In the UK there is one pub chain that you can practically find in every corner, no matter how small or big, in a JD Wetherspoon Pub.

The pub chain that promises to keep prices down has 805 locations across 609 cities spanning from the near top of Scotland in Elgin down to the most southern part of Cornwall in Penzance.

But with any major hospitality chain that is trying to keep up with the rising costs of running a business, prices heavily vary from each location.

In October a new map by Pantry and Larder revealed the exact cost of each drink on offer in Wetherspoons from a Carling to a Jack Daniels and Edinburgh Gin.

While you would expect airports to cost an eyewatering amount more, one Wetherspoons pub in the heart of the capital is renowned for being the UK’s most expensive.

In the heart of the cinephile's home, Leicester Square is The Moon Under the Water, a small and unassuming pub that those unfamiliar with the brand of Wetherspoons would assume was just another of the many pubs in the region.

Swindon Advertiser: The price of a drink is not cheap.The price of a drink is not cheap. (Image: Newsquest)

But to those familiar, it’s another of the brand's many chains, with a slight difference, offering the same drink and food for a vast amount more.

As the curious-minded person I am, I decided to brave the cost and find out how much difference the UK’s most expensive Wetherspoons (outside of airports) is compared to your run-of-the-mill version.

I visited the UK’s most expensive Wetherspoons and the price of a pint shocked me

Walking up to The Moon Under the Water felt like any other local Wetherspoons despite being set in a landmark.

Filled with down-to-earth folk hoping to avoid the steep price of food and drink in London while having a good time.

Compared to many other Wetherspoons I’ve visited around the UK, the Leicester Square location is tiny, smaller than some hotel suites in the capital.

But with the smart choice of mirrors along the walls, the relatively small place seens much bigger and avoids any feelings of being overcrowded.

Swindon Advertiser: A cocktail will set you back £10.34.A cocktail will set you back £10.34. (Image: Newsquest)

Taking in the space, it had all the typical features of a Wetherspoon with posters and pictures of the local area explaining the history of well-known spots.

I mean who doesn’t love a history lesson while they drink?

Unlike most of the chain's branches, one big element was missing, with a noticeable lack of table menus for food, and only one for drinks.

But as someone familiar with Wetherspoons I had the app downloaded onto my phone ready to check prices and order.

That’s when I quickly discovered just how expensive The Moon Under the Water is.

Looking at my go-to drink, a Rhubarb & Ginger Edinburgh gin, I was left speechless when I saw the price tag of £7.78 for a single.

At my local no-frills Wetherspoons, I get the same drink for just £2.35.

It wasn’t just the gin that had a price hike for London, as the beers would send many pint drinkers running.

Swindon Advertiser: How much is breakfast at your local Wetherspoons? How much is breakfast at your local Wetherspoons? (Image: Newsquest)

The cheapest pint on offer was a Bud Light at £4.85, while a Corona or San Miguel will set you back £6.98 and at the most expensive, a Leffe beer will cost you an eyewatering £7.30.

Opting for a money-saving route, I looked at meals that include a drink, going straight for my favourite, the Southern-fried chicken strips basket with an alcoholic drink, costing £13.99.

While still not cheap, it seemed like a save until I compared it to the normal out-of-London cost of £10.21 and quickly remembered I was in the heart of Leicester Square.

Despite the cost, I ordered ready to enjoy my drink and food, and I was more than happy with how it turned out.

It took less than four minutes for our drinks to arrive at our table and the server was very polite and friendly.

Just six minutes later, our food arrived and on first looks, I quickly spotted how much bigger the portion of chips was compared to what I expected from my local.

Swindon Advertiser: I was surprised by how good the meal was.I was surprised by how good the meal was. (Image: Newsquest)

The extra chips slightly eased the pain in my purse, but I still couldn’t help but feel it was a lot for what you get in Wetherspoons.

Food and drink prices analysed, there was one important element of any Wetherspoons I needed to check.

What’s the journey to the toilets like?

Expecting to climb five flights of stairs, and go around Leicester Square three times and back, I was more than surprised to find all that was needed was a short walk down a corridor to find the spotless toilets.

Making them probably the best Wetherspoons toilets I’ve ever visited.

Now, back to the money side.


Finishing my meal and drink, I was still contemplating the cost of everything and realised one thing.

Visiting The Moon Under the Water made me appreciate how good value the chain is.

In an airport, you expect to pay the price, but in the heart of London, it makes the situation of value to price make much more sense.

While I likely won’t be returning to The Moon Under the Water for a while, if I was ever in Leicester Square looking for a few drinks, I would swallow the price and enjoy a gin and chicken with it.