While we don’t eat out for dinner every month, we do have a usual crowd we go out with on occasion. It’s quite a large crowd so sometimes you can’t go out with everyone, and the other week we decided to go and try out a new pub for us. The Falcon in Warmington.
The Falcon used to be a Harvester style restaurant with a hotel attached. But a few years ago there was a fire, and it returned having been turned into The Falcon. It’s a much more up market pub restaurant, although there was a real mix of people there when we went. It’s a bit of a strange place too, as it’s on a rural A road in the middle of nowhere. Having only been open around a year, it’s got a good reputation in the area so I was looking forward to checking it out.
I’d booked 4 days before (as always the OH only decided with short notice where he wanted to go), gave my name and phone number for any issues, and thought nothing of it. Now I have experienced a few ‘non-booking’ cock ups in the past with hotels (despite me having confirmations), but not with restaurants. And it’s not what you want on a Saturday night with a group of people who’ve travelled some way and had to organise babysitters. But we turned up at 7.45pm, told them we had a table booked and were met with blank faces. ‘Are you Rhian?’ they asked looking down their booking schedule. No, although I was tempted to say yes.
They went off to see if they could shuffle around booked tables for people arriving after us, and 20 minutes later we were told there was a table. Phew. Thankfully it’s a large pub so they could obviously move things around, but not many places would be able to. But I’d love to know what day they wrote my booking down under because it was a mystery to me how they could lose a booking requested as ‘a table for 7 people for Saturday the 7th’.
The food was definitely worth the wait. The Falcon isn’t the cheapest pub restaurant and is a bit pricier than most of the good village pubs locally.
There was plenty of choice on the menu, which was larger than I expected. We decided against apperitifs (although the baby peppers stuffed with soft cheese would have been amazing), but all of us had starters.
If you’re a fish fan or like country flavours there are starters like rabbit, pheasant and prune faggot, crayfish and crab spring roll and gazpacho. I chose the deep fried brie with cranberries and a pecan salad. It was really delicious and just the right portion size to be able to cope with a main and dessert.
What’s great about the menu at The Falcon is that there’re are a few Light Bites dishes as well as the mains. The light bites range from crispy harissa lamb and cous cous salad to a lime and chilli king prawn salad. My choice was the wild boar and chorizo meatballs with pappardelle pasta, in a tomato and basil sauce. It was really simple, but beautifully cooked with a really warm flavour. The light bites are a smaller serving size and most of the girls chose one of those dishes.
With some traditional pub meals on the main menu like sausages and mash, steak burger, honey roasted ham egg and chips, and steak, there were also plenty of fancier options. Chicken with celeriac puree and parmesan gnocchi, braised feather of beef bourguignon, and malaysian fish stew were interesting choices. These weren’t substantially larger portions in size, although were more filling. They went down a treat with the farmers amongst our crowd, and we weren’t short on chips or vegetable sides like in many restaurants.
For me, no meal out is complete without a dessert. At up to £6.45, puddings are pricy so I do expect a decent portion and them to be pretty much perfect. I couldn’t resist the sunken chocolate pudding with ice cream and it was definitely worth having. The puddings overall are more traditional in nature, but a good choice and something for everyone, with ice creams, sorbets and cheeseboard also available.
No-one had any complaints about their food. The only issue we had was waiting for water. We’d asked for tap water when we did our drinks order at the table, and got brought a jug. But no glasses. We finally got some after asking the waiter a second time. Then we gave up waiting for him to come and check if we were finished so we could get the bill. We sent someone up to the bar to ask for it. Yes, it was a Saturday night and it’s a large place to cover, but given we were a big group and the bill was pretty large, I’d have expected a bit more customer service and attention given it was getting late and the place was emptying by that stage.
The Falcon is not only a restaurant, but has plenty of comfy drinking areas. We had a sit (not as comfy as it looked) in the ‘smoking’ chairs while we waited for the bill, and there were plenty of others just in for a drink. It’s on a main road in the middle of nowhere so I was surprised how many people were, but if they go there as well as those eating, hopefully it means the Falcon will be successful and stay.
I’d definitely go back another time. There’s a few dishes on the menu I’d like to try and it would be a good place to take N for a nice lunch. The children’s menu is smaller versions of the main dishes, which I do prefer to a something and chips kids menu you so often see.
If you’re in the area and want to have a treat meal out, then check out The Falcon. The outdoor areas look lovely for the summer. Just make sure if you’re there at the weekends, that you book, and then confirm later.
Do you have any favourite pub restaurants? Have you ever eaten around the Banbury area?
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