Tuesday, 26 June 2012
Review: The Chequers (Stevenage, Hertfordshire)
The Chequers in Stevenage is a country pub & restaurant oozing rural charm and rustic character.
Well what I can say, after having thought that we would be subjected to McDonalds after our terrible experience at The Harvester in Stevenage. As we were driving out of Stevenage and heading back to Hertford we noticed a lovely little pub on the right, which we had never eaten at before called The Chequers. David pulled in to their car park in the pouring rain we made a mad dash to the entrance, at first we saw a big skip outside filled with building rubble and said; hope this is not a bad sign that we are doomed not to have a decent meal that night. Well, well were we in for a surprise as we ducked our heads to enter we were greeted by the quaintest little pub. There were mirrors of all shapes and sizes on the walls, the wooden beams and old worldly atmosphere was splendid. We went to the pub and the barman directed us to the dining area, fortunately they had tables available as by this time we were starving. Our drinks orders were taken straight away and the specials of the day given by a very charming young man. What amazed us is that our food orders were taken without the waiter even writing a thing down. David and I ordered a rump steak, mine medium with a pepper sauce and David’s medium rare with a side order of cauliflower. Danielle ordered the Cod and chips with mushy peas. As we waited for our food, the waiters were walking past us with enormous glasses filled with lettuce leaves and what looked like calamari, the next waiter was carrying the largest profiteroles I had ever seen to the table next to us, the little boy who had ordered them, face lit up in delight. (So did mine, but David said no dessert for us tonight, very sad face). Have a look at their menu online. Our rump steaks cost £10.99 each, Cod and chips £10.95, pepper and brandy sauce £1.50 and the cauliflower £2.50.
When our food arrived, it did not disappoint. Our steaks were cooked to perfection, the pepper and brandy sauce enhanced the steak, but was not over powering. When I cut it, it was like slicing thru butter with a hot knife. To me the sign of a good steak is that you do not need to use a steak knife to cut it, mine did not disappoint.
We left feeling so much happier with life. I would rather pay a bit more for my meal, and then subject myself to bad service, flat drinks and mediocre food.
The next day at work I was telling a colleague about our meal out and she recalled that she had her first date with her husband there many years ago. It was her birthday coming up and she had been trying to decide where to eat, and was delighted that I had jogged her memory and that it was still a good place to eat. She went on the Wednesday evening and called me to say that it had been one of the best meals she had eaten in a long time.
From Danielle’s perspective
The Chequers is rather nice, the minute you walk thought the doors I was quite impressed with the décor… better make sure you look good because they have mirrors everywhere and it can be a shock to see yourself looking rather raged. I had the fish and chips my standard order really, it was really nice. The fish had a crispy batter and the chips tasted good. All in all the restaurant serves good food and the waiters are really attentive which is great. Hope we go back soon!
Brilliant little pub, would most definitely go and back and would recommend to anyone. Service and food very good, price’s reasonable. Toilet facilities well maintained, just mind your head as the beams are very low.
History of The Chequers
Dating back to 1774, The Chequers was originally used as a farmhouse on a 40 acre farm which included a slaughterhouse. Taken over by the St. Albans brewer in 1820, by 1871 the grounds also included a lodge, a thatch barn and a cattle barn. Granted its full license in 1919, The Chequers is now also a grade two listed building.
Bragbury End, Stevenage, SG2 8TH
5 Stars - Perfect
4.5 Stars - Exceptional
4 Stars - Excellent
3.5 Stars - Very good
3 Stars - Good
2.5 Stars - Average
2 Stars - Bad
1.5 Stars - Very bad
1 Star - Dire