The Windmill stands just off the top of Bells Lane, Hoo on the old part of Ratcliffe Highway. There are plenty of parking spaces and the views from the front extend down to and across the Medway toward Upchurch and Lower Halstow. On the sunny Thursday evening when we arrived, there were lots of sailing boats in that part of the estuary and a herd of cows in the field opposite, people pay fortunes for a view like that.
On entering we were greeted by a lady behind the bar with a cheery smile and asked what we would like to drink. We chose from a formidable selection of draught and bottled beer and a good choice of wines. We told her that we would like to eat as well and she immediately started a tab, handed us two menus and invited us to choose a table. Needless to say we sat by the window to keep an eye on the livestock and the armada on the river. The menu is a straight forward affair and I don’t mean to be disparaging about it at all, it’s great. Good wholesome stuff, homemade pies, smoked mackerel and egg mayonnaise.

For our first courses we chose Pate and egg mayonnaise, for the main course my partner had steak and I went with a homemade Chicken and mushroom pie. The young lady serving in the restaurant area that evening came and wiped the table that had clearly already been wiped but she wasn’t taking any chances. I couldn’t help but notice that she also checked the cutlery before bringing it to the table too, attention to detail and a pride in the job, we like her. The first course arrived quite quickly and was delicious, nice crusty bread with the pate, not the chewy left on the side kind, some very nice freshly prepared salad too. The egg mayonnaise was again very good, a generous portion with salad and although not a homemade mayonnaise it was clearly a good one. The young lady came and cleared the plates once we had finished, replaced the cutlery and gave the table another brief wipe, my fault, toast crumbs. The main courses followed just a few minutes later, the medium steak was pink in the middle with some juice but no blood great chips and again some lovely fresh salad. As I peered around the crust of my pie to check if my partner was still there I realised that this was a huge pie. I am sure there was the best part of a whole chicken in there and it was delicious.

All in all it was a great meal, good wine and beer, with excellent table service and very pleasant people, it wasn’t crowded but it was busy enough to let you know that this is one of the areas pubs that will always be here. As long as they do what they are doing now they will be fine. I am sure the dishes on the menu will change as indeed they are bound to, but this simple food in these very clean and tidy surroundings will ensure that we go back. To tell the truth we already have and it was as good as the first time.

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