Saturday 3 August 2013

The Parrot Inn, Forest Green, Surrey

Well-located for a pit-stop during a walk or cycle ride, the Parrot Inn lies in the flattish countryside south of Leith Hill
A sprawling pub in the hamlet of Forest Green, The Parrot Inn has a couple of large beer gardens overlooking the vast village green. Inside is a warren of bars, snugs and a restaurant. Even on a sunny Saturday lunchtime, it can be easy to find a table, perhaps reflecting the fact that the food doesn't live up  to the prices.  For pub grub, the main courses are expensive and you need to buy side orders of vegetables on top. The beef burger (£12.85), served with red pepper, skinny fries and a beetroot salsa, can be lacklustre. Similarly, the chicken balti (about £12) can be bland - it needs fresh herbs, chutneys and more of a kick.  The rib eye steak, served with beef tomato, mustard butter and chips, is chunky, but it should be for almost £19. The best option may be the fish and chips (about £9), which is nicely cooked. But you get the same flimsy fries. Still, the Parrot has plenty of space, a broad selection of beers, lagers and ciders, including the fine Aspall, and the young staff make an effort. Better still, it is well placed for scenic walks or cycle rides up and down Leith Hill - the highest point in south east England. 6/10