London – Ealing (Borough of) – Sir Michael Balcon

I thought I’d visited every JD Wetherspoon outlet in central (well, centralish) London, but I’ve either missed this one or forgotten that I’ve been. Anyway, that wasn’t the reason I went, this is the only Good Beer Guide pub listed in the centre of Ealing, so another one to tick off the list.

This former Slug & Lettuce venue was turned into a JD Wetherspoon outlet in 2008 and it’s relatively small. The steps up to the toilets are quite narrow and there’s not a vast amount of table space compared to many of their other pubs. Usually, these smaller outlets are from Wetherspoon’s expansion phase in the late 1980s or 1990s, but the quite vibrant carpet gives it a bit of character at least.

I wasn’t on the hunt for beer, but the pub did have a few real ales on and their normal reasonably wide selection of craft beers in cans. The entirely non-alcoholic San Pellegrino, still at the competitive price of £1.09, sufficed for today.

The staff member who brought the drink over was sufficiently engaging and helpful, there was a relaxed atmosphere and I’m guessing that most of the customers were locals. The pub is named after the film producer as he was involved with the nearby Ealing Studios and before the building became a pub, it was used as Bryant’s Furniture Store.

Anyway, I had a little look at the on-line reviews and I’m moderately confused by the complaint from someone asked to leave at 19:00. The reviewer, who was most upset said:

“Signage also only stated Families welcome until 6pm and children to order before 5pm”.

Hmmm, seems quite clear, although it seems they thought if they were in before 18:00 then they could stay, well, until whenever. I’d have thought that the sign should have been a clue…

And another customer who wrote:

“We had just travelled all the way from central London after seeing a show at the theatre as my father wanted to specifically go here as he is a Wetherspoons fanatic. When we arrived, the manager immediately and abruptly asked my daughter for some ID and then told us that our daughters, 16 and 17 could not come in as it was past 6 O’clock. We told him we were there to celebrate my fathers 70th birthday by having a meal and that we had specifically come here from Central London. He then told us he would lose his license if he served us as it was gone 6pm. He would not listen to us at all and did not want to know.”

I’m puzzled as to what the manager was meant to do if their license doesn’t allow under 18s in the pub, which is hardly rare…..

Otherwise, the reviews aren’t particularly notable, but this is a worthy entrant into the Good Beer Guide, perhaps one of the slightly more quirky JD Wetherspoon outlets. I also know that the chain are making an effort with the hanging baskets and floral displays outside their pubs across the country, but this is one of the more notable attempts.