The Fentiman Arms

64 Fentiman Road
Vauxhaull, London
SW8 1LA
Tel: 020 7793 9796 Oval 0.3 miles

Mon-Sat: 11am-11pm
Sun: 12pm-10.30pm


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The Fentiman Arms reviews

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It's still excellent! Welcoming, comfortable, buzzy (especially on a warm summer evening) and (like other Geronimo pubs) decent value - especially if you join the free Geronimo Club.

Useful review?
 by FREng, 03 Mar 2012
The pub has nice decor and a good atmosphere. We have had problems though with them running out of food. One time we had booked dinner with my parents visiting from overseas and we had to leave because they only had about 10% of the menu available.

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 by will72, 01 Mar 2011
The staff are lovely and the pub is warm and comfy. I just wish they'd bring back the sticky toffee pudding they served at the beginning of the year... that was amazing.

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 by funkhouse, 06 Dec 2010
These OLD reviews clearly do not reflect The Fentiman as it is recently. Loved the atmosphere, the food and the friendly welcome. My favourite pub in the area. Definitely go and have a pint or even a nibble, you will not regret it.

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 by sianreid1, 26 Jun 2010
A decent enough pub. Nice garden, nice interior and seating. Great quiz on a Tuesday. The service is ok, as is the food. The food is overpriced, but then, most pubs in London are! If you do want food you should order early to avoid disappointment... I mean, don't expect a roast dinner if you get there late on a Sunday! So, overall, it's worth a visit, as long as you're not on a budget.

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 by Ann Nonnymous, 25 Jun 2010
I live very nearby and would just like to warn anyone hungry not to bother. The last 4 times I have gone to this pub attempting to spend a huge amount of money on average quality food, THEY DIDN'T HAVE ANY FOOD. I'm talking about NO FOOD. I went twice on a Sunday at 8pm and they had run out of food. Once, on a Friday, the chef was fighting with one of the bartenders so we couldn't get served. The other time I went on a Friday and they had run out of steak. I think it is just too busy and incredibly incompetently run. Go anywhere else but here.

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 by sandoval, 10 Dec 2009
OK, here we go... I am a restaurant manager of some 30 years' experience. I have managed restaurants from fast food through gastropubs and brasseries right up to full butler style service, five star restaurants. I have seldom if ever been exposed to such poor service as I was today at Fentiman's.

I fully comprehend the difficulties in running an eatery of this style but find myself hard pressed to find any reason why I should have been forced to endure a meal this bad. The waiting staff showed little, or indeed no skill, other than being able to plonk food in front of people. Not their fault - this shows an arrogant attitude, and lack of staff training on the manager's side. We waited one and a half hours between starter and main course with no comprehension of the situation from the waiting staff or manager. Menus were left on our table throughout the starters, and were only removed once we had waited the half hour after we had finished. I was never offered a second drink throughout my meal other than a pitiful gesture on the part of the restaurant manager after we had complained, as if she thought we might like something to do while waiting the age for our main courses. These were not offered complimentary and I got the distinct impression that they were offered very begrudgingly.

As for the food itself, my starter, a beetroot and feta salad, would be best described as a green salad with a small garnish of three thin slices of beetroot and three small 1cm cubes of feta. NOT ACCEPTABLE FOR THE PRICE. My dessert, an apple and berry crumble, turned out to be a small fingerbowl, half full. NOT ACCEPTABLE AT £5.

Why we waited so long for our mains, I have utterly no idea. We all ordered the Sunday special, usually a quick alternative for busy restaurants. Our waitress looked as if she had done a cross country run through a wet muddy field. In fact, her canvas shoes were so dirty as to make me wonder if she hadn't been pulled off the streets as a mercy gesture to give her a chance to get some cash to feed her meths habit.

In short, I do not give Fentiman's any form of endorsement. Gastropubs of this type usually offer good value and good service. I don't expect any more than basic service and a hearty meal. Fentiman's failed utterly on all levels. A total waste of my money, and the poorest value I have experienced... EVER.

Here are a few tips The Fentiman Arms would do well to consider:

Train your staff to a good BASIC level of service.

Ensure they attain a good level of hygiene and look presentable. (Oh, and by law, long hair MUST be tied back AT ALL TIMES.)

Always be very attentive.

Never leave dirty plates on a table after the last customer has finished.

Offer at least two drinks during a meal.

Do not throw plates of food at customers.

When delays occur, place more bread or nibbles on the table to at least show you are aware of problems. If big problems have affected your customers, a nice way of showing you are sorry is to place a complimentary fruit bowl on the table at dessert. It costs very little, but has the affect of showing you really care. It can be prepared in advance and takes no time at all when you're busy and, let's face it, it's seldom eaten and can be reused. GOOD SERVICE COSTS NOTHING, JUST COMMON SENSE. AND IT PAYS BACK A HUNDRED FOLD.

Above all, price your food fairly for the level of service and quality - something this place seems incapable of doing.

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 by workie, 04 Oct 2009
Service is TERRIBLE. We were treated like criminals by staff who'd decided we'd sworn at one of them (we hadn't - to this day we're still trying to figure out what happened). Fair enough defending your staff if customers are being tw*ts, but to blindly do so without bothering to speak to said customers is ridiculous. We ended up having to apologise in order to get served again. Never going back - it's been our regular since we moved into the area 6 months ago, but never again. I refuse to be treated like that by a bunch of petulant staff.

Useful review?
 by gavin8, 13 Jul 2009
I've been going here since the revamp some time in 2007, when they also ditched the old manager and hired new chefs. This pub has become my favourite London pub. I easily and emphatically give it 5 stars. And the barstaff are all hot... just an added bonus.

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 by pub.lover, 30 Jun 2009
Well, it seems we can support both the good and the bad reviews below - we've had utterly different experiences there on various visits. Up till last weekend, we've enjoyed great service, pretty good food and the excellent atmosphere. What's more, the pub and staff always seemed child-friendly.

But on Sunday, it was a different story... Firstly, they had lost our booking; when we finally worked it out, we got a "well I suppose you can sit there" rather than a sorry. Then, even though our party included several children, it took four requests before we could get anyone to take our orders. The food, when it did arrive, was average to awful - I had to send my meal back.

Sadly, Fentiman's is now off my favourites list - such a shame.

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 by fiona.macmillan, 17 Jun 2009
I can't understand any of these reviews! The Fentiman Arms has been our local for a year and a half, we regularly do the Tuesday night quiz and have eaten there loads of times. The food has always been great and the service fine. I think these reviewers really must be from parallel universes (or exceptionally fussy!). Maybe the 'wine connoisseur' below irritated the staff with a snobby and arrogant attitude and that's why he didn't get a friendly reception...?!

Useful review?
 by Claire43, 11 Jan 2009
As mentioned by many of the other reviewers, this place is a DISASTER. Our experience from start to finish was all bad. On arrival we were told we could sit wherever we liked, then 5 mins later one of the waiters placed a reserved sign down on our table for someone else with no explanation. We were then handed menus with all sorts of tasty options and a blackboard menu stating the Sunday roasts, only to be told 20 mins later that the entire menu was in fact lunch and that the dinner menu had changed.

The options were so poor we should have at this stage left. However, we decided to give it a chance and we ordered basics. These turned out to be stew that was served cold, gumboot beef that was not edible and came with no vegetables whatsoever, and an atrocious burger. Terrible wait staff with no idea. I asked that I not pay for my meal, which was entirely uneaten, but received no explanation or apology from them as to why everything was such a mess.

Just to add to all this, the manager had their very large dog inside the pub, barking at everyone entering the front door, and then shouted at one of the customers who accidentally stood on the dog... Cannot understand how these people are still in business.

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 by enjoyfood, 02 Nov 2008
We had a fantastic night at The Fentiman last night. Even though it was very crowded after the cricket the staff and their service were superb! We were a bit worried after all the bad reviews below but none of the alleged faults were apparent at our visit. The BBQ menu was delicious and there is an enormous wine list, even our favourite NZ white wine! The evening was perfect!

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 by holly1344, 08 Aug 2008
There must be alternate universes! The Fentiman I know is a great place where we have always felt welcome. Warm and cosy in the winter, it also offers a fanstatic garden for those long and lazy summer nights. The staff have always been really friendly and we even became friends with some of them (admittedly, we spend a lot of time there - it's that good!).

Yes, the food is not cheap but it is London (a main course between £10 and £15 is not unheard of in central London). The food's always been good too, apart from the odd disappointment which has always been dealt with magnificently (only yesterday we were offered a bottle of wine because dessert was late; well, we should have known better and avoided dinner on a crowded quiz night).

Come on guys, I know it's only a pub but it doubles up as a nice restaurant. Go on, give it a try - it is really worth it.

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 by boxinuk, 06 Aug 2008
From a really nice pub with good, reasonably-priced food and great staff, in the last few years it has become overpriced with dreadful service, poor management and wine you could creosote the fence with. The garden and the bar are the only redeeming features.

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 by skip, 11 Apr 2008
Just to add my two pence worth, I agree with the general sentiment that this pub is overpriced, the food mediocre and the staff unpleasant. Such a shame, as it's so close to my home.

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 by kernow, 20 Feb 2008
I read loads of these reviews and decided to take the risk of starting here for my birthday. The pub itself is lovely, with a really nice atmosphere. Unfortunately, the food is very poor indeed - certainly not worth the money, but more than that generally not very nice. It's a shame, as the place has got a lot of potential. The two star rating I've given it is for general atmosphere only.

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 by londonsteve, 20 Feb 2008
Can I give it 0-zero-0 stars? I should have read some of these reviews before going there. Apparently the female manager hasn't changed, nor improved with the New Year. She is as rude as the comments below describe her. We had an argument about our booking, and she practically shouted at us that we were wrong and she was right, because, she said: "I am English, and you are not".
Right, we were a group of Italian, Greek and English people, and we walked away, leaving her slamming the menu on the counter. Unbelievable.

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 by pa_gho, 13 Jan 2008
This place was worthy of Gordon Ramsay... NOT!! A slug could have cooked better food and realised how massively overpriced it is. The management are preposterous too.

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 by xxtoriaandhannahxxx, 28 Dec 2007
I'm really amazed by these comments! I go to The Fentiman every couple of weeks. It's a great pub for a winter's day, there is a good bustling but warm atmosphere. The staff are polite and accommodating. The menu could be a little more varied, but on the whole very good. Do give it a go.

Useful review?
 by hac, 10 Dec 2007


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