A pleasant, atmospheric pub with lots of nooks and crannies around the bar and a restaurant. There is a real fire in one of the rooms. Access into some of the bar areas from the front door is Ok but the WC for the disabled is not easy to get to and the ordinary WCs are up steps and slopes and not the smartest of such facilities, though good enough. Service was good with attentive staff and management. My wheat allergy was readily catered for.
My terrine of lamb, pigeon and venison was good if a little overbalanced in favour of the forcemeat, but the meats were nicely pink and flavoursome. The bacon wrapping was pretty thick, with the fat quite dense, maybe the rashers could have done with a bit of stretching out before lining the terrine pan. The accompanying, homemade, piccalilli was excellent.
The grilled goats cheese came on a thick slice of toasted good white bread (I think the grilling of the cheese was done in situ on the bread thus the gooiness of the cheese was incorporated into the toast). Served with a dish of tomato chutney it too was good, add a poached egg on top and it would have been an excellent brunch.
I plumped for the typical Sunday lunch of roast topside of beef with all the trimmings, although I had to miss out on the Yorkshire pudding. I was told that came the meat came rare but that they would 'murder' it if required, no beefslaughter needed for me; I'm of the Clarissa Dickson-Wright school (liking our beef cooked so that a good vet could get it running about the field again). However, when it arrived it was more of the medium rare school, it was pleasant enough, and the portion was generous, but the whole was swimming in gravy, rendering the, what looked as if they had been excellent, roast potatoes somewhat sodden. There was a pile of watercress on the plate which, on investigation, turned out to be hiding some rather chewy pieces of parsnip. There was a small dish of mixed vegetables, what I tasted was nicely cooked but, as usual, I avoided the calabrese. Horseradish sauce was supplied on request.
A good, thick chunk of sea bass fillet was perfectly cooked and served with a dressing of caper butter. It was very good but the advertised accompanying new potatoes turned out to be roast, a quick return to the kitchen, and a slight wait, resolved the matter however. The green vegetables on the menu turned out to be another pot of the mixed vegetables that accompanied the roast. Why bother to suggest differently - maybe to suggest that more effort is being put in than is actually the case?
Puddings were waived as there was a birthday treat Black Forest Gateaux waiting at home.
An excellent pint of Otter Amber bitter and a (very) large Jack Daniels whilst we perused the menu, a decent bottle of Fleurie and a glass of the House sauvignon blanc with the meal and a good cup of espresso coffee made up the rest of the around £70 bill (as it was a treat I'm not allowed to know the exact price but £7 was left on the table as a tip) which was what I'd expect to pay around here for a meal of that sort.
It's a nice place, and, criticisms not withstanding, the food was good, as was the service. No doubt we'll be back.