I find it pretty easy to find faults in pubs. A fair bit of the time I find half a dozen things I’d joyfully lampoon before I’ve even walked through the door of an establishment. I’ll confess that the walk from Shepherds’ Bush Market station did not exactly fill me with confidence as I passed misspelt signs, boarded up shops and a cloud of smoke that certainly wasn’t just tobacco. However at the end of this short jaunt on a corner is the not unimpressive frontage of the Queen Adelaide a pub which has utterly foxed me for anything I can take the piss out of.
The exterior is a smart ceramic tiled affair topped by a red brick second story and complemented by enormous windows running down either side. It’s acquired a small beer garden/smoking on the side facing the main street which is hedged in just enough to avoid you having to see the road or the locals as you enjoy your beer/carcinogenic poison stick. See, so far nothing bad to say.
Inside is no less stunning. The pub website boasts that a refurbishment took place in 2008 to turn this ‘gastro’ which I feel is a dirty word and doesn’t do justice to the Adelaide. Reminiscent of The Crown Tavern this still very much feels authentic without having sacrificed all of the original grandeur. The main room is dominated by a central bar from which a respectable selection of proper beers and lagers are served by trendy looking staff with good banter (a requirement of the job according to the wanted ad in the window). Towards the back there’s an open kitchen and a small slightly more secluded dining area. All in all it’s a very nice place to be.
So that’s the standard stuff out of the way. The list of things which elevate this to my top category is extensive. Board games, potential for real open fires, decent prices, interesting but not up its own arse menu (see The Draft House for the opposite), bring your own wine night on Wednesday (you need to book) and on a Tuesday there is a pub quiz with a twist. The only reason not to go is if you’re a tee total agoraphobic with an acute dislike of well lit pubs and an ASBO restricting you from going to Shepherds Bush, otherwise you should pay it a visit.