The Bosun's Chair: a relaxing lunch in the wonderful garden
Excellent pub food served with a warm welcome in Lymington's calming oasis
On a gloriously sunny day we escaped the hustle and bustle of Lymington's High Street for lunch in the calming garden at the Bosun's Chair. Close your eyes for a moment and imagine a spacious and serene oasis, fragrant with lavendar and peaceful save for the distant hum of bumble bees.
Lymington is well known for pubs - it once had as many as forty in its heyday as a bustling port - but few centrally located eateries can match the Bosun's wonderful hidden garden, warm welcome and good food.
The Bosun's Chair was originally a Georgian coaching inn and is perfectly situated just a few paces from Lymington Town station, a stone's throw from the busy High Street and a short walk from the Isle of Wight ferry. Legend has it that in 1970 Jimi Hendrix jammed at the Bosun's while waiting for a train after playing the Isle of Wight Festival.
Hidden behind the elegant Georgian frontage is a pretty covered patio with wrought iron tables and chairs, which then stretches out to a veritable fragrant suntrap and onto grassed pub garden beyond, with plenty of traditional wooden table seating, including several child-sized tables with benches. During the summer weekends the 'proper' charcoal barbecue is proving popular as locals and visitors enjoy the long evenings in the garden.
Great pub food served with a smile
The lunch menu is simple and straightforward, presented on a neat wooden clipboard. A well-selected combination of starter size and main course size dishes, with a handful of sharing dishes such as loaded nachos.
The menu changes almost daily, but will always include great pub classics such as Scampi with Fries, Dressed Salad and Homemade Tartare Sauce, Beer Battered Cod with Fries, Pea Puree and Homemade Tartare Sauce, 8oz British Sirloin Steak with Fries, Chestnut Mushrooms, Tomato and a Café Du Paris Butter and of course the delicious Homemade 6oz Beef Burger with Cheddar and Crispy Bacon, served with Fries, Aioli and Coleslaw.
The Bosun's Chair serves food at lunchtime and in the evenings, with a real charcoal barbecue at weekends in the summer. The Sunday menu includes traditional roast dinners. All well presented in good sized portions at an excellent price.
To start we chose Filo Prawns with Salad Garnish and Sweet Chilli Dip and Warm Hay-Smoked Chicken and Bacon Salad with Homemade Croutons (also available as a main course) Both starters were delicious and light. The filo prawns were perfectly crunchy, whilst the delicate flavour of the hay-smoked chicken (home-smoked with local hay we were advised!) a super companion for the crispy bacon.
As main course we selected Pan Fried Seabass Fillet with Noodles, Stir Fried Vegetables and a Soy, Sweet Chilli and Ginger Dressing and the Chestnut Mushroom and Stilton Crostini with Dressed Leaves and Red Wine Reduction.
Equally tempting was the Oven Roasted Cod Loin with Crushed New Potatoes, Roasted Mediterranean Vegetables and a White Wine and Parsley Cream and the Chicken Caesar Salad...
The seabass was cooked to perfection, a light and summery dish, a generous serving. The crostini meanwhile made an excellent vegetarian lunch, the saltiness of the stilton complementing the earthy chestnut mushrooms magnificently.
The menu includes a small selection of desserts. We chose a Lemon Pannacotta Tart with Raspberry Sorbet and a Selection of New Forest Ice Cream (which at just £1 a scoop is excellent value!) - both a delightful and refreshing conclusion to our relaxing lunch.
All in all, an excellent pub lunch was enjoyed in the sunshine at the Bosun's Chair. And all at seriously good prices.
The relaxing garden was wonderful - the perfect place to unwind with a glass of wine, daytime or evening. We will definitely be back!