My name’s Kelly, I’m a 29 year old disabled woman living in Stoke on Trent. I’m passionate about disability, advocacy, equlaity and inclusivity. I have many conditions which impact my mobility, cognitive and sensory functions. Any spare energy I have I use to vlog about my life, my illnesses and things that are important to me.
Recently I went to the Hungry Horse Chatterley Whitfield for lunch. The first thing to note is the disabled bays are not properly market out and surrounded by kerbs. Once you’ve found the drop kerb, it’s easy to get tn through the wide doors with level access.
We went on a Friday lunchtime and it was a lot busier than I expected, although there seemed to be plenty of staff standing around having a chat. After a few blank stares from members of staff, we ordered some drinks. The bar was quite high, but I could reach to get my drink and pay via contactless. My mobility varies, and on a different day I wouldn’t be able to do that independently, especially with a bar that high. Whenever I go out I am accompanied by a carer. I’m sure other disabled people get frustrated when people talk to the carer instead of you. Thankfully that wasn’t the case here. Without hesitation the staff member spoke directly to me. Although my carer said later on that could be because she looks 14 years old (she’s not, she’s 28).
Because of how busiy it was, the atmosphere was quite noisy, not helped by the loud music playing. As someone with migraines and sensory issues, excessive noise can be a problem for me. But I decided to persevere, so as to not mess up the day for the people with me.
I ordered food at the bar and then headed to the toilet. The pub is all ground level, so it was easy to find the accessible bathroom. However, the bathroos was a disaster! Firstly, the door lock had been removed and replaced with another kind of lock which was hanging off the door. The bathroom was quite small. I have a slightly wide wheelchair and couldn’t really move in the bathroom. I’m doubtful if a standard chair could have turned around in the space. This also meant I struggled to shut the door behind me.
The baby changing unit was broken and hanging down from the wall. To get in the toilet at all I had to push it up and lean it against my arm. As in ninety percent of accessible bathrooms, the emergency cord was tied up. It happens so regularly now that is shocks me when one is hanging freely to the floor.
The food arrived without any problems. It was hot, smelled amaxing and was delicious. We paid £30 for 4 meals, which I thought was great value for money. Especially because the plates were filled to the brim! I had one of their quad burgers, which included a double burger and crispy chicken fillet, as well as chips and onion rings. Luckily they also had a take away option, and we ended up taking half the food home with us becasue we were so full.
I think alot more attention could be paid to make the accessiblity better, and I’d say the atmosphere and noise definitely added to my fatigue and migraine that afternoon. The phrase that pops into my head about the experience is ‘nice food, no frills’. Would I choose to go there again? probably not; but would I refuse to go again? no.
Follow Kelly on Tiktok and Instagram @disabledfatandfabulous.