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The Criterion Restaurant
Fabulous Victorian Restaurant and suffragette meeting house.
The Criterion Restaurant, was erected in 1873 by Spiers and Pond at a cost of 80,000 and designed by Thomas Verity.
Originally a large restaurant, dining rooms, ballroom, and galleried concert hall. Having commenced building work it was decided to alter the proposed concert hall (though retaining the composers names, which still line the tiled staircases to this day), to a theatre. The Criterion retains an almost perfectly preserved Victorian French Renaissance auditorium.
In the early 1900's it was used as a meeting place for suffragettes at a time when women were not allowed in pubs. Today, it attracts mainly punters in search of a lavish setting in which to enjoy their meal.
The building itself stands on the grounds of the old White Bear Inn, one of the busiest coaching Inns in England.