The little-known 'underground' speakeasy restaurant near Surrey with blues music and incredible burgers

The Fallen Heroes played blues tracks all night
-Credit: (Image: Lauren Cole-Lomas)

Live music, good food and drink are staple ingredients for a good night out. I visited a bustling spot just over the Surrey border that boasts all three.

Kingston is a hive for live music and performances, with several venues dedicated to showcasing talent from big band names to emerging artists. But Smok’d at The Grey Horse really stands out.

With 1,282 Google reviews and a 4.6 star rating, you know it's going to be a good time. One wrote: "Best experience ever. I had an amazing time at the Grey Horse. Staff were amazing and helpful. And their Steak was absolutely fantastic." I knew I had to check it out. I was lucky enough to be invited to Smok’d at The Grey Horse, and came away with a new favourite night out venue.

For those, like I was, who aren’t familiar with the venue, it’s a fabulous spot. It’s not just a nice pub though, because it’s got a courtyard that’s perfect for weekend drinks, and a speakeasy-style bar with a stage called Ram Jam Records.

My friend and I were shown to our seats, at a table right in front of the stage. The bar had a really cool vintage, underground vibe.

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The Smashing Basil and Dragon Slut
The Smashing Basil and Dragon Slut -Credit:Lauren Cole-Lomas

Immediately we started perusing the menu, filled with delicious barbeque options, including ribs, burgers, steaks and shakes. But before getting too lost in the delectable options, we got started on choosing drinks.

I love a fresh, green cocktail so the Smashing Basil immediately caught my eye. Made with Plymouth Gin, kings ginger, Yuzu Sake, lemon, ginger, a dash of apple juice and of course, basil leaves, this was a gorgeous summer drink.

Tamara, my friend, ordered the a, slight rudely name cocktail called the 'Slut Dragon', recommended by our host, Joy. It’s one of the most popular cocktails on the menu, with Edinburgh Raspberry Gin, Beefeater Strawberry Gin, apple and cranberry juice, raspberries and elderflower. This cocktail certainly had a kick to it, and was rich with fruity flavours.

The Fallen Heroes took to the stage, a blues quartet with suede-like vocals, groovy saxophone, crisp-sounding drums and funky piano playing. I particularly enjoyed the cover of Proud Mary by Tina Turner and the varied selection of smooth blues tracks.

Once the music got going our sizzling starters came over, pan fried prawns in garlic and herb butter, and baby back ribs doused in barbeque glaze. The prawns were chunky and cooked to perfection, with an incredible flavour.

The burger is great value for money
The burger is great value for money -Credit:Lauren Cole-Lomas

This comparison might sound a little strange, but bear with me - the prawns reminded me of Cuban cigars with an earthy, woody and almost leathery flavour. Trust me, it was delicious.

We shared the prawns, which came with toasted bread on the side, and the baby back ribs, which for a starter, were really well portioned. Not too sticky, with rich tomato flavours and a slight treacle taste, with the meat falling off the bone and zero gristle.

It was a great way to kick off dinner, I couldn’t wait for the mains to come. I went with the classic burger, with the brioche bun, seven-ounce patty, smokey bacon, cheese, burger mayo, relish, salad and pickles.

This huge burger arrived, and I noted the meat was cooked rare, and was juicy and I could tell it’s good quality meat. The bacon rashers were thick, and the smokey flavour paired really well with the melted cheese.

On the side I had morish fries, and polished off the whole thing pretty quickly, for £14, you can’t go wrong. Despite my delicious meal, I fell victim to the green-eyed monster when I saw Joy bring Tamara’s dinner over.

A sizzling stone plate was brought over on a platter, complete with seasoning, herbs, sauces and raw chopped ribeye steak. The whole set up was just unreal: front row seats with cook your own steak - what could be better?

Cook your own steak
Cook your own! -Credit:Lauren Cole-Lomas

With some assistance from me, Tamara placed the slices of steak onto the hot plate, seasoning and cooking. The steak looked amazing and came pre-sliced so you didn’t need to struggle to cut it.

The steak dish came with fries and a rocket, tomato and parmesan salad with peppercorn sauce to season the steak with herbs and garlic butter. For £35, I thought this was a great deal.

We stayed until around 11pm, but on departure, I noticed how buzzy the venue still was. Many were enjoying drinks in the courtyard or at the bar, and the music was still going.

Many places start wrapping up at 11pm, but it felt like things were just warming up at The Grey Horse. It’s a fab spot for nights out and I’m really pleased with my visit.

Looking at the event list, Ram Jam Records has a whole host of events from music to comedy. There’s pretty much anything you could fancy from hip-hop nights to speakeasy parties.

More information

  • If you’d like to visit, you can find The Grey Horse at 46 Richmond Rd, Kingston upon Thames KT2 5EE

  • It’s open from 12pm until 11pm on Sunday to Thursday, and 12pm until 1pm on Saturday and Sunday

  • Find the website here to book

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