Reviews of restaurants, pubs, hotels, and places to relax, shop, and meet away from the menace of piped music. The reviews are contributed by members of Pipedown: the campaign for freedom from piped music. Quiet corners was launched in June 2009. If you would like to contribute reviews, join Pipedown and help the fightback against Muzak.

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Baxter's Visitors Centre, Fochabers Moray

I have called this a restaurant, although I guess it's probably better described as a canteen.

The restaurant is part of a series of shops at this place, selling a range of gifts, clothes and foodstuffs. Well worth a look, although it is only the restaurant that is music free (although I did get a bit of nuisance from the kitchen).

The restaurant serves a variety of hot and cold meals, drinks and snacks.

Note that the visitor centre is only open during the day.

Easy to find - you'll see the Baxters complex from the A96.

Location

IV32 7LD Focahabers, Moray
UK
Place type: 
Piped music status: 

New Ground Café, Gardenstown, Aberdeenshire

This is a pleasant and some unusual café in Gardenstown.

It provides a range of snacks and hot drinks.

Please note that the opening times are a bit limited - I have been on a couple of weekend days, when it was not open until 12.

As the name implies, it also serves as an art gallery, and has some stuff to sell.

If you're in Gardenstown, I recommend a couple of short walks - one to Crovie, and the other one along the beach and then up the path to the remains of St John's church, from where the view is stunning.

Location

AB45 3YU Gardenstown, Aberdeenshire
UK
Place type: 
Piped music status: 

The Wolseley, Piccadilly, London - not just for celebs

A remarkably opulent-looking café-cum-brasserie, the Wolseley is open all day. Breakfast, lunch, afternoon tea and dinner are served with the same friendly efficiency by the staff. You can spend a fortune on food and drink here if you want, but you don't have to. A pot of excellent tea is only about £5 and with it you can sit and enjoy the gilded ambience for some time. This was the haunt of celebs until recently but they seem to have moved on, leaving the Wolseley free for mere mortals to refresh themselves. Best to book 020 7499 6996

Location

160 Piccadilly
W1J 9EB London
UK
Place type: 
Piped music status: 

The Standing Order, Edinburgh

Like many Wetherspoons pubs, the Standing Order is converted from an older building - in this case a palatially splendid bank with superb baroque ceilings, columns and plasterwork and fine panelling. This makes for a very large pub but the wooden screens that all banks once had have been left in place to divide the pub up into pleasant smallish rooms. As they are all carpeted and the ceilings are high, even the crowds filling this very popular pub do not make it too noisy. The food is as ever excellent value, with a huge range of beers all reasonably priced.

Location

62-66 George Street
EH2 2LR Edinburgh
UK
Place type: 
Piped music status: 

House of Bruar, Blair Atholl

A food and clothing retail complex just off the A9 at Blair Atholl, it is muzac-free throughout. The eating areas can be clattery if busy. You can have a pleasant walk up the burn to the Falls of Bruar just behind.
http://www.houseofbruar.com/

Location

by Blair Atholl, Blair Atholl,
PH18 5TW Perthshire
UK
Place type: 
Piped music status: 

Ceilidh Place,Ullapool

If you're looking for somewhere quiet in Ullapool try the Ceilidh Place. They do have music playing in the cafe/restaurant but were happy to serve us our lunch in their peaceful front sitting room (when we asked nicely!)
Their bookshop is muzac-free.

www.theceilidhplace.com/

Location

12-14 W Argyle St, Ullapool
IV26 2TY
UK
Piped music status: 

Pottery Craft and Coffee Shop, Laggan

A welcome stop-off point in the Highland countryside on the road between Fort William and the A9. High end crafts and very good home baking. A lovely courtyard to sit in in good weather. There's also a bunkhouse but it's for groups or families only.

www.potterybunkhouse.co.uk/

Location

Caoldair Pottery, Laggan, Newtonmore,
PH20 1BT Inverness-Shire
UK
Piped music status: 

A wonderful Victorian pub - with no noise-reflecting surfaces

The Princess Louise, part of the always muzac-free Sam Smiths group, is one of the finest Victorian pubs in London. Its restoration a few years ago to its 19th-century splendour won awards – deservedly, for downstairs the several small bars all retain their original panelling, tiles and mirrors. If you want to eat you must go upstairs where the restaurant now has a new chef and markedly better food. Prices are still reasonable, however.

Location

208 High Holborn
WC1V 7EP London
UK
Place type: 
Piped music status: 

Champagne Charlies

Was free from piped music again on 19 October 2015. One of the Davy's chain, beneath the arches of Charing Cross. Specialises in comfort food for businessmen and Real Ale in pewter pots..

Location

17 The Arches Villiers Street
WC2 6NG Charing Cross, London
UK
Place type: 
Piped music status: 

Lloyds Pharmacy chain

Lloyds Pharmacy is the second biggest chain of chemists/pharmacies in Britain after Boots. Unlike Boots, whose branches are often now filled with piped music – a policy supported by their head office – Lloyds branches have gone muzac-free. The staff seem friendlier there than in Boots too.
Lloyds branches are scattered across the country. I have given the address of that in Salisbury. Their website offers a store locator. www.lloydspharmacy.com/

Location

47 Market Place
SP1 1DA Salisbury
UK
Place type: 
Piped music status: 

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