“ Contact: The Barley Mow, Walderton Nr. Chichester, West Sussex, PO18 9ED / Tel: 023 9263 1321 „
The Barley Mow is an old pub located in the small village of Walderton, Hampshire. I visited it in November to have a late birthday lunch out with my dad (he's a big fan of country pubs and I don't drink, but I do like the atmosphere of them).
Getting to the pub:
As mentioned the Barley Mow is in Walderton, Hampshire - the B2146 is the nearest main road, luckily Walderton is a small village so once you're there you shouldn't have trouble finding the pub as it literally sits on the edge of the road (no front garden).
Appearance and atmosphere:
The gravelled car park is located to the side of the pub and is quite large - when we arrived there were only have a dozen cars there despite it being lunch time, and I would say there is enough space for at least 20 cars. To the back of the pub is the garden however we didn't venture into it as it was quite cold. The main door is at the front of the building and is there is neither pavement nor garden separating the pub from the road, you will have to walk on the road to get inside - this said, it isn't too much of an issue as it's a relatively quiet road, although due care is of course needed (especially if you were to leave in the dark a little worse for wear!)
From the outside the pub looks lovely - it's got to be several hundred years old and is covered in ivy, this gave me high hopes for the inside, but unfortunately I was a little disappointed. I don't mean to say that the inside was bad, it's just not very atmospheric - the inside is very large with a big restaurant area to the right and it doesn't feel as old on the inside as it looks on the outside. There's lots of space between the tables which is good as even when it's busy in there you've still got the freedom to move around without bashing into anyone else. On the walls are a highly interesting selection of framed historical images and newspaper articles from the local area and the bar is in the middle of the pub.
As I stated at the beginning of the review I don't drink alcohol, however I went up to the bar to order my dad a beer - there was only a small selection of about 4 to choose from, and then it transpired that they'd run out of two which was a bit irritating. Despite this though service at the bar was quick and friendly and they were happy to either let you pay at the bar or add it to the tab if you are eating.
To order food you have to go up to the bar, there's no waitress service, however this is again efficient. The pub was relatively busy when we went - it seems to be very popular with the older generation for lunches, but we only waited 15 or so minutes from ordering to getting our food.
On the menu is the standard pub food you would expect - there's nothing exciting or out of the ordinary but this isn't necessarily a bad thing. I ordered the lasagne (came with chips and a salad) and when it arrived I was disappointed to see that the lasagne was relatively small in comparsion to everything else on the plate, worse than this though it had been overcooked - the top layer almost felt plastic (the melted cheese had gone really hard) and the whole thing was very dry. I don't like to make a fuss though so I ate it without saying anything. I have no problem with traditional pub food, but this is one of the poorer lasagna's I've ever eaten.
Overall I liked this pub - it's in a beautiful contryside setting and service is quick and friendly, however it does let itself down by seemingly running out of drinks regularly, over cooking food and not being as atmospheric on the inside as it is on the outside.