Star Rating: ⭐⭐⭐
This restaurant and bar can be considered as relatively new as it has undergone refurbishments not that long ago. Disability access and awareness in the place is strange though. First of all, has been steps up to the main entrance, so to be able to get in, I have to rely on friends or my PA to go inside and get the attention of a member of staff to open the fire exit door in order for me to gain access. I have been lucky that on my visits the staff members who have come to help us have been very kind impatient and apologetic to me having to use the fire exit to gain access to the restaurant. The staff member Who has let us in as often assisted us to get to our table or in the direction of the bar for us to get a drink and start our night. Sadly, the disabled toilet is of a standard size which doesn’t accommodate for all customers with disabilities which is a shame.
Once inside, the access and space within the bar and restaurant are very good and the main restaurant is flat access with enough space to move about and get to the tables. It just depends on how busy the restaurant actually is at the time of your visit to how close disabled customers in wheelchairs can get to the table. Unfortunately, the only thing I find disappointing is some of the biggest eating areas for groups are up one or two stairs which means I couldn’t get to that area. There was one time where I had to sit separately to my society on our social night which greatly annoyed me and upset me, to be honest, it shouldn’t be fair that I had to sit separately to my friends because there were stairs in the way, so I think there needs to be a big sitting area for groups on the main floor of the restaurant so every member of the party can sit together.
The space around the tables and chairs are reasonable, I just had to make sure that I can have enough space to position my chair at the right angle to be able to get as close to the table as possible. However the tables are quite low and even though I tilt my chair down as far as I can, I am unable to get all the way underneath it and have to arch my back or come alongside it to be able to use it. Luckily I have only had buffet food there which I can pick up with my fingers and then student nights out which I can just pick up my drink and then put it down again. I didn’t much like the buffet food that was there but I loved having a drink there with my friends and various themed drinks depending on the quiz night they were hosting at the time. The most memorable quiz night of my visits to Walkabout Leicester was the Harry Potter quiz night where I had themed Gryffindor cocktails.
It is definitely a popular place for a student night out, whether that be with just a few friends or a social night out with one of your societies. I have been there with different sized groups and have enjoyed every second of the night. One thing I will warn people of though, the bar is very tall and if it is a busy time you have to literally shout over it to get yourself heard. I think designers of walkabout need to consider the needs of disabled people a bit more and find a way that they can be able to get closer to the bar to be able to place their order more independently. I think it’s a great student attraction and the place can afford to be a little more creative and make these subtle changes, regarding the access and awareness of their disabled customers.
I will be definitely returning to Walkabout soon for another student night and when they host another quiz. I will keep her special eye out to when they will be hosting more Harry Potter quizzes.