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Beer of the Week (w/e 10th November 2019) with Mobyduck on the Pub Forum

Hoop & Grapes, EC4

Pub added by Graham Mason
80 Farringdon Street
EC4
EC4A 4BL

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Reviews (Current Rating Average: 6 of 10) Add Review see review guidelines


Bucking Fastard left this review about Hoop & Grapes

A Georgian building tucked between much more modern architecture,this is a long thin pub which has a vast double courtyard out the back which might be a reason for it's popularity after work,there is even a sports flatscreen out there.
Internally the high topped bar is immediately to the right with high tables opposite,then a selection of dining type tables before a corridor with seating booths leading to the patio.There is an upstairs lounge via a staircase and a fire escape to the garden but it lacked atmosphere.The flatscreen behind the bar was off thankfully but the muzak was just too loud.
However the charming barmaid offered me a CAMRA discount without me asking and the ale line up was SN Spitfire,Whitstable Bay Pale (doubled)and Northern Lights Blueberry IPA while the solitary guests was Navigation Rebel (NBSS 3.5, half £2.35 with 25p discount).
This visit was saved by a decent guest but despite being in the 2020 GBG I could hardly describe this pub as a destination for real ale.It serves a purpose however.

On 9th November 2019 - rating: 6
[User has posted 2015 recommendations about 2015 pubs]


Will Larter left this review about Hoop & Grapes

I had been looking forward to coming to this pub, reputedly among the oldest in central London, but the reality was mundane and the service and atmosphere not at all what I was hoping to find. To be fair, we arrived just after what may well have been a busy lunchtime session, and the clearing up after this may well have been what caused several bangs and clatters. But the way the barman stopped us exploring upstairs was downright rude - it may be "normal for London", but surely most of his customers are not Londoners? We consequently felt uncomfortable when we were hoping for a relaxing drink, and the loud music didn't help in this regard. The beer, Shepherd Neame plus a guest, was in good condition but as expensive as I feared (it wasn't my turn to pay, so I don't have a note of the actual price of the Spitfire that we drank, but do recall the sharp intake of breath that accompanied the handing over of a large denomination banknote).

Date of visit: 19th November 2018

On 7th February 2019 - rating: 5
[User has posted 2431 recommendations about 2295 pubs]


Tris C left this review about Hoop & Grapes

3rd August 2017:

A second visit to this pub and found it to be vastly improved. Built on the site of St. Bride's burial ground and dated to 1721, now Grade II Listed. Well described below, furniture is conventional and mixed with some high tables and chairs. Muted music played and TVs were off; this is on balance, quite a conventional, traditional pub and more so than most around here where many are better described as wine bars.
There's a patio garden to the rear and function rooms on high with a separate bar, at least one with a covered, heated patio.
As part of a large group, the staff were friendly and relaxed which was a bonus.
A couple of Neame's beers were on offer, Spitfire naturally, which was ok. Thereafter there were a couple of Neame acquisitions as well as Wadsworth's Dirty Rucker which was a very decent pint (or four) though at around the £4.50-a-pint mark wasn't cheap - this is the City, mind.
All in, a very decent pub in which to while away the hours and a far cry from my first and last visit a year or so ago. I'd definitely come here again if in the area.

Updated:

A few more trips made and quite a change. I've now used the lavs and they really aren't adequate: a tiny room with the cubicle and just one urinal. The pub also has a habit of renting the function room to more than one group - surely this is not a function room but a 'pub'? However, on match days the pub takes on a very different complexion. There are two TVs - medium and large - with the large screen directly behind the bar in this very narrow room. The result is that all the customers crowd in front of the bar, making service very difficult for people trying to get through to buy a drink.
Downgraded accordingly.

On 24th November 2018 - rating: 5
[User has posted 929 recommendations about 916 pubs]


Please Note: This review is over a year old.


hondo . left this review about Hoop & Grapes

Shepherd Neame pub with a narrow interior. 4 real ales on.

On 27th October 2018 - no rating submitted
[User has posted 2645 recommendations about 2588 pubs]


Please Note: This review is over a year old.


Just a quick pint, then I'm off left this review about Hoop & Grapes

Decent little Shepherd Neame pub, lower and much older (1721) than the neighbouring office blocks. Typical dark-wood interior with traditional furniture and decor, with limited seating in the compact bar supplemented by a narrow rear section, plus a covered patio and small courtyard beyond. Also has a quieter first-floor terrace accessible via an external metal staircase if the upstairs room (never visited) is not in use. Four of five handpumps in operation, offering Whitstable Bay Pale, both types of Spitfire (£4.40) and Castle Rock Harvest Pale as a guest.

On 7th October 2017 - rating: 7
[User has posted 5796 recommendations about 5796 pubs]


Please Note: This review is over a year old.


Pub SignMan left this review about Hoop & Grapes

Just around the corner from Fleet Street, the Hoop & Grapes is a smart Grade II listed Shepherd Neame pub that was rescued from demolition in the 1990's. The pub has a typical Central London layout, with entry into a relatively narrow room with the bar down one side and seating around the perimeter. The room is bare boarded and has walls painted in various neutral shades, whilst the dark wood bar counter runs down the right hand wall. Seating is a mixed bag, with banquette booths, standard tables and chairs and high tables and stools all present in a relatively small space. The decor felt a little corporate, with blackboards, listing things like the wine list or availability of function rooms, seeming to dominate the wall space, but there are quite a few black and white photos of the local area dotted around as well. A couple of TV screens, including one on the bar back, were showing muted rolling news coverage, but I don't recall any music playing. Doors to the rear lead out to a popular enclosed patio garden and stairs lead up to a function room and a games room with a dartboard.
Four handpulls were in operation dispensing three Shep's beers and one guest ale. I decided to give the Spitfire Gold a try and it was a lot better than I was expecting and kept in good shape. Food is available, although I didn't see anyone eating, and the pub notably has a selection of cigars available for purchase.
This felt like a pretty workaday pub that certainly serves its purpose very well, but perhaps doesn't do enough to encourage repeat visits given some of the more attractive alternatives nearby. I was quite happy in here and thought the beer quality was a real plus point, but it ultimately felt like the same unmemorable experience I've had in countless other pubs around the city.

On 23rd August 2017 - rating: 6
[User has posted 2339 recommendations about 2339 pubs]


Please Note: This review is over a year old.


Ian Mapp left this review about Hoop & Grapes

Ok Pub - GBG entry 2017. Full range of Shepherds Neame beers. I went for a well kept but not overly inspiring Whitstable Bay.

Nothing really to make the place stand out or make you want to go out of your way to return really.

Although there was plenty of free reading material, including London Drinker magazine.

Fleet Street Pub Crawl at http://bit.ly/2etkXjQ

On 19th October 2016 - rating: 7
[User has posted 276 recommendations about 275 pubs]


Please Note: This review is over a year old.


Malden man left this review about Hoop & Grapes

A Shepherd Neame pub with a couple of guest ales which is unusual, five handpumps, their own Spitfire and Bishop's Finger, Cameron Strongarm and Kite Brewery Bluestone Bitter (£4). One was unclipped. The main area is boarded with the bar to one side, the counter seemed higher than usual. Red walls, white painted boarded ceiling, the place narrows towards the rear where there are a few booth type areas separated by wood and leaded glass screens, beyond is a patio garden. Another upstairs room remains unvisited. Décor has local scenes, a wall of pump clips, a sign urges patrons to play darts at The Hoop and Grapes but even if I were to be inclined I saw no signs of a dartboard, maybe it is upstairs.
Food is served and looked good value for the fringes of The City, home made Chilli, rice and tortilla chips £8.95, baguettes £6.50.
The pub was very busy early on Saturday afternoon, mainly with an enthusiastic crowd watching the rugby on a number of screens. I retired to the quieter booth area to enjoy my pint. Not a bad pub I thought if nothing special, I would pop by again.

On 30th November 2014 - rating: 6
[User has posted 1685 recommendations about 1662 pubs]


Please Note: This review is over a year old.


john gray left this review about Hoop & Grapes

I am not a fan of Sheps beer but this was as bad a beer as I have had for a long time.The unfortunately named Muddy Waters was an apt description.What was the pub like.No idea. Two swigs of the beer and I left.Not really a pub review. Sorry.

On 6th March 2014 - rating: 4
[User has posted 913 recommendations about 901 pubs]


Please Note: This review is over a year old.


Old Blue left this review about Hoop & Grapes

I paid £3.70 for a good pint of Hyde's original here, in preference to Bishop's Finger or Spitfire, and noted the landlord's FBII credentials. I didn't eat here, though the menu looked quite reasonable for the area, with traditional pub grab mains between £6.50 and £8.50.

On entering, you see seating to the left and a bar to the right, the bar being a tad too high up to feel quite comfortable with as a customer. You can go through the back to a beer patio, or up the stairs to the 'upstairs bar and patio', which appears to consist of a more relaxed room above the main bar, and another flight of stairs to another patio to the rear and a third storey room to the front.

I liked several things about this pub, but couldn't quite make my mind up about it. I would drink here again, not least in order to do so.

On 31st July 2011 - rating: 6
[User has posted 270 recommendations about 269 pubs]