Ten Lord’s a’sitting. The Lord’s Tavern, St John’s Wood

“On the tenth day of Christmas my true love gave to me, ten men with peerage debasing themselves while taking part in an interpretive dance that boils down to just a handful of dudes in tights mincing energetically.”

I had no idea where I needed to go to find Lords a’leaping but my handy husband knew just the place, filled to the gunnels with entitlement and ball sports; Lord’s Cricket Ground.

Lord's Tavern, exterior gates

I was surprised to discover (when doing my hours of in-depth research for this blog) that Lord’s is not named after an actual Lord, or Lords plural, but after a dude named Thomas Lord. In the early 1800’s the moneyed gents who frequented the cricket sporting grounds at Marylebone took umbrage with the terrible poor people watching their cricketing fun. So, rather than ask ‘the poor’ to join in their game (as the moral of many game-based children’s stories taught us to do in this situation) the men commissioned Thomas to build an exclusive club, with big walls, where they could open-hand rub each others backsides and laugh haughtily in their white sweater vests while readjusting their monocles. St John’s Wood was once a nice duck pond, but from 1814 on wards it has been the home of sporting elitism and toff back-scratchery.

Lord's Tavern, exterior sign

Because I have no interest in watching sports or sporting in general, I chose not the spend time or money going inside the MCC. However, I do like drinking beer and eating pork pies, so we visited the Lord’s Tavern which is encased in the pillowly cleavage of the cricket ground proper. Whilst there, I regret that I didn’t see any Lord’s a’leaping.  We did see a bunch of toffs dining, which I guess is going to have to be close enough.

Lord's Tavern, pork pie and beer

Lord's Tavern, interior seats and tables

Lord's Tavern, interior pretty light fitting

I was hoping for a lovely, historied building because cricket = oldy-worldy things + aristocratic gents with very straight backs, but alas the Tavern was in fact rather modern. The owner/interior designer added some nice vintage touches, such as the aesthetic for the signage, menus etc., light fittings and some antique furniture. Generally the look worked and managed to avoid coming off as ‘pound store retro’ which is all too easy to dip into.

Lord's Tavern, interior, toilet sign, ladies

As strange as it sounds, the highlight of my visit was the hand wash. It smelled FUCKING amazing. Thick with sandalwood, but like a clean aftershave, not a dirty sandalwood/weed, hippie scent. After my visit to the ladies my hands smelled reminiscent of rich old men, but in a good way, not in a pervy paying young girls for sex because you’re old and gross but have lots of money and power kind of way.

Lord's Tavern, interior, stalls

Lord's Tavern, interior, sinks

Lord's Tavern, interior, bins and changing

Lord's Tavern, interior, door handle

As a whole this bathroom was just fine. There wasn’t anything special about it (other than the handwash) but also nothing shocking or disgusting. These loos were a bit like cricket; vanilla, long winded and a bit dull, but compared to the alternative, come off seeming quite good.

Lord's Tavern, interior, toilet stall, single

Lord's Tavern, interior, soap dispencer

Rating

Cleanliness : 8/10  It was very clean as you would hope and expect from rich people who serve drinks and snacks to other rich people.

Interior : 7/10  The bathrooms were fine, two stalls with one disabled access which was locked. I always find that slightly annoying. Does a person who is disabled need to come up to the counter and request a key just to take a wizz? That is a bit discriminatory if you ask me but that’s because asking for the key would make me feel like a twat and would exacerbate my disability. The hand soap smelled like heaven in a hot gents trousers tho, so they still get a good score. I know I’m fickle but fuck it.

Exterior : 7/10  The bar was nice, they had tried to add a bit of personality to a newish build space and in a shallow kind of way it worked but to a seasoned judger of public spaces it felt a little empty. Like a pretty throw cushion on the cheap Ikea sofa of life.

Safety : 7/10  I did worry I might be sold into white slavery by the old fashioned dudes drinking at the bar. Also if I were to linger too long in earshot I was concerned I might catch some very old fashioned inappropriate comments, possibly about Brexit. Instead I focused on my pie and beer and managed to stay mentally safe-ish.

Snugglitude : 5/10  It wasn’t bad, but somehow felt a little lacking. The best way to describe my overall impression is to explain what happened after we left Lord’s. While walking towards the tube I started to feel unwell. Turns out there are no public facilities near Warren Street (for shame!) so we tubed in a hurry to Paddington station, where I paid 30p to vomit up a stomach full of fine cuisine in a cheery pink cubicle surrounded by the shrieks of children and happy teenagers. Ergo; Lord’s tavern looked nice and tasted nice and there was nothing existentially wrong with it but somehow my over sensitive body just didn’t want to retain their fare. Though to be honest, my body is a bit of a cunt about these things so it’s probably nothing to do with them and everything to do with me.

Total : 34/50

 

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