The Cartwheel Inn
Whitsbury, Fordingbridge, Hampshire, SP6 3PZ
- Tel: 01725 518362
It really is a warm welcome
21/06/2013 by Xerneas
During the week me and my wife paid a visit to this small country pub, and first impressions portray this pub with the ambiance one expects from a traditional country pub. First impressions are one thing, but good beer is another, and the beer that ringwood provide (best and 49er) are superb. After settling down to a pint of best me and my wife made small talk with the bar staff, a young lady who was very pleasant to speak to, she made us feel welcome and after a few minutes, allowed us to divulge over the menu. The menu, by the way, seems to have an appropriate mix of pub food, there is just enough choice, and this was a good thing, as i really fancied a nice ham ploughmans, unfortunately, after i went to order our food, i was told that they'd sold out of ham! Oh no! But luckily, i was able to pour back over the menu, and decided on a lovely home-made fishcake. My wife decided upon a small portion of Tinkers Cross sausages, which looked delicious. Both meals were well presented, and seemed very worthy of the price tag put on them, and as we began to dig in, we were asked if anything else was needed at all. I replied that a portion of crusty bread would be nice, and for 95p, this portion of bread was a decent sized chunk. The meals were very enjoyable, and we decided to have coffee afterwards and let the meals rest. Proper cafeteria coffee is not all that common nowadays, so it was a pleasant surprise to be presented with one each. Overall the service was fantastic, all our needs were catered to, and such friendly staff make all the difference, i was delighted with the whole trip, as we left we were told to enjoy our walk back over to Breamore, and we very much did. I shall be returning to this lovely, quaint hideaway off the beaten track.Report this
Poor Quality and Value
20/06/2013 by honestme
“Off the Beaten Track, but NEVER in a rut! Great Food, Superb Beer and the warmest welcome!” it says on the website, but not on Mondays it seems! Attracted by the location, positive looking website, and due to being a big fan of Ringwood beer, my partner and I decided to visit the Cartwheel Inn recently at lunchtime. Apart from one other person sat at the bar, who we think worked there, the place was empty. So, at least we will get a quick service we thought. We asked if they were still doing food, yes was the reply and we sat down to look at the menu, which did not have that big a content, although it does go on at some length about just how great the locally sourced produce is supposed to be (which just serves to build you up even more for the let-down that is coming later). My partner decided on the Vegetarian Sausages meal and I decided to have a Ploughman’s with Ham. So I went up to the bar and ordered my partner’s first, but was abruptly stopped with the reply that they were out of stock of Vegetarian Sausages. So, I went back to my partner and she looked at the menu again and this time decided on a Ploughman’s with Cheese. I went up to the bar again and ordered my partner’s first, ok this time, and then I ordered the Ploughman’s with Ham, but was abruptly stopped with the reply that they were out of stock of ham! WHY NOT TELL US WHAT YOU DON’T HAVE ON THE MENU WHEN WE ASK IF YOU ARE DOING FOOD? Or at the very least inform us of the rest you don’t have on the menu at the first failure. So, my turn to look at the menu again and this time I decided on the Ploughman’s with locally sourced pork sausages, which they had. Finally we had found something we both could eat and that they had available! The guy sitting at the bar informed us that it had been very busy the day before, hence the stock issue. Personally I think this is a lame excuse, it was lunchtime, and the shops had been open for hours so it would have been possible to get some interim provisions until they restocked from their normal supplier, especially if items are being advertised on a menu implying they are available with no initial effort from the staff to inform to the contrary. Anyhow, we then went and sat in the garden, at what seemed to be a nice looking table at the top of a grass bank, although its smelly ashtrays were full of old fag butts as they hadn't been emptied for quite some time. The next table was the same, so we just stayed where we were and moved the ashtrays out of the way. As stated the place was practically empty so at least the food arrived relatively quickly. However, the standard of the food itself was quite poor considering each ploughman’s cost £7.50. It was the worst Ploughman's I've ever had in my life, it was supposed to come with a salad, but this was no more than small salad garnish with a quarter of a tomato (you would have to spend £30 before you got a whole tomato between four of you)! For £15 food total we only each got a quarter tomato, just a few measly leaves, some coleslaw, a tiny pot of pickle, one pickled onion, a standard portion of butter, one small slice of STALE granary bread (which was obviously left over from the previous week) and the primary ingredient (cheese / sausages). For my ploughman’s the sausages were quite small. We were feeling quite disappointed at this point, but time was getting on and we were hungry, so we made do. When the staff member came to collect our plates, she asked if everything was OK, and my partner told her the bread was stale. The response was just that they will throw the rest of the remaining bread away, no apology, and no offer of compensation. A simple offer of just one coffee on the house would have made us feel better and would have avoided this review being posted. We left the place feeling like we had just been fleeced, two poor quality Ploughmans and two drinks at a cost of £20.70. “I’ll put the rest of the bread in the bin then”; it feels as that is where we also threw our money! It's no wonder the place was empty. In Shaftesbury the following day we had two great lunches (large Paninis with generous salad) and two drinks for just under £15, far, far superior quality and value! Please note (26 June): it does take a lot for me to write a negative review as I do understand that it can negatively affect a business, and of course no business owner wants that in the current economic climate. However, money is tight and we expect better than this! As Yell's community guidelines state: it is how a business deals with a negative review that defines it! It is possible to contact me via Yell’s email service with an apology and an assurance that things will improve (and perhaps a free pint as compensation, although not essential) and then I would delete this review. But instead, someone either in or connected with the pub has decided to write the obviously bogus review shown above done only the following day (funny that). If this is Ringwood’s insulting attitude towards its loyal customers, and I have drunk Ringwood beer for over 30 years, then there are plenty of other good brands I can drink instead. So, you know what you can do with your beer Ringwood and this review will stay!Report this
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