I felt like I didn’t quite fit in when I walked through the double doors at the Antelope, in Surbition. Not because it is an unwelcoming or a particularly quirky pub, but because I was dressed in fluorescent cycling gear.
OK, OK, stop sniggering, please just keep it to yourself.
I’d made the decision to cycle to work and make the most of the sunshine, but on the way home I couldn’t help myself.The Antelope looked so inviting that I slammed on my squeaky brakes and headed straight into the pub.
Much to the barman’s amusement, I walked in, something of a sweaty mess, still wearing my hat and grasping a holdall brimming with tasty treats for later.
I think he was under the impression I had brought my own picnic into the pub but I always prepare for an attack of the post-booze munchies – it beats nipping to the kebab shop. Let’s be honest, we’ve all woken up with that regret the morning after a big night out.
The pub wasn’t busy when I popped in. There was just me, the barman and one other punter who was sat happily nursing a pint while reading the paper.
Unusually for me, I was in a chatty mood, so began bantering with the chap behind the bar who seemed more than happy to engage in a good old chinwag.
The music was on shuffle and shifted suddenly from chilled tunes to upbeat disco, all of which left me caught in two minds – do I try to look cool by casually toe-tapping at the bar or bust some moves that would give John Travolta a run for his money? I opted to toe-tap.
I’ve been called many things in my time, but when it comes to booze I like to think versatile is a label which applies to me.
So, with that in mind, I decided against having a pint on this occasion and went straight for a small glass of Sauvignon Blanc to whet my whistle. It didn’t last long, I wasn’t in a sipping kind of mood.
For the most part, this boozer is quite cosy, but there are areas where it’s decor could do with a bit of livening up.
I found the dark walls and mis-matched well-worn leather chairs gave the place some much-needed character.
The bar through the back has a pool table, flatscreen television and sofas overlooked by framed rugby shirts and pictures of England winning the World Cup.
I have made a mental note to return to the Antelope soon, but perhaps I’ll leave my fluorescent cycling gear at home next time.
The Antelope, 87 Maple Road, Surbiton, KT6 4AW
Décor: XXX Slightly scuffed around the edges which is no bad thing in my book.
Drink: XX Limited although I’m sure anyone could find something to sup.
PricE: XX My wine cost £3.75.
Atmosphere: XX Welcoming and chilled but hard to tell without more punters in the house.
Staff: XXXX Proper barman; Irish, doing a crossword and keen for some banter.