The Plough and Harrow Pub, Hammersmith, London Content from the guide to life, the universe and everything

The Plough and Harrow Pub, Hammersmith, London

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First and foremost, it's a JD Wetherspoon pub - one of the silent ones. No television, no jukebox. But there are cheap prices, some guest ales for the cognoscenti and a standard menu of food. There's a recent trend in the company to branch out a bit, changing from including 'Moon' in the title of each of their new acquisitions to tending to default to standard, almost clich├ęd, pub names.

How to Get There

The pub is on King Street, the main shopping street in Hammersmith, West London. The pub is on the north side of the street, a few minutes to the west of the Lyric Theatre. It's not even ten minutes from the Hammersmith tube, although the tube station1 is on a roundabout, so be careful to consult the map in the station or you'll quite easily head off down the wrong road.

It's the nicer of the two Wetherspoons on the street - in one Researcher's opinion, patrons shouldn't bother with the William Morris unless you want poor service and lots of noise.

Layout

You enter from one of the short sides of the long oblong that forms the pub. The second half of the left-hand wall is a window looking out onto the street; the first half of the right-hand side is taken up by the bar and beyond that are booths.

The Look

Some of the time you can tell that a pub is a Wetherspoon because it looks like no one has redecorated it since 1924. At other times you can tell it's a Wetherspoon because it doesn't look like a pub ought to at all. This is one of those times.

It's more like an American diner. The floor is made up of rubbery flagstones, the walls have paintings in 1890's Punch Magazine cartoon-style, featuring baroque portraiture and places from local history - but they're done with Pop Art colours. Take a look up. You'll notice that dominating the ceiling are two suspended black slabs, with tiny pinprick lights that flash in alternate sequences.

Forget standing around. No one stands here, except at the bar. The entire place is filled with tables, made of what looks like the maplewood sort you get in the Hogshead chain.

For Your Delectation

The booths offer a little more privacy than the general open area. There's a non-smoking area, too, if you like your clothes fume-free. The food reaches you around 15 minutes after ordering, an impressively fast service - unlike some other Wetherspoons one might mention - and is very good, at least in this Researcher's opinion. As regards the clientele, they're a good natured bunch, and passed this Researcher's 'pint-spilling' test with genuine good nature and a notable lack of switchblades.

1The Hammersmith and City line station is separate to that for the District line and Piccadilly line, across the road.

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