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Picture of The Barge Inn
Image posted by john mcgraw
Submitted on Monday, 30th June 2008
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The Barge Inn, Milton Keynes

Pub added by elizabeth mcgraw
15 Newport Road
Postal town: Milton Keynes
MK15 0AE
Phone: 01908233841
Correct details

Pub Type

Vintage Inns (Mitchells & Butlers)

Served areas

Reviews of The Barge Inn (Average Rating: of 10) Add Review see review guidelines

Please Note: This review is over a year old.

Bucking Fastard left this review about The Barge Inn

A Vintage Inn,but in a building much smaller than many in the chain.It dates back to when the canal was dug in 1800,and kept the navvies in beer.Later on merchants and canal workmen became the main users,it is down a footpath from the Grand Union.These days it's been swallowed up into MK but the building retains a pub atmosphere as you enter into a front lounge with a very low ceiling where drinkers gather around a real fireplace with another unused.This area has it's own bar access but if you want to see the handpumps,they are down the long side of the bar beyond a "wait to be seated " sign.The rest of the pub is less appealing and given over to diners,of which there was a big crowd on my Friday lunchtime visit .I didn't eat but felt comfortable just drinking,as were several others.
The three handpumps has the ubiquitous Doom Bar,Purity UBU and Adnams Explorer (£3.40,decent shape),not the most exciting range .The flatscreen was off,the rustic furniture worked well,the flag stoned flooring adds some character,overall Vintage Inns have done a decent job here.Perfectly fine for a swift one,given the slightly boring ale selection it didn't seem the right venue for a major session,despite the cosy atmosphere.

On 21st February 2014 - rating: 6
[User has posted 2680 recommendations about 2680 pubs]

Please Note: This review is over a year old.

Blackthorn _ left this review about The Barge Inn

A decent enough old pub, and a pleasant find being only a mile or two away from MK town centre. These days it’s surrounded by modern housing, but at least the pub building itself has kept a little of it’s historic charm. Staff all seemed friendly and helpful, although as Steve of N21 has said, they could have done with more than one barmaid trying to cope with the drinkers as well as the diners. To be fair to them though, the place was packed at 5:30pm on a Tuesday evening, so they may well have been caught off guard. There is a small garden to the side of the pub, and it looks as though there is probably usually something at the rear, but this was fenced off on my visit due to some work going on.

Inside the main bar area is an L-shape with old flag stones at the front and red tiling on the floor around the side. It’s a low ceilinged pub and there are plenty of old beams on the ceiling. To the right is a brick fire-place, although I’m not sure if this is still in use. A TV was up in the corner showing a news programme, but the volume was off and so it wasn’t too intrusive and there were various black and white photo’s dotted around the walls. The rest of the pub is more geared up for dining, and this probably represents a good three quarters of the available seating, if not more. But then, seeing as at least three quarters of the punters were dining, that’s fair enough. At the rear is a conservatory, and off to the left a carpeted area split in to two by a freestanding brick built chimney with a wood burning stove, although again I’m not sure if this was in use.

The menu was extensive and offered a good selection of “pub grub” dishes as well as a few more adventurous options. Most of the mains were in the £8 - £10 range, although some of the seasonal specials were nearer £15. My Smoked Haddock Risotto was a pleasant and tasty dish, although perhaps a little on the small side for something priced at £9.95. A blackboard behind the bar detailed the Soup of the Day, Vegetables of the Day and even the Beer Batter of the Day – Doom Bar in case you were wondering.

Beers on tap were Ubu Purity, Adnams Sole Star and Doom Bar. A notice above the bar invited customers to suggest options for the forthcoming Spring ales range. The solitary cider was Strongbow, unfortunately. Overall, I quite liked this pub. OK, it’s a bit food orientated and it’s part of a chain, so might not have quite the character of a genuine old free house, but as chains go I reckon it’s pretty good.

On 17th April 2012 - rating: 7
[User has posted 1936 recommendations about 1850 pubs]

Please Note: This review is over a year old.

Steve of N21 left this review about The Barge Inn

The Barge in Woolstone is one of the Vintage Inn pub chain group and is described on their web site as a country pub & restaurant oozing rural charm and rustic character. By which they mean this place has been thoroughly restored and made over internally in the usual Vintage Inn way to be a very clean and almost sterile environment focussing on the food trade with the wet trade secondary. Internally it is very pleasant with lots of exposed beams and brickwork and several carpeted areas laid for dining. However, except for a few original remaining wooden beams nearly all of the original early 19th Century pub which was built to service the workers on the nearby canal has gone and although I agree it does have character, it is of modern manufacture.
One big plus is the outside drinking areas and there are three pleasant garden areas around the pub with plenty of bench seating.
The food menu is the same as I’ve seen and experienced in other members of the chain around Beds and Herts, so I’ve no reason to believe this one will not be up to scratch, but I didn’t take the opportunity to try it as I was here for the beer.
And on that front I was surprised not to find the usual Pride/CW Bombardier or Wadsworth 6X, which are the Vintage Inn house ales, but instead on the three pumps were Marstons Pedigree, Doombar (off) and Thornbridge Kipling and the Kipling was a very nice pint when I finally got it.
And thus we come to the recurring problem with this type of chain pub focussed on food sales, the emphasis is on serving the tables and they never have enough staff managing the bar. When I first arrived there was one guy on the bar and as there is no separate food ordering area, a large queue was forming whilst he struggled to enter the food orders into his electronic POS system. Finally a second lad turned up, which improved things, but it still took me over 10 minutes just to get a beer.
Thus I would say this is a decent enough place for a pub meal and I may well return for that purpose, but for a beer I will be giving this place a miss as there are plenty of more traditional beer focussed pubs hidden in the lanes of MK and surrounds.

On 22nd April 2011 - rating: 6
[User has posted 2094 recommendations about 1985 pubs]

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Pub location see interactive map of local area
Map location corrected by Blackthorn _
Milton Keynes Central, 2.53 miles, 48 min walk (show)
Fenny Stratford, 3.6 miles, 1 hr 9 min walk (show)
Bow Brickhill, 3.86 miles, 1 hr 14 min walk (show)
Latest updates View all updates for The Barge Inn, Woolstone
21st Feb 2014, 21:44
Review submitted by Bucking Fastard amended by Bucking Fastard
21st Feb 2014, 21:43
Review submitted by Bucking Fastard

Pub Details

Pub details supplied by members of this site to the best of their knowledge. Please check with pub directly before making a special trip.

  • Beer Garden : Yes last updated 21 February 2014 by Bucking Fastard
  • Car Park : Yes last updated 21 February 2014 by Bucking Fastard
  • Child Friendly : Yes last updated 21 February 2014 by Bucking Fastard
  • Hot Food : Yes last updated 29 July 2013 by Dave McNally
  • Micropub : No last updated 21 April 2022 by paulof horsham
  • Real Ale : Yes last updated 29 July 2013 by Dave McNally
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