Kingston & Surbiton Pub Review 2005

Pub

Recommended
Beer

Visit Date Comments  Score
Kelly's Best 30th December 2005 The third time to this esteemed establishment in a row was a trip too far for some. Cuba and France the flimsy excuses. Those who made it endured some lack luster darts until a target was set for victory when a sterling effort to come from behind was quashed by K1 the MVP. (K1-10, K2-7, D-7) 7
Kelly's Pride 23rd December 2005 With the Jukebox centre stage. One of the closest darts contests in recent history unfolded to leave K2 the MVP.  The game went to the wire with Brian being pipped at the post.  A round of drinks on the house ensures an early return but Brian will no doubt insist on a new dartboard as his ratio of bounce outs must of set some sort of new world record. (K2-8, B-7, K1-6, D-6, S-5)  8
Kelly's Best 16th December 2005 Usually the guy first out of the blocks gets caught late on but not tonight I'm glad to say. After getting off to a quick start I managed to hold the challenge from K1 till BR dictated it was time to go home. Now the licensing laws have changed we should be thankful of anything to send us home. Mind you,  Brian's dismal form would have sent him home anyway. (D-9, K1-8, J-7, B-4) 8
Waggon Mixed, Guinness, Red Wine 9th December 2005 A 78 followed by a 134 finish would have made Brian the MVP any day of the week except Friday. Shelia showed of her darts prowess with 2 finishes before leaving early to get some sleep. In the end the evening came down to who was going to win out of Dave & John who were partners for most of the time and it was John who took the MVP mantle. (J-12, D-10, K1-8, B-6, S-2)   8
Kelly's Best 2nd December 2005 With the new opening hours to contend you would have expected the evening to start slowly and degenerate into a drunken stupor. But no. The darts were of the highest quality from start to finish with K2 denied a maximum when the final dart fell out. The finishing was out of the top draw and 100+ scores came thick and fast. Its no wonder we managed to get 19 games in. Unfortunately for the rest of us Brian won 13 of them and finished MVP. (B-13, D-10, K2-9, K1-6) 8
Berrylands 6x 25th November 2005 No action this week I'm afriad. 4
Waggon Mixed 18th November 2005 Will Brian ever get a 180? Two more attempts but no cigar I'm afraid. Apart from that and a treble 3 from me on almost every throw there was nothing to report. Oh, Brian was the MVP despite failing to finish the last 6 games of the evening. (B-12, K1-9, K2-5, D-4) 7
Kelly's Arms Courage Best 11th November 2005 What can you say when a man arrives late, misses the practice and then finishes 6 games on the trot. This inspired performance should have put the two K's out of sight but once they were beaten JR found some form which come the later opening times could easily have stolen the MVP award. He'll just have to convince BR to run some later trains! 9
Waggon Mixed 4th November 2005 Back to darts and the week off showed. Shelia gave her best with a 150 (T12, T20, T18) and he worst with a 2. I ended the evening as the MVP despite only finishing 2 games! The old partner selection trick worked again. (D-8, K1-6, B-5, K2-5, J-4, S-4) 8
Willoughby Downton Chimera IPA 6.8% (1)
 Bateman's Victory 5.9% (1)
 Wychwood Dog's Bollocks 5.2% (1)
 Sharp's Special Ale 5.2% (1)
 Fuller's Trafalgar 5% (1)
 Downton Chimera Red 4.6% (2)
Surry Hills Brewery Albury Red 4.6% (1)
Rebellion Mutiney 4.5% (3)
Harviestoun Ptarmigan 4.5% (1)
Woodford's Nelson's Revenge 4.5% (1)
Exmoor Wild Cat 4.4% (1)
Ringwood Huffkin 4.4% (1)
Archer's Trick or Treat 4.4% (1)
Goff's Merlin 4.3% (1)
Adnmas Flagship 4.3% (1)
Hopback Crop Circle 4.2% (1)
Downton Pumpkin Ale 4.2% (1)
Surrey Hills Brewery Shere Drop 4.2% (1)
Gale's Trafalgar 200 4.2% (2)
Archer's Sky Rocket 4.2% (2)
Sharp's Doom Bar Bitter 4% (4)
Twickenham Crane Sundancer 3.7% (1)
28th October 2005 Who'd need darts if you could experience this range of beers every week? The idea was to work up the list, but when John ordered a Downton Chimera IPA (6.8%) instead of a Downton Chimera Red (4.6%) there was nowhere left to go. Keith showed the locals how to get out of an impossible snooker on the pool table as the evening slowly degenerated into noisy and meaningless conversation. John and K2 traded the red and black T shirts and I recorded that we collectively consumed 31 pints although it was probably more as my ability to focus was severely affected by tiredness brought on by the late finish. 9
Kellys Courage Best 21st October 2005 There are days when you know destiny is not on your side. K2 and Brian both finished less games than either K1 or Dave but walked away as joint MVP's. How do you explain that? Brian's bull finish  was the turning point. Until that moment he was in total despair. The confidence gain from that one dart carried him though to resulted in a hat trick of wins. (K2-8, B-8, K1-6, D-4) 8
Waggon Mixed, Ordinary, Red Wine, Water 14th October 2005 After an excessive amount of time inserting Dave's dart flight John & K2 got off to a 2-0 lead. A hat trick of finishes from Dave however gave the first set to K1 & Dave.  The second set was going the same way as the first with Brain & John racing to a 2-0 lead. Shelia then stunned the whole pub with an amazing and much celebrated double 17 finish. Alas this was not the start of a revival as K1 & K2 took the next game and then John and Brian finally won the set. At this point some excessive sledging and very dubious scoring resulted in a complete loss of concentration The score board says Brian and John won the last set 3-0 but this may have happened while the rest of us were enjoying Shelia 45th curry for all I can remember. (K1-7, B-6, J-5, D-4, K2-3, S-1, E-0) 9
Kelly's Best 7th October 2005

Question for Dave - if there are only 4 players can you have 3 MVPs?  You can certainly have an LVP and that was yours truly who started off badly and got worse, losing convincingly by 5 to others’ 9.  Oh well, only a couple of months till the extended opening hours when after 7 or 8 pints I expect to hit top form about 1.20 am.  The Kellys was selling an excellent pint of Courage Best which tastes good and does not induce hangovers.  The music and general ambience was again fine and the dart quality (me excepted) was reasonably impressive – a ‘9’ methinks. (KS)

9
Berrylands 6x, Courage Best, Young's Special 30th September 2005 A change of venue is obviously what Brian needed to inspire him. He may have been unimpressed by the young lads barging through his throws to get to the toilet but he still managed to chalk up the 100's. I arrived late and my worries of finishing on zero were immediately dispelled with 3 classic finishes in the first 4 games despite not being able to see the board properly. (B-8, K1-7, J-6, K2-4, D-3)  7
Waggon Mixed 23rd September 2005 I can only conclude that drinking before starting to play darts is not a good idea because even though I thought I was playing well I finished the evening as the LVP. The MVP went to K1. He obviously needs to go to the bar instead of the gym on Friday evenings. (K1-11, K2-9, B-7, D-6) 8
Woodies Fullers Discovery, Adnams Explorer, Adnams Broadside, Youngs Ordinary 16th September 2005 After last weeks humiliation, Brian's practice came in handy as he finished 6 out of the first 7 games and with more 180 attempts than I can remember the standard of darts began to pick up in short bursts. But none of this seemed to make any difference as by careful partner selection and a late burst of activity I ended the evening with a famous if not noisy victory. (D-10, K2-9, B-8,  K1-5)  8
Kellys Best, Pride 9th September 2005 After 17 games, countless partner combinations and an array of random darts K1 was declared the MVP. How this happened, only he can say.  (K1-10, K2-8, J-8, D-5, B-3) 8
Waggon Youngs 31st August 2005 Well, a welcome victory by yours truly only goes to show that everything comes to he who waits. Its just a pity I had to wait so long. (D-7, K1-6, B&J-5, K2-4, S-3) 9
Woodies Adnams Broadside, Harveys 24th August 2005 More darts, but without John in attendance a much closer and almost exciting competition.  K2-D-K1 finishing 7-3-9.   8
Kellys Best, Pride 17th August 2005 With John hitting the doubles and almost completing a 167 finish an me unable to get double one after 20 attempts the result was never in doubt. Keith came on stream after the 5th pint and won a few games and I finished my one and only game as they called time but these token gestures were way too late to make any impression on a truly impressive darts performance. (JR 16 - 6 KS & DI)   8
Waggon Youngs Ordinary/Special/ Golden Zest 12th August 2005 The Golden Zest was going down nicely but the dart board was occupied so we needed something special to liven the evening.  Cue the unexpectedly arrived of Rob the champion sailor. With his 160 mile a week training regime we may all be in trouble on the October cycling trip if he survives his daily right turn on the A3.  7
Waggon Youngs Ordinary/Special 5th August 2005

Chalker wanted – minimum wage plus beer allowance; good grief, it’s tiring playing a duo singles without one.  Anyway the battle of the Shepherds was convincingly won by B. (8-5, I think), who also took the prize for most treble 20s (25–14).  Mixed in with the normal garbage there were some bursts of reasonable arrows (a couple of 140s, a 113 finish and some other rapid finishes).  Beer was fine, atmosphere good, but, blimey, was I knackered – more punters please. (KS)

8
Woodies Fresco, IPA, Red Wine 29th July 2005 Can you believe it. John's killer third dart did it again. When left with 6. Going 3, 1, D2 is just taking the pxxx and it happened over an over again  Enjoy it while you can. 8
Kelly's Best, Pride 22nd July 2005 Different players same story I'm afraid. John started slowly but as the evening unfolded made his third dart count. Again and again he used it to produced a T20 or the required double. At the end of the evening the final score was JR 10-6 (D & K2). Surely this form can't last. 8

Waggon

 

Guinness

Mixed

 

15th July 2005 A triangular singles darts competition featuring John ‘the power’ Reay.  At the start he was worried; “I usually rely on my partner finishing”; then stormed into a 5-0 lead averaging a two dart finish.  Double-one was a particular problem “Oh no! not double-one, I always struggle with them”  Bosh! Double-one!  I believe the final score was JR 10,  Ks (K1+K2) 7, but it could have been worse – fortunately there is no photographic record.  On a balmy night the beer was excellent, apart from a particularly horrendous pint of mixed that appeared in K2’s glass out of the blue – a comment on or the cause of his barren darts? (KS) 8

Wych Elm, Canbury, Artful Dodger, Willoughby

London Pride,
Old Hooky,
Best, forgotten

 

8th July 2005 A North Kingston pub survey. Darts taken in the Wych, Canbury busy but not our scene, Dodger seriously dodgy, and Boss Hog blocking darts in Willoughby and reducing punters by about 80%. (KS) 5
Kelly's Arms Best, Pride 1st July 2005 With a 98 finish followed by a 180 you would assume that I ended the evening as the MVP. But no. The scoreboard tells a different story. Brain with 5 100+ scores couldn't even achieve that. It was John who earned the title MVP this week. 8
Wych Elm Discovery, Pride 24th June 2005 With the dartboard occupied and despite the earlier heavy rain we managed to sit outside for the whole evening. John was having so much fun he managed to forget he had a train to catch. Francis made a late appearance to celebrate her birthday. Its only a pity Keith had forgotten where he had put the card he had given her the last two years! 8
Woodies Summer Solstice 17th June 2005 With some excellent summer solstice to keep us company we spent the first part of the evening watching the sun go down until we were driven inside by those dreaded mosquitoes. Once inside the darts began to fly. The only interruptions were from a group of  infants who kept walking in front of the board. Never the less the match was neck and neck at 4-4 when I decided it was about time I finished a game or 2 to leave the two K's with their heads in their hands and Brian and I victorious.  8
Spring Grove, Kelly's Arms, Waggon Mixed, Ordinary 10th June 2005 After a tour of pubs to find a dart board the treble 20's took a battering like never before. After every permutation of partners K1 ended the evening as the MVP. I managed a 174 amongst a string of random darts but again failed to finish a single game. Where's the nearest sports psychologist?  8
Kellys Pride, Best 3rd June 2005 With the hang over from the cycling in evidence the non runners made the most of it. K1 accused others of stealing his beer even though he had it in his hand and Evan produced some eccentric first dart finishes.  8
Tuscan Beer Keller  Strong Belgian Beer 27th May 2005 Having exhausted ourselves and the topic of cycling, and discovered the locals wanted to sit nearer someone their own age we engaged  the barman in a discussion about the pub photo display. I guess we should send him this one. How many glasses of ale did one have to drink to get on the display boards?  6
Waggon & Horses Mixed, Ordinary 20th May 2005 With John's birthday party in full swing the darts may have been forgotten, but not when the MVP partnership or K1 and I went undefeated having won eight games on the trot. The rest were left to wash the chalk from their hands before we took over the Ajanta for the traditional Birthday curry which was photographed from the left and the right..  8
Woodies Pedigree, IPA 13th May 2005 With punters thin on the ground and hence smoke not an issue Woodies made a creditable bid to be reestablished back onto the regular pub circuit. After discussing the excess amount of cycle training taking place prior to the pending trip to the Alpe Apuane we ventured over to the dart board. 17 games later with each player finishing ~4 times you would have assumed honours were even but no. Keith had again used his motivational skills to ensure his partners were on form at the right time so he went home the MVP.  8
Spring Grove Special, Mixed, Ordinary 6th May 2005 Having arrived just in time to claim the dart board the game started immediately. 15 games and many stray darts later nothing had been decided. We will have to continue next week I suppose.  8
Kelly's Arms Pride 29th April 2005 You can practice 3 dart finishes, you can practice high scoring, but one thing you can not practice is partner selection. If a player becomes your partner as he reaches top form and is discarded when he starts to miss you are always going to have the advantage. Mike Brearly would have put this down to his motivational skills. Other would put it down to pure luck. Does that make K1 the MVP? 8
Willoughby Hop Back Summer Lightening, Ringwood 49'er, Tom Wood's Bomber County, Archers Spirt of St George, Welton's St George's Ale, B&T Dragon Slayer, Shepherd Neame Early Bird, Twickenham I.P.A., Hihgate Fox's Nob, Larkins Best, Timothy Taylor Landlord, Hop Back Spring Zing, Ringwood Bold Forester, St. Austell Tribute, Swale Indian Summer I.P.A., Twickenham Original, St. George's Brewery War Drum, Goff's Jouster, Jennings Cumberland, Larkins Chiddindstone, Theakston's Black Bull Bitter, Black Sheep Best Bitter, Bank's Bitter, Archers Spring Blonde, Wychwood Shire 22nd April 2005 With the pub giving beer away who could resist the temptation of so many excellent beers to choose from. It's a pity I can only remember the first 6 pints! 9
Waggon & Horses Special, Ordinary, Mixed, Red Wine, Coke, Fizzy Water! 15th April 2005 With numbers swelled due to K1's curry there was more chat than usual but eventually the darts commenced.  How can Justin Irwin, the ex director of Childline be right in thinking that "It is possible to excel in darts through hard work rather than natural talent"?  With skill and no practice at all the guests finished almost all the games. Brian & Shelia became the first MVP couple. That's just ahead of Charles and Camilla. 8
Spring Grove Special, Ordinary, Mixed 8th April 2005 Having cycled over the Surrey hills in the snow John picked up where he left off last week. With the locals deciding to chance their arm. This was just as well as the rest of us decided to concentrate on chalking.  7
Kelly's Arms Best, Pride 1st April 2005 You would have thought that with 4 treble twenties on the trot K2 would be the MVP but alas no. John's careful choice of dart partners throughout the evening ensured he took the mantle this week. 8
Wych/Willoughby/Wych & Green Corner Pride, Not Dorada 25th March 2005

Good Friday – you must be joking!  The pubs shut at 10.30 and everyone’s on holiday.  A generally fruitless search for a game of arrers taking in two pubs but not the proposed Canbury that had shut.  K2 played some brilliant late darts during drinking-up time, storming to a 4-1 win in record time.  Otherwise a few quiet beers (KS)

5
New Prince Butser 18th March 2005 With the dartboard occupied by some early drinkers sitting in armchairs we had to talk to each other again. Such a shame for Brian who had been practicing his finishing with his new darts before he came out! With the promise of a few weeks ago dashed and I guess it will be the Waggon before the next Birthday curry. 4
Spring Grove Young's Special/Mixed & Ordinary 11th March 2005 When to two MVP's only finished 3 games between them there must be something wrong with the scoring system especially when the real MVP only started 2 games from the end and finished both, the last one with the aid of torchlight! 8
Kelly's Arms Courage Best 4th March 2005 The exact score was difficult to work out due to a lack of chalk but at the end of the evening it wasn't difficult to work out who the winners and losers were. The team most familiar with the electronic score board lost and the team who consistently hit there doubles and wrapped it up with a bull finish were the winners. 9
New Prince Butser 25th February 2005 Well, as one pub disappears into the historical archives another comes back on stream. With the dartboard unveiled, the dubious scoring, friendly banter and darts began to fly. By the end of the evening, amid vast quantities of chalk and some complicated formula John was declared the MVP and after a late start, K2 failed to impress the scorer and ended the LVP. But who cared as his birthday curry was just over the road. 9
Willoughby Duchards 18th February 2005 With Boss Hog given the run of the back bar in front of the dart board this could be the last visit to this fine establishment for sometime I'm afraid. The stream of covers of rock classics was not appreciated by the punters who found in necessary to move to a quieter table for a game of cards in the old mans bar.  6
Waggon Ordinary,  Mixed, Special 11th February 2005 So who said darts is all about finishing? With a careful selection of partners, some inspirational motivation skills and some dubious scoring anyone can become the MVP. This evening proved that as I finished the evening on top having only finished 2 out of 10 games. If that makes me the MVP it doesn't say much for the rest does it.  8
Kelly's Arms Pride, Best 4th February 2005 With many of the regular rejects off on their winter break to destinations far and wide it was up to the locals to prove their prowess on the dartboard. All in all Ian and Clive did the Kellys proud and the evening ended with everyone a winner and a loser I suppose. 8
Wych Elm Pride, Chiswick 28th January 2005 With darts off the menu in north Kingston due to a band of gypsies in the public bar and a one man band under the dart board in the Willoughby we had to amuse ourselves by talking to each other. The ejected card players seemed to settle into the comfort of the lounge bar well enough but our struggle to come to terms with the unfamiliar surroundings almost resulted in us resorting to a game of dominos.  7
Victoria Young's Ordinary & Special, Guinness, Coke, Gin & Tonic, Bacardi & Coke 21st January 2005 A brief trip to an old haunt followed by the annual dinner and dance. 9
Waggon Young's Ordinary & Special 14th January 2005 With the TV distracting the dart players and only the occasional moments of brilliant finishing to recall (108 from K2) the evening seemed to be progressing to a predictable conclusion. Then the remnants from the boat show appeared to inject life into the proceedings and restore the dream team to they winning ways. Despite this much needed boost in confidence K1 was easily the MVP and I the LVP again. 8
Kelly's Arms London Pride, Courage Best 7th January 2005 If was good to get back to the beer after an few weeks off. Normal service in the darts was resumed since the early winners were caught and passed as their finishing prowess deserted them. With Evan forced to leave for the early train Brian ended the evening as the MVP. The less said about the LVP the better. 8

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