How Britain fell for Wetherspoon’s

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Wetherspoon’s has won a special place in our hearts, bourgeois snobbery notwithstanding. As it nears its 40th birthday, Ed Cumming visits his local

Honestly, this is nicer than the X,” says my girlfriend, referencing an international luxury hotel brand whose name you would know but whose favour, as a travel writer, she is keen not to lose.

The problem is that we are not staying with a rival luxury hotel chain. We’re in a Spoons. More specifically, we are in the Greenwood in Sudbury Hill, west London, sampling one of the 40 hotels JD Wetherspoon now operates around the country. Our entire stay, including room, dinner, drinks and breakfast for two, will come to less than a single round of drinks I bought in a bar in Soho the previous week. But, as I look up at the ceiling, my belly full of steak and beer, lying in the comfortable bed, clean from the hot shower, I think: maybe she has a point. Then I begin to question some of my other consumer choices.

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