Tag Archives: dinner

Review- Long Reach Beefeater, Whitstable

In all honesty I haven’t been to a Beefeater in a few years, therefore when I was invited to go along and review the newly refurbished The Long Reach Beefeater in Whitstable I jumped at the chance to see what they were like these days, I have seen lots of Beefeater restaurants pop up alongside Premier Inn’s as their resident eatery so unless I went in stayed there I probably wouldn’t think of going in to try it. Also Whitstable is one of my all time favourite places to have a day out so it was a good excuse for a little afternoon at the coast.

This particular Beefeater is attached to  Premier Inn just outside the main town, but had undergone a huge refurbishment at the the end of Oct 2015 when it closed for just a week for the work to be done.

After a windswept and rainy afternoon in the town we pitched up a good bit earlier than our booked time as we thought at least we can have a little drink and keep warm until we eat, but the very lovely lady who met us as we came in (Sam) was brilliant and sorted us a table early anyway. On coming through the entrance hall we couldn’t help but get a little tactile with the fabulous grassy ‘Hello’ sign…..
grass hello

The reception as you come inside properly is open, warm and inviting allowing you to instantly see the bar and see that there is a snug bar to the right and the restaurant seating to the left although you are open to sit in the bar area too. Just at the reception desk there is a fabulous set of buffalo plates which I was told that Beefeater had made a huge purchase for their restaurants getting these as they are the original plates that they served their well renowned steaks on many years ago! As a lover of vintage and retro I thought this was a fab idea and did look quirky but brilliant on the wall as you waited to be seated.

beefeater collage decor

The restaurant seating area had been refurbished in muted yellow (more mustard) and grey with added raw wood for a more modern feel. Although they varied the colours in different areas ie: the area we sat in had grey on the walls with the seating taking on the yellow either in free standing chairs or leather boothed style seating, in other areas it was the exact opposite and yet I think both styles worked well together. It was bright but warm and comfortable with added touches such as these fabulous lights at a table near us where the shades where suspended along huge leather ‘belts’ from the setting on the ceiling which looked amazing actually and was a lovely throwback ‘old western’ feel.

beefeater lights

Some areas apparently had been changed fully to make the running of the restaurant more practical for the staff there, such as opening the end of the bar into what would be the ‘breakfast’ serving area and taking away a serving station near to the same area which allowed a more open feel for customers but also allowed for a more fluid self service area for the breakfasts. As the Premier Inn and clientèle numbers increased there was need for an extension to the restaurant to cater for the customers. This area is towards the back of the restaurant and accessed via double doors although these are open most of the time unless the seating area is not required. There is unfortunately a drop in temperature in this area which I was assured was only due to the large family table just beside the doors that evening were they had to close one of the doors in order to accommodate the family seated there. This area although is decorated in the same manner just felt as though it had a little less character than the main original restaurant, but would make for an excellent area if you were having a family celebration where you could keep everyone together and feel as though you were in an exclusive area for the occasion.

interior bar and seating beefeater

The food itself on the day was amazing. We had our youngest teen with us who is 15 years old and can be very picky with his food. He opted for the burger and skinny chips ( which came as an unlimited option-perfect for hungry teens) and declared it was the best burger he had ever had as he doesn’t normally enjoy or finish the bun but cleared his plate that evening! Both my husband and I opted for the steaks ( when in Rome and all that, or should I say when in Beefeater eat beef!) although we have them cooked very differently. Again they came with unlimited chips which my husband took advantage of and the steaks came up cooked to our individual requests- perfect.

beefeater dinner pics

In fact in one area of the restaurant there are a set of pictures depicting how to test if a steak is cooked in relation to how you like it, for example, if you like it ‘rare’ you would press your forefinger and thumb together and ‘feel’ the puffy area of skin just under your thumb, then as you move towards well done you press each finger in turn and that should be the test that your steak has been cooked to how you like it if it feels the same ‘tension or softness’ of that area on your hand…………..make sense?

steak testing pic

There are also fantastic pictures/ paintings on the wall showing all the different styles of knives used and what they are used for. So all the decor fits with ‘eating’ ambience that is created here.

Now, there is a varied range of food available on the menu from the good old steaks to sea bass. The main menu is priced more like a a ‘proper’ restaurant rather than other cheaper restaurant chains I could mention. However, there is a ‘value’ style menu available until 6.30pm which has a lot of the choices from the main menu available from it such as the burgers, steaks and chicken options. After having tasted the steaks and seen the portion sizes of the food itself I didn’t feel as though they had compromised any of the dishes we had ordered which came from the ‘early value’ menu.

We were served by a lovely waitress called Heather who kept our drinks filled without us having to ask, cleared our plates without hovering over us or rushing us and happily gave us plenty of time to choose from the menu when we weren’t quite ready. Although we were eating around 5-530 ish that evening the restaurant filled up from around 6pm giving it a lovely busy feel but without compromising on any service we received.

So without a doubt anytime I am down at the coast visiting Whitstable I will definitely be popping into the Long Reach Beefeater, even if it wasn’t for a full meal I would certainly feel comfortable popping in there for a drink or a coffee ( or another steak!) before heading back home.

** I would like to thanks Sam Stevenson who took the time to show me around the venue and explain the new refurbishment during what looked like a busy time there, she was extremely professional and friendly and made our Beefeater experience very enjoyable**

DISCLOSURE: I was invited to review this particular branch of Beefeater and my meal cost was covered for the purpose of the review. HOWEVER, all views written here, are independent and relate only to my experience on that day.

 

St Patrick’s Day!

Yesterday we celebrated St Patrick’s Day. Not that I am southern Irish or catholic!! I do have the accent though. However, living in England, married to an Englishman with 2 English sons it’s just nice to get them thinking about the fact I’M NOT FROM HERE!! LOL

Anyway it is a true excuse to terrorize them with LOADS of diddly diddly music, Irish food and all things green.

So here’s how it went:

Yummy beef in Guinness with a clover shaped pastry top, champ and cabbage!

A bit of this also…………..the teen is NOT happy!

I would have liked to head up to the parade in London this year, however, one son had extra piano lessons today and the other had his Lamda practice…………..so it wasn’t to be.

I am waiting until they are both over 18 so we can go on a proper long weekend in Dublin, complete with a tour of diddly diddly bars, a few Guinness’s and yummy food! Until then my friends it’s down to me to keep the madness going!

What did you get up to?

My Mother’s Day!

How has your day gone?

Flowers?

Chocolates?

Lunch or dinner out?

Today I have had coffee in bed while I opened a few cards and a little pressie or two. I know these times can become very commercial so we always agree not to go mad and that it is the thought that counts. So I had a bought card from my OH but homemade personal ‘printouts’ from the kids (which I prefer).

I was chuffed to bits to get the soundtrack to the new Les Miserables film which has already been played today!

However, my definite surprise pressie was a fab onesie!! No laughing please I have really wanted one for ages but it’s not something I would go and spend money on for myself when there are lots of other things to pay for.

Sadly I look FAR too happy wearing this LOL

I am now sitting on the laptop while they are all ‘secret squirrel’ in the kitchen making dinner………………..I will admit I am slightly scared at the idea as my OH is the worst cook ever, so it will be like the blind leading the blind. However, like I said earlier it’s the thought that counts ( that’s until the food poisoning kicks in and then I will be swearing).

We also popped into Costa earlier(as my youngest had a party to go to) and I was able to have my favourite vanilla latte and caramel shortbread as a quick treat!

Calorie overload

AND to top it all off I have just seen that The Wizard of Oz is about to start on telly!!!

MY DAY IS COMPLETE.…………..if for some reason (possible impending food poisoning) I don’t make it to tomorrow, I can safely go knowing I had the BEST day today!!

Let me know how your day went.

Christmas Dinner Disasters

Ever had one?

I must admit I’ve been lucky enough to have escaped my own Christmas dinner disasters as I have only been doing the dinner myself for the past few years. Fortunately while my boys were very young we always went to the in laws (no cooking required on my part……..result!).

However, there comes a time when the kids want to stay with their toys for the day and enjoy Christmas at home. This means all cooking required by me!!

Luckily for me my mum stays at Christmas so she cooks the turkey for me with years of experience under her belt……again a result!

However, after talking to a few people the stories started to come out. Things you can imagine and things you can’t.

*turkey doesn’t fit in the oven

*turkey not cooked properly

*cases of food poisoning

*oven breaks down while cooking the dinner

Or even in the style of Only Fools and Horses where the coffee gets mixed up with the gravy and they pour coffee all over their dinner, or the time Grandad left the giblets in the turkey!!

Top tips on how to avoid a Christmas dinner disaster


Let’s face it, Christmas dinner disasters are far from rare in most households. A poll just released shows a quarter of us have first-hand experience of something going badly wrong on the 25th December.

The most common mishaps are dry meat, turkey that is uncooked or hasn’t defrosted properly, people buying the wrong size bird and those that have simply left it so late that the shops have actually run out.

Cooking a feast of massive proportions for extended families of aunties, uncles, grandparents, and children is a task daunting enough to even make a top chef break into a cold sweat, so it’s no surprise  three quarters of the great British public suffer stress as a result of buying and preparing Christmas meat. 

But the survey commissioned by The Q Guild of Butchers to launch their ‘Meat Your Butcher Sessions’ found an overwhelming 95% of the nation has never asked for expert advice about cooking Christmas dinner whilst more than half of us just head blindly go to the supermarket, and pick meat off the shelf hoping for the best. That’s despite the fact that there is usually a butcher’s shop right round the corner, who can offer quality advice on choosing, preparing and cooking meat.

So how can a local butcher help to reduce stress, focus on value and give fresh advice for your festive feast? When should you have ordered your meat by? What’s the difference between a corn-fed turkey and a gold turkey? How much do you actually need to buy so that you don’t get stuck with masses of meat, or even worse don’t have enough to feed the family? And if you don’t even like turkey, what are the great Christmas meat alternatives?

CHECK OUT THE VIDEOS BELOW FOR THE BEST TIPS:

Advice on avoiding Christmas dinner disaster

 

I would love to hear your worst Christmas dinner disasters……………………….feel free to share!!