Saturday night, my lovely wife and I decided to go out and celebrate our two-years-and-ten-months anniversary with dinner at the Dark Horse. We got there at 7.45 (passing the BRB/Grove, which had three customers; oh dear) and asked if we could get a table. Nothing doing; all were booked, and they wouldn’t have any places until 9pm. So we decided to have a drink and wait. At 8.30 we asked if it was still on for 9; nope, we were told, we should have said we definitely wanted a table. Next vacancies at 9.30. Will we have to wait long for our food?, I asked, hungry. No, it should be out in about 15 minutes. So at 9.30 we were seated, with the warning that the kitchen was busy and food would take a little longer after all. So we ordered some wine (Miolo, a very nice Brazilian red) and our food, and we waited. I think our main course arrived at 10.30pm.
It was good; I had breast of chicken wrapped in pancetta, my wife had swordfish steak. We both had the pumpkin ravioli as starter. It was well-cooked, flavoursome. I feel that it was a little overpriced; £11 for a chicken breast with a few potatoes. But the place was full, so what do I know?
I think that the best thing about the Dark Horse, other than a good selection of drinks, is the staff. They’re attentive, professional, provide table service if not too busy, and friendly. Many congratulations to them for that. Makes a nice change from the surly, uninterested staff you get in some other places.
On a not entirely unrelated note, this afternoon we went to the Sun & Doves. I was interested to see the results of their refurbishment (pictures here), which took two days longer than planned. At first, I was underwhelmed; it didn’t seem very different at all. But after we’d finally managed to get a drink, we sat down and could then see that the bar is completely different, and looks very stylish (and I understand that many of the changes have been to help the quality of the beers on tap). There have been some changes to the seating in the food area, but the pub feels mostly the same as it did before. Which is fine.
On the way home we stopped at the Phoenix and I had a nice pint of Fruli, the fruity white beer. I think I may have drunk all of my unit allowance for the week, this weekend.