The Garrison (September 2012)

It works for me. Many try but few succeed with the (albeit highly over-used) gastro-pub concept. It's hard to say where specifically the Garrison excels, but it is probably most strongly in that ineffable idea of ambience, captured by the decor, noise level (well-balanced), attitude of the staff (very clearly going out of their way to be friendly) and of the other diners. Food on this occasion was no better than average, but it didn't really seem to matter. My salmon starter was perhaps slightly too oily and the roast beef main was generous in size, but lacking somewhat in taste. My dining comrade remarked that while her vegetarian options were more innovative than in many similar locations (polenta with peppers for the main), both her starter and main were disappointingly insubstantial in terms of size. Full marks though to the puddings, gingerbread cake was absolutely superb. On the wine list, a very good and diverse selection, but few real bargains.