Kingston & Surbiton Pub Review 2015

Pub

Recommended
Beer

Visit Date Comments  Score
Willy Doom Bar, Grandstand 18th December 2015

We had 3 Brians, 2 Keiths, 1 Glen and 1 Dave following the climbers Xmas do.  Before that we had a match against a Team from the Fox and Duck, who for some reason wished to be known as ‘Crap’.  Sadly we were poor at scoring and could not finish and hence we were badly beaten – it’s a long way back to get a seat on that plane to Rio.  As usual the beer and general ambience were fine. (KS) Darts Match: Rejects 1 – Pony 6

8

Darts (2)

Berry Doom Bar, Youngs, Hophead 11th December 2015

Maybe it was the delayed start or maybe the decision to play 301 to speed things up, but there was a definite improvement in the quality of the darts;  K2 was on particularly good form.  A good session in the Berry, another pub surprisingly short of punters on a Friday night. (KS) Doubles; K2-9, B-7, K1-5, D-5

8
Guess the pub! Doom Bar, Grandstand  4th December 2015

When we arrived, two large screens were showing Lazio vs. Juventus and the third screen some rugby union.  Meanwhile the sole punter (a Smoggy) wished to view Ipswich vs Middlesborough... so we got 2 screens changed to Ipswich and the other screen to an FA Cup game from Salford, but bizarrely the commentary remained Lazio.  We got that changed but just as the games were coming to a climax all three screens changed to the ‘History Channel’ – this could only happen in one pub.  Anyhow, the beer was good, some music came on and the darts were reasonable, although Brian was still showing uncharacteristically poor form. (KS) Singles: K1-10, K2-4, B-4

7
Waggon Sambrook’s Wandle, Grandstand  27th November 2015

A return of the good old days – an early start, a late finish, 5 pints and 5-man doubles, the most sociable configuration.  It goes without saying that John, who plays a couple of times per year beat the regular dartsmen, this time with a 7-game undefeated run with K2, who was demonstrating some snappy finishing; John even nailed the classic 2-dart ton finish (T20,D20) to show that practice really is a complete waste of time – just turn up, have a few beers and play! (KS) Doubles: JR-15, K2-12, K1-7, B-5, D-3

10
Wych Pride, Seafarers  20th November 2015

Great to get a game at the Wych; conditions generally good although the light could use a few more lumens.  Unfortunately a minor injury sustained in opening the dart board cupboard adversely affected my darts all evening (that’s an excuse!).  Similarly K2 was struggling except for a five minute purple patch when he became ‘the Power’ and produced an 11-dart game and another rapid finish.  Predictably Brian’s finish was better and hence he won.  The Wych is back on the rota!! (KS) Singles: B-8, K1-4, K2-2

8
Berry Doom Bar, Youngs  13th November 2015

After bemoaning the lack of spectators at the previous match I suppose it was inevitable that we would get an unwanted crowd at the next one; this crowd could not afford the admission charges at the Bridge and hence were practising their football chants on a Friday evening.  Pity really because we have a nice rubber mat, a new board and better lighting – all the conditions needed for top-class arrows.  Never mind – Dave successfully signed up (in French!) for the Ardechoise in June 2016. (KS) Doubles; B-8, D-6, K2-4, K1-4

6
Willy Doom Bar   6th November 2015

So, the poor quality of darts has finally cleared out all paying customers – just two guests in an executive box to watch the proceedings.  Other than that, not a single customer in the large public bar from 10 pm until we left – don’t understand it as the Willy always seems OK to me.  Anyway, taking Barry Hearn’s advice, we have introduced a much snappier, exciting form of darts by reducing the target score from 401 to 101 – surely this will get the punters rushing back?! (KS) Singles: B-8, K1-8, D-4, K2-4

7
Waggon Sambrook’s Wandle and a mystery beer 30th October 2015

Another fine session in the Waggon.  Good beer, good atmosphere and generally a better standard of arrows.  The main problem is that Brian finishes too quickly in the Waggon giving us slower finishers little opportunity to demonstrate our lack of ability. (KS) Singles: B-7, K1-6, D-2, S - did not play

8
Wych/Willy Seafarer, William Webb-Ellis   23rd October 2015

The Wych was almost OK for darts but the final decision to transfer was forced by an extremely yappy mutt; at least the dogs in the Willy are quiet.  Excellent Webb-Ellis beer and some solid pool and darts.    (KS) Pool: B-2, K1-0   Singles: B-7, K1-4

7
Berry Doom Bar, Hophead 16th October 2015

An ‘elf and safety’ issue – flying bounce-out darts causing some danger for the chalker.  A very empty bar and a rather strange 100% evening for your reporter – other players playing well with me but not against me.  Maybe it was sympathy for the minor facial wound received whilst chalking!?  Excellent Doom Bar beer. (KS) Doubles; K1-9, D-3, K2-3, B-3

8
Willy Grandstand  9th October 2015

The Ernest Shackleton Polar Explorers’ Darts Challenge – colder in the pub than outside.  After a convincing England win vs. Estonia the proper sport got underway.  The beer was good but the rather chilly conditions definitely affected the grip and the chalker was troubled occasionally by dangerous wayward darts.  Shat that door! (KS) Singles: B-5, K2-3, K1-3

6
Waggon Sambrook’s Wandle and Junction   2nd October 2015

After a morning 40-mile training ride, Dave announced that he was confident of a good darts performance in the evening; how did he know this?  No matter, it was true and he did win.  I was particularly pleased with the netting of the rare ‘doublefish’ and, of course, did finish that game.  An excellent session in the Waggon with fine Sambrook’s ales. (KS) Doubles: D-6, K1-4, K2-4, B-4, S- did not play

9
Willy Grandstand    25th September 2015

A great night for a Fulham fan, largely starved of entertainment over the last few years.  Nice autumn evening for a cycle, a cracking win and back to the Willy by 10.30 for pints of Grandstand and some pretty good arrers.  Maybe Friday night football’s not so bad after all? (KS) Football:Ful-4, QPR-0  Singles: K2-2,D-2  Doubles: B-6,D-4,K1-3,K2-3

10
Berry Doom Bar  18th September 2015

A crowd of rugger-buggers in the Berry for the start of the World Cup forced us into a pleasant outside chat for an hour.  After your reporter cleared the ruck from under the dartboard we were then able to have a decent game of arrers.  Excellent Doom Bar so we drank a touch more than usual. (KS) Doubles; K1-4,D-3,K2-3,B-2

8
Berry/Waggon Doom Bar, Youngs Mixed 11th September 2015

All pumped up for a fraternal darts battle – and the Berry had a private function and the Waggon a large crowd including a number of punters standing under the dartboard.  Never mind – the point from the nil-nil draw could prove crucial at the end of the season. (KS) Singles; B-0, K1-0

5
Waggon Sambrook’s Wandle 4th September 2015

Excellent beer – pints of Wandle.  The game of singles (first to 10) was rather one-sided with Brian scoring heavily and finishing rapidly – the only question was could he get to 10 without a blemish.  Fortunately that did not occur but he did checkout the final game with 102 (T20,D15,D6!).  A mystery to be solved – Dave had said that he couldn’t make this Friday – he certainly didn’t trouble the scorer but.....was he there?! (KS) Singles:B-10, K1-4, D-?

8
Berry Golden Hen 28th August 2015

A good drink outside followed by some poor darts under poor lighting.  K1 was dreadful, Dave a little better and Brian did enough to win comfortably.  Maybe it’s the lighting or the dartboard angle or possibly that old favourite – dodgy equipment!  Must buy some new flights and stems! (KS) Singles; B-9, D-3, K1-1

7
Waggon Sambrook’s Junction 21st August 2015

Lovely warm August evening, so we were the only punters inside; excellent beer and Andy Murray on the TV above the board – plenty of reasons for lack of concentration.  A ‘best of 21 games’ was very close when D and K2 woke up after giving me an 8 game start including a rather nice 115 3-darter (20,T19,D19).  The Waggon is still a top venue and we may even take a look in the refurbished garden next summer! (KS) Singles: K1-10, K2-5, D-5

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Willy Landlord                                       14th August 2015

Sky pay billions, BTSport pay trillions and it’s hyped into the stratosphere – and then the product arrives in the form of Friday night football – paint growing and grass drying is more exciting.  ManU, England’s most glamorous team, have managed three shots total on goal in the first two matches and Wayne Rooney, at £300K per week, managed one touch in the Villa penalty area.  Thank goodness for chats with Malcolm and Holly and some top beer and arrows, although Dave’s neck failed to recover from the pain induced by watching the Villa.  So, are we searching for a pub with a dartboard and no TV!? (KS) Singles:  K1-7, K2-2, D-2

Villa v ManU - 0.5;  darts and beer - 8
Wych Pale Ale, Pride 7th August2015

With all the punters enjoying the garden the way was clear for a two-man shoot-out comprising three sets (3-2,3-2,2-3) and plenty of breaks for chat.  As expected the evening ended with a final game decider at 11.45.  Top darts venue when the weather is good. (KS) Singles: K1-8, K2-7

7
Berry Golden Hen 31st July 2015

A good drink outside followed by some serious darts under poor lighting.  D and K1 were ‘sick as parrots’ while Brian was ‘over the blue moon’ a phenomenon occurring on Friday evening once every 20 years – who will be over the next blue moon?! (KS) Singles; B-7, K1-5, D-1

8
Waggon Ordinary, Mixed, Naked Ladies   24th July 2015

Another good evening of darts; a draw between Brian and Keiths (9-9).  An even start but then Brian hit form with high scoring and quick finishing, including two consecutive 3-darters.   His 7 games on the spin effectively ended the contest.  Good beer and ambience in the Waggon. (KS) Singles: B-9, K1-5, K2-4

8
Willy Welton’s Bat and Pad, Salopian Darwin’s Origin, Shere Drop  17th July 2015

A quick return to the Willy, this time without Bossog.  Excellent beer and some pretty good and exciting arrows with all players in with a chance until the last few games.  Dave scored a 3-dart 111 (T20, 17, D17) and K2 nailed a classic 65 (25, D20).  The evening was enhanced by some barracking and a dispute over golf on the big screen that was overturned in favour of music. (KS) Singles:  K1-9, K2-8, D-6

8
Willy/Wych Welton’s Bat and Pad, Salopian Darwin’s Origin, Pride, Chiswick 10th July 2015

The beer names are getting better.  After a pint of ‘Bat and Pad’ and a pint of ‘Darwin’s Origin’ we were forced to transfer to the Wych as there was a band in the Willy with a very small audience.  No problem getting a game in the Wych, although your reporter was feeling rather wobbly after the two beers mentioned above.  K2, last week’s champion, was handicapped by a long drive back from Dorset and failed to net.  With a shoal of fish mixed in with some top arrers, the match went to a decider – I always play better when I’m feeling wobbly! (KS) Singles:  K1-7, B-6, K2-0

8
Waggon Light and bitter, Sambrook’s Pumphouse, Lavender Hill 3rd July 2015

A top game of doubles with K2, the best finisher, taking the evening with the final game.  Very few punters in the pub so we felt duty-bound to make some noise – after a particularly noisy celebration the door to the back room was closed! – must be having an umpact.  Excellent beer again. (KS) Doubles: K2-9, B-7, D-7, K1-7

8
Willy Upham Punter, Landlord, Grandstand, Doom Bar 26th June 2015

First-to-9 again with the possibility of 25 games! After less than 1 hour with K1 leading 7-1-1 an extensive time-out was called to prevent an early finish and, of course, the inevitable occurred – one hour later K1 and K2 were locked on 8-all.  Some top darts played (K2’s bull finish the highlight) and some absolutely awful darts as well (a fish followed by a 2 springs to mind).  Few punters in but at least one (Tony) was dishing out some decent barracking.  Excellent choice of beers. (KS) Singles:  K1-9, K2-8, D-2

8
Berry Doom Bar 19th June 2015

A good evening for sitting outside drinking excellent Doom Bar...and then some exciting doubles darts.  Some noisy 3-dart finishes enlivened a completely empty bar and K2 and Dave came good in the end as K2 took the evening’s prize. (KS) Doubles; K2-6, D-5, B-3, K1-2

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Waggon Youngs, a very tasty ale I have forgotten! 5th June 2015

Does Roger Federer warm up with a cycle to Box Hill? Does Phil the Power warm up for a big darts match with a couple of sets of tennis?  Did Lance Armstrong play darts and was he clean?  Given the amount of multi-sport participation the quality of the arrers was surprisingly good at times.  Dave nailed a 114 finish (T20, 18, D18), Brian hit a 180 and was on for a 7-dart 301, but actually took 37 darts in the end; unfortunately we could not get the bull finish to complete the hat-trick.  Some exciting play, good beer (what was it?!) and all wrapped up by 11.20. (KS) Singles: B-9, K1-4, D-4)

8
Willy Upham Punter, Naked Ladies    29th May 2015

A darts match with an audience of zero (actually they were all waiting for a big session of FA Cup and boxing on Saturday when the place was full of well-oiled punters).  We set the finishing line at 9, but, due to some slow and beastly play, it seemed prudent to call it a draw on the beast’s number rather than to stay to 1am. (KS) Singles:  K1,K2,D - 666

8
Berry Naked Ladies   22 May 2015

A decent evening for sitting outside drinking a quality beer.  Later on the darts started well but then generally declined, although Dave must be congratulated for fighting off the jet lag and lasting the pace (6.30 am in China!) (KS) Singles; K1-7, D-5, K2-3

8
Petworth Arts and Darts Social Centre 3 different barrels from Arundel? (ask John)   15th May 2015

Another excellent beer darts and curry evening in the Petworth Centre.  A thrilling end to the darts competition with the birthday boys John (top finishing) and Mike (good partner selection) battling for the evening’s prize – that’s John unbeaten for over a year, demonstrating the reward for lack of practice.  Good cycle, good beer, excellent curry and a good kip – what more could a man ask for!? (KS) Doubles: J-7, M-6,   K1, K2 Sally, Rob all netted,   E-0, Gordon-0

10
Waggon Sambrooks Junction, Sambrooks Red + others 8th May 2015

VE Day and the day after an entirely predictable (for some!) general election.  The finishing line was extended to 9 wins; Dave and I were then totally humiliated by Brian who thought the following day was Friday and tipped £5 in coins into his beer rather than passing it over to the barsteward; unfortunately he also finished most games with his first shot (KS) Singles: B-9, K1-1, D-1

7
Willy Bombardier Gold, Bombardier, Sharps Atlantic   1st May 2015

It was decided to state a finish (7 wins) so the match would not take too long; however, with Dave’s new-found finishing skills he secured a comfortable win in about one hour.  No matter, the pub was surprisingly empty and also a touch chilly (trouble gripping the arrers). (KS) Singles:  D-7, B-3, K1-1

7
Berry Bombardier Gold, Youngs 25th April 2015

Actually cannot remember many details, but I assume it was a good evening of chat and arrows in the Berry – I do seem to remember that Dave was finishing well but Brian won.(KS) Doubles; B-8, D-7, K1,K2 - ?

8
Akbars / Willy Cobra, Bombardier Gold, Sharps Atlantic  17th April 2015

It is no longer a surprise; John turns up for a guest appearance and shows us how to play darts – this time he really rubbed it in with a 5-beer, midnight 180 in the deciding game – raucously celebrated by all.  Another excellent birthday curry event at the Akbar followed by the Willy, which was far more lively than recent visits.  The first night for a long while that all seven punters on the pub list turned up. (KS) Doubles J-7, B-6, K2-?, K1-?, D-?

10
Waggon Sambrooks Red, Twickenham Grandstand 10th April 2015 It’s never too late to turn up for a Friday night beer – after another Friday ruined by football K1 and Brian managed to relieve Dave and K2 from their singles match at 10.50 – both players were looking weary and K2 was suffering a large number of bounce-outs. With some much-needed beer ordered a cameo doubles match was soon underway, Dave showing the way with a finishing hat-trick. Looking forward to the end of a less-than-enjoyable football season! (KS) Football: Ful 2 Wig 2 Singles: K2-7, D-6 Doubles: D-3, K1-3, B-0, K2-0 8
Willy Lemon Grass, Grandstand, Doom Bar​  27th March 2015 Was this the worst darts performance ever? – there were no reasonable excuses. Following some football (England 4 Lithuania 0) and some amiable chat the arrers commenced at 10pm. The lighting was good, plenty of space, a good board, quality beer and an excellent music CD – but the darts were terrible. Slow scoring and dreadful finishing meant only ten games completed in just under two hours. The following illustrate the paucity of the fare; Dave, suffering from dartitis, hit a 19 when aiming for double-1 and K2 took the evening with just one finish. As a result, next week’s match has been cancelled and all players are heading off to their individual training camps.
(KS) Doubles; K2-6, B-5, K1-5, D-4​ (OK except the darts)
3
Berry Morland (Greene King) Old Golden Hen 20th March 2015

One major advantage of being first in the pub – if your bike lock keys fall out of your pocket at home, at least you have only locked your own bike and not everybody else’s – many thanks to Dave for the loan of his bike.  The beer was excellent and the darts were OK-ish, but the public bar was empty – maybe they should bring back the pool tables?  Always a good evening in the Berry. (KS) Singles; D-2, K1-0, B-0,    Doubles; B-8, K1-7, D-6, K2-3

9
Akbar/Wych Cobra, Pride, Chiswick 13th March 2015

An excellent evening (K2’s birthday do) starting in Akbars with a top curry and transferring to the Wych Elm via the Willy, where the new Bossog was blocking the board.  This was the first successful Friday night in the Wych in 2015 and we celebrated with some excellent arrows, John yet again showing that practice or lack of practice makes no difference.  The highlight was the loud cheering that encouraged the rest of the pub’s punters to join in – great to hear ‘hooray’ echoing around the bars to congratulate Dave or John on yet another finish. (KS) Doubles: J-8, D-6, B-5, K1-4, K2-3

10
Willy Shere Drop, Twickenham Grandstand, Doom Bar 6 March 2015

Yet again, a good night’s darts and drinking is spoilt by football.  Making it back to the Willy in record time (running on anger) I was astonished to see some punters playing darts – maybe it’s the Red Nose Pro-celebrity competition providing encouragement.  A few beers and a quiet chat with K2 and Sam to erase the fooyball memory. (Football; F-1, Bourn-5;   No darts)

6
Berry Was it Twickenham Sundancer? 27 Feb 2015

Something funny occurring this evening!?  No traffic on the road, nobody much about anywhere and, when the dartboard cleared at 10pm, so also did the Berry’s public bar – a classic man-to-man shoot-out with an audience of precisely zero.  No matter, the darts were OK and so was the beer. (KS) Doubles; K1-8, B-6

8
Waggon ? but definitely good  20 Feb 2015

Dave’s extended family is introduced to Friday night darts and drinking.  Dave’s niece (-in law) Dawn played enough good darts to demonstrate yet again that our hours of diligent practice count for absolutely nothing. (KS) Doubles; Dave has a photo of the scores

9
Willy  forgotten, but there were a number of good ales on offer 13 Feb 2015

A new Boosog appears in the Willy and prevents the arrers – probably a relief for K2 who was suffering from a knee injury.  Never mind – the beer was good and we were able to have a pleasant evening of chat with Malcolm and Holly. (no darts)

7
Berry Twickenham Naked Ladies, Doom Bar, Youngs Ordinaire 6 Feb 2015

The rugger (Wales vs. England) is surprisingly popular and delays the start of the real live sport.  For us lovers of the round ball game (where quite often nothing much happens), the popularity of rugger is rather surprising as to our jaundiced eyes whole periods of play involve nothing at all happening – oh well, it keeps the pubs ticking over.  Excellent beer, a pleasant temperature and some quality (at times) darts makes the Berry a top venue and a more than adequate replacement for the Prince. (KS) Singles: K-8, B-5, D-4

9
Willy

Beer:  Welton’s

30th January 2015 Dave is making the Willy his home banker with a second consecutive win, including plenty of finishes.  I warmed up with 85,115,100 and then it was all downhill when the competition started.  Some good darts and some poor darts with a few fishes plus a 2 and a 1 – fortunately the sports crowd had all gone home after the rugby and football ended.  Good beer, good music, an excellent darts venue but a sad lack of punters. (KS) Doubles: D-9, K1-5, K2-4, B-6 8
Waggon (+ K2 in the Willy) Youngs Ordinary, Sambrook’s Junction 23rd January 2015

Good effort by Dave to fight off the jetlag and last the pace, although the China trip had not helped his darts.  A good FA Cup match (CamU 0 ManU 0) to start the evening followed by some pretty reasonable darts.  The Sambrook’s (Battersea brewery) Junction is thoroughly recommended – a very drinkable 4.5% ale. (KS) Singles: B-10, K1-6, D-1

8
Berry Twickenham Sundancer and Naked Ladies, Youngs Ordinair 16th January 2015

An excellent evening of competitive singles in the now pool-free Berry – fortunately they’ve kept the dartboard.  K2 showed some super early form, including an 11-dart 301, I put in a late burst including a millimetre miss of an 8-darter, but Brian, now with new stems and flights, with consistent quick finishing, came through to take the prize.  Excellent beer in the Berry and one can still get three pints for under a tenner. (KS) Singles: B-10, K2-7, K1-6

8
Wych/Willy Pride, Chiswick, Black Sheep and others  9th January 2015

Dog resting under the Wych dartboard necessitates a transfer to the Willy.  We learnt from the BDO World Championships that a successful player must ‘believe in his darts’.  Dave certainly believed in his darts, winning the first two games with his first shots at the double and going on to take the evening’s prize.  Brian, enjoying a rare poor performance, found fault with his fights and stems.  The Willy’s a good venue for arrers but worrying times at the Wych. (KS) Doubles: D-7, K1-6, K2-6, B-1

8
Waggon Mixed, Sambrook’s Powerhouse Porter and Pump Room Pale Ale? 2nd January 2015

Happy New Year to all old and new (surely not!) readers and another year of ‘Friday night drinking’ – comprising beer, arrows and general chit-chat re beer, arrows, bikes, football, music, films and pretty much anything else – hopefully more rabbit than Watership Down!  A traditional New Year start in the quiet Waggon and another demonstration from Brian in the art of finishing – the problem is that the finish is so rapid it does not even give the rest of us a decent chance to demonstrate that we cannot finish!  Excellent beer to start the year. (KS) Doubles: B-9, K2-6, K1-5, D-4

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