The Halfway Bistro and Piano Bar at Newbury

If you are driving along the A4, the A34 or the M4 you must make sure you get off, break the driving stupor you’ve gotten yourself into and treat yourself to a truly wonderful experience.

It’s not just the food and the fact they always have specials on, it’s the service and the atmosphere that’s impeccable.

Get this.

We were eating a relatively boring, dull, same old food meal at a different restaurant which is supposed to be one of the best restaurants in the area. All the waiting staff are under 12 I swear. Anyway, apparently I don’t qualify to be told that they have Chateaubriand on. Nor, was I allowed to then change my mind and order it when I overheard about it. Bear in mind I asked to change during my starter…before they kitchen would have started cooking my main (one would hope anyway). And so, 20 minutes later they bought me my main course. Was the fact that I really didn’t like it because it was bad food or because it was marred by the fact that they didn’t want to help?

I was ‘furious George’ I can tell you, so we upped and left with as much attitude as I could muster without being downright rude and ended up at The Halfway for pudding.
They were full but they found us a table right by the fire place. We had a lovely chocolate truffle tart. They always have a live pianist and he was cracking out a few carols.
And then…I asked a question I’ve never asked before. “Are you able to arrange a Chateaubriand for us?” Without a flicker of an eyelid or a moment’s hesitation we were booked in for one next week.

That is what I call a great restaurant. They wanted my custom, they were more than happy to act upon my request and the Chateaubriand itself? Outstanding.

We were welcomed and without question they knew we were having the Chateaubriand. We had leek and potato soup to start. Surprisingly spicy. Yes we would like wine with our meal and we were given 2 glasses of what you can only normally buy by the bottle – and were not charged for a whole bottle. I have only ever seen the canon of the Chateaubriand but this time, we were given the whole thing.

It was cooked to perfection and they were so generous with portions. I’m not talking generous portions of bad bad food (Hungry Horse style) I’m talking generous portions given by someone who cares to people who really appreciate it. So we had: the Chateaubriand, a pile of Jenga chips each, red wine caramelised onions, green beans, tomatoes with a cheeky bit of pesto on, mushrooms, a jug of Bearnaise sauce and a jug of shallot jus.

You simply couldn’t fault it. Yes the food was fabulous, sumptuous and devine but it was how they made it so special that made it amazing. For pudding we were offered a sublime cake made by the owner’s wife that wasn’t even on the menu and then given a free glass of dessert wine. I’ve only ever experienced service like this in 2+ Michelin starred restaurants. And some of those 1 star babies could learn a thing or two from this place.

If you’re travelling any where near you absolutely must stop by. Even just for a drink to soak up the atmosphere somewhere you are truly welcome. They were so good to us but I know that it wasn’t exclusive service. They are so good to everyone.

01488 608115
RG20 8NR

All That I’m Eating

Comments

  1. says

    I’m drooling. So do you think the high quality service makes the food taste better? My husband and I have been discussing that for years after we had an over the top meal someplace.. Just curious. Happy that you had such a wonderful experience- I’m longing for a fireplace right now!

  2. says

    I love eating gorgeous food by a fireplace – not too much call for that where I’m from but it’s a treat when I get the chance to do it.

    Lovely, genuine service does make a difference, I really can’t stand rudeness in people, particularly as I come from a customer service occupation.

  3. says

    What an amazing sounding meal, I’m positively drooling! Thats awful about the poor service of the previous restaurant. They should be named and shamed! I love that there was a pianist, how quaint! 🙂

  4. says

    Is this the one between just outside Newbury on the way to Hungerford? If so I haven’t been there for ages. Sounds like it’s time for another visit!

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