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Plough, Lower Cadsden

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user reviews of the Plough, Lower Cadsden

please note - reviews on this site are purely the opinion of site visitors, so don't take them too seriously.

A bit run down these days. Appalling pot-holed entrance drive with lots of mud. We had a reserved table but were just waived to one without checking names etc. Chairs with arms at this pub are unbelievably uncomfortable - they bite into ones legs. Managed to switch with ones with no legs. The menu says order food at the bar but we had someone come to our table to take the order. Tried the Cadsden locally brewed beer - light but good colour and very pleasant (£3.40 a pint). The food menu is these days limited to items similar to bar food. I remember it as being much better in days gone by. Now quite pricey for what it is.. Starters mostly £5.95. Between us we chose Prawn cocktail (prawns unmixed with the dressing on salad leaves that were rather hard to eat with a fork), whitebait and smoked mackerel which were good. Then mains. These come in two sizes, large or small. Small are £10.95 and large are £14.95. Between us we chose Ham & Eggs, Whitby Scampi and Steak and Mushroom Pie with veg. The Pie had a separate (tough) puff pastry top placed on top of a dollop of meat in a dish. The serving was not cooked in the dish or with its top on. Not at all appetising and then only served warm. The accompanying veg was nice (mini carrots, mange tout and broccoli) but that was very nearly cold. The Ham and eggs on the other hand was generous and fine as was the scampi.
We decided not to have a dessert. £81.20 for what was a rather mediocre pub lunch for four with three small servings and one large. I doubt we'll be back. Sad really because in Cameron's time it was much better.
Realalediner - 28 Jan 2017 20:32
Stopped here for a drink and snack yesterday while walking around Ridgeway. Pub is in a nice setting tucked in the woods. The inside is reasonably smart without being too formal. Made perfectly welcome even though we were in walking gear, though we did choose to sit outside - there is a grassed garden at the rear and tables at the front.

Had a good pint of Marlow Rebellion IPA. Two other ales on offer - Greene King IPA and a 'Cadsden' ale (apparently brewed by Belhaven for them).

Stilton Ploughmans was good enough, though bread was just a heated-up small roll.
JJWalks - 10 Sep 2016 11:53
I visited the Plough last Thursday with my girlfriend. I was a little apprehensive due to the previous couple of reviews.

Once we had found it (I'm not a local), we were amazed. Lovely pub in a beautiful setting. For me, this didn't last much longer than the warm welcome from the barmaid.

We were shown to our table and decided to browse the menu and specials. This was the first disappointment, as it was a sun bleached pamphlet which had lost its laminated sheen a long time ago.

The prices astounded me. £15 for all the mains (fair enough if it's something that jumps out at you). However, the food on offer was nothing particularly special - ham, egg and chips, scampi, pies and bangers + mash. No vegetarian options. I asked at the bar and was told that we had a choice of soup, vegetable and cheese loaf with all the trimmings or a few starters from the specials board. As my girlfriend is not a meat eater, she decided to go for the "Boston loaf". I chose sausages and mash.

In the meantime, I had a look around. Quite a few negatives struck me immediately. You have to order your food at the bar. I feel that, at £15 for a main course, you ought to be able to order your food via table service. The candles on all the tables were artificial, despite there being two log fires going in the pub and the restaurant being very well lit. The "tea lights" reminded me of something you would get in a distinctly average indian restaurant.

The mains came out fairly quickly (12 minutes) and I cannot say I was impressed. The plates were cold, the gravy was very thin and slightly see through (first impression was instant) and the mash was far from creamy as promised on the menu.

Nice choice of veg and a large portion of sauteed potatoes on my girlfriend's plate. Offered a dessert but declined and made our way out to enjoy the rest of the evening.

Can't say I'll return.
halfmanhalfbiscuit - 22 Apr 2013 12:00
I completely agree with the prior review. I expected a decent country pub, but instead found the place completely characterless. Theres no local ale on tap and as for the blue plastic shoe covers - thats just a nonsense for a pub in walking country.

Having spent two days visiting and staying in pubs in the Chiltern Hills I can state that there are plenty of wonderful examples. This just isn't one of them!
Burtonstj - 9 Apr 2013 18:18
terrible pub, which could be superb.

1) its a lovely red brick building, from the outside,
2) superbly positioned on the ridgeway footpath running accross the chilterns.

1) the interior is something out of a catalogue. yes theres exposed beams and a stone floor, but its completely clean and souless. as if ikea tried to do traditional pub interiors.
2) the attitude of the manager (wont say landlord as he was wearing a tie for some reason??) towards walkers was insulting. he made everyone put on blue over shoes as if at a swimming pool. despite the fact that all the walkers that came in did clean their boots at the entrance. everyone feels stupid in those overshoes, thats fine with the staff, who would reather that than the odd whip round with a broom everynow and again.
3) the food was offensivley expensive. sausage and mash, £15!!!!
4) 99% of tables were reserved on a sunday afternoon, despite noone sitting at them. all the walkers who arrived for refreshment had to stand around (in stupid overshoes) becuase only two or three bar stool sare provided and nearly all the many tables were reserved and empty.
5) most exciting beer was london gold. nothing local or interesting.
6) do i need to go on?....

in conclusion a rip off 'pub themed' resturant that doesnt like walkers depite being on a major rambling route.
CHELSEA_on_tour - 8 Jan 2013 09:51
Would like to visit here but I'm worried I may leave my kids behind.
wezmiester - 14 Jun 2012 22:05
Full of eight year old Tory girls running around on their own,I asked for an Ale , I think called Coalition but they said it was off, The toilets were all clegged up too, so I chequred out quickly.
Henners - 11 Jun 2012 09:58
Great pub on the Ridgeway path & at the foot of Whiteleaf hill. Place is like a large hall & with loads of bikers outside when we arrived Weds eve. 3 ales - GK IPA, Pedigree & Speckled Hen. Not exactly exciting but the SH is always pretty good.
Booze_Allen - 26 May 2011 14:51
Lovely friendly pub, excellent for walkers and had the nicest roast I have EVER eaten in a pub over christmas.

This is a super place and is highly recommended!
Foreman - 8 Jan 2010 12:10
About 3pm, people in pub with full pints. Girlie behind bar glares at us while we walk up to the bar then waits for us to decide upon which GK offering to go for before telling us they're shut. Considering it has rooms and welcomes Ridgeway walkers, I'd be very annoyed to roll up late afternoon to be refused drinks. Anyway it didn't look all that inviting, the refurbishers have sadly taken their toll.

nickdavies - 30 Dec 2009 20:53
Steve is THE Man when it comes to good food a tipple and hospitality.

Don't spoil your appetite before visiting, mind.

You get a WHALE of a cod with yer chips and the lamb shank is seriously Derby Tupp sized and then some.

Nice one.
eamonn_tabasco_boy - 18 Dec 2009 17:19
What a transformation! The Plough is almost unrecognisable from its previous incarnation. Even the car park has been improved and not before time, it was one of my bugbears that you couldn't get out the car without standing in mud or water.

The Plough is beautiful! Everything has been improved, yet has kept its Olde English appeal. This is a proper pub, not a restaurant, though the food is superbly presented it is proper pub grub and is quite reasonably priced.

Once a rather pokey little pub, it now sports a large bar area and lots of seating for drinkers and diners. The floor is stone, the brickwork exposed and traditional looking, with fires at either end and I am told even under-floor heating.

Beers were well kept and Ruddles County was perfectly clear and clean and just slightly chilled by the cellar, all round The Plough is a must for anyone looking for a waterhole in the beautiful Chilterns, nestled as it is just a short step from the Prime Ministers residence of Chequers.
Coronach - 27 May 2009 21:53
The Plough underwent a major refurbishment in March 2008. The bar is now like a farmhouse kitchen, with pine tables and exposed brickwork. A big improvement, in my opinion. B&B accommodation is being added at the time of writing.
rentaquote - 23 Mar 2008 16:52
Perfectly placed on the Ridgeway at Lower Cadsden, this pub is in the ideal spot for walkers, cyclists and tourists. Sadly, they aren't making the most of it, but to be fair I suspect the present team have not been incumbent for long as there is evidence of fresh paint in the ladies' toilets and new curtains. We asked for a pint each of two different beers, and despite coming from different hand pumps they tasted identical; this could simply be that all Greene King beers taste the same, but somehow I doubt it. A dry white wine and soda came back as something that smelt and, worse yet, tasted like sweet German wine (think Blue Nun and you won't be far off). We were there too late to sample the food and so can't comment, except to say that the menu does look interesting.

On the plus side, there's plenty of seating space out the front, which is well-kept and tidy. Dogs are provided with a tap and butler sink (with plug) from which to drink, and you can park all the way up the track from the road to the pub. Just inside the door there's a container of plastic bags for walkers to put over their muddy boots, although as we were at the end of a six-week dry spell they weren't needed this time.

My overall conclusion: has great potential and definitely worth a re-visit some time in the future to see whether it's improved.
cosmogenist - 8 May 2007 14:51

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