The Crown and Two Chairmen is smart, stylish and some distance away from its more solitary soul-searching appeal of yesteryear. Sitting in the heart of Soho, on Dean Street, it has recently been restored, although lone bar stools at the windows still allow for a little Bohemian-esque quiet contemplation. The red leather sofas in a dimly lit corner offer a more sultry appeal, for couples on a romantic night out, fuelled by the splendid array of beers behind the bar.
There are certain quirks to this place in keeping with its old vagabond vibe and, with a combination of ‘slumming it’ businessmen and creative professionals, there is certainly an archaic anarchism whiff in the air – bic biros meet Macbook Pros effortlessly across the worn wooden tables.
Atmosphere aside, the drinks on offer are top quality, with an impressive range of ales, lagers and ciders on tap. This is complemented crisply by an eruption of high-end pub grub – with anything from Goats cheese, spinach & garlic stuffed mushrooms to Cider & tarragon battered cod & skin-on chips with crushed peas & tartare (yep, Fish and Chips to me and you).
There are plenty of other slightly pretentious offerings on the menu, but then that is no bad thing – creativity shouldn’t simply be sneered at. In fact, between you and us, we applaud such innovation. The food delivers too and truly that carries more weight than the words on the page. Even more important is the inclusion of some rather exceptional desserts, with the Raspberry & peach crumble with apple sorbet and the Sticky toffee pudding with vanilla pod ice cream jostling for position in my psyche. In addition to the norm, they also offer a splendid Sunday roast, as well as soul-warming mulled wine in time for the Christmas season. Although perhaps not the ideal place for a romantic and sophisticated first date, it can be a great haunt for a solitary jar or a catch up with some old friends. They are also currently accepting bookings for Christmas.