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Disappointment of the week with Bucking Fastard on the Pub Forum

The Baring Hall, Grove Park, SE12

Pub added by elizabeth mcgraw
368 Baring Road
SE12 0DU

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

Please Note: This review is over a year old.

Rex Rattus left this review about The Baring Hall

This pub has had a very chequered past of late, and to a large extent we're lucky it'still there. Situated handily on a prominent spot right by Grove Park Station, this is a magnificent Victorian edifice of the type the Victorians seemed to take great delight in building. A fire back in 2010 put this place at risk, but with the assistance of several organisations interested in pub preservation it was brought back from the dead by the Antic chain last year following three years of closure.

Inside it comprises four interconnected drinking areas, all traditionally furnished with mainly stuff like banquettes and normal tables and chairs, but with a clutch of sofas/armchairs in the smallest of the drinking areas. Being an Antic pub, the furnishings look as if they've come from a variety of sources, but they are functional and comfortable nonetheless. The decor is incredibly restrained by Antic standards, with mainly traditional prints and the odd stuffed bird in a class case on the walls. But after being open for a year or so, it's still looking like a work in progress, which seems to be de rigeur for Antic pubs. The main bar area (defined as such by me because that's where the handpumps are sited) has a ceiling that looks as if someone has made a half-arsed attempt to get the paper off. But the end room is more spectacular in this respect with the timber framed roof, as well as the walls, still clearly displaying the fire damage from the 2010 fire. Most proprietors would do their utmost to repair, or at least disguise, such damage but not Antic it seems. Perhaps the charred beams give it the sort of distressed designer look they're striving to achieve. Anyway, it didn't bother me.

Now to the beer. There were four ales on over the two banks of handpumps - Caveman Brewery Megalithic; Deuchars IPA; Hastings Porter; and Otley 01 Original (£3.70 a pint). There were also a couple of draught ciders. Someone put the menus out on the tables just as I was thinking of leaving around 5.30, so I didn't get a good look at the available nosh, but I did see that there was an open to view kitchen at the back of the "charred" room. There were Baring Hall beermats on the tables, which I thought was a nice touch.

I have to say that I'm a bit of a fan of Antic pubs, and I rather liked this one. The beer choice was OK, and my pint of Otley was in good condition. The pub is comfortable, and Antic have clearly brought a historic old pub back to life in an area devoid of pubs. Good on them.

On 13th November 2014 - rating: 8
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