Just a quick note. I am quite fed up at having my social life restricted by a lack of suitable toile facilities in the local pubs. Even a single grab rail would make a world of difference. There is a new Wetherspoon’s opening in January with full radar accessible facilities. I know that the others I’ve visited have them too (the list is not extensive). Top pub I say.
Steve, you’re dead right- so many pubs are a no- no, even getting in and out of the building can be an issue. One of our local pubs, when asked about wheelchair access, said, ‘oh yes, there’s a door round the back we can get him in’. What they didn’t say was this would mean going in via the kitchens, having first negotiated two tight right angled bends and a couple of narrow doors, plus sundry mops, buckets, brooms, crates of veg, rubbish bins etc. classy!
In defence of some of the pubs out here in rural North Bucks / South Northants, they are listed buildings and can’t instal adapted toilets or change entrances. Seems a bit daft though, where the building is deemed more important than the customers!
Wetherspoons get a lot of things right- decent beer, no piped music, reasonable food.
I rarely go to pubs but when I do I go to Wetherspoon’s . The toilets are always clean (although our local one hasn’t got a radar toilet), the whole place is accessible, I can go in there on my mobility scooter and when I order at the bar they bring it over to the table for me. The staff are always polite, the food is pretty good & they are quick to get rid of anyone causing trouble… BUT the main reason I like them? NO MUSIC!!!
The joy of being able to have a conversation without shouting and straining to hear.
YES!! Exactly ! And do other pubs and restaurants learn from their success? Do they stuff!
We had a family pre-Christmas get together and present swap last Saturday, and went out for a meal in a swish restaurant on the quay in Ipswich (very trendy place, Ipswich harbour, very different from the mucky old place Ruth and I sailed out of 25 years ago). Anyway, this restaurant was in an old converted warehouse, really nicely done out, and the food was great, the service was great, the disabled loo was just about manageable. But the acoustics were dreadful, and ruined further by the piped music. We mentioned it on the way out, and got the usual response ‘Oh, it helps to create a bit of atmosphere.’ Certainly does- an atmoshere where everyone ends up shouting at each other to be heard. Not what I want when fine dining. At a football match, maybe, but not when we’re having a family meal out.
What’s more, none of the architects and trendy interior designers who turn these places into restaurants seem to have heard of acoustic treatment to reduce the effect of sitting inside a great big empty biscuit tin. Ho-hum…one of my betes-noir.
The Hotel Du Vin in Tunbridge Wells has a noise level similar to an old cotton mill. They do have a good disabled loo though! Its so hard to find the right combination, I absolutely hate piped music when it’s too loud. This does make Wetherspoon’s very favourable. My favourite pub has poor toilet facilities. Is it any wonder some of us don’t get out as much as we’d like to? So many crucial elements to take into account.