Wisbech – Wheatsheaf Inn

The frontage of this building isn’t the most inspirational, but it houses a relatively large JD Wetherspoon outlet, probably the busiest pub in the town. The frontage used to have large advertising boards up, which I thought made the building look better than the new decoration of wheat sheafs, although I can’t deny that this is an appropriate image.

The history of the building is told by Wetherspoons:

“This pub comprises a former furniture and decorating store and the old Royal public house. Before 1869, The Royal was called The Wheatsheaf, recorded at this address since 1792.”

CAMRA’s Whatpub tells an interesting story….Very cheery.

“Murderers were once gibbeted on a close by common and it is said that the last man to be hanged in Wisbech ate his last meal in the pub. Said to be haunted.”

Most of the stories I’ve found about this pub are sad, with the Huntingdon, Bedford & Peterborough Gazette reporting in August 1836 that the three-year old son of a poor man, working as a journeyman tailor, ran out into the road outside the pub and was killed after being hit by the shaft of a loaded waggon.

The beer choice wasn’t fabulous, despite the pub offering seven different ales, with nothing particularly intriguing. I went for this, which was well kept and tasted fine. I couldn’t work out what tastes the beer had, likely because my palate isn’t quite sophisticated enough, but other reviewers tasted biscuit, breadcrust, berries, caramel and coffee. I got none of those, but the beer didn’t have an unpleasant or dull taste.

The pub itself is largely open plan on a single floor, nothing inspirational, but perfectly functional.

Reviews are broadly positive, although the recent poster on TripAdvisor didn’t seem to be a huge fan of the pub:

“Vile. Absolutely disgusting, smackheads hitting up in toliets, feces all over walls staff not washing hands really would not recommend”

There’s something about this which suggests to me that the reviewer wasn’t allowed in and decided to post angrily, but who knows….

The review:

“Food was cold staff rude all area place dirty tables asked for coke with no ice when it came with ice when I mentioned it she picked it out with her hands would avoid this place again”

Isn’t great. I’m not sure the poorly presented response of “thank you for your comments” from the pub helps much either, it looks like someone from the pub has been responding on a phone as the other responses from management are littered with spelling and punctuation errors. My favourite are responses from Wetherspoon pub managers where the reply to grumpy customers is terse and passive aggressive, I have lots of respect for those.

Anyway, I got distracted with being far too concerned about spelling mistakes from two years ago. It’s also hard to complain about a pub with a pint of beer which costs £2.09, and indeed, £1.59 with a CAMRA 50p off voucher.