Hardens Guide to the Best Restaurants in Marlow
Hardens guides have spent 30 years compiling reviews of the best Marlow restaurants. On Hardens.com you'll find details and reviews of 15 restaurants in Marlow and our unique survey based approach to rating and reviewing Marlow restaurants gives you the best insight into the top restaurants in every area and of every type of cuisine.
Featured Marlow Restaurants
1. The Vanilla Pod French restaurant in Marlow 31 West St - SL7
“You are always well looked after” at Michael Macdonald’s “tiny” venture – a timbered room in a house once owned by TS Eliot. Many who report on it are regulars: “best value in town…”; “not one but several excellent meals last year…”; “sublime consistent food without a doubt, as I have been about thirty times – just perfect with fish and the only place in the world I eat pudding!”
2. Sindhu Indian restaurant in Marlow The Compleat Angler - SL7
Atul Kochhar is celebrating his sixth year in this “fabulous riverside location”. As experiences go, it’s “as refined as curry gets”, with “wonderful” modern dishes (if in slightly “small portions”) and “beautiful views over the River Thames” from its traditional, leaded windows. “Hotel restaurants are never supposed to be this good in the UK, especially in the home counties!”
3. The Coach British, Modern restaurant in Marlow 3 West Street - SL7
“Just a delight all round” – seldom is a bad word said about Tom Kerridge’s ‘other’ pub in this Thames valley town: an “extremely crowded and very buzzy” haunt that is also “lovely and chilled”. “You don't need to book a table and you can order the plates tapas-style”: “the food is so good”.
4. The Ivy Marlow Garden British, Traditional restaurant in Marlow 66-68 High St - SL7
While it’s generally agreed to be a “good addition to the Marlow scene”, with a “nice ambience” and in particular “a beautifully glamorous room” – this Thames Valley link in the national chain Richard Caring has spun out from the 1980s West End celeb haunt attracts familiar criticisms. Too often it’s “a bit of a disappointment” – “a little pricey for albeit fancy comfort food” – and just too obviously samey: “couldn’t each restaurant have a unique signature dish appropriate to the location?”
5. Hand & Flowers French restaurant in Marlow West Street - SL7
“Tom Kerridge’s (wonderful) versions of pub grub” mean there are still many reporters who “can’t wait to go back” to his immensely popular and consequently “overcrowded” Thames-valley gastropub, which owes its mighty reputation to Michelin’s award of a rare two stars, back in 2012. It was a questionable decision from the start, but could be glossed over at the time by the Hand & Flowers’ undeniably crowd-pleasing performance. However, ratings here have been in decline for years now, and it’s reaching a point where this down-to-earth hostelry is starting to seem “seriously overhyped”. It doesn’t help that TV Tom’s opened The Coach “literally down the road” which is “more fun” and has better scoff. And with this celebrity chef’s multiple other openings in London and Manchester, “Is TK just too stretched to keep control?”. (There’s also the question of when Michelin will finally stop slumbering and take away one or both stars here).
7. Marlow Bar & Grill British, Modern restaurant in Marlow 92-94 High Street - SL7
2018 Review: This slick, booth-lined bar and steakhouse is a bit of a local fixture (“get a window seat at lunchtime and play at yuppy-spotting”); “nothing much changes”, though, “just the prices increase” – and “watch out now The Ivy’s come to town!” (the ritzy group’s Ivy Marlow Garden brasserie having opened, just along the High Street, in May 2017).
8. The Royal Oak British, Modern restaurant in Bovingdon Green Frieth Road - SL7
2018 Review: This “real country gem” is a “lovely place to go for all sorts of reasons”: both “cosy” and “dog-friendly” (owners are “not ostracised and the dogs nearly always get treats”), it’s “a go-to for a lady’s lunch”, a family celebration or a “great” Sunday roast.
9. The Butcher’s Tap British, Modern restaurant in Marlow 15 Spittal Street - SL7
Chef Tom Kerridge - of the renowned Hand & Flowers gastropub - opens his ‘butcher-pub’ in Marlow, where people can meet for a drink, a bite to eat, and buy well-sourced quality meat to take home. Tom and butcher Andy Cook are working with trusted meat suppliers from across the country, including beef from Smithfield market’s Longcroft and Old, sourced from Stoddart’s Farm in Scotland; venison and game from Hampshire Game; pork and chicken from Packington Free Range, Creedy Carver ducks and Copas Turkeys.
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