Kingston & Surbiton Pub Review 2018



Visit Date Comments  Score
Waggon Youngs Ordinaire, Sambrooks Pale Ale 28 Dec 2018

Two questions to be answered: (a) Is it possible for trained athletes to be on the links in the morning and the oche in the evening? (b) Would Dave’s putting patsies lead to darting yips?  Answers: (a) yes (b) sadly, no. This is one of those mid-xmas days when most punters have had enough of boozing and going out; consequently, the pub clientele comprised just old geezers (no women).  Never mind, the Sambrooks is excellent and the dart standard was quite reasonable – the occasional shout of joy following dart success ensured that the old geezers stayed awake. (KS) Singles: K1-7, D-3, B-3

Willy  (and on a plane at Luton Airport) Hobsons Best, Binghams Vanilla Stout, Exeter Brewery Darkness 21 Dec 2018

With Brian diverted to Luton due to the ‘Gatwick Phantom Drone Attack’ we were rather restricted in numbers so after watching football (Wolves 0 Scousers 2) and testing out some excellent guest ales the end of the evening was declared at 11pm in order to get ready for Xmas.  A much improved festive atmosphere in the Willy (KS) Darts Singles K2, K1 – No enthusiasm and hence noplay. 

Lee Valley Velopark Bar IPA 14 Dec 2018

A great change from the Willwychwaggon darts with an Olympic swim and a world cup cycling event at the Olympic velodrome.  A good attendance and the beer was OK.  I think we need some more ‘events’ like this. (KS)

Wych Pride, Seafarers. ESB 7 Dec 2018

‘On the 3rd day of Christmas my true love sent to me 3 Brians-a-belay, 2 climbing Keiths and a Glennmalcolmndavee’ – yes, the annual Xmas climbing curry comes round again – a good evening in the Wych with absolutely no possibility of refusing to play darts, because the pub was rocking. (KS) Doubles: no play

Waggon Tribute, Youngs mixed  30 Nov. 2018

Last weekend Van Gerwen and Anderson completed 20 games in 30 minutes; for the second Friday on the trot we managed just 3 games in 3 hours – lack of commitment and a preference for chat.  At least the Waggon is a decent pub for a chat and has a decent crowd including women!  Excellent beer in the Waggon as usual. (KS) Singles: K1-2, D-1, K2-0

Willy Four Grains, Harveys Sussex, Twickenham?  23 Nov 2018

Pretty desperate stuff.  K2, following a boozy spell in Halifax was not really into the beer, some dodgy golf was on the big screen and they attempted an amputation of my right thumb by giving me a very sharp cracked glass.  About 5 oldish blokes (no women) left in the pub when we departed at 11.15.  Good venue for darts but we couldn’t really be bothered. (KS) Darts Singles K2-2, K1-1

Wych Pride, Dark Star, Liberation, Bengal Lancer 16 Nov. 2018

Pete made a good effort to force us to play darts but we refused.  An excellent evening in the Wych where we sampled some of the other very nice beers on offer, and we managed to chat the whole evening without one single mention of Brexit that was in the news all day. (KS) Singles: no play

Waggon Sambrooks Pale Ale 9 Nov. 2018

A large crowd when we first arrived but this soon disappeared leaving the way open for some reasonable darts including some excellent 2-dart finishes (I managed a 68; 18,Bull) especially from Brian.  A very wet and windy evening but well worth it for the Sambrooks Pale ale, a pleasant drop. (KS) Singles: B-8, K2-4, K1-2

Willy Arbor Shangri-La,  Binghams Macchiato, Coastal Cornish Porter,  Downton Pumpkin Ale, Long Man Scary Man, Windsor and Eton Canberra, Exeter Avocet, Bristol Fortitude ....and other 2 Nov 2018

The Halloween Beer Festival with a great selection of generally good beers.  The Willy is quite eccentric; the Sports Bar is basically an adult kindergarten for the ‘guys at the bar’, and got cold when Rick left the door open; the pool room is relatively sensible with a group playing pool; the back bar is bonkers – a folk group is groaning away for their own benefit with no audience because there is no room for an audience; the front bar is reasonably sensible for punters wanting a drink and a chat.

In the past with more punters we would have attempted to go through the beer card where somebody would have had to drink a pint of Euphoria (10%)! (KS) Darts: boards covered up

Waggon Sambrooks Wandle and Pale Ale 26 Oct. 2018

The last chance for a doubles match for quite a while as some players are taking a holiday.  Despite eyesight problems and some trouble with bounce-outs K2 romped to victory in a frankly low-quality match; there is no doubt that some more practice is required.  The beer was good and the general opinion was that the slightly stronger Pale Ale is more tasty than the Wandle.  Better music in the Waggon for a change. (KS) Doubles: K2-8, D-6, B-6, K1-6

Waggon Sambrooks Junction 19 Oct. 2018

Just settling in to a long high-pressure fraternal singles match when we are forced to accept a challenge.  We raced into a 4-1 lead and then the wheels fell off – particularly annoying as the opposition specialised in the tennis double fist bump.  As it was late we refused to play the decider and avoided the inevitable defeat. (KS) Singles: B-2, K1-2;   Challenge: Rejects-4, Fistbumpers-4

Bell and Jorrocks (sometimes known as the Gel and Borrocks), Frittenden Harveys  all the way 28 September 2018

A tough evening following 50 miles in the saddle and an excess of food (full English breakfast and excellent evening curry kindly provided by Jenny and Rob).  A great decision to play some tactics rather than risk the desperately poor finishing of 2017; following a brief (30 minutes) explanation of the rules there were two exciting games and a satisfactory overall draw – any thoughts of a decider were rapidly dispelled due to general tiredness and JR’s totally out-of-character inability to finish his first pint.  An excellent evening, an integral part of the Tour de Kent (and a bit of East Sussex). (KS) Tactics: K1, D, Mike, Rob - 1 :  K2, JR, Malcolm, Jenny -1

Willy Weltons (ran out), Sussex (ran out), ‘Pint’ (not good) 21 Sept 2018

A decent game of singles in the Willy with two decent beers and one that Dave decided was not so good. (KS) Singles Tennis: D beat K1 3-2,3-1,0-3                          

Waggon Tribute  14 Sept. 2018

A case of ‘bad play stops light’!  The barman, upset with our ‘short’ interlude from play turned the dart light off until we resumed play which, of course, we never did.  I am afraid that the opportunity to chat is currently proving more popular than the arrows.  Anyway, Dave had 100% success before we lost interest. (KS) Singles: D-3, K1-DNF, K2-DNF, M-DNS

Wych Pride 7 Sept 2018

A wise decision to make a late change to the Wych where Pete ensures that darts is compulsory.  Hence, an evening of much chat and some darts.  Amazing to see that the pub was effectively empty before 11pm – times have changed! (KS) Singles: K2-4, D-3, K1-2

Waggon Cups of  TEA 31 August 2018

It’s the last day of summer and it’s GAME ON – finally the arrows are unsheathed! A quiet unhurried singles match of variable quality in a pretty empty public bar.  The TEA proved to be an excellent brew this week. (KS) Singles tennis: D beat K1 3-2, 3-1, 1-3

Willy Citra (tasted as it sounded), Sussex 24th August 2018

Again no real excuse – after the end of Friday Night Football the boards were free and awaiting action – however, after some procrastination rather amazingly two guys turned up and decided to play and even erased some of our ancient scores.  Darts is definitely not a summer game, especially if the peloton has been on the road in the morning. (KS) Doubles or singles: D,K1,K2,M - no play yet again

None None 17th August 2018 Those not on holiday or without some other excuse just stayed at home. 0
Willy Seafarers, Mosaic 10th August 2018

Welcome to the start of the new Premiership season and Friday Night Football – I’m not that keen as it interferes with the more important Friday Night Darts.  Actually there was no excuse as the darts could have kicked off quite happily at 10pm when the football changed to the Willy’s favourite of Friday Night Golf.  No excuses – we couldn’t be bothered and preferred a chat over some excellent beer. (KS) Doubles or singles: D,K1,K2,B,M - no play

Waggon Sambrooks IPA      (good), TEA (not so good)   3rd August 2018

Ten minutes with Like and Clive is often good value; half an hour is really stretching it.  On a very warm evening Fran made a rare appearance on the oche but failed to trouble the scorer (my fault really) but it was all square after a few games of singles.  I think darts is really a winter game. (KS) Singles and doubles: K1-4, D-4, K2-4

Willy Whitstable (not recommended), Grandstand 27th July 2018

The world cup bunting was down and the dartboard free; unfortunately due to the recent heatwave and some upcoming cycling events the players did not have the energy to play.  After a very dubious beer from Whitstable we settled down for a chat with some pints of Grandstand. (KS) Doubles or singles: D,K1,K2,M - no play

Waggon TEA, Doom Bar 20th July 2018

The heatwave is affecting the darts – after a quick singles match we accepted a challenge of a doubles match but, after second thoughts, we decided to retire and allow the ‘opposition’ to play singles.  The morning ‘three hills’ cycle may have made some contribution to the lack of energy and enthusiasm. (KS) Singles: K1-1, D-1

Wych Pride 13th July 2018

Still suffering from England’s rather meek exit from the world cup, a toughish ride out to Leith Hill, K2’s infected thumb and an excellent Djokovich/Nadal Wimbledon semi on the box there was very little chance of the darts commencing.  No problems -on a very warm summer evening the Pride tasted particularly good; due to antibiotics intake K2 took the doctor’s advice on drinking – he had 3.5 pints rather than the customary 4! (KS) Singles or doubles: No play

Waggon Sambrooks IPA 6th July 2018

An excellent evening in the Waggon after a morning Polesden cycle, looking forward to Saturday’s world cup clash with Sweden.  Rather surprisingly after some punters went home a short darts cameo kicked off at 11.20 and Dave recovered from his previous poor performance in the Waggon with a convincing win.  Excellent Sambrooks beer on offer. (KS) Singles: D-3, K1-DNF, K2-DNS

Wych Summer Lightning, El Toro Wheat beer, Pride  29th June 2018

A really boiling evening and so most punters outside.  After a long chat and beer appreciation the darts got underway at 10.45.  Some reasonable play and an exciting evening with K2 taking the decider with a 3-darter and D11. (KS) Singles: K2-5, K1-4

Waggon Youngs light and bitter,  Sambrooks, IPA   22nd June 2018

For the 3rd week running the 3-man morning peloton reconvened for evening refreshment and this week found the energy for a game of arrows.  Excellent warm summer evening and some good beer to go with it. (KS) Singles: B-8, K1-6, ?

Willy Harvey’s Sussex, Avocet 15th June 2018

The Friday peloton plus K2 reconvened in the Willy for evening refreshment and a game of arrows again forgetting that world cups/Euros means that the dartboard is covered in flags rendering dartplay impossible.  Never mind, the earlier world cup match was a classic (Spain 3 Portugal 3), the weather was very pleasant and the beer tasted good. (KS) Doubles: Flags stopped play 

Waggon TEA 8th June 2018

For the 3-man Friday peloton it’s cups of tea at Box Hill in the morning and reconvene for pints of excellent TEA in the Waggon in the evening.  A very pleasant summer evening with a reasonable number of punters in the pub and absolutely no enthusiasm for playing darts. (KS) Singles: K1,D and M could not be bothered 

Willy Harvey’s Sussex 1st June 2018

A nice warm evening to bring in the start of summer and a slight increase in the number of punters venturing out.  After a couple of beers al fresco the darts commenced and Dave won the match 3-0, 3-0 but generously agreed to play a 3rd set and let me clock up a few late finishes – I lost count of the number of ‘1s’ that I hit but there was certainly quite a few fish.  The beer was particularly tasty. (KS) Singles: D-8, K1-3

Caveau de l’Ami Fritz and the Streng Bar (PMU), Ribeauville, Alsace Various wines and beers 25th May 2018

As usual you have to go away to get a decent turnout for the Friday Night Drinking – in this case our first night in Ribeauville.  Unfortunately one team member was down with the thr’pennies but a turnout of eight is still commendable.  Following an excellent meal and drink at the L’Ami Fritz restaurant those punters with some energy transferred to the local PMU where we could have played babyfoot, pool or pinball but frankly we could not be bothered.  An excellent evening with a more restrained attitude to booze than some notorious earlier trips! (KS)

Willy Weltons?, Grandstand 18th May 2018

A quiet evening to discuss the upcoming cycle tour of the Vosges.  A few games to interfere with the chat and K2 coming out on top – the pub was virtually punter-free. (KS) Singles: K2-4, K1-3, D-1

Waggon Sambrooks Junction   4th May 2018

Some early discussion of Vosges cycle routes using an old-fashioned paper map; then a reasonable darts match with Dave showing finishing expertise and winning five on the trot.  The beer was so good that I can remember that Dave won but have no idea of the scores – they were still up on the following Wednesday but I forgot them again! (KS) Singles: D- , K2- , K1- 

Wych Pride  27th April 2018

We keep saying that Friday evening is for beer and darts and Saturday afternoon is for football....but nobody’s listening.  After a rather unpleasant damp ride to Fulham it was great to recover and rehydrate in the Wych with a starting time of 10.30.  Friday night is not an appropriate time for football!! (KS) Football: Fulham 2 Sunderland 1, Darts Singles: K1-0, K2-0

20th April 2018
Akbars/Willy Cobra, Kingfisher, Weltons and others 13th April 2018

A quick hat-trick of birthday curries following a year’s curry drought (or famine); this one celebrated my imminent passage to OAPdom and Dave’s 35th wedding anniversary.  I thought that my ruby was especially tasty.  Some noisy (according to Fran!) darts in the Willy and naturally no finishes for the birthday boy, who relied on the generosity of others to notch up a few wins.  Why did we go a whole year without a curry?! (KS) Doubles: D-5, K1-4, K2-4, M-4, B-3

Berry Greene King St Edmunds  6th April 2018

The Berry was the call to allow all Fulham, Aston Villa and Wolves fans to watch Cardiff be defeated; there was no disappointment and two Cardiff missed penalties in injury time added to the enjoyment.  It would have been nice to have had a couple of games of arrers to celebrate the life of the Crafty Cockney who checked out at 60 this week; unfortunately, since the pool tables were removed, darts is very popular with the locals and a game is unlikely.  No worries – the Berry is a good pub and the Greene King beer was excellent. (KS) No Darts:  Football: Cardiff 0 Wolves 1

Waggon Youngs Ordinary and Mixed  30th March 2018

After the wettest Good Friday on record it was good to join the few punters who could be bothered to go out.  The darts ended (good!) when some other punters wished to play and an early bed was the call. (KS) Singles: B-3, K1-2

Akbars/Willy Cobra, Kingfisher, Pride, Seafarers 23rd March 2018

Just like London buses birthday curries come along in pairs.  Another excellent curry for Dave’s birthday followed by a session in the Wych Elm where darts are compulsory as Pete rolls out the oche whether you want it or not.  Not great quality darts but at least everyone finished a game. (KS) Doubles: K1-3, K2-3, D-2, M-2

Waggon Tribute, Doom Bar 16th March 2018

The match always seemed to heading for a ‘beast’ finish (6,6,6) but in the end Dave raised his game and took yet another win.  Much more lively in the Waggon and some really excellent Tribute – when the Tribute ran out the replacement Doom Bar was very bland. (KS) Singles: D-7, K1-6, K2-4

Akbars/Willy Cobra, Kingfisher, Grandstand and others  9th March 2018

K2’s curry dragged out some old Friday night regulars with guests appearing from Surrey, Kent and Sussex.  An excellent curry was followed by a trip to the Willy where John demonstrated yet again that practice counts for nothing at all – he even had two really good attempts (140) at a 180 that would have been ridiculous.  A really good evening that shows that curries should be more frequent than once per year. (KS) Singles: B-6, JR-5, K1-3, D-2

Wych Pride 2nd March 2018

Braving the ‘Beast from the East’ plus snow and ice I was fully expecting a two-man shoot-out in an empty pub; big mistake as the Wych was full and buzzing – probably punters whose home heating was not coping and they needed to warm up and self-anaesthesise.  No problem – an excellent evening with Holly and Malcolm and a slight thaw detected on the way home. (KS) Singles: K1-0, K2-0

Waggon TEA, Youngs ord 16th Feb 2018

After a night off last week the team got in one last session before players set off for various warm weather training blocks.  Some very wild darts were thrown but yet again Dave came out on top. (KS) Singles: D-8, B-7, K1-5

Nowhere None 9th Feb 2018 No interest in beer 0
Wych Pride, Seafarers 2nd Feb 2018

Great to get back to the Wych after many months’ absence – On Thursday evening I ‘booked’ the dartboard and Pete, rather than rolling out the red carpet, rolled out the oche upon our arrival.  Nice and warm, good beer and a mixture of some good darts and some truly awful play – Dave’s double fish, my finish of 23 (17, D8!) and Brian’s attempted finish of 35 (3, D16!) – darting and mathematical ability both sadly lacking. An excellent evening. (KS) Singles: B-9, D-5, K1-2)

Waggon Youngs, Tribute, Courage Best   26th January 2018

Great to see Courage Best on the menu – Now concentrate folks!  Best is now brewed by Marstons in the Charles Wells Eagle Brewery in Bedford.  Not sure it was really Courage Best but it tasted OK and did not produce a hangover.  The darts started late but was generally of a higher standard and Dave, probably with the assistance of beer, forgot his worries and came out the evening’s deserved winner. (KS) Singles: D-5, B-3, K1-3

Willy Downtons Drink Responsibly (3.5%),Weltons Pale, Grandstand 19th January 2018

I hope Malcolm has not been put off darts by his many near misses and a failure to finish a game – we have all been there and Dave is a specialist.  The normal fare in the Willy with a promising increase in the number of punters and the standard excellent selection of beers....and the golf was on! (KS) Singles: K1-7, D-5, K2-4, M-0 approximately

Waggon Youngs, TEA 12nd January 2018

Back to the Waggon for another year of top darts, starting off with a 4-person singles challenge with a chalker and talker in reverse order.  K2 was seriously hampered by a day of removals but otherwise a reasonable standard.  Dave kept the locals awake with some loud celebration following special 1-dart finishes such as D2 or D3 or any double for that matter.  Excellent TEA and, when I looked out of the window, unusually it wasn’t raining!! (KS) Singles: B-8, K1-7, D-5, K2-2

Willy Weltons Pale, Weltons Xmas Maximus (7.4%) and some others 5th January 2018

Happy New Year and a big welcome to any new readers (however unlikely).

One has to love the Willy when it’s buzzing – a proper pub with an excellent selection of beer and a whole range of activities available; two simultaneous FA Cup matches on the big screen followed by the traditional televised golf, some decent loud music, a choice of pool, two dartboards and some kind of disco upstairs.  The recent discussion about the benefit of beer to darts is nonsense – of course beer assists; everyone knows that.  Once I started on the Xmas Maximus there was no looking back and the evening was concluded with a 3-dart 101 (17, T18, D15) – however, the strong beer has caused some memory problems – beers and scores! (KS) Singles: K1-7, K2-6, D-5 approximately


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