This Mothers day I wanted to take my Mum, my wife, and my grandmother for a meal (with my 2 kids and grandfather in tow). After discovering that the New Inn in shalfleet had won accolades from the good pub guide, we booked a table a week in advance for 6pm. On arrival we were greeted by a friendly middle aged guy, who on studying the bookings board, informed me there was no booking for our party. After checking several other names with me, there was no issue, he gave us someone else's table who was booked for an hour after us. Not a good start, I also felt as though we may be rushed to get the other group in. Next step...lets hopes this goes better.....drinks! Only Carlsberg on tap for the beer/lager drinkers, and bud or corona in bottles. There were lots of wine choices ranging up to £100 a bottle, and 4/5 ale/bitters on tap but were not wine drinkers, nor are we ale drinkers so our choice was limited and the drinks we had would not have been our preferred choices. Ok....bad start....food! the main menu was very limited, but the specials board gave some variety. No kids menu was available, but there was a menu for "small appetites". Unfortunately my young kids do not have the pallet for fancy food, and would only opt for the sausages with chips and peas. Both wanted beans instead of peas but we were informed they do not serve beans...oh well. My wife is fussy and decided the menu was not to her taste, but the pie seemed would be ok. 4 of the party opted for the beef roast, but we were informed all of the beef had sold out at lunch time so this was no longer available....back to the menu it was then to pick out what we would eat, not what we would like or fancied. The barman recommended the pork belly, so my Mum and I chose that due to lack of inspiration. There was an acceptable wait for the food to arrive, but when it did we all found our meals to be very well cooked and delicious, and presented nicely. I give this visit 4/10 purely on the food we were served and friendly staff, as we found the atmosphere lacking, and the general decor a bit too gastro pub for a place with age and history. We were expecting a little more individuality and quaintness. The food was nice, but I would say the main dishes were around £2/£3 over what you might pay elsewhere, and a little on the reserved side in respect to size of the servings. 4 of us had dessert which consisted of 2 ice creams given the thumbs up, a treacle sponge which was small but great, and a brownie which was stodgy and lacking flavour (not good at £5,25 each). Ok...coffee would be good now to settle our tummies. We looked at the coffee menu consisting of around 10 different choices. Four of us opted for coffee and made our choices, only to be informed "the coffee machine is broken, well, not actually broken, just the drink comes out cold!!" Oh dear Cheque please. The bill come to just shy of £130. We had 2 Pints Carlsberg, 8 small cokes, 1 large coke, 1 bottle of bud, 1 small sherry, 1 small rose wine, 3 (normal) main dish, 4 "small appetite" dishes, 2 ice creams, 2 desserts. Although not a complete disaster, I can easily list 20 other places I would of prefered to eat at on the island, and would be £15 in pocket too. Im sorry New Inn, I just dont feel there was much special about our visit to comment on.
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