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“Rather Disappointing ...”

Offley Place Restaurant
Ranked #73 of 177 Restaurants in Hitchin
Price range: $45 - $58
Cuisines: British
More restaurant details
Restaurant details
Good for: Scenic view
Dining options: Reservations
Kettering, United Kingdom
Level 6 Contributor
128 reviews
60 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 73 helpful votes
“Rather Disappointing ...”
Reviewed April 27, 2014

We arrived for lunch and got the overriding impression that Offley Place was a tired country golf club. Service was friendly and efficient to start and after drinks in the Bar, we were shown to the dining area. It was nice enough, but looking out from our table to the gardens and lawn, rather prominent was the debris (ie rubbish) from what was presumably the previous day's wedding; this somewhat spoiled the view. The food was variable. Soup was bland and fatty, the crab didn't really go with the water melon, the salmon main course was good, the risotto had lovely peas and broad beans but was overpowered by cream (and it was not risotto rice) - but the roast beef was tough with not enough gravy. Extra gravy had to be requested twice. Service really got rather slow as the restaurant got busier. Next, at 2pm, guests arrived for afternoon tea while we were still having lunch - rather strange we thought - shouldn't that be served elsewhere? Then we felt like we were in a zoo. Every 10 minutes or so, what was presumably prospective wedding clients, were being showed around, "gawping" at us dining. It felt uncomfortable. Puddings took forever to arrive, and too were variable. Cheese from the local" dairy" was more like from the local supermarket - cold and ordinary. The coffee order was wrong - we couldn't be bothered to get it sorted; we just wanted to leave. Overall, we felt it expensive for what it was, and poor value. We will not be back - sorry.

  • Visited April 2014
    • Value
    • Atmosphere
    • Service
    • Food
Helpful?
1 Thank Rick S
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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40 reviews from our community

Visitor rating
    20
    11
    4
    2
    3
Rating summary
    Food
    Service
    Value
    Atmosphere
Date | Rating
  • English first
  • Any
English first
Hitchin, United Kingdom
1 review
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 2 helpful votes
“"Entertaining" night...”
Reviewed April 2, 2014

As with many other customers, we'd obtained a groupon voucher to visit the restaurant and decided to have a nice family night of it. We arrived at 7:30 and a round of drinks in the bar (which is lovely, if a bit impersonal). There was no pressure to move through to the restaurant, and we thoroughly enjoyed our drinks. We ordered our food (and a bottle of wine for the table) whilst we were still sitting in the bar, and around fifteen minutes later moved through to the restaurant.

That's when the entertainment started.

We were provided with bread as per usual, though there was no sign of the bottle of wine. Some glasses of prosecco turned up as part of the voucher, which we gladly had. The wine eventually showed up after the prosecco was gone, though the glasses were left on the table. We had a nice chat, and waited...

...until our starters showed up, approximately an hour after we'd ordered. The waitress was very apologetic. Apparently the window had been open and the order had been lost to a stray gust of wind.

Duck Rilletes & Duck Liver parfait; "adequate" was the overall impression.
Wobbly Bottom Goats Cheese Cake; allegedly served on a base of puff pastry. Apparently the chef took the "cake" part of the name rather too literally, as his interpretation of puff pastry would have been more suited to a cheesecake base.
Pigeon Breast Wellington; Arrived cold, the pastry soggy and the bird itself raw. An argument can be made for having pigeon breast rare, but this particular one didn't look like it had even seen the outside of the oven, let alone an open flame.
Spiced Scallops; three scallops on a small plate that would ordinarily be £10.50. The chef seemed to have taken the same approach as he had with the pigeon breast; one scallop was cooked (seared nicely on the outside, still mostly raw in the middle). The other two had been warmed at best, presumably left under a hot lamp whilst the chef didn't cook the wellington.

The wellington and scallops were sent back (choosing not to replace them); the waitress was very apologetic at the state of the food, and offered us a second round of prosecco. This was to tide us over for the 20 minute wait (after the plates were removed) for the second course.

Confit Duck Leg; actually lovely.
Woburn Estate Loin of Venison; the venison itself was well cooked, though everything else on the plate was cold. Pearl Barley risotto is best avoided when cold, for future reference.
Fillet Steak; The fillet steak itself looked wonderful. Unfortunately it was still ice cold in the middle, as were the chips it was served with.

Both the venison and steak were sent back, and happily returned warm.

There was a fourth main course option (I believe it was the cod?) but unfortunately it was so average in comparison to the two problem mains that it's completely erased itself from my memory.

The waitress apologised again, and offered us another round of drinks. We decided to enjoy these in the bar (rather than waiting another half hour for the possibility of frozen desserts), and called for a taxi.

Avoid.

  • Visited March 2014
    • Value
    • Atmosphere
    • Service
    • Food
Helpful?
2 Thank coldcode
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Hitchin, United Kingdom
Level 6 Contributor
301 reviews
139 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 156 helpful votes
“Beautifully prepared & delicious food”
Reviewed February 27, 2014 via mobile

We ate here courtesy of a deal and enjoyed one of the best meals I have eaten in ages. My friend ate the wobbly bottom goats cheese starter and venison for her main meal, whilst I had the scallops to start and chicken supreme mains. Both dishes tasted as good as they looked. The wine suggested by the waiter was perfectly complimentary to the food. The staff were welcoming and friendly without being overly attentive. The dining area was comfortable and welcoming. Just one slight moan when the wedding organiser (a large young lady) and viewing couple pushed behind me to show them the room used for weddings without an apology or acknowledgement for disturbing us. Our table was directly in front of the door to this room. Whilst this caused some amusement to us and other diners nearby, it was a bit rude and let down what would have been a perfect evening. Otherwise a 5 star evening.

Visited February 2014
Helpful?
Thank Yvonnenetball
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Cuffley, United Kingdom
Level 3 Contributor
11 reviews
4 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 18 helpful votes
“Exquisite”
Reviewed January 25, 2014

Lovely to sit by the log fire and enjoy a drink before dinner, delightful service and superb food in a wonderful setting....cannot fault it.

  • Visited January 2014
    • Value
    • Atmosphere
    • Service
    • Food
Helpful?
Thank Alexandra D
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Luton, United Kingdom
Level 2 Contributor
5 reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 2 helpful votes
“Brilliant afternoon”
Reviewed January 11, 2014

Arranged a surprise 80th birthday celebration lunch for my dad. Lucy was most helpful and informative taking my booking details. I was allowed to go and decorate the table and when I arrived on the morning, the beautiful table was all set up in the conservatory, domenico could not have been more helpful in ensuring I had all I needed and stopped me stressing out! From the moment we arrived we were treated like kings, and again Domenico ensured our every need was catered for, he really could not have done enough for us, and his service, friendliness and courtesy were second to none, I can honestly say I have never experienced such fabulous service! The food was excellent, and again nothing was too much to adapt or change for the children. My risotto though looked on the small side, was sheer perfection and was more than enough. Even my fussy mother and teenage son and his girlfriend loved the belly of pork, and the deserts were scrum my indeed! If your looking for a special venue, and want excellent service and food, there is only one venue I could recommend. Offley place and ensure domenico looks after you! Thank you!

  • Visited January 2014
    • Value
    • Atmosphere
    • Service
    • Food
Helpful?
1 Thank Bancookingeatout
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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