The Sun in Splendour Pub

I meant to review this pub last May. But a camera mishap (I deleted all the photos) delayed the review. I had to find the time to go back and take new photos. Oh the hardship!

A few Saturdays we were in the area. It was hot out and I wanted a drink. And knowing I needed to get photos of The Sun in Splendour I suggested we pop in for a drink. This pub is located on Portobello Road. Did I mention it was a Saturday afternoon when the Portobello Market is in full swing? The pub was packed. However, this sign outside convinced me to try.

I actually have a t-shirt with this quote on it. In case you were wondering, Ben Franklin said it.

I actually have a t-shirt with this quote on it. In case you were wondering, Ben Franklin said it.

The Better Half found us a small table. I headed to the bar to place our orders. I can’t remember the beer TBH wanted, but the bartender poured the wrong one. I wasn’t aware of the situation until I placed the beer on the table and heard, “What beer is this?” I think the bartender overheard the question and realized he poured the wrong beer. The situation was corrected. Since it was so hot out, I guzzled my Pimm’s and lemonade. When I ordered my second Pimm’s and lemonade, which was a special on their summer cocktail board, the female bartender had no clue what I was talking about. I pointed to the board and she smiled and made my drink.

We tried tracking down the waiter to order some nachos. The poor man was in training and was completely overwhelmed. Again I went to the bar to order the nachos. They arrived promptly. They weren’t bad, but not great. The hustle and bustle of the place started to rattle my nerves. Some tourists were yelling at the food servers since their food was taking too long or they needed cutlery. I couldn’t take it anymore so we left.

It is a shame I had to go back to review this pub, otherwise I would have given it 4 stars out of 5. Now I give it 2.5 stars and don’t recommend going on a Saturday. Especially on a warm Saturday.

About TBM

TB Markinson is an American who's recently returned to the US after a seven-year stint in the UK and Ireland. When she isn't writing, she's traveling the world, watching sports on the telly, visiting pubs in New England, or reading. Not necessarily in that order. Her novels have hit Amazon bestseller lists for lesbian fiction and lesbian romance. She cohosts the Lesbians Who Write Podcast ( with Clare Lydon. TB also runs I Heart Lesfic (, a place for authors and fans of lesfic to come together to celebrate lesbian fiction.
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35 Responses to The Sun in Splendour Pub

  1. vinnieh says:

    Great review as always.

  2. Carole says:

    People were actually yelling at the servers? Hope they weren’t American.
    You found nachos in London…that’s amazing. 🙂

    • TBM says:

      It’s always a risk to order nachos in London. The tourists were not from the US. I have a good idea where they were from, but I won’t say. In their defense, the organization of the pub was severely lacking.

  3. Meanderer says:

    Shame about the hustle and bustle on the Saturday. I like the quote!

  4. That is too bad. At least you know from the first time that it has the potential of being a good place to get a drink and a bite to eat. Every restaurant has bad days, unfortunately.

  5. Lucid Gypsy says:

    Victims of their own success.

  6. go back on a Tuesday and take me,and get me a Ben T-shirt too

  7. Robin says:

    I lived near Portobello Road when I lived in London. Saturday is not a great time to be training new staff, no matter what the location, but especially on Portobello Road.

  8. Vishy says:

    Nice review, TBM. Sorry to know that the service wasn’t as good as it was when you went there the first time. Maybe they had trainee waiters / waitresses and hope they will get into it and the service will get back to former levels. I love the name of the pub – ‘The Sun in Spendour’.

  9. bulldog says:

    Such a hard life you live… shame I think you might be being a tad hard on the place… give it a 3.5 you were more impressed last time round… poor waiter probably regretted the day he applied for the job, I assume it was a male…

    • TBM says:

      If I go back and receive better service I will adjust the rating. yes, I’m just looking for a reason to go back to have a beer. And yes the waiter was male. I really felt bad for him. He was in way over his head. Probably not the best planning to have a trainee on one of the busier summer days.

  10. “I had to find the time to go back and take new photos.’

    i appreciate your willingness to make the sacrifice. you might not have done if you’d realize how much of a sacrifice it would be 😉 you’ll know when not to go back, at any rate.

  11. aFrankAngle says:

    I see the problem …. you went on a Saturday instead of a Friday! 😉

  12. bocafrau says:

    It’s sad when you go to a restaurant and the place crates on you because of poor customer service.

  13. A Pimm’s and lemonade? Sounds refreshing!

  14. it sounds like it would be a great book of stories-much like McSorley’s Magical Saloon.

  15. dti3 says:

    when i lived in london ages ago, that was known by another name, do you recall what it was?

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