"A visual feast but an auditory assault..."Review Rating: Reviewed by KimT
Friday evening wandering around Midtown City at about 8pm – where to go? The area is stuffed with historic, traditional and full of character bars and I had always heard good reports of this Fullers pub so we decided to go in.
As we entered this huge hall (it was originally the Law Courts Branch of the Bank of England – hence the name) we were hit by a wall of friendly noise. It was heaving. Yet we were delighted to find a small table (placed on traditional tiles near a carpeted area) at which to sit and take in the surroundings.
There is a huge island bar (on this occasion sadly littered with glasses waiting to be washed) on top of which is a clock tower. But your eyes are drawn to the high sculptured ceilings and the enormous chandeliers. You can’t fail to be impressed by the amazing classical murals, grandiose decor and the magnificent massive curtains over those oh-so-high windows. Makes you proud to be a Londoner. If it didn’t spoil the natural charm of the place, it would be a great place for tourists to add to their itineraries. You also notice the upper balcony level (where the loos are located) – again, this was really busy.
The walls bear a busyness of pictures, photos and other interesting artefacts – including old currency. We couldn’t tell what music was playing – it was impossible to hear against the roar of people having a thoroughly good time.
On the ground level there are a number of side rooms that can be rented for private events. When we were there Coutts (the Queens Bank) were in noisy residence – looked like they were having a fabulous event. Did they get their bonuses? But the rest of the place had a jolly assortment of mostly office workers with a sprinkling of tourists.
Our drinks were fine (we weren’t being particularly choosy) and the bar service was swift and pleasant enough. There were signs up indicating that they did evening platters if you decided you were hungry.
We didn’t get a chance to get out into the walled garden and courtyard which is meant to be spectacular – let me know what you make of it. Wednesdays offer live jazz evenings. Oh, and they do weddings here as well, what a fabulous location!
So. A visual feast but an auditory assault. And, by what we saw, party central for the local office workers.
KimT reviewed The Old Bank Of England on Thu 30 Jul 2009