Pub 22. The Wellington, Stoke. 24/04/18
In attendance – DJT, Po, Pete Cotton, Quinny
I knew that eventually the day would come where we’d visit a pub that I would class as being one of my locals. I also realise that I’d need to be as impartial as possible when doing the review. Similarly to when we visited the Noah’s Ark, I could probably have written this review in my sleep. This review might be a little shorter than usual though. Anyway, The Wellington Inn or “Welly” as it’s affectionately known is probably going to score highly on the “location” score, basically because it’s within stumbling distance of my house. It is also, one of my favourite pubs. Additionally, a mate works behind the bar so the welcome is always friendly, I’d have no problem popping in for a pint or two on my own.
The pub sits on the main road into (or out of) Stoke, on the corner of a side street with terraced houses. That does mean that parking is at a premium, but if you are within walking distance it’s not a problem. There’s also a Chinese takeaway next door if you need a post beer munch. You enter through a corner door, and you notice the wooden floor, stripey stools, benches and tables. The pub itself has been renovated fairly recently, but it hasn’t lost any of it’s charm or atmosphere. There is various Stoke City paraphernalia on the walls, which hints at the clientele on a Saturday afternoon. The decently sized bar is to your right, and the service is good (cheers Phil).
Beer choice is adequate, with Carling, Hop House 13 and Coors Light for lager drinkers. There are enough non-fizzy beers to choose from, with Pedigree Amber Ale, Bass, 61 Deep IPA, Worthington and Guinness. There is also Thatchers and Strongbow if you want an apple based drink. On this visit, I opted for a 61 Deep, which retailed at £3.20. Having said that, I’ve had a night drinking the Pedigree Amber and I can confirm that they are both a decent pint of beer. You can vape inside, but they don’t do food. It’s not that kind of pub. There isn’t a pool table, where it used to sit pre-refurb is now some extra seating. There are two dart boards though, one at the front of the pub and another at the back.
On our visit, the pub was busy due to the Champions League football being shown on the various flat screen TVs that are in the pub. The atmosphere was good, I’ve never seen any trouble here in all my years of going. The punters are generally friendly, and even on a Friday or Saturday night when the pub is busy you’d be safe, and outsiders are made welcome. As you walk past the bar, there is another seating area, and a games machine. A few years back there used to be a Nintendo Wii (other games consoles are available) and it was amusing to watch the old timers playing the bowling, I’m not sure if this is still a feature though. Pork Scratchings were by Openshaws and cost 90p, whilst not the best scratchings about, they still hit the spot. On our visit, there was also a random dog which is always a good feature, and what appeared to be an amateur darts competition.
Towards the back of the pub, there is an outside covered smoking area with a couple of benches and although there isn’t any heaters it’s not a bad little spot. The gents toilets are fairly small, and has 3 urinals, 1 sink and 1 cubicle. The toilets are pretty much what you’d expect, they don’t smell too badly and are fairly light, with brown floor tiles and white walls. The PHS Ultradry hand dryer is pretty good too. Unfortunately, I cannot verify what the women’s toilets are like.
So, this review is a little shorter than usual but that isn’t an indictment on the pub itself. To sum it up, it’s “The Welly”. It’s one of my local pubs, and it’s just got something about it. It’s got some faults, but they are only minor (no pool table) and overall it’s just a cracking little pub. In fact, I might just pop over for a pint after I’ve finished this review!
Beer choice/range – 3/5
Ambience – 4.5/5
Facilities – 2.5/5
Location – 4.5/5
Pork scratchings – 3/5
Fruli – 0/1
Toilets – 3/5
Other – 3/5
Overall – 28/41
Random Attendee Comments –
“Cheap beer, familiar location and the choice of watching football on the telly in one part of the pub or an old boys’ darts tournament in the other” – Po
“Hadn’t been in there for about a decade but not much has changed since (this is not necessarily a bad thing though). The world’s most awkwardly positioned pool table is an omission that isn’t missed but the lack of any premium lager other than Hop House 13 is” – Quinny
“Decent little pub with good beer although everyone’s packed in like sardines on match days” – Pete Cotton