On Tuesday we returned to the Chequers Inn for another review.
We’ve reviewed it several times before, and it’s a local pub that we love.
Check out my previous articles for more details of the rooms, etc.
Things have changed in the past few years and Rumy, the Manageress, who has only been there a year, was really thrown in at the deep end. The pub closed down and all her staff were leaving as she arrived.
How did she spend her time? Painting walls!
I know that times are hard, but I’m going to write this review, warts and all. It’s only fair that I’m honest.
There are shortages of some food and drinks, and Rumy is desperate for staff. But she and her waitresses, Chelsea and Jamie, were pleasant and professional, and coped very well.
I chose an Italian rose wine, but it wasn’t available. So I had a French rose, Gris des Seigneurs, a pale-coloured rose, but full of flavour. It suited me.
Hubby John had orange juice and lemonade.
For starters, John chose Crispy salt and pepper squid with chilli relish and spring onions, £6.79p.
He said the squid was crisp and tasty, but there wasn’t any chilli in the relish and the spring onions were missing. But he loves squid so he was happy.
I had King prawn and avocado cocktail with Bloody Mary dressing and toasted sourdough bread. £6.49.
It was disappointing. I had a slice of brown bread with hard butter on the top and I had to ask for the sourdough bread, which Rumy sorted out at once. The kitchen staff are still training.
The prawn cocktail was in one word, boring. It was a few slices of avocado and some lovely plump prawns on a thick bed of lettuce. It needs jazzing up for that money, with slices of tomato and cucumber, maybe some cress as a garnish and a wedge of lemon on the side of the dish.
But the sourdough, when it arrived, was delicious.
For the main course, John Had Hunters Chicken; grilled chicken breast and smoked streaky bacon, topped with melted cheese and barbecue sauce, served with chips, onion rings, and salad. £12.29.
He said it was nice and moist.
There were no steaks available and other dishes were unavailable due to lack of ingredients being delivered.
I had Braised Lamb hotpot pie; 8-hour slow-cooked diced lamb, onions, carrot and swede in a rich, flavoursome stock and a rosemary, garlic and coriander puff pastry lid, with seasonal vegetables and chips or mashed potatoes. I chose the mash. £12.29.
The choice of veg was good, but the gravy needs working on. It was thick and lumpy.
I think the pie dish needs changing. The puff pastry lid is too big for it. Half of it was stuck to the dish, or exploded onto the table when I cut it. it looked messy too. So bring back the traditional oval pie dishes!
For pud, John chose Caramelised vanilla cheesecake, which came with a coffee, £4.79.
John likes to finish with a coffee, but I don’t as I think it drowns the flavours of the meal.
I had White Chocolate Eton Mess Sundae; meringue, white chocolate mousse, strawberry pieces and raspberry coulis, £5.99.
Lovely, but I couldn’t taste any white chocolate in it.
John finished his own sweet, then he grabbed my Sundae and finished that too! He said it was gorgeous.
We had a lovely evening and the portions were big. Rumy and her staff work really hard and I’d certainly recommend the Chequers to anyone.
They have problems to iron out, but to me, good service is as important as good food and they certainly give that!
I wish them luck and I look forward to returning there when it’s all running perfectly, as I’m sure it will with Rumy and her team!