‘A hidden gem’ is probably the best way to start this restaurant review for the Warbler on the Wharf. It is very rare to not be able to see a restaurant from the main road, so the level of expectation when driving in was heightened due this.
With the city of Milton Keynes growing, it was quiet endearing to visit this pub restaurant and to be able to enjoy the views of the canal and marina. Now, the sun wasn’t out when we visited but that didn’t stop people sitting outside whilst having a drink. There wasn’t anyone quite brave enough to enjoy a meal outside, but I imagine if we had visited the day after, it would have been packed.
The reason for our visit to the Warbler was because we had heard it mentioned but had never seen it. So, really, we visited out of FOMO.
If we start with the setting and building, you will not be disappointed if you visit. The car park is ample, while for families, the location could double up with a trip to Gulliver’s Land, a nice canal walk before or after dinner, or a visit to Willen Lakes.
Internally, the venue is superb! Really well presented and it has a great vibe. It is separated into different areas, so you do not have to be eating to visit. It is child-friendly but rest assured there are no play areas, and it is very dog friendly. The ground floor has a lounge area with TV and fireplace so if you just want to stop and grab a drink or watch some sport, you are not in the eating areas. Then upstairs there is a private dining area for functions.
We were invited to take a seat in the lounge area as our table was not ready when we arrived. This is where the three negative comments of the whole review come into play. We were told to order any drinks we needed from the bar, but these were not added to our bill, so we had to pay separately. This isn’t a real deal breaker, but if we were meeting friends or family and splitting the bill it could have been awkward regarding who was paying. We were not given menus to have a look through whilst waiting. Again, not a major issue, but given the depth of the menu it certainly would have helped me choose what to eat if I’d been able to peruse while having a drink. Lastly, whilst we’re on the negatives, the food and drinks menu were very weathered. I took this as a positive given the amount of people who must have visited, but it also could be taken the other way, leaving people wondering that if they are grubby, what else is?
Rest assured nothing else about The Warbler is grubby. The staff are all well-presented and really friendly, they took us over to our table and were very chatty. All the way through the meal they were great and that included changing server half-way through. As previously mentioned, the menu is quite vast but then that means we have to go back and sample something else. The menu has everything, and everyone is catered for so if there were any dietary requirements, I would say you are covered.
Food ordered, so we sat and waited. We were not made to wait long but whilst waiting we were easily entertained with people and dog watching as majority of the tables are surrounded by glass and bi-fold doors to enjoy the views. We could not decide on starters so opted for mains and dessert as these grabbed our attention. I opted for the Korean BBQ burger and my guest, chicken Caesar salad with bacon. The salad was huge and burger was very tasty. Portions were good and piping hot, and both meals tasted great. As with most venues we were asked if everything was ok during the meal. Mains gone, on to pudding where we opted for the Chocolate and Salted Caramel Slice and Banofee Pie, which matched the mains, well-presented and tasty. Portions were good and piping hot, also both meals tasted great. As with most venues we were asked if everything was ok during the meal.
In our opinion, The Warbler on the Wharf is a great destination pub. If you are planning on visiting Milton Keynes, I would definitely advise booking in advance as it gets very busy. Lots to do before and after your meal, surrounded by picturesque views, very private and extremely well-presented.
This visit was booked anonymously and the food and drink was paid for by the writer.