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Coronation Hall - My retreat from all the (few remaining) pubs of this world

9 years ago...

Well, I have finally come to the unsurprising conclusion that I can no longer afford to visit pubs with the intention of drinking beer and grabbing a bite to eat.
The once-favoured Old Vic and Waggon & Horses have outpriced themselves due to Youngs shareholder greed. The Flyer, once a good place to catch live bands at w/ends, and the Elm Tree, have both Metamorphosised into pubs that think they're restaurants or restaurants who think they're pubs, and in the confusion end up as neither. The Lamb, down at corner of Maple/Brighton used to be run by a real landlord (remember them?) who would recommend which beer to drink. That turned into a rediculous sham of a place some time ago full of easy sofa's and "food from our farm in Dorset" accompanied by scandalous prices for both beer and food (bring your microscope). Over the road the Black Lion has resisted change but as a Youngs pub the prices have become hard on the pocket.

Enter Coronation Hall.

I know it's in vougue to knock Wetherspoons, but here I can sit down quietly, reading whatever I like, I can sample the guest ales in convivial atmosphere, and the food, whilst not amazing is not too bad either. Over the years, as my circle of Subiton pubs has dwindled, I have never once been hassled, or felt intimidated as the eccentrics which frequent this place are the nice sort of Surbiton type!
My girlfriend has told me more than once that this is one of the few pubs she feels OK to walk into alone.
OK, w sometimes wait a few mins extra to be served. I don't mind. Wethespoons has a 100% recycle policy - and that makes me feel good as I pay a mere $1.95 for a piny of guest ale.
The decor is nothing short of spectaclular, vintage, and the plaques describethe past of Surbiton honourably.

(Avoid between hrs of 20:00 and 24:00 Fri & Sat eve tho' as the wave of riff-raff training in from the outlying Surrey villages use this place as a stopover to get loaded up before heading onto The Ocean and other dubious spots of Kingston late night life.)

Long may it prosper!


As a JDW devotee I make it my task to explore many, many of these establishments in SW London/Surrey area and can report my findings from several repeat visits:

By far the quietest/nicest/easiest - The one in Raynes Park, by the station
Best decor - The Coronation, surbiton
Best prices - The Coronation, surbiton
The most horrid - Wiba Downs, Wimbledon
The most electifiying (light blue touch paper and wait) - The Beehive, Brixton
Most interesting mix of locals (1) - JJ Moons, Tooting Broadway
Most interesting mix of locals (2) - The George, E. Croydon
Most local, locals JDW - Moon under Water, Wallington
Most cosiest - The Postal Order, Crystal Palace
Most dullest - the one up the very top of Brixton Hill
Most Ordinary - Ship of Fools, West Croydon
Most interesting (1) - The Skylark, S. Croydon
Most interesting (2) - The Beehive, Brixton
Most quirky - Cap in Hand, Tolworth?

There's deffo more, but run out of time. Can anyone else describe their fave (or not do fave JDWs in this same area?

Couldn't agree more - After negative experiences in other wetherspoons, have avoided it. However, went in the other day for a cheap lunch and was extremely happy. Service was lovely, friendly and warm, food was better than most other weatherspoons and the decor is beautiful! Very happy, will definitely return.

Good post. I went in there recently and was quite surprised at how nice it was, having not dared to visit for a while.

I think it's reputation is unfair - the cheap prices do attract some ne'er-do-well's, but not too many and the pub is big enough that you can get away from them if there are any in there when you visit. It is certainly no Corky's Bar or whatever that is called now!

The problem with the other pubs is that they are able to charge £4+ for a pint of beer and still be full of punters. The pub trade is constantly moaning to the contrary, but this part of the downturn appears to have missed Surbiton. Pop into Gordon Bennett on a Tuesday night and the place will be almost full of people drinking £4.50 pints of Erdinger whilst tucking into £12 plates of food. Go any later in the week and you won't get a seat....

It is a shame that a lot of people are being priced out of a standard night out, but I guess you can't blame the pubs for charging as much as they can get away with.

Crikey,this sounds like a Pub I might enjoy,does it have fruit machines and space invader type games or a 200 inch plasma showing sports all day long? If not it may be worth my while strolling down for pint of Pride.

I love going to Wetherspoons on a Friday or Saturday night to people watch. From around 9.30pm all the chavs come in, pulling down their skirt hems and hobbling up the stairs (and that's only the boys .. not really), to get tanked up on cheap booze before heading for the clubs in Kingston. I love the way the girls drink a whole jug of Pimms and don't share it with their mates. We have a good laugh at them, see the odd argument, even a girl throwing a stool at the barman a couple of weeks ago. She missed by the way. Nice. Good for a laugh, a cheap pint and food for £5.00. Give it a try !

I love Wetherspoons for this, and Corky's bar even though I never go in either of them!

It keeps these people clear of most of Surbiton's decent pubs, although you are still likely to come across them in Bosco now as they have been actively chasing this type of clientele.

No sports and no music. Plenty of fruit machines, but all with the sound turned off.

I agree too and would include the Cap in Hand but not the King's Tun.

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