PubSpy reviews O'Neill's in High Street, Beckenham

News Shopper: O'Neill's in High Street, Beckenham O'Neill's in High Street, Beckenham

DECOR *** (festive) DRINK *** (Guinness, lager and lots of special winter tipples) PRICE *** (easy on the wallet) ATMOSPHERE *** (tis the season to be jolly) STAFF ***** (outstanding) FOOD **** (hearty and delicious)

THE last time I visited O’Neill’s in Beckenham High Street I was greeted with a smorgasbord of inadequacies. From the miserable staff to the disappointing booze and food, I found a pub which excelled at being universally crap.

Understandably, I vowed never to darken its faux Irish doors again.

More than three years later, however, here I am again, but this time I’m itching for a fight after last week’s frosty welcome from the barmaid at The Marquis of Granby.

However, unlike the New Cross boozer, the Gaelic charm of O’Neill’s is very much of the pre-packaged and mass-produced, cynical chain variety.

It was, therefore, a surprise to find my fears were entirely unfounded.

While it’s true the L-shaped pub looks like a giant blue Lego brick from the outside, what it lacked in character, it made up for in Christmas spirit.

The festive decorations help of course and carefully conceal the rather tatty and contrived Irish decor which punters usually have to endure.

At least O’Neill’s is trying to channel something of the Emerald Isle, unlike Patrick’s next door which, with multiple TVs screening horse racing or any sport which you can place a bet on, is more like a bookies than a boozer.

Camouflage or not, the wreaths, garlands and various trimmings seemed to lift the mood of everyone in the pub that evening.

Still feeling the chill from outside, I ordered a mulled wine (£3.50).

The friendly barmaid was almost as warming as the spicy winter tipple, making polite conversation and letting me try the drink before I committed to buying it.

Its alluring smell soon won over other punters who quickly changed their minds about asking for a chilled pint of lager and chose the same delicious hot brew as me.

Gazing at the menu of hearty meals, each with Irish ingredients thrown in for authenticity, my shamrock quivered in anticipation of tucking into a piping hot steak and Guinness pie with colcannon and peas (£8.49).

A ravenous 15 minutes later and it arrived in all its artery-clogging glory, the pie bursting at the seams with juicy pieces of meat in a rich gravy.

But the highlight of this boozer is not the warming food, the great wine list or even the choice of lagers and Guinness.

It is the exceptionally helpful, friendly and charming staff which make a visit to this chain pub so worthwhile.

From happily making small talk to kindly bringing my Jack Daniel’s and coke (£3.25) to my table, instead of making me wait at the bar, there’s no area in which the bar staff failed to impress.

Maybe it was the respite from the cold or weeks of disappointing spying, but O’Neill’s in Beckenham is a precious jewel in a treasure trove of drab, uninspiring dives. Hurrah.

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Comments (7)

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10:46pm Wed 14 Dec 11

goldenbroomboy says...

I can remember when this pub was called "The Greyhound". It was ok then.

Now this place is plastic paddy of a type that died out in Bromley some years ago.

Don't bother with it. If you want suburban Irish, go to Harrow.
I can remember when this pub was called "The Greyhound". It was ok then. Now this place is plastic paddy of a type that died out in Bromley some years ago. Don't bother with it. If you want suburban Irish, go to Harrow. goldenbroomboy

12:05am Thu 15 Dec 11

Locked and Loaded says...

Why would ya go in dis boozer when ya could go dahn the road to da Brickies wiv Fatty Daley and da chaps all giving it the large. Plus ya all be on da CCTV. Karl fitted the CCTV ya knows. ROFL. :)
Why would ya go in dis boozer when ya could go dahn the road to da Brickies wiv Fatty Daley and da chaps all giving it the large. Plus ya all be on da CCTV. Karl fitted the CCTV ya knows. ROFL. :) Locked and Loaded

9:40am Fri 16 Dec 11

miss sweethips says...

your type are not welcome there mouthy
your type are not welcome there mouthy miss sweethips

10:05am Fri 16 Dec 11

commenting scoffer says...

miss sweethips wrote:
your type are not welcome there mouthy
...indeed 'miss s.h.' one has to feel sorry for 'locked'... posting on here past midnight while others are out enjoying themselves in the festive season... it looks like we could have a white christmas folks - let's all support the british pub trade and book your licensed 'british' taxi to take you safely home!! rofl!!
[quote][p][bold]miss sweethips[/bold] wrote: your type are not welcome there mouthy[/p][/quote]...indeed 'miss s.h.' one has to feel sorry for 'locked'... posting on here past midnight while others are out enjoying themselves in the festive season... it looks like we could have a white christmas folks - let's all support the british pub trade and book your licensed 'british' taxi to take you safely home!! rofl!! commenting scoffer

9:45pm Fri 16 Dec 11

BECKENHAM1234 says...

You obviously have not seen the trash and vermin humans who drink there Friday and Saturday night, there are always fights going on in there and the toilets are disgusting, I left there last Saturday night well before the place is a dump, I would not bother. The staff cant cope when it gets busy. Def the worst pub in Beckenham
You obviously have not seen the trash and vermin humans who drink there Friday and Saturday night, there are always fights going on in there and the toilets are disgusting, I left there last Saturday night well before the place is a dump, I would not bother. The staff cant cope when it gets busy. Def the worst pub in Beckenham BECKENHAM1234

2:08pm Sat 24 Dec 11

Locked and Loaded says...

A Happy Christmas to you Karl. Don't eat to much fatty you're already fat enough lard ar se.

I told you before I'm 5 hours behind you, its called time zones. If you get a white Christmas people could wear balaclavas, that will screw up the CCTV. ROFL.
A Happy Christmas to you Karl. Don't eat to much fatty you're already fat enough lard ar se. I told you before I'm 5 hours behind you, its called time zones. If you get a white Christmas people could wear balaclavas, that will screw up the CCTV. ROFL. Locked and Loaded

10:28am Thu 29 Dec 11

forwardthinking says...

Locked and Loaded wrote:
A Happy Christmas to you Karl. Don't eat to much fatty you're already fat enough lard ar se. I told you before I'm 5 hours behind you, its called time zones. If you get a white Christmas people could wear balaclavas, that will screw up the CCTV. ROFL.
Still chatting the same idiotic stuff you did 12 months ago? Lol
[quote][p][bold]Locked and Loaded[/bold] wrote: A Happy Christmas to you Karl. Don't eat to much fatty you're already fat enough lard ar se. I told you before I'm 5 hours behind you, its called time zones. If you get a white Christmas people could wear balaclavas, that will screw up the CCTV. ROFL.[/p][/quote]Still chatting the same idiotic stuff you did 12 months ago? Lol forwardthinking

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