We visited the Chetnole Inn in late August whilst staying at nearby Sydling St. Nicholas. Our visit did not get off to a good start when I was served a pint of what seemed, to me, to be distinctly 'off' Dartmouth Bitter. Usually I find that hand pumped beers are excellently kept these days - such as the brilliant Gem Bitter I had in Bath, in November, by Bath Ales. Our two main courses were 'hit and miss'. I had the best pie I have ever had in a pub. A delicious ham and chicken one served with equally excellent home cooked chips. My wife, however, described her pan cooked lamb as 'tough and difficult to cut'.
Then came the 'big wait'. It was exactly 55 minutes between finishing our main course and being served our desert. Again they were 'hit and miss' when they arrived. My wife's chocolate brownie was described as 'wonderful'. Perhaps I should have read the menu more carefully in the long wait. When I see the words rhubarb and crumble I think of warm cooked rhubarb with crumble on top served with delicious warm custard or ice cream. This was apparently 'deconstructed' rhubarb and pear crumble. Cold sticks of cooked rhubarb in a small dish, a scattering of cold crumble with a blob of cream on top and a half of poached pear. It may be deconstructed but I can only call it pretentious.
To provide balance to this report our daughter, son-in-law and granddaughter went to the Chetnole Inn on the following evening and said they had 'excellent service and very good food'.
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