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Cat's Back, Wandsworth

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user reviews of the Cat's Back, Wandsworth

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

Lovely little pub, the staff are welcoming and the beer is good, so is the food! there is a large outdoor space at the back of the pub and the cinema evenings are a great idea, Price wise it's very reasonable too.
Stevethebar - 21 Jul 2016 10:40
Good news!! the old manager's back, 2 out of 3 well kept Harvey's beers on tap, the lighting's definitely been turned down a level, excellent (no pop or radio) music playing softly in the background, cinema and live music nights during the week. For those that remember this pub and why it was such a go to place in Wandsworth up until about 3 or 4 years ago, let it be known, the cat is definitely back!!!
tonofbrix - 14 Mar 2015 21:24
Big fat zero. Pub was closed yesterday lunchtime. On a Saturday!!!!
Wilson_MacDonald - 12 Jan 2014 19:29
Pub 4 of our crawl.

5 Harveys beers on we had a mixture between us and it came to £15.70. Far from the dearest of the night.

The main room as a nice feel about it but looks like it is still going the Gastro pub stance.

But Harveys beer so no complaints there.
TheHorsesMouth - 8 Oct 2013 13:47
Changed hands back in early-ish 2012.

Best bit: well-presented Harveys-serving pub.

Worst-bit: replaced one of the best pubs in London (I won't go into details).

A 'luncher's' pub more than a 'drinker's pub' - the landlord is trying to capture the eating trade and the pub reflects this. Very prim decorations - lots of old photos of Lewes, fancy tables and chairs, snazzy wallpaper. Clientele of well-dressed lunchers from the neighbouring luxury flats (leave your 'Slayer' T-shirt at home - or go in it to annoy the lunchers!).

This is somewhere to take people for a meal (the landlord is really trying hard and I reckon the food's good), and it's one of the few Harveys' owned pubs in London if you really like their ales.

Some, rather overlooked ('em flats) seating out the back.

Worth a visit, for lunch.
alecider29 - 23 Jun 2013 11:59
Newish Harvey's venture in an area given over to new upmarket flats and commercial premises. Busy on a cold Friday night but we got a seat OK. Friendly service. Beer quality could be better but may improve over time.

Clientele were young well-heeled types - apart from us! No CAMRA beardies.

Handy for Princess Adelaide and another pub (Hop Pole?)if you wanted to visit several pubs. Would definitely return.
ArhurPint - 23 Feb 2013 01:30
Single roomed, fairly small, pub. 4 handpumps dispensing Harvey's Mild (on offer at £2.50), Sussex (£3.20), Tom Paine and a summer golden ale. Quality was great.

A fairly limited food menu was on offer all afternoon.

Annoying background music was too loud for comfort.

Worth visiting but I much prefer the Royal Oak at Borough.
cheshirecat - 27 Aug 2012 08:26
Surprisingly bland pub in the modern style with one large room. They have now started food which was a tad disappointing as was the beer. Perhaps things will sort themselves out when they have more customers.
simontheeditor - 4 Jul 2012 08:11
I visited yesterday afternoon and it was very quiet. The licensee introduced herself and she was most welcoming and courteous. Early days of course and once the word gets around CAMRA circles trade should pick up. Good location close to the Thames and Wandsworth Park. The Harveys Best was in lovely condition. The best I've had for a while. Well worth a visit.
geoffharwood - 1 Jul 2012 07:12
Good beer. The pub is crisp and clean after Harveys spruce up. Perhaps too crisp and clean...Needs some time to evolve and redevelop some character. Well worth a visit.
Frasercurmudgeon - 24 Jun 2012 10:34
Went here on Monday night to try the place again as it's now a Harvey's pub. When we went in there were 3 people standing in the doorway and no one else apart from the barman. We ordered a couple of pints of Harveys Best and a half of Guinness; thought beer quality was ordinary (not as good as the Royal Oak). After sitting down 3 further people arrived and joined the exisitng 3; at which time the decibel level went through the roof. This was then followed by turning up the radio to deafening levels. After being encouraged to dance by one of the group; our eardrums couldn't take any more so we left our beers and headed fpr the Queen Adelaide. Don't think we're likely to be going back which is disappointing.
gerryf - 20 Jun 2012 19:04
What he said - reopened as a Harvey's pub. Comfortable and pleasant, very clean and crisp at the moment, perhaps a little sterile but it should weather well.

Made a point of trying all four beers that were on. Sussex Best is, in my opinion, one of the greatest beers ever brewed. Armada, Olympia, and a rather punchy Jubilee special were all excellent.

The gaffer and gafferesse were very sociable and pleasant. Seem keen to maintain some live music in the future, and looking forward to the kitchen opening soon.

I would say it lacks some of the character of its predecessor, but it would be impossible to maintain. All in all, it shows a lot of promise.

8/10 (+1 due to serving Sussex Best)
aljwoods - 7 Jun 2012 15:01
It's open, hooray! Yes now owned by Harveys of Lewes which is very exciting. Decorated in typical Harveys decor. The beer is good, very well kept. Good selection of Harveys beers on tap - Best, Olympia, Knots of May, Armada from memory. They also have a good selection of Harveys bottled beers. No food as yet, apparently the kitchen is still being re-done and should be ready in the next few weeks and any way eating is cheating when you have good ale. The atmosphere is a little still but comfortable, and may pick up when food is on the go.
gilobeerholder - 7 Jun 2012 13:50
According to a notice in the window, this pub is currently closed pending refurbishment by new owners, Harveys of Lewes. Should hopefully be a sensitive makeover if there other London pub is anything to go by (The Royal Oak in Southwark).
rjb1973 - 7 Apr 2012 12:53
You would be well advised to steer clear of this pub. It is under new management and is a shabby shadow of it's former self. All the orginal bric a brac has been removed and replaced by tawdry tat. The food is risible and the service indifferent. Such a shame to see this formerly wonderful pub come to such a sorry state
brickiefan - 24 Feb 2012 11:41
If the previous comments are to be believed then I was not in the same pub! Some pubs and I have been in a few in my time (!) manage to balance old, tatty and rundown which give them a bohemian charm. They, however, tend to be clean which this pub is definitely not...in fact it was so dirty that I could barely bring myself to order some crisps rather than a meal....at 90p for a bag of Walker's that too was a mistake. Two ales on draught as before but I couldn't tell through the murk whether the glass was dirty or the beer cloudy. I would like to think that this comment might stimulate a bout of furious cleaning but I doubt it. Very pleasant river walk close by.
Insearchofthebestpint - 20 Sep 2011 16:20
A gem of a pub in staggering distance from both Putney and Wandsworth. Great beer, cider that could daze a horse, live jazz, friendly staff and a gorgeous warming little building in which to drink away the hours. I have never tried the food but i'm sure it is fine, and even if it wasn't i'd enjoy eating it in a pub as wonderful as this.

I remember drinking in here once and the lad playing the trumpet laid his instrument down to greet a visitor. Turns out he had sent his mum up to the petrol station to pick up some sarnies. You wouldn't have seen Miles Davis doing that.

There are some really lovely pubs in this area but for me this one is well up there with the best. If you're in the area make sure you hunt it out, because you will only pass it if you are going to the dentist or you are lost. A truly wonderful pub.
tippingtim - 20 Dec 2010 11:54
My 13th pub and last pub of the day, before retiring to the Bricklayers, I found this pub to be the highlight of my day. Whilst it was packed and the music was fairly loud, I loved the fairly kitsch interior. From the old petrol pump outside to the small cupboard high on the wall with golly wogs peeping out, this place was packed with eccentric items. It's a very small place and the walls are a little too red for my liking, but the atmosphere is almost bohemian. Cottage Polar Express and Sambrook Wandle were the 2 real ales on offer, with Biddendens Bushells cider occupying the third handpump. A sign indicated that this becomes a members club after 12 on a Friday and a Saturday. Whilst I normally steer clear of any pubs which play loud music and in which I can't get a seat, I would draw an exception for this pub. It's one I'm sure to return to.
blue_scrumpy - 6 Dec 2010 22:23
I moved to the area specifically for this pub. It does a lot of things right - the atmosphere is good (although the landlord is frankly a bit of a tosser - the comments below ARE from regulars), the decor is good and some of the staff are very good (some are very poor too). What I take real umbrage with is the fact they never clean their pipes. I've been ill on more than one occasion after visiting (sadly not down to too much beer), as have friends. It's dissapointing, but I now avoid the place.
gileyboy - 28 Sep 2010 14:07
Great little side street venue, worth a visit.
WaldorfAndStatler - 20 Aug 2010 16:39
I like that they use the wrong glasses in this pub. It was better when they had a dentists chair out the front, and when they would stay open until five am (the bouncer would stop people coming in after 12, but then go home at 2, after which you could just go in through the fire exit. Used to be full of interesting characters, now more or less populated by the stock-brokers and management consultants that live in the new flats around there. They did a fantastic street party on Point Pleasant. It's a hard pub to categorize, but I'm glad it's still there despite the best efforts of some of the local residents.
Rasputin0 - 20 Aug 2010 16:29
I like The Cat's Back, generally speaking. It's quite a kitsch looking place, so from that perspective it's certainly different.

Love the fact they stock Wandle ale as it's a local brew but.. as suggested earlier, why the hell do the staff insist on the Coors Light glasses? A small point I know, but if the pub could get the small things like this properly then it would go right up in my estimation.

Nonetheless, any establishment which has framed photos of Elvis and George Best overlooking the bar is alright with me. Just remember to get some proper branded Wandle beer glasses, please!
shoegazer - 5 May 2010 19:33
Beer selection not thought out at all. Customers are great and take you back to when pubs had locals. The barman though lilled it for me. Basic English skills are essentail to any hospitality outlet. The barman was on by himself and clearly knew nothing about ales, who to serve next nor anything else that makes even a reasonable barman. Whoerver hired him might want to take a second look.
flyingmonk - 5 May 2010 18:09
looks good, but not authentically eccentic (like a poor mans POW in Clapham Old Town). I liked it when I first moved to the area. nice beer, decent pies, dogs, fireplace, football, but one day I went in to watch the a Lions rugby game and there was a girl in there dancing around listening to jazz, lost in the moment. i've only been back a couple of times. the image has ruined the pub for me.
marcovanpenners - 18 Apr 2010 21:04
Great little boozer, does a value lunch menu during the week washed down with a lovely pint of guiness. it may be dark but the comfy sofas and well warn feel imbibe in you a sense that too leave without discussing the merits of the surreal artwork whilst consuming another beer would be a travesty
gudgeonlips - 5 Mar 2010 16:30
I'm a regular visitor but my experiences of this pub are mixed.

It's almost charming and it definitely has an atmosphere in the evenings, but it's so bloody dark in there! That's not a huge problem though because at least it prevents other customers seeing the Coors Light logo on my pint glass (I'm getting quite tired at having my ale served in a Coors Light pint glass - why on Earth do they insist on doing this??? It just makes me want to avoid this place).

It was full of morons when I popped in on Friday night, but apart from the occasional prune, the Coors Light pint glasses and the over-the-top darkness, it's a decent place for a pint.
gatomalo - 19 Oct 2009 12:03
Started coming here in 2005 when I moved to Putney, have since shifted towards Barnes but still return for the Cat's charm now and again. Two friends hooked-up here four years ago and are getting married next year. Great place to hatch grand schemes over a pint or two.
sfb - 16 Oct 2009 12:20
This pub is brilliant. Very small inside and full of curiosities. Great Sunday Lunch, plate stacked full. Love the old petrol pump outside, very quirky pub.
gardenia16 - 8 Aug 2009 07:39
At first entrance you can be a bit taken aback but it grows on you. Good pub.
mrloftysson - 5 Aug 2009 16:23
Having only ever heard good things about The Cat's I'm somewhat surprised by the unpleasant comments below, comments that I believe to be inaccurate. The Cat's is a brilliant establishment, one of those rare gems that feels like you're stepping back in time to a bygone age where things had an originality that we don't see in pub chains across the UK. The atmosphere is unique; the food is great, the staff lovely and the people who frequent the establishment are genuine, down-to-earth characters whose company is always enjoyable.
soldiers - 14 Jul 2009 17:53
This is a great pub, it's got a lot to offer - good food, good drink and excellent company. The burgers are homemade and served with proper chunky chips. Most definitely a fan.
WineWise - 14 Jul 2009 14:59
And the 2009 academy award for best actor goes to..........
Find it deeply upsetting indeed, how melodramatic!
Roger aka Natalie123 the only person damaging your pubs reputation is you through your great many misdeeds.
I don't suppose you have stopped to work out just how many people you have ripped off since you have owned that place.
The Cats is far from special. Its just an old overrated gin palace.

KingRooster - 13 Jul 2009 23:12
Loving the limericks although I think TheSweep, Point_Unpleasant and TheEnlightened One are clearly one and the same, how pathetic!!! I didn't realise this site was meant for slanderous, malicious comments - I thought it was for reviews about the food and drink - both of which are fantastic. Had a simple BLT the other evening - it was the nicest I've ever had. I really do love this pub and everything single thing about it - I for one find it deeply upsetting that anyone can write such horrible things about the delightful owner Roger and his simply wonderful pub. We won't let this unpleasant individual try and damage the reputation of such a special establishment. WE LOVE THE CAT'S BACK!!
Natalie123 - 13 Jul 2009 09:36
there once was a fellow named Roger
he ran his pub like an old drunken bodger
if you fancy a glass
then he'll sell you a pass
he's so skint that he'll soon need a lodger!

he's been to prison for smuggling dope
and he's still partial to a regular toke
it's affected his brain
his profits went down the drain
so he's broke as a bum, what a joke!

and the power it went to his head
and he was always in need of some bread
to his staff's wages he'd dash
and make off with the cash
before his manager could get there instead

hustling money was really his forte
and Roger he didn't mind being naughty
to his creditors he'd lie
tell them pie in the sky
by the bailiffs he almost got caught-y

Roger wanted the old building next door
but he didn't care much for the law
so the builders went in
though he knew it a sin
and the workmen began drilling the floor

who owned the old building, who cares
Roger's slapdash with his legal affairs
so he asked one of his fools
to watch out for town hall
so come night time his music could blare!

after slipping his lookout a score
work began on the building next door
they used soundproofing gear
the cat's owner did fear
having his own collar felt by the law

but his plans they did not come to pass
yet another funny cat's back farce
because he's mired in debt
and not out of the woods yet
but some fools are still kissing his arse!

he placed a sign in the window instead
and it's true we all laughed when we read:
i've almost gone bust
but i'll sell you a trust
please donate, my account's in the red!

this tale of greed will give you a grin
and you may feel like wandering in
so just remember to have a good think
before you stop by the Cat's for a drink
and tell Roger bollocks if he rattles his tin!
TheSweep - 13 Jul 2009 00:02
There is an old pub called the cats
that can be seen from the riverside flats
it`s been there for years
selling food wine and beers
the best pub in this town and thats that(s).

but on second thoughts...

We thought that there might be a clue
to finding out whats written by who
in examining the prose
we think, well who knows
but we`ll find out very soon if its YOU

because

Unknown can`t stay secret and anonymous
hidden profiles can`t keep you mysterious
the curious would be furious
if the devious were impervious
to the obvious that you`re not one of us

in other words

The enlightened one is`nt thats easy
a sad one who`s lonely and sleazy
and I quote `eat shite`
you`re really quite right
maybe you`re not quite as bright as you .....

If you can fill that one in
and give me a ring
my number is easy to find
A limerick should have five lines
but this ones got six....so
this last one comes from my behind

bbbbbbbbbb bollocks to you, I never swear but you knew
when you took us on over the BITE site
we love our old boozer
the ol` battle cruiser
thanks for reading, i`m off for a shite ( managed to fit it in too!) X



paddypantsdown - 10 Jul 2009 20:37
It's the cat's whiskers!
Alerover - 10 Jul 2009 20:33
There once was a pub called the Cat
Which was owned by a bit of a prat
He borrowed left and right
Told his creditors to eat shite
Quick hide your wages under your hat!


Point_Unpleasant - 10 Jul 2009 16:10
Right, boys and girls, it's time for ... a limerick competition! Here is my first, rather paltry offering:

In Wandsworth a pub called the Cat,
That doesn't play tunes like Take That.
It's well colourful,
A great place to pull,
It really is just where it's at.

Surely someone else can do better ... please?
Puszi - 10 Jul 2009 10:23
Having been a customer myself since the day the pub opened in the early 1990s, and still a regular now, you can be assured that all recent postings referred to by ‘the enlightened one’ and the newly registered ‘roger 456’ as from the owner are, indeed, from real people (regular customers).

We are not a figment of the owners imagination, although I am sure he, and his staff, sometimes wishes we were when it’s closing time when we are having too much fun and don’t want to leave.

Perhaps, instead of hiding behind what is supposed to be a Pub Review Site, the begrudgers, a.k.a. ‘the enlightenedd one’ and ‘roger 456’ (or are they one and the same person!!!) should contact the owner directly if they have any concerns and leave all of us ‘imaginary’ people to leave real life reviews.

Call me old-fashioned but I thought this was a site for honest reviews to give prospective customers a fair idea of what the pub is like not a posting point for personal and rather pathetic and malicious slander.

And, Yes, the chicken wings are to die for!
OriginalGirl - 8 Jul 2009 14:09
Just seen the review below - Putters is right - plus they stock Gaymers which as a real cider fan I am keen on! Haven't tried the food in there yet but will give it a go as there seem to be some good comments here.
Ciderrules - 8 Jul 2009 12:22
WOW - I discovered this pub last night and I was very impressed. I have found my new local in Putney - good beer, great food and honest, down-to-earth company. I will be back to see my new friends and sample some more of their culinary delights this week. So good to find a pub that is a true pub and not a boring chain! Will tell all my friends about this place. Check it out if you haven't already!
Putters - 8 Jul 2009 12:06
The well known chef mentioned below is Ronald McDonald!
I see that the Natalie123 and Antonia22 posted within 22 minutes of each other. That seems to happen rather a lot on this thread I have to say. I think that might have been mentioned a couple of times already!
I wonder how many names followed by numbers the owner can come up with on BITE before he is institutionalised for having so many different on-line personalities. I just wonder whether he ever gets bored of talking to himself!
How about we have less fabricated stories written by the owner about satisfied custom and a truthful disclosure about how much money he owes to staff and customers instead.
My favourite episode of this on going saga came during last summer when the owner became so skint from his bad business practices that he placed a little note in the window offering shares, followed by a little begging sentence saying 'Donations welcome'! His piggy bank was so empty at that point that rather than being an attempt at subtle humour it was in fact a genuine request.
The sign of a great pub? What a hoot!
roger456 - 8 Jul 2009 00:03
Am off tonight to sample the spicy chicken wings, they have been highly recommended by a friend of mine who is a rather well-known chef - they must be good! Last time I was here I rather enjoyed the excellent house wine, it was surprisingly good quality, I look forward to sampling it again this evening.
WineWise - 7 Jul 2009 16:45
You couldn't find a friendlier pub, or a better place to laze away a Sunday afternoon with a bunch of mates and a mountain of food.
Antonia22 - 6 Jul 2009 10:02
A big group of us went yesterday for a roast lunch despite the heat! All 8 of our group had excellent roast dinners and I had the crumble for pud (just like my gran's if not better!). Such a relaxed place perfect for a lazy Sunday lunch with friends - highly recommended for an evening pint or a long, lazy lunch with your nearest and dearest! Really looking forward to the live music next week, it's a must!!
Natalie123 - 6 Jul 2009 09:40
Consistently terrible. Was last there a few weeks ago and the food really was below par. McDonalds is more of a gastronomical delight than this place. It really is that bad.
The_Englightened_One - 3 Jul 2009 17:50
Consistently good food (love the homemade burgers!!), great ambience and full of character as well as characters. Well worth visiting any day of the week. I'd like a few more draught ciders but that's just me otherwise this place's a gem.
Sam946 - 3 Jul 2009 17:25
Had the BEST Welsh Lamb Stew last night with some crusty french bread - all for £5.95 - a bargain! Washed it down with some Gaymers - a perfect place for supper and to spend time with other locals and friends. I will be going again this weekend without fail!
Natalie123 - 3 Jul 2009 16:14
This place is simply awful and is one to be avoided. This is an old run down London boozer with false decor and plastic people. It attempts to masquerade as a gastropub but fails miserably because the food isn't very good. There are nicer places further along the river that are much worthier of your hard earned cash.
The_Englightened_One - 3 Jul 2009 15:04
The Bushell's Cider is yummy and indeed great of a summer's evening. I also say a resounding "hear-hear" to the cider/fishcake combo which I have sampled myself and will probably have tonight. Happy days.
Antonia22 - 30 Jun 2009 13:48
I'm currently enjoying the Bushell's Cider they have as one of the guest draughts. I hope it stays. A great summer drink that goes particularly well with the home made fishcakes.
James1166 - 30 Jun 2009 08:48
First came here around 1994, it hasn't changed much in appearance since then, so it's not a new old look. Went in last night, and it's good to see an improvement in the range of beer since my last visit a year or so ago. Sambrook's Wandle, Downton MpH and Slater's Summer something, all in good condition. It's nice to go somewhere that doesn't have a corporate Pubco makeover feel to it. Will continue to visit whenever I'm in the area.
kchef - 14 Jun 2009 13:42
A decent old pub surrounded by grim modern flats. I'm not sure how authentic the stuff in there is. It's got the look of a pub that was recentely decorated to look old and quirky, but it's a decent friendly pub with good beer and usually a couple of dogs running about or lying in front of the fire. It can be a little pretentious, or rather some of the clientelle can be, but that's not always a bad thing.
marcovanpenners - 8 Jun 2009 14:47
Small one room pub with a central bar, a few careworn tables and chairs but also pew type seating, wooden floors and a random mix of nic-naks including an old (50's?) fruit machine(1d), pics of Elvis, a red indian chief, more strangely a display case of Barbie or Cindy dolls; the petrol pump remains outside. There is a fireplace to the right of the bar.
I found a friendly welcome from the barmaid and the small gaggle of regulars seated around the bar. Previous comments about beer quality are noted but all was fine with my beer yesterday and filled to the top of the glass too.
Downton's Quadhop,Adnams Bitter and Sambrook's Wandle on yesterday-nice to see some locAle-even if some wag suggested my pint was pumped straight from the nearby river. Biddenden Bushell Cider also on handpump. I liked this rather boho place a lot.
Not sure about the rear decked outdoor area though with its uninspiring view of the car park of a dull 90's apartment block.
Maldenman - 24 May 2009 08:36
The best way to sum up the Cat is to say that It is a bit "odd " to develop the theme somewhat the attitude is best thought of as sort of take us as you find us. On a good day yeah I can live with it , on a bad day it is REALLY irritating.
slerpy - 11 Mar 2009 18:16
Not a bad place to have as a local, although you wouldn't go out of your way to travel there. It's tiny for a start, so there are only a few tables. The staff have always been friendly when I've been in, and I like the fact that they allow dogs inside too - always the sign of a decent boozer. Have only drunk Guiness there so can't vouch for the quality of the bitter.

The one thing I have found slightly random about this place is that amongst all the bric-a-brac on the walls, there are at least two gollywogs! And you don't see many of those in this age of political correctness!
CalicoJoe - 17 Dec 2008 13:55
"don't go there too often as it can get a bit samey" - haha, it's incisive comments like these that keep me coming back to this site :-)
fluffy_mike - 13 Dec 2008 13:22
I agree about the slightly off beer ... the one I had while an unusual ale was not at its best. A straightforward pub though with its 'unique' decor and not too far from the river.
rainlight - 28 Aug 2008 20:36
It's an interesting and different pub but watch out. I had a pint that was slightly cloudy and just past its best so I took it back. The barman referred me to the other guy behind the bar who I suppose was in charge. He asked me "did you order it?". "Yes" I said. "Well then you can't complain". I thought this kind of attitude had disappeared long ago. I told the guy upstairs in the restaurant and he went and got me another, but of course it was the same cloudy appley beer.

On the night we went the restaurant was doing 50% off the food. But they charged the 12.5% service charge on the full price of the meal, i.e. a service charge of 25%. Shame because the service was good. And so was the live music.
ilikegoodpubs - 28 Aug 2008 19:53
I rather like this pub. It’s very small, consisting of a single room with only five tables. Parquet wood floor, miscellaneous old photographs and assorted bric-a-brac around the walls made this seem a very welcoming pub. In some ways the unpretentiousness of this pub reminded me of the Wenlock – which is a compliment.

Four or five real ales on including three Downton Brewery ales. I had the Slater’s Top Totty which was excellent. Pub grub was fairly straightforward – the cheese baguette I had was OK. This pub really is an oasis in an otherwise uninspiring area. Highly recommended.

RexRattus - 5 Aug 2008 17:09
Good pub, but past its prime. Interesting clientele - watch out for the 'artist in residence' - and décor. Just don't go there too often as it can get a bit samey. However, the beer has been managed much better recently (a strong range these days) and there has been some good live music on weekends. Worth a visit, though, for its classic feel.
apinchofsalt - 25 May 2008 23:41
Beer was in good condition on my recent visit. My pint of Itchen Valley bitter tasted fine. Now more food orientated than previously, but still worth visiting if in the area.

There's now a restaurant upstairs

This place is not cheap, but then again where is around these parts ?
JohnBonser - 28 Mar 2008 14:25
Love the pub, great atmosphere great decor but last time i went they had run out of guinness and the bitter not in great shape either. Cmon guys get it right.
paddypint - 26 Oct 2007 15:41
Rugby World Cup Final night... Fantastic mix of people in. There must be a 70's charity shop around the corner, it's flat caps , check jackets and ill fitting trousers. Forget that, it's all part of this fab pub. The beer was good but seems to be more of a lager pub, but good lagers and not the mass produced rubbish.Friendly and efficient staff, so if you can find the place then make sure you give it a visit.
mac1 - 21 Oct 2007 19:32
Only been in here a couple of times and not eaten yet. Pub is really good with very friendly staff, good decor and standard London prices.

Best Wandsworth pub I have been in so far :)
Badgers - 3 Sep 2007 17:01
This is what a pub should be like.Mix n match furniture, lots of interesting things on the walls. Good beer, friendly staff, lots of talking points. Give this place a try....you may even like it.....no love it
mac1 - 26 Jun 2007 20:43
Outstanding pub on many levels. Friendly, intelligent bar staff, great food and a brilliant look feel to the locals and pub itself. Only two problems, rubbish beer (it's badly kept) and they keep running out of beer (and that's not down to me). Overall a fantastic pub - can we just get these two issues resolved please!
anonymous - 14 Jun 2007 16:17
Lovely odd place, yes the light are a bit too bright for the ambience there but thats about it.

Oh and how about some other ciders?
fingle - 4 Jun 2007 14:18
My favourite pub in London. I have been going here for years and I only hope that the new build flats - sorry, apartments - don't change the clientele too much. Part of the charm of the Cat's Back is the mix of customers, from old geezers in cravats at the bar, folks with dogs, trendies, the whole gambit. The bar staff are wonderful and very friendly. I don't drink bitter but have heard complaints about the quality in the past. However, they know how to pour a decent pint of Guinness and the food's great too. A very fine pub indeed.
DMcGee - 3 May 2007 10:37
Was wonderful in 2003/4/5, now sadly fading, possibly because it's too easy to make money with all the new flats piled up outside. I'm not the only one to have had out-of-condition bitter - a mate was so angry at the recent re-furb, brighter lighting (no candles any more?) and louder music, not to mention the solitary handpump serving vinegary Youngs, that he said he'd rather it was demolished than spoilt. I wouldn't go that far, because even half-decent pubs are scarce in this end of London.
nogbad - 2 May 2007 12:18
Still a pub of great character, despite the recent yuppie invasion, but neither the Slaters Supreme nor the Youngs Ordinary - both at £ 2.90 per pint incidentally - were at their best last Saturday afternoon.

Why has the old Shell petrol pump, that used to be outside on the pavement, been moved inside ?
JohnBonser - 16 Apr 2007 14:35
Have just moved to an apartment so close if I rolled out of bed i'd be in the Cats Back' I must say it has bunddles of character with the log fire and old leather setee's, even if they are showing there age, you have got to order the chips with the tomato ketchup & mayo followed by a swift couple of sociables
anonymous - 7 Mar 2007 16:27
Open fire, lovely people and a quirky sense of humor. it's well worth making your local.
bennewton - 10 Feb 2007 19:04
It’s always amazing to stumble on somewhere seemingly hidden for decades for the first time. Hidden down a quiet road surrounded by new Wandsworth apartments, a pub with an unusual mixture of faded superstars pictures and family holiday snaps on the walls awaits. Its contents a constant surprise, this made for a strange backdrop for a rare (for London) drop of Slater’s bitter tonight.
SteveinLondon - 25 Jan 2007 23:45
Very hard to get a pint in good condition. Atmosphere is dark and smoky and regulars cliquey. Vague staff. Could do a lot better.
pubconnoisseur - 9 Jan 2007 00:36
I have got to say this is one of the best pubs i have ever been too!.... If you want to go somewhere thats, very original, unique, quirky, trendy and provides good service this is the place to come!! The music is great, teh atomsphire is fantastic and for all the people that complain about the beer - BUY IT BOTTLED!

Its also goood and the vintage/ indie influenced setting is out of this world!!!!!
EyeCandy - 16 Dec 2006 10:00
This may be the best pub in the world, best visited after 10pm, till about 10 minutes ago.
Joe90 - 13 Dec 2006 03:27
I played here a couple of times with a band, the beer is great, the staff really friendly, and just a nice quirky little place. Amazing atmosphere, the first gig I played there were so many people they all spilled out on to the street, and everyone was chatting to each other! Be wary about the owner, has a nasty habit of forgetting to pay bands?!
bluesboy - 7 Dec 2006 15:15
Decided to pay a visit to this pub after a couple of years. Looks like it has new owners as a[] the beer was very pricey and b] there is now a gastro resterant up stairs. Also had the normal Fulham crowd. Oh well.
TheWizard - 4 Dec 2006 15:46
Atmosphere, character, different, good staff, very, very cool. Loved it.
TheCat - 3 Dec 2006 22:38
Have been going here on and off for a few years now. It does have a great interior, and a good atmosphere, which makes it a great place to take people how do not know about it.
However, the quality of the beer here is very questionable, and on at least two occasions I can recall either a friend or me has had to return a pint of ale. That said the bar staff have always been happy to serve a new pint and turn around the clip on the handle.
A final word of warning: Don't even think about going on a Friday or Saturday night, the place gets rammed to the point of madness.

anonymous - 3 Dec 2006 15:02
This is one busy place, I don`t think they suffer fools, snobs or bores very well. We were treated superbly to dinner and drinks with great service. The table next to us however were a bit up their own...complaining about everything when it was obviously packed, you know the type. We thought they deserved the bad service they got, maybe the comment below was them. If It had been my place I would have told them to f*** off. Great night for us though well done Cats
anonymous - 18 Nov 2006 02:49
I spent an evening in this pub attending a pre-booked dinner in the room on the top floor. The whole evening was a total shambles and I won't be going back here ever again.
When it finally arrived, about an hour and a half after it was ordered, the food was terrible and a complete rip-off. I paid £14 for a tuna steak and mash which was undercooked and tasted like a cheap ready-meal. My friends all had similar issues with their meals and it was disappointment all round.
Staff were unconcerned and generally unhelpful. Just a poor, poor evening.


ikb1 - 17 Nov 2006 14:46
Lovely pub with fantastic atmosphere, had amazing time here.Live music was great, check their web site.
Great food and beer.Heard that recently they won a gold award from an organisation (can`t remember the name)11 out of ten.This is the best pub in London and that`s for sure.
dendir4 - 19 Oct 2006 17:34
This depresses me. I suppose we _should_ be grateful it wasn't just bulldozed, but in truth the Cat's Gone already. What's left is a fake. The fact they carefully took down all the tat, dusted it down, repainted the walls and then put all the tat back where it was _should_ make me feel happy, but I'm sorry - it just doesn't. It's a bit like when they changed the set on 'Cheers': It sort of looks the same but I have the queasy feeling I'm being cheated. But it was always going to happen. Hidden gems can never stay that way. And at least, apart from the horrible new punters from the horrible new flats, the faux-Cat's Back is still a pretty good pub.
begpardon - 27 Sep 2006 09:15
This has the potential to be a really good pub but I don't think my friends and I will be going back in a hurry due to the poor quality of the beer. Two of the three beers tried were almost undrinkable. Despite Wandsworth Bill's comment, perhaps they should concentrate on keeping one (or maybe two at busy times) beer on in good condition.
southdown12jack - 25 Sep 2006 11:39
Still has great music, friendly staff & interesting décor. However no peanuts available since Sunday, only 1 draft ale. Bar food menu now depleted substantially. Pity – went to The Queen Adelaide after the first pint for better beer and excellent food and service.
WandsworthBill - 18 Aug 2006 12:52
Went here after the Queen Adelaide (which is just across the road) and what a pub... it was about 12am and we couldn't be bothered with the whole "dush dush" club thing so this little gem was a great surprise... very chilled, low lighting (good for bad complexions) and lots of knooks and cranny's to hide in.... I highly recommended it and know doubt in time it will be ruined by the Chelsea set....
whiteboytrash - 13 Aug 2006 18:41
Great pub which shines even brighter due to close proximity to the overpriced soul-less glitz and supposed LA glamour of all the awful riverside restaurants and bars in the area. The menu appeared to have been written by someone who only had half the ingredients, I barely understood it to be honest, but the food turned out to be lovely. The quiche should be entered into the International quiche awards, if there is one (if there isn't then 'Cat's Back' could do worse than establish it.) Wonderful atmosphere and a reassuring, genuine kookiness.
TomAngel - 30 May 2006 10:13
I first discovered this pub when I was working at Carlson in Putney Bridge Road and thought it one of those few pubs that you'd actually consider moving home to be near. The Island Queen in Islington is another one. But I didn't, ending up in bloody New Malden instead.

However, it's worth assuring those who've worried that the pub is in imminent danger of being discovered by yuppies or the 'Hoxton set' (bit of a hike for them isn't it?) that this has probably happened already, and the pub has survived the experience. After all, that first visit of mine was back in 1996, and I remember thinking precisely the same thing then - that it was somehow about to be ruined by people who won't 'get it'.

Glad to hear that it's still the same. Shame about the price increases, though.
OK_just_a_quick_half - 11 Apr 2006 16:19
stumbled across this pub a couple of years back, it reminded me of those pubs you get in Ireland that have greengrocers and bike repair shops in them, very quirky
TSW - 23 Mar 2006 21:17
Quirky pub, quirky decor, quirky staff - great, welcoming atmosphere, good selection of beer and nice fellow drinkers. Recommended to wander off the beaten track for this one, you'll feel like you've found a nugget in an area full of faceless bars.
Woodpecker - 10 Feb 2006 15:38
The atmosphere in the pub is great. There was a selection of four real ales on, and the two I sampled were very tasty. Definitely worth going back to.
salamanda - 16 Jan 2006 14:20
I was told that the reason that the pub is called The Cat's Back was because the owners' cat disappeared once when they were on holiday and they were worried it had gone for good - so a considerate local customer stuck a sign on the pub window "The Cat's Back" when it reappeared, which the grateful owners saw at once upon returning from holiday.

But yes, Bill, you are right, this is indeed a great pub and it's certainly interesting and different.

PS - Wonder what the site is worth for its development potential.
JohnBonser - 21 Dec 2005 10:22
Great pub, good beer, interesting and different in a positive way, only downside is the lack of Mini Cheddars and it’s slightly expensive but worth it. The name of course is a play on the South London joke about the Battersea Dogs’ Home (“Do you know the Battersea dog’s home” – “I didn’t know he’d been away”)
WandsworthBill - 28 Nov 2005 11:12
Can't really explain what it is that I liked about this place. Could be the excellent range of beers, the interesting collection of (for want of a better word) bric-a-brac, the friendly atmosphere, or the log fire. Very different from any other pub I've been to, and all the better for it.
burnsy - 14 Nov 2005 13:15
Very quirky, very dark pub with an equally dark labrador. "Interesting" music selection, good atmosphere. Worth a look for something different.
rah - 2 Jun 2005 14:39
Used to be a fine Pub. Its now full of the Fulham Crowd who like shouting at the top of their voices. Also beer has gone up 20p since the pub was mentioned on TV.
Sorry guys.
TheWizard - 17 Apr 2005 01:40
Nearly missed this one......Very quirky....great find on the Thames path (almost)....£2.80 for a pint of real ale ment my rating was not as high as I would have made it.....Good pub to find........Mitch
lordhicks - 28 Mar 2005 20:30
This is a great little pub full of all sorts of novel nick-nacks and eclectic flotsam & jetsum. Excellent vibe!

I can sense, though, that it won't be long before the secret really gets out and the place is invaded by the "Yuppie Brigade" with their expensive push-chairs.

Enjoy it while you can!!
benfuller71 - 30 Jan 2005 14:51
Ace!

good sandwiches during the week when not at work!
SketchySi - 22 Nov 2004 16:19
First time that I have been here for a while - still the great place that it always was, but charging £ 2.80p for a pint of Youngs Ordinary is taking the p***, especially when it's only £ 2.30p up the road at The Queen Adelaide. Do I detect that this pub is now taking advantage of the fact that it now seems to be in all the Guide Books and that, in consequence, the whole world and his wife wants to come here ? Or are they just looking to keep the riff - raff out ?
Interested in other visitors comments, please
John - 27 Oct 2004 15:36
unusual old pub full of intersting looking tat i think theyve been running it for years very well by my estimation
dave d - 13 Oct 2004 18:14
UNIQUE!
Charmaine - 6 Oct 2004 09:35
nice pub, shame about the awful "venetian" blind! I had thought it had been binned but it seems to still be putting in an appearance!
Hobo - 9 Aug 2004 21:45
this pub is worth a flight from switzerland. see you in october for some speedballs.
patrick - 26 Jun 2004 12:57
Everything you want from a pub and more. An absolute must.
Peter McBride - pmcbride@routegroup.co.uk - 7 Jun 2004 17:33
This is my new favourite pub in London. Haven't been in Daylight and don't really want to. eclectic, candle lit, place with mismatched furniture (including an old barbers chair) and an interesting assortment of wall decorations. Friendly crowd. Now if only I could remember how to get back.
pezza132 - 5 Apr 2004 18:33
Visited at lunchtime, fairly busy, food excellent. Junk everywhere [including gollies!].
Dog very friendly.
canastajim - 23 Mar 2004 13:17
I was told by a friend that I had to visit this pub while I was in England, and when I found the place, the owner and the regulars pretty much adopted me for the few months I was in the country. Very warm friendly atmosphere.
anna - chiqita5@aol.com - 26 Jan 2004 00:40
Victorian pornography, ethnic clutter and very chilled vibes make this a cool place to drink by any account. Candle light keeps the mood sincere, so no posers please. A varied crowd adds to the feeling of exclusivity, that you are drinking in some hidden treasure that the Hoxton set have yet to invade and ruin. Fortunately its, quite literal, back water location should save it from such a plight. Fabulous.
Good for: Hatching plans
thenationofjames - 12 Jan 2004 11:26
This place is cool!, A really good winter pub when the fire is blazing and its cold outside.

9/10 I think.
Richard - 27 Oct 2003 14:38
I used to work at this place - and i even wanted to be there when i wasnt. which says something about the place.
jamie - jamiephalliday@hotmail.com - 2 Oct 2003 14:26
best pub in the area. unpretentious - somehow manages to keep the yuppies at bay
anonymous - 23 Sep 2003 22:49
Great pub !!!
gary - 18 Jul 2003 14:51
Brilliant pub come museaum. Hard to explain, must be visited, Great Sunday lunch,and friendly staff. An interesting visit.
Anonymous
anonymous - 15 Jul 2003 21:39
An amazing place! This pub well deserves its place in the Good Beer Guide. O'hanlon's beer kept in good condition. An adventurous music policy - very chilled out staff make this a refreshing oasis in the Youngs' heartland. Go there!
lad_newton - 18 Jun 2003 16:54
Top little quirky venue- like something from a Terry Gilliam film. Excellent large Sunday roast and tremendous O'Hanlon's wheat beer on tap. Recommended.
Leigh - 29 Apr 2003 16:18
The best pub in town, without doubt and, what's more it's my local. Very lucky for me, I think. Very small, very cramped, not everyone's cup of tea - out of the way, so you need to know it's there. Still, that keeps away all the wine-bar, chain-pub types.
chris - 28 Feb 2003 12:40
Surely these places dont exist any more
Dr William Ho - 13 Nov 2002 15:15
Funny little place, defintely worth a visit
Luke Oner - 13 Nov 2002 15:14
Putney's best kept secret (although everyone knows about it). Definitely my favourite pub in London
Chris Newman - 13 Nov 2002 15:13
Great selection of real ales, an ales drinkers dream come true even
Terry Osser - 13 Nov 2002 15:12
What a place, especially liked the owner whose combined good looks and amusing wit make the place a real pleasure to visit
Barry Rownose - 13 Nov 2002 15:11
Fantastic
Paul - 13 Nov 2002 15:09
Putney's best kept secret (although everyone knows about it). Definitely my favourite pub in London.
Chris Newman - 17 Oct 2002 12:41
Very cool place. The photo really doesn't do it justice!! It's down a lovely cobble-stone road and the atmosphere is positively enchanting. The night I was there they had a DJ playing chill sessions and there also appeared to be a group smoking pot!
Adrian Yorke - 7 Oct 2002 23:56
Have been drinking here for years, bought with a shopping bag full of money. Also they let dogs in. Nice and chilled.
Pete MC - 26 Sep 2002 12:23
Very Good - small, full of interesting junk. Think it might be about to be knocked down.
Doug - 30 Aug 2002 11:03
Went there for the first time tonight - fantastic! Like drinking in an H.G.Wells novel... definitely worth repeat visits!
hungbunny - noonemuch@hotmail.com - 17 Jul 2002 01:51

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