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Grey Horse

Bars and pubs, Pubs Kingston
4 out of 5 stars

Time Out says

4 out of 5 stars

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A long-established music venue and pub remoulded into a pub specialising in whisky from all over the world.

Please note, The Grey Horse now serves food and beer from Smok'd, an in-house BBQ restaurant. Time Out Food & Drink Editors, March 2017.

The Grey Horse in Kingston long had a reputation for entertaining shaggy-haired, bearded men, supping on foaming ales, while live prog-rock bands took them back to their uni days a few decades before. It was a sort of ’70s throwback – which is why it closed down over a year ago.

The reincarnation is something to behold. This horse still has brewery Young’s at the reins, and they’ve spent the kind of money that suggests aspirations are high. A cosy, welcoming bar leads to a cavernous and moodily lit dining area with work on the open kitchen still being done (two weeks after opening). A mural of Hendrix adorns one wall in a nod to the pub’s previous life. Further beyond and out of sight, a room for comedy nights has been fitted out and been full to the brim on its first two excursions.

The talking point, however, is a list of whiskies that dominates an entire wall. Invariably it leads newcomers to enquire, ‘Is this a pub or a whisky bar?’, to which the reply is always: ‘It’s a pub that sells a lot of whisky’. On a quiet midweek night, the Irish co-owner Leigh will talk you through each one with a passion usually reserved for distillery guides north of the border. Almost every scotch is available, and there are also lesser-known gems from the USA, Ireland, Japan, Wales, South Africa and even India.

On the beer side of things, local brewery Twickenham Ales have a couple in stock, as do Young’s (of course). Lagers and ciders are standard fare.

Fridays and Saturdays attract locals on their way into town for a night out, but the size of the bar suggests they’re not expecting huge throngs any time soon. This is a place where you should settle down with a pint and a chaser, and make a bucket list from the wall – for this visit, and your next few too. 

By: Dave Faulkner



Address: 46 Richmond Rd
Transport: Rail: Kingston rail
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