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Talbot, Milton Keynes

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user reviews of the Talbot, Milton Keynes

please note - reviews on this site are purely the opinion of site visitors, so don't take them too seriously.

This pub has changed hands and is now part of the Ember Inns Group. It's had a major refurbish and is is attractive and light inside with an open plan feel and a large bar.

I popped in with the family on Sunday for a drink and had just sat down when we were told by the landlord that we shouldn't be in that part of the pub because we had my 18 month old grandson with us. Apparently we would have been all right to sit in the restaurant with him but this was full (and in any case we didn't want to eat). He was very nice about it and allowed us to finish our drinks but then we felt we had to leave rather than have a second one.

This seems to be really common with pubs in Milton Keynes - ie that you can only take children into the eating area of pubs - which effectively prevents you from going in just for a drink if you have children with you (especially on a Sunday lunchtime!) Surely if pubs market themselves as family pubs they could just apply for a Children's Licence and do away withe these sort of difficulties? I suspect that in reality they only really want to welcome families in if they are eating.

Apart from this annoyance it seemed like a nice pub with a good range of real ales (my St Austell Tribute was excellent) and I may well go back again (bit without children!) I might even try the food.
Grumpy_Old_Man - 29 Feb 2016 12:28
Big pub, the majority of which seems to be turned over to people eating. Busy too, as was the seating at the back where people were watching football on TV.
Three hand pumps but no ale available. Didn't fancy a Guinness, so Diet Coke it was.
Service a bit slow but that is no reflection on the staff, who were working very hard - there just weren't enough of them.
Food good value and very tasty too.
Big garden although rather grotty.
Decent alternative to the Harvester up the road - although only if you are eating.
duchyjim - 15 Sep 2014 22:12
I've called in a couple of times since I last reviewed the pub, but they seem to have settled in to only serving Greene King affiliated real ales. Nothing wrong with these if you like them but I'm not fond. Ended up having a San Miguel and feeling grumpy about it. They need to change the selection a bit and cater for a wider range of real ale fans.

Last time I rang before going to ask what beers were on. They were still the same. So I went elsewhere.
Grumpy_Old_Man - 6 Jul 2013 18:36
Newly refurbished and pleasant enough. Real ale pretty decent and usually fairly easy to get a table if you want a drink n& not a meal (not usually the case in MK on a Sunday Lunchtime). 3D Sky sports in one are, but not too intrusive. Service can sometimes be slow-ish.
Grumpy_Old_Man - 29 Jan 2012 20:33
Great Food, but lousy range of beers (Usually no cask available) - a great pity.
Mr_Tipples - 5 Jan 2012 13:21
This looks to be a traditional old country pub from the outside, but has clearly been extended and renovated and doesnít have quite the cosy charm that you might expect. That said, itís a decent enough place if slightly lacking in any character.

Itís a large pub divided in to several areas. The restaurant section is off to the right (or the front, depending on how you look at it) and I didnít investigate this. The central area which is where the bar counter is located is a L-shape room with dark stained wooden boards on the floor. The bar counter itself is fairly small, and the fact that there were three punters sat up there on stools made it difficult to get there to be served. At the back of this room is an area with dark wood panelling on the walls covered in black and white photos, reminiscent of a old hotel drawing room.

Off to the right is a more open plan area, with tartan carpet on the floors as well as tartan wallpaper on the back wall. There is a large fire place stacked full with logs that I suspect will never be burnt, and above this a plasma that was showing Sky Sports. Fortunately the sound was down, and instead there was background music to listen to. Whilst not obviously being a pub that focuses on sport, there was nonetheless a fixtures list on each table, and this indicated that a couple of football matches would be shown on most days. There was a certain amount of exposed brick work in evidence, and the seating was a mixture of tables and chairs, leather sofas and arm chairs.

Going on the sign outside, the pub bills itself as a ďRestaurant, Pub and CarveryĒ and consequently the food offering included a large carvery counter. The rest of the menu was traditional pub fayre with most of the mains being around the £8 mark, and my Chicken Tikka Masala seemed a decent enough dish, although perhaps a little over-priced for the quality and quantity provided.

The only beers on tap were Old Speckled Hen and London Pride. There was a third pump on the bar but this appeared to be unused. The solitary cider was Strongbow, unfortunately.
Blackthorn - 4 Oct 2011 20:58
This pub has gone through a massive refurb and is totally unrecognisable from its former sad self. It's a now a 'Great British Carvery' with an a la carte menu as well as the carvery. My wife had the carvery and was very happy with the quality of the meats and the range and quality of the multiple vegetables. I had welsh rarebit followed by lasagne. Both were excellent. Then with their diamond club for over 50's it's only £6.49 each for 2 courses (Monday to Friday). Can't be bad!
TNC - 19 Feb 2011 11:58
Carvery very old hat
Real Ale occasionally fair
A pub dying on its feet
alewhale - 27 Feb 2005 20:19
Following the departure of the "relief manager", this place has DEFINITELY gone down hill!
Current manager is downright rude when he chooses to get off his bar stool! Further, he has let the toilets disintegrate into a cesspit!
However, lucky for him, the staff are extremely pleasant. Perhaps they need a new boss! This establishment DESPERATELY needs a customer-friendly face.
2observantforwords - 2 Apr 2004 22:23
Great pub if you have children - let them run around - you don't need to supervise them! I would recommend anyone contemplating eating in this establishment to check out the toilets first!
kate - 27 Mar 2004 16:57
This is a really nice place,,that could do with a bit or a tidy and some seating recovered.However,if you are not a local or sit at the end of the bar with the current manager with all his little mates(who talk about him when he is not there),the music stops and heads turn and you can hear what they are all thinking.(YOU KNOW WHAT I MEAN!)In my opinion the Carvery is old hat now and should be a normal restaurant,like a Harvester.Its a shame that this place has gone to the dogs and I am sure it will be a thriving local pub again with the right manager.The staff are hard workers and always polite.
"nothin 2 do with me" - 16 Mar 2004 19:30

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