Water Lane Bar & Kitchen

4.1
190 reviews
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£25 and under
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Cocktail Bar
Top tags:
  • Special Occasions
  • Good for a Date
  • Sunday Lunch
Located in the heart of Bishops Stortford, Water Lane Bar & Kitchen is a premium but casual live music venue serving fresh food alongside award-winning cocktails in the amazingly individual surroundings of the original 17th Century Hawkes Brewery in Bishop’s Stortford. Part of the award-winning ACInns Group, we believe in serving fresh and exceptional quality produce alongside fabulous cocktails whilst enjoying a full music line up featuring acoustic singers, piano sessions and full-on bands all from Herts and Essex. Whether you are looking to snuggle up in our Whiskey snug, or get the gang together and book a booth, Water Lane offers the perfect environment to meet, eat and drink in Bishops Stortford
Dining Style
Casual Dining
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Cuisines
Cocktail Bar, Contemporary European, Bar / Lounge / Bottle Service
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Hours of Operation
FOOD ON THE GROUND FLOOR
Wednesday & Thursday 5-9.30pm
Friday & Saturday 12pm-9.30pm
Sunday 12pm-6pm (Roasts)
Sunday 6pm-9pm (Small Plates)
DRINKS ON THE MAIN FLOOR
Wednesday & Thursday 5pm-10pm
Friday & Saturday 12pm-1am
Sunday 12pm-10pm
DRINKS IN THE CELLAR BAR
Friday & Saturday 5pm-2am
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Phone number
01279 211888
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Payment Options
AMEX, MasterCard, Visa
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Dress Code
Smart Casual
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Executive Chef
Kumour Uddin
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Parking Details
There is no parking on site however there are numerous car parking areas within a 5 minute walk which are free from 6pm onwards
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Public Transit
Bishop's Stortford train station is on the London Liverpool Street (40mins) main line, which is a 10 minute walk from Water Lane. Bishop's Stortford is close to junction 8 of the M11 motorway and is the closest town to Stansted Airport. The town has many bus routes, including the 308 main bus route for travel within town and to Stansted Airport.
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Entertainment
DJ SP every Friday night from 10pm in the Cellar Bar beneath the restaurant

DJ @ War every Saturday night from 10pm in the Cellar Bar beneath the restaurant

Every Friday and Saturday from 9pm onwards we have live music running through until 1am.

Sundays we have our ‘Sunday Session’ which has live music running from 7-10pm.
Additional
Bar Dining, Bar/Lounge, Beer, Cocktails, Dancing, Entertainment, Full Bar, Gluten-free Menu, Late Night, Non-Smoking, Outdoor Smoking Area, Weekend Brunch, Wheelchair Access, Wine
What 190 People Are Saying
Overall ratings and reviews
Reviews can only be made by diners who have eaten at this restaurant
4.1based on recent ratings
4.2
food
4.4
service
4.2
ambience
3.9
value
Noise · Moderate
90% of people would recommend it to a friend
5
4
3
2
1
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JN
Hertfordshire
2 reviews
Dined on 26 October 2018
Overall 3food 3service 4ambience 2

We took our granddaughter to have super, the food was average, staff friendly, atmosphere very quiet,
It was disappointing.

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LD
London
3 reviews
Dined on 14 October 2018
Overall 4food 5service 4ambience 5

We had a great Sunday lunch here. The weather was terrible but the restaurant was cosy and warm. The layout is well thought out with a variety of different seating to choose from. There was a magician wandering around showing us some card tricks which was fun. We had the halloumi fries and chicken wings to start and they were both delicious. Then we both had roasts - the chicken was good but the pork was excellent. Chocolate sundae to finish which was brilliant but a bit late (30 minute wait). However, the staff were very polite and obliging. Overall, great dining experience - will be back.

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JW
Hertfordshire
1 review
Dined on 6 October 2018
Overall 2food 3service 5ambience 5

Not a great experience eatinf here this time round. We have come as a group before around a year ago and had amazing time...hense why we 're visited. Sadly we didn't have the same experience. Firstly the menu seemed very limited....sure it seemed bigger last time??..... myself and a a friend picked calamari and was shocked at the size of it....the smallest portion I have ever seen!!!! Then we both agreed it was tasteless....such a shame!! We had also been told 3 of us couldn't have the steak we wanted as they had sold out.....so had to go with the more expensive steak!!!! Not happy!! ..... this was very tasty...but we had to pay alot more for it!!! Such a shame as not the experience we had had before. The guy singing music was very good thou.

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JS
London
1 review
Dined on 30 September 2018
Overall 4food 3service 3ambience 3

Was good roast but was given different menus for desert and so chose item which was not available on that day, which disappointed my daughter. We found the magician’s sense of humour a bit strange. Have been before and liked it better then.

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DC
London
7 reviews
Dined on 29 September 2018
Overall 3food 3service 3ambience 4

Ordered a platter between the 4 of us to share as a starter. This was good. But 2 of the 4 main courses were not so good, both beef burgers.
Been here before and it was great though, so may give it another go.

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TG
Hertfordshire
1 review
Dined on 23 September 2018
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 4

It was a spur of the moment find for a delicious Sunday roast. Food was amazing, restaurant warm and friendly and waiter was very personable and professional. Would definitely bust again and recommend.

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G
London
2 reviews
Dined on 15 September 2018
Overall 3food 5service 3ambience 4

Food is always good at Water Lane and tonight didn't disappoint (apart from salad not being dressed). We met friends we haven't seen for ages and we all had a decent time. The live music was a nice touch, but was too loud to allow conversation at a normal level. The singer was great though and we did enjoy his set, just wished it was a little quieter. Our table service was very polite and efficient when we got it. Shame we had to ask multiple times for drinks instead of being asked. No one checked our food was OK either, but since we didn't have a problem it went without mention. I'd still go back and would recommend to others too.

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s
Hertfordshire
1 review
Dined on 9 September 2018
Overall 3food 3service 3ambience 3

Although the food was nice it was very expensive for a roast dinner and a burger. The burger was £14.00 and nothing special.
My son originally wanted the spare ribs but for only three of them it was £18.00 and for 5 it would have cost £25.00. not sure about any one else, but lad likes his food and three ribs would have not been enough.

The staff were very friendly and accomadating.

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OT
1 review
Dined on 2 September 2018
Overall 2food 1service 5ambience 4

Service was excellent. Decor is lovely. Sharing board was great but both our mains were slightly overdone, taste was very underwhelming and therefore considered them to be overpriced.

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LL
1 review
Dined on 25 August 2018
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Really great evening with live music. Great food & service

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SP
1 review
Dined on 15 July 2018
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Food and cocktails were brilliant. Was very pleased, looking forward to going back!

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CO
1 review
Dined on 15 July 2018
Overall 3food 3service 4ambience 2

O was disappointed that roast lamb is not on the menu now

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JS
London
2 reviews
Dined on 1 July 2018
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Fab Sunday lunch - lovely helpful staff and good food

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NK
Hertfordshire
2 reviews
Dined on 30 June 2018
Overall 4food 5service 4ambience 3

Food was amazing, drinks lovely. Unfortunately the aircon was too cold making it a bit unpleasant to sit in. It did seem to improve later, or perhaps that was the nice wine. Live music was a nice touch

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G
London
3 reviews
Dined on 17 June 2018
Overall 4food 3service 5ambience 5

A Fathers Day meal. Restaurant not long been opening on Sunday Evening, so it wasn't full at all. Live music was great and just the right style for informal dining.Sunday evening's menu only 'small plate' options. We had a selection and these were OK on the whole. More or less everything is fried (apart from steamed pork buns) and even the sides are too (apart from the olives). Menu offers 3 for 2, but at £6.50 a plate this still works out quite expensive for what you get. Nothing was so bad that we wouldn't go again or felt the need to complain, but it was just OK - nothing more. The drinks/cocktail/wine menu is great and not over priced for the quality. Service was great and I'd definitely recommend here for a good night out.

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d
1 review
Dined on 10 June 2018
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Great service as always.Had the sunday roast-delicious.smalles quibble could have done wih a few more veg.Magician at the table was a hit as always

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JR
1 review
Dined on 6 June 2018
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 4

My vegan husband was catered for very well. My steak was absolutely delicious. It was pretty empty although it was a Wednesday evening. I’ll be back - their Sunday roasts are great and we’ve had superb live music when we’ve been on a Friday

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M
1 review
Dined on 25 May 2018
Overall 4food 4service 4ambience 4

I enjoy visiting the water lane. It’s great to have live music in the restaurant. The bar downstairs have a dj- sometimes it’s good other times not so good. Depends what music you’re in the mood for. Overall, great place for a night out with friends

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DM
London
1 review
Dined on 11 May 2018
Overall 3food 2service 3ambience 5

Very poor menu ..
No more oysters or Cote de beef

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LT
1 review
Dined on 21 April 2018
Overall 2food 1service 4ambience 5

The food is very poor. The only thing that saved the evening from being a complete disappointment was the brilliant band.

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s
London
2 reviews
Dined on 13 April 2018
Overall 4food 4service 4ambience 4

Change of emphasis recently from restaurant to bar/bistro.

Excellent cocktails and good wine selection.

Food mains limited to 4:small plates around 7 choices.
Standard of cooking excellent as was the Service. Desserts oversweet and lemon tart lacked intensity. The sweet potato fries were outstanding though

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RD
1 review
Dined on 25 March 2018
Overall 4food 4service 5ambience 4

Starter, mains and service were fantastic. Would have rated 5/5 but food let down by desserts. Brownie was ok but prune and parsnip sticky toffee pudding was not great at all. Very odd after taste. Could have done with more choice.

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F
Manchester
1 review
Dined on 24 March 2018
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

We booked here for a last minute evening meal and were all SO impressed! Fantastic food, we had the duck and beef burger - amazing attention to detail! Finishing with the tiramisu cheesecake.
Cocktails were superb, so much so I had to have two espresso martinis. Good selection of beers also. Lovely atmosphere and decoration. Fantastic service and to top it off, live music. We all cannot wait to visit again.

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LR
1 review
Dined on 24 March 2018
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

We had a brilliant time at Water Lane. The food was amazing as was the service. We would highly recommend it for any occaision.

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SB
1 review
Dined on 17 March 2018
Overall 4food 5service 5ambience 3

Really lovely food, excellent service and reasonably priced. Let down by the band that came on at 9pm - we couldn’t hear ourselves speak! Shame as it wrecked the end of our dinner.

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VM
1 review
Dined on 17 March 2018
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Booked beforehand, as we were going to a concert just found the corner. We were the only ones in the restaurant for a time, we were looked after. and the food was delivered promptly, very nice. As we were leaving the restaurant began to fill up, We could see that this is a very popular restaurant and that an atmosphere was beginning to emerge.

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DW
1 review
Dined on 11 March 2018
Overall 3food 5service 4ambience 2

Great food as always from the Kitchen, nice front of house staff . Would have been a perfect mother’s day lunch if it had not been for the music which was on shuffle and went from jack jones (👍) to guns n roses (👎).
That aside , the food is well crafted and good quality.

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AN
1 review
Dined on 11 March 2018
Overall 4food 4service 5ambience 4

Visited for Mothers day on 11-3-18, excellent service , great food, four members of our party had the lamb shoulder sharing main dish, strange only one Yorkshire pudding served between two persons, extra requested and waiting service obliged with one extra, otherwise great meal and service.

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JW
1 review
Dined on 2 March 2018
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

This restaurant is great all rounder. My husband and I have been here more than a couple of times, and we have not been disappointed yet. The food is amazing, the staff are always friendly and attentative. I would highly recommend for any occasion.

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JN
1 review
Dined on 25 February 2018
Overall 5food 4service 5ambience 5

Best Sunday roast around, excellent service and even a table magician!

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JD
1 review
Dined on 25 February 2018
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

We had Sunday lunch. Lovely food and very friendly and courteous service. Would definitely return, maybe in the evening next time

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VS
1 review
Dined on 24 February 2018
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Really great place here. Brilliant atmosphere and fantastic attentive staff. Meal was lovely and the live music was awesome. Really couldnt ask for more. Such a great place! Will definitely be returning soon!

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OT
London
1 review
Dined on 18 February 2018
Overall 4food 4service 5ambience 4

Lovely Sunday lunch. Lots and lots of children in the restaurant who were mainly pretty well behaved but it was very loud in there! My dad and I shared the lamb tear & share dinner. It was really good. Very tender lamb, crispy roast potatoes and some great accompanying veg. My one tiny complaint would be that the swede was very very soft, a baby-food like purée, impossible to pick up on a fork, it was practically soup! Tasted nice though!
The desserts are a little bit of a low point, there’s only four on the menu and they’re all quite ‘odd’. We had the chocolate brownie and the parsnip pudding and while both were nice, a bit more choice and maybe a few more ‘usual’ desserts might be appreciated. Other than that though the food was amazing and pretty good value.
Lovely staff, good beers and cocktails. Highly recommended

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TA
1 review
Dined on 17 February 2018
Overall 3food 3service 3ambience 4

Ok experience. Waitress did not understand the request for a medium-well steak. Waitress did not know what the chicken came with so I ordered a side of potatoes and the dish came with potatoes.
Part of the chicken dish was very dry but the waitress did take 10% off the bill with no issues.
Good menu.
First time eating there, I would go again but know what to expect now

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EC
London
1 review
Dined on 14 February 2018
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Exceeded my expectations- cannot wait to return. The food was amazing and staff very helpful and friendly.

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OT
Essex
5 reviews
Dined on 14 February 2018
Overall 4food 4service 4ambience 4

My wife and I visited this restaurant for the second time on a Valentines Day and we were not disappointed. We were welcomed with a smile at the reception desk and our young waiter was soon at the table taking our order for drinks. He was very friendly and courteous. The decor and ambience of the restaurant is really nice The food was delicious and our rib eye steaks were especially good and cooked to perfection. The only small irritation was that music in the restaurant clashed with that in the bar below but this did not distract us from a great dining experience. Prices are reasonable and on a similar level to other places in Bishops Stortford.
We will certainly be going there again.

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L
1 review
Dined on 14 February 2018
Overall 4food 5service 5ambience 3

Enjoyable evening with great food. Amazing range of cocktails at the bar.

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A
1 review
Dined on 10 February 2018
Overall 4food 4service 5ambience 3

I took my girlfriend for her birthday, we loved it, the food was perfectly done, as we’re expecting our first baby and the meat had to be well cooked. The waitress was very friendly and helpful. Looking forward to coming again, and will recommend to friends. 👍🏼👍🏼👶🏽🕺🏽❤️

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JT
Hertfordshire
1 review
Dined on 3 February 2018
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

On a really foul day, weather wise, it was great to have such a warm welcome to this restaurant. We met friends from London and enjoyed an excellent lunch. The atmosphere is relaxed, and the service is both friendly and efficient. The food is great, and the cooking is thoughtful and inspired; we liked the fact that the restaurant tells you where they source their ingredients. The wine list too is very good; I as the driver welcomed their non alcoholic cocktails. Given the quality of the food and wine, we feel that we had good value for money. Our friends (who are much travelled and eat out a lot) agree fully. We shall be back to Water Lane, and shall seek out their sister restaurants, especially at Blakeney.

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OT
Hertfordshire
1 review
Dined on 1 February 2018
Overall 5food 4service 5ambience 4

Egos food Nd atmosphere. Food with a twist. Very enjoyable

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