Silent Woman [Coldharbour]

We like the Silent Woman and the various family and friends we have taken there over the years have all said how much they enjoyed it. For us it ticks a lot of boxes.

Firstly, the food is 'different' to the norm, there is a unique style to it which I find difficult to describe but it is different to that which you commonly encounter in other local pubs. I was struck by the comments on TripAdvisor saying the food is bland and I am not at all sure what is meant by that; I can only think we are of an age where we know what we like and we do not find the food here anything but really tasty! I am a sucker for the chicken basque (sometimes I even have the steak basque). The rosemary saute potatoes are worth the cost of the meal on their own. The prices might be a couple of pounds higher than in other pubs but I believe you get what you pay for in this world and you are not just paying for the meal, you are paying a pleasant experience all round and that is worth a small premium.

Secondly, it is a true Dorset pub; an old building, lovingly cared for and immaculately presented. Exposed beams, coal fires, a mish-mash of tables and chairs; it is in every way unique and unlike the sterile chains that one encounters in other parts of the country. Thirdly, its location as it is in the heart of Wareham forest and so it is not even a village pub and has few 'locals' but it is well used by people from Wareham and, in summer, is very popular with people staying on the local caravan sites (this is where the 'no children' policy originates!). Fourthly, the managers, Rob and Denise Bell, have won inn keeping awards and one of them is always present during opening hours to ensure the highest quality of service and they always train their staff well. There is not a great turnover in staff here and that is always a good sign. Finally, it is just a couple of miles from where we live and we can be there in less than ten minutes.

I know some will find the 'no children' in the pub an issue but for the likes of us, and we are not alone, we love the absence of ill behaved children; family pubs are a nightmare for us and we avoid them. We like peace and quiet when we eat out and that is, for us, a bonus here. Rob and Denise know their core clientele and how to look after them! The pub has a lovely garden, well decked out with tables and lighting, and during the holiday season is a nice place to spend an evening with the kids, there is no need for children in the bar. The pub display signs saying children are not admitted so why do people go in and try and make a scene?  The management have a right to run the place as they think best so accept it or stay away.

The downsides? None for us but for a family it is certainly a place to avoid unless it is a warm enough evening to sit outside in the garden. The other thing to watch is that it is a licensed wedding venue and so there are times when the pub is closed for a special function; this is usually during the day. They publicise these dates well in advance but if you are not a regular and turn up without having booked on a Saturday then you may be disappointed to find it closed for a wedding.


Headline One of our favourite five!
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Date of last visit Thursday, 8 March, 2018
Date of Review Thursday, 8 March, 2018

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