THERE are times when a desk lunch doesn’t quite cut the mustard and a proper lunchtime hour spent away from the office appeals.
For the wage slaves working on the Granby Industrial Estate near Weymouth, the Lugger Inn in Chickerell is an obvious choice of lunchtime watering hole.
In the summer there is a pleasant grassy area for outside drinking and dining, while inside there is a spacious, flagstone-floor bar for convivial meetings and snack lunches and a good-sized restaurant for larger meals.
We went on a Thursday afternoon and the place was deserted apart from a couple of men at the bar and a small family party enjoying a meal in the restaurant. We were shown to a table by a friendly and helpful barmaid and presented with the pub’s extensive menu.
The choices ran to several pages and included fish dishes, vegetarian options, pies, lighter meals, a ‘from the grill’ section and a children’s menu.
There is also an extensive dessert range with goodies including cheesecake, pineapple upside-down pudding and apple crumble.
But while the prospect of a wide choice was initially rather exciting, the bulky menus with their heavy laminated pages proved daunting rather than inspirational and we felt that we chose quickly out of desperation rather than genuine desire.
I went for butternut squash and Stilton pancakes because I fancied something light in the midst of seasonal indulgence. My companion opted for fish and chips because if well made, it is a dish that’s hard to better. Or batter.
My two pancakes looked just the job, perfectly coloured and attractively served with the dark green leaves and lightly grilled tomatoes.
Unfortunately, their good looks deceived. The pancakes were too thick and stodgy and the filling disappointing. The Stilton gave a lovely tang but there needed to be more squash and what pieces there were, were small and undercooked – the skin was too chewy to be pleasant.
My companion’s proved to be the better choice, although the dish was slightly swimming in a clear liquid that was either fat from the fish and chips or water from under-strained peas.
The chips were deliciously light and crispy and the fish portion huge for the price; a big chunk of firm white fish coated in wonderfully crisp and golden batter.
Our appetites vanquished by the large portions, we decided against pudding, paid up and headed back to work in just under an hour, refreshed, replete and raring to go.
• This is an independent review by a reporter without the cooperation of the establishment.
Our Lugger Inn bill:
Butternut squash and stilton pancakes £8.50
Fish and chips £8.50
Two colas and a soda water £2.55