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The Old Shades, SW1

37 Whitehall
Phone: 02078398577

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Reviews (Current Rating Average: 7 of 10) Add Review see review guidelines

Please Note: This review is over a year old.

Just a quick pint, then I'm off left this review about The Old Shades

Run by the small Faucet Inn chain, this pub features a narrow frontage but it extends back some way between the front seating area, past the bar on one side and the dining area at the back. Chandelier and small ceiling dome above the bar. Dark wood panelling. On this visit, Greene King IPA, Abbot and the seasonal Rocked Out were supplemented on the six handpumps by Chelsea Blonde and Beyond the Pale from the London Beer Factory (often featured here) and a decent pint of Portobello Market Porter (£4.50). Also has a reasonable range of keg beers on tap. Upmarket feel, with prices to match, but pleasant enough (and certainly a much better bet than its next-door neighbour).

On 25th January 2016 - rating: 7
[User has posted 5831 recommendations about 5831 pubs]

Please Note: This review is over a year old.

Moby Duck left this review about The Old Shades

A long somewhat narrow pub bar with a wood panelled interior and attractively tiled bar frontage and flooring, once a Nicholsons pub and it did have that kind of feel about it for me,six handpumps ranging from the ordinary to the more interesting ,culminating in a very nice London Brewing Company Porter. Worth a visit.

On 31st December 2015 - rating: 7
[User has posted 1297 recommendations about 1284 pubs]

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Bucking Fastard left this review about The Old Shades

A small frontage and a very charming interior with lots of wood panelling,a fine bar back and a dome above the bar area with a few banquettes towards the rear.It has an olde worlde feel without being fake.Six handpumps were drawing GK IPA,"Hardy & Hansons" Rockin' Rudolph ,Adnams Broadside,Portobello APA and London Beer Factory Porter,decent if a little warm.Worth popping in if crawling the Whitehall pubs.

On 31st December 2015 - rating: 7
[User has posted 2021 recommendations about 2021 pubs]

Please Note: This review is over a year old.

Real Ale Ray left this review about The Old Shades

A well run Faucet Inns establishment and well worth a visit. The pub is ok for a quick drink as prices are very steep. The pub was moderately busy on our Saturday afternoon, especially with diners. The pub consisted of an oak panelled seating area at the front. The middle section hosted their impressive bar, with the bar front tiled with Victorian style tiles and floor tiles around the bar area. The bar counter was moulded stainless steel with a decorative finish along the front.
Another opulent feature in the bar area was the large ceiling dome and large brass chandelier. There were six handpumps on our visit, so we went for the Hanlons Copper Glow and the London Beer Factory Chelsea Blonde, both were excellent.
The service here was outstanding, even a thank you for calling when leaving.

On 8th February 2015 - rating: 8
[User has posted 2915 recommendations about 2915 pubs]

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john gray left this review about The Old Shades

I found this to be a lovely pub.Nice pale wood panelling and good lighting makes it bright.Really nice gantry behind the bar and interesting tiled floor and bar.Friendly barmaid(person).Six handpumps with Ohanlons -copper glow,Westerham -british bulldog, Adnams -broadside and 2 beers from London Beer Factory.The Paxtons pale was superb.Will be back.

On 6th November 2014 - rating: 8
[User has posted 920 recommendations about 907 pubs]

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Quinno _ left this review about Old Shades

Peculiar-looking tall and narrow building, formerly a Nicholsons but now owned by a small pub co. Long narrow interior split into three discernible sections with wood panelling and leather bench seating at the front, which, as noted elsewhere, has the vibe a gentleman’s club what with its hanging portraits of the long-dead, with a dining room to the rear. Features of note include a dome above the (wonderfully ornate) tiled bar, some rather fetching stained glass windows displaying the pub name and a pretty tiled floor. The addition of a decent ale range makes this one worth popping into compared with its three nearby neighbours (Moon, Clarence and Silver Cross).

On 5th April 2013 - rating: 7
[User has posted 3921 recommendations about 3909 pubs]

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Roger Button left this review about Old Shades

This handsome little pub dates from 1898 although there has been a pub on site since the late 17th Century. The building is tall and narrow with a decorative façade and long, narrow interior that is roughly divided into 3 sections.

The pub has a warm and cosy feel with a relaxed ambience even though it can get quite busy being in the heart of tourist London. The oak paneling throughout is nicely complemented by hanging portraits and the front area has a bit of a Gentleman’s Club feel with tub chairs that are in keeping with the building’s character. The front patterned windows display the pub name and the main bar area also contains a large coloured glass window albeit not very well presented. The bar back has a fancy personalized mirror and an attractive carving overhead. Above the main bar area is an eyecatching rotunda with a chandelier centerpiece and beyond the main bar, a separate dining area with a large stone fireplace in front of which one can almost imagine a medieval banquet taking place.

There is a single TV but it is rarely used and music is played at a tolerable level. I have always found the service to be prompt and efficient which is a lot more than can be said for some of its neighbours.

I am assuming that the Old Shades has recently been offloaded by Nicholsons as neither the beers or food reflected the normal Nicholsons range. It is certainly no longer listed on their website although there are still traces of the brand within the pub which I assume will be removed in due course. On the ale front I found 3 Westerham beers (SPA, British Bulldog and Grasshopper) plus Adnams Old Ale and Theakstons Original although I wasn’t over impressed with the quality of the Grasshopper on my recent visit (especially at £3.50 a pint). The food was also a bit pricier with main courses starting at around £9.

The Old Shades has always been one of my favourite pubs in the area but it in comparison to some of its near neighbours it now seems expensive and whilst the beer range is still good, I would probably need to make another visit before deciding whether the quality justifies the price.

On 25th January 2011 - rating: 7
[User has posted 1238 recommendations about 1232 pubs]

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John Bonser left this review about Old Shades

Visited in May 2010

Situated up near the Trafalgar Square end of Whitehall, The Old Shades is a fairly typical Nicholsons house in many respects - much dark wood panelling, leaded windows, leather banquettes etc, and the usual fine traditional feel. Note in particular the old H G Simonds of Reading brewery mirror.

The pub looks quite small from the outside, but extends back quite a long way. There's a separate restaurant area at the back, principally catering for the hordes of tourists in this area.

In contrast to recent reviewers, the beer range was pretty disappointing on my recent visit - 3 pumps with London Pride clips, 1 pump serving Chiswick. Also on were TT Landlord and Greene King IPA.

I like the Nicholsons style of pub, but I do hope the beer range is much better next time.

On 21st October 2010 - rating: 5
[User has posted 560 recommendations about 560 pubs]

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Malden man left this review about Old Shades

I'm not sure I'd say this pub is in Pimlico, as it is situated at the top of Whitehall just off Trafalgar Square. Not the tourist hell I thought it could be on a Sunday afternoon, instead I found a pleasant Nicholson's house, with the usual wood floor, dark wood panelling etc. Mixed seating some of which is seperated by fairly recent glazed screens. A long narrow interior, the bar being about halfway down on one side. The bar floor is "tiled", however this did seem to be of the rubber/cushion floor type. Another, more ornate and attractive room beyond the bar is seemingly just for eating.
Impressively I was offered the choice of a straight glass or dimpled jug. Beers were, Thwaites Nutty Black, Pride, Jennings Lancaster Blonde(£2.95...not bad nowadays for round here), Tim Taylors Landlord and also Golden Best.
The beer was in good shape, and this is somewhere I'd certainly duck into again.

On 6th February 2010 - rating: 8
[User has posted 1685 recommendations about 1662 pubs]

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Steve of N21 left this review about Old Shades

The Old Shades is the middle of three pubs in a line down Whitehall. The Silver Cross is right next door and The Clarence is a few doors further down from Trafalgar Square. Only had time to do two of them so decided to skip the Silver Cross on the basis that it's a GK house and in theory , this place being a Nicholson house should have a better choice of Ale.
And in this respect The Old Shades did not disappoint, having six hand pumps dispensing TT Landlord and Golden Best, Fullers Pride, Bateman's Rosey Nosey and two other Xmas Ales.
It's also a bit more traditional décor than the other two having leaded windows, what looked like original interior wood paneling and leather bench seating.
So of the three, if you only have time for one, I'd go for the Old Shades.

On 21st December 2009 - rating: 7
[User has posted 1686 recommendations about 1635 pubs]

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