I've always loved this pub - its a great location and although its had its ups and downs on Management and Staff - i have just learnt that it has new owners! a Chap with a real passion for Food and an even bigger passion for Good Beer!
Forget previous reviews - forget any bad impressions .. I think this will become THE pub in Wantage for good food, good beer and good company!
Oh dear how things change, see orignal review below. We called by for Sunday lunch this week and I felt the change as we walked in. It was lacking in customers and taste and the great miss mash of cutlery and crockery all gone. Very dissopointing when this was a big fav of mine.
(I love this place and have been three times now. the food is great and I love te mixture of old cutlery and plates and the style. I have given four stars instead of five as the service is not always great when it gets busy and the tables by the mens toileyts stink abit so avoid( we had to ask to move) Don't be put off though as the food is great and worth waiting for.)
Good place for traditional british food experience. They have indoor and outdoor patio. The prices are reasonable and food is pretty tasty. They were very accomodating to large groups, i went there with about 9 other people.
The first time I visited it took one hour to serve a bacon sandwich (and that was after chasing them to say I had to get back to work) and it was so hard it was difficult to eat.
The second time was this evening, when it took 2 hours to serve our party with our main courses. The staff were having difficulty coping. The waitress spilt two glasses of orange juice all over the table and members of our party and made no attempt to clear up, we had to clear up with all our paper napkins and then had to ask for them to be replaced. One of our ladies spent the evening in soaking wet clothes. I had to point out that the ladies toilet had no toilet paper. We had already been asked to arrive half an hour before our booking, but they still could not cope.
I would not recommend this bistro to anyone.
Food is fantastic, friendly family atmosphere. Baring in mind if you just want to go out for a drink try to avoid as drinks are pretty expensive and I have also been kicked out because we just popped in for a drink on a Saturday night rather than having a meal. If you are looking for a quiet meal then this is the place.
Oh dear, this place goes from bad to worse; I thought the last manager had a problem preparing steaks but the present one has decided to plumb new depths. A special evening out was booked for Valentine's Day and I soon regretted it, cold salt and pepper prawns followed by cold Chateaubriand. But not being satisfied with a specially chilled piece of expensive beef, the staff had to serve it on a board complete with blood which they then proceeded to spill all over the table and my partner! The piece de resistance was finally served for desert: I ordered a Tarte Tartin, thinking there was not much that chef could do to mess this dish up; how wrong I was! What arrived on the table was a frozen shortcrust pastry with half an apple inserted upside-down, not even a whole apple for my trouble...
When I asked the waitress what she thought it was she replied that it was supposed to be Tarte Tatin but if it was not "what I expected" she would take it back. I invited her to do so.
On settling the bill no apologies were offered for the blood that had been spilled nor the nonsensical Tarte Tatin, the only concession made was that the Offending dessert had been taken off the bill!
I was so grateful for this gesture that I suggested to the said member of staff that I would not trouble the establishment with this or other culinary requests again while the present management continues to be in charge. Shame, as in 2008 this used to be an excellent bistro with the best sirloin steak anywhere in W Europe.
Oh dear. We've been to the King Alfred's Head a few times in the last year for food, and it used to be somewhere that served good food, a little bit different to traditional pub fayre, with good, fast service. How times change. Under new management, the menu is now boring typical pub grub yet still pricey, and the service is dire. 45 minutes from ordering food to it being delivered to the table, despite there only being 3 other customers? Really? When the food did arrive it was not only different to the menu (Roast vegetables obviously means boiled to the current 'chef') but also different to the advertising outside I'd love to know what part of my fish and chips was 'home made'; definitely not the insipid fish. Supposedly beer-battered, 'near-battered' would've been a better description, being soggy, luke-warm and no doubt cooked straight from the box it came in without being dangled within 5m of a pint glass let alone battered with its contents. And 8.95?! I've had far better from Captain Birdseye and cooked it myself in a fraction of the time.Wife's Lamb (read' Gristle') Shank was no better and more expensive still with the aforementioned boiled carrots (and yes, veg = just carrots). Pity. I'll keep going to the Royal Oak for decent drinks, service & atmosphere but seriously recommend you give Alfie's, (as they are now calling it how trendy..), a wide, wide, berth. I have no problems paying for good service and quality food but this provides neither.
What a turn around from when i went last , new owners great food especially the tapas and great value for money , Will defo go again
The King Alfred's Head is a rare little gem. There is a warm welcome to greet your arrival, a choice of real ales and a relaxing atmosphere either in the bar or outside in the spacious courtyard. The bistro style menu is interesting and I found it hard to make a choice for dinner. The food is excellent as is the wine list and all are served by attentive, helpful staff. The restaurant is in a separate area just to the side of the bar and there is plenty of room between the tables. I was particularly impressed by the added touches, real flowers on the tables, damask napkins, the landlord taking a genuine interest in our comfort. All in all, a highly pleasurable experience at a very reasonable price.
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