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Pub Of The Month - November 2021 with rpadam on the Pub Forum

The Oval Tavern, Addiscombe, Croydon

131 Oval Road
Phone: 02086866023

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

Please Note: This review is over a year old.

Graham Coombs left this review about The Oval Tavern

It is difficult to reconcile this with the local pub I knew 40 years ago. Hiding down a residential street, the Oval has been widely refurbished with fake beams and old woodwork, furnished with old pews and other random seating, trimmed with sundry bric-a-brac and given a slightly hipsterish feel. There is one large room, with the bar off to one side and a stage at the back for the regular live music. There is a dartboard, but normally obstructed by tables. Downstairs at the back is a large patio-type garden in what was once the car park. Six assorted ales at time of visit were Proper Job, Tribute, Black Sheep, Robinson's Trooper, Holts Two Hoots and Westerham Bulldog. Condition of the latter was questionable, although in fairness it was the first out.

On 7th January 2019 - rating: 7
[User has posted 2465 recommendations about 2410 pubs]

Please Note: This review is over a year old.

hondo . left this review about The Oval Tavern

Nice old exterior with quite a dark bare boarded interior. 6 real ale taps 5 on. Live music advertised.

On 27th October 2017 - no rating submitted
[User has posted 2802 recommendations about 2744 pubs]

Please Note: This review is over a year old.

Steve C left this review about The Oval Tavern

The Oval Tavern is primarily a live music pub with singers and bands advertised for most evenings. The interior is well suited with an open plan space that is broken up by a few thin supporting pillars. The stage area is found at the rear along with a DJ booth. Unsurprisingly there were no bands playing during my recent Thursday afternoon visit, but there was some background music of Asian/Middle Eastern descent playing. The bas is located along the right hand wall where Standard draught alongside Amstel can be purchased from a friendly barmaid. The bar also supports five hand pumps that were drawing St Austell’s Tribute, Hogs Back Brewery’s T.E.A. and three guest ales.

The toilets are located downstairs where access can be gained to a large paved beer garden.

I thought that this pub was OK and it probably comes into its own when hosting live events. I wouldn’t go out of my way to revisit, but I had a decent enough pint on this occasion.

On 19th April 2015 - rating: 6
[User has posted 3599 recommendations about 3579 pubs]

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Pub SignMan left this review about The Oval Tavern

This traditional backstreet pub has been in decline for the last two or three years, but is firmly back on the radar again, having recently been taken over by the people behind Croydon's successful Green Dragon pub. The place retains it's charming, almost rural, feel with all the dark beams and pillars intact, but everything has been given a good clean and the place immediately feels a lot more welcoming. The pool table has gone, allowing for some much needed additional seating with a more space efficient bar billiards table now installed under the front windows, whilst the raised area in the back corner is now a stage, rather than an awkward seating area. The dartboard remains in the front corner, next to the servery whilst the large, lower level garden has seemingly been tidied up and is a rival to that of the Bricklayers Arms just down the road. A pub grub menu is now available, offering pub classics at reasonable prices. There were four ales on when I first visited - St Austell Tribute, Caledonian Autumn Red, Holts Two Hoots and a fine pint of Shipyard Double Thumper. A return visit a few days later resulted in a lovely pint of Thwaites Wainwright. A few familiar, friendly faces from the Green Dragon were behind the bar and the service was cheerful and prompt. I'm really pleased that this place seems to be on the up and I'm sure I'll be making frequent return visits to see how things progress.

Original review: 16th March 2010

This pub, a five minute walk from East Croydon station, boasts a traditional interior and is famed for its live music roster. As a focal point for Croydon's alternative scene, the pub does well, boasting an excellent blues music line up.
A slightly dim and dull interior awaits visitors on non music nights, with low beamed ceilings and faded carpets holding sway over the neon clocks and fancy juke box. The pool table and dartboard are almost always in use, and the excellent beer garden compliments the pub in the summer months.
Four hand pumps are on show, but I've never seen more than two in action. Thankfully there are no house beers, so there is always a degree of excitement when you enter, as you never quite know what will be on. Tonight it was Caledonian Flying Dutchman and Robinson's Dragon's Fire, but I've never seen the same beer here twice.
Not in the same league as the Croydon's best pubs yet, but has potential to improve and it stands as one of Croydon's best live music pubs.

On 18th November 2013 - rating: 7
[User has posted 2630 recommendations about 2630 pubs]

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Rex Rattus left this review about The Oval Tavern

This looks like a backstreet hidden gem from the outside, but inside it’s nothing of the sort. On the left is an exposed brickwork fireplace, with a large TV screen on the chimney breast. The area in front of the fireplace is dominated by a sound system, featuring two large speakers on tripods, presumably as the playing area for the live music. The pool table has been pushed into a corner next to the dartboard, and was covered by a board, I guess so that it could be used to support a buffet or suchlike. In fact, the pub felt a bit like I’d turned up the morning after the party before everything had been put to rights.
Being the only customer made it feel somewhat gloomy in atmosphere, not helped by the black painted ceiling, pillars, and some of the walls. It should have been better than it was, with Old Hooky, Doom Bar, and Ringwood’s Bitter on. But the Ringwood’s wasn’t in good shape – remnants of line cleaner possibly. I suspect this is a great place as a music venue, but it was a bit of a disappointing visit for a lunchtime drink on a wet and dismal Friday in December.

On 31st December 2011 - rating: 4
[User has posted 2592 recommendations about 2506 pubs]

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Malden man left this review about Oval Tavern

The interior is one large opened out single room with the bar along a side wall. Carpeted, there is plenty of dark wood including a beamed ceiling, one end is slightly raised with a wooden balustrade around and bottles and jugs on a high shelf. The pool table is pretty much central in the room and there is a dartboard which clearly is well used. The general feel of the interior is rather dated, and it reminds me to a certain extent of the style of some pubs I used in my formative drinking days in the early '80s.
Live music and open mic nights are advertised, with live blues being on the menu on Thursday and Sunday evenings. There is a Tv, over the centre fireplace, which was showing Wimbledon tennis on mute while a Billy Joel CD played.
Seating is traditional in style, tables in 2s and 4s plus a couple of pew benches. The tea light candles on the tables seemed totally incongruous to the rest of the pub style.
Four handpumps, just the two on, serving Ringwood Best (£3.00) and Doom Bar. A very friendly and chatty welcome from the barmaid, so much so that I wondered if she knew me from somewhere, but I guess she was just glad of someone to talk to on a very quiet Tuesday rainy afternoon.
As said, quiet today but I imagine the pub has plenty of atmosphere on a live music night. I rather liked the place and hope it gets due support.

On 28th June 2011 - rating: 6
[User has posted 1690 recommendations about 1664 pubs]

Please Note: This review is over a year old.

Just a quick pint, then I'm off left this review about Oval Tavern

A bit hidden away, but only a short walk from East Croydon satation. Fairly basic pub, but obviously makes an effort with an interesting line-up of live music events. Nice pint of Caledonian Ale Lang Syne.

On 2nd January 2009 - rating: 8
[User has posted 6620 recommendations about 6620 pubs]

Please Note: This review is over a year old.

train man left this review about The Oval Tavern

Couldn't check opening times before returning here as the number 'does not accept incoming calls'(!) However, it was open at 14:30 but only one of the four handpumps was in action as they were 'waiting for a delivery'; so no beer for a few days then? The Waggledance was warm & fairly unpleasant. I liked the rather bohemian look & feel of the place but I was the only customer and the beer & dodgy 80s funk drove me away pdq. Pity, as I liked the idea of the occasional blues programmes they put on but this correspondent cannot identify with many positives

27 June 2007
CLOSED at 15:30 yesterday. Check opening hours before travelling!

On 26th July 2007 - no rating submitted
[User has posted 411 recommendations about 410 pubs]