Sometimes, when a bar, restaurant or hotel review goes a little TOO well, we like to sneakily head back without anyone knowing to see if all is as it seems. So one Friday night we headed over to The Cricketers in Richmond to see if the food is still as good, the service still as first class and the atmoshphere as cosy.
We travelled in from Waterloo to Kew Gardens using the mainline instead of TFL’s District Line. Last time we had to settle with a taxi as it’s miles away from the nearest tube station. After a brisk five minute walk, we were back at the front doors, wondering what to expect.
As soon as we entered, a cheery chap behind the bar greeted us and asked us to sit where we liked. The seats by the fireplace we’d eaten in before were free, but fancied a change and settled for a little round table in the middle of the pub. I personally really wanted to sit by the window, but all of these table were taken up; one with a group of friends speaking all manner of languages, another by a couple with her dad, another with a solo diner reading a book, and the lastly, a getting-fairly-sozzled couple with a few sharing platters.
We decided on drinks, a Fentiman’s Ginger Beer with a dram/shot/whatever of rum and a craft beer. Food was next, and this was the read hard decision. The menu had changed slightly since our last visit and these updates haven’t transferred over to the web, which posed a problem. Should we go for the same again, or try one of the new offerings? We settled for a rib eye burger and chips, medium, and beer battered cod fillet.
The burger was divine, cooked perfectly and served with a smoky, peppery sauce which was so succulent. The fish dish was huge. HUGE. But surprisingly, both were polished off with nothing left over. Our choices should have been typical stodgy food leaving us unable to finish that last chip, but everything from the batter to the bun was light and delicious. We were stuffed, true, but still managed to eat every morsel
Service was spot on throughout. When our drinks ran dry we were asked if we’d like another. This time I decided to sample one of the gins on offer, and was sold right away. Using Fentiman’s Tonic Water and either Boodles Gin or Greenalls Bloom (I can’t remember which it was. BUT I WILL FIND OUT) the gin and tonic was like no other. It was very much like lavender cocktails I’ve had before. Flowery, fruity and so refreshing.
On our last visit, Paulo had said they wanted to be the place anyone could walk in and feel comfortable. It’s certainly the case and true no matter who’s gracing its doors – when plates had been taken and desserts were being chosen a couple walked in with their greyhound, took a seat by the fireplace and ordered drinks. I don’t really know any other place that offers literal creature comforts like The Cricketers.
After a brief rest, we decided on dessert, chocolate fondant with a berry compote, and a good ol’ apple crumble and custard. The fondant was perfect, cake-like on the outside but with a rich, gooey centre. Not being a fan of berries, I left most of these. The crumble went down just as well, and tasted homemade.
We paid the bill, said our goodbyes, and were happy in the realisation that The Cricketers really is just a great all-round place. We can’t wait to head back in spring and take a seat outside with a cool glass of Prosecco. If you’re headed west, definitely give this little place a visit.
The Cricketers |79 Kew Green, Kew, Richmond, Surrey | 020 8940 2078