I normally wouldn’t go near a Wetherspoon’s with much more than a bargepole. Problem is, some of their pubs are so cavernous that they could quite happily accommodate a fellow with a bargepole slung under his arm. The Coronet on Holloway Road is one such example. It is possibly my least favourite Wetherspoon’s in the country – because it combines the desecration of my two favourite things. Pubs and cinemas.

The Coronet used to be a independent cinema, and such being the nature of these things closed down about ten years ago. In moved old JD with their typical sensitivity. When Wetherspoon’s convert non pubs into their barn sized drinking dens they are usually at pains to leave some reminder of its original purpose. In this case its a lovely new neon sign outside, and a vague faux projector on the inside. However the rest of it is the usual swirly carpets, cheap clean varnished wood and a bar the length of half the building. Yes it is a deep pub, but it is also a very high pub, as high as the cinema was. This lack of visible ceiling leaves one feeling a bit disconcerted, but I suppose the aim is to squirrel away the rest of the smoke from its smoking areas.

One of my biggest problems with Wetherspoon’s is its disingenuous appropriation of pub culture. The chains success is due to blanding out traditional pubs, and presenting themselves as some sort of pub saviour. No music, no real atmosphere they cater well for someone who wants to pop in for a pint and a burger – or wants to drink on their own for next to no money. Yes they are cheap, yes they even serve a good selection of beers. But they are merely the MacDonalds of the pub world, the pub for the person who doesn’t like pubs. Which is why they bought The Coronet – its a cinema. If you are stuck on the Holloway Road, you are a lot better off going to The Head.