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BITE user comments - NM_Ale_Drinker

Comments by NM_Ale_Drinker

The Volunteer, Baker Street

We'd just crossed the famous Abbey Road 15 minutes earlier and chanced upon this pub after going to a Beatles memorabilia store. Stepped in at 11:15 am and ordered a couple of pints of St. Austell Tribute – in dimpled glasses – and enjoyed a pre-noon pint on the edge of Regent’s Park at a welcoming pub.

The landlady was very helpful, friendly and ‘booked’ us a table for New Year’s Eve. We were thankful as many of the pubs we talked to said they were closed or said we'd better get there early.

In the end we got there around 10pm, found an empty table and enjoyed the last couple of hours of 2009. Drank two well-kept pints of Pride leading up to midnight. The place eventually filled up and we all joined in the countdown for 2010. Nice to be warm and with a pint than freezing at Westminster.

Surprised to read the comments about poor service as we were immediately served when the pub was empty and quickly got our pints when it was packed New Year's Eve.

Three cheers to The Volunteer for a great place to start the new year.

9 Jan 2010 21:03

The Cross Keys, Covent Garden

This was recommended by the posters on the BITE message board and I can see why.

Had to do some mandatory C. Garden post xmas shopping but knew this would be worthwhile stop when done.

Met the publican who was quite pleasant but the same cannot be said for my first pint which was the Brodies Amarilla - too tart, not my cup of tea. Fortunately there was Black Sheep Bitter and Harveys and each of those were vastly better.

Friendly place - had a great Italian football conversation w/ Sardinian bartender who had just finished his shift.

It was a dark place, but was expecting it to be even darker.

9 Jan 2010 20:43

The Newman Arms, Fitzrovia

Can't believe the ratings for this pub are so low. Possibly one of the best pub finds for the trip. Service, beer and pub itself is top notch! Location is nicely hidden, but there were a number of pubs nearby.

My friend had never had an English "pie" so had heard this place had some of the best. It was around 3 or so New Year's Eve and we popped in looking forward to good food and drink.
We were not disappointed. Ordered our pies and started off with a couple of pints of Fullers Jack Frost - very good brew.

Young bartender clued us in on history of place (Orwell hangout - Mick Jones of The Clash occasionally drinks there). My friend is a rock musician and we find out that the guy drinking next to us is also a rock musician (The Cheek) who has played the SXSW festival in Austin, Texas. Small world eh? Nice rock music conversation while waiting for our pies.

All the hype is warranted - great pies, hit the spot. Realize that we got to this place at a perfect time, but these are the experiences that an American Real Ale fan live for. HIGHLY recommended!

9 Jan 2010 20:06

The Blue Posts, Fitzrovia

On way back to our hotel New Year's Eve - saw that the pub was still open. Dying for a pint and this pub did not disappoint. The OBB was what I needed after much running around the shopping areas.

Completely unpretentious, and nowhere near as fancy as some other Sam Smith pubs, but great service and conversation as I learned more and more about this curious brewery.

Friendly group of regulars who made me feel at home for the 45 minutes or so that I was there.

9 Jan 2010 19:54

The Green Man, Soho

By far the poorest beer of the pubs we visited. The pub itself was ok - very large and Arsenal/Portsmouth on every monitor.There was only two beers on handpump and the bartender was not positive about either one. Settled for Greene King IPA – had never read anything good about the beer, and now know why. Cheap at about 2.40, but lousy taste. Service was fine and we had a nice conversation from a worker from Liverpool.

9 Jan 2010 18:25

The Ship and Shovell, Charing Cross

Did the touristy thing and took an old #15 routemaster towards Trafalgar Square en route to the Ship and Shovell. Hopped off the back end and strolled a block or so under the brick arch to the pub.

Very intrigued by the two pub setup; unfortunately the small one was closed. The larger pub was crowded, but easily slipped in near the bar and ordered a couple pints of Badger Bitter. Not too bad, but must come back and hit both bars.

9 Jan 2010 18:16

The Museum Tavern, Bloomsbury

Hit this place two years ago knowing it had Old Peculier on cask. Immediately met a regular and we have hit if off since.

Made two visits this trip and started off with Old Peculier and closed with Landlord. Patient staff as the lot of us were getting a bit belligerent.

As a tourist, this is a place where I feel like a local as I get to hang around the regulars. While it is across from the British Museum and most of the folks streaming in are from out of town/country, more credit to them for having a great lineup of real ales.

Only disappointment was that it closed up New Year's Day at 6 pm, but we were warned the day before.

I've had a number of pints here and never a bad one - the staff take pride in knowing quality.

9 Jan 2010 18:08

The Pride of Spitalfields, Shoreditch

Absolutely pouring rain and on our way to Rough Trade records was looking forward to a pint and a chance to dry out.

Very local place - nice service and enjoyed a pint of Doom Bar and the post-Chrismas shopping conversation.

Yet another place this American would love to spend more time to get to know the regulars and sample some of the food.

9 Jan 2010 17:58

The Gun, Shoreditch

Though it is not nearly the same place, The Gun will always hold a special place in my heart. 20+ years ago my wife and I stumbled upon this pub as we wandered through Spitalfields market. The landlord was as nice as person as you could meet and we felt so completely at home. Since then, as the area has transformed, so has the pub. The crowd is a bit younger, the staff more impersonal, but the pub itself hasn't changed too much.

We still had a good pint of Bombadier and it was a great place to get out of the rain. Service was fine and everyone was having a good time.

9 Jan 2010 17:50

The Half Moon, Putney

This was our final destination for the night. Our friends picked this one as we were also in search of live music. Apparently this place was on the verge of being taken over and turned into a restaurant. Music was only an acoustic open-mic night, so we passed on that. Our friends insisted we sample a ‘ram rod’ – I think it was a 3/4 pint of Young’s Ordinary soon to spiked w/ a small bottle of the stronger Ramrod. This hit the spot for our closing pint for the night.

9 Jan 2010 17:42

The Bricklayers Arms, Putney

What a great entrance – my eyes instantly feast on a number of different Timothy Taylor handpumps. Somewhat odd look – mostly light wood benches and tables and surprisingly well-lit. Had a pint of the TT Dark Mild (one of the best!) and the Best Bitter (so-so). Extremely friendly place and as we left we chatted a bit w/ local CAMRA folks. It is nice knowing someone from the area as I'd likely never come across this place. Super pub.

9 Jan 2010 17:39

The White Horse, Parsons Green

Called my friend who went to the Chelsea/Fulham match and he told us to meet at the The White Horse near Parsons Green tube station. HUGE packed pub, but it did not take long to find my friend. Despite the crowd, easily served and perhaps the best tasting pint of the whole week – a pint of Harvey’s Bitter that was fresh and at the perfect temperature. Met a number of my friend’s mates and there was great conversation all around - a classy pub.

9 Jan 2010 17:36

The Griffin, Brentford

This took place 28/12/09 before the Brentford/Charlton match.

VERY excited to finally see a Brentford home match AND visit the famous four corner pubs. Was told to hit the Griffin first and we got there around 12:30, pretty empty. Looks great from the outside and inside. We drink perhaps the freshest, best tasting pint of Pride ever – or it could be that the brilliant ambiance of the locale has me in its grips. 15 minutes later the place starts to get packed. A couple of locals grab chairs next to us and I humorously berate one who is drinking a bottle of Budweiser. I mention that I flew over 5000 miles to NOT drink something like that. He is apologetic and I feel a bit smug. Anyway, good conversation and nice to see Brentford and Charlton fans drinking together. Would not have left except that we had a match to attend. Bought a burger from an employee who was grilling burgers in the back and it hit the spot.

Game wasn't too special, but the Ealing Terrace rules and I will definitely be back.

9 Jan 2010 17:34

The Dublin Castle, Camden

Hit this place in search of live music. Supposed to be 3-4 bands, but in the end there was only Ross and the Wrongens (uns?) who played a decent set.
Relaxed and friendly pub with good service - the Pride was just right.

9 Jan 2010 17:30

The Princess Louise, Holborn

Had just flown over from Houston, USA. Many hours w/ no sleep. Once we dropped out bags off we went to this wonderful oasis. My friend's first London pub. It was fairly empty – enjoyed a nice pint of Old Brewery Bitter. Enjoyed a good conversation with friendly Aussie bartender. Beautiful pub and I am a sucker for the private compartments, fancy glass and mosaics.

9 Jan 2010 17:27

The Chandos, Trafalgar Square

In many ways this is my favorite Sam Smith pub due to the roominess and comfortable atmosphere. Had a predictable pint of OBB and there was a large crowd on both levels.

9 Jan 2010 17:23

The Harp, Covent Garden

After a pleasant pint at Chandos, wandered down a short distance to a pub I had always wanted to visit. Appreciated the knowledgeable and friendly service and help from the staff as the handpumps on tap were foreign to me. Settled on Sambrook’s Wandle and Dark Star Hophead and both were great. I could be very happy making this my local.

9 Jan 2010 17:21

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