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Kings Head, SW17

84 Upper Tooting Road
SW17 7PB
Phone: 02087676708

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Pub Type

Taylor Walker (Spirit Pubs)

Reviews (Current Rating Average: 6 of 10) Add Review see review guidelines

Tris C left this review about Kings Head

Originally the King’s Head Inn, the place dates back to at least 1791, though was rebuilt in 1896. Grade II-listed and on CAMRA’s inventory of pubs with historic interiors and garnering a Nationally Important accolade, this pub’s interior is best appreciated on their site, though as usual, it doesn’t really do the place justice.
That’s the good news, now the bad. Lacking much respect, the pub’s interior is dominated by a multitude of TV screens (not to mention games machines), rendering the place in effect a sports’ bar. The next problem is the customers: some drunken youths arsing about then some rather boorish east European types. This is also a Greene King outlet, though thankfully the choice of guests was more extensive and more appealing than their indigenous offerings, with a ‘house’ ale (Greene King?), GK IPA, Landlord and Wimbledon Common at £2.60 a half and good, though served by an understandably despondent barmaid.
This is a very pretty pub, but a pretty poor pub experience; having seen it, I don’t plan to return as it would seem that the Antelope rules the roost in this region.

On 7th April 2022 - rating: 6
[User has posted 1532 recommendations about 1510 pubs]

Please Note: This review is over a year old.

custodian 42 left this review about Kings Head

Cavernous Greene King pub with an island bar. Several hand pumps, nothing of any strength. Loads of TVs on the walls. Not worth a revisit.

On 20th October 2019 - rating: 4
[User has posted 1693 recommendations about 1691 pubs]

Please Note: This review is over a year old.

hondo . left this review about Kings Head

Impressive exterior with an equally grand interior that still retains most of its original fittings and layout. Central U shaped bar serves 7 real ales and "craft keg".

On 28th October 2017 - no rating submitted
[User has posted 2833 recommendations about 2774 pubs]

Please Note: This review is over a year old.

Malden man left this review about Kings Head

An attractive well preserved interior with wood and glass screens, original tiling to two entrances and a side room and wood panelling to the former billiard room at the rear. Jug and Bottle, Private Bar, Saloon glazed doors and screens all remain. All has been well documented already however. At the front, to the right of the outdoor seated area is a gated off passage with a building beyond which looks like it may have been the original stables.
Inside, the bar is central and serves different areas, but the main room is the larger space and was where the handful of drinkers were located during my afternoon visit. Part wood floored, carpeted in another area, seating is mixed with a few sofas and high tables, but mostly for traditional. There are a few TVs dotted around and the main fireplace has a selection of games on top of the mantle. A fairly modern piano sits against the rear partition.
The menus and faux chalkboards detract from the surroundings a little, but this is a Taylor Walker branded pubco place so that goes with the territory.
Beers were not too adventurous being Pride, Bombardier, Old Speckled Hen and Youngs London Gold. I went for the London Gold which was perfectly drinkable.
Worth a visit for the interior if nothing else, however I found this cavernous place to be a little spiritless probably due to the lack of customers at the time.

On 29th May 2011 - rating: 6
[User has posted 1695 recommendations about 1669 pubs]

Please Note: This review is over a year old.

John Bonser left this review about Kings Head

The Kings Head is a large imposing late Victorian gin palace style pub with a Grade 2 listing. Externally, note in particular the canopied balcony and the gargoyles depicting a king’s head. A large central oval shaped bar counter with a fine bar back in the middle serves a number of different areas. Etched glass, windows and screens tell us that this was formerly a multi roomed pub and, although it’s been somewhat opened out, you still get a good sense of what it must have been like in its Victorian heyday. As well as the preserved glasswork, there are fine tiled mini-corridors at either end of the pub. A former billiards room at the back has dark wood panelling and now seems to serve mainly as a room for watching live sports. The pub features in CAMRA’s book of London Heritage Pubs.

Outside we learn that the pub was rebuilt in 1896. Inside a framed information print tells us that the architect was one W M Brutton, who also designed The Fitzroy Tavern in Fitzrovia and The Princess Victoria in Hammersmith. The original Kings Head apparently dates back to the 1700’s and was a coaching inn for travellers from London.

In one corner is a table football machine. A shelf over a fireplace has a collection of board games such as Scrabble. There’s a large outside patio at the side and some seats at the front should you feel inclined to breath in the traffic fumes from the busy main road on which the pub is situated

Despite the splendid interior, large pub menus on each table betray the fact that this is a chain pub These menus reveal that The Kings Head is now part of the Taylor Walker - “Built on Tradition “ - branded portfolio, a somewhat cynical attempt by Punch Taverns to gain mileage from a long lost well known former brewery. Other typical chain pub features are also in evidence – staff in black shirts, some high tables and stools etc – but the overall feel and atmosphere is not displeasing, by any means.

Beers on were Bombardier, Doom Bar and Youngs London Gold. This is a pub that serves real ale, rather than a real ale pub, if you get my drift. Perhaps surprisingly, the Bombardier was really rather good.

If you’re a fan of pub architecture, you’ll want to go here if you haven’t already.

On 17th March 2011 - rating: 8
[User has posted 560 recommendations about 560 pubs]

Please Note: This review is over a year old.

Steve C left this review about Kings Head

This is a very big pub with the bar area being split in two by the bar and there is a large function type room at the rear which has a large plasma screen. There is also a plasma screen for showing Sky Sports in the left hand side of the pub, but these were both off during my visit and there was no music giving this almost empty pub a very sedate feel. The Victorian décor and furnishings are very well kept, but there was a strong smell of food and I got a hotel like vibe which I wasn’t that keen on.

Pride, Broadside, Greene King IPA and Old Speckled Hen were the ale choices during my visit before Christmas. There was also a selection of standard and premium products and I found the barman to be very friendly.

There is some additional café type seating on the widened path outside, but Tooting Bec High Street isn’t the most relaxing place for a beer in the sun.

I would pop back in here if passing, but I wouldn’t go out of my way or stay for long.

On 11th February 2010 - rating: 6
[User has posted 3948 recommendations about 3925 pubs]

Please Note: This review is over a year old.

Rex Rattus left this review about Kings Head

It was desperately quiet on a Tuesday afternoon, with only half a dozen or so punters rattling around this very large pub. It was pretty cold in there as well, but I suppose that at another time it would be vibrant and warm. They had a few real ales on – London Pride, Adnam’s Broadside and Explorer. I had the Pride – it was OK – at £2.90 a pint.
Designed by the architect W M Bruton, the King’s Head is possibly the masterpiece among the many pubs he was responsible for in the 1890s. If appearances are anything to go by this should be a superb pub. It retains pretty much all of its original Victorian features – bar dividers, tiled entrance, cut and etched glass and mirrors in abundance. And yes, it is in the CAMRA inventory of London’s heritage pubs. I think it is a good pub – it’s clean, and although I didn’t try the food it looked reasonably priced. I think that it is especially worth a visit for the décor, if you’re interested in that sort of thing.

On 9th December 2008 - rating: 7
[User has posted 2599 recommendations about 2513 pubs]