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Pub Snacks with Aqualung on the Pub Forum

The Antelope, Surbiton Town, Surbiton

87 Maple Road
Surbiton
KT6 4AW
Phone: 02083995565

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Reviews (Current Rating Average: 8 of 10) Add Review see review guidelines


paulof horsham left this review about The Antelope

The Big Smoke Brewery may have moved out, but they retain a strong presence on the bar, both keg (about 12 taps to the left) and cask (10 pumps - something like that). It's a busy pub, and with good reason - the beer range is top-quality with the guests well-chosen (for example Ilkley and Pig & Porter on my visit); the incoming crowd pounced on my vacated seat as I left.

As well as that, there's a reasonably-priced menu, though the availability may not quite tally with the times quoted on the menu (as I was disappointed to discover).

All-in-all then, I'd say The Antelope has to be a must-visit pub for anyone looking for great beer in a good pub.

On 12th May 2019 - rating: 9
[User has posted 286 recommendations about 276 pubs]


Please Note: This review is over a year old.


Moby Duck left this review about The Antelope

Update August 2017
Since my first visit nearly three years ago the beer quality and choice has remained consistently excellent,I have been averaging at least one visit a month if not more for some time, a very top pub now elevated to 9/10.
October 2014
A first visit here and I was quite impressed,the internal decor is a strange mix of modern yet with a traditional feel,faux rustic maybe.The stalactite like fire place decoration formed from molten wax was a little over the top if not impressive and gave a Brothers Grim fairy tale feel.
The main bar as you enter from the street doglegs round to the left to a seating area down a level with leather clad sofas much in evidence,beyond this you are led out to the beer garden and beyond this again you can view the pubs own brewery,Big Smoke Brew Co, through large windows.Back to the main bar there are 10 ales available from far and wide all interesting in nature,tasting notes can be viewed via a blackboard on the wall.5 real ciders are also available as well as some Craft keg offerings. The beers alone demand a rapid return to this pub.

On 20th August 2017 - rating: 9
[User has posted 1321 recommendations about 1308 pubs]


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Pub SignMan left this review about The Antelope

This lively two room pub was taken over by the same people behind the successful Sussex Arms in Twickenham and has become a similar 'destination' pub with the added interest of an on-site brewery. You enter into a bare boarded front bar with an L-shaped servery directly opposite, half panelled walls with grey uppers and various beer themed items dotted around for decorative purposes. A fireplace on the left hand wall acts as something of a focal point for a front section mainly given over to standing room, although a few tables and chairs have been squeezed into the two bay windows on the front wall. The servery has a plain tongue and groove counter and bar back which contrasts with the colourful pump clip lined canopy. In fact, the pump clip collection has far outgrown the canopy and now snakes around the walls and ceiling to the left of the bar, where the room extends past a few small round tables with low stools and an impressive vinyl collection and turntable behind this part of the bar. To the rear is a lower level room with lots of mixed seating, smart decor and a bookcase in the rear corner. This seemed like a pleasant place to relax with a pint, but unbeknown to me, the pub was hosting a beer festival when I visited and the room was packed, including a few noisy children, so I retreated back to the front bar instead. The festival was taking place in the beer garden, which seemed like a nice spot and had a good deal of seating as well as around 60 cask ales on a large racking system set up in front of the in-house Big Smoke brewery.
Unfortunately for me, the festival was already well into its final day and very few of the beers were left, but the consolation was that the bar still had a great selection to choose from. The Big Smoke brewery was represented with their Underworld, Milk Stout, Sunshower and Medicine Man brews and an extensive guest line-up of Long Arm Peacemaker, XT 2, G2 Vela, Oakham The Navigation, Portobello Market Porter, Dark Star Original and Sherfield Valley TBA broadened the options considerably. I fancied a darker beer and opted for the Milk Stout which was a great example of the style and served in tip-top condition. A separate row of handpulls around the corner dispensed several ciders and there was an interesting keg selection as well.
I really enjoyed this place which I thought had managed to bring together a lot of elements to create a pub that appeals to a wide range of customers whilst ensuring the beer remains the primary focus. Obviously, visiting during a beer festival meant that I didn't really get to see the pub in the truest light, but it still managed to score highly in important areas such as comfort, service and beer quality. This is worth going out of your way for and I'll certainly be looking to make a return sooner rather than later.

On 2nd October 2016 - rating: 9
[User has posted 2423 recommendations about 2423 pubs]


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john gray left this review about The Antelope

Probably one of the best Brewpubs for beer.Big Smoke are very consistent.Nice pub.10 hand pumps but common range of beers you can get anywhere.Stuck to the own brewed beers and was rewarded. Very busy beer garden.Told they are opening a new pub in Kingston so great news.

On 20th August 2016 - rating: 8
[User has posted 933 recommendations about 920 pubs]


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Quinno _ left this review about The Antelope

The local area’s nationally-known ale outlet after being taken over by the operators of the Sussex Arms in nearby Twickenham. Looks a bit modern and hipstery outside but L shaped inside is a decent stab at recreating a modern take on a traditional alehouse feel - grey paint, candles, wood panelling, old pump clips taking over any spare wall space. Rear patio garden. 10 pumps at the front and 6 round the side and all micro/small regional offerings of ale and cider including three house brews (Big Smoke - these are unfined and clearly labelled as such). I tried all three of the homebrews and was pleasantly surprised by how good they were, both in taste and condition. Also a good selection of craft exotica in bottles. Not quite a classic on my first visit but a very good ale pub worth making a special trip for. I shall be back sooner rather than later. 8.5

On 5th July 2016 - rating: 9
[User has posted 3969 recommendations about 3957 pubs]


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Aqualung . left this review about The Antelope

I have always associated Surbiton with twentieth century suburbia so it came as a surprise to find an area South of the station consisting of terraced Victorian town houses more akin to Hackney or Islington than the far SW edge of Greater London. This pub is just past that area and looks to me like quite an old building. Old SW London beer guides reveal that it was probably once a Whitbread house.
As you enter, the bar is to the right with a bank of ten pumps all up and running with five more on the left of the bar serving ciders. Past the bar is another room where nearly all the lunchtime punters were gathered, so I assume they had all ordered food. Through this area there is a patio garden with the Big Smoke Brewery behind.
The decor is straight out of Islington with varnished floorboards, grey painted walls and worst of all candles everywhere. Candles can be a welcome sight on a cold winter night but having them all lit in broad daylight on an August day seems ridiculous to me.
I was hoping to find some of their own beer today but after half overhearing a discussion I got the impression they may have had problems with their first efforts.
The ten cask ales on were Jarrow Isis, Hyde's Finest, Twickenham Summer Sun, TicketyBrew Tractor Beer, Sadler's One Stop Hop, Dark Star Sunburst, Chantry Iron & Steel, RAW Appollo Summer Bitter, Brass Castle Burnout and SWB Union Pale Ale. The only one of that list that is vaguely mainstream is the Hydes one.
I went for the Jarrow Isis which was in good nick but with a slight haze and the Brass Castle Burnout which was outstanding. These both cost £3.90 which seemed a bit steep to me, although they were 5.0% and 5.8% ABV. I would hope that the lower ABV beers would be somewhat cheaper and their own beers cheaper still.
I asked what the price of an 8.2% keg beer by the Blackjack brewery was and they said £4.25 a half.
Overall this place is a bit too trendy for my liking but makes up for it with a great beer selection. It should be even better when they get the Big Smoke brewery running.

On 30th August 2014 - rating: 8
[User has posted 2145 recommendations about 2143 pubs]


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Malden man left this review about The Antelope

The Antelope is now under the stewardship of the same people who run the excellent Sussex Arms in Twickenham, so that means there are now ten handpumps offering non-mainstream ales plus five more carrying real ciders. I am also told there are future plans to open a brewhouse in the rear yard.
The layout remains much the same but there are less high tables and more regular seating, busy and buzzy on a Tuesday night with a good bluesy jazzy soundtrack playing at a sensible volume which combined with the real fire on the go made for a comfortable and pleasant feel. Décor now includes a wall of old bedroom mirrors, a bit Antic style, as well as plenty of foliage, old maps, candles and suchlike. Pump clips are already mounting up behind the bar and those "coming soon" are mounted too. A loyalty card is offered. A great addition to the local ale scene, may it prosper. Rating upped considerably.

On 19th February 2014 - rating: 9
[User has posted 1685 recommendations about 1662 pubs]


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Rex Rattus left this review about The Antelope

This pub still had the usual Greene King range of ales on, but a chum and I were enticed here by the prospect of some additional local ales being available. There were pumps clipped with Twickenham Original, Sundancer and Naked Ladies (£3.50 a pint), but unfortunately the first two (plus GK St Edmunds) were “still settling”, leaving the Naked Ladies as the only guest. Now I thankfully don’t have much in common with DSK, but I do quite like Naked Ladies, the liquid version of which was in good nick here. However, for some inexplicable reason, all of the ales were dispensed through sparklers.
The exterior didn’t look as inviting as other reviewers seem to have found it, but it was dark when I visited, so perhaps it would look better in daylight. The interior has recently been given a thorough makeover, and is not much like a traditional pub now. Duck egg green walls, much favoured by gastropubs, seem to be the order of the day here, but I didn’t see a menu (we were in there after 9.00 PM) so can’t confirm that the food is of the gastropub persuasion. The front bar now has no traditional tables and chairs – just tall tables/stools and the like. There were a couple of barrels in the middle of the room, presumably intended for use as glass depositories by vertical drinkers. The rear room, reached down two or three steps to the left of the bar counter, does contain normal tables and chairs and to my mind is much more comfortable than the front bar. The rear room has a modern wood panelled wall on the left, which also bears a large cast iron (by the look of it) clock, and is also adorned by a garland of hops. There were at least a couple of TVs on, showing the Napoli v Chelsea game.
This visit was a bit disappointing because I was expecting better on the ale front. But the pub is OK if you like these thoroughly modernised places; and perhaps we were just unlucky that so many ales were unavailable during our visit.

On 24th February 2012 - rating: 5
[User has posted 2575 recommendations about 2493 pubs]


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Malden man left this review about The Antelope

The pub has an attractive and traditional exterior with well tended flowering pots and a traditional sign. Inside is a little more modern, bright and airy, the bar and some walls are a light cream colour, with other areas being more brown/black. Mostly carpeted with a wooden floor close to the bar, some old pics of the area, framed rugby shirts plus pics of HMS Antelope form the decor. A couple of tables have chess/draughts boards laid into the tops.
The bar is in front on entering, seating is comfortable, then the room carries on back beyond the bar where there is a pool table. A couple of screens for sports.
The welcome was friendly and efficient, it's nice to be acknowledged on arrival even if the landlord is busy serving. Only Greene King beers, IPA, Olde Trip and Tolly Cobbold Phoenix (which tasted like any other GK beer so no phoenix from anywhere for me) however although it will never be a destination pub of choice for me, it was friendly, well looked after and comfortable.

On 30th April 2010 - rating: 5
[User has posted 1685 recommendations about 1662 pubs]


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Graham Coombs left this review about The Antelope

Nicely modernised local which has managed to retain the feel of a pub.

On 3rd January 2010 - rating: 8
[User has posted 2194 recommendations about 2145 pubs]