My Pub: the Albany Pub & Dining Room, Twickenham, Surrey

By Gary Lloyd

- Last updated on GMT

Scrum down to the pub: the Albany in Twickenham is an England and Harlequins favourite pre and post matches
Scrum down to the pub: the Albany in Twickenham is an England and Harlequins favourite pre and post matches

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The Albany Pub & Dining Room is a favourite stop for England and Harlequins fans on their way to matches in Twickenham but rugby is not the only ruler of this Surrey pub.

Barbara Wardle – better known as Babs – is the face behind the bar of this iconic pub that can be seen from the bridge when exiting Twickenham rail station.

Here, Babs gives The Morning Advertiser​ the lowdown on the site gives treats drinks and food with equal billing.

The pub

Opening in 1870, the Albany Pub & Dining Room use to be the Station hotel for Twickenham rail station, which was originally directly in front of the pub.

Since then, it has been redeveloped and lost a large part of the pub to flats.

Some 16 years ago, I took on the front-of-house manager role at the Albany I met James Fry, who was the executive chef for the small pub/restaurant group that the previous owners had.

Facts ’n’ stats

Name:​ the Albany Pub & Dining Room

Address: ​1 Queen’s Road, Twickenham, TW1 4EZ

Licensee: ​Babs Wardle

Wet:dry split: ​60:40

Year opened under current management: ​2012


Over the next four years, both of us worked hard in our roles across the group and over time our relationship developed too. When the owners were looking to sell on the Albany, it was an excellent opportunity for us and the obvious next stage in both our professional and personal relationships.

We started running the Albany as our business in July 2012 (we married in 2016). Since then, we have put our own stamp on this backstreet pub.

We have redecorated and personalised the pub and our front patio garden over the years. There is a story behind all the shirts and items in the pub and, in the dining room, we display work by local artist Lee Campbell.

The publican

I worked in the NHS for eight years in IT and projects but returned to work in hospitality at pubs and restaurants within the local area before starting at the Albany in 2008.

Albany Babs and fella
James and Babs Fry

I have undertaken extensive wine training and am halfway through my WSET diploma.

James is an Australian-trained chef and worked across the world in both high-end and more casual dining environments. We are lucky to have such culinary skills in our small business.

The trade

We are a unique venue in Twickenham because we an independent freehouse and owner-operated.

We are very much part of the local community, providing a pub that serves the needs of its locals. We host book clubs, community meet-ups, quiz nights and creative nights. We have held wedding and life celebrations, special birthdays, Christenings and everything in between. In particular, we love our annual Halloween event

It goes without saying that being in Twickenham makes us very much a rugby pub.

Albany eating area

We are a regular venue for Harlequin rugby fans and, of course, the away fans eating and drinking pre and post games at the Stoop, many returning to us match after match, year after year.

This is also true for the England rugby fans due to our closeness to Twickenham Stadium and enjoy lubricating the large crowds before and after England international games. These are very challenging but rewarding days.

We also take great pride in sponsoring Twickenham Rugby Club Senior Squad, one of the oldest rugby clubs in the UK and are now in our 11th​ year of being a key sponsor.

The team

We are a small team with James running the kitchen and myself at front of house. Many of our team come from the local St Mary’s University or are local families.

In fact, several of the current and past team have been customers here with their families for years, and come to work with us when they are of an age to do so.

The drink

We enjoy working with family run businesses and/or locals. We have worked with Shepherd Neame for a lot of years now and they supply the majority of our draught products – members of the Shepherd Neame team and family frequently attend the pub for pre-rugby dining.

albany burger and fish collage

We also work with Twickenham Fine Ales & Battersea Brewery. Our wines come from Ellis of Richmond (still family run) and Boutinot wines, which offers a personal service and some unique wines. Choosing wines that will delight customers is probably my favourite part of the role and she loves a good story behind the wine that she can share with her customers. We currently have a Shiraz that is grown and produced just down the road from where James grew up in Australia.

We also keep a wide range of spirits so, for example, we currently have 30-plus different types gins, 15 whiskies and Bourbons and nine rums – we like to make sure there is something to please all our different types of customers.

The food

Once people discover us, our repeat trade is mighty.

I suggest a lot of that is to do with the kitchen team and James’s dedication to providing a consistently good-quality product.

albany cocktails and desserts collage

We have some items that are always on the menu, mixed in with new dishes, which change frequently and make sure that there is something new available when our regulars want to mix it up.

Our Sunday roasts our very popular and we pride ourselves on making everything from scratch, in particular, our gravy, which takes almost three days to make.

The events

We have hosted a variety of different events, which include live music events, drink and food tastings, charity fundraising evenings, weddings, barbecue events, wreath-making, open mics as well and special events for our customers and, of course, Christmas parties. Our Halloween event is my favourite.

albany poultry and roast dinner collage

The future

The building has just had an extensive external repair and redecoration and we are looking forward to summer so we can make more use of our jazzed-up patio space.

Increasing our social media presence and interactions is one of my main goals this year… maybe there’s an Albany TikTok dance in the future.

What’s on the menu?


Salt & Pepper Squid, Herb Aioli - £7

Pork & Guinea Fowl Terrine, Fruit Chutney & Toast - £7

Twice Baked Goats Cheese Souffle, Walnut & Parsnip Crisps, Poached Pear - £7


Sweet Potato Dumplings, Charred Purple Broccoli, Artichoke & Ricotta Cream - £13.50

The ‘Original’ Albany Beef Burger, Farmhouse Cheddar, Smoked Bacon & Fries - £15.50

‘Taste of the Ocean’ Fish Burger, Tartare Sauce, Pickled Cucumber & Fries - £14.90


Belgian Chocolate Marquise, Salted Caramel Popcorn, Espresso Cream - £7

Steamed Blood Orange & Stem Ginger Pudding, Vanilla Custard - £7

Caramelised Sicilian Lemon Tart, Clotted Cream - £7

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