With the Christmas break drawing to a close and wanting to see friends in Sussex and us living in London, we decided to meet halfway at the Horns based on the superb reviews it had received, both on here and elsewhere.
I made an internet booking; was telephoned next day, so far so good.
We turned up on time, were given the best table in the restaurant, situated in the window, all looking very promising.
The menu looked good, lots of tasty (mostly seafood.) starters and for the mains; a choice of three roasts, two fish and the obligatory veggie option. Keeping it simple, no frou frou & no frills, brilliant.
Ben Howard was playing quietly on the stereo and we were feeling pretty content.
Alas, it was not to last. The MOR cd that had been playing was replaced with one of Christmas classics, on a loop. (Loudly.)
Our friends arrived with their 7yo, and surprisingly she wasn't offered a cushion to help her sit a little higher at the table
We ordered some water for the table and soft drinks and were given some sort of nasty cheapo cola, I got a diet rather than a full fat, and, pointing this out the offending glass was taken away with a sigh rather than an apology. The water never did materialise.
The starters were pretty good, my friend ordered the soup, but was not given any bread, which was a first.
The roasts were pretty tragic; the 'haunch of venison' was merely two overcooked slices and the shoulder of lamb similar. The roasties were undercooked and it just wasn't what you'd expect, even for £15 a head. (The fish on all accounts was okay.)
Ordering the bill we noted the 10% service charge; and for the first time in my life decided not to argue, the staff being so feckless, we surmised we might be there all day.
The final bill came to £101 for 5 set menus and 6 soft drinks.
I'd be interested to know if the Horns has recently changed hands, or has a new manager. I cannot understand how this can be the same place I read about. (If only I had seen the most recent reviews, rather than the highest rated.)
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