I've marked this establishment as "Average" but only because the next "step" up is Very Good. If I could have marked it "Good" then I would have done. We've been here three times in the past fortnight - once in a large birthday party group (16 heads), once as a couple for Sunday lunch and once with our grown up family and grandchildren for Sunday lunch.
The birthday group was for a Saturday lunch time and was advised and "organised" in advance. The food was nice and served on time and there was enough for everyone. The Dining Area, however, was a little bit cramped for the size of our party (there were two other parties in the restaurant at about the same time with between 8 and 10 people so it was a busy service and there were no spare tables) but, as the weather was stunning, we were able to move outside for desserts. No complaints whatsoever for this visit.
Visiting on a Sunday for Sunday lunch we had to make do with sitting in the bar area as the restaurant was full. We ordered a Sunday Roast each and it was served very quickly - no doubt there was lots of food prepared, ready to be delivered to the tables. The beef and the chicken were good and all the side dishes were well cooked. I ordered a dessert and asked for it to be warmed up. When it was served it was not warm and needed to be taken back. It tasted okay but I've had tastier Chocolate Fudge offerings in other establishments. The cheesecake was nice though (according to she who must be obeyed).
The third visit was the worst of them all. Again it was a Sunday lunchtime and again it was busy. We'd booked a table for four adults and two toddlers (requiring high chairs). We arrived to find we'd been allocated a table with four chairs and no room for the high chairs. It was busy so we made do (I wanted to move tables but the wife said leave it). Two of us ordered Sunday Roast and two of us ordered something off the normal menu. The time the food took to come was significantly longer than when we had just ordered the Sunday Roasts previously - no doubt because of the complicating factor of two menu meals and two childrens meals. When the meals were delivered we weren't brought all of the side dishes we were expecting and so there was a small delay in bringing the missing items out. What we eventually had was tasty and plentiful, to be fair. Upon ordering desserts (to be had outside) I was informed that I would have to settle up before moving outside and then when we'd decided I'd have to order the desserts separately. Not a show stopper but a bit of downer being lumped in with those who can't be trusted to pay their bills when sitting outside. I can understand why they do this, though, given that they've experienced "drive offs" over the summer period. Anyway, I ordered four warm desserts and we had them brought out one at a time - almost as if they were warming each one in the microwave before they served it to us. It took so long that the first warm dessert with ice cream had to be started before the rest came out and it was finished before the final one made it to our table. So a bit of a let down on the third visit.
This is a great place for a drink in either the Winter or Summer months - outside there's a nice beer garden and inside there's nice sofas and, potentially, a log fire. The food, generally, is very nice and the service is polite and, normally, attentive. Having been three times in quick succession, though, I can say that the level of service and satisfaction depends on how busy they are and who they have on duty.
If they could improve their consistency of "service delivery" then they would have an outstanding establishment in a lovely setting.
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