This is a first for me. No, not going into a Wetherspoon’s, actually staying there. And I’ll tell you what, it was all good.
Lets start with the pub first. The Crown has no entry in Wetherspoon’s inventory of pub histories which is surprising because everything points to it being a sixteenth century coaching inn. The actual address of the hotel is Crown Passageway, which appears to be the original coach entrance to the rear of the hotel, the heavy doors with wicket gate are still there.
I didn’t measure it, but I reckon the pub itself may be a contender for the longest Wetherspoon’s in existence. You enter from the pedestrianised Broad Street where there are some outdoor tables and then it just goes on, and on, and on and on…
If you’ve now got long thin and narrow in your head then start to factor in the side room hidden, opposite the bar, where the room narrows. There’s also another sizeable space down some steps, towards the back of the pub and more outdoor seating in the Crown Passageway itself.
The pub looks to be a fairly recent addition and in feel it’s quite modern and sleek and only sports a carpet at the very front and back of the building. I’m guessing someone thought the constriction around the bar area would mean the footfall would be too heavy in this area for a carpet. As spoon’s carpets go it’s nothing to write home about.
Beers included the mandatory Ruddles, Abbot and Doom Bar, Greene King Opportunity Knocks, plus two from the local Hop Shed brewery Sebright and Pekin. I didn’t try any because I only had breakfast, but at 10am there were a few drinkers who were sticking mainly to ciders and avoiding the cask beers. Notably the drinkers stuck to the front part of the pub and didn’t march past the bar unless it was to go for a smoke or to the toilets. In fact it was that far from the front to the upstairs toilets that most of the professional drinkers sneaked into the ground floor disabled facility, cunningly leaving the door ajar for the next person.
As usual the breakfast, and service, was excellent, apart from they had run out of Black Pudding. A fact which irked the friendly sounding Yorkshire accents who were down for the cricket match. Throwaway line of the day has to be the group of cricket fans who found a table at the back, sat down, chose their meals and gazed down the room, only for one of them to say, ‘Only problem is someone’s got to walk back down to the bar to order it!’
For £75 I’d expect a comfortable and well equipped room. Something better than say a Premier Inn or it’s ilk. Wetherspoon’s provided this, and more in both rooms I saw. I say both rooms because the first one we were given freaked me out.
The first room was large and spacious and very well decorated, only thing was it was a disabled access room. Nothing wrong with that and it has to be commended, it’s just that I’m not comfortable with the hospital style adaptions in the bath room. Even more so when you’ve just lost your Dad after five months in a care home where his bath room was exactly like the one in the Crown.
Fair play to the young man on the 24hr reception, he changed us instantly and moved us into another equally spacious and well decorated room that had the added quirkiness of being in the eaves with mucho exposed beams and the like. Seriously I couldn’t fault the room, spotless, stylish, comfortable, enough tea and coffee for a small gathering of the Women’s Institute and touches like bottled water. The musical themed decor, including carpets, was quirky, yet understated.
Value wise it was excellent, there aren’t boat loads of the sort of places I like to stay in, in Worcester. Maybe I should’t have been up that late on A Saturday night when I was a kid, but Tales of The Unexpected put me off B & B’s long ago. We could have paid more for a room above an average pub in the centre.
There may be some out there who are not fans of Wetherspoon’s. I know there are people who would never go in; snobby twats. Even if you are one of these, you needn’t worry as you don’t even have to go into the pub part. The Hotel is entirely separate from the cheap food and drink emporium, with it’s own entrance; two entrances actually, one on either side of the passage leading to separate parts of the building which are joined above the passageway, which seemed strange? I’m sure there’s a reason for this.
Verdict: Would stay again, stylish, comfortable hotel rooms representing good VFM.