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Park Tavern, Kingston Upon Thames

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user reviews of the Park Tavern, Kingston Upon Thames

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

The Park Tavern was my fifth stop on my Kingston crawl. It has a lovely location in a terraced street that leads to Richmond Park. The exterior is covered with plenty of foliage, giving it a cosy feel. There are a number of tables on the patio at the front. Inside is just as cosy and there was a decent selection of ales. Fullers London Pride & Youngs Bitter are the permanent ales. There were also 4 guests - Gales Fire Cracker, Twickenham Naked Ladies, Caledonian Trick Or Treat & Binghams Twyford Tipple. There are a huge number of pumpclips on the ceiling, attesting to the decent ale selection they've had over the years. Most of the customers appealed to be regulars. This appears to be a thriving community pub and ended up being my favourite pub of the day in Kingston.
blue_scrumpy - 6 Nov 2016 16:05
Improved recently, still an out of the way backstreet pub with a few good beers on. Very close to the park gates so worth calling in at after a walk in Richmond Park.
rainlight - 26 Feb 2016 09:37
Went in here recently doing a recce, and in a position to put a bit of business their way, as it was always a pub I wanted to like- but when I handed over £4 for a pint of Hog's Back TEA and waited for my change, I was informed that it was £4 a pint!! In Kingston!
Well, they have lost my business for good...if more people voted withn their feet when being ripped off perhaps we would get saner prices. "If you let them do it to you, you've got yourself to blame" as the Who once sang...
Beerwulf - 1 Oct 2012 15:27
Despite some of the reviews here, I have always received a warm welcome and is a nice little friendly pub and always found Sue and the rest of the staff friendly and accomodating. Bound to get dogs in their as it is so close to the park and they even have dog biscuits behind the bar so you know it's going to be dog friendly.........Stop barking Monty!!!
razor - 23 Sep 2012 21:38
As a free house, how come they can charge so much?
quizman - 24 Apr 2012 01:30
This pub does not have a telephone, the number here is NOT for The Park Tavern on New Road in Kingston upon Thames.
Thank You
TheParkTavern - 11 Feb 2012 14:02
This pub does not have a telephone, the number here is for The Park Tavern on New Road in Kingston upon Thames.
Thank You
TheParkTavern - 11 Feb 2012 13:55
TT Landlord has not been on for some months now but varying range of real ales still going. Blessed relief they have barred children after 6pm shame they don't do the same for some of the dogs that bark all night!
quizman - 21 Dec 2011 14:03
Nice little pub tucked away near Richmond Park. A good atmosphere until a Diet Coke drinker insisted on putting the large screen television on to watch a pointless game of rugby.
Drank a couple of pints of Landlord, OK.
Probably will return.
ericstadd - 20 Dec 2010 10:22
After coming to this pub for over 15 years I have to agree with Brakslover, the Park Tavern is the best pub in Kingston and I too drink in there every month or so with friends and we are always recognised and given a warm friendly welcome too. The PT is warm and comfortable in the winter and bright and cool in the summer and the ale is always kept in a perfect condition (although I agree it is a little pricey). The punters are always friendly and a good bunch.

It is such a shame that other pubs can't consistently be like this one as it is a credit to the community who surround it - a good traditional pub with behaved customers. There are a lot of comments about the lack of guest ales and yes the choice has diminished but what they do have is still better than all the other pubs in the local area?

fullersfan - 11 Dec 2010 20:11
I am not about to jump to attack the PT. But I can only speak as I find. I had been going here for 10 plus years before jumping ship, In my view, the beer range has become dull and the prices too high.
MeurglysIII - 19 Oct 2010 22:49
Let me jump in to defend the PT, since the last 3 contributions are somewhat less than flattering. Over the last 5+ years I have used the pub once every 2-4 weeks, usually following a walk in Richmond Park. Always recognised and given a friendly welcome. Changing selection of real ales, but TT Landlord and Pride seem permanent fixtures. Can only recall one occasion when I have had an “off” pint – which was immediately replaced without question. If you like traditional “non trendy” pubs like the PT, then we all need to support them or we will lose them forever! In my view still probably the best pub in Kingston.
Brakslover - 28 Jun 2010 15:57
I too think that it has lost the plot.
MeurglysIII - 9 Feb 2010 20:19
We have given up drinking at the Park Tavern and everything abbout it has gone rapidly downhill. The variety of cask ales on a rotating bases has diminished considerably. The price of beer has escalated out of all proportion over £3.50 for a pint, a lot more expensive than other local hostelries. It was never a comfortable pub but the seating in deplorable. Hard wooden benches and what chairs they have are past there sell by date. We know of several other former customers who have given up coming here. It is a shame as for years it was always a pleasant drinking pub. It needs a revamp and a price reduction to entice customers back. Awful.
MagicMoments - 1 Oct 2009 09:36
An old favourite of mine - but it is starting to lose points for its les than inspired - though superficially extensive - beer range. In particular, an over-reliance on Green King and Wells and Young needs to be nipped in the bud.
MeurglysIII - 19 Sep 2009 13:35
Beautiful (not cheap) beer - friendly staff and locals - rugby - brilliant!
Drumhorse - 29 Jul 2009 13:11
They had six ales on the other when I dropped in here at lunchtime – TT Landlord, TT Golden Best, London Pride, Fuller’s Jack Frost, Young’s Bitter and Highgate Stocking Filler. I had the Golden best and the Stocking Filler, and while both were excellent the Stocking Filler was not cheap at £3.30 a pint.

But the Park Tavern was a very comfortable and warm refuge from a bitterly cold December day. The ceiling was literally covered in different pump clips, presumably indicative of a dedication to providing regular guest ales. Furniture consists of stools with backs around the bar, and normal tables with settles around the walls plus a few small stools. Carpeted throughout. Masses of rugby centric memorabilia adorn the walls. I didn’t see a one-armed-bandit; I saw one small TV high on the wall that was not switched on although judging by an earlier review there may have been a larger TV tucked away where I could not see it. There was no music playing.

So, it was very quiet when I was in there – three obvious regulars plus me – and no music or TV on. This has very much the feel of a backstreet local, and I like it very much. Do not go here for a wild time, but do visit if you want a quiet pint in convivial surroundings. Food consisted of a tray of rolls covered in clingfilm behind the bar. Classic – a bit like stepping back in time about 30 years. Highly recommended.
RexRattus - 31 Dec 2008 16:51
Warm convivial atmosphere. Lovely crowd watching the rugby. 2 pints Sharps IPA - full to the top.
southfields - 7 Dec 2008 11:38
Superb back street local. Speckled hen on fine form served by a a lovely lady.
Worth seeking out, i walked from Norbiton station rather than going through the ugly centre of Kingston. Couple it with a visit to the wych elm and the magnificent willoughby, a nice way to spend an afternoon/evening.
nickthefish - 28 Nov 2008 10:27

A proper drinking pub, with locals that are part of the furniture and friendly with it. - a rugby pub. Big screen Skysports comes out for big events. Prides itself on its beer and rightly so.

The one downside - no food. Occasionally have filled rolls for sale on the bar but for an evening's drinking, there usually aren't of those left.
BlackCrowe - 3 Oct 2008 10:23
Nice and comfortable with a homely feel, one room almost split by the central wooden bar. Bench seating and bar stools, carpetted so none of the echoing noise you get in some more minimalist places. Lots of unusual nick nacks around, notably an East Riding Constabulary plaque and a set of stealing glasses here then. A stuffed parrot sort of bird presides over the cig machine. Sporting prints, mainly rugby adorn the walls and beermats of earlier guest beers on the ceiling and around the bar.
It was lively and chatty, the Euro football showing on the small tv but the plasma on the wall was off.
Efficient service and a very good line up of regulars TT Landlord, Youngs Bitter, Adnams Broadside, Pride, and guests Hogs Back Friday 13th.....I assume today's special, not sure if brewed for today or renamed, plus Elgood Cambridge Bitter. All in all very nice but jaw dropping prices, £3.40 for the EGC!
Maldenman - 13 Jun 2008 20:03
Caught the end of the Fulham v Everton game on in here yesterday, so yes, there is football.

This is a fine traditional pub, the nearest decent pub to the Kingston Gate exit to Richmond Park.

I enjoyed a nice pint of Dark Star Old Ale, but with an ABV of only 4%, a price of £ 3.25 for a pint seemed a bit steep. The people on the next table thought so too.

JohnBonser - 17 Mar 2008 13:35
No gimmicks like food or football (though there is a TV) - it's a pub. It sells beer. Three regular and three guest ales on tap (recently there have been beers from Orkney and Surrey Hills). The only food is filled rolls - it isn't a restaurant either. As to expensive, the 3.20 only applies to the guest beers, the regular beers are 2.50 to 3.00 a pint, which is normal for this part of town.
beeronaut - 19 Feb 2008 19:56
Occasionally hit-and-miss with the beer range, but always welcoming and friendly even when there is a Six Nations match on the television. Mind you, the £3.20 pint is something that still strikes me as pushing it a bit even for South-West London.
meurglys_iv - 10 Feb 2008 15:39
Situated down a very small backstreet, which makes it quite difficult to find.

Worth searching for, though, as it is the perfect antidote to the High Street 'super-pub' so loved by the unwashed.

A pub that I imagine hasn't changed in thirty years (except for the telly, I guess). Not everyone's cup of tea, but the Real Alers will love it.

Slightly strange marble shelf above the urinals, but you can forgive such small misdemeanours.
parkhillian - 14 Dec 2007 10:26
We happened upon this after a walk in Richmond Park and it seemed to be the perfect 'local'.
No one stared as we walked in (as with so many locals pubs) and we were included in the banter within minutes.
A good variey of real ales as well as lagers and other drinks and excellent crisps! A perfect Sunday lunch time pub, lots of papers, the match on a big screen, but around the corner so not intrusive, and whilst we were there we were given a complimentary bowl of stir fry.
A proper pub, we'll definitly be returning. In fact the other half's probably to be found there now.
AShep - 27 Nov 2007 20:50
Good range of real ales on in a warm and friendly atmosphere. I think I prefer this pub now to the Wych Elm. Worth the short walk from Richmond Park ( Kingston Gate exit )
JohnBonser - 27 Nov 2007 13:14
My previous couple of visits have seen a good selection of ales on handpump but quality has not been quite top notch. I feared the worst yesterday as my first choice had to go back, but it was a case of bottom of the barrel and my subsitute Summer Solstace was perfect. Good local pub hidden down residential street, worth a visit before/after Willoughby.
trainman - 24 Jun 2007 11:33
Quite simply a local gem. Always a good range of real ale. Well worth seeking out.
MeurglysIII - 16 Jun 2007 10:32
Great old traditional pub, nice beers. Much of a secret pub and it should stay that way...
Gazbebe - 23 Apr 2007 12:42
A real gem of a pub not easy to find - over the years they have probably served more different real ales than any other free house. Always a friendly welcome with well behaved rugby supporters on International days.
zeitlin - 21 Apr 2007 19:57
I haven't been inside this pub for about 20 years but I popped in on Friday and an glad to say it has hardly changed at all time in that time. Still a very welcoming back-street boozer that was surprising busy on a Friday afternoon. A great place for a quiet pint. In a world of grisly chain pubs of the type that now dominate in Kingston town centre, this and the nearby Willoughy Arms are examples of what real pubs can be like. If you want real pubs to survive, you should support these pubs!
gearbox - 12 Apr 2007 12:44
Exactly what a pub should be (or will be after 1st July). A great range of beers, a very friendly welcome and a proper pub atmosphere.
Toller_Rant - 10 Apr 2007 17:23
This is a fantastic pub. best one i think i have been to. I am a regular at this pub and actually work there. Yes, it may be quite a smoky pub, however, you get used to it, and there are times, especially in the summer when it is really pleasant with the doors open and the smoke goes. The owners are brilliant and everybody who works there is fantastic. I admit it is quite a locals pub, however, there are many people who come in just for a quite drink and enjoy it. There are often different crowds for different sports, but the atmostphere is always jolly.
anonymous - 6 Apr 2007 17:19
Absolutely, without any doubt an outstanding little pub
fullersfan - 8 Feb 2007 12:56
Bit of a gem really. Good beer with something unusual always on and a welcoming atmosphere to go with it.
Matthew_of_Ham - 21 Jan 2007 02:40
tintin2000 - 29 Dec 2006 00:31
As always, North Kingston has the best pubs in town - this very little pub has a good range of ales and knowledgeable owners. If it weren't for the smoke it would definitely be my top pub in town and unfortunately too far from my house! (solution: wait for 2007 and move).
beeronaut - 16 Apr 2006 22:50
Returned to this pub after about a year and nothings changed apart from the staff which were pleasant enough even to the point of replacing my pint when it reached end of barrel without any argument. Nuff sed!
quizman - 14 Feb 2006 19:14
This is a good example of what a mundane ordinary pub can achieve with an enthusiastic landlord and a bit of imagination. Situated in a smart residential location and a bit off the beaten track, it is not particularly easy to find. The entrance is via a small beer patio at the front. The interior is U shaped with a central, quite lengthy bar and pew style seating around the edges. There is no real style to the pub but there are enough oddities and interesting nick-nacks to give the place enough character without going over the top. Patriotic pictures of the Queen Mother and God Save the King posters blend in with a selection of brewery clocks, barometers, carved animals, lanterns, bedwarmers and assorted jugs, pots and pans. A deers head acts as a handy hat rack and the fireplaces still contain the old pokers and coal scuttles. A cabinet contains a selection of old international rugby caps and a rugby shirt signed by Rob Andrews and Bill Beaumont. Much is made of the beer selection and with 6 Real Ales including several rotating guest beers, there is little to complain about on this front. One wall of the pub is actually plastered with hundreds of old pump clips. It was fairly quiet on my visit (a Sunday evening) and therefore not smoky. Very much a locals pub but well worth searching out if in the area.
RogerB - 7 Feb 2006 10:53
This independent pub has the best beer in Kingston, full stop. It's cosy inside for the winter and pleasant outside under the wisteria in the summer. It is a very local crowd but warm and welcoming. The sort of place you would take any visitor to show them a classic neighbourhood pub.
lex71 - 9 Dec 2005 18:00
The crowd descended of this pub on a Friday evening and our overall opinion was mixed. On the positives excellent beer, good service and no music. The negatives really uncomfortable seating all which needs updating and this must be one of the most smoke infested pub we have ever visited, they do not even have a non smoking area which in our opinion was the main reason for voting this pub as a miss. Try the Wych Elm instead more comfortable ,less smokey.
Fab4Rovers - 5 Nov 2005 11:25
Have been drinking here for a good while now, and the seats don't get any more comfortable, but the lively staff tend to dull the pain - or is it the beer?

As a non-smoker I find the smoke at times gets a bit much.

That said, the beer is well kept, and if you're into real ales, there is always a good variety of guest beers.

You are always made to feel welcome by the staff and regulars alike. If you want to chat, there's always someone to talk to, however if you just want to sit in the corner and read your book and enjoy a nice pint, that's OK too.

Have frequented the Wych Elm and Albert - both very good, but neither come close to this little hidden gem.
anonymous - 1 Nov 2005 08:36
I feel that some of the previous comments on The Park Tavern are a little unfair. Tell me a pub in the land that is not male dominated, it's the nature of pubs. Yes it is smokey but this as much a function of the low roof which I think adds to it's cosiness. As a non smoker I'd rather it was not so but I reckon it's a fair compromise for a terrific local pub. They don't serve food (bar a few rolls) and I don't see why a non smoking area should be created in what is a tiny pub. If you want non smoking areas go to the chain pubs on the ring roads and now centres of our towns and do an honest comparison between these bland pubs and the genuinely honest back street local as typified by The Park Tavern- there is no contest!
aliconor - 28 Oct 2005 15:39
The Park Tavern is an environmental nightmare. When we walked it is like a smog.Everybody smokes at the bar and there is not even a non smoking area. Obviously the owners/tenants do not take any notice of "Government". The one plus was the range and quality of beers. Very much a male dominated environment. My advice only cpome here if you are male and a heavy smoker!!
anonymous - 21 Oct 2005 16:38
A great pub, my mates mum and father used to frequent this fantastic hovel of a pub 10 years ago when it was under different management. Even then i was taken by the friendlyness and atmosphere of the tavern. With a great range of excellent tasting beers, not like the horrible weatherspoons, and weird rolls you can purchase gives an altogether different atmos. Beware the chicken tika has too much sauce and overflows and the ham n mustard has enough mustard to clean the lining off my nose better than a snort of charlie. Altogether a satisfying pub, i recommend a pint of heineken a pack of pork scratchings and a pack of twiglets
anonymous - 18 Sep 2005 22:06
A small backstreet local close to the Kingston gate of Richmond Park. It welcomes dogs and the ever-changing ales are in great nick. It's a regular venue for Oakham JHB but regularly features an interesting range of ales (more so than its rather conservative neighbours).

It's a quiet place so don't expect a wild sense of fun or a lock-in but the beer's great. If you're in Richmond Park and are seeking a sit down and a pint, check it out. Five mins or so walk from the Wych Elm (Fuller's) which is a great pub.
anonymous - 15 Aug 2005 21:33
Quality pub, friendly been going for many a year !
slops - 7 Jan 2005 14:25
Fairly busy on Saturday night when we called. Available was Youngs, Fullers, Tim Taylor's Landlord and 2 from Hampshire's Cheriton brewery. Obtained tasters of these whist the darker lacked any real characteur the lighter one (Amber Gambler?) was chosen by all of us and was the best pint of the evening (on a crawl of 6 pubs/8 pints). As a pub second only to the Wych Elm would recommend both
lout_from_the_lane - 6 Dec 2004 13:38
A proper pub, sports on tv to the right, cosy fire and chatting area on the left. Excellent real ales always in tip top condition with a no quibble return policy should you have a problem pint. Regulars will travel from afar their only complaint is that they wished they lived closer (like me).
aliconor - 22 Sep 2004 18:02

A real favourite, I just wish that I lived closer! An excellent selection of beers that changes regularly and a welcoming and friendly atmosphere.
Matthew_of_Ham - 19 Sep 2004 18:31
Found this pub via this web page and am suitably impressed - friendly service and customers, good for a chat, quiet location. nice one!
Sarah - 26 Aug 2004 23:12
Hidden gem, cosy and lovely
Jane - 17 Aug 2004 12:25
Sean - 30 Jun 2004 19:32
near Kingston gate of Richmond Park. Unspoilt pub serving a good selection of real ales. Dogs welcome, water and biscuits supplied.

Can't see it on our Kingston list
John Mccabe - 1 Apr 2004 12:22
Good pub, good beer, good for chat AND sports (a rare combination), good location near Richmond Park. But the ladies serving nowadays are simply too mad (ie we miss Robert).
DeviousDave - 14 Jan 2004 13:55
We've been regulars here for over two years. Great independent little pub, with such friendly staff. Real fire in the winter! A major plus is the lack of muzak (there is a jukebox but it's very rarely used) it's a perfect place to chat.
Angie - [email protected] - 27 Nov 2003 17:18
Nice pub with frienly staff. Good range of drinks, with a guest bitter most weeks.
Snowy - 27 Aug 2003 11:06
Nice pub. I watched England stuff Holland 4-1 in here during Euro 96. Top night!
Angus - 14 Apr 2003 13:49
Good but fireworks night is not so good it is very squashed, dangerous and loud. sorry but only 3/10
siobhan - 30 Oct 2002 12:38
To be found along a tiny side street (New Road) near Richmond Park. Beers are superbly kept, staff are good & knowledgeable, rugby (& football) orientation. Cosy & hard to beat.
Dave - 30 Oct 2002 11:27

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