Tuesday 14 May 2013

Taking 6 kids to the pub for a meal....Wetherspoons Review

I admit, there have been times over the last 7 years that this has been a far more daunting proposition.

Actually, now that our oldest 5 are all teenagers, and they can even help wrangle the two pre-schoolers, we really didn't even flinch at the prospect of taking them out.

In fact when we got the opportunity to review our local JD Wetherspoon and their new American and International dishes we jumped about with unbridled excitement (we don't get to take them all out much unless we're on holiday or it's someone's birthday).

Our eldest was working, so it was lunch for 8. I was pleased to discover he was happy to come with us had he not been working, as it is his 'local' and where he goes to drink with his friends.

I rang in the morning to ask if I needed to book, and they assured me we could just turn up. It wasn't too far, so we walked (my partner and I could enjoy a refreshing beverage with our meal).

When we got there it was 1.30pm and still incredibly busy, so we found 2 tables next to each other and landed. At this point we were a bit daunted by the prospect of eating at two small tables and wished we'd been able to book.

Luckily we only had to wait 5 minutes before 2 bigger tables became free, and we were able to push them together and settle - and practice our loveliest photo faces (or daftest as it turned out).

Just for giggles we told the teenagers that we were secret shoppers and would be rating our experience. I think it went to their heads and they arranged the scoring during the meal.....results at the bottom of the page....

L to R ~Child 5, Child 2, Child 1, Child 4, Child 3, Child 6
The menus are really clear and well-laid out, and everyone easily found something they liked. All the vegetarian options are clearly labelled as such, and there's lots of choice. The children's menu is great because it doesn't just include 'kids food', it has child-sized portions of real adult meals too. 

Even though the pub was still really busy we never had to wait long to be served, and the staff were not hassled at all. Because the tables are well-spaced we never felt cramped and the whole place was alive with chatter, so we didn't feel we had to tell any of ours to keep it quiet. We were provided with colouring sheets for the little ones and the food came within 15 minutes, so there wasn't time for anyone to get bored.

I asked our older ones to take a photo of me and this is the best they managed!

Plates were cleared away swiftly but we did have quite a wait before they brought out pudding.

The desserts were something everyone was excited about. Our second youngest (wearing the bright ginger hair and grey t-shirt) had seen an ice cream sundae on the TV and has wanted to have one ever since, so he was pretty much over the moon.
Obviously his little brother had to have one too. Neither of them managed to finish it, but fortunately Mum and Dad were on hand to help.

Everyone enjoyed their meals, the food was lovely and every speck was eaten. No-one misbehaved, no-one started wandering about. I only had to supervise 3 toilet visits (and they were lovely and clean). We had a really, really lovely time.

I felt really comfortable and relaxed throughout the whole meal. The staff were all lovely, the pub was incredibly friendly and no-one cared we had so many young people with us. The clientele was so mixed that the children just slotted right in. It was really busy but never frantic or feeling cramped, and the service was great. I do wish we'd been able to book because we were such a big party, but that was pretty much the only downside to the whole meal.

Our entire meal with drinks cost around £90, which will make most families wince, but for 6 adults and 2 children it works out very reasonably indeed. I couldn't have asked for more, and I really do think it won't be too long before we are back.

It also happens that today it is exactly seven years since my partner and I got together and we started our journey to becoming one big family, so this was a very fitting celebration - with photo's we'll treasure forever (especially on their 18th birthdays when we get to embarrass them unremittingly!).

The scoring - exactly as written...

Child 1
Sweet Chilli Egg Noodles (V) - Very nice, quite small 4/5
Pancakes - Very nice too - Ice cream melted quickly
Any other comments - I'd come here again definitely
Child 5
An adult Classic Hot Dog and chips shared with his brother - Eleventy/5
Child 6
An adult Classic Hot Dog and chips shared with his brother - 16/5
Child 2
Tennessee Chicken Burger served with chips and beer-battered onion rings - A burger so delicious that if it were a person I'd marry it.
Waffle Sundae - The pudding was nice also
Any other comments - Not really
Child 3
Chicken Breast Burger and chips - Pretty nice 4/5
Hot Fudge Cake - Pretty nice 4/5
Any other comments - I think it's very nice and the meals are very reasonable
Child 4
Mexican Vegetable Burger and chips - Very tasty 4/5
Cheesecake - Not very cheesey 2/5
Any other comments - It's nice that Tom's mates (our oldest) are in here and talking to other people who are having a drink, like that old lady doing her shopping.
Full Rack of Ribs with coleslaw, beer-battered onion rings and chips - Nice, excellent value for money
Strawberry Sundae leftovers - Very nice
Lavazza Filter Coffee - Fantastic
Any other comments - I think we've all had a great time, everyone seemed to enjoy it
Mexican Vegetable Burger - Very tasty, lovely crispy chips 4/5
Chocolate Sundae leftovers - Delicious. The brownie pieces are gorgeous and chewy. 5/5
Lavazza Filter Coffee - Ooooh yes
Any other comments - Everyone's full and happy, it's a win for me.

2 portions Garlic Ciabatta Bread - Overall vote - Delicious!
2 portions Beer-Battered Onion Rings - Overall vote - Crispy and delicious!

Overall score - #Win #Pwned (translation - very good)

I was given Wetherspoons vouchers in order to review, which paid for a large portion of our bill.


  1. Sounds like a great family meal - loving the pics of your lovely family! Loving the comments (especially Girl No. 3!!).

    1. They are funny. They were all a bit obsessed with the idea that their big brother's mates were in there for a drink :D

  2. What a superb family experience. You make it sound so so so fun I think Wetherspoons will be VERY happy with this review.
    And to get a review from so many ages and angles is wonderful. Really enjoyed reading this and I normally stay clear from reading reviews.
    Liska x

    1. Well thank you. I don't know what to say....I'm touched. What lovely comments :)

  3. i look horrible in every picture!

    1. No you don't, you always look beautiful - even when you're photo-bombing me! They were the best shots of the day, you all pulled faces whenever you knew I was taking a photo! :D

  4. Nice photobombing from Girl #3 there! That sundae is bigger than Boy #4! Seriously, brilliant review. We go to Wetherspoons quite often as it is always reliable, even if it's in a new place that you aren't familiar with.

    1. Thank you! We went for breakfast a few times when we were on holiday in Cornwall last year and that was really nice, but we'd never taken the children into a large town Wetherspoons before - certainly will again though :)

  5. I wouldn't have thought of going there for lunch. We went for breakfast recently and it was pretty goo, and good value. Your family do look fun!

    1. Fun...hmmmm...they wouldn't give me sensible faces for any of the photo's - these were the best ones! :D

  6. Sounds like a great time had by all, apart from maybe the lady doing her shopping :P! Oh and I want one of those sundaes now!

    Great real review!

    1. Thanks hon! It was great, a really nice afternoon, and those sundaes were gorgeous :D

  7. It look so fun! The food look so yummy and everyone is so happy!

    1. Everyone was really happy - I think it was the only afternoon in weeks that no-one argued! :)

  8. We've always found Wetherspoons to be pretty reliable and good value - love the comments from your family and the chocolate brownie sundae sounds delicious!!

    1. Oooh it really is delicious! :P

      My family can be relied upon to put a bit of humour into most things... :D

  9. looks like u had a great time! love the pics of the little ones with the sundaes they look so pleased with it!

    1. They really were - I remember being a child and that sort of thing was very special :)

  10. Sounds like you all had a great time. I've always thought Wetherspoons was good value for money and the food is usually pretty tasty too!

    1. It was really good value for money and everyone was full up, I was really pleased :)


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