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BITE user comments - zakman

Comments by zakman

The St Johns Tavern, Archway

Keep coming back here every few months, as a friend not far away. Mid week always easy enought to grab a table. Then to work through the 3 beers they have on (plus range of others if you so desire). Not the cheapest, around 3.80 a pint, but the staff DO always rewash the glasses to ensure cold when beer goes in. Nice touch.

As others say, food is good, but pricey. 1.85 for a croquette makes a change from packet of crisps.

2 Oct 2012 07:44

The Craft Beer Co, City of London

Heard about from Morning Advertiser, and was in the area...

As the other reviews say, vast selection of beer, all of those we drank in good condition. Both hand pulled and keg. As this selection (and don't get started on the bottles) enough to cover all palettes.

Pricing very simple - based on the ABV. This does mean some of the specials (like the creme brule) at 11% are 5 for a half, but then, it does all make sense.

Spot the own branded glasses - all oversize to allow for an appropriate head as desired. Plus they do samples. All makes this a MUST for a real beer drinker. Add to the crawl with the Euston Tap. We'll be back.

20 Dec 2011 08:29

The George, London Bridge

It's summer. An ideal time to wander round the streets sauff of the river. Especially when there are so many in close proximity around Borough Market.

As other say, and you can tell from the pictures, this is not a 'new' pub. It's split over many levels and rooms, with a great courtyard laid out with tables. Ideal for a drink in the warmth.

Downside is that smoking is allowed outside, and with the other buildings (out of character with this) form a sqaure to trap the smoke. Something we are not used to these days with a smoking ban inside of pubs in place. However, there are a number of tables.

I have not yet mentioned the beer. Ah. Choice of around 4 on draft plus range of lagers as usual. There is even their own badged house ale. You will have plenty of time to admire this whilst waiting at an empty of customers bar, with staff just wandering around 'doing things'. It made up for the short measures when eventually someone could be bothered to serve, which as it tuened out was fine. As the beer (we tried 2 different ones) was brown. We did not finish them.

GREAT location/venue to see as a tourist/local and admire. A MUST on this score. But if you want a drink, there are plenty of others nearby having this on tap.

13 Jul 2010 15:06

The Nags Head, Belgravia

This really is a locals kind of pub. The landlord can be terse with others not respecting his space/pub. But easy answer - be friendly!

Has 3 real ales on normally, of which an Adnams is normally at least 1. Note these also tend to be served in the correct glasses. Small detail...

The inside is very stripped boards, minimalist, which does mean it can be cold at times. The secret to this, is to get there for the sunshine and stand outside with the flowers. Just note the boards 'requesting' no mobiles.

Food good quality, just depends on the quantity you may wish for. If you are undecided, try the Wilton at the same time - 100 yards up the road.

17 Oct 2008 12:03

The Wilton Arms, Belgravia

Yes, its a Shep's house. They normally have a reasonable range of these on - around 3, sometimes 4. Beer is kept well, which does help.

There is plenty of space for sitting down inside if you get there early enough! Otherwise, standing outside with the hanging flower baskets is rather pleasant with the sun shining.

Food is reasonable, but nothing too exciting. Average pricing for the area really.

It does have a TV, which can help for watching the sport etc. on. This is a key difference between it and just down the road the Nags Head. Note both of these pubs discourage mobiles...

17 Oct 2008 11:59

The Grenadier, Belgravia

Not easy to find, unless you have a good tourist map. Which for the locals working around the area is good during the week! (It is down a back mews, which appears to go no where).

The pub has a small front bar with some tables. Typically around 3 beers actually on draft. These are well kept, with Landlord one of the regulars. Major downside, is that you are not allowed to take your glass outside. If you wish to stand and drink (enjoying the sunshine) outside, you need to have a plastic thing. Not good.

Food is reasonable quality for the bar menu. However, note there are LIMITED tables (in the bar side) for this. And you are NOT allowed to have bar food in the restaurant side. Regardless of the fact this maybe completely empty...

Staff tend to vary from being ignorant of the beer, but friendly, to sully (mainly from the female landlady). There are other friendly places locally.

17 Oct 2008 11:51

The Rats Castle, St Albans

WOW! What a change. From being a rather smokey pool 'dive' the place is now more than just 'interesting seating' (see Herts CAMRA guide...)

Interior all looking nice and cream-ish, complimented by 3 real beers on draft (there was a 4th clip, but not on). It does still have 2 pool tables for those who want to, but the new landlady does rather seem to have made it a place to visit and want to drink here for a change. All of the beers were in good condition and slipped down very well. They also had branded glasses (small detail) to match too.

Only flipside was there was a loud 3 piece band on Friday night. Yes they were very good, but did make talking a challanage... And with it beign fairly quiet inside, not too many people to soak the sound up alas.

The loos are also a step up from before, new tiles and looking clean. Not like before... One to add to the longer around town crawl.

18 Aug 2008 16:30

The Slug and Lettuce, Bank

This has now closed - as grecian says, this whole piece is now being redeveloped. Thus Deakins (round the corner, same block) has also gone.

21 Nov 2007 11:22

The Paternoster, City Of London

Looks like a All Bar One from the outside (not a bad thing), but with a full range of draught (Youngs/Wells) beer. As other say, oddles of seating, including spare chairs if needed.

Foodwise is pricy and gastro in style. The platter appeared on a mix of soup plates - tasty, just not presented as we may have expected.

Beer all seemed well kept, including Honeydew and the Summer Solstice (well, we had to work our way thru to check, didn't we!). Good selection of wine too, in the not silly wine bar prices. So can keep tht side happy do.

Only downside, is the smoking area being right by the bar - yet there were signs on the bar saying not to smoke there. Weird. Didn't help that people were just smoking elsewhere in the place, which the staff did not seem to care/worry about. However, that is soon to no longer be an issue.

26 Jun 2007 10:13

The White Lion, St Albans

With the weather being as it is, a good choice as has a beer garden out back (en route to the Garibaldi if on a crawl). Still working on finishing off the bbq area thou!

But we were here for the beer. 4 on when we arrived (including Cally XPA), which were all (from our mini tour) in good condition. This had dropped to 3 before we left, but was not long in being replaced. Staff even remembering our previous orders! Nice.

Did not stay for food (as some other pubs to move to), but looked good from those dining. One of a cluster of good pubs in this area. Just not sure about the Watney Red though... (see in pub for details!)

2 May 2007 13:42

The Goat, St Albans

Not been in since they changed management in the last 2 months. So how have things 'changed'? Or have they?

Well, beer selection is (was when we went) 3 on draft, plus the usual lagers and 1 cider - on hand pull. The Spitfire and Broadside on fine form, but alas the Tribute (cornish) shown, but no on. Told due to my husband has not changed the barrel yet!

Had food (bangers and mash, mixed seafood etc.) which was certainly to the quality level the Goat was known for. The frying on the chips at a 'just done' level with the same for the folio pastry. MOST impressed.

Tried then for a Tribute, after which followed some frantic activity and 10 minutes later we had a fresh (and RATHER nice) pint delivered to our table! What you want from a 'local' bozzer.

Flipside, there are still areas that (as others have said) need a decent lick of paint, along with it would be nice if both the cold and HOT tap worked in the loos.

Expect to be going back, but still needs some work to move to the next level. Staff enthused, just need the rest to follow.

1 May 2007 14:27

The Banker, Cannon Street

Tucked down a side street under Cannon Street station, it is not that obvious for many to find. Just that there a lot of 'locals' who do refrequent. Mainly of the City trader types from Euronext etc.

Normally have most of the Fullers range, which tend to be in good condition. Had an excellent pint of Gales Festival mild. followed by another...

Food (helpful for prelonger visit) is of the cavery style. But still pretty good.

Has pool table tucked upstairs and reasonable non-somking space. Outside can be more fun, as well as to watch the next door recycling station in action.

6 Apr 2007 21:44

Ye Olde Watling, Mansion House

Just how a 'proper' pub should look, with long bar, some seating and space for stand-up drinking.

However, deceptive, as there is a back room with nice comfy chairs - pleasant surprise. A tad better than a number of others around, with range of City types, but also with a local boozer feel.

Good range of beers (Pride, Landlord and some other guests) in keeping with a Nicolson's house.

15 Feb 2007 15:08

The Farmers Boy, St Albans

With the change in ownership in the last year, has there been a change in the pub? Easy - no!

It is not an obvious pub to head to, being off the main circuit, as well near to some of the takeways on London Road. However, the inside with comfy seats (and cushions now!) make the place warm and welcoming.

Beer quality (which we did test very thoroughly!) is excellent. Both from their own beer (Farmer's Joy, IPA and Yorkshire) to the guests (when we went were Landlord and Mill Stream, both from Yorkshire).

Also have a good range of lagers and bottled beers. Just no Chimey White, so had to 'manage' with the Blue instead.

Staff friendly, as well as good at clearing and cleaning (both the tables, ashtrays and also the mirror!) Look foward to going back.

14 Feb 2007 14:20

O'Neills, Cannon Street

Small Irish theme pub, split in two. Just that the smokign side (with more seating) is larger than the non....

Does have guiness (a reasonable pint) as well as their newly launched Red Guiness (do not bother. It is just cold and very bland. Stay with the real thing).

The bitter does vary both in quality and range. 2 weeks ago the Pride was on the seen better days, whereas the Landlord end of last week was ok. (We only have been in so often, as others wanted to try the Red guiness).

Other pubs less sardinied locally and less smokey.

13 Feb 2007 17:12

The Slug and Lettuce, Bank

Typical theme'd bar. Nothing exciting in this one, compared to others in the chain.

On the plus side does have no smoking upstairs. However, draft beer (rather than lager very much in short supply.

Recently has had a great strawberry continental lager on (but around 5%ABV). More of a food with a drink place than a typical pub mix.

13 Feb 2007 17:07

The Jerusalem Tavern, Clerkenwell

Easy to miss at night, with the dark wooden door and lack or music playing. Instead a 'proper' old style traditional pub. Simple in concept, but warm in presense.

As other say, purely a St Peter's ale house (and a couple of lagers for thos not sure). Seems to vary with which of the St Peter's ales are on draught, but most of the range available in bottle. You even get a choice of chilled (from fridge) or room tempreture!

Just need to get their early to grab a seat, as the whole place is not that large. The best and creamy stout were in fine form. Just required a slightly slower start this morning...

31 Jan 2007 09:10

The Golden Fleece, Bank

Not much has really changed here in a decade, since I last used to visit (working then nearby). Standard GK outlet, with main beers, and as mentioned, a pool table downstairs.

All of the beer (IPA, Speckled Hen and Abbot) was in good condition and well served, not only with full glasses (rare these days), but properly flat and in the correct glasses! Something to recomend.

Only 'gripe' if it can be called that, is that the Hen was more than the Abbot, (2.80 vs 2.75), which is a tad sad, since they reduced the strength (and taste) down to 4.5% ABV.

30 Jan 2007 10:31

The Counting House, Bank

The building and interior are impressive. It is worth stopping in for this at least. (If you have not been to the similar Old Bank of England on Fleet Street, it is in the same vein). It is excellent to see the old city buildings reised like this, for which unless you worked there, would never get to see.

On the ground floor is a big island bar, which does help to spread people out, meaning we did not need to queue too long. Main selection of fullers ales on (as you would expect).

There is then a gallery on the left, which is good to escape from the crowds (assuming this is not booked out). Similarly another floor above for functions.

Beer quality was 'ok'. Not quite the fresh-ist pint of Pride around locally, but in the fine to drink, but not wishing as much as in some other places. Slight let down compared to the rest. (will update rating if this changes over coming months)

24 Jan 2007 09:16

Deacons, City Of London

Not that many places round the city have pool tables any more - something to recomend the Deacon in not just one, but 5! Just note this is a 'mere' 1.50 a pot.

Apart from the pool tables, it does not really have many redeeming features. I could mention the beer, but will not, as the draft (london pride) was off, as they had run out. This does rather tell you something about the place. The other selection of keg beers were drinkable (to which we did make a good attempt on working our way thru!)

It is really a sports-bar style of pub with the LCD screens showing sky everywhere rather than one for meeting people for a great social night out.

24 Jan 2007 09:11

West Kirk, Ayr

Typical 'Spoons conversation of a great old building. Worth going in to admire this if nothing else. Just watch out for the loos being up past the pulpit!

Beer one of the cheapest in Ayr. However, quality reasonable of the selection of local-ish ales on that we worked our way through. Usual fare for the other beers (lagers etc).

Does tend to get busy, due to the prices. So you can wait for a table/seat. However, the crowd tend to be more mature (ie. over 21!) rather than some on the main local circuit. Only flip side on this is the TVs so you can watch things going on. But with no sound and subtitles you can ignore!

17 Nov 2006 19:35

The Bloomsbury Tavern, Bloomsbury

A quiet havean not far from the tourist trails of Oxford Street and the British Musuem. The pub still does have a number of the original features and glass, as see with the Shep Neame's logo in the panelling behind the bar.

As you would then expect, Shep'd range from the usual Spitfire (fine), Masterbrew and the specials (in this case quite hoppy and rather nice). Staff also friendly too.

The only downside being the place is not that large. However, did not seem to get too busy when we were in, with further space upstairs. A change from the Crown just along the road, which can get rather smokey. Look forward to going back again.

13 Oct 2006 11:50

The Skinners Arms, Kings Cross

Handy for the stations and with well kept beer (all Green King range though). Has the advantage of outside seating, whilst we still have summer, as it can get busy inside. Otherwise, the best place is the non-smoking area at the back, which always seems quieter. However, this does not stop the smoke reaching it.

Been in the beer guide for a few years, which from the typical standard of the beer is very understandable - ie. good! One of the best of the pubs in the locality for meeting people to the west side of KX.

1 Sep 2006 13:28

O'Neills, Euston Road

As other reviewers say, standard O'Neil's outfit. The only differciator being that the staff were friendly. Alas this is masked by the smoke smog that prevades the place, where the A/C does not manage to clear the air. There are other (better) less smokey pubs within 100 yards, so will be going there next time.

1 Sep 2006 13:25

The Euston Flyer, Euston

Not been in for a while, and little has changed. This is good, as the beer was good quality before and still continues to be. The manager was also effecient in serving multiple people, ensuring very little wait time at the bar.

On the flip side, it is now gearing more towards food, with prices to match (mains being in the 7-9 range). They do look and taste good though. The same no-so-cheap pricing being reflected in the beer prices too. (most being around 3 a pint)

Worked our way through the beer range last night, with the 'guest' Archers bitter being the best (the Pride was not quite at its best). We'll be back...

1 Sep 2006 13:22

The Coppertops, Worcester

Barn of an estate-style pub near to the University College campus. The name of the pub coming from the coppertopped tables in the back saloon bar.

The place is only really open evenings and some limited lunchtimes (e.g. weekends) and has a slightly shabby feel and look to. Not somewhere you would think is that inviting from the outside. There is a good kids playgroound with climbing frame, swings etc. at the front along with a large carpark - which usually is fairly empty.

Inside really does need a re-refub, with the carpets dating from another era. This is redeemed by the staff which are very friendly - both to locals and non-locals. A very pleasant surprise and not expected from the outside.

Beer is all on keg (MB Mild, MB XI bitter, guiness and some lagers). However, prices are good accordingly. Food is otherwise the main reason to want to stop by, with there being discounted meals on semi-permenantly. (e.g. 2 mains for 6). Just do not try getting anything after 9pm, as the kitchen is definitely shut then!

A change from the University bar (it is not good) and to see some local life.

31 Aug 2006 16:43

The King William IV, St Albans

As a large estate-style pub, the inside is pleasantly surprising. More of a lounge/diner place. Loads of tables, sofa's scattered around. All aimed for the eating circuit, before 9pm.

The food is good solid and well cooked, aided by the presentation. This ranges from the 5-10 mark depending on main, with puds tempting too.

It tends to be moderately busy all week, with there still being space at weekends to get in. Helped by not being in the centre of town. It does still have a midnight licence (good for a drink on the way out from town heading home!) There can be a chav-esque crowd as others say, but they can be avoided.

Best place is to get to the non-smoking food end, with the real fire. But alas, limited on seating!

Beer generally good quality, but does depend on what is on. A ususal is London Pride and some Green King. Do need to ask to get glass topped up, as otherwise, you DO get quite short measures...

10 Apr 2006 19:34

The Portland Arms, St Albans

Its cold outside, so all you want is some warmth, both heat and from a good pint of ale. Well, good news (almost) on both here. The beer always seems to be well kept, with an almost complete Fullers range on. Add in a fairly reasonably priced wine list and you can keep the whole of your group pretty happy.

It also (as is stated elsewhere) got superb food, with most of this sourced locally to the area. A gastro pub feel to that, but still a local bozzer at the same time. Nice. If you live nearby...

Only downside (hence not higher rating) is the non-smoking area. It is in the back area of the pub, furthest from the (real) fire. And does not really get warm. It was ok (tepid) earlier on, but as the night wore on, got cold, as people drifted off after food.

13 Feb 2006 14:27

The Lower Red Lion, St Albans

Not been in since the change in management a little while back. A good excuse to revisit!

So what has changed? Very little it seems. Still an impressive range of beers on tap, of which the 5 we went through, all in good condition. Staff seemed quite cherpy and friendly as well as knowing a reasonable amount of knowledge on the beers. Not as much as perhaps usual, but then different staff, different nights etc.

The decor has remained the same, with the same 'used' carpet there has been for ages. So you would be hard pushed to know there has been a change! Alas the usual general water (rather than anything else) damp floor in the gents. They have still not fixed the slow leak by the looks of it.

It was however fairly quiet for a Saturday night, in that pitching up a chunk after 9pm, we were easily able to get both seats and a table. Previously needed to fight on this harder. Maybe due to being early Feb, so not so much going out weather?

Still one of the best pubs locally with brilliant beer range. As they say, "I'll be back!"

13 Feb 2006 14:20

The Museum Tavern, Bloomsbury

Arrived earlyish evening to find fairly busy, with mix of locals and some tourists. Also a combo of both having food - a good sign!

Service effecient (for which very pleasantly surprised!) with a good range (6) ales on draft. Add to this a combo of other drinks, lagers and impressive for main tourist area.

As a group we worked our way though all of the beers fairly quickly, with all being in good condition. Also as the evening went on we were easily able to get a table.

Look forward to returning again.

12 Jan 2006 09:43

The Cove, Covent Garden

As said elsewhere, it is fake beams/cornish and nothing like a cornish local. But they have a good (Cornish) real ale range - 5 on - kept well. And they even will do tasters if you are not sure which one to start with. (Perhaps as the staff do not seem to know the beers?)

Prices for the area very good - under 3 a pint. Also good view over the piazza and nightlife, althou chilly this time of year on the balcony. Added advantage for the way home is being above the pasty shop, you can still buy one, as the shop is still open! A rare change...

23 Nov 2005 13:57

The Porterhouse, Covent Garden

Packed (too cold to stand outside) for a Tuesday night. Service still prompt for all that. Alas did not have full range of beers on (XXXX porter etc), as well as prices in their superb beer guide not tieing with the bar...

All in all starting to feel as if the place has slightly lost its edge.

23 Nov 2005 13:52

The Black Horse, Fitzrovia

Loads of space upstairs (with the pool tables). However, there is meant to be a limit of 30 people, but not that anyone seems to worry :-)

Beer quality poor. Draught beer (2 different ones) slightly tainted, going off. Even the keg lager the same, as if someone 'forgot' to properly clean the beerlines out. Not good. Wine was fine thou!

29 Jun 2005 09:09

The Phoenix, City Of London

Busy (for a week night - Tuesday). Fair selection of beer on draft (3 - Pride the best), plus a good range of wine by the bottle and glass. Although no-smoking (good) was quite warm due to the number of people. Good number of tables and seating, but not so good if you do not get one of these, as not really a standing drink pub.

25 May 2005 13:14

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