Another day, another new pub, at least for me, Dad has been here before at some point in the past. This beautiful pub in the small village of Funtington, just wants you to come inside. Especially on a dreary Winter's day, when the drizzle is falling on you from a grey and solemn sky, it beckons you through its doors, in to the warmth, where you can forget about the grip of Winter and enjoy a few drinks and some hot food.
The pub is much larger than it first appears, with an additional restaurant area behind the bar. Despite its size, the pub was warm, a fundamental area in pub hospitality. We examined the menu, including the specials board, and were mightily impressed. This was certainly one of the better menu's we have come across, showing a distinct flare and imagination. I had half expected the prices to reflect the ingredients and dishes on offer, perhaps rocketing in to the unacceptable bracket, but we were pleasantly surprised. Main meals averaged at £12 - £14, what we would consider about right for a good pub serving high quality food. I chose piri piri chicken with spiced sweet potato and spinach, Dad picked from the specials board, putting his faith in the pulled steak inside a bubble and squeak cake.
We soaked up the warm and friendly atmosphere as we waited for the food, noting the Goldilocks levels of both temperature and appropriate music. Before long our meals arrived, and it was immediately obvious that the chef has a wonderful eye for presentation. Both our plates looked stunning, so we quickly tucked in to see if it tasted as good as it looked. It did. The chicken was juicy, the sweet potato lightly spiced and tasty, and the spinach was buttery and luxuriant. Dad's bubble and squeak cake was equally perfect, leaving him unable to make any criticism. If we were to find a single fault, and I realise this is objective, we did find the portions a little small. Being the pub geeks that we are, we discussed this at some length. We decided that as a publican, there is a fine line between leaving your customers feeling short changed, and leaving them with room for a desert, thus collecting a few more penny's. We decided that they fell down just on the right side of that line, and to prove our point, we then ordered a desert. I had white chocolate and orange bread and butter pudding, Dad had an individual lemon meringue pie with blueberry compote. These were both also delicious.
This is without doubt a very fine pub indeed. They have well and truly ticked all the basic boxes. The staff are efficient and friendly, and they haven't succumb to the overpricing policy which is so prevalent in many gastro pubs. There's a fine chef in the kitchen, and most importantly of all, the food is excellent. We always ask ourselves after each pub visit if we would return with friends and family. The answer in this case is a resounding yes.
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