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How come there are so many 'average' pubs?

11 years ago...

As a newcomer to, I'm sure I'm reopening a perennial topic, but what amazes me, is the lack of good local pubs.

I live on Cleaveland Road and love that there are some great bars around, but no great pubs!
Rubicon does great cocktails, and the Gordon Bennett has got a good formula.

But when I fancy a nice after work pint, I'm left with not much choice - The Grove and the Victoria are the only places that seem to approach a good pub atmosphere (although the Lamb is fun, if a bit small and strange).

Anyone found a hidden gem that I've missed?


The Grove has been subjected to a major refurb and the garden is fantastic. They have a dining area both indoors and outside. A new garden bar is a brilliant feature and saves time. Finally someone has got it right.

Waggon and Horses Good, Grove just had makeover and meant to be better, Duke of york not bad. Wetherspoons if you like that kind of thing...

At last.The grove gets it right

Just been re-opened after a refurbishment and I have to say they have it got it spot on. Just what the area needed. Unlike Gordon Bennetts , the most over-rated bar in Surbition. This place has good ales, beers , great food , friendly staff and nice decor. Surbiton has been waiting for a pub like this for years. The food is slightly above average prices for such an establishment but the quality so far is excellent. Didn't see a TV anywhere, which is a god send.

Any one have photos of old / closed pubs in Kingston area they could email me?

whilst June Sampson has photos in the Surrey Comet now & again rarely do we see interior shots

can anyone help?

It's rather nice to sit in the garden of the New Prince on Ewell Road in the Summer. And the Wetherspoons is top notch.

Though not in Surbiton, Ye Olde Swan in nearby Thames Ditton is worth checking out.

Have just moved to Cleaveland road myself and I have tos ay though Ilove the area , the river, the people. The pubs have top be the worse in London and its surrounding suburbs. Can someone please open a desent place asap.

What do you consider as a decent pub? Please supply some links to illustrate.

No TV,no slots,no games machines,no dogs and no children.
Good selection of bitters,good parking,perhaps a garden but again no children or dogs.
Do not have any links to my dream pub and certainly will not promote its name and expose it to the corruptions as outlined,it is not in Surbiton but worth the drive to get there.

I like the Lamb and the grove,

used to go to the saucy kettle regularily years ago but that too seems to have lost lots of its charm but still pop in now and again

If we go out drinking now we always head into london rather than bother with kingston


On the subject of the Saucy Kettle.....

That place does not deserve any custom whatsover... !!

I used to go there years ago when they had blacked out windows and really great DJ's, you could have a proper dance meet like minded people and chill out.... anyone remember the upstairs, which usually had a dj wedged under the ceiling eves.... those were the days.... :)

I have attempted to go twice although not wanting to, in the past 2 years... what have they done to it... The first time about 2 years ago a girlfriend of our arrived late and was refused entry, it was past 10pm...!! it was raining and cold and the bouncers were having none of it.... we didn't see her and she didn't have a phone so she ended up having to catch a train home by herself to North London... !!!

Whilst we were oblivious to this we had big ugly creepy looking bouncers learing at all of us from strategic locations around the dance floor. No one was even mildly doing anything wrong, it created a sense of trepidation and distrust and was horrible. Anyway eventualy one of our friends got chucked out for breathing or looking the wrong way or something and that was that...

Roll on 2 years...... after vowing never to go there again, we had too :(..... 30 of our friends went down there... and myself and my girlfriend waited until the last minute in the nice comfy surroundings of the Queen Vic (one of my locals). we got there and there was the usual group of smokers outside the door, managed to get past them and we were refused entry.... the time being 10:05.... we did the usual "but our friends are in there..., we didn't know about the time limit.. blah blah blah" and they were not budging... so all our friends left with us all 35 of them which left the place empty... we ended up in the Black LLion and had a wicked night with no bouncers leering at us....

Now i know legal rules are rules but self imposed time rules which results in a lone femal or late friends who cannot join there party is potentiall dangerous and may cause conflict and trouble. I do not understand this.

All i know is the the landlord of the Black Lion was more than happy to take over £400 from us happy people..... Never mind Saucey Kettle

I am never ever going there regardless of what it is thats going on......

My 2 favorite pubs are is the Queen Vic and the Fox and Hounds.... the bar staff are lovely and theu both have gardens..... The Lamb is also good and i love the Garden, I am so pleased it managed to re-open.....


All of the pubs as you go down towards Tolworth look a bit rough.

I think that decent pubs have died off everywhere in the last 10-15 years. Some small village pubs still remain unchanged, but obviously Surbiton never really has any of these.

In towns and cities, most pubs have either gone to faceless chains like Wetherspoons, or just seem outdated in a bad way. I actually think Surbiton is lucky to have a nice pub like the Victoria left, as a lot of places round here seem to have no decent pubs at all.

Also, the demographic in Surbiton only really supports the establishments that we have - the 'professional set' will go to Gordon Bennett, Rubicon, Bosco and the Grove, while the rest will prefer the Wetherspoons/Elm Tree style place.

Check out the Lamb or the Victoria, or the Maypole for decent old school boozers, or for a taste of olde worlde classic british racist boozer, check out the Royal Oak.
The choice is yours......

I think that you have named the best two pubs in Surbiton itself.

If you fancy a pint on the way back from Kingston, the Spring Grove on Bloomfield Road is good, but around a mile from Surbiton.

The problem with so many pubs these days is that they follow a set formula (cheap beer, big screen sport, happy hours etc) to attract a lot of chavs. The best pubs in any area tend to have the most expensive beer!

I thought I'd better remind users of our new Best / Worst feature. webmaster

Hmmm. Yes it is astounding that there are so many that are so crap! I reckon the Grove is best but it lacks atmosphere.

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