, the modern furniture seems very out of place and more suited to a gold course club, as the decor is brick-and-beams 1930s. The portions of food are decent and the prices reasonable, I don't really think that I would go here out of choice if I didn't have to visit relatives nearby. It is "all right" but not much more. 5/10

30 Aug 2014 13:17

The Beckets Inn, Glastonbury

This pub has seen better days, but the drink is still lovely (mostly Wadworths) and they had several still ciders. The garden is worth sitting in, if the weather permits. And it is very friendly, too (including the spaniel, Buster). The prices struck me as very good indeed. Although it could probably use a coat of paint and a change of floor covering, I would be afraid that too much "refurb" would destroy a very good pub. 6/10

28 Aug 2014 19:38

The Queens Arms, Corton Denham

Back again on a walk, not having been here for a while. Excellent choice of beers and ciders (though the server mis-heard the order of "Thatcher's Heritage" for "Gold". When she realized her mistake, she poured it down the sink. (Possibly the best place for Thatcher's Gold.) The pork pies here are worth the 5-mile walk it took to get here. This is an excellent place; it deserves the awards it gets, though its clientèle is arguably too pretentious. (A few years ago, one Londoner started to patronize one of the servers, assuming he was a local yokel. He asked him what he would be doing in the autumn. "Taking up my Exhibitionship at Merton College, Oxford", was the reply, leaving Londoner more than a little deflated.)

Out-of-the-way, but a place very worthy of a visit. 8/10 this time.

23 Aug 2014 22:18

The Swan, Abbotsbury

Back again today after a 5-year gap. Still a reliable but not exciting place, with some good beers and some above-average (though slightly pricey) food. I said to the wife, "This is like very good pubs used to be in the 1970s". Better than the competition locally and worth a visit it you are in this neck of the woods. 7/10 (as in 2009). [By the way, the loos have just been rebuilt and are spotless.]

7 Aug 2014 22:47

The Lazy Otter, Stretham

This pub is just off the A10 half-way between Cambridge and Ely (in other words, in the middle of nowhere) on the riverside of the Great Ouse. They have a VERY large array of beers and ciders and those sampled were in good nick. The food looked good too, but didn't eat. I don't get out this way much (mostly now in the West Country) but when I am in this neck of the woods again, this will be a definite. 8/10.

4 Aug 2014 13:07

The Brace of Pheasants, Plush

Stopped by here on a walk on the Wessex Ridgeway again, and it is still an excellent place (though I can't speak for the food, though the menu looks very good indeed). The beers on were Ringwood and Palmers, with a Purbeck cider (Joe's Dry Cider) that went down a treat. This place has always been worth a detour. I notice that it is now listed in Harden's Guides. I will still give it 8/10

31 Jul 2014 20:20

The Castle Inn, Bruton

This is a pretty good and relatively inexpensive pub. Didn't eat (didn't fancy a Sunday roast on a hot July day), but the drink seemed a decent range, with one local (still) draft cider. Worth a stop if you are passing through. 7/10

13 Jul 2014 15:41

The Digby Tap, Sherborne

This is a really good, traditional pub, with very well kept drink (a pretty good selection, but no still cider) and very good, cheap food. Not all the barmaids are the sharpest knives in the drawer, but this can be lived with. I suspect that when I am in Sherborne, I will come to this one, rather than any of the others. 7/10

3 Jul 2014 08:49

The Nettlebridge Inn, Oakhill

I've not been back since my last (long ago) stop, but I now suspect that "Lekker" meant the George at Gurney Slade, rather than this sad place... or perhaps not. Anyway I suspect that "Lekker" doesn't visit many pubs, if either this or the George in Gurney Slade is that good for her.

1 May 2014 22:07

The Plough Inn, Holford

The only review "quantocksilk" has ever posted on BITE is this one ravingly good one for this place. I suspect that he might well be the landlord (or someone not far off). The last time I was here, not that long ago, I was disappointed (and it was far below my 7/10 from earlier). This has always been a place that has convinced me that pubs come to reflect their landlords, for good or bad. My last time there: beer all right; food, pretty indifferent. In the past this place has been good. It has also been dire.

12 Apr 2014 23:04

The Fountain Inn, Shaftesbury

Went here with relatives (one of whom is a veggie) for dinner after we found that Ye Olde Two Brewers has closed (for the time being). The food took a while to arrive but when it did it was very good indeed and the drink was pretty decent. This is an out-of-the-way place but in its present incarnation it is worth seeking out. 7/10

11 Apr 2014 08:55

Ye Olde Two Brewers, Shaftesbury

Had thought of going there for dinner tonight, but it was closed, dark and "To Let". A Dorset Hygiene Standards rating of 3/5 can't have helped (and a TripAdvisor review had suggested a recent slide in standards). So we went to the very good Fountain instead. Hope it re-opens soon; it has been a very good pub in the past.

5 Apr 2014 22:21

The Village, Salisbury

This has just won the CAMRA Pub of the Year award for the area. A little puzzling, since there are so many good contenders in the area that are better appointed, but I suspect that it was the beer alone might have been the deciding issue. CAMRA judges don't always look about and see how shabby a place has become. Certainly worth a visit, but Pub of the Year?

4 Mar 2014 18:48

The Vine, Pamphill

This IS a lovely and unspoilt country pub, but within a spit of Wimborne. Great beers and ciders, with good, basic, food. This is the sort of place country pubs should be like. (I will second the dislike of the plastic garden furniture, but will happily put up with it as the pub is so good.) 9/10

2 Mar 2014 17:49

The Bell, Rode

Whoops! Closed again, and up for sale? Will this place ever work?

9 Feb 2014 14:50

The George and Dragon, Houghton

Quite a decent place, with excellent views of the Arun valley (which was deeply flooded last week). It's a little off the beaten track (a way to avoid the horror of having to take the A27 through Worthing), but I feel it is worth the detour. Ringwood beer, fairly well-kept. Reasonably good food, with decent chips. This is much better than many of the places nearby. 7/10

25 Jan 2014 21:09

The Globe Inn, Wells

I hadn't been here since before the re-fit, but it has improved very much. A very friendly, local place, a bit off the beaten track but worth hunting out. The beers are mostly Cheddar Valley Brewery and are well-kept. The lunchtime food was very good indeed, and home-made (rather than microwaved) as far as I could see. Recommended. 7/10

12 Jan 2014 16:18

The Spread Eagle Inn, Stourton

JoWard25 DID mean the Red Lion at Kilmington, a mile or so away. The Spread Eagle IS better than it was, but still not a patch on the Lion (which is not so full of National Trust day-trippers).

8 Jan 2014 08:04

The Avon Brewery Inn, Salisbury

A decent, friendly, old fashioned place, with some decent and fairly well kept drink. 6/10

26 Nov 2013 21:04

The Bath Arms, Crockerton

Hadn't been here for some time, but it is a very pleasant place: well-kept local Wessex Brewery beers and some very tempting looking food. I suspect I will be back again to eat (having gone off the George a mile down the road a bit because of their re-furb). 8/10 (so far)

24 Nov 2013 16:57

The George Inn, Longbridge Deverill

Possibly it's just me, but I have found that the refurb has got rid/is getting rid of of much of the character that it had, whilst not really adding anything to the place. (Cheddar Valley cider is discontinued, by the way, replaced by Orchard Pig... not my favourite.) I suspect that I will transfer my custom to the Bath Arms in Crockerton, just up the road. (No rating this time, as it is unfair to rate a place whilst it is being re-done... and apparently moved up-market.)

24 Nov 2013 16:54

The Royal Standard, Lyme Regis

The Cobb Arms was full-to-bursting, so we came here. We'd been before. It's a nice enough place with several varieties of Palmer's and pretty decent food. It is a tad expensive, but that is probably the penalty of being right on the Marine Parade. 7/10

17 Nov 2013 16:37

The Queen Inn, Basingstoke

Having stopped by here many times, it's about time I gave this place a review. This is a country pub which depends on people from round about. Its standards have varied over the years, but it has usually been a good, reliable place, with decent drink and food. Today at lunchtime (a Sunday) it was bursting at the seams with people, most of them having a full "Sunday dinner", but they could still make room for a couple that just wanted a sandwich and a drink (me). The drink is undistinguished, and frankly I prefer The Fox 2 miles away at North Waltham (don't even mention the Chef & Brewer down the road!), but the sandwich menu here is much wider and the service is lovely. It is less than a mile from the A303 and is a good, reliable place to stop. 6/10

10 Nov 2013 20:57

The Three Tuns, Ashwell

This has just had yet another re-fit and has opened again this week. It is now unashamedly a Gastro-pub with prices to match and an array of foreign lagers on tap. In some parts of the pub, the paint smell from the re-fit was still very strong. Most traces of the former establishment have been taken away and it is filled with new tables and chairs. And it is VERY expensive: A pint, a cup of coffee, a bowl of soup and one chicken and bacon sandwich came to £22.50, service not included. (Chips were included with the sandwich.) And the waiters were still trying to get their routines right. Having come to this pub off and on for many years, I think that this incarnation has ended my visiting. It is probably intended to be "discovered" by Londoners as a "lovely little country place" that "serves decent food", but it is no longer a place to come to if you just want a pint and an ordinary snack (at prices working people can afford). There are other places near that which still remain "pubs" and not wannabe restaurants. 4/10

10 Nov 2013 17:48

The New Inn, Salisbury

With the demise of The Chough, this is quite likely the best of the town centre places in Salisbury, with one exception: it is a Hall & Woodhouse pub. It is atmospheric and very friendly and the food is pretty good, but H&W beer is always going to be a limitation (unless you happen to like it, which I do not). 7/10

3 Nov 2013 16:47

The Bear Cross, Kinson

As was said before, this IS now a a restaurant with a pub attached, rather that a drinkers' pub. This is not altogether a bad thing (as the very crowded car park showed on a very wet day in November). The food is very slightly pricey, but is very good even considering the price. Its downside is Hall & Woodhouse, which means I can't give it any more than a 7/10. Certainly worth a visit if you happen to be north of Bournemouth. (And certainly better than the other nearby pubs.)

1 Nov 2013 17:03

The Chough, Salisbury

An update on the closure: It is now set to become a "Bill's Delicatessen and Café" opening in November 2013, so Salisbury has permanently lost one of its best pubs (if not THE best). If the closing had been better publicised (and the locals had realized what would happen to the place) then some action might have been taken. (Bill's Delicatessen and Café will be familiar to Brighton people, and the chain is now branching out the "Ye Olde" towns around the country: Cambridge, Bath, Lewes, etc.).

8 Oct 2013 22:34

George at Nunney, Frome

I had last been here a few years ago, when the landlord was rather different from the current one: then, he had no hesitation in having a tantrum about the bar staff (in front of all the customers) and managed to turn out the loo lights on my wife (who had to grope her way out in the dark). Today it is a very different establishment, extensively re-fitted. The drink (we did not eat) is a reasonable choice, about what you would expect in a Wadworth house. The menu looks good and relatively cheap for what it is. This will have to be a place to come back to. Very clean and friendly. 7/10

1 Sep 2013 18:02

The Chough, Salisbury

According to the Salisbury Journal, this is due to close on 18/8/13 "for re-development". A pity, since it is one of the best pubs in Salisbury centre. It will be missed. It was 7/10.

17 Aug 2013 21:07

The Carew Arms, Crowcombe

Stopped by for a drink today and the pub seemed to be looking a little tired, with several things needing a lick of paint. The beer was good, but I didn't eat. Walking by the kitchen you couldn't help but hear the very loud (and not very with it) hip-hop music that the kitchen staff play to themselves; I'm not sure if I would want a meal prepared to the strains of Snoop Dogg.

30 Jun 2013 21:30

The Robin Hood Inn, Droitwich

Driving down the M5 and, looking for a place to stop for lunch, we pulled in here. The drink seems well-kept and the food menu is a pretty large one. It was very good too. On a weekday, this seemed to be crammed with "seniors" filling themselves up with lunch. This is no bad thing, as they have a nose for local food at fairly cheap prices: a cut above your average boozer. But I would not want it for my regular. 7/10

25 Jun 2013 15:31

Monro, Liverpool

Was taken here by brother-in-law for a meal. It IS more a restaurant than a "pub" but the food is good. On Mondays and Tuesdays they have a "special" of a 2-course meal and 1/2 bottle of wine for £14.99: good value. But then they revert to restaurant-style prices for the rest of the week, with the prices more in tune with London than Liverpool. Not really a place to go to for just a drink, but certainly worth going to on Mondays or Tuesdays for the special deal. 6/10

18 Jun 2013 17:01

The Old Spring, Cambridge

It's pleasant enough, but Phew! it's expensive. Went there this week with a friend and one "glass of dry white wine" and a pint of Peroni cost over £11.00! That would keep if from being my regular pub! (Rating unchanged: 6/10)

7 Jun 2013 22:46

The Old Barn Farm, Three Legged Cross

Now re-named as "The Three Legged Cross" with the three legs of the Isle of Man symbol on its sign. Still a Mitchells & Butlers chain pub, with nothing to distinguish it: everything is mass-produced (even such things as the "wild boar and chorizo burger"). Only visit if you like that sort of thing: it's about as individual as an M&S sandwich.

23 May 2013 14:29

The Queen Victoria Inn, Priddy

The report of this pub closing is nonsense; it is the New Inn that has gone (with all the fittings due to be sold off by public auction this weekend). This seems in healthy shape (or, it did today, when I made a special out of the way trip to see it the report of closing was true). It has always been a pleasure to visit here. Excellent.

24 Apr 2013 20:12

Red Lion Inn, Kilmington

Hadn't been here for some time, but was intrigued on hearing about the refit (thinking "if it aint broke, don't try to fix it"). It is, quite simply, an excellent place, with very good (local) food and very good drink (mostly Butcombe). This is certainly as good as it was, probably better. Very friendly, too. 8/10

6 Apr 2013 18:54

The Seymore Arms, East Knoyle

Now closed, and apparently unlikely to re-open. Another one bites the dust. No doubt there will be "executive housing" here before long.

23 Mar 2013 16:18

The Butt of Ale, Salisbury

Never really up to much, but it's all academic now:

"JJ Acquistions Ltd appealed against the [Wiltshire Planning] committee’s decision, and planning inspector Geoffrey Hill has ruled the pub is no longer viable and has granted permission for four houses and car parking spaces on the site. "

It WAS "an estate pub". Never tried the food, though.

5 Mar 2013 12:39

The Red Lion, Avebury

I hadn't been here for nearly 10 years (and hadn't been impressed). Now, for the only pub in a tourist-trap location, they aren't half bad. "Avebury Well" beer is genuinely local thing (I won't mention the Greedy King") and the food is pretty good. I can understand the pay-and-display (refundable) car park, as otherwise genuine patrons wouldn't be able to find a place to park. Today was untypical, as a large crowd of "Celts" "Pagans" and "Wiccans" were there celebrating Imbolc. (I'm not any of them.) The pub coped admirably. Friendly staff, but slightly slow service. 6/10

2 Feb 2013 23:02

The Withies Inn, Compton

A very good find. It is "old fashioned" in the best sense of the word. The drink is good and the food is excellent; the location is out-of-the-way, but is very pleasant. Yes, the people waiting on table are "mature" but that is no bad thing, when you consider how an inexperienced waiter can mangle an order. This will be worth coming back to when I am in the area again. 8/10

27 Jan 2013 17:59

The King's Head, Wells

This was a surprise. Although they have a sign in the window that they have no hand pumps (and only cask ale), they DO have several ales (and ciders) on gravity feed from the barrel (in addition to all of the cask ales). This is a very friendly place and the lunchtime food was both relatively cheap and very good indeed. A very good place indeed. 8/10

13 Jan 2013 16:15

The Fox, North Waltham

Managed to stop in here again today, first time in quite a while. As good as ever. Locally brewed beer, together with some high quality others (don't believe the Usshers' signs on the side of the building). The food is excellent in the bar; I've never tried the (rather posh) restaurant. Still a strong 7/10

3 Dec 2012 17:21

The British Queen, Cambridge

This place was never up to much in recent years, but it now seems to have been dealt two kisses of death. According to the Cambridge News of 12 November 2012 two things have happened: first, the entire car park has been taken over by travellers and is now an encampment of caravans. The second is "Cambridge University’s Lucy Cavendish College is considering building accommodation for its scholars".

12 Nov 2012 09:06

Fleur de Lys Hotel, Cranborne

Now it's "The Inn at Cranborne" and isn't really a "pub" any more, but a restaurant that happens to serve drink as well. Personally, I preferred it before. But this sort of thing is happening to more and more pubs: they need to change to stay alive. A pity, though.

3 Nov 2012 21:50

The Smithy Inn, Charlton Musgrove

Drove past this week and it LOOKS as if it might well be closed up. (Certainly no sign of life during opening hours, deserted and the sign disappeared.) This would be a pity as it was a good, reliable place with some decent drink, well kept. It had been about 3 years, though, since I had called in last.

3 Nov 2012 09:41

The Rainbow Inn, Cooksbridge

Could this possibly be the same "Rainbow Inn at Cooksbridge" that is currently rated at 5.4 in another entry on this site? I suspect so (and I also suspect that the other rating is closer to the truth).

(Seriously, BitE ought to start weeding out the duplicates and the closed pubs; a glowing review of a place that was turned into Yuppie flats a few years ago is less than helpful.)

31 Oct 2012 09:03

The George Inn, Weymouth

Closed for a month, following a large drug investigation and seven people arrested: "Officers found and seized substances believed to be Class A drugs along with a substantial amount of money" (BBC News). There seems a possibility it will be shut down for good. It was never anything special, though, and was always a little on the "rough" side. 5/10

27 Oct 2012 12:39

The Foresters Arms, Frogham

Back again (midday) for lunch after a walk over the Forest's heathland. Yes, it is expensive (but then so are almost all of the pubs in the New Forest-- if you find a cheap one, please let me know). Places in Ringwood, Burley and Fordingbridge might well be cheaper; but this is in the middle of the Forest and cheaper pubs aren't. The Foresters is is of a good, reliable standard. I'll stand by my earlier rating of 8/10.

6 Oct 2012 21:09

The Forester, Donhead St Andrew

It isn't "a pub" any more. it's a "former pub that's turned into a restaurant". Having said that, the restaurant isn't half bad. At least it's still open, which is more than I can say for many local places. (RIP.) Having eaten here, I can say that it is a fairly good "Gastro-Pub" with all of the locally-sourced food, etc. Yet I still miss the old "pub" that I could stop by for a decent pint and no food aside from (perhaps) the odd packet of crisps. 6/10 as a "pub", 8/10 as a "Gastro-pub".

19 Sep 2012 22:49

European Inn, Piddletrenthide

Just this week I have seen that the new owner has received planning permission to change it into a "dwelling", so it will be shut. Yet another one bites the dust!

30 Aug 2012 20:47

The Royal Oak, Fishguard

Not bad, but nothing really special (if you aren't really interested in the "heritage" angle of the French surrender when they invaded Fishguard in 1797: they surrendered in this pub). 6/10

24 Aug 2012 15:41

Abergwaun Hotel, Fishguard

Closed with a "Freehold For Sale" sign on it.

24 Aug 2012 15:38

The Farmers Arms, Fishguard

Closed and boarded up.

24 Aug 2012 15:37

The Mariners Inn, Nolton Haven

A good location, but nothing really special. There was only one person serving on the (busy) bar and she seemed to get in a twist easily. Food took ages to arrive. This is probably best out of season. 5/10

23 Aug 2012 17:34

The Castle Hotel, Newport

This is a pub of two halves (though they go together nicely). On the right is the Public, filled with friendly locals and some very nice local beers on draft. They even had Weston's Scrumpy on draft. The left side of the building is the Restaurant side, more up-market. As I didn't eat anything more than a sandwich, I stuck to the Public. 7/10

21 Aug 2012 17:45

The Osborne Arms, Cambridge

All closed now and waiting for the developers to turn it into flats. Never was anything special.

15 Aug 2012 08:41

The Saxon Inn, Child Okeford

A first-class pub, mainly for locals, but outsiders are accepted too. As a free house it has a good range of brews. The food looked good. 8/10

29 Jul 2012 22:43

The Royal Oak Inn, Great Wishford

According to the barman a new lot have been running this for the past 3 months. There has been a significant re-build, and a shift up-market in menu choices (didn't eat, but "pancetta and rabbit" led the menu). It is dominated by Wadworth beers, with Hop Bine available. The decor is now a little more "fake oldye worldye". Family friendly, with several tables seating young children. But I do feel it was a bit of cheek to charge 2.00 for Nescafe stirred into hot water as coffee, even if it did include a chocolate. Service a little slow, but acceptable. Now 5/10

1 Jul 2012 15:22

The Red Lion, Histon

This is an excellent place. I'd been here before, but hadn't managed to say anything about it. In brief, the drink is a VERY wide and well-chosen selection of excellent beers and ciders (always at least one still draft cider, and perry too) and it's well-kept. This is one of the best places for miles around. 8.5/10

25 Jun 2012 22:14

The Britannia Inn, Sherborne

Closed and now up for sale (as a pub).

21 Jun 2012 15:07

The Plume of Feathers, Sherborne

A little mixed. The drink was OK but the service was a disaster. Two possible scenarios: a) it takes 45 minutes to put together a bowl of soup-of-the-day and a sandwich (and, no, it wasn't at all busy on a Thursday lunchtime), or b) the food order was mistakenly delivered to two teenagers who ate it and scarpered before the mistake could be discovered. It took a reminder to the bar to get the food. No apology for the late delivery was given. Wife said that the loos were very poor: the ladies' loo seat was not properly attached and the alternative (disabled) loo had no seat at all, just bare porcelain. This could have potential, but I don't think I'll be back. 3/10

21 Jun 2012 15:05

The Castle Hotel, Bramber

A fairly ordinary but pleasant place, with some well-kept beer. Food is, as has been said, fairly average. Worth a stop, but not a detour. 6/10

14 Jun 2012 11:38

The Watermill Inn, Ings

A really nice haven after the M6. Their own beers (from the adjoining micro-brewery) seem to me to be reliably good and the service seems to have improved a bit since the last time I was here (3 years or so ago). A friendly place. 7/10

12 Jun 2012 19:55

The Haymakers, Chesterton

Driving past this past week I saw that it now seems to be close and shut up. Never very good anyway.

7 Jun 2012 11:40

The Duck Inn, Laverstock

A good, solid local; it's quite out of the way, but worth hunting out. As the other reviewers say, it's Hop Back beers, which not everyone is a fan of. The place is pleasant and quite cheap (especially when compared to the Salisbury prices), but it's not outstanding. The "open all day" is a decided advantage. 6/10

6 Jun 2012 15:47

The Rose and Crown, Huish Episcopi

If there was a register of pubs that should be protected, this would definitely be on it. It is a marvellous place and a reminder of how the very best pubs used to be. At the same time, it isn't a museum of the past, but is full of friendly locals. The beers are excellent (ciders too) and the food is good. Why can't the pubcos learn from a place like this? 9/10

4 Jun 2012 20:20

The Longbow, Stapleford

From the Cambridge News, 30 May 2012:
A pub which was closed after a police raid will remain shut until a full review of its future can be carried out.
South Cambridgeshire District Councils licensing subcommittee today refused permission for the Longbow in Stapleford to reopen after hearing the views of police and the landlord.
A formal hearing will be held within 28 days to consider whether the pubs licence should be revoked.
As the News reported, police raided the pub on Friday following repeated complaints about violence, disorder and anti-social behaviour, and arrested four people.

So its future is clearly up in the air.

31 May 2012 07:41

The String of Horses, Faugh

Tried to stop by here this week, but it seems that it isn't open for lunch any more. Pity. I remember it fondly.

20 May 2012 18:33

Crown Hotel, Wetheral

I can't see how this deserves such a low rating as some have given it. Stopped by this week and found it a good, solid place to drink, with 3 real ales on hand pumps and some quite good food too. And it didn't seem that expensive to me either (but then I am a southerner, used to coughing up far too much per pint). When so many pubs in this area are going out of business (e.g. the Queen's in Warwick-on-Eden), this seems to be a good choice. 7/10

20 May 2012 18:31

Coach and Horses, Ganborough

Had hoped to have lunch here this week, but it was closed up and looked deserted. Has it closed? (I remembered its food as particularly good.)

11 May 2012 10:07

Coach and Horses Inn, Longborough

Had intended to have lunch here as I passed through. But it seemed to be all shut up, deserted and closed (so went to the excellent Plough in Stretton-on-Fosse). Has this fallen prey to the pub recession? Pity if it has.

10 May 2012 08:08

The Plough, Stretton-on-Fosse

This is a great discovery. Came here because the pub I had intended (the Queen' Head in Stow) had no food at lunch time. Excellent food, but VERY excellent drink: good beers (very well kept) and 3 local ciders. So I went out of my way on the return journey to be able to have lunch here. Very highly recommended. 8/10

9 May 2012 22:10

The George Inn, Axminster

Stopped here unexpectedly (I had been before years ago) and wound up having a roast Sunday lunch. It's a pretty good place, with decent food and a reasonable range of beers. Good service. Locals are friendly: there is a (popular) pool table.

On the other hand, it isn't really all that exceptional. Worth a visit if you are nearby. 6/10

29 Apr 2012 17:49

The Mitre Inn, Sandford Orcas

This is a gem as others have noted. Out-of-the-way, but very much worth the trip. It is a friendly, old-fashioned local, with good beer (including Exmoor Antler) and very good, inexpensive food. No TV, no jukebox, no Sky Sports (thank goodness), but some very good conversation with the locals. Some very lovely, friendly but sleepy dogs lolling about on the flagstone floors. 9/10

28 Apr 2012 17:04

The Prestleigh Inn, Prestleigh

This was a surprise: I had been past this hundreds of times and I had thought it looked a little down-at-heel and rough (a crudely hand-painted sign promising "Good Food" doesn't really promise much), but finally I stopped. It is basic inside, but this is an extremely friendly (if basic) place with lots of friendly locals. It has a pretty wide range of food, with large portions, and a VERY good range of well-kept drinks (even including local farmhouse cider). This is certainly worth a visit and knocks spots off the other nearby pubs in Shepton and Evercreech. 6.5/10

9 Apr 2012 11:11

The Pelican Inn, Stapleford

A really good pub: the beer was good and the food (at lunchtime) was very good too. Prices were reasonable, not cheap but not extortionate. This will be a place for me to re-visit. Recommended. 8/10

6 Apr 2012 22:40

The Swan Inn, Stoford

Pulled into the car park today intending to have lunch here, but it had a sign "Closed Until Further Notice" in the doorway. (Not entirely a wasted trip, since Sting (who lives only a mile or so away from this pub) also just arrived at the same time and it gave me a chance to see a "rock legend" close up.) It used to be very good, hope it re-opens.

6 Apr 2012 22:37

The Bear Hotel, Devizes

A very friendly, quite old-fashioned place. Good beer and pretty good food too (large portions). Books line the walls and chess players are intent on their game. No TV, no jukebox, no fruit machine; an old hotel bar, perfect for a mid-day pint and a bit to eat. The prices are quite reasonable too. 8/10

4 Apr 2012 21:55

The Sailors Return, East Chaldon

I gave this pub an 8/10 a while back because I was pleasantly impressed. However, today I see on the BBC Dorset website that the former publicans were just fined 6,000 for a mice infestation: "Live and dead mice were observed along with vast amounts of droppings... The kitchen and bar area were found to be infested with mice. There was little regard for pest control in evidence."
It's now got new owners, the article says, but I don't think that I will be eating there again any time soon. And I withdraw my earlier rating.

10 Mar 2012 17:08

The George Inn, Babraham

Went for Sunday lunch with some family and their (very) new baby. Pretty good food and service, reasonably drinks. This seems to cater for "families" as well as the locals. 7/10

27 Feb 2012 23:11

The Bell Inn, Brook

This is the bar of a hotel and golf course complex. As a result it isn't all that much a "pub", but isn't bad for all that, though it doesn't have all that much personality. It is a tad more expensive than most pubs in the area (and is just across the road from the middling Green Dragon). Yet it is clean and has a decent range of beers. 6/10

21 Feb 2012 22:01

The Kings Head, Salisbury

This is a better than average 'Spoons. Mid-day it is fine, with good service, reasonable (and cheap) food and beers and the plus (for me) of draught New Forest cider (yum!). But it is still a 'Spoons and I suspect that it changes its identity at about 8:30pm, when the attraction of very cheap beer begins to attract "yoof". Daytime, 7/10.

1 Jan 2012 14:26

Bell Inn, Wilton

Currently shut up and empty. Will it open again? Anyone know?

29 Nov 2011 16:24

Eraina Taverna, Cambridge

As quite a few people have already said, this in NOT a pub. It's not really even a "Greek Taverna". But it IS a Cambridge institution, much loved by the town (if not by the tourists). The townspeople who come here come for the affordable food, the wide menu, and the absence of tourists, both foreign and domestic. It's not "fine food" but reliably edible. It has been going for longer than most people who contribute to this site have been alive, and long may it continue. (This is the only restaurant in England, I think, that has "plaice cacciatore" on the menu... how would a "hunter" be able to get a plaice?) 8/10 for what it is, but I am NOT rating it as a pub, but for its eccentric self.

22 Nov 2011 12:55

The Yew Tree, Odstock

A good, quiet country pub with some good beer too (Ringwood and Doom Bar) both well kept. Didn't eat, but prices seem keen and there seemed to be a good variety of food choices. 7/10

19 Sep 2011 10:04

The Blacksmiths Arms, Ryton on Dunsmore

An old fashioned, very friendly pub. The prices are extremely reasonable, with large portions of food too. I hadn't been here before, but I'll remember to stop by next time I'm passing through the area. 7/10

6 Sep 2011 22:00

The Castle Inn, West Coker

I was struck by both how friendly this place was as well as the relative inexpensiveness of the lunch menu (for what was on offer); no "confusion or unhelpfulness" today. The Butcombe was all right too. No a large range of drink, but it's not that large a place. 6.5/10 (which I have to round up to "7").

4 Aug 2011 16:40

The Oak Inn, Lyndhurst

A very good place indeed. It's friendly, has a good range of drink and has excellent food (the sandwiches ARE enormous) and for the size of the portions, it's not all that bad. Probably more for "diners" than for "drinkers". Parking near it can be difficult, as the pub's own car park is fairly small and it gets full very easily. The pub can get very crowded with walkers. Too bad it doesn't serve New Forest cider, though. 7/10

18 Jul 2011 21:37

The Pulteney Arms, Bath

Quite a good friendly back-street pub, with a good range of beers and pretty good (though unexceptional) food. Well off the usual Bath tourist track, so it isn't too crowded (and has fairly reasonable prices too). 7/10

17 Jul 2011 16:37

The Trusty Servant, Minstead

This place is very much improved since the last time I was here several years ago (and the loos are now clean and fresh painted). It's been re-fitted throughout. The emphasis now seems to be on food, with a fairly wide choice. The prices, though, seem to be fairly high. Usually New Forest pubs command a premium and this is understandable. It's always hard to tell how much of a new landlord's "improvements" will last; as it has been under the new management for only a shade over 3 weeks, I'll have to re-visit and see if it holds up.

10 Jul 2011 19:32

The Five Miles From Anywhere No Hurry Inn, Upware

Midweek lunchtime isn't usually the best time to see what a place is like. I had been here years ago (before the re-build) and the location by the river, in the middle of the Fens, is both eerie and disconcerting. It IS miles away from anything. This is a good, solid pub, one which relies on its isolation: if you are here, you almost certainly decided to come here. This means that the pub has to be a "draw"; there is no passing trade. This one certainly is a draw. A fairly large number of OAPs were here to eat the (cheap) Monday Special. However, the staff are keen, the service is good and the drink is well-kept. Nice to have a relaxing pint by the side of the river. 7/10

8 Jul 2011 10:35

New Forest Inn, Emery Down

This is a fairly decent, reliable place in the New Forest, but tends to get VERY crowded in the summer. Its beers are reasonable and its food is reliably good, but a little on the pricey side. 6/10

29 Jun 2011 16:20

The Kings Arms, Saffron Walden

If the pub was due to be redecorated in the "few" months after September 2010, it still hadn't happened 9 months later. Acceptable beer, but not all that special. Food was pretty average, but fairly cheap. The elderly locals in the corner (lunchtime) seem to make The Daily Mail look positively left-wing and offer their opinions to the pub as a whole. Better places nearby, but because of a closed kitchen at the pub I'd intended to visit I thought I would give this a try. Probably won't be back to see if it ever DOES re-decorate.

27 Jun 2011 16:37

The Bell Hotel, Clare

Decent enough, but the comments about the "hotel atmosphere" would still seem to apply. I hadn't been here is 20 years, but it hasn't changed that much in that time. Courteous staff, decent food, a rather elderly clientele. 6/10

27 Jun 2011 16:27

White Hart Inn, Stockbridge

A pretty decent place for a lunchtime visit (though only for a sandwich, not a full meal). Like most Fullers pubs, this has a good range of beers and they keep them fairly decently. I've tried most of the other pubs in Stockbridge over the years and this seems to be the best all round: not worth a special trip for, but good if you are passing. 7/10

24 Jun 2011 20:16

The Bunch of Grapes, Pontypridd

Had to go to Pontypridd today for a funeral and came here beforehand. This is a very nice place (when you have managed to find it). Had a pint of excellent local cider and a lovely lunch. Prices are lower than I would expect in England. Excellent food all round and the range of beers is better than most pubs of this size. Also, this is a very friendly place: warm and welcoming. If I have to be back this way (I can't often get to Wales) then I will try to stop by here. 7/10

16 Jun 2011 19:15

The Crown and Victoria Inn, Tintinhull

The last time I had been here (oh, eight or nine years ago) I hadn't been impressed. Now it is an excellent place, both for food and drink. I wouldn't have recognised it from the so-so place it had been.

The wife and I have been wondering when we might try to come back here for dinner some time (even though it is a fairly long drive from home). Highly recommended, 9/10

20 May 2011 16:49

The Lamb Inn, Tintinhull

I had liked this place in the past, but drove by today and saw that it was closed, shut up and for sale as a freehold. (Another H&W pub biting the dust?) However, this gave me the chance to re-visit the excellent Crown and Victoria just down the road.

20 May 2011 16:45

The Queen Victoria Inn, Priddy

It's now a free house (or at least so the sign says). Yes, the upholstery is improved and yes, the beer is good and well-kept. Didn't try the food this time, though. Still streets ahead of the New Inn. I'll stick by my previous 7/10.

12 May 2011 11:20

The Queens Head, Stow on the Wold

This is a first-rate pub. It's often busy, but a large part of the business is locals. It's friendly (easy to strike up a conversation with people there) in a good atmosphere. The beers are very well-kept here indeed: Donningtons. The food is good, too. This is a place to stop whenever I'm passing by. 8/10

26 Apr 2011 22:10

The Old Ham Tree Inn, Holt

I had thought that this was pretty good (from past experience), but today, as we were driving past, I suggested to the wife that we stop here. It was a bright sunny day and perfect for sitting out in the garden. The wife reminded me about the dog-poo scattered here and there about the garden, so we passed by. I would have given it 6/10 myself, but she would not.

22 Apr 2011 21:44

The Tom Cobley, Spreyton

This is a gem, a place worth a considerable detour to visit. I can't believe the remark about "mass produced catered rubbish"; the ham I ate at lunch today was home-cooked and as perfect a ham as I have ever encountered, and there was no doubt the wife's soup was home made (leek & cauliflower cheese). The beers are kept well and the ciders are just right. I wish I could get to this part of the country more often. 9/10

8 Apr 2011 21:47

The Cross Guns, Avoncliff

A fairly good place with an excellent range of beers and ciders (some fairly unusual ones). A free house. Clearly, as a destination for walks (about a mile from Bradford-on-Avon along the canal towpath) it can attract large groups, but in fine weather the large terraced garden can cope. Didn't try the food, but the drink was well-kept. 7/10

27 Mar 2011 16:56

The Hambro Arms, Milton Abbas

Oh, come on! Only 2.6 out of 10 for a not-that-bad pub with pretty good food? I was here yesterday and, yes, it is a little expensive, but it has been "adopted" by the rural community and is now apparently run on a "CoOp" basis, so they need to charge higher prices than the usual local beer (Hall & Woodhouse). The main beer on was Piddle Valley, which was very good indeed. The food was good too, if a little pricier than you would pay in a J.D. Wetherspoon. Can you really compare wild boar faggots at 9.00 a portion with a 'Spoon's lasagne and chips? I think not. When I rated this pub before I said 7/10. I stick by that.

26 Jan 2011 09:00

The Snowdrop, Lewes

Back again, and the place seems to keep on improving. Ate this time (pheasant casserole-- yum!) and the Dark Star was a very good accompaniment. Highly recommended. (I saw a sign that this was one of Jamie Oliver's 100 recommended best English pubs-- but don't let that put you off.) 8/10

22 Jan 2011 22:04

The White Hart, Pulborough

Quite a decent place. Although busy, they managed to cope fairly well. A good range of beers, those tried seemed fairly well kept. Mid-week seems to be a little heavy on the "Saga-generation" side (a party of ramblers arrived, some of whom actually were wearing plus-fours!), but that is true about most pubs in the South in mid-week nowadays. 7/10

22 Jan 2011 22:00

Crown and Punchbowl, Cambridge

As has been said, this seems to have pretty much given up on being "a pub" and has effectively gone over to being a restaurant aimed at the (fairly affluent) Cambridge crowd. It is pricey and is not in the least a place where anyone would go who did not want a full meal, rather than a sandwich or a snack. There is no longer really even a bar area.

4 Jan 2011 09:30

The Hardwicke Arms Hotel, Arrington

This is a fairly old-fashioned place: hotel, restaurant and pub all together. I can't speak about the hotel part, but the pub/restaurant is a very good (for lunch at least), good value, traditional place. I always try to stop off here when I am in this part of the country. The beers are usually very well kept and there are some interesting guest beers from far-flung places. The staff try quite hard, too.

25 Nov 2010 20:30

The Lord Poulett Arms, Hinton St George

Top quality pub, but a slightly disappointing range of real ales (2 on). Quite a few bottled beers, though. The food is excellent, but not by any means cheap, and the chips were possibly the best I have had in the south of England. The staff work very hard indeed and it was an excellent choice. Worth a special visit. 9/10

9 Oct 2010 16:54

The Sailors Return, East Chaldon

Hadn't been back for some time, but today was a good visit. Much better than it was a few years ago. Ringwood, Palmers and Otter all on tap, as well as Flack Manor, all well-kept. This is really good and worth the 7-mile walk I took to get here. Can't say anything about the food, though; however, the menu looks more manageable than it did a few years ago (when it would have had to have been a combination of freezer/microwave). A friendly place.

4 Sep 2010 21:17

Queen Edith, Cambridge

Pretty good, on the whole, but Punch Taverns now want to close it and re-develop it as housing (Sept 2010).

3 Sep 2010 10:38

The Swan Hotel, Arundel

Pricey, but pretty good too. Fullers beer (not quite up to Harvey's elsewhere, but better than most chain-produced beer) and well kept. Service was fairly friendly too. 7/10

26 Aug 2010 22:38

The Plough Inn, Holford

It had been quite a while, so I thought we would give it another try. There is now a sign "Clean Dogs Welcome" (fair enough) and I feel this has greatly improved. Some very good beers (e.g. Exmoor Gold) and Cheddar Valley cider. (And cream teas, for those who like that sort of thing-- the wife did, saying that the homemade scones were excellent). The Specials menu looked very good indeed. 7/10

22 Aug 2010 19:34

The Woodman Arms, Hammerpot

A pretty good place, with some good and well-kept beers. It is a little pricey, though. But then I suppose that goes wit hthe area.

4 Aug 2010 08:09

The Brewers Arms, Martinstown

Can't really understand the negative comment below (unless it was an "off day"-- something every place has). This is a really nice village pub that knows what it is about. Good choice of well-kept beers (from the Piddle Valley Brewery) and a very nice local cider available. A VERY good menu indeed. This place deserves its fairly high reputation. 8/10

1 Aug 2010 18:42

The Royal Oak, Swallowcliffe

It IS abandoned: for sale as a "private dwelling" at 550,000. "Having been vacant for the past 2 years the property comes to the market in need of sympathetic renovation and refurbishment throughout," says the estate agent. Pity, as it was rather good and was a nice place to stop off.

22 Jul 2010 17:07

The Black Horse, Devizes

Quite a decent place, with a large garden by the canal-side. The Wadworth beers are well-kept (about 100 yards from the brewery) and the food seems to be all right.

18 Jul 2010 17:56

Smith's Arms, Godmanston

Drove here today, intending to re-visit. Closed, car park with a chain across it. Has the recession killed such an unusual place too?

31 May 2010 17:12

The Half Moon Inn, Shaftesbury

As BeerEnthusiast says, it is more of a "large restaurant" than a pub. And Hall & Woodhouse (though it may have its fans) is not really the best in fine beers. However, they try to be friendly, have reasonable food and the place is clean and tidy. Nothing special, though, either in the beer or the food line.

30 May 2010 20:16

The Fox and Hounds, Crawley

Tending to be a little more of a "restaurant" these days, it is still a good place to stop. The village is more than a little "chocolate box" posh. This has meant that the pub is up-market. The beers are all right; the food is very good and surprisingly cheap, for what it is. Very clean.

26 May 2010 09:00

The Rising Sun, Shaftesbury

Finally a freehouse, after years of Enterprise Inns! Quite a good place, with good food and good service. They try very hard.

13 May 2010 21:56

The Black Horse, Cirencester

A pleasant place, but unprepossessing from the outside. The beers were good and pretty well kept. The food (except for the soup) seems to be chain-produced.

8 May 2010 09:59

The Crown Hotel, Marnhull

(The picture is of the Crown on Shaftesbury High Street (6 miles away), not the Marnhull pub.) Changes landlords regularly. On the minus side, it is a Hall & Woodhouse pub; on the plus is that they try quite hard.

8 Apr 2010 19:50

The Empress, Cambridge

This is an excellent place: VERY well kept beers and ciders in a wide range, together with top-notch food. Plus, it is the only pub I have ever encountered with three pet miniature pigs (one of which has the run of the place indoors). They are really cute. (It did, however, put me off having ham for lunch; pity as it looked extremely good.) I will try to stop back here again without any hesitation. 8/10

6 Apr 2010 20:06

The Dove Inn, Micheldever Station

"Obviously a great location on the river"??? What river might that be? The nearest river (the Itchen) is about 3 miles away. Looking at Laura1973's comments I see that she meant another "Dove" altogether (in London).
I haven't been here for years (since Patrick left), but have transferred allegiance to The Fox.

17 Mar 2010 12:50

The Crown Inn, Puncknowle

Stopped by here for the first time today. Looking at earlier reviews, I'm not altogether surprised that other customers found the landlord "grumpy". I would agree about the "dismissive attitude". Good beer, but not a welcoming landlord. I doubt I will make the effort to come back. Pity.

14 Feb 2010 22:14

The Dolphin, Devizes

A surprise closure in February 2010. It may re-open, but then pubs are disappearing very quickly.

10 Feb 2010 19:39

Black Swan Hotel, Devizes

Good (Wadworth's) beer and well-kept (but only 100 yards from the brewery). The food is extremely good too. BUT it is going to have a "major refurbishment" at the end of February 2010 and this may change things considerably. 7/10

10 Feb 2010 18:19

The Sir Walter Tyrell, Brook

This is pretty far off the beaten track. Normally, I would stick with the Royal Oak at Fritham, but they had a 60th birthday "do", so I had to go elsewhere. This is "not bad", but not particularly outstanding either. They have a range of "real" beers" (Ringwood, etc.) and the food is reasonable. However, given a choice, I would rather go to The Royal Oak any day. (The barman was Australian, on my visit.) 6/10

5 Feb 2010 13:02

The Victory Inn, Brighton

Quite a good place, with a very good selection of beers (and some ciders). The food is good, but fairly simple. It can easily get very crowded.

3 Feb 2010 16:30

The Snowdrop, Lewes

I've been there a few times now. Each time it has seemed a very good, friendly place, with good beers (well kept) and some out-of-the-way lagers too (if you like that sort of thing). The food has been extremely good (not exclusively veggie any more). One evening, a man played piano through the evening, apparently a fairly regular thing. I like the place. 8/10

1 Feb 2010 22:02

The Fontmell, Fontmell Magna

Up for sale at the moment (as a Free House) for 375,000. A pity, as it is a good place, with good food.

12 Dec 2009 17:38

The Langton Arms, Tarrant Monkton

It IS expensive,especially when compared to some other places in the area which others have mentioned. Stopped by here for the first time today and was favourably impressed (though we just had sandwiches). It's low on the "value for money" side, but the food seemed to be extremely good (and local) and the service was very good too. I suspect that it is aimed at the well-to-do rather than people who want an old-style "local". 7/10

29 Nov 2009 14:57

The Wheatsheaf, North Waltham

A Chef & Brewer attached to a Premier Inn, just down the road from Basingstoke Crematorium. (Post funeral get-togethers seem frequent.) It's not particularly good, but can be a reliable place to stop on the way to the South-West. Most of the staff seem to be East European.

17 Nov 2009 22:07

The Free Press, Cambridge

A good, traditional pub with a pretty good range of well-kept beers. It was also, this week, noticeably "child friendly", with several families bringing in their children for Sunday lunch. It's a far cry from "tourist Cambridge".

17 Nov 2009 22:02

Greyfisher, Salisbury

Grim. This is like a Little Chef that sells cheap beer. The beer is poorly kept and, I suspect, the food is mass produced for microwave reheating. (We only stopped because the wife needed a wee.)

10 Oct 2009 22:01

The Brotherswater Inn, Hartsop

This is quite decent if you're passing, but it isn't particularly special (compared to the Kirkstone Pass Inn about 2 miles up the road).

26 Sep 2009 19:17

The Kirkstile Inn, Loweswater

A real treat. Beautiful location (found it during a walk) and very friendly service. The beers are excellent (a micro-brewery) and some real treats in store. The food at lunchtime was extrememly good as well. This will need another visit next time I'm in the Lake District! (I ought to add that by the time I left, the place was VERY crowded indeed-- popular with walkers from Buttermere.)

26 Sep 2009 19:14

The Crown Inn, Shaftesbury

Shut yet again with a sign in the window that Hall and Woodhouse are looking for yet ANOTHER landlord willing to lose a great deal of money (well, they don't put it quite that way). This landlord seems to have lasted slightly less than a year. Before it closed, it wasn't all that special, though.

16 Sep 2009 21:34

The Swan, Abbotsbury

A good, old-fashioned place which is friendly and comfortable. I haven't eaten here recently, but the crab sandwiches have always been a very good bet.

6 Sep 2009 20:15

The Royal Oak, Bruton

And it doesn't have this one any longer (at least for the time being). Closed, with a large sign "FOR SALE--FREEHOLD PUB".

30 Aug 2009 15:20

The Castle Inn, Bruton

Saw it was closed on 30 August 2009. It wasn't bad in its time.

30 Aug 2009 15:18

The Vine Inn, Stockbridge

Not bad, but not first-rate. Lunchtime food is pretty good. The curious thing is that all of the kitchen staff seemed to be playing pool in the pub's rear room (while people were waiting for food at 1:15pm). Possibly the kitchen staff have their lunch break during the time most people want to eat lunch?

29 Aug 2009 18:05

The Shepherd and Dog, Fulking

Quite a nice location and very friendly, but expensive for both drink and food. Harveys well-kept.

27 Aug 2009 09:12

The Royal Oak, Poynings

Very pricey indeed and not so much a "pub" as a "watering hole" for the well-to-do. (Stepson says that Jordan is occasionally to be seen there.)

27 Aug 2009 09:08

The Bear, Burwash

A freehouse with one of the best views from the garden that I have seen. The ordinary lunch-time bar food yesterday was very good (home made) and the John Harvey was well kept. I'll be back when I pass this way again.

26 Aug 2009 15:45

Dolphin Inn, Peacemarsh

Hadn't been here for some time, but the new landlord seems to have hit things right. Good food (and large portions). The only "down" is really Hall & Woodhouse.

22 Aug 2009 14:12

The Queens Head Inn, Cheltenham

I've not been here (yet) but I'm curious why the very same pub (rated 5.7 here) is also currently listed as 7.9 in another listing for the town. Split personality, perhaps?

4 Aug 2009 09:27

Ship Inn, Shaftesbury

Currently, this is marketing itself as "probably the cheapest beer in Shaftesbury" and it has stopped doing food. Instead, you can bring in (or phone for) your own food or takeaways from local places. Good selection of beers and ciders, BUT the combination of Sky Sports on 2 screens and no food may well turn it into a "drinkatorium". At the moment, they are trying hard; hope that this gamble might pay off. I have to remain sceptical, though.

12 Jul 2009 21:23

The Oakhill Inn, Oakhill

Went here for first time today midday and was more than a little impressed. It IS pricey, but the food seems to be both very good and very local (cheese, meat, etc. all from local sources). They have a very good range of local beers and ciders, too: Butbombes and something tasty called Glastonbury Mystery Tor. Also some foreign lagers on tap. The service was very good, but it was midday and there were only three other customers. I will certainly be back again.

9 Jul 2009 17:50

The Stapleton Arms, Gillingham

Some excellent food here and some very high-quality beers as well. More than a little off any beaten track, so to survive this place would have to be high-quality. Not that expensive, either, all things considered.

4 Jul 2009 15:31

The King John Inn, Salisbury

Stopped by here during a walk on the Wessex Ridgeway. This had been closed for some time for a re-furb (rumour had said it was going to be changed into housing). It now has a new landlord, who have taken it VERY far up-market (with prices to match). Apparently former landlord of the Museum Inn at Farnham now runs it. A far cry, now, from Madonna & Guy Ritchie's country local (Madge was occasionally in the pub quiz). Very expensive, but the beer seemed to be well-kept. Some exotic brews too. Can't speak about the food.

4 Jul 2009 15:27

The Anchor, Seatown

Seemed pretty good today, but pricey. But then it is summer. I notice that the car park acrpss the way will refund you the 4 parking fee if you spend 20 in the pub. I can't drink THAT much and still drive!

24 Jun 2009 21:29

The Nettlebridge Inn, Oakhill

Stopped by briefly, but not impressed (though it clearly has its fans). Fairly ordinary, perhaps decorated by someone who is colour-blind. I can't really agree with "lekker's" cheerleading for the place, but those who were eating seemed to be enjoying their meals--more than the people who just wanted a pint were enjoying the drinks.

21 Jun 2009 17:08

The Carew Arms, Crowcombe

Didn't eat here, but it seems a good, old-fashioned pub. A very good choice of beers and cider which seem well-kept.

30 May 2009 19:36

Pike and Eel, Cambridge

The Cambridge News announced 21 May 09 that this is up for sale and is unlikely to be continued as a pub (along with four other Cambridge pubs). Most likely to be turned into "luxury housing". I can't say I'm sorry to see it go, but the demise of every pub is a lessening.

21 May 2009 12:16

The Zebra, Cambridge

Greene King announced that it wants to sell The Zebra (21 May 09) and it is apparently priced as "appropriate for housing, not for a public house". So, farewell a good, reliable pub. Pity.

21 May 2009 12:11

The Mortal Man Inn, Troutbeck

CLOSED. This used to be an excellent pub (c. 6 years ago) and I had looked forward to re-visiting this 17C pub with, perhaps, the best view in England. However, when I arrived, it was closed, seized by bailiffs for Ent*rpr*se *nns. A talk with the locals and a look at TripAdvisor show that the most recent landlord seemed to have run the place into the ground. TripAdvisor reports seem to show a disturbing run of credit card frauds at the place in the past 3 months.

3 May 2009 09:15

The Castle Inn, Corfe Castle

This is an excellent, friendly place. I couldn't give it a "10" (that is reserved for the Square and Compasses in Worth Matravers, down the road) but a very different sort of place. This is clearly the best pub in Corfe Castle.

13 Apr 2009 15:56

The Keepers Arms, Trotton

Expensive, but probably worth it. Some excellent beers here and the food is a far cut above the average, but don't go in the hope of getting much to eat for under (say) 6.00 for a ciabatta at lunch. Having said that, it WAS an excellent ciabatta.

5 Apr 2009 19:36

White Horse, Stourpaine

Having avoided this after it "got posh and expensive" gave it a try this week. It seems to be a real pub again (with a pool table), though it still has a restaurant. Reasonably good beer and not as expensive as it was (though I didn't eat anything more than a pack of crisps).

2 Apr 2009 18:00

The March Hare, Dunton

Drove past today and might have stopped, but it was closed, boarded up and a big "For Sale" sign in front of it.

1 Apr 2009 20:59

The Eldon Arms, Reading

A really nice, old fashioned local. The beers are kept well and it is a friendly place. Very traditional, with long-serving landlord and lady. Long may it continue.

21 Feb 2009 18:29

The Graduate, Cambridge

According to the Cambridge News it has just re-opened and intends to be a live music venue again. It was not a "pub" in the past, as it was much more a "venue" with poor offerings for drink. It was never a place to go for a pint, though.

17 Jan 2009 18:23

The Scott Arms, Kingston

The Scott Arms' barman ought to learn that an ungrammatical, mis-spelt and truculent defense of his own business isn't the way to win custom. His Cask Marque (or "CASKMARK" as he has it) would seem to have expired. I certainly am not tempted to come back for another visit with the possibility that he might just "listen to me within reason" if I met him face-to-face. (I haven't re-rated it, as I haven't been back since my October 08 visit; so I have not added a "critisim"-- or even a criticism. However, the point of rating and reviewing is to provide a selection of points of view. I stick by my earlier "3".)

10 Jan 2009 18:55

The Crown Hotel, Marnhull

According to today's local paper (9 Jan 2009), "One of Dorsets most famous pubs closed this week when its tenant went into liquidation.
But it is hoped The Crown at Marnhull, best known as The Pure Drop Inn in Thomas Hardys Tess of the DUrbervilles, will be up and running again as soon as possible." A pity, as it was a very good place.

9 Jan 2009 09:37

The Hambro Arms, Milton Abbas

Haven't been by here for some time, so thought I would look in. Excellent beers (Piddle ale), well kept. Excellent food (and lots of it, had the venison sausages), very slightly on the pricey side, though. Wood fire. I should get down this way more often. I can imagine it could get crowded in summer, with the tourists coming to see the "olde worlde" village, though.

1 Jan 2009 15:24

The George Inn, Longbridge Deverill

Stopped by for lunch today. The food is very good and they have Cheddar Valley cider. A great many people were eating the "over 60s specials" and it would seem to be mainly a "mature" clientele (looks like a fairly good bet if you're over 60, though). As it's only a week to Christmas, the music was non-stop carols.

18 Dec 2008 16:11

Pike and Eel, Cambridge

Now it's apparently named "The Penny Ferry". I didn't stop in, as I remember it as the (dreadful) Pike & Eel.

16 Dec 2008 14:24

The Rose and Crown, Sandridge

A really nice, friendly local. Two cats and a very nice dog were very much in evidence. Dogs that chase the cats might be the ones banned. As for providing newspapers, this seems to be VERY much a thing of the past.

15 Dec 2008 17:36

The Trinity Foot, Swavesey

Now boarded up and for sale (as I saw when I drove past last week). It was not bad in its time, but that time obviously is gone.

10 Nov 2008 12:07

The Nothe Tavern, Weymouth

Very crowded on Sundays, but a very nice place, with excellent views over the harbour and Weymouth. Spotless loos.

9 Nov 2008 16:52

The Foresters Arms, Frogham

A very lovely place, but a little on the pricey side. Still, it deserves to be, as it is very special. Excellent food, well-kept (Wadworth) beers.

3 Nov 2008 15:47

The Pig and Fiddle, Bath

Stopped in for Sunday lunch (before the footie started). Excellent food, in enormous portions and friendly service. The range of beers was all right, but could be a little wider though.

27 Oct 2008 21:30

The Kings Arms Inn, East Stour

This pub has recently had a very thorough re-fit (it was pretty good before) and has changed considerably. While before it was an all-round pub, it has tried hard to re-position itself as an almost-gastro-pub. The ordinary sandwiches on the menu have gone, replaced by much more up-market choices. The prices for food have risen proportionately. (Apparently the restaurant now seats "up to 80".) This has meant a change in focus from the beer (not bad, but now a sideline) to "quality eating". So it's not as much a place to drop by any more, but a place to go for a meal. It's not bad at what it does, but it's not really a "pub" any more, but a restaurant which happens to serve drinks.

22 Oct 2008 08:27

The Scott Arms, Kingston

This pub has probably the best view from the garden of any pub in the south of England. Having said that, the attitude of the staff is cavalier and bossy, the pints aren't filled to the measure (in my experience) and the food is fairly ordinary. Why stop here when the Square and Compasses (one of the best pubs in the world) is just down the road?

9 Oct 2008 22:28

Bankes Arms Hotel, Corfe Castle

I've been coming here for years. The beer is usually pretty well kept. The food tends to be a little on the pricey side, but is excellent. A very wide menu, too, understandably (as it's near the sea) a little biased towards fish. The garden looks out towards the Castle and on to the steam railway; every so often an old steam engine chuffs past. Personally, I feel it's best in mid-winter, when the tourists are thinnest on the ground. However, they usually cope well with quite a few customers.

1 Oct 2008 21:23

Packhorse Inn, Keswick

This is one of the best pubs in Keswick. Having seen that it might have closed (from another listing here) I was apprehensive and one of the first things I did when I arrived in Keswick was to see if it HAD closed; it hasn't. Like all Keswick pubs it's crowded, but not too much so. The shift from Jennings hasn't been as dramatic as I had feared. The food is still (probably) the best pub food in Keswick. The beer is not so good as it was, but still acceptable.

27 Sep 2008 22:16

The Bellemoor, Southampton

S-L-O-W service is right. That is, if you can get the staff's attention. They clearly aren't being paid for their productivity.

12 Sep 2008 16:37

The Greyhound, Cambridge

Not a "remaining traditional pub" any more. It is now closed and unlikely to re-open.

10 Sep 2008 16:01

The Duke of Argyle, Cambridge

Recently closed down (August 2008) and unlikely to re-open. Can't say I'm sorry to see it go.

10 Sep 2008 15:59

The Bun Shop, Cambridge

Closed this week (September 08) by bailiffs. Unlikely to re-open. Apparently, it was heavily in debt.

10 Sep 2008 15:57

The Ancient Mariner, Nether Stowey

A good, very friendly local pub. Beers in good condition, draft Stowford cider, and the food was excellent (in VERY large portions).

25 Aug 2008 20:33

The Royal Oak Inn, Okeford Fitzpaine

The big-screen TV doesn't do much to add to the atmosphere, but it seems to be inevitable nowadays. Not that anyone was paying attention to it, and the sound was not as loud as it often is. A real local, but welcomes outsiders too.

24 Aug 2008 18:06

The Old Spring, Cambridge

All right, but not very much special. A decent place to sit for an evening with friends but fairly undistinguished beers. Never tried the food.

23 Aug 2008 22:38

The Queen Victoria Inn, Priddy

This was one of my favourite pubs a while back. I don't come quite so much any more, but still manage about once a month. I agree that it isn't quite as good since it has been taken over, but it is still a very good place to stop for a pint. Mind you, when I am here I only drink the Thatchers Cheddar Valley cider now and haven't tried the Butcombe choices.

17 Aug 2008 21:35

County Arms, Cambridge

This is a pub I will never visit again. A friend and I were sitting there quietly, when (simultaneously) pints of beer were poured over our heads by a group of a dozen "yoofs" (possibly young soldiers out of uniform). As we tried to leave they beat us up outside and left us bleeding in the street, me with a broken nose and two black eyes, he with broken specs and two black eyes. And lots of kicks. Why? We don't know. "Gay-basing"? Neither of our wives believe it. "Graddy-bashing"? Possibly. The landlord saw nothing, at least when asked by the police. I didn't think it was that bad until then. However, Cambridge has always had its share of mindless violence in pubs.

10 Aug 2008 12:41

Yates's, Stratford Upon Avon

Closed and waiting for the fittings to be taken out. Can't say I'm sorry to see it go.

1 Aug 2008 21:53

No. 1 Shakespeare St, Stratford Upon Avon

Since the rest of town centre places were heaving with tourists, decided to give this a try after the re-fit. Not so much a "local" as a restaurant with a fairly good bar attached. Good service, but this WAS mid-day. I expect that "Yoof" take over on the weekends.

1 Aug 2008 21:52

The Tollgate Inn, Holt

Excellent food and a fairly wide selection of beers (and some Thatcher's ciders too). A little "upmarket", with both the upside and the downside of that phrase. Yet some of the best food in the area.

1 Aug 2008 21:42

The Fort St George, Cambridge

This pub has always claimed to have the highest prices in Cambridge. However, the recent re-fit has tried to position it to an upmarket gastropub. Less a pub for a pint than it has been for quite a while.

24 Jul 2008 21:10

The Blackamoors Head, Cambridge

Gone now. Driving past where it used to be, it seems to be "a trendy wine bar". Or something like it.

24 Jul 2008 21:07

The Tollgate Inn, Salisbury

Drove past today--seems to be boarded up and for sale. All the windows have heavy metal screens. Pits, as it weas rather good.

20 Jul 2008 21:34

Crows Nest Inn, Swanage

Not bad at all. Ringwood on draft and quite good service. Didn't try the food (but it was Sunday and they had a carvery). Seems a place with quite a mixed clientele, from children (with parents) to some oldies.

13 Jul 2008 20:01

The Scarborough Arms, Sheffield

From BBC News, 27 June 2008:
"Tiffany Wright was neglected by her parents in the Sheffield pub they ran, the city's crown court heard.

Sabrina Hirst, 22, was jailed after admitting manslaughter and her husband Robert Hirst, 44, was jailed for five years for child cruelty.

Judge Alan Goldsack described the case as "about as bad a case of child manslaughter as there can be".

The court heard Tiffany's decomposed body was found in an insect-infested room in the Scarbrough Arms pub in Upperthorpe, Sheffield, in September last year."

27 Jun 2008 20:45

The Angel Inn, Upton Scudamore

On the verge of becoming a restaurant more than a pub (no sandwiches, crisps, etc.) but well-kept beers, excellent food and very friendly staff. The fact that this is in the Michelin Guide (and the AA Pub Guide too) speaks more for the food than for "a pub" in its old sense.

21 Jun 2008 18:50

Three Horseshoes, Cambridge

This place seems to have forgotten that it is supposed to be a pub (as opposed to a restaurant). When we ordered drinks, the barman asked where we would be sitting for our food. We were the only people in the "bar" area who were not eating (and this was at 9:00 at night. I have no idea what it's like as a restaurant nowadays (except for being expensive), but it's certainly not a place to go for just a drink any more.

17 Jun 2008 09:51

The Grove Arms Inn, Ludwell

A new landlord just started this past week. It's a bit early to say, but they seem to be coping well. Have to check back in a month or so to see what it's like. For what it's worth, today's service was exemplary; but then most new landlords are exemplary for the first few weeks.

15 Jun 2008 18:56

The Royal Oak, Barcombe

A very good country pub with good, honest food. This place is the way country pubs should be. (Clean loos, too.)

14 Jun 2008 16:41

The Harrow, Steep

As good as it always has been today. They should probably give outspoons wit hthe soup, it's so thick!

12 Jun 2008 21:43

The Ship Inn, Burcombe

Stopped here for the first time in 2 years not long ago. It HAS been transformed into a trendy gastro-pub, with the emphasis on the "gastro" part. While it was lovely for the (lunchtime) food, I don't think that I would ever consider it "a local"; its more for the Range Rover and Beemer crowd now.

29 May 2008 13:27

The Green Dragon, Alderbury

They don't make much of it, but this pub is an important setting in Dickens' novel Martin Chuzzlewit (where it's referred to as a model English pub). It IS "old school", still very much a local. The Hall & Woodhouse beers make it nothing special, though. Can't speak about the food.

29 May 2008 13:23

The Mitre, Shaftesbury

This VERY nearly became "executive apartments" when Eldridge Pope sold up a few years ago. Saved (thankfully), it is one of the better pubs on the Shaftebury hill-top. Having said this, it is also a tourist magnet (as it's next to Gold Hill, the hill from the Hovis ads). This means that the service is not always all that it could be. A very good selection of beers here, with food that is often good, sometimes indifferent. Personally speaking, it's best in mid-winter, when there is no tourist trade. In summer, it has stunning views, even if the service suffers.

28 May 2008 22:49

The Phelips Arms, Montacute

Stopped by yesterday (Bank Holiday Sunday) and found it well-kept, very clean, with a good selection of beers (and Thatcher's Cider) and quite good food (though I only had a sandwich, the wife had a bit more). But at 1:00 there were only 6 customers in the whole place. One couple came in, looked over the many empty tables, and apparently decided that SOMETHING must be wrong so left. I can't figure out the emptiness at what should have been a busy time. I found it a very good place indeed.

26 May 2008 18:45

The Fighting Cocks, Godshill

Stopped by yesterday after a VERY long walk in the Forest. Hadn't planned to visit, but the Foresters (Frogham) was closed. Found this much improved since last visit. A very "house-proud" landlord who clearly loves his pub. Good range of beers and also lagers (for those who like such things).

15 May 2008 09:41

The Bridge, Cambridge

Like the rest of its chain, Chef and Brewer, the pub offers a "package". It will never be a "local" but it isn't bad at what it does: drink and meals which are reasonable. Having said that, it has very little real character of its own. Good to take the family there, not so good to go with friends.

7 May 2008 21:41

The Spread Eagle Inn, Stourton

It's an all right place to visit after a trip round the garden, but the Red Lion at Kilmington (a mile down the road) is better. I took relatives there for lunch not long ago (she's a veggie). The "vegetable and potato pie" came with a strip of bacon on top. Waitress said, "well, you can just take it off". Not the most diplomatic of replies.

2 May 2008 17:17

The Crown, Dyrham

Stopped here on the way back to Dorset from the Fishquard ferry. The food was (we both thought) exceptionally good, the service was attentive and the beers well kept (a change from the almost-mandatory Guinness in Ireland). If I lived nearer, I would certainly consider coming back for a better look. As is, it's worth a try.

6 Apr 2008 18:45

The Fox, North Waltham

This is a pub you look forward to visiting when travelling on the dreary A303. It makes a very welcome break. I wish I could be a local.

30 Jan 2008 20:45

The Boot Inn, Histon

A little "ho-hum". Not very much special about anything to do with the pub. Beers seem average, service is "adequate", but not much more.

30 Jan 2008 20:43

The Bath Arms, Horningsham

Was there today and the food and service were immaculate: very polite and quick service. The menu is a little restricted, but very good. The choice of beers is narrower than it would be, but still a fairly wide range of things (including Stowell cider). Can't speak about the decor as I've never been in "a third-rate brothel".

23 Dec 2007 21:49

Drovers Inn, Gussage all Saints

Very good, with a fairly wide selection of beers and v. good locally sourced foods (and a sort of mini-farmers market).

1 Nov 2007 22:20

The Camelot, South Cadbury

A very wide selection of (well-kept) beers and some excellent ciders on draft. The (lunchtime) food is very good indeed.

20 Oct 2007 22:49

The Walnut Tree, Mere

A good selection of beers here. The food is very good indeed, both at lunch and in the evenings.

20 Oct 2007 22:48

The Queens Arms, Corton Denham

Pricey, but very good selection of beers (including German Bock and "organic lager" (!) at recent visit). Pork pies excellent. The usual transport there, for a great many people however, remains the Range Rover and the Beemer. Say no more.

10 Oct 2007 16:41

New Inn, Priddy

Stopped by during a (long) walk today and found it still very good. Quite a few decent beers (and ciders), well kept, and the food, though I didn't eat, looked good, with ENORMOUS portions. Good atmosphere, friendly too.

7 Oct 2007 21:29

The Brace of Pheasants, Plush

Been coming here for years (usually on foot as a detour from the Wessex Ridgeway long-distance path) and it has been a regular stop. Very good beer, lovely location; just ate there for the first time this past week and the food is excellent too.

17 Sep 2007 16:56

The Three Horseshoes, Batcombe

A pub that manages to serve excellent food-- but which is still a pub, and a very good one at that. The beer is good (a wide range) and the prices aren't all that high (though not cheap by any means).

28 Aug 2007 22:51

The Carpenters Arms, Great Wilbraham

This place has a very definite personality (and a very unusual landlord). It is mainly for locals. However, good, well-kept beer. I suspect that you have to have used it for years to be fully accepted.

28 Aug 2007 22:39

The Red Lion Hotel, Salisbury

This is not so much a "pub" as a relic from a former age. It's a hotel, first and foremost. The staff seem to be largely East European. Beer pretty average, food decent. It is a place my wife "feels safe in on her own".

17 Aug 2007 08:35

The Royal Oak Inn, Great Wishford

A friendly village place. Good choice of beers (Ringwood Brewery and others) and a very good atmosphere. (Wife says the loos are very clean, always a good sign).

5 Aug 2007 17:17

The Hood Arms, Kilve

Lovely place, good beers, good food and spotless loos. What could be improved? The service. It took some time today for the landlady to find the barman to serve us, and then it was slightly less than graceful.

28 Jul 2007 20:31

Royal Oak, Fritham

This pub should be listed as a national treasure. Excellent beer, extremely good food. The only pub in the South of England I would give a "9" to.

25 Jul 2007 20:42

The Red Shoot Inn, Linwood

Geared up for passing trade, service about what a touristy pub might have (OK when quiet, appalling when busy); don't expect a "country retreat", especially when busy.

25 Jul 2007 20:40

John Peel, Shaftesbury

This is NOT a pub but a cafe/restaurant in the middle of town. Not a place to go for a pint.

25 Jul 2007 20:26

The Grapes, Cambridge

One of tghe better pubs in Cambridge (fewer students than most).

25 Jul 2007 20:20

The Golden Hind, Cambridge

Fairly dismal. Was taken there by a relative: "Good value for food", he said. If you like microwaved food and oven chips. Fairly poor beer.

25 Jul 2007 20:17

The Trusty Servant, Minstead

The loos are, err, not quite clean. And this is where the people who prepare the food (apparently) wash their hands. Drink all you want, but have a look at the Gentt' before you eat.

25 Jul 2007 18:41

The Fox Inn, Bramdean

They try ever so hard. Good selection of beers for a Greene King pub. Food exceptionally good.

25 Jul 2007 18:35

The Benett Arms, Semley

The landlords' comments ("try us, you'll like us") should be taken for what it's worth. Still anything can be an improvement on the previous bigoted landlord. Potential here, but still not a welcoming pub.

25 Jul 2007 18:33

The White Horse, Steyning

Sent here by the AA Pub Guide 2007, but a mistake. Beer indifferent, service terrible, a place "to be seen" but not to enjoy. The recent re-fit has positioned it to appeal to monied Yuppies.

25 Jul 2007 18:30

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