1871 is the Marriott Hotel’s bar, but with a main entrance onto Boar Lane, they’re definitely trying to attract non-hotel folk in here for a drink. The space is quite large with plenty of seating, and decked out with lots of robots, 1950s sci-fi kitsch and Lichtenstein-esque posters. It makes for a nice atmosphere and doesn’t feel anything like a hotel bar. (Until you pay your tab, that is; see below.)
There’s not much going on in the beer department, however. They’ve got Black Sheep Ale and Blue Moon in bottles, but absolutely nothing worth ordering from the kegs. After you’ve paid £4.75 for a Black Sheep, you’re probably not going to want to stay for a couple more, especially when there are plenty of better offerings nearby.
The limited bar-type menu offers pretty mediocre food, but it’s ok. With somewhat high prices for that too, it’s not surprising that this spot is typically less crowded than its neighbour. The upside is it’s usually chilled out and you’re likely to nab a quiet place to sit.
The amenity that 1871 has going for it is its friendly bar staff. They were very attentive and indulged all of my questions about the food and drinks menu. I was feeling particularly gregarious and inquisitive that evening, and the bartender took it all in stride, even complying when I facetiously suggested he draw me a picture of the seafood platter!
Would we be back here? If it’s Sunday evening and we’re looking for a place that’s still serving food, yes! Otherwise, we’d probably wander round the corner up New Station street for a better and more reasonably priced pint.
I agree, the choice of keg-beers was very poor when I visited. After spending several minutes attempting to find something interesting to try I gave up, and ordered a diet coke. I did like the big open doors at the front, gave the place a spacious feeling. Shame they open onto Boar Lane though.
A dispiriting generic bar version of purgatory that is so lacking in individuality and ambition that you feel like that yourself just by entering it. Everything is inoffensive ‘this will do’, and the beer choice is particularly bad. I found Tiger in bottles to be the best choice, that’s how bad it is. There is plenty of space so if you’re wanting a quiet refuge with a partner, in an odd way there is a slight appeal there.