We left it a bit late to book our Christmas lunch and couldn't get a table at the place we wanted, so decided to try the trusty Water Poet - a pub near the office that is popular with my colleagues.
Luckily they could squeeze us in at the last minute - there were only four of us - but it did mean that we didn't get Christmas crackers at our place settings like most of the other tables had. Nonetheless we had a fun Christmas lunch.
The Water Poet has several connected rooms and an outdoor area and it has a proper restaurant as well. I guess the menu must change fairly regularly; they had a set menu Christmas lunch but their regular day time menu had roast turkey with all the trimmings, which I doubt is on there outside of December! There weren't actually a huge number of choices for meals however - only three starters, a pea and bacon soup, smoked salmon and goat's cheese pie. There were nine main courses to choose from which again isn't a huge number when three of them were vegetarian (and containing things I don't eat) - but there were the standard burger and fish and chips on there, and the others - baked salmon, roast beef - did sound nice. I wanted the roast turkey anyway so I wasn't bothered by the other choices!
The smoked salmon was good and the turkey main course was delicious - at £17.50 a bit more expensive than your typical pub meal but the meat was very good quality, and they were generous with the roast potatoes which is important to me! The stuffing was pretty good too and didn't taste like it was straight out of a packet. I wasn't keen on the cranberry and kumquat relish and would have preferred a more straightforward cranberry sauce, but that's just me.
As with the starters there was only a choice of three desserts and again none really appealed. Christmas pudding and brandy butter would have gone nicely with the turkey but I don't like Christmas pudding! I was going to have the pear syllabub with almond biscuit, but I didn't know what Sussex pond pudding was so we asked the waitress. She said it was a sponge pudding baked around a whole lemon, which sounded really nice. Unfortunately it wasn't actually a sponge cake but a suet pudding, and was served with berries - though there was also the lemon inside. But instead of the light citrusy pudding I was expecting, it was a heavy, stodgy pudding with a berry topping that I didn't actually like. It was a bit disappointing considering it cost £8 but overall I did enjoy the meal, and I'm sure we will be back!