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Beer of the Week (w/e 26th June 2022) with aleandhearty on the Pub Forum

The Pilot Inn, North Greenwich, SE10

68 River Way
SE10 0BE
Phone: 02088585910

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

Please Note: This review is over a year old.

Blackthorn _ left this review about The Pilot Inn

A traditional looking pub that is just a short stroll from the O2 arena, and certainly makes a pleasant change from the rather formulaic chain bars that can be found there. In fact, if you don’t want a pint in or around the O2 complex, then this seems to be the only other option on the peninsula. It’s just a shame that they don’t start doing food until 6:00pm during the week, otherwise we would have eaten here as well.

It’s a good sized pub, both inside and out and split over a couple of levels. Décor wise, it’s perhaps a bit of a mismatch with each room having a slightly different style, but is certainly pleasant enough. One of the larger rooms off to the right has a wood strip floor and pale grey paintwork, with some rather vibrant aqua blue on the timberwork. An unusual feature was a table that had a globe of the world built in to the end of it, presumably in a nod to the nearby meridian. A snug off to the left was quite cosy, with some yellow paintwork on the end wall, some cosy Chesterfield arm chairs and an old brick fire-place, although all it contained on our visit was an electric light. Hopefully it’s used in the colder weather. A plasma screen mounted on the chimney breast grated somewhat, but at least it was turned off. Elsewhere an upper level bar had a parquet wood floor and led out on to a terrace whilst the bar counter had an unusual selection of industrial looking pipework affixed to the front of it. Further outside seating included a patio at the rear as well as a few tables and chairs at the front.

Beers on tap were something from Hackney whose name escapes me, ESB, London Pride and Oliver’s Island, whilst a fifth pump appeared to have sold out. The solitary cider was Golden Orchards. All in all I thought this was a decent pub, and certainly a better bet than all the other options in the vicinity.

On 13th April 2017 - rating: 7
[User has posted 1802 recommendations about 1726 pubs]

Please Note: This review is over a year old.

Pub SignMan left this review about The Pilot Inn

This large Fullers dates back to 1801 and would have served the various industrial workers employed in the area, but now finds itself as the only proper pub on the Greenwich Peninsula, which is of course nowadays associated with the O2 complex - a five minute walk away. The pub underwent a big refurbishment a few years ago and presents itself as an upmarket alternative to the chain bars and restaurants in and around the O2. You enter to the main bar area with the servery down the left hand wall. The bar counter has a chunky wooden top and some rowing oars strapped to the front whilst the bar back has a modern look, having been painted in dark shades, and there is an open kitchen to one end. Some attractive hexagonal tiles map out the floor around the bar and there are bare brick walls opposite bearing a rack filled with the day's papers, some kitsch postcards and a few framed Billy Bunter paperbacks. To the front is a small seating area with a handful of high tables and stools under a large bay window and some aqua-marine coloured wall panelling with the pub's social media details stencilled on. To the left of the entrance is a cosy little lounge with a large rug covering old floorboards. A brick fireplace on the end wall provides a good focal point and there was a TV screen turned off in one corner. Seating here is mainly in the form of comfy armchairs and the space has been decorated with model ships, small cages, seascape paintings and old cartoons. Opposite the bar is a large, open-plan seating area with loads of good standard chair seating with luggage cases placed in various spots around the room and a beautiful wooden globe as a centrepiece. Steps lead up to a small formal dining area to the rear with lots of reserved tables, seashell wallpaper and an unusual large framed light. Beneath is possibly the largest seating space in the whole pub with rows of seating and access to the beer garden. The pub also has several rooms which could be handy if you need to overnight after a show.
For such a prominent Fuller's pub, I expected to see their full ale range on the bar, but instead there was just London Pride, ESB and Oliver's Island, with two guest ales from Weird Beard - Black Perle and Little Things That Kill. Keg options included Fullers Honeydew, Meantime Yakima Red and Sierra Nevada Pale Ale, with some of these served from taps on the bar back. I decided to try one of the guest ales and ordered a pint of the Black Perle, but was staggered to then be charged £5.25 - surely the most expensive pint of ale on the peninsula. When the barman logged into the cash register to process the transaction, his name appeared as 'Al Capone', which seemed appropriate for such a racket.
I was all ready to sing this pub's praises in view of the fact that it's by far the nicest environment to enjoy a drink on the peninsula and actually a very well presented pub in its own right, but the staggering and completely unjustified cost of beer brewed in London means that I will have to think long and hard about frequenting this place again. A great pub if you're loaded and can turn a blind eye to blatant profiteering.

On 17th March 2016 - rating: 7
[User has posted 2795 recommendations about 2795 pubs]

Please Note: This review is over a year old.

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

Attractive Fuller's pub in a short terrace of original buildings rather isolated in the mix of new flats and wasteland awaiting redevelopment in the area around the O2 arena. Partly opened-out inside to leave an overall 'L'-shaped split-level arrangement of seating and dining areas. Semi-traditional furniture and decor throughout. Also has a patio area out front. On the real ale front, Pride, Oliver's Island, Red Fox, ESB and Sambrook's Battersea Rye (£4.15) were available from five of the six handpumps.

On 21st November 2015 - rating: 7
[User has posted 7001 recommendations about 7001 pubs]

Please Note: This review is over a year old.

Rex Rattus left this review about The Pilot Inn

This is a Fuller’s pub that had on the full permanent range - ESB, Pride, Chiswick and Discovery. The Chiswick was excellent, and at £3.10 a pint a reasonable enough price for London. Sandwiches are around the £5 mark; main courses are pushing towards £10, but the pub grub classic of bangers & mash is £8.50, as is the hitherto unseen (by me anyway) black pudding salad. The ham and tomato baguette I had was of good quality.
Inside it’s a comfortable pub, with banquette seating and normal tables and chairs. It’s carpeted, apart from a bare boarded area surrounding the bar, and a raised area at the back where tables were all laid with napkins and cutlery. There’s lots of dark wood all over the place, mainly consisting of adzed beams on the walls and ceilings, representing a classic bit of brewer’s Tudor. The overall theme of the decor is of course nautical. There are numerous prints of sailing ships, model ships, and even a bank of clocks of the type that show the time in various locations around the world. None of them were showing the correct time, but nonetheless provided a most unusual piece of decor.
This is the only pub anyway near the O2, but has remained an excellent pub nevertheless. I guess it might be a different place when the arena is in use, but it may still be too far to walk for many to bother. I’d happily visit again.

On 24th August 2011 - rating: 7
[User has posted 2599 recommendations about 2513 pubs]

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Roger Button left this review about The Pilot Inn

First established in 1801 the Pilot is a rather isolated pub tacked onto the end of a series of cottages that are among the last remnants of pre-Millenium developments. When the Dome was built nearby, the pub came into prominence as it was the nearest (actually the only) pub in the vicinity. After the Dome shut, the Pilot reverted back to its quiet and peaceful backwater old self until the O2 Arena complex saw the area once again thrust into the spotlight. One would expect the Pilot to have found itself at the forefront of mass invasions from Concert spectators, Cinema fans and exhibition goers but, almost incredibly, most people still don't realise that the Pilot is a mere 5 minute walk away and it currently remains a haven of decent beer, sensible prices and pleasant surroundings, a far cry from the crowded, corporate drinking and dining hell that exists beneath the O2 masts.

The mock Tudor interior has several nooks, crannies and split level rooms to the rear. There is a general nautical theme throughout the pub with ship pictures, reproduction smuggling posters, wreck details, lifebelts, model boats etc as well as museum like informative displays about the observatory, Greenwich Mean Time, the maritime history. There are also a few newspaper cuttings regarding the pub itself and its role at the time of the Millenium. A small room to the left of the entrance is admittedly a bit tatty with (as afr as I can see) the only TV in the pub. A few historic snippets about Charlton Athletic, including carictures of the 1947 Cup Final team, show where the pub’s football loyalties lie. One of the main assets for summer months is the spacious and well kept beer garden with plenty of cover just in case!

They carry an excellent selection of Fullers beers including any seasonal or commemorative specials and the quality has always justified its Cask Marque accreditation. This is one of the cheapest Fullers pubs I have come across with prices ranging from Chiswick at £2.70 to the new Bengal Lancer at £3.20, 20p cheaper than I have found it anywhere else. I have always found the service second to none and often feel like a regular despite my sporadic appearances. I have also eaten here on a few occasions and found the food to be excellent value with snacks starting at around £4 and main dishes, including their excellent fresh fish specialities, around the £7-£9 mark.

It’s not hard to tell that I am a big fan of the Pilot and always look forward to my pre-O2 pints in here. Long may it remain five minutes too far for the bulk of the O2 crowds.

On 11th March 2010 - rating: 8
[User has posted 1239 recommendations about 1233 pubs]

Please Note: This review is over a year old.

Malden man left this review about The Pilot Inn

A timbered Tudor style interior, the bar being situated along a side wall of the main space. To the left on entering there is a small room with a TV. Decor consists of nautical stuff, with model boats, ships horns etc. Fullers beers, well looked after. The Chiswick was refreshing in taste and price at £2.55 and I agree the garden at the rear is very nice and tidy too. I found the landlady to be very efficient, friendly and welcoming to visitors and regulars alike. Its always nice to be acknowledged straightaway on entry and she made the point of checking later that everything was ok.

On 11th July 2008 - rating: 7
[User has posted 1694 recommendations about 1668 pubs]