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The Northumberland Arms, Brentford

Pub added by elizabeth mcgraw
11 London Road

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

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Pub SignMan left this review about The Northumberland Arms

The Northumberland Arms is a surprisingly small, single room pub on the main road through Brentford, that traded as O'Brien's for a number of years before reverting back to its original name. The place has clearly undergone a somewhat upmarket refurbishment in recent times, presenting an L shaped room with modern floorboards throughout and a basic servery in the rear right corner. The bar has a wood panelled counter front which has been painted in a pastel shade to match many of the walls, but retains a nice dark wood top and bar back. As well as the muted paint scheme, there are sections of bare brick wall to both the left and right and these have been decorated with various eye catching bits of modern art including Picasso and Mondrian reproductions. High table and stool seating fills the smaller space to the right of the entrance, with some nice window sill seats along the front wall and regular tables and chairs down the left hand side, which extends a little way to the rear, past the servery. Several plain mirrors round out the decor and help to give the impression of a little more space, whilst a door at the back leads to a rear patio garden, should the need arise for some actual extra room. A TV in the front corner was showing a music channel with the sound on, which was highly annoying when the channel cut to adverts which also end up getting played through the room. Food was available although I failed to see a menu, but several people were eating and it looked like it was pretty good quality.
Four hand pumps were offering a choice of Wytchwood Dryneck, Sharps Doom Bar, Caledonian Cold Comfort and a real cider. A very surly barman poured me a pint of the Cold Comfort which was a passable enough pint in reasonable shape, if not particularly memorable. There was a modest crowd in on a Saturday afternoon, but it seemed like a reasonable cross-section of customers.
This was a nice enough place to stop for a quick drink but I couldn't help but think it was better suited to diners and had perhaps lost some of its 'pubiness' in the latest refit. This is a shame, as it seems like it would make quite a nice, intimate and cosy boozer but is instead a bit cold and lacking character. I'd still consider popping in for a pint in the future, but for a longer session it won't be troubling the nearby Magpie and Crown anytime soon.

On 5th March 2017 - rating: 6
[User has posted 3126 recommendations about 3126 pubs]

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Moby Duck left this review about The Northumberland Arms

A nice comfortable pub, quite small inside, a modernish feel about the place and the art work mentioned below didn't put me off in any way, in fact I felt they added a little character, a mix of Mondrian and Picasso, obviously not originals. Three pumps on the bar dispensing Doom Bar (sigh), Brains Reverend James and Robinsons Robohop which was quite a decent drop, also on was Lillys Apple and Pear Cider. A nice little pub with the helpful bonus of opening at 11:00 on a Sunday.

On 19th June 2016 - rating: 7
[User has posted 1889 recommendations about 1862 pubs]

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Rex Rattus left this review about The Northumberland Arms

I see from the previous reviewer's posting that the intention in making this place look like a glorified coffee bar is to discourage the hoi polloi. Well, that didn't work as it didn't discourage me and a chum from dropping in to see what it's like. The only other punter in on Wednesday morning was a chap in leathers standing at the bar with his crash helmet on one of the stools. The abstract painting are still there on the left hand wall. I'm afraid I just don't get modern art - at least the modern art in this place that consisted of paintings of different coloured squares and rectangles. One of them had "Mondrian" written underneath it, which didn't help me at all. Anyway, this place had something I hadn't seen before in a pub; little dishes on all the tables containing coffee beans. I'm not sure what you were supposed to do with them.

On the plus side, however, it did have three ales on - Doom Bar, plus a couple from Downton Brewery, as well as Lilleys Apple & Pear Cider. We had Downton Beer of the Monkey, which as it happened was in good shape. I saw menus on some of the IKEA style tables on the left, but I didn't look at them.

The beer was good, but it didn't really feel like I was in a pub. It's not really my kind of place.

On 12th March 2016 - rating: 5
[User has posted 2606 recommendations about 2520 pubs]

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John Bonser left this review about O'Briens

Update - June 2015.

This pub has reverted to its original name of The Northumberland Arms and now brands itself as a "bar and kitchen". The change in emphasis is obvious with, intended for food trade, awful light pine IKEA style wooden tables and chairs down the left hand side where the long banquette was. New abstract style art paintings adorn the walls, with all the old framed black and white photos of Brentford now gone. Sky TV has now gone. I was told that the intention of the pub was to move up market by "discouraging the hoi polloi". We shall see

Original review - June 2013

By the canal bridge at the western extremity of Brentford High Street is O’Briens, a small locals pub formerly called The Northumberland Arms.

It’s a plain, straightforward, bare - boarded single room with an L shaped bar in one corner. At the side of the bar is an exposed brick chimney decorated with horse brasses that looks quite attractive, albeit rather incongruous when compared with the otherwise rather featureless and unremarkable interior. Down one side is fixed banquette seating, but, in front of the windows are several of the now ubiquitous high tables and stools.

Despite its name, it’s not an Irish theme pub, although there are occasional music sessions where customers can bring their own instruments. At the back is a small patio, mainly used by smokers, and which affords a fine view of the local housing estates from where the pub’s customer base seems to be largely drawn.

On my recent Saturday lunchtime visit, approx half a dozen or so locals were avidly following the horse racing from Epsom on a plasma screen in one corner, but, apart from that, there were no other customers.

There’s 4 handpumps which were serving London Pride, Brains SA Gold, Rebellion Mutiny and Sharps Cornish Coaster, the latter being in good form - £ 3.00p. A blackboard behind the bar tells us that a “beer festival” is held every Thursday, but it appears that all this is just the normal beers being sold at the cheaper price of £ 2.50p all day. The pub is listed in the 2011 CAMRA Good Beer Guide, but the local CAMRA branch web site reports a subsequent change in ownership since.

In truth, I didn’t find this place desperately welcoming and didn’t really warm to it at all and, with the nearby Magpie and Crown now undergoing something of a revival, a revisit is not on the cards.

On 29th June 2015 - rating: 6
[User has posted 560 recommendations about 560 pubs]

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john gray left this review about O'Briens

Good but maybe not the best of Brentfords pubs.Always an interesting selection of real ales.good reasonable priced menu as well.they have Sky so handy if you want to catch a football match.Music at the weekends.

On 15th February 2013 - rating: 6
[User has posted 1023 recommendations about 1009 pubs]

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Paul Brett left this review about O'Briens

A nice little pub on the edge of town with 4 handpulls with 2 beers from Surrey Hills Brewery but no Shere Drop. I had a very nice pint of Greensands IPA also Ranmore Ale was on offer along with the regulalatory London Pride and Olde Trip. Would be a nice pub to spend an afternoon

On 19th May 2012 - rating: 8
[User has posted 67 recommendations about 66 pubs]

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Thuck Phat left this review about O'Briens

Little to add to the two accurate reviews below. Also found a friendly and knowledgable welcome as soon as an interest in real ales was shown.
Beers: Sharpe's Red Ale and Cornish Coaster, which was very drinkable, and Rebellion Mild.
A cosy boozer with decent ale and worth dropping into if you're passing.

On 26th October 2010 - rating: 7
[User has posted 680 recommendations about 679 pubs]

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Bucking Fastard left this review about O'Briens

Maldenman's review gives a very accurate picture of the interior ,so nothing to add on that score.Four handpumps with London Pride always on ,the guests on our trip being Sharp's Cornish Coaster and Autumn Red while the Collaboration Porter hadnt yet dropped clear and was due later on the fourth handpump.The barman was very friendly and knowledgeable about his ale and care is taken in the cellar.A small interior with candles at each table giving a bar feel,I would pop back for a beer.

On 25th October 2010 - rating: 7
[User has posted 2756 recommendations about 2756 pubs]

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Malden man left this review about O'Briens

A small L shaped single room, with the bar in the corner diagonally opposite the entrance. Wooden floor, banquette seating to one side, high tables with stools to the front of the bar and window seat drinking shelves, good for watching the world go by. There is an exposed brick chimney and fireplace adjacent to the bar. A plasma screen sits at high level in the rear corner, showing some kind of music channel at the time, mercifully with the volume low. There is a great painting/print on the side wall of a game in progress at nearby Griffin Park, titled "The Bees at Home". They are playing rivals Fulham, the away section has 5 fans and a mascot(?)..Ouch!
Lots of events take place here it seems, Tuesday has an acoustic jam session night, bring your own instrument. The quiz night (Wednesday) has "stupid questions and pathetic prizes" Ha!
Beers were, Pride, Downton Quadrillo, Twickenham Grandstand Bitter and Scattor Rock Quarryman. In addition there were Westons Country Perry and Trad Scrumpy.
This place is a bit blokey and certainly lively but it is also friendly and welcoming. I liked it very much.

On 21st March 2009 - rating: 6
[User has posted 1708 recommendations about 1681 pubs]

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Steve C left this review about O'Briens

I really liked it in this very small pub as the barman and governor were very friendly. It did start to fill up before I left with people wanting to eat lunch, but I got the feeling that the serving of drinks was as important, if not more important, than the food, if not as lucrative.

Pride, Bombardier, Gothic Dark, Twickenham Quadhop and Honeydew keg were all available from the bar alongside 3 premium lagers, Strongbow, Carling and Stella.

I will go back soon as I loved the cartoon picture of Griffin Park almost as much as the pub.

On 20th May 2008 - rating: 7
[User has posted 5303 recommendations about 5271 pubs]