“ Type: Bar and restaurant / Location: Pakefield Street, Pakefield, Lowestoft, Suffolk NR33 0JS / Tel: 01502 561398 „
~THE JOLLY SAILORS~
~ME AND THE JOLLY SAILORS~
I have visited the Jolly Sailors numerous times in many years. The reason for many of my visits being due to the fact that I often spend long weekends in the area of Pakefield in Suffolk.
I first went to this pub, bar and restaurant many years ago whilst staying at the nearby Pontins Holiday centre of pakefield. Staying at Pontins has been a way for myself and my extended family to meet up for a family get together in a location that isn't too far for any of us to travel to, for a few days. Originally, in the 1980s, we would spend a week here with three generations enjoying spending time together. Nowadays we all mostly spend our main holidays abroad but we still fit in a long weekend here, including New Year and Easter breaks.
But unless things change quickly and in a big way, I wouldn't recommend the Pontins Centre anymore; it has deteriorated and I find the food dire. But, there are many nice places to stay in this area, which is only a few miles from Lowestoft, and nearer to Kessingland. Pakefield is in Suffolk but close to the border of Norfolk.
When my family are in this area it has always been a family tradition to spend at least one day, or part of it, in nearby Lowestoft. Most of the family walk (about four or five miles or so) and some drive (I find the walk is too far for me) along the sea front. We either stop for a coffee at The Jolly Sailors on the way there or, instead on the way back, which is later in the day. If we stop a there around lunchtime we usually order some food and a drink.
If the weather is nice then this is a good spot to sit outside on the benches provided where one can view the sea. Take note though that this is a windy spot and serviettes and sometimes even hats, often need weighing down.
But over the last decade or so we have also made it a tradition to visit the Jolly Sailors for at least one evening meal, and quite often two.
Parking is easy here. There is a free private car park for Jolly Sailors' patrons opposite. We usually park here. There are other car parks close by and some nearby on-road parking.
The area is also close to bus stops.
~A DRINK AT THE BAR~
I find this pub to be welcoming in its décor, cleanliness and atmosphere. There are many seated areas in here and food can be served at tables in the bar area, but there is a more enclosed area for the restaurant and carvery. We usually have lunch or snacks in the bar area or outside. The trouble is that we often go during bank holiday weekends and en masse. Because of this the restaurant is usually busy. We have booked on more recent occasions for evening meals as we now know how busy this restaurant can become.
There are a couple of fruit machines if you're interested. My husband is!
Bar service is usually good with a great selection of alcoholic, soft drinks, tea and coffee.
~A BITE AT THE BAR~
I have always found the menu here whether in the restaurant or the bar to be very good, with a great choice of food at a reasonable price. If wanting a lunch I usually go for the light bite menu which offers a great choice of sandwiches with garnish, ploughman's, jacket potatoes with various fillings, as well as burgers served with chips and salads-not that light!
If only a snack is required then a choice can be made from the starter menu.
Toilets are clean and always well supplied with soap and hand towels. My husband tells me that the gents are well maintained too.
The pub restaurant and bar are on one level but the one entrance has a step to navigate. There is another entrance that I think is better accessible to wheelchairs. Once inside then everything is to be found on one level. The area around the Jolly Sailor is fairly level as Suffolk is relatively flat county.
~CARVERY AND RESTAURANT~
(Where's My Chips?)
I have always found the service to be polite and quite friendly but not always great; with meals for some being served too long before others in the party. Also sometimes things have been forgotten, such as side orders. I think this is probably due to this pub/restaurant having very busy times and sometimes very quiet times; perhaps they are taken by surprise. And we usually visit at busy times, such as bank holidays when the holiday centres nearby are full of hungry guests. But we have always got what we asked for and, as to the quality this has always been good.
You can choose to have the carvery or a choice form the main menu. The seating here is typically that of a pub restaurant. Sometimes I have felt cramped when seated in the restaurant, but then as I mentioned, we usually choose busy times to dine. The same seating area is used for both restaurant and carvery. The restaurant can accommodate 56 people but there is extra seating in the bar area and outside.
For The Omnivore And Herbivore?
I must say that I have always been very impressed with the menu choice and I am a pescatarian. I really feel that here they choose to serve one or two interesting meat free options which, as well as being substantial, are more inviting than, for instance, the usual pasta bake. I wouldn't say there is an extensive vegetarian menu but the choice on offer of a good choice of salads and vegetables, many fish dishes, and omelettes with a choice of fillings such as cheese, mushroom or red onion or a mixture, makes a good choice available altogether.
The menu changes from time to time but I have sampled the home-made mushroom & sweet pepper stroganoff served on a bed of rice.
Most of my family seem to go for the carvery when out for an evening meal. It really is nice and great value, in my opinion.
~Nothing to Carve~
I find this one of the better carveries for vegetarians, as I think that the veggie sausage option goes better with a roast meal than that which some other carveries serve such as vegetable lasagnes or pasta bakes. While these dishes can make a nice meal I find that, for instance in the Toby Carvery, that the veggie option doesn't suit the roast meal. If ordering the veggie carvery option then vegetarian gravy is made especially for the vegetarian diner.
~Tender and Succulent~
In regard to the quality of the meal I consider this to be one of the better carveries that I've been to. The potatoes and all vegetables are cooked to a good standard and taste home-made rather than conveyor belt. I think Toby Carveries are great value but must say that the standard here is markedly superior. Of course, the turnover of diner isn't nearly so great and that's why I suppose all the food looks and taste more 'home-made.' I really enjoy the mashed potato served at the Jolly sailor.
Meats served are usually pork,beef,honey glazedg ammon and turkey, served with all trimmings and sauces to accompany the meal.
~CAN I BELIEVE THE SIGN-FAMILY FRIENDLY?~
I would say definitely yes! The Jolly Sailors is very family friendly. This pub/restaurant seems very popular with residents from the local area but must also rely heavily upon the custom of local holiday makers. For this reason they will get a mixture of diners visiting from bed and breakfast accommodation, as well as chalet style half board centres and self-catering caravan parks.
We usually enjoy a relaxed atmosphere here in the evening but occasionally there are young children eating here who are clearly a little tired and irritable. On one occasion family at a nearby table kept apologising for their young children's behaviour, which really I thought was pretty good anyway, but they thought they were disturbing our evening. We assured them that they weren't. I personally believe that children should be made welcome to dine in restaurants in this country, as they are on the continent. Of course, I prefer that they are well behaved, but in this establishment they usually are. It certainly isn't like my local Wetherspoons, where (only some) parents seem to take their children so that they can let off steam, while they have one too many cheap drinks! I felt that management and staff at The Jolly Sailors were happy to serve families with children of all ages.
Nowadays the children in my family who come on these holidays are older teenagers,so not too much screaming, and we've never felt that there was a problem with them dining here.
Some high chairs are provided. There is also a children's menu, which I think is good, with starters such as child sized portions of garlic bread £1.95 or corn on the cob for £2.25.
A junior carvery meal is available or choices from the junior main menu (under tens) with items popular with most children such as beef burger, chicken nuggets, pizza or veggie burger served with chips, jacket, baked beans or salad. But be prepared; the burgers are 'proper' burgers, even if child sized, and are not like those served at many fast food outlets.
~IS IT WITHIN MY BUDGET?~
I feel for the quality of the food that the Jolly Sailor is more than reasonable. Best value really is the carvery, with prices of £6.95 for the week day carvery and £7.45 at weekends. This is more than reasonable.
This month's promotions lasting until the end of September are two Carver meals for just £9:95, on Monday to Saturday, lunchtimes and evenings.
There are also offers for senior citizens on a Monday to Thursday.
The restaurant offers three course meals , wines, beers tea and coffee or , if not that hungry then you can choose just one main course in the restaurant.
Most starters and deserts are priced at under £5.00 and main meals vary more but are under £16 with steak meals being the most expensive while many are much cheaper than this.
I have always found the size of portions to be good.
~ANYTHING ELSE TO TELL?~
Overall I would recommend The Jolly Sailor for a pleasant drink, with or without snacks, or for a full lunch or evening meal. I have dined here, or enjoyed a refreshing drink here many times, and also celebrated a relative's birthday, with drinks and a meal for a large group.
It isn't a place where you need to dress up although it wouldn't look out of place if you chose to. I would say it's a decent place with reasonable prices, an interesting menu and a good standard of food.
The Jolly Sailor is currently being redecorated and will be offering a full service of meals along, with bar service, on the 18th of March 2011
MONDAY TO FRIDAY
PUB OPEN 11-3PM & 6PM-11PM
SATURDAY AND SUNDAY
BAR OPEN ALL DAY AND SERVING ALL DAY
The Jolly Sailors,