09 Jun, 2010
Wetherspoon’s: the world’s most miserable pub?
Sometimes disappointment is inevitable. Flying out from Gatwick airport a few weeks ago, I was sure I’d find plenty of tempting things for lunch in its very large food court.
How deluded was I? After a browse around, I narrowed it down to two options: McDonald’s or Wetherspoons. Time after time, I think McDonald’s will be a guilty pleasure, albeit one that leaves me feeling sick and starving. And time after time, I find it’s grimly disappointing.
Not being familiar with the offerings of British pub chain Wetherspoon’s, I decided to give it a go.
Wow. What a hellhole. I sat at a table, was ignored for about ten minutes, then finally figured out that I had to order food at the bar. I went for what I craved: the fish and chips. It arrived reasonably soon, and although the battered fish was okay, the chips were totally inedible. They tasted as though they’d been washed in Fairy liquid, dipped in old congealed grease, and flung in a microwave. The peas were cold. Not lukewarm, but fridge cold. When I complained, the manager returned a few minutes later with a big bowl of warm peas, while the cold ones lolled awkwardly on my plate. The miserable portion of tartare sauce would barely have coated one cold pea. I must have been destined to take a Ryanair flight on a hungry stomach. Even the Ryanair sandwiches became appealing, but I couldn’t handle any more disappointment. Next time, God help me, I’ll go for the McDonald’s.
The very idea of a big chain pub sounds enormously unappealing, although I know they’re quite popular in the UK. Are all Wetherspoon branches this tragic, or is the airport branch simply taking advantage?