I've drunk at the Barn before on three occasions, every time the staff have been friendly and helpful, and the beer has been good. The atmosphere is good, the setting is attractive and tasteful. I even had good curly fries there before my most recent visit.
However, on my last trip, my wife and I tried the restaurant food. I can't comment on the pub menu, we had the fixed price three course menu (at a reasonable price).
The starters were fine but uninspiring. My calamari was crisp and the sauce was pleasantly spicy, but the squid itself was too rubbery. My wife's pate was good but the relish completely without flavour. Both suffered from that pub food curse of a bland and unseasoned salad on the side that adds absolutely nothing.
My wife had the chicken fajitas for her main course, while the vegetables were nicely cooked, and the sauces pretty standard, the chicken was entirely overcooked, and the whole thing lacked the flavour you'd hope for from a mexican dish. I had the duck, largely on the promise of an interesting flavour combination which turned out to have been entirely misjudged on the chef's part. The potatoes (dauphinoise I think) were cold at the bottom, the courgettes overcooked and bland, and the gravy too bitter and gelatinous. The duck itself was again overcooked.
For dessert, my wife had the ice cream (no complaints there) and I had a rum and raisin bread and butter pudding, which had plenty of raisins, but no discernable rum.
I should add that I made no complaints during the whole meal, because I am thoroughly British, and could only muster a weak "fine" when the staff asked about our mains. Still, it ranks as one of the most disappointing meals out I've had in a long time. The beer and the setting can only compensate so much, and I will certainly carry on drinking at the Barn, just not venturing there for the food. When you consider the array of restaurants with the same friendliness and much better food (I'm thinking specifically of Casa Vecchia, Il Vesuvio, La Fiamma, Il Pulpito and Kitsu here) then it's a wonder that the restaurant part of the Barn does any business at all. Perhaps I should have stuck to pub grub, but if you can't execute something well, don't put it on the menu.
Own or manage this property? Claim your listing for free to respond to reviews, update your profile and much more.