“ Chertsey Bridge Road, Chertsey, KT16 8LF.Tel: 01932 579811 „
First impressions look great! Warm and cozy. Then you get to the bar where you will wait 15 mins on average to get served by one bar staff who is rude and no sorry for the wait! Many people we saw walk out in anger having not been served and walked over the Bridge to The Boat house. So we followed them and got served straight away and the staff were very friendly! Food was great at the Boat house. Have never managed to get served to try the food at the Kingfisher as you have to go to the other end of the bar to speak to a 2nd person to order food. That cue was even longer!!!!!DONT GO HERE !!!
Earlier this month my parent made their annual pilgrimage with their caravan from the civilization of north Scotland to the wilds of London. As in previous trips, they stayed at a campsite in the town of Chertsey, just inside the M25's south west corner. It's a fantastic spot, and as I stayed there during their visit, I may well review it at some point. But for now, I'm interested in the Kingfisher Inn.
The campsite in question is on the banks of the Thames, beside Chertsey Bridge. On each side of this bridge is a pub. The Kingfisher Inn is located on the bank opposite the campsite. It is part of the Vintage Inn brand, but the pub is nothing like a chain pub - having gone a little research, Vintage Inns don't appear to be a chain as such, but more a kind of umbrella for traditional pubs.
The Kingfisher is in a lovely old, rambling building. There are large open areas for eating or drinking in, as well as some nice nooks and crannies giving more privacy. There is a lot of space, so even on weekends at summer you might not need to book a table. There is a long curved bar in the centre of the pub. There is also a nice beer garden with plenty of parasols for those sunny days - unfortunately, there is a road (not a very busy one) between the pub and the river, so the view isn't as good as it could be.
The drinks selection at the Kingfisher is very good, certainly for our needs anyway. There are real ales on offer, as you would expect in any English pub, but as our visits were during the London heatwave, even my dad, a real ale lover, stuck to cold and fizzy cider. To be honest, I can't tell you if they offered Strongbow - because although I don't mind it, I prefer to have something else. And they had a great alternative at the Kingfisher - Aspalls Suffolk Cyder, which is one of my favourites. It has a lovely flavour and is very refreshing. At £2.85 a pint (or you could have a smaller bottle for the same price, don't see why you would...), it's not badly priced either. My mum sampled one of the Kingfishers interesting soft drinks - a Lemon and Ginger Fling. She said it tasted similar to her favourite ginger beer and lime, and was very refreshing. It was a bargain at £1 - thinking about the normal price of soft drinks in pubs, this was pennies.
We visited the Kingfisher more than once for a drink, and we also had a meal there one night. It was so hot that we chose not to have starters. I had the scampi and chips, which was served with peas. It was very nice, I have no complaints at all about my meal. My dad had the Hunters Chicken, which was chicken with a filling of cheese, served with chips and broccoli. Again, he enjoyed his meal although he would have preferred more of a selection of vegetables. My mum forgot her glasses, so we had to read the menu to her - that was fun! She ended up with the Organically Reared Salmon, which was served with a butter sauce, potatoes and broccoli. Thankfully, she enjoyed it - I was sure if she didn't, she would us for reading the menu wrongly to her! I thought her potatoes looked a bit funny, they were quite dark and weren't very attractive, but she said they were very nice.
When we arrived at the Kingfisher, although it was hot we decided not to sit outside as most of the tables were full and there wasn't one with a parasol free. So we sat beside the open door to the beer garden, and we were soon all sweltering. We had expected to get a bit of a draught there. My mum went to see if it was cooler elsewhere, and came back just as the food was arriving to tell us that the corners were better, so we decided to move. We mentioned to the waitress as she brought the last plate out that we were going to move, and was that ok - she seemed completely baffled by this, and said yes of course it was! We had thought that she would offer to move the food for us, but we ended up taking it ourselves. When we were settled at the new table she offered us a tray of sauces if we wanted any, and she was very polite and helpful with that, so I think she was just thrown when we asked if we could move.
The food prices were very reasonable, ours averaged about £8 each. There are more expensive dishes on the menu, steaks and such like, up to around £15.
When we visited the Kingfisher only for a drink, we found it a very relaxing place to spend an hour or two. We sat outside on these occasions, under a parasol, and found there was little noise from the road which was intrusive.
The bar staff at the Kingfisher are very friendly and chatty. My dad was delighted to find that his favourite barman from last summer was still there. Service at the bar can be quick, but sometimes it can be slow - there are times when there is only one member of staff behind the bar, I suppose they move staff about depending on whether food service or the bar is busiest. However the bar staff are always friendly and apologetic for the wait.
All in all I would strongly recommend the Kingfisher Inn if you are in the area. There are more pubs in the centre of Chertsey, but this one has a lovely relaxed setting. The one across the river (which I will probably also review) is a large chain hotel and sorely lacking when compared to the Kingfisher. My parents and I will definitely be going back to the Kingfisher next time they are in Chertsey.