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The Woodman, Banstead

Woodmansterne Street
Postal town: Banstead

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Pub SignMan left this review about The Woodman

This attractive early 20th Century building, with a distinctive turret to one side and hung tile frontage, is an attractive sight on approach and the only pub in the village of Woodmansterne. A nice front garden overlooking the village green leads into the main bar area, which has been given a fairly good going over by the interior design team, leaving it opened out into one long L shaped room with a neutral colour scheme and smart, well upholstered seating throughout. The bar is on the back wall of the front section, to the right of the entrance, with limited seating options opposite and a darts area to one side. High tables and stools run down the left hand side past a modern fireplace, eventually giving way to formal tables and chairs in a sizeable rear space that doubles up as the dining area. Despite all of these alterations, the interior still has a bit of a cosy feel to it, depending on where you manage to grab a table. It was a warm day when we arrived, so we eventually ended up in the large, leafy back garden, which has a well constructed shelter with lots of tables and chairs close to the back door, a good mix of trees and plants, giant Connect Four and a children's play area complete with bouncy castle and sandpit.
There were three ales available when we arrived - the regular Sharp's Doom Bar, plus guest from Hop Stuff (Fusilier) and Kissingate (Sussex). An Orchard Pig cider was also available. My pint of Fusilier was in pretty good shape and the service was very good, especially from the cheery bloke who cleared our table.
I thought this was a very attractive village pub that has perhaps lost some of its internal character but retains enough positives to make a visit worthwhile. The garden in particular was a real treat and a decent pint of ale to go with it was a definite bonus.

On 20th October 2015 - rating: 7
[User has posted 2446 recommendations about 2446 pubs]

Please Note: This review is over a year old.

Nick Davies left this review about The Woodman

Since I wrote the account below it has been acquired by Stonegate from M&B as part of a parcel of similar local pubs. It's just reopened after a recent refurbishment which has smartened it up nicely though of course they just couldn't help knocking the two bars through - though because of the layout the public bar does remain a discrete area. The usual nonsense with high tables, low tables and sofas is all present and correct. Where M&B were content to let it flounder Stonegate have positioned it firmly mid-market and the Wifebeater brigade seem to have moved on. Very nice pint of Pilgrim and the garden is now a delight on a sunny afternoon.

---Feb 2010 notes ---

Unfortunately the Woodman has endured more changes of manager than any second division football club. Maybe that's because it's a typical second division pub, occasionally making a bid for promotion but generally fighting desperately to avoid the drop.

It's a Victorian building not without some merit, and remarkably, this being M&B, retains a public bar. And that feature, one would hope, would accommodate the many hard drinking, hard swearing white-van types that recent managements have been content to encourage, and the other room left for everyone else to enjoy and be able to feel it's a place you could take your mum. Alas that is so often not the case, and what could be a brilliant village local degenerates into a routine lager and footie pub.

At the moment, it's about half way up the table. It is an M&B unbranded, so don't expect the slightest bit of imagination on the food and drink front. I hate to say it, but this is one where Ember Inn branding would most likely improve matters.

The best feature is the garden, which is very pleasant in the summer, but beyond that there's not the slightest reason for making a trip out here.

On 3rd August 2013 - rating: 6
[User has posted 488 recommendations about 480 pubs]