Tuesday, 24 February 2009

The Willow Tree

If you ever receive a text from a mate saying 'Hold your breath when you come in'. It generally isn't a good sign of things to come...
Setting the tone of the area - we were a witness to a gang of hoodies hurrying down the street carrying a plasma TV. Of course, I am in no doubt they were just delivering it for their grandma.
First thing to notice upon reaching the pub is that it had been split into two halves, the other half now being a Korean restaurant. From peering through the small windows of the now elevator sized pub, we could see a Korean man in a puffer-jacket watching TV, two small seating areas and a dark shadowy bar.
Not sure if we were invading someone's living room we attempted to open the latched door, after several seconds of fumbling we managed to get inside only to be confronted with the most unpleasant, disgusting odour known to man. The only way I can describe it is like rotten meat infused with burnt fat.
We walked up the lightless bar and the guy in the puffer-jacket ran round and took our orders. "One Budweiser please" I asked, he stood there, thought for a second, disappeared behind the bar for a few minutes, appeared with the bottle only to go away again looking for a bottle opener. Also, for anyone out there learning Korean, Strongbow is translated as Fosters.
We sat down in the only available seating area with our drinks, the stench making every swig taste like bitter oven shavings.
A few minutes in and old man with his dog turn up. Well greeted by the Korean, he was obviously a regular and had either lost his senses or just his sense. The dog was very friendly with Andrew, a bit too friendly, by the third time it was getting awkward, which was when we decided enough was enough and got the hell out.

Oh dear.... that’s what i said to myself is i entered this pub, alone once again as the others were running late (surprised?), and as this place was in the middle of nowhere I thought heading in was better than hanging about outside, this was a mistake! Walked in and the air was thick with some smell which I can only hope was coming from a kitchen shared with the oriental restaurant next door, but this was not pleasing odour, I did all I can to not pull a face. At this point I realised the guy sitting on the sofa watching the match had jumped up and went behind the bar and I also noticed there was no one else in this place, and there was hardly any lighting beyond the bar. For some reason I felt compelled to order a drink while I waited for the others (also didn’t want to walk out to have to walk in again). Realising there was no bottled beers on offer (couldn’t see in the fridges behind the bar it was so dark) I went for a Fosters and sat down. Decided to text the others while the guy sat on the other sofa with the following message "Hold your breath when you come in! I think I'm in someone’s living room". Living room is the only way to describe the decor here. when Alex and Ollie came they instantly knew what i meant form the looks on their faces i knew this was going to be a '1 round pub' so they went to get a drink, placed the usual order but the guy serving still poured a fosters instead of the Strongbow as he disagreed with Alex's order, personally I didn’t mind this as 56 weeks of drinking Strongbow every Tuesday was starting to lose its appeal. After a swift drinking session and one other customer coming in with an overly friendly dog we headed to O’Neil’s instead for the rest of the evening. I wouldn’t come back here if I lived next door to it and they had a 'drink all you can for free' evening!

Unfortunately that concludes the Kingston pubs now, it’s a shame it ended on such a low but onwards to pastures new!

Drinks Price
(Fosters, Budweiser, J2O)


Alex's Score

Andrew's Score

Oliver's Score


Unfit for human consumption


(Only because I got a Fosters instead of Strongbow)



Charlie said...

Hi guys, well done reviewing all of Kingston's pubs, very useful and fun to read despite you having had a few depressing occasions. I have one slightly negative comment which you have addressed slightly by your own admission - spelling. Surely you could run back through the blog and at least correct the many occasions where definitely has been written as defiantly. Despite this complaint I have bookmarked your page and will recommend it to others. =)

Alex said...

See Andrew, I'm not the only one who thinks your spelling is awful :)
Thanks for the feedback Charlie, sometimes the most depressing pubs can be the most fun to write about! Keep an eye on the blog, I'm hoping to update it back on a regular basis as we're currently doing the rounds in Surbiton.