Every weekday afternoon for about the past decade the BBC has screened a programme known as Bargain Hunt which I am sure you are familiar with but just in case you’re not the format for the show is thus. Across the course of an couple of hours two pairs of students/pensioners/menopausal housewives/obsessive compulsives/social outcasts take part in a contest to buy, on a tight budget, the most valuable ‘antique’ from an outdoor market that is mainly selling the last dreary items and worthless tat collected from the houses of the recently deceased. Their acquisitions are consistently dreadful and usually leave me wondering who produced the offensive objects before they came to be regarded as ‘antiques’. Each team is loosely advised by a disinterested blazer wearer with a double barrel surname and a chino obsession. Events are presided over by a man who looks like he’s auditioning for the role of Fagan and acts like he’s permanently on the verge of a dangerous mental breakdown. Inevitably the collection of goods they eventually take to auction is worth far less than they were forlornly hoping and the grand finale of the show attempts to build excitement around either enormous losses or a win of such a pathetic amount of money everyone seems faintly embarrassed.
Imagine if you will for a moment that these teams were tasked under the same format to build a pub and you will aptly describe the Star of Kings. Unceremoniously plonked about half a mile up the road from the station it possesses all the outward charm of an overcooked baked potato and looks worrying like the sort of pub that thinks that big screen sports are great. Once walking through the doors it’s immediately apparent that the landlord is investing heavily in bleach and urinal cakes but in very little else and that nauseating odour invades pretty much every sense whilst you’re here.
Adorning the walls are some choice items straight from the aforementioned Bargain Hunt style of ornament purchasing including an Adams Family pinball machine, a plastic rhino head, a collection of mirrors and countless moth eaten union jacks that lends one corner the feeling of being on the set of Dads Army. The eclectic style has been aimed for, and missed, so the result feels cheap and lifeless.
A glimmer of hope exists in the fact that it serves Wandle and London Pride but given that these are the only two real beers on offer it really is a tiny glimmer, like a spec of glitter on the cheek of the elephant man it really isn’t helping the overall image. Apparently the food is alright but given the overwhelming smell of bleach I can’t imagine that this is actually true as even my pint tasted like I was drinking it inside of a cubicle.
To summarise. If you’re thinking of going here then don’t unless you literally have no alternative. If it’s not raining you may want to think about buying a can of Woodpecker and drinking it sitting on the pavement, that’ll be nicer.