The Clifton, St. John's Wood
I was rather excited to visit the Clifton after seeing its rating at Fancyapint, and the building and its location looked rather welcoming on a warm May afternoon. In tow were some foreign friends who had never visited an English pub before and who were relishing the experience.
After ordering a round at the bar, we began to make our way to the outdoor area to bask in the London sun. Although we did not order food (and did not intend to), we were rather brusquely asked if we had a dinner booking as we carried our drinks to the garden. We had made the mistake, you see, of passing through the empty, oven-like conservatory on our way outside, not realizing that the room's stifling warmth was reserved for people who booked a table in advance.
No matter-- by now we had settled at a sunny and breezy table outside, and as the clinking of our pint glasses faded, Mr. Barman/Landlord appeared again to tell us that we had to use the side door to access the garden.
Now I can understand that people who are enjoying their Sunday roast don't want to be disturbed by drink-carrying patrons, but the food-only conservatory was empty.
The Barman/Landlord at the Clifton could benefit from some lessons in courtesy, even from the likes of Den Watts or Phil Mitchell.
96 Clifton Hill, Maida Vale, London, NW8 0JT
From Kilburn Park: Turn left out of the tube and continue along Cambridge Avenue until you reach the end. Turn right along Kilburn High Road, which soon becomes Maida Vale. Take the third on the left, Greville Road, and then take the first right, Greville Road. Then take the first left, Carlton Hill, and you will soon see the pub on your left. Kilburn High Road: turn left out of the station until you reach Greville Road and continue as above