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Kings Head (Bar, Restaurant)

Picture of Kings Head in Enfield & Barnet, London

1 The Green, Enfield & Barnet, London, N21 1BB
Cuisine: Gastro Average Price: £30.00
Tel: 020 8886 1988 | Email to Kings Head | Transport: Southgate | Write review

Kings Head Review

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From whence did this sovereign of saps, this majesty of clods, this artless folly-fallen knave with nary betwixt his ears, cometh? He, whom in days of yore, hath bequeathed his crowning temple to the fulsome Borough of Enfield? For presently, thither shalt thee cometh upon a tavern that bears the name, the King’s Head.

Ah, the language of our forefathers is great. Innit.

Tis true, the King’s Head is not a rare name in the world of public inns but for the one in question here, the royal theme is substantially appropriated using topiary on the balcony, decorative coats of armour, ‘Kings’ and ‘Queens’ privy facilities, and a grand double-sided fire. All that’s missing are a few slumbering wolfhounds and a gratuitous throne. Oh no, wait, hold that thought. There IS a throne. There, in the corner. A large, humongous, GARGANTUAN throne positioned in full view of the contemporary court jester: Sky Sports News. No doubt the royal court came hunting round here way back when; and regal affluence is still very prominent today.

This King’s Head is part of the Geronimo Inn dynasty that’s dotted throughout the capital. Always a favourite with Fluid (see also Oval’s Fentiman Arms and The Eagle in Shepherds Bush). TVs are a rarity for this family and it’s almost as though the distance it keeps from its Central London cousins gives the King’s Head a bravado that might spell civil upheaval.

The contrasts don’t end with the diversion box, either. Unlike its Geronimo counterparts, the King’s Head is very palatial and warrants TWO (!!) sets of toilets. It’s partitioned areas include the ‘rude’ room - you’ll find out - and a hirable upstairs section that, with its own toilet, kitchen, bar and stage, is almost as well equipped as the Fluidfoundation offices. Roy Scheider said it best back in 1975 when he looked over the side of his fishing vessel and saw a large Great White shark giving him the evil eye. In this analogy, London is the ocean, the pub acts as the boat, and the hungry shark is represented by the circling hordes of thirtysomething suburbanites; meaning, Roy Scheider is the publican (if only!)

Despite boasting the spacial capacity to swing an entire pride of lions, being big can have its downfalls. Just ask Jaws. Big can also mean draughty and if there’s a briskness in the evening air, your Sea Bream and braised fennel will tend to shiver whenever a smoker opens the rear door. And judging by the frequency of such a chill, there must be a lot of smokers in N21.

There are elements that stay true to the Geronimo brand, however. There’s the requisite earthy tones, the book shelves filled with paraphernalia, and the ample beer garden fitted with an array of seating options; one of which is a former stable replete with sofas and a plug-in-and-play iPod facility. Fancy that. Fancy, that.

Sadly, the prices have also been stolen from Central London and you should only venture this way if (a) you’re scared of postcodes starting with ‘S’, or (b) Winchmore Hill is close to your abode; in Scotland.

For those that crave the hearty English fare of our forefathers, this is an atavistic eatery. The word ‘steak’ appears pretty much next to every animal on the menu. For those that require invention and exotic ingredients, the trains back into London are fairly frequent. The presentation of the food is 9 o’clock news - fair and emotionless - and without the perky peppercorn or rambunctious red win jus, it would seem like the food equivalent of the BBC test card; a bland mash-and-ketchup face with a body of mushy peas.

There are a few service issues that need addressing: such as, not providing water in jugs that even Katie Price would envy; not delivering the side dishes 5 minutes post-main; and not encouraging customers to play the game of Guess The Freshness with a bowl of piping hot, yet suspiciously soggy, chips.

The kitchen’s aptitude for creating young chips is roughly on a par with its precise timing, as demonstrated in this equation: if one medium-rare steak is served scolding hot, how hot is the chicken supreme and asparagus? If your answers are luke warm and cold, you win a trip to the King’s Head because temperature discrepancy is something they’re good at. Similarly, the sticky toffee pudding, although equally delicious, could wear a warmer coat.

On the happy side of the fence, the garden and the wine list are lip-smackingly sexy and the latter is the lovechild of a Master of Wine; yes, with capital letters! It includes the inimitable Wild Rock; a delight whether you’re on the red or white, meat or wine. The duet of guest ales sitting alongside the serried ranks of routine lagers and ciders is further proof that this is the countryside. Near enough.

The principal three Cs of Geronimo are entrenched deep inside the King’s Head - community, community, community - and its neighbours on the village green are mostly dry cleaners and delis. This sort of commuter belt is almost a fashion accessory. Comparative to the youthful competition down the road, the King’s Head has the monopoly on the upper-middle class nouveau riche: shaven heads and crisp shirts for the gentlechaps and ladies dressed to the nines, tens and elevens.

Overall, a roomy, tasty, genial walk-in refrigerator that’s perfect if you’re local or lost. Just don’t, under any circumstances, confuse it with the Queen’s Head down the road. The King’s Head is the physical embodiment of good natured hospitality whilst the Queen’s Head is as cosy as a fresh grave.

A’ight? A’ight. Nuff said. And tha’.
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Customer Reviews for Kings Head

Average (based on 2 votes): 2 Atmosphere: Value: Quality:

The following customer reviews are not endorsed by Fluid London and are simply those of users who wish to publish their independent experiences of Kings Head.

“Proper suburban London, this. If I lived in the area this would definitely be the local pub I would frequent. The food is of restaurant standard, the decor is inspiringly modern, and the garden bar area is like a wonderland (if only I had a friend called Alice!).”
Atmosphere: Value: Quality:
Leigh, Tooting (9 years 2 months 24 days ago)

“Its a Lovely, Friendly, pub with a brilliant atmosphere.....and open fires in winter!!”
Atmosphere: Value: Quality:
Lynsey Hamilton, London (13 years 16 days ago)

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Additional Information

  • Cuisine Type: Gastro
  • Average Price: £30.00
  • Dress Code: Not Specified
  • Group: Geronimo Inns

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Loved

"My Gulascheintopf war perfekt and so was the Weissbier. I was in Kingston Steins. I do have a few suggestions for decor and table. 1. you need a little jar of toothpicks on the table to get meat out from..." Which venue is this?

Hated

"My Gulascheintopf war perfekt and so was the Weissbier. I was in Kingston Steins. I do have a few suggestions for decor and table. 1. you need a little jar of toothpicks on the table to get meat out from..." Which venue is this?

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