In the no man’s land between Christmas and New Year we’ve been confined to barracks with Coco having injured her paw on Studland Beach. Sporting a protective boot and cone of shame, her dog sensibilities have induced a reluctance to be seen in public but we managed to drag her out for a cheeky lunch to the Halfway Inn.
A 16th Century coaching inn complete with thatched roof, the Halfway Inn sits on the heathland between Wareham and Corfe Castle. With plenty of outside space for a summer’s day, on a cold December lunchtime the pub is cosy with log burners and nooks & crannies to snuggle up to a pint of Badger ale in.
Run by Ben and Anne Brown, the Halfway Inn gave us a warm welcome and allows well behaved dogs and children throughout, the former on leads (and potentially the latter). The pub’s chocolate Labrador was resting upstairs, also with a cone of shame – they must be all the rage for canines in Purbeck this season.
With a good selection of traditional pub favourites on the regular menu and a daily specials board there is something for everyone. The guests at the table next to us had the baked whole trout that looked excellent and at the end was clean to the bone, Top Cat style, as well as the Caribbean chicken with sticky coconut rice and chargrilled pineapple.
With an Indian dinner party planned for the evening and making my way through the Middle East via my Yotam Ottolenghi cookbook Christmas present, Sarah and I were both less exotic in our lunch choices.
Sarah’s scampi and chips – with the minted pea purée substituted for the vegetable selection – did just what it said on the tin. A good portion of scampi with tasty tartare sauce came with a very generous portion of crunchy chips (in hindsight we may not have needed the large version – most of the main courses come in standard or large sizes).
My steak and ale pie was excellent. I’m not a pie militant as regards having a full pastry casing (rather than a casserole with a puff pastry lid) but I do enjoy an old style short crust pie and with a jug of hearty, deep gravy I was a happy boy at lunchtime. There’s something very comforting about chips, gravy and a splatter of tomato ketchup. The beef in the pie was pretty tender too.
As usual, Mrs Y was very sporting in driving home, allowing me to make sure the beer was up to scratch. The Fursty Ferrett, a nutty, hoppy amber ale was a good choice and washed down lunch nicely.
So, all in all, whether you’re on your way to, or back from, the Isle of Purbeck, The Halfway Inn is a decent spot for a pint and a pub meal.
The Halfway Inn
|Invited by PR company?||No|
|Guest of chef/restaurant/owner?||No|
|Restaurant/outlet knew ahead we were bloggers?||No|
|Was the meal complimentary from the restaurant?||No|
|Any complimentary items provided by restaurant/outlet?||No|