Monday, 22 March 2010

Wheatsheaf - Waltham Abbey


We have been going to this pub on and off for the last five years but ever since the previous landlord left it has been going down hill at a rate of knots. Actually, I think since the good landlord left they have had a couple of others in, of course this could explain some of the problems like staff members and cellar quality. With a large garden with play area it is a real draw for families especially in summer, whilst I don't like children running around in a pub I can see that for many pubs the money drawn in though sales of children's drinks and food is a welcome sight for pubs in the current financial situation. It also used to be one of the few good pubs which do food on the weekends in Waltham Abbey hence we used it a lot for seeing friends for lunch or dinner or for taking relatives out.

However if they keep on dragging down the quality than this cash cow will be a dead horse instead. The last few times we have been meals have been burnt and tough as old boots from sitting under a hot lamp for too long or like the ham I had this weekend, just defrosted via a microwave leaving the food with a soggy unappealing texture. They could learn a few lessons from other pubs or even the Weatherspoons in Waltham Cross than keep on going the way they are. The food improves for one weekend then heads straight back down, when you are spending money as a group on food and drinks then this is really not good. We actually worked out that we would have a cheaper bill by waiting for the local indian to open and go there, plus we would be almost 100% guarenteed for having a good meal unlike the pub at present.

Staff are rude and are more interested in chatting to their friends than serving, with no clear management it has gotten worse each and every time we have gone in there. I have no problems with slow service in busy periods but when you have ten people in a big pub and what looks like a full rota of staff I don't expect to be waiting for twenty minutes. The barman who finally broke off from his conversation with his mates after twenty minutes to serve me acted like he was a three year old child being made to be polite to a visiting aunty, then wandered off for five minutes to get another member of staff from the kitchen to serve me so he could go back to chatting to his mates. Charming...not.

This weekend was the final straw and quite frankly it is the last time I will be heading into this pub and a letter has now gone off to the brewery.


  1. Don't blame you: you need a new local. That deterioration in service is unacceptable, and being a temp in charge is no excuse. I've known temp licensees who've really run the pub so well we wanted them to stay on. But they were never allowed to.

  2. My local is the lovely Crown but sadly they don't do food on the weekend and when I meet up friends they usually want food as well as a drink so we have to go elsewhere. Personally I would happily meet in a cafe for food and move onto the pub but that plan is always veto'ed in the pre-planning stage by them.

    I've known a couple of temps who do wonders in pubs unfortunately they always move on. I sometimes wonder if these guys are brewery 'trouble-shooters' hence they move on once a job is completed....