Just got back from Hoxton Square, where we had a quick drink. I’m not proud of it but we were dropping off Captain, our camp little dog, with a dog-sitter before going on holiday tomorrow.
And what a privilege and honour it was to be served in the Hoxton Apprentice – at least, that’s what they seemed to think.
There were waiting staff standing doing nothing, but when I said I just wanted drinks I was told to go to the bar and get them myself.
There was one beer tap on the bar – Bitburger. I asked what bottled beers they had – “Just Peroni I’m afraid.” Now there’s nothing wrong with either of these lagers, but never in my entire life have I been in any pub or bar – West End cocktail bar, hotel bar, backstreet boozer, working men’s club – with such a non-choice in beers. I’m off booze for a few weeks anyway, so I ordered a lime and soda – that’s half a lime and soda – and was charged £2.10 for it. The wife’s small glass of white wine was £3.75. Part of the reason for the high prices is that according to my receipt they’re still charging VAT at 17.5% – is that legal? Anyone? Either that, or the price of the drinks includes a hefty service charge.
The place is actually a bar and restaurant. There was an upstairs bit – clearly the restaurant – that seemed quite busy. A terrace outside and tables set for dinner inside to seat about eighty people. At 8pm on a Saturday night, there was one other couple apart from me and the wife. I wonder why?
The laughably cliched up-its-own-arse bar’s laughably cliched up-its-own-arse bar.