“ The Green, Priddy,Nr. Wells, Somerset BA5 3BB.Tel 01749 676465 „
Had one of the best pints in a long time here: Potholer by Cheddar Ales. Beautifully situated pub in Priddy village with lots of scenic views and a pleasant garden. Problem was the barman who was a real 'wide' boy (from London i suspect). Garrulous and disingenuously 'friendly', he gave me change for 10 pounds from a 20. His apology was so slippery and well-rehearsed i bet he does it five times a day.
I visited Priddy in Somerset for a weekend recently with my parents. Priddy is a very small village somewhere near Wells (I wasn't really paying attention, but it didn't take long to drive to Wells). While we were there I heard one of the locals referring to the villages 400 inhabitants. Now I definitely did not see 400 inhabitants, or enough houses to contain them, but as I understand it English villages don't just count the little group of houses around the green as the village, but also all the surrounding farms and cottages. Anyway, the point of this rambling is to say that Priddy is a pretty (priddy...haha) little village which somehow supports two pubs.
The New Inn is one of these pubs, situated in a rambling old building with low ceilings and lots of small rooms. It has a square bar with sides in both the bar and lounge bar. The eating areas are in small sections separated by old walls with window-like openings in them, and there is a beer garden looking onto the picturesque village green. There is a good sized car park at the pub. To summarise, it's a cute wee village pub. I am Scottish, and therefore hold to the belief that the Scots invented the modern world, but I will concede that the English do cute wee pubs better than us.
On to the drinks on offer. The evening we visited the New Inn was a Friday, and I had travelled from Paddington to Bristol to meet my parents during rush hour. It was warm, and I was a bit flustered at discovering that people commute from Bristol to London, and therefore my train was packed. Sorry, I digress again. The point to this story is that although I was visiting Cider Country, and was thoroughly looking forward to trying lots of lovely, real and interesting ciders (I'd imagine serving Strongbow in areas like that is a crime), all I wanted at that time was something cold and fizzy. So I went for a pint of Ashton Press cider, which absolutely hit the spot, very pleasant taste, and while being cold and fizzy, miles away from the Strongbows of this world. My dad is a real ale man, but I'm ashamed to say I can't remember which one he had - it was a Butcombe Brewery one though, and he enjoyed it. My mum had some "real" ginger beer which also went down a treat. Later on I sampled a much stronger local cider, which was about 8% so I stuck to a half pint, which was also very nice, but I was still in a cold and fizzy mood so didn't enjoy it as much as I could have.
The New Inn offered a good choice of Somerset ciders, both draught and bottled, and several real ales on draught as well as lagers on draught and bottled. In terms of soft drinks, there were a number of local choices in bottles as well as the standard big brands.
We had reserved a table for our meal, but in actual fact we needn't have. This was a Friday night in mid-June, so perhaps there are other times of year it is busier. There were quite a few tables occupied, but it wasn't full. The pub is warm and comfortable, with a nice mix of dining chairs and plush seats against the wall.
For a starter I had garlic mushrooms, which came served on a bed of salad. The mushrooms were in a garlic oily dressing, but I have to say I didn't find the flavour very strong. The salad was pleasant enough. My parents shared a black pudding starter, which disappointed them as they occasionally have one of the best black puddings in Scotland, and although this was good it just didn't measure up!!
For main course, I had the scampi and chips, served with a salad. The scampi was very good, in breadcrumbs but not half full of air as you sometimes find - the breadcrumb coating was actually full of scampi. The chips were nice, but the salad was rather disappointing - just a few bits of cherry tomato and some boring leaves, and no dressing. My dad had the "Priddy Burger", a local beef burger in a bun with onion rings, served with chips and salad. He enjoyed his burger, but made the same comments on the salad as me. As for my mum, she had a special from the board - a red onion quiche, served with potatoes and salad. This was a bit of a let down - she had two small quiches, and both were singed on top, which is a very bad thing with quiche. The potatoes had black bits in them, and the salad was like mine and my dads. All in all, she was not overly impressed. The pub did redeem itself a bit with its sticky toffee pudding however!
The remainder of the menu was standard pub fare mixed with more interesting dishes. Strictly speaking I'm a pescatarian although I still refer to myself as veggie, so I had the options of the fish dishes but there were sufficient vegetarian options on the menu and the specials board.
Price wise, the New Inn is fairly standard. Main courses vary from £8 up to £12, and starters were £4.50. The price of a pint varies depending on the drink, but we paid just under £8 for a round of two pints and a slightly fancy soft drink.
Overall, it was a bit of a mixed bag. The New Inn was a very pleasant pub to visit, comfortable, no loud music and a great selection of drinks. The standard pub fare (my scampi and my dads burger) was good, but the special of quiche didn't come out so well. I enjoyed my visit, and I think that even my mum would return and put the quiche down to bad luck, and maybe stick with something more standard.
If you're in the area, I would recommend a visit. Priddy itself is very nice, and the pub is a pleasant place for a drink and some food. If it's a nice day, I'd imagine that sitting in the beer garden looking over the village green would be very nice indeed.
I'd like to give this three and a half stars, but as Dooyoo won't let me, I'm going to be generous and go for four - I don't think the one bad main meal and boring salads merit a three.
As a freehouse we offer you the best quality locally sourced products; a wide choice of beers and ciders, a superb range of red and white wines to suit all tastes. Wholesome chef prepared food is available daily using the best of local produce. We aim to provide entertainment and events throughout the year making the New Inn your first choice.