A formulaic chain bar set in the centre of London’s bustling Waterloo. Whilst venues in the All Bar One chain are all very similar, it has some redeeming features such as delicious mulled wine over Christmas and a decent location.
This All Bar One sits in the shadow, quite literally, of the London Eye, just behind Jubilee Gardens and within stumbling distance to the last train home (Waterloo mainline & underground). The glass doors lead into a dimly lit bar area and there’s a range of seating available. The bar doesn’t have much else to it other than chalk boards on the wall displaying the menus and house wine selection, and the vital condiment station for all your ketchup needs.
The bar is always bustling to bursting point on weekday evenings, so it’s best to nab your spot before 6pm. The atmosphere is always friendly and lively with most of the punters being suited workers grabbing a pint, or two, or three before jumping on a train at Waterloo. The bar staff here are friendly, if occasionally a little slow in dealing with crowd control around the bar. The general feeling of the bar is one you could get anywhere in a chain pub; it’s generic and doesn’t try to attempt the quirkiness that independent competitors in London offer in spades. One cannot go here expecting to have a stand out night, because it’s simply not a stand out place. The bar does what is asked of it by the company, and little else. Still, it’s friendly enough.
Food here is decent world tapas, including bite-sized meals to share from Italy and Mexico. This, plus burgers and other main courses, mean the menu is one of the good selling points for All Bar One. The prices are fairly reasonable for a London chain pub, although more expensive than other pubs in the area.
Stuck in the times when wine bars were novel, All Bar One has a wall of wines and champagnes on display, although nothing particularly noteworthy. There are also a range of beers on draught and bottles, spirits - the usual suspects. Prices are normal for the area.
The Last Word
There isn’t anything special here. However, the food is decent and the atmosphere is jollied along by everyone sipping at their overpriced New Zealand Sauvignon Blancs.