Craft & Grill – Walton

When you work in London but spend your free time in the area, you notice there isn’t that many varied non-chain restaurants in Walton. It’s like Christmas when you spot that a new one has opened, and I am always super keen to try a new venture out!

The Craft & Grill (IMG_0074formerly the Noble Vine and I believe an All Bar One) opened (or re-opened) a few months ago and last night we decided to give it a whirl. Situated on at 29-31 high Street, its not too hard to find parking!

I booked a table for 4 for 8.00 pm which wasn’t really necessary as there wasn’t many people in there. It was quiz night and I would have thought quite busy but alas, it wasn’t.

Decor wise, the place feels like it is pitched as. An American Grill.  Big wooden tables, simple decor and huge bottles of sauce! It has a nice, relaxed atmosphere which is as I expected.

The menu itself features everything you would hope for, burgers, chilli, ribs and those all important buffalo wings.  We were starving so for starters (or small plates & boards as they are called), we ordered 3 lots of wings (£6.00) and a rather huge bowl of their Smokehouse Nachos (£6.00).  The portions were very generous and quite tasty.  The boys went for the Louisiana Hot Hot Hot wings and I had the Buffalo BBQ.  They weren’t as hot as we had hoped but equally good. The tasted quite fresh as opposed to the usual heavy sauced taste wings sometimes have if that makes sense? I think if I am going to break the diet, I want to eat something really decadent and I think perhaps they just needed a bit more…calories?!

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On to the mains. I went for the Cobb Salad (£9.00) which was really good and I couldn’t finish it – great size.  The boys went for the ribs which they both said were really meaty and tasty and Josie went for the “Simply Chicken” (£8.00) which looked tasty.  All of the portions were a huge size and very very well priced.

As the restaurant is called Craft & Grill I probably should mention the booze to which there are 30 bottled craft beers from around the world and Bradley & Bunce probably tried 6 of them! I had a bottle (alright 2 bottles but I shared “some”) of the Malbec which was only £18.95!

 

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Service wise, our waiter was fab.  He was attentive but not OTT.  Service was at a good pace from ordering to starter to mains and nothing was too much trouble for him.

Every Thursday there is a quiz on at 8.45 pm to which we came 4th! and we have all agreed to go back next week. We all really enjoyed our evening there, it was different and we loved the quiz!

Craft & Grill would be a great venue for a birthday party of an informal get together – I haven’t inquired about exclusive use but I am pretty sure you would be able to.

 

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The Queens Head – Weybridge (for quarelling couples)!

Bradley and I have been home all weekend (gym aside) and we pretty much want to kill ourselves! It was because of the cabin fever we decided to go for a walk around our lovely Weybridge and head down to The Queens Head.

Situated quite close to Weybridge station, on Bridge Road, The Queens Head was built around 1700 and has apparently been both a coach house and court-house (with gallows and everything!) and legend on the website says it is also apparently haunted by a quarrelling couple!

We managed to get a last-minute reservation, via bookatable for 3.30 pm and made the walk down.

On arrival, the place was very busy and were offered either a table in the bar or, in the restaurant.  The bar table had a love seat so there we sat. Now usually, our Sunday lunches end up lasting for 3 hours and this was no different. We had wedding planning to do and it took us nearly one hour to order our starters. We went for the Ploughman’s Sharing Board (£10.80) that had, what I can honestly say,  a piece of the best cheese ever (Exmoor blue cheese), a piece of Glastonbury Green Cheddar, Kettle Ham and a Pork Pie. Now whilst I am not partial to a Pork Pie, Bradley assured me it was super tasty. The board wasn’t huge, and only had one piece of ham but it sure was a treat!

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After another hour or so, our very patient waitress took our order for mains. By this time I had drunk a very tasty bottle of red wine (Château Maris Organic Syrah)(£22.00) which I thought being organic may stop the hangover…so far so good? Bradley, as always, ordered the Fillet Steak, with Harissa butter (£23.90) and I had the Bœuf Bourguignon (£16.80). The food was really amazing, great sizes and a decent price.  As standard, sides are extra and all we had were French Beans (£3.90).

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Our meal including service, a few beers and my whole bottle of wine was £87.60 (plus tip). Not cheap but definitely well worth it.  We will definitely go back, it’s so close to home. The staff were all lovely and welcoming and the whole atmosphere of the pub is nice.

 

Are you missing a trick?

A few weeks ago I wrote about the need for social media to be 24 hours. I have had some great comments on it and I think people are starting to wake up to the necessity of it. For those businesses whom do have someone monitoring activity on their social media feeds though, some of you are still missing a trick.

I am an event manager, every time I go to a new restaurant, hotel, or pretty much anywhere I will see if that company has any social media presence and if they do, I will send a “looking forward to dinner at x” or similar.

Now me, if I was managing that businesses Twitter account, I would give the restaurant manager a heads up. My picture is on my Twitter, I have told you I am coming in.. what could be easier? You could hazard a guess that I am going to Tweet after I have eaten there, hopefully give your businesses a glaring FREE plug.. so why aren’t businesses using it this way? Why aren’t they monitoring the people using social media coming into their businesses?

Now, in no way I am saying I deserve extra special treatment because of what I do but what I do think is that people like me are marketing your business for free! It is not costing you anything for me to tell my 2000+ followers what an amazing time I have had in your restaurant, and all I need in return is an extra smile!

Last Sunday, we headed down to Richmond for my soon-to-be nieces birthday dinner.

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The décor in Rock & Rose is FABULOUS, ornate chandeliers, fabulous paintings with one or two misplaced sequined decorations but all in all – amazing.

As we were a group of 11, our table wasn’t quite ready when we arrived so we took advantage and had a few cocktails at the bar. There is a great selection which you can see here!

Now I read a few reviews before we went and was eager to see if what I had read was true. Most of the reviews raved about the food and the décor however fell short on praise for the staff and I agree. This was a booking for a birthday party, there was no fuss made for a start (which I appreciate you cannot cater to every celebration) but you can however go the extra mile to make the birthday girl feel a bit special!

Our waitress, I believe, was quite new and whilst we have all been there, she wasn’t great. She gave us all copies of the party menu, we didn’t want to party menu, we wanted to order from the regular menu. We were told we couldn’t as we were over 8 pax to which we asked then why not just split the table in 2 for the bill and wouldn’t that solve that problem?! after much grumbling and back and forth we were told we could order from the main menu by which time the lamb (which originally caught our eye and hence the asking for different menu) was sold out!

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Whilst the food came out quickly and was great, the filling up of wine and general ordering of drinks was very slow. On leaving, we decided to not pay the full £60.00 service charge (and quite rightly so), to which our waitress practically chased us out the door saying we hadn’t paid it!

I would go back if I were in a smaller party, but perhaps only to see the décor. It really is amazing!

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Ramsay’s Union Street Cafe…

Just south of the Thames, in a place known mainly for its weekend market (Borough), Gordon Ramsay is a week short of opening his latest restaurant venture….

Whilst any new Ramsay opening usually sparks quite the interest, the opening of Union Street Cafe has sent the restaurant loving London into a frenzy.  According to some online media, on opening the booking line for Union Street, there was an incredible 2500 bookings taken in just 4 hours! I am pleased to say that 2 of those bookings were mine. 

When Bread Street (one of Ramsay’s other ventures) opened in One New Change a year or so back I wasn’t that enthused and to date I’m still not.  I use it for breakfast meetings once in a while but its not one of my favourites.  I quite like Petrus and adore The Savoy Grill but none of his restaurants has enticed quite like this one. The draw for me is the reported daily changing menu in which this Mediterranean themed restaurant is playing on its proximity to the famous Borough Market for its produce. 

Booking one for me takes place just 2 days after the opening! Stay tuned!

Book online and see more about Union Street Cafe here!

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