With Valentine’s Day just around the corner, we asked some of our Chiltern Chatter members for their opinions on the best places to eat locally. Here are the top local picks:
Gilbey’s, Old Amersham
“We had a great meal at Gilbey’s. The service was excellent, (I later found out we had been served by the Manager) the food and wine exceptional. We have recently been to the Michelin starred ‘Hand and Flowers’ in Marlow, Gilbey’s was better. Highly recommended and hoping to dine out there again soon…(Feb 14, hint, hint!).”
Reviewed by Nikkip72.
Artichoke, Old Amersham
“We have visited the Artichoke twice for dinner, most recently with my parents who were visiting from New Zealand in early January 2013. It’s a very special place, the food is sensational and the service is also sublime; but do be prepared to pay for the privilege. The food itself is actually good value. It is very innovative delicious cooking and a three-course dinner menu is £45/head with an optional cheese plate for another £11.50. But when you add in the pre dinner house champagne that is offered on arrival (don’t mind if I do!), a lovely bottle of wine, dessert wines, coffees etc, it all adds up.
The waiting staff go to extreme lengths to make you comfortable, including a special little table for my handbag (!) – although unfortunately the waitress kept tripping over this and that made us all giggle. To kick things off they serve an amuse-bouche, with complimentary breads that are so delicious they were almost my undoing, so be warned. Stand out dishes for our party included the quail starter which was served with the most amazing hazelnut sauce, the melt-in-the-mouth Venison main, and the prune and Armagnac soufflé dessert. The beauty of the Artichoke is really in the details. Each plate is served with several accompaniments each of which in itself has been prepared with loving time and effort. The combination of flavours is amazing, and that makes it worth every penny. We all found ourselves making the sort of noises Gregg Wallace does on Masterchef when the puddings come out. The Artichoke is in the top 50 UK restaurants in the Good Food Guide, and the top 100 Sunday Times list. It would be absolutely perfect for a special romantic meal. I can’t wait to save up, not eat all day and go there to try their tasting menu.”
Reviewed by MrsA.
“Tao in Beaconsfield Old Town serves fantastic food, and has great hosts. Whenever we have eaten there, as a couple, or as a large group, the food has always been really tasty, and lots of it, at a very reasonable price! The staffare very attentive, but not intrusive, and there is always the offer of firewater at the end of the meal! I would definitely recommend Tao for an evening out.”
Reviewed by JoM part of NCT Beaconsfield
The Swan, Ley Hill
“I would highly recommend the Old Swan in Ley Hill, run by Sam and Nigel (Byatt?). We have eaten there regularly with our two girls (now aged 10 and 13) since the day we moved into Latimer more than five years ago. The pub is the quintessential low-beamed English pub, the staff are always welcoming and friendly, and the integral restaurant is well-run. The pub carries varied bar and restaurant menus with mainly traditional but also some more unusual dishes. There is a large beer garden (and Ley Hill Common) in the summer, with comfortable shaded bench seats and tables to linger over Sunday lunch. The food is always freshly prepared and of a consistently high standard, the service courteous and efficient, the kitchen staff flexible and obliging of off-menu requests, and there are often events and music at the pub. It is repeatedly unanimously voted our family’s favourite place to eat.”
Reviewed by Joanna Hill, Bagnall Centre
“We went for dinner with some friends to the Black Horse in Fulmer and had a lovely relaxed evening. The food was delicious and our waiter was great. It is on the more pricey side, but the food is more restaurant quality than typical pub food. Definitely a great place for a ‘date night’ or an evening with friends. We’ve never taken the kids but their website says that it is kid and dog friendly :)”
Reviewed by Sarah, Chiltern Chatter
Brilliant authentic Italian bistro in the heart of Gerrards Cross. Fresh homemade Italian classics, tasty, good value for money and excellent service. Perfect place to grab an early bite to eat with kids and perfect for a mid week meal.
Reviewed by Target HP
The atmosphere and décor gives a feeling of quality, and clearly communicates “gastro pub”. We have been to the restaurant on a number of occasions and every time, the service has been extremely impressive. The waiting staff are friendly and attentive without being overbearing, and seem to have an unusually good knowledge of the menu – providing help and advice when requested about the dishes including the cuts of meat, sauces, provenance of the ingredients etc. The food itself could be characterised as high quality classic English in a modern style, full of flavour and very well cooked. We have never had a below par experience there and we view it as the best pub / restaurant in Gerrards Cross / Chalfont St Peter.
Reviewed by Suzie
I have been to Sukhothai several times and enjoy the fresh tasting food, Staff are helpful and service is good. I would definitely recommend it to anyone!
Reviewed by Phillips Carpentry
The Nags Head
The Nags Head is a 15th Century pub in Great Missenden next door to Great Missenden tennis club. It has character and is definitely a cosy atmosphere with seats around the Inglenook fireplace in the bar area. Perfect to sit and have a drink by the fire, or wait for your table. There are now also options for alfresco dining with a raised outside area with tables for warmer weather! We love the atmosphere, and the great wine selection. The waiter had a great knowledge of the wine and was happy to make recommendations. Overall great service, a good selection of wine, and fantastic food. I highly recommend it if you like your steaks! Not our average night out for the price range, but perfect for a more special occasion!
Reviewed by Caroline from Smashing Tennis Parties
Being new to the Chilterns, I discovered the Hand & Flowers in Marlow when I googled Michelin restaurants. The first available restaurant table was months away but they had two seats at the bar next month. I wondered how “seat at the bar of a pub” and “Michelin star” were going to blend. I looked forward to the gastronomic adventure to come. From the outside it has retained the look of a stylish pub but at the same time it is clear this not a regular pub. On entering the staff were friendly and the immediate impression is one of comfort and warmth. We were seated at the bar on large leather chairs. We were the only ones at the bar and so it was private and about as unlike sitting at a bar could be, certainly no hardship. The staff were attentive but not invasive and knew the menu inside out including any drinks that might work well with any course. The menu has a british pub theme but each course was pleasant and interesting. The “British flavours” theme of the menu is artfully explored through the look, presentation and taste of each course. It is difficult to think of anything that I could find disappointing about the Hand & Flowers and nothing would not put me off returning as soon as I could get another reservation.
Reviewed by Nicki G.
This quaint Village Pub run by Chris Lillitou and Amanda Baker punches above its weight in ‘Pub Grub’ terms with its fabulous modern British Menu. A regular visitor to this recently revamped watering hole, its versatility for any occasion is a real pull for me. It has paid host to ‘life saving’ breaks during long dog walks serving delicious (doorstopper) sandwiches washed down with locally supplied ales. But it doesn’t stop there. We have enjoyed lazy Sunday lunches with the family and yet have been equally impressed in its slightly more formal dining area with evenings spent devouring stunning dinners with friends.
As someone who teaches people to cook for a living what really matters to me is the menu, so along I trotted this week with my friend Ruth to test it out once again for Chiltern Chatter. An enticingly written menu awaited, tempting our palates with little gens such as Jerusalem Artichoke. Parsley and White Truffle Oil Soup or Gorgonzola. Parmesan and Spinach Risotto with Garlic Herb Butter. Oh choices, choices but hell you have to make a decision sometime before closing time …… !
I plumped to start with the Homemade Scotch Egg, which was an absolute joy, Perfectly cooked with the egg yolk soft and “baveuse” as they say in the cookery world (translate as ‘still dribbling’ for the rest of us). Ruth meanwhile had the Wild Mushrooms and Goats Cheese on Toast with Red Wine and Chervil dressing, which showcased a lovely balance of Goats Cheese ‘tang’ along with the earthiness of the Wild Mushrooms. Starters down we eagerly awaited the mains.
Two beautifully presented plates arrived bang on time, tricking us into thinking (not for the first time) that we weren’t in a village pub at all but in some swanky venue in the big smoke. Never ones to hold back on the food front we tucked in greedily and were not disappointed. The Roast Breast of Chicken was pleasantly succulent although a little bland. However the accompaniment of ‘full on’ tasty wedges of Braised Rabbit along with pea puree, Potato Galette and Walnut Jus brought the whole plate together. Somewhat punchier in flavour and texture was Ruth’s Pork Belly, Coriander Cake (a gem of a thing), Black Pudding, Bok Choi and Yuzu. The citrus notes of this Asian fruit cut beautifully through the richness of the Pork. Head Chef Matt Lyons clearly knows his stuff.
Stuffed to the gunnels we failed in our mission to eat 3 courses but vowed to return for that particular rematch another day. What a treat to have such a pub on our doorstep with prices that really don’t make you gulp. All this in the smug knowledge that you have just supported a venue which buys locally sourced produce and hosts events galore which brings the community together. Its very much worth a try. Go on its Valentines Day soon…..
Reviewed by Fiona McGurk from Cook Genie (a Cookery School based in Beaconsfield)
If you’re looking for a special place to get away from the kids, or a romantic break away then this the place. It may be local but once your there you could be anywhere in the country! Service and quality of food is phenomenal, we have eaten in many Michelin Starred restaurants but I can safely say this is one of the best meals we have had, and is definitely worth a star!
It’s not cheap, but worth every penny. Amazing wine list and exceptional service. Whether you stay at the hotel or just visit the restaurant you will not be disappointed!
Reviewed by Target HP
I recently visited The Woolpack in Stoke Mandeville for lunch. We did not have long to eat and both the speed of service and quality of the food were really good. I would definitely recommend this restaurant.
Reviewed by Karen from Fit for a Princess
Some of the Best Thai food I have ever tasted…. Really authentic, traditional fresh tasty food. Great ambience, service and location. I keep going back to the Putney branch, but the Windsor restaurant is equally as good. It’s a bit on the expensive side, but the food is amazing. Highly recommend it , hope you enjoy….
Reviewed by Leeza
Thanks to everyone that contributed and shared their experiences of great places to eat locally. There are obviously loads more fab local places to eat. Make sure you share your opinions by writing a review on Chiltern Chatter.