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Kingston Gate, Norbiton

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user reviews of the Kingston Gate, Norbiton

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

Saw this pub was in the Good Beer Guide. So I decided to give it a go prior to a visit to Surbiton. It's a fairly large pub on a roundabout in the Norbiton area of KIngston. There are 6 ales. But I was disappointed that none were dark. The selection was Park Gallows Gold & Driftway, Twickenham Naked Ladies & Spring Ale, Wimbledon Copper Leaf & Truman's Knees Up. There were only a handful of other customers there, including a couple sat outside at the front. The barmaid started pulling a pint when I'd asked for a half. Luckily I stopped her in time. Not sure I'd hurry back.
blue_scrumpy - 23 May 2018 19:10
Sorry meant "Now the Black Horse." This is the original name of the pub, rather than Kingston Gate which was misleading as it isn't even the nearest pub to the Kingston Gate of Richmond Park (that would be the Park Tavern).
rainlight - 6 Jul 2016 07:08
Now the Kingston Gate, very much improved, Gallows Gold and TFA Naked Ladies on. Burgers and chips (so it hasn't gone gastro) looked very nice. Outside seating area is much improved by having a fence to hide / mute the passing traffic. Is disabled accessible as we found when taking a temporarily wheelchair-bound friend there.
rainlight - 6 Jul 2016 07:08
Visited this pub which was my old local a week or so ago. Used to drink here virtually every day but moved away from Kngston in 2010 so not so easy to get down there anymore.

I was saddened to hear when I visited that the landlady Sue, who is a local institution is leaving the pub to be replaced by new management. Sue must have been there for 14 or 15 years and is part of the furniture.

This pub has not always attracted the best reviews on here many of which are in my opinion a bit unjust. It is true that the clientele are a little 'salt of the Earth' and you are far more likely to meet a Lee or a Sharon here than a Rupert or an Arabella but the atmosphere has always been friendly and I have seen very little trouble here. In fact there is more chance of seeing a punch up in any of the Town Centre pubs or bars than there is in the gate and this is testament to what a fantastic job Sue does in running the pub.

The pub is due to close for five weeks after Sue goes for a (probably needed) refurb. I just really hope that this remains a proper pub like it is in its current form and carries on showing sport. The area doesn't need another gastro pub. A number of the other locals such as The Albert and the Canbury Arms have gone this way in the past decade and The Norbiton, whilst not as gentrified as the others I have mentioned is still not a pub in the traditional sense of the word like it once was. If the gate goes this way then this will only leave the willoughby as the last bastion of boozerishness! Watch this space!!

BeerGutt - 31 Jan 2016 20:23
My old local and one I miss to be honest. Used to be in here every Sunday for the football without fail. Used to also go some Friday's or Saturdays if there wasn't anything else on and was a good spot for mid week drinking (when I could actually go out in the week and still function the following day)

Recent visits there shows me that nothing has really changed. Pub still looks the same and still has the same small but loyal following.

The 'dregs of society' as the previous reviewer so succinctly put are nowhere to be seen. Admittedly, there did used to be the odd unsavoury character in there however, the landlady Sue runs a tight ship and these types were moved on from there some years back.

I hope that this pub has enough of a following these days to make it a viable business. It is a fairly cavernous place and rents must be astronomical in this part of SW London/Surrey.

There will always be a piece of my heart at The Kingston Gate!
BeerGutt - 6 Sep 2015 15:33
The dregs of society should congregate at the gate for that is for them and they belong together...
anonymous - 11 Jul 2013 20:22
Jimboby1234............You say you have used the Gate for about 5 years, yet you are only 22 ?????

I guess under age drinking should be added to the list........Not doing to well are
razor - 23 Feb 2011 17:09
Seems funny that the last two comments were made by folks that joined this site the same day as they posted them, and that both were made about the gate. What's on offer for positive feedback, 1 pint, or is it a massive 2 pints........So obvious, and proves the points that others have made.
razor - 23 Feb 2011 16:54
I am very surprised to hear such negative reviews about this pub and those who drink in there. I think they are mostly without merit, but obviously people are entitled to their opinions. I have been drinking at the Kingston gate for around 5 years now and have never had a bad experience there apart from being knocked out at poker occasionally. One thing though about the DJ on new years eve (from someone who was there) the DJ finished earlier than what appears to have been negotiated leaving a rather high spirited bunch to be left without any music. It actually put a downer on the night in my personal opinion.
All in all, friendly and attentive staff who have done their best to accommodate any needs I have had.
Reasonably priced and well cooked food.
Good Guinness.

A friendly and community type atmosphere.

Jimboby1234 - 22 Feb 2011 13:49
i have recently re visited the kingston gate after a while, which i must say i found the landlady and staff very friendly. i will be using this pub more often. prices are reasonable and location is good as its just outside kingston.
chavtastic - 19 Feb 2011 17:15
Nice that you have responded Susan, it would have been even nicer if you had addressed the issues that people have raised here instead of making the wild assumption that everyone who has given you a bad review must be a trouble maker that you have barred. I think these reviews are a true reflection, I have only tried your pub 4 or 5 times and have not found it to be a place where you could go for a quiet drink with the IS intimidating in there. Someone raised the issue of drug dealing, I know for a fact that some that have been caught dealing and taking drugs in my local pub are now using your pub, so it would be wise to check the loo's on a regular basis.
Excuses won't get you good out druggies and louts will.
razor - 31 Jan 2011 12:58
susanlowe - 17 Jan 2011 19:57
i have never been so disgusted by the way the dj on news year eve wqas treated by the landlady the guy was close to tears and very upset by the way he had been treated poor bloke i really felt sorry for him, i think he did a brilliant job palyed music for all kinds of people they he done very well i asked him for a song within 5 mins he put it on i was very impressed iwth all the music he had i,m a dj in the west end of london if was spoken to that by anyone i would,ve packed my all my stuff up and gone my mate mate was teling apparantly he had to drive over 120 miles to come here to do the disco for us i thought he was good i saw a lot of people dance and enjoying them selves the landlady spoiled the night i,m never going to that pub again the attitude was really bad in there i would not blame the dj if he did not ever pme back to that pub plus i don,t think he got paid either
djnumber1 - 3 Jan 2011 00:04
place should have a match put to it and use it to keep the homeless's the arse end of the world and everyone seem's to be inbread
pickled - 7 Aug 2009 20:46
Why,why would anyone bar the mental go here.The crowd do not have much of a welcome.Maybe caught it from the very nice charming landlady(not).Beer is not up to much but coke is ok,cheap as well because of all the dealing.Go elsewhere unless you are looking to score
beerboy1970 - 12 Jul 2009 16:13
Well, on my tour of local pubs i was advised to stay well clear of this place. Many people who live nearby dont give a good opinion of it . Its known to be very rough with quite a bad crowd.
Not exactly a great atmosphere apparently.
I was told to visit pubs a little further down London Road such as the Tup,mainly the Honest Cabbage was highly recommended and i was told it was the new place to hang out !!
snowpub - 2 Feb 2009 14:17
Passing by at the end of a Kingston Crawl....felt intimidating...did not stay for a drink
southfields - 7 Dec 2008 12:04
This place has been my local for sometime and I have never seen it kick off in there. You see a lot more trouble in Kingston town centre that you will ever get here. Good pub for watching football. There is also a regular down there who goes by the name of 'Dolly' who throws celery around when Chelsea are playing and takes the clock off the wall so the pub stays open later.
BeerGutt - 6 Oct 2008 13:00
The only thing that surprises me about this place is that they don't serve methylated spirit.....or is that a special for regulars only.
razor - 25 May 2008 14:17
Possibly it's improved since July 2006. It's true that you aren't going to find people called Jemima and Tarquin in here or a menu including sundried tomato bruschetta, but the Canbury Arms and the Pottery have that market to themselves. The Kingston Gate is a down to earth and quite large pub, possibly the only outlet for Shepherd Neame beers in Kingston, as well as the usual lagers etc. The Brakspears Oxford Gold has been a bit stale of late but possibly they are trying to have too many beers on pump and as a result the barrel stays on too long.
There is Karaoke every second Saturday night and other events going on from time to time. If it was that bad a place the doormen would stand stolidly outside with folded arms and steely eye, instead of mixing with the folks inside. There can be trouble in any pub that works as a pub (instead of a restaurant) and for that, the Kingston Gate is no worse than some and better than many (or do I mean that the other way round).
rainlight - 21 Apr 2008 21:32
Biker, Im not following you, honest!

I do drink in this pub occasionally and it does tend to atract a rough, coked up crowd. However, not everyone fits into this bracket and you generally get left alone. The landlady seems OK as well.

I've never watched football down here, so I can't comment on the atmosphere during a game. I also have to say that I've never (personally) seen it kick off in here either, but thats not to say it doesn't have the potential to do so.

The majority of the comments left are fairly accurate, but do bear in mind that this is Norbiton rather than Moss Side! You're not going to get beaten up or murdered if you visit this pub, but then again, theres not alot to draw you there in the first place.
ratfink - 20 Dec 2006 16:30
I think there has been a case of false representation by some of the above. The kingston gate is a well known sports bar and because of this reason attracts football supporters who attend the pub. There is the usual friendly banter between rival supporters and this NEVER culminates in trouble. All pubs have to deal with the growing problem of drug takers and dealers and like all pubs the Gate is doing its best to filter out these elements. this is probably why one of the above statements reports dealing going on outside. I have been drinking at this pub and others for many years and can safely say never experienced any dangerous or illegal activeties. I can't help thinking that there is a negative force plotting to discourage patrons from attending the gate. This strikes me as rival establishments sullying the name of a popular local pub.
Jackstone - 20 Dec 2006 15:50
Best avoided, it has ended up with some of the worst characters from the nearby Royal Borough Arms (now a agastrobar called the Pottery and serving Ballards. Beer quality poor to mediocre.
wandsworth - 2 Nov 2006 09:13
someone could do a lot of us favours by blow torching thisplace on a friday or sat night,it would get rid of most of the criminals in surrey.
anonymous - 26 Jul 2006 15:42
Tattoos, shirtless chavs, St George's flags. What more do you need to know?
norbitonpaul - 12 May 2006 13:16
A trio of dodgy and rather menacing geezers dealing right outside the pub last week. And in broad daylight. Says it all.
anonymous - 1 May 2006 11:57
What a wasted opportunity- this pub COULD be really good. In REALITY its a complete thug magnet- don't enter unless you are covered in tatoo's, have an ASBO to your name or are looking for a fight or a stolen car stereo- shame shame shame
mattclapham - 25 Oct 2005 20:32
Comments you might hear in this pub

1. Are you looking at my bird?
2. Do you know where I can get some gear?
3. Do you want a smack in the face?

I think you get the picture.
anonymous - 13 Aug 2005 11:29
Chav magnet. Real ale there may be but it is never on or it is awful.
anonymous - 14 Jul 2005 22:36
Basic but friendly enough and a good range of real ales. It looks from the outside like a 1930s roadhouse, which it may be.
beeronaut - 7 Mar 2005 17:58
The live music on a Sunday night is excellent. Have just been treated to some very good country music.
John - 5 Sep 2004 23:27
Only stopped here for a quick saturday afternoon drink. The place seemed pleasant enough.
Perhaps very different ona friday night? Anyway i'd go there again.
JP - 29 Jan 2004 17:11
worse than the black horse, which i nigh impossible, err, hang on, it IS the Black Horse. Just refurbished and cleaned up!
jon-paul - 22 Jan 2004 16:01
i enjoyed the pub, good quiz, friendly bar staff,food was good. Would visit again when in the area. Dont let the other comments put you off.
Anon - 25 Jul 2003 18:54
Loud music, no ashtrays, beer just about drinkable, go elsewhere
Quizman - 9 Nov 2002 23:32

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