Monday, 16 July 2012

Review: Beefeater Grill Restaurant, The Stanborough

Beefeater are a name that have been around for years and I have to say I have not visited one of their restaurants for absolutely years, my assumptions have been that they are expensive and the food would not be that good.

I was wrong!  I'll say that again, just in case you are not sure.  I really was wrong.

The Service
On Saturday, late afternoon we were lucky enough to go along and try out The Stanborough Beefeater Grill in Welwyn Garden City, Hertfordshire and we had a really superb time. On arrival the 2 waitresses on the floor were busy but we were acknowledged twice and told they would be with us soon.  The greeting was warm and we were seated in a comfy booth.  The waitress was very friendly and chatted with my twins about the show they had been to see that morning.

The girls enjoying the colouring and activity sheet

Within a few minutes our waitress Simone came over and introduced herself and took a drinks order, she was very efficient and personable.  The drinks arrived quickly and were as ordered and Simone was able to make some food suggestions as we placed our order.  The feeling was that nothing was too much trouble. We did laugh though, as it had been noted in the reservations diary that our table was booked by the PR agency and thus I assume they realised we were either important to judging them. Because of this we keenly watched the rest of the restaurant and the service that other tables were receiving and I can honestly say that the service was consistent and they were just exceptionally good at the all round customer experience.

The Food
With regard to the food, again there was nothing to disappoint us. It was all cooked well and the portion sizes were good.  All chips are bottomless, including the kids and thus those with a bigger appetite can fill up. I felt that the vegetarian options were a bit limited but dh (who is the veggie) was quite happy and he had a vegetable risotto which he tells me was really pleasant.

3 good sized skins for a starter portion

For me, I started with the cheese and bacon potato skins, which we all loved and the kids nicked a good proportion of and then I didn't fancy chips so I went for the chicken breast wrapped in bacon with a black and blue sauce, served with new potatoes and vegetables.  I am pleased to report that the veg did taste fresh and the chicken was cooked to perfection. To finish I had a waffle with banana, hot toffee sauce and ice cream and it was large and very good.

The Kids Menu
I was particularly impressed with the kids meal, it is a main course and dessert with free drink for £5.25 and then you can add on a starter for another £1.  The choice is very good and the portion sizes were more than adequate. JJ opted for the burger, fries and beans, Miss E had the same but with fish fingers and Miss M has a spaghetti bolognaise, garlic bread and corn on the cob.  That was  a really hearty meal and was enough for Miss E to have some too!



The kids desserts are great, often I find you have a choice of ice cream or ice cream for the kids but not so here.  Miss E indulged in a large portion of profiteroles with ice cream and the other two had the mini chocolate challenge, where you can create your own dessert with ice cream, brownies, marshmallows and warm chocolate sauce.



What could they do better?
I have thought hard about what I might write as something to be improved for next time and the only thing I have thought of is that we were not offered the special daytime (until 6.30pm) value menu, but this is very minor when I think about just how good the food and service was.  I would also have been happy with the cost had I of paid for the whole meal, all of us having a 3 course meal and drinks came to just over £57 and for an evening out that is acceptable.

What promotions are there?
As mentioned there is a daytime value menu and also an evening value menu, the items on these menus are more limited but when a main course starts from just £4.99 in the day you can't really complain.  The upgrade for a starter and dessert is just 1.99 a piece, so you could end up with a 3 course meal for less than £9.00, sounds good!

Also, what we discovered while at the restaurant is that there are often good promotions going on. We were told about the breakfast deal where an adult can get a full english buffet with drinks for £8.25.  Nothing special there you may think until you realise that every adult can take 2 kids (under 15) with them to eat for free.  Fantastic, so when we have something to celebrate but not too much money we can all go for late breakfast on a weekend (up until 11am) and have a great meal for just £16.50 for the 5 of us  perfect!

The Final Verdict
Excellent, we would give the overall experience a 9/10.


Disclosure:  We received a £50 discount on the cost of our meal for the purposes of this review.  I have not been instructed what to write and I remain honest.

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