Tuesday, 26 May 2009

The Dysart Arms

From the outset, my expectations of this 'pub' were quite high. I've driven been past a few times and it has always looked quite appealing, given the Tudor-like architecture and views over Richmond Park.
After almost running over a few geriatric joggers, we pulled up into the car park and walked round to the front. We were welcomed by two huge windowless wooden doors, no clue to if this was the right way in. Once inside it's instantly clear this is not a pub at all. It's a restaurant that serves a beer or two. There are no soft furnishings apart from cushions on the wooden chairs, the tables are either covered in cutlery or leaflets, and the lighting is subdued and candlelit. There's some whining jazz music being piped out in the background and a full sized piano in the corner (I can imagine it not sounding brilliant with all the hard flooring and walls).
We walked up to what can only be described as a counter, where apart from Adnams, it wasn't obvious what beverages were actually available. Upon request, a heavily accented German guy pointed to each tap and said something incoherent, after the second try at this, we just opted to point at a tap with hope it was something drinkable.
Due to the uncomfortable atmosphere, cluttered tables and wanting an area that wasn't invading someone's dinner party, we ended up sitting outside in the cold until Andrew arrived.
The Dysart Arms hopes to cater for those who like to pretend they are a class above the rest. To everyone else it's yet another characterless gastro.

I wondered when I arrived why Alex and Oliver were sitting outside when it had quite clearly been raining earlier in the day. I got their orders and made my way inside to get the round in, and found first the unwelcoming solid wooden door with no windows, at first I thought it was a wall decoration and had a quick glance at the side of the building for the actual entrance, alas there was none and realised this was it. Went to the bar and had a look about while I waited to be served and the decor here was, well, plain. Stone floor, tiled walls, plain wood tables and chairs it was neutral colours all over. After looking at the drinks list (there was no other way to see what was on offer) I returned to the others with the drinks. When it was time for the next round we decided that it was too cold to sit outside anymore so headed in and I found the atmosphere as bland as the decoration, some jazz being quietly piped in around the place but that was about it. I doubt that I will choose to come here again.

Pub facilities / features:

Food served
Wine Menu
Some Real Ale
Outside seating
Car park
Depressing impersonal service

Two pints of Staropramen, orange juice:

Alex - 3.9
Andrew -3.0
Oliver - 2.8

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