This is one of my favourite pubs for ambience. Over the last couple of years it's had a bit of a kicking for its food and service. And living in Winchester, I drink in their occasionally as the ambiance is unbeatable and eat rarely. Last night we tried it again and the summary is:
1. Food. The menu is ok. The challenge is it's way too try hard. If you get the basics right, it's totally cool to try and go flash. But the basics are NOT done correctly. My partner ordered steak medium well done as she is pregnant. It came medium rare. When it came back, it was still medium rare. It's either incompetent or arrogance from a chef that demands their food be cooked a certain way. The portion sizes are stupid. The deserts were ridiculous. Could do so much better.
2. The service is shocking is amateur. It's slow from both a waiting and serving perspective. We sat down for dinner at 8:30 and didn't get the first course for 50 minutes. Yes, 50 minutes. There are big problems that need to be sorted from a kitchen and waiting perspective.
This could be one of the best pubs in the country. Sadly it's merely pedestrian.
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