London – Newham (Borough of) – Stratford – Goldengrove

There aren’t many photos of my visit to this JD Wetherspoon pub last week, as I must admit to popping in solely to benefit from the 50p half pints of real ale that were available. However, I’ve now realised that the pub is in the Good Beer Guide, and so that’s another one for my list….

I’ve visited here before several times over the last decade, it’s a large pub which goes back further than its frontage might suggest. The pub name is a bit niche, it’s from the poem Spring and Fall by local man Gerard Manley Hopkins. Before it became a pub, the building was being used as a clothes shop.

As for the 50p half pints, I did have six of them over the course of the night, which was a little excessive, but I knew that pubs were closing for a month…. They were the Cowcatcher from East London Brewing Company, Old Hooky from Hook Norton Brewery, Black Stallion from Arundel Brewery, Pure UBU from Purity Brewing Company, Gold from Exmoor Ales and Hobgoblin from Wychwood Brewery. The Pure UBU was the one that I liked the most, but it’s an interesting selection across different beer types and all of the ales were well-kept. I can imagine the annoyance that JD Wetherspoon had in having to get rid of all of this at 99p, but, as they said in their signage, it saved it from being thrown away.

This photo is from a previous visit, the London Thunder which is a chocolately porter from Rooster’s Brewery.

And, just for another photo, a chicken wrap that I’ve had here on a previous occasion. On that point, I’ve always thought that this feels like a safe pub, although there was an argument between a customer and a staff member last week, but that all adds to the drama and excitement. The pub was opened by JD Wetherspoon back in 1993 and things have changed substantially for the area, with the construction of Westfield around the corner and then the Olympics, as well as the company, which is now much bigger.

The reviews are pretty much average for a JD Wetherspoon outlet, although several complaints are for when service is slow during football match days. West Ham moved to their new stadium in Stratford from the Boleyn Ground in 2016, shifting trade from the Millers Well pub to Goldengrove for those fans who wanted a cheap pint. At least the app makes ordering somewhat easier for customers, so although there might be a wait it does avoid standing at the bar getting annoyed when other customers are served out of turn.

Anyway, all rather lovely during my visit (although the toilets probably need more reconstructing than cleaning), and JD Wetherspoon did well to start shifting their stock early to avoid it needing to be destroyed.