I live locally but only moved to the area within the last year. My husband and I have ventured to the Poacher a couple of times, and whilst I never experienced anything quite like some of the past negative reviews on here - I always felt that the place was somewhat lacking - which we thought was a shame as the pub had so much potential.
It was always empty when we visited and didn't seem to have much atmosphere. As I think another reviewer has commented, the decor was a bit bizarre with some sort of lilac and silver theme - it seemed they were trying but not quite getting it right. Food was ok, nice enough and well presented but I wouldn't have gone out of my way to go back.
We saw that the Poacher had been closed down for some weeks, and then noticed the 'under new management' signs as we drove past back in June. There's a lot of choice where we live with an abundance of good pubs and restaurants, and I have to admit although I was intrigued I wasn't really that fussed about going back.
The Poacher then did a leaflet drop with their new menu and a discount voucher around the local area to try to entice people back in. We decided to give it a go, and now I'm glad that we did.
The decor is much improved, just feels a bit more in keeping with the area and a bit more homely. The pub was busier than I've ever seen it! The service was good - we didn't book in advance and were accommodated without any fuss. Our waitress was friendly and polite.
The food was lovely. I enjoyed a Moroccan style lamb with cous cous whilst my husband ordered rib-eye steak, which came with a delicious sauce. Everything was cooked just as we asked, and the portions were very generous.
We only ventured back into the Poacher because we had a discount voucher and thought we may as well give it a try. I would now happily go back there and take along friends and family, it is definitely worth a try. It isn't the cheapest of places but the menu selection should be able to suit most budgets.
Well done to the new management team for turning it around so quickly, and good luck to them moving forward. :)
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.