09 January 2010
REVIEW: The Chequers Inn, Maresfield
This really is the season for pubs. Roaring fires, hearty meals and festive guest ales. Makes it worth the bitter cold. Well, almost.
The Chequers Inn is a 35 minute drive (or less if you're Italian) from Brighton. Call me fickle but I wasn't inspired to visit looking at their circa 1995 website. No menu and a pretty generic food message coupled with amateur photography really does not float my boat. Which is a shame because this is a cracking pub with all the little nooks and crannys you could wish for. A lot of people would scoff at the idea a traditional pub needs a decent website, but as there are a number of good pubs serving food in the area, competition is rife and I would say it is vital.
Following a few blips, The Chequers has recently changed hands and is now run by an enthusiastic (and really, really, really talkative) new manager. Let's hope he sorts that website out. The pub also has a 100ft well in the middle of it which is worth a penny and a wish. The good news is that it does have iron bars across it so any post drinking accidents are avoided.
We were brought here by friends who recommended this pub based on the pork alone. A decent enough reason in my book. We were sad to see it missing from the menu on this occasion but apparently the new chef has had quite a lot of pressure from locals to put it back on.
As the starters didn't grab me, I went straight into the main event with the Confit of Duck, Mash and Braised Red Cabbage served with a Cranberry and Orange sauce. I can be a bit funny with duck but this was lovely, crispy skin and tender, melt in the mouth pockets of meat. I would have liked more of the sauce as there was plenty of duck and the mash was a little uninspired, but the quality of the meat made up for it.
Mr. GF ordered the roast beef and had no complaints at all. The meat was served very pink but he likes his cow served with the horns cut off and walked through a warm room anyway. For me an important part of a roast is really good veg and aside form the potatoes, they were on good form on this plate and plentiful. Mr. GF did think the roast potatoes had been hanging around for a while and suffered a little for it. The only real complaints with the mains generally was that the plates were cold, and therefore the food was lukewarm which was a real shame as you feel the need to hoover up you meal quickly before it goes completely cold.
I haven't had banoffee pie in years and had a real hankering for it. Banoffee pie is what it is, just a really good, unpretentious naughty pud. And this slice was massive, but I ate it all like a real trooper.
Mr. GF is a professional apple pie eater and was so happy with his choice that I only got to sample a measly little bite. When I asked him for a taste he actually looked at the huge piece he was just about to devour on his spoon and put it back on his plate to give me a smaller piece. Who said love was dead?
£12.50 for 2 courses and £15.50 for 3 courses which is really good value for money.
For more information on this nice pub and their nice food, visit their crap website at http://www.chequers-maresfield.co.uk/
The Chequers, High Street, Maresfield TN22 2EH
Telephone 01825 763 843