On strong recommendation of GPG, we drove a very long way to lunch at the Gueen's Head. It's not really a pub, and this should be declared to all potential visitors, as it has been put together from modern buildings in an idiosyncratic way - right on the edge of the hurtlingly busy A17 south. Plus there is no real sense of a bar, or those aspects of a pub in terms of hospitality and relaxed welcome that one celebrates as the epitome of English courtesy. The bar itself appears to be often left unattended. On arrival there was no welcome or hosting skill evident, just a man behind the bar continuing to talk to two earlier clients seated at his side. On ordering wine, his lack of listening attention was proved when he poured a red rather than the specified 'sauvignon blanc' - it's all in the name? Slow attention to food ordering was evident, and one poor lady had obviously been given too much to do in this line, and the stress showed. Eventually, we were taken through to a low-slung and rather over-confected restaurant - not really the setting we sought for a pub lunch - where the food was served. The broccoli (misspelt on lunch board) quiche was a tiny but tasty slice, with both a pot of salad and vegetables to accompany - a strange decision? It's claimed that vegetable picking is local and immediate. Where did they find mange-touts in the soil that freezing morning? The plaice was 'very wet' and unusually tricky to bone. The famous 'home-made' bread (white and brown) was very clearly industrially produced, even if reheated from freezer or elsewhere. Home-made bread identifies itself by shouting its identity very loudly! Though the bill was delivered in an AMEX folder, and the feedback forms were sheafed in an AMEX perspex holder, we were told that there would be an excess charge for paying with this specific card. We left with a lot of adverse impressions.
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