Poachers Barn: Take a well-earned break at the Barn

Gammon, egg and chips on the menu at Poachers Barn.
Gammon, egg and chips on the menu at Poachers Barn.

Sometimes in life it is a case of just needing to draw a line in the sand. Pause. Consolidate.

As a family we’re blessed with a low boredom threshold, which makes most days a whirling vortex of frenetic activity.

So, in the middle of a particularly demanding week, I decided it was time to hit the pause button and go out to enjoy a “peaceful” family meal together.

The Poacher’s Barn had been so heavily recommended by family and friends that not trying it was starting to feel rude.

With the decision made, we descended upon the Poacher’s with a car full of squirming children.

Having managed to rein in the kids for long enough for them to order before they accosted the play equipment outside, this left me and the husband with a rare few minutes of peace.

My son and I ordered from the two for £10 menu – Wiltshire Ham and Cheese Salad and Gammon Steak respectively.

Although anecdotal evidence from family suggested that if you alone ordered from the menu, you could come back another time to have the other meal as part of the offer, the husband went for the Mexican Chicken Burger.

Sitting with children waiting for food can be like one of those interminable car journeys punctuated by frequent laments of “Are we near yet?”

At 20 minutes I didn’t think the wait was bad as the food is cooked fresh but you can repeatedly explain this to a hungry four-year-old or you can distract them with the play area – the play area won.

The food did not disappoint. James’ gammon was so impressive that he made us take a picture of him eating it to text to his absent brother and make him jealous.

The salad was crisp and delicious and virtuous enough for me not to feel guilty pinching some of James’ chips.

The husband’s verdict on the Mexican Chicken Burger was that it did the job, so make of that what you will.

The pub was busy with families by the time our meals were served which probably explains the exasperated attitude of the waitress when we asked why our daughter’s dessert hadn’t come with the main meal as requested.

Whether she was put out by us or the kitchen wasn’t clear, but it was quickly delivered by a more sanguine waiter.

Presented with an oozing chunk of chocolate brownie and lashings of ice cream laced with chocolate sauce, Maia greeted it simply with an awed “Wow”.

Plates licked clean (literally I’m afraid to say in some cases) we paid and left recharged and ready to tackle the rest of the week. On the way home our daughter summed up our experience with a succinct: “I like that pub, we should go again.” Out of the mouths of babes.

Ratings (out of 10)

Food 8

Menu choice 8

Service 6

Decor 8

Ambience 7

OVERALL RATING 7