Monday, 29 May 2017

The Beefeater 'Downshire Arms' Review*

I was recently contacted by The Beefeater to ask me if I would be interested in reviewing their newly refurbished restaurant, The Downshire Arms in Bracknell. I don’t tend to do many food reviews on my blog because it can be difficult when you have severe digestive problems, but I decided to give it a go this time. We always used to go to our local Beefeater in Sandhurst (many years ago!) but it was gradually going downhill and we ended up falling out of love with it. But, just recently, we decided to give it another go and were pleasantly surprised by the quality of the food and service, plus the newly refurbished venues. So I was quite excited to try out a different restaurant in the chain, and asked my Dad if he would like to come along too.

The Downshire Arms isn’t too far from where I live, attached to a Premier Inn near the centre of Bracknell. We had to pay £1 to park, but were told this would be refunded after our meal, so it wasn’t a massive problem (apart from trying to find a £1 coin!) We were led to our table by a very friendly gentleman, through a bustling and inviting restaurant. The d├ęcor is a mix of rustic and modern, with a grass ‘hello’ sign as you enter and exposed wooden beams. We were introduced to our waitress, who gave us our menus to browse through and took our drink orders. I went for an orange juice and lemonade, while my Dad had a pint of Brakspear. I was impressed by the extensive menu – my only criticism is that if you want something gluten free and vegetarian the choice is extremely limited. I generally follow a gluten free diet for health reasons, but had to go off it a little for this particular meal.

For our starter we decided to go for The Beefeater Sharing Platter (£10.79), which came out looking amazing. There were crispy chicken wings, slices of breaded crispy flat cap mushrooms, two minced pork and beef kofta, spicy potato dippers and grilled flatbread pieces. The sharers were accompanied by ranch, piri piri and smoky BBQ dips. The platter worked quite well for us because my Dad ate all the meaty things and I stuck to the mushrooms, dippers and bread! It was all very tasty though and made a great starter.

Our main meals were brought out fairly quickly after us finishing our sharing platter, and again, the presentation was beautiful. I went for a Woodland Mushroom Risotto (£9.89) topped with warm flatbread pieces (you can also add chicken for a bit extra), which was piping hot, creamy and extremely delicious. My Dad decided to choose something from their limited edition menu – Beef Rib Wellington (£17.99), which consisted of slow cooked short rib of beef encased in puff pastry, and served on a bed of mixed greens, potatoes and a rich malbec sauce. According to my Dad it was very tasty, but he felt it was a bit over-priced.

Last up was pudding – the best part of any meal! There were all sorts of things to choose from, from Salted Toffee Apple Crumble to a Warm Chocolate Brownie. But we were both feeling really stuffed, so went for some lighter options. I chose a Gin & Tonic Lemon Trifle (£5.29) from their limited edition menu – a light sponge soaked in gin & tonic and lemon curd, with layers of custard, a whip of cream and flakes of chocolate. It was absolutely massive, so I couldn’t manage it all, but it was also very light, fresh and perfect to finish your meal. My Dad went for their Strawberry Frozen Yoghurt topped with fresh strawberries and a sprig of mint (£3.99), which he said tasted very fruity and not too sweet.

As well as being a nice family friendly place to enjoy a good meal, you can also join the Beefeater Reward Club and collect points each time you visit. The card is absolutely free to sign up for and you will receive a free meal on your birthday, five points for every pound you spend and when you activate your card you receive 300 free points.

Overall I was really impressed with my visit to The Downshire Arms, and can’t believe how much The Beefeater has improved since I used to visit a few years ago. The food is affordable but good quality and I love how inventive some of the puddings are! I will definitely be recommending it to friends and family.

Have you eaten out at The Beefeater recently? Or is it somewhere that you might be tempted to check out?

*The Beefeater kindly treated me to this meal, but all opinions are my own and I only review things on my blog that I would genuinely try myself

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  1. I don't think I've ever been to a Beefeater but that starter looks really good! Glad you had a nice evening with your Dad. x


    1. Thank you Emily. I hadn't really considered The Beefeater for a long time, after not having a great experience with it a few years back. But it was really nice and has improved so much since that visit. The food was really good and very family friendly. I would definitely go back :) xx

  2. Yum the food looked yummy - especially the chicken and puddings x

    LAURA ­| Laura Thinks About

    1. It was all very yummy - I just wish I'd had more room to eat more of the pudding! xx