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The Nags Head, Walthamstow, E17

9 Orford Road
E17 9LP
Phone: 02085209709

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Please Note: This review is over a year old.

Pub SignMan left this review about The Nags Head

This is a lovely looking old pub in the pleasant Walthamstow Village area, notable on approach for its impressive green tiled facade. Two entrances lead through into the same U-shaped, knocked through room. The left hand side has a surprisingly dark seating area, which has been carpeted and offers plenty of standard tables and chairs under plain walls decorated with the occasional portrait. There is a nice brick fireplace to one side and a sofa along the rear wall, which help make this feel like quite a cosy, homely space. More sofas can be found under the front windows, where a book swap scheme has been set-up on the window sills. These sofas stand opposite the bar, which forms a long U-shape with its tongue and groove panelled counter, chunky canopy and mirrored bar back. Over to the right, there is a much smaller area with a few more tables and chairs, some more portraits on the walls and a few drinking ledges here and there. Tributes to both David Bowie and Eric Bristow had been created and put on display, although whether either of them have a connection to the pub, I cannot say. There is a good sized front garden from which to admire the pub’s fine exterior and a rear garden with lots of additional seating. Live music was being promoted and there was a pretty good soundtrack playing throughout the duration of my visit. Food seemed to be reasonably priced and included some burger options from a pop-up outlet that had temporarily set up in the pub. A friendly pub cat was busy doing the rounds and came and sat at my table on the chair opposite me.
The bar supports five handpulls, four of which were in operation on this occasion, offering a selection of Cameron’s Whakanui, Purity Ubu, Taylor Landlord and Adnams Fat Sprat. I had a pint of the latter which was in excellent condition and I really enjoyed sitting in one of the seats to the front of the pub and indulging in a bit of people watching.
This is a really nice pub that I’m a bit surprised I walked straight past the last time I was in Walthamstow. It is a comfortable place to settle down in over a few pints of well kept beer and offers plenty of distractions without these impairing the over ambiance of the place. It would be nice to be able to call this place your local and I’m sure I’ll check it out again the next time I’m in the area.

On 18th September 2018 - rating: 7
[User has posted 2826 recommendations about 2826 pubs]

Please Note: This review is over a year old.

Real Ale Ray left this review about The Nags Head

An eccentric landlady runs the Nags Head, which is evident from her personal stamp around the place. Next time I visit, I might bring our cat and with a little encouragement am sure I'd get a free pint. There were 8 pumps in operation on our Monday afternoon mini crawl. I went for the Hogsback Farnham White which was ok. Note the pub doesn't open until 4pm mid week.

On 22nd February 2016 - rating: 7
[User has posted 3126 recommendations about 3126 pubs]

Please Note: This review is over a year old.

Bucking Fastard left this review about The Nags Head

Very popular with locals who inhabit the surprisingly upmarket area of Walthamstow village,I found the interior rather twee with many sofas lining the walls ,pine furniture in the middle , unusual covers on the tables ,and boudoir lighting.It felt like someone's lounge not a pub interior .
A large notice saying "Tetley RIP" I initially took as a sign that the community were mourning the loss of the Leeds Brewery before discovering that Tetley was the (itinerant) pub cat and in whose memory a special brew had been produced.Apparently the ex cat had had a full funeral,reported extensively by the local rag.
It all felt as if I was encrouching on other peoples grief,and anyway the ale selection was rather uninspiring,despite a reasonale East London Brewery Foundation Bitter,so this was a brief stay.

A return visit on a crawl of the area found a much better real ale selection with ,among others,St Austell Tribute,Maldon Oscar Wilde Mild,two from Bishop Nick including their Hop Cross in very good nick.The barmaid ,who still doesnt look very happy, at least seems to have got over the loss of the pub cat.An upgrade from me,the interior looks less twee than on my last visit.

On 23rd March 2015 - rating: 7
[User has posted 2384 recommendations about 2384 pubs]

Please Note: This review is over a year old.

Alan Winfield left this review about The Nags Head

The Nags Head looks like a proper London pub.
Once inside there is a single L shaped room with the bar facing,the seating is a mix of settees and normal tables and chairs but these had table cloths on them which really annoys me,but we were allowed to just have a drink at a table with a cloth on it.
There was a decent choice of real ales on the bar,i had a drink of Bishops Nick Hop Cross which was quite a nice drink,the other beers i noted were Maldon Oscar Wild Mild and St Austell Tribute.
Board games are available and there was some decent background music playing.
Despite the table cloths i quite took to this pub,one i could stay in for a session if not on a pub crawl.

Pub visited 21/3/2015

On 21st March 2015 - rating: 8
[User has posted 6113 recommendations about 6113 pubs]

Please Note: This review is over a year old.

Steve of N21 left this review about The Nags Head

When in the Walthamstow area I would definitely recommend a detour to the old Walthamstow village section with its decent restaurants and pubs, especially as the new Wild Card Brewery now complements these.
Of the three pubs in the Village, the slightly quirky Nags Head remains my favourite and every time I visit I feel more at home here. This time it was just for a quick one early afternoon before visiting the aforementioned new Microbrewery and it did not disappoint.
A congenial chilled Saturday afternoon crowd were in and a couple of good halves of Redemption Trinity and Colchester Brewery Double Brown Ale were enjoyed.
I know this pub isn’t everyone’s cup of tea, but it is mine and gets an extra mark for being consistently good on my visits.

On 22nd December 2014 - rating: 8
[User has posted 1849 recommendations about 1785 pubs]

Please Note: This review is over a year old.

Rex Rattus left this review about The Nags Head

It doesn’t seem that this pub has changed in any material way since the previous reviewer’s visit, although when I was in on Wednesday there was no sign of any cats, nor did I get to meet the landlady. The food is still Italian themed, with a full range of pizze available (from £6 to £10 or so). I had a Parma ham and cheese ciabatta which was a good quality snack for £6. Apparently this was good news for the young (and apparently hungry) barmaid as this meant she could get the chef to make one for her as well! Real ale is clearly important here as well, with Timothy Taylor Landlord; Sharp’s Doom Bar; Castle Rock Harvest Pale; something called Black Diamond (a dark beer with a light citrus taste according to the clip); and Dartmoor Brewery Jail Ale (a strongish 4.8% rich brown ale in great nick) all on, with an Otter clip reversed. As well as a range of the less usually seen lagers, they also advertised Pimms and something called Flossie’s Summer Floozie, incorporating marmalade vodka (!), and elderflower pressé.

This is now a single-room pub, with a couple of sofas, but is mainly furnished with normal tables and chairs. Said tables are covered with red velvelette tablecloths, presumably tipping a hat to the Italian theme. Madam La Zonga’s lounge is still apparently a going concern upstairs on Thurs/Fri & Sat evenings, but on other evenings the room is apparently used for other activities such as pilates, life drawing and wine tasting. Other things worth mentioning are the beer garden at the back, the picnic benches at the front, the free wi-fi, and the fact that there are parking restrictions, although the pub will sell 2-hour permits to customers for £1. The child restrictions still seem to apply.

This pub is set in the heart of picturesque Walthamstow Village, and I reckon is something of a hidden backstreet gem. But perhaps I’m a bit influenced by the presence of five ales, including the excellent Dartmoor Jail Ale following my poor beer experiences in preceding pubs. I don’t expect to visit Walthamstow too often, but if I did I would be happy to visit this one again. I really wouldn’t mind having this one as my local.

On 14th September 2013 - rating: 8
[User has posted 2599 recommendations about 2513 pubs]

Please Note: This review is over a year old.

Steve of N21 left this review about The Nags Head

I have to say I was much more taken with the Nags Head than the previous reviewers, but then a lot of that was due to the fact that I am a cat lover and my kids have grown and flown and therefore I would rather not nowadays share a pint with other peoples, but have no problem with the pub cat deciding he wants to use my lap as a seat. Therefore a quirky pub that celebrates cats and is so openly child hostile is fine by me.
The slightly quirky interior based around the central bar is as described by the reviewers below and provides plenty of areas to sit. I can understand why the focus on cats could be off putting to some. As maybe the various rules signs dictating what you can and can’t do. And for parents these include “Children are not permitted inside the pub”, but are “welcome in our heated garden to the rear” as long as they are long gone by 7:30pm. And “You can park your bikes and pushchair's at the side entrance where there are designated bike ramps”, and you get the feeling you would be in big trouble if you put your bike anywhere else.
The front of the pub has a number of tables and chairs and there is a spacious garden at the back of the pub, with fairy lights strung in the trees to make the more pretentious local residents feel comfortable. The garden is accessible from the bar or for those with small people, by the side access.
And there is a function room upstairs which I didn’t venture into, badged as “Madame La Zonga's”, with silhouettes of ladies of a dubious nature in the windows which are lit with a red glow at night to try and give it a bit of an edgy feel. But don’t worry, you won’t be finding a knocking shop above a pub in “the Village”, they are all well away, above shops back behind the Walthamstow High Street.
And on Sunday they have a resident live Jazz band called "The Stowaways" who play from 5pm until 8pm.
Food is served and is Italian themed and mainly Pizza’s. But we didn’t eat here as we were visiting for the beer. And on that front alongside Peroni, Kozel, Hoegaarden, and Pilsner Urquell on draught there is six real ales on the go, which for our visit were TT Landlord, Deuchars IPA, St Austells Tribute, Hook Norton Lion, Colchester Brewery Burton Pale Ale and the truly excellent Mighty Oak Oscar Wild, which from what I could make out seems to be a fairly regular feature.
The couple we tried were well kept and the Oscar wild was as excellent as it should be.
Good beer? Yes. Quirky and different from the normal? Yes. A characterful landlady? Apparently but not in for our visit. A good pub to go to ? Well I guess that will be down to your personal taste.
But I liked it and I will be back.

On 11th April 2013 - rating: 7
[User has posted 1849 recommendations about 1785 pubs]

Please Note: This review is over a year old.

Thuck Phat left this review about The Nags Head

The Nags Head really is an impressive building. It's in the attractive Walthamstow village area and is a well kept, beautifully lit imposing Victorian pub.
Both front doors are covered inside with heavy red velvet curtains which when pushed aside reveal an extraordinary interior. The pub wraps around the central bar with carpeted floors and soft lighting courtesy of patterned pink lampshades. Furniture is a mixture of low sofas and pale pine tables and chairs some of which have leopard print tablecloths on. The walls have a strange mix of pictures of dolls, one real doll in a case, pictures and stories commemorating a recently deceased and clearly much loved 'community cat' with the odd picture of film and rock stars thrown in including one of Jimi Hendrix. It really is like being in a needy bird's bedroom and our strongest instinct was to find the nearest exit.
The pub is very popular and we received a warm welcome and an invitation to try any of the ales on offer. These were: ELB Foundation, Caledonian Double Amber, Mighty Oak Oscar Wilde, Wadworth's Swordfish, which was in decent nick and St Austell Tribute. It's a reasonable selection but nothing flew down and we swiftly succumbed to our original instinct and headed for the door.

On 1st December 2011 - rating: 6
[User has posted 674 recommendations about 673 pubs]