It’s rare that a pub which is painted the same colour as an aubergine on the outside turns out to be extremely tasteful on the inside. I’ve been plodding around Soho and it’s various haunts both respectable and reprehensible for a fair few years and must admit I’ve avoided The Crown and Two Chairmen almost purely based on the paint job. Please am I now though to note that this error has been corrected.
Parked on the corner of Dean Street and Bateman Street (someone really ought to open an American Psycho themed restaurant on there….in fact if you read this and open one I want free drinks) The Crown and Two Chairmen is slap bang in the middle of Soho and incredibly easy to get to from Oxford Street, Leicester Square or indeed China Town if that happens to be where you are at the time. Despite this very central location it isn’t painfully busy or more importantly ruinously expensive and a couple of choice pints came in at under £8. Also great for location was how mixed the crowd was here; girls having ‘brunch’, bloke reading book, lads, weird folliclly challenged chap in corner taking notes (me) and its successfully avoiding the trap that many Soho venues fall into of only catering for one audience.
The real standout thing about the pub for me was how homely and welcoming it felt from start to finish. It’s light, bright and there’s a healthy choice between slack leather sofas, stools in the window, tables or ‘slouchy banquettes’ (as their website claims http://www.thecrownandtwochairmenw1.co.uk/ ) upon which to park your rear. Staff were really welcoming too which is especially worthy of note as if I’d have been stuck working on a sunny Saturday rather than having a nice pint I’d have had a face on me like someone just shit on my floor at Christmas rather than presenting the chirpy smiles I received from both staff I encountered. My personal favourite aspect of the decor was the presence of the worlds most disinterested dog who plodded around the pub at intervals with a severe lack of intent, he looks a little like he may have been pipped at the post by another fella to be the Dulux dog and is potentially depressed. Can dogs be depressed?
Beer offerings are healthy with some more interesting lagers alongside four pumps for real ale. Behind the bar is an eye catching chalk board announcing up coming beers throughout the summer which is definitely a reason for a return trip. Lack of a beer garden is a bit of a minor downside but that option is very rare in the area. Lack of outside space is made up for slightly by having enormous windows across two walls through which you can waste many a happy hour people watching. We spotted a family who like they had a genetic defect rendering them allergic to any fabric other than denim, what abominations will you spot whilst gazing out the window of this pretty perfect purple pub?