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The Railway, Sutton

32 Station Way
Postal town: Sutton
Phone: 02083955393

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Please Note: This review is over a year old.

Pub SignMan left this review about The Railway

As the name might suggest, this simple traditional pub is located just across the road from Cheam train station. The pub has a J-shaped single room layout, carpeted throughout and with the servery, and perhaps more pleasingly, the handpulls, directly in front of you upon entering. The servery boasts a nice dark wood curved counter with a similarly styled bar back and stands opposite a couple of large bay windows. Each window has a decent padded banquette running beneath it, but aside from these, seating is fairly limited in this part of the room. The left hand side has a truncated feel to it, stopping just a short way past the end of the bar, but this still leaves enough space for a darts area next to a small fireplace. The right hand side of the pub is far nicer, with some old dark panelled walls with modern floral wallpaper above giving the space a proper, lived-in pub feel. Some standard tables and chairs run underneath attractive stained glass wall lamps whilst there are what appears to be a series of fake gas lamps along the end of the servery. A drinking ledge down the right hand wall is served by basic high stools and an impressive Railway Hotel pub mirror hangs on the wall here. To the rear, clapped out old banquettes run in a U-shape around the back wall, with a large trophy cabinet to one side capturing your attention. The cabinet is full of trophies won by the pub's golf society (a recurring theme in Cheam's pubs) and a board above a doorway lists the society's various captains down the years. A sign on the end of the bar gantry reads: 'Ye Olde 19th Hole', as if any further proof of the pub's golfing credentials were needed. Apropos of nothing, an acoustic guitar was propped at the end of one of the banquettes, but more fitting décor in the shape of a huge inflatable Guinness rugby ball and flags of various rugby playing nations hung from the ceiling, seemingly having remained in situ since last year's Rugby World Cup. A fine soundtrack played throughout my stay and I enjoyed eavesdropping on a good-natured post-Brexit discussion between two grizzled old locals and the European barmaid.
This pub used to be Cheam's destination real ale venue and a CAMRA favourite, but it has dropped out of the Good Beer Guide and locals in another pub mumbled something about a problem with the landlord which had resulted in a big drop in their customer base. There were three other customers in when I visited on a Sunday afternoon, in sharp contrast to other Cheam pubs I visited that day. Five ales were still available though - Courage Best and Directors, Taylor Landlord, Brains Rev James and Tetley's Three Lions. I had a pint of the Landlord, which struck me as pricey at £3.90. It was in reasonable shape but I wonder if they're getting the through-pull they need to keep their beers in good condition.
This pub has got character and a bit of charm but felt a little neglected and in need of some care and attention (fixing those banquettes at the rear for instance). It could quite easily be the best pub in Cheam but other venues are currently pulling in the crowds and I left feeling that this place was sadly heading in the wrong direction. I hope to return though and perhaps find its fortunes revived somewhat.

On 14th July 2016 - rating: 6
[User has posted 3166 recommendations about 3166 pubs]

Please Note: This review is over a year old.

Moby Duck left this review about The Railway

A U shaped traditional interior with a central bar boasting five handpumps,unfortunately the beers on offer were a little too traditional as well, Courage Best and Directors,TT Landlord,Brains Reverand James and a beer called Three Lions brewed I believe by Carlsberg, I resisted that temptation and tried the Landlord which I found to be in fair condition. My visit was in late June and it was unseasonably cool, I was however surprised to see the open log fire full ablaze. This is a nice pub without being particularly remarkable but I would call in again should I happen to be nearby.

On 1st July 2016 - rating: 6
[User has posted 1945 recommendations about 1918 pubs]

Please Note: This review is over a year old.

John Bonser left this review about The Railway

Situated virtually opposite Cheam Railway Station is The Railway, apparently a former hotel that dates back to 1810.

On the pavement outside, we see a sandwich board telling us that “David, Paul, Robin and the team welcome you”. The traditional, wooden L shaped bar counter is directly in front of us as we enter and, on the bar gantry, we see the message – “abandon hope all ye who enter here”.

It’s a smallish single room that extends back round the side of the bar on the right hand side. There’s something of a more modern feel to the décor than at The Prince of Wales, with dark flowery wallpaper, window blinds and contemporary style lighting contributing to an apparent desire to attract a younger, trendy clientele. Down one side of the room is a ledge for drinks with bar stools, suggesting that the pub becomes busy at certain times.

Hanging down from the ceiling is a long thin green plank with the inscription – “all stations to Motspur Park, Wimbledon and Waterloo” – which will be instantly recognisable to all those who travelled on local train services in the 60s/70s as a train destination indicator that used to be suspended horizontally from a pillar on the platform edge, but apart from that, there’s no railway memorabilia at all. A golf society is evidently based at the pub, but there’s no feeling that this is a community orientated local in any way. Reading the previous review from Maldenman, it is clear that the pub has had a makeover and perhaps changed hands since his 2010 review.

There’s 5 pumps of which 4 were in action, offering Courage Best, Directors ( it’s a former Courage pub ), Skinners Cornish Knocker and Hogs Back TEA. The pub was in the CAMRA Good Beer Guide for 2011 and 2012 and the stickers are prominently displayed, but it’s not in the 2013 edition.

The Hogs Back TEA was pretty reasonable, but I didn’t particularly warm to this pub in any way.

On 20th November 2012 - rating: 5
[User has posted 560 recommendations about 560 pubs]

Please Note: This review is over a year old.

Malden man left this review about The Railway

A friendly welcome from the landlord who clearly has a genuine interest in his beers. Courage Best and Directors again, Spitfire and my choice which was Ha'penny Brewery Gog Magog, a light coloured hoppy and fruity beer but robust at 5%. The pub was reassuringly busy late afternoon with a genial bunch of regulars chatting and watching the choice of Wimbledon and the World Cup on the two TVs.
Central bar with the room wrapping around, the left hand side has a fireplace, some books on a shelf and a piano against the side wall. Carpeted and traditional seating making the pub feel welcoming and comfortable. Small vases of flowers on the tables. Decor is old photos and a few bits of railway memorabilia.
Food consists of a well priced range of basic pub fare, nice to see bacon rolls offered at just £1.70.

On 3rd July 2010 - rating: 7
[User has posted 1708 recommendations about 1681 pubs]

Please Note: This review is over a year old.

Rex Rattus left this review about The Railway

This is a small one-room pub near to Cheam Railway Station. As you walk in the door the bar counter is immediately in front of you, with the drinking area extending back for a few feet on both sides of the bar, with enough room for a few tables and chairs. The TVs on the walls were showing Sky Sports, although they were muted, it’s nicely carpeted, with only normal tables and chairs, some banquettes, and a few stools at the bar. There were the six nations’ flags hanging on the ceiling, and even a few St Patrick’s Day adverts on the bar gantry. The room to the right of the bar has some display cabinets with Railway Golfing Society trophies on display. There’s also a few photos and prints on the walls, plus various advertisements.
They had four ales on – Courage Beast and Directors, Robinson’s Dragon’s Fire, and Wychwood Paddy’s Tout. I had the Paddy’s Tout, which was fair enough at £3 a pint. This is another straightforward little pub, with nothing fancy about it. It was quiet when I was in there on Friday lunchtime, with only about half a dozen or so of us in there, but my guess is that it could be a lively little local in the evening. A big plus in my book is that it had London Drinker available. This is a real pub, to which I would be delighted to pay a return visit.

On 27th March 2010 - rating: 8
[User has posted 2606 recommendations about 2520 pubs]