The Royal Standard
44, Vanbrugh Park, London, SE3 7JQ
The Orchid Group’s Royal Standard is a bit like the politician of local pubs - it surfs firmly down the middle ground, trying extremely hard to cater for all tastes. And though it’s a smart outfit that creates a general air of comfort and doesn’t charge you extra for its Wisteria free chimneys, all in all it’s just a bit bland.
The Royal Standard is a large, open pub in three distinct areas; the ‘bloke’s’ area at one end has high stools and a big plasma screen, the focal point bar and plenty of standing room sits nicely in the middle, with the more upmarket leather sofas and spider plants rounding things off at the other end. Its size doesn’t let it be cozy, but it does at least allow one to sit down.
The Royal Standard takes no risks with the bar fare or the menu, pushing a very slight ‘Best of British’ angle whilst still offering mediocre Pinot Grigio and bowls of Nachos. The staff are nice and smart, though like many other local pubs a few more smiles and a bit more chat wouldn’t go amiss.
The cries of ‘Yeah’ and ‘Come On’ from the blokes’ corner (Man United were losing at that point) didn’t seem to intrude on all the generally mixed clientele, and there were also a notable number of solo customers making themselves at home with their laptops, newspapers, or simply just a pint. Obviously a good place to go to catch up on your reading.
Since they’ve put in so much effort it would be unfair not to mention the pub’s other extensive offerings: quiz nights, Sunday roasts, advance booking, wifi internet access and fairtrade espresso coffees. Phew. The Royal Standard certainly ticks all the boxes, it’s just that in trying so hard to please everyone it doesn’t seem to really stand for anything. Just like a good politician, really.