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“Long awaited visit”

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The Hand and Flowers
Ranked #1 of 21 Marlow B&B and Inns
Certificate of Excellence
Reviewed 7 August 2014

Having made my booking in October 2013, we arrived on the 5th Aug. and were met by friendly but professional staff who showed us to the Dexter suite in which were staying for the night. We had booked our meal for 7.30 and arrived earlier for a very enjoyable pre- dinner drink in the bar area. My wife is vegetarian but we were both able to choose food that suited us and had a thoroughly enjoyable experience. Having dined in a number of Michelin starred restaurants, this experience was somewhat different as there was not the formality of a high-end dining room. This did not detract from our enjoyment and we would have no hesitation in returning. The Dexter suite was nicely decorated but as other reviewers have commented there is some traffic noise, but being on a main road this cannot be avoided and did not spoil our night.

  • Stayed: August 2014, travelled as a couple
    • Sleep Quality
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
1  Thank JangoSwansea
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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758 - 764 of 1,335 reviews

Reviewed 5 August 2014

I booked the Charolais suite last year and got in August this year 2014.
After such a long wait I had high expectations. On arrival at 2:30 we had to wait for 30 minutes to be shown to our room at 3, this was cool as we knew check in was then. We had a nice drink whilst we waited. We were shown to the suite which was lovely, really nicely laid out with a superb garden area with jacuzzi.
They supplied things like chargers for phones in case you forgot yours.
The downside was the traffic noise as the bedroom was directly onto the main road. Again, expected but it was noisier than we imagined.
Our meal was at 7:30, we went down a little earlier and had a pre dinner drink. We were shown to our table at 7:30 and seated. The service was good to a point, but nothing exceptional. The waitress took our orders and we were then served bread and some whitebait as a little,taster from the chef.
My starter, crispy pigs head was lovely , the rhubarb was quite firm tho and difficult to cut. I had ordered the filet of beef for my main, medium rare.
When this came to the table the small knob of butter was not melting, I felt the meat and it was just warm. Cutting into it it was very rare. I tried to get the waitress's eye but she was busy with a larger group.
I ate most of the beef but didn't really enjoy it as much as I should have. My partner had the duck and this tasted amazing. Very well cooked.
We both felt that it was nice food, but not as nice as we expected.
I did feel that we were being rushed slightly, the wine was being topped up a bit too often for my liking

We didn't go for desert as we both felt a little stuffed after the main and a little disappointed that we had waited so long for an average meal.
I have eaten it a lot of Michelin starred restaurants and I don't think this gives the customer the experience they are paying for.

Over all, it was a nice trip away, nice food and friendly people but I don't think I will be back.

  • Stayed: August 2014, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
3  Thank Grant_Hebbs
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 4 August 2014

I should start by saying that we had a lovely, enjoyable meal here and this should be seen as a review through the lens of what one expects from a Michelin 2-star restaurant.
The booking system appears to be a frustration for some, including some of my colleagues, while I couldn't get in several weeks ago so kept asking about cancellations and to give them credit they called me on the morning of the date to say they had a space.
The pub is,,,well, a pub, and that.is the downside here to most other starred restaurants. It has a low ceiling and a few tables have very little natural light. Also, we were near the kitchen and the extraction system seemed to not do the job fully and we had quite a strong smell of frying oil throughout. For balance, I think it's likely that we were given the least good spot, as we got in at the last minute.
We ordered the set lunch, whcih is incredible value. Whitebait was an unexpected amuse-bouche, nicely presented. Then a rich tomato soup with a strong and delish garnish. Next, breast of lamb - rich - with some light vegetables and, unsually, watermelon. Kind of worked, I don't thiink this will become a classic! Now the second slight criticism: we'd had a nice glass of white, we were now recommended a specific red, which was a disaster and we had to send it back. It had no flavour other than a vinegar edge. Clearly it was off. In a 2-star restaurant, this should not be left to chance, the waiter/waitress should check the wine. We enjoyed the dessert: a doughnut with gooseberry and an intriguing cream (Meadowsweet?).
So overall these guys really can cook and lunch is great value - but if you want a lovely ambience or skilled service this may fall short for you. A few days later we went to Le Manoir which of course was more expensive but for all its grandeur provided a far more informal, relaxed, friendly and enjoyable experience.

Stayed: July 2014, travelled as a couple
2  Thank LondonPhil27
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 3 August 2014

I had booked the Hand & Flowers as a surprise birthday treat, for my wife, and we had the most wonderful evening. On arrival we were shown to the new bar area, where we enjoyed pre-dinner drinks, reclining on a nice leather sofa. When our table was ready, we were escorted through to the restaurant and enjoyed the very tasty complimentary whitebait. All the dishes were excellent, although the highlights were the smoked salmon, with whisky jelly starter, Tom's Great British Menu winner duck breast, and the pistachio cake, with melon sorbet dessert. After the meal we returned to the bar and whiled the rest of the evening with further drinks and liqueur coffees. At the end I purchased Tom's book, which he kindly signed with a special birthday message. I also have to compliment the superb standards and friendliness of the waiting staff.Thanks for everything Tom, we will certainly be back.

Stayed: July 2014, travelled as a couple
Thank Graham C
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 3 August 2014

We had Sunday lunch and an overnight stay in the Dexter Suite as a treat for our 25th wedding anniversary. What a delight. Sunday lunch was exceptional and the accommodation was quirky but luxurious. Not cheap but certainly good value and we would certainly consider treating ourselves again when next in the area. Book early as we made our reservation for July last October.

Room Tip: Only 4 suites - all I suspect are fantastic
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  • Stayed: July 2014, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Service
Thank Halifax1190786
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 1 August 2014 via mobile

The restaurant was very busy, however we received excellent service and the food was fantastc. I ordered the Duck Parfait starter and fillet of beef main. Everything was cooked to perfection. The only downside....Tom Kerridge had left the pub so we couldn't have a photo. Would 100% go again.

Stayed: July 2014, travelled as a couple
1  Thank gjs1bbs
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 29 July 2014

I booked this restaurant as a surprise for my husband on our first anniversary and I was not disappointed. We traveled down from Glasgow and stayed in nearby B&B and it was worth it.
Although it is a 2 star the restaurant is had a laid back and relaxed atmosphere to it. The staff were attentive but not pushy. I had mentioned it was our anniversary when booking and when we arrived at our table there was a card wishing us a happy anniversary which was a lovely touch.
The complimentary white bait was delicious. I love my wine but was overwhelmed by the choice on the menu, I told the sommelier what wine myself and husband like and he recommend a lovely bottle that wasn't too pricey.
I had the salmon to start and my husband had the pigs head. The salmon was excellent and my husband eat every last bit of the pigs head, which was served similar to a croquette. I then had the duck for my main which was excellent and cooked to perfection with a lovely glossy sauce. My husband ordered the lamb bun, which looks like a toffee apple the way it is served. He also ordered some sides but it was far too much and he couldn't eat it as the lamb bun was extremely filling. For dessert I ordered the pannacotta which is the best pannacotta I have ever tasted, my husband had the chocolate and ale cake and loved it.
We then moved in to the bar and had coffee and a few gin and tonics. I was surprised when we received the bill as it was not actually as expensive as I thought it would be, I have been to restaurants where the food has been terrible and it has been much more expensive. The food and service were excellent and if I really hope to go back again one day.

Stayed: May 2014, travelled as a couple
1  Thank Laura A
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Additional Information about The Hand and Flowers

Address: 126 West Street, Marlow SL7 2BP, England
Region: United Kingdom > England > Buckinghamshire > Marlow
Amenities:
Restaurant Room Service
Hotel Style:
Ranked #1 of 21 B&Bs / Inns in Marlow
Price Range: £140 - £190 (Based on Average Rates for a Standard Room)
Hotel Class:5 star — The Hand and Flowers 5*
Number of rooms: 2
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Located in the beautiful Georgian town of Marlow, having built a huge popularity with its award winning food and now providing luxury suites. Within a year they had earned a Michelin Star, 3 AA Rosettes and 6/10 in the Good Food Guide. Now, having acquired two neighbouring cottages, they offer a similarly high level of accomodation. Relax in the Hot Tub or the huge stone bath, walk-in rain showers and big fluffy robes. ... more   less 
Also Known As:
The Hand And Flowers Hotel Marlow

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