A good restaurant, in a converted pub, re-creating what's perceived as the city persons view of the country - albeit in comfortable surroundings.
Sadly, unpretension can almost reach the stage when it can again be seen as pretentious - however the formula works well, even though at some stages you might find the provenance of ingredients taken to extremes. Unfortunately the public's faith in restaurants has perhaps reached such an untrusting low, that it's no longer natural for them to believe that even 'upmarket' restaurants automatically source the best ingredients - without this being pointed out at every opportunity!
Their mission here has largely been successful, right down to their homemade sourdough bread.
The menu concentrates on Grills, Pies, Roasts and Stews. The honesty of the latter, replacing the word Casserole, Daube, Hotpot and Ragoût more often encountered.
A Spring menu included 'Hot Mushroom & Garlic Dip with Sourdough Toast'; 'Salad of River Farm Smoked Eel, Cheltenham Beetroot, Pink Fir Potatoes, Soft Boiled Egg, Horseradish & Mustard Dressing'; 'North Atlantic Prawn & Crayfish Cocktail, Baby Gem Lettuce' and 'Plantation Pork, Prune & Duck Terrine with Piccalilli' listed among the starters.
'Macaroni Cheese'; 'Cornish Charter Pie'; 'Fish Stew of Mussels, Clams, Squid, Salmon, Tomatoes, Celery & White Wine'; 'Chump of Elwy Valley Lamb, Minted Heritage Potatoes & Wild Rocket' and 'West Country Sirloin Steak, Watercress, Béarnaise Sauce & Chips' among the mains.
Traditional desserts take no short cuts, perhaps with 'Bakewell Tart with Clotted Cream' and 'Bramley Apple Crumble & Custard' there to tempt you. While those with a more savoury tooth should enjoy their selection of British Farmhouse Cheeses with Pear Chutney.
They have deservedly-won awards for their Sunday lunch - so you might need to book well ahead.
Service is both friendly and professional.
- Food Style: Modern British
- Lunch: Mon-Fri 12.00-15.00, Sat 12.00-16.00, Sun 12.00-16.00; mains about £13 to £27; Sun Roasts from £16
- Dinner: all week 18.00-23.00, mains about £13 to £27
- Seats: 110
- Wine: an impressive list, has some impressive bottles, plus a good selection by the glass
- Children's portions: Yes, when possible
- Wheelchair access: Yes, but groundfloor only
- Nearest station: Westbourne Park Underground
- Directions: See the map on this page
- Air conditioned