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Woodins Shades, Liverpool Street

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user reviews of Woodins Shades, Liverpool Street

please note - reviews on this site are purely the opinion of site visitors, so don't take them too seriously.

A return visit to the Woodins Shades yesterday morning. I was hesitant after my last visit. But this time, it was much better. Sat towards the rear of the pub and enjoyed a much better quality ale than last time. The selection this time around was Youngs Hummingbird, St Austell Tribute & Nicholson's Pale Ale, Sharps Doom Bar & Two Tides, Black Wolf Florida Black, Windsor & Eton Knight of the Garter & Fullers London Pride. Better.
blue_scrumpy - 23 Apr 2017 11:53
Busy pub close to Liverpool Street station. Beer in good condition, as you would expect from Nicholson's, but atmosphere not very appealing somehow.
Aztecgoat - 4 Dec 2016 09:57
A Nicholsons pub, like many in the centre of London these days. Their website stated that this pub opened at 10am. The CAMRA website stated that it opened at 11am. At 11:25 on Saturday, it was still closed. I decided to visit Dirty Dicks instead. After workmen outside there had managed to drill through an electricity cable and leave it in darkness, I manage to escape and retreat to Woodins Shades, which was now open and reasonably busy. Many people had moved there from Dirty Dicks, when they could no longer see what they were drinking. Ales were Brains The Rev James, Fullers London Pride, Truman's Runner, Caledonian Deuchars IPA, Wadworth Chilli & Chocolate, Harviestoun Bitter & Twisted & Nicholsons Pale Ale. I went for the Chilli & Chocolate and it was vile - well past its best. The food looked better than the beer. But that was never going to be hard.
blue_scrumpy - 26 Jan 2015 21:31
Slightly more expensive than others in the area but genuinely nice. So much quieter than whetherspoons and with miles better food (standard Nicholsons' style menu). Busy at week nights but a haven of peace on a Saturday lunchtime.
TwoFourTwo - 1 Nov 2014 12:19
Popular Nicholson's corner location pub with seven casks and some "craft" keg. Crowded. Was a wine bar from 1863 until converted to a pub. OK.
SilkTork - 28 Aug 2014 10:34
Corner plot Nicholson's pub almost opposite the side entrance to Liverpool Street Station.

This is a re-tick for me but at 11am on Saturday this looked more welcoming than Dirty Dicks with the Hamilton Halls (Wetherspoon's) closed for a re-furb.

7 ales on hand pump with the morning selection being, Fullers London Pride, St Austall Pale Ale, Top of the Hops Golden Ale, Ilkley The Norseman, Harivestoun Sleigh Driver, Brains I see Santa and Lancaster Brewery Ginger Snap which at 4.4% was my choice for my first beer of the day.

Wooden floor and bar with chrome rails, lots of wooden tables, bar stools and chairs...fashionable wall paper with large flowers hangs on a few walls.

Nice stain glass spells the name of the pub as you from the main road.

Nice pub

lezford - 2 Dec 2013 08:52
Although offering a good range of ales the quality can be variable. Was served a flat one today past its best but was told "that is what it tastes like". As a CAMRA member I shall take my business elsewhere. I think the problem lies with the surly barman who, on a previous visit, was annoyed that a barmaid served me a generous half when she could not get a full pint out of the barrel.
mikey64 - 28 Aug 2013 21:28
Have never reviewed a bar/restaurant before but felt compelled to do so after my visit. My sister and I decided to treat ourselves to dessert after a day shopping in Brick Lane. We sat downstairs in the bar a bit out of the way by the door as they were the only seats available. After waiting a while we were concerned we had been forgotten about so I went to the bar to check on our order. The barman (young/foreign) barked at me that we had only been waiting 20 minutes and should expect to wait 30 minutes as they were busy (although it was 5pm on a sunday and not overly busy). After huffing some more he went to the food lift and took out our desserts and plonked them down in front of me. Unfortunately the cheesecake we had ordered had evidently melted under from the heat in the lift (previously I know that these can be heated to keep food warm which would explain it). A man I assume to be the manager came by and was equally rude, I pointed out that the food did not look right and had clearly melted to which he told me that the mess on the plate was fine and that cheeseake did not melt, he did not offer an alternative or to replace it or any sort of apology. In the end I just asked for a refund, very disappointing end to a nice day. I do not recommend this bar at all based on the rudeness of the staff.
purple01 - 15 Oct 2012 20:58
Spent a very pleasant couple of hours here on Saturday whilst waiting for my delayed train from Liverpool Street. The manager let me sample quite of few of the ales before I settled on a delicious pint of Top of the Hops, although I have to say all ales were very well conditioned. The food looked good although I didn't eat during my visit. Will definitely return if I'm back in that area.
Bjo - 26 Feb 2012 19:47
I think the previous comments must be from disgruntled competitors as this is definitely the busiest pub in the area so they must be doing something right. I have been using this pub on and off for years and the manager has always been extremely courteous and hospitable. Ok it's a chain pub so your not going to get fine dining but I have eaten fish and chips, sausage and mash and steak pies, all cooked well.
tomas - 17 Feb 2012 14:42
Went there one lunchtime last week just to see if it is as bad as other revewers say.. The guy of Mediterranean appearance still seems to be in charge so presumably the owners don't read BITE reviews.
We ate in the upstairs room and the waitress got quite annoyed because we didn't want to sit at a table next to a very hot radiator. There was only one waitress (whose English was limited) who was also barmaid and as she was busy it was quicker to walk downstairs to the main bar to get drinks and carry them back up. Food was average and although ours was OK, some other customers were complaining that theirs was cold, possibly because the waitress was trying to serve drinks while plates of food were cooling down.
In the pub downstairs there's a good range of beers and those we tried were good.
A place to pop in for a decent pint, but if you want to eat; go to Dirty Dicks across the road.

Jimdee - 10 Feb 2012 13:07
Nice pub with a good range of real ale. Decent restaurant upstairs. My only complaint is the piped music. I was in the upstairs restaurant talking to friends when the waitress appeared and immediately turned on the music loud enough to drown all conversation. We asked her politely to turn it down but were told that "there was always music there". Her English was not good enough to explain why this was done even if customers did not want it.
Beerfox - 29 Aug 2011 16:38
Sadly we now live in an age where most of the barstaff in pubs in larger British towns and cities seem to be foreign and they really don't give a toss! This is part of a large chain of Nicholsons pubs and I only went there to get a stamp on my Ale Trail. One half pint was enough - then move on!
mcroyal - 10 Aug 2011 18:22
Re zuzanna and Stout Chappie.
I totally agree with zuzanna and think the customer sevice is paramount to all when visting any business dealing in hospitality.
Having visited this amazingly bad establismemt i have noticed all the bad points (loads) mentioned in the previous comments but none of the good.
The old chap in question is the manager and behaves exactly how zuzanna and other people have stated.I work in the area and do not need to mention other establishments save to say they are all better than this one.
The one saving grace to this very bad excuse for a pub is that it has an exit.
I also think that all companys take complaints seriously whenever they receive them apart from the crap holes that Stout Chappie drinks in.
martian2 - 30 Apr 2011 15:10
Revolting, frozen food that I would not feed to a stray dog, cheap nasty wine and a foreign barmaid with strawberry coloured hair that I don’t imagine would bother to crack a smile if her ticket came up on the Euromillons. AVOID at all costs. I feel violated.
sweetie219 - 12 Apr 2011 14:38
Wel,l coffee or not coffee - customer service is customer service.
In my opinion that's what counts in a pub. If the customer service is as bad as there, even having the biggest and the best range of beers and drinks, 15 big plasma TV's showing all kinds of sports and half naked pole dancers on the bar won't help...

zuzanna - 5 Dec 2010 12:03
Some time ago I went there with some friends for an evening coffee.
We were served by an old guy, probably Italian. I think he was the manager as the rest of the bar staff was trying to stay as far away from him as possible...
Anyway, two of us went to the bar, the guy obviously hitting on us, started to make rude(but probably nice in his opinion), sexist comments, it made us feel very uncomfortable. When we failed to show any interest in him, he got very upset and while making our coffees he started to take it out on one of the bartenders.
When he finally finished we asked if we can have some suggar - which he gave us, but then when we were going back to our table he said to the same bartender "They are sooo fat they shouldn't eat suggar, look at her ass!"... I looked back, and what he did?!? He waved and smiled to us as if nothing happened!!!
I don't know if that was a sign of total stupidity and/or lack of personal hygiene because of which he was unable to hear how loud he was speaking, or just bad manners.... Personally - I don't care. Hovewer I am planning to write a complain to the pub's company and NEVER EVER go there again.
Would recomend that pub only to an enemy.

zuzanna - 4 Dec 2010 21:53
Music was far too loud, hand-bag house for teenagers when the average age of the punters was late 30s, early early 40s. When asked to turn the music down, the bloke behind the bar actually turned it up. 110dB is not my idea of fun. Shame really because the beer was good. Left and went to the Shooting Star instead.
elsie_pop - 16 Oct 2010 14:57
Went for a quick drink with a friend last night. Terrible service, stinking toilets and the beer was awful. I had bitter and my friend got served warm Stella..neither of us could finsh them. Wandered along to the superior Water Poet instead.
banksy - 12 Aug 2010 10:57
I met a mate for lunch there yesterday and the service and attitude of the bar man was so appalling; this has prompted me to make my first complaint on this site.
Arrived and friend kindly offered to pay, he ordered and offered his card. The Bar man (Italian or French and in his late 50’s) said, ‘’card machine out of order’’ and went on to serve someone else.
I then said; ‘’excuse me, I have cash’’
Wait your turn was his response… Finally ordered and paid, realised I had the odd change to make up the £16.50 it came to and he simply said; ‘too late’ and handed me a fistful of change.
Half an hour passed with no food or explanation. Being pressed for time on a lunch hour, I went to enquire where our food was.
‘’This is not McDonalds’’ came the friendly reply.
I was spitting feathers at this stage but kept my cool as a) I was famished and b) I was now attracting the attention of his apparent lunch time regulars.

Our food finally arrived 5 minutes apart. My friends All day breakfast was by all accounts fine but my breaded chicken with lemon mayo and spinach in a ciabatta was nothing of the sort and I would have been far better off going to the golden arches.


Londonwelsh83 - 30 Jul 2010 11:08
Nice pint of Nutty Black and Lancaster Blonde. Good service despite being busy, pleasantly surprised really!
keith253 - 16 Mar 2010 11:28
Glad to find the Shades open on a late Sunday afternoon as I fancied something other than GK, Youngs and Fullers and you can usually find something different in this Nicholsons House.
Ironically the house ales of Pride and TT Landlord were off, but there were four seasonal guests on. Tried the Thwaites Nutty Black, Elgoods Thin Ice and Lancaster Blonde, all of which were OK.
No problem with the service either, but wasn’t particularly busy as we’d probably missed most of the Petticoat Lane market lunchtime crowd.

Gann - 1 Feb 2010 17:04
British style pub. Good choice of beer and food well served.
Price sensible. Staff was....rude.
Why not after work with couple of mate.

Eric_LA - 20 Jul 2009 07:28
I'm unsure about the previous review, I certainly didn't find this pub to be too bad although it was early on a Saturday and relatively quiet. I imagine it is heaving with suits post work. It is a chain pub too, its a fairly typical Nicholsons, with wooden floors, high ceilings supported on columns.
The Sicilian landlord was very friendly and genuinely interested to know what I thought of his latest guest beer, Springhead Sweetlips ( a nice hoppy golden ale). His service was fine but the other staff did need prompting for top ups. The place was doing a roaring trade in full English breakfasts which did look rather good at 4.50.
Pride, youngs Bitter, TT Landlord on in addition to the Sweetlips, one pump reverse clipped. I didn't visit the upstairs bar/dining rooms.
Maldenman - 8 Mar 2009 10:09
As poor as one would expect from a pub near a station - and a station that sends trains to Shoeburyness, Basildon and Southend at that. At least it's not a chain but my mood was only soured by a tales of a seven goal mauling for my team relayed to me by Jeff Stelling and the boys on Sky.
BoehmBawerk - 27 Dec 2008 17:41
Was in Sunday lunchtime, great scampi and chips, as with most places nowadays the house wine was unavailable and so was the next cheapest ... getting to be an interesting ploy to encourage us to spend. Was very busy but pleasant pub and great people watching from windows. You wouldn't go out of your way to visit but pelasant enough.
celt7 - 24 Nov 2008 16:06
Well said pub inspector.
I also have received a pint with a massive head.
Weights and measures would have a field day in this place.
anonymous - 23 Nov 2008 01:23
arrived in here after being disgusted with the pindar up the road, only to be served another short pint of london pride. Surprise , surprise , another M&B pub not serving beer coreectly. Is it part of the staff training to serve short pints and not care? the way the bar girl said sorry, was totally as if she didnt give a toss. another customer moaned about the taste of his beer while we were there.. not sure which one he was having... The girl had to get the manager before she was able to pour a replacement so the bloke had to wait about 4-5 mins before being given a replacement ( grudgingly). needeless to say our tuesday afternoon drinks werent going to plan.....
The_Pub_Inspector - 20 Nov 2008 12:47
A good standby when other city pubs are closed. Traditional pub layout except when the big TV screens are working but they attract big crowds to see the football and rugby. So I suppose that keeps the good choice of beers flowing. Staff are usually friendly and efficient.
tim19thompson - 27 Sep 2008 11:35
Have used and abused this little tippling house over the years although it's never been a favourite. Had to return the Bateman's 'Thirsty Work' last night as it was truly shocking. Other ales were drinkable although not in great order. £2.90 each. Nicholsons boozer so does sausages etc. with free tasting on Tuesdays, (3 plates for the pub), not a lot but it's a gesture. Foreign barmaids pleasant on the eye.
PieFace - 13 Aug 2008 11:56
Best pub near Liverpool Street.
Always made to feel welcome.
Home to my friend most of the time!!!
The_Bettis - 23 Jul 2008 15:38
Indifferent Nicholsons - never had a decent pint here, and today's Bateman's 'Thirsty Work' was particularly poor.
rpadam - 2 Jul 2008 22:46
A suprising 5 hand pumps were available for this last pub before our train yesterday. This was because we knew that all the GBG listed pubs in the area between the Pride of Spitalfields and Liverpool St are shut on a weekend.
We had pints of Timothy Taylor 'Landlord' and Adnams 'Broadside' during the visit. The ales were both ok to drink but not absolutely tip top condition.
The bar area is quite long and I understand the previous comment about having a feel of a station pub. Two large plasma TV's were available which is not what I usually want with a beer but they were showing the Barnsley v Chelsea game. I was quite interested as Barnsley were leading so had to watch to the end. I believe you are right 'Widescreen' as the picture was not absolutely perfect.
Not a bad pub though overall but it could be improved.
Love_good_ale - 9 Mar 2008 11:40
Ok Pub. Had a pint of Landlord, which was adequate but not great. As a feel of a station pub about it. It is close to Liverpool Street so maybe that would explain it. If in area go to Shooting Star instead.
TheHorsesMouth - 29 Aug 2007 12:52
Plenty of new plasma TV screens, but unfortunately completely wasted by being fed a non-widescreen picture making everything look fat on them. Both the subscription payer to Sky and the customers are losing out, and staff didn't seem too bothered, despite my raising the issue several times. I might try one more time now that Hamish has gone (not that I have anything against him - he's just not as... efficient in getting things done)
widescreen - 15 Apr 2007 18:08
Sorry to report that the Woodins Shades has gone downhill recently. Hamish has moved to the White Hart, the bar staff have little idea what they are doing and the bar manager is rarely to be seen. It’s unusual for more than two of the four advertised real ales to be available and on occasions they’ve run out of lager and cider. The downstairs toilets have been out of action for the last couple of months meaning that everyone has to try to use the miniscule ones in the upstairs bar.

Millay - 26 Mar 2007 22:48
Apologies, idiot moment, date visited 17 Aug.
cackgsy - 19 Aug 2006 09:23
Visited 19 Aug 06. Range of 4 real ales, I had Timothy Taylor Landlord, which was in OK condition, but was served short each time. A request for a top-up was met, but grudgingly.

This pub is very busy, and does seem to be one staff member short, consequently it's not as clean as it could be, nor will your wait at the bar be brief.

For a quick pint or two after work, it probably does the job.
cackgsy - 19 Aug 2006 08:53
I work opposite this pub so I guess it my (work) local. Whenever I go into this place the staff seems to have a minor crisis going on over someone using a credit card and there's a bit of a wait to be served. Genually service is pretty ok normally. It’s got quite an open feel to it, with big glass windows and glass doors that open up in the summer. One small point; I put a £5 note in the fruity and it jammed, making a the machine screech some awful alarm. They would not give me my money back until the engineer had been in to have a look at it. Went back two days later and they said I he had not been in yet. Um but the machine was up and working. Went back again and the same guy who I spoke to on the day of the jam, just shrugged with what can I do... well give me my £5 back mate!..... Not been in since.....
largefries - 12 Jun 2006 12:55
Good after work drinks type of pub - if you are meeting one or two others only, as it's very small. Best evenings are when there is football on and everyone smokes like chimneys so you come out stinking of smoke....and the toilets usually run out of toilet paper, so don't think about taking a dump on big match days.

Nick name is Woodins Spoons (always funny).
Hard_pork - 21 Apr 2006 12:43
not a bad pub but then again not a good pub , only popped in with a friend who said it was a good pub ... needless to say one pint and i bolted , just not my cuppa tea really
anonymous - 27 Mar 2006 17:03
Saw the mother of all fights in here last week. It was a bit like WWF Tag team wrestlemania. Went upstairs to avoid the jousting, and stumbled across some pinstripped suited / pink tied back office oiks sampling Turbo Shandys......Made for the exit SHARPISH.
steve2136 - 12 Jan 2006 13:49
An ok pub, in the city! As a local, it's a bit...naff!! Staff are not as helpful as they could be, and being honest, the beer's not that good either! Think I only keep going back 'cos it's cheap, and, it's NOT Wetherspoons!!!
CW_Northerner - 11 Sep 2005 20:33
Friendly bar staff that don't preen in front of customers! Certainly unique in the city for that.
Downmarket and dishevelled is fair, I think.
Pool tables are more like mini golf courses with long sticks replacing the cues.
Low on excitement, big on normality.
Dr_Cirrohsis - 14 Jun 2005 11:22
We went in becuase the Cannon and 10 Bell's where really busy. We got a seat here, upstairs, but it's more a 'screen footie, two pool tables, really bloody smokey' chav pub than a place you'd go for a natter. 4 cask-ales, mind.
MrScott - 14 Feb 2005 12:20
Overall, a poor pub. But I keep going back! Must be the fruity.
thegrimreecer - 24 Sep 2004 12:08
Just been back for a return visit. Serves Pride, IPA, TT's Landlord and Carling. I know that they've 'done it up' fairly recently and things have improved, but this place still knows very little on how to keep ale well. That said, it's a great place to stand outside in the sun, (irony intended) and watch the girls go by.
PieFace - 23 Jul 2004 15:36
Popped in here yesterday after work for a quick couple. It was so quiet and generally pleasant compared to other Liverpool Street pubs. Certainly will be going back here again, takes seconds to get served by friendly staff.
Nick - 5 May 2004 14:55
Good pub; excellent by City standards. Vast, dingy pool room/hall upstairs populated is usually populated by nightbreed from the back office, but it's easy to get a table. Downstairs is amiably dishevelled, has good beer, shows sport in a relatively unobtrusive way, has a fantasic golf machine (yay golden tee) and is reasonably atmospheric. Clientele less suit-heavy than is customary in the locale though, ultimately, if you don't want to drink with people wearing suits then bog off to Suffolk.
Matt - 12 Jan 2004 12:24
Conveniently close to Liverpool Street station, this is a basic pub with friendly staff and decent bitter [Adnams, Pride and Bass] and lagers. Mixed clientele, some suits earlier, gets younger later, stray tourists often. Food served lunchtime only. Limited weekend opening. Big screen for main sports, pool tables upstairs.
Jim - 23 Sep 2003 22:03

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