Sports bars often carry the connotation of cheap alcohol, a sterile environment and OTT crowds. It’s enough to strike fear into any fans of a ‘refined’ drink. Still, if you can’t afford the Sky Sports fee or just want to enjoy a pint while cheering your team on to victory (or otherwise) the Famous 3 Kings is a decent place to do so.
Famous 3 Kings is far prettier than your bog-standard sports bar. It’s located within a beautiful corner-positioned building that could easily be converted into a grand old traditional pub. However, once inside, those borderline-tacky sports bar touches have crept in. The oversized TV screens hang from plain walls, flags and sporting memorabilia can be spied all over the place and the bar, tables and chairs are shiny and sterile. Although the bar has tried to instil some comforting decorative embellishments like exposed brick and granny lamps, it’s just a bit bland.
That said, with over a dozen big screens across different areas and rooms and with a downstairs games room, the bar has really pushed the boat out when it comes to entertainment.
When a big game is on – particularly a key footie fixture – the atmosphere at the Famous 3 Kings is electric and this pub really comes into its own. The bar really excels with the choice offered to punters, and if there are two or more big games on – not uncommon – then different screens will show different events so you’re not left calling around any pub within a 5 mile radius just to see your team win. And the crowd is pretty good, with little attitude – this is Kensington, after all.
Famous 3 Kings has kept to the sort of menu that has made Wetherspoons so popular –greasy, stomach-lining grub. The menu is colourful with pictures of the food (in case you’re not sure what a burger looks like) and you can order things like a rather overpriced ham sandwich for £5.75 or a jacket with beans for nearly a fiver. The mains are much better value, with dishes like steak and ale pie with chips or chilli coming in at under a tenner. Make the most of food deals such as two main courses for £11 to keep the costs down.
Given that beer is such a focus when the footie is on, Famous 3 Kings doesn’t really push the boat out with its selection. You’ll find a decent choice of common lagers like Heineken, Fosters and Peroni alongside traditional draught favourites Strongbow and Guinness. There is, however, unusual Welsh ale Brains, which is usually difficult to track down in London. If beer isn’t your thing (gasp!) then there's a large wine menu comprising a selection of cheap bottles of plonk - we’re talking £10 a bottle.
The Last Word
If you’re looking for a sports bar with decent screens that’s large enough to hold you and your mates then the Famous 3 Kings is as good as any other sports-focussed bar in London. How much you’ll enjoy yourself probably depends on whether or not your team is winning.