Review: Jolly Sailor, East Street, Whitburn

The Jolly Sailor at Whitburn, near Sunderland
The Jolly Sailor at Whitburn, near Sunderland
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TO avoid bank holiday chores, we headed out in search of lunch.

A previous visit to Mamma Mia in Whitburn led my parents and I to its door, but my hunch it didn’t open during the day was confirmed as we pressed against the locked door at the front of the Jolly Sailor pub.

As we walked back to the car we caught a sniff of food from the bar and stuck our head in to ask if they were still serving.

It turned out to be a good move. Staff swiftly found us a table and showed us the menu chalked up on the wall, with a host of different roasts or meats on offer alongside dishes including fish and chips and steak.

Orders of fishcakes for dad, lamb chops for mum and pork belly for me were soon served, each £7.95.

Dad’s plate was a bit of a buffet, with two golden fishcakes – deemed nice, but not very fishy – topped with battered prawns, a side salad and a helping of tuna mayo and sweetcorn.

A bowl of chips, which dad decided he did not need to bulk up the dinner, were later picked at by mum and I as we mopped up our own plates.

Mum said her three chops were good, but not as well done as she’d hoped, but they disappeared fast after they were doused in mint sauce.

We both helped ourselves to a good serving of mashed potato and swede, carrots and peas.

My meat turned out to be loin of pork, rather than belly, but I’ll deduct no points as it still hit the spot.

Shards of crackling were laid on top of the four slices and it came with a thick, punchy gravy. It was lovely to get a Yorkshire pudding, extra gravy to pour and apple sauce too.

It’s the first time I’ve been inside the pub and it looks just how I thought it would, all white walls and dark beams.

We spied bowls of trifle, carrot and chocolate cakes and a few others in the dessert cabinet while we ate.

We had to wait around about half an hour before we could catch the staff’s attention to ask for a second course, but they explained the usual staff had taken the bank holiday off.

My parents chose the strawberry trifle and I went for the banoffee roulade, all at £3.50.

My parents said the trifle wasn’t quite how they had imagined it, as it looked like a bit like an Eton mess and they’d hoped for meringue. They still said it was good enough.

Mine was sugary, gooey and crunchy in equal measure and came with pouring cream. It was rich enough, but the cream help mute the sweetness well.

With two cokes and a white wine, the bill came to £38.85.

While we’re still keen to try the Italian upstairs again, the Jolly Sailor is certainly somewhere I’d go back to, especially for a Sunday lunch.