JD Wetherspoon, or Spoons as it’s known colloquially, is a hugely popular choice when it comes to enjoying a meal our or a few drinks on the cheap.
The UK-wide pub chain has its flaws, of course, but it’s hard to argue with the low prices – especially when you take advantage of the daily club deals.
There are 11 Wetherspoon pubs in the Bristol area in total and the Tripadvisor reviews of each paint a varied picture.
The lowest-rated Spoons branch in the city is V Shed on the Harbourside, which has an overall rating of three out of five from 530 reviews.
While several other branches, including The Jolly Sailor in Hanham, also have three stars, they have had fewer reviews, which leaves V Shed in last place.
The most recent visitor to the Canon’s Road bar labelled it ‘disgusting’ in her review. She wrote: “We recently visited v shed in Bristol when staying overnight in Bristol en route to Cornwall .. it was disgusting … the tables weren’t cleaned after they were cleared .. they were sticky with beer and old food.
“The carpets and floor were filthy also very sticky with old bed spills . I’m [sic] today’s covid climate I was very disappointed … no masks were worn by staff .. people could just wander in from the street .. no seating restrictions .. it was dreadful!”
Another recent reviewer complained of being hurried by staff when trying to enjoy their meal, in their two-star review.
They wrote: “Never experienced a member of staff any where, asking us to finish our meals quicker. Unbelievably unprofessional. Considering it was only 7pm. Food was ok. Beer festival options were limited. Not a great visit to a usually decent chain/venue.”
What’s your favourite branch of Wetherspoon in Bristol? Let us know in the comments section below
However some people have been more positive with their feedback, arguing the case that ultimately you get what you pay for.
One person said in a four-star review: “We went on a Thursday night so not too many people. The drinks and food are cheap so that’s a plus. It got loud towards the end but that’s expected.
“The only real complaint is that the waiters would never take our empty plates and glasses away unless we asked.”
Another favourable review added: “Does what is says on the tin. All the usual Favourites as we love them. Could be a bit cleaner and the seating outside is very hard and uncomfortable, but the prices are unbeatable and there’s a nice view over the water.”
Responding to the negative reviews, Wetherspoon spokesman Eddie Gershon said: “Staff at our pubs in Bristol work hard to give customers the best experience possible.
“The V-Shed is a popular pub which is well run. People are entitled to their views on Tripadvisor, but we believe they should be taken with a pinch of salt.”
And what about the best?
Bristol’s best Wetherspoon pub, if Tripadvisor reviews are anything to go by, is The Knights Templar, next to Temple Meads.
It has an overall rating of three-and-a-half stars out of five from 407 reviews. It’s worth noting The Commercial Rooms on Corn Street is also rated 3.5 stars with 402 reviews, leaving it in a respectable second place.
The Berkeley on Queens Road has a rating of 3.5 too, but with only 215 reviews.
The two most-recent reviews of The Knights Templar, which is popular with people heading to and leaving the neighbouring railway station, are both a glowing five stars.
One visitor said: “This was our first (but not last visit). The staff were very welcoming and seemed genuinely pleased to see us. The meals were served hot. Possibly the eggs could have done with being cooked for 30 seconds less but other than that no complaints – and the real ale was to a high standard also.”
While the second added: “Don’t believe the bad reviews! Our visit to this Spoons was lovely. Good atmosphere, great food. Value for money can’t be beaten! Lovely friendly staff couldn’t do enough for you!”
However, the third most recent reviewer was not so impressed, writing: “Extremely bad customer service as staff talk to you like your a major inconvenience rather than a paying customer.
“Not all items were brought to the table even when ordering through the app, and it would appear that members of staff don’t know what they serve on their own menu. Frankly I would avoid and go somewhere else.”
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