If you’re going out to celebrate then The Akeman in Tring is the place to go. Now this isn’t to be confused with The Akeman Inn in Kingswood. If you are a local to the area you will understand this confusion and the need to clarify which place you are in fact going.
I came to this place for a 21st birthday celebration, and if you don’t mind paying a little extra then it is definitely worth going to have some food. The Akeman is classed as a posh British pub, but I would class it as more of a bar/restaurant, with a sophisticated spin on the typical pub grub. I am not sure how busy it is throughout the day, but I have only been twice and both evenings being surrounding the weekend were pretty busy, so you would need to book.
Being Christmas The Akeman was filled with decorations and there were Christmas crackers on the table for us to enjoy, and it was even better that they were crackers with the more useful things in, such as a pack of playing cards, and a luggage tag. This is in comparison to the plastic whistle you can get, but at the same time it is Christmas and I don’t care what is in a cracker, it is just something I enjoy.
As I was driving which I seem to be doing a lot of when I go and eat, I had the usual lime and soda to drink, and as you will read from my last post from Bella Vita, the lime and soda must be right! I can confirm it was a good ratio!
For my starters, I had the Burrata Mozzarella Bruschetta, and being very typically English I find it hard to pronounce the more uncommon food words. For example, when you go to an Italian restaurant and there are the Italian words on the menu so you just do the whole point and say a word you can half recognise. I feel like I might offend the person serving me if I get the name wrong, especially when the waiter or waitress is from the country of food you are getting. I did this for the Bruschetta, and Bruschetta was the word of choice, point and ‘can I have the bruschetta please.’
When it arrived, the mozzarella was huge and tasted very fresh and light and it could have been as big as me. I originally thought I would run out of the sourdough before I got through the garlic and basil marinated tomatoes and mozzarella, but I was very wrong and finished it all together rather than running out of one thing.
We didn’t have to wait long after the starters before the main course arrived, and oh my! I went for the House Burger, which was a British steak burger, mature cheddar, smoked bacon, dill pickle, gem lettuce, red onion, tomato, ketchup & mustard mayonnaise. I had mine without the mustard mayonnaise, I cannot stand mustard for the life of me, even if it is the faintest taste, I can taste it. I also upgraded the chips to sweet potato fries for an extra £1. Sweet potato fries are my favourite, if there is an option for them I shall have them.
This burger was huge, and I struggled to eat all of it, especially as I had had bread as a starter too. As I said earlier if you are willing to pay that little bit extra then the food will not let you down, it is worth the money. I make it sound like it is rather expensive, my starter was £8 and the burger was £13, and for a good burger, that is very reasonably priced.
The criticism with The Akeman is firstly the noise levels, I know when it is busy it cannot be helped, but I came out with a bit of a buzz in my head, and I really had to concentrate on what people were saying when having a chat. Even with the person next to me we had to speak up a bit or lean over. I also found that the waiter and waitress we had, although pleasant, did not say much to us, and didn’t smile very often. I was unsure whether the waitress had heard my order as she didn’t seem to acknowledge me speaking and then just looked at the person next to me expectantly.
Saying that they were attentive so if we needed any more drinks, and they did thank us for coming, and finally gave us a smile as we left, but it just would have been nice to have a more friendly reception and atmosphere from them.
The place itself is very modern, you can see where they cook your food, and it is very warm and you do feel comfortable when sitting there. There is a bar and drinking area at the front and the dining area is towards the back. It is the type of place you can just go for a couple of nice drinks with friends, or your Christmas get together and have a good time.