With its social enterprise credentials, an appealing menu and recommendation by The Good Food Guide I really thought this place would be right up my street. Had I left after the first of the two courses I ate, I would certainly have been looking forward to my next visit. My ham hock starter was a beautifully presented plate, the meat itself, wrapped in a herb layer, was moist and tender and was accompanied by a delicate quenelle of pease pudding, a crisp sage leaf, some pieces of (I think) pear and adorned with dots of apple gel.
It was hard to believe that my main course, a breast of a (tiny) Yorkshire pheasant and confit leg on a bed of puy lentils and bacon with crisped curly kale, could have come out of the same kitchen. It would have been a satisfactory but undistinguished pub dish had my expectations not been raised so high by the starter: the pheasant itself was over-cooked and therefore a bit dry, the diced carrot was of all shapes and sizes so pieces were either over- or under-cooked and there were tiny pieces of grit in the lentils.
I was still intending to see which side of the line desserts fell but unfortunately I didn't get the chance. Service, which had been very good on arrival, simply disappeared - literally. Since the other occupied tables contained large groups who had finished their meals and were talking amongst themselves I may have been the only diner who noticed that nobody was on the restaurant floor for quite some time. The more I thought about this, the more other irritations came to mind which, with good food in front of me, might have been overlooked.
On line I had noticed the special Christmas menu and intended to choose from it but it was nowhere in evidence inside the restaurant. (I think this was not in their best interest since prices were lower on the normal menu I was given.)
Butter was already on the tables (all of them, most of which were unoccupied) and was inevitably very soft. The unused servings would have been inedible by the time of the next service. Only one small slice of bread was offered and the side plate whisked away after the first course.
Looking for the toilet I was directed to the disabled loo because the main facilities were upstairs. Unfortunately, there was no light and no switch or pull visible - hardly ideal for anyone with limited mobility.
The final straw came with a power failure which sent the restaurant into total chaos. The chefs came out of the kitchen and sat doing nothing whilst others ran around like headless chickens. It was fortunate that I actually had the cash to pay for what I had eaten (although, without electricity I had to calculate the amount myself) since as I left others were still negotiating how they would return later in the week to settle their bills.
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.