Wednesday, 17 May 2017

THE BLUEBELL INN - Bell Lane, Cocking

We finally got to this pub in a very roundabout way. We first came across it, whilst driving back from another pub jaunt, and make a note of it. Today, we were due to visit a different pub entirely, no names mentioned, but after waiting, unacknowledged at the bar for some time, we decided to go elsewhere, and that's how we ended up at The Bluebell.

It was a horrible, horrendously soggy day today, so it was a relief when we made it inside. The Bluebell does seem to be a pub to all intents and purposes, but it makes a point of advertising itself as a B & B come restaurant. It's warm and comfortable inside, with a splash of background music to stop the atmosphere turning stale. Menu's and drinks were brought to the table, a touch which is always appreciated. We had the choice of an a la cartmenu, a bar menu, and the specials.

The specials were all on offer at just under £15, including cottage pie, that is too much for a cottage pie, that's a scientific fact. We were then wary that we could be in the midst of some serious blanket pricing, half expecting everything on the menu to cost £14.50, luckily this wasn't the case. Many meals were more reasonably priced at £12.50, including the pasta with chicken, spinach and broccoli in a blue cheese sauce. Dad went for the trio, yes trio of sausages at £14.50. Now, these weren't just sausages, they were three very different sausages. One wild boar, one duck and one venison. These were served with bubble and squeak. After talking with the owner, we discovered he had tried over 100 different sausages to find the best, that's dedication.

Dad had great fun with his sausages, ooh err, when they arrived, trying to identify which was which. Not sure how well that went, but they were all very tasty. My pasta was also very good, and I'm not a huge pasta fan, unless it is truly very good. It always helps if there's blue cheese involved. There was plenty of chicken, and the broccoli was cooked perfectly, a skill unbeknownst to many. The presentation was good, and the portion sizes were just right, leaving me particularly full.

The food here was good, though the pricing was a little slued in places, particularly when it came to fish and cottage pie. All the basic pub boxes were ticked, and it is hard to find a major fault with our visit. The most glaring issue, is that this pub/B & B, is located in the golden slice of pub paradise, meaning that competition is fierce, and at present, The Bluebell isn't quite up there with the big boys.

Atmosphere          6
Service                 6
Food                    8
Value                   6
Verdict                 4*

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