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BITE user comments - LDW

Comments by LDW

The Gallipot Inn, Hartfield

Terrific place. Great beer, good foor, and, from the garden, one of the finest views in Kent.

10 Oct 2011 09:30

The Dovecote, Capel

Doom Bar was on when I went this week. Hooray!

Sorry to read that others have been disappointed in the food: ours was _superb_ - as good as I've ever eaten here. In the sunshine on the attractive patio area, it was perfect.

Beer 10/10; food 9/10; welcome 9/10; atmosphere 10/10.

Keep it up guys - this is what a pub SHOULD be like.

8 May 2011 18:04

The Hatch Inn, Colemans Hatch

Why would anyone go to this over-priced pretentious and unfriendly place when the very wonderful Gallipot Inn is about half a mile away?

The Gallipot is not on BITE (I know - I HAVE suggested it, but things on BITE are moving even slower than ever at present) but you can Google it. It's just a bit south of Hartfield.

13 Mar 2011 00:16

The Kentish Horse, Mark Beech

Saturday lunchtime.

Waited ages at the bar before being acknowledged by the barmaid. Yes, you do have to change the roll in the credit card machine; yes, you should serve earlier customers first; yes, I should wait my turn.

But it would have been nice to get a welcoming smile and some comment along the lines of 'sorry I won't be a minute'. An unwelcoming start.

A nice crowd of locals soon turned up, and the atmosphere improved accordingly. Also their merry banter covered the sound of Radio 2. (Why? oh why? If I want to listen to Radio 2 - unlikely - I can do that at home. God I hate muzak.)

The Larkins was terrific. But the food was really poor: my lasagne was cold and tasteless - I kept adding salt in the hope of finding some flavour, but no luck. This despite the fact that it came from the 'home-cooked' specials board.

Twenty quid for two is cheap, but I'd rather have paid thirty to have pleasant welcoming service and food that was edible. Especially a smile costs nothing.

Recommended for drinking only - and then more for the regulars than the staff. Sorry - can't give it more than a 4.

13 Feb 2011 12:15

Brecknock Arms, Bells Yew Green

Under new management for the past three weeks, and the new landlord is just 20 years old. He says the previous incumbent ran the place down, and he and his young partner are hoping to rebuild the business.

On the plus side, the Harveys was well-kept and pleasant (the choice is Harveys or Harveys; although Harveys is not usually my favourite pint I liked the WWII style bitter. The food was OK. The bill for four for lunch was 55 quid including drinks. A nice log fire was burning.

On the downside, there was a horrid smell of burnt oil from the deepfat fryer. Piped music playing. Food took 30 mins to come. In fairness, we were warned that it would be cooked to order, but despite that it was only OK: pies in bowls without proper pastry, chips a bit floppy.

The young landlord - not surprisingly, given his youth - has not yet developed an easy manner. We were pretty much the only people in there at lunchtime. A lick of paint wouldn't hurt: it all looks a bit rundown.

All in all, not enough to make me want to rush back.

I do hope they can make a go of this, but they will need imagination and flair as well as youth and energy.

2 Feb 2011 15:35

The Dovecote, Capel

Never fails. A lovely pint of the local Spa ale from Tun Wells, and a cracking plate of fish n chips.

Ahh. That's better.

2 Feb 2011 00:53

The Halfway Bridge Inn, Lodsworth

Walked into this 'pub' at lunchtime, to be met by a greeter with menus in hand: "Are you lunching with us today sir?".

Lunch - and beer - were excellent, and not bad value I thought. But it's clearly a restaurant not a pub, and it suffers from being too close to hearty rich people living in Petworth/Midhurst. There was more tweed on view than I have seen in ages.

So a positive report - but on the basis of my experience it's no longer really a pub.

1 Nov 2010 11:29

Bricklayers Arms, Chipstead

I'm not a great fan of Harveys (I know, I know - it must be a fault in me) and this wasn't the best kept pint I've had. A bit sour.

Food at lunchtime absolutely first class, however. Bill for three £60. Nice surroundings and lovely welcoming staff.

Only gripe I have is the clientele: if you have a Pringle sweater, a personalised number plate on your Jaguar S type (like, I don't know - maybe 4 RSE) and lifetime membership of the golf club this pub will suit you. There are lots of old rich men here who will want to discuss your investments and your second home with you, endlessly and vapidly.

Personally, I like a little bit more variety, a little more authenticity and a little less braying. Shan't be returning. Pity though, as otherwise it's lovely.

14 Oct 2010 15:00

The Halfway House, Brenchley

Yep - now my second favourite pub in the area (and the wife's favourite). Lovely beer - always a good and interesting choice; some excellent food; really nice people running it. A top pub. Ignore my previous quibbles.

12 Oct 2010 22:48

Hilden Manor, Hildenborough

OK, let's get the good stuff out of the way first. The staff are charming.

Now the rest. It's a Beefeater, so I suppose I should have known better. The bitter is _CHILLED_ (arrrgggghhhh!) so I'm unable to say whether it was any good or not. I sure as heck didn't enjoy it.

I asked for mine in a jug (ie a glass with a handle) and the chap at the bar very kindly and helpfully went to the kitchen and got me a water jug.

OK, if you don't have them, you don't. But you should at least have heard of them! But it was all very charmingly done.

Decor and so-called 'food' are what you'd expect from a Beefeater. Ditto clientele.

Let's face it: this is a chain of anonymous characterless places with nothing to recommend them. I should have known.

9 Sep 2010 10:22

The White Rock, Underriver

Four of us had a three-course lunch here, for £60 including drinks. Astonishing value. Food delicious, beer (including the two Tonbridge ones) absolutely excellent, service extremely friendly and pleasant.

What's not to like?

9 Sep 2010 10:09

The Woodman, Ide Hill

So nearly excellent. Nice atmosphere and two lovely pints of Youngs.

Food acceptable, but not special: 'Game Pie' was meat and gravy with one of those puff pastry lids dropped on top - not what I think of as Game Pie. Plates not warmed, and food on the cold side. Green beans beautifully done, and meat tasty, but cauli and greens watery and flavourless. Fab chips though!

All problems can be forgiven when staff are pleasant, and today they were absolutely lovely.

16 Aug 2010 19:36

The Swan on the Green, West Peckham

Listen. I'm a grumpy bastard, me.

But you'd be hard put to stay grumpy at The Swan. I've lived within 20 mins of this place for 30 years and never been there. Well, silly old me.

This pub is an absolute blast. Start with the quintessential Kentish village, with a REALLY old church nestling down into the landscape. Add a no through road, and at the end of it a village green.

On that village green put a pub, and into that pub, put someone who can really cook, a brewer who turns out BEAUTIFUL beer, and a saucy barmaid out of a Restoration comedy.

I'm sorry, but previous reviewers are hard to please, indeed. I'll be coming back, and often.

9 out of 10 - and like all grumpy bastards, I give that rating only VERY rarely.

6 Jul 2010 20:09

The Bees in the Wall, Whittlesford

Unprepossessing pub, saved by three things: charming and delightful welcome from Marie; EXCELLENT pint; and unpretentious tasty good-value food.

Well worth a visit.

29 Jun 2010 23:44

The Three Tuns, Ashwell

Bitterly disappointed. Has it changed hands since last reviews?

Smarmy welcome. Decent beer. Truly ABYSMAL food.

Never going back again.

29 Jun 2010 23:42

Sun Inn, Leintwardine

Like many places, its postal address is no the same county as its geographical county. The local post town is CRAVEN ARMS - which is, of course, in Shropshire...

5 Apr 2010 03:00

George and Dragon, Tudeley

Recent report from a friend (yes, hearsay evidence I know) suggests that things have gone downhill again.

Another beautiful pub that needs rescuing from the dead hand of the chains. If the landlord could be allowed to make a living, this could be a nice pub again.

15 Mar 2010 11:32

The Halfway House, Brenchley

Went again, and the staff could not have been kinder or more welcoming. Must have hit a bad day last time.

CAMRA Award winner for best pub in Kent or West Kent every year for the last five at least. Whic speaks for itself.

11 Mar 2010 17:44

The White Horse, Cranbrook

A functional pub. I chose it over the hotel opposite in hopes of getting a decent pint, but all the proper beer was off. :-(

Turns out the hotel does a nice pint after all. :-( :-(

Loud music, TV screens, sad-looking locals, pool table, lager.

You get the picture.

1 Mar 2010 15:04

The Halfway House, Brenchley

A popular local pub with a good number of lunchtime regulars when I called. Lovely log fire on a miserbale day. Nice pint of Goachers, very well kept, and good food. Lunch for three = £45.

We were welcomed, but there was a certain lack of warmth, I'm not quite sure why. So 8/10.

24 Feb 2010 20:41

The George Hotel, Cranbrook

Oo er. It's a hotel, not a pub.

Verrry posh, I do declare.

5 Feb 2010 18:34

The Royal Oak, Wineham

What a terrific pub.

Wonderful Harvey's, straight from the cask. No jukebox, one-armed bandit or similar. Gorgeous old building, _not_ 'restored' to damnation. Nice selection of locals and incomers and a good atmosphere. Lovely welcome from a young guy, and a very toothsome young lady with an accent like having maple syrup poured over your head.

Excellent food - really excellent - and the bill for four came to fifty quid.

Darn near perfect.

5 Feb 2010 18:32

The Spotted Dog, Penshurst

5.4/10 is a severe underrating, and presumably relates to past ups and downs.
As of today lunchtime, this is a brilliant pub. Larkins was good, food was interesting and delicious, logfires burning, and the welcome utterly charming. Lunch for two: £30 - and very good value. I rate it 9/10.
It was also full - which for a Thursday lunchtime speaks for itself - and with a nice mixed crowd of locals and the middle classes, young and old, male and female.
Good pub!

12 Nov 2009 19:33

The Wheatsheaf, Bough Beech

A wonderful pub. Brilliant atmosphere, fantastic food, lovely people, good beer.
Great for dinner out, but you can just prop up the bar (if you can find space!) if you'd rather, and enjoy v good ale.

29 Oct 2009 09:36

The Poacher, Tudeley

Tremendously up and down, this one.
My wife reports a delicious meal and wine this month (October 2009). But me myself I wouldn't got there: it's not a proper pub (too girly) and there are much better options - esp the Dovecot at Capel, and as of this month, the George and Dragon up the road.

29 Oct 2009 09:23

The Plough Inn, Hildenborough

The Plough is a really nice place, decent beer and well-priced food. The locals are friendly, and there's a pleasant atmosphere. What could possibly go wrong?
Well... one of the two guys that run it is an absolute little Hitler. He's not only an absolute pita to deal with, but he's got all his staff in a state of quivering wretchedness.
If he's otherwhere, this is a great place to visit. But you'll detect a certain nervousness all the same.

29 Oct 2009 09:20

The Leicester Arms, Penshurst

Have been visiting on and off for fifty years, and it's never changed. That includes the decor.
The beer is fine, and if you go on a sunny day it's nice to quaff a pint in the back garden. But the interior is almost Kafkaesque in its anonymity and drabness.
As someone has already said, it could be SO much better.

29 Oct 2009 09:14

The Foresters Arms, Tonbridge

Chav city.
If you are not one you'd be advised to steer clear. The reviewers below are clearly not the target market (eg they can write).
Like WilliamBonny I am a local, and I have been in the Foresters exactly twice in 30 years. Not an experience I am likely to repeat until I buy myself an England footie shirt, have my head shaved and lose my brain.

29 Oct 2009 08:59

The Farmers, Sevenoaks

Yeah - and how sad is it to see the site _still_ empty and with hoardings around nearly four years later. It was demolished for retail and office space - although there's two huge empty office blocks within 500 yards. I hope the economy never recovers sufficiently to build another one. Let's have our nice pub back instead!
What a pathetic business the planning regs are.

29 Oct 2009 08:06

The Nevill Crest and Gun, Eridge Green

One of the reasons pubs are closing at a rate of five a week.
This would not be missed if it were one of them - but it's such a lovely building it would be great if an independent could take it over. Don't you just hate the pub chains?

29 Oct 2009 07:34

The Crown, Groombridge

Smashing traditional pub. Always good beer, tasty good-value food, and a warm welcome.
One of the best in the area.

29 Oct 2009 07:30

George and Dragon, Tudeley

This used to be my regular watering hole, but has been through a troubled time in reecent years; constant changes of landlord tell their own story.
However, as of now (October 09) it's in the hands of an enterprising young couple who deserve to succeed.
The IPA was beautifully kept - the second pint even better than the first. :-)
The food was interesting and tasty, and cooked exactly to order with loving care. Not cheap, but good and fresh and not just your pub staples. For two of us lunch was twenty-odd quid.
Recommended - under current management, at least!

11 Oct 2009 01:27

The Dovecote, Capel

Just been again and had a FABULOUS pint or two of Granny Wouldn't Like It. Food was good (OK, not _outstanding_, but good), so hope deesouthgate will try again!

5 Aug 2009 14:41

The Crown, Towcester

Great pub in the old style. In a village of lovely honey-coloured stone houses, the pub on the corner fits right in.

You walk in to a very plain room, with a rudimentary bar on one side, and a slightly more upmarket eating area of to the right. Very friendly people man the bar.

Or you can sit outside and listen to the locals talking like Shakespeare. The pub dates from his time (1597), and one doesn't feel much has changed.

The beer is terrific, the food is good and marvellous value. Well worth seeking out.

Top recommendation 5*!

6 Jul 2009 18:39

The Plough, Smallford

A really nice pub: good value food and excellent beer in a rural location just minutes from the motorway - a really good stop.

Very welcoming: we were hardly inside before we felt like regulars.

Intrusive music was turned down promptly and politely.

5 Jul 2009 19:32

The Rose and Crown Hotel, Tonbridge


Lovely old building. Staffed by morons. Food appalling - truly, truly dreadful. Service amateurish at best.

Should be an absolute sinecure, but people are staying away in droves.

Please somebody rescue this nice place.

3 Jul 2009 05:52

The Slug and Lettuce, Tonbridge


Not visited myself, but two friends have recently been shortchanged or 'accidentally' overcharged.

Check your bill carefully - and change ditto.

3 Jul 2009 05:48

Vauxhall Inn, Tonbridge

Truly tragic.

Great pub - I remember it before it was done up.

But the MOST obnoxious staff I have ever encountered. I've never seen the same barstaff twice (tells you all you need to know), but they are always hateful.

Used to go there with a group of us (sometimes 12 or more) every week, and every week the same: everything is too much trouble. You'd think they'd want the business. Service slow to the point of collapse, and they never know anything.

Customer: "Can you still serve food? Have you got any crisps? What's this beer like?"

(Drippy voice): "Oo, I don't know. I'll go and ask."

One time we'd waited so long for the glasses to go with a bottle of wine (one dim girl on duty) that I nipped behind the bar and helped myself. Quick as a flash, some jobsworth appeared out of nowhere: "Do that again and you're barred."

I was a gnat's beat away from walking straight back round behind the bar - verrrry tempting. But for Pete's sake, if you've got time to monitor your customers helping themselves, make time to give me some SERVICE.

Never eaten there (wouldn't dare!), but menu looks pretentious, too long (ie it's all frozen), badly spelled (ie created by ignorant pigs), and expensive. At your own risk, then...

Whoever is managing this pub needs a good kicking: your staff are miserable as sh*t, and your customers don't like it.

Bloody shame.

3 Jul 2009 05:43

The Ship Inn, Noss Mayo

What a great pub. Perhaps a little over soigné, but perfect for a lovely long leisurely lunch, especially outside on a sunny day, watching boats potter up and down. Ahhhh!

Great food (yeah - not cheap), great beer, great atmosphere, nice people.

3 Jul 2009 05:24

The Tudor Rose, Upper Upnor

I really like this pub: it has an honesty and an unpretentiousness that appeals to me.

As others have said, it's a Tardis - except that it's divided into a load of different rooms (and I'm not sure I've been in them all yet!).

The welcome is really charming, the food is terrific, and the beer - well, just go and have some...

3 Jul 2009 05:10

The White Rock, Underriver

Could this be the perfect pub?

Delightful people run it; it's a free house; the food's great (not the cheapest, but worth it); the beer's terrific. Blimey - they even have theatre performances in the garden in summertime!

There has been a very grumpy barman (or perhaps it's his idea of humour?) when I've been in at lunchtime, but no sign of him on recent visits, so happy indeed.

3 Jul 2009 04:54

The Hatch Inn, Colemans Hatch

Yes, the service is as usual - cold, distant and unwelcoming. That is a kind description.

It's a girl's pub really - everything comes with garnish (ie tasteless crinkly lettuce; you're not really supposed to eat it, I imagine). And it's full of chinless wonders: if you thought "OK yaah" was a joke from the 1980s, try here.

The food is really expensive, and if you pay by credit card the screen asks you for a tip. Without my glasses on, I nearly left a £66 tip when I tried to enter my PIN. Needless to say, I was not warned about this by the grumpy old g*t at the bar, nor was he at all pleasant about cancelling it.

A must to avoid - a pity, as the building, location and beer are all great.

3 Jul 2009 04:49

The Dovecote, Capel

Terrific pub. Nice people, great food and well-kept beer.

The best local in the area. No music, no one-armed bandits - a perfect drinking hole.

Also lovely family-friendly garden for those nice summer days.

3 Apr 2009 11:23

Three Horseshoes, Elsted

Fabulous view, charming warm welcome, delicious food and well-kept beer - the Flowerpots is delicious.

The garden is amazing - must return when the roses are in bloom.

3 Apr 2009 11:21

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