The first pub of the day was the Wellington on Garden Street which has been operated by the same family for thirty years. It’s been a pub since the beginning of the nineteenth century when it was converted from fishermen’s cottages, but it was rebuilt in the 1890s after a fire. After a period as an S&P pub it became part of the Watney Mann estate, but they sold it in 1970 and it has remained free trade since.
There was perhaps an absence of welcome if I’m being honest, but the service was efficient and the pub was busy with the staff concentrating on a few larger orders when we arrived. There were no tables free when we arrived, so we sat at the bar and everything was clean and tidy. There was certainly quite a variety of customers in the pub, including families, solo drinks, different ages and it gave it a community feel to it which I rather liked.
There were three beers available, Ghost Ship from Adnams, Wherry from Woodfordes and Golden Jackal from Wolf. I went for the Golden Jackal and that was well-kept and tasted of a good quality, with Julian’s Ghost Ship also being agreeable.
I’ve been out of the trade for so long that I’m no longer aware of new drinks, but I hadn’t heard of the Disaronno Velvet before. Sounds suitably decadent though.
The entrance to the sizeable courtyard. The pub usually serves food but for whatever reason it wasn’t when we visited. A customer came and politely asked if they could eat their chips in the courtyard given that there was no food available, but the staff member said they couldn’t. I can imagine the pub has difficulties with people doing that without asking, so I can see why they wouldn’t want to.
It’s a decent courtyard space and gives more seating options given that it was full inside.
The reviews are a bit mixed, but I can imagine it’s challenging running a venue which is popular with tourists as that creates all sorts of staffing complexities. I had a look at the reviews though as I like to read about a bit of drama.
“My husband and I visited this pub today on a lovely day we had a glass of Aspall cider each and I realised my glass had a big crack so I went to the bar and asked if I could have a clean glass but you will never guess what the barmaid did??!! Well this barmaid poured the cider I had in the cracked glass into the clean one!! 😳, I just couldn’t believe it, what if there are splinters of glass in it!!!”
A customer not happy with food service times:
“Amazing food in the Smokehouse but….. Closes at 4pm (yes 4pm ffs!) during the week. I know it’s Cromer but that’s a ridiculously early closing time. Really wanted to eat here again but somewhere else that’s open until a grown up time got my money….”
But I liked the venue’s response:
“Hope you enjoyed your grown up meal!”
Sub-optimal….. Anyway, I digress. The Wellington have four rooms for those who want to stay the night and their food offering is the Smoke Kitchen where the meals sound delicious although there’s no pricing on the web-site. Anyway, we enjoyed this pub, it had something of an atmosphere to it, everything was clean and it seemed to be welcoming to all. A very solid start to our day.