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A la Colthard/The Ram at Ferle

There is a disconnect between restaurant critics’ reviews, almost invariably metro and new, and restaurants that the vast majority of diners want to visit. That is why diners rely on the internet search engines. A good example of a popular restaurant is a decent country pub but when was the last time you saw that reviewed anywhere?

One of my favourites is the Ram at Ferle off the A27 near Lewes. I have been there twice accompanying Nancy Bright Thompson on her excursions to East Sussex country houses and gardens. In fact it’s nearest to one we have yet to visit – Charleston, the home of Virginia Woolf’ sister Vanessa Bell and her bisexual husband Duncan Grant, what a boy he was !!!  .

With its extensive garden which includes a small children’s playground it’s particularly enjoyable in summer. You order at the bar and if you like your craft ale I would recommend that of the local village brewery.

They have an extensive wine list and a full menu. I have yet to be disappointed by the food. Last time I had wild mushrooms on toast followed by liver and bacon.

The service is friendly and efficient. Because of the unusually warm weather we could sit in the rear garden though the front courtyard, where there is table waitress service, is the more popular.

For two it worked out at £42. Nancy as driver only had a orange juice, I had half an ale and full glass of Italian red. Parking is no problem. It ticks all the boxes of a country pub and is well worth a visit.

I wish I could say the same of Memories of India in Brighton Marina.

There I always have mixed tandoori as a starter and  lamb korma.

The waiter, who could barely speak a word of English, said there was no tandoori on the menu and managed to take the lamb korma order incorrectly with the result that my other two friends had to wait once served for mine to be cooked and served.

The mutton was hard and not tender. The restaurant space was vast but we were the only three diners.

So there was no atmosphere at all.

No people watching. If restaurants are going to fight back against Deliveroo  and Just Eats and the meltdown of the middle range eaterie, they need to get their act together. Instead they are cutting costs with low grade poorly paid staff.

Daphne Colthard
About Daphne Colthard

After graduating at RADA but finding no roles Daphne went into magazine journalism with Good Housekeeping. Widely recognised as one of the country's leading restaurant and hotel reviewers, particularly by herself, Daphne is the author of "Bedded and Breakfasted", a light hearted chick novel and Grand Hotels DC: the Daffers Dictionary. Daphne lives in West London and is married to an investment banker Oliver. They have 2 boys Humphrey and Tarquin. More Posts