Archive for the ‘Bars’ Category

World’s Worst Bars No. 3

I try and not comment on drinking establishments as a rule. I think they’re quite a personal thing and, invariably, no two people like exactly the same things in a pub or bar. Obviously, the nature and quality of the alcohol would seems to be pretty important but even here opinions are markedly different. Chilled beer or room temperature ? Bottles or pints ? High-end wine ? Optics or free-pour ? I would also add that, personally, the clientele are as important as the availability of good quality booze. I don’t particularly like being surrounded by lairy or obstreperous co-drinkers whose sole purpose on any given evening is to get as drunk as possible, as quickly as possible. In general, whether pub or bar, I like the atmosphere to be relaxed, refined and with a volume level that accommodates good conversation.

So, in almost every respect, the polar opposite to a bar I found myself in this week. The bar in question is called Abacus ( on Cornhill in the City. Abacus is one of those after-work drinking places that has ideas way above its station, complete with a roped entrance to control all the queues of people that weren’t there. It started badly when I was forced to have a small ink stamp saying “Abacus” branded on my hand as I walked in. As tattoos go, I’m not sure this is one that the Beckhams would be particularly proud of.

The bar itself is the usual fodder of loud music, crass patrons and awful drinks. It was packed, largely due to the “half price drinks on a Thursday” offer that seemed to be in force. OK, so that’s one way of filling your bar full of Essex’s finest but everywhere I went I bumped into vacuous secretaries drinking Bacardi breezers or City trash propping themselves up on cheap lager and WK’D. I counted at least three tables doing “chasers”. As far as food goes, I think the bar must own shares in Tefal since everything I saw being carried out was deep fried. Yes, everything. Oh, and did I mention that it was so loud that I’m sure my ears started to bleed ?

It was truly, truly awful. So bad that I toyed with whether to soil my blog even writing about it. But, being the public-spirited individual that I am, I thought I would warn the rest of London so they do not fall into the same trap. What’s even worse is that one of London’s best bars, 1 Lombard, is only a few doors away. Good job I only stayed for one drink and left.