As the major part of The Darling G's xxth Birthday celebrations, we took over the entire restaurant, seating some 40 guests and a jazz band for three courses.
Organisation & Planning
We did our best to make things easy for Chris, the owner of Kitsons, by ensuring that we had a solid guest list as early as possible, and making sure everyone had already made their menu choices. To avoid mixups, we even had name-cards printed for the table plan which included that person's menu selections.
Sam, the (new) Manager, was well prepared and even went to the trouble to call us on the morning to make sure absolutely everything was still just how we wanted it. They also gave access to one of The Darling G's friends, so that the whole place was beautifully decorated.
Food & Service
There were plenty of service staff working, meaning everything went pretty smoothly on the night. There was a slight hiccup at the very start of service, but nothing major and after that the waiting team were right on form, and everyone got their food pretty quickly.
And what food it was!
The quality and presentation of Kitsons food is beyond reproach. We'd organised a limited range of main courses, to keep life easy for the kitchen, and everything came out beautifully cooked and exquisitely presented.
Best choices were the Wild Mushroom Pie and Foie Gras Parfait in the starters, and in the mains the Rump of Lamb was wildly popular, served with fondant potatoes and courgettes. Also popular was the 'Kitsons Chicken' - a signature dish of pan-fried breast, confit leg and poached thigh. Vegetarians were well served with a Pea and Asparagus Risotto, which was well-received by the few herbivores at the party.
Dessert-wise, we had a range including Chocolate Torte, Orange Parfait and the absolutely sublime Vanilla Cheesecake.
There were no complaints, not a single plate went back into the kitchen, and the service team made sure everyone was looked after, glasses topped up and additional drinks and coffee quickly and efficiently available.
Given the sheer size of our party, with over 40 covers and an ongoing bar bill, I have to say that Kitsons gave us fantastic value as a whole.
The deal offered by Chris ensured everyone had three beautifully-prepared courses, coffee and service for £30 per head, and even the bar tab wasn't *too* astronomical - considering we went through 25 bottles of red and 10 of white!
Overall, taking into account the bar bill, liqueurs for those who could cope, and a hefty additional tip for the service team, the whole lot worked out at a fantastic £50 per head.
This is quite simply superb value for the quality and service we received on the night.
Kitsons has only been open in Abingdon a few months, and I sincerely hope it stays with us for a very long time to come.
The mix of service, quality and value at Kitsons is absolutely tremendous. The food, every time we have eaten there, has been simply superb and is worth every penny of the bill and more.
I can't recommend this restaurant strongly enough, and they deserve a solid following not just in Abingdon, but from the whole of Oxfordshire.
15 High Street
Oxon OX14 5BB
Tel: 01235 526966