Last night, during a magnificent rain-soaked midweek rampage that took in the Southampton (for “expresso” ale!), The Vine (for polenta with wild mushrooms!) and Heroes (for some late night divebar fashionableness!), Annie’s Bar was the one place that we entered – and weren’t enamoured by.
Why is this? Let’s face it, Mrs Kentishtowner will pretty much sup anywhere. She confesses she ‘quite likes’ the kitschy interior, although it should, she suggests, be ‘darker and candle-lit’; she ‘quite likes’ the bar staff and the ‘wacky’ toilets; and she even – fussy cow though she is – quite likes the cosmopolitans, on the rare occasions she has lingered long enough to sample one.
‘But there’s something so depressing and regional about it all,’ she said, with a groan, last night, as we snuck out sans drink, the rain lashing. ‘It’s the clientele – they just seem to stare at a blank spot on the wall. It’s like some awful cabaret bar in Blackpool.’
So we put it to you, Annie’s Bar: how about a re-jig? A food menu? Proper tables and chairs? Some kind of vibe?
‘You’d have more of a laugh in O’Neil’s, over the road,’ sighed Mrs KT, as we sat, beer in hand, in the Abbey’s quite magical garden.
But maybe we’re wrong. Maybe it has its fans. What do you think?
Photo by Ewan-M