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BITE user comments - Viewfinder

Comments by Viewfinder

Cobbetts, Dorking

We visited soon after 5 p.m., an hour before closing on a Sunday, perched in the tiny back room and immediately fell into stimulating conversation with affable and interesting folk. Happy Daze cider was suitably quenching after a nine-mile hike, and served at the correct cool temperature. Staff are helpful and cheerful. This is a convivial gem of a place: highly recommended.

3 Jun 2019 19:24

The New Inn, Uckfield

A rare, Spartan rural survivor: single bar with woodblock floor, fixed bench seating, and Victorian shelves and drawers in the bar-back. No modern distractions to convivial chat with the half-dozen locals on a summer Saturday afternoon. Harvey's IPA in tip-top condition. Highly recommended.

13 Aug 2017 11:51

Wheatsheaf, Crowborough

An attractive weatherboarded house in a sylvan setting with cheerful staff and a convivial atmosphere; Harvey's ales including the rare Dark Mild in good nick. Ten minutes' walk from Crowborough station. Recommended.

13 Aug 2017 10:35

Welcome Stranger, Crowborough

Renamed Railway Tavern in 2015, but sold by Shepherd Neame, closed and boarded up in 2016.

13 Aug 2017 10:31

The Wheatsheaf, Jarvis Brook

Not closed - still thriving. See Wheatsheaf entry under Crowborough.

13 Aug 2017 10:22

Plough and Horses, Crowborough

Closed in 2017. Permission granted for conversion to apartments.

13 Aug 2017 10:19

The Broken Drum, Blackfen

Made a return visit after two years - and this micropub is still one of my favourites of the genre. It's a subtle quality: despite being simply furnished, there is a very attractive ambience. I think the carpet prevents any tendency for the atmosphere to resemble a minicab office - an unfortunate feature of many micros. Dudda's Tun cider was in tip-top condition and served at precisely the right temperature by the cheerful guvnor. Thoroughly recommended.

16 Jul 2017 20:34

The Park Tavern, Eltham

This pub is a rare oasis in a rather unlovely quarter of London. Handsome carved Arts & Crafts-style furniture, vases of lilies on the bar, piped jazz turned low, and a range of handpumped ales in top condition - all come together to create a highly attractive ambience. Civilised customers, courteous bar-staff and an amiable landlady. Best pub for many miles. Thoroughly recommended.

16 Jul 2017 20:23

Ferry Inn, Stone-in-Oxney

We visited 14 pubs on a week's tour of Romney Marsh, and this pub was the best. Superb remote location with a riverside garden at the back and tables in the sun at the front. The old cottage-like interior is attractively decorated; it would be cosy around the inglenook fire in winter. A quiet and civilised atmosphere prevails; no music, just conversation. Good food and refreshing Goacher's Light branded as the house ale. Courteous staff. Highly recommended.

2 Jul 2017 10:07

The Crown, Stone-in-Oxney

Closed permanently by June 2017.

2 Jul 2017 09:51

Botolphs Bridge Inn, West Hythe

Comfortable pub isolated on the edge of Romney Marsh. Dark Star Hophead was in tip-top condition and served at exactly the right temperature. Cheese and ham omelette - with real ham - was cooked to perfection. Cheerful staff. Recommended.

2 Jul 2017 09:38

Ship, Romney Marsh

Pub demolished by 2017.

2 Jul 2017 09:20

The Golding Hop, Plaxtol

Closed permanently and licence relinquished, September 2016. A shame - this was a rare, no-frills, rural pub in a delightful setting.

3 Jun 2017 20:11

The Punch and Judy, Tonbridge

Living in London, I'm only an occasional visitor to this small local in a terraced back-street just a few minutes' walk from the station. There is always a convivial atmosphere around the counter; a step leads up to an area with a high-beamed ceiling, an American jukebox, and old signs on brick walls. Part of the back yard is covered, heated, and comfortably furnished. Gracious staff serve three or four ales: the Harvey's Best was in top nick. A strong contender for the best pub in town.

6 Nov 2016 21:17

The White Rock, Underriver

The emphasis is on food (I didn't eat), yet the bar area retains an attractive identity. There are marquees for cover in a spacious garden. Harvey's Best was in tip-top condition, and served at precisely the right temperature. Friendly landlord - ask him about the champion boxer in the 1950s who fought in this pub.

6 Nov 2016 21:02

The Star, Lydd

Closed and boarded up in June 2016. Judging by the comments above, it's no great loss!

27 Jun 2016 19:49

The Walpole Arms, New Cross

Closed. Pub demolished.

28 May 2016 08:52

The Cock Inn, Luddesdowne

A friend and I happened upon a beer and cider festival held in a small outhouse of the Cock one Saturday evening in December. The conviviality here carried over to the lower bar of the pub itself, which is decorated with memorabilia of local interest. The 'no children' policy is welcome and unusual; this is a warm and friendly pub serving real ales and ciders for adult palates.

3 Jan 2016 18:26

Radius Arms, Whyteleafe

A friend and I received an inexplicably frosty reception here. We walked in at 9.20 on a Thursday evening, knowing the pub closes at 9.30. The woman on the counter consulted the guvnor, who grudgingly served us: "You'll have to be quick." Ten minutes later he chivvied us again, having just served drinks to his clique of cronies. Unpleasant and unnecessary, this attitude goes against the ethos of a convivial micropub.

18 Dec 2015 11:59

The Fox and Hounds, Romney Street

CLOSED suddenly and without explanation in November 2014.

8 Sep 2015 16:47

The Hansburys, Lewisham

CLOSED and boarded up, as of early September 2015.

7 Sep 2015 11:57

The Rising Sun, Kemsing

An extraordinary time-warp: a flint-faced former hunting lodge with low beams and a massive stone fireplace. Adorned with bric-a-brac: twenty brass spray-guns lined up on a shelf, Land Girl medals, a military jacket in a dust-cover, books piled on a window-shelf, framed photos of tractors on rough-plastered walls. And Charlie the African grey parrot, more than 40 years old. Ask the friendly landlady to tell you about her prize herd of Dexter beef cattle. Two micros on handpump, and a cask of Farmer Jim's cider on the counter. Highly recommended.

7 Sep 2015 06:23

The Broken Drum, Blackfen

This is a splendid little micropub in a former shop in an unprepossessing parade amid relentless suburbia. I have grown a little tired of what seems to be a common furnishing of micropubs: uncomfortably high chairs and hard surfaces - so The Broken Drum provides a welcome change with normal-height tables in a light and airy room and a carpet to muffle any noise. Usually three ales are served from casks in the cool room at the back; I enjoyed Gibbet Oak cider and perry from Tenterden: tasty and potent, and served at precisely the right temperature. The guvnor is most affable, and showed us his books on local history. My pal and I happily spent several hours here chatting to a few locals late on a Saturday afternoon. Highly recommended.

13 Jul 2015 11:44

The Old House, Ightham

I hadn't visited the Old House for 15 years, and apart from a TV in the bar - for the Boat Race, and otherwise sparingly used - happily virtually nothing had changed. The right-hand room has been spruced up, but the conviviality centres around the counter in the main, small bar. At least half a dozen ales from microbreweries are served direct from the cask, plus three real ciders and a perry; Kentish Pip cider was absolutely delicious, and dispensed at just the right temperature. Landlord is very friendly and welcoming. Thoroughly recommended, but note the restricted opening times.

12 Apr 2015 14:18

The Paper Mill, Sittingbourne

Micropub in former paint supplies shop on a terraced street corner, comprising one small simply-furnished room: a dozen punters constitutes a crowd. No TV, no piped music, no lager or spirits, and no bar counter: several ales including Goacher's Mild at a bargain £2.80 and Kentish cider are kept on a stillage in the adjoining cool-room. Dudda's Tun Greenhorn cider was served at precisely the right temperature: delicious and potent. Very friendly landlady and convivial company. A splendid little place, highly recommended.

11 Dec 2014 13:02

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