I quite like the blonde wood (maybe I'm a little out of date too), and I've never been there when it's been subdued. The management are English and larger than life.
The regulars are loud and lovable and ALWAYS up for a game of pool.
I've been in there when lots of men in suits are drinking wine (and ended up playing pool with the regulars after a bottle or two!)
And the Marketing Director for the McGowan's group was in the other telling me that she's started making moves towards introducing food to the whole group, so things are on the up and up.
Before the refurb, the clientèle were on the down and out alcoholics and toothless mad men... Give me blonde wood and suits ANY day!!
26-28 Cricklewood Lane, Cricklewood, London, NW2 1HB
From Cricklewood station, turn right and head down Cricklewood Lane; it's on the right. From Kilburn turn left, head up the hill for about 15 minutes until you hit Cricklewood Broadway. At the main set of traffic lights, turn right and it's on the right-hand side of the street. From Willesden Green, turn left and keep along the main road. When you reach Cricklewood Broadway, turn right, head up the Broadway to the junction with Cricklewood Lane and turn right.