Boudicca (524) London, England | October 28, 2011
60 AMBIANCE 2/5 SERVICE 7/10 SELECTION 8/15 FOOD N/A VALUE 7/10 OVERALL 13/20
A basic local pub with a reputation for interesting real ale.
The Sportsman was chosen as the CAMRA Watford Branch’s pub of the year in 2010 so it sounded like an ideal place to stop one Sunday when we were out for a walk along the rivers and canal between Bushey and Rickmansworth. We were particularly attracted by the advertised regular beers - Red Squirrel Conservation and the house beer, Croxley Sportsman Bitter, brewed for the pub by the Red Squirrel Brewery - but of the eight hand pumps, these were the two that were off so we settled instead for Tring Side Pocket for a Toad and Castle Rock Black Gold. They also had Timothy Taylor Landlord, Sharp’s Special, Sharp’s Doom Bar, Bounds Scrumpy and a range of more standard fare like Staropramen, Carlsberg Cold and Bitburger.
It’s a fairly basic “local’s local” with friendly service. The layout is rather cramped and we had to edge our way in through a crowd of noisy old boys out for a Sunday lunchtime pint. There’s a pool table and a television screen at one side - presumably where they have the live music on Saturdays - and a small area on the other side that’s been made a bit more cosy with a carpet, an orchid, a couple of old fashioned fishing rods on the wall and a nice old clock advertising milk. There’s a slightly more spacious area at the back and a patio outside. There are also tables at the front overlooking a roundabout, the church and the local school.
(Visited 9 October 2011).