KINGS ROAD - PART II
Tuesday 6th June 1995
Those of you with reasonable memories may recall that there was a Kings Road Part I trip last August. The circular (and indeed the title) alluded to the fact that there would be at least one more part, well your patience has been rewarded, here at last is the second and I expect final part. As the trial run took place even before the first main trip, please allow for some deapartures from the descriptions. Let's hope that the pubs are still there! Due to the distance from Sloane Square to where we would start to cover new ground from the first trip I have included two landmarks from that visit (anyway only four of us went on it so should any others join us it will be all new). Simplest access to the Kings Road is from the Sloane Square end and I would recommend arriving via Sloane Sq. tube, buses are likely to be slow in the rush hour. On emerging from the station turn right and you will see pub number 1 on the North side of the square. It's probably easiest to use the crossing at the start of Cliveden Place just round the corner. Approximate leaving times are shown in [ ].
1. The Royal Court Tavern - 8 Sloane Square SW1 [18.30]
Charrington Bass, IPA, Worthington Best; Ruddles County; Hancocks HB.
As before the range of beers may well be different since all but one had changed in the six weeks between trials one and two. A large popular estabishment attached to the Royal Court Hotel. Has a main bar by the entrances and a seating area at the back with a food counter, but no sign of service in the evening. Affords good views of the traffic jams in the square, especially as the windows slide open sideways for increased ventilation (fumes). Can get quite busy due to residents using the bar (how dare they) and from those attending The Royal Court Theatre. On leaving, turn right and keep on the North side of the square, cross the side road then round to the West side, cross the minor road and turn right along Kings Rd. There is a bit of a trek down to our second port of call. We do pass a couple of "popular" pubs, but they proved noisy and unsuitable on the trial. Sorry about the walk, you could hop on a bus (other side of the road), but in any event continue along until opposite the town hall there is a right hand turn into Sydney Street. Just down on the right is ...
2. The Wellesley Arms - 70 Sydney Street SW3 [19.15]
Courage Directors, Best; John Smiths Bitter; Wadworth 6X.
This was formerly a Watney's pub which although closed on the first trial had miraculously re-opened by the time of the second a few weeks later. It is now a Clifton Inns (i.e. Grand Met) and underwent a tasteful refurbishment last July. It is a cosy street corner hostelry, with seats outside as well as a comfortable U-shaped bar area inside, again with plenty of seats. Pleasant and light at the front or suitably sombre and woody further in. Festooned with military memorabilia - bugles, medals, paintings, bodies (shurely customers - Ed.) etc. On leaving walk back along Sydney St. cross over Kings Rd, then next left to Oakley St. Turn left into Margaretta Terrace which consists of an elongated square with trees down the centre and both sides (there is a reason for this, see later). At the end on the left is ...
3. The Phene Arms - 9 Phene Street SW3 [20.00]
Ruddles County & Best; Adnams Bitter.
Pleasant and popular pub in posh residential area comprising a small one bar drinking area with a separate restaurant. Retains an island bar from the original 1854 premises. There is also a large, busy garden area at the front. Note the nicely decorated alcove with a plaque dedicated to John Samuel Phene LLD FSA who is credited with introducing the planting of trees to suburban streets (see above). Mixture of filthy rich and down-at-heel clientele, (sometimes including George Best apparently). Cross the bottom of the terrace and turn right into Oakley St. Up to Kings Rd and across and to the left is ...
4. The Cadogan Arms Tavern - 298 Kings Road SW3 [20.45]
Courage Directors & Best.
Old-fashioned style pub although on the site of a former much older one (Rose and Crown). Large rambling hostelry with low oak-beamed ceilings. Quite busy with the main seating area at the front, raised area round the bar and a dining area to the rear with more seating obviously. Note the antiques, ships beams, wicker bath chair and various old guns. The loos and pool table (no connection) are upstairs. Turn right along Kings Rd and in a short while you will encounter ...
5. The Man in the Moon - 392 Kings Road SW3 [21.30]
Courage Directors; Wadworth 6X; John Smiths Bitter.
Now a former Clifton Inns pub. This has one sizeable bar area on the ground floor and apparently had a wine bar downstairs and a theatre upstairs, but we could not confirm this (drunk already?). There is a central island bar, splendid high ceilings, traditional mirrors along one side and the original Man in the Moon etched glass windows along two of the other sides. It is a corner of the street establishment with Chelsea Park Gardens to the West. Not unduly busy, but has a loud juke-box. Now turn right and continue round the slight kink in the road and on the corner of Limerston St is ...
6. The Magpie and Stump - 442 Kings Road SW10 [22.15 or whenever]
Tetley Bitter; Greene King IPA.
Still not entirely certain about this one (an alternative is mentioned below). Run by the former manager of the Goat in Boots by Euston Tower hence the inclusion. Narrow street corner pub with a downstairs games room. Quite busy, but has an outside drinking area (the pavement) also covered by the licence. However this was also packed. It may be worth investigating The Water Rat diagonally back across the Kings Road at no. 383. That also completes the trip. I would suggest taking one of the many buses heading East back to Sloane Square. It's a fair old walk otherwise!
Survey details: Trial run Monday 19th July 1994; participants - John Wright & Edmund Featherstone.
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