Harwich – Bottle Kiln Pub


Another town, another Wetherspoons to tick off whilst I’m there….. Opened as a Wetherspoons in March 2017 following a £2.6 million renovation, the building was previously used as the Co-operative Society’s furniture store and the chain says this about the pub’s name:

“This two-story building’s Art Deco-style façade has been a feature of Kingsway since the 1930s. The adjacent plot of uneven land was part of a brickfield. Brick-making in Dovercourt dates from Roman times. During the 19th century, brick- and cement-manufacturing were leading local trades. The nearby mill, owned by John Patrick, one-time Mayor of Harwich, had 12 cement kilns and drying flues, as well as 14 bottle kilns, in 1881.”

From Google Streetview just a few years ago, showing how much better this building now looks.


The toilets and nine en-suite hotel rooms are located upstairs, with the rest of the pub’s customer space being on the ground floor.


I like an historic map to look at.


This beer is the 1822 from Kirkby Lonsdale Brewery and it was malty and creamy, with a taste of toffee in there as well, all rather pleasant.

It’s one of the better reviewed pubs in the JD Wetherspoon estate and they’ve spent a fair sum on the refurbishment of the building and it has been sensitively done. There are plenty of power points dotted around the pub which proved to be rather handy, with everything clean and organised. And since I mentioned the reviews:

“Terrible experience with amazing stupid staff. For foreners the most bad place ever. We orderd bij de ur-code and payed our meal at the desk and get NEVER our food !!! Reaction was ..oh did y orderd also food? No forget this place.”

Stupid staff? Really?

“Hate this place, is does not provide anything for people who can’t drink alcohol”

At a rough guess, over half the customers in the pub were drinking hot drinks when I was there….

“I’m disgusted with the lack of lounging area in the male toilets when the women’s has a sofa?! Do I get a discount because I have the male anatomy and no sofa to rest on after I’ve relieved myself? Please look into this as a matter of urgency before I consult my MP.”

I’m sure this comment was meant to cause hilarity, although it seems rather unfair to damage the venue’s on-line reputation, but I won’t let it worry me. I’ve got distracted again reading reviews, but I liked this pub as the staff were friendly and efficient with the prices, albeit rising, still firmly towards the lower end of the scale. It was relatively busy but despite the five real ales, the local CAMRA group haven’t yet listed the pub in the Good Beer Guide.