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BITE user comments - JoePublovic

Comments by JoePublovic

The Ram, Kingston Upon Thames

This place is diabolical. I don't think I've seen somewhere go so downhill so quickly - I'm sure a couple of years ago it was quite cosy and civillised. They even did reasonably good food.

Went there on a sunny Sunday afternoon the other day and it felt like the games room at Feltham Young Offenders prison - teeming with teenagers on Aftershock, pitbulls and that luminous away kit. The claim to serve only over 21's is laughable. A handful of shirtless teenagers who had had way beyond serving doses were effing and blinding and the staff didn't have the first clue - probably too scared - about asserting authority. Just plain intimidating.

I know that part of the river turns does turn into a Day Release destination when the sun comes out, but they might make an effort and clean the toilets every so often - and perhaps consider a glass collector? The toilets ming as well. Truly, best avoided. It might be different in the week, but its a sorry story on weekends.

7 Aug 2007 10:28

The Fighting Cocks, Kingston Upon Thames

Nice quiet pace to escape from the shopper hordes on a Saturday afternoon. Good juke box too.

16 Feb 2007 17:47

The Britannia, Kensington

A tragic loss! This pub was such an oasis, but we always knew that it would be a matter of time before Youngs spotted how out of synch it was with its moneyed, tourist-oriented locality. I can imagine the bizarre interior layout will last for long - it's very claustrophobic at the front, and far too geared towards being a restaurant. Nice food, mind.

16 Feb 2007 15:44

The Grove Tavern, Surbiton

We call this the 'Gatwick Village pub'. Completely anonymous and prepare to be glared at if you're not a WASP!

16 Feb 2007 15:33

Harts Boatyard, Surbiton

You could balance a plank of wood on two bollards and serve cans of Skol from this spot - people would still come. It's been blighted for years though - it's the Battersea Power Station of pubs. A total missed opportunity.

In retrospect the 'Out and Out'/IKEA-gastropub wasn't their worst excess... the recent Beefeater was a quantum leap back to the Seventies and the staff were always badly undertrained. I read that it's being developed again into another Whitbread concept.

They're missing a giant trick: they've obviously calculated that there's more revenue in the Portsmouth Rd 'passing trade' than in tapping cash-rich local singletons - soemthing I can't imagine is good economics.

GO therein the Summer and sit outside if you do - it's fine for an hour or so.

16 Feb 2007 15:30

Rubicon Bar, Surbiton

I think they should be commended for having a go at something a bit more loungy and relaxed.

It's really quite nice on weekdays and the Warsteiner is fantastic - behold, a pint of lager that tastes of something! I can't stand Philip Starck, but they've gone a good job on the interior and the barmaids are kinda cute.

I wouldn't bother on Friday nights or Saturdays though, unless you like a pile-up - and those steamy windows are a bit of a turn off (reminds me of being on the 8:32 to Waterloo!).

Perfectly decent place though - sort of place you take a new girlfriend to, having spent the customary 4 hours reassuring her that Surbiton isn't really like the Good Life/you don't really live with your mum/isn't a 1950s New Town of 1930 semis-to-the-horizon beyond the M25.

16 Feb 2007 15:24

Gordon Bennnett bar + kitchen, Surbiton

I've only been there once before, so I can't really say either way.

Just an observation, though: a lot of us have always found it curiously uninviting - I'm not exactly type to dive in and start chatting to strangers at the drop of a hat, but the way everyone is sat at their little table...seems all a bit prim and unfriendly.

The name always reminds me of those 80s winebars too...places in Battersea with names like 'Quaffers' and 'Harvey Floorbangers'. Each to his own I suppose!

16 Feb 2007 15:04

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