Tuesday, 27 July 2010

The Red Lion

A lot can be said about a pub from its brand of snacks.  For example, Walkers crisps = bog standard chain, Mr Porky pork scratchings = independent, friendly and traditional.  The Red Lion isn't either of those, as they stock Tyrells - crisps for the pretentious.  I've mentioned it before, but no one likes expensive Play-doh flavoured crisps.  No one.  Nor do they want to sit and eat some pickled olives.  For the love of god, just give us some good old roasted pig skin.
It's no wonder most of the clientèle here are athletes (you'll see cricket bats and tennis rackets under almost every seat) they need to be, for the pub is so huge you need some good stamina to keep walking to the bar and back.  We took the easy option and moved from the garden to inside.
It is great to see non-smoking seating areas outside though, which many pubs lack.  Inside is incredibly spacious without that lost empty feeling.  The drinks on offer are okay, the usual Fuller ales, a very expensive wine list and some delicious farm apple juice.   Just a shame about the snacks really.
-Alex

Pub facilities / features:

Food served
Real ale
Snacks (rubbish)
WiFi
Outside seating
Carpark
Orange & Amaretto, Ringden Farm apple juice:

£5.83
Alex - 7.1
Dave - ?
Oliver - ?

Tuesday, 20 July 2010

The Tree House

Bit of an odd one.  It's certainly not a pub, more of a European restaurant with a bar.  There were a few things that happened during tonight's visit I've subcategorised them...
The Barman
I think he was having a seriously bad day, there were a lot of angry noises upon asking for a glass of orange juice.  He calmed down a bit on later rounds once he started to use cartons rather than bottles.  Still it didn't stop him giving us warm glasses straight from the washing up bowl.
The Toilets
Please note the giant letter on each of the the doors - G for Girls and L for Lads.  If you get that right you'll end up sweating all the water out of your body and scolding yourself on the cold tap.  Graffiti over the doors gives a feeling you're in an awesome crack den.
The Mosquito's
Oh god!  Waking up the next day, itching and covered in 30 bites is our way of saying stay out of the garden or risk a serious case of malaria.
Other Shit
I don't know why there's permanent Xmas lights hanging from the front, or why there was a kids birthday party at 11pm.
Reasonable Things
Good prices for food and drink and the staff (bar the barman) were actually quite friendly.
-Alex

Pub facilities / features:

Food served
Bar snacks
Outside seating
Bulmers, Orange & Ameretto x2, 1.5 pint coke:

£16.00
Alex - 5.4
Andrew - ?
Dave - ?
Oliver - ?

Tuesday, 13 July 2010

The Sun Inn

Opposite to the pond, there is no where we've been to in Barnes that was quite as crowded.  The Sun Inn is big, it's busy and it's got lots of seating inside and out, even patio heaters.  Other than those few facts, I found it to be pretty characterless and nondescript.
Being such a large place it does have a somewhat impersonal feeling, mainly from the staff who'd rather ignore you than tell you one side of the bar is now closed.
My guess is people come for the food - the chips were especially good and prices quite reasonable.
-Alex

Pub facilities / features:

Food served
Bar snacks
Real ale
WiFi
Outside seating
Carpark
JD & Coke, Lemon & Lime Water, Pint of coke:

£8.10
Alex - 6.1
Andrew - ?
Dave - ?
Oliver - ?

Tuesday, 29 June 2010

The Idle Hour

One hundred Tuesdays of various pubs and this is where we've ended up.  A small terraced hideaway which could easily be mistaken as someone's house.  Once in through the door, you're met with dozens of clocks hung on the walls, hard floors and wooden tables.  And a black Jaegermeister shot maker on the bar, odd.
There are some strict rules about this place - you're not allowed to be in the garden after 10:30pm and if you are out there, there's a minimum number of people allowed per table.  Since we were the only ones in the garden (or in the pub by the end), I don't think this mattered too much.
The barmaid was quite taken aback there were actually people having a proper drink, finding it hard to find the right poison she exclaimed "This is the first time anyone's come in on a Tuesday for a session".
There was a bottle of Brazilian rum sitting amongst the other bottles behind the bar, the label warning of '80% alcohol content' (that's 160 proof!).  Allegedly illegal to sell in the shops, one shot of Stroh was evaporating even before it was brought back to the table.  Any liquid that makes you hold your chest like you're having a coronary isn't to be trusted.
-Alex

Pub facilities / features:

Food served
Bar snacks
Real ale
Outside seating
Gaymers, Orange juice, Bourbon & coke, Amaretto & coke:

£13.80
Alex - 6.5
Andrew - ?
Oliver - ?

Tuesday, 22 June 2010

Ye White Hart

The only pub in Barnes where you can actually sit next to the river.  There are three terraces and plenty of seating down on the Thames path to make the most of this.  For those of a thin-skinned nature can also borrow a blanket to wrap themselves in, the sissies.
Each round of drinks we ordered was greeted with with an monotone voice of "hello, how are you" from a barmaid, who said herself she'd been working there too long.  Even asking her to list the dozen crisp flavours didn't seem to stir any passion!
Sitting by the river is quite crowded affair, and if you can ignore the cigarette smoke, insects and rodents scurrying around, you'll find it a good place to watch the world go by and enjoy the evening sunset.
-Alex

Pub facilities / features:

Food served
Bar snacks
Real ale
Outside seating
Pint of Fosters, pint of Young's Special, J20:

£9.23
Alex - 7.6
Dave - ?
Oliver - ?

Tuesday, 15 June 2010

Coach & Horses

Traditional in every sense of the word, C&H really holds onto its roots.  There are some really great features dotted around - from the stain-glass window at the back looking over the charming garden, up past the bar and its many trinkets, though to the huge used-to-be wooden doors at the front.  I guess it really was its namesake way back when.  The inside is quite small, there isn't even a place for toilets, but there is for a private function room, which I found rather odd (if you want to do a number, you'll have to go outside and go into the door opposite!).
Staff are very polite and friendly, which gave it that good homely feel.  One big group of local lads came in and pushed us up on the couches, the fact that they were all at retirement age and we were whipper-snappers didn't deter them in the least!  It's also very dog friendly.
-Alex

Pub facilities / features

Food served
Bar snacks
Real ale
Outside seating
Pint of Fosters, JD & coke, coke, Feel Good

£13.00
Alex - 7.9
Andrew - ?
Dave - ?
Oliver - ?

Tuesday, 8 June 2010

The Bulls Head

Technically a riverside pub, although the main road is between them, the Bulls Head is probably most famous for its jazz venue.  Events happen most nights of the week and tickets cost an average of £10 as a first come first seated basis.
'But what about the pub?' I hear you cry.  Well, the large open area with the bar set in the middle suggests you could get served from practically any point, without having to carry your drinks very far. I like that.  There are a fair few ales, ciders, wines, spirits and liqueurs, something for everyone I feel, and even when they did run out of Amaretto the friendly staff were more than happy to pop down to the cellar to get some more.
We sat in the side room, comfortably ambient with the live music coming from the double doors at the far end.  The only thing that didn't quite fit were the Thai restaurant menus dotted around - I guess they have a deal going on with next door.
Seating outside is very limited if the sun's out, but I'd like to come back again and perhaps sample a bit of the jazz.
-Alex

Pub facilities / features:

Food served
Bar snacks
Real ale
Live music
No unsightly world cup flags
Pint of Amstel, pint of Young's, Amaretto & coke,  2x crisps:

£11.90
Alex - 7.5
Andrew - ?
Oliver - ?

Tuesday, 18 May 2010

The Brown Dog

This residential area of Barnes would be less claustrophobic if it was built inside a submarine.  You can't even walk a pram down the road for all the wall-to-wall parking, let alone drive a car down here.
After a head-to-head stand-off with a van, we finally found a parking space and headed towards the pub.  First thing to notice it's not really a pub, it's more of a bistro type place where you feel a bit odd only ordering drinks.  We found a dark area around the side with decaying framed photos for sale, a huge musty bookcase and a box full of various board-games.  It's a bit like one of those boxes of toys local doctors had in their waiting rooms back in the 80's, all exciting until you try and use any of the contents, then realise most of the pieces are missing and you end up throwing them on the floor in a rage.
As the name suggests, dogs are more than welcome here, which is quite bizarre with all the food coming and going.  There's a good selection of crisps and drinks, and the staff are friendly enough.  Check out the hoity-toity regulars who enjoy an endless chucklesome banter about who is better at tennis.
-Alex

Pub facilities / features:

Food served
WiFi
Outside seating
Dog friendly
Pint of Stiegl, amaretto & coke (double as standard), coke, apple juice:

£13.62
Alex - 5.8
Andrew - ?
Dave - 6.4
Oliver - 6.0

Tuesday, 11 May 2010

The Bridge

Located a brief walk from Hammersmith Bridge (hence the name, duh), this modern pub has a bright, comfortable feel to it.  You're not going to be able to park round here, but you'll find it easy to make a detour from a summer walk along the Thames path.
There are a good range of beverages available, although sadly all the ales were off on our visit.  The barman seemed quite suspicious of us too, probably down to the fact we didn't have any large musical instruments or v-neck jumpers on.  There's quite a large garden at the back with patio heaters, mainly enjoyed by those who enjoy a bit of carbon monoxide.  Other than that, The Bridge isn't bad for a quick visit, no it isn't cheap, but that's not surprising located where it is.
As a side note - if you want a laugh, check out their website.  Every page is an annoying PDF, including a menu dated 'February 25rd'.  That really does give the specials menu a new meaning.
-Alex

Pub facilities / features:

Food served
Bar snacks
Real ale
WiFi
Outside seating
Pint of Fosters, Amaretto & coke, apple juice, passion fruit juice:

£11.60
Alex - 7.2
Andrew - ?
Dave - 6.5
Oliver - 7.5

Tuesday, 4 May 2010

Halfway House

One of the nicest little independent pubs I've been to, well worth a visit.  It has a real welcoming atmosphere and with all the evening events going on, it's anything but a stale hangout for musty old men.  Live music, open mic night, curry night.  If they don't do the old fashioned meat auction on a Sunday, they so should.
Being a Tuesday, we had a go at the quiz.  A quid to gain entry, the usual picture round followed by a few questions on varying subjects and general knowledge.  Quite nice they gave us a helping hand and included an idiot round for the likes of us, or we may not have got any right.  But I think we faired okay.
There are some good ales on tap, so good in fact the barman poured a London Pride when I ordered a Fosters.  Perhaps it was his way of saying 'drink some real beer you whipper snapper', and who am I to argue.
The owners have put a lot of effort into making this a good local and it really shows.  Good stuff.
-Alex

Pub facilities / features:

Food served
Real ale
Outside seating
Quiz night
Live music
WiFi
Bulmers, pint of Fosters, pint of London Pride, J20:

£11.90
Alex - 8.9
Andrew - ?
Dave - 7.0
Oliver - 8.5

Tuesday, 20 April 2010

The Tapestry

Looks like an old fashioned pub from the outside, but don't be deceived - get through the front door and you'll soon realise this is actually more of a restaurant with a bar than anything else.
The smell of food, the waitress asking you where you want to sit, the tab based billing system, even to a point where the waitress apologises for 'not having any mints' when paying.  I can only guess 'service not included' written in bold at the bottom of the receipt, may have been something to do with that.
If we were reviewing restaurants The Tapestry may have been given better score, but as it stands for somewhere to drink, it's stupidly expensive and you won't find any ales either.  Just pop across the road to the Jolly Gardeners and save yourself a few quid.
-Alex

Pub facilities / features:

Food served
Bar snacks
WiFi
Outside seating
Alex - 4.9
Dave - 5.4
Oliver - ?

Tuesday, 13 April 2010

The Ship

Only two types of people know this pub exists - the locals and the people who love the annual boat race (well actually three if you include us pub geeks).
It's hidden round the back of the Budweiser brewery, from the outside it doesn't look much... but it is humongous. I've been reliably informed The Ship hasn't always been this size, only extended when the new landlord decided to cater towards the food side of things.
With so many places to sit, we headed off towards the back, having to squeeze past a young 'girl' in a puffer jacket. She was holding her pint up at the sports screen and shouting "you're havin' a larf!". It's always a worry when you go into a place and the females have more testosterone than the blokes.
The resident dog was a scruffy little thing, he seemed to make a habit of running around the restaurant side (where we were sitting) and urinating against the legs of the chairs. Gave the place a wonderful aroma like a tramps six year old duffel coat.
The staff were good though and I'd be interested to see what it's like on a summers afternoon, outside obviously.
-Alex

Pub facilities / features:

Food served
Bar snacks
Real ale
Outside seating
Sport screen
Amaretto & coke, coke, J20, packet crisps / nuts:

£8.76
Alex - 6.5
Andrew - ?
Oliver - ?

Tuesday, 30 March 2010

The Railway

Possibly the most modern looking pub we've been to around Mortlake.  The Railway still holds a traditional feel with its coal fireplace and large art on the walls, but now sporting a jukebox, TV screens and weirdly, an office chair (rather dangerous with the wood flooring).
The barmaid was very accommodating and didn't mind helping us carry our drinks, and gave a friendly goodbye when we left.  But a certain someone turned a bit cranky when she turned down the volume on his heavy metal track.  It wasn't much later we later heard the poor barmaid fall down the stairs on her way to the basement.  Yeah, you can call it a coincidence all you like Dave.
-Alex

Pub facilities / features:

Food served
Bar snacks
Real ale
Sport screen
Outside seating
JD & Coke, Coke, J20:

£5.80
Alex - 7.2
Andrew - ?
Dave - 6.2
Oliver - ?

Tuesday, 23 March 2010

Jolly Gardeners

Backing on to the famous Budweiser brewery, this Young's pub actually makes some good business in Mortlake.  There's plenty to do - darts, watch football or check out the games room at the back which has couple of pool tables.
The barman was younger than us so I'll forgive him for confusingly offering a bottle of Amaretto because he couldn't find any Amaretto (that is what happened, I'm not going crazy).  Prices are cheap compared to Richmond and there are plenty of drunk, retired regulars propping up the bar.
Most of our night was spent playing darts, well, one game which lasted a very long time.  Somewhat down to a certain someone who wouldn't wear their glasses, but it was mainly down to us being rather sh*t.  Apologies for the many holes in the carpet.
-Alex

Pub facilities / features:

Real ale
Bar snacks
Pool tables
Dartboard
Sport screen
Outside seating

Pint of Carlsberg, Amaretto & Coke, 3x coke:

£10.15
Alex - 7.0
Andrew - ?
Dave - 5.7
Oliver - ?

Tuesday, 16 March 2010

Charlie Butler

Mortlake is a strange suburb.  Many decades ago it used to have a lively high-street with its own bus station.  With that gone, the only thing left worthy of note are the half dozen public houses.
You can't normally go wrong with a Young's pub, but it was unusual to see one so empty, I expected to at least see some regulars.  But no, it was us and the barman in a room that didn't look as if it had changed since the 80's.
The barman was a peculiar chap, early twenties from up north.  Spent most of his time pouring himself pints, switching the lights on and off, and tuning the TV to a programme about violent drunken yobs clashing with police.  It worked out quite well though, the more he drank the less able he was to use the 'new till'.  At one point we got our drinks and it was ten minutes later before he came back and asked for any money.  As we left he thrusted a mobile phone in our hand, and asked us "how t' view messages on eet", then after fiddling with it, he took it back and showed us how to do it.  It was all very odd.
-Alex

Pub facilities / features:

Real ale
Bar snacks
Sports screen
Outside seating
Carpark
JD & coke, lemonade, J20, crisps x2, pork scratchings:

£8.65
Alex - 6.3
Dave - 5.3
Oliver - ?

Tuesday, 23 February 2010

The Victoria

To those who want to own a pub, keep riff-raff out and still attract the pretentious who have more money than sense, here are some golden rules for you:
  • Place a random sculpture outside, to most it will look like a bronze turd, to your target market a beautiful work of art.
  • Have a 'magicians' curtain round the entrance, this will give your customer a feeling of amazement when they walk in.
  • Charge at least £5 for a liqueur, then put a service charge on it.
  • Leave posh sounding cookery books piled up to buy on a table and place a premium on the signed copies. Don't forget to place a random glass vase next to them.
  • All snacks must be served from jars and given out on a tiny dish. Again, don't forget the service charge.
  • Place at least two candles on each table.
  • Now and again, spend some time walking around loudly fluffing cushions.
  • Start a traditional wood fire. It doesn't matter if your flue is inadequate, your self-important customers will accept the clouds of wood smoke as something rather chic.
This place tries so hard to be something it's not. If I were in Mayfair, I'd expect stupid prices and good service. For a place based in a tiny backstreet in Sheen with below average staff it's a complete rip-off.
-Alex

Got here about half an hour before the others this evening but this may have been the fact that it is in the middle of suburbia, at one point I was expecting the road I was driving on to just....stop. unbelievably this place has to be the most expensive place we have been to in either the Richmond or Kingston pub guides, for a standard shot and mixer to be over £5 and then add a percentage charge to all food orders, including a tray of chilli bar snacks, this venue appears to think they are trading in the centre of the city not the outskirts of a suburb. Having a £16+ round when only one alcoholic drink out of 4 is being purchased is a definite deterrent from coming back here again, if you have a small island to mortgage then you probably could have this as your local, but otherwise I would recommend heading elsewhere.
-Andrew

Pub facilities / features:

Food served
Bar snacks
Wine menu
Real ale
WiFi
Outside seating
Amaretto & coke, pint of coke x2, orange juice, chilli snacks:

£16.35 (!)
Alex - 3.1
Andrew - 2.0
Dave - 3.6
Oliver - 4.0

Tuesday, 16 February 2010

The Plough

It's a quiet Tuesday, not many people to serve, but somehow we still had to wait until someone had finished telling his 'what do you call a blind deer?' joke to the barmaid before we were attended to. When we did get served, the Guinness was left half poured under the pump and she disappeared to fill up the dishwasher round the back. She did come back after 10 minutes and was confused to why we were staring, waiting with our coats still on. The barman wasn't much better, after ordering another round, he took our money and left the drinks behind the bar. It's a quiet Tuesday for god sake!
One thing did amuse me though were the menus. Black type printed on a black patterned background is a huge fail for those of us who like to use our eyes.
A nice comfortable pub with ordinary prices, it's just a shame the staff haven't got a clue.
-Alex

Having arrived quite late it was not long off me getting in a round at the rather modern looking pub. I was slightly bemused when after placing the order the barman disappeared, I assumed to pour out the drinks, and then reappear a few minuted later to take payment, after cash has exchanged hand he stood there waiting for the next customer not realising I was still waiting to be given the drinks I had just purchased and after a few seconds of eye contact and the whirring of bring cogs, he remembers only after I ask him if I could take the drinks back to the table. This may sound like a long winded moan about it but unfortunately the rest of the pub did not have much else that memorable, apart form a deceptive step on the way to the bathroom that I am sure had I had at least 6 or 7 more drinks, and alcoholic ones at that, I may well have stacked it. You have been warned!
-Andrew

Pub facilities / features:

Food served
Bar snacks
Real ale
Outside seating
Pint of Guinness, Amaretto & coke, J20:

£9.10
Alex - 6.6
Andrew - 7.0
Dave - 6.3
Oliver - 7.0

Tuesday, 9 February 2010

Pig and Whistle

If you like your pubs full of blokes whom are into sports, you'll love the Pig and Whistle. Hordes of loud West-London middle-aged geezers drinking pints of larger, propping up the bar whilst cheering on football at every given opportunity. Impressive then the pub still manages to have an dry atmosphere.
Not being big fans of football we jumped on the quiz machine. We were given a simple question: 'Which of these numbers is a square root? A. 9 or B. 16'... now I'm no mathematician but when we picked answer B. we didn't expect a big fat Game Over sign to appear... what the f...? And quite difficult to prove if you wanted to contest it!
After the football ended we were left in an empty pub, with poker on the TV and some disgusting Big D pork scratchings. Probably won't be coming back.
-Alex

A very large open plan pub with a bar that spans the full length of the back wall, quick service was very welcomed. The website advertises a car park but after a certain time the gates are shut and your left to find a place on the street to park. Not an issue but if you advertise a car park, surely it should be open when the pub is. Not much happened to not this evening, just the general chit chat and catch up since last week, and apart form a mathematically challenged quiz machine I cannot think of a negative point for the pub itself, but then again I find it hard to find a remarkable positive point either.
-Andrew

Pub facilities / features:

Food served
Bar snacks
Real ale
WiFi
Carpark
Pint of coke x2, amaretto & coke, crisps x2:

£8.25
Alex - 4.8
Andrew - 6.5
Dave - 5.6
Oliver - 5.0

Tuesday, 26 January 2010

The Naked Turtle

Jazz club... nice. The Naked Turtle has a bar, a restaurant, a lounging areas and even seating outside for the alfresco types. Relaxing and listening to a pianist coupled with a professional singing waitress is quite a unique experience (at least for me). With the friendly table service and subdued lights, it really sets the ambiance of the place to a good standard.
I really enjoyed visiting here, if I was to come back I'd definitely like to sample the food. Bravo!
-Alex

Was not too sure what to expect with this place, met the others inside as I was a bit late and they had sat in the bar area waiting for us to arrive, after ordering some drinks we relocated to the entrance of the restaurant bit, sharing a small areas with a family having a meal on the other side of the room and an open curtain to the performance area/seating so we could hear when one of the waitresses got up to do a number. Quite a nice place and the table service was not expected but very welcomed. I would definitely like to come back on a Friday/Saturday evening to see what the atmosphere is like then.
-Andrew

Pub facilities / features:

Food served
Wine list
Outside seating
Jazz
Singing barmaids
Amaretto and coke x2, pineapple juice x2:

£9.60
Alex - 8.6
Andrew - 7.4
Dave - 7.8
Oliver - 8.0

Tuesday, 19 January 2010

The Hare & Hounds

A gastro family orientated pub.  Has a strange feeling of emptiness, probably due to the hugeness of the whole place, giving it that distinct lack of character  There's a strange cocktail lounge for 'private parties', that you can privately hire.  If you're wanting a good time, for the love of god, please go into Richmond town.
Food looked okay, although steep prices for a place that feels like a foyer.  Very, very ordinary.  Zzz...
-Alex

Pub facilities / features:

Food served
Bar snacks
Wine menu
Real ale
Scrabble
Amaretto & coke, orange & lemonade, Feel Good juice:

£9.61
Alex - 4.0
Dave - 5.4
Oliver - ?

Tuesday, 12 January 2010

The Royal Oak

Hesitantly pushing the wooden door open from the dark, cold street, we entered and walked up to the small bar. The biggest woman I have ever seen loomed over us and began pouring our drinks (I had to check the floor behind the bar wasn't a raised platform, she was of such colossal size). Glancing at TV as we paid, I noticed the screen was frozen on a certain meerkat advert, and one of the locals was chatting about how he "doesn't get it". I can assume the lack of intelligence was limited due to months of staring at a broken Freeview box.
A shady character sat in the corner on his own, he never moved from his seat and the barmaid took all his drinks directly to him. Upon near closing time, he abruptly got up and left, leaving an untouched pint on his table. This started a domestic between the barmaid and the owner. It was at this point we felt it was time to go.
I like traditional pubs but The Royal Oak was lacking energy and on the whole, felt rather stale.
-Alex

Another pub off the beaten track, well, the main road between Kingston and Richmond at least, the royal oak appears a lot bigger on the outside then inside, the bar itself seems to take up a majority of the floorspace, but this didn't seem to be much of a problem this evening as the level of trade was relatively low, the half of the pub we sat in only had the four of us and one lone mane reading the paper at the back. There is something very unremarkable about this place, it is defiantly a local and I think its more of a place you go to with a few friends for a catch up than an evening out as the amenities within are very few.
-Andrew

Pub facilities / features:

Sandwiches served
Bar snacks
Real ale (was off)
Dartboard
Sports screen
Pint of Fosters, pint of Guinness, JD & Coke J20:

£11.20
Alex - 4.7
Andrew - 5.0
Dave - 6.1
Oliver - ?

Tuesday, 5 January 2010

The New Inn

Despite the first snow in 2010 forecast for this evening, we actually turned up hoping by the end we'd be snowed in and have to resort to surviving on beer and crisps for a few days. Just as well that didn't happen really, this is one of the few pubs I've been to where they didn't have any Amaretto, no pork scratchings and ignore numerous requests for 'no ice'. To their advantage though they did have some tasty Pickled Onion Monster Munch.
The only other people in the pub were the four locals sitting behind us. As a special treat (probably for life service to the pub), a birthday cake was produced from behind the bar and presented with the usual song. That was about as electrifying at the atmosphere got.
-Alex

A standard out of town type pub, level of trade was quite low but then by the time we left there was enough snowfall to have a bit of a snowball fight as well as slide about in the car before getting onto a gritted road (which was actually quite fun, in a non dangerous sort of way....honest). a pretty uneventful evening once again however this may be because we were wondering if there was enough snow to get a day off work the next day.
-Andrew

Pub facilities / features:

Food served
Bar snacks
Real ale
Outside seating
Bulmers, JD & coke, pint of orange and lemonade, J20:

£12.00
Alex - 6.4
Andrew - 6.0
Dave - 6.1
Oliver - ?

Tuesday, 15 December 2009

The Hand and Flower

I try not to be influenced by other peoples reviews when looking for the next pub to visit, but this one was looking extremely ominous. From the comments on beerintheevening I was expecting to get captured by a family of Chavs, thrown in he back of a van, and driven around for three weeks until the news had got bored of the story and then dumped me under a bridge somewhere.
Disappointingly, it turned out to be nothing of the sort. Friendly staff, good service and cosy surroundings.  I'm impressed at the way they've kept the traditional pub at the front, keeping the restaurant separate towards the back.  It appears to be doing quite good trade with the locals, being the only table free had us sitting on a kid sized choir bench.  Bah.
-Alex

Pub facilities / features:

Food served
Bar snacks
Real ale
Outside seating
Amaretto & coke, J20:

£4.80
Alex - 7.7
Dave - 6.8
Oliver - ?

Tuesday, 8 December 2009

The Ham Brewery Tap

Unless you live locally you're not going to find this place without a map.  Which is a shame, because it's a pretty good pub.  Events happen almost every night - from Poker, karaoke, quizzes, Sunday meat auctions to the occasional live music. And if that doesn't keep you entertained there's always the pool tables, darts and a couple of one arm bandits.
I'll forgive the barmaid for not knowing what the Amaretto was, as she was easily entertained by the number of Pork Scratchings (or as the barman put it, hairy pig hooves) one human-being can consume in one night.
Couple of things need sorting by the door - if smokers waft doesn't get you, deep vein thrombosis from being stuck under the tiny table with the bed-lamp will.  Also, look out for the bloke who looks like a serial killer (I'm too scared to give out a more detailed description than that).
-Alex

Pub facilities / features:

Food served
Bar snacks
Real ale
Pool table
Dartboard
Sport screens
Outside seating

Amaretto & coke, J20 x2:

£6.50
Alex - 7.6
Dave - 6.2
Oliver - ?
Sandeep - ?

Tuesday, 1 December 2009

The Victoria Inn

This has to be the smallest pub I've ever been to, it was much like intruding in someone's living room at first. There are no distractions from quiz machines or huge plasma screens, and when it gets busy (well, busy as in 15 people), I must say it does get rather cosy.
The barmaid is great, the second time we went up for a round she'd memorised our order from before so all I had to do was give a nod. She got a bit excited when we didn't tell her our glasses were empty though.
Apart from two loud girls by the door, behaving like it they were auditioning for an episode of Sex and the City, it was a jolly good night.
If you're looking for a friendly, traditional, personal pub you can't go wrong here.
-Alex

Tiny, that pretty much sums it up to be honest. Impressive service form the barmaid, and a really nice atmosphere I would love to come here again, however as there are only 5 or 6 tables in the place there might be a pot luck for entry let alone getting a seat during a mildly busy time.
-Andrew

Pub facilities / features:

Real ale
Bar snacks
Sports screens
Outside seating
Pint of Youngs, pint of Fosters, coke, J20:

£9.20
Alex - 7.9
Andrew - 8.5
Dave - 8.7
Oliver - ?

Tuesday, 24 November 2009

Lass O' Richmond Hill

A big out-of-towner, the Lass still holds it's looks and furnishings of a traditional English pub, but unfortunately that's where the familiarity ends.  Many of the staff are Polish, one that served us had a look about him that if you so much as looked unsatisfied with your order, he'd wait until you left to go home, silently follow you out, then punch your stomach in half and calmly return to the bar as if nothing happened.  The tacky plastic Weatherspoon-style food menus don't do the place any favours either.
Apart from us, there was only about five other people.  Food was advertised to finish at 10pm but probably due to the lack of customers, the chef went home early.  At quarter past 10 we we asked to finish drinking up, no last orders, nothing.  Well rubbish.
A few minutes before we left, we witnessed group of teenagers come in off the street and head over to the cigarette machine.  Not able to get it working, they asked the barman if they could have some change.  Strangely he made a sarcastic joke about them being only 15 before happily handing over the change, even counting loudly in song as each coin was fed into the machine.  Soon after, he came over and explained to us he charges one fag every time he does this, quickly adding "they are my friends".  Wow, that makes it all okay then, carry on Mr Polish guy(!)
-Alex

Revisit - 09/11/2010
The polish barmen selling kids cigarettes have gone, the place has been refurbished and new owners have moved in.
Being one of the first opening nights there was a pub quiz on to entice the punters.  First prize was a £100 bar tab, second prize a bottle of wine.  Most amazing thing about it?  There were only three teams playing, including us.  Yeah we had a good chance but as luck would have it, we came bloody last as usual.  We did get a pot of nuts as a consolation prize though.
-Alex

Pub facilities / features:

Food served
Bar snacks
Real ale
Carpark
Amaretto & coke, coke, J20:

£7.02
Alex - 7.8 (was 6.5)
Dave - ? (was 4.3)
Oliver - ?

Tuesday, 17 November 2009

B@1 (Be At One)

This is a typical weekend 'get pissed quick' launchpad before you go to a club. For a Tuesday it was surprisingly busy. Four girls dancing to the overly loud music with their camera phones in one hand, unlit fags and cocktails in the other, a group of guys blankly staring at their glasses not understanding how they came to be empty, and a drunk 40 year old propping up the bar, ogling over the women.
The place is tiny, I don't want to imagine how sweaty and hot it gets in there at a weekend, although they do have a basement if you really hate oxygen. Upon entering we were greeted with an overly happy "Oh hey guys! How are you! How was your day!". Yeah great, I really want to make small talk over this deafening raucous - just get me a drink! The alcoholic drinks aren't cheap if you miss happy hour and the barman sucks, thinking it's cool to juggle an empty plastic cocktail shaker. Even a ham-handed monkey could do that.
Due to the high prices and unable to make conversation, we left after one and returned to here.
-Alex

This one probably shouldn't feature in our ‘Pub’ guide as it really is a bar/club than a pub/bar but it was in the list so we gave it a shot. It defiantly seems that the best time to come here is during their happy hour where its buy one get on free, because nearly £7 for a drink is a bit of a bank breaker for a Tuesday evening, on the plus side their non alcoholic drinks are reasonable if you happen to be the designated driver. We left after one round but purely because we could not afford a full night there without feeling like we should head on to a nightclub or something afterwards. Having passed this on a fri/sat evening I can vouch that it does get extremely busy and for their prices for happy hour at least I can totally see why!
-Andrew

Pub facilities / features:

Cocktails
Happy hour
Loud music
Zombie cocktail, orange juice:

£6.80 + £1.50
Alex - 6.2
Andrew - 6.9
Dave - 7.7
Oliver - 7.0

Tuesday, 10 November 2009

The White Swan

I loved this little pub, it is everything a pub should be.  Being located down a quiet lane nearest Twickenham Bridge, The White Swan is the place to go when you want to avoid all the riff-raff of the town centre.  There is little to disturb as you drink a pint of good old ale on the comfortable heated benches.  Good service comes with pair of gorgeous, friendly ladies.  A lot of emphasis seems to be put on their food, which I may come back and try at some point.  Strange to say it, but I hope it stays quiet and doesn't get ruined by any future popularity!
-Alex

Pub facilities / features:

Food served
Bar snacks
Real ale
Wine list
Outside seating

Pint of London Pride, coke, J20, 2x pork scratchings:


£8.10
Alex - 9.0
Dave - 7.6
Oliver - ?

Tuesday, 3 November 2009

The White Horse

Dear Mr W. Horse,
Thank you for your hospitality on Tuesday the 3rd. It's not often one gets to witness wonderfully pretentious, middle-class women discuss work, as they consume lettuce with a dainty fork. I never realised how much strife these women had to endure on a daily basis with their clients. It was rather upsetting to listen to.
The wonderful art dotted around your gastro is a sight to behold. My associate summed it up quite poignantly when I asked him what he thought of the Kate Moss picture by the window, bluntly saying - "Shut up, I don't give a sh*t", before continuing to consume his bag of Tesco doughnuts.
Having noticed your website says the staff are both 'fantastic' and 'lovely', I was a little disappointed in the reality. The faces I witnessed were showered with worry and discontent, perhaps someone of working-class calibre had inadvertently stumbled into the place? Worth looking into lest it happens again.
We ordered a few bags of your posh crisps and I must say they do have quite a unique taste. The favour of clay injected into dried frogs pallet is a secret recipe that should remain a secret for generations to come.
I'd like to say I'd come back again, but with you being located on such a ridiculous little road where the majority of cars are actually bigger than the houses, I am regretfully forced to reconsider - for fear of grazing my Bentley, of course.
Yours sincerely,
-Alex

A very fancy gastropub, basically it looks like someone came to an old traditional pub (as it looks from the outside) and turned it into half fancy restaurant and half after dinner bar. This didn't deter us form sitting on what was clearly a seat in the middle of the restaurant area for our drinks, however once the doughnuts came out we quickly relocated to a sofa area a bit further from the bar. Not to hide the doughnuts, just the sofas came free and looked more comfy.
Overall a very uneventful place and located where it is, it would have probably got more local trade had it remained more ‘pubby’ as it is surrounded by houses, its current layout is more designed for Richmond high street.
-Andrew

Pub facilities / features:

Food served
Bar snacks
Real ale
WiFi
Outside seating
Carpark of death
2x Amaretto & coke, orange juice & lemonade, J20:

£11.20
Alex - 4.5
Andrew - 5.2
Dave - 5.0
Oliver - 4.7

Tuesday, 27 October 2009

The White Cross

Another fine Young's pub. The White cross never has a quiet moment, the summer months see this as the busiest place in Richmond for a riverside drink.
Staff were pretty good, except one barman who seemed to be in a state of narcosis, having to dumbly recount our order twice before totalling it up at the till. Plenty of places to sit, both upstairs and downstairs. Attracts a good crowd, no lager louts or football crowds here. Bloody good beer. Food was on the bit of the expensive side, but the toilets were nice.
-Alex

Very nice pub right on the river front, rumour has it that during a very high tide you can actually be trapped within its walls as the raised exits have no dry route to the outside, what a shame, get another round in!. They have a square bar that serves on all four sides which came make for quick service, but sometimes you can be overlooked, this would usually be a pain but the have 3 or 4 people constantly serving so your never waiting too long. We sat in one of the more open, dining type areas and had a very good evening.
Definitely one we will visit again.
-Andrew

Pub facilities / features:

Food served
Bar snacks
Real ale
WiFi
Outside seating
Pint of Fosters, pint of Young's Special, coke, J20:

£10.57
Alex - 8.3
Andrew -8.2
Dave - 6.4
Oliver - 8.0

Tuesday, 20 October 2009

Watermans Arms

Set in an alleyway just up from the river, this charming Victorian pub is one of the oldest in Richmond, and it certainly hasn't lost any of it's character. From hourly chiming clocks, little trinkets above the bar, warm log fire, and a beautiful Golden Retriever lolling happily on the carpet, it gives the place a nice homely feel. Over in the corner, there's a framed photo of someone holding a huge fish over the bar - you have to admit it's a rather peculiar thing to bring to a pub.
Things picked up around 11pm as a few of the locals came in for a pint. Apart from the locals there was brazen northern couple, they didn't by a drink, but there was a discussion about whether that the Jolly Roger was either associated with 'watchmakers' or 'gold merchants' over on the quiz machine (clue - it was the other option).
I could quite happily come back here in the future, only thing I'd change is to turn off that damn pervading Sky football.
-Alex

Conveniently set just off the high street on the way to the riverside, this is a nice small youngs pub that really has the ‘proper pub’ feel to it, we sat on the benching round the edge of the bar at a table next to the door and enjoyed a quiet few drinks. Surprisingly trade picked up quite a bit just before most pubs would be calling time, slightly quirky but not in a bad way. An otherwise unremarkable evening but this just added to the night and actually made for a pleasant evening.
-Andrew

Pub facilities / features:

Food served
Bar snacks
Real ale
Outside seating

Pint of Guinness, pint of Young's Special, J20, cheese & onion crisps:

£9.25
Alex - 8.8
Andrew - 8.0
Dave - 8.3
Oliver -7.5

Tuesday, 13 October 2009

The Triple Crown

One for the locals.  Not the most remarkable of pubs but it does have a dartboard (first one I've seen in Richmond), two sports screens (burning a lovely shade of blue) and worn, patched up seats.  Being so close to the rugby ground, I had a bad feeling this pub was going to be a repeat of last weeks tacky Sun Inn - thankfully not the case.  Overall a nice place with good beer and service.
I just wish they didn't sell those disgusting 'Big D' brand of snacks.  You know the ones - so bad, you wouldn't even notice if someone had previously sampled them and put them back in the bag...
-Alex

Pub facilities / features:

Food served
Real ale
Outside seating
Dartboard
Sport screens

Pint of London Pride, pint of Tea, J20:

£7.10
Alex - 6.4
Dave - 6.5
Oliver - 7.0

Tuesday, 6 October 2009

Sun Inn

One for the rugby fans. This pub has so many photos and 'collectors items' that they've had to start nailing them to the ceiling. Looking around, I saw a pair of boots in a glass case allegedly worn by Jonny Wilkinson. If this were true he probably tried them on in a shop, thought they sucked, then the sales assistant eBayed them. There are also some horrifying photo-shopped pictures of someone being rugby tackled whilst smiling, and signed photo of a naked, fat man holding a trophy.
Please make note of The Sun Inn's four commandments (all of which are vocalised and posted throughout):
  • Thou shalt not be served if you stand at the bar 'here'.
  • Thou shalt not be less than 18 years of age to use the cigarette machine (just in case there are any under-age patrons having a pint).
  • Thou must not use the supplied foot pedal to spin the Victorian sewing wheel under the table, replacement is uneconomical.
  • Thou must listen to two classic 80's tracks of equal length at the same time. We care not that the vocal does not fit with the backing.
-Alex

An interesting place, definitely run by a die hard rugby fan, assuming the owner is the bloke in the pictures that appear to have been made at one of those £1 photo booths you see in shopping centres. Unfortunately the only spare table on arrival felt like the seats were a lot narrower than normal and there was some weird mechanism that appeared to be pedal powered. This seemed to serve no purpose apart from spinning a wheel around, so, naturally after a couple of drinks we tried to see how fast we could get the wheel to go. Alas this fun was short lived as they are apparently expensive to fix you have to wonder why they are put in a position where you will naturally use them, I dread to think what sort of security they would have to employ on a Friday or Saturday (or even a match day).
-Andrew

Pub facilities / features:

Real ale
Outside seating
Rugby
Kopparberg Pear Cider, orange juice & lemonade, J20, 2x Scamp Fries:

£11.00
Alex - 5.9
Andrew - 4.5
Dave - 5.1
Oliver - 2.0

Tuesday, 29 September 2009

Slug and Lettuce

In a dull, dull pub chain,
there was a dull, dull quiz.
On the dull, dull quiz,
there was a dumb, dumb quiz-master.
Over the dingy, dingy music,
The dumb, dumb quiz-master,
made spazzy disabled noises.
Over in the dull, dull restaurant,
two vegetables were served.
There was battered asparagus.
There was battered broccoli.
And then there was a depressed Andrew *snivel*.
-Alex

Okay to start off with I was not depressed, I was tired, very tired this evening, I nearly didn't turn up but thought I had better as I had missed a few recently. There was not too much going on when I arrived, the others had got there before me and already found a table. When the quiz started we decided to relocate from the seating area to the bar area so we could carry on talking. The guys ordered food which looked plentiful and nice, however I wasn't eating (again, tired, not depressed) so couldn't vouch for it personally.
we’ve been here before and will probably come again but cant see it being one at the top of the list of places to go.
-Andrew

Pub facilities / features:

Food served
Real Ale
Quiz night (Tuesdays)
Pint of Guinness, pint of London Pride, J2O, orange & lemonade:

£10.95
Alex - 4.9
Andrew - 6.5
Dave - 5.9
Oliver - 6.0

Tuesday, 22 September 2009

The Shakespeare

A mile out of town, next to Sainsbury's. Apparently this little pub attracts very little business apart from Fridays when they have karaoke on, woo(!)
When we arrived the barmaid was gossiping to her friend on phone and very surprised she had some customers, she kindly finished her call gave us some drinks and put on some music.
We soon learnt there was a another patron in the garden at the back. Not a regular, just some strange middle-aged business woman who had been drinking wine since work closed. It was quite clear how drunk she was when she shouted the name of the current song before ordering another drink; "Staying Alive, get me another drink!!". Twenty minutes later she said her goodbyes and proceeded to take her car keys out of her handbag. The barmaid offered her cab, but she just slurred "I'll be okay" and staggered out the pub. Never to be seen again, I don't suppose!
We spent the rest of the evening playing pool with some chipped, hexagon like balls.
-Alex

A small pub on the outskirts of Richmond, this pub is a quiet one, probably in need of some modernisation, but not massively so. We were, as Alex mentions, one of very few others but then being a Tuesday night pubs like this will only usually have their regulars/locals weekdays, however in this case, the location wouldn't suggest a booming trade on the weekends either as its location is only really set up for if you want a late night snack form the 24hr sainsburys on the way home.
Pool table always a plus in my book and we managed a few games, we all noticed a ‘merry’ lady at the bar and it wasn't till she walked out we realised she was holding a set of car keys, one guy look out the door to see if she was walking driving or what but she was long gone.
Cant see myself coming back here without having a good reason but its not somewhere I would avoid, just a bit of an awkward location.
-Andrew

Pub facilities / features:

Real Ale
Pool table
Outside seating
Karaoke (Fridays)
Pint of Fosters, pint of Guinness, J2O:

£8.60
Alex - 6.2
Andrew - 6.5
Dave - 6.5

Tuesday, 8 September 2009

Rose of York

This place is huge, it's essentially a hotel first and a pub second. A beautiful building set over a stunning view over the Thames (if you get the right table).
We expected a rather quiet evening - being as it were a Tuesday and it not being in the best location from the centre. What we didn't expect was an atmosphere similar to a library on Christmas eve. There was only one librarian working, and he had replaced all the books with 1950's looking beverages.
I had no idea what I was ordering with their fancy calligraphy bottles, so fruit juice it was. We walked out to the garden, being the only ones out there, in the dark, with moths flying round our heads we didn't really stay out there for long. Moving inside to opposite the bar, the only sound to be heard came from the humming refrigerator. For the next two hours we sat there, bored out of our skulls.
On a side note - to all those thinking about staying at the Rose of York - please be aware breakfast is served at 11pm the night before, this includes all cutlery, cereals and orange juice (it might be a little warm if you leave it to the morning).
-Alex

Pub facilities / features:

Food(?) served
Real(?) ale
Outside seating
Carpark

Orange juice, apple juice, coke:

£5.10
Alex - 3.0
Dave - 4.0
Oliver - 2.0

Tuesday, 1 September 2009

Roebuck

Oh my days, this is like a pub, in Richmond, it’s like on the Hill. And there’s like loads of American’s, and its soo cool right, because they’re all like under 21 and well excited because they can’t drink alchopops across the Atlantic yet.
I got fed up with their annoying accents after two minutes; they took over the whole god damn pub and we had to queue for ten minutes just to get a round in. Don’t get me wrong, it’s a nice pub, but that day just gave me a brain haemorrhage having to listen to the drivel of thirty kids shouting over each other.
One thing did amuse - one of the yanks pecked two girls on the cheek on the way to the toilet, randomly turned to us at the doorway, raised his eyebrow and nodded. OMG, that was so a Richmond Arms moment.
-Alex

One of the closest pubs to the park entrance right at the top of the hill i was assuming that this would be one of those ‘local’ pubs that will have a handful of regulars in on a Tuesday evening and that’d be about it. This was not the case as little did we know that this is just around the corner from a American university campus where term has just started and cue a ton of American students making the most of the drinking at 18, not 21 laws. This being the case the bar was rammed, at one point we were considering getting two rounds at once to save the wait time but every now and then a majority of the crowd went outside to the other side of the road before coming back in for their next rounds. Overall i quite liked this place, holds a good atmosphere with varying numbers of people inside however i would say they could do with the service area being a bit bigger to accommodate more customers at one time as the current setup seems to funnel people into an area that can really on comfortable hold 4 or 5 people so during busy times the crowd round the bar can come back a good few meters.
-Andrew

Pub facilities / features:

Food served
Bar snacks
Real Ale

Pint of Guzzler, J2O, coke:

£6.10
Alex - 6.6
Andrew - 7.2
Dave - 5.9
Oliver - 7.0

Tuesday, 25 August 2009

The Richmond Arms

Not quite what you’d expected in a pub – a spinning disco ball and flashing coloured lights on a Tuesday. We got our drinks from the very friendly barman and sat down in the corner. Oh look, a leaflet for a gay event at London Zoo, that’s nice. YMCA being played on the TV? That’s just an advert, it could happen anywhere. Hang on… where the hell are all the women in this place? Oh dear, are we where I think we are? Yes, we were.
There was this 68 year old man trying to chat up a bunch of young boys on another table, wondering which one of them was going to take him home. After some persuasion and disturbing conversation, they all left together.
A few handlebar-moustache guys came and went. We played Monopoly on the quiz machine. Two girls did eventually come in, but as usual fantasy is nothing like reality, one was anorexic the other was rather butch.
We left with the barman bidding us ‘loves’ farewell and frustrated we didn’t notice the pink union-jack blowing in the breeze when we went in.
-Alex

Didn’t quite realise what demographic this pub was aimed at straight away, as Alex mentioned, did not pay much attention to the outside decor when I arrived as I was running a little late. When I got to the pub I found the others and got myself a drink and only after a short while it was evident that we were in a gay pub. To be fair the evidence was clearly obvious if you take only a second to have a look around, especially the pink union jacks, but we’re not prejudice and stayed for the rest of the evening, sampled practically every flavour of crisps that were on offer.
Overall, a nice enough pub but not for me.
-Andrew

Pub facilities / features:

Outside seating
Bar snacks
Disco disco

Pint of Fosters, J2O, pint of Amstell, coke, five bags of crisps:

£15.65
Alex - 6.9
Andrew - 5.0
Dave - 5.6
Oliver - 5.0

Tuesday, 18 August 2009

The Red Cow

One of the busiest places we’ve come to visit since we’ve started the blog, very much a puller for the locals. From wannabe drunk opera singers, to fat old ladies knitting away in the corner, we were slightly worried we might be sitting at someone’s favourite table when we found somewhere to sit down.
Tuesday night is pub quiz night so we thought we’d have a go. Got half way and gave up, we were that rubbish. I did like the free sandwiches that were going round though.
The three of us stayed late into the night with a few games of dominoes, before going home and removing our pipe and slippers.
-Alex

1. It was over crowded, 2. It was expensive, 3. The quiz was sh*t, 4. The free sandwiches that were offered were salad based, and the other tables got ham sandwiches, 5. The football sucked.
-Dave

Pub facilities / features:

Food served
Real ale
Sports screen
WiFi
Outside seating

Pint of Youngs, J2O, coke:

£6.60
Alex - 7.5
Dave - 5.3
Oliver - 6.0

Tuesday, 11 August 2009

The Princes Head

On the corner of Richmond Green, an average sized pub with half a dozen tables along the outside walls.
The bar-staff appeared to be preoccupied with a pizza delivery rather than serving us. We were given ice in a drink when asked for none, and then she left it behind the counter as she went to serve someone else.
After a couple rounds and a bag of 'Playdoh' flavoured crisps later, we were sharply hustled out and asked if we wanted the dregs of our drinks poured into plastic glasses.
-Alex

Pub facilities / features:

Food served
Bar snacks
Real ale
WiFi
Outside seating

Pint of London Pride, J2O, coke:

£7.10
Alex - 6.0
Dave - 5.7
Oliver - 5.0

Tuesday, 4 August 2009

Pitcher and Piano

Right next to Richmond Bridge, this pub/bar has only two indoor tables, the rest of the seating is terraced out the front, although its quite well enclosed should the weather turn sour.
The bar-staff are employed for their facial hair styles and pretentious drink pouring 'skills', after which they will give you back your change on a silver tray, suggesting they should be tipped for doing their job.
It was impressively busy for a Tuesday night but we managed to find a place at the top of the terrace. Unfortunately on our right we had the tenacious smell of cigar smoke from a bald European man, and to our left we had a waft of cigarette smoke from two middle-aged 'birds' sharing a bottle of cheap wine. By 11 O'clock closing, the three of us inhaled enough smoke to power a steam boat down the Thames back home.
-Alex

Pub facilities / features:

Food served
Wine menu
NO bar snacks
Outside seating

JD & coke, orange, coke:

£7.10
Alex - 6.1
Dave - 6.5
Oliver - 9.0