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Picture of The Surprise
Image posted by Rex Rattus
Submitted on Wednesday, 13th April 2011
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The Surprise, Chelsea, SW3

6 Christchurch Terrace
Phone: 02073516954
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Reviews of The Surprise (Average Rating: 5 of 10) Add Review see review guidelines

Please Note: This review is over a year old.

Rex Rattus left this review about The Surprise

This pub is apparently named after the ship that took King Charles II into exile in France back in the middle of the 17th Century. Odd, the things people name pubs after. The Surprise has recently re-opened after being closed for about five years. Before its closure it was the nearest thing to a traditional pub in these parts, but alas no longer. In effect it’s a restaurant, with the space crammed with tables all laid for diners, although there was a sofa near the fireplace on the left. The usual pastel shades are much in evidence, and the main decorative feature looked to be the Dali-esque picture (featuring a ship of course) above the fireplace. The exterior decor is also fairly minimalist, but with the cafe style awnings surrounding the pub.
But although it’s essentially a restaurant now, there were three handpumps on the bar. Two of them bore Doom Bar and Young’s Bitter clips, but had signs hanging over the pumps announcing that they were “on a short break”. Nothing so common as reversing the pump clips here. The third pump had on an ale brewed in celebration of the forthcoming nuptials of Prince William and Kate Middleton, Windsor Knot brewed by the Windsor and Eton Brewery. This turned out to be an excellent ale (at £3.55 a pint) and will probably turn out to be my beer of the week. Also, I was offered the choice of a straight glass or jug, a practice that seems to be coming more common these days, and is to be applauded as it acknowledges customer choice.
The barman was chatty and friendly, and the beer was excellent, but I have to say that it didn’t feel very comfortable or relaxing sitting on a stool at the bar (seemingly the only option for someone just wanting a drink) with the hustle and bustle of a busy restaurant going on around me. Perhaps it would have been more comfortable had I visited during the middle of the afternoon rather than at lunchtime. It certainly seems to be a thriving business as it was packed with diners during my Wednesday lunchtime visit. It’s in a very picturesque Chelsea backwater, and is probably worth a punt to anyone wanting to escape from the Kings Road. But I expect that if I visit again it will probably to have a meal, as a restaurant that does decent ale is certainly something worth having.

On 15th April 2011 - rating: 5
[User has posted 2577 recommendations about 2495 pubs]

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Pub location see interactive map of local area
Map location corrected by Rex Rattus
London Victoria, 1.17 miles, 22 min walk (show)
London Victoria, 1.17 miles, 22 min walk (show)
Battersea Park, 1.25 miles, 24 min walk (show)
Latest updates View all updates for The Surprise, SW3
21st May 2019, 22:17
Web Link submitted by Tris C approved
21st May 2019, 02:05
Web Link submitted by Tris C

Pub Details

Pub details supplied by members of this site to the best of their knowledge. Please check with pub directly before making a special trip.

  • Accommodation : No last updated 06 November 2019 by Tris C
  • Car Park : No last updated 06 November 2019 by Tris C
  • Child Friendly : Yes last updated 06 November 2019 by Tris C
  • Hot Food : Yes last updated 06 November 2019 by Tris C
  • Karaoke : No last updated 06 November 2019 by Tris C
  • Micropub : No last updated 06 November 2019 by Tris C
  • Pinball : No last updated 06 November 2019 by Tris C
  • Pool Table : No last updated 06 November 2019 by Tris C
  • Real Ale : Yes - Young's. - last updated 06 November 2019 by Tris C
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