London ball

‘I went to the ‘prettiest’ Wetherspoons in London which is in a proper ballroom and felt like a princess on a budget’ – Amber-Louise Large

When I think of Wetherspoons, I tend to picture dark table tops, pint posters and dodgy rugs.

But as I wandered around certain places in London for a drink or a meal, I began to notice that not all spoons are created equal.

This realization came to me when I first visited Hamilton Hall in Liverpool Street. For a moment, I completely forgot where I was…it was…dare I say…breathtaking?

READ MORE: ‘I visited the Wetherspoons which are among the highest rated pubs in Croydon but couldn’t see what it was about’

It must have been a fairy godmother who led me here

From the outside, Hamilton Hall is quite your normal spoons. Plenty of high chairs and tables crowd the patio with large menus proudly advertising the curry club and guest beers.

One foot through the door, however, and things start to get confusing. You might find yourself thinking: am I a commuter here for a pint or a duchess here for a ball? Cinderella blue walls with white and gold accents line the spacious lobby, and chandeliers gleam from the impressive high ceiling.

The surprising elegance of this Wetherspoons is less surprising when you realize that the pub is located in the former ballroom of the former Great Eastern Hotel built in 1884. The hotel is still there (next door) but now known as the five-star Andaz London hotel.

I could definitely imagine Cinderella waving from that balcony

The chandeliers are inspired by the original ballroom chandeliers and the design features on the wall are original. A large ornate mirror (The Wetherspoons website does not specify if it is original or not) sits above what appears to be a marble fireplace and between paintings inspired by the Renaissance (again not sure if these were added later or no).

Don’t worry, though, there’s still a touch of classic spooning in the floor: one corner of the room is nicely draped in a swirling patterned rug. There are also beautiful Real Ale Festival posters adorning the walls and “toilet out of order” signs posted on the entrance doors.

I decided to sit in the upper section, looking out over the ballroom. It was really magnificent – which is not a word I would often associate with a Wetherspoons.

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Usually to sit somewhere like I had to pay extortionate prices but here I was enjoying a curry and a pint for £7.95.

Honestly, I felt like a princess on a budget. The angelic figures surrounded by doves on the walls looked down on me and my bowl of fries soaked in curry sauce with what a fascination for what the modern world has brought. I’m willing to bet these ladies, the Wetherspoons angels, have seen a lot of scandals inside these walls – as a ballroom and as Spoons.

With Hamilton Hall right next to (and in fact partly inside) Liverpool Street station, it’s an interesting, if not slightly bizarre mix of past and present, late Victorian and modern, ballroom and pub. It’s also quite a convenient place. I think I’ve found my new favorite Wetherspoons.