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BITE user comments - gatomalo

Comments by gatomalo

The Hop Pole, Wandsworth

I'm not a great fan of the pub itself - it's noisy, has too much sport on TV and it generally attracts a bit of a rabble - but the Masterbrew is excellent, and that's the main reason I go there.

19 Oct 2009 12:07

The Cat's Back, Wandsworth

I'm a regular visitor but my experiences of this pub are mixed.

It's almost charming and it definitely has an atmosphere in the evenings, but it's so bloody dark in there! That's not a huge problem though because at least it prevents other customers seeing the Coors Light logo on my pint glass (I'm getting quite tired at having my ale served in a Coors Light pint glass - why on Earth do they insist on doing this??? It just makes me want to avoid this place).

It was full of morons when I popped in on Friday night, but apart from the occasional prune, the Coors Light pint glasses and the over-the-top darkness, it's a decent place for a pint.

19 Oct 2009 12:03

The Red Lion, Shoreditch

No real ale, just a small selection of mediocre keg beers such as John Smith Extra Smooth, Guinness and Kronenbourg. The bar counter is tiny and on a Friday night it is four or five deep at times. Getting served is therefore not a pleasant experience. And it's plastic glasses all round!!

The crowd is typical of Shoreditch, trendy and pretentious, but the rooftop terrace is nice enough despite being packed out up there on a warm Friday evening in summer.

This place would be ok if you're single and want to mingle, or if you don't care what you throw down your neck, but if you're looking for a place for a proper drink, with proper beer and a proper pub feel, you should avoid this place.

13 Aug 2009 10:45

The Hillgate, Notting Hill Gate

Re MrMurphy below...

You should not be surprised that the bar woman asked “what kind of a stupid question is that?”, simply because it is a very stupid question, the reason being that Guinness is a pasteurized keg product that does not easily go bad. It is not an ale, it’s a mediocre keg stout which, unlike real ale, has a long shelf-life and is designed to taste the same everywhere. So, to a bar worker whose profession is working with beer on a daily basis, your question would have come across as ridiculous.

13 Aug 2009 10:36

Prince Of Wales, Putney

I live locally so I've been going in quite a lot recently. They have Black Sheep and London Pride on cask which have always been good, as well as a cask cider (Appletons, I think). I wish however that they had some more beers on - Pride can be found everywhere and although the Black Sheep is very good, it would be nice to have a bit more variety.

6 Aug 2009 15:47

Chateau 6, Fulham Broadway

I've just re-read my review below and I can only conclude I must have been on something, because not only was I far too generous, I completely failed to describe just how woeful this place is. It's an absolute shithole!

6 Aug 2009 15:34

Chateau 6, Fulham Broadway

First of all, this is not a pub, it's a bar. It costs £5 to get in after 10.30pm on Fridays (and presumably the same on Saturdays), however I cannot confirm whether this applies to weekday nights as well.

Once inside it's quite small but with plenty of tables around the edges, and there is the added bonus of a dance floor out towards the back. Music throughout the bar was loud and tended to be dance or electronic in nature. This apparently changes depending on the night of the week. The bar's intended feel is upmarket, sophisticated and slightly cool.

Now for the drinks. Chateau 6’s website boasts "an extensive range of cocktails, an elegant wine list through to popular draught beers." Well, cocktails are plentiful and there certainly appears to be a good range of spirits. However, it's doubles only, so it's pricier than it needs to be.

When it comes to beers though, Chateau 6 is something of a let-down. There are three taps on the bar, including Leffe and Staropramen, however quite remarkably these are switched off after 10.30pm. I queried this with the barman who tells me that this is their usual policy. I laugh and make it known that I think this is absurd. He apologises and agrees that it is a bit silly. Fair enough though, that's their policy and there’s little I can do about it, so I turn instead to the fridge, but things are no better in there.

Unfortunately it's a choice between Peroni, a dull and rather characterless Italian lager, and Corona, a classic example of one of the most boring beer styles on the planet. Beer-flavoured water in a bottle. Nice! At least they don’t have Bud though, that would be stooping a little too low!

Considering the wide variety of good-quality spirits and cocktail options available, it is amazing that they don't offer anywhere near the same quality with regard to beers. Why not offer a couple of classy bottled Belgian ales, or some genuine German wheat beers or bottled Czech lagers instead? It's clear that this place does attract a higher class of customer than in many places in Fulham, or at least seems to, so why not have a beer menu to reflect this? It would seem that whilst ladies are undoubtedly very well-catered for, men could have a hard time choosing what to drink here.

In conclusion, Chateau 6 is disappointing. It is not terrible, but it could be so much better if it weren't for the doubles-only policy and the lack of drinkable beers. Unfortunately these flaws undermine Chateau 6 and detract from what would otherwise be a reasonable place for a late-night drink. However if all you want is a lively place for a drunken boogie after closing-time, then this place could be right up your street!

13 Aug 2008 15:08

The Slug and Lettuce, Putney

All the charm of a slug and all the personality of a lettuce. Or maybe even less so!

5 Aug 2008 16:22

The Zetland Arms, South Kensington

Thanks extraordinary for your amazing insight! I have been to Belgium several times to enjoy the beer there, but as far as I am concerned there is nothing stopping landlords here serving the same product up to the same quality. Lots of pubs can manage it, why can't this one?

Do you need to go to Ireland to get a decent pint of Guinness? Or to China to get decent roast duck?

24 Jul 2008 10:22

Spaniards Inn, Hampstead Heath

I visited on Saturday 19th July around 11pm after spending the evening listening to live music at Kenwood House, and this review is based solely on that visit.

The pub has a lovely interior, large beer garden and splendid selection of ales and imported beers. If you are a fan of good beer, then this place would seem to be a very good bet. It has a cask marque so it's likely that the quality of the beers is good across the range. I had an Everard’s Sunchaser, and had no complaints whatsoever.

I cannot comment on the food, but in terms of the number one reason to visit a pub – that is to say the beer – then this pub has a lot going for it. I agree with the previous poster, Mr. Toes, that The Spaniards is probably worthy of its entry in the Good Beer Guide. However, I would like to visit again just to get a more rounded view and to sample more of their extensive range.

24 Jul 2008 10:14

The Jolly Gardners, Putney

One of merely a few good pubs in Putney, this place is well worth a visit, if only to sample the great selection of beers.

The range seems to be ever-changing, and includes a good number of Belgian and German beers, as well as several British ales such as London Pride and Deuchars and decent ciders.

Have eaten there a couple of times and have been quite impressed, despite the comments by other reviewers below. Can be a bit busy (and poncey) at weekends, but during the week is much calmer.

It is not the best pub in Putney but it is probably in the top 3. It is much better than the Coat and Badge just down the road.

17 Jun 2008 14:41

The Reliance, Old Street

I spent an evening at The Reliance last week. I started on the Rosey Nosey (pretty good), then had a pint of London Pride (not great) and then finished with the Broadside (no complaints at all).

As I only had three beers I cannot really support or refute the claims (see below) that the beer at this pub is poor. Of the three different ales I tried, two were good and one was a little below average.

The beer did seem a little expensive but the selection (particularly bottled) is good.

The Reliance it a strange little pub, but one which is charming in a bizarre way. The staff seem a little odd too, but I wouldn't mind going back if I were in the area.

20 Dec 2007 15:40

Prince Of Wales, Putney

The recently-renovated Prince of Wales joins a long list of Putney pubs to follow the recent trend of offering a bar-dining experience.

They do have some real ales but despite this there is nothing to get too excited about (mainly because there are loads of pubs like this nowadays which offer pretty much the same thing).

Pleasant enough, but safe and unambitious.

12 Dec 2007 16:04

The Zetland Arms, South Kensington

Correction: Friday 7th December, not November (see below)

11 Dec 2007 14:54

The Zetland Arms, South Kensington

I visited The Zetland Arms on the evening of Friday 7th November.

The pub was busy with standing room only at the bar. They stock four ales, three of which unfortunately were off - only the Young's was on. I eventually ordered a Hoegaarden, and the bemused face of the barlady indicated the horrors to come. At first she had absolutely no idea what I was asking for, and I had to say the word "Hoegaarden" three times and then point to the tap.

I then turned to speak to my friend and some twenty seconds later I noticed out of the corner of my eye that the barlady was pouring my Hoegaarden into a standard English pint glass. "Noooooo!!" I yelped, "...that's not the right glass!"

She looked confused and told me there were no other glasses. I therefore pointed to the Hoedaargen glasses piled high on the side, and she then poured my Hoegaarden clumsily from the English pint glass into the Hoegaarden glass.

Then another barlady who oversaw the whole episode (and who I presumed to be the licensee or manageress) asked if it really made the pint any worse if it was in the wrong glass. I laughed somewhat sarcastically as her comment merely showed her ignorance towards the products she was selling.

The bottom line landlords and landladies, is that if you stock speciality beers (and let's face it, Hoegaarden is hardly rare in London nowadays), please make sure you teach your staff about how to serve them correctly.

On a different subject, Sunderland chairman Niall Quinn was drinking in the bar with a group of friends. He is a very tall man and was enjoying a few pints of Staropramen, in case you're interested.

11 Dec 2007 14:52

The Hoop and Toy, South Kensington

A decent selection of six ales including Adnams Broadside, Timothy Taylor's Landlord and Shepherd Neame's Spitfire. The Broadside and Spitfire were excellent, but unfortunately the Landlord was off.

It's a slightly touristy pub - lots of French people seemed to be in when I visited - but all in all not a bad place to drink. I didn't try the food, but overall my experience of the Hoop and Toy was rather good.

11 Dec 2007 13:29

The Pillars of Hercules, Soho

I visited this pub for the first time last night. It was quiet and there was a good selection of ales on, including Deuchars IPA, Theakston's Old Peculiar and a couple of Adnams ales.

I only had enough time for one pint, and I went for the Edelweiss Weissbier (an Austrian wheat beer) as I had never tried it before. It was pretty good but not as fine as other Bavarian-style wheat beers I have had. It also seems rather odd drinking this type of beer out of a traditional British pint glass - it just isn't right.

I'd like to go back and try their ales because without doing so it would be a little unfair to rate this pub.

6 Dec 2007 10:36

De Hems, Soho

Absolutely top-class selection of Dutch and Belgian beers both bottled and on tap. I had a pint of the Maredsous 8, which was quite a beauty!

If you fancy yourself as a beer connoisseur, then De Hems is strongly recommended.

Tip: the upstairs seems to be a little quieter.

6 Dec 2007 10:05

Lost and Co, Putney

Dull, dull, dull.

Characterless, bland and boring.

Agh!! Too much of Putney is like this! What ever happened to real pubs which served real beer?

29 Nov 2007 14:18

The Falcon, Clapham Junction

I've been into the Falcon a few times on week nights and it has been lively but not too busy. There was no problem getting a table and I always sit in the back bar and have never been asked to move (see below).

The pub itself is done up in a way which may or may not appeal, depending on your tastes, but the range of beers is pretty good. There are four ales, these are London Pride, Deuchars IPA, TT Landlord and Nicholson's. However, the Deuchars was far too cold on my last visit (as cold as lager) probably because it had been run through the chiller. I considered taking it back but I stuck with it (they do have the Cask Marque apparently, so I expected better). By the end of the pint the beer was approaching its normal temperature, but it should not have been so cold in the first place. The London Pride I had there a few weeks earlier was fine.

The best thing about this pub is that they have Leffe and Erdinger Weissbier on draught. Although it is quite expensive, the Erdinger was excellent! I wish more pubs carried great beers like these instead of the usual keg rubbish which is so popular in the UK (Carling, Stella, Fosters, the list of horror goes on...).

I'll be heading back to the Falcon if nothing else just for the Erdinger!

29 Nov 2007 10:49

Walkabout, Putney

Oh dear. This is the most miserable excuse for pub that you will ever have the misfortune to come across. You might think this is an exaggeration but it cannot be stressed how awful a place this is.

Dirty, smelly, dark, grim, characterless. The pub attracts the most horrid creatures to be found anywhere in Putney. It's Chav Central. Of course there are no ales, only mass-produced keg products, and even the selection of bottled beers is grim.

If there is one pub in Putney you should avoid, then this is it.

However if you're feeling a little bored of the Putney bar-dining scene* then it might be worth popping in just for a giggle, but you won't stay long, that is for certain.

* which lets be honest is pretty dull (with the exception of a few decent pubs)

27 Nov 2007 16:14

The Pontefract Castle, Marylebone

I visited the Pontefract Castle last night for some after-work drinks and pub food.

The pub advertises its amazing array of top quality sausages (which come from the same people who supply sausages to Fortnum and Mason apparently), all served with mash and gravy. I went for the cumberland, and each of the four others in our group chose a different sausage from the list of fifteen or so varieties.

Unfortunately when they arrived the gravy and mash were cold (for every one of us) and as a result they had to be sent back. Fifteen minutes later our meals came back a little warmer, but not as hot as they should have been. Very disappointing. The sausages were obviously of a high quality - and the mash and gravy too - but to serve them lukewarm or cold is inexcusable. Therefore I would recommend anyone thinking of eating at the Pontefract to think twice before doing so.

As for the beer, the Pontefract always seems to have several ales on tap, some of which rotate (including London Pride, Green King IPA, Old Speckled Hen, Bombardier, Deuchars IPA, Timothy Taylor’s Landlord, Young’s and a whole host more). I had two excellent pints of Landlord followed by a Leffe and an Erdinger Dunkel (both excellent bottled beers).

So, on the basis of last night, I would give the Pontefract Castle 9/10 for the beer, but only 1/10 for the food (overall a 5).

27 Nov 2007 10:37

The Bricklayers Arms, Putney

The Bricklayer's Arms is a bit of treasure - a charming ale drinker's paradise - an oasis of beauty located amongst the horror of the Putney pub scene.

They carry the full range of Timothy Taylor ales, plus a fine selection of guest ales which rotate every fortnight or so. Last night I had a TT Golden Best followed by one of the guest ales, Museum's White Shield. I wasn't such a fan of the White Shield to be honest, but that's beside the point. The beauty of this pub is in that there are so few places like this left in London, and it is markedly different to anything else in the Putney area (which lets be honest, in terms of pubs is a bit depressing!).

All in all, the Bricklayer’s is an absolute gem.

23 Nov 2007 13:03

The Coach and Horses, Mayfair

I had seen photos of this pub on the internet and I wanted to check it out for myself, so I made a special effort to go there one Saturday night back in June.

It is without doubt one of the most spectacular-looking pubs in London, beautifully-nestled on a little "island" amongst a collection of drab buildings in Mayfair.

After taking a few photos, I popped inside only to find that to my amazement, the pub was just closing. It was only 8pm.

What kind of pub closes at 8pm on a Saturday night? Bizarre.

23 Nov 2007 12:46

The Red Lion, Billericay

Known by some locals as "Le Lion Rouge", this used to be one of the better pubs in Billericay but these days it has fallen somewhat down the pecking order.

They have some decent ales although it can take a long time to get served at busy times.

Whilst there are better pubs in both directions along the High St, it is certainly worth popping in to the Red Lion if you're on a multi-pub evening (otherwise known as a pub crawl).

23 Nov 2007 08:58

The Tottenham, Soho

The Tottenham is an infuriating pub. It's full of all kinds of people, including plenty of tourists, but the service can be very slow because of insufficient bar staff.

Last night they only had one of six ales on – Young's Winter Warmer – which I took despite it not really being anything like my usual ale of choice. And when I popped in one evening last month it took almost fifteen minutes to get served!

The best thing about this pub is its location. It's right next to Tottenham Court Road tube station, so it's a convenient spot to wait for friends or to take brief shelter from the rain. It's probably not the kind of place you'll want to stay at all night, but in terms of a quick pint to kill a bit of time it does the job (providing the beers are actually on, that is!).

22 Nov 2007 15:15

O'Neills, Soho

It's an O'Neill's pub! What more is there to say?

If you like loud, busy mega-bars with nothing remotely drinkable on tap except for Guinness and Caffreys, plus rude staff and doormen (some of whom struggle to understand basic English), then this is the place to go.

However, if you actually want to go somewhere where you can have a nice chat and enjoy a decent pint then you should probably avoid this place like you would a bird-flu infected poultry farm.

And as for paying to get in (see below), anybody who does so needs their head checked!

22 Nov 2007 13:32

The Hillgate, Notting Hill Gate

Located just far enough from the main tourist drag, this pub attracts an interesting mix of customers. The decor is simple and the walls are covered in all manner of assorted images from days gone by which definitely add to the pub's personality.

They usually have three ales (Youngs, Bombardier and Deuchars, I think), but yesterday the Deuchars was off. The Kronenbourg Blanc was off too.

This is not a spectacular pub but it has a certain type of odd charm. Add this to the fact that it's not very much on the tourist map and it's a pretty decent bet for a relaxing pint. I always find the bar staff to be friendly too.

All in all I would say that the Hillgate is definitely worth a visit (especially in summer with the tables outside and when all the windows are open).

21 Nov 2007 13:26

The Old Swan, Notting Hill

I popped in for a pint yesterday evening and on seeing the Casque Marque I was looking forward to my pint. They had three ales on, Green King IPA, London Pride and Old Speckled Hen, plus two others which were off at the time. I opted for the OSH and it was pretty good.

The pub itself seems to be something of a tourist pub and is lacking somewhat in character. The pub's history is scrawled in fake chalk on blackboards on the back wall, but unfortunately is looks rather tacky. There are also "Wetherspoons-style" special offer blackboards on both side walls advertising various bits and pieces (Christmas reservations, I think) but these do not add anything whatsoever to the experience.

All in all it's not a bad pub but there are plenty of other pubs in the area which offer a lot more.

21 Nov 2007 13:21

The Spotted Horse, Putney

It looks nice from the outside, but on the inside it's just like all those other newly-refurbished pubs in Putney.

Extremely dull. Yawn.

20 Nov 2007 17:01

The Coat and Badge, Putney

Putney suffers from a real lack of good pubs and The Coat and Badge does nothing to help change this unfortunate state of affairs.

This place might be okay if you want a quick drink and a bite to eat with the ladyfriend, but in terms of character is has very little. If you like your pubs bland, dull and full of Aussies, then this is the place to come.

However, if you want to drink in a pub that actually has some character about it, best to miss this one altogether and continue the 100 yards up the road to The Jolly Gardners.

20 Nov 2007 16:56

The Blue Boar, Billericay

The Blue Boar is known locally as the "Blue Bore".

The service is extremely slow on weekends and it can take 20 minutes or more of fighting and pushing to get a drink, by which time you are just about ready to give up and get the hell out of there. The pub is also the most likely place on the High St to find younger drinkers.

One good thing I will say about it is that it has a pretty decent Sunday breakfast, but that is about the only reason to go there unless you are 18 and cannot get in anywhere else.

19 Nov 2007 12:31

The Three Greyhounds, Soho

This is a lovely little pub in the heart of Soho. It has a decent selection of ales and it never seems to be too busy.

I think the "psycho barman" (see below) is Spanish, not Italian. He has the word "Peace" tattooed on his neck in Japanese/Chinese, underneath his left ear. He seems friendly enough!

All in all this is one of my favourite Soho pubs.

18 Nov 2007 19:17

The Sun and 13 Cantons, Soho

I popped into the Sun and 13 Cantons on Friday 2nd November. The staff were friendly and we were served quickly, but the London Pride I ordered was really poor.

My ladyfriend ordered half a Star, but that was of very poor quality too. It had a strong unnatural aftertaste to it which made it undrinkable.

I offered to take her Star to the bar to get it exchanged. To be fair, the staff changed it immediately and whilst the new one was a little better, unfortunately it was still very poor.

In the end we had to leave our drinks because they were so bad and we went elsewhere.

18 Nov 2007 19:09

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