Rick Stein

42a High Street | Lloran House, Marlborough SN8 1HQ

01841 532700


Parking: On street or nearby public car park

Disabled access: Yes

Gazette ratings

Food 9/10

Choice 8/10

Decor 9/10

Customer service 8/10

Main course prices: £9.95 to £32.95

TripAdvisor 3.5/5

I DOUBT Rick Stein is happy that his newest edition to his restaurant chain is, according to TripAdvisor, ranked only 22nd out of 47 restaurants in Marlborough and has just 3.5 stars out of a possible five.

My own experience just a couple of weeks after the restaurant opened in the High Street was mainly positive with the food itself excellent and we would definitely return, but there were a few niggles that I am sure Mr Stein will be keen to iron out in coming weeks.

We visited on a Saturday evening for my birthday and the first impression was that the receiver of guests at the door was rather hassled, and she was involved in a bit of a testy exchange with another member of staff.

We settled at the bar for a drink and a young, and it would appear inexperienced, bartender asked for our order. My husband ordered a gin and tonic and is is usual these days he was asked what brand he would like.

Being a traditional soul he opted for Gordons and all seemed well until the bartender returned a couple of minutes later to tell him Gordons was not on the menu. Instead he waved at a large array of more on-trend versions on a shelf - but no list was offered.

For Ron this first impression stayed with him and now whenever he is asked his opinion on Stein's this is the story he recounts.

Things got much better once we were seated at a table at the front of the beautifully decorated building in a smallish room on the ground floor. A young very smiley waitress looked after us and both Ron and I ordered the fish soup at £7.95. It was the best I have had this side of The Channel, beautifully rich and very fresh. This improved Ron's mood no end.

The French restaurant manager who comes from Normandy was delighted we approved. We stayed with fish for the main course with both of us going for Rick Stein signature dishes. Ron had the Dover sole a la meuniere (£32.95) while I had the turbot hollandaise (29.95).

Again the fish was cooked to perfection but the new potatoes that accompanied both dishes were a bit lacking in texture.

As it was my birthday I decided to indulge in a pudding and went for a Catalan creme brulee (£6.95) while my husband had marmalade cheesecake (£6.95).

I wasn't quite sure what made my brulee Catalan but it was creamy enough while the blood orange granita on the cheesecake offset its richness.

At this point the evening took another dip when a man on a large table next to us tried to show off his knowledge of cheese at the expense of the teenage waitress. He expressed his disappointment at no Stilton being on the menu in a loud and boorish way and insisted she checked with the chef.

But all in all Stein's is a good addition to the local eating scene and no doubt if I can drag Ron out of Devizes we will be back - especially if Rick puts Gordons back on the gin list.