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Dukes Head, Putney

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user reviews of The Dukes Head, Putney

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

A long long time ago this was a brilliant pub. We visited earlier in year after disastrous visit to Bricklayers nearby. Whilst it's not a proper boozer any more, the beer was at the right temperature and there were some nice homemade crisps.
A kinda corporate souless homogenised version of a pub but reliable. And no you can't sit and see the river any more unless eating. On the day it was 6/10.
Old_King_Cole - 26 Oct 2015 21:28
Horrible loud music, Young's ordinary served so cold you couldn't taste it, when it warmed up you wished you still couldn't. Nice riverside room that you can't use unless you want their food, which isn't much cop.
IKBrunel - 18 Sep 2013 12:55
Nice looking pub but rather soul-less. A watched a barman, who clearly couldn't care less, serve four pints of Meantime to a youngster and then ask him for c.£20 without warning him it was very expensive. He won't be back and others will no doubt follow him out the door given time. The Bricklayers has far more charm, selection, atmosphere...
lochinvar - 26 Mar 2013 15:40
Stood at bar- no one else there. Silence from barmaid .(This is where you say "With you in a minute, and smile"- not a chance). Eventually served by someone who doesn't speak much English. 1st choice- Young's Special- off. 2nd choice f-estival cider- from cardboard box so warm. Finally Aspall's cider- £4.60! What a rip off! Ate here once before- very overpriced. The Boathouse is even worse- completely sterile. Pity, Young's Special is one of my favourites.
xtfxtf - 25 Jul 2012 14:34
Dear Oh Dear, The brewery can throw money at this pub and it has a great location but if the staff simply don't care and are rude - It is much easier to walk the extra 50 yrds to the Bricklayers Arms and have better / cheaper beer and a much more enjoyable experience. Top tip for staff training - When a punter walks into your bar at which ebry table outside is occupied - Try not to great them with this bar is closed mate - Did not read the f#ckin' sign outside - 1705 Hrs. on the hottest day of the year so far Monday, 28th May 2012) - Unbelievablle but true! Dan J.
DanielRobertJohnson - 28 May 2012 17:21
Beer is a bit pricey but its a nice enough place and easy to get served even though it is quite busy. Had a pint of Winter Warmer which is one of the better Youngs beers.
PerivaleElvis - 1 Feb 2012 17:12
Well i disagree with all the comments below; as a new resident of Putney, i frequent the Duke's Head and have the most welcoming time and the staff are always very friendly. the food in the dining room tastes as fresh as it should and is equally priced to pubs in Putney.
putters75 - 31 Jul 2011 21:22
The staff have a terrible attitude and treat you like an annoyance to be ignored (at the bar), insulted (if you approach them with a problem as I did last time) and ripped off (with absurd prices for food and beer).

This pub feels more like a tourist trap - perhaps it is, it has a fantastic location on the river which guarantees lots of passing trade, so they've never had to bother being anything but surly and uninterested in their poor customers.

There are nicer pubs in the area who deserve your hard earned cash far more than the Duke's Head.
whiskyfive - 9 Apr 2011 20:53
I have been popping in here more often of late, as it ties in nicely with a walk to try and calm down a newborn in the early evenings, and gives me a chance to slip in a couple of cheekies before returning home.

Experience tends to be variable - this is a fairly unique pub in that it is constantly finding new ways in trying to not take your custom.

When it's quiet, the bar staff tend to hide around corners, take a couple of minutes to notice you, and then not even a hint of an apology for leaving the entire (sizable) bar unstaffed.
When it's busy, expect a long wait to get served as the 2 or 3 people serving try and cope with thirsty punters.

Add to that astronomical prices for beer (most , if not all, lagers over £4 a pint) and you can see why the Bricklayers, Half Moon and even the Star & Garter will continue to poach much of their passing trade.

Shame, as it could be incredible given it's location.
TheClaw - 31 Mar 2011 16:14
just unbelievably expensive
Someonewhocares - 9 Jan 2011 22:08
Oh - dear this place is Souless - the Star & Garter next door has more soul and it's a modern wine bar. This should be a good British Pub and the food smelt so processed and freezer to table that we didn't eat as planned. We headed back to Star & Garter and really enjoyed their Well Hug Beef!!!!
GrahamThomas2010 - 18 Dec 2010 20:44
So dissapointing on so many levels. Poor food, Poor service, Poor Beer. Go to the Bricklayers around the corner and see what a real pub is like. I'm rating it 2, and that's purely for location.
gileyboy - 28 Sep 2010 14:02
Not too bad inside, I probably appreciated it more given the fact I couldn't touch my drink in the nearby Star & Garter.
WaldorfAndStatler - 20 Aug 2010 16:41
Expensive, expensive, avoid.
Saifa - 30 Mar 2010 14:29
I remember my first £2.50 pint back when I was a student in South Ken and now I will remember the Dukes Head for being the first £4 pint of normal beer (Kronenbourg).

It's a beautiful looking pub though, but not very well renovated. To be avoided on a Sunday unless you like the smell of peoples dinner permeating.

Actually, given that you can get great beer at numerous pubs in Putney, especially Youngs, probably best avoided completely.
marcovanpenners - 24 Feb 2010 16:28
I thought this place was decent, although I do share some of derekwinchester's gripes about the tall tables and chairs and the re-upholstered sofas, which, as well as not being terribly comfortable, sit completely ill at ease with the splendid Victorian interior of dark wood and etched glass, hinting at something interesting in years gone by. Quite busy with football fans before a Fulham match, I had pints of Winter Warmer and Youngs Bitter that were in solid nick. Not the sort of place I imagine having many 'regulars' though, which is a shame and something of a growing trend in the Youngs pubs I visit.
ChrisP87 - 3 Jan 2010 10:58
Very poor sunday lunch, cold, expensive, slow to arrive.
BruceEllis - 1 Dec 2009 10:51
3.95 for a pint of Kronenbourg? Good lord, Youngs have lost the plot...
I_Love_Rugby - 2 Oct 2009 15:52
Drank here recently. Used to be a great Putney pub but is the usual bland, soulless Young's effort these days (old pic-style sign outside replaced by faceless new one? Tick. Twirly bushes outside the door? Tick). When Young's revamped their pubs they whacked the prices up and that certainly hasn't stopped. The front room used to be a lovely space to drink or eat in but now it is purely a restaurant, meaning drinkers are squashed into the bar at the back (a restaurant for the usual bog-standard Young's food - what a brilliant idea. Pub food at restaurant prices with none of the advantages). One table at the back which would have been ideal for our group of six+ was reserved for an 'Irish band' so we ended up on those awful tall tables and chairs that are incredibly uncomfortable but all pubs seem to find essential now. The inevitable candle was put on the table - as if I wanted a romantic drink with my five mates... and if I wanted a romantic drink or meal anyway I wouldn't go to a f****** Young's pub. This pub is ok when you can stand outside by the Thames in the sunshine. Otherwise, if you have any soul, avoid.
derekwinchester - 5 Sep 2009 20:42
Called in for a couple of pints. Well kept Young's ales. Prices seemed OK for the neighbourhood. Service was friendly.
The pub area has a nicely updated Victorian (Edwardian?) interior. Not particularly intimate but interesting architecturarlly. Punters are mainly 20 or 30 something professional identikit "beautiful people".
Didn't go in the restaurant bit so can't comment on the food.
JonRambo - 27 Jul 2009 13:38
They seriously expect you to pay 3.90 for a pint of lager? Served in a plastic glass? You're having a giraffe...
I_Love_Rugby - 31 May 2009 13:59
A lovely location on a beautiful summer's evening. Unfortunately, I wish I'd stayed outside enjoying the weather.
Quite possibly one of the worst pints of Guinness I've ever had. And served in a plastic glass, despite the fact we were sitting inside as we were wanting to eat.
The food was nothing to write home about, though it wasn't dreadful.

fulhambob - 25 May 2009 23:45
Lovely location down on the river. However, the bar staff are just bad at their jobs, couldn't remember more than two drinks in an order. Friendly though, which is more than could be said for the waitress.

The food is dire and overpriced. Fish and chips did not even come with chips - fried new potatoes instead - apparently these are "mum's chips". Not like my Mum used to make! The ploughman's included a slither of stilton. Unfortunately we had paid when we ordered at the bar so couldn't insist on not paying.

Will not be returning.
anna.o - 15 May 2009 08:52
Was better when they first did the conversion but the quality of the food has gotten worse and worse. Live next door so used to be a regular for food here but it's so poor now we avoid. Shame as you can only access the best room if you're eating. Service is still friendly but the food just isn't worth what you pay.
BTUK - 12 Mar 2009 14:57
Simply appalling. Three of us went for Sunday lunch; the beer was off and all three meals were poor. The roast dinner included a yorkshire pudding with the consistency of uncooked pasta, cold overcooked vegetables and poor quality (exceptionally tough) beef. It took an age to get served so we persevered and ate around half of the plate. At the end of the meal our waitress asked what I thought of the meal so I was honest - and she said she'd "pass on the comments". She returned 5 minutes later to inform me that they couldn't adjust the bill because I had failed to raise the matter when she did a "check-back" (i.e. asking for our feedback during the meal. Two problems here - (1) we were not looking for an adjustment to the bill, and (2) we had not received a check-back. However the very fact that they have a 'no refund' rule if you don't complain early enough shows that they must have to manage a huge number of complaints. We won't be going back.
norocks - 9 Mar 2009 00:29
Lovely drinking spot on the river, slightly off the beaten track of putney high street. My Company recently used the function/club room for an all day meeting. I cannot reccommend this room enough, with its own private bar, Widescreen plasma, views over and along the river, AND a warming fireplace. The service was brilliant all day, we could not of asked for anymore. Since I have returned on quite a few occasions at weekends, and during the week. It seems to me a pub that is building an atmosphere, and i believe that it has something for everybody.
deering79 - 28 Jan 2009 19:49
I found the staff here to be very friendly and they both said hello, even the girl that wasn’t serving. It wasn’t very busy so maybe they are inept at working a bar, but they seemed fine to talk to.

Youngs Ordinary and Special are available alongside Bombardier, Tribute, Standard and premium lagers. The island bar is huge and makes the big pub seem a lot smaller. The rear of the pub with the windows facing the river is a dining area and there are only 2 benches outside facing the river.

As I mentioned, it was quite during my visit, but I found the pub to be very pleasant.
Strongers - 13 Nov 2008 16:05
Turn the clock back a few years to pre-refurb and I - along with many others that frequented this fine destination pub - would be back. Great loss as a community meeting place.
daisy1 - 21 Oct 2008 19:00
Used to be quite good, last year i went there quite frequently. The service there has never been great and get used to see people being served in order of the amount of wealth they're flaunting as opposed to the length of time waiting at the bar. Good selection beers when all available.
I went in there a few weeks back to be refused service, apparently its over 21 only now? Nowhere is this advertised however and i intend to take it up with the manager, a member of staff told me that all youngs pubs intend to go this way; in my opinion this fits with the general downhill trend of most youngs houses. Go to the Bricklayers' arms tucked around the corner, better service, better beer, better atmosphere.
Putnite - 23 Aug 2008 00:32
Pop in a couple of times a week after work, normally about 3-4 of us. Always a great atmosphere and friendly staff
stefanchybowski - 12 Aug 2008 10:56
Was once a great Putney instiution when John Young was alive but now poorly run by new Well's manager, expensive drinks, plastic food and a naff make over some years ago showing through. Still go there occasionally.
ioesltd - 16 Jul 2008 15:46
I went to this pub last night for the first time as I was meeting a friend. After waiting 15 minutes to be served wen the bar was not particularly busy (I would have walked out but I had arranged to meet here)As an ex-publican of years standing running pubs, bars and clubs I can honestly say theywere the slowest moving staff I have ever seen behind a bar....When I eventually got served ther were only two lagers available out of 4 or 5 advertised and only two bitters available out of the 4 or 5 advertised. This is a badly run, badly staffed pub which relies on its location and high prices and I would certainly never return.
TheFoxhunter - 9 May 2008 13:57
Chav posh hole.
daisy1 - 3 May 2008 20:46
Now slightly above its station, the Duke's Head has suffered from the rolling refit of all Young's pubs that has halved the range of beers and doubled the prices. And yes, it can often now be stuffed to the rafters with posh yobs and rugby types. It's not terrible, though, and opens late on a weekend. Don't expect much and you'll be fine.
hexenductionhour - 3 May 2008 12:03
This pub is fantastic. Friendly staff and an amazing cocktail type lounge downstairs. The barman made us the most amazing Cosmopolitan that I have ever tasted - made with passion and care. Fantastic experience.
stuartw - 6 Apr 2008 14:54
Recently had a party in the function room here and had a great night. The landlord was a great help in setting up the room and even threw in a few free drinks on the night. No complaints at all. Great place to drink and will be going back.
gooner81 - 11 Mar 2008 18:05
Yes, another rip-off place and with a tax increase on the way even more costly.
daisy1 - 10 Mar 2008 08:34
Extortionate prices. Beer OK, service indifferent
Wilson_MacDonald - 16 Feb 2008 22:30
I used to use this pub when I worked in Roehampton. A quick dash on the 265 would get me there by 5.30 on a Friday evening.

To be fair, I thought back in the days I went (1999-2003 ish) it was overpriced and I could never understand the fuss. Now it seems worse!

There were also a few too many "hooray Yar-boy Henrys" (my coyright) there for my liking. Wannabee Price William types.
wbafc_beer - 21 Dec 2007 18:45
Putney prices! Food expensive and not that good, looks like it tries to make it 'posh' but quite frankly rather pay more at a decent place. Refurbished dining room? Shame they didn't manage to find time to wash the net curtains which were quite frankly black. Another Youngs oooppps sorry Wells disaster area.
quizman - 8 Aug 2007 21:14
R.I.P. Dukes Head
Air.Guitar.Maestro - 29 Jul 2007 17:10
In all honesty, this is one of the worse pubs I have ever visited…basically, it’s a over priced off-licence, as due to not owning the area outside their bouncers “police”, they have to sell “carry out” for anyone drinking outside, so if you want to pay £8 for two bottle of becks to drink out of a plastic tub by the river, up to you. The prices are appalling, I witnessed a girl on Saturday refusing to pay £10 for a wine, beer and packet of crisps, and she and her husband left. Don’t blame them. Nice enough décor inside, but very slow service (in fairness, partly due to having to keep explaining why you have to have your drink in a beaker, then why it hasn't got a hole for a straw), and not particularly well kept beer.
My advice, go to the off-licence, stock up and sit amongst the crowd outside, and save a fortune.

anonymous - 16 Jul 2007 12:54
I don't get it, this pub is always busy, it always has nice staff, the service is pleasent and nice and the beer is good. Yes it's a bit expensive, but it's on the river and it's a really nice pub. Why should it be cheap? Who cares anyway, I'll be still drinking there.
Coopy - 13 Jul 2007 16:43
The annoying thing, and hence why people post comments that are not favourable is because they recall it pre-refurb. At that time it had soul and a mixed range of customers from carpenters to QCs who would happpily chat to each other over a pint. It now lacks soul because there are just a narrow range of customers, few of whom want to chat to others apart from their own group. The beer is shockingly expensive and is matched in price only by 4 Star Hotel bars or those in airports where there is no competition.
anonymous - 10 Jul 2007 20:37
Another half decent, albiet rather posh, boozer bites the dust.
You get what you deserve!
Prague - 10 Jul 2007 12:47
I have to agree to some extant - It does seem a little smart/ lost now - I prefered it when it was a bit rough around the edges, and it does seem quite expensive! Having said that, the food was pretty good and the staff friendly - so it didn't arouse such extreme feelings in me as some of these comments..
sunnydays - 2 Jul 2007 15:26
They are laughing all the way to the bank. Used to be a fine pub once, probably the best in Putney, but not now.
anonymous - 26 Jun 2007 18:13
£4 a pint of lager.

Are they having a laugh?
gravington - 26 Jun 2007 14:10

soberinthemorning - 9 Jun 2007 23:38
What is happening to London Pubs? This used to be such a lovely place, full of character and soul. Now it is nothing short of a student union bar trying to be classy. I know Punney is not cheap, but £8.55 for a glass of house red and a lager seems abit harsh. I wonder how the management of this now money cow can justify that? Anyway I have learnt my lesson and will avoid in the future. My original rating was 8 a couple of years ago, its now gone down to a piss porr 0.
TheWizard - 8 Jun 2007 11:40
If you like burning your hard earbed cash or GIRO, just go to this place. It's actually now cheaper to drink in the West End.
anonymous - 27 May 2007 14:33
I have been drinking here for sometime since moving to Putney. The recent changes have been a massive improvement and I cannot fault the place. The staff are friendly and are always up for a chat and a laugh. No problems with this pub at all.
stefanchybowski - 21 May 2007 07:52
Still a great pub with even better service. Food is superb. The staff are friendly and the landlord seems to have a good sense of humour. Will be drinking here again.
marek - 16 May 2007 19:50
Sooo disappointing. I used to love a day outiside the Dukes head. The sun is lost on that side of the river quite early in the afternoon/evening, however this and the slow service never put me off. Now, the outrageous price for lager and cider, (7.20 for 2 Kronenburgs - you have got to be kidding?) the chavvy downstairs bar and miserable slow staff have led to my boycott.
Maybe it's an age thing. I am getting on a bit, being 29...I agree with your previous poster - leave it to the kids.

anonymous - 16 May 2007 17:59
I'm a young person who moved to Putney a few years ago and I enjoyed drinking at the Duke because it was one of the few places in Putney that had any character. However apart from the no smoking ban (which is coming in anyway)the recent renovation is a complete disaster. I don't mind paying an extortionate amount for a pint but not when the venue has been stripped of all its great character - something that the new Putnified wouldn't appreciate. The good comments can only have been left by the pub manager and bar staff. Unfortunately this has turned from a really great pub into another one of those bland places that you can find anywhere on the high street. Leave this place to the children.
Saifa - 16 May 2007 17:35
I think that James T has got it right. I have been to the dukes a few time now mostly on a friday and saturday night. The atmosphere in the basement bar is always great and i have never seen any sign of trouble. The staff have all been very quick and very polite and helpful. As a non smoker i really enjoyed coming out at the end of the night and not smelling of smoke. I would recomend the dukes head to anyone who likes good beer and having a good time.
anonymous - 11 May 2007 14:22
I disagree Mr Rugby man, this pub has just changed, and all the old smokey real ale drinking customers now drink at The Bricklayers and discuss who will give the Dukes the next slating on this site. They are of course entitled to their opinions, as is the new younger crowd who choose to drink there. Yes the pub has been Putneyfied, to use a previous poster's word, but for many of us, that's a good thing. The Dukes Head is good, expensive yes, but kind of happy, and the beer is consistantly excellent. And even though it's very busy, there are no bouncers and no trouble. Give it a few months for the newness to wear off and it will be one of my favourites.
JamesT - 10 May 2007 23:21
I like this pub, never visited in its previous incarnation because it looked likely to be full of beardy beer drinkers but have been here regularly recently because it has a good atmosphere, its non smoking, the wine is excellent and the staff are very friendly.
KellyS - 8 May 2007 16:40
I have been meaning to visit for weeks and judging by the reviews I was expecting a real shocker. I went in with a couple of buddies last night and we loved it. First of all it was very busy, and full of ordinary, pleasent people. Youngs ordinary top quality at £2.75. Bar staff pretty, smiley, quick and efficient. The landlord Lee came over and introduced himself while wiping our table. The decor is a bit new and clean looking but they have retained the etched glass, mirrors and the wonderful round bar and partitions, and they have tidied up the back room with the fantastic river view. Didnt eat but soon will, menu looks good, overall a great pub, no denying it. Open till 1 at weekends with no doormen, handy to know! Sorry about this Bricklayers regulars, but I'm giving it a high 8 out of 10.
TheCat - 3 May 2007 20:17
I drank here a few times last summer, great atmosphere and a great outside bar. I went here last weekend and dear oh dear what have they done. I have given it a minor rating for the no smoking policy but the whole place has been Putneyised and turned into another bland version of an All Bar Glum. It's mutton dressed as lamb with a poncy downstairs bar to boot. And the prices!! I paid £7.20 for two pints!!! A total rip off. Give this place a very wide berth and join everyone else in the Bricklayers Arms.
JOR - 3 May 2007 18:32
Have to disagree with most of the stuff written about this pub, as I had an amazing time here! Sure, it's not your 'traditional' old-man pub anymore, but what was so good about that anyway?! Crap food, peeling walls and a fug of fag smoke? The prices aren't cheap, but I don't mind paying a bit extra for the stunning location. The staff who served me were actually quite fantastic - funny and friendly without being pushy...and my meal was very tasty. Basement bar also of of the only places in Putney you can get late night drinks in a cool place w good music
anonymous - 28 Apr 2007 15:20
This is a poor excuse for a pub. On visiting London recently, two couples my wife and i were with liked this place simply because it is non-smoking. We left them to wallow in the sterility of this puffed up place and went to the nearby Bricklayers and then on to the Wenlock Arms, surely one of the great pubs of all time.
fernebranca - 24 Apr 2007 04:59
Oh dear, this place was cute and odd last year, but now it looks like it has been tip-exd and the outside bar area is ruinned.

ism2 - 17 Apr 2007 16:02
Well done Youngs for completely ruining the atmosphere of this formerly friendly and traditional flagship pub. Looking at the comments below (high beer prices,rip-off food and inattentive staff)I am really glad to have decamped to the wonderful Bricklayers across the way. After being a Dukes Head regular for 13 years, I took one look at the decor, the punters (including a young mum with a buggy) the expresso machine , the lavish restaurant and vowed never to return. No problem with the No Smoking policy but why, when Putney is already riddled with bland pubcos and gastro bars, did Youngs have to put up two proverbial fingers to their loyal regulars ?
loverealpubs - 3 Apr 2007 13:22
Surly antipodean barstaff that deliberately ignore you if you dare to stand in a part of the serving bar they have decided is not going to be a service area that day-without signing it as such. A simple "we're very busy (they werent as it happens) Im afraid; I'll be with you in a minute" would be minimal id have thought (in fact, I know - Ive worked in several pubs). I mentioned it to the bar lady and took my leave TEN minutes later. I doubt mentioning it made any difference though; if they are going to be as rude and unprofessional as they were they blatantly do not give a damn about offended customers - and I really was offended - he walked in front of me three times and stood for a moment while the glass washer finished. Directly in front of me.

Come to think of it, did I mention fourteen quid fifty something for four pints? I saw it with my own eyes - Im still trying to work that one out.

My advice is to buy a few bottles of Beligian beer and sit on the benches outside, where they used to serve from a hatch until they closed up and went Manhatten-cum-Grimsby.

If it seems I am bitter it is because I am. And justifiably so.

Nice enough pub with AWFUL staff. Oh, and if they deign to read this, I am sorry for attempting to purchase two pints in your bar. I think I must have offended you in doing so. It wont happen again.

APFTHOMAS - 2 Apr 2007 12:20
Am so disappointed with the re-fit. They could have made this place a huge success, building on that what it had before.

Went there at 1.30 on Sunday for a roast, was told wait would be 90 minutes minimum (well, it was Sunday lunchtime). No problem with that, but the old bar area overlooking the River is now purely "restaurant". All the drinking punters are shoved to the streetside of the building.
I assume also that the outside "hatch-bar" is now closed too?
So its not a pub that serves food anymore, its a restaurant with a license. Awful.
We left, trudged back over the Bridge and were served a roast in The Temperance within 2 minutes, plenty of seats and great beer.
Will be interesting to see what happens with the Duke's next weekend when the Boat Race comes to town....
lolwood32 - 27 Mar 2007 13:04
Stupidly expensive and soulless

anonymous - 24 Mar 2007 14:15
sorry that review below is written by me - accidently hit anonymous by mistake. So feel free to send me hatemail.
londonboy54 - 15 Mar 2007 09:59
if you're over 30 and own a designer baby buggy, you'll love this place. The refurb has stripped out all the character of this once-great famous Putney pub and re-fitted it with fixtures from an 'up-market All Bar One' catalogue.

in short, rabbish.

also, the food's expensive and average.
anonymous - 15 Mar 2007 09:57
Expensive & long wait for beer if you're the normal type that buys it at the bar. If however, you are a member of the Putney set that expects table service, then it's excellent.

Surprisingly good refurb & non-smoking a bonus. Shame about losing the public bar & table football. However, the beer prices & bar service are enough to put me off returning.
Wilson_MacDonald - 27 Feb 2007 08:03
Call me crazy, but if there is one thing I really don't enjoy it's being blatantly ripped off. Agree with all the below comments about food portions a group of us visited for lunch recently and we all left hungry. What's that about?!

The Duke's Head has the advantage of being in a stunning location (one of the best in London.) It's just a shame that the only way you can now enjoy the view is by paying a fortune for a tiny wee plate of food.

Very impressed with the smoke-free move however; they got that right.

Sweeps - 27 Jan 2007 20:47
I have now visited The Dukes Head a few times over the last couple of months and it is a pleasant place to eat and drink. I read a comment from someone else saying the food portions were small. I must say this has not been the case with me, I feel the portions are very generous.
chay - 10 Jan 2007 08:39
I was very keen to see what they would do with this latest Putney refurb and I was initially impressed, but ended up feeling slightly disappointed.

It takes balls to make an entire pub non-smoking but it still seems to retain character and it's still busy so people are not obviously not staying away. (However, people are having crafty smokes in the toilets which isn't great)

To lose the entire river side room to dining-only customers though smacks of a mistake, and then we move on to the food.

I am in complete agreement with the comments about the food portions. We went there recently for Sunday lunch and were appalled at the price they charge in proportion to the size of servings. A friend ordered the fish and chips and received 6 small, square cut chips. (Honestly, we counted)

This cannot be justified in any establishment that serves food and has to change before they lose customers to the newly refurbished O'Neills (now called The Temperance) just across the bridge.

No grumbles about the beer, apart from the obvious price hike.

TheClaw - 30 Dec 2006 14:50
I suppose you could say that this pub has been 'Putnified'.

Not sure yet if that's a good or a bad thing!

I've only been there a couple of times since the refit, so I'll hold back from giving it a 'proper' review until I've been there at least a dozen times.

But I will say that I'll miss the small outside bar they used to open downstairs in the Summer.
Tizer - 28 Dec 2006 15:53
We dined at this establishment yesterday. I would like to say that the new look is fantastic and so pleasant to be in a smoke free environment.

We chose The Dukes Head as it was smoke free and we wanted to enjoy a great Sunday Lunch with friends, it was the latter where we were very disappointed.

Three of the party ordered the Gloucester Loin of Pork. When the dishes arrived we thought a mistake had been made and that we had been given the vegetarian option, after moving the vegetables to the side we found four slivers of pork with a wafer thin slice of crackling. You could liken this portion to pork Carpaccio.

At the prices they are charging for the Sunday Roasts (£10.95)I would expect to receive adult portions of meat and not a portion that you would order for children.

We all left hungry and agreed that we would never return to this establishment.
shunter - 4 Dec 2006 10:32
So the manager loves it (see below) and the manager of Bar M doesn't (See below). I shall reserve judgement until I visit. Catman.
TheCat - 3 Dec 2006 22:36
Refit was needed, but not sure it was the right move!

It feels very cold and bare now....i cant find words to decribe it...but its just not quite right!

An to add to this i had lunch in there the other day and they make such a balls up of it!

I ordered the Baked Camembert and it came to my table un i sent it came back about 5 mins later after being obviously microwaved to death. It was like eating cheese flavoured rubber ( Any cheese fans should pop nextdoor to Bar M to try this dish! Not a great idea to copy another bars menu unless your going to get it right boys and girls)!!

Then the main course.. rump steak. This was possibly the worst cut of meat that could have been put on a plate! Yuck! And a quick note to the chef. Stop putting too much salt on everything! My vegtables tasted like they had been soaked in Brine for a week! Double yuck!

I wont be eating here again...and i advise others to steer clear!

anonymous - 1 Dec 2006 22:25
Ummmm. Use to drink in the 'watering hole' a fair amount. Pleased that they have kept the decor and other malarky despite the refit. Good beer still, but alas, why have they got rid of the table footy????
JockStrap - 20 Nov 2006 16:57
Not only has the Duke’s Head in Putney been restored to its former glory but it has tripled in size.

As a long withstanding customer of the Duke's Head, I was delighted to find that it has retained its original Victorian features (etched and embossed glass, large flamboyant mirrors and richly carved mahogany). New features such as polished wooden floors, comfy leather seating and wooden furniture help to compliment the original character of the pub.

The cellar, which was apparently once leased to Putney Town Rowing Club bar, has been transformed into the Duke’s Basement - a stylish bar designed for late-night lounging.

This is a real sophisticated alternative to the crowded bars on Putney High Street and combines the snug and friendly atmosphere of the pub with the stylish feel of a designer bar. As well as comfy seating, table service and Café del Mar style music, the bar has launched a limited edition cocktail menu, which taps into the history of the pub. Try the Odd Job Ale - it's definately a winner!

I'm glad that a new function room has also been added to the Duke’s Head. There is ample space for up to 35 people making it perfect for Christmas.

The dining area now adjoins the bar area so that people can eat and drink in a more relaxed, informal environment with stunning views overlooking the Thames. All dishes are freshly prepared and cooked to order. There's a great deal of choice - and that goes for the drink too! It serves one of my favourite beers - Kirin Ichiban.

The Duke's Head also operates a non-smoking policy which is really pleasing to see.

anonymous - 15 Nov 2006 17:34
We went over on the first night open this week and last night and I think it's been done really well. Much cleaner but still looks like an old London Pub with the old glass/dark wood etc. Didn't see the cellar bar though. Staff were friendly and helpful too - bit of a change.

Think a glass of wine is about the same as other pubs in Putney - certainly cheaper than the Spencer Arms!

Haven't eaten there but someone had the cheese plate nr us and they had a whole ripe camembert with bread etc and it looked really nice. £9.95 tho.

Some will like the no smoking (I do as an ex-smoker!) but some won't. Maybe also they are getting away from the 'football/rugby' thing.....good!!! Relaxing and nice candlelight etc I think!
anonymous - 3 Nov 2006 19:24
Re: my post on the 24th Oct.

It has absolutely nothing to do with football! There is much more to life than that sport.

The 4s Head (of the River Race, HORR) is one of the major ROWING events of the year on The River Thames, that and the 8s Head. And for many of us that either race in it or just watch it from the banks of the river, The Duke's Head is usually the post-race watering hole.

However, I'm not too sure how people will be with the increase in prices of both food and drink!
Natalia - 1 Nov 2006 11:48
Having been to the Dukes head a few times in the past I was looking forward to its refurbished interior.
And what an improvement it is, much cleaner, more open and generally less grotty than it was previously.
However I was less than impressed with the food. I ordered a burger (at something like £8) and it came with chips...6 to be exact. Yes thats right 6 chips. My friend who was with me had fish and chips and he got 7 chips! Don't get me wrong they were nice chips, but I expected a few more than 6, double figures would have been good. The burger was pretty small and luke warm too. The ceaser salad was 2 lettuce leaves with ceaser dressing. Considering it had just reopened I would have thought they would be trying harder....
Also the price of beer has rocketed. £2.70 for a pint of youngs, £3.40 for a stella and £4.00 for a kirin!!!
So as long as you don't eat there and you don't want to drink Kirin its really a nice pub.
drgoatboy - 1 Nov 2006 10:54
Bangers & mash at £8.50 - no thank you!!
And for the record the old glass was only saved because a caring customer managed to get it listed before Youngs converted the place to yet another one of their overpriced psuedo gastro pubs. I will stick to the traditional Bricklayers Arms around the corner.
zeitlin - 31 Oct 2006 11:07
Jumped the gun a bit here by sneaking in to the residents' preview tonight and I have to say: it's a bit alright, this is.

So - yes - they've gone regulation gastro (artisanal benches and dun emuslsions with shabchic detailing); but they've kept enough of the really nice stuff - the old glass especially - to make this doing-up feel like less of a doing-over. Certainly retained enough to survive the panderings to the new world chardonnay drinker whose limited attention span seems to drive the business, nowadayz.

It's still a pub, most importantly, and that's a good thing.

But... the front bars as they were are no more - Footie is nicht erlaubt - and neither is smoking. The long-defunct skittles have gone also, as have the agricultural gents. The new gents are poncey and despicably 21c and will look wrecked in a fortnight. (Important note to pub refurbers: downlighters make loos hot and smelly and this makes gentlemen drinkers irritable and less-inclined to hit the porcelain. Give us a cold tiled room with a tin trough and neon strip lighting or - better still - no lighting at all. It's what we want: it's what we deserve.)

Still - as a whole it could have been terrible and it's actually very nice so that's a good thing.
begpardon - 29 Oct 2006 00:13
England v South Africa at Twickenham I fear. Will give this pub some distance that day.
topdog_andy - 25 Oct 2006 12:44
Just in case if anyone is worried about not having their usual migration pitstop at the 4s Head this year, the Dukes Head is due to reopen on the 30th October 2006. So that should give them about 2 weeks to warm up in time for the masses that will no doubt descend upon them on the 18th November.

Lets hope they dont change too much! great pub!

Natalia - 24 Oct 2006 11:19
Pub closed for refurbishment but undergoing a major £six figure overhaul to include new basement bar and first floor riverside function room. Should be even more popular than before and this will certainly be in the running with the Boathouse once reopened. A truly magnificent piece of English heritage!
anonymous - 17 Oct 2006 00:01
Today's Fulham, Charlton fixture always evokes memories of coming here. A decent enough boozer for away fans before the walk across Putney Bridge and through Bishop's Park to Craven Cottage. Impressive view of the River Thames towards Fulham's ground from here as well.
Searching_for_H_Files - 16 Oct 2006 12:59
great boozer for us chelsea fans in town ,bit overpriced mind but when in class area like this you accept it.... when is it re-opening after refurb ???
chrissyboy - 20 Sep 2006 19:21
What a diamond geezer the new manager Lee is!!
The Youngs is always tip top here.Good luck to them with the refurbishment, just make sure you keep it traditional.
daw - 29 Aug 2006 10:02
Whilst the Dukes Head is closed for refurbishment serious local real ale drinkers could do no better than to repair to the Bricklayers Arms (two minutes walk therefrom) for the full range of well-kept five Timothy Taylors brews (probably the only pub in London with this range) and rediscover well-kept unadulterated real ale and the traditional pub with hospitality and convivial atmosphere that Youngs seem to have jetisoned with their employment of the current breed of new managers. Indeed it is highly likely that having visited the Bricklayers Arms you may not return to the Dukes Head!
zeitlin - 28 Aug 2006 17:36
The decorators have moved in, much to my friends embarrasment as theyve now made the gents the ladies!
apple_scruff - 8 Aug 2006 02:56
I really like this place its fantastic in the summer outside by the river and they even have a little ouside bar so you dont have to bother going inside! the toilets are something to avoid, however, they're hideous, never have loo roll and queuing to get into the ladies is a nightmare as there is a massive door blocking the way! other than that its the best place in putney for a summer evening drink.
anonymous - 6 Jul 2006 11:52
the pub does need some care and attention - the downstairs men's toilets, for example, are in a poor shape and there is graffiti on the walls that has been there for years! the pub just appears unloved so perhaps it is about time that Young's did refurbish it although I do hope they don't destroy the character of the pub in an attempt to make it appealing to the 18-25-year-old audience that brewers are obsessed with.
gearbox - 22 Jun 2006 10:28
A little bird tells me that the Youngs Brewery refurbishment hit squad will be moving in shortly. Let's hope they retain the splendid etched glasswork which is such an attractive feature of this pub, but, knowing Youngs, I'm not at all optimistic. If the Dukes Head becomes just another pub with a corporate bland McPub feel, it would be a travesty.
JohnBonser - 22 Jun 2006 09:58
wait until charles wells' brewers get their hands on it...
anonymous - 13 Jun 2006 13:59
Service a little on the slow side; Young's bitter was drinkable but not on its best form last night (flatter, and more watery than usual for the beer).
lad_newton - 13 Jun 2006 11:31
come in here whenever chelsea play at cottage, good service but overpriced, but could imagine being great in summertime by river
chrissyboy - 26 Mar 2006 16:41
Following my earlier comment (irrespective of their policy) no issues about bringing the five year old, a few more kids there without spoiling the atmosphere and a friendly mix of drinkers supporting both sides without a hint of rowdiness (save that for the rowing!). And at £2.35 a pint for proper beer don't agree that it is an exspensive pub. Upped my rating!
baggydave - 17 Feb 2006 13:51
Have been coming here for years, often pre-football and very interested in others' comments. Youngs used to have a cheap beer policy, maybe ten years ago. Never mind (see comments on Royal Oak in SW1).
Couple of negative points (still think it is a great pub), firstly they weren't very helpful when I asked about taking my 5 year old in tomorrow (his first big football match). So it's sitting outside in the cold for us.
Secondly following a pretty unispiring match a few years ago they shut the pub apart from for regulars. Surely there is never any football agro there?
And a few years ago we were sitting outside when there was a high tide, did we laugh when the water started getting into the 4X4s parked by the river (isn't that what they are there for?). Never thought of the class war aspects until I read this site.
Marked down slightly due to the queues for the bar - a victim of its success!
baggydave - 10 Feb 2006 15:35
The Class War is alive and well! Lots of talk of "Pikeys" and "Chavs" from the kind of elitist scum that infests SW London, and on the other hand lots of resentful talk about rower and rugger types when frankly what else would you expect of a pub in such a location?

I came here and found the service chaotic, like many great old pubs that become young sloane hang outs it degenerates into a bit of a Wetherspoons for rich people. By this I mean the joy of nice surroundings and good beers are forgotten by Tom, Charlie and Alexander sipping Stella tops. Compare and contrast this to the Lamb in Bloomsbury, another trad Young's pub that actually attracts people who love pubs.

Still a lovely pub though. Hope to visit again, perhaps on a weekday afternoon in summer. Imagine it could get quite blissful.
anonymous - 6 Jan 2006 14:44
Reliable Putney boozer that dispenses a fine pint of Special from the main bar (the lounge bar ale can be a little too warm for my taste). Nicely worn out floor and interior reinforces the fact that many, many people have spent their time wisely here. Sports appear to be shown only in the cramped public bar, leaving plenty of space for the diners to watch the Thames rush by from a comfortable main lounge.
The pub has been graced with the mini beer festival of which Burton Beer, a stronger 1960's predecessor to Winter Warmer is about to be unleashed today for a very limited period. This beer has long been regarded as one of the lost ale classics of London and hasn't been seen on a pump for over 40 years. So what the hell are you waiting for?
SteveinLondon - 12 Oct 2005 19:30
Great pub, with two interesting and contrasting rooms and nice space outside. A bit expensive, but I have lots of cash, so why should I care?
edwardx - 26 Sep 2005 13:01
Also a piece of film trivia, this is the pub that the infamous Traffic Warden scene was filmed outside in the great film featuring Peter Sellars, The Magic Christian!
JockStrap - 3 Sep 2005 17:31
Great pub, excellent ales and good food. Shame they stopped serving S&V peanuts a few years back. Good atmosphere and nice that it still has different bars and table footy.

I've never found the rowing fraternity a problem apart from the lead up to, and including Boat Race day. Does rather overcharge for New Years Eve mind!
JockStrap - 3 Sep 2005 17:24
Nice. Generally pikey-free, traditional boozer (perhaps the prices discourage them). Handy hint for other users of this site (see below): If you don't like rugby/rowing types it's not just this pub you should avoid - I would have thought most of SW15 would be a no-go area.
burnsy - 1 Sep 2005 15:27
I've always liked this boozer and you get plenty of different types in here.

An afficianado's pub and good service at all times.
anonymous - 29 Aug 2005 14:57
Agree with the comments about lots of rowers/rugby types, but then again it is in SW London and on the river, so to be expected.

What i can't agree on is them charging £3.15 for a pint of lager. I mean, it was a nice pint but that is taking the proverbial.
Oh, and I witnessed some poor soul pay £2 for a bowl of 6 olives. No doubt he could afford it but that's hardly the point.

Apart from that, good atmospehere and a great location to spend a few hours.
TheClaw - 27 Jul 2005 11:06
It may well be Chav free but it is full of chinless Yah's instead...
Nice boozer but shame about the clientele.
mrpant - 26 Jul 2005 13:19
awww, abit of heaven in SW London. Chav free and lets keep it that way.
TheWizard - 20 Jul 2005 04:51
Nice pub. Can be a few too many rugby/rowing types, and very busy if the sun comes out, but ok beer, and the food is perfectly edible.
rah - 2 Jun 2005 13:10
Great pub. I've always found the staff friendly and the beer and food are good. Ok, its a bit pricy but its worth it. Also it has good table footie.
I've not noticed the hordes of antipodeans that some have mentioned.
irishsteve - 10 Mar 2005 14:07
I practically bgan my drinking career here at the tender age of 16. Every time I am back in London I pop in wher i get a warm welcome from the staff who know me. The locals are friendly and talkative. Quite simply the best place on the planet to watch a chelsea match apart from stamford bridge itself. The beer is of a consistently good quality which they are happy to change if you ever get a dody pint but the food is hideously overpriced for what it is. great location and nice near the river. The locals of which i still like to think of myself as one are friendly and talkative. Barmaid of the year hands down is the gorgeous sarah. Only real downside is the price of the beer and also the manager Malcom being South African that is almost all he will employ. he also has no personality and is a miserable and surly git. However the Pub has kept its charachter and it's nice to drink in a proper pub. Just star charging less for the beer.
davidkv - 25 Feb 2005 13:46
Good no nonsense original Youngs boozer, warm, comfortable and friendly. Quality of the ordinary was top notch. Traditional wooden decor with big windows overlooking the river. Staff friendly and attracts a decent class of punter. Only criticisms could be that the toilets are a bit scummy, but that's a detail! One of these is worth a million All Bar Pitcher and Parrots - keep it up!

MrLash - 17 Dec 2004 10:57
This should be exhibited on how to keep a pub in it's original style, whilst not letting it get old and rundown.

Magnificent big pub, with traditional fittings and a decent pint. And a Youngs pub as well, which makes it success even more surprising..
TheGP - 1 Nov 2004 16:57
Great for drinking in the summer by the riverside, but also a great pub in the winter. Essentially this pub has three drinking areas, the front area with the TV screens for sport, the middle and back bars for drinking and eating - very relaxing and a pleasant place to be. I was there yesterday (Thursday night) and did not see this Antipodean Rugger Bugger element that a few fellow reviewers have mentioned. The staff were friendly and the beer was not massively over-priced considering it is Putney.
mike2004 - 29 Oct 2004 09:15
Snobby rugger bugger pub, lots of very large and loud (what do they feed them on?) South Africans, Australians and other assorted travellers. Youngs beer, large but expensive food selection. Bar staff who think they above following the basic rules of courtesy.
anonymous - 26 Oct 2004 13:14
I love this place in summer, just as the suns going down. Sitting out the front by the Thames with a pint. The beers are good, the staff OK and the big room closest to the river is ornate and relaxing.
Aaron - 20 May 2004 04:15
Great location and great beer ( youngs )In the summer it's nice to sit out side.One minor criticism is a lot of your fellow drinkers will be the pimms brigade,still you can't have it all ! Over all a smashing pub.
David Andrews - [email protected] - 17 Mar 2004 18:45
A great looking joint in a primo riverside location. Friendly staff but absolutely dire clientele. Rugger bugger, Pimms nightmare.

Like Piccadilly Circus in the summer.
Franz Kafka - [email protected] - 9 Nov 2003 15:21
A lovely old pub in the best spot in Putney. 6.1 out of 10 is far too low. Riverside drinking in summer, by the fire in winter.
Howard - 30 Oct 2003 17:21
Excellent pub all year round. Although during summer the trendy set from Bar M do tend to move along to the Dukes Head. This minor irritance aside, it well deserves all the praise.
indie - 14 Oct 2003 12:15
Just spent sunday lunchtime there. It was great, very relaxed, lovely food (a bit expensive) and table service so we didn't even have to shift our bums.
laura - 1 Oct 2003 16:39
One of the finest summer pubs London has to offer, especially with the new outside bar. Great food, great atmosphere and fabulous location....
Chris Vine - 13 Jun 2003 13:53
Beautiful old pub on the river with friendly staff, great food and most of all a good, homely atmosphere. There's nothing better than going down there on a hot summers night for a few pints out on the river.
London Lass - 6 May 2003 16:16
Last visit on 15th April, lunch time.
Very quiet by this time, but very kind welcome from staff. Fresh flowers everywhere! Nice Menu, very quick service, and well kept ale.
Add to this a very warm sunny weather, and a great view on River Thames.
A very pleasant lunch, indeed!
herge - 22 Apr 2003 18:46
Sheesh. Doug's "Lots of poncey rower types not surprisingly, but they can be ignored." It is by the river, and Putney is full of rowers, but it's the rowers who help keep the atmosphere in pubs going through the winter months so it can be enjoyed for everyone else in the summer. That said, the Duke's is a good pub for food (particularly Sunday lunch), but not so great for actually drinking as it has a very limited set of beers (although good for wines).
loaf - 28 Feb 2003 12:21
Nice easy going pub.Very good service.
Gunnel - 17 Dec 2002 19:15
This must be the nicest pub I've ever visited. Wonderful beer, glorious class and wood, great river views
Oliver - 11 Dec 2002 21:52
excellent - best summer pub in london, don't listen to anne
jim - 30 Oct 2002 16:30
I got great service from a new Swedish-English bar-girl called Hanna.Keep up the good work.
Anthony J - 11 Oct 2002 19:45
This is not a bad pub at all. Two bars. One is the "local" end and you can usually get a seat there. Friendly staff etc. The front bar looking out onto the river is suitably old fashioned with alot of (usually full) tables. Lots of poncey rower types not surprisingly, but they can be ignored. There are a few tables outside on the pavement facing te river - and it all gets abit European on a summers evening. Not really recommended for a quiet drink on friday or saturday nights - or get there early to secure window seat.
Doug - 30 Aug 2002 10:41
way too expensive. if you want a drink by the river you're much better off getting a few cans from the off license.
anne - 28 Jun 2002 11:20

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