Downham Market – Whalebone

This JD Wetherspoon pub opened in March 2018 and it was the only one in Norfolk which I hadn’t been to. It’s a relatively large pub and a couple of other publicans in Downham Market have blamed it for closing down their premises. It was busy when we visited and slightly grubby, although staff seemed to be doing their best.

The pub as it is now is formed of two buildings, the taller building on the left is a former residential property, whilst the right hand-side part of the building has been trading as a pub since the 1740s. The pub name comes from the local whale trade and there was a whalebone placed outside of the pub in the late nineteenth century.

The interior of part of the pub, it still looks modern and contemporary with the restoration of the building seeming sensitive. There are some narrow stairs in the pub, perhaps the narrowest that I’ve seen in a Wetherspoons conversion.

My standard option of a chicken wrap and I still bemoan the lack of pastrami bagel on the menu. The presentation was slightly messy, but the food tasted fine and represented the usual good value for money. It was also brought over promptly along with the lemonade that I’d ordered via the app. There were also numerous different elements to the building with some private seating areas. The pub seems quite badly reviewed on-line for a JD Wetherspoon outlet, but I found everything acceptable.