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The Paxton


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Poll: Please rate this pub (16 member(s) have cast votes)

How do you rate this pub?

  1. Excellent (8 votes [50.00%])

    Percentage of vote: 50.00%

  2. Good (3 votes [18.75%])

    Percentage of vote: 18.75%

  3. Average (3 votes [18.75%])

    Percentage of vote: 18.75%

  4. Poor (2 votes [12.50%])

    Percentage of vote: 12.50%

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#1 ben

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Posted 17 October 2011 - 10:35 AM

The Paxton (formely the Mansion) is my local, so I was desperate to get in there after six months of refurbishment.

The new layout is great, and everything seems to have been done very well. The garden looks fantastic, and there's a big smoker's terrace with an awning at the back. The menu is good. I had a great burger, and my wife had a well above-average shepherd's pie.

My only worry is the loud music! I've now been twice, and had to head outside both times in the end as we couldn't hold a conversation. Both times I've been in there I've seen tables full of people of all ages looking a bit distressed with "can't wait to get out of here as soon as I've finished eating" looks on their faces as the music booms out.

If they're going for a sub-25 year-old demographic, they really haven't done their homework on the make-up of the local area. They need to decide if they want to make any money selling food (in which case, turn the music down) or want to try to attract a young crowd. If they drive away everyone in the area over the age of 25 they are going to lose a LOT of money.

Either way, it's quite bare and stark inside and very echoey. I'm actually not sure if I'm going to give it a third chance. I did have a quick word with the manager, but I got the impression that it was falling on deaf ears (perhaps unsurprisingly!)

Don't get me wrong - I LOVE a loud, buzzing pub with lots of noisy conversation and a bit of background music. Or a live band. But not a massive half-empty space with echoing drum'n'bass (as it was at one point) drowning out all attempts at conversation.

Am I in a minority? I really want to love this pub and spend lots of money there, but they need to meet me halfway!

#2 Norwood lad

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Posted 17 October 2011 - 10:57 AM

I think it suffers the same effects as the Sparrowhawk, largely blank walls bouncing a lot of sound about the place.

You would think these days anyone spending thousands on doing up a pub would some idea about acoustics.

It really shouldn’t take a lot to sort out.

Have you tried contacting the head office, they have expensive costs to recoup so would more than likely listen to a valid complaint if the pub manager isn’t.

#3 St. Lukes Railings

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Posted 17 October 2011 - 11:05 AM

I really couldnt bring myself to go down the hill if I'm honest. Hills are for commuting. Talking of the Sparrowhawk it seems the novelty seems to have worn off a bit. Nowhere near as busy as it was. Maybe people have heard of Dazza's visit...brings the rep down massively

#4 hathaws

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Posted 17 October 2011 - 11:40 AM

I completely agree, I was in The Paxton on Friday night, really looking forward to it as I loved The Mansion and it technically is my local. But I was really disappointed. Perhaps Friday night wasn't the best night to go for the first time, but while the layout is good it is very bland, very noisy and was generally offputting. I hope it improves, I guess some teething troubles are to be expected, but Norwood Lad, I think you're spot on about understanding acoustics...

#5 misspoddy

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Posted 17 October 2011 - 01:52 PM

Same here. Went on Friday with hubby and child to see how the new place is. The layout is nice, I like the way the back room is now fully integrated and not just the dark, back room. So that's good. The furniture is less well done I must say. Lots of people miss sofas etc and I must say I agree. The Sparrowhawk went for the same pick n'mix of different vintage chairs and tables, but in their case, it looks lovely, well chosen and great mix of styles etc. In The Paxton it just looks like a 2nd hand shop. Any style mixed with Ikea looking tables etc. Not so great...

But indeed the biggest problem with the architecture is the sound! It is not as perviously mentioned the problem of the music being to loud, it's the problem of bad architecture which is all about looks and doesn't take acoustics into account at all. Huge bare walls and windows, speakers pointing right down at you, no sound buffing materials anywhere etc. Terrible. We had a really nice meal (great fish'n chips and lovely dahl with smoked haddock) and the service was perfect. But we were unable to hold a conversation and left as quick as possible. I will not go back before the summer as sitting outside will be nice when you don't have to suffer the deafening noise. Unless of course they do something about it. They should get an acoustic specialist in and sort is out asap. If not, they will end up with 20 something punters who will only turn up Friday and Saturdays for a few ints and that's it.

As for the garden, not sure how the huge decking will look like in a few years, but now it looks neat. If you look at the decking in the Black Sheep it looked great when it was new, a few years later and it looks rotten and gets slippery... The Paxton's decking is 4 times the size than the Black Sheep, after a bit of rain it will turn into a huge ice rink... Don't quite get why they went for decking rather than a nice garden like for ex. the Dullwich Woodhouse has. But well, they will have their reasons...

By the way Admin, as The Patxton has already a "Mansion Sold" thread and now this one, can't we fuse this into the "normal" Pub Review section where it actually belongs?

#6 belo

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Posted 17 October 2011 - 02:07 PM

I went yesterday, late afternoon, and thoroughly enjoyed my burger and beer. As to the noise? I really didn't notice any issues. I can't remember if there was any music playing or not, but I was able to carry out conversations with the rest of my party without any problems. I do think it needs to 'cosy' up a bit though.

#7 Summit Lover

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Posted 17 October 2011 - 02:24 PM

Please Vote in this Poll and Add a Reply if you have any comments about this Pub

The Paxton

255 Gipsy Road, London SE27 9QY

#8 guineagirl

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Posted 17 October 2011 - 03:47 PM

I was there on Friday night - if only I'd realised so many VNers were there! - and had a similar experience, I found the noise level of the music to be off-putting, although in the interest of fairness I must point out my other half and friend who were with me said the music level was fine for them and they had no difficulty making themselves heard (my hearing is not so good!).

The back and front doors being open meant that a chill breeze was coming through all the time, and it was noticeable that the table nearest the open door stayed empty. I really think in winter the back door should be closed if possible...but that will mean doors banging when smokers go in and out, which could be just as annoying.

The food menu is very similar to the Florence in Herne Hill so I assume it's the same management company - for others who haven't been down that way, I would warn that there are some real hits and misses on the menu.

I've had the sweetcorn and courgette burger at the Florence, and it is a VERY ordinary veggie burger - tastes like the Birds Eye ones you get in supermarket freezers, and there are some rather strange flavour combinations in other dishes (chick peas and squid or halloumi with cauliflower dip anyone?). I'm also not a big fan of their skinny fries but the fat chips are much nicer.

This time round I had mackerel and salmon skewers and those were much nicer than anything I've had at the Florence. The other 2 had meat burgers and were very happy with those. If the Paxton are doing Sunday roasts, too, then if they are like the Florence's they should be good.

Am sure we'll give it another go in a month or so, and would probably go for the big outside space in summer, but to make me come back in winter, I'd like it to be a wee bit quieter, warmer and more cosy!

#9 ChristineT

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Posted 17 October 2011 - 06:08 PM

Have not been to this place yet, but curiously have just been on Twitter and there is a tweet from the Paxton commenting that all comments have been taken on board and sorted. Music and lighting adjusted anyway. So who wants to go tonight? #thepaxtonpub if you want to follow.

Edited by ChristineT, 17 October 2011 - 06:11 PM.


#10 Hermit

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Posted 17 October 2011 - 08:17 PM

Can anyone comment on their beer range and prices. Also there was once talk that they were going to brew their own ale on site like at the Florence, any idea if they are going ahead with that?

#11 ben

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Posted 18 October 2011 - 09:29 AM

Great news if they've tweaked the sound. I really want them to do well.

My only other issue was that the barman produced a pint of Guinness by pouring it straight through all at once, instead of letting two-thirds settle before topping it off. I haven't seen that done in a very long time, even in the worst chain pubs...he did promise to do it properly next time though!

If they've shown willing then the least I can do is give them another try soon. We'll try to get down there this week.

#12 misspoddy

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Posted 18 October 2011 - 09:37 AM

Can anyone comment on their beer range and prices. Also there was once talk that they were going to brew their own ale on site like at the Florence, any idea if they are going ahead with that?


The hubby tried 3 different ales, 2 of them their own ones, he wasn't impressed at all I must say. The first one tasted like orange juice and a bit of left over ale to me, but I'm not the one to ask, I haven't got a clue about beer.... The pints cost between 3.50 and 3.80, so anything but cheap!

Food was very good and very well prices and my white wine was very nice too. No idea how much it was though.

#13 bawheid

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Posted 18 October 2011 - 01:30 PM

Can't pour their Guinness? Sacrilege! Best get yourself along to Gipsy Hill Tavern instead.... lovely pint in there.

#14 Dazza

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Posted 18 October 2011 - 02:23 PM

I have only been in their once eve,r the furthest I have ever travelled downhill that was is the Colby which has OK beer as well !

just by looking at it I can see that will be my only visit unless dragged in there !

Dazza
Your obviously mistaken me with someone who gives a fig

#15 guineagirl

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Posted 19 October 2011 - 11:48 AM

I must say I did notice the pints my friends were drinking were not full to the brim when they arrived, and I urged them to go back and get them topped up, but they were typically British about it and refused to complain!

Another friend of mine thinks the pints in the Florence are ruinously expensive but as I don't drink beer myself I have no comparison to make. A G&T and pint at the Paxton came in around £8 I believe.