Wetherspoons

DarloRich

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I believe this was the original model but I was told it has moved on somewhat (in terms of shelf life rather than buying cheap) since the early days.

I should add that I have friends who run breweries and one who is a manager at a Spoons. Some breweries often brew especially for Spoons so why would they brew with a short shelf life? Others take the price hit so that they can get their beers 'known' and increase their customer base.
yes i thought they had moved on to use buying power to get deals on common ales, volume sales on common lager and shop window for smaller breweries. All at a beneficial price to them ;)
 
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Qwerty133

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I agree there, the interior of the pubs is very dated and worn.
I can literally go next door to a pub which has a much cosier atmosphere, better clientele and the prices aren't that much more expensive!
Not everyone is looking for a cosy atmosphere though and the clientele of spoons tends to be no different to that of any surrounding venues. The only real negative about the main one in Leicester city centre is that service can often be slow at peak times and that it may be full and standing (although I can not really comment on the quality of the ale as a dark fruits drinker...).
 

jon0844

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I use the app to order to my table. Rather unsociable, but it's great to find a place to sit and then have staff come to you.

I'm sure staff would prefer not to do it, but they're always friendly and usually pretty quick. No doubt I'm queue jumping and making people at the bar wait longer - sorry!
 

Starmill

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It's often a case-by-case judgement. There is a large variety between Wetherspoon venues. Some are much nicer than others. I've experienced poor service at a small number of locations, but at most of them service, food and ambience is OK or good. Rarely does it fail to meet my expectations for the price bracket. This has happened on one occasion recently where I couldn't eat the food because it wasn't at all prepared as I have come to expect, and the chips tasted disgusting. I complained about that by email (I haven't heard back), but one time in several hundred visits isn't bad. Their record is far better at delivery than certain train operators...
 

Harpers Tate

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I've heard that drivel about stale beer before.
I am a frequent 'spoons user. I have never, but ever, had an even slightly off-tasting pint at spoons. Not once, in probably hundreds. In complete contrast to my one and only visit to one particular old-town bar in Hull, and in complete contrast to my one and only visit to one particular Hungry Horse nearer home. As an aside, the shelf-life on a bottle I chose recently was 9 months away.

One thing more that they do better than the vast majority - they cater for (or at the very least, properly inform) those who through allergy or fad, have a special diet. Specially printed menus showing what is compatible. The best one might hope for in many others is a ring-binder kept well hidden in the kitchen, that you or a member of staff has to interpret. Or, at worst, a blank expression!

How about calories on the menu? Rare!

How about all outlets in this large chain having 4* or mostly 5* food hygiene ratings - also rare!
 

Bald Rick

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I've heard that drivel about stale beer before.
I am a frequent 'spoons user. I have never, but ever, had an even slightly off-tasting pint at spoons. Not once, in probably hundreds.
Not doubting you at all on your experience.

It is in contrast to my experience where I have had to send back pints at more than one Wetherspoons. The last time was the straw that broke the Camel’s back (on top of poor service, poor atmosphere, and being by far the worst pub near where I live), so I won’t be back. Except to use the toilets, obviously.
 

DarloRich

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I've heard that drivel about stale beer before.
I am a frequent 'spoons user. I have never, but ever, had an even slightly off-tasting pint at spoons. Not once, in probably hundreds. In complete contrast to my one and only visit to one particular old-town bar in Hull, and in complete contrast to my one and only visit to one particular Hungry Horse nearer home. As an aside, the shelf-life on a bottle I chose recently was 9 months away.

One thing more that they do better than the vast majority - they cater for (or at the very least, properly inform) those who through allergy or fad, have a special diet. Specially printed menus showing what is compatible. The best one might hope for in many others is a ring-binder kept well hidden in the kitchen, that you or a member of staff has to interpret. Or, at worst, a blank expression!

How about calories on the menu? Rare!

How about all outlets in this large chain having 4* or mostly 5* food hygiene ratings - also rare!
What are you drinking? If it is proper ale I find it hard to believe you have never had a dodgy pint
 

IanD

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What are you drinking? If it is proper ale I find it hard to believe you have never had a dodgy pint
I've had plenty of dodgy real ales in Spoons - real ale is going to go off/get to the dregs at some point. But I've never had a problem getting them replaced - unlike a Young's pub in Islington where the Special was pure vinegar but the manager insisted that that was how it was supposed to taste and she should know, she'd been drinking it for years. Tasted like it too. As soon as she'd gone back to her office, the barman swapped it no problem.
 

cactustwirly

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Not everyone is looking for a cosy atmosphere though and the clientele of spoons tends to be no different to that of any surrounding venues. The only real negative about the main one in Leicester city centre is that service can often be slow at peak times and that it may be full and standing (although I can not really comment on the quality of the ale as a dark fruits drinker...).
Which one? The Corn Exchange isn't too bad! The High Cross cross can be quite busy, and the interior is a bit drab IMO
 

Bletchleyite

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I've had plenty of dodgy real ales in Spoons - real ale is going to go off/get to the dregs at some point. But I've never had a problem getting them replaced - unlike a Young's pub in Islington where the Special was pure vinegar but the manager insisted that that was how it was supposed to taste and she should know, she'd been drinking it for years. Tasted like it too. As soon as she'd gone back to her office, the barman swapped it no problem.
Sure it wasn't Robinson's Best Bitter? Tastes so vinegary as it's meant to be that I hate to think what their worst bitter is like.
 

IanD

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Sure it wasn't Robinson's Best Bitter? Tastes so vinegary as it's meant to be that I hate to think what their worst bitter is like.
I quite like their Trooper but you're right about the best bitter. Reminded of of the stuff you used to get back in the 80s when all the overspill went back in to the barrel. Not sure I've seen Robinsons best bitter for a while though.

This a definitely Youngs Special - a free pint from the Youngs on Tap App, that was another thing I was told "You can't really complain of you haven't paid for it!"

Sign of a good pub to me is that they will take back what you consider to be a dodgy pint with no quibble.
 

Qwerty133

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Which one? The Corn Exchange isn't too bad! The High Cross cross can be quite busy, and the interior is a bit drab IMO
High Cross. Considering that it is (one of) the main pre's venue for Mosh (a rather run down nightclub whose owners are slowly killing it) it'd be rather stupid for them to spend much on it to be honest as long as it is kept clean and the damage is minimal.
 

Busaholic

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I've had plenty of dodgy real ales in Spoons - real ale is going to go off/get to the dregs at some point. But I've never had a problem getting them replaced - unlike a Young's pub in Islington where the Special was pure vinegar but the manager insisted that that was how it was supposed to taste and she should know, she'd been drinking it for years. Tasted like it too. As soon as she'd gone back to her office, the barman swapped it no problem.
Probably explains why I've always avoided Young's, even though I grew up in South London. My few tastes of it certainly gave that vinegary impression.
 

johntea

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My only real complaint about Wetherspoons is how the toilets more times than not involve some sort of intricate maze to get to them, usually involving stairs! Not ideal after a few ;)

Also, I was gutted when I found out the Stick Or Twist was closing down in Leeds due to redevelopment of the area, it was usually a safe bet as one of the quieter ones in Leeds centre to visit! (Although the Arena development changed that slightly towards the end)
 

Bedpan

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Probably explains why I've always avoided Young's, even though I grew up in South London. My few tastes of it certainly gave that vinegary impression.
Ironically due to the name, I was the same re Youngs Bitter when I was young, but grew to like it as I got older and it became a beer of choice. This would have been just before they moved to Bedford, I don't know if the recipe changed in the intervening period.
 

IanD

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Probably explains why I've always avoided Young's, even though I grew up in South London. My few tastes of it certainly gave that vinegary impression.
We get a lot of Young's beer around here being in the old Charles Wells catchment area but the one in Islington was particularly bad. I had another couple of freebies with the same offer (at the Bull and Gate, Kentish Town and the Old Brewery, Greenwich) both of which were fine.
 

HH

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I used to live close to the brewery and drank it a lot when I was young, but there wasn't a lot of choice around then. Wouldn't be in my top 20 tipples now.
 

Iskra

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My only real complaint about Wetherspoons is how the toilets more times than not involve some sort of intricate maze to get to them, usually involving stairs! Not ideal after a few ;)

Also, I was gutted when I found out the Stick Or Twist was closing down in Leeds due to redevelopment of the area, it was usually a safe bet as one of the quieter ones in Leeds centre to visit! (Although the Arena development changed that slightly towards the end)
There are still plenty of Wetherspoons in Leeds. Stick or Twist was the dodgy one in Leeds in terms of clientele.

Cuthbert is now the best bet for a quiet pint. But I spend more time in Beckett’s as it’s nearer the station.
 

yorksrob

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They exclusively use Heinz "reduced sugar" baked beans. It seems fashionable nowadays that "hidden" sugar is a bad thing so by that logic alone, this would be a good thing.
I've no objection to outlets offering cardboard based alternatives to those that want them, however I refuse to be force fed them. Sorry Mr Weatherspoon.

It also begs the question, if someone's already tucking into a fry up, why screw around with the healthiest bit.

They had a large display of these "no taste" baked beans in my local supermarket a few months ago. Needless to say, they were reconfined to their allotted shelf the week after, so most people clearly wouldn't touch them with a ten foot barge pole.
 

shredder1

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I tend to use them a lot, mainly because they are near railway stations and many are housed in historic buildings, the meals are not great but better than McDonalds and Burger King and they do tend to attract the lower end of the gene pool in some places, but for a quick fix in a strange town you generally know what you are getting.
 

furnessvale

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I quite like their Trooper but you're right about the best bitter. Reminded of of the stuff you used to get back in the 80s when all the overspill went back in to the barrel. Not sure I've seen Robinsons best bitter for a while though.
My local is a Robinsons tied house and my drink is best bitter. I admit it is an acquired taste, like proper Boddingtons was before their yeast died, but vinegar it is not. However, like all proper ale, it is possible, especially in hot summer, to find a bad pint.

I prefer to describe Robinsons best bitter as a mans drink compared to modern sweet confections being served up these days! :D
 

jumble

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I generally have no difficulty in substituting/swapping items in Spoons e.g. substituting the beans and tomato in the basic breakfast for extra egg and toast.
Interestingly I was told by a Spoons Area manager that they are always happy to substitute and I have never been refused changing my chips and peas for a jacket and salad on Steak Night
They don't publisize this as otherwise too many ditherers would clog up the ordering system.

I have eaten breakfast in many different Spoons can't stand beans and have never been queried when wanting to swap for 2 eggs which can be fried poached or scrambled if one wants
Jumbel
 

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