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Beer of the Week (w/e 26th June 2022) with Bucking Fastard on the Pub Forum

The Cap in Hand (JD Wetherspoon), Hook, Surbiton

Pub added by john mcgraw
174 Hook Rise North
Surbiton
KT6 5DE

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


Please Note: This review is over a year old.


Aqualung . left this review about The Cap in Hand (JD Wetherspoon)

Visit 16th October 2015
Despite being due to close at the end of August this place seems to be soldiering on. I came here this afternoon to find a fair crowd in and stayed for a Portobello Red and a festival beer. Both were excellent and were at the festival price of £1.99. The guest ale price on the menu was from £2.49.
I've no idea what the future of this place is as it was just too busy to pin down a member of staff.


Visit 20th December 2013

I returned here to find another decent selection of guest ales of which I tried four. Loddon's Hocus Pocus Old Ale, Ringwood Porter, Celt Experience Divine Yule Saison and Everard / Devil's Backbone IPA. Prices ranged from £2.20 to £2.50 and all were in very good condition. There was a Tillingbourne beer available soon on the “boring” bank of pumps.

Visit 26th July 2013

This is a fairly typical large 1930s suburban building that was originally a Watney's pub. In fact it appeared in early eighties GBGs as The Southborough Arms selling the delightful (NOT!) Watney's London and Stag Bitters. The building that it replaced can be seen around the corner (it's a fairly obvious pubby looking building).

The Cap In Hand name was not introduced by Wetherspoon. You can see "The Cap In Hand" lettering attached to the brickwork just beneath the roof, which I really didn't think looked like their handiwork. I found a SW London CAMRA beer guide that was compiled in the mid 90s and it describes the Cap In Hand as an Enterprise Inn selling Theakston's Best. It also says that it was known as The Academy before becoming the Cap In Hand.

I got a beer and sat in the pleasant conservatory watching the traffic go round and round the roundabout.

All twelve pumps were going, there was nothing doubled up and no unwanted intruders apart from the two GK usual suspects, just genuine guest or Locale ales. If only all the Spoons followed this example!

I had a pint of Dark Star Red Shift (£2.45) which was truly outstanding in quality and good value as Dark Star beers are frequently dearer than other brews of the same strength. This was doubly impressive as it was also before 10:30 in the morning and I doubt if any had already been sold.

This is definitely one of the better Spoons and well worth the bus ride from Surbiton Station.

On 18th October 2015 - rating: 9
[User has posted 2143 recommendations about 2143 pubs]


Please Note: This review is over a year old.


Rex Rattus left this review about The Cap in Hand (JD Wetherspoon)

As 'spoons go this one is pretty good. It's quite a large establishment like most 'spoons, but the drinking areas are wrapped around the central servery making it look not as large as it actually is. There's a conservatory at the front, which must be nice on a cool but sunny day, but even with some blinds it was too warm on a sunny and hot July day. There's some outside seating at the front, with stunning views of the traffic roaring past on the A3!

Inside it's typical 'spoons with booth seating, tall tables/tall stools and normal tables and chairs crammed in , and with walls decorated with old black and photographs including those of individuals having some association with the area. These include WWII ace Douglas Bader, and perhaps more surprisingly the American boxer Max Baer, who both seemingly knew the Ace of Spades.

Reports in local newspapers inform us that this is yet another pub on the A3 that is for the chop later in the year. A crying shame.

On 12th July 2015 - rating: 6
[User has posted 2599 recommendations about 2513 pubs]


Please Note: This review is over a year old.


john mcgraw left this review about The Cap in Hand (JD Wetherspoon)

Have been in here a few times and have always found a good selection of real ales in good form.The pub is open plan with a large conservatory and the staff have always been friendly.It more than likely works well as it was a pub in the past.

On 5th May 2012 - rating: 7
[User has posted 2044 recommendations about 2025 pubs]


Please Note: This review is over a year old.


Malden man left this review about The Cap in Hand (JD Wetherspoon)

Unusual for a JDW as this is not a pub conversion but a change in ownership from the former Southborough Arms. Since then a large and airy conservatory has been added to the front which has opened up the pub a lot but also affords a spectacular vista of the passing A3 and its sliproad. As a 'spoons however it is pretty decent. They had 5 festival ales on plus a couple of non-mainstream guests as well as a couple of festival ciders. The barmaid was friendly, efficient and clued up about the beer selection, altogether rather pleasing.
The pub is an elongated room with the newer conservatory to the front and a rear return area to the left of the bar, containing wood panelling, bookcases, the usual JDW potted local histories and an old photo of the building as was. The right side has a few booth seats.
The Cap is a bit smaller and significantly more pubby than many JDW's, and better for it. An unusual location away from transport links and any town centre too for this chain, but it works well, possibly because of this.

On 7th October 2011 - rating: 7
[User has posted 1694 recommendations about 1668 pubs]


Please Note: This review is over a year old.


Steve C left this review about The Cap in Hand (JD Wetherspoon)

The Cap in Hand is a Wetherspoons on the roundabout above that A3 that connects it with the A243. There is parking which is monitored and the maximum stay is three hours with a restriction that one cannot return for three hours after leaving. There are also some picnic tables out the front, but the location is hardly ideal for a relaxing beer in the fresh air. Inside the pub is quite long with a conservatory on the front that was being used mainly by diners that were eating the usual cheap Spoons food that is served until 20:00. There are two banks of six hand pumps on the bar and these were drawing a few guests and the usual stalwarts found in the JDW chain. There is also a standard draught selection and the Guinness was on good form when I finally got served. To say the service was slow would be an understatement and the queue at the bar was excessive when compared to how many people were actually in the pub.

The opening times of this pub are from 9am until midnight everyday.

I thought this place to be an unexceptional Spoons and I’d pop in for a pint if passing, but I wouldn’t go out of my way.

On 14th January 2011 - rating: 6
[User has posted 3932 recommendations about 3908 pubs]


Please Note: This review is over a year old.


Graham Coombs left this review about The Cap in Hand (JD Wetherspoon)

Rare Wetherspoons in a real pub (once the Southborough Arms, not the Ace of Spades as drunkenly remembered {edit - thanks Roger}). Usual range of beers, food etc. Has a large conservatory which is handy for feeding children in, and a quite nice area with sofas. Car park and convenient for A3 (although can't get back on easily southbound).

On 15th October 2010 - rating: 8
[User has posted 2608 recommendations about 2552 pubs]


Please Note: This review is over a year old.


Roger Button left this review about The Cap in Hand (JD Wetherspoon)

When I lived in the area this was a fairly unsavoury pub called the Southborough Arms (it was not the Ace of Spades as previously mentioned – that was the large building next to the petrol station opposite) and anyone remembering it as such could be forgiven for expecting its conversion to a Wetherspoons may not have been the best idea. As it happens (although I should initially point out that my 2 or 3 visits have all been during the daytime before the zombies and vampires arise from the local estates) it is a refreshing example of what a bit of extra effort can do to give a place that bit of extra appeal.

Situated on the busy Hook roundabout on the A3 in a residential area with not much else around bar a few local shops, it isn’t the most obvious setting for a Wetherspoons. The long and narrow interior is nicely laid out with a few screened off areas at one end, a sofa lounge that leads off to the left of the lengthy bar and a conservatory frontage that gives the place a bright and airy feel. The local display snippets were perhaps of more interest to locals than having any great wide audience. Outside are afew benches if uoui can tolerate the traffic and there is also a long, steep and narrow car park which will test a few peoples driving skills.

I have always found an interesting selection of ales here with at least 4 guests regularly available across the 12 pumps and a healthy LocAle participation. My most recent visit found beers from Reigate (Surrey Pilgrim) and Dorking (Dry Hop Gold) as well as guests from Rosters (G.C.B.) in Yorkshire and the more familiar but very good Jennings Cocker Hoop. A folder on a desk near the bar lists all the local breweries and their products and there is also an Ale Suggestions book.
A Brewery visit to Dorking Brewery was also being advertised.

This is a much better ‘Spoons than I would have expected and if I still lived in the area, I would be quite happy having it on my doorstep.

On 15th September 2010 - rating: 7
[User has posted 1239 recommendations about 1233 pubs]