IS it a pub or is it a restaurant? That's the big question surrounding The George in Hayes.
My worry is it might just be too sophisticated to be a really appealing boozer.
Approaching from the road it looks like more like a cluster of houses, albeit posh ones, with its big bay windows but as you gets closer the attractive tables and gravel area outside say classy bar.
Stepping in on a Thursday afternoon, the thing that struck me was the loud buzz of conversation. The place was thriving, with barely a spare seat in the small bar area out front.
It is very swanky inside with an imposing bar selling a huge variety of very middle class lagers - San Miguel, Amstel, Peroni, Meantime's London Lager - and service is impressively swift and efficient from smartly dressed, polite staff.
You do pay a bit of a premium, though, with my Spanish lager coming in at £3.95.
Roughly two thirds of the place is restaurant, and a fine looking one it is too.
I took a seat in the more pubby bit, in a comfortable tub seat around a gaudy silver cafe-style table.
There's something quite continental about going for a beer in The George - it's stylishly decorated on the whole with muted browns, lots of wood and understated art on the walls, and the crowd is very cosmopolitan.
There is even a tapas style bar menu serving the likes of salt and pepper squid, koftas and mozzarella risotto balls.
As it looked like a foody kind of gaff and I was supping a Spanish brew, I decided to try the mixed croquettas which I thought was good value at £3.95.
That is until the tiniest (though elegantly presented) bowl came out and I
began to fee aggrieved.
But that feeing didn't last long either as they tasted divine - crisp on the outside and creamy light and studded with tender salty meat inside.
While I was enjoying myself, The George did give me that existential fear - is this really the sort of place where PubSpy comes for a pint?
I can't imagine staggering the station after eight pints here and I'm unlikely the come across much pub rock (having said that, the background music was at pleasing volume and I was heartened to hear Simon and Garfunkel being proudly played in public). The place has jazz nights for chrissakes. Jazz.
It's the kind of bar-cum-restaurant where you wouldn't feel at all odd ordering a herbal tea at 8pm on a Saturday.
And you know what? I liked it.
The George, Hayes Lane, Hayes.
How it rated:
Atmosphere**** refined but buzzy
Staff ***** fast and professional
Drink ***** great range of good quality beers
Food *** tasted beautiful but could have done with more
Price ** a bit steep
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