User name:

Password:

Login


Sign in with Facebook


Not already a member?
Join our community and - Rate & review pubs - Upload pictures - Add events JOIN for free NOW


Chat about:
Stats - Pubs Reviewed by County with Quinno on the Pub Forum

Picture of The Opera House (JD Wetherspoon)
Image posted by Graham Coombs
Submitted on Thursday, 7th September 2017
With picture contributions to 2956 other pubs
View all this pub's pictures (21 more images)
Only members may add pictures, click to receive free membership

The Opera House (JD Wetherspoon), Tunbridge Wells Central, Tunbridge Wells

88 Mount Pleasant Road
Tunbridge Wells
TN1 1RT
Phone: 01892511770
Correct details

Pub Type

J D Wetherspoon

Served areas

Reviews of The Opera House (JD Wetherspoon) (Average Rating: of 10) Add Review see review guidelines

Pub SignMan left this review about The Opera House (JD Wetherspoon)

Built in 1902 as an 1,100 capacity Opera House, this magnificent Baroque building was converted into a cinema in the 1930’s before being badly damaged by a fire caused by an unexploded bomb dropped during the Second World War, reopening only in 1949. In the 1960’s the place suffered the indignity of being used as a bingo hall until Wetherspoons came along in the mid-90’s and opened the pub we find today. Wetherspoons have a number of similar theatre conversions across their pub estate, but this one must rank as the most spectacular of them all. You enter via the old lobby area where a few limited tables and chairs can be found alongside drinking ledges. Moving through the pub, you soon reach the bar area with seating to your right and an L-shaped servery to the left. The bar has a fairly simple dark wood counter and mirrored bar back and opposite there is a brass rail which divides the bar area from the lower seating area that occupies the main space in the building. Here, standard tables and chairs fill a mid-sized area with four theatre boxes high up on the left hand wall, all under an amazing cupola decorated with all sorts of bright colours, intricate filigree and a huge chandelier suspended from a gold rose in the centre of the dome. Turning back towards the bar, you realise that it is situated under a couple of large, curved balconies with all the seats still in situ. The room then rises again into the rear ‘stage’ portion of the room where more tables and chairs plus a few partitioned banquette booths can be found. This bare boarded area has its own servery along the rear wall and a very high ceiling , beneath which all sorts of old stage mechanisms can still be seen. The walls here appear to be made from modern stone blocks and there is a mocked stage scene above the bar with fake Juliet balconies and cardboard cut-out actors. The usual ‘Spoons information boards comprise montages of old theatre bills and posters from the buildings original incarnation.
I counted three ‘Spoons regulars and six guest ales on the main bar, plus one real cider, but forgot to check if there were any additional options on the rear bar - lots of pumps on the main bar were doubled up, so I’m guessing not. I tried the Hadrian Borders Secret Kingdom, which was a decent enough pint served to me by a nice barman, but the service overall was pretty poor as they only had two people working the main bar on my busy Friday night visit.
This is a tremendous pub conversion which is well worth a visit just to have a nose around this magnificent old building. I love the fact that chains like Wetherspoons keep old buildings like this in the public domain and I could’ve quite happily settled down here for the rest of the evening, taking in all the detail and working through the tidy guest ale selection.

On 15th March 2019 - rating: 8
[User has posted 2323 recommendations about 2323 pubs]


Please Note: This review is over a year old.


Graham Coombs left this review about The Opera House (JD Wetherspoon)

Quite spectacular theatre conversion retaining lots of original features, with one bar at the back of house and one on the stage. Usual 'Spoons facilities but benefits from an enthusiasm for beers, and I was impressed by a good range of well-kept ales, including several local examples. Cask Marque listing.

On 7th September 2017 - rating: 8
[User has posted 1999 recommendations about 1955 pubs]


Please Note: This review is over a year old.


Aqualung . left this review about The Opera House (JD Wetherspoon)

This must surely be the most grandiose Spoons of the lot, it certainly is of the ones I've visited. I was expecting it to be rather larger than it is as some of their cinema conversions are quite vast. Although built as an Opera House it has also been a Cinema and Bingo Hall.
There's an oddly bare space at the front which leads through to the first bar on the left. This area has mainly tall tables and chairs. A few steep steps lead down to a lower area and further on some steep steps lead up to the second bar where the original stage would have been. This area has all low tables and chairs. Above the centre part are the boxes, the upper seats and right at the back the "Gods". As far as I could tell these are not open to the public.
The main bar at the front has two sets of six hand pumps and the rear one six which on my visit just had duplicates on. There was no doubling up on the main bar but three of the Xmas ales were "available soon". The rest consisted of GK IPA & Abbot, Doom Bore, Snecklifter, Banks's Driftwood and four Xmas Ales. I tried the Everard's Nutcracker and Welton's Snow Lay Roundabout both at £2.55 and both in good nick. This is on the dear side for a Spoons but not exceptionally so. The Doom Bore is worth avoiding as it was priced at £3.15. As noted below it's really worth coming here just to see the place.

On 22nd December 2015 - rating: 8
[User has posted 2131 recommendations about 2126 pubs]


View more reviews of The Opera House (JD Wetherspoon) (7)
External web links for The Opera House (JD Wetherspoon)

Pubs Galore is not responsible for the content of external internet sites.

Pub location see interactive map of local area
Map location corrected by Just a quick pint, then I'm off
Tunbridge Wells, 0.24 miles, 4 min walk (show)
High Brooms, 1.52 miles, 29 min walk (show)
Frant, 3.12 miles, 1 hr 0 min walk (show)
Latest updates View all updates for The Opera House (JD Wetherspoon), Tunbridge Wells
15th Mar 2019, 18:45
Review submitted by Pub SignMan
 
2nd Feb 2019, 13:07
Picture submitted by peter ashworth approved

Pub Details

Pub details supplied by members of this site to the best of their knowledge. Please check with pub directly before making a special trip.

  • Accommodation : No last updated 17 December 2015 by Aqualung .
  • Bar Billiards : No last updated 17 December 2015 by Aqualung .
  • Beer Festivals : Yes last updated 17 December 2015 by Aqualung .
  • Beer Garden : No last updated 17 December 2015 by Aqualung .
  • CAMRA Discount : No last updated 17 December 2015 by Aqualung .
  • Car Park : No last updated 17 December 2015 by Aqualung .
  • Child Friendly : Yes last updated 17 December 2015 by Aqualung .
  • Darts : No last updated 17 December 2015 by Aqualung .
  • Dog Friendly : No last updated 17 December 2015 by Aqualung .
  • Function Room : Yes last updated 17 December 2015 by Aqualung .
  • Hot Food : Yes last updated 16 July 2013 by Dave McNally
  • Jukebox : No last updated 17 December 2015 by Aqualung .
  • Karaoke : No last updated 17 December 2015 by Aqualung .
  • Live Music : No last updated 17 December 2015 by Aqualung .
  • Live TV Sports : No last updated 17 December 2015 by Aqualung .
  • Micropub : No last updated 17 December 2015 by Aqualung .
  • Pinball : No last updated 17 December 2015 by Aqualung .
  • Pool Table : No last updated 17 December 2015 by Aqualung .
  • Quiz Night : No last updated 17 December 2015 by Aqualung .
  • Real Ale : Yes last updated 16 July 2013 by Dave McNally
  • Real Cider : Yes last updated 07 September 2017 by Graham Coombs
  • Wheelchair Access : Yes last updated 07 September 2017 by Graham Coombs
  • WiFi : Yes last updated 16 July 2013 by Dave McNally
Local pubs

Icon Key: Picture Recommendation Rating Closed