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The Hare & Billet, Blackheath, SE3

1A Hare and Billet Road
Phone: 02088522352

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Pub Type

Metropolitan Pub Co (Greene King)

Reviews (Current Rating Average: 7 of 10) Add Review see review guidelines

Please Note: This review is over a year old.

Rex Rattus left this review about The Hare & Billet

Not much has changed since the previous reviewer's visit some three years ago. I didn't see any of my bugbear tall tables/tall stools now, but everything else looks much the same. The area down at the far end has tables all laid for diners, and the dissected drawing of a cow is still on the wall on the raised area on the right. One apparently new thing is the mass of photographs of dogs, with their names of course, on the walls in the corner just past the servery. I guess it must be dog friendly then, with dog walkers popping in for a swift one with their furry friends after a walk on the heath.

The ale selection is still quite good, especially for a Greene King pub. GK IPA was available of course, plus "Hare Ale" which is indoubtedly GK Hanson & Hardy Bitter. But they also had on Southwark Bankside Blonde, the Kent Brewery pair of Red Top and Uber Brew, plus Twickenham Naked Ladies coming soon. Unfortunately we suffered a similar experience to the previous reviewer, with the Red Top being in very poor condition. Maybe we were just unlucky, possibly like the previous reviewer.

Despite the poor quality ale, I still quite liked this pub, and would be happy to give it another go if in the area again.

On 25th October 2019 - rating: 7
[User has posted 2577 recommendations about 2495 pubs]

Please Note: This review is over a year old.

Pub SignMan left this review about The Hare & Billet

Located on the Southern fringes of Blackheath Common, a five or so minute walk from the train station, this is a decent sized pub offering a wide range of ales. The place feels like a traditional pub that has been given a bit of a modern spruce up. You enter into a large bare boarded room with the servery down the left hand side and a good mix of banquette, standard chair and high stool seating options in the front section. The bar has a painted counter and white tile bar back, but in no way resembles the sort of craft beer bar servery that you might associate such a description with. The raised space opposite the bar has a nice tiled fireplace at one end with old bottles and jugs balanced on the mantelpiece and a TV set above, which remained turned off during my visit. A few old pictures, including a huge butcher's diagram of a cow showing the various cuts of meat, line walls painted in the sort of drab grey colour scheme Blackheath seems so fond of. The bar area offers a good amount of standing room between a series of pine clad pillars, with some sofas and tub chairs in the tongue and groove panelled space beyond, decorated with potted plants and a bottle display. Further back is a part tiled, part carpeted dining room with traditional wood panels and standard seating under some blackboards and a few minimalist art works. A solid indie soundtrack accompanied us throughout my stay and there was a surprisingly mixed clientele on a mid-week evening.
A long row of hand pumps offered Southwark Harvard APA, Sambrooks Powerhouse Porter, Greene King IPA, Kent Cobnut, Truman's Runner, and a house beer called Hare Ale from Greene King. Two real ciders from Biddenden and Gwynt y Ddraig occupied the final pulls. I tried a pint of the APA (£4.00), but found it to be in fairly poor condition, perhaps indicating that the ale range might be a little too broad for its own good.
This is a pleasant enough spot to relax over a pint or two and probably the closet to a traditional boozer I've found in the area. The beer quality remains a bit of a question mark, but it made it into the 2016 Good Beer Guide, so I'm prepared to accept I may have got a little unlucky. One for a revisit I think.

On 6th September 2016 - rating: 7
[User has posted 2545 recommendations about 2545 pubs]

Please Note: This review is over a year old.

Quinno _ left this review about The Hare & Billet

Upper middle class ale outlet overlooking the heath. Modern retro-style décor including a white metro tile bar back. There was also a large cow frieze with the cuts shown, for reasons unexplained. On a blackboard was an amusing hand-written note calling out a member of staff for taking a ‘sickie’ when in actual fact they were just hungover. Very foody and family-friendly on our Sunday lunchtime visit, lots of small kids in attendance with the usual issues that this brings, a number of sprog chariots (whatever happened to McLaren buggies?) and the occasional wailing when Jack or Phoebe wouldn’t eat their peas. Seating is also pretty cramped. The main reason to come was the bar - ten pumps, eight ales (ELB Cowcatcher, Red Squirrel Winters Tale, Sharps Xmas ale, Revolutions Red Wedge, Celt Bleddyn, Hackney Porter, GK IPA, Sambrook Junction) plus two unusual ciders. The Cowcatcher and Belddyn drank well enough but the Sharps was fairly insipid, well-past its best (too many on offer?) and the Porter was a bit flat. There’s also a number of craft kegs. A bit of a mixed bag but in conjunction with Zerodegrees down the road I’d say it’s worth checking out.

On 7th January 2015 - rating: 6
[User has posted 4042 recommendations about 4030 pubs]

Please Note: This review is over a year old.

Malden man left this review about Hare & Billet Ale House

There have been big changes to this pub since the last review, it is a GK pub no more, now under the wing of The Capital Pub Company, it has been fully refurbished and rebranded. You now enter to be confronted by a bar along the side wall containing ten handpumps shared between ales and ciders, plus several keg fonts supplying more unusual if fizzy offerings from around Europe and the USA.
Bare boarded flooring for the most part, there is a slightly raised section directly opposite the bar, to the rear is a dedicated dining area where one section of floor is tiled. Food looks to be a big factor here although as the pub was rather busy my vantage point from my seat meant I couldn't see the chalkboard menu, plenty were eating in the dining area however.
Much of the décor is food related, one exception being a novel way of displaying previous beer options with framed beermats in numerous little frames occupying a side wall towards the front. In addition a side wall shows a cow with the various cuts of meat numbered as I recall seeing years ago in our old local family butchers, this theme is repeated on the climb to the toilets where there are several prints of herbs, bread, food knives etc. Other décor includes a shelf of books, mugs and brass artifacts. The rear wall of the bar is tiled white, brick stretcher bond style.
The ten handpumps featured Truman's Lazarus, London Fields Shoreditch Triangle IPA (£4.20 but 6%+), Surrey Hills Gilt Complex, Bristol Beer Factory Acer plus their Milk Stout, Adnam's Fat Sprat, something called Hare Ale, no brewery on the clip, plus ciders, Bushell's Biddenden, Dorset Necter and West Milton Real Cider. Beers are served by default in a jug but there is the option of a straight glass on request.
I nearly missed this one out on my mini tour of Blackheath as it began to rain and was rather windy as I left the Princess of Wales on the opposite side of the heath, very glad I perservered, easily the best of the current Blackheath pubs and well worth the effort to visit. Excellent heath views too. Based on the review below I imagine Roger will be going kite shopping pretty soon!

On 23rd June 2013 - rating: 8
[User has posted 1687 recommendations about 1663 pubs]

Please Note: This review is over a year old.

Roger Button left this review about Hare & Billet Ale House

The Hare & Billett was first established in 1765 although there is apparently evidence of a pub being here since the 1600’s. Its prime location on the heath makes it popular with the local kite flyers and dog walkers although it probably isn’t a good place to grab a quick pint when the London marathon is in progress.

It is a solid old fashioned place with few pretencies, bare floors, brick fireplaces, bookcases and plain décor with a few homely touches like newspapaer racks and hat stands. Therev was a dart board but this was removed a couple of years ago when the pub changed hands. One section opposite the bar is slightly raised with railing divides and seemed to be populated with diners on my visit although it isn’t specifically a dining area. The views of the heath are one of the better assets but every time I go here they seem to change the rules about drinking outside so don’t plan a visit around getting a sun tan.

Formerly a Hogshead, this is now Greene King territory so the beers are perhaps a little predictable with IPA, Speckled Hen, Abbot and Morland Original being the choices on my latest visit. Prices are very reasonable for the area (the Morland was £3). The food menu was typical pub grub with main courses generally around £7-£10.

The customer base is quite civil and you should have a relatively peaceful and hassle free time if you want tio walk the few extra minutes away from the village. I do quite like the place but the Greene King beers aeren’t enough to draw me here on a regular basis. Besides, I don’t have a kite or a dog and have never run a marathon.

On 25th October 2011 - rating: 6
[User has posted 1238 recommendations about 1232 pubs]

Please Note: This review is over a year old.

train man left this review about The Hare & Billet

A GK house, so IPA, Abbot and, I think, OSH on my visit. Nice originality and good community feel to the pub and, if you can bag a window seat, somewhere to gaze out on the heath and reflect on life over a pint. If you are in the area to also take in the Dacre Arms then you can turn left from here up Eliot Place then left down Heath La to avoid retracing your steps from Blackheath stn.

On 10th January 2008 - no rating submitted
[User has posted 411 recommendations about 410 pubs]