The Quays (Surrey)
The Pub = = = = = This pub/restaurant is located in Mytchett near Camberley in Surrey. This is a beautiful pub/restaurant which backs onto a beautiful large lake where they regularly do activities on the lake during the summer months. I was actually introduced to this place by my boyfriend and his mother who have always been ... regular eaters here. There are speed humps on the way to the pub which you need to go over in order to get to the car park. As you go over the speed humps you can see the large open lake which the pub backs onto. The first impressions of the car park aren't particularly very good as the car park is just covered with loose gravel with dips and holes all over. This can be awkward during the winter/rainy season as there are quite a few large puddles around the car park. There are no proper markings for car parking spaces so it's just a case of parking where other cars have decided to park. This can also get a little muddy when it rains as well. There are some spaces for disabled people and these are marked by small posts near the front of the building. The car park isn't huge but can hold a fair amount of cars and we never have trouble parking here whenever we visit.
As you walk through the main doors the pub is quite bright and looks very clean and tidy. The toilets are on the left hand side and on the right hand side is a seating area with a television. The bar is located to the right of this seating area and this stretches right down to the far end of the pub. You can see which beers are available on tap and spirits are displayed in optics along the back of the bar. You can also see the range of soft drinks and Alco pops in the fridge behind the bar. There is plenty of seating in the pub and you can choose whether to sit in the bar area to eat and drink or you can sit in the dining area. There are a few tables in the bar area so this is more suited to people who just want to go here for a drink. The dining area is located down towards the back of the pub down a few steps (there is a small lift for disabled users) and there are many different sized tables and chairs for you to sit round. On each table is a holder with a menu, win list and other information such as current offers. The tables should also be laid with napkins and cutlery in place.
The seating area continues outside where there are more tables, chairs and picnic style tables suitable for families or small groups of people. This area is lovely as it looks out onto the lake and in the summer you can watch then do some water sports on the lake. There is how-ever a lack of shade in this area so it does get extremly hot during the summer. Some of the tables have umbrellas for shade but others don't and as the chairs and tables are made from a type of metal they can of course get rather warm when sitting in the sun. I have sat outside on a few occasions, how-ever more for drinking rather than eating. The view and atmosphere outside is lovely in the summer, how-ever this area does get very busy during the summer.
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The pub has a large range of food available and they also have a menu for kids. The menu's can be found on each table inside the restaurant. They have a lovely range of starts, sides and main meals which includes steaks, burgers, chicken dishes, vegetarian meals, pasta and other meals. I always find it hard to choose what to have on the menu due to the range of food on here as it all sounds lovely. Most of their meals are two for one which I think is brilliant offer. This does only apply to the main meals, how-ever this works out really cheap if me and my boyfriend go here to eat as we are only having to pay for one meal and our drinks which I think is good value. An example of some of their food can be found below:
* Starters - Duck Spring Rolls served with Hoisin Sauce, Garlic Mushrooms, Prawn Cocktail, Popcorn Prawns, Goats Cheese and more.
* Main Meals - Lasagne with garlic bread, Half roast chicken with vegetables and mash potato, Leg of Lamb with potatoes & and mint sauce, Ribs with chips and peas, A selection of different burgers, A range of different Curries and more.
* Sides - Garlic Bread, Cheesy Garlic Bread, Vegetables, Side Salad, Cheesy Chips and more.
* Desserts - Banoffee Pie, Sticky Toffee Pudding with Custard or Ice Cream, Spotted Dick. They also do a range of different cheesecakes, ice creams and sundaes too.
On Sunday's they have a carvery which you pay one price and fill your plate up with your chosen meat & vegetables. I have only had the carvery once and I wasn't that impressed with it as they only had chicken left as the other meats had all gone. The selection of vegetables and different gravy was good and the food tasted ok, how-ever I personally think my boyfriend cooks a better roast than what this one tasted. Sunday's get extremely busy here so we actually avoid going here on Sundays after visiting here and having to wait over 40 minutes just for our starter. They also do tend to run out of meat very quickly so I personally wouldn't recommend going here at all on Sunday's. To order food you need to go the bar area and tell them what you would like to order. You can choose to set up a tab to pay later or you can pay for all the items at once when ordering them. We normally set up a tab and pay at the end of our meal after we have had a few drinks. You will need to take note of your table number which can be found on the actual table. After ordering your food a staff member will bring it to you table along with any extra items such as sauces or condiments.
Tasting the Food
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I have had a starter a few times in here and can't really complain about the starters. I normally always go for the duck spring rolls with the hoisin sauce which I find delicious. They are always cooked really nicely and taste delicious. My boyfriend has had the popcorn prawns here and although they are nice, they are rather small and are more like shrimps rather than prawns. I have had various different meals here including a pasta dish that comes with garlic bread. I how-ever never received my garlic bread along with the pasta dish and when I finally did receive it I had actually finished my meal. The pasta dish was very hot and tasted ok, how-ever it was nothing special and I think I could have made something better at home myself. I have also had chicken dishes here which are nice and I always find that the chicken is quite juicy and never dry. On one occasion I really fancied a steak here which came with chips and some salad. The size of the steak was good and the salad that came with the steak was a good portion too. The steak was cooked to how I like it, how-ever the steak had so much gristle in it, and I couldn't even finish it. This was really disappointing and since then I haven't had another steak. It may have just been my bad luck to get a steak like this; how-ever my boyfriend's mum's steak was the same as well and also contained a lot of gristle. As there was a large group of us we didn't bother complaining as we didn't want to seem awkward when everyone else with us had already started their meals and were enjoying them. I have also had a dessert here and this was probably one of the best parts of the meal. Me and my boyfriend shared an Oreo Cheesecake and this was delicious. . Not to mention very sickly as well. The food is always presented very well and always comes out looking really nice and tasty. Some of the food, depending on what you have is very nice but other dishes don't taste as good as they sound which is disappointing. If there has been an issue with our food on some occasions we have called over a member of staff to complain, how-ever they don't seem very quick in bringing out a replacement or trying to come up with a solution so we have learnt not to complain now and just pick the meals we know are going to taste as good as they look.
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There are toilets located in 2 different places in the pub, some of which are located by the main entrance and the others are located in the dining area. I can't really fault the toilets as whenever I have visited here (which has been at least 4 times); they have always been very clean and well stocked with toilet tissue and soaps. There is no graffiti or broken locks on any of the toilets and they always smell fresh and clean. There are also disabled toilets located in the bar and the dining area as well.
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Depending on when you go here, depends on what the staff are like. I have noticed that they tend to have so many different members of staff and I don't really recognise any from previous visits. The staff are reasonable well dressed wearing black clothing including a branded shirt in which they all wear. I have found on a few occasions some of the staff aren't very well trained and have made mistakes when we have ordered food. This hasn't just been on one occasion but has been on a few occasions. This includes when ordering food and drink. On the other hand there are other members of staff that go the extra mile and are very helpful and polite and will help you with everything you need. If I knew the staff member's name on our previous visit I would have quite happily mentioned them in this review. Although most of the staff are very well presented on a few occasions I think the girls haven't look very presentable. Especially larger sized girls wearing short black skirts who when cleaning the table you can get a clear view of the bottom of their bum cheeks. I don't find this acceptable at all, especially when working in the dining area of the restaurant. In fact this was rather off putting to say the least.
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I really enjoy eating here with my boyfriend and friends when it's not too busy and I especially like going for a drink here during the summer where we can sit outside and enjoy the beautiful view of the lake. Me and my boyfriend often cycle here as it only takes us about 15 minutes from North Camp in Farnborough. There are posts and fences where you can chain your bike to. The restaurant always looks very clean and tidy and the table and always very clean with no mess on the floor or around the tables. You can book tables here if you are planning a party and they can move some tables around to cater for your needs. The food is reasonable value, especially as it's two for one on all the main meals. In terms of the quality of the food, I wouldn't say that it's the best, especially some specific dishes such as the Steak. I have been disappointed on a few occasions with the food here due to items missing or just the overall poor quality of it and the way it has been cooked. Although the food always looks and sounds good on the menu it sometimes doesn't always taste like this. Some of the staff in here are really helpful and are also very polite, whereas others don't really have a clue about anything and seem to lack any sort of training with how to deal with certain issues or problems. Due to the one bad experience with the carvery I personally wouldn't visit here for a carvery again, but I would go here for another meal. The pub tends to be really quiet during the week, especially during the winter, how-ever for the summer the pub is really busy and it's often hard to get a table. There have been a few occasions during the summer where we have had to walk back out as we haven't been able to find anywhere to sit. This isn't my top place for dining out but it is lovely if you fancy a nice relaxing drink during the summer.
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The Quays, Coleford Bridge Road, Mytchett, Camberley, Surrey GU16 6DS
Tel: 01252 372656
(review may also appear on ciao)
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Ferryboat Inn (Mablethorpe)
**Introduction** I've been visiting Mablethorpe, Lincolnshire for holidays all of my life as my grandparents owned a caravan on the Golden Sands site (now Haven). Since they both passed away a few years ago myself and my family have continued to still holiday there opting to stay in a nearby chalet park which is quite close ... proximity to The Ferryboat pub. Whilst my review will concentrate on my most recent visit, which was at the end of October 2012, it is a pub that we visit whenever we are in Mablethorpe so I have had plenty of opportunities to sample both food, drink and get a feel for the ambience as well as getting to know the bar staff.
The Ferryboat Inn is located near to the popular attraction of the Seal & Animal Gardens at the North End of the beach. Whilst most places in Mablethorpe are easily accessible by walking, there is a car park adjacent to the Ferryboat though it doesn't belong to the pub itself, and is a paying one which is manned from around 8am to roughly 5pm for people who are visiting the Animal Gardens. After 5pm (sometimes 6/ 6.30pm in high season) it is usually free though as just mentioned it is in walking distance of around 5 minutes from the nearby caravan and chalet parks. The pub is situated at the entrance to the beach and is just off of the main road with a small, but busy at times, roundabout just in front of the doors. As the roundabout is near to a bus terminal as well as the aforementioned car park it can be busy at peak times so keeping small children close and dogs on leads for safety is advisable.
**Interior & Exterior**
The Ferryboat looks like quite a large pub from the outside and whilst it's quite spacious inside it is much smaller than you think as part of the building houses a small games and penny arcade which is joined onto the building. Years ago the arcade was partly where the pub area is now with the now arcade being a small bingo hall which was very popular with local holiday makers, then around 20 years ago or so the building was turned into mainly a pub with the arcade still being very much at the heart of the building and proving successful with children and parents alike.
On walking up the wheelchair friendly ramp and through the double pull open doors you are greeted with a smart interior which is very smart yet has a down to earth and friendly feel as soon as you step inside. The pub has several large windows though as they are slightly tinted it's hard to see both in and out though the pub inside is very bright due to the electric lighting that is provided by the many lamps dotted around.
The pub is one large room which is segregated into different sections with the 'drinkers' area as you walk through the door. This area features several comfortable sofa style seats as well as lots of small round tables with buffets. There is a large screen on the wall which is popular with holiday makers and locals as it shows several major sporting events and whilst children and families are welcome in this area it tends to be frequented more by adults. The bar is adjacent to the door on walking in and features 4 tall buffets but these are mostly unused so getting served isn't too much of a problem even in high season when it's busy as it's quite easy to get to the bar.
To the left on entering the pub is a small sectioned area which houses several small leather seats and coffee tables. This is the only area in the pub which states 'No Children' are allowed though there is access through double doors to the arcade in this area as well as the disabled toilet so children are allowed through it's not encouraged. The main 'family room' is straight forward through the main entrance and to the left, which is part of the main room but is segregated for mainly eating as it's close to the kitchen. This room is long and narrow and features a few round tables down the centre with buffets, whilst against the wall there are several large rectangular shaped tables with buffets on one side and long padded seating against under the windows. There are also two flat screen TV's at either end of the room which mainly feature adverts and music videos unless there is a sports match of some kind on, though the TV's are normally turned down quite low and blend into the background so aren't too intrusive.
There is a small door at the bottom near to the kitchen doors which lead to a small corridor where the male and female toilets are on either side, whilst straightforward is another entrance into the arcade which also features a pool table (cues and white ball are available via a small refundable deposit from the bar).
The outside of the pub is well worth a mention as it's a main attraction for thirsty holiday makers in the hot weather. To the side of the main building is an ice cream parlour which also sells a variety of hot and cold drinks, sandwiches and snacks and an assortment of beach toys such as bucket and spades. If not manned then everything on offer can be purchased from inside the bar though in high season there tends to be someone in the small kiosk area as it's a popular stop off both to and from the beach.
Just before the main entrance there are the first of 15 or so large picnic style benches which line the entire building, and whilst some are in direct sunlight there are several which are shielded from the hot rays as it's a sun spot where the pub is situated. The building is an 'L' shape and there is a small shelter area in the form of a canopy in the corner part, which though it has been there for years is frequented more so now by smokers as it's perfect shielding from all the elements regardless of the weather. What attracts people outside even when the weather is less than inviting is the fact there is not only a perspex style roof but also patio heaters and a large TV screen on the outside of the building which caters for people who want to enjoy food and drink (or smoke) whilst outside in the open air.
**What's on the menu?**
The Ferryboat offers good value, affordable 'pub grub' which includes a few light bites such as:
*Jacket potatoes with various fillings
to mention a few examples, all priced reasonably between £1.95 upwards.
The children's menu has choices of:
*Chicken Teddy Shapes
*Fish Whale Shapes
*Cottage Pie (small portion)
All are served with either chips or mash and with various different vegetables which you are asked about first on ordering with prices from £3 for a generous sizing.
A few years ago there used to be free ice cream with flavour of your choice as a dessert making it exceedingly good value but they have since revoked this (well over the past 2 years) and now you have to order and pay for desserts separately, and whilst disappointing it's still good value.
Mains include various 'pub food' meals including:
*Chicken Breast Portion
*Various burgers in a bun (Chicken/ steak/ beef)
*Chilli Con Carne
*Chicken Tikka Massala
*Tuna Pasta bake
*Half or Full rack of BBQ Ribs
*Roast Dinner and all the trimmings
*Yorkshire pudding and various fillings
*Steak Pie & gravy
*7oz/ 9oz Haddock
these are to name but a few.
Vegetarian offerings are unfortunately thin on the ground with the following available:
*Cheese & Broccoli Bake
*Vegetarian Vegetable Kiev
*Quiche (various flavours)
*Tomato & Cheese Omelette
There is a selection of desserts which change quite often so it's worth asking when ordering as they have cake and buns in a display case situated at the end of the bar whilst items such as cheesecake and hot puddings are readily available on a regular basis on the everyday menu.
Prices are very agreeable, with the main meals costing between £4.99 and £6.25 (barring the full rack of ribs which is around the £9 mark) and all the meals are accompanied with a choice of either chips, mash, beans or rice and salad or vegetables and plates are stacked high.
My own personal experience is of the female toilets though I have it on good authority from a disabled friend that the disabled toilet is clean and adequately stocked, whilst my husband has said the men's toilets are very clean and tidy and quite spacious to say the toilet block only looks little. The women's toilets are always very clean, even when the pub is packed with revellers as they are checked quite frequently and the toilet block houses two separate toilets and two sinks with the usual vending machines on the wall. There is a hand dryer which whilst it does the job, it extremely slow and takes forever and whilst it does get hands dry (eventually) more often than not you end up with damp hands still!
**Ordering and service**
The main room and family room has numbered tables up to 70 and each table has a menu placed in the centre. Once you have chosen what you want to eat you order from the bar where there is a designated food till at one end away from the drinks tills. The staff will first ask you your table number then once you have ordered your food you are required to pay there and then and you are given a receipt.
Next to the food till are the condiments, napkins and cutlery (etc) which is self service and once you are seated the food is brought out to you by a waitress. I've found even in busy times that there isn't usually a wait of longer than 20 minutes for food and whilst the waitresses often seem stressed at times they are still friendly and always ask if everything is okay.
Although there isn't much from the menu that we haven't tried over the years, as it hasn't changed much, our most recent visit saw us all order our favourites. My husband chose the chilli con carne with rice and salad which was served steaming hot with the rice cooked to perfection and the salad was crisp and fresh. My two young sons had a mini 7" cheese & tomato pizza each which both arrived with chips, peas and a small amount of salad. I opted for my personal favourite choice from the menu being the vegetable kiev. Although I eat white meat and fish these days after a 10 year stint of being vegetarian I still always tend to opt for a vegetarian meal when eating out and the vegetable kiev at the Ferryboat is one of the finest. It is made up of several chopped vegetables mixed with a creamy garlic sauce and topped off with bread crumbs and this arrived with chips and salad and a side order of onion rings.
The food is home cooked (not home made) but tastes very fresh and is always presented nicely on the plates, even at very busy times.
The bar staff are always very friendly, in particular an older gentleman that has worked there for as long as I can remember and is always chatty and friendly even when the pub is very busy. Having worked in pubs myself over the years I know how hard it is to keep a smile on your face when customers aren't always being compliable but the staff at the Ferryboat are always friendly and helpful in any way they can.
Although the pub can get extremely busy in the high Summer season it's never dirty or scruffy. In the family room empty plates are immediately taken away and tables are swiftly wiped down, whereas if there is excess mess on the floor from food falling then the staff are quickly on hand to sweep the mess or at times I've seen them ask customers if it's ok if they get the Henry vacuum out.
The only down side is being so close to the beach there are often little bugs or flies which can be irritating when eating outside and if all the windows are open in the family room as it's next to some sand dunes.
I think the overall answer here is a resounding Yes. I've never had a bad experience whilst visiting the Ferryboat and hopefully I never will. It's a place that we always visit when we stay at Mablethorpe as it's a stone throw away from our accommodation and especially in nicer weather it's lovely to sit outside and enjoy a relaxing drink. My children love it too as they always take some of their spending money to play in the arcade after we have eaten and it's popular with everyone, be it locals or holiday makers.
On our last visit we ordered a drink each (1/2 of carling for myself, 1 pint of bitter for my husband and 2 fruit shoot substitutes for my boys) which came to under £5 and our food bill total for the four of us was under £20 at £19.30 making it exceptional value for the quality and quantity of the food.
This is highly recommended by me whether it's for eating or just enjoying a relaxing drink by the beach and gets the full 5 stars from me.
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The Brewers Inn (Wandsworth)
The Brewers Inn, 147 East Hill, Wandsworth London. SW18 2QB T: 020 8874 4128 E: email@example.com This is a pub that we have visted on a number of occasions as it is just around the corner from my daughter's flat. We have been known to go and wait here for my daughter and her partner to arrive back ... from work because we try to drive through London before traffic picks up on Friday evening.
If we are eating in at my daughter's we often pop out to the brewer's for a drink first. It is convenient and also has a great tradition real English pub atmosphere.
WHEN ARE THEY OPEN?
The hours are pretty long really so you would be unlucky to find them closed.
Monday - Friday: 7am - 11:30pm
Saturday: 8am - 12am
Sunday: 8am - 10pm
IT IS MORE THAN JUST A PUB
Although we have only ever had a drink there my daughter has eaten here a few times and says their food is good and average London prices. It always looks busy in the restaurant section and seems to offer a good range and have plenty of seating. They do get pretty busy so if you are hoping to eat there then it is advisable to book especially for the Sunday lunch.
It is also a hotel with 'boutique' rooms, whatever that means. Once again we have never stayed there they have sixteen rooms all with ensuite facilities and on the website they look to be very nice. Looking on line for one adult the price for a room with breakfast for a night is £74 and for two it is £89 so not unreasonable for London and it is so easy to get into the city centre from here by bus or train/tube.
A PUB WITH A HISTORY
This is an older building and although some aspects internally are modern (such as the flat screen TVs showing sports) it still manages to keep its traditional character with comfortable leather seats and wooden polished floors.
This is a Young's pub and my husband enjoys their beers so that is another attraction for him.
It has been a Young's pub since 1831 but the outside of the pub today is newer as the pub was rebuilt in 1900.
The Brewer's pub is only a short walk from the site of the old Ram Brewery where Young's beers were brewed for over 175 years and where brewing can be traced back until at least 1675.
Up until 1994 the Brewer's Inn was known as the Two Brewers but not sure why they changed the name .
WHY WE LIKE IT
We love the fact that this is still a pub. They serve food but in a restaurant area although you can eat in the bar area it is mainly a pub where you can sit and relax and enjoy a drink with friends. There are huge flat screen TVs that show sports but it is easy to sit where you can avoid watching them if you want to and they are not on sound at all. Usually there is music playing but not so loud that you cannot have a pleasant conversation with your friends while enjoying your drinks.
The seats are comfortable and range from low leather sofas to the high tables with bar chairs and also normal sized tables with various chairs ranging in their comfort. You can usually get the sort of seating of your choice but some Friday evenings we have had to sit on the high bar chairs as our preferable choice of the leather sofas were all taken.
Usually the clientele is adults and groups of men and women of various ages but one Friday we did have a couple of groups of people with rather noisy young children which was a bit annoying as not only did they spread themselves over about three tables when they could have sat at one but the children were running around and quite noisy. I have no objection to children in restaurants or pubs if eating but I don't really think a pub is an appropriate place to meet friends with other children. There are cafes and shopping centres as well as other places and pubs should be somewhere you can go to enjoy a child free environment.
Obviously as a pub you can get most drinks you choose but I always have a white wine spitzer with soda and my husband enjoys the beers. My daughter either joins me or has a wine. The price for the four drinks is usually over £20 so it isn't a cheap place to drink but it seems fairly standard in London so I won't mark it down for that. We usually find drinks and eating out a lot more expensive in London than in Derby where we live so have come to accept the prices there.
CLEARING THE DECKS
We find that we never get left with empties on out table. We do sometimes take the empties to the bar but usually they are quickly cleared by the staff. The staff are both English and people who speak English with an accent whether migrants or student from abroad I don't know but their English is always good and the service is faultless.
Yes this is a great traditional pub with plenty of varied seating and a nice comfortable atmosphere. You can choose to watch the TVs or ignore them as they are silent. My daughter and I usually sit with our backs to them while the men keep half an eye on whatever is happening.
A nice traditional pub that is mighty convenient to my daughter's flat!
Thanks for reading. This review may be posted on other sites under my same username.
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