I've read a lot of reviews which slate this pub for "not being what it used to be." That's fair enough but what about first time visitors which is what we were on a Saturday evening in August?
We had a boat on the river over the bank holiday weekend which we've done a few times (and is super). We wanted to try this pub a few years ago but couldn't because of fire damage at the time (the pub, not the boat). We were going to go last year but our friends turned up late so we had to go elsewhere. This year, we almost failed again as there were no moorings to the West of Marlow Bridge so we had to go through Marlow lock and look for a mooring on the other side which we were lucky enough to find. However, due to temporary works around Pergola Field, this green space was closed so instead of a 5 minute walk to the pub, we had to go all round the houses to reach it which involved a 20 minute walk each way but we're very glad we did.
We were limited on venues as we had a small dog with us but having already sounded the pub out earlier, we were told we'd be very welcome and especially with such a lovely dog!
We got to the restaurant at 20:30, received a lovely welcome and were shown to our table (our friends were joining us later and just managed to make it before the kitchen closed). We fancied some red wine but couldn't decide between the Malbec or the Shiraz so the fantastic barman (Joel) offered us a sip of each. We'd expected the Malbec to be better but actually, the Shiraz won us over so fair play to Joel for letting us do this.
To the food itself, it might not be fine dining any more but so what? It was perfectly respectable, well presented, tasty, piping hot and in our opinion, better than average pub grub. We had tomato soup and chicken wings to start and then most of us had fish and chips for the main and one of us had peri peri chicken.
The only bad thing about the place was the couple at the next table who when discovering the pub had run out of vinegar, insisted on a discount and then demanded the waiter go out and buy them some! As it happened, the waiter managed to find some which I actually think really disappointed these clowns! It takes all sorts I suppose and I'm sure they won't always be there but that was our only gripe and of course, nothing to do with the pub.
This place may well "not be what it used to be"... but that's fine by us as we loved it so please don't change. And don't ever let Joel leave as he is a credit to you.
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