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“AMAZING!”
Review of The Volunteer Inn

The Volunteer Inn
Ranked #20 of 85 Restaurants in Lyme Regis
Cuisines: British, Pub
More restaurant details
Restaurant details
Dining options: After-hours, Lunch, Dinner, Reservations
Description: The Volunteer Inn is a family-run, seventeenth century pub located in the heart of Lyme Regis in Dorset. One of the only remaining pubs on the high street, The Volunteer sells a range of local ales and ciders and has been a regular in the Good Beer Guide and a CAMRA member for over a decade. Although famous for it's ales, the Volunteer serves excellent food offering a daily changing menu. Please visit our website for more information.
Reviewed 25 October 2017 via mobile

The food here was fabulous, we enjoyed a really fantastic meal, certainly the best meal we've had in Lyme for a long time (and I have quite high expectations!) Such a lovely dining room at the side of a traditional pub. We had fresh salmon with crab risotto, beautiful pork belly and local mussels.. wow what a treat, really tasty fresh food that was so much better than every other local restaurant that we've tried (and we eat out a lot!) A hidden gem..

Date of visit: October 2017
Thank 76jessb76
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Alethea M, Guest Relations Manager at The Volunteer Inn, responded to this reviewResponded 28 October 2017

Good evening, we are so glad that you enjoyed your meal and the pub. All the food is fresh and cooked using the best ingredients as you now know. You can eat in the pub or in the restaurant area on Wednesday Thursday Friday and Saturday nights and lunches on the same days and Sunday lunches.

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37 - 41 of 280 reviews

Reviewed 13 October 2017

With only a sunday roast on our minds we scoured Lyme Regis, but found most places were only serving a standard menu.. To be honest the prospect of trudging up the hill from the beach front was not appealing and really a last resort, but we was relieved when the board outside The Volunteer Inn read "Sunday Roast £10" Under normal circumstances this low price may have persuaded us to look elsewhere, but the look on my fiances face said "If I have to trudge back down this hill without food in my belly the wedding is off" It's a look I'm quite familiar with, but usually because I haven't taken the bins out or made the bed... The pub is a blast from the past, quite atmospheric a real pub and as my fiance(still currently) is the daughter of a Landlord & Landlady it's the sort of place we love. We ordered a Beef & Pork belly roast waiting not very patiently as the smells of our roast teased us from the kitchen and i wondered if candle wax had any nutritional value to appease my rumbling tummy.. But, not long after we heard a faint bell ring from the kitchen and i knew I could save wax tasting until another day.. Both plates were everything you hope for in a Sunday roast, Potatoes, Veg, Yorkshire and a side boat full of steaming gravy.. It's fare to say we didn't speak to each other much just nodding at each other and occasionally making certain noise from "When Harry met Sally" We love a weekend away and spend many sundays eating roasts all over the country and I never thought I'd find somewhere to rival the "Black Lion Hotel" In Newquay West Wales roast lamb, but this smashed it out the park.. We never met the chef of this roast, but he/she is a true genius and made 2 people who will definitely trudge back up that hill again very happy...

Date of visit: October 2017
    • Value
    • Service
    • Food
Thank Alan G
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Alethea M, Guest Relations Manager at The Volunteer Inn, responded to this reviewResponded 28 October 2017

Hi Alan. Thank you so much for reviewing the food. Stuart the chef does the most amazing roast dinner. I have only just started to work at the Voli and the week before I joined I decided to have a roast myself after getting sick of all the mess of making one at home. I am normally let down when I eat a roast dinner out, but not this time. Cauliflower cheese on the side, proper vegetables, big Yorkshire, lots of gravy and great spuds. You can also get non-roast dinner dishes too. People need to be aware that it is best to book and when the roasts have gone, they are gone and the kitchen closes so it is best to get there early or book. Thank you again for taking the time in writing a review

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Reviewed 3 October 2017

Clearly a pub used by locals as a drinking location. The restaurant side confused us in that it clearly seemed very 'tired' , was filled with an assortment of furniture and the staff were clearly busy in the bar side of the premises. Clearly visiting males were being 'sent' into the restaurant side looking for the male toilet only to find there is only the ladies in there? I assume signage is an issue?
Having painted that picture, the food was competitively priced and was very good whilst clearly having been freshly prepared. No complaints there but probably in reality we would not rush to return.

Date of visit: September 2017
    • Value
    • Service
    • Food
Thank 524lenj
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Alethea M, Guest Relations Manager at The Volunteer Inn, responded to this reviewResponded 28 October 2017

Hi there. This pub is used by the locals a lot as it is such a great pub with a friendly atmosphere. The theme of the pub is to have the mismatched furniture and accessories but we are at the start of giving it a refresh. We have just got to the end of a very busy season and we are open from 10am each morning until midnight so it makes decorating a little difficult but we have a plan of action and excited about the changes. We now also have put in dedicated food staff so the restaurant side can get more attention, this is working really well. We are glad you liked the food and do hope to see you again.

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Reviewed 1 October 2017

Booked a table here before heading to The Marine Theatre later. Somewhat embarrassingly, some drinkers were unceremoniously slung off our table by the staff so that we could sit in the window in an entirely dark grey dining room. The furniture is all mis-matched, and the walls adorned with mirrors and pictures - the menus are on blackboards in an inglenook and included 3 risottos, belly pork and lots of fish for up to about £14.

Service was friendly and swift, our order taken at the table. I had fish pie for £12 - a bit too salty for my taste, and largely potato so a bit disappointing. A plate of chips was devoured quickly by all of us as they were big, thick and chunky.

The loo leading off this room was not very clean and could do with some re-modelling.

Average pub food, nice atmosphere but you must book - we spent the entire dinner watching people peer in and leave because it was so packed!

Date of visit: September 2017
    • Value
    • Service
    • Food
Thank FussyDolly
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Alethea M, Guest Relations Manager at The Volunteer Inn, responded to this reviewResponded 28 October 2017

Hi there, yes it really is best to book as the pub is so popular, so please book to avoid disappointment. We are so busy over the Winter. We take pride in being friendly and love people visiting us. This is a really old building and inevitably there are always jobs to do. The toilet is definitely on the list of things to remodel, we will probably give it a refresh for now until we are in a position to replace. With regards to it being dirty, I can assure you this isn't normal but I will speak to the team about checking more regularly, apologies about this. The food won't be to everyones taste but the Fish Pie is my personal favourite, I always ask for veg and a side of gravy with mine (not for the pie I hasten to add) but for the veg. Thank you for taking the time to review us, it is good to get all feedback.

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Reviewed 28 September 2017

This place clearly isnt loved any more. We visited here about 6 years ago, and called in during a recent revisit to Lyme. Real shame it has gone downhill.
As you walk in the smell of stale beer hits you. If you go to the back to use the facilities, the stink of the urinals tells you you are heading in the right direction.
There is a balance-coin-on-lemon game on the bar which can be fun, but the former ice bucket being used for it is filthy. Pumps on the bar are not clean either, with dust and mould on the edges - makes you wonder what the areas we cant see are like???????????
Then to top it off the soft drink offering is dismal - tiny bottles of room-temperature coke, or lemonade from a 2-litre bottle so what you get is flat.
Place is best avoided until it gets taken on by someone who cares.

Date of visit: September 2017
1  Thank 456charlie
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Alethea M, Guest Relations Manager at The Volunteer Inn, responded to this reviewResponded 28 October 2017

Hi there, thank you so much for your review, all reviews are important to us. We have a list of things that we are currently working through to improve, unfortunately this started just after your visit. The carpet which is causing the smell of stale beer is being replaced by a wooden floor, all of your other comments are also being dealt with and we have a new cleaning rota being put in place to ensure this doesn't happen again. It has been an incredibly busy season for the team but there is no excuse, we need to get someone away from the busy day to day to ensure everything is spick and span. We really hope that you come back in the future so you can enjoy a pint in our lovely pub and so you can leave us a better review. We really do value your review.

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