In the heart of the shopping district, old school drinkers are taken under the Spread Eagle’s wing and shielded with sport and beer.
Located on Woodstock Street, which backs onto Oxford Street, The Spread Eagle is on one of the busiest shopping strips in London. The idea of an old fashioned boozer on this street doesn’t quite work, but the pub does its best to make sure that the area has at least a little hint of the honest traditional London pub about it.
Inside, there is a glossy shine to the caramel wood that the high tables and stools are made from and that combined with all the adverts for drink offers breeds a real chain pub look. At the back of the pub is a large plasma screen situated in the middle of the back wall. It’s met on both sides by red leather sofas that curve in an arch to create a private lounge. There are a slew of metal-legged tables and chairs on the pedestrianised street out front and no matter how chainy it feels it’s a lively area to drink in.
The Spread Eagle is fuelled by testosterone with everybody passing through the doors required to pass an entrance test with questions on the likes of Men Behaving Badly, FHM ‘birds’ and fast cars. If you pass this then it’s into the belly of the beast where rugby is shown to suited men who cram into spaces far too small for their number and more reserved gentlemen opt for the lazy area at the back.
Whatever the group, the majority are from the surrounding offices - workers escaping for hour-long holidays during the day and after 5pm. Added to this is a steady flow of tourists and traveller types who make up the numbers while imposing a little diversity to the masculinity.
The food at the Spread Eagle is typical of the chain of brewery-owned pubs that it belongs to. You can expect the entire pub grub spectrum designed to satisfy the stomach - think hot sandwiches and burgers, although a couple of vegetarian options are a nice surprise.
There are drinks deals advertised on the board outside the door that hints at the quantity over quality credo going on. Inside, the simple range of wine - all available by the glass or the bottle - are backed up with a good range of beer. Lagers on draught include Fosters, Kronenbourg, Stella, Staropramen and Leffe, and Young’s and London Pride ales are also served.
The Last Word
The Spread Eagle is a regular pub for anybody who enjoys cold beers, filling stodge and a crisp flat screen TV.