The reason for the title of this review is that the Two Chimneys is part of the Hungry Horse chain, which is fortuitous, as I can’t think of any ‘Chimney’ song titles. It’s located on the Stotfold Road out of Letchworth, and so avoids being included in the ‘Golden Mile’ pub crawl featured in the “World’s End” movie, filmed in Letchworth. In fact Letchworth is home to only seven pubs, but I enjoyed the movie.
We’ve visited the Two Chimneys a few times in the past, it’s only five minutes from the A1, family friendly and a convenient place to lunch with our two young grand-children.
There’s plenty of parking, a sizeable garden for warmer days and a children’s play area with climbing structures with slides. Our boys love it.
Inside there’s a smallish ‘saloon’ bar with pool table, while most of the pub is set out as a family room, with booths, tables that can be configured to seat even the largest families. There are a number of flat-screen TVs showing football (or on the occasion of this visit – the Russian a Formula One Grand Prix) to entertain and distract the dads.
There are a couple of real ales on keg (Greene King, Ruddles), lagers (Carling, Stella and San Miguel), a reasonable selection of wines, and plenty of soft drinks for the children.
But the Hungry Horse, as the name suggests, majors on food. The menu folds out and out to cover a reasonable sized table. There are a few salads, they serve roasts on Sundays, but for the most part it’s grills, steaks, burgers, burrito and variations (Chicken, Bacon, Cheese, Chilli) around that theme.
Val has tried the steaks on previous visits and has been unimpressed, so decided to opt for Cod and chips, with mushy peas. It was huge, but as so often in these places, not very thick.
Our grand-sons, Kalin & Elvin, went for fish-fingers and the rest of our party went for variations on the theme of burgers. Bill went for a ‘Texan Shredder’ pulled pork ‘burger’ – well it comes in a bun!
Nicole went for the ‘Black & Blue’ (Burger, blue cheese, onion rings and streaky bacon) Burger, and Karen the ‘Mild or Wild’ (Burger, Chicken Breast, melted cheese, onion rings and a choice of chilli sauce).
I went for the “Jumpin’ Jack Jalapeño Inferno” which was much like the aforementioned ‘Mild or Wild’ but topped with a ‘jalapeño inferno, pepper and onion fireball topper’ – this was a revelation, the jalapeños crispy and spicy, leaving me with tingling lips. THAT was unexpected!
Inevitably the beef burgers are cooked ‘well done’ (those ‘Elf & Safety’ fascists strike again) but the chicken breasts were tender and moist, the onion rings and bacon served crispy, and the cheese, melted. As I recall, Simon Rimmer and Tim Lovejoy have observed (on their ‘Sunday Brunch’ TV programme) all food is improved by the addition of bacon and melted cheese. Who am I to disagree?
All seven dishes were served promptly, and together, hot and fresh.
Let’s be honest, this is ‘family friendly pub grub’ – maybe not cardio-friendly – it’s not ‘Bistro Pub’ or haute cuisine, but credit where it’s due, the Two Chimneys does what it does very well.