Halliford Mere Lakes, Shepperton, Surrey

There surely cannot be many restaurants in England that are better located than this one.

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Set in an extensive, manicured parkland next to a series of fishing lakes, between Shepperton and Chertsey, every aspect of our visit there for lunch was pretty close to perfection.

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The food was wonderful, well presented and well cooked, the service attentive and friendly, and the wine list sensible.

We had melon and Parma ham to start, veal in a Marsala sauce for mains, served with ratatouille and rosemary potatoes and a typical ornate Italian ice cream for after. All were very good indeed.

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But it is the extraordinary location which will for sure give me, at least, any flimsy excuse to return there again and again. You sit outside under a large open sided marquee overlooking the lakes and parkland. The tables are well spaced and the feeling of relaxation is palpable. You can even go for a walk between courses ….. heaven!

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I managed to have a long chat with the owners and it is easy to see why this place is so good. Firstly, they have been doing it for years, secondly they know exactly what they are doing and how they want it done and most importantly they are on hand to make sure everything goes well. Oh, and fourthly they are darned friendly! No wonder this place is so good.

Go there – if you don’t, you are really missing out on something quite special.

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Oh, and well behaved pets are allowed in and get a free drink!

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