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Review: The Cricketers, Kew Green, Surrey

Review: The Cricketers, Kew Green, Surrey

Tucked away in the picturesque area of Kew Gardens, we were only too happy to make the journey across London to check out the Cricketers, a pub that’s recently undergone a facelift akin to that of Liz Taylor.

Now cricket (or griggit, from here on in), is a bit dull. It’s been going on for what seems like decades this summer alone. And even though England have somehow lost – how one actually loses in cricket the editor is unsure – they still have what seems like billions of years of play left. However, we were pleasantly surprised at how colourful the history of the Cricketers is. Formerly the pavilion (where the batsmen get ready and have tea) for the local griggit team, it endured a tough period under its previous guise of the Rose and Crown, picking up a bad reputation along the way. Any early apprehension soon faded when even the local taxi driver had rave things to say about the Cricketers.

On arrival, the warm and very welcoming atmosphere made it feel like we were walking into a country pub, let alone one on the outskirts of the busiest city in the world. Finding somewhere in London where you can relax with a glass of wine and a book yet feel completely at home is a challenge at the best of times, but it’s a combination the Cricketers delivers.

Interior of the CricketersAfter figuring out the overly-fiddly menu (it had food at the front but needed to be flipped over and read backwards for drinks), we plumped for the pan-roasted chicken supreme with classic sticky toffee pudding and ice-cream for dessert. Starters are a bit iffy – Foie Gras hasn’t exactly got a humane reputation, and baby squid isn’t to everyone’s tastes. It’s an excellent menu if you like big, hearty meat, but if you’re a vegetarian choices are rather limited.
The same limitations do not apply to the drinks menu. Paulo the manager took time out to explain how each and every month the Cricketers selects a ‘Gin of the Month’ – No 3 was the choice for December – a move that really brings out the best of the local community. Paulo told how locals often sample different gins and chat to others in the pub about their tipple of choice, a concept that may seem quite alien to many drinkers in the city. In the summer cocktails and pitchers will flow while you watch the world go by.

The food, the drink and the service were sublime. On a busy Friday night we didn’t have to wait too long for the food to arrive, and thankfully drinks were regularly topped up. It’s a huge place, and the few Christmas parties really tested the ability of the bar and kitchen staff to keep up their burgeoning reputation as a top place to dine.

The feel of the Cricketers can be summed up by what happened when we were relaxing with a mighty fine glass of Port. A lovely old lady couldn’t find a table, so sat down on ours with the intent of reading her book. A full 30 minutes later we were engrossed in conversation about future plans, the magazine and her life as an author. I mean, you wouldn’t expect it to happen in Starbucks in Liverpool Street without wondering whether the individual in question had an ulterior motive. It was a glimpse of the ambience and the environment the Cricketers has worked hard to develop.

We loved the Cricketers. It’s a great place locals to pop down and catch up on the week’s events, for people to get out of the city and experience something totally unique and, you’ll like this, indulge in a dab of celeb-spotting. It may be a bit of a trek (the nearest tube station is Kew Gardens but you still need a taxi ride to get to the Green), but if you have the time it’s certainly worth it. We recommend heading to Kew Bridge and enjoying a short walk to the Cricketers. To share a griggit analogy, you’ll definitely be bowled over.

The Cricketers
|79 Kew Green, Kew, Richmond, Surrey | 020 8940 2078