“ 162 High Street / New Whittington / Chesterfield / Derbyshire / S43 2AN. „
This little pub has got to be the best pub in three counties. A pub is only as good as the publicans and the customers and both are excellent. The staff work incredibly hard thus, standards are of the highest. It's always clean and they rarely run out of anything unless it's their famous steak pie!The beer is spot on, they have some great entertainment and the "banter" is terrific. The pub is busy cos the staff's efforts are appreciated and supported. I don't think there's one to match it.
It is good when a pub is able to serve food and still retain its main function! I am constantly trying to steer people away from pubs that become merely restaurants that just might happen to serve a drink if you ask. I hate a pub where if you aren't eating they aren't interesting in you. So when I find a pub that does decent pub grub yet still manages to be first and foremost a good community pub I feel the need to give them a bit of free advertisement! The Wellington at New Whittington is one such public house
~~~WHERE IS IT?
The Wellington (or Welly as it is locally known) can be found on the High Street in New Whittington - a village a couple of miles away from Chesterfield, Derbyshire. We generally get to the pub by bus and this is really good because the bus stops opposite the pub to get there and just outside to go home again - RESULT! The bus numbers that do this convenient task are the 25 or 50 and go from Chesterfield Town Centre. The last bus back is the 50 and leaves from outside the pub at 23.50, so you can be guaranteed a good amount of drinking time. There is a car park round the side though, if you can persuade a friendly driver to take you - best to get a taxi for around a fiver from Chesterfield town centre.
~~~A BIT OF HISTORY.
The Wellington Hotel was originally built in 1858 and was intended as a hotel and public house. There is a stone with the date on at the side to illustrate this. There used to be a stable block at the back of the building, as was the case with inns, to house the horses of guests and those used by the owners of the hotel. Over the years the pub has been owned by Chesterfield and Mansfield Breweries and it is now in the hands of the Union Pub Company who have employed licensees to run it for them.
~~~WHAT'S IT LIKE?
The Welly is a brick built pub - typical of many you will see on housing estates around the country. There is a car park to the left and a decent sized beer garden to the right and back of the pub. Once through the entrance (to the left hand side of the pub front) you will enter the entrance hall. Immediately to your left are the ladies and gents toilets - I'm sure all you ladies will be pleased to know that there are a few cubicles, always plenty of toilet paper and the place is kept nicely clean.
There are two rooms accessible by separate doors. The room nearest the front of the pub is the Tap Room or Public Bar - this room is simply decorated and not quite as comfortable as the main room. The tap room is traditionally the more rough and ready drinking area of a pub and the one at the Welly is very traditional in this respect. It has simple furniture, pool table, etc, but it is kept nice and clean. The other room, or Lounge Bar, also serves as an eating area for bar meals. This room is more comfortable, with plusher seats and carpets. Between each room is a central bar which serves both rooms - although the two rooms are separate you can see through from one to the other by peering over the bar (just in case you want to check out who is in the "other side").
The Welly serves up to three Cask ales from the Union Pub company portfolio. This gives them a choice of guest beers from a list supplied to them - the beers on offer at this pub usually includes Cameron's Strongarm, seasonal beers from Marstons Brewery and a selection of other popular choices (like Deuchars IPA or Hobgoblin). Beers are served in oversized lined glasses; ensuring there are no short measures! Beer prices are around the £2.30 a pint mark and the quality of the Cask Beer is usually spot on (a little on the cold side sometimes, but this is more down to the coldness of the cellar than anything done by the staff). As well as these cask beers you will find a good selection of other drinks, including wines, spirits, soft drinks, etc. We tend to either buy the proper beer or a coke for the driver, so I'm not sure about the prices of the other stuff.
Although primarily a pub the Welly does do a good reasonably priced selection of lunchtime and evening meals. Main courses are around £4.50 upwards; they do a varied printed menu, four or five daily specials, a similar amount of vegetarian options (these are often quite imaginative - Walnut and Stilton Oozy Goozy was on the board last week), children's menu and a Special OAP deal (which is two courses for £3.20). All the food is freshly (and extremely well) cooked, served with a smile and always goes down well with the excellent quality beer! The dining area is kept no-smoking during food serving times too to make the dining experience more pleasurable. We generally nip over on the bus on Sundays, when they do a choice of different roasts - you can either just have the main course, or build it up to starter or dessert, or all three courses. Portions of food are a good size and the plate is simply but well presented.
Food is served at lunchtimes until 2.30 pm and early evenings from teatime until around 8pm. Special food nights (like curry or steak nights) happen every now and again - these are well advertised and generally include a drink in with the price. The pub itself is open all day, from 11am onwards.
~~~WHAT ELSE GOES ON?
The Welly is a really good hub for the local community (as a REAL pub should be). There are quizzes on Sunday and Wednesday nights, which are well attended and feature questions that people can actually answer! They also hold mini-Beer Festivals at various points during the year and add to the fun by having occasional live music nights. These are always pre-advertised via posters in the pub and in the local Entertainer magazine - a free guide that appears in selected bars in the area.
Children are allowed in the lounge room as long as they are supervised and don't go near the bar - summer is best because they have a decent beer garden with a pets corner!
Whenever we have been in the pub we have always been greeted with a friendly and warm welcome. This is also from the other customers, as well as from the licensees and bar staff. There is a good and varied client mix - lunchtimes and early evening there are quite a few older people from the neighbouring houses and bungalows, who are calling in for the Special Menu, a drink and a socialize! At £3.20 for two courses it hardly seems worth buying the ingredients and staying in and cooking on your own does it? The same faces can also be seen in the pub at night, but these are joined by younger couples and singles. The quiz night gets packed and you need to come early to get a seat. The pub also seems to be a starting point for quite a lot of the younger crowd - they seem to have a couple of drinks here on a Friday or Saturday night before getting the bus into Chesterfield. An advantage of being located right next to a bus stop!
The Welly is a really good pub that guarantees a good drink and some good food in warm and comfortable surroundings. The welcome is excellent and the beer is always in really good nick. If you are in the Chesterfield area and are looking for somewhere to have a reasonably priced meal, and a good quality drink, you should seek out the Wellington.
The Wellington Hotel