Last Friday we headed along to The Garibaldi, a community owned 19th Century Victorian Pub in Bourne End for dinner. Husband & wife team, Chris Lillitou and Amanda Baker from The Jolly Cricketers in Seer Green have recently taken on the mantle of running the pub and so we had high hopes for our visit.
The pub has a cosy & intimate atmosphere with polished wooden floors, blazing fire and a really relaxed local vibe – the perfect antidote to a busy day ☺
The Garibaldi serves modern British food with ingredients sourced from local suppliers and offers four local real ales from the Marlow and Chilterns breweries, Artisan Ciders, fine wines, organic soft drinks, speciality teas and fresh coffee.
There are two different menus on offer – the Bar Menu which has dishes ranging from a reasonable £3.50 for a Scotch Egg & Sage Salt (sadly we didn’t get to sample them this time but apparently they are to die for ☺) to £14 for a Fish & Chips. This menu would be perfect if you’re looking for a quick bite.
As we were making an evening of it (no kids – wahoo!!) we opted for the A La Carte Menu. For starters we tried the Spiced Pumpkin Salad with Caramelised Walnut & Feta (£6.50) & Coriander cured Salmon with Horseradish & Lemon (£9) and the Crispy Cornish Squid with Ginger (£8.50).
For our mains we had the Soy braised pork neck with chilli caramel crackling (£16) and Crisp Skinned Seabass with crab cakes, lemon, parsley & caper dressing (£17).
It was clear from the moment the plates were laid in front of us that this chef knows how to present beautiful dishes. This should come as no surprise as the head chef Ben Haywood is an acclaimed chef from Australia having previously worked at China Lane in Sydney.
Each dish looked like it had received the same attention to detail before it left the kitchen with a style immediately appetising to the eye. The good news is that it the quality of the ingredients and obvious care they had received in the kitchen meant the dishes were also delicious. If you were to be particularly critical, the fish cakes lacked a little seasoning and the Asian dip served with the pork neck was unnecessary (or perhaps just unusual) contrast to the delightfully rich glaze it had been served with; however these are personal tastes which in no way should take away from the fact that the food served in the Garibaldi is good….very good!
The menu may be a little adventurous for some as it isn’t the usual pork belly, chicken breast and steak; however the dishes are exciting and something a little different to your usual gastro pub! Click here to see the menu.
Chiltern Chatter Verdict:
The Garibaldi is a true locals pub with a massive sense of community and a relaxed vibe. The service was warm, friendly and attentive.
Definitely worth a visit for lunch or dinner if you’re visiting Cliveden National Trust plus the pub is a stone’s throw from the River Thames so a perfect pit stop if you’re out walking ☺ Great for dog walkers too – the owners have a dog called Elvis and welcome all dogs.
Seasonal pie & mash for £8 on a Mondays and Mussels & French Fries for £8 on Tuesdays.