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Bear, Twickenham

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user reviews of the Bear, Twickenham

please note - reviews on this site are purely the opinion of site visitors, so don't take them too seriously.

Pretty poor bar on Twickenham's main drag. It no longer serves real ale, leaving the multiple handpulls looking forlorn. It was fairly quiet on our Thursday evening visit. We were greeted by the barman, who wanted to inform us that the kitchen was closed and that food was unavailable. No harm done, as we only wanted a drink anyway. Aspall's Cider was my choice, of a pretty poor keg only selection.
blue_scrumpy - 25 Mar 2019 19:13
10 years ago The Bear was one of the better pubs in Twickenham. I went in on Saturday evening, my first visit in a long time, and I'm sad to say it's massively deteriorated.

An uneasy atmosphere in the place where you feel someones going to 'kick off' at any moment. Bar staff are happy to do the bare (bear?) minimum and more interested in chatting to their mates. And when are pubs going to stop playing pumping loud music on an evening? There's no place to dance!

Not likely to return.
Tourmalet - 28 Jun 2016 16:58
Unfortunately still clearly an All Bar One place as witness the timorous staff and lack of any real drinking atmosphere. TFA Grandstand was on as it should be being a local ale.
rainlight - 22 Nov 2015 21:18
Private Equity Group owns this pub and it shows unfortunately. Unimaginative and soulless place run to an (unsuccessful) formula and tacky weekend events to turn it into a verticle drinking venue. Shame as used to have a bit of character in its former life
TanJones - 28 Aug 2014 17:03
My first and last visit to this place last Saturday afternoon just after 2.00
Two others present watching the tennis on a large plasma screen.
4 hand pulls with 2 for London Pride I for GK IPA and I for Doom Bar.
My second flat pint of Doom bar within an hour and cost £3.25
bjbrummiejohn - 2 Jul 2013 08:50
Oh Bear! What happened to you? You used to be so good. I really cannot comprehend why they made changes that turned it from being a great place with so many nice beers to choose from and excellent music at the weekends, into what it is now. It used to be busy every night of the week due to being a good pub and a nice place to be. Now it has nothing different to offer Twickenham and is consequently always empty (save for Spoons-types on Fri/Sat night). As the saying goes 'If it isn't broken, why fix it?' Makes zero sense. Sad times.
Cleversaz - 14 Jun 2012 15:59
I think the fact that The Bear has very little daytime (even weekend daytime) trade speaks volumes.

Mind you, if it's a dangerous liason you're looking for on a friday or saturday night then get your pulling pants on! And don't blame me if your bunny gets boiled the next morning.
Grumbles - 15 Mar 2012 13:45
wonderful beer menu - NOW GONE
heating - NOW GONE
cask marque - WILL SURELY GO IN JULY WHEN DUE FOR RENEWAL.
Other than a freezing cold bar, limited standard beer as already mentined by others, and real ale which is not longer looked after, great place to go, NOT.
Avoid, has declined recently, chasing the fri-sat night teenage binge crowd.
Spend 10mins walking to the Sussex instead.
TW1 - 15 Feb 2012 09:21
Sadly all the good beers have gone to be replaced with the staple fosters etc. Going after the weatherspoons trade and its working. Shame.
THE_Ale_TEAM - 12 Feb 2012 16:41
Nice range of beers, quiet during the day but very busy fri/sat night. One of the better pubs to go to on a pub crawl.
THE_Ale_TEAM - 23 Sep 2011 08:02
Large, matt black, very matt black. A glass of Saltaire Triple Chocoholic was unusual and enjoyable and at 2pm we were the only customers. I imagine it would be heaving at night but it was fine. Very friendly barman, lots of black leather settees. OK.
Paul_Rochdale - 2 Jan 2011 20:43
Yep, 'pleasantly surprised'. Nothing to write home about but a nice place to go with a group for a few beers. I generally have a rule about pubs with doormen, but don't let the bouncers on the door put you off, they are very polite and good at their jobs. Bit chavy in the evening but not seen any bother.

(To TheGP, its an all bar one just rebranded)
the_light_knight - 25 Oct 2010 15:56
Well, the phrase "pleasantly surprised" will do for me too!

I was invited here for a 7:30pm start to celebrate a friends birthday. I'd taken a look at the website and thought "this is just NOT my sort of pub".

However, the bar service was polite and swift. They had real beers on, which amazed me. I had some decent Doom Bar. I noticed they even have some American beers on draught.

In all, I'd go back again early evening.
I_love_Ellie - 8 Jul 2010 08:48
surprised it was still going, as this is stretch of road is that much of a pub graveyard that not even an All Bar One could survive, however went in for lunch recently and thought it quite agreeable

probably full of chavs in the evening, but overall, worth a visit
TheGP - 29 Jun 2010 13:28
Best night out to be had in Twickenham since the Red Lion shut down. No bands but good music. Plenty of choice, drinks wise. Bar staff are always friendly.
Sodalltodo - 28 May 2010 17:13
Pretentious, over priced, feel like your bothering the staff when asking for a drink especially when it's busy & worst of all, it's always so dark in there! Last time I was in there I had a cubicle door swung into my back by 2 chavvy girls coming out of the same toilet wiping their red and irritated noses......maybe they'd caught colds while in the there snorting coke off the grubby toilet seats that 200 odd people had placed their nasty asses on that night? Wont be going back!
thepubcritic - 17 Apr 2010 21:32
Initially dubious as York Street has hosted some really chavvy bars, I was pleasently surprised when I first went here years ago. It's comparitive longevity (compared with some of its predecessors) is a testament to its quality. It has a classy feel to it and a reasonable range of beers (bottled, draught and a couple of regulars on cask) and is the closest thing Twickenham has to an international beer hall. The food's pretty oily though and the cask ale needs better treatment.
therichieboy - 25 Mar 2010 14:16
One of the better bars in Twickenham
Stoned_Moses - 6 Feb 2010 16:40
Not even open by midday on a Friday.
nickthefish - 19 Jun 2009 21:35
This is my second favourite pub in Twickers these days. Not least because it has Fruli. Mmmmmmm, Fruuuuuuuuliiiiii.... Cracking chips as well, and I'm very fussy over my chips. They have some good food deals on in the week too. Nicely done out, cosy and comfy. Usually busy. Service can be painfully slow though and I had several birthdays whilst waiting at the bar last week but if they can sort that out then this place will really rock.
Cleversaz - 13 Jan 2009 15:31
Nice boozer, decent atmosphere. Always busy, great food, plenty of beers and ales to pick from. Only complaint is that they dont show the footer but I spose theres plenty of places in Twickers that do, and to some this is a nice alternative
whoagigi - 4 Oct 2008 14:52
Nice bar, nice wine. Had a good evening here. Friendly staff. A bit pricey but normal for this area!
StrawberryJane - 26 Sep 2008 17:58
I love Food for a start. Then they do a lovely tipple of Becks Vier on Tap to warm the cockles. Shame they don't show football, the combo of footy and vier would make me go there everyday. A bit of a far walk though......
The Bear is a roaring success and I couldn't bear to see it go......
I love food. Oh I've already said that
edlovesfood - 13 Aug 2008 09:47
Only 1 ale on when i went which was disgusting.
garyrealaledrinker - 16 Jul 2008 09:51
Please ignore my last entry, 'The Bear' is NOT dead, but still going strong...!! I was confusing it with the nearby "Smollensky's" bar which HAS in fact closed.
Sorry about that all you Bear lovers! I trust i have not spoilt your enjoyment of this lovely 'bohemian' bar! (Bohemian in the nicest possible sense...)
(Sorry...i must've been three sheets to the wind...!) ! TJ
TeeJay - 18 May 2008 21:45
Sadly.. 'The Bear' is no more..! It has been released from its misery in the most humane way possible...!! The windows of its soul are darkened and empty. No life surges here anymore! The Bear is dead...! ! ! Perhaps 'McDonalds' will take it over...! (Have u ever tried bear burgers..?!?!) 0/10 TJ
ZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZ
TeeJay - 7 May 2008 17:20
over priced.. unfriendly staff.. bad food..
daviedd - 9 Feb 2008 13:52
This is a fairly standard modern pub with comfy chairs and exotic beers but if you like modern pubs then this is a good example of one. I like it!
Matthew_of_Ham - 8 Feb 2008 16:52
An attempt was made to sell it's overpriced foreign lagers using the imaginative marketing tool of "branding" - I believe the rules work thus: Get a bad tasting, vastly overpriced, foreign, hard to pronounce lager, serve it via a 2 foot (preferable 3 foot) monolithic dispensing tap on the bar, into a designer glass with the name of the lager on it for ease of identification, and flog it to image concious Y2K yuppies or wannabe student types for 4 a pint. The punter gets the experience of buying into the brand. I fell for it, nice idea, this kind of thing should be used more often, as i strongly believe it encourages women to drink more lager/beers and not just stick to wine or spirits.
That said, when i ordered my last pint of Staropramen(?) it came not in a lovely branded high-glass, but a standard pint one. Disappointed, I asked why. The reason - because they were marked glasses, and too much wastage. Heaven forbid that at 'only' 4 a pint, the customer should be served 5ml extra beer - that's mostly frothy head anyway! It does spoil the experience. Shame. They had a very individual thing going. If you want this kind of branding - go to the Old Goat, Fulwell.
P.S. the bitter in there is rarely used. Order at your own risk.
TW1 - 24 Dec 2007 13:46
I like this pub despite the pricey but average beer! Had sunday dinner yesterday and it was really quite good. Not fantastic, but not bad either. I know this place is not everyone's cup of tea, but it isn't terrible either. I especially like that they always have a selection of newspapers and there are board games you can borrow - makes it a good place to meet up to start a night out.
Oolybel - 5 Nov 2007 15:40
soul-less and life-less!! staff need a boot up their butts and serve people in order.
anonymous - 12 Mar 2007 21:31
When will the bar staff in this place learn to watch their bar and keep track of who has been waiting the longest?

Why the faint but persistent smell of sewage? I've noticed this the last three times I've been in, that's going back about a year!!

Other than that it's OK, but pricey and looking a bit tatty of late...
anonymous - 2 Mar 2007 13:01
The fancy decorations are beginning to look a bit worn - Another refit from Ikea is due I feel.

Got served pretty quickly though, but the Guinness is a bit ropey. A place to go for the laydeez me feels
TheGP - 23 Dec 2006 11:28
I really like this place, for a couple of reasons, the most important one, the staff are great except from this one girl who had been drafted in from another pub, she was talking about how shes really good with customers to this bloke, blissfully flirting away when there was a fully packed out bar, seriously she needed a slap, apart from that service is pretty damn fast. I'm a big fan of the lounge area at the back, nice and descreet, and the crowd seem mainly young guys and girls. ah yes, second point, LOADS OF WOMEN!! FANTASTIC. The range of lagers is unrivalled in Twickenham, and its not full of chavlike scum. I think I can honestly say this is one of the best pubs in Twickenham. Keep up the good work big O, you make me so happy.
therealmonkeyman - 15 Oct 2006 12:58
hmmm, and who was that hansome guy giving you service??
queeniebitch - 14 Oct 2006 19:52
Saturday night always looks like a estates agents Christmas party. Also the kind of staff too busy being cool (jumping over the bar...dear lord) to offer good service.


KingRaama - 5 Oct 2006 15:29
this place is normally busy and its not bad. the staff are all very young though which does make you think the service and experience there wont be up to much. this is essentially an over 25s bar, bit too pricy for the students. the rear of the bar looks like a gay bar with pink fluffy cusions and the front looks like a loung from pulp fiction! bit retro. popped in there last friday and it was kinda busy but just abit flat....not a great atmosphere. went to another bar opposite that seems to be nicking their customers! maybe the tide is changing for the bear!
philtaylor1979 - 24 Sep 2006 14:05
Probably the best place to go in Twickenham for a night out. Lots of cool people having a good time. One tip though, eat next door first in the Smollensky's, their food is better, but come here after.
helenof - 11 Sep 2006 02:49
Not a bad pub but its way too loungy and the staff dont look old enough to unerstand what beer is, they are probably still drinking ribeana! Had some friends that attended a party there last week and when i asked how it was, they all just smirked and thought the whole place had lost it's touch. there's better pubs on its door step.
laurenmoore - 9 Sep 2006 20:53
I thought this pub was quite nice. good atmosphere. ok beers. generally nice crowd. dont remember the staff....is that a bad thing??
tomas.aquinas - 8 Sep 2006 16:34
Understand some of the comments but if you are looking to party in Twickenham on Friday then this is one of the best places to go as atmosphere quite good - question remains what are you doing if you're looking to party in Twickenham on Friday night
KatrinaD - 22 Aug 2006 10:50
Used to be one of the best pubs in Twickenham after it changed from the dreadful All Bar One. The staff used to be great. What has happened?? They appear to have employed under age staff to work behind the bar who don't actually look old enough to be up to ring the last orders bell. I'm sure they should be tucked up in bed with their comfort blankets. They are increadibly rude and unwelcoming and remind you of the oiks that generally hang around littering the street corners in Twickenham. Serve them all with ASBO's and get the old staff back. Terrible down turn for such a nice pub. Having used this place most weekends for our nights out if in Twickenham, we won't return as long as the kids run the show.
jinx - 17 Aug 2006 11:37
Never thought I'd like this pub due to it always looking packed full of 'look-at-me' punters. However, spent a night in here last Friday and it was excellent. The tap beer is very reasonably priced for Twickenham (most are under 3) and the atmosphere laid back whilst not being horizontal. Very firendly staff, and relaxing decor help make you feel quickly comfortable in your new surroundings. Quite a few oldish geezers looking for ladys of low morals though!
Zod - 15 Aug 2006 10:27
I used to like it here more as you could get decent grub, but went in the other day and the menu had been reduced to basically 3 main courses, which call me picky, is not much.

Odd, as it was nice how it was before. Drank up and went to the UpnUnder to eat instead, which to be fair was even worse.
TheGP - 4 Aug 2006 09:25
On the whole a very nice, comfortable pub for sociable, relaxing drink, good beers (especially Sleeman's Honey Brown), a good selection of wines too. Excellent for meeting people, being able to sit down ant talk to each other without having to shout from 2 feet apart.

The food is typical over priced town pub fayre.

Atmosphere spoiled on Friday/Saturday evenings by music turned up to 11 on the amp.

Part of a chain with the Marlborough in Richmond and another nearby which I forget the name of at the moment.
Ladril_Leafstar - 31 Jul 2006 12:27
Not really a pub as such but a trendy, sit-yourself-down-and-admire-our-expensive-sofas-whilst-eating-an-expensive -meal sort of place. Better fun and beer to be had elsewhere but worth a half on a crawl. Cheek by Tessa Jowell by other pubs, bars and whatnot. Lots of student totty around.
BeerHeaven06 - 6 Jul 2006 15:26
An okay pub, gets busy at weekends but means you'll never find anywhere to sit, and if you do find a table it'll be covered in dirty glasses all night long. Do they have any staff? always a long wait at the bar too.
anonymous - 15 Jun 2006 02:32
Has an impressive range of interesting beers, but is ridiciulously overpriced. Full of types who have delusions of grandeur. Best avoided, Twickenham has so many more better pubs, but then again if you like it here stay at the Bear and don't contaminate the better nearby pubs.
mike2004 - 25 May 2006 12:15
Nice relaxed atmosphere in The Bear, really classy decor. Wouldn't rate the food though. Overly priced and not that great.
XXXXX - 6 Mar 2006 11:25
Nice and relaxed pub. One to take your lassie to for a few drinks in a postitive atmosphere.
bekker - 26 Feb 2006 21:31
An alright pub. An improvement on the old All Bar One that it replaced (although these are generally getting better). A bit 'boudoir' inside but unusual enough to be inviting. Haven't tried the food.
casemore - 13 Oct 2005 16:26
I was meant to be going in here to meet some friends recently and seeing the bouncers outside and the heaving masses inside, and the fact that it's All Bar One meets Dracula's Castle, I gave it a miss and went home to watch '100 Best TV Best Ofs'. If I want to pay 32 for 3/4 of a pint of yellow liquid then , er, I'll go elsewhere.

Return Of The Mac
anonymous - 20 Sep 2005 03:18
The Bear is a brilliant pub in the heart of twickenham.
I've been making my way down there most friday nights - as they have a brilliant DJ playing some really eclectic stuff.
Also, some news on the grapevine is that the DJ will be there on a saturday too!!
Really good beer ( especially the Leffe!) and never any hassle with really friendly bar staff and bouncers.
Lourda - 12 Sep 2005 15:22
Great pub - good selection of international beers, and good relaxed atmosphere.
green - 2 Sep 2005 19:17
cant copmpare to hook and patch they r both very good pubs when first refurbed lots of ladies went there shame the men realized and now pester very off putting
anonymous - 27 Jul 2005 18:32
Just been into this all bar one refit and surprise, surprise it is stii crap! Staff unhelpful and food overpriced! Told to stay clear at the weekend cause it can get rough! ( member of staff said this!! ) - said it all for me!!
hermitage - 4 Jul 2005 14:09
Dreadful beer and indifferent staff. Typical shite Twickenham pub and a great place to indulge in/witness agro on a Friday or Saturday night.
sergeant_howie - 21 May 2005 22:47
An admirable attempt to steer a pub away from the nasty vibe of it's previous incumbent. The wall paper is fantastic and the variety of furnishings add a pleasingly baroque feel to proceedings. There is a good variety of continental beers on offer and whoever is in charge of the music has decent taste, especially on a Sunday afternoon. On the down-side it does get quite 'bloke heavy' of a Friday evening and during the day it can get rather cold for some reason. Best pub of it's kind in Twickenham.
Good for: Drinking in Twickenham
thenationofjames - 9 May 2005 10:32
Have to leave another comment on here - Went in at the weekend and enjoyed a very nice meal. Service was outstanding, which makes a refreshing change.

This pub is working hard and is overtaking many of it's main rivals - I would easily say it is better than the Cabbage Patch and the Hook Line and Sinker, and is probably the best pub of it's kind in Twickenham.
TheGP - 2 May 2005 17:56
It is an improvement on the All Bar One (how could it not be?) but it still has a whiff of the manufactured all bar oney vibe about it. I think the refit they have done is very nice, don't get me wrong, but the clientele is still the old one (ie. people not really interested in proper pubs) and the furniture still looks they took a mass visit to Ikea.

There are a lot worse pubs around the Twickenham area (the HLS, Hobgoblin, etc.) but this place is still distinctly average in my opinion.
TheGP - 11 Apr 2005 09:23
Fantastic pub, which has breathed a welcome lease of life into our pub and bar scene. The pub seems to have turned its back on minimalist design in favour of warmth and comfort - the result is one of the most relaxed atmosphere around.

For the past month, I've spent every Sunday afternoon at the pub with mates, musing over the weekend papers and sampling the extensive drinks list. The Bear is like a home from home, where you can kick back and feel at home amongst its comfy sofas, chilled-out soundtrack and friendly down to earth staff.

anonymous - 3 Mar 2005 13:05
Anything had to be an improvement on the old All Bar one, but they have made a pretty decent fist if the refurb - Losing the old Brand name is half the job done, but they have also decorated to make it more homely - The bar looked pretty much identical to what it was before.
I am pleased they have refitted, as it was packed when I went in and this means the Hook Line and Sinker over the road is hopefully losing trade! Woo-Hoo!
Worth a visit.
TheGP - 11 Feb 2005 09:11
I quite like the way it's decked out. Really comfy feeling. Had a really good time with my mates the other day. Nice and chilled. We hung out at the back which is really comfy and the area for non-smokers which is cool with me as I'm trying to kick the habit. Wine was excellent. It's certainly my pub of choice in the area.
Fiona_30 - 3 Feb 2005 11:51
I had a wicked time in here a few nights, new years was fab...the menu is good, drinks are slightly more expensive but it keeps out the chavs and im happy with that...bar staff were really nice and helpful in choosing wine! I'd ignore these losers below and
anonymous - 2 Feb 2005 19:19
Looks like a brothel. Took forever to get served then...Crap beer! Not advised.
Cleversaz - 21 Jan 2005 16:36
do they really think adding some retro wallpaper and some velvet curtains is going to make any difference. still over priced and dull
anonymous - 17 Jan 2005 16:16
Renamed The Bear. Really upmarket kind of Pub/Restauraunt place. Liked it but it feels just a bit fake. Service was good and staff are nice but not too enthusiastic.
Xavier - 11 Jan 2005 01:04
This pub has just closed. Apparently, it will re-open as another brand in the Mitchells & Butlers chain although not sure when. Bye bye ABO...
Emma - 2 Nov 2004 11:42
a terrible place. they sell london pride which is a plus and there's no anoying children which is why we occasionally frequent it. but the other day we had the worst food and felt totally ripped off (used to be okay in that dept). we compalined - did they care - no. this chain will soon disappear - mercifully.
andrew coombs - 29 Oct 2004 10:58
Yawn, Yawn, Yawn. I for one am fed up with chain pubs, no matter how 'classy' they claim to be. Zero atmosphere and student bar staff are the big minus points. Selling Leffe on tap is a plus, but first I have to see my bank manager about extending my overdraft. Naff.
Zod - 21 Sep 2004 13:09
A vastly expensive, white elephant of a place. For a lunchtime quiet, read the papers type of place is reasonable, but is like a graveyard in the week.

Go to the Eel Pie instead.
TheGP - 9 Aug 2004 16:08
Nice, airy bar to have a fairly quiet, respectable evening in drinking good wine or a decent lager, e.g. Leffe. Also good for food when you like a wide selection, i.e. not just pasta. Leather sofas are great to relax in on a Sunday lunchtime and watch the world pass by outside. Only real complaint is their bloody mary is disgusting. They use some kind of tomato juice mixer which quite frankly tastes like spag bol!
Emma - 29 Jul 2004 16:46
All Bar One is starting their revival. Where were they, well, they never left! Just a bit low key. This is not you're loud drunken hang out, its for the sophisticated who now what they want, so not for the 18 year old pissheads!

Go for a quiet drink and a good meal, you'll even get excellent service too, for everything else go to your local!
MICHAEL - 21 Jun 2004 16:29
All Bar OIne in Richmond was the place in about 95-98. Good times. I even thought it was a privately owned one-off bar when it opened. They opened this one in the town I live in about 5 years too late and I've had about 3 drinks in there. It's dead. Totally devoid of any character. Same old AB1 policy of giving you about 2 inches of head on the beer in case you don't complain (it must be in their staff handbook. As is looking bored shitless)

A sad place that looked on its last legs the day it opened. Surely it must be some kind of CapEx write off now because there's no way this place can make money. There'd be more people at Gary Glitter's funeral. And more atmosphere. Especially if they played Rock and Roll Part 2. I presume people who go there don't live here.
David - 18 May 2004 01:05
Perfection isn't far away!!!
DAVID - 6 May 2004 14:22
Not too nauseating as All Bar Ones go - in that I didn't feel a compulsion to re-enact Jesus's tantrum in the temple. Why do they bother?
Good for: A few quiet ones at the start of the evening - at a push.
thenationofjames - 4 Dec 2003 13:45
Witty laid back staff for an all bar one.
stephanieheaney - 21 Aug 2003 13:18
A nice comfortable pub. If you dont want a yuppy atmosphere, dont go to all bar one. Idiot.
Ben - 18 Aug 2003 15:28
Sterile, dull and totally lifeless "pub". They don't sell Guiness (although i was reliably informed by the barman that "Caffreys is similar". Eh?!?). The only bitter (London Pride) was appalling and the lagers were noncey rubbish (Grolsch and Staropramen). Utter shite.
Angus - 20 Apr 2003 13:57
well, I mean they just shouldn't provide a ladder and alcohol on the same premises.
Keen - 21 Aug 2002 10:51
we got thrown out for Keen climbing the ladder at the end of the bar - snobby gits!
Sam - 21 Aug 2002 01:07
not bad for an all bar one
anne - 28 Jun 2002 11:39

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