The Nag's Head, Walthamstow

Our rating: FAP Rating 4 - Click for an explanation of our ratings      User rating: Community Rating 2 - Click for an explanation of our ratings   (5 reviews)
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FancyaPint?'s review...
FAP Rating 4 - Click for an explanation of our ratings
Jazz wafted through the air as we chose an excellent pint of Oscar Wilde Mild from the selection of four real ales on tap. But this isn't a Jazz bar. Or a real ale drinker's destination. Hidden away in peaceful Walthamstow Village, this a genuine relaxed locals pub. The dcor is modern, with bright tablecloths and pictures of movie and rock stars. Some of the furnishings were a tad Ikea-esque for our tastes, but it wasn't dramatically obvious. The hardened drinkers and football fanatics of E17 avoid this one, preferring the nearby Queens Head. It has been accused of being filled with Guardian reading teachers, which all smacks of inverse snobbery to us. With a great conservatory and beer garden, it's ideal for those lazy summer afternoons. Run by a landlord we found to be exceptionally friendly and enthusiastic, we hear he doesn't suffer fools gladly. Suffice to say, we would rather that than another duty assistant shift manager. Where else would you find an excellent cat-themed real ale festival in honour of the pub cats? A great place to while away several hours, the Nag's Head comes highly recommended. Allergy sufferers should note that they have a cat-friendly policy, with locals apparently bringing their pets to the pub for a quiet pint, but it didn't seem to affect unduly the allergy sufferers in our party.
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Reviews (12)
24 May 2012
Rating 4 - Click for an explanation of our ratings
Agree this may not be the most kid friendly pub - but certainly ok during the day - but for an evening with the lads or friends would certainly recommend. Decent beer (taylors landlord on last visit) decent service and for the smokers a very nice outside covered area with heaters -- Atmosphere pleasant
Reviews (1)
18 Oct 2011
Rating 5 - Click for an explanation of our ratings
Flossie the landlady is everything i look for in a landlady - She has real pride in her pub and is really friendly and welcoming, while at the same time not being a woman you'd want to cross. Add her brilliantly eccentric demeanor, exemplified by the "cat wedding" she staged for the two pub cats, billie and the other one, to coincide with the royal wedding and her ale festival and you have a truly legendary landlady. I'm not surprised the other reviewer is miffed at being told in no uncertain terms to leave, but which part of "no kids past 7:30" is difficult to understand?

Having been drinking there occasionally over the last 2 years i have never been served a duff pint or felt the need to leave due to rude staff or obnoxious drinkers, which in Walthamstow is a definite result. I moved from rural surrey and was really missing a proper friendly pub i could call my local i'm really happy to have found this gem tucked away in the village.

It also hosts various evening classes upstairs, i went to the life class for a while and thought it wasn't that appropriate, but top marks for breaking the mold. The pub participated in the Walthamstow arts trail, as a lot of businesses have, but rather than jumping on the bandwagon to get a few more bums on seats i felt they had made a proper effort.
Reviews (1)
16 Oct 2011
Rating 0 - Click for an explanation of our ratings
The staff and owners are family-unfriendly to a point I find depressing and plain weird. Case in point: my partner and I and two month old son in a pram were instructed to leave the front garden immediately (“I'd like you to leave now“) for staying slightly longer than their 7.30pm cut-off. Strange thing is, this evening was a special celebration for a local cat that had just passed away, beloved of our family, and we'd popped down specially to have a pint. Surely a wake would be one occasion you'd think they'd let relax the rules by a minute or two just to let us finish out pints? Damn, you'd be wrong. It seems strange that the owners are more concerned about hustling kids in prams off the premises than nurturing good relations with the locals. We wouldn't have gone down if it wasn't for the special occasion, so as a point of principle, and to play along with what seemed to me a ridiculous rule, I wandered back on my tod and asked for the quid I'd put in the collection box back. The landlady calmly gave it to me and explained that she had to keep the ground rules so strict to stop people taking liberties. Understood, but if strict enforcement of the ground rules is more important than cutting local families an inch of slack, you have to wonder about their priorities. No wonder there's such a weird atmosphere in there. Beer OK, constant acid jazz/trip hop muzak, watch out for the rules on signs everywhere, and they put furry table clothes on the tables for some reason.

I recommend The Castle in the Village for family-friendly service, each time we've been there, they couldn't have done more to accommodate us. Better music also.
Reviews (1)
06 Sep 2011
Rating 0 - Click for an explanation of our ratings
The staff are grim and unfriendly and the landlady is just plain weird at this pub. There is no food available which there is at some of the classier pubs in the Village.The prices charged for drinks seem to fluctuate depending when you drink here and who you are being served by. The resident jazz band are good though on Sundays from around 5:30-8pm but just a shame they play at this dive! AVOID LIKE THE PLAGUE IF YOU WANT A FRIENDLY PUB AND SERVICE! The Village pub and Queens Arms are friendly pubs and Q A has karaoke on Sunday nights which is fun, fun, fun. The Castle has great food, a friendly landlord and staff and is a much classier affair altogether.

Contact details
9 Orford Road, Walthamstow, London, E17 9LP
020 8520 9709

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