Hotel restaurants generally fall into one of two categories, rather good or really not. The decor often lets them down so on first glance Crowne Plaza’s canteen style 1269 did not appear all that auspicious, but thankfully first impressions can be deceptive. 
1269, apparently is the year the neighbouring town of Beaconsfield was first given a charter allowing an annual market for trading livestock and the central dining area is vast and open-plan like a prairie on which cattle might roam. 
Flanking the tables are rows of gleaming white tiles which give a bit of a stark, clinical impression, but rest assured there are also some cosy booth seats available for more intimate dining.
Where the warmth really shines through however, is in the service and the exceptional quality of the food on offer. The waiting staff were solicitous, knowledgeable and extremely friendly, which made us feel relaxed and looked after on a busy December night when there were large parties to cater for.
To start I sampled the Buccleuch Beef Carpaccio (£5.50) with yuzu flavours, anise, rocket and horseradish snow, which was an intriguingly fresh and zesty combination with a delightful mustard kick. Across the table the 
Marinated tomato, candy beets and truffle goat’s curd with bativia leaves (£8) was equally well matched and fresh on the palate.
Since the restaurant specialises in local livestock, game and butcher-style preparation using unique ingredients, we chose to share the Cote de boeuf paired with half a lobster. The meat was succulent, finely seasoned and had a really remarkable, deep, earthy flavour. 
The Native Lobster with Thermidor sauce was nicely poached and the creamy sauce blended well with the slight sea-salt tang of the lobster. 
The accompanying vegetables (£4) could have been slightly more al dente for my taste but the salad with the beef of confit garlic, watercress and shallots was an ideal addition to a very high quality dish.
For dessert we opted to share the Chocolate fondant, banana ice-cream, passion fruit, the Lemon Sabayon tart, meringue, raspberry and pine nuts and the Strawberry textures and Pimms. I do not usually revel in sweet things but these excelled in giving our senses a complete workout with textures and perfume notes to match their 
bitter/sweet balancing act. 
A menu with this amount of sophistication and first-class service makes 1269 the ideal destination for impressing clients or for large-scale family celebrations which would best suit such a versatile space or book a booth in advance if you're a smaller party or a couple. 
Details: Crowne Plaza Gerards Cross, Oxford Road, Beaconsfield, HP9 2XE. Telephone: 01753 893891,