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Canbury Arms, Kingston Upon Thames

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user reviews of the Canbury Arms, Kingston Upon Thames

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

I've been noticing a lot of foody pubs getting low hygiene ratings and I've done some digging as a consequence. It seems that it's down to the trend for slow-cooked meats, which can be unpredictable in the time required for them to be cooked. The inspectors demand an exact temperature and duration for cooking, and it's just not possible. The White Hart at Witley got its fingers burned very badly for this. I haven't eaten at the Canbury but when I was there, a couple of years ago, I had an excellent pint and what food I saw looked wonderful. Nice atmosphere too.
EccentricRichard - 16 Sep 2016 15:28
I remember when this was a real pub with real people and live music.
Now 2 star hygiene rating for the most pretentious twats in Kingston.

Yuk
Puppydog - 2 Jun 2016 10:43
I feel sick. I have eaten here several times paying quite a lot of money for a back street public house. I have just checked the food hygiene rating with the Council, and it is two. Dirty pigs. I will never eat here again
sparklingwater - 6 Oct 2015 23:29
Been coming here for food on an infrequent basis for a few years. Visited on Sunday and it seemed to have gone downhill. Didn't try any beer, but the service was second rate and the food wasn't worth the money. We were given a discount to cover the poor service (meals forgotten etc...) but can't say we're likely to go back on this showing.
straightatthewall - 26 Aug 2015 18:01
Went here for lunch. Good drinks, even better food. Almost everything's expensive but surprisingly there are just a few dishes for a fiver on the board so it there's something you fancy there you're on to a winner.
Trev - 27 Jun 2015 12:30
Dropped by a few months back with my girlfriend. First impressions, upmarket pub, more an eating establishment, rather than a normal pub where you'd go have a few pints. The beers were good, well kept and bar service was friendly and efficient. The restaurant area needs work, the food was average at best, and the service slow. It took ages to get the bill, they got my girlfriends order wrong. Worth popping in if you're passing, but I wouldn't go out of your way to go to it.
Hawkman - 3 Nov 2013 16:44
Visited a couple of times recently and thought I'd better start contributing after lurking for a while.

1 The beer IS expensive - £4.00 a pint
2 The place IS a gastropub
3 It IS a 'Tardis in a Rear (or should that be 'Beer') View Mirror' i.e. it somehow seems smaller on the inside than the outside
5 The staff WERE great on my visits
6 The beer WAS well presented and tasted great
7 The clientele seemed OK to Good (one silly exception from a duffer who felt his 'space' had been invaded - despite the preposterously limited bar access)
8 Well spotted on the silly puffs from the alarmingly transparent & silly 'ferrarigirl'
9 Apologies for the ridiculously structured, numbered and CAPITALISED post
10 Here's the deal IMHO - it's a nice, pleasant, friendly pub that's well worth a visit . Overpriced beer? I'd have to drink 50 pints to spend £100 more than the Wetherspoons! Not a huge call when I'm only likely to have a couple and it's a completely different proposition and I rather like it

Hic! Hic!

p.s. I'm not a girl and I don't drive a ferrari! ;-)

Cheers


3.6to4.2 - 6 Nov 2012 20:36
Food and drinks overpriced but what the hell you pays for what you get. Its not a pub its a bar with west end prices but the food is good and the ale acceptable.

quizman - 24 Apr 2012 01:43
This gastropub was slightly better than I anticipated. Taylor Landlord, Sharps Doom Bar, Butcombe Bitter & Surrey Hills Ranmore Ale were the ales on offer. Both Stowford Press and Aspalls ciders are served. The young bar staff were very friendly. Sitting at the bar, I didn't feel too out of place. But this is more of an eating establishment than a pure drinking place. On a Friday evening, it was fairly busy. All tables in the restaurant were taken and diners were spilling over to the bar and the outdoor patio at the front and side. Worth a visit if in Kingston.
blue_scrumpy - 4 Jul 2011 18:15
I've just returned from a lovely night in the Canbury Arms. Our drinks (although slightly overpriced) were served efficiently by the friendly staff, and my husband was very pleased with the quality of the beer. I think this is one pub which we will certainly try again!
marilynmonroe - 30 Jun 2011 22:37
Ferrarigirl. You think £3.20 for a pint of real ale AFTER discount is great value?! Nah.

lodemai85 - 5 May 2011 00:47
Cor, Ferrari girl an amazing review that a member of Canbury Arms staff would struggle to improve upon to paint themselves in the best light.

Indeed I note you're only other contribution to BeerInTheEvening is about a year ago with a similarly (self?) promotional piece about your...oops sorry...the Canbury Arms.

Does the pub no favours you know...quality pubs don't need to post faux reviews to attract custom, word of mouth and happy returning customers will do that.


BlackCrowe - 17 Feb 2011 17:41
Having read some of the reviews below and having frequented the pub for over 5 years, I sense sour grapes from some visitors. My experience (and that of my ale drinking friends) is one of complete satisfaction.
The Canbury is thriving, always busy with a warm ambience, attentive staff, and a kitchen that produces food that is second to none in this pleasant, leafy part of Kingston.
In addition to the superb wines they have a great selection of beers and real ales. I have been informed by the landlord that real ale sales constitute 60% of their overall beer sales, they sell between 9-18 gallons of each of their 5 ales on offer every week. The beer is fresh and well chilled and when they have hit the last pint in the barrel during a busy service, have always exchanged it without fuss if not up to scratch.
As a regular customer who is signed up to their loyalty card I benefit from 10% of every purchase being credited to my card which makes a pint of ale just £3.20 which I believe is great value. In addition to the loyalty card they have many other weekly offers available. I don't think the landlord can be blamed for the ever increasing duty, VAT and price rises by the government and drinks industry.

The back street pub has actually become a favourite destination for many discerning drinkers and diners and I'm sure the local residents would disagree that this part of Kingston is 'not particularly nice'.

A lot can be said for the multiple awards the pub has received, its obvious popularity within the local community and the thousands of pounds they have helped raise for many local good causes.

I would suggest that if you ever have an issue with the service provided raise it with the helpful staff. My experience is that they will move mountains to rectify a problem.

Well done the Canbury Arms - Keep up the great work.
ferrarigirl - 21 Jan 2011 15:23
I paid my first visit to The Canbury yesterday and was pleased to see a nice range of ales on the bar. However, charging £3.55 a pint in what is ostensibly a back street pub, in a not particularly nice part of Kingston, is completely taking the piss. Not even in great condition either.
TheHopHunter - 18 Jan 2011 11:18
F.A.O the manager, when your menu's say 12 is the latest for breakfast food, bacon etc, its not on to be told at 11.50 its no longer avialable, especially if you have waited 10 minutes to be served due to some problem with coffee...
loveleedshatebates - 29 Nov 2010 20:55
Whenever we are in Kingston we make to this pub for a lunchtime meal and beer. Always find the food good and staff friendly, a first class service, strongly recommended.
assortedcreams - 6 Jul 2010 22:41
food shit. that all i got to day. trying to be up market. no chance
ilovedrink - 23 May 2010 16:29
Can't believe people are still whining about the loss of the old Canbury Arms. If that's the kind of place that floats your boat - and on some occasions it's just what I want too - fine, you can find it at any of the other boozers up and down Richmond Road.


norbitonpaul - 26 Dec 2009 20:42
That "hint of bitterness" is not over the food or any other feature of this unremarkable house, but over the loss of the excelllent former Canbury Arms now vanished in all but name.
jgurney1 - 22 Dec 2009 20:06
In for an office do for 20odd people. Decent food and service and 5 well kept ales, Surrey Hills Ranmore, Taylors Landlord, Harveys Sussex, Sharps Doombar and something else that escapes me, more mainstream I recall. Its a foody pub, not a drinking place but it does what it does reasonably well. Gripe today was despite the fact we put nearly £800 quid into the place, the lad who requested an extra scoop of ice cream on his pud was denied unless he paid more! Not acceptable, perhaps we should have withdrawn the non compulsory tip of over £80 in protest.
Rating dropped a point.
Maldenman - 18 Dec 2009 22:58
Went for a drink here the other day. Old Hooky in excellent condition, couldn't fault it.

Nice pub, nice atmosphere. Not snooty but no knuckles dragging on the ground either - welcoming and respectable.

Think they sometimes have live entertainment and am going back for a comedy show beginning November, so will see if the ale (and maybe the food!) are still up to scratch.
thealelover - 5 Oct 2009 18:32
Well done the Canbury, I see you've won the Great British Pub Awards London region award for best leasehold pub of the year 2009, well deserved. The Canbury is a hugely successful pub and right on my doorstep, it offers something for everyone, why some people need to label it gastropub with a hint of bitterness in their tone I don't know. The atmosphere is welcoming to all, the beer is great and competitively priced, you pay the same price for a far more decent house wine than you would get in Pizza Express, the food is deliciously diverse and the offering ranges from ample bar snacks to superb pies and even salads these days!! If you want a greasy chicken in the basket this is not the pub for you but the Ploughmans is stonking! The food is an important part of this pub but they do not discriminate between drinkers and diners. The level of service is second to none, when the pub is full due to it's popularity the attentive staff make it quite clear when necessary there may be a slight delay getting food to the table,and as we all know patience is a virtue. The Canbury has reacted to the current economic climate and provided a menu that offers cheaper dishes without affecting the standard of the food, they even offer FREE toast with your coffee in the mornings!
ferrarigirl - 5 Aug 2009 10:01
Went on a warm Sunday lunchtime; it was moderately busy, and the service was very slow. We had a main course and a sweet and it took around 2 hours all in. The food was quite expensive, and not of high quality. The roast beef was tough; the meat pie had very little meat in it. On the plus side the staff were pleasant and the decor is clean and modern.
Marlow - 6 Jul 2009 12:48
Good beer but still, as many people have said, set up more as a restaurant. How about some comfortable seating for people who just want a drink?
I have never actually eaten in here. Pubs' day to day trade has to be drink, not food, for which people are only going to come in once a fortnight or so.
rainlight - 13 May 2009 06:56
Re last comment from TheEaler.
Forty quid for a pub meal is steep, even more so in this economic climate. Yes, the food is quite good (although portions tend to be too kind to slimmers), but the rest of the package in the form of comfort and service does not justify these prices.
The Canbury is now offering some promotional deals, but with too many strings attached. Like having to eat early evening.
norbitonpaul - 11 May 2009 10:48
Ate here with two other couples on Saturday night - a credit crunch inspired trade down from a more pricey restaurant. In that context it was great: £5 starters and £10 mains - and reasonably cheap wine and beer - coming in at £40 a head all in. The food was also excellent. However, if you're a regular boozer just looking for loads of quality ales and a traditional pub I can see why you'd be disappointed - and there was definitely an air of diners taking precedence, as mentioned by other reviewers.
TheEaler - 20 Apr 2009 18:24
I visit the Canbury Arms fairly regularly for food and/or drink as it does both well and still clearly sets the gastro pub standard for the area. I usually eat there on the first Tuesday of the month when the Irish Music is on. It is also curry night and last time I had a lovely Butternut Squash and Chick Pea curry. Last night I was there for a quiet drink with a friend and enjoyed the Harveys Sussex Bitter, one of the several real ales on offer.
Matthew_of_Ham - 19 Feb 2009 15:01
Absolutely fabulous pub.
Love coming here!
Dont come here for drink often but coming for the food!!!! It was a fabuloud meal and i defo recccomend it !!!
Come here!!
snowpub - 2 Feb 2009 14:07
Have been a visitor to The Canbury since it opened, a few (hopefully) objective observations. It's probably fair to say that the pub isn't as drinker-friendly as it is eater-friendly. In the main part of the pub, the tables policy quite clearly favours diners, while drinkers are relegated to bar stools or else the outlying areas. And sitting under canvas on a cold night really is no subsitute for the ambience of a bar.
The beer choice is pretty good, although for a pub with such an obvious interest in providing decent beer, it would be nice to see more rotation of brands. The food is very good, and priced at the premium end of the price spectrum. Not what you'd call 'hearty' fare, and my preference would be for more substance over style.
But the one thing that I have really noticed over time is that the service certainly isn't as personal as it once was - Mike, where are you these days? Usually I see a young team who are a bit short on social skills and good ole fashion bonhomie. It's become the brand of indifferent Harvester-style service you associate with a chain-pub. Efficient, but soulless.
As others have pointed out, the market for the food/drink £ is changing, and the first-mover advantage The Canbury once enjoyed is being eroded. In credit-crunched Kingston, The Canbury needs to be offering better value deals on drink and food. For instance, I cringe whenever my dear partner asks me to order a glass of wine - for £6/7 I could run round the corner and pick up two bottles for this price at Asda!
Dare I say that these days the flag bearer for the food/drink market in this part of Kingston has become The Pottery (formerly The Borough and for some reason not listed yet on this site). The owner goes out of his way to welcome customers, there are dedicated drink/eating areas, with a notable absence of baby-buggies. Food is excellent quality, great variety and good value. If you're eating for two with a couple of drinks thrown in, I'd say it has a £10-£15 price advantage over The Canbury. My only gripe with The Pottery is that the beer range is miserable!
norbitonpaul - 24 Dec 2008 18:55
As soon as we walked in on a cold Saturday lunchtime a young girl asked "have you booked?" "No -Ok be with you in a minute then" Given that we were the only drinkers at an empty bar...the longish wait for her to give diners attention left us feeling rather second place. Half Twick Sundance & half Harveys Sussex £3.20 both at the right temperature and rather short of the top of the glass. There is a faceless corporate feel in this restaurant masquerading as a pub. If this were my nearest pub I would walk to the Willoughby.
southfields - 7 Dec 2008 11:25
The Canbury is a decent place where an effort is clearly being made.

Personally, I could die happy if I never heard the phrase ‘Gastro-Pub’ again but that’s where the Canbury is positioning itself. It’s not cheap but the food is fresh and of good quality and the beers are well kept.

It’s usually full in the evenings and also busy at lunchtimes so I’d say locals are voting with their feet.

The staff are mostly young (students presumably) and do, I think, sometimes feel the absence of a more experienced manager’s guding hand. That said, they are universally friendly and helpful.

Well worth a visit.

likeahurricane - 7 Nov 2008 15:58
Many thanks for all the reviews to date.

Some of the more recent postings are factually inaccurate.

The Canbury Arms is privately owned by me, Michael Pearson and not by a chain.

Everybody is welcome at The Canbury Arms including those wishing simply to drink.

Owing to our popularity as a food venue we operate a table booking system at busy times which unfortunately does block out space for customers just looking for a drink but that is not to say they are not welcome.

Our menu changes daily and is freshly prepared by top chefs with experience from some of the best establishments in the UK.

We may not always get it right on the night as no one is perfect, but we try hard each day to try and ensure we do.
This has recently been acknowledged by Harden's Restaurant Guide 2009 where we are commended as one of the UK's best.
We also won The South London Business Awards "Best New Business 2007"
I value any feedback customers may have in order that we have an opportunity to provide the best experience for one and all.

If you are in any way dissatisfied with what we offer please feel free to contact me, Michael Pearson directly on 020 8255 9129 or e mail michael@thecanbury arms.com and I will be more than happy to discuus ways in which we can make your visit more pleasurable. We may not please everyone but it would not be through lack of trying.
Many thanks and cheers!

Michael Pearson
Landlord
mikethelandlord - 26 Oct 2008 21:11
Although it has good real ale (taylors, hook norton) I only go in to eat as the food is very good and the tables are invariably used by diners. It may well have been bought by a chain but the food is obviously prepared by proper chefs and the prices reflect that.
k.aldred - 26 Oct 2008 12:43
This place thinks its better than it is.

They had the right idea - cater for the North Kingston thirty/forty-something that is child-friendly by day and gastro by night. The decor is good. The layout pretty much confirms what it really is...a bistro-y restaurant that pretends to be a local pub.

Unfortunately there is a general feeling of arrogance...those wanting just to have a drink don't seem very welcome, 2.5 star food with 5 star prices, offers to get customers to sign up to their exclusive club for ridiculous money (this is backstreet pub in Kingston not Soho House).

The danger for this place is that North Kingston pubs are finally but slowly getting their acts together and doing what the Canbury Arms attempt but without the arrogance and better return on investment, evidenced by the recent new ownership and refurb of Boaters. Come on Queens Head on Richmond Road - your turn next.

BlackCrowe - 3 Oct 2008 10:37
We were looked at with horror when we only wanted drinks and we were made to sit in the covered outside area although it wasn't busy inside. Very peculiar for a pub.
I wouldn't go back, it made no attempt to be welcoming at all and there are plenty of other pubs that ARE happy to serve drinks in the area.
AShep - 28 Sep 2008 13:44
as a gastropub wannabe, the food selection, although generally of a good quality, is quite limited & does not seem to be updated very often; we ate there yesterday evening and the menu hasn't changed since our last visit over a month ago - including mussels which were so tiny our guests had to complain to the manager who offered to cook something further (at 22:30) but our guests declined, so he deducted them from the bill.

having been drinking at this pub for nearly 4 years, it was an unpleasant surprise when we queried a couple of extra drinks on our bill that were not ours, and were 'threatened' that the staff would check the CCTV footage. (they then came back and said they couldnt be bothered. charming!)

i didnt realise it had been bought by Yates' brewery... what next? burly bouncers on the door?
.sweeney - 26 Sep 2008 11:03
Don't be fooled by the modern decor...The Canbury is a traditional pub at heart. Yes, it may have an extensive wine list and off-white walls, but it also serves a good variety of real ales. I'm greeted with a smile - and sometimes even by name - every time I pop in. Great beer and a warm welcome...you really can't ask more of your local than that. The food's amazing too!


ben3 - 30 Apr 2008 14:53
I like this pub, looks very child freindly and to have both Doom and Taylors in a so-called gastro pub is very good.
loveleedshatebates - 27 Apr 2008 08:57
I think that people are becoming rather picky lately regarding the Canbury. I agree that it is fairly pricey, but, it is food focused at the end of the day. Compared to it's local rivals, I feel that the quality of food is second to none. Always fresh,homely and good portions. I would rather pay the extra and know what I am getting, as oppose to being constantly disappointed elsewhere, which sadly seems to be the case!They now have a new menu and wine list which is served by the glass (not only house), so there is alot more choice. All in all 10/10, keeping up the standards and not becoming complacent like other establishments.
fizhog38 - 6 Apr 2008 17:18
And for a pub-restaurant it's also very expensive. It's really just a bit too gastro and minimalist for my tastes. Proper pubs don't have to be smelly and full of old blokes blowing the froth off their Thruxton's Old Gutblower - but they have to be a bit more 'pub' than this.
rainlight - 7 Mar 2008 12:37
I only ever go there to eat these days, which is about once a quarter due to the limited menu. The range of beers is very good but, as somebody else said earlier, it's not really the sort of place that you can just sit and have a quiet pint because all the tables are taken by diners.
Matthew_of_Ham - 6 Mar 2008 20:47
I guess that now that the Canbury has been on the scene for some time now, it's gotten predictable. Apart, that is, from its prices. I have a particular issue about its wine prices, which can only be described as exorbitant.
I'm not a particularly penny pinching type, but even I can tell that a pint of beer and glass of wine costing a tenner is 'taking the proverbial'....
norbitonpaul - 28 Feb 2008 14:18
Ended up in here by mistake on the way to the Willoughby. Fair enough, 5 real ales which were Harvey's Sussex, Landlord, HSB, Scrum Down and Doom Bar. Had the HSB for the first time in its Fullers incarnation which was very nice. They had some quiz on which meant the place was particularly full of "okay yars". More bottles of wine sold than at a Jilly Goulden fan club convention. Quite clearly aimed at food but still with 5 good real ales can't knock it too much.
GuideDogSaint - 14 Feb 2008 00:33
I entered around 8pm on a Saturday evening and immediately felt I'd walked into a restaurant, not a pub. I had a half of Gales's HSB, which was very good, but all the tables were either occupied by diners or had "reserved" signs on them. As I dithered in search of somewhere unobtrusive to park myself an over-attentive waited asked "are you alright sir?" Aaaaaargh! Just let me drink my drink in peace then let me out! I haven't given a rating as it's so far removed from what I want from a pub.
Rich66 - 10 Feb 2008 12:27
Not sure if I'd call this a pub or a restaurant, certainly a Gastropub anyway, but with a decent selection of beer. The food is excellent, and the line up the other day was Twickenham Best, Harveys Best, Hook Norton Old Hooky plus something else I don't recall, so there clearly is an interest in serving proper beer not just food. I just felt that if we were to arrive at lunchtime or evening peak with the intention of just drinking we may feel uncomfortable as it seemed all other customers were there essentially for meals.
Maldenman - 19 Dec 2007 14:08
Dire at best. No atmosphere and is expensive. The Willoughby Arms nearby is a lot better.
anonymous - 12 Sep 2007 13:34
I admire a great deal of the ethic here. But this ends up being a pub (or restaurant?) that is partly directed at a grown up market and partly at kids. In the area, the two can go hand in hand but, for bears of little brain like me, it is all rather confusing - and reflected in the reviews below. They do try hard with their real ale but the quality is often not there compared to the other local real ale pubs. Food, when I have eaten, is excellent, however.
MeurglysIII - 16 Jun 2007 10:50
Can I just say that I have a lot of sympathy with the review below. There is nothing wrong with this place - it has interesting beer, very interesting wines and really very good food. But it looks like so many other places these days that replace traditional boozers. The old Canbury certainly fell a little on hard times, but in the late 90s it was a beer drinker's heaven, making a point of sourcing really unusual brews from the micros - and generally the strong ones. It even each year had a cider festival - what about that! There aren't many places now where I can go and sit with my Guardian crossword, smoke my fags and sup proper beer in the absence of fishcakes, toddlers, and their 30-something parents.

This place caters to that demographic fine, and it's right there should be good places, like here, for folk to visit. But the way it's going we might as well write out of our social history the role of the English boozer.

barlick - 26 Apr 2007 14:47
The good points: four real ales available and excellent food. Plus plenty of staff behind the bar to ensure quick service. And no pool tables, fruit machines or annoying TV screens.
The bad points: this place has been totally gastro-pubbed such that it is barely a pub any more. In typical copy-cat gastro-pub style, food is served on plates so absurdly huge they barely fit on the table. Outside has all been painted white; inside has all been painted of-white. All original pub furniture has been chucked out and been replaced by dull restaurant-style chairs and tables (except for a couple of old Britannia-style tables with wrought-iron bases that have miraculously escaped the purge). An extension built on the side of the pub is even more like a continental café. I visited on a Sunday lunchtime, and families with babies and toddlers were running riot everywhere. The bar staff were generally good, although I would prefer not to be greeted by an irritating “You alright there?”
I tried two real ales, Harvey’s Sussex Best and Timothy Taylor’s Landlord. Neither was in as good condition as they should be. In fact during the whole two hours I was here, I only saw four other pints of real ale being pulled.
I never visited this place before its refurbishment. Perhaps it was a dire place that needed an overhaul, and I applaud the current owner for revitalising it and serving real ales. But do we really have to move so far away from the traditional old pub? It’s a terrific old Victorian corner building probably dating from the 1890s, and deserved to have more of its history retained.

karloff - 5 Mar 2007 09:25
Came here on Sunday with my parents- first time we had been put off as I was the recipitent of the mushroom tagliatelle (see below) but was pleasantly surprised. Veggie option on the menu was limited but was fantastic, portion was generous and was very tasty. Everyone else was satisfied by their meal as well.

Staff were as lovley as ever, despite being busy they fitted us in without any fuss. There were lots of kids there but they were under control and didn't annoy us - lovely, buzzing family atmosphere, can't wait to come back.
BSuper - 29 Jan 2007 17:00
Great beer, good food, plenty of women but zero atmosphere. Somewhere to take a date for a meal (unless she is vegetarian) but no place to go with a mate for a drink. The Irish music on the first Tuesday of each month is worth going for if you like that sort of thing.
Matthew_of_Ham - 21 Jan 2007 02:30
What a refreshing find!! Thanks to the friendly team for a top night, with food and drink worth travelling for!!
Herka - 29 Dec 2006 16:11
Amazing selection of beer, better in the summer of you are a smoker, so you can sit outside, but the heated outdoor area in the winter is fabulous, but no good under the 2007 legislation!
bluesboy - 7 Dec 2006 14:52
This pub is an inspiration. It contains a laid back atmosphere and gives a warm welcome every time I walk through the door. I love the photos on the walls of various film and theatre stars. The Morecombe & Wise art drawing before walking through to the outer extension always brings a smile and reminds you not to take life too seriously.
I don't care if I walk into a pub like this to be confronted by yummy mummies, who cares? Kids work for me too, so does beer that's why I'm there. Michael (landlord) currently has 'Doom bar' from Rock in Cornwall on the pump, and having had a holiday there just over a month ago, staying 5 minutes away from the distillery, I had a great time drinking it and it obviously travels well.
The food is great by the way (excellent wine), as are the staff, and I shall be returning again and again.
JeffB - 22 Oct 2006 23:03
This is a gret pub that is trying to do something diferrent. Yes it is child friendly which is great, we people who have children still like to go out!

The food is great, as are the real ales and the wine list is superb.

They have live music, wine tasting events etc etc.

The staff are very friendly and knowledgeable.

If you like good food in a relaxing atmosphere give it a try.


Hawkers - 20 Oct 2006 12:56
I visited the Canbury Arms at the weekend and liked it - tasty modern food, light, fresh atmosphere. I felt some of the other comments were harsh - if you like your pubs tobacco stained and full of horse brasses, this probably isn't for you. But if you like a fresher approach, give it a try.
snowgirl - 18 Oct 2006 20:15
Mike, stick at it, don't be put off by all these wingers and whiners. No point trying to be all things to all men - this produces lowest common denominator pubs. You've identified your market and are offering high standards for a small(ish) market. That's just sensible marketing. There's more profit being an Audi/Mercedes than being a Ford. And the working class hero types who want to return the pub to its prole origins should understand that a pub isn't a community service, it's a bloody business.
anonymous - 16 Oct 2006 17:31

Tried this place only once, one Friday lunchtime. I thought I'd walked into the crèche round the corner by mistake. The place was over-run with kids, mothers and pushchairs. I'm all for 'family' orientated pubs, but that was ridiculous!

The bar staff had no idea what cask beers they were serving, and having ordered a pint did not look in the best of health when placed on the bar.

I shan't be going there again.
Anonimus - 16 Oct 2006 08:28
Unfortunately the only experience I had of this pub was going in, trying to order a meal and being told that the kitchen had run out of food!

I may venture in here again, in the hope of getting some grub. It looked nice enough though.
Jo984 - 4 Oct 2006 16:27
Mr Owner is therefore telling you to piss off!

Not one for seeing that he might be overcharging for food a little (judging by the number of posts mentioning that) or that the place does seem to have committed the sins of becoming bland and impersonal, he thinks that's ok. What arrogance!

For those that like pubs to be pubs, remember this of the old Canbury:

* It had a low overbar, meaning you had to bend down to order something! People sat at the bar and conversed.

* The staff seemed interested. The pub had regulars.

* Live music was a regular feature; damned loud and in your face just inches from the bar!

* No bugger bothered with hoity-toity food. Nuts and scratchings only.

* Two dogs were apparent including a vast Great Dane.

* It hosted a cider festival (not for the faint-hearted) and featured strong ales regularly on draught. You can't buy any ale over 5% there now.

* It was a real pub for real people. Another pub which sold its soul and would be better off closed.

anonymous - 26 Sep 2006 14:17
Mr Anonymous,
I have put my own stamp on the Canbury Arms.
Whilst clearly not to your taste, the vast majority of my customers love it.
There is an abundance of pubs in Kingston all run by individuals with their own taste and ideas - I suggest you go and find one that suits yours and stay there!
By the way, the paint is "Off White" by Farrow and Ball - I have never come across it in B&Q nor for that matter in any other pub I have frequented - Now there's individuality for you!!!
Michael Pearson
Landlord
michael02 - 26 Sep 2006 01:30
Another unoffensive if slightly dull beige bar.

How about injecting a bit of individuality into the place.? If the landlord popped down B&Q he'd see that paint comes in colours other than 'Country Cream'


anonymous - 18 Sep 2006 21:41
Have used the Canbury on numerous occasions, and I'm getting a sense that things are slipping. Popped in last Friday for evening meal, and have to say that things need pepping up. Three of the cask beers weren't available. The service behind the bar was efficient, but seriously impersonal. And the food was very ordinary. For instance, the 'avocado' and crab starter was distinctly devoid of avocado, with an over-abundance of something creamy (fromage frais or creme fraiche possibly?) in its place. Not nice. The main course of fish cakes was very dry, and I regret to say, left a very unpleasant after-taste which was still with me the following morning. Having had the North Kington market to itself for well over a year, others are catching up with The Canbury. If you can forgive the dire selection of beers available, The Pottery up on Park Road has much to commend it..
anonymous - 4 Sep 2006 15:35
I came here recently for Sunday lunch with my girlfriend and whilst we found the food and service to be very good (though not amazing) it certainly did not warrant the prices being charged.

I ordered the roast lamb lunch while my less ravenous partner settled for just the clam tagliatelle starter. Washed down with two soft drinks (admittedly one in pint sized) the total bill for our lunch came to over £23.

The clam tagliatelle was the perfect starter; an adequate sized portion of well cooked pasta infused with a creamy, yet light and simple sauce with fresh clams resting sparingly on top.

The ‘simple’ approach appeared to carry on to main courses with my much anticipated Sunday ‘lunch’ consisting merely of one thin slice of lamb sitting on 3 roasted potatoes surrounded by gravy. Although the quality of the lamb was excellent, and the accompanying small bowl of vegetables perfectly cooked, it was not worth the £10.50 ‘gastro pub’ price.

Don’t get me wrong; I am no scrooge when it comes to eating out and I have no hesitations paying high prices for great food and service, however upon leaving the Canbury Arms, I felt a little short changed and still a little hungry.

Bap_McFrugal - 3 Sep 2006 17:10
The Kids thing doesn't bother me massively about the Canbury - i was in there with my young niece and it was nice that she was able to wander round without anyone complaining - the staff were great with her too.

What i have a problem with is that if you're going to purport to be a gastro pub (and lets face it - the area needs a decent pub) and charge what are pretty high prices, you should at least offer some decent options for vegetarians.

I'm not a veggie but my girlfriend is - there was one option for veggies, apart from chips, which was mushroom tagliatelle. Not only is this possibly one of the blandest meals anyone could eat, but we also had to ask for more than the two measly strips of mushroom contained therein. The portion was also tiny so while we all tucked into our nice, though overpriced sunday dinners, my missus had to make do with a pretty awful meal.

If the landlord is reading this - Vegetarians like sunday dinners too - all you have to do is cook up another pot of gravy and fashion some nut roast, or something similar - you're missing a trick and alienating a lot of potential customers.

Oh - might be worth charging a bit less for stuff too.


Bassoon - 7 Aug 2006 13:44
I haven't really come across too many noisy children, although everyone I know who has been there, has warned me, therefore I tend to avoid those times - which I know is not convenient for everyone, I often go weekday lunchtimes! I think the pub is smart, very comfortable, has a great atmosphere and the staff are absolutely charming. It is so nice to enter a pub that doesn't look or smell grubby. Keep up the good work. Fantastic. Enjoy the food too, always fresh tasting and nicely presented and the wine always well chilled. Well done.
Bosie - 16 Jun 2006 07:09
Many thanks for all your comments and we take them all very seriously and personally.

As you are probably aware, the Canbury Arms under its current management is approaching its first year. A lot has happened during this time and the manner in which the pub has evolved is largely down to the majority of customers using it.

We have listened to those customers and provide a product and service that they themselves have requested and as the majority of residents in the Canbury Arms catchment have families they require a child friendly pub to frequent.

However we are not a creche and are fully aware of the issues that have arisen as a direct result of a lack of any clear policy on children.
Although we fully intend to remain as childfriendly as possible we are in the process of designing and printing our new child policy which aims to address childrens behaviour and parental control whilst on the premises. It also sets out to restrict the times that children are allowed on the premises and so hopes to achieve a balance, ensuring a pleasant experience for all when visiting the Canbury Arms.

Regarding pricing policy, we bench mark our prices on various other establishments around the whole of Kingston. On many sale items we are like for like and in some cases lower as well as higher in others. All our food and drink supplies come from the very best suppliers in the UK and we pay premium rates for premium quality. Our pricing policy is based on the hospitality industry standards and in many cases more favourable to the customer. If prices seem expensive on some items it is because of the quality of what you are buying and quality is something that we will not compromise on.

Regarding spirit doubles, we serve a 35ml measure so a double is 70ml against the usual 50ml. Staff are trained to point this out when asked for a double to avoid confusion.

I hope this information is useful to the authors of some of the most recent comments posted. You have as much right to use the Canbury Arms as anyone else and I for one want to ensure that everyone has a pleasant experience when visiting. We are never going to please everyone but will not give up trying. We rely on your help and feedback and perhaps on your next visit, if things are not up to scratch, please ask to speak with me personally and together we can try to create the perfect environment for one and all.

Many Thanks,

Michael Pearson, Landlord, The Canbury Arms
mikethelandlord - 2 Jun 2006 16:48
Went in last Saturday about 8pm and I could actually hear screaming kids from half way down Canbury Park Road. When I went in there were kids running around the bar and generally being a complete pain in the arse. I left without even buying a drink.

anonymous - 23 May 2006 09:21
2 large gins and tonic (only 1 tonic) plus some nuts £16. Completely ludicrous for what is just a bar.
Darwin - 14 May 2006 15:24
I must be lucky, as its been brat free on most occasions I've been there. Totally agree on the pricing policy....had a little bit of shock when two drinks came to over 9 quid
lawrence17 - 14 May 2006 10:10
Give the owner his dues, there are now printed requests for parents to keep their kids under control. But these notices miss the point. We're not talking delinquents here - kids have all got names like Florence and Harry, arrive in those show-off Land Rover buggies, OshKosh from head to foot!

What rankles is that The Canbury is mind-blowingly expensive (I paid seven quid for a glass of wine the other night!), and I think grown ups are entitled to enjoy adult-only space at these prices, particularly in the evening.

Someone suggested putting kids in the tent at the side of the pub - as a compromise this feels like a decent solution. Yes, it's a bit apartheid in its approach, but it's the best way to grow your adult custom.

As a father of two kids, I like visiting a pub so I can escape the little buggers!
norbitonpaul - 12 May 2006 13:10
great ale , had a nice night here
qwerty - 9 May 2006 15:59
Painfully children-centric, while charging seriously adult prices for food and drink. I like this place a lot, but too often it feels like a branch of Mothercare. I'd like to propose that (a) kids are excluded from the main bar, and put in the tented area and (b) after 8.00 the pub reverts to adultdom. Tough on all you mums and dads who'd rather be pissing it up in the pub than reading a good bedtime book to your little darlings!
anonymous - 1 May 2006 11:51
Visited for the first time as a local resident and thought it was actually quite nice. I've been to all the other local pubs including the Willoughby and Wych Elm and found this filled a gap nicely. It's definately more of a bar rather than a pub and felt a bit 'beige'. However, the menu looked and smelt great (if a little pricey) and I would definately recommend it. Yes, the customers are mostly affluent 25-45 year olds, but hey, what's wrong with that?!
anonymous - 4 Apr 2006 12:03
Typical gastropub - not my cup of tea, so I'll leave it for others
JohnBonser - 28 Mar 2006 12:55
Painfully 'North Kingston' gastropub. Zero character, tedious minimalist decor, overpriced drinks and predictable menu. Go here if you want to be sheltered from all the diversity the real world has to offer. You can spend a charming couple of hours supping your latte and pondering how much house prices have risen over the last few months. Thats if you can climb in past the pushchairs.
anonymous - 12 Mar 2006 11:42
What a geat pub, outstanding food, the best selection of wines I have ever come across in a pub and a superb range of real ales and lagers. This pub seems to offer a little something for everyone and has a great community feel. They have a newsletter and a whole array of events and activities including wine tastings, irish music, jazz and even a choir!. It's refreshing and innovative and deserves to do well.
anonymous - 3 Mar 2006 22:06
We were here recently and it is a cracking pub. Wonderful with kids; very comfortable atmosphere; fantastic food and great drinks. I would comment that our food order was a little slow in coming, but our waitress (short-haired) was efficient, chirpy and very attentive. We were all impressed, and will certainly be making this one of our first choices for relaxed meals out.
tj_hughes - 26 Jan 2006 23:42
It is also non-smoking throughout which is a plus in my book, as well as the changing range of real ales and the food (not yet tried). It opens at 9am for breakfasts also.
beeronaut - 18 Jan 2006 21:55
Made up to find this on a visit from the 'frozen north' & enjoy a spendid evening recently!! Top to bottom makeover ( or is that gutting ?) of what understand was an old style, dying boozer, with apologies to those who liked it that way, has produced has produced a pub in the modern idiom, or should that be gastropub ?), with lovely ambience especially for dining. First class friendly service, top notch food from a neat,focussed menu (loved those salmon blinis, yum), good beers & a cracking well selected/ eclectic wine list/wine cave one finds 'once in a blue moon' in somewhere like this. Well done to the proprietors, top notch, deserves to do very well. Would patronise it regularly if it were in my locale & make an effort to go again if close by anytime in the future .
burgophile - 14 Jan 2006 18:17
What are folk's problems? This pub always has 5 well-kept real ales on, proper lager on draft and a stonking wine list. It's menu is small but everything is very well cooked and it has a sort of laid back rambling feel to it rarely found these days. I tell you, when your choice with kids is the usual Harvesters etc, places like this are gold mines. Proper beer, decent food and hey, those without kids will find plenty of times when this place has none on 'em in. Really good addition to Kingston this. Can we have one in Surbiton?
anonymous - 12 Jan 2006 13:31
Pub needs to decide whether it wants to be a creche for the well heeled locals, or somewhere for grown ups.
anonymous - 27 Dec 2005 18:58
Civilised clientele, helpful staff and nice surrounds help to produce a thoroughly pleasant pub. Or should that be restaurant? Dunno, probably doesn't matter because food is great and beers/wines are of fine quality, with 'hard to find' gems like Harvey's and Hogs Back on the bar. Friendly manager who takes an interest in his clientele.
anonymous - 20 Dec 2005 15:33
Great food, superb wine, and yes slightly noisy (it would appear others have discovered this place as well as myself)

I was amazed to find such a gem in my local area! Having been used to travelling a fair distance for good food and wine i was impressed that having moved to the other side of kingston such a culinary delight existed on my doorstop (i previously lived in surbiton and was used to commuting to windsor, esher and ripley for dining).
If the menu is limited (as i have read in others' commentary) it is because, in my belief, rather than bewilder the cleintele with numerous half-hearted creations we were offered a careful selection of well balanced and beautifully crafted dishes (both my girlfriend and i were well cartered for, her being a vegetarian whilst i have more carnivourous tastes). So impressed was i with our meal we dined again within the week, where we were greeted with a completely different, but no less appealing, menu.
Another plus was the wine selection, amazing to say the least, and all available from their shop (alas we weren't allowed to drink our purchases in house, but they were enjoyed in the comfort of our own home, c'est la vié). Enough rambling on this find however, unfortunately my boss is staring over my shoulder and has suggested I go into the marketing/promotions business as opposed to my less colourful role in i.t., otherwise this may have turned into a review worthy of R. Parker Jr. A definite must see..
ilikedrinking - 19 Dec 2005 14:12
Are we getting a bit too family friendly? Most recent visit on a Friday evening, I thought I'd stumbled into a creche in the main bar! All very touching watching at least one mum breast feeding bambina, but does such indulgence have to be performed in the bar? So, here's requesting that the main bar area be retained for the over-18s. And before anyone asks, yes I've got kids, and I'm sensitive enough to the ambience and clientele - as well as people having paid over-the-odds prices for a grown-up pub experience - not to bring them into the main bar area.
anonymous - 27 Oct 2005 11:30
Getting better by the week. 5 real ales all in top notch form - HSB, Old Hookey, Harveys great stuff. Food getting impressive with new chef - bit expensive but v.busy on Saturday nights/Sunday lunch. Outside 'smokin' area now with heat lamps for winter. Worth another look.
quizman - 26 Oct 2005 19:50
Kingston has been crying out for a place like this. A fabulous pub - food is out of this world - fish and meat is of an exceptional quality and great portion sizes. You can choose from a dinner or bar snacks menu which covers anything from the house burger to sausage and mash to other dishes such as red snapper with pesto noodles. It's family friendly which is great. Massive wine list - tried a few and all very good. The owners deserve to do very, very well, they really have done an amazing job on this place (and I'm sorry it was dreadful/ a local joke before it was taken over). Lovely atmosphere, great food and wine, I can't recommend it enough.
anonymous - 3 Oct 2005 16:18
Very nice meal, good beer, convivial atmosphere, helpful staff.

But.....very noisy in the main bar area, which makes relaxed conversation (as opposed to shouting) quite difficult. Problem not helped by a slightly heavy-limbed waitress (sorry darling!), whose every step thudded across the bare boards. And when a lot of food is being served to the happy hoards in the bar area, wow, it's incessant!

While it's good to see that the pub rejects the crappy techno-clatter of musak, jukeboxes and games machines, it could really do with something to absorb the noise. Not too much though - after all, a pub that resonates with the sound of animated chatter and nothing else is a rare thing indeed!
norbitonpaul - 19 Sep 2005 08:56
Tried the revamped Canbury last week for the first time.

The food was good, very good in fact, but the menu is VERY limited (3 starters, 3 mains & 3 desserts with one "special" on the board for each course). I hope that the menu will expand over time. The wine list is good and reasonably priced.

Unfortunately the ale was not so good. Both pints I had were drinkable but thats about as much praise as I would give them. They were a bit on the cloudy side and a day or two short of being ready to serve. Sending one of the staff on a cellar management course will sort that gripe.

Its a brave venture and one that deserves to succeed. Kingston is desperately short of decent eateries, and whilst it is sad to see another pub bite the dust, at least it hasn't been taken over by one of the big pub/bar chains and turned into another rubbish steak/burger house.
Sloth - 7 Sep 2005 15:35
The revamped Canbury Arms has now been open for about three months and I wish the licensee Michael & his staff every success for the future.
The new `theme’ is not everyone’s favourite; if you would prefer a traditional back street N. Kingston pub, there’s the Willoughby Arms, Wych Elm and Park Tavern; all great watering holes with their own individual charm & styles.

I still am not certain if I would call, the Canbury Arms a pub; winebar? – too passé; theme pub? – eyuch! Whatever the changes; are welcome and not before time. In the past 2 years I watched the old Canbury atmosphere gradually disappear down the hole in that grotty old gents urinal. I agree with the last anonymous post; `The old Canbury (until about 2004) was a genuinely charming curiosity of a pub that defied lazy characterisation’. In first 3 months of 2005, with the Black Widow behind the bar, the pub was unpleasant, devoid of real ale on many occasions, dirty and attracted the worst low life imaginable.

On the subject of cliental, the Canbury had to radically change its customers if it was to succeed and remain a pub; would you have really wanted another block of yuppie tenements there?

barnstormer - 29 Aug 2005 17:42
While I agree that the refit has been well done and that this is now a pleasant place to drink, I'm a bit sickened at the sheer snobbery of some of the recent comments. The old Canbury Arms had real character. Anyone thinking that the pub was a hangout for chavs should invest in a recent edition of the Oxford English Dictionary, or perhaps just go to the Artful Dodger. The clientele may have been generally working class, but since when was that a crime? Full marks to the new landlord for keeping real ale on tap, but what is with the snooty comments about 'strong ale' on a drinking website? The old Canbury (until about 2004) was a genuinely charming curiosity of a pub that defied lazy characterisation. If the readers of this website want to stay away from the lower orders, perhaps they should move to a different part of London. While the new makeover is distinctive for the area (and welciome for that), it is hardly novel in South West London (or Surrey for that matter). If you want scallops and salmon in a pub, you need only go as far as Clapham or Battersea.

So full marks to the current crew and good luck, but lay off the previoius owners (and Baldrick the mastiff).
anonymous - 15 Aug 2005 12:59
It could hardly be more different from its previous self. Before: large dog marauding about, sticky carpet, head-bangingly strong ales, overbar, huge tvs showing sport, loud live music in a small space (oh yes).

Now: no dogs or other animals apparent, no carpet just boards, no ale stronger than 5.0%, quite expensive so that should ward off the hoi-polloi who drank there before, no overbar, no music, pleasant service, food worth discussing if somewhat dear, a far more convivial atmos all around.

Far more of a middle class/bourgeois gaff now. The cask cider and perry festival it held annually is now likely to be a thing of the past.

If north Kingston i.e the bit north of the rail station that used to be known as Canbury ward can become gentrified, the grubby chavs of Kingston will have to take shelter in their flacid Litten Trees etc as it would seem their habitats are fast disappearing!

All the Canbury needs now is some atmosphere and maybe a bit more character. The pub is child friendly.
anonymous - 14 Aug 2005 12:10
Went here for dinner for the first time last Saturday, food was superb and good value for the quality, had a smoked scallop risotto (the scallops were smoked in a Hebridean smokehouse no less). I have had to trek out to the Earl of Spencer in Southfields to get this kind of food in a pub (I'm not a great fan of the atmosphere in restaurants). Also decent beer, the Old Hooky was a delicious pint, and friendly service. I'm still partial to my local, the Park Tavern (the last independent in Kingston), for a pint, as they always have excellent guest beers and a friendly atmosphere, but I will definitely be eating at the Canbury Arms (no offence to Sue’s liver pate sandwiches at the PT!). I wish the Canbury Arms good luck in their quest to provide quality and buck the trend.
lex71 - 8 Aug 2005 16:38
Marvellous

I attended a wine tasting on Friday and what a turn up for the area. Superb wine list. No smoking policy. Sensible looking beers. Not an oik in sight. Possibly a little hard on the ears, but I'm told some soft furnishings should arrive shortly to help deaden the noise - s[rogs were allowed to stay in the bar rather late for my liking, but you can't have it all!

Oh - and reassuringly expensive, should keep the morons out.

Well done Canbury Arms. You deserve to succeed.
C.J - 27 Jun 2005 09:06
At last a 'grown ups' pub for Kingston. And let's applaud a pricing policy which puts the pub beyond the financial reach of the oikie hords who seem to infest every other pub in the vicinity (bar the Wych Elm).

Well done Canbury Arms for bringing a new standard of sophistication to the area.

norbitonpaul - 23 Jun 2005 12:34
Gasp, is this the same place? where is the huge dog/ the little bunny rabbit/pool table/dart board/piano/ character???!!!!

found this pub before it was done up and loved it, i'll be going back to the Park Tavern. Shame.
Nora - 17 Jun 2005 12:16
Newly reopened, all pine floors and wooden tables, very much a place for smart people to have dinner, and at least on this occasion they were better dressed than your average pub people. Clearly this area - it is North Kingston, after all, being north of the railway - is on the up. I don't know what it was like before as it never seemed to be open when I went past. There was a Newsletter; it seems the priest at St Luke's Church blessed the beer barrels (Harveys Best is £2.70/pint), they mention a list of <i>teas</i> - a new departure for a pub, but this one also mentions breakfast, and cakes for tea time. To evoke a BMW marketing slogan, the pub that doesn't evolve is dead. But nobody mentions what they will evolve into.
beeronaut - 11 Jun 2005 23:41
I was in there for the re-opening. It couldn't be more differenbt from the old place. Did't notice the beer price, but this is definitely a departure for this part of Kingston. More like a Balham/Clapham gastropub than a boozer. They will be running a wine merchant's service too. The Pub was ful of the landlord's mates yesterday afternoon. I'm sure this place will be popular on long summer evenings, but will the lack of music/tv/fruit machine etc and the wine draw in the punters on wet December Wednesday nights? Very light, very spacious, very ambitious. No smoking inside and baby changing facilities in the ladies' (went down well with pregnant missus).

A lot of me wants to see this place succeed, and I will give it a try (especially looking forward to the breakfasts), but hard to imagine taking myself off there for a quite pint with the paper - the more cosy Wych Elm will continue to fulfll this function.

Best of luck to the landlord - he may need it!
stecottrell - 6 Jun 2005 16:54
Well, it's reopened.
Fosters over £3 a pint and moisturiser in the gents.
It's more a restaurant than a pub, I'm off to the Willoughby.

oddbits - 5 Jun 2005 21:31
The Canbury Arms reopened today (5th June 2005). A great place for all the family. Light, airy, clean and friendly.
andyr - 5 Jun 2005 20:13
Still closed as of yesterday - 22 May 2005. No indication when it will reopen, but it seems that its being repainted internally. Lets hope it becomes a dog free pub, when it reopens
JohnBonser - 23 May 2005 16:43
Closed and being redeveloped
anonymous - 7 May 2005 00:48
The tenancy of the Canbury Arms is expected to change today [21 March 05, with the eviction of the sitting management.
It is understood that the Canbury Arms will be closed for up to one month, whilst the new tenant carry's out the much needed refurbishment.

I look forward to this pub becomming a desirable watering hole to visit once again.
barnstormer - 21 Mar 2005 10:27
Lets hope that it can become a dog - free pub, it's been the one downside to this pub for me. (I don't like dogs - you can never be sure where they've been )
JohnBonser - 24 Feb 2005 13:02
Oh dear, how the once desirable have fallen; the word on the street is that;
genuine beer lovers will not have to put up with the current management of this establishment much longer, the man with a white hat is due to ride into town this comming week and issue the eviction notice - not before time.
barnstormer - 20 Feb 2005 21:20
Just couldn't stand by and watch this pub get slated. I visit this place whenever I get the chance because it has the perfect ambiance for a bloke who loves good beer, good music, a game of pool and cricket on the big screen.

I rate this place the best pub in Kingston - and I've been to a few, so I should know. The bar staff are great, they sell cigarette papers, tobacco, and pickled eggs behind the bar, the clientelle are friendly and welcoming, and the beer - and let's face it, that's what we go to pubs for - is second to none.

True, the place has had its misfortunes of late, but it's well on the way to recovery now, with more ales on than at any time in the past 2 years, and refurbishment plans which are well underway.

Long live the Canbury Arms, and all who sail in her!
SkullduggeryAfoot - 27 Jan 2005 18:05
Visited on first saturday in December and it was definitely OPEN. However it was also the least memorable pub we visited in the area
lout_from_the_lane - 6 Dec 2004 13:06
The Canbury was closed tonight, not a very good sign, the `Her in doors'is currently running the pub. In the past couple of weeks, I noted a marked improvementin the ambience; clean, clutter removed and cask beers on tap, however the prognosis is not good. I sincerely hope that the brewery have long-term plans for the Canbury Arms to remain a pub and do not propose selling the freehold to a developer.
I believe at least 15 former pubs in Kingston have closed since 1985, the land now has been developed for residential use.
...a big worry...
stationmaster - 31 Oct 2004 23:02
Has rapidly gone to the `dogs', throughout 2004.
Over the past 3 months, many evenings have been notable for the lack of any cask beers.
It is believed that the landlord has now gone AWOL and in the past week the doors have been locked on several occassions.It remains to see what the future holds for what was once a very good pub
stationmaster - 28 Sep 2004 19:42
Well Stephen, I did get an unpleasant pint and thats no excuse for poor beer - going downhill fast.
steve - 29 Dec 2003 18:48
er... no quiz night... shadow of its former self... more beer drunk behind the bar !!
Eric - 9 Dec 2003 16:01
One of the best pubs ever. You will get the odd unpleasant pint as the ales are all guests and change regularly, but you will get some cracking (and unusual) beer if you go regularly. Great landlord (and dogs) and a very friendly atmosphere. Proper drinkers' pub, but you can take your mum there too.
Stephen - 25 Nov 2003 17:48
About 2 minutes away from Kingston station, away from the town centre, is a drinkers' paradise. Always serving at least 3 guest beers - often spitfire, Abbot or Speckled Hen(a former CAMRA pub of the year winner) the Canbury Arms is not simply an old man's pub, and you needn't drink the dark stuff to enjoy it. Mixed age group, live music on Fridays and Saturdays and a gem of a friendly lanlord. Well worth straying slightly off the beaten track.
Stephen - 25 Nov 2003 17:18
well thanks clare but you shouldn't have bothered. I don't have children but the rest of the customers (and the bar staff) looked like they'd just had one for breakfast. Tried one pint of Hop Back it was warm and tasteless. Never again.
quizman - 10 Nov 2003 23:48
Small local pub. Real Ale & real Cider. Friendly staff. Live music Friday & Saturday nights. Pool table. Dart board. Quiz night. Beer Garden. TV. Quiet childrens room.
Clare - 13 Oct 2003 12:26
A local pub for local people, but visitors are made welcome too. The beer I had was good, and I will be back to try the rest as soon as I can. I've given it a 7 rating for now, but I've an idea this will rise following my next visit.
Gordon - 12 Aug 2003 11:06
Popped in, waited for 10 minutes to be served, got an awful pint, and left. Won't be back.
David - 5 Jul 2003 09:13
Good pub! friendly staff, great range of well kept ales, which change regularly.
Sloth - 12 Jun 2003 10:52
Consistently good range of real ales. Cider supply a bit random but good when it's on tap.
All three dogs are still there at the moment but a new home is being sought for them.
Rob - 6 Dec 2002 11:05
Sorry to inform Darren, but one of those cute "doggies" has since departed- the one that resembled the "Bulldog chewing the wasp!!!"
Yorkie Man - 11 Nov 2002 16:10
there were some super-cute dogs there when we visited.
Darren - 2 Sep 2002 13:23

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