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Submitted on Tuesday, 3rd November 2009
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Druids Head, Kingston Riverside, Kingston Upon Thames

3 Market Place
Kingston Upon Thames
Phone: 02085460723
Correct details

Pub Type

Greene King

Served areas

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

Please Note: This review is over a year old.

Rex Rattus left this review about Druids Head

I dropped in here on Monday afternoon for some necessary refreshment following a shopping expedition to Kingston. There were three ales on - GKIPA, Abbot, and Belhaven Robert Burns, with Bath Gem "coming soon". That's a decent guest ale in a Greene King pub. A standard pub grub menu was available, with a burger and chips at £7.95 a pop.

Looking at the frontage, it's clear that two properties have been knocked into one to form this pub. It's larger that it seems, with it going back a long way, and with a "beer garden" on the right. The front portion of the room has a red tiled floor, with the remainder being bare-boarded. Furnishings are the usual pubco mix - tall tables with tall stools, banquettes, and some normal tables and chairs. I didn't spot any sofas, but I suppose there might have been one or two lurking in some nook or cranny. There's an exposed brickwork fireplace past the bar counter, and that other upmarket pubco favourite of some glazed-in shelving containing wine bottles opposite it, with more wine bottles on shelves in the bar back. The upstairs bar is reached via a stairway to the front of the pub, but I didn't venture up there.

This is a corporate pubco pub, with all the staff wearing black the regulation shirts as they do, that could be on any high street. However, it's still one of the better pubs in central Kingston, and is a jolly useful retreat if you're in Kingston town centre for any reason. I'm sure that I'll find myself in here again sometime.

On 22nd January 2013 - rating: 5
[User has posted 2599 recommendations about 2513 pubs]

Please Note: This review is over a year old.

Pub SignMan left this review about Druids Head

This is a large Greene King pub (formerly a Hogshead) at the southern end of Kingston's market square. Two front doors offer access to either the main bar to the left or a smaller, snug-like bar on the right. The left hand entrance takes you into a large room with wooden flooring and the bar counter running along the right hand wall. There's a limited amount of seating at the front opposite the servery, but the room opens out to the rear where there are plenty of extra tables and chairs. This rear area is split level and the upper half is carpeted with some plush sofas and a nice fireplace, making for a fairly enticing place to take a seat, although the modern decor belies the fact that this is Kingston's oldest pub. From here you can head back to the front of the pub via the small snug. There is also a door to a large beer garden here which has its fair share of bench seating.
There were five beers on the handpumps when I visited - Greene King IPA and Abbot Ale, Ruddles, Old Speckled Hen and Hardy & Hanson Kimberley Bitter. I gave the latter a try and, having put up with the brusque barmaid, found that it was well past its best. There were plenty of menus dotted around the pub which I had a good nose through. I thought their food sounded pretty good and the menu certainly looked a lot more interesting than the one in the other nearby Greene King pub, The Ram.
I was a little let down by this place, which tempted me with the prospect of a nice historical interior but actually serves up a rather bland drinking experience. I think I'd enjoy this place more as somewhere to eat and even for a quick drink it would serve a purpose, but I wouldn't want to spend too long in here. And I didn't find the Jerome K Jerome inscription either!

On 30th September 2011 - rating: 5
[User has posted 2813 recommendations about 2813 pubs]

Please Note: This review is over a year old.

John Bonser left this review about Druids Head

Near a corner of Kingston’s Market Place is The Druids Head, a former Hogshead pub, but now one of many up and down the country that has fallen into the clutches of the acquisitive Greene King.

We learn, from the printed menu, that The Druids Head is Kingston’s oldest pub and has been a coaching house and pub since the mid 1600’s. It’s now a Grade 2 listed building. Jerome K Jerome has apparently passed through and left an inscription on one of the windows, although, despite searching with my usual enthusiastic endeavour, I failed to spot it. The Druids Head is now the only pub in the Market Place – CAMRA’s Kingston Pub Guide confirms that, as we probably expected, this was certainly not the case in bygone times.

Externally, it looks as though it’s formerly two separate buildings and this opinion is reinforced by the existence of a small snug bar with its own separate street entrance. Service here is summoned by a bell on the hatch counter, but in practice, most people appear to use the main entrance further down and walk through. This snug bar is not particularly snug – it hasn’t entirely escaped the ravages of modernisation as several tall tables testify- but there’s some comfortable upholstered fixed seating under the window.

The main bar is a split level lounge. The bar counter is set back a bit inside, accessed through a quarry tiled lobby with some exposed brickwork and up several steps. It’s a fairly typical pub interior – a mixture of tables, chairs and sofas and various drinking areas. This would appear to be the newer part of the pub, although several seemingly fake vertical wooden beams try to disguise this. In one corner, a smallish TV is relatively unobtrusive by modern noise levels.

What would appear to be the original stabling yard at the back is now an outside seating area with a covered smoking shelter.

There’s an upstairs bar with additional seating, accessed up an old staircase, the walls of which are wood panelled and have several evocative large framed photos of Kingston in a bygone era. This upstairs bar was not open for service on my recent visit, but, in any event, there’s no handpumps for the real ale.

Pleasingly, management here appear to be enthusiastic about real ale and make full use of guest beers made available to them by Greene King. In addition to the standard GK range, Keltek Golden Lance and Eggs B Bateman were on and both found to be in good condition. Dales Ales Golden Daffodil had been on a few days previously. London Drinker is stocked and the pub was advertising the forthcoming Kingston Beer Festival ( next week as I write ) . The pub has made the 2011 CAMRA Good Beer Guide.

It’s not exactly a glowing endorsement – in fact it’s somewhat depressing – but this is probably your best bet for a decent pint in traditional surroundings in Kingston’s central area.

On 9th May 2011 - rating: 7
[User has posted 560 recommendations about 560 pubs]

View more reviews of Druids Head (4)
External web links for Druids Head

No known official website for this pub.

Pub location see interactive map of local area
Map location corrected by Malden man
Kingston, 0.4 miles, 7 min walk (show)
Hampton Wick, 0.59 miles, 11 min walk (show)
Norbiton, 1.15 miles, 22 min walk (show)
Latest updates View all updates for Druids Head, Kingston Upon Thames
21st May 2020, 18:44
Picture submitted by adam bell approved
21st May 2020, 15:08
Picture submitted by adam bell

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.

  • Function Room : Yes - According to Facebook page - last updated 21 July 2015 by Dave McNally
  • Real Ale : Yes last updated 29 July 2013 by Dave McNally
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