Review: The William Withering

Close your eyes and think of the word ‘Wetherspoons’. Do you think of poor food, cheap beer and low rent punters? Time to throw out your preconceptions.  Our lunch under a fiver comes from The William Withering.

'Spoons in Wellington.  Lovely Point of Sale material too.
‘Spoons in Wellington. Lovely Point of Sale material too.

The William Withering opened in Wellington in 2011, the second ‘spoons in Telford with the first being The Thomas Botfield at the Shopping Centre.  Same menu, which is all part of the appeal of the omnipresent chain.  A well run group brings a consistent hygiene regime and economy of scale that can be passed onto the customers.

The William Withering is a popular place. I visit often, probably too often for my size 36 waist trousers to continue being of much use, and the place is always busy. At lunchtimes, I have previously been unable to find a seat on one or two occasions.

The food is great value. I mean really great value. Burger and chips and a drink for £4.18. Cheaper than McDonalds, but with plates, knives and forks, and a smile.  The food is pretty good. I had a veggie burger, which is served on a bun, with a small salad, chips and pot of tomato relish. The portions are not huge, but more than filling for a lunchtime treat at these prices.

While not everything is priced this low, there are a number of choices available that mean you can eat here every day and not repeat a dish. Size 40 here I come.

The free drink that comes with the burger can be selected from a good range too, including pints of lager, cider and real ale, or branded draught and bottles soft drinks.

The pub was converted from a shop which itself had been converted from an older pub on the site called the George and Dragon. The conversion and refurb has been done to a high standard and the pub is almost like a mini Wellington museum, the walls and fittings featuring local history in the form of information panels and pictures, and even props.  A real fire completes the look.

Some people have mentioned the trek to the toilets. It is up some stairs and quite a way, but there is a disabled loo near the back of the pub too.

The William Withering is well worth a visit.  It opens at 8am too.

43-45 New Street

4 thoughts on “Review: The William Withering

  • Cheap? Low rent? Do I detect a touch of snobbery here?

    Different pubs sell exactly the same beer at very different prices, there’s nothing wrong with factoring in the price of the beer when choosing a pub. Nothing wrong, either, with considering the typical clientele, but ‘low rent’ is as derogatory as describing a pub as full of ‘rich posh twits’.

    In a strange town I will quite often look for a Wetherspoons – I don’t much like the food but at least I know I can start off somewhere probably clean, well run and without rip-off prices.

    So I’m not prejudiced against Wetherspoons in general and the Wellington one is pretty typical. It’s a bit big for my taste, rather like a kind of works canteen, although the management have tried hard to recreate the appearance of a traditional pub – I find the effect a bit unsettling in an ex-Woolworths in a dingy High Street though.

    It does what it says on the tin. Some people, including me, prefer smaller, more genuinely traditional pubs with a friendly atmosphere and more real ale but it’s fine as far as it goes.

    • Its not an ex Woolworths, Heron Foods occupies that, and I take great exception to the term dingy high st.

  • I’ve seen people turn their nose up at ‘spoons. The first paragraph was a recognition that many wouldn’t consider a visit, but they should. I like what they do here, I visit to eat most weeks. (OK every week, and twice a day on occasion!)

    It was actually Be Wise rather than Woolworths, but much more interesting than that, is that before it was a shop, it was a pub up until the sixties called the George and Dragon!

  • I like the William Withering with its comfortable surroundings, interesting historical pictures of old Wellington and its well kept ‘real ales’. Its interesting to note that it has got into the CAMRA Good Beer Guide book in its first year of opening. In my opinion its been a big boost for Wellington! Watch out for the next real ale festival starting on April 3rd.


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