The Bolney Grange came recommended to me as a good venue for a family meal. Its in a central location between the families homes and has the appearance of a quaint country pub – exactly what the family likes.
The whole place oozes character. On arrival you can’t help but be amused by the original hobbit sized front door which welcomes you into a cosy bar with crooked wooden beams and a giant open fire. The smell of the real fire brought back happy memories of Christmas time at my grandparents’ house and bonfires in the autumn. We were off to a good start.
An impressive selection of local ales are available and the knowledge of the bar staff in regards to this was exceptional. The menu was comprehensive and almost everything sounded delicious! There were light bites and smaller portions for the older, younger and less hungry of the group and there were hearty looking meals for the rest of us. I opted for the Steak and kidney pie with mash and buttered greens. What could go wrong? Well as it happens, nothing. Not as far as the food went anyway. Which brings me to my only gripe about The Bolney Grange on this visit, the tardy service.
As I’ve mentioned before I am a huge fan/advocate/believer in customer service and the three chaps we initially encountered who greeted us, seated us and took our drinks and main orders were extremely pleasant and attentive. Because of this high level of service the durations we were kept waiting were out of character and therefore very obvious. Most notably the wait for our desserts to arrive and then for the bill (which was also delivered to the wrong table). These delays may have had something to do with the waitress who took over looking after our table after the main courses had arrived. Her attitude and manner were in complete contrast to that of her male colleagues and in combination with a less good meal than we had that day could have seriously impacted on our experience.
But not on this day.
Everyone’s main courses were excellent. The steak sandwich was tender, the poached smoked haddock was succulent and beautifully cooked and the steak and kidney pie was meaty and rich and covered in delicious gravy. No negatives from anyone. So much so that everyone then went on to desserts. From the dark chocolate tart with cherries and clotted cream to the lemon tart with a fruit coulis and vanilla ice cream and the delicious selection provided on the cheese board, once again, everything was right on the money.
I will certainly be coming here again and look forward to not driving so I can get involved with the real ales.
Add to this the fact that they allow dogs AND that the building was used as a location the “The Eagle Has Landed” this was a near perfect experience. The only thing that let it down is the most easy to do well and because of that The Bolney Stage does not quite receive the Full Rack (on this occasion) but I will be back.
The Bolney Stage – 4 Ribs award
The Bolney Stage
One final note – despite appearances, it transpires that the Bolney Stage is part of The Restaurant Group, a chain that operates almost 400 pubs and restaurants across the UK including the likes of Frankie & Benny’s and Chiquito. The fact that this little country pub comes across as a quaint, possibly privately owned establishment is a great endorsement to someone at TRG who is making sure the country pubs they own are keeping their own identity. Next stop – the Black Jug at Horsham.