Tuesday, 25 September 2018


This week we broke from the norm. Like hungry maverick's, we were on a mission to find some new and exciting food, but not in a pub. This time we would be exploring the offerings of Four London road. So jump on board and see what we uncovered.

The first thing that popped in to my little mind upon entering was, cool. The owners have managed to create a perfectly relaxed ambiance, with slick design and the ultimate in chill out playlists, not to mention the section of glass floor looking down in to the cellar. We were greeted in a friendly manor, and once we had picked out the lucky table that wood accommodate us, the waitress explained how things worked. If you go for the small plate angle, it is recommended that you pick four or five plates between two people. Each plate costing around £6. There is also a wood fired pizza oven in house if you fancy something more round. These range from about £8 to £14 from memory, obviously depending on which topping you choose. There is also the option of nibbles, brunch and a vegan menu.

We started off with some olives while we pondered over the menu. For the record, the olives were good. Eventually we picked out five plates which we decided should be accompanied by some sweet potato fries. This is what we went for.
Sweet Potato Falafels
Red pepper couscous and tzatziki
Crispy Manchego Cheese
Served with a dark and sticky fig chutney
Smoked Trout Pate
Ciabatta crostini, dressed orange, rocket and fennel salad
Beetroot and Gin Cured Salmon
Horseradish crème fraiche, caper berries, pickled cucumbers, crayfish and fresh dill
Smoked Trout Pate
Ciabatta crostini, dressed orange, rocket and fennel salad
Roasted Sumac and Lemon Chicken
Tahini dressing, tomato, coriander and pine nuts
As I'm sure you can tell, this was a very well thought out and put together menu. No matter your taste, you will be able to find something here to make you happy.

Rather than picking my way through every item, it is probably easier to just say that everything was very good indeed. Considering the amount of different ingredients that we sampled, it is a compliment to say that we could find nothing to grumble about, which was nice. We were both particularly taken with the crispy manchego, which went beautifully with the fig chutney. Everything here is made in house and it shows.

The biggest compliment we can give to Four London road, is that we are gutted we didn't come here earlier. It is now well and truly on our foodie map, and if you want a comfortable environment to relax and unwind with a bit of food and a bottle of wine, or gin, this is the place to go. The atmosphere was great, the music was perfect and the service was excellent. If you haven't been yet, we highly recommend that you give it a try.

Atmosphere            9
Service                   9
Food                      8
Value                     7
Verdict                   4.5*


Friday, 14 September 2018

THE DEERS HUT - Griggs green, GU30 7PD

Today it was a long overdue visit to The Deers Hut. We had both only ever been there once before, and that was back in the distant pre-review days.

The pub itself is a lovely building, in a lovely part of the world. So that's a good start isn't it? Parking is easy, and there is a nice seating area out the front with solid, chunky wooden tables. All good so far. Upon pushing open the door, we were greeted by the sounds of a bustling pub on a busy lunchtime, always a good way to begin your visit. When enquiring about the possibility of lunch, we were sullenly asked if we had booked. It certainly wasn't the warm welcome that had been promised by the pubs exterior and entry atmosphere. Much like a pair of hungry heat seeking missiles, we honed in on the menu. Now, we have been here before, but unfortunately it is time to go again. Prices. Let's get the gastro elephant out the room straight away. The average cost of a main meal here is around £16. That includes such staples as fish and chips and ham, egg and chips. I picked out the supreme of chicken with fondant potato and a tarragon sauce, £16. Dad went for the ham, egg and chips, just under £15. Unless I'm very much mistaken, chips are made of potato, which doesn't cost much, and last I checked, eggs aren't going to blow your weekly shopping budget. That's all I can say about £15 for ham, egg and chips. Just to put the costing in to sharp relief for you. A side order of wilted spinach. Have a guess. Go on, have a good think about it. The answer is...£4. Nuf said.

Let's leave the price behind for now and concentrate on the food. Dad's chips were average, eggs is eggs, and the ham was nice, but on the thin side. On a positive note, my food was very nice in deed. The chicken was perfectly cooked with a crispy skin, the fondant was soft and tasty, and the accompanying vegetables were well cooked. The sauce was nice, but sparse.

Now we get to the business end of things. As I said at the start, the pub itself is a lovely building with a tasteful interior. The food is good, as are the chunky wooden tables. Someone needs to put a few coins in the happy joy joy meter though. The difference a friendly manager or staff member can have on your experience is vast, and is something that all pubs should focus on. Now to the big one, the cost. I've said this before, and I'm sure I will say it again. Prices have to make sense. The cheapest thing on the main menu was the burger at a few pennies under £14. When you are including vegetable lasagne, fish and chips and ham, egg and chips in that, something is inherently wrong. I'm sure arguments could be put forward about quality, regional ingredients, but we all know how much chips cost. We all know how much vegetables cost, and we all know that a small bowl of wilted spinach shouldn't cost £4. This could be a great place to eat. Some of the food is wonderful, but for us, it's all out of balance. If you are going to pay £16 for a pub meal, you should be demanding near perfection and impeccable service. That just wasn't the case today.

Atmosphere 7
Service        5.5
Food           8
Value          4
Verdict        3.5*