We had planned a trip to Syon Park near Hounslow and were staying overnight in a local hotel. Instead of eating at the hotel we decided to walk to the nearest town, Brentford, and find a restaurant. A bit of background to this, the hotel (which is very luxurious) is in the middle of Syon Park and 20 minutes’ walk once you enter the park so we felt a little sufocated so wanted to go out of the enclosure. The problem was that outside of the park there are very few restaurants. The concierge recommended the Coach and Horses, a pub that serves country style dishes. My friend managed to get us lost trying to find the place and in the end I was so irritated I booked a cab, I really hate it when people organise things, as something always goes wrong.
We finally made it to the Coach and Horses, which is a traditional country pub with a fireplace, and had a few drinks in the bar before heading to the restaurant (we were an hour early but there was little to do in the hotel). The restaurant was a cosy room with brick walls that lead off the pub. The restaurant was only half full, which was good as our table was wobbly, so we kindly asked the waitress if we could change table, after she tried numerous times to stick pieces of paper underneath.
The menu was classic English Gastro pub food and the blackboard was especially tempting. I ordered the pigeon, black pudding and bacon salad and my friend ordered the Thai beef salad. I was a little worried, as my friend is not very adventurous with food (to say the least) so I was worried about her choice as I imagined tender slices of rare beef and a spicy dressing. However when it came out, all my concerns soon vanished as the beef salad looked (and tasted) as if it had come out of a Chinese takeaway shop. The beef was deep fried and coated in sugary syrup and floated in a tasteless dressing.
My pigeon came out in a large white bowl. The meat was over cooked and the salad very bland and to top it all, it was only at the end that I realised the black pudding was missing. I made this observation to the inept waitress, who kept chatting to us, as if we were her old rather backwards neighbour, and she said that ‘the chef’s just forgot’. She did not offer to replace this or give this on the house. I would normally complain, as I am sure you know by now reader, but my friend absolutely despises me doing this and refuses to go for dinner with me if I do #Sigh#.
For main course I ordered the rib-eye steak with field mushrooms and onion rings and my friend ordered the chicken pie. The pie was warm and meaty, served in a small white ovenware bowl. My steak came out on a wooden board and was well presented but that is about the only compliment I can give it. The steak was just a mass of gristle, the onion rings were incredibly greasy and the whole dish was just inedible. I ended up eating the steamed vegetables and creamy spinach that we ordered on the side. Again I reiterate I could not moan as I would not be allowed to go out for dinner with my friend again. The salt and pepper shakers did not work and some tables had two salts or two pepper pots. The waiters soon started gossiping once I questioned the lack of black pudding, which was escalated to the manager. The waiters secretly whispered to each other, while they had their eyes fixed intensely on me, subtle is not the word. The manager finaly came to the conclusion that I was not worth doing the polite not to mention professional thing and offering the half compiled starter on the house. I mean this is the least I would expect! I can honestly say if I ever go back to Syon Park I will never go back to the Coach and Horses, I will stick to a sandwich I think. This place gets:
Food Atmosphere Service