I love to try somewhere new to eat, especially tucked away in the countryside where you can enjoy a meal and a pleasant walk.
The Sun Inn fits this bill, hidden down a country lane on the edge of the village of Bentworth in Hampshire. Dating back to the 17th century, it is an unspoilt free-house which originally was a pair of cottages.
We had arranged to meet up with friends on a bright sunny February day, but it was very cold. We found car parking space was very good with a choice of either next to the inn or up a slight incline on the other side of the building to another parking area surrounded by trees.
A wonderful smell of food cooking, wafted past us as we got out of the car. Opening the door to the Inn, we were then greeted by a wonderful log fire and cheerful, welcoming staff.
They not only had one fire…..but 3, in interlinking rooms.
A wonderful rustic charm surrounded us, with scrubbed, pine tables, original beams, brick and board floors, horse brasses, and walls covered in plates and pictures, depicting the history of the village.
Close to the log fire fire, we sat down and ordered from chalk boards positioned on the tables. There was a wide variety of starters and mains, along with ‘specials of the day.’
I plumbed for leek and potato soup which turned up nice and hot, accompanied by a warm rustic roll. I followed this up with a huge piece of cod, accompanied by chips, pies and tartare sauce. Just a little disappointed with the cod batter! It was soft as opposed to being nice and crisp. Although there were quite a selection of desserts/puddings, I was too full up for anything else!
There was a selection of real local ales all on hand pump. They included Hogsback, Bowman’s Swift One, Ringwood Best, and T.E.A. Or, you could choose from Fuller’s London Pride beer, Timothy Taylor’s Landlord and others.
The staff were attentive, polite, friendly and helpful and we didn’t have to wait long for the food.
Arriving at 12.30 it was almost 3.30 when we left. It was great to sit and relax in a good, warm atmosphere eating and chatting.
They were advertising a local cookery book in the ladies’ toilet, so I asked to look at one. It was priced at £5 and the recipes were all tried and tested and put together by the ‘Bentworth Care Group. The aim of the Group is to provide transport to medical appointments for those villagers who are infirm or unable to drive.They also organize a couple of tea events during the year.
Recipes include ‘Haddock & Egg Terrine,’ ‘Squash Soup,’ Wiener Gulasch’ (from an Austrian friend), ‘The Best Rice Salad In The World,’ Australian Crunch Biscuits,’ Pam’s Malteser Cake,’Berry Shortcake.’ I could go on……………
A fabulous time in a lovely country setting. I will certainly return when next in the area.