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Pub Of The Month - November 2021 with Thuck Phat on the Pub Forum

The Roebuck, Richmond

Pub added by elizabeth mcgraw
130 Richmond Hill
TW10 6RN

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Pub Type

Taylor Walker (Spirit Pubs)

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

Please Note: This review is over a year old.

Pub SignMan left this review about The Roebuck

This is a really nicely presented gastro pub at the top of Richmond Hill which still manages to cater fairly well for those just wanting to stop in for a drink. The pub has a two bar set-up with a number of separate seating areas created by partitioning walls and screens, which give the place a sense of comfort and cosiness. You enter into the main front bar with a sizeable seating area to the left in what almost feels like a self-contained space with three or four tables hemmed in between the porch and a partitioning wall. The main part of the room is a bare boarded corridor-like space with drinking ledges and high tables served by bar stools. There is a small servery to the rear with a tongue and groove panelled counter, etched glass mirror with an image of the titular roebuck, and a nice canopy lined with what appeared to be old theatre programmes. To the right, hidden by partitioning screens, the room opens out into a carpeted dining area with standard tables and chairs, plain painted walls and some corporate promotional blackboards, plus a fireplace on the end wall with another nice etched glass mirror above it, this time depicting the image of a stag’s head. The left side of the pub is also carpeted and runs beyond the servery into a rear lounge full of banquette and chair seating options under bare brick walls decorated with old black and white photos of the local area. There’s a nice brick fireplace in one corner and as with much of the pub aside from the central ‘corridor’, most people seemed to be eating.
I wasn’t expecting a great deal on the beer front, so was surprised to find a good row of handpulls dispensing Wimbledon Copper Leaf, Greene King Abbot Ale, Downton New Forest Ale, Exeter Avocet Ale, Thameside Wryneck Rye and Ascot 5/4 Favourite along with two real ciders. I took a punt on the 5/4 Favourite, which was in peak condition and easily lasted the distance, yet still left me £4.50 out of pocket.
Despite the clear focus on food, I thought this was a really nice, comfortable pub with a warm, cosy feel to it, making it an ideal pit-stop after the walk up Richmond Hill or a day out in Richmond Park. The varied ale selection added to the pub’s appeal and I’d be more than happy stopping off here again the next time I’m passing by.

On 30th March 2020 - rating: 7
[User has posted 2630 recommendations about 2630 pubs]

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Ian Mapp left this review about The Roebuck

Greene King pub in the GBG.

Enough staff to deal with the hordes of undecided, perusing the options available but clogging the bar.

Mainly setup for dining but a nice row of high stools, with a view over Petersham Meadows. Just had to move the kids trike out the way first.

Beer was very good - perfect Oakham Citra - the colour of which had to be seen to be believed.

On 26th January 2020 - rating: 7
[User has posted 846 recommendations about 838 pubs]

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Bucking Fastard left this review about The Roebuck

This pub offers the classic Turner view from Richmond Hill down over the Thames,magnificent.Don't be put off by the Greene King signage ,there is lots of interest inside.The low ceiling by the entrance gives immediate character and there are lots of nooks and crannies around the interior.All the front windows give great views as will the first floor bar and dining area.The furniture is traditional apart from some high tables close to the two sided bar.The back section has high backed settles,and despite food being available this doesn't dominate and just drinking is fine.
Several handpumps are double clipped and on my visit the options were regulars GK IPA and Abbott with guests Oakham Citra,Downton New Forest Ale,Welton Heatwave,Thames Side Egyptian Goose and Wimbledon SW17 in decent nick.There is also handpumped Old Rosie Cider.
I welcome the fact that rather than infesting the interior with huge corporate menus with food photos,the menu in The Roebuck is a plain sheet of paper with a selection of pub grub staples priced £9-£14 with a median £12 which seems reasonable for such a honey pot site.Muzak was playing at a background level ,there are no flatscreens or fruit machines and there was a friendly welcome behind the bar.It's rightly in the 2019 GBG,is probably the best real ale pub in Richmond and really should be visited when in the area.I will most certainly be back.

On 20th September 2018 - rating: 8
[User has posted 2202 recommendations about 2202 pubs]

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Steve of N21 left this review about The Roebuck

After supping some enjoyable ales by the side of the Thames some of our party questioned the logic of the long climb up Richmond Hill to the Roebuck. Fortunately, I could tempt them by the fact that this pub was awarded CAMRA Branch Pub of the Year 2017 and probably has one of the best views from any pub with the protected World Heritage view of the Thames at this point across the Petersham Meadows.
And yes I agree with the previous reviewer that you shouldn’t be put off by the prominent Greene King plaque outside. GK IPA is a permanent fixture here and for our visit the GK IPA Reserve was available as well. But then the double clipped pumps on the main bar section provided Oakham Citra, two from the Thamesside brewery including White Swan, G2 Brewery Southern Cross and Binghams Citra Summit.
The interior is well described by other reviewers below, but the best thing to do, as long as it is not raining, is to take your pint onto the terrace across the road and enjoy the view.

On 1st May 2018 - rating: 8
[User has posted 1770 recommendations about 1714 pubs]

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Blackthorn _ left this review about The Roebuck

Located slightly away from the town centre towards Richmond Park, first impressions weren’t great with a Greene King sign outside, so I was expecting the usual bland selection of IPA, Abbott Ale and some variety or other of Old Hen. Needs must though, and as this was the last stop before our hotel we ventured in, only to be pleasantly surprised and to find that this is currently Richmond’s Camra branch Pub of the Year as the friendly barman cheerfully explained.

Décor wise it is perhaps a little generic, having no doubt suffered from renovations at some point that removed much of the original character, but it is nonetheless all very inoffensive and certainly not unpleasant. Although essentially all one open plan room, various partitions and pillars created some cosy areas within. Dark wooden flooring was laid down the centre of the pub with carpet off to either side, whilst the paintwork was predominantly cream with dark wood panelling in places. A few old pictures of the locale were dotted around the walls and a small fireplace was off to one side, although it’s a shame that this was not lit and a cold December evening. A smaller room at the rear had a TV screen showing a sports fixture, although we did not investigate this.

Beers on tap were Oakham Citra, Sambrook’s Powerhouse, Surrey Hills’ Sheer Drop, Dark Star Hophead, Wimbledon Copper Leaf and in a token representation of the owner’s own brews, Greene King IPA. Interestingly even this had only been on for about a month after they apparently insisted that the pub carry at least one of their range. Ciders meanwhile were Aspall’s Suffolk and Weston’s Old Rosie.

On 8th December 2017 - rating: 7
[User has posted 1771 recommendations about 1701 pubs]

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John Bonser left this review about The Roebuck

Update – January 2014

I suppose it seems entirely appropriate that my 500th review should be the pub, which for a number of years now, has offered , by some considerable margin, the widest range of real ale in my home town of Richmond and to a good consistent quality, The Roebuck is now part of the Taylor Walker empire, but otherwise my previous review back in May 2009, reproduced below, is still current.

The interior is a bit of a warren of adjoining areas, featuring low ceilings, exposed brickwork and chairs and a few high tables. The walls are decorated with various prints of the local area, mainly of the famous view down to the river from across the road. It’s a pleasant if rather generic pub interior, rather typical of the Taylor Walker style.

A plaque by the front door has a quote attributable to one William Hanes in May 1824, in which he says that “the prospect from the hill is the most enchanting in Europe”. Whilst that’s probably overstating the case, as before, you can expect the pub to be dominated by visitors who have come to Richmond Park and to admire the view down to the river from the terrace across the road.

On my recent early January visit, as many as 9 different beers were on – London Pride, Sambrooks Wandle, Adnams Ghost Ship, Downton Elderquad, White Horse Wayland Smithy, Sunny Republic St Vities Ale and 2 beers from Red Squirrel ( Porter and Hopfest ). Also on was 1730 Ale – a beer specifically brewed by Westerham Brewery for Taylor Walker in recognition of the fact that the original Taylor Walker brewery was founded in 1730. Quaiity of beers sampled was good with the Red Squirrel Porter proving exceptionally moreish.

The pub is in the CAMRA Good Beer Guide for 2014. Management are evidently enthusiastic about real ale with both the GBG sticker and the London Pub Walks poster both prominently displayed in several areas of the pub.

It’s a bit of a trek up the hill from the centre of Richmond, but one I feel that I may be doing a bit less infrequently from now on.

Original review – May 2009

300 year old pub sitting proudly near the top of Richmond Hill on the road leading up from the town centre to the Star and Garter Home and the Richmond Gate entrance to Richmond Park.

Its a former Younger's house - note the small plaque outside with the trademark bearded Scotsman logo detailing the opening hours in those days. It's now part of the Spirit Group empire.

Externally, it's a rather uninspiring looking box-shaped frontage. Internally, it's not unpleasant, with several nooks and crannies and low ceilings, but it has that rather generic chainy feel to it. .

Its principal customer base appears to be those visitors to Richmond who make the trek up the hill to see the famous World Heritage view of Petersham Meadows and the River Thames below, or who alternatively have been visiting Richmond Park. Food is inevitably quite a major focus of the trade

Perhaps surprisingly, its contribution to Richmond's real ale scene is however quite impressive. The presence of stickers in the windows indicating CAMRA GBG listings and a prominently displayed Cask Marque symbol show a pleasing commitment to real ale.

On my recent mid-week afternoon visit, there were 4 beers on - Deuchars IPA, London Pride, Summer Lightning and a beer called Brew Dog Trashy Blonde. The Deuchars IPA - � 2.85p - was spot on. On previous visits, I've had decent Betty Stoggs in here.

Although it's not part of the pub, you're allowed to take your drink ( plastic glasses not required, you'll be pleased to hear ) over the road on to the terrace to admire the view. At the risk of sounding like a local Tourist Guide, there's an information board lower down the hill pointing out the landmarks. It's quite pleasant sitting here in the sunshine, although the sound of the passing traffic is a constant reminder that you're not in the countryside.

Take care crossing the road to and from the pub, particularly if you've had a few !. The traffic can be deceptively speedy.

Given the pub's location, you get the distinct feeling that they don't have to make much effort to get people through the door, but I have to say that I was quite impressed all round on my recent visit.

On 11th January 2014 - rating: 8
[User has posted 560 recommendations about 560 pubs]

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Tom Fairburn left this review about The Roebuck

The Roebuck is a splendid pub atop Richmond Hill, and a "stones" throw away from the glorious Richmond Park. What a salubrious location! My friend Len who's lucky enough to have this fantastic pub as his 'local' says: "It's one of the best pubs in London!"....because the beer selection is quite good, and the views out over the River Thames are something to behold! Try it, you'll like it! If you can make the marathon climb up Richmond Hill...or preferrably get a cab up the hill, or get dropped off there. This pub also has some celebrity neighbours (which I won't go into just now...come along and find out)! TJ

On 11th July 2013 - rating: 7
[User has posted 78 recommendations about 59 pubs]

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Rex Rattus left this review about The Roebuck

The ales on during my visit were Downton Elderquad, Butcombe Merry Spring, London Pride and Purity Mad Goose. I went for the Mad Goose which was in the region of £3.40 a pint. It seems that the interesting ale selection reported by other visitors is a continuing feature. This is now a Taylor Walker branded pub, so the usual pubco style menu is available.
The pub is a lot bigger inside than it appears from the outside, stretching around and beyond the central bar counter. The windows at the front are quite small, and as they are the only source of natural light, make most of pub fairly gloomy. However, if you can bag a table at the front by the windows you are treated to the most spectacular view down the River Thames. It must be dog friendly, judging by the water bowl in the corner at the end of the bar counter. The location of this pub is great, but inside I thought it was much like any Punch pubco pub – but hats off for the ale selection though.

On 5th June 2011 - rating: 7
[User has posted 2592 recommendations about 2506 pubs]

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Malden man left this review about The Roebuck

A bit of a schlep up the hill, but certainly worth it for the spectacular view of the bend in The River Thames below. A big pub with the squarish bar set in the middle. Essentially one large space but there are several nooks and crannies, and a side area and the section behind the bar have the feeling of being individual rooms. Partly carpeted and part wooden floored, mixed seating, benches, settles, standard chairs and a few high tables with stools. Some exposed brickwork, and some wood panelling, the rear area has a brick fireplace and a stained glass window. The TV is here too, showing the cricket yesterday. Fruit machine and an ATM are available, rather spoiling the ambiance I thought, but I suppose it would be a nuisance to go down the hill and back again if you ran short of cash!
The beer choice was a bit different apart from the Pride, Traditional Scottish Ales Spring Mists, Beer Rocks Spring Crazy...had to Google this, made by the Brew Dog people, and Saltaire Cascade Pale Ale, made in the style of a USA craft beer. A good little line up there and well kept too. £3.08 is not that bad for these parts.

On 18th March 2010 - rating: 8
[User has posted 1690 recommendations about 1664 pubs]

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john mcgraw left this review about The Roebuck

Fairly comfortable pub on top of Richmond Hill.Is a bit "foody" but has 4 real ales on which was all in very good condition which makes this pub well worth the walk up Richmond Hill ( if you dont fancy this long walk you can get a No 65 bus and get off at The Rose Of York and walk up through the park).You can take your drink across the road for a stunning World Heritage view of the river Thames.very friendly and informative staff

On 20th February 2008 - rating: 10
[User has posted 2044 recommendations about 2025 pubs]