Applied Linguistics graduate and freelance writer. Visit my twitter: @heyclairemarie
Published December 5th 2018
There is nothing that I love more than an old-fashioned London pub. The Woodins Shades is a fine example. We came across it, perched on the corner of Middlesex Street, just across the road from Liverpool Street station.
Located in Bishopsgate, The Woodins Shades takes its name from wine merchant, William Woodin, while the 'shades' part apparently comes from an old word for a wine vault with a drinking bar. Woodin acquired the site in 1863 – only 10 years later, in 1874, Liverpool Street Station opened opposite, which no doubt was a boost to business. The current red brick building dates from 1893.
The pub looked bright and attractive from the outside and the bar area was very crowded. Luckily, there is an upstairs dining area. We visited the pub on December 1st, so the Christmas decorations were already up. This gave the interior a Dickensian feel and was snug and cosy. I particularly liked the snippets of historical information scattered across the walls. The dining area had a lively and vibrant ambience and it seemed to be a draw for Christmas shoppers.
The pub served cider, which always pleases me, although it wasn't the biggest selection. I chose the fruity and refreshing Old Moat. There was a good choice of food and apparently, the restaurant is a fish house (although neither of us chose from the special dishes). The food wasn't too badly priced for the location.
In the end, I went for the Hunter's Chicken and my companion chose the Scampi. My chicken came with crispy, golden onion rings, which were a nice touch. The food was beautifully cooked and tasty- the salad dressing was especially flavoursome. There was also plenty of food, so no complaints on that side.