Sunday, January 31, 2016

Pub carpets of Swindon

Carpet at the Savoy (Wetherspoons), Regent Street, Swindon

An economic diner who's keen to vary locale, if not menu, is well served in Swindon town centre, where there are currently three Wetherspoons pubs within a few minutes walk of each other.

We chain-fans thoroughly appreciate the safety of our uniform experiences as we travel round the globe, piqued only by the faint exoticism of a different payment method or a different way of serving tea (I'm thinking of our visits last year to McDonald's in Quinn's Rocks, Perth WA).

One of the more unexpected and remarkable delights for the chain tourist is the carpets in Wetherspoons pubs, each of which is said to be unique.

So anyway, here's my Swindon contribution to documenting this remarkable business. Above is a swathe of carpet in the Savoy, a converted cinema at the top of Regent Street. (We often get a jacket here, and it's thanks to its excellent bookshelves that I recently wrote about Scott's St Ronan's Well.)

And guess what, it doesn't seem to be unique. At least, it looks identical to the carpet at the Kentish Drovers in Peckham High Street.

Carpet at the Groves Company Inn (Wetherspoons), Fleet Street, Swindon

This is the zappily abstract carpet at the Groves Company Inn in Fleet Street. It makes me feel like I'm in a close-up photo of sunflowers.

Local press stories suggest Wetherspoons may be selling off the Groves soon, so enjoy it while you can. We hadn't eaten there for a while, but went there yesterday and it was as relaxed and pleasant as ever. [The third Wetherspoons pub, the Sir Daniel Arms in the same street, tends to be a noisier gathering-place.]

I don't know whether it was just down to  a momentary problem with stocks, but the chips I had yesterday with my scampi were NOT coated in flour!  Hurrah!  (This habit of coating their chips, hateful to all wheat-avoiders, is one of the worst things about Wetherspoons. I blame Frankie and Benny's, myself.)

Carpet at the Woodlands Edge (Hungry Horse), Peatmoor, W. Swindon

Anyway, this blog refuses to give Wetherspoons ALL the attention.

Being an instinctive non-completist, except where Sir Walter Scott is concerned, I'm not only choosing to exclude the Sir Daniel Arms from this survey but I'm including the probably-not-at-all-unique carpet at The Woodlands Edge, the Hungry Horse pub at Peatmoor in West Swindon. I had scampi there, too.



At 12:27 pm, Blogger Vincent said...

I'd be a Wetherspoons fan even if my younger son were not deputy manager of the Rodboro Buildings in Guildford. The Falcon in Wycombe is truly a local for us, a rendezvous, a respite from shopping etc. And there's another one in Wycombe even nearer home; 2 in Aylesbury, one in Slough, Maidenhead, Uxbridge, Henley, Heathrow, Tooting (near mother-in-la); all of pleasant memory. I have noticed one or two specially-made carpets, with themes or monograms of the pub's name, but will check again. We go to country pubs elsewhere for the food sometimes, but the Falcon is a proper pub, in the market square, by the Guildhall, with its cupola and centaur weathervane, co-opted for my blog's masthead---utterly cosmopolitan though you won't see many mosque-goers there.

Pub Carpets of Swindon: it has a ring to it, like Les Bicyclettes de Belsize, or Les Parapluies de Cherbourg. A video on Youtube is called for, at the very least. Do you think we could crowd-fund our enterprise? Wetherspoons might provide at least the free drinks.


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