I recently visited The Stone Place Restaurant at The Feathers in Chalfont St Giles, with a group of friends, to try out their new concept in eating out. It’s the first time I’ve tried a restaurant like this so thought I’d share the experience with you all.
The Stone Place Restaurant used to be The Feathers public house, situated on the high street in a little Buckinghamshire village called Chalfont St Giles. It was refurbished earlier this year when owners Melvyn Angell and Sylvia Sheridan conceived the idea of providing a different dining experience using Steakstones® to cook high quality meat and fish. More on that shortly.
The owners have done a great job of converting the premises from a country pub into a light and bright bistro style bar and restaurant and first impressions were good.
We started our evening with a drink at the bar, with a very quaffable bottle of Prosecco – the men had beers! We weren’t rushed to our seats, even though we were past our booking time and the general atmosphere was relaxed and welcoming.
Once seated, we were talked through the concept and given a menu board which listed the various options for the meat, fish, sides and sauces. Interestingly there are no starters, you can have some of their locally baked artisan bread, which comes with an olive oil and balsamic dip, which I enjoyed, probably because I try not to eat bread so it’s always a treat. I’d have liked some proper dipping bowls and more than one when there are four or more people at a table.
Our friendly and polite waiter, James, came to take our orders. I opted for a Tuna Steak while Mr Perfect chose Fillet Steak and Prawns (suited me as I could try 3 different things). Our friends ordered an array of produce from Scallops and Prawns to Chateaubriand and Rack of Lamb. You can choose 3 dips, of which there was a very long list, which I think are meant to be for the chips as aren’t particularly well suited to the meat and fish. It would be good to offer sauces specifically created to enhance the flavours of the produce on the menu.
Another unusual element of The Stone Place restaurant experience is ALL meals are served with side orders of Gastro Chunky Chips (gluten free) and Greek salad – there are no other options. Personally I didn’t mind this, as I’m a great lover of chips and Greek salad but I do think there should be at least a couple more options, as the Feta in the salad doesn’t necessarily go very well with all the meats/fish on the menu.
Our food was served pretty quickly, which isn’t surprising as you cook it yourself on the Steakstones®. My tuna steak arrived sizzling on my very own Steakstone® and Mr Perfect’s prawns arrived on his stone with his steak on a separate plate to cook after the prawns. It’s all quite theatrical and pretty good fun! We all commenced cooking and my tuna was done in no time at all, in fact I had polished it off while the others were still cooking or just starting to eat – well I didn’t want it cold! It was very tasty and I did enjoy cooking it on the Steakstone®.
Those who had prawns seemed to get an abundance of them – they came ready skewered as you can see below, I’d personally prefer larger prawns but less of them?
Next Mr Perfect cooked his fillet steak. One observation was you weren’t given a different utensils for cooking the meat after the raw fish? Mr P did ask for some and the staff were only too pleased to oblige.
Being the gent he is, Mr P offered me a taster of his steak – it was absolutely delicious, flavoursome and melt in your mouth – YUM! I did at this point wish I’d ordered the steak. I also tried some of the Chateaubriand, which was also top notch (if not a little overdone) – I find myself questioning whether I would prefer such amazing meat to be cooked for me by a professional chef? That said, the concept is built around a theatrical dining experience, which is what makes The Stone Place restaurant different from other restaurants.
The beef and lamb is supplied by Aubrey Allen, who is supplier to the Queen no less! You can read more about them by clicking on this link Aubrey Allen. For me their meat was the stand out star of the show!
Here’s a quote from the Facebook page of The Stone Place Restaurant by owner Melvyn Angell, “We wanted to create a really extraordinary dining experience, something quite theatrical, within the informality of a village pub. SteakStones® gives you the opportunity to cook your meat and fish exactly as you like and is such fun at the same time. All cuts of red meat are lean, not only is it a healthier way to dine, it also ensures that the meat doesn’t smoke while it is being seared on the SteakStones®. Our bar is stocked with local beers and we offer a hand-selected wine list.”
Talking of wine, a great touch is how the wine menu is written, as it recommends which wines go best with which meat/fish – and the wines are hand-selected by Bibendum Wine in London, giving a good selection, click on their name to find out more.
You can finish your meal by choosing from a selection of seasonal desserts, made by patisserie chef, Suzie McCraig, I can’t personally comment on these as didn’t have one. We were each given a shot of apple licqueur, which was a pleasant surprise! We also ordered coffees, which are currently served in cafetieres, I believe they are looking at getting a coffee machine to enable them to offer different types of coffee, which most people expect from restaurants nowadays.
Overall I liked how the pub had been renovated, loved the quality of the meat and enjoyed the theatre of cooking the food yourself. It is early days for The Stone Place Restaurant. But I would definitely recommend this restaurant for people who like to try something a little different or for a social gathering, as the theatre of cooking your own food makes for a great discussion and interaction.
You can also listen to live music every Sunday between 1 – 4 pm. If you want to find out more please visit their Facebook page The Stone Place Facebook Page or website The Stone Place Website (under construction so only holding page).