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BITE user comments - Albert_Campion

Comments by Albert_Campion

The Red Lion, Leytonstone

Reopening June 8th after extensive refit.

27 May 2011 13:19

Lincolns, Leytonstone

Been bought by a housing association for to make into flats - rumour has it that it'll be demolished.

1 Feb 2011 15:41

The William IV, Leyton

Great place. Very friendly and some top quality ales being served up, all made by Brodies in shed round the back. Worth the trip up the road from Leyton tube.

24 Jan 2011 14:30

Rolle Quay Inn, Barnstaple

Impressed with the Rolle Quay - best pint i've had in Barnstaple (and believe me, I've looked), friendly bar staff who knew their stuff and a woodburner to keep the cold out. A good local's local. If you're looking for a decent pub in a town that has criminally few - this is it

12 Jan 2011 16:31

The Penderel's Oak, Holborn

Usually pretty reliable - you can always get a seat and the beers are well kept. Staff vary from excellent to downright surly, but generally speaking it's one of London's better 'poons. They've also got a 'real' fire. Handy for Chancery Lane tube, too.

Tables aren't always as clean as they could be - when I asked for ours to be wiped, the lass behind the bar handed me the cloth. Leave off, that's your job.

30 Nov 2010 08:37

The Walnut Tree, Leytonstone

I forgot my keys the other day, so while I waited for Mrs Campion to rescue me I thought I'd give this place another go.

Quite a transformation - beer was spot on, tables were cleared and staff were friendly and attentive. I even braved the food - 'gourmet' chicken burger - and y'know what? It was lovely. I don't want to get carried away, but I've had worse at some of those upmarket burger chains in the West End.

Punters were the usual Leytonstone mix of Polish labourers, students and the social group that E11 specialises in - middle class academics/librarians/social workers in woolly jumpers and corduroy.

30 Nov 2010 08:27

The Red Lion, Leytonstone

Rumours abounding that this place has been bought by Antic, who run the Dogstar in Brixton and some retro-boozers around London. Another sign that Leytonstone's on the up.

28 Sep 2010 23:18

The Nags Head, Lyme Regis

Oakman - I think the secret is to walk up very slowly, eating chips, like we did.

20 Sep 2010 14:19

Ye Olde Cheshire Cheese, Fleet Street

I don't agree that this is a tourist trap, though it definitely is a pub that gets a lot of tourists. And why not? We're all tourists somewhere. I like an Old Brewery Bitter when it's on form - something reassuringly old fashioned about the taste. Having said that, the pint I had today was sub-par and the service brusque but efficient.. I have had some great times here though - usually in the depths of winter on a sunday afternoon when it's quiet and the fire's lit

19 Sep 2010 21:10

The Hope and Anchor, Keighley

Now reopened.

1 Sep 2010 17:59

The Dew Drop, Stratford


28 Aug 2010 21:56

The Square and Compass, Worth Matravers

We washed up in a monsoon, at the same time as a load of dripping wet hikers. Loved this pub, which just radiates character. Lots of friendly banter and beermat throwing for a collie called Shambles. Not usually a fan of stillage beers, but all the ones I tried were spot on. Definitely have to go back in better weather.

28 Aug 2010 20:59

The Nags Head, Lyme Regis

Friendly, with decent selection of well-kept ales. It's not that much of a slog up the hill, to be honest. Well worth the walk.

28 Aug 2010 20:53

Ship Inn, Lyme Regis

Liked our visit here. Palmer's beer a bit so-so but the welcome was friendly.

28 Aug 2010 20:49

The Castle Inn, Corfe Castle

Best thing about this pub is the service, which is prompt and friendly. I had to return an iffy pint of Jurassic, which was changed for an excellent Ringwood without question. Food was well priced and decent, if nothing special. Clearly gets very busy - folk were queuing for tables - and it's a much smaller place inside than it looks from the outside. Definitely geared toward food service, but none the worse for that. Oh, and if you're taller than 5'10", mind your head on your way in.

27 Aug 2010 10:44

The White Hart Inn, Bideford

Excellent pint of Hartland Forge IPA. The pint I've been yearning for in all my years of visiting Bideford. This is a very friendly pub, the best in town in my view. Sad that Dexter the pub dog has passed away - but nice to see one of the Jollyboat pump clips dedicated to the old lad.

23 Aug 2010 22:15

The Kingsley Inn, Northam

Tried all three of their pumps t'other night. Exmoor Gold, Doom Bar and Bombardier. All were well on their way to stale, in that annoying state where you can't quite justify taking them back to the bar . This is a Cask Marque pub. When did they last visit? It's a reasonably friendly pub, but I won't be in a hurry to return.

23 Aug 2010 22:07

The York Arms, York

Typical Sam Smiths place - and I mean that in a positive way. Cheap prices and a bit of character. The punters all knew each other and were having a gentle laugh with the bar staff and a couple of American visitors.

19 Aug 2010 23:14

The Old White Swan, York

One of those places that serves food all day, which is why we were there. Reasonable nosh, good service and a decent pint of Yorkshire Terrier.

19 Aug 2010 23:08

The Maltings, York

Thought this place was OK. Good range of ales and some unusual bottles in the fridge, including Schenkerla Rauchbier. Reminded me a bit of the Red Pig in Keighley. Not sure about the blood red walls, but we enjoyed our visit. Nice pub, and I dare say it's excellent on a busy night.

19 Aug 2010 23:00

The Yorkshire Terrier Inn, York

Well worth a visit. It was quiet when we dropped in, though the beer was excellent and the service friendly. Floor and tables a bit sticky, but I suspect it was an off day. I like the beer shop out front. Nice.

19 Aug 2010 22:54

The Three Legged Mare, York

Marvellous place. Has the feel of a continental bar, and none the worse for that. York brewery ales, some interesting bottled stuff and Pilsner Urquell on tap, as well as a couple of guest beers. Staff and locals were very welcoming - we were there on quiz night. Nice location too - the West doors of the Minster is just up the street.

19 Aug 2010 22:51

The Blue Bell, York

There's nothing I can add that hasn't already been said. A glorious example of a British pub. Outstanding. And so say all of us.

19 Aug 2010 22:46

The Brown Cow, Keighley

First visit for a while - nice to see that the Cow is still as cosy, friendly and welcoming as ever. Enjoyed one of the best pints of Landlord I've ever had, too. Just a brilliant pub.

19 Aug 2010 22:43

Panniers, Barnstaple

Dropped in while Mrs Campion was off shopping. Counted 9 (NINE) staff behind the bar at one point, only two of whom were serving - and very gormlessly at that. Gave up and left after waiting for five minutes (yes, I timed it).

19 Aug 2010 22:15

The Woodhouse Tavern, Leytonstone

Going to be turned into flats, if the local paper is to be believed.

26 Jul 2010 21:56

The Colegrave Arms, Leytonstone

Becoming a 'Mosque and community centre'. Landlady moved to Loaded Dog on the high road.

26 Jul 2010 21:54

The Loaded Dog, Leytonstone

Reopened, but looks to be as a bog-standard East End battlecruiser, rather than the excellent muisc venue it was before. Walked past earlier and there appeared to be a child playing the fruit machine.

26 Jun 2010 13:50

The Hope and Anchor, Keighley

Word on the street is that it's reopening this month (june 2010).

20 Jun 2010 16:35

The Royal Oak, Borough

Lovely, lovely pub. First class staff, well looked after interior and a good mix of friendly drinkers. I hate to sound a heretic, but the beer isn't always as good as it could be. The Sussex best on my last visit was outstanding but the IPA was on its way to stale. Still, this is a brilliant pub.

25 May 2010 17:33

The Walnut Tree, Leytonstone

Back again, twice in one day. Sunday afternoon - as pleasant as before.

Sunday evening - uncleared tables, floor so sticky by the bar that my feet stuck to it and a group of men in vests loudly arguing with their women and pausing only to go outside and vomit.

Seriously, sort it out.

28 Apr 2010 16:17

Ye Champion Of Wales, Appledore

Much improved since my last visit, with big sofas, an open fire and promises of food in the summer season. The place was empty when we dropped in. The Doom Bar was OK but nothing special, and the Tetley Green Shoots was absolutely foul - I had to return it. It's got potential this place, so I hope they get their act together.

15 Apr 2010 12:37

The Beaver Inn, Appledore

Now probably the best pub in the area - especially on a saturday night when the place is in full swing. The beer is the best in Bideford or Appledore (though that's not saying much). Friendly, too.

15 Apr 2010 12:30

Coach and Horses, Appledore

A dismal place on a weekend afternoon - unless you like your pubs empty but for loud drunks swearing and singing at the top of their lungs.

15 Apr 2010 12:28

The Old Coffee House, Soho

One of Soho's last real boozers. Nice to see Brodie's on, which was in reasonable condition. Prices are pretty good for the area - at least, buying a round doesn't make you quietly weep while you wait for your change, like some other places do.

I do like this pub, but jeez - that bloke behind the bar - cheer up, mate.

11 Mar 2010 14:02

Leyton Orient Supporter's Club, Leyton

My only experience of this place is last November's Piglet Beer Festival, which was excellent. The beer was all in superb condition (unusual for a London beer festival in my experience), the staff were knowledgeable and enthusiastic, and the punters very friendly. Might also be worth pointing out that the place itself is spotlessly clean. One of the best nights boozing I've had in London. Can't wait to go back.

21 Jan 2010 16:16

The Walrus and Carpenter, Monument

Fairly good range of beers - at least, it's not all dull brown stuff by the likes of Greene King. But lordy, the staff are the most joyless, miserable specimens I've ever encountered. Makes you wish someone would invent the self-service pub.

21 Jan 2010 16:08

The Red Lion, Leytonstone

Looks like your wish has come true, Resident10. Sign in the window to the effect that Zulu's is shut for the forseeable. At least the locals will enjoy the novelty of not waking up on sunday morning to find puke in their front gardens. Let's hope it turns into something decent.

14 Jan 2010 12:01

The White Hart Inn, Bideford

This is a locals local, but the welcome is always friendly. Three real ales - Rosey Nosey was a bit off but the Hobgoblin and the Jollyboat were fine. Also has a roaring fire with a geriatric dog lolling around in front of it. Good stuff.

8 Jan 2010 18:34

Crabby Dick's, Bideford

Still can't remember how I ended up in here. Seemingly hundreds of taps pumping generic lagers. Loud and friendly with quick service. Not my sort of place, but it's not aimed at grumpy real ale bores like me, is it?

28 Dec 2009 10:32

The Heavitree Arms, Bideford

Interior has been altered since my last visit and bar moved to no real detriment. Bit of a shame the lovely old floor tiles now lie under laminate planking, however. One lonely pump of Otter, in very good nick. Still a very friendly pub with slick service.

28 Dec 2009 10:19

The Walnut Tree, Leytonstone

I hadn't been in for months, my last couple of visits reinforcing my opinions about most 'spoons. However, decided to give it another try to see if anything had improved. Well, it had - there seemed to be far fewer oddball solitary men nursing flat pints while re-reading the Daily Star. Punters last night seemed to be mainly the middle-aged, university lecturer types that abound in Leytonstone, but usually spend their time in the Singburi or the North Star. The tables weren't sticky and empties were whisked away swiftly by the staff, who actually seemed to be enjoying their jobs. Beer was in excellent condition - seven winter warmers - with the Moorhouse 'Mistletoe Madness' in particularly good nick. A good night, and proof that bad Wetherspoons can be turned around.

22 Dec 2009 01:01

Kings Arms, Bideford

Bideford currently has no pubs in the Good Beer Guide. Why isn't this one in it? It's one of only three decent pubs in the town centre. Actually, there are maybe four - but this one at least deserves to be in the Guide. Has someone upset CAMRA?

12 Nov 2009 17:27

The Joiners Arms, Bideford

These days saturdays can be a bit quiet in the evenings, though pick up when the band's on. Great atmosphere, with very friendly staff and regulars.

19 Oct 2009 13:17

The Golden Fleece, Oakworth

'Alibongo73' - he was just a bloke who served me pints, like the new bloke. Calm down son.

22 Sep 2009 14:19

Three Horses, Keighley

Just voted Keighley News Pub Of The Year (2009)

21 Sep 2009 17:43

Three Horses, Keighley

Hardly surprising that you've eaten there lots of times, Claire Muldoon, as you run the place. How daft do you think people are?

10 Sep 2009 14:23

Lincolns, Leytonstone

At last! Some building working is going on. Watch this space.

7 Sep 2009 11:14

Ye Champion Of Wales, Appledore

Partly re-opened as of August. Undergoing "improvements" and will fully reopen by end of september, according to North Devon Journal.

7 Sep 2009 11:13

Les Trois Brasseurs, Lille

With all the copper piping and dials it's a bit like sitting in Captain Nemo's 'Nautilus'. Fairly expensive if you're from the UK, but good value. Ambrée was the best of the brews. Friendly staff who smiled rather than laughed at my schoolboy French - always a plus.

14 Aug 2009 21:55

Lowther Arms, Penrith

Busy on our friday visit, but the two friendly young bar staff coped admirably. Robinson's Nosey Parker and Shep's Canterbury Jack were in superb condition and slid down easilyl. Nice pub.

15 Jul 2009 16:04

The Kings Arms, Hawkshead

Only dropped in for a swift half, but it was a very pleasant visit. Lots of character to the inside of the pub, especially with that alarming totem-pole thing off to the side of the bar. I imagine this place is just the ticket in the evening after a long walk and the coaches of the tea-and-pee brigade have gone.

15 Jul 2009 15:21

The Royal Oak, Stratford

Being converted into a shop, by the looks of it.

16 Jun 2009 16:43

Lincolns, Leytonstone

Gawd, I hope it'll be better than the Cuckfield!

16 Jun 2009 16:40

The North Star, Leytonstone

Glorious pints of Maldon Gold, to the glorious sounds of Holly Golightly. Can't think of many better ways to spend a sunday afternoon. Glorious.

9 Jun 2009 13:28

Ye Olde Cheshire Cheese, Fleet Street

Tourist trap? 95% of West End pubs must have tourists in them at any given time. Are they all "traps" too?

The Cheshire Cheese gets its fair share of visitors (and why not? we're all tourists somewhere) - Disneyland it definately ain't.

24 May 2009 12:57

The Royal Oak, Stratford

Now very closed indeed. Metal shutters on the doors and windows which only adds to the charming Stratford ambience.

8 May 2009 16:49

The Hope and Anchor, Keighley


6 May 2009 12:36

The Lamb, Bloomsbury

Decent enough, but after reading umpteen gushing reviews I was expecting the Holy Grail of London pubs. Young's and Deuchar's were OK, but nothing special. Ho hum - deserves another visit.

28 Apr 2009 12:03

The Boathouse, Instow

Still a justifiably popular place - good food and a good atmosphere - and a Lambretta Series 2 fixed to the wall.

24 Apr 2009 17:45

Lincolns, Leytonstone

Spirit Group intend to shut Lincoln's for the summer, reopening in autumn 2009 as a refurbished 'community pub' selling real ale.

21 Apr 2009 15:54

The Hartland Quay Hotel (Wreckers Bar), Hartland

Must be one of the most spectacular settings in which to enjoy a pint. Sitting in the sun enjoying a perfectly - kept pint of Tribute makes you glad to be British. Just brilliant.

21 Apr 2009 15:50

The Bush Inn, Morwenstow

Enjoyed a great pint of Betty Stoggs in their lovely a beer garden, overlooking the majestic Cornish countryside. This is the first time I've ever been in - rumour has it that the Bush is under new ownership who've changed the wierd opening times that always thwarted us in the past. It's miles off the beaten track, but don't let that put you off.

21 Apr 2009 15:47

Coach and Horses, Appledore

I didn't even know they did food.

Well, it's a good pub for a pint - Cousin Jack and knee-chopping Sam's Cider on our visit, all to the sounds of a very hearty folk and blues jam going on in the corner. It's a friendly, cosy pub alright - the best in Appledore. Well worth a visit.

21 Apr 2009 15:43

The White Hart Inn, Bideford

Seems to be a return to form for the Hart - very pleasant afternoon visit. Two friendly ladies behind the bar and a decent pint of Tribute.

21 Apr 2009 15:40

Kings Arms, Bideford

Best pub in Bideford, I would say. About six handpumps with the likes of Spitfire, Hobgoblin, Exmoor, Adnam's, the local Grenville's Reknown from Jollyboat all in pretty good nick. On previous visits the beer quality has been a bit patchy, but they seem to have got that sorted.

21 Apr 2009 15:29

The Waggon and Horses, Oxenhope

Moss, your review is so enthusiastic (and it is your only review on here) that a cynic might say you have some sort of connection to the pub?

29 Mar 2009 11:42

The Bay Horse, Oxenhope

Up for sale .

29 Mar 2009 11:39

The Golden Ball, Scarborough

Friendly pub with harbour views and. of course, being a Sam Smith's it's dirt cheap with decent beer (if you like Old Brewery, and I do). I imagine this is a great place to be on a stormy night with the fire roaring in the grate.

27 Mar 2009 15:15

The Stockbridge Arms, Keighley

Open again!

27 Mar 2009 15:09

The Woodhouse Tavern, Leytonstone

Worryingly dead on our last visit on a saturday night. Where is everyone?

19 Mar 2009 16:41

Lincolns, Leytonstone

Now seems to be closed. Hopefully it'll reopen as a pub that you don't cross the street to avoid.

18 Mar 2009 14:23

The North Star, Leytonstone

The Star's had a bit of a spruce up inside, and it's still as good as ever. Always a great night to be had here.

18 Mar 2009 14:20

The Brown Cow, Keighley

I don't know from what 'good authority' Railnut got his (or her) info ... the licencees Barry and Carol definitely aren't leaving.

11 Mar 2009 13:19

The Old Kings Head, Borough

Why have I never been here before? This is a brilliant pub - excellent ales and nice to see Pilsner Urquell on tap too. An unpretentious, old skool boozer that looks to have been refitted in the mid 70s. Charming and helpful bar staff and friendly, chatty punters. Great stuff.

6 Mar 2009 13:39

Ye Olde Cheshire Cheese, Fleet Street

Mr Gerbil, they most definitely do serve cask ales in this pub - the Old Brewery Bitter.

24 Feb 2009 14:29

The Bell, Leytonstone

Sign on the door saying that the pub will be open as normal from the 12th of Feb.

12 Feb 2009 14:56

Ye Old Mitre, Holborn

This is the best pub in London - and one of the best in the UK. Only drawback is that the sheer diminutive size of the bar area restricts the range of ales on offer - but what beers there are available are always in prime condition. Visiting here is always a joy, especially if you and your mates are lucky enough to bag the snug.

11 Feb 2009 13:01

The North Star, Leytonstone

Great news. I've missed the North Star.

11 Feb 2009 12:50

The John Snow, Soho

Friendly enough staff and a friendly crowd. But beware. Even if it's february and actually snowing outside the staff won't let you close the curtains against the sub-arctic draught.

"Why not"?

"Just not allowed to"

Computer says no.

3 Feb 2009 12:35

The North Star, Leytonstone

I think they just make a point of pretending to be closed when you come knocking, offthewagon07.

29 Jan 2009 16:29

The Harp, Covent Garden

Haven't been in for ages, so I was surprised to find it quiet on sunday for a change. Some of the other punters were getting stuck into a range of real ciders they had in jugs behind the bar, but I stuck with Harvey's Bitter which was sublime. Still the best pub in Central London.

27 Jan 2009 11:28

The Cock, Oxford Circus

Decent enough for a stop-off on the way from A to B. Frequently busy but there's always a seat available. Service from the tousle-haired youth behind the bar was mute but efficient. Not the best Sam Smith pub in the world, but not one of the worse ones, either.

12 Jan 2009 14:34

Albert, Keighley

Excellent pint of Silver King on our Boxing day visit, one of about ten of Ossett's beers on offer. Interior has changed subtly and for the better in my view - Im sure the open fire wasn't there before. The fact that Taylor's still own the building and lease it to Ossett shows that they aren't afraid of competition - definitely a good thing for the town.

9 Jan 2009 14:04

The Royal Oak, Stratford

Closed for a while following a "peaceable entry" from (presumably) bailiffs. Now under new ownership, and it's still closed but there's work going on inside. Unfortunately, there's a bit of wasteground next to it choked with rubbish, weeds and the local working girls giving knee-tremblers to desperate punters. I hope the new tenant sorts this out, because this pub could be OK with a bit of effort.

4 Dec 2008 16:55

The Bell, Leytonstone

I don't come here often, but when I do I always have a great night. On paper, it's a pub I'd avoid like the plague - (huge signs advertising Setanta and Karaoke, for example) but it's a great boozer with a friendly, loyal clientele drawn from all strata of Leytonstone life and helpful, smiling bar staff. The Abbot Ale we had on our last visit was outstanding - which to be honest was a bit of a surprise. I wouldn't make a special journey, but It's well worth a visit if you're in the area - and London's best Thai restaurant is a hundred yards away.

20 Nov 2008 23:26

The Crosse Keys, Bank

If you've seen the Ministry Of Information Retrieval in the film 'Brazil', you'll have a good idea what the impressive and vast interior of this place is like. It was very busy in the early evening, until the suits cleared off to Shenfield or Penge. We were there for the November beer festival, so I don't know if it's usually so rammed. Staff kept their sense of humour despite being visibly rushed off their feet. Loads of beers on, but St Austell Proper Job was so sublime I stuck with it all night. All in all, very good. I can't believe I've found another good Wetherspoon. Blimey.

14 Nov 2008 16:51

The Monument, Monument

Predictable, average - but not really offensive. If you like rubbing shoulders with middle-aged middle-managers in Next suits swigging Greene King products at almost 4 quid a pop, knock yourself out.

13 Nov 2008 18:01

French House, Soho

Conan was a real gent. What a shame.

11 Nov 2008 16:10

Ye Olde Cheshire Cheese, Fleet Street

I was in here last sunday - had three pints of OB in the front bar sat by the fire, taking in the ancient smoke-blackened panelling and decor. Tangible atmosphere of time stood still - You half expect Dr Johnson to walk in. Very friendly staff and punters. Good pub.

11 Nov 2008 11:33

The Penderel's Oak, Holborn

Dropped by for the 'poons Beer Festival. The place was pretty busy, and all the beers I tried were in spot-on condition. The staff could try and crack a smile now and then, but this is still the best London JDW I've been in - not that I go in them much.

11 Nov 2008 11:27

The Lyceum, Strand

Very decent Sam Smith's boozer with comical 1980s prices. Fairly plain downstairs with those unusual booths, which is a bit like sitting inside a miniature stagecoach. Upstairs is a large, comfy lounge. Friendly atmosphere and smiley, helpful barstaff.

2 Nov 2008 20:52

The Colegrave Arms, Leytonstone

Closed again (14/10/08) - reopening soon under new management

14 Oct 2008 11:51

The Royal Oak, Borough

Happy to say my experience with the beer last week was (hopefully) a one-off. The Best and was spot on last night, though I still prefer the Harp's. The salt beef sarnie was about the best thing I've ever eaten in a London pub, too.

10 Oct 2008 17:03

The Lord Rodney, Keighley

Dropped by yesterday for my first visit since the rebuilding. Interior brings to mind the bar area of a modern boutique hotel - all clean lines, comfy booths and high chairs. Very impressive bottled beer selection - I can't recall the last time I saw the marvellous Brugs Zot in a British pub. They also had Orval, Westmalle and Kwak - all served in their traditional beer-specific glasses. These were all about £3.20 a bottle, which I though was pretty reasonable. There's also the regular Taylor ales. Service was typical Keighley - friendly and chatty. It's not a place I'd go to regularly, but it's a nice change from the usual. Taylor's have a winner here - good to know that the brewery are forward-looking as well as being a company that preserves the traditional.

7 Oct 2008 11:36

Whitelocks, Leeds

John, if you look in the 'about us' section of whitelocks' website, there's a bit about the 'putting back the character' work Chennell and Armstrong have done, including restoring the food menu in the 'top bar' to what it was before the previous owners replaced roast beef and the like with those traditional Yorkshire favourites er, nachos and pasta. Whitelocks is a pub of course, but it is also famous as a 'luncheon room'. C&A only have a 15 year lease though, which seems rather short to me.

3 Oct 2008 15:24

The Royal Oak, Borough

Well, I've been meaning to come here for months and I finally managed it. I wasn't disappointed - this is an excellent pub. Very nice interior - lots of original features but a good balance of 19th and 21st centuries. Service was excellent - laid back and friendly. Empties promptly removed, and the tables had that London rarity - beermats.

Have to say, I prefer the Harvey's at the Harp at Charing Cross. One or two pints I had were rather insipid, but still drinkable. My mate's mild was as dull as ditchwater and looked like strong, cold tea. Once the pub filled up and more ale came through the pipes the condition of the beer improved. Mind you, everyone else seemed perfectly happy so maybe it's just me. I'll definately be back.

Oh yes - if you fancy a Grolsch, that'll be £3.80, squire. Blimey.

2 Oct 2008 12:35

The Brown Cow, Keighley

After three hours on a train from London, the Brown Cow is the perfect place to unwind. 3 pints of Landlord and I got my Yorkshire accent back.

Narrowly missed (by half a point, apparently) being awarded CAMRA Yorkshire Pub Of The Year 2008. The winner was the Kelham Island Tavern in Sheffield.

23 Sep 2008 10:59

The Sheepwalk, Leytonstone

Not a good pub. No real ale, shouty patrons and a television screaming out football that nobody was watching. Staff were OK.

15 Sep 2008 16:03

The North Star, Leytonstone

Well, I was in there on saturday. Had a great time, although they closed at 7.30 for a private party. The khazi was open - I didn't have cause to use it but it looked clean to me, and the garden also looked pleasant. The regulars are friendly, the beer is good and personally I like the knocked-about interior. It may be shabby, but it's not dirty.

Some people like this pub, some don't. I do.

15 Sep 2008 15:57

Masons Arms, Morpeth

No doubt I'm deluding myself here, but could it be that the Masons Arms read my previous review?

When we passed through Warkworth late last week, this was the only place still doing food. I was prepared to make do with the free biscuits up at our B&B but I was persuauded to go inside. Quite a different experience - the food was excellent, good value (my brother's fish was the size of a sofa) all with friendly, attentive service and an excellent pint of Deuchars. I still don't like the interior, mind.

2 Sep 2008 13:06

The Moulin Inn, Moulin

We dropped by every day for a pint or three while staying just up the road. I found the standard of the beer varied day by day, from outstanding to below average - my favourite of the ales was Braveheart, although the quality of the brew seemed heavily dependent on who was pulling the pint. It's a friendly, cosy pub with customers from all over the world. The food's pretty good too - their steak and ale pie was excellent value and bursting with chunks o' beef. Just the thing after tackling Ben-y-Vrackie. I'd definately return.

2 Sep 2008 12:59

The Fleece Inn, Haworth

Just been awarded the Beautiful Beer Platinum Award.

11 Aug 2008 13:50

The Angel, Soho

The beer zombie is back behind the bar. His unsmiling, unmoving countenance doesn't stop this being a great pub. Pleasantly shabby inside, good beer and even a real fire in the bit with the dartboard.

11 Aug 2008 13:39

Ye Old Mitre, Holborn

Dropped by this saturday for their GBBF open day. I had Hopback Summer Lightning - and it was one of the best pints I've ever had. They should give this gem of a pub the OBE.

11 Aug 2008 13:33

The Yorkshire Grey, Fitzrovia

Charming and well cared for corner boozer. Quiet and friendly clientele, chatty bar staff proffering homemade pickled eggs and a very good pint of Old Brewery. Well worth seeking out - the Yorkshire Grey is definately one of the best of Sam Smith's London estate.

24 Jul 2008 11:14

Windmill, Stansted Airport

I didn't think the prices were too bad, m'self. Service is very quick, considering the crowds who use this pub. The food is very hit and miss, however. Wetherspoon can usually be relied on for fairly decent ballast, although the burger served on our last visit was like chewing an old training shoe. Came with rock-hard burned chips, too.

16 Jul 2008 16:41

The Cittie of Yorke, Holborn

Quiet except for a tourist group on our saturday visit, friendly staff and decent beer at a very decent price. By the way - this pub was called 'Henekey's' until the early 70s. I recently saw it in a 40 year old National Geographic feature on London pubs - and it doesn't look like it's changed a bit.

16 Jul 2008 16:35

The Blue Posts, Fitzrovia

Always found this to be a reliable boozer. Good beer, decent staff and a well cared-for interior. I once saw Johnson Beharry VC in here with his family.

9 Jul 2008 16:02

The Chandos, Trafalgar Square

Very transient atmosphere as you might expect in this location. Staff were pleasant and diligent about clearing tables of empties. Beer was decent enough.

Tourists please note: Shouting "Ello! ELLO! Oi! Ello! ELLO!" at the staff won't let you jump the queue at the bar.

26 Jun 2008 11:44

The White Horse, Soho

Decent Sam Smith pub, and surprisingly quiet for a Soho boozer. Friendly staff and a decent pint of Pure Brew. Typical Smith's refurb interior of high-quality etched glass and mahogany.

26 Jun 2008 11:40

The Chevy Chase, Stratford

They've just applied for a licence to have naked pole dancers, apparently. Classy joint.

18 Jun 2008 14:04

The John Snow, Soho

No hand pumps, but this is a well kept, cheap and friendly pub. Good to drop into when heading elsewhere.

17 Jun 2008 14:59

The King Edward VII, Stratford

Stratford really is the devil's bumhole, but this place shines like a diamond haemmeroid. Sunday's pint of Nethergate Umbel was one of the best pints I've had in London - the equal of anything served by the Harp or the Olde Mitre. Really, it was that good.

17 Jun 2008 14:56

The Lord Rodney, Keighley

Cradders - I'm no Luddite. I'm looking forward to the Rodney reopening. Such a prime site was wasted on the old incarnation of the pub. It's just a shame that the old building was demolished. I don't know the ins and outs of the state of the old structure - maybe it couldn't be saved. But it is a crying shame that the old Yorkshire Stone roof tiles have been replaced with something that looks like it came from a Homebase bank holiday sale.

4 Jun 2008 14:31

The Lord Rodney, Keighley

Hmm. Not sure about the brand new building - it looks like a Disney replica of what was there before. A sign says it'll reopen in June.

7 May 2008 17:52

The Brown Cow, Keighley

Keighley And Craven Pub Of The Year, 2008 - and quite right too.

23 Apr 2008 13:06

The Livery Rooms, Keighley

Large and well-kept 'poons. They've won prizes for the cleanliness of their khazis y'know. Beer good, and service is pretty friendly - I suspect the competition from Keighley's many excellent pubs help keep the standards higher than an average Wetherspoon. Not a bad place to wait for a bus, or have a pre-cinema drink..

21 Apr 2008 16:57

Harts Head Hotel, Giggleswick

We've just had our wedding dinner and evening meal here. I haven't been in for several years, and my new wife not at all, but we weren't disappointed. Trevor and Barbara who run the pub are superb hosts, and really make their guests feel at home. In fact, all the staff we met were brilliant - genuinely friendly service, always with a smile. Nothing was too much trouble, and it made a wonderful day extra special. Our guests have all been telling us what a great time they had. The food and beer were first class, and I suspect that if the Hart's Head was in the south east it would be in the Observer's dining pages nearly every week.

18 Apr 2008 17:58

Ye Old Mitre, Holborn

Superb. Along with the Harp near Charing Cross, one of the best pubs you'll find anywhere - faultless service, excellent beer, lovely interior. Beer last night was Adnam's Broadside, Deuchars and Speckled Hen - every drop in perfect condition. The old-skool bar snacks (toasties, pork pies, pickled eggs) ae a real bargain, and brought to you with a smile. My only complaint is that it's not on the end of my street. Life is cruel sometimes.

8 Apr 2008 23:37

The Boltmakers Arms, Keighley

Just been voted CAMRA pub of the season for the umpteenth time, and deservedly so.

29 Mar 2008 23:45

The Champion, Fitzrovia

Such a great looking pub - the windows are stunning. No real ale, but it's a fine place to escape the consumer hell of Oxford Street. Knocking back pure brewed lager while this afternoon's snowstorm blew outside was particularly enjoyable.

22 Mar 2008 22:24

The Angel, Soho

Haven't been in for ages - the miserable beer zombie behind the bar seems to be have been replaced by chatty, smiling ladies.

The interior is pretty drab, but ornately functional. You can't see in from the street, which is refreshing when so many pubs have installed clear glass. Personally, I don't care what's going on in the street when there's serious drinking to be done, and I don't want to be watched from the street when I'm drinking seriously. The atmosphere is one of time stood still from the late sixties.

This is a great pub - and the polar opposite of some of the pretentious places hereabouts. Beer is fine.

14 Mar 2008 18:42

The Penderel's Oak, Holborn

Still one of the better 'spoons. Beer was good when I could finally get the barman to understand my Yorkshire accent.

11 Mar 2008 21:11

The Bell, Leytonstone

Much more pleasant with the smoking ban - that's this punter's view anyway. The quiz night is still excellent - brings to mind the working men's clubs back up North. Really friendly staff and locals. Ale is three pumps of the likes of Abbot and London Pride. One pint I had was undrinkable, but changed with no drama. The smiley barman gave me a half to try before my next pint, which was actually pretty good for what is very much a lager pub.

'Scarey' - why didn't you just use the cashpoint in the shop over the road?

11 Mar 2008 21:06

The Birkbeck Tavern, Leyton

Still a real standout in this area, though there's zero competition for a couple of miles. The pub was packed with friendly, older Leyton Orient fans, local lads and a few Guardian-reader types. Three handpumps with decently kept, though not excellent ales. The management seem to have sorted out the multimedia soundclash they used to have - footy was on the plasma telly but the sound was off.

11 Mar 2008 20:57

Hermitage Inn, Morpeth

Much more like it. Friendly, "real" pub serving top-notch Jennings. Only popped in while we were waiting for our bus - if it wasn't the last one of the day, we'd have stayed a lot longer.

29 Feb 2008 15:06

Hermitage Inn, Morpeth

Much more like it. Friendly, "real" pub serving top-notch Jennings. Only popped in while we were waiting for our bus - if it wasn't the last one of the day, we'd have stayed a lot longer.

29 Feb 2008 15:06

Masons Arms, Morpeth

A very average experience. Food was bland and expensive. Beer drinkable. Inside sandblasted of any character and replaced with an interior designer's idea of a pub that sells food. "Tell you what, Tarquin - lets paint the beams black and write a quote on it". Meh.

29 Feb 2008 15:03

The Queens Head Hotel, Alnwick

Large, old and utterly devoid of any soul or atmosphere. One solitary handpump of... what was it? Directors? It was so insipid I can't be bothered to remember. Staff were nice enough.

29 Feb 2008 14:58

Coach Inn, Alnwick

Large, low and immaculate pub in this pleasant village. It's cosy, if a bit chintzy. Welcome was very friendly - typical of the pubs we visited in this area. The food is outstanding - I had Northumberland beef with leek pudding and it was about the best meal I've ever eaten in a pub. Shame we only got to visit the once.

29 Feb 2008 14:48

The Coach and Horses, Soho

Below average pub with a yawntastically predictable selection of booze. There are much better places in the area.

26 Feb 2008 12:31

The Coach and Horses, Soho

Below average pub with a yawntastically predictable selection of booze. There are much better places in the area.

26 Feb 2008 12:31

The Hairy Lemon, Alnwick

No real ale. Get-drunk-quick promo posters.

And for that reason, I'm out.

24 Feb 2008 01:32

The Red Lion, Alnmouth

Just great - one of the best pubs I have ever been in. Someone here really knows how to keep their beer. The Farne Island ale from the Hadrian And Border micro was sublime, as were the Mordue Workie Ticket and Northumberland Secret Kingdom. The staff were charming with that rare knack of making a stranger feel perfectly at home, and the sing-song accented locals are a friendly bunch. Interior is all knocked-about panelling, heavy oak tables and roaring fires. Food is relatively pricey, but excellent and unpretentious. I even loved the way that a visit to the gent's facilities involved a hike down the yard to an outhouse reminiscent of a 70s campsite. One of the few pubs I've visited that deserves a 10 out of 10.

24 Feb 2008 01:27

The Chevy Chase, Stratford

The area seems to have improved just recently, so maybe I'll give this place another try.

10 Feb 2008 00:29

The Bricklayers Arms, Fitzrovia

No handpump, but as i'm a fan of Smith's Pure Brewed Lager, no dramas. I don't know what it is, but there's something very appealing and neat about the interior - and on a summer afternoon the light floods through the window. Nice staff, too. I like it here.

10 Feb 2008 00:22

The Princess Louise, Holborn

A really excellent refurb - the attention to detail and craftsmanship is stunning. Clearly, Sam Smith's isn't run by accountants. Old Brewery back on truncheon, and very decent it was too. Service was top notch - polite and smiling. A real gem of a pub.

10 Feb 2008 00:19

The Lamb and Flag, Covent Garden

Well, nothing much changes here - and that's just the way I like it. New barman since my last visit - young, friendly and enthusiastically pulling decent pints of Adnam's. No snob, me - but how nice to be called 'sir'. Not as good as 'guv'nor' but you can't have everything. The bogs seem to smell better too.

19 Jan 2008 01:11

The Crooked Surgeon, Leicester Square

I went here to meet some too-long-gone mates and former work colleagues, and firmly expected it to be a place I wouldn't touch with a burning flagpole. Well, it surprised me - very friendly, smiling staff, decent prices and a good range of beer (though I stuck to lager, shamefully). Even the bogs were clean enough to deserve a positive comment. Not a place for me, but considering the location a lot better than expected. Blimey.

19 Jan 2008 01:06

The Crooked Surgeon, Leicester Square

I went here to meet some too-long-gone mates and former work colleagues, and firmly expected it to be a place I wouldn't touch with a burning flagpole. Well, it surprised me - very friendly, smiling staff, decent prices and a good range of beer (though I stuck to lager, shamefully). Even the bogs were clean enough to deserve a positive comment. Not a place for me, but considering the location a lot better than expected. Blimey.

19 Jan 2008 01:06

The Princess Louise, Holborn

Rexrattus - those partitions are what I thought were called 'snob screens'. Glad they're back anyway - can't wait to try 'em out.

7 Jan 2008 15:15

The Hogshead, South Woodford

A bit like being in of those furniture showrooms that line the A406, but with soulless megabrand beers and wines. Oh yes, and freezing cold. Despite being the coldest night since february 2006, the aircon was on and according to the barman "Couldn't be turned off, innit - because of the thermostat". As places to drink go, this is as bland and predictable as an ice cube, and of course - that's the point.

Apparently Jodie Marsh sometimes drinks in here, so it could have been worse.

2 Jan 2008 23:49

The Wuthering Heights, Stanbury

Very busy on boxing day, and now seems to be back at the heart of this small village, which still has its primary school and working farms. The newish landlord is keeping his Theakstons and Everards very well. One regular is a jolly 87 year old, who sits in the same corner of the pub as his father and grandfather before him.

31 Dec 2007 13:50

The Cricketers Arms, Keighley

Have to agree with Greywolf. This pub is underrated, and I'm not sure why. Maybe it's the location, which is a bit semi-industrial. Some of the best beer in the area is to be found here - and that's saying something. I'd say the ales are almost up there with the Brown Cow and the Boltmakers. I like it more with every visit.

16 Dec 2007 20:13

The North Star, Leytonstone

Fair point about the Sheepwalk, but if the punters of a pub are spilling out on to the pavement chinning each other, it has to be worth a comment.

15 Dec 2007 20:52

The North Star, Leytonstone

OTW07 - don't be so defensive. This website's about opinions. Yours may differ. Get it?

I have witnessed fights outside the Sheepwalk. So what? I've also seen a between two elderly farmers in a bar in a hamlet in the Ardennes. Nobody is saying Leytonstone is a Cotswold village but it's a better than most places in the East End.

Funny how you dislike this pub enough to go in twice.

14 Dec 2007 18:20

The Chevy Chase, Stratford

Hmm - funny. The post by 'anonymous' reads more like an advert than a review. How cynical of me. Part of the pub's problem is the area it's in - that stretch of road outside Maryland station is a hellhole and an absolute magnet for the dregs of humanity.

12 Dec 2007 17:26

Ye Olde Black Bull, Stratford

Just had a total refit, with the old regulars sat bewildered amid the stripped pine and white walls. Now has all the atmosphere of a mobile phone shop.

12 Dec 2007 17:05

The North Star, Leytonstone

I just don't recognise this pub from offthewagon's description - or his description of Leytonstone for that matter. This is one of the best pubs in the area.

12 Dec 2007 16:58

The Stockbridge Arms, Keighley

Closed, as of 12/12/07

12 Dec 2007 16:50

The Princess Louise, Holborn

The windows are now only half boarded up, so I sneaked a "look" with my camera held at arms length - the interior looks much the same, but it looks like they've reinstated the 'snob screens' at the bar. No sign of hand pumps, though. There's a new shelf on the outside for the smokers. There was lots of uncompleted wiring dangling from the ceiling, too.

12 Dec 2007 16:05

The Eastwood Tavern, Keighley

Boarded up - presumed closed.

12 Dec 2007 15:49

The Boltmakers Arms, Keighley

The Bolts must serve the best pint of Taylor’s anywhere in the country, with the Brown Cow up the road a very close second. They have the full range, lined up along the bar - even Dark Mild. It’s a lovely little pub, and as comfy as pair of cashmere Y-fronts.

12 Dec 2007 11:58

The Brown Cow, Keighley

This continues to be a superb pub. It’s got the Cask Marque, as well as the much-harder-to-get Beautiful Beer award. And let me tell you, dear reader, that the beer really is beautiful. As well as the Taylor’s ales , there’s always a couple of unusual guest beers - one of which is priced at £1.60 on a sunday. Wentworth Imperial and the knee-chopping Naylor’s 7.2% Bradford Lad were there on my last visit, and were about to be joined by a Belgian guest draught that would only be sold in half pints. There’s also Leffe on tap and bottles of Erdinger, among others. This is a serious pub for beer lovers - the only lager is a lonely pump of Carling, which sells about a keg a week.

12 Dec 2007 11:45

The Star Hotel, Keighley

Thought I’d try the Star on friday night as I walked through the town centre. When I arrived, there was a man banging on the steamed-up windows and bellowing at his mates inside, who were bellowing back. Decided to go elsewhere.

12 Dec 2007 11:11

Ye Olde Cheshire Cheese, Fleet Street

This is one of the only Sam Smith's pubs in the capital with hand pumps - makes all the difference in the taste of their ales, which on our last visit were excellent. Service is good and friendly, even when packed. We were in after the Lord Mayor's show and got served instantly despite it being rammed. There's a modern (but tastefullt basic) conversion of the courtyard out the back with a magnificently engineered wooden covering, but the rest of the pub is the reale olde deale. This being a Sam Smith's pub it hasn't been turned into Disneyland. More power to 'em.

26 Nov 2007 14:20

The Kings Head, Barbican

Back again - default pub for a meeting. Rubbish selection of uninspiring booze, including the none-more-pointless deep frozen Guinness. Staff give the impression that they couldn't give a toss. The Kings Head is the pub equivalent of chewing some gum you found stuck under the seat on a bus through Hackney.

9 Nov 2007 12:38

The Walrus and Carpenter, Monument

Dear Manager (or customer experience enhancement executive, or
whatever it is you're called these days). When it's friday night and
you've got a bar three deep with thirsty punters, please ensure your
staff are pulling pints, not emptying the washer and filling shelves
that are already groaning under the weight of clean glasses. This may
stop customers getting sick of waving their tenner in a vain attempt
to make eye contact with the glumsters "serving", and furthermore may
stop them leaving the Walrus and getting served instantly at Ship up
the road. Ta.

9 Nov 2007 12:37

The Jack Horner, Tottenham Court Road

I liked it better when it was a bank.

30 Oct 2007 14:36

De Garre, Bruges

What a place. Must be a serious contender for Europe's best pub. We made it our home from home on our three days in Brugge. Cosy, welcoming and so very friendly. It would take the combined efforts of Ted Hughes, Dylan Thomas and William Shakespeare to do a review of this place justice, so I'll shut up.

27 Oct 2007 20:05

't Brugs Beertje, Bruges

Great - very welcoming. Only marred by the boorish, foulmouthed euro-brit sat at the bar with the air-raid-siren gob. I hope someone shoved his ostentatiously large cigar where the son don't shine.

27 Oct 2007 20:00

The Bar, Instow

Well, it's all white walls and stripped pine down at Instow these days. I can't exactly say The Bar is an improvement on The Quay Inn (as was), but it's still very good. The food is excellent - generous portions, locally sourced and at the right price. Service is youthful and enthusiastic. Can't comment on the ales, but the imported Edinger and Lowenbrau were perfectly fine to a ex-Muenchener like me, and it was nice to see that the scrumpy barrel still on the bar. All in all, a great night - and I suspect even better in summer when you can sit outside (although the benches have been replaced by aluminium cafe chairs).

27 Oct 2007 19:54

Panniers, Barnstaple

A better 'spoon than the average. Decent pint of Exmoor Stag. Friendly locals and staff.

27 Oct 2007 19:47

Cambrinus, Bruges

Very good. Interior is a bit like a brand new Wetherspoon, but don't let that put you off. Staff are great and the food's fantastic.

26 Oct 2007 00:15

Albert, Keighley

JohnBonser, there are basically no original features at all - almost everything you see dates from a refit circa 1998. It's bedded in nicely now, though - Taylor's spent a fortune doing up their pubs, and it still shows. Before that it was a very dingy bikey/goth pub with a motorbike on the wall, oceans of lino and formica tables, in two (or three?) distinct rooms.

18 Oct 2007 15:32

The Golden Fleece, Oakworth

The jovial old landlord's just retired to Cyprus, and word has it that this wonderful boozer has been taken on by a local couple, who have promised not to alter the character.

9 Oct 2007 15:03

The Sheepwalk, Leytonstone

I've seen two fights outside here over the last couple of years. Hardly makes yearn for the inside.

9 Oct 2007 14:54

The Eastwood Tavern, Keighley

Up for sale as of september 2007

26 Sep 2007 20:48

The Harp, Covent Garden

Took a friend from Montana here for her first trip to an English pub, and she was very impressed. I feel sorry for all the tourists whose first (and maybe only) trip to the Great British Boozer is the likes of The Tottenham or the Leicester Square spoonies.

26 Sep 2007 20:31

The Punch And Judy, Covent Garden

"trendy, popular and reasonably priced bar,then goto the Punch!"


I'd rather hammer rusty bolts into my own face. Is it possible to give a rating less tha zero?

19 Sep 2007 11:47

O'Neills, Leytonstone

Closing soon, or so I heard. If it does, I'll be doing riverdance on it's grave.

19 Sep 2007 11:39

The Lamb Inn, Oxenhope

Still a marvellous pub - the beer is truly outstanding. The food too, is excellent. Guinness and ale pie was like digging yourself out of a meat avalanche. However, I wish Kevin The Teenager who serves on a saturday evening would crack a smile now and again.

19 Sep 2007 11:22

The Harp, Covent Garden

With regard to Anonymous (13 of Aug) - each to their own, but coming here and drinking Stella is like visiting the British Library and reading The Daily Star.

9 Sep 2007 00:49

The Crown, Bloomsbury

Pretty good. Nice and quiet on a saturday afternoon, with light flooding in through the windows. One of the barmen from the French House was sat in the corner. Didn't see him crack a smile here, either.

Thank God for Sam Smith's - like their beer or not, their approach to pubs is a buffer against the rising tide of mediocrity.

9 Sep 2007 00:42

Tiger Tiger, Piccadilly Circus

What do shipwreck victims about to be eaten by sharks say to each other?

"At least we're not in Tiger Tiger".

9 Sep 2007 00:20

Coach and Horses, Appledore

Well, I like it. Very good service and friendly locals. One of them pointed out the ancient floortiles showing through a hole worn in the floor. Has a great atmosphere when busy of an evening. The Winkleigh-produced Sam's Cider has the power to remove my ability to speak after about five pints. No bad thing, sometimes.

24 Aug 2007 15:39

The Beaver Inn, Appledore

Can get overrun with children at mealtimes. Better in the evening.

24 Aug 2007 15:32

Kings Arms, Bideford

Beer quality was patchy on my last visit. Service excellent and friendly punters, though.

24 Aug 2007 15:31

Doggetts Coat and Badge, Southwark

Northern And Shell are down the river in that big blue building next to London Bridge. Northern and Shell own the Express. The Express are in that big blue building, where they have been for two years. Or do you assume every single person who drinks in Doggetts works in the building opposite?

24 Aug 2007 14:23

The Yorkshire Grey, Fitzrovia

That bunch of gamers used to frequent the Angel near Centrepoint. They all looked like they breathe through their mouths.

17 Aug 2007 14:06

Doggetts Coat and Badge, Southwark

Anonymous: The Daily Star and The Express haven't been in that building for two yea. I'm not surprised it took you 15 minutes to get served. You sound a bit clueless.

17 Aug 2007 13:58

The Royal Oak, Haworth

Now under new ownership. Beer great but place was rowdy with a 30th birthday party going on (with unironic Karaoke, natch) and taking up 75% of the pub. The beardies from the railway opposite were sat looking bemused but resigned to the fact that there was nowhere else nearby for last orders. Not a place I'll hurry back to if this is the future.

9 Jul 2007 14:31

The Black Bull, Haworth

OK, I've been back for a revisit - and I was pleasantly surprised. Now the godawful chintz has has had a few years to be pub-ised the Bull's developed quite a decent atmosphere - what remains of the Georgian interior is actually pretty evident in places. Beers were Copper Dragon's Golden Pippin (pretty good but nowhere near as fine as the Crossroads pint at the other side of the valley)... a weird, soapy tasting Wessex Brue (I have a feeling it's meant to taste that way) and an excellent Deuchars.

9 Jul 2007 14:27

The Hill Restaurant and Bar, Muswell Hill

At least if you take notice of the Archant Food And Drink awards you'll know the places to avoid.

22 Jun 2007 16:40

The Kings Arms, Bethnal Green

Less terrifying than it looks from the outside. Known locally as Malendine's.

18 Jun 2007 12:57

The Chandos, Trafalgar Square

Average pub with a dark but pleasant interior and popular with tourists. It's a decent enough place for a cheap swift half, but If you want a pub to linger in, the wonderful Harp is just round the corner.

18 Jun 2007 12:54

Ye Old Mitre, Holborn

'anonymous' is probably the troll who's being putting unreviews on the Harp's page. Boring. Him, that is - not the pub.

7 Jun 2007 20:49

The Harp, Covent Garden

'Anonymous' has clearly never set foot in this gem. Places like the Porcupine, or the Brewmaster and the Sussex are 'bog standard west end boozers', which is why I never go in them.

31 May 2007 12:32

The Cittie of Yorke, Holborn

Marvellous interior. I love those huge old barrels. Service could have been better. The bar is about a mile long, and three staff huddled down one end isn't getting it done, is it? Still - fantastic, characterful pub. I'm a fan of Smith's Pure Brewed Lager - the only UK brewed lager worth drinking.

31 May 2007 12:25

Ye Old Mitre, Holborn

Could be the best pub in London, and definately one of the best I've ever visited, anywhere. Last night's Adnams was the best pint I've had outside of Suffolk. Cheerful staff who clearly enjoy their work, and the building itself is bursting with character and history. I found the selection of beers on offer to be fine - there's not a lot of pump space on the bar. One of the beers last night was Taylor's Bitter - quite rare to see in London, with Taylor's Landlord being much more common. Toasties for a quid fifty? Brilliant.

31 May 2007 12:22

The Craven Arms, Birmingham

Handsome old boozer with original etched windows and external tiles. Banks' Original was very tasty. Nice this place has survived so well right next to the über chic Mailbox complex practically next door.

30 May 2007 16:25

The Flappit, Flappit Spring

Owned by the same folk who have the Lamb at Oxenhope, apparently.

17 May 2007 17:16

The Cross Roads Inn, Cross Roads

On our last visit on a bitter march night the real fire was very welcome, as was the general atmosphere. The place is bedding in a bit now, with pictures on the walls and the landlord's Alsatian sprawled on the hearth. Beer remains truly excellent - we tried every pump - and the locals were friendly and chatty. Well worth a visit.

17 May 2007 17:14

The Hope and Anchor, Keighley

About a month ago, the thirties-era acid etched windows were pointlessly smashed in by local junior thugs. A crying shame - they were much appreciated locally and irreplaceable – unlike the crackheads of tomorrow who destroyed them.

17 May 2007 17:08

The Golden Lion, Northam

Been done up a bit recently - a lot of the formica has gone. Is that a good thing or a bad thing?

Sad to see the old butcher's shop next door has closed, too.

3 May 2007 23:40

The North Star, Leytonstone

Well - I can only go by what I'm told, being a relative newcomer to the pub. Maybe the owner's brother told me the family had members working there for 30 years... it was the end of a long night.

3 May 2007 18:08

The White Lion, Cray

One of Copper Dragon's pubs - and a great place it is, on the steep hill above Buckden. Real fire and a stone-flagged floor, and on the wall by the door there's a bar game which involves swinging a ring onto a hook. Apparently, this was once a common pub game in what is now North and West Yorkshire, but has now all but died out. The Golden Pippin was excellent - absolutely bursting with hops. Food also good - and a decently priced, too. I agree with cackgsy - the staff are great, and so were the drinkers. One of the great things about pubs in this region is the easy way it is to fall into conversation with a total stranger. Before you know it, it's chucking-out time and a swift half has become twelve pints.

2 May 2007 14:32

The Princess Louise, Holborn

If the two old craftsmen signwriters I saw restoring the sign of the Cittie Of Yorke down the road were anything to go by, I think it's fair to say that Sam Smiths are a safre pair of hands where this pub is concerned.

25 Apr 2007 17:57

The Penderel's Oak, Holborn

Pleasantly surprised by how good this 'Spoon is. Friendly, attentive staff, spotlessly clean and quick service. Light years ahead of the Shakespeare's Head 'Spoon at the other end of Holborn. I'll be back, and I don't say that very often about a chain pub. How can two branches of the same company less than a mile apart be so utterly different?

25 Apr 2007 17:27

The Rake, London Bridge

Three quid for crisps? Someone, somewhere is laughing all the way to the bank.

20 Apr 2007 17:35

The North Star, Leytonstone

I was speaking to the owner's brother the other night - the pub's been in the family for 30 years. The owner is still, apparently, 'undecided' about whether to sell or not. Let's hope he decides to keep it.

12 Apr 2007 18:06

The Bunch of Grapes, London Bridge

Decent enough Young's house. Nice original 'Snob Screens' all over the place, and a bit of a self-conscious 'spit and sawdust' approach. Beer was OK - and got better as the night went on.

8 Mar 2007 11:05

The Shakespeare's Head, Holborn

I'm an infrequent 'spooner, but this one seems to be one of their worst. One or two of their staff are OK, others are ill-mannered. When It's my turn to be served, I don't want a silent, surly frown and a finger pointed at me, OK? If I wasn't with polite company I'd have told you where you could stick your finger. And use some deodorant, why doncha?

22 Feb 2007 16:37

The Glasshouse Stores, Piccadilly Circus

Much bigger than it looks from the outside, with a typical mahogany and etched mirrors Samuel Smith interior. Service on our visit was slowish, but pleasant enough. Clientele was borderline Nathan Barleys and elderly Soho lushes. Seems a bit more pricey than other Smith's pubs, but still very cheap. There was a poster up behind the bar announcing the fact that none of the brewery's products are advertised in any media. I like the Sam Smith's eccentric approach to retail, and I like their beer, too, though in London I stick to their Pure Brewed Lager. Good place.

22 Feb 2007 13:01

The Wykeham Arms, Winchester

I like the Wykeham too. Cosy and good beer.

And I like it even more having read Poiuytrewq's comment.

19 Jan 2007 15:12

The Hand and Shears, Barbican

Hmm. I've walked past this place dozens of times, each time thinking that there's a great time to be had behind that frosted glass. Don't think I'll bother.

17 Jan 2007 15:29

The Roadhouse, Covent Garden

Overrated? Who rates it at all?

I've seen a mate's band here a couple of times. I'm happy to say that I didn't eat or drink anything. This ghastly shitbin isn't getting my money.

12 Jan 2007 18:15

The Walrus and Carpenter, Monument

The "Champagne Bar" downstairs is much better than the main pub. Cosy, clean with friendly staff and good beer. Bit hard to move when it's busy, though.

11 Jan 2007 10:19

The King Edward VII, Stratford

Haven't been in for a few years, and in the meantime it seems to have had a bit of a spruce up without touching any of the Victoriana that this pub is famous for. There is a new dining room off the back bar and a couple of comfy sofas in keeping with a new, low-key 'gastro' approach. I'm no fan of gastropubs, usually, but Stratford certainly needs one. By and large, pubs in this area tend to be flyblown hovels haunted by the lonely, or places where you can expect to have a broken ashtray rubbed in your face, and then partially eaten by an illegal fighting dog. Or Yates. Or Wetherspoon. So it's nice to come to a place in Stratford where you can get a decent, well-kept pint, sit on a clean chair at a clean table (with a beermat.) and actually enjoy a bit of civilisation in the crappiest corner of our great city.

9 Jan 2007 14:46

The Victoria Hotel, Keighley

About as appealing as the Star on Cavendish street.

5 Jan 2007 18:17

The Blind Beggar, Whitechapel

The award this pub got was from that gastronomic bible the er, East London Advertiser (owned by Archant), whose office is just round the corner on Cambridge Heath Road. Not exactly a Michelin Star, is it?

5 Jan 2007 18:08

The Market Arms, Keighley

Closed. I doubt it'll be missed much. Shame it became so run down, because it's a very old pub.

2 Jan 2007 16:29

The Cricketers Arms, Keighley

Small side-street pub, with friendly and characterful clientele. There was an old dear sat on a high stool listening to her MP3 player with her eyes tightly shut. Superb pint of Moorehouse Premier Bitter, a beer rarely seen this side of the Pennines. Had a refit about 10 years ago, which I hated at first but has aged nicely. At least they've got rid of those gimmicky 'railway carriage' cubicles (complete with luggage nets). Nice pub, all in all.

2 Jan 2007 16:26

The Royal Oak, Haworth

Up for sale as of January 2007. Who's betting it'll end up closed and then remodelled as flats?

2 Jan 2007 16:16

The Cross Roads Inn, Cross Roads

Had a visit on Boxing Day. The Copper Dragon beer is wonderful - some of the best I've ever had, especially the Golden Pippin. The new landlord is just settling in, and there are no pictures at all on the walls yet, which makes the pub feel a bit soul-less. I did, however, like the new angled cushions on the wall next to the bar for punters to lean on. Nice idea. Once the rest of the interior gets sorted, this pub'll be a gem. Shame the acid-etched windows went with the refit.

2 Jan 2007 16:13

The Birkbeck Tavern, Leyton

Returned after a six-month absence and found a friday night Mixture of real ale fans and young demi-chavs. 'Rita's Special' on our visit was lovely, though it hasn't always been the case in the past. They had all the TVs turned off, too - a bit of a novelty. I think i'll be back again soon.

24 Nov 2006 23:23

The Walrus and Carpenter, Monument

Who the hell decided on the layout of this pub? Difficult to get to the bar when it is busy - everywhere you turn there's an elbow-height partition strategically placed to keep you from the bar. In effect it means a very narrow gap round the bar, while the rest of the pub is packed. Sort it out.

24 Nov 2006 23:19

The Jamaica Wine House, Bank

Why do they do it? Hundreds of years of patina now in a landfill site, or more likely a reclamation yard. I'll never be darkening its door again.

20 Nov 2006 17:56

The Nightingale, Wanstead

Great beer, great atmosphere. Unashamedly chintzy and all the better for it. Unspoiled by progress, yer might say. Well worth seeking out.

18 Nov 2006 21:46

The Fine Line, Monument

Pulling-barn for junior administrative staff from nearby offices.

11 Nov 2006 14:41

The Walrus and Carpenter, Monument

My mistake - bought by Mitchell and Butler. Just had a peep through a door a builder had left open. Both rooms have been knocked into one and all fittings replaced. Looks like they've re-used partitions from this and other gutted Victorian pubs. I'm no fan of refits, but this looks like a very high quality job, not just an off-the-shelf lash-up.

11 Nov 2006 14:25

The Market Porter, Borough

Still a great boozer, but on my last two visits the quality of the beer's been a bit hit and miss.

11 Nov 2006 14:21

Corney and Barrow, Liverpool Street

knocking on for four pounds a pint. It's probably cheaper to drink in one of those Soho clip joints everyone warns you about when you move to London. And for that reason, Corney and Barrow can stick their drinks where the sun don't shine.

10 Nov 2006 14:41

Ye Old Mitre, Holborn

"nothing wrong with the beer or food but without doubt the most boring pub in the world!"

Presumably the way Shakespeare, Martin Scorcese films or a Spitfire screaming overhead at 30 feet is "boring"

8 Nov 2006 15:58

The Cross Roads Inn, Cross Roads

Had a mixed recent history, this pub. Our last visit (a couple of years ago) was about 3 minutes long due to the overpowering stench of toilets. The latest episode nearly had it demolished and turned into a bloody mini supermarket. Fortunately, it's been bought and refurbed by the splendid Copper Dragon Brewery of Skipton. Huzzah!

27 Oct 2006 14:05

O'Neills, Leytonstone

This place must be some kind of elaborate joke. An O'Neill's. Next to one of the busiest roundabouts in East London. Clientele seem to be late-teenagers and gropey drunks.

Went once. Never, ever again.

17 Oct 2006 20:26

Lincolns, Leytonstone

A pub to be avoided. Has a very bad reputation indeed.

17 Oct 2006 20:16

The White Hart Inn, Bideford

Used to go a lot when we Sheila ran it, but didn't really like it when the new owners took it over. Must give it another try.

13 Oct 2006 17:05

The Liberty Bounds, Tower Hill

As 'spoons go, it's one of the better ones I've visited. Perfect for a burger 'n' lager stopgap. Treat it as a cafe that serves beer and you're laughing. Well, chuckling anyway.

11 Oct 2006 17:39

The Walrus and Carpenter, Monument

This bogshedof a pub has shut – it's been bought by Nicholson's and is getting a refurb. Reopens in November. I hope they kill the rat.

11 Oct 2006 17:35

The Holly Tree, Forest Gate

Not bad for the area. Nice conservatory bit and a lawn to sit around on.

28 Sep 2006 13:51

The Bell, Leytonstone

We often come here for the excellent quiz night. It's a large, bog-standard East End boozer. I agree the decor is dated. It looks like someone's had a brainstorm after watching a mid 90s episode of "changing rooms". It's also very, very smoky. Friendly enough, though.

28 Sep 2006 13:48

The Brown Cow, Keighley

Just keeps getting better, this place. The landlord clearly takes a great pride in his ales and his premises. The beer is beautifully kept, the interior of the pub has just had a tasteful re-decoration and the locals and staff are really friendly. The owner is a local history buff and has a 'history box' full of documents about the changes that have happened to the pub over the many years it's been there. All good pubs should be as comfy as your own living room, and this one certainly is.

26 Sep 2006 12:52

Ye Old Mitre, Holborn

Genuinely deserving of the accolades of this site and others. Service and beer remind me of the standard you get at a good Yorkshire hill pub, and I can't give much higher praise than that.

6 Sep 2006 12:24

Kloster Andechs Bräustüberl, Andechs

Back for a yearned-for visit last weekend. The biblical rainstorm we endured to get up the hill made the beer taste even better, if that is possible. Just a great place to spend an afternoon. All beer lovers should visit. The food's fantastic too.

29 Aug 2006 18:57

The Porterhouse, Covent Garden

Not everyone wants a pint with someone elses kids round yer elbows. That's what Whacky Warehouses are for.

4 Aug 2006 10:38

The Blue Posts, Soho

Hahaha. Redrover, until Taylor's brewery declared year zero and decided that 'tart's boudoir' was a suitable new look for Keighley pubs, they almost looked like the Blue Posts. And I loved it.

28 Jul 2006 16:44

The Royal George Inn, Appledore

nigelbradford, one of the many signs of a good pub –in my view – is removing empties from tables. I don't expect them to be removed every five minutes. Once in the three or so hours I was there on Easter sunday would have done. I've nothing much to be 'bitter' about, either. I've been drinking in the George for nearly 20 years and I've had some great times. Have a look at my 9 March review.

19 Jul 2006 17:35

The Walrus and Carpenter, Monument

I never learn. I was there the other night and some punters were covering their pints with beer mats to keep the flies out – incredible. That's it. Never again.

14 Jul 2006 16:42

The Market Porter, Borough

One of my favourite pubs, though I can never get there often enough. The taste of summer is right there in a pint of Harvey's. Enclaves like Borough market make you realise what a special place London is. Good service, good atmosphere, good beer. It's all good.

7 Jul 2006 11:17

Ye Old Mitre, Holborn

As a Yorkshireman, I think the use of sparklers is a Good Thing, especially when used on Northern beers. Just my opinion, like.

6 Jul 2006 15:01

The Porterhouse, Covent Garden

Why not complain if a pub's too touristy in the middle of Covent Garden? Or should huge chunks of our great city just be there for visitors?

Real pubs with tourists (The Lamb and Flag) = good.

Tourist Traps (this place to an extent and The Punch And Judy) = Bad.

28 Jun 2006 12:49

The Quay Inn, Instow


'mada', get thee to The Boathouse at the other end of the beach. You're welcome.

16 Jun 2006 16:57

The Toucan, Soho

Puts me in mind of a a Guinness hospitality tent at some sort of corporate 'do'. The only reason I can think of for coming here is that it stays open a bit longer than most of the other pubs in the area. And am I alone in thinking that Guinness tastes <i>exactly</i> the same everywhere? It's as homogenous as Coca Cola.

14 Jun 2006 16:38

Clause Bar, Monument

Dreadful. It's a place for beetroot-faced city alpha-males to guffaw with their pink-tied chums, guzzling mexican beer from the bottleneck.

A turd floating in the sewer of city bars.

9 Jun 2006 14:55

Bedroom Bar, Shoreditch

When I was invited here by some mates, i though they were having a larf. A bed-themed bar in Shoreditch? It could hardly be more Nathan Barley. I was surprised how pleasant it all was, though. I don't 'do' bars much, but this was OK.

26 May 2006 17:28

Tiger Tiger, Piccadilly Circus

The Angus Steak house of alcohol retail.

26 May 2006 17:21

The Volunteers, Keighley

Tiny boozer with two rooms and two entrances. The pub's named for the TA drill hall over the street and got an army-themed makeover in Taylor's Year Zero. Attracts a varied crowd who tend to be older than average. Marvellous flora display at the Lawkholme lane door.

22 May 2006 23:21

The Busfeild Arms, East Morton

Had a refit of the white walls 'n' varnished pine type. Predictable range of beers on tap. A bit bland, but it's the only pub in the village, unless you fancy a bit of a walk.

22 May 2006 23:17

The Betsey Trotwood, Clerkenwell

Good for bands, less so for booze.

13 May 2006 01:41

The Blue Posts, Soho

I'm a big fan of this pub (even if it is THREE POUND TWENTY for a Kronenbourg), but it definately doesn't have clear windows anywhere other than up by the ceiling. Sorry to be pedantic.

13 May 2006 01:38

The Colegrave Arms, Leytonstone

Not been in yet, but it now seems very busy. The new tenants are clearly making an effort... new attractive lighting and seating outside, and even curry made on the premises in "Bittu's kitchen". I'll give it a try soon.

13 May 2006 01:30

The Harp, Covent Garden

Just been for a visit this evening after a gap of several months. I can honestly say that the Harvey's I've just supped was the best pint I've ever had in London.

13 May 2006 01:24

The Walrus and Carpenter, Monument

Like a battered wife, I kept giving this place One More Chance. Not any longer. I've taken exit couselling from the Ship up the road. The staff are still great, but the beer is not very good at all. Even the lager tastes sour. And now they've got some sort of infestation of tiny flies in the back room. If I'm going to spend 3 quid a pint I may as well do it at the Ship and not have to keep picking insects out of my beer.

10 May 2006 14:09

Ship, Monument

Very old alley pub, nice patina of age on the bits that haven't been 'made over'. Some of the floorboards look especially ancient. Adnam's Broadside was spot-on. Staff were friendly but rather keen to get you out after last orders (can't say I blame them). Upstairs non-smoking room. Oh yeah, and the cleanest khazis I've ever seen in a London boozer.

10 May 2006 14:04

The Quarry House, Lees Moor

Now closed. Was more of a restaurant than a pub, anyway.

5 May 2006 12:07

The Stags Head, Dublin

Kind of hard to find, in a back street near the castle. Worth seeking out, though. Lovely old stained glass windows, and original panelled interior. The Guinness was very , very good. Staff were genuinly friendly... even letting us walk behind the bar to get to the cosy room in the back, with it's glass roof. They've also go the head of some kind of super-stag over the bar – it's MAHOOSIVE. A gem.

3 May 2006 13:55

The Long Hall, Dublin

Marvellous unchanged boozer. Loads of original features, including an arch with a clock in it dividing the back from the front bars. There' s a great mirrored pillar behind the bar, and a magnificant Viennese clock. If this place was in London, I'd never go home.

3 May 2006 13:52

O'Neills, Dublin

Loads of rooms to get lost in, and lots of original features. Staff are very friendly and welcoming, and this pubs attracts lots of Dubliners as well as tourists. Good range of beers, including Erdinger Weissbeer. Food is brilliant... massive portions and good prices (about 10 Euro). If only the British namesake Oirish theme pubs were as good as this!

3 May 2006 13:47

The Star Hotel, Keighley

The point of this site, clairemuldoon, is that it's all opinions. I have been in. It was grim. I may have been unfair about the clientele, but I can only speak from experience. Maybe my visits (there have been at least two) were just at the wrong time. Next time I'm on North Street I'll pop in and have a pint. Can't say fairer than that, eh?

25 Apr 2006 21:13

The Ship, Soho

I agree with Iceinthecider... can't see the attraction, other than the surviving original fittings. Overflowing ashtrays and so-so beer don't make a decent boozer in my view.

23 Apr 2006 12:32

The Quay Inn, Instow

No refitted ans renamed 'The bar'.

16 Apr 2006 22:03

The Bell Inn, Appledore

sadly closed

16 Apr 2006 22:01

The Royal George Inn, Appledore

Todays visit (easter sunday) showed that the staff were completely unable to cope with the bank holiday crowd. Tables that had obviously been vacated for a long time were overflowing with empty glasses, as was the table occupied by twelve of a hen party. Their table looked like the glass clearance section of IKEA. Given that they were spending literally hundreds of pounds over the course of the afternoon, to leave their table in such a state is frankly unacceptable. Must improve.

16 Apr 2006 22:00

Ye Champion Of Wales, Appledore

Small boozer off the quay. Friendly Yorkshire landlord, though the 2 handpump ales were of a very Un-Yorkshire standard, having a decidedly opaque appearance, though they tasted OK. Recently been tarted up from a chintzy front room into badly-varnished tongue 'n' groove nauticalia. Not my favourite pub in the village, but I imagine it would do in an emergency.

16 Apr 2006 21:55

The Boathouse, Instow

Friendly bar-cum-restaurant. Good value fantastic food and excellent staff. Stunning sunset views. Lovely place, Instow.

16 Apr 2006 00:44

The Talbot, Bideford

Gentle reader, I grew up in a Yorkshire mill town, reknowned far and wide for the 'earthiness' of some of its pubs. But the Talbot - or 'Number Ones' as it is locally known - is in a league of its own. The interior is reminiscent of the Golden Heart of Spitalfields... all deep brown wood panelling, topped with 70s curry-house flock wallpaper. The barstaff were a mother and daughter team with several dozen tattoos between them. I am quite sure they could literally drink you under the table and still subdue a drunken sailor. The patrons were of the professional boozer variety, stella drinkers to a man, with an above-average number of facial scars among them. None of this you would guess from the outside, because you can't see in through the opaque glass. Sadly, we didn't see a repeat of the time when one of the patrons decided to go to sleep lying in the middle of the floor, where he remained, unmoved and ignored, for the next six hours. In a town increasingly dominated by Charlie and Jocasta Second-Home, it's good to know that a working port like Bideford still has a proper sailors-on-shore-leave-punch-up-over-a-cheap-tart-at-closing-time boozer. And I mean that in a positive sense. It's not a pub for me, but it is a great little pub, in its own way.

16 Apr 2006 00:43

The Heavitree Arms, Bideford

ALBERTFACT: This pub has a three-coloured tiled floor in common with several other pubs in Bideford. The reason? Back in the oldene dayes, an italian ship carrying tiled ran aground in the Torridge estuary. To refloat the ship, they had to get the cargo off ... thousands of floor tiles. Good news for the pubs of Bideford, and a few houses, too.

16 Apr 2006 00:25

Kings Arms, Bideford

Large, low ceilinged place on the quayside, just at the end of the 'old' bridge. Nice pint of Spitfire. Looks like it's had a fairly recent refit, but none the worse for that. Lots of beams and posts in the tap room, and an very large array of spirits. Pretty good.

16 Apr 2006 00:20

The Bohola House, Bethnal Green

Roaringly Irish. Every man in the place seems to be called Tommo.

10 Apr 2006 18:26

The Bell, Cannon Street

Giantelf, very few pubs are open in the area at the weekend. Nobody around, y'see. In fact, I think even Cannon Street station closes.

29 Mar 2006 13:06

The Woodhouse Tavern, Leytonstone

Had a revisit last friday. Very friendly staff and locals and a great panelled interior in the 'old' bar.

23 Mar 2006 17:43

The Red Lion Hotel, Clovelly

The owners (presumably the same people that actually own the whole village) have converted the majority of the pub into a 21st century hotel-cum-restaurant-cum-pub... but here's the good bit; Acknowledging that Clovelly is still very much a working harbour, they've left the snug more or less untouched, with flagstone floors and the original rickety ambience intact. There's some old boy who's more or less a pemanent fixture there, greeting and being greeted by the locals as they nip in for a break during the course of their day. Hard to think of a more pleasing setting, either. Right on the quay. A gem of a pub.

16 Mar 2006 11:41

The Kingsley Inn, Northam

Bog standard 80s olde-worlde refit pubbery. Has a certain charm. Pretty basic inside, with one or two original bits like old benches.

15 Mar 2006 13:53

The Golden Lion, Northam

Known locally as "The formica pub". I've had a couple of lost afternoons in here. Also has a skittle alley. Pretty basic, but a warm welcome awaits you.

15 Mar 2006 13:49

The Appledore Inn, Bideford

Pleasingly basic boozer of the fast -vanishing 'formica' type. Nothing outstanding, really, but it ticks a lot of my boxes.

14 Mar 2006 14:10

The Joiners Arms, Bideford

Oh yes, this'll do. Foliage - covered Georgian beauty behind the Pannier Market. Characterful interior of the exposed beams 'n' horse brass type. Always busy, and justifiably so. Lots of music nights. Food has a good rep, too. Just great. And you'll need a pint after you've walked up that hill.

14 Mar 2006 14:07

The Tavern In The Port, Bideford

Full of WKD swigging dunderheads TXTing their M8s 3ft away.

14 Mar 2006 14:02

The Patch And Parrot, Bideford

Only been here the once, and that was enough. This pub clearly has a lot of history – it seems to have been built into an alleyway between two buildings, but barely a trace of character survives. It's had a dreadful, amateur makeover and there's a crap pirate themed mural on the wall. On my visit the only other drinker was a loud, elderly, and very drunk racist.

14 Mar 2006 13:57

The Turkey Inn, Goose Eye

Smallish but charming pub tucked away in the hidden hamlet of Goose Eye. Excellent ales, including some they brew themselves. Nice old leaded windows advertising some long-lost brewery (Ramsden's?). Interior is a bit of a mish-mash of ancient and 70s modern. There is a very cosy tongue-and-grooved side bit
warmed by a real fire, often burning some sort of sweet-smelling wood. Food is meant to be good, too. All in all, a great pub.

14 Mar 2006 13:42

The Kings Head and Dive Bar, Chinatown

Anybody know what happened to the old interior?

10 Mar 2006 13:59

The Beaver Inn, Appledore

More of a 'standard' pub than the nearby George. 80s-modern interior. Friendly, and a good range of drinks. Good views from the dining room bit of the split-leve bar (which sometimes doubles as a disco). Had some great times here.

9 Mar 2006 17:58

The Royal George Inn, Appledore

Splendid old pub right by the slipway at one end of Irsha street. Superb estuary views from the restaurant (which literally hangs over the sea). Creakily pleasant old interior, with nice old tables and maritime knick-knacks. Service can be patchy... there are a couple of locals who seem to be reluctant to get out of the way. Might be becasue the George is now popular with the Jeremy and Jocasta second-homers that have arrived in droves in recent years, who have a tendency to patronise the locals and complain about the noise the lifeboat tractor makes.

9 Mar 2006 17:52

The Quay Inn, Instow

Smallish boozer with great views of the estuary. Bit knackered on the inside, but has a certain charm. The Quay has a reputation locally for being a bit cliquey, but I've never found that to be the case. Instow is a lovely place, and there aren't many better ways to spend an afternoon than sitting in the sun on the benches out the front of the Quay, gazing across the Torridge, with a pint of Inch's cider in easy reach.

9 Mar 2006 17:42

The Lord Rookwood, Leytonstone

Very friendly boozer on the edge of Wanstead flats, run by the ever-welcoming Gerry. Not that good for real ale, but the service is spot on. Famous for the weekly Jazz night. The regulars are a real mixture and often a delight to chat to. Lovely exterior, though the interior is a bit tired.

9 Mar 2006 17:36

The Friendly Inn, Keighley

Just had an "pub-in-a-box" refurb. It used to be a symphony of formica and nicotine-stained artex, which I liked.

9 Mar 2006 17:27

The Colegrave Arms, Leytonstone

It's reopened!

9 Mar 2006 16:48

The Lyric, Soho

Things like this should not be allowed to happen. How can O'Neill's, ABO, and all those other hideous chains prosper when true gems like the Lyric close? This city is suffering the death of a thousand cuts... everything with soul and character is going. The independent bookshops of Charing Cross Road, The Routemasters, the Soho cafes... all being washed away in a shitstorm of blandness, greedy landords and apathy.

6 Mar 2006 12:24

The Colegrave Arms, Leytonstone

There's a sign up saying that a new licencee is taking over soon.

3 Mar 2006 14:29

The Lyceum, Strand

Hope I'm not tempting fate, but Sam Smith's do have a very good track record of sympathetic refurbs with little or no loss of character (The Angel at Cambridge Circus being a good example). In fact, this pub did have a minor 'furb about 5 years ago... I expected the lovely windows to be binned but they kept them. Fingers crossed.

2 Mar 2006 13:34

Browns Restaurant and Bar, Leicester Square

I saw Bill Clinton outside here once. Just thought I'd share.

2 Mar 2006 13:18

The Walnut Tree, Leytonstone

Paid a return visit while waiting for Mrs Campion the other night. I'm happy to relate that the glass cleaner's been fixed. I've surprised myself by actually enjoying visits here more than going to the North Star. Is it age, the prices or the fact that there's no TVs with footy on?

Wetherspoons in general tick off about 80% of the things I hate about chain pubs... but THIS one is actually pretty good.

1 Mar 2006 14:41

The Loaded Dog, Leytonstone

Visited the other night after an absence of several months. Very glad to see standards are being maintained. Service is excellent, genuinely friendly and polite. "Be with you in a minute" said the aussie barman as he went off to (bravely and successfully) ask two mountain-like chavs to leave... they'd brought a child in. The pub is spotlessly clean, and that includes the bogs. Practically unheard of in most of East London. Long may the Dog continue.

1 Mar 2006 14:36

The Brunswick Arms, Southwark

Stank of toilets on my one and only visit. I'll stick to the Rose and Crown.

24 Feb 2006 21:05

New Inn, Cononley

This is Timothy Taylor's expansion into 'hospitality', so it's more about food than drinking. When we dropped by for a swift 'un they couldn't have been more accomodating, allowing us to sit in the restaurant until the booking for the table arrived. Taylor's magnificent ales served magnificently.

24 Feb 2006 20:58

Royal Oak, Keighley

This and The Albert over the road were the first to get a modern makeover when Charles Dent took the helm at the Taylor's Brewery a few years back. In fact, I think it's had another face-lift since then. Attracts a young crowd and has doormen at the weekends. A bit more 'lively' than yer average Taylor house. Handy for a pint before a visit to the mighty Shimla Spice almost next door, though personally i prefer the quieter Friendly Inn 'round the corner.

24 Feb 2006 20:50

The Lamb Inn, Oxenhope

I think this place is becoming my favourite pub. Very busy last night (saturday) but still plenty of seating. The Taylor's Landlord must be among the best available anywhere. Each pint looks like a work of art.

Oh yes... the barmen do the adding up in their heads, nom matter how big the round.

19 Feb 2006 10:42

The Cittie of Yorke, Holborn

Great interior... puts me in mind of a German Bierkeller. Typical Sam Smiths fare, and friendly staff. I admire the Smith's approach – they have an admirable policy of not refurbing their pubs to death. Consequently , their pubs are among the most characterful and pleasant places to drink in London. If you like their beer. And I do.

17 Feb 2006 11:14

The Bell, Cannon Street

Just Great. I've wanted to try this spot for ages, and I wasn't disappointed. Nice old exterior wonderfully bare of cr@p special offer posters and faux-handwritten blackboard shitery. Interior is a happy mix of 50s (?) Olde Worlde refit (check out the sign above the bar) and creaky original features. Beer's excellent... I only had the Young's but it was just as it should be. Bar staff were a bit David Lynch-ian (but in a good way). Want a City pub with a history and a soul? This is it.

17 Feb 2006 11:04

The Birkbeck Tavern, Leyton

Was in sunday afternoon for a couple of beers on the way home. When I left, the pub had Rugby, football, the jukebox AND Songs Of Praise on at the same time!

14 Feb 2006 17:26

Point 101, Bloomsbury

Long past its sell-by date, and at the grim end of Oxford street. You can find people here who think a Mexican lager with a lime in it is cutting-edge cool.

8 Feb 2006 13:05

The Colegrave Arms, Leytonstone

It's shut and up for rent. A shame because the tenants had obviously just spent some money on it. I guess it's just too big to turn a profit in this area. The Rookwood up the road is a similar size but is famous for its Jazz nights, and the ever-welcoming guv'nor Gerry. I don't ever recall anyone recommending the Colegrave to me, even though my one and only visit was OK. So, will some entrepeneur turn it into a real ale and good food place (something I think that could do well in this area... at a risk of sounding a snob, the demographic is moving upward all the time) , or will it end up as an olympics cash-in property development? Watch this space.

8 Feb 2006 11:13

The Reliance, Old Street

Great. Much better than the Bricklayers round the corner. Might be worth pointing out that this pub is pretty new... until about 10 years ago it was a derelict motorcycle shop. You'd never guess it now, though, it's bedded in so well. Staff are good and they get some unusual beers in. More of a continental bar than a traditional pub, but in a good way.

7 Feb 2006 12:48

The Shakespeare's Head, Holborn

One of the better 'spoons. I never go in them by choice but this is a good stop-gap for a cheap lunch 'n' beer if you're with family or friends (or both) on the way to King's Cross. One point in 'spoon's favour is the range of bottled continental lagers. Not a place for a night out, but it has its purpose.

2 Feb 2006 17:04

The Dickens Inn, Tower Hill

Nice building in nice setting. Service is a bit can't-be-arsed. Bog standard beers. Rammed on summers sundays. Worth a visit. Just.

2 Feb 2006 16:53

The Frog and Rosbif, Paris

Got quite epically hammered here on a near-legendary weekend involving mini coopers, drumkits, Bison Grass vodka and cameras a few years back. When in Paris these days i tend to stick to 'zinc' bars, but the Frog is worth a visit.

2 Feb 2006 16:48

The Blue Posts, Piccadilly

Marvellous pub. Don't really like the decor, but the staff are charming and highly efficient (is that the old barman from the much-missed Kings head?). Punters cheerful and on the characterful side – arty and academic by the looks of them ... we shared a table with a bunch of heart middle-aged theatre types. Beer was in good condition, too. We'll definately be back.

2 Feb 2006 16:35

The Porters Lodge, Monument

Underground, windowless, stale-smelling and a bit tatty... not that it's neccesarily a bad thing. Thai food here comes highly recommended by my foodie colleagues. Seems to have some permanent regulars. Staff are OK. Ho hum.

26 Jan 2006 21:27

The Monument, Monument

Not bad, considering. I Not my first choice but OK in an emergency. Hard floor and walls mean you can hear absolutely everybody in the room except the person next to you. Beer's OK.

26 Jan 2006 21:25

The Walrus and Carpenter, Monument

recently noted a bit of a decline. The bitter is always flat by the time you're halfway down it and the Stella is a bit on the vinegary side. Can't fault the service, though.

26 Jan 2006 21:21

Ye Olde London, St Pauls

Ye Olde London was the name of this pub long, long before it became yet another fly-by-night themery. See those WM Younger windows? And a very fine pub it was too, until the Eerie "pub" company violated it with their teenage goff shitery. Haven't been into the re-incanated version. Probably won't.

25 Jan 2006 12:12

The Walnut Tree, Leytonstone

Ended up here last night (wasn't my choice). Service was OK, but the glasses were relentlessly dirty. "It's the machine" said the (pleasant) staff. Well, FIX IT. Otherwise, this place is OK for a 'spoon.

Good range of beers, including some unusual bottled continental lagers.

The barstaff should have done something about the chav on the fruit machine. He must have ground out 10 or so fag-ends on the carpet despite being an arm's length from an ashtray.

25 Jan 2006 11:45

The Grave Maurice, Whitechapel

if you liked it or loathed it, you had to admit that the 'old ' GM was a true, unpretentious East End boozer. I really don't know what to make of this place, now. Haven't felt like this since the truly magnificent Lord Rodney's Head got turned into the utterly foul Funkee Munkee (or whatever the hell it was).

17 Jan 2006 17:16

The Fleece Inn, Haworth

The dear old Fleece was one of the first in Taylor's wave of recent makeovers. Until then it had a vernacular style, each landlord having put his or her stamp on it. There were lovely (to my eyes) basic etched glass 30's windows that simply said TIMOTHY TAYLOR on them, and old fixtures and fittings like deco-influenced door handles, doors and window latches. A serviceable, basic bar. Cottage-style furniture. In the name of progress, all this stuff has been shoved into a skip and no doubt is either at the Crossroads landfill site or at a LASSCO Architecural Salvage.

What you have now is still a very decent pub... but one imagined by Laura Ashley. The visitors love it, though, and the beer is great. I've heard good things about the food too... and you can stay in the new accomodation wing. But in my eyes, it's all a bit sterile.

17 Jan 2006 11:33

Kings Arms, Haworth

On my last visit the staff were friendly but visibly embarrassed by a table full of very loud, very drunk locals. Nothing wrong with getting hammered, but this lot were a pain in the arse. A better landlord would have kicked them out. I can honestly say I've never had an enjoyable night here.

OK, this was a year ago, but it hasn't encouraged me to go back. There are better places nearby (but not The Sun or The Black Bull).

17 Jan 2006 11:25

The Langthorne, Stratford

Stratford: A Fisher-Price activity centre for ASBOs

16 Jan 2006 18:01

Augustiner Keller, Munich

Augustiner is my second favourite continental beer after Andechs, and this is one of my favourite drinking establishments. The Augustiner Garten is the perfect supping environment. Get yourself a maß of helles, a brez' n and a stecklfisch, plonk yourself down with your mates at one of the hundreds of benches and put the world to rights, in the sun under the chestnut trees. And when they boot you out at midnight-ish, despite maybe a thousand tipsy folk leaving at the same time, there won't be an ounce of British-style violence, nor piles of puke or pools of urine anywhere there shouldn't be. Great stuff... I love the Augustiner. Just pray Munich stays off the UK Stag Weekend list.

13 Jan 2006 18:09

Kloster Andechs Bräustüberl, Andechs

Probably the finest beer I have ever tasted (except for Taylor's Landlord). Indescribably... lovely. Get the S4s-Bahn from Munich to Herrsching, walk up along the lakeside and then up through the woods, and spend one of the best afternoon's drinking you'll ever have. Superb.

13 Jan 2006 17:59

The Kemble's Head, Covent Garden

I always had a soft spot for this pub 'cos they had a sign up saying you could use their toilets even if you were just passing and didn't buy anything. DOWN WITH TOILET FASCISM!

13 Jan 2006 14:57

The Princess Louise, Holborn

Decent enough all round. Lovely unspoit interior with a slightly more 'posh' upstairs. At last they've got around to getting shut of the EVENING STANDARD PUB OF THE YEAR 1986 sign.

Those toilets are seperately listed, y'know.

13 Jan 2006 14:53

The Bull And Mouth, Holborn

Never like to see a pub closed. Hopefully it will reopen as something decent. This used to be the Falkland Arms which had maybe the worst service in London.

13 Jan 2006 14:48

The Lord Moon Of The Mall, Whitehall

They don't serve chips here because there is a restriction on cooking fried frood in the Buckingham Palace/ Whitehall area.

Hangar-like interior means there is no atmosphere and on our visit it was cold enough to need to sit with our coats on.

Also seemed to be a number of single men staring into space. What is it about Wetherspoon joints that attracts these types? The one in Bethnal Green is packed to the ceiling with grey hollow-cheeked men of indeterminate age, their eyes fixed in a kind of 3-yard stare or scanning the Racing Post, nursing a flat pint for 6 hours before leaving with their flies undone.

13 Jan 2006 14:45

The Laurel Inn, Robin Hood's Bay

Great stuff. Never had the food, but the beer is marvellous. Is this the pub where the gents look is about 50 yards further up the hill?

12 Jan 2006 13:38

The Dolphin, Robin Hood's Bay

Marvellous. Full of charm and character. I love the way they'll pass you pints through the window if you're ouside on a summer evening. Great beer and food. 10/10, no question.

12 Jan 2006 13:36

Harts Head Hotel, Giggleswick

Quackenbush is 100% right. Perfect balance of punters, beer, service, location and food. Try the Daleside blond ale, it's amazing. Pubs like this should be cherished – and it is, by the looks of it. Definately a 10 out of 10 rating.

11 Jan 2006 14:48

The Royal Oak Hotel, Settle

A bit like drinking in a hotel lobby due to the revolving door, but it has a nice atmosphere. Great staff and beer. Lots of nice old panelling. There was live music on (paunchy bloke with guitar type... allegedly this one had been in Supertramp!) the saturday evening we visited. Worth a stop on the pleasant walk to the Hart's Head at Giggleswick.

11 Jan 2006 14:41

The Cross Keys, Covent Garden

Well kept small and justifiably busy pub. Loads of brass nick nacks (including an old-fashioned diver's helmet!) hanging fom the ceiling, old oil paintings and pop memorabilia – I think they even have Elvis and the Beatles' autographs. Beer is good, honest stuff and the service is great. When my mate got a stain on his jacket from the top of the fag machine they paid for it to be cleaned, no arguments. The outside is a veritable jungle of hanging baskets and ivy. Always a good sign, in my view.

11 Jan 2006 14:27

The Coach and Horses, Soho

I like the place, but it's definately trading on past glories. Seem to be a more than a few 'professional alcoholics' who will bore you to half to death for several hours at the slightest provocation. However, I definately wouldn't want to see anything change except the beer selection and it's still a great place to spend an evening.

Has anyone else noticed that the bottom of the bar looks like an old fashioned urinal?

10 Jan 2006 17:50

The Windmill, Fitzrovia

Used to come here a lot. We called it "The Pub That Looks Like It's On A Council Estate". The hand-pump Tetley's was always really good and decently priced, and the staff weren't fly-by-nights so they got to know their punters. It was a cosy place in a slightly seedy way. The toilets were a bit foul... that smell never leaves you.

9 Jan 2006 11:51

The Montagu Pyke, Charing Cross Road

laughably rubbish.

9 Jan 2006 11:47

The Roundhouse, Covent Garden

Above average chain pub. Nice place to stand outside on a friday evening in summer. Haven't been for a while, but the ales always used to be spot on.

9 Jan 2006 11:33

The Kings Head and Dive Bar, Chinatown

A bit of 'real' London died when this place closed. A crying shame.

9 Jan 2006 11:30

The Sussex, Covent Garden

I ask for a Newcastle Brown. The barmaid looks at me blankly. I point to the fridge and say "Newcastle Brown?"

She vanishes from sight and returns a minute or two later with a pint glass full of Newky... over ice.

"er... it's not usually served with Ice"


"erm... Newcastle Brown isn't served with ice. And the drinker usually pours it"

"please?" (quick glance to colleague)

"No ice in Newcastle brown. It's a beer"

(Heavy eastern european accent) "Ah! IS BEER!"

She takes the pint to the sink. And fishes out the ice. With her fingers.

I leave.

9 Jan 2006 11:25

The Nags Head, Covent Garden

Given the location, this pub has every right to be dreadful. In fact, it's pretty good. I don't go in very often but when I do I've always found the ale to be good, service spot-on friendly and the tables cleared and clean. Maybe lacking slightly in atmosphere, but this isn't exactly a cosy harbourside boozer in a Devon village.

9 Jan 2006 11:15

The Rose and Crown, Southwark

Marvellous. Proper boozer tucked away round the back of the church... in fact, the beer garden is a big chunk of the churchyard... the vicar doesn't seem to mind though. Great Shepherd Neame ales and the fairly unusual Oranjeboom lager on draught. Friendly locals and staff, and good attentive service. The family who run this place clearly take a pride in their work. Good stuff.

8 Jan 2006 01:02

Stamford's Wine Bar, Southwark

Know what? I expected to hate this place, but it's really good. It's a bit like drinking in a bunker, but the service is great and genuinely friendly. No windows, though.

8 Jan 2006 00:58

The Mad Hatter Hotel, Southwark

The one and only time I came in here I was given a pint that looked like someone had just washed an especially filthy dog in it. I literally had to *argue* with the (apparently) 14 year old barman into changing it.

"it's meant to look like that"

"no, it's not. It's meant to be clear"

"listen, I'm a trained cellarman. I should know"

"I don't care if you're King Jigme Wangchuck of Bhutan. That's a bad pint."

etc, etc. After enough wrangling to make Bob Crowe constipated, some fat bloke in a suit with a name tag on it appeared, brushed junior aside and changed it my bitter for a Guinness.

I haven't been back.

8 Jan 2006 00:56

The Wheatsheaf, Fitzrovia

Late afternoon on a saturday isn't the time to visit this pub. Call me old fashioned, but a bar with two used coffee cups, a cafetiere with cold grounds in it and a scrunched-up napkin ain't what I want to see when I'm ordering a beer. There were dirty glasses on almost every table. The barmaid was hardly busy – she was slumped in a corner reading a book when we went in but she was friendly enough. As we were leaving a comedy night was staring upstairs and the place was filling up.

This pub has a nice interior... one of those (30s?) cod-mediaeval themes with beams and stain glass windows and leaded lights. If I recall, the Wheatsheaf has unusual licensing hours to cater for the odd shifts the postal workers have at the sorting office over the road.

8 Jan 2006 00:35

The Camden Head, Islington

Nice pub... had some good times here back in the day. Great interior and location. Lots of original features. Beer is decent but nothing special. There's some great graffiti in the bogs about the professional grumpoid of a barman that used to work there. One of the original etched windows is missing because the glass broke when he finally cracked a smile. TRUEFACT.

6 Jan 2006 13:56

The Walnut Tree, Leytonstone

Good for a Wetherspoon, but the North Star is just round the corner and is a far, far better option.

6 Jan 2006 13:44

The Porterhouse, Covent Garden

Been here once. The bouncers made us move precisely 3 inches to the left because we "were in the way". That'll learn me to break my self-imposed never-go-in-a-bar-with-doormen rule.

Beer was OK but nothing special. Everybody in the place seemed to be tourists with rucksacks worn on their front (why do they do that?), couples conducting clandestine meetings, worried-looking blokes or Shouty Generic Australians.

6 Jan 2006 13:30

The Blackfriar, Blackfriars

Great. Just like having a pint inside the V&A. Service is a bit patchy... there always seem to be at least one leatherette bench covered in crisps. Beer can be a bit variable, too.

"dark and smoky inside"... you say that like it's a bad thing.

6 Jan 2006 13:18

The George, London Bridge

Hmm. I was a bit disappointed by this pub. The place has an air of complacency about it... the tourists are going to come anyway, so why try too hard? The bar staff were unsmiling but efficient, the beer was just a bit less than OK. The atmosphere was akin to a Wetherspoon. I'm no expert, but the building's interior and exterior have been over-restored to my eyes. Despite the great age of the place there's just no 'soul'. Worth a look if you're in the area, but not one to linger at. I expected better of somethimg owned by the National Trust. The NT should get some advice from The Harp near Trafalgar Square on the right way to run a pub in a tourist honeypot.

5 Jan 2006 15:14

The Wheatsheaf, Borough

I prefer this to the Market Porter, and it's often less crowded. Definately fewer tourists, too. Beer is Youngs and it's pretty good though I didn't find it excellent – a bit flat. Lots of characterful regulars, and a good atmosphere.

5 Jan 2006 15:02

The Market Porter, Borough

Hmmm... not sure about the refurb. I may be a luddite but liked the pub just as it was. Nice in summer though, when you can stand outside. Beer's good, and they sell enough to keep it fresh.

5 Jan 2006 14:56

The Bricklayers Arms, Shoreditch

Oh gawd. Really, really terrible these days. Full of try hards. Dire. I concur with ganger.

30 Dec 2005 00:26

Context, Moorgate

You get your change on a little chrome tray. With a receipt. People drink Budweiser from the bottle. Claire from accounts gets drunk and goes home without her shoes. Mark from HR gets hammered on WKD and is sick all down his Ciro Citterio suit on the last train from Liverpool Street to Shenfield. But he wakes up in Southend and has to take a £40 taxi ride home. Yep, It's that sort of place.

30 Dec 2005 00:22

The Kings Head, Barbican

A bit by-the-numbers bland. Puts me in mind of the 'Traditional English pub' you might find in a 2 star Las Vegas hotel. Much bigger than it looks from the outside. Not bad for the area, but if this pub was a car it would be a Ford Mondeo with the Corrs on the stereo. If you want real character you'd be better off up the road at Smithfield.

30 Dec 2005 00:15

The Red Pig, Keighley

Popular with Bill Bailey lookalikes in leather waistcoats. Good beer and jukebox. Firmly 80s rustic decor.

29 Dec 2005 23:58

The Lamb Inn, Oxenhope

Friendly and with excellent food. Landlord was rushed off his feet but couldn't have been more helpful. Black Sheep, Taylor's Landlord, Greene King IPA and (the rare) Tetly Dark Mild on Handpump. A real fire is the icing on the cake. Good stuff.

29 Dec 2005 23:51

The Boltmakers Arms, Keighley

Just spent another afternoon here, and realised that my comments below just don't do this pub justice. It might, in fact, be the best pub I have ever been in. Service was faultless and charming, the locals (mainly middle aged men) were friendly and the real fire was welcome on a bleak midwinter day. Further, I doubt you'll find a better example of Taylor's Landlord anywhere. If only every pub was as good as this.

29 Dec 2005 23:49

Haworth Old Hall, Haworth

Just been back for another visit over the Xmas hols. Had to tell the barmaid no less than 4 (four) times what I ordered. It wasn't even busy or noisy, she was just not listening. Then I had to get her to top up the short-measured pints (even considering the traditional "head"). After a few hours we had a table full of empties, and none were taken away until much later. Beer, however, was fantastic. And that's kind of the point.

28 Dec 2005 11:00

The Friendly, Stanbury

Daytime visit last week.. it was empty and the barmaid seemed reluctant to tear herself away from the fruit machine to serve us. Coffee not an option for the most elderly of our group because the "machine was broken" (The staff live in, presumably they have a jar of coffee upstairs? Maybe not.). So we went to the Silent Inn down the road and they bent over backwards to serve us, even staying open an extra hour that afternoon. to accomodate us. The Friendly has proven a bit of a struggle for tenants to keep going in recent years... Indeed, it was closed for a while. And with service like this, it's maybe not hard to see why. The days of farm labourers dropping by for a pint are long gone, and it doesn't seem to me that the best way of running a pub is being indifferent to passing trade.

21 Dec 2005 13:44

The Sun Inn, Bethnal Green

Great if you love the smell of unwashed toilets

16 Dec 2005 18:11

The Wuthering Heights, Stanbury

Last time I was in, the landlady spent a couple of hours telling us what a dismal year she'd had. It's changed hands since then, though.

16 Dec 2005 17:48

The Star Hotel, Keighley

Grim. And even more grim now they've put plain glass windows and you can see the clientele.

16 Dec 2005 17:42

Korner Bar, Keighley

The Taylor brewery's venture into stripped-pine-and-comfy-sofa land. They did a pretty good job, to be honest. Looks a bit dated – but hey, this is Keighley. Certainly an improvement on the Grinning Rat.

16 Dec 2005 17:41

The Heavitree Arms, Bideford

Characterful corner pub with some nice old etched glass and tilework. Some of the punters are real characters. Seen the old bloke with the decorated bicycle.?

16 Dec 2005 17:34

The Rising Sun, Lynmouth

Cosy, welcoming pub. Doesn't seem to have changed much since the '50s. Did I imagine it's got a thatched roof? Nice location too... right on the edge of the harbour. Rather lovely to walk up the gentle hill from the sea on a summers evening with a promise of a pint.

16 Dec 2005 17:31

The Colegrave Arms, Leytonstone

I don't know what to make of this place. It's enormous but only ever seems to have about 8 people in it at any one time. My one and only visit was pretty good, the staff and regulars were friendly and we had a pretty pleasant night. The interior was very shabby, but it seems to have been done up since then. The outside has certainly had a lick of paint.

16 Dec 2005 17:12

The Loaded Dog, Leytonstone

A very welcome addition to the bleaker end of the high road. the current tenants have obviously invested a lot of time and money in this place and it shows. As it gets better known it's bound to get more popular, and it deserves to do well. I've only been in once and we had a great night. Great beers and candles on the tables, and a jam session going on in the background but we could still hold a conversation. A nice change to the bog-standard boozery that peppers the High Road and its environs.

16 Dec 2005 17:09

The Birkbeck Tavern, Leyton

Great back street London boozer of the type that's rapidly vanishing. Nice old interior, too, with three rooms, and a large well kept garden. Lots of real ales that change frequently. If I had to be picky, I'd say it can be a little annoying if they have the jukebox AND the TV on at the same time. Otherwise there's not much to fault this... a gem and the best pub in Leyton by a country mile.

16 Dec 2005 17:05

The King Edward VII, Stratford

The area around Stratford shopping centre and the station is a William Hogarth print made into a film by David Lynch. With a bit of Hieronymous Bosch chucked in. This pub really IS the only reason for going there. Well worth a visit if you happen to be in the area. If you sit in the windows at the front you can watch the winos punching each other in the street.

16 Dec 2005 17:01

The Bracken Arms, Keighley

This pub isn't in Oakworth – It's in the middle of the Bracken Bank council estate! Never been in, but it's meant to be OK. Used to be called the Knowle.

14 Dec 2005 16:10

The Globe Inn, Keighley

people in Keighley are spoiled by their beer. Whereever you go you can find an excellent pint. The Globe is no exception, and it does decent Thai food cooked by the landlord's wife.

13 Dec 2005 16:31

Whitelocks, Leeds

A symphony of mirrors, etched glass and plished brass. Whitelock's is a great leveller... Judges from the crown courts rub shoulders with students and shoppers. Very traditional pub – they still use knobbly handle-glasses here, although I have heard of a filthy rumour that they've 'modernised' the unapologetically old-fashioned dining rooms (loads of red velvet curtains and elderly waitresses that call you 'love')... say it ain't so!

13 Dec 2005 16:16

The Hamilton Hall, Liverpool Street

Pubs next to stations are, as a rule, best avoided. The Hamilton Hall is just about OK in short doses but is even more soulless than Wetherspoons usually are, despite the restored semi-grandeur of the interior. It's a bit like drinking in the ballroom of an ocean liner. I get the impression it's a bit of a default venue for people who are meeting up but can't think of anywhere else to rendezvous. That and red-faced suits guzzling down a quick pint before the train home.

12 Dec 2005 14:45

The Pitcher and Piano, Bishopsgate

People queue to get in here. Can you believe that?

12 Dec 2005 14:38

The Vibe Bar, Shoreditch

This place is dying on its @rse. It's starting to feel like a museum of all that is wrong with the Brick Land 'scene'. Unless you'd driven up for the night from Ilford in your kitted Vauxhall Nova, avoid.

9 Dec 2005 16:50

The Pride of Spitalfields, Shoreditch

Marvellous local's local. Thoroughly unpretentious and cosy with ferociously loyal regulars from all walks of life and backgrounds. Loads of (mostly) well kept real ales. On a recent visit I was delighted to see that it had changed not one jot despite a firebombing attack by some broke-brained nutball.

9 Dec 2005 16:40

The Golden Heart, Shoreditch

Awash with Nathan Barley and his bubbleheaded mates. This was one fine boozer back in the day, before the trustafarians moved in. Still worth a visit if only to see the (almost) uniquely intact panelled Truman/Hanbury interior.

9 Dec 2005 16:35

The Gun, Shoreditch

I dunno what on earth 'almills' is on about. It's called The Gun because a couple of hundred years ago part of Spitalfields was a training area for a London militia which used artillery guns. Maybe they should rename it the Fluffy Bunny to keep him/her happy.

Anyway, I like this pub. It doesn't seem to have been entirely invaded by Nathan Barley and his mates – unlike the Golden Heart round the corner.

9 Dec 2005 16:29

The Boltmakers Arms, Keighley

Much better now the refit has bedded in, but still not as good as when long-time guv'nor Eric French ran it. If you hadn't been in for two years he would still recognise you. When he sadly had to leave through ill health, the Bolts had one or two tenants who weren't that good, to be honest. The refurb didn't help, either... "We're Famous For Our Whisky!" read one marketing-contrived ad. Since when? Anyway... the current tenants are doing a grand job. The half-arsed whisky them has been (much) toned down, the Taylor's is still the best in town and now they have a real fire it all adds up to a town-centre gem.

5 Dec 2005 17:31

The Fleece, Addingham

The meal we had here was OK, but I can't believe they make you pay extra for the veg! As a pub it's marvellous... all stone floors and nooks and crannies but I don't know if i'd eat here again... they also had a problem with flies! The barbecue outside looked good, though.

5 Dec 2005 17:03

Coach and Horses, Appledore

Quackenbush is dead right about the 3-wheel prammers colonising the George.

I heard a rumour when last down in Appledore that the Coach has become a "nursery" pub for new landlords. Don't know how true that is, but I didn't recognise the bloke behind the bar. No matter, though because it's a great pub. I went in at 2pm and left at midnight! Also, there was a great blues guitarist on, a local called Jim Crawford.

5 Dec 2005 16:58

The Royal Oak, Haworth

Marvellous beer... try the Black Sheep, and good friendly service, in common with most "real" pubs in Yorkshire. Seems a bit soul-less... might be due to the serious flooding it's endured in the last couple of years. Popular with the railway lot from the KWVLR over the road. Incidentally, the Royal is a marvellous Georgian(?) building.

4 Dec 2005 23:23

The Hope and Anchor, Keighley

The pub that time forgot. Even has ashtrays advertising long-forgotten brands. Worthington "E", anyone? Only been in the once, but it seemed OK.

4 Dec 2005 23:12

The Vine Tavern, Keighley

Mighty fine, unpretentious backstreet local. A bit like drinking in someone's house – doesn't look like it's had a serious makeover since the sixties, but it's in no way scruffy. It's a Taylor's house but electric pumps only (if memory serves) well worth seeking out.

4 Dec 2005 23:09

Denim, Leicester Square

surprising it lasted as long as it did... it looked dated the day after it opened. Was it here where the sinks in the bogs had gone rusty?

4 Dec 2005 01:30

The Museum Tavern, Bloomsbury

Nice surprise... good mix of locals and tourists. Lots of original features, decent beer (Young's) good service and a genuinly cosy atmosphere. Given its position its a miracle it hasn't become disneyfied.

4 Dec 2005 01:16

The Crown And Two Chairmen, Soho

Pretty good, all in all. Gets very busy but the beer is very good indeed. Has a sort of faux mediaeval interior. Staff are attentive and there are huge tables you can fit all your friends around. I had pie and peas here (!) a few years back and it was excellent... but it doesn't seem to be on the menu anymore. This pub is a sort of halfway house between traditional and modern. Not one of my favourites, but I am a fairly frequent visitor.

4 Dec 2005 00:56

The Dog and Duck, Soho

Had a bit of a refurb a few years back and the opaque windows went, but managed to keep most of the character... the beautiful old mirrors and tiling for instance. I can't be the only one to think that the place has declined in service a bit since Madonna bigged it up on the telly (and does anyone REALLY believe that she's a regular?)... the Taylor's in here ain't all that (and I should know... I was born and brought up 100 yards from their brewery) but I've had some decent pints of other stuff here. It's a good pub, though.

4 Dec 2005 00:51

The Britannia, Monument

underground vertical-drinking hellhole. You can smell the toilets from the street outside.

2 Dec 2005 18:55

The Kings Arms, Waterloo

Marvellous. Loads of little rooms, and one big one that looks like it's been built into a conservatory out the back. Real fires and real ale. Long may it continue.

2 Dec 2005 18:49

Doggetts Coat and Badge, Southwark

Utterly vile. Some of the staff are surly and downright rude... if you have the misfortune to deal with the bloke with a face like a slapped @rse you'll know what I mean. Expensive, poorly-kept beer... pools of slops on the bar... agressively enforced drinking up time... noisy suits... disgusting never-fixed overflowing stinky toilets. Hideously ugly building and a bland by-the-numbers-can't-be-arsed interior. There's only one good thing: the view.

2 Dec 2005 18:30

Ye Old Mitre, Holborn

Blimey, what a gem. Down a forgotten alley off Hatton Garden. I love everything about this place... the atmosphere, the beer, the staff, the history... even that old shop window in the courtyard and the old throne-like chairs made specially made years and years ago.

I think I need a lie down.

2 Dec 2005 18:16

The Opera Tavern, Covent Garden

My only visit to this pub was on a trip to London when i was about 17. There was an ageing THESpian at the bar dressed in wide brimmed hat, cloak and ebony cane. Might have to visit again soon and see if he's still there... he looked to be heading for a long session.

2 Dec 2005 18:05

The Coach and Horses, Covent Garden

Great pub, with friendly staff and regulars. Has odd furniture... sort of booths halfway up the wall with a shelf at chest height, and a massive free-standing round table. Also has two doors leading on to the same street out the front. It's USP used to be Guinness from Dublin... but it's all made there now. This pub is clearly much-loved by the owners.

2 Dec 2005 18:00

The Shaston Arms, Soho

This pub does the mighty HB lager, imported from Munich. Nowhere near as old as it looks... if memory serves this place was converted from a sandwich shop and one of those shortlived designer soup outlets. How ironic that a new pub has being created to look like a really old one, now nearly all the genuine old ones have been refurbed into blandness. Have to say, standards have declined a bit since it opened... tables not being cleared when its busy, and slowish service sometimes. There's also a bloke in a suit who's sometimes in there with his braying city-type mates who might be the biggest w@anker on the planet.

All in all, pretty good though.

2 Dec 2005 17:45

The Old Coffee House, Soho

Great pub. Love the orange windows and the general louche shabbiness. Beer's OK, too. Lots of slightly-knackered Victoriana on the walls. Service is just on the good side of alright. There's a newspaper cutting on the wall behind the bar about the rudeness of the landlord. One word of warning: One of the regulars has the most annoying laugh you'll even hear... enough to make your teeth crumble.

2 Dec 2005 17:38

The Sun and 13 Cantons, Soho

This place isn't THAT bad... it's in SOHO, for gawd's sake. Which pub or bar isn't full of self-regarding bubbleheads? Having said that... I don't really like it. The staff don't keep the tables clear of empties and it's expensive.

2 Dec 2005 17:21

The Lamb and Flag, Covent Garden

"walklim" is correct about the toilets but wrong about everything else. This is a FANTASTIC pub, and is absolutely full of charm, history and character. I wish they hadn't taken out the creak old partition between the middle bar and front bar... but there y'go. The beer is OK... try the Bombardier.

2 Dec 2005 14:22

Waxy O'Connors, Piccadilly

Dreadful. Full of the sort of people who drink Double Diamond with egg and chips on the Costa Del Sol.

2 Dec 2005 14:13

Waxy's Little Sister, Piccadilly Circus

The Falcon was a great pub. This isn't. Begorrah.

2 Dec 2005 14:11

The Angel, Soho

The Angel might be unique in central London because it's got a real fire! Hats off to Sam Smiths for their no-nonsense-typically-Yorkshire attitude to their pubs. For example, the gap in the wall that led from the main room to the bar (one of 3!) on the left was blocked-up a few years back, which if anything has added even more character to an already characterful place. Beer is cheap and exclusively Sam Smith's... i wonder of the staff ever get bored of being asked for the Guiness they don't sell? Talking of the staff... Is that miserable barman still there? He was the only drawback to this place... he had a face that would make an undertaker with toothache look like the Cheshire Cat.

2 Dec 2005 14:06

The Lyric, Soho

One of Soho' s last real pubs in a magnificently seedy street. Walk down here at night and you can imagine yourself as a dubious anti-hero in a late 50s fim noir. Some nice remaining victorian features and a very cosy interior. Well worth a visit.

2 Dec 2005 13:54

The Malt Shovel, Harden

This is a characterful, creaky and very old pub on the side of the beck. Loads of different little rooms. Particularly nice at Christmas when the village choir might drop in to do some carols. Cosy, and slightly posh... lots of very expensive 4x4s in the car park, but as this is Yorkshire income counts for nowt. Well worth a visit.

1 Dec 2005 19:15

The Blue Posts, Soho

One of Soho's last professional boozers. Hasn't changed for years, and is very sixties in appearance (even has a WATNEYS window!) though it did get a new carpet a few months back.. Could almost be used as a film set. Can YOU find the toilets? This pub is a gem in its own way, and hopefully it'll stay as it is for a long time to come.

1 Dec 2005 19:07

The Harp, Covent Garden

Truly outstanding in every way. Friendly staff, great beer and a the pub itself is full of character. Given the location, it would have been easy to have slipped into complacency because the tourists would have come anyway. It's nice to think that visitors to London can find such an excellent example of a real British pub at a major tourist honeypot.

1 Dec 2005 18:48

The North Star, Leytonstone

This is a really good pub. It's on a lovely old street and you could almost imagine you were in a country village. When the sun's shining it's hard to believe there's a McD's full of chavs a hundred yards away.

Beer is well kept and the staff and regulars are friendly. There's also a little beer garden out the back. Decor is pleasantly knocked about, with some lovely old tongue-and-groove. A great place to go while the girlfriend endures the horror that is Tesco.

30 Nov 2005 18:38

Tan Hill Inn, Keld

Had the best New Year's Eve of my life here a few years back. Some lunatics had even camped over the road and their tents kept getting blown down the hill!

29 Nov 2005 13:57

The Dog and Gun Inn, Oxenhope

Remote, old coaching inn on near the top of the moor. Very welcoming and extremely well run. Real fires and great Taylor beer. Also popluar for food, but personally I'm not that much of a fan. Great place for a walk and a drink, though - and if it snows you might be there for days!

29 Nov 2005 13:54

Three Horses, Keighley

This might have been the most recently-built pub in Keighley, it was put up sometime in the 80s and looks it. Pretty dismal place, really.

29 Nov 2005 13:48

The Golden Fleece, Oakworth

Brilliant, immaculate village pub. If this was on the end of my street, I'd never leave it. Interior always rminds me of a Christmas grotto... there are nick-nacks all over the place!

29 Nov 2005 13:47

The Black Bull, Haworth

Soulless, by-the-numbers chain pubbery. More of a Wetherspoon's type place than what is typical of others in the town.

By the way, "Branwell's chair" is a replica!

29 Nov 2005 13:45

Haworth Old Hall, Haworth

Really popular pub, rammed at weekends. Used to be owned by Jennings Brewery of Cumbria. Strikes a good balance between an eating establishment and drinking one. The pub as it is now is due to a high quality refit a few years ago... no expense spared and it shows. The Old Hall itself is a beautiful venerable building (just check out the studded front door!) and the interior is much more sympathetic to it than it used to be.

29 Nov 2005 13:38

The Old Sun Hotel, Haworth

Tired and a bit dull, this pub's out on a limb, a five minute walk from the top of the Main Street where the rest of the pubs are. The Sun was briefly the "clog and cobbler", Keighley's only attempt to join the wretched Oirish Pub craze of a few years back. Change the name, stick a cereal packet in the window and a bike on the wall... hey presto – "Irish" pub! Punters stayed away in droves, so they changed the pub back (a bit) but the customers never really returned. The Sun needs some money spending on it, and a bit of TLC. For instance, last time I was in the whole pub smelled of the gent's toilets.

29 Nov 2005 13:33

The Brown Cow, Keighley

New tenants have cleared out "all the idiots" (the Brown Cow did have a bit of a reputation) and it's now a nice, friendly and well kept pub. The mountain-like landlord won't tolerate bad language so you could even take your grandma in for a port and lemon! This is one of Taylor's pubs that escaped the year-zero refurbishment policy so it's a bit like stepping back in time to the late sixties, and none the worse for that. I won't bother rating the beer... it's Taylor's and in Keighley it's never less than superb.

29 Nov 2005 13:25

The Walrus and Carpenter, Monument

Great pub with too rooms full of happy punters. This is a real, unpretentious boozer with a loyal clientele. Genuinely friendly bar staff who always seem to be smiling no matter how busy it gets. No wonder the landlord is always laughing... the Daily Express has just moved opposite!

29 Nov 2005 13:19

The Woodhouse Tavern, Leytonstone

Not a bad place at all. Don't go in very often but it has a nice atmosphere. After asking which beers were on hand pump, my dad was told by a surprised barmaid that the hand-pumps were "just for show!"

29 Nov 2005 13:16

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