Perched on what feels like the highest point in London (it’s not), Richmond’s Roebuck is a proper boozer that bestows its patrons with lofty views over the River Thames and the rolling green hills of Petersham.
But it’s not just the views. No, it’s the self-conviction and unwillingness to change that makes this 14th century watering hole so special. That and the boundless list of rock’n’roll royalty who frequent this antique anomaly, of course, but we’ll get to that in just a moment.
Inside, the ceilings are low and plastered in beige, floral wallpaper. The floorboards are softened with dark carpets, stained-wood tables and old leather-clad stools, whilst copper pots and pans hang over iron fire places from bare brick walls. But it’s the low lit nooks and crannies that create the private areas where rockstar locals such as Pete Townshend (The Who) and Mick Jagger (The Stones), come to get boozy.
The terrace out front is prime real estate, where you can sit on a bench, enjoy your pint and take in the sweeping views as they unfold before you.
The door frequently swings open as groups of beer-bellied cyclists wheel their high-performance bikes up to the bar. They order pints and peel their lycra shorts out of their nether regions. Water bowls attract little dogs, who lap it up whilst their owners say things like, “Believe me, dogs prefer Guinness to water!” and “Yes, especially this one – he’s an Irish dog!”
Food & Drink
The menu is simple and unpretentious: it’s a real pub, this. There are six types of burgers, from the Big Ben Burger, which comes with crispy bacon and cheddar cheese, a fried egg and onion rings, to the Beetroot, Butternut & Goat’s Cheese Burger, which is served with chutney and sweet vegetables. There’s Scampi & Chips and The Ultimate Fish & Chips, and Bramley Apple Pie for dessert. And the Sunday roasts go down a storm. It’s no life-changing culinary experience, but it’s not trying to be, which is why it works.
Cask ales are available as well as a good selection of familiar draught beers, and there’s a respectable little wine list.
The Main Attraction
Grab a pint, grab a bench and take your time. This is what it’s all about.
The Roebuck is a proper English pub which I consider to be a must-see for anyone visiting Richmond. The food and drink is good and simple, served efficiently in a warm and familiar manner. But really, what it comes down to is its exceptional setting and lively atmosphere, which is spiced up with the prospect of legendary clientele.
Pop in for lunch and a few jars after taking a stroll around Richmond Park, which is a five minute stroll up the road, or the river, which is a five minute stroll down the road, and you’re pretty much guaranteed smiles all-round.
Address: 72 Hampton Rd, Hampton Hill, Hampton, Middlesex TW12 1JN
Nearest Tube Stop: Richmond