We noticed that you're using an unsupported browser. The TripAdvisor website may not display properly.We support the following browsers:
Windows: Internet Explorer, Mozilla Firefox, Google Chrome. Mac: Safari.

“Great pub food”
Review of The Volunteer Inn

The Volunteer Inn
Ranked #19 of 85 Restaurants in Lyme Regis
Cuisines: British, Pub
More restaurant details
Restaurant details
Dining options: Dinner, After-hours, Lunch, 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 8 November 2017

Had classic fish and chips at the Volunteer Inn (with beer, of course). The barman gave samples to help choose a beer, the food was well prepared and reasonably priced, and the atmosphere old cosy English pub. You can eat by the bar or in an adjacent dining room.

    • Value
    • Service
    • Food
Thank sagorin
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Write a ReviewReviews (277)
Traveller rating
Traveller type
Time of year
Language

29 - 33 of 277 reviews

Reviewed 8 November 2017

Having tried to share feedback directly with the pub, firstly via email (received an undeliverable message from the email address stated on the website) and secondly via the pub facebook page using messenger (no response), TripAdvisor is my last resort.

We booked a table for dinner at 8.30pm last Saturday night to celebrate my sister’s birthday. We arrived promptly at 8.30pm however we were told upon arrival that our table had been given away and that it would just be a short while for another one to be arranged. We had no problem with this as we were in no hurry and I think it was around 10 minutes before we were seated. It was from that point that everything started to feel a little rushed. The waitress seemed very keen to take our orders straight away and asked if my sister’s boyfriend wanted his main served with our starters which seemed very odd. Me, my sister and my boyfriend all had the scallops for starter which we thoroughly enjoyed however my sister had not quite finished when the waitress then informed us that she needed to clear our plates as our mains were ready.

We were not hugely impressed at being rushed into our main course the second we finished our starters however we got on and tried to enjoy our meal nonetheless. A while later however, once the main course had been cleared, my boyfriend then went to order the sticky toffee pudding that he had been talking about ordering the whole evening. The waitress then informed him with little apology that the kitchen was now closed and that the chef had gone home. It could only have been around 9.30pm at this point given the delay when we arrived and then the speed at which we were served our first courses. We were really quite disappointed at having not been warned that the kitchen would be closing or given any opportunity to order dessert. If we had known that booking a table at 8.30pm would mean a rushed meal with no dessert we would have made an earlier reservation.

Having been rushed through our meal and disappointed by the lack of dessert we then tried to move on and enjoy the rest of our drinks before heading home. The final blow however came when paying the bill. I had looked on the website prior to making the reservation and had noticed that American Express cards were accepted. Therefore when my boyfriend went to pay using his American Express card and was quite abruptly told that American Express was not accepted I questioned this with the bartender. She then quite rudely informed me that ‘American Express had never been accepted’, I was so taken aback by the tone that I decided to leave it and told my boyfriend to use another card.

Sadly we all left feeling really quite disappointed by the experience. My sister in fact then messaged me later in the evening to apologise as she had felt bad for suggesting we book the Volunteer Inn. This is not quite the feeling I had hoped she would be left with after an evening of birthday celebrations. We had hoped to discuss our experience with someone before leaving on Saturday night, as coming from a hospitality background myself I know it is often best to say something at the time, however we did not really have the opportunity as the pub was so busy.

I hope that by sharing our feedback future customers at the Volunteer Inn may be spared a similar experience.

    • Value
    • Service
    • Food
1  Thank 13Madeleine13
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 7 November 2017

This is a lovely traditional pub frequented by locals and not just full of tourists. The Sunday lunch of Beef or Pulled Pork with vegetables was very substantial and filling for £10 a head .Great value !

Thank CarolLyndon
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 9 November 2017

Thank you so much for leaving such a lovely review. The chef works really hard on the food. I went myself for Sunday roast this weekend, I've given up cooking it now I've found one so close to home that is so good !

Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 2 November 2017

Our wonderful hosts at the B&B recommended this pub as they frequent it themselves.
We visited on Thursday Oct. 26, 2017 at approximately 9:40 P.M.
When we entered, we stood at the bar to order a drink.
A petite brunette bartender with her hair pulled up served us. I ordered a glass of Merlot.
My husband asked for a suggestion for a local beer and was told Guinness.
Guinness is not a local beer. My husband asked if there were any locally brewed beers. She handed us a list and said that the prices may have changed due to Brexit.
When he tasted two samples, he asked the name of one. The bartender in an irritated voice stated "It does not matter". He pointed to one and she poured it.
The place was quite busy and there was no place to sit.
We were obviously in the way at the bar. People coming and going were running into us. I told my husband to just down the drinks fast so we could leave.
We were not in there more than 10 minutes.
After we returned to our B&B our host asked how we liked The Volunteer Inn and I explained what happened.
I described what the bartender looked like and mentioned there was a male bartender there working the other side of the bar. We did not talk with him.
All we wanted to do was experience a local pub and have a local beer.

Thank Cameron1999
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 4 November 2017

Good morning, the bartender in question is Irish and has a very dry sense of humour (hence saying Guinness is local) so I am very sorry about the comment about Guinness and Brexit, she meant it in jest but I can see how this came across to you. We have spoken to her and she really didn't mean to offend. We pride ourselves in the local ales that we serve but unfortunately this did not come across during your visit. In terms of having no seats, we are quite a small pub and seating is limited although many times there are spare seats at tables where other people are sitting, people don't mind sharing tables and we also have seats over on the restaurant side. The pub is very popular so can be very busy and bustly but this is also the charm of this lovely, old, charming pub. We cannot apologise enough that your experience was not a good one. We have a lot a new things coming to the Voli and look forward to meeting and greeting everyone. We hope the rest of your holiday was good and maybe we will see you again in the future.

Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 26 October 2017 via mobile

I was advised to go here by somebody I met in London and how right was he. They cook food the way it should be cooked and serve real ale that is truly outstanding. Either we got lucky or this is a great old fashioned pub doing things the right way I rather think they do it right day in day out.

Thank Clive H
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

Clive, thank you so much for leaving such a lovely review. The team take real pride in working at the Volunteer Inn. The food is all freshly cooking by our onsite chef and he is passionate about what he is doing. We regularly have guest ales from local breweries. Thank you again, we hope to see you again

Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC

Travellers who viewed The Volunteer Inn also viewed

 

Been to The Volunteer Inn? Share your experiences!

Write a Review Add Photos & Videos

Owners: What's your side of the story?

Own or manage this property? Claim your listing for free to respond to reviews, update your profile and much more.

Claim Your Listing