“The only real stumbling block is fear of failure. In cooking you've got to have a what-the-hell attitude.” ― Julia Child

Wednesday, March 16, 2011

Chequing It Out

Today being a Wednesday, it was my day off, and so after helping my Sis with a couple of odd jobs we decided to go have lunch somewhere different today. This of course is always a fabulous idea because you don't want to keep reading about me going to eat at the same old places all the time, do you? We headed off to the wilds of sunny High Halden and The Chequers, a pub I rarely went into in my youth because (a) I didn't live in High Halden, and (b) it kinda sucked, being as it was full of, well, let's say they weren't really the crowd I usually hung out with. But times have changed, and so has the clientele.

I have been into the Chequers a few times this last year and the atmosphere and ambience is very nice indeed.It was built around the year 1620 and used to be a favourite haunt of smugglers, apparently. My sister went to eat there a time or two recently and reported that it was rather spiffy, so I naturally relished the opportunity to go sample its delights. The pub was actually quite crowded for a Wednesday lunchtime, full of old people enjoying the carvery and its accompanying buffet. the line looked quite long for the carvery so we decided to forgo that option and order a la carte.

Naturally, we started with drinks, the girls armed themselves with Cokes and I opted for a pint of Harveys Sussex Bitter. Top stuff, that.

Nice glass, too.
We ordered and took a seat in the bay window. Naturally I took a few snaps of the fab decor.

Lovely old pre-decimalization bar menu. Notice the conspicuous absence of any lagers.

The gentleman at the back is availing himself of the carvery.

Reproduction of the old pub sign. Fremlins brewery is sadly no longer in existence, having been bought by Whitbread in the 80s and then disappearing altogether when Whitbread decided to close a load of their pubs. Shame. When I was first of legal drinking age, Fremlins was my pint.

I love all the handpainted signs on all the wooden beams about the place.

I have no idea what this means, or who Jim Fuller might be.

"A man with deep pockets soon drinks alone."

It's a low beam - geddit?
So's this.
Then our food showed up. Yee-ha!

Sis chose the sausage and onion baguette, and the thing was huge, easily a foot long, filled with pork sausages that are made specially for The Chequers, with a red onion chutney and caramelised onions.

I had the ham, egg and chips, and the ham was lovely and thick, the eggs were perfect, the chips were nice and crispy on the outside and fluffy on the inside. Came with a side salad and cole slaw and garden peas. Not bad for £7.50.

Laura had a baguette also, this was a steak and onion version. Wowser.
There is another side of the bar where resides a pool table...

And outside, some old washing mangles add to the retro feel of the place...

I had a delightful conversation with the lady behind the bar about Malt Whiskies, as I noticed the bottle of Laphroaig sitting upside down in an optic, something I'd not seen before. Evidently the whisky is quite popular in Whisky Macs, not something I'd generally do to a Single Malt but understandable since Laphroaig does have a beautiful smoky peaty taste which would be perfectly offset by ginger wine. Very warming, I'd imagine.

Anyway, so off we set, bound for jolly old Tesco, but that's another story. All in all I enjoyed the Chequers and would definitely eat there again - perhaps the Carvery next time? Any road up, we have a definite 4 and a half yums out of 5 here.


  1. Went on a Wednesday to enjoy the "Steak Night" deal only to find that they were sold out (at 7pm!).

    Ended up costing as twice as much as we had to order from the a la carte menu and no free bottle of wine.

    Always disappointing when you expect to get something and you don't get it!

  2. Simon & Julie CromwellApril 21, 2011 at 1:51 PM

    Sorry that anonymous was disappointed but fortunately for The Chequers we had 30 covers on our Steak Night last night, who all thoroughly enjoyed their steaks.

    We order our food from local suppliers so it is fresh, 24 of the people took our advice and booked, unfortunately anonymous didn't. He was served two beefburger & chips and a bottle of house red wine - total bill £27.50. Steak Night (with a free bottle of wine) is £20 so hardly twice as much.

    Moral of story - book!

    We don't mind criticism when its justified!

    Simon & Julie Cromwell - Landlord and Landlady of The Chequers

  3. Thanks for that Simon & Julie. I wish i knew who 'anonymous' was - as the author of the blog it kinda ticks me off when people comment anonymously (especially when it turns out to be someone I know!) but I guess we have to respect a person's right to privacy eh? Anyway, good advice from the owners there, and keep on keepin' on!


Come on and chew the fat!


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