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New Inn, Winchelsea

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user reviews of the New Inn, Winchelsea

please note - reviews on this site are purely the opinion of site visitors, so don't take them too seriously.

We visited The New Inn in lovely Winchelsea on Saturday 23rd August at about 1pm after a good walk we were all looking forward to a nice pint and some good pub food. We ordered some pints of Hooky described as a golden ale ideal on a sunny day after a long walk, the lighting is dim where the beer pumps are and the beer looked copper coloured we then moved to our seat by the window and the beer looked the same it soon became clear that this was not a golden ale. One of our party had a great thirst and finished his pint fairly quickly and then brought himself a pint of Hydes Bitter and proceeded to tell the rest of our group that this is exactly the same beer as the supposed Hooky golden ale that the rest of us were still drinking.
I would describe the beer as ok.
The beer was £3.95p per pint.
When i pointed this fact out to the staff at the bar the reply was "yeah". no explanation or apologies were given.
Snacks we brought some ordinary Cheese & Onion crisps to eat cost £1 a packet while we perused the bar menu.
The food, i ordered the Sausages and Mash described as with a red onion gravy. The gravy had never seen any type of onion , the sausages ( cheap packet type) were blackened and very peppery the mash was very dense with no flavour at all which could be cut into slices.
Opinion the meal was very poor especially for £9.95p and considering that just down the road there is a butchery selling Venison and Wild Boar sausages you would expect to be in for a decent meal.
All meals were clearly microwaved and steaming when served and appeared to be low cost ingredients from a freezer.
The staff seemed to take forever to select the correct cost tabs on the till when paying.
We were all disappointed with the beer and food.
We often try new country pubs and we would not consider visiting the New Inn again unless we heard from a reliable source that it had dramatically improved.
Review by Goodalepublover.

Goodalepublover - 24 Aug 2014 18:23
Probably needs a gentle revamp to dust off some of the remaining bits of 70's style ye olde pubbe tom foolery, the flowery sofas at the back are a bit old hat, but otherwise a nice big old inn, with a good variety of well laid out places to sit. By that I mean it has dining areas but ones that don't intimidate you into thinking you've walked into a gastro pub/restaurant and make you wish you hadn't worn your wellies. Open fire, friendly staff and decent honest pug grub + some fancy food and sandwiches to cater for all. The menu said "From the Grill" on it. A fantastic throw back. Scampi & chips and sausage & mash were spot on (and locally sourced), the staff were friendly.
Billyfish - 6 Jan 2014 16:34
Beer ok. Prawn sandwich just about ok but lousy value. Ploughman's lunch appalling. £9 for enough processed food to make one sarney, soggy pickles. Nice unpretentious interior. I hate Green King beer, Tim Taylor ok. The staff had a bit of an argument while I waited, and it took some time to input an order of two pints and two lunches into the till. By the time she finished she had forgotten how many pints I had ordered. (Two).
IKBrunel - 18 Sep 2013 13:19
We revisited this pub on Friday 8th April at 12.15pm.It was warm enough to sit in the garden.This was well kept and planted with the grass recently cut and several tables available.Our dog was on a lead and enjoyed the surroundings.The barman and his assistant were pleasant and friendly.The bar had a few other customers in.The Greene King IPA was a very nice pint.The food was ordered and arrived fairly quickly.The Abbott Ale was good as well.We ordered the fish and chips which was served with peas and tartare sauce.The portion was adequate.The other meal ordered was the duck breast with a potato,leek and spinach compote.This looked quite small on the large square plate but was filling and tasty.The dishes were on the higher price side as our previous visit last year but nicely presented.The gents was clean and tidy with hot water and soap for handwashing with a dryer.The ladies was in a similar state according to my other half and her friend.I noticed that smokers are catered for with a covered pagoda type shed building with seating across the car park where a couple who had been at the bar had retired to for a cigarette.It is good to see smokers catered for in this manner as it can look bad seeing crowds around the entrance to a pub desperately satisfying their craving amid a carpet of old Filter tips.
Chirple - 18 Apr 2011 23:11
We revisited this pub on Friday 8th April at 12.15pm.It was warm enough to sit in the garden.This was well kept and planted with the grass recently cut and several tables available.Our dog was on a lead and enjoyed the surroundings.The barman and his assistant were pleasant and friendly.The bar had a few other customers in.The Greene King IPA was a very nice pint.The food was ordered and arrived fairly quickly.The Abbott Ale was good as well.We ordered the fish and chips which was served with peas and tartare sauce.The portion was adequate.The other meal ordered was the duck breast with a potato,leek and spinach compote.This looked quite small on the large square plate but was filling and tasty.The dishes were on the higher price side as our previous visit last year but nicely presented.The gents was clean and tidy with hot water and soap for handwashing with a dryer.The ladies was in a similar state according to my other half and her friend.I noticed that smokers are catered for with a covered pagoda type shed building with seating across the car park where a couple who had been at the bar had retired to for a cigarette.It is good to see smokers catered for in this manner as it can look bad seeing crowds around the entrance to a pub desperately satisfying their craving amid a carpet of old Filter tips.
Chirple - 18 Apr 2011 23:08
Greene King IPA & Abbot on the hand pump. But we didn't try the stuff.
We couldnt get near the bar because of the hordes of people attempting (and failing) to pay their bills by credit card. The problem being the staff were unable to operate the credit card apparatus.

In the twenty-first century this should surely be a straightforward operation?
MankyBadger - 27 Feb 2011 16:24
Pretty average really, beer OK and well kept and food adequate. My might go back just for the lovely garden
blatters2001 - 27 Jan 2011 07:01
Went here today weds lunchtime 21st July 2010 with 6 friends and the new landlord and staff have worked wonders.

I spoke to the landlord who took over in February and he told me he had brought all the staff with him when he took over the pub. Imogen the waitress was buzzing around and yes, WE were asked twice if we enjoyed the meal too and if they could get anything for us etc.
Excellent Green King IPA and ABBOT (3.10 and 3.20 a pint)

5 of us had Liver and Bacon which was excellent with tender calf's liver and nice rich gravy another had sausages and mash and teh last grumpy old man enjoyed a cheese ploughman's.

It was a tad dear but in my opinion it was still good value for the food and the excellent service.

We will be going back for me it warrants a 9
roberttherambler - 21 Jul 2010 20:34
We stopped here today 3/5/10 at about 12.30 lunchtime.Both of us did not want to drink alcohol and were pleased that 2 pints of lime and soda were only 1.20.The bar area and tables were clean with a few customers eating.There was a good log fire providing a pleasant warmth as it was chilly today.The bar staff were friendly and we ordered food which arrived within 15 mins.The ham egg and chips was very good with good chips ,good proper carved ham and dark yolked eggs.The belly of pork was nicely done with a sauce and side dish of vegetables.We were brought condiments and asked twice during the meal if everything was alright.After the meal we went through to the games bar area where the decor was smart but less plush and enjoyed a game of bar billiards.There was also a fruit machine and a smart separate darts area with a new board which looked inviting.The gents toilet was clean with hot water and paper towels and soap as was the ladies according to my other half.I would visit here again as the Greene King and Abbott Ales looked tempting.The food was on the higher price side for a pub but well cooked and nicely presented. My other half's portion size was generous and mine was sufficient.
Chirple - 3 May 2010 21:32
We went to this pub last night (5th Feb 2010).
It has been taken over by new owners.
They were very friendly and i think we can expect great things from them.
Levi1 - 6 Feb 2010 11:43
The COOK was unwilling to do jacket potatoes? er....! Who is basics065? (see comment 19th Nov). A nice pub is supposed to have a CHEF, not a 'cook'! And I must admit, I wouldn't blame a chef for refusing to do jacket potatoes. They're not proper food. This place needs a cathartic clear out of all the existing staff; bring in a fresh approach with fresh food. I'd prefer decent food for a rude chef than greasy microwave stuff from a fool. It might even become a bit more popular! Power to the People!

Citizen Smith @ Tooting Popular Front.
MatMatty - 23 Nov 2009 23:47
We ordered a sandwich of the day because the cook was unwilling to do jacket potatoes and rude about it too.
When it eventually arrived it was incredibly small sandwich with only 6 chips on the plate!! He was charging 6.50 for this!!! Avoid this place.
If this pub has any chance of surviving, get rid of the rude, arrogant cook, it could be so good without him.
There were two ladies working who seemed to be doing all the work whilst one was sickeningly 'charming' and just stood behind the bar, a staff overhaul would benefit this place.
Until then... stay away!
basics065 - 19 Nov 2009 10:41
Horrible! We stayed 2 nights and our room not serviced on day 2. Long wait for food - evening (35 mins)and breakfast (1 hour!)though evening meal ok when it came. The wait not improved by by swearing and arguing from the kitchen. Agree that pricing merits better, more competent, service and perhaps tables could be laid not wait for cutlery and SACHETS of condiments. Awful continuous loud background music. Not much sign of the "loads of locals" either, just a few youngsters in the pool room.

Waste of an excellent position and lovely building.
credgley - 16 May 2008 09:34
In my opinion the landlords are doing a good job of improving the "feel" of this charming pub, certainly the absence of the heavy clouds of cigarette smoke which used to permeate througout the bar area is welcome, and it is certainly cleaner and tidier since my last visit, with a friendly welcome and well kept Greene King ales which are a tad on the expensive side.

The dining side of things needs improvement though, with a food tariff that one would normally associate with high quality establishments such as The Wild Mushroom, The Curlew and The George, the food offerings are overpriced, clumsy and inelegant, possibly due to lack of experience rather than incompetence.

All in all it seems likely to me that given time and a few adjustments then this hostelry will flourish once again.

theoldmajor - 22 Mar 2008 08:37
Very large corner pub - well kept and welcoming. The only one directly located in the town. Something of a 50/50 pub as it also has the feel of a restaurant, and there's hotel accommodation attached. Food and accommodation are historic accompaniments of inns, though the feel of the place is sliding just that little toward mainly hotel/restaurant.

Large open fire in a central pillar location. Pool table in the bar area at the far end. Bar snacks such as cheesy chips served alongside regular pub meals.

Greene King pub - offers IPA, Speckled Hen, Abbott and a guest (Old Hooky on my visit - just starting to taste tired).

Good view of the old church from the front bar, and interesting pictures of old British comedians add to the overall charm of a slightly above average pub.
SilkTork - 20 Mar 2008 20:47
I am a local and think Jeanette and her team are doing an excellent job. They have worked wonders - the New Inn is a pleasant place to be now - LOADS of locals use the pub again which is more than can be said for when Ruth and Steve held the licence. A friend of mine went to a Cricket Club Function there (50 people) a couple of weeks ago and said it was first class - they used to go there when previously managed but weren't happy with the service/food but they will definitely return again now Jeanette is the hostess. The Little Shop's loss is certainly The New Inn's gain!
MaggieF - 7 Mar 2008 12:31
Me and My Wife ate here recently and found it far from satisfactory. food was extremely overpriced, and not that great a quality either.Beer was good, usual Green King selection though. Service was OK but generally the whole organisation wasn't great.
We have been coming here on occasions for years. When Terry and Jenny had it the food was cheap and hearty. Ruth and Steve improved the service a great deal and food was always at a reasonable standard.
Maybe the new owner Jeanette should go back to running the local shop.Is this really what the Locals want......
jim06 - 4 Mar 2008 03:34
The new management are doing a great job. Nice atmosphere, good food, friendly staff. Looking forward to my next visit, keep up the good work, cheers.
mark4 - 1 Dec 2007 23:45
Visited the pub recently and sampled the Sunday Roast - pub was buzzing, good atmosphere and the meal was lovely (and huge!!) also saved room for a pudding - the chocolate pave was to die for! Will definitely be back soon.
MaggieF - 29 Nov 2007 21:56
Under new management? well what a truly appalling concoction of an outrageously overpriced menu, with food woefully presented in an extremely slapdash fashion, you can have salad or microwaved vegetables or microwaved vegetables or salad with your frozen stuffed peppers, in fact you can have that choice with the whole menu, this is dearer than the George in Rye where the food is first class. A tip for anyone visiting locally, avoid, we certainly will in future.
roseandjohn - 27 Nov 2007 09:15
Pleasant enough pub, not a huge selection of real ale (2 on offer) but the IPA was excellent. Interesting to see what effect new management will have on this place.
Floyd - 23 Oct 2007 14:13
the pub is going under new management on monday i here that they good with lots of ideas i know that they are from the town so will take everyones view.

their main aims are to bring winchelsea back there pub which is the best thing.


newinnwinchelsea - 22 Oct 2007 22:27
I have just been told that we are getting new landlords here on 29th October 2007, Hurrah and hooray!!
Incumbent - 24 Sep 2007 17:37
Three ales on, but the chap behind the bar had a terrible time trying to take an order for five drinks, and other people seemed unhappy with the food being cold and delivered to (and eaten by) the wrong people.
MankyBadger - 23 Jun 2007 18:47
I visited this pub today, for the first time in a couple of years, myself and my partner tried the beers even though they are Greene King,found them to be well kept and in condition, even though was very busy, the lady serving in the restaurant, I think the landlady, ensured that every-one was welcomed & attended to. Enjoyed the food, everyone around seemed to enjoy themselves, and the kids were given colouring books to keep them quiet, (nice touch!) Will return especially for the Ruddles! I hope they continue because this pub is very much improved after the last visit.
gobananas - 5 May 2007 16:54
glad to hear the new manager takes an interest in the quality of the beer,I was in here last year and after frying the speckled hen I stuck to guiness for the rest of the night as the ale was'nt right,the food was'nt great either and I did'nt plan on returning if I was in the area again, may just give it another chance
vinnnie - 4 May 2007 13:20
Went here today for Sunday Roast, had a pint of old speckled hen and roast beef, The beer was great the veg was great, the gravy was great, roast potatoes were great, the beef was a little tough though which always happens when I cook it to so don't know the answer for that. Everyone seemed happy and cheerful and others all enjoyed their meals but I reckon they could do better but seem to be working on it. Reasonable price for main course but I thought the puddings are expensive. Medium plus rating given.
real_ale_ade - 11 Feb 2007 21:37
WHAT A DIFFERENCE A MONTH MAKES !! DINED AT THE NEW INN TODAY, SUPERB FRESHLY COOKED FOOD, CLEAN AND TIDY RESTURANT. THE STAFF WERE ALL VERY HELPFULL AND HAPPY, 10/10 FOR ME ! GOING BACK ON THURSDAY FOR THE STEAK NIGHT ( 2 STEAKS AND A BOTTLE OF WINE FOR 25.) WELL DONE !!
mrs.w. - 3 Feb 2007 19:33
*******UNDER NEW OWNERSHIP TODAY*******
anonymous - 9 Jan 2007 06:43
I heard yesterday that this once great pub is under new ownership as of next week, hopefully it will revert back to its former greatness. It is Greene King after all so the beers are never going to be spectacular but they are well kept at the moment, must be something to do with the current landlord constantly testing them all day every day.
Hastings - 3 Jan 2007 10:56
On a recent visit we enjoyed some good honest pub food, quality fillet steak that was well presented, the most succulent gammon steak I have ever tasted along with some good old fsshioned puddings, all served to us by an individual who surely must have been dragged from the nearby military canal, unshaven for many days, scruffy, wearing a football shirt and baseball cap? and in desperate need of some deodorant! not the finest waiter I have ever had my food chucked on the table by. Its a nice destination pub but there is plenty of competition around for me to frequent. 5/10 and that is purely for the food and welcoming barman.
KarenStanley - 13 Dec 2006 10:47
Wandered in here while visiting the church across the road, found a real log fire blazing away and a bustling bar-restaurant, I dined on fresh grilled cod, not battered or breaded and deep fried but full of flavour honest fish, superb! I havent been here in ten years but I will be sure to return much sooner now.
SaxonK - 17 Nov 2006 07:04
This pub appeared to be London-on-sea but not in a negative way, just everyone I spoke to had that earthy cockney friendliness, my meal appeared swiftly and was tasty and plentiful, at first I thought the prices a touch expensive but the portion size changed that perception, I noticed another couple exchange looks of disbelief at their "doorstep" sandwiches. I will be back and maybe to stay now that I know it is a hotel as well. As the barman said when I left "Cheers mate"
theoldmajor - 26 Oct 2006 09:37
The New Inn is quickly getting back to it's good times, the food is back to the high standard it used to be, the service has speeded up and the whole place feels more upbeat.

The rude old git is still serving behind the bar but what does anyone expect? this is part of the rustic charm of this lovely old 17th century inn, if you want bland faceless corporate greetings then I suggest you wander up the A259 to the local Beefeater!

So give it a try, good food, good beer and a welcoming log fire, what more could anyone ask for from a country inn?
anonymous - 24 Oct 2006 09:50
We went here a few weeks ago, we waited forever for the food to arrive which when it eventually turned up was poor to say the least, I wish I had read all of this before visiting this place.
townvisitor - 4 Oct 2006 06:33
Lovely. Nice open fire, good food and good beer. Superb.
PigPen_in_the_Fens - 6 Sep 2006 21:43
"I'm sure they weren't bought in frozen as you can certainly tell" The lamb shank is served in every cheap pub for miles, it comes in a plastic bag with the gravy! microwave on full power for 2 minutes. I rest my case. By the way the landlords name is Terry and I agree he is a laugh, never disputed the fact, just stated that the food is all bought in frozen which it is.
Hastings - 5 Jun 2006 09:58
I have just come back from a Bank Holiday weekend in Winchelsea, staying at the New Inn. I have to say I think most people are being a bit unkind to the poor old pub. We enjoyed our stay. The accomodation was comfortable, Gerry the landlord is a laugh, and the rest of the staff may be a bit gruff but certainly not rude, quite funny in fact. (What do you expect anyway, this is rural England).

We had the roast lamb and lamb shank braised in red wine from the Specials board and both were delicious, I'm sure they weren't bought in frozen as you can certainly tell. So choose wisely and you will be givena lovely meal.

I can see that if you are a very picky person who is used to luxury, this pub might disappoint you, and you should probably stay somewhere a bit more upmarket. Similarly I wouldn't travel miles to get here thinking it was a gastro pub. But the place is really great value for a weekend away, and a pleasant enough place to eat and drink in a town that has little else in the way of pubs.

Plus, Winchelsea is well worth a visit - great walks, tea rooms etc and the New Inn is the only place to stay in the centre of town.
Wem - 30 May 2006 14:35
The New Inn is now a miserable shadow of a once good restaurant, all of the food is bought in frozen from "Juggs" ( I witnessesed the gigantic delivery) the vegetables are cooked to death, the stench of the dirty frier oil can be inhaled from the car park, sadly this pub is sinking faster than a lead weight, which considering the fact that six months ago it was the best food pub for miles is worrying. The owners lack of interest is quite apparent, simply plonk yourself in the Public Bar for half an hour on any afternoon and listen. I truly hope somebody with a passion for "real" food takes this pkace over soon, before it becomes irretrieveable.
Hastings - 29 May 2006 10:25
The place is OK. I believe its the only pub in town. Didn't try the Beer, had Guinness, which was standard.

Landlord, bit of a 'geezer'[!?!?] going on about how much better Winchelsea is to London [Which apparently is just full of smack heads. Really!].

Disregarding the charm of the staff, the place has quite a pleasant feel. 'Middle-ish'
NoLasher - 16 Apr 2006 23:42
Have just returned from a lovely weekend to Winchelsea. Stayed in the New Inn, accomodation was ok, food was dreadful. Gerry who owns the pub is ok, but he has a partner who has to be the most miserable rude old git I have ever met in a pub. A message to him, if you dont want people comimg back to your pub, keep it up. Not welcoming at all.

The food was overpriced for what it was. I had Scallops which I know are not cheap, but to only get 3 for 12.50 was a bit much. Then to make your plate look bigger they just pack it out with rock hard veg!

Dont bother with the puddings, they use that "squirty" cream that disappears in 2 seconds, awful stuff.

Will come back to the area, possibly stay in Rye, but never again to the New Inn.

You have been warned!!
shiney - 3 Apr 2006 08:12
Cosy pub in Winchelsea. Visited last weekend when in the area. Beer was very kept and the food excellent. Pub had an oppen fire roaring away in the main bar area - wanted to stay for a session but time was against me!

Will defo come here again when in the area.
Robbo73 - 31 Oct 2005 07:14

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