When JD Wetherspoon are good, they're very good. The mega-chain have some superlative venues, especially in central London where several old banking halls are now drinking halls (amen to that). The Knights Templar is the place to start, built into the shell of the Union Bank. It's an extravagant affair, with an outrageously high ceiling supported on golden-topped columns, and a knight in shining armour looming out from the walls.
We're far enough from the financial City that the suits here are more likely to be from the legal professions than the banks. Indeed the pub name references the medieval order who set up the nearby Inner and Middle Temples — centuries-old training grounds for the bewigged of court. Those who are called to the bar also go voluntarily, it seems. Sober as a judge, the big screens here pump out news channels rather than sports.
You're never going to want for room. The vast main bar seems to go on forever, although with the high roof it can feel less than cosy. Up the stairs to the back, you'll find a very different environment, with niches, small rooms and (best seat in the house) a balcony area. This is the end to seek if you want to indulge in the chain's very reasonably priced curry club menu (or, as we recently found, recharge your laptop). As with any Wetherspoon, you'll get a wide range of ales, changing all the time, plus plenty of drinks of other persuasions.
Last updated March 2018