The Hand & Flowers
“Country pub cooking from a popular TV star” - AA Inspector
Our Inspector's view
Tom Kerridge’s career is about, above all, crearting food that people want to eat, rather than baffling peculiarities they feel they ought to try. The nerve-centre remains the whitewashed country pub with its hanging baskets (plus its private dining space, The Shed, just up the road), where an atmosphere of endearing bonhomie prevails amid the bare tables and half-boarded walls. Marlow regulars doubtless appreciate the fact that the kitchen prides itself as much on producing a matchless roast beef and Yorkshire pudding for Sundays, as it does on working creative transformations on familiar ingredients. Beef toast and dripping comes with mustard butter, English asparagus and salad cream, while at main it's undoubtedly with pedigree meats that the principal emphasis rests. West End Farm pork belly with smoked cheek beignet, black pudding and gherkin ketchup vies for attention with Essex lamb ‘bun’ with sweetbreads and salsa verde. It's all pretty substantial, but don't even think of resisting the signature chocolate and ale cake with salt caramel muscovado ice cream.
Facilities – at a glance
- Seats: 54
- Private dining available
- On-site parking available
- Steps for wheelchair: 2
- Closed: false
- Wines under £30: 10
- Wines over £30: 150
- Wines by the glass: 35
- Cuisine style: French. British
- Vegetarian menu
Also in the area
About the area
Buckinghamshire is a land of glorious beech trees, wide views and imposing country houses. Victorian Prime Minister Benjamin Disraeli savoured the peace and tranquillity of Hughenden Manor, while generations of statesmen have entertained world leaders at Chequers, the Prime Minister’s rural retreat. Stowe and Waddesdon Manor are fine examples of even grander houses, set amid sumptuous gardens and dignified parkland.
The Vale of Aylesbury is a vast playground for leisure seekers with around 1,000 miles (1,609km) of paths and tracks to explore. Rising above it are the Chiltern Hills, a designated Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty covering 308sq miles (798sq km). They are best appreciated in autumn, when the leaves turn from dark green to deep brown. In the southeast corner of the Chilterns lie the woodland rides of Burnham Beeches, another haven for ramblers and wildlife lovers. Although the county’s history is long and eventful, it’s also associated with events within living memory. At Bletchley Park, more than 10,000 people worked in complete secrecy to try and bring a swift conclusion to World War II. Further south, an otherwise unremarkable stretch of railway line was made infamous by the Great Train Robbery in the summer of 1963.
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