Beefeater restaurants are somewhere I remember fondly from childhood. It was often somewhere we went for a family meal when I was a child and over the years even though I now live on the opposite side of the country, my local Beefeater Marsh Mills is somewhere we go to from time to time with my own children.
With a newly refurbished restaurant and revised menu in place, I was offered the chance to review the Marsh Mills branch of the popular restaurant chain, which I was eager to do and knew my children would be keen as they love eating out.
We headed off for a 5pm booking, quite early as my children prefer to eat earlier and it tends to be less crowded at that time of day. We were greeted with a modern looking reception area and a nicely styled restaurant.
We were handed menus and given a few minutes to decide our drinks order. I loved the kids new look brightly coloured Mr Men menus. My two children both enjoy the Mr Men characters and this certainly engaged them in looking through and picking their choices. I was disappointed though that there was no kids activities provided as usually with Beefeater and similar style restaurants the kids look forward to doing some colouring in or puzzles but nothing was given to us which did leave the children a bit fidgety whilst waiting for food.
The kids menu is £4.49 for a main course and drink of squash, with an added course making it £5.49 or 3 courses for £5.99. Usually I just make the children have the included squash but as we haven’t been out for a while and having spotted a rather yummy looking milkshake on their menu, I let them order the “handmade to order” chocolate milkshake with Beechdean icecream. This was an additional £1.99 each on top of their meals, I have to say I was rather disappointed when a small carton arrived at the table for each of them as below!! I had been tempted to order the adult milkshake for myself as I am a bit of milkshake fan but got swayed into having a glass of vino instead. I do wonder if at £3.99 for the larger adult milkshake, would I have been presented with two cartons instead of one??
Starters soon arrived, of which we’d all chosen nachos, a family favourite. The kids enjoyed theirs with a small dish of salsa to dip their tortilla chips in, but the adults version just didn’t do it for me. I often have nachos when out and about and I have to say this was one of the poorest versions I’ve encountered. Large lumps of raw spring onion scattered across with a sparse sprinkling of cheese and a rather unappetising looking dip in the middle. It tasted ok, the tortillas were crisp and tasty but not a starter I’d come back for which is not normally something I say about nachos.
With the restaurant fairly quiet and my husband sitting facing the kitchen, he did notice a couple of meals which looked suspiciously like our main course order sitting on the hotplate while we were still enjoying our starters. Needless to say as our starter plates were taken away, the waiter came immediately back to the table with our main courses from the hotplate meaning the fries were only lukewarm rather than piping hot and we didn’t even get a few minutes break between courses.
For main course I had a Quorn burger which came with fries and a pot of coleslaw, which tasted fine and was what of the standard I’d expect and the kids also enjoyed their chicken, fries and baked bean dinners too.
Desserts were also fine, I had the chocolate brownie which was served with icecream and the children had the mini chocolate challenge which they loved as all the bits came in separate bowls for them to build up themeselves.
So it came to the end of the meal and we paid, I did have a quick scan through the bill and it didn’t seem quite right but we paid anyway. On returning home I checked it out and it seems the kids meals aren’t charged quite as the menu suggests. The mains were £4.49 each but the other courses were an additional 99p each which brings each childs meal to £6.47, not the £5.99 for 3 courses that we saw on the menu. Normally I’d expect to see a discount at the bottom of the receipt as we ordered 3 courses but not in this case.
After we paid the bill, the kids were offered a balloon and a small plastic Mr Men toy which was nice, although maybe if the toy was handed out once we arrived it would have given them something to play with rather than the cutlery.
Our overall experience of the Marsh Mills Beefeater was slightly disappointing, especially as we had all been looking forward to going. It hasn’t left us with a feeling of rushing back there next time we are going out to a restaurant, although it’s a shame as I think it could so easily be improved and isn’t like the standard of Beefeater I’ve come to know over the years. I do hope the points I’ve raised are taken on board and make it somewhere I’d want to visit again.
All reviews are my own and my family’s opinions and we received some vouchers towards the cost of our bill (and we paid the rest) in order to write the review.