Mad Bishop And Bear, W2
- Upper Concourse, The Lawn, Paddington Station (map of this place)
- W2 1HF
Photo by Ivor Williams, 2005
A full range of Fuller's Ales, including bottles, Stella, Carlsberg, Strongbow, some wine. The ale is kept well, and I have yet to have a duff pint.
Fairly standard Fuller's style pub menu, with a selection of starters and sharers. Ranges from fish and chips and sausage and mash, to currys and simple Thai. Prices £5->£9.
I had sausage and mash with onion gravy (£5.95). The mash was very smooth and might have come from a packet. The gravy tasted mostly of salt and only had a couple of bits of onion in. But it was fine as pub food goes, and I might order it again.
Service and Ambience
Service is generally quick and good. The pub is ambience is strange due to its layout — it's on the top floor of Paddington Station. It is however done out in a fairly traditional manner, and feels like a "proper pub". There is no music, but there are normally a good number of people in the pub (waiting for their trains) leading to a nice hum.
(There was piped music the night we were there (Feb 2003) — bland kind of stuff, noticeable but not obtrusive. --Kake)
It has an entry in the CAMRA Good Beer Guide, one of the only (if not only) in-station pubs in there.
Main bar with whole front open to the inside of the top floor of the station. Seating area outside — there is a roped off area for pub patrons only, but if this is full there seem to be few complaints about spreading to the surrounding tables (normally earmarked for the rather sparsely used food facilities up on the top floor).
The main area has a selection of tables and table sections around pillars (with high stools). There are a few stools at the bar — it's a long bar so you aren't normally in the way.
There is a raised section to the left, carpeted, with booths to the back and tables over the rest. This area can be hired out for private parties.
(I think the raised area is non-smoking. Certainly at least part of it is. --Kake)
The feel of the outside and inside of the pub is different. Sitting outside you do feel like you're in a railway station, and there is even the occasional pigeon flying overhead up by the roof.
Ladies and Gents at the front left of the pub. Disabled lift in the same area to give access to toilets and raised section of the pub.
Ladies' has real taps!
The name comes from that of a road to the north of the station (Bishops Bridge Road) and, of course, Paddington Bear...
There's multiple wireless access points that cover the pub. Some are pay, but I found one free one last time I was there (Jun 03)