The Old Court House Inn

St Aubin, Jersey
Located in the heart of St Aubin's overlooking the pretty harbour, the Old Court House Pub, Restaurant & Rooms is all about timeless old world charm. Le Boulevard, St Aubin, St Brelade JE3 8AB Overall Rating
Staff: 8/10
Ambiance: 10/10
Location: 10/10
Food and drinks: 5/10
Value for money: 5/10

We were so looking forward to seeing the revamped Old Court House. Under new management no less. Just adore this restaurant. The location, the décor, just heavenly. Put the words ‘speciality seafood’ and ‘luxurious comfort’ with ‘old world charm’ and you have the Old Court House to a tee. Ah, the importance of a good location!

An upmarket drinking and dining restaurant/inn in the heart of St. Aubin’s. Occupying a prime position over St. Aubin’s harbour, it is warm, traditional and sophisticated, offering bar, music, restaurant and boutique hotel facilities.

Parking can be exceedingly difficult. The restaurant is busy, so make a reservation. We have been coming to this restaurant for decades. The menu hasn't changed much and focuses on local produce and seafood as their speciality. Upon arrival, we decided that the restaurant has aged better than us. The refurbishment was warm and a great uplift. I concluded that my face could do with an uplift too. Ahh, the meals I have had in this restaurant over the years.

The staff were warm and welcoming and talked us through the menu. Very pleasant. After a round of vodka and tonics – the dishes start coming; garlic prawns followed by steamed mussels with chips. The food strikes me as just as good as it seemed first time around, if not better. But then disaster struck, the garlic prawns were tough and uncooked. The meal was returned. My charcuterie dish was fine, but what can go wrong with a glorified ham platter? Not much. Next up the steam mussels, in white wine and garlic. The chips were hot. Marvellous. Horror, the mussels, were over steamed, shrivelled and hard as bullets.
He we go, now we will see how good their customer service is. We were advised by the waitress, that the chef had been with them for over 20 years. “20 years” could this be true? That maybe the case, but he can’t cook mussels. The waitress returned to advise us, that the chef agreed that the mussels were shrivelled and hard and would make them again for us. We waited and we waited. Indeed, we waited for 40 minutes. Eventually fresh chips (hot) and the fresh mussels arrived. The mussels were better the second time, but still required improvement. By this time, however, we were the last remaining couple in the restaurant and just wanted to leave. We were offered apologies and a glass of wine, which we declined.

At first, the Old Court house is all warming and gorgeous, but it fails to deliver on the quality of food. The menu is pricey and to be fair, the food is hit and miss and overshadows the luxurious surroundings. To have a couple of rogue dishes that need to be returned to the chef, is poor, for an establishment of this calibre. I was left with the feeling that the chef, didn’t quite know how to cook seafood. Maybe there was a trainee? Or maybe the chef should go back to college? They were the worse mussels I have had in my life.

The Old Court House is an example of mediocrity. The food was not great and the wine is mediocre, but the atmosphere is authentic and it's difficult not to be charmed by warmth of the décor and the stunning location.

Old Court House lovers will be bemused by this review. This, fishy onslaught, however, has left me very disgruntled. If the Old Court House claims that ‘Seafood is their Speciality’ then you had better get your pots and pans out and produce something ‘special’. Very disappointing.

The Fork and Spoon Team, have been in debate over this establishment. What went wrong? Finally, we have decided, we will revisit The Old Court House to see if there is an improvement in the quality of the food.

Watch out for our card being left on your tables from Fork and Spoon Gossip and you know we have revisited and we will update and review this critic.

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