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The Victoria, Bushey Arches, Watford

39 Chalk Hill
WD19 4BU
Phone: 01923227993

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

Clive Thompson left this review about The Victoria

If CAMRA did describe this as 'possibly the least altered in the Watford area' they may need to get back and review it now. It has had a big makeover and is vastly different to the old pub in decor, with a bit of a cocktail/lounge bar vibe seemingly what they are aiming for. The two tier layout is the same though, and the bar is in the same place. The previous brick outhouse toilets have been bought a little more 'in house', although will still come as a bit of a shock to those who think they are in a flash cocktail bar. I can't help but think the refurb is a bit cosmetic and was done on the cheap. Beer wise they have Morreti and Beavertown amongst others. I had a £4 bottle of Doom Bar.

On 19th January 2022 - rating: 3
[User has posted 776 recommendations about 697 pubs]

Please Note: This review is over a year old.

Pub SignMan left this review about The Victoria

Having just enjoyed a nice walk through nearby Oxhey Park, I was in serious need of a bite to eat and so decided to pop into this pub which CAMRA describe as ‘possibly the least altered in the Watford area’. The pub has a fairly unusual two bar, three room layout and one or two original features that make it worth a bit of investigation. The front entrance takes you into a smart and compact front bar with pew and low stool seating, a neutral colour scheme with dado rail and a nicely presented collection of framed Watford FC shirts. A couple of large screens were showing muted Sky Sports News and a reasonable crowd started to build up during my visit. To the right is a second bar, denoted as the Saloon Bar by an etched pane in a side door. This is a carpeted room with space for just the one solitary high table and a few bar stools. An old framed map dominates one wall whilst there is a wonderful photo montage of local pubs from the 1930’s next to the servery. A narrow set of steps take you up to a raised rear lounge area, again carpeted and with some fixed benches and a pew around the perimeter, supplemented by low stools. There is a wide brick fireplace on one wall and more TV screens showing football. From here you can make your way behind the bar into a dark third room which is used for darts and allows you to complete the circuit back to the front bar. A decent 70’s soundtrack played throughout my stay and seemed to fit in nicely with the general ambiance in the pub. A basic pub grub menu was available at good value prices and I enjoyed a nice ham, egg and chips, served up by a friendly chef.
The hand pumps are sited in the Saloon Bar, so I didn’t spot them on entry and ended up with a pint of generic lager. A quick look showed that Young’s Ordinary was available, although I’m fairly sure I heard the barman mention to another customer that it was off.
This is a fairly no nonsense boozer that might not be to everyone’s taste, but I thought it had a lot going for it. The staff were very friendly, the food was proper pub grub done well and there are some interesting features worth keeping an eye out for. It just needs a well kept ale or two to elevate it further.

On 15th October 2014 - rating: 6
[User has posted 2826 recommendations about 2826 pubs]

Please Note: This review is over a year old.

E TA left this review about The Victoria

A proper, decent local pub frequented by locals and commuters. Like many Victorian town pubs, this has been extended and knocked through to form a single large bar with a raised inside terrace. There is also a small side room with a gaming machine and a trophy display cabinet. There is a covered smoking area at the side. Free wifi is available. The pub runs regular social events such as quiz nights, curry evenings and so on, often raising money for local charities. The tv screens were all switched off, so the conversation was lively and inclusive. The barman was cheerful and friendly. There were two ales on – I had pints of Doombar and Young's, both in good condition. Well worth dropping in if passing, and I would include in a crawl.

On 18th March 2014 - rating: 7
[User has posted 2911 recommendations about 2878 pubs]

Please Note: This review is over a year old.

Clive Thompson left this review about The Victoria

Split level layout with the bar on the lower level encouraging people to sit at the bar so it can be difficult to get served when busy. Attractive if tired décor with loads of old Watford photos plus Watford FC strips and racing silks. Beers were London Pride and Young’s Ordinary but it’s not much of a real ale pub.

On 24th February 2010 - rating: 5
[User has posted 776 recommendations about 697 pubs]