Marlow’s newest eating place – The Assembly Room

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Caroline Baugh, one of the proprietors at the bar

Another coffee place in Marlow? That’s what you might think on hearing there is a new addition to the towns roster of places to eat and drink.

However The Assembly Room, situated above Steamer Trading at the top of the High St,  is promoted as a “Brasserie & Café” open until 11pm for dinner, so is clearly setting out to be something different.

We went along for lunch within days of it first opening.

Caroline Baugh, one of the proprietors at the bar

Background
We met the team behind the venture, and it’s very much a family affair: chef Neal Dove (ex Cliveden) together with his wife Sarah, and her sister Caroline Baugh.

Offering a menu covering breakfast, lunch and dinner – they are also hoping to attract casual visitors dropping in for a tea & cake. They offer a full afternoon tea service, which is quite unusual outside the local hotels. On Sunday they offer traditional roasts, and will have fixed price menus for special occasions for example a Fathers Day Menu for this Sunday 19th June (2 courses £ 15.00, 3 courses £ 19.50)

Quite a view from our table next to the window.

The setting

Location is perhaps a tad unusual, being above the Steamer Trading Shop, but not affiliated to it. Entrance is either via the external door and up the stairs, or through the shop and up the grand staircase. In addition there is a lift from the shop floor.

The setting itself is quite impressive, not a surprise considering the building it is in. All high ceilings and very grand. In addition – if you sit by the window you end up with probably one of the best views from a restaurant table in Marlow .


Haddock, chips and peas

The food

We picked one item from the lunch menu, and a sandwich. As can be seen from the photo, the battered haddock and chips with mushy peas (£11.25) included some very chunky chips and presentation that included a miniature frying basket and individual ketchup.

The batter was crisp, the fish size generous, and although at first sight I was concerned about the quantity of chips – their chunkiness must have compensated because I felt plenty full enough.

Club sandwich and fries

Our other choice was the Roast Chicken Club Sandwich (£7.50) with added fries at £2. It came stuffed with chicken, bacon, mayo etc – so no complaints there!

Our son also tried the children’s menu cheese omelette and chips, at £4.

Conclusion

In short, we felt this was good food in a historic and unique location. It was quite quiet on our visit, but then this was literally a day or two after a very low key opening, so not a surprise.

It was maybe a bit pricier compared to say a standard cafe – eg £7.50 for a sandwich, though it was a whopper. Its probably fairer to compare against restaurant prices, where the £11.25 for fish and chips compares well against say the Marlow Bar and Grill offering at £15.  The children’s meal had plenty for £4.

I can see the place could being ideal for business lunches given the setting and ambiance.

Despite being on the first floor, the Assembly Room could possibly become popular with mums meeting for coffee, and here’s why – the lift access from the shop leads to a lobby which is huge and perfect for leaving the buggy perhaps, and they have ample high chairs.

We will certainly revisit to give the afternoon tea a whirl sometime, and to try the evening menu.

So are there too many places to eat in town? Well, competition is no bad thing – and we welcome a new independent place that stands apart from the chains, offering something different – and wish them luck.

The details

  • 1 Market Square, Marlow, Bucks, SL7 3HH.
  • Free wifi
  • Telephone 01628 474 718
  • Email info@theassemblyroom.co.uk
  • 9.30am -11pm Tuesday to Saturday
    9.30am-5.30pm Monday
    11am-6.00pm Sunday

17 COMMENTS

  1. I have just returned from the Assembly Rooms having dined with my two teenage sons. What a wonderful experience! Initially I was concerned about the “cafe” tag for evening dining but had no need to worry. The food was on par with some of the best eateries in Marlow and the view from table 1 is straight down the High Street – marvellous.

    Broad bean soup with chilli oil with soda bread was to die for. My sixteen year old son described the soup as the best he’d ever tasted. Beautifully presented main dishes followed with eton mess and off menu ice cream for dessert. The wine list offers all wines by the glass which is a pleasant surprise. A well chosen Rioja and Pinot accompanied my risotto with mushroom tempura.

    Listening to the owner it seems that the last three weeks have been a soft opening. I will certainly return and I look forwards to trying the eggs Benedict for brunch on a weekend.

    Clare Mayo – Oak Tree Road.

  2. I went to go to this new place to eat and it’s quite expensive, not everyone in Marlow can afford to spend this much money! If I wanted to spend £11.50 on a tiny tiny portion of fish and chips id buy for the whole family and share!!!

  3. I can’t agree with James King, and am assuming he did pay the £11.50 to be able to comment pesonally on the size of portions. I was visiting from Yorkshire and had no complaints regarding the portions offered and can wholly recommend the fish and chips.
    When I am next in Buckinghamshire it is my intention to dine at The Assembly Room – the atmosphere is unique and the staff extremely pleasant.

  4. I came here for a nice lunch with my mum, finace & son. It was a lovely warm welcome by the staff who kindly moved the tables together so we could all sit and look down the high street – great for the people watching. Mym mum had the haddock & hash brown brunch, my fiance & I have the chicken club and my son shared a bit of all 🙂 I have to admit, the food was GREAT! The sandwich was amaing and very yummy, i did not need the chips I ordered as a side as was pretty big. My mums haddock she said was very delicous and fantastic value at just £6.00!! We will definately be visiting again!

  5. We visited the Assembley rooms last Sunday for lunch. The setting is fantastic and the view from the window seats are the best in Marlow.

    We ordered the chicken club and the cheese and home made onion chutney sandiches with fries and I have to say that although not cheap, the food was great. The service was first class and we have booked to go back this Friday night for dinner as they have live chilled jaz.

    They have a large fireplace which will be lite in the winter months which give a lovely cosy ambience.

    Give this place a go and you will not be dissapointed.

  6. A HUGE thank you to Caroline and staff for an absolutely amazing 30th birthday treat that was a late lunch at The Assembly Room on Sunday. All were extremely impressed by the presentation of each dish, the generous portions and the incredible tastes.. every.single.dish.

    We were treated to a Chef’s Taster (mushroom and truffle soup), so yummy that even my mother-in-law who does not like mushroom soup couldn’t stop raving about it.

    And the icing of the cake (excuse the pun) was the surprise Birthday cake beautifully presented and one of the tastiest I have ever eaten!

    This restaurant deserves every success. I can not recommend it enough. LOVED every minute and morsel!!!

  7. Amazing time with my fiancé, beautiful setting and great ambiance !! Great value and loved the live music !!!!!! Will be back soon

  8. Four of us went for Dinner last night and really enjoyed the experience. The Jazz trio gave just the right level of background, nothing too heavy or loud. The food was great and the view from our window seats was perfect.
    These guys deserve to succeed and I hope we can have a regular Jazz dinner option here in Marlow

  9. Two of us enjoyed an early evening meal at the Assembly Rooms last Saturday and we both thoroughly recommend the restaurant. The food was excellent; fresh salmon with sauted potatoes, butter beans and salad garnish, followed by a summer sundae with delicious home made ice-cream and fresh fruit.

    The service and ambience were perfect. It really is high quality dining at a very reasonable price. We will definitely be returning soon.

    G & S Davies

  10. Just had the best chips in Marlow, with a burger. Mum had eggs benadict. fantastic food set in a beautiful room.

    love the fact it’s not a chain, yes a little pricy but it’s way to easy to spend a little less and get a whole lot less quality in return.

    Deffo coming back.

    FYI everything in Marlow is pricy.

  11. What a beautiful space, great service and lovely coffee. Going back for lunch tomorrow. Do they rent it out for parties and functions??

  12. WELL THE CROWN UPSTAIRS IS OPEN AGAIN……..My wife and i spent Sunday morning having breakfast looking down the High Street enjoying the food,coffee and the October sun coming through the window. My wife who has been living in England now for 26 years commented on the location as a great place to have a dance hall,so i started telling her that in the sixties i would be here at the weekends dancing to groups and this was the in place to be.So this weekend i will be back UPSTAIRS IN THE CROWN having a meal and listening to a band once again, some 40 years on.

  13. Taking a break from the office this morning I went up Marlow High Street looking for a nice place to sit for an hour and catch up on some paperwork. I’d never been to the Assembly Room before and what a fantastic place it is too. Sitting by the window drinking my cup of hot chocolate watching the world go by – absolutely perfect. I didn’t have anything to eat however the dishes on the menue look very appetising. The Assemby Room must be the best kept secret in Marlow. Not for long I’ll bet. Dermot

  14. Excellent lunch in The Assembly Room. Great setting and view of Marlow. Food and service really good. Really recommend this restaurant.

  15. My husband and I dined here when it had only been open a few weeks. Best mushroom soup eve!! The ambience and view is just an ideal setting for a romantic meal. My friend is up from London and I can’t wait to take her out to dinner here. Also plan on indulging in the Afternoon Tea with my mum, as there aren’t many place who do that well and I know our expectations will be exceeded. Looking forward to the Jazz Band this weekend.

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