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BITE user comments - Pubspymaster

Comments by Pubspymaster

The Belgian Arms, Holyport

Just when you think you've found a decent trad pub with good ale and food along comes another would be entrepreneur and buys it. This time it's one Michelin star Nick Parkinson of the Royal Oak, Paley Street.

Is there a competition amongst the wealthy and well-known to buy up every half decent pub in Berkshire?

Jury is out on this one, more in due course. The Bray pub nomads are on the move again.

17 Jan 2013 21:48

The Bell, Waltham St Lawrence

Walked here with friends on Boxing Day. Received a warm welcome, found a table, ordered the drinks and not a word about had we booked for lunch, so refreshing not to be quizzed about bloody lunch!

The Moles Brewery 'Stocking Filler' went down a treat, three times in fact.

Well done to the licencees here, great independent pub, not mucked about with by brewery idiots.

17 Jan 2013 21:41

The Pineapple, Dorney

Walked here from home on a crisp chilly day at New Year. As I walked in and approached the bar, a scruffy lad in black asked if I'd booked a table. I said that I wasn't aware that I needed to to buy four pints! And there is nowhere to sit for just a drink except in the freezing garden.

Why oh why must they ask this silly question - some of us still go to the pub for a drink!

I like the pub but object to the constant queries about food and table bookings. Next time I shall book a table and just have a beer or two.

17 Jan 2013 21:37

The Blue River Cafe, Maidenhead

Went for breakfast, everything you can eat for a tenner! Even served by a smiley girl so a real plus - will return.

10 Jun 2012 19:05

The Atrium Bar at South Hill Park, Bracknell

As a student at the arty bit, I pop in for a beer after the creative juice has flowed. Usually, I am served by a charming smiley dark haired girl who must be worth employing at twice the cost. Lately, a couple of surly others have been on duty. If you don't like the drinks business, go elsewhere and be miserable.

Usually, the cask ale is in fair condition but lately it has deteriorated. On Monday, the Brakspears had a nasty yeast haze suggesting poor pipe cleaning.

At your prices it should be in perfect condition!

You still owe me a refund.

2 May 2012 16:21

The Belgian Arms, Holyport

I've been going here occasionally for about a year now but only for beers.

Just had lunch today. We were greeted by a charming smiley girl, given menus promptly and brought drinks in no time at all.

The prawn and salmon sandwich came with salad & chips and looked very appealing; my ham, eggs & chips was a pink and unctious slab of delicious piggy with a couple of perfectly fried eggs and crisp chips.

The Oxford Gold went down a treat and one was not enough. Another smiley lady came to check that we were happy with our food and thanked us when we left.

Well done and thank you!

2 May 2012 16:14

The St George and Dragon, Wargrave

I visited with a friend on Tue 24 Apr 12. It was a quiet lunchtime in between heavy showers. I guess there were 30 customers at most.

Our two simple dishes, fish pie and fish cake, took 50 minutes to emerge from the kitchen which is astonishing for an M&B branded regenerated menu operation. The portions were mean albeit edible.

Very poor value. Don't go unless it's sunny and you want to be by the river for a drink.

2 May 2012 16:02

The Halfway Inn, Newbury

I popped in just before Christmas to see if the reviews are accurate. I was asked if I'd come for dinner as soon as I approached the bar (or is it a piano storage area?) which is always very irritating for a man seeking a pint at the end of the working day.

I asked for a pint of Badger First Gold. The (French?) barman drew off a hazy pint, placed it in front of me and annouced, 'That'll be 3.80 please.'

For the first time in my life I challenged the price and he told me it was designed to keep out the local 'riff raff!'

It will keep me out as well, for ever. I'll be going to the Winterbourne Arms in future.

31 Dec 2010 12:30

The Two Brewers, Windsor

Best pub in Windsor. Don't tell ayone, you'll just spoil it for those of us who go there.

26 Apr 2010 12:08

All Bar One, Windsor

Grubby little joint, the slowest service on earth and indifferent staff - why bother?

26 Apr 2010 12:07

Browns, Windsor

Great place to drink champagne and 'totty watch'. A fine collection of mature fillies available to delight the middle-aged gentleman's eye.

Food is a bit formulaic and slow when busy but you can always watch the river.

26 Apr 2010 12:05

The Hinds Head, Bray-on-Thames

Just another expensive gastro pub (i.e. not a pub) owned by a name and there are better locally. Does Heston get on the stove here? I doubt it. Crazy prices even for Bray. Very cliquey in the bar.

The real pub is the Crown just along the road but Heston has bought that too - God help us locals!

26 Apr 2010 12:01

The Bounty, Bourne End

Popped in Saturday last - it may not be to everyone's taste and if you prefer gastro pubs then good luck, you have many to choose from locally.

The Bounty reminds me of pubs in the 70s and 80s - old fashioned, quick hospitality, good beer, handsome portions of food served fast without fuss and clean but primitive WCs.

Two Bounty burgers with chips and salad, two pints of great cask ale, a seat in the sun by the river with like-minded folk, a few water gypsies, old seadogs and the whiff of ciggie smoke for less than 20 quid - priceless.

Like a real pub should be despite the best efforts of the interfering zealots at the local authority.

Does live music occasionally and I agree with tpfirt, if you don't like it, you have no soul.

26 Apr 2010 11:41

The Full House, Hemel Hempstead

Popped in last Saturday - thought I'd stumbled on to the film set of a wild west saloon the way the regulars truned and scowled at me - must be the two heads.

Standard JDW offer, full of cheap ale enthusiasts (some had clearly been very enthusiastic!) Why are JDW so successful? Oh, cheap ale, crap standards and 'anything goes' behaviour.

Avoid unless you wear jog bottoms for best.

26 Apr 2010 11:28

Greyhound, Maidenhead

Sterile atmosphere, grumpy staff, a sea of red carpet and matching furniture (to hide blood?) and littered with menus.

Full of single mums with their chav-clad boyfriends shouting down their mobile phones, 'Innit mate, wotevvah!' - is the Army recruiting again yet?

Not for grown ups.

26 Apr 2010 11:21

The Bear, Maidenhead

JDW have done a good job on the refurbishment (but flock wallpaper?).

Some unkind comments about the staff below - they are local, not from the old Eastern Bloc and my experience is that they are well-informed about the variety of beers on offer during the current beer festival. Mind you, the short blondish one needs to try smiling occasionally.

The ales are in good condition and only 1.85 per pint compared to my local a mile away where it's 3.30 for Courage Best.

Some of the customers do look like they've escaped from a local restraining facility (or the Bell).

26 Apr 2010 11:16

The Jekyll and Hyde, Turgis Green

Nofanofbritain - hope you've gone abroad! This is a good pub, real fires in winter, cheeky landlord when he's about and charming landlady - food is a bit formulaic but it's a chain pub. Badger ales are kept well.

23 Mar 2010 19:43

Wellington Arms Hotel, Stratfield Turgis

I love this place; always a warm welcome, the changed decor is good (though i could live without the cheesey latin quotations) and the redoubtable manager Moira is from the old school of hospitality.

Stpo by when you are passing.

23 Mar 2010 19:40

The White Hart Hotel, Whitchurch

This is the best pub/hotel in town, friendly staff, good ales and edible food cooked by the landlady and her husband (she is clearly the guv'nor here).

Go, you will be looked after.

23 Mar 2010 19:36

The Three Tun, Canterbury

Just re-opened - new landlady is Lorna - she's lovely, give her a chance and go visit especially if you are a student hoping to achieve a third.

23 Mar 2010 19:34

Old Orleans, Northampton

The concept may be a bit tired but the place shines - really clean loos and great service - manager is a gem (Sarah?).

23 Mar 2010 19:31

Old Orleans, Guildford

Grubby little restaurant, dull menu, expensive beers and tired decor.


23 Mar 2010 19:30

The Black Boys Inn, Hurley

The owner here is an arrogant and rude oaf - the comment on the menu says it all - 'helicopters and vegetarians by appointment'


23 Mar 2010 19:26

Moorings, Boothstown

Good landlord here - bit old-fashioned (bet his boss doesn't like him!) - keeps good ale, sells decent pub food and you get a smile from the girls behind the bar - we need more pubs like this!

A pub by the canal - brilliant!

23 Mar 2010 19:09

Royal Hart, Ashford

Give the new girl managing this apology of a pub a chance - she is clearing out the ASBOs, single Mums with pushchairs and the coke heads.

Punch haven't put anything like enough money into this property to make it attractive (the WCs stink, the lighting is awful and the bollard needs fixing) and are in the habit of blaming anyone but themselves for its problems.

The female so called manager and her brother who opened the place in August 2009 have gone now.

23 Mar 2010 19:05

The Hollybush, Welwyn Garden City

Went last week - two grumpy women on mobiles behind the bar - had to wait till they'd finished their conversation before I was served. Scruffy behind the bar, looks very unloved elsewhere. Avoid unless you are local.

12 Mar 2010 18:14

The Steam Coach, Boxmoor

I had lunch here last Saturday and it was ok - the locals do stare at you but I guess it's because I've got two heads. Too many fag ends at the front door and the greenery needs replacing.

12 Mar 2010 18:11

Fishery Inn, Boxmoor

Apart from the piles of fag ends outside, the indifferent service, dirty glasses, mediocre food and horrid lighting it's pretty average.

And M&B are advertising for a new manager so the only way is up!

12 Mar 2010 18:08

Stix Bar, Beaconsfield


Great operators in this business listen to feedback, painful as it may be at times, then react positively and swiftly to address the matter. Customers have to be rather hacked off with your offer to bother to go into print; so get off the defensive and channel the energy into correcting the issues raised by others below. Then, and only then, will you have a GREAT business.

I visited at 2100 after the Eng v. Ire match at Twickenham and had an ordinary experience apart from the gents which needed a service, no soap, no paper.

12 Mar 2010 17:55

The Halfway Inn, Newbury

Anonymous' comments are irrelevant given this pub has changed hands twice since he/she/it went in 2006.

Come on Mr Woodhouse, get someone who knows what they are doing here and don't over rent the pub so they make no money - easy isn't it!

As for recommending other pubs and cynicism, well Mr Dazell Piper at the Dundas is probably the rudest licensee in Berkshire so make up your own mind.

12 Mar 2010 17:45

St Stephens Tavern, Westminster

Look, it's in Westminster so expect it to be busy with tourists and Members.

Don't blame the staff or the brewery for the space problems, that's how it was in the 1860's and it's a listed building so no changes are permitted, ok? And if the loos are smelly, use the disabled.

On the plus side, you can drink a pint of fine Badger First Gold while gazing through the most expensive etched windows of any pub in London at the Big Ben tower and the HoP - try it after dark, it looks lovely.

11 Mar 2010 18:43

The Royal Oak, Borough

A Rolls Royce of a pub? You mean a Bentley!

If you are anywhere near this area, just go. Frank is just the best guv'nor south of the river, keeps cracking ales and you can still get a pint for less than 3 if that matters to you.

It's a proper pub, thank heavens!

11 Mar 2010 18:36

The Bull and Bush, Torquay

I see that there's a 'Helen' managing the place again. If she is as successful as the glorious and feisty 'Helen' that opened the Bull & Bush in the late 70's, she will be a roaring success.

Good luck Helen.

11 Mar 2010 18:31

Thatched Cottage, Maidenhead

Despite it's local reputation, I had a warm welcome from a smiley girl behind the bar, a decent pint and a clean seat.

Yes, the locals stare at you a bit but that's to be expected in a small community.

11 Mar 2010 18:28

The Foresters, Cox Green

One of life's mysteries is how 50 pubs a week can be closing but this one stays open.

What possible reason could anyone have for spending their money here?

11 Mar 2010 18:26

The Beehive, White Waltham

Good village pub, busy with local business folk at lunchtime and locals in the evening - they will look at you when you enter but fear not, they are friendly.

Well kept ales, good food and handsome portions, smiley staff and clean loos.

But don't go or you'll take up my space.

11 Mar 2010 18:20

The Jolly Farmer, Cookham Dean

Went on Monday 8 March 2010. Excellent pint of Courage Best (that's saying something!) and a great plate of ham, egg, chips and peas for 8.50.

Staff need some guidance but all together an enjoyable visit, well done the villagers!

11 Mar 2010 18:11

The Marchmont Arms, Hemel Hempstead

I am the hardest to please.

The former deputy manager was brilliant - bring her back and put her in charge. Lovely building, same old menu as all other M&B 'gastro' pubs delivered by attentive staff.

Go, even though it's a bit formulaic.

11 Mar 2010 18:07

The Feathers, Burnham

This is Punch's idea of what a gastro pub should resemble (oh, don't be fooled by that Pub & Kitchen Company title, it's Punch Taverns managed arm).

Manager Michael is trying hard with staff who need more guidance. The food can take ages to appear. When it does, it's good but to compete with the Crown, Bray, White Oak, Cookham or Greene Oak, Windsor, there is much improvement required.

This weeks BOGOF offer underscores the problem here.

11 Mar 2010 18:05

The Shepherds House, Moss End

Is the red & white safety barrier still lying in the car park from my visit last summer? Oh yes.

Indifferent service, cremated 'snip & ping' microwave food, cloudy ale and a loud blonde (landlady?) slagging off her area manager at the bar - and for this treat I only had to pay 15.00 at lunchtime.

If you like this dreadful apology for a pub, go - if you don't, visit the Crown, Bray, Greene Oak, Windsor or the Beehive, White Waltham.

11 Mar 2010 17:59

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