The pubs are open!! And we had an excuse to go and actually sit in a pub and order a pint of beer last week.
Well that’s not entirely accurate and here is our experience.
So one of our friends had a birthday last week and he booked a table at The Old Ship, in Hammersmith, on the banks of the Thames, a little west of the externally closed Hammersmith Bridge. Nice we thought, then we looked at the weather – cold, wet and with extra cold and wet for good fortune. It was the start of a Bank Holiday Weekend, so what would you expect?!
The table was booked and we got on the train with the Rush Hour crowds, at least there isn’t the mad crush of pre pandemic Friday Nights anymore, just a carriage mostly filled with idiots with masks around their chins and necks, or just no mask at all.
We got to the pub just as the rain started to fall and spotted our friends sat at the outside table, covered in faux fur wraps and then had to queue up and give names and mobile numbers or scan that stupid app, to allow the obnoxious and stuck up waiting staff to let in.
The entire pub was gutted of chairs and tables and we were lead out to the beer garden, which is cordoned off so you can’t just sit on the river wall or in the grass anymore, no it’s all very controlled.
We couldn’t just order a drink either, our friend had the app for the pub and had to order all the drinks on the app, which meant he ran up a massive bill for all the drink orders and we had to find a cash point to repay him at the end of the night, rather than just order a round – they have waiting staff, but these staff can’t take an order, no you have to order on your phone, through the app and they just bring the drinks – 20 mins later!
We sat in the rain and cold of the glorious end of April night and froze.
Only after another hour did the staff actually turn on the garden heaters that had stood unused until then and we were told only could be put to level 2 not 5.
We ordered food – again from the app – and there we discovered another sneaky trick of The Old Ship, if you order burgers and add chips/fries or chunkies, they cost £7.50 on top of the £15 burger. But if you say no to the chips with the burger and order side orders these chips cost £4.50. Still expensive and should be included in the cost of the over priced burgers.
But we ordered and burgers (for apart from Fish and Chips) was all there really was on offer, were ok, but not great and the children’s menu (we had a dog with us, who needed food too) was silly, it was a miniature burger, like something for a doll’s tea party, maybe a quarter of the size of the adult burgers but still at 2/3 of the cost. (Yes the dog is spoilt we know!)
At the end of the night one waiter brought up a bill for drinks we didn’t order, so you can order from the useless staff it seems and maybe even get someone else to pay for it, but we didn’t figure this out until we had the argument with the incompetent staff.
Our Birthday friend ended up fronting the whole bill for the night’s food and drink and then we were thrown out at dead on 10pm, along with every other pub and restaurant in London, so the tubes were packed once again as we headed home.
We look forward to being able to drink INSIDE a pub soon, but we don’t expect to be allowed to stand at a bar and choose our beers, or just drink without ordering over the top expensive burgers any time soon, in fact we doubt that will ever happen again, given the government’s hatred of pub drinkers.
So there we have it, not a pleasant experience really and not one we want to have to suffer again. The pub in its current form is not a happy place to visit, but we can’t say what it is usually like based on this experience, if we ever get a chance to visit again under normal circumstances we will make a point of telling you, but for now that will remain our only visit to the pub until after the 17th of May – let’s hope it’s better then!