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The Sussex Arms, Twickenham

15 Staines Road
Twickenham
TW2 5BG
Phone: 02088947468

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moby duck left this review about The Sussex Arms

A good traditional pub with an extensive array of ales on offer backed up a selection of real cider,5 on my visit.Bare floorboards throughout and dark much in evidence all around gives the place a basic yet very effective feel.Most of the beers on my visit were plus 5% which is OK but not what I was really looking for at just after mid-day and second pub in,so was left with a choice between Darkstar Partridge which is the most ordinary beer they do in my opinion so I went for Binghams Hop Harvest which was a little hazy and lacking in flavour,that aside it is a good pub and nice to see and hear a vinyl record playing in the background. A pub certainly worth returning to but I think I prefer its sister pub the Antelope in Surbiton based on this visit.

On 10th October 2014 - rating: 7
[User has posted 1160 recommendations about 1149 pubs]


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Pub SignMan left this review about The Sussex Arms

Much has been made of this destination ale house since it reopened almost three years ago, so it was good to finally make my long overdue maiden visit last month. The pub has a slightly off-the-beaten-track location, close to the pleasant Twickenham Green, but far enough away from the station and natural path of the rugby-going masses to ensure that it doesn’t get too badly mobbed when there’s a game on up the road. The place has a fairly traditional feel to it, with a broad main bar to the front accessed via a nice stained glass porch with the servery directly opposite. The room is bare boarded and has some particularly appealing curved banquettes in each of the two front bay windows. The servery has plenty of dark wood, including an attractive shelf for the empty glasses, supported by nicely worked wooden pillars. The walls are three quarter panelled, with the space above filled by the inevitable swathe of pump clips which have also spilled over onto the ceiling. The left hand side of the room has a nice, small brick fireplace with a couple of low padded benches either side, as well as a book swap on the rear wall. A door here leads you into a second room, which looks a lot smarter than the main bar. The walls here are tiled and there are some comfy looking modern seating options to choose from. Doors to the rear lead out to a nice paved garden with plenty of typical bench seating. I didn’t notice anyone eating, but blackboards announced the availability of Sunday roasts, although a pie menu suffices for the rest of the week. Music played in the background throughout my stay and I noticed a turntable behind the bar with a stack of vinyl next to it.
The rather daunting row of hand pumps that greet you as soon as you enter, were dispensing XT 6 and 7, Twickenham Sundancer, Bingham’s Brickwork Bitter and Hot Dog Stout, Roosters Astro, Great Heck Citra, Arbor Bravo, Late Knights Hop of the Morning and Wild Beer Co Fresh, with six real ciders and perries occupying the left hand bank of pumps. I tried the Astro, which was pretty good, but not quite as sparkling as I’d hoped for. The staff were extremely courteous and very helpful, answering endless questions about beer styles.
I was expecting a bit of a ‘beer tickers’ feel to this place, but was pleased to see a good clientele mix relaxing in a traditional pub environment. The beer range is the undoubted star here, but it doesn’t feel like it’s the only reason to visit, which is not always an easy balance to get right. I think this should rightly be regarded as one of London’s finest.

On 3rd June 2014 - rating: 9
[User has posted 2174 recommendations about 2174 pubs]


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Aqualung . left this review about The Sussex Arms

It seems impossible that this beer and cider festival sort of place was once a humble Bass Charrington pub. It is an unashamed imitation of the likes of the Southampton Arms in Gospel Oak. Happily it has a bit more room than that establishment. In common with those pubs on the other side of London they play vinyl LPs. I had a Eureka moment half way through my second pint as to why these vinyl records never seem to be scratched as I remember from back in the day. The reason is because the records are such a load of crap that they only ever get played once and rarely all the way through. The record pn my visit was what sounded like Otis Redding's Greatest Hits, a record that seemed to go on far longer than it should.

Of the eighteen pumps six have cider and the rest have beers which could be just about anything. I noticed beers from Windsor & Eton and Belleville but none from Twickenham. All beers were priced at £3.60 apart from the silly (8.5%) one. I went for the Wild Beer Company Madness IPA which was in good nick
apart from a haze and with a 6.8% ABV good value. I then went for the silly option at £4.00 a pint in the form of Arbor Tiny The Welder. This was a Double American IPA that sadly was cloudy but tasted OK.
Because of the beer and cider selection it's a great place, but I have doubts about it given that neither of my two pints were clear.

On 3rd May 2014 - rating: 8
[User has posted 2086 recommendations about 2081 pubs]


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Kate Gowers left this review about The Sussex Arms

Once upon a time, pubs were places where the people provided the entertainment - not fruit machines, not large screen TVs, but people. Perhaps some live music, a game of shove ha'penny, a pint or three and lively conversation. Once upon a time has come again at the Sussex Arms.

This pub, just off Twickenham Green harks back to the old days. There are up to 12 (I think) real ales on offer and six real ciders. The ales vary constantly and there is no one 'regular' ale. Just a different selection, even from tiny microbreweries, every day. All draught beer and cider is (as of this writing) £3.50 a pint and they operate a superb loyalty card scheme. Buy 9 beers, get the 10th for free. I use mine regularly.

The food is good, though slightly pricey. The pies are made by AJ and are usually excellent, though the last couple I've had were slightly less good than usually (slightly over cooked meat and pastry).

The atmosphere is lovely. It is an old-fashioned pub - no posh gastro seating here. A long bar displays the plethora of ales on offer and also hides the record player (yep, vinyl) that supplies any recorded (as opposed to live) music. There is a large, decently tended garden.

There is live music many evenings. Again, like with the beer, there is something for (nearly) every taste. I attend with friends every second Monday for the Sessioneers (yep, not a great name, but you get the jist) - acoustic rock, folk, rock n roll and the like. You can also find Irish music, bluegrass, blues - whatever (older) music takes your fancy (I've never seen hip hop or the like, thankfully).

The clientèle varies from the stereotypical real ale drinker (beardy, male, older - including a guy who is the spit of Walder Frey from Game of Thrones) through to younger families and singles.

All in all, a pub I thoroughly recommend.

On 9th September 2013 - rating: 9
[User has posted 2 recommendations about 2 pubs]


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Quinno _ left this review about The Sussex Arms

I had been told in hushed tones about this ale and cider mecca at the Nags Head, so thought I’d better pop along and see what all the fuss was about. Unfortunately for me I visited it on a whim coming back off a crawl from London and – unwittingly – managed to hit the immediate aftermath of the army and navy games. Anyhow after dodging the wasteland and inebriates, it took about 15 minutes from the station to get here on foot. On entering, it was rammed. We were lucky to nab a small table that came vacant just as we arrived. Eighteen pumps dispensing real ale and proper cider/perry apparently, though the bar was so packed we had no way of counting them all. Quantity, of course, does not necessarily relate to quality however most of what we tried was in a good state if not quite tip-top. Staff were young, enthusiastic and trying their best though I think an older, wiser head to steady the pace a little would have helped. Inevitably, the clips from beers past were snaking round the ceiling which is de rigueur in destination ale pubs these days. There was what looked like a proper fire, some banquette seating, dark wood panelling and large potted plants. A number of high-up stained windows sensibly swing open so the atmosphere was not as hot and stuffy as it perhaps could have been. There’s a slight fake-Tudor feel to the place, ‘like a Berni Inn’ or so my semi-legible email to myself says anyway. As noted by Mr Bonser the bus right outside the door so if you are on an all-day Travelcard, the skip back to the Reading-Waterloo line is fairly easy if you aren’t inclined to walk back to Twickenham BR. So all-in-all, quite impressive; I imagine I’ll be darkening its doors again before long.

On 30th April 2013 - rating: 8
[User has posted 3677 recommendations about 3665 pubs]


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John Bonser left this review about The Sussex Arms

Update - June 2012

This pub continues to go from strength to strength. A very enjoyable pint of Grey Ghost IPA from Derbyshire's Raw Brewery was enjoyed early last Saturday evening. All beers are priced at £ 3.20p which, with a loyalty card that gives you a tenth pint free, works out at just under £ 2.90p per pint. For a beer with an ABV of 5.9% that's pretty good value in my book, especially when you compare it with the prices charged by a certain well known brewery just over the river in Chiswick. It would appear that my initial doubts that this pub would be able to maintain such an extensive range are unfounded. Do look this pub out if you haven't already been

Original review from August 2011 - A full page advertisement in the latest issue of London Drinker referring to “18 hand pulls of rotating real ales and ciders” encouraged me to seek out the newly re-opened Sussex Arms in Twickenham earlier this week. It re-opened on 28 July 2011

The pub is situated away from Twickenham Town Centre just past The Green and, conveniently, local buses H 22 and 490 from Richmond stop, literally, right outside the door.

Notably, despite living only a few miles away, this is a pub that I had never previously visited, due to a reputation that might diplomatically be described as “not good”.

As we approach the pub, we see a round barrel pub sign welcoming us to The Sussex Arms Ale and Cider House.

Central doors lead into an attractive interior with a number of restored traditional features such as wood panelling, two fireplaces ( one with built in seating), a wooden bar counter with glasses gantry and Victorian lamps, and some coloured patterned leaded windows. The central bar area is narrowish, but the interior opens out at each end with a mixture of comfortable upholstered seating round the perimeter and circular traditional three legged tables and padded stools.

The area on the left leads through to a back room with rather clinical looking glazed wall tiles. This room leads out to the surprisingly large garden at the back which comprises a concrete terraced area and a grass lawn. This lawn appears to be very much still a work in progress and a notice tells us to “please bare(?!) with us while we work on Twickenham’s only petanque pitch".

There’s a few modern touches such as the part light pine wooden flooring and small candles on each table, but the overall feel is of a sympathetic refurbishment tastefully done. “It’s got that proper pub feel”, a chap in the garden commented to me.

There’s no TV’s or fruit machines. An old style vinyl record player was playing The Beatles, Beach Boys etc on my two visits. A basic food menu is offered. Prices are on the high side, but portions appear generous.

The real attraction here, if you haven’t already twigged, is the 18 handpumps offering a splendid range of real ales and ciders. On both my visits last week, approx 14-15 of these were in use with 6 offering ciders ( mainly Millwhites ) and the rest being real ales, mainly from micros with an emphasis on local brews. On my two visits, beers on included W J King Red River, Purity Mad Goose, Dark Star Saison and Hophead, Twickenham Naked Ladies, Woodforde Wherry, Ringwood Best, Triple fff Pressed Rat and Warthog and Windsor and Eton Conqueror Black IPA. Two blackboards either side of the main doors list the beers on with brief tasting notes. Most notably, all real ales were priced at £ 3.00p per pint which, by South East price standards, represents excellent value, particularly for the higher gravity beers. All beers tasted were in excellent condition and temperature. The youngish bar staff appear keen and enthusiastic and tasters are offered.

Often, in the first week of a newly reopened pub like this, there’s several niggles / teething problems to report ( eg – not enough staff, short measures, untrained staff, the odd rogue pint), but I’ve nothing adverse to report in respect of either visit, I’m pleased to say.

It’s still early days and I do wonder if they will be able to keep such an extensive range of ales and ciders going once the initial honeymoon period is over. Having said that, it’s got off to a really flying start as far as I’m concerned. I sense it’s destined to become one of the areas top real ale pubs and I envisage many more visits to come in the months ahead. This is definitely one to watch.

On 25th June 2012 - rating: 9
[User has posted 560 recommendations about 560 pubs]


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Mark Davey left this review about The Sussex Arms

Excellent real ale pub in close proximity to both Twickenham Rugby stadium and the Stoop. 18 ales and ciders on the bar and having sampled 4, I can only assume that they are all of the same high standard. 1000's of beer clips on the walls show that the pub is not frightened to experiment with new brews. Didn't eat here but the food coming out looked great. The pub also has a drink 9, get a tenth free!! Now there is a challenge. Oh, if you need a job, they are desperate for experienced staff with a smile.

On 23rd April 2012 - rating: 8
[User has posted 292 recommendations about 276 pubs]


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Rex Rattus left this review about The Sussex Arms

It was definitely worth the 10 minute walk from the train station to visit this little gem of a pub. Despite the refurbishment it remains a real pub, with all the very basic qualities one expects from a basic pub. It doesn’t seem to have fallen into the trap of adding the modern unnecessary embellishments so many places feel the need to introduce. And I suppose that 17 or 18 ales and ciders on helps somewhat! I didn’t count the pumps, but they took up half the bar counter. The quality of the couple of pints I sunk yesterday afternoon was excellent. I just hope that they get the custom to sustain such an ambitious array of drinks. I sincerely hope so. This one is definitely worth seeking out.

On 11th August 2011 - rating: 9
[User has posted 2420 recommendations about 2343 pubs]


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Giles Ward left this review about The Sussex Arms

Brilliant pub, very friendly staff, have been a few times now. I Agree with reviews of JB, MM and BL. Just to clarify comment made by MM "A couple were clipped with a note that read "a bit mature but with a lot of life in me" and reduced to £2" Go for it! My self and my mate tried a couple of these and they were great. 2 pints and change from a fiver! They've been buying more garden furniture it's getting there and looking good. I have tasted a different pint each time I've been there and all the ales have been top quality. I've even converted the wife. Not tried the food yet. If they get the food right this will be a winner.

On 9th August 2011 - rating: 9
[User has posted 1 recommendations about 1 pubs]


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Braks Lover left this review about The Sussex Arms

Just a couple of points to add to the thorough and positive reviews of JB & MM. Firstly, the pub is happy to offer tasters which, given the array of many unfamiliar brews, is most welcome. Secondly, driving there is not recommended since, apart from the obvious “drink & drive” temptation, parking in the area can be quite difficult. Use the frequent local buses from the centre of Twickenham or enjoy the 10 minute walk instead.
Certainly if the pub keeps up the standards of last night’s visit you can expect it to be winning awards in the not too distant future. Excellent!

On 9th August 2011 - rating: 9
[User has posted 9 recommendations about 8 pubs]

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