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Hare & Billet, Blackheath
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24 May 2013
Simply on its ale, the H&B should be a five pint pub. There are 8+ ales on at a time and they are kept in excellent condition. You'll go a long way to find better ale kept this well. The food is very good, if a bit pricey and it's had a tasteful refurb. It has lost a bit of its old character, but it had lost that a long time ago, to be honest. Most of the staff seem nice. My only criticism would be that it's such a gastro pub now, it doesn't really cater for kids and there are always a lot of families in there for weekend lunches, so it wouldn't kill them to do a bowl of chips.
15 Feb 2013
I have been a resident in Blackheath and a regular at the Hare and Billet for many years and welcomed the news that it was to have a facelift and re-open on 14th February 2013. For many years the Hare and Billet is the only pub in Blackheath village to have retained a true 'pub' identity and simultaneously not attract binge drinking types. The consensus of opinion amongst regulars prior to the refit (and cascaded to management) was to simply retain its charm and character and not lose its identity. I am sad to say that this has been ignored. The new owners have transformed the bar into what looks like any other bar (not pub) pretending to be a restaurant. Drink prices have increased by circa 20%. A pint of Guinness that was £3.50 is now £4.20. Not a problem if it is a good pint served in a Guinness glass by competent staff. sadly it was an average pint served in an old style flute glass by a member of staff who has clearly neither been trained or been to Ireland. The three biggest selling draught lagers Carling, Fosters and Stella Artois have gone and been replaced by imported 'strong' lagers Amstel, Budwar, Estrella and Duval. True, there is a good selection of real ales but they are rarely the most popular beers especially in the spring / summer months. The menu looks excellent in fairness but again prices look out of sync. Why pay £20.00 for a rib-eye steak, £3.50 for potatos and £3.50 for each vegatable dish in a pub when you can pay the same (if not less) at the rather excellent Argentian steak restaurant Buenos Aires 3 minutes down the road. A pub should be a pub and a restaurant a restaurant. In summary the Hare and Billet has done exactly what it's main rival 'The Crown' did 2 years ago. It too put up prices, lost it's character and tried to metamorphosise into a modern 'gastro pub' The Crown now has few regulars, attracts the 'buggy brigade' and is characterless. Due to its location the Crown will always attract passing trade. I fear the same will not be true for the Hare and Billet as it is tucked out of sight from passing visitors. Unless there are major changes I am afraid the Hare and Billet should change its name to the 'Marie and Celeste'. Hare and Billet R.I.P. Great shame! So much promise.
04 Jan 2009
Good 'old man's pub'. I'm not an old man myself but I very much enjoy going to the Hare and Billet. As mentioned by Islander the pub is the only one in Blackheath where it's easy to just sit down with a pint and have a nice chat, without having to worry about binge drinking chavs. It's also usually got about the right number of people in it; not full but plenty in there for some good banter. Definitely recommend this pub.
1a Eliot Cottages, Blackheath, London, SE3 0QJ
020 8852 2352
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