Al fresco lunch - The Dorset

Sometimes you don’t appreciate something until it’s too late. As I was leaving the Dorset I clocked the façade of the building and noticed what a splendid sight it was. The strange shaped roof, the white wooden cladding, the angry red tiles, the magnificent tree in the courtyard. A sign told me the building dated back to 1678, when the pub (then called The Cats) was founded. So why had I not got a feeling of the historical setting I was in as I tucked into my food in the courtyard? I had sat eating facing a brick wall, probably built in the 1980’s. My companion had had the sight of the car park. It felt like we were eating outside a Happy Chef.

In the meantime, the food. Will had tuna steak, I had roast crab. His was £9.95, mine was £11.95. There was salad, and some salty new potatoes, which arrived interestingly late. The crab had been mushed up and put back into its shell, so my fears of eating the wrong bits were allayed. They had grated some cheese on the top. It was tasty, in a crabby sort of way. I didn’t need to use salt or pepper. I had a bit of the tuna, which was succulent, thick-cut and obviously fresh. I got food envy watching a guy who’d ordered mussels, and was piling the shells high on a plate next to him. Good fare, then. But how much more would I have enjoyed it if they’d made more of the setting?

The Dorset has gone gastro since they disarmed it

The Dorset, 22 Malling St, Lewes
When? Restaurant Mon-Sat, 12-3pm, 6-9pm; Sun 12-7pm
How Much? See above

The Dorset
(w) Website