When did the world become obsessed with bunting again? Walking into the Bear and Ragged Staff in Crayford I felt as though I had walked into a street party for the Queen's jubilee, only instead of tea cakes and ecstatic children I was greeted with 'double up your burger' offers and fruit machines.

I was not immediately impressed with this Greene King pub, it has to be said.

Union Jack bunting was draped from high to low across this pub. I am as patriotic as the next man, but this was quite clearly leftover decorations that staff had not gotten around to dismantling.

There was worse to come when I looked over to the corner and saw a Christmas tree.

That's right, a bloody Christmas tree in the beginning of September. It gets said annually that Christmas gets earlier every year. But this, this was ridiculous.

I was reliably informed by staff that this particular display was to attract potential Christmas bookings. I have mixed feelings about this - by all means encourage business for your pub, but surely a poster would do?

Anyway, moving on to the pub itself. I was suitably impressed by the pints on offer.

Admittedly, a lot of them were lagers (Fosters, Amstel, San Miguel, Budweiser, to name but a few of the taps) but there were some guest ales that I was told change regularly.

And, aside from the pints, the spirit selection towered above the bar and showcased a very good range, which is not surprising for Greene King pubs as they often host rum and gin festivals and the like. So, top marks for drinks.

The atmosphere left a lot to the imagination. Hardly busy, despite a quiz taking place.

The three teams taking part made up more than half of the punters in there. No music was played, Sky Sports News was being shown on the telly as questions such as "What was the surname of the Michael J Fox character in Back to the Future?" echoed across the pub.

The bunting was starting to look like the most interesting thing about this boozer.


Posters advertised live music and DJs at the weekend, so perhaps for a more lively evening one should return with dancing shoes on.

The grub looked relatively standard for a chain which wasn't necessarily a bad reflection of the Bear, although I wasn't tempted to try anything. My San Miguel would do me fine.

The answer was McFly.

The Bear and Ragged Staff, 2 London Rd, Crayford DA1 4BH 

How it rated: 

Decor: **

Drinks ****

Food **


Overall: **