Pub 4 – The Wulstan, Wolstanton. 28/11/17
In attendance – DJT, Kate, Po, Bram, Chloe, Walrus
When I see any establishment with steamed up windows, it makes me think about the late 80’s Tina Turner song “Steamy Windows”. I believe that was something to do with body heat, I’m not sure what that meant exactly. I was 10 years old at the time. Roll on twenty something years and once again, whilst approaching the next pub in this saga, I am faced with the prospect of wondering what has led to some windows becoming so condensation laden.
The Wulstan is a fairly welcoming looking establishment, which is in a good location just off a main road. When you approach the entrance from the ample carpark you can tell that it’s going to be fairly pleasant inside. As you step in through the double door, you are instantly aware that this isn’t a place that sets itself up as the perfect drinkers pub, opting more to embrace it’s “Sizzling Pub” branding with pride. The fairly large bar is straight ahead of you when you enter and on our visit was pretty busy, particularly with it being a Tuesday night. In fact, this was probably the busiest pub that we had visited so far and seemed pretty lively, although it appeared that early on most of the people in the pub were there to eat. And why not?
Drinks choice was adequate, with lager drinkers served by a choice of Carling, Carlsberg, Stella and Coors with Worthingtons and John Smith also available. 3 hand pumps provided Doom Bar, Old Speckled Hen and Bombardier, although there were not guest ales. You know what I’m a big fan of in a pub? A good choice of guest ales. Plus Fruli (there wasn’t Fruli). Strongbow is the apple based drink, and they do the fruity variety of this too.
We were served fairly quickly, our first drinks being a pint of Doom Bar and half a Carling Shandy, which retailed at £4.55. Moving away from the bar, with it’s combination of tile and wood flooring there is plenty of seats/tables to choose from which was just as well as we had a record number of 6 people in attendance. The area to the right is more “Restaurant” in it’s feel, in fact you half expect to have to wait to be seated when you walk in. We parked ourselves in the lounge area to the left where 2 flat screen TVs were showing the Premier League football game. The décor was fairly pleasant with a slightly trippy carpet and just the 2 fruit/games machines, but the bistro pub feel is cemented by the lack of pool table or dartboard and a fireplace that is just for show. During our discussions, we settled on it being three quarters restaurant, and one quarter pub. I can’t remember if there was any music playing, I don’t think there was. I’m sure that a juke box wouldn’t be a popular choice with the retirement age, food eating clientele and I’m sure vaping would be frowned upon.
Apologies if I repeat myself a bit during this review. This isn’t what you’d call a proper pub, it’s got more of a Wetherspoon, Hungry Horse, chain pub type vibe to it so overall nothing special. They do, as you might guess, sell food. In fact, the menus do seem to be quite “big”. It’s £7.29 for a burger and chips, with a soft drink which you’d imagine would sort you out. There’s also a breakfast menu if you like having your breakfast in a pub. One aspect that seemed to be impressive was the cocktail menu, which promised 2 cocktails for £5.50 all day, every day. I was reliably informed by Walrus that if you had Long Island Ice Teas this was a good deal.
The Doom Bar was a decent enough pint, and went down quite well. I had 3 overall, so must’ve enjoyed it! Pork Scratchings were Black Country Snacks “Q Pork Crackling”, the same as The Auctioneer which we’ve already established as being a high quality product. However the cost of £1.30 was above what you’d expect for a bag of swine.
The smoking area at the front was pleasant, with benches and a large parasol. Heaters are present, but you’d need to be six foot six to get any real benefit. As Kate is 5 foot 2, she was definitely not feeling any heat, but this may be due to neglecting to put socks on. A basic error for a November evening. I also noticed that there was an outdoor play area connected to the right of the pub, so if you’ve got kids it might be a decent place to visit and let them loose.
Just to touch on the toilets, the gents has 5 urinals, 2 cubicles and 2 sinks and seemed fairly pleasant, but in need of a bit of a clean. The “Initial” hand dryer looked as if It would blow like an asthmatic granny but was actually pretty intense and shows that you shouldn’t judge a handryer by it’s looks. There was unfortunately a very loud noise coming from the air vent which sounded like a police helicopter hovering a foot above the roof. Somewhat offputting whilst trying to urinate. I was informed that the women’s toilets were nice, and there were square sink. I cannot confirm this information.
So in conclusion, a perfectly reasonable pub to meet for a pint or two and something to eat. I wouldn’t want to come for a big drinking session, but it’s not that kind of pub anyway. I can’t remember if I mentioned that they do food? If I could sum it up in 3 words it would be pleasant, acceptable and generic.
I never found out why the windows were steamed up.
Beer choice/range – 3/5
Ambience – 2/5
Facilities – 1/5
Location – 4/5
Locals/Safeness – 4/5
Pork scratchings – 4/5
Fruli – 0/1
Toilets – 3.5/5
Other – 2.5/5