So, we reach the top 4, an area, one would assume, of almost complete agreement between those voting but, for some reason, our fourth choice has elicited strong opinions, hence two different views. Let’s take this to the comments box!!!

The Lovely Lovely Calthorpe Arms, look how lovely it is. Wouldn't you like to go for a pint there right now?

Confessions of a Calthorpe Lover by Steve

I love the Calthorpe and was strongly pushing for it to be higher in this list than it is but I was DJing the night the list was made so wasn’t there to state my case in person, but I think it is my favourite pub in London.

It’s not the pub with the most beers in the world (standard Youngs selection), it’s not architecturally significant and it’s never been my actual local. In fact, sin of all sins, I think I’ve only been there twice in the last 18 months. What I really really like about the Calthorpe is its PUBNESS. It’s cozy without being dingy, it’s welcoming without being overly familiar, I’ve never had a bad pint in there (the accidental ordering of a whole pint of Old Nick was entirely my fault and it was good, just strong), you can sit on your own with a pint or get 20 people in with only a little shuffling and be treated just the same. In addition you can get a great big plate of food for five and a half quid, and there’s a good-sized function room upstairs. I have never had an unsatisfying night there, it’s a proper solid bouzer.

Yes, it’s looking a bit scruffy round the edges these days and could do with a lick of paint outside certainly, but god forbid they do to it what they did to the One Tun or several other ghastly Youngs make-overs.

In addition, some members of this parish have complained about the state/coldness of the toilets as being a reason not to like this pub, well on my last visit the (gents) toilets had been FULLY REFURBISHED, so there is now no reason to not go.

Confessions of a Calthorpe Hater by Hazel

The Calthorpe Arms was a pub oft-mentioned to me, in a sort of lusty ‘oh, imagine if we could only go there tonight’ way. This is not, it has to be said, unusual for basically any pub that my peer group know of, the vast majority of which are great but something made me slightly wary of the Calthorpe and it’s not just because I live in Shepherds Bush and it’s a pain in the arse to get home from. ‘Mmm, the burgers’ people would say and I would think ‘yes but what about the pub, eh?’ We’re going there for a blvddy beer but then truly I am still a London pub novice in comparison with most of the group and despite someone I generally rely on to have sensible opinions on these things warning me off it most of the time, I went to the Calthorpe whilst they were in France at some point.

There are several things that may have marred my trip to the Calthorpe:
1) it was pouring with rain as I and Sukrat approached the pub
2) upon entering I got charged the most I’ve ever been charged for two pints in the history of my London existence, in what in my opinion was blvddy out of the way to be overpriced, which given my financial state at the time and generally was a bit of an unpleasant shock.

These two things meant that unless the pub provided some extraordinarily cheap mulled wine quicksharp I was probably bound to hate it and so I may not have given it due chance but there are several further things basically and structurally wrong about the Calthorpe.

1) It is COLD. Also, it’s a little… well, ‘battered.’ Some pubs look well-loved, the Calthorpe looks like it might have halfway undergone a refurb, then run out of money, changed hands and decided to carry on with the paint half-stripped and too few chairs. I’m into comfortably worn-in pubs and maybe this is the fact I’m from the country and have a similar pub aesthetic to the average Hobbit showing but there’s something starkly bare about the Calthorpe’s gutted interior.
2) Which is not helped by it being shaped like a corridor. I hate corridor-pubs; you’re in a constant draft whatever you do and either you’re trapped behind a table and unable to get out without elbowing/rubbing your arse against the faces of either your close-seated companions or perfect strangers, depending on the size of your group or you’re stuck with your back to a thoroughfare, which is equally unnerving and results in your nervously going for a wee twice as much, as though to make up for your trapped companions.
3) Which in the Calthorpe means entering a windswept stable with the sort of decor and standard of maintenance a ladies’ loo in my university’s more abandoned science blocks used to get. The hand drier was hanging off the wall and dead, there was no loo roll although it was 6-blvddy-pm and there was black mold at the top of the concrete walls, either painted yellow or never refurbished after the tobacco ban.

If the place had been cheap, the burgers had looked genuinely good as opposed to scrotty, greasy fare that a pub with any sense of dignity would have priced well below the nine quid I think they were being sold at or it had been anywhere near anywhere useful for getting home then this might have been allowable and I can sort of see how people who live in North or North East London might think it’s a good idea but I am not paying over £3.50 per pint to sit in a damp corridor with a howling gale going through it, then have a wee in a cold, dank public convenience and stomp seemingly 398678479 miles back to Kings Cross to get on the Hammersmith and City line.

Supposedly they have sorted out the loos now but unless I see pictorial evidence of the Calthorpe’s transformation into a useable pub then I think I’ll take a chance on staying at home; many people consider my habit of living in places not convenient to the Calthorpe a sort of affectation but frankly if that is all I would be trading the Ladbroke Arms in for then you can keep it.

FancyAPint like it
So do RGL
Even BITE are quite complimentary…