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“120 Mile round trip for lunch, worth every inch”

The Horse guards inn
Ranked #1 of 1 Restaurants in Tillington
Certificate of Excellence
Dining options: Breakfast, Late Night, Reservations
Restaurant details
Dining options: Breakfast, Late Night, Reservations
Kent
Level 3 Contributor
15 reviews
7 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 13 helpful votes
“120 Mile round trip for lunch, worth every inch”
Reviewed November 1, 2013

I was arriving late on a wet Thursday for lunch. My lunch partner got to the inn on time and rang me in the car to ask how long I was going to be. "We may have to let our table go and eat later" he said," the place is rammed and there is a waiting list"

At this point I was on a narrow windy lane dodging pheasants by the dozen, "Fine what ever" I replied," if its a problem when I get there we can move on somewhere else" Long Silence from my friend, "Just get here"

No pub parking at all,but no yellow lines anywhere in this very quaint village/hamlet. Parked the car opposite, and wondered into the rear shabby chic garden to be greeted by 5 beautiful ladies, all very attentive and very pleased to see me.

Excusing myself from the ladies I entered the pub, just brilliant. A friend of mine would have wrongly describe it, Kak everywhere, I would say very cleverly deployed meaningless bits and pieces, and lots of them, I was slowly falling in love.

Despite my tardy arrival, a cheerful greeting from the gent behind the bar who received my apology and made me feel as though it could not matter less.

He produced a menu, then proceeded to tell me what was sold out, thankfully mainly the fresh fresh, so as a pair of raving carnivores we were not at all bothered.

Both of us plumped for the roast beef, both intrigued by the .....served with dripping toast.

We were shown to our table and in timely fashion our meal arrived.

I travel and eat out a lot, never before have I wanted to photograph a plate of food. As I write this I wish I had, but when I suggested I might, my colleague shook his head in a way that said, please don't behave as though you have never eaten out before.

The beef was some of the best I have ever eaten, the roasts were perfect, the kale and whole carrot devoured, (I generally dislike both), the dripping toast was divine, and the gravy, well Granny do turn in your grave, it was just the best.

If anything the dessert options were limited, the main had awoken taste buds in me that had been in a coma for donkeys years, and I was desperate for a range of boy's puds, spotted dick, or bread and butter pudding as I believed that this kitchen would just take them to another level. Not to be, so enjoyed a very pleasing cheesecake.

I can imagine that Horseguards gets tested in terms of service both front of house and in the kitchen when it is packed and the garden heaving. The trading space inside is tight, but quite frankly if you are on a dining speed date this may not be for you, we were dining at about 2.30pm, the service was great, I think you may have gathered that I loved the food, but the most impressive thing was that even though we were at the end of service, not for one second did I feel we were either getting food that would have been better at mid-day, or that the team had had enough, and boy had they been busy.

So to all at the Horseguards, 5 stars from me at every level, and despite the distance I will be back, if for nothing else, I already miss those lovely ladies in the garden, I trust they are just for eggs, and never for the pot.

  • Visited October 2013
    • Value
    • Atmosphere
    • Service
    • Food
Helpful?
Thank rantandravehc
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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306 reviews from our community

Visitor rating
    211
    69
    18
    7
    1
Rating summary
    Food
    Service
    Value
    Atmosphere
Date | Rating
  • Dutch first
  • English first
  • Any
English first
Buckingham, United Kingdom
Level 1 Contributor
4 reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
“Superb Pub/Restaurant”
Reviewed October 28, 2013

Excellent cask beers and imaginative & delicious food. Parking could be a problem at times but worth the trek for the warm welcome, cosy surroundings and excellent beer, wines and food.

Visited October 2013
Helpful?
Thank mikajoka1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
UK
Level 5 Contributor
70 reviews
47 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 38 helpful votes
“Alice in food wonderland”
Reviewed October 13, 2013 via mobile

Stepping inside we felt like we were in Lewis Carroll's third instalment. The décor is quirky and fun, and that very much extends to the outside. Dogs are welcome, and the notice that only gifted children may be let loose on the pianos is very funny.
The small bar has a good selection to it (this is a gastropub).
The menu is short with only four or so items per course. However any more would mean an eternity of dithering as I could hardly choose from those.
The food is beautifully presented and full if flavour.
The staff are delightful, and we spoke to at least four. We felt very welcome. I expect this place gets very busy and at peak times you'd need to book well ahead.
It is small (cosy) inside and might get very noisy. But if you were enjoying the food I expect you'd never notice!

Helpful?
1 Thank WhizzKidUK
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Bury, United Kingdom
Level 6 Contributor
129 reviews
83 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 47 helpful votes
“Fantastic country pub, friendly and very welcoming with great food”
Reviewed October 10, 2013

Had many good meals in this culinary delightful abode, the best of note was my birthday meal last year on New Years Eve, great ambiance with the superb log fire and the food especially the steaks served perfectly, the couple that own the pub are attentive interested and very friendly and keen to please, the whole meal and drinks were very well done congrats, would recommend highly. A very interesting and different sort of menu, not just the old run of the mill, some pleasant alternatives

  • Visited December 2012
    • Value
    • Atmosphere
    • Service
    • Food
Helpful?
Thank GrahamV54
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
West Sussex
Level 6 Contributor
238 reviews
119 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 181 helpful votes
“OK but perhaps we went on an off day.......”
Reviewed October 7, 2013 via mobile

I know there are many 4/5 star reviews however our experience did not warrant this level of review.
Perhaps arriving on a wet day to be greeted just inside the door by a large damp dog was not the best start!
On a positive note the ambience was very good - a gently 'buzz' throughout of (mostly) happy customers.
Service was friendly and efficient.
All of our group struggled a little with the limited choice menu and a few of the courses were far from perfect (eg over-cooked sprats ,a few under-cooked potatoes,and a far from generous portion of hare ragu). The rice puddings were good but small portions - the cheese selection with home made biscuits was excellent!
Overall,while the menu showed some imagination I felt there is better choice and value elsewhere.As I said at the beginning however given the other good reviews perhaps it is worth trying again sometime.

Visited October 2013
Helpful?
Thank BOBOK777
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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