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Picture of The Travellers Friend
Image posted by john mcgraw
Submitted on Saturday, 8th March 2008
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The Travellers Friend

498 High Road
Woodford Green
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Served areas

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Bus Stop(, ) St.Thomas of Canterbury Church

Reviews of The Travellers Friend (Average Rating: 7 of 10) Add Review see review guidelines

Aqualung . left this review about The Travellers Friend

This place has been a noted ale house and GBG entry for donkey's years. It's an unspoilt wooden panelled uncarpeted single bar that has some snob screens on the left side of the bar. A new garden area has been constructed on a grassy area to the right of the pub.
It lost it's appeal for me when Ridley's sold out as this was probably the only permanent outlet for Ridley's IPA in the Greater London area.
For many years it was run by a couple from South Wales with a daughter and when the old man died there were some very unwarranted criticisms about them on another web site. I think those criticisms should have been directed at tne failing and now defunct Bramwell pub company. When it was threatened with closure two local businessmen stepped in and purchased it.
It has always been known locally as "Spivs" due to the custom base from all of the car showrooms nearby and my afternoon visit illustrated that nothing has changed when an Arthur Daley like character with a very loud voice started waffling on about the price of an Aston Martin.
The thing that bothers me about the pub and it was confirmed on my visit is how somewhere that is presumably completely free of tie can have such a dull beer selection. Of the four regular beers Courage Best, Doom Bore, St Austell Tribute and Wells Bombardier the only one I recall from the more distant past being always served here is Courage Best. Why on earth should a pub on the edge of Greater London have TWO regular beers all the way from Cornwall?
The three guest pumps also disappointed, mainly due to the fact that one was from Greene King called Old Nutty Hen, yet another boring variation on one of their boring core beers. The other two beers were from Welton's down in West Sussex, they were PridenJoy and Old Chestnut. I've nothing against Welton's beers, in fact I've had some top pints from them but in this part of London a number of Wetherspoon outlets sell them at a price around £1.50 a pint cheaper than the Old Chestnut which was an excessive £3.90. However, the beer was in immaculate condition.
With prices like this and an unexciting beer range I won't be rushing back which is a shame as it's a nice pub with enormous potential.

On 20th October 2014 - rating: 6
[User has posted 382 recommendations about 359 pubs]

Rex Rattus left this review about The Travellers Friend

As I entered I was drawn to the bank of four handpumps facing me, clipped with Courage Best, Doom Bar, Bombardier, and St Austell Tribute. A pint of Tribute and a good quality cheese, pickle and salad roll from pile of clingfilm covered rolls in a basket behind the bar came to £7, which seemed reasonable enough to me. When I sat down I spotted a chalkboard on the bar back advertising the three guest ales of East London Brewery Foundation, Greene King Brasilia, and Mighty Oak Oscar Wilde. A schoolboy error by yours truly had led me to miss the three additional handpumps round to the left of the bar counter underneath the snob screens with the guest ales. But my Tribute was in excellent nick which was some consolation.

This pub is on CAMRA's London Inventory of heritage pubs. The internal features of interest here are the bank of five snob screens sheltering the guest ales; the fielded panelling on all the walls, the ancient bar back, and the row of small taps on the left of the bar back that once supposedly dispensed by gravity port, and possibly other drinks, from barrels set above the bar back. This is a basic pub with what looks like old lino on the floor, and seating is exclusively normal tables and chairs. Decor consists of jugs, bottles, and the like on a small shelf on the walls above the wood panelling; the inevitable black and white prints; another shelf on the left bearing books; and brewery and cigarette themed mirrors. It all hangs together rather well. There's a bit of bench seating outside at the front, as well as in a garden area to the right of the pub.

I liked this pub a lot. It had a friendly atmosphere when I was in Friday lunchtime, and it felt comfortable enjoying a quiet pint in the absence of music and TV noise (the TV was switched off). It's full of traditional pub character. Seven ales on, including three guest ales with a couple from less commonly seen breweries is good going as well. I have to say that it's a bit out of the way to get to, but I'm jolly glad I made the effort.

On 1st July 2014 - rating: 8
[User has posted 1630 recommendations about 1586 pubs]

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Latest updates View all updates for The Travellers Friend, Woodford Green
20th Oct 2014, 18:43
Review submitted by Aqualung .
1st Jul 2014, 19:40
Picture submitted by Rex Rattus approved

Pub Details

Pub details supplied by members of this site to the best of their knowledge. Please check with pub directly before making a special trip.

  • Accommodation : No last updated 20 October 2014 by Aqualung .
  • Bar Billiards : No last updated 20 October 2014 by Aqualung .
  • Beer Festivals : No last updated 20 October 2014 by Aqualung .
  • Beer Garden : Yes last updated 01 July 2014 by Rex Rattus
  • CAMRA Discount : No last updated 20 October 2014 by Aqualung .
  • Car Park : No last updated 20 October 2014 by Aqualung .
  • Darts : No last updated 20 October 2014 by Aqualung .
  • Jukebox : No last updated 20 October 2014 by Aqualung .
  • Karaoke : No last updated 20 October 2014 by Aqualung .
  • Live Music : No last updated 20 October 2014 by Aqualung .
  • Pinball : No last updated 20 October 2014 by Aqualung .
  • Pool Table : No last updated 20 October 2014 by Aqualung .
  • Real Ale : Yes - 7 Ales on. - last updated 01 July 2014 by Rex Rattus
  • Real Cider : No last updated 20 October 2014 by Aqualung .

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