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Beer of the Week (w/e 20th September 2020) with Tris39 on the Pub Forum

The Forester, West Ealing, W13

Pub added by elizabeth mcgraw
2 Leighton Road
W13 9EP
Phone: 02085671654

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Reviews (Current Rating Average: 8 of 10) Add Review see review guidelines

Pub SignMan left this review about The Forester

Tucked away in the backstreets of Ealing, the Forester is a fabulous example of a multiple room Edwardian pub that was originally built for the Royal Brewery of Brentford. The pub is quite striking on appearance thanks to large gables and a smart green glazed brick tiled exterior. Entering the left-hand side of the pub, you find an attractive room with bare floorboards, a nice original servery with curved counter to the right and mixed seating throughout including regular tables and chairs through the middle of the room, banquettes under the front bay windows and some high tables and stools to the right. Nice wood panelling lines most of the wall space throughout the room and there is an attractive original brick fireplace to the rear. Plenty of stained glass has been used to add some colour to a room otherwise dominated by dark wood, with nice panes in the front windows and above the impressively ornate doorways that lead you through to other rooms. The smaller centre room has long tables in front of the rear servery, with a glazed tile fireplace to one side, a TV screen showing muted cricket and a mightily impressive bar back with plenty of decorative features, which backs onto a central, enclosed manager’s office. A final front room to the far right has minimal seating and more of a public bar feel to it. This pub apparently has the distinction of being the only pub in London with bell pushes for table service still in situ, although the place was so busy, I failed to spot them. The rear part of the pub, accessed from the left-hand room, has been set up as a large restaurant dining space with modern wallpaper, lots of standard tables and chairs throughout and a carvery station to the rear left. This in turn leads out to a sizable patio garden with loads of picnic benches and a couple of small gazebo-style shelters. There are also a few benches out the front too, which allow you to get a close-up view of the polished granite columns and glazed tiles on the façade.
The pub is operated by Fullers, so unsurprisingly their beers are to the fore on the handpulls, with London Pride, ESB, Gales Seafarers and Dark Star Hophead all available along with a guest of Adnams Mosaic. A sixth handpull was left unclipped and I ended up trying a pint of the Hophead, which was in decent enough shape. The pub was very busy on a Sunday afternoon, with many people eating and plenty more enjoying the cricket in the front rooms.
This is a very attractive pub that merits a visit to explore the fine Edwardian interior which has been relatively well preserved over the years. I certainly enjoyed snooping around the place, although I suspect I would’ve enjoyed it even more at a slightly quieter time outside peak food-service hours. One of a number of fine pubs in the backstreets between Ealing and Hanwell which lend themselves to a good crawl.

On 29th November 2019 - rating: 7
[User has posted 2492 recommendations about 2492 pubs]

Please Note: This review is over a year old.

Real Ale Ray left this review about The Forester

You can see why this is added on Camra's National Inventory of pubs with Historical Interiors. Even the exterior is a sight to behold. This large corner pub is split into three main areas, the public bar situated on the right hand corner and only accessible from the corner entrance. A mid section, which flows into the large left hand space and back room with Carvery, in full operation on our Sunday afternoon visit. This Fullers pub had a choice of six ales on handpump, so I went for the Fullers London Pride. The service was excellent and the staff friendly and welcoming.

On 8th June 2017 - rating: 9
[User has posted 2976 recommendations about 2976 pubs]

Please Note: This review is over a year old.

john gray left this review about The Forester

Well worth visiting for the interior.Very well kept beer with a manager who is keen to for the pub to be known for good beer.Nice sunday roast as well.Already had one beer fest so lets hope for more.

On 15th February 2013 - rating: 8
[User has posted 940 recommendations about 927 pubs]

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Rex Rattus left this review about The Forester

At the weekend I paid my first visit to this pub since its recent refurbishment and change of management. The maginificent Edwardian interior remains unchanged of course, and the refurbishment’s main effect seems to be have cleaned the place up a bit. But the carpet’s now gone, the flooring is now modern replacement boards, and the furnishings have been re-arranged a bit. However, the two main changes are the fact that the Public Bar on the right has been brought back into use (revealing the original wood panelling) and (last but definitely not least) the ale range has been improved considerably with Forty-Niner, Young’s Gold, Timothy Taylor Landlord, Sambrook’s Wandle and Twickenham Original on. With the archectural heritage coupled with a very good ale range, I would now regard this as a destination pub.

On 26th February 2012 - rating: 9
[User has posted 2575 recommendations about 2493 pubs]

Please Note: This review is over a year old.

Rex Rattus left this review about The Forester

This is an impressive looking pub, to put it mildly. In a generally unimpressive area The Forester looks quite majestic as you turn the corner from Northfield Avenue. The exterior of this Edwardian edifice has retained most, if not all, of its original features including the tiling, and marble and wooden(!) or wood clad pillars. The interior is equally impressive, although the Edwardians were not quite so extravagant as their Victorian predecessors in the previous century. Original bar backs, bar counters, tiled fireplaces (I photographed a contented pub dog sunbathing in front of one of them) and floral design leaded windows all remain. There are still separate room, although there has been considerable opening up, but the separate room on the right (the old public bar possibly) is not in use. It also has the appearance of having retained its identity as a community local. There’s nothing apparently overly gastro here, and although one of the back rooms contained tables set for diners, I saw no signs of any food or menus during my midweek lunchtime visit. The drinking areas were all carpeted with normal tables and chairs and banquettes. There was a dartboard next to one of the fireplaces.
There were two real ales on during my visit – Courage Best and Summer Lightning. I had the latter which was an excellent drop of ale at £3.05 a pint. Despite its grandeur this is still a real pub. I would be delighted to visit again if I was in the area.

On 25th April 2010 - rating: 9
[User has posted 2575 recommendations about 2493 pubs]

Please Note: This review is over a year old.

Quinno _ left this review about The Forester

A wonderful 1920's heritage pub (almost breathtaking in its rarity), so worth visiting for that reason alone. It's a cavernous, dark-wooded affair inside and it can be a bit gloomy on a summers day, but on a winters evening I imagine it really comes into its own. Two beers on my visit - Courage and Hop Back Summer Lightning - which were OK. Reckon that if they were more adventurous with the beer, they could really pull in some more punters; there's a lot of space inside to fill and this could be a real destination venue for proper drinkers. The landlord seemed to be a bit grumpy. Not sure why, given that the three of us had just doubled his attendance on an early Saturday afternoon - the place was empty. The room off to the left is a large Thai restaurant, which seemed incongruous with its surroundings.

Completely worth seeking out for its unique architecture, but not for the beer. Could be a real gem though. I'll give it a 7 for the interior; it'd be a 5 if it was just a run-of-the-mill boozer.

On 12th May 2008 - rating: 7
[User has posted 3997 recommendations about 3985 pubs]