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Kings Head, Norwich

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user reviews of the Kings Head, Norwich

please note - reviews on this site are purely the opinion of site visitors, so don't take them too seriously.

Excellent local with 9 beers on draught as well as a cider. Taster offered if you do not know your choice. A large selection of continental bottled beers, mainly Belgian. Would like a couple more non pale bitters as always, but fine pub all the same.
TonyMitch - 14 Jan 2016 21:08
The best pub I visited on my Christmas weekend in Norwich. Loads of good beers and no kegs to be seen. The locals and staff were friendly and knowledgeable, and the pub was busy - admittedly it was Christmas Eve, but I imagine trade is always good. This is a must-visit when in Norwich.
beerpilgrim - 29 Dec 2015 17:55
Great beer selection and to their credit they use pint lined glasses so you get a full measure. Beer in good condition. Bar staff knowledgeable and enthusiatic. Bar billiards table which is a plus. Busy on my saturday afternoon visit.
Iceni_Explorer - 4 May 2015 01:13
Very pleasant traditional beer drinker's pub, with good quality local beers (e.g. Grain) and lots of comfortable seating.
mtaylor40 - 9 Feb 2014 21:16
Traditional local, worth a visit on a pub crawl or if in the area.
alexw - 2 Sep 2013 23:21
Probbaly the first ever real ale pub I went into in Norwich many years ago when I first visited the City (remember the days of Watneys?) Small front bar leads into a much larger back room complete with bar billiard table. Small courtyard but no seating outside. Great range of beers - mostly local - from either handpump or gravity. Chatted to some friendly locals and some helpers at the CAMRA AGM which was in town that weekend. They appeared to think this was the best in the city and who am I to disagree! Don't miss it.
mcroyal - 24 Apr 2013 00:28
I too endorse reviews of this pub. I have sampled a range of Norwich pubs on several occasions, but together with the Kett's Tavern and Fat Car, this is the one I happily go back to. Simple furniture, good conversation and a good welcome, as well as high quality beers
Arctium_lappa - 17 Feb 2013 22:50
Looks like a small pub from outside but has a surprisingly large room behind the front bar. A very good selection of ales which were in fine condition. Obviously frequented by those who like their beer, and run by people who know how to keep a proper pub. It would be a serious contender for a regular haunt if I lived in Norwich.
Stamfordian - 1 Dec 2012 11:39
I can only reiterate what has already been said, great pub where good ale (no keg whatsoever) and good conversation are king. strawdog said that this used to be a rough house well no longer. Norwich has 2 of the best pubs in the country in my opinion, the Fat Cat and this one. If you like good pubs visit this, you wont be disappointed.
Nigethebeer - 6 Oct 2011 16:33
Very nice place. No tv or noise, just two bar areas and people talking to each other. Extensive beer choice, kept in top condition. Excellent! We felt very welcome and stayed a lot longer than planned.
MarkVP - 8 Sep 2011 13:27
Last time we popped in there were all local ales on which was a nice change. All sampled were in excellent condition. This is another real ale oasis which we will definately visit again.
trekman - 3 Jun 2011 11:16
I recently returned to this place and am glad to see that both time and success have not tainted the winning formula of low tech (no TVs or plasma screens, nor jukebox) - just newspapers and traditional bar addition to conversation and alcohol.

It sometimes takes luck to be successful, but it takes skill to continue success. The guys that run this place have that skill. They know their beer and they know what makes a good pub.

Looking forwards to my next visit!
Shani - 5 Mar 2011 16:53
very nice pub great range of ales and european beers
quiet and relaxed pub..this pub use to be quite rough but now its a very nice.

strawdog - 3 Oct 2010 16:16
Visited this pub for the first time when I was in Norwich last weekend. A brilliant place. Excellent beer; friendly and helpful staff. A wonderful atmosphere and nice to find a pub which has a bar billiards table. Will definitely be visiting again. Highly recommended

Boyne - 23 Sep 2010 20:41
A fabulous pub; one that takes you back in time as you soon as you cross the threshold. The locals are wonderfully chatty and full of useful local information (such as which other pubs to try!). The pub is simply and sparsely furnished, but has a true feeling of character about it. The chap behind the bar was very accommodating and operated a 'try before you buy' policy, which is to be applauded. Any real ale/tradtional pub fanatics MUST visit this pub when in Norwich.
markcp1981 - 26 Aug 2010 12:35
Our trip to see a pre-season friendly football match in Norwich hit a bit of a snag, when the taxi we pre-ordered failed to turn up in time outside the Whalebone further up the road. Norwich taxi firms are the worst I have ever come across! So the other option was to walk to Carrow Road, until we stumbled across the Kings Head.....! Yet again, we managed to miss most of a football match due to the lure of a pub. The Kings Head had a good selection of real ales - Winters KHB, Woodfordes Nelsons Revenge, Humpty Dumpty Golden Gorse & Reedcutter, Nethergate Sheeps Eye, Brandon Old Rodney, Grain Blonde Ash, Elmtree Bitter & Nightlight Mild and Green Jack Lurcher Stout. They also had a real cider - Norfolk Kingfisher. The atmosphere was quiet but pleasant in the front bar with its wooden furniture. There were other areas to the pub, which we did not see. Would certainly revisit here, but hopefully in more sober circumstances.
blue_scrumpy - 1 Aug 2010 14:57
A very good pub indeed, if you don't mind the wooden seats which a few people seem to dislike! Anyone who supports Reedham's Humpty Dumpty brewery is fine by me; I was sad to find, on my last visit, that they'd recently had - but were temporarily out of - Railway Sleeper (probably my all-time fave beer). If I hadn't had a train to catch, I'd have gladly stayed a lot longer, but the one beer I tried (Humpty Dumpty Porter) was delicious. A real ale drinker's paradise, I won't leave it so late in the day next time I'm passing through Norwich!
KDS - 24 Jul 2010 20:39
A must for real ale fans, its all they sell no keg beer in sight. Norfolk Camra Pub of the year twice.
thewelder - 7 Jul 2010 16:50
good ales and very friendlf staff - not extremly comfortable though and lacking in atmosphere
angstdata - 17 Jan 2010 11:11
The owners of this pub have turned it into a fine mecca for ale lovers, with a fantastic selection of locally brewed ales, Norfolk seems to have a new brewery open every week! Its a basic bare boards sort of a place, with a fine bar billiards table at 50p a game. Magdelan street used to be a very run down area, but seems more 'up and coming' and less bohemian these days. Its on the way to the newly reopend White Lion on Oak Street, now owned by the Milton Brewery, 8 of their beers on and so good to see the pub open again and put back to what it was before it was ruined in the 90's as a tap and spile. Well done to all concerned.
Hodge1 - 16 May 2009 08:24
Really friendly pub - knowledgeable staff - excellent beer!
thetapfan - 12 Feb 2009 20:57
As you look through the window at the seemingly cramped and spartan interior it is difficult to imagine why this pub has won a CAMRA award. However, be certain to cross the threshold as the action takes place in the welcoming bar at the back where I started witha Rusty Bucket.
psepo - 30 Nov 2008 16:44
My particular favourite pub in Norwich, good friendly banter, a fantastic range of well kept beers, comfortable, what more could you need. Probably amongst the best pubs, for beer, in the country. Loved it.
imdownthepub - 23 Nov 2008 11:19
This is a traditional two bar pub with an excellent choice of ales. Compared to other renowned free houses in the city, this pub specialises in beers from Norfolk breweries; the exceptions came from across the border in Suffolk and Lincs. Each of the 3 beers I tried were in excellent condition, the landlord was a friendly and knowledgeable bloke. Definitely the best pub I found in Norwich.
ed.spbw - 20 Jun 2008 21:31
Old-fashioned (in a good way), with an excellent choice of real ales from local breweries (many of which I have never heard of before). Closer to the city centre than most of the other top real ale pubs in the Norwich suburbs, so perhaps the one to go for if on a quick visit.
rpadam - 27 Feb 2008 22:54
Tiled floor but comfortable bar area. Wonderful choice of real ales from about 13 handpumps served from 2 bars. Agree it is great to see beers from local micros rather than the bigger breweries that feature almost everywhere else you go to.
gillhalfpint - 30 Oct 2007 07:59
other reviews a bit unfair, so it does local ales only? with about 20 breweries in norfolk/suffolk its nice to see somewhere stock spectrum, humpty dumpty, iceni etc. if you want national ales go in the fat cat/shed/duke of w, trafford, kings arms, wig, the list is endless.

does not serve lager.
alundra - 24 Oct 2007 13:01
Agree with previous posts, good pub only let down by restriction to local ales only.
biggles221 - 8 Jun 2007 13:00
Very nice interior and good beer- if you like the atmosphere of a 'traditional ale house' with lots of bare floorboards, no music or fruit machines etc., you'll like it here. Personally I am quite happy with all the beers coming from East Anglia- there are an enormous variety of beers brewed in this region and you really don't feel restricted for choice. In fact on my visit there were 8 real ales on offer and 7 I had never heard of before.Norwich has many excellent pubs and this is one of the best.
edchambers - 22 May 2007 21:02
I've been working in Norwich for the past 5 months and have sampled quite a few the pubs on offer and by far, including the Fat Cat, this pub stands head-and-shoulders above them all. With time it should, and hopefully will, become a destination pub!

The beer has always been of excellent quality and the staff always chatty and smiley. When ever i have been in, one of the partners has always been in attendance and more than willing to chat about Norwich, the pub and their aspirations.

It's renovation and design is 'Victorian' and has been completed very sympathetically.

I would have given this pub a 10, but it just missed out because 'in the main' all of the beers are form East Anglia and i wonder if 'Norwich residents' would like to sample something from further afield (on the other hand, everyone else is doing that so why not be different!!)

Keep up the good work and serving fine quality ales - soon you will become a 'destination' pub. Well done!

bigfoot67 - 10 May 2007 09:44
Came here on 6th of April and had some excellent ales.Reasonable prices,nice looking and old fashioned too and friendly bar staff and customers,one of whom explained Bar Billiards to us.Would come here again,just one small criticism it was a warm day and inside was quite stifling,the windows and door were firmly shut.
Miles007 - 23 Apr 2007 09:57
A first class purveyor of traditional ales. I have always found the beer to be in excellent condition. My only minor gripe is that possibly the choice of beer is slightly limited. I prefer to sample beers from all over the UK, rather than just East Anglia.
dougdeep - 2 Mar 2007 17:12
A Pub specialising in Beers from East Anglia, and the best selection of bottled beers to be found anywhere in Norwich. Very retro, with stone and wooden floors and basically decorated, but clean and tidy. Well worth a visit
ahscum - 24 Feb 2007 16:09
OK but overhyped. Beer quality, particularly from the barrel, can be noticeably variable. Specialises in Micro breweries.
biggles221 - 3 Jan 2007 11:18
An excellent pub, friendly landlords and staff, great selection of real ale (lots of local breweries), no TV, no fruit machines, no music...just good beer and conversation. Norwich CAMRA Pub of the Year for 2006 and well-deserved honour!
lxs - 9 Dec 2006 23:07
Would be the best pubs in most English towns, but here is one of probably a dozen excellent free houses within a small radius. Stands out as very friendly, with mixed custom, and a more historic building within the city walls than most of Norwich's gems. Beer excellent.
mtaylor40 - 1 Dec 2006 00:05
I was recently in Norwich - a favourite city of mine with its medieval architecture, pavement cafes, parks and its numerous real ale pubs!

I got chatting to a cabbie and hearing that I was a fan of real ale, he advised me of a pub that had recently reopened called the King's Head down on Magdellen Street.

A banner over the front door proclaimed the news of a CAMRA award - Norwich Pub of the Year 2006 - and on settling down with a pint of KHB I could see why.

There are two bars, one smoking (at the front) and one non-smoking (a large room to the rear). The decor is 'traditional' with wood flooring throughout and large windows give it quite a light feel. The no-smoking policy and the lack of carpet give it quite a fresh atmosphere underpinned by the faint but sweet aroma of quality beers. The pub sits on a busy main street, but on entry, one steps in to a little oasis of peace.

I was there on a Saturday afternoon and the pub was reasonably full with a fair cross section of society. Families resting after a day in the shops, a few couples en route to the football, bookish types sitting quietly on their own - deep in literature and one or two others poring over newspapers. There is no music or TV in this pub. It has a peaceful atmosphere permeated my the organic sound of conversation, the turning of a page or footsteps along the wood floor.

There were several real ales on offer (I only had time to sample a few), and Jon (the Landlord), advised that they change them on a regular basis. Interestingly he said they had been open less than a year when awards started coming his way and I can see why. Jon is an enthusiast of beer and when I questioned the wisdom of his 'no food or music' policy he simply expressed his confidence in the quality of what he was selling - 'build it and they will come'. Not for him the gimmicks of Satellite TV or the thud of dance music.

In Sheffield I am spoilt for choice for good pubs (The Fat Cat and the Sheaf View being good examples). Norwich is also rich ground for the real beer enthusiast - so why this post? Well, Norwich is a CAMRA stronghold with numerous good pubs. Yet in the face of strong competition one man has opened a pub with a simple philosophy and with it has created something greater than the sum of its parts. I was surprised that this pub was so 'little known' although I understand that it will be in the next "Good Beer Guide". This means that before the hordes discover this little place (as sure they will) - and you end up ten deep at the bar, now is a good time to get there and sample what I think is one of the best pubs in East Anglia.
Shani - 17 Sep 2006 18:07
Norwich CAMRA Pub of the Year 2006 and its not difficult to see why. This pub has a very convivial landlord and clientele.The basic but totally unscruffy interior along with 14 handpumps dispensing local beers pulls in the punters. a fine addition to the King Street run.
Alerover - 23 Aug 2006 15:27
Visited this pub recently for the first time.Helpful bar staff who gave me a run down on all their beers .Most of them brewed locally and a couple from over the border Lincs&Suffolk Pleasant, normal atmosphere and felt safe drinking in a smoke free bar .Will visit again.
hibiscus - 1 Mar 2006 16:03
They're making a real go at getting this into the real ale circuit. Decent selection of ales and very nicely decorated, all the previous clientele have been hoofed out but reputations die hard. The pub doesn't hold onto its audience once the post-work crowd goes home. So,no problems getting served then. One to keep an eye on and worth a visit.
itfc - 11 Jan 2006 01:20
Good pub for real ale fans and specialist bottled beers from Belgium and Czeck Republic. Great to go to a pub without kegs. Very busy just after work.
Paul666 - 21 Dec 2005 14:06
Terrific pub. Great beers and ciders and I like the 'no keg' policy a lot. Couldn't fault the place on a recent visit - bet it's a corker in winter when the fires get going. I hear it used to be a bit of a rough biker's pub - not anymore. Understatedly done up and a large no-smoking area to boot. Will definitely go again the next time I'm in town.
Ketsbaia - 18 Oct 2005 15:27

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