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The Watchman (JD Wetherspoon), New Malden

High Street
New Malden

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Pub Type

J D Wetherspoon

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 Watchman (JD Wetherspoon)

This is a good sized modern Wetherspoons located on a landmark roundabout in an attractive old brick building. The pub has many seating areas , including a rather dim front space, the large open-plan bar area, a rear carpeted room and a very unusual narrow strip hidden behind the bar, where a row or banquette booths run next to a narrow walkway. The bar area is particularly large and extends into a space further back, past the bar, where there’s a kitchen serving hatch. The bar has a nice modern counter, complete with shiny metal top and smart bar back, and there is ample high table and stool seating opposite with regular tables and chairs further back and low-backed banquette booths around much of the perimeter. Additional banquettes can be found in the gloomy front part of the pub, where a lack of natural light makes this perhaps the least appealing space. Meanwhile, the rear room has a large skylight, so is pretty bright and airy, decorated with photos and fancy lamps. Much of the pub has been painted in quite striking colours or else has traditional wood panelling, with plenty of modern art on display and some of the new style of ‘Spoons information boards. There’s a patio garden to the rear and down part of the side of the pub, with limited garden furniture and shelter. Perhaps a unique ‘Spoons feature is the glass wall behind the servery, where you can see all of the casks and kegs racked up.
On the bar, the three regular ‘Spoons ales were complimented by four or five guest beers, from which I tried the Hop Union Moose River for £2.29. I was served by a very polite barman and found the beer to be in good condition, although this was one of the hottest days on record, so anything would’ve probably slipped down well. There was a very large crowd in, making for a nice buzz on a late Saturday afternoon.
I’ve been past this place on the bus hundreds of times, but was glad I took the time to jump off and check it out, as it’s a pretty good example of a well run, more modern Wetherspoons. There were several decent seating spaces, all quite distinct from each other, a good selection of well-kept beer and pleasant service, all of which is pretty good going by ‘Spoons standards, marking this out as one of the chain’s better branches.

On 28th November 2022 - rating: 7
[User has posted 3114 recommendations about 3114 pubs]

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Quinno _ left this review about The Watchman (JD Wetherspoon)

A newish Spoons in an old building (converted police station) and quite tastefully decorated in blue/grey/off-white shades alongside a rather nice set of modern Art Deco influenced doors as well as a display case with various bottles within. Quite light and airy inside with large windows and a skylight above the bar. Two banks of seven pumps with an impressive amount of non-standard ales and only one of them was unavailable, though a lot these were form Westerham so perhaps not quite a thrilling a selection as it initially looked. Went for a Dark Star Partridge (good) and a Westerham Grasshopper (fair). A decent JDW, this one.

On 4th July 2016 - rating: 7
[User has posted 5072 recommendations about 5055 pubs]

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Just a quick pint, then I'm off left this review about The Watchman (JD Wetherspoon)

Old building, but with a substantial rear extension. Attractive modern furniture and decor in the various seating areas (which include a row of 'hidden' booths behind the bar). Two side terraces, one of which is designated for non-smokers (a feature I certainly appreciated). Total of 14 handpumps, and even allowing for two duplicates and four 'available soon's, there was still a reasonable selection at the expected good prices (e.g. my pint of the seasonal Banks's Lions Roar at £2.35).

On 13th July 2014 - rating: 7
[User has posted 8086 recommendations about 8086 pubs]

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Aqualung . left this review about The Watchman (JD Wetherspoon)

This is a rare thing in London nowadays, a new Spoons.
It's the second one I've been to that is a converted cop shop and it could not be more different from the Eva Hart at Chadwell Heath. They've gone for a modern look with an overall colour scheme of blue and off white.
There is plenty of natural light and the Island bar mentioned previously is unusual. I did notice one of those old radiators near where I sat and as it appeared to be connected up I can only assume it is used in winter. I find this strange as the whole place is air-conditioned which presumably blows out warm air if it's cold. Maybe it's a relic from the original building.

The beer selection was not that great as many of the pumps were taken up with festival Ciders, but the Old Hooky (£2.29) was in good nick.

On 27th July 2013 - rating: 7
[User has posted 2143 recommendations about 2143 pubs]

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Malden man left this review about The Watchman (JD Wetherspoon)

The Watchman is unusual to me for a JDW as it seems that a considerable amount of original thought has gone into the interior design. The emphasis is clearly on straight lines and cube shapes, it all feels a mix of very modern and retro 70's. The old three storey fairly austere Police station has been extended substantially to the rear to provide an extensive area, like many pubs of the brand, but it is not the usual barn. Changes in furnishings and seating types as well as dividing screens effectively make the pub feel like it has several distinct areas, not least the front corner and the "secret" area behind the bar where a series of booth/train carriage style seats are situated with a view through a glass screen to the beers racked up. This would be the spot to sit if you didn't want to be seen by the casual visitor.
To the rear is another unusual feature, an open servery with a full view into the kitchen.
The beer range this afternoon was pretty good with a number of guests on, certainly better than when I stuck my head in on the opening day. I sampled a couple from Triple fff which were in good shape. It's still very busy, the kitchen was doing a roaring trade in Sunday roasts.
A good addition to the pretty meagre local scene, I do however hope that the pub's clear popularity right now is partly due to it's initial novelty value and that it will not cause terminal harm to other local pubs.
A notable point is the memorial garden to the front left of the pub in memory of a Constable Atkins who was shot in the line of duty back in 1881.

On 22nd April 2012 - rating: 7
[User has posted 1707 recommendations about 1681 pubs]

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john mcgraw left this review about The Watchman (JD Wetherspoon)

Went in today and found that this was quite a light and airy Wetherspoon's which makes a change from the usual dark and dingy pubs that we expect from Tim Martin.As previously stated there were 14 handpumps available but this time there were a very good selection of real ales.The Hophead was in top form and although I did not have time to try any more I am sure they would have been just as good.Looks like this pub may take a lot of trade from the Fountain which is opposite.I have also noticed that this pub has been placed in New Malden Central.Never heard of the place.It's in New Malden.

On 19th April 2012 - rating: 7
[User has posted 2044 recommendations about 2025 pubs]

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Rex Rattus left this review about The Watchman (JD Wetherspoon)

This is a brand new Wetherspoons that opened today. As is usually the case with this chain this is another conversion, this one from a long closed red brick police station. They’ve extended from the original building back over the old station car park, so this is a large pub even by ‘spoons standards. It’s everything you expect from a ‘spoons – rows of modern but fairly comfortable tables and chairs, some chunky tall tables/stools, the usual pub grub, and of course cheap beer. The design is a bit unusual, with the bar counter on the left as you enter using the old police station entrance on the High St, but with some booth seating behind the servery thus making it an island bar. Unusual for a new build. Other items of note are the predominance of blue, including the upholstery and a large swathe of the floor in front of the bar counter, no doubt by way of remembering the previous occupants of the building, and the large skylight in front of the bar counter letting in some welcome natural light. Behind the servery there is a large glass panel through which one can see the casks of ale where they are racked. By the side of the building is a terrace with some tables and chairs, which some wag has ambitiously named “The Parade Beer Garden”
There were two banks of seven handpumps on the counter. The usual GK offerings were there of course, and of the rest I reckoned that the Ringwood Old Thumper and Jenning’s Sneck Lifter (£2.45 a pint) were the best bets. I have to say that I didn’t think that the choice was particularly good for somewhere with fourteen handpumps available, but the Sneck Lifter was excellent. The place was very busy when I was in at lunchtime, but I guess the typical numbers might have been swollen by those (like me) who wanted to try out a new pub on its first day. At one stage they stopped taking food orders, presumably because the kitchen couldn’t cope with demand. It will be interesting to see what it’s like on a “normal” day. It’s inevitable that I will pay repeat visits to a pub so close to where I live.

On 10th April 2012 - rating: 5
[User has posted 2606 recommendations about 2520 pubs]