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BITE user comments - priestleysj

Comments by priestleysj

The Ferry Inn, Stokesby

I agree with the previous reviewers. A nice pub, pleasant staff and good food. I had a kedgeree which was really top notch; someone in the kitchen really knows what he or she is doing. Shame the only ale is Adnams, but if you're going to be limited to a single brewery then Adnams is not a bad one to choose! My pint of Fat Sprat was very enjoyable.

18 Aug 2015 17:54

The Nelson Head, Horsey

Great free house. Must have been at least 8 ales available when I called in while holidaying in the area last week, and as many ciders. Had a lovely pint of Tombstone; shame I was driving or I'd have tried some more. Interesting surroundings (Nelson memorabilia and various firearms on display), good service from cheerful staff and the grub was nice too. Made me wish I lived round here so I could visit this pub often.

18 Aug 2015 17:49

Cherry Tree, Rowledge

I'd say don't worry too much about earlier negative reviews, there are new (May 2013) people here now who are making a real effort and in my view they deserve to succeed. The owner and staff are really friendly and welcoming. The food is pricey but the quality is high. The beer is well kept, with a choice of four ales (although if you want the full choice you may wish to avoid Thursday lunchtimes, when the lines are cleaned). Turning round what was a tired pub is bound to take time, but the direction of travel is definitely up!

29 Jun 2014 17:04

Three Horseshoes, Elsted

Criticisms of this pub seem to come from those deigning to patronise it on a sunny Summer weekend and feeling offended that locals who open their wallets every day in the bar receive preferential treatment. Go figure. As an occasional visitor, I enjoy the fact that this remains a real pub, serving good ale (nice pint of Bowmans today) and good food, at a price which the market in this well-heeled corner of Sussex will clearly bear. The view from the garden is worth the premium and if the service behind the bar is sometimes, shall we say, brisk bordering on brusque I for one won't let it spoil my day.

29 Jun 2014 16:42

Three Horseshoes, East Worldham

A very pleasant pub, with a good selection of ales and fine food at reasonable prices. Can get a bit noisy round the bar area when busy so if you're there for a meal and a chat you might be best to sit round the corner. The staff are friendly and helpful but on a busy Saturday evening struggled to cope, adding someone else's drinks to our tab -- so check your bill carefully. This didn't spoil our enjoyment of an excellent risotto and good piece of tuna loin and I'm sure we'll be going back, but probably on a quieter day.

6 Apr 2014 20:16

The Woolpack, Elstead

Been here 3 times recently for lunch and it's okay. TEA, Ringwood 49-er and (*yawn*) Doombar all available with the TEA being very nice indeed. Food prices have just increased from borderline pricey to expensive. The quality is good, but not that good, which may explain why it can be a bit quiet. The staff, mostly Italian, struggle a bit with the local lingo (a request for a dash of lime produced a slice of lime) but for the most part seem hard-working and willing. They deserve to succeed, but I'm not sure they've quite got the formula right.

6 Apr 2014 20:01

Carpenters Arms, Dunstable

Nice enough pub, not outstanding in any department but we found the people behind the bar friendly and welcoming, which compensates somewhat for an uninspiring choice of ales and standard pub-fare menu.

8 May 2013 12:49

The Black Horse, Ireland

Great place for a meal out, especially if you have something to celebrate (tell them what it is when you're booking). Book well ahead if you want to eat inside on a Sunday; I thought ten days would be enough and had to settle for 'lunch' at 3.15. The food is first class and the service is marked by attention to detail -- while remaining friendly and informal. Only three ales on draught but that's three more than most restaurants have.

8 May 2013 12:31

The Spotted Cow, Lower Bourne

It seems people have widely varying experiences at this place. Mrs P and I called in after a Sunday morning walk. We hadn't booked but grabbed the last table and were made very welcome despite the bar staff clearly being under pressure. The drinks were brought to the table -- nice pint of TEA. The food was very good albeit not outstanding but despite the somewhat (to my eye) pretentious decor this is after all a pub and not a swanky restaurant. I thought it was good value for money and I'll be going again, but during the week when it's quieter. By the way it's dog-friendly (good) and child-friendly (bah!).

18 Jan 2013 12:54

The Shoe Inn, Exton

Took a group of walkers here after a wet tramp up to Old Winchester Hill Fort and it went down very well indeed. The 'small' fish and chips is just right for lunch. The sandwiches also went down well, especially when assisted by a pint of 6X (the IPA generated rather less enthusiasm) and are very good value for this part of the world. Friendly, helpful staff and whoever's in the kitchen did a great job, producing more than a dozen meals so they were all ready at the same time, and that was only 30 minutes after ordering. Will definitely be back.

11 Oct 2012 17:04

The Barge Inn, Woolstone

I've eaten here twice in the last month and have no complaints. The food is very good for a chain pub. Portion sizes can vary (Fish Cobb salad is huge; shepherd's pie less than generous) but generally seems good value for money, especially if you eat off the fixed price menu. The selection of veggie meals is impressive too (once you find it on a blackboard -- it's not with the other menus on the table). There have been three ales available on each of my visits: Doom Bar; Ubu; and a guest ale. First time I've tried Ubu and it went down very well. The staff were very attentive and cheerful so all in all I was pleasantly surprised. I might even go again.

13 Sep 2012 21:54

The Greyhound, Corfe Castle

We found the food was pretty good. A seafood risotto was generously loaded with mussels and scallops as well as the usual white fish, prawns, etc and was really tasty. Good fish and chips too. Not cheap, mind. Three ales available; a shame one had to be the ubiquitous Doom Bar. Staff OK. But oh dear the decor is horrendous. Truly ghastly, and not even in a so-bad-it's-actually-good way. There was also no heating on an unseasonally chilly day. If they can only get the surroundings right and bring them up to the same standard as the food, they might deserve the strong trade they get by virtue of their location in a tourist trap.

19 May 2012 17:55

Smugglers Inn, Osmington Mills

Now part of the Hall and Woodhouse chain, which is both good news (Badger ales) and bad news (only Badger ales). Like other H&W outlets (the Black Rabbit at Arundel, for example), this once small-scale pub is now geared up for mass eating. The food is unexciting but our meals were well prepared and tasty. The service was very good. And they still allow dogs in, which gets the thumbs-up from me. Alas, they allow children in the bar area too. My rating would have been higher were it not for the children. ;-)

19 May 2012 17:46

The Roseland Inn, Philleigh

Nice pub geared towards the dining trade but served a good pint of Betty Stoggs when I visited. Food not quite so good as at its sister pub (the Victory Inn in FSt Mawes) but still very acceptable. Worth a visit.

27 Apr 2012 16:34

The Victory Inn, St Mawes

Great pub, popular with locals and visitors alike. Good pint of Betty Stoggs and some of the best pub food I've tasted in a long time. Very efficient bar staff too. Highly recommended.

27 Apr 2012 16:30

The Fish House, Chilgrove

As pointed out by the last reviewer this is not really a pub, more of a swanky restaurant housed in a former pub. With lunch at about 25 for three courses, the food is not over-priced for this area and it is (mostly) well-conceived and well prepared. The caramelised melon with fried quails' eggs was an inspired dish and I really enjoyed it. The desserts were superb.

What let this place down on the day we visited for lunch was poor service: a wrong order for the starters; juicy (and very tasty) scallops served on a flat slate so the juices spilled all over the table cloth; half the main courses arriving fully 20 minutes after the first ones; and the whole meal taking over 3 hours by the end of which we were feeling hungry again. To be fair they accepted up front they'd screwed up and took quite a lot off the bill -- but they shouldn't screw up.

My overall rating of 5 is an average of 9 for the food and 2 for the service. Maybe it was just a bad day and they're usually on top of their game; I hope so. Whether I'll bother going back to find out, I'm not so sure.

20 Mar 2012 16:50

The Pride of the Valley, Churt

Three ales available when I called -- Hog's Back TEA; Surrey Hills' Shere Drop; and the ubiquitous Doom Bar. I had the Shere Drop and it was very nice thank you. The food (sandwiches) was okay but not much choice for non-carnivores. All in all, definitely better than on my last visit a few years ago.

20 Mar 2012 16:36

The Rose and Crown, Snettisham

I agree with the previous poster that the front bar or the 'old' restaurant are the places to eat. Great food, good service and the best pint of Wherry I had in my fortnight-long visit to Norfolk. Well worth a visit.

16 Mar 2012 13:06

The Gin Trap Inn, Ringstead

Called in for lunch after a 7 mile walk around the local countryside and found this place the perfect refuelling spot. A nice pint of Woodforde's Wherry and generous portions of really well prepared food soon replaced the lost calories. The landlord and his wife were friendly and helpful. The only problem was the bar was a tad on the chilly side. Otherwise, a really good place.

6 Mar 2012 14:29

The Corbet Arms, Uffington

Doesn't really feel like a pub. Everything, including drinks, is served at the table. I asked the waitress what was the strength of the ale and she didn't understand the question.

On the other hand, the food was very good, the service was cheerful and there was nothing wrong with the ale. Good place to take your Mum for lunch (which was what I was doing) or your children if you have 'em, but it lacks the pub atmosphere.

17 Feb 2012 16:15

The Greyfriar, Chawton

Great pub. Coped with a party of 20 walkers on a weekday lunchtime flawlessly. The ale, the grub, the service all excellent. Good value too, considering what other pubs round here charge.

17 Feb 2012 16:06

The Bridge Inn, Dulverton

Friendly (to humans and dogs) pub with pleasant staff, good grub and a rare selection of bottled beers to supplement the local Exmoor ales on draught. Well worth a visit if you're in the area.

5 Oct 2011 22:46

The Tarr Farm Inn, Dulverton

Just been there again and it's still good. Dog-friendly too.

5 Oct 2011 22:42

The Sandy Park Inn, Chagford

Good food, good ale, pleasant staff and friendly locals, the only problem is finding somewhere to park the car.

5 Oct 2011 22:39

The Lion Hotel, Dulverton

We dropped in on a busy Saturday lunchtime when there was a wedding party in the restuarant area and the bar was pretty busy too. We were wondering how long we'd have to wait for our food but it arrived promptly and in good shape. Friendly service and a decent pint of Exmoor. As someone else has commented, this is more a hotel than a pub, but it has a good atmosphere and appears to be popular with locals as well as with visitors.

25 May 2010 12:01

The Tarr Farm Inn, Dulverton

Contrary to one of the earlier reviews, you can use the car park opposite the pub if you're using the pub. This is well worth doing, not just for the easy parking but also for the great atmosphere, the very good food and the local ales. This pub could so easily be just another rip-off joint in a tourist hot-spot, but to the owners' great credit they provide a quality service and good value for money.

25 May 2010 11:51

The Greyhound, Wadhurst

We called in for and early evening meal and the place was absolutely crowded with rotarians (I think) gathering for some kind of dinner, but we had no trouble getting served and our food arrived promptly. Very good it was too. Can't remember now what I washed it down with but I went back for another so it must've been alright. Don't be put off by the shabby exterior, this is a good pub.

20 May 2010 13:19

The Bridge Inn, Dulverton

Very convenient if you're staying at the caravan site just down the road, as we were. Good pint of Otter (not too cold) and good home cooking too. Locals very friendly, as are the bar staff, who try really hard -- eg they out a lot of effort into a quiz evening, which deserved more participants than it got. Overall a fine pub.

20 May 2010 13:10

The Fox and Goose, Greywell

A very pleasant old-fashioned country pub with Ringwood's Best and 49-er, log fire and friendly landlord. We dropped in for lunch after a walk and the food was perfect for a refuelling stop -- I wouldn't say it was haute cuisine but there's a time for unpretentious pub grub and this was it.

For this part of the world the prices are very reasonable. It's a bit surprising really to find a genuine pub with Fords and Skodas in the car park rather than Jags and Mercs in a picture postcard village within commuting distance of the Great Wen. Long may it last!

20 Feb 2010 21:05

The Plough, Manston

Parked our caravan here for a few days, thinking we might drop in once or twice, but ended up dropping in two lunchtimes and every evening because we liked it so much. This pub struck us as the complete package: really good, knowledgable landlord and staff, running an efficient business without sacrificing the essential pub-ness of the place. Four ales including Church End straight from the barrel, two Palmers and 6X. The food is really good, nothing too fancy but certainly not boring and all served piping hot. The surroundings are traditional country pub, except the conservatory which is laid out restaurant-style but you can eat in the bar too. Live music from State of Undress on Friday night was a bonus. A crooner on Valentine's eve was not (that's imo -- others seemed to like him). There is a loyal crowd of locals who seem to turn out most evenings and there's clearly a lot of repeat business among diners, who know a good thing when they've found it. Glad we found it.

14 Feb 2010 20:47

The Vine, Hambledon

The Vine was surprisingly quiet when we went there for Sunday lunch recently. The landlord was very welcoming, as was the log fire. Reasonable range of ales, including Ringwood (ordinary, not 49-er). Food was good rather than great, which maybe explains why it wasn't packed out. Sit in the bar area rather than the restaurant if you can -- it has much more atmosphere.

7 Feb 2010 14:29

The Blue Bell Inn, Dockenfield

High prices or not, this place continues to thrive. The cooking is of a really high order for a pub. Try to leave room if you can for one of their huge traditional desserts. The house ale is brewed by the fff brewery of Four Marks and it's a good lunchtime pint, not too strong (there are stronger ales if you want them). The atmosphere is relaxed and friendly. The staff are all young, welcoming and enthusiastic. There's piped music but it's not so loud as to be intrusive. Today there was a log fire burning, which was very welcome on a cold day after a walk round Frensham Pond.

7 Feb 2010 14:23

The Bell, Odiham

Came here the day after a poor experience at the Waterwitch (see other review) and enjoyed it. Very pleasant sitting outside in a delightful town square, opposite the church. Welcoming landlady, who dispensed Butcombe Gold and Hobgoblin, both of which were in very good shape.

The food is unambitious -- old-fashioned pub food really. Ten years ago it would have been fine; now maybe most people expect a bit more, especially in this neck of the woods. But if you accept this place for what it is -- an unpretentious, friendly pub -- you won't be disappointed. The chips are really good! I like this place and will go again.

27 Sep 2009 18:57

The Waterwitch, Odiham

Used to use this pub a lot for meeting up with friends. It improved over the past few years but appears now to be going through another bad spell. On our last visit the London Pride was off, the Courage Best was awful but at least the TEA was good.

The food has generally been pretty OK here, but this time it was very ordinary. No surprise then that the place was really quiet on an unseasonally fine Saturday lunchtime. It used to be heaving a few years back, whatever the weather. This time, we saw several people have to leave tables on the grass for ones on the paved area just because they wanted to eat. That's just bonkers!

27 Sep 2009 18:52

The Three Stags, Lambeth

This place is so much improved since I last visited a few years back. The new owners are pitching it about right -- maybe a little pricey and ambitious for the area, but calculated to attract the right sort of clientele. The food is moderately ambitious and hits the mark. Good service too. Morland bitter was on when I visited and appeared to be well looked after. All in all, probably the best pub in this run-down corner of North Lambeth -- you'd almost think you were in Kennington ...

17 Sep 2009 20:01

The Wild Duck Inn, Ewen

Disappointed on our latest visit when a completely wrong dish was delivered. I was twice offered (and accepted) bread and olives to assuage my hunger while my wife ate her meal, but these arrived -- eventually -- after the correct main course, which only served to underline the poor service. The meal was fine once it arrived and I didn't have to pay for it, which was only fair in the circumstances but much appreciated. A good pint of Duckpond mollified me. I will go again as it's been very good before, but a top-end place like this that prides itself on its reputation for excellence really shouldn't make such elementary mistakes.

30 Aug 2009 19:03

The Seven Tuns, Chedworth

It's a pity this pub is tied to Youngs, and an even greater pity that it no longer offers a guest bitter -- there were just Young's ordinary, Young's Kew and Bombardier available when we visited on 29 August. That said, the food is very good indeed, the staff are friendly and welcoming and the ambience is spot-on. Worth taking the trouble to find it. By the way, there are some great walks on a network of public footpaths and bridle paths around Chedworth so you can work up a thirst before you visit.

30 Aug 2009 18:46

The Bell at Sapperton, Cirencester

Visited the Bell for the first time last week and was most impressed, particularly by the excellent food but also by the very friendly and professional staff. A good selection of ales too. And despite pitching themselves (successfully, to all appearances) at the posher end of the market they didn't object to our scruffy terrier joining us in the bar. One of the best in an area that's simply stuffed with great pubs.

30 Aug 2009 17:27

The Kirkstone Pass Inn, Kirkstone Pass

Fantastic setting outside and a wonderful, semi-neglected charm inside; this place is a real gem. We took refuge from an unseasonally wet August 3 times in one holiday and really enjoyed the homely cooking and the excellent local ales. As vegetarians, we were for once spoilt for choice, but from what we could see carnivores were equally well catered for. Very friendly staff behind the bar somehow look after crowds of walkers and bikers plus the occasional coach party without ever getting flustered or looking fed up.

There are only visitors, no locals, because the nearest houses are miles away. It is worth the climb to the Kirkstone Pass, whether by foot or by car, just for the scenery. But having such an excellent pub as this waiting for you when you get there makes it the perfect destination.

25 Aug 2008 21:02

The Black Bull Hotel, Coniston

Enjoyed a nice pint of Old Man at the home of Coniston's award-winning Bluebird bitter. This pub has a good ambience -- period charm and a friendly atmosphere -- and it serves honest, no-nonsense grub. I agree with others, the Haddock and chips is a good 'un.

25 Aug 2008 19:09

Horse and Farrier Inn, Threlkeld

A very attractive pub inside, the tables in the bar area offer an informal dining experience which I for one prefer over the striking but for my taste slightly overdone restaurant area.

The menu is well-balanced but delivers somewhat less than it appears to promise. The dishes we tried were a triumph of design over execution. However, prices were low for this tourist-trap area and overall value for money was excellent. We found the service friendly and helpful, with bar staff quite happy to take drinks orders at the table. Jennings Mild (well, it was lunch time and I was driving and anyway I like a pint of mild every now and again) went down very well.

25 Aug 2008 19:05

The Jolly Farmer, Blacknest

A warm welcome, pleasant bar and waiting staff, let down by poorly presented, bland food. Not pricey for the area, but could and should be so much better. Unimaginative range of beers -- 3 varieties of Fullers and one guest ale.

4 May 2008 15:47

The Lord Nelson, Burnham Thorpe

Called in as we just happened to be passing one lunchtime and was very pleasantly surprised. Loads of character, good ales and remarkably good food -- a bit pricey for this part of the country, but freshly prepared and tasty, using (I would say) quality ingredients. Friendly landlord / bar staff too.

24 Apr 2008 17:21

The Black Lion Hotel, Little Walsingham

What a great pub -- a really warm welcome, an even warmer fire and a nice pint. Eccentric locals. Shabby but comfortable interior. Just like pubs used to be -- long may it prosper.

24 Apr 2008 17:13

The Waterwitch, Odiham

Has this place changed hands? I see it's no longer listed as a Chef & Brewer pub on their website. We've been going there every 3 months or so during the Chef & Brewer period and always loved the ambience but were disappointed by the food -- the menu looked great, but when it arrived it was such a let-down. This weekend, the menu had changed since our last visit and was less pretentious, and the food was really, really good. Hog's Back and Ruddles to wash it down with, pleasant service, thoroughly enjoyable. A complete transformation -- if you've tried it before and didn't like it, or if you avoid Chef & Brewer pubs (like you should) go back and see how much better the Waterwitch is now.

2 Mar 2008 14:59

Five Bells, Buriton

We visited on an unseasonably warm Saturday in February and sat in the garden -- a very pleasant spot, although some of the furniture could do with renewing. Inside, there's a good balance between the traditional local and a more contemporary feel -- although the sofa under the dartboard worried me. There's a restaurant-style menu and a bar menu and you can eat off either. The beer (Dorset ales) was good and the food was very good -- generous portions of tasty, well-prepared dishes with mussels featuring strongly. Not cheap, but you wouldn't expect cheap in this part of the world. Good staff too; they still seem to be settling in but they're certainly getting there.

Well worth checking out.

12 Feb 2008 22:47

The Stag Inn, Petworth

What a great pub -- like stepping back to a gentler time. The Dorset ales (they took over the local King & Barnes brewery) are well kept and fairly priced. The grub is unpretentious and wholesome, also reasonably priced for this very expensive area. Landlord pleasant and welcoming; decor original and unspoilt; lovely log fire; locals friendly; and dogs allowed. Go there now, this can't last!

26 Jan 2008 21:31

The Jolly Sailor, Burseldon

Very busy pub, with pleasant young staff who on our latest visit were struggling to cope with problems that were not of their making. There was only one person behind the bar (on a Sunday lunchtime!) and the queue stretched right across the pub. They ran out of all but one real ale. And the computer crashed (funny how pubs always used to function without a computer). We ordered drinks from our table and they took 25 minutes to arrive -- came after the food. The meals are not cheap, but on the whole they are well prepared -- though it's a shame they don't use proper risotto rice in the risotto. Best to sit outside if the weather's up to it.

20 Jan 2008 17:00

The Blue Bell Inn, Dockenfield

This place has really changed since I was last there -- about 12 years ago! It was a sleepy local, then it closed for years and has now reopened as a foodie pub. And it works. The food is really good; the portions are not huge but they are well prepared and they are accompanied by veg that hasn't had all the life boiled out of it. It's not cheap, but it is good value and I think that's what matters.

The house bitter is a very pleasant pint and well worth a try; there are other real ales available if you want something more familiar.

The service is friendly if a little slow, but in this case I think that suggests the food is doing more than take a quick turn round the microwave.

We'll be back.

9 Jan 2008 21:40

The Fox Inn, Bramdean

My first visit was on a Sunday lunchtime, not always the best time to judge a place. The Saga generation were certainly out in force, but I just qualify for membership so that's OK.

The order was swiftly taken but the food took half an hour to appear. That may be down to a mixture of the Sunday factor, the fact that we didn't have starters and of course the fact (I trust) that it is freshly prepared. The Sunday thing may also explain why some dishes had sold out; they really should have been marked as such on the blackboard menu. There was also no vegetarian main course option. No real complaints, though -- the food was very good indeed and the young people serving at table were efficient, polite and helpful.

There was only one real ale available -- Ruddles, which I find a bit strong for lunchtime. It was in very good shape, but a choice would have been nice.

All in all, a very pleasant pub, which succeeds in serving traditional food in traditional surroundings ... to predominantly traditional people.

12 Dec 2007 17:50

The Fox Goes Free, Charlton

My experience on a very busy Sunday lunchtime was happier than those of some of the other reviewers. We hadn't booked, but were invited to use a table that had been booked for a late lunch so long as we were able to leave before the time it was booked for -- fair enough. When we ordered (at the bar -- this is a pub) we were told there was a wait of about 30 minutes for food. I paid when I ordered, but I could have run a tab.

In the event, the food arrived after about 15 minutes and it was very good. The house bitter was good and if I hadn't been driving I'd have been tempted by a good range of other ales. They also do a mean draught cider (or so those who had some assure me).

The accent at this place appears to be on quality and maybe the fact that it's very busy means it's a victim of its own success. It's not a traditional English boozer, but it's very good at what it does.

25 Nov 2007 19:42

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