The William Morris, Merton Abbey

Published on 12 June 2004 in , , , ,

Set alongside the Wandle river, Abbey Mills is a series of old mills and factory buildings long since converted into a craft market. It’s rather nice and tranquil when you consider that just nearby is a huge roundabout and a dockoff Sainsburys hypermarket.

Nestling in one of the buildings is The William Morris pub.

The pub itself is a pretty standard conversion of an old building – one big open room, central bar, TVs blaring out to no one and fruit machines randomly plonked around. On the plus side, there’s a river terrace, some little alcoves and a no smoking room. There’s also five handpulled ales, which are well kept and tend to vary quite a bit.

Unfortunately it’s all rather let down by the service. The phrase ‘painfully slow’ springs to mind – even on a quiet night it can take about ten minutes to get anything out of the bar staff, and as for keeping the place tidy… Well hmmm…

The no smoking room especially gets the rough end of the stick, seeming to be the dumping ground for boxes of serviettes or paperwork. Oh and there’s a mouse trap just plonked under one of the tables. Very enticing.

Yep, someone could have hidden it discretely away so that you didn’t see it. But they didn’t. Which rather sums the place up.

Yet again with pubs around Colliers Wood, I find myself thinking that immortal phrase… With a little work, this could be a truly fantastic pub. It’s got the location, the size, the history. It just needs a little more love and attention than it has at the minute.


3 out of 5 – mainly because the beer is quite good.


Merton Abbey Mills 20, Watermill Way, Merton, London, SW19 2RD

Beers on handpull during visit:

Bass, Ansells, HSB, Adnams Broadside, London Pride.