Pubspy: The Dolphin, Sutton
When I think of dolphins my mind immediately conjures up images of crystal blue waters in which those playful creatures dance through the waves created by the bow of my yacht which I bought after striking it rich on the EuroMillions.
I sip Doom Bar from a champagne flute and gaze lovingly into the eyes of former Spice Girl Emma Bunton who I managed to woo after my windfall.
We sit and watch the dolphins play as we sail around the Greek islands.
Our whirlwind romance is really gathering pace. Life doesn’t get much better than this.
However, I am not going to tell Bunton about those missed calls I’ve had from Beyoncé, former Pussycat Doll Nicole Scherzinger and Linda Lusardi.
Sadly for me, the reality is very different. The only encounter I’ve had with a dolphin lately came when I popped into the boozer of that name in land-locked Sutton.
The dream turned into a nightmare before I even walked through the door. Swap the idyllic surroundings of crystal blue waters for the boarded-up Burger King, my yacht for the 213 bus and, sadly, Bunton for a female punter who sat near me whose laugh was reminiscent of Grotbags from the 1980s kids’ TV show Emu’s World which starred Rod Hull and, of course, his anarchic puppet Emu.
To top it all off, the only island I could see was the one I needed to help me cross the road and the only missed calls I had were from my mum.
Once I’d walked through the doors of The Dolphin and negotiated the sticky floor I ordered a pint of Courage Best, which weighed in at the very reasonable price of £2.66.
One thing which struck me when I walked in was that all the punters were hidden towards the back of the pub near the pool table. It was as if they were ashamed to show their faces at the front of the pub.
As well as the Grotbags giggler, there was a right old rabble propping up the bar. I swear I even spotted Gollum from Lord of the Rings swigging a whiskey in a dark and dingy corner of the boozer. Apologies to you madam, if that was you.
There’s no escaping it, this pub has seen better days. It’s tidy enough but it lacks a decent atmosphere. Sadly, it has always been the kind of pub people pass up on their way to somewhere better.
In fact, the only sparkle it has left can be found on the trophies on display near the dartboard. Chelsea fans may want to pop in at some point for a quick reminder of what silverware looks like.
However, it’s not all bad. There were some delightful ornamental dolphins on the window sills which gleamed in the sunlight like Emma Bunton’s smile after one too many glasses of Doom Bar.
The Dolphin, 316 High Street, Sutton, SM1 1PR
DECOR: XXX It’s had a much-needed lick of paint recently.
DRINK: XX Courage Best was OK. There was also Fosters, Kronenbourg and John Smiths.
PRICE: XXXX As much as I’d like to, not even I can grumble at £2.66 for a pint.
ATMOSPHERE: XX Magic FM provided the music, but Elton John’s Goodbye Norma Jean and Tracy Chapman’s Fast Car failed to lift spirits.
STAFF: XXXX The barmaid was very polite and well presented, I have to say.