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  1. I booked to stay and dine on May 1st, the first night of our 'Offa's Lunch' hiking and eating trip. They didn't email us to confirm they had closed. When I emailed them, got a standard reply saying 'I can confirm your reservation has now been cancelled. I apologise for any inconvenience caused'. Inconvenience = a further 3 miles walking up to the Inn at Penallt, but upside is more lunch money to spend on the wine list at The Walnut Tree when we get there the next day. Hay-on-Wye the following day is looking rather sparse for good eats, but Saturday we will be staying and eating at The Stagg Inn, Kington. Sunday's march to Ludlow will be rewarded by dinner at Mr Underhill's and Monday, hopefully, lunch at La Becasse.
  2. Returning to the original topic, Casa Malevo (Connaught St, past Tony Blair's policemen) is pretty good and not as wallet-lightening as Hawksmoor or Goodman. http://casamalevo.com/menus.html Or try the cosy bar at the Duke of Wellington just off Marylebone High St. http://www.thedukew1.co.uk/ IMHO there are now a number of gastropubs or smaller restaurants which provide excellent meat and a good value wine list, where you're not paying for the group's expansion plans ... Sarah
  3. Neither of these are based on personal experience (we got married on Vancouver Island because even with the cost of shipping the rellies out there it was still a fraction of the price of the London equivalent) but reviews are good and they look nice. Brewhouse, Tunbridge Wells http://www.thebrewhousehotel.net/functions The Mill, Gordleton, New Forest http://www.themillatgordleton.co.uk/special-events.htm Sarah
  4. Thanks for the review - am now eagerly awaiting November and my birthday treat. Sounds like The Hardwick is the other must-do. Cheers Sarah
  5. Wonderful photos! So glad you went after all.
  6. Hi David, Just to let you know that everything's been quiet in W11 and surrounds the last two evenings. Please don't add to the losses caused by these eejits by not coming to London. But perhaps don't sit outside under an awning ... bloke killed by falling masonry in Battersea.
  7. Dinner here yesterday. Had most of Mr Goodfellow's dishes (crab raviolo, rabbit, honeycomb etc) - all delicious and reasonable (Chelsea) value at £38 for 3 courses. For me the stand-out was the rabbit. Not sure where they get the meat from, but it is very tasty and sweet; much more flavour than I would expect from farmed rabbit. Would have liked to have tried the cheese board, but was too full of apricot icecream. What really stood out, and will bring us back, was the friendliness of the staff. I congratulated Clement (the sommelier) on his write-up in the FT - he said he was bowled over by having Lander and Robinson in the restaurant, as she is his hero and he's read all her books. http://www.ft.com/cms/s/2/4423d59e-a1f5-11e0-b485-00144feabdc0.html Very pleased to have this just 20 minutes walk away. (edited to add specific link)
  8. BRIDGE OF ORCHY INN, middle of nowhere, A82, between Loch Lomond and Fort William. We love this place!! We were walking the West Highland Way some years ago: Bridge of Orchy is half way along the route on day 5. Well, it being summer, the rain streamed down all morning. We got to Bridge of Orchy (tiny train station, a pre-fab Post Office and a short line of council houses) at lunch time. Walked over the eponymous Bridge and there was the pub, beckoning at us through the teeming rain. Inside was rather like being in a parallel universe - I remember carte di musica bread with garlic and olive oil, and an excellent Sangiovese by the glass. All that, plus a fireplace and comfy chairs. The station is on the main line from Glasgow, so it's possible to hop off there, have a long lunch and then catch the late afternoon train on to Fort William. Or continue the West Highland Way across Rannoch Moor ...
  9. Marvellous, looking forward to your reviews. Sarah
  10. Yes, I had my doubts about the tripadvisor reviewers, that's why I thought I'd ask you Cheers
  11. I've reserved one of the cottages at the Walnut Tree Inn (obviously the Shaun Hill one) for my birthday weekend in November. The cottage looks wonderful - really comfy, with lots of breakfast goodies and wine on tap. However, the recent reviews for the restaurant itself on tripadvisor are mixed, both for food and service. So I thought I'd turn to trusted foodies on egullet to see if anyone from here has been in the last few months. Any advice? Sarah
  12. Was here last night with husband and in-laws. Room very grand, but I agree the three pieces of art are really rather odd - struck us as painted by numbers to match the colour scheme. The banquettes are very slightly too high and the tables very slightly too low. The wait staff uniforms are unfortunate. Stripy braces do not sit well on any woman under 5' 10" and with a cup size > B. Alas rather a lot of the waitresses are short and well endowed. The uniform also fails to flatter the male waiters - they all looked rather uncomfortable. The wine list pricing is peculiar. Someone appears to have said - let's price everything at £35, £55 and £85 no matter what our trade price is. It just looks odd to have a wide range of whites from around the world all priced at exactly £35 - gives the impression you're being ripped off for some of them (especially the Spanish). They take the wine away from you, hide it round a corner and then don't top up ... grrrrrr ..... Couldn't find anything on the starter menu which appealed (unlike da Polpo earlier in the week where I wanted to eat ALL the pizzette followed by almost all the plates). Husband was the only one to have a starter, the Cullen Skink which was served cold. Is this usual? Mains: In-laws both had the seabass with seaweed and clam sauce, which despite their initial concerns about the seaweed, was proclaimed 'delicious' and 'marvellous'. Husband has the spatchcocked chicken with garlic. He thought was that there was just enough garlic, my post-meal in-bed view was that there was too much garlic and they hadn't taken the green bits out. I had the pigeon in a pot with morels and cabbage. Very meaty pigeon but sauce was over-salted (possibly from over-reduction). Desserts. Father in law just had decaff cappuccino, which he said was very good. M-i-l had the goats cheese log, which came as a generous serving with home-made biscuits and slices of nectarine. Husband had the kendal mint choc-ice, which was fine but arrived unadorned save some icing sugar on the plate and seemed rather stingy for £7.50. I had eton mess, which they have re-created as a meringue shell filled with raspberry cream surrounded by very sweet raspberry coulis. Interesting but not very satisfying. Would have preferred more chewy meringue and more fruit flavour rather than just sugar. This season's raspberries are superb - seems a waste to drown the flavour in cream and icing sugar. Bill was £220 including the £2 cover charge, 4 drinks beforehand in the bar, a bottle of Australian Semillon and service.
  13. hi Sheff, HNY to you too. Could you be a bit more specific about where you're going to be? Dartmouth? Eastbourne? Wherever it is, for accommodation go to tripadvisor.com and look at the inns/b&Bs tab for whatever your location is. Wherever you are on the south cost there is bound to be a highly recommended b&b. Sarah
  14. Gordon has sold out. Hardens has info here. Are we surprised? Sarah
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