The picturesque, black and white timbered “Mermaid Inn”:https://www.mermaidinn.com/about-the-hotel/ is located on Rye’s touristic cobbled street of the same name. It was only just after noon when we arrived, but the small Parlour and Fireplace Bar was already very busy, and at first glance looked a little dark. Tables were close together, so we opted to sit outside despite the need to keep fleeces on.
There were a couple of seating areas in the carpark, presumably created during the pandemic, but we chose the terrace just outside the main door. This gave us the ideal position to watch people coming in and out and frequently banging their head on what was a very low door.
Each table had a menu and so armed with our table number, I ordered at the bar, which had Perspex Covid screens. The “bar menu”:https://www.mermaidinn.com/bar/bar-menu-2/ is relatively simple with fish and chips, burgers, ploughman’s and sandwiches. Because we were hoping for a lovely dinner in the evening, we shared a fish finger sandwich and chips. The sandwich, three fish goujons in a ciabatta, was big enough for two to share whilst the huge bowl of well-salted chips, was big enough for four. We asked for a second plate and tomato sauce which was brought in a dish rather than irritating sachet.
With a couple of pints of Appleshed cider and a Rekorderlig cider, the bill came to £21.55.
It is probably one of the most popular places in Rye to stay and eat and, as it was rumoured to be used by a notorious gang of smugglers, A Smuggler’s Song by Rudyard Kipling was displayed on one of the outer wall of the Tudor Bar.