Ashby-de-la-Zouch – The Shoulder of Mutton

This JD Wetherspoon outlet in Ashby-de-Zouch has been a pub since at least the early eighteenth century and it takes its name from when an early landlord was also a butcher.

There are many complaints that could be levelled about JD Wetherspoon, but there are many positives, such as their sensitive restoration of older buildings.

There’s more of a cafe bar feel to the main serving area of the pub.

The traditional breakfast, which pleased me by having a runny egg and is a cheap and cheerful option. The coffee was their usual unlimited hot drinks option, although they only had one machine and this was an older-style one. The wait for coffee was a little bit excessive, they probably do need to get another machine in operation to speed this up a little.

Reviews for the pub are a bit mixed, mainly complaining about it being unclean, although that wasn’t a problem when I visited. A customer did complain on-line about the pub serving off-beer, which is interesting as JD Wetherspoon are usually on top of this. I assumed the customer was referring to real ale, but then I saw he was commenting on Stella.

This incident sounds exciting though….

“In regard to bar staff being told a tree in a planter had fallen over and hit a customer, my partner had to remind the staff on 2 further occasions that this had happened for a staff member to make an effort and ask me if I was ok and offer a drink as way of an apology. My partner had to move the tree himself to prevent this happening to any other customers, with staff members making no attempt to secure the tree. Unfortunately the tree blew over again and hit another customer before we left.”

And not long before that this happened:

“The seating is in a poor condition. A lot of the single stools are splintered. I had the misfortune of learning about this too late and suffered a leg full of splinters which were so deep and numerous they had to be removed by the NHS. Despite raising this with management the next day as the bar was 3 deep on the night, the approach seems to be one of denying responsibility rather than sorting out the problem as the poor condition chairs remain in place.”

And, not long before that they had this excitement:

“Popped in for a bit of food with my husband and daughter half way through my loaded chips i found a metal nut!! Told the waitress who was shocked like us and she went straight away to fetch the manager.”

Anyway, we didn’t experience any of this drama. As JD Wetherspoon outlets go, this was perfectly acceptable and was clean, organised and the member of bar staff was particularly friendly and engaging. All very lovely.