It was my birthday on Saturday and seeing as we were heading off on holiday at 6am I wasn't quite sure what we would end up doing that day or if we would have the energy to celebrate, so Friday night we headed out as a family to the newly refurbished Treacle Mine Whitbread Inn at Polegate, about half hour from our East Sussex Home.
Now let me tell you straight off in case you are tight for time or can't be bothered to read on. If you are local then go and visit. It was busy and it didn't matter one bit, we had a fabulous meal and didn't feel rushed or crowded.
The Treacle Mine has a super outdoor space, both covered and open air and the area was not being used at all on the overcast evening when we visited but I suspect on a weekend lunch it could get busy. As the restaurant is situated in a services area on the A22 you could hear some traffic noise but it was not a major issue.
It wasn't a massively quick meal, we arrived at 6.30pm and left at 8.40pm but it felt like an occasion. Our waitress was really attentive and gave great service and the food was excellent, I don't think there was one thing that I could have moaned about, it was one of the best meals we have had in a long time.
Our drinks order was taken within about 10 minutes of being seated and then they arrived quickly. We had clean glasses and ice available for us all and I was pleased to be bought a jug of iced tap water and 5 glasses when I requested a glass of water.
The menu is varied with traditional pub food like sausages and mash, steaks, burgers and pies but you can also order salads, fish and there are daily specials too. I had to ask for the set menu and I am glad I did as it is fantastic value. Available Monday - Friday evenings after 6pm, we could have 2 courses for £9.99 or 3 for £11.99 and yes the choices were limited but what was there was very good. There is also a good value daytime menu available with main courses from just £4.99.
My two girls were offered the Horrible Histories kids menu and it is also fantastic (I know I sound like a broken record, sorry) but it is such good value and there are loads of options for the kids and not just the regular nuggets and sausages, the kids can have a steak, ribs or a chargrilled chicken breast. Most of the main courses are £3.99 and that includes a starter of pudding of your child's choice and then you can add either a starter for 99p or a pudding for £1.25, so all in the 3 courses cost you under under £5.00 and the portion sizes are great, as you'll see in the photos.
It is also worth mentioning there is a special promotion at the moment where kids eat free on weekdays before 5pm when ordering an adult main course.
Have a look at what we enjoyed - Miss M and Miss E, nachos with cheese and sour cream dip, dh and JJ, spiced chicken goujons with BBQ dip and I had chicken liver pate with apple and cider chutney. They were all delicious and such good portion sizes too.
For main course Miss M has spaghetti bolognaise with a piece of garlic bread and corn on the cob, Miss E, grilled chicken with mash and baked beans (and look at the size of her child's portion - loads!). Dh and I both had gammon, he had chips and I had a jacket potato with butter and sour cream (well it was my birthday) and JJ has his favourite, cheeseburger and skinny fries and boy what a burger it was, so chunky!
To finish off JJ and I had a warm chocolate brownie with vanilla ice cream and caramel sauce as part of the set menu. Dh had been tempted by the Jaffa cake sundae on the specials menu and the girls ate from the children's set menu - both choosing something a little gory but still delicious. Miss M has slimy lime jelly with jelly snakes in it and Miss E had a wafer coffin with chocolate mouse (it was divine) and appropriate sweets on top, despite eating a mock coffin she thought she was in heaven as it was so good.
We were all stuffed after our meal but I managed to round it all off with a gorgeous Costa coffee cappuccino to take away.
As mentioned before our waitress had been really attentive, she checked on us throughout the meal, made sure we had what we needed, enjoyed banter with the kids and our bill was dealt with promptly.
Thank you so much Treacle Mine, we had a wonderful time and we will be back to see you soon. In fact it is my husband birthday in 10 days! lol
If I had to think about what could be even better and offer any constructive feedback, it would be that the set menu should be offered at the start along with the regular menu and that the kids activity packs should have been offered rather than the girls having to ask for them.
I ntice that Cheryl from Madhouse Family Reviews has also been to the Tracle Mine to review it and you can read her full write-up here.
Disclosure: We were gifted this meal for the purpose of writing this review. I have not been instructed what to write and I remain honest.
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