by MAIRNY WATSON - Tuesday 9th 2004f March 2004
Part of the massive Wetherspoons chain, the Regal on Regent Street has a reputation for being the largest pub in Europe, with a capacity of around 1,300 people. It was formerly part of the Arts Cinema, and its decoration is in line with this theme, but the walls also offer memorabilia related to Cambridge (photos of famous people etc) which are no doubt aimed at the tourists.
This may not be the place to go if you want a cosy meal for two, but if you're looking for cheap and cheerful, then this might be just up your street.
Everyone knows Wetherspoons pubs for their cheap drinks...the food is also nice and cheap! The menu offers the standard pub fare, from jacket potatoes and sandwiches to light snacks, such as nachos and potato skins, and of course main meals and desserts. One of the things I like about the Regal is the variety: in many pubs you have very few meals to choose from, but in the Regal, you'll end up being like me and spending half an hour deciding what you actually want to eat....
Another bonus of the Wetherspoons menu is their "2 meals for £6" offer - you've got to admit that a meal for £3 isn't bad! However, the meal does have to be chosen from a pre-selected list, but there's something for everyone, from lasagne to lamb burgers.
The Regal also caters for vegetarians, their menu featuring the standard veggie burger, along with pasta dishes and some others.
So how much will I be paying? Answer: between £4.50 and £6.50 for a main course. And trust me, it's well worth your money - the portions are pretty big, and taste good too. (Speaking of big portions: if you're hungry, then go for the mixed grill...!)
One problem is that, although it may be a huge pub, you'll sometimes have trouble finding a table, and if you are lucky enough to get a table that someone has just vacated, you'll be waiting an eternity for the staff to actually clean it. But hey, the place isn't designed for a five star meal, so don't complain!
The other problem that I have found is that the Regal is no good if you're after a quick meal! Food can often take up to an hour to arrive at your table after ordering at busy times, so if you're in a rush, you'd better try somewhere else...
All in all, though, a good place to eat...especially for those of us on a student budget!