Now this pub is in a wonderful location in the beautiful village of Hurley. It has a stunning garden, which extends into a further garden, planted for herbs & vegetables and leads after this to a tennis court. The pub itself is very lovely, though the bar area is a little tired and needs some work to bring it to modern standards - either rustic or contemporary.
To the food...I can only comment on the pub food and the service from a couple of visits. In the summer, there's a BBQ outside, which is a great idea. Sadly, it stays at just being a great idea because it's not a great BBQ. It is done without imagination, without thought and certainly without value for money. Today's what a choice of a lamb steak, salmon steak or poussin (chicken). They have a nice "big green egg" BBQ and a big gas BBQ. The house rules dictate that the food has to be cooked on the gas BBQ and only the bread buns can be done in the green smoker. How pointless is that? The steaks are so thin that it's impossible to cook them to get any kind of crust without over-cooking the interior. They are served on metal plates with a few leaves (or spoonful of coleslaw) alongside as the complete meal. No thought whatever about offering anything else, of presentation, etc. So - two lamb steaks, two glasses of white wine and a bottle of water came to £42. That's not funny. I can get two good, free-range lamb steaks in the supermarket for about £4 for the two of the same size, so we're not talking about prime rib of beef.
The service was basic, with the waitress not knowing anything about the food, that bringing the drinks together would be a good idea and wasn't aware of what made up the bill "because the printer wasn't working".
My previous experience was similarly disappointing. Extremely slow service, very basic and uninteresting food and a barmaid who was complaining to me that it was very stressful because another member of staff hadn't turned up. With respect - not my problem. Besides - the bar service was slow, the bar quiet and there was nothing that appeared stressful. It's the attitude that made it slow.
So, despite it being in a lovely setting with a wonderful garden and having a BBQ area, I will not be going back to eat. For a quick drink in the garden - fine, but there's clearly noone with imagination or responsibility directing the kitchen, which is a terrible shame and a real wasted opportunity.
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