Kingston & Surbiton Pub Review 2019



Visit Date Comments  Score
Wych Elm Pride, Landlord, Copper something 27 Dec 2019

The evening drinking in the Waggon was cancelled due to lethargy and illness and then surprisingly revived by K2 for a session in the Wych; it was almost empty.  After a rather gloomy early conversation we turned to sport and TV – a reasonable evening of beer and chat with an early finish.

(Singles: K1,K2,M did not bother)

20 December 2019
Willy Harveys, Twickenham Grandstand and Rripa    13 December 2019

Blimey – it’s the climbers’ Xmas do again – they seem to come round quicker and quicker.  Plenty of time to chat and mull over a very poor general election result meaning the possibility of five more years of Johnson as pm – enough to turn a man to drink!

(Singles: K1,K2,D,M + climbers could not be bothered)

Waggon TEA, Youngs London Original  6 December 2019

The Waggon revival continues – it is so crowded that one struggles to get a seat and there is absolutely no chance of getting near the oche...and we were hoping to welcome Dave back from New Zealand with a stringent darts workout.

Doubles: D,K1,K2,B and M were keen but no chance of getting on the oche.

Willy Twickenham Grandstand  29 November 2019

An early start to witness a very rare event (Swansea City 1 Fulham 2).  It seems that the adult crèche has moved (been moved?) on – during the match there were 7 Fulham supporters plus a QPR man, but after the match 5 Fulham fans left  so it was just the three of us in the sports bar – sadly not really sustainable.  Excellent Grandstand beer for a long-duration session.

(Singles: K1,B,M could not be bothered)

Black Horse Harvey’s Sussex Ale  22 November 2019

A break in the bus journey home from football (Friday night!) in order to register an unlikely hat-trick for the Blackorse.

(Singles: K1 had nobody to play with)

Black Horse Harvey’s Sussex Ale, SW19  15 November 2019

A quick return to the ‘Orse following last week’s successful visit.  The darts were in the pocket again but there was no enthusiasm for getting them out and playing – still waiting for Dave’s enthusiasm.

(Singles: K1,K2,M elected not to play again)

Black Horse Timothy Taylor Landlord, Harvey’s Sussex Ale, Park Brewery Gallows Ale  8 November 2019

Dave has an irrational dislike of the Black Horse so we took advantage of the fact he was in NewZealand to pay a rare visit.  Of course, it is excellent – comfy seats, good friendly atmosphere and excellent beer.  To cap it all, if you so wish, you can play babyfoot or darts!

(Singles: K1,K2,M elected not to play)

Willy – Halloween Beer Festival Palaeolithic, Pumpkin Ale, Jurassic, XK, Listers, Thames Dock Pale, Cave Dweller (and one other forgotten)  1 November 2019

K1 and K2 turned up in the 2003 T-shirt – we have been participating for many years and remember when it was very popular.  There is always a worry with beer festivals that you will get some seriously dodgy beers – who can forget the time John bought a beer that tasted of petrol, took it back and exchanged it for another beer that smelt like vomit!  This time we were very clever (or lucky!) and enjoyed an evening supping some excellent brews. (Doubles: K1,K2,B,M did not have room to play

Waggon TEA, Youngs London Original (ie Ordinaire)  25 October 2019

It’s great to see a revival of the Wych and the Waggon; however, the downside is that there are now so many punters one struggles to find a seat let alone get on the oche.  Decent beer (excellent TEA) and a chat (just a touch of Brexit) is now the call.  Surely the Willy isn’t the only pub where you get to fling your arrows on a Friday night?

Doubles: D,K1,B and M were keen but no chance of getting on the oche.

Wych Elm Pride  18 Oct 2019

No chance of darts these days and even a struggle to find a seat at 9pm – oh well, never mind, sit back and enjoy a few pints of pride and a chat. (Singles or doubles: No chance)

Waggon Tribute 11 October 2019

Long time since the last visit.  After enduring some perceptive football punditry from the Waggon’s own Scum-supporting Derek and Clive we managed to get some darts underway – it didn’t seem too bad but we still only managed 9 games in 1.5 hours and that’s playing 301!  Dave has recently discovered some finishing skills and hence was a worthy winner.  Tribute – an excellent beer.

Doubles: D-6, K1-5, M-4, K2-3


Split loyalties

Akbar Curry House/Bell and Jorrocks (sometimes known as the Gel and Borrocks), Frittenden


Kingfisher Draft / 4 Oct. 2019

When half the drinkers are on the Tour de Kent enjoying curry and darts, it seemed quite sensible to partially replicate the activity with a trip to Akbars – very good it was too!  Unfortunately the punters were too tired/full to transfer to a post-curry pub

(Singles or doubles: K1,B,Sheila and Fran too full to try)

Real Ale Bar, Craven Cottage Marstons EPA   27 Sept 2019

It’s a struggle to get the punters out for traditional events; Friday night darts/drinking, Monday night swimming....and then the football is rearranged for Friday evening!  Had a decent beer down by the river but could have used some company.

(Singles or doubles: Darts not welcome in football stadia)

Wych Elm Pride, Seafarers, ESB, Adnams Mosaic Pale Ale   20 Sept 2019

Times have changed – the Wych is packed at 9pm with no chance of getting near the oche – by 11pm the pub is virtually empty as the diners have all gone home and it really is too late even for a short cameo.  No problem as the atmosphere is fine (no adult kindergarten) and there is an excellent selection of beers to enjoy.

(Singles or doubles: No chance before 11pm)

Willy Weltons 13 September 2019

That’s a hat-trick for the Willy but why do we still go there?  The beer is generally good,  you can watch the football and get a game of darts.  However, there is very little else it has to offer – the adult kindergarten gets worse and ensure no new punters would risk it and this week the loo actually flooded.  Oh well, at least we played some reasonable darts this week and Malcolm was ridiculously unlucky.

(Singles: K1-7, D-2, M -?)

6 Sept 2019
30 August 2019
23 August 2019
Willy Who knows?  16 August 2019

Failing to spot that everyone was ‘away’ K2 enjoyed an evening watching Fulham clock up an away win at Huddersfield

(Singles: K2)

8 (football)
9 August 2019
Willy Harveys, Citra, Hobsons, EPA    2 August 2019

What is wrong with this pub?  After enjoying the first football league match of the new season including a Row Z penalty miss, we settled in for a serious darts session.  Malcolm kicked off with two 3-dart finishes and then the oche was invaded by a darts/pool groupie who disrupted the match for ten minutes.  We eventually persuaded her that pool was a better option but frankly the darts never really recovered.  A good win for Dave but hard luck on Malcolm who was on top form before the interruption.  Who was this mystery woman and what was she doing in the Willy of all places?  This simply doesn’t happen in other pubs.  At least the Willy has a selection of good beers.

(Singles: D-7, K1-5, K2-4, M-4)

Waggon Sambrooks Pale  19 July 2019

The ‘end of term’ and the pub was completely full – we found the last empty seats. The dartboard was in use all evening but fortunately we enjoyed a surprise visit from the ‘Wednesday Drinking Club’ and were given much advice on films and TV programmes to be watched.

Singles: K1 and D were unable to play due to others playing (unusual)

12th July Week Off
Willy Weltons, Grandstand, Something Else? 5th July 2019

A chance to replace the fluid lost during the day on the bike and after – 1 litre sweat, 1 litre nose drips, 2 litres leaking eyes – I think the pollen count was rather high! However, viewing the dartboard through a flood of tears appeared to do no harm. The good news is that a few punters had returned to the pub and some were watching US golf on the big screen. (KS) Singles: K1-5, K2-3

Willy Harveys Sussex Ale, Avocet 28th June 2019

A surprise appearance by K2, football (France 1 USA 2), excellent Harveys beer and some late darts – a good win for K2.  Was this the lowest ever attendance for the Friday Willoughby?  One of the few punters even bought a beer and then disappeared.  A warm summer’s evening, excellent beer, music, pool, darts – where is everybody? (KS) Singles: K2-5, B-3, K1-1

Waggon Grandstand, Youngs 21st June 2019

Excellent session in the Waggon with decent beer and chat followed by a short game of darts when the players well were lubricated. Doubles: K1, D, B and K2 played a cameo starting at 10.45 – the darts were of excellent quality but I have no idea of the score (I think Dave may have won) (KS)

Willy Harveys  14 June 2019

Football (England 1 Argentina 0), excellent Harveys beer and some darts – Dave’s consistent finishing proved decisive despite a 3-darter from Malcolm and a 12-dart game with a 3-dart finish from K1.  A good evening for the Friday peloton with very few punters to keep us company. (KS) Singles: D-5, K1-3, M-1

Waggon Grandstand 7 June 2019

Unfortunately a man from Block H6, Craven Cottage had brought a crowd to the Waggon and this prevented any arrers.  No great problem – the Grandstand was really excellent, we had a good sporting chat and the torrential rain forecast did not materialise. (KS) Singles: K1, D and Malcolm keen but the board was blocked

Wych Elm Pride, Tribute, Lime and soda, G+T etc. Saturday!! 1 June 2019

An unprecedented event – Friday night drinking is postponed until Saturday to permit viewing of the Champions League Final (normally an integral part of the cycling holiday).  Another late decision was to switch from the Willy to the Wych as the Willy is deemed to be rather too hostile (and smelly) for women.  A good table with a view, good food, good beer – unfortunately the quality of football was very poor. (KS) Singles or doubles: No thought of playing

Clonakilty ‘Irish’ Bar, Chateaulin Coreff and other Brittany Beers (good name for a pop star) 24 May 2019

This was a superb venue simply because it was open - the city of Chateaulin had previously been declared totally dead.  Unfortunately the birthday curry had to be delayed for a day as Chateaulin was unsurprisingly ruby-free.  However, after discovering a good restaurant and an open watering hole the evening must be considered a resounding success as we had a full turnout of eight punters and nobody went to bed before it got dark. (KS)

Willy Grandstand 17 May 2019

Pouring rain, some one-day cricket, some excellent football (Charlton vs Doncaster) and excellent beer.  However, with an enhanced pretzel in the morning and K2’s visit to the Kingston beer festival there really was no  enthusiasm for darts, so we had an early bed in preparation for the upcoming cycle trip where early bed would be the norm. (KS) Doubles: Too fatigued to play again

Waggon Sambrooks Pumphouse, Landlord  10 May 2019

A well-deserved win for Dave – taking inspiration from the Champions League over-excited commentaries he ensured that every finish was greeted with enough noise to disturb most of the punters in the pub.  An excellent evening of darts following on from the Friday Peloton’s earlier Richmond Park pretzel – good fun but very hard work in my opinion.  Always good to see Landlord on the menu. (KS) Doubles: D-8, K2-6, M-6, K1-4

Wych Elm Pride, Lime and soda, G+T etc. 3 May 2019

After a reasonably tough outing for the Friday Peloton (why is it so cold in May?) it seemed sensible that the riders invite their personal trainers along for drink and in some cases excellent value food.  Unfortunately the food and drink in the Wych are now so popular that the only chance of any darts occurs after 11pm when the diners have gone home. Singles or doubles: No chance whatsoever of any play (KS)

Waggon TEA 26 April 2019

A few games of singles of reasonable quality despite the fish and worse. Excellent play from K2 using others’ darts.  Combined with some TEA and avoidance of the worst of the rain this was a successful evening in the Waggon. Singles: K1-7, K2-6, D-2  (KS)

Willy Ascot Starting Gate (they’re off!), Front Runner and many others 19 April 2019

Phil the Power’s Guide to top darts – do not do the following prior to a big match: cycle to Shoreham and back 100 miles, 40 miles around Box Hill and then a match at QPR or merely just the 40 miles.  There was never any mention of the darts being unsheathed.  We enjoyed the St George’s Day Beer Festival with a few other punters, remembering the days when this event was packed out.  Anyhow we enjoyed a few different beers and retired earlyish to bed. Doubles: Too fatigued to play) (KS)

Akbars/Grey Horse Kingfisher, Cobra, TEA 12 April 2019

Your reporter’s birthday curry again!! With the Willy now deemed too unpleasant for women or men of a sensitive nature and the Wych now too popular to allow Friday night access to the oche, an excellent decision was made to transfer 20 metres along the road to the Grey Horse, a boozer unvisited in decades.  It has certainly changed a bit since Little Sister, John Ottway and others strutted their stuff but the ambience was fine and the beer was excellent.  We made our disappointment known on the removal of the dartboard (about 25 years ago) – there is certainly plenty of room for its reinstatement, in which case the Grey Horse would be back as an excellent venue.  Great turnout for ‘my’ curry – time for someone else to step up. No Darts (KS)

Willy Weltons, Granstand 5 April 2019

After some reasonable ‘Friday Night Football’ Saints 1 Scousers 3, and a short rest the darts kicked off at 10.30 with a traditional set-up rarely seen since John moved further south; the five-man doubles with four playing and one chalking.  This is the best arrangement and the improvement in quality was quickly noted in both scoring and finishing (K2 bagged a now rare 3-darter).  A close match ended with K2 declared champion on the stroke of midnight. Doubles: K2-5, K1-4, D-4, M-4, B-3 (KS)

Waggon Grandstand 29th March 2019

If you run a pub why would you allow a drunk middle-aged yobbo (Chelscum of course) to stand at the bar singing football songs and swearing with no wit whatsoever?  Who knows, but eventually he did fall out the door and hopefully had a severe hangover.  Apart from that the beer was good and we even managed a few games. Singles: B-3, D-0, K1-0   Doubles: B-3, M-3, D-2, K1-2 (KS)

Willy Weltons 22nd March 2019

Some decent football with England winning 5-1 in Montenegro; after that the stands cleared pretty quickly but not enough to free the darts arena – we could have asked but the general consensus was that we could not be bothered.  Excellent beer as usual at the Willy. Doubles: K1, K2, D, M could not be bothered again (KS)

Waggon Sambrooks 15th March 2019

Always a risk returning so soon after an excellent evening!  This week the board was in use (very unusual) and chat was in order.  After discussing serious and interesting issues (holidays, football, cycling etc.) somebody (who was it?) mentioned Brexit and we wasted at least 20 minutes demonstrating that there are as many solutions as there are people – surely Brexit should be banned on a Friday!? (KS) Doubles: K1,K2,D,B couldn’t get on the board

Waggon Sambrooks 8th March

An excellent evening in the Waggon where Dave met his match on the noise front – a petite young woman with a voice like a foghorn and occasional outbursts of Tourettes – really funny!  The darts were OK and once Malcolm got started it was fairly obvious that a draw was the likely outcome, although we ran and of time and enthusiasm to try for ‘the beast’.  Good beer and an excellent noisy atmosphere in the Waggon. (KS) Singles: K1-5, D-5, M-5

Willy Grandstand 1st March 2019

It’s probably time to decide whether we are on for darts before we go to the pub – frankly, if you are not watching sport or playing arrows the Willy is rather dispiriting.  If you are going to chat there are far better options (for example the Wych).  The Willy desperately needs more (young!) punters. Singles: K1,K2,M could not be bothered (KS) 

Wheelwright Arms Guinness 22 February 2019

No punters about – time for some nostalgia – go to the cinema and rush out for last orders in the Wheelwrights when it shut at 10.30 or 11 (no problem now).  The pub is largely unchanged except for the installation of a large number of big screens showing sport.  No dart board, but good to see that it is still going strong. Singles:No! (KS)

Waggon Sambrooks 15 February 2019

The team not in the best of health but we did manage a few beers and games of darts before an early bed.  A surprisingly large number of treble 20s mixed in with the 2s and the fish. Singles: K1-5, D-2, K2-2 (KS)

Wych Elm Dark Star Hophead, Seafarers, Pride 8 February 2019

It’s great news to see the punters returning to the Wych; unfortunately this means that there is little chance of Pete finding the space to force us to play some darts.  No matter, a decent chat over some excellent beer is fine. Singles or doubles: No play (KS)

Waggon Tribute, Youngs Ordinary 1 February 2019

The sort of cold, wet, sleety evening where it seems a touch heroic to jump on the bike and head for the pub – at least the threatened ice did not appear.  The effort was rewarded with some rugger, some excellent beer and a reasonable game of arrows, although scores of 1,2 and 3 were recorded. Doubles: K2-9, D-5, K1-4, B-4 (KS)

Willy Hobsons Pale, Oakham Citra, Harveys Sussex, Weltons Horsham 25th January 2019

The pub was full for the football (Arse 1 Manu 3) but soon emptied when it finished.  The last woman left the boozer at 10.30 after much jovial shouting and swearing and a bizarre conversation with Malcolm who made the mistake of looking round.  The beer is good but the general atmosphere could use some improvement – Rick’s bagpipe playing for Burns Night was vaguely amusing. Doubles: K1,K2,B,M could not be bothered (KS)

Waggon Youngs Mixed, Twickenham Redhead (ugh!) 18th January 2019

The beer is normally excellent at the Waggon but wasn’t so good this week.  The Redhead tasted good at the start but I reckon it went ‘off’ after that – Brian couldn’t drink his pint and I wish I hadn’t drunk mine – had to retire early feeling a touch tom-and-dick.  Injuries affected the darts; Brian-ankle, Dave-knee, K1-take your pick.  However, we did manage 16 games and Dave was a worthy winner. Singles: D-8, K1-5, B-3 (KS)

Wych Elm Dinner and Dance (Darts) Dark Star Hophead, Seafarers, Pride, various 11th January 2019

Twelve happy punters for the annual dinner and dance were divided randomly into a female table and a male table – the main purpose was to prevent the females having to suffer various conversations re bike lights, gear ratios, Strava etc.  The curry was excellent value.  Unfortunately the darts never got underway due to some rogue diners under the dartboard and, to maintain a decades-old tradition, there was absolutely no dancing.  Another successful MPGS D+D. Singles doubles or more: No play (KS)

Willy Hobsons Pale, Oakham Citra, Windsor and Eton Roasted Chestnut 4th January 2019

Happy New Year and a big welcome to any new readers – and just like 2018, the new year starts with a trip to the Willy.  Last year (5 Jan) it was buzzing; this year there were more real ales on offer than punters in the pub – one punter was watching the football (Tranmere 0 Spurs 7) and left on the final whistle; just the 4 of us and a couple of guys playing pool in the whole of the ‘sports bar’ for the rest of the evening.

It certainly wasn’t warm in the pub and this had an adverse effect on the dart grip (that’s my excuse anyway) – some pretty average fare but Dave was the worthy winner as he finished the most games and made the most noise.  The beer quality was excellent.  It is worth noting that we are all now twice the age we were when the ‘Friday Night Drinking’ started back in May 1986 – no wonder it’s tough picking up a dropped dart! Doubles: D-8, K2-7, B-7, K1-4 (KS)


Pub Review 2018

Pub Review 2017

Pub Review 2016

Pub Review 2015

Pub Review 2014

Pub Review 2013

Pub Review 2012

Pub Review 2011

Pub Review 2010

Pub Review 2009

Pub Review 2008

Pub Review 2007

Pub Review 2006

Pub Review 2005

Pub Review 2004

Pub Review 2003

Pub Review 2002

Pub Review 2001

* Denotes visit following hyperspace

Questions or comments regarding this website mail: webmaster
Copyright © 2020 Olympic Rejects. All rights reserved.