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Old Kings Head, Borough

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user reviews of the Old Kings Head, Borough

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

Kind of concur with BS - the approach (down an alleyway) leads you to expect more from this place. Though it is okay enough if you're in the area. Not an adventurous selection - the proper Job was about the best of them.
Snarling_Mallard - 3 Oct 2018 21:48
Came here for the second time in November. I think I was less impressed than on my first visit. Ales were all national standards - Adnams Ghost Ship, Sharp's Doom Bar, St Austell Tribute & Proper Job, Black Sheep Best Bitter & Harvey's Sussex Best Bitter. The exterior looks very promising and similar to the nearby George, it is located up an alleyway. But the interior is fairly bland and open-plan. It was very busy on my latest Saturday evening visit.
blue_scrumpy - 2 Feb 2018 20:40
Just about my favourite pub in this part of London, always seems to be buzzing with a mix of workers lunching, bar flys sipping & the odd tourist. Friendly chat, pleasant company & my pint of Doom Bar was only 3.80, cheapest by far on today''s excursion.
Queenslander - 14 Sep 2017 22:33
Tucked away down what first appears to be a rather seedy looking lane this place is well worth checking out.
A good selection of real ales. Harvey's Sussex and a couple of Tributes were available on my recent visit.
The pub itself has no pretensions. Friendly with various TV screens showing sport around the walls.
outtamehead - 30 Jul 2017 05:17
Anywhere else in the country and a big, open scruffy/dirty place like this would be inhabited by a collection of flotsam, jetsam and drunkards. It's got the feel of a pub round the back of a station or market. In London, of course, the clientele are a mixture of office workers and tourists.

The beer's not great, cheap enough from 4-7 when the place is packed but it's not really worth seeking out.
djw - 28 Oct 2014 01:06
Fantastic old fashioned pub in its own yard just off the High Street. Friendly welcome, a nice pint of Landlord (3.65), and no pressure to order food. Not even sure they served any. Largish square room, solo drinkers dotted around the tables reading newspapers, and some smokers in the yard. After the "here's your hat, what's your hurry" attitude of the Southwark Tavern, I was so relaxed here I had a second pint & pondered a third, but an engagement elsewhere called.
Queenslander - 31 Aug 2014 23:11
Worth noting that it's £3 a pint from 4 until 7 on Monday-Thursday. And that the Tribute was very drinkable. Proper Job, Harveys and DoomBar were also on the taps.
dan76uk - 7 Aug 2014 14:21
We stayed here for a couple of hours on an early Saturday night. The place was absolutely buzzing with staff and punters a really friendly bunch. Will definitely be back for more.
BiffoBeer - 27 Jan 2014 09:09
Another good session here the other night.. Same six beers on as reported by Blue Scrumpy and although they may not be the most exciting choice in the world, the quality is always spot on.
jimshoppenus - 1 Jul 2013 16:05
Proper old fashioned pub tucked away off of Borough High St and in the shadow of the Shard.

4 ales on tap in this open plan pub, I had a pint of Harvey's IPA which was decent

I am unsure whether I have been to this pub before but it did seem familiar when I was inside.

Decent place for a few beers.
lezford - 10 Jun 2013 15:26
Was expecting something similar to the nearby George when I tried this back alley pub yesterday morning. The stained glass windows are suitably impressive. But the rest of the interior has a worn feel about it. It seems more of a working class pub than the George and does dispense 6 real ales. Although they (the ales!) are all fairly average - St Austell Tribute & Proper Job, Sharps Doom Bar, Harveys Sussex Best, Wells Bombardier & Taylor Landlord.
blue_scrumpy - 23 Dec 2012 13:25
Shabby, one-roomed place that gets busy, mainly because of the cheap early evening prices. The beer's good, the food looks fine, handy for a drink but I'm not sure if I'd want to stay in here all night.
djw - 5 Oct 2012 21:59
Visited this pub on Saturday, as usual the place was packed and the beer was in excellent form.

A proper drinkers pub, was a bit loud with a lot of Millwall FC fans celebrating the end of the season but no hint of trouble.

Also popular with foreign drinkers who know their stuff, was chatting to a man from Chicago who comes over for business, he likes the atmosphere too!
beershot - 30 Apr 2012 09:50
Decent real ale pub - had the St Austell Proper Job which was fantastic. Happy hour up til 7pm - £2.50 a pint. Great value in a City pub.

Like this pub a lot - only dampener on the evening was the old fella behind us who kept dropping his guts every 5 minutes.
CorBlimey - 27 Jan 2012 12:34
Four of us visited this pub having spotted it tucked down an alleyway opposite the entrance to Borough Market. On Friday afternoon arount 2pm it was pretty quiiet with a few people eating what looked like decent pub grub (Fish & Chips, Lasagne, Steak & Kidney Pud etc) from a reasonably-priced menu. The one large bar (with a function room upstairs, apparently) was not overfilled with tables and there were plenty of bar stools, too. Two of us went for the St Austell's Proper Job which lived up to it's name - it was in utterly perfect condition and will live with me as one (actually, I think I had six) of the best pints I've ever had. Also on offer were Doombar, St Austell Tribute and Harvey's Sussex Best. The barmaid/landlady was friendly and took clear pride in her ale offerings. Later in the afternoon, the pub filled up witha mixture of workers ("No soiled work clothes") and businessmen. Behind the bar also filled with staff and the service remained excellent. A basic boozer and all the better for that.
Tracerfire - 7 Jan 2012 11:54
I re-visited this pub recently to give it a second try. First time was years back with a mate visiting from Scotland. We arrived after work on the Friday and it was busy with workers and business types alike and the group we joined up with were a mixed bunch. The eye candy was over to the left was in a pink blouse and black skirt and suss's. She would have graced any flake advert and a fine stand in for Lilly Langtree or the crutch warbler off Poldark. The beer was King Richard something from Suffolk way and was tremendous. As the place filled up I ended up back to back with Ms Candy and the innevitable happened as she turned around and dribbled her two headlamps across my shoulder blades. All we needed was the soccer on the screen and Man Utd or Liverpool at least 6 down with NO minutes to go and I would have mistook the place for the doors to Heaven. Candy smiled on way back from the bog and retook her position poking her Catherine Deneuve into the small of my back. Ale was good, it was warm inside and raining outside and if it handn't of been for my Caledonian friend then Esmerelda was goingto get it big time.
Mcloj - 13 Jul 2011 13:08
The 2nd visit ive had to this tradional pub which looks like its stoof the test of time without being spoilt too much
Had a bit of afternoon company on Sat lunchtime without being too disturbing. Feels like a hidden gem. Couple of ales on. Only stayed for a quick tipple but works well for a couple of hours away from the madness
the_original_rawnsleys - 4 Jul 2011 13:04
Proper decent pub serving good beer at a reasonable price. Well worth visiting.

Stand outside and stare at the Guys tower. Then go and buy another beer.
terenced - 4 Jul 2011 11:41
A lively pub selling good bee? I must mean its got a good buzz about it.
Picasso09 - 29 Jun 2011 22:22
Good lively pub serving good bee. St Austell Proper Job was in good form last Saturday. A worthy inclusion on a local pub crawl.
Picasso09 - 28 Jun 2011 23:28
Good pub, friendly and fantastic ale! Watch out for the 'shelf guts' that roam the bar.
JockStrap - 19 Jun 2011 17:47
Very reasonably priced where you can order a round of 3 drinks for under a tenner. Good old fashioned boozer situated down a cobble-stone path. Also has sky sports.
alcohol1c_anonymous - 18 May 2011 13:03
Good old fashioned pub, busy no matter what time of the day you visit.

Reasonable prices on the beer (happy hour Monday to Thursday 4 to 7 a pint at £2.50)

Good bar staff, selection of sport shown on the TVs, interesting memorabilia and photos.

Visit it if you are in the area.
beershot - 29 Dec 2010 13:44
Nice pint of St Austells Proper Job on Saturday afternoon.The well worn surroundings give it a great old boozer atmosphere.The stained glass windows are a treat.Serving reasonably priced pub grub too.
covman45 - 2 Nov 2010 16:30
Looked nice but Saturday night the shitty loud club music was pumping outside so loud me and pals preferred standing out in the rain with our pints rather than inside. Other than that - nice.
adamwalsh - 3 Oct 2010 20:51
Down to earth, good value and good fun pub. Now my 'most' regular pub in the area after the downward spiral of the Bunch over the last few weeks, there are always a few good 'oddballs' to entertain you at the bar, what more could you want on a Friday night?
andrewjones1949 - 21 Aug 2010 19:21
What a gem, hidden down a side road near much noisier pubs! We came here when the Market Porter excluded us for wearing football colours. Here, football was showing on big screens (silently, so you could ignore it if not interested); six excellent real ales were on tap; food had apparently been available earlier in the day; it was pleasantly uncrowded as the evening wore on; staff were very friendly indeed; and parts of the pub had evidently been recently repainted. In future we'll come straight here and ignore the Porter altogether.
Trev - 7 Aug 2010 22:57
Have only been here a couple of times but it was pretty excellent both times. Beer, food and staff were all good and it's nice and hidden away. Not the nicest in the area but it's in the top three and would definitely come back.
thecupv1 - 24 Jul 2010 03:25
Really good quality beer when I went in a while back, looking forward to another trip. Makes a change from the George which has lifeless GK ale.
race_faster - 4 Jun 2010 10:55
Jolly nice place.
anonymous - 26 Mar 2010 00:28
Very good old fashioned boozer; good staff, good beer, mix of punters, recommended.
mps77 - 17 Nov 2009 15:47
If you don't have your wits about you, you'll miss this place, hidden down an alleyway off the congested, thronging Borough High Street. I had intended to visit The George to see if the reports of it becoming a NT tourist trap had come true, but in the end was glad I missed out because I thought this place was great. I caught it during 'happy hour' which meant a pint of Tribute was £2.40, and jolly good it was too. Harveys Best, Bombardier, London Pride and more were on besides. A sure-fire pub I'll revisit in an area full of good ones.
ChrisP87 - 25 Sep 2009 19:34
Busy for a Tues afternoon, traditional pub with decent ales on.
lionbaz - 18 Jul 2009 00:36
A great old school boozer with excellent service and sky sports. This is always our starting place for a day on the beer.
ShelfStacker - 23 Jun 2009 16:42
I like the Kings Head, squeezed down a narrow side street off Borough High Street. It’s no frills, slightly worn bar gives an excellent, lived-in feel. Usually a good atmosphere with a mixture of earthy locals, seasoned drinkers and tourists (although these usually stick to the cobbled street outside.) Six hand pumps which last Thursday night included Woodforde’s Wherry, London Pride, St Austells Tribute and CW Bombadier.
We made this the last stop on our crawl as, as well as good ales there are three TV’s for the sport, two smaller ones and as previously mentioned large plasma screen which is fuzzy at the best of times, even before you’ve had a few sherberts. And turned up earlier than planned after being told at the nearby Borough Market, that if we wanted to have a beer outside the pub we had to drink it out of Polyethylene or someother type of plastic crap…
Anway finished off in The Old Kings Head with a very nice couple of pints of Tribute and Wherry whilst watching our brave lads beat the Spaniards in the European ‘I was under 21 one once honest’ football championship.

Gann - 21 Jun 2009 18:52
Suitably bedecked in English flags yesterday which was nice to see. Lovely pint of Butcombe. Staff welcoming and friendly. Top notch.
nickthefish - 24 Apr 2009 11:01
Why have I never been here before? This is a brilliant pub - excellent ales and nice to see Pilsner Urquell on tap too. An unpretentious, old skool boozer that looks to have been refitted in the mid 70s. Charming and helpful bar staff and friendly, chatty punters. Great stuff.
Albert_Campion - 6 Mar 2009 13:39
This is a perfect pub. Well kept Harvey's bitter, big screen and great atmosphere. Best of all the bar staff are excellent - even when it's busy they can remember who should be served next - really polite and efficient.
seagullfan - 23 Feb 2009 08:48
The sign on Borough High St beckons you down the lane where you reach the Old Kings Head hoping to find a cosy back street boozer. The reality is a little disappointing - a single high ceilinged room with bare floorboards that but there's a decent crowd in here (as indeed in most pubs round here) and a reasonable selection of ales for the beardies.

There's certainly better competition in the area but this is not a bad pub at all and one of the few in the area showing the football on Wednesday type (and hence a heavily male dominated clientele).


murgatroyd - 7 Feb 2009 11:20
Whilst I thoroughly agree with the comments of nincompoop regading
the beer and the staff in this pub , i have to take issue with the
comments about the guv'nor . The man could win prizes for being
miserable . They have even got a plaque above the bar stating that
the bartender is a miserable old git. I rest my case
showoff - 6 Feb 2009 12:10
An excellent pub . The bar staff are great especially Cy the barmaid .
there is always a good atmosphere , although it does get a little
crowded in happy hour [ 4 - 7 ] The Tribute is always well kept , as
are all the real ales. Greg the guv'nor gives the impression that he is a miserable old sod , but underneath he is a pussy cat . Good pub , good staff , good value.
nincompoop - 29 Jan 2009 12:35
This is a pleasant enough old school boozer with 6X, Pride, Bombardier, Courage best, Harveys Best and Tribute all available along with standard and premium lagers. The governor wasn’t the most cheerful chap I’d ever met, but then I was pretty pissed up when I walked in so I’ll let him off.

The plasma screen was a bit fuzzy, but it was the only pub I found in the area that was showing the PDC darts – Well done The Old Kings Head!!!

My Tribute was excellent and I love no frills pubs so I’ll make a point of revisiting this place next time I’m on the wrong side of the river.
Strongers - 7 Jan 2009 13:13
Visited on New Years Day, the Market Porter, Wheatsheaf and Southwark Tavern all being closed. What a find! Harveys, Bombardier, Tribute, Courage plus products from Bury St Edmunds [I avoid these]. Staff and customers friendly. Bar lady very pleasant, hoped I would call again [said sincerely, not like Have a Nice Day]/ I will.
TiaMariaJim - 5 Jan 2009 15:24
This place seems to have come on again in the last couple of years since the smoking ban (some may miss that), refurbishment and (I think) a change of management. Friendly and staff serve a decent choice of ales which looked clear and seemed popular. The Guinness is also solid. On the flip side it does have an emphasis on sport (though they can split the screens and show something other than premiership). I would avoid the big games, especially when local giants Liverpool or Man Utd play for the tourists and (though Ive not seen anything go off) theres sometimes a whiff of old-school naughtiness roundabout saturday lunchtime as visiting fans refresh en route to the New Den, Selhurst or Charlton. Generally a belting spot if youve time to kill near London Bridge and certainly the least pretentious 'proper' boozer in the area.
shergar - 30 Dec 2008 15:53
Dived in here from the rain after giving up on the queues in the Bunch of Grapes around the corner. What a totally different atmosphere. Although busy, there was a lot more elbow room and no deafening cackle from lager sipping office boys and girls as was in the BOGs. Service was fast and there was a good choice of ales and pleasant conversation at the bar. I could have settled in here all night but had to get the next train. The Tribute in the BOGs had been just a tad better, but not enough to give it the edge overall. The Kings Head is a great pub. Worth missing a train for.
sussexred - 1 Oct 2008 15:17
perfectly decent unpretentious boozer - delighted it hasn't be tarted up.
mozzzzzz - 28 Sep 2008 19:11
This is an unprepossessing boozer - as people have said - but last night there was a reasonable number of real ales in good condition (my St Austell Tribute was good, reportedly so were the Harvey's and the Hyde's Owd Bill - an unusual beer to find in London). Two football matches were on but no volume so not too intrusive.
Phil_C - 19 Sep 2008 08:59
You always get served very quickly no matter how busy it is ! The staff are great. It is a good place to watch football in !
kinglouisbermondsey - 10 Jun 2008 12:08
The beer was nice, but it was just a big room with a few tables. I got there early, and struggled to get a table. They were showing american football on the TV!!
markyhb - 19 Dec 2007 09:08
Popped in here on a friends birthday night a couple of weeks back. Had two cracking pints of ale. Great atmosphere.
silentbob9484 - 15 Aug 2007 13:49
Really welcome change to the usual tourist and chain pubs in the area. Good old fashioned boozer that is great for Sport events and happy hour is very good value
Tim76 - 21 Jun 2007 12:11
Seems to have had a bit of a refurb since my last visit with a consequent loss of a bit of character, but still a fine pub. Nice to see a pub offering a Happy Hour ( between 4 - 7 pm ) with all beers £ 2 per pint.
JohnBonser - 20 Jun 2007 10:51
very good
becks007 - 17 Feb 2007 22:22
I found this to be a pleasantly down-to-earth and unpretenious place, fairly friendly atmosphere although a bit drafty by the window. The window was actually wedged open which seemed a little odd for January. I think the beer was from the Greene King range. My only other slight gripe was the slightly overbearing football screens, but that's what people and it brings the punters in so mustn't grumble. Other than that I quite liked the place!
Muzthing - 8 Jan 2007 21:20
Bit of a monolgue here, and nothing to do with what the place is like now - but in 1979....
No TV, but the best drawn Courage Ales, and a REAL atmosphere with only a 'juke box' to enliven things.
It sounds dreary, but it was the 'crowd' that made the difference, especially at lunchtimes, which were were mainly from Post Office Telephones.
Even in the evenings then you could still bump into the 'old crowd'. We really felt then that we 'owned' the place.
andrewgwb - 1 Jan 2007 08:10
Old-fashioned town pub, making a pleasant change from the overdone theme bars nearby. Good selection of real ales. Worth seeking out if you have a long wait at London Bridge station.
rpadam - 21 Dec 2006 22:04
My first visit in over 25 years - what a relief to find it still a proper pub. Warm friendly atmosphere; people talking (perhaps because of the absence of loud music); excellent pint of Reindeer; happy hour (did not expect to write that, especially as the late afternoon trade was so busy). A real gem well worth seeking out if in the Borough area. Long may this continue.
P.S. I do not intend leaving it another 25 years!!
Strolling - 14 Dec 2006 08:13
This is an excellent pub. I've been coming here for years, mostly as a pre-match pub. Although it is predominantly Millwall, it's never overbearingly so [it's a train ride away], and many varieties of away fans have been accomodated over the years with zero trouble. Agree, with other posters, the staff are excellent and friendly, and the beers are well kept - usually five ales on tap.
There was a refit a few months ago, but I'm happy to say that nothing was ruined at all. There is now more visibility for the often very busy big screen Sky games. This place does seem to get banged out more for Man Utd, and especially Liverpool games, as is often the case in London. It's also usually heaving during the excellent happy hour - many of these clientele seem to by the tie-unloosened hard drinking, hard smoking men de-stressing, and it's quite smoky at these times.
Overall: brilliant. I intend to keep coming here for many years to come.
Chinny_Reckoner - 6 Dec 2006 16:59
Popped in here last night for a quick pint. I was happy to find Harvey’s Sussex best on hand-pull but less than happy to find the dartboard out of action due to a quiz machine being placed in front of it. Too many London pubs have lost their dartboards, please put this one back into action! The King’s Head has the feel of a local and on a warm evening it’s quite pleasant to stand in the quiet cobbled alleyway next to the pub. They also show sport on a TV in the bar. Recommended.
djburns - 22 Sep 2006 11:55
Really like this place. Well kept real ales, good mixture of people and friendly staff who also seemed to be local and not Eastern European which is a rarity these days. Agree with Boss_Hog regarding the decor.
johnkn7 - 14 Aug 2006 13:25
Lovely unspoilt boozer - this is what pubs should be like - long may it remain so !
JohnBonser - 31 Mar 2006 12:44
Excellent back street boozer. A real mix of local hard-nuts and overspill from Borough Market. Decor looks like it has been untouched in decades....which is a good thing. Beer is above average.
anonymous - 22 Feb 2006 13:08
Great pub, staff very friendly. Happy hour 4pm to 7pm - real ale £2.00 per pint!!! Big screen, music, darts and quiz machine. Can get too smokey and avoid Sat PM if you don't want to watch football
thingy - 18 Feb 2006 11:34
Not as cosy as I could imagine (in fact I was convinced someone'd try and sell me bootleg sportswear/tabacco/DVDs etc it had that kind of vibe) although there were a couple of real ales on.
PunkySi - 21 Jan 2006 20:31
Never been in here before but pleasantly surprised. Nicely dingy/comfortable with a good, mixed clientele. Had one pint of Harvey's Sussex bitter which was good.
beermann - 15 Jan 2006 16:14
A lovely old 'boozer'. Food looked fine but more of a drinkers establishment. Joss Stone behind the bar didn't do any harm either.
anonymous - 23 Nov 2005 14:00
Fine traditional pub in a side alley off Borough High Street. Nothing else to add to previous comments - must try and do this pub more often
JohnBonser - 28 Jun 2005 12:50
Fantastic pub. Cheap for its location. Great staff. Darts board. Limited seating but never gets overcrowded. Handy location near London Bridge. Good Happy Hour, lasting from 4 till 7
Yiddo14 - 21 Mar 2005 23:04
Although I would't get too excited about the downstairs bar (very smokey and blokey, even on quiet nights) the upstairs room is a real find - loads of character, with a kind of quirky, 'nautical' feel: it's great for functions of up to 50 people, with your own little bar. The staff are really friendly & helpful and it's true, it's one the few proper pubs in this area. I hope it doesn't disappear!
anonymous - 15 Feb 2005 12:00
This pub is hidden away but a real find. I love the All day breakfast. Prices are great aswell. Also that Raqcheal Stevens Video was filmed outside with all the girls running around. Great.
anonymous - 29 Dec 2004 13:24
A rarity in the London Bridge/Borough area,this is neither a soulless chain pub, nor an overpriced tourist trap. The Old Kings Head is in fact something of a hidden gem, tucked away in an alley off of Borough High Street.

This is the only pub in the area that authentically feels like a local - always crowded, noisy and occassionally smoke filled, but with a tremendous range of music (Beefheart, reggae, punk, Dylan and Destiny's Child in the same hour), a good range of cheap beers (£2 per pint 4-7 pm), very quick service(especially on a Friday night, when so many other pubs
leave you waiting for an age), and the friendliest staff in London. It also screens all the sport (particularly football and rugby)you could wish for. Finally, users of the upstairs function room range from sceptics to philosophers (actual philosophers, as opposed to the pub philosophers downstairs:-])to the London Musicians Collective. How can this pub not rate 10/10? You owe it to yourself to at least visit once.
DanShears - 23 Nov 2004 15:22
£2 pints in happy hour (2.50 - 2.70 other times). this is the only tennanted freehouse in the area. It's a proper pub. Big screen has been replaced and the service is quicker/friendlier than any other pub around. I work here.
nathan poynter - [email protected] - 29 Jul 2004 20:07
great football atmosphere,but would be better off with a new big screen to replace the old faint one.
jasper - 3 Jul 2004 17:48
Great football pub all the best matches shown although does get a bit overcrowded seems to have been run by the same bloke for a while now and could do with a lick of paint good beer though
Mark - 3 Sep 2003 15:43
Terrible if you want to get a seat, but cheap in happy hour... £1.60 now all pints from 4pm to 7pm. A pint of Stella goes up to £2.60 after 7pm, which while being more expensive than the Globe nearby, it's much cheaper than the Heeltap or the George (£2.90).
Tristán - 21 Jul 2003 11:09
It's a bit grubby, but there's a 2 for 1 happy hour between six and seven every night and they show all the good footy matches!
What more can you ask for?
Pascal - 22 May 2003 16:40
I used this place 25 years ago, when it was a great watering hole for BT engineers in London Bridge Street.
I'm coming back to see what its like.
andrew brown - [email protected] - 21 May 2003 21:21
£1.80 pints Monday to Friday 4-7pm
Boris - 18 Nov 2002 14:21

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