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The Half Moon Inn, Stoke St Mary

You will see that I posted about this establishment in January 2012. In the knowledge that the pub had changed hands I went there again today with the naïve belief that things must be better. Got that wrong then. Could it possibly be that the same chef is in residence. Ironically, 'Fifty Shades of Grey', has been in the limelight over the last twelve months, but the same would aptly describe my plate to day. Having been told that the steak and mushroom pie had expired overnight I went for the chicken, mushroom and stuffing version, to be served with mash and vegetables. The pie contents was clearly recycled as had been 'nuked' as per food hygiene temperature regs. The shortcrust top had been flashbaked and was consequently uncooked, the mash had been overworked causing a bathing cap style film to form and the vegetables, the bain marie'd stuff from a previous life, perhaps even January 2012! Interestingly, there was a poster for the recruitment of two new chefs for the busy kitchen. 'Must have experience of a fresh food kitchen' the advert stated. Presumably they'll be working elsewhere, or the current chef doesn't know that they are leaving yet. The food being as equally shoddy as 18 months ago, there must be a common factor! Believe me when I say that I don't have a personal issue with this pub. It's still great in a great village but, come on, put some effort in where the food is concerned.

27 Jun 2013 14:26

The Moat House, Taunton

Been here a couple of times since the re-launch as the Apple and Parrot (or vice versa). Has had the guts ripped and been re-designed. Pretty good effort with a bar upstairs aswell. Has been opened by the 'Mambos' group in anticipation of the Castle Green development affording the establishment some nice summer outside space (as opposed to sitting staring at fag smoking taxi drivers at the front of the building). Live entertainment on my last visit - a couple of lads with electric acoustic guitars. Has one real ale on the go. Cotleigh Tawny on the night I visited, if I remeber correctly. Well kept - no complaints. Best of luck to them. I hope the schedule of the developers allows them to exploit the summer of 2012, rather 2013. They do seem to be dragging their heels a bit!

14 Feb 2012 12:17

The Half Moon Inn, Stoke St Mary

Having been many times for lunch and never dissappointed did so again yesterday. On arrival the pub seemed immediately different but couldn't put my finger on it. I was looking forward to the steak and Abbot pie (which could take 40 mins to eat owing to generous portion control) but not to be, sadly. Appear to have stopped selling Abbot also. Ordered the pie of the day......steak and vegetable, served with vegetables?? and mash. Then the penny dropped. Appears to be a new Landlord at the inn, detectable by the fact that he very much to say about the pub's condition on handover. Was heard at one point to question why the previous hosts had such a good business...................well, i'll give you a clue! They didn't use Sunday lunchtimes left over repeatedly 'bain marie'd', and therefore stewed, vegetables 24 hours later at Monday lunchtime. Grey, bitter, tasteless and waterlogged presentation doesn't do much for the rep of the humble brussel sprout. Broccolli much the same and the carrots and 'tinned' peas in the pie probably had the same provenance. In terms of customer relations.........when we left via the back door and walked within three feet of the Landlord he didn't feel it necessary to take a break in his conversation on our exit. A 'thanks very much, please come again' would have been nice. I don't know what type of soulless place the Landlord has overseen before, but a village pub, in a lovely village, needs a bit of 'mine host' interaction. A complete lack of customer care. Bar lady/waitress, who has been there for sometime was very attentive, but she's got an uphill struggle.

24 Jan 2012 12:25

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tauntonbob has been registered on this site since 3rd November 2011