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BITE user comments - NLBS

Comments by NLBS

The Cabbage Patch, Twickenham

Erm... no... if anyone says to me, "shall we meet here prior to the rugby at Twickenham?", I will be selecting a different venue.

28 Oct 2013 12:08

The White Swan, Richmond

A good small pub quite hidden away and ideal drinking stop if walking the tow path.

The bulk of the tables are geared to eating but I've never felt unwelcome turning up with other people just for a pint.

28 Oct 2013 12:06

The Dickens Inn, Tower Hill

Target audience is tourists, pick the wrong the time of year and you need a seriously good bar presence to be served.

Having said that, go on a sunny spring day and stand outside with the great view of St Katherine's Dock visible from the balcony.

A bonus is that there is a decent curry house called Mala right next door!

28 Oct 2013 11:48

The Old Tea Warehouse, Aldgate

At best it is OK, yes you can stand outside but for some reason the managment is always chaotic. Have been there three times in the past six months and suffered warm lager or beer being off when it is going to be at its busiest... they might need to employ a glass collector as well.

28 Oct 2013 11:41

The Tipperary, Fleet Street

You walk in here and go back in time, a long bar but the depth of the room is sufficiently narrow that two-deep is quite enough! A clock which is stuck at 1735 convinces you that you could easy, "have one more!"

You are in tourist territory but the place doesn't seem to be full of tourists and, as a suit wearer City bod, it isn't packed with EC4 camouflage which is refreshing!

Old school, I will be back!

23 Oct 2013 17:07

Ye White Hart, Barnes

The place is suitably riotous on Boat Race day and with the terracing is a good spot to be at, certainly an hour after the boats have passed as it is merely chaos rather than utter mayhem.

Quite a mix of clientele and I have been there when the atmosphere has felt bordering on febrile for no particular reason.

Having said that it is a nice summer spot.

2 Apr 2013 14:45

The Red Lion, Barnes

Is away from the centre of Barnes down towards the Wetland Centre, Barnes RFC and the delightful Riva. Good beer, a proper fireplace and a restaurant area so that drinkers (unless you are unlucky) aren't stuck with eaters and vice versa.

I always wonder why the exterior is painted grey, for some reason I feel red should feature somewhere!

2 Apr 2013 14:33

The Sun Inn, Barnes

This used to have a bit of a suspect reputation but a good beer venue (and seems popular for food) and a decent outside area, at the front, of all the boozing pubs in Barnes this comes out as the best one.

2 Apr 2013 14:30

The Coach and Horses, Barnes

Its pretty rough and ready and yet it makes a pretty good job of it. Big garden at the back and whilst the bar is pretty small and the loos even smaller it certainly does a pretty good job.

2 Apr 2013 14:28

The Bull's Head, Barnes

Magnificent frontage and overlooks the river yet somehow it doesn't manage to do itself justice. Regrettably I get the distinct feeling this is a faded glory sort of place living on its past.

2 Apr 2013 14:26

The Harrow, Steep

I have the opportunity to visit for one of the Stonor CC cricket matches in July each year and after the journey from London this is the first port of call!

From a summertime perspective and with the sun shining, quite simply, this is an unmissable venue to go to. It is what I visualise a proper English country pub should be but catches you unawares as you enter because you are so used to what we now have to, "experience".

The Harrow has low ceilings, two very small bars, the loos are outside and there is a delightful beer garden and it is such a hidden away location you do have to make quite an effort to find it! This does mean the staff are unlikely to take kindly to large numbers turning up and stocks of food are limited - I managed to get the penultimate Scotch Egg at 20 minutes after opening time - so you need to accept at this place you get what you get.

On a 75F day... I discovered the local Perry...

24 Jul 2012 13:15

The White Cross, Richmond

I don't think I can dispute that this is the best pub in Richmond. Love the fireplace under one of the windows. Service is always polite and efficient and there is an excellent range of beer (mainly Youngs).

Winter? I go here during the winter - cosy atmosphere and, if the sun is out, it is great to have a pint right on the riverbank.

Summer? Totally overrun by the hordes. I am sure they cope admirably but, other than rugby internationals, I am not keen on pints in plastic but totally accept that is practical for them because of the sheer volume of numbers going there.

8 Jun 2012 11:32

The Chapel, Marylebone

They have made a big effort with a substantial garden area... have been to more than one session out there on the Adnams and have thoroughly enjoyed the place!

8 Jun 2012 11:27

The Dog House, Kennington

Is an old school South London boozer - rather depends on your expectations.

8 Jun 2012 11:22

The Volunteer, Baker Street

I can concur that service seems to move at a snails pace whether it is busy or quiet. Can get horribly sweaty in the place as tables/chairs dominate the bar so it is a real push/shove sort of place to get from A (the bar) to B.

If you like leering at female drivers in their cars in the Baker Street traffic you'll enjoy a beer outside.

Whether Sherlock would have gone in here - 221B being virtually next door - I have my doubts!

8 Jun 2012 11:16

The Windsor Castle, Marylebone

As a cricket person it is a really good location for pre or post match meet for Lord's. Good beer and, whilst on the main road, is a good stopping place en route to Marylebone or Baker Street.

Dare I mention that twice last year private parties booked out the pub on evening of major match days at Lord's... had to slum it in the Volunteer!

8 Jun 2012 11:13

The Prince of Wales, Kennington

Cleaver Square is one of the hidden gems of a fairly industrial part of London.

PoW is an excellent little summertime place and my (perhaps selfish) sole frustration is that the management don't seem to know the dates of when the larger matches will be occurring at The Oval and are either not open sufficiently early in the morning before a day/night international or are short on staff and find themselves both being overwhelmed and also clearly surprised so many people have turned up at the same time.

Having said that I think it is a great spot serving beer from Shepherd Neame.

8 Jun 2012 11:09

The White Swan, Twickenham

An ever popular place but a change in management does seem to have reduced efficiency at serving beer. Having said that I enjoy going there and particularly being on the terrace by the river with the added charm that there is a risk of The Thames flooding whilst you are there.

28 May 2012 17:40

Ye Olde Cherry Tree, Southgate

I don't often find myself in areas of London where, "there really isn't anywhere nice to go for a drink". Thus is one of those very difficult ones to review - this is place which was a coaching inn and I guess would have been a great country venue until North London swallowed up much of the area in the 1920s and 1930s.

On top of the hill it is very atttractive from the outside, indeed it does have a charm as you walk in though you do quickly detect it is targetting diners and I subsequently realise it is part of hotel chain now. With few local competitors you have to take what you've got and without competition there is no pressure to change. I have to say I thought it was very pleasant.

28 May 2012 17:24

Gordon's Wine Bar, Charing Cross

As a G&V man I rave about this place. An immediate recommendation to any non Londoner to go here to see a spot which has been going since the 1890s so it must be doing something right.

I love the fact that there is a model of a Spitfire, covered in dust, hanging from the ceiling. There is a delightul sign on the wall making it clear it is a wine bar so there is a limit to what you can ask for. Go for what is in the barrels behind the bar - Port and Madeira. One of the few places I know where House Wine won't be below average filth.

Be warned it is dark and dingy inside and I would have doubts about the food. Great during summer because they take full advantage of the terracing outside.

16 May 2012 13:59

Ye Olde Watling, Mansion House

There are better and there are worse. As you are on Watling Street and you can have one in the gutter with the masses walking by plus the beer is pretty good. I actually rather like it. A pity it has that sort of chain pub feel about it which ensures the rating drops by a point.

16 May 2012 13:50

The Pavilion End, Mansion House

With its name, I think this is meant to have some sort of cricket-related style and memorabilia? As a cricketer I can tell you it doesn't. Or perhaps I am missing something?

16 May 2012 13:47

The Cockpit, Blackfriars

Cult venue... about three minutes walk from St Paul's Cathedral but you'll need a map because it is hidden away... the cockfighting history adds to it... the amazing pair curved doors to enter the premises something you don't see often.

I think a tourist would imagine this is what a British pub is meant to be like.

16 May 2012 13:41

The Wine Library, Tower Hill

Cellar bar, select a wine and you can stay there for a corkage charge. Is also pate, cheese and other nibbles. If you want an offsite business meeting in the winter time this is the sort of place to do it. Is not a tight budget venue and I love the place.

16 May 2012 13:38

The Hung, Drawn and Quartered, Tower Hill

This is just an extension to the nearby insurance broking offices that surround the place (Tower Place, LUC etc)... all rather depends if you are into that sort of target audience and am prepared to listen to their, "chat"...!

16 May 2012 13:32

The Jamaica Wine House, Bank

Known as the, "Jampot". Upstairs is really broken into three mini sized bars with oak pannelling... means there are loads of nooks and crannies to put yourself it can get rather cramped and if you are in the wrong place at the wrong time the service can struggle. However, before Shepherd Neame took it over it was an abysmal place.

It does sit on the site of the first London Coffee house - Pasqual Rosee's Head 1652 - and became the Jamaica Coffee House frequented by West India merchants - round the corner was Lloyd's (origins of our Insurance Market), Jonathan's (origins of our Stock Market) and the Jerusalem (origins of the Baltic Exchange).

For me the history is walk takes me there as much as the quality of the beer.

16 May 2012 13:29

The George and Vulture, Bank

This place is located in the original part of The City from 350 plus years ago. In the old alleyways near Change Alley it was visited by Charles Dickens - is mentioned in the Pickwick Papers - the G&V has been in existence for a very long time, certainly back to the 1600s. When you enter you are transported back a century or more and The Hell Fire club was founded here.

Let's get things straight, this is a CHOP HOUSE - if you are going for a gastronomic experience, or limit yourself to dining at The Mercer or Gaucho (or would never consider Welsh Rarebit as pudding) then please don't come here because you'll hate it. It is a pretty basic English food menu with either red or white wine. You are put either in booths or share long refrectory types of table. Should give you a clue.

Not a pub - go to the Jampot for a sharpener first or afterwards.

16 May 2012 13:20

East India Arms, Fenchurch Street

My sort of venue... efficient staff... can stand outside... bogs have a lot to be desired... the real danger is a big thirst and getting on the Spitfire at lunchtime.

16 May 2012 13:11

Vertigo 42, City Of London

This shouldn't be on a pub-related website should it?

Top venue, but have your plastic at the ready as you will be spending your way out of the recession. You can't just walk in off the street, you need to book in advance and also go through the equivalent of airport security. All of that should screen out the riff raff.

At 40ish floors up it does come second to the bar at the top of The Gherkin but the latter needs invites to get into. The reason being that The Gherkin has 360 degree views which this does not. That said, lovely views, just pick the right day!

Soon it will have a challenger, the upstart Shard.

16 May 2012 13:09

Abacus, Bank

If a place has bouncers on the door it should alert you to what is coming. Two floors of smarming dim birds in their early 20s trying to look cool and in the basement (where else?) mutton dressed as lamb. It was better to laugh at the whole situation rather than despair.

To amend Julius Caesar's quote: "Veni, Vidi, ibam"

16 May 2012 13:03

The Sir Paul Pindar, Bishopsgate

I got barred for life from this place in 1992 - the only time it has happened and was deserved. I returned recently... I wish they'd recognised me and turned me round at the door. Worst pub in The City? Probably.

16 May 2012 12:56

The Railway Tavern, Liverpool Street

I think it appeals as a sports bar but it does do half decent beer. It is a station pub so it can be overrun with people.

I've rated them 6. It would be a four but they earned two bonus points because they opened the day after the IRA blew up Bishopsgate even though the area was an utter shambles and they'd lost every pane of glass in their windows. Respect to the publican on that alone.

16 May 2012 12:53

The Arbitrager, Bank

Down a narrow cobbled street behind the old Stock Market building before they moved to St Pauls - hence its name. This is the sort of place where you go and not be found, if you are looking not to be found! Guinness... plain and simple!

16 May 2012 12:46

The Bunch of Grapes Inn, City of London

Is not full of banker types - as it suggested in other reviews because most of the bank types are in E14. They'll hate me for it, but is full of Aviation insurance brokers actually. I am a broker and my colleague, Ben, recently visited. Quote, "it's a Godawful place". For me it is the whiff of Dettol that gets me when I walk in. One at the Crosse Keys instead?!?!

16 May 2012 12:41

The Bell, Cannon Street

I think this is a pub which is like Marmite - you love it or hate it. For me it is geared to winter because it one of those cosy small, cramped and low ceiling types of place. The winner is that it has a real working fireplace. Good cider and Harvey's on tap and you can stand in the gutter outside on a nice day!

16 May 2012 12:38

The Crosse Keys, Bank

I guess it all depends on what sort of drinking establishment and atmosphere you desire or perhaps you are in IT in a grimy basement office? When you have the Royal Exchange, Jampot, Lamb, Coq d'Argent, No.1 Lombard Street and The Swan right on your doorstep this then this is the very poor (wo)man's venue or you've never actually socialised in The City.

A vast cavernous place, so utterly souless that you could have as much, "fun", with a can of Stella on the concourse of Waterloo Station. I am sure the beer and staff are delightful but on my lone visit I couldn't get out of the place fast enough to find something far nicer.

Its a close run thing but I'd just about so along with Vodka Revolution if it was that vs this. Perhaps people go only because it is cheap, frankly I'll live with being NFI over any invite to this sort of venue.

16 May 2012 12:26

The Lamb Tavern, Leadenhall Market

The Lloyd's (of London not the bank!) insurance market's second trading floor. If you aren't a City type or dress and have hair like Nick Kamen or Luke Goss you might well feel out of your depth.

The Lamb is within Leadenhall market sets and on the ground floor feature is the spiral staircase. Tope floor has a restaurant, though I have never got used to the Tartan carpet the food is fine!

I believe that in his only UK film, Brannigan, John Wayne had a fight in the pub in 1975.

A word of warning, a distinct lack of gents bogs. If you need the, "dunny", on a busy night you'll need to organise yourself.

Invariably very lively on St George's day. Did I mention the Scotch Eggs...?

Oh yes, and you do need a bar presence to get served - be patient, all good things come to those who wait.

15 May 2012 16:56

French House, Soho

In the main I am deeply unimpressed by the pubs and their clientele in Soho - there are far nicer and more personable places in other parts of our Capital City - but, should you be stuck in Soho, then The French is the right place to be.

Often packed, a promising sign, you can stand also in the street with your refreshment. Yes they only do half pints - is that a serious deal breaker?

I am on the hunt for the Breton Cider and I definitely do not fall into the, "cool", category mentioned in another post.

15 May 2012 16:43

Shaftesbury Arms, Richmond

Has completely metamorphosised itself and its target audience since a substantial refurbishment. Good beer and very good Bloody Mary as well! Go for the excellent sausage rolls or scotch eggs - am yet to try the food.

8 May 2012 17:53

The Triple Crown Inn, Richmond

Just behind Richmond rugby club, this is an old school pub with guest ales and a working fire place. Just the spot to warm up post match, I will be partaking in the SA before the England vs Wales 6N match!

22 Feb 2012 12:28

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