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Anniversary dinner (& B&B?)


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Can anybody suggest a hotel/inn within easy reach of West London that offers fine food and a room overnight (midweek)? It's a treat for our wedding anniversary - husband works out near Iver Heath in Bucks, so anywhere within 45 mins' drive would be handy. I've so far looked at Crazy Bear (but was not convinced) and was almost swayed by the Inn on the Green until I read Mr Rayner's recent review.

Failing that, where would readers recommend for a special, romantic dinner in London at short notice (next Tuesday!), preferably French or Italian, and fairly relaxed? So far have been recommended Club Gascon, but, again, not entirely convinced. Absolutely loved St John Bread and Wine, but don't feel the atmos is romantic enough for an anniversary celebration.

All suggestions much appreciated!

thanks,

Sarah

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Welcome to eGullet Sarah.

Waterside or Cliveden are within your geographical range as is The Vineyard at Stockcross.

In London, I would be tempted to suggest Putney Bridge, which is my current favourite and I think would meet your requirement for fine food, with a romantic but relaxed atmosphere. Tell them its for a anniversary meal and see if they will give you a window table.

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what about the mason arms at south leigh (just west of oxford) - pretty basic rooms but quite fun. barnsley would be cool but is more hotel in terms of price than b&b. what about studley priory/house, also just outside oxford ... maybe la maoir have some good deals going???

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Thanks for the suggestions, Andy, Simon and Olly. I shall investigate...

Also wanted to say that I think the egullet is fantastic - intelligent, honest writing, and highly informative and entertaining. I will be a regular visitor from now on.

Best wishes,

Sarah

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We went to La Trouvaille for our anniversary dinner, so thanks for the recommendation, Simon. My husband loved his "Three flavours crab salad" and "Mutton fillet with lavender sauce" and even the grilled courgette that accompanied it (he is traditionally a courgette-sceptic). My experience was somewhat spoiled by the fact that I managed to shatter one of my molars on the bread at the beginning of the meal! So my choice of food was dictated by what would be least painful - I went for cold pumpkin soup with foie gras ice cream (wonderful!) followed by "Soft boiled egg of the moment with watercress dip and mushroom croustillant" which was... unexpected. It seemed to be a milkshake of watercress, softly scrambled egg and (no mention of this, and I may well be wrong) blue cheese, into which one dipped deep-fried mushrooms. I wouldn't order this dish again, but at the time it was strangely comforting. We enthused over our shared chocolate and violet "coolant", which we polished off in approximately 30 seconds. Add to that 2 glasses of champagne, 2 glasses of white wine, a bottle of Faugeres (by this point, I was treating the wine as an anaesthetic) and 2 double espressos, and with service the bill came to just over 120 pounds. We both felt this was very reasonable for the quality and imagination of the cooking, and the very friendly and unobtrusive service. The atmosphere was exactly right - very romantic - and we will definitely be returning... but not until I am restored to full dental health.

Thanks,

Sarah

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