“ Eastbourne Road / Newchapel / RH7 6HL / Tel: 01342 832596 / Fax: 01342 837298. „
I first visited the Peacock in 2000 and found it to be an extremely depressing affair. Poor service very poor food and atmosphere of a wild crèche. With no intention of going back. When it was suggested that we take our Mother out for lunch by my sister; she suggested the Peacock! My thoughts and suggestion were to find somewhere completely different after my previous experience. After a few web searches I found one review which was highly complimentary right down to the last minute detail. (on this website) My oh my! was this the same place I went to all those years ago. Could it really of improved that much? New owners / new management? Did the reviewer have any personal relationship with the restaurant for such a glowing appraisal, was there a bit skulduggery going on here?
Who knows on the skulduggery front but I do know now whether it had improved after that Sunday.
Firstly must say staff were very courteous and helpful throughout and coped very well with a busy day, one of your busiest I'd guess. Car parking suitably adequate, always a bonus not having to walk miles to find a space. The cleanliness of the premises is good including the toilets. I think that sums up the good points. THATS IT!! Lets be honest and frank here
Right the not so good points and the downright atrocious.
There were a lot of people round us in the restaurant complaining about the length of time waiting for food. Now we were in no rush and had a table booked for 8 . We ordered some garlic bread for everyone that arrived in aprox 20- 30mins. Ordered three garlic breads with sauces, got four, oh well not a problem it was eaten anyhow after waiting. One was delivered with the wrong sauces. Again not the end of the world and, nothing wrong with a bit of variety I say.
Main dishes were ordered as follows.
3 hamburgers, 3 lamb roasts, one 16oz steak (medium, Rodeo) and 1 x mixed grill. Lets start with mine first the steak 16oz Rump. I asked for the rodeo style and cooked medium. It wasn't cooked medium but well done. The reviewer I mentioned earlier, described the steaks as being tender? No it wasn't. Not mine that is. More like cooked Liver! Which was sort of disguised under a 'lake' of BBQ sauce. Normally any sauce would come in a separate pot / jug or on the side of the plate? NOT poured over the whole plate. It was swimming in it; there must have been something like a 200ml of it. The steak was certainly cooked to death but had been drowned just in case anyone thought it might have any life left in it!
I can assure you the 16oz Rodeo steak was DROWNED, DEAD and not coming up for air anytime soon! The accompanying onion rings, which there was two, both stone cold with two greasy, also stone cold mushrooms? Is heat optional on the menu?
The mixed grill was quite reasonable I'm informed but for the same individual price have tasted far better quality in produce.
The Hamburgers. You know I actually wished I had chosen one myself. Had a bite and very tasty and more than ample. Full marks.
The lamb roasts? Simply appalling an inexcusable to be served as they were.
Vegetables? Carrots broccoli, cook for 10 -12 minutes depending on required firmness. 8 minutes Al dente. Does a customer need to tell the "chef" here how to cook vegetables? They must assume that all your customers are over the age of 85, lost the sense of taste and teeth years back. Absolute mush that obviously then had been left out under hot lamps or reheated forming a volcanic crust. Peas? Remember the bit about customers having no teeth? Well if they have the ' Peas' regularly I'm wouldn't be surprised to find denture cream on the menu soon. Hard as marbles Yorkshire pudding? pre packed gritty grease holder. Stuffing? Just a larger marble to the peas. Roast potatoes? Roasted and roasted and roasted again just for luck. Charcoal lumps more like. Lamb? Where was it? Oh yes there it is hidden! In the shadows of the 'pre packed gritty grease holder' Yorkshire pud. If the menu states lamb roast, you would assume lamb is not an optional extra but the main dish. But was that a bad thing? Who knows as the meat was simply vastly overcooked again? No chance of getting food poisoning from undercooked food here. Although charcoaled food can be carcinogenic? Really the roast dinners are just inedible and certainly not be served to anyone let alone paying customers. Because they offer a two for one deal it doesn't mean they can serve up 50% of the food in such a state.
I can only see their business strategy is pile em' high to the rafters, get them in get them out. That's pile customers high not the onion rings! Now they could say 'they we are full regularly so I must be the exception to complain?' Just the three tables around us may beg to differ?
When I went to pay the bill the lady behind the counter just said £111.10. I had to ask to see the bill. Do they have customers who don't check the bill or don't normally get given one ? So I asked for one, she did look a little perturbed. The extra garlic bread wasn't charged thankfully.
We aim to be the UK's Best Managed Pub Business where "every customer recommends us to a friend" and we are committed to offering the best customer experiences." - Spirit group web site.
That maybe the groups aim but the peacocks own aims I can only suggest after our experience are "let them make do and see if they complain?"
The mains courses did take 90minutes to arrive after ordering. I didn't mind as good food takes time. That's good food!
I'll remind my sister to book anywhere else but the peacock next time.
Simply, may I suggest just visit a local Beefeater or even a Harvester to understand about customer service and food quality.
I wrote both to the management at the peacock and to the spirit group if they would like to reply to my comments. Since writing to them 3 weeks ago . . ?
guess what nothing no reply whatsoever. Like I say get 'em in get'em out!
Who would i recommend to visit this place? If youve been out on the lash with your mates the night before hand and you fancy a hair of the dog and wait around for something to fill a hole then this is your place. Cheap but atrocious food. The hamburgers are the exception though, so just right for a group of mates to talk about the previous nights exploits over a beer and a burger on the cheap.
Don't go here intending to have a decent meal unless you like BBQ sauce though. I still await the owners reply but lets say i won't hold my breath.
Sorry but AVOID LIKE AN STD!
I have been eating lunch at the Peacock lodge for about a year now on a weekly basis. Unfortunately, during the year I have seen the standard fall lower and lower. There always seem to be staffing problems and dealys in the kitchen and, if you can get over the 40 minute wait for your meal, they usually don't have what you want. I have eaten at other 'Two for One' restaurants and they never seem to have the same problems. Today I left without eating and I will not be going back again!
We have been dining here for two or three years and have always had excellent food and service. Unfortunately since the change of manager late last year,service has got steadily worse.We have persevered on several occasions,hoping to see an improvement,alas this has not happened and today with a change of menu which in the case of the pasta dishes are very poor value,we have decided not to dine here again.
The Peacock Lodge in Newchapel is only ten minutes in the car from where we live in West Sussex so it is the ideal place for a good old Sunday dinner when I feel too lazy to cook. There is so much to say about this place that I will split it into different sections to help with reading.
##MOST IMPORTANTLY - THE FOOD##
The food here is traditional pub food in my opinion. We went last Sunday with my parents in law and the kids, and we all had varying dishes. I went for steak and eggs, which was served with chips, mushrooms and beans. The steak was a good size and cooked really nicely. I asked for medium and it came back perfectly. The outside was nicely cooked and there was a little bit of pink in the middle without having too much blood dripping out. The eggs were runny (always a plus!) and the rest of the food was hot and tasty. My eldest son had Chicken Korma with chips and he loved it. It was nice and hot (temperature) and had a nice kick to it without being too spicy.
My mum in law had fish and chips and the fish was lovely. It was cooked very well with crispy batter and fish that was not too watery. We actually ordered this for my daughter as well and she ate the whole fish! Other members of our party had either burgers or steak options and every meal was cooked perfectly and everyone really enjoyed it. No one had any complaints about cold chips or wrongly cooked steak. I have to say for food this is one of the best restaurants I have been to at the cheaper end of the scale in terms of money.
They offer a price plan where you get two meals for the price of one. This is available everyday, all day and is not limited to certain items on the menu like some restaurants do. It is available for everything shown on the main meal menu and applies to both kids and adults meals. In fact we ordered adult meals for everyone, even our 2 year old and 5 year old, as they were going to be free so we thought - give them a bigger dinner and if they eat it bonus! This proved true in our daughters case as she got the adult version of fish and chips and she ate the whole piece of fish and quite a few chips and all her peas, so this was definitely worth it. My youngest son had a massive Yorkshire pudding filled with mash and sausages in a lovely gravy and he ate loads. It was served up with 8 sausages being an adult meal so they were shared around everyone and he ended up with three, which he ate.
In terms of price, 8 people ate a delicious and filling main meal for £37. I think this is fantastic and definitely worth paying for the pleasure of eating out with my family and not cooking myself.
Just a quick note on puddings, as I have a sweet tooth I shared a dish called The Chocolate Monster with my 11 year old son and costing £4.95 it is basically a sharing dessert. It is a massive sundae, which has profiteroles, chocolate fudge cake, ice-cream, whipped cream, chocolate buttons and crunchie pieces running through it. It is topped with chocolate flakes and tube wafers. Delicious and we made no bones about finishing it between us! My mouth is watering now!
Drinks are standard pub prices, although not as expensive as the more rip off wine bar type places. We had normal stuff like larger, diet coke and whiskey. They do sell slush puppies for the kids, which is fantastic, and at 85p for a large cup full it is very good value for money. The one thing I was disappointed about was that the kids ordered a J2O when we first arrived, which are quite pricey and it came out warm as they had none in a fridge.
They do have a large selection of draught beers though and lots of spirits and soft drinks to choose from so this should mean there is something for everyone.
##THE ATMOSPHERE & DINING AREA##
The dining area is situated all around the main bar and I dont actually think there is a separate area for non-diners at least not that I could see. There are bar stools along the bar for a few people but it certainly wouldnt house the large amount of non-diners a normal pub would. This is actually quite nice in my view, as you dont feel as though you are being watched by non-diners. It is a bit disconcerting when you are trying to eat and people are looking at your food and watching you drop that bit of chicken down your nice clean top!
They have a smoking and non-smoking section and these are pretty well separated I think. We sat in the smoking section as my husband and mum in law both smoke but I did not feel like I was choking in the stuff. Being fairly newly given up in the smoking department I do worry that I will fall off the wagon when I go out so I was pleased to see that the ventilation was pretty good and got rid of the smoke very quickly and effectively.
We arrived at 12.30 middayish on a Sunday on our last visit and we were seated straightaway. In fact as we needed a table for 8 the staff actually moved tables around so we had enough spaces. I found this really excellent service. They did it swiftly and happily and without interrupting other diners. I felt quite special afterwards and was very happy with the service. Our food came very quickly and was cleaned away after we finished with ease and no interruption to our conversation or comfort. There were a fair few other diners when we arrived and by about 1pm it was pretty full. It is a very popular place for eating out at the weekend but even though there were lots of people there it was not noisy or squashed at all. Drinks were still served swiftly and the food came on time and with a feeling of being laid back. We were not rushed to eat or be cleaned away and moved on, which made for a very enjoyable meal by everyone.
The staff are very happy all the time. I have never experienced a miserable waiter or waitress here and this is quite unusual for the cheaper end of the eating out experience. The owner always comes over and meets people at every table, asking if everything is satisfactory. He is a very likeable chap and always brings a smile to your face. Very welcoming.
##WHAT ELSE TO OFFER##
Well, outside there is a large play area for the kids. It has the usual climbing apparatus, incorporated with slides and nets etc to climb. There is also a smaller separate slide for the younger kids. It is a fenced off area with soft bouncy stuff underfoot to soften the blow on any falls.
My older two kids took the younger two out here after we had ordered our food and they had a great time while we waited for the food to arrive. I really enjoyed this at it meant I could sit and relax and talk to the adults in my party without having to deal with my two year old banging her fork on the table or something. We also went out here after our meal and sat in the sunshine while the kids worked off their puddings on the climbing frame.
Inside there is one of those grabber machines, which is a good idea sometimes, especially as it is the kind that after you have paid you carry on grabbing until you win something, so at least you dont have to keep shelling out money. However it is £2 a pop, and if you have a few kids of the age that want cuddly toys it can be pricey. Luckily we only had to give out two lots of £2, in exchange for two not very well made cuddly toys that will end up in the charity shop next week. There are also a fair few adult slot machines and a general knowledge quiz machine if you like that sort of thing.
The loos were a bit small for such a large restaurant but saying that, I never had to wait to go so they must be adequate. They were very clean and you could smell the disinfectant when you walked in so they are cleaned regularly too. There was always loo roll, soap and the vending machines were always filled up. Even the sink area was always clean and dry which is a plus in my book.
They have a large function room upstairs which has been refurbished recently and this holds 100 people. It has a separate little bar and is a really good size. I know it is good as I held my wedding reception there 3 years ago. Dont laugh I had three weeks to organise it and no savings so this seemed a good choice at the time!! LOL You can ring for prices and availability but I would recommend it from personal experience for a party or family get together.
##MY OVERALL OPINION##
I have given this place the full monty (no I didnt strip just 5 stars) as from my personal experience here I have always enjoyed the visit.
The staff are kind and helpful and always have a smile on their faces. I have never visited without being greeted by a smile and a visit from the proprietor.
The food is fantastic. It is good pub grub that you would like to eat at home but just cant get quite right. Whether I have chosen a traditional Sunday lunch or something a little more culinary challenging for me, like steak yes, I admit I cannot cook steak, it has always been cooked the way I have requested and it is always hot and very tasty. The portions are very filling and I rarely manage to finish a plate of food. They serve one of the most delicious puddings I have ever had namely the aforementioned Chocolate Monster and it really is to die for.
The gardens and kids play area are well established and furnished with benches and tables for eating or drinking outside. We may well do that this summer so we can eat and watch the young kids play at the same time.
The car park has space for 150 cars and this seems adequate for their needs. We have always managed to find a space when visiting and although it gets full it has never been to capacity when we have been there. There is a disabled access, which is by two large opening doors at the front of the building. This is where we enter and there is plenty of space through the hallway into the main area for a wheelchair or buggy to be pushed.
The toilets are always clean and they have baby-changing facilities too, which is great because to me that means they really are welcoming of babies and children. This is important to me as we have 4 ranging in age and they are not always on their best behaviour when out unfortunately so we need child friendly places and this certainly fits that bill.
If you ever visit West Sussex and need somewhere nice to eat for a good price I would heartily recommend this place.