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BITE user comments - Realalediner

Comments by Realalediner

The Plough, Lower Cadsden

A bit run down these days. Appalling pot-holed entrance drive with lots of mud. We had a reserved table but were just waived to one without checking names etc. Chairs with arms at this pub are unbelievably uncomfortable - they bite into ones legs. Managed to switch with ones with no legs. The menu says order food at the bar but we had someone come to our table to take the order. Tried the Cadsden locally brewed beer - light but good colour and very pleasant (£3.40 a pint). The food menu is these days limited to items similar to bar food. I remember it as being much better in days gone by. Now quite pricey for what it is.. Starters mostly £5.95. Between us we chose Prawn cocktail (prawns unmixed with the dressing on salad leaves that were rather hard to eat with a fork), whitebait and smoked mackerel which were good. Then mains. These come in two sizes, large or small. Small are £10.95 and large are £14.95. Between us we chose Ham & Eggs, Whitby Scampi and Steak and Mushroom Pie with veg. The Pie had a separate (tough) puff pastry top placed on top of a dollop of meat in a dish. The serving was not cooked in the dish or with its top on. Not at all appetising and then only served warm. The accompanying veg was nice (mini carrots, mange tout and broccoli) but that was very nearly cold. The Ham and eggs on the other hand was generous and fine as was the scampi.
We decided not to have a dessert. £81.20 for what was a rather mediocre pub lunch for four with three small servings and one large. I doubt we'll be back. Sad really because in Cameron's time it was much better.

28 Jan 2017 20:32

The New Inn, Biggleswade

Found this by chance and on a Sunday! A considerable selection of ales three made in a microbrewery on their own premises. 50p off a pint if you are a member of their cask club. Sunday roast was excellent - lots of beef (thought they also offer pork and turkey. Locally made beer is very nice and well maintained - even to you knowing when the cask was filled. £23 for two Sunday lunches, a pint of beer and a pinot grigio. Service very pleasant and attentive, toilets very clean. We shall go back.

8 Jan 2017 15:37

Holly Bush, St Albans

This is a really attractive pub with good ale (Fullers Pride, Seafarers and one other) that is always kept well. Lovely immaculate interior and large outdoor garden. Both snack and other food available at most times. Definitely a pub for discerning adults. Well sought after by many. Frequently quite full during the week. The pub is a bit off the beaten track but it provides lunches every day 12:00 - 2:00 and evening meals Wed - Sat 6-9pm.
Typical prices: Lunch: Toasted Ham and Cheese £6:00, Evening: Fish Chips £11:00. Very competitive locally. A typical snack lunch meal with drinks comes in at £23.50. Quick service. Highly recommended.

4 Aug 2016 13:35

The Old Bell, Harpenden

Certainly competitive in pricing, for its lunch menu at least, but this restaurant is less of a pub and has dropped in quality recently. It is clean, presentable and with courteous service. However they are currently looking for kitchen staff and that might explain an over 30 mins wait just to get Fish and Chips and a 'Beef and Kidney' pudding served. Insufficient serving staff even for the very limited number of diners. Kitchen resorting to shouting when a dish is ready. My F&C was OK but my wife's B&K pudding was rather pastry-like than suet-pudding like. Limited (actually very limited) ale on tap - I had a pint of Lock Keepers (3.9%) which was local and OK but there was only one other ale - despite the website promising..." its wide range of fine cask ales and quality ales...". 175ml Pinot Grigio £4.79, Pint Lock keepers £3.93, Beef & Steak pudding £6.99 and F&C £5.49. Total £20.20 which for two cooked lunches in the area is competitive. I doubt we'll be back for a while.

6 Aug 2015 17:35

The Red Lion, Studham

Went here for lunch and a pint. The TT Landlord's (£3.90) was a very nice pint. A small Pinot Grigio (£4.35) was nice but a tad expensive. Pub interior is cool, clean and attractive and the exterior has been really smartened up recently with children's swings etc now installed in the garden. They proved popular for families and gave the pub over to adults. Good menu though it was a mistake (for us) to go for the Mushroom 'Stroganoff' (£9.95). This was served with pilau rice and a poppadam, had few mushrooms it it - even fewer sliced - and it came with an orange asian-style spicy sauce. Nice, but not what we expected; though we should perhaps have known to ask from the pilau rice and extras that were mentioned on the menu. Overall bill for lunch for two: £28.15 in July 2015. Oh and we even had a visit from the local Morrris Men too!

11 Jul 2015 15:26

The Star Inn, Woodstock

We arrived late in Woodstock on a Tuesday hoping for lunch. Other places in the town had closed since it was 2pm. The Star was unfazed however and all food was 'on'. . I very much recommend this place. My wife had a small fish and chips with mushy peas (and a glass of dry white to go with it). It was nicely cooked and not too much. I had their beef and ale pie with chips - and a pint of Directors. It was excellent. The pie especially so. It had a proper puff pastry case and top - a rare thing these days - and it was excellent. Possibly the best steal and ale pie I have had.. Service was great, even mints as you paid. I would have rated it 10 except that our table top was slightly sticky. Definitely will go again.

31 Mar 2015 19:56

The Swan, Wheathampstead

Sadly there was a fire at this pub on 16th July 2013. It seems to have started in the early hours in a bedroom and spread to the roof. Good news is that already it is being said that it should be back up and running in a few months. Nice pub.

16 Jul 2013 12:03

Cross Hands (Toby Carvery), Brockworth

Disappointing. Friendly staff but every surface we touched - tables and bar - were all sticky. The menu holder on our table was so stuck down it took two hands to free it! Rather worryingly too, the carvery area didn't look like it was cleaned daily with old cold roast potatoes used as some sort of dcor along the front and sticky sided sauce dishes out for self service. Knife, fork and napkin were however brought to the table. Carvery had beef, turkey and pork and a choice of something like eight vegetables. I had a turkey baguette (3.95) from the Pub Menu and although I saw the meat carved from a huge bird under the lamps it was almost completely tasteless. The bread and meat were handed over on a plate and the customer is left to assemble them (even though the menu says they will fill the baguette) and add cranberry sauce. Rather too much emphasis on lager beer here. Only two local ales on (pressure) tap. Ok but a bit gassy. In my view, the place needs some management attention.

7 Mar 2012 08:45

Fishery Inn, Boxmoor

Went to this pub for a lunch with another couple. Only three ales on draught. Black Sheep, Greene King IPA and Spitfire. A few more would be nice. Very nice decor, very helpful serving staff. Food is good and nicely served. We each chose from the menu that had two courses for 9.95. Very good value. The a la carte menu is (of course) more expensive but still good value for this area. We had an excellent stuffed mushroom to start and strips of beef in a cream sauce with rice as a second course. Very nice, a bit like beef stroganoff.

Only problem was they didn't have enough of two dishes on their cheaper menu available. Our friend couldn't get the same beef dish and one other that he fancied was off as well. My wine glass hadn't been washed properly. So in summary: nice place, very nice staff but management could do with a tweak.

5 Aug 2011 16:56

Three Cranes, Turvey

This pub has only reopened in June 2011 after a terrible period. The new landlords have signed a 15 year tenancy and agreed a programme of improvement with the brewers. My wife and I went there on July 20 2011 for lunch and were made very welcome. Already the place looks bright and open for business and the food and beer were excellent and modestly priced. Yes, there's a lot to tidy up but this is a pub well worth supporting and helping to get started again. Please do so if ou are in the area. Already many of their past customers from when they ran a pub close by are coming to the Three Cranes. That has to be quite a compliment. I've rated it 7 - because there is still a lot to do as you can imagine but it should be rated 9 or 10 for effort.

30 Jul 2011 18:52

The Plough at Bolnhurst, Bolnhurst

Delighted by this place. Called in after failing to find any exciting places to eat in this part of Beds. Delightful. Very pleasant staff, good service, and excellent food. The lunch menu with separate prices for one two and three courses was good and modestly priced. House wine by the glass is not very cheap (medium size 4.50).

Food was excellent and well presented. Didn't try the beer this time but this pub has a Cask Marque and the Potton brewery is nearby. About three real ales to choose from I think.
Toilets exceptionally clean (You can judge much about a pub's standards by the state of the toilets!) and a lot of nice touches like the wicker patio seating, alternated chair designs around the tables and a modern extension that fits well with the older parts of the building.

25 Mar 2011 07:53

The Knife and Cleaver, Houghton Conquest

Used to go here every so often as a known and reliable place for lunch. Sadly since the last time it has changed hands and is now not really a pub but a (mainly) Greek Food Restaurant. We were the only people there at quarter past noon and still the only ones when we left. The only ale was John Smiths, Thwaites (which was off) and Guinness. There were several lagers and cider on tap too. I had a half of Guinness (1.65) but it tasted 'old' and rather sharp. The bar-food menu can only be described as dire. Only a few dishes like sausages and mash at around or over 8 with, I recall, an extra portion of chips (hand cut though!) being priced at 4.95! The previously lovely layout of the bar area is different with rather odd tables that don't seem in keeping. I cannot recommend this place as a pub. We persevered though and instead (and having come especially) chose to have a meal in the dining room from the a la carte menu. VERY nicely set out, immaculately laid tables with white cloths. Tap water brought to the table without asking. New chairs throughout too. Very comfortable. We chose chicken souvlaki (10.95) and beef stifado 14.95). These were preceded by bread sticks and olive oil and garlic butter dips (both free) and then as a second dish by houmus and bread, also free. The main courses were really excellent, well presented and served very nicely too. I can certainly recommend this place for its Greek food. Another thing in its favour is that the toilets (both G&L) were immaculate. That bodes well for the cleanliness of the accommodation though we did not explore that. There is also what looks like new children's play equipment in the garden outside. If you want a Greek lunch or dinner which tastes better than I have ever had in Greece itself then do come here. But sadly it's not a venue for Beer in the Evening. It could so be different.

13 Aug 2010 18:46

The Shire Horse Inn, Littlewick Green

Went to this Pub as a party of four on a Thursday in mid August 2010 in the early evening. Plenty of available tables at that time and the food and ale selection was good (as mentioned in other reviews). Once ordered the food came quite quickly and was good bar food quality with plenty of choice and even some deals for two or three course dinners.

That was very good. The service though left a lot to be desired and let the whole place down. It was like a Tommy Cooper evening. The persons on the bar who were taking orders both for food and drink had no sense of who was next in line, most times they would go twice from one end of the bar to the other for glasses, straws, the requested drink and then for any thing to top it up. At this pub they use four terminals by which to place orders and any bar staff can use any one. When an order has been placed and the bar staff in question might have occasion to put something (like a house wine bottle back) they could come back to another terminal and so completely disrupt the serving order. It took over 10 minutes to place an order when they were not busy and the queues at the terminals when we left (still only 7:30pm) were enormous. Then as if all this wasn't bad enough, the persons who took your order also served your food so yet precipitating another change of places at the bar terminals. Crazy. Then when we wanted coffee at the end they could only serve decaffinated coffee because 'the coffee machine had broken'! Can you really believe that a pub of this size has no reserve mechanism for something as simple as coffee making? We even asked if they had Nescafe but no. It then took 12 minutes to pay at the end and that only by gesticulating and calling out at the right moment - something which probably put someone else further down the queue. Then to crown the experience the bill made no mention of one of our party having a meal from the two course deal (though the discount turned out to be less than a pound) and we as the customer were asked how much we wanted to pay! Earlier this same member of the staff been prepared to subtract over nine pounds!

This pub needs a manager. It hasn't got one at the moment. I'd like to go back because the food is good, the staff are friendly and the surroundings are nice too. I don't think I will go back.

6 Aug 2010 18:06

The Cross Keys, Gustard Wood

Always a nice pub to visit the Cross Keys has some excellent ales and food. We went for lunch a month or so back and were impressed and the same a week ago. They even had Thwaites Wainright on draft!

14 Jul 2010 21:21

The Elephant and Castle, Amwell

Went for lunch and a drink. Excellent food - steak and ale pie especially which is made with Guinness. Staff very friendly and efficient, good selection of ales (Abbott, IPA and two guests, My guest ale was very well kept. Also lagers (selection of four on draught). Service a bit slow but maybe the pies had to be properly heated at the last minute before serving - they certainly came very hot. Rooms and decor looking a bit tired though. Chairs stained and not very comfortable, tables scratched and with chipped varnish. Draught excluders on doors coming loose and I pulled a curtain rail down by trying to pull the curtain aside. Menu boards all showed age in that the prices had clearly been changed many times. Pity that because this is usually a nice place to go.

18 Mar 2010 17:42

The Shire Horse Inn, Littlewick Green

Went with friends as a meeting place half way between us so the visit extended from coffee at 11:15am through to end of lunch at 2:30pm so saw a lot of this pub!. Excellent parking, attractive interior, toilets clean. Staff extremely helpful and service excellent. Decent selection of ales: Adnams, Fuller's London Pride, Wells Bombardier, John Smiths Smooth, Guinness + regularly changing Guest ales and lagers. They have a Cask Marque. The menu was excellent with plenty of choice - large specials selection on the day we were there and the food well cooked and presented. Only possible cause for complaint was that one of their 'Chef Recommends' dishes (Beef Bourguignon) was off that day and you had to order it to find that out. 19 per head for coffee, drinks and two courses. One of the better places to visit.

26 Feb 2010 06:44

William Wygston, Wigston

Well I don't know about 2008 (there was a bad review from then - see below) but now this pub is really worth a visit. It's a Wetherspoon's Pub now and service is excellent, the place is clean - toilets excellent too. It's nicely set out for both drinkers and diners too and not too noisy. Quite busy at lunchtime which is always a good sign. The food is standard Wetherspoon fare but there's plenty of it and it's well presented and the staff are polite and helpful. My party of three had the salmon dish, sausages and mash and steak and Abbot pie. All good and very hot. A little tough meat in the Steak and Ale Pie but that has to be the only complaint. We got the coffee prepared just as we liked it. Ales here include Ruddles, Abbott, John Smiths, Guinness, an IPA and one or two guest beer to choose from before you have to drop to bottled ale or (heaven forbid) to lager.. There's a three hour free car park opposite too.

8 Feb 2010 17:14

The Swan, Great Easton

Went for their a la carte lunch in their restaurant as a bit of a treat and after seeing their quite impressive web site and the emphasis on local ingredients.

Frankly disappointing overall. All looking a bit tired in August 2009. The entrance to the bar from the car park is seedy. The restaurant carpet is dirty. Men's loo is formed from a partitioned off part of a corridor, has paper ripped off the walls, very poor lighting, no outside window and only a cloth towel on which to dry your hands.

Their web site prices are not today's (eg the Wild Mushrooms and Roasted Cashew Nut Stroganoff is now 8.50 and not 8.00). Some things on the printed menu do not properly describe what they will supply (their pate for example though a different pate was available). We declined that and started with the soup of the day (pea and mint) which was lovely and served very hot. It came with excellent warm bread and with butter in a pot rather than a packet. That was nice.

I then had the Mushroom Stroganoff. This dish came with a wonderful sauce but the mushroom heads, even those that were sliced, were like leather. Maybe they had been grossly overcooked but I have never had such before - and do not want to again! Couldn't even spear some with a fork and these, and some others that could be speared, just could not be chewed. Only managed to eat half. Rather too little rice and rather too much salad, served with this dish for my liking.

My wife had the sausages (3) and apple mash (lots) with gravy. That was nice though more expensive than the Stroganoff for all that. They serve Guinness and two ales, Adnams and a light coloured guest wheat beer which I tried and found interesting, pleasant and well served. They had a range of lagers including Peroni on tap. The above plus food plus a pint of the wheat beer and a half of the Peroni's came to 30.25. A bit expensive for the experience we had.

Would we go back? No, I don't think so.

28 Aug 2009 17:04

The Chequers Inn, Pampisford

Went here for lunch in early April 2009 . Really excellent. Food is tasty, well cooked and served nicely. Beer too. I had a pint of a guest Cornish ale, Doom Bar from Sharp's Brewery at Rock in Cornwall. Excellent. There were others of a similar tempting nature.

The steak and ale pie had absolutely no gristle and was served with separate dishes of thin cut chips and freshly cooked vegetables of the season. Only possible criticism was the separately baked puff pastry top. My wife's baked potato was lovely and fluffy and served with a rocket sald . Even her half of lager was fine! - but then I am an ale man myself!

Another good sign (always a good indicator) was the super cleanliness of both men's and women's loos.

A welcoming and well run pub. Will certainly go there again.

5 Apr 2009 22:48

The Rose and Crown, Sandridge

This pub is struggling. My wife and I went there for a lunch and chose baked potato and chilli (price 'from' 2.95) I had a pint of London Pride which was good and nicely kept. My wife had tap water. The whole came to 11.50 so they really did mean 'from' 2.95! Poor value for money. The potato was fluffy - though it wasn't baked but rather done in the microwave. The chilli was just that - chilli sauce and no meat or certainly less than one teaspoonful of it spread over both dishes. Service unbelievably slow (eight meals served in 30 minutes and only nine people in the pub. We were lucky 'cos our dish was available but others who came in afterwards found two items on the menu - a menu that was only two weeks old - taken off, not just sold out. Of course they weren't told what was was off and what was on before they looked at the menu.
They do have newspapers on the bar; we needed them whilst waiting 30 mins for the food, and there is a black labrador to greet you. There is some odd rule re dogs too but not having one we didn't read it. Some years ago this place was excellent. Now, I'd give this place a miss if I were you. We won't go back.

13 Mar 2009 14:21

The White Swan, Whitchurch

Went here for lunch because we enjoyed it in the days of the previous management. New management seems Czech and very attentive to detail and also clearly keen to succeed. The pub serves Fuller's London Pride and Chiswick Bitter on draught and the Chiswick was very well kept. An interesting menu but for a snack we just had their potato, bacon and leek dish which, whilst a little slow in coming, was excellent. It came with a side salad which was really great - immense detail taken in presentation and served in a superbly clean bar area. There is a well maintained outside lawn area with interspersed trees etc too. Made the "acid test". As a lady hotelier in Jersey told me years ago, if you want to pass judgement on any pub or hotel look first at the state of the Gents' Toilets! I did and the White Swan passed this test magnificently. All the above cost 18.40. Not super cheap but worth it. Would certainly go back when in the area again.

Thoroughly recommend a visit. Score would have been 9 or even 10 if service hadn't been a tad on the slow side.

28 Aug 2008 17:35

The Falcon Hotel, Uppingham

Haven't actually visited this pub but there have been some terrible stories on Trip Advisor about it. When visiting Uppingham (in July 2008) I was talking to a local builder who said that the previous owner had gone backrupt and that the Falcon was now under new management, with things improving all the time. So, pending an actual review by one of us who has been there, don't necessarily be put off by what you might have heard some months back. Give it another chance and do write in to let us all know!

18 Jul 2008 09:59

The Anchor, Faversham

Went to this pub for lunch 12th May 2008 and found the manager and his wife very friendly - nothing too much trouble. The place was in the process of being redecorated inside, something that was being done in stages when the pub was closed - they'd just finished the undercoat at the time of our visit - so there was no backgound music which was nice. Had some excellent home made soup and nice spiced rock salmon all washed down with a pint of Master Brew. Only possible 'complaint' was that they don't heat the plates so the soup and the food cooled rather more wuickly than we might have liked. Absolutely no complaint about the ale though! Nice place.

13 May 2008 08:01

The Cricketers, Clavering

Ate here in April 2008. Really very good and it doesn't look tired at all now. Good selection of Adnams ales and some lagers. No seating inside as a pub - it's a restaurant. Comfortable seats at tables. Menu is extensive, attractive. Food very nicely prepared and served promptly and with very courteous staff. Wine list good value. Four people at lunch with drinks, cheapy wine, three courses (though only two having desserts and two having coffees), came to 136. Would recomend it. Very popular, need to book.

25 Apr 2008 19:34

The Queens Head, Stow on the Wold

Went there in April 2008. Very nice cosy pub and very friendly and attentive staff. Choice of draught ales limited (as far as I could see) to Donningtons. I tried the SBA. Not to my 'Northern' tastes. It looked good but had little aroma, was a bit flat and had a strange aftertaste. Several lager beers though so if you prefer that then you may be OK. Tried the food and had their vegetable soup which was excellent if a little under salted and peppered though that's no problem. Then had Beef Pie with potatoes and veg. This was a real disappointment yet cost 8.95!!. It came in an oval earthenware bowl but with a separately cooked (and not properly cooked) puff pastry top plonked on top - always a bad sign. Sure enough, to add insult to injury the beef gravy was gelatinous and sin-of-all-sins for a beef pie there was gristle in there purporting to be beef. The potatoes were good though. Our friends had whitebait for starters and there again the sauce looked like wallpaper paste. Hmmm, Not much real home cooking here. I'd give this place a miss if I were you.

25 Apr 2008 08:28

The Bull, Wheathampstead

Went here for a lunch mid week around Noon in late February 2008 since we had not been to it since it became a Miller & Carter "Steakhouse-Pub-Grill". Pleasant year old modern decor and with a range of menus ranging from larger meals to snacks and sandwiches. Sadly (for me) this is a lager house. The only ales are Guinness and London Pride and neither of these 'pulled'. Not a good selection. For those who like it there is a choice of four lagers from multiple taps. We ordered their Chicken Caesar Salad which was supposed to have anchovies but we never found any. The salad dressing was nice though (maybe there was some anchovy paste in that? - though I didn't think so) and the lettuce crisp even if it was mainly of outer leaves. Service was slow - hard even to find someone to pay let alone get served. A real palaver over opening a tab. They put your card through one of these slower-than-the-old-days machines but cancel the transaction. So far so good but then they ask you to sign that cancelled slip. That rings alarm bells with me. The signature might be taken as invalidating the Cancellation in some way so I also wrote "Void" and signed below that. Not a good thing in these days of identity theft to have non-transactional signatures and card numbers left behind. Then, at the end of the meal when we came to pay, we were initially charged 11.00 too much! It was said because of a mix up in table numbers - we had had added to our bill the two meals for the adjacent table. I doubt we shall go back.

28 Feb 2008 10:23

The Elephant and Castle, Amwell

I have been to this pub several times over the past 20 years, even before the present management too. Generally it has been OK and even sometimes very good. The present manager seems pleasant but his lady can come across as humourless and, by not engaging in conversation unless approached, somewhat uncaring. They don't do lot to accommodate customers needs here. We once wanted to hold a family reunion there and wanted to reserve 15 places in the dining room at Noon on a Sunday. There is no mechanism for reservations - even of a large number - and they would not bend so we went elsewhere. However to more recent matters. I went there with my wife on a weekday in February 2008 for lunch. The food was really excellent. Particularly recommend the Steak and Kidney Pie. Sadly not individudally cooked - it's made from a piece of crust and a serving of beef. However that aside it was really good. Not cheap though - this place never is - but good nonetheless. The food-serving staff were very helpful, no problem about condiments and mustard and the mustard was freshly decanted into its own bowl. I chose a pint of Old Hooky to drink which frankly was not up to scratch - flat (and that despite efforts by the manager's lady during its pulling to get a head on it) and tasting rather 'thin' too. Half way down the glass I took it back to her and asked for a half of Abbott instead. Although somewhat surprised at my taking the ale back she did not offer to replace it (in fairness I had drunk half of it!) but given that there had been a complaint I was surprised that noone took the slightest interest in my comment that this beer was old and rather off. I was particularly surprised that no one in the management saw fit to draw a small quantity to taste and also that this brand continued to be sold to others without any suggestion of a warning. I formed the impression that they knew full well that the beer was not 'right'. Sad to find the ale not being looked after in such a nice 'real ale' pub.

20 Feb 2008 14:31

The Fox, Luton

This pub is under new management for the second time since before Christmas. The latest management have only just moved in so choice of beers and food are a bit limited at the moment (Feb 2008. Nice baked potato though. Worth seeing again in a few months.

14 Feb 2008 16:32

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