The Four Candles is a Wetherspoons, so you know there are going to be pensioners and students taking advantage of the cheap food and really drunk guys taking advantage of the cheap booze. Hungry but planning on supper at the house and not really planning to get wrecked, I ordered a Black Beauty and sat back to check out the scene.
Wetherspoons pubs are a trip. The concept shouldn’t work, but it does. They take old buildings that have had another life and a bit of character all on their own and then refurbish them with good quality materials and an eye for good taste that the aforementioned punters almost always seem to overlook in their rush for the burger and a beer special, the loos to have a slash or a vomit, or to the nearest other guy to start a fight (note: all of these are unfair characterisations of the typical Wetherspoons experience, but it’s what folks believe to be true). The guest beers are numerous (typically 6 to 10 of them) and under £2 per pint. I don’t know how they do it but the model seems to be working.
This bar in particular was the City High School for Boys in a previous life. Ronnie Barker (of ‘Open All Hours‘ and ‘Porridge‘ fame) was a student here and later did a sketch with long-time comedy partner Ronnie Corbett wherein he asks a guy at a store for fork handles (y’know, like pitchfork handles) but the proprietor keeps giving him four candles. Get it?