Advantages Great food, good service, location
Disadvantages Service a little too over the top and food a little cold
*Please note – this is a review of the restaurant part of the hotel*A few weeks ago Mr Tart and myself headed to his parents’ for a family gathering. We were all going out for a posh meal on the Sunday and the French Horn was chosen as the location for the event.
LOCATION:The French Horn is in Sonning-on-Thames. Sonning is not a big place and the restaurant is on the main road so you can’t miss it (sorry I can’t be more specific – it doesn’t even give a road name on the website!). It’s not the easiest place to get to as the approaches are all through small, busy roads. There is plenty of parking in the French Horn’s car park opposite the restaurant. The restaurant’s location is what really makes it. It is right on the Thames with the gardens leading down to the river. We went on a beautiful sunny day and the setting was perfect.
THE HOTEL:We didn’t stay in the French Horn but just to alert you to the fact that you can stay there. From the website it looks like the rooms are beautifully decorated. They range in price from £160 - £215 per night for two. This includes full English breakfast. Pricey then but I would think worth it for a special night.
THE EXPERIENCE:We sat outside on the terrace to start off with, where we had champagne. The restaurant has quite a few outside tables so you can really enjoy the setting. It was really lovely to sip champagne looking over the river (yes, I could get used to this life!).
Inside the restaurant is decorated quite traditionally. As you walk in there is an open fire which you can sit around in the winter and which is also used for rotisserie chickens!The staff were pretty good throughout. All of the staff were French (although I will admit that I didn’t check each of them individually!) which adds a nice authentic touch. They were constantly attentive. The one annoyance was that they were too attentive at times. They kept topping up wine glasses without checking if you wanted a top up first. This annoyed Mr Tart as he wanted to drink different wines with different courses and had to be constantly on guard of his glass. I as also annoying for Mr Tart’s mum as she was driving and they kept filling her glass. We all wanted them to be attentive but asking would have been better!
We were shown to our table and had bread and butter (you can tell it’s a classy place when they stamp the butter!). Then came the starters. I had asparagus with hollandaise sauce which was really good. You could tell that the asparagus was really fresh and it was perfectly cooked – al dente. It was served with the plate tilting towards me resting on a napkin – I have no idea why! Mr Tart had the foie gras, which he said was really good, but there was a lot of the pate and not quite enough toast. Other starters included soup of the day, scampi and a quail stuffed with foie gras.For the main course I had the roast beef. This was very tender and very tasty but quite rare so may not have been to everyone’s taste. Mr Tart had the duck. This was a half duck which had been spit roasted and was served with apple puree and sage stuffing.
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