We visited The Bosham Inn, on Main Road, Bosham in West Sussex for a special family birthday a couple of weeks ago. It’s part of the Vintage Inn group who have almost 200 places dotted around the country. I’ve not been to any others although I do recognise the names of a few of them having passed them whilst out cycling.
There’s plenty of parking and plenty of tables inside – and out – to cater for small or large groups of people. There were 9 of us and we first had a drink near the bar area whilst everyone was arriving before going to our table which was ready and waiting for us.
My first ever visit here was when I was a bridesmaid at my cousins wedding when I was only 4. I don’t remember a lot about that of course, only that I received a very nice necklace. Of course, a lot has changed since then and at one time The Bosham Inn belonged to JM Inns whom I mentioned in last week’s review on The Woodmancote Pub.
The restaurant is divided up with glass, brick and wood partitions which makes it look rather cosy. Some areas are carpeted, others with wooden flooring, a beamed ceiling and local pictures on the walls.
There’s tons to chose from on the menu, so there’s something for absolutely everyone. They have deals on midweek 5-8pm, £13.95 for 2 courses and £16.95 for three, which is pretty good value I reckon, so if we’d gone mid-week I could have saved myself a fiver. D’oh!
The waitress was friendly enough and the service was good. For starter I had the oak-smoked chicken liver pâté which was smooth and light, served with two long thin slices of toasted bread. Onion chutney, which I happen to love, was on the plate plus a really tasty thick blackcurrant curd.
Geoff and I shared both our mains. Ham hock seems to be ‘in’ at the moment and although my favourite dish of belly pork was on the menu I thought I really should go for something different for a change.
The ham hock had an orange and malt whisky marmalade glaze (although I can’t say I tasted that), however it was very tender and tasty. This was served on a spring onion mash, peas in a creamy white wine sauce and honey roasted carrots – or half a rather floppy carrot. We did laugh at the carrots as they all seemed floppy and just lay limply draped over people’s dishes which looked rather rude, or perhaps that was just us. Or maybe it was the alcohol which flowed….
The steak was nice and had that flame grilled burnt kind of finish to it. I’m not saying it was burnt but you know what I mean. It was tasty and I haven’t had steak in ages so it made a nice change. It was served with an onion and thyme fritter – which was a little greasy for me – and chips which were nothing to write home about, pretty average.
The meal was let down by the dessert, or mine and my mother-in-law’s was at least. Geoff thought he’d had enough so didn’t order a dessert – he knows when to stop eating whereas I just keep on going – and so of course I had to go the whole hog and have one. Again instead of my favourite go-to desserts like chocolate brownie or sticky toffee pudding I went for the rhubarb compote with ‘a rich vanilla custard’ which would be more to Geoff’s liking than my own.
What a disappointment this was. My MiL ordered the same and she too was disappointed but whereas I ate all of mine she left most of hers. The rhubarb compote was very nice but very very cold, too cold to enjoy. The custard topping was rather odd and if I’m honest I don’t think I would have described it as custard if asked. This came served with three squares of ginger ‘biscuits’ which were soft not crisp but were nice.
We didn’t have coffee but we all went back to Geoff’s parents house for a glass of champagne and a slice of the cake I made. This was supposed to be Nelson with his flagship HMS Victory which sits in Portsmouth Dockyard, our home town. This I copied, or at least tried to as I made a couple of errors and Nelson turned out rather floppy looking and slightly inebriated – a bit like the carrots…
In a nutshell, The Bosham Inn is an ideal place to visit for large groups/families etc., with a wide choice of dishes to chose from. They also have mini puddings served with a hot drink for £4.50 which is a good idea.
Return? I wouldn’t choose to go there myself but if it was for a family meal or similar than yes I’d be happy enough.
Living life, loving cake