Walking into the recently refurbished Old Shades feels a little like entering a large 1930’s New York bathroom. Don’t get me wrong, I like the tiled interior, it’s just I wouldn’t be too surprised to find Michael Corleone taking a leak in the corner. The fine attention to detail is obvious in the décor as the Old Shades has repositioned itself in a more premium market than the one it previously occupied.
One thing Old Shades offers in abundance is choice. There is an excellent array of beverages on offer that you may not find easily in other London pubs. The food menu is also more than reasonable and the small bowl of chips I ordered was top quality. That said though it was very pricey for a small bowl of chips, and personally I would have dropped quality for a few extra fries. Price is perhaps a drawback of Old Shades and you will pay that little extra for the sophisticated bathroom ambiance and selection of Ales. Another issue I found was seating, there isn’t much.
All in all it is very worth a visit and if you manage to grab a table the lack of seating can certainly work favourably for a good lively debate amongst friends. It is one of the less lively pubs in London which does work in its favour. The prices may be higher than what you may pay elsewhere but you certainly get something better which doesn’t make value for money all that bad on balance.
Pub Rating 3.5/5.0
Debate Rating 3.5/5.0
Old Shades: 37 Whitehall, London SW1A 2BX