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Kings Arms, Borough

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user reviews of Kings Arms, Borough

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

The King's Head is tucked away just off Borough High Street, far enough from the tourist throngs in Borough Market and near London Bridge station, to have an air of calm. The interior is traditionally decorated. 5 real ales are dispensed. Truman's Swift, Harvey's Sussex Best Bitter, Purity Mad Goose & Timothy Taylor Landlord are the regular ales. I opted for the guest, which was the rugby-themed Old Dairy Up & Udder. Customers were mostly drinkers. But, there were a handful of tourists eating. Service was prompt and friendly, with reasonable prices for the area.
blue_scrumpy - 22 Sep 2019 13:02
New owners recently taken this place on. Really cleaned it up well. It looks a thousand times better. 4 real ales on when I called, can't for the life of me remember what they were, as I was not in a position to try, as I was driving.
Will definitely return.
Davo_SE16 - 5 Aug 2015 17:56
Very nice for a quiet midweek pint, well kept Doombar
se16teddy - 26 Jan 2015 21:02
Nice pub tucked away off Borough High Street.
Friendly staff who take care of the beer which is quite rare in London.
I recommend.
GJC77 - 26 Sep 2013 17:50
This pub is a great escape from the crowds in most of the pubs around London bridge.
Traditional and very comfortable inside with sofas and armchairs, making it a welcome hideaway just off of borough high st.
The prices aren't cheap, but given prices in town today it's nothing out of the ordinary.
Doesn't get as busy as the other pubs in the area (a plus when finding a table) though I can't work out why as its far nicer! Give it a go
felix23 - 28 May 2013 18:57
Pleasant and comfortable oasis from the bustle of pubs on Borough Higg Street: but £3.80 for a pint of Flowers?
Schwalbe - 19 Nov 2011 21:04
really disappointed with this place - i used to pass it a lot and thought that it looked a really interesting pub but the beer is atrocious.

The bar lady attempted to pour a pint of Harvey's but only managed to get 1/2 pint from the barrel - she then offered 1/2 pint Flowers to top that up and I agreed - i tried the Harveys but it was undrinkable and the Flowers wasn't much better - had to leave the pub after 2 gulps.
chico1979 - 1 Sep 2011 11:53
Decent little boozer which feels like a hidden gem between the backstreets
Unspoilt interior and location give it a tradional feel
Packed just enough for an early Sat afternoon atmosphere without feeling unwelcoming or disturbing
Only stayed for a swift one but would return at any time
the_original_rawnsleys - 4 Jul 2011 13:18
Dropped into here a few weeks ago with a group of eight 30-something mates as the second pub on a stag do bar crawl, at about 5.30pm on a Saturday. Being an early visit the pub was quiet - we probably doubled the number of patrons.

A friendly barman, presumably the landlord, served us with a bit of chat about the recent purchase of the Sharp's brewery (including "Bet it won't take them long to f*** that up..." - such honesty I appreciate!), and let us know that the footy was on at the other side of the bar if we wanted it.

The general get-up of the place was very much to our taste, a proper quirky old-style London pub, plenty of brass fittings, densely patterned wallpaper/carpets, and framed pictures everywhere. The fact that it was quiet suited us down to the ground - we didn't make a lot of noise, and it felt like we were very welcome.

Mix of Doom Bar for the ale drinkers (which was very nice), your average lager and cider for the others. Can't comment easily on exact prices as it was all in one big round, but was one of the more expensive rounds of the day.

This is a pub I want to go back to try after work some time, despite not living in London.
darine - 22 Jun 2011 15:43
What a dump.

How can they justify £3.70 for a pint of Harveys Sussex, which was v poor. When a pint of quality Sussex is only £3.25 in the Market Porter.

Never again.
ericstadd - 26 Feb 2011 00:18
Would echo the previous 2 poster's comments. The regulars are a real friendly bunch too. A discreet hidden little gem of a boozer, but don't tell anyone... oh shit, I have!
Wiccaman777 - 15 Jan 2011 15:12
Hesitate to say anything good about The Kings Arms for fear of ruining its key advantages in this location - it's quiet and not faddish or touristy and makes a good bolt hole when you want to forget your stresses or have a conversation and decent beer. A lovely, traditional pub with friendly owners and staff. Wish it was round the corner from where I live!
planarc - 7 Jan 2011 19:26
Generally more quiet than other pubs around London Bridge Station, with a nice traditional air that hasn't made any concessions to loud, soulless modernity. The beer is excellent, if a bit limited in choice - but with Harvey's and Doom Bar plus Courage Best, that choice could be a hell of a lot worse, as we all know to our cost. Staff are friendly and the punters don't impinge in any negative way.
Highly recommended for a quick drink if passing or a few pints if a nice wee session is called for away from the madding crowds...
Bawhamper - 7 Jan 2011 14:48
An L-shaped single room pub in the street directly behind Guys hospital this is a pleasant drinking environment with a varied but inoffensive set of drinkers. There is nothing that makes this pub stand out but perfectly acceptable for a drink if passing.
murgatroyd - 18 Oct 2009 11:15
Popped in for a beer after work on monday. We'd heard great things about this place so hoped that it'd live up to expectations. It didn't.
The place was dead quiet, not a problem, but the atmosphere implied that it should be kept that way and the mere act of having a conversation was spoiling the place. Couple that with the expensive prices and being charged to pay on card, its safe to say we wont be returning. Beer was better than average though.
aandi - 23 Jul 2009 23:13
Nice traditional looking pub but Harvey's at £3.35 a pint I won't be visiting too often.
lionbaz - 18 Jul 2009 00:32
Canít really add to RogerBís description below. Only the Doombar and Harveys Sussex Best were on during my visit, but being Nobby_no_Mates during this part of my early evening crawl I managed to bag one of the comfy single seater arm chairs which festoon three of the corners of the L-Shaped pub, and chill out.
The pub was relatively quite on this early evening, but this was relaxing compared to the early evening scrum in the pubs nearer London Bridge. Concur with RogerB that itís not really a place for an evening session but perfectly fine for visit whist on your way to somewhere with a better beer choice.

Gann - 21 Jun 2009 12:56
Good pub, well kept beer, staff are ok and good prices. Only downside is there is no outside (but that goes for most London pubs).
konarob - 26 May 2009 12:12
Fairly small but cosy L-shaped pub tucked away pub down a side street and only noticeable from the main drag because the well badged corner juts out. The traditional style interior is quite bright with a Laura Ashley type dťcor and various old local photos and collectable plates adorning the walls. On the beer side of things, 3 ales available and, looking at previous reviews, things appear to have improved regarding selection; Harveys, Courage Best and Doom Bar on my visit but with the latter at a rather offputting £3.25 a pint, they do still seem to charge over the top prices. The semi-open bar has some Interesting brass spiral lamps and glass holders on the bar. A pleasant enough place with good prompt service and a fairly sedate and respectable atmosphere but the prices are enough to make this just a passing stop rather than an evening session.
RogerB - 1 Mar 2009 09:59
This has always been the business; original pub was actually in the middle of old London bridge. Always a favorite; especially after a vist to Guys hospital.
anonymous - 29 Sep 2008 01:16
I must admit I do like this pub as I mentioned before, partly for its old fashioned charm and partly becuase you can usually get a seat. Got to admit though that the real ale choices are dreadful, well choice is too strong a word as its basically Courage Best or IPA, both of which are highly indifferent to my palate. would that they ahd pride, or Bombadier, or Spitfire, or Broadside .. alas I am looking for alternative venues in the area just because it is so boring drinking this stuff. The house wine is a bit dodgy as well, and as far as I recall, only comes in one size.
Ullage - 11 Feb 2008 10:50
Yeah, I like this one. Nice beer and nice decor. A bit of an old mans pub, but whats wrong with that?
markyhb - 19 Dec 2007 09:06
Nice, traditional, friendly pub, but let down by selling Greene King IPA at £3.00 per pint...
rpadam - 28 Jun 2007 21:54
Nice traditional unpretentious pub in a side street between London Bridge and The Borough.

However, the real ale range, which last night was Courage Best and Greene King IPA, meant unfortunately that I didn't stay as long as I would have liked. It's a Scotco house.

Seems to be well run and friendly enough, but not as busy as some other pubs in the vicinity.

Get some decent beer in and you'll get a lot more customers !

JohnBonser - 20 Jun 2007 10:48
Excellent pub. Agree with all the comments. Simple, unfussy, convivial, social. Everything a pub should be. Light early summer evening and the pub wonderfully benefiting from its surprisingly light aspect (as it is in a cramped sidestreet). Only drawback as already mentioned by others was the smokiness, but as also mentioned, that will soon change.
Ullage - 1 Jun 2007 15:00
What a relief - a simple pub you can sit, drink and chat in.

brilliant idea
kpflude - 18 May 2007 17:41
Most definitely a gem of a pub. No loud music, no loud people, and I like unpretentious sanswiches at £2.00 a throw! When I was in there at lunchtime earlier this week there was what seemed to be a reunion of about eight WWII veterans having a boozy afternoon. I salute them. I will regard it as a great result if, when I reach their age, I can still enjoy a piss-up with chums in a pub as good as the King's Arms.

The barman was friendly and efficient. The ales on were Courage Best and Old Speckled Hen. It's a very light pub, which unfortunately highlighted the fog of smoke surrounding the handful of smokers. But that will change. A real pub that comes highly recommended by me.

RexRattus - 23 Feb 2007 14:04
Another proper pub which I have no hesitation in recommending. Slightly disappointed by the beer range - only Courage Best and Directors - but why is it that this area has so many more than its fair share of decent pubs to drink in - Bunch of Grapes, Wheatsheaf, Market Porter, Olde Kings Head ?
Wish I worked closer to the area than I do
JohnBonser - 31 Mar 2006 12:48
Proper boozer, no pretentions. Good for watching the football if you can't get to the Den. Always packed after work, great atmosphere, nice staff
cider_murray - 20 Jul 2005 22:02
Couldn't agree more with James. Found this pub a few years back when on a mission to try and find something interesting in this part of the world and turned up this ruby in the dust. Serves the best pint of the black stuff I've found to date in London.
Marc - 30 Sep 2003 17:53
This is a fantastic little boozer run by some very friendly people that trained in the old school and know what they are doing. Great place to camp for the rest of the evening.
James - 28 May 2003 16:19

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