My friend and I booked a table for a joint birthday celebration - a late Saturday lunch for 6. We planned to meet more friends after lunch for cocktails, so upon booking my friend enquired about booking an area in the bar for drinks, but was told that they don't book bar areas (this may have been just at weekends) but that it would pretty quiet at the time we wanted so shouldn't have any trouble finding space. They also phoned my friend a few days prior to the booking to inform her that the table was booked by someone else for 4.30 which was fine by us.
On the day, the previous party at our table were a little late in leaving so we had to wait for 5-10 minutes (we were offered drinks whilst waiting but declined) but we were promptly shown to the table as soon as it was ready, and our friends were late anyway so it didn't matter very much!
The service was really good - friendly but polite and unobtrusive - our water glasses were always full, without me even realising someone had been round! We had some warm bread to start which was very tasty and amazing value at £1.50! We didn't have starters, but our mains were delicious and decent, filling portions. My sweet potato and chickpea cake with halloumi was seriously good, and the deer casserole and burgers also got seals of approval. Wine list starts at a reasonable budget (our end of the scale!) and goes right up to pretty pricey bottles. Mainly European but we had a really nice Chilean cabernet sauvignon.
Couldn't say no to desserts, and mine (cinnamon doughnuts - delicious) came out with a candle and accompanied by a happy birthday singalong from a couple of the waiting staff.
By this point it was almost half 4 so we checked about whether our table was needed and were told we could keep it until 6pm. But then more of our guests turned up so we asked about moving to the bar for drinks - there wasn't enough space at that point, but the waitress said they would keep an eye on it and let us know as soon as there was. Sure enough, within about 10 minutes we'd moved over to the bar, where we lingered for another hour or so, with some lovely cocktails, made swiftly by the attentive barman.
We did leave, eventually, to move on elsewhere. But to sum it up, I would definitely recommend this place. The food was much more interesting than I would have expected, and the menu's not huge but I would think it'd have something for everyone (2 veggie mains plus lots of veggie small plates!). It's not the cheapest but it feels worth the money, for the quality of the food and also the service. It does seem really busy, so definitely book!
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