The Jolly Yachtsman – a Trip Advisor review by Chris Green
Our intention had been to eat at the Ancient Mariner Inn, but parking the motor-home proved to be tricky. After I had scagged the bumper of a black Lexus, and broken the camper’s reversing light, I gave up and drove down the hill to the Jolly Yachtsman instead. The Jolly Yachtsman seemed like a real locals’ pub, with all heads turning towards us as we walked in. Despite this momentary concern for our safety, we were warmly greeted by a disarmingly young barman wearing a black t-shirt with a picture of an albatross on. Perhaps he had been head-hunted from the Ancient Mariner. Or, on reflection, perhaps he had been sacked. Without any preamble and catching us a little by surprise, some of the drinkers that were gathered around the bar engaged us in friendly conversation about wine temperatures. My partner, Janet likes her red wine cold. I find her preference a little bizarre but apparently it is catching on. The locals though felt it was perfectly normal to put bottles of red in an ice bucket. Too many Spanish holidays, I think.
Being by the sea, I fancied fish and chips so I went for the haddock in beer from the specials board while my partner just wanted a Ploughman’s. It must be said that both were a little below par. The frozen fish and the pre-cut chips were swimming in beer and the only green item in the Ploughman’s were two large pickled onions. There was no lettuce, no rocket and no cucumber. Not even a cherry tomato. The pickled onions were tasty, though, but too spicy for my other half, so I had hers. I do like my pickled onions. The waitress seemed to be a little agitated at times, firstly getting the orders mixed up and then accidentally pouring Janet’s third glass of chilled Pinot Noir down her white cardigan, but she was what you might call a mature lady and she didn’t have much help as far as we could tell.
Having tired of the bland food, the poor service and the twenty four hour big screen sport at the Red Snapper Inn, we drove out the Jolly Yachtsman again on Tuesday lunchtime. On Tuesdays, the Jolly Yachtsman offers a pie and a pint deal, so we had a choice of fish or steak pie with peas or salad, and chips. We both went for the fish pie, expecting succulent firm chunks of salmon and cod with a few king prawns in a creamy sauce with a layer of potato on top. When my fish pie arrived, it was just a dollop of white fish in a flavourless potato sauce. There was nothing buttery or creamy about it. It was really disappointing. The mature waitress was run off her feet again and managed to mix up Janet’s order so instead of fish pie, she ended up with faggots and peas, although these weren’t on the menu or the specials board.
It was good of the manager to offer us credit in lieu of our disappointment. Janet and I accepted his invitation to a free meal and found ourselves back at the Jolly Yachtsman on Thursday evening. The locals were pleased to see us back and we soon found ourselves in an animated discussion about immigration. The locals, it seemed, were not altogether in favour of more people coming over and taking our jobs. They took the view that their presence would cause unnecessary tensions in cities and put pressure on our essential services. When Janet suggested that we were all too ready to bask in the sunshine on the Costa del Sol, they did not see her point at all. To avoid any escalation, we had to step away and go and find a table outside.
We thought that we would try the chef’s special chicken tikka masala this time. After all, it is hard to get a simple dish like chicken curry wrong. Chef seemed to find a way. Although our meal was more like a gristle stew, in fact, so foul, we hardly touched it, I ended up with crippling stomach cramps and Janet did not leave the motor-home for the rest of our holiday.
Even if you have difficulty parking your motor-home in the car park at the Ancient Mariner, under no circumstances be tempted to drive down the hill to the Jolly Yachtsman.
© Copyright: Chris Green 2016