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“fantastic friday evening”
Review of The Stag

The Stag
Cuisines: Pub, Gastropub
Dining options: Reservations
Restaurant details
Dining options: Reservations
Reviewed 6 August 2014

Popped in on an early Friday evening - the sun was shining, the view is fantastic and the live music in the garden just made our evening. The wine was tasty, and there was a great cider on draught. We ordered food, and despite it being busy, it came quickly, and was tasty and fresh.

My only issue is that the toilets are a little outdated, but they were clean.

overall, great pub!

    • Value
    • Atmosphere
    • Service
    • Food
1  Thank jayne h
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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115 - 119 of 140 reviews

Reviewed 4 August 2014

How disappointing. We were recommended to try this eatery and booked a table. The establishment looked a bit dingy. Our table was the only one with a cut rose that had wilted because it had no water. We had to ask for menus and eventually were given one and one wine list for a party of 7. A couple more arrived later after another request. The menu looked impressive and we looked forward to the food. The salad starter was dry with no dressing and mainly salad leaves, a dressing was supplied when asked for.. Garlic bread with cheese was plentiful but heavy going. The crayfish didn't have any bread. The soup was a bit on the thick side. Mains didn't do much better. Burger with blue cheese was lacking cheese and taste. Pear and walnut salad was mainly leaves again and the pear was very,very soft, nearly mushy. Hunters chicken wasn't very good either. All in all not very good, not particularly cheap either. I don't know if we would give it another try and hope that it would be better next time.

    • Value
    • Atmosphere
    • Service
    • Food
1  Thank YorkshireBeliever
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
LaurieOthen, Owner at The Stag, responded to this reviewResponded 5 August 2014

Thank-you for your review... I'm a little confused. From your tone it seems that you have thought we were a restaurant? I would perfectly understand the upset at not being given menus in a restaurant. We are a pub. We serve food, and are lucky enough to be very busy for food, but we are a pub. Food is ordered at the bar, and people can book tables to reserve for food, or just drinks when they call. As a result we guide reservations to their table, but do not 'seat' them, with menus available at the bar. A short wine list is available and we are happy to help you pick something. We think the wines we serve are rather good for their money - but we are still a pub, and do not supply wine lists to every table that come in. Many of our guests will select from a range of drinks that we offer, not necessarily just wine. That being said, I can't remember the last time I was in a restaurant and the group I was with were given more than one wine list.

We offer a goats cheese salad as a starter, was this your dish? This dish is mainly about the cheese, with the leaves having a balsamic glaze. They are not necessarily 'dressed' but I'm glad the staff provided one for you. I'm not quite sure how we would make a cheesy garlic bread any lighter, but your suggestion would be welcome. The crayfish cocktail should most definitely come with bread, and I'm sorry if it didn't - this is most unusual. Our soup is made from scratch in house, and depending on what it is, may be thick, light, chunky or smooth. I will certainly take on board that you thought it was too thick.

Mains... Lack of blue cheese on the burger - it is a sauce, but I will look into it - I have not known it to be lacking in flavour before - this clearly isn't right for a blue cheese sauce. The Pear and walnut salad is meant to be mainly leaves, with the flavours of its two elements. The pear should not be as soft as you described however. I'm sorry you didn't enjoy the hunters chicken, this is one of our most popular dishes.

We work very hard to ensure we project what we are to our customers. With many 'pubs' now essentially restaurants in what was once a pub, we are possibly a little different, and if there is an expectation of restaurant service, people will most certainly be disappointed. We have many benefits of maintaining our pub stance, but not necessarily to a table that had booked in to what they thought was a restaurant.

I'm glad you like our menu, to be honest, we are working hard to improve it, as we don't think it is a strong as it could be. I'm disappointed you didn't enjoy your food - you have highlighted some issues that seems not up to standard, and I will investigate further, as some of the dishes are some of the most popular.

I do hope you give us another go, and I'm sorry for not providing a service that you felt we should provide. I will also take all your food comments on board and ensure we make things better.

Kind regards

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Reviewed 3 August 2014

Over an hour wait for a Sunday roast (on a not particularly busy day, I now know why!) when it turned up they had run out of Yorkshire pudding(how hard is it to whip up some batter) the beef and potatoes where as tough as a rock, some pieces I couldn't even cut and gave up, not sure what those potatoes where made of? Some weak excuse for cauliflower and another maimed soggy vegetable with cream dribbled over it, pity as the views are good but would not advise going there for a roast, 6 people left hungry and very disappointed :-(

1  Thank Shaunsm
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
LaurieOthen, Owner at The Stag, responded to this reviewResponded 5 August 2014

As you can tell by my previous responses, I'm pretty straight down the line, and say where I contest a review - on this occasion I don't A fully deserved rating on that particular meal, and I'm sorry.

Although not particularly busy overall, there was an influx of customers ordering all in one go, and it completely overwhelmed an under par kitchen team. As we attempt to make things from scratch, with an influx there can be a wait from order to service, but poor communication meant that it was not communicated that we were busier on roasts than expected (due to it being cooler) and the kitchen did not realised until quite some time after ordering that the best of it was done. They made the incorrect decision to send what they could. It was wrong, poor and should never have been sent. I do hope you received a refund.

Unfortunately I couldn't be there that day, but as a result several actions have occurred to ensure it doesn't happen again, and it is particularly frustrating due to the amount of positivity I have been receiving from customers lately that one bad day could set us back so far, but I do wholeheartedly agree, particularly on the roasts on that day it was a poor show. Sorry.

Please contact us directly at Stagflackwell@drinkwellbars.com and we will attempt to make it up to you.

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Reviewed 22 July 2014

Last night both my usual feeding holes were closed. Used Tripadvisor to find me an alternative. What impressed me we the honesty by the owner in responding to some service issues raised by customers.
When I booked the owner answered and was really helpful. Debbie and I arrived and ordered Debbie had a hamburger and I had a hot pear and walnut salad. Debbie finished with a great Eton Mess. It was a great experience Maxie our dog was welcomed and the view was great. An all round great experience. Laurier the owner was impressive and friendly. This pub is great value - it's the real deal!!!!

1  Thank Bobby9952
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
LaurieOthen, Owner at The Stag, responded to this reviewResponded 5 August 2014

Thank-you for your cracking review! It is much appreciated!

I'm very glad to have hosted you personally, and even more pleased you enjoyed yourself as a result. As you are already aware, we welcome all the family, including our four legged friends, and even supply water bowls and biscuits.

I'm glad you appreciated my honesty - I'm not convinced it is always welcome, but I am convince it is always the right thing to do.

I do hope to see you again soon - it was a real pleasure to look after you!

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Reviewed 21 July 2014

Disappointed today.
Have been a regular visitor to this pub for the last couple of years and have seen the positive changes in the last year or so with the new owners.
Today however there were several disappointing elements.
We booked and arrived at 1pm. It was a lot busier than normal infact parking was a nightmare. We arrived and went to place our order - a choice of two roasts were on offer (Sunday) considering we placed our order at just after 1pm they had run out of pork! It then took close to an hour to get two kids fish and chips, three roasts and a risotto. Not ideal, perhaps we should have asked for the kids meals first but we have never experienced slow service in the Stag.
The meals eventually arrived and I was extremely disappointed, the portion size for an adult roast was very small and if I compare it to three months ago is about half of what it was. Three potatoes, one small piece of beef, a small quantity of peas and a carrot and swede mash and a champ and bacon mix. The kids meals looked about the same in size! The taste was great however and the beef cooked perfectly.
We decided to order three deserts, two children's ice creams and an adult pimms eaton mess. I wish we hadn't - it took another 45 minutes for this. When we asked if they were going to be long we were told they would be here in a minute, ten minutes later they still hadn't shown up. Then the owner came over to tell us that they had no vanilla ice cream, so we changed to strawberry for the kids. He said it would be a minute but again this was not the case and it was more like five.
The ice cream and eaton mess was pretty poor and infant my partner who tasted the kids ice cream said it was cheap and not far in edible.
We then went to pay and had to wait another 10 minutes to do that!

We walked away very disappointed and embarrassed as we had bought friends to our local!

One more go?

1  Thank jimbob317
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
LaurieOthen, Owner at The Stag, responded to this reviewResponded 22 July 2014

Hi there and thank-you for your review. i have to say seemingly an honest and even handed review.

Very much like you I would describe my feelings about Sunday in the same way you described your experience that day - disappointing in many respects. This particular Sunday was not our finest hour. it was particularly disappointing as lately we have had such positive feedback and have really built some good bases with an ever expanding group of new and regular customers.

Let me address your points.
Thank-you for highlighting our level of business. With our garden and view we have been particularly busy. In terms of parking, we are working on improving the demarcation of spaces in our car park, and we are lucky enough to have unregulated parking (and tolerant neighbours!) along the street - but yes, we would love a bigger car park.

Availability of roasts. We were somewhat taken aback by the number of customers ordering roasts on such a hot day - and particularly the number of those that ordered the pork belly roast early on. On previous hot Sunday's we sold less than half the amount. As we slow roast our Porkbelly in house, there was a moment (regrettably at the peak of lunch) when this wasn't available. i'm sure it was not communicated effectively enough, but this came back on roughly 30/45 minutes later. Portion size - we have not set out the reduce our portion, and from what you describe, that does sound like a smaller portion. there should have definitely been more meat, tatties,3-4 veg depending on availability and the yorkshire pudding. I didn't see your main course go out, but that does not sound right at all, and I'm sorry... I will look into this further. Thank-you for complementing the taste.

In terms of the wait, I'm sorry. We have worked really hard to ensure we speed up the process of getting fresh food to the table, and it is really kind of you to highlight that you never usually wait. everyone started ordering just as you were in and that slowed our average delivery time. We were conscious that you were there to eat as a family, so although it is our priority to serve children's meals first, we also wanted you to eat together. it was purely the shear volume of orders that slowed us down. In terms of your dessert - that really was unacceptable. Yours was one of a collection of 5 tables that ordered dessert at the same time - it wasn't started nearly quickly enough as the chefs had focused too much on starters and mains for the following wave of guests. It then took far too long to make. I was told they were on their way - I apologised about the delay, and was then let down by my team, having run out of a product we really should not run out of. It was not my intention to mislead you, and it was longer that I said, even after I had apologised. I pulled the kitchen aside that very evening to work out what went wrong (particularly with the unacceptable delay with desserts), and really sorted through a few problems. I can however assure you that the icecream is not a cheap or inferior product - and I'm sorry you felt that way I will take a look at it and compare it to some other products to ensure the quality is reflected.

I remember your table, and I also remember regretting not being able to speak to you properly before you left. I wanted you to enjoy your desserts - after all you had waited far too long for them. At this point I started to address the chef responsible about focus on desserts, and was pushing to ensure others were not let down. Sadly I did not get the chance to speak to you as I would have liked.

So yes... not our best day. It is great that you have been coming in relatively regularly, and have been appreciating our development, I'm sorry that despite previous positive visits, this visit was such an experience it inspired a trip advisor review. I'm sorry we let you down on this occasion and hope you'll see it as just a blip. Again please accept our apologies for not providing our usual service, and in particular, not getting to you on the day, to ensure that we looked after you despite a few issues.

kind regards

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