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Old Wellington Inn, Manchester

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user reviews of the Old Wellington Inn, Manchester

please note - reviews on this site are purely the opinion of site visitors, so don't take them too seriously.

Having been in the Sinclairs Oysters Bar almost 8 years ago, I returned to try the other pub in this historic building - the Old Wellington. It's a Nicholsons establishment with a fairly small interior. Its draw on this sunny Saturday afternoon was the outdoor courtyard at the front. But this meant that all drinks were served in plastic glasses. The ale selection was Moles Mole Catcher, Moorhouses White Witch, Black Wolf Big Red, Purity Ubu & St Austell Nicholson's Pale Ale. Whilst we were there London Beer Factory Chelsea Blonde & Fullers London Pride were pulled through. A reasonable range of ales. But I've just come from London, how is it there are 2 adjacent pubs both serving Pride?! We stood at the bar and witnessed a couple of incidents of where the customer is clearly never right! One person was told they ordered a pint of Peroni and not a bottle. So a pint was what they were getting. Another was told that there was nothing wrong with the cider. Luckily my patience wasn't tested. So I didn't have to vote with my feet. Nice pub. But customer service requires improvement.
blue_scrumpy - 18 Oct 2016 21:08
I've looked at this attractive pub on umpteen visits to Manchester but never been in as it always seemed rammed. But after several empty pubs in Salford I yearned for a bit of a crowd & so dived in. To my surprise, indoors was near empty, though the garden was overflowing in bleak weather. A pint of Doom Bar was 3.60, an understandable price in a tourist trap, and service was friendly enough.
Queenslander - 14 Sep 2015 22:45
Enjoyed a meal and a couple of pints of Guinness en route to the MEN arena. Very busy but despite this,the service was friendly and efficient and the beer was very good if a little expensive.
TREFONEN - 15 Nov 2013 19:26
I have nothing positive to say about this place as I never got in. My wife, young son and I were in Manchester for the Christmas markets today when the heavens opened so we made a dash for this pub. The bar was very crowded and there was no way we were all going to get in with a pushchair so we decided to shelter from the hailstones and rain for a few minutes under the large umbrellas outside. Within a few seconds of finding a spot alongside many others, a jobsworth 'bouncer' (this was around 1pm) told us we'd have to move as no kids were allowed in. We were outside, not taking up much room, and it was pouring with rain but he refused to listen to common sense and made us leave. So much for Christmas spirit. My son, who is 18 months old, spent the afternoon shivering and soaking wet thanks to the 'policy' that this pub have adopted. I'll be advising everyone I know not to go there.
SandbachHatter - 7 Dec 2011 19:51
I was in the middle of drinking a decent pint in a wonderful building when the landlord came in and rudely asked a room full of people to leave - "What are you doing in here? You need to leave". Apparently the upstairs room we were in had closed for the night, even though the downstairs room was full and standing! But there was nothing to tell us this or stop us going upstairs. A large number of very offended and unhappy people ended up taking their business elsewhere...
jarofporter - 11 Oct 2011 14:40
Fantastic pub - oldest building in Manc, moved twice, bombed by the IRA and still standing. Great location and when the sun is out (!), a great place to sit and watch the world go by. Came today for the first time in 10 years and was disappointed to be served an OK pint of Lancaster Bomber in a plastic glass! Staggering, really - no warning, no alternative offered - I may not necessarily been going outside either.
Mappiman - 22 Jun 2011 21:48
Very busy pub with only person behind the bar on a Sunday evening. I waited and waited and left disappointed.
AlieStreetcrusader - 6 Mar 2011 18:59
I liked this place and its neighbour the Oyster bar. Any pub that has been saved by moving it brick for brick appeals to me for starters and these pubs have been moved twice in their history, the first time in the 70’s to be actually inside the old Arndale shopping centre, were then moved again in 1998 to their present location when the Millennium area of the City centre was redeveloped.
Now part of the Nicholsons group and the beer quality and quantity has now improved from the M&B days.
The downstairs bar now supports 8 hand pumps and seven were going at the time of our visit. These included Twaites Nutty Black, Acorn Barnsley Bitter, Jennings Cumberland and Lancaster Red all of which were good.
The two upstairs rooms are reserved for dining, so a disadvantage is that only the small downstairs bar is for drinking only and there is very limited seating and standing room in here. But it does benefit from the large outside benched drinking area, which wasn’t that much in use as it was freezing outside, and another disadvantage is that you have to drink out of plastic if you are going outside.
Gann - 16 Feb 2011 15:07
Superior to its neighbour. Decent beer and a busy bar well managed.


terenced - 1 Nov 2010 10:12
I've visited this pub over the years but have seen a recent decline. The fullers I had was watery, not enhanced by the plastic glass, served by an unfriendly barman who looked like he could do with some decent beer himself. The prescence of security may be a necessity, but I had to hold on to my pals' jacket when he went to the loo, as some shifty charactors were eyeing it up on the bench.The ambience was not there. Shame
s.mercy - 26 Jul 2010 10:38
Ive been here a few times and its always packed to the rafters, sat 5th dec was no different. Always a good pint and good atmosphere.
stevenlufc - 12 Dec 2009 10:03
Went there before a City match, so plastic glasses meant the beer was a bit lacking - great atmosphere though - shame Sinclairs has given up on cask.
mtaylor40 - 20 Sep 2009 20:48
popped in for lunch yesterday. good food, but the Deuchars IPA left a lot to be desired. I also popped in this evening with a couple of friends. They advertise that they serve food every day until 10pm, yet when i tried to order some at 9:30 they told me they werent serving.

disappointed all round. dont advertise a service if youre not going to provide it!
le_bint - 11 Feb 2009 00:37
Good pub with excellent cask ale, have visited many times now the selection of guest ales varies but is generally of good quality. Food is good value but seems to be of slightly higher standard for just 'pub grub'.
As mentioned previously the pub retains its original character to an extent but with an over whelming amount of advertising and standardised products it does have a somewhat 'chainy' feel to it.
Service has always been excellent and staff very knowledgable on products and the history of the building... oldest building in Manchester apparently!
A must visit on a Manchester pub crawl night, shares a garden with Sam Smiths so good outside area.
caskmarque00 - 25 Dec 2008 17:23
Visited on a busy saturday before a concert with my girlfriend, only complaint was its very cramped when busy! Apart from that food was fantastic, restaurant was full and didnt have to wait longer than 15minutes really, staff were working very hard and obviously sweating! Could have probably done with more staff considering the level of business!
Outside is great, you can smoke in the big beer garden, shame half the furniture is falling apart though.
Next door is good cheap beer, but if you want cleanliness and quality personally I'd side with the Old Wellington.
manclad00 - 25 Dec 2008 17:13
Myself and three friends tried here this Saturday evening. We wish we hadn't!

One of our group has to wear a hat for health reasons and so was wearing a warm woolen hat. We were told in an extremely threatening and rude manner by a large foreign door person (who was also not wearing a SIA arm band) that he must take his hat off whilst inside. We pointed out that it was for health reasons, was not 'peaked' and also how other people were inside wearing their warm hats.

This door person then said in pidgeon English something about "They are women, they are allowed to!" and forcibly removed my friend from the pub, after pouring his drink into a plastic glass.

This was absolutely abhorent behaviour and we immediately asked to speak to the Duty Manager. We asked for an explanation of their hat wearing policy and explained it wasn't a peaked hat and was worn for health reasons. The Duty Manager acknowledged it was wrong for the Door Person to throw this chap out but other than that was a bit not-interested.

Expensive drinks, extremely rude, violent and possibly illegal security staff, there are plenty of other more pleasant watering holes to visit!
rl4engb - 24 Nov 2008 11:20
Called in for food earlier this week. Very different to last time I ate here a few years ago. The food area upstairs is still nice, but the food is now traditional bar food. It was extremely good value for money, with good straightforward pub food and decent sized portions. Given that most city centre pubs cash in on the food market at lunchtime then don't serve food in the evening, I'll definitely be returning here!
About 3 cask ales on - I drank the Cumberland, which was fine.
alexw - 25 Oct 2008 10:35
This is a good place to eat in a city that is underwhleming in terms of pub food options. It is housed in the Shambles area of two pubs-as mentioned countless times before in these reviews. The beer is expensive but high quality, the food however is good value with large portions given, and I found the service to be fine. The upper rooms are reserved for eating and are full of character, with low beams (some exceptionally low-about 5ft!)and great views of Exchange Square if you get a seat. It is handy for the shopping area, Victoria station and the MEN arena. This isn't a must-visit pub if in Manchester but you can certainly do worse, and the proximity of Sinclair's makes it worth including on a crawl.
Carlurmston - 18 Sep 2008 20:49
Well known Manchester pub close to the Cathedral, Exchange Square and the Manchester Eye.

As other reviewers have pointed out, this was the pub damaged by an IRA terrorist bomb in 1996. The pub was moved brick by brick to a new home several hundred yards away and was re-opened in 1999.

It's owned by Mitchells and Butlers and, although not unpleasant decor-wise has, inevitably, something of a chainy feel to it.

There's a ground floor bar and a restaurant upstairs.

My pint of Timmy's Landlord - £ 2.90p - was on good form. Jennings Cumberland Ale and Davenports were the other beers on.

There's a pleasant outside drinking area - plastic glasses unfortunately - on Exchange Square for sunny days, but this is not one of my favourite Manchester pubs.

The first time visitor to Manchester can find better pubs in close proximity if he cares to look
JohnBonser - 28 Aug 2008 12:56
visited this pub on a saturday was very busy could have done with some more bar staff beer was very good and food looked excellent will definetly vist again when i am in manchester
tench1230 - 11 Feb 2008 07:49
This is the better looking of two adjoining historic pubs, the other being Sinclairs Oyster Bar, that are collectively known as The Shambles. An alternative name is The Great Survivors given that the pubs have both been moved twice, the first time in the 1970’s when the Arndale Centre was built and again in the late 1990’s to allow for regeneration of the area after the IRA bomb blast.

It has a nice old feel to it with leaded windows, aged timbers and stone floors. They had posters advertising an upcoming beer festival, hope there will be something more interesting than the GK IPA, Broadside and Boddies that we were faced with. They’re happy to take off the sparklers for us southerners.

Millay - 14 Apr 2007 12:03
Went to this pub on the 14th of December, 2006 before the Iron Maiden gig at the MEN Arena. I ate in this pub in 2001 and thought it was rather good. Alas since then it seems to have fallen through the floor. There was nowhere near the right number of waiters and the waiters that were on duty need to go on a course of attending to the customers needs. I entered at 4.50PM, ordered food at 5.15PM and was still waiting at 5.55PM. It was busy but wasn't like you couldn't move in the pub. I tried to attract the attention of the staff who ignored me. I decided at this point that at the current rate of progress, dinner would more likely be breakfast. Next time I will vote with my feet and go anywhere in Manchester but here.
David_Smith - 15 Dec 2006 20:41
Shares same "beer garden" as sinclairs. Dearer but at least you can drink inside from glass rather than platic.Good pint of Timothy Taylors
AlRobis - 29 May 2006 17:35
Great pub,went there again over christmas!sinclairs was packed and you couldnt move as usual so stayed in here!still fab and still the best pub!have a normandy melt with your drink!!!yum!!!!
banshee - 15 Apr 2006 09:04
£1 a pint dearer than Sinclairs next door....
oftenscore6 - 3 Apr 2006 12:39
well if you ever go to manchester this is the pub to go to!we never miss a chance to go!shopping,concerts,pub crawl,day sesh,you name it we are there!had my best buds hen night meal there last year and it was fab!and the staff were great seeing as they let 20 hideously looking cheesy bridesmaids in(that was the nights theme)atmosphere is like no other!yea its cramped but all adds to the feel of it!had many a blast round manchester and it always kicks off in 'ye olde pub'as we like to call it!sitting outside in the summer is fantastic,food is great too!just order a white wine spritzer and slump onto the comfy chairs and stay all afternoon!easily done!believe me!a lovely oldy worldy pub!well worth a visit!or ten!!!!i love it!!!!!!!!!!!
banshee - 31 Oct 2005 10:42
Average city centre pub. No more, no less.
Also they had no ale on tap, when it was advertised outside.
anonymous - 9 Sep 2005 14:06
Nice, old-fashioned pub, had some wonderful time in there!
kratzandy - 23 Jan 2005 17:58
fantastic atmosphere inside and out. great pint of boddys.
Austin - 3 Jul 2004 08:27
great atmosphere, nice styled pub, great for the warmup for a great night out in Manchester city, very central
holly - 30 Jun 2004 08:02
there is a new management team in there soon so we may see smiling friendly staff soon
gaz - 7 Apr 2004 20:45
Y'know, since my comment last year, it has become very difficult to find those friendly bar staff - I think the surly ones have completely taken over. And as they are the same people who seem to work in the restaurant upstairs, that's really unfortunate.

So, I'd have to say that this is a lovely pub, with thoroughly surly staff, serving great beer and great food really badly. Such a shame - change the staff, and I'd be in for a pint all the time. Now I take a walk over to Waxy's in the Printworks... :o/
Andy - 11 Feb 2004 13:20
great bar but samll the food is excellent and pub of choice on the square when it is warm but in the winter go to a pub with space and with the refit at Crown and anchor that the one
susan - 24 Jul 2003 19:30
Doing well, having survived for 500 years, being raised, bombed, and then being moved!

Relatively normal on the beer fare, although they do a great pint of Bass. Very nice atmosphere, although it can get very cramped very quickly as the upper two floors are the restaurant. Has a couple of surly bar staff, but you can normally get a friendly one.

Very enjoyable and comfortable place to sit with friends, if you can grab a table.
Andy - 6 Jun 2003 16:07
More of a restraunt so the pub downstairs is a bit cramped. Beer pretty reasonable but the food is excellent. Gets very busy at the weekends with the shopping crowd and especially so in the summer when thousands gather in the beer garden shared with Sinclairs in Exchange Sq.
echo - 9 May 2003 17:51

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