We have eaten in the Parrot on a number of occassions over the past year and found the food to be pretty good but the service is very hit and miss. Its such a shame as this pub has the makings of something special but you always get the impression from the grumpy manager, often seen behind the bar, that the customer is very much an annoyance. I have stood at the bar on a number of occassions trying to order drinks and been totally ignored. I thought this was personal or that it might have been something I had trodden in but no it seems others from ‘out of the village’ get the treatment too. There are other blogs sites too that tell you this.
Anyway if you accept that the service is going to be rubbish then the rest is pretty good. If the chef moves on then this place will be in trouble.
Tables in the restaurant are well laid up with glasses that are polished and candles lit in the evening. It is very much an ‘oldey woldey’ pub with low beamed ceilings. Toilets servicing the restaurant are spotless which is hopefully a good sign that the kitchens are probably clean too.
With regard to food I thoroughly recommend the smoked eel to start as it is beautifully presented with a wonderful smoked fish flavour, excellent. Belly pork is pretty good with crackling as it should be, something the Mulberry in Chiddingfold should check out. Sea bream too is very good but only being served with one small fillet leaves you wanting more. With regard to the desserts it was good to see the clafoutis on the menu as I wanted to compare this with the awful concoction I had in the Mulberry. Well Mulberry you need to go and speak with the chef at the Parrot as he/she knows what they are doing, delicious.
As I have mentioned before the service is casual and not very attentive. Indeed I don’t think I have ever eaten in this restaurant where I have not had to get up from the table to order or chase ordered drinks at the bar. If you do manage to get the bill delivered to the table, then all it will say is Food £, Food £, Food £ etc then a total £ at the bottom. Its incomprehensible and the best you can do is count the items on the bill and then track it back to the number of items you ordered. Its not clear at all what you are paying for.
Be prepared if you go on a cold quiet midweek evening then the restaurant is likely to be cold. Not too sure why its so cold but there are pathetic mobile electric radiators that do nothing for the aesthetics and little more to improve the temperature.
- Do something about the grumpy manager who is front of house and sets the scene
- Try acknowledging the customers as they enter and leave the pub
- Get the bill so its clear to understand
- Get the heating sorted out
- Teach the staff to be more attentive and to prioritise that customers come before they catch up with their colleagues and cuddle in the restaurant. Its the sort of thing you expect see at a college refectory not a restaurant.
Would we go again? Probably, as we know that the manager is going to be miserable and we are prepared to do everything to avoid him. So, be prepared be prepared for casual sloppy service and never go when the place is busy as it really does fall apart big style.