As I bored everyone with here, my travel has meant that I’ve managed to visit a lot of JD Wetherspoons over the years. So in an attempt to remember them all, I’ve decided to try and write about them. As explained elsewhere, other perfectly good pubs are also available and of course should be visited 🙂
There are 111 JD Wetherspoon outlets in Greater London, and I’m not typing all that up in one go. So here, for my own amusement during the Covid-19 situation, are those in towns which start with the letters A-B. So, entirely arbitrary really.
Figures: (which are more for me than to interest anyone else):
Number visited : 7/11
Favourite pub in list : Goodman’s Field
Acton (Red Lion and Pineapple) – I visited this one a few weeks ago, just before the lockdown, so this one is easy to link to. I very much like it, a quirky design and a real sense of history to it.
Aldgate (Goodman’s Field) – This pub is the easiest to get a seat in for those in the Tower of London area of the city and it has quite a cafe bar feel to it, as well as lots of power outlets. I’ve visited here plenty of times over the last decade and it’s got one of the more relaxed vibes to it and it’s well-reviewed on TripAdvisor for a Wetherspoons. Well, relatively. The pub name harks back to when the area was fields that were once owned by Roland Goodman.
Barking (Barking Dog) – I always thought that this pub name was just a wry word-play about it being located in Barking, but the actual reason according to Wetherspoons is:
“For centuries, fishing was Barking’s most important industry. Its fishermen fished the high seas off Doggerbank and the coast of Iceland. If you shorten ‘Doggerbank’ and join it to ‘Barking’, you end up with the name of this Wetherspoon pub.”
The reviews for the pub are again relatively high on TripAdvisor, although it’s a shame that the poster didn’t explain what the mistake was.
“What an awful customer service by Manager Kerry. it was meant to be the perfect Sunday where I would enjoy a meal and a drink. Not the case wrong choice. I paid around £15 for meal and drink and realised i made a mistake. Bad Customer service from a poorly trained duck.”
But referring to a female staff member as ‘duck’ like that is probably all I need to know. A chunk of the negative reviews of this pub have all been written by the same person, I’m not sure why anyone would rate somewhere as 1/5 and then keep going back before then leaving more 1/5 ratings…..
Anyway, the pub is hardly the prettiest from the outside, at the base of a bland and modern office block, but it’s convenient for the next door underground/railway station. The interior is relatively large and about as much character has been added in the design as is likely realistically possible in such a modern building.
Barkingside (New Fairlop Oak) – Never been here….
Battersea (Asparagus) – This memorable pub name refers back to when in the nineteenth century the area around where the pub now stands was used for growing asparagus, which became known as Battersea bundles. It’s, I think, the only pub in the country with this name, and there’s something to be said for finding a unique and memorable name. The pub opened in 1998 as part of a new commercial building, but it’s not too garish and there is a beer garden out the back for those who like wasps.
Bexleyheath (Furze Wren) – Never been here….
Bexleyheath (Wrong ‘Un) – It was a nuisance to get to Bexleyheath when I lived north of the river in the east end of London, the lack of underground meant connecting to North Greenwich (which was already a DLR journey and an underground journey from where I was) and then getting a bus which seemed to take hours. And probably did. So, I’ve only been here once and I never made it to the other Wetherspoons in Bexleyheath.
And, since my sole visit was seven years ago, I’ve mostly forgotten everything about the pub. Which is why I now write the blog primarily, to remind myself of where I’ve accidentally gone before I forget. The pub name is a bit tenuous, it’s apparently because cricket was once played in the area and a Wrong ‘Un is a difficult delivery to play for the batsman.
I like the TripAdvisor review exchange with a customer complaining that he had been told to drink up five minutes before the pub closed, which to me isn’t an unreasonable request, but there we go. The review then accuses the manager of the below.
“The manager came out and his name is terry fitzgerald. I explained to him what happen and he reply qas well you are in England you should speak English. How dare they even suggest such a thing. The was more than willing to take our money over the bar.”
But, I like very much that the manager himself has replied:
“I take great issue with your comments as this incident did not happen, I lived in Spain and Portugal for a total of fifteen years and have great memories of the countries and the people I would not say anything so ridiculous and there is no proof from our head office that you complained to them. I do not what issues you might have but if you are going to review please tell the truth. Terry Fitzgerald ( and I am sorry for the late reply)”
Each person can decide who they believe, but I know who I’m with here…. Anyway, I digress again.
Another customer complained that they had been spoken to because they kept complaining about the food, and I do wonder why people keep going to pubs if they do keep complaining about the food. And another customer who complained about a staff member’s behaviour and demanded an apology, but the customer didn’t mention themselves that they had been filming him with a phone.
I must return to this pub, I like moderate drama like this, keeps things interesting.
Brixton (Beehive) – I’ve been here three times and it’s the only Wetherspoons I’ve felt unsafe in, given that there were fights on two of those visits (not involving me) and on the third a huge argument between an aggressive staff member and a customer. The toilets were on all three visits beyond unclean, the staff had entirely clearly given up. It’s the only Wetherspoons I’ve been to as well where there were “customers only – no public use” signs on the toilets, although by the time someone has gone in and reached the toilets I can’t imagine this sign would put them off. Having written that, I haven’t gone back in years and a few reviews have mentioned new security processes, so perhaps it’s a lot better now. It is quite a small Wetherspoons though, so given its central location in Brixton and cheap prices, it gets busy quickly. Or did when I last visited.
Brockley (Brockley Barge) – The pub name here is a good one, it’s a reminder that the Croydon Canal used to pass near to where the pub stands today, although a railway line has now been laid along much of the canal’s former route. I much prefer this new pub name to the Breakspear Arms, which was the pub’s previous name, and JD Wetherspoon re-opened this location in 2000 after a few years of closure. The closure was probably inevitably as media reports noted that the pub had established itself as somewhere with a poor reputation, so it’s entirely to JD Wetherspoon’s credit that they’ve managed to turn this place around.
The interior is homely, although not particularly notable, but the atmosphere is welcoming, even though the pub has been busy in the early evening on the times that I’ve visited. Perfectly decent pub though, the staff here have always been friendly when I’ve been in as well.
Bromley (Greyhound) – Never been here….
Bromley (Richmal Crompton) – Never been here….