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2020 Spring crawl: Preston on Friday, 17th April with Bucking Fastard on the Pub Forum

The Heron, W2

Norfolk Crescent
W2
W2 2DN

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Pub Type

Punch Taverns

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


Tris C left this review about The Heron

The sister pub to the Monkey Puzzle, this was built as part of the Hyde Park Estate in 1972, a rather swanky high-rise development just off Sussex Gardens, possibly still one of the capital’s most notorious hotspots for sex workers.
The first thing you notice on entering is the Queen’s guardsman in full uniform and bearskin in his sentry box. The second thing you notice is the Bass plaque to the right of the door, but once through it, this couldn’t be more different from the Monkey Puzzle. It’s a bit like a Swiss chalet coupled with a traditional country pub. The floor is modern with a Minton-style tiled bar apron, but otherwise this could be an old interior with woody bar front, with leaded stained glass pot shelf and simple wooden and mirrored bar back. There’s a real fire in a Ye Olden Style ornate brick fireplace, above which, is a bronze and gilded lion and unicorn royal coat of arms. Thereafter it’s an utter riot of knickknacks: a grandfather clock, clocking in machine, wooden aircraft propeller with clock at centre, glass fronted cupboard containing old beer bottles, more than 60 royal commemorative plates mounted to the white Anaglypta ceiling, a frame containing autographed photos of the cast of Are You Being Served?, regimental coats of arms, royal photos (none of Prince Andrew spotted), photos of celebrities, American flag, an old brass till, framed portrait of Churchill; I could go on. There’s also a photograph of the Handlebar Club, who meet here once a month. Lighting comes from traditional brass Victorian sconces, tassel shaded standard lamps and Tiffany ceiling lamps; the only thing that let the ensemble down was the football being shown on a small projector, albeit with the sound off, though no one watching. There’s Thai food served in a modern dining room downstairs, the staircase lined with photos of famous film stars of old. Customers ranged from the middle-aged to elderly, eclectic and rather eccentric, some rather pickled, one trying to have a covert smoke before being admonished by a friendly landlady, who greeted several local Americans on arrival. In all, there was a good, friendly atmosphere, with most people seeming to know one another.
Ales amounted to GK IPA and Exmoor’s Gold at a reasonable £4.70 a pint and perfectly drinkable.
In all, I really liked this place; it seems to offer far more joy than anything else in the area and I would be more than happy to return, but the ale choice and quality would get the score up by at least another point.

On 15th January 2022 - rating: 7
[User has posted 1355 recommendations about 1333 pubs]


Please Note: This review is over a year old.


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

This Hyde Park Estate pub doesn't look very promising, being located under an undistinguished housing block. However, the wood-panelled bar is much more appealing and well maintained. The walls are nowadays covered in memorabilia, particularly in the half set up more for dining (Thai menu), with the busier section having the TV screens, etc. Features a narrow front terrace and a decking patio beer garden to one side. Often just has Pride or Doom Bar available from the three handpumps, but it sometimes offers a guest beer from the Punch list. I quite like this place.

On 3rd June 2017 - rating: 7
[User has posted 6687 recommendations about 6687 pubs]


Please Note: This review is over a year old.


hondo . left this review about The Heron

Interior as described below. 3 real ale taps 1 off the other 2 both serving doom bar. Food served.

On 2nd November 2014 - no rating submitted
[User has posted 2808 recommendations about 2750 pubs]


Please Note: This review is over a year old.


Rex Rattus left this review about The Heron

There were three handpumps on the bar , but only London Pride was available (£3.50 a pint; £2 a half). There was no sign of any food on Wednesday afternoon.

This looks very much like a 60s estate pub. There's artificially distressed pine panelling everywhere, and a huge open and ornate exposed brick fireplace on the left. There was both a jukebox and a fruit machine, but both were switched off during my visit. Sky Sports was being shown on a large TV, with thankfully no music competing with the sound. The floor's bare-boarded and furnishings are normal tables and chairs scattered around the single room on the ground floor. There was a sign on the outside saying "Thai" - I appreciate brevity so I suppose it is meant to indicate that Thai food is available, rather any other facilities associated with Thailand. The toilets are downstairs at the front, and I saw some further seating down there as you approach the toilets, and perhaps this is where the Thai food is available?

This pub is typical of the characterless pubs that were produced in the 60s - it's a product of the times, but maybe in 100 years' time when there are only a handful of them left in London pub enthusiasts will acclaim them as pub masterpieces. Anyway, at least it does do London Pride, which is certainly better than nothing.

On 23rd November 2013 - rating: 4
[User has posted 2593 recommendations about 2507 pubs]