Friday, 31 July 2015

THE FARMER INN - 300 Catherington Lane

UPDATED 11/7/18

Today it was a delightful and unexpected trip to The Farmer Inn with my sister and her good man. I know this pub well, but haven't been for a while, and thought it a good time to perform a refresh.

Sun plus time for lunch equals pub garden, obviously. The knowledge that The Farmers has plenty of outdoor seating played a part in the ultimate decision to eat there. There is also, for your information, a good sized car park out the back of the pub. We entered the bar, where there was music playing, an improvement from my last visit. We started a tab and withdrew to the garden with drinks and menus. It was a pretty good menu, hovering in the Goldilocks zone. Not too big, not too small. There was something for everyone on offer, including several  meals for our vegetarian friends. When sitting in a sunny pub garden, I can't be bothered with anything that is too much effort to eat, so I was drawn to the southern fried chicken burger. This comes with the option of upgrading to triple cooked chips for £1.50, plus a range of optional toppings. Emily went for the beefy version of the burger, while Rob picked that pub staple, ham, egg and chips.

In just the right amount of time, the food was delivered, and I think they were both a bit jealous of my burger. A mass of chicken breast protruded from the bun it had been housed in. It was also joined on the plate by a hillock of coleslaw. Said coleslaw was very nice, the chips were good, but the burger was a beautiful thing in deed. Juicy, crispy, tasty, everything you would want from a freshly prepared chicken burger. Emily was equally as impressed with her cow burger, which also had a coleslaw chum. Rob was in part drawn to the ham because it had been prepared using ginger beer, and it seems that preparation was not in vain. It was plentiful and delicious. One of the eggs was slightly over done, but that's not yet a criminal offence.

In my mind, this is definitely an outdoor pub. They have been serving good food here for several years now, but it's not quite the whole five star package. If you're in the area, and fancy a drink or a bite to eat in the garden of a good old English country pub, you could do a lot worse than paying a visit to The Farmer Inn.

Atmosphere         7
Service                7
Food                    8
Value                   8
Verdict                 4*


Today we visited The Farmer Inn. It wasn't the first time we've been there and it probably won't be the last. It's semi-rural location gives you that country pub feel without really having to venture in to the sticks. The pub changed hands several years back and the new bosses were keen to stamp their own homemade food on the menu. The pub itself is not the biggest, but when the sun is shining, there is ample outdoor seating at the rear of the pub.

As I said, we had eaten here before and it had always been of a high standard, we are especially enamoured by their triple cooked chips. I have though always had a slight issue with the atmosphere inside. It may just be me, but it never feels very warm and cosy. It's fine in the evening when the bar is full of punters, but lunchtime can feel a bit cold. Don't get me wrong, the service is always good and it's not always cold in the literal sense, but there's just something. Maybe I had a bad experience there in a past life.

We both struggled a bit today picking something from the menu. There was plenty on there but nothing jumped out at us. I ended up going for salmon with triple cooked chips and Dad had ham, egg and triple cooked chips. We also went mad and ordered some garlic bread to share as a starter. When it came I was quite excited. It looked good, but didn't quite deliver.
The main courses were certainly better. I had a good sized peace of salmon and my vegetables were cooked well. Dad was happy enough with his ham and egg, but we both felt the triple cooked chips weren't quite up to their normal standard. They were still better than virtually any chip you'll get in other pubs, just not quite touched by the divine.

I don't have a bad word to say about this pub in truth. The food is good, the service is good, it's just the interior that doesn't quite do it for me. However, if the sun is out and you want some good food, I would certainly recommend a trip to The Farmer Inn, just try and get a seat in the garden.

Atmosphere  6
Service        8
Food           8
Value         8

Verdict      3.5*

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