OH, WELD is me!
I was drawn to the fine menu choice being advertised on The Weld Arms’ internet page, particularly two interesting vegetarian dishes.
It was Mother’s Day and happily my mum had picked somewhere which wasn’t peddling the usual non-meat choices of vegetable bake and the like.
A shame then, but understandable, that for Mothering Sunday the pub ditched its usual bill of fare and offered a stripped-down menu especially for mums and their brood.
Diners could have two courses for £14.95 or three for £19.95. That’s good value given the quality of food – except for the vegetarian dish which was a plate of pasta with a bit of garlic and tomato thrown in!
They were obviously going for the roast dinner market and plenty were opting for that, but why such a bland vegetarian choice?
And why, when you had to book well in advance for such an occasion, were there not enough staff? They did their best in the circumstances however and were friendly throughout.
Still, this was mum’s day and she loved her garlic mushrooms on toast (they even found some brown bread for her) and she was sold on the baked trout which came with her favourite of roasted sweet potato, and vegetables.
My sister’s roast beef was good but she noted one piece was a bit chewy, while my nephew had no complaints about his spicy chicken wings (“First spicy thing I’ve really enjoyed”) and his kid’s menu choice of burger and chips.
In between my disappointments at the dining table (my garlic mushrooms were lukewarm) I looked round. It’s a lovely place and there’s a giant beer garden with children’s play equipment.
The Weld Arms is a seventeenth century thatched pub and was originally a row of cottages built by the Weld family whose descendants live in the castle nearby. It was thought smugglers used to visit – nowadays it’s mainly people exploring Purbeck.
It has lovely log fires and big sofas and apart from the main bar area there are separate dining rooms which look cosy.
Despite my disappointments I’ll be sure to return to the Weld Arms to try those elusive vegetarian options.
• The Weld Arms, East Lulworth. Telephone 01929 400211.
My Weld Arms bill:
Three courses of spicy chicken wings with salsa, roast topside of beef and vanilla cheesecake: £19.95
Two courses of garlic cream mushrooms on toast and baked trout: £14.95
Two courses of garlic cream mushrooms on toast and roasted garlic and tomato pasta with salad: £14.95
Children’s menu burger and chips: £5.50
Large glass of Merlot: £4.85
Two orange and passion fruit J20s: £4
Orange juice and lemonade: £2.75
• This is an independent review by a reporter without the cooperation of the establishment.