Boozers to tick off your bucket list: battle of the Spoons
If there's one thing us students like: it's a cheap drink. And if there's one chain that caters for our budget needs, it's Wetherspoons.
There's something comforting and cosy about entering a Spoons. A second home; its multi-coloured, multi-stained carpets and comfy booths welcome the average student in with open arms. In years to come, we'll undoubtedly look back fondly at our local Spoons haunt, wishing it was still acceptable to pop in for a pint and some grub on a Thursday afternoon. And not look like a middle-aged alcoholic.
So whilst we're still young and have the excuse to do so, here's 10 of the weirdest Wetherspoons to tick off your Spoons bucket list. Because, obviously, we should all have one.
1. The Gatehouse, Highgate, London
This Spoons is not all as it seems. Downstairs, you're met with your average budger boozer. Upstairs? This is a different story. Clamber the stairs and you're met with an actual, tiny fringe theatre performing independent shows. Surprised? Us too. And to pop the cherry on the cake (or the straw in the pitcher) The Gatehouse dates back to 1670, with both Charles Dickens and Lord Byron frequenting the joint. A Wetherspoons with a history that doesn't consist solely of how many people have vommed on the carpet? Now that's a rare find.
2. The Palladium, Llandudno, Wales
Has someone once told you that Wetherspoons can't be glamorous? How very dare they. The Palladium in Llandudno metaphorically sticks two fingers up at anyone thinking that Spoons can't be classy, and definitely brings the glitz to punters. Once an Edwardian cinema, you can enjoy your pitcher (or two) whilst being surrounded by a viewing platform and traditional theatre seats. To be frank, if that's not the epitome of class, we don't know what is.
3. The Knights Templar, London
If you're one of those people that tend to make impulsive, slightly bad life decisions whilst drunk, maybe this is a Spoons you should steer clear of. If you find yourself loved-up and anywhere near Fleet Street in London, Wetherspoons gives you the perfect option to celebrate your relationship and love for budget booze. For just £3,000, The Knights Templar offers you a whopper of a deal: an all-inclusive wedding package. Yes, you read it right. £3k for a three-course meal, DJ and table wine for 100 guests. Has getting hitched ever sounded so appealing? We thought so, too.
4. The Velvet Coaster, Blackpool
An equally classy seaside spot, Blackpool boasts one of Wetherspoons' classiest and largest pubs. Set a stone's throw from the Pleasure Beach and the actual beach itself, this pub allows you to get bevved before hitting the Blackpool sights. It's even fully equipped with a roof terrace. Perfect for soaking up the sun when it comes out - once a year, that is.
5. The North Western, Lime Street Station, Liverpool
Once an old hotel, this Grade II listed building has since been acquired by J.D. Wetherspoon himself and boasts an impressive theme throughout the pub: that of a vintage train station. Those with train festishes' interior design dreams, this Spoons comes fit with grand pillars, steam-inspired light fittings and artwork dedicated to all things trains. Chug back and drink and resist the urge to form a choo-choo train with the other punters.
6. The Chief Justice of the Common Pleas, Keswick, Cumbria
Picture this: it's been a lairy Friday night, you've spent the evening getting a tad tipsy with your pals, but you wake up in the early hours of the morn in a prison cell with absolutely no memory of what the heck you did to get there. Does this sound like your number one drinking nightmare? Well, for punters at this Spoons in Cumbria, your evening begins with a visit to prison. The former magistrates' court and police station are now home to less legal, drunk and disorderly behaviour- and customers can even spend the hours drinking from a cosy former prison cell. Now if that doesn't deter you from having one too many, we're not sure what will.
7. The West Kirk, Ayr, Scotland
As if spending time having a few drinks in a prison cell wasn't enough to put you off committing sins for life, if you pop into The West Kirk in Scotland, you'll be reminded of all your wrongdoings, instantly. J.D. has renovated this pub from a former Free Church, that dates back to 1845. A beautiful, original stained-glass window frames the pub. Just be careful not to accidentally chuck your glass at it.
8. The Mossy Well, Muswell Hill, London
This joint is a Spoons in disguise. Gone are the famous manky carpets and homely feel; they've gone and made way for light, panelled wood flooring and contemporary art. Here is Wetherspoons' attempt at a gastropub: it's actually almost kinda classy.
9. Hamilton Hall, Liverpool Street, London
Fancy starting early? And by early, we mean 7 am. This Spoons is part of Liverpool Street Station and welcomes London's workers to a breakfast of half a dozen pints to take the edge off the commuting stress. It's also the go-to joint for footie fans to optimistically predict the future and celebrate with drinks before matches on Saturday. Want another reason to head there? Unlike other grotty spoons, this one has been preserved rather well. The building had actually remained empty for 40 years, and many of the fittings, now put back in place today, had just been left in the building, in bin bags. Class.
10. The Ice Wharf, Camden, London
If you're a Spoons-phobe, this relatively un-Spoon-like joint has a beaut view of Camden Locks, so you can while away the hours outside in the rain. Wonderful.
So go on then, commit this list to memory and get ticking off these Spoons. It's practically a rite of passage.