Friday, 8 April 2016

THE TRAVELLERS JOY - 325 Main Road, Southbourne

Today we went back to a pub we've visited several times before. We have a bit of a soft spot for The Travellers Joy, partly because they'd always been pretty friendly, but mostly because they do good food at a really good price.

It's laid out like many older pubs, with a main bar and a separate lounge bar. This is a dog friendly pub with a few tables out the front, allowing alfresco dining when our English weather allows. There's a log burner in the main bar which was laying dormant on our visit, although the pub was plenty warm enough without it. We also both strangely noticed that the bar is incredibly shiny, perhaps they have access to a secret wax hither to unknown to the rest of the public house community.

When asked which table we wanted, a comedy sketch unravelled before us. We picked the corner table, only for some other diners to come in and take it for themselves. Dad then said we would go for the table by the window, only for another group to come in and sit there. Eventually people stopped coming in and we were able to grab ourselves a place to sit.

There is a selection of light bites on offer at a bargain price of "£6.50, while you can get yourself a starter or desert for around £4. The main meals from the menu or specials board come in between £8 and £13, most of which are under £10, with the upper price being reserved for steak. I went for the nut roast on the board, unable to resist the offer of a roast dinner. Dad went for the steak which came with chips, tomato, mushrooms, coleslaw and as if that wasn't enough, a side salad.

When our food arrived, I was a happy boy. A large portion of nut roast was accompanied by plenty of roast potatoes, parsnips, a Yorkshire pudding and a separate little bowl of vegetables, four different kinds no less. Everything was well cooked and the vegetables were fresh, the one blot on their recipe book being the out of place Aunt Bessie Yorkshire. Dad asked for his steak rare, and rare it was, cooked just right. The chips weren't homemade, but they were cooked well. By that we mean they were cooked enough, unlike your average pale pub chip.

In the hope that publicans will read our reviews and maybe even take some notice, we try to point out possible improvements. With regards to that, we don't have many issues with this pub. If we were being pernickety, we'd have a play list of music rather than trusting in the radio, and perhaps a little more attention to detail with vegetable prep. However, let us not take away from the good things happening here. You will find it hard to find another pub making such good quality homemade food at such good prices, and for that reason, The Travellers Joy will always hold a special place in our hearts and stomachs.

Atmosphere          7
Service                 7
Food                    8
Value                   8.5
Verdict                 4*

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