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Scarsdale Tavern, Kensington

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user reviews of the Scarsdale Tavern, Kensington

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

Interesting pub, sat outside for a couple of hours today. Really does not feel like a 'central' London pub.
Beer was OK, Butcombe and Italian Moritz enjoyed by me and my drinking partner.
I will return.
ericstadd - 16 Jul 2013 19:27
Just been in for Sunday lunch, great pub, great food, even though it had a selection of Fullers ales on ,went for the Harvey's and a Hook Norton, excellent
hullcityfan - 1 Apr 2012 17:25
It's not that pricey - this is just off Kensington High Street you know.
malo66 - 16 Mar 2012 17:00
Very nice pub but a little pricey. Paid 3.95 quid for a guest beer.
endoderm - 7 Mar 2012 19:23
Recently had a weekend in London staying in hotel in Kensington was recommended by hotel staff to try the Scarsdale for a really good meal and drink. We were not disappointed with either. Thoroughly enjoyed the meal which was of a very high standard I had the Roast Beef and my friend had the Lamb Shoulder. We found the staff very friendly and helpful and would recommend to anyone to give this Pub a try.
susancockram - 26 Feb 2011 09:35
If you have seen recent London Pride adverts on TV, featuring James May, you might like to know that the pub shown in all the daytime shots is the ... Scarsdale!
For some reason, a Pub in Battersea was used for night time filming.
malo66 - 31 Jan 2011 14:10
Can't really understand some of the comments on here. We found that the staff in the Scarsdale were, without exception, friendly and helpful and provided prompt service even though it was getting busy.

A Fullers house offerring Pride, Jack Frost, Bengal Lancer and (Gales) Seafarers. Quality was fine and I'd certainly visit again when in the area.
cheshirecat - 21 Jan 2011 10:17
Can only comment on this pub at lunchtime as I have never visited in the evening.

Well managed Fullers pub that balances food, service and beer well. Never been disappointed with any aspect of this pleasant and friendly pub.
Max1905 - 10 Jan 2011 13:54
Scarsdale is the best pub I know in London, and I know plenty.

Staff there was always friendly, since the very first time I stepped in the pub two years ago.

But a pub is not only made by its staff. So, let me say that Scarsdale also has a wonderful garden, good food and good beer. It's a place where you can drink the original Dutch Grolsch beer with that nice, old fashioned lid ( don't confuse this beer with the little one found in supermarkets. That one is brewed here and it's rubbish).

It's a beatiful pub, inside and outside, and they love dogs over there. They even have a bowl of water in the garden just for the dogs.

Scarsdale is a very relaxed place and it is a very good experience to be there. If you seat outside in the garden you will be in one of the very few pubs in London where you can actually talk to people without being bothered by rubbish music, as there is no music outside.

Scarsdale is not a place where you will find people howling and drinking themselves to death. It is a civilized pub for civilized people.

PS There was a mistake in my review and, since there is no option for editing reviews, I am posting a corrected review.
lucas22 - 2 Jan 2011 23:55
Scarsdale is the best pub I know in London, and I know plenty.

Staff there was always friendly, since the very first time I stepped in the pub two years ago.

But a pub is not only made by its staff. So, let me say that Scarsdale also has a wonderful garden, good food and good beer. It's a place where you can drink the original Dutch Grolsch beer with that nice, old fashioned lid ( don't confuse this beer with the little one found in supermarkets. That one is brewed here and it's rubbish).

It's a beatiful pub, inside and outside, and they love dogs over there. They even have a bowl of water in the garden just for the dogs.

Scarsdale is a very relaxed place and it is a very good experience to be there. If you seat outside in the garden you will be in one of the very few pubs in London where you can actually talk to people without being bothered by rubbish music, as there is no music outside.

I read the reviews here and am not surprised about so many negative reviews. They tell nothing about Scarsdale. They only tell about whoever wrote them. Scarsdale is not a place where you will find people howling and drinking themselves to death. It is a civilized pub for civilized people.
lucas22 - 2 Jan 2011 23:39
" As a member of the pompous ' Chelsea Tractor ' brigade, I'd rather not see this person in this pub when I visit. Wasn't there when he was, but everyone is still talking about him there. "
Norton.77 - 21 Dec 2010 10:51
Dreadful place! If you want any kind of customer service when you visit a pub this is NOT the place for you. I echo the sentiments from some other reviewers; the landlady (mangeress ?) was unbelievably rude and unpleasant. The bar staff were also agressive and unfriendly and one did not know the ingredients for a well-known drink. I also had red wine spilt all over me and the guy who did just laughed in my face. No thought of an apology!! It is just the worst kind of excesses of the pompous "Chelsea Tractor" brigade that one thinks of in this area. Totally awful experince. Won't be going again.
Royal_Captain - 20 Dec 2010 19:01
We were in there last week,lovely food ,great pint of Harvey's ale and Butcombe on soon,one of the few places you can bring your dog into, There was a 3 legged mastiff in while we we there [ no kidding ], Let's hope he bites James May the next time he's in ,so none of his "mates" takeover.Know what I mean
hullcityfan - 17 Oct 2010 15:57
Fantastic little boozer - what makes it even better is the fantastic friendly service from the staff, the landlady Sarah served me on my last occasion and really made me feel valued and accommodated my every need...and the range of wines are superb. The lamb shoulder on the menu is one of the best I have had! I have been coming to the Scarsdale for the last 20 years but certainly over the last 10 years the pub has really transformed itself, in my opinion due to the excellent management and the staff that work there. Brilliant purchase by Fullers and keep it up! The only thing Soulless and c**p about this pub is foxski's review...clearly someone who is too high on their horse...
gooddiner67 - 22 Jul 2010 02:52
The Scarsdale Tavern isn't nearly as good as it thinks it is. The ale is never well kept. The food is nothing special. and is overpriced. The furniture is a bit uncomfortable. The staff are always slightly unfriendly. The whole place is just a bit soulless and crap.
foxski - 17 Jun 2010 22:16
always a delight to go to,whether its for their menu not a Fullers normal one ,have a steak Ialways do,staff are v/helpful,having guest ales is another bonus
hullcityfan - 6 Apr 2010 13:43
My favourite pub in London. Simply unbeatable. Beer, food, atmosphere all terrific. Always found the staff to be spot on. Can't really understand the comments on here about unfriendly, arrogant, impolite service. Come on people - we're talking about central London here! I think people needing a pat on their head and a tickle of their chin with every pint would probably be best served drinking somewhere north of Watford. Just a thought....
GREENKING7 - 5 Dec 2009 21:21
I'm sorry to hear about your experience with the staff, jhlw
All you can do is vote with your feet - try the Warwick Arms?
malo66 - 24 Jul 2009 17:56
This pub has an amazing spot, tucked away off high st ken, but sadly that's where it ends. The staff have been incredibly dismissive and rude on both of the occasions I've visited recently and the food is average at best. I suppose the beer is nice, but isn't it always?
jhlw - 17 Jun 2009 00:10
Visited it for the first time since the take over. Full set of Gales beers on tap- Seafarers and HSD. Pride and a guest ale. Arrived early evening and only one drinking Ale- every other order was Wine or spirits. Pint of pride £3.10 - is that the most expensive ever? I had the HSD next at £3.20 so no...... both pints good.
A lady next to me bought a large glass of house red for £5.05- so not alot of change from a tenner here. Also the answer to her original Fonsecca red wine request was ah we don't have tha wine and when asked about it's possible future availability replied oh we don't know it has been off for a while.Why keep it on then?
Some young men arrived and upon ordering a portion of chips were told you can't just have chips any more you can have garlic bread and olives and order the chips as a vegetable. The total of those two orders came to over £5.
The pub was busy. A local was chatting to the maion barman discussing something about the new owners knowing......( I couldn't hear!)
Still a fantastic location and the food orders were being taken and served, so still popular.
milsonman - 16 Jun 2009 10:49
This pub must have one of the most delightful locations in London. It is just like something out of Mary Poppins: Victorian houses and a lovely private garden on the square. Well worth a visit.
malo66 - 8 May 2009 19:31
A London institution. Great food, great service and fantastic long-serving landlords. I hope that Fullers don't try to mess about with this pub. It has a great soul which is always well looked after. 10/10
MarkMac - 24 Apr 2009 11:32
I am delighted that Fullers have now decided to expand in this area....they have a well proven track record and excellent beers this coupled with dinamic and 'individualised' management styles should prove to be a great success!
pubmanstu - 10 Apr 2009 18:27
Archie 50
I have very little sympathy. It used to be enough for a landlord/lady to bellow "time gentlemen please" and within 10 minutes or so the premises would be deserted. When people have had a few drinks (nothing wrong with that of course) it could take a couple of hours to close if one were to be extremely polite and civilised about it. In an expensive restaurant, this is what happens - the more you have spent, the more the staff will patiently wait for you to leave.
malo66 - 27 Mar 2009 18:23
Punch have just sold the pub to Fullers so hopefully this will regain some of its momentum and see it's considerable charm enhanced
milsonman - 27 Mar 2009 14:39
I can't believe how disappointed we were last night.
Met with four friends traveling a considerable distance to go to a great pub that has long been one of my favourites. And good it was too: excellent real ale, great food.
Friday night: busy, long wait for a table, but that's expected and worth it.
We were there all evening and spent well. Then closing time comes along, as can only be expected.
What is not expected, however, is for the staff to wedge open the doors at 11.04pm. It was 3C (37F) outside last night.
At first they were bringing in outside furniture, fair enough.
But that task completed, the doors were left wedged open.
My friend moved to close them as it was becoming freezing in the pub, but the were opened once again.
We questioned this with a barmaid who stated that they "want to go home", confirming our suspicion that this was a cynical ploy to get people out. This was at about seven minutes past eleven.
Just before 11.20, as we collected our coats and were leaving I asked to speak to the manager, having had more hassling from the staff. The manager and her associate didn't seem to care less that long time customers were being made to feel like we were in the wrong, simply for wanting to finish our drinks without freezing. We were then told to "leave now".
And we did.
I hope some good comes out of this recession by weeding out such management from great pubs where one expects, and has previously had, much better.
archie50 - 24 Jan 2009 12:18
A dream of a pub.
Truly beautiful on a Friday afternoon after working hours. A substantial part of Londoner seem to think the same way.
I also went there to eat on weekends, they always delivered on service, price and food quality.

Can only recommend.
ebenezerscrooge - 22 Jan 2009 01:19
Surprising pleasant and unpretentious pub off the high street. Good customer mix, and good Youngs. Friendly bar staff (even said bye when I left) - impressed.
mtaylor40 - 24 Nov 2008 22:25
This is one of the best pubs in London. It has a country pub feel about it, even though it is in the heart of Kensington. Great beer, great food, friendly service and customers, lovely outside area, lovely inside. Lovely all over really. Let's hope it doesn't change.
Greshon - 18 Jul 2008 10:26
This is an estate pub but one with a difference, the estate in question is a secluded and select area off Kensington High Street. Whereas in most estate pubs one might expect shell-suits, baseball caps, cheeseburger & chips and people cashing giros, in this one you’ll find pressed chinos, designer sunglasses, bruschetta & marinated olives and everyone paying with plastic. Previous comments concerning difficulty in getting a table seem well founded as it has always been busy when I have called in. They try to solve this by adding more tables but they are arranged so close together, both inside and out, that it seems difficult to sit anywhere comfortably. I have always found the service to be pretty good even when its busy. The pub has 4 cask beers, Everards Beacon, Pride, Youngs and Old Speckled Hen on my last visit and has Cask Marque accreditation (although I did see them pouring slops into a glass on my first visit). The menu is befitting of it’s clientele including the prices. All this might seem a bit negative but it is certainly an interesting place to go and see how the other half drink. Just when I thought I couldn’t find anything else that so stereotypically sums up the Kensington set I walked into the Gents to find not the latest pages from the Telegraph on the wall but those from Private Eye, priceless.

Millay - 3 Feb 2008 21:30
Didn't go for food, just a pint...

Got there just at the end of lunch and got a table easily. Was only intending to stay for one, maybe two pints.

However the Youngs was excellent and that was all the encouragement needed to make an afternoon of it.

The staff were friendly and the service was good!
maddom - 25 Jan 2008 08:41
well the food is nice. BUT. I went there for the oreo madness (the most amazing dessert in London) and they don't do it anymore!!! same for the Bul's head in richmond! I mean, what are they waiting for??? the oreo madness is a gold mine! why is nowhere anymore? We want oreo madness! we want oreo madness! by the way, at 3.30 the waiter told us to wait until 6 for the oreo madness, and after2 hours of drooling he just came to us saying'oh sorry, I got it wrong they don't do it anymore'. That waiter was just evil. evil. So...well cool place, good food, BUT the best part is no longer there.
anonymous - 2 Jul 2007 11:04
The doorman at the Holiday Inn recommended this place to us. Beer good and found the bar staff helpful despite the place being extremely busy (Sunday afternoon). After a couple of hours we managed to get a table for what was a later than planned lunch. Food was excellent.
gerry46 - 23 Feb 2007 23:21
For me, this is the best pub in south Kensington, well hidden in a secluded back street. Authentic olde worlde French decor crossed with cosy traditional English pub, complete with open fire. Plenty of character and dark wood. Nicely kept real ales, appealing menu, and neither pretentious nor horribly over-priced. The bar staff are slightly taciturn as people have mentioned, probably because this pub is too popular for its own good. Best visited on a week night if you want to sit down.
foxski - 16 Jan 2007 00:25
Great pub - like the seats outside (with heaters during the winter), good atmosphere, perfect for a pre-cinema pint or two. Got served nice and quickly as well. But yes, no seats to be found..
Adi - 28 Aug 2006 17:41
A hidden gem on a sunny day - tough to get a table though - so have strong legs. Big servings of steak and chips. Unfortunately this place will always be tainted by my memory of Chelsea supporters top movie as Universal Soldier, and even worse, Liverpool supporters' love of Jerry Maguire - however, great pub, the bar maid had me at "allo".
CSIdrinker - 4 May 2006 14:40
Enjoyable tavern. Unlike most other pubs in the area they don't kick you out at 11, often last call comes at 10:59, and they then serve you happily and let you finish your drink. My only complaint is that it can be hard to get a seat.

freebird - 27 Feb 2006 12:01
I have never rated this pub and it never gets any better. I have been in on a couple of occasions, but only when dragged! The staff have a tendancy to be bordering on the rude and it can take for ever to get served even when quiet unless you are well known to them then it would appear that you can jump the queue. The food is not all that and the place looks tired and tatty, not that it is I think it was just designed that way. It is good for summer evening tho' I bet most pubs in the area would kill for that garden
anonymous - 28 Jan 2006 23:01
This pub was really really nice. I was quite impressed overall. The exterior, even in winter, is neatly decorated with umbrella's and foliage. A chalkboard menu outside details what treats can be found inside. Upon walking in you are greeted by regulars who are indulging in their evening drink or tucking into a bowl of nacho's. I was served at the barn within 5 minutes by Matthew. Although not overly friend, he did advise me that the nacho's I had ordered might be big enough for a main course. When I explained that I was particularly hungry I orderd the chicken ceasar salad. That too was declicious with just the right balance between chicken and salad. It was all very tasty. The pub has a warm atmosphere in general... but I got the impression the staff can be a little cold. My food was plonked on the table within so much as a "bon apetite". The bowl in which my nacho's came in was scalding hot, but the South-African waitress said nothing to prevent me burning myself. Although these are small point in what was otherwise a good visit, its a shame that the pub lets itself down by staff being surly or arrogant. In short, the food is great, the decor is delightful - but the staff need to be taught to lighten up and put a smile on their faces. A little courtesy would help too.
jamesg - 9 Jan 2006 20:21
Beautiful pub - nice flower boxes - great beer - quick staff - what more could you want? ..... Maybe somewhere to sit would be nice :)

As for those couples taking up tables intended for 4 or 5 - just sit at them - bugger their disdain
anonymous - 28 Dec 2005 18:14
The garden's lovely and it almost seems like a country pub in terms of regulars and atmosphere. Recommended.
libero - 21 Sep 2005 11:16
Working just up the road -almost found by mistake ? Great pub better than most others in the area .

Busy but service good
W980501 - 15 Jul 2005 16:31
lovely looking pub inside and out shame there is not a seperate area just for drinkers people in pairs seem to want to take up tables for four or five people and dont make you welcome to sit next to them staff just ok
anonymous - 26 Jun 2005 15:16
Nice pub, still fairly traditional, despite some updating. On my visit last Saturday lunchtime, pub seemed surprisingly busy, doing a good food trade, but not overtly discouraging drinkers only.
Nice etched glass windows at the front, making it feel cosier than it otherwise would than with goldfish bowl windows that seem all the rage nowadays.
Would definitely call in again when next in the area.
JohnBonser - 16 May 2005 13:07
Lovely location and nice pub. I went there on a Sat. afternoon/evening and the pub wasn´t particularly busy, most people seem to come there for a meal. Food looked nice, but didn´t try myself. Seemed a bit pricey, but guess you pay for the area you drink in!
Found the staff to be a bit moody and arrogant, and the supervisor was a horribly rude lady...Heard from a local that the regulars wanted to complain about her to the manager even...
But as long as you stay away from the staff you could have a lovely evening here...
IvyIvyIvy - 1 May 2005 08:39
the pub is quite nice - although it was very busy (i went early on a tuesday evening).

The food was nothing special nor was the wine.

the staff were fine - although they seemed to serve regulars before everyone else. I spent 20 minutes standing at the bar trying to pay my bill.
anonymous - 26 Apr 2005 15:41
Pub is great, although the staff really need a lesson in catering. South african barman was genuinely rude when I took back a bloody mary because it was awful and asked for a replacement. Get the staff up to scratch and emphasise customer service and this place would be great.
Lambert1 - 11 Feb 2005 10:43
Here here...

Where do I start? Food is very good - earlier this week had chinese style shredded duck salad w/pancakes for starters. Pud to follow was a fantastic red berry crumble with vanilla custard.

The rapture!
Scooter - 2 Jul 2004 15:26
an excellent pub, lovely and quiet, great beer, a great locals local! Bit of a trek for me from Kensington Church st but worth it!
Phil the lush Shipham - 21 May 2004 02:47
Absolutely fantastic pub - by far the best in the area
Charlie - 23 Apr 2004 11:53
I'm trying to trace a man that worked here around 1964/65 name of Tony (Anthony)Brown also anyone who might remember a waitress called Anne Boyle. In fact if there is anyone out there who drank there or worked there please get in touch
ktbergin - 17 Apr 2004 16:32
Phat Steaks. Very good value for money and the food is great.
Diego - 16 Mar 2004 19:12
My work team enjoyed a fantastic meal & drink in the Scarsdale's pleasant & warm atmosphere.
The Scarsdale is without doubt one of Londons finest pubs.
Many thanks to Ray & Sarah
Dave H. (20th DEC 2003)
David Hannan - 20 Dec 2003 17:45
Well, it always used to the called the Scarsdale Arms, not Tavern. Has it changed?

I worked here during 1977 (I know, prehistory). Anyone remember the pub then? Audrey and Peter Dunks were the managers. Mike and I worked the bar days and some evenings.

Loved it.
Grantchester - 3 Jul 2003 00:22
I,m looking forward to seeing your pub when we visit this summer, and I was wondering if you could recommend some nice lodging close to you (something moderate, nothing outrageously expensive). I appreciate any suggestions! Thanks! Sue
Sue Moore - 17 Jun 2003 19:23
Great Location, almost hidden in a quite secluded area. the
Bombardier Bitter was worth the walk from the tube station.
Steve - 23 Apr 2003 23:44
Great pub, excellent food and wines, wonderful setting. It's up there with the Crown in Islington and the Ifield in Chelsea. Ideal for everything from first dates, anniversaries, taking the parents and long afternoons drinking cold lager with mates.
Neil - 22 Apr 2003 17:26
A fantastic pub, best in London.
If Ray and Sarah are still there please could you contact me.
Taff Green - - 13 Apr 2003 11:40
This pub was used in an episode of the hit 70's show The Professionals, so a must for anyone who is a fan or anyone with a hankering for the times when men were men. Nice pub, good beer, friendly staff, much recommended.
anonymous - 20 Nov 2002 11:18
Pub of the Year 1990
Fantsatic old pub in wonderful settings. Good food, two fireplaces and friendly staff
Marcus - - 21 May 2002 14:21

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