Fin (1149) Merton, Oxfordshire, England, England | March 23, 2015
Me and Loz visited The Palace on Wednesday 18th March 2015, we’d been here before maybe 6 years ago and never rated. It was very quiet when we arrived 3 English folk at the bar and that was it. Ok so it was a Wednesday night so to be fair the town was absolutely dead with Café Le Paix and Oud Vlaenderen both shut this evening, and those were our first choices. The Palace still has a nice bar and a decent beer list but sadly the chap who runs it is a shocker. The chap/owner seems obsessed with watching television which is on far too loud and heaven knows what crap he is watching. In fact serving you seemed a huge inconvenience for him. Throughout the ordering and then paying process he managed the entire transaction without smiling and or uttering a word. We had an Orval but it is one of the few times we would happily have left it and walked out, the three English chaps had already wisely moved on. I really felt like I was an annoyance to him that we were there, he was fixated on the bloody television. At one point I said to Loz I feel like getting up and hammering out a tune on the piano just to see what his reaction would be, (I can’t play btw). My review isn’t really focusing on the Hotel/Bar and for that I apologise but I thought that others should be aware of just how far this place has fallen, I think it’s soulless and totally avoidable.
Gone down hill since the Halcyon days of Guy & Bea. Still a nice pub with a good selection of beer but the service is unenthusiastic and often absent. Used to be packed on a Friday and Saturday evening but now struggles to attract a handful of locals. Still worth a visit, however and the hotel is good value, if basic(the landlady is nice but seems to leave the bar to her less-welcoming husband and beer ignorant son).
We stayed in the Palace hotel, so of course we visited the bar in it as well. Decent selection of Belgian beers, including some delicious Struise. Weird though that one of the owners sits in the corner watching TV all the time.
Who am I to argue with Tim Webb see previous entry, but my party thought the smell was stale tobacco mixed with B O.
A sad reflection on the great place it once was under Guy and Bea. Beer list still reasonable but owner was more concerned with his tv rather than customers. Later in my stay in Pops I noticed a long term Palace regular in another pub. Seems like everyone is giving up on the Palace.
Saturday lunchtime, nobody there. Stank of stale fish. Sat in the bar for some minutes and called out but nobody came. Time to see that the beer list has shrunk dramatically. Such a shame as it was a great place under the previous owners and the reclaimed cinema cum bordello at the back is a stunner.
We were in the area, so we thought we would pop in the Palace for a drink. It was mid week, so we were the only customers, but we were pleasantly welcomed. However even though it was just us the service wasn’t the fastest! Best thing about the place was probably the 3 Fonteinen Oude Kriek, which cost us less that 6 euros for a 75cl - bargain!!!! Well worth a visit if you’re in the area.
Man, this place is AWESOME. So after checking into to my room, I looked in the bar to see what was available. I see 10 bottles sitting on the bar and I have a funny feeling it’s something good. Lo and behold, they were all Westy 12s. I was very kindly given 8 of them by the owner himself. (And yes, I am going on record as saying they were given to me.) Anyway, I told the owner I liked sours and he pulled out an ’03 3 Fonteinen Kriek. Holy crap. I had sooooo many good beers here (I drank with some locals until 8 am- Belgians don’t mess around with their beer, and they are extremely friendly and sociable, especially when you tell them you’re from Texas.) Felt like hell the next day but sometimes the pain is worth it. I will definitely go back here someday. But next time my drinking ends at midnight. Recommended for anyone in Poperinge. The owners are great, the locals are great, and tons of good beer is available. Ask about vintages the owner has lying around.
I stayed here a night whilst doing a pilgrimage to In de Vrede, which I did in the afternoon and then sat at the bar here and drank until I had to go to bed. Highlight was the oldish 3 Fonteinen Kriek in bottle. Service could have been a bit faster and there were a fair number of beers not available from the menu, especially the lambics. Also took ages to find an Orval chalice. Overall though I liked the atmosphere, even if everyone else was speaking Flemish, I was made to feel welcome at the bar.