London’s nightlife is a real roller coaster – Katy Perry can write a pop song about it. Anyone who’s ever had the thought of checking out some London bars and clubs knows what the song’s lyrics would be…You can start off quite promisingly with a classy/jazzy/hippie (whatever your taste is) venue where delicious drinks are served by amiable waiters for not too unbearable prices and then suddenly fall into a viscous circle of sticky dungeons pretending to be cubs. Or on the contrary, lose any hope of finding your kind of place after a dozen holes and then miraculously come across a magnificent homey bar. In the capital in the diameter of 3km it is possible to race trough a full rainbow of emotions while searching for a place to have your drinks. With the hope to save you from at least several night lost to total disappointment, I am going to warn you about some London’s traps which have omitted to put a sign ‘Keep Walking’ over their entrance.
Where can I start…Well, to be honest I’m not even sure I need to give you my advice on this one – it’s very likely you’ll leave on your own at the very entrance of Zoo Bar. After around 7 p.m. in order to get in you’re about to dwell into a great queue and contemplate awry-faced bouncers getting physical on anyone they pick from the crowd, regardless of their sex or age. If you prove to be brave enough and go trough the nice gents, you should know you’ve probably paid double for your entrance – they have the habit of asking whether you are going to pay in cash and if so, then they will charge you an additional ‘tip’ for their great service. That’s in the past now, you’re inside; trapped in a cracked bluntly looking premises with awful music, slow, incompetent an incapable of kindness staff that serves you questionable drinks in dirty glasses and if you’re lucky enough – a few 40-something fellows ready to cut the personal distance to below zero with anyone they favor. Not the nicest night out…
We’ve established that it’s the 21st century already, people are entitled to their free will and homosexual couples are welcomed in London. But seriously, G-A-Y? I mean…you could have tried at least the tiniest bit harder with that name…Even if nobody shares my personal opinion about the bar’s witty name, it still isn’t one which deserves recommendations. Many gay couples/singles used to visit the bar and usually leave contented but now all G-A-Y strikes with are arrogant, unsavory security who respect no privacy and readily turn away anyone they personally find unworthy of entering with the excuse of him being way to drunk if even it obviously isn’t so. And to be honest even if you are one of the selected ones and enter the ‘promised land’ you still stand a very good chance of encountering a rude attitude, especially if your age is more than 35…
While we’re on the topic of bars containing no more than three letters in their names, let’s proceed to GNH Bar. As you can guess, a good 90% of the bar’s clientele are people who are simply waiting for their train and need to sit down for a bit, kill a couple of hours or just quench their thirst. That is why GNH is taking advantage of its location and doubling the price of anything on the menu just because you don’t have much choice. And for that pleasure you are kindly asked to get rid of your luggage because in a bar next to the railway station permits no luggage inside. And of course you need to take care of your cases immediately and without a chance to utter a word. If you decide to stay – keep in mind that the staff is not getting any nicer and you’re being charged for service even if you go up to the bar yourself and buy a £4.50 coffee. Have a nice trip with that…
The Montagu Pyke
This venue is a multi-purpose kind: breakfast, lunch, dinner, drinks at the evening – whatever the occasion. This is probably why none of it is decent. It is regularly visited because of the prices on food and the fact that there’s always free seating but if you are not ready to compromise with cold yet burnt food – try something a bit pricier. And what’s actually worst about Montagu Pyke is their staff. Order fast and loudly if you’d like to have something because taking orders is evolutionary there – survival of the fittest, if you use a rather calm tone or are not just in front of your waiter you might be unnoticed for a long time. You can guess how long it takes to get even what you’ve successfully ordered and it doesn’t even matter if you’re waiting on the bar to pick it yourself.
The Sherlock Holmes Pub
Oh, this is a good one. Starting from the impeccable service which can be awarded a price for ignoring you long enough to forget what you were about to do, I needn’t say what their face impressions always say – rudeness, boredom and ignorance. If you decide to take things into your own hands and approach the bar, do not expect that you’ll be waited on based on the amount of time you’ve spend rising on your toes so that somebody would notice you or queuing after a dozen other customer. No, it’s like the lottery – when you buy £3 ticket regularly, soon enough you’ll win back £3, that’s what I can compare Sherlock Holmes Pub’s service to. But really, is waiting that big of a problem when you’re absorbed in contemplation of the filthy floor, uncleaned table which probably had a full set of plates and glasses on your arrival (which you’re expected to move on your own) and the suspicious flies all around you. And The Sherlock Holmes Pub’s masterpiece are those cutie mice…
The tales that go around for Bar Soho’s service are unbelievable. You can hear stories about refused orders, reserved tables which indeed seat half the people you’ve made a reservation for, unexplainable additions to the check, ridiculously high deposits for nothing and even ignorance of disabled customers. Well, believe them when you hear…The Staff at Bar Soho can barely make out what you’re saying because most of them do not actually speak English; if there happens to be an unresolved problem (an believe me, there will happen to be one) – don’t count on anyone making an effort to settle the situation. Also, be aware of the never coming drinks and food – however considering their quality and taste it might turn out a good thing if you never get them. Bottom line, if you wish not to completely ruin your night – avoid.
With regard to London’s size and nature, I know it would be impossible to warn you against all neighbourhood holes and overpriced pieces of ignorance they serve. But at least when it comes to a bit more known places around the city, you know now which places to exclude from you night trip – be careful with the rest or just check out a London’s Best Bars list!