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Sultan, South Wimbledon

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user reviews of the Sultan, South Wimbledon

please note - reviews on this site are purely the opinion of site visitors, so don't take them too seriously.

Sadly the couple who have managed this pub are now off to pastures new.Under their stewardship the pub has won Time Out's Pub of the Year Award plus one or two less prestigious CAMRA awards. The pub has a Beer Festival on the weekend starting Friday the 26th April 2019 a relief manager will be running it. This has been the best pub In South London for sometime now and with pubs such as the Blythe Hill Tavern,Albion,Kingston,Antelope, Surbiton and the Ivy House,Nunhead, that is a real accolade.10/10.
slerpy - 15 Apr 2019 20:08
Great little pub, less than 15 minutes from Colliers Wood station. I've recently been diagnosed with coeliac disease, so can no longer drink the majority of ales that I love, but The Sultan does a gluten free bottle...Crop Circle ...which is very pleasant, and remarkably cheap.
If I was still able to drink ordinary beer, there are several on draught, and all at sensible prices, that I would have had a go at.
Seems to be the ideal local.
Perry - 26 Jul 2018 20:01
Ale is top quality & relatively cheap. Two bars, I find the main one a bit bright, prefer the Ted Hughes with it's dartboard
Wilson_MacDonald - 11 Mar 2018 20:21
Even more glowing... the Sultan is the S.W. London P.O.T.Y. The five ales on the board have recently included Haka what the New Zealand rugby pre- match ceremony has to do with the Six Nations i'm not quite sure,anyway it is a great beer.A proper pub in every respect.
slerpy - 26 Feb 2017 09:36
Strange, no reviews for over a year then 2 glowing reviews in as many days.

colmc - 3 Feb 2017 13:46
The management currently running the Sultan are doing a great job after something of a hiatus. The beer Is cheap,try Monday or Wednesday between 6p.m. and 9p.m. The food is usually a selection of soup and sandwiches at knock-down prices.The pub has a nice garden,a conservatory but probably best of all it is a "proper pub" with a wonderful welcoming crowd of regulars. On my last visit they had five ales from Hop Back including Winter Lightning and Entire stout, and Citra also Elderquad from Downton. The beer is always very close to perfect. Probably the best pub In London.
slerpy - 31 Jan 2017 11:11
This pub has 2 distinct bars and a small patio area. The bar featured beers from the Hopback and Downton breweries. Food was basic but cheap. Seating was comfortable, especially in the conservatory. It was holding a beer festival on the patio when i was there and there was a good range of real ales at reasonable prices.
boozers_knows - 30 Jan 2017 14:07
We have been drinking in The Sultan since it opened as a Hopback pub. On Saturday we made one of our regular but infrequent visits ( 1 1/2hr journey ). In the left hand bar, which has always been the quiet bar, canned music was playing. On asking at the bar if could be turned off, to facilitate conversation, the new manager told us that it had been decided to play music in both bars on Fridays & Saturdays after consulting regulars. However for most of our visit we were the only customers in that bar and very few in the other bar. Where were the regulars who wanted the music.
For our first round we were served pints of cloudy end of barrel GFB. This was changed at our request , without fuss, but should have been noticed by the bar man. The beer quality was not as good as previous managers. We left early to go elsewhere and will not be returning for any more visits
colmc - 9 Dec 2015 12:28
Went in to try the microbrews, but it seems the brewer has left the building.
Had the Hop Back beers instead and very nice they were. Not busy for a Saturday night.
rpf1955 - 11 Oct 2015 10:38
Quality local. Hidden away a touch and a fairly unattractive building. But inside it's a proper drinking venue with a great selection of well kept beer. Owned by the Hop Back brewery from Salisbury - GFB is a personal favourite. Best of all, the price is very cheap - a pound lower than pubs a 10-minute walk away. Friendly staff. Free wifi. Now a conservatory built and a microbrewery on the way too! Superb pub.
sportingdrinker - 22 Dec 2014 10:39
This pub can be a bit of a walk to get to but it is worth it. You are best work out your own route using an online journey planner. It is NOT hard to get to!
The beers are always in great condition. Smokers have a really nice beer garden with Brumbrella out the back. Toilets are very clean. Children welcome. The staff engaged the regulars (I am not a regular, nor a talker!) in conversation. They looked like very pleasant staff. The furniture looked very new, but it fitted in with its surroundings.
I go here to have fantastic beer while doing the Saturday/Sunday newspaper crosswords. The free wifi helps!
offramp - 13 May 2014 11:22
Easter weekend beer festival still had beer left on the Saturday evening, whereas a few years ago it had sold out in the afternoon!

All pints were £3 paid for using raffle tickets bought from the bar.

MrBabble - 21 Apr 2014 12:09
this pub is such a relic that i love it. no pub can replicate the furniture and curtains in the states they are now. beer kept in great condition.
franklittlemore - 3 Apr 2014 00:03
Right ,firstly I reviewed this pub a year ago, I am NOT posting a review! This is for the beer lovers only - on the 20/21 st of September 2013 otherwise known as tomorrow and surprisingly the next day !!!! ( roll of drums), the Sultan has a beer Festival, every available Hop Back beer will be on ( if not go to Lyme Regis and tell Mr. Gilbert personally) and twenty two other beers ( I imagine a Downton or two will be in that number). A very nice Beer Festival if the sun is shining, as it is in the garden but that may well depend on the vagaries of the British weather.
slerpy - 19 Sep 2013 18:19
Right ,firstly I reviewed this pub a year ago, I am NOT posting a review! This is for the beer lovers only - on the 20/21 st of September 2013 otherwise known as tomorrow and surprisingly the next day !!!! ( roll of drums), the Sultan has a beer Festival, every available Hop Back beer will be on ( if not go to Lyme Regis and tell Mr. Gilbert personally) and twenty two other beers ( I imagine a Downton or two will be in that number). A very nice Beer Festival if the sun is shining, as it is in the garden but that may well depend on the vagaries of the British weather.
slerpy - 19 Sep 2013 18:19
Very good back street pub with good beer.
talesofthebar - 21 Jul 2013 19:18
A superb pub which can be hard to find on a first visit, yesterday the Beer Festival was excellent about twenty firkins in the garden,mainly beers with speciality flavours such as Saltaire Raspberry Blonde,Wolf Breweries Norfolk Lavender Honey and Nethergate Lemonhead ( enormously lemon flavoured). The Festival ales were all at £3.00. A BBQ was taking place with hotdogs at £2.50. The garden was pretty much full of drinkers as they had good luck with the weather.10/10 without a doubt. .....and open lunchtimes unlike the Trafalgar.
slerpy - 23 Sep 2012 16:37
Great local pub. Summer Lightning, GFB and Entire Stout permanently on tap plus guest ales. Under £3 a pint too. Friendly staff. Roaring fires in autumn/winter. Good beer garden for summer. Best pub in Colliers Wood/Wimbledon.
johndadams77 - 15 Aug 2012 19:21
Beer superb & relatively cheap. Of the two bars, I prefer the quiet lounge bar with the dart board, as the main one has incredibly bright lighting.
Wilson_MacDonald - 30 Oct 2011 18:00
Second visit and was pleased to see that the smell in the gents had been dealt with! Locals were friendly and quirky as before. Had a superb pint of Summer Lightning. Will definitely be hop-back...
undeaded - 2 Oct 2011 15:49
Excellent pub serving Hopback beers,I was hoping cropcircle would be available on hand pump but the choice was G.F.B ,Entire Stout and Summer Lightning,the stout was in very good form.I also tried Downtons Figaro Magnifico which wasnt to bad either.A pub well worth another visit.
Picasso09 - 24 Jul 2011 12:46
A most unusual pub with excellent beer. A bit off the beaten track but well worth the walk from South Wimbledon tube. All the Hop back beers I tried were excellent :-) It did strike me that this was a bit of a 'community pub' but don't let that put you off - we found the place quite friendly. My only criticism would be that the gents toilets really didn't smell too good! Clean the bogs and this is a top boozer...
undeaded - 12 Jun 2011 23:15
The Sultan is a brick built thirties style pub in a warren of backstreets, the backstreets feature names connected to Lord Nelson, the pub itself has two bars that seem to have stepped out of a time warp.The ales are reasonably priced for the area, it has been run by the same landlady for some considerable time.On my visit a few days ago I started on the G.F.B.which was superb as always,the turnover here is the secret, my second pint was Spring Zing a zesty lemon flavoured beer,one of the best pints i've had this year.I then walked the eight minutes to the Trafalgar,this area is very lucky to have such wonderful pubs.10/10
slerpy - 9 Apr 2011 16:47
A friendly 2-bar street corner pub located off the beaten track in a residential area. Hopback beers are served - Summer Lightning, GFB & Entire Stout, alongside the guest - Downton Black Knight. The cider was Stowford Press. The main bar is on the right as you approach. There is a separate room with a dart board and fire on the left. Both the locals and the staff were friendly. A great place to go for a quiet drink, especially if you like Hopback beers.
blue_scrumpy - 20 Feb 2011 15:14
A really excellent backstreet boozer which is tucked away in a sidestreet not far from Merton bus garage and Collier's Wood tube.

With two totally separate bars (which is rare in London these days), it's Hopback's only tied house in the capital. The full Hopback range is on including the delicious (vegan) Entire stout and you can even buy draught beer to take home. I've often found the staff to be welcoming and friendly enough. It's very much a traditional pub where conversation can be had; you don't have to shout over loud canned music, a jukebox (much as I like them), live sounds, fruit or quiz machines. It's very civilised and quite old-fashioned. It's what traditional pubs should be like: fine beer, a friendly welcome and homely. I've rarely been there during the summer months but I'd say the beer garden would be popular.

A three-pub crawl kicking off here and then The Traf before winding up at The Kilkenny Tavern would be an excellent night out. Most recommended.
JDchaser - 19 Feb 2011 16:48
Fantastic pub with some great local ales. Will defniatley come back.
tillythewall - 26 Oct 2010 03:52
Good pub - quiet on most occasions I have visited but not unfriendly and the Hop Back beers are very good.
simonk - 17 Oct 2010 18:13
a hidden gem serving god's own brew, summer lightning. the interior is seriously dated and the staff initially aren't the most welcoming but its charms grow on you. regulars are a friendly bunch though the pub dog is much missed. swing by here after jazz at the traf freehouse on a sunday arvo. best pub in wimbledon? possibly only the traf tops it.
cornish_alfredo - 15 Jul 2010 16:27
Time to update my earlier review.

The service has declined: the staff are certainly not as welcoming as they could be. Sometimes it can almost feel that arriving with friends and ordering drinks is just a huge inconvenience for them.

Serious work needs to be done in order to improve the quality of the place if it is to become once again a community pub rather than a place for a like-minded clique to hang around pontificating and putting off anyone who hasn't been drinking there since Mr Heath left Downing Street.

All in all its very sad that pubs like this end up closing because their few regulars put off everyone else, but one suspects that may be the case here, not to be too Cassandra-esque about it.

The beers remain very good, however.
kid_b - 25 Jun 2010 22:21
The real ale, particularly the G.F.B. hit new levels,so good as to be unbelievable.closest i've been to a perfect pint for many a long year.I won't bore you witless about the decor and other irrelevant s**t! Just superb.10/10.
slerpy - 17 Apr 2010 20:15
Indeed it is... Finally set foot in the place for the first time on Saturday evening and found a superb range of Hop Back beers (the only other HB pub that has such a wide variety on that I know of is the Coronation in Southville, Bristol), all being frequently pulled by a jolly barmaid. I enjoyed some Entire and the seasonal ale which was supber (especially at only 3.9%), Elf and Hoppiness.
The Sultan clearly is a community local and serves its purpose very satisfactorily in that way, but this is not to the exclusion or detriment of those of us who are not regulars. It was a foul evening and the pub's main bar area was nice and cosy, with its slightly faux but somehow appropriate wood-pannelled interior and busy carpet. I thoroughly approved of the fact that the two-bar layout has been retained and not insensitively bulldozed into one. The place has many fans, as attested to by the numerous awards it has won during the last 15 years (though sadly not so many of late - can't think why).

All in all a down-to-earth, comfortable and pleasing experience, with superior beer to wash it down with. The only criticism I have - and sadly it is something that hit me immediately upon arrrival - was the pungent smell of cat which pervaded the bar area! I don't know whether this is the usual state of affairs, but despite the pub's various attractive qualities, that can be enough to put punters off and it suggests the place isn't as savoury as it could be. Sort this, and an already good pub can step into excellence.

TWG - 7 Dec 2009 12:24
Most of the Hop Back range was served here and the Entire Stout was spot on and only £2.60/pint, A pub for the discerning drinker.
Booze_Allen - 6 Dec 2009 22:26
A very likeable pub. I must say the Hop Back beers were absolutely spot on, I was on a crawl but to have just one beer there would be criminal, so I had two. Highly recommended. Incidentally the pub cat seemed to be more interested at looking at the wildlife through the windows rather interacting with the customers!
Abteilung - 29 Nov 2009 23:57
Enjoyed the beer festival yesterday, 25+ ales plus a couple of ciders at £2.50, great value. Good stuff.
Maldenman - 3 Oct 2009 22:32
Popped in there on a Wedesday night when the beer club was on. All reals ales £2.20 a pint . Still an excellent pub and combine it with a visit to the excellent Trafalgar 5 minutes away and a curry in Tooting High Street and you can't go wrong.
Huey - 3 Oct 2009 13:05
No, more's the pity, but don't fret, I haven't forgotten about it - hence my check to see if anyone had answered my query today - thanks for that Roodeye. Trouble is, although I only work a relatively short distance away in Croydon, the opportunity to wangle a trip to South Wimbledon just doesn't seem to arise in the normal scheme of things. Often too busy boozing in more conducive locations! I am going to need to make a special effort and set aside an afternoon to check this (and other places that have caught my eye) out. Hopefully my next comment here will be a substantive - and thoroughly positive - review.
TWG - 3 Sep 2009 17:54
TWG - indeed it is. I note your query went up a while ago - have you been in to try it out yet? It's highly recommended.
Roodeye - 21 Jul 2009 17:16
Breaking a rule here as I never normally comment on a pub I've not yet been to (but damn, that needs to be rectified soon as the reviews across 6 years suggest this place is pumping up some proper pintage!), but having seen the picture I'm curious - is this the place they often used to use on "The Bill" when they wanted a really dodgy-looking "estate" pub? I'm sure it is, as besides its distinctive frontage, I recall spotting some Hop Back beers on the bar (during a fight scene) and thinking how unlikely it was that a really rough gangster's grothole would be stocking ANY ale, let alone something like Hop Back!
TWG - 17 Apr 2009 17:08
Good choice of Hopback beers, yesterday Summer Lightning, GFB, Fuggles, Entire Stout, mostly £2.50 or less. Also, if you feel the need to drink the inferior stout called guinness, that was on Paddy's Day sale at £2.10, & large Jamie's at just £2(!). Well done the Sultan.
trainman - 18 Mar 2009 14:01
I can't fault this pub, it's near perfect. Excellent beers from the Hopback brewery at reasonable price. I wish I lived near this pub. Well worth seeking out if you like good traditional pubs.
nich52 - 6 Feb 2009 14:45
Very enjoyable visit last Sunday afternoon - both the Summer Lightning and GFB being in good form, and, as an earlier contributor correctly points out, cheaply priced by London standards.

This pub has a nice cosy feel, especially with the wood-pannelling, real fires and carpet, although I'm not too keen on some of the seating - the light pine wood chairs look a bit garden-centre ish.

No Sam Smiths beers - this is London's only Hopback pub which is well worth seeking out

JohnBonser - 20 Jan 2009 15:23
Excellent pub - wish it were nearer, especially with Hopback GFB at £2.30 per pint and Summer Lightning at £2.50 per pint in the current economic climate - long may it thrive.
alefellowwellmet - 18 Jan 2009 18:58
I an not sure the Sultan has ever stocked Sam Smiths' beers. I will be visiting the pub this evening and will find out more.
lad_newton - 16 Jan 2009 18:39
O' Sultan, let me sing thine praise. Easily the best pub in London. The selection of Sam Smiths' beers and ciders is wonderful, the fire's most welcome in winter and the proprietors, once you go a few times, are kind and friendly. The regulars are a solid, affable bunch and the atmosphere is pleasantly villagey in a genuine way. The lack of food is something of a down-side, but if they did introduce it then it would just get too crowded and too busy behind the bar. Try 'Slurp' Japanese restaurant up the road if you get hungry!
kid_b - 16 Jan 2009 00:36
Excellent pub.Very welcoming on a cold January day.Extra points for having Entire Stout on draught
TonyAle - 12 Jan 2009 12:11
Nice cosy feel with open gas fires. Good choice of Hopback beers and definately worth the trip if you're in the area. Outside patio would be good in the summer months.
OldRogue - 5 Jan 2009 13:52
Great Summer lightning on Saturday! The G.F.B. was pretty hot too ! Priced at £2.60 and £2.30 respectively.
slerpy - 8 Dec 2008 19:14
Clean and tidy Hop Back pub. GFB, Summer Lightning and Entire Stout, "guest" on Friday was their autumn beer Red Ember. Other Hop Back beers in bottles. Fairly quiet on Friday although it is out of the way. Pretty cheap.

GuideDogSaint - 23 Nov 2008 15:47
Very handsome pub with scrubbed wooden tables and nice outside area. The lady behind the bar was very pleasant. I'm not wild about Hopback in general but the Summer Lightning was the best one I'd had anywhere. If it all tasted like that one I'd be a convert. Didn't have time to try any more but must come back here (and the Trafalgar) to try some more.
chick - 16 Aug 2008 15:08
Excellent pub with those lovely Hopback ales. Nice garden out the back. ALmost (but not quite) as good as the Trafalgar.
Tigerdrinker - 3 Aug 2008 09:11
A great pub with cheap real ale I sometimes visit on a Saturday lunchtime to hear the latest news from the SW CAMRA crowd.If this pub moved to Croydon you would need dynamite to get me out ! The Summer Lightning is formidable ! 10/10
slerpy - 1 Aug 2008 14:47
Excellent well kept ales.
Overall very tidy pub with nice atmosphere.
Two cosy fires going during winter months.
anonymous - 17 Jul 2008 10:52
For gods sake - that (better omit name - the main bar female). Whats her problem?? I go all the way from Catford as regularly as poss. as the beers great and I love the trad'ness/30's exterior etc. Never once upset her: Never spilt my drink, or anyone elses, never sworn, never fallen over, made any derogatory comments about anyone there, stolen anything, broken anything. Just because she misheard me when I (politely) requested a 'half'! Am phoning Hopback about this. ThereS a 60-odd old mental health case who sports Wimbledon FC livery gets there - was making a lot of noise at the time. Real, real nutter! Still, DONT be put off - its a great pub. Downton beers always, out of London prices and 10 mins trot from the Traf(algar Tavern - currently S.W.Londons' Poty (pub o' the year). R.I.P Dougal (since expired dulux dog). Loo's VERY stinky - post tobbacco, horrible! Do get to the Traf also!!!!!! Both on Northern Line.
operationmindcrime - 3 Jun 2008 17:52
Go for the beer - excellent. Somewhat quiet at times, but a decent dartboard.
Wilson_MacDonald - 16 Feb 2008 22:26
A fine pub in the back end of the part of Wimbledon nowhere near... well anything really. The Community Hall across the road perhaps... Anyway, despite dull exterior a great time awaits within with all the Summer Lightning once can drink and a nice buzz from the local mixed crowd. There is no reason to seek out anything else in the vicinity (not that there's much choice - Marquis of Grandby may not be to everyone's tastes).
stevosgloriosus - 10 Feb 2008 21:56
You'd count your blessings if this was your local. Living 110miles away, descending on its doors is close to Godsend-ery. An excellent selection of Hopback ales(unlike most the GFB is poured properly), staff perfectly affable contrary to some comments here, and regular appearances from Patch The Dog. Get food served here, and I'd be hovering close to top marks
getsit - 2 Feb 2008 18:15
Very enjoyable visit last Saturday lunchtime. Summer Lightning in good form. This is a two bar pub, but there's only ever one bar open whenever I go - I think the other opens evenings only.

Pub is in the back streets of South Wimbledon - not the easiest pub to find if you haven't been before.

Very much a local, but I've never felt unwelcome here.

Yes, it's not the friendliest pub going, but this is London remember

JohnBonser - 14 Jan 2008 13:12
reccomended by a punter in the wenlock. said come here then the trafalgar. beer is very good but only hopback and downton (their little bruvver!). Very cliquey though and the staff arn't the most friendly. I get the impression it lives off its reputation.
roosterdrewster - 7 Dec 2007 13:55
Have ventured to The Sultan on several occasions this October and have been pleasantly surprised by this camra rated backwater. Go on a Wednesday Evening when they have the "Beer Club", which means £1.80 for every Real Ale between 6pm-9pm. They had the full range of the Hop Back beers - including : "GFB", refreshing, "Summer Lighting", excellent and deceptively strong, and "Entire Stout" a classic stong flavoursome Stout that kicks the guiness out of town. Hop Back`s only London pub deserves, perhaps, to be more widely known than it already is - it is hidden in surburban South Wimbledon but is within easy walking distance from both South Wimbledon and Colliers Wood tube stations. The bar staff are prompt and the pub dog stalks his premises like a drink sodden, but much loved, horse. The only thing I never understand about these types of places is why you still get punters who insist on buying the p*ss poor identikit mass produced lagers gnats puke that you can get anywhere : why bother ? get a proper beer, taste something for once..come on won`t hurt you..
darloexile - 1 Nov 2007 15:15
I've not been here for a while but standards remain high. Hopback GFB, Summer lightning and Entire Stout on plus guest Downton Fly Half..... another Wiltshire brew, they must travel together. Certainly a proper pub in what is really a difficult area, well done!
Maldenman - 26 Oct 2007 02:48
Tobias has also bee on the receiving end then! You ale lovers - the Sultan & The Traf' are literally 10 minutes walk from each other and same from S. Wimbledon pipe Station (tube then!). Where else out of their native Sailisbury (Reading I believe) will you find a Hopback pub? Hey? The beer is to die for AND Downton from Sailisbury are deliver their stock as well!! AND Wednesday eve is cheap n cheerfull eve (spot the textbook Camra member!). Tell you what, some bloody funny stuff happens here if you look around, in particular some of the clientile. Great!The Old English Shheo dog cross is called Dylan.
operationmindcrime - 25 Sep 2007 18:49
Well, I've been going here for nigh on 15 years. What I like is that you can have a conversation here because there's no loud muzak. If you're on your own on your first visit it might seem cliquey because you can actually hear other people's conversations, so you might feel excluded. Try joining in. The staff and customers are friendly, interesting and happy to chat. Add to that the most consistently good beer and value for money in the area, and, to me at least, it's the perfect local. PS - you can get 4 pt, minipin and polypin takeouts at even better prices. I regularly do!
gingersinger - 22 Sep 2007 00:40
Just back from a wonderful night here with friends. GFB and Entire Stout on great form, and pub was unchanged since last visit, save that the beer garden now has floodlight illumination at night with more facilities for smokers.

Still well worth the journey across London to reach!
lad_newton - 19 Aug 2007 03:23
Been drinking here for 7 years and the staff are still marose! The beer is always knockout though. On the odd occasion I have had to take a pint back it seemed like the end of the world, i might as well have been ritually flogged! But then again Ive only been a Camra member for 20 years, what would i know?
Tobias10 - 19 Jul 2007 09:49
Decent beer in a plainish pub; feels like the proper local it is rather than a "CAMRA" pub - worth a visit but the Trafalger is a lot more interesting.
mtaylor40 - 23 Jun 2007 21:42
Thanks for the reassurance AleKing. There was an AGM for something the following morning, and the participants (or perhaps the committee) were ranged along one side of the pub having a pre-meeting session. As there were no other seats along the side I sat alone in the middle of the pub and it felt as if I was under scrutiny. Irrational, I know. Probably not the best pub to go on your own? Must see if I can find a friend!
RexRattus - 11 May 2007 10:23
Bods, the staff have always said goodbye to me - not that I am charmed or anything. But have you tried saying thanks and bye to them when you leave?

Rex, most people feel the same on their first visit - I did. I think it has more to do with the reputation as a very cliquey place. After a few more visits you realise it isn't The Slaughterd Lamb and you get more comfortable. Then it really starts to emerge as one of the best pubs around.
AleKing - 11 May 2007 09:45
I do think this is a lovely pub, although I also have to wonder why it wins so many awards!

Still, the beer is always great, the atmosphere lovely and the garden nice to relax in. I think one thing its lacking is cheery bar staff. That's not to say they're unfriendly, but if they said bye to you on your way out (for example), it would just tip it up in my league tables!
bods - 11 May 2007 09:35
Made my first visit to this pub the other day. I probably did not see it at its best on a rainy midweek afternoon, but I did not feel particularly comfortable in there for some reason I can't put my finger on. Plus I did not choose well in ordering the Dragon's Breath, which had a peppery aftertaste that I did not take to. I suppose it lived up to its description as Dragon's Breath though. The light coloured tables, plus the doors to the garden being open, gave the pub a very light, airy feel. Enough people have good things to say about this pub to suggest that I should give it another go - but will go for the excellent Summer Lightning the next time.
RexRattus - 8 May 2007 11:21
What a pleasure it is to find a pub in SW London that serves excellent real ale at sensible prices and that cares about their custom. Furthermore it has not taken advantage of its award winning track record to raise prices.
zeitlin - 22 Apr 2007 20:38
Faultless boozer if you don't want food and posh surroundings. Top-notch Hopback Brewery ale, plus a Downton guest. Go out of your way to get there. A locals pub, where you'll feel at home right away.
Roodeye - 17 Apr 2007 14:12
Superb night on Saturday. The GFB was on its best form once again, and alongside the Entire Stout, drinkers were treated to Downton Polish Porter. The Downton was so flavoursome for its moderate strength in the region of 4% that we all finished on it! The pub was alive to the buzz of hearty conversations in the lounge bar and, while waiting for my friends to arrive, many local drinkers engaged me in conversation.

I live in North London but the pub feels like a local as I have visited several times each year since 1994. I can see where previous commentators' references to cliquiness come from, but if you make an effort to integrate with staff and locals here - particularly if you make repeat visits, then you will be recognised and afforded warm, welcoming treatment.

If I lived close by, I don't feel that I'd be bored in the least to visit once or twice a week.
lad_newton - 19 Feb 2007 19:43
first pub on my crawl of south wimbledon. I like hopback beer and it is well served here. Its all a bit samey though. The staff were friendly and the pub building interesting, but i must agree with comments about cliqueyness (is that a word?. I would recomend it for the beer quality, although not an all evening pub for me - I like more variety.
pubkrawl - 24 Jan 2007 14:58
It seems to me to be a wee bit cliquey, but the hopback beers are very good. This was the first port of call on my trip to the south wimbledon area... a pleasent enough start.
bigbeerdie - 23 Jan 2007 20:59
The last couple of occasions I have ventured into this excellent pub, there have been some loud groups of lager-drinkers, which did stifle the atmosphere a bit and is somewhat of a slur to the great Hop Back ales on offer.

Each to his own I suppose, but this is still one of the best boozers around and the beer has always been faultless.
AleKing - 15 Jan 2007 13:34
The wife and I moved out of Wimbledon last year and still go back to The Sultan twice a week. The walk from Old Malden (Worcester Park-ish)takes an hour and a half, but then again the exercise undoes a little of the calorific assault of a few excellent beers, and is a pleasant stroll through Motspur Park, Cannon Hill Common and old Merton Park.

Any residents of Wimbledon looking to get a bit more for their money and move just outside should evaluate the increased distance from The Sultan in far more detail than the piffle of traffic/travel and house prices.

So there's no food. So what? There's plenty of John Barras "Little Chef with a few hand pumps" establishments in SW19/20 if you want that kind of thing.
Rob_OldMalden_Surrey - 9 Jan 2007 17:17
Last time I checked, it was 9pm.
AleKing - 9 Jan 2007 09:18
Can anyone tell me what time the pub quiz starts and is it every Tuesday? I used to live nearby and am planning on making a return for the pub quiz soon. Sounds like it hasn't changed much in the last 5 years, which is a good thing.
Darcy - 9 Jan 2007 09:15
I enjoyed the three rooaring fires which were very welcome on a miserable December Saturday. I thought the staff and (admittedly mainly male) clientele were very friendly and it was a cosy vibe indeed. The Hop Back ales are all good, no guest ales during my visit and food would have tempted me to stay longer.
dogbear - 30 Dec 2006 21:02
great beer but a cliquey pub.
jroyle9 - 7 Nov 2006 13:27
Nice pub this if you fancy a change from the usual, plus a decent pint. The summer lightning creeps up on you though. I think Quinno's stalking me!
terfysgwr - 14 Oct 2006 18:51
I have to praise this place again. Great beer, nice staff. If you like Hop Back Ales this is great. Radio can be on but no tv. £1.75 a pint every wed night. Downside is that there never seems to be a mixed sex crowd, but with beer this good every now and again I'd rather make love to that instead .
mitomighty - 27 Sep 2006 22:57
This year's beer festival was rather popular - they sold out (of 28 barrels) by 6pm Saturday! The first day was heaving apparently. Still had a good choice at the bar inside though, but getting there earlier would've been a better plan.
Wade1957 - 24 Sep 2006 09:44
I can only add to the praise for this fine ale-led pub. The £1.75 pint happy hour (7-9pm I think) on Wednesdays is worth travelling for. The Hopback ales are always very well kept and poured. I ordered a polypin of Summer Lightning for a BBQ last year and was very pleased with that too. The pub has a dartboard and the staff and locals are friendly. I remember having a great game of darts with some members of the ladies team a couple of years back. In short this is a great place for a quiet relaxing pint. Thereís no piped music to disturb conversation. Have heard good things about their summer BBQs and mini beer festivals too.
Probably takes about 10 mins to walk from Colliers Wood tube but fairly easy to find.
djburns - 22 Sep 2006 14:44
Excellent Hop Back Brewery outlet, situated in quite an interesting aesthetic. Clean and cosy inside, sampled the GFB (extremely good), Entire Stout and Hopscotch (both very good). Has a nice unfussy beer garden and a chatty clientele.

Well worth the yomp from Colliers Green tube or Wimbledon mainline. Best take a map though, it's in the back-streets. Watch out for the tinted mirror in bogs, it makes you look like you've been caught in a thermo-nuclear blast.
Quinno - 12 Sep 2006 19:23
This place is all about the ale.

I canít believe Iíve been living in the vicinity for over a year, yet I never knew this existed until a month ago. Sure, the location is not great (tucked away in a residential are) and some of the patrons are, er, characters to say the least, plus it is smoky and cliquey, but the Hop Back beers are top drawer: GFB; Summer Lightning; Hop Scotch as well as guest ales. As previously mentioned, the £1.75-a-pint happy hour on a Wednesday is especially alluring.

Despite some minor niggles, at least the pub, and the regulars, feel genuine. The bar staff are all very friendly and know how to pull an almost perfect pint. They also have plenty of bottled ales as well as five litre mini-casks of Lightning to take home.

Highly recommended, especially ale lovers, although there are some of the usual ghastly lagers and bottled Magners p1ss should you prefer.
AleKing - 7 Sep 2006 10:22
The Sultan won't please those who want artificially produced lagers, Sky sports, wine-bar decor, glitzy transience, corporate branding, and mass-produced beers.

If, however, your idea of the perfect pub is understated elegant simplicity, superbly served real ales, enough quiet to hold an intelligent conversation with other adults, and a tranquil relaxing place to unwind after a hectic day, this is it.

But don't go there. I'd rather it remained quiet!
Alph_river - 6 Sep 2006 14:14
A great pub and the beers are superb. Search it out if you can, it is worth it.
anonymous - 5 Sep 2006 21:50
I've been popping in here for a while now and everytime the beer has been spot on. All of them. I always enjoy the hand pulled stout. You don't see that everywhere.
mitomighty - 1 Sep 2006 21:14
Their Wednesday 'Beer Club' night (6pm to 9pm) is popular with £1.75p a pint of real ale.

Starting Friday 22nd September is their Beer Festival weekend, which includes a BBQ.

The Summer Lightning remains my favourite beer here, whatever the price, and this pub is one of the few traditional pubs in the area.
Wade1957 - 21 Aug 2006 15:43
nice beer, good 'locals' pub... (not that i am a local). Will be back for the beer!
propertyking - 8 Aug 2006 17:46
Back to check out the pub now it's nice and sunny. The key thing here is the Hop Back ales which are excellent, sadly that's it. I must be missing something; staff ok, Fosters tasted odd (according to a group sitting near me - not a big issue for me as this is an ale pub), 70's backgroung musak ok and so are the pine tables & chairs in the back bar but how did this pub win best pub in 2004?
Harlap - 17 Jul 2006 11:33
Very nice two-bar pub (the two bars are joined by the gents' loo, odd situation) with Hopback and guest beers. Little outside space with tables for when the bars get too busy. Beer very well kept.
beeronaut - 27 May 2006 00:15
A further visit confirmed the beer really is very good. Plenty of beardy types and others. I like the pub and the atmosphere. If I had been alive at the time, i'm sure it would remind me of 50s England. Will be back. Hopefully, so will the morris dancers!

The downside was it was a little smoky and you're unlikely to meet your future wife there I would imagine. I don't think it would impress my Doris much anyway, even if she does like Taiphoon.
mitomighty - 21 May 2006 15:15
Regular visitors to the Sultan will know that there are plenty of regular locals - all very friendly - who frequent the pub. That they drink the real beer is a bonus. The pub is also very popular with real ale drinkers from far and wide and its business thrives as a result. This is an all-too-rare example of a "perfect" pub where the locals and staff are friendly and welcoming and the beer is spot-on. These are all features to be celebrated.

Indeed I CYCLED all the way down from Kentish Town last Friday to visit the pub for a few pints with my friends.

Nice to see the Morris Dancers last Friday too, although I appreciate that style of entertainment is not to everyone's universal taste!

lad_newton - 18 May 2006 17:25
Nice pint of Summer Lightning, the pub itself is drab and seems to have too many real ale fans rather than a mixed group of locals. Not necessarily a critism but will try the garden when it's warm and sunny./
Harlap - 15 May 2006 12:41
I've been meaning to visit this place for ages and finally got around to it last night. Well worth the trip. A backstreet local on a corner, two bars, fitted out in a smart but unfussy fashion, some curiously gigantic furniture that looks like it's been liberated from a pre-war farmhouse kitchen.

Hop Back is just about my favourite brewery and their beers were in superb condition. GFB (3.5%ABV) is the most flavoursome beer of it's strength I've sampled on ages. I also tried the seasonal Spring Zing, which had a citrus flavour, the Entire Stout and the flagship Summer Lightning. Prices ranged from just £2.05 a pint to £2.35 for the 5.0%ABV Summer Lightning.

I really can't fault the place.
Rich66 - 12 May 2006 22:12
Visited last Friday (28th April). The Entire Stout was actually on just about the best form it has ever been on. Also good was Hopoack "Fools Fortune" about 4.5% which was a light hoppy premium bitter. Keep it up!
lad_newton - 2 May 2006 16:28
Had my first visit since i moved nearby and was right chuffed about the stout!!
mitomighty - 2 May 2006 13:27
First class beer last night! GFB and entire stout on top form, alongside a novelty guest from the Downton Brewery. Having not visited the Sultan for some months it was great to see all the "fixtures and fittings" still in place.

The beer prices represent just about the best value for money in this part of London, and the tube fare is more than repaid when buying a couple of rounds for my mates compared with one or two pubs within walking distance from me! Well deserved 10/10 in this review.
lad_newton - 1 Apr 2006 13:09
Well kept ales and a friendly landlord make this pub well worth a visit. Saw Neil Morrisey holding court in here one Sunday afternoon. Refereshingly different to some of the chav infested 'bars' of Wimbledon which can be brawltastic on a Friday or Saturday night.
thehonesttruth - 24 Jul 2005 15:28
Superbly kept good value Hop Back ales. Bar staff friendly and Dilon the dog and Migsy the cat make for a great atmosphere. Lighting and table arrangement could do with improvement. BBQs in summer.
FrankDS - 31 May 2005 16:26
Cracking pub with fantastic ales. Good quiz night on tuesdays - get there early though.

Lovely beer garden for the sun too.
Gray - 4 Apr 2005 23:07
moved into the area recently , tried marquis of lorne first but the discovered the Sultan. Full of real men with real pints. I love it
Ginga Neil - 6 Oct 2004 14:03
Since you ask Harry, not a lot. Though I do look forward to the cheap beer every Wednesday. Also this weekend 25ish guest beers for the annual beer festival. And it's also the only pub in the area you can always get a real-ale pint of stout .
Rodders - 23 Sep 2004 11:03
Proper pub, with proper beer and amazing cider. What more are you lot after?
Flash Harry - 23 Sep 2004 09:48
yes ok it is a traditional pub and it serves good beer but the atmosphere could do with a litte something
billy mcgoo - 2 Jul 2004 16:50
Still fab. Forget bottled beer.
robertjones - 30 May 2004 21:32
Love it!
Clean, comfortable and friendly. Ok it's not the most architecturally outstanding building, but it serves excellent beer, well kept, and served by bar-staff who know and care about their beer!
A welcome relief for Londoners who like a really good pint
Pb - 28 May 2004 12:49
Great pint of Mild last time I was in
johnhannen - 12 May 2004 12:29
Regarding the last posting, whilst it's great to see more traditional beers available in the supermaket, you must agree that nothing beats the real, hand-pulled pint that awaits you in the friendly surroundings of this great pub.

I was there on Saturday, and the GFB was on its best form for many months. So was the Entire Stout!

Keep it up guys!
lad_newton - 4 May 2004 09:20
I used to go there to buy Summer Lightning but now they do it in my Local Safeway. Ha Ha Ha!!!!
Alexh1982 - 3 May 2004 11:47
It's cliquey.
Alexh1982 - 25 Apr 2004 10:47
A proper local visited by real ale lovers from far and wide. Great Hopback beers, pine furniture and a really quirky quiz.
Dave - 18 Feb 2004 17:50
this is great pub and they have good beer. i rate it highly. very cosy. Eugene from South Africa
Eugene Homewood - 30 Dec 2003 23:25
Mmmm...the Enrire, GFB and Summer/Winter Lightning (from the Hopback Brewery) is well worth a look, as is the bottled 'Crop Circle' from the same place. Very nice.
Alexh1982 - 29 Dec 2003 10:08
I visited the Sultan and was quite impressed, it's a bit of a time warp to the sixties! The pegboard above the bar and the very warm open fires do it for me, and i's just the place to go for a nice pint where if you wanna be miserable, be miserable, and if you wanna be happy, be happy whatever mood for a pint you are in you can have it here, if you see what i mean. Very good, be going there again. Phil the barman is brilliant.
Alexh1982 - 25 Nov 2003 00:20
Premier Chat your right! A great place place for beer but your wrong about "we've lost our wombles."

They are alive and kicking and South West London Has not lost it's Wombles.

A total gangsters pub about 10-15 years ago, now a real gem. Go See!!
Bob V - 15 Nov 2003 20:51
Aw, come on! I've been getting in a bit earlier for the last two or three weeks.
Nice to hear that the cask breather has been removed from the Entire Stout. A very nice drop of beer.
Orinoco - 20 Oct 2003 12:59
A great place for a beer which are all in good nick and if you want a laugh go up to one of the locals and say "I've lost my Wombles", Orinoco will probably reply if its 20:55 on a Wednesday.
Premier Chat - 16 Oct 2003 18:23
This pub should be kept secret from the rest of the world - it's that good! Good beers, great atmosphere, traditional pub.
Bob - 1 Oct 2003 15:43
A very pleasent unpretentious and quiet pub. Excellent beers: Summer Lightning, GFB etc. well kept.
Howard - 27 Sep 2003 12:12
finally paid a visit last week, gobsmacked by the beer (summer lightening) superb pint and well kept. worth a visit, even more so if the barman had his charisma bypass reversed!!
Tom - 17 Sep 2003 15:28
A good festival last weekend. We all had a great time despite the rainshowers in the evening. Here's to many more fests in the Sultan, and keep up the good barbeques as well guys!
lad_newton - 8 Sep 2003 17:18
There is a Beer Festival here on 5th to 7th Sept 2003. About 20 guest beers, mostly served in the garden. I think a barbeque will be running as well.
Rod - 3 Sep 2003 14:18
Great beer and a good place to check out. Its off the track a bit but worth it
Mick - 29 Aug 2003 16:00
First class 1950s suburban backstreet boozer re-opened by the Hop Back brewery since May 1994. Welcoming for locals and beer enthusiasts alike, this gem serves up a well kept range of Hop Back beers which include the famous Summer Lighting and the rarer Entire Stout. Well worth seeking out.
Ben. S. King - 3 Aug 2003 15:13
Great back street local. I managed to visit it on its opening night several years ago. Owned by Hop Back Brewery from Wiltshire - try the GFB and even better, Summer Lightning.
Simonf - 12 Jun 2003 14:45
This is an absolute gem for any part of London. Great ales from the Hopback brewery including the excellent and always available cask condition Entire Stout. Great friendy atmosphere of the old fashioned sort.
Rob Jones - 14 May 2003 20:39
A fine pub, but there's a pawn missing from the chess set. Can we have a new one please?
Justin - 28 Apr 2003 16:34
Off Haydons Road in Wimbledon, quite location. Bit of a locals pub. Tried the Summer Harvest Ale. Has the same colour as larger but good strong beer 5%. Decor dated, harmless pub, good for a quite one.
Eddie Cleal - 12 Mar 2003 18:52
Excellent cosy "gem" of a pub situated behind Merton High Street. Full range of Hopback beers in excellent condition, staff very friendly and welcoming. Occasional beef festivals and barbeques (especially in the summer). Paved beer garden with outdoor lighting. Public bar and lounge bar. Varied, quiet background music. No food except crisps/popadums/nuts etc. Very reasonable prices. Nearest tube station South Wimbledon or Colliers Wood then 7 minute walk from either.
Lee - - 21 Feb 2003 17:40

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