Tuesday, 31 March 2009

The Britannia

Tiny quaint pub, hidden down a small cobbled alleyway, just off from the high-street. A nice retreat from the packed shops and riverside on weekends. Although it has the charm of a traditional pub, it also sports a large plasma screen for sports and, although we didn't venture up ourselves, a roof garden. They also hold comedy evenings on weekends.
After being quickly served by the friendly barmaid, we settled at the front window. Probably wasn't the best place due to the seating which had collapsed leaving what looked like a trapped animal at one end (the photo doesn't do it justice). I can only imagine it was left like this as a shrine to the worlds longest binge drinking session.
Great little hidden gem, all the little quirks just give it character you'll normally not see in an ordinary pub. Make sure you stay to till closing, one doesn't want to miss the infamous giant green wheelie bin passing through the pub!
-Alex

A Very nice pub off the beaten track of Richmond, it is found down a small side road. The friendly bar staff were always quick to serve our order and although some of the seating was questionable and chosen by Alex and Ollie before we arrived we were able to spread out and continue quite happily.
Unfortunately passing the pub a mere week and a half later we found that I has since gone into administration, another casualty of the seemingly increasing numbers of bar closures in the area. A sad loss for sure, I'm just glad we got to experience it before it was too late.
-Andrew

Revisit - 23/11/2009
Returning here after refurbishment, gone are the dodgy sofas and sports screens.  In their place there are old people hunched over their pints, animal taxidermy in perspex boxes and some strange aboriginal music.  Someone needs to put a stool in the toilet for people with short legs, it's obvious they can't reach the urinals.
Come last orders I heard an old lady talking to an old man as he was leaving - "Try not to rape anyone on the green tonight dear...".  Ahhh, ain't that sweet.
We did get what was left out of the Amaretto bottle for the price of one measure though, so not all bad.
-Alex


Pub facilities / features:

Food Served
Real Ale
Wine Menu
Roof Garden

Amaretto & coke, JD & coke, orange juice & lemonade, tonic water:

£10.90
Alex - 7.4
Andrew - ?
Dave - 6.2
Oliver - 7.0

Tuesday, 24 March 2009

Shaftesbury Arms

After driving around for 20mins trying to find a non boarded up pub (five off our list have been recently closed up), we gave up and decided to visit the Shaftesbury Arms being as it was close to where we were.
A traditional family run business, with a welcoming atmosphere and friendly bar staff. Looked to have two areas, a bar seating area and a restaurant, which had some lovely looking food.
We had three rounds and a couple of shots. I don't know what it was, but I still felt quite drunk throughout the next day...
-Alex

I loved the log fire they had going in this pub, and the Thai menu sounded delicious..though I resisted the temptation. Was nice to stumble across a pub that hadn’t been shut down, and I’m glad it wasn’t because this was a lovely evening and a lovely pub.
-Alison

Well, after the 5th closed down venue on the list (and us being very thankful we went back to the car to head to the next one and avoid the 15 minute walk out of town to the 1st one), we settled at the Shaftesbury Arms.
This is defiantly one of your ‘local pubs’. The landlady seemed to know a number of the customers there but was still happy to pause a conversation to serve us our order. We found a corner, then switched to the other randomly, a continued on with he evening.
The evening was a fairly quiet one with not much happening, apart from Alex deciding on pint for the first time ever.
By the time the landlady very kindly came over to inform us personally that it was last orders we decided to resist the temptation of another round as we had already hit the shots and probably all feared it could be counter-productive, the mild hangover the next day was definite proof of this.
Food from the restaurant half gave off pleasant aromas throughout the evening and may even have been tested had dinner not been had before arriving.
-Andrew

Pub facilities / features:

Food served
Bar Snacks
Real Ale
Wi-Fi

Pint of Fosters, J2O, pint of Youngs, Smirnoff Ice:

£11.05
Alex - 7.5
Alison - 8.0
Andrew - 7.3
Oliver - 8.0

Tuesday, 10 March 2009

The Angel and Crown

This is the place to come if you love your football, not for those with a nervous disposition I may add!
The pub was packed with supporters for the Liverpool vs Madrid game, and even though I don't follow the game, I felt like a proper geezer standing shoulder to shoulder with this lot. The pub literally shook when a goal was scored.
As soon as the game had finished though, we were pretty much the only ones left in here, so we found some comfy seats at the back and chilled out.
Other thing to note were the strange sweating jars behind the bar. Although the labels on them said they contained crisps and sweets, they had certainly fermented into a liquidised jar of goo. Most odd.
-Alex

This pub was full of men watching the football, and the atmosphere was a good one. Definitely the place to be if football is your thing! I arrived early and despite not being interested in football in the slightest, did not feel unwelcome! We were lucky to find a couple of very comfy sofas near the back and nattered the night away. An enjoyable night and quick service at the bar.
-Alison

Pub facilities / features:

Football
Football
Football
Outside seating


Bottle of Budweiser, J2O, vodka and lemonade:

£8.00
Alex - 6.5
Alison - 7.5
Oliver - 8.0

Tuesday, 3 March 2009

All Bar One

One of the big chains you see in almost every town. Full mostly of people who have just left work and happy with the old 'you know what you're getting, so why try anywhere else' approach.
I'm going to tell you why you should try elsewhere. When I arrived I had to stand and watch for fifteen minutes as some pretentious woman slowly gave every glass of wine on the menu a sensory examination. This is with three bar staff (two of which were distant Europeans and obviously had little experience working in a bar). Finally, I ask for a 'southern comfort and coke' and was looked at like I was talking another language, eventually a barman stepped in and we got our drinks. Upon closing, a barmaid swipes our unfinished drinks and vanishes before we can say a word. What the f...
The crisps, cost £1.20, have the taste of cardboard and ironically display how they were specially made with 'bland crisps' in mind. All a bit rubbish.
With so many other places to go, I can see that All Bar One's only reason for being here is to make an easy profit from the Richmond workforce.
-Alex

As the weather was not so good this evening I headed in to get myself a drink while waiting for the others and then realised as this was an All Bar One (which I have been to the one in another town quite often) the drinks on offer are the more fancy foreign ones and not your standard selection (Fosters, Strongbow, Corona, and Budweiser are all strangers here). Finally choose one that I recognised and found a table, it was quite busy so I was lucky to find one that would accommodate all 3 of us. I noticed that the ambient noise level is very high, much like other All Bar One's the d├ęcor is wood panelling, wood floors and wood tables which causes a lot of echoing from everyone talking, and the sounds system could have been a few levels lower too, felt like talking with raised voices all evening (just adds to the echo). We were about to leave when we noticed a torrential downpour outside so stayed for one more (reluctantly) and as Alex wasn’t drinking we did the Snack round instead, shocked that an £8 jumped to nearly £11 by adding 2 bags of (rather tasteless) cheese crisps, Ollie reckoned it was the first time since we started Kingston that I had questioned the cost of a round, something worth noting!
Overall I’d say this place is okay for a quick drink after work, but not somewhere to stay for very long (unless its pissing it down outside and you have no choice!)
-Andrew

Pub facilities / features:

Food served
Real Ale
Wine Menu
Bar Snacks
66% Non-English Staff

Pint of Amstel, pint of London Pride, cranberry juice:

£8.00
Alex - 5.0
Andrew - 6.5
Oliver - 7.0