A Grade II-listed building that could be the most beautiful former bank in London is being turned into a giant Wetherspoons – a chain of pubs in the UK and Ireland known for its cheap drinks. Number 222 Strand was most-recently used as a very luxurious branch of Lloyds bank, but was originally a very upscale restaurant when it first opened in the 19th century.
Featuring intricately-tiled walls, roofs and friezes, painted pillars, and even a fountain, the premises gained a reputation for being London’s most beautiful bank. And now it is set to make an equally stunning, and reasonably priced, boozer. The extravagant interiors will be preserved (tiles are easily wiped down, it’s a win-win) as the ground floor and mezzanine level are turned into a sprawling 27,000 square-foot Wetherspoons that will have a capacity of almost 600, according to the Evening Standard.
If you’re not familiar with the Wetherspoons brand, some of the things it's known for, apart from the cheap pints, are: bespoke garish carpets in each of the 900 branches, no music (in most – head to Cambridge if you’d like to experience a full-blown ‘Spoons disco), and many of the branches are in re-purposed buildings, which means a lot of interesting architecture and unexpected features. We just can’t wait to see what carpet pattern they go for in what could be the most glamorous branch yet.