The Acorn Inn isn't your typical village pub. It sits on the main street of the very pretty and very chocolate box village of Evershot, and features in the story Tess of the d'Urbervilles by Thomas Hardy. As well as the bar area at the back, the front is now a fairly high-end restaurant, so the place seems to want to be all things to all people. Generally it manages it pretty successfully.
We had a pub meal and a few beers in the bar. The food was good, tasty pub food (cod and chips, ham egg and chips), although there wasn't much choice on the bar meals menu itself (three main dishes plus sandwiches and lighter stuff). We had the option of ordering off the restaurant a la carte menu aswell, but weren't planning to go that upmarket. We did however order puddings off the restaurant menu (chocolate brownie, creme brulee). These were fantastic, presented restaurant style, almost as expensive as our main courses, but well worth it.
There were three different real ales on tap, with good variety of different types (two bitters and a stout), but the thing that impressed me most was the service. Both the waitress who served us and the barman were incredibly friendly and professional, but in a nicely laid back way. The one thing I'd change about the service was that we were treated as if we were in a restaurant not a pub, with drinks being brought to our table. This wasn't really necessary, and felt a bit odd in a pub. I wasn't sure if it was what the staff thought we expected, or whether everyone gets the same treatment.
I think the place makes for a good evening, and I would certainly go back. The biggest issue overall was that the bar area lacked a bit of atmosphere. It picked up a lot as the evening went on, but there didn't seem to be any integration between locals and visitors, which was a bit of a shame. So, the Acorn won't ever win my pub of the year award, but definitely worth a visit if you're in the area.
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This pub is undergoing a sea-change with new management and these folk are great. Local customers do not all live in the village so some nights can be quiet whilst others can be pretty good. The real locals are at work during the day and, if you make fairly regular visits at the mentioned periods, most of us will chat, but hang out round the bar (stood up) as seated visitors tend to be left to themselves in case they want to be private. Like all rural folk, we take a little time to weigh people up but are welcoming in the end - it's a two-way street! The staff here are friendly as well as polite (as befits their training)and do join in with the pub's fun - witness the Yard-of-Ale Competition board nearly 50% are staff names. Do come again. Try July 12th!!
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