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The Imperial Arms, Chislehurst

Old Hill
Phone: 02036057899

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

Please Note: This review is over a year old.

Blue Scrumpy left this review about The Imperial Arms

Of the 4 Chislehurst pubs we visited yesterday, I felt this was the best. It has the feel of a traditional rural boozer, with a cosy interior and friendly owners. Table service was in place here too. But it was swift. Just Fuller's London Pride & Harvey's Sussex Best Bitter were on. A third handpull had a Timothy Taylor Landlord clip, but it was off.

We didn't try the food. But it certainly smelt very nice, as we walked alongside the pub towards the Rambler's Rest. There is a garden at the rear too.

On 10th September 2020 - rating: 5
[User has posted 2550 recommendations about 2549 pubs]

Please Note: This review is over a year old.

Pub SignMan left this review about The Imperial Arms

This pleasant old pub close to Chislehurst station, has a lovely rustic feel to it that many pubs in the area seem to struggle to replicate. You enter directly to the main bar area in a carpeted L-shaped room with the similarly shaped servery to the left. The bar has a nice, curved dark wood counter, simple bar back and attractive gantry and extends through to a second room at the back of the pub. The main bar area has banquette seating around the perimeter with a few standard tables and chairs filing in the gaps. Red drapes adorn the windows and the walls have in places, been covered with some rather 'loud' floral wallpaper. Muted lighting and various dark wood fixtures help create a nice ambience, aided by pleasant features such as the decorative light fittings and vases of fresh flowers on the tables. The rear room has more standard seating, this time arranged around a fireplace on the rear wall. It's a smaller space and was primarily being used by diners, although a few mouthy locals were stood at the bar here during the course of our visit. There is a formal restaurant out the back somewhere, seemingly decorated in quite an elaborate fashion, but we decided to take our food in the bar, which we soon regretted when the locals started swearing and shouting. To be fair, the bar staff put an end to this quite quickly, pointing out that there were still children present, which prompted one of the locals to give a grovelling apology to the child's father - a giant of a man who I most definitely wouldn't have wanted to upset!
The pub has featured in recent editions of the Good Beer Guide and had some well known ales on the bar, with Fullers London Pride, Harvey's Sussex Best and Marstons Pedigree available on this occasion. I gave the Sussex Best a try and it was in very good shape, so much so that I decided to have a second. We had a Sunday roast here and the food was very nice, as were the very attentive staff who seemed genuinely keen to make sure we were enjoying ourselves.
This is a nice traditional feeling pub that feels a lot more genuine and comfortable than other pubs I've been to around Chislehurst. I was impressed with the friendly service and tasty food and thought the beer, whilst a little unadventurous, was at least in great condition. A good bet for a well kept pint in Chislehurst and a good double header with the nearby Rambler's Rest.

On 16th January 2019 - rating: 7
[User has posted 3140 recommendations about 3140 pubs]

Please Note: This review is over a year old.

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

Solid-looking pub, partly opened out to leave a 'L'-shaped bar refurbished with very dark decor and furnished with padded benches and dining tables (with candles. Also has a another room behind and a new Courtyard Wine Bar and function room. Live music advertised. Three real ales on handpump: Doom Bar, Pedigree and Harveys (£3.60, and served in the right glass).

On 26th August 2014 - rating: 6
[User has posted 8160 recommendations about 8160 pubs]

Please Note: This review is over a year old.

Roger Button left this review about The Imperial Arms

Built in 1792 as the Windmill, the pub changed its name to the Imperial Arms in 1873, a nod to the exiled Napoleon III who lived in what is now the clubhouse of nearby Chislehurst golf course.

The L-shaped interior is split into 2 bars, the Library Bar and the Catherine Bar (after the aforementioned Napoleon’s bit on the side). The place has a very cosy interior with beamed ceilings, thick curtains, paneled walls, leather banquettes and subdued lighting. A series of military caricatures and various Napoleonic pictures adorn the walls.

The pub was taken over by the present owners in 2012 and underwent a major refurbishment, a task undertaken by “Designer to the Stars” Martin Bullard that was featured on the Million Dollar Decorators TV programme. I can’t pretend to know one end of a paintbrush from the other but some of the décor does come across as a bit tacky, not least the overwhelming book wallpaper in the Library Bar that is a cheap substitute for the real thing. The “imposing open fireplace” was obscured by an ugly electric fire plonked in front of it and the marble topped tables did have a bit of Pizza Express about them.

On the beer front, there were 3 ales available, Tribute, Doom Bar and Harveys Best, the latter at £3.50 is par for the area and was good quality.

The pub was quite vibrant for a Sunday evening albeit the music was a bit intrusive. Nitpicking décor gripes aside, I felt the place had enough charm, character and cosiness to warrant a return visit only next time I think I’ll opt for the Catherine Bar away from that wallpaper.

On 18th February 2013 - rating: 6
[User has posted 1239 recommendations about 1233 pubs]