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The Queen’s Arms Chew Magna Review 19th March 2016

 The Queen’s Arms Chew Magna Review 19th March 2016
The Queen’s Arms at Chew Magna takes a bit of finding but when you do it’s certainly worth it. It’s hidden away behind the Village Hall at the end of Silver Street, a welcoming beacon on a dark night. Saturday night is obviously a popular night out for the locals and both the bar and the restaurant were humming so we were glad we had booked in advance. The pub keep a good range of cask ales and the cheery barman recommended a pint of Butcombe as being the best of the local brew which we heartily agreed with as it’s one of our favourites too. Fortified with said pint, we took up residence at our cosy table for two tucked away in a corner room where we could see through the kitchen door to the chefs at work.

Exposed brickwork, low ceilings and scrubbed wooden tables are the order of the day, which all makes for a pleasant and casual atmosphere, together with a large and helpful sign in enormous wooden letters above the bar, spelling ‘Queens’ presumably just in case at the end of a riotous night you forget where you are.

We perused the menu, although in truth we’d already decided what we’d like to see on the menu when we got there and happily we weren’t disappointed. Pandering to our heart’s desire was baked lemon sole with caper butter and new potatoes, swiftly converted to chips I have to say, and sirloin steak with mushroom rarebit, onion rings, roast tomato, chips and salad garnish were chosen for our main courses. To start, I opted for goat’s cheese shortcrust pastry tartlet with red onion jam, and my companion the homemade mackerel pâté and we settled back to enjoy the remains of our beer and a jolly good chat. The pub is very conducive to this, and there was a welter of happy laughter and banter going on all around us.

We thoroughly enjoyed both our starters, but the dish of the day was definitely my sirloin steak which was perfect, cut thick, nicely spiced tender and juicy and cooked exactly medium rare. I was impressed as I almost never order steak even if I’m dining at the Ritz so to speak because I know it won’t be to my taste so for a pub to come up trumps in terms of meat quality and cooking is quite amazing. The portions are humungous so you really need to be hungry to do them justice.

We finished with a cheese platter for two, with a good selection of both hard and soft cheeses and some very nice fruit; fresh redcurrants and apple – the perfect end to a meal.

Jacquie Vowles

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