Barnsley is a Cotswold gem of a village and the pub should be equally so. However there is a Jekyll and Hyde quality about the place which ultimately disappoints...although you can't help but think that strip away the pretension and that gem is bursting to get out.
A fabulous summer's day and the courtyard garden just aches for customers to fill it over a classic country pub lunch. And there the schizophrenia kicks in...1
2 out of 4 beer pumps out of action (Not for the first time!)...so what I hear you ask, does anybody seriously believe this a classic country pub? £7.85 for a 250ml glass of Valdivieso merlot, available on the high street so hardly unique, left me wondering if I had been served by Dick Turpin. Admittedly the follow up glass of chardonnay was very good value.
The menu is not exactly the most adventurous you will ever come across but if this was a country pub there would be no complaints. However either the food must be beyond reproach or there must be more of it to justify the prices charged. Sadly the latter rules.
Rump steak was tasty but to quote my wife "a struggle to get through". Chips were light and tasty and the sauce, although thin, was equally so. But it's a steak dish and if the steak does not stack up then what is the point?
Plaice did not quite fall off the bone but it was at least fresh. New potatoes and green beans qualified easily for a game of hide and seek. The beurre noisette was all beurre which left a slick on the plate and palate.
It's not that this was a bad meal but rather that it could have beem so much better. Instead there is an element of a place in which one must be seen but let's not focus on the food too much. Totally overpriced for the quality of the cuisine and the portion sizes. I am convinced it could be better if it got over itself and delivered a better dining experience for those who just want a great pub meal.
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