CHRISTMAS OFFER Subscribe to Hertfordshire Life today CLICK HERE

Lunch review: The Vine in Ware

PUBLISHED: 14:41 20 March 2011 | UPDATED: 20:40 20 February 2013

Lunch review: The Vine in Ware

Lunch review: The Vine in Ware

Food and drink editor Richard Cawthorne samples a doyen of gastro-pubs...

Food and drink editor Richard Cawthorne samples a doyen of gastro-pubs

About the restaurant

The Vine in Wares busy high street has been doing what it does for long enough it has become almost the benchmark for gastro-pubs. Customers heading for the food walk through the drinking area to reach a large dining room designed for cosiness. A tried and tested layout, and it works

Atmosphere and decor

The pub plus the restaurant make up a large space but even on a quiet autumn day there is a sense of bustle. It helps the feeling of a go-getting operation while the soft colours, plush sofas and light wood flooring calm things down for the serious business of eating.


Friendly and conscientious sums up the two smiling waitresses on duty. A good sign is that both take time over and above the order-taking to chat about the food and current Australian wine promotion.

The menu

A lavish selection of familiar dishes leaves us temporarily dithering over what to order. There is a deli selection, starters and light bites, mains, sandwiches and paninis, a soup-and-sandwich choice, winter salads and stone-baked pizzas, not to mention what are called Vine Classics such as fish and chips, a burger and sausage and mash.

To start

Squid tempura and grilled Mediterranean vegetables, both 3.25, turned out to be winning choices from a list of no fewer than 15 starters. The squid were properly chewy and tangy and the veg especially tangy. A good beginning.

Main courses

More middle of the road than the starters, the mains menu served up the star of the show - a duck leg confit in a cannellini bean cassolette (12.95), meaty and flavourful for a cold morning. I chose the fish of the day, swordfish with green beans and buttered new potatoes (13.95), solid and filling but not quite fishy enough for my taste. The braised beef and house ale pie (9.95) could have been a contender.


With two courses accounted for, a third proved a bulge too far but pudding fans can choose typically between traditional vanilla crme brulee, bread and butter pudding, chocolate brownie or pumpkin strudel, all at 5.50, plus ice cream at 1.50 a scoop.

The experience

The Vine promises freshly-cooked seasonal dishes in a home-from-home environment. Its fair comment, and we enjoyed ourselves.

The cost of lunch for two was 44.30 plus service, including two glasses of wine.

This is an independent review featuring a restaurant selected and experienced by our food and drink editor. The restaurant was not told it was being reviewed.

The Vine Pub & Dining Rooms
22 High Street
Ware SG12 9BY
01920 462462


More from Food & Drink

Thursday, October 11, 2018

Auberge du Lac opened its doors in 1998 and we are inviting you to celebrate the restaurants fabulous history on Wednesday 28th November.

Read more
Monday, October 8, 2018

Buntingford gains a new 28-cover fine-dining restaurant with the opening of the Falcon

Read more
October 2018
Wednesday, October 3, 2018

Christmas at the Tilbury from 23rd November to 29th December.

Read more
Wednesday, October 3, 2018

Christmas at The White Hart from November 23rd to December 29th 2018.

Read more

Offering both Turkish and Italian cuisine, this large restaurant in the historic Drill Hall in Bishop’s Stortford manages to pull off variety in enjoyable style

Read more
October 2018
Tuesday, October 2, 2018

Whether you want fine dining or classic pub food, real ales or good wine, we have the pub for you in our Hertfordshire pub guide

Read more
Tuesday, September 25, 2018

St Albans restaurant Dylans at the King’s Arms has opened a second outlet following a renovation

Read more
September 2018
Tuesday, September 25, 2018

After a glittering ceremony at the Henry Moore Foundation, we can now reveal the winners of all 11 categories of this year’s awards

Read more
Tuesday, September 25, 2018

We reveal the winner of the Service to the Community award

Read more
Tuesday, September 25, 2018

We reveal the winner of the Best Local Industry Supplier award

Read more

Newsletter Sign Up

Sign up to the following newsletters:

Sign up to receive our regular email newsletter

Our Privacy Policy

Topics of Interest

Food and Drink Directory

Local Business Directory

Search For a Car In Your Area

Property Search