We’ve heard about Wetherspoon’s brand new £3 million boozer ‘The Stargazer’ opening in the 02 North Greenwich on March 21, but lest Zone 1 hostelries feel neglected, they have all now been ranked from best to worst, in a heroic effort by two reporters at Yahoo News evidencing practical primary research at its finest.
Funnily enough it’s not the first time that news writers have sacrificed all in the name of investigative journalism and placed central Spoons pubs in a league table. After all, the chain has been around since 1979, and there are an awful lot of them, despite the news last September that we’ll be losing several in the capital as nine are up for sale.
Here at Time Out, we thought we’d take a look at how the pubs in the list fared according to Spoons punters, courtesy of Google reviews. These range from 4.1 based on 4,530 reviews for the top-ranked Bank’s ‘The Crosse Keys’, with one reviewer saying: ‘Beautiful Spoons, huge pub. It is actually a gem to have Spoons in the middle of London. Spending less with great choices of beer is what we all want now.’
Another agreed, saying: ‘A fine establishment for the brand. Perfectly decorated for a proper typical Wetherspoon’s.’
Some of the reviews perhaps give more of an insight into the reviewer than the pub: ‘They got mad when I ordered 10 sliced chillies and 5 fried eggs and 5 bowls of peas. Waiter was sassy with us and they didn’t have beans or the peas I ordered. Got shouted at to leave at 11pm but hey it’s a Spoons so it gets a 3 stars instead of 1.’
That’s some late-night shakshuka improv right there.
At the other end of the scale, at number 17, The Moon Under Water in Leicester Square was rated… also 4.1, based on 4,874 reviews. Customers seem quite happy with what this pub offers too: ‘Good place to drink or eat something. Located at Leicester Square in the heart of London. Cheaper than other pubs. Good staff.’ Bosh.
This reviewer really wants to sit down: ‘This is in a fantastic location, but this is also the downside. It is always way too busy and you will never get a seat. With that said, I will always pop in and try get a seat. Deffo try and get a seat if you’re nearby.’
Possibly this is the same chap, using a different online identity: ‘I only popped in there briefly, but although it’s a bit smaller than some Wetherspoons, I found the service quite good. Getting a seat was a bit more difficult though, otherwise I would’ve given it 5 stars.’
So there we have it, writers may take the time and trouble to visit all the pubs and rate them on beer, ambience, decor, and service, but they need to understand that what customers really, really want is a seat, ten sliced chillies, a mound of fried eggs and the global GDP of peas.
Here’s the list of all 17, in (inn?) order, best to worst:
- The Crosse Keys, Bank,
- The Hamilton Hall, Liverpool Street Station
- The Shakespeare’s Head, Holborn
- The Liberty Bounds, Tower Hill
- The Pommelers Rest, Tower Bridge
- The Barrel Vault, St Pancras Station
- Penderel’s Oak, Holborn
- The Sir John Hawkshaw, Cannon Street Station
- The Metropolitan Bar, Marylebone
- Goodman’s Field, Aldgate
- The Masque Haunt, Old Street
- The Willow Walk, Victoria
- The Sir John Oldcastle, Farringdon
- The Angel, Islington
- The Rockingham Arms, Elephant & Castle
- The Wetherspoon’s, Victoria Station [that’s apparently what it’s called]
- The Moon Under Water, Leicester Square
Truly an act of selfless devotion.
Fancy going to a pub instead? Here’s our list of the 50 best pubs in London.
And as one pub opens, another closes, this landmark in Stockwell will be missed.