Top 5 Wetherspoons in London

15:10

There are two things I always do on a first date.

1. Strongly suggest going to a chain bar. It doesn't matter if it's an All Bar One, a B@1, a Slug and Lettuce, or a Pitcher and Piano, but that's the deal.
2. Bring up my love for Wetherspoons at some point. I can tell everything I need to know about a person by their opinion of a Wetherspoons.

So, for example, on the worst date I ever had I went to the Aqua Shard, paid £27 for two gin and tonics and upon making the (valid) joke that I could have got 9 and a half gin and tonics for that money in a typical Wetherspoons, was met with derisive laughter and then a..."oh, so you actually do go to Wetherspoons then?" Needless to say the date ended with a brisk "It was nice to have met you" on my part.

EVERYONE should love Wetherspoons. Why would anyone turn up their nose at drinks offers, beers and burgers, Curry Club? I can walk into any Wetherspoons in the country and feel like everyone knows my name and they are always glad I came. Wetherspoons people are my people, and I only want in my life other Wetherspoons people. I was lucky to grow up in the shadow of a wonderful Wetherspoons, but I know not everyone is as lucky and is perhaps reluctant to visit now due to memories of their misspent youths. I have created this list of my personal favourite Wetherspoons in London, so you can visit and realise that actually, Wetherspoons is amazing.


5. THE SHAKESPEARE'S HEAD, HOLBORN.



What do Wetherspoons have to say?
This Wetherspoon pub takes its name from its famous namesake, which was in nearby Wych Street, off Drury Lane. Shakespeares Head was frequented by actors and literary figures, such as Charles Dickens. The writer Mark Lemon spent several years as the pub's landlord and later founded Punch magazine, which he edited for nearly 30 years until his death in 1870.

What do I have to say?
Once upon a time my local Wetherspoons, the Shakespeare's Head always has a party atmosphere on your typical Friday night. If you fancy a pitcher of Woo Woo but you aren't in the mood for a dance, there is no better place to go to unwind. Big tables make this Wetherspoons perfect for large groups; why not come here for your next birthday, hen night or corporate event?

4. THE ROCKET, PUTNEY.


What do Wetherspoons have to say?
Nothing, apparently, so you'll just have to trust me on this.

What do I have to say?
I only visited the Rocket for the first time recently, and it cannot be beaten on location wow factor. Next to Putney Bridge with panoramic views of the river from the clear windowed seating area, this Wetherspoons is perfect for unwinding on a quiet Sunday afternoon. I would suggest you share a bottle of Hardy's rose wine with a friend and kick back and relax whilst enjoying the scenery (extra bonus for other pale and interesting types like myself: to enjoy the view you don't even need to sit outside).

3. THE MONTAGU PYKE, SOHO.



What do Wetherspoons have to say?
The main part of this Wetherspoon pub - fronting on to Charing Cross Road - was built in 1911 by Montagu Pyke, as his 16th, and last, cinema.
This great building was formerly the Marquee Club, which is where some truly iconic bands played, one notably the Rolling Stones.

What do I have to say?
A Wetherspoons that will always be close to my heart. When I was 18 and had not long been in London, two of my friends from my hometown came to visit for the weekend. We wandered around Soho trying to work up the nerve and courage to visit what we saw as a "classy London bar". We saw the back entrance of the Montagu Pyke and with a huge amount of jostling and egging each other on finally summoned up the nerve to walk in. Upon seeing that it turned out to be a Wetherspoons after all we were overcome with a relief. We all learnt a valuable lesson about being true to ourselves that day. Since then we have visited the Montagu Pyke time and time again, and it has been the site of such iconic moments as attempting to finish a 'Christmas cocktail' and the capture of my current Facebook cover photo.

2. THE KNIGHTS TEMPLAR, CHANCERY LANE.


What do Wetherspoons have to say?
This Wetherspoon pub is the former Union Bank, and takes its name from the order of Warrior Knights across whose land Chancery Lane was built in the 12th century.
It is named after an ancient order of Warrior Monks - The Knights Templar. Hugues de Payens, Geoffroy de St Omer and seven other French knights founded the order, in Jerusalem, in 1118. King Baldwin II, the French king of Jerusalem (1118-1131), installed the order's residence, stables and armoury in the part of his palace which was on the site of Solomon's Temple, from which the order took its name - Knight of the Temple or Templars. The Knights Templar features heavily in The Da Vinci Code - if you look really carefully, during the scene featuring Middle Temple Church, you may spot our beautiful pub.

What do I have to say?
A pub so classy that for several months I did not even realise was a Wetherspoons (I was about 20 at the time and my Wetherspoons radar was not as finely tuned as it is now). It is often full of lawyers who work in the area and with a beautiful interior (including chandeliers), it would be a great place for a relaxing drink after work and is the perfect Wetherspoons to impress. I have noted on my research that this pub is closed on Saturday evenings and all day Sundays and is licensed for civil partnerships. I am already adding this to the Dream Wedding Pinterest board that currently exists only in my mind (for now).



1. THE CROSSE KEYS, BANK.


What do Wetherspoons have to say?
A plaque on the front of this Wetherspoon pub recalls that a famous coaching inn, called the Crosse Keys, stood near this site.

What do I have to say?
I cannot overestimate the pure beauty and grandeur of this Wetherspoons. A picture, as they say, pours a thousand amaretto and cranberries:


This Wetherspoons is cavernous, filled with skylights, book cases, hogs' heads, huge spiral staircases, marble, the works. If Albus Dumbledore went to a Wetherspoons, it would be the Crosse Keys. The instant wow factor when you walk in is not to be dismissed. If you are going to be in London for one day, or if you've lived in London for ten years, you must make this Wetherspoons your next priority for a visit. I cannot recommend it enough and will be dropping back in ASAP.






If this post makes a single reader visit a single Wetherspoons, it will all have been worth it. I know given this is allegedly a blog about 'pop music', 'the charts' and 'X Factor' this may seem a little off topic, but it's my domain name and I can write about WHATEVER causes I feel passionate about. Now, who's up for a drink?

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