Tuesday, 6 March 2018

HUNTERS INN - Cott street, Swanmore

Another one of those pubs that we had visited several years ago, and thought it time to revisit. Our last journey to this particular pub was just before the age of reviews, so this would be another groundbreaking expedition.
We found the pub without too much trouble, and found a parking space which always makes life easier. The car park was certainly busy though, often a good sign of things to come. We entered forth in to what is a fairly sizable pub, and approached the bar. We gathered up some liquid refreshment, and headed to a cosy two seat table in the corner. On our way we checked out the specials board. Rather than your standard specials board, this is more of a menu in its own right, leaning heavily on the meaty side. It transpires that they do, or at least did, have their own on site butcher, which explains that. One curious thing about this pub. As well as the vast specials board, and the main menu, a roast dinner can be acquired here all through the week.

While I was tempted by several of the options, I do find it hard to resist a roast, so went for a Christmassy roast turkey. Dad picked out the lamb shoulder. This is available as a one person meal, or as a sharing plate for two. As the car park indicated, it was indeed busy inside, as well as being a touch cold. To be fair, it was a very cold day outside.

Before too long, our food arrived. The first thing we noticed, was the vast collection of vegetables on show. Potatoes, parsnips, carrots, cabbage, baby corn, peas, beans, there may have been more. As well as the veggie metropolis, my plate contained stuffing, a small sausage, and a good amount of turkey. All finished off with a small pot of cranberry sauce. The turkey and the stuffing were both good, and for the most part the rest was pretty good, particularly the parsnips. I wasn't quite convinced by the roast potatoes though, and my peas were cold, but on the whole, I was quite happy. Dad didn't fare as well. Although his lamb was cooked very well, all his vegetables were cold. We assume that his was plated up and left for a bit too long while my turkey was being prepared.

This is a pretty big pub, and its menu is vast and laden with meat. It is generally the excepted wisdom that big menu's are a bad idea, but if it works for the Hunter's, who are we to argue. I get the feeling this is a pub where you could very easily have two very different experiences. It may just depend on the luck of the draw as to which you have. The welcome and service could have been a bit more polished up with warmth, and there is no excuse for cold food. Dad's cold vegetables and my warm ones summing up our opinion in a convenient nutshell.

Atmosphere                   7
Service                          6
Food                             7
Value                            8
Verdict                          3.5*


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