The Chapel, Paddington
By Matthew Balman
Pandora's Cigar Box
Edited by Quentin Beroud
The Chapel, Paddington – The one with the Lone Smoker
An unusual one, this, as it was the second place we went to on the same day. Six of us (we lucky few), had already been to Number 10 earlier in the afternoon, but as the numbers were so restricted we had The Chapel lined up for afterwards. You can read the Number 10 review here, incidentally. It’s like the prequel of this review, and features the most expensive coffee you’ve ever seen… Anyway, back to The Chapel, which I’d found when looking for a good place for the after meet. It meant we could meet in a larger group (still can’t believe a place called Number 10 only allows groups of 6), and with January being a taxing month, it offered the choice to splash out on lounge prices or conserve money at the pub. Or both, of course!
As I couldn’t book when I visited the first time, I emailed them twice to try and reserve a table outside in their umbrella-covered patio, which has space for about 40. After getting no response to either email I decided to call and got the fairly standard “we don’t do reservations outside”. After I explained that we can’t smoke inside, the lady said that it’s normally quiet enough on a Saturday afternoon , so for us just to turn up and “chance it”.
A couple of new members were joining us for the first time for this January meet-up. Unfortunately, myself and the other Number Tenners were running a little late. One of our regulars, Karol, arrived at the pub before us, strolled into the pub garden and spotted a fellow cigar-smoker sitting at one of the tables. He wandered over, introduced himself, and said “the rest are on their way”. All of which must have been pretty baffling for the poor guy, who was just sitting alone trying to enjoy a quiet cigar. Karol quickly messaged the group to warn us not to make the same mistake, but I’d like to take this opportunity to apologise to the Lone Smoker. We like to share a drink and a chat over a good stick at Cigar Club LDN, but here was a man in The Chapel enjoying a solo communion with his cigar, and you’ve got to respect that. We made sure we left him well alone after that, but it’s got to be the sign of a good cigar pub if there are lone smokers, right?
The pub itself was pretty quiet – when we walked in the barman wasn’t actually behind the bar, but at one of the customer tables! The outside area was pretty well covered with umbrellas, and the automatic heaters were very welcome as it was 10°C and windy when we were there. The tables and benches were large enough to fit a good amount of us around and not feel as if we were on top of one another, while the ashtrays were regular cigarette ones, standard ‘pub issue’.
The service from the staff was ‘ok’; nothing to write home about, but you got what you asked for when you asked for it, so can we really complain?! It was maybe a little underwhelming, but there’s lots of potential in the pub itself and I’m sure if we gave it another chance we may see a different side to the self appointed Gastro Pub.
Drinks Pricing (out of 5)
A good range of beers spied on taps or bottles. Nothing much else jumped out at me.
Didn’t ask as was coffee’d out from No.10 and maybe I was too cocktailed out to notice a coffee machine or not.
3 out of 5