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BITE bites the dust???? with RealAleRobUK on the Pub Forum

The Willett Arms, Wimborne

2 Oakley Hill
Postal town: Wimborne
BH21 1RN
Phone: 01202883144

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Pub Type

Premium Country Pubs (Mitchells & Butlers)

Reviews (Current Rating Average: 6 of 10) Add Review see review guidelines

Please Note: This review is over a year old.

Pub SignMan left this review about The Willett Arms

This is a very smart gastro-style pub in a prominent roadside position on one of the main routes through Merley and into Wimborne Minster. The pub has clearly been given a fairly significant revamp from the proper drinker's pub I recall from my youth, with the interior pretty much entirely opened up and given what I can at best describe as a 'clean' makeover - in reality, a rather bland attempt at creating something that will appeal to a wider range of customers and be able to compete in the over saturated local pub-dining market. You enter to a large front seating area with the bar straight ahead and plenty of tables, chairs and benches around the rest of the room. This is pretty much the only place you would be likely to sit if you were just her for a drink, but even then, the area seemed to be almost entirely populated by diners on our Sunday lunchtime visit. To the left, behind a vague attempt at a partitioning wall, there is a small dining area with regular tables and chairs, whilst to the rear, there is a much larger space, part of which appeared to be in some sort of conservatory, but none of which felt even remotely pub-like. The decor throughout is highly unmemorable, with a few traditional paintings, the odd bit of promotional material and not a great deal else on show. We stopped off here for a Sunday roast and thought the food was generally pretty good and that the staff were all very friendly and attentive with their service.
There are three hand pumps on the bar, one of which was out of action on this visit, leaving a straight choice of Cornish ales in the form of Sharps Doom Bar and St Austell Tribute. the Tribute was actually in pretty good shape and we stayed on after our meal for an extra pint as a result.
The appeal of this place seems to lie almost entirely in its food offering, which is fine if, like us, that's what you're visiting for. But as the only pub in Merley, you have to question whether this place is serving the best interests of its local community - I suspect most drinkers in the area are now forced to go into Wimborne for a proper pub experience, which isn't such a bad thing given the recent upswing in pub quality through the town. I think in the future, I will probably follow their lead.

On 29th November 2018 - rating: 5
[User has posted 2545 recommendations about 2545 pubs]

Please Note: This review is over a year old.

E TA left this review about The Willett Arms

An unassuming suburban pub with a large car park and a good sized garden, mostly lawn, just off a main route and convenient for both Poole and Wimborne. It is currently owned by Mitchell and Butler. A pub of two halves, the right hand side is a very comfortable saloon bar consisting of two rooms knocked together, the original chimney breast now open both sides and housing a glorious open fire. There are comfortable armchairs and sofas, a mixed wooden and tiled floor and various prints on the walls. The other half is mainly tables laid for diners. There is regular live music, probably a welcome relief from the noise pollution emanating from the hifi this visit. There is also free WiFi, and food is served all day. As you enter, the atmosphere is welcoming, while the staff are friendly and seem to enjoy their job. The two regular ales are Tribute and 6X, while the guest on this occasion was Doombar. Sadly the 6X was off, so I went with the Tribute which was well kept but maybe just past its best. Still a good pint though. A good place for lunch when travelling along the A31, and I’d be happy to come here for an evening’s libation.

On 24th February 2015 - rating: 7
[User has posted 2602 recommendations about 2573 pubs]