Set in an impressive grade II listed Victorian building, the Duke’s Head is a grand riverside establishment in the heart of Putney. Spanning three floors, it offers a traditional pub atmosphere, a dining room and plenty of entertainment options in the evenings and weekends.
The Duke’s Head is located just off Putney High Street and offers a relaxing location by the river away from the traffic.
The main bar area shows off the old Victorian style with dark brown wooden décor whereas the restaurant almost feels like an upmarket tea room. The restaurant’s high ceilings give it a really spacious feel and it is warmly lit with contemporary chandeliers and a marble fireplace. Downstairs, you will find a basement bar (which is part of the Rowing Club) and this hosts comedy evenings. An additional function room on the first floor can be hired for business meetings or weddings
There is outside seating but the tables are in high demand in the warmer months, even more so when the Boat Race is on as it overlooks the start point.
There is a wonderfully relaxed but upbeat vibe to the place and the venue attracts groups of all ages. The clientele is mostly young professionals from the surrounding area with a few older locals propping up the main bar. The modern and sophisticated feel of the restaurant, in particular, make it a perfect venue for large groups as well as couples. The staff are also very friendly and attentive making for an all-round welcoming experience.
The bar menu offers a variety of food and names most of the dishes after local landmarks and the Boat Race. Sharing platters are on offer from £15-£18 or opt for the classic British dishes such as Guinness Welsh rarebit and London Gold-battered fish and chips. They also serve hearty snacks such as sausage rolls and black pudding scotch egg as well as cockles and whelps for the more sea-faring palate.
The restaurant serves from 12-10pm every day. Starters are priced between £6-£8 and the choices range from rare pepper crusted fillet of beef to salt and pepper Cornish squid to the more adventurous devilled kidneys on toast. Mains utilise British ingredients to provide high quality steaks, burgers and fresh fish. The sumptuous Bombardier chicken pot pie is highly recommended.
The restaurant wine list has a good selection and features quality but not expensive wines from Europe, Chile, New Zealand, Argentina and Australia. Most of them fall within £17-£28 price bracket. If you are in celebratory mood there are also a few prosecco and champagne options ranging from £23-£46. Real ales (largely Young’s own), lagers and cocktails are readily available too.
The Last Word
A prestigious venue that’s perhaps best known for its prime position at the start of the annual Boat Race, the Duke’s Head isn’t just a one-day wonder – it’s a great pub all-year round.