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“"Decline" and "Not as good as it used to be" define this pub.”
Review of The Derby Arms

The Derby Arms
Ranked #68 of 177 Restaurants in Epsom
Price range: $13 - $29
Cuisines: British
Dining options: Breakfast, Late Night, Reservations
Restaurant details
Dining options: Breakfast, Late Night, Reservations
London, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
7 reviews
4 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 14 helpful votes
“"Decline" and "Not as good as it used to be" define this pub.”
Reviewed October 14, 2012

The Derby Arms is a pub that was once famous (in the early 1990s) for gypsies and fighting. The transformation to gastro-pub was very welcome in the early 2000s but a decade later the pub is in obvious decline. The food remains good but the service has become poorer and poorer. On our most recent visit today staff were openly complaining about not being given breaks every six hours (an EU legal requirement).

There is no apparent management in place and orders regularly go missing or have drinks and dishes missing. You should expect to have three or four different servers who do not communicate with each other and will not take responsibility for your table or orders. At some point during service you will almost certainly be abandoned and have to ask someone where your meal/drink/bill is. It is not unusual to wait for thirty or forty minutes for the bill to arrive.

It's a genuine shame that this former gem has lost it's quality over something as straightforward as competent management. Expect to see the gypsy fights on the patch of grass in front of this pub returning in the near future.

  • Visited October 2012
    • Value
    • Atmosphere
    • Service
    • Food
Helpful?
1 Thank linguinigenie
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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644 reviews from our community

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Rating summary
    Food
    Service
    Value
    Atmosphere
Date | Rating
  • Dutch first
  • English first
  • French first
  • Norwegian first
  • Any
English first
London, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
142 reviews
129 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 63 helpful votes
“Pleasantly Surprised”
Reviewed October 11, 2012

Having read some of the not-so-good reviews and having had some disappointing experiences in other 'gastro pubs' I did not have overly high expectations of The Derby Arms. I met a friend and her baby here for lunch today and was most pleasantly surprised. It's a good sized room and the tables in the restaurant are, unlike many others, well spaced out so that you don't feel you are sitting on top of your neighbour. The decor is modern but not too 'feature wall' so. Service was attentive and prompt and there were plenty of tasty sounding dishes on the menu. We shared the Calamari and Soft Shell Tempura starter which was really tasty and not at all greasy. Keeping on a sharing theme we then shared the mixed plate of ribs, chicken wings, kofta, tzatziki and flatbreads - very moorish. Not that we really needed anything else we then shared the warm lemon sponge with lemon curd and vanilla ice-cream - delicious and we felt all of it was good value. So my faith in finding a decent local gastro pub has been restored and I'd definitely return. An added bonus is that there is a decent sized car park at the back.

  • Visited October 2012
    • Value
    • Atmosphere
    • Service
    • Food
Helpful?
Thank hughol
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Berkshire
Level Contributor
126 reviews
76 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 98 helpful votes
“Food very good service a little slow”
Reviewed October 5, 2012

Our first visit to this pub on the beautiful Epsom downs. We were shown to a table in the restaurant part and although a bit dark it was ok. Service to begin with was good but towards the end it was very slow. We waited just a bit too long for our drinks and then it took ages to get our bill and then again to make payment. Apart from that the food was very good - we ate from the £10.95 for 2 courses set menu and the mushroom tagliatelle was delicious and my husbands gammon, egg and chips was very good. The desserts were TO DIE FOR and would definitely make me come back for more. You have to watch out for a little catch on the set menu - read the small print and it says FROM £10.95 and therefore paid £13.95 for the gammon and dessert. I've never had that before on a set menu so wasn't expecting it - bit of a shame. So a few tweeks with the service (although all staff were friendly and cheerful) and this pub would be perfect.

  • Visited October 2012
    • Value
    • Atmosphere
    • Service
    • Food
Helpful?
Thank BrendaBerkshire
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Perigueux, France
Level Contributor
43 reviews
17 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 38 helpful votes
“One redeeming feature of a week in London/Surrey!”
Reviewed October 3, 2012

We spent a dispiriting and horrendously expensive week staying in Morden recently but on the day we returned to our home in France we had lunch at this pub. It was the one good experience of our visit; we had the set lunch of 2 courses for £10ish, which were excellent, served by happy, smiling, helpful staff in a quiet well decorated pub with a log fire on the very wet day we lunched there. The staff are a huge bonus to the pub and their simple and clever salad accompaniment to their fishcake starter was very good indeed. Having dined at Windows 2 days before we felt that this pub as the other end of the dining scale was a great all round experience. We are baffled by the poor reviews and will be returning next time we have to visit the UK. Thank you staff and chef!

  • Visited September 2012
    • Value
    • Atmosphere
    • Service
    • Food
Helpful?
Thank fitz7647
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Epsom, England, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
80 reviews
41 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 37 helpful votes
“Worth a visit”
Reviewed September 30, 2012

Nice on a warm summers day, to sit outside and enjoy a cold beer. Food is pretty good too. Packed and mobbed out during the Derby. Evenings can get a little busy. There is a good sized car park behind the pub.

Visited October 2011
Helpful?
Thank Bob C
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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