Frequented by theatre lovies, students from the nearby arts college and well-to-do locals, The Tabard is an essential port of call if you’re passing through Turnham Green tube station with a raging thirst.
The Tabard is a bit of an institution in these parts. A working theatre occupies the first floor of this building and it's therefore popular with eccentric, posh W4 residents who are partial to getting a bit squiffy in the bar. Add to this the little known fact that actor John Hurt used to throw legendary parties down the road at his former residence and the area’s thespian credentials are unquestionable. The theatre is actually run independently to the pub and it punches well above its weight for what is predominantly a leafy residential area, with performances from comedy big-hitters Al Murray and Harry Hill alongside a healthy program of Shakespeare and new writing.
Internally, the pub is a dark space with very little natural light, sectioned off in to a bar and lounge by a frosted partition. A wood-panelled seated room sinks down via a couple of steps at one end of the lounge area, whilst another room, accessible from the same part of the building, offers a bit more privacy from the main bar and it is sometimes employed for comedy nights (Thursdays) and quiz nights (Wednesdays). The stand-up involves a few quid to pass through a temporary cloth curtain, erected specially for the occasion and, as a result, it seems a bit steep to charge a fee for something you can hear vicariously in the room next door.
This is a nice part of the capital and you can expect people to be, on the whole, pretty jovial and good-natured. Ocassionally you might stumble across a bit of wind-up merchant – usually found sat smoking bines on the covered outdoor terrace area – but overall it’s usually it’s all very civilised.
Ales are highly visible on the pumps, with five ales constantly on rotation. You can expect the likes of Purity Mad Goose, Brains and Tribute St. Austell at £2.85-£3.03 a pint. Lagers are a bit less inspiring - Kronenbourg, Fosters, Stella and Staropramen flutter between £3.22-£3.77 a pint, and make-up a selection that’s not to everyone’s tastes by any means. House wine is less than £12 a bottle and even the more expensive options will only set you back £15.60.
The Last Word
The Tabard is a good-natured pub with the added bonus of its outdoor terrace and the theatre upstairs. Not a pub to travel any length of distance for but, if you’re local, passing through Turnham Green tube station or fancy a drink before the show, it’s a handy spot.