TRADITIONAL country pubs are few and far between nowadays because of an influx of gastro-pubs and wine bars, but the Eight Bells at Jevington is the exception and the heartbeat of the village nestled at the foot of the Downs.
The pub is owned by Jim Roberts, who has the very successful Lamb Inn and Barley Mow in his portfolio, and really is a traditional working country pub, which not only offers real pub food and real ales but hosts a quiz night (every Tuesday with three bottles of wine going to the winning team) and other events to bring the community and visitors together as well as boasting a mature pub garden with tables, an outdoor function area complete with its own barbecue and hog roast.
The lunchtime we visited there was a steady trickle of regulars nipping in for a catch up and a pint along with customers, some of whom had been out walking, others who had come by car for a relaxing lunch in the countryside.
And that is where the Eight Bells comes into its own – with good old fashioned just-the-way-we-like-it pub grub. From sandwiches and salads to scampi in a basket, sausage and mash and steaks, prices are reasonable and the portions more than enough for the heartiest appetite.
My husband likes his food but even he was struggling to squeeze a pudding in after his starter of home made terrine with toast and chutney (£4.95), and one of the pub’s specials, which start at £9.95, Normandy chicken with a selection of potatoes, onions and vegetables.
I had the plate of smoked salmon with bread and butter (£5.95) which was nice and light but I couldn’t resist trying the chutney which was delicious. That was nothing, however, to my melt-in-the-mouth Moules Frites which was absolutely gorgeous.
All the products used at the Eight Bells are sourced locally wherever possible and that includes the Local Rabbit Pie, the fish used in the beer battered fish and chips and meaty burgers.
I didn’t have room either for one of the delicious deserts on offer but I will be popping back again to try out the Chocolate Sundae which has got my name on it.
I may even jump on my broomstick and head to the Halloween Zombie Party on Saturday October 29 or the Guy Fawkes Night the following weekend!