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Beer of the Week (w/e 29th November 2020) with sheffield hatter on the Pub Forum

The Peahen, St Albans Central, St. Albans

14 London Road
St. Albans
Phone: 01727853669

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Reviews (Current Rating Average: 6 of 10) Add Review see review guidelines

Pub SignMan left this review about The Peahen

This is a large modern pub on a prominent crossroads in the centre of St Albans. The pub has a rather fancy interior but looked a bit like it might once have been a chain drinking barn-style venue thanks to the large open-plan interior. Following the current one-way system, you find yourself entering to the main bar area, with the servery along the rear wall. The bar zig-zags along an unconventional line with a modern counter and bar back in front of a smart floorboarded area mainly filled with high tables and stools. Additional seating can be found in two sizable spaces either side of the bar, with plentiful partitioning helping to break up the room and create a few spots that are a lot cosier than you might expect from this sort of venue. There are plenty of basic tables and chairs ideal for diners, of which there seemed to be many on my Thursday evening visit, but there are also some comfy lounge furnishings here and there. Décor includes lots of plain painted walls, fancy floral wallpaper and lots and lots of possibly fake flowers and plants. Despite a number of empty tables and at least one couple leaving when I arrived, the greeter insisted that all tables inside were accounted for and advised that I would have to sit out in the garden. He let slip a little though, when a lady who was clearly a regular came in behind me and asked him if he had any free tables, to which he told her he would “see what [he] could do”! I didn’t have the energy to argue my case to sit in such an impersonal room, so traipsed out to the garden which is set across two distinct spaces – a scruffy front patio section with uncomfortable high stool seating under a flimsy looking canvas covering which what looked like a closed bar cabin to one side, an a nicer rear space with bench seating and proper smoking shelters. I had a bit of a wait for someone to come out and take my order, the greeter having long since ditched me to try and find a table for his friends, but the waitress who finally came out was friendly and apologetic.
It appears that this place normally serves cask ale, but perhaps as a result of the pandemic, there was nothing but a row of unclipped pumps to greet me, so I turned to the craft keg selection, which included four Rivertown brews, from which I opted to try their SIPA, which was a fairly standard session beer served at an uncharitably cold temperature considering I was sat outside in the cold night air.
I’m not really that big a fan of this type of modern, pack-them-in, open-plan bar but I thought they’d done a decent enough job here to make this place feel a bit different, despite the lack of atmosphere. The service from the greeter was pretty shoddy, the beer too cold and the lack of cask ale disappointing, but some of these can directly be attributed to the side effects of the pandemic and I suspect this would make a reasonable enough place to come and have a pint, perhaps with a bite to eat and in the company of friends who don’t usually ‘do’ pubs.

On 16th November 2020 - rating: 6
[User has posted 2541 recommendations about 2541 pubs]

Please Note: This review is over a year old.

Moby Duck left this review about The Peahen

I didn't like the look of this pub at all,more focused on dining than anything else. I too do not like Mc Mullens beers ,so I didn't stop for one.

On 28th July 2015 - rating: 5
[User has posted 1354 recommendations about 1340 pubs]

Please Note: This review is over a year old.

Bucking Fastard left this review about The Peahen

In a prominent position ,this Mc Mullens tied house is focussed on food and has a largely open plan interior in a modern,rather souless style.The bar runs around one side of the interior ,while dining type tables in pine predominate.There is a small exterior beer terrace ,but I didn't detect much pub atmosphere.Two handpumps were drawing MuMullens Country and a seasonal "guest" badged as from The Whole Hop Brewery which is just another name for Macs brewhouse.
I wont be rushing back.

On 18th July 2015 - rating: 6
[User has posted 2087 recommendations about 2087 pubs]

Please Note: This review is over a year old.

john gray left this review about The Peahen

Nice modern pub with extensive garden at rear.2 McMullen beers County and Stout Herts which I found bland.Dont like McMullens beer much

On 28th February 2015 - rating: 7
[User has posted 940 recommendations about 927 pubs]

Please Note: This review is over a year old.

Just a quick pint, then I'm off left this review about The Peahen

Large modernised McMullens bar, irregular in shape, with various different seating areas. Substantial patio beer garden in courtyard to rear. Slightly anonymous atmosphere not really helped by the background jazz music. Two handpumps offering Country and the seasonal (£3.25).

On 3rd October 2011 - rating: 6
[User has posted 6198 recommendations about 6198 pubs]

Please Note: This review is over a year old.

Steve C left this review about The Peahen

The Peahen has a late license until midnight on Thursdays and 1am on Fridays and Saturdays which is why there is a bouncer working the door on these days. It was filling up very quickly during my early Saturday evening visit and when I walked past at about 21:30 a queue had formed outside and a ‘one in one out’ system was in operation. The management here must be raking in the money for Mcmullens as it is a very big pub to fill. In amongst the sea of standard draught taps I did spot two hand pumps that were drawing Mcmullen Cask Ale and Royal Wedding Ale. I plumped for the Guinness which was well served in a timely manor considering the queue at the bar. Food is available from around the £9 mark, but I didn’t eat or see anyone else doing so. There is a courtyard out the back that I think is mainly used by smokers.

I suppose that I would have no problem returning here if passing, but there are better pubs in the local area.

On 16th May 2011 - rating: 6
[User has posted 3586 recommendations about 3565 pubs]

Please Note: This review is over a year old.

Steve of N21 left this review about The Peahen

Large Corner pub with a commanding position on the London Road traffic light junction in the middle of St Albans. It's a McMullens house which has undergone one of the modern light wood décor makeovers which many McMullen pubs have fallen foul of. But this one works better than most with plenty of seating areas either end of a large standing area in front of the main bar. Quite lively on the early Friday evening of my visit, two McMullen ales on which were perfectly fine, and no problems encountered with service as there several uniformed bar staff in action. There was also door staff in operation checking ages, I think for over 21, but as it is a long time since that sort of thing affected me cannot confirm exactly.
Found it a decent enough place to meet up and have a few beers before moving on, but not enough character or soul to motivate me to spend an entire evening here.

On 22nd January 2010 - rating: 6
[User has posted 1712 recommendations about 1661 pubs]