We live nearby and pass Neil's Hill all the time but had never been, so we thought we'd give it a try. They were very busy when we arrived so we had to wait a while for a table, but that's ok, we should have booked. When we were seated we were left for quite a bit to look at the same menus we'd been looking at during our wait for the table, which was a bit tiresome as we were hungry.
We were then told that they didn't have about 6 different things from the menu (a shame as I'd been looking forward to trying the duck) and our drinks order was taken. Unfortunately they didn't have the drinks we had asked for either. When we finally did order, one of our choices for the main was also then unavailable. But still, substitutions finally in hand we settled in and looked forward to our food.
The ambience of the place is nice. They still had their Christmas decorations up, which were beautiful, but even without those it would still be an interesting space. Certainly the art behind me with its £1650 price tag added a little something. Noise-wise, even though pretty much every table was full, the tables are spaced far enough apart and the music is low enough that we didn't have to shout to make ourselves heard.
The food: we had pâté and soup to start and both were as expected, i.e. nice but nothing particularly special. For mains we had chicken kiev with "frites" (just standard chips really) and seabass with hollandaise sauce, new potatoes and broccoli. Again they were nice but unremarkable. For dessert we had a custard tart with spiced plums and a chocolate fondant. Both were good but again lacked a wow factor.
After dinner we asked for the bill and it was brought promptly (always a good thing). The staff were pleasant and courteous, although they did seem very rushed earlier in the evening.
All in all it was a nice meal but we're adventurous eaters and the flavours were all just a little mild for our tastes. It's the sort of place we would take someone who likes "good, plain food" for a special meal, but it's not really our kind of cuisine. To be fair I would maybe give it 3.5/5 rather than 3 but TripAdvisor doesn't let you give half stars and I think 4 would be misleading based on our experience. I would consider going back again (this time hopefully with a full menu to choose from) to see if a second experience ups the ante.
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