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|Address:||Henley Road, Hurley, Berkshire SL6 5NQ|
|Tel:||01628 824 212|
|Price: £40.00||Wine: £19.95||Champagne: £49.50|
|Opening Hours:||Mon-Sun 12N-2pm (Sat-Sun 2.30pm) Mon-Sat 7-9pm (Sat 9.30pm_|
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What is it with restaurants in the Home Counties west of London? There seem to be a rash of places just like this one , with origins as a pub, serving “gastro ” food, all with the same scrubbed pine look with modern colours , mostly with a “Michelin chef” or more accurately (since Michelin rate restaurants), a chef that has worked in a Michelin starred restaurant.
The other things they have in common is middling food and poor value for money, and the Black Boys seems to fit in well on all these parameters. Todays visit at a quiet lunchtime saw us with two unprepossessing courses each , three glasses of wine and two coffees and bill for £90, which in my judgment is 30% too much. Even if the food had been outstanding, which it wasn't, I could have an excellent lunch in a real one /two star restaurant in London for that price, but of course the competition is better and closer there. There was little on the menu that actually required real time cooking of any sort of complexity, and surprisingly for a pub, there was nothing on the wine list for under £20 and precious little under £25. Against the tone of other reviews I've seen for this establishment, the service we received was decent and friendly enough.
I do wonder why in general I seem to get better food and much better value in restaurants rather than “gastropubs”. Quantities were on the small side, though just about sufficient to avoid complaint. And I do wonder how much of the food we ate in this place and the like is freshly prepared from scratch for us?
There are some examples not too far away of this type of establishment making a better fist of what they offer the consumer. The Greene Oak in Windsor is one example, the Hand & Flower in Marlow is another. I'm afraid we won't find a reason to go back to the Black Boys when we can get better, more interesting food and better values elsewhere.