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Submitted on Monday, 22nd August 2011
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Pub reviews (4)
Pub pictures (6)
Reviews of The Woolpack (Average Rating: 5½ of 10) Add Review see review guidelines
Blue Scrumpy left this review about The Woolpack
The Woolpack is a nicely appointed, but some of the customers seemed rough. The car park was full of white van drivers on my visit this afternoon. Luckily most were sitting in the outdoor terrace at the rear.
Being a Shepherd Neame pub, the real ale choice was limited to Spitfire, Whitstable Bay & Bishop's Finger. I ordered a half of the latter, which was fairly average.
The interior is sizeable, with one large single room split into a number of different areas. The dining area is to the rear, but my visit was outside of meal times. So, the only people coming inside were those ordering at the bar, where several staff members appeared to be stood chatting at one end, whilst people waited for the one solitary working barmaid to serve them.
Not really a pub I could take to.
On 16th June 2022 - rating: 4
[User has posted 1539 recommendations about 1539 pubs]
Please Note: This review is over a year old.
Pub SignMan left this review about The Woolpack
Positioned centrally in the heart of Banstead, this is a large Shepherd Neame pub with a reputation for supplying well kept guest ales. You enter via the decent sized car park, past a row of partly covered picnic benches and into the large, sprawling interior which has clearly been opened out from a previous multiple room format, but still retains a number of clearly defined different spaces thanks to the retention of some partitioning and structural support pillars. The dark wood servery is directly opposite the front entrance and to the left there is a mixed seating area which includes some formal restaurant space towards the rear. Most of the space is taken up by nicely upholstered chairs and tub chairs, which are available to diners and drinkers alike. Some partitioning keeps the formal dining space obscured from the main bar area and a few nice bits of glasswork have been retained in these panels. There is a large modern fireplace over to the right, dominating a space that perhaps is supposed to represent the lounge area. A fine patio garden with a large grass area beyond was an ideal spot to eat on a warm summer's day, although there were lot of energetic children running around, trying to spoil things. Boards throughout the pub advertised regular live jazz and an annual beer festival on the August Bank Holiday.
Three Shep's beers - Master Brew, Bishop's Finger and Spitfire - were supplemented by guests in the shape of Windsor and Eton Knight of the Garter and Tillingbourne Falls Gold. The latter was a bit of a mystery, starting off in seemingly excellent condition, but turning pretty flat by the time I got halfway through the pint. The food was a more qualified success, as my roast beef with all the trimmings was exactly what you want from a Sunday roast.
I can't say I found this pub to be too exciting, with a rather soulless interior full of diners not doing much for the atmosphere. However, the garden, food and guest ales are all bonus points and with little competition in the rest of Banstead, this is actually a bit of a lifesaver for the locals and worth a quick look in passing.
On 20th October 2015 - rating: 6
[User has posted 2861 recommendations about 2861 pubs]
Please Note: This review is over a year old.
Nick Davies left this review about The Woolpack
To update from 2010, it seems to have settled into its niche and is very popular locally now, particularly with the more mature customer: indeed sometimes at weekends you won't find a spot in the large car park. The guest beers tend to be local, which I guess helps keep the GBG entry. However it's still vaguely uncomfortable, and I wouldn't linger.
It bills itself as a "traditional village pub" but that's over egging it somewhat. It's no more a tradtional village pub than Banstead is a traditional village - it's a suburban local in a very pleasant and prosperous stretch of stockbroker belt semi-rural suburbia. It's got a lot better since Shepherd Neame took it over but it still tries to have something for everyone, meaning that none of it is 100% right. So you've got some bits that seem quite pubby with traditional pub furniture, then you've got another bit with those horrid leather sofas, another area with those equally dreadful high tables and an ambiance-free restaurant area out the back. There's a pleasant terrace to the front and nice garden.
The beer is good. It's in the current GBG and as well as various Shep's brews there was Black Sheep and an example from Skinner's guesting the other day. Service is friendly as is the clientele - they had 'issues' in the past but they seems to have gone elsewhere.
Shep's need to decide where they're going with this pub. It still seems wedded to its Punch/Spirit/John Barras roots: indeed it remains devoid of Shep's signage. To further gastrify it would be a mistake, it would never complete with the celebrity chef emporium as well as any number of mid-range chain outlets down the road. A sympathetic refurbishment to turn it into an ale-led community local would be a perfect way forward in an area where decent pubs are few.
To conclude, it's the best bet by far if you're in Banstead after a pint, the other choices are the Vintage Inn and the awful place on the A217. But there are a couple of far superior destinations within a couple of miles if you are exploring the area.
On 14th January 2013 - rating: 6
[User has posted 561 recommendations about 553 pubs]
View more reviews of The Woolpack (4)
External web links for The Woolpack
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- Official site of the Woolpack, contains menu, event list and real ale details - www.thewoolpackbanstead.co.uk
- Randomness Guide to London - Woolpack entry
- Facebook - The Woolpack
- CAMRA WhatPub :: The Woolpack - whatpub.com
Pub location see interactive map of local area
Map location corrected by Nick Davies
Latest updates View all updates for The Woolpack, Banstead
16th Jun 2022, 20:31
Review submitted by Blue Scrumpy
20th Oct 2015, 15:41
Review submitted by Pub SignMan
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