The Bayberry pub used to be a desolate empty space full of restaurant tables, somewhere between a restaurant and a local pub but not quite excelling at either resulting in it being far from the thriving community hub it should’ve been.

Marston recognised this and resolved to fix it, shutting it for a few weeks to give it a physical makeover, but also a makeover in perception as well. When it reopened it had a new name ‘The Wichel Inn’ and a new aim – truly serving as the ‘heart of the community’ but has it succeeded?

For starters, gone are the two-for-one pub-grub meals that was the venue’s main appeal prior to its transformation, and instead there’s a varied menu of standard pub fare served in a dedicated restaurant section.

My wife and I visited and had I had a chicken tikka masala, and she had the ultimate cheeseburger. Both meals were reasonably priced for what they were, the portion sizes were good and the service was excellent. The only real fault was the slightly long wait between ordering and receiving food, but it was busy at the time.

Gone also is the sea of tables that used to accommodate the two-for-one meals, replaced instead by carefully thought-out areas that offer something for everyone, the aforementioned restaurant area, a cosy and inviting bar lounge area, a sports and gaming section with dart board and pool table and even an outside viewing area with a big television for major sporting events etc.

On the day I visited all of these individual areas were bustling and were being used by different people for different things. People who wanted a quiet drink with friends were sat in the lounge, people who wanted a slightly rowdier evening were playing darts and pool and there were people who wanted to have a meal with their family all in the same building, but not disturbing each other’s experiences.

Marston wanted to position the Wichel Inn as more of a traditional local, the central point which the community runs through

The fact I was able to have a pleasant low-key meal in a decent atmosphere that wasn’t too loud, helped by a really-good playlist of music but could go again the next day after and have a more dedicated ‘night out’ in the same place certainly stands it in good stead to do so.

I'd definitely consider going with friends to watch a football match as much as I'd consider taking my parents for a meal.

Ultimately it hasn’t reinvented the wheel with its refurbishment and new management, but what it has done is move more towards what a wheel actually should be.