I've always been a fan of relaxing meals in quaint country pubs. There's just something very English about venturing to some remote village, enjoying a pint of local ale then tucking into some wholesome local grub. Nowadays of course, many pubs are serving up food any posh urban restaurant would be proud to call their "cuisine". I was expecting nothing less as I visited The Pipe and Glass Inn on a glorious sunny Saturday with my wife, her parents and our young daughter in tow.
We had a 12:00 lunch reservation, but they have unreserved seating in the bar area for which there was a mild clamour once the doors opened, nothing too uncivilised though I promise. The pub itself is very nicely done, we enjoyed a drink in the bar area, perused the menus in the equally nice lounge area and then were seated on a large spacious table in the smart, air-conditioned conservatory; a very suitable setting to enjoy a great meal. There is certainly a refined feel to the place but it's in no way formal, let alone pretentious and there wasn't a hint of an issue from any of the staff having taken our young daughter. It's everything you'd expect from a smart pub really.
There's a good range of ales and the wine list is decent also; we enjoyed a very pleasant Malbec with our meal. For the non-drinkers, the choice isn't quite so impressive unfortunately but alas, this is just a pub after all. I just knew the food was going to match the rest of the experience thus far, and fortunately, I wasn't wrong.
Lunch began with an impressive guinea fowl terrine; a neatly composed dish with really good earthy flavours. Then came a super main of beef with an ox cheek fritter. It was nothing complicated, but perfectly cooked and tasted great. I'd just about saved room for dessert and found it impossible to resist the enticingly named 'Pipe & Glass Chocolate Plate'. It's £13 price point would sit quite happily on many top-end London restaurant dessert menus but in fairness, so would the dish itself. A chocolate lovers delight to be sure and a dish I very much enjoyed.
Service up until this point has been fine; the meal was delivered with good pacing and all the waiters and waitresses we dealt with were perfectly nice. Then, unfortunately, it did all go a bit wrong. Having enjoyed a post dinner whisky (from the impressive thirty-plus whisky list) we were then, in the nicest possible way, abandoned. Waiters seemed completely oblivious to our table despite my desperate attempts to make eye contact; my wife, daughter and mother in law even walked out and still no one seemed to have any intention of speaking to me. It was completely bizarre to be honest.
After more than twenty minutes, I did eventually manage to grab someone's attention and gratefully receive the bill. Whilst it sat there with my credit card waiting for someone to take payment, the restaurant manager (I presume) arrived with two more glasses of whisky. He looked quite perplexed as he saw the bill, put the glasses down and stated "I guess these must be free then!" before wandering off. My father in law and I sat there for several more minutes waiting for someone to come and take payment and in the end agreed the free whisky must have been some form of compensation for the extraordinary post meal wait. So naturally, we drank it.
And that, as they say, was that. Despite the post meal shenanigans, this was a supremely enjoyable meal in a great venue. It's safe to say I'll be back next time I'm in the area, although I might take an air horn this time just in case I need to signal my location to passing staff.
|Ratings||Michelin Guide||AA Guide||Good Food Guide|
|At time of review||5|