Sunday, 13 June 2010

Bargain of the year?

I called into Wetherspoon’s Calvert’s Court in Stockport for lunch today. It remains a dismal, dark, box-shaped place, although the Wetherspoon Ploughman’s at £4.49 touches all the bases of that particular dish and is good value for money. My only complaint is that the slice of pork pie, while very tasty, is too big in relation to the cheese. (Being a vegetarian, I suspect Tyson might disagree with its very presence)

But, on the bar was the superlative, hop-laden, 5.9% ABV Thornbridge Jaipur IPA, at a mere £1.80 a pint, the price of all their guest beers. With the 50p CAMRA discount coupon, it was an incredible £1.30. In many other places you would pay over £3 for that. Now, that is only 39p per unit. Who said minimum pricing wouldn’t affect the off-trade?

In my experience, the beer quality in the Calvert’s Court can be variable, but the Jaipur was in very good nick today – as was the similarly hoppy but lower-strength Oakham JHB. It’s still like drinking in a works canteen, though – as I’ve often said before, the general feel of Spoons’ pubs would be immensely improved by the introduction of extensive bench-type seating.


  1. I think you're right about bench seating improving the atmosphere, plus it accommodates a lot of drinkers, so they could get more in at peak times.

  2. It always strikes me that any Wetherspoons pub can appear not too busy even when all the tables are occupied. Sunday lunchtime is a quiet session, of course.

  3. I came across a really nice Lloyds No 1 in Chester recently. Stylish with cosy rooms in an old Georgian building, far superior to the barn-like, heaving Wetherspoons around the corner.

  4. Or several small rooms. The Waterhouse in Manchester City Centre is quite pleasant for that reason.

  5. oh boy,
    Stockport Wetherspoons ,RedNev's Lloyd No1
    in Chester and The Waterhouse
    plus a mensh of Veggie Tyson in
    one posting.

    What can we say.

    Kulmbacher Fan

  6. What we can say, Anon, is that your incomprehensible whimsy is as irritating as ever. I'd be anon too if I wrote such rubbish.

  7. I like our local 'spoons pub here in Kettering, largely because it's the only pub on the crawl circuit that serves a decent choice of beer. It is also a welcome alternative to the pubs that have music banging out and you can actually have a conversation. I think I am probably getting too old for the crawl circuit really and sticks to the CAMRA winning Alexandra Arms with it's immense choice of ALES.

  8. Great to see you able to seek out a bargain. On my visit to the pub I found it a pleasant enough gaff, and if the beer is as you say half the price it is elsewhere, what is the justification for the rip off other gaffs perpetrate?

  9. Pork pie with a ploughman’s whoever heard of such nonsense?
    The Con-Dems have only been in five minutes and already the country is going to rack and ruin!

  10. My objection to the presence of the pork pie stems not so much from its meat content, but rather from it being included, unnecessarily, in a “Ploughman’s”.

    The history of the Ploughman’s is well documented. It has no historical basis, but was created by the Cheese Marketing Board as a (very successful) marketing ploy. Now rather than devaluing it, this, to me, actually makes things very simple.

    A Ploughman’s is based on the cheese & bread basis. Yes, you can dress it up a bit, but why add a pork pie? Do we ever hear of fish & chips being served with one? First we had “Ploughman’s with Pork Pie” which was bad enough, but now often it comes as standard with no alternative. When did the worm turn?

    If pubs want to serve pork pies, fine, but do not force them onto the Ploughman’s plate. And I agree that the pie is too large in relation to the cheese-yet another problem with these bastardised dishes. I wait to hear what Tim Martin has to say on the matter.


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