Wetherspoons pubs are known for being cheap and cheerful, the chain are now in many towns in the UK. It was also one of the first pubs to ban smoking inside.
As a rule the Wetherspoon pubs are in old buildings, often used for a previous purpose like and old theatre or bank. Some have taken over existing pubs or other premises and there are a few that don't have much to offer in the way of décor. Whilst these older, converted pubs can look quite nice, generally these pubs can be quite lacking in atmosphere. As a rule they do not have music playing in the background although they increasingly have TV screens for sports/news coverage. They often also have fruit machines, at a low volume.
As mentioned Wetherspoons are cheap for drinks, and they often have promotions on particular drinks or offer certain free drinks with meals. They usually have a good selection of real ales available, and have their own Real Ale Festival. In my local Wetherspoons I paid £2.99 for a single vodka and diet coke, with the glass full of coke - no tiny glasses or splash of cola here. There house wines are also on tap - I still find this a bit strange and would prefer mine from a bottle!
Wetherspoons also have an extensive food menu - Burgers, steaks, curry, pasta, sandwiches, breakfasts (daytime) are all on offer. The menu usually states the calories per portion also. They also have theme nights and 'clubs'. For example, when I went last Monday, it was Mexican Monday and I could get a burrito and a drink for £6. They also do Curry Club, Steak Club and various other ones that involve a drink promotion too. If I am popping in at a weekend lunchtime or just want a quick bite I sometimes have their cheese and tomato toastie with a side of chips. Food comes quickly - it is ready prepared and just heated up, so you don't get to go have an ingredient removed if you don't like it.
I've usually found the staff to be friendly, very rarely have I seen a staff member being 'off' with a customer. The toilets are usually adequate. They are supposed to be checked hourly, but this doesn't always happen, particularly at peak times.
Wetherspoons normally wouldn't be my first choice when thinking of somewhere to eat. This is mainly due to my local one being very rundown, dirty and the food being a bit hit and miss. I have had very nice good in other pubs in the chain, so when my friend and I were wondering where to eat when out over the weekend, we decided to give Wetherspoons a go. The one we went to was The Bridge House in Belfast. The pub itself is located on Bedford Street, just across the road from the main entrance to the BBC Building. There is limited street parking close by, with 2 car parks less than 5 minutes walk away. The location is also handy for those using public transport - the Europa/Great Victoria Street bus/train stations are only a few minutes away.
The pub itself is big, over 2 split levels downstairs, with another seating area upstairs. The pub was very clean though, despite being very busy. We found a table and had a look through the menu. Each item on the menu had the calories in each displayed beside the item, which was slightly offputting, particularly since we thought some of the calories displayed seemed slightly excessive.
In Wetherspoons, it is self service ordering. You choose what you want and go to the bar and place your order. Your food is then brought to the table when it's ready. You can also help yourself to condiments and sauces which are usually located close to the bar. We finally decided what we wanted to order and made our way to the bar where immediately, a staff member was able to take my friends order, and someone else asked me if I was ready to order, so less than 1 minute from walking up to the bar and getting my drink - I was impressed. I had ordered a diet Pepsi and was given the opportunity to 'supersize' for an extra 30p, which I went for. This meant I got a pint of Pepsi for £1.95, which I thought was a good deal.
After a few minutes, our food arrived. I had ordered the southern fried chicken strips and chips. The presentation was lovely I had a pile of chicken strips, Jack Daniel's sauce and coleslaw, and about 10 chips? Considering the guideline calories for my meal was 1058, I was expecting slightly more than what I received. A lot of their meals have the option of chips for 50p extra - if that's all you get, it's hardly worth it. Maybe Wetherspoons are doing their bit for healthy eating by rationing the chips? Or maybe it's just that less chips = more profits? Thankfully I wasn't that hungry, so I wasn't too disappointed, but it did remind me of another reason why I usually avoid Wetherspoons, the portion sizes.
Wetherspoons are best known for cheap drinks and while I can't fault them on that score, the food is a slight letdown. I would go back, if I was looking for a snack, but I wouldn't go here again if I was looking for a whole meal. I can't fault the staff or the service, but I can get better food for cheaper elsewhere.
The Bridge House is open the following hours:
Mon - Thu: 8am to 12am
Fri - Sat: 8am to 1am
Sun: 8am to 12am
The address for the pub is
35-43 Bedford Street
Tel: 028 9072 7890
check out http://www.jdwetherspoon.co.uk/home/pubs/the-bridge-house for further information
Mon - Thu: 7am to 11pm
Fri - Sat: 7am to 12am
Sun: 7am to 11pm
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I'm not one to sit on a fence when it comes to establishments that serve alcoholic beverages - usually it is a bar stool, or lodged in shaded corner, but Wetherspoons establishments genuinely are 'middle of the road' bars. There are no peculiarities such as a taxidermist showing-off their Golden Eagle art to bemused punters, so the eagle-eyed punters stare at the bird's 'hello-boys!' plastic taxidermist treats instead - Man-made, and made for man. The striving hoodlums obviously, out for the night, 'striving to be ducking n diving' when asked how their weeks been. 'Ducking n diving' is greeted with awe as it is deemed a legitimate occupation - something to aspire to; 'yeah man.' To be fair, I don't eavesdrop on these conversations, their vocals gatecrash your eardrums wherever you are in the bar - the 'out for the night punters' really do take-up their bar positions and loosen their vulgar tongues with lurid quips, usually ending off the sentence with the temerity term... 'darlin' or 'babe'- albeit, this is the language from the Milton Keynes 'ducking n divers and gutter-fitters of the drainage elite' - I, as a rule tend to leave these types of establishments before 8pm on the off-chance Wetherspoons morphs into a 'terrible' Witherspoons (1980s American boxer). Sixty six minutes is about as much I can stand in Wetherspoons, being part of the urine scented folk with 25% off trouser-leg-bottoms and flat-cap, whose eyes resemble a rabbit in the headlights, while glued to BBC News which is being played out on a fifty five inch TV monitor, mounted on every wall, all in symmetry, sub-text scrolling and up-to-date news images, flickering in unison - giving the impression of some video art installation experiment was taking place - where the punters are subjects, being viewed by a supremacy body, deciphering who's the shirkers and strivers. The unlikely strivers sit glued and gulp down their cheap Fosters as if they're animatedly programmed to do so. Who says men can't multi-task? I even saw these types talking and pointing while Leveson was on. I was accosted while at the bar, I kicked myself at making eye contact with a 'whino': "Whaah happensh to freeshom ov free-sh speash?" he blurted out - I answered back: "Er, well Wetherspoons adopts it" - "Exshactly" he spat out - he continued; "I couldsh doha bettersh job than theesh shlot" - I immediately responded; "Yeah, I'm surprised you're here and not sorting it all out, sire!" I smiled, and made a hasty exit after making my order of cod n chips times two, one black coffee, and a diet coke with one solitary cube of ice. The fee came to just over a tenner! A pledge for a mediocre meal was in order and as there was a picture of the offer as a poster I gambled it would come to the table as graphically promised. You're given a wooden spoon with a number on it corresponding to the table you're sat at, to eliminate confusion.
Architecturally, the Wetherspoons in the MK postal coded district imitated Dublin's Airport (Irish: Aerfort Bhaile Átha Cliath). Brazenly un-stuffy, a jumble of white beams, aluminum and reflective crone finishes; which fitted in perfectly on the concrete landscape of permanent MK scaffolding. Wetherspoons conveys the illusion of construction, just for the sake of it; the art of rejuvenation; an attempt to disentangled post modernism. 'Concrete cows, need I say more!' The floor interior was a repetitive pattern that looked as if it was devised from the architect's doodled napkin - A North Korean army of straight lines and squiffy ones, on mottled crimson; camouflaging any 'terrible' Witherspoon mishap, which had notoriously already happened or impending. The plates came to our table, expertly handled with an assured professionalism from staff members who know the drill and probably sleep-walk while holding hot plates. They show no pain, just reddened arms due to systematic pain and graft - an old-fashioned blood, sweat and tears striver, accompanied with the mandatory blue plaster, hiding her toils. A quick 'hello' and a 'thank you' were sufficient. No over-friendliness or profound waffle about the weather, asking if we were local, just a good basic service - social velleities is at a comfortable level. I'm different compared to most people who eat in these establishments - as I gauge on the number of meals dispatched from the kitchens whether the food is fresh or not rather than stating whether the staff were aesthetically pleasing or had the time spare to be overly friendly. A quick turn-over of food is a good indication that their system is efficient. Mediocre quality is acceptable. The cod was white, the batter was crisp without being cremated and the chips were chunky enough to help aid with construction, if they weren't light, and made of potato. A pathetic excuse of a salad looked insipid on the plate, not dissimilar to the Liberal Democrats 'ComRes Poll.' Worth complaining if the main event on the plates; naturally the poster had edited colour into the seduction package and if the food was a twenty pound note you'd have a valid case of false advertising. Then again who is idiotic enough to be seduced by a vision of graphically enhanced beauty especially of the culinary kind? I learned that lesson early on when I found that in the 1970s; 'Smash!' which was sachet potato in powder form didn't come with a talking tin alien made of woks. Whereby, 'as seen on TV' labels, duped a generation - 'wok no alien!'
Wetherspoons generally attracts clientele who're drunks, incontinent, or can't let a bargain go. If, you're all three Wetherspoons will welcome you with open arms - I fall in the latter category - albeit, I'm certainly not loyal - usually when I first step foot inside, immediately I'm reminded of the stale sweet stench and after forty six minutes I start fidgeting and by the hour, I'm ready to leave. When I do, it's a relief. This establishment is a far cry from the traditional British Public House - where converse is a centre-point to the community. Wetherspoons ethics is designed for binge-drinking. Average waiting time at the bar is ten seconds; you'll be eating inside ten minutes, post food order. The mandatory salad or 'garden pea' choice ticks the box for healthy eating. My quip of: "Oh, do Wetherspoons establishments have a garden?" falls on impotent staff, they're not programmed to facilitate wit, too busy being strivers. A pledge to pickle man-kind's livers, insulate their arteries and do it with quick and minimum fuss. Strange but, the place sounds busy, yet no actual converse is taking place apart from sporadic small-talk. Couples' stare into the abyss of the BBC News channel, all Wetherspoon bars seem to be a generic standard cat-walk for beverages, none of them portraying any distinctive personality traits. If, the whole bar sank into the ground, no-one would notice, till got up to get a refill. Yet if the monitors got turned off 'by accident' they'd be uproar of discontent. When I left, I was suitably full and the meal was suitably mediocre. Problem was once I left, I craved a cold Fosters to get rid of the film that resided in my mouth. Three stars.
A bit about the chain
Wetherspoons is a chain of pubs all around the UK there are hundreds of them. Each one is different they range from small, traditional pubs to large, modern, contemporary buildings, airport bars and even hotels.
I have never stayed in any of their hotel pubs but for future reference I just looked up The Briar Rose in Birmingham (I'm going there in a few weeks and havent booked a place yet) A family double for 2 adults and one child is coming up at £39 for the Thursday night ant £55 for the Friday night. It sounds and looks lovely but they always do on the websites so I can't comment. If we do choose to stay here I shall update as and when.
They are well known for low cost food and drink and you can find one in large towns and cities. I have visited the Victoria train station bar in London, the Gatwick airport bar, Liverpool airport, York Punch Bowl, York Postern Gate, Castleford Winter Seam, Manchester The Paramount and Leeds Beckett Bank. There are probably more that I can't remember.
Each one that I have visited has looked different both inside and out but the standard of food and drink remains the same. It is pub grub, it's not fine dining have no doubt about it but it is tasty, filling and best of all cheap.
The menu is much the same in each of the Wetherspoons pubs, the menu has got much bigger in recent months, here is some of what they have to offer:
Breakfast - Full english, breakfast roll, pancakes and porridge. I only ever got scrambled egg on toast, thankfully it wasnt that awful scrambled egg you get with a skin on the top and water running out of it. It was about as ok as scrambled eggs get.
Starters - Nachos, sandwiches, salad, soup and fishcakes. I've tried the nachos which were tasty but I'm not too much into starters. My friends and I got a sharing platter before which was just what we wanted and surprisingly large. We just fancied something to nibble on whilst having a few pints there was wedges and chicken wings, onion rings, chips, chicken strips, wedges and mushrooms. Probably a couple of other things but it was a while ago. We all enjoyed it and it came with a couple of dips.
Mains - Gammon, egg and chips (not over adventurous but very nice), Carbonara with garlic bread (had lots of times beats many italian restaurants only beaten by frankie and benny's), scampi, chilli con carne, steak and chips, fish and chips (bigger portion than expected very nice), roast dinners, lasagne (standard lasagne), burgers and baked potatoes. There is much more it's quite an extensive menu these days. I was there a couple of weeks ago I got steak and kidney pudding which was on the small side but had a good bit of meat in it and was very nice, my friend had sweet chilli noodles (vegetarian) and really enjoyed them but again it was a bit on the small side.
Desserts - cheesecake, ice cream, fudge cake and apple pie or crumble with a choice of ice cream or custard.
There is also a childrens menu which also has quite a big variety on it in comparison to a lot of places there are pastas, roasts and chip dishes.
My friend is a vegetarian and used to avoid eating in pubs and tended to go to more restaurants due to the lack of vegetarian options but she was impressed with the range last time we went.
The menu is informative on what is suitable for vegetarians and vegans, it also contains calorie information and allergy advice.
Wetherspoons also do special offers and food nights. They were having tasting nights the week after we went last but unfortunately we didn't make it.
On Tuesdays they have steak nights, Thursday is curry night and Sunday has to be roast day!
The portions aren't huge but they are not so small that you'd still be hungry or want to complain about them. The price is good you'd get a nice meal for 5 or 6 pounds. The burger and chips with a pint is only 4.95.
I went with my mother and aunt and we got 3 meals a dessert and 2 bottles of wine for just over 20 pounds.
Another thing I liked was the prices were the same in the airport and rail station branches where often other hike them up.
They have a wide selection of drinks, lots of lager and ale choices, a good few wines and champagnes and they also do pitchers and glasses of cocktails. This summer a pitcher of pimms is only 5.99. Most pints are around £2.
Overall wetherspoons is good for everybody whether you just want something to eat, just want a drink or both. It is a family friendly pub too it would be good for the whole families early on although some of them get a bit rowdy if there's any big football matches on and the later the evening gets.
The only problem I ever had was at the Postern Gate Wetherspoons in York. The place is very large and has a big outdoor beer garden but it was quite busy when we went and we ended up sitting on high stools eating our dinner in between two tables of hen parties. The table was also near a door which wouldn't close on it's own so the food went cold and we just got sick of leaving the table to get up and close it. In a Wetherspoons this size there is no reason not to have a designated dining area up until a certain time, it was only 6pm. Also, they brought my peas and gravy out a good 7 or 8 minutes after the meal. On this occasion the place was extremely busy so I wouldn't let me put it off in the future.
If you haven't yet been to a Wetherspoons, find your nearest one and give it a bash with the peace of mind of knowing that even if it's not 10/10 it's not going to break the bank!
I first started going to Wetherspoons about 4 years ago when I was still underage; I used to go with my Mum and Grandparents for lunch when I wasn't at college. We went to a few in Surrey and the big one in the Marina in Brighton. Since turning 18, I haven't really been drinking in Wetherspoons much. They tend to be quite loud and rowdy - the unbelievably cheap drinks deals mean a lot of people end up getting very drunk and unpleasant. During the day, however, I really enjoy going for lunch with friends or family. It is child-friendly in certain sections and they do a great kids menu.
Back to the food, at Wetherspoons you walk in and find a table, you then order your food and drinks at the bar and the food will come out to you. Different branches have different serving times, but mostly food is served until 10pm. They serve breakfast (often from 7am till 12pm) and then the main menu. Their Sunday roasts are delicious! There is a choice of meats and a veggie option which is way nicer than most pubs nut roast and the plates come loaded with potatoes and vegetables and the roast includes a drink! They also do a burger night, a steak night and a curry night on different nights of the week with special deals on that type of meal.
First of all, I guess, is that it's cheap. Main meals start from £2.99! There are more expensive things on the menu, but they're usually all under £10. There are different deals on at different times which makes your food even cheaper. I am really astounded at how little lunch for four can cost.
The menu is very open and informative. I'm a vegetarian, my mother is on a diet and my friend cannot eat gluten and the menu clearly states what is suitable. On the website there is a great "What I can eat menu builder" so you can plan before you go. They make it clear that although items may have gluten free ingredients, they have been prepared in a kitchen that handles gluten - the same with nuts. They have a lot of low calorie and low fat options that are clearly labelled and for the rest of the meals there are nutritional information sheets available sometimes in the restaurant (or failing that they are all online).
They make a big point of being ethical and sustainable when sourcing their ingredients both on the menu and on the website. The source sustainable haddock, salmon and cod, dolphin-friendly tuna, free-range eggs, British farm assured potatoes and Beef and their coffee is rainforest-alliance-certified. As an environmentalist all this stuff is really important to me.
The staff are generally really friendly. I don't think I've ever had bad service. They seem to be happy to help if anything is wrong with the food or drinks. Because of the fast-paced environment, mistakes do happen, but it's never been a problem for too long because they sort it out efficiently.
The food is usually really quick. I've never waited an unacceptable time and if you're going to be in for a wait, they tell you at the bar beforehand which is good.
The food is mostly ready-made and frozen. You're not going to find the freshest ingredients. I don't believe the meals are so much cooked as prepared. I suspect there's a lot of microwaving involved! Because of this, it's more difficult to substitute things on the menu if you don't like one part of a meal. The staff are usually very helpful about it, but sometimes it just can't be done.
I have been in many times and been told they are out of certain items. They have so many meals on the menu that I guess there just isn't enough room to store huge amounts of each thing.
So far the only organic item on the menu is the tomato soup. I understand, though, that prices may go up if they started making everything organic!
At very busy times you can be stood waiting for a table to become free and then while you are seated, there may be people standing waiting for your table. This makes it feel a bit rushed and pressured and there is no time for the staff to clean the table before you sit down. Wetherspoons can get very very busy so I tend to only go to the smaller, quieter ones in the suburbs of London.
Overall I would avoid Wetherspoons in the evening, but I love going there for a cheap bite for lunch. Don't expect silver service or high quality food - it's cheap and cheerful and if you go in understanding this you'll have a great time.
Wetherspoons is a large pub chain in the UK selling a menu of generally reasonably priced food and drinks all day.
There are two local to me in my home town Stafford, The Butlers Bell, a newly refurbished pub with an outdoor seating area and The Picture House, a large Wetherspoons in the centre of town which used to be a cinema.
There are Wetherspoons in practically every town, and all feature the same menu, with slight variations depending on ingredients available.
The menu is quite varied and the food is generally reasonably priced. I find the food varies in quality from pub to pub, for instance I had the veggie burger and chips in Manchester and Stafford and the one in Manchester was tastier. However, there are some great deals on including beer and a burger for £4.99 or soft drink and a burger for £3.99.
There are deals on the menu such as two mains for £7.50, though you have to want to pick two from this limited selection.
They also run various specials throughout the week - Thursday night is curry night.
The drinks menu is varied and features a choice of quite sickly cocktails on an offer of two pitchers for £12.
--Personal experience including meals I have tried & rated--
My friend and I go fairly regularly for an inexpensive pub meal. It's also a popular destination on nights out for drinks with their selection of 2 for £12 cocktail pitchers and deals on drinks and a good meeting point in Stafford, as the Picture House is central in the pub sprawl of the main night life area. It's also a nice place to watch the football when it's on.
The Butler's Bell was recently converted into a Wetherspoons and is one of the "posher" Wetherspoons I have encountered!
Dip selection: Really tasty - good for nibbles if you're not too hungry and want to soak up the alcohol! Featuring tzatsiki, roasted veggies, toasted flatbread, salsa & houmous.
Nachos - huge plate of sharing nachos with melted cheese, jalapenos, guacamole & salsa. I think this is slightly overpriced for what you can get from Subway for half the price, but still, a large portion of Mexican style nibbles!
Cheesey garlic bread - This has become a favourite, it is perfectly garlicy, oily, cheesey - two slices of garlic bread hot from the oven.
Chips: Standard portion of oven chips, nice as a side - bear in mind some things come with chips already so you won't need to order separately!
Onion rings: Moreish, tasty.
Sweet Chilli Noodles - Think these are slightly overpriced for what you get, but they are nice.
Veggie Burger - Always a winner with me, not the most tasty veggie burger I have ever tasted, but a reasonably tasty burger in a fresh bread bun with a yummy salsa dip and a side of chips. This is on a drinks offer with £3.99 with a soft drink or £4.99 with a beer, and a beer compliments it perfectly! You cannot beat a beer and a burger some days!
Cheese & Tomato Panini - This was a fairly average sandwich I thought for £4.99! Cheese was cheddar cheese and the bread was okay. Comes with a side salad.
Veggie roast with vegetables - This lentil, mushroom, pumpkin seed & mozzarella roast was delicious. Comes with gravy, usually vegetables but mine came with really nice peas and roast potatoes, the whole thing was really nice. Well worth the money.
Veggie curry & rice - This was reeeeally spicy, but I didn't notice as I had had a few drinks by this point! But overall a really nice curry and a substantial portion for the money too. You can get varying degrees of spicy.
My non-veggie friend has steak & chips which she loves, though these are hit and miss with quality.
She also likes the ham, eggs & chips and this is pretty reasonably priced.
Chocolate Fudge Cake with ice cream - This is always a winner with the chocoholic I am, hot melted cake with sweet vanilla scoops of ice cream.
Maple Syrup, pancakes & ice cream - Another delectable dessert, three medium sized pancakes with maple syrup and you can choose fruit compotes too.
- Blue Lagoon - Quite sickly
- Purple Rain - Equally so
- Sex on the beach - Quite tasty
- Margarita - Okay, a bit sour
I can't remember the others, but I remember Sex on the Beach being pretty nice!
Shots in Spoons come quite expensive, though you can get interesting selections of the less alcoholic version including "Fruit Salad tray" with caramel vodka (mmmm), and a collection of Sourz type drinks which for those of you who don't know are "softer" shots with less alcohol content. They also offer a two for £5 jagerbomb/glitterbomb/various other types of bomb offer, so with these variations and fun drinks they are quite a nice way to start your night out.
Various ciders, beers, lagers & wines are available, ciders and nice bottled lagers come to around £3 a bottle so aren't cheap. Pints are around £2 and wine is best value by the bottle.
Compared with other pubs in my town, they are definitely one of the best priced for drinks out.
Other features include (usually) a beer garden, the ones at Stafford are quite nice, a rather addictive pub quiz machine - beware of these - they become quite compulsive, and various betting machines which I have never really wanted to play. They can cater for a lot of people as they are usually quite large pubs, generalising here, and food has always come pretty quickly for me - I have never had any major complaints with service.
I noticed that for people that ordered a small glass of wine, you literally get just a few sips - it did not look worth the money, I would recommend getting a bottle between a few of you of the "Private Bin" cheapo Shiraz if you are going for a bargain!! It is only the name that may have the potential to put you off ;) It's an okay drink, but not for wine connoisseurs.
I don't personally like cheap white wine, so wouldn't venture there. I have had the rose before and it was nice.
Great affordable pub meals, quality of meal varies but generally very good, fast service, nice drinks too, sociable atmosphere but they don't have a music license!
A large variety of ages and people go here, so it is by no means restricted to the young or old, there are often families eating out here and groups of friends, so it is a popular destination for an affordable pub meal. Recommended! Four stars for the lack of music license, and occasionally very average dinner.
The pub is cheap but the bouncers are power hungry and usually spoil the night by kicking out people on their second drink.
My advice is to stay clear of this place. Better to pay a little extra for a better time. An example of how poor the place is when i went i to the gents i stopped and searching by three bouncers for drugs!!! On what grounds?? Also when going out for a cig there is no guarantee of getting back in.
The bouncers think its ok to maul people and its only a matter of time before criminal charges will be brought against some of them.
Really rude and nasty door staff here. cant stress this enough. Best to walk round the corner to the wig and pen. lloyds up the road is also ok if funds are low. I hope the place closes down on two streets and be replaced with a decent place.
I'm a tee-totaler (apart from the very, very occassional rum and coke which happens about 3 times a year when I'm feeling flush!) but like to socialise with my friends or pop into a pub for lunch or dinner when I'm out and about so have experienced quite a few Wetherspoon pubs.
I know that some pub purists like my boyfriend don't particularly enjoy chain pubs and prefer the atmosphere of an independent boozer but chain pubs like Wetherspoon obviously have a buying power that the independent places could never compare with and therefore can offer drinks and food at a more affordable price. Another thing that I like about Wetherspoon pubs is that they try, whenever possible, to buy buildings that have character in a town that might otherwise be left to go derelict eg. one of their pubs was built inside an old, disused theatre, I believe, they have a pub in Glasgow built in an unused bank and they have some pubs built in disused churches, for example. It would probably be easier and cheaper for them to knock up new, made for purpose buildings rather than converting older buildings but I really like the fact that they commit to trying to protect these characterful, older buildings that are part of a community. Wetherspoon pubs are also generally based round a theme associated with the area which again, I think, is a really nice touch and there are usually pictures and information framed and on the wall telling people more information about the local heritage of the area.
They also have a policy of not playing music which for some people might be a downside but I enjoy the fact that you know you can go into a Wetherspoon pub at the weekend and actually be able to have a conversation instead of screaming over loud music.
Drinks are cheap, as I say, due to the large buying power of the chain and compared to other places can be much cheaper. My boyfriend loves foreign beers, particularly Leffe, and a bottle can be bought in Wetherspoons for less than £3 whereas in other pubs in Glasgow the same bottle costs over £5. Similarly a single rum and coke (or should I say Pepsi, as that is what Wetherspoon pubs serve) costs less than £3 depending on the brand of rum whereas again, you can pay £5 for a rum and coke in some Glasgow pubs. Wetherspoon also supports real ales and always has some ales on tap but also has frequent real ale festivals where more ales are available and you can try smaller, taster glasses of them. CAMRA (the campaign for real ales) supports Wetherspoon due to this and again, it is wonderful to see a large pub chain making a conscious effort to support brewing as without such a thing a lot of these ales would have a much more limited audience.
Food is also served until 10pm each evening. A breakfast menu exists which serves all sorts from hot filled rolls, to full fry ups. Recently even eggs benedict has been introduced! The main menu serves standard pub fayre and often has special offers advertised in the pub on leaflets on the tables such as beer and a burger for a lower price than is on the menu. Prices are fairly reasonable and there are also special nights such as Steak night on a Tuesday and Curry night on a Thursday where specific meals are available for cheaper than usual and with a wider selection than usual (although the main menu is also available for those who don't fancy a steak or a curry). The food is obviously not of the highest standard but you wouldn't expect that from pub grub, especially due to the price. It is, however, of reasonable standard and will fill a hole and the range is large enough that there is something for everyone. A children's menu is also available and kids are welcome in the family section until 8pm, I believe. Wetherspoon strives to keep the kids menu interesting to kids but also as nutritionally balanced as they can and gives money to charity when certain kids meals are bought which is, again, a nice touch.
Another thing that is great about Wetherspoon pubs is that they publish the nutritional content of their meals online in a fully searchable database. This is ideal for those watching their figures or people with specific dietary requirements such as gluten intolerance as they can pop on here and have a look at what is available and even input a specific calorie amount if they want to see what is available for around or below that.
Wetherspoon frequently publishes a magazine which can often be found on pub tables and flicking through it can be interesting. They seem to really celebrate their pubs and staff with frequent parties for pub birthdays and support and articles about staff who have raised money for charity in various ways.
Wetherspoon is so wide-spread now that you can find one in most towns and cities and I will definately continue to support the one in my town. All Wetherspoon pubs seem to attract a broad range of people from the older men to the teenagers and all the way through the mums out with kids or the people going out after work. It is nice to know that you'll always fit in in a Wetherspoon pub as with some other pubs you find yourself walking in and feeling instantly out of place if it ends up being an old man type of boozer or a local's place or worse, a place full of troublemakers! I really recommend Wetherspoon pubs to everyone!
I use Wetherspoons on many occasions during the week, mostly for breakfast.
The deals are great. You pay somewhere between 1.89 and 2.00 and you get a choice of drink (coffee/tea/orange juice) and also something to eat. I tend to stick with Porridge as that's what goes down best but you can also choose from Vegetarian Sausage, Sausage, Bacon or Fried Egg roll. Fruit yogurt is also an option for those with low calorie preferences.
They have recently taken out the coffee card option so you no longer get one free after you have bought five, but they also reduced the price.
Pancakes are also an option but are slightly more expensive if you have them with bacon, but roughly the same price without. You get three and they come with maple syrup or fruit compote. The down side of them is that they do not come with a free drink.
I think its fair to say, that on occasion, Wetherspoons gets some bad press. The chain of pubs has a reputation of being very cheap and cheerful, and I think some people have got the impression that the food is of a poor quality.
I myself, stayed away from the place for the longest time, and its only recently that I have been giving them a try again. I live in Sheffield, and there are at least 5 branches of Wetherspoons in the city if not more. The branch that I have been visiting recently is The Benjamin Huntsman, which is located on Cambridge Street right in the middle of the city centre.
The pub itself is very spacious, with nice décor and clean, tidy facilities. I always find Wetherspoons to be a little dark, and this branch is no exception, apart from that little quibble, I actually think the branch looks very attractive. This pub apparently has an outside terrace area, but I haven't actually been out there, so I can't really comment on that.
Now onto the food, which I haven't always been a huge fan of in the past. Me and my boyfriend have been going in mostly for breakfast, which has been super tasty. The breakfast menu isn't overly extensive, but it has all the traditional favourites on there, along with some more unusual items. I've tried the big breakfast, which was gorgeous. The food tasted really fresh, and was well prepared. They also serve the American staple of a pancake stack, with maple syrup and bacon with looks really good. The prices are of course extremely reasonable, with a large breakfast being around £4.00 or so, and you really do get a lot for your money!
Some people were commenting about the lack of healthy options on the menu, but I'm not sure this is entirely true. One of the things I really like about Wetherspoons is that the amount of calories for each dish is stated on the menu, I think this is a great idea! You can pick the dish that best suits your dietary requirements.
I know the pub frequently has special offers on, such as the Steak and Curry club, so you really can find some great bargain meals at these pubs.
Ultimately, I would definitely recommend Wetherspoons for a cheap, decent meal.
I have worked in a 'wetherspoon' pub for the past 6 years. It was only ment to be for a few months after leaving 6th form (untill i found a proper job) but i ended up staying. I am a Shift Leader, which means i can lead shifts (in place of a manager). I am responsible for looking after the cash and staff when i am on shift and can open and close the pub (bank the money at the end of the night/ lock up ect..) . I used to work 50 hours a week but since having my two children i only work 3-4 days a week.
As a shift leader i am on £6.65 an hour!! This is not a lot of money considering the early starts (5 am at one point) and late finishes (1am on a week night and 2am on a weekend). Myself and the rest of my team work REALLY hard!! Bar staff are on minimum wage! and we have to put up with some truely rude// drunk customers and have to put up with a lot of abuse. This all sounds rather bad, but i do honestly enjoy my job on the whole. The staff have a good relationship with the locals and are professional with new faces. The food is cheap and good quality. The drink is generally cheaper than in most other pubs. My managers have been very flexible allowing me to come back 3-4 days a week following my maternity leave (and my days change every week). I think people should give wetherspoons and their hard working staff a break!
With around five pubs going bust a week in the U.K., mostly because of the smoking ban, the news that Punch Taverns are starting to sell off their pubs to bring in cash suggest a big pub chain will soon collapse. It looks like the pubs that do food and attract a good mixed demographic will be the only groups to survive the downturn and so that puts Wetherspoons in a good place right now, their profits up 7% in the recession. There have always been too many pubs in my hometown of Northampton and the dice are being shaken and Wetherspoons are winning out here too, very much the pioneers of non smoking pubs as far back as the mid-nineties. Food being eaten at every pub is a little irritating but as long as they are proper pubs at night we can still enjoy them. Northampton has five Wetherspoon's pubs that I have been of late and so able to comment. One presume they are all the same, pricewise.
No 8 St Peters Square
I don't frequent this one much as it's a 100% gastro pub by day for shoppers and a warm- up bar for clubbers at weekends, situated right next to the towns biggest nightclub, Lava & Ignite (I'm not sure its called that now), which holds over 1000 people at capacity. As a kid many of you will recall the final pub before the club where the ones with jeans and trainers in your group would have to slope of home knowing they would never get past the thick-necked bouncers, a journey that would lead to the snog at 5 minutes to two that made your weekend. I hate clubs and dancing and usually wore jeans to avoid such the tiresome expensive event of 'clubbing'.
The pub is a multi layered job with more brass than a gypsy scrap yard, a sweeping bar the size of the bow of a cruise ship fully laden with a young bar staff, although taking just as long to get a drink at night as the lads serve the pretty girls first. There are NO smoking areas and the heavies don't like you smoking outside. It's very busy Saturday night as the lads cram their way to the bar to move on to the club and as the crowd is a conventional nightclub demographic and so looking to get off with girls, the testosterone can be high and so the suggestion of the ruck always there in these drinking bottlenecks. I haven't been there in a while at night time but suspect it's still the same.
Daytime it's very much the shopper's pub where mostly working-class families clatter their way through a gammon meal for £2,99 before returning to the large nearby Argos store and St James shopping area that holds all the big superstores like B&Q and Comet. The turnaround on tables is quick and the staff helpful. Prices range for the £2.99 specials to the £8 steak meals. Kids menus are perfunctory.
Sitting atop the main high street in Northampton its food by day and younger drinkers at the weekend for this one. As it's the first pub that the young lads that don't tuck their pastel coloured shirts in hit after drinking all the way up the Wellingboro Road - the towns main western approach road that is packed full with lads pubs - it can be a noisy and competitive bar. So if you don't have sharp elbows it's not for you. There is a bar upstairs so try that if you don't like queuing or nervous you won't get served quickly enough and so let your mates or girlfriend down in someway by being crap at the bar. The drinks are expensive for a true Wetherspoons at night and the music straight from 'Now that's what I call Trance Music 35'. The girls are pretty but not my type.
By day its supposed to be a food pub but judging by the clientele it looks more like a retirement club for incapacity benefit claimants...old men in shiny leather jackets and trilby hats drinking their last years away as if a flaming comet is about to hit the earth, clearly ejected from their various working-men's clubs locally. There is an outside area upstairs for a quick fag although sucking a whole ciggie in five minutes can't be healthy. Maybe that's why the government bought in the smoking ban so you smoke more fags and so the treasury take goes up. I do find it odd that you can't smoke in a pub that is one big vice, drinking far worse for us than any quick smoke. What maybe happening is they want us to be healthier in general so to move the NHS over to private healthcare and so we can get some sort of health insurance cover.
The Goose on Two Streets
The Goose is right smack bang in the town centre and Northampton is right smack bang in the centre of England and so this is as generic as it gets as far as the modern English pub goes. The food menu is basic and the prices are likewise, between £3.99 and £7.99, some great lunch time deals knocking about for the working week clientele. With plenty of big TVs running Sky News and bar staff buzzing around at least you get served quickly.
It's a big opaque building with a journey to the toilets that reminds me of the old ABC cinemas when you had to go up two sets of stairs, along a passage way, down some stairs, behind the kitchens, and back up some stairs, by the time you got back to your mates ready to go for another pee.
At night there's a good mix of punters although mostly young and getting tipsy over doing nay interacting, pretty girls falling off stilettos, not so pretty girls trying to squeeze into the same heels and pencil skirts. It's not leery though and we are all there to worship Wetherspoons infamous cheap beer (and it is) deals and so a good vibe. If anything does kick off the bouncers sweep in like black helicopters and the punters leave like torpedos into the bins. Wetherspoons do everything with economy.
The Moon on the Square
6-8 The Parade
If the homeless are not sucking on a two litre bottle of White Lightning in the afternoon in the local parks they are usually in here, mixing in with a right load of deadbeats. In the summer it looks like skid row outside the pub on the small gaggle of metallic tables.
Its plonked next to the now closed down Chicago Rock Café situated on the towns historic Market Square and the pub was the warm up pub for that crowd at the weekend. But the sign fell off the Chicago rock and it was closed, the clientele now going to Edwards across the road, one of those late night bar/clubs.
To be fair the moon pioneered non smoking drinking and was smoke and loud music free as far back as 1995. Back then the clientele was mixed and it did draw in people who didn't like smoke and loud music, but now that's the norm its rougher by night, polyester and tattoos plentiful, for both girls and boys, the drinking of a pint as macho art for both. By day it does good food business as its eating areas are spread across the pub and they do have more intimate areas if you don't want to be bumped by the drinkers when you're chewing the full English. Its not for posh people though.
I think it is safe to say, no matter where you go in this country you will find a Wetherspoons pub.
All Wetherspoon Pubs vary in the way that they are decorated and the atmosphere that they have. Some may feel like you local pub, where you always see the same people stood by the bar or sat in a specific seat, where other pubs seem to be more classy and have more of a restaurant feel.
The pubs serve food from first thing in the morning until around 10pm, depending on which pub it is. Wetherspoons are well known for serving decent food at cheap prices. For example, sausage chips and beans will put you back around £2.99 in most of their pubs.
Also, Wetherspoons run a range of different food clubs. These include steak club, curry club and sunday club. These clubs run on specific nights and give you a great discount on your food. For example, curry night is on a Thursday and for £5.99 you receive a curry and a drink. If there are two of you, pay £14.99 and you will receive 2 currys, a bottle of wine and a range of side dishes. Great value!!
As well as serving cheap food, Wetherspoons serve a huge range of drinks, again, at great prices. I am a big fan of Sailor Jerry rum and would usually pay around £3 for a single with Coke. But in Wetherspoons a single Sailor Jerry and Coke is £1.69.
You can also pick up quite a few drinks in these pubs which you may not be able to find in others, recently they have started to stock a range of ciders which I have never seen before. And they are always introducing new drinks, such as Desperados, a beer with a shot of Tequila in it.
Everytime I have visisted a Wetherspoons pub, the staff have been incredible. You are always greeted with a friendly face and the staff could not do more to help you.
Also, I have friends which work in these pubs and know that each member of staff goes through a strict training programme to ensure that they know how to mix different drinks, how to prepare the food and the value of great customer service in this company.
Wetherspoons also run a branch of pubs named LLoyds No1, these pubs are pretty much the same as Wetherspoons in the day, with a pub atmosphere and your regulars. However, after a specific time the pub turns into a club, where the music is turned up and the lights turned off. These provide that great Wetherspoons atmosphere, with the great staff and cheap drinks, but allow you to have a fun night out.
Wetherspoons also have a handful of hotels scattered around the country, with the hotel attached to the pub.
I will be staying in Birmingham's Briar Rose hotel next week and will definately be reviewing it when I return, so keep checking for that if you are interested.
Wetherspoons is always my choice of pub when going for lunch or a quite drink, and if I want a great night out I will visit my local Lloyds No1.
We now have 10 Wetherspoons around Nottingham, I definately have my favourites and there are 2 that I will always avoid. Having so many pubs scattered around is great as it means, no matter where I am in the city, I will find a Wetherspoons somewhere to enjoy a drink.
Wetherspoons is definately the best pub chain around nowdays and seems to be taking over the country. Aslong as these high standards remain throughout each pub, I will not complain!
If you are after a cheap drink then this is the place to go!
I have wondered on a number of occasions how this chain manage to sell drinks at the cheap prices that they do and still make a profit!!!
They have a variety of ales which can change from week to week, so if you are a keen bitter drinker then it is ideal to experiment with different pints.
I have noticed that they have started selling cheaper named spirits, they use to sell Smirnoff Vodka and now it has changed to a name I have never heard of before! But if it tastes the same who cares!!
I have been to a few Wetherspoons over the years and they can be a huge difference in the kind of pub, I have found the city based tend to be more upmarket whereas the branches located in smaller towns tend to be occupied by your lower market unemployed customers who just need a cheap drink!
The staff are always well presented and polite and have never been unsatisfied with the service I have received.
The decor seems to be similar in most of the pubs and fell like it could do with a bit of an upgrade as it can look a bit outdated!
The food is quite simply you pay for what you get! Its not a fantastic meal but it is ok and at the prices they charge you can't really complain!!! I have never had a bad meal but I have also never had a really good meal! I would have something off the menu if I was having a snack but would go elsewhere if I was purposely gong out for a meal.
J D Wetherspoons has been part of British high streets for over 30 years. The pub chain is based on a number of core principles that the organisation at least attempts to meet - low prices, cask ale, long hours and a comfortable friendly environment for its customers.
One of the things that sets Wetherspoons aside from its locally based pub competitors is the lack of music - one of the things that allows Wetherspoons to deliver such low prices to its customers is its decision to not pay for a music license.
At the end of 2009, there was 743 Wetherspoons in the UK, so chances are you will always be relatively close to a Wetherspoons pub! If you are after a drink, Wetherspoons is a great place to go. As mentioned, the fact that the chain does not pay for music licenses amongst other things mean that there is a wide, varied selection of all of the drinks you are used to drinking at your local pub, at a fraction of the price! The pub usually has a friendly atmosphere, plenty of seating and a number of fruit/slot machines as well as 'Itbox' quiz machines; some of the chains pubs also allow its customer free access to todays papers as well as muted television coverage of the BBC or Sky news channel. The pub also sells coffee and tea, crisps, fresh juice, and a wide variety of soft drinks. With all of the entertainment options and wide variety of cheap drinks considered, it is easy to see why Wetherspoons is such a popular chain!
The problem comes with the chains food. On the face of it, its a wide selection of tasty and decent quality food for a low price. However, a closer look shows you what this bargain food is made of. Despite the fact that Wetherspoons "works closely" with the Food Standards Association to make sure its food is of a high standard, the low quality of their foods is absolutely disgusting. Below are some examples of this:
Bacon Carbonara (pasta) - Over 55grams of fat and over 155% of your RDA of salt.
The Gourmet Beef Burger - 1828 calories and an unbelievable 104.4 grams of fat, which is 149.1% of the recommended daily allowance of fat for someone who exercises for 30 minutes a day! Thats more fat than two KFC 'Fully Loaded' meals!
Large Breakfast with Black Pudding - 131.3% of your RDA of fat and 120% of your saturated fat RDA, and 190% of your salt allowance for one day!
Large Mixed Grill - 168.4% RDA of fat and a ridiculous 210.5% of your saturated fat - thats over two days worth of heart clogging saturated fat in one meal!
There is in fact, over ten meals that will offer over 175% of both your daily allowances of saturated fat and salt in one meal!
This is just some of the examples of the shocking quality of the food that Wetherspoons offer. Their food may be delicious and available at a low price - but you are not only just paying with your money your paying with your heart. This is a pub that offers food for kids, dont forget!
Wetherspoons is great for a cheap drink and a nice break from a days shopping, but I urge you to look closely at their nutritional information before purchasing any food - its really surprising just how bad it is! Enjoy a pint or two, but go somewhere else for your food! Your heart will thank you!