I try to avoid referring to Nicholas Lyndhurst in blog posts, and in everyday life generally. The lanky plonker rarely comes up naturally in conversation anymore, but this pub smacks of one of his best/worst programmes – the mid-90s time-travel comedy caper ‘Goodnight Sweetheart’.
The premise of the show was Nick living dual lives – one in a blitz-ridden 1940s London, and one in the greyness of 1990s suburbia. I’m sure you can imagine the hilarity that ensued as he mentioned things that seemed out of place and got his lady-friends’ names mixed up. Chortle.
This pub though, feels like someone taken the two halves of this series and tried to smash them together with a blunt instrument.
The Edwardian chandeliers alongside the obligatory posters of sold out West End shows. The faux train station clock telling you it’s probably a bit early to be making the difficult decision between Carlsberg or Stella (only one guest ale on). The bookshelf wallpaper behind the numerous giant screens showing every single sport you can imagine; watched solely by collar-upturned banter boys who release a chorus of ‘phoaws’ at the advert for this week’s ‘Nuts’ magazine, while secretly harbouring more serious longings for Claire Balding.
This should, I think, be one of those great pubs that only London does; looking indestructible in its warm glow on the corner of two mansard-roof streets, an island bar and comfy sofas, tables big enough to read the broadsheets without making a complete cock of oneself, a Sunday roast on order and nearby tubes to swoosh you home afterwards.
Unfortunately the pub is let down by it’s bowing to the insatiable sport vampires, the feeling that in running away from Wetherspoons’ neutrality it tripped into faux-authenticity and, most worryingly, its undertones of Lyndhurst (which incidentally sounds like a fantastic name for an aftershave!?).
That said, if you were fortunate enough to have a better taste in television programmes in the 1990s, it may well be worth popping in for a pint.