Fewer and fewer restaurants cook from scratch nowadays but the Jester does. We knew this to be true the moment we parked our car in the back lot and walked past their kitchens with the reassuring sounds of pots and pans being banged about and the unmistakable aroma of cooking wafting out of the screen door. Out of the corner of my eye I thought I caught a quick glimpse of a tall white uniformed apparition in a chef's hat using a long wooden spoon to taste something in a steaming tureen. Perhaps this was the ghost that is reputed to haunt the premises lending a hidden hand in the kitchen. As we rounded the corner and entered the front door we saw the decor was as it always had been, a little worn around the edges but still exuding the welcoming ambience of an English country pub. It was busy in both the main dining room and the screened in porch. There were even locals milling about at the bar enjoying their midday pints. Our visit was a homecoming for us having been drawn far too often of late to the flashier establishments on Water Street where one's table conversation is all too often interrupted by the invidious ding-ding of a microwave heralding the arrival of another order of previously frozen ready-to-eat meals of mediocre quality. The Jester's kitchen did not disappoint. Their lunch menu offers all the usual pub grub. The liver and onions and fish and chips were as good as ever and on a subsequent visit the quesadilla and a steak and kidney pie proved to us the excellence of their kitchens. So too the wait staff who fit in so nicely with the fun and casualness of this establishment. I left the best to last being being the 15% discount on Tuesday's an offer that we keep on reminding ourselves to take advantage of on our next visit to the Jester which won't be too long.
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