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Submitted on Sunday, 6th March 2011
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The Wattenden Arms, Kenley

Old Lodge Lane
Phone: 02086604926
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Reviews of The Wattenden Arms (Average Rating: of 10) Add Review see review guidelines

Please Note: This review is over a year old.

Pub SignMan left this review about The Wattenden Arms

Croydon is one of London's biggest boroughs, but despite this, and the fact that it's on the periphery of Greater London, this is the only truly rural pub it can lay claim to. It's best reached by car, although if you're feeling energetic it can be walked cross-country from bus stops near Coulsdon Common to the West or Whyteleafe to the East. The pub is also close to a section of the London Loop long distance path and both Coulsdon and Kenley Commons, so walkers (and their dogs) are a part of their target market. Once you've arrived, you find yourself in a fairly typical countryside pub with an L shaped layout which sees the bar area to the front and a well defined dining area over on the left hand side and to the rear. The dark wood servery has a pillar dividing it about two-thirds of the way down, presumably where a dividing wall once separated the bar from the restaurant. There is a U-shaped padded banquette with Union Jack scatter cushions and low stools opposite the bar, whilst a small seating area to the right offers a couple more tables in front of a small fireplace with a TV screen above, not in use on this visit. The dining room area is filled with lots of standard tables and chairs and had a TV screen showing The Great British Bake-Off. The whole pub has an attractive grapevine frieze running around it and the light fittings are set in large decorative roses which look very impressive. There are quite a lot of aviation themed photos on the walls, many of which relate to the nearby Kenley Aerodrome which you can go and walk around nowadays. A large propeller looks grand suspended from one of the beams in the restaurant.
There are five handpulls on the bar, one of which was out of action whilst another was dispensing a real cider, leaving three for Harvey's Best, St Austell Tribute (£3.05) and Greene King IPA. The Tribute was in pretty good condition and went down nicely after a long uphill slog to get here from Whyteleafe. The barmaid and waitressing staff were all very friendly and enjoyed some good banter with their customers. Food comes courtesy of the Stonegate group's usual menu and seemed very popular with pretty much everyone in the pub eating except me.
Whilst I don't doubt that the pub is a shadow of its former self, I'm not sure it's quite the disaster that the previous review paints it to be and whilst visiting mid-week probably helped, I wouldn't be adverse to a return visit, just so long as someone's prepared to drive me there next time.

On 24th August 2014 - rating: 6
[User has posted 2605 recommendations about 2605 pubs]

Please Note: This review is over a year old.

Nick Davies left this review about The Wattenden Arms

Update: All much the same as 2010 account below. On weekend lunchtimes the screaming kid count is lower in an average McDonald's
August 2010 review:

Now a routine example of M&B's supposedly unbranded "Community" brand, it could be, and once was, so much better, winning the Evening Standard Pub of the Year award around 25 years ago. Things have changed now, and it's run down and tired, as are much of the clientele by the looks of them. It does retain many original features, including the thick layer of stickiness everywhere which must have been there as long as some of the customers. On the upside, there's much interesting RAF memorabilia due to the Battle of Britain airfield nearby.

It does remain remarkably popular, I suppose it still trades on its former reputation, and the semi-rural location in a very underpubbed area helps. The food is M&B's bottom of the market menu, Brake Brothers at their grottiest, and the beer range routine, Pride, Young's Ordinary, Tribute all in poor condition the other day.

This pub could be a cracker again if M&B got a grip and just cleaned it up a bit and installed some decent management, but I don't see that happening somehow.

On 30th October 2011 - rating: 3
[User has posted 536 recommendations about 528 pubs]

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Pub location see interactive map of local area
Map location is best guess
Whyteleafe, 1.55 miles, 29 min walk (show)
Upper Warlingham, 1.65 miles, 31 min walk (show)
Whyteleafe South, 2.04 miles, 39 min walk (show)
Latest updates View all updates for The Wattenden Arms, Kenley
24th Aug 2014, 21:40
Review submitted by Pub SignMan
25th Jun 2014, 11:19
Request to add pub to area Kenley Village by Nick Davies approved

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 25 June 2014 by ROB Camra
  • Bar Billiards : No last updated 25 June 2014 by ROB Camra
  • Beer Festivals : No last updated 25 June 2014 by ROB Camra
  • Beer Garden : Yes last updated 24 August 2014 by Pub SignMan
  • CAMRA Discount : No last updated 25 June 2014 by ROB Camra
  • Car Park : Yes last updated 25 June 2014 by ROB Camra
  • Child Friendly : Yes last updated 25 June 2014 by ROB Camra
  • Dog Friendly : Yes last updated 25 June 2014 by ROB Camra
  • Hot Food : Yes last updated 29 July 2013 by Dave McNally
  • Live Music : Yes - Occasional - last updated 25 June 2014 by ROB Camra
  • Pinball : No last updated 24 August 2014 by Pub SignMan
  • Pool Table : No last updated 24 August 2014 by Pub SignMan
  • Real Ale : Yes last updated 29 July 2013 by Dave McNally
  • Real Cider : No last updated 25 June 2014 by ROB Camra
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