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BITE user comments - lyeemoon

Comments by lyeemoon

The Three Daws, Gravesend

I can't praise the Three Daws highly enough. Agreed it was a fleeting lunch time visit on a beautiful sunny day but the pub, apparently at 500 years is the oldest in Kent, is a great old building and very atmospheric with a variety of aspects to it.

It was quite busy with people sitting inside and others outside on the terrace with a great view of the river and the oldest cast iron pier in the world. There were two staff at the bar, both very pleasant efficient and helpful. They let me sample 3 ales, Gravesend Guzzler, Dartford Wobbler and the one I opted for the Truman's Runner. All were good but the Runner was excellent.

I was then very fortunate to get a nice table by the window with the optimum view watching the small boats toing and froing as well as some huge container ships. It was quite a heavenly interlude boosted by having some retired lightermen on an adjoining table identifying the marine traffic. They had ordered main meals and appeared to be enjoying them.

Pubs rarely seem to do proper sandwiches these days, preferring to do fancy stuff at exorbitant prices. This one though does do proper sandwiches and I had a beef one which unfortunately was on the dry side. That didn't detract from the visit though and it is clearly a better experience than the deserterd posh new restaurant built on the pier. There's a lesson there somewhere particularly as it conceals the entrance to the ferry terminal.

16 May 2014 11:56

The Woolpack, Banstead

After my last favourable review a couple of days ago I visited again yesterday in the late afternoon. It was quiet outside with a few people in the restaurant. The main part of the pub was dominated by a small group of loud elderly male drunks swearing loudly and often, despite the close proximity of a female who looked quite put out. The staff took no notice at all.

The art of running a good pub is never to allow one group to dominate and not to allow cliques. I'm not sure what the licensees' stance is on this but to run a good pub you need to stamp your personality on it. I was on my own but if I had been with my wife I would have left immediately and thereby hangs the problem. People love to ban the smoking ban, taxes etc etc for the demise of pubs but I believe one of the main reasons is that now when you go into a pub you never know what sort of atmosphere you're entering sp people stay away.

The abandonment of the saloon/public system is the main reason and this pub lends itself perfect to such a divide.

27 Jul 2011 09:02

The Woolpack, Banstead

This pub has come on a bundle, thanks undoubtedly to the reasonably new custodians. Good selection of beers, efficient and friendly service. Between 6pm and 7pm on Saturday it was very busy, the word is getting round.

Only slight downside, the modern plague of young noisy children.

24 Jul 2011 13:11

The Duke of Wellington, Bourton on the Water

Well nothing much has changed in a year. Riverside area which should be the main pulling attraction is in an awful state. Bird excrement, dog ends and uncleared tables pervade.

Beer is good and staff friendly and efficient inside but the major asset is neglected. Poor management and total lack of vision and application.

10 Jul 2011 21:49

The Sportsman 'Time Well Spent', Mogador

4 real ales on during the week. 3 of them were flat. Poor show,

24 Jun 2011 20:52

The Surbiton Flyer, Surbiton

SimonM, the pub is far from lifeless it does not have a modern interior and is certainly not quiet. It has taken off big time and really buzzes early doors. It is very atmospheric with high ceilings, large windows and stained glass. Cheap it is not and there are no large TV screens or excessive machines for the morons who lack any form of conversation. Service is efficient and pleasant.

In short the place is a delight even if the music is just a little too loud at times.

24 Jun 2011 20:47

The Jolly Farmer, Staines

Went into this pub at 12.30pm and was greeted by friendly northern landlady. Pub has got a good feel about it apart from the intrusive pool table and they have good offers on drink and lunch which undercuts the Swan across the road (not that difficult).

Problem is that as she has only been there for 4 weeks she's "testing the water" before serving real ale. Bad mistake so a swift exit was made.

2 May 2011 17:10

The Fox And Hounds, South Godstone

Call me suspicious but the last post has a strong element of parry and thrust about it presumably in response to my penultimate post and, this is "taylorfield's" first contribution! Licensee or friend?

19 Jan 2011 08:46

The Vansittart Arms, Windsor

This place is not a pub, it's a playground/creche. Went in here Monday lunchtime and was immediately assailed by the sound of a crying tot in a high chair. We distanced ourselves from that as far as we could but this was unfortunately by the fruit machine which was promptly infested with 4 very noisy young children while the Landlord stood by grinning amiably and the fathers propped up the bar.

The crying tot persisted but because of the 4 unsupervised children we tried to tuck ourselves into another corner to obtain a bit of sanity. It was not to be as the tot cried endlessly. We tried to plot an escape to the Bexley but they weren't doing food (no wonder pubs are going down the pan) so we stayed put in the hope that the apparently well to do parents would actually behave responsibly. Some of them did and removed their fractious progenies. Not the ones with the crying child though. They were determined to make everyone's lunchtime a misery by remaining and they achieved that. The child cried for over an hour and thoroughly spoilt the visit. Lazy parents fault of course.

I said before that the Landlord is laid back. Actually he's comotose. One of his barmaids turned the music up to drown the noise and she laughed about it. What it really needed was for someone to actually take action but the Landlord was too busy grinning gormlessly and doing nothing.

The food and the beer was good but like the nearby Mitre and Bexley this place is on the way out. Pubs are not appropriate places for children and selfish parents should be excluded.

Never again.

7 Jan 2011 21:08

The Princess Royal, Croydon

This pub used to be the best in Croydon when privately owned. Now boarded up thanks to the bottom line idiots otherwise known as Punch Taverns.

22 Dec 2010 17:35

The Fox And Hounds, South Godstone

Went here last Sunday for lunch on recommendation but on entering realised that I had been to the pub before and was not impressed. It has all the ingredients for being a good pub but seems to fall well before the winning post.

We were first greeted (not the right word) by a miserable looking member of the kitchen staff who apparently was temporarily standing in for someone else. First impressions are very important and he made it quite clear that he didn't want to be there and seemed to be working hard at being unwelcoming, unsmiling, unhelpful and distinctly uninterested.

At least the Old Hooky was good though. The place was extremely quiet, and cold, for a Sunday lunchtime (not sure about the restaurant but it didn't seem busy either). The reason may have been that a family with very young children had taken over a corner of the pub and were very noisy, especially the baby who cried continually. I didn't see hide nor hair of the landlord, who should be omnipresent in a country pub in my view, although we were latterly served by a very pleasant and charming young lady, possibly a daughter.

We ordered the food which is by no means cheap. The beef was virtually cold and the treacle sponge and custard was dreadful. To cap it all, just as we were about to leave, thank goodness, the place was invaded, yes invaded, by two loud and very rude children who crashed into the place, running around like mad things, jumping on and off the bar stools and generally treating the place as their own whilst whingeing and wining at each other. Their well spoken and apparently well to do mother followed them into the pub looking and sounding totally unaware of the appalling behaviour of her progenies. Unless you love children and very average food avoid this place like the plague.

This place is more like a playschool than a pub. What a shortsighted attitude it is to allow young children into pubs. There are plenty of child friendly places to eat these days.

17 Dec 2010 15:42

The Prince Albert, Deal

Having read the reviews on this pub I was looking forward to visiting it from London at lunchtime. I was amazed to find that the place only opens for 5 hours in the evening. It doesn't even open at Saturday lunchtime for heavens sake, a really popular drinking time. Perhaps I'm being ungracious but it seems more like a club than a pub. Had to make do with an unwelcoming pub nearby.

11 Aug 2010 17:30

The Royal Oak, Borough

And the good news is that I was informed by Harveys today that there are currently no moves afoot to change the operational style of the pub. That may be politicospeak for something else, I don't know.

PS I've never given a rating to the J Sailor, W.Looe, but will on my next visit. I like this site but it does lack good management to the extent that I had to telephone them to get a racist removed after exhausting all other methods also advertised functions don't work.

23 Jul 2010 19:55

The Vansittart Arms, Windsor

Somebody said it, it's not really a drinkers' pub. I had one of the best, and cheapest, rump steaks I've ever had there though and the Pride was acceptable. It would seem that the Landlord is very laid back and the place is ideal for out of control kids and the usual array of scruffy slobs in beach shorts, dirty tee shirts and flip flops.

17 Jul 2010 16:59

The Racehorse, Carshalton

Can't comment on the food but I do like popping in to this place mid afternoon. It has improved from the point of view that it's not quite as gloomy and cluttered as it used to be but it does smell a bit musty around that rear entrance area which could easily be resolved with the aid of proper ventilation. I also wish they would replace the dreadful seating which has definitely seen better days.

Having said that it feels like a proper pub with the two bars and the beer is good. Excellent pint of Iron Horse.

17 Jul 2010 16:52

The Royal Oak, Borough

That's not bad news it's a disaster. How can you change what is the best pub in London and probably the country. How and when is this catastrophe going to occur?

17 Jul 2010 16:38

The Surbiton Flyer, Surbiton

Returned yesterday evening and the place is going great guns. Excellent, polite and efficient barman. Pride excellent. The sign of a good pub is how quickly the tables are cleared of glasses etc and chairs, papers etc rearranged. This place is right on the ball so it keeps its nice fresh feel all the time. One downside was the presence of a small group of well oiled foul mouthed offshoots probably from the Epsom Derby. They had one maybe two rounds whilst getting louder and more intrusive, then were politely asked to leave which they did with minimum fuss. Another example of excellent management.

The landlord and staff deserve great praise and good support. As fullersfan said it is not just about earning a quick buck no matter what. If you produce a quality product and maintain high standards the money will follow as it surely will here.

6 Jun 2010 17:45

The Surbiton Flyer, Surbiton

Woodman101. Your review says more about you than it does about the pub. There are loads of tacky pubs everywhere with large TVs adorning the walls and the sound from them conflicting with loud rubbish music. A lot of the time nobody is watching or listening, they have just become part of the scene because landlords, staff and customers lack discernment and believe that is the way it has got to be.

It never used to be like that and doesn't have to be. In fact it is often suggested that the demise of pubs is due to all sorts of things but a lot of it is to do with the fact that they have become as I've described. Lager swillers' playpens!

The Surbiton Flyer demonstrates that amply. When I was there the atmosphere was created by the customers with a nice buzz of conversation and good background music. No pointless TVs, loud music or machines which often attracts people with no meaningful conversation, unless of course they're loudly sharing their sordid little lives via their mobile telephones.

More power to the Landlord's elbow for giving all the modern playthings the Spanish Archer and making the effort to return it to traditional pub status. There is no necessity to always go for the lowest common denominator which is so prevalent in this bereft country. And it's far preferable to be a snob than a slob!

15 May 2010 13:32

The Surbiton Flyer, Surbiton

Visited for the first time ever early doors Saturday. Station pubs are often tacky and scruffy, this is nothing of the sort. It is wonderfully atmospheric, almost Agatha Christiesque with a booth, huge windows and stained glass. No TV on, no obvious machines and just pleasant background music with a very impressive bar. The place was nicely busy. The new owner is clearly very discerning and it can only go from strength to strength. The ESB and the Pride were excellent and there was also Seafarers.

The ideal place to have a swift one whilst waiting for your train or on the way home.

9 May 2010 20:02

The Snowdrop, Lewes

Went to this pub Saturday about midday. Basically agree with brightonbrawler although when it got busy around 1pm didn't see the standard of service drop. The menu looked very interesting and not over expensive and the food looked good although I didn't partake. Beer is as described and very well kept. Tables all full in the very atmospheric all-round bar downstairs so people were going upstairs to the more stark music area.

To me this pub is excellent and well worth that little extra walk from the town. Definitely needs upgrading.

8 Mar 2010 09:18

The Cross Keys, Covent Garden

Great atmospheric pub even when I was the first customer at 12 noon. Started to fill up not long after though with locals. Wonderful traditional old place and a good pint of Pedigree.

18 Feb 2010 20:53

The Royal Oak, Borough

Did another check yesterday for lunch. Still a Rolls Royce of a pub for atmosphere, beer and food. No music, what a blessing! Not sure about the window decorations though. Amazed it's not busier.

18 Feb 2010 20:48

The Lord Clyde, Borough

After lunch in the super Royal Oak popped into this wonderful looking pub. This sort of place should be preserved by the Council, English Heritage or something. These places are fast disappearing and should be protected. The inside is a little bit disappointing but there are some great old pictures round the wall showing that the pub has hardly changed. A real gem and a good pint of Hooky to boot.

18 Feb 2010 20:42

The Racehorse, Carshalton

I loved this pub. It was a bit quirky but I often popped in there for the odd pint. It reminded me of how pubs used to be and really should be now as an icon for our whole way of life and tradition. Yes it needed a lot of tlc which hopefully it is now getting but when I saw the 'Enterprise' sign outside my heart sank. I really do hope they retain the old character with the saloon and public bars but I'm not holding my breath. Enterprise and Punch are just run by accountants who are nit in the least bit interested in people or tradition, just that bottom line. The jury will return its verdict shortly.

18 Feb 2010 20:23

The Woodman, Woodmansterne

Sorry this place still doesn't cut the mustard for me. A test of a good pub is if you walk into it during a quiet period, it should feel comfortable and welcoming.

From the outside it looks very inviting especially now the frontage has been improved. However when you walk in through the back from the car park you are confronted with a cold soulless sort of restaurant area with four tacky plastic menus on every table a la Wetherspoons. There's a fireplace without a fire with childrens' toys beside it. The bar area is not bad but appears to always be occupied by regulars which is fair enough but doesn't leave much alternative except the public bar which I've not ventured into.

I'm sure it takes on a different perspective when it's busy but as an early doors drinker it ain't for me. London Pride;s not good either.

22 Jan 2010 17:39

The Antelope, Surbiton

In truth this place does not appear to have improved a great deal. The building itself is superb and ought to lend itself to being a proper pub as it virtually was under a previous female licensee.

The first thing that hits you when you walk in are the very tacky blue Christmas type lights above the bar and the place itself is soulless. The good news is that the licensee was in attendance early doors and was attentive and apologetic about the lack of IPA and the alternative Big Red was very good. He is a bit of a Jack the Lad though and very loud. Hopefully that means he's assertive with errant customers!

There is so much competition in Surbiton and well run this place could corner the market behind the Gordon Bennett. At the moment though it stands no chance. I won't be rushing back.

22 Jan 2010 17:09

The Princess Royal, Croydon

GoodFood68, all Punch care about is their miserable little accountancy selves. They've destroyed so many pubs due to their moneygrabbing self centred attitude. Mrs T has a lot to answer for, her attempt to break the stranglehold of the breweries has back fired disastrously.

12 Jan 2010 20:45

The Mint, Banstead

I'd like to endorse the last review. I went there on Christmas Eve and the prawns were of similar poor quality which may account for my gastric problems the next day. Also I know it's Christmas etc etc etc but was it really necessary for one large group to virtually take over the bar area with their screaming snotty very young children, one of whom was sitting on the bar a lot of the time?

No proper beer, apart from a flat Revd James, well it's been snowing init!

Never again thanks!

27 Dec 2009 09:23

The Gardeners Arms, Lewes

I've experienced the Jekyll & Hyde of this pub.

3 weeks ago I went there on market day at lunchtime and it was superb. Great atmosphere, superb Harvey's beer and great service. There was even a low profile celebrity present, Mark Williams from The Fast Show.

Yesterday it was the dustcart after the Lord Mayor's show. No atmosphere, smelly with two scruffy sloppy slovenly barmaids in attendance. Beer still good quality though.

22 Nov 2009 20:21

The Lamb, Surbiton

I've got to downgrade it further due to smell from toilet, general unwholesome feel, awful uncomfortable rickety furniture. Ideal for the bohemian types and has a certain charm once night falls and disguises the flaws. Beer still good though.

25 Oct 2009 20:22

The Volunteer, Lewes

We'll get some coloured bricks for you barneygumble.

18 Oct 2009 20:16

The Lamb, Surbiton

I've got to downgrade this pub because the landlady has recently had a baby and the place is more like a creche at times. Ringwood still good though.

2 Oct 2009 21:13

The Royal Oak, Borough

I had the same experience once in there having been served by one of the staff. It was a bit cloudy but tasted ok. I was a third of a way through it when the Landlord spotted it and gave me a fresh pint straight away which was fine. Don't be put off, the Landlord knows his beer unlike most of the modern day muppets.

22 Sep 2009 16:39

The Duke Of York, Belfast

Another 'must visit' in Belfast. Great pub, great atmosphere. Good beer.

22 Sep 2009 16:33

The Crown Liquor Saloon, Belfast

I'm not keen on touristy places but this place is a must. I agree with the previous review.

22 Sep 2009 16:30

The John Hewitt, Belfast

Just returned from a weekend in Belfast. This is an excellent pub, a good blend of the Irish and English. Good atmosphere, efficient service and excellent Hilden's beer. What more could you want?

20 Sep 2009 16:01

The Jolly Coopers, Hampton

The last review, capitals are like shouting, has prompted me to upgrade this excellent pub. I should hasten to add that I am not a local and only visit periodically. The quality of the beer is always excellent and obviously not in question. I had the Brakspears on Tuesday and it was up to the usual high standard.

The long standing landlord and his wife are real old fashioned type custodians. One of them is nearly always in attendance which is rare these days. They are both friendly and chatty but still maintain an air of authority which is sadly lacking in most modern Manager run pubs.

Please do not be put off by the last review. There's no such thing as the perfect pub but this comes close to it. Chiswick does have some really good pubs so discerning dave27 and his mates will not need to venture far in future.

10 Sep 2009 09:33

Harts Boatyard, Surbiton

adh038 you're right. I went on to their website and emailed the manager about the dreadful staff and never even had the courtesy of a reply. What a waste of an absolutely superb location!

5 Sep 2009 20:02

The New Prince, Surbiton

This proper pub appears live and well and still serving excellent Pride and HSB. However the highlight is the evening barmaid 'Charley.' She is an absolute delight, attractive vibrant and efficient. It's worth a visit just to be served by her!

28 Aug 2009 09:15

The Melton Mowbray, Holborn

I found the MM to be excellent for a central London pub in a busy area. Yes it's expensive but it is the middle of London.

I went in there with a friend this lunchtime which was pretty busy. We were immediately greeted by a smiling very pleasant barmaid who asked if we wanted to have a table or just a drink. We opted for a table and, yes it's unpublike, but we were immediately served by a very pleasant and efficient female who took the drinks order and later the food one.

The Pride was very good and the food was above average and arrived fairly quickly. The place, including the toilets, was very clean and they were very quick to clear and clean the tables. It may not be the ideal drinkers' pub but for a lunchtime stop off it's hard to beat.

18 Aug 2009 16:21

The Castle, Holborn

Had a pint of Redcar here at lunchtime. Very acceptable. Unfortunately at least 25 minutes wait for lunch so left

18 Aug 2009 16:08

Harts Boatyard, Surbiton

Had a good lunch here on Tuesday, albeit a bit expensive. Service and food was good but quite amazingly after my female companions had tasted the Pimms on a very hot day they suddenly announced that they'd run out!

2 Jul 2009 18:09

The Lamb, Surbiton

This pub started off quite quietly but is now coming into its own thanks to the delightful young couple who run it. It's now built up a discerning clientele in line with its excellent location and the place gets very busy at peak times. Beer is excellent, great pint of Ringwood today. Good sized garden, if you want it, ideal for children and fag ashes!

21 May 2009 20:51

The Royal Oak, Borough

Spent a wonderful lunchtime here. Amazingly not too busy. Sussex Best perfect. Food excellent, proper pub grub large portions. An absolute delight.

20 May 2009 20:44

The Royal Oak, Borough

I'm running out of superlatives for this place. Yesterday lunchtime was superb. Very busy with a good atmosphere. Both bars were crowded without being over crowded. It's such a pleasure to go to a proper pub with well kept beer, good food, no machines and no music. As a result you have a good mix of customers. If there's a better pub I'd be surprised.

10 Apr 2009 20:56

The Bell Inn, Hampton

Open again. Quite quiet Saturday lunchtime. Well kept pint of Pride. Service good but likely to be very food orientated which is fair enough.

9 Mar 2009 20:30

The Royal Oak, Borough

Went there again yesterday bang on lunch time. Both bars were pleasantly busy with a good mix of people. Ignoring the fact that the woman behind the bar short changed me, accidentally I'm sure, although she did fawn over me subsequently which was a bit off putting and the gents toilets were out of order. I cannot emphasize enough what a gem this pub is. It's a bit like stepping back in time to the halcyon days when a pub was a pub and not some multi owned nonsense tuck up theme place. It's great to order a sandwich and get proper thick bread as well as decent well kept beer.

If this were to close or change hands it would be a disaster off the Richter scale!

7 Mar 2009 12:24

The Royal Oak, Borough

This pub should be wrapped up in cotton wool and a preservation order slapped on it straight away. Went there for lunch today and loved it. 2 pints of Sussex best and wonderful doorstep sandwiches. A good atmosphere with a mixture of locals and business people.

How wonderful that they've kept the 2 bars and it retains many old features like the ceiling decoration and tiling in the toilet area. The place is an absolute gem and I wish it was my local although I'd never be out of it.

25 Feb 2009 20:46

Ye Olde Reindeer, Banbury

I can't comment on this pub as I have not been there for over 4 years when I lived in Banbury.

However I have massive pangs to go back there as the only downside used to be the smoke. Now it should be wonderful. It's a shame that they've got the wrong picture above, which does it no favours.

The pub is homely, atmospheric and a true step into history. The beer used to be good as well.

9 Jan 2009 10:03

Ye Olde Kings Head, Epsom

Visited this pub at 1pm yesterday. It's a good sign if you walk into a pub and there are unaccompanied respectable looking middle aged women present. This was the case here. This pub was recommended to me by the ex licensee of the Princess Royal in Croydon which in its heyday was an absolutely brilliant boozer thanks to his expertise and discernment. Now the PR is owned by Punch Taverns, enough said!

This place may not quite be in the same class as the PR in its pomp but it is very good. Friendly welcome, two roaring fires and well kept London Pride. The only slight down side was the Cumberland sausage in our sandwiches was barely warm bearing in mind there were few people eating. However, I will definitely return.

31 Dec 2008 12:47

The Bricklayers Arms, Putney

I was really looking forward to visiting this pub due to the reviews here and the Telegraph column. However, went in the pub today at 12.10pm and thought it was closed. It was cold, chairs were on the tables and the barman had obviously just arrived. We made our excuses and left. I know it's the silly season but you'd expect, in this day and age when pubs are going to the wall so frequently, that an establishment such as this would be ready for customers at least by midday. It's almost as though they've decided it's going to be quiet early doors and not to bother. That's two customers they've lost.

In their defence the nearby Duke's Head was only slightly better prepared at 12.15pm!

30 Dec 2008 17:07

The Antelope, Surbiton

This place has plummeted since the excellent female licensee left. It now suffers from indifferent staff and beer.

11 Nov 2008 16:18

The Red Lion, Pall Mall

Wonderful old pub with well kept Tribute but shame about the staff. I visited early afternoon last Friday when it was quiet apart from a female who was dominating the small bar area on her mobile telephone. As it got very busy it transpired that she was either a licensee or a barmaid. There was another sour faced barmaid there who aptly dished up sour milk with the coffee. She was totally indifferent to the fact.

I assume that complacency is prominent here due to the pubs superb location which will attract customers no matter what. Another Rolls Royce operating like a Mondeo!

11 Nov 2008 16:11

The Church House Inn, Rattery

What a superb pub. Called in for lunch on way from Sidmouth to Falmouth via A38. Proper landlord, smartly dressed and welcoming. Friendly locals. Excellent pint of Otter and food good. A real gem.

21 Sep 2008 15:13

Charlton Inn, Charlton Marshall

New owners in June? I went there last Saturday at 1.50pm on a nice sunny day. The garden and the pub were devoid of customers. There was a sign outside offering the tenancy for sale.

It is well known that tenants are taken for a ride these days and that may be the case here. The po faced barstaff were singularly uninterested in any event. We asked if we could order sandwiches and the reply was "if you're quick." What is it with pubs, food and an obsession with two o'clock? It's 2008 for Christ's sake. It was no surprise when at 2.02pm a man came in, asked for the same and was refused. The fact that he had 3 companions outside meant they were turning away good custom all for the sake of making a few sandwiches.

No wonder pubs are going to the wall.

21 Sep 2008 15:08

The Ten Bells, Shoreditch

Visited this pub yesterday at lunchtime. Scruffy and tacky it definitely is and the graffiti in the grotty smelly basement toilet area is quite overwhelming. Having said that the ceramic tiling in the pub is reasonably well preserved. It also features briefly in 'Licensed to sell' the history and heritage of the public house ISBN 1-85074-906-X.

I'm amazed that the place hasn't been refurbished incorporating the tiling. The place is definitely different and at times will be atmospheric. I managed to get a half decent pint of Brakspears (no other choice) in between the barman dishing out Pimms to the city toffs at 15 a jug.

16 Aug 2008 08:40

The Fox and Hounds Restaurant & Bar, Englefield Green

Went here for lunch during the week. This is another pub which appears to be content with mediocrity. It's a wonderful building in a superb location but when you arrive and see letters missing from the front sign you begin to fear the worst. You expect better from a freehouse.

It was busy enough with one large group and a number of small ones, thus keeping the staff, only three of them, on their toes. Their attitude was slightly better than indifferent. It's the sort of situation that requires a manager but there wasn't one in sight. The staff all appeared to be local and in typical English fashion were just doing enough without stretching themselves, "serving" just isn't British.

To be fair the beer TEA was good and so was the food if overpriced. I always feel sorry for the kitchen staff in those circumstances because the front of the house people are letting them down.

This ought to be a Rolls Royce but it's stuttering along as a Mondeo.

3 May 2008 20:54

The Woodman, Woodmansterne

Welcome back to the merry go round. I swore quietly and offended no one!

21 Apr 2008 21:06

The Woodman, Woodmansterne

You are definitely the voice of reason on here Ian. It is one of the problems of a site like this, that the whole thing goes off at tangents and often ends up in irrelevant abuse being exchanged.

I refer back to my original point though. The great shame about this pub is that it has, unlike most modern day pubs with one bar, the facilities to satisfy all needs. It has a public bar, a large saloon and dining area and a huge amount of space outside. All it requires is for good management to restrict the industrial language and behaviour to the public bar. The Area Manager and the licensees do not have to be geniuses to work that one out.

The suggestion by some on here that there's nothing wrong with loud swearing anywhere is frankly fatuous. It is offensive to many people and consequently illegal. People allude to the smoking ban, why not this? I would not go anywhere with my wife and children where that is happening and many people of my generation feel the same.

That is why so many pubs are going to the wall. They get taken over by foul mouthed idiots who go unchallenged and the decent people stay away.

The Area Manager might be mucho reasonable but they've all got their eye mainly on the bottom line and I repeat - the Woodman lends itself perfectly to satisfying nearly all the reviewers on here. Difficult it ain't.

21 Apr 2008 19:37

The Woodman, Woodmansterne

Sorry Chopin you've got it the wrong way round. It is, strange as it may seem, a criminal offence to use foul language in a public place particularly if it offends others. Regrettably it is ok, subject to licensee's discretion, for a 10 year old to be in a pub.

20 Apr 2008 14:39

The Lamb, Bloomsbury

Should be slob screens to keep out poshpplhaters.

17 Apr 2008 19:42

The Railway Tavern, Carshalton

Nice pub. Clean, service good and quality London Pride. Pleasant ambience.

11 Apr 2008 18:31

The Woodman, Woodmansterne

Sorry last bit should read "would lend itself."

17 Mar 2008 08:50

The Woodman, Woodmansterne

It is obvious from the latest reviews that, not surprisingly, reviewers have different standards.

Personally I go to a pub for the beer and conversation and will not frequent pubs where loud swearing is tolerated, particularly in the presence of women and children. Gambling and other group activities tend to invite that.

jcrc wants to swear and be entertained. I'm tempted to suggest some coloured bricks but the wonderful thing about this pub is that it does actually have a public bar and could cater for everyone's needs. All it requires is good management.

It was the biggest mistake ever to abolish the saloon/public tradition as it is now making the biggest contribution ever to the demise of pubs. It is particularly so now because the public bar would not lend itself to be a smoking area.

17 Mar 2008 08:48

The Princess Royal, Croydon

Oh dear. Visited again today. The place was totally empty. In the past it would have been buzzing on a Friday mid afternoon. Landlord unwelcoming and unmoved by the fact that his dog was irritating my wife and I. Why do some dog owners feel it is acceptable to inflict their animals on others?

One customer came in, looked like a Camra member, while we were there and like me had the Old Hooky which was flat. Looks like the Punch Tavern multi millionaires are looking to run this down for closure like so many others.

14 Mar 2008 19:30

The Weir Hotel, Walton on Thames

Stumbled across this place whilst visiting Walton Casuals FC nearby. From a pub point of view very impressed. Great location off the beaten track on the river and the bar area is very traditional and atmospheric. Good friendly and efficient staff although it was a quiet time. London Pride and Brakspears beer kept well.

Sorry you other reviewers who are parents but as a traditionalist, pubs are not for children. They may be lovely but all kids are prone to crying, screaming and throwing tantrums if bored. Who wants to have a quiet drink/meal in a confined space with all that bedlam. On a nice day it is acceptable for them to be on the terrace outside where the noise will not be so penetrating.

Unfortunately a lot of parents haven't got a clue about parenting which actually means controlling your children and using a word which is short and easy, "No!" If you can't use and enforce that ethos don't have children but if it's too late don't inflict your ill disciplined progenies on others.

8 Mar 2008 20:32

The Griffin, Brentford

Visited this pub pre match last Saturday. Good old traditional place, not over crowded although it was a nice day so there was an overspill on to the pavement. Second pint of Pride good and burger from garden barbecue reasonable. Downsides - unsupervised children in the pub and over proliferation of St George's flags inside.

18 Feb 2008 12:07

The Lamb, Bloomsbury

This should be, and in many ways is, a Rolls Royce among pubs. Visited Sunday lunchtime and enjoyed the excellent Bombardiers. Food was average to good.

I tend to agree with the previous reviewer who will be pleased to know that his beer fly is alive and kicking. The place was worryingly quiet though which was great for the lone males who were able to spread out their Sunday papers. Granted it was a beautiful day, enabling the fagashes and the alfresco maniacs to bask elsewhere in the sun, but can't help feeling it should have been busier.

There were 2 pretty efficient and pleasant barmen but no sign of any landlord which used to be de rigeur in the halcyon days. Maybe, only maybe, that's the problem.

11 Feb 2008 12:26

The Worlds End, Hampton

Had to leave the Jolly Coopers today for reasons I won't go into. This pub had 5 screens showing football and rugby. Because Hampton is what it is this pub could be 10 times better but it is fairly acceptable. Overworked pleasant enough barwoman serving Twickenham Fine Ales which was good. Didn't sample the food but again it looked reasonable.

9 Feb 2008 19:55

The Druid's Head, Kingston Upon Thames

Paid a visit at lunchtime today. Seems quite reasonable for a town centre pub. Good pint of Ruddles and service relatively efficient. Food was very average, crispy bacon that wasn't even remotely crispy!

Major downside was a gathering of about six very loud students dominating two tables when they could have confined themselves to one. That wouldn't have been so bad if they'd actually been eating and drinking but they weren't. Another classic example of weak management which has more to do with the demise of the traditional English pub than anything else.

6 Feb 2008 19:49

The Compton Arms, Islington

What an excellent little pub this is tucked away in the back streets. Went there pre-football and it was very pleasant. Still very acceptable 2 hours before kick off. Very well kept Old Hooky.

30 Jan 2008 15:02

The Princess Royal, Croydon

This superb pub used to be privately owned by a proper discerning old fashioned landlord until about 3 years ago. He had a zero tolerance level on swearing and dickheads. Bearing in mind the dearth of pubs in Croydon this was a real oasis, a country type pub in the back streets of West Croydon. A gem indeed.

Then it was bought by Punch Taverns I believe. Since then I understand there's been a succession of licensees who have vainly attempted to maintain standards with limited success.

I returned on a weekday lunchtime and was the one and only customer, bearing in mind that it always used to be very busy. To my delight they had Old Hooky on which was acceptable and a proper ham sandwich, rarely available these days. So maybe it's on the up despite the fact that it would be impossible to restore it to it's former glory.

27 Jan 2008 12:41

The Railway Hotel, Cheam

Jury's out on this pub. Pretty middling. Beer and service good and atmosphere reasonable. Spoilt by customer bringing in his 5 year old boy and leaving him on his own whilst drinking at the other end of the bar.

26 Jan 2008 20:17

The Jolly Coopers, Hampton

This is a rare specimen these days, a proper pub with a proper landlord who appears to always be in attendance and is welcoming, without being false or effusive. The beer is excellent and the atmosphere generally pleasant and relaxing.

26 Jan 2008 20:05

The Dukes Head, Hampton

Not sure how this pub justifies such a high rating. Granted that Saturday lunchtime may not be the best time to judge but in my view it's not a patch on the Jolly Coopers down the road. It's all very tacky and unwholesome inside with St George's cross cushions and a foul mouthed very scruffy landlady who obviously doesn't realise that Hampton is an opulent village. Redeeming feature was a good pint of Twickenham Naked Ladies.

26 Jan 2008 19:55

The Fountains Abbey, Paddington

I'm an early doors drinker. It's a good time to judge pubs and the staff particularly as it is often a time for complacency. I used to drink here 40 years ago and it was superb. I wouldn't call it that now but on modern standards it's good and the 6X was superb.

7 Jan 2008 20:08

The Woodman, Woodmansterne

You can see from previous reviews that this pub is a classic example of something which should be superb but is less than mediocre. It lends itself perfectly to cater for all tastes, unusually having a saloon and a public bar. Regrettably though, in common with many other modern day establishments, it lacks the good strong management required to maximise that potential. Consequently it just drifts along as a tacky boozer entertaining the ascendant lowlife morons to the detriment of decent customers.

7 Jan 2008 19:45

The New Prince, Surbiton

This is a proper pub with excellent London Pride and HSB. Service is very good and so is the atmosphere now, due to the smoking ban. If they could ban the odd foul mouthed old men in there it would be perfect.

20 Oct 2007 12:27

The Junction Tavern, Kentish Town

Charles Dance confirms the post about the beef in today's Telegraph. So can't be bad!

20 Oct 2007 12:20

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