Opposite Rickmansworth Station resides the Long Island Exchange Hotel & Bar. Originally the Victoria Hotel, built in 1860, it grew with the railway and the businesses moving into the area, and has been Long Island since 1984 (going by the information on the menu at least).
Although just across the road from the station we have in the months we’ve lived in Ricky never felt inclined to visit Long Island. There are a few reasons for this. First, the exterior is white, drab and looks a touch run down. Compared with the many other restaurants and hostelries in town it didn’t really stand out and sell itself. Second, we were all too aware of its status as bar & club, which can be particularly noisy and raucous on Friday and Saturday nights. Although we hadn’t given it much thought, we’d assumed there was the hotel, the bar, and that was about it.
While down for the weekend, my parents decided to stay at hotel element of Long Island, being the nearest and only central Ricky accommodation we’re aware of. The website doesn’t look bad and the prices are reasonable. I visited them there one evening and was taken aback to discover a large, modern and rather pleasant restaurant area. Doubling up as the breakfast area for the hotel, the restaurant is open from midday until 10pm. The layout is modern, with a mix of wooden chairs and comfortable semi-circular padded seats. If anything, it’s a little reminiscent of some coffee houses.
Tara and myself returned to the Long Island to try out the food at Long Island, not least as they’ve currently got a £10 for 2 main courses deal on. It turned out to be decent fare: Tara tried the lentil, chickpea & squash curry, while I opted for Scampi, Chips and mushy peas with onion rings on the side. The food and quantities were decent, not least for the price.
Long Island is part of a chain and the range of meals is similar to Harvester and Beefeater chains, although perhaps somewhat better quality. The food is nicely presented and the service friendly. Although Long Island won’t make our list of favourite eateries, as a convenient place for coffee or a reasonably priced meal out, it might well see some trade from us in the future.