I remember going in this little pub a good few years ago and thinking it was half decent. It must still be because it’s in the current (2018) Good Beer Guide and it’s handily not far from the Leather Lane branch of the Craft Beer Co.
The one up one down, little pub didn’t seem to cut it for me this time. Okay, there were a few people in at around 4pm, no one in the larger room upstairs though. Shame the two lads behind the bar didn’t talk to anyone, apart from each other. I do hate it when bar staff are preoccupied with their own fascinating private conversation, to the exclusion of what they are actually being paid to do.
Maybe it was the beer range that put me off? Nothing special in the cask line up: Gloucester, West Berkshire, XT and Watney’s Pale Ale. I shuddered at the thought of why anyone would revive Watney’s as a brand? After all, that’s what the, brewed by Sambrook’s beer is, just a brand, a gimmick, an empty shell that should be avoided at all costs.
I wasn’t particularly taken with the keg line up neither, again nowt special, nothing really to tantalise or tease. I had a half pint of Kernel Pale Ale, at a whopping £6.80 a pint equivalent, it was only alright, a bit dull and lifeless, it shouldn’t have been, and think what the cask might have been like if the keg beer’s dull? I think Mrs C had a Neck Oil. We supped it quietly and listened to the two Canadians with a London pub walks book, shame the Old Red Cow wasn’t providing them the full British pub experience.
The only highlight of the visit was a young girl who wandered in. Pretty, but slightly strange, asking whether they did fish and chips and how much were they? She said she would go and get some money, returning five minutes later. She didn’t want a drink, just the fish and chips and went upstairs. After more than a good while, she came back down and sat on the table next to us. I wasn’t quite sure whether it was mental health, chemicals or just a scam?
Verdict: I thought this a decent place once upon a time, but it seems to be nothing special these days.