There’s a reason why this place is packed every night of the week with English bankers: it’s right in the heart of the Boat Quay end of the CBD, and is more British than tea and scones with the Queen.
Owners Gaelic Inns, whose stable also includes Muddy Murphy's at Orchard Hotel Shopping Arcade, have decided to dispense with such fripperies as ambience and comfortable, ample seating; with a plum location right next to the river, they couldn’t fail even if they pulped durians to make fruit juice.
If you’re visiting from the UK, a trip to this mock-Victorian tavern is about as adventurous as pulling a beer can from the fridge, and approximately ten times more expensive.
In every possible sense this is a facsimile of a night out in London (in fact the humidity and local bar-staff are the only reminder that you’re still in Asia); and just like the Big Smoke itself, a Friday-night stint here will wage war on your wallet.
Inflated prices, stentorian patrons and cramped environs can take the shine off the Penny Black experience, and you can’t escape the feeling that you’re part of a blatantly profiteering enterprise, but for convenience and location alone (not to mention a happy hour lasting eight and a half hours) it still gets our, ahem, stamp of approval.