As a former resident of North Hertfordshire (Letchworth and Hitchin), I’m legally entitled to make fun of the area, but also to defend Stevenage if I want to.

Stevenage is still a better pub town than the two Garden City monstrosities, who feature extensively in this classic picture;

Mrs RM does her mystical “computer stuff” in the centre of Welwyn Garden City, and the merits of WGC remain one of the few areas of marital disagreement. The proximity of the giant John Lewis to her office does not count as a merit in my book.

Image result for welwyn garden city

It’s dreary, it really is*.  Spick and span, maybe, but with no buildings or art of note. The main tourist attraction was the smell  from the Weetabix factory, but that closed in 2008.  There must be a plaque commemorating Nick Faldo in the shopping centre but I’ll let you find that.

You won’t find much independent business, but the town now has the holy trinity of Cote, Zizzi and Pizza Express.

The centre has three pubs, the scariest of which is attached to Mrs RM’s office.


In October 2011 I had a 3 hour meeting about strategy (No. 765) with NHS folk in a meeting in the office in the top right corner.  A room built for 12 had 28 squeezed into it. I nearly jumped.

Underneath that office, the Parkway Bar looks worse inside than out, and bizarrely Mrs RM has still to visit it.  I urge North Herts CAMRA to overlook the lack of cask and vote it into the next GBG so Simon and I have to visit. Perhaps I could leave a bottle of White Shield in there to make it eligible ?

Name that sport

Round the corner is the Welwyn wine bar, now called Two Willows as Hawkins & Co didn’t seem hipster enough. A look past the posing tables revealed a craft line-up of Atlantic, UBU and Hobgoblin.  This one is very proud of its starring role in The World’s End.


In case you wondered, their craft list includes Blue Moon, Budvar and Erdinger.

Which leaves just the usual Greene King eatery. Open at 10am for folk who really want a Wetherspoons (“yes we serve beer at 10am“) and with a welcome for dogs (top), it was actually better than OK, a minor miracle for WGC.  In the Doctor’s Orders you’ll find this enticing line-up;

It’s always Christmas in Welwyn

Welwyn GC hasn’t had a Beer Guide entry in my 25 years of doing the GBG, but the IPA Reserve was very fine indeed as a breakfast beer (NBSS 3.5). Perhaps Greene King’s finest beer too.

In the suburbs there’s a newish Marstons, a Beefeater and an Ember.  Just my luck if someone votes the Ember into the Guide.

*I’ve toned this down under sufferance.


  1. I’ve never visited Welwyn, not Letchworth for that matter and as such I’d always imagined the Garden City title was designed to make a complete shithole sound attractive. You have managed to make Welwyn much less crap than I have always imagined. I may consider it as a tourist destination one day. I’ve never heard of Zizzi though, I imagine that they sell courgettes.


    1. They d sell courgettes ! On pizzas.
      I obviously failed in my objective for this piece. Garden cities were towns designed with the intention of destroying pubs. It took legislation enacted in 2007 to achieve that, of course.


  2. “Name that sport”

    That would be snooker (or pool on this side of the pond).

    Oh wait, you mean what’s on the telly. Silly me.

    In that case, it’s either darts or male birth giving. 🙂



      1. I’d forgotten to answer the quiz. My answer would have been fat bastard deep puddle wading race, which is set to be an Olympic sport soon.

        I’d imagine the table to be a pool table rather than snooker, but irrelevant. As Martin states, they are not sports they are games.


  3. WGC is the Hot Fuzz village writ large. Having 25 years of having WGC as ‘our’ place to shop and 2 years working living and working in Bournville Village is it any wonder I’m obsessed by pubs.


  4. Just to add a little perspective… I would love to have a pub like Doctor’s Orders(or is it Doctor’s Tonic on Church Road?) right down the street. Lucky Welwyn!! To live there would be a step up, maybe more. Too bad the British music invasion did not include pubs with cask ale. (I reconsidered a political statement that was going to be placed right here.)


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