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Picture of The Royal Oak
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Submitted on Thursday, 1st March 2012
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The Royal Oak, Isleworth

128 Worton Road
Phone: 02085602906
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Reviews of The Royal Oak (Average Rating: 4 of 10) Add Review see review guidelines

Please Note: This review is over a year old.

John Bonser left this review about The Royal Oak


Fullers have now "improved" this pub, which sadly means that the previous review by Rex ( and mine from July 2011 - see below ) is now largely irrelevant.

Following an extensive refurbishment and a few months closure, Fullers have reopened this as a "Pub and Dining House". Gone is the screening and etched glasswork and all the miscellaneous bric a brac, photos, prints and miniature bottles with them. We now have the usual pastel colours in the main bar area, including the former dark brown wood panelling, and spotlights on the ceiling. There's the usual mix of high circular tables and chairs and more comfortable seating - but it's a featureless interior that could be almost anywhere.

At the far end, we now have a dedicated 50 seater restaurant, rather oddly referred to as the "Dining Studio".

The outside seating area by the river has been smartened up, but the hard wooden high benches don't encourage one to linger.

One slightly positive addition is that a new area has been brought into use - on the right hand side as you go in, we have a "Rugby Snug" with a few old rugby photos and prints, but it's rather small and not particularly user friendly. A Harlequins flag still flies from the rooftop, so they're still trying to keep the rugby connection obviously, but it wouldn't be my first choice for watching a game.

The inevitable single sheet rolled up paper menus are now on every table - prices seem ambitious for the area - much more Islington than Isleworth. Laughably, on what I think was its first Sunday, prominent notices everywhere told us that the pub's credit card machine was out of action. With lots of family groups in having Sunday lunch and experiencing the newly reopened pub for the first time, this could be described as unfortunate to put it mildly.

5 beers were on - Pride, ESB, Seafarers, Red Fox and, as a guest, Black Sheep. The London Pride was a stonking £ 4.00p, which did little to improve my mood.

I can't see myself coming here again in a hurry


The Royal Oak has a residential side street location beside The Duke of Northumberland’s River in Isleworth (which, for those who have seen it is more like a stream than a proper river).

As we enter the pub through the main lounge bar entrance, an unusual lobby with a large mat welcomes us with the message “Oh no, not you again”.

The main bar area has much wood panelling and, with its low ceilings and little natural light, has a cosy, but rather dark feel to it. There’s an extensive collection of miniature bottles in glass cases and a few shelves of special edition Fullers branded glasses that the landlord has assimilated over the years. The ceiling is decorated with some framed Fullers award certificates and, reflecting the proximity of Twickenham, there’s the inevitable framed rugby match tickets. Some framed photographs on the walls bear no obvious connection to the pub – eg – Leek Cricket Second XI 1937, Wallington Grange Players. Seating consists of comfortable traditional chairs with dark wooden tables.

In the middle of the room are some dark wooden partitions with etched glass, which does reduce the available floor area somewhat. The odd positioning of these partitions makes us wonder as to the original layout of the bars. In the adjoining room – a larger room with several TV screens, but similar in style and décor to the main room – we see the framed drawings of the original pub layout in Victorian times, from which we learn that the pub dates back to 1843.

An outside seating area overlooks the river (or stream, if you prefer). Part of this area consists of a covered marquee – style area, which I gather can be used for functions. A pub sign in a willow tree here depicts a king, which I presume is supposed to be a reference to King Charles II hiding in an oak tree after the Battle of Worcester in 1651, where he took refuge from the Roundheads.

The Royal Oak is a Fullers tenancy (one suspects Fullers would have “improved” the pub by now were it in their Managed Houses division) which, on my recent Sunday lunchtime visit, was offering Pride, Chiswick, ESB and Front Row. I’ve seen the occasional monthly guest beer in here that Fullers tenancies are allowed to take ( eg – Butcombe Bitter ), but, on my last two visits, it’s just been the standard Fullers range. The Pride - £ 3.40p – is usually reasonable – but the pub hasn’t made the CAMRA Beer Guide for some years now.

I’ve always had mixed views about this pub which, incidentally, when it was in the Guide, was described as a “real gem”. It’s quite a cosy and characterful pub, but it always seems desperately quiet and short of custom and there doesn’t appear to be much, if anything, in the way of a regular customer base. In addition (and perhaps this explains the previous comment), there never seems to be anyone behind the bar showing any real interest or enthusiasm, or looking like they’re running the show. I also suspect that this pub suffers from its proximity to the splendid Red Lion in nearby Linkfield Road, which I reviewed a couple of days ago.

In conclusion, The Royal Oak is by no means the worst pub in Isleworth by any stretch of the imagination, but it could be a lot better than it is

On 21st October 2014 - rating: 4
[User has posted 560 recommendations about 560 pubs]

Please Note: This review is over a year old.

Rex Rattus left this review about The Royal Oak

Having been spurred into action by the previous reviewers remarks, I decided to attempt to remedy my lack of reviewing dedication and paid my first visit to this pub on Wednesday afternoon. It’s a Fullers’s pub so I was not surprised to see pumps with London Pride, Chiswick, ESB and Gale’s Butser clips on them. I was, however, surprised to be told once I had made my selection that only the Pride was on. This is not good by Fuller’s standards. To make matters worse the Pride was pretty much undrinkable. All in all a poor performance beer-wise. There was a limited menu on the table – sarnies were mainly £2.95 and main course mainly (no pun) £5.95. These are quite reasonable prices in fact.

The pub itself I rather liked as it had a distinctly “pubby” feel to it. It has a low ceiling laced with beams; some original, probably inter-war wood panelling on the walls; some screening remaining which would probably at one time have divided the pub into separate rooms; and a bit of etched glasswork. There are a couple of attractive fireplaces, one with a gas fire alight, plus masses of miscellaneous bric-a-brac, prints, photographs and the like on the walls and all over the place. The ceiling even sported more prints and the like, as well as some certificates awarded to the pub and publican. This is a comfortable and interesting pub, with only normal tables and chairs, and a good quality clean carpet on the floor. The outside seating next to the small river is a nice touch.

If it wasn’t for the woeful beer situation on the day I visited I would have recommended this pub highly. I reckon I was unlucky enough to have hit it on a very bad day – even the best of pubs have them now and then – and I’ll try to give it another chance sometime.

On 29th September 2012 - rating: 4
[User has posted 2606 recommendations about 2520 pubs]

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Pub location see interactive map of local area
Map location corrected by hondo .
Isleworth, 0.71 miles, 13 min walk (show)
Hounslow, 1.18 miles, 22 min walk (show)
St Margarets (London), 1.67 miles, 32 min walk (show)
Latest updates View all updates for The Royal Oak, Isleworth
26th Sep 2016, 14:00
Pub map correction submitted by hondo . approved
26th Sep 2016, 14:00
Pub map correction submitted by hondo .

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.

  • Beer Garden : Yes last updated 13 July 2011 by hondo .
  • Real Ale : Yes last updated 13 July 2011 by hondo .
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