Newest Review: ... generally excellent! Whether you wish to have a light snack(no such thing-unless you only have a starter the portions are huge!)or a full... more
A Lion's share!
Restaurants in Aylesbury
Member Name: samclinton
Restaurants in Aylesbury
Date: 22/06/01, updated on 22/06/01 (928 review reads)
Advantages: Plenty of choice, Varied menus, Entertaining staff
Disadvantages: Us locals, A41
Scrolling through items on which I could make an informed opinion I came across this category. I then decided if I could stretch the boundaries to restaurants near to Aylesbury I would be onto a winner!
About 5 miles south west of Aylesbury on the A41 there is a village called Waddesdon-some of you may have heard of Waddesdon Manor(or maybe not!). Within the confines of this sleepy looking Rothschild village there are several opportunities to have a bite to eat. I shall limit myself here to the only two that I have any recent experience of.
As you drive through the village you will come across a public house called The Lion. This establishment has been run for about 7 years by the same couple, Melanie & Jean-Marie. For the less observant of you out there, J-M is French and it is he that is responsible for most of the cuisine that arrives on your table. I happen to live in the village and have eaten in the Lion more times than I care to mention and this is for good reason...the food is generally excellent!
Whether you wish to have a light snack(no such thing-unless you only have a starter the portions are huge!)or a full three course meal I have seldom found fault. Of course, not everybody can be perfect all the time, but on average 95% of the meals I have had have been spot-on.
Another part of the appeal of the Lion is Jean-Marie. Being typically Gallic(despite living in Britain for many years now)he has a temper on him. This can vary from expletives emanating from the kitchen to a full on slanging match in the bar. One of his main complaints is that people expect freshly cooked food in Burger King time. I feel he is justified in this, after all, if you went into another restaurant and they served a rack of lamb the size that J-M's usually are in 10 minutes, you'd have to ask yourself what wattage the microwaves were!!
The menu is varied, although usually limited to only a few vegetarian dishes and I find it reasonabl
y priced, especially the fixed price Sunday Lunch menu, where you can have two courses for £9.75 or three for £11.50. Trust me, only those amongst you with the largest appetites will manage three courses(my boyfriend is 6'4", 19.5stone and he can only do two).
The Lion is open Monday to Saturday 12-2-15/7-9.30(sometimes later at weekends)Sunday 12- 2.30 only
In the interest of fair play I will also review another pub in the village, The Bell. Having been taken over a year and a half ago by Nigel and Penny, the food here is also becoming something to write home about. The atmostphere is slightly more segregated, with "formal" diners being separated from those of you that prefer bar snacks.
There is a separate no smoking dining room for the formal menu, which comprises such things as steak, chicken Supreme etc. Having also eaten at the Bell, I can vouch for the food here as well. Although the portions here are slightly smaller this is no bad thing, and the food is of equal quality. Nigel is an attentive host at all times and although to newcomers he may seem a little, well, odd, I can asssure you that he is the life and soul of the place.
As for bar snacks, I could quite easily live on his baguettes, which are expertly prepared by Penny behind the scenes. His burgers are also pretty bloody tasty. The only critisism that I do have is lose the bloody condiment sachets. I like to have my mayo, ketchup etc in a bowl or bottle so that I can dollop it on, not try to stretch the 10 grams I've been given to my entire plate of chips and my burger!!
All in all, the village has plenty to offer diners as we also have the rather pricey but exclusive Five Arrows Hotel, Chadni's, the excellent Indian and Jasmine's, the could try harder, but blooming nice people Chinese(Chinky excellent-fish & chips, well let's just say I'd stick to the Chinese!).
Tie all this up with a day out to the manor a
nd there you go, a pleasant day out in Aylesbury(almost!).