My wife and I went to the Six Bells tonight on a one-off visit to Thame. We had a small dog with us, so were limited as to where we could go to eat. We chose the Six Bells because it had a nice garden area. However the staff said we could have taken her inside had we wished to and immediately gave us a bowl of water for her. The staff were very friendly and helpful and we were happy with our choice of pub initially. This changed when we ordered food. .. My wife and I are not gluttons or big eaters. We often eat less than our friends when dining and normally are happy with just one course. Often our friends try and cajole us into having a starter or a dessert. On this occasion we just went for a main course from their specials board. The meal was listed as 'Beef, Ale and Mushroom Pie with new potatoes and seasonal vegetables'. Normally for such a pub meal (depending on location) you would expect to pay between 8 to 12 pounds. We paid £11.95 each, so towards the upper end of the pie and veg pub grub scale. We waited for circa 40 mins for it to arrive and by then we had built up an appetite. However when the waitress arrived with our meal we were stunned. The pies were in a dish around the same size of a creme brulee dish. - they were that small. The 'new potatoes and seasonal veg' consisted of circa four tiny baby potatoes each and a small smattering of thin green beans. That was it! When the waitress walked off we assumed she had gone to get the vegetables, but this was it! The whole meal was the size of a starter. The potatoes and seasonal veg were more like a garnish than a side dish. my wife and I now wish we'd taken photos of our meals to emphasise the point. What was it like? Fine, but not outstanding. If we had eaten a meal that was out of this world we'd maybe have conceded we had value for money, but it was just bog standard pub grub. When the waiter came and collected our empty plates and asked how it was, we informed him that the meal was more like a starter than a main and he said 'I'll tell the chef'. Well if the chef was of the opinion that this was a normal portion, then the chef must also work as a model for Calvin Klein!
My wife and I walked back through Thame afterwards en route to our car feeling ripped off, disgruntled and underfed. As I have stated, we are not big eaters , but we spent the walk back contemplating nipping into a chip shop and bemoaning that we had chosen to eat in the Six Bells. £12 each for a starter in a pub is not good value for money. The Six Bells should take note. Despite the lovely staff we will NEVER be back!
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