We decided to return to the Poplar Farm Inn after a fairly disastrous visit back in September 2013. The new, current management contacted Andover & Villages in December 2013 to explain the issues that the staff were enduring on the day of the September 2013 review, and so we decided to turn up and try again.
The welcome we received for a Tuesday lunchtime from Assistant Manager, Mark, was excellent and very friendly. He showed us to a table as we introduced ourselves. Our drink orders were taken and we started to peruse the menu, which had changed since our last visit.
I ordered the Chicken Liver Pate to start, followed by the British Burger and my friend ordered the Soup of the Day (Parsnip and Apple) and the Suet Lamb Roly Poly for his main.
The starters were with us quickly and looked very appetising, but I instantly noticed that the fresh ciabatta served with the pate was a little lacking in volume, especially compared to the larger amount of ciabatta served with my friend’s soup. I think this is an unnecessary oversight, especially when serving the two starters together.
However, the pate was absolutely delicious, the ciabatta fresh and crusty, the pickle delicious; all three components together were perfectly matched. My friend was a little nervous of the Parsnip and Apple soup (not because of how it looked, but because he had never tried that kind of soup before), but it was delicious, the creamy tones of apple came through the earthy parsnip flavour and again the ciabatta was fresh and crusty.
I ordered a cup of tea and was saddened to discover that there was no Skimmed Milk, which seems to be a regular theme in pubs and restaurants locally.
The plates from our starter were cleared away and there was a fair wait until the mains were served. However, they certainly looked worth waiting for when they did. The burger was presented on a large plate with a paper sheet covering it, with the towered burger atop. The fries were served in a cup on the plate and, as I had requested, the salad was served in a bowl alongside. I cut into the burger to see if it was cooked through, which it was. The taste of the burger was lovely, a fresh beefy taste came through, which was complimented by melted cheese and back bacon. The roll was freshly baked and lovely.
The Suet Lamb Roly Poly was a surprise, since we both had envisaged a roly poly type ensemble. However, it was a basic suet pudding with a lamb stew mix inside. Aside from its look, it was absolutely delicious, but the vegetables were missing and when they did turn up after being requested, they were piled together into a bowl, which appeared to only contain cabbage, something my friend does not like. I had a little dig around in the bowl and I did find a carrot and a spoonful of peas, but if I am honest (which I always am) they didn’t look very nice.
We tried the ‘Gourmet Chips’ to compare the quality, but I preferred the normal ones as the gourmet ones were a bit on the soggy side as they were so big. We also tried the onion rings, which were perfect and I wholeheartedly recommend.
We tried the Jumbo Chocolate Eclair for dessert and wow, I can say that this is one of the nicest puddings I have ever had in a restaurant; it was fresh, chocolately and absolutely delicious.
The service and food has improved so much since our visit in September 2013 and I am pleased to give The Poplar farm Inn a Silver award for their food and service.
Example Vegetarian options are:
Baked Cornish Brie & Onion marmalade Brulee
Beer Battered Mushrooms
Ricotta, Spinach and Tomato Tart
Salad with Grilled Goats Cheese
Feta & Broad Bean Burger