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Kings Arms, Waterloo

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user reviews of the Kings Arms, Waterloo

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

Unspoiled backstreet pub within easy walking distance of Waterloo and Waterloo East stations, despite being in a wonderful residential terraced street. There are 2 front bars and a larger rear space. Ale selection was a little disappointing on our last visit in November - Truman's Swift & Zephyr, Notting Hill Blonde, Ruby Rye & Amber, Butcombe Bitter, Gun Extra Pale, Adnams Bitter, Sharp's Ale of Kings, Dark Star Hophead & Kent Black Gold. A fair few ales, but I prefer a mild, porter or stout. No real cider either. Hoping for a more diverse range next time. But unlike the pub, maybe I am getting spoilt.
blue_scrumpy - 4 Feb 2018 17:46
Old fashioned corner pub with the bar divided into two parts. Eight different real ales available, four in each half of the pub. Have to say that apart from the Wadworth 6X I didn't recognise the beers.
Unfortunately due to time I could only stay for the one. Will definitely visit this place again!
One word of caution though. It gets very busy! On my visit I it was still early in the evening and there were people all over the pavement. (Not in an overly inebriated way!)

outtamehead - 30 Jul 2017 05:11
Lovely traditional boozer that had real fires burning on both sides of the bar when we went in last week. Didn't try the Thai food but there was a very good selection of ales, most of which were very good. I couldn't see a list of ales anywhere though so you have to have a wander round to the other side to see what is available on the hand-pumps there.
Was very busy when we were there but the bar staff were still managing to serve everyone quickly with little waiting. Very nice place.
dyyony - 16 Jan 2017 11:54
Excellent free house in a time warp street a few minutes walk of Waterloo station. 8 real ales on, all from small micros and the three we had were on good form.
Steamer1 - 16 Nov 2016 22:21
I have been here before and had well kept ale. But, last night I had to return a murky Adnams which should never have been passed to a customer and the next pint of some insipid mildly hoppy thing was very average. Too many ales being served in the hot weather.
alebarry - 7 Jul 2016 09:08
The street outside will probably look very familiar as it Is used in so many T.V. period dramas such as Call the Midwife etc etc. The Pub is somewhat gentrified,the beer range seems to be LocaLEs ,Hop Stuff,Wimbledon for example. A fairly small place with an attractive back bar used as a restaurant.Press cuttings ,photos of some of the actors/production staff adorn the walls relating to the streets role in various dramas, look at the period window frames of the houses,they look like bits from orange boxes and infer post war make do and mend.
slerpy - 21 Jan 2016 20:36
Thursday evening with a friend in the Waterloo area and I chose one of my favourite pubs in London…The Kings Arms.

7pm and the pub is heaving already both inside and outside. We go to the smaller bar with it’s 3 hand pumps with the other 6 being through in the main bar.

9 ales on in total that changed while I was here so I started on the Truman Bold as Brass @ 4.2% being moving onto Bexley Breweries Golden Acre @ 4.0%. Both pints perfectly kept and poured. In addition there are a couple of keg beers and “fancy” lagers.

During my last visit I don’t recall there being Thai food available in the back room. This was a bonus as we were planning on moving to a local curry house for food so plans were changed and we treated ourselves to the good value & authentic food.

We left around 10.15pm and the pub was still very busy. Great pub, cracking selection of ales, quick and friendly service, a little on the pricey side but this is a trendy part of London now. The Kings Arms is a must visit.
lezford - 12 Oct 2015 14:57
Have not been here for almost 5 years and on that occasion I wasn't served. This time was a far better experience and I'll be updating my score from a previous 3/10. In fact, this pub is more like a 8/10. I'm sure the range has improved since my last visit too. 9 ales and a cider were on this time - Brains The Rev James & Trickster, Springhead The Leveller, Dark Star The Original, Hop Stuff Amarillo Mild, London Beer Factory Chelsea Blonde, Windsor & Eton Guardsman, Belleville Abbeydale White & Cronx Entire Porter, with the cider being Olivers Shezam. So they must have listened to the last review, as they had 3 dark beers on!The pub is still in a lovely location. It has a fairly unspoiled interior with 2 rooms at the front and a larger, more modern room at the rear. Service was pleasant and it wasn't overly busy on our Sunday afternoon visit. I'd imagine it's packed on an evening rush hour with commuters heading back to Waterloo from the City. Now a very good pub that could well be in my favourite 10 London pubs. I need to get here more often.
blue_scrumpy - 21 Apr 2015 17:50
Pleasant and attractive boozer almost underneath Warterloo East station, an oasis in a desert of otherwise grim hostelries. Two bars, offering a pretty fair range of well-kept ales, although something dark other than Guinness might be worth having on. The yard at the back has been converted into an eating area for the Thai kitchen, which offers a range of good-value and tasty dishes.
Torqueback - 11 Mar 2015 14:59
Oddly situated down a street full of terraced houses, which seemed as though it had strayed about 150 miles south.

A smallish pub which was packed early evening hence the number standing outside. My first two choices ran out while I was waiting but the third was fine and the barman had both the beer knowledge and good sense to warn me that my third choice was completely different to the first two.

Not a bad pub, although if I'm visiting here again I shall wait until late in the evening when presumably the office crowd have gone home.
djw - 28 Oct 2014 01:15
Wonderful old pub, one that I have meaning to visit for years as it is highly recommended on this site & some others. Very quiet early on a damp Sunday, I had a pint of Southwolds something or other, 3.70, and pretty good for the first of the day. Friendly young lady serving, another bloke hovering & activity out the back so I expect they have a hefty Sunday lunch crowd. Probably not a tourist pub but it should be as it is the real deal.
Queenslander - 31 Aug 2014 22:47
Another visit to this cracking pub that is quickly becoming one of my favs in London.

A good selection of ales on, on Saturday evening but I was only interested in Clarkshaws Phoenix Rising @ 4.0%....the reason I came to the Kings and the beer did not disappoint.

Busy with a good mixed crowd, a group of chaps all dressed as Old English Gentleman, the usual selection of guest beers which included an interesting Chilli Porter. I didn’t taste it but have it on good authority that it was very good.

Not much more to say about this little gem…if you haven’t been already then make a bee line for the Kings Arms

lezford - 7 Jul 2014 14:02
Excellent pub with good selection of ales. Used to be my regular but the prices have risen that bit too high for me so now go elsewhere.
siouxjimmy - 16 Apr 2014 10:24
A charming down to earth street corner pub near Waterloo without pretention. The Adnams was very good and the service was decent.

You can sit here and discuss the merits of Shane Ritchie's second album without any hipsters sneering at you.
terenced - 31 Mar 2014 09:16
Another pub that retains its original character and has a good range of mainly small brewery beers. My pint of Dark Star Festival was good, but then it should be for £4.50! At those prices the Landlord should be able to invest in some training for the mainly young bar staff who, from observation during my visit, don't quite understand what a full or even 95% full pint looks like; amazingly very few of the customers asked for a top up!
Islander - 14 Feb 2014 19:05
An old favourite and a blessing given the paucity of decent areas within striking distance of Waterloo station although The Cut, from memory, does house a couple. I was pleased to see the tasty Thai food still in evidencw ehile the ale selection was flawless beyond the high prices for the Notting Hill ales (the barmaid did warn us). The only drawback is that it is crowded - horrendous on a Friday night and not a whole lot better on a Saturday. Still a must-visit pub though.
BoehmBawerk - 29 Jan 2014 06:45
The prices in here make it hard to enjoy your beer, and to rub salt in the wound last visit we were well overcharged by a stroppy barmaid (something I've suspected has been happening to others for a while). A nice pub to visit but be careful.
Green_0nions - 14 Oct 2013 14:36
Very good backstreet pub with plenty of ales are various strengths on. Stuck to the Butcombe all evening as it was going down a treat. Good, efficient staff. Technically there's not much space outside on the pavement, but everyone spills out there. All in all, an interesting and solidly decent pub that is well worth a visit. 8/10
Goldings - 1 Sep 2013 15:07
A fine pub with a good range of (8 or 9) well kept real ales within easy walking distance of Southwark tube station. However, during a recent visit we were charged £4.20 for a pint of average strength beer - another customer who must have visiting from "up North" remarked on the costs to the guy behind the bar, who replied that they were "London prices". We left and walked five minutes or so to the Charles Dickens where the same type and quality of beer was £3.00 per pint including their discount for CAMRA members - so much for "London prices" - The Kings Arms has lost two customers.
DaveE6 - 24 Aug 2013 15:25
A very nice little local pub just under Waterloo East station.

There were 9 beers on draught the night I visited, from which I had the Notting Hill Amber from the Moncanda brewery

Interesting moustaches on display behind bar from 2 of the barmen.

A very busy pub with a good outside drinking area on the street, but you can only take your drinks directly outside not across the road.

Decent find for a good quality beer.

lezford - 9 Jun 2013 19:13
Very busy popular pub in delightful back street near Waterloo. Lots of different rooms inside and standing room outside in street. Changing range of ales - 8 or so - plenty of different styles for everyone. Quick, helpful and amusing bar staff. Definitely worth a wander away from Waterloo station for a beer or two.
mikey64 - 31 May 2013 19:13
Enjoyed an excllent pint of Dark Star 6 Hop Ale (amongst others) yesterday, brilliant. Couldn't get through to many of those in a session.

I love the eclectic mix of customers, particularly the bemused tourists.
ericstadd - 10 Apr 2013 09:54
Superb. On a beautiful street of workers' cottages (well, they were then!) an amazingly atmospheric, smart pub. Eight ales, mostly from the regional brewers. My only mild criticism is that they could venture more into microbrewery territory on a coupla pumps. But this is a truly excellent house.
curioushistory - 1 Apr 2013 12:19
First visit for ages. Good old fashioned pub with a variety of good quality ales.
pwilkins - 15 Mar 2013 09:38
Absolutely fantastic pub with great beer and quirky decor. HOWEVER, we had a very unpleasant experience with the waitress in the food area at the back. Having sat down, we were told that the area had priority for diners (fair enough) but when we asked to order food we were told there was a minimum spend of £6.95 (not that we'd have been ordering less than that anyway) and that we'd only be allowed to sit there for 90 minutes. I am assuming the food operation is quite separate from the pub operation, but the landlord should take heed or risk this kind of service dragging down the reputation of an otherwise excellent pub.
beeryme - 18 Feb 2013 10:45
Hadn't been for ages, but it was better than ever last night. The beer range was wider than when I last visited, and from considerably more interesting micro and regional brewers, for example, amongst others, the dangerous Skullsplitter from Orkney last night, and two brews from the new Croydon brewery Clarence & Fredericks. Very impressed.

Great atmosphere - a lovely warming welcoming venue, and walking down Roupell Street past the classic Citroens parked is always one of London's hidden gems.
lipster - 13 Feb 2013 14:45
Still one of my top pubs, such friendly staff, such a lovely pub, such great beer, and you can still get two pints and a packet of scratchings for a tenner - but only just, mainly thanks to our elected representatives (except those prepared to stand up for real British pubs and breweries). A £4 pint of ale? In 1980 I swore I'd stop supping at 50p (sigh).
thirstybob - 7 Feb 2013 20:02
Argh I love this pub so much but every few months I pop in the prices seem to be continually rising.

The beer is well kept, the atmosphere is beautiful but like so many other pubs in London I honestly fear it will soon price itself out of the market....
Miker1234 - 19 Jan 2013 00:23
WHY is this pub currently ranked as a lowly 7?? Great choice of ales, always buzzy, fantastic landlord and in a superbly atmospheric location. Don't bother with any other pubs in the Waterloo station area!
dlord - 30 Nov 2012 12:53
Charming, atmospheric back street boozer offering a wide selection of interesting ales in a relaxed and friendly setting. Mixes tradition and modernity ably well in terms of decor and service delivery, with a younger crowd creating a gentle buzz.

richythemole - 27 Nov 2012 05:43
A really great pub in many ways. Helpful bar staff and a suberb selection of ales. The setting, in one of the most atmospheric streets in London is not to be missed. A great retreat from the hectic South Bank a few minutes away!
Mothroy - 11 Nov 2012 19:41
The landlord here, Cliff, has a sumptuous pair of man-boobs

I hear they serve a good roast, but I'm only ravenous for HIS dumplings!!
senberbex - 12 Oct 2012 15:00
Never visited in the evening but an ideal pub to sit in and do your paperwork in the afternoon.

Enjoyed a couple of pints excellent Dark Star American Pale Ale yesterday.
ericstadd - 11 Oct 2012 15:41
Always a marvelous pub. Well run, different drinking areas, and very friendly. I've been drinking here since the war. Only pain is a lack of seating outside for smokers; and being forced to the rear in the evening. Fortunately, the Windmill's nearby.
5thAugustLeo - 17 Aug 2012 20:47
This is the best pub in the Waterloo area. The Wellington up the road soaks up all the randoms, while The White Hart takes all the young posers. Maybe 4 or 5 ales; usually Ringwood, Darkstar and Truemans. I've never had a bad pint and the service is very good.

The pub has two small bars that can fill up quickly after work, and at the back is a larger restaurant area serving Thai food (after 6pm?) which is very popular. They don't mind you drinking in there as long as you move for diners.

If the trains go tits-up I would head here for a couple. The Rose And Crown around the corner is ok but all Shepherds Neame.
Green_0nions - 25 Jul 2012 12:19
Brilliant pub, excellently kept ales, nine on selection now! They also have started doing roast lunches on alternate sundays, be sure to book as they sell out fast!
waterloo123 - 17 Jul 2012 11:20
Lovely pub in a very traditional terraced Victorian setting. A great range of beers and plenty of places to perch or sit, with stuff to read if you're on your own enjoying a bite and a pint.
twohalves - 26 Jun 2012 20:00
what a great boozer...not far from Waterloo train station, but tucked away enough so that the rabble don't fiind it.
8 ales were on and the one that I had was kept well and tasted great....it was nice and quiet and a pleasant way to spend an afternoon..

thoroughly recommended...will visit again
d.franks - 25 Mar 2012 17:06
Spittin feathers I popped in for a couple of Dark Star Coffee Pilsners a and Sambrook's all in excellent nick, at a busy time (7ish) and was well pleased by the service (with a smile) the ambience (busy after-work London pub, but...mostly old blokes like me) . I found a place to park and by beckoning with a note of the realm I was served very promptly. My only regret? After 40 years of travelling through Waterloo I've not been in more often.
thirstybob - 24 Feb 2012 20:27
as per the previous review (deaks) . I too am a regular visitor to the Kings Arms and I have never received bad service there, even when it is jam packed! The food is great, the ales are even better and sitting in the back room near the fire is the perfect way to spend a chilly evening. I love this pub....long may it last!!!
waterloo123 - 22 Feb 2012 15:41
Hi I like to reply to the last review in defence of the the kings arms. Ive been coming here off and on over the past year so heres my currant take on things at the pub at the moment things are quieting down for the pub after a ruckus Christmas and new year which was for the most part a fun time when I visited this particular pub with parties going on and meeting of mates for a bit of grub and a pint,There is generally quite a buzz of conversation from the many regulars, especially later in the evening when it gets quite busy. this pub into arguably the best in Waterloo for a drink. Also does very good value food at lunchtimes. the real ales are kept great
lordy23 - 9 Feb 2012 05:07
Great location, Good Beer, nice clientelle. TERRIBLE STAFF! ruined our evening. slow, rude, arrogant. such a shame. How hard can it be to acknowledge someone has arrived at the bar - a simple nod, a simple word that you are next. No, I the customer must dutifully ignore my companions for 10 mins for fear of missing the barman's eyes when he deigns to look for the next customer. Oh, and I should humbly apologise when a friend adds a pint of Guinness at the end of the order, sorry to put you out mr barman.....
deaks - 5 Feb 2012 20:21
Tucked away down an old waterloo steet, this would be a wonderful venue would it were anywhere but England, but unfortunately you have to deal with all the usual problems once you enter this VIctorian beauty. Bar staff as most other places in London will be unable to communicate in your venacular, therefore be prepared not to be able to have a discussion on any of the eight ales available on pump. That said, there is a reasonable selection and the beers are fine- bit skewed towards weaker beers but there you go- who wants to enjoy themselves eh? In keeping with the Dickensian theme, the 'restaurant' which is situated to the rear is laid out in an Oliver Twist, shares it with 1000 other people working class mill fashion so you best not enjoy an intimate dining experience- of course, with the lack of any British culinary tradition, it is a 'Thai' restaurant, which, I'm sure, Dickens would have been wholly familar. So, in summary, disinterested service from distinterested soviets and at weekend- forget it- 33 pubs close a week in the UK, so they all have to pile into this one- the lack of table service is evident as stressed-out suits vie for their place at the diminutive bar....if you like British with just a pinch of Eastern Bloc and a dash of pseudo-thai then this is for you- it gets a 6 because of the lack of anything else as good within a 50 mile radius....
alezilla - 28 Jan 2012 01:16
Went here for a friend's birthday last night. 10 of us ate some very nice Thai food and enjoyed the selection of ales. 8 on, including beers from Sambrooks, Ringwood and Jennings. However, our evening was tainted by the jumped-up member of staff who decided that 11.01pm was kicking out time and constantly barracked people who were finishing their drinks in the 20 minutes allowed by law. There are very few good pubs in the Waterloo area and it would be a shame for this place if people stopped coming because one person has no concept of customer service. In fairness, the others apologised for him but it's not what we expected.
DuchyBoy - 15 Jan 2012 12:53
Vissited again with the other half - Had a really nice time here and soaked up the atmosphere. The drinks prices have increased again though like they have done througout London. Around 3.80 for a Guinness - With they way in which prices are increasing I honestly think many pubs in London will soon start to struggle to attract customers all day and night like they are at the minute. Many pubs are already charging over 4 for a pint of Guinness - poor. People will soon start staying at home for a few drinks and then just coming out later in the evening for one or two. Hopefully the prices here will not rise much further anytime soon. Still a great pub though :)
Miker1234 - 19 Dec 2011 20:15
Visited for first time on way back to Waterloo, nice atmosphere, mix of locals and suits. 7 ales on, only had time to have a quick pint of Dark Stars 'Old Chesnut' and very nice it was too, other offerings included Boondoggle, TEA and Broadside. Will return when next in the area.
Solent66 - 13 Dec 2011 21:14
I like this pub and have been many times before. However I went with a friend on Sat 19 Nov in the evening and was somewhat shocked to see the state of all the tables in the bar area. We had to clean ours up and move all the dirty glasses from previous drinkers to the bar; I noticed about 4 other groups having to do the same when they arrived. During the hour we were there I did not see a member of staff picking up glasses...disappointing.
banksy - 28 Nov 2011 04:02
Second pub on our crawl, very busy on a Tuesday evening although not the biggest of bars. Ended up sat in the back which is a Thai restaurant, food being brought out look quite nice.

Decent selection of ales, had a pint of Dark Star which was very good, couple of others on tap as well. Quick service despite being busy, no complaints at all, well worth visiting if you're in the area.
phill1110 - 24 Oct 2011 13:12
Did you folks know that the kings arms won best free house london for the morning advertiser great British pub awards .so there in for a chance of winning best free house England . Does anyone know how they got on as it was last week and I'm away on holidays , please post .
Munchip - 19 Sep 2011 07:28
Did all you drinkers
Munchip - 19 Sep 2011 07:25
I have visited this pub many times and i have found that it is very welcoming and friendly with great staff and with superb standard management. The beers are excellent with great choice of Ales 8 taps all on theres nothing better around...... The setting inside is traditional which oozes style for this traditional era...... would recommend to anyone visiting....
Laila - 17 Sep 2011 21:52
Great pub situated in a historic terrace street. A real throw back to the 40's. Good range of local ales and a quiet, relaxed atmosphere. Worth seeking out if you want to get away from the crowds on the Southbank and enjoy a pint or two.
Mothroy - 30 Jul 2011 22:37
The Kings Arms has character, is located in a quiet road and has a good atmosphere (very busy, but not overcrowded, perhaps helped because there's much more seating inside than you'd expect from looking at it from the outside). There was a good range of real ales and the three I tried were in good condition. For drinking this pub ticks "good" or "very good" in all respects.
hitchinsampler - 30 Jul 2011 10:41
Great little pub tucked away near Waterloo station, 8 handpumps 7 of which were on, I had to have a hophead as its just about the best beer there is in my view, very nice it was too.A real old traditional two bar boozer, as Arnie once said, I'll be back.
Picasso09 - 27 Jun 2011 21:27
My first time there and have to say it is a belter! Started on the Wandle and finished on the Oxford Gold - most excellent. Love the back room (formerly a courtyard), with walls covered in what I would call ephemera (some may call tat) - always a winner with me.

Also, the pub is in a great setting, in a street of what look like old railway workers' homes and oldie worldie street lamps.

Yep, this one is on The List!
zabadak - 17 Jun 2011 14:12
A regular haunt and it was as reliably charming as ever last night, even with the scaffolding up at present. Hopback and Boondoggle were excellent as the beer always is. A gem of a proper London boozer.
beer_monster_smudge - 6 Apr 2011 11:37
Once again dropped in on my way home. Now they have 7 beers on. Alas couldn't sample them all but dark star (partridge and hophead) and Jennings Cumberland were all in first class condition. I hope business brings me to Waterloo more often...
rattymcfadden - 2 Apr 2011 18:51
Came in last night to find it busy and standing but not too crowded. Very friendly bar staff who greeted us with smiles and served us promptly.

The Guinness I had (3.50) was one of the best I have had in England! Absolutely perfect and well priced. The other hald just had a lager at 3.35, once again well priced.

We moved next door to the large roaring fire and we simply sat there for hours unwinding, relaxing and soaking up the ambience of what is by far one of the best pubs in London.

Visit this place if you havent, the street is like a film set, the beer is amazing and the staff friendly - perfect :)
mikeyr1234 - 30 Jan 2011 23:55
Visited this pub on a cold, December Sunday evening and will be one I'll return to in the future. Not an ale drinker so it's more about the ambience for me which I though was spot on, quiet music in the background so there was only need for gentle chatter - it's a warm, cosy pub as others have mentioned. Bar tender was efficient if not overly pleased to be there it seemed. Perfect location only a few minutes walk from Waterloo.
crowdie - 6 Dec 2010 14:52
Good, cosy pub with busy atmosphere due to decent mixture of business folk and travellers coming from Waterloo. On a nice old street too with decent ambience.
maus - 1 Dec 2010 16:54
Was sucking pints there one evening and it's a lovely, cosy pub in an excellent location. The witty banter I had with the intelligent and charming barman made drinking alone after work very enjoyable. One of the few London pubs that all the staff pour Guinness correctly. Also, an excellent range of bitters that change regularly. The Kings Arms very clean, the toilets are immaculate and has a very nice clientele.
absolutecapitalbatner - 26 Nov 2010 08:49
I love this pub but please, why the last three blindingly obvious false reviews? The Kings Arms doesn't need them!


flashharry1965 - 26 Nov 2010 08:08
Easily accessible but also quite secluded, this pub is an institution for people who frequent Waterloo station. Great character to the place and I've always found the inmates very friendly and capable. Can't fault it.
TheBee - 25 Nov 2010 23:22
A great little boozer! Perfect for a swift half when homeward-bound after a long day of toil at the office and equally charming for a leisurely Saturday afternoon of yarn-telling amongst friends and loved ones.

richiecastles - 25 Nov 2010 22:46
This pub is always first port of call on my visits to london. The friendly atmosphere and fine pints just keep calling me back. The Kings Armshas to be on of the best pubs in London a real gem of a spot. The food is pretty damn good too.
vladimirtheassasin - 25 Nov 2010 21:08
I went here in June and thought I saw the barman sneakily fill a pint glass with the drip tray and then serve it. I decided not to mention anything, as I could have been mistaken or it could have been for some strange customer who likes that sort of thing. Today, someone I follow on Twitter went in, saw the same thing happening and tweeted about it!

I remember the thai food being very good, the bar staff being rather indifferent and sullen but not outrageously rude, and the pub itself being quite nice as long as you can get a table. But if you go here, MAKE SURE TO KEEP AN EYE ON YOUR PINT AS THE BARSTAFF POUR IT!
bbx1138 - 15 Nov 2010 18:27
Good place. Civilised Sunday afternoon pint of good ale. Surprisingly close to Waterloo Station and well worth a visit.
joegreen - 12 Oct 2010 21:42
Great little pub - as a proper pub should be. Looks great from the outside, great and basic on the inside, bare floorboards, etc. Friendly staff - it's always good when you get offered 'tasters' when you are not sure which bitter to have! Excellent.
iannfa - 4 Oct 2010 22:14
Lovely old pub down a very quiet residential road that looks like a setting for a movie - very much a quiet locals place - certainly so on a Sunday lunch time - only the "Saloon" bar section open and 3 or so other people in - very nice. Will be going back.
adamwalsh - 26 Sep 2010 21:08
Met up with old friend here on Thursday. Very busy outside and down the side in the alley. More room inside. Proper old pub with separate Lounge Bar and Saloon Bar. Good ales on offer. Sampled the Doom Bar - excelllent and the Ringwood Boondogle, also very good. Efficient bar staff meant never waited more than 2 minutes and managed to get a couple of stools near the bar. Well worth a stroll away from Waterloo to find this gem
Dan65 - 4 Sep 2010 18:28
Very disappointing development. Tomasch - first class barman. Landlord is a rude twit. Learn to treat your customers properly mate. Should be the best pub in Waterloo. But now easily beaten by the (appalling) Wellington.
Nud - 26 Aug 2010 20:56
Stopped in for a quick couple last night. Beer - Oxford Gold and Jennings Cock a hoop both very good. Service good and friendly. All round very nice pub.
Alfnoax - 15 Aug 2010 12:23
Still the best pub in Waterloo.
WaterlooWillie - 12 Aug 2010 18:05
I'm not normally out at last orders these days, preferring instead to drink during the day. However on this occasion, we walked in at last orders with a minute or two to go until 11pm. We fancied a quick drink before heading home from an evening show at the Globe. It was a good 10-15 minute walk to get here. But we were taken aback when the barman refused to serve us. I have visited previously and found an average pub with a few popular real ales in an excellent location in what is a wonderful period Waterloo street. So my rating of 3/10 will represent an average of my 2 visits - 6 for the first one and 0 for this. It's a shame that they didn't want our custom. We plumped for the Wellington down the road, who were all too pleased to serve us. Unfortunately pubs can only rely on their reputation for a short period. This one is clearly on a downward slope.
blue_scrumpy - 1 Aug 2010 12:24
It is so refreshing to find a pub near a railway station that is not your run of the mill transport hub dross. The Kings Arms is first class; proper old boozer with delicious beer. When I went in on an extremely busy thursday night they had six ales on - Doom Bar, Pride, Brakspear Oxford Gold, Deuchars IPA, Ringwood Boondoggle and Adnams Bitter. I sampled them all except Adnams which I don't like and all were pretty much perfectly kept. A fairly good selection, I think, a few less well known amongst the ubiquity of pride and (increasingly) doom bar.
I am surprised about some of the staff reviews - they all seemed extremely capable of dealing with the high volume of customers quickly and they seemed to be having fun while they did it - a far cry from the sullen morose characters painted in previous reviews.
The pub itself is a lovely building in a great old terraced street, split into two bars and provides a very pleasant refuge to enjoy one or five beers before the dreaded commute back home.
If only I could afford one of the houses on Roupell St...
rattymcfadden - 28 Jul 2010 20:13
A proper pub.
Pat_Bateman - 15 Jul 2010 14:19
this place really works - good atmosphere and service.

The only down side is that it's relatively small, which means a) can get extremely busy and b) not much scope for sitting....


The_Speckled_Hen - 15 Jul 2010 14:10
This pub is spot on - drank the Doom Bar which was excellent

Busy night & good atmosphere - watched the foootball in the back area where they were serving thai food. Didnt try but looked good

If you are looking for somewhere near Waterloo then this is the place - proper pub
tozerplan - 7 Jul 2010 12:08
Smallish, but traditional street corner pub situated in a residential side street of terraced houses close to Waterloo East train station. I'm told that the street featured in one of the Dr Who series involving the Daleks.

The pub is divided into 2 separate bars by an original wooden screen, although access between the two bars can be gained via a corridor at the back of the pub which also leads to a conservatory and Thai food restaurant.

The pub is popular with both workers from nearby offices and local residents, who spill out on to the pavement - no seats - in front of the pub in fine weather.

Despite some sensitive renovations over the years, it still resembles a reasonably traditional pub, sporting some interesting old photos of the area and some brewery mirrors. The pub sign outside reminds us that this was a former Taylor Walker pub.

The pub displays framed certificates awarded by a rival website - which I'm not going to name for obvious reasons - for Best London Pub in 2004 and also for the three years from 2006 to 2008.

Close to these certificates, the pub price list that is on display refers to various "largers" - with an extra "r" - that are on sale, such as San Miguel, Fosters, Staropramen and Guinness (!). Also, under this heading are listed the real ales - mainly priced at 3.20p. I have to say, that I find this a bit unprofessional. Management might want to review this list.

On my recent early evening visit, beers on were Doom Bar, Adnams, Brakspears Bitter and Oxford Gold. The Brakspears was in acceptable form, disappointingly served by staff in chain - pub style black shirts. The pub has had CAMRA Good Beer Guide listings, but isn't in the 2010 Edition.

Staff seemed efficient and as welcoming and friendly as might be expected given how busy the pub was on my recent early evening visit.

Pubs close to railway stations are often not up to much, but this one is well worth seeking out.
JohnBonser - 1 Jun 2010 13:17
Have been a regular here for a few years, and was shocked to see some of the negative reviews about the staff. Apart from the good beer, they're one of the reasons I keep revisiting. Some of the comments are unfair as for the size of the bar and how busy it gets, I'm not surprised that a few of the staff get flustered in the evenings. I certainly wouldn't want to work a shift there. But during the days when it is much quieter, I find some of he staff quite charming to speak with.
About the beer, kept quite well it seems (they always seem to be changing a bitter). Very tasty and good rotation of guest ales. It's a gem
Ailing_from_Aleing_ - 28 May 2010 12:46
Visited mid-evening last week. Extremely busy with an affluent crowd and rather noisy as a result. Had a superb pint of Adnams Bitter. Friendly barman
simontheeditor - 18 May 2010 13:30
Went in on the off chance because I was trying to find somewhere else in Waterloo -surprised it was not very busy for a lunchtime. Good location for station. But comments about bar staff are true - the barman relieved me of 6:90 for three halves of Doom bar but the beer was good and the right temperature. Told there was no food that day despite chalkboards everywhere promoting it. There was an office type (suit and tie) enquiring about the use of the function room for a leaving party and the guy behind the bar was just plain dismissive when he discovered that there were only going to be 20-30 in the party - presumably they were only going to drink tapwater!
The Creature behind the bar had a mouth like a cats ar*e and said the best bet was to take over the small bar at the side which would encourage other punters to move away. in summary the bar staff need a charm transplant and the cost of beer needs a review -downwards but if you want agood pint and dontlike crowds its ok
beerncurryhound - 27 Apr 2010 17:53
How is this s**th*le so high in the top 40.....

Give me a break, 2/10
hydepark - 21 Apr 2010 16:09
Second time here. Small traditional pub, pretty unspoilt - one room with the bar in the centre, divided by screens into a larger, light and airy main bar and a smaller, cosy back bar. I didn't check out the covered, outdoors-ish area at the back, but it looks nice enough.

8 hand pumps serving 5 ales, all popular rather than spectacular choices, and none above 4% (so clearly a good place for a session). I had a slowly clearing but good Brakspears Bitter, a perfectly respectable Oxford Gold and a sharp, clean-tasting Ringwood Bitter. All good.

The consistent smattering of critical remarks about the staff over the last couple of years is a slight worry; bad/rude service is a bane, and if you're running a service business it really should be easy enough to treat customers well. However I have to say that on both my visits here I've experienced nothing negative. This time round I was served by a likeable young guy who saw that I was working my way round the ales and offered constructive and enthusiastic opinions. Maybe things are different when it's busier or different staff are on, but no complaints from me so far.
alesofsummer - 5 Apr 2010 13:19
Came here for a drink a couple of weeks ago. Ended up being pulled a bad pint which is no a big deal as it can happen anywhere. The thing that got me was that the rude bartender (bald chap) wouldn't pour me another. He told me I had to pay for a new pint. There was no swaying him. Finally after talking to another bartender (lady this tme) 20 minutes later I got a half pint out of them.

Really cheeky. Not going back. I've been going here quite often over the last 6 years but it is going downhill.
HarryTheHun - 31 Mar 2010 11:59
This pub is worth seeking out if you are in the area. Small but perectly formed so it gets vey busy at peak times. Lovely old interior. Beer was good. Staff always seem a bit solemn though.
TheBeerMonkey - 16 Mar 2010 09:31
A great and classie pub close to Waterloo. A tardis of drinking pleasure.
TALLTORQUIL - 30 Jan 2010 17:52
Reallynice,busy traditional London pub. Loads of space.
Redindianpowwow - 16 Jan 2010 00:59
Was there last night .. packed out, but a good atmosphere ... but I felt a bit left out that I didn't own a blackberry ... as the folk on the table as you entered had all there's lined up in a row ... strange ?!?

Anyway had a good pint of Doom Bar and was sat down ( eventually ) just about to order a second pint when we saw something amazing and DISTGUSTING that forced us on to drinking bottles of Magners ( from the bottle )!!

The barman came and collected some empties from our table ... then sneezed three times into his hands, then finished collecting glasses. We watched him, to make sure he washed his hands before serving the next customer ... he DID NOT ... in this climate of swine flu etc, that was absolutley WRONG !!!!
bigmox68 - 3 Jan 2010 14:13
Worth fighting your way to the bar for.
WinnieSChurchill - 3 Jan 2010 00:37
One of the very best pubs in London; in one of the best streets.
BARONVONBEERBARREL - 2 Jan 2010 22:33
Very best pub around Waterloo for all seasons.
BoggieJim - 30 Dec 2009 17:22
One of the very best kept beer secrets in London; only wish they had seats outside.
CityBobby - 30 Dec 2009 13:21
Watched some of the rugby here on Saturday - the Saloon was empty and the Public full! (yes, there are two bars, old-style)
Not so much choice on the ale front but a reasonable Doombar.

ps agree about the White Hart, not the nicest
palealice - 23 Nov 2009 16:04
Thought this was a decent, perfectly acceptable pub but probably not worthy of the 7.1 average rating. Adnams Bitter, Doombar and Pride on, so not a great deal of choice, but clearly a very popular establishment as the pavement outside was packed even on a chilly October evening. Relatively convenient for Southwark or Waterloo tubes, and better than the pubs on The Cut.
ChrisP87 - 17 Oct 2009 09:12
Spacious back street pub near but slightly out of the way from Waterloo Station. Sectioned off inside, plenty of space although lots of reserved tables. Got very busy later in the evening but found barstaff skilled, professional and pleasant. Doombar and Pride on and both very good, Heineken a bit tart/metallic. I shall be returning. Still uses beermats too!
bumpby - 15 Oct 2009 17:00
Cheekios and Glen 134 the last two posters are one and the same: working at the White Hart around the corner in Cornwall Road. If they/he tried cleaning, serving, lightening the pub or simply observed what the King's Arms, Wind mill, Jack's, Anchor and hope and other nearby pubs have in common, there all well run. Unlike the White Hart, simply a toilet.
Princemonolulu - 19 Sep 2009 23:43
I'm afraid this is the worst pub I have ever been to in the UK. It looks characterful and welcoming, but our evening was marred by the most unfriendly bar staff I have ever come across. One in particular sold crisps at inconsistent prices and was quietly hostile in his manner. No soap in gents toilet either.

I certainly will never go back.

We left there and were made to feel much more welcome at The White Heart round the corner on Cornwall Road!
Glenn134 - 17 Aug 2009 09:58
Since there is nothing more annoying on a night out than when a pub is happy (or rather miserably in this case) to serve you a pint at last orders, and then try to force you to drink up and get out at 11.01 by standing and shouting at you and putting chairs on tables, I won't be going back to the Kings Arms.

If you want to be served by gloomy bar staff who make you feel like they resent your custom, and to smell stinking toilets all night, go here. If, like me, you prefer friendly bar staff, nice decor and a relaxed atmosphere, go the the White Hart round the corner.
Cheekios - 17 Aug 2009 09:44
Great news that the miserable bar staff have left. We stopped going here because of them, yet it used to be one of my favourites. A good excuse for a pint.
Captain_Mainwaring - 10 Aug 2009 19:49
Popped in on a 'passing visit' last Sat, and it was an enjoyable little visit in my opinion
Old style pub feel with a little bit of a modern charm. They had Doombar on tap when I was in there, plus a new Adnams lager tap.
The barman who was leaving on Sunday dispersed amusing life advice and offered Tequila if things go wrong with the ladies...
Maybe this one off visit was a one off joy, but would return if passing
the_original_rawnsleys - 4 Aug 2009 13:59
Happiness returns! I was informed last night that they have a new Manager;Herr Flick has gone. So expect a steady flow of return of all the old locals that he barred. Sadly 3 fellas have passed onto the bar room in the sky; perhaps they can haunt the place instead?
Princemonolulu - 30 Jun 2009 10:12
Blimey, whats happened to this pub? It used to be blinding, with excellent friendly bar staff, but last night the bar staff were just surly and morose, to the point of passive aggressive to some customers. They rang the bell for no more service when it was clearly 3 minutes to 11 and were unpleasantly short with customers who tried to point out that it was not yet 11. We were watching the highlights of the football on the telly and one of the bar staff just turned it off with an abrupt snarl, no "sorry lads, need to turn it off now." The landlord needs to sort his staff's attitude out.
ricorazzo - 11 Jun 2009 22:55
Great Beer, good location, fantastic (and very reasonable) authentic Thai food. The only problem is that it does get VERY busy and it isn't cheap.
konarob - 26 May 2009 12:14
This is a great little street corner pub tucked away behind Waterloo station in Roupell Street - a street that doesn't seem to have changed for a hundred years!
Nicely decorated bars, large annex at the back and a good atmosphere.
The Adnams is gorgeous but eye wateringly expensive.
flashharry1965 - 22 May 2009 11:59
Mmmh! Im always a bit miffed that Ive frequented a boozer just after RogerB (see three postings below) , as its always difficult to add value on top of his usual accurate and detailed scrawings.
Fantastically situated amongst the Victorian back to backs to the east of Waterloo station, a very decent small two bar Victorian corner boozer which has benefited from a sympathetically done large extension out the back.
Had the same 4 ales on as mentioned below on our visit and the Adnams and Pride were very well kept all be it on the pricey side as previously referred to. This is a good pub, but also agree that the beer choice stops if from being one of the best pubs in London. If it could benefit from a couple of guests from Micros or from Brewers outside of the usual South of England fair , then it would be on its way up there..

Gann - 16 May 2009 13:27
Pretty close to perfect.

Pubs of this type often go to two extremes - they have sticky carpets, lager, St Georges' flags and Billy Bleach types propping up the bar, or every conceivable surface is painted in Farrow and Ball sage paint with a bunch of ex-public school types more interested in discussing their body piercings than serving you.

This place is neither. An updated version of a classic London backstreet pub with a good mixed crowd and reasonable beer/food.

The location is good; close to major transport links but with a quiet feel that is almost like the backstreets of somewhere like Cambridge or Norwich.
Hugh1971 - 20 Apr 2009 12:22
Set amid some classic period terraced houses (which make a great film/TV backdrop), this Victorian corner pub appears to have undergone some modernising but thankfully this has not detracted from its traditional character. The main body of the pub is split into the old style public / saloon bars by a partly glazed wooden screen. The saloon bar is quite plain with bare wooden floors, small round tables, open fireplace and plenty of windows making it all feel quite bright and airy but quite homely and intimate. The public bar doesnt benefit from the natural light and comes over as much more subdued but for me has a more enchanting feel. Over the quaint tiled fireplace is a relic of old drinking days, a Double Diamond mirror, which looks quite at home among the orderly old photos of local streets, markets and landmarks, various maps, newspapers, adverts and old prints. At the rear of the pub, the old garden has been converted into a large glazed conservatory that virtually doubles the size of the pub. The old road signs, plate collections and theatre adverts are also quite eyecatching.

As has been mentioned in previous reviews, the beer selection is at best ordinary with Adnams, Bombardier, Green King IPA and Pride, none of which will hold much interest to regular ale drinkers in London. What a couple of guest beers could do to this place goes without saying. Prices are also pretty steep given that the beers are nothing special; each ale, as far as I could tell, clocking up at 3.15 a pint. Service was efficient and prompt, even when a large group party came for which much of the conservatory had been reserved.

There are a couple of certificates from a rival pub web site on the wall in the saloon bar proclaiming the Kings Arms as Londons Best Pub 2004 and 2006. Its quite good, but not that good.

RogerB - 2 Apr 2009 16:21

A shameful disgrace. Used to be a wonderful backstreet boozer, whose staff now must surely be the rudest and most contemptuous in London, which takes some doing. I will never be taking my business here again. A hateful experience.
mrtrevorwhite - 2 Apr 2009 10:32
This is a perfect pub.

i cannot reccomend this place enough. its situated in a nice street, that feels a million miles form waterloo station, but is actually a coulpe of minutes walk.

the pub exterior is lovely, and is matche dby a genuinely cosy and nostalgic interior.

out the back is a great resturant, with some fantstic thai food.

if you're in this part of town, check it out.
CHELSEA_on_tour - 4 Mar 2009 15:33
Looks and feels perfect both inside and outside, an absolute must for a visit, but agree with aaroncp on ale choice
beerandpaperman - 19 Jan 2009 01:50
Good location, and great traditional decor/feel to the place, but let down by a rather boring selection of ales - Pride, GK IPA etc. Get a few guest ales in and it'd be up to an 8 or 9.
aaroncp - 16 Jan 2009 22:47
An excellent pub. Crowded a lot of the time but on a cold autumnal weekend evening it's very cosy and comfortable. Great range of beers, friendly staff, plus nice (and cheap) Thai food in the back room.
dhalliford - 24 Nov 2008 14:44
I've been here a few times now, and thoroughly recommend it

The first time was on an accidental pub crawl with a work colleague, where we follishly decided to trek to London Bridge to Waterloo (or was it the other way round)? Anyhow, this little beauty came up - ales on draught were splendid and the atmosphere was all about the pub - music in the back ground was kept quiet, great place for a quiet beer

Second time - Sunday roast and beers. Very pleasant then too, beer again very good and food rather tasty too. They don't scrimp either on portions which is never a bad thing

Third time - Even when rammed, rather friendly. Still a happy atmosphere.

It helps when you have an old Victorian boozer as your basis, but so many get it wrong by either 'updating' the decor to make it look Stoke Newingtonesque with candles etc. (never understood it), or like the Shears (near Farringdon) let it run itself to the ground. Modernise, yes. But not too much - there's plenty of people who want traditional pubs as much as wine bars.
rampantwurzel - 1 Oct 2008 16:25
A smashing back street Victorian boozer which is well worth going out of your way to find. Excellent looking front bar with fair selection of Ales on tap with large open rear for eating reasonably priced and plentiful Thai food.

Packed when we visited on a Tuesday night.

However this fantastic pub on many fronts is let down by ignorant bar staff and a we had a virtualy identical experience to runnerbean below.
juwwi - 1 Oct 2008 11:44
One of the best pubs in London. A short and pleasant walk from Waterloo Station or Southwark tube, (Incidently, this pub is in Lambeth, the boundary is at the bottem of the street with Southwark). Very busy, but comfortable place. Only problem as with most places, no seats outside for smokers to sit. How about fixing a few painted benches along the side to sit on chaps? Still a very nice pub.
anonymous - 25 Sep 2008 12:03
A great,great pub. Lots of pleasant places to sit or stand and a very good selection of well presented beers. A must have address for the true bitter drinker.
anonymous - 25 Sep 2008 00:55
I like this pub but when I was there recently the staff were surley AND slow. I was on the side with the smaller bar. It wasn't particularly busy. There were 2 girls serving and a guy collecting and washing glasses. I stood there, and I stood there, then a guy joined me and we both stood there waving our cash and trying to get eye contact whilst people on the other side came and went. Then 'Danielle' finally came over to us and asked the guy what he wanted! Fortunately for me he gestered that I was first (not always the case these days). Then when she served me she skipped him and asked a girl who'd just rolled up what she wanted.

I know noticing who comes to the bar is a skill but jeez it's a skill these guys need to learn.

And I needed wellies to enter the toilet. I only hope it was water!
runnerbean - 16 Sep 2008 18:41
I don't know this area well and came across this pretty street-corner boozer while finding my way to Waterloo East. It was clearly popular as there were several people enjoying drinks outside in the road. There's a cosy front bar with a larger room at the back which looked like it was intended for dining. Thai menu available. The Bombadier was good but I agree with rpadam that 3.15 is a tad steep! There were three other ales - Pride/GKIPA/etc - but nothing special. The staff were chatty and service was good.

DholeMoney will be pleased that the toilets were clean and stank of fresh paint. Clearly the management have read your review!

Nice pub - I will stop off here again.


sussexred - 29 Aug 2008 11:53
A lovely pub in a good location with a decent choice of beer and agreeable Thai food. Can get very busy after work but the service is usually quick (if sullen). Let down slightly by the toilets, which are truly awful.
DholeMoney - 21 Jun 2008 14:51
Has all the makings of a good pub - nice beers, proper pub atmosphere, of the beaten track and not full of the idiots you find in many Waterloo pubs - but with only one surely member of staff for much of a busy Saturday evening and an abrupt kick out at closing I was left disappointed. May just have been a bad night though so may try my luck again if in the area.
tpw101 - 8 May 2008 08:25
In many respects this should be a highly-rated pub, if it were not for the prices (3.15 for a pint of Bombardier and an incredible 1 for a packet of crisps). Still, it was packed with people presumably happy to pay up, so what do I know?
rpadam - 17 Apr 2008 23:06
Well I like it - but then I had just come from the Fire Station which is one of my all-time detest places. Beer was good, staff not bad at all and pub packed. Nice to have a pub not full of panhandling Jocks and Scousers close to a major London station
BobBoiston - 17 Apr 2008 17:50
OK pub but nothing special. Adnams average. Bar staff rude.
doncaosdelanada - 6 Apr 2008 19:41
Nice boozer in a perfect location - good pints of Green King IPA and a plesant atmosphere.

Great loacation down a very quaint street. Well worth a visit...
BenEd - 4 Feb 2008 15:25
Excellent London pub, serving good beer consistently over the many years I have travelled through Waterloo. Just far enough away from the station to retain some soul. Can get crowded on Thursday/Friday evening, but the staff can cope.

RB
RB1066 - 19 Oct 2007 21:38
Nice pub tucked away from the general dross that is Waterloo, standing outside with your pint you could think your in a Lowry painting.

The Adnams was ok in both price and quality (2.90)but you can get better in the Lord Clyde or Market Porter.

Worth at least one visit.
mrse1 - 15 Oct 2007 09:37
Beer quality very variable. Took a French visitor there recently and we were told they had no beer at all, real ale anyway. The pint of Adnams that I had there this week was awful and expensive;got it changed without too much fuss, but the IPA replacement while somewhat better could not be described as 'in condition' Pity, because otherwise I like the place. Thai food was OK
mally - 23 Jun 2007 12:42
Very handy for Waterloo Station - hence quite popular with after work "suits". This pub has had a couple of minor refurbishments over the years, nothing too drastic fortunately and the pub is still worth visiting.

Note the old Taylor Walker logo on the pub sign - thankfully the real ales are good, if not cheap. Adnams - 2.90p
JohnBonser - 25 May 2007 12:34
Very tasty London Pride, one of the best i've had for ages.
Perfectly situated for sloping away from work for a wee cheeky one while i'm filling out my time-sheet!
fenton - 1 Apr 2007 16:44
A bustling corner local, featuring four fairly mainstream ales (though Bass is probably not that mainstream these days). Ticks a few heritage boxes as well.

Tucked away down a classic Olde London street, weekend drinkers (who appeared to be art and philosophy students in my admittedly inebriated state) regularly spill out onto the street to enjoy their tipple, where a rather lovely view of the not-so-Olde-London Millennium Wheel can be had.

Though not as classy as the Lord Clyde, or as eclectic as the Royal Oak, I'd certainly recommend a visit if you're crawling this fine drinking area of London.
Quinno - 28 Feb 2007 21:56
Very handy for Waterloo but tucked away, up a quiet residential street. Excellent meeting point to avoid the horrors of Waterloo itself. Fair beer choice, all well kept.
BlindTiger - 25 Feb 2007 14:35
Great little boozer. Best used during quieter periods. Doesn't get friendlier when busy, just territorial. Also E. European staff not labouring under misapprehension that smiling is punishable by death, for a change.
theStickler - 15 Feb 2007 01:54
Er, to anyone whose thinking of making a special excusrion to view the art deco loos (see previous contributor), let me save you a trip.
Certainly they're not what you'd consider state-of-the-art. But as for being a historic timepiece depicting the foregone glories of English pissoir engineering, forget it. Cramped, smelly, wet floors just about sum them up.
But hey, it's such a good pub, you can forgive them for the occasional oversight!
norbitonpaul - 14 Feb 2007 13:15
My best pub in London is this one. The beer is so well keep and the women are lovely. The toilets are art deco too which is an amazing and differnt features. Ask for the guest ales. 10 / 10
anonymous - 24 Jan 2007 15:10
A good, but not great, pub. Four real ales when I visited - slightly uninspiringly Adnams, IPA, Bass and Pride. The IPA was in very good nick, though. As someone else said, the main body of the pub is very pleasant and well-preserved with two separate bars, but the back is a bit of a bolt on extension full of typical pub tat. Thai food on offer out the back, which is above average for pub Thai food, I'd say.
grecian - 23 Jan 2007 09:22
Good pub. Bit busy though. Nice back bit.
tufnellparka - 18 Jan 2007 15:29
Haven't been in here for a little while, but used to be a regular watering hole when I travelled from Waterloo (like many others I suppose as thousands of rush-hour pedestrians pass by every weekday). Very much a pub of two halves - the front bar is typical of a traditional pub while the back bar reminds me of a Spanish bar. Nothing against Spanish bars, but I much prefer the front bar. If it does good Adnams then that is good enough for me. Must pop in again soon. But so many pubs, so little time.....
RexRattus - 29 Dec 2006 14:40
Adnams bitter here is superb. Lovely Thai food at luntimes as well. Open all day. Really busy at lunchtime but emptys out in the afternoon. Free internet access.
alan0659 - 13 Dec 2006 15:10
Bass, Adnams Bitter, I don't remember the third. Did I say three good real ales? (insert comment about GK IPA)
beeronaut - 9 Dec 2006 18:12
When I went in here a few months ago, I thought it looked like a nice place but they had no ale on. Looking at the comments I saw mentioned GK IPA and Adnams - what is the usual beer situation here?
anonymous - 9 Dec 2006 14:02
A lovely little backstreet pub in an area of row houses probably unchanged for a century and a half - but only a few blocks from Waterloo Station. A paradox? Yes it is, and it has three good real ales on tap also.
beeronaut - 7 Dec 2006 21:20
Pass this place twice a day on my walk between office and Waterloo Station. In the morning they're out watering the hanging baskets; in the evening, fabulous smells of garlic and Eastern cooking as I turn the corner behind the pub kitchen. Says a lot about the place even before you've stepped inside!

Once over the threshold, great selection of beers, decent chav-free ambience, no muzak. A good traditional pub, big on conviviality and devoid of ersatz trimmings. Very popular early evening, which adds to its atmosphere.


norbitonpaul - 17 Nov 2006 09:03
Can't see how anyone who knows about pubs would regard this as an undiscovered gem. That is not to say it is not a gem, it is, but undiscovered!!!!!!!!

beer is good here even if the range is uninspiring. One word of caution however is watch your belongings. This place gets rammed in the evening and bag/purse/wallet snatches are (as with a lot of places near stations,) rife.

Provided you have your wits about you, this is a great pub.
anonymous - 3 Nov 2006 11:55
A great back-street pub. I thought I knew this area well but I have overlooked this one until now. It's a proper old-fashioned boozer and even has separate public and saloon bars, which is becoming increasingly rare these days. The outside even has one of those large semi-tubular signs that were probably put up in the fifties or sixties - good to see it hasn't been ripped down.
There were a couple of real laes available; my pint of Greene King IPA was in very good condition.
There is a large room at the back, a later add-on, and it does tasty Thai meals. But for purists (like me) you can pretend it isn't there and imagine you are sitting in a pub that has hardly changed in fifty years.
I will definitely be back.
karloff - 3 Nov 2006 11:46
The commuters flock here in the early evening and think they own it; the truth is, the Kings Arms belongs to some rock-hard locals - Irish OAPs.

Once, after a particularly heavy session at the Grouse and Claret in Belgravia we pitched up here a-stumbling. I sent my pint flying over the table and floor. 'Clean that up', barked one of the old boys at the bar throwing a bar towel at me. I didnt hesitate; you just dont mess with authority like that.

The Kings Arms is exactly what a London pub should be full of character, devoid of foul Fosters and just a touch on the threatening side. Apparently the food is good too. Not that anyone should go to a pub to eat.
anonymous - 1 Sep 2006 14:32
Being "renovated " at the time of my visit ( Saturday afternoon ). I think it's just being given a lick of paint - nothing drastic - as it was remaining open. Still a great pub and well worth visiting. I shall report further if there's any wanton vandalism or destruction to the interior - but I'm optimistic.
JohnBonser - 7 Aug 2006 13:32
Great old-school boozer. Lovely location on a picture postcard street near Waterloo. Good choice of ale and largers, pleasantly tatty. Nice Thai food and English bar snacks.
gnuts - 13 Jul 2006 16:38
A real gem of a pub in picturesque Roupell Street, well kept selection of ales, friendly service and good atmosphere. My only complaint is that my last visit was rather spoilt by the juke box being so loud; it really was deafening, it was early on a Saturday lunchtime and there was absolutely no escaping it. Why do pubs insist on piping this noise to every corner, don't they realise the value (and rarity, esp. in London!) of a little peace and quiet? Other than that highly recommended, will return in the hope that someone has cut the speaker wires to at least one of the bars!
somertel - 29 Mar 2006 10:49
This is the place to head for for a first/last beer after/before Waterloo. Head and shoulders above anything else in the area, and if it wasn't so handy for the train it would still be worth seeking out in its own right. Unspoilt, good ale (best pint of Pride I've had in years).
SJC - 23 Mar 2006 23:15
Nice pub, a lot quieter at lunchtimes and 17 years ago the scene of the great dalek battle (see Rememberance Of The Daleks if you don't believe me!)
PunkySi - 26 Dec 2005 11:36
Great pub. Great beer. Great food.
mad_mullah - 18 Dec 2005 14:12
Beer mainly from large regionals or small national breweries. Quality so-so, but the staff and atmosphere in the pub are second-to-none. Particularly friendly was the Eastern European girl who served me and my friends on Tuesday 6/12/05. Had this been a Hopback, Dark Star or Milton pub, it would be just perfect.
lad_newton - 12 Dec 2005 17:39
Great interior of this pub, vry busy, but still some space in the back, too bad about the ales though, not very well keept, The London Pride tasted awfull
TheRoadWarrior66 - 12 Dec 2005 10:45
Marvellous. Loads of little rooms, and one big one that looks like it's been built into a conservatory out the back. Real fires and real ale. Long may it continue.
Albert_Campion - 2 Dec 2005 18:49
Very busy, so very noisy - hard to have a group conversation here, let alone a mobile one. Also very warm, and bar staff a bit slow to serve.

So in every way a victim of its own success really! But you can see the attraction: nice pub, good venue, at least 3 real ales, and Thai cuisine.

Oh, avoid the loo - so cramped that it's a bit TOO intimate!
Trev - 4 Nov 2005 12:34
What a smashing pub this is, hidden away in a back street near to Waterloo Station. The small front bar has real traditional atmosphere, the larger back bar is spacious and comfortable, and there is a great choice of beers. Got busy in the evening with people popping in after work, but there were plenty of efficient staff so getting served was no problem. Highly recommended. (Thanks to Jo H "Zone 1 Bird" and Rachel B "Posh Bird" for introducing me to this little gem.)
Gostevie - 30 Sep 2005 08:20
After a smashing summer evening stroll down the South Bank you don't want to spoil it with a numbing chain pub experiance or a crap pint with the wannabees at the NFT. The Kings Arms is 'well proper', we loitered around in the evocative Windmill Walk and Roupell street just suppin' some ale and cursing the occasional driver who insisted on using the road (tut!). I had gone off Fullers London Pride in recent years but they serve an excellent pint here. Also available at the time was Adams Bitter, Spitfire and another guest ale I fail to recall. Before I shyed away from the Waterloo area fearing chattering tourists and sticky Wetherspoons but no more. PS Thanks to Elliot for showing us the way.
danrkelly - 22 Jul 2005 10:59
Good beer and very cosy at the front. Big area at the back where you can get reasonable (although kind of pricey) Thai food. Nice to sit in the street in the summer and enjoy an evening pint there.
monkeyDave - 5 May 2005 20:37
Tucked away on the marvelously 'old London' Roupell Street, the Kings Arms represents a tradition of English public housing a far cry from the gaudy, brass-dripped chain pubs of the capital. The front bars are a wonderful place to stand and chat over a pint of Adnams, whether you're watching the quick-stepped commuters clashing with the architecture of the street outside as they bomb towards Waterloo, or the uniquely attractive, square-jawed barmaid.

The conservatory in the back is more tasteful than a West End theme bar, and the clientele are generally apres-office.

Definitely worth a visit (but not tonight because I'm going and I want a seat this time)
lancalot - 5 May 2005 14:56
Having now got their act together with beer quality The king's Arms is everything a back street local should be.
mally - 25 Mar 2005 13:21
Shhhhhhh ! Don't tell anybody about this gem.
zaparoski - 31 Dec 2004 11:48
A pub of three parts. Out front it's pretty standard stuff with two sections joined by the bar in the middle. Decor is low key, verging on the traditional. Light are a bit bright maybe but the furnishings take the edge off it. To complete this triumvirate of drinking arenas we have what I suppose is a converted conservatory out back. Stone floor, open drains, some old fashioned hearth and a miscellany of old signs and antique furnishings make it seem more like a grotto.
The music was what one could lazily describe as 'post chill-out' and that worked well. Even a trip to the toliet beckoned ones attention as you struggle to establish your bearings in a pub full of visual vignettes.
Good for: It could serve a variety of purposes but I would hazard a guess that providing winter refuge could be it's strongest card.
thenationofjames - 29 Nov 2004 14:14
A friend introduced the Kings Arms to me a few months back and I instantly fell in love with the place. The street its on feels like a film set on a Sherlock Holmes movie and the character of the pub is tremendous, the beer was fine when I went the other night, highly recommended!
DKavanagh - 24 Nov 2004 16:25
I've spent many splendid evenings at this wonderful venue with my partner Len. However, we both recall the strange occasion when there was a kind of party going on in the conservatory at the rear of the pub. Between you and us we think it was a cult of some sort. They were molesting Elks and messing about with rusty spoons. To be honest, it wasn't nice...and at their age too!
Drama_Queen - 23 Nov 2004 21:15
I went there for the first time last night (11 Nov) and thought it was a great pub - the likes of which you don't see enough of these days. A proper boozer!
Pieman - 12 Nov 2004 11:55
Pub is antiquated, traditional with a great atmosphere and the Thai food is fantastic. But as for "great beer", sorry but no. It was average at best.
Alfie Jones - 6 Sep 2004 13:27
Ha ha - I love the place, but the idea that they serve good beer is ludicrous. Their bitters are almost always 'off'.
There is often a really nasty pong coming from the drains, too.
John - 7 May 2004 09:23
A great local's pub, although used by commuters during the week. A bit smokey, but the service and locals are friendly. Good beer and extensive thai menu.
Mario - 18 Feb 2004 09:20
A wonderful pub in a brilliant, almost time warp location (like being back in the sixties). Service is fine and the beers OK. One of the best pubs south of the river.
andrew1961 - 23 Jan 2004 21:55
It is a good pub with a great atmosphere. It is very much improved since 1992 (or thereabouts) the staff are now very friendly and the beer's not bad either. I always have my "welcome back" session here after trips away on the eurostar. Great!
lad_newton - 1 Oct 2003 18:43
Great beer. Great atmos. Crowded, but worth it, and you can spill out onto the street.
Martin - 13 Aug 2003 12:49
the kind of pub that I would rather not tell people about for fear of being ruined. People in the know guard it as a well kept secret. Great selection of beers, is a step back in time to how all pubs should be - and is the perfect antidote to bland new chain pubs such as slug etc. Good work Briony.
Andrew Thomson - 10 Jul 2003 17:32
Good beer, located in a beautiful street of terraced houses, decent food, friendly, nice atmosphere.
Sickboy - 28 Apr 2003 23:12
Friendly pub located in the back streets near Waterloo station. Do a nice pint of Adnams :)
Briony - 17 Feb 2003 10:20

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