The Little Harp Inn, Clevedon: Review

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Little Harp Inn, Clevedon - Exterior


Last weekend I had a friend from back home come to stay – and with the weather behaving itself, we planned a trip to the seaside. Clevedon was the destination of choice, and we parked up by St Mary’s Church, walking along the coast path down towards the pier before heading down to the shore to soak up some sun.

Our original thinking was to grab some fish and chips for lunch, but I’d not heard great things about the place on the seafront, and we couldn’t be bothered to head into town to visit one of the places that we’d seen were highly rated on Google Maps. So instead, with the intention of slowly making our way over to the Marine Lake later in the afternoon, we stopped at Greene King pub, The Little Harp Inn, knowing that it was likely to cater well for my three-year-old who was with us.

The Little Harp Inn garden is currently out of bounds – it’s being done up before the summer holidays. So, if you’re looking for somewhere relaxing to eat, it’s probably not the best choice…with a digger and a small dump truck in the space, though – and with our table having a view of the garden – the child was happy.

This, plus the taking of our drinks order, set the tone for the entire meal. My friend asked for a particular flavour of J2O listed on the menu. “Not got it”, was the reply. I asked for a carton of juice for my son that was listed on the menu. “Not got it”, was the reply.

The same abrupt service continued throughout the meal, with a few surprising smiles only flashed towards the toddler when he was brought a colouring and activity sheet and a small pack of crayons. Our request to the same server to split the bill at the end of the meal was met with similar disinterest to our experience at the start.


Little Harp Inn, Clevedon - Kids' Activity Sheet


The food menu at The Little Harp Inn was varied though, with both lighter bites and more substantial options – and, if anything, a little TOO much choice. I loved the children’s menu though, with two different pick and mix menus (one for those aged 8 and over, one for under-8s), as well as pizza, pasta and wrap dishes, and baby food for younger visitors.

It was the pick and mix option (£4.29) that my son went for, going for a classic kids’ meal of four chicken nuggets, chips and baked beans – all cooked absolutely fine, I just wish restaurants and pubs would leave kids’ meals to cool slightly before serving, as trying to persuade a hungry kid to wait so he doesn’t burn his mouth is a challenge!


Little Harp Inn, Clevedon - Kids' Pick and Mix Menu


I chose from the Lunch Club menu – slightly smaller dishes served Monday to Friday until 5pm. As we were by the sea, I decided it would be foolish not to go for the hand-battered fish goujon sandwich (£5.99), which came with a choice of rosemary-salted skin on fries or salad. Obviously, I chose the fries…

It was sizeable: the bread and goujons both so thick that I decided pretty quickly that it was a knife and fork job. The chips were decent, although could’ve done with a little more rosemary. The sandwich, though, was disappointing. With bread that thick, it needed WAY more tartare sauce than the thin smear I was given – the whole thing was pretty dry. The goujons themselves tasted like the oil they had been fried in needed to be changed, and they were overcooked, too – the fish inside had dried out and there was far too much batter to really even taste the fish itself.


Little Harp Inn, Clevedon - Fish Goujon Sandwich


On the other side of the table, the Cheddar and bacon burger (£11.29) looked the part and the burger itself tasted fine (“it’s ok, I’ve had better” was the response). A LOT of oil came out and dripped onto the plate when she bit into it, though, and she couldn’t taste any onion in the onion rings, just batter and a lot of oil.


Little Harp Inn, Clevedon - Cheddar and Bacon Burger


The Little Harp Inn in Clevedon is a lovely-looking pub, and I’m looking forward to seeing how the garden is transformed once the work is complete. I doubt we’ll be heading back for a meal, though, with the huge number of other places to choose from in the surrounding area. Disappointing.

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