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J.D. Wetherspoon in general
Member Name: thebigshowgt
J.D. Wetherspoon in general
Date: 09/04/04, updated on 09/04/04 (240 review reads)
Advantages: Cheap, Good weekend crowd
Disadvantages: Lack of music.., ..and Football
The Cross Keys is located virtually in the city centre. It is close to many of the other pubs, in particular, The Vintry (more in a bit). The outside of the pub has a traditional front with old style text above the windows. They normally have two or three huge posters in the windows advertising some offer currently running.
As you walk in you have the bar on the right hand side. This is reasonably long for when it gets busy and is no-smoking at or near the bar. At the front are a pair of leather sofas, a nice touch but only two. On the right are about five booths, (Coronation St style!). At the back of the pub you have the majority of the tables. During the day this is the children’s area. Half is non-smoking and the other isn’t.
The most important subject, undoubtedly! The selection of drinks is good. You have the premium lagers such as Stella, 1664, Carling. In regards to ‘Real Ale’, there is a good selection with at least 2 or 3 guest ales on. Obviously I am not a ‘real’ man, so don’t know much about these myself. J D sells most of the well known bottled alcohol such as WKD, Reef etc. Non drinkers are catered for well; Pepsi, lemonade, j2o, britvic and so on.
The main advantage J D has over others is the price. Drinks are sold considerably cheaper than at other establishments. An example being Double Smirnoff and Red Bull. Some pubs will charge you over £2 for a single shot of vodka. At J D expect a
second shot with a can of the ‘wing flying stuff’ for £2.49.
J D also serves coffee and tea in the mornings. I believe they open at 10am for this reason.( Alcohol is not served until 11am). Cappuccinos/Lattes are also available for a mere 69p. Eat your heart out Costa!
Food is a big seller at J D St Albans, and most probably, the rest of the country. The food they serve is generally basic, but of good quality with generous portions. The current deal is two main meals for £6.25 (It was a Fiver a while ago), which includes favourites such as bangers and mash, fish and chips and so on. They also have starters (nachos, potato wedges) and deserts (choc fudge cake, cheesecake) as well as a host of others.
You order your food at the bar noting the table number then grab your cutlery from the corner. Sauces are available but only in sachets, which seem slightly tacky. Food is generally served quickly; I haven’t had to wait more than 15 minutes.
J D have special promotion nights during the week. I believe it is Thursday when you can pick up a curry and a pint (selected only) for less than £4! The Sunday Roast is also worth having if you don’t fancy washing up!
J D are well known for their policy on music and television. If you are unaware of the policy I’ll explain in detail; there is none. I have read that they did lose out during the last football tournament so they are experimenting on installing TVs for Euro 2004. I think the general idea is that J D is thought of as a place to sit back and relax and opposed to the noise and disturbance from TVs and music blasting out.
At the weekends the place does get very busy. As the prices are so cheap most people go here firs
t before moving onto The Vintry where they have a DJ and small dancefloor. When J D is packed the noise just from people talking can be deafening! It’s a good place to meet up with people as everyone goes there!
During the week is very different. The evenings are quiet and the atmosphere dead.
The staff are friendly enough. Most are young, I have been told J D actively promotes this and encourages internal management promotion on a wide scale. They uniform is white shirt with black tie that looks clean and professional.
Toilets are upstairs and there is a disabled loo on ground level. They are checked hourly (or so the sheet suggests) and are clean. Nothing special, unlike the City Gates pub in Norwich which I have to say are superb. I never thought I would be so impressed by toilets (if anyone has been to the City Gates (Another J D pub) make a special visit to the loo!)
Sunday – Thursday: If you are looking for somewhere to have a quiet drink and a chat and maybe some good food all priced reasonably you have come to the right place
Friday and Saturday: Your first port of call before a big night out? Ideal. Don’t expect a seat though unless you arrive early.
Thanks for reading