Tuesday, 26 June 2012

Review: The Chequers (Stevenage, Hertfordshire)


The Chequers 
(Stevenage, Hertfordshire)


From Brigitte’s perspective


The Chequers in Stevenage is a country pub & restaurant oozing rural charm and rustic character.

Well what I can say, after having thought that we would be subjected to McDonalds after our terrible experience at The Harvester in Stevenage.  As we were driving out of Stevenage and heading back to Hertford we noticed a lovely little pub on the right, which we had never eaten at before called The Chequers.  David pulled in to their car park in the pouring rain we made a mad dash to the entrance, at first we saw a big skip outside filled with building rubble and said; hope this is not a bad sign that we are doomed not to have a decent meal that night.  Well, well were we in for a surprise as we ducked our heads to enter we were greeted by the quaintest little pub.  There were mirrors of all shapes and sizes on the walls, the wooden beams and old worldly atmosphere was splendid.  We went to the pub and the barman directed us to the dining area, fortunately they had tables available as by this time we were starving.  Our drinks orders were taken straight away and the specials of the day given by a very charming young man.  What amazed us is that our food orders were taken without the waiter even writing a thing down.   David and I ordered a rump steak, mine medium with a pepper sauce and David’s medium rare with a side order of cauliflower.  Danielle ordered the Cod and chips with mushy peas.  As we waited for our food, the waiters were walking past us with enormous glasses filled with lettuce leaves and what looked like calamari, the next waiter was carrying the largest profiteroles I had ever seen to the table next to us, the little boy who had ordered them, face  lit up in delight.  (So did mine, but David said no dessert for us tonight, very sad face).  Have a look at their menu online.  Our rump steaks cost £10.99 each, Cod and chips £10.95, pepper and brandy sauce £1.50 and the cauliflower £2.50.







When our food arrived, it did not disappoint.  Our steaks were cooked to perfection, the pepper and brandy sauce enhanced the steak, but was not over powering.  When I cut it, it was like slicing thru butter with a hot knife.  To me the sign of a good steak is that you do not need to use a steak knife to cut it, mine did not disappoint. 

We left feeling so much happier with life.  I would rather pay a bit more for my meal, and then subject myself to bad service, flat drinks and mediocre food.

The next day at work I was telling a colleague about our meal out and she recalled that she had her first date with her husband there many years ago.  It was her birthday coming up and she had been trying to decide where to eat, and was delighted that I had jogged her memory and that it was still a good place to eat.  She went on the Wednesday evening and called me to say that it had been one of the best meals she had eaten in a long time.

From Danielle’s perspective

The Chequers is rather nice, the minute you walk thought the doors I was quite impressed with the décor… better make sure you look good because they have mirrors everywhere and it can be a shock to see yourself looking rather raged. I had the fish and chips my standard order really, it was really nice. The fish had a crispy batter and the chips tasted good. All in all the restaurant serves good food and the waiters are really attentive which is great. Hope we go back soon!


Overall Experience


Brilliant little pub, would most definitely go and back and would recommend to anyone.  Service and food very good, price’s reasonable.  Toilet facilities well maintained, just mind your head as the beams are very low.


History of The Chequers

Dating back to 1774, The Chequers was originally used as a farmhouse on a 40 acre farm which included a slaughterhouse. Taken over by the St. Albans brewer in 1820, by 1871 the grounds also included a lodge, a thatch barn and a cattle barn. Granted its full license in 1919, The Chequers is now also a grade two listed building.


http://www.vintageinn.co.uk/thechequersstevenage


Bragbury End, Stevenage, SG2 8TH

Tel: 01438 817814



Rating Guide


5 Stars - Perfect
4.5 Stars - Exceptional
4 Stars - Excellent
3.5 Stars - Very good
3 Stars - Good
2.5 Stars - Average
2 Stars - Bad
1.5 Stars - Very bad
1 Star - Dire

Monday, 25 June 2012

Review: The Harvester (Stevenage, Hertfordshire)


the harvester 

(stevenaGE, HERTFORDSHIRE)






Overall Experience

Date of Visit 14 June 2012

This is going to be a very short review.  We decided to go out as a family for a lovely meal that would not break the bank and thought we would give The Harvester in Roaring Meg, Stevenage a try.  On arrival we were greeted by the manager and were told it would be about a 20 minute wait, we said that would be fine, she also told us that we could not have bottomless cold drinks as they were cleaning the pipes (why you would do this at dinner time, I will never know), we said that would be fine, but were a little disappointed as that was one of the reasons for going, making it a little more affordable.  Danielle was not keen on us staying, as she did not feel comfortable with the whole atmosphere, but we persevered.  The manager suggested we get a drink from the bar while we waited.  Danielle and I found some chairs to sit on while David went and got me a cider and Danielle and himself a Diet Coke.  He placed his order with the barman who promptly dumped the two bottles of Coke on the counter along with my cider.  David asked if he could please have some glasses and ice.  The barman turned round to him and said you should have asked for them to start with.  David asked him if he had had customer service training and the barman walked away mumbling under his breath.  Another customer told him that he should not talk about his customers like that.  David insisted that the barman send the manager over to us.  She came and David explained the situation to her, she was very apologetic and said she would have a word with him.  She then took us to our table, where we were told to help ourselves to salads and we placed another drinks order.  The salads are really nothing to write home about, no wonder they offer them for free.  When the drinks arrived the Diet Cokes were flat, the waitress insisted they had come from a bottle (nonsense, they tasted like machine Coke) and they were charging us for bottle Coke.  This was the last straw and David called over the manager and we left, our food order had already been taken a while ago.  She did not make us pay for anything, and was very sorry.  I do not go out to spend my well earned money to be insulted and served flat drinks.

So suffice to say, we will never be going there again or to any other Harvester, as this was the second one that we had received bad service and food. 




Rating Guide

5 Stars - Perfect
4.5 Stars - Exceptional
4 Stars - Excellent
3.5 Stars - Very good
3 Stars - Good
2.5 Stars - Average
2 Stars - Bad
1.5 Stars - Very bad
1 Star - Dire

Saturday, 23 June 2012

Review: Paddyfields (Hertford, Hertfordshire)


Paddyfields

 (Hertford, Hertfordshire)



From Brigitte’s perspective


On Saturday the 9th of June, David, myself and some good friends went to Paddyfields in Hertford.  From the moment we arrived we were greeted by warm smiles and excellent service.  We have been there before on numerous occasions and always have an enjoyable meal.  Our drinks orders were taken straight away and some good suggestions offered.  We all ordered from their set menu, meals for two.   Every dish was mouth watering, as you will notice we started eating before I could take a photograph.


The Duck, that was consumed before I could take a photo





The décor of the restaurant is not the most inspiring and from outside it does not look very inviting, but once you are seated and eating you forget all about your surroundings.



For four of us with two bottles of wine and a couple of beers the bill came to £110.30.


These ribs were finger linking good



Overall Experience

A great evening was had by all.  I would not say that this is the best restaurant that I have ever eaten in, but if you are looking for good service and lovely Chinese food, you can't go wrong.



They don't have a website


Address: 3 St. Andrew Street, Hertford, SG14 1HZ

Telephone No: 01992 550582

Rating Guide

5 Stars - Perfect
4.5 Stars - Exceptional
4 Stars - Excellent
3.5 Stars - Very good
3 Stars - Good
2.5 Stars - Average
2 Stars - Bad
1.5 Stars - Very bad
1 Star - Dire