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BITE user comments - lad_newton

Comments by lad_newton

The Claret Free House, Addiscombe

Worrying news Slerpy - any further detail as to whether it is being sold on as a pub or to be turned into flats etc?

5 Nov 2015 07:31

Pub du Vin, Birmingham

Rating from Camra GBG-inspired visit of 28.12.2010 when first attempt was made to add the pub to this site: Modern comfortable cellar bar beneath Hotel du Vin on Church Street. Three handpumps dispensing up to 3 real ales. Two Towers Mild & Brazen was excellent, alternative was Purity Mad Goose, third pump out of use. Food available at the time included half-pounder with gruyere and bacon for £13 or a charcuterie platter for £6. An a-la-cart menu was also available from the bistro. Divided into distinct drinking areas; one room with a sports TV screen. Relaxed background music. Beer was well-kept, venue was worth a visit at the time.

12 Jan 2015 22:47

The Welsh Harp, Waltham Abbey

Cracking night on 13.6.14 - versatile "Russell Grant" guy doing the Karaoke. AK and Country in good condition too.

14 Jun 2014 13:18

The Crown, Waltham Abbey

Visited last night - still a perfectly-kept pint of AK and friendly welcoming staff. Couldn't ask for more than that!

14 Jun 2014 13:15

The Sun Inn, Waltham Abbey

Still no real ale - but this was well compensated by the excellent service from the staff. Was crawling Waltham Abbey last night with two friends, all of us starving. It was 8pm and the Angel up the road had already closed its kitchen. Although not clearly advertised they laid us a table and we were well fed. Neither pub advertised food after 7.30pm but the Sun went out of its way to win the trade. Well done! We'll remember you for next time.

14 Jun 2014 13:13

Rose and Woodbine, Coventry

Pleasant, friendly backstreet local in the Upper Stoke area of Coventry. A two-roomed pub, it offers a public bar and a comfortable, much smarter lounge bar in which I sat to sup my pint of Cottage XK120, one of up to six constantly changing real ales from a SIBA selection. The service was friendly and staff seemed knowledgeable about their beer. Food service was prompt and the portions seemed reasonable for their cheap prices. Alongside two pool tables in the public bar, the Rose & Woodbine offers a dartboard in each room. Pub regularly featured in Camra’s Good Beer Guide, and it is well worth the effort of finding. Review written 2011 when pub added via the "sugest pub" link.

23 Jan 2014 13:18

The Live and Let Live, Cambridge

I was in the Live and Let Live at the end of a Cambridge crawl on 4th June. It was after 2200, pub was empty bar three individuals sitting by themselves to read and savour quiet pints. There was no music, so it was almost as if I had strayed into a college exam room. However that was all to change. Some Swiss German tourists arrived and were soon discussing their favourite English beer styles with the landlord: once the ice had broken one of the other locals and myself joined in and it ended up rather pleasant, if only I didn't have to rush and catch the last train back. The beer range was excellent - including an Oakham IPA. I guess the atmosphere would be somewhat different on a Friday or Saturday evening.

10 Jun 2013 21:40

Jolly Butchers, Stoke Newington

Clarification. Nothing wrong with BohemBawerk's review. The comment I was challenging has now been removed.

10 Jun 2013 13:37

The Beer Engine, Coventry

?

26 May 2013 02:22

The Harp, Covent Garden

Superb session with a group of friends last Saturday. Our five-pinter included perfectly-kept Dark Star, Harveys and Sambrooks. Towards the end of the evening the landlady visited our table for a 10-minute chat, displaying all the warmth and love she puts into the Harp. A cracker!

7 May 2013 08:33

Far From the Madding Crowd, Oxford

Visited last week during city crawl. Not changed much since last time. Beer range still interesting, featuring smaller breweries. I rather enjoyed Grafton's Love A Duc. Can't comment on the food as I'd eaten elsewhere beforehand. While I liked the pub, and its friendly staff, I found the rather open-plan layout less attractive than some of Oxford's cosier, more intimate pubs such as the White Horse or the Lamb and Flag. However that's just personal taste and Far from the Madding Crowd is certainly a good pub with a food and beer reputation that speaks for itself, and its place in the 2013 Good Beer Guide is well deserved.

28 Apr 2013 11:59

The Lamb and Flag, Oxford

Not much to add to the last review. I ended my Oxford crawl there last week, and made sure I left a good hour and a half to enjoy a couple of relaxing pints. I much preferred it to Far from the Madding Crowd, which despite an interesting beer range somehow lacked the warmth. It's a pub to spend an evening in, and well worthy of any award as the previous reviewer says. You will not be disappointed.

28 Apr 2013 11:37

The Magpie and Crown, Brentford

Correction to last review: Date was 16th:) Had diary opened on wrong page lol.

27 Feb 2013 18:04

The Gardeners Rest, Sheffield

Liveliest pub on crawl yesterday, with live blues band playing. I enjoyed a pint of Five Rivers brewed onsite, but rather like the previous reviewer had time only for one pint. Will be back.

21 Jan 2013 00:25

The Gardeners Rest, Sheffield

Liveliest pub on crawl yesterday, with live blues band playing. I enjoyed a pint of Five Rivers brewed onsite, but rather like the previous reviewer had time only for one pint. Will be back.

21 Jan 2013 00:10

The Magpie and Crown, Brentford

Visited with a fellow reviewer on 23rd January, both of us noted how empty the pub seemed for 8pm, which was a pity. There was no problem with our pints of Twickenham and Oakham beers both of which were on good form. For a fairly small pub they had an interesting range of bottles with a list on many tables for punters to browse through. We were left wondering if the emptiness was due to people leaving to avoid a drunk who was 'helped' off the premises at the start of our visit. The pub is comfortably furnished, intimate and has the benefit of a high street location, and ought to be fuller. I wish the pub's new owners well.

21 Jan 2013 00:04

A L'Imaige De Nostre-Dame, Brussels

Visited on 12th November on a crawl. Fascinating old quirky hideaway from the bustle of the Grand Place, and one turning away from Au Bon Vieux Temps. Because it is so hidden it is more of a local than a tourist trap. Very restful and quiet on my visit (around 6pm on a Monday).

Staff were friendly, and I enjoyed my Chimay.

Would return.

17 Nov 2012 11:53

Lemkes Spezialittenbrauerei, Berlin

Supped a few pints in here again on 28th September. Set up is the same as it always was, but the food 'push' cited in rpadam's review seemed more obvious. Like a lot of bars on the continent, the feel is becoming more of a restaurant serving beer rather than the UK model a pub serving food . Still, like other Berlin brewhouses such as Mitte, non-diners tend to be accommodated around the bar.

9 Oct 2012 23:46

Grand Union, Kentish Town

And now it has opened up in its reincarnation as a pizza restaurant. Funnily enough they serve Camden Town lager with their pizzas but don't have it there walk a few metres up the road to the Southampton Arms for not only a regular lager by Camden Town but ten cask ales and eight ciders. No, don't cross the road. Walk straight up.

9 Oct 2012 23:35

The Craft Beer Co, City of London

Well over a year on and the novelty still hasn't worn off for me. Still a first class beer range; recent tendency has been to showcase a few microbreweries in the cask ales, with the keg selection remaining dynamic and often changing. Regarding previous posts citing overcrowding, I have noted the pub can be quieter on many Saturday nights than you would expect, and this makes for a pleasant relaxing atmosphere. Busiest times seem to be Thurs 6-9 and all of Friday evening. Unfortunately that's when most of us want a beer:)

9 Oct 2012 23:29

Browarmia Krolewska, Warsaw

Crikey I'd heard from a friend who posts on another site this place had deteriorated quite a lot, and didn't want to believe him, seems like he was right. Shame as this was possibly Warsaw's first brewpub, and that alone could have been a commercial advantage for them.

9 Oct 2012 23:07

The Grafton Arms, Kentish Town

Pub reopened yesterday following a refit and new management. Up to 6 real ales and one permanent keg. Very nice food on at lunchtime, and my pint of East London Bitter was perfect. Some of the partitioning has gone leaving the pub feeling larger and more open, all drinking areas served from a central island bar. Rather liked the two-tone green decor. Friendly staff seemed keen to ensure everyone was enjoying their pint and were comfortable.

22 Sep 2012 21:25

The White Swan, Wendover

Another memory-lane visit last night, where my friend and I continued watching the 2012 Olympics opening ceremony after crossing the road from the Red Lion. Everyone was there to enjoy themselves, and both staff and regulars were very friendly. Fuller's ESB was on very good form.

28 Jul 2012 20:49

The Red Lion Hotel, Wendover

Pub much the same in decor, etc as previous visits. Although beers limited to Fullers (a pity) I could not fault my pint. The food my friend and I had last night was pretty good, and there was a real spirit of enjoyment at the start of the 2012 Games opening ceremony. Seeing Swiftone's review of 6th I would hope they had learned from that - judging by the number of punters in to watch it they would have emptied the pub if they turned off the telly!
I am rating it as a Fullers pub, and have upped it to a 7.

28 Jul 2012 20:44

The Welsh Harp, Waltham Abbey

Visited with friend at end of Waltham Abbey crawl - arguably the liveliest atmosphere was found here. As it was Karaoke night there was no Heart FM as mentioned below! Mac's beers in reasonable form, and this was a good pub in which to finish before the walk back to Waltham Cross station.

9 Jul 2012 23:25

The Sun Inn, Waltham Abbey

Pleasant visit last month - unfortunately there was no real ale available. Hope this is only temporary.

9 Jul 2012 23:21

Spotted Cow, Waltham Abbey

Sadly, pub closed sometime ago and the building is boarded up. One less Mac's pub on what is becoming an ever-shortening village crawl.

9 Jul 2012 23:17

Akkurat Restaurant and Bar, Stockholm

Visited on 20th June 2012. Excellent range of beers and good food. I found staff friendly and fully conversant in English, where necessary, and everyones recommendations proved true! Good Swedish beers on draught and bottle. Traditional pub ambiance; venue is split into drinking areas with plenty of woodpanelling. Well worth a visit. Note pub closed for a fortnight, for refurbishment and should have reopened last week - hope they have done it tastefully!

9 Jul 2012 23:12

Cafe 't Arendsnest, Amsterdam

Excellent session last weekend - pub unchanged in the few years since my last visit, and they continue to serve a fine selection of Dutch beers. Difficult to leave!

@Tosh thank heavens it DOES open at 1600! Any earlier would be potentially dangerous hehe :)

In seriousness, you can combine the late opening of this bar with the early closing of the IJ proeflokaal to create a fabulous all-Dutch beer crawl.

23 Mar 2012 00:56

The Craft Beer Co, City of London

Another Craft Beer Co is opening in Brighton this year, along with another version of their sister pub (CASK Pub & Kitchen).

23 Mar 2012 00:41

Beer Temple, Amsterdam

Another pleasant visit last weekend - pub seems to have mellowed out a little and seems like it's been open a lot longer than it has. You will still be spoilt for choice in terms of European and American beers, and the bar is often rammed, but be patient - you will be served.

23 Mar 2012 00:36

The Colwyn, Birmingham

Visited 29th December. Community pub with pool table, dartboard, fruit machine and TV. No real ale. Keg John Smiths available, with Guinness and Carling. Comfy resinguer seating and small tables. Bare wood floor. Useful for guests at the ETAP hotel next door, staff and regulars friendly enough. Food advertised outside but wont available on my visit.

29 Dec 2011 20:21

The Wenlock Arms, Hoxton

Agree. The loss of this pub will be a great failing in human terms. Two reviewers cite the Oakdale with reference to events in N1. It is regrettable that Stephen Barnes was not prepared (if recent notes are true) to accept an offer that would have left him with MORE, not less money in his pocket and kept the pub open.

12 Dec 2011 01:49

Brasserie O'Neil, Paris

Visited on 20th November - place was empty(ish) but had enjoyable steak & chips lunch and a sampler containing their 4 current brews in 150ml glasses - handy if you want to try all the beers and come out reasonably sober. Regarding "steppedup" comment of 16/7 yes they did seem to be placing dining customers at the back of the venue, but on this visit because the place was so empty they offered a choice of seats. On the way out I noticed tables in a set-in bay for drinkers and smokers.

Beers were better than average, and BLONDE was by far the best of the 4 on. Couldn't spend an entire evening here either, but nice to spend an hour or so over a meal and some beers.

5 Dec 2011 01:22

The Wenlock Arms, Hoxton

For the latest please read the article on page 38 of London Drinker magazine - available free at most decent ale pubs in London. Interested buyers are invited to contact Will direct on a given telephone number.

5 Dec 2011 01:04

The Verulam Arms, St Albans

I'm afraid the experience of the last reviewer is becoming all too common. This is no longer a pub, it is a restaurant. If you have to book to be allowed in on a Sunday that's a pity. There is still the Six Bells and White Lion that are hopefully more welcoming! Surely a first come first served policy would be better, if the food's good it would always fill up.

26 Oct 2011 09:01

The Red Lion Hotel, Wendover

Not sure whether it is good news. Fuller's already have 3 pubs in the town, and unless they plan to give this pub a free rein on guest beers etc Wendover could lose out on choice.

25 Oct 2011 10:14

The Wenlock Arms, Hoxton

The last post is sad, but true.

The application reference referred to below is actually 2011/1996.

Objections to the demolition of this historic, once award-winning and still thriving pub can be submitted online, and must be sent before 10th October 2011.

On objections please keep language clean and reasonable. Let's all of us work together to save our pub.

13 Sep 2011 13:33

The Admiral Mann, Kentish Town

Spam posting of 18/10 untrue.

Visited Admiral Mann evening of 14/8. Manager confirms venue has not sold McMullen's AK for 10 years due to lack of sales. Confirmed COUNTRY BITTER sold regularly, with a second seasonal ale from the WHOLE HOP series available most of the time.

Since last visit pub has been refurbished and is much brighter in the saloon bar, as well as being more spacious. It is good to see this pub surviving despite the odds, and well done to both management and brewery for keeping the place alive.

15 Aug 2011 12:48

The Craft Beer Co, City of London

@ ReinnCarnation - of course 2011 - must've still been hungover!

1 Jul 2011 11:12

The Craft Beer Co, City of London

Visited on the opening night 29th June 2010. Elegantly restored traditional corner pub, with some notable interior features including a mirrored ceiling and stained glass windows.

A vast selection of no fewer than SIXTEEN cask and 21 keg beers available, all kept excellently. House ale by Kent Brewery; house lager by Mikkeller front a range second to none in London.

The team have gone to extraordinary lengths to put their stamp on the place: staff wore company clothing, corporate beer mats are available and all glassware carries the CRAFT badge. This pub adds a new geographical focus to craft beer drinking in London, and thoroughly deserves to succeed, which it will. Well done, Martin and the team!

30 Jun 2011 13:04

The Charles Lamb, Angel, Islington

Visited this pub with friends on Friday 24th June 2011. Backstreet corner pub with two rooms. One room is mainly occupied by diners and has mirrors and old maps on the walls, while the other is much more "pubby" and has plenty of woodpanelling.

Four ales on - Fridays range included Otley Columb-O, Dark Star Hophead and two others from micros/small regionals. There is no music at the Charles Lamb, but lively conversation, and friendly staff.

The tarpaulins on the outside of the pub provided useful shelter for smokers while it was raining. Food was very good. All in all, a pleasant pub, reasonably priced for the area, with well-kept beer and one I will revisit.

25 Jun 2011 20:11

The Prince Regent, Herne Hill

I enjoyed my first visit to the Prince Regent last night.

Fairly decent pub, as mentioned in previous reviews; friendly staff and locals, a good vibe in part due to the barman's iPod (jazz, Latin and country) played at good listening volume. Black sheep bitter excellent, two other guests were on from Castle Rock and Exmoor, that were reasonable.

Mixed clientele, more mature, in years, than at the nearby Florence.

Worth a visit.

2 Jun 2011 18:35

The Florence, Herne Hill

Visited last night for the first time.

Young-leaning, spacious multi-roomed brew pub with central island bar, modern decor and subdued lighting. Comfortably-pitched varied background music. Pleasant colourful beer garden.

I rather enjoyed their site-brewed ales WEASEL and BEAVER, which were both rather hoppy but rounded with rich maltiness. Food is rather good and quite reasonably priced in comparison to the beer prices. I recommend the steak burger which was lovely, and seemingly very popular. Note that you cannot order your food at the bar; table service only. Whilst the lady who served me at my table was very friendly and helpful, it was 15 minutes before she was able to reach my table as she was the only one on!

Anyhow I found the place rather nice, and stayed longer than intended. Will return.

2 Jun 2011 18:17

The White Lion, Waltham Abbey

Boarded up! (as seen 20th May 2011).

22 May 2011 19:44

The Angel, Waltham Abbey

Visited again Fri 20 May; pub unchanged since our 2008 visit - friendly, clean, comfortable and great value.

22 May 2011 19:42

The Wenlock Arms, Hoxton

EXCELLENT! Really hope the last-but-one post is "AB" as quoted. I had an enjoyable visit to the pub a few days ago and there was no talkj of any sale being complete.

Murmurs, suppositions and rumours really aren't doing the Wenlock any good or helping the cause.

17 May 2011 01:40

Cafe Gollem, Amsterdam

The Overtoom branch is worth a visit. I called there in March after seeing the same sign on the Raamsteeg pub. The interior is rather more modern than the original, but the venue has a good fridge and a wide range of beers on tap.

Like everyone else, I also wish this bar all the best in its licensing battles and was sad to see it closed on my trip this year.

5 May 2011 13:19

CASK Pub and Kitchen, Pimlico

This page is the correct one for CASK Pub & Kitchen.

Pleasant enough visit last night; good session of well-kept ales finishing with a nice bottle of Schenkerla smokebeer.

Food improved in recent weeks. Fish and chips were excellent - fresh, crisp, tasty and in a generous portion.

Great range of music on the American barman's iPod, lots of laid-back grooves and mild, pleasant C&W and not too loud.

1 May 2011 23:55

The Cask, Pimlico

Correct pub ID is 41995. This entry (1756) relates to the old Pimlico Tram which should have been marked up as a closed venue two years ago. In respect of TMJ's posting; pub ID 38871 was removed for "cleansing" following a spate of tit-for-tat reviews and up-and-down ratings which thankfully have ceased. However the "stub" remains hence the confusion. It would be helpful if both 1756 and 38871 were marked up as closed, or redirect users to the correct page. The photo issue has been "sorted" or soon will be.

1 May 2011 23:50

Fishermans Rest, Brighton

Small, comfortable pub on the seafront, but hidden enough to be missed or wrongly attributed to the fish and chip shop next door.

The pub is split into drinking and dininga areas. Comfortable seating in the drinking section; nautical decorations throughout.

One handpump dispenses Harvey's best, mine was in perfect condition flavourwise albeit slightly hazy. A fair variety of spirits served. Reasonably priced pub menu offered, my scampi & chips, 6.95, were good value.

Friendly locals and staff; pub is a quiet refuge from the bustle of Brighton and it is not swamped by tourists. If you are staying at the Hilton Metropole next door, and fancy paying 3 instead of 7.80 for a pint, come here!

Review written 31st May 2010, prices quoted correct at the time.

26 Apr 2011 02:54

CASK Pub and Kitchen, Pimlico

Good session on Sat 12 March - a number of beers from the Summer Wine brewery which were excellent - so was Dark Star Hophead Citra.

14 Mar 2011 02:07

The Whittington Cat, Highgate

Visited last night to watch the 2nd half of the Spurs game.

Pub is a complete timewarp, and a very well-preserved one at that. Wood panelling, carpets and comfortable perimiter seating. Interesting windows and woodwork and traditional lighting. Two plasma screens.

There were only around 7 people in the pub - midweek at 9pm. The lady serving me was very pleasant and the few punters coming in and out were relaxed, mainly middle aged folk.

Handpump not in use, but saw Theakstons badge turned round. No problems with the Guinness, though! It is worth visiting for its interior merit alone, and its future seems precarious in today's world.

I am rating it not as a real-ale pub but as a friendly local the way pubs used to be.

10 Mar 2011 22:39

The Sair Inn, Linthwaite

First class night again on Saturday. Pretty well unchanged since last visit, and 7 beers available. The best on this visit were Linfit Bitter, English Guineas and Old Eli.

Ron is still enthusiastically at the helm, and the locals were again a friendly bunch. Jukebox was not overly loud and the choices of music were varied and good.

A real pub, full of real, unpretentious punters. A gem.

21 Feb 2011 01:20

The Crown, Chelsea

Visited on 27 October 2010 for the first time in a decade or so. Pub has been extensively refurbished: stripped floorboards and a segregated, curtained-off area for diners.

Beerwise, just two handpumps remain, only one in use on my visit - reasonably-kept London Pride @ 3.60.

Extensive range of teas and coffees. Staff pleasant and quick to serve, and I saw the landlord sitting and chatting to drinkers on the bar, showcasing the friendliness of the place.

Some of the pub's cosiness and intimacy have been lost with the removal of curtains from windows but otherwise pleasant enough and a decent pint.

4 Jan 2011 22:11

The Lost and Found, Birmingham

Visited for the first time during a crawl last night. Huge former bank premises with an ornate entrance and high ceiling. Murals on walls and ceiling worth a look. Although open-plan there are several "areas"/corners where people drank in small groups; last night the pub was quite empty and lacked a buzz.

Three real ales available, we tried Banks's Bitter which was faultless, the other beers available were from large regionals or national breweries. Food menu reads well and seems reasonably cheap but food had stopped before we arrived at 9pm.

Service was businesslike, and I could envisage returning when in the area, but making a dedicated journey seems unlikely,

29 Dec 2010 21:09

The Lamp Tavern, Birmingham

Visited last night - final pub on Brum crawl.

The Lamp has undergone a refurbishment and appears much brighter indoors than under the original decor. Five beers on plus Westons, Guinness and a good sprits range. Still, remarkably under the same landlord Eddie Fitzpatrick who continues to afford all a decent welcome. As always everything was "happening" around the bar, and last night free ham and cheese sandwiches were on offer. I had three different pints including Stanway Stanney last night, but found myself a little disappointed taste-wise on all of them, hoping this was just a "blip".

29 Dec 2010 20:56

CASK Pub and Kitchen, Pimlico

Excellent night on Sat 13th November. Thanks to Martin, Peter, Timothy and the team for making the evening a success. Pub continues to serve excellent draught ales and foreign beers and a 3-figure number of bottles from Europe and America - albeit at a price!

20 Nov 2010 21:52

The Castle, Holborn

Visited lunchtime yesterday. Very pleasant traditional backstreet pub. Retro 70's wallpaper loved by some, disliked by others. Around 8 real ales from small regionals and one or two bigger breweries. My pint of Nethergate Redcar Best Bitter was well kept and enjoyable.

Food served lunchtimes only; menu looks reasonable and daily specials are offered. Good range of seating.

Worthy of a visit, and good to include in a crawl with the Old Mitre.

28 Oct 2010 13:25

The Castle, Holborn

Visited lunchtime yesterday. Very pleasant traditional backstreet pub. Retro 70's wallpaper loved by some, disliked by others. Around 8 real ales from small regionals and one or two bigger breweries. My pint of Nethergate Redcar Best Bitter was well kept and enjoyable.

Food served lunchtimes only; menu looks reasonable and daily specials are offered. Good range of seating.

Worthy of a visit, and good to include in a crawl with the Old Mitre.

28 Oct 2010 13:25

Beer Temple, Amsterdam

Excellent new US styled beerhouse in the centre of Amsterdam close to the Dam itself. Easily reached by trams 1 and 5 from Centraal Station. Modern interior that one or two may find a tad sterile, but plenty of bottles, mirrors and neon signs to decorate.

Impressive range of thirty mainly US beers on tap and over eighty bottles from around the world. Friendly helpful bar staff conversant in fluent English; and on my visit of Friday evening 19th March the pub was buzzing. Music was at a volume to allow hearty conversation and there was a mix of UK and US visitors and regulars from the city who have made it their local.

This bar is a great new addition to the Amsterdam beer circuit and I would recommend a visit.

10 Oct 2010 21:28

The Pembury Tavern, Hackney

Pleasant evening last night. 5 miltons and 2 guests on. Note food is currently suspended until the weekend when a new Italian/Mediterranean menu will be offered.

7 Oct 2010 21:51

The Eleanor Arms, Bow

A proper, real pub in Londons East End, serving Shepherd Neame ales in first class condition. A great atmosphere and very friendly staff and clientele. The Canterbury Jack ale was sold at just 2.75 per pint. Mainly jazz/blues background music, with some occasional live sessions. Regular quizzes. Smallish beer garden to rear.

An interesting range of baguettes are available, I enjoyed the Red Leicester & Pickle whilst another in our group devoured a Brie & Salami variety.

The landlord is very friendly and made a point of visiting all groups of drinkers for a chat at their table, a rather nice touch in my view. Most certainly worth a visit, even if only to see the remarkably well-preserved interior!

16 Sep 2010 02:44

The Southampton Arms, Gospel Oak

A pub making the efforts that the Southampton Arms does, certailnly ought to be in the GBG, and its omission from the '11 guide is unfortunate. But it continues to thrive on an energetic tide of "word of mouth" recommendations, some from this site and from social networks. One thing to beware of is the Southampton gets rammed full on Saturday evenings and seats are hard to come by.

I have paid two visits in recent days, and haven't found the need to moan about any of the beers I've tried.

A friendly, eclectic clientele has established itself in the pub, and whether you visit on your own or in a group you'll always end up in a conversation with someone.

14 Sep 2010 02:22

The King Charles I, Kings Cross

Visited last week for the first time in many months. Seemed friendly enough. Brodies beers now regularly stocked - includes "King Charles I Fine Ale" brewed exclusively for the pub. Brodies Amarilla was very good too.

7 Sep 2010 03:05

The Powis Arms Hotel, Welshpool

Visited with a group of friends on 24th Aug 2010.

Pretty much unspoilt, welcoming pub with a drinking room and adjacent dining area.

Two handpumps on the bar but only one ale is kept, which changes regularly. Hobsons "Town Crier" on our visit was kept perfectly. Grolsch, Brains, Worthington, Guinness and Carling available from the keg taps.

Inglenook and dartboard main features, low wood-beamed cealing and terrazio floor noted, and look for the array of stone and glass mugs hanging from the ceiling. No background music, simply conversation in the pub.

Food is available when the landlady is awake, and the landlord professes to be a keen Laurel & Hardy fan.

A timewarp.

29 Aug 2010 17:44

The Priory Arms, Stockwell

First visit since refurb and management change.

Not much to add to the recent reviews, other than it seemed a little spartan inside with the removal of all the posters and beer clips from the walls and the bar.

Apart from this, the staff were very pleasant, beer reasonable (some nice German bottles too) and a tapas menu from which you can construct your own main meal. The meatballs, "skinny chips" and green salad, which I chose last night made a perfect component dinner, for example.

Background music volume comfortable, lighting bright but not glaring, and the pub felt somehow bigger.

Liked it, and will visit again.

5 Aug 2010 17:13

The Royal Oak, Borough

Regarding the post of 23rd, and similar. There is one simple and workable solutuion, used successfully by other sites.

A [nameless] pub review site I use alongside BITE only permits ratings with a review and vice versa. Silent ratings are blocked and there's a minimum word count (30 words etc). In addition to this, ratings only count once a user has rated a requisite number of pubs - I think it is 10. So when someone comes along and rates twenty pubs zero on the same day, their profile is available for all to see, together with the comments that have been left with those zero ratings, similarly setting up multiple accounts to rate one pub 10/10 on the same day is also not only visible to all, but a hassle for the person doing this, because on [this] site a new IP address is required for each new account.

Surely a rating/review system like this could be easy enough to set up on BITE.

My rating for this pub is an 8. Based on visits over the past 6 years when I've always had a decent pint and the atmosphere's always been pleasant.

23 Jul 2010 17:05

Klasterni Pivovar Strahov, Prague

Visited the brewpub on 12th and 14th July 2010. Was very impressed by the greater beer range. The IPA could only be described as nectar, full of rich hoppiness; the standard amber and dark tmavy ale were as good as I remembered them from 2004 if not better. There was also a wheatbeer, albeit on the sweet side.

Food was excellent on both visits, staff conversant in English, and of course the location is idyllic.

The best way to reach here is to get the No 22 tram to Pohorelec and walk up the steps through a doorway in the high wall. At the top of the steps turn right and walk past VELKA Klasterni Restaurace. Do not confuse the two. Velka is often full of tourists and shows sports on TV, and only has two beers. The photos above should help you find this pub.

And you'll be glad you went.

15 Jul 2010 13:21

Klasterni Pivovar Strahov, Prague

URGENT NOTE TO ADMINS!

PLEASE DELETE THIS POST, AND MY POST DATED 11 JULY. THE REVIEW RELATES TO ANOTHER VENUE (NOT LISTED ON BITE)

A PROPER REVIEW OF THE KLASTERNI IS BEING WRITTEN.

Apologies for any inconvenience caused.

Lee

15 Jul 2010 13:08

Klasterni Pivovar Strahov, Prague

Visited on 11 July during stay in the city. Full of German football supporters watching Germany v Uruguay, but none the worse for that. Two homebrewed beers, a wheatbeer and a dark "Tmavy" are worth trying out, and the food menu is more extensive (can be spelt with a T or a P) than on my last visit in 2004, but with beer still a third cheaper than UK prices who's complaining. As with most Prague pubs there is an English version of the menu. For starters try out their chicken soup in a hollowed out loaf of rye bread. I have to say the place wasn't full of UK/US tourists on this session

The best way to reach here is to get the No 22 tram to Pohorelec and walk up the steps through a doorway in the high wall.

Staff were helpful and conversant in English, with none of the begrudged attitude so often mentioned in guidebooks!

I am glad I visited a second time, and would recommend it to anyone for a pint after touring the castle, and for its monastic setting as other reviewers have picked up on. But remember it is no longer as cheap as it once was.

11 Jul 2010 15:58

U Fleku, Prague

Visited tonight, and despite all the very true criticisms noted below I managed to have an enjoyable session. It must be said that the staff seemed to be even more persistent with this schnapps thing, and I had to persuade them twice or three times to take no for an answer. But the beer was very thirstquenching and like anywhere once you get in conversation with people one beer leads to another. And Roll Out The Barrel was well received by the crowd inside. Obviously as mentioned in a previous review, not a pub to measure Prague by, but a bit of fun albeit overpriced.

8 Jul 2010 21:09

Pivovarsky dum, Prague

A good quench after a long day strolling through Prague. Particularly good on this visit was the straight Lezak pale lager which was very crisp and hoppy. Food portions very good, and service was quick. Note the venue has a menu in English, which I cannot remember seeing on my 2004 visit.

All good.

8 Jul 2010 16:22

The Red Lion Hotel, Wendover

First of three pubs visited on annual crawl in the town with a friend last night. Staff fairly friendly and businesslike, the pub (and hotel) have been somewhat modernised, with new-looking outdoor tables, etc.

Food represented fairly reasonable value provided you select (as we did) from their two meals for 12 menu, and the pint of Brakspear that I drank was fairly well-kept. Our food arrived fairly promptly, and there was a general buzz in the beer garden (from people, not bees - lol)

Good as the food stop in a Wendover crawl.

18 Jun 2010 17:00

The White Swan, Wendover

Visit yesterday with a friend confirmed the good reviews it has received recently. By far the friendliest of the three pubs we visited, as mentioned by previous reviewers the staff and locals are cheerful and welcoming, and the beer (Butcombe Bitter and Fullers ESB, enjoyed last night) was very well-kept.

Great place, and my 8/10 rating remains well-deserved.

18 Jun 2010 16:42

The Pack Horse, Wendover

Visited again on Thurs 17 June. Interior unchanged but something seemed slightly colder about the place than on previous calls at the Pack Horse.

Fuller's London Pride continuing to be well-kept and the building itself is a pleasant one.

18 Jun 2010 16:37

Jolly Butchers, Stoke Newington

Based on my visit of Wednesday 19th May I shall certainly be going back. Had no problems re short measures, and enjoyed all the beers I tasted (Thornbridge Jaipur, unfortunately wasn't quite up to par) but the others were. The pub is quite relaxed at closing time, or at least seemed so, and the staff were quite friendly and chatty.

Also the pub was busier than on my previous visit and I had to wait for a seat.

But I agree with robots1 the pub is making strides in the right direction, and I look forward to my next time there.

25 May 2010 00:15

The Drum and Monkey, Glasgow

Image 3 was meant to be the main photo! 't was the first uploaded.

24 May 2010 22:56

The Drum and Monkey, Glasgow

Review based on visit of 25th April 2010.

Large traditional corner pub with central bar, ornate ceiling, tiled walls and traditional furniture and fittings. Three ales kept at any time, which change periodically, from a prescribed list; tasting notes are provided at each table. Thornbridge Jaipur IPA was on top form. Wide food choice with eleven Scottish dishes available with traditional English ones to complement them. Quieter than I'd have expected for Sunday lunch, but relaxed and pleasant.

I rather liked the pub, 7/10.

17 May 2010 23:39

The Horseshoe Bar, Glasgow

Visited on 24th April 2010.

Traditional pub bang in the centre of Glasgow. Retains all its features dating back almost 120 years. From the shape of the bar to the mirror designs and gantry statue, the horseshoe shape is present throughout.

On my visit there were four ales: Everards Tiger and Deuchars IPA on handpump whilst on electric dispense through sparklers were Cairngorm Howler and Harviestoun Bitter & Twisted which I was drinking. I noted the beer was slightly colder than I expected but otherwise fine.

Friendly jovial staff; the two young ladies especially so! Medium level music; tv screens showing football with the sound off. Quite full on Saturday evening but not overcrowded, and given the number of customers around the bar I found the service to be attentive and quick. Whilst you are likely to find a regional or small regional rather than the latest microbrewery here, the pub's architecture and atmosphere are of sufficient merit to warrant a visit as part of any Glasgow crawl.

17 May 2010 23:13

Jolly Butchers, Stoke Newington

Visited on 5th May 2010 on a friends recommendation.

Fairly large corner pub at top of high street. Reopened April 2010. Exterior red, interior maroon walls and green ceiling. Bare floorboards; bar and kitchen at rear maximising space. Tables seat up to four with one or two for larger groups. A few stools around the bar.

Exciting and well-kept ale range. Seven ales, one perry and one cider dispensed by handpump; nine European beers also on tap including, quite adventurously, a rauchbier. On my visit there were two Thornbridge, two Brodies and 3 other micros. Cask beers at 3.20 a pint; imports rather more than this although I did not see any actual prices. I also had to ask for my pint to be topped up, although I add it was done without quibble. Pint of Caledonian Mayhem was fine and if the experience of my frend and I were anything to go by, the temperature issue appears to have been put right.

A fair-priced, no-nonsense food menu is offered with mains ranging from 8.50 to 10.50 apart from a 14.50 rib eye steak. My friend and I enjoyed the German variant of bangers & mash served with sauerkraut and German mustard.

Pub is very airy and spacious, and some interesting features have survived its refurbishment look for the arched, stain-glassed windows and the original if rather battered tiled wall behind the bar. Only minus for me was a building this size doesn't offer much in the way of intimacy, and the feel is rather like a gastro, however quality of food and beer put this into perspective.

Music either off or turned very low, keen attentive staff as well - the manager visited our table and a few others to see how people were enjoying their beer and food.

For a pub that has only been reopened barely a fortnight, their efforts deserve to succeed, and hopefully the teething troubles mentioned in reviews below (every pub has them) should soon be a thing of the past. I will return soon.

7/10

8 May 2010 14:37

Steps, Glasgow

Stumbled upon this timewarp by complete chance yesterday. And a timewarp it most certainly is.

Completely unspoilt small, low-ceilinged pub with 1930s style woodpanelled interior, lino tiles on the floor, long rounded wooden bar with a pelmet lighting feature continuing the theme. Small fixed tables opposite the bar with bench seating behind. Fluorescent lighting of a vintage type in the window bays; look out for the Tennents "T" design on the panes themselves.

Beerwise, there is no real ale, only Tennents lager and special plus a few other keg beers, a fair spirits range and soft drinks etc. The storage area behind the bar itself is also a feature worth looking at.

Pub attracts middle aged to senior clientele in the main but I did notice one or two lads in their 30s coming out on Saturday evening.

I had half a Tennents lager here yesterday and whilst I don't claim to be any kind of expert on lager I found it perfectly enjoyable with a fresh clean hoppy taste.

It's not a "tourist" pub, but if you are looking to capture the flavour of Glasgow's drinking past and willing to enjoy the interior over a pint of Tennents then you shouldn't miss this place. If you are looking for loud music and a boisterous atmosphere then your requirements are best served elsewhere (i.e. Blackfriars).

26 Apr 2010 01:08

The Three Judges, Partick Cross

Great to return to the Three Judges today. Ten taps dispensing 6 ales mainly from micros. Beowulf Heroes, 4.7% excellent. Spacious bar with three drinking areas. Wood panelling throughout, quarry tiles around the bar; comfprtable decor and lighting. Quiet music in the background from Magic 105.4FM. Noted admission policy excludes children and "young persons". Lovely pub, well deserving of the awards it has won and regular inclusion in the Good Beer Guide.

24 Apr 2010 19:55

The Bon Accord, Glasgow

Two vists paid recently. Both very enjoyable. First on 22nd Apr; the two Scottish micro brews were clean and well-kept; whilst one wasn't my cup of tea there was nothing "wrong" with the beer. Adnams Extra was pretty good too. Noted this pub uses sparklers which explains some of the beers tasting different from how us sassernacks down south are used to! Adnams through a sparkler does it no favours, but the beer was pleasant enough!

Rant over; second visit was today at lunchtime with a friend during Manchester Utd 3-1 Tottenham. Deuchars IPA about as good as I've tasted it anywhere else recently. Staff and locals very friendly; good value food as well. Aim not to be the last to leave at night, 20mins drinking time is observed strictly.

24 Apr 2010 19:41

The Blackfriars, Glasgow

Absolutely superb.

Timely visit last night, after the Babbity Bowster nearby. Pub rocking with a lively clientele of all agegroups, and an all-Scottish range of five ales, all well kept and including a sublime Brewdog IPA. Service was quick and local drinkers very friendly. Reasonably priced beer, with everything of 5% or less at 2.90, strong beers at 3.20.

Crowd at weekends can be noisy at times, but not so loud as to be uncomfortable; recorded music was at an agreeable level. Live music and comedy acts staged: check with the pub for further details.

Recommended.

24 Apr 2010 19:30

The Babbity Bowster, Glasgow

Enjoyed a return visit to the Babbity Bowster on Fri 23rd April. Was pleased to get a seat at 8pm for some food (fish pie was good) and a couple of well-kept pints from Scottish microbreweries. Whilst food prices were good value for money, be prepared to pay 3.35 a pint for the guest beers (slightly less for Deuchar's IPA) and over 4.50 for German imported lagers. That said, service was friendly and quick, the staff are nice enough and local and passing drinkers friendly.

24 Apr 2010 19:22

The Champion of the Thames, Cambridge

Great to see the place 100% intact and untouched tonight. Interesting guest beer from Okell's this time thus no need to drink Greene King unnecessarily - lol. Interior unchanged, and the community spirit mentioned by previous reviewers is as strong as ever. Lovely pub.

17 Apr 2010 21:37

The St Radegund, Cambridge

Started a crawl here on Sat Apr 17th. Pub remains same and has been left alone by the new encumbants save a lick of paint. Milton Habit Ale still available, as is a second Milton and three other beers. A few jovial people at the bar this time. Great pub, still recommend it.

17 Apr 2010 21:34

The Kingston Arms, Cambridge

Excellent pint of Oakham JHB here on timely visit. Pub unchanged since last year, retaining a good lineup of ales and a great food menu. I enjoyed a spinach soup followed by bangers & mash featuring a "medley" of "Italian Style", "Farmhouse" and "Lamb Ithica" sauasges. Pub full but not overcrowded, but I was happily accommodated at the bar to eat. Efficient service at the bar.

Note that a CAMRA discount of 20p a pint applies: show your card FIRST or you'll pay standard price.

A great pub, worthy of making the effort to visit. If planning to bring a large group to dine with you, call the pub first.

17 Apr 2010 21:30

Leyton Orient Supporter's Club, Leyton

Excellent dark Star feature night last night. Interesting Mighty Oak beers alongside. A great buzz. More of the same please!

2 Apr 2010 16:45

The Southampton Arms, Gospel Oak

Just back from an impromptu swift one at the Southampton, and good to see it doing well. Not filled to the rafters at 1030pm, but doing a fair old trade. Good to see a varied clientele of all ages, and a mix of groups and individual drinkers enjoying the beers and ciders. I must remark on how excellently the Thornbridge Jaipur IPA was kept and note that Stonehenge Ale's "Sign of Spring" was a good conversation starter with its lime green colour!

Pub certainly seems to be gaining popularity, but I'm sure there'll still be room for everyone. Although visiting the pub alone this time I still ended up in conversation with a couple of drinkers at the bar one of whom was visiting from the Orkneys and was equally impressed with tonight's beer range.

Music volume was just right, and the collection of LPs seems to be growing.

Apologies if this has been mentioned before by previous reviewers, but note the request sheets on the left of the bar by the piano. You can suggest beers and the pub will try and get them in.

Keep it up.

31 Mar 2010 00:38

Ye Old Mitre, Holborn

Returned home from an early evening pint with a friend whose work has recently moved nearby. Was in the pub from 1800-1900. Plenty of "suits" and some visiting trade. Staff friendly enough, the lady serving me certainly was. Enjoyed two St Patrick's Day special beers: Saltaire Dublin Stout (4%) and Roosters Celtic (3.9%). Both of these were on fine form, with the Roosters being particularly good. The front room, small and intimate, seems the best drinking area in the pub. I was "lucky" enough to win a floppy green and black Guinness hat in the raffle.

Although my last visit was some time ago, I still remember how enjoyable it was and today was no different. I will return more often in future. Visitors to the Old Mitre may notice the pub is now owned by Fullers, however a keen guest ale policy remains and ale quality has certainly survived the change.

17 Mar 2010 22:22

The Pembury Tavern, Hackney

Attended yesterday with a few friends for the pub's festival. Started very quietly but picked up through the evening. Cellar cask ales via handpump were on better form on the whole than stillaged gravity ales; two were excellent: Grand Slam, Whitstable East India Pale Ale, and Moorhouses Blond Witch. Many familiar names and "trips down memory lane" beerwise. The festival continues through the weekend.

12 Mar 2010 00:21

The Edgar Wallace, Temple

Visited earlier this week with some friends. Unchanged since my session in the summer of 2007. Very pleasant bustling atmosphere, it was early evening and many "suits" were in the pub. The two ales I had, Oakleaf Bitter and a dark 5% ale were on good form, and although I did not eat, food smelled good. It is a handy pub if you're in the area, and well worth more frequent visits.

12 Mar 2010 00:12

The Oakdale Arms, Harringay

Very enjoyable session here on 23rd Feb. While the pub was not crowded out, there were plenty more drinkers in than at my last visit of May 2009.

Noted there were only 4 handpumps, two in use this time (Milton Pegasus and Banks & Taylor Golden Dragon, both well kept). I am told the owner has requisitioned the "missing" pumps for a new pub in Cambridge.

Music was at a much more comfortable level, and conversation ruled on Tuesday night. On top of this everyone in the pub seemed chilled and relaxed, making for a welcoming atmosphere. The lizards are all doing fine and the pub is otherwise unchanged.

While it is a shame to have lost half a dozen or so handpumps, Rob and the team are doing a good job in keeping a decent pint and running the Oakdale "business as usual" despite its precarious future. It is still worth visiting, and hopefully it is here for a little longer yet.

25 Feb 2010 21:18

The Gardeners Rest, Sheffield

First visit since pub reopened after flood.

Structurally unchanged but the bar has been replaced with a more open, modern one whilst all bench seating is new. Comfortably furnished and lit; divided into three main drinking areas. Walls in main bar adorned with photographs from a local competition/exhibition on at the time.

Impressive beer lineup; Twelve handpumps dispense up to 10 beers and two ciders, four ales were from the nearby Sheffield Brewing Company. All beers I tried were very well kept, and priced between 2 and 2.40.

Live accoustic music staged most Fridays and some Saturdays: on my visit blues guitarrist Jim O'Mahoney was covering the likes of Bob Dylan and Ry Cooder. Check with pub for next gig, or see their website gardenersrest dot com.

Very friendly welcoming staff, with a determination to make this pub a success; I was very pleased to see it reopened and it deserves to succeed.

7 Feb 2010 12:49

peachykeen, Camden

Closed last year; now a restaurant.

24 Jan 2010 15:26

Delirium Cafe, Brussels

Fascinating end to crawl on Sat 16th January in a group with a fellow reviewer. Just as heavily crowded as it always is, but for some reason it seemed slightly easier to get served than last time.

Not sure if I could remember from previous visit but smoking is ALLOWED in parts of Delirium Cafe. Beer range still in 4 figures and there were a handful of "phone book" menus being passed around if you were lucky enough to see one. "Only" about 50 beers on the mass-circulated A4 single-sheet menu though.

While I was chatting to a group of locals at another table from us I missed a punter being physically thrown out for lewd behaviour! And my back wasn't turned more than 2 minutes!

Anyhow it was still well worth finishing here and enjoying the lively atmosphere.

Guaranteed not everyone will like this bar, but definitely go once and give it a chance to grow on you!

18 Jan 2010 22:20

A La Mort Subite, Brussels

Visited on Saturday 16th Jan in a group with a fellow BITE reviewer.

Established in 1928 this pub is run by a fourth generation of the Vossen family who originally opened it, naming the venue after the card game Sudden Death often played in Mr Vossens previous drinking house.

A large building, it retains virtually all its original dcor. Tables are lined up in rows rather like an original Yates wine lodge or an old German beer hall. It is lit quite brightly at night, and there is no music, only boisterous conversation. Strong nicotine staining has been left on the ceiling and walls and a residual tobacco smell suggests the pub allowed smoking until only recently.

20 beers are offered; one or two of them unusual, and in addition a range of hot drinks is available including Oxo and heated wine assumed to be mulled wine but do check before ordering! Food here is mainly tapas, toasties, sandwiches and omelettes.

They have kept the old tradition of uniformed staff who, on our visit, provided us an efficient, surprisingly quick businesslike and pleasant service.

And a tip for a trouble free time at Mort Subite: Be sure to leave your glass on a beer mat when pausing between sips. I fell foul of this rule and the result was quite entertaining.

18 Jan 2010 19:58

Le Bier Circus, Brussels

Excellent session here with a fellow BITE reviewer. We began our crawl here for the food. Two of us had the CHI-MAY-charged spag bol, and one had steak tartare (prepared with ten seasonings and topped with a raw eggyolk). Just don't ask who had what! Good beer range again; BINK great as usual and "BRAVOURE" was a lovely hoppy/spicy/smoky beer. Prices were average for the food, but the beer wasn't that cheap.

Live music began around 8pm. Cannot say whether this is Bire Circus' regular music style but two ladies with rather good French singing voices performed some tuneful, if rather "samey" ballads accompanied by electric piano. Nice in small doses but the doses weren't small!

My fellow BITE reviewer and his wife were otherwise impressed with the place (or at least said they were - wait for the review!) and would go again. Was certainly as good a start as any to a crawl in Brussels. And definitely a pub to start, rather than finish, a crawl.

18 Jan 2010 14:01

The Wenlock Arms, Hoxton

Visited last night for a swift late pint. Pub emptier than normal for the time of night, but could put that down to the weather. This was one of the occasions that the beer choice was very good (Dark Star Over The Moon Mild, Critical Mass; Crouch Vale Brewers Gold, Amarillo all on very good form). Steve Barnes and John B were in charge and it was a relaxing, chilled evening. It was my most enjoyable session there for several months. If only it could be like this all the time! Last night's beer range and quality MUST be maintained for the Wenlock to regain its reputation. Firm management is also needed on ALL days the pub is open so the Wenlock experience is once again an enjoyable one for the many, not the few. I can only hope that when Mill House visits the same beer quality and atmosphere will prevail. Hopefully management have read the valid points raised by previous reviewers on other issues such as poor behaviour and begin to act on them so the pub does not deteriorate any further than it has, leaving itself open to further criticism. The nearby Old Fountain is doing well for itself and its competition should not be ignored. Last night was a good start, keep it up!

11 Jan 2010 11:05

The Beer Engine, Coventry

Visited on 3rd November 2009. It was a Tuesday and the pub was very quiet at 9pm (4 other drinkers beside myself). Three ales on at the time: Greene King IPA, Young's Special and Fuller's London Pride. Only time for one pint so opted for the IPA which was well kept. Perfectly decent pub, but emptier than I'd expected.

5 Jan 2010 02:08

The Lamp Tavern, Birmingham

The BITE telephone number is out of date. Do not call as you will not be connected and may be charged. The pub has a new telephone number 0121 6881220.

2 Jan 2010 15:56

The Pembury Tavern, Hackney

Well done Steve and everyone else for the splendid NYE session. Excellent beer line up and great gig. The venue "rocked" last night and everyone enjoyed themselves. A prosperous new year to all of you a the Pembury.

2 Jan 2010 00:49

The Wellington, Birmingham

Visited again on 28/12/2009 and spent most of the evening here. Unchanged since last year. The service is great given that it was often 5 deep at the bar due to other local pubs closing early or not opening at all that day. Staff friendly despite how busy they clearly were, and the beer range was fantastic. Note the range always includes Wye Valley HPA and two or three from Black Country. Certainly the city's top alehouse and worth a visit whatever brings you to Birmingham.

31 Dec 2009 01:48

The Briar Rose, Birmingham

Friendly Wetherspoon, not only handy for a food stop before the Wellingon but an interesting ale selection as well. It becomes obvious when you spot the features such as the beer screen they are trying to compete with the Wellington in the same street. 5-7 ales dispensed at any one time from a capacity of 10 handpumps. The staff are keen to see customers satisfied; when I complained on the non-availability of an advertised beer the young fellow I spoke to went straight to the cellar and put another alternative on. I ended up staying rather longer than intended on my visit of 28th December 2009. One of Wetherspoon's best pubs and a worthy GBG entry.

31 Dec 2009 01:37

The Gatehouse, Highgate

Enjoyed a Christmas Eve session last night. Pub was lively and buzzing with all the staff dressed up and open 'til 1am. Good ale selection with several "seasonals", and impromptu singalongs to Christmas pop videos made it all the more entertaining. Nich52 remarks on the beers being slightly on the cold side - I noticed that too, but otherwise they were in good condition. Everything else about the pub was about the best you'd expect in a JDW.

Good, 7/10 - worth a trip.

25 Dec 2009 20:10

The Old Fountain, Old Street

Agree with the last review. Old fountain is a broad church and welcomes everyone. Of course the beer range is going to attract Camra members to the pub AND see it recommended in the Good Beer Guide which it deserves. On the whole, the beer at the Old Fountain is now better kept than in other local pubs nearby. In no way is Camra destroying the pub, as a review of 17/12/09 claims. My last visit a few weeks ago was good, and the pub was fairly full with everyone enjoying themselves. All pubs have their off days, but I certainly had nothing to complain about last time I was there. If only the pub was open on the weekend, this would offer welcome choice to drinkers in another nearby pub which has begun to deteriorate.

25 Dec 2009 20:03

The Southampton Arms, Gospel Oak

What a transformation!

The Southampton Arms has reopened as a dedicated ale and cider house. As mentioned below most of the old furniture has been stripped out opening up the pub into a more spacious and accommodating one, having retained the original woodpanelling, fireplace, piano, mirrors and tiled wall behind the bar. Tungsten lighting keeps it traditional.

Enough rambling about what it looks like, their adventurous beer policy is enough to drive even the least curious drinker in to have a look. Twelve handpumps serve up to 8 ales at any time with the remaining four given to ciders and perries. One or two extra ciders were noted behind the bar. Two German lagers are also available on draught. Beers and ciders mainly from small to micro breweries: Sambrooks Wandle and Dark Star Espresso both on very good form.

Food is limited (and I know some of you will like this) to pork pies, scotch eggs, nuts and crisps as the pub has no kitchen and little intention of installing one.

Friendly, enthusiastic young staff behind the bar. Whilst there I noted the majority of people inside were drinking real ale, and as standard the beers were served in jugs unless you asked for a straight glass. And for music, don't think Spotify, iPod or CDs - think VINYL!

The reopening of this pub as an alehouse, welcoming to everyone, is excellent news for the Gospel Oak area where good real ale pubs are fairly few and far between. I thoroughly enjoyed my first visit and wish the pub every success.

9/10

22 Dec 2009 22:08

The Evening Star, Brighton

Just back from another first class evening here. Interesting Green Jack guest beer amongst three offered alongside the four mainstay Dark Stars. First time I'd visited on a weekday night for some time; it is a good time to go given the lack of space mentioned in previous reviews that relate to visits made at busier times. No change in beer quality - still amongst the best in the SE, and the pub remains an all time favourite for me.

10 Dec 2009 03:18

The Magpie and Crown, Brentford

Certainly back. Great news. Visited on Friday night (27th November) and enjoyed one Twickenham and one Butcome ale both on great form. Pleased to see the Thai kitchen has also reopened. There was no music whilst I was there, just relaxed conversation.

The pub is essentially the same as it was when it closed; apart from a few of the model boats, etc which fell prey to the odd souvenir hunter on the closing night! They have continued counting the beers served since 2006 on the board, and the ale policy remains as before, alongside 5 or so beers from Europe on draught.

Although rather harshly lit inside, this is made up for by the welcoming attitude of staff and punters. Great pub, and long may it prosper.

2 Dec 2009 00:53

The Southampton Arms, Gospel Oak

In the last week this pub has been closed, windows boarded up and the interior has been gutted. I cannot yet ascertain whether this is for a refurbishment or for a change of use. I will update BITE as soon as more info is available.

20 Nov 2009 19:20

The Pembury Tavern, Hackney

VERY enjoyable 1st night of the festival last night. Anyone going tonight should try the Ufford beers if they are still on. Foodwise the fishcakes (main menu) and the cougette/parsnip soup are good so is the shepherds pie (both on specials board). The pub's own webpage carries the current festival beerlist.

19 Nov 2009 17:31

The Pride of Spitalfields, Shoreditch

Whilst compliments about this pub are deserved given the experiences of friends recently, the previous poster has used a false BITE ID in an attempt to associate me with his comments. I have now left a disclaimer on my BITE profile and will continue to track the account set up under "Newton_Lad". I hereby disassociate myself with any reviews left under this user profile, and the incident has been reported.

I only post reviews about pubs that I have visited in person. I have NOT visited this pub since May 2007, and will comment fairly on my findings on my next trip.

16 Nov 2009 10:50

The Wenlock Arms, Hoxton

Thanking all the staff, cellarmen and musicians who made my birthday party last night such a success. Steve's lamb curry was spot on, and exceeded all my expectations, and Dark Star Double Chocolate stout was a favourite, alongside Otley Blackmaninov.

15 Nov 2009 15:47

The Old Fountain, Old Street

Visited last night for session with a friend for the first time since the beginning of the year. There was a boisterous group of drinkers and a pleasant atmosphere. "Jim" governor was behind the bar and afforded all a swift and courteous service; and the two beers I chose from a range of eight were well-kept (Dark Star Original and O'Hanlon's Port Stout). Food portions looked good on the plates of those dining, however I arrived later on having eaten elsewhere so cannot report on food this time. The beer range was great (in the league of other London high-flyers like the Wenlock and the Cask Pub in Pimlico, and it is now attracting a loyal following.

Very much worth a visit, but DO REMEMBER the pub is ONLY open Monday to Friday. Those arriving on a Saturday or Sunday would need to turn right into City Road, walk up to Windsor Terrace and turn right - lol :-)

Pub Rating with review 8/10.

5 Nov 2009 17:46

The Malt Shovel, Coventry

I confirm that the pub is closed, and indeed has at least one window boarded up. Sad, as I can remember this being one of the best pubs in Coventry some years ago.

4 Nov 2009 21:01

The Magpie and Crown, Brentford

Very sad news indeed! Have visited this pub anually and have always been impressed with the beer range and quality, and always been treated well by the landlord. Has Steve announced he will run a pub elsewhere?

3 Nov 2009 02:14

The Hole in The Wall, Southsea

Fantastic session last Friday at the end of a Pompey daytrip. Superb ale line-up included two from Burton Bridge alongside Oakleaf Hole Hearted which was excellent. Pub unchanged since my visit of 2005 and I received the same warm welcome from staff and locals alike that I had done on previous visits. A very well-run, friendly boozer; everything a pub should be. Well worth coming out of town to find - you will not be disappointed unless you arrive outside opening hours!

19 Oct 2009 01:16

The Phoenix, Southsea

Welcoming backstreet boozer comprising two bars and a delightful covered garden known as the "Flame garden". Two ales available from a changing selection mainly from local small breweries.

Friendly jovial locals were drinking in both bars when I visited to sup a pint of Irving "Invincible" (4.8%).

Cosy and comfortably furnished; carpets and wood panneling; wood furniture. Walls covered with photographs of pub and famous drinkers. Note the collection of pewter mugs and copper vessels; and one or two other unusual artefacts, along with a sign pointing drinkers toward the King's Theatre.

The two pub dogs are docile and friendly. Children are admitted up to 1900 provided they are supervised by an adult at all times.

18 Oct 2009 20:12

Lemkes Spezialittenbrauerei, Berlin

Made pilgrimage to this brewpub during autumn break in Berlin. The pub appears to have been extended since my last visit, but otherwise the brews and food menu is unchanged. Could not believe I was recognised again after three years! The pils was excellent and so was Original. Enjoyed the special brew for Oktoberfest. There was only room to sit at the bar on my arrival suggesting the brewpub must be doing something right. Food recommendation: try the Nrnberg sausages with sauerkraut and "bratkartoffel" (fried potato pieces with onion). Delicious, and goes well with the "Original"

27 Sep 2009 11:00

The Grid Inn, Southfields

Spent an evening here last night with four friends, one of whom was celebrating his birthday. Standard Wetherspoons branch, with a typical JDW ale range (regional breweries not micros) and standard menu. Friendly businesslike staff. Pub divided into separate drinking areas by partitioning, with the area around the bar being the busiest last night. The manager (if that was who he was) made valiant efforts to deal with an abusive customer who had to be asked several times to leave before peace could return. The pub could do with one or two extra staff to handle incidents of this nature. The rude customers did not spoil our enjoyment of the pub; to summarise the Grid is much the same as any JDW branch I have visited.

10 Sep 2009 12:21

The Duke Of Wellington, Hackney

And another fabulous evening last night watching Arsenal mash Celtic on the big-screen tv in the back room. This pub is rapidly becoming a favourite of mine.

28 Aug 2009 01:43

The Old Cross Tavern, Hertford

Just superb.

Timely pilgrimage on 19/8/09 with friends in a very enjoyable Hertford crawl. Unchanged since 2007; very friendly staff. Dark Star Hophead and Oscar Wilde Mild were exquisite; OXT was tried but seemed to lack hop character. Very easy to simply settle in and enjoy relaxed conversation and equally difficult to leave. The best pub on our crawl and worthy of the high rating I awarded in 2007, which remains!

You will NOT be disappointed.

28 Aug 2009 01:33

The White Horse, Hertford

Very pleasant pint here during a crawl with two friends on 19/08/09. Locals and staff very friendly and had a great sense of humour. Seemed to attract a lot of Tottenham Hotspur supporters. Good guest beer. Otherwise Fullers range on, but well kept. Still a most enjoyable pub, and well worth strolling into town to pop in.

The 8/10 from my last visit remains in place.

28 Aug 2009 01:24

The Mill Stream, Hertford

Visited with two friends at the end of a great crawl in Hertford. The pub was quite unchanged since my last time here three years ago, and McMullen's AK was well kept. Cosy interior remains, divided up into three main drinking areas. Visitors to the Millstream are advised that closing time routine is fairly strict. The pub is best enjoyed early on in the evening when you can relax in the beer garden which is spacious and accommodating.

28 Aug 2009 01:14

The Bridge House, Hertford

Paid a timely call at this pub with two friends at the beginning of a Hertford crawl on 19th Aug '09. We arrived at around 1930 and found the pub much as I'd left it in 2006 - an encouraging sign. The interior drinking areas were a little quieter than I remember, but it was a warm night and everyone was drinking outside.

McMullen's AK was on great form, and went down without touching the sides. Evening food was temporarily unavailable - check with pub for future availability.

28 Aug 2009 01:04

The Malt Shovel, Coventry

Paid timely visit on 18th Feb 2009. Pub completely empty at 1900 but second customer arrived at 1910. Upset to see the lease for sale, nevertheless still virtually untouched since previous visit. I had one pint of Cottage Brewery Vulcan, 3.8% - a pleasant and refreshing ale. Real logfire in use in the front room providing welcome warmth. In the latter stages of my visit it was nice to see one or two locals still popping in for a beer.

28 Aug 2009 00:49

The Green Dragon, Croydon

A wonderful pub. Visited with two friends last night and enjoyed perfect Dark Star Hophead, Apa and Brewster's Decadence. Music is quite loud, but not without some welcome quieter interludes enabling conversation. Clientele of all agegroups present, and very friendly staff. Will certainly return, great discovery.

23 Aug 2009 20:23

The Sun Inn, Waltham Abbey

Visited with a friend in April 2009 and found three ales available including Nethergate Greedy Pike. Only concern was the fairly empty state of the pub during a weekday evening crawl.

13 Aug 2009 23:16

The Duke Of Wellington, Hackney

Visited on 11th August. Discovered a newly opened quality beer focused gastropub close to Dalston Kingsland station and a five minute bus ride from Highbury & Islington. A regular spot for Sambrooks Wandle. Eight handpumps, usually serving four beers (hence quoting four taps). Traditional features include emphasis on wood (floors, wall panels and tables etc). An island bar in centre of main drinking area affords space and easy circulation all round. A second drinking area provided in rear annexe. All tungsten lighting affords a warm atmosphere; comfortable volume of background music (mixed styles).

Food is served all sessions and quite an imaginative menu is offered, but not cheap. Outside seating is provided along the western aspect of the building, and this provided a pleasant view of the bright sunset on view at the time of my visit.

Staff seemed friendly; did not get a lot of time to speak to them as I had company and we were on a crawl. Will be returning for their festival running from 13/8/09 - 17/8/09. Thirty ales will be served through the period of this festival. A good venue.

13 Aug 2009 22:26

The Heartland Brewery (Empire State Building), Manhattan

Very shrewd move to place a brewpub right next to the Empire State building! This bar conforms to the format of the other 3 or 4 Heartland brewpubs in NYC. Spacious with the option of bar or table service.

The full range of Hertland beers available; and a six-beer taster board is offered for $16 - on my visit yesterday I was given eight beers. A comprehensive food menu is offered and service appeared quick (I had dined elsewhere on an American scale so didn't sample food on this visit).

By far the most impressive beers on yesterday were Indiana Pale Ale, hoppy and aggressively bitter; and Farmer Jon's Oatmeal Stout with bitter roast malt and delicate chocolate notes along with grassy hop aromas.

To anyone visiting the Empire State Building - Do NOT miss this pub!

24 Jul 2009 16:10

Mugs Ale House, Brooklyn

Paid timely visit on two days ago, making this the first place to sup American beer on US soil. The wait was worth it!

The impressive beer line-up remains, with most priced at $6. I enjoyed Sly Fox Williamette Pale Ale, Chelsea Hop Angel, Henry Hudson's IPA, Ithica Smoked Porter and of course the exquisite and long awaited Smuttynose IPA.

I also enjoyed a plate of homecooked pasta that was so flavoursome and fresh that I was almost tempted to lick the plate clean!

Visitors to Mugs will notice a few cosmetic changes have been made to the pub's exterior. Wooden fascia signage has been added and a covered entrance doorway has also been installed. Inside, I noted the loss of the jukebox, now replaced by recorded music - actually very good choices from a bartender's iPod - and the display of beer clip badges and coasters over the entrances to the WCs has also been removed. These are, however, cosmetic changes that have not harmed the establishment to any extent whatsoever.

I received warm welcome from all staff members, particularly the dining waitress (believe her name's Jessica) and the friendly blond-haired guy behind the bar whose name I fail to recollect. I liked his style of amicable conversation at the bar along with his recognition of the need to be firm where necessary!

All in all, I continue to recommend Mugs to anyone visiting NY; it is absolutely worth the subway journey into Brooklyn (Bedford Ave) to visit and beer lovers will not be disappointed in any way!

24 Jul 2009 15:37

De Twee Zwaantjes, Amsterdam

Visited on 21/03/2009.

Dutch version of a karaoke night in full swing. Very enjoyable with a mix of Dutch and English songs streamed from a Dutch version of iTunes, with all age groups joining in the singing. The landlady was very friendly with me, and it nice just to sit at the bar, sip an Amstel and enjoy the music.

If you do not like Karaoke or are in the mood for something else don't go; if you want a bit of lighthearted music and fancy joining in songs you know then a visit is recommended.

To beer enthusiasts, this is not a "scoopers" venue, there are one or two Dutch/Belgian beers only.

23 Jun 2009 18:54

Shoulder of Mutton, Wendover

Return visit on 17/6/09 at the start of a crawl in Wendover. Pub unchanged in terms of atmosphere, decor, etc, but did notice a few changes. Beer range less adventurous than last year, ended up settling for Greene King IPA. Food value (especially starters) down on last year. Hoping to enjoy the mushroom starter mentioned in my review of 26/06/08, mushroom dish offered for 5 comprised two mushroom caps an inch and a half in diameter. To be fair, the main course (sea bass with vegetables and potatoes) was reasonable in size for its price. Staff were still quite friendly.

6/10

20 Jun 2009 16:04

The Red Lion Hotel, Wendover

Paid a visit with a fellow drinker on Wednesday, 17th June 2009. This was our first visit since the refurbishment and we found the pub to be fairly relaxed, still comfortable but with a younger clientele. More modern style inside but structurally unchanged, retaining features like the fireplace at the front, etc. Session from 2045-2115, part of a crawl.

Pint of Brakspear bitter fine but not special, 4 or 5 other beers available on handpump. Staff friendly and relaxed, and food looked good on people's plates.

Generally a pleasant place to drink, eat and converse, but the beer range is fairly ordinary.

20 Jun 2009 15:54

The Bree Louise, Euston

Visited last night for the first time since the pub reopened.

Spacious freehouse close to Euston rail station. Since reopening the Bree Louise now boasts no fewer than sixteen real ales (maximum - comprising five handpulls and eleven stillages). In addition four draught lagers are available. Real ciders (around 5) served from boxes on the bar. All real ales are priced 3.00, but a 50p reduction is available to UK CAMRA members who must present their card at all times.

Food served 1200-2100 daily. Pies are a speciality, try the beef and ale or the chicken and mushoom. Prices are very reasonable for the portion size. There is one tv set in the pub which was off during my session last night, and background music was completely unobtrusive, allowing hearty conversations to flourish.

Landlord and landlady (Craig & Karen) afford a warm welcome to all. Children and dogs welcome. A superb pub for the ale enthusiast, recommended.

10 Jun 2009 22:52

The White Horse, Hedgerley

A complete gem.

I paid my maiden call at this hostelry on 30th May, having cycled from Gerrards Cross station. What immediately impressed me was the near-heroe's welcome I received from locals drinking outside, as I locked my cycle and took a look around the outdoor drinking area.

A proper, no-nonsense PUB. No tv, fruit machines or jukebox. Pure conversation rules the roost here, and I ended up in conversation with several regular visitors to the WH, who were friendly, chilled and relaxed.

From a constantly changing range of eight beers (some on gravity) I enjoyed four including one from Rebellion, another from Wensleydale (formerly Lidstones) and one from Penpont in Cornwall.

Festivals are held, usually around the late May bank holiday weekend (and at other times - check with pub) and beer turnover is reported at well over one hundred nine-gallon casks in the course of such events.

This pub must be visited, and it is one of those rare occasions where I will unreservedly award the full 10/10.

One of the best pubs in the UK.

2 Jun 2009 19:16

The Royal Oak Hotel, Leominster

Reopened, part-refurbished and under new management when I visited in April 2009 for a social gathering in Leominster.

The bar now serves at least two real ales at all times, and food is seved in fair-sized portions. It attracts a mix of local and tourist clientele.

Check with the hotel direct for accommodation rates etc, and also note that a convention room is available for hire. Car parking facilities are offered via the entrance on Etnam Street.

In regard to accommodation quality, some rooms are in need of redecoration, but deal prices offered by the Royal Oak reflect this.

2 Jun 2009 17:45

The Basketmakers Arms, Brighton

On Saturday 23rd I paid my first visit since Fullers took control of this pub.

Apart from beer range this pub was exactly how I left it over 5 years ago. Every little matchbox, tin can and cigarette card remains intact and in place, and I was served a superb pint of Elgoods "Cambridge" (3.8%) by a friendly guy behind the bar. As it was decent weather outside the pub people weren't just stepping out for a smoke, most of them had pints [of ale] in hand and were engaged in conversation. At this stage of my crawl I was on my own but was soon in conversation with fellow drinkers at the bar.

A really excellent pub.

29 May 2009 00:21

Half and Half, Croydon

Great session last night with two friends. The Hophead was exquisite - on best form I've had it for some time, and the staff are very friendly and relaxed. I found the music to be at a comfortable level, although a group of drinkers sitting close to us were very loud in their conversation.

Very interesting bar snacks continue to be served, as they had been in the days of the Beer Circus.

On a Friday night beware the pub can get a little congested especially in the long narrow area adjacent to the bar, but do not be deterred, this is a great pub.

23 May 2009 13:03

The Ivory Club, North Finchley

******** CLOSED *******

22 May 2009 00:04

The Oakdale Arms, Harringay

This review follows a visit to the Oakdale Arms last night (20th) and reflects my personal experiences in the pub on this session.

Arrived 2100, most patrons were assembled round the bar. I was quickly introduced to the pub's latest acquisitions, namely a pair of lizards in a delightfully colourful tank, and an aquarium.

The music from the jukebox, referred to in commentaries below, was actually very quiet last night affording a relaxed atmosphere in the pub. It was generally a "fun" night with jokes exchanged across the bar, and my friend with mild learning difficulties was treated with kindness and respect by all.

Visitors to the Oakdale should note that snacks such as crisps, nuts etc are unavailable until further notice but you are allowed to fetch your own in.

Usual Milton range plus one guest ale, "Summer Virgin", 4.5% which was absolute nectar.

21 May 2009 09:58

The Pineapple, Kentish Town

Enjoyed a pint of Tewdric's on Friday 8th May along with delectable two-course Thai evening meal. I sat in the conservatory (image 5) which was spacious and still warm from the unbroken sunshine of the day.

The beer range has definitely become more adventurous since I last had a drink here and the pub was trading briskly. Definitely up for more visits in the future.

17 May 2009 02:01

The Duke of St Albans, Dartmouth Park

A continental restaurant has opened up on the site. As such, it is open only to diners.

17 May 2009 01:50

The Cross Keys, St Albans

Great Canadian ale on last night. Unintended final pub in a crawl with a friend last night, following on from a disappointment earlier. Closing time routine, which can make or break a visit to this (or any) pub was not pleasant, being hurried out by security guards is not the way I like to finish a session. The carpet on the landing by the gents' toilets was covered in shards of broken glass. No attempt had been made to clear this for some time as pieces had clearly been trodden on an broken up smaller.

While we did not let these things spoil our crawl, they could well ruin other people's so it is only fair to warn others.

Wetherspoons may have a corporate identity when it comes to pubs, many being described as "all the same" etc, however there is a broad spectrum of quality (in terms of service, atmosphere etc) and while pubs like the Drum in Leyton are at the top end, sadly the Cross Keys lies at the opposite end leaving much room for improvement.

16 May 2009 19:38

The Mermaid, St Albans

Visited for the second time in four weeks, at the beginning of a crawl with a friend on his birthday. Convivial atmosphere, pleasant lighting and decor.

Cheery locals - the table next to us were very humorous and the session began with a good laugh. We only stopped for one pint, Moorhouse's Black Cat mild was just perfect, on very good form indeed.

The festival last month was great too, everything good about the LRL has transferred in, and the range of beers, festival or no festival, is a reason to make this a #1 pub in St Albans.

Great stuff

16 May 2009 19:24

The Farmers Boy, St Albans

Disappointed on this occasion.

After having visited in April and enjoying a good pint, my friend and I made this the penultimate venue of our crawl last night. Clipper IPA, normally highly quaffable, refreshing and hoppy was cloudy and disappointingly lacking in flavour this time. All credit to staff who offered us an immediate replacement. Being loyal to the brew we tried the Farmers Joy. The flavour was different and it felt difficult to drink.

Really, sincerely hope this is just an aberraition and next time we'll get our Clipper and Joy back the way we have become accustomed. Otherwise still a very good pub (atmosphere, etc fine).

16 May 2009 19:18

The White Lion, St Albans

Timely visit paid last night during a crawl. Unchanged since last time I popped in, my friend and I were treated to a warm welcome, and an exquisite pint of Harviestoun "Bitter and Twisted" that was on the best form I can remember. Other beers available were mainly from regional breweries, but most people were observed drinking ale which is definitely an encouraging sign.

I am not sure of the dining hours but the food menu reads very well indeed and prices are reasonable given the dishes mentioned. I would definitely return for a meal one day.

Had we not been on a crawl this would definitely be a pub to settle into for the night!

Retains the 9/10 I awarded last time.

16 May 2009 19:11

The Goat, St Albans

What a discovery!

Came in for a pint last night during a crawl with a local friend and fellow ale enthusiast. Staff were very jovial, and one of them had obviously cracked a hilarious joke as we stepped in.

The low-ceilinged, beam-festooned pub offers several discreet, comfy drinking areas and is of great merit internally. A garden and outside smoking area are also provided.

Of the 5 or so ales on last night the one to go for was Crouch Vale Amarillo. This fruity, hoppy and full-flavoured nectar was on its best form and the most delicious beer on our crawl.

The food menu read reasonably well but arriving at 10pm and having eaten earlier meant no food was tasted on this visit.

The games room provides a proper bar billiard table alongside a range of board games, and on the book shelves in the upper level bar look out for a complete Encyclopaedia Britannica!

The Goat is certainly worthy of more visits and I can see many more being made in the future.

Good; 8/10

16 May 2009 19:05

The Dove, Bethnal Green

A friend and I paid our maiden visit to this gem yesterday. What a pleasant surprise and discovery!

Visitors to the Dove will find a very pleasant, split-level, mainly wood panelled pub with the lower level dedicated to diners and the remainder of the pub open to non-diners. Pleasant, warm lighting afforded by tungsten, and no background music, but a live bass/piano jazz duo struck up some melodic numbers during our stay. The unisex toilets in the Dove are pleasantly furnished and illuminated by led and halogen.

Attracts a mixed clientele spanning all age groups, socioeconomic classes and nationalities. Popular amongst local students, and others with an adventurous approach to drinking and dining.

On the beer front there are six handpumps of which 5 were in use last night. The best real ales on by far were both Crouch Vale:

Golden Duck (3.8%) very refreshing session ale, light hoppy and moreish

Brewers Gold (4.0%) Crouch Vales flagship ale good, but enjoyed Golden Duck more.

Vast selection of Belgian bottle and draught beers, of which my friend and I adjoyurned to Brugse Zot bringing a spicy and fruity cadence to our session.

A comprehensive and exciting food menu is offered, with regular specials, some imaginative starters (the crab and prawn tart was delicious) and some traditional Belgian specialities (fish waterzooi, for example). The posh fish and chips went down a treat.

Prices for the food given its quality are not excessive, the most expensive mains being around 12-13; beer, including real ales, is on the pricy side with the Crouch Vale beers being 3.20/pint.

We thoroughly enjoyed our visit to the Dove, and will return very soon. Meanwhile, I recommend it 100%.

7 May 2009 10:34

The Hand In Hand, Brighton

Paid a timely call at this hostelry yesterday. Decor unchanged since last time but subtle adjustments to the lighting now afford a warm and intimate atmosphere.

I had just the one pint on this visit. Kemptown "Kemp Town", 4.0% full of flavour. Not as extreme as on previous sessions, and more "rounded" with nuttiness in a finish that shortens with time. Kemptown "Old Trout" was also available alongside "Welton's Red Cross" and Dark Star "Hophead"

I hope the lovely lady behind the bar didn't get too frustrated with the spaced-out chap who took forever and a day to pay for his round!

Still a wonderful pub.

5 May 2009 17:52

The Swan, Little Totham

This gem has won awards that speak for themselves. My recollection of my last visit was of utter enjoyment, and I am saddened at the tone and malicious content of some of the reviews left recently. Unfortunately I do not live anywhere near close enough to make regular visits but those made by friends who have all tell the same story - top scoring in all departments - fantastically kept gravity ales, wonderful interior, friendly staff and excellent food. Don't be put off by what you have read - go and see for yourself.

3 May 2009 14:56

The Lamb and Flag, Oxford

Just wonderful!

I finished a crawl here last night, making sure to leave time to relax over three well-chosen pints.

Vale "Hadda's Spring Gold" 4.6%.
Hoppy and packed with flavour, lingering fruit and hop notes intertwining in a deliciously spectral chord of flavour. Worth pausing between sips to experience the long and satisfying finish.

Skinners "Betty Stogs Bitter" 4.0%
Classic, rounded yet full-flavoured Cornish ale, on its best form with a creaminess of flavour mildly salient over a delicate balance of malt and hop. There were notes of clotted cream in the finish, over which I was waxing lyrical last night.

Vale "VPA" 4.2%
Excellent, refreshing ale, a little above session strength but highly quaffable nevertheless. Hoppy, bitter and flavoursome in many other subtle directions, with fruity notes in the finish.

Sitting at the bar made it very easy to start a conversation and I enjoyed the company of a local drinker named Mike who had a great depth of knowledge and experience to share in the field of beer and pubs.

I was really glad to have finished in the Lamb and Flag, and would also like to comment on the pleasantness of the staff (all of them) and how relaxed the pub was at closing time which for me is very important.

I could easily have revisted the pub tonight and done it all again. I cannot think why I only awarded this pub six points from a previous session. It is everything a pub should be, and worthy of a rare 10/10.

Excellent.

30 Apr 2009 22:38

The Turf Tavern, Oxford

Oops!

Should read:
"An education in intoxication" reads a banner in one bar of this sprawling "village" of a pub.

30 Apr 2009 22:19

The Turf Tavern, Oxford

"An education in intoxication" reads a banner in one of this sprawling "village" of a pub.

I paid my first visit in over five years to this fascinating hostelry last night (29th April). As it was a relatively warm night for the time of year the outside drinking areas were in almost as much demand as the interior. Tall punters beware this pub was built several centuries ago at a time when people must have averaged less than five feet in height!

The Turf Tavern has undergone a sympathetic refurbishment around four years ago but remains perfectly intact.

Visitors to the Turf should note that waiting times at the bar for service may be as much as 10-15 minutes on account of understaffing. I was pleased to see that staff (whom I found quite friendly) were making every effort to serve us as quickly as possible but queues at all bars were noticeable at 9.45pm.

I enjoyed a pint of Hopback Crop Circle which was on good form, and there was a lively atmosphere throughout the pub.

Definitely worth more frequent visits.

30 Apr 2009 22:17

William Morris, Cowley

Spent a Camra voucher here last night at the beginning of an Oxford crawl. Continues to be a good pub for beer range (notwithstanding the current World Festival) and speed and efficiency of service. Marston's Single Malt Ale (4.2%) was a refreshing first pint and my linguine with meatballs arrived within five minutes of my sitting down.

Nothing could spoil this visit (except the Arsenal result).

30 Apr 2009 22:03

The Priory Arms, Stockwell

Yesterday, I refreshed my acquaintance with the pleasure of a meal and a couple of pints here after a glorious afternoon's cycling in south London. I am pleased to report on an excellent food and beer experience:

Northumberland "Fuggles Gold", 4% was highly drinkable, and I had two pints over the length of last night's Liverpool-Arsenal 4-4 thriller. During the game I munched through a delicious portion of fresh whitebait, and followed this starter with an excellent Thai green chicken curry that was very well presented and perfectly balanced in flavour and proportion. I joined a group of friendly regulars for the duration of the football, and noticed some of them ordered mixed Pad-Thai and mixed curries with prawn and chicken working particularly well together. I shal do this next time!

The current management have kept the pub pretty well as it was since I last visited and the atmosphere was lively but not overwhelmingly so. Very friendly, smiling staff - especially the young lady who took my food order.

I was very pleased with all aspects of last night's session, and will now strive to visit more frequently again!

22 Apr 2009 18:40

The Assembly House, Kentish Town

Visited again this afternoon. Menu same as before, and there are still daily pasta specials. Still has friendly staff, but pub was rather empty today. Everything seemed ok until I paid a visit to the gents. The cubicle is covered in gratuitously racist and offensive graffiti, which appears to have either gone unnoticed or otherwise been allowed to continue. A strong, and obvious theme is evident, and gives the impression that the Assembly House is a type of pub that we all know it isn't.

PLEA TO MANAGEMENT: please inspect these cubicles and give them a lick of paint!

22 Apr 2009 17:49

The Gunmakers, Clerkenwell

Paid my maiden visit to this hostelry this evening and was very pleased with what I found here.

Smart black and gold signage greets you at the front, leading you into a modern yet intimate pub divided into numerous drinking areas. Walls painted a pleasant shade of red, much woodwork visible and pleasant tungsten lighting. Pleasant recorded music at a reasonable volume for the level of trade this evening, creating an atmosphere which I found very comfortable. A spacious rear conservatory with flat glass roof provides plenty of table-and-chair accommodation. In the evening twilight this was a delightful place to sit.

Four ales were available and my friends and I sampled two, namely Meantime LONDON PALE ALE, 3.9% (nutty, pungent, fruity and with some interesting similarities in taste to very well-kept Fullers' London Pride) and a Cornish ale from Skinners, of similar strength that was a refreshing, quaffable session ale.

The food menu reads excellently. We did not eat but I was certainly struck by quality and quantity on the plates of those dining around us; some very tantalising aromas wafted periodically out of the kitchen.

And last but by no means least it was a great pleasure to meet Jeff once again - and indeed all the staff here were professional, polite and efficient without the need for policy extremes, thus affording a very "human" face of pub management - Jeff I think you've got it just right there.

In summary I had a pleasant surprise, and have gained a new addition to my portfolio of favourite London Pubs. Fully deserving of a high mark.

20 Apr 2009 23:40

The Oakdale Arms, Harringay

Visited last night to meet friends after the quiz was over. Pub was buzzing. Good quality guest beer, Highgate "Englands Glory" complemented the four or five Miltons, and of those, Nero and Dionysus were back on their great form.

The volume of the music was comfortable enough for me last night given that on previous visits here it had at times been a little loud for my personal taste. Last night I can vouch that comfortable conversation was possible throughout our stay.

Cyclists remain welcome in the Oakdale. Indeed for the first time this year I cycled here and back, making use of cycle space provided in the garden which now offers sheltered smoking accommodation.

The pub continues to provide WII games for everyone to enjoy, along with [real] pool and darts.

AND DON'T FORGET NEXT WEEK'S BEER FESTIVAL!

10 Apr 2009 21:29

The Black Swan Hotel, Leominster

Worth a visit for a drink, but there have been a few problems a year or two ago in relation to accommodation. No curfew is advertised but incidents of lockings-out led to a member of a group with whom I visited Leominster having to seek accommodation elsewhere as there was no means of entering the premises or communicating with staff. The situation was not resolved satisfactorily.

7 Apr 2009 09:24

Queens Arms, Birmingham

Local pub in an industrial area of the city. Music staged (check with pub for details). Food served (not tried). A bit rough and ready as seen from the outside, rather quiet when I stopped by, a few days after Christmas.

6 Apr 2009 10:35

Chequers, Leominster

Second pub in our group's crawl last night. Excellent Wye Valley Butty Bach alongside two or three other real ales. Lively 1970s/80s music on the jukebox, and a friendly convivial atmosphere afforded by staff and locals alike, all of whom were very friendly.

Superb pub, recommend you visit at least once during your stay in Leominster.

5 Apr 2009 11:51

The Grape Vaults, Leominster

Visited during an annual gathering at Leominster, in a group of five. Very sweet of the staff to recognise us instantly. Everyone on good form and it was noted that the Banks's ales have gone to make room for local beers.

Pub a little more spacious and uncluttered, and filled with the warmth of a roaring open fire.

Continues to earn my recommendation.

5 Apr 2009 11:43

In de Wildeman, Amsterdam

Paid a timely visit last thing on Friday 20th March at the end of a splendid Amsterdam crawl. Pub, beer range and quality of service unchanged since a year or so ago, and there was a lively mixed clientele of regulars and discerning tourist drinkers myself included who were there for its renowned reliability.

I totally agree with the last reviewer - staff very friendly and helpful to everyone, and if you ask for a specific taste you fancy, you will be sure to get a beer to your liking. When asking "welke bier heeft de meeste hops alstublieft?" I was rewarded with Flying Dog, Doggy Style which certainly gives Hophead a good run for its money! Of course the staff are well versed in English as well.

I continue to highly recommend this venue.

28 Mar 2009 00:05

De Zotte, Amsterdam

They must be doing something right here. Pub was absolutely heaving when I popped in at 2230 on 21/02/09 for a couple of beers and a cheese platter. I eventually got a seat but it was a tight squeeze. Note the smaller quantity of cheese, but also the lower price of 5 euros (was seven in 2003).

Staff remain friendly and the pub continues to attract a youngish lively clientele, cheered on by mixed music at a pleasant volume.

A few changes to note on my recent call:

Beer:
A completely Belgian range is offered, little if any Dutch local beer available. Not a criticism, merely an observation, if you are looking specifically for Netherlands brews there are other pubs nearby. That said if you fancy a pure Belgian session you will not be disappointed in any way.

Lighting:
Pub appeared to be much darker than two years ago; there appeared to be fewer lights on the ceiling.

Smoking: Entire pub non-smoking, you will need to go outside to smoke.

All in all a very enjoyable session here again, and most of the pub itself is unchanged.

23 Mar 2009 21:58

Caf 'T Papeneiland, Amsterdam

Traditional Dutch brown cafe on two floors. As you enter, you are greeted by a warmly lit bar partially contained beneath the staircase to the upper floor. The spacious upper floor helps create a snug beneath it with a horseshoe of continuous benchs seating around a single large table. Wood panelling throghout; walls filled with drawings of Amsterdam Old Town and old photographs. Pleasant, subdued lighting afforded by tungsten rose-tinted candle-bulbs.

Outside seating provided.

No music or fruit machines to intrude; solid conversation buzzes around the pub - mainly in Dutch as it is not on the main tourist list or stomping-ground.

Unfortunately, no IJ beers on when I visited on 21st March, but Palm, Amstel and one or two well-known Belgian beers were available.

I was soon in conversation with a group of friendly locals from Denmark and the Netherlands, one of whom was kind enough to buy me a beer!

A very pleasant place to visit, if you are walking past, step in and have an Amstel.

23 Mar 2009 13:16

The Fox and Hounds, Belgravia

Complete surprise to see Deuchars IPA available last night - and well kept, too. Was told that a guest beer will now be available at all times, subject to change on a monthly or seasonal basis.

Otherwise no other changes to report, pleasant albeit brief call at the F&H.

12 Mar 2009 14:22

The Cambridge Blue, Cambridge

Paid a pilgrimage to the Cambridge Blue last night at the end of a long-overdue crawl in the town. Noticed the snug has been knocked out leaving the pub feeling a little more spacious but at a cost - snug was a redeeming feature. Plenty of excellent beer to choose from once again, and Woodforde's Wherry and Newby Wyke "England Expects" were wonderful.

Terrible shame the last train was only at 2306, could have stayed an extra hour there!

1 Mar 2009 16:11

The Kingston Arms, Cambridge

Readers should read "JB" as "JHB" on my last review.

28 Feb 2009 21:44

The Kingston Arms, Cambridge

Ever reliable gem.

I am here now, making full use of one of the two free terminals to record this review. I arrived at 2040 to find pub full, namely no table seats available. I perched up at the bar to enjoy the food stop of my Cambridge 2009 crawl.

No music, just hearty conversation rules the roost here, and groups of all sizes seem comfortably accommodated. Food continues to be excellent. I chose a "fish special" this evening, namely pan-fried plaice, chips and dressed salad. The meal was perfect with the fish lifting effortlessly off the bone alongside crisp and fresh chips and a salad made all the juicier by tomatoes and a vinaigrette dressing.

I am enjoying a pint of Salamander "Mudpuppy", 4.2% which is a deliciously flowery fruity ale.

Other beers on at the moment are:

*Hopback Summer Lightning
*Hopback Entire Stout
*Oakham HB
*Cottage SDA (Somerset & Dorset Ale)
*Castle Rock Old Trent
*Milton Dionysus.

Cassels Cider also available via handpump.

I'm not sure if the blue LEDs on the bar are a relic of Christmas or a permanent feature, but the beer garden is festooned with these diodes, some of which are twinkling like the clappers.

Terrific pub, simply HAS to be visited, and fully worthy of the 10/10 which still stands.

28 Feb 2009 21:43

The Champion of the Thames, Cambridge

Superb atmosphere following on from the St Radegund. A lively sing-song was in full swing on my arrival and the GKIPA was as good as it ever tastes. The same friendly landlord still runs this hostelry and indeed was participating in tonight's musical entertainment! The Champion remains unchanged in any way since last time I was here (a year or so back) and although Gkipa is not my favourite ale this is one of my first-visited and favourite Cambridge pubs.

Thanks for the Spanish Liqueur which I enjoyed as well as the beer. And, in the landlord's own words, Luther has left the building!

28 Feb 2009 21:30

The St Radegund, Cambridge

Pleasant start to my first Cambridge crawl of two thousand and nine here.

Milton "Sackcloth", 4.3%, tastewise halfway between Pegasus and Sparta. No bowls of nuts here tonight (out of stock) but otherwise pub unchanged since last visit.

Drinkers should note that the No mobile phone policy includes silent use of a phone (on silent mode) to send or respond to a silently received text message. I got caught out while advertising the pub to a friend in London!

Remains a hostelry to include in any Cambridge crawl.

28 Feb 2009 21:23

Annies Bar, Kentish Town

Exquisite beef stroganoff - 5.95 very enjoyable at lunchtime today! Worth taking a look at the "A" board outside for lunchtime specials.

26 Feb 2009 13:43

The Crown and Sceptre, Kensington

Wonderful pub.

Visited for the first time on 25th Feb. Very friendly and helpful bar staff. A pleasant and agreeable colour scheme with walls and ceilings in peach and terracotta. Quarry tiles and bare floorboards greet you underfoot, and there is a mezzanine. Toned-down tungsten lighting, two tv screens at low volume showing sport, and one gaming machine. Most tables seat up to four drinkers.

In terms of beer, three changing real ales available; tonight these were:

Westgate Gold 4.2%

Hogs Back Winter Ale 4.6%

and Springhead Sweet Lips, 4.9%

The Westgate was excellent, full glavoured and quecnhing.

Food menu was superb, with a Mexican theme and catering for all tastes. The generously-portioned chilli was great value for money at 7, as well as being richly beefy and searing hot!

All in all a very relaxed charming pub that is worth a journey to find. Will certainly return!

26 Feb 2009 02:22

Falstaff, Brussels

To appreciate Falstaff, you need to visit off-peak and marvel at the ornateness of its interior which dates back to the turn of the century. The building boasts many stained-glass windows along with other ornate intricacies.

Although listed in Camra's Belgium & Holland Good Beer Guide 1998, this is a grand restaurant rather than a pub. I enjoyed a delicious lunch of "moules-frites" on Friday 13 Feb, washed down with a full-flavoured glass of Leffe Blond.

One thing I did not like about the venue was that you had to pay to use the toilet. Although commonplace with public conveniences abroad, restaurants and pubs that take your money are not public conveniences therefore I did not find this stance acceptable.

Good for a "food stop" in an early start to a Brussels crawl - the service was reasonably prompt - but yes, in agreement with previous reviewers Falstaff is a restaurant (albeit of gastronomic and architectural merit) and not a pub.

22 Feb 2009 21:33

Le Bier Circus, Brussels

Paid pilgrimage to this establishment on 13 Feb. Following on from my excellent introduction to the pub in 2006, I was not let down in any way.

In the background there was a good mix of 1960s to 1980s music, and this time I sat in the more spacious dining area.

Being on a crawl, I just had two beers here, namely BINK still the same as three years back; and Brouwerij den Hopperd KAMELEON GINSENG, 6%. Tastewise there were delicate ginseng, licquorice and cinnamon notes in equal measure competing for tongue space. Would make a good dessert beer, but the sweetness was not overwhelming giving it broader appeal.

Delicious food again. It was difficult to resist their house pasta, but sheer portion size ruled out two courses!

For Valentine's they had a fir tree normally used in December decorated with lights and red hearts, and one or two couples were indeed having a Valentine's meal here.

Note the window displays featuring Tintin amongst others, and a pillar decorated entirely with beer bottle lids.

A "must".

22 Feb 2009 21:21

The Claret Free House, Addiscombe

Superb session here last night. Met up with five others and had splendid time, made all the better when two extra Dark Star ales came on to replace a couple of empty casks. Palmers was its reliable self, Dark Star Hophead and Sussex Stout were exquisite.

My journey to the pub involved a bus, two tube lines, one national rail line and a tram - but was 100% worth it! Only wish it was my local!

22 Feb 2009 13:14

Delirium Cafe, Brussels

A little overcrowded on Friday 13/2/09 but after a beer or two you soon become accustomed. No change to the level of variety since my 2007 visit, and the pub continues to be thronged by an international cosmopolitan crowd. Most people were in there 20s to 40s, and lively music was just at the right level for the number of punters - loud but not uncomfortably so!

Visitors will note that the clips have been removed from the taps, but beer menus are available - you will need to be prepared to share, and some are torn into three which either adds to the fun or quite simply doesn't!

With no Eurostar to catch until the following day, I also took the opportunity to explore the upper floor of the pub in detail; there are several drinking areas and another bar on the top floor with all the draught beers available. Slightly less heaving than the basement, nevertheless still boisterous. These guys seem to know how to "party" on a Friday night!

No disrespect to the two previous reviewers, I found the staff coping their best with being rushed off their feet, and certainly did not experience any objectionable rudeness on their part, but I probably didn't go looking for it in the first place - but who knows, six months on staff could have changed.

Didn't mention the decor on my last review; check out the HUNDREDS of vintage illuminated beer signs (some neon, others internally lit by fluorescent tubes) and the countless beer trays on the walls and ceilings of all areas of the Delirium.

In conclusion this is a beer mecca, however you will need the strength to cope with heavy crowding, and the patience for a long wait for service, to enjoy this venue.

16 Feb 2009 22:45

The Evening Star, Brighton

Thanks for a superb festival.

Some fascinating new brews I hadn't tried worked well alongside trusted favourites. "Darkness" and "Nightmare" illustrative of a strong presence of stout and porter at this session. Lively atmosphere (as always) and standing room only until 2230. Here's to many more, and next time I hope to spend a night in Brighton in order to avoid that final rushed pint and dash for Platform 5.

In the Evening Star, a valid point was proved last night, namely a festival does not need to be the size of GBBF to be enjoyable; so long as a discerning landlord opts for quality beers and doesn't stray from this path, you have a successful event.

8 Feb 2009 12:59

The Kelham Island Tavern, Sheffield

Pure gold.

Superb visit on 23/01/09, enjoying Pictish Atlas, 4% which was wholly exquisite. One of the best beers I have drunk so far in 2009, and in one of the UK's best pubs which fully commands its nomination for Camra National POTY!

1 Feb 2009 16:00

The Fat Cat, Sheffield

Another splendid pint here on 23rd January. Enjoyed locally-brewed Kelham Island Best amongst others, whilst a delicious plate of paprika chicken, rice and salad was consumed. No distracting music or tv on during my session. Continuing to be an excellent pub.

1 Feb 2009 15:58

The Wellington, Sheffield

Called twice at this gem during 23rd and 24th January. Both visits predictably enjoyable, with two superb beers brewed by by the Little Ale Cart brewery behind the pub:

Dominie Sampson, 4.0%, Aggressively hoppy ale just a couple of notches above session strength. Viciously hoppy and dry, very refreshing and quaffable;

Saint Johnstoun, 4.6%, Delicious premium ale that does not pull its punches. Pale in colour and packed with flavour, a beer to be supped and savoured yet clean and easy to drink.

Just a superb pub which makes no pretence of being anything it isn't, an attribute which indeed applies to many pubs in Sheffield. Fully earning its 10/10 marking yet again, and no, readers, I am not, and never have been, an employee of the Wellington!

1 Feb 2009 15:37

The Wenlock Arms, Hoxton

Wonderful performance by the Frog Island Jazz Band! And beer quality was very good following a recent, brief lull. Dark Star Hophead was great and so was Crouch Vale Amarillo. Pub absolutely heaving on arrival at 2145, only thinning out very slowly through the remainder of the evening.

1 Feb 2009 15:27

The Cricketers, Croydon

I visited the Cricketers with three friends on Friday 30th January, and thoroughly enjoyed the session.

A fairly lively crowd of friendly locals greeted me on entry, and, it was virtually a matter of seconds before I was in conversation with landlord "Ray". He took the time to show me round the pub and familiarise me with all the facilities before my friends arrived, and was very apologetic that the Dark Star Hophead was off.

Out of 4 ales on, our group enjoyed the following:

Harvey's Best, 4%, which I noted as being on absolute 10/10 form, the best I had tasted it ANYWHERE for well over a year;

Westerham British Bulldog, 4.5%; pleasant, rounded taste, sweetness and citric notes balancing each other;

Twickenham Winter Cheer, 4.8%. Good strong "finishing pint" darkish with some malty notes generally very "clean" and drinkable.

It was a very relaxing and enjoyable evening, and made all the more so by the hospitality of the landlord. The pub fully deserves the high marks afforded by previous reviewers, and gets another from me!

1 Feb 2009 15:22

Annies Bar, Kentish Town

Visited again a couple of times last month, pasta good value for money, fairly imaginative food menu on at lunchtimes, but a dearer evening one. Liked how fish and chips were presented on a neighbouring table, the fish being served on a terracotta rectangular dish whilst chips arrived in a conical paper container held in a cup-holder rather like those seen on high-street coffee shops. Chef appears to have an enthusiasm for salt. A good wine list is available at all times, but sadly the failure to introduce real ale on the pub's refurbishment was a missed opportunity.

Soft background music (mainly pop) plays during daytime hours whilst live piano-based music staged on some evenings - check the website or call the pub directly for further information.

Current offers for an evening out include a Valentine's Day package for 50 per couple including a glass of champagne and a 3-course meal.

1 Feb 2009 15:06

The Sultan, South Wimbledon

I an not sure the Sultan has ever stocked Sam Smiths' beers. I will be visiting the pub this evening and will find out more.

16 Jan 2009 18:39

The Old Fountain, Old Street

Paid first visit here on 07/01/09 following recommendation from a friend.

A traditional, hearty backstreet boozer is what greets the visitor. I received a warm welcome from Paul at the bar and soon got the lowdown on what I'd been missing since the pub opened. Having just reopened after Christmas, the ale range was limited but quality was absolutely first class. Brains "Bitter", 3.7% was on top form and highly quaffable, and Titanic Full Steam Ahead was superb.

The pub is divided into three distinct drinking areas and opposite the central bar sits a goldfish tank. I noted a tv set which was off for the duration of may stay, whilst the music was quiet enough for relaxed conversation throughout,

On top of the ales, bottled Leffe beers are available whilst Paulaner and Bitburger are in draught. A failrly comprehensive wine list is offered.

Visitors seeking food will need to check with the pub for details. I certainly recommend this hostelry for a quality pint in genuinely traditional surroundings and a friendly atmosphere afforded by the staff. Do go, you will not be disappointed!

8 Jan 2009 03:30

The Wheatsheaf, Borough

I had a wonderful evening here last night with friends. In fact, a cracking session. Enjoyed perfectly quaffable pints of St Austell Tribute, Young's Ordinary and Courage Best, the lattermost of these three was not quite so good as the 1st two but who's complaining. A buzzing atmosphere abounded here, you'd have no idea the pub was about to close in 48 hours time.

Since the early 1990s I have visited this pub at least once every 18 months or so and enjoyed it every time. Was very glad to have caught the pub before closure. If the previous reviewer's words are correct, there is hope in 2013!

6 Jan 2009 17:57

The Old White Lion, East Finchley

A more recent visit before Christmas was less fortunate on the ale front. I took one beer back straightaway, and in fairness it was replaced without quibble; however its replacement, a guest ale, was little if any improvement. I was unable to finish this pint, and left it at my table on departure. I really hope this was an aberration.

5 Jan 2009 03:32

The Pembury Tavern, Hackney

Thanks to all for a SUPERB NYE at the Pembury. The Guitar Heroes WII was a stroke of genius, and it was a lively, yet very relaxed party. Thanks Simon for the tasty sausage, and thanks Steve and the team for making it all happen. It was one of the most enjoyable NYEs I have attended since 2000!

2 Jan 2009 10:24

, Digbeth

Annual pilgrimage to the Anchor during a crawl last night. I was struck by the lack of clientele - it seemed much quieter than I had ever seen, and no one was playing pool. The time would be 2200-2230. Nevertheless the pub itself remains unchanged from a year ago, and it is, as the previous reviewer describes it, a proper pub.

From a wide, varied choice of seasonal, festive beers, I selected a half-pint of Buntingford SILENT NIGHT (4.1%)which turned out to be a highgly quaffable, bitter, amber ale.

Wishing the pub the very best and hoping that business picks up very soon. It is well worth going the extra mile to visit this pub.

30 Dec 2008 20:21

The Old Fox, Birmingham

Began my Birmingham crawl last night with a visit to this pub. Seemingly quite empty at 1945. Staff were friendly and humorous (the young barmaid was singing along to the jukebox with a good voice on her, and the guy who served me was quite jovial).

Nice half-pint of Wye Valley BUTTY BACH, 4.5% - very well kept indeed, all brewer-intended flavour and texture present.

30 Dec 2008 20:14

The Wellington, Birmingham

I thoroughly enjoyed my visit to the Wellington last night between 2030 and 2200. It seems to have improved since I first visited, and there was a buzzing atmosphere within. Although it was doing a fairly heavy trade I did not need to wait too long to find an available seat, at which in friendly company of fellow lone visitors I supped three very enjoyable half-pint glasses of the following:

Purity PURE GOLD (3.8%)
Absolutely delicious. Very dry and sharply bitter in taste, both attributes lingering throughout.

Boggart BLACK CHRISTMAS (3.9%)
By no means flavourless, but more of a mild than a porter, and my tastebuds were likely still jaded from the first beer. An enjoyable, quenching dark ale nevertheless.

Purity MAD GOOSE (4.2%)
Utterly exquisite. Hoppy and very bitter, yet maintaining a delicate roundedness to give a trifocal flavour experience. A good zingy mouthfeel too. But for the plan to visit other pubs in the area I would have stood myself another pint!

Visitors to the Wellington will need to acquaint themselves with the numbering system when ordering beers. In an innovative way, beers are listed by pump number (1-15) on large tv screens which also give an A-E grading on how light or dark respectively the beer is, alongside its price and strength. Thus you need only quote the pump number when ordering. As the beers often change (and the screens update accordingly) this system appeared to work well last night.

It would be a good pub to spend longer in next time. Worthy of an 8/10 rating based upon my experiences.

30 Dec 2008 20:10

The Lamp Tavern, Birmingham

Totally top class end to my Birmingham crawl last night! Eddy was on his best form and, I must say looking very well, too. Very friendly "Captain Pugwash" chap at the bar telling great jokes at 16 to the dozen and keeping the pub in fits of laughter. By complete chance, a Wenlock regular was in the pub as well, and great chatting with "Neill".

Church End "Gravediggers" and Stanway "Stanney" their usual good form, and "Monkey Business", not dark but pale, was exquisite.

Well done Eddie, keep it up! Well worthy of the top marks for simply being a superb "proper" pub.

30 Dec 2008 19:54

Golden Lion, Rochford

In simple English, a gem! I stopped by on GBG recommendation on my way back into London from Southend last night.

This is everything a PROPER pub should be, six ales on handpump (of which Oscar Wilde Mild and Crouch Vale Brewers' Gold were both exquisite). The landlord even took an interest in why I chose those two beers to which I replied they were the two best beers avaliable in my humble experience. Ceiling absolutely covered in beer clips from very interesting breweries

It was full of pre-Christmas buzz, and it makes such a difference to be in a pub full of genuinely cheerful people. The atmosphere is warm and inviting, and I was afforded a welcome seldom seen in London.

Shame I had to catch the last train back otherwise I would have stayed for more. It is worth spending a whole evening in this pub, and for me it was a great discovery!

Excellent, well-deserved 10/10.

24 Dec 2008 22:44

The Borough Hotel, Southend on Sea

Very friendly warm welcome afforded to me on 23rd December. The pub has undergone an extensive internal refurbishment since my last visit in the late 1990s. It is now much more spacious courtesy of reshaping the old horseshoe bar; the pub offers pool tables, dartboard and Sky sports on tv.

Of four ales available last night I tried Timothy Taylor's Landlord and Hop Back Summer Lightning, both on very good form indeed. This is clearly the work of an accomplished cellarman and general good husbandry. I am told many of the now-closed Cork and Cheese clientele frequent the pub for the ale alone, and this is keeping it in business. Others flock to the Borough for regular darts.

A delightful young barmaid with a good sense of humoru served me and I had the companionship of a cheeky, chirpy local at the bar for a fun, light hearted chat over the two half-pints I consumed.

From how the pub appeared in the late 1990s this is a wholesale improvement, and it is now, as mentioned by other reviewers recently, one of the best pubs in Southend. I will come again, keep it up!

24 Dec 2008 22:34

The Cornucopia, Southend on Sea

Wonderful atmosphere on the evening of 23/12/08. Lively banter amongst the locals, and a friendly chat afforded by some of them. Only time for one pint of Mighty Oak Mauldon Gold, but it was on its 10/10 form. Continues to be an excellent hostelry, well worth visiting.

24 Dec 2008 22:25

The Holly Bush, Hampstead

I was here earlier this month for a weekday evening meal with some friends. We had the pies which were really good - the beef pie ranks among the best I have eaten in a pub. However they seemed rushed off their feet and there was a wait of around an hour for the food to arrive. Some good beers on, too.

It is a shame that the reviewer before me had such a disappointing experience at the Holly Bush despite having booked a month ago. Whilst my experiences were generally good a week ago, staff attitudes left a little to be desired particularly at closing time when at 2320 we were pressured into drinking three-quarters of a pint in two minutes while their friends and relatives continued to be served.

I will go again; the gripes were trifling in comparison to those experienced by Barkingboy, and hopefully the right result will come of his correspondence with the pub.

6/10.

23 Dec 2008 15:19

The Wenlock Arms, Hoxton

This review is based upon my experiences at the Wenlock on 20th and 21st December 2008.

On Saturday evening there was a lively crowd enjoying Ches Chesterman and Holly Roberts Trad jazz. At least 8 ales on at all times of which I was able to enjoy three. I tasted two beers which were not to my personal liking. They were not inferior beers, I personally did not like the taste of them, therefore I chose alternatives which I DID like and carried on enjoying the session. There was an interesting session at the piano during which a guy with a FANTASTIC singing voice performed "Georgia" earning himself a fully-deserved lengthy and rapturous applause. There were no "yobs" in the pub of any description.

On Sunday all pumps were in use and there was certainly a beer for "everyone". Blue Monkey Christmas Special was for me the best-tasting of three I sampled. A quieter night naturally than Saturday, however we had the treat of more live jazz up to 11pm. I shared a table with a guy who had travelled up from Chessington to have a drink here, a fact that speaks for itself.

And as it's Christmas, thanks to Will, Steve and everyone working at the Wenlock for everything in 2008, and a prosperous and happy 2009 to follow!

22 Dec 2008 18:23

The Wenlock Arms, Hoxton

Very enjoyable evening. Dark Star "Hophead" on plus Boggarts "Dark Christmas" and an Acorn porter that was beautifully crafted. Locally-brewed Brodies Mild also very quaffable. Never met Alph_River (I was there between 2230 and 0020). Everyone on good form!

17 Dec 2008 01:59

The Duke of St Albans, Dartmouth Park

This is sad, and represents a loss of amenity to the immediate neighbourhood. Up until the early 1990s this was a good community pub. Successive failed attempts to revive it following a miserable period of mis-management in the late 1990s have seen more clentele desert the Duke for the Dartmouth, Lord Palmerston and the Bull.

R I P

16 Dec 2008 18:56

The Royal Standard, Croydon

A welcome timely visit was paid here last Saturday. Chiswick and ESB were on their consistent best form, there was for the most part a convivial and relaxing atmosphere within and it was well worth the effort of coming down to Croydon to meet friends in this hostelry. Our visit was made all the more enjoyable by Martin the Landlord, whose friendly habit of walking round bidding goodbye to each group of drinkers in his inimitable style reassured all that in times of world change and turmoil some things remain reassuringly constant. Martin continues to command well-deserved respect from everyone.

15 Dec 2008 23:22

The Admiral Mann, Kentish Town

Called in for a quiet pint with two friends yesterday at 2130. Very quiet inside with just one person sitting in the public bar, a group of three near the bar in the lounge and my group (also of three). A fine pint of Country Bitter was on, but to our shock we were told we could not be served tankards although stocked, as we could use them as weapons. This is a pub I have visited off and on for 15 years, which made the attitude all the more surprising.

At a time when pubs are closing at a rate of five a day, you would think a pub would go the extra mile to keep whatever custom it can get. Which makes it even more perverse that two or three civilised middle-aged drinkers, drinking cask ale are classed the same as teenage yobs.

A message for the management. If this is McMullen's general policy that tankard jugs are kept in the pub but no longer used, PLEASE do not discard these. I know two or three pubs that will gladly take them off you, and of course welcome any customer wishing to simply enjoy a proper pint in traditional fashion.

Don't let this pub become another sad statistic.

15 Dec 2008 23:16

The Duke of St Albans, Dartmouth Park

*********** C L O S E D *********
Unsure if the pub is being refurbished or if a chage-of-use is on the way. Will report further when more details known.

15 Dec 2008 22:58

The Pembury Tavern, Hackney

Two cracking sessions over the weekend. Crouch Vale amongst the excellent guest beers on. Whilst previous reviewers have views that I respect (although not necessarily share) regarding the ambience at this establishment, the pub has come a long way since January 2006.

The staff have to be commended for their customer-based approach to the running of the Pembury, and the level of customer afforded is second to none. It is for this reason that I continue to give the pub a high rating. Well done, and thanks for the weekend.

8 Dec 2008 18:32

The Magpie and Crown, Brentford

Another great session last Friday night here. Locals Des and Graham provided for entertaining light hearted good old "pub" conversation, and the Stilton Porter was an exquisite contrast to the 2 other bitters. Quality Thai quisine and very friendly atmosphere, what more could you ask for?

8 Dec 2008 18:22

Hall's Beer Tavern, Paris

I visited this hostelry during my crawl of 22nd November 2008.

Around halfway up Rue St Denis, it lies in a fairly touristy area of the city but nevertheless it attracts a completely mixed clientele of all age groups, creeds and backgrounds.

Visitors to the Hall's Beer Tavern will find a long, narrow, cavernous pub with plenty of rough exposed brickwork adding to the cave feel. The bar is on the right as you enter and tables for diners and drinkers form an aisle down the cave. Lighting levels comfortable, and the pub had been tastefully decorated for Christmas without overdoing things. There is an outside seating area in the front providing around 10 tables, sheltered beneath a tarpaulin. Television screens were displaying sport with the sound off while I was here.

There are eight draught beers available including a novelty beer "Desperados" with a peculiar tequila flavour which indeed was an acquired taste! I quickly retreated to the comfort zone of De Koninck which actually was a good cadence to the session here. Also available were Guinness and Carling - I include these for completeness of review only!

A very busy bar and kitchen here, food quality appeared impressive judging by the fullness of plates leaving the kitchen and the emptiness of those returning. A blackboard showed sandwiches available at between 4 and 5 euro for those not wishing to dine big time.

Although not much English was spoken except between a group of US vacationers, I found sitting at the bar the best place to be this evening and a few choice words of French worked wonders especially when asking for the hoppiest beer available!

The Hall's Beer Tavern merits a visit, even if only as part of a crawl through central Paris - 7/10 awarded with this review.

25 Nov 2008 21:05

L'Acadmie de la Bire, Paris

A delightful discovery.

A narrow Belgian style caf with virtual wall-to-wall wood panelling. Tent accommodation at the front of the pub provides extra drinking and dining space warmed up very comfortably by infrared halogen space heating. Inside the pub is lit mainly by red neon cold cathode strips and a little warm tungsten. A long narrow bar on the right as you enter, and tables which can be shifted to accommodate large groups as well as singles or couples. Beer memorabilia adorns the wall opposite the bar, and luggage racks over the long seating area on the left appear to come from old slam-door-stock Southern Region trains!

Friendly, attentive, even humorous staff enabled me to order my beers, mussels and frites without a single word of English between us, and NO there were NOT any pictures in the menu! The food was delicious, but do note that choice of dishes is limited to sausages, one or two cuts of pork, mussels in six or seven varieties and one or two other choices.

There is a wide choice of beer on tap, mainly Belgian, together with a large selection of bottled beers. The house recommendation Beer of the Moment on Saturday was Westmalle Brune, 7%, but at over 3 for half a pint, this was not cheap by any standad. Another excellent beer was St Feuillien which was spicy and aromatic, whilst the French blond lager ChTi was a dry, fairly hoppy affair.

This pub is certainly worth making the effort to find. You need to take the RER B Line to Port Royal and walk down Boulevard Port Royal. If you use the Metro, the nearest station is Raspail, and that will involve a long walk. But whichever way you reach this pub youll be glad you came.

24 Nov 2008 19:33

The Frog and Rosbif, Paris

Visited for one pint on 22nd November. Consistently good wheat beer on, called Maison Blanche; clip badge depicting US president-elect Obama outside the White House. All the other standard ales and keg beers like Dark de Triomphe, ParisLytic, InSeine etc were available, and the food remains good. Again, friendly English staff and a lively atmosphere afforded by well-chosen, tuneful music. Still a good venue for ex-pats and those after a pint of cask ale while watching the rugby, etc.

24 Nov 2008 19:07

The Betjeman Arms, St Pancras International Station

Visited with pleasure for the first time on 5th November. Keeping an open mind and setting aside any previous experiences of "station bars" at London main line terminals, proved to be a good idea.

I discovered a spacious interior with modern furnishing and bare floorboards apart from quarry tiling around the bar.

Two or three real ales were on, of which I enjoyed Sharp's "Betjeman", which was quaffable and quenching despite being 4.2%, 3/pint. The venue held its first festival earlier this month.

I did not eat here on account of a prior meal but saw excellent, good-sized portions on people's plates. There were very fresh and appetising cooking smells from the kitchen to the left as you walk in.

Live music is staged on Tuesday and Friday evenings.

This is a very convenient and attractive place to eat and drink, and the atmosphere, although more of a gastro pub than a traditional, is businesslike but not overwhelming.

Give it a go.

24 Nov 2008 18:28

Annies Bar, Kentish Town

Excellent food. Visited today and enjoyed the salmon at lunchtime. Will eat here again. Good VFM at 8 a go.

21 Nov 2008 19:08

The Wenlock Arms, Hoxton

Lee personally thanks EVERYONE involved in making his birthday just PERFECT last night. Could not have been better. Annette's spread was great and went down quicker than I envisaged; all staff behind the bar were on top form, and Holly's band played marvellously.

Could not have had a better party.

If it's worth doing, it's worth doing at the Wenlock!

16 Nov 2008 22:16

The Star, Highgate

The few times I have been in this pub since December 2006 have all been great (staff, beer, food and atmosphere). I have not felt the need to leave a review on each visit but must come to the Star's defence today.

14 Nov 2008 14:02

The King Charles I, Kings Cross

Very well-kept Brodie's IPA last night. Only time to stop for one though!

13 Nov 2008 13:08

The King Charles I, Kings Cross

Kings Cross's best kept secret.

This is a true hidden gem. I called at the King Charles last night for the first time on a friends recommendation. The door swung open to reveal a small, cosy, intimate pub with a friendly welcoming landlord at the bar.

The pub is woodpanelled throughout, and subdued lighting affords a warm atmosphere. This is a REAL pub, totally unpretentious and something of a timewarp.

Four ales were available on handpump when I visited; I enjoyed a pint of Brodies Red, 4.3%, 3.00.

The King Charles opens late on Fridays and Saturdays (until 2am); closing time through the rest of the week is 11pm (10:30pm Sun).

An innovative and unusual food scheme is in operation at this pub: one or two local restaurants provide and serve food here, with the local Thai establishment recommended by the landlord. Food is brought into the pub complete with plate and cutlery which the catering establishment concerned collects at the end of the meal. The scheme is reported to work well and is a fine example of how a pub can provide business to its local community.

In the current climate of pub closures almost on a daily basis, last nights discovery was a very exciting one. Regular return visits WILL be made!

11 Nov 2008 10:36

The Town Wall Tavern, Coventry

Timely visit on 28th October - the night it snowed. Wonderful atmosphere afforded by regulars of all agegroups; very pleasant drink enjoyed while standing at the bar. Deuchars IPA was on its best form, guest ale "Lady Godiva" was "good not great". Could not leave without a sip of Brew XI - the first beer I ever drank in that pub when visiting in the mid-1990's. Of course it's not what it is but I would have regretted not having a half-pint.

Same guy behind the bar as my previous session a year or so back - keep it up this is a great pub in many respects.

2 Nov 2008 21:31

Earl of Mercia, Coventry

Visited on 28th October (the night it was snowing). Had a decent meal here and the [recorded] music was at a level which enabled comfortable conversation with the locals.

Standard Lloyds No. 1 pub conforming to corporate operational models.

Only disappointment was two advertised ales were, in fact, not available despite their clips facing forward. I ended up drinking soft drinks and saving capacity for the next pub.

30 Oct 2008 14:56

The Old White Lion, East Finchley

Enjoyable maiden visit last night. Found the pub in Camra's 2009 Good Beer guide and decided to give it a go.

I discovered a spacious welcoming hostelry comprising three distinct drinking areas, with the north wing of the building affording the most intimacy. Following a recent but sympathetic refurbishment the interior colour scheme is white and maroon, with plenty of exposed unpainted brickwork. Mainly low comfy seating and coffee-tables in the north and south wings of the house whilst the middle section offers high tables and raised pews. Bare floorboards throughout.

Subdued tungsten pendant lighting and de luxe warm white LEDs on the walls afford a cosy atmosphere within, whilst very tuneful and interesting choice of recorded music played without being too obtrusive. I found the staff to be very friendly and good-humoured.

Whilst food is served here and my sample dish of smoked salmon pt and hot toast was perfect drinkers-only are welcome in all sections of the pub. Food prices are very reasonable indeed with Sunday roasts under a tenner and most regular main courses are 6-8 in price.

Last night there were five ales available plus a real cider from Westons. A quaffable pint of Everards Wacko Jacko Halloween mild was followed by two perfect pints of Timothy Taylors Landlord. Also available and on good form was a keg from Meantime brewery in Greenwich complementing an interesting range of lagers.

The rock star photos mentioned in the Good Beer Guide are gone, but the following additional pub facilities should be noted;

Films shown on big screen Sunday evenings
Live music staged check with pub for details
Children admitted up to 1900 daily
Dogs welcome
Credit/debit cards accepted

It is well worth paying this pub a visit.

27 Oct 2008 13:05

Leyton Orient Supporter's Club, Leyton

A fantastic festival! And fully deserving of its Camra National Club of the Year award. This was my first visit to a "Piglet" festival and an excellent impression was left.

Here's to many more, and keep up the good work.

19 Oct 2008 14:53

The Jerusalem Tavern, Clerkenwell

Fantastic evening last night - Organic Best and Golden Ale were on their very best form. It was well worth waiting for a seat indoors in the snug at the pub's rear. Worth regular visits!

9 Oct 2008 10:09

The Oakdale Arms, Harringay

I think this is what they indeed did. Cracking session last night - absolute NECTAR of a mild (Son of Sid's Muckcart Mild, 3.5%) bursting with flavour. Titanic Iceberg on excellent form and one or two others from the fest were also perfectly quaffable although they ran out early in the evening.

Rob, Steve, - please order more from the Son of Sid's brewery!

4 Oct 2008 19:45

The Oakdale Arms, Harringay

FESTIVAL ON NOW - ENDS 22/9/08.

17 beers available at a time, from a total of 30 in the course of the event.

Details on Facebook under "Oakdale Beer Festival" (Events).

17 Sep 2008 13:13

The Fox and Hounds, Belgravia

The quality of the Youngs beers kept here has improved immensely if my visit last night is anything to go by.

Really enjoyed reminiscing on past good times at the F&H and it was a great pleasure to meet Gordon (local) who has not changed since last seen a year or two back. Sad to hear of the loss of Lionel and the well-decorated chappie who used to populate the corner seat at the front of the bar with his half-pint jug of ale.

Still attracting a very pleasant clientele, and friendly, warm staff at the bar were very accommodating to my special-needs friend who accompanied me on this memory-lane trip.

I am pleased to say that a guest ale (albeit St Austell Tribute last night) is now offered regularly.

Long live the Fox & Hounds.

16 Sep 2008 18:55

The King Edward VI (EDVI), Islington

Timely call at this venue on 22nd August 2008 for the first time since the 1990s. The pub has undergone a modern refurbishment since that time.

The standard range of lagers, spirits and a few wines were available; sadly the Flowers IPA cask ale I supped all those years ago was gone. Nevertheless I enjoyed half a pint of Staropramen that was perfectly drinkable having built up quite a thirst walking along the canal from Kentish Town.

A spacious split-level beer garden accommodates smokers throughout, but tables are not over-crammed together.

DJ equipment was seen though obviously not in use at 1945hrs! Staff seemed very friendly towards newcomers as well as regulars some of the latter appearing rather cliquey in comparison to those at other gay venues I have visited.

But I was glad to see it still stands and remains in reasonable shape.

5/10

11 Sep 2008 23:40

The Wenlock Arms, Hoxton

Yep! thats Vince. Often served me recently and certainly knows his stuff! He also is very personable, treats everyone with a good deal of respect and gets to know you fast and has a lot of respect for the regulars. Keep it up. And in respect of recent reviews, the Wenlock is a PUB not a carpet showroom!

2 Sep 2008 18:23

The Original Plough, Chelmsford

Visted for the first time in five years on 27/8/08. Quite relaxed and welcoming pub, seems a little brighter inside (a good thing as my 2003 memories were of the pub being quite dingy). Ten handpumps offering eight ales on my visit, mainly from small breweries. Mauldon's Summer Gold (4%) was a very pleasant, refreshing, quenching pint, costing an equally refreshing 2.55! Sausage & mash was very plentiful for the cheap price of 2.99. Quiet music noted, and TVs were on showing racing and cricket matches.

A good pub, handy for the food and proximity with the rail station, and a good range of ales.

8/10.

29 Aug 2008 10:28

The Queen's Head, Chelmsford

Visited for the first time since September 2003. Seemed a lot quieter than previously experienced, in the front area where I was sitting there were 3 or 4 people at the bar and another group of four guys spent around an hour here whilst on a crawl.

Fantastic range of eight ales on, I sampled seven of these, drinking mainly halves:

Crouch Vale BREWERS GOLD, 4%: Usual exquisitely hoppy self - subtle fruitiness indicative of its best form.

Mersea Island YO BOY, 3.8%: Citric, less appealing than its predecessor and holding a rather noticeable chalkiness.

Crouch Vale CROUCH BEST, 4%: Clean, rounded, best bitter.

Mauldons MICAWBERS MILD, 3.5%: Absolutely divine smokiness and grassy hop aromas eminating - one of the best milds I have drunk in 2008.

Oakleaf POMPEY ROYAL, 4.5%: Superb! Again grassy hop flavours abounding and lasting to the last sip. A good premium ale for any occasion.

Crouch Vale ESSEX BOYS BITTER, 3.5%: A quenching, refreshing beverage to be consumed at the start of a session to be enjoyed at its best before the palate has been charged with hops from the other beers!

Crouch Vale AMARILLO, 5%: Huge flavour boost following Essex Boys Bitter. A delicious "grand finale" at the end of a wonderful session!

The young lady behind the bar was very friendly and chirpy with a great sense of humour, as had many of the others drinking round the bar.

Recommended!

28 Aug 2008 14:03

The Pembury Tavern, Hackney

Absolutely DIVINE pint of Buntingford Golden Plover last night. When I arrived the Pem seemed quieter than usual for a bank holiday Monday evening but, one by one, the regulars roamed in through the latter part of the evening. Slaters' Queen Bee and Milton Dionysus on their usual excellent form, and with Chris behind the bar and Vince afore it, quality intelligent conversation ruled the roost. Now I come to think of it, I've never had anything BUT quality, intelligent discourse with ALL the regulars of the Pembury.

26 Aug 2008 19:21

The Evening Star, Brighton

Paid a timely trip to this hostelry on 23/08/08 - Local "Mick the Dustman" on his usual good form - same for the beers which never disappoint - Saturday evening was no exception. If this were my local it'd certainly save me a s in train fares!

Good stuff Matt, 10/10 again!

26 Aug 2008 19:12

The Lord Nelson, Brighton

Certainly agree with that. Splendid pub, visited on 23/08/08, swift half of excellently-kept Harveys' Hadlow; unchanged since last review. Yes, leave the pub as it is!

26 Aug 2008 19:10

The Farmers Boy, St Albans

Very enjoyable pint in here last night ending a "crawl" with an overseas friend and a local. "Clipper IPA" was on excellent form (this follows the hard act of a highly flavoursome pale ale at the White Lion). A friendly group a couple of tables up from us engaged in lively conversation at the end of the session; one chap over from Denmark seemed particularly fond of this pub and the onsite brewery.

We found the atmosphere in the FB very pleasant indeed, and I for one would happily return this evening if I was not having a night off the booze. Great stuff, keep it up chaps.

21 Aug 2008 12:23

The White Lion, St Albans

Wonderful, splendid visit last night with a local and another friend over from Italy. Beer range excellent - I thoroghly enjoyed the superb beer from Saltaire which was dry, hoppy, bitter and perfectly well-kept. All drinkers in the various rooms of this pub were enjoying the Irish folk music session with the musicians numbering into double figures. One of St Albans' best pubs on all counts - will certainly go again!

21 Aug 2008 12:16

The Crown, Waltham Abbey

Friendly welcome as my friend and I opened our "memory lane" crawl last night. He has learning difficulties, and the lady behind the bar (and the local with the sun tan - more about HIM later) were very easy going around him.

The sun-tanned local was a humorous chap who cheekily claimed to be "catching up with me" while I was buying a round of McMullen's AK which was perfectly well-kept and a refreshing quench following the walk up from Waltham Cross in the warm evening sun.

We sat in the beer garden which remains unchanged since our last visit and it was very peaceful and relaxing. Food is only served at lunchtime so we ate in another McMullens pub up the road later on. But I could not help notice the hunger-inducing aromas of curry that waft over the beer garden from the Indian restaurant next door.

I spotted a piano, but as we were on a crawl with another 3 or 4 pubs on our list did not examine its functionality. I wonder on hindsight if it is the instrument that had been removed from the Welsh Harp?

This is a pub run with the "will to live" despite quiet times. Whenever you visit Waltham Abbey DO make a point of visiting the Crown. It is a traditional pub that should be preserved, along with ALL the pubs along Sun Street.

24 Jul 2008 00:59

The White Lion, Waltham Abbey

My friend and I walked past the White Lion last night (Tues) only to find it closed early.

It appears that this hostelry may be in the process of changing hands, although it will remain as far as I know a McMullens house.

More information please on any future changes.

24 Jul 2008 00:47

The Sun Inn, Waltham Abbey

Greene King IPA well-kept last night. This was pub no.3 on an evening crawl with a friend. We sat in the beer garden which was well-lit and it was noticed that this was the busiest pub on Sun Street.

Food is served at lunchtimes only (for evening food visit the Angel. The menu reads well and there's even a return to that favourite of mine during my more frequent attendance during the early 1990s - the giant Yorkshire pudding. Give it a go!

Attracts a younger clientele than some of the other pubs in the town.

As with ALL the pubs on Sun Street - worth a visit.

24 Jul 2008 00:44

The Welsh Harp, Waltham Abbey

I visited with a friend last night at the end of a "crawl" in Waltham Abbey. It was about 10.30 and my drinking companion and I were the only drinkers in the pub. Although the McMullens AK was on perfect form and the staff afforded us a warm welcome, the visit was tinged with a little sadness. This is an ancient, heritage pub, full of character and seriously under threat from under-use.

With this review comes a plea from the heart - Use this pub or lose a major part of the village's heritage. It would be very unfortunate for the town if the Welsh Harp were to close. The landlady last night told us that it is on a knife-edge.

Surely it can't survive on two people coming up from London once a year - Use the pub to keep it open!

24 Jul 2008 00:33

The Angel, Waltham Abbey

Very friendly jovial barmaid last night. Well kept pint of McMullen's Cask. Took a friend here for an evening pint and meal. All our food was good value for money and served quickly. The fish and chips (hake) was enjoyable and I also liked the prawn cocktail.

The pub has been redecorated very recently, but not changed drastically. This is a pleasant pub. We did notice that it was a little quiet - Notice to locals out there - Use it or lose it.

24 Jul 2008 00:21

The Bath Tap, Bath

I visited this pub briefly on 19th July during an excursion to Bath. I found everyone quite friendly.

Although revamped in the past ten years the interior decor and furniture have become a little tatty. Noted one hand pump on the bar which is currently out of use. The standard range of lagers and Guinness Extra Cold available, alongside John Smith's keg bitter which was reasonable.

A mature pub dog will sniff around you before curling up to sleep at the bar. Continuous recorded or streamed music playing at all times.

Attracts a pleasant youthful gay clientele.

I also noted the for-sale sign on the front of the pub, but alas only on departure so I am no more able to enlarge on this than the previous reviewer.

23 Jul 2008 21:11

The Northey, Box

I was here last night with my family for an evening meal. Our experience was far better than that reported two months ago by the previous reviewer, and the following observations were particularly notable:

AMBIENCE
A very relaxing selection of jazz and soft vocal music was on in the background at "just the right" volume to allow hearty conversation yet be heard and appreciated by the discerning ear. Lighting was at a comfortably subdued level. Although the air became a little stuffy, windows were opened on request without delay.

STAFF AND SERVICE
Friendly, cheerful staff served us, efficiently and quickly but without undue haste.

BEERS AND CIDERS, ETC
Real ales on were Wadworth 6X and Horizon. I enjoyed a pint of the latter which was on fine form, quite rounded and balanced in flavour, certainly not bland in any way. Magners' cider, along with a quality organic bottled variety, was enjoyed by other family members; I tried a little of both and would recommend the organic. A fairly good wine and spirit selection was also noted.

FOOD
Cooking smells were inviting as we entered the dining area. I enjoyed the mackerel starter which came in a good-sized portion; remaining on the fish theme I chose salmon for a main which arrived with saute potatoes, samphire and a small amount of bouillabase sauce. My sister-in-law pointed out the advertised mushroom component was missing, and we were again quickly dealt with when I raised it with our waitress. The fish and chips were delicious and although (as described 2 months ago) consist of two slim fillets atop a mound of chips with a salad garnish, were in reality very tasty indeed.

Other dishes enjoyed were a good plate of liver-and-bacon, and a "Le Creuset" pot of mixed meats. We too noticed the 18 steaks, etc, but chose alternatives!

Desserts were very good too.

SUMMARY
I would recommend this establishment to anyone staying locally and looking for somewhere to eat and drink at reasonable price, in relaxing surroundings.

19 Jul 2008 11:04

Escape Bar and Restaurant, Camden

Sports bar serving mainly the flats around Harrington Square. Offers Sky TV showing all league matches, and some other sports fixtures. Quite spacious, with a beer garden, pool table and dartboard. Food is available, a sign on the exterior currently advertises Indian cuisine.

26 Jun 2008 16:31

Shoulder of Mutton, Wendover

Also noted on the visit that this pub has a spacious beer garden and car park, is accessible to the disabled and accepts card payments.

26 Jun 2008 02:16

The Pack Horse, Wendover

Wonderful place, still unspoilt and uninterfered with. Visited with a friend this evening and we were thrilled to see every fixture and fitting intact and in place. We enjoyed a well-kept pint of Fuller's "Discovery" and watched locals play what looked like a game of tennis on the WII set.

This remains a gem of a pub and should be retained just as it is. Make sure you visit while in Wendover.

26 Jun 2008 02:11

The White Swan, Wendover

Apart from a fresh coat of paint, the pub remains pretty well unchanged since we last came a year or so ago.

Great pub to finish a crawl! Lady behind the bar this evening was very friendly. A well-kept pint of Fullers ESB, too, and thanks for the welcome.

26 Jun 2008 01:44

Shoulder of Mutton, Wendover

I took a friend here for a "memory lane" trip this evening, from which I have just returned. I may have been deterred from visiting on the strength of recent reviews had I read them beforehand, but I have to say that the experience that befell my friend and I was very different to recent reports.

There were five real ales available of which I enjoyed two pints of Chiltern "Cobblestone Summer Ale", 3.5%. It was clear and well-flavoured for its low gravity. All the hop and fruit aromas were present - a perfectly well-kept beer.

I also did very well in the food department. For starters I chose the garlic mushrooms on toasted bread. They were mouthwatering and bursting with flavour, not sure which type of mushroom used but they were very dark and tasty. The addition of pesto was a great idea.

Indeed the starter impressed me more than the main course (crab tagliatelle) which was also good and filling.

Staff at the bar seemed friendly enough, and the Polish lady serving our food really went out of her way to make us feel welcome in the pub. This was worthy of special mention as it really makes a difference to your pub experience how the visit starts and ends.

I will definitely return here, and the Shoulder of Mutton will now be the regular "food stop" on future Wendover crawls.

26 Jun 2008 01:41

The Greyhound Inn, Longford

Visited in October 2007 while on a cycling trip around Coventry. Wonderful interior, staff were very friendly and although slightly on the pricy side the food was superb (Salmon tagliatelle). Good range of beers, and overall a very welcoming pub to end up in following a long cycle ride on a cold autumn evening. Worth making the effort to find this pub.

23 Jun 2008 13:21

The Madison Avenue Pub, Toronto

Wonderful sprawling pub that has expanded to encompass no less than three separate properties, this is a lively, buzzing haven for drinkers from all walks of life.

I was taken here on Thursday and was very impressed to say the least. Something of a rabbit warren, establishment is subdivided into several drinking areas.

Quite surprising that such a pub flourishes in a quiet leafy residential side street, but good luck to it.

We only stopped for one beer; Creemore Springs Lager on fine form. Noted food available until late and TVs on showing sports fixtures.

Would go again.

17 Jun 2008 03:00

C'est What?, Toronto

A gem.

I visited on the evening of 10th June and found a welcoming warm and cosy basement pub close to Lawrence Market. Little prepares you for what awaits the discerning drinker here. A low ceiling, plenty of wood and bare brickwork greets visitors, under the subtle illumination of tungsten lighting. Recorded playlist music was at a very comfortable level, and included a selection of country, rock, soul and easy listening lounge tracks.

The beer drinker is offered no less than 35 draught beers of which I had the pleasure of enjoying the following, all brewed by Cest What?s own craft brewer at the Durham Brewery, Pickering, Ontario:

KING CZECH-STYLE PLSNER (4.8%)
Very dry and hoppy, similar to Pilsner Urquell. Refreshing and fulfilling.

ALS CASK ALE (5%)
A hoppy, pale, straw coloured cask bitter with the texture and flavour of Milton Sparta.

DURHAM HOPHEAD (4.5%)
But for its strength, this beer could quite easily be mistaken for its Dark Star namesake. Richly hoppy, aromatic and refreshing, very clean satisfying taste to this beer. Excellent.

HOP ADDICT (5.4%)
Exquisitely hoppy, pleasant mouthfeel and bitter aftertaste. In the style of an American Pale Ale, again compares well with Dark Star APA.

COFFEE PORTER
Rich, dark porter ale, smoother texture than that of Mill Street Brewery but just as flavoursome and a PERFECT beer on which to finish the evenings drinking.

A wide and varied food menu is offered, to satisfy all tastes and palates, and the prices are great value. Specials of the day included cream of zucchini and chicken soup which I enjoyed for $4.95. The soup was aromatic, full-flavoured and served at eating temperature. Superb value at less than the price of a pint in London. I chose a Greek salad as my main course, again, excellent value at $9. The salad arrived, coarse-cut, but at lightning speed and completely fresh. Very impressive.

Friendly, attentive and humorous staff kept me well looked-after throughout the evening, and as I sat on the bar, conversation was possible at times.

Also note the availability of pub games including chess, scrabble and trivial pursuit, alongside no less than four pool tables and a dartboard.

This is a MUST-visit pub when youre in Toronto, you will certainly be glad you popped in. The 10/10 mark I award with this review is not without good reason.

12 Jun 2008 07:39

The Bow and Arrow, Toronto

I visited this pub last night and was thoroughly impressed. Located close to Davisville subway station, this is architecturally an English style pub along the lines of a Chef and Brewer house as they were during the 1980s and early 1990s. Woodpanelling throughout, with decorated mirrors on some walls. Tungsten lighting. The pub is divided into several drinking areas by wood partitioning, and has an enclosed street-level balcony for smokers.

The beer range is the connoisseur's delight, comprising a range of draught beers into double figures, including at least one cask ale at all times with up to three available in the winter months. I enjoyed every drop of the beers I tried last night, as follows:

Mill Street TANK HOUSE ALE
Slightly gassier than at Rex the previous evening, full flavoured red ale.

Ajax HOP ADDICT
Exquisite, and well-deserving of the word. Hoppy, bitter and deeply aromatic.

Devils Pale Ale 666
Malt in the forefront, quite sweet and slightly nutty.

Black Oak NUT BROWN
Sweetcorn on the nose at the beginning; strong hazelnut notes, with increasing nuttiness (peanut) to a bitter finish.

Black Oak PALE ALE
Very Dry, hoppy and bitter. A good reference beer would be Milton Sparta.

Black Oak CASK ALE
Cask conditioned and dispensed through handpump. A "wherry good" approximation for a certain Woodforde's Norfolk brew! Slight tinges of Adnams when on its best form. Sophisticated and delicate.

Whilst I arrived too late to eat here, the food menu reads excellently. Random examples are 9" pizzas @ $12, bison chili and wild salmon burgers available for around 10 bucks and an excitingly varied range of mains, snacks and starters many prepared to a Canadian recipe.

Karaoke sessions are held on Thursdays, whilst live music is staged on a Sunday. At other times, recorded music is played at a level which allows comfortable conversation.

While the pub is away from the main tourist areas of the city, it is well worth the effort of finding and you will not be disappointed.

8 Jun 2008 19:16

The Bricklayers Arms, Putney

Info received from the Bricklayers re forthcoming ales.

Guest Ales coming up over the next couple of weeks:

Focus on Westerham Brewery in Kent.

Finchcock's Original 3.5% - Gold Medal SIBA SE 2006

Grasshopper Kentish Bitter 3.8% - Silver Medal SIBA SE 2006

Summer Perle 3.8% - Fastest selling beer at GBBF 2005 New Breweries Bar

British Bulldog 4.3% - Gold Medal Best Bitter SIBA SE 2005

William Wilberforce Freedom Ale 4.3%

Westerham Special 1965

Then:

O'Hanlon's Brewery in Devon

Fire Fly 3.7%

Yellowhammer 4.2%

Royal Oak 5%

Gold Blade (Wheat) 4%

Port Stout 4.8%

2 Jun 2008 12:26

The Crown, Brighton

Local backstreet boozer, much quieter than its neighbouring pubs on Upper St James St.

31 May 2008 12:36

The Half and Half, Croydon

closed - see newly opened page for Half and Half.

25 May 2008 13:27

The Junction Tavern, Kentish Town

Enjoyed an impromptu couple of pints of Deuchars IPA here this evening. Pleasant enough, staff were fine tonight and I couldn't smell the drains mentioned in previous reviews.

Three other beers from regional (as opposed to micro) breweries. Did not eat on this occasion but food appeared to be served in decent portion sizes.

Will visit again and not leave it so long next time.

15 May 2008 23:20

The Sair Inn, Linthwaite

I am happy to end speculation on the future of this pub, having just received a confident answer from Ronald that the pub is not going anywhere and certainly not being sold.

25 Apr 2008 16:52

The Wenlock Arms, Hoxton

I agree. The toilet could be cleaner and certainly fresher than it is, and the area of carpet in front of the bar as you approach from Wenlock Road ought to be replaced.

25 Apr 2008 16:32

The Doric Arch, Euston

Superparkerman must have been on the Quink! - or the Dark Star stout if it was on! Food has always been lovingly prepared on my previous trips!

24 Apr 2008 17:14

The Lamb and Flag, Oxford

Fairly enjoyable finishing-pub of my Oxford crawl last night. Betty Stogs on fine form. Noted up to four beers available, with two of them regularly-changing guests.

I found the staff friendly and knowledgeable, and enjoyed a good half-hour of amicable conversation with locals around the bar area.

Seemed to be at ease with its town and gown clientele and my overall experience this time was very pleasant.

23 Apr 2008 19:04

Far From the Madding Crowd, Oxford

Wonderful evening. Paid a timely visit last night. The management have changed since I last called here in 2006; pub seemed quieter and more relaxed/relaxing with any background music on at a very low level. The interior remains unchanged.

A good range of well kept beers on yesterday, of which I sampled the following:

Goff's JOUSTER - 4%
Malt dominating and lingering, slowly easing to a dry finish;

Goff's LAUNCELOT - 4.5%
Sweet with some fruitiness, dry finish;

Oakleaf BLAKES - 5.2%
Excellent dark red ale, coffee notes, burnt smokiness dominating.

Vale BLACK SWAN - 3.9%
Good not great, fairly quaffable session ale.

The Brazilian guys behind the bar are great fun, and if you arrive alone and like good conversation with locals the bar area is the best place to sit.

I arrived after food stopped but an imaginative food menu is offered until 9pm, and certainly "reads" well.

Other features noted are as follows:

A piano in the main low-level area of the pub. This is an upright which needs a lot of work doing but you can "just" get a tune out of it. Live music is not hosted officially but accomplished pianists are invited to play - but DO beware the faults of the instrument.

Four beer festivals are held each year at FFMC. Check with the pub directly for details.

Definitely worthy of visiting again, and I have increased my mark from a 5 to an 8.

23 Apr 2008 18:58

The Wenlock Arms, Hoxton

The Wenlock does not pretend to be anything other than it is - a basic no-nonsense boozer. It welcomes a clientele of all age-groups, hosts regular live music and based on the commentary below, there is considerable doubt as to whether the reviewer actually visited the Wenlock Arms.

Well done, by the way, to John the Boat for the highly successful "Wenstock" music session last weekend.

23 Apr 2008 18:26

William Morris, Cowley

Wetherspoons occupying a modern building by the Templars Square shopping centre and opposite the superstores.

Visited on 22/04/08, and was very impressed with the service. An enthusiastic young barman (the one with the Northern Irish accent) was attentive and efficient, paying attention to the quality of the beer in my glass.

Just catching the tail end of the national Wetherspoons festival, I enjoyed half a pint of Stone Double IPA, 7%. This was exquisitely hoppy and agressively bitter. The crayfish marie rose baguette was delicious, and arrived in 10 minutes.

Mixed clientele were in the pub to watch Liverpool 1-1 Chelsea, and there was a very pleasant atmosphere in the pub. I will go further and say this was one of the best Wetherspoons I have visited in a long time.

23 Apr 2008 14:19

The Nelson, Cowley

Visited on 22/04/08.

Initial observations are of a sprawling, low-ceilinged pub adjacent to the Templars Square shopping centre. Drinking areas broken up somewhat by partitions; some exposed painted brickwork and a reasonably relaxed colour scheme. Part of the local "Halls" chain.

No real ale available - keg Tetley bitter was served clear and at the right temperature.

Food served until 8pm, a wide ranging but fairly standard chain-pub menu is on offer. Did not eat and thus cannot comment on the quality.

Pub is very sports-oriented with several TVs, and a large screen is used for major events. Dartboard and two pool tables.

Staff seemed pleasant enouggh when I visited, but the pub was fairly empty at 1900 apart from a few harmless, well-scattered lone drinkers.

Although not my favourite pub in Oxfordshire - it deserves a fair review. 5/10.

23 Apr 2008 13:59

The Black Horse, Leominster

Closed.

I was in Leominster last weekend and noted this pub is closed for the time being pending a new buyer.

11 Apr 2008 17:31

The Doric Arch, Euston

Had a splendid evening here last night (1800-2030) with three friends. A hearty session was enjoyed in the "snug" area. Fullers' Chiswick and Discovery on particularly good form; Dark Star Hophead was the best. Left before I could try the Harvest Pale! Noted four guests and five Fullers beers on in total at the time.

Food was very good. I had a delicious warm tuna spring onion baguette, and a friend seemed to love his lasagne.

Will go more frequently in future.

10 Apr 2008 18:31

Cafe Gollem, Amsterdam

Visited last Thursday (27/03/08) and had another thoroughly enjoyable end to the night. Lovely to be recognised by the publican. Unchanged since last spring; atmosphere, beer range and discerning music choice are all top-notch. Once more, I was there to the end and loved every minute.

Regarding difficulty finding this pub, mentioned by previous reviewers: I agree, it is hard to find, best get off the tram at Spui (routes 1, 2 and 5 from Centraal station will get you there) and walk up Spuistraat, keeping to the left - you will spot it on one of the passages - look out for a "Leeuw" beer sign.

1 Apr 2008 18:43

De Beiaard, Amsterdam

Pub remains unchanged since last visit. Very friendly and enjoyable evening on 27/03/2008. Sat at the bar and supped a few beers whilst chatting to locals in a mixture of Dutch and English. Fair range of Dutch and Belgian beers on offer, varied food menu and convivial atmosphere.

Easiest way to reach is by tram routes 1, 2 or 5; alight at "Spui".

1 Apr 2008 18:08

't IJ Proeflokaal (Brouwerij 't IJ), Amsterdam

And again!

A fabulous session on Saturday 29/03/08. Lively conversation filling the pub. Nice to get recognised by a few locals from a year ago! The bar has now been extended around the corner into the extenstion to create an L-shaped (upper case L that is!) bar.

Beers still mainly below 2 euros for a half-pint glass, and I can report the following tasting notes on sampled beers:

PLZEN - Straightforward hoppiness this time, no sweet notes;

STRUIS - Very sweet indeed with strong malt notes and a hint of blackcurrant. Made a good contrast to the Plzen and was particularly enjoyable when peanuts were eaten while drinking it. Good, well-presented beer, recommended for those who like sweet beer but not quite my favourite;

NATTE - Less sweet than Struis, more malt, nevertheless it had a curious metallic undertone attributable to end-of-barrel status. Noted the clip was removed shortly afterwards.

ZATTE - Excellent, rounded, well-balanced flavours here. Maltiness and delicate fruity sweetness are salient over a background hoppy undertone. Drinkers of Milton beers - think "Jupiter" on its best form, although more gaseous due to brewing method. Superb in my humble opinion.

Can never tire of the place!

31 Mar 2008 19:10

Leyton Orient Supporter's Club, Leyton

This club is normally open on match days, but additionally when internationals are screened. It is, however open to the public as well as supporters, and particularly welcomes Camra members, with cheap real ale. Good, varied range of ales kept. Visitors are advised to contact the bar before travelling, as it can get crowded on certain days.

25 Mar 2008 12:49

The Jerusalem Tavern, Clerkenwell

Back again on St Patrick's Day for an early evening drink. Just to let readers know that the pub is actually quite empty around 1745-1830, early in the week, so that's another good time to get a seat. Beer still on top form.

19 Mar 2008 18:00

The Red Lion Hotel, Wendover

R.I.P.

Up to last year I made annual visits with friends to Wendover - including the Red Lion for the food stop and a friendly pint. A real shame, and sad for everyone, to hear that's all gone now.

19 Mar 2008 17:55

The Bree Louise, Euston

A very pleasant surprise.

After reading all the reviews I gave this pub a try last night around 1930. I found staff to be attentive and friendly. The physical atmosphere contained rather a lot of moisture but I got used to that before the end of my session.

Harvey's Best Bitter, served on gravity, was on absolute top quality, so I am confident all the other ales would have been well-kept too. Be sure to show your CAMRA membership card for your 40p-a-pint discount.

I enjoyed the chicken penne pasta with broccoli and green pesto. A good-sized portion well balanced in flavour and texture. The food menu contains a fair range of down-to-earth pub grub including a choice of eight different pies served with creamed mash and veg, all at 7.99. Special food-and-beer offers apply at weekends and live sports events.

A fine alehouse, worthy of regular visits.

15 Mar 2008 13:49

The Pembury Tavern, Hackney

Milton's Dionysus was on its asymptotic best last night. Just perfect. And the Mammon stout too. Thanks Tom, as well, for a superb evening - it was once again one of those nights that simply cannot be pre-arranged.

14 Mar 2008 00:00

The Hare and Hounds, Manchester

Fond memories of this pub around the 2000-2001 era - visted at least once during trips to Manchester, and have a very precise memory of paying 66p for half a Holts mild, and all the regulars had their own special seats. Hope it remains intrinsically intact, Scottie Chorlton, did you spot any Holts beer clips on the pumps?

12 Mar 2008 02:30

The Wenlock Arms, Hoxton

Not sure what time of day Thebman was in the pub so hard to identify who served him. The Wenlock's best times for atmosphere and friendliness all round are Saturday and Sunday evenings - the latter being the quieter.

However I did bring a friend from Brighton in the Wenlock on Friday eve (7th) and stayed from 7pm-1am. Although not absolutely 100% the best beer I've ever drunk there, we slowly worked through the range and there were some really good brews on offer including two stouts.

Again, the need is felt to quell speculation of an impending demise - Will and Steve aren't going anywhere in any great hurry!

12 Mar 2008 01:11

The Drapers Arms, Barnsbury

Had a good family lunch here in celebration of a recent birthday. No complaints re the food except everything is a tad on the expensive side of reasonable. Our visit was on 9th Feb, and there were no problems with the staff at all.

10 Mar 2008 18:43

The Jerusalem Tavern, Clerkenwell

Visited last night with a friend for the first time in 18 months. The beer seems to have improved, even upon the high standards I experienced last time. Mild was exquisite, very dry yet malty, whilst Organic Best Bitter was superb.

Weekdays after 9 are good - we found a seat after 5 mins or so.

This remains a very good pub to include on any Clerkenwell crawl, but not as the final one, due to a strict, hurried closing routine which includes opening the main door fully which allowed the chill of an early March evening into what had been quite a warm pub.

Do visit, beerwise this establisment is fully deserving of its GBG status, and the prices - 2.60-2.80 are now in the "very reasonable" bracket for this part of London.

6 Mar 2008 17:59

The Dovetail, Clerkenwell

Discovered this pub for the first time last night - by complete accident while taking a stroll through clerkenwell having arrived early to meet a friend.

Seemed fine inside with a pleasant homely continental decor. I had a half of De Koonink which was fine, and found the staff to be very friendly. It is well worth another visit when time allows, to make a more comprehensive review.

Food generally smelled good, and what portions I did see on people's plates did not look all that small.

6 Mar 2008 17:50

The Pembury Tavern, Hackney

Top class festival last week - well done to Steve and the team.

3 Mar 2008 19:13

The Hillsborough Hotel, Sheffield

Ended my Sheffield crawl here for the first time in over 4 years last Saturday night. Absolutely superb beers available, and the Crown ales are absolutely BURSTING with flavour.HPA was exquisite.

Friendly locals, too, namely Nick and Ashley - nice of them to invite me onto their table. This is a great pub to finish a crawl given its late licence to 12 midnight on weekends, and it should be included on any Sheffield crawl.

Classic!

26 Feb 2008 18:56

The Wellington, Sheffield

Called at the Wellington last Saturday for the first time under its new name. Remains a premier pub for excellent value and choice of beers - between 1.90 and 2.10 a pint mainly. Noted Jever Pils (imported from Germany) was available on DRAUGHT for 2.80/pint - believe me that's cheap for the UK.

Friendly and humorous staff at the bar make your visit a memorable one, where else can you expect cheap ale and a laugh a minute?

"Scoopers" should note that the range is now a bit more mainstream since the change of ownership, but there's still something for everyone here. The Portmahon brewery is still out of action and the latest estimate is 6 months before it resumes.

Still worthy of its top marking - will spend longer next time!

26 Feb 2008 18:47

The Fat Cat, Sheffield

Pilgrimage to this pub began my Sheffield crawl of 23/02/08. Survived last summer's flooding in which the waters rose to half the height of the 1864 Sheffield Floods, as illustrated by lines and measurements painted on the outside of the pub.

Wonderful Kelham Island beers amongst vast range on offer. Food was excellent value for money - delicious steak pie, roast potatoes and minted peas for under a fiver! Saw the upstairs room for first time, and can report that it's homely and comfortable with walls and ceiling adorned with beer-related posters.

Pub heaving on Saturday night, with seating at a premium when I returned to the ground floor drinking area, but eventually found a seat - and friendly conversation.

Do visit!

26 Feb 2008 18:34

The Kelham Island Tavern, Sheffield

Visited on Sat 23/2/08 as Pub No. 2 on a magical crawl. Totally unchanged since last time, friendly staff and locals including one guy who followed me across from the Fat Cat and gave me directions to my next pub afterwards.

Pictish "Motueka" was the best ale on that night out of a choice of about six. Very lively atmosphere and there was a long wait for a seat.

We even had the pleasure of a fiddler entertaining the smokers outside with a few jigs and reels, and had his own unique humorous response to a request for something Irish - "God Save The Queen".

Again - a pub easily worth visiting repeatedly, and never disappoints.

26 Feb 2008 18:25

The Devonshire Arms, Camden

Paid brief visit today at 1345 to sample the cask ale; can report the following:

1 cask ale - Hobgoblin, available @ 3/pint.
Condition - Reasonable.

Unfortunately this was served in a very warm glass. I would estimate the glass temperature was 35C and was straight from the dishwasher. It would be well worth asking for a cold glass when ordering beer.

The pub has a more spacious feel to its interior, and is a bit brighter by day than it was previously.

26 Feb 2008 14:34

Delirium Cafe, Brussels

I visited Delirium Caf on 29/11/07 and was thrilled. This was the highlight of my Brussels trip. The range of beers on tap was impressive enough let alone the bottled beers running well into three figures. It really must be seen to be believed!

The atmosphere in the pub was boisterous and lively, and an international clientele mingled well with regulars from Brussels itself.

Bar snacks include good-value cheese plates with seasoning, quite common in Belgium and Holland in my experience as a beer-tourist. This is definitely somewhere Ill return to!

16 Feb 2008 13:31

The Gardeners Arms, Hull

Visited this pub on Good Beer Guide recommendation, on Fri 25/01/08. There is currently only one ale available, namely Tetley's bitter. Food is served which is quite good value for money. First time visitors should note that the pub is undergoing extensive refurbishment and only the wing of the building by the car park is open for public use. The staff are businesslike but friendly and local drinkers - of all ages - seem a friendly bunch. Worth another go when the refurb is complete as they intend to reinstate their range of five ales.

7 Feb 2008 15:41

The Devonshire Arms, Camden

Now owned by the Hobgoblin group and has three cask ales available.

7 Feb 2008 15:32

Dragon Inn, Birmingham

A run-of-the-mill city-centre Spoon's, with all the standard features, beer range and food menu.

5 Feb 2008 22:06

The Cask and Glass, Victoria

Superb evening session 04/02/08. The Masterbrew and Kentish Best were on fine form, and being a Monday, pub was empty enough for my friend and I to get a seat almost straightaway.

Very relaxing.

5 Feb 2008 09:55

The Oakdale Arms, Harringay

Excellent once again on Friday night (01/02/08). One of the guest beers was a 3.6% IPA from a microbrewery - absolutely exquisite, and more-ish. Furthermore it was good to see Jupiter back on, alongside several other low-strength nevertheless high-flavour session ales available.

The jukebox is now fully illiminated once again so the practice of bringing candles and lighters up to it is now redundant.

I have to modify my commentary of 02/01/08 regarding the food shop on Seven Sisters Road - sadly it appears to have closed down (or at least be closed in the evenings), so visitors please ignore that paragraph and eat beforehand.

All the pub needs now is a few hooks to hang coats on, and for its loyal clientele to continue rewarding the team's efforts with continued regular custom.

Well done, Rob and the team.

4 Feb 2008 01:20

The Cambridge Blue, Cambridge

Excellent session yesterday for a friend's birthday. Although in new hands, the pub has retained all its good points, and actually had more beers on than last time!

Wherry was its usual exquisite self, and I enjoyed an IPA from the Potton brewery, also superb. Food is very good indeed and excellent value for money. Try their mushroom soup if it's on when you go. easily worth the fare from London for a few choice pints with mates.

4 Feb 2008 01:10

The Warwick Arms, Kensington

This pub indeed used to be much, much better, and was a traditional West London Fullers boozer. It deteriorated from its best in the spring of 1998, when a change of management brought with it not only a change of style, mood and direction but a 50pence-a-pint price hike.

I have visited the Warwick Arms in late 2007 for a curry - the food is not bad, but many of the original fixtures and fittings have been removed and regular visitors of the 1990s have moved on.

3 Feb 2008 22:33

Pave, Hull

A lively, young clientele in this boisterous venue. The music is at times drowned out by the sheer conversational volume. Modern, subdued tungsten lighting affords warmth. Bare floorboards and a raised mezzanine with a lounge feeling to it, all helped along by a real log fire. A selection of board games, magazines and books is provided.

Six real ales available, and on my visit of 25th Jan 2007 I enjoyed a good pint of Skipton Copper Dragon "Golden Pippin". The session ale was on good form, but do note that sparklers are used here. Apart from the range of cask ales, there is a large selection of European bottled beers.

Food is available lunchtimes and in the early evenings, but I had already eaten elsewhere. Also note that bouncers are deployed at the door, but don't be deterred in any way. A good, modern pub, well worth a visit.

1 Feb 2008 16:31

The Wenlock Arms, Hoxton

Some pretty good beers, by the Fat Cat brewery in Norwich, are now available. Tried two of them last night (stout and mild) both very flavoursome.

31 Jan 2008 12:19

The Wellington Inn, Hull

What an excellent pub! This was the final stop on my Hull crawl of 25/01/08, and was a perfect finishing point.

On arrival, the pub was buzzing with conversation, and I found a comfortable stool at the bar. I was soon in conversation with several locals, no shortage of friendliness on offer! Of the 7 or 8 ales available on handpump I enjoyed the following:

Vale VPA - refreshing session bitter
Copper Dragon Black Gold - delectable mild
Leeds Best - bitter hoppy IPA
Leeds Midnight Bell - a black beauty.

Although I didn't venture into their extensive world beer range, it is worth noting there are well over one hundred such beers available, and a continental style beer menu is kept at the bar for the connoisseur's perusal.

Very friendly and accommodating landlord & landlady - Richard and Janette - filled me in on a lot of background info. They run the pub with love and enthusiasm which rubs off on everyone.

This is one of Hull's best pubs, DO visit and you will not be let down in any way.

29 Jan 2008 00:19

Admiral of the Humber, Hull

Visited on Fri 25/01/08. This is a very efficiently-run Wetherspoon for its size. I enjoyed very well-kept Vale Pale Ale (VPA)together with a scrumptious plate of pasta and meatballs.

Pub's 6.6 rating is a little misleading - for a spoons it really is good.
8/10

28 Jan 2008 23:13

The Bricklayers Arms, Putney

Absolutely excellent evening last night. No less than NINE beers on, comprising five T. Taylors and 4 guest beers. Grainstore Panther Mild was mouthwatering and there was an exquisite stout from the Matthews brewery. Although not the cheapest pint in the whole world, the beer quality far outstripped the average 2.80-2.90 pricetag representing superb value for money.

Friendly staff, and a group of happy imbibers over from the US provided a convivial atmosphere in which a lively session developed and flourished.

Although I don't live anywhere near Putney, I vow to make regular visits to this hostelry in the future.

18 Jan 2008 09:48

Queens Arms, Edenbridge

A total gem. I have visited this pub once or twice with a group of friends at the turn of the century. Completely unspoilt, timewarp pub, where time really has stood still for generations.

I beleive there's just one beer on (the same on three pumps) and a delightful lady of a certain age running the hostelry, albeit with a little assistance from younger friends or family.

My rating is based upon my experiences in 2000. And if the pub remains as it was that year, the marking is well deserved.

15 Jan 2008 12:40

The Duke of St Albans, Dartmouth Park

The pub has just changed management but remains otherwise unaltered. The live jazz sessions, temporarily suspended, are due to resume from around 13/01/2008. Greene King IPA is available, and it is hoped (by the pub) that Fuller's London Pride will return soon.

9 Jan 2008 11:33

The Oakdale Arms, Harringay

Very good atmosphere last night, with eight out of a possible 9 pumps in use. Miltons and seasonal guest beers on great form. Rob and Anthony are continuing to do a fine job.

I'm not sure if the "bring your takeaway" policy is still valid but, if it is, a fantastic curry canteen called Maharaja opened up on New Years Eve at 602 Seven Sisters Road, just around the corner from the Oakdale. They are open until 1am daily, and serve quickly. It's great for a pre- or post-session curry, as I found to my delight last night. I mention this to capture clientele who have previously cited the lack of food or a decent place to eat nearby as a deterrent to visiting the Oakdale Arms.

Threatened with demolition or not, the pub is doing all it can to survive and thrive as a decent local, maintaining its eclectic clientele and its independent style. Long may this continue.

2 Jan 2008 17:40

The Wenlock Arms, Hoxton

Well done Jamie and Sally! Excellent New Year's Eve session, brilliant music, beer so-so and mostly very friendly clientele. Good to hear Craig Carter's singing voice for the first time. Wishing all at the Wenlock a happy, healthy and prosperous 2008.

1 Jan 2008 18:29

The Bartons Arms, Aston

Absolutely perfect. Paid a visit on 28th December and enjoyed two pints of top-form Oakham JHB, scoring full marks on flavour, texture and temperature. Simply exquisite.

The Thai food was so good I made a meal of it, choosing two courses and was not disappointed in any way.

In its own way the Bartons Arms is quite simply one of Birmingham's best pubs. Visit the pub, marvel at the ornate interior, sup and savour the Oakham ales and devour the food.

Well done to the cellarman and the friendly team of staff here.

31 Dec 2007 02:30

, Digbeth

The Anchor is fully deserving of its P.O.T.Y. 2007 for Birmingham. Almost spoilt for choice once again on 28/12/07 when I had the pleasure to spend an hour or two sampling the beers.

A somewhat lively pool game was in progress on my arrival, and I enjoyed the pleasant company of two Camra guys with a railway interest up in Birmingham for a special cross-country event.

Still smelt fairly strongly of paint following the recent redecoration of the interior - but don't let that put you off, the beer soon dealt with that! The decorators did a fine job and, apart from this, the interior of the pub remains unchanged.

31 Dec 2007 02:24

The Lamp Tavern, Birmingham

Splendid late session on 28/12/07. Adam was in charge while Eddie was on holiday in Ireland. The best beer on this time was a refreshing, dry Salamander beer of 3.8%, with Church End Gravediggers being a good No.2.

Pub completely unchanged since my visit of a year ago - just a perfect pub.

31 Dec 2007 02:17

The Cornucopia, Southend on Sea

I visited the Cornucopia on 22/12/2007 during an evening in Southend. This is indeed a tiny, intimate pub with an 'L' shaped bar to the right as you enter from the corner of the pub. A traditional interior greets you, with the lighting at a pleasant level.

A very friendly, well-traveled and knowledgeable landlord offered me a warm welcome on a freezing December night, and it was nice to hear his stories in between songs from the lively karaoke session belting out by the front of the pub.

Mighty Oak "Mauldon Gold" was on very good form - I enjoyed two pints - and an Adnams seasonal ale was also available. I was told there were normally three ales on, and that one of them is regularly from Mighty Oak.

I will visit again, maybe on a quieter night - no disrespect to the karaoke participants some of whom had excellent singing voices!

Good 8/10.

26 Dec 2007 21:30

The Camden Eye, Camden

Just returned from enjoyable evening out that ended with a swift pint here at last orders. A fine pint of Deuchars IPA, friendly Swedish girl behind the bar and a pleasant atmosphere. Will return and spend longer here.

19 Dec 2007 01:21

The Magpie and Crown, Brentford

Paid a timely visit to the pub last night during a trip to Brentford. Noted the following changes to the interior:

* Bar canopy now removed, much more spacious feel to the building.

* Complete redecoration - brilliant white emulsion on the walls and the wood panelling has also been refreshed (even the upside down boat has had a lick of varnish).

* Toilets refurbished.

* Brighter interior lighting.

The tables in front of the pub have had to be removed on the instructions of the council.

Steve (Landlord) very friendly and well-informed re microbreweries, etc. Enjoyed Titanic "Steerage" (dry and refreshing) and Grand Union Bitter (beautifully hoppy).

Brightening up pubs doesn't always improve them but for the Magpie & Crown it certainly has, as the decoration has been tasteful and sympathetic to the original. I feel nothing has been lost by the removal of the central bar canopy, spaciousness has been gained.

Steve has advised me that he is planning to add more handpumps next year. Currently there are 4, but he hopes to add at least another two and move them to the centre of the bar. At the same time he plans to introduce a real cider. Last night they were experimenting with the new music system which could occasionally be on the loud side for such a small pub, but management were aware and quickly moderated the volume when a loud track came on (Thanks for that!)

The locals were very friendly last night, and conversation was enjoyable. Thank you Steve for the pint as well.

Will be back.

A good 9/10

14 Dec 2007 13:08

Au Bon Vieux Temps, Brussels

I visited this treasure of a pub on the evening of November 29th during a daytrip to Brussels. Only a small projecting sign directs you to the pub from the main road via a narrow alleyway. First-time visitors to Ye Old Mitre in Holborn will recall a similar experience. And this does not apply only to its location, but also its interior. Unspoilt, centuries-old, intricate wood panelling and stained glass windows surround an L shaped bar. Partitioning creates three distinct drinking areas.

Little daylight enters the pub and illumination is afforded by tungsten chandeliers. 1970s MOR and film-related background music, some interesting tracks generated conversations among those sitting at the bar.

Three interesting beers on tap, of which I had the chance to enjoy two:

DIEKIRCH BLONDE
Dry, light-hopped and thirst quenching blond lager.

WESTMALLE DUBBEL
Brown, trappist beer, solid, malty, full-flavoured and very satisfying mouthfeel. Ideal on a cold wet November evening.

The landlady was very friendly and allowed me to take photographs in the pub, whilst a knowledge of French went a long way in maintaining conversation with the regulars about the beer and music.

I will certainly go again when next in Brussels.

6 Dec 2007 13:06

The Lion and Unicorn, Kentish Town

I paid a brief visit to this pub at 1330 today. It is under new management, and I had the pleasure to meet the new manager, a welcoming lady from the Midlands.

Visitors to the Lion & Unicorn will find plenty of space both inside and out, and a traditionl, warm interior featuring a wooden bar. There is a large smokers' area in the front garden, and a pleasant beer garden with a tent.

The rear of the pub is spacious and contains the dartboard and pool table.

No real ale is presently available, but there are three handpumps which the landlady intends to bring into use as soon as viable. She stated she has run a real ale pub [the Moot] in Nottingham and is very keen to reintroduce real ale to the L&U if enough local trade could be canvassed. She also plans to reintroduce food to the pub.

The upstairs houses a theatre which stages plays each weekday apart from Monday, and for details of any shows you are advised to contact the pub directly.

The Lion and Unicorn has had a chequered past, but under new, keen management it deserves a chance, and all the support and encouragement it can get in order that it can make a success, not only of real ale, but as a pub generally.

27 Nov 2007 15:37

The Lion and Unicorn, Kentish Town

I paid a brief visit to this pub at 1330 today. It is under new management, and I had the pleasure to meet the new manager, a welcoming lady from the Midlands.

Visitors to the Lion & Unicorn will find plenty of space both inside and out, and a traditionl, warm interior featuring a wooden bar. There is a large smokers' area in the front garden, and a pleasant beer garden with a tent.

The rear of the pub is spacious and contains the dartboard and pool table.

No real ale is presently available, but there are three handpumps which the landlady intends to bring into use as soon as viable. She stated she has run a real ale pub [the Moot] in Nottingham and is very keen to reintroduce real ale to the L&U if enough local trade could be canvassed. She also plans to reintroduce food to the pub.

The upstairs houses a theatre which stages plays each weekday apart from Monday, and for details of any shows you are advised to contact the pub directly.

The Lion and Unicorn has had a chequered past, but under new, keen management it deserves a chance, and all the support and encouragement it can get in order that it can make a success, not only of real ale, but as a pub generally.

27 Nov 2007 15:37

The Westport Inn, Kentish Town

Local's pub opposite a small parade of shops, and backing onto the Lismore Circus estate from which much of its clientele is drawn.

An Irish theme is the order of the day here, and Guinness is popular. The pub has a pleasant traditional tiled exterior and a low ceiling within.

Note that real ale is not available at the Westport Inn, and that children are not admitted at any time.

26 Nov 2007 18:23

The Mamelon Tower, London

Paid a lunchtime visit to this corner pub during a stroll around Queens Crescent. Visitors to the Mamelon will be greeted with a spacious interior and a snug containing a pool table.

I had a fairly drinkable half-pint of John Smiths keg beer, noting that real ale is not kept here as there is not a market for it. There remains a full range of lagers, spirits and soft drinks.

Live gigs are hosted each Saturday, and at other times a jukebox and TV provide entertainment. I noted the existence of a frail upright piano and was advised sadly that it has been out of use for many years! Parties are catered for, but food is not normally served at other times.

Strictly no children, and dogs are not admitted at any time.

26 Nov 2007 17:24

The Admiral Mann, Kentish Town

Wonderful evening on 21/11/07 despite England losing against Croatia. A darts match was on in the lounge bar when we arrived.

Again, pub virtually unchanged since I last reviewed it in October 2005. The McMullens' Country Bitter remains on good form (they have not stocked AK for at least two years now).

A very relaxing pub, cosy furnishing intact and clientele of all age groups all mingled with one another.

22 Nov 2007 12:06

Great Eastern Tavern, Hertford

I visited this pub with a friend during the summer. It occupies a street corner and has two separate drinking areas with a corridor running in front of them.

During our visit we noted staff and local drinkers to be friendly and accommodating to families with young children and dogs. The Mac's AK was on fine form and there was a fair range of pub snacks such as crisps, nuts etc available at the bar.

Worth a visit and handy as the first or last pub in a Hertford crawl as it is very close to Hertford East station.

19 Nov 2007 20:28

Varsity, Cheltenham

Terribly sorry, but I believe the correct spelling of the pub is "Varsity".

14 Nov 2007 09:34

The Wenlock Arms, Hoxton

Following a very successful birthday at the Wenlock, I would like to personally - and publicly - thank Will, Annette, John Bratley, Burnley Dave, Fishy Bill and Holly Roberts for their part in facilitating such a wonderful evening.

The "Honky-Tonk" 4.2% was just perfect. The range was made all the better by the inclusion of Dark Star "Over The Moon" and Grand Union "One Hop". Great latin jazz including a sax!

I have celebrated my birthday at the Wenlock several times but this one really was the best. Thanks to you all.

12 Nov 2007 00:45

The Bricklayers Arms, Putney

Just to add to my previous review - it was me who supplied the new bulb for the gents on 31/10/07!

8 Nov 2007 12:50

The Bricklayers Arms, Putney

Visited with a friend on 31/10/07 during a Hallowe'en crawl. Three T/T beers on, all in fine condition. Pleasant 1950s/60s oldies background music and a friendly atmosphere. The beer range DOES vary, so it is always worth a quick phonecall to the pub before venturing out. We were there on the offchance, and enjoyed pints of mild and Golden Best.

2 Nov 2007 12:57

The Wenlock Arms, Hoxton

Apart from the fine and regularly changing range of real ales, the Wenlock is proud to welcome in all sections of society - be they black, white, straight, gay, religious or atheist - the list could continue.

Readers of this site need to know that this remains the case. The pub has NOT been "taken over" by any particular group to the expense or detriment of others and there is no reasonn for anyone visiting this pub not to feel welcome, comfortable and part of the community.

The anonymous review, posted earlier today, should be read in isolation and disregarded as should the posting left on 25th October. To re-iterate, this is first and foremost a beer-oriented real ale pub, with live music, a varied and eclectic clientele and a staunchly loyal following - and long may that continue.

1 Nov 2007 18:07

The Evening Star, Brighton

Just returned from a fantastic session. Randomly met two people who had visited the same alehouses I had in New York in 2006! Oscar Wilde Mild - 10/10, Archers 5/10, all 3 Dark Star beers 10/10 and Gadd's Exodus (6.6%) 10/10. Where else do you get such consistently good beer?

30 Oct 2007 02:07

The Star, Highgate

Excellent food

28 Oct 2007 15:31

The Pembury Tavern, Hackney

Wonderful range of Buntingford ales on at present. Enjoyed them last night, tempted to return this evening for more!

28 Oct 2007 15:28

The Halfway House, Edinburgh

I paid two highly enjoyable visits to this pub in April during a weekend in Edinburgh.

This pub was simply one of the best pubs you could find in Edinburgh! Friendly staff and locals made for amicable conversation during pints of Greenmantle IPA, Orkney Dark Island, Broughton Ales Organic Border Gold and Tryst Brockville Dark. A superb cosy pub with a warm intimate interior. The external walls are now painted green.

25 Oct 2007 18:43

The Royal Oak, Borough

Excellent session last night. Harvey's Mild, Pale and Best were on 100% top form, I enjoyed my scampi and my friend loved his sausages & mash. Despite the early crowds and having to wait for table space, I still found the pub relaxing. This really is one of London's top class pubs, and long may this continue.

Continued 10/10.

6 Oct 2007 12:23

Madden's, East Finchley

Can anyone confirm if you can still get a Chinese from next door and have it in Maddens as you could back in 2002 when it was advertised in the good beer guide?

3 Oct 2007 18:50

The Old Swan, Netherton

The 2007 Camra GBG mentions this pub in its National Inventory listing.

3 Oct 2007 09:45

The Oakdale Arms, Harringay

Beer far more consistent and reliable now than earlier in the year; with one or two interesting guest beers from the eastern side of the country. A good session ale is always available, be it Milton or a guest.

Keep it up Rob

1 Oct 2007 18:10

The Wenlock Arms, Hoxton

Superb evening on Sat 29/09/07 - John Martin (John the Boat) celebrated his birthday here and the whole pub participated in proceedings.

Jamie Rowan's rock & roll/boogiewoogie line-up was supplemented perfectly by a DJ playing 50s/60s rock & roll vinyl singles on a deck with valved amplification.

The sausage sandwiches went down a treat, and a typically great beer selection kept all the cogs well-lubricated.

Well done to all involved!

1 Oct 2007 00:57

The Wenlock Arms, Hoxton

Deservedly so. "Smiff"'s review of 20/9/07 should be disregarded as he has posted random spiteful comments on three pubs (the Wenlock, the Hole in the Wall Southsea and the Basketmakers Arms Brighton), all of which are fine hostelries. All reviews were posted on the same day. His actions are rather unfortunate, and do not represent what this site was created for.

Meanwhile at the Wenlock, I visited twice in the past week to enjoy Blackwater Mild, Slaters Top Totty and the delicious Grand Union Simcoe. Even though the Wenlock isn't exactly an operating theatre, who would want to drink in one?

25 Sep 2007 10:23

Brauerei Marcus-Bru, Berlin

Visited this pub in September 2006 during a short trip to Berlin. Recommended in several guides and websites, this is an excellent pub that brews on the premises (a light pilsner and a dark beer - both very flavoursome).

Found the place quite small and intimate, divided into two or three separate rooms. Although not much English spoken by staff and locals, enough was spoken to be understood. Two very interesting characters at the bar provided for lively conversation, and it was difficult to leave despite having an early flight to catch the next day!

Recommended.

16 Sep 2007 20:31

The Hare, Bethnal Green

Family-friendly. Recently refurbished and with two cask ales available: Timothy Taylor Landlord and Greene King IPA. Not too difficult to reach from Old Street or Bethnal Green by bus, and a friendly welcoming team of staff work the bar.

Although my first visit was Saturday (playing for a wedding) I could sense the spaciousness that has been generated by moving the bar several feet back from the front of the pub.

A good pub, well worth a visit.

16 Sep 2007 20:26

The Oxford, Kentish Town

Fantastic atmosphere last night during England's 2-0 victory over Russia! Two superb Grand Union beers, "Simcoe" being an exquisite hoppy nectar went down without touching the sides.

Ate beforehand but the food aromas were enticing. Not sure who "Pauly" was but all staff were great, and so were the clientele - Lithuanian girl who chatted to me and my mate was a great laugh!

13 Sep 2007 09:22

The Pirate Inn, Alverton

Had a good time here last summer while in Cornwall for my brother's wedding. Good range of mainly West Country beers on offer, friendly staff and local drinkers.

Thanks for allowing me to play the pub piano as well as the free pint! Next time I'm in the area I will make a beeline for the Pirate Inn.

12 Sep 2007 17:49

The Alexandra, Penzance

I visited this pub in September last year, while in Cornwall for my brother's wedding, and was afforded a warm welcome by Peter & Rosemary (hope they are still there, and are well).

Great beer range, includes all the Skinners brews. An enthusiastic team runs this establishment, and the landlord stops at nothing in his innovativeness. Check behind the dartboard for a 52-foot Scalextric track, and there were some quite imaginative adaptations made to his wife's wheelchair during her incapacity.

Certainly a must-visit pub, prepare to be entertained!

12 Sep 2007 17:41

Il Cicchetto, Farringdon

Passed by on Sunday afternoon - pub remains closed and undergoing refurbishment. It was not clear if the premises will reopen as a pub.

10 Sep 2007 15:43

The Welsh Harp, Waltham Abbey

Excellent.

I popped in during a visit to Waltham Abbey yesterday (05/09/07). Staff and locals (Michael, Lee and others) were very friendly and afforded me a welcome fit for a VIP. Since I last visited a year or two back, the pub remains unchanged, still keeping the Mac's ales in good condition. AK and Country were the better-tasting of these. Tasted "Cask" for the first time, rather like Greene King IPA in flavour and texture.

Kind of them to make the special effort to provide food at a time it was not normally available; thanks Michael for that.

I enjoyed the pub so much it is worth making a repeat journey to spend and evening there.

6 Sep 2007 13:00

The Oakdale Arms, Harringay

Good form continuing. The Oakdale is on the up and up! Visited twice on the weekend, and the beer range and quality was consistently good. Northumberland Ale was a particular favourite, and good to see Nero back for the autumn.

Rob is doing a commendable job maintaining the good name of the pub, and it has returned to the relaxing, welcoming establishment it once was.

Great stuff.

3 Sep 2007 11:01

The Pembury Tavern, Hackney

Top class food and ale continues. Visited on Fri, 31/8/07; enjoyed the courgette/stilton soup followed by chicken jalfrezi. Freshly-on Nemesis, by the Hart brewery, was perfect as an accompanying beer, as well as on its own!

1 Sep 2007 12:06

The Cask and Glass, Victoria

Slight change to interior colour scheme since last visit in March(black/sepia wall panelling and upholstery); wonderful Sheps ales in top condition once again. Agree with the earlier comment re bar staff being attentive and remembering favourite drinks.

A splendid session last night was topped at 2245 by the totally random appearance of Jools Holland and his two, friendly dogs! You cannot plan evenings like this!

30 Aug 2007 20:56

The Lower Red Lion, St Albans

Just to follow on from earlier, there were some magnificent ales - especially one or two from the Alehouse brewery laid on specially. Of particular interest were beers featuring lime and even chilli! Peter and I enjoyed these thoroughly and, contrary to the anonymous remark left earlier, I was one of many who drank Alehouse and Church End beers albeit not exclusively so.

Long may these festivals continue.

28 Aug 2007 16:41

The Evening Star, Brighton

There was certainly plenty of Hophead - and Hophead Extra (5.8%) at the Evening Star on Saturday. The Dark Star Original was superb, and so was the guest beer "Smild".

This pub remains a "one-off" in Brighton.

28 Aug 2007 12:56

The Hand In Hand, Brighton

Pleasant visit on Saturday; Kemptown ale on fine form. Was saddened to hear of the impending sale of this establishment, but heartened to learn that an appropriate successor is being sought. Long may the brewing continue at the Hand in Hand, and long may its character and atmosphere remain.

PS I believe the encumbent team will remain until around Christmas so there's plenty of time for more trips to the pub!

28 Aug 2007 12:13

The Lower Red Lion, St Albans

Fantastic festival this weekend! Visited on Friday; excellent, relaxed atmosphere pervaded, late licence until 1am and a barbeque in operation until 11pm. Well done Kevin and the team - worth every penny of the train fare coming up to St Albans for this!

28 Aug 2007 12:08

The Wenlock Arms, Hoxton

Another of those unplannable nights on Sunday. On top of the full range of ales, Barnesy treated us to delicious, freshly-cooked sausages at the bar. My friend Michael and I could not get enough of them! All this coupled with great musical CD selections by Will Junior, it was a perfect evening.

The Wenlock remains fully deserving of its 10/10 rating.

28 Aug 2007 10:49

The Sultan, South Wimbledon

Just back from a wonderful night here with friends. GFB and Entire Stout on great form, and pub was unchanged since last visit, save that the beer garden now has floodlight illumination at night with more facilities for smokers.

Still well worth the journey across London to reach!

19 Aug 2007 03:23

The Oakdale Arms, Harringay

Superb return to form! Top class session on Friday night (17/8/07) with four Milton ales on their best form alongside Milestone North Rock and, best of all, Castle Rock Harvest Pale which was positively sublime.

A genuinely relaxed feel in the pub was supplimented by friendly efficiency behind the bar, and everyone in the pub seemed to be having a good time. More of the same please!

19 Aug 2007 03:15

The Pembury Tavern, Hackney

Excellent Castle Rock beers on last night (Hemlock and Harvest Pale) to entertain the tastebuds. A curious party of ferret enthusiasts made for further entertainment during a pleasant, relaxing session in a pub that is becoming more "homely" each week.

13 Aug 2007 13:21

The White Horse, Hertford

Paid a timely visit to this pub as part of a crawl with a friend on 01/08/07. Enjoyed an excellent pint of Wye Valley Bitter. I found the staff (girl behind the bar) and locals friendly, good-humoured and conversational. I would visit again tomorrow if not going on holiday!

This is an essential pub in any Hertford crawl, despite the sad fact they no longer brew here. Give it another try, Quinno, hopefully it will click for you next time.

3 Aug 2007 11:19

The Old Cross Tavern, Hertford

A gem.

I visited on Wed 01/08/07 with a friend who had not been since the refurbishment a few years back and was thrilled with the interior and atmosphere.

Superb Dark Star and other microbrewery beers, including an exquisite 6.6% stout. We were offered tasters, and succumbed to temptation.

Excellent pub, Recommended!

3 Aug 2007 11:14

The Wenlock Arms, Hoxton

The anonymous commentator speaks in isolation. The Wenlock is a pub that is enjoyed by the many - not the few - is managed with enthusiasm and love by Will, Steve and the team. Whilst no pub can claim to cater for 100% of the drinking population 100% of the time, the Wenlock in my experience has never failed to satisfy anyone in search of:

a) a proper, decent pint from a wide range
b) real cider
c) live jazz and blues music
d) real unpretentious people of all ages
e) a convivial pub atmosphere promoting friendship

I was last there yesterday afternoon and could not fault the beer range and people's friendliness. I met three friends there from north London who thoroughly enjoyed themselves. Superb!

30 Jul 2007 10:20

The Evening Star, Brighton

Absolutely superb. The smoking ban has not hit the pub in any way as observed during my session last night with a local friend. Beers seemed to run out as quickly as I have ever seen at the Evening Star. Alongside Hophead, Meltdown and Original was a cracking Eastwood & Saunders brew (about 4.1%) and several other nactareous beers.

The staff are very professional and businesslike as well as being friendly. The discretion and finesse shown in the way the barman dealt with a drunk was a lesson for all pubs to learn.

It is useful for crawl planners to know that the Evening Star is quite strict at closing time - this is not a criticism, merely an observation, so when buying at the last bell, be armed with the knowledge that you are required to finish your drink and leave by 2320. In my case, if I hadn't done so I would have missed my train back to London!

Retains the 10/10 marking I awarded last time I rated the pub.

25 Jul 2007 19:34

The Pembury Tavern, Hackney

Congratulating Steve and the team for superb festival - I think it was their best ever. Here's to many more.

23 Jul 2007 10:41

The Pembury Tavern, Hackney

Great festival started Wednsesday.

Full Milton range will be available between now and 22nd July plus guests from:

All Gates*
Arran
Black Country Ales
Blakemere
Cairngorm*
Caledonian
Fenland
Fyne Ale
Hampshire
Hart
Hydes
Jarrow
Northern Brewing
Ossett
Saltaire*
Tower
York

Brewers marked with a star: I have tasted them all and they were great.

Congratulations are due also on securing a late licence which it is believed will be used on Fri and Sat eves. Great news!

19 Jul 2007 01:45

The Doric Arch, Euston

Took a friend from Italy here for a couple of pints last night. The pub seemed quite empty even for a Monday evening, but Dark Star HopHead was absolutely on its best form.

Found staff quite friendly and jovial, and it was fairly relaxed at closing time - another improvement on previous visits.

17 Jul 2007 10:57

The Olde Tavern, Kington

A very pleasant session in April 2007. Visited on a pilgrimage with some friends, over in Leominster for an annual event, and the trip to the Olde Tavern was the highlight of the weekend. It is one of these places that must be visited and worth a journey from anywhere in the county.

15 Jul 2007 21:14

The Wenlock Arms, Hoxton

Holly played excellently last night. It was well worth leaving Cambridge early so as not to miss the gig. Her guest drummer proved to be an asset to the trio.

A great evening with Steve managing operations due to Will's eye operation. Along with all other Wenlock regulars, I wish Will a speedy recovery.

15 Jul 2007 13:04

The Cambridge Blue, Cambridge

A fine pint of Church End "Goats Milk" was enjoyed during my visit last night. Spoke to a friendly Russian couple staying in Cambridge for whom this is their local. The garden was just perfect for a warm July evening, and finally the sausage & caramelised onion in ciabatta was lovely. I vow to return. 10/10.

15 Jul 2007 12:57

The Claret Free House, Addiscombe

Continues to be a top pub, and worth the journey down to Addiscombe for the beer range and atmosphere.

14 Jul 2007 19:48

The Kingston Arms, Cambridge

Visited this evening and have enjoyed a pint of Elgood's Black Dog Mild, in fine form, along with a generous portion of tagliatelli Bolognese which was also very good. Staff in the Kingston remain jovial, friendly and attentive, and the ale choice speaks for itself:

Hopback Entire Stout
Crouch Vale Brewers Gold
Oakham JHB
Timothy Taylor Landlord
Elgood Black Dog Mild
Hopback Summer Lightning
Holden's Golden Glow
Butts Organic Jester
Rooster's Spa Ale

Cassels Cider was also available.

Remaining one of Cambridge's top, must-visit pubs for real ale and for excellent food. Their regular menu is supplimented by an extensive "specials" board. Do visit.

14 Jul 2007 19:19

The Wenlock Arms, Hoxton

Very smooth transition to the smoking ban. Indeed the pub seemed busier last night than on recent Sundays. Smokers seemed to have adjusted to nipping outside for "fag breaks" without any problems whatsoever, and the consensus last night amongst friends was that there were no losers in this equation.

2 Jul 2007 19:05

The Edgar Wallace, Temple

Visited last night for the first time. Impressive pub with a good range at face value (six real ales). Pleasant, friendly staff offer tasters.

I had a pint of Edgar's Pale Ale (EPA) which I believe to come from Nethergate. This was not too bad and I could have easily finished it had I not been in company, anxious to move on to the next pub.

The Woodforde's Wherry was also tasted but seemed to lack some of the aromatic, herby and hoppy notes it has when served in pubs like the Cambridge Blue.

The food menu reads well, I did not eat here as I had done so earlier in another pub.

I will visit again independently as this hostelry certainly has a lot of promise.

28 Jun 2007 09:34

The Duke of St Albans, Dartmouth Park

Jazz very good, Holly Roberts on piano (from Wenlock). We could do with an upgrade of the real ale - how about a beer from any of the breweries listed below:

Dark Star (HopHead would be ideal!!)
Crouch Vale
Harveys
Grand Union
Mighty Oak
Hopback
Milton
Castle Rock
Nottingham
Woodfordes
Pictish
Phoenix
Kelham Island

Good choice there - at least one must be on the wholesalers' list!

I commend the new management and what they have done so far - excellent. I live round the corner from this pub and would visit regularly if there were one or two interesting real ales on. (I regularly visit the Wenlock for Holly's Saturday gigs and the range of beers, for example).

Keep up the good work.

27 Jun 2007 01:26

Baxter's Court, Hackney

Agree with Mog 100%. Whilst there was no alternative in the vicinity this pub was a convenient stop for a bite to eat and a pint of cask-conditioned ale.

With the addition of the Pembury to Hackney 18 months ago I have not had the reason or the occasion to revisit Baxters Court. I hasten to add that the pub has not deteriorated in any way - there simply emerged a better one nearby.

27 Jun 2007 00:41

The Nags Head, Walthamstow

Visited with a friend last night (24/6/07) and had 3 fine pints of Oscar Wilde Mild. This beer is on permanently, and is one of up to five real ales available at the Nag's Head. Hoped to try Timothy Taylor's Landlord but this went off during the session. Only one other beer was on tonight - Adnams Broadside. The remaining two pumps (off) were Black Sheep Bitter and Fuller's London Pride.

Food is now served at the pub lunchtimes and some evenings - check with pub for details. A comprehensive range of bar snacks is available including biltong, prawn crackers, poppadoms and some exotic crisp flavours.

25 Jun 2007 01:09

The Witch, Haywards Heath

Visited on 06/06/2007 and enjoyed perfectly kept Harveys. Food is excellent - try the mussels, and soups as starters. Portions are generous and attention is paid to detail.

The pub dates back to the 18th century but the interior is modern - note split levels with the main eating area in the lower, rear section of the pub. Decorated quite tastefully in pale blue (woodwork) and white (walls/ceilings) giving a pleasant light level with subdued lighting. Wooden floors. There is also a snug with a TV in which people were crammed on my visit.

Owned by Gerry Ryan (Rep of Ireland player). All staff very friendly and efficient. This pub features in Camra's GBG, and their recommendation is backed 100%. If I lived in Hayward's Heath it'd be a regular haunt for me alongside the Stand-Up-Inn.

Great place, do visit.

22 Jun 2007 20:33

The Star, Highgate

Timely visit late last night. Good first pint of Nethergate; perfect half of T/T Landlord. Brief chat with management re their enterprising real ale choices. Seen Grand Union badges up alongside Nethergate and Sharps. Mentioned Dark Star which is not yet on their S.I.B.A. list but hoping soon will be!!

21 Jun 2007 19:58

The Oakdale Arms, Harringay

Pub has really found its feet once more. Cycled down on Tuesday evening to enjoy more perfect Milton beers. Rob and the team are doing a fine job, and I recommend that anyone who hasn't been for a while to return and see for themselves how the Oakdale has improved.

I anticipate paying AT LEAST one visit to next week's festival!

14 Jun 2007 22:47

The Wenlock Arms, Hoxton

MOG has hit the nail bang on the head here. The Wenlock is a "real pub" in the traditional sense, frequented by real people (of all age-groups) who enjoy the constantly-changing range of ales, the liive jazz and blues sessions and the friendly bar staff.

To the reviewer referring to the lack of "eye candy" in the Wenlock - bring your own - problem solved!

13 Jun 2007 17:10

The Stand Up Inn, Lindfield

Additionally, visitors will be pleased with the reasonable beer prices. All [Dark Star] beers were 2.40 a pint last night.

7 Jun 2007 19:50

The Stand Up Inn, Lindfield

This pub is an absolute gem. I visited for the first time last night, following recommendations here and in Camra's GBG, and enjoyed no less than three exquisite Dark Star beers:

Mild for May - beautifully crafted dark mild - puts most others in the shade

Hophead - requires no introduction

Best Bitter - Delicate smoke and accute bitterness "sing in harmony" in this pint!

In addition, Whitstable Oyster Stout was a great one to finish on.

Pub is spacious and very pleasantly decorated, comfortably lit and has a beer garden. Also note that a range of hot snacks such as sausages in bread and pasties are available - check with pub for times.

Staff are very friendly here and have a great sense of humour, as do the locals - particularly those seated around the bar from 2100-2300 last night. Oh - must not forget the 35g bag of Jonathan crisps! If you were there last night you'll know!

Worthy of a 10/10, and certainly well worth the train journey (and the walk from Haywards Heath).

7 Jun 2007 10:32

The Royal Oak, Borough

Absolutely superb.

Spent Friday evening here with six friends. Sussex Pale was so good it was hard to come off it. Pub is completely unchanged since my last visit and the beer quality, staff friendliness and atmosphere win the pub a continuing mark of 10/10.

Fully deserving of all the praise heaped upon it from other reviewers.

2 Jun 2007 20:12

The Doric Arch, Euston

Excellent impromptu session early on Wednesday evening (30/5/07). Hophead and Phoenix Arizona of particular note. The pub was buzzing and my friend and I found the atmosphere more relaxing than it has been in a long while.

Note that many of the ales are now in the 2.60/2.70 bracket.

1 Jun 2007 03:00

The Basketmakers Arms, Brighton

If Fullers were to sell, I'm sure that a reputable brewery such as Harvey's or Dark Star would snap it up and leave it just as it is!

26 May 2007 13:29

The Oakdale Arms, Harringay

Fantastic evening last night. Slaters' Queen Bee (4.2%)was exquisite and more-ish, Sparta and Pegasus were on top form, and Nero was just about perfect. Two delightful girls behind the bar afforded friendly attentive service throughout the evening, making it one of those sessions that simply cannot be pre-arranged!

10/10 for beer quality and atmosphere. The Oakdale has definitely regained its prior glory and long may this continue. Finally where did those delicious sweets come from?

23 May 2007 10:05

The Dog and Bull, Croydon

Had a great evening with a group of friends on Saturday. Although the Youngs was not the cheapest beer in the world, this was more than compensated for by the convivial atmosphere afforded us by friendly locals and a cheerful chirpy landlord the envy of pubs for miles around!

Definitely one of Croydon's better pubs.

21 May 2007 19:46

The Grape Vaults, Leominster

Continues to serve well-kept Banks's ales amongst others. Visited in April 2007. Excellent lunchtime food - the mussels were spot-on, and service - as always - was friendly and efficient. Everyone in the pub (staff and customers included) appeared to be enjoying themselves.

A fine pub - don't change it!

21 May 2007 17:30

The Cask and Barrel, Edinburgh

Second pub in my "crawl" of 27/04/2007.

Very pleasant corner pub with a horseshoe bar and compartmentalised seating in the front area with chair-and-table seating elsewhere. I found staff very pleasant and businesslike during my stay. Pub seemed slightly on the quiet side when I entered around 2130-2200, but by closing time it was lively and buzzing with conversation. Locals were friendly (thanks for that pint, Bill).

I enjoyed the following beers during the session:

COWIE
Pleasant hoppy session ale, some malty notes; 3.6% and only 2/pint. Apparently there is usually one beer available at this price.

CAIRNGORM BLESSED THISTLE
Spicy, novelty craft beer with hint of frankincense and myrrh - something of an acquired taste, but in a pleasant session in amicable surroundings such a taste is not hard to acquire!

HARVIESTOUN BITTER AND TWISTED
Simply exquisite

HILL ISLAND REVIVE ALE
Possibly the best of the night - 3.9%, smokey, rather like a German Rauchbier. Superb!

I felt quite relaxed and welcome in the Cask & Barrel, and would recommend it to real-ale enthusiasts visiting Edinburgh.

18 May 2007 20:01

The Barony Bar, Edinburgh

I had the pleasure to call at this fine pub on 27th April 2007 during my first visit to Edinburgh.

Visitors to the Barony are treated to an ornately tiled interior, some exquisite ceiling mouldings, a bare wood floor and two fireplaces on which to feast their eyes.

Caledonian Deuchars IPA was superb - ever better than it tastes in London. Also available (on 27/04/07) were:

Caledonian 80/-
Youngs Bitter
Black Sheep Bitter
Guest beers
Weston Traditional Cider

Live music is performed every Sunday y "Bedford Falls" and occasionally by "Radiohead". A great pub, GBG-listed and worth a visit.

18 May 2007 19:48

The Farmers Boy, St Albans

Now having inspected the sign that has attracted so much wrath, it is harmless in that it is merely a sign. However if I was visiting St Abans for the first time without the Good Beer Guide or recommendations, I may well have drawn the wrong conclusions from it, and walked past without necessarily enquiring further of the interior. I am therefore glad to have known this pub before the signage was changed.

An excellent crawl on Tuesday evening began with a call at the FB in which an excellent pint and a half of "Clipper" was supped. Roger (known as the "farmer's boy") made for entertaining company whilst awaiting the arrival of my friend.

In direct disagreement with the reviewer of 16th April, I found the place very clean, the service to be quick and friendly, and that I could have remained in the pub for a great deal longer had a crawl not been arranged.

17 May 2007 18:53

The Lower Red Lion, St Albans

Pete and I paid another timely visit to the LRL last Tuesday and enjoyed a fine alehouse stout alongside one or two other beers. We were not at all disappointed with the quality, and seem to have limitless luck insofar as each time we visit a pub that is reportedly so variable, we consistently enjoy quality ale!

My original rating remains unchanged

17 May 2007 18:41

The Verulam Arms, St Albans

My friend and I enjoyed a fine pint of Otter on Tuesday 15/05/07 during a crawl. Staff and regulars were very friendly and a pleasant relaxed atmosphere prevailed. This was my first visit to the Verulam, and it merits spending longer there next time.

First impressions are of a fine pub.

17 May 2007 18:37

The Pride of Spitalfields, Shoreditch

Excellent session last night. Brewer's gold was on superb form, and the atmosphere was buzzing. Staff and locals alike were friendly and relaxed. Although only stopping for 2 pints it would have been easy to settle in for the entire evening and finish on an ESB!

Recommended - a hidden treasure.

17 May 2007 18:18

The Oakdale Arms, Harringay

I am happy to report that the practice, referred to in the previous posting, has ceased. There are more beers, and the atmosphere has improved much since earlier in the year.

16 May 2007 16:58

The Assembly House, Kentish Town

Paid a lunchtime visit last week.

Although food quality was very good, a lunch comprising a burger, served with chips and coleslaw, plus a half-pint of Greene King IPA came to over 10.

13 May 2007 01:35

The Bricklayers Arms, Putney

Splendid session last night. My two friends and I were among the last to leave, for which we all apologise to the friendly management.

Timothy Taylor's Golden Best was good, but Saltaire "XB" and "Cascade" were superb, particularly the latter which was exquisite.

This pub certainly remains the best in the area, and I look forward to our next visit.

10 May 2007 14:57

The Station Bar, Glasgow

Paid a timely visit on the early evening of 26th April, and was thrilled to see that the pub remained structurally unchanged since my last call three or four years back.

Deuchar's IPA was in a class of its own, tasting absolutely exquisite - far better than any I have drunk south of the border in recent years. Titanic "Spring A Leak" was quite an interestingly flavoured beverage with the qualities of a wheat beer, nevertheless quite drinkable, whilst the third ale I tried, Coach House "Squire's Gold" was delectably hoppy in character.

Friendly locals quaffing at the bar engaged me in conversation making it very difficult to leave this establishment despite having to meet up with a friend in the Bon Accord later. But this was a great start to my Glasgae pubcrawl.

Note that filled rolls are available at the bar (or were available at around 1800-1900 during my session).

Visitors to the Station Bar will not be disappointed in any way.

8 May 2007 17:55

The Bon Accord, Glasgow

Had a truly splendid time here on 26/04/2007. A thrilling range of beers, many Scottish among them, most at drinker-friendly strengths. Of particular interest was a beer from Kelburn.

This is a haven for real-ale fans in Glasgow, and visitors will enjoy the relaxed, friendly atmosphere that abounds at Bon Accord. I would return tomorrow if in Glasgow.

Might not be the easiest pub to reach by public transport, but the perseverence of the keen walker was rewarded several times over.

Champion!

8 May 2007 17:43

The Oakdale Arms, Harringay

Visited twice since Easter. Beer has improved with a full range of Milton ales available once again. General atmosphere is also on the up. Worth visiting more frequently again.

24 Apr 2007 20:17

The Wenlock Arms, Hoxton

Elsiepop is referring to fast beer turnover. The pub is often full to bursting particularly on a Friday or Saturday evening. I have seen beers put on at 1800 gone by 2200 but swiftly replaced by an equally pleasant beer. Seldom is there a beer on that fails to satisfy most tastes, and of course the most popular ales (such as Dark Star, Mighty Oak, etc) sell out very quickly. Actually this is a good thing as the beer does not get the chance to deteriorate!

24 Apr 2007 18:32

The Black Horse, Leominster

Absolutely superb once again. Castle Rock Pale, and Hobsons Town Crier amongst the nectars on offer at the weekend! Sad to see the pub up for sale but hoping that it will fall into safe hands!

17 Apr 2007 20:13

In de Wildeman, Amsterdam

A magnificent end to my "crawl" last night (24/03/07). After the IJ session and a pizza near Dam Square, the evening ran like clockwork! A swift tram ride to Niewezijdsvoorburgwal, and a few steps away lay the welcoming doors of the Wildeman.

What more could you ask for? Completely unchanged since my last visit, the pub was buzzing, and as friendly as ever. Yet again, speaking some Dutch helped, and very interestingly so. I had got into conversation with a group of English tourists in their 60s from Portsmouth, sitting at the table opposite me. One guy made no secret of the his view that it was 'not necessary' to learn ONE WORD of any foreign language, ie Dutch as there's 'no need'. At that moment, my eyes met those of a local Dutchman with whom I'd exchanged a word or two before joining his table.

When the English group left, the Dutchman and I began conversing in Dutch (to the best of my abilities). We knocked glasses several times as he expressed his delight at anyone trying to speak the lingo and thus see more of Holland than Dam Square etc.

I had to resort to English several times though when describing the beers I wanted to drink - one amazing thing about this pub is you can "shop by taste". One excellent smoky German beer, "Smoky George" was excellent, and there was a hoppy pilsner from a micro-brewery that was also delectable. Both of these were better than De Koninck, the starting beer.

The bill came to just six euros for the three beers, indicating that people had been "friendly" in other ways too!

The Wildeman, partly due to its location and in part by its reviews in sites such as BITE alongside worldwide beer literature, is attracting more tourists than before. This is a mark of success as it's not full of Fosters/Tizer drinkers but discerning ale enthusiasts. It deserves to continue to succeed.

25 Mar 2007 13:01

't IJ Proeflokaal (Brouwerij 't IJ), Amsterdam

One or two changes to report follwing my visit last night (24/03/07) - none of them "bad" though. Had a very enjoyable session indeed with Mike Dolan - a Canadian with whom I'd struck up conversation on the 22 bus on the way to the pub.

Visitors will notice a large new extension - painted grey within, adjoining the brewery room and the main bar area creating an L-shape. Such a change was inevitable as the IJ continues to feed off its own success. Also note the snug to the right of the bar has had to be closed off - not quite sure of the reason but drinkers seeking the snug are faced by a plasterboard partition.

Initial adverse surprise at the structural alterations soon dissolved when Mike and I took our first sips of IJ Pilzn. Ahhh - just what the doctor ordered... heaven! There seemed to be a slight sweet note in the initial few seconds follwed by the resounding dry hoppiness for which we all love Pilzn.

All the spicy sweetness of Paasij were present in the Easter brew, and the liquorice/aniseed flavours still graced the tongue of Ladnewton.

I tried a third beer during this visit - IJwit. Although a thoroughly well-crafted beer with an intentionally sweet honey taste throughout, it was this very sweetness that I didn't find to my own personal taste. That would not stop me recommending it to anyone with a liking for sweet beer, and it would also work well as a dessert ale.

The brewery is certainly going from strength to strength, but they are keeping the beer - and the brewery - as they are for the foreseeable future.

Once again, a positively excellent experience. Had this been the only place I'd visited in Amsterdam, the return flight would have been worth it!

25 Mar 2007 12:38

Cafe Gollem, Amsterdam

A wonderful night on Thursday 22/03/07. Was not quite so packed as on other visits which enabled me to secure a stool at the bar on arrival. Enjoyed De Koninck plus some bottled beers recommended by a local, including a special beer from Brouwerij 't IJ. I thank him for his recommendation as the flavour was head and shoulders above anything else I had tasted in the session. Again, Gollem proved impossible to leave until chucking-out time, and the bill was reduced (yet again) by friendly locals buying me a beer!

Not sure why I only gave it 8/10 last time - an undisputed 10 is deserved.

25 Mar 2007 12:13

De Zotte, Amsterdam

Paid a tmely pilgrimage to Zotte on Friday 23/03/07 after visiting adjoining premises. My extended stop at Onder de Ooievaar meant the kitchen was closed when I arrived, but a hearty cheeseboard made up for that!

Enjoyed a Westmalle trippel and an Amstel pils the latter of which simply helped to wash down all the bread and cheese.

The locals have a great sense of humour. When my cheeseboard arrived, the girl next to me asked me if I liked Dutch and Belgian cheeses, to which I replied in the affirmative, thus striking up a conversation. She somehow got the idea that I'd been served four cheeses from the same block. Despite protesting that they were all different and I was enjoying them, she summoned the barman to my table demanding he gave me "4 different cheeses". He angrily (rare in Amsterdam) brought out the cheese container, thrust it before the girl and pointed to the four different blocks from which my portion had been cut. I made it quite clear I had nothing to do with all this, and the girl and I collapsed laughing.

Some 30 minutes later I pointed out that the couple seated opposite us had pate and I jokingly suggested she summon the barman once again lest there only be one type on their plate. With a mischievous grin she obliged forthwith, and back came the barman with the pate container! When he saw our faces he, too, ended up consumed with laughter!

All's well that ends well, and a fantastic evening was had in Zotte!

25 Mar 2007 12:05

Onder de Ooievaar, Amsterdam

A little gem. Visited early on Friday evening. There was a rocking atmosphere within, against the backdrop of a gorgeous sunset over the Prinsengracht.

The Paasij (meaning Easter Egg) from the IJ brewery was exquisite and, having popped in for just the one, I ended up quaffing three. Although a locals' pub, I was given a VIP's welcome simply for uttering a few words of Dutch at the bar. Moreover, I only ended up paying for one of the three aforementioned Paasij beers.

This pub is well worth the walk along the Prinsengracht to reach, and you will be glad you made the effort.

A big 'hartelijk bedankt' to Jan and Dik for making it such a pleasant session!

Recommended.

25 Mar 2007 11:50

The Vat and Fiddle, Nottingham

An excellent "finish" to my Nottingham crawl on 9th March. Some friendly locals on the bar, and jovial party of revellers invited me to join them at their table - sadly had to leave and catch train back to London!

A stunning array of beers - half Castle Rock, the remainder other micros, tantalised the discerning drinker, and it was quite difficult to leave this pub!

The parentheses around the word finish refer to the fact that I managed to get in the Wenlock for last orders on arrival back in London!!!

20 Mar 2007 16:11

The Plough Inn, Radford

Visited on 09/03/2007. All beers in superb condition, very friendly staff and local drinkers at the bar at approximately 1800 hours. Wide mix of clientele including families using the public bar.

Exceedingly good value for money, with most of the beers around or little over 2 a pint. The home-made hamburger and chips, at 2.50 for a large plate, was excellent.

I was on a daytrip to Nottingham on the 9th, and the taxi fare to this pub was virtually made good completely by the savings!

Remains one of my favourite pubs in the UK, and the 10/10 marking remains well deserved.

20 Mar 2007 15:56

The Six Bells, St Albans

Warm, welcoming, homely intimate pub. Low beamed ceilings, and some partitioning gives separate drinking areas.

Good food served until approximately 2100, did not try any as I had eaten elsewhere beforehand. Everyone's food smelled excellent, and fish appears to be a speciality.

Beer range varies, mainly regional breweries; 5 handpumps in use last night, Deuchar's IPA OK but not on its absolute best form.

Nevertheless, a very pleasant hostelry indeed.

20 Mar 2007 11:30

The Pembury Tavern, Hackney

Festival began yesterday and promises to be their most successful to date. This is one not to be missed. Alongside a full range of Milton brews (including one or two specials) are all manner of nectareous ales from Jarrow, Nottingham, Castle Rock, Northern Brewing and numerous others.

The food menu remains in force - try the exquisite mushroom soup for starters and follow it with the delectable beef & Nero pie.

Steve has indicated they hope to host three festivals per year in future.

Excellent!

15 Mar 2007 10:17

The Wenlock Arms, Hoxton

The Wenlock is definitely a national treasure! Indeed we have had several visitors from the US (and of course elsewhere in the world) making repeat visits to the pub.

I am of insufficient knowledge to know what the long term future (say the 'twenties) holds but as stated by the penultimate reviewer this pub now, like it or not, stands alone in the middle of a burgeoning new housing estate and the chief owner is in his sixties.

However I think the "yuppies" referred to are mainly from elsewhere and are equally welcome in the pub as the mature generation, seeing as I have formed acquaintanceships with many of them, **all** of whom would be beside themselves if we were to lose this pub. Actually, if you are looking for an accurate description of the clientele you need look no further than Sleeping Scooper's comments of 1st March beneath mine!

13 Mar 2007 21:58

The Bricklayers Arms, Putney

Just returned from that "second visit" I promised back in June 2006. What a superb pub indeed. There were four Timothy Taylor beers on tonight (6th March) and I enjoyed Golden Best, Landlord and Ram Tam all of which were on very good form indeed.

This pub is run enthusiastically by keen, informed and friendly staff determined to make a success of it. Locals were very welcoming too, and I ended up in long conversations at each visit to the bar wilst my friend waited patiently at our table. The Bricklayers is well worth the journey from North London, and it has certainly established itself as one of SW London's premier alehouses. Just a shame I missed their first fesival last month, but I hear another is planned for the summer.

I will be back!

7 Mar 2007 02:06

The Oakdale Arms, Harringay

Sadly, Rob has now seen fit to leave the Oakdale. The man deserves a round of applause for his efforts to return the pub to its original standard. Wishing him all the best in his future endeavours. Firm management is now required to maintain beer standards which, alas, have begun to slip since my last review. Any ongoing issues need to be tackled from the root causes, and positive action in ensuring these standards are reached would be welcomed by all.

Wishing the best for the Oakdale Arms.

5 Mar 2007 19:36

The Cask and Glass, Victoria

Enjoyed a Friday night session with two friends on 02/03/07. Shepherd Neame Masterbrew on its best form for a long time, and their Best Bitter was excellent.

Be aware that this pub is very strict on its closing time - all drinkers MUST leave the premises by 2320 sharp. Unless you walk at a speed of less than 0.5mph, there is no chance of missing your last train to anywhere from Victoria.

5 Mar 2007 02:02

The House, Islington

A splendid family lunch here on 04/03/07. Staff very friendly and a relaxed atmosphere throughout. Background music was soft and unobtrusive on our visit. The establishment seemed to be doing a roaring trade Sunday lunchtime.

A full, varied menu caters for all tastes; creative and imaginative variations on many popular dishes featured. I illustrate this with the excellent sea bream and ratatouille that I enjoyed alongside the battered whiting devoured by my sister-in-law. The onion Tarte Tatin made for an appetising starter. Other specialities were a fine roast beef with all the trimmings not to mention scrumptious desserts.

A good wine list and one or two well-known lagers on draught. The real-ale drinker is not forgotten, however, with Adnams Bitter in superb form.

First-time visitors to the House should be aware that the establishment is primarily a restaurant, (Drinkers-only are accommodated outsied and at some limited indoor sofa seating). You are therefore advised to book beforehand as it appears to be very popular indeed. You will not be disappointed - we certainly weren't!

5 Mar 2007 01:46

Le Bateau Ivre, Manhattan

I visited this pub on July 10th and 12th 2006. The "Drunken Boat" has been open since 1999 and is essentially a gastro with a traditional French food menu.

It is fine just to sit at the bar and enjoy a pint (or a glass of wine - up to 250 varieties available by the glass!) No American beers here, but European lagers are available on draught.

The atmosphere rocks in the late evening with friendly jovial staff plus a convivial mix of drinkers-only and diners. Lively, melodic music is played and there is a party feel to the place late at night.

Le Bateau Ivre is located next to the Pickwick Arms hotel where I stayed during my trip, making this just about the most convenient pub in the world to end a crawl!

I remember with great fondness being welcomed in from a ferocious thunderstorm on the night of the 12th.

Do visit.

1 Mar 2007 21:58

The Broadway Brewing Co, JFK International Airport

Discovered this beer outlet on 14th July 2006 just before boarding my return flight to London. I went for the Pier 59 Pale Ale which is an archetypal American brew. Staff friendly. Note early closing times of approximately 2200. As illustrated above, six craft beers available on draught, and it is worth setting aside time to try them all!

Although no enormous fan of airport pubs this one I wholly recommend for the beer.

1 Mar 2007 21:40

The Wenlock Arms, Hoxton

The range last night was amongst the best this year with a selection catering for everyone:

Dark Star "Over The Moon" 3.8%
Cottage "IK Brunel Ale" 4.4%
Adnams Bitter 3.7%
Nelson "Loose Cannon" 4.4%
Wentworth "Black Zac" 4.6%
Mighty Oak "Maldon Gold" 3.7%
Mighty Oak "TMJ" 3.7% **
Fenland "Doctor's Orders" 5%

** Dry-hopped Oscar Wilde Mild, bespoke ale in celebration of the birthday of "Tia Maria Jim"

The Dark Star OTM was bursting at the seams with flavour for its strength, and both Mighty Oak beers were exquisite. Wentworth Black Zac was nearing the end of the barrel, nevertheless was still drinkable - the strongest of three black beers on last night! To end the night Steve pulled us a taster of the Fenland. A strong honey-sweetness hits the palate initially, followed by a vicious bitter bite combined with a superb smokiness. Great to finish a session!

1 Mar 2007 21:22

The Cock and Bottle, Bradford

Visited this pub at lunchtime on 26th January 2007. A fine, traditional interior greets visitors to this hostelry, and you are greeted by efficient businesslike staff. Of particular note are the fireplaces in each room and an internal back-lit stained-glass window in the smallest room.

I sampled two beers during my visit; Daleside Blonde, an exquisite 3.9% bitter, traditionally brewed to Yorkshire standards bitter first, hoppy afterwards and very smooth mouthfeel. The second beer was Skipton Copper Dragon Golden Pippin. Also 3.9%, it was light, refreshing and hoppier than the Daleside; the two beers complemented each other well.

This pub is well worth the effort of finding, and would be an ideal place to start a crawl or indeed spend your entire evening if so you desired.

Occasional live music is advertised check with pub staff.

Recommended for its beer range and its traditional internal design I would return tomorrow if in Bradford.

9/10

26 Feb 2007 23:46

The Wenlock Arms, Hoxton

Rather unfortunate that the previous reviewer's experience was not to his liking. The atmosphere was excellent last night. Jamie and Sally's multi-style gig brought in clientele of all ages, classes and creeds, and in contradiction to the idea of there being thousands of Wenlocks around, this is quite simply not true. This is why our pub wins one award after another and is packed to the rafters on evenings and weekends.

25 Feb 2007 16:36

The Town Wall Tavern, Coventry

With the intention of just having one pint, I popped in to refresh my acquaintance to this pub at 1730 yesterday (23rd Feb). Deuchar's IPA, one of the guests, was on very good form. Conversation was immediately struck up with friendly, welcoming locals. This meant that I was never going to leave after just one pint! I followed the IPA with a Brew XI that [sadly] is now brewed by Cain's in Cardiff, but the pub atmosphere was the main force of magnetism this evening. Also enjoyed a cheese & onion "batch" - local term used for a roll or bap, these are available at the bar most of the time.

Newsflash:
Carl, the pub's landlord of many years' standing, is leaving next week for pastures new, and a new landlady is taking over the tenancy. Local intelligence suggests she will increase the food facility at this establishment - all we can do is wait and see.

Anyhow I ended up leaving the pub an hour later than intended which, in its present state, is easily done!

24 Feb 2007 14:07

The Malt Shovel, Coventry

Popped in for 3 pints last night. Friendliness and welcome remain in place, and I was right to continue recommending the pub in October. A pint of Church End Gravedigger was not bad, and the Brewster's Marquis Bitter was excellent. Good musical variety on the freeplay jukebox, and volume remains comfortable.

24 Feb 2007 13:56

The Oakdale Arms, Harringay

And, as if by magic.

What an amazing improvement! I visited to watch Arsenal v PSV Eindhoven last night. No less than SIX ales were available including two wholly exquisite Titanic brews alongside Minotaur, Marcus Aurelius and Neaurosis from Milton. All beers were on excellent form, making this the best session, by beer range and quality, for many months. Rob is now assistant manager and last night said he welcomes back anyone who has recently felt a reason not to visit the Oakdale Arms, and Mel has retained her friendly, easy-going qualities.

The atmosphere was buzzing at the end of the session with regulars Michael, Sean, Ian and Lloyd all on as good form as the beer. Whatever internal restructuring has taken place, it has worked!

All in all, an excellent and memorable evening.

Back to 10/10.


21 Feb 2007 16:32

The Sultan, South Wimbledon

Superb night on Saturday. The GFB was on its best form once again, and alongside the Entire Stout, drinkers were treated to Downton Polish Porter. The Downton was so flavoursome for its moderate strength in the region of 4% that we all finished on it! The pub was alive to the buzz of hearty conversations in the lounge bar and, while waiting for my friends to arrive, many local drinkers engaged me in conversation.

I live in North London but the pub feels like a local as I have visited several times each year since 1994. I can see where previous commentators' references to cliquiness come from, but if you make an effort to integrate with staff and locals here - particularly if you make repeat visits, then you will be recognised and afforded warm, welcoming treatment.

If I lived close by, I don't feel that I'd be bored in the least to visit once or twice a week.

19 Feb 2007 19:43

The Pembury Tavern, Hackney

Welcoming Tom Beran back to the fold. Sorely missed since his departure from the Oakdale Arms, he has joined the catering team at the Pembury which (at no expense to Simon's second-to-none menu) is still exciting news. Rather than use the word "improvement" this represents a consolidation of excellence.

18 Feb 2007 12:05

The Abbey, Kentish Town

Lunchtime portions of some meals on the menu are very small indeed. I had pasta for lunch today, which turned out to be a starter portion advertised as a main. However the manager was very friendly and took the dish back to the kitchen to be increased in size after I asked for a change.

Given this is more than he had to do I was pleased with the outcome and enjoyed the meal, but do beware - before you place a food order, ask whether it comes in a normal or reduced-size portion!

Staropramen on draught - fresh and hoppy - was good alternative to real ale as none at the Abbey.

16 Feb 2007 18:20

Mugs Ale House, Brooklyn

I first visited this gem on 11/07/06, having kindly been given directions from an employee of the nearby Brooklyn brewery.

This is a very traditional drinking den with wood panelling throughout, a mosaic tiled floor and a long spacious bar for drinkers. There are a few tables for diners in the same main bar area; in addition to a curtained-off area at the rear incorporating compartmentalised seating and tables for diners and drinkers. The walls are covered with beer posters and upper sections of them are bedecked with beer mats and hanging mugs. In line with nearly all such premises in New York, Mugs Alehouse is fully air-conditioned.

The musical scene is set by a jukebox playing jazz, country and rock standards at a pleasant, comfortable level for this type of bar.

Most draught beers are $4 a pint (20 fl oz) except Guinness @ 5 bucks. I noted two handpumps on the bar, which, although operational, are only used in the autumn and winter months.

I enjoyed the following beers during this session:

BROOKLYN LAGER
Dry, hoppy pilsner styled lager. Gassier than I expected.

BROOKLYN SIERRA NEVADA
More bitter version of the lager beer, hoppy and fruity notes to finish. Basically a good American lager beer, although still a little on the gassy side.

SMUTTYNOSE IPA
Utterly exquisite! More-ish, full-flavoured bitter hoppy IPA with a slight hint of fruit. In the time it took to pour this pint, I felt Id been flown back from JFK direct to the Evening Star in Brighton! The nearest UK beer comparison to this nectar would be Dark Star American Pale Ale (APA). Once settled on this ale I remained on it all night!

A blackboard menu of five meals is available at $8.50 to $12 plus soup of the day at $3.50. In our money, the dearest meal at Mugs works out at about 7. The food is wholesome, filling and tasty. On 11th July, I enjoyed a delicious seafood and rice dish; and their pasta special on 13th July was superbly flavoursome.

The staff here are very friendly and welcoming, and during both visits I was afforded the warmest welcome, by staff and locals alike, anywhere in New York. Especially, I would like to thank John Conklin for helping arrange my sightseeing programme and the helpful tips re Coney Island!

Highly recommended, do visit!

10/10

15 Feb 2007 12:11

The Sair Inn, Linthwaite

Absolutely superb. Paid a timely vist to this gem on the last Saturday in January, and was afforded a welcome that, although I had come to expect, was still warm and accommodating. Between 2115 and midnight I spent most of the time at the bar chatting with locals, and the brewer Mr. Crabtree himself.

Visitors to this establishment will notice a few changes, namely a new floor has been put down and the ceiling has been renovated. Take a trip to the gents' and have a look at the cubicle door!

The beers all remain mostly exquisite, but note that Enoch's hammer has now been discontinued. Linfit "Bitter" was very good, basically bitter. "Gold Medal" was slightly flowery, but the First Gold hops gave it a very dry aftertaste. "Autumn Gold" was the best beer on, vibrantly hoppy and bitter. "Special" was very good, quite malty but still retained an underlying bitterness. "English Guineas" stout was very much like how I remember proper Irish unpasteurised Guinness to be.

Thanks to everyone who gathered around the piano, and those who helped give me access to it!

Continuing, as ever, to deserve that special 10/10.

8 Feb 2007 19:18

The Pembury Tavern, Hackney

Excellent and nourishing beef & rauchbeer pie last night (07/02/07) washed down with one of the best pints of Jupiter I have tasted for some time. In response to some of the observations made earlier re the beer names; I have found all the staff very helpful if I specify what beer taste and abv. I am looking for - don't be shy, give it a try!!

8 Feb 2007 19:03

The Oakdale Arms, Harringay

Visitors to the Oakdale since the new year will find a few subtle changes. The food kitchen is now closed for the winter although, with permission, you may bring in and consume a takeaway.

The number of ales available on many nights varies between 2 and 4, with those at the stronger end of the spectrum featuring prominently.

The Thursday night quiz remains well attended and the pub is still the best place to come and watch football matches that involve a well-known North London Premiership team.

Closing time routine still, alas, involves all pub doors opening, which, although an efficient pub-clearing technique used in other establishments, does make the pub a better one at which to start, rather than to finish, a crawl.

6/10

8 Feb 2007 18:41

The Wenlock Arms, Hoxton

A fantastic session last night! Visited with two friends on 07/02/07. Not only was the Grand Union "One Hop Challenger" very good but the Nethergate "Lounge Lizard" was absolutely mouthwatering in its combination of dry bitterness and hoppiness, making it one of the best beers in general that I have drunk at the Wenlock for several months and, indeed, the best Nethergate beer I have ever drunk anywhere.

Steve/Will - Please order another barrel!

8 Feb 2007 18:27

The Head of Steam, Huddersfield

Two cracking sessions last weekend. Arrived late-night on Saturday following on from a "beer odyssey" at the Sair Inn, Linthwaite. The place was buzzing, fairly busy, but I was served quickly. Quite a mix of drinkers of all age groups.

However Sunday lunchtime (28/01/07) was a memorable event. Three-course lunch for under 7, comprising the following items by choice from the menu:

Mushroom Soup

A dark, full-flavoured, exquisitely aromatic soup, textured with actual mushroom pieces affording texture. The flavour was rich and intense, helped along with swirls of cream and olive oil. Came with fresh granary roll. I almost asked for a second helping!

Salmon with chilli sauce

A good-sized portion of salmon arrived, still sizzling, in individual dish together with a generous plate of roast potatoes and mixed whole fresh vegetables. The chilli sauce was a Thai sweet variety, not very much of it, though left the meal slightly dry but nevertheless very tasty indeed.

Black Forest Gateau

Excellent, almost ended up licking the plate clean.

Although it was my intention to visit Marsden after lunch, a superb jazz band struck up at 1330 featuring keyboard, drums, bass plank and a very well accomplished tenor saxophonist. Varying styles kept all patrons entertained until 1530, all this washed down with a few halves of Copper Dragon Golden Pippin, one of their most hoppy and bitter beers.

Far from previous descriptions of poor beer quality, the ale I drank on Sunday was perfectly well kept. I found the staff to be friendly (lady in her 20s, and a guy in his 30s who chews gum). I would go again, even though the original reason for visiting Huddersfield was to see other pubs!

31 Jan 2007 18:41

The Rake, London Bridge

Visited on Wednesday 17/01/07. Superb HopHead with a fruity hint only discernable when kept at 98% form or above. Very friendly, enthusiastic staff. Vast selection of bottled and draught beers from abroad suppliment the two handpulled ales. This pub merits mandatory inclusion in any London Bridge pub crawl.

An excellent discovery.

10/10

22 Jan 2007 17:20

The Compton Arms, Islington

Interior of pub unchanged since last visit a year or two back. Greene King IPA was on best form [for Greene King], but the Batemans XXXB was excellent.

Please note that under current management you are required to leave the premises promptly by 1120.

16 Jan 2007 10:27

The Kings Head, Islington

Superb night last night. Great music, all the more so by seeing Pete Abernethy on drums! My friend and I popped in for a swift one and ended up remaining until 1230am. Good Adnams Bitter

16 Jan 2007 10:25

The Star, Highgate

Popped in late last night for quick pint of Timothy Taylor's Landlord which remains on exquisite, benchmark quality. Ended up having a pint and a half of the stuff.

Lager/non-ale drinkers are also well catered for with Amstel, Leffe, Hoegaarden and Staropramen available permanently on tap.

Contact the pub direct for any special deals on bottled beers, etc, in the fridge.

15 Jan 2007 14:55

The Wenlock Arms, Hoxton

Visited Thursday and Saturday (11th and 13th Jan). Thursday night's quiz was followed by a good hour of Enio Morricone's film music which made a refreshing change, noteworthy beer on Thursday - Dark Star Hophead.

On Saturday Holly's Trio was augmented by "Dragon" - an accomplished jazz trumpeter alongside an equally accomplished saxophonist, and there were even a few VOCALS thrown in for good measure. Given that the brass was unrehearsed, the standard of playing was superb. I stayed on Oscar Wilde Mild and Harvey's Hadlow Bitter all night, but finished with half of someone's unwanted pint of something ink-black and rather strong! A great night!

14 Jan 2007 14:49

The Magpie and Crown, Brentford

Made a timely stop at this boozer last night after visiting Brentford Dock in the afternoon. Unchanged since last time (over one year ago). I had two positively exquisite pints of Twickenham Crane Sundancer, 3.7%. This beer had to be exceptionally flavoursome and well-kept as I was tasting it through a heavy cold - proof in itself!

The gentlemen's toilets are cleaner than they once were, and the cubicle is now fully locking and secure - welcome improvements.

The landlord remains friendly and businesslike, and the atmosphere last night was so pleasant it would have been quite easy to miss the train back and stay for another two pints.

The Magpie and Crown remains well worth visiting, indeed, worth a journey across London to reach the pub.

Excellent.

10 Jan 2007 11:01

The Lamp Tavern, Birmingham

Another memorable night here on 29th December. The reliable Stanway Stanney bitter was on good form albeit slightly toned-down from the extreme bitterness it once had. Church End Gravedigger was also on good form as was one of the guest beers - Bank Top "Sir Mordred", which, at 3.6%, was very flavoursome for its strength.

The locals here are a friendly bunch of down-to-earth, positive-minded "real" people with no hang-ups or constant moans, creating an atmosphere that rocks. (Mike - if you need any more "lynx" I'll bring some again next time!)

This is a pub that you can visit once a year and still be recognised - Eddie Fitzpatrick is one of the friendliest, most warm-hearted landlords there is - long may this continue. To publicans up and down the country - pay a visit here for the best "training course" you'll need!

4 Jan 2007 20:09

The Duke of Hamilton, Hampstead

The reviews of 20th December and 2nd January do not represent the true charm of this pub. Agreed it attracts a mature adult clientele but I have had neither bad nor rude service in the DoH. Visit again.

7/10

4 Jan 2007 19:45

The Pembury Tavern, Hackney

Well done Steve and all the staff for running a successful NYE session.

2 Jan 2007 11:57

The Last Post, Southend on Sea

Good pint of Festive Firkin on 23rd December, helped along by an excellent Angus pie with chips broccoli and carrots. I was particularly taken by the quality of the pastry, which was firm yet tender - also it made a BIG difference serving the gravy separately so the eater can dispense to taste. Well done. It is rare that I find myself in a position to rate a Wetherspoon so highly, but when it's deserved it would be wrong not to.

Over the last few years this pub has served as the food stop whenever I am doing the "Southend Crawl". The Last Post has been consistent pretty well throughout.

26 Dec 2006 02:19

The Cork and Cheese Ale House, Southend on Sea

Visited on 23/12/06 and enjoyed the Nethergate IPA which was on reasonable form and, of course, a bargain at around 1.65 per pint. The Dark Star Original, although admittedly on 7/10 form, was still quite drinkable, flavoursome and a pint not to be rushed; the best beer in my opinion was "Britannia" by Buntingford which was a good all-rounder packed with flavour.

It was a good, enjoyable session, I think ncshepp (15 Dec 2006) must have been on a bad-beer day - all pubs have them - visit again!

26 Dec 2006 02:12

The Heartland Brewery (Radio City), Manhattan

You will not believe this, readers, but Heartland now brew a beer for DOGS!! It is called "Slobber Lager" and is non-alcoholic, but malted barley and beefstock are used in the brewing process. Click on the link to their website for further details!

21 Dec 2006 18:58

The Evening Star, Brighton

Enjoyed another wonderful night here on Saturday. It was SO tempting to miss that train and book into a B&B!

17 Dec 2006 20:49

The Drapers Arms, Barnsbury

Great location for a pre-game pint. Just far enough not to have been overwhelmed by thronging Arsenal supporters. Visited yesterday for a swift 568ml of Old Speckled Hen which was on great form before the brisk and bracing walk to the ground.

Do note, however, this establishment serves more as a restaurant than a pub, but the menu reads well and the steaks are recommended!

17 Dec 2006 20:46

The Claret Free House, Addiscombe

Excellent session last Saturday night. The Dark Star HopHead was replaced immediately on expiry by another superb beer from the same brewery, and the Palmers' Original IPA was on "moreish" form. Pub buzzing with friendly conversation, atmosphere perfect!

11 Dec 2006 20:12

The Pembury Tavern, Hackney

Good on you Steve for rising to the occasion of the Pig's Ear festival and having an increased choice of beers to finish on. Last night was another of those "perfect" sessions, with the "high" of the festival being maintained throughout the evening here.

7 Dec 2006 12:14

The New Brunswick, Highgate

Has reopened under Greene King. Will check in the near future for real ale, etc.

7 Dec 2006 12:04

Lord Denman, Dagenham

Visited 6th December during photography tour of Dagenham. Pleasant lunch of penne pasta and meatballs - very tasty. Campbell, Hope & King "Double Amber", at 4.6% was a good, agreeable guest beer. The staff were friendly enough (for a Wetherspoon's) yesterday, and service was quick despite a large Christmas party taking place at the same time.

Clientele are a local mix, and were generally aged from 40 years upwards.

In summary, my visit was a pleasant one, free of mishap. However, Jaglover's complaint of 12th October has not yet been attended to - the cubicle locks remain broken.

A mark of 6/10 is appropriate for the pub taking into account all that I experienced.

7 Dec 2006 12:01

The Frog and Rosbif, Paris

Made a timely return to the pub on Friday 24th November. In-Seine has now become beautifully fruity and hoppy with a lasting head and zingy mouthfeel.

Staff at the bar are friendly despite having to be hardworking.

On the food front try the smoked salmon as a starter. Their turkey curry is absolutely delicious but small for its 12 pricing and will not fill you up. I was hungry again at 9pm and ate elsewhere. But this was definitely the place for the best tasting beer in Paris during my two-day trip.

6 Dec 2006 00:47

The Star, Highgate

Just returned from first visit since the pubs reopening.

AMBIENCE
Following an extensive refurbishment, this is now a spacious gastro pub with individual tables seating two to four. Dark avocado woodpanelling on lower walls and ceiling, white upper walls and some exposed brickwork retain a traditional feel, whilst subdued tungsten and candlelight combine to add cosiness. Add to this the warmth of up to two separate real wood open fires.

STAFF AND CLIENTELE
A friendly bunch. On entering the pub was buzzing with conversation at a pitch that sat well with the jukebox. The music was a varied and pleasant with the volume set at a comfortable level. The staff seem friendly, warm and easy-going which is refreshing as some gastros make the error of being a little snooty. I feel the Star is striving to be a little different, with an individual and independent approach.

BEER
Three handpumps at the bar which is now on the left hand side of the pub as you enter. Fuller London Pride and Timothy Taylor Landlord are currently available at the price of 2.80 per pint. The third pump is currently inactive but the pub is in the process of registering with SIBA and will subsequently have a changing guest beer in the future. I had 1 pints of Landlord which was on fine form.

WINE
An extensive wine list is displayed on blackboards at the back of the pub and, although no wine connoisseur, it reads well. There are also a couple of good champagnes.

FOOD
A constantly changing and imaginative food menu is advertised. The price structure is fairly standard at approximately 4.50 for starters and desserts alike, and 8.50-12 for main courses. I illustrate this with sample items selected from a randomly-picked menu: Cornish fish soup (starter), Sea trout on creamed sorrel and new potatoes (main) and Plum, apple & almond crumble with vanilla custard (sweet). Staff describe the general food programme as comfort food aimed principally at those wishing to eat quality food after work but without the energy to cook, but will actually be enjoyed by everyone.

Drinkers-only are welcome, and the staff have said that first and foremost this is a pub. Tables are not booked and are available on first come-first served basis.

This is the first time I have been able to enjoy a pint at this pub despite living in the neighbourhood for over thirty years. It deserves a chance. Do visits and see the improvements for yourselves.

6 Dec 2006 00:38

The Star, Highgate

This pub has been renamed the Star, reopening four weeks ago after a refurbishment. I have not yet visited (will do so and post a more in-depth review), but received a flyer through the door last night stating that real ale is now kept (currently Timothy Taylor Landlord and London Pride), and food is now served.

Telephoned on their new number and have been given confirmation that food is served normally 1800-2200 Mon-Fri, 1030-2130 Sat and 1200-2100 Sun.

This is very exciting news for the area which is lacking in such a hostelry!

5 Dec 2006 16:20

Three Compasses, Hornsey

What a pleasant surprise and a lucky find! I opened my [new] Good Beer Guide 2007 in the North London page and spotted this pub last night. When I telephoned I spoke to a very friendly manager, and felt all the more reason to come and try out the pub before meeting friends nearby later on.

The pub is spacious, with a traditional interior and there were no less than SIX real ales on last night, namely Deuchars IPA, Timothy Taylor Landlord, Tring Colley's Dog, Rebellion Mutiny and Golden Arrow. Most of these beers are priced at 2.65 per pint. These are supported by a comprehensive winelist. I had a superb pint of Deuchars IPA.

Excellent, imaginative food menu, with last orders taken just before 2200 most evenings. Time restrictions meant I needed something quick, and the spaghetti bolognese was ideal. Full-flavoured, al-dente pasta in a generous portion with garlic bread on the side. The food arrived within an impressive 15 minutes given the pasta was cooked from fresh. There were excellent meat and fish specials on the blackboard, and I will definitely make another trip soon to explore the food and beer further.

Recommended!

30 Nov 2006 10:33

The Oakdale Arms, Harringay

A cracking-good festival! Caught the end of it on Saturday 25/11/06 having returned by Eurostar from Paris at 4pm and attended a concert in Finchley at 7.45pm. The best beer on was Nottingham Rock Bitter, and a Buntingford ale. It was another of those nights that cannot be arranged beforehand - just perfect!

28 Nov 2006 19:31

The Camden Eye, Camden

Had lunch here for the first time since the change of management. Excellent chicken -la-king very well prepared with quality ingredients in a good-sized hunger-busting portion! The Deuchars IPA was also very well kept and was in top condition.

Pub is well worth visiting for a lunchtime special and a swift pint, but it can get very smoky inside.

28 Nov 2006 19:21

The Frog at Bercy Village, Paris

A splendid session on Friday evening! Staff and locals make this pub very friendly, and I was afforded just about the best welcome in living memory at any French hostelry. Two friendly guys at the bar, Christophe and Julien, struck up conversation in the course of which they each bought me a pint.

Beerwise, something of a curate's egg: The IN-SEINE, session ale, was in my opinion, better at the Frog & Rosbif than it was here, seemed to lack the strong hoppiness of that in the other pub. DARK DE TRIOMPHE, stout, served cold, was virtually identical to Guinness in temperature, texture and flavour, but the ROSBIF'S REVENGE, 6% strong dark ale, was absolutely excellent, and the NATURAL BLONDE, biere blonde, was good too at 5% with a lot more flavour than the IN-SEINE. Having eaten elsewhere I did not sample the food at this establishment, but suffice to say that a survey of dishes leaving the kitchen door next to "our" corner of the bar suggested that you'd be well catered for.

English management preside over the premises and the staff are very easy going about speaking English, but knowing French really takes you a long way!

Also thanks to Julien & Christophe for the "escort" back to my hotel!

27 Nov 2006 20:05

The Oakdale Arms, Harringay

I actually visited last SATURDAY. Think you'll find the beer is about as good as it has been for a long time at this establishment. Different staff, different emphasis. Agreed the lower light level is a good thing. I note, however, purely as an observation, that guest beers are less abundant than a while ago, but this has been offset by an improvement in the reliability of Milton beers.

Now to the thorny issue of the aforementioned "door-opening policy" raised by the previous reviewer. My personal opinion (and that's all it is) is that one now leaves the pub feeling slightly different from the days before this was introduced. I am not knocking any points off the marking of the pub because it remains under threat from the developers and clearly needs all the support it can get. Criticisms posted by casual drinkers who visit once every six months are unhelpful.

20 Nov 2006 21:52

Latymers, Hammersmith

Visited on Sat 18/11/06. I had a superb couple of Thai courses, washed down with a pint of London Pride which was very well kept indeed. Although not be any means my favourite pint, the Fullers was nevertheless fully enjoyable.

I appreciated the friendliness and attentiveness of the staff at Latymers; on Saturday evening there was a combined 21st and 50th birthday party, with most of the pub reserved for it. They still made an effort to find me a table at which to have my pint and meal, and I was made to feel welcome.

This is quite honestly a very pleasant pub.

20 Nov 2006 20:08

The Pembury Tavern, Hackney

This is a splendid festival, which has brought much-appreciated new business to the pub. Attended with a friend for the opening night, and supped some interesting brews. If it's still on when you go, try the Nottingham Dreadnought, which is wholly exquisite. Also go for the Hophead (not Dark Star!)and the Old Ale which IS Dark Star - if this makes sense.

In addition to the superb menu, which remains in force throughout the festival, filled rolls are available.

If you were hesitating to visit, here's confirming how good it is - go and see (well, drink) for yourselves - I'm certainly going again at the weekend!

16 Nov 2006 14:59

The Pembury Tavern, Hackney

Details of the forthcoming beer festival 15th-19th November will appear shortly in the "festivals" page of this site.

12 Nov 2006 14:03

The Pembury Tavern, Hackney

I would like to thank publicly everyone who contributed to my excellent birthday bash last night. Simon's spread was superb, and the Milton beers were top grade. The spaciousness of the pub made for a relaxed feel, and all this was augmented by the friendliness of Steve and Tom behind the bar.

Thanks to all of you who came last night and thanks for all the kind cards. Also let's not forget the church choir who arrived later on and sang HB in such a beautiful and harmonious rendition some of us were almost moved to tears.

The Pembury is now confirmed as an ideal place to hold such a celebration, and here's to many more.

12 Nov 2006 13:39

The Camden Eye, Camden

Visited last night, a few minutes before the new closing time of 12 midnight. Staff friendly, the music was not too loud to spoil conversation, and Charles Wells Bombardier was rather good (for Charles Wells Bombardier). Will visit again when the Deuchars IPA is back on.

3 Nov 2006 20:13

The Flask, Hampstead

Winter Warmer has not yet arrived here. Second pub on a Hampstead crawl with friends from around the UK yesterday. Mixed clientele of all agegroups and walks of life still drink here despite the loss of "real" Youngs' beer. The Bedford-brewed product on sale here described as Youngs Bitter was on reasonable form though. Bombardier was off, but would have tried it out for comparison otherwise.

3 Nov 2006 20:04

The Tally Ho, Kentish Town

Cycled past the pub last night. The building has now been demolished.

3 Nov 2006 19:59

The Holly Bush, Hampstead

A fantastic evening out last night! I met friends from all over the country at a gathering in this pub. The Adnams was on full form and, hungrily remembering my last meal, I made a beeline for the organic beef pie. All staff at the bar seemed friendly and humorous.

Everyone else enjoyed their food as well, and there was a cosy "London pub" atmosphere created by the subdued lighting.

Any of the previous reviewers who have had a "bad" experience here MUST return and see for themselves.

3 Nov 2006 10:42

The Oakdale Arms, Harringay

The caribbean curries last friday were exquisite. Good selection of beers on last Friday too; returned yesterday for another lively session - excellent "Jericho" (Milton). Pub was crowded, quite interestingly not just for the football.

1 Nov 2006 19:31

Ye Old Mitre, Holborn

Visited at lunchtime yesterday with a friend who was unwell and needed to sit down for a while. The Scottish landlord was most friendly, attentive and accomodating. This is indeed a fine pub and one of my favourites in the area.

Enjoyed 2 toasted cheese sandwiches and a pint of Deuchars IPA which was drinkable. Very pleasant atmosphere, and I left feeling very good about the way my friend was treated.

Pub recommended!

1 Nov 2006 11:43

The Malt Shovel, Coventry

On visiting last night heard that Gabbie has resigned from the pub. Was saddened as her friendly welcome was one of the remaining attractions to the pub when I'm in Coventry. However there's an equally nice new lady in her place who deserves a chance.

The pub was reasonably busy for a Monday night, and I am told that an open mike/accoustic night is planned for 30th October.

Church End Gravedigger and Hop Gun continue to serve at optimum condition, and my general conclusion is that despite the reisignation of Ms Dolan, the pub remains in good, steady hands and I continue its recommendation.

24 Oct 2006 23:19

The Beer Engine, Coventry

Visited last night during a GBG-directed crawl around Coventry. Being a Monday night the pub was fairly quiet but not empty. Very pleasant atmosphere, and I could easily have stayed until 12 if I did not have other pubs to try.

All behind the bar afforded me a warm welcome. Wye Valley Golden Ale was on good form, and the landlord was kind enough to serve me a pint of Oakham's Bishops Farewell before it was officialy onstream.

A very pleasant pub, improved under its current management and well worth visiting.

24 Oct 2006 14:53

The Kings Head, Acton

I visited in April 2006, for a quick couple of halves including a seasonal beer. Was enjoyable; the pub was fine. All the locals (presumably from Acton and environs) seemed friendly enough, and although Acton is a 30-minute Silverlink journey away from me I would have no qualms about revisiting if invited by a friend, etc. Atmosphere, friendliness and beer quality (Fullers acknowledged) earns the pub an 8/10.

16 Oct 2006 09:56

The Pembury Tavern, Hackney

The Pembury is now showcasing 8" miniature abstract oil-on-canvas artworks by Mads Robinson, priced at 14 each. Also, note that parties are catered for here at great value.

Last night the chicken jalfrezi was great, and good to see more local people filling the pub such as John Challis.

In December the pub will be ideal as a finishing-pub after visiting the Pig's Ear festival.

12 Oct 2006 13:15

The City Arms, Cardiff

Visited on 31/10/1997. Pub was very welcoming 9 years ago, hope it still remains so. Brains Dark and Bitter are remembered as being on good form along with excellent chilli-con-carne eaten at lunch. If my memory serves me correctly, the pub was popular in the late 1990s with long-distance juggernauts in for the Brains.

This retrospective review has been compiled from a diary kept in 1997.

11 Oct 2006 19:50

The Dartmouth Arms, Dartmouth Park

Absolute BENCHMARK Adnams Bitter on ealier tonight. An Archers' beer was also available - very good - plus Bass which time did not permit trying. But I must recommend the Adnams which was of a quality seldom experienced outside Southwold.

11 Oct 2006 01:41

The Camden Eye, Camden

In addition to the redecoration this pub now has at least one real ale. I recall recently popping my head through the door just after closing time and seeing Deuchar's IPA on hand pump. I will shortly visit the pub to create a more comprehensive review of it.

10 Oct 2006 20:03

The Pembury Tavern, Hackney

This pub is rapidly growing with increased momentum. There was a real buzz here last night during a lively session with three other friends, it was good to see several other groups enjoying the food and beer. All the more so for Steve considering it to be a "quiet" evening.

The ales here are consistently well-kept and on the best form possible, as they have been on every visit. The walls have been livened up with more posters, etc and the whole pub was ringing with conversation. The speed with which the Pembury Tavern has gained a foothold (a rather better phrase than "caught fire", in my opinion) has surpassed the expectations of all parties involved both sides of the bar! Excellent!

5 Oct 2006 20:37

Brewbaker, Berlin

I visited with a friend from London whilst on a short break in Berlin.

This is a modern, friendly brewpub beneath the central multi-line S-Bahn railway at Bellevue close to the edge of the Tiergarten. The pub also incorporates its own bakery and fresh bread of many types is produced daily. Bare brickwork on interior walls and quiet background music adjoin to create a pleasant atmosphere in which to drink, eat and chat.

Four beers were available when my friend and I visited on 26th September:

BELLEVUE PILS No. 2
Dry, hoppy full flavoured pilsner with very light gassing. A refreshing and more-ish beer.

ALT-BERLINER NEU
Copper-coloured, malty beer with slight pepper notes and delicate hop flavour coming through late. Exquisite.

BREWBAKER HEFE-WEIZEN
A flavoursome Weissbier, piquant and highly drinkable.

BELLEVUE WEISSE
This beer is an acquired taste. Extremely citric and sour, turning it into something of a shock to the system on first tasting. However this beer speedily "grew" on me and I finished my 250ml glass without too much effort! Strong pure-lemon and grapefruit notes.

Food is served until approximately 2300. I had a delectable dish of diced turkey breast in a spinach, cream and mushroom sauce with fresh pasta. This was exceptionally good - Kingston Arms (Cambridge) and Pembury Tavern (Hackney) spring to mind.

ONE IMPORTANT NOTE. The pub closes at 2000 (yes eight o'clock) on Sunday evenings, so check opening hours before venturing out to the Brewbaker.

This is a splendid brew-pub and I recommend it highly.

29 Sep 2006 22:36

Sophie'n Eck, Berlin

Lightning visit during my autumn trip to Berlin, again to photographically update this page, and to rekindle my fondness for draught Jever Pils. On the first sip I realised that the fondness had not diminished by the smallest fraction. Also let me add that the two girls working behind the bar on 27th September were very friendly.

Unchanged since May 2005 and remains a recommended pub. Another observation was that although food is served all sessions, non-diners are welcome to stay as long as they please and sup the beers.

29 Sep 2006 22:08

Lemkes Spezialittenbrauerei, Berlin

Visited on 27/09/2006 during my recent stay to photograph the pub for this site, so I simply had to re-acquaint myself with the nectareous hoppy haze that is Lemkes Pils. It was even nicer to be recognised after only having visited the brewpub twice before, the last time a year ago.

Drinkers will be pleased to know that the pub has not changed at all.

29 Sep 2006 21:41

The Oakdale Arms, Harringay

For the land owner to keep the pub open and NOT convert it into flats.

29 Sep 2006 21:33

The Jerusalem Tavern, Clerkenwell

Paid a repeat visit on 20th Sept. Pub fuller being a Wednesday evening - needed to wait approximately 10 minutes for an available seat. Arrived too late to try out any food but it all looked good on people's plates.

The mild was consistently flavoursome with that of my visit the previous week, and I also tried the Organic Ale. A very bitter beer @ 4.5%, russet-amber in colour; quite lemony and citric in-mouth, but bitterness prevails to a dry, satisfyingly bitter finish - Excellent.

The quality of the beer is so good that even staff (Danny?) drink here on days off!

It is tempting to try all the beers one evening, and the atmosphere is so pleasant here it is difficult to leave.

25 Sep 2006 23:23

The Half and Half, Croydon

Has the landlord changed his mind and not sold? Is "Graeme" still behind the bar or is the Beer Circus under changed management? Excellent news if the pub is to remain open. I live diametrically opposite Croydon and only visit one weekend a month so if someone local is reading this - please check it out and update!

21 Sep 2006 21:29

The Wenlock Arms, Hoxton

Not too sure about the last commentary as I (Lee) am one of the pianists referred to and I certainly was not on holiday. Nor was John Challis (blues pianist). Will (co-landlord of the Wenlock) IS on holiday so right guess - wrong people Jamie. Both myself and John Challis apporoached Steve Barnes (second co-landlord) regarding the arrangement we have with Will to play for short periods on a Friday or Saturday night after the end of the band session.

Surprisingly, however, not having been informed by Will of such an arrangement, Steve found himself unable to allow us to play - a decision he is, respectfully, quite entitled to make. The Wenlock remains one of the best pubs in London, both for the music and the beer.

I can inform BITE readers that Will is only away for a fortnight, and have no reason at present to believe that this arrangement between all the gentlemen involved, including myself, having been "established" in 1998 should fail to resume.

I know I have been quite long-winded tonight but hope this explains everything to those who have commented below. I take the opportunity finally to wish Will and his companions from the Wenlock a safe sailing holiday.

18 Sep 2006 19:42

The Jerusalem Tavern, Clerkenwell

Of course I meant twenty past eight until eleven twenty in the evening! Also, one single line of advice to anyone taking home the bottled bitter (Original Best). The flavour is highly temperature-sensitive, best serve it at real ale temperature of about 12-13 degrees C. Don't over-chill it in the fridge as I made the mistake of doing. Was still good chilled over Sunday lunch but excellent a bit warmer.

18 Sep 2006 19:26

The Oakdale Arms, Harringay

Top quality lamb kebab, pitta & salad last night. Although the Nero went off quite late in the evening it was swiftly replaced with an exquisite porter of similar stature. Good stuff!

16 Sep 2006 16:29

The Jerusalem Tavern, Clerkenwell

Visited with a friend on Monday 11/09/06. The mild was absolutely packed with flavour and on great form. The bottled original Best Bitter, 3.7% had slightly more flavour than the organic Best Bitter on draught. In pub from 2020 until 2320; staff were friendly, well-informed and helpful. No food available on Monday but I intend to try the menu out on another day. That bottled beer was so good I took one home with me!

If you make an evening visit, go early in the week as I did and you will find it a lot less crowded than some of the previous commentators have experienced. A very pleasant time was had and I will return with a greater frequency than in the past!

14 Sep 2006 13:17

The Wenlock Arms, Hoxton

Exquisite Dark Star double-chocolate stout last night! I had three pints of the ink-black nectar whilst enjoying the Holly Roberts Trio!

10 Sep 2006 21:24

The Oakdale Arms, Harringay

Got it from the "horse"'s mouth last week. Pub will remain open for forseeable future, now run by Julie. There will, as mentioned below, be a change to the food menus with more available, and the beers will remain the same.

I would like to thank Tom for his warmth, wit and friendliness in the past three years, and to wish him all the best in his future endeavours! To Tom . . .

9 Sep 2006 17:06

The Crown, Waltham Abbey

Began a crawl here with a friend on 22/8/06. All the previous commentaries are correct, this is a pleasant McMullens hostelry, and the landlord was certainly humorous as described by the previous reviewer on the 3rd Sept 2005. I suppose some of this was due to keeping my interest in a certain North London Premiership team starting with the letter "A" to myself!!!

No food on in the evenings, a shame as you are made to feel increasingly hungry by the delicious appetising curry smells wafting across from the curryhouse next door!

Superb pub, do visit!

9 Sep 2006 16:55

Spotted Cow, Waltham Abbey

Very traditional, small intimate pub, fairly well hidden from the main thoroughfare at Waltham Abbey Village. I visited the pub with a friend on Tuesday 22nd August and had a pint of very well kept AK. Food appears to be served on most sessions, but the pub itself was quite empty at the time of 2100 when my friend and I were there.

The decor is standard traditional McMullens' and the interior of the smaller bar is pretty well unspoilt. Definitely worth including in a Waltham Abbey pub crawl as we will from now!

9 Sep 2006 16:44

The Lord Nelson, Brighton

Began a crawl with a friend at this pub on 18th August 2006. Unchanged since last time, still just about the best pint of Harvey's Pale all year, and the Lord Nelson is still one of Brighton's best pubs - both for its superb atmosphere within and for the excellent quality of the beer. Was difficult to leave but we had other pubs lined up on the crawl!

Quite why I gave it only a 9 last review I cannot remember. It gets 10/10 now!

9 Sep 2006 16:35

The Great Eastern, Brighton

Visited the Great Eastern on a crawl with a friend on 18th August 2006.

Overall not too bad a pub. Long narrow intimate low-ceilinged pub with woodpanelling throughout and a wood floor. Deuchars IPA, Hopback Summer Lightning and Harveys Best Bitter were available that evening. I had the Deuchars IPA which was a bit below par and a touch warmer than it should be.

Attracts a young (18-40) crowd mainly, and locals were very friendly on our visit.

The rear wall of the pub serves as a "library" with plenty of "real" books - not plastic imitations. Food is served lunchtimes only. Modern background music is played at a comfortable level. Fairly subdued lighting, mainly by compact fluorescent lamps. Note the pub can get very smoky.

9 Sep 2006 16:25

The Cask and Glass, Victoria

Pub still in fine nick since (and despite) the redecoration. Shepherd Neame Master Brew very good and Kentish Best was exquisite last night (Friday 8th September). Remains worth visiting, but it should be noted that although pub opens Sundays, it has not extended other licencing hours - strict eleven o'clock closing weekdays.

9 Sep 2006 00:43

The Old Coastguard Hotel, Mousehole

Doom Bar available. Excellent views from the restaurant. We are staying here for my brother's wedding up the road. Food is a little on the bland side, but the desserts are excellent. For a real "pub" stroll down across the harbour to the Ship Inn, Mousehole.

As a hotel, I would generally give it a higher rating for the room comfort, location and views from all rooms, but the food lets it down.

2 Sep 2006 11:47

The Ship Inn, Mousehole

Visited Thursday 31/08/06. Good views over the harbour.

Excellent IPA at 1.85 a pint, the beer actually has a taste and mouthfeel quite similar to Harveys' Pale Ale. Tinners Ale was good, very fruity, Tribute was excellent. I have not called it that before, but had not drunk it in Cornwall for over a decade. HSD was good. Very friendly pub, hearty thanks to Pete and his lady-friend for their company.

2 Sep 2006 11:40

The Blue Anchor, Helston

This brewpub is a complete unspoilt gem. I visited last night following recommendations from friends, this site and the Good Beer Guide.

This is a centuries-old sprawling low-ceilinged pub and home of the Blue Anchor Brewery. Staff and locals afforded me the warmest of welcomes, and conversation was struck up within literally seconds of arrival. I wish to thank Tom, the barman of 29 years, for showing me around the brewery and allowing me to take the photographs.

The pub is divided up into several small rooms with a covered alleyway separating the two main structures of the building. There is a rear bar behind the main pub hosting live music, and a beer garden that accommodated the beer festival that I was lucky enough to attend. I only tried one beer from the festival (Ales of Scilly "SCUPPERED") as I was there to taste the Spingo ales of which I had three:

Jubilee IPA, 4.6%. Refreshing, quite malty ale.

Spingo Middle, 5%. The best beer all night. Very fruity start with a nutty taste following, and a lusciously dry, peppery finish.

Spingo Bragget, 6.1%. An apple-and-honey ale brewed from a centuries-old recipe, tasting more like a cider than a beer. The brew was too sweet for my liking but it has to be experienced.

Apart from the live music at the back the only sound you will here elsewhere in the pub is lively, hearty conversation - with one exception: A good quality piano is situated in the front room. I was invited to play and nearly missed the bus back to Penzance!

I wish to thank the locals, especially those of the cricket team (Tim, Nathan, Petebutignorehim and the lovely American lady whose name escapes me at the time of this posting).

The pub simply must be visited. I will be back!

2 Sep 2006 11:32

The Wenlock Arms, Hoxton

Visited last night, last thing. Absolutely exquisite Mighty Oak 3.7% bitter on. Could not ask for anything more.

24 Aug 2006 16:55

The Tram Depot, Cambridge

A pleasant half of Everard's Tiger last Saturday night during a Cambridge crawl. No food tasted in this visit but an extensive menu is available lunchtimes and evenings.

14 Aug 2006 19:28

The Pride of Spitalfields, Shoreditch

Visited on 06/07/2006 whilst shopping near Brick Lane. The Brewer's Gold was in perfect condition and the fire to this pub some years ago does not seem to have left a mark.

Will visit again with friends, stay longer, and do a more in-depth review in the future. So far, it is excellent and gets a good 9/10.

7 Aug 2006 17:39

The Oakdale Arms, Harringay

Great to have Phil back playing on Sunday nights. Good gig last night. Phil never mind the snapped string - happens to the world's best players!

Don't leave it so long next time.

7 Aug 2006 17:22

The Royal Oak, Borough

My experience (and that of my friends) last Friday (4/8/06) was excellent. I brought a friend over from Witham who's never visited the Royal Oak before and he was very pleasantly surprised.

The Harvey's Pale ale was on top form - fully flavoured with that excellent saline mouthfeel associated with Harveys. The dark mild was also very well-kept.

I enjoyed every mouthful of the cottage pie which was well-prepared and full of flavour.

Add to this staff who were nothing but friendly and easy-going from start to finish. The whole atmosphere of the pub is relaxing and friendly, more than making up for any lack of architectural intimacy afforded by the high ceiling.

Having missed the pub for some considerable time (maybe focusing too much on well-known licensed premises in N4 and N1) this was a real treat.

And to the Czech guys behind the bar:

NAZDRAVI

Cheers - 10/10

7 Aug 2006 13:17

The Heartland Brewery And Chophouse, Manhattan

This is the Times Square outpost of the Heartland Brewery. Visited briefly on 12/07/2006 before heading off to a jazz gig elsewhere.

A typical American gastro-pub, very popular and is in high demand evenings and weekends. If you are planning to eat here (and the food is excellent) you are advised to book.

Drinkers-only can sit at the bar although space is somewhat limited. I had the Cornhusker Lager during my visit which was a welcome thirst quenching refreshment on a hot, sticky thundery day.

Service was friendly and efficient, but I would rate the Radio City pub over this one for a more quiet relaxing pint.

3 Aug 2006 19:55

The Wenlock Arms, Hoxton

Visited twice last week.

Excellent "special beer" named "Earthen Death Pig" 3.6%.

Beautiful jazz on Saturday. 99% of the punters on fine jovial form too, clearly mixing and enjoying themselves and each other's company.

31 Jul 2006 19:05

Ye Olde White Harte, Hull

Visited on 28/01/06 and found staff very friendly; Old Peculier on perfect form. Well worth a visit - a good 8/10.

27 Jul 2006 13:07

The Magpie and Crown, Brentford

Just to add that the four or five times I have visited the Magpie & Crown have all been rewarded with good beer and friendliness from the staff. I would go more frequently if I lived in Brentford; last visited towards the end of 2005 and unless anything has dramatically changed, which I don't believe it has, stand by all my previous commentaries on this establishment.

20 Jul 2006 12:25

The Heartland Brewery (Radio City), Manhattan

I visited again on Friday 14th July just before catching my flight back to London. This time I tried their Maine Crab and Lobster Ravioli which was served with a mushroom and asparagus dressing. Excellent.

16 Jul 2006 16:31

The Heartland Brewery (Radio City), Manhattan

A large, spacious Firkin-style brewpub close to Radio City.

I was very pleasantly surprised on my visit of July 10th. The level of service is second to none. Efficient friendly service available at dining tables but note this establishment serves as a PUB as well as a diner; drinkers-only are given preference at the bar.

I tried three beers on this visit:

1) Cornhusker Lager
Hoppy, pilsner-styled beer not as gassy as many other home brewed draught lagers. Midwest malts and flaked sweetcorn used in the brew. Refreshing and cleansing; saline texture.

2) Indian River Light
Smooth, pale session ale with a strong malt flavour bearing remarkable similarities to Milton Jupiter, but with a hint of corriander. A very pleasant drink on a hot July evening with a smooth mouthfeel.

3) Indiana Pale Ale (NOT India)
Absolutely exquisite. Almost a carbon copy of Dark Star APA, and a MUST. Take my advice and save this beer until last then sup and savour. Aggressively hoppy and bitter yet some malt aroma as well. For a brief moment I believed I was drinking Linfit again! Very smooth texture. This beer really has to be tasted to be believed!"

I had two food courses in the same session:

Heartland Mini-burgers (starter)
You get three burgers that are anything but mini, served with a pot of ketchup, crinkle-cut gherkin slices and diced raw onion.

Fresh Maine Crab Cakes (main)
Excellent and flavoursome crab cakes served with mixed leaves and a rich seafood sauce and new potato slices. Superb.

I wholly recommend a visit to this establishment. Please **NOTE** that it closes at 2200hrs daily.

16 Jul 2006 16:25

The Press Box, Manhattan

Pleasant, friendly, traditionally furnished pub in the part of 2nd avenue lying between 49th & 50th Streets.

A varied range of bottled and draft beers and lagers is available. Try Samuel Adams, a refreshing, full flavoured lager just right for the hot sultry weather I have endured so far in NYC. I arrived from London yesterday (08/07/06) and this pub was my first port of call.

A broad menu of mainly American style food is served on all sessions, and the pub is also popular with visitors from the Irish Republic.

Handy for the shops in Lexington and Second Avenues.

9 Jul 2006 18:39

The Pembury Tavern, Hackney

Also, this pub is RECOMMENDED if you are looking for a quiet pint during the World Cup and fancy escaping from the football.

29 Jun 2006 10:54

The Pembury Tavern, Hackney

Visited last night with a friend. Pub now feels a little cosier with pump badges on the ceiling and a few more pictures on the walls.

Met the chef due to start the food service from 11/07/06. Received assurances that the menu will be affordable. This is the guy who cooked at the Kingston Arms in Cambridge a few years back, so it is all very exciting!

29 Jun 2006 10:53

The Crown, Richmond

Comfortable, spacious corner pub, set away from the main tourist area of Richmond. Relaxing pampas/olive green decor with a mixture of leather- and fabric-upholstered seating inside pub. TV sets on quietly during sports fixtures, but wall-mounted loudspeakers suggest music on at other times.

Young's Bitter @ 2.65/pint, very good condition when I visited on Wednesday (21/06/2006). Also available was Charles Wells Bombardier and Adnam's Broadside.

Food served:
Mon-Fri 1200-1500 and 1730-2030
Sat & Sun 1200-2030

Starters are 5 or less and mains 9 or less. Daily blackboard specials fall within these price brackets.

Friendly staff, and relaxed locals. Worth a visit.

Rated with posting: 7/10

23 Jun 2006 21:11

The Lower Red Lion, St Albans

I am not in agreement with the anonymous reviewer of 08/06/2006. Visited the pub last night with a friend and found everyone behind the bar good-humoured, informed and wholly approachable. I am neither a local nor a regular, I live in London and visit the Lower Red Lion once a month to once every six weeks. I have never been made to feel other than welcome here.

The LRL remains one of those pubs that you leave in high spirits wishing there was a place like that nearer to you, and furthermore Kevin is to be commended on the excellent Alehouse brews available here amongst others.

Fully deserving of the 10/10 ratings it is attracting.

23 Jun 2006 11:45

The Holly Bush, Hampstead

I have only good experiences recently regarding beer, food and atmosphere. A friend took me here for a birthday treat in November, and the ale was very well kept (and again earlier this year). As for "eating is cheating" I am afraid I disagree. I enjoy a good pint (may be quite a few good pints), but as a reasonably responsible drinker I try to eat well and healthily to balance the enjoyment of the beer. Any pub which facilitates that is high in my estimation. No disrespect to Stonch as I am often in agreement with him.

The food here is (or at least was in November) cooked enthusiastically and creatively using organic ingredients where possible. Pies were the speciality during my visit, and the beef one was exquisite.

It is a pity the anonymous reviewer of June 15th had an experience here that fell below mine. I have not heard of a management change at this establishment, and thus would recommend another visit in case this was just a "bad day".

This pub is also a "victim" of its own success, and can get extremely overcrowded which is the only downside. It may also be understaffed at times resulting in some service delays. But don't be deterred - visit.

Rated with posting: 8/10.

22 Jun 2006 18:59

The Red Lion Hotel, Wendover

The food here has improved significantly. Visited from London again with a friend on 14/06/2006, and we were both pleasantly surprised with the imagination of the chef in the presentation of our meals.

The beers remain in good condition, and we were treated very well and hospitably by the friendly staff behind the bar. We will return.

Rated with posting: 9/10

22 Jun 2006 18:40

The Pembury Tavern, Hackney

That food menu reads exquisitely. Wishing the establishment success in this venture. Cannot wait to sample the fine fare on offer - will do when I am back from my holiday in the middle of July!

22 Jun 2006 18:11

The Prince's Head, Richmond

A good evening session last night for the "Solstice Sunset". The Discovery was on excellent form, and the pub was buzzing with lively friendly staff and drinkers. This is one of Fuller's better pubs and remains a worthy part of any Richmond crawl.

Rating with post: 9/10.

22 Jun 2006 15:44

The Triple Crown Inn, Richmond

The Triple Crown Inn is an absolute gem. I visited twice last night (21/06/06) firstly to check it out then later with two friends. Everyone both sides of the bar is friendly.

Beers on last night were London Pride, Timothy Taylor Landlord and Adnams Bitter. The Timothy Taylor was on excellent form and reasonably priced for the area at 2.60 per pint.

The pub is traditionally furnished with red being the main theme. It also benefits from being away from the main high street thus not getting overcrowded.

DO visit this pub - you will not be disappointed.

22 Jun 2006 11:13

The Lower Red Lion, St Albans

Of course it is. I gave this pub a 10 recently, having upped it from a previous 8 or 9. I am quite sure that if rating anonymity was lifted, these sudden leaps and nosedives in the popularity of pubs such as these, seemingly occurring within a matter of minutes rather than months would be unmasked and would ultimately cease.

19 Jun 2006 20:28

The Vinum Bar And Restaurant, Kentish Town

The Highgate is currently closed for refurbishment. No date appears to have been set for its reopening.

19 Jun 2006 18:54

The Angel, Angel, Islington

A loud altercation took place in the front of this pub last Saturday night at about 2200, between two females and one male. It had to be broken up by staff.

I could hear it from the junction with City Road/Pentonville Road when cycling down to the Wenlock. It is a shame because the pub is handy for food; had I planned to visit that night I would have been deterred.

19 Jun 2006 18:51

The Pack Horse, Wendover

Another excellent visit last Weds (14/06/06). Unchanged since 2005 and the beer (Discovery) remains in fine condition.

It was touching to be remembered after a whole year by the (very) friendly landlord!

And the pen still works!!

19 Jun 2006 11:40

The King and Queen, Wendover

A warm, friendly and welcoming backstreet pub with a beer garden.

I visited with a friend last night (14/06/2006) and we enjoyed just about the best pint of Greene King IPA I have drunk in a long time.

There are two real ales available normally.

The staff here are friendly, informed and will afford all visitors a warm welcome. Food is available at lunchtimes and again in the early evening.

Newly redecorated, the interior is bright and relaxing with an emphasis on wood.

This pub is definitely worth visiting. We were there as part of a Wendover "crawl" but it would be quite easy to spend an entire evening here.

15 Jun 2006 12:41

The Half Moon, Putney

Excellent, efficient friendly service and the best Young's bitter in Putney. The atmosphere was convivial, and the pub is virtually unchanged sice my visit in 1992 during the "135" crawl. The pub is further from Putney bridge than the Duke's Head, but it is well worth the extra walk.

I hope Young's brewery retains this excellent hostelry and music venue when they rationalise their estate.

13 Jun 2006 11:37

The Dukes Head, Putney

Service a little on the slow side; Young's bitter was drinkable but not on its best form last night (flatter, and more watery than usual for the beer).

13 Jun 2006 11:31

The Bricklayers Arms, Putney

Visited with friend last night. TT Best and Landlord were available, we tried the Best. Unfortunately it was a little below par, but was not bad enough to return to the bar. The sweetness rather than complementing the hoppy aroma this beer usually has, seemed to be fighting a battle with it, and caused a clash (rather than a blend) of flavours in the mouth.

That being said, the pub is very traditional inside, the staff are friendly and welcoming and I will make a further visit later in the year & will reoprt on any improvements to the beer.

This is a promising pub.

13 Jun 2006 11:27

The Old Cross Tavern, Hertford

Absolutely classic. Easily one of Hertford's best pubs. Visited with a friend last night during a "crawl", Intended to have one pint and move on, but for all the best reasons that did not happen.

The Mighty Oak "Left Back At The Bar", 3.9% was wholly exquisite. One pint was simply not enough.

We sat in the comfortable beer garden, and were afforded friendly welcome and conversation by a local named Martin, who was on the Timothy Taylors "Landlord" also perfectly kept. There were at least four beers on at the bar.

This pub remains a MUST when crawling Hertford, and I am very sure we'll be returning in the near future.

Excellent.

8 Jun 2006 12:48

The Bridge House, Hertford

Pub is now known as the Bridge House. Visited with a friend yesterday evening as the first of a crawl. The AK was on perfect form, possibly the best pint of AK I have drunk in the last year or two.

The owner (Jay) was very friendly and welcoming, and all the locals here were good-humoured and friendly.

The Bridge House now serves food 1200-1900 on weekdays and also has an early-evening happy hour in which the ales are less than 2 a pint.

Recommended.

8 Jun 2006 12:22

The Mill Stream, Hertford

A warm, welcoming and comfortable friendly backstreet local within 10 minutes walk from Hertford North railway station. Friendly staff. Full range of Mac's beers.

Visited with a friend last night for a couple of halves at the end of a pub crawl in Hertford. Have visited before and know the beer garden is very pleasant in the summer.

8 Jun 2006 11:06

The Stonehouse, Hertford

I would like to commend the Stonehouse on the excellent friendly quality service my friend and I received last night (07/06/2006).

We were visiting from London on a pub crawl in Hertford and this was the "food stop". We would not ordinarily have visited but called on recommendation from another pub which apologised for not having food as advertised.

All the bar staff were friendly, attentive and helpful. There were a couple of complications with our food orders but we were pleasantly surprised at the imaginative way in which they remedied these, keeping us informed all the time.

And the food was well worth waiting for. Although this pub serves no real ale, the soft drinks were very good value for money compared to those further south.

Pleasant laid back music, a spacious environment and an enclosed beer garden made for relaxation throughout.

I personally thank everyone for our great experience at the Stonehouse and would return on a future visit to Hertford.

8 Jun 2006 10:30

The Lamb and Flag, Oxford

Visited in April. The Betty Stogs Bitter still takes some beating.

30 May 2006 20:08

The Farmers Boy, St Albans

Pub has undergone a tasteful refurbishment which has made the pub subtly brighter and more spacious yet cosier, warmer and more welcoming. Cussions along the seating area were a good idea.

My friend and I found the staff to be very friendly, approachable and good-humoured during our Bank Holiday Monday visit last night.

The beers brewed on site have improved and the Yorkshire Bitter & IPA were both wholly exquisite. Intending to stay for only one beer, we ended up stopping for two. Note the pub now has a guest beer which is currently Timothy Taylor's Landlord. In addition there are quite a few Belgian beers available including Kwak and Liefmans.

Note that food in the evening now stops at 1930, which if I remember correctly is earlier than under previous management.

I found the whole experience here excellent and I could quite easily have returned today had I not been giving the booze a rest!

30 May 2006 19:54

The Lower Red Lion, St Albans

Missed the milds on Bank Holiday Monday. Three beers from Alehouse brewery AKA Farmer's Boy. All three were full-flavoured and highly enjoyable. The last beer in the marquee was Grand Union Stout.

Pub still remains well worth the First Capital Connect (ex-Thameslink) journey from London!

30 May 2006 19:42

The Oakdale Arms, Harringay

Do not despair.

It might not be the end of the road for our pub. There is talk of a lease if the planning permission is granted but not used immediately.

29 May 2006 15:13

The Horseshoe, Hampstead

Spacious, airy conversion of the former Wetherspoon into an archetypal gastro-pub. Bare floorboards and white emulsion on the walls add to the roomy feel of the interior. Subdued lighting and background music at a conversation-friendly level both come together to afford a comfortable experience within.

BEER BREWED ON THE PREMISES
McLoughlin's Bitter, (ON GRAVITY) 3.6% is a flavoursome thirstquenching bitter, hoppy and light with an impressively dry bitter finish. I had the pleasure of a pint and a half of it yesterday. It is their intention to brew a second beer.

REAL ALE AND OTHER BEERS
Up to three real ales on hand pump. I did not try these but report Adnams Broadside and Sharps Eden available with the third pumpclip reversed.

A wide selection of bottled beers from many European countries was spotted in the fridge, in addition to a fair range of wines.

TOILETS/DISABLED FACILITIES
I was asked to report back on disabled access. There is no built-in disabled facility on these premises but assurances have been received from friendly helpful staff and management suggest that any chair users will be allowed to use a ramp at the side of the pub, and will be assisted to the toilets which are a total of twelve steps down from the lower floor level. I found the toilets to be smart, clean and beautifully tiled.

SMOKING
Pub has retained a non-smoking area on the mezzanine floor, but has prioritised this section for diners.

FOOD
Typical gastro-pub fare. The fish pie was good, and sizeable steaks were seen being enjoyed on neighbouring tables. Note the main courses on the menu refer to the meat component only and vegetables/chips/salads etc are ALL extra. Nearly all the mains are priced into double figures, excluding side orders.

Generally, although principally a gastro, this pub is an improvement on the previous Wetherspoon environment and, very importantly, drinkers-only remain welcome here and appear to be free to use the main pub area to drink without the requirement to order any food.

Worth visiting.

25 May 2006 17:30

Kiss Me Hardy, Colliers Wood

Visited a couple of weeks ago before going to the Sultan. A basic but quite varied pub food menu is the attraction here. The soft drinks were good value for money. If you go on a Friday evening you will find a mixed but mainly young crowd with the main area full of toddlers, pushchairs and prams, rather like being in Sainsbury's on a Saturday. Piped background music. The staff here are friendly and efficient, but I would not say it is a place to enjoy a relaxing pint.

23 May 2006 20:10

The Fox and Hounds, Belgravia

I used to be a regular in Diane's day and remember all the "fixtures & fittings" (Liam Downey/Gordon McNeill, etc) the toasted sandwiches and the SUPERBLY kept Adnams/Harveys/Bass. I was very upset when the original team left, and remember the them putting hankies out on the bar as some of the regulars were in tears.

This pub is certainly not what it used to be going by my last visit on 31/10/2005 when the Young's bitter was flat and sulphuric in taste. Ohh if only......

23 May 2006 15:42

The Fiddler Den Haag, Den Haag

A large, traditionally British style pub in the centre of the Hague that brews on the premises. Friendly staff speak both English and Dutch. Food served all sessions. I visited on Friday 24/03/2006 and had the pleasure of tasting the following beers which are incidentally served on handpump:

FIDDLERS PALE, 4% 4.30 euro/50cl metric pint.
All-round bitter with a strong malt, dry hop bitterness to finish - grows on you.

LENTEBOCK 6.8% 4.00 euro/45cl
Full-bodied stong dark spring bock. Hints of caramel and chocolate. Full of condition although the head dies down rapidly in the glass.

Time permitted full enjoyment of these two beers only, but do note the following other beers are brewed at the Fiddler although not all at the same time:

FIDDLER STOUT (50 cl 4.30 euro)
Porter styled ale, 5.6% described by the brewer as a strong dark beer with a full taste and flavour of coffee & chocolate;

FIDDLER PALE ALE (50cl 4.30 euro)
IPA, 4% described by brewer as a fruity IPA with strong hoppy character;

FIDDLER BLOND (special glass 45cl 4 euro)
Premium Lager, 5.5% served in spring and summer from cold tap. Light lager styled beer firmly hopped.

TARWEBOCK/WINTERBOCK (special glass 45cl 4 euro)
Creamy strong dark beers for the autumn and winter seasons.

Do visit, and do not be put off by the size of the pub it is worth visiting for the beers alone; I had a superb time and would visit again.

22 May 2006 20:09

The Horseshoe, Hampstead

This pub is now known as the HORSESHOE. The pub brews on the premises currently with one brew available plus guests. Will update comments once visited LN

22 May 2006 13:46

The Sultan, South Wimbledon

Regular visitors to the Sultan will know that there are plenty of regular locals - all very friendly - who frequent the pub. That they drink the real beer is a bonus. The pub is also very popular with real ale drinkers from far and wide and its business thrives as a result. This is an all-too-rare example of a "perfect" pub where the locals and staff are friendly and welcoming and the beer is spot-on. These are all features to be celebrated.

Indeed I CYCLED all the way down from Kentish Town last Friday to visit the pub for a few pints with my friends.

Nice to see the Morris Dancers last Friday too, although I appreciate that style of entertainment is not to everyone's universal taste!

18 May 2006 17:25

The Wenlock Arms, Hoxton

***************** F E S T I V A L *******************

************** STARTS FRIDAY ********************

17 May 2006 17:11

The Oakdale Arms, Harringay

Musical connoisseurs amongst us were delighted to hear the strains of Peter Warlock's Capriol Suite on the jukebox. And some excellent jazz before that too.

4 May 2006 10:36

The Greys, Brighton

I, too have had that experience there in the past. This is a music venue first and a pub second, something the guides should include in their literature.

3 May 2006 19:57

The Evening Star, Brighton

And don't forget the last train into London most nights leaves at 2302.

3 May 2006 19:35

The Sultan, South Wimbledon

Visited last Friday (28th April). The Entire Stout was actually on just about the best form it has ever been on. Also good was Hopoack "Fools Fortune" about 4.5% which was a light hoppy premium bitter. Keep it up!

2 May 2006 16:28

The Hand In Hand, Brighton

On behalf of all contributors who enjoy the Kemptown beers:

Wishing Bev, the brewer a speedy recovery and long may his excellent beers continue.

NOTE: The pub is under new management, but the brewing has been maintained.

2 May 2006 13:03

The Evening Star, Brighton

It is exactly this relaxed atmosphere that makes the pub very difficult to leave. Visited last night again after a day in Brighton to sup perfect dark star beers. I have always found the locals e.g. Tim, Martin etc to be very friendly and welcoming, and there was a great atmosphere last night around the circular table by the window. Evenings like that are never planned they just happen.

2 May 2006 12:59

The Ducking Stool, Leominster

Not quite as inviting as most of Leominster's other pubs. Modern outer appearance; attracts young circuit crowd on weekends.

27 Apr 2006 23:36

The Oxford, Kentish Town

Unbelievably flavoursome gnocchi last week. The pasta dishes at lunchtime here are a special treat, and represent excellent value for the price at about 7.50 Early lunchtime is a good time to visit as you can sit anywhere.

26 Apr 2006 17:37

The Wenlock Arms, Hoxton

Last Saturday was another of those "perfect" nights in the Wenlock. Everyone both sides of the bar was in a pleasant relaxed mood after Jamie & Sally's gig - guess the 10% imperial stout had a lot to do with it! You can never plan nights like that - they just happen!

25 Apr 2006 20:16

Hobgoblin, Oxford

UPDATE: Pub now known as St Aldates Tavern. New photo uploaded. 4 or 5 real ales on tap, mainly regional breweries. Fullers/Brakspears on when I visited on 21/04/06. The Good Beer Guide entry, which states food is available all day, is out of date. Food is no longer served in the evenings.

The staff were friendly enough to recommend the Old Tom down the road for that. Live music Thurs/Fri.

25 Apr 2006 19:45

Far From the Madding Crowd, Oxford

Great session here as part of a "crawl" on 21/04/06. The beers were variable; Black sheep was actually rather better than one of the guest beers I tried. Gets packed on a Friday night, but if like me you persevere, you will find a seat. Some of the punters are quite friendly and will chat to you which is pleasant if you are visiting alone for any reason.

25 Apr 2006 19:27

The Old Tom, Oxford

Now a Greene King pub. The exterior is now painted green therefore I have uploaded a new photo. Useful for good homemade food in the evenings, and the long narrow pub is intimate yet spacious within.

Staff are very friendly and attentive particularly the French girl behind the bar, and a good eclectic mix of all ages enjoy food and beer at the Old Tom.

25 Apr 2006 19:19

The Live and Let Live, Cambridge

Visited on 17/04/06 and could not fault the beer or the food once again. Believe it opens at 6pm each evening. The sausages & mash were top class.

25 Apr 2006 18:55

Cafe Pleinzicht, Amsterdam

Dutch Brown Cafe on Kadijksplein. In a quieter part of the town a bit away from the touristy areas so more local and more Dutch.

25 Apr 2006 18:50

The Olde Tavern, Kington

A fantastic lunchtime session on 08/04/2006. Visted with a group of friends whilst staying in nearby Leominster.

Although the original landlady was not behind the bar this time, nothing has been altered and the pub remains one of the best traditional unspoilt pubs in the country. Apart from the porter which I found slightly sour to my taste the Dunn Plowman beers are worth a journey - not just a detour - to sample. It was difficult to leave!

10/10!

25 Apr 2006 18:31

The Harpenden Arms, Harpenden

Looks fine from the outside. Took the photo for BITE. Didnt have chance to visit properly when in Harpenden the other week but looks to be a fairly modern Fullers establishment with a Thai food menu.

25 Apr 2006 18:21

The Malt Shovel, Coventry

Flying visit on 15/04/06. Update on pub music facilities: Free play jukebox on Friday evenings, and either live music or a rock and blues DJ on Saturday nights.

The good quality ale is being maintained, keep it up!

24 Apr 2006 22:16

The Original Swan, Cowley

A welcoming Arkell's pub close to the Templar's Square shopping centre. I visited on 21/04/06 having cycled from Oxford. The lounge bar is spacious with plenty of tables and chair seating. Some bare brick on the walls adds to the intimacy. The public bar has a pool table.

I enjoyed a pint of Arkells Summer Ale which was a fresh, clean well tasting beer with a hoppy aroma. Had there been time, I'd have stayed for another.

Do visit.

22 Apr 2006 03:34

The Carpenters Arms, Harpenden

This is an excellent low-ceilinged intimate country pub affording the visitor from afar a welcome and friendliness second to none. I was very pleasantly surprised when I visited last Friday (14/04/06) with a friend.

Conversation rules here and locals of all ages created a convivial warm atmosphere.

The best-kept beer on Friday was the Archers Dark Mild. Also on H/P were Archers Golden Arrow (4.5%) Adnams and Courage Best.

It is worth the journey out of town to visit.

18 Apr 2006 11:57

The Pembury Tavern, Hackney

Also with regard to the recent disussion on the cycle aspect, I would also feel more relaxed about my bicycle being off the street in the immediate location, but in present circumstances use the fairly adequate local public transport services to reach this establishment.

I will probably cycle to this hostelry through the summer months during which the lighter, busier evenings will offer some degree of protection to customers' cycles secured outside the premises.

7 Apr 2006 01:56

The Pembury Tavern, Hackney

It would be nice if drinks like freshly squeezed orange juice were commercially viable - unless Steve & the "crew" already have - shall have to pay another visit & see (not to drink orange juice though!!!)

7 Apr 2006 01:42

Cafe Mooy, Amsterdam

Traditional Dutch beercafe opposite Wildeman. I have visited once. More locals and less tourists than some of the other bars around, but less beer choice than the Wildeman.

One of Amsterdam's oldest pubs and worth visiting. Tip: Start crawl here and finish over the road.

7 Apr 2006 01:26

The Angel, Highgate

Timothy Taylor Landlord is kept to a top standard in this establishment. When visiting I have found staff to be friendly and amenable, and remember a pleasant evening last July when I took my cousin from the Caribbean here for a meal and a few beers - she loved it!

7 Apr 2006 01:18

The Gatehouse, Highgate

Popped in last Saturday (01/04/06) following a concert. I have to say that the one pint I drank here was not bad. This was labelled "Munich Beer" by a small brewery but pulled very smoothly through the handpump. Quite hoppy but by no means amertume, this was balance by some honey and berry fruit.

It was reassuring that such a sophisticated flavour was reproduced here and full marks go to the cellarman for this. I am therefore changing my original 5/10 mark awarded in 2003 to an 8.

7 Apr 2006 01:12

The New Brunswick, Highgate

I remember in the early to mid 1990s there was real ale at the Brunswick, sadly management changed and the real ale (albeit Greene King) was removed. With its cessation of handpulled beer, customers like myself had to drink elsewhere when with friends from Archway. The last few years this was rather a pub to pass than to enter, and its reported closure will not be greeted with any sadness, other than the fact that, if managed differently, the pub could have succeeded and earned a better image.

7 Apr 2006 01:06

't IJ Proeflokaal (Brouwerij 't IJ), Amsterdam

I can report on a positively excellent pilgrimage to the IJ a fortnight ago during which I took the pictures for BITE. I don't know if it's just my imagination or if the beers seem to improve with each visit.

Paasij had a lot of zing and tang to it this time, faint aniseed and liquorice notes included, whilst Pilzn retained and increased its hoppy amertume flavour.

NOTE: no food available except boiled eggs and peanuts, although these are sold at very reasonable prices.

I have yet to meet someone who has not been glad they tried the IJ beers.

7 Apr 2006 00:58

The Evening Star, Brighton

EXCELLENT evening last night. Cracking pints of Dark Star American Pale Ale (APA) in addition to hophead and stout. The APA was just about the best beer I have tasted so far this year!

6 Apr 2006 11:13

The Boot, St Pancras

I played piano here on 05/04/1986, and passed the pub yesterday (05/04/06) which brought memories flooding back! Was a great pub in the mid-80s, there wasn't time to check things yesterday however!

6 Apr 2006 09:27

De Beiaard, Amsterdam

It certainly is great for people-watching. I did just that last Saturday (25/3/06) whilst enjoying a pint of Witte Ros weissbier alongside excellent food. Friendly staff as well.

2 Apr 2006 16:09

The Sultan, South Wimbledon

First class beer last night! GFB and entire stout on top form, alongside a novelty guest from the Downton Brewery. Having not visited the Sultan for some months it was great to see all the "fixtures and fittings" still in place.

The beer prices represent just about the best value for money in this part of London, and the tube fare is more than repaid when buying a couple of rounds for my mates compared with one or two pubs within walking distance from me! Well deserved 10/10 in this review.

1 Apr 2006 13:09

Cafe Lexington, Amsterdam

A vibrant Dutch gastropub near the Vondelpark. Excellent food served alongside beers from national breweries. I visited in the evening of Weds 22/03/06 and was made welcome by staff and locals alike (a few words of Dutch come in useful despite English being broadly spoken!) Hello again to "Jaap".

The Croquette of prawns were superb and their steaks are exquisite - perfectly trimmed with no grissle and no waste. All washed down with Amstel, De Koninck and Hoegaarden, the latter of which has had its brewery sadly closed by an international giant. Nevertheless, a thoroughly enjoyable night.

30 Mar 2006 20:23

De Zotte, Amsterdam

Visited last night (23/03/06) and supped superb beers with a guy called "Tygmar" originally from Norway. This has not changed since last time I visited and if anything has improved yet further.

The food continues to excel - they have mouthwatering steaks available on the menu, with HUGE portions of chips and salad.

25 Mar 2006 01:58

In de Wildeman, Amsterdam

An absolutely fantastic night! Just returned to my hotel after a delightful session at the Wildemans. A very friendly couple initiated conversation shortly after my arrival, encouraging me to speak Dutch; finally getting me a beer in at the end. The staff are as friendly as they have always been, and when I asked for a quality dark beer was afforded an exquisite German dunkel which would give any English stout a run for its money.

I cut short a session in the Hague to get here before closing, and it was well worth it - I'd do the same again.

I cannot understand why I only gave it 9 out of ten last time I reviewed it - 10/10 this time.

Excellent!

25 Mar 2006 01:51

The St Radegund, Cambridge

In disagreement with Lord Radlington, you will not "spoil" this pub by visiting, and in agreement with previous commentators, the St. Rad must be included in any central Cambridge pubcrawl. The Habit Ale was spot on once again last Friday, and the atmosphere was as friendly and eccentric as it has always been - hope it always will be! The only people in danger of spoiling the pub are those who may look to buy it and change its style or appearance.

Classic.

20 Mar 2006 11:23

The Champion of the Thames, Cambridge

Excellent St Patrick's Day atmosphere in the Champion last Friday. Started session with a Guinness, then went on to just about the best-kept Greene King IPA you'll encounter in Cambridge. Unchanged since last visit - Worth a detour.

20 Mar 2006 11:15

The Half and Half, Croydon

Very pleasant visit last night with 2 mates. Pub less crowded during weekday nights making it an ideal time to vist for a quiet beer odyssey. Additionally, Croydon is more hospitable during the week!

15 Mar 2006 20:06

The Wenlock Arms, Hoxton

A wonderful night last Saturday - very relaxing and the pub not overly crowded. Brewers Gold on top form, and Holly Roberts' Trio were superb.

13 Mar 2006 19:15

The Wenlock Arms, Hoxton

Irrespective of which part of the world the last writer comes from - it has to be faced that Annette has used foul language on at least one occasion as far as I can remember.

I agree the pub is one of London's greatest and visit this pub at least once a month myself. I would give it 10/10, but having been insulted once myself (and kept it to myself to protect the pub's otherwise good reputation) feel I have to agree with the penultimate writer.

Don't let that stop anyone going to the Wenlock, and long may it survive, but the point raised on 26.02.06 needs addressing

28 Feb 2006 18:17

The Star, Highgate

This pub serves the local St Albans Road & Chester Road (Highgate Newtown) estates. Very much a local, and not the most welcoming pub on the entire planet.

27 Feb 2006 09:36

The Howard, Sheffield

Not too bad. Had a half-pint here last night (arrived early for train back to London). Friendly guy from Belfast at the bar.

Sports-oriented pub with TV and sound piped through loudspeakers. One real ale available on H/P.

26 Feb 2006 21:56

The Wellington, Sheffield

Last night (25/02/2006) I had the good fortune to try the Port Mahon Trustwells IPA. This was an excellent, balanced all-rounder with a slight hint of raspberry from a bottle of Framboise which had been introduced to the cask on an experimental basis by the pub's brewer. The taste was subtle and certainly did not overwhelm in the way that so many can. Full marks for that.

The Salamander Bandana was absolutely exquisite, it has to be tasted to be believed.

Everyone both sides of the bar was friendly and welcoming, a fine pub to finish up in after a day's cycling in cold damp conditions. Thanks to the guy at the bar for sorting me out a cab back to the station!

I am uploading with this post pictures I took of the exterior and interior, the latter of which is of significant merit to warrant inclusion.

26 Feb 2006 20:45

Sani Top Chalet, Himeville

At 2874 metres above sea level, this is Africa's highest pub.

20 Feb 2006 01:25

The Pembury Tavern, Hackney

Congratulating Steve on the party last night! A veritable crowd thronging the Pembury - a phenomenon that must repeat. Spot-on beers (Harvest Pale and Uluru taken from a range well into double figures).

Readers should take little heed of the rather unfortunate commentary of 08/02/06. I have experienced no problems with the location; a view pretty well shared by all those involved in reopening the pub else it would still be standing vacant.

Useful info for those travelling by bus; Routes 254, 56 and 30 stop beside the pub offering alternatives to the somewhat limited rail services in the late evening.

20 Feb 2006 01:16

The Narrow Boat, Islington

Had a wonderful Valentines here! Live, soft jazz trio playing in the downstairs part of the pub with a moonlit view over the canal.

Excellent food (halibut with spicy veg and chips). A misunderstanding when the original order was placed by my partner (chips come separately) was rectified efficiently and within five minutes! We found the staff here very friendly and would definitely visit again.

The Adnams was in very good condition.

16 Feb 2006 13:23

The Old Queens Head, Islington

Reopened on 09/02/06. New telephone number: 020 7354 9993. No real ale. Will do bottled beers soon. Kitchen not yet up and running. Will start doing food in mid to late March 2006.

14 Feb 2006 13:20

The Hop and Berry, Islington

Visited last night (08/02/06) for a meal with my partner and found the service here businesslike but polite. Although a "gastro" pub I did observe people sitting at the bar having a quiet pint without the difficulties experienced by previous commentators. Maybe there are new staff since last autumn.

This is the first time I visited this pub (having discovered it in Camra's GBG). There were three real ales on, the best of these being Timothy Taylor Landlord in very good condition.

I would not describe either the beer or the food as "cheap" but rather good value "restaurant-grade" food served in the pub environment. Some good value "tapas" available too. I have to commend them on the haddock fillet with celeriac chips and spinach.

Music is unobtrusive and allows for conversation. The setting is mainly tables seating 2, 4 or 6, and although (as previous commentators have observed) many of these are reserved, the pub was not heaving and there was room for more.

My recommendations of the Barnsbury are from personal experience, and are as follows: -

This is definitely NOT somewhere a group of people can stay in for a five-pinter session, but rather a good place to eat during a crawl.

I would go again. However when I am in a large group I would probably go somewhere else.

9 Feb 2006 19:15

The Oakdale Arms, Harringay

On receiving my post today, I have received a letter from Haringey that seems to confirm this.

31 Jan 2006 19:32

The Magpie and Crown, Brentford

Always an excellent pub. Visted late 2005. Several friendly people at the bar, fantastic beer and THAI - not Chinese - food.

Recommended. Easy to miss trains from here and get stranded! (I haven't, but know trains from local stations stop early).

Check train timetables if using BR, last tubes from Gunnersbury underground station into central London run to about 2345.

31 Jan 2006 19:30

The Heritage, Hull

Walked past the Heritage yesterday (Sunday) to take the picture above (along with the other 3 round here. Time did not permit trying out a pint here! Not listed in GBG, but advertises good value food deals.

30 Jan 2006 22:23

The Minerva Hotel, Hull

Absolute gem!

After visiting two local pubs with no beer, I was taken here by a couple leaving the [dry] Oberon. My intention was to stay and have one pint then move on, but the friendly staff and locals had other ideas!

An exquisite stout was served alongside Tetley Bitter and Timothy Taylor's Landlord plus guest beers. The interior is warm and welcoming, and conversation rules in this traditional Hull local.

Divided into several drinking areas. Music on TV is at a comfortable level. Thanks to John (Scottish guy at the bar) and Chris (telling all those jokes).

The pub has won several awards in the past and is likely to be in the 2007 Good Beer Guide - a well deserved entry and not before time.

Excellent - recommended 10/10!

30 Jan 2006 11:10

The Oberon, Hull

Second GBG-listed pub in succession on my crawl last Saturday (28/01/06) to have no beer. Again, very friendly staff at the bar but the pub was empty, and I had to leave without having a drink. This was a shame as the pub interior is very welcoming.

30 Jan 2006 11:04

The Green Bricks, Hull

Visited Saturday 28/01/06 on GBG recommendation. No real ale. Pipes being cleaned out. Food OK. I phoned the pub to check about the food, quoting the Good Beer Guide, but was quite surprised not to be told about there being no beer. Staff friendly enough and apologetic, but no amount of friendly staff can fill a pint glass from an empty cellar!

30 Jan 2006 10:55

Our Mutual Friend, Stevenage

Easily Stevenage's finest pub. Two distinct drinking areas: A long rectangular public bar features a pool table and a rather exotic-looking jukebox, and is spacious enough to accommodate beer festivals which the pub holds. The lounge bar is warm and welcoming, and this is where most of the locals gather. I visited last night and found everyone friendly and welcoming both sides of the bar, following an afternoon visit to the town.

Several changing real ales on: one of the regulars is Deuchars IPA. I was even lucky enough to sup an exquisite pint of Eastwood & Saunders' 1872 Porter on gravity. The next guy to walk in after me had the last pint of the cask.

Whatever takes you to Stevenage, this pub is worth the journey from the town centre. You will be pleasantly surprised. If visiting in the evening, eat beforehand.

Recommended 10/10.

26 Jan 2006 18:27

Le Bier Circus, Brussels

A true gem.

I visited the pub for the first time last night; this was the highlight of a successful Brussels daytrip.

Within easy reach of Park and Madou metro stations, and within 30 minutes of Midi for the Eurostar.

Arrived at the pub at 1800 as it was opening, to be greeted by very friendly staff, fully conversant in French, English and Flemish.

The pub has a narrow, cosy drinking bar, and a spacious, comfortable dining area in which to enjoy its magnificent food.

The draught beers are from Belgian micro-breweries; last night I enjoyed Bink Blond (5%)from the Kerkom Brouwerij, and Zinnebir (6%) from the Sint Pieters Brouwerij. The Bink was sharp, bitter, extremely dry and for me one of the best Belgian beers I have drunk in or out of Belgium. The Zinnebir was cloudier, sweeter, maltier and delicately spiced. This made it a good contrasting complement to the Bink.

With these beers came superb food. From a menu bursting at the seams with delights it was hard to choose at first. I settled for the fish soup (a MUST) as a starter. Rather like a bisque with prawns, and plenty of spirits used in its production. For the main course I had their speciality - spaghetti bolognese with a "kick". A HUGE portion of al dente pasta under a generous serving of CHIMAY bolognese sauce surrounded by lashings of finely grated Belgian cheese.

If you are visiting alone, sit at the bar. Company is never far away, and all at the bar were very friendly including one or two English drinkers.

You MUST visit this pub - you will not be disappointed and, in case you're asking, I am not being paid a penny piece to recommend the Bier Circus!

Excellent!

21 Jan 2006 12:31

The Pembury Tavern, Hackney

Welcoming BITE users to the Pembury, which opened last Friday to fill an enormous gap in East London's real ale map. It was a privilege to attend the opening night.

Clean, bright and spacious yet welcoming, the Pembury Arms will offer drinkers completely non-smoking environment in which to enjoy up to sixteen real ales.

The pub occupies a corner property and has a slightly L-shaped interior. Large rectangular tables are useful for groups of about 6-8 people.

A kitchen is on the way, and is scheduled to come into operation in the summer.

This pub deserves to succeed. Anyone visiting will see the effort and energy that has been expended in its renaissance, and it ought to be seen as a trailblazer for future pubs.

Excellent.

8 Jan 2006 13:53

The Oakdale Arms, Harringay

Great NYE.

2 Jan 2006 17:40

The Lamp Tavern, Birmingham

And a privilege and an honour to meet Adam Hogshaw of Ladies In The Radiator who will play NYE

29 Dec 2005 19:48

, Digbeth

Another superb night of "scoops". Of particular interest was Canavan's "Dublin to Liverpool" stout, 4.5%. Everything a stout should be, thick and warming without being heavy, yet aromatic with a hint of smoked sausage. Smooth mouthfeel. Great.

Top marks also for WF6 brewery's Christmas Cracker. An exquisite combination of fruit and bitterness made this a good session ale despite its 4.2% ABV rating.

This was one of my best visits (beerwise) to the Anchor.

29 Dec 2005 19:45

The Lamp Tavern, Birmingham

Unchanged since last visit. Nice to see the food at the bar. Like Collingbourne, below, I ended up drinking a little more than intended last night because the Lamp is almost impossible to leave.

Phoenix "Snowbound" was the best beer on, and locals made for friendly company at the end of a very cold day in the "Brum". Still 10/10!

29 Dec 2005 19:40

The Last Post, Southend on Sea

I have to compliment the Last Post on the service I had last night. I was originally seated at Table 34 and ordered a Chinese chilli beef for my dinner. At the time of placing the order, this was the only table with a free seat and, shortly after returning to it, a nearby table became completely free so I moved so as not to disturb the other guy who appeared to be waiting for someone. The minute one of the waiters came around with someone else's order I told him I had moved.

However the meal was still delivered to Table 34 and promptly devoured by another customer.

What impressed me was how the matter was put right within 5 minutes on production of my receipt with the minimum of fuss and a profuse apology from staff and management. Although the initial error meant I had to stay about 30mins longer than I had intended, the staff attitudes here are just about the best I have encountered in any Wetherspoon pub.

Finally, if that were not good enough by itself, the Titanic Eight Bells (abv 4.5%) was absolutely exquisite in its fruitiness and hoppiness. This made it one of the best beers I have tasted in recent weeks.

Whatever marks the pub got on my previous visit, this one gives it 10/10.

I recommend that the local Camra branch pay another visit. The beer quality would almost certainly earn a swift re-entry into the GBG. Excellent.

24 Dec 2005 17:22

The Cork and Cheese Ale House, Southend on Sea

A superb range of ales last night. The Nethergate IPA, at 1.55 per pint, represents the best value around, and was a pleasant surprise. A Dark Star beer came on last thing, and was excellent. Tring Snowflake not too bad.

Perfect?

Would be if the last train back to London was at 2330 or midnight!

Can't recall why I only gave it 8/10 last year - 10/10.

24 Dec 2005 17:11

The Harp, Covent Garden

Excellent. Long narrow pub just north of the Strand and Charing Cross Station. A friendly atmosphere combined with absolutely superb beer, makes this a must. Visited last night and had a pint of Black Sheep Bitter which was 100% on form.

O'Hagan's sausages are available at the bar and must be tried.

Staff very friendly and welcoming; locals and other customers warm and accommodating. Overall, this is a quality pub, serving quality beer for the quality customer. Recommended. 10/10!

15 Dec 2005 12:31

The Porterhouse, Covent Garden

Boisterous Irish bar on three levels. The beers start at 2.80 approx, pub absolutely heaving at 8pm last night. The atmosphere is lively, and even the bouncers were friendly when I visited. Try the TSB and Oyster Stout.

Interesting furniture and lighting.

15 Dec 2005 12:24

The Oakdale Arms, Harringay

Milton Sparta was on its best form last Thursday, sadly it was all drunk by thirsty customers by Friday!

12 Dec 2005 17:51

Zero Degrees, Blackheath

Top quality beer still the agenda here. Visited on Tues 06/12/05 with two friends. Food very good, and we got a table within two minutes of walking in at 8pm which was great.

The pale ale and the black lager are the beers to go for.

12 Dec 2005 17:48

The Kings Arms, Waterloo

Beer mainly from large regionals or small national breweries. Quality so-so, but the staff and atmosphere in the pub are second-to-none. Particularly friendly was the Eastern European girl who served me and my friends on Tuesday 6/12/05. Had this been a Hopback, Dark Star or Milton pub, it would be just perfect.

12 Dec 2005 17:39

The Hobgoblin, Marylebone

Had half a pint of "Brakspear" special bitter last night. Pub not too bad but absolutely heaving with customers. Also note that there were no Wychwood beers on tap despite the signage outside the pub stating there was.

5/10.

9 Dec 2005 12:18

The Kingswood Arms, Kingswood

Any musicians from the original Syd Dale Orchestra drink here? I am an amateur music writer (don't spend ALL the time in the pub) and noticed the address is almost the same as Amphonic (SOUND STAGE) Music.

27 Nov 2005 21:50

The Malt Shovel, Coventry

All seemed good when I popped in for a swift half that soon became two pints on Saturday evening. No further changes appear to have been made since the new landlord took over last year, and the future of the pub according to Steve behind the bar is good too.

The kitchen is undergoing a re-fit presently, and one or two more handpumps are planned in addition to the remaining three on the corridor side of the bar (the S.P.A having gone some time ago).

The beers from local microbreweries were on fine form, and the music on the jukebox was at a level that allowed comfortable conversation.

Although I was there between 1800 and 1900 on a Saturday there were only about half a dozen people mainly propping the bar; however the pub is still said to fill up later, and birthday party decorations were in place for a later gathering! Indeed, if I lived in Coventry, I'd be hard pushed between the Malt Shovel and the Nursery to choose a venue for my birthday.

Following what I have read and heard about the pub, I have to say I was pleasantly surprised by my experience in the pub last Saturday.

9/10.

Change the striplight colour in the front room to a warm white (827) tube & the ambience upgrade will earn you 10/10!!

Great pub despite the recent changes - do visit.

27 Nov 2005 21:09

The Craven Arms, Coventry

The pub has certainly improved since my last visit. The beers are all in good condition, but beware the weakest of these, at 5%, is a beer to be drunk in moderation!

The pub was warm, friendly and welcoming last night (26/11/05) with a crackling open log-fire, giving well-earned respite from the biting cold this weekend. The locals are very sociable here and if for any reason you happen to be in the pub on your own, you will not be for long. I don't remember why I only gave six marks for the pub last time, it's now worthy of 9. Had there been a mild or a 3.5-3.9% session beer available I'd have given it 10/10! Great pub.

27 Nov 2005 20:55

The Nursery Tavern, Coventry

A most excellent session here last night.I popped in planning to have one or two pints and head off to the Malt Shovel. The beer was so good and the locals so friendly that I stopped the rest of the night and left five pints later at closing time.

Wye Valley Bitter and Kelham Island Pale Rider were on good form, and the pub was lively yet cosy and welcoming. A real down-to-earth pub for real people, all ages and all walks of life all drinking in harmony side by side. I felt very relaxed in the pub as it seemed the sort of place that anyone can talk to anyone about anything without the worry of offending someone. DON'T change this pub in any way - leave it just as it is for my next visit!

The pub,like many others in the area has extended its opening hours, now serving to 12 midnight with kick-out time 0030 on a Friday night.

The original 7/10 I gave the pub a few years ago is way out-of-date: 10/10 awarded.

26 Nov 2005 13:18

The Old Windmill, Coventry

Reoprtedly changed management, and can no longer be found in the pages of the GBG. Still looks the same from the outside nevertheless.

26 Nov 2005 12:56

The Town Wall Tavern, Coventry

Still an excellent pub. Enjoyed a pint of Brew X1 followed by a Springhead Bitter in the Donkey Box. Everyone here very friendly, a great start to another "Coventry Crawl". I have upgraded my original 7/10 to an 8/10.

NOTE: There is a lot of redevelopment in the immediate foreground which makes the pub less easy to find if you are new to Coventry. Don't be put off by all the construction work - find the pub and go and have a pint.

26 Nov 2005 12:54

The Oakdale Arms, Harringay

** F E S T I V A L **

********* ON ********

******** N O W ******

15-25 November 2005

17 Nov 2005 22:41

The Oxford, Kentish Town

I have visited the Oxford quite regularly at lunchtimes recently, and this ranks amongst the best food oriented pubs in the neighbourhood. It is certainly rival competition to the Pineapple and the Vine, and in terms of food quality, atmosphere and warm welcoming staff it has the edge over the other two. Try the exquisite pasta dishes.

I have tried the Deuchars mentioned above, and although I only saw it on once in about 10 visits, it was very well kept. I think the other ale was Greene King Abbot, which at 5% is not the sort of beer you would want to "session" on during a lunch break from the office!

The Scottish guy usually on at lunchtime, taking orders, is friendly, efficient and customer focused, and more recently I was served by one of the lovely ladies.

The only thing is that space is rather limited if you are only coming in for a drink, as most of the tables have reserved signs. However if you are eating (and the prices are reasonable given the quality of the food served) tables are made available and you can sit anywhare when the pub is empty.

A great improvement on previous management, and long may it continue.

17 Nov 2005 22:34

The Wenlock Arms, Hoxton

I would like to personally thank Will, Annette, Jackie, Tom, David and everyone else who contributed to making my birthday party at the pub a great success last Saturday. The food was excellent and great value, and I was really thrilled with how it all went. Great stuff guys.

Lee

15 Nov 2005 09:42

The Evening Star, Brighton

Last night's session was superb. I know it's difficult to fault Hophead normally but the barrel in the cellar at the Evening Star last night (07/11/05) was just about the best I have tasted. Also good was Best Bitter (Dark Star), less hoppy and more caramel/malt tones, and the Porter made a perfect finish. With a taster of the odd guest beer, this made for a perfect session in which every drop of beer was in 100% top condition.

10/10.

8 Nov 2005 21:49

The Hand In Hand, Brighton

Visited the Hand in Hand last night, 07/11/05, and enjoyed a refreshing pint of Kemptown, and followed that with two halves of Ye Olde Trout. I stayed longer than intended due to friendly conversations with locals at the bar; Chris behind the bar is friendly.

The Olde Trout was certainly not flat, nor was it watery, but the Kemptown has been "toned down", not being quite so dry and hoppy as it was last time. Different hop variety or ratio perhaps??

The pub still retains all its good attributes from last time I visited, and visitors below who failed to have a good time here must have come on a bad day or, perhaps been at another pub altogether.

8/10

8 Nov 2005 21:45

The Oakdale Arms, Harringay

C O N G R A T U L A T I O N S ! ! !

The planning application for the Oakdale's demolition appears to have been defeated on 31/10/2005 - await formal confirmation. If this is confirmed, this is the great news we have all been waiting for.

3 Nov 2005 03:30

The Lower Red Lion, St Albans

Visited the pub on Friday evening (21/10/2005). Although under new management everything that was good about this pub remains fully intact, and it's with great pleasure that I can document the following improvements since my last visit.

The range of beers is just as good as it's always been, with five or six microbrewery beers alongside permanent Fullers London Pride and Oakham JHB. The beer quality has improved generally, with all four beers that I drank being in perfect condition. The range [on Friday] was dynamic, too, including two exquisite dark beers (Dark Destroyer and Bete Noire). So well kept were these beers that all the flavour subtleties were noticeable.

Couple this with very friendly, attentive staff and management, and you have a pub in which I have had one of the best sessions this year.

You have to pay a visit and see for yourselves, I was thrilled with all aspects of the session on Friday - keep it up guys!

23 Oct 2005 21:03

The Admiral Mann, Kentish Town

Visited a couple of weeks ago with a friend from South London. Superb to see the pub is virtually unchanged apart from redecoration as necessary. Country (Macs) still in good condition, and there's a smile behind the bar. I only get to visit the pub once or twice a year these days and the welcome from one or two of the locals is still familiar.

Mainly easy/M.O.R. background music, kept at a level allowing conversation. Still 7/10. If the AK returned, that would be 10/10.

19 Oct 2005 20:25

The Oakdale Arms, Harringay

Decision on the pub's future has been adjourned, pending a site visit and a further committee meeting scheduled for Monday, 31st October 2005.

19 Oct 2005 20:18

The Wenlock Arms, Hoxton

LEE'S 40TH AT THE WENLOCK:

SAT 12/11/05

2100-> CLOSING

HOLLY SHOULD BE PLAYING.

19 Oct 2005 20:15

The Market Porter, Borough

Try a certain Harveys pub in Tabard Street. I have been in the Market porter a few times and found quite a good range of ales here. I wouldn't describe the pub as a Wetherspoon, but most of the comments posted are about correct. The selection of beers is amongst the largest in London bar one or two quite well-known pubs in N1 and N4, but I have had the odd "chalky" one in the MP.

It is busy on weekday nights, and whilst you are asked to leave by 2320, they are reasonably polite about it.

Mr Lash (and indeed Mr Nakin) are entitled to their views, this forum is, after all, one of the healthiest organs of free speech remaining these days!) but they should one day nip north of the river and check out a few more freehouses. After my last visit, taking into account atmosphere, beer quality (not quantity - these are not interchangeable measurements) I am giving the Market Porter 7/10.

19 Oct 2005 20:05

The Royal Oak, Borough

I vist this pub on a semi-regular basis with friends on a Friday night. I am quite surprised by reports of mediocre beer, because I have always found the Harveys beers to be on excellent form. The atmosphere is a little more "businesslike" on Friday nights and other busy times because they have a pub to run. If the pub, staff, beer and food are all the same as 3 or 4 months ago, I leave my rating at 10/10. "Frank" is very friendly.

12 Oct 2005 17:22

Lemkes Spezialittenbrauerei, Berlin

Having visited with a friend on 28/09/2005, I can now confirm that the food is excellent. Try the German sausage with red cabbage and bratkartoffeln - Mmmmmm!

10 Oct 2005 19:59

Pub Krlewski, Warsaw

A traditional pub in the heart of the picturesque Old Town. Friendly staff and a warm welcoming atmosphere. Note how the bar stools are constructed, and the vintage (not used) Polish radio receiver in the back room. Two or three Polish national brands of pilsner are served on draught here.

The small dimensions of the pub make for a cosy intimate atmosphere and, despite having other pubs on the agenda last night found it difficult to leave.

A big thank you to the group of Dutch guys who invited me onto their table and bought me two beers.

25 Sep 2005 17:05

Pub Nora, Warsaw

A basement pub close to the University of Warsaw.

The main beers on draught here are Krolewskie, Warka and Warka Strong. A full range of spirits are available plus tea and coffee.

The karaoke nights here are lively and boisterous, and two nights ago I watched a football match in the pub between Warsaw's top and most rival sides. Needless to say the atmosphere was quite electric. If you are travelling on your own, rest assured that someone will come and speak English to you, and the locals here are even more friendly if you manage to utter a few words of Polish.

The most well-known bus route passing this pub is the 116, which also usefully covers most of the tourist attractions.

A good watering-hole, though sadly, most of the original beers listed in another site recommending this pub no longer exist due to brewery closures/takeovers etc.

Good pub, 7/10

25 Sep 2005 16:56

Browarmia Krolewska, Warsaw

Established in July 2005, this excellent brewpub is expected to go from strength to strength. Havnig been told on departure for Warsaw that all the city's brew pubs were closed, I was supprised to stumble on this one during a bus ride to the Old Town.

Occupying a large and spacious ground floor and basement, the pub is designed to maximise space and lighting and decor combine the modern with the traditional. The brew coppers are visible from the basement drinking area.

Browarmia produces four beer, as follows: -

PSZENCICZNE (wheat beer)
A flavoursome, balanced wheatbeer with hints of ginger and a lemon aroma/aftertaste. Quite a lively beer with a zingy, textured mouthfeel.

PILS
A German styled pilsner lager with a distinct citric flavour and a cloudy appearance. Slightly less gaseous than most other pilsners I have tried.

CZERWONE IMBIROWE (BROWN ALE)
A clear, brown to amber ale, with malt and sweetness the main flavours here. A hint of licquorice and aniseed. Although these flavours are not to my personal taste, I appreciated on drinking that this is a well-crafted beer with all the flavour and textures intentional, and I can see why others would enjoy it.

STOUT
Take my advice, drinkers, and leave this one until last, allowing plenty of time to sup it. Bursting with dark chocolate (without beeing oversweet) and smoke flavours, with some burnt barley in there too.

With food served at all times the pub is open, it is a MUST for anyone who likes their beer visiting Warsaw.

25 Sep 2005 16:40

The Lamp Tavern, Birmingham

I have to agree. Nothing but good times in this pub. I always make a beeline for it whenever in the Brum. Hope the tornado last month left it in one piece!

2 Sep 2005 16:55

Brasserie O'Neil, Paris

An additional note:

This pub is not part of any "chain" with a similar name.

30 Aug 2005 17:07

The Oakdale Arms, Harringay

******* FOOD BULLETIN ********
The oakdale now serves exquisite homemade curries on an a-la-carte basis on Fridays 1200-1415 and 1800-2130.

This is a copy of last Friday's menu:

*************Chicken*********
MEDIUM CURRY
A restaurant standard, medium heat in a rich sauce with loads of flavour.

KORMA
With cream and cashew nuts, mild and creamy. Ideal for people who do not like chilli heat

MADRAS
Hot with black pepper and lemon juice.

VINDALOO
Very Hot. With Tom's special chilli sauce - put the loo roll in the fridge!

ACHAR
Cjicken cooked with tangy pickle and sliced mango. Medium heat.

METHI
Chef's favourite (and mine!) Medium heat with delicious savoury fenugreek flavour.

*********Vegetable curry**************

MIXED VEGETABLE CURRY
Chunky Mixed Vegetables in a smooth medium sauce

All served with spiced pilau rice @ 4.00; poppadoms 40p each.

At a stroke, the problem of "nowhere to get a decent bite to eat in the area" has been eliminated - Pay a visit and see for yourselves.

With regards to the commentaries below in May and June, I urge every councillor involved in the fate of the pub to read this site and - more importantly - visit the pub and see for themselves what would be lost if they fail to arrive at the [correct] decision!!

21 Aug 2005 13:51

The Elephant, Faversham

This pub was known colloquially as "Sid's Vinegar Works" until "Sid" left about eight years ago to run another pub. It is still a freehouse, with mainly small regionals plus the odd microbrewery beer. Worth a visit.

17 Aug 2005 16:38

The Crown and Anchor, Faversham

A warm, welcoming friendly local pub with a long-standing landlord. The Masterbrew is kept at just about the best quality available in Faversham, and the locals in the pub are friendly and welcoming. I visited with a friend last night (Tue 16/08/05) and the beer was so good that we returned for a final pint at the end of the crawl. Excellent - do visit.

The only sad thing is they no longer do their renowned ghoulashes which were exquisite!

17 Aug 2005 16:34

The Anchor, Faversham

Also if the Scouse chap at the bar would like to continue the friendly conversation he was having with us then call Lee on 07759 849617

17 Aug 2005 11:01

The Anchor, Faversham

This pub is an absolute gem. I visited last night with a friend as part of a Faversham crawl, and was amazed by the friendliness of both staff and locals alike, who made an effort to make conversation with us and make us feel welcome.

The whole range of Shepherd Neame's beers are available, and the food is exquisite. I recommend the salmon pasta (which I had) and the beef & mushroom stroganoff which looked superb - was my first choice but the girl on the table next to us was eating the last one!

Go there - you will not be disappointed!

17 Aug 2005 11:00

The Nobody Inn, Newington Green

Does Andy Rutt (Andy Contagious) still drink here?

If you do, contact Lee on 07759 849617 - remember Peter Borrie & co, long time no see!

9 Aug 2005 12:05

The Barley Mow, Shepperton

I have just returned home from a thrilling session in this pub. I visited with a friend from London for the first time on Wed 15/06/05 and enjoyed a pint of Hogs Back TEA and a "Treacle Stout" both in very good condition.

Exquisite food accompanied the beer. You MUST try their Palm Oli fish stew - it is mouthwatering. The menu is full of exciting Caribbean dishes alongside a few English ones plus a good range of snacks and sandwiches. (Check first - food is only available 2 or 3 evenings a week).

All this was enjoyed all the more thanks to a fine, professional-sounding jazz band playing on Weds night. I must also add how friendly the staff AND the locals are in this pub. If I lived within 5 miles of Shepperton, I would make the Barley Mow my local without a doubt. I will certainly visit again - well worth the train ride from Waterloo in my opinion. Excellent - 10/10.

16 Jun 2005 01:47

The Hand In Hand, Brighton

The beer in this pub is excellent, and skipping it from this year's Camra Good Beer Guide pubs section was a gross error. I could not get enough of the strongly-flavoured "KEMPTOWN BITTER" during my last vivit on 30/5/05, and it was only when I produced a copy of the GBG to decide on my next pub that I learned of its omission. Just so everyone knows it has not changed in any way since last year, and a visit is essential when in Brighton.

4 Jun 2005 17:04

The Sidewinder, Brighton

The food here is absolutely exquisite. There is usually an authentic Indian dish on the menu at all times, and on 30/05/05 I had a [very reasonably priced] chicken mint korma washed down with an excellent pint of Deuchars IPA. The staff are very friendly here, also there's a pleasant beerb garden.

I was attracted to the pub by the menu initially (having began a crawl in the Hand in Hand up the road) and was pleasantly surprised.

It is a good pub to include in a crawl in the area. Worthy of a good 9/10.

4 Jun 2005 16:45

The Marine Tavern, Brighton

Friendly, traditional gay pub in a back street off the main thoroughfare. Two or three real ales stocked; I visited on Bank Holiday Monday and tasted Adnams and Harvey's bitters which were not bad. The atmosphere is warm and welcoming, and not cliquey like many of the others in the area. Would go again.

4 Jun 2005 16:38

am to pm, Berlin

This pub is situated beneath the Hackischer Markt S-bahn railway, and holds a twenty-four hour licence.

3 May 2005 15:40

Sophie'n Eck, Berlin

A traditional corner pub occupying a 19th century building since the mid-eihgties. Friendly staff and locals all of whom spoke good English when I visited, although I insisted on ordering beers in German.

Two locals were indeed kind enough to afford me and my family a round of excellent dunkelbier, which was a treat after a bitter, hoppy Jever pils also on tap.

No beer garden, but pavement seating is available. The inside is fascinating, full of nooks, crannies and a snug that is well worth settling into.

A great place to just have one beer or spend the entire evening. Go and see for yourselves!

3 May 2005 15:38

Deponie No. 3, Berlin

A traditional Berliner "Kneipe" meaning "pub". A good range of draught beers includes a Dunkel. It is 5 minutes walk from Friederichstrasse U-bahn/S-bahn stations, and is located in an arch beneath the S-bahn railway itself.

Friendly staff will make conversation with you if visiting alone, and English is spoken. A few words of German do not go amiss however. The pub is quite dark inside courtesy of woodpannelling and dark textiles, all of which should be appreciated, but the beer garden is alternatively bright and spacious. Visiting the pub before a meal arranged elsewhere with others, I did not opportune to taste any of the food menu, but readers should try it for themselves and post their comments. I would personally recommend Deponie No. 3 on beer alone.

3 May 2005 15:25

Lemkes Spezialittenbrauerei, Berlin

A brew pub established in 1999 with up to four home-brewed German styled beers on at any time. Lemke is in easy reach of the vibrant Hackischer Markt area, and accessible by S-bahn, U-bahn and tram services which run till after midnight.

I visited this pub on recommendation and was not disappointed. The pub is spacious, the staff are very friendly and some English is spoken. On tap regularly are ORIGINAL, a traditional brown ale, PILS which is hoppy and excellent plus an Weiss beer and seasonal beer (Mei-Bock), which was also good. Standard issue metric pints served here (500ml) but in practice you get a generous 550ml, more like "our" pint.

Food is available mainly in the evening session. The quality looked good (no chance to taste during short visits) and the portions are generous.

In conclusion, a brew-pub well worth finding, 10/10.

3 May 2005 15:03

The Kings Fee, Hereford

Enjoyed a half of well-kept Phoenix Arizona Bitter last Saturday (2/4/05). The pub gets busy on Saturday nights and could do with more staff at the bar. Although I was served promptly some girls standing next to me were complaining, and the bar was three or four deep by the time I left.

10 Apr 2005 17:13

The Cambridge Blue, Cambridge

The great thing about this pub is how it caters for families as well as individuals, and all are welcome. I have never had other than a great time in the Cambridge Blue, and I'm sure my health (and that of others) has benefited from its pioneering smoke-free policy. I make a point of finishing regular Cambridge crawls there; its proximity to the station is handy. The only gripe about Cambridge in general is that the last train back to London is about 2310 - a good hour too early!!

27 Mar 2005 12:59

The Farriers Arms, St Albans

This is a traditional McMullens pub with a convivial friendly feel within. The beer is well-kept and both staff and customers alike have afforded me a warm welcome, albeit roughly a year ago when I last visited. Worth a visit, and quite a good pub in which to finish a crawl.

27 Mar 2005 12:48

The Lower Red Lion, St Albans

The beer has improved since my last visit and I have now upgraded my rating from 9 to 10/10 - well done & keep it up.

27 Mar 2005 12:45

Cafe Gollem, Amsterdam

Excellent - one of Amsterdam's best brown cafe type pubs in a little alley off Spuistraat, north of Leidseplein. A huge range of beers on bottle and draught, including De Koninck and Pawel Kwak beer (yes, served in that special glass!). The bottled beer range runs into the hundreds. The staff are very friendly and informative, conversant in English. The locals are just as friendly. I walked in on Friday night (18/03/05) and ended up staying until almost closing time as regulars began chatting and we exchanged beers.

The atmosphere in Gollem is superb, and music on CD is kept at a level which allows conversation to flourish. The pub often gets packed, but is well worth a visit. Go there, you will not be disappointed.

22 Mar 2005 00:10

In de Wildeman, Amsterdam

Unchanged since my last visit, a proffesionally-run pub for the discerning drinker. A large range of beers both on draught and in bottles is available from the friendly staff behind the bar. English spoken, although knowing a little Dutch also goes a long way!

This is a MUST, along with the other Amsterdam pubs I have recommended in BITE.

21 Mar 2005 23:55

't IJ Proeflokaal (Brouwerij 't IJ), Amsterdam

Update:

I visited again on Saturday 19/03/2005 and was pleasantly surprised with the Pilzn which was hoppy and bitter, and did not have a sugary taste as described below. However their Easter brew (Paasij) did have a sweet candy taste to it but this seemed intentional by the brewer. Keep it up.

21 Mar 2005 23:49

De Zotte, Amsterdam

Update:

There is now a full food menu available in the evenings, which is good. Try the fish stew. Also, note the pub fills up in the early evening, so arrive early to be sure of getting a seat.

21 Mar 2005 23:44

Het Molenpad, Amsterdam

This is a prime example of a Dutch "brown cafe" in the heart of Amsterdam's western canal belt.

The Molenpad is a long narrow pub with single bar along half the length. A wide range of Dutch and Belgian beers is available, in bottle or draught form, and food ranges from basic snacks to substantial meals.

The staff are friendly and speak English, although the service you get (always good) is greatly enhanced once you have made the effort to speak a few words of Dutch! It has quite a local feel to it, and doesn't appear to get crammed with tourists either. It is well worth seeking out.

21 Mar 2005 23:41

Cafe 't Arendsnest, Amsterdam

Absolutely superb. I visited again last Thursday (17/03/05) and was invited to an exclusive beer-tasting on 19/03/05 for P.I.N.T. members (Dutch Camra). This is an establishment run by professionals for the serious beer drinker, and I would like to thank everyone involved in the beer-tasting session for the enjoyable time I had - indeed one of the highlights of my trip to Amsterdam.

I am uprating my mark to 10.

21 Mar 2005 23:31

The Oakdale Arms, Harringay

Congratulations to Steve, Tom and all the others on the excellent festival! Apart from the superb range of beers (on Monday and Friday when I visited with friends), the home-made food was second-to-none, patricularly the burgers. Good to see the old pub buzzing with real conversation, and I noted, with interest, the silence of the jukebox.

Here's to many more festivals!

27 Feb 2005 14:35

The Claret Free House, Addiscombe

I would like to congratulate this pub on its range of beers last night. Dark Star Hophead (3.8%) seems to have answered the commentary below (10/01/2005), and on top of this there was Palmers original (as standard) plus a premium bitter and an exquisite stout ("CRACKLE?") That is a good range by any stretch of the imagination, and it was well worth coming across London to quaff here. My personal rating for the pub is 10/10, and if Andy (below) were in the pub last night, he would be hard-pressed to give any rating below this! Well done to the landlord and the friendly staff, too, not forgetting the locals who made room for us!

27 Feb 2005 14:30

The Hole in the Wall, Hull

A long, narrow shop conversion with a comfortable front bar, and pool in the rear.

About 5 beers available, I enjoyed Old Mill Mild and Archer's One-Eyed Snake, both well kept. Although very much a local's local, everyone is welcome, and several groups seemed to "crawl" in and out during my visit of 12/02/05.

The music is at a comfortable level allowing conversation, and the buzz of both intermingle quite harmoniously among the down-to-earth clientele. A good pub.

13 Feb 2005 23:11

The Whalebone, Hull

Excellent brew pub. I visited last night (12/02/05) having discovered it in Camra's Good Beer Guide. Both staff and locals are as friendly as they come, and all are down-to-earth with a great sense of humour!

The beers are superb (last night there were three Whalebone beers plus Tom Woods & T/T Landlord). For those interested in cider, they regularly have two real ones here. The Whalebone beers are superb.

The pub is generally homely and welcoming, and the walls opposite the bar are adorned with photographs of old Hull.

With the brewery about 2 years old, I am quite surprised that I am the first to suggest this pub, and I recommend it highly. DO visit, you will not be disappointed in any way (unless you turn up when it's shut, that is!!) I give the pub 10/10.

PS: Thanks to Keith for that last pint!

13 Feb 2005 23:02

The Bay Horse, Hull

A friendly local hostelry in the back streets close to the River Hull.

Visiting last night as a stranger I was afforded a warm welcome, and enjoyed a perfect pint of Batemans XB. The staff are friendly, and the front bar was only empty on account of a lively birthday party being held in the other bar.

A good pub, pretty well unspoilt and worth a visit.

13 Feb 2005 22:51

Ye Olde Black Boy, Hull

This pub is a true gem. I visited on Saturday 12/02/05 and the pub was heaving, people from far and wide were enjoying superb beer in this two-bar hostelry. I asked the landlord for my pint of Moorhouses Premier Bitter in a jug and was thrilled to be given one (despite jugs being out of use at weekends) with a smile. It was that extra touch of friendliness that really did it for me, and this pub deserves all the recommendations it can get (if you can get into the pub - that is).

The subdued lighting, coupled with bottles all over the walls and beermats on the ceiling, create an atmosphere of a Dutch alehouse. A must-visit pub.

13 Feb 2005 22:34

The Priory Arms, Stockwell

Update: The new owners have introduced an evening food menu, ranging from light bites to substantial quality fare, the food being served up to 9pm weekday evenings. In addition the beer (although excellent previously) has improved yet further. My rating for this establishment remains at 10/10.

10 Feb 2005 00:53

The Gardeners Rest, Sheffield

This is definitely one of the best pubs to finish off a crawl. Amongst two or three Timothy Taylor beers was a mild called "Twin City" from the Facer's brewery - perfectly balanced. The real treat was Wentworth's WPA, one of the most flavoursome beers I have tasted for a long time.

Thanks to all at the bar for their hospitality (allowing me to bring my bike in, etc) and to "Neil" for tolerating me and Martin's over-enjoyment of the beer.

This pub is a gem, and must be visited. NB: Euro currency is accepted in the pub. I cannot fathom why I only gave 8/10 in my last rating - this changes forthwith to a well-deserved 10/10. Keep it up!

30 Jan 2005 21:54

The Wellington, Sheffield

The third pub in my crawl of 28/01/05 starting at the Fat Cat.

Again no Port Mahon beer tonight but the range included an excellent beer from the Durham brewery, alongside at least 5 others. As promised, a hello to "Mr Fox" with whom Martin & I enjoyed a pint, one evening is simply not long enough to enjoy the pub to its full potential!

10/10 - again!

30 Jan 2005 21:46

The Kelham Island Tavern, Sheffield

This excellent ale-house goes from strength to strength. Standing at the bar to sup two superb pints of Pictish Brewers Gold, I chatted for some time to locals and bar staff all of whom were friendly (thanks for that pint - Martin) and thus ended up staying longer than planned. A must-visit pub. Filled rolls at the bar most sessions, and a generally cosy, convivial atmosphere within. Go there.

30 Jan 2005 21:42

The Fat Cat, Sheffield

I visited on Friday 28/01/05 and would like to further congratulate this pub on its superb food as well as its top range of beers. It was good to have the time to sample some, and all tastes are catered for including vegetarians.

As well as the real ales, a comprehensive selection of European beers, both bottled and draught, is available at the Fat Cat. It is a good pub to start a crawl, or to relax with friends in the evening. I continue to recommend the pub after this visit.

30 Jan 2005 21:37

The Brewery Tap, Wimbledon Village

This is a superb pub. I visited last night with a group of friends and enjoyed Slaters' Monkey Magic mild amongst other great beers. There are five ales available on handpump alongside an interesting range of bar snacks. All types of games available from the bar, and normally the music allows conversation without having to shout too loud.

The landlord and his staff are warm, friendly and approachable, and I left with the desire to visit again soon.

3 Jan 2005 13:00

The Frog at Bercy Village, Paris

A large, modern brew pub in the village of Bercy, run in similar style to Paris' other "Frog" pubs. Excellent food, three home brews including at least one cask conditioned ale served on handpump. Well worth a visit as the village of Bercy itself is beautiful.

3 Jan 2005 12:54

The Lamp Tavern, Birmingham

Update. All readers should note that the pub only opens at lunchtimes on a bank holiday, irrespective of what day of the week the bank holiday falls. I had the misfortune of finding the pub shut last night (28/12/04). Eddie still runs the pub well, and was kind enough to explain his opening times, so check before visiting - it's a good pub when it's open!

30 Dec 2004 00:00

, Digbeth

Still a superb pub - last night was no exception. Oakham White Dwarf amongst the excellent beers on offer. I also noted that food is served at certain times of the day, with curries being a speciality - best phone the pub for further details.

Also, the locals are a charming eclectic bunch, friendly and approachable, 't is a must-visit pub. I cannot remember why my original rating was only eight points, I have today upgraded it to a full 10/10.

29 Dec 2004 23:55

The Cork and Cheese Ale House, Southend on Sea

Visited on 23/12/2004. The good news is the pub is still open and the threat of closure is believed to have been lifted - for the forseeable future at least. The locals who drink in the Cork & Cheese are as friendly as they have always been, some would say, friendlier than the staff, and a choice of up to four beers changes constantly.

If, like me, you are visiting from London, NOTE that the last train back is 2306 from Southend Victoria, and usually leaves promptly!

27 Dec 2004 20:32

The Narrow Boat, Islington

This pub has been reopened for a few months following a comprehensive refurbishment. Last night I visited with a friend, and we were both pleasantly surprised.

The floorboards have been rubbed down, air conditioning installed, and the pub is now bright, airy and spacious. The landlord is warm, welcoming and informed, and the pub now attracts pleasant, friendly clientele.

Four handpumps serve Adnams plus changing guest beers (Adnam's OLD in good condition last night). Food is served 12-3 and 5-10 Mon-Fri, and all day Sat & Sun.

Picture windows afford panoramic views of the Grand Union Canal, and there are plans to build a balcony. I challenge all contributors who have posted negative comments to visit this pub and see for yourselves how it has changed. You will not be disappointed.

7 Dec 2004 19:10

The Island Queen, Islington

A true example of a traditional London pub. Its ornate features create a timewarp to the turn of the century, and the beer is absolutely excellent. The Timothy Taylor's Landlord was exquisite last night for example. Food is served but I didn't get the chance to try any.

This is a back street gem, and I recommend a visit as part of a good canal-basin crawl.

7 Dec 2004 19:02

The Live and Let Live, Cambridge

The good thing about the pub is that it is welcoming to all customers, and that makes it a pleasure to visit at all times. keep it up.

7 Dec 2004 18:58

The Priory Arms, Stockwell

Gary and Nickie have retired and passed the pub onto a new licencee. He promises to keep the pub exactly as it is, that is, a vibrant local freehouse with an excellent range of real ales together with a top class bottled lager selection. After I visited with a group of friends on Friday 03/12/04, I was reassured that the pub remains in good hands for the forseeable future.

And, sad though it is to miss Gary and Nickie, the news that the pub is safe can only be welcomed in these circumstances.

5 Dec 2004 22:36

The Frog and Rosbif, Paris

A traditional-styled microbrewery pub in the centre of Paris, serving cask conditioned real ale by the pint (proper imperial 56cl size glasses in use). Food available through all sessions, and a large screen tv scrolls down for rugby matches during which there is standing room only.

The beers available when I visited on 27/11/04 were:

In-Seine (4.4% bitter)
Dark de Triomphe (5% stout)
Natural Blonde (4.2% draught lager)
Rosbif's Revenge (6% Christmas ale). All the beers have improved since I first visited in the autumn of 2002, there is a great atmosphere amongst all clientele, and a visit is recommended if only for the thrill of supping a real, hand-pulled pint abroad!

Great pub.

1 Dec 2004 17:45

The Sair Inn, Linthwaite

Congratulations on being BITE's best pub! Since the first time I visited in 1999 I believed it would reach the top.

Well done Crabtree - keep brewing the beers!

1 Dec 2004 17:08

Brasserie O'Neil, Paris

Established in 1991, this is easily Paris' best brew pub. Set in a back street of the plush St. Sulpice district, this pub brews four beers on the premises. O'Neil is woodpannelled throughout, and one bar at the front of the pub serves three distinct drinking areas. A small mezzanine area at the rear has bare brickwork. The dark ale is and exquisite balance of caramel and smoke, and the brown is lighter and hoppier. My visit didn't give me time to taste the blonde and white beers. Superb food available, the steak and fries were a masterpiece. A good choice of adult-orientated background music creates a perfect atmosphere.

The staff are friendly and speak some English, but being conversant in French gave me a distinct advantage.

This is a gem, and I recommend a visit.

29 Nov 2004 13:45

The Railway Arms, Alton

This pub is an absolute gem. I visited after riding the Watercress Line last Saturday (20/11/04) and can vouch for its friendly hospitality, convivial buzzing atmosphere and above all its excellent Triple fff range of beers.

The Railway Arms is visible from Alton station, and it is worth visiting Alton for the pub alone. Try Alton Pride and Moondance, you will not be disappointed.

Another recommendation, if you are doing the Watercress line, do it first. The earlier journey (beginning 1930) allows time for a couple of pints in the Railway Arms afterwards! I thoroughly enjoyed my visit.

Recommended, 10/10.

22 Nov 2004 02:08

The Redoubt, Wakefield

A classic pub! Divided up nicely into a meandering spread of snugs and lounges. The atmosphere is great and the Tetley Mild is second to none. I visited in October and would recommend this pub to anyone visiting Wakefield.

18 Nov 2004 17:47

The Figure of Eight, Birmingham

good food, cheap beer best pub in B1 postal district

18 Nov 2004 17:41

The Tap and Spile, Birmingham

2 months? I found a better pub in 2 minutes, called the figure-of-8. It may be wetherspoons but offers better food and cheeper beer

18 Nov 2004 17:40

Eden, Coventry

excellent food at quite reasonable prices. Booking essential at weekends.

18 Nov 2004 17:35

The India Arms, Portsmouth

one of the managers here is a T-total. now what does THAT say about the place :-(

18 Nov 2004 17:30

The Hole in The Wall, Southsea

Yet again this pub continues to deliver. Now added to the excellent beer range (two of Ed's brews plus Young's Winter Warmer) are a good selection of bar snacks served until 8pm. These include toasties, jacket potatoes etc and come in generous sizes with a side salad.

I meant to have only one pint when I arrived at 1945 but didn't leave 'til after 2200 having been engaged in conversation with the friendly manager and an equally amicable local.

Still a gem, and still gets worthy of its 10/10 marks - keep it up!

18 Nov 2004 17:27

The Druids Arms, Portsmouth

A local's backstreet local, with very friendly staff and customers. Gale's Best Bitter in good condition, but sadly the Festival Mild was off when I visited on 17/11/04. Dogs welcome. The locals congregate in the public bar, and (not being a dog lover myself) made me feel very relaxed and welcome as a stranger in the pub - so much so that I stayed for another half.

A weekly quiz and occasional live music are staged here.

The pub is listed in the 2005 Camra GBG and is worth a visit.

18 Nov 2004 17:21

The Wenlock Arms, Hoxton

LEE'S BIRTHDAY IS AT THIS PUB, SAT 13/11/04 FROM 9PM

8 Nov 2004 17:43

The Gatehouse Tavern, Coventry

A boisterous friendly atmosphere in this rugby-orientated pub last Friday. I enjoyed a pint of one of the Church End beers, and would go back to the pub tomorrow if I lived in Coventry.

The two middle-aged guys behind the bar are very friendly, and so are the locals. Food is advertised all over the pub, but seems to be only available at lunchtimes (in the evening try Bar Eden, nearby).

A good pub all in all, and definitely worth a visit.

8 Nov 2004 17:40

The Malt Shovel, Coventry

This pub has changed hands in the last three weeks. Nigel Ashby sold the pub lease to a new landlord. All of Nigel's artworks have been removed, and the lighting is now much brighter making the pub feel bigger.

Other improvements include the toilets now cleaner and fresher than they have ever been, but the main thing is the beer is still kept in superb condition.

I visited the pub on 05/11/04 and, after the initial shock of seeing the changes, I settled down with the [friendly] landlord and his wife with whom I enjoyed hearty conversation whilst supping 4 pints of Church End's finest ales.

The management have assured me that the pub will remain traditional and ale-focused, and in my humble opinion deserves every chance to succeed. It'll still be one of the best pubs in Coventry if it manages to do so.

8 Nov 2004 17:34

The Eight Bells, Putney Bridge

This pub seems to improve each time I visit (annually in the autumn). An excellent pint of Hogs Back T.E.A. (Traditional English Ale) was enjoyed last night. Evening food is now served in seemingly generous portions (I was not there long enough to dine last night but saw 13" plates where someone had just eaten!) The other beer is London Pride (Fuller). It is a nice pub, worth visiting.

4 Nov 2004 13:17

Ye Old Mitre, Holborn

An excellent pub indeed. I visited with a friend at lunchtime on Wednesday 03/11/04, and was greeted with fast, friendly efficient service. The Adnams is in top condition, and the toasted sandwiches here are second to none. This pub is difficult to find, but your efforts will be rewarded.

Superb.

4 Nov 2004 13:02

The Labour Club (Red Shed), Wakefield

Visited on 15/10/2004. Very friendly staff, and a superb range of beers on handpump. This is more of a club than a pub, but as a complete stranger I wa made to feel very welcome.

The premises divide into two rooms, one is mainly for private parties whilst the front bar is more like a pub. Wood pannelling throughout creates a homely feel.

A typically "Northern" feel is afforded by use of fluorescent lighting.

A must!

20 Oct 2004 12:04

The Rat and Ratchet, Huddersfield

Superb. This pub has been tastefully refurbished since my last visit, and the drinking area adjacent to the bar has been opened up affording a warm convivial atmosphere within.

An ever-changing range of exquisite beers continues to be pulled by friendly staff, including two bouncy, singing dancing barmaids. I only had time for one beer there but the pub merits a whole evening session. Go there - you will not be disappointed. I have upped my rating for the pub to 10/10.

18 Oct 2004 10:52

The West Riding Refreshment Rooms, Dewsbury

Excellent. I visited the pub at lunchtime on Saturday 16/10/04 and the place was heaving. It's the sort of pub that makes lunchtime drinking more justifiable! Durham and Timothy Taylor are amongst the breweries supplying the many handpulls in this splendid hostelry. It is well worth a visit to Dewsbury if only to visit this superb pub.

18 Oct 2004 10:46

The Ship and Whale, Rotherhithe

It was back in the late 1980s and I went there more recently with a friend we both felt quite relaxed there although you could not tell if it was or not. It has apparently improved recently.

13 Oct 2004 16:58

The Half and Half, Croydon

This pub is a BREATH OF FRESH AIR in Croydon! I visited with a group of five other mates all of whom, like myself, were here for the first time.

We were all aforded the friendliest of welcomes from staff and clientele alike, and the atmosphere made us all feel at ease and relaxed.

Dark Star Hophead is on permanently (must be tried as it ranks amongst the most flavoursome session beers available) and the second real ale rotates. A comprehensive selection of beers from Belgium, Germany and beyond, both bottled and draught, are available.

The pub has a very spacious feel to it, white emulsion on walls and ceilings, good lighting and pine tables. There is also a downstairs bar. No food, so eat beforehand.

This is the best new pub I have discovered in Greater London in more than one year, and it was certainly worth the train fare from north London to Croydon to try it out.

Recommended.

5 Sep 2004 16:50

The Wenlock Arms, Hoxton

Regarding Andy's comments of June 2004 the beer is currently on the best form it has been for a long time, and the pub remains well worthy of the Cask Marque and other awards it has won.

Go and see (taste) for yourselves! The pub still gets 10/10!

29 Aug 2004 20:56

Goodbarns Yard, Peterborough

Visited this pub last night (28/08/2004). My friend and I were made to feel welcome by staff and customers alike, and none of the previous negative commentaries are true.

I enjoyed two pints of excellent Deuchars IPA on gravity plus half a pint of Roosters Cream Beer. These ales were on such good form that I had a wonderful hoppy taste in my mouth during the short cycle ride back to the station.

I was impressed and will visit again.

29 Aug 2004 20:51

The Brewery Tap, Peterborough

Visited the pub to meet a group on Saturday afternoon/evening. Oakhams JHB on good form, food excellent. Most of the staff are friendly. Handy for the raliway station.

29 Aug 2004 20:44

The Hand and Heart, Peterborough

This is an excellent pub, on the Camra National Inventory. 4 well-kept real ales on handpump; I enjoyed Elgood's BLACK DOG which was especially good.

Lino flooring and formica tables with recesses to place drinks when playing games, etc.

Live accoustic music on Saturday nights, staff and management very friendly. A little gem. Go and see for yourselves!

29 Aug 2004 20:41

The Pineapple, Kentish Town

It is my local too, it is a fine pub, welcoming to all which is one of its strengths.

Given the efforts local people made to keep it open a couple of years back, it deserves all the publicity and good custom it can get; long may it prosper, as it is probably better than any of the other pubs in the immediate vicinity.

The food is recommended as well as the beer.

6 Jul 2004 18:04

The Oakdale Arms, Harringay

Excellent home-made Thai curry yesterday. Well done Steve. This was the best pub in which to follow the Euro 2004. Enjoyed the barbeques etc as well as the beer!

26 Jun 2004 18:28

The Cork and Cheese Ale House, Southend on Sea

ALERT!

This pub has been threatened with closure due to redevelopment of the Victoria Plaza. Urgently petition the local authority and, above all, VISIT THE PUB while it lasts, as this is one of the best pubs in Southend.

24 Jun 2004 19:15

The Cambridge Blue, Cambridge

Had a great session Saturday 5/6/04 everyone (James, Walter, Shuffy, Ron, etc) on good form - so was the Woodfordes Wherry!

11 Jun 2004 17:10

The Greenwich Union, Greenwich

I visited this pub for the first time yesterday (4/6/2004) and had a superb session.

This is a very friendly and welcoming modern pub in the backstreets of Greenwich, offering the discerning drinker a wide range of beers from the Meantime brewery. NOTE the cask ale on handpump is brewed by Roosters brewery.

The serious, discerning drinker is offered tasters before making his or her choice, which is very useful if you have not tasted the beers. Good food by day, excellent tapas by night.

I found the place very friendly. The blonde girl who was always smiling came to see how we enjoyed our food and our beer, and the two guys behind the bar were helpful and efficient.

I will go again. Recommended.

5 Jun 2004 21:55

The St Radegund, Cambridge

A good session on the Habit Ale following Strawberry Fair. Habit Ale on good form, lots of merry people outside the pub. Plastic glasses in use today :-(

Still a good pnit though, and all my prevoius comments on ealier visits still stand!

5 Jun 2004 21:49

The Live and Let Live, Cambridge

Just enjoyed excellent Mighty Oak and Trnig beers in this wonderful pub. Note on Saturday nights they now have live music, usually in the form of a flip-flopped solo giutarist covering Bob Dylan, Donovan and others in his own style wiht the occasional use of a harmonica.

The food tonight was exquisite - try the spicy parsnip soup and the lamb curry!

This pub is an absolute MUST for anyone visiting Cambridge, and easily gets 10/10!

5 Jun 2004 21:45

The Kingston Arms, Cambridge

I am in this pub right now! Still just as good as its ever been. NINE beers available on handpump, the best of which is Castle Rock's Harvest Pale - absolutely exquisite.

Everyone is relaxed and chilled out, and on this visit the pub gets another 10/10 from me! I WISH this was my local!

5 Jun 2004 21:40

The Farmers Boy, St Albans

I would like to congratulate Viv on the much-improved home brew beers at the Farmers Boy.

Both Special and IPA are hoppier and more bitter than they used to be, whilst Farmer's Joy has lost some of its earlier sweetness and acquired a sophisticated smoky flavour with an excellent "burnt" finish.

It's now twice in a row I have met up with people for a crawl round St Albans starting at this pub, and ended up staying for the entire evening.

Superb.

Just a footnote advising anyone visiting after an absence of 3 months or more: the pub no longer takes debit/credit cards nor does it offer cashback. In its place stands an in-pub cashpoint which applies a charge of approximately 1.50 for all withdrawals - so get cash in the town or by the station before coming!

26 May 2004 14:07

The Priory Arms, Stockwell

A fine job done by Gary and Nicky last Saturday celebrating their 20th anniversary at this excellent pub.

A thoroughly enjoyable evening was had by all, and Gary was on hand - as usual - to wander round the pub making everyone feel personally welcome.

Thanks for the excellent barbeque, and the beer voucher scheme - a good idea given how popular the event turned out to be.

I wish the pub another prosperous 20 years in the same loving hands.

Cheers!

26 May 2004 14:00

The Globe, Baker Street

This pub was the venue for my mate Ian's wedding on 18/05/2004. There are usually three real ales available (watch out for national brewery beers re-badged).

I found the staff quite friendly and the food great - their steak & chips takes some beating! I would go again.

20 May 2004 17:10

De Bekeerde Suster, Amsterdam

Now known as "DE BEKEERDE SUSTER", note brewing has ceased.

12 May 2004 12:15

The Sultan, South Wimbledon

Regarding the last posting, whilst it's great to see more traditional beers available in the supermaket, you must agree that nothing beats the real, hand-pulled pint that awaits you in the friendly surroundings of this great pub.

I was there on Saturday, and the GFB was on its best form for many months. So was the Entire Stout!

Keep it up guys!

4 May 2004 09:20

De Bekeerde Suster, Amsterdam

Visited yesterday - great atmosphere inside, friendly bar staff and a broad range of Dutch and Belgian beers. It was a shame the brewery is no longer functioning, but all the equipment remains intact and in place, almost to suggest that brewing could recommence at any time! Hope it does!

24 Apr 2004 10:53

Far From the Madding Crowd, Oxford

Excellent.

I visited on GBG recommendation yesterday (19th April), intending to swiftly sample one or two halves. I ended up staying till closing time.

A constantly changing range of real ales from small regional and micro-breweries is supplimented by a selection of belgian bottled beers. Food stops at 8pm weekdays and 5pm weekends.

"Stan-the-Man" is very friendly and entertaining behind the bar, and the beers are well kept.

Occasional impromptu accoustic live music played at weekends; the pub is shortly to apply for an entertainments licence in order that regular music sessions become the order of the day.

The walls and windows are bedecked with photographic and graphic art which is for sale.

This pub is amongst the best in Oxford and is well worth a visit.

20 Apr 2004 10:50

The Dispensary, Liverpool

I was there a few years back when I missed last train back to London. This is one of the friendliest pubs I have been in. Superb Cains bitter and mild were on, and the pub had (the same day) been awarded North West Camra Pub Of The Year - well deserved. The head brewer from Cains attended, and there was a buffet laid on and a good old sing-song! Superb!

I forgot the names of the two friendly locals who took me on to the Roscoe's head for afters!

13 Apr 2004 12:36

The Three Horseshoes, Leominster

This pub is now the ONLY place in Leominster doing food on a Sunday afternoon. Was there with a friend during the Ipswich-West Bromwich Albion match on 4th April 2004, enjoyed excellent spag-bol and superb soup starter. Was on the "wagon" then, but noted Brains Sa is still available here on handpump. Good pub.

6 Apr 2004 11:35

The Grape Vaults, Leominster

The pub has now stopped doing Sunday lunches, but the beer remains excellent. I visited the Grapes with a group on Saturday lunchtime 03/04/2004 and enjoyed Beowulf Beorma Bitter - exquisite. Staff and locals are very friendly.

6 Apr 2004 11:21

Trafalgar Freehouse, South Wimbledon

This used to be a regular haunt for myself and my south-London friends in the early 1990s. Personally, I found the Irish land lord quite friendly, it is, however very much (as per the last comment) a local's local.

A small, intimate pub, usually 3 or 4 quite strong ales available, but the quality (sadly) became so variable that when we discovered the Sultan in 1994 we didn't look back.

Sad, really, as I quite liked the Trafalgar. However I might be quite wrong and the beer could have inproved significantly - I will have to give it a try soon!!

30 Mar 2004 09:49

The Princess Royal, South Wimbledon

I last visited this pub in 2001. According to the photograph, it has not changed (well, outside anyway!). Good to see that real ale is still available here. On my last visit I remember the staff being quite friendly too. I could not really understand that it no longer has an entry in the GBG.

The pub makes part of a good crawl - start here and finish in the Sultan.

30 Mar 2004 09:39

Ye Olde White Horse, Aldwych

Well, after readin these posts I went to the pub last week and was served three pints without any "issues" whatsoever. I am a full time student at UNL, and just thought I would test out this ban.

I obviously didn't mention what my occupation was, and I was afforded a warm welcome!

So, hear it from me - students are NOT BANNED from this pub! Great news. Simply conceal the fact, come in, buy a pint, have a good drink and leave just like any other guy would.

Just don't make it obvious in any way that you are studying - then you will not be seen as a leper.

24 Mar 2004 17:28

The Bartons Arms, Aston

An absolute gem.

I visited this pub on Saturday and wished I could stay longer. Very friendly staff, excellent Oakham JHB, White Dwarf etc, and exquisite Thai cuisine make this a must.

A Victorian pub, built in 1901, the Bartons Arms has been very skilfully renovated (NOT refurbished), look out for the ornate tiling and snobscreens within. The pub is in Camra's National Inventory, and is well worth a visit whatever the reason you are visiting Birmingham. This is one of the best pubs I have been to in this city.

10/10!

22 Mar 2004 10:10

The Salisbury Arms Hotel, Hertford

This pub was great when I came with a mate a couple of years ago while on a summer's crawl in Hertford. The food was (in 2002) quite reasonably priced and the beer was in good condition (McMullens Ak and Country -?-) If it is still the same I will visit again when in Hertford.

19 Mar 2004 18:37

The Bunch of Grapes, London Bridge

Visited last Friday. A good pub, reasonably well-kept Youngs Ordinary. Mainly city types in for a swift pint before their journey into the weald of Kent.

19 Mar 2004 13:24

The White Hart Inn, Margaretting Tye

This is one of Essex' friendliest and best pubs. I went there on Saturday night and enjoyed two of their EXQUISITE Mighty Oak beers. They were in perfect condition.

An extensive food menu is available most sessions but, having eaten at another pub beforehand, didn't try food on this visit.

This is a great pub and the staff are friendly and customer-focused making it well worth a visit. I give it a well-deserved 10/10, readers, pay a visit and see for yourselvesv - you will not be disappointed!

15 Mar 2004 16:04

Swim Inn, Sheffield

This is the typical "rubbish" you expect from Wetherspoons. The customers (all customers) are considered a nuisance. The occupation of such a site by Wetherspoons is a shameful waste of land space.

Go to a pub like the Cask & Cutler, Gardners Rest or Kelham Island Tavern, and you will be afforded not only a friendly welcome and good beer, but also they're the sort of places that if you ask someone nicely for a reasonable favour, there is more chance that it will be honoured.

Asking anyone a "favour" in the chain to which this pub belongs.. try booking a skiing holiday in Cairo - that's MUCH easier!

11 Mar 2004 19:09

The Grapes, Limehouse

The pub is just as it was when I last visited! Went for 1st time in a year in Feb 2004. I now recommend the fishcakes here, and the Adnams is absolutely exquisite, possibly the best Adnams in London. It is a must, and the riverside views offered from and around the pub are breathtaking.

Shame I can't afford to live round there :-( it would be my local!

10/10

2 Mar 2004 17:09

The Princess Royal, Croydon

Good food. A selection of about five real ales, and a lovely atmosphere. The place is obviously in fine hands - first visit since last summer.

Good pub generally.

1 Mar 2004 17:31

The Oakdale Arms, Harringay

An excellent festival last week - well done to the management. I also think the rolls in the evening are a good idea, so hope that's something of an incentive to continue.

1 Mar 2004 17:25

All Bar One, Croydon

Typical YPV (young peoples venue) in Croydon attracting the late teens and early 20's. There are pubs in croydon like the Royal standard which I recommend because it is 1000 times better than the all bar one here.

27 Feb 2004 16:18

The Fat Cat, Sheffield

Excellent

23 Feb 2004 19:36

The Wellington, Sheffield

Excellent night on Saturday, during which beers from the Oldershaw brewery were in abundance. Salamander bitter and a mild from the Durham brewery were enjoyed!

Thought there would be some Port Mahon homebrew but sadly there wasn't. Shame, I'll just have to go again won't I!

23 Feb 2004 19:35

The Evening Star, Brighton

I must agree with all the commentary below. This is a GEM, you would regret not visiting given its close proximity with the station. Go once and you're hooked on the place!

23 Feb 2004 19:32

The Head of Steam, Huddersfield

Well worth a visit. I have been to the one in Euston, and it simply doesn't compare. The staff & management @ Euston should take a trip to this shining example of Head of Steam, and it could be transformed! Keep it up guys!

23 Feb 2004 19:27

Fellows Morton & Clayton Ltd, Nottingham

Note the home-brews use malt-extract, a fact about the beer noted in the Camra GBG.

23 Feb 2004 18:53

The Kelham Island Tavern, Sheffield

This is amongst the most friendly pubs I have been in. Amongst a range of six real ales, I enjoyed several pints of Pictish Brewers Gold, in perfect condition.

The atmosphere was friendly and relaxed, and it was a great end to the evening. 10/10.

23 Feb 2004 17:33

The Chestnut Tree, Coventry

Been there once - enjoyed good pub food (in the evening) and good beer - will go again. Beers mainly from medium sized regional breweries.

19 Feb 2004 17:10

The Oakdale Arms, Harringay

Also noted the welcome use of lined glasses in this pub - a full pint is guaranteed.

19 Feb 2004 17:08

The Junction Tavern, Kentish Town

Visited on 16/2/04.

The beer is reasonably well kept. The menus suggest the food is good and interesting, but was too late to try any out. The staff behind the bar are reasonably friendly.

However this is not a "conversational" pub, it is aimed mainly at diners and wine-drinkers. It is a restaurant that serves beer, rather than a pub serving food. At 10pm everyone is forced to move across the pub from the "restaurant" area (no signs) so you are not garanteed relaxation or comfort.

For a relaxing pint I would recommend the Pineapple nearby which has a great atmosphere as well as good food.

My general rating on this pub is 5/10.

19 Feb 2004 17:03

The Plough Inn, Radford

In my humble opinion, this gem of a pub ranks amongst the best in Gt Britain! The brewery tap for the Nottingham Brewery. The beers are exquisite - I recommend "Legend", Rock Bitter and EPA, amongst the 7 or so beers available. Guest beers feature in addition.

On Tuesday nights you MUST try the home made curry (complete with nan bread for only 1.50!!)

The atmosphere is warm and welcoming, and it is worth making a trip to Nottingham just to visit this pub. I came from London with a mate for the day & thoroughly enjoyed my evening visit here - 't was one of the highlights. The Good Beer Guide describes this as a "real pub for real people", I can't find any better words myself - highly recommended, nothing compares! Visit and see for yourselves!

19 Feb 2004 14:01

The Vat and Fiddle, Nottingham

I visited this pub twice on 17/02/2004. A real gem. Attentive, fiendly staff greet you over a bar on which ten hand pulls proudly stand, offering a glittering array of up to 4 Castle Rock beers from the brewery next door, with the remainder changing constantly. Try Meadows Gold or Hemlock Bitter. This pub attracts friendly locals, and traditional games are played.

Very close to the railway station, and well worth a visit! I give it 10/10 - a perfect pub!!

19 Feb 2004 13:51

The Prince's Head, Richmond

I am 38 and enjoy pints in this pub. I disagree with the last 2 comments. All agegroups seem welcome & drink quite happily side by side in the Princes Head. The minimum age entry is 18. If it was a freehouse rather than just a Fuller's pub I'd go in more often. For that reason only. 8/10.

16 Feb 2004 21:34

The Evening Star, Brighton

Have been in this pub - GREAT sums up all aspects of it. Good live music as well, also a good selection of foreign beers too, for anyone who's not into real ale

16 Feb 2004 21:28

The Claret Free House, Addiscombe

A good pub, well kept beer and friendly locals. However no food in the pub. The chinese next door is always booked up at weekends so don't rely on it. Best eat elsewhere B/4 trammin it up to the Claret. It is worth makin the journey.

9/10 with this posting from Andy

16 Feb 2004 21:22

The George, Belsize Park

Whilst there is an abundance of pubs in Hampstead, a lot better than this one, it is useful for a swift pint before (or after)the Weng Wah.

Obviously if the "Flask" or the "Duke of Hamilton" swopped places with this pub, it would be ideal!

I, too, would give zero for atmosphere, but 5/10 is awarded because they at least keep cask-conditioned ale in a drinkable condition (just).

16 Feb 2004 21:00

The Old Windmill, Coventry

Visited the pub last Saturday (07/02/2004) and enjoyed a good pint. The pub has been very slightly smartened up (the seating appears to have been re-upholstered) but the pub remains unspoilt and remains, in my opinion, well worth a visit. All age groups and all walks of life appeared to be happily drinking side by side in this warm, welcoming pub. It has improved since I last visited, and I am upgrading my rating of it from an 8 to a 9. Keep it up.

9 Feb 2004 17:13

The Malt Shovel, Coventry

Visited again last Saturday, very enjoyable once again. Superb Titanic beer, on excellent form, enjoyed the "batches" (filled rolls), and hello to Gabbie, Nigel, Mark, Frank and Steve.
10/10

9 Feb 2004 11:48

The Magpie and Crown, Brentford

After reading all the comments both good and bad about this pub, I took the opportunity to pay another visit last night (04/02/04).

Was very impressed by the beer range. Four constantly changing cask ales are available on handpump in excellent condition, together with six draught continental lagers (such as Paulaner, etc).

I did not find the pub overbright as some have mentioned, but low-energy CFL bulbs are in use throughout.

Traditional pub games, such as cribbage and shut-the-box are available here; the pub features one tv and quiet background music at other times. However neither intrude on what is a good conversational atmosphere.

The landlord (Steve) is friendly and welcoming, and the locals are all friendly.

I have been assured that the non-locking door in the gents' loo is about to be repaired!

This pub is well worth a visit and I shall certainly be coming again.

It is useful to note that last train services from Gunnersbury are the 2303 eastbound, but a night bus N9 runs into central London every 30 minutes from about 0030.

5 Feb 2004 09:25

The Drapers Arms, Barnsbury

A friendly, efficient gastro-pub with reasonably-priced, good quality food. Try the burger! Up to three real ales on hand pump plus a good selection of foreign beers.

The food is popular evenings and Sunday lunchtimes, so booking is wise. Ideal for a lazy afternoon, the rear of the pub features sofas and low tables. The pub is fairly down-to-earth generally, and unpretentious.

Recommended.

3 Feb 2004 12:59

The Radnor Arms, Kensington

The rear section of this pub has been refurbished, modernised and brightened up, thus losing the intimacy and cosiness it once had. The Everards bitter was OK (just) and there are still friendly staff and clientele in the pub.

Although not quite as good as it had been in the '90s I would still go in there if in the area for a pint before headin to the Britannia or somewhere. I'll give it a "good" 5/10.

2 Feb 2004 18:25

The Cambridge Blue, Cambridge

Still one of the best pubs in this town. On 31/01/2004 Fenland IPA, Woodfordes Wherry and Great Eastern in top form, also had the chance to eat here and can wholly recommend the food. This sort of consistent quality brings me up here regularly - keep it up!

2 Feb 2004 18:09

The Tram Depot, Cambridge

Refurbished since last visit, but still a good pub. Beers include Everards Tiger, Original, Adnams and Fuller's London Pride. I tried the Tiger which was in good condition. No music on at the time of visit. A low ceiling, tiled floor and subdued lighting all combine to provide a pleasant atmosphere in which to sup your pint.

2 Feb 2004 18:04

The George IV, Kentish Town

This was a very friendly pub indeed back in 1983 when, during blistering hot July I paid a visit for a coke (I was 17!!) played a few impromptu pieces on the piano, and got my drink free plus a quid as well.

Doubtless the staff and customers must have changed since then, and I will have to pay another visit soon - watch this space.

30 Jan 2004 19:25

The Camden Brewing Co., Camden

Visited last night. The food quality is excellent, and the beers are still OK. The background music allows conversation and the staff were very friendly. I will go again!

30 Jan 2004 19:17

The Pineapple, Kentish Town

A huge, modern conservatory has been built behind the pub. However the front area is thankfully unchanged. One big improvement is the new toilets.

I visited the pub with a friend last night and enjoyed the Adnams, the best of the three ales on handpump. The other two were Pride and Pedigree. Good food advertised, but my friend and I were alas too late in the evening to order any.

The pub remains well worth a visit.

30 Jan 2004 19:15

The Priory Arms, Stockwell

Well done to Gary & his team for a superb Burns Night session. Burns' own poetry read aloud, Haggis, Scottish ales and half-price whisky, what else could one ask for? It is touching how the landlord wanders among the customers talking to each group individually through the night - this really makes the Priory one of London's best pubs.

Regarding the comment below, don't be put off too much by the area; the Studley Estate has had a makeover and doesn't appear threatening at all (well, not to me anyway!!)

Visit the pub and see for yourselves - you will not be disappointed!

30 Jan 2004 19:09

The Dog and Bull, Croydon

I like Errol's Piano playin at the back of the pub, and the youngs's beer is good too!

20 Jan 2004 16:22

Ye Olde Mitre Inne, Barnet

A quiet high street boozer, with three or four real ales available on handpump.

Quite good when I visited with a mate last night.

15 Jan 2004 17:06

The Lord Nelson, Barnet

A good pub. I visited with a mate last night, and the beer was in very good condition. The pub is very plush inside and welcoming. Food is usually served but not between 7th and 14th January 2004.

Recommended.

15 Jan 2004 17:04

The Farmers Boy, St Albans

I started a pub crawl last night in this pub, and the beer here was by far the best. I came back with my mate for more at about 2245 and he agreed! The home-brew IPA was spot-on. Also, I must complement the food which was excellent. The home-made stake & ale pie is recommended!

8 Jan 2004 17:12

The Wenlock Arms, Hoxton

A superb New Year's Eve. Well done to Will & Steve!

2 Jan 2004 19:06

The Gatehouse, Highgate

That's not nice. We will all be old one day.

The pub's not too bad and attracts a mixed crowd and is not quite so dear as the other pubs in the area around it. Not much atmosphere as it's a Wether Spoons Chain Pub, but its handy.

2 Jan 2004 19:03

The Green Man, Putney Heath

Actually not a bad pub at all. Young's Ordinary and Winter Warmer was on good form when I drank there with mates just before Xmas.

The locals and most of the staffs are friendly, but the older woman behind the bar could do with cheerin up a bit!

31 Dec 2003 09:16

The Lamp Tavern, Birmingham

A good session on 29/12/03! Stanway Stanney as good as ever, and Church End Gravedigger was exquisite. Also, congratulations to the pub landlord's 10th anniversary, noted in Camra's What's Brewing.

31 Dec 2003 09:10

The Fernandes Brewery Tap and Bier Keller, Wakefield

If this is the Fernandes brewery whose beer I had in the St Albans Beer Festival, then well done. One of their beers is 2.5 (yes two and a half)% Abv, and is packed with great flavours nonetheless! Worth seekin out definitley

11 Dec 2003 18:31

The Drum, Walthamstow

Rather GOOD as wetherspoons go, this is their most pubby pub.

11 Dec 2003 17:31

The Pembroke, West Brompton

A good scene pub - part of "the circuit" and a good place to sup a few before heading for Brompton's.

11 Dec 2003 16:55

The Cricketers, Woodford

A SUPERB session last night! I was there with a mate and had AK, Country and Stronghart, all of which were in excellent condition!

A good old pub sing-song took place here including some good voices,

All in all a superb virtually unspoilt traditional basic boozer.

10 Dec 2003 16:05

The Sir Robert Peel, Southsea

This pub has been omitted from the 2004 Good Beer Guide - Camra

2 Dec 2003 18:22

The White Horse, Parsons Green

Visited the pub on Sunday. Almost every pint or half had to be "topped up". Furthermore, friendliness seemed to be at a premium this evening.

1 Dec 2003 10:50

Simeon Arms, Ryde

Visited this pub in Sept 2001. A nice backstreet local, features occasional live music. The 2001 Camra GBG recommended the pub, prompting my visit.

I was disappointed by the quality of the ale in this pub. The first pint was like vinegar, so I had it changed to another, however the second pint was still so bad I could not finish it.

A good case of nice pub - shame about the beer.

27 Nov 2003 12:39

The Oakdale Arms, Harringay

Well done Tom!

An excellent beerfest last night to mark the well deserved award of Pub of the Season. Here's to many more such accolades and a speedy entry into the next issue of the Good Beer Guide.

And well done Richard as well for the CALLIGULA (8.8%) Was exquisite and more-ish although the requirement to drink "sensibly" during the week meant I could only manage a half pint!

This great pub is going from strength to strength!

26 Nov 2003 11:05

The Black Cap, Camden

Visited lunchtime today - had a nice lunch Fish & Chips together with a free drink cost under 6 - representing excellent value. The upstairs bar is like a traditional pub.

Cheered up the guy behind the bar by presenting him with..... a LIGHTBULB for the fridge!

24 Nov 2003 17:31

The Alma Tavern, Wandsworth Town

Visited on Fri 21/11/03. Pub is good but gets extremely crowded; at 9pm the pub was heavin with punters there was standin room only (this can only mean it's a good pub) but not too keen on heavy crowds so had to crawl round to some of the other Youngs pubs in the area. It is still worth a visit, but I would avoid Friday & Saturday nights if you don't like crowds!

24 Nov 2003 17:28

The Spread Eagle, Wandsworth

A great, traditional Young's pub. Nice friendly staff, good beer (tried the "Ordinary") and very tasty paninis are served most of the day. Definitely worth a visit.

24 Nov 2003 17:15

The Robin Hood, Sutton

An OASIS of real beer, decent food and a pleasant atmosphere in Sutton. Good YOUNGS' beer.

24 Nov 2003 17:05

The Queens Head and Artichoke, Regents Park

The pub has been praised in the Guardian's national gastropub guide, which lists the top 150 pubs in Gt Britain. Must be good!

21 Nov 2003 17:44

Dust, Clerkenwell

More of a club than a pub, only lager available here, this is a place for people to dance (in quite crampt conditions) and on Friday nights (I visited on one) the place is packed so if its a quiet pint and a chat with your mates you are lookin for then go somewhere else, If you don't mind havin to scream above the noise and have 2'-0" square to stand in then go to this pub.

21 Nov 2003 17:35

The Oakdale Arms, Harringay

PUB HAS BEEN AWARDED CAMRA PUB OF THE SEASON 2003.

VISIT THE PUB ON TUESDAY 25/11/2003 FOR THE AWARD CEREMONY - TWO STRONG BEERS HAVE BEEN BREWED ESPECIALLY, AND UP TO EIGHT BEERS WILL BE AVAILABLE.

NOT TO BE MISSED!

19 Nov 2003 19:56

The Pembroke Castle, Primrose Hill

Whatever happened to "TED" the manager. My name's Lee and I used to play the piano in the pub at weekends during the summer of 1983.

19 Nov 2003 19:52

The St Radegund, Cambridge

An absolutely superb pint of Habit Ale was supped last Friday (14/11/03) when I popped in to see if the place was unchanged (which thankfully it is!) I intended to have only one pint but ended up having two and a half having been bought another by a guy called "Ron"(?)The table at which I sat became filled with friendly locals, conversations were struck up and I had to force myself to leave in order that I could try some other places as well.

Oh, and the Vera Lyn music at 7.30pm to end the happy hour (cheap G&T's) is unique (Cockney rhyming slang: Vera Lynn = GIN)

What a classic pub! A MUST every time one visits Cambridge!

18 Nov 2003 20:41

The India Arms, Portsmouth

For everyone who has complained about the India Arms, you are surely missing one thing out - the fabulous Hole In The Wall pub next door to it!! Went there last Saturday and nearly missed my train back to London drinking in the pub. Give it a try chaps!

18 Nov 2003 20:30

The Live and Let Live, Cambridge

Visited the pub on Fri 14/11/2003 and enjoyed a pint and a half of quality beers - as usual. The food was fantastic (rumours in mentioned in past comments are TRUE!).

Indeed the food was so good that my drinking companion "Harmless Chris" licked the plate clean before my very eyes!

The atmosphere in the pub is superb - long may it continue! With this comment comes a mark of 10/10.

17 Nov 2003 12:02

The Hole in The Wall, Southsea

Delightfully unchanged since my last visit, and the beer, atmosphere and friendliness of this pub made it the highlight of my trip.

Recommended for Oakleaf Brewery beers, namely Nuptu'ale, Oakleaf Bitter (absolutely exquisite), Squirrel's Delight and Hole Harted (brewed specially for this pub).

Background music kept down to a comfortable level, allowing the pub to buzz with the delightful sound of conversation.

In many ways this was the best pub I visited in Portsmouth & Southsea.

17 Nov 2003 09:45

The Babbity Bowster, Glasgow

The Guardian Gastro Pub Guide published last week lists the Babbity Bowster amongst the best 150 pubs in Gt Britain and the Republic of Ireland.

As per my last posting, this is an accolade well deserved.

13 Nov 2003 19:42

The Duke of St Albans, Dartmouth Park

I visited the pub last night for a pint. The Greene King IPA was in excellent condition, but was the only real beer on. Food is now served lunchtimes and evenings. Free jukebox on Friday nights, and live music on Saturday nights.

The pub has been transformed into something more traditional with carpet on the floor and comfortable chairs and tables. The manager seems friendly, and I am sure I will visit again, having avoided the place somewhat during the "Platinum" era.

Well done, and I have upped my rating of the place having been in.

13 Nov 2003 19:23

The Fox, Hanwell

Went in last night with a mate. Sadly no Taylor's Landlord, but there was a nice mild. Brakspear Bitter and Fuller London Pride went off later in the evening leaving just the mild. Despite this the atmosphere was very welcoming as locals and staff alike were very friendly.

12 Nov 2003 16:50

Crown and Goose, Camden

SAVE THE PUB!
Local papers suggest this pub and the adjoining snooker hall are threatened with demolition.

6 Nov 2003 10:27

The Hen and Chickens, Islington

Been in here recently, tried out the real beer and it was on the mediocre side. The pub has potential, but standards of cellarmanship let it down. For a decent pint go down City Road to the WENLOCK or alternatively try the Wetherspoon by the junction.

4 Nov 2003 18:02

The Kings Head, Islington

A premier jazz pub in North London, with a comedy theatre above it. The music quality is great, and real ales are available here aswell. This pub is worth trying out.

4 Nov 2003 17:57

The Royal Oak, Earlsdon

A thriving welcoming pub in the middle of Earlsdon, with a lively conversational buzz.

Ansell's Mild, Bass and Tetley are in excellent condition. Two front rooms with bare floorboards and wooden tables. No food (but plenty of places to eat nearby). A real fire plus an award-winning beer garden (not seen on my visit of 29/10/03 as it was 9pm and pouring with rain). Attracts visitors from outside the area as well as locals, and all age-groups drink in this pub. Another feature is an at-seat table service which gives the place an individual identity.

A good pub, and well worth a visit. I am giving it 8/10.

31 Oct 2003 19:59

The Nursery Tavern, Coventry

I visited this pub again on 29/10/2003. This is a quiet local with a cosy atmosphere created by a carpeted floor and upholstered bench seating. Two drinking areas are sereved by one bar.

Up to six beers on handpump: Deuchars IPA was very good on my visit. A real cider is usually available (I saw Biddenden). No food. No loud music. Note the framed collection of Wills' cigarette cards and the UV-illuminated seascape against which two wooden model ships proudly sail.

This is a down-to-earth boozer in which most people I saw on my visit drank ale. A good place to relax over the papers or a crossword, etc.

A good pub all in all, may be a bit out of the way, but definitely worth a visit.

31 Oct 2003 19:40

The White Horse, Hertford

A fine hostelry well worth the effort of finding, and I have had a good pint on every visit. Occasinal festivals held. Very friendly staff afford a warm welcome to everyone. There was a superb barbeque when I visited in July this year. This pub is highly recommended, and I am rating it 10/10.

24 Oct 2003 13:27

The Duke of St Albans, Dartmouth Park

Further to the entry posted on 20th October, I can confirm the following welcome news.

The Platinum Bar will close for a fortnight from 26/10/2003 to be converted into what is hoped will be a friendly local under its original name, the Duke of St Albans.

Reverting to its original title has been hailed locally as "a victory for history, continuity and common sense".

I personally know that the pub's name Duke of St Albans existed since 1973 but cannot vouch for previous dates unless I hear different, that is!

23 Oct 2003 14:03

The Whitefriars Olde Ale House, Coventry

This is an excellent pub. There were some superb Scottish beers on during my last visit when I enjoyed a great cheese ploughmans and chatted with locals. This is one of the oldest buildings in the city, and part of an epic pub crawl (if you take in Spon End, etc). Recommended. I am giving it a "good" 8/10.

22 Oct 2003 20:14

The Priory Arms, Stockwell

I would like to congratulate Gary and the team at the Priory for the excellent German beer festival last weekend. I came with some friends on the Friday and the beer was superb, so were the great value sausages and sauerkraut, and of course the British beer was not neglected in any way at all. So 10/10 for everything, and here's to many more such festivals at what is certainly one of London's BEST pubs!

21 Oct 2003 17:03

The Imperial, Fulham

The real ales in this pub are rather good, a little like those produced by Zero Degrees in Blackheath. Visited earlier this year and was impressed with the friendly staff, the convivial atmosphere and, of course, the beer.

16 Oct 2003 21:14

The Cock, Oxford Circus

This pub is one of the few Sam Smith's brewery pubs to still serve by handpump. Sam Smiths is not exactly my favourite beer, but I have had one or two good sessions with mates here whilst on a "west end crawl". I have found the pub quite relaxing on my visits, the last one of these being at the end of 2002. The price of the bitter represents excellent value for money in London's west end. However there is often a feel after a 2 or 3 pints of Sam Smiths to move onto another ale, shame they don't have a guest beer in this or any of their pubs.

16 Oct 2003 21:01

The Wrestlers Arms, Cambridge

I agree. I visited this pub in 2001 or 2002 and enjoyed not only a good pint, but indeed a generous portion of excellent Thai curry. The pub is quite a way out of town and tends to attract a more local, less touristy crowd than those in King Street for example. The pub was deservedly in the Good Beer Guide (Camra) which prompted my visit.

16 Oct 2003 20:52

The Tram Depot, Cambridge

I visited this pub in 1998, quite a spacious and buzzing hostelry with a fine range of ales, including Everards. Hope the pub has not changed since 1998.

16 Oct 2003 20:49

The Radnor Arms, Kensington

Heard there's a new landlord here - PLEASE TAKE GOOD CARE OF THIS PUB! Warwick Road has already had one casualty of "management change" across the road (NOT the Youngs pub if you get my drift), meaning that there are only two decent pubs that end of Warwick Road. During my last visit the Everards bitter was great, and I hope it stays that way. Wishing the new landlord all the best for the future of the Radnor.

14 Oct 2003 18:59

The Nursery Tavern, Coventry

I have visited this pub on one or two occasions in the last 3 years. There is usually a good range of beers on here, and the pub is cosy and intimate, but I have found it slightly on the quiet and insular side when compared to, say, the Malt Shovel, Town Wall Tavern and the Windmill, so I am *PARTIALLY* agreeing with Alan Reid on this, but I can only speak as I found, and that is that the staff were quite friendly and the beer quite good. I am visiting Cov again later this month and may well give the pub a try - so readers, watch out for an update. I am rating the pub with a provisional "6/10" but may well be inclined to raise it once re-acquainted with the pub!

14 Oct 2003 18:42

The Flask, Hampstead

Visited again on 03/10/2003. Gone down slightly. The staff are not rude but you feel pressurised to sling your hook at 2315 on Friday Night which is a bit early. The food was good on my visit, but the Youngs special was slightly below par.

6 Oct 2003 19:36

The Windsor Castle, Carshalton

Interesting anonymous comment below! Most ordinary drinkers who visit this pub will realise it's a down to earth friendly pub which treats locals and non-locals equally and well deserves the good commentary posted by the first 4 out of the last 5 shown. For the anonymous visitor who had such a bad time I would suggest Yates's or Its-A-Scream if its more your type of thing. And as for the women drinking pints of bitter, what a refreshing change! - Good for them. The food's good here too but just a little bit pricey. I am still giving it 9 out of 10, and I would give it 10 out of 10 if it were easier to get to!

6 Oct 2003 19:30

The Hogshead, Southwark

This place is handy if you are caught in the pouring rain or it's snowing or something, but thats about all. My advice to Kelly Jones (see below) and others is to take good care of your belongings whilst in that pub. For an alternatively enjoyable session try the Mulberry Bush in Southwark or the Royal Oak at the Borough. You will not be disappointed by either of the two pubs.

2 Oct 2003 18:47

Blackie Boy, Newcastle

I went to this pub sometime in the mid 1990s, and the photograph on this site suggests it hasn't changed since then. That is good as I found the pub to be warm, welcoming and keep good beer. Indeed it was the first Newcastle pub that I ever drank in - I think!

2 Oct 2003 18:27

The Kings Arms, Waterloo

It is a good pub with a great atmosphere. It is very much improved since 1992 (or thereabouts) the staff are now very friendly and the beer's not bad either. I always have my "welcome back" session here after trips away on the eurostar. Great!

1 Oct 2003 18:43

The Garland, Redhill

A friendly Harvey's pub on the edge of town, which has a nice atmosphere and is really worth a visit.

18 Sep 2003 19:38

The Boston Arms, Tufnell Park

By no means the best pub in the area. I think the Admiral Mann on the other end of Brecknock Road's a better pub, and the Pineapple in Kentish is better. They have real ale which the Boston does not, and they attract a more peaceable clientele. Try out these other pubs and see for yourselves.

18 Sep 2003 19:24

The Beehive, Wandsworth

The last time I visited the beer was quite good (Fullers pride & Esb) and the atmosphere is quite friendly. A wide selection of background music on minidisc. No food. I found the place to be quite relaxed and welcoming.

15 Sep 2003 18:19

The Load Of Hay, Uxbridge

Visited last year with two friends; the pub was absolutely excellent I would have given it 10/10, but I never got the chance to visit this year. Will try again soon. The food was superb and there was a good range of ales, just as it said in the Camra good beer guide. Hope this still is the case.

15 Sep 2003 17:51

The Anchor and Hope, Clapton

Is the rumour that Les has passed away true. If so, very sad news for the pub and for the community.

15 Sep 2003 17:31

The Rutland Arms, Sheffield

This is a friendly, welcoming pub a stone's throw from the railway station offering good value food and Bed/Breakfast accommodation. I had the pleasure earlier in 2003 of enjoying a superbly kept pint of Barnsley Bitter with my lunch (I forget what I *ACTUALLY* ate but remember being very impressed). Recommended. A good 8/10.

15 Sep 2003 17:29

The Alma Tavern, Wandsworth Town

I once visited this pub when doing the "Youngs 135" tour in 1992/1993. If it's still the same then it's a great community pub attractiong not only locals but the odd individual or group on a crawl. The Youngs was well kept then - hope it remains so.

12 Sep 2003 16:37

The Gardeners Rest, Sheffield

This is an excellent pub. I was "touring" Sheffield pubs one evening when some locals took me here. It was a very pleasant surprise, I had the pleasue to imbibe not only excellent Taylor's Best, but some interesting guest beers as well. Everyone has a first class honours degree in friendliness making this pub all the more welcoming. Recommended!

12 Sep 2003 16:30

The Kelham Island Tavern, Sheffield

I stumbled upon this pub quite by chance earlier this year when on a "GBG-led" tour of this city's plethora of alehouses. What a pleasant surprise. A superb range of cask ales was available in a lively convivial atmosphere - also met Alex & Kev from Birmingham (scoopers extraordinaires!)This pub, along with the Fat Cat and the Cask & Cutler, form one of the finest ale crawls in the UK. The pub must be visited when you are in Sheffield.

12 Sep 2003 16:26

The Fat Cat, Sheffield

Well deserving of its 9/10 rating. I have visited this pub on several occasions when staying in Sheffield. It is a real classic, the array of beers here is second to none, although ale drinkers are somewhat spoilt for choice in this part of the city. Great food too, and even when main meals not available a selection of filled rolls is available at the bar. The staff are very friendly, and the pub prides itself as being "ferrociously independent", which it most certainly is. HIGHLY recommended.

12 Sep 2003 16:21

The Bear, Esher

The comments and the ratings seem to speak for themselves. There are much nicer Young's pubs throughout Southwest London - give them a try for a breath of fresh air. For those of you who have registered complaints about this pub:

write to:

John Young
YOUNGS BREWERY
Wandsworth High Street
London
SW18 4JD

or telephone
020 8875 7000

11 Sep 2003 13:25

The Sultan, South Wimbledon

A good festival last weekend. We all had a great time despite the rainshowers in the evening. Here's to many more fests in the Sultan, and keep up the good barbeques as well guys!

8 Sep 2003 17:18

Queens Larder, Bloomsbury

The pub isn't bad. Certainly not when I visited last month. I am much more inclined to agree with the entry on 14/8/03 which is the most detailed and informative compared to the rather pointless jibes of 16th July and 19th August. Go to the pub and see for yourselves. I give it 7/10 what does "ruby" give it?

2 Sep 2003 13:16

The Wheatsheaf, Borough

After reading previous comments on the pub I feel duty bound to add that all my recent experiences in the last couple of years have been good, there is often a lively atmosphere and the pub should be visited for people to find out how good it is. Although only Young's beer is available in the pub, it has always been in good condition and I have enjoyed every pint. Good on ya!

1 Sep 2003 16:49

Oporto, Canary Wharf

Visited last year and found the place anything but friendly. I was with a friend, dressed reasonably smartly (our crawl included the GRAPES) and popped in. The pub was recommended by the Good Beer Guide so thought we could not go wrong. However the EVERARDS TIGER beer was a little on the warm side and just beginning to taste of bad apples - we were afraid to take it back to the bar as my friend was being stared at in an intimidating way by two men on the table next to us so we thought it best to leave.

21 Aug 2003 16:52

The Royal Oak, Borough

All the beers were SPOT ON last night - excellent food too. Keep it up. I gave it a 10/10 marking, and so I can't for the life of me understand why it only has an average of 6.2. Everyone should give the pub a visit, then rate it. Watch its ratings climb up again.

20 Aug 2003 16:27

The Market Porter, Borough

Sad to see the pub no longer has jugs (glasses with handles). Note to the manager - it would be a good idea to have a few - some real ales are enjoyed better in jugs! Enjoyed a pint of slaters yesterday.

20 Aug 2003 16:24

The Warwick Arms, Kensington

This pub is a mere shadow of how it used to be until 18/04/1998. It was only a matter of time before someone who unbeknownst to its history suggested it for inclusion on this site. It used to be a local gem, particularly lively on Saturday nights with live piano music, good food and well-kept Fullers ales. The pub would attract trade from far and wide to enjoy the atmosphere here. On 18th April 1998, having survived 4 or 5 management changes, people arrived to find the pianist unceremoniously thrown off the piano whilst the ill-mannered new manager passed pop CDs around for people to choose. Coupled with this, visitors to the Warwick were further shocked to find London Pride was 50p a pint more expensive than on the previous day. If you are in the area you should go to the Radnor or the Britannia, both of which are excellent pubs.

14 Aug 2003 09:52

Queens Larder, Bloomsbury

A cosy ex-Whitbread, small wood-pannelled corner pub. Red cloth-upholstered perimeter seating. Normally, London Pride and Bass are kept alongside two changing guest beers, but last night (13/8/03) Pride and Adnams Bitter was supplimented by Gales Summer Hog and Hyde's Jekylls Gold. I tried the latter two of these, and the Jekylls Gold was by far the best. The pub attracts not only a local trade but workers from as far afield as Dartford were drinking there last night. Quite a good pub, so give it a try and ignore the comment made by Ruby on 16/7/03.

14 Aug 2003 09:32

The Angel, Angel, Islington

On my way to another pub in the N1 area I visited this "branch" of Wetherspoons on the night of Sunday 10th Aug 2003 (when it was 100 degrees in London). Although the staff were ok, I was accutely aware of a lack of cleanliness about the place. I had to move table twice because it was sticky or dirty. I had a soft drink due to saving room for beer in the Wenlock, but the main purpose of my visit was to eat. I had a soup starter which was quite good but the spaghetti bolognese main that followed left a little to be desired. A microwaved block of sauce with some of the pre-cooked pasta now over-cooked. I have had a lot better. If staff & management took a pride in their jobs the pub would be a better place for all.

12 Aug 2003 20:04

Thatched House, Hammersmith

I have had the pleasure of enjoying this pub before the "change", and sadly feel it's gone down in terms of the warm homely atmosphere it used to have. For that I would now recommend the Andover Arms (Fuller) which still retains a more traditional pub character.

12 Aug 2003 19:57

The Andover Arms, Hammersmith

This is a superbly traditional Fuller's pub in Hammersmith Village which is quite a nice setting. Whilst "Kev" enjoyed his London Pride on 05/08/2003, I have to add that the Chiswick and ESB have always been in top condition during my visits, and also the Thai menu is excellent. This pub has a warm homely atmosphere afforded by a friendly landlord & landlady, and the pub is definitely worth a visit. It is amongst the best Fuller's pubs I have had the pleasure to drink in.

12 Aug 2003 19:51

Cafe 't Smalle, Amsterdam

UPDATE***

There was NO MUSIC in 't Smalle - the pub where I heard the music was the 2 Zwaanetjes, Prinsengracht, this was quite close to SMALLE. All the rest of the previous posting is correct - apologies for the error - Lee.

30 Jul 2003 12:10

The Cask and Glass, Victoria

Good news:

The beer has improved tremendously since my last visit. I drank with friends at the pub last Friday, and enjoyed one pint of Masterbrew and at least 3 of Best. The beer was clean, refreshing and more-ish, qualities you would normally expect in Faversham only! It's definitely "back on the map" for me and my friends. I have given it an "8". Cheers.

28 Jul 2003 18:09

The Evening Star, Brighton

Another great night of blues music and superb beer. Perfect.

28 Jul 2003 11:09

The St Johns Tavern, Archway

I just had an excellent half-pint of Deuchars IPA this afternoon. This is easily the best pub in the Archway area. It's a spacious gastro pub with three ales on handpump, and an extensive wine selection. I have not yet tried the food but the menu looked very exciting. Soft latin style background music on minidisc during my visit, but large number of discs near the deck suggested a broad range of musical styles played. Definitely worth a visit!

25 Jul 2003 17:51

The Ship and Whale, Rotherhithe

Went there last night with a friend. Shepherd Neame Best, Goldings and Spitfire on. First tried the Best, this was virtually undrinkable but was changed with a smile to the Goldings, which was a lot better. We sat outside and I had some excellent pasta. There was a quiz on, but all seemed very friendly. I was really beginning to enjoy it here to the point that I had earmarked the pub for an 8/10 overall rating. However, after paying a visit to the gents at 2305 I returned to our table at 2306 to find my pint, which was still at least a quarter full, to have been removed whilst my partner was still there. For me that took the edge off the evening and I now think a 6/10 rating is more appropriate. This is a good pub - don't get me wrong - but it is probably better visited first thing than at the end of a crawl.

24 Jul 2003 17:15

The Lord Nelson, Brighton

A gem! Part of an excellent crawl around the station, taking in the basketmakers arms and the evening star, all three of these pubs are individual and independent. All serve exquisite real ale and deserve a visit in their own right. I am rating it 9/10 as I enjoyed perfect Harveys on my last visit and found the staff and locals to be very friendly. Long may this last!

23 Jul 2003 19:37

The King and Queen, Fitzrovia

Adnams. Beer quality varies.

22 Jul 2003 19:19

The Holly Bush, Hampstead

Great pub. We have our annual TCC do there!

21 Jul 2003 20:02

The Hand In Hand, Wimbledon Common

Great session last Friday - good food and beer - only shame was the AAA was off. Good Bitter and Special, though. Of the two pubs that stand close to each other here, this is by far the more friendly!

21 Jul 2003 17:13

Il Cicchetto, Farringdon

The atmosphere has changed, sadly! Visited on 16/7/03, at 9:15pm. Until my mate arrived I was the only person in the pub. Tried to make conversation with the landlord, but he spoke only to sell me a pint! I sat at the bar but then felt perhaps I should move to a table! The 50s/60s music has been replaced by Capital FM, and all the vintage posters of the era were removed. The pub now looks bigger but is a little austere inside. When my mate arrived 15 mins later he had a coke & we left, leaving the pub empty. This pub used to buzz, and it seems a bit sad that it doesn't any more.

17 Jul 2003 11:42

The Swimmer at The Grafton Arms, Holloway

The Ridley's IPA was off yesterday, but the guy changed it for me and my friend. Shame the poor guy was on his own and you had to wait up to 15 minutes to be served. The Czech lager was good though.

16 Jul 2003 09:40

The Coal Hole, Strand

Well, I have to say that my experience of the Coal Hole, 7pm on Tues 15th July, was actually quite good compared to the large volume of comments the pub has drawn on this site. I had half a pint of Adnams bitter which was in good condition - a pleasant surprise, and although I agree with people's description of the place as soulless. The staff were not directly rude but smiles were rare. I did not try the food so can't comment personally on it. It was no means my favourite pub, but I have been in much worse places. I have given it a "5".

16 Jul 2003 09:33

The Oakdale Arms, Harringay

A superb session last night! The beer was excellent.

16 Jul 2003 09:26

The Old Oak, Gospel Oak

UPDATE...

I popped may head through the door on Sunday, 13th July, and was pleasantly surprised to see a handpump at the bar albeit with London Pride. However my pleasure was short lived as the beer had run out. Still an encouraging sign though, and I am increasing my rating of the pub from a 5 to a seven in anticipation of a cask-conditioned pint in the not too distant future.

14 Jul 2003 17:13

The Cambridge Blue, Cambridge

A great sesh last Saturday. Hello to Walter & "Sheffie"

14 Jul 2003 17:05

The Princess Royal, Croydon

Great pub. Food available most evenings which is good. Greene King IPA and Old Speckled Hen feature, whilst a mild is often kept. All the beers seem to be in good condition. The pub is well looked after following Tony's departure last year (saw him early this year in the Claret in Addiscombe). A good pub. Welcoming, and well worth finding.

10 Jul 2003 19:40

The Bull and Last, Gospel Oak

Used to be quite a good pub but not cheap by any stretch of the imagination.

10 Jul 2003 16:53

The Druid's Head, Kingston Upon Thames

Soulless place - avoid. Look for a Young's pub in the area instead

8 Jul 2003 18:08

The Pineapple, Kentish Town

Well, it is still a nice pub, I agree it would be desirable if ALL pubs offered disabled access, but sometimes there's difficulties with structurally altering the building/planning etc. Secondly you cannot always blame a pub for the dirt outside in the street which is often beyond the control of the pub itself.

8 Jul 2003 17:09

Red Lion, Ealing

Visited the pub on Thursday - had a great pint of Chiswick and the Summer ale was good too. People in the pub seemed friendly, and there was a firly convivial atmosphere. Note the pub appears to have been extended somewhat from its original tiny beginnings.

7 Jul 2003 17:36

The Drayton Court, West Ealing

EXCELLENT
Went on the Weekly Wind-Up here on 3rd July - well kept Chiswick. Lovely beer garden. The bar staff have a refreshing sense of humour which is great to see!

7 Jul 2003 17:13

The Prince of Wales, Kennington

A cosy and intimate local, away from the hustle & bustle of the main road. Well kept Shepherd neame beers. Good food, good atmosphere in this pub.

2 Jul 2003 21:05

The Bright Helm, Brighton

Stuart's comment of 28/04/2003 is one that typifies Wetherspoons. Customers wanting to visit the pub and have a drink are a nuissance. Full Stop. The Evening Star or the Basketmakers or the Lord Nelson would not have treated you like that. Read the great comments people seem to be makin about these three pubs, visit them, and make up your own mind.

1 Jul 2003 20:06

The Kingston Arms, Cambridge

Pub sounds great but shame about the brewery!

30 Jun 2003 18:33

The Kingston Arms, Cambridge

Very sad to hear the Lidstones brewery has suspended its brewing operations. I will still visit the pub as it looks set to remain excellent, and micro breweries will still feature on the handpumps.

30 Jun 2003 18:31

The Doric Arch, Euston

A little cliquey which takes the edge off it a little. For a better atmosphere and just as good a range of real ales take the northern line to Angel & walk down City Road for the Wenlock. Staff and locals are friendly here!

23 Jun 2003 17:24

The Evening Star, Brighton

Great music by Ms Ripepi last night, and Dark Star Best was superb plus the Woodforde's Mild. Of course the Hophead was great as usual! Even coming all the way from London, and sitting outside in a thunderstorm (head bowed over pint kept the rainwater out)seemed worth it!

23 Jun 2003 17:11

The Three Kings, Clerkenwell

This pub isn't bad. As part of a crawl in Clerkenwell on Friday 20/06/03 I had a pint of Old Speckled Hen which was quite good. This pub has a very traditional albeit exciting interior, keeps quite a good pint of speckled hen and is worth a visit. You can take youur beers outside in a plastic, and drink in the church yard, which is an added bonus. Refreshingly, this pub attracts NO troublemakers and the atmosphere, both inside and out, is great!

23 Jun 2003 17:05

The Walkabout, Brighton

Visited yesterday - no real ale, but an "ok" bottle of Hahn's imported lager was a good enough accompaniment to my kangaroo burger (which was good). Pub is part of a chain. A fairly wide range of Australian lagers offered, with Fosters and Castlemaine XXXX on electric dispense. Had to battle, however, for a table as people snatch it off you the second you go and place an order at the bar. Shame there isn't an area for non-smokers. I had to move table as three people who joined me didn't have the manners to ask if they could smoke while I was going to have a meal. Loud music means you have to speak equally loudly in order to be heard. Big screen tv for sports etc. Not ideal for a quiet pint but quite good value for food and you can be in and out in 20 mins which is good. For a more enjoyable time try the Basktmaker's Arms.

23 Jun 2003 16:39

The Lincolnshire Poacher, Nottingham

A pub named after a test-card tune on BBC1! What a marvel

19 Jun 2003 11:54

The Cat's Back, Wandsworth

An amazing place! This pub well deserves its place in the Good Beer Guide. O'hanlon's beer kept in good condition. An adventurous music policy - very chilled out staff make this a refreshing oasis in the Youngs' heartland. Go there!

18 Jun 2003 16:54

The Bolingbroke Arms, Battersea

Quite a good pub, slightly tucked away in the housing estate. Nice to sit outside. Not sure if it still does real beers on handpump, but can remember the food being quite good and reasonably priced.

18 Jun 2003 16:50

The Cliftonville Inn, Hove

Standard Wetherspoons. Visited last autumn and found the service to be "ok".

16 Jun 2003 18:11

The Hillsborough Hotel, Sheffield

Hear Hear - re Simon's comments - couldn't have put it better myself! GO there!

12 Jun 2003 17:46

The Devonshire Cat, Sheffield

Quite a good pub, but not as welcoming as Sheffield's more traditional hostelries. One or two of the staff were a little sullen during my visit earlier this year. However the beer range is superb and the food's quite good so do try & go there as part of a crawl.

12 Jun 2003 17:44

The Magpie and Crown, Brentford

A very good pub in what's otherwise a beer oasis. At least one interestig beer. The pub is lit almost entirely by compact fluorescent lamps which gives a slightly harsh lighting effect, but it's worth a visit for the friendly landlord and the good beer. I am awarding a "7/10" rating to this pub.

12 Jun 2003 10:34

The Swan, Little Totham

Deservedly Camra National Pub Of The Year 2003. A haven for lovers of real beer offering up to ten beers on gravity in excellent condition. Go for Mighty Oak Maldon Gold, 3.8% if you can get it - it's exquisite! Live country/Irish music performed. A spacious beer garden. A warm welcoming atmosphere is afforded by the friendly, informed and chilled-out landlord. This is amongst the best pubs in the UK, drawing ale enthusiasts from up and down the country. You will certainly be glad you came - it'd be worth getting a B&B nearby!! GO there! I have given it a 10/10 rating!

11 Jun 2003 17:13

The Hole In The Wall, Waterloo

Me & a mate were asked to sling our hooks for taking back a bad pint in 1991!

28 May 2003 15:42

The Basketmakers Arms, Brighton

I visited this pub at approximately 6pm yesterday and enjoyed quite the best pint of Gales' Butser Bitter I have ever tasted. Despite the low gravity it was clean, refreshing, yet full of flavour! The staff are very friendly with a good sense of humour, and the locals - at least those with whom I had the pleasure to speak - are equally friendly and laid-back. Amongst Brighton's best pubs for food, articles on the BM Arms appear in many pub guides. Sadly, 't was a bank holiday so the food had stopped half an hour before my train had arrived in Brighton! A MUST!

27 May 2003 17:02

The Hand In Hand, Brighton

Went there yesterday, 26/05/2003, and found the ties removed from the ceiling - spoke to "Chris" - said they all disintegrated in the washing machine!! The beer was SPOT ON! If you are going soon try the BLACK MOGGY MILD. It is exquisite. Indeed, a strong hop flavour is the backbone of all the home-brewed beer in this friendly local!

27 May 2003 16:56

Quinn's, Camden

Yep - opens late! Good selection of bottled beers, and food during the day is said to be quite good. The real ale, Greene King, see-saws in quality.

21 May 2003 11:38

The Old Cross Tavern, Hertford

A little gem.
One of the best pubs in Hertford, this hostelry MUST be visited!

16 May 2003 13:08

The Uxbridge Arms, Notting Hill

A pleasant traditional pub behind the cinema in Notting Hill. Now this pub WAS in the Good Beer Guide until last year when it was omitted. The place had character when I visited in 2002, but the quality of the beer see-sawed whilst the prices took a ride in the elevator upwards! The up side is that I found the staff to be friendly. For good nearby pubs try the Churchill Arms in Kensington Church Street or the Britannia in Allen Street off Ken. High St.

8 May 2003 16:24

The Farmers Boy, St Albans

Excellent festival - here's to many more!!!

6 May 2003 10:58

The White Horse, Oxford

When I visited this pub in 1998 I would have given it a "7". A gown pub, but also friendly towards visitors, with a reasonably good range (similar to the Bear) of real ales. I hear its changed hands since then, but I'll still give it a good mark until or unless I discover for myself it's any worse!!!

2 May 2003 17:15

The Angel and Greyhound, Oxford

Great pub - I was there last year hope it's not changed since then, had to miss it out of this year's Oxford crawl due to lack of time! I also remember the good Youngs Bitter.

2 May 2003 17:10

Tommy Flynn's, Camden

Good quality Thai food. Interesting seeing as it's an Oirish pub. Friendly staff but no cask-conditioned beer.

28 Apr 2003 17:27

Oh! Bar, Camden

Our jobcentre sometimes has leaving do's here which is why I tend to miss them - nothing too exciting about the place - very modern interior if you like that sort of thing, pub usually full of 20-30somethings drinking cocktails & alcopops. If it's real beer you are looking for then go to the Spreadeagle or Hogshead in Parkway.

28 Apr 2003 17:26

Fellows Morton & Clayton Ltd, Nottingham

Congratulations to the site on entering one of Nottingham's best pubs. I last went there in 99/2000 and had the pleasure to drink POST HASTE beer - not sure if they still brew on the premises. There were about 3 specially brewed beers on handpump when I visited. A back room snug features (featured?) a large screen tv for sports, and the main bar area comprised a long narrow bar. Hope it hasn't changed!! Also hope Tecno managed to find the "Trip To Jerusalem", another good Nottingham pub!!

28 Apr 2003 17:09

The Priory Arms, Stockwell

This is amongst one of London's best pubs. The very friendly, informed, chilled-out and enthusiastic management rubs off on the enjoyment of all customers! Harveys seems to be a regular beer plus a constantly changing range of up to four other guests. I was there on Friday 25/04/03 with four friends and we were introduced to an exquisite German beer - a subject on which the landlord is well-informed and well-travelled! An impressive stock is held, and some people come just for the German beers! Even the dog (I'm no dog lover) is friendly! I would recomend this pub to anyone looking for a great pint in a great atmosphere. No music, allowing for great conversation. A gem!

28 Apr 2003 16:55

The Swimmer at The Grafton Arms, Holloway

I have visited the pub twice now, and had a good pint of Ridleys Ipa (note they have the whole range plus Fuller London Pride) on both visits. The food is excellent and cooked in an open kitchen to the right of the bar area. Staff quite friendly. I went there last week on the way back from Finsbury Park on the evening Arsenal were playing Manchester United and, although I am an Arsenal supporter, it was nice to have a football free pub in the area!! Do visit & give it a try!

25 Apr 2003 18:55

The Walkabout, Covent Garden

To Neal, regarding your comment of 16th Feb, you should make a formal complaint to the Commission for racial equality. If you are barred from a pub because you are English, than it is just as racist as being barred because you are black. Send a copy of your comment to the Sun or the Daily Mirror, you might even make some money out of it guys!!

25 Apr 2003 16:04

The Cutty Sark Tavern, Greenwich

I was taken there by my (then)boyfriend in July 1986 when we were both a lot younger!! Can remember good times there. The landlord was very friendly & I still have a copy of some piano music I recorded there!! Hope its not changed!

24 Apr 2003 17:29

The Racehorse, Carshalton

Customer service and friendliness appear to have nosedived in the past six months according to anecdotal evidence from friends in the area.

24 Apr 2003 16:22

The Wheatsheaf, Borough

Now a good Young's pub (since 1999/2000?) Was once a much better freehouse (unofficially) owned by Bass Charrington but the maverick enterprising landlord kept an excellent range of guest beers on. Sadly the pub was always threatened with closure due to the works going on above and around it, so Youngs' purchase of the property was actually something of a reprieve. Starting in this pub, continuing at the Market Porter and finishing at the Royal Oak in Tabard Street makes up an excellent crawl!

23 Apr 2003 19:13

The Evening Star, Brighton

This is one of Brighton's best pubs! During my visit on 17th April I enjoyed Dark Star beers mentioned by "Paul" on 28/12/02, along with exquisite Harviestoun bitter to name but a few. It was a great surprise to see a very rare Dutch beer, Brouwerij 't IJ Paasij beer on tap, as I'd just visited the brewery 4 weeks ago in Amsterdam. Good live folk and blues music at weekends - look out for John Crampton. Very conveniently placed near the railway station - BEWARE the last trains back to London are about 1030 approx Friday and Saturday, but 2346 at all other times. Great pub - I recommend a visit!

22 Apr 2003 17:34

The Black Cap, Camden

Camden's premier gay pub, featuring a cabaret and disco stage on the ground floor and a quieter upstairs bar, open late, with a roof garden area which is pleasant in the summer. Sadly, as with many pubs of this type, there is no cask conditioned real ale. Shame as I'd go there more often if it did. The only bitter (keg) is Worthingtons. Quite good food lunchtimes. The pub runs its own cab licencing service to ensure a safe ride home late at night which is a great idea if you feel vulnerable for any reason. Hope someone from the pub reads this!

14 Apr 2003 18:56

The Ashburnham Arms, Greenwich

I last visited this pub in the autumn of 2002. The Shepherd Neame Masterbrew and Spitfire beers were in excellent condition. Regarding the comments of the last contributor, the pub does "calm down" quite quickly in the evening and becomes somewhat "gentrified", creating a very pleasant atmosphere in which to sup a pint of Masterbrew. The food is excellent (or certainly was when I visited) mainly in the form of pasta and pizza, and the pub is only 15 mins (if that) walk from the Docklands light railway station. In giving the pub a rating of eight, I submit this is one of Greenwich's best pubs - long may it continue.

14 Apr 2003 18:00

Zero Degrees, Blackheath

Crikey guys! Has it really got THAT bad? Must go and see for myself! My experience was of good food and quality beer - at a price - but the staff were a just a little short of friendly. Presumably the modern way to run a pub is only as a business - Enter, eat, drink, leave in that order. I wonder if the company bans its staff from being too friendly with the customers. Its something they should take heed of because I personally enjoyed what I drank and ate there, but that was about it!

11 Apr 2003 16:53

The Old China Hand, Clerkenwell

Great pub with superb atmosphere. The O'Hanlons beer did change a little when the brewery moved, but it's still quite good - I liked the Blakele's No'1. DO visit. A good pub to include in a crawl with the Sekforde Arms (Youngs) nearby.

25 Mar 2003 17:55

The Pineapple, Kentish Town

One of very few pubs in London that keep a GOOD pint of Marstons Pedigree. It's worth a visit even if just on that count. Friendly staff and a convivial atmosphere. Medium level background music allows conversation at a comfortable pitch. A great example of a pub being rescued from oblivion - everyone's efforts in doing so were worth it.

25 Mar 2003 17:26

The Radnor Arms, Kensington

One of three pubs almost next to each other of which two are worth visiting. The second pub is the Britannia Tap. Regular visitors to both these pubs will know the reason for this having existed since 18/04/1998! The Radnor is a lovely little pub, and I can recommend the Everards Tiger which has been invariably in good condition each time I visit. Enjoy!

25 Mar 2003 17:16

The Bear, Oxford

A lovely pub. A good place to start an Oxford "crawl", with a good range of real ales this pub is frequented by town and gown alike. Small and intimate, this pub is divided into at least two bars and drinking areas. Keep visiting you will not be disappointed.

25 Mar 2003 16:56

The Old Windmill, Coventry

Well I think its about time someone put in a decent word about one of Coventry's better pubs. I for one have enjoyed several pints there when up from London. The pub stands in Spon Street, one of Coventry's oldest streets, and is amongst some of the oldest pubs in the country. Check out the history when you visit. I found a reasonable range (albeit predictable) of real ales in quite a good condition. The pub is divided into several small rooms and drinking areas, at least one of which boasts an open log-fire. I have not tried the food and can't comment on it. Please ignore the rather offensive comments made by others on 17/08/2002. Visit the pub and see for yourself - it's a lovely pub.

25 Mar 2003 16:46

The Lamb, Bloomsbury

Ask for a pint of Ordinary - also nectar! A gem of a pub!

12 Mar 2003 18:03

The Spread Eagle, Camden

One of very few remaining traditional pubs in Camden - a breath of fresh air from all those "themed" places in the area. I have to say the quality of the beer has always been excellent!

12 Mar 2003 17:03

The Market Porter, Borough

great range of beers mostly from microbreweries and small breweries, making it a scoopers' paradise. And its in Zone 1. Easy to get to as well - Go there!

6 Mar 2003 15:55

The Jeremy Bentham, Bloomsbury

Visited with a friend in January or February and found the beer to be wanting. I had to have one pint changed (which they did with good grace) but the alternative beer was "ok" but enough to deter me from making another visit. However things can always get better! Better off going to the head of steam in Euston

4 Mar 2003 19:15

The Doric Arch, Euston

A fantastic range of ales with up to eight on handpump at a time. Interesting Seabrook crisps in some exotic flavours. A raised snug and a mezzanine area give the interior a unique character, whilst railway memorabilia bedeck the walls and ceilings. Quiet tv, usually sport. A few gaming machines. Mild often available, usually from "up the west coast line". Food served most of the time until about 7 or 8 in the evening. The only downside is that come 11:10 you are hurried agressively to finish up by 11:15 - they need to "chill-out" a bit. I for one would visit more often!

4 Mar 2003 19:11

The Artillery Arms, Old Street

Good pub with mainly well-kept Fullers Chiswick, Pride & ESB on handpump. Mainly City workers until 9.30pm then pub takes on a rather more "local" atmosphere. I used to be the piano-player there so if any readers see a pub with a piano that wants playing e-mail me!

27 Feb 2003 17:04

The King William IV, Hampstead

Nice gay pub, but last time I visited there was no real-ale. Hope there is some there now!However this pub's a more chilled-out alternative to the Black Cap in Camden. Visitors to the Black Cap who read this will know what I mean!

27 Feb 2003 16:58

Lady St Helier, Morden

On my last visit myself and others were apalled at the lack of service and customer care afforded to us here. On one night food was advertised to be served until 9.30. I arrived at 8.45pm and was served, but my two companions who arrived at 9pm were refused even though it was still advertised all over the pub. When I asked the so-called manager why this was the case I was given a rather flippant response that it was "company policy" to continue to advertise that services were available even though they had ceased. He offered no apology for this, occasioning my two friends to buy fish & chips from outside the pub & secretly eat them inside! With regards to Briony's comment of 03/12/02 I am 37 years of age and have no problems sharing a pub with 70, 80 or 90 year olds. What I do object to is impolite unhelpful staff (and management) as if ordinary customers are a "nuisance".

24 Feb 2003 18:25

The Earl of Lonsdale, Notting Hill

Quite a "nice" pub in a lovely part of London. Rotten shame there's no hand pulled cask ale any more, due to Sam Smith's policy (now repealed) of removing all cask ale functionality when refurbishing the pub. The food LOOKED good I didn't eat there as I had just come across the road from the Gold where we had lunch! A nice venue for lager, stout and keg drinkers, but a no-go area for anyone after a cask conditioned pint, hence my 5 out of 10 rating!

24 Feb 2003 18:05

The Boston Arms, Tufnell Park

Uggh!!!
Used to visit that pub when dragged kicking & screaming by "friends" desperate for a drink after 11. The atmosphere is however quite uninviting and intimidating at times, and fights and arguments amongst patrons are never too far away. Do not visit on your own at weekends or late at night.

24 Feb 2003 17:48

The Buckingham Arms, Westminster

One of a diminishing number of pubs of great character in the area. Youngs Bitter and Special were on excellent form when I visited two weeks ago, and Winter Warmer was good too. Message to the landlord - keep up the good work. You deserve to inherit all those who (used to) drink in the C&G!

24 Feb 2003 17:36

The Eight Bells, Putney Bridge

good pub to go to on the City-Chelsea crawl.

21 Feb 2003 19:25

The Clachan, Soho

Had a nasty shock when buying two pints of Adnams, handing a fiver over the counter & being asked for more money! Why pay 2.80 for Adnams there when it's 2.20 or less in the Wenlock Arms, N1 near Angel, Both these pubs are in Zone 1, but consider the price difference!

21 Feb 2003 19:22

Zero Degrees, Blackheath

Visited the pub twice and enjoyed fabulous beer and exquisite food. Only "issue" is a "perceived" dress code which, although did not spoil my enjoyment could have spoilt that of others!

21 Feb 2003 19:10

The Assembly House, Kentish Town

The Assembly house is not Kentish Town's best pub. Try the Admiral Mann, (McMullen's)Hargrave Place (walk up Leighton Road and turn right when you hit Brecknock Road), or alternatively try the Dartmouth Arms (Free House with good and adventurous food) York Rise (walk up Highgate Road past the Forum) until you come to the lights at Gordon House Road. Turn right into Chetwynd Road then turn left when you get to the bottom). You'll be glad you found both pubs!

21 Feb 2003 18:46

Scrumptious, Guildford

A good down-to-earth basic boozer! I have to say that the Charles Wells Bombardier there was just about the best I've ever tasted, but was frustrated to see two of the guest beer clips turned round just before I got the chance to taste them. I'll definitely visit that pub again.

21 Feb 2003 18:32

The George Abbot, Guildford

Very good AND very reasonably priced given that it's a Hogshead. Had pleasure of eating and drinking with friends there last Tuesday week. A good range of guest beers, and staff were found to be very friendly. It is, in my opinion, one of Guildford's better pubs!

21 Feb 2003 18:27

The Rose and Crown, Clapham

Very good pub with an outstanding landlord. I shall be paying a visit tonight! Hope there's some Landlord or JHB there! This is a lot more than a "standard Greene King" establishment as described by the previous commentator, and should be visited by anyone finding themselves in the area who fancies a good pint!

21 Feb 2003 18:14

The Cask and Glass, Victoria

Sad news Mary (re your comment on 02/08/2002) is that John has retired & gone to live in the Mediterranean. It however remains the same inside (an absolute gem) but the beer quality was on the slide last time I visited in Feb 2003. There was a distinct "sour apple" taste to the Shep's Best Bitter, and the Masterbrew was a mere shadow of how it used to be under John's cellarship. I hope that was just an aberration, or I'd be forced to drink Youngs in the Buckingham round the corner!!

21 Feb 2003 18:09

The Dove Inn, Hammersmith

Keep visiting this gem! I know I will. Great to see that London still has some decent pubs. Fullers ESB sometimes varies, though - try the Chiswick Ale - a great session bitter

21 Feb 2003 18:04

The Crown And Two Chairmen, Soho

Interesting to see the Dog & Duck mentioned in Rob's comment. That pub has the better beer (Tim Taylor Landlord). The C&2C has reasonable beer but 3 a pint is too much which is why I tend to drink away from the West End anyway.

21 Feb 2003 17:58

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