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Review added 16/01/2016 08:33 by anonI agree with the previous reviewer. We like Bel and the Dragon and the food is always good, but I do think they've lost the plot a bit on their pricing. Their steak and chips is just about the most expensive I've had anywhere, including central London.
Review added 15/01/2016 18:11 by anonI had lunch with a friend from London here today. I hadn't been for some time and had heard it was currently to good hands. We chose the fish of the day - cod on beer batter with the old thrice cooked ( because once is never enough!), hand -cut chips and the tiniest pot is crushed peas; tap water drink and two coffees to finish. The bill came to £41.63 which I thought was a bit steep - though I suspect most people in Cookham wouldn't blink an eye). The service was great, shame about the food. It was nice but nothing to write home about. We came away disappointed. Won't be going back anytime soon.
Review added 12/11/2015 14:47 by anonExcellent food and service
Review added 12/10/2015 08:22 by AJayExcellent meal on Saturday eve. Just wish the menu would change more frequently, I reckon I've done the card at least once! Why not put on some weekly/monthly specials?
Review added 16/03/2015 10:46 by KateWe ate here as a family on Mother's Day. We ordered Whitebait and asked for mayonnaise - three times! We kept being given horseradish. This really ruined the starter. However overall the lunch was good and despite the mix up the service seems a little better than before, yes really!
Review added 19/03/2014 22:34 by StuAlways excellent food, great staff who are always accommodating, friendly and fun. This is a great place for lunch, dinner or a quick drink. Cookham resident and really can't fault the Bel
Review added 11/06/2013 14:11 by Miss BrixtonI have always had amazing memorable meals at the Bel so when I heard they had added rooms I jumped at the chance to try them out. My friend and I were lucky enough to get a table and room for Saturday night. The staff created a lovely warm atmosphere and despite obviously being really busy still found time to make us feel welcome and looked after.
Review added 25/03/2013 18:45 by KateAttended a friend's milestone birthday celebration last Saturday, with exclusive use of the small dining room. The food was fantastic, the service was just exemplary. Chef - chapeau - you run a really great team and you all deserve the highest compliment. As one of the final 'die-hards', at no point did we feel under pressure to leave, the staff were happy to accommodate us while we waited for the taxi (having quite rightly reminded us politely of the UK licensing laws!). Just a truly wonderful evening; I recommend highly.
Review added 03/11/2012 17:02 by SuzieBest roast dinner in Cookham, you can't fault this place. The food is fantastic, service is friendly and everyone is welcome (unlike the Crown).
Review added 22/07/2012 13:47 by RioThe Bel and Dragon is great, staff are very welcoming and friendly and the food is great, the fillet steak is brilliant. Atmosphere is nice and relaxed. Well done guys.
Review added 15/06/2012 13:57 by anonSince the reopening I'm a big fan, Great atmosphere and decor. Wonderful food - Highly Recommend!
Review added 29/05/2012 17:07 by anonFood excellent at lunch time, service very good. BUT portions too small and even if they had not been, would still have been overpriced.
Review added 30/01/2012 21:13 by anonWhen I booked our table for Sunday lunch the person on the phone made a point of saying that the staff party was at 4 so service would be over by then which I didn't see as a problem as our table was booked for 1.30. With this in mind we arrived promptly ordered our food. The food arrived at 3pm we had a 11/2 hr wait and the food was pretty average. The waitress was very polite and was obviously under pressure as people all around us were having the same problem, luckily we did not have young children with us as some did. They took the drinks off the bill as a good will gesture but won't be going back. Hope they had a good staff party.
Review added 13/01/2012 15:06 by anonI have been visiting the Bel & Dragon in Cookham for many years and have seen it through many changes of management and ownership. Last year was a turning point - it's back on track. The food is always good and the service friendly and reliable. Whether its for a quick drink or for a meal with friends, we are always made to feel very welcome. The garden in the summer is a lovely and relaxing spot and in the winter the real fires around the bar and restaurant are calming and comforting.
Review added 15/12/2011 13:23 by anonHaving dined here regularly for the last 10 years I was somewhat let down last summer by the apathetic approach to customer service and quality of the food. That has now all changed!
Review added 12/12/2011 09:30 by David EdmondsonWe used to be very regular patrons but stopped going about 3 years ago when the prices rocketed and quality went through the floor. We went for Sunday lunch, our first time back. The prices are pretty steep. The roast beef main is £16. We were a family of 5 and the total price including service was £140, we had no starters, two desserts, a bottle of chenin blanc (£24), a pint and 4 cokes. On the other hand the quality of the food was exceptional, we unanimously agreed it was the best Sunday lunch we have ever had and it really was. Service was good and friendly and the bar and restaurant is really pretty. We will definitely go back but not as often as we would like simply because of the price. My advice to management would be to get at least a few decent wines in the £16 to £20 range and get the standard roast prices around the £13.75 mark.
Review added 08/12/2011 12:59 by New to the areaWine is so overpriced it makes your eyes water.
Review added 27/09/2011 16:51 by JuliaThe Bel & the Dragon is excellent. It echoes its quality back in the good old days of silver service (when owned by the Stubers) but hits just the right note for today.
Review added 26/09/2011 22:04 by grumpyoldgitWe have been eating out in Cookham and the Thames Valley for 40 years - including in the 70's when it was owned by a Swiss family whose name escapes me. Back then, it was considered the best restaurant in Cookham by a considerable margin; although today it has some serious competition, our experience would suggest that in its latest incarnation, it's still up there with the very best.
Review added 25/09/2011 21:13 by anonHaving read the advert in 'families' magazine boasting the family/child freindly environment, we were encouraged to book a sunday lunch (children are certainly not made v.welcome!). 9 of us attended to not be welcomed atall enthusiasticaly and faced with a sunday lunch menu of £17 a head excl veg!!! yes the beef was good but this is not the ritz and for half the price a few hundred yards away we could have had better - we all agreed that the size of the maincourse was equivalent to a large starter! compained to the waitress and asked for the manager but he was 'unavailable'! love good food and will pay for it but this was a shear dissapointment. as a local i would love this to succeed but more than london prices for an average service will not. lower prices, better the service and less arrogance!.... on the positive, fantastic refurb!...
Review added 20/09/2011 18:36 by lizzykI had lunch at the Bel and the Dragon today and was really disappointed. I had been there when they first opened and really enjoyed it. Three of us had mussels which were overcooked and so were somewhat 'shredded'. No finger bowls were given until we asked for them. The waiters were very friendly, but did not seem to be well trained. One person asked for water and a glass of wine and had to ask a second time. I noticed they did not write down our order which must be quite confusing in the kitchen. The menu is also very confusing and even after having it explained I still don't understand the reasoning behind it. I noticed we were given a table in the middle of the room while all the other diners went to the side. After a while I realised why, the chairs are very hard and not designed to sit on for any period of time, the side ones are much comfier. In fact we were the only ones in the middle on the uncomfortable chairs for the whole of lunch time. To sum up they could improve just little things and be much better. I am afraid I won't be rushing back there though.
Review added 18/08/2011 11:29 by anonHad I not being highly recommended to go to the Bel and Dragon I doubt I would have ever boarded the train to Cookham. What a pity that would have been!
Review added 17/07/2011 21:08 by EAGAte at the Bel and the Dragon on Friday night; delicious food, attentive but unobtrusive service and great atmosphere. Thoroughly recommend.
Review added 08/06/2011 10:06 by anonWanted to check the place out after the refurbishment.
Review added 07/06/2011 07:31 by mmTried new Bel and the Dragon and found the menu easy to navigate, both wine and food choices! Food was not cheap but was good quality and well presented.
Review added 06/06/2011 19:48 by anonTo much money for too little quality of food
Review added 28/05/2011 07:58 by KathyIt's great to see the old place busy again on a Friday. We enjoyed some after work drinks and will be returning for dinner at a later stage. The menu looked lovely, but a bit pricey, definitely a special occasion place.
Review added 22/05/2011 22:03 by AndyVisited twice following the refurbishment. The dining room has had a majot overhaul and is great. The bar has had a spruce up, but still feels like a pub, so suits popping in just for a drink if you are not eating...
Review added 20/05/2011 17:01 by anonLove the new decor . Food looks good too. Good luck to them
Review added 20/05/2011 02:50 by anonWell, new, yes but better? Better than what?
Review added 17/05/2011 14:26 by Mary-Lou and RichardThe Bel and Dragon has just re-opened after a major refurbishment. The decor is modern - a conversation piece is the milk bottle holding lovely white Alliums! Food is very fresh and nicely presented with good coffee at the end. Prices are value for money. The staff are attentive and friendly. There is a large garden for outdoor dining. It is well worth a visit.
Review added 01/05/2011 16:00 by JohnWhen is the Bel re-opening? My dog and I are awaiting our usual bowl of water and pint of beer, followed by the rest of the family arriving for lunch in the bar or garden.
Review added 25/04/2011 15:33 by anonIs the Bel having a refurbishment finally? It is very much needed. Ate there a while ago and found nice food, however it was expensive and the service was quite slow.
Review added 04/02/2011 22:48 by ajTonight my partner and I decided to revisit Bel. We realised, as we sat down, that it must have been nearly two years since we last dined there - and, since that time, the owners of the establishment have had some challenging times, by the sound of things.
Review added 03/12/2010 20:19 by William17I have known this pub for over thirty years. In the beginning were leather studded chairs, log fires, carpets, a zinc topped bar and home made crisps. And that was before the wonderful food and amazing wine list!
Review added 28/11/2010 22:04 by anonWe would agree re the roasties - we hadn't been in for 15 months but had a great Sunday lunch for 7 there today - friendly staff and good quality food - not least crispy roasties but also very good lamb shanks - we will definitely be going back
Review added 28/11/2010 21:50 by anonmmm, yummy roasties on a sunday!
Review added 06/10/2010 00:41 by anonfood was very poor but the waiter who saw to us was very polite and funny but still was not a perfect night. overpriced is what comes to mind.
Review added 09/09/2010 17:17 by PipNow that the B & D has been sold, let's hope it will be returned to the real, traditional local village pub and restaurant that it always was until fairly recently. With no car park of its own and street parking difficult, the landlords have to rely considerably on local trade, of which there has always been a great deal until the pub became so run down.
Review added 28/07/2010 13:50 by anonRecently, my partner and I ate at the B&D, for the first time in years. We thought we would give it a go despite other reviews of the place.
Review added 04/07/2010 01:58 by JonI last visited Bel and The Dragon Cookham about 2 years ago and am quite frankly, horrified as to what this once thriving business has become.
Review added 26/06/2010 18:30 by anonJune 2010: We visited the B&D for the first time since Jan 2010. We shall not be returning. We requested to be seated outside, but unfortunately all the set tables came with inches of leaves and pigeon feathers below them (in June!), together with stained table cloths. The varnish on the unset tables was peeling terribly, and at that point we suspected things had changed!
Review added 06/06/2010 22:09 by MariaWe have just been to B&D on a Sunday evening for dinner. Having been to the one in Windsor and the one in Cookham before we were expecting a certain standard. It was disgusting! They advertised crusty bread and served stale white bog standard loaf and when I asked for what I ordered they brought me a brown loaf which had been cut off at the ends into chunks!! Fishcakes were reheated, cold and stale. Main course didn't fair much better and when the burger was dry, not cooked fresh and the bun was hard enough to break your teeth on we decided to complain. Both main courses were sent back and they said that they were going to start from scratch with them. We decided that we didn't want to risk it and asked to pay for the drinks and food we had already eaten. The young lad on duty was very nice but he said that the food had been cooked fresh which was an obvious lie. He said that the food was prepared fresh that morning but that they'd had a busy day. They gave us a refund on all food but we left extremely disappointed. Won't ever be going back!! Appalling. No stars if possible.
Review added 25/05/2010 23:27 by Ms WWe were extremely disappointed with the lack of service and poor food on our recent trip. After a long walk in the Village we took our hungry, young son out for a lunchtime treat but our overwhelming anticlimax left more than a bad taste.....
Review added 25/05/2010 09:56 by clairewe decided not to eat here after the appalling attitude of the man who was behind the bar. thats all i have to say.
Review added 17/05/2010 14:23 by susanOur recent visit was less than inspiring. Quite apart from the poor service, the crispy duck spring roll had obviously been previously cooked and just reheated, not a good start. Two of our party had the red snapper fish with crab risotto, the fish was dry and baked around the edges and the crab risotto was absolutely tasteless. Dessert fared no better as apart from a smear of banana it lacked any resemblance to banoffee pie at all. However the steak pie was good so maybe we just made bad choices? Not a place we shall return visit to, overpriced and very poor quality.
Review added 04/04/2010 19:22 by anonWent today for Sunday lunch after a great stroll to get our appetite going, were greeted by a girl with a friendly face who remembered us from when we booked 2wks before which was lovely. The roast beef was cooked perfectly as was the rest of our food. We have not been here in some time the place had gone downhill over the last few years but went in because we heard about a change of management and wanted to have a nosey if were honest! Best its been for a long long long time, hope they keep it up because we will be back soon
Review added 17/03/2010 15:01 by anonThis was such a nice and friendly place before the new management got their hands on it!! THANKS!!
Review added 15/03/2010 15:08 by RogerI disagree reason being that first of all Jim elona never pretend to run the place. She did so mainly as the management was never there or left. Secondly yes she is very chatty and happy and also talks blow with people now if that is in your opinion wrong well jim go to monastry and sip in peace your drink. Good luck
Review added 08/03/2010 20:53 by jimI couldn't agree less with the last comment from old local, the girl elona I think never ran the place she just pretended she did apparently! And I feel I can go in for a quiet pint without being bombarded with questions from her at last too!
Review added 07/03/2010 17:54 by old localI would not even give it a rating if not compulsory.The pub is run down since the new management arrived. What happened to the nice polish girl who used to run the place? they got rid of her! It's unheard of!!! She was the real spirit there, running the place, talking with (rather than to) the customers, she was interesting... PS I do not recommend the Bel
Review added 28/02/2010 16:58 by SteveHow sad to see what's become of a once lovely restaurant. Ate there last night for the first time in about 18 months but was very disappointed and certainly won't be returning. Service very poor indeed from what appeared to be an inexperienced European student trying to do the very least possible to fill her time. Menu choices are now very limited and unimaginative, think Berni Inn meets Harvester and you'll get the picture. Fillet steak was nicely cooked but the "Jus" was appalling, tasting of raw OXO cubes. The overall presentation again straight out of a seventies Berni, one shrivelled (and very small) mushroom, half a shrivelled tomato, a bunch of sad looking salad leaves and some admittedly very good chips. Atmosphere in the restaurant non existent at 8pm on a Saturday evening!. This used to be a warm friendly characterful place, sadly its now cold, unwelcoming, shabby and overpriced. The staff and management clearly don't care and it shows. At these prices Bel and Dragon you really should be aiming (and delivering) higher.
Review added 17/02/2010 19:03 by Cookham residentsFew weeks ago my husband and Ihad a lovely meal at the Bel. We were greeted and served by a very nice girl (Illona) and she made our evening. Our food was superb. The steak and fish and chips we had was one of the best. Our host had good knowledge of the history of the place and the menu itself. We'll recomend to pop in and experience what we did. Service is excellent!
Review added 13/02/2010 01:02 by PeterAgree with previous. Always bubbly and chatty young woman behind the bar is a wonderful change to the place and the rest of the staff. And someone knows how to keep the fires going too. More like her and we all come for more drinks!
Review added 08/02/2010 00:14 by RobA lovely happy welcome from the girl behind the bar when we popped in for a quick drink.
Review added 22/01/2010 15:49 by anonAgree with other reviews that this is a sad decline.
Review added 01/06/2009 16:15 by RickA group of us had lunch at the Bel a couple of days ago. Excellent, good quality food and efficient and friendly service indeed at a well-shaded table in the charming, sunny garden.
Review added 17/05/2009 18:17 by anonWent there for lunch today having booked a table it took some time before anyone came to meet us. The beef was overdone and very salty veg overcooked not very good at all.
Review added 12/05/2009 13:10 by SuzyIt was good to see how busy the B & the D was over the bank holiday weekend - full of life and buzzing with people (and dogs) as it always used to be. Let's hope that this support for Cookham's favourite pub continues.
Review added 20/02/2009 17:14 by Cookham ResidentAs a local resident who has been a patron of Bel for some 20 years, I am horrified by the drop in standards.
Review added 16/01/2009 15:39 by SallyThe Bel & the Dragon always seems the very essence of both old and modern Cookham. We go there for special family meals and take any of our visitors to Cookham there, who always love it.
Review added 16/01/2009 00:43 by anonwalked into the bel, waited at the bar for 15 minutes no lie for someone to come and take our order... walked out again, also it smelt like wet dog.
Review added 02/01/2009 10:09 by catWe booked to go to Bel and the Dragon on Christmas Eve. The day is very special to me for a number of reasons so it is very important that the restaurant chosen for that date is also special.
Review added 18/09/2008 11:35 by anonI went to Bel and the Dragon recently for my birthday. I love the dining room there and the staff are really friendly. I had mussels for starter which were excellent. Unfortunately we then had to wait over 50 minutes for our main course which was far too long. I had fillet steak which was lovely, but the flat mushroom it came on tasted like bleach! |t was horrible. That's why I've only given them 4 stars.
Review added 27/07/2008 09:44 by JoThe previous reviewer suggested having lunch in the Bel's garden once 'the weather has improved'. Well, yesterday was probably one of the most glorious days that we've had in Cookham for quite some time and as it was my birthday my partner and I decided to have lunch in the garden at Bel's. We are firm fans of the Bel and Dragon anyway as we eat there on lots of occasions but this was the first time this year that we have tried their garden. The setting there now is really to award winning standard. An overall impression of comfort and relaxation is provided through the clever use of wood and stone plus the recent addition of a relaxing seating area that resembles an outdoor classy coffee lounge. Big, comfortable sofas and chairs and a pretty water feature all combine to provide an atmosphere of continental elegance and relaxation.
Review added 26/05/2008 17:59 by AndrewMy partner and I often end up in Bel's on a Friday night. Even without having booked a table the staff always manage to find us a table. Often they seat us at a table large enough for 4, and on one occasion they seated us at a table large enough to seat 6 people. This is quite unusual as often restaurants will attempt to seat a couple at their smallest table so that the meal is spent feeling cramped and not very well valued as a customer. We are always made to feel welcome when we arrive, we are greeted with a big smile of recognition, my partner's drinks are almost immediately available as they know her preferences well by now. The food is top notch, plenty of variety, beautifully cooked, efficient but friendly service and the pub itself is a delight. When the weather improves, try having lunch in their garden - you won't regret it.
Review added 09/05/2008 15:14 by NickMy wife and I were both lucky enough to have finished work early last week so popped into B & the D.