Arriving at the Ye Olde House at Home, in Broadwater Street East, we were instantly made to feel welcome and were shown to our table in the newly refurbished surroundings.
We found the dining room filled with a handful of families, who seemed to be happily tucking in to their meals.
To start, we ordered the deep-fried whitebait and chicken goujons (both £4.95) and shared them between us.
The chicken was perfectly crispy on the outside, yet pleasingly moist and tender on the inside and the whitebait were tasty, with a subtle fishy taste.
The only criticism we had were that the chicken came without the advertised homemade coleslaw and the whitebait without a dipping sauce, but both were provided upon request.
For my main course, I tried the steak and kidney pie, home-made by Barbara Richardson, mother of landlord Simon Hopkins’ partner, Emma Taylor.
This came with vegetables and chips. Meanwhile, my girlfriend opted for a traditional roast dinner with chicken, which she chose from a selection of three meats (£7.95).
The pie had a crumbly and thick shortcrust pastry case and was generously crammed full of meaty chunks – something which seems rare these days.
The roast chicken was accompanied by a huge pile of crispy roast potatoes, Yorkshire pudding and well cooked vegetables.
Both came with a jug of thick, home-made gravy.
Again, we could find little wrong with either dish but neither of us could finish them and from our experience, a hallmark of Ye Olde House at Home catering was providing jumbo-sized portions.
Nevertheless, after a short break, we found room to share a humongous pile of profiteroles for dessert (£3.95), which were ladled with a rich and gooey chocolate sauce.
I took the opportunity to wash down my meal with Arundel Old Ale, one of the pub’s locally sourced ales, which was a little strong for my taste but will please the seasoned ale drinker.
Ye Olde House at Home was taken over by Simon and Emma in September and was completely refurbished. The emphasis is on locally sourced ingredients and welcoming families, now licence restrictions on having children in the pub having been lifted.
We will certainly be returning in the future.
To book call 01903 232661.