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Beer of the Week (w/e 15th May 2022) with Bucking Fastard on the Pub Forum

The Wheatsheaf, Tooting Bec, SW17

Pub added by elizabeth mcgraw
2 Upper Tooting Road
SW17 7PG
Phone: 02086722805

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

Tris C left this review about The Wheatsheaf

The Wheatsheaf Inn as it was, dates back to at least 1807, though was clearly rebuilt, probably towards the end of the 19th century as something of a gin palace.
Today, the pub is in the hands of Urban Pubs and Bars and whatever it may have looked like prior to acquisition, there’s tragically little left of the original finery, as this is now a large stripped out place. There’s some vestigial etched glass to saloon doors, then some fantastic carved woodwork, sadly most of it covered with dark grey paint, the same shade as the Anaglypta ceiling. The bar front had lovely carved scrolling, but was painted pale grey, the bar itself now home to tubular steel shelving to complement the now bare brick walls, sporting framed prints and old photos of the area by way of décor. Furniture was conventional, with multiple TVs showing the football, sound off, so as to not compete with banal background music. The place was absolutely packed though not rammed; I had to keep retracing my steps to get to the bar, navigating the massed hoards of enthusiastic young people, a model of good manners compared to that at the King’s Head.
The ale choice amounted to three unused pumps, then Hop Forward and Sambrook’s Junction at £2.50 a half and nice, served by a friendly barman.
This isn’t a great pub experience though better than the King’s Head; if it’s this full on a Tuesday evening, then what’s it going to be like come Saturday? Either way, I wouldn’t rush back.

On 7th April 2022 - rating: 4
[User has posted 1500 recommendations about 1479 pubs]

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john gray left this review about The Wheatsheaf

Don't think this is an Antic pub.Grand old style boozer with a young crown and no Cask beer.Tried a Wolf pack -lager but it didn't trouble my tastebuds.Overpowering smell of fish.

On 9th November 2019 - rating: 6
[User has posted 965 recommendations about 951 pubs]

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custodian 42 left this review about The Wheatsheaf

Two entrances to the bar in the middle. Four hand pumps, three reversed, the other 4.2 ABV. Quite busy but not my cup of tea.

On 20th October 2019 - rating: 4
[User has posted 1693 recommendations about 1691 pubs]

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hondo . left this review about The Wheatsheaf

Survived the closure threats mentioned below and was doing grand business on my late Saturday afternoon visit. Located right on the crossroads opposite Tooting Bec tube station. Quite a grand exterior with a bare boarded interior with exposed brickwork. 5 real ale taps.

On 28th October 2017 - no rating submitted
[User has posted 2818 recommendations about 2760 pubs]

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Pub SignMan left this review about The Wheatsheaf

This imposing Victorian pub on the busy crossroads opposite Tooting Bec station is currently part of the Antic chain, although it is worth noting that the pub is under serious threat of closure, with locals and action groups such as CAMRA campaigning to keep it from being demolished or subject to the dreaded change of use to housing and retail space. It certainly seems like the sort of successful pub enterprise that is worthy of saving and a Sunday lunchtime visit suggested that it's pretty popular. The pub has clearly been altered a great deal over the years, so that little of the Victorian splendour remains, but Antic have done a decent enough job in making it feel like the sort of place you'd happily relax in. The main bar area is bare boarded, with a curved servery along the middle of the back wall. Two rows of tables and chairs fill the space between the bar and the front windows, where a few button backed armchairs are positioned to allow you to snoop on drivers stopped at the adjacent traffic lights. To the right there are more comfy armchairs and sofas, some bookshelves, a TV screen which remained turned off during this visit and what I took to be an elaborate bit of original signage above the Ladies toilet door. A pile of board games was stacked up on a shelf opposite the bar, underneath a wall decorated with a lot of small family portraits. A lovely decorative archway leads through to a left hand side room with slightly quirkier Antic-style décor, including bright wallpaper, lots of different shaped mirrors and an old mangle, whilst a smart fireplace stands on the end wall. There are additional seating options here and even more can be found through a door to the rear, with a grand pediment above, which takes you into a large room which was being used for a lunchtime jazz performance on this visit. I didn't get to explore this room properly, but noticed some antlers on the wall and another fireplace. A garden can be accessed from the door to the rear of this room. A trip to the gents found a load of framed 'Wizard of Oz' memorabilia on show - the link to the pub not being apparent to me.
I believe there are seven handpulls, although three were out of action when we arrived. Those still going offered up a rather strange selection of low strength bitters - Twickenham Grandstand (3.8%), Otter Bitter (3.6%), Sharp's Cornish Coaster (3.6%) and Exmoor Ale (3.8%). Not much variety there, but the Grandstand was at least in good nick and tasty enough. At least one real cider and one real perry were available, although there appeared to be more cider boxes behind the bar. We grabbed a bite to eat, with the roast beef being spot on and a generous portion size.
I thought that this was a pretty good pub with plenty going for it and the sort of place that the locals would do well to fight for. I enjoyed a lazy couple of hours here and had the beer range been a bit wider in scope, as I suspect it normally is, I might well have stayed longer. Lets hope the developers don't get their way with this one.

On 24th August 2014 - rating: 7
[User has posted 2783 recommendations about 2783 pubs]

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Moby Duck left this review about The Wheatsheaf

A big Victorian lump of a pub on the crossroads across from Tooting Bec tube station so handily placed for a pub crawl along the southern end of the Northern line,some very interesting beers were on as you can normally expect from an Antic pub, a chain I have become a fan of.Not as quirky as some of their pubs as mentioned below but I found it very comfortable despite the large size of the interior. My beer of choice on this visit was Kings Evolution Northern Lights,and very good it was,a return visit is in order.

On 8th June 2014 - rating: 7
[User has posted 1519 recommendations about 1500 pubs]

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Rex Rattus left this review about The Wheatsheaf

There was an excellent ale selection when I visited early evening on Wednesday – Cottage Brewing Trick or Treat (presumably a leftover from Hallowe’en), a couple of Purity ales, Sharp’s Cornish Coaster, Harvey’s Best, and Truman’s Lazarus - I guess named to celebrate Truman's rise from the dead. I too was offered a choice of straight glass or jug. It's an Antic pub, and I know they do food, although I didn't examine a menu.

This is a big old elaborate Victorian corner site pub. It's under threat at the moment but it's hoped that community action will save it. Just about all the old Victorian interior features have gone, but the Corinthian capitol cast iron pillars are still there of course, as are the elaborate pillared archways that lead from the main bar into the room on the left, and on into the massive lounge at the back.

There are a few sofas and armchairs scattered around, but in the Antic way most of the chairs were cheap looking recycled school chairs - and normal tables I'm glad to say. This one doesn't have quite so much unusual and obscure decor as most Antic pubs, but it does have a display of old black and white photos of sundry people on one of the walls (a regular feature for this chain - they must have got a job lot from somewhere), and on another wall a display of what looked like wooden spoons. I also saw lurking in a corner a large industrial sized cast iron mangle.

This one's not too quirky by Antic standards, and the shabby chic works to some extent because it doesn't still resemble a work in progress, like some of their other pubs. I would be happy to return - I hope that opportunity isn't denied me.

On 16th November 2013 - rating: 7
[User has posted 2596 recommendations about 2510 pubs]

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Malden man left this review about The Wheatsheaf

I didn't know this pub in its previous guise, but it would appear there has been some considerable improvement. It is a large pub in a prominent corner location opposite Tooting Bec tube station. Opened up inside, there are two areas, the large main room with the bar, plus another room to the rear left which may once have been a billiards room and now has a pool table, dartboard and several large mirrors. The main room has a strange mix of furniture including what looks like a 1960s bedroom dressing table, a modesty screen and cube shelving unit (secured to a column with a belt) amongst other oddities. Seating is a random mixture of tables and chairs with tea lights on the tables, and amongst the decor is a collection of wooden spoons on a wall plus a display of small mirrors of different types. Deliniation in the wooden floor shows how the curved bar has been set back and realigned as the former splash tiling line remains.
As with many of these modernised trendy places, there isn't the greatest respect for traditional features. Some of the exterior stonework is painted battleship grey as are interior arches. The patterned papered ceiling remains and the upper walls are now painted a vibrant yellow. The clear glass windows are clearly not original but some have stained glass upper lights which may well be.
The TV was off and there was some sort of Russian sounding music playing which was thankfully replaced by some Led Zeppelin which was more to my personal taste.
Service was friendly and good, the beer selection reasonably interesting too with Adnams Broadside and Lighthouse, Harveys Sussex Best, Purity Pure Ubu and Trumans Summer Runner, another was reversed and one unclipped. I opted for the Summer Runner out of interest but this went so I plumped for the Ubu which was rather good (£3.10). I was offered a choice of a jug or straight glass. The pub stocks London Drinker magazine.
I'm not always that keen on these trendied up places but from reviews here and elsewhere it would seem this pub has been transformed and very probably saved. I'd certainly drop in again.
Please note that the pub doesn't open till 4 Mon-Fri but is open all day weekends.

On 29th May 2011 - rating: 7
[User has posted 1693 recommendations about 1667 pubs]

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Chris 87 left this review about The Wheatsheaf

This is a very spacious pub opposite Tooting Bec tube, comprising part of the 'Antic' group which operates boozers across London, including The Antelope and The Tooting Tram & Social at the other end of the broadway. There is a large main room as you enter and another back room behind the bar.

Inside it is minimally lit and comprises lots of sofas and tables, with all the furniture appearing different as though its been picked up at various car boot sales. It has a not unpleasant dark evening vibe. Apparently this was for a while (and possibly still is) a pop-up pub which would explain the perhaps haphazard fit-out. However on a thursday evening it was very busy with trendy Tooting types.

On the beer front, the selection is pretty good; Harveys Sussex Best, Purity Mad Goose and Adnams Lighthouse were available, with Purity UBU and Adnams Broadside having their clips turned around (but they were back on as the evening wore on). Lighthouse at £2.80 was the cheapest non-Spoons pint I've had for some time in these parts, and in good nick. Meantime Pale Ale is also available, albeit not via handpump.

Apparently this pub used to be a bit grim so its nice to see its been sensibly turned around and has a few decent beers

On 18th March 2011 - rating: 7
[User has posted 179 recommendations about 179 pubs]

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Steve C left this review about The Wheatsheaf

This is a large and very grim pub opposite the tube station that has a reputation as a trouble hot spot, although there were no problems during my visit.

The big attraction with this pub seems to be the karaoke, which I cannot stand so I doubt I'll return.

On 5th January 2010 - rating: 2
[User has posted 3848 recommendations about 3824 pubs]