Liverpool Street Station
Monday 20th January 1992
Over the last 5 years the Liverpool St area has been transformed, various old building have been swept away and shiny new office blocks put up in their place. No improvement here I can hear you say, however our interest is in what this has done to the public houses in the area, as you might expect this is like the curate's egg, good in parts. A number of pubs were swept away and in their place are some rather glitzy lager palaces and wine bars appropriate to the clientele to be found in this area. On our trial run we did have some problems with being served due to a member of the survey team wearing jeans. I do not appreciate this sort of treatment so I would recommend that you avoid the Sir Philip Pindar which is a new pub at the end of the main office block. There were some good pubs including the new J D Wetherspoons pub which was itself worth several visits in the evening.
We start off in the Woodin Shades which is opposite the station in Bishopsgate.
1. Woodin's Shades - 212 Bishopsgate [18:30]
Charrington Bass & IPA
Named after a local publican who owned 5 pubs in the city, presumably Shades is a reference to the customers. The single bar in this pub was said to be an upmarket public bar. The bar was rather sparse with bare wooden floor and a few bar stools scattered about. Its trade seems to have suffered from the new pubs in the area and it was rather quiet on our visit. The IPA had been reduced to £1.14 a pint on our visit though I do not know how long this reduction applies for. This pub shuts at 20:00.
Leaving the Woodin Shades we go next door to Dirty Dicks.
2. Dirty Dicks - 202/4 Bishopsgate [19:00]
Youngs Special & Bitter
A fairly old pub which has recently been acquired by Youngs. This building has been a pub since 1804 the name comes from a previous owner one Nathaniel Bentley who refused to wash after some romantic upset ,in more recent times there used to be a tradition of leaving bits of memorabilia stuck to the wall, sadly this all seems to have been swept away. There are two bars though the downstairs bar refers to itself as a wine bar and there was a large notice discouraging people in jeans. The upstairs bar was very busy and has been done up in a fake? olde worlde style. Worth a visit for historic reasons, note it closes at 20:00.
Crossing back over the road take us to the station, to the left of the escalators down to the station we see the Hamilton Hall.
3. Hamilton Hall - Bishopsgate [20:00]
Green King Abbot & IPA, Wadworths 6X, Theakstons XB, Marstons Pedigree
A very large pub which is actually in the former ballroom of the Great Eastern Hotel. A magnificently decorated ceiling with all the original plasterwork and chandeliers. There are actually two bars the second being upstairs at the mezzanine level overlooking the main bar area. Very crowded on our first visit but bar service was reasonable as there appeared to be about 7 bar staff. The prices as always for Wetherspoons pubs were reasonable, ie £1.22 for Green King IPA (84p for Youngers Scotch bitter though this might have been a special offer). Food is served up to 22:00 so you might care to eat here.
Passing through the station concourse and out of the back of the station and walking through Broadgate Circle and Finsbury Av square brings us to The Fleetwood.
4. The Fleetwood - Wilson St [21:00]
Fullers ESB, London Pride, Chiswick
Another brand new pub, plenty of chrome and glass, seats outside, though possibly not on a winters evening. Another busy pub though we did manage to grab a table. This pub appeared to serve food up to 21:00, the pizzas looked good though we did not indulge on our trial run. We suspect that this pub in fact might close at 21:00 though I wouldn't swear to that.
Retracing our steps through the station, across Bishopsgate and left to the Nat West bank we turn right into a alleyway and find -
5. Williams Wine & Ale House 22-24 Artillery Lane E1 [21:45]
Breakspears, Boddingtons, Green King Abbot, Youngers IPA
We have to note the change of postal district for some reason. Another pub with a penchant for bare wooden floors, couldn't see much sign of the wine promised by the sign outside. Has an active darts team who were having a noisy game on our entrance. There was plenty of seating on our visit though I suspect that this pub is busy earlier. This pub shuts at 23:00 which is worth knowing in this area.
6. Hamilton Hall - details already given
This pub is definitely worth several visits, you may care to fit an extra visit in between the Fleetwood and Williams wine bar. The opening hours are 11:00-23:00 Monday to Saturday and all legal hours on Sunday.
Date: Thursday 9th January 1992
Team: John Wright, Steve Chenery, Rick Bond, Edmund Featherstone.
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