Whilst I thought this was a lovely idea we hadn't counted on the fact that in order for us to get in on a Saturday night we would have to wait a year for this privilege. Due to me living about 60 miles away from him and weekends being the only time we could go we went ahead and booked it for the end of August 2014 to coincide with his Birthday! It was a fantastic experience although I’m not too sure I’d wait that long again for the experience!
If you don’t know the hand and flowers was the UK’s first pub to receive two Michelin stars, It’s owned by the amazingly talented Tom Kerridge and his wife Beth and is in the pretty Buckinghamshire town of Marlow.
We arrived for our dinner reservation a little early and we were given a seat in the bar area (lots of comfy seats and exposed beams make the bar immediately welcoming). I am not really a drinker but because it was a special occasion is opted for a glass of Prosecco.
We were then shown though to our table, where the waiter bought out complimentary whitebait and bread in cute newspaper cones. This was the perfect thing to nibble on whilst perusing the menu (There were so many choices it took me a good fifteen minutes to decide!).
I decided that because it was a special occasion I would go all out and order something I wouldn’t usually go for so for my starter I chose the Sausage and Whole Truffle Demi “En Croute” with port sauce.
When it arrived I tucked happily in, to be honest it was gone in about two mouthfuls, having never has truffle before I was pleasantly surprised at the earthy taste and how well it all came together especially once I added the port sauce!
For My main I chose the signature dish on the menu, possibly the one Tom Kerridge is most known for which is his Slow cooked Duck breast with Savoy Cabbage, Duck fat chips and Gravy. This is the dish he created for the great British menu in 2010.
It was so flavourful and tasty but it was just a bit too rich for me. I was really struggling to finish even though the portion sizes aren’t huge. I’m not sure if I would have this again as it was just that little bit too rich for me.
My boyfriend opted for the Fillet of Stokes Marsh Farm Beef with Hand and Flowers Chips and Béarnaise Sauce, which he said was one of the best fillet steaks he’d ever had.
By the time dessert rolled around neither of us could eat another thing!
Overall we really enjoyed our meal however I think the fact that we had to wait a year just to experience this pub meant that we may have hyped up how good it was going to be before we got there and when it didn’t quite live up to that we both left feeling a little disappointed (and in my case a little too stuffed!).
Please don’t get me wrong, it was probably one of the nicest meals I’ve ever had, I just don’t know if it quite lived up to its reputation (or the price!).
If you fancy trying it out for yourself here is a link to the hand and flowers website