On Sunday, it was my friend James’ birthday and in what seemed like a good idea at the time, it was decided to meet at the newly refurbished Beresford Hotel for drinks.
The Beresford is a gay pub just off Oxford Street. I remember going there for the first time over 20 years ago and I really liked it. It was just a nice suburban pub where you could sit and have a drink and a chat. I always found the bar staff to be friendly without any attitude. So of course, I was interested to see what they had done with the old place.
Apparently, they spent an obscene amount of money on the refurbishment and it did show, especially in the toilets which looked like an alien set from Lost In Space with the eerie lighting and scary hand dryer. I almost expected one of those swaying guys in a sparkly bowler hat to hand me a towel!
But with all the money spent, they didn’t think of the acoustics. Much of the bar area was tiled (as was the original pub) and the noise levels were astronomical making it difficult to actually hear a conversation. Actually, sratch difficult. It was nigh on impossible unless you were virtually sitting in someone’s lap. And forget any group conversations. I hadn’t been feeling well beforehand as it was but after a few hours, I had a splitting headache and my stress levels were very high.
As time went on, more and more trendoids were invading the place, making the noise levels go even higher. There were not enough bar staff and they weren’t exactly competent anyway. The bar was often three-deep and you would have to wait an absolute age just to get a drink. The bar staff actually looked more like dental hygienists than someone who knew how to serve a drink. And even more outrageous – they expected tips!
Of course, it wasn’t all bad. The company was superb as usual and it was great to catch up with Patrick after so long and talk Swedish pop music.
As for ever going back to the Beresford again – no thanks!
James wrote about his birthday here and waxed lyrical about the toilets here. Lord knows what people thought when James was taking photos of the urinals. Neil posted some pictures of the new Bereford here.