I was joined by a little family gathering which comprised my mother Anne and brother Bill.
We found the place, part of the Nicholson’s chain, busy with a Saturday lunchtime crowd. There was a window table free in their smart dining area, so we were shown there by our wonderfully friendly and helpful waitress.
Their menu is a classic selection of pub grub classics. Anne opted for the fish and chips and Bill thought that sounded good, too. I opted for their venison and sloe gin pie.
Items arrived promptly and didn’t look quite right. The fish and chips were presented on large, flowery plates that did nothing to make the food, or the portion size, look impressive. The accompanying peas looked rather sad. My pie looked a good deal better, but the veg was again rather glum.
The fish was given a thumbs up from both diners. I tried the chips and agreed that they were fairly routine. The tartare sauce was decent.
My pie was pretty ordinary fare. Again, there was a presentation issue, with too large a pie dish being rather modestly filled once the top crust had been removed. The filling was OK, but the dominant flavour was of a popular sticky yeast extract, which had clearly been used in the thickening of the stew.
We accompanied things with decent beers. The ever changing selection is pretty good, making the pub a reasonable stop off place for a drink.
So overall, the fish and chips did the job, but my pie was pretty disappointing. Service was the main strength of the Conan Doyle, with our waitress doing an extremely good job. There’s certainly room for improvement on their food offering, though.
Blythe scores the Conan Doyle
2.5/5 for food
2/5 for presentation
3.5/5 for setting
4/5 for service
giving an overall 12/20
Today’s questers were: Anne, Bill, Blythe
We ate: fish n chips (2), venison and sloe gin pie
We drank: IPA (2), Guinness
We wore: jewellery by Tiffany, jeans by Carhartt, action footwear by Reebok
Total bill: £45.55