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Beer of the Week (w/e 15th May 2022) with Mobyduck on the Pub Forum

The Nags Head, Belgravia, SW1

53 Kinnerton Street

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Reviews (Current Rating Average: 7 of 10) Add Review see review guidelines

Tris C left this review about The Nags Head

I last came here in the late summer of 1986, so thought a repeat visit should be made after more than 35 years, to this CAMRA inventory pub, having an interior of Some Regional Importance, best appreciated from the photos on display on both CAMRA’s and this site.
The layout is quite quaint, with a lower bar dating from 1947, meaning that punters drinking at the bar are at two levels, those on the lower level on high stools, ones in the upper level essentially drinking on a toadstool; when ordering a drink, the barmaid’s head was about level with my knee.
The small space is an Aladdin’s cave of bric-a-brac and knickknacks with some autographed photos of celebrities and also signs banning the use of mobile phones. Customers are a very broad bunch with some probably regular northerners, some local geezers and some very Sloaney types, one in morning dress and all getting along without any friction, cajoled along by a Geordie(?) landlady, resulting in much banter, some quite lewd.
The beer range is quite pedestrian, but my pint of Ghost Ship (£5.50), cash only and somewhat cheaper than many a pub in inner-city Hackney; this is Belgravia. It was on fine form too, served by a very friendly and helpful barmaid who was charm personified.
This is without question a must-visit pub in SW1 and probably in the whole of Westminster itself, a far cry from the air of despondency at the pub next door.

On 27th September 2021 - rating: 8
[User has posted 1500 recommendations about 1479 pubs]

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Bucking Fastard left this review about The Nags Head

Tucked away mews pub ,it's quite small and very charming.There was no attempt at T&T and I got the impression that such rules are not welcome here.If paying by card there is a £15 minimum,so cash it was.You enter into the bar room with an unusually low serving bar,barely a counter.A real fire was burning and some traditional furniture was dotted about,below the copious wood panelling.To the side,down some stairs is a lower room with it's own bar,flag stone floor and another charming spot.The small range in the fireplace is gas but was kindly lit by the guv'nor .A light jazz soundtrack was well judged for a sunday lunchtime.
There are cuttings pasted to the ceiling giving an avante guarde feeling and a huge collection of bric a brac on the picture rail hight ledge.Again more trad furniture and windows opening onto the passage way down the side of the building.
There were quite a few tables outside,Kinnereton Street is quiet at this point.
The ale selection was Adnams Southwold Bitter and Ghostship (£5 ,NBSS 3.5) while a third was reversed.Real ciders also available.Snacks and sandwiches only,but £6.50 for a tuna sarnie reflects the upmarket surrounding.Good to find a proper boozer however,it's worth a squint for it's charm.

On 11th October 2020 - rating: 7
[User has posted 2309 recommendations about 2309 pubs]

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Blackthorn _ left this review about The Nags Head

Tucked away down a private mews, this isn’t somewhere you’re likely to stumble across by accident, but it was worth preserving though and seemed to be very popular with more punters outside than in on our recent Saturday evening visit. The landlady was very efficient and certainly took no messing, giving short shrift to a rather boisterous Hooray Henry type trying to order both a bottle of champagne and a round of brandies.

The street level bar is quite small with only a limited amount of seating at the front and the bar counter taking up a good proportion of the space at the rear. Dark wood panelling was on much of the walls with some type of lino on the floor, and every square was covered with something, numerous photographs, portraits and posters but also all sorts of other bits and bobs including a bugle, wooden model aeroplanes, miner’s lamps, old bottles…..the list is endless. An old sewing machine table was off to one side as well as a couple of old fireplaces with wooden surrounds. One of these contained an old iron stove of some sort and was liberally adorned with horse brasses. A shelf above the bar contained a large collection of peaked caps, all piled up one on top another. A further bar down a few steps at the rear had flagstones on the floor but was otherwise broadly similar in terms of décor. Another bar was up a few steps, although we did not investigate this.

Beers on tap were all from Adnams with their Southwold, Lighthouse and Ghost Ship, whilst the ciders were Wild Wave from the same brewery which is a new one on me, and Aspall’s Suffolk. All in all, a great little pub and well worth taking the effort to track it down.

On 17th September 2019 - rating: 8
[User has posted 1789 recommendations about 1713 pubs]

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Graham Coombs left this review about The Nags Head

Splendid little pub of character with a strong local following and which has changed little over many years. As mentioned before, the surprisingly-low bar in the front room is because the serving side is even lower, although it does boast a splendid brass beer engine. Down some narrow steps behind the bar is a lower room, while there is a another corner up a step or two by the toilets, generally =giving the impression that every space has been pressed into use. The aged wooden panelling throughout is liberally covered in pictures and assorted bric-a-brac. Fine weather outdoor drinking is provided by some tables (literally) in the road. Draught beers are from Adnams, with Bitter, Ghost Ship and Lighthouse available at time of visit. Alcohol-free Ghost Ship and Dry-hopped Lager were also badged but were on keg. Oh, and be warned, mobile phone users are not favoured.

On 25th May 2019 - rating: 8
[User has posted 2566 recommendations about 2511 pubs]

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custodian 42 left this review about The Nags Head

Pleasing pub which had the bar staff on a lower level than me. The pub was also on various levels and the walls were crammed with memorabilia. Adnam's beer on hand pump. There was a nice fire which wasn't lit.

On 17th May 2017 - rating: 5
[User has posted 1693 recommendations about 1691 pubs]

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Steve C left this review about The Nags Head

The first thing I noticed as I entered the Nags Head was the waist high bar which threw me off kilter. The second surprise was when I was charged £2.50 for half an Adnams Ghost Ship. I know this is Belgravia, but the other pubs in the area do not charge this extraordinary amount. Two other ales were available alongside Carlsberg and Guinness, if I am not mistaken. The limited ‘lite bites’ menu in operation during my recent Friday afternoon visit seemed to consist of sandwiches and cheese etc. which were priced at £7.90.

The interior of this pub consists of the street level seating area where the aforementioned low bar is found and a downstairs seating area that is accessed by a staircase to the left of the bar. The walls throughout are adorned with old pictures, caricatures and photographs and the ceiling has old cartoons and newspaper clippings stuck to it. There is no television, but there was some 1940s music playing which sat well in the surroundings. Out the front by the entrance are a couple of high tables for plotting pints during pavement drinking.

I can see the appeal because this quirky pub is unique, but I couldn’t afford to stay too long and I’m not sure that I would want to. This is the sort of pub that I like to have a look at, but once I’ve been I’m not that bothered in returning.

On 14th October 2015 - rating: 7
[User has posted 3846 recommendations about 3822 pubs]

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hondo . left this review about The Nags Head

Tucked away but definitely worth seeking out. A quirky old multi level interior with numerous curious covering the pub. 4 Adams beers on. A hidden gem.

On 13th October 2015 - no rating submitted
[User has posted 2818 recommendations about 2760 pubs]

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Just a quick pint, then I'm off left this review about The Nags Head

Interesting place - tiny bar, but with further small seating areas up and down half flights of stairs. Full of memorabilia. Although a freehouse, serves Adnams beers, Bitter, Lighthouse and Old (£4.50, and in good form) available from the five handpumps on this occasion. I enjoyed this visit much more than my previous one a few years ago, so rating upped accordingly.

On 31st October 2014 - rating: 8
[User has posted 6943 recommendations about 6943 pubs]

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Moby Duck left this review about The Nags Head

A great little pub well described below,the kind of pub well worth searching out and a must inclusion on a crawl of the area.The only downside for me is the Adnams beer, not my favorite but even with that major consideration this pub gets an 8/10 from me for its honest authentisity

On 5th June 2012 - rating: 8
[User has posted 1519 recommendations about 1500 pubs]

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Pub SignMan left this review about The Nags Head

This is a wonderful little split-level pub full of all sorts of oddities collected by the landlord over the years. The entrance takes you into the main bar, with some limited low stool seating, a lit stove in a small fireplace and a very low, curved bar counter. There are stairs on the left hand side of the room that lead down to a similarly sized room, also with a lit fire, although this one also boasted some fireside seating as well. There is slightly more seating on the lower level, but it all gets a bit cramped when all the tables are occupied. The joy of this pub is that every inch of wall and ceiling space has been covered with various pictures and artefacts. This was perfectly illustrated when, wondering why my back was so cold, I turned round to discover that I was leaning against an old coin collection that was stuck to the wall behind me. The ceiling in the back room is covered in an impressive collage, whilst the small landing area near the toilets has a saddle and a couple of extremely old slot machines among other things. Even the cash register is of the antique variety. A strange jazz style soundtrack played throughout my stay and seemed an appropriate choice given the setting.
The pub is a freehouse, but Adnams beers seem to be the norm here, with Southwold Bitter, Broadside and Old Ale (£3.90) available on my recent visit. The Old Ale was a very nice pint and I was served by a friendly barmaid who helpfully pointed out that I might still be able to find a seat downstairs.
It's interesting to read the reviews below and see how the pub has polarised opinions. I found it to be a really interesting place to spend some time and thought it had a lot of character in an area where you don't expect to find something so far out of the ordinary.

On 16th February 2012 - rating: 8
[User has posted 2783 recommendations about 2783 pubs]

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