No soap in the Princess of Wales pub

Every time I go into The Princess of Wales or the Railway pubs, the toilets almost never have any handsoap in them. It happened again to me today in the PoW, and it drives me nuts. These places sell food. I think it was probably AA Gill who said that if you walk into a restaurant, and there’s no soap in the loo, just leave.


Let’s say you’ve got a normal immune system, and you go to the bathroom, wash your hands in a perfunctory manner with no soap, and later on decide to eat some chips or perform some other activity that transfers bacteria from your hands to the upper portion of your gut.

You’ll probably be fine, just as you will probably also get away with driving while mildly-illegally drunk.

But doing this buys you quite a lot of tickets in the Pathogen-Disaster Lottery. If you get a big enough dose of bad enough germs into yourself, your immune system won’t be able to react and shut them down before they’ve multiplied into too large a population to stop, and then you’ll be in trouble.

Which, again to not be over-dramatic, probably won’t be the kind of trouble that kills you. But may be the kind that initially makes you afraid that you will die, and later on makes you afraid that you won’t.

UPDATE: As James points out in the comments, the pub does have an online survey where you can make your views felt… And win a meal (yum!) with a bottle of wine.


Filed under blackheath, pubs

33 responses to “No soap in the Princess of Wales pub

  1. Nees

    I hope you mentioned it to the manager.

  2. jj

    distressingly, the loo roll if often absent too.

  3. Jessica

    You make an assumption that the person before you would use the soap if it was there! Best to get a travel size hand sanitizer.

  4. The pub is a constant disapointment. I want to love it but everytime I’m there I leave thinking “you’re sitting on a gem of a pub, why can’t you smarten the place up, get some staff who can handle a busy bar and make the toilets usable”.

    It could be great, it never is.

  5. Dan

    That’s pretty rank! I’ve noticed this in a few local places of late… Think this really needs to be sorted and to add.. I have seen the kitchen staff use the public PoW toilets many times.

    PoW… A bottle o Anti-Bacterial hand wash costs a quid! Sure a bottle in each would last a day.. £14 a week won’t bankrupt you.

  6. Emily

    They also have very sweet gravy, which is a shame because their sunday lunches are otherwise quite good. Except why have skin on roast potatoes? They don’t get crunchy so then what’s the point of them? The nut roast is brilliant though.

  7. Sally

    I really wouldn’t waste your time going to either pub to be honest. The staff care more about how drunk they got last night than they do about serving customers, probably because they are underpaid and overworked by Mitchells and Butler. I’ve only ever had lacklustre food in there and the drinks are just about adequate. Try the Crown, it’s much nicer…(and has always had soap – and on that, there’s no staff toilet in there, so if you can’t wash your hands, neither can the chef).

  8. Paul

    As any man knows, more men ‘forget’ to was their hand than wash them. So even if you do wash your own hands the handle to the exit door I’d normally filthy! Yes, have soap and men – wash your hands… But install swing doors in all pubs so we can avoid the germ ridden handle!!

  9. Paul

    wow – just read what I typed on my Blackberry… Let me just correct that a little…

    As any man knows, more men ‘forget’ to was their hands than wash them. So even if you wash hands, the handle to the exit door is going to be filthy! Yes, toilets do need soap, for when men Do wash their hands, but please also install a swing doors in all pubs so we can avoid the germ ridden handle!!

  10. Neil Rhind

    Know what you mean. I went to the PoW after one of my historic walks last autumn. Couple of pints then off to the beer recycling unit (sorry, the Gents) to find all the urinals blocked. My attempts to inform the management was met with hostility and abuse from the barman and bar woman (lacking a manager and clearly understaffed). To be fair they were trying to cope with some pretty aggressive and demanding customers.

  11. Crazy Horse

    Completely agree with Phil. This pub has everything going for it and yet whenever I visit I wish I hadnt bothered. It appears to be totally ruderless, has hopeless / un-interested staff and more often than not it smells in there. I have had some truly horrendous meals in there and their beers are poorly kept and over priced. Dont get me started on the toilets!!
    Do yourself a favour and go to the Crown or Hare and Billet instead.

  12. scared of chives

    Pubs in Blackheath are generally shit. The Princess of Wales was once good (about 1988).

    Greenwich has The Plume of Feathers, Richard 1st, Union/Old Brewery (if you like the stuff), Spanish Galleon to name a few…although the Richard hasn’t had soap either for ages (moisturiser instead!)..oh, and Oliver’s.

  13. Ed

    Yes the PoW could be so much better . All the pubs in Blackheath are catering for the local (low) standards . However the Crown refurb was welcomed . However I would not invite my friends from north London to a pub here .

  14. Jon lee

    Don’t forget Zero Degrees folks. More a bar than a pub I suppose, but great beer and decent enough toilets too.

    • If they’d just turn the TV sports off, and bring back the Red Ale, nothing could get me out of there!

      • scott

        God god no! If the football is not on in there, then I’m faced with a trek over to the Standard. Besides, what is better than a beer and live football? Not much I’d wager.

        The black beer is magnificent too!

  15. Paul

    Interesting reading what people think of the pubs/bars in BH. So what are your top 5? I’ll start you off:

    1. Microbrewry – cheapest pint on the heath & friendly staff
    2. The Railway – good selection of beers and bottles, but, slooooow service
    3. Hare and Billet – you can now take the beers out onto the heath
    4. Railway – sloooooooooow service and a bit of a chav magnet when the suns out
    5. The Dacre Arms – tucked behind the church (off Belmont Hill) – How pubs used to be – a hidden gem (well almost).

    Honerable Mentions: O’neals – not that I like it much – but it does keep the undesirables away from the above pubs come Friday/Saturday Night

    The Crown: Ok re-fit, but poor a selection of beers. Oranjeboom & Asahi the only lagers on tap…

    While I’m here the bad:

    Cave Austin – what is this place trying to be? Do the owners even know… nice beer garden out the back the only plus…

  16. Paul

    sorry No.4 should have been The Princess of Wales… doh

  17. Eileen

    I think Hare and Billet is good. At least their toilets are clean. One pub I wished it was in Blackheath is Guildford, near Greenwich. They have a lovely garden, although the food is a bit pricey, and it is more of a gourmet bar then a pub, I still think it is very well looked after. If only all those estate agents were replaced by nice little, cafe bars or pubs, things might have been different in the village.

  18. Paul

    Just looked up The Guildford in Greenwich, looks really nice – I’ll definitely check it out next time I’m near… Check out the New Cross House if you’re ever in New Cross… The best bar in the area.

  19. Paul L

    The best local pub I have come across that I only recently found is The Pelton Arms in Greenwich. A cracking little pub, great food, great staff, a pub with lots of character, I highly recommend it –

  20. Kate

    The revamped Northbrook pub on Burnt Ash Hill opposite Lee station is now really good and serves great food, it’s about time there was somewhere decent to go South of Blackheath.

  21. scott

    I was in last night for a beer; still no soap………

  22. k f banhart

    All the pubs in Blackheath Village could be instantly improved if they kept out everyone under 40. They’re all full of noisy young people high on hormones and alcohol. I am 82.

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