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Picture of The Old Shades
Image posted by Will Larter
Submitted on Friday, 28th January 2022
With picture contributions to 11562 other pubs
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The Old Shades, SW1

37 Whitehall
SW1
SW1A 2BX
Phone: 02078398577
Correct details

Served areas

Tweets by The Old Shades
The Old Shades The Old Shades The weekend is nearly here ladies and gents 2:23 PM May 26th from Twitter for iPhone
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Reviews of The Old Shades (Average Rating: 7 of 10) Add Review see review guidelines

Pub SignMan left this review about The Old Shades

One of several pubs at the top end of Whitehall, this is quite a smart venue that appears to cater equally for local office workers and bemused tourists. A narrow porch walkway leads you into a cosy front seating area with tables and chairs down both sides of the bare boarded room. There’s some attractive, high wood wall panelling throughout and a pleasant fireplace to the right makes for a good focal point before the bar emerges on the left-hand side. The bar counter is a thing of beauty thanks to a superb, glazed tile front beneath a modern metal top with a patterned handrail. The bar back is equally as impressive, with high, mirrored arches, the pub’s name written out across a sign at the top, and plenty of fake grapevines strewn across the whole thing. The bar area has a nice, patterned tile floor and stands beneath a grand cupola with relief friezes inside and a huge candelabra hung from the centre. Beyond the bar is a dimly lit dining area with tables and chairs to one side, large rugs on the floor and more of the same high wood panelling. A few old portraits adorn the walls and there’s a cool stained-glass pane opposite the bar, but otherwise, the décor is a little limited. A surprisingly loud ‘80s pop soundtrack was playing over the speakers, trying to compete with a packed, post-work crowd.
On the bar, three ales from Youngs – Ordinary, Special and Winter Warmer – were supplemented by three guests in the form of By The Horns Stiff Upper Lift and Hopadelic plus Southwark LPA. For some reason, I turned down the chance to sample the Winter Warmer and plumped instead for a pint of the Hopadelic (£5.95), which was in fine condition and went down well as I sat at the bar and watched all the comings and goings of a busy, early evening.
These pubs in the heart of touristy London tend to be a bit of a mixed bag and often compromise standards due to a sense of complacency that a guaranteed stream of custom brings. However, this place seemed to be completely on top of things and managed to maintain six cask ales, high in quality judging by my pint, and with efficient and friendly service too. I always assumed this place would be too food-led to really enjoy, but for me it’s the pick of the pubs at this end of Whitehall and I’m fairly sure I’ll be back again before too long.

Date of visit – 15th November 2023

On 8th January 2024 - rating: 7
[User has posted 3114 recommendations about 3114 pubs]


Please Note: This review is over a year old.


Will Larter left this review about The Old Shades

This is a classy old pub, with wood panelling throughout, a tiled front to the bar, a cupola in the ceiling towards the rear to admit some light and some very nice windows at the rear (see photos). The bar features beers from Youngs, which I had a few bad examples of when visiting Putney late last year, so I went for St Austell Proper Job, which was in good condition, though I find it a bit too in-your-face with its citrussy flavours. I wouldn't mind coming back another time.

On 2nd February 2022 - rating: 8
[User has posted 3724 recommendations about 3461 pubs]


Please Note: This review is over a year old.


Tris C left this review about The Old Shades

Unsurprisingly for a pub with the ‘Old’ prefix, this was originally the Shades, the meaning of which can be read on CAMRA’s page and heritage website, as this is a pub of Outstanding Conversions and Restorations (?).
The interior of this Arts and Crafts building is well covered below, special mention going to the bar back, dome with stained glass and Minton-style encaustic tiling; very Palace of Westminster. There’s a comfy snug of sorts to the rear, with studded banquettes and a log burning stove, lit.
Ales from Young’s, with two unused pumps, Proper Job (reversed), Special (reversed), London Original and Winter Warmer at £2.70 a half and a significant improvement on my last slug of the stuff many years ago.
This is easily the best pub in the immediate vicinity, certainly better than the Clarence and light years ahead of the Silver Cross next door.

On 20th November 2021 - rating: 7
[User has posted 1982 recommendations about 1949 pubs]


View more reviews of The Old Shades (16)
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Pub location see interactive map of local area
Map location corrected by Steve C
London Charing Cross, 0.27 miles, 5 min walk (show)
London Waterloo, 1 miles, 19 min walk (show)
London Blackfriars, 1.65 miles, 31 min walk (show)
Latest updates View all updates for The Old Shades, SW1
8th Jan 2024, 18:49
Review submitted by Pub SignMan
 
2nd Feb 2022, 14:08
Review submitted by Will Larter

Pub Details

Pub details supplied by members of this site to the best of their knowledge. Please check with pub directly before making a special trip.

  • Accommodation : No last updated 20 November 2021 by Tris C
  • Bar Billiards : No last updated 20 November 2021 by Tris C
  • Beer Festivals : No last updated 20 November 2021 by Tris C
  • Beer Garden : No last updated 20 November 2021 by Tris C
  • Car Park : No last updated 20 November 2021 by Tris C
  • Child Friendly : Yes last updated 20 November 2021 by Tris C
  • Darts : No last updated 20 November 2021 by Tris C
  • Function Room : Yes - According to Twitter - last updated 21 July 2015 by Dave McNally
  • Hot Food : Yes last updated 31 December 2015 by Bucking Fastard
  • Jukebox : No last updated 20 November 2021 by Tris C
  • Karaoke : No last updated 20 November 2021 by Tris C
  • Live Music : No last updated 20 November 2021 by Tris C
  • Live TV Sports : Yes last updated 08 January 2024 by Pub SignMan
  • Micropub : No last updated 20 November 2021 by Tris C
  • Pinball : No last updated 20 November 2021 by Tris C
  • Pool Table : No last updated 20 November 2021 by Tris C
  • Quiz Night : No last updated 20 November 2021 by Tris C
  • Real Ale : Yes - Young's. - last updated 20 November 2021 by Tris C
  • Real Cider : No last updated 20 November 2021 by Tris C
  • Wheelchair Access : Yes - Disabled WC. - last updated 20 November 2021 by Tris C
  • WiFi : Yes last updated 08 January 2024 by Pub SignMan
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