The Hand & Flowers
|The Hand & Flowers|
|Food type||Modern British with French techniques|
|Street address||126 West Street|
|Postal/ZIP Code||SL7 2BP|
The Hand & Flowers is a gastropub in Marlow, Buckinghamshire that opened in 2005. Owned and operated by Tom Kerridge and his wife Beth, it gained its first Michelin star within a year of opening and a second in the 2012 list, making it the first pub to hold two Michelin stars. It was named the AA Restaurant of the Year for 2011–12. Reviews from food critics have been mixed.
The pub was purchased in 2005 by chef Tom Kerridge and his wife Beth, who ran the front of house. Located in Marlow, Buckinghamshire on West Street, only a few doors down from where Mary Shelley wrote Frankenstein. The pub gained its first Michelin star, and three AA rosettes in under a year.
At the AA Restaurant and Hotel Awards 2011-12 the pub was named the AA Restaurant of the Year for England. The Hand and Flowers was upgraded to two Michelin stars in the 2012 list, the first time a pub has ever held two stars. Michelin Guide editor Rebecca Burr said of The Hands and Flowers, "Tom’s cooking has risen to new heights. His dishes are sophisticated yet familiar and are a perfect match for the relaxed surroundings of his charming pub."
After Kerridge appeared on the BBC television show the Great British Menu, he added his two winning dishes to the menu at The Hand & Flowers. Another item on the menu is a hot chocolate tart with cacao from the estates of Willie Harcourt-Cooze. Vegetarian dishes are usually created ad hoc as required, and rely on the invention of the chefs.
The Hand & Flowers also has four suites for rent in two refurbished cottages. Each suite has a separate entrance, and the suites are each decorated around a different centerpiece such as a copper bath or private terrace and hot tub.
In June 2005, Sejal Sukhadwala reviewed The Hand & Flowers for The Guardian. She liked the establishment overall, with her main criticism being that the menu contained a lack of seasonal items. It was rated 2 (on a scale of 1 to 5 where 1 is high) by restaurant guide Harden's.
In August 2011, Allan Jenkins reviewed the pub for The Guardian. He found some of the food stunning, and described a blueberry soufflé as having "an otherworldly intensity of colour and taste." The downsides to his visit were the overly boisterous antics of another table of diners, and that his steak was overcooked.
Matthew Norman, visiting the pub for The Daily Telegraph following the awarding of the second Michelin star, thought that the food was disappointing and over seasoned. Even though he felt predisposed to liking the place, he found the ambiance to be very quiet, and pondered how the restaurant compared to other two Michelin star establishments such as Le Gavroche or Marcus Wareing's restaurant at The Berkeley. He rated the gastopub as three out of five, and thought that it may have been an off day.
Fiona Duncan reviewed the hotel rooms at The Hand & Flowers in November 2010 for The Daily Telegraph. She thought that the little touches that the pub added were great, particularly breakfast being delivered to the room in a hamper, but that the rooms offered poor value for money and that the bed was hard to get out of while the bathtub was hard to get into. Shahesta Shaitly for The Guardian in 2009 thought that it was perfect for a romantic break, and only criticized the lack of double glazing considering that the cottages were located on a main road.
- Sejal, Sukhadwala (18 June 2005). "The Hand and Flowers, Marlow, Bucks". The Guardian. Retrieved 6 February 2012.
- Attewell, Fred (6 October 2011). "Gastropub Hand & Flowers receives two Michelin stars in 2012 guide". Metro. Retrieved 6 February 2012.
- Duncan, Fiona (16 November 2010). "The Hand and Flowers, Marlow: hotel review". The Daily Telegraph. Retrieved 6 February 2012.
- "The Hand & Flowers". The AA.com. Retrieved 6 February 2012.
- "AA Restaurant and Hotel Awards 2011-2012 announced". Design Restaurants. 27 September 2011. Retrieved 6 February 2012.
- Davies, Caroline (6 October 2011). "Hand & Flowers becomes first pub to win two Michelin stars". The Guardian. Retrieved 6 February 2012.
- Jenkins, Allen (21 August 2011). "Restaurant review: Hand & Flowers". The Guardian. Retrieved 6 February 2012.
- "The Hand & Flowers, Buckinghamshire". Harpers Bazaar. Retrieved 6 February 2012.
- Shaitly, Shahesta (27 September 2009). "Checking in". The Guardian. Retrieved 6 February 2012.
- "Hand & Flowers". Harden's. Retrieved 6 February 2012.
- Norman, Matthew (1 November 2011). "The Hand and Flowers, Marlow, Bucks, restaurant review". The Daily Telegraph. Retrieved 6 February 2012.