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Username: pubsampler

Age: 72

Sex: male

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Merlins Cave, Chalfont St Giles

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The Merlin’s Cave is situated in the centre of the attractive old village of Chalfont St Giles, and being adjacent to the lovely valley along which the Misbourne runs, is in an ideal location. The pub also has a good beer garden and children’s play area.

Lunch here, however, was a mixed experience. On the positive side the food was good, and my pint of Bombardier went down very well; indeed, I was tempted to have the second pint that appeared which I hadn’t ordered! The young staff were extremely busy, mainly with many young mothers with their children presumably off school for the day because of the snow, but coped well, and were courteous and friendly throughout.

My reservations: the area where we sat was dreadfully cold- I wore my winter coat throughout, and the radiator by me wasn’t on despite the snow outside. The tiny heater in its stead was of slight benefit only. The chair on which I sat was tatty as were several others around me, and my companion noticed that some in the eclectic mix of them must have originated from a church, given they had hymn book holders on their backs. Indeed an odd selection.

I thought the food expensive for the quantity provided, and the service of the dessert was very slow. This was not helped by the fact that what I sought from the menu I was told only some time later wasn’t available. When I went to pay there was an item on it I hadn’t ordered (two glasses of wine), although that was corrected immediately I queried it- this was human error, nothing more.

OK for young families, but I would not rush back.

1 Feb 2019 21:30

The Plough Inn, Finstock


Much as previously reported by me. The charming village of Finstock makes an easy hour or so’s walk from Chalbury, which is what six of us (three adults, two teenagers and a dog) did for Sunday lunch as part of our round. The Plough essentially did us proud, with a warm welcome, a good table in their dog-friendly area, and fine roasts (pork or beef) which arrived quickly. The risottos were also reasonable value. There was something of a hiatus about the arrival of the desserts, but that meant we didn’t head have to head out into the rain!

I would suggest that you book ahead for Sunday lunch as the pub pretty busy (which we did), particularly of you are bringing your dog with its separate table area.

There’s a fine selection of draught beers, and my pint of Director’s (4.8%) was fine. There’s also cider.

For lovers of the gentle and highly amusing novels of Barbara Pym there is the added treat that her final home which she shared with her sister Hilary is just across the road from the Plough. In 2014 an American fan of hers wrote of the pub: “Barbara had sat here, in this surprisingly venerable, beautifully restored interior with its surprisingly fancy menu — surely that had changed since her time – of prawn salad and free range chicken”. What would Barbara have made of that? I think she would approve.

30 Jan 2019 09:01

The Kings Head, Little Marlow


I’m delighted to report that the King’s Head is back in business, and it’s like the good old days! It was closed for about eighteen months, with plans by a well-known chef to make it “gastro” or similar, but this was not to be. That’s good news as far as I’m concerned.

I had a warm welcome, and excellent polite, friendly service by the young and efficient staff. There was also a good telephone manner when I booked, although I don’t think booking is necessary midweek.

At lunchtime, the choice of draft beer appeared to be limited to Doom Bar or IPA, but there were lagers in addition. I had the Doom Bar, good if not outstanding. The lunch menu was perfectly adequate, and I can recommend the fish and chips.

The bar areas are small, but all right for midweek lunchtime use, and there is still the separate dining room.

The parking front and back is OK if not over abundant. There is a separate room available for functions like receptions.

This place is recommended for people who like the right touches of a traditional English country pub.

8 Jan 2019 16:40

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pubsampler has been registered on this site since 23rd March 2008