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Harben House Restaurant

Harben House restaurantWhen you’re choosing where to go for a nice meal out you normally go through the local suspects; chain restaurants, gastro-pubs, your local Indian…but you never really think about a restaurant within a hotel. Maybe we think they’re only for hotel guests, maybe we think or maybe it just doesn’t even cross our mind, but maybe it should?

We headed out to try the restaurant located within the newly refurbished Harben House Hotel in Newport Pagnell. First up, loads of free parking, tick! You walk into the vast lobby area with huge very comfy looking seats and we were greeted by a lovely hostess who took our name for the booking and showed us through to the restaurant area. Again, it’s pretty big, with plenty of modern seating areas and a funky looking bar in the middle.

We were shown to our table and given a menu…the barman headed off to get us a jug of water for the table. All good so far, but what about the menu.
It’s not huge, but plenty of choice for dinner and the prices were also surprisingly good…there were five starters to choose from or they also offer sharing platters. We went for the Seasoned Whitebait and the Ham Hock Terrine. Both were really nicely presented and tasted great, also pretty big portions for starters.

Then we moved on to the mains; you can have stone-baked pizzas, a choice of burger or steaks from the grill, a good selection of salads and the main dishes which included vegetarian options and Whole Seabass. It was a difficult choice, but we went for the Ribeye Steak and the Ham Knuckle (not something you usually see on a menu). The steak came with choice of side dishes and a choice of four different sauces, and was cooked really well. The ham knuckle was huge – but once you realised that a lot of it was the main knuckle bone it didn’t frighten us so much. Again, it was cooked to perfection, just falling off the bone. It came with a delicious parsley sauce and creamy mashed potato. It also strangely came with bread, not sure if that was needed to be honest.

Did we save room to look at the dessert menu, of course we did. Choices were quite basic, but all good classic desserts. We went for the Apple Tarte Tatin with Clotted Cream Ice Cream and the Berry Eton Mess. The Tarte Tatin was exceptional, sticky gooey and just lovely. The Eton Mess was pretty big and very flavoursome; we managed to polish them both off!

So, what did we think? The surroundings are really nice and not your usual chain restaurant feel, giving something a little different. The menu was varied, and we’d definitely go back again to try other dishes. The food was well-presented and well-cooked. Overall – our hotel restaurant experience was pretty damn good and we’d definitely look outside the box again for something a little different for our next meal out. And a shout out to Nathan and Darren for looking after us so well.