Politics

I visited the top rated pub in Croydon on TripAdvisor but I won’t be going back

There is a time in everyone’s life when they must be initiated into the culture of eating a full English breakfast before moving on to a session of daytime drinking at a JD Wetherspoon.

That period of life for a lot of people is the first year of university when your student loan has been squandered but you desperately need that uni experience of rarely being sober and dragging yourself to lectures.

Other exceptional circumstances where one can visit a Wetherspoon is when you’re waiting to board a train from Euston and you need wifi.

So when I visited the dimly lit Skylark in South End, South Croydon, it reaffirmed to me the reasons why I’m glad this part of my life is over.

The pub is currently number three on the list of best pubs and restaurants in Croydon, but number one is very much a bar rather than a pub and the Skylark has the same 3.5 rating as the Green Dragon at number two while having received more reviews.

READ MORE: Student sacked as restaurant waitress ‘for wearing trainers’ argues buying new shoes was ‘unaffordable’

I completely forgot that Covid etiquette was in play and you didn’t need to stand at the bar

Before I entered the bingo-like hall, I was greeted by a friendly woman who asked me to scan one of Matt Hancock’s other legacies – the ‘world-beating’ test and trace QR code – before proceeding.

I then made my way through the dark and not very well ventilated building where I completely forgot the Covid etiquette and stood at the bar.

Eventually, I was told to take a seat near the bar, where I logged into the table service app to order my drink.

As I perused the menu, it was as if I had stepped into a parallel universe where inflation doesn’t exist and prices have been the same since 1965 when Paul McCartney bought his North London mansion for £40,000.

For £2.30, I could have a medium glass of wine, which is great value in London.

As well as the price being stuck in time, the decor clearly hadn’t been updated since Margate was where everyone in London went for their summer holidays.

It reminded me of an 80s casino from films set in New Jersey or Reno where the only thing that lights up the place is the plethora of fruit machines.

I visited the top rated pub in Croydon on TripAdvisor but I won’t be going back
The place reminded me of an 80s style casino

As I took in the environment, two young waiters came one after the other checking to see if I had ordered, which I had.

I watched my glass of vino sit at the bar as they inquired, but didn’t have the guts to tell them my order was sitting right there.

Eventually my drink arrived and I quickly decided to head to the outdoor seating area which was overtaken by smokers.

I visited the top rated pub in Croydon on TripAdvisor but I won’t be going back

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That is the one thing I found prominent in Croydon which is that everybody seems to smoke.

You cannot walk two steps before you inhale someone’s tobacco breath, which is always such a joy.

The beer garden area was obviously the smoker committee venue where I took up valuable real estate on my lonesome at a four-seater table – but such is Covid.

I inspected the glass of wine, because big venues are notorious for unclean glasses, and I was right to be wary.

I visited the top rated pub in Croydon on TripAdvisor but I won’t be going back
I didn’t dare drink from the glass

I found dishwasher stains and something along the rim of the glass which looked like faded lipstick.

It was at that point, after inhaling copious amounts of second hand smoke, I decided I had already taken enough risks with my health that day.

Before leaving I ventured to look upstairs where there was another huge seating area which makes you wonder, what is the capacity of this place?

Overall I didn’t think it was worth trying the food. But for £2.30, you get what you pay for.

Have you visited this pub? Let us know in the comment section here.


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