I have always been wary of pubs named after the geographical area in which they reside. I am always extra wary when they only just make it into that catagory. It seems a bit presumptuous, as if to say they are the pub the area is named after (which is occasionally the case admittedly). But for ever Nag’s Head there is a The Pub, Oxford. And in the later catagory fits the Bloomsbury, a Shepherd Neame pub on New Oxford Street.

Should I like the Bloomsbury? Shepherd Neame pubs have a good selection of ales and are generally comfortable. But there is something about them which is spectacularly unfriendly. They aren’t cheap, the furniture seems poorly laid out and the staff, surly springs to mind.

It was a nice Friday evening when we gave the Bloomsbury a go. One member of bar staff in partiuclar caused us trouble, she declared beers off which were fine before and poured drinks in the wrong order. But the big crux came at half eight. A general feeling of bonhomie was over us, and we were sitting undisturbed upstairs. We wondered if the pub wanted to put on Big Brother for us. She looked unimpressed. We pushed the matter, suggesting it was like a sporting event and would be attractive to other punters (there were punters at the bar who agreed). She said she would talk to the manager. She didn’t. Then she said no.

We should, of course, have left. Except it was Friday and we had seats (some of us would have left but the lazy arsed bunch that took up most of our group just wanted the beer). When will pubs learn? Its another dud Shepherd’s Neame pub though.