Monday, July 18, 2016

THE HAMPSHIRE BOWMAN, DUNDRIDGE - RESTAURANT REVIEW

I can't swear to you that the Hampshire Bowman is a typical English pub serving a typical Sunday roast. But I trust my friends Roger and Caroline. And I do believe that they delivered when we asked to be taken to just such a pub during our recent, brief trip to England. The Hampshire Bowman looked the part, the ale was superlative, the food well prepared and reasonably priced, and the atmosphere was warm and inviting. If it wasn't typical, it should be.

After following a narrow country lane for a bit, we walked into the Bowman through the lounge. (The plaque on the door touted the sardine races. British humor? Humour?) We were greeted by a wall of barrels of ale behind the bar. (The pub dog appeared later.) I asked for something dark and malty but not too crunchy. The barkeep poured two sample glasses. One was perfect. Warm, but I expected that. I don't remember the silly name. It's a thing, I guess. Silly names for ales and beers. After we all chose and paid, Caroline decided that she wanted to sit in the bar and not the lounge, so we went through the door to the bar. And that door remained closed, separating the loungers from the hoi polloi.


And the hoi polloi arrived soon after we settled in, a happy crew of a  few well-dressed country gents outnumbered by families with kids - babes-in-arms, toddlers, and adolescents. All reasonably well behaved.

The chalkboard menu was more varied than I expected. Interesting stuff. But we were there for the roast. Three of us went for the beef, the gents the large plate and wife Cathey the small. Caroline went for the small pork roast. All came with veggies al dente, well-roasted potatoes, and a crisp Yorkshire pudding. The meat was spot on as was the abundant gravy. Roger and Caroline almost skipped dessert but, when I pointed out that I would need to order one to complete this review, they dug in like troopers. Their sticky toffee pudding and bread and butter pudding disappeared almost as quickly as my dark chocolate and rum torte.

With a second round of beer for me and Roger, all came in at about 15 GBP per person, more or less. (More for the men with our large roasts and pints and a half. Less for the ladies with their small roasts and their half pints.) Well presented. Well priced. Recommended.

2 comments:

  1. I am doing my best to emulate this behaviour Ira ...I'm in the UK for a Month ....putting on weight !

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    Replies
    1. I encourage such behavior...or in your case, behaviour...so British!

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