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Chequers Inn, Fingest

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user reviews of the Chequers Inn, Fingest

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

A classic country pub in a stunning village situated opposite an eleventh century church. It is a Brakspear's establishment but a guest pint of Boondoggle from Ringwood was perfectly kept and our burger and fish and chips of excellent quality. A capacious beer garden and good service rounded off our lunch stop on a 10 mile round walk from West Wycombe.
BoehmBawerk - 23 May 2015 21:12
Ah, choice. The watchword of our post-Thatcher era. Patients now choose their hospitals, parents choose schools for their children. Giant supermarkets offer myriad choices on their shelves whilst simultaneously limiting our choices in other ways, as corner shops go under and the High Street slowly dies around us. But even with circumscription, choice is generally deemed to be a Good Thing, and its benefits have apparently spread far and wide. Everywhere, apparently, apart from the Chequers in Fingest, once a standard - albeit slightly upmarket - village boozer that prospered under a landlord with a passing resemblance to an extra out of a Richard Curtis comedy; now under the control of a young and slightly nervous couple who transformed the Chequers into a restaurant that serves beer. But not chips however - in a bowl, with salt and ketchup - as desired by three children and three adults who had finished a walk up and down a hill and were famished wanted a little something to accompany their drinks and keep them going until dinner proper. It is not as if the pub does not sell chips - it does and apparently in abundance, but only as an accompaniment to rather pricey main courses. "We don't sell chips by themselves" is the line. Sandwiches are on offer, but at £7 a pop for the cheapest (egg and cress) sustaining the troops snack-wise would have set the family back a cool £60 (including a v.cheap round of drinks) so we paid and departed, chip-less and still hungry.

Who can guess the motives for sustaining a business model that so blatantly denies customer choice? Perhaps our nervous twosome wanted to steer us all towards fillet steak, halibut and chateaubriand. Perhaps they simply hate and despise the kind of folk who fancy a bowl of chips after a morning walk as not the sort of customers they want to attract. Who can say? But whatever the reasons, the strategy didn't appear to be paying off. It was a Saturday lunchtime in the middle of August with the surrounding woods of dog walkers and cyclists enjoying the English summer. But in the pub, just a single gloomy red faced regular propped up the bar and a lone couple complained about the amount of chicken in their (£14) Cesar salad. And us, leaving, with a mental reservation to avoid an establishment that brazenly eschews its clientele by denying them the choice of something which is on the menu, but simultaneously is not.
jayjay500 - 17 Aug 2013 17:02
Popped in for a drink after a long day at work. I'd never visited before and really liked the place. Friendly bar manager and lovely big garden which we sat out in. Didn't get a chance to stay for food but would definitely consider returning to try their menu in the near future
Henleygirl - 17 Apr 2012 13:35
Absolutely fab pub and our hands down favourite. Food is second to none - beautifully presented upmarket gastro grub! Great menu and super staff who are all extremely friendly and welcoming. Would highly recommend coming here whether its sunday lunch with the kids and dogs or a romantic mid week dinner.
JojoBarr - 7 Oct 2011 16:10
This place is going upmarket and with prices to match. I visited recently in midweek. There is very little on the menu under 15. It was good but I would have liked to have seen a few less expensive offerings. There was only one beer on the day I went.
deano1 - 7 Oct 2011 14:13
Visited for lunch last Friday as we hadn't been for some time and hoped the new people would be better than their short-lived predecessors.

Wish I'd read the comment below re dogs as we parked in the overflow car park which is also the dogs' toilet area. Terrible smell when we got out of rhe car due to large amount of squishy dogs mess we had driven through.

Bar staff friendly but menu not very inspiring and really rather expensive.

Won't be going back.
LizaJane - 2 Oct 2011 21:07
If you want a country pub in a beautiful setting you might want to consider this for lunch in a spacious garden especially as the food is good. However, if you don't like dogs or you have a child with you who is frightened of them (as I did) you should be aware that the two dogs here spend a lot of time hanging around the tables and angling for food. Unfortunately some clients at other tables were feeding them - one a very large dog, probably a Great Dane. This meant that what should have been a very nice family outing turned into a disaster. So this is a great place for dog lovers but perhaps not so great for families with children.
sociablematriach - 21 Aug 2011 22:45
OK, I went back to The Chequers after I'd heard it had changed hands again and am pleased that I did. I asked the new barman how long he'd been therre - 5 weeks - and one of the locals delighted me with his observation of the idiots who ran ir for 6 months (November 10 - May 11 " they didn't have a f***ing clue". A pretty astute summary to someone who'd he's never met before and I liked his frankness. I couldn't have agreed more.

Anyway, those awful people with their horrible "laaarsaaarneeeiaaar" have gone and the new folks seem to know what they are doing. Saturday lunch was great, all washed down with an excellent pint of Oxford Gold and cider (not at the same time!) .

It's definitely back on my list.
deano1 - 4 Jul 2011 13:29
This pub is changing hands again, as the current landlord is leaving on 29 April 2011. Not sure what's planned for the pub after that. We visited on the 21 April and enjoyed reasonable food for a somewhat limited pub menu, and a decent pint of Brakspear Oxford Gold. Sizeable outdoors area for the summer, although no shade.
imule - 25 Apr 2011 09:46
Agree with Abstratman- pub has friendly welcome and atmosphere is great. The Brakspears beer is also excellent. Home made chunky soup and bread at a fiver gets top marks, though our party were less impressed by the french bread sticks which at nearly seven pounds looked rather poor value for money
6speed - 9 Feb 2011 18:06
Wow what a change ! I have been back and forth to this pub over many years and have to say it had "gone down" in terms of appearance, service and food especially over the last two years or so.. but now it is most definitely back ! The new landlord together with his wife and chef son certainly know how to run a good pub.. Their previous experience and attention to detail shine through...Great atmosphere, warm welcome ,cozy, lovely roaring fires, good beer, tasty home made food... try the home made chunky soup, fingest finger or lasagna..the home made brioche bread and butter pud is to die for ! On a more sombre note I also have to say that on a previous visit in early December 2010 my first impression was not too great, the barman was less than desirable but now that the tatty unkempt football loving and for ever interupting grumpy youth behind the bar has been surgically removed by the landlord it is even better..! I have to disagree with Deano in his earlier comments and say that perhaps he should re-visit and soon !
Abstratman - 7 Feb 2011 00:19
Oh dear. Towards the end of 2010 The Chequers changed hands. My girlfriend and I have been quite a few times over the past few years and while the previous landlord wasn't exactly a "Ray of sunshine", he did run a very tight ship and served up simple but delicious meals in a timely manner and provided complimentary newspapers.
The new people don't seem to have a clue. I went there on my own in mid-December for Sunday lunch and the service at the bar was so haphazard and slow a number of people got fed up with waiting and walked out. I hung in and had the roast (which was OK) but when I came to pay the card machine wasn't working so it was a good job I'd had enough cash on me. Recently, I went with my girlfriend for a "quick" Saturday lunch. We ordered a vegetable soup with crusty bread and a sausage baguette. We waited and waited and waited. GF twice enquired when the food would arrive and was told both time "it's coming". Yes, but when??? One hour and 10 minutes after we'd ordered we were finally served. We were told they had burnt the soup so had to make a fresh lot. OK fine, but why not tell us so that we could (a) agree to wait, (b) change our order, or (c) get some bar snacks to tide us over? GF did not get a spoon and had to interrupt the landlady who was extolling the delights of her homemade "laarsaarneyaar" (I always thought it was Italian rather than South Bucks in origin) to another customer. Spoon arrived but no knife for her crusty bread (2 meagre slices from a supermarket baguette) so she had to interrupt again. When I came to pay, the card machine was still not working and the barman said he'd knock something off the bill for our trouble. I ended up paying 14 for a soup, sausage baguettte and a pint and a half of lime and soda. GF was furious when we were in the car park when I told her and reckoned we had been OVER-charged. However, it was obvious that the barman was having a bad day and for the sake of an argument I didn't go back in to make his, or more particularly, my own experience even worse.
We won't be going back which is a real pity as we'd had our first date there. The Frog at Skirmett and the Bull and Butcher in Turville will be rubbing their hands in glee if the people at The Chequers don't up their game.
deano1 - 10 Jan 2011 12:15
New management from 4 Nov 2010
6speed - 5 Nov 2010 14:31
Yes indeed, a lovely pub, lovely garden, restaurant and setting.

However, one recent Saturday afternoon, whilst enjoying beautiful walking weather, the barman was rather aggressive with punters about 2.45pm, stressing to us that he was closing at 3pm and didnt want to serve us. We insisted, so he did give us adrink, but was rather unpleasant thereafter.
One punter in the arden made it known to all of us (about a dozen) that "the barman was doing nothing to encourage repeat business".

So why do these popular country village pubs close at 3pm on a sunny Saturday afternoon?

Shame. Otherwise, a lovely place.
lolwood32 - 19 Apr 2010 11:29
Lovely Chilterns pub in a pretty hamlet - great food, good beer (Brakspears), delightful garden and friendly, attentive service.
pvaughan - 16 Jul 2008 16:54
We'd only been walking an hour from another pub, but couldn't resist visiting the Chequers and were very glad we did. It's a very pretty pub and has a beautiful garden. The lunch menu looked enticing, and I can't wait to return! I want it as my local!
Thirsty_Rambler - 15 Jul 2007 19:37
Forgive the second entry, but we have just returned from holding a sunday birthday meal there and this warranted an update.

The pub has now seriously upgraded its restaurant, although this shouldn't be taken as suggesting that it has become another of those mindless pub/diners that are dominating the scene. At least for the present, it appears to remain a real pub, and the landlord (Ray) assures me that they have no intention of changing things. Let's hope so.

The Brakspears was spectacular, the food good (around 7.95/head for Sunday roast) and the service and welcome was excellent.

A blustery autumnal day, a roaring fire, great beer and convivial surroundings. Who could hope for better? As long as this place doesn't become yet another "dinner pub" then I will keep returning

Thanks


cynicalbastard - 22 Oct 2006 18:04
Superb hostelry. Brakspears at it's best. Not cheap, but good food, popular and great, cheerful staff.

Highly recommended
cynicalbastard - 25 Mar 2006 13:18
YEH EVERYONE IS RIGHT IT IS A NICE PUB, BUT THEN AGAIN I WORK THERE SO SLIGHTLY BIAS. BUT I ONLY GAVE IT 9, SO NOT ENTIRELY.
eraserhead - 9 Aug 2005 13:00
Went there last monday for a bite to eat - Amazing menu, very reasonable, friendly staff, lovely food. Yaaay.

I'm sure it's not, but it should have been the reason J5 on the M40 was built...
Caspar - 4 May 2004 16:08
The great smell of logs burning on the fire give you a welcoming feeling when you enter on a winters day.Have created many paintings of the old church in the village.The pub,the village and the church are fantastic.
Alan Walter Kermarrec - 1 Feb 2004 07:58
Yes, I just did! :-)

Awesome, lovely in summer (garden), lovely in winter (fireplace), lovely all the time (excellent restaurant in the back).

As a pub should be
alavarre - 22 Jan 2004 00:18
It is awesome, in the heart of a tiny Norman village, replete with Norman church, with two rooms on either side of a fireplace, and a five star restaurant in the back.

Lovely garden out back for summer. If planning for dinner ask the govenor to recommend a B&B, there are several about, in Turville, etc., you wake up looking out the window at the cows....

Delightful.

At least it was so when I visited it a few years back. I'm in the US, so don't have a chance often to catch up... :-(

Cheers, Andy
Andy Lavarre - [email protected] - 22 Jan 2004 00:12
Proper traditional pub in a very small village with a very unusual church opposite. It has several rooms around old-fashioned Tudor core, roaring fire in vast fireplace, sunny lounge by good-sized charming country garden well kept Brakspears PA, SB, Old and Ted & Bens Organic,Good lunchtime food from sandwiches up, quick friendly service, attractive restaurant good walks - can get very busy at weekends
pete - 21 Oct 2003 12:27

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