Today we’re heading out to the Chequers Inn at Lytchett Matravers – a village in the parish of Poole, Dorset. Surrounded by beautiful countryside and home to a rather lovely parish church, St. Mary The Virgin (which dates back to approximately 1200), makes it the perfect destination for a Sunday drive in the country.
This is our second visit to Chequers, owned and run by Dee Ringsell, a warm and friendly woman who clearly takes her role as proprietor with much pride. Quoting herself as wearing many hats, including that of ‘agony aunt’, Dee appears to get along famously with her happy and efficient team and as one watches them all going about their various duties it is obvious that they too enjoy the environment in which they work. We chatted for a while with Kerry Murphy, the bar manager who couldn’t have been more helpful and gave a little insight into the day to day workings of the Inn.
Our first visit to Chequers was about a month ago when we dropped by on the off-chance and were delighted with the food and service we received, hence our return today for a thoroughly good sampling of their appropriate name ‘Great British Roast’.
I can’t actually say enough good things about this beautifully cared for, pristine and welcoming Inn. Upon arrival we are greeted by the friendliest staff I think I’ve come across in all of Dorset – something that stuck with me from my first visit here.
Traditional British pub feel
Traditional English pub decor runs throughout the older part of the Inn yet with a modern feel, with beautiful dark wood-panelled walls, and wooden beamed ceiling which provides much character and ambience which I love – one immediately feels at home when they walk through the door at Chequers. The more modern ‘conservatory’ dining room is very bright, with natural light streaming through the windows, and fresh air wafts in through double doors that open out onto a patio that will no doubt be heaving with hungry customers in the summer months.
Chequers Great British Sunday Roast menu all whipped up by the combined culinary talents of Chris Googer (head chef), Vaclav Kiraly (sous chef), and Danny Lane (commis chef) offers customers their choice of a small or large serving of British Roast Topside of Beef, Roast Leg of Lamb, Roast Loin of Pork or Slow Roast Chicken, accompanied by a selection of vegetables, crispy duck fat roast potatoes (YUM!), honey glazed parsnips and ‘famous gravy’.
Our lovely waitress, Becky placed our drinks on the table and then took our order. I chose the Slow Roast Chicken served with ‘proper’ sausage meat stuffing and redcurrant jelly, and my partner went for the traditional British Roast Topside of Beef, being rather partial to a regular serving of Yorkshire pudding!
In no time at all Becky was back with two stylishly presented plates full of deliciousness! Wow, the Chicken just melted in my mouth, so tender and tasty, especially with the accompaniment of the redcurrant jelly. The sausage meat stuffing could have been served up as a dish on its own merits since it was so incredibly delicious – my partner even stating that he’d have the Chicken next time – it was so good!
The Roast Topside served with Ale Yorkshire pudding and horseradish sauce was equally full of flavour, tender and juicy. Yorkshires’ lived up to expectations with a crispy top with the perfect dent in the middle just waiting to be overflowing with gravy.
The crème de la crème for me were the Roast Potatoes – let’s be honest, I’m an addict. Cooked in all that rich duck fat made them so creamy on the inside and beautifully crisp and crunchy on the outside – in fact, they were so good that we were offered another helping and 5 additional potatoes were quickly devoured in record time – (DOUBLE YUM)!
The selection of vegetables included carrots and cauliflower – still with a good crunch to them, and delicious garden peas – always a favourite.
I’m a huge gravy fan so it is with disappointment that I say that this was the only negative to the scrumptious meal, which is strange as on our first visit to Chequers we had both commented on how full of flavour, rich in colour and thick it had been.
A selection of naughty desserts followed, created by pastry chef Catherine Sharman and these include: Dorset clotted cream rice pudding, Dorset apple cake, petit pot au chocolate, Sticky toffee pudding, Creamy honeycomb parfait, A trio of lemon (tart, sorbet and mousse), Selection of ice creams, and a Cheeseboard.
The special dessert of the day was Apple Crumble and Vanilla Custard – this was our joint choice and it was the perfect selection. The crunchiest yummiest crumble I’ve ever tasted all smothered in freshly made vanilla custard – my mouth’s watering at the thought of it – delicious Catherine, thank you!
So, there you have it, the perfect end to a pretty much perfect meal.
I would highly recommend you take a drive out to Lytchett Matravers and enjoy the culinary delights that Chequers Inn has to offer. You will get a warm and friendly welcome from each and every one of the staff, I guarantee it!
Once you’ve sampled their delights, come back here and let us know your thoughts.
Where to find the Chequers Inn
The pub is located at:
The Chequers Inn
Poole, BH16 6BJ
01202 622 215