Hat & Feathers, Barbican
The Hat and Feathers has been a semi-famous derelict monument for a number of years now, the grandeur of its exterior slowly fading. So imagine our delight when we heard that it was being brought back to life - not as luxury flats but as a pub, albeit with an upstairs restaurant. Naturally anyone with any regard taking possession of such a property would carefully choose an appropriate refurbishment to compliment the fine exterior. Sadly, it didn't entirely happen this way and what the Hat and Feathers has become is a beautiful exterior hiding an expensive All Bar One lookalike. The original woodwork is pretty, but the characterless pine tables and chairs which fill the bland, pastel space make it look rather like an Ikea showroom, with gas lighting. The service is still pretty shocking too (we naively assumed it would improve with practice) - it takes an eternity to get served, if you can be bothered. It might seem churlish to criticise a place that has brought an old pub back to life, but this was a rather wasted opportunity; do we really need yet another identikit bar with a (very expensive) restaurant tagged onto it?
2 Clerkenwell Road, Barbican, London, EC1M 5PA
020 7490 2244
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