I like this place a lot. If I lived closer by, it would be my regular haunt. Actually - even though I don't live too close, I still come here quite often. Staff are friendly but not too friendly, it's always been a relatively calm atmosphere, the food is tasty, and the drinks are reasonably priced. For a round of draft beer, double cocktail, & shot (of coffee patron - quickly become my favourite), I pay £15 flat. Don't know how busy it gets at night because I usually come on Sunday afternoons.
Situated right on the corner of Uxbridge road and shepherds bush green, this is a gem of a modern pub.
Cocktails from the snug bar are well served and food is fantastic, with some real querky serves, meat platter is great fyi!
Good selection of beers, wine and cider as well as a healthy back bar. Highly recommend a trip if in the area!
This is the pub we go to for after work drinks. It's a really nice pub that does cocktail specials. The cocktails are definitely worth it and didn't take too long to make. It has a really nice feel as its decorated nicely with its dark wood and antique looking candles and lights. It's a large place so not overcrowded. There are generally places to sit for a group. It's a really comfortable pub and perfect for a large group of friends/colleagues to catch up.
This pub used to be a really awesome unpretentious pub where you were always guaranteed a good time. But it seem's like I had the same experience as Sinja.
We went for the BF's birthday and although they were nice enough to let us book a table, they were extremely strict at the door, even though it was only 9pm! It seems that since the issues with the Walkie down the road, they have seriously toughened up their door policy. I saw a number of people kicked out during the night and because of the overly strict policy at the door, the pub lost a lot of it's fun vibe.
Instead it's just turned into a pub without anything to it. The music was still good, but because it just didn't feel fun no one was up and dancing as they used to.
There are so many other pubs in the area that I think I'll try a few new places before coming back.
I usually avoid pubs because most of them act more as clubs than places to chill and talk, but The Defectors Weld is absolutely wonderful. There's a lot of room and it's a great place to chat with service that is unpretentious. I go here with my colleagues for a drink every Friday, so it works really well with their happy hour cocktail special. For people who don't like beer, this list makes going to the pub so much more enjoyable. Their food selection is also delicious, especially their chips with garlic mayo sauce. Get extra sauce, it's unbelievable. And do check out their upstairs area because there's not only more seating, but there's another bar up there too. Wish all pubs are like this place :)
Stacked with a surprisingly good range of beer, boogeying young professionals and a hip hop soundtrack, the Defectors Weld is a welcome destination when out and about in Shepherds' Bush.
Robyn J is right on the money: with its attributes this place would melt into the background if it were in Clapham. But it's in Shepherd's Bush, with very little to compete against and so emerges as *the* go-to place for discerning young professionals looking for a classy spot to enjoy a good drink or shake their thang
In fact, it could be argued that it betters your average Clapham joint in some respects. The music, for example, though loud, is played over a decent sound system, meaning that it doesn't deafen you and conversation is easily possible. And the beer range is impressive: approximately six ales from small breweries on tap and a good range of bottles from a number of notable breweries the world over.
The music beats the average Clapham joint too: well-chosen hip hop on the night I was there, with no-one, either seated or standing, immune to its body-moving allures. The crowd was happy and good-natured, lapping up the music, strutting their ironic moves and with the exception of one short-lived misunderstanding, behaving themselves.
The only downside I experienced when there was a lack of seating. The pub is spacious, so the fact that seating is lacking tells you something about the popularity of the place. Still, it is an issue, and it was 30-40 minutes before some seating was free.
Nevertheless, the unbeatable combination of decent beer and hip hop means I can see myself returning. Soon.
I used to like this pub even though in my opinion it's quite expensive. But then there was Halloween a year ago and me and my friends decided to dress up a bit and go to The Defectors Weld.
They wouldn't let us in! Just because of some blood drops on the cheek or my lovely devil horns... I was really disappointed I must say. We took off our lovely accessories and went in for a drink anyways but we left really soon and I have only been back once. It hasn't got the same charm to me as it used to before that night.
Sad but what can you do? I just don't like party poopers.
Despite being home to one of the biggest shopping centres, Shepherds Bush has a distinct lack of good pubs. Thank goodness for The Defectors Weld.
But, because its the only fun pub in town, it gets busy. Really busy. Also, as its just around the corner from the Shepherds Bush Empire, you can tell when there's a gig on down to the number of people lining the bar before show time.
What makes it good? Great range of drinks. Live DJ. Two levels. Fun decor. Eclectic crowd. Just make sure you bring cash as the last three times I've been they've not been able to take cards.
Perfect for dates, after work drinks and pre gig fun.
Mmmmm the drinks are great! Try the raspberry Collins, it's delish! They also have a lunch and dinner menu of the usual UK dishes but with an upscale, uptown vibe. The music is great and the atmosphere is really chill and fun! Great for a meeting spot with friends or a date night. Oh and they have free wifi! Love this place! so come here now!! DUH! :)
I have never ever gone to shepherds bush for anything other than shopping with my mum "back in the day". Don't really like the area much, too much traffic and really despite being on the same side of London, I could get to France quicker and would surprisingly have a better time, that was until I got the guts to ask a girl out whilst sober for the first time. So blah blah blah we ended up in the Defector's Wield, lovely place but it was still early and the place was empty. So my first impressions were not the 5 star you see now. Jump to a day later and my mate said he was managing the bar in Shepherds Bush and he told me the name, and said it was crap (in my oh-so-not-really-insulting-but-could-be-miscontrued-as-being tone), and he said no its not, and I said yes it is and he no it's not and I said prove it and said not it's not... and then invited down for few drinks.....
The next day I woke up in an open space somewhere in south London with a lady named Martha... and few other goons as well.
I really like a laugh, and I had one there, and I think I should frequent Shepherds Bush more often.
The Defectors - probably one of the darkest and most dimly lit pubs I have ever been to. Fact. But anyway, as you feel your way to the bar you'll find a surprising selection of drinks, from the usual favourites to Young's Bitter and even a few cocktails. They do a cracking happy hour from 5pm-7pm Sunday - Thursday where for just £1 extra you can get a second cocktail free. The music is up-to-date and definitely fits in with the clientele and location. Expect to find lots of telly types in here, seeing as it's equidistant from Endemol HQ and the Beeb.
The main bar area is tastefully decorated, now, here's the thing, I don't know quite how they've managed this, but despite the comfy looking sofas and dark wooden panels, the whole place just doesn't quite pull off the whole effect. Maybe it's just me, but it's missing a distinct dose of 'old-world' cosiness that would make the whole place work. It could be the high ceilings...but who knows.
The smoking garden at the back is fairly big, but I imagine on a Friday or Saturday night it can get quite busy. Saying that everyone was very friendly out there, and with a few bits of greenery around, the place almost feels like you're in the garden at someones house.
The food can be a bit hit or miss. It's the usual stuff, burgers, sausages & mash, and even fish finger sandwiches. It's all at a reasonable price, and well worth ordering something if you've missed dinner. Chips in mini-silver buckets are very Gordon Ramsey but always hit the spot.
Now, the best bit about the Defectors (in my humble opinion) is the Snug Bar upstairs. The whole thing is often reserved for private events, but on other less busy occasions staff are happy to reserve an area (if you call ahead) or, just sneak up there yourself and see if there are any free tables. The snug bar has HUGE bay windows - yay natural light. And a small bar - there's usually only one person serving up here so be patient as they're pretty much running it by themselves; pulling pints and serving food at the same time. This is where it's at for me at the Defectors. Comfy chairs, a few friends and heaps of natural light - even though the view of Shepherds Bush Green is not that inspiring. Pop in before a gig, or if you're meeting local friends, otherwise, it's not a destination pub for me.
I have a very mixed opinion about this bar, I've visited it a number of times, but not really enjoyed myself, it's always been really busy, noisy and filled with pretentious trendsters.
However I have recently discovered that they have a hidden upstairs 'snug' bar, filled with the same rich decor, but which is quieter and with a small bar that is often empty. It's also easy to find yourself a seat.
I really like the atmosphere in this upper bar, with lots of the same old furniture and quirky decor you'll find downstairs, you'll also find a rich mahogany bar. That it's quiet and you can hold a decent conversation is also a plus.
In fact everything that I dislike about the downstairs bar seems absent in the snug bar. What's not to love in this little haven.
Sunday's afford you the buy one get one for a pound cocktail deal, and you'll find the fridge stocked with American craft beers so it's a good venue to visit for a late weekend celebration.
Nice place to stop for the area, especially pre/post-gig from the Empire.
Really friendly staff and a nice loungey vibe, i hate it when pubs are too bright so this was a nice atmosphere. I'll have agree with Mel B.'s comments on several fronts. Though there was this girl that tried to steal the tip I left for the bartender so we had to lay the smackdown and she looked like a shamed puppy caught with my pound in her hand... who does that?!
There was a happy hour listing for 5-7, so I'll have to make a mental note to stop down sooner for gig predrinks and check it out. Definitely worth a stop if you're in the area.
I love this place. We were there on a thursday night, Great drinks, friendly staff and lovely crowd.
I was kind of pissed off with them on a saturday night. They were trying not to be a " Bob Fest " so they would only allow girls or mixed couples in. It was very annoying and the bouncers were unnecessarily rude !!!
Cool place, nicely done up and the atmosphere is good.
It always seems quite hard to find a place to sit here, and they have done themselves no favours by breaking the room up into mall little 'booths' but I suppose if you can nab one of these booths and fill it with a few friends, it would be great - actually, why haven't I thought of organising that before now?!
All in all, nice pub, good for a couple of drinks, but nothing to get too excited about - apart from the fact this area does lack nice, chilled pubs, so in light of that, definitely a place to drop by if you are in the area.
I think this might just be the best pub in Shepherd's Bush. I went there, I said it.
I'll admit, the only times I go to 'SheBu' (and I frickin hate that antipodean abbreviation) is for gigs and when I used to head to Gigalum for a friends music showcase. Other than that, I steer well clear. If you're not skirting piles of vomit you're jumping over the pissed grounded Australian from which said vomit materialised. I just don't like Shepherd's Bush. It's hard to get to for me and I'm happy it is. Ooh... I'm so bitter.
But you know what, with the discovery of this pub and the quietly impressive Westfield, I'm turning a corner. I would *consider* coming here for a non gig related journey.
The food here was really quite tasty and I was impressed with the back section of the pub behind the bar, it seemed like a different place altogether. Brothers cider too. Win.
I really like this pub!
I always end up here for a pre-gig drink if I am going to Shepherds Bush Empire, and it never fails to disappoint. The drinks are average pub prices (even a bit cheaper than a lot of other similar style pubs and THEY HAVE BROTHERS CIDER!), good cocktail deals, nice staff the atmosphere is cozy and relaxed and the boys are hot hot HOT!
Did I mention, the boys are hot?
The pub has kind of a strange layout - the bar is right at the front when you walk in, but you can walk a full circle around it, and the back part behind the bar feels a little bit like a different style to the front part of the pub (if that makes sense?!)
The theme is all dark wooden floorboards, candles, dark leather armchairs and has a vaguely similar feel to places like the Lock Tav in Camden, but without the pretentiousness (although, personally, the too-cool-for-school hipsters don't phase me - I love 'em).
I'm not a smoker, but the smoking area out back is cute too, and is covered in fairy lights.
The music is also, on the whole, pretty good - but kinda random!
Oh, and be assured that if you ever discuss this place with me in person, I will be sure to call it 'The Refectory' instead of 'The Defector's Weld' - don't ask me why, I just always think that's what it's called.
I really love this pub in Shepherd's Bush, it's cosy, friendly and a great place for a little meet up with friends.
The bar is fully stocked and the pub itself is gorgeously decked out in dim lighting, shiny taps and heavy wooden furniture. The clientele is a mixture of locals and people stopping off for a quick drink before heading on for the night.
I've always had a great time here, and I always hit this place when I'm around the Bush / west London. It's classy and cosy - the perfect mix.
I am hardly ever in Sheperd's Bush, but after coming here, I would consider re routing my daily travel in order to sneak in a few drinks here. I was in the area to catch a gig at the Empire, and having not been into Sheperd's Bush before, felt a bit underwhelmed and downcast at the idea of having an hour to kill and having to do it at Weatherspoons. Or Chicken Cottage. Then I stumbled upon The Defectors Weld, and had such a great time that I nearly missed the gig.
It was a Sunday evening that I went, and the place was packed. clearly no one had any intention of going home or calling it a night. And why would they? The place was cleverly laid out to remind you of a cosy, comfy, living room, there were sofas so deep that I was worried that I wouldn't get out. I liked the crowd here, and it seemed to be very much a locals bar.
I wish there had been more staff though. I waited absolutely ages to get served. The Shiraz that I ordered was top notch, and I liked all the bar snacks that they did, so I'm not complaining too much. All in all a very pleasant discovery.
As a part of the Lock Tavern and Amersham Arms crew, this pub is slightly less known but just as good. Located in an area that is mainly dominated by Australians (Shepherd's Bush), the Defector's Weld is a pretty cool pub. Spread across two floors the pub is well decorated with a mixture of large tables, low chandeliers, and big vintage frames. The upstairs, referred to as the 'snug bar', is exactly that: very comfortable with a living room feeling, yet it is often reserved for private and corporate parties.
Sundays are the definitely the best days to venture down here for a great roast, 2-1 cocktail deals, a selection of Sunday papers and boardgames for hire. Sundays also used to host their infamous Musical Bingo nights, which were always good fun with prizes up for grabs. Unfortunately, this game has lately been removed from their program, but here is hoping that they will bring it back.
My one dilemma about this pub is its location. Shepherd's Bush is not the most up and coming area, but if you do happen to be in neighbourhood, I recommend stopping by for a drink.
The reason The Defector's Weld is my favourite pub in this part of West London is it's versatility. On a Sundays the pub is relaxing and quiet with big leather chairs you can sink your hangover into, and log fires which you can doze off in front of. However, during the week and on Friday and Saturday evenings the pub is a lively music venue and always rammed with a young and energetic crowd of locals and creative professionals from the nearby BBC.
The food is fantastic, especially the burgers which are top quality; there is a cosy bar upstairs where acoustic sets are played and a heated outdoor area at the back which means you don't have to smoke on the busy Uxbridge road and watch drunk Aussies from the local Walkabout stumble across the green.
Although there are more and more pubs like Defectors springing up in the Shepherd's Bush area there need to be more like this on the Green. The main reason the pub is so busy it that the only other alternatives within comfortable walking distance are the sweaty Walkabout or the similarly unpleasant O'Neils.
The cocktails here are pretty decent -- especially when buying two of the same cocktail means the second one is only £1! The atmosphere was pretty cool, but I wouldn't go out of my way to come back unless I was in the area.
And, a side note, with ingredients like kahlua, amaretto, pepsi, and guinness, the pub's namesake cocktail sounds disgusting. But, we were all pleasantly surprised -- it was delicious.
I like this bar a lot. It's got buzz, and is cool without being off-putting. There's a variety of wooden tables and soft sofas in the dimly-lit room. Seating space goes in a big square around the bar, allowing you to do circuits while you look for a place to sit amongst the crowd.
They've got some tasty food, especially the pies. It's a good place to stop before going to a film at the Vue cinema at the other end of the green.
There's a very small open-air courtyard - not much more than a large chimney with some benches - on the way to the toilets for those who want to smoke without leaving the bar.
There's a dining room upstairs that opens after 7pm.
Sundays are very cool: in the afternoon they do roasts and have a very funky, mixed DJ set. Great for mellowing out after a big Saturday night, or gearing up for a big Sunday night.
I do find that the staff can get a little swamped in here; I think perhaps they get a lot of turnover and often have new faces behind the bar.
Funny bar episode: minor confusion until I realised the strange man speaking to me was not, in fact, mistaking me for his friend Charlie, but was in fact investigating the opportunity for a commercial transaction
Ambivalent is how I feed about the Defectors. Agreed, its the most popular pub in She-Bu but to the point that unless you go on Mon-Wednesday, its going to be hot, overcrowded and have no seating available (probably as the tables are so big and you can feel uncomfortable joining the two people using it). The drinks selection is good and normally well poured, but they aren't exactly the best value for money. The upstairs snug is pretty cool but again, unless you bunk of work early to get there by 4pm, you ain't getting in it.
The worst bit though is the bouncers! They really must have some kind of superiority complex. I've had colleagues turned away for having a small adidas logo on a poloshirt (no sportsware mate - even though a staff member was in a plain NIKE splashed tshirt), another turned away for refusing to allow his briefcase searched and one for being drunk when we hadn't actually starting drinking yet.
Apart from that it's great if you catch it at the right moment, my girlfriend still hates it to the point it won't get considered though!
Memo to the Defectors Weld: You're not in Hoxton. You're in Shepherd's Bush. Next to a Barclays, the Westfield shopping centre, and KFC a few doors down.
Also, sort out where your bloody apostrophe goes. This irritates me.
Right, now that's out of the way, let's apportion the praise and blame. The Defectors is a nice pub with plenty of space, seating and nice decor. There's also a good section of beers and drinks...
... which are ridiculously expensive for where you're drinking.
And then there's the staff, in regulation hipster haircuts and skinny jeans. Do you pass their cool barrier to get served? You can almost feel the judgement pouring down upon you as you order your drinks.
There you have the two sides. A rather pleasant pub that's a cut above other nearby boozers, but staffed and occasionally frequented by people who've mistaken Nathan Barley as a lifestyle choice rather than satire. And that apostrophe is still bugging me.
Let's be honest, Shepherd's Bush is a toilet. Lunatics shout in the street. Drunks compete to see who can hurl the furthest. Needles and dog shit abound.
But among all of this sits the gem of a pub that is the Defector's Weld.
Cool music - although sometimes at ear-splitting volume - and a relaxed, lounge-y vibe. Somehow, they manage to keep the drunks out and keep the local hipsters in. There's an ace drinks selection, including a perfect pint of Tribute. Happy Hour is very happy, with good deals on cocktails. The staff are super-friendly and calm under pressure when it gets rammed.
There is an agreeable amount of darkness, and it's fun to lurk at the unmatched tables and chairs and big sofas.
The DW is also a proper drinker's pub. People come here to get pissed and meet people, all of which seems to happen with pleasing regularity.
Who would have guessed that in this arse end of London would lurk one of the best pubs in our city?...
This is a really nice pub. I went on a Saturday night. The decor is really pretty. It's quite dark and gothic. The downstairs area is relatively big but was really crowded. So we headed upstairs to the lounge. Once we stepped foot inside, I instantly fell in love with it. It also have the same dark gothic motif as downstairs but is much more intimate. There are really comfy couches to sit and chill on as well as a few tables. It was much quieter than downstairs which was great as me and a friend needed to catch up. The food is really good. We got the samplers platter and everything on it was delicious. I would absolutely go back and recommend that you check it our if you're even in the area.
London is a city of contrasts. You get the elegant houses of Little Venice next to the filthy Edgware Road . . . besuited businessmen departing for France from the centre of a red light district . . . East London being simultaneously cheap as chips and overpriced hipster chic. And that's why we love it.
Perhaps nowhere sums up this paradox more succinctly than Shepherds Bush. If I leave my block of flats and turn left then I find myself strolling through the super-posh stuccoed mansions of Holland Park, haunted by the ghost of Filipino au-pairs past. If I turn right then I am a mere stone's throw from Shepherd's Bush Green; a haven of pissed Ozzies, grocers who don't speak English selling nameless exotic veg, and cheap shops bursting at the seams with plastic flowers, threadbare tinsel and household items which are guaranteed to break before you get them home.
So perhaps it's hardly surprising that nestled on a corner of the sick-splattered Uxbridge Road, there is - by all accounts - really rather a nice pub. The Defectors Weld self-deprecatingly (yet accurately) describes itself as "a tarted-up boozer on Shepherd's Bush Green" and is a mini-mecca for post-gig Empire revellers and 6pm drinks for the BBC's White City workers. It's not particularly groundbreaking; contemporary flocked wallpaper, big windows, long sofas; but it's a tried-and-tested formula, and it works. Plus it's so very much classier than everything else in the immediate area that it has a massive advantage before it even begins. Add to this the pleasingly wide range of draught and bottled beers (plus several cocktails) and you're on to a winner. If the Defectors Weld were on Islington's Upper Street or in the nice bit of Clapham then it would be easily overlooked; but that's the whole point. It's not really what, so much as where. Kirstie and Phil would be so proud.
I've not yet experienced the food (good-quality British pub grub, I'm told), nor the weekend DJ (behind whom a cupboard opens to reveal a neon sign proclaiming "Small Disco") but this is all the more reason for me to return.
I'd be intrigued to see how well the pub survives with the BBC's imminent departure but hopefully the local yuppie crowd will display their allegiance and save the Weld from slipping away. We only have a very few memorable drinking establishments in this neck of the woods. Let's not lose the flagship!
Being fairly new the neighborhood I have sort of found my local...must say it brings me back to Brooklyn...but it is not nostalgia that brings me back...music is usually good, cask bitters and ales, good vibe, close to home...they serve me until 1, but be in the door by 12...oh, I hear the food is pretty good too...haven't moved on to solids yet myself
I went here in the daytime for lunch, so I can't comment on the nighttime scene, but the atmosphere is great. I had the steak pie and mash and it was by far the best I've had in London. Most pies to be had in the city center taste like frozen pot pie, but this was top notch.
An easy find, welcoming atmosphere, and a great recommendation. Merely a block or so away from the Shepherds Bush tube station Defectors Weld is a laid back hangout for friends, dates, or common debauchery. The staff was unpretentious and eager to pour you a pint. One of the waitresses did make fun of me for wearing a baseball hat as according to her only kids and hip-hop artist do so. Also, it is very reasonably price for such an expensive city.
Just ok. Gets great reviews but not sure why.
The defector's Weld refers to itself as a tarted up boozer on shepherd's bush green. It's a very trendy (but thankfully with minimal pretension) pub which is often to be found full of young, hip media types. With the BBC just up the road it is popular with the workforce who appreciate the very cool decor. They have a wide selection of beers, including Frulli (yum) and the cocktails are brilliant. I particularly recommend the mojito which might take a few minutes to prepare but is dangerously delicious. It can get pretty busy on weekends when the live DJ is in situ but quiet or full this is a pub full of character and worth the slightly higher than average prices.
Nice, good, slightly posh pub that tends to be frequented by media-savvy people. Good range of food and drink - but slightly too dark inside for my liking.
Definitely the best pub/bar in Shepherds Bush
I hate this place. The decor is actually really nice. The selection booze is tops. Never had any problems with the service.
Okay, sure, I know I'm getting old but this place is set up to sit, chat and get trolleyed. You come to sit with friends or chat up strangers. But if you expect to hold an actual conversation: good luck. The shitty music played at 130dB is completely anathema to the whole "talking" thing. Better to go across the street to The Green or into the Westfield strip to The Bull if you want to hear what the hell the other person is saying.
A nice place to go and feel slightly posh, while thumbing your nose at Westfield eateries. The decor is a bit schizophrenic (classic pub fixtures with pop art), but the people and food are quality.
This pub on the corner of Shepherds Bush is a great place for an after work or weekend pint. The front of the bar is the usual layout - wooden tables, comfy sofas, etc, but move to the back behind the bar area and there big wooden booths, perfect for hiding yourself away and having a 'private' party. Beware this place fills up quickly and it's often hard to find a seat. Their food is standard 'pub with a chef' fare -handmade burgers, chunky chips and salmon fishcakes.
It is my opinion that this is the best boozer in Shepherds Bush. Good vibe, beautiful people and a decent selection of drinks on offer. This is the place to meet ahead of any gig or a trip to the new Westfield shopping behemoth.
Best pub in Shepherds Bush by far. Food is very good and great drinks selection. A bit cooler than most other offerings in the area. Great place to spend the evening or a Sunday afternoon. Grabbing a seat can be a bit of a trial when busy!
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