Saturday, 26 November 2016
REVIEW: The Crooked Chimney pub, Welwyn
Living in Hertfordshire, I get the best of both worlds. Any time I want that busy city life, I can hop on a train to London and be there within an hour. But if I want to escape to the country, and be somewhere quiet and scenic and pretty - well, that's right there on my doorstep.
As such, there are lots of pretty places to go around here, and where there are pretty places there are pubs. Lots of pubs. And while I was offered the chance to review The Crooked Chimney, if I'd stumbled across it whilst exploring, I would have absolutely gone in. I mean, look how adorable it is.
We popped in a couple of Sundays ago to try out their new menu. I started with Blacksticks Blue cheese fondue, because clearly I was going to do that as soon as I saw cheese fondue on the menu. It was really good - not overly strong, despite the blue cheese, but just the right amount of salty and cheesy. It came with bread and crudites to dip - I was a bit bemused by dipping carrots and celery into cheese, but I guess it worked.
Matt had prawn and lobster cocktail, which came with avocado and lobster mayo. He was a fan, and called it simple and well made. He was a big fan of the lobster component.
For mains, we both had roasts - it was Sunday, after all - Matt had roast beef, while I had the Sunday roast trio, which combined beef, turkey and ham (the menu said lamb but I think they'd substituted). It was a good roast - excellent portions and I liked that a mix of meat was the option - and I also liked that we weren't expected to share one small plate of vegetables, which is my ultimate Sunday roast pet hate. The meat was well cooked (and the beef slightly pink in the middle just as I like it) with a good amount of gravy (although I can always eat more), roasted carrots, cabbage and peas. It's a Vintage Inn pub, and I generally find their roasts pretty good - they also do a Sunday roast platter which combines all the meats available on a sharing plate for two. I've had it before, and it was ace.
If you don't fancy a roast, you can order off the main menu on a Sunday too, with pub classics like burgers, fish and chips and steak pie on offer. We didn't have dessert, but the selection looked good with a pudding tasting platter, carrot cake cheesecake and a cheeseboard.
The food was really good, but unfortunately our trip was let down by the service. It was painfully slow. Our drinks took about twenty minutes to arrive, which we put down to how busy it was when we sat down, but the slowness continued all day. When we got there around 3pm, we were surrounded by big tables, and as a small table of two, we felt rather ignored. The pub had emptied out by the time we were ready to leave, but we still had to wait at least half an hour for them to bring the bill for our drinks, and when that came it had a mistake. It was really disappointing, because it was such a nice pub, and hopefully it was just a bad day. These things happen, and I'll have to head back at some point to see if it was a one off.
The Crooked Chimney is at Cromer Hyde Ln, Hatfield, Welwyn Garden City AL8 7XE. The pub paid for our food in exchange for this honest review.
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