Dinner at Wetherspoon

The Tilly Shilling  rump steak

The Tilly Shilling rump steak

The Wetherspoon in Farnborough, The Tilly Shilling, is fairly new pub, dating from 2011. This was my first, and possibly last visit. I ended up there last night, needing a drink after the appalling planning meeting at Rushmoor, and feeling hungry, decided to have something to eat.

I chose rump steak. To my surprise, it came with a free drink. had I known, I would not have ordered a drink. I asked could I have my free drink later, and they said yes.

A long wait before food came, easily half an hour. I could not see why, as although the pub was busy, I did not see people eating.

The steak came with peas, chips, a single mushroom and half a tomato.

I asked was there any salt. I was told to go off and get it, which I thought was very poor service.

The steak was a little dry, the chips a little tired, but apart from that, ok.

What was interesting was the price. £9-50 for the meal, but I was entitled to a free drink, value, or should I say price, £2-49, but only the guest ales.

The offer only applied to the guest beers. How is this possible? Wetherspoon ring round the small breweries, any real ale close to its sell-by date. Wetherspoon buy it on the cheap, the alternative for the small brewery is to pour it down the drain. WEtherspoon literally have them over a barrel. A small, independent pub is not able to do this, they do not have the throughput to get rid of a barrel.

When I arrived, a little before 9pm, there were a few table and chairs outside, though not a pleasant place to sit during the day, on a busy road. After 9pm, the pulled them in. It was very hot, I asked why they did not have their windows open. They said not allowed by order of the local council.

Inside, larger than i expected. The atmosphere was that of a continental cafe, with tables and chairs, than a traditional pub. I was surprised to find it quite busy.

The name The Tilly Shilling is from Beatrice (Tilly) Shilling (1909-1990), an aeronautical engineer who was responsible for correcting a serious defect in the Rolls-Royce Merlin engine during the Second World War. She also was a well-known racing motorcyclist.

Tilly Shilling was married to George Naylor, a bomber pilot with 625 Squadron, where he was Wing Commander at RAF Scampton in Lincolnshire.

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