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Pubs/Bars in London Central (West) in general

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4 Reviews

Bayswater/Paddington(W2); Bloomsbury(WC1); Charing Cross(WC2); Covent Garden/Strand(WC2); Fitzrovia(W1); Holborn(WC1,WC2); Holland Park(W11); Kensington(W8); King's Cross(WC1); Leicester Square/Piccadilly Circus(W1,WC2); Marylebone(W1/NW1); Mayfair(W1); N

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      16.08.2000 17:01
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      Freuds is a tiny bar in the basement of a shop at the end of Neal Street in Covent Garden. It’s very well disguised so the clientele is usually made up of regulars and locals rather than the otherwise unavoidable tourists. Find your way down the steep iron staircase and into this poky, gloomy room and you might wonder what on earth I’m doing recommending it. The overall effect is stone, with benches around the walls and a few small round tables. The staff are terrifyingly trendy. Look a little closer and you’ll notice the art exhibition, (which is for sale and usually pretty good), the well-stocked bar, and you may even see people on their own enjoying a quiet drink with the papers. Freuds is one of those most rare of all places, a bar in which girls can drink solo. Now I don’t want to give the wrong impression of myself here, but there are times, a hot Saturday afternoon when you’ve been giving the credit card a bashing in Neal Street for example, that a nice cold beer in a gloomy bar with no hassle goes down a treat. The food is great –giant Mediterranean-type sarnies and salads. Coffee is good too, (try the iced coffee – yum) and there’s an interesting range of soft drinks. If you avoid the cocktails it’s not too expensive, considering the location. Ah, did I mention the cocktails… If you fancy trying it of an evening it’s worth getting down there early, because this daytime haven of tranquillity quickly fills to the point of bursting.

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        04.07.2000 21:58
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        I don't know if this is the right place to put this - I know there are pub reviews in the city and campus guides, but I want to talk about the entire chain of J D Wetherspoon. If you live in any moderately sized town, you can't have failed to have noticed a Wetherspoon pub. They've probably bought a big old building in your town, and the local paper will congratulate them for turning what was once a derelict eyesore into a useful building again. Then the pub opens, so curious, you go for a look around. They've spent a fortune on the place - it's all freshly decorated, and has carpets and comfy chairs. You go to the bar - what's this? These prices are really cheap. Great, you think I'll come here again. I have found though that the novelty soon begins to wear off. For a start, the pubs have no atmosphere at all - not even any attempt at any atmosphere. And what's worse, is that the numbers of Wetherspoons (and all the other chain pubs) are multiplying so rapidly that soon all the nice pubs will have gone and this is all we'll have. It's more like having a pint in the bar of a motel than in a pub. Service isn't fantastic - the staff don't seem to attempt to keep an eye on who should be served next, and often get drinks orders completely wrong. Then a trend for running out of things began. At first, not major things. Order a plate of nacho's and they've run out of salsa. No big deal - annoying, but no big deal. But then it started to get worse. One time I ordered food to find they had no cheese. The very next time I was there, they'd run out of nearly all the food - one of the barmen had to come and point at the things that actually were available on the menu. My favourite Wetherspoon story is from a friend who's local branch managed to run out of draught beer for two weeks - this was the branch that had run out of change when I visited and still owes me three pence. Now and then t his wouldn't be so bad, but it happens all to often, and it's not as if the staff are ever at all apologetic. The pubs are also now beginning to employ bouncers in some of their larger branches. I have once been asked rather unpleasantly to get my feet off the furniture when they weren't even on it. On another occasion, after eight of us had been drinking in the pub for six hours, we were less than impressed with their method of emptying the pub - putting on the floodlights, and sending bouncers round to virtually scream in your face to drink up and get out. They may be cheap, but the lack of atmosphere, the doubt that you'll even be able to buy what you want combined with poor service means that Wetherspoons isn't necessarily the best place for a good night out.

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          23.06.2000 21:28

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          I love this place!!! had some of the best nights here but mainly because of the people we are with and we dont take it all too seriously! oh and we always manage to blag our way into the star studded parties! Get friendly with the staff as it has done us loads of favours. There is always someone or something exciting going on here but it can be a nightmare to get in! Good for a giggle, can get dressed up, fit men with plenty of money and a good atmosphere. Let the good times roll coz this place never fails to impress me.

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          23.06.2000 04:14

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          As a huge fan of all things Australian, I was very pleased to discover this pub. There are several other branches, but this is my favourite, and is very convenient as it is in the same road as the "Australia Shop"! It serves a large range of Aussie and New Zealand Beers, and other drinks, (as well as non Aussie/NZ drinks), and great food - the portions are large and I have never had reason to complain. Most evenings there is Live music, and at these times (and during major sporting events, particularly Aust/NZ events) the pub becomes crowded. But there is room for everyone as there are 3 bars open at busy times (and 2 when not), and you do not have to worry about looking after your bags etc, as there is a cloakroom (at a small charge).

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