I have visited the Ferry often this year and have learned the art of a passable evening.
If upon arrival there is no one behind the bar, don't be shy ring the little hand bell, if the pub is busy the staff member will arrived looking stressed, or if quiet disinterested. It is difficult however to tell the difference between quiet and busy, because there are never enough staff, this might just smack service. On five different occasions in one evening I heard the barmaid say to customers, you WILL HAVE TO HAVE a small glass as there are no clean large glasses. Apart from the lost revenue to the owner, how can you say to a customer YOU WILL HAVE TO HAVE.
The menu reads as you would expect for a pub, however avoid anything that just might have been made on the premises, see "homemade, read avoid". The burgers are generally cremated, so if feeling brave try asking for it cooked a particular way, however depending who's cooking it will just be different levels of cremated. I had the 1/2 pounder last time so two burgers, had to slice of the top and bottom to access anything edible. Took the second home for the dog, not having a knife he rejected it. Pies, well the top does not meet the bottom at any point during the cooking process, and the one I had was just slop in a bowl with a separately grilled pastry top stuck on as it was leaving the kitchen.
I have once in about 10 meals, had chips that were cooked for me rather than reheated, its all very well serving huge portions but surely someone in the kitchen must be asking why so much comes back. Sausage egg and chips too much cooking, the sausages were so obviously left over from breakfast I truly could not eat them, so it was just eggs and chips then.
The starter of smoked salmon, crab and prawns with chunky bread was perfect, only downer was the smallest horrid plastic pot of sauce. My partner ordered scampi Its hard to spoil scampi, it wasn't ruined but not golden, over cooked and lots of second hand chips.
So, do not expect cheerful or helpful staff, do not expect anything resembling service, stay clear of home-made, and remember the owner is not Cornish, London or Kent I think and most of the staff are family so it is not a typical Cornish experience, they have been there far too long and know that returning customers are a bonus, but there are always thousands over the year who will look at this wonderful building and enter believing the inside will live up to exterior promise.
On a positive side, the views from the terrace are wonderful, be prepared to clear the tables though, and the beer is well kept. So unless trapped that side of the water, eat in Fowey, but the best view and the best beer is to be had at the Ferry.
Why do i keep going back, because I love the pub, the views and the beer, and in a perverse way watching the chaos.
- Official Description (provided by the hotel):
- Situated on the banks of the Fowey River Estuary in the picturesque village of Bodinnick, The Old Ferry is a quintessential Cornish Inn that has been providing accommodation and refreshment for over 400 years. We overlook the Bodinnick to Fowey ferry which can trace its roots back to the 13th Century, and 'Ferryside' the former family home of Daphne du Maurier. The Inn with its relaxed and warm welcome has many traditional features including a wood burner and stone slate floor, and is full of old photographs, nautical bric-a-brac and memorabilia. The perfect place to while away time during the winter months.Our panoramic restaurant gives fantastic river views towards the town of Fowey and the village of Polruan. There are also south facing outside terraces which also have splendid estuary views, and capture the sun all day, a perfect retreat for a summers day. ... more less
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- Also Known As:
- The Old Ferry Inn Bodinnick Hotel Fowey
- The Old Ferry Inn Fowey, Cornwall