Friday, 11 August 2017

THE VICTORIA INN - West Marden, Chichester

After a few weeks off, we got back on the trail, seeking pub perfection. Today's search would take us back in to that slice of golden pub paradise, on the outskirts of Chichester. The subject of today's review would be The Victoria Inn, a pub we had passed several times on our adventures.

At first glance, this is a classic country pub, set in the heart of a quiet village. There is plenty of outdoor seating, both in the beer garden and at the side of the pub. When we stepped inside, everything felt right. That rare pub x-factor which can be so hard to put your finger on. All the essential boxes were immediately ticked, with a nice bit of Jose Gonzales adding to the relaxing atmosphere.

Wanting to make the most of the sun, which has been lacking of late, we took a table outside and scanned the menu. It was excellent, with plenty of interesting meals, including vegetarian fish and chips, not really fish though. This was substituted for battered halumi. Sounds a bit unusual, but curiously, we had seen the same thing on offer in our last pub review. An average meal here will set you back £14, but it was clear that the food was aiming for a high standard. There was also a specials board, but Dad and I were both drawn to the main menu. What we particularly liked was the description of their pie of the day. Regular readers will know how we feel about pretend pies which only have pastry on the top. This was advertised as a homemade individual pie with short crust pastry on top and bottom, and probably the sides. That immediately made Dad's mind up. I picked the halloumi burger with sweet potato fries.

As we had luckily got our order in early, just before the pub became busy, it wasn't long at all before our food arrived. It's always a good start when your food looks good, and this did. After carefully removing the tomato from my burger, I got stuck in. There was plenty of halloumi, and the bottom of the bun was slathered with humus, I was also blessed with some slices of gherkin, which is always a good thing. My sweet potato fries were crisp, not an easy thing to achieve with sweet potatoes, and my coleslaw was a nice extra. Dad was very pleased in deed. His pie was amazing, and his mash, and I quote, "was the smoothest and creamiest", he'd ever had, and he's had his fair share of mash.

We knew from the moment we arrived that this was a special pub, and I'm glad to say our instincts didn't let us down. It's a beautiful, cared for pub, with excellent and friendly staff. The food is wonderful, and we thoroughly enjoyed our visit. There is definitely some pub magic here, and we happily recommend that you give it a go.

Atmosphere          9
Service                 9
Food                    9
Value                   8
Verdict                 5*

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