Home from Home at the New Inn
A comfortable Sunday lunch
It's Sunday afternoon and The New Inn has been taken over. It seems to have become a second home to quite a lot of people. Near the front door is the living room, with a massive TV in the corner where there's a bunch of people of different ages watching the football, the Ryder Cup or whatever, occasionally making comments and having another drink and eating a packet of crisps. Go through to the other side at the front, and there's another bunch reading the papers or having a quiet chat. The dark wooden floors and tables are a trifle battered, but homely.
The back area is dominated by families, with a few children hareing around, which doesn't appear to phase the staff, or, unusually, bother the other customers all that much. Not enough for them to scowl or tut openly, anyway. The back rooms can also be separated off, so it's also a popular place for quiz nights, meetings and parties. The large garden has the ubiquitous decking and is nice and airy.
Sunday lunch is plentiful, with a choice of roasts served in very large portions and all the usual trimmings. The perfect crunchy roast potatoes and tasty cauliflower cheese are let down a little bit (but not too much) by soggy veg. The puddings are variable. My son's sticky toffee puddings had been over-microwaved until it ressembled a rock-solid lump of basalt impervious to battery with any metal implement. However, they did replace it without question for any dessert of our choice, and the resulting moussey chocolate cake was delicious. The staff were quick to serve and friendly.
In fact, if there's another Great Gas Explosion drama anytime (see link), I'd suggest that instead of packing everyone off World War II-style in the middle of the night to the Town Hall with a little brown suitcase, they simply evacuate them to the New Inn, where they would feel right at home.
October 2, 2006