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Magpie, Sunbury on Thames

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user reviews of the Magpie, Sunbury on Thames

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

The Magpie was probably just about the best pub we tried in Sunbury on Saturday. It is split over two levels. But only the lower level was open on a Saturday afternoon. It's a Greene King pub and they had their IPA & Magpie Best Bitter. But they also have some interesting guests - Star & Blonde from Portobello and Supernova from the Aylesbury Brewhouse Company. The indoor area is nice enough. But the highlight is the riverside terrace, which is a lovely spot for a relaxing drink. Seems a popular place for families.
blue_scrumpy - 26 Jun 2017 18:56
well i was surprised iv heard nothing but bad reviews about this pub then i found out im in sunbury on thames not walton on thames
einstein - 16 Dec 2013 17:21
Service excellent and quick. Much better than the last time I was in there. Indeed man behind the bar spotted I was back for another pint of Abbott's and was quick to inform me the Speckled Hen would be on shortly. When it appeared "shortly" would be a bit long, he volunteered to bring it to my seat. Nice! So far so good.

Unfortunately the beer was good, but I think the pipes needed cleaning. I've certainly had worse Abbott's and worse Speckled Hen, but it didn't taste clean, kind of muddy with a strange after taste for both beers (and I should have stuck with the Abbott's as it's sweeter taste did a better job of masking the after taste).

Didn't eat there but the menu looked tempting. Despite the beer issue, I'll return.
DOK - 3 May 2013 21:43
While Greene King is not a beer range I'm a great fan of, I thought the service here to be very good - it being efficient, quick and friendly. The food is also good value and, for pub grub, competently produced.

Nice garden by the river, and all round a pleasant place and experience.

grovetown - 5 Aug 2011 17:58
This place is buzzing under the new manageress. The previous management Mark and Kate had no idea about service or managing staff. Now the pint is consistent, the Guinness is probably the best in Sunbury now, the ale very well looked after, the staff look like they care, and the outside is clean which makes it a very pleasant experience.
pubspy69 - 29 Jul 2011 09:38
I booked a table for eight of us last night. It really was an excellent evening - good ale, excellent,reasonably priced food and the service was great too. The place was heaving inside and out but the staff were doing a lovely job - I think the manageress has them well trained and pays particular attention to customer service.
We were waited on by the young assistant manager who was very friendly and efficient. We all agreed it was super food and a very pleasant place to spend the evening.
I'm looking forward to the next time I can find a reason to invite friends and family there.
beehave - 9 Jul 2011 00:55
not quite the local it was, could be a lot worse, but could be a lot better. Food improved, bar staff average to good, manager(ess?) very good, but still not the bastion of happy sunbury drinking it was.
Glass_Half_Empty - 26 Jun 2011 02:00
Well I visited this lovely Pub having not been for a number of months.The food and service was great the cask ale spot on.I saw the new Manager I think her name is Kate and she was buzzing around making all the customers feel very welcome and her staff did her proud.The steak I had was cooked to perfection and with that view what more could you ask for I shall be back again very soon.
Sunburyregular - 30 Sep 2010 10:56
I've visited the Magpie on many occaisions over the years, and it is such a roller coaster of an experience. You can go there and have a brilliant time, then they seem to change the manager and it goes back to being an under used, unwelcoming, rather boring place.
This has been the recurring cycle for 10 or so years.
The managers, who left in July 2010, really turned the pub around, had personality and made the pub a very busy vibrant and entertaining place to drink and eat. Then they leave and we are back to hit and miss food and less than engaging service.
Glide - 21 Sep 2010 13:26
Oh dear!

Is it possible for the (previously) effervescent life and spirit to be vapourised out of a pub SO quickly?

In the case of the lovely Magpie in Sunbury on Thames, I think so!

Three weeks ago ago, this surely ranked among the friendliest, warmest pub in Sunbury.

Granted, the new-ish decour hasn't changed. The river hasn't moved, and, surprisingly, not ALL the regulars have upped-pints since the departure of the very friendly, hospitable managers (Mark, Mandy?). But it 'aint the same.

Since the all too premature deperature of the LOVELY, hospitable couple whom previously ran the place it's become a veritably hollow shell of it's former self. No disrespect to the current temporary manager, who seems like a very friendly fellow, or his bar staff who, once in a while, look pleased to serve you.

However, the general vibe around the place isn't what it was. For this would-be Magpie regular, it's time to look elsewhere.

Glass_Half_Empty - 9 Aug 2010 01:35
Mark and his wife have done such a great job making this one of the best pubs in the area. They will be sorely missed. I think I speak on behalf of many punters.
Glass_Half_Empty - 22 Jul 2010 00:56
after three attempts of trying to eat here (one time couldn't serve becos the upstirs function room was busy, & second we paid but no chef, so refunded) Tonite, confirmed what we wanted, to discover both items we wanted were sold out. Alternatives were crap and we would not recoomend to eat here .

Magpie management - this needs to be sorted!
localgirljan - 25 Jun 2010 21:32
One of the most idyllic waterside locations of any pub in London. Other than that, still a very pleasant local -- solid, if somewhat limited selection of ales (Greene King + usual suspects), adequate food in generous quantities, inoffensively refurbished interior. And did I mention the idyllic riverside location?
CatsGrandma - 1 Jun 2010 13:19
We spent an afternoon at the pub this week taking a friend out to lunch.
We liked the food (we ate outdoors overlooking the river) and the location but the thing that practically ruined our day was the fact that people were smoking all round us.
It seems very unfair that a good lunch should be spoiled by this sort of behaviour.
Would it not be possible to make the terrace a "no smoking" area as surely we are not the only ones to object to smoke drifting across and spoiling the good food.
petgal - 17 May 2010 18:05
i went in here towards end of last year for lunch.
nice pub and good drinks i do not rate the food though. when it eventually came out it was not hot but they had taken so long so i couldnt be bother to order again and have to wait some more, so i left unsatisfied. and it was over priced.

princesspea - 17 Jan 2010 02:49
The Magpie has had it's long awaited refit and they have done an excellent job - managed to preserve what was good about the old pub, but looks and smells much nicer - well done.
Looked busier when I went in as well so must have done the trick. Some of the neighbours should perhaps take note of how to do a refit.
TheGP - 16 Jan 2010 20:28
I like this pub. I have only been in it twice. The first time I liked the decor and the location but the food was avergae. My roast had obviouly been frozen and looked like an identikit school xmas dinner. It has been taken over though and should be reopened after a refurb. Looking forward to going back in.
fulltummy - 11 Dec 2009 14:23
I still much prefer the Magpie to the overrated joint next door.. I do worry though that it is going to be ikea-ed up/closed/ruined, as it does appear to be a bit under invested.
Dark and dingy in places, but I like that - I don't like going into a pub and feeling like I am in a dentists chair (like next door)

There is a mythical upstairs bar of the pub as well that no-ones ever been in.
Plus a quiz machine, the only one in any of the Sunbury pubs
TheGP - 22 Oct 2009 10:23
Why is it so quiet? Great location, decent beers, (if limited choice), but the inside is rather sepulchral. Jazz it up a bit, you'll get more custom!
Timyellow - 11 Aug 2009 18:29
Had a nice drink here last weekend, as ever enjoyed the surroundings, friendly service and dog was made welcome. Good deal on buying a bottle of wine rather than two glasses
I am always surprised by how quiet it is as it is a good pub.

sarahfc - 9 Aug 2009 23:18
Love this place
PerryGee - 4 Jun 2009 09:40
I have been a frequent visitor here over the years. On two occasions recently I've eaten here and enjoyed it both times with good food and service. However, a few weeks ago my 18 year old son and friend attemped to pop in for a quiet drink on Thursday afternoon. They were treated like criminals by one very rude Australian 'female' (I use the term loosely). This was because apparently it has a 21 and over policy. Shame on the Aussie as she let the pub, Green King and her nation down.

I suggest that staff at the magpie use their discretion and common sense when dealing with young people in the area who are obviously well mannered, well brought up (by me) and not trouble makers.

I will be visiting The Magpie again soon at which time I will point out the error of their ways.

Even so, I do rate this pub, especially if you're over 21!
beehave - 29 Oct 2008 21:33
I notice the 'Magpie' now do a Quiz Nite every first Thursday in the month, at 9pm.
I like the ol' Magpie, a nice place for lunch on a sunny afternoon. But business may suffer a bit now that the 'Phoenix' down the road has had a �1m refurb! Let the battle for custom commence..!! TJ
TeeJay - 23 Apr 2008 13:58
Have just got back from a Friday lunch meal and beer. To say this is how I expect pub meals to be is an understatement. Quite superb. I had steak and chips. The steak was cooked properly, the chips were nice an chunky. All with a nice side salad and washed down with a pint of Speckled Hen. Beer - excellent, Food - excellent. I left a �5 tip - cant say more than that really.
bluesman - 11 Jan 2008 14:15
The Magpie is actually a nice little pub, especially in the summer. Location is great, and the food nice - let's face it there isn't much to choose from in Sunbury.

Having said that since the smoking ban I do think it is time that the management see it as an opportunity and seriously think about giving it a much needed lick of paint and 'face lift'.
Samantha76 - 17 Dec 2007 17:17
Prompt friendly service. Always has three real ales on. Worth avisit if in the area.
snowdog2112 - 18 Aug 2007 15:45
This pub is a much improved gem of Sunbury. The food has improved a great deal and the atmosphere was great when we visited.
All the staff where really friendly and helpful.
Definatly going to try it out again in the summer.
An excellent recomendation, best in sunbury!
anonymous - 15 Feb 2007 14:38
I never used to like the Magpie. but I've changed my mind - It's actually pretty good nowadays.

Even the food is edible now as well.
TheGP - 6 Dec 2006 19:10
Horses for courses- in this case Kempton Park about a mile away. Of course this pub is pricier than some- it's a riverside location with its own moorings on one of the nicest stretches of the Thames in an area which is much under-rated. That doesn't come cheap!
It might not be the friendliest "local" in the world, but as a watering hole for a good pint in an idyllic location, I'm happy to come back here again and again. It's owned by Greene King so has a selection of the range from the many breweries they've swallowed up, all well served.
The range of food is perhaps a bit limited, but tasty and I wouldn't agree that it's been microwaved. Large portions. The riverside terrace is, needless to say, very popular at peak times and on fine days. It's nicely kept though with some lovely hanging baskets and a good place to relax of a summer weekday afternoon when it's not so crowded.
Avoid Sunday lunchtimes unless you've booked a table or come early. Otherwise, recommended highly.
beerbaby - 27 Sep 2006 09:26
If your blonde and stuck-up then this 'wine-bar' is just for you. The old pub was better but I guess with Sunbury it always has a mix of rich and the people who work for living so I guess they have to cater for all. Its ok of your used to those kinda places in London. But the only real 'Chav-free' pub in Sunbury is the Phoenoix.
anonymous - 18 Aug 2006 09:27
Shocking service, especially at lunchtimes. Not unheard of to wait over 10 minutes to get served, and this week waited over an hour for food. Some staff really friendly and helpful, others extremely rude and dismissive. Avoid if possible.
green - 11 Aug 2006 22:03
Enjoyed the last knockings of sunshine on the terrace at rear of the Magpie the other night. A pleasant (if not condensed)river view, but not much river traffic.
We then moved on down the road 50yds to the 'Phoenix' who's rear terrace is slightly bigger than Magpie's.
Not much between these two pubs really. TJ
TeeJay - 7 Aug 2006 00:11
Do not be misled by previous comments rating the Magpie as 'the worst pub in Sunbury', because it is not! Me thinks some reviewers here must have extremely high standards. As boozers go, this one is half decent. Stick to beer, and you'll be Ok. If you want fancy food, then go to a fancy food establishment! I had a sandwich & beer here not long ago and it was fine. The sun was shining so I enjoyed some 'air' in their garden/yard at the back (small), which overlooks a small section of the River Thames. Nice on a hot day, and if you like boats! I can confirm with 'GP' the 'Flower Pot' pub a 1/4mile down the road, is superior since their new re-fit. Checkit out!
(N.B.- Staff to note previous comments re:staff)! TJ
TeeJay - 20 Jul 2006 13:23
I like this pub but feel it has lost someting in the recent months. Friendly staff maybe or atmosphere
Food is good although more choice would be a nice.
The patio in the summer is lovely as it backs onto the river but can get very busy at lunch time!
anonymous - 4 Apr 2006 17:06
Went in after a long absence, still not impressed.
Many comments about the food being nice - I would hotly dispute this - I had a very overpriced and clearly microwaved meal, big prices and small portions is what you get.

The pub itself is OK, the service was very friendly I have to say - But most of the other pubs in Sunbury are superior and the food is miles better in the FlowerPot up the road - Go there instead.
TheGP - 13 May 2005 11:23
Great in summer, foods nice, agree it's expensive but tasty. Does get too busy in summer but it's on the river, what do you expect?
Cleversaz - 27 Jan 2005 18:17
Good for weekend visit when its not packed, a few good beers then onwards
trog - 15 Jan 2005 00:11
Not the worst pub in Sunbury but certainly not worth 7/10, does reasonable food, the staff are not the greatest and the punters are generally knobs.
mike2004 - 3 Sep 2004 14:03
Not the best pub in Sunbury by far. This place has a nice location by the river but that is about it. Overpriced drink, food is also not good value for money, too hot and packed in summer and regularly full of people who fancy themselves too much.
Possibly the WORST pub in Sunbury.
TheGP - 9 Aug 2004 14:38
What a fantastic pub!!! The best pint of Guinness I've had this side of Ireland. What a lovely staff, the atmosphere, the fruit machine!!! Nothing better, really. Do yourself a favor: Visit the Magpie!
Billy the Kid - 2 Aug 2004 21:47
Great location on the Thames. Food was excellent as was the pint of IPA. Can get very busy when the weather is good.
Womble - 28 Jun 2004 16:14
I agree about the summer thing! Get the Pimms on the table and job's a good 'un!!
anonymous - 12 Jun 2004 17:13
Proper summer pub
anonymous - 16 Mar 2004 19:56
By Far the best pub in sunbury
anonymous - 25 Sep 2003 10:44

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