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“NEW MANAGEMENT NEW CHEF :)”
Review of The Old Talbot

The Old Talbot
Cuisines: British
Dining options: Lunch, Dinner, Full Bar, Highchairs Available, Outdoor Seating, Parking Available, Reservations, Seating, Serves Alcohol, Waitstaff
Restaurant details
Dining options: Lunch, Dinner, Full Bar, Highchairs Available, Outdoor Seating, Parking Available, Reservations, Seating, Serves Alcohol, Waitstaff
Northampton, United Kingdom
1 review
“NEW MANAGEMENT NEW CHEF :)”
Reviewed 29 May 2014

Decided to try a local restaurant after being told that they had a new chef in as from the 25th May and that the food was excellent and worth a try...And boy were they right!!! All the food was of high quality and obviously fresh and the tastiness was what I would expect to experience in a very high class/expensive restaurant and yet the price was extremely reasonable if not cheap for the culinary experience we had.All our party agreed that we will be going back to work our way down the menu and make sure we do not miss out on the fabulous food and general overall ambience of this wonderful local pub and restaurant.I will definately be recommending this to anyone who will listen :)

  • Visited May 2014
    • Value
    • Atmosphere
    • Service
    • Food
Helpful?
Thank jayjay c
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Jeremy C, Owner at The Old Talbot, responded to this review, 6 June 2014
Thank you for your feedback.
Our new chef, George joined us last month and takes pride in his cooking and presentation.
We are currently changing our menus on a regular basis so that customers who revisit will be able to try new dishes. We look forward to seeing you again soon.
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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42 reviews from our community

Visitor rating
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Rating summary
    Food
    Service
    Value
    Atmosphere
Date | Rating
  • English first
  • Any
English first
Northampton, United Kingdom
1 review
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 4 helpful votes
“Reasonable food - but a bit of a let down really”
Reviewed 29 May 2014

We had paid for and downloaded a Groupon Voucher (£19.99 for 3 Courses for Two).

A very nice waitress ('Ria'?) showed us to a table for two in the corner so that one of us would be facing the wall for our meal. Don't restaurateurs realise yet, that we come out for a break from home as well as to get ourselves fed? Why on earth would we want to sit like this with one of us looking at the wall? We can eat at home whilst watching great shows on TV. We requested and moved immediately to a better table in the middle of the room. We explained we had a Groupon Voucher. On this was a fantastic picture of a 10 oz steak. No mention of this on the Menu though, which had a 'Sunday' header on it. This was a Wednesday. Ah well. Ria explained how the value of the voucher could be used against the cost of the meal. She was quite warm and friendly so we settled into enjoying ourselves.

For wine we chose the Shiraz at £13.95. This was 13% and quite plummy and good. Without asking, a lovely stoppered bottle of fresh water was brought.

We both chose Chicken Liver Pate for a starter. A very generous portion and it was good. Not enough toast though and it wasn't sliced properly and so one plate had a bigger shortage of toast than the other. This means you end up eating neat Pate on its own and it is just too rich like this. I was the one who got the least amount of toast. :-(

Next we both had the Pea and Mint Rissotto. This was excellent. Fresh peas and fresh mint from the garden clearly came through. Once again the portion sizes hadn't been checked and my wife's Rissotto was around 25%% bigger than mine! Same diameter - but 20mm higher in the dish. Clearly, no one is checking the plates for portion sizes and presentation before bringing them out.

For desert I had the Kiwi and Coconut Trifle. This dish was served in a glass and was topped off with about 60mm or so of neat Whipped Fresh Cream. Disgusting! Once I had ploughed through that and got to the actual trifle, I found the mushed up Kiwis at the bottom of the glass sat on some sponge. Surely this dish could have been presented much better? Not much coconut either. My wife chose Banana Cake. As this is usually quite stodgy and this was a very generous portion, it meant she couldn't eat it all. After all that cream, I declined her offer for me to help her out.

I had an Americano which came with a chocolate mint. My wife declined coffee, so didn't get a mint. We always think this is downright daft! Here we are, at a point in the evening where we are considering Food, Service and the Tip - and the restaurant is being MEAN with us by giving only one of us a mint. I ordered 'coffee'. I did not order 'coffee and a mint'! Why do they GIVE only ONE of us a mint? Insular or wot! It's mean minded! It's not generous! Should we be the same with our tip? Hmmm?

So we come to pay for the meal.... No sign of our waitress. We waited about 15 minutes for her to show but guess she just finished and went home at 9:30pm, leaving us alone in the restaurant's dining room. My wife eventually got up and went into the bar to ask the young lady bar tender for our bill. She delivered the bill to the table with the Groupon Voucher deduction already applied - all the food had been taken off so just the wine and the coffee to pay for - and the tip. Hmmm? Just how much tip should we leave? A bit of a problem, really.

Again, not knowing what to do, after a while (10 minutes again) at our instigation, I go to the bar to pay with my credit card: The modem was given to me without a word: The modem says 'Check the amount', Correct. It asks 'Do you want to add a Gratuity?' Yes. Now at this stage still nothing from the young lady bar tender to me. No words and not even a smile! Nothing! So I just add a measly, mean £2.00. Select Enter. Etc, etc.etc. Hmmm? It always astounds me how hourly paid staff, earning around £7 or so per hour(?), do absolutely nothing during or after the meal to try to earn extra with a tip. Why are they there, if not to earn money? Damn it, a tip of £5 is nearly an hour's pay. Are they thick or wot?

In summary therefore: average food, poorly trained kitchen and service staff, who are not really bothered if we enjoyed our meal or if we are going to go back.

One last thing. I went to the Gents Toilet accessed through the bar. I noticed the back of its entrance door on my way out. It is the filthiest door I have ever seen - by MANY a MILE! They do say that you can judge a restaurant by its toilets. They are a true measure as to whether the management really care or not. Oh, and neither does the toilet's extractor fan work either.

Will we go back? No. Why on earth should we? When we come out and spend around £40-50 for a meal, plus the petrol, we equate the whole experience to the cost. If it isn't win/win, then we might as well stay and eat at home. My wife is a great cook too. I do think we should tilt the TV round and do more eating at home. It is absolutely great on TV at the moment. They are showing the semi finals of BGT. The dining experience at The Old Talbot needs massive improvement to drag people out of their homes.

  • Visited May 2014
    • Value
    • Atmosphere
    • Service
    • Food
Helpful?
4 Thank R0bertP586
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Jeremy C, Owner at The Old Talbot, responded to this review, 6 June 2014
Hi
Thank you for your review.

Rhia is in fact our manageress. I am not sure how one of you can face the wall as I would have hoped you would be facing each other. All our tables are positioned in that way.I do not understand your comment Don't restaurateurs realise yet, that we come out for a break from home as well as to get ourselves fed? I am not sure what this has to do with your visit to us for a meal. Our restaurant holds up to 40 visitors at a time and to the best of my knowledge, all our tables are conveniently positioned and we have not had any other customers mention otherwise.

I note your satisfaction with the Pate and had you wanted more toast, we would have been happy to have provided more.

I am glad you enjoyed the Pea and Mint Rissotto. The fact that you comment about this being 20mm higher, really leaves me amazed that you measure your food to such precision. I’m afraid I cannot really comment on this but I will mention this to the staff at our next meeting.

I note the 60mm comment about the 'whipped cream'.

With regards to your coffee experience, I am sorry that you did not get a mint. I personally have never visited a restaurant in the UK where extra mints are handed out to customers who’s partner is drinking the coffee. Had you asked for a mint, our waitress would have been pleased to offer you one or more. I am sorry that you feel that your tip to our hard working staff is governed by whether or not you are given a mint. I am sure they will feel rather upset about this when I speak to them.

It is not acceptable that you had to wait to pay your bill, I can only apologise.

With regards to your comments about my staff being thick when handing you the credit card terminal leaves me somewhat surprised that you feel it necessary to make such a statement.
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Northamptonshire, England
2 reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
“Super lunch”
Reviewed 29 May 2014 via mobile

We popped in on the way home and stopped off at this lovely roadside pub. The restaurant was clean and bright, and the waitresses smile lit up the room. I had a burger which was fresh, tasty and just the right amount, and my friend ordered a sandwich, which she couldn't get over how something simple tasted so good. All in all, we'll be back without doubt, for lunch and dinner. Thank you

Helpful?
Thank northantsking
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Jeremy C, Manager at The Old Talbot, responded to this review, 6 June 2014
Hi
Thank you for your review.
All our food is bought in daily for a local supplier and we do our best to offer our customers the highest possible quality. George, our head chef, takes pride in adding little touches and flavours to our food so that our customers enjoy the meal even more than expected.
We look forward to welcoming you again soon.
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Rickmansworth, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
40 reviews
19 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 27 helpful votes
“NICE WELCOME SHAME ABOUT EVERYTHING ELSE”
Reviewed 28 May 2014

Arrived with a nice reception from the staff, unfortunately everything else went down hill,
the waitresses appearance was well under par, service terrible, starter plates left in front of
us until main meal arrived, no apology, very few people in the restaurant so not because they were rushed off their feet! noticed on other table dirty plates left for ages main meal was cold
and very poor.

  • Visited May 2014
    • Value
    • Atmosphere
    • Service
    • Food
Helpful?
4 Thank hairylenghts
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Jeremy C, Owner at The Old Talbot, responded to this review, 6 June 2014
Hi
I have just reviewed your comments and I am sorry that you found it necessary to write such a negative feedback. With regards to staff appearance, all waitresses and bar staff are issued with a uniform with the exception of Rhia, our manageress who is always smart and courteous and I believe she served you when you visited us. I am not aware of you complaining about the food at the time, but if it was not to your liking, I can only apologies.
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Mikton keynes
2 reviews
“Great Sunday Lunch!!”
Reviewed 27 May 2014 via mobile

We visited here on Sunday for lunch with our family and were so shocked.. What a turn around. The restaurant was buzzing, the atmosphere was great. We were sat at our table promptly by a lovely waitress who made us almost feel at home here. Like we had known her for years! The food that came out was not what we expected but what a wonderful surprise. Seasoned beautifully, fun little touches that made a massive difference. Only thing was I would have liked a bigger jug of gravy with my pie. All the food was so pretty even down to the desserts! Have booked another table in a couple of weeks can't wait to go back!

  • Visited May 2014
    • Value
    • Atmosphere
    • Service
    • Food
Helpful?
Thank Katiemanley
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Jeremy C, Owner at The Old Talbot, responded to this review, 6 June 2014
Thank you for your review.
I am pleased that you enjoyed your Sunday lunch.
All our meet is sourced locally and our new chef, George, takes pride in presenting the food to the highest quality.
I note your comments about the deserts and in fact all deserts are made onsite.
We all look forward to seeing you again when you return in two weeks time.
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC

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