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 client√®le 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.

 

Another year another Birthday!

When you get into your 40’s (refuses to admit it) birthdays and the years actually seem to fly by. That can’t just be me surely?

I have just endured mourned celebrated my 43rd birthday this week ( Jaysus pass me another Gin!).

This isn’t a special birthday of any sort so the kids were at school as normal and the OH worked his normal early shift. I spent the morning in bed ( M.E related and not just spoiling myself LOL) and then got ready for the day. The boys were home early as they had their sports events that day, but being teens they just grunted as usual when they came in, raided the fridge for food and then disappeared into their room without a second’s thought.

So I decided I could either sit in and wallow or take myself out into the sunshine on my own. That’s what I did. I headed out to the local park where they have water activities going on, a lovely cafe and lots of people passing through to watch as I enjoyed a yummy cappuccino. This sounds quite sad but actually it was lovely and relaxing, sitting by the lake and watching the world go by. So after chatting to my mum and thanking her for my fab new Tassimo coffee machine ( love a Costa latte and cappuccino) I sat in the sunshine, switched my phone on silent and just enjoyed the hour or two on my own!

When I did get home, everyone was in so I got to open my pressies. Now I don’t know about you but I’m not really one for big expensive stuff, I don’t really do brand names or designer stuff and generally am happy with little bits as I like the thought that goes with it.

Therefore I was chuffed with my Tassimo machine that my mum and brother got me via my exclusive deal with Costa were it only cost a 1/3 of the normal price!! ( Oh I love a good bargain).

Tassimo in action with a Costa Cappuccino!! ADDICTED

I was chuffed to get a super duper electric toothbrush from my MIL ( something I have always wanted but refused to spend out on). Then came the pressies from my OH and boys:

Les Mis DVD……LOVE IT

New V shaped support pillow…..LOVE IT AND NEED IT

A new Ladyshave………..SO NEEDED IT

**** and a surprise**** an MP3 player……………LOVE IT………I DONT DO IPODS!!!! LOL

Then my friend popped round with a new Cath Kidston purse and sunglasses case……………SO LOVED IT AND HAVE CHANGED MY SMALL PURSE INTO MY NEW BIG ONE!! I will never go back to a small purse ever again.

Thankfully I didn’t have to cook ( seriously that would have just been WRONG) so we popped up to Bluewater and into Wagamamas, one of my favourites.

By the time we got home I was too tired and full to do birthday cake, so in true diva fashion I extended my birthday and we planned a day out to Whitstable the next day (without arguing kids), were we enjoyed a fab plate of fish ‘n’ chips and the required Mr Whippy ice creams!!

 

Gotta be done at the seaside.

After a cold Kopperburg in the garden I then had room for 2 big slices of b’day cake ( well it was my birthday after all).

Thankfully they didn’t put all 43 candles on it otherwise my face might have melted!!

All in all a good birthday was had and I know that the next one will come round far too quickly!!!