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BITE user comments - Royed

Comments by Royed

Bridge Inn, Horton

Nice Wadworths beers and a decent steak in a friendly atmosphere. What more could you want?

A canalside location you say? Sorted.

29 May 2017 14:43

The Kings Arms, All Cannings

Excellent little pub with a decent range of Wadworth's beers (IPA, 6X, Horizon) and good honest food. Lovely staff (the landlord couldn't fit us in to eat on our second night but was quite happy to call ahead to his mate at a another pub for us)

We'd just missed (by a week) their now annual open air rock festival in aid of cancer research. Seriously thinking about making the trip next year.

29 May 2017 14:41

Tap Room, Maldon

Doesn't look much like a traditional pub but it's a splendid new one. A long, narrow front room leads to a tiny bar at the back with half a dozen casks set into the wall. Maldon Gold, Captain Bob, Kings IPA always on and a couple of guests. No fizz or lager swan necks. Wines were available.A quick chat with the barman suggests he knows his beer.
Upstairs there's a small room done out like a family living room with comfy sofas.
If this was my local I'd have to be removed with dynamite.

15 Jan 2016 15:34

Coach and Horses, Norwich

The Coach and Horses must have changed hands since the previous reviews. I barely recognise the rather nice little pub I'm having lunch in. Six varied beers--none overtly from GK--and a cider on handpumps (one out of use) The Lacon's Encore in front of me is excellent.
Short but decent pub grub type menu and it's clean and comfortable.

Don't worry about the earlier reviews. This is a rather good boozer now

19 Nov 2015 14:45

Ye Old Mitre, Holborn

Why didn't anyone tell me about this before? An absolute gem of a proper pub. No juke box, fruit machines or telly (at least, not in the small bar) just 4 decent beers (Pride, Oliver's Island, Broadside and Darkstar Hophead) and a hand pulled cider. Propr oak paneling, scuffed benches, ceiling beams and hanging tankards.
It's not trying to be a restaurant (not that I don't appreciate a decent gastropub)so the food is Basic Pub Snack, including the semi-legendary gala pie. The most exotic meal on offer is a Lamb and mint pasty.

And the gents is outside, where a proper pub gents ought to be.

Showing my age here, but seriously, I want to hug this pub and wrap in in polythene for posterity.

13 Oct 2015 13:06

The Black Prince, Woodstock

What we liked about this pub was this:
I arranged to meet Milady there for Sunday Lunch. For various reasons she got there before they opened and I didn't show up for another hour and a half. But they made her welcome and didn't bother about her making one pint last 90 minutes even on a busy Sunday lunchtime.
I had a couple more pints when I got there(Donningtons' "Nice Try," their world cup special which was really good). The food was pretty good as well.
All in all, a decent place for a Sunday lunchtime out.

2 Oct 2015 13:45

The Swan Inn, Chappel

We stumbled over the Swan as we rolled out of the Chappel Beer Festival, so we weren't looking for beer, only food.
In fact, I didn't even notice what beer they had on but the 8 oz beefburger with cheese and the slow cooked belly pork were excellent. Staff were fine and the place seemed cosy and comfortable.

13 Sep 2015 09:16

The Shepherd and Dog, Ballards Gore

Just letting you all know it's open again. Looks like the bar has been freshened up and they're selling a nice selection of beers from George's in Great Wakering.

They're hoping to open the kitchen in a few weeks (towards the end of June I think)

18 May 2015 19:05

The Sun Inn, Buxton

Not often these days you see a pub that's still a lot of little rooms rather then one bif open plan bar. I rather liked it.

Mostly a standard selection of Marston's beers, but there's nothing wrong with that and the food was good too. Standard pub grub mostly but quite well done, Twist my arm and I'd say I prefer the Cheshire Cheese just up the road but this is very nearly as good,.

18 May 2015 18:58

The Cheshire Cheese Hotel, Buxton

Excellent and popular pub. Wide selection of good beers mostly from the Titanic brewery--which I'd not come across before.
Good food; I had a nicely done steak and chips (and the chips looked like they really had once been potatoes) and while it does good food it hasn't forgotten it's primarily a pub. Serving beer.
Thoroughly recommended.

18 May 2015 18:55

The New Inn, Buxton

Nice, friendly beer pub. Nothing fancy, just four or five good Robinson's beers (plus the usual array of fizzy pop) I had the Wizard (the barman said it was the closest to the old Robbies Best I remember from when I used to live up there last century) and a Trooper. They were both very drinkable and Milady rates the Dizzy Blonde (a Golden) highly.
Unless you count a surprisingly wide selection of pork pies, there's no food, but don't worry about that/. Have a beer.

18 May 2015 18:50

The Kings Head, Buxton

Decent enough pub that seems to have had an internal makeover so it matches the current Marston's corporate style (it's very similar to a couple of new build pubs we know) while keeping the outside as it was.

The beer was good, Pedigree was in good condition and Milady's Cockerhoop (Jennings) was fine.

The food was maybe a bit unimaginative and pre-cooked, but OK for the price. There's nothing wrong with the pub, but there are better bets in town

18 May 2015 18:45

The Robin Hood, Rowlands Castle

We spent a couple of days here and rather liked it. The room was large, clean and nicely decorated. The beers, Hall and Woodhouse "Badger" ales were good. After a flirtation with First Call I settled on the Tanglefoot and Milady stuck to the Bee (she likes honey ales)

The food was excellent--breakfast and dinner--and the staff were uniformly friendly and welcoming. I can't really fault it.

1 Oct 2014 22:40

The Leamington, Acton

FYI The Leamington is now shut and seems to be in the procres of conversion to flats

18 Sep 2014 21:35

The White Hart, Aldeburgh

We dropped in here on Friday lunchtime, and everyone, I mean EVERYONE in the garden round the back was munching through their fish and chips from Aldeburgh Fish and Chips next door. Which is great because they don't seem to do much in the way of food, but as long as you buy a drink they're happy for you to do that.
And when we went back in the evening we had a really good crispy pizza from the shack in the garden.

The beer wasn't bad either. Mostly Adnams, naturally (Explorer in our case) but also Purity Ubu which I've grown to like. Nice pub.

7 Sep 2014 19:44

The Mill Inn, Aldeburgh

Found a new Adnams beer in here: Fat Sprat, which Milady deemed to be excellent. My Southwold was well up to spec as well and we both raved over the game pie. Good beer and food, clean, friendly, jolly, what's not to like?

7 Sep 2014 19:35

The Cross Keys, Aldeburgh

We stayed here for a few days and rather liked it. Beer(Adnams of course) and food (seafood mostly) were good (we particularly liked the breakfasts. Not the largest full English but very good sausage and bacon) and the staff were friendly enough. We'd probably go back if we're in the area again

7 Sep 2014 19:29

White Horse, Upton

Cracking village pub that, unusually, is owned communally by the locals. There's a poster up offering £50 ownership shares.
There's a quite small bar at the front and a larger conservatory at the back that operates as a restaurant. Not mention a large and pleasant garden.
We arrived unannounced at about 7:15 on a Saturday night and got seated for a meal immediately. An hour later the place was full.
The food was excellent--sort of pub grub plus. We both had the slow cooked pork belly and it melted in the mouth.
Beers were Woodforde's Wherry, one or two from Adnams (as you'd expect in Norfolk) and a really hoppy pale called Silver Fox from Wolf breweries which was new to me but damn good.
By 9 the bar was heaving and swinging to a band that they'd somehow squeezed in.
We really liked this place. If only they did rooms....

29 May 2014 20:31

The Bridge Inn, Acle

Good steaks, (a bit expensive but seemed to be the going rate for the area) good beer (Wherry and Adnams as I recall) Nice atmosphere, pleasant staff. Not too crowded either; we got a table with no problems at 7:30 on a lovely Saturday evening.
I did like the amusement arcade and dodgems rink in the garden for kids.

21 May 2014 19:45

Kings Head Inn, Acle

Thoroughly decent pub with rooms. We stayed here for a few days walking and had a great time. Adnams Broadside and Southwold were good. No sign of Wherry but there was an unlabelled pump so maybe it was between deliveries. The food's your basic pub and perfectly adequate. (We ordered one ice cream "and two spoons" because we were a bit full. They brought an extra large bowlful...)
Special mention for the blonde lass who served breakfast, cleaned the rooms, cooked the dinners and still found the energy for a game of pool.

21 May 2014 19:39

The Purple Dog, Colchester

We were looking for a meal and a pint one Saturday evening, but practically everywhere we looked at was heaving with rugger buggers watching the Calcutta Cup.
We eventually stumbled over the Purple Dog and very nearly ignored it on account of the self-consciously quirky name. That would have been a mistake. As it happened a quick glance through the window revealed an empty table so we decided to give it a go.
Result. I think I counted five proper beers: Two Adnams, Doom Bar, Brewer's Gold and Woodforde's Wherry. The Gold and the Werry were well up to spec and the food, while being standard pub grub, was absolutely fine, arrived quickly and was relatively cheap. It's not often I get change out of £30 for two pints and two meals.
And despite the daft name it's not particularly horribly purpley inside. Mostly the decor is English Pub; I notice one radiator painted purple.

So, I said to Milady as we drained our beers. Just what on earth was wrong with "The Clarence" ?
Someone, she said, probably said something similar when they changed the name in 1881

9 Feb 2014 09:39

The Redback, Acton

The Redback closed some while ago. It briefly became the Acton Arms but for some reason that failed before it got properly started. Which is a bit of a shame because it showed promise.

It's now "The Aeronaut" Opened about a week ago (around the 5th Nov) and it also shows promise. Service was a bit chaotic (barman had trouble persuading the computer to take a food order) but I assume that will settle. The beers seem to be from Laines, a Brighton microbrewery but I think the plan is to have a microbrewery on site. There are certainly tanks and such behind the bar. On Saturday the Best was OK but tasted slightly of something I didn't recognise and didn't appreciate. Nothing wrong, just not to my taste. There was a golden ale I liked rather more.

18 Nov 2013 21:33

The Windmill, Hollingbourne

On the one hand, they made us welcome and squeezed us in unbooked on a busy Friday night. The food was OK, if just a tiny bit pretentious and expensive and the beer, Harvey's Best, was up to spec.
On the other hand, if you just want a couple of pints and a packet of nuts, you'll feel out of place unless you sit in the garden and even then they'll probably look at you funny if you approach the bar in person.The only people I saw drinking at tables NOT laid for a meal were in a kind of narrow annexe and clearly waiting for their table.
It's a modern tendency I deplore to turn a perfectly nice pub into a restaurant that just happens to serve beer, and that seems to be what's happened here
Oh, yes. and what vandal decided that the old wooden ceiling beams would look better painted white? I think I'll knock a point off for that

7 Oct 2012 21:39

The George Inn, Leeds

What I like about the George is that it serves good food in restauarant style without making the casual drinker feel unwelcome. While we hoovered up some very acceptable steak and chips on Saturday night towards the back of the pub, the front was doing good business as, well, a proper pub. (Unlike some places which have turned into restaurants that just happen to serve beer)

The Sheps Spitfire was in good form and the staff were lovely. We thoroughly approve.

7 Oct 2012 21:29

The Lion And Lobster, Brighton

The name sounds like one of those artificial, self-consciously quirky names that corporate chains give their plastic and unloveable pubs. . The raspberry red paintjob seems to signal a hideously brash wine bar.

It's neither. If it is a corporate chain pub, it's a corporate chain that actually understands pubs. It's all dark wood, brass rails, framed prints and proper beer. There were a couple of Dark Stars and Harvey's Sussex on the night we went in. To be brutally honest I have had better Harvey's, but not by much. And it was poured by a cheery young barmaid who actually knew how to pull a pint--and to give it a top up once it settled.

The bar food was decent and reasonably priced. And there's apparently a restaurant upstairs which we didn't see.

We liked this pub a lot. We'll be going back next time we're in Brighton

26 Sep 2012 18:02

The Pull and Pump, Brighton

Good first impressions. Small, quiet and cosy. Beers were Bombardier and Hepworth's Prospect, which was new to me and not bad at all. A bit expensive at 3.65 but it seems that Brighton now counts as London for pub prices. (and much else) Two draught ciders (Thatcher's) on the other pumps. Nice barmaid. Happy to go back next time I'm down here

24 Sep 2012 21:34

Chequers, Brighton

Oh dear. Milady and I thought we'd try this and found it locked, barred and bolted. Windows dark and blinded. It looks very much as if it's an ex-pub.

24 Sep 2012 21:29

The Cock, Lavenham

Staggered into the Cock after a nine mile walk to Long Melford and back. The Woodforde's Wherry was just about perfect and went down without touching the sides. I can't comment on the food, but everything else about the pub seemed to be in order. Even the weather was good.

1 Sep 2012 12:40

The Coy Carp, Uxbridge

Yes it's a chain pub. So? It doesn't automatically mean it's crap. As it happens, I quite like it. The beer's OK, if mainstream. The food might be pub grub standard but I can live with that. If I occasionally want something out of the ordinary I'll go up the hill to the Old Orchard and (willingly) pay through the nose.
For a beer break or lunch stop on a canal trip, this place is just fine

28 Aug 2012 08:05

The Forest Gate Inn, Epping

This is what milady and I call a pub-shaped pub. It's what you think a good pub should be. It's pleasant, welcoming (when we walked in, milady's specs misted up and the barmaid instantly produced some tissues) and sells good beer. (Nethergate IPA and Adnams Southwold, which were both fine) what more could you want?
Well, decent sausage sarnies would be nice, and amazingly, you can get those too. We liked it

4 May 2012 20:18

The Castle, Acton

Just thought I'd update this pub. It's been redecorated recently and done out in a rather unconventional (very) dark brown. Funnily enough that doesn't make it gloomy. It's actually quite cosy, with lots of slightly silly lampshades. They've chenged the furniture as well with some odd little chairs and sofas

The Pride's still there but now it's often joined by a guest beer. It was Butcombe bitter the other day and it was just fine.

The food is more or less what you expect from a pub, but none the worse for that. It's not too expensive, with most main courses at just over a tenner. The exception is the steak, which on Friday night was definitely worth the extra.

It still gets very full early on Friday night, but the crowd tends to drift away by about 8 and you can get a seat.

I think it's an improvement

26 Feb 2012 19:13

The New Ship Inn, Rochford

As @afriendcalled5 says, now trading as the Grey Goose bar and restaurant.
Well, we thought we'd give it a try. We walked in, looked at the suspiciously trendy chromed beer pumps and thought we'd have some Adnams anyway. We stood at the bar and watched three of the staff faffing around for five minutes trying to sort out a drinks order for the restaurant. Just as they finished and a dozy looking article came free two young women walked in and up to the bar. The dozy article instantly served them.
So we walked out
We won't be going back

20 Nov 2011 09:40

The Haven, Ealing

I regret to say this pub is no longer there. I was passing this morning and noticed It's been turned into a "Utility broker's." No I'm not sure what one of those is either, but it certainly doesn't sell beer.
Pity. Was quite a pleasant little place.

11 Nov 2011 12:49

The Angel Inn, Shoeburyness

We only stopped for a quick pint on our way home from the beach, but we were favourably impressed. We couldn't make up our minds between the beers on offer, so the barmaid offered a taste. That always impresses me.

And it was good stuff, too. We sat outside where it was nicer than you'd think given that it's on a roundabout. Definitely worth a return visit

3 Oct 2011 12:33

The Fylingdales Inn, Fylingthorpe

What a lovely pub this is. We stayed here for three nights doing some walking on the dales. The beer's good, the food's good, the room was good and the staff were lovely.
Cherry on the top was the traditional rock n' roll band (with actual double bass) on Saturday night; they sent us off to bed happy

3 Oct 2011 12:28

The Windmill Tavern, East Hanningfield

Couldn't fault the beer or the service, but I do have one grump.

All we wanted on Saturday night was a pint. We didn't want to eat. But it was all but impossible to find a table or a seat that wasn't either reserved for diners or set out for eating. We ended up in the beer garden which was chilly and wet. I love pubs that serve good food--see my review of the Old Dog--but please, please, don't forget that a pub ought to cater for the beer drinker as well

17 Jul 2011 18:41

The Jolly Sailor, Orford

A really nice pub. Good Adnams, nice atmosphere, and the filled baguettes were properly filled, with a good dollop of salad as well. About the only thing I could find even slightly wrong is that the open fire was roaring away on a sunny April afternoon so we sat outside.

17 Apr 2011 13:55

The Froize Inn, Chillesford

The thing about the Froize Inn is that it's not really an actual pub in any meaningful sense. We were out walking at lunchtime and dropped in looking for a pint to fuel us for the next few miles. What we found was a restaurant with a bar. The barman served us cheerfully enough; we didn't feelparticularly unwelcome and the beer was perfectly good, but almost the entire place was set for lunch. It's not aimed at casual drinkers.

I have no reason to think it's anything other than a good restaurant, and you could do a lot worse if a semi-formal lunch is what you want.

But it's not a pub

17 Apr 2011 13:49

The Harp, Covent Garden

I arranged to meet the other 'arf in here on a Friday night. I arrived at 6, and although it was already full, I managed to find a an empty stool and got served a decent pint easily enough. But by the time Milady arived at 7 (not her fault) it seemed that every drinker from miles around had crammed into the rather small bar and we just had to go find somewhere else (The Coal Hole, since you ask)

I'm sure it's a lovely pub with great beer, but when you can barely breathe, let alone raise a glass, it's hard to appeciate it. I'll do the decent thing and delay rating it until I've had a chance to see it at a quieter time. If there is one

20 Mar 2011 15:58

The Coal Hole, Strand

Finding a pub in or near Covent Garden where there's room to breathe on a Friday night is a bit of a trial. We regretfully abandoned the Harp as it filled to bursting , and didn't even try to get in the Porterhouse. We looked into the Coal Hole and that was heaving as well, but Milady suggested we just give the the downstairs bar the once over before trudging on

I was surprised. I was expecting a beer free wine bar, but there were several truncheons on display, and if only one was working, it was at least dispensing a very nice pint. Thornbridge Kipling, which tasted very light and refreshing for 5.2% . We got a table easily and slowly realised that we didn't have to go back out onto the Strand to look for something to eat. The menu was more or less standard Nicholsons, and therefore pretty good for bar food. My chicken pie had hefty lumps of actual recognisible chicken in it and her fish and chips was very good.

If I have a complaint, it's the beer price. 3.60 a pint I think it was, but then what do I expect in London? By contrast, the food was quite reasonable at 8 or 9.

I don't think I've ever been disappointed in a Nicholson's pub. Tim Martin should try one. And take notes

20 Mar 2011 15:43

The Wellington, Birmingham

No fruit machines, no juke box, no Sky Sports, no food (but if you take your own they'll give you a plate and cutlery)

But 16, yes, *16* handpumps. All of which had something interesting on them at reasonable prices. The staff know how to pull a pint and usually don't need asking to top up once the head's subsided. Yes, it's a little bit shabby, maybe, but if you want a massive choice of ale in a congenial atmosphere in Birmingham, this is the place to go. And they have a quiz on Sunday

Actually make that 18 handpumps. I forgot the two cider pumps at the back of the bar.

25 Oct 2010 17:07

The Old Contemptibles, Birmingham

I'm getting to rather like the Nicholson way of running pubs. This one is a lovely old Victorian pile just round the corner from Birmingham's Snow Hill railway station, and how it's avoided being razed to the ground and replaced with a concrete office block is beyond me. It's been spruced up inside without spoiling the period ambience--especially in the upstairs toilets whih are beautifully tiled

I think I counted about 9 hand pumps on the bar, two of which were devoted to cider. As I remember, there was a good mixture of what you might call mainstream beer from larger brewers, and less well known ales from smaller outfits. I had a good pint of Marston's Ped the first time I went in and a a rather decent glass of "Darwin's Origin" the second.

It does a nice range of designer sausages for food, and the usual sarnies, pies and burgers if you don't fancy that. The "sharing plate" of sausages was a nice light lunch for two. If I had a moan it's that too many people agree with me on how good it is. Found it hard to get a seat on Saturday lunchtime.

25 Oct 2010 17:02

The Nutshell, Bury St Edmunds

We were in Bury St Edmunds and just had to go, just so we could say we had.

We weren't disappointed. It is very, very small. Apparently the local radio station once got 102 people (and a dog) in there for a stunt and I have no idea at all how they did it. Some of them must have been under the bench seats.

The Abbot was good enough (it ought to be; they could practically roll the barrels down the hill). and everyone was very friendly. I can't see us going there for a night out but it's a fun stop off for a swift half.

If you're in Bury, you have to go.

There are other two pubs disputing the title of smallest in Britain. Now I have to go and see them so I can judge

13 Aug 2010 00:48

The Hare Inn, Long Melford

Rather liked this place. Good pint of Abbot and an original vegetarian option on the menu. I don't often eat veggie, but the roast veg in a beer and cheese sauce in a pastry tart just called to me. In the event it turned out so good I hardly knew and cared less that it was meat free.. Herself reported that the lamb steaks in apple and stilton were damn good too.

13 Aug 2010 00:40

The Golden Key, Snape

We had a thoroughly nice Sunday lunch here recently. The place seemed crowded but we got served quickly enough and the food showed up prompltly.

I had the roast lamb, which was good, and herself had the beef, which sent her over the Moon. Despite being presumably sliced off a pre-cooked joint it was still slightly pink and tender (I've found that roast meat on Sunday lunchtime can be a bit dry. Not here) The roast spuds were properly crisp,, as were the parsnips (I can never get parsnips to crisp properly) and the Yorkshire was lovely

Two good pints (yes, herself drinks pints) of Regatta, which we'd not seen before went rather well with that.


Apparently the boss is off to the Harbour Inn in Southwold soon. I hope the Golden Key gets someone who can keep it up, and maybe we'll go and check out his new pub

13 Aug 2010 00:34

George IV, Chiswick

I'm not going to rate the George IV because I haven't actually been in and it would be unfair, but I did want to comment.

The other half and I went for a beer in Chiswick last (Saturday) night and targetted the G-IV because of positive reviews here. But we had to turn away because of the extremely loud band.

I'm not criticising the band--quite the opposite; as we passed the All Bar One up the road they actually sounded rather good, but it was obvious as we approached the door (and although it's not a complete deal breaker, bouncers on a pub door do rather put me off) that we wouldn't be able to hear ourselves think and would be ordering beer by sign language.

Neither, you might be surprised to learn, am I criticising the loudness. Rock n roll should be loud. I'm just putting it out here for information that there might be a loud band in the G-IV on a Saturday night. On another night I could have gone in and enjoyed the show, but last night was about a couple of pints and a chat

So we went to the Old Packhorse instead.

18 Apr 2010 15:02

The Blackfriar, Blackfriars

Lovely, unusual pub with unbeatable decor. The beer's always been good when I've been in. The pies are good if you want to eat. It can get crowded, but that's what happens to good pubs.

17 Mar 2010 23:22

The Chequers, Canewdon

This is at throughly nice village pub. It's comfortable; it's got a good selection of decent beer (Maldon Gold, Pride, something called Red Hop Lover and a couple of others the other night, plus draught cider); the food looks OK and it wasn't overly crowded.

What's not to like? The only problem I have is that it's a drive...

23 Feb 2010 19:39

The Kings Arms, Ealing

We were looking for a Sunday lunch, preferably a carvery, in Ealing and the Kings Arms seemed to fit the bill.

We weren't disappointed. The three meats for a tenner (just less, actually) with huge piles of veg was excellent value and both the Taylor's Landlord and the Pride were exactly as they should be. A harsh critic might think the beef was just a touch dry and chewy but what do you expect? it's a carvery; it's kept warm under glass. I've paid rather more for much worse. I can see that the place might seem a bit impersonal and lacking in character for an evening's drinking, (not so much that I won't give it a try, though) but it was fine for lunch. We'll definitely be going again the next time I don't feel like cooking on Sunday

31 Jan 2010 14:58

The Cock Inn, Rochford

Didn't think this place was that shabby; the interior is quite pleasant. The entrance lobby could do with brightening uo but there's nothing wrong with the bar areas.

We had the Sunday roast. One beef, one pork. It was perfectly OK. Pre-prepared and reheated, obviously, but we don't expect freshly cooked gourmet food from a chain pub at 7.20 a head. The Nethergate "Azzaparrot" was excellent and the house red didn't strip the lining off my throat. I know better places to get a Sunday lunch in the area, but you'll pay a good deal more. For what it cost, this was fine

10 Jan 2010 22:48

The Bright Helm, Brighton

I was working long hours for a week round the corner at the Brighton Centre and needed somewhere I could get a halfway edible cheap meal at 7 o'clock: in and out in 45 minutes. On the first night I tried the Bright Helm, perfectly prepared to be disappointed because I've had some awful 'Spoons experiences with food.

I was pleasantly surprised. For 5 consecutive nights I got an edible if not gourmet meal served in a timely manner and on a couple of occasions with a glass of house red that didn't strip the lining off my tongue. It wasn't noticeably dirty or conspicuously full of smelly alcoholics (maybe one or two) and I mostly got served efficiently if not effusively politely

I wouldn't take my girlfriend here for an anniversary meal and I wouldn't choose it for a Saturday night out on the real ale. (I didn't try it; like I said, I was working) but that's not what 'Spoons are for. It was, in the vernacular, fit for purpose.

There are, believe me, worse 'Spoons.

3 Dec 2009 22:00

The Spread Eagle, Prittlewell

This was my other half's local for several years and where we would go for a couple of beers on a Friday or Saturday night. It doesn't, to be honest, look much. It's a bit shabby and could benefit from a spot of redecoration But the beer's usually good, with a varying selection of decent ale. It's not normally too hard to get served, either.

Gets absolutely HEAVING when Southend are at home but they get extra staff on and if you can stomach the plastic pots and not having a seat it's OK. I was in there the night they hosted Chelsea and it was a good atmosphere.

The karaoke nights aren't to everyone's taste but we didn't mind them too much. The other half's now moved to Rochford (so we have a wider selection of decent pubs) and on our farewell visit thay had a band on in the car park. I rather enjoyed it

23 Nov 2009 19:32

The Red Lion and Pineapple, Acton

I wasn't expecting much, as it's a 'Spoons and I've had some awful experiences with them, but it's not all that bad. It's HUGE, so there's not a lot of atmosphere; on the other hand we got served quickly and found seats easily at 7:30 on a Friday night. Yellowhammer (a golden beer) and Ruddles were in decent nick and surprisingly cheap; I can't remember the last time I got change out of a fiver for two pints. Nobody short changed me and nobody tried to start a fight. I think I still prefer the King's Head over the road but the Red Lion seems OK for the occasional change of scenery

11 Oct 2009 19:02

The Royal Oak, Rochford

I'm afraid I just didn't take to this pub, which is probably unfair because there isn't a lot actually wrong with it. The beer was perfectly fine (Pride and Deuchars if I remember right) ; the staff weren't unpleasant, and it was clean and tidy.

I think what put me off slightly was that all the tables, and I mean every single one, were set with cutlery. I felt as if I was somehow intruding by only wanting a quick pint. I've got no problems with pubs serving food; some of the very best pubs serve excellent food (I love the Old Dog in Herongate) but the way the bar was laid out made me feel that I was EXPECTED to eat and I felt slightly out of place.

21 Sep 2009 12:21

Travellers Joy, Rayleigh

A plasticky, soulless chain pub that's like a Wetherspoons without the good bits. The hand pumped Greene King IPA was off when we walked in (7pm on Friday) and the Speckled Hen lasted all of three pulls on the handle before the barman admitted that had gone as well. The gassed up IPA he offered as a substitute was about as good as you'd expect. Running out of decent beer before the weekend has properly started is NOT a good sign. It's got far too many fruit machines and trivia quizzes for comfort and the food looks like it's as artificial as the beer. Basically it's a machine for separating the punter from his money as fast as possible

19 Sep 2009 20:12

The Milestone, Rochford

Rather a nice little pub. There's three decent ales on (Bass, Everard's Tiger and Adnams when I was there last) in a smallish but comfortable bar. There's live music most weekends and if the band is a bit loud (as it was for my middle-aged ears,) then just sit outside; the garden's quite pleasant. Midweek, it's nice and quiet and last night they had the Champion's League on the big screen.

17 Sep 2009 19:45

The Bree Louise, Euston

What an excellent pub. Great selection of beers, decent, if not outstanding food (it's a beer pub not a gastropub) and glory be, enough staff on that you can get served instantly even at 6 o'clock on a Friday night with the punters overflowing into the pavement

About the only thing I can think of to moan about is the price of the beer, but I suppose that's what you pay in town these days. Maybe I should rejoin CAMRA and get my 50p off.

18 Jul 2009 23:05

The General's Arms, Little Baddow

We ended a longish walk in here one lunchtime and thought it was lovely. The guvnor was a bit taken aback by the sudden arrival of a hundred thirsty walkers. (He'd been warned to expect a "walking party" but nobody mentioned exactly how many) but he coped admirably behind the bar while his wife toiled away in the kitchen. A couple of Shepherd Neame ales and one other I don't remember. The Kent Best was excellent. The food is standard pub but none the worse for that. Our ciabatta sarnies were fine and there was a real brown bread doorstep option.

The gardens are huge, with loads of tables and a kids' play area. I can see it might be a bit dark and cavernous inside, but it should liven up with some customers in.

One more thing The dressing on the salad garnish with the sandwiches was unusually tasty so we asked what it was. Not only did they tell us, but gave us a bottle with a few servings still left in it. Extra point for that

9 Jul 2009 20:05

The Kings Head, Acton

A couple of weeks ago they stopped showing anything on the TV screens. Not sure why; when I asked, the barman just said "We don't do Sky now" but didn't seem to know exactly why. Maybe the subscription fees went over the top.

Not that I mind. On the night I asked, every other pub would have been showing the Chelsea-Barcelona game and would have been heaving. The King's Head was nice and quiet and I could get an excellent pint of Pride and just sit on the comfy chair and enjoy it. That's why I like it. The beer's reliable and it's comfortable.

10 May 2009 22:41

The Ship Inn, Dunwich

Staggered into here after a long walk down to Eastbridge and back up the coast. I couldn't drink 'cos I was driving but the other half had a decent pint; and the barman offered a taste first.

It's pleasant, comfortable and welcoming. We'd love to go back sometime whan we can give the beer the attention it deserves. Only problem is, we're rather liable to get sidetracked into the Eels Foot in Eastbridge

28 Apr 2009 21:09

The Eels Foot Inn, Eastbridge

This was our halfway stop on an 8 mile walk round the marshes, and it was, I can tell you, a real struggle to do the second half.

They had Adnams bitter, Broadside and Explorer on. Neither of us had encountered Explorer before and as we were wondering whether to give it a go, the barman offered us a taste, which I thought was a good sign. We liked it, so we had a couple of pints each and reluctantly levered ourselves off the picnic bench for the final 4 miles

We may be slightly biased by the gorgeous weather that day, but we both fell in love with the place. If it weren't for the fact that it would have menat driving, we'd have gone back that evening. We're seriously considering booking in for a weekend later in the year so we can eat and drink to ours heart's content.

28 Apr 2009 20:55

The Marsh Harrier, Norwich

Staying at the Holiday Inn just up the Ipswich Road, and being unwilling to pay their inflated prices for pretentious food, a bunch of us tried the Marsh Harrier. It was OK. There were a few hiccups, mainly a misunderstanding that led to my starter arriving at the same time as my main course, but the food was perfectly fine; the beer (Batemans XXXB) was good enough and the ambience is welcoming. It's not the best pub I know, but I'd cheerfully go back the next time I'm stuck out there on the ring road.

27 Feb 2009 16:19

Bell Hotel, Norwich

Went in for a glass of red. The barman had to steam clean a glass, and when I took it off him and looked, it was still dirty. I refused it and he got out THE other glass. That was just as bad, so I walked out.

26 Feb 2009 14:52

The Hammers, East Ham

The regulars in this pub more or less adopted my elderly father and looked out for him as he got older and frailer. When he died recently a dozen of them came to his funeral and Steve, the landlord, held the reception in the pub for us. I can't thank them all enough, but I can give them a good rating.

30 Jan 2009 21:54

The Old Dog, Herongate

This is a truly excellent pub. It's the only one I've seen for many years that routinely has proper beer on gravity. The food in the restaurant is wonderful, the bar sandwiches are huge doorsteps on real bread, and when we went in late one Sunday the barmaid was very apologetic that the kitchen was closed but unselfishly directed us to another pub while she poured the beer.

The only real problem with the Old Dog is that unless you live in Herongate you more or less have to go by car which rather limits you.

20 Jan 2009 09:05

The Haven Arms, Ealing

Lovely little pub tucked away down a side street off Haven Green in Ealing. The beer's good (Bombadier, Deuchars and one other I forget on the other night) and the other half like the house red. It's got a nice little beer garden off to the side and a tiny eating area tacked on the back. A bit crowded on Friday night but in a good way, and even then we found a place to sit. They've even squeezed in a tiny pool table. Definitely a keeper

14 Dec 2008 16:40

Greystoke, Ealing

The Greystoke has rather grown on me. When I first tried it, I wasn't impressed, but it so happens that the other half comes into North Ealing tube on Friday nights so it's an ideal place to have a beer before wandering home and I've come to like it. It's comfortable althought not "cosy"; the Pride is usually good and sometimes they have a guest ale (although the ginger flavoured "Sly Fox" a while back was diabolical) I've never known it get too crowded or noisy and there's outside seating. Definitely on the good side of OK,

7 Dec 2008 19:36

The Kings Head, Kettlewell

Had a decent pint of Black sheep in here one lunchtime, but there was no food and it was almost deserted. Nothing wrong with it if you're passing and want a beer, but nothing special to call you back.

28 Sep 2008 22:44

The Racehorses, Kettlewell

The Racehorses suffers to my mind, from being just over the road from the Blue Bell, When we went in, it was almost deserted, everyone in the village being sat outside the Blue Bell.

And that's a bit unfair,because the Racehorses is a perfectly fine pub; if the Blue Bell wasn't there it would be the obvious choice in the village. The beer's good (The night we were in they had a guest beer on: "Finest Hour" in honour of the RAF's 90th anniversary) and the food looked decent, and it's comfortable, maybe a little posher than the Blue Bell.

28 Sep 2008 22:41

The Fox and Hounds, Starbotton

We obviously went in here on a good day. We'd just walked up the valley from Kettlewell and wanted a pint, nothing more, before walking back. The Black Sheep was perfectly fine and the chap behind the bar (who may or may not have been the landlord) was as civil as you could want. We didn't eat but there were plenty who did, with no apparent distress. It certainly looks the part of a Yorkshire Dales pub

The only downside was that he'd somehow run out of tea--and as it was a Civil Service social club hike, this was a bit of a problem :-)

28 Sep 2008 22:34

The Blue Bell Inn, Kettlewell

We came up to Kettlewell for a bit of walking and stayed here for a couple of nights. We loved it. The Copper Dragon beers are good and well kept (I like the IPA; my other half was on the Golden Pippin)and the landlord was willing to give us a taste before we chose. He's very proud of the beer and loves to talk about them. The food was a cut above pub grub--delicious, with huge portions. And that means the breakfasts as well. I's a beautiful traditional stone building with a newer annexe out the back with a few small but comfortable rooms. We'd happily stay there again if we're ever back in the Dales.

Best pub in the village

28 Sep 2008 22:27

Black Horse, North Greenford

A gem of a pub sitting on the canal in Greenford. Good Fullers, large comfy bars inside and a huge garden. You simply don't notice the industrial estate on the main road. I like to come here by bike along the canal and sitting on the terrace or lawn with a pint of Pride and a packet of nuts (for the salt <g>) is a great way to cool down.

I haven't tried the food but the menu looks interesting and a little out of the ordinary.

1 Sep 2008 18:28

The Bell and Crown, Chiswick

we went back here last night for my birthday dinner. The menu is a mixture of standard pub grub (fish n chips, steak and ale pie, etc) and a few unusual items like the seared marlin with couscous and red pepper suace, which I had. It was delicious, and the other half loved the steak pie.

Two excellent pints of Pride went well with that, all severved by a friendly Kiwi waitress who all but sang "Happy Birthday" to me when she found out. I love this pub.

7 Aug 2008 09:30

Horse and Groom, Rochford

We've just been back here for the first time since it changed back to the Horse and Groom, and it's lovely.

I think counted five good beers; the interior has been spruced up and there's plenty opf seating outside. Even the roadside benches are pleasant when the garden is full. Anotehr good pub in Rochford

29 Jul 2008 18:39

The Punchbowl Inn, Paglesham

We stopped here halfway round a long walk and really, REALLY needed a pint. We weren't disappointed. There were four good beers on--my Stonehenge "Pigswill" was excellent and the other half raved about the Jennings "Honey Bole" The food was decent enough pub lunch stuff. A Stilton ploughmans was perfectly OK if nothing special.

They wouldn't let the dog in the bar, but there's a water bowl outside and they were happy to fill it up as fast as he could empty it

16 Jul 2008 14:46

The Last Post, Southend on Sea

I don't think I can ever go back in here, having stormed out in a huge strop after being told I'd have to wait an hour for food.

How the hell can it take an hour to get something out of the chiller cabinet and stick it in the oven?

8 Jul 2008 10:15

St James Tavern, Winchester

Nice cosy little pub off the tourist trail. I had a good pint of Wadworth's and a good pint of Butcombe. My ham salad was made with real ham off the bone, not reconstituted slices from a polythene packet so that's a good sign. They could possibly do with some extra staff at lunchtime; the poor girl on her owm in the bar was a bit overwhelmed, but apart from that, it was just fine.

8 Jul 2008 10:09

The Old Vine, Winchester

I can't help feeling that some people are marking this pub down for not being something it doesn't pretend to be. This isn't somewhere you go for six pints and a game of darts with an optional fight in the car park at chucking out time.

But if you just want a pint or two of decent ale in pleasant surroundings then you'll find it here. The food in the main bar and patio is pretty good and I could eat my way all through the menu in the restaurant. It's always our first choice when we're in Winchester

8 Jul 2008 09:58

The Grand Junction Arms, Harlesden

What lifts this pub out of the ordinary is the location. Both bars are a bit drab and boring and normally I wouldn't give it a second try, but the canalside seating is lovely. I've spent several wonderful Sunday evenings getting outside a pint of Bombadier watching the boats, and the cyclists and the ducks go by. I'll let others enthuse on the food and the music. I like the water

11 Jun 2008 22:47

The Churchfield, Acton

Went in for a quick one on Sunday night. Nice atmosphere, and a surprisingly pleasant outside area considering it's bang on a busy road through Acton. They served a decent pint of Deuchars IPA.

I'd like it more if they had more than one real ale on and if the rating box allowed I'd knock off half a point for the eye-watering price of the Deuchars they did have, but it won't stop me going back.

10 Jun 2008 19:55

The Castle, Acton

Nice enough pub on a quiet Sunday evening but a bit packed on Friday nights. The only problem is that twice now when I've been in, the Pride's been off.

28 Apr 2008 21:31

The Pleasure Boat, Alperton

If it weren't for one thing, this pub would be ideal for a refreshing pint after, during, (or even before) a walk or cycle along the canal. But it doesn't serve real ale. That's a deal breaker for me, sorry.

28 Apr 2008 21:27

The Haven, Ealing

This pub seems a bit underrated to me. We went in on a Sunday evening after a long country walk, looking for a couple of pints to soothe our aching feet. We would have liked the Bombardier, only it was off, but the Deuchars IPA and Theakston's XB were perfectly decent substitutes. It was quiet, comfortable and although we didn't eat, the menu looked good. Not a standout pub but nothing to complain about either

27 Apr 2008 21:47

The Bell and Crown, Chiswick

Thoroughly nice riverside pub with excellent Fullers. Worth making a detour for.

27 Aug 2007 17:56

The Rising Sun, Little Hampden

We stopped here halfway through a long walk through the Chilterns. The beer was so good we nearly didn't do the second half. We didn't eat but the menu looked good. An absolutely lovely pub that we will be going back to. 8/10 It may deserve 9 once we've stayed and eaten there.

7 Jul 2007 21:13

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