The Queens Arms must be the pub we have received most recommendations for so we finally booked it for the bank holiday Monday.
It was a glorious sunny spring day so I phoned the pub again in the morning and asked if they could reserve us an outside table as I had already made a booking previously. Unfortunately they said they could not reserve outside tables, they were first come first served basis.
We got to the pub just after 1pm and on a day it was on Monday there were no outside tables - actually there were people sitting on picnic blankets outside! We were shown to our table and had sort of outside feeling as all the doors were open but it really was a day for outside lunch.
They were extremely busy it seemed (outside - inside was pretty empty) and the waitresses apologised for this quite a few times. We had children with us but we were given four normal menus. I asked about smaller portions or children's menus. I was advised what may be on the children's menu and eventually was given the children's menu to have a look at and was expected to decide for children's choices straightaway.
Children chose their meals quickly (they know what they like). I wasn't sure what to have but went for asparagus which was recommended after I couldn't decide between two dishes. My husband had ploughman's and he said that was his second rubbish ploughman's he has had in Dorset now. No further comments from him. Kids liked their macaroni cheeses and were happy playing outside on the patio after they had finished their food.
Kids had ice creams and sweets for dessert. Both me and my husband decided to skip desserts as they were so busy.
I must say that the Queens Arms did not live up to the expectation I had after quite few people had recommended it. I know it was a very busy day we were there but the staff was not very knowledgeable about children's food and what was included. They kept apologising for being busy - but surely that's a good thing for a country pub these days? Just need to have staff that can cope with the pressure?