Usually once a month or so I meet a couple of groups of friends for a bite to eat and often we go to a Slug & Lettuce pub/bar chain. As pub chains go this is a little bit more upmarket, more like a wine-bar. My local branch can get very lively at weekends, with a DJ and a pre-club crowd. However mid-week we can often get table service when eating. Meeting up in London sometimes you'll get bars showing sports, or sometimes more low-key eating venues. Each branch is different, and 2-4-1 happy hour cocktails promotions varies from bar to bar which can be confusing, as well as different menus (some have more limited choices).
If I meet locally on a Monday it is to take advantage of their Happy Mondays half price food offer. Sometimes we meet up at the one in County Hall, London as it does 2-4-1 cocktails on a Saturday night.
Food wise the menu is extensive - burgers, wraps & sandwiches, salads, pub classics (fish & chips, chilli, curry, lasagne). Prices for mains average between £8-10 at my local one (different in city locations). They also offer starters and desserts if you want a bigger meal. They also have a 500 calorie section on the menu for those wishing to watch their waistline. They change the menu every so often (twice a year), but not by much - they've only recently changed the veggie burger offering after 6 years!
The usual suspects of drinks are available wines, beers and spirits, and the cocktail menu is extensive - I love the Porn-star Martini!
As I've mentioned there is often difference in menu, offers and atmosphere amongst different branches but I generally know I can find a reasonably priced meal when I do go. It is worth reserving a table if there is a group of you on a weekend evening - this is never a problem.
Another restaurant that I have only just been to for the first time recently is the Slug and Lettuce, the branch in Lincoln to be precise. I had always thought that this was a chain that was extremely expensive for what it offered but after actually looking at the menu outside, it would seem that I was wrong.
The day of my visit here was for the first England match of the Euros so staff were walking around in very short shorts and England t-shirts. I understand that people want to be patriotic but I really thought that the way that staff were dressed was quite inappropriate. I certainly didn't feel comfortable being served by someone with shorts only just covering their bum. However, once we had found an empty table, we were greeted very quickly and asked if we wanted any drinks. The restaurant was extremely busy and seeing as we went about 1pm, I knew this wasn't because of the football. After taking another closer look at the menu, I realised that it was so busy because food is half price on Mondays. Not only that but cocktails were 2 for 1 and desserts were buy one get one free. I had really never realised that Slug and Lettuce could actually be extremely good value for money.
After our drinks were brought over, our meal order was taken. I decided to go with smothered chicken, which was served with fries. Because of the deal on offer, this cost around £3.50. My mum, who I was eating with had The Ultimate Stateside burger which came with mushrooms, onion rings, cheese, bacon, BBQ sauce and a side portion of fries and with the offer, this cost about £5. My Mum's burger came on a rectangular piece of wood which was very strange and she didn't like it very much. Luckily, my meal came in a regular dish. The chicken was very juicy and cooked to perfection while the cheese was melted well and mixed with the BBQ sauce it tasted great. The fries were a great addition to my meal although I couldn't quite eat it all. Both my Mum and I really enjoyed our main meals.
After sitting for a while afterwards, letting our food settle, a server came back over to see if we wanted more drinks and desserts. The choice of desserts was fantastic and considering that they were 2 for 1, we couldn't resist, even though we were both quite full already. I opted for the Caramel Apple Crumble Pie with ice cream while my Mum had a Cookie Cup Explosion. My dessert was extremely sickly and the portion size could have done with being a bit smaller as I couldn't finish it. The Cookie Cup Explosion is a cookie biscuit base, filled with chocolate brownie, marshmallow pieces and chocolate honeycomb, served with vanilla ice cream. I had to try a bit of this as well and I really wish I'd had that instead.
The service at this Slug and Lettuce was exceptional, especially if you consider how busy it was. People were waiting for tables but the staff made sure everyone was being served as quickly as possible and not rushing anyone to finish. It has been a while since I have had service worth tipping but here I felt our server really deserved it. She did everything possible to make us feel comfortable and was really good at her job. Now that I know Slug and Lettuce isn't expensive and after a very positive experience, I will be going here again. For 2 drinks, 2 main meals and 2 desserts, our trip here only cost £16. Elsewhere I could have paid this for just me.
The slug and lettuce bar opened several years ago in my home city of Nottingham as part of a new entertainment complex called the cornerhouse. When the bar first opened I will admit that I was not overly keen on it as it seemed very expensive for drinks and a little on the pretentious side. But more recently I have become aware of the great offers that slug and lettuce bars have on and have become more of a regular visitor to the Nottingham bar.
The Nottingham slug and lettuce bar is centrally located in the city next to other bars, it has a small outdoor seating area and also serves food as well as drinks. The bar has modern contemporary décor but still has a slightly cosy feel with low lighting and areas of leather sofa's. You can order food throughout the bar but the area at the back has tables and chairs set up especially for people wishing to dine if you are wanting a more formal eating arrangement. The toilet facilities are located up quite a large staircase but there is a disabled/baby change toilet located at the back of the bar for anyone with mobility difficulties or small children.
When the bar is fairly quite in the day time staff will take all food and drink orders from your table but at busier times there is a large bar and plenty of staff so I have never had to wait long to be served. The bar has an excellent selection of drinks including bottled beers and ciders, draft beers, spirits and an extensive range of cocktails and shots. They obviously also sell soft drinks, non alcoholic cocktails and a range off hot beverages.
The last few times that I have visited my local slug and lettuce bar has been for food, as they have some great offers which are certainly worth taking advantage off. The best offer is on a Monday where they offer the full food menu at 50% off. This means you can even enjoy a steak for around £5.00 or if you are a early bird then a full English breakfast with tea and toast for just £2.50. Every time I have eaten here I have always found the food to be very good indeed. Although it is what I would describe as posh pub grub it is always good quality, hot and served promptly. Other offers on food and drink included buy one get on free curry's on a Tuesday, fine wine Wednesdays with all bottles of wine at the house wine price, half price cocktails Thursday - Sunday after 5pm and if you sign up to email alerts via the website www.slugandlettuce.co.uk you also get sent regular money off vouchers.
Overall I now really enjoy visiting my local slug and lettuce bar they offer great food at sometimes bargain prices. I will admit that I do still find the drinks a little on the expensive side but you get what you pay for and the cocktails are great quality and the service is prompt and polite. So if you have a slug and lettuce bar near you then I would certainly recommend a visit.
I must admit i have enjoyed over the years, But today Awful. NEVER AGAINNO STARS
I went to the Slug in southend tonight to meet my work friends. As soon as I turned up they all said that the bar staff were so rude (no wonder it was the deadest pub in town). It was advertised all over that cocktails were 2 for 1 so I went to the bar and ordered 2 only to be charged £13 something!!! I asked the guy (who I later found out was the manager) if it wasnt 2 for 1 and he said no. Not wanting to be rude I just said ok but it was blantently advertised around the whole pub!!! The barmaids were just as rude when they cleared our table and we said thanks they were just RUDE. The rest of the cocktails were half price but huffing and puffing behind the bar when u ask for them was not part of the deal!!!! If the Skug wanna continue trading in Southend I seriously suggest they get a different staff as the service was apalling. I am a business women in Southend and could put a lot of trade their way thriugh corporate buffets but on tonights merrit I shall be going else where
I use to work for the Slug and Lettuce when it was originally at the Lansdowne Spot in Bournemouth, a few years ago it moved and took over what use to be Casa in the town center.
Now I know I wasn't the happiest Bartender when I was there but I worked hard everyone got served and things were done. Unfortunately this doesn't seem the case with any of the bar staff now.
On numerous amounts of visits with my boyfriend and friends we have found our self confused on whether it is table service or order at the bar. Many time we have gone up to the bar then were told to sit down and someone will be with us... no one did for 15mins and within that time a few people had gone up and got drinks! On other various times we have sat down in there main restaurant bit and had very good service but once again another problem, when the shift changes you could almost walk out without paying! We had to walk round trying to find someone we could pay, on one visit the manager (i guess), was extremely rude and with a couldn't careless attitude, this was a shame because the two waitresses were very good.
Anyway phew little rant out of the way!!...The food quality also varies, you can have very tasty food with a variety of Starters And Snacks,
Sharing platters, Meat dishes, Fish dishes, Chicken dishes, Burgers, Salads, Pastas And Rice Dishes, Tostadas, Sandwiches And Wraps, Side Orders and Desserts! Other times the meat can be dry and the food lacks some taste. Food ranges from the price of £3 to a platter at £15, this does vary to each location.
Recommended dishes: Platters to share The Ultimate Platter, chicken breast pieces, wasabi tempura mixed vegetables, pork ribs, crispy fried potato wedges, garlic ciabatta strips, beer-battered onion rings, served with BBQ sauce, salsa, crème fraîche and a spring onion dip. These are all great for sharing with friends and an extra bonus is Mondays when they have 50% off their menu!!
They also have an offer of 2 courses for £10 this can be a starter or main. This is Tuesdays to Fridays from the 5th of October to the 19th so in finishes tomorrow.
I do tend to go here to drink rather than eat. I love their cocktails and on Thursday Fridays and Saturdays they are 2 for 1 before 10pm! The Fruity Sailor it has Sailor Jerry spiced rum and triple sec orange liqueur, with fresh lime juice, orange juice and lemonade. .... its lovely! The cocktails are all around £6 for one cocktail.
Although the service has someway to go the atmosphere is nice with wood flooring and comfy chairs. The one in Bournemouth has an outdoor seating area which is lovely in the sun, and for any smokers.
~The Slug and Lettuce Chain~
The Slug and Lettuce is a pub chain that also serves all day food. Although it started up in 1985, it's been owned by the Bay Restaurant group since 2008, (also the owners of 'La Tasca' and 'ha ha bar and grill'). There are currently over 80 pubs in the chain. Concentrated in the South, they have gradually spread North, although there are none in Wales and only one in Scotland, (Edinburgh). Having checked the website I can see that the menus and prices are fairly consistent nationwide.
~The Slug and Lettuce, Durham~
The Slug and Lettuce in Durham City has become quite a regular venue for me recently due mainly to it's child friendly attitude. If I'm out and about with my three year old, I know I can depend on the Slug as a venue where she will be catered for, and eat the food. Hence it's one of the first choices to meet with a friend for lunch, or to have a family meal out.
It's surrounded by several bars and restaurants situated in the Walkergate development, which is just North of the Market Place, then past the Gala Theatre. Walkergate also has a 500 space car park which is open 24/7.
It's a big pub. There's plenty of space inside as well as two outside verandas. The upper area is mainly the outside veranda with balcony tables inside and two wide curved staircases, one on each side, lead to the bigger downstairs area. There are lots of comfy chairs and sofas, as well as bar stools and cafe style chairs and tables. The decor is eclectic; there's a seventies/retro feel, with wood panelling, plenty of brown and orange and a multitude of different styled lampshades, but also a lean towards art deco with lots of mirrors, squared edges and modern photography of Durham placed around; angled close-ups of the cathedral amongst them. It's clean and seems quite well maintained, although if you look closely you may spot the odd sign of wear and tear; a broken lampshade here, a missing piece of wall panel there.
Part of the lower floor is under the balcony, the booths here can feel quite dark - there are no windows, while the other side has floor to ceiling windows. There's not much of a view, just the outside terrace and various concrete structures, that are part of Walkergate.
Music is played at a decent enough level, so that you can hear the words, but not so loud that speech is strained. On my last visit I would say there was a kind of funky, soul vibe going on with the music, but I didn't recognise the artist. There are TV screens which I've seen switched on for football matches, and music videos but often just screen Slug and Lettuce adverts. There are occasionally live music events, and barbecues over the Summer.
It can get very busy, particularly at the weekend but I'm more likely to be in there on weekdays when it's quiet. I've never reserved a table but it might pay to do so if you wanted to visit on a weekend evening, you can use the website to make a booking. I've always found the atmosphere to be quite relaxed in general, livelier at the weekends obviously.
~Food and Drink~
There's quite a wide range of food available, although nothing especially fancy and there are menu changes every so often. There's a reasonable amount of vegetarian choice and a children's menu. There are snacks, sandwiches and burgers available, as well as platters for sharing. I can vouch for the falafel burgers being good, although I would only buy them on a Monday as I refuse to pay £8.25 for a burger unless it's absolutely spectacular. 'Happy Mondays' is a long term promotion that offers 50% discount on meals every Monday.
I don't often bother with starters although there's a decent enough selection available, with prices that range from £1.95 to £4.25 and include; Chicken Chorizo & Pepper skewers, (£4.25), Wasabi Tempura Mixed vegetables, (£3.25) and Cream Cheese Stuffed Peppers for (£3.75).
My preferred main dish is the Goat's Cheese and Roasted Vegetable Tostada, which comes with a red pepper tapenade. It's extremely tasty and not too pricey at £7.75. On my last visit I tried the Mushroom Risotto, (£5.95), which comes with garlic bread, but I was disappointed as the garlic bread ended up being my favourite bit of the meal. The risotto was acceptable but somewhat bland; the taste reminded me of Heinz mushroom soup. My partner went for the Spicy Chorizo and Roquito Pepper Tostada, (£7.95), and was enjoying it at first, but found it to be too salty and eventually too overpowering to finish.
My last meal here was a disappointment overall. For dessert I ordered the tiramisu, but found it mushy and lacking in flavour. I would usually go for either the cheesecake or chocolate pudding, both of which I've enjoyed before. My partner enjoyed his lemon tart with vanilla ice cream, although he did comment that it was quite a tart tart. The desserts have been 2-for-1 every time I've visited, which tends to make them an inevitable addition to any meal.
The drinks are priced at about what would be expected for a city centre drinking establishment. There are various special offers at different times. There was 2-for-1 on cocktails all day every day last time I was there, but sadly, I think that offer is now restricted to weekends. There are also Fine Wine Wednesdays - all bottles of wine at the house price of £10.95. More info can be found on the website. There's a mailing list which regularly sends out special offers and discounts. Some days often have their own offers such as a Mother's Day special for example, which you will only find out about via the emails.
~Catering for Children~
Children are welcome up until 8pm, by which time, let's face it, they should all be tucked up in bed, (different pubs have different times, so check the website). A box of crayons and an activity sheet each is dished out to help keep them occupied. There are also baby changing facilities, a selection of highchairs and a lift from/to the upper floor.
There are currently five meals on the children's menu. These are; Spaghetti Bolognese, Macaroni Cheese, Fish and Chips, Chicken Strips and Chips or Sausage and Mash. The meals always come with a side serving of sliced carrot and cucumber - I have to say this has never been eaten by my daughter - and I have noticed a lack of carrot peeling skills on the part of the staff. It's not bad value at £3.95 for the meal, plus ice cream and a drink. Having helped my little one out with her ice cream, I can say it's obviously a cheap make, but it still tastes okay. The drink choice is a carton of Five Alive or a Fruit Shoot.
I have noticed a change in the children's portions recently. My daughter often has the fish and chips which used to come with what was realistically an adult sized fish portion, but this has been reduced to a, probably more suitable, smaller piece. On our last visit she also received less ice cream than previously. Seems there's been an economy drive on the children's food, but I'm not really complaining at that price, especially when compared to other cafes in Durham where you'd pay the same price for a sandwich. It's possible that they've done this to reduce waste, as I do think the children's meals were probably a bit over-sized, not that that stopped my daughter from scoffing the lot, (minus vegetables).
The service is usually more than adequate. I remember being very impressed one night last year; there was a festival on in Durham, it was about 6pm on a weekend and the place was heaving. The member of staff who served us was really friendly, found some info for us about the festival and was generally quick and efficient as well. Other times, the service has been quite slow, but I've never had any major complaints. There often seem to be new faces which would suggest a high staff turnover, although I couldn't be sure of that.
The Slug and Lettuce in Durham is a family friendly place during the day which becomes a more lively venue for adults at the weekend and evenings. It's more of a pub than a restaurant after about 9pm. The food is decent enough and not too expensive. There are some great promotions which make it worth signing up to the mailing list.
~More Details (from the website):
The Slug and Lettuce,
Unit 7 Walkergate,
Durham, DH1 1SQ
Tel: 0845 126 2900
Monday - Wednesday: 10am - 11pm
Thursday: 10am - 12am
Friday and Saturday: 10am - 1am
Sunday: 10am - 11pm
Kids welcome until 8pm
Private Hire Available
Tea & Coffee Facilities
This review is of the Slug and Lettuce in Reading. I visited this venue this afternoon with my boyfriend, and have to say we were thoroughly pleased with both the food and the service. The bar is located in the Oracle complex, by the riverside. There is a small outside area with a handful of tables, and a rather bigger inside area. Although there are lots of tables inside, they are well spaced so the place does not feel cramped. Both the interior and exterior were very clean and tidy and the atmosphere was quiet and relaxed. Another plus point for me was that the toilets were very clean well maintained. I always find it off-putting when a seemingly nice restaurant or bar has really horrid toilet facilities, makes me start to wonder about the state of the other areas which the public don't see, like the kitchen!
The menu is not huge, but there is a nice variety of main meals, starters, snacks and puddings, including a fair amount which would be suitable for vegetarians. The food was served quickly and was of a good quality for the price and very tasty.
We also found the staff to be very friendly and keen to help. They were never very far away if we wanted anything but we didn't feel like they were hovering or making us feel rushed.
This is not the cheapest place for food, but the food is good quality and there are often vouchers around offering money off or special deals.
This review is for my local Slug and Lettuce in Durham.
Located in the relatively new Walkergate complex at the bottom of Clapath, The Slug and Lettuce is one of a number of pubs within a very short distance of each other. The pub itself is massive, although it's a bit like the Tardis, from the outside it looks small, but it is on 2 levels, the lower level cannot be seen from the front. Disabled access is somewhat tricky if you don't know your way around, but is via the lower level.
With masses of seating plus a large outdoor section, this pub is a great place to spend some time. The outdoor section is covered by umbrellas and is where smokers are permitted to go, so even if it's raining it's easy to stay dry. During the summer months the outdoor seating tends to fill up pretty quickly.
They serve a wide range of different drinks from lagers to cocktails. While the cocktails are expensive at nearly £5 a pop, I usually get one each time I go in as I like trying new things and they have a large menu!
Alongside being a pub, they also serve food. While it's nothing special, it's better than Wetherspoons (The Bishops Mill) which is located in the same complex, but while not as good as a 'proper' restaurant it's perfectly nice and pretty good value.
On an evening it's a good place to go, the music is turned up high and it can get very busy. Lots of people tend to start a night there rather then end it as the high staircase and plenty of drinks don't go together very well!
You can join the mailing list to be kept updated on various offers or promotions. Some of these can be very good, we went there for Mothers Day and they were offering a 3 course meal for just £10 per person and although the service was pretty slow, the meal was really nice and very good value as the portion sizes were generous. We had 2 children as part of our party and this was no problem.
Definitely well worth a visit if you're passing!
Over the years, I've visited a fair few Slug & Lettuce's, most often the Leamington Spa and Sevenoaks branches. I've always had a positive experience, particularly with the food, which I have always found to be cheap and really enjoyable.
I first visited as a student, and quickly became a regular once I found out about their regular promotions, Happy Hour cocktails and Wednesday Wine Club! (A selection of wines priced at £9.95 all day) We found the bar to be only a little pricier than the Wetherspoons up the road, yet the ambience was better, the food tastier and the cocktails authentic.
The bars tend to be smart, but stylish, mainly full of corporate types but as students we never felt unwelcome, and it was usually the suits necking the mojitos, anyway!
The food menu offers a range of snacks, sharing platters, tostadas (mexican style open sandwhiches, so yummy...try one!), sandwiches, wraps, grills, burgers, salads and meat dishes. I can personally recommended the Butternut Squash and Goats Cheese Lasagne or the Slug Ultimate Beef Burger and if you have room for pud, the Hot Chocolate-Puddle Pudding is gorgeous! The main courses range from around £7 - £10, which I think is brilliant considering the quality of the dishes which are always fresh tasting and very generous in size.
The cocktail menu includes all the classics such and a few you don't usually see... it's definitely worth popping along to sample a couple at Happy Hour.
My only complaint: I'm from Devon, but the closest Slug to me is Cardiff! And I think I might be suffering from withdrawal...! Come on, don't neglect us Westcountry folk!
Recently my girlfriend and I went away for a shortbreak - which turned out to be not only relaxing but a good source of new things for me to review - to the lovely town of Bournemouth.
On our first evening, we were quite tired and rather than spending too much time thinking about where we were going to eat, we quickly decided to go to the Slug and Lettuce that we had noticed whilst walking around earlier in the day. We had been to a different branch of the chain a few months ago in London and had enjoyed a really nice sharing platter so we had a reasonable idea what to expect.
Upon entering the building, we were not surprised too see that the interior was similar to that we had been to before, with nice wood paneling and chunky wooden furniture. The chain is much the same as the probably more well known Wetherspoon in that it is basically a pub chain that does food. The main difference in my experience is that the food service in the Slug
and Lettuce chain is of rather better quality, whether this is true of all the branches I am not able to say but the two I have been too have both been good.
We had a look at the menu and decide on what we wanted, my girlfriend wanted the Fish pie, described in the menu as "West Country smoked haddock, salmon and king prawns, with a Devon cream & leek sauce, topped with buttery mashed potato and Cheddar and served with green beans and ciabatta."
I chose the Spicy Chorizo Tostado, described on the menu as "Toasted soft flour tortilla, with melted Cheddar, red pepper tapenade, cherry tomatoes, chorizo sausage, spicy roquito pepper and grana padano cheese, topped with seasonal salad leaves and a balsamic dressing."
I went to the bar to order the food and some drinks, I expected the price to be in the region of £28 or so as the food was suppoed to be about £24, however I was asked for considerably less than that. When I asked the barman why it was so cheap, he explained that food was 50% off all day on a Monday. I was very impressed and also a tad embarassed as on my way back to the table I noticed that there were posters all over the place letting us know about the 50% off!!!
We didn't have to wait too long before our food was brough out to us, on what I was pleased to find were nice hot plates, something I feel is important when it comes to food!
My tostado was absolutely delicious, which to me is not a surprised because I find it very hard to believe that anything made with chorizo in could be made to be not tasty - it really is one of my favourite foods! I thoroughly enjoyed eating this and would be very happy to order it again if we were to ever get along to another Slug and Lettuce.
My girlfriend also really enjoyed her Fish Pie - was lucky enough to have a taste and was also impressed with it, it was lovely and tasty and really good hearty food...perfect for the British Summer...
Once we were finished with the main courses, we ordered a dessert each, also at 50% off, my girlfriend went for a Tropical Cheesecake and I went for a Chocolate Brownie Torte.
Both came out very quickly and were suitably delicious.
Overall we were both very impressed with the meal we had eaten and would happily go to another Slug and Lettuce - sadly there is not one near us yet - especially if they keep doing their Monday 50% off food offer which made the whole thing very good value for money.
I would not hesitate to recommend the Slug and Lettuce to people, but I would of course make sure that they know that it is chain restaurant and know what to expect, of course it is never going to be seen as a really high quality restaurant but that's not what it is about, it is a pub chain that does food, and the food that it does happens to be better than a lot of chains.
Eating out with a family is not a cheap experience and therefore going to a restaurant together is a real treat . Our three kids had all had really good school reports and it was the end of term so it was worth celebrating. I had a voucher from good old moneysavingexpert.com, for 50% off the food bill at the Slug and Lettuce. So on Friday night we headed off to Cheltenham.
~SLUG & LETTUCE Cheltenham~
The Slug and Lettuce is a pub chain that can be found across the UK. It is owned by the Bay Restaurants Group who are based in Luton, Bedfordshire. The Cheltenham bar is in Regent Street, quite close to the Everyman theatre and just 2 minutes from the main high street. It is quite a large pub with a big bar area and comfee seating as well having a dining area set aside from the bar. From the dining area you can see through to the kitchen where you can get glimpses of the chefs at work!
It was about 6.30pm pm the Friday, so we knew we wouldn't need to reserve a table. Most bars and restaurants aren't too busy at this time of the evening. On entering the restaurant we chose our table and sat down. After a couple of minutes we were bought menus and asked if we would like to order drinks. We also asked for a child's menu for our daughter who is 10 (these are supposed to be for the 8's and under, but she doesn't eat much!).
My hubby and kids all ordered diet cokes, but it was Friday night, I wasn't driving and I needed wine! As I pondered over the wine list the waitress helpfully told me a large glass of house wine was on special offer at £2.95 - that made my choice easy.
I must state here that we only ever allow our kids one glass of coke or similar, then they have to drink tap water! It's not that we are mean. It's just that the drinks always add such a huge amount to the bill. This is why if they were to choose which eating establishment to frequent it would always be one that served free refills. Alas for them, the Slug and Lettuce is not such a restaurant!
We enjoyed browsing through the menu, and generally spending time together. We were not rushed at all. After a while our order was taken.. It included a main course, drink and dessert. She was happy with her usual choice of chicken strips, chips and beans!
As we had a voucher for 50% off the food bill we decided to share a starter of Nachos. It was every man for himself when this arrived. Sharing a starter with two hungry teenage boys is not advisable!! The couple of Nachos that I managed to snaffle were yummy - crunchy, with lovely warm melted mozzarella, covered with lots of guacamole and sour cream. (I left the jalapeños and chillies for my other half).
For a main course I chose Chicken breast, with bacon, Cheddar and a BBQ sauce, served hot in ciabatta, with coleslaw on the side. I also ordered a side of fries, after all it was Friday and the end of term! The portion was huge, and I enjoyed every mouthful. It cost £7.95. The fries were an extra £1.95 I think.
My husband and sons all chose burgers - no surprises there. The eldest choosing the Slug Ultimate burger at around £12 - With mushroom, Cheddar, bacon, beer-battered onion rings and a BBQ sauce, loaded with ketchup and mayo. When it arrived it was enormous and I did wonder if his eyes were bigger than his stomach! However he succeeded in eating the lot and still having room for dessert!
We were going to make the most of our voucher - we couldn't have a 'buy one get one free' pud as we were using the voucher, but we decided we could share two puddings between the four of us (our daughter was having ice cream as part of the kids menu). Hubby and I ordered sticky Toffee Pudding with ice cream. The boys went for Hot chocolate puddle pudding with ice cream. Both were big enough to share, especially as we had eaten extremely well.
The only disappointment was the bit of plastic I found on the top of the sticky toffee pudding! (Sorry, there was a bit of poetic license in my title - it wasn't a slug in my lettuce, just plastic in my ice cream!) So what should we do? My other half was all for complaining! The kids at this point started to get embarrassed -'please don't say anything!' 'don't make a fuss!' ' oh! Dad!' I must admit I was inclined to side with them. We had had a delicious meal and the waitress had been really lovely, friendly, chatty, had offered us tap water even before we asked, (we must have that look about us!) and I didn't want to cause trouble. Any way when she came to take the plates she asked how the desserts were. We all sank low in our seats! My hubby just said ' they were lovely apart from this!' and he held up the offending bit of plastic which had obviously come from the ice cream carton. It was very tastefully done, much to the relief of the kids! With that she said without hesitation that she wouldn't charge us for either of the desserts (result!). We were all happy with this outcome and were generally patting ourselves on the back for our good fortune when she brought the bill over and offered us complementary coffees and hot chocolates for the kids. Well you'd have thought we'd one the lottery! The kids were as pleased as punch. Actually we were too, as the bill for the 5 of us (don't forget we had a 50% off food voucher) came to £42.
The Slug and Lettuce decor is quite contemporary. We have visited a few around the country and they all have a similar feel. Wooden floors, chunky wooden tables, leather seating and plain walls with big chalk boards and contemporary art work.
As the restaurant filled up there was a mix of families, groups of friends and couples of assorted ages. The bar area filled up as it got later, as did the restaurant. I have said before when reviewing a restaurant that I love people watching and eavesdropping on other people's conversations. I often get into trouble when we eat out for not concentrating on the conversation I'm supposed to be having with my other half. However here it was quite hard to listen in to others! The tables are well spaced out and the wooden floors combined with lots of chatter and background music make for a lively atmosphere not conducive to spying!!
~Menu / Cost~
Slug and Lettuce is 'reasonable' but not cheap. They have plenty of offers and promotions on at the moment. Currently, Mondays are always 50% off the food bill - known as Happy Mondays. They are obviously trying hard to get the customers through the doors.
The Slug and Lettuce Menu, served in all branches of this chain, has a wide variety of choice from salads, toastadas, ('tostada' originates from Mexico. The Slug and Lettuce version is a cross between a warm, toasted tortilla and a thin-crust pizza) burgers and grills. The also have a good choice of desserst which are currently on permenat offer of 'buy one get one free' if you have bought a main course. They also do a Sunday roast - on Sundays!! For closer scrutiny of the menu have a look at http://www.slugandlettuce.co.uk/menus
There are plenty of options for vegetarians too.
The kids menu was reasonable value at £4.95. There was a choice of Grilled chicken strips, battered fish, sausage and mash, spaghetti in a meaty tomato sauce or macaroni cheese.
There is also a good wine menu as well as the usual choice of soft drinks and Italian Coffee.
In this particular restaurant the loos are upstairs. I am not sure if there were disabled facilities and it could be tricky for more elderly people or those with toddlers.
The toilets were clean but in definite need of a bit of TLC!
~My final Opinion~
We thoroughly enjoyed our meal at the Slug and Lettuce. The food was tasty and the portions were a good size. It's a great place for taking a noisy, hungry family! The service was friendly and prompt (with out being rushed).I was very impressed with the way our complaint was dealt with, especially as we were not going to be paying the full price for our meals. Top marks for customer relations - as a result we will definitely visit again!
The Slug and Lettuce
1-3a Regent Street,
Thank you for Reading :o)
We spent ages deliberating over the different venues for a girl's night out recently. We wanted somewhere that would be quiet enough to have a bite to eat, a general chat and catch-up, but would liven up as the evening progressed. In the end we plumped for The Slug and Lettuce in Chichester. A Monday night in Chichester is never going to be a hive of activity, but the Slug always seems to be buzzing after 9pm whatever day of the week it is.
I hasten to add that the choice of venue was partly prompted by The Slug and Lettuce Monday night promotion entitled Happy Mondays. This promotion is being run at the moment in all their outlets and they're offering 50% discount off all the food items on their menu on Monday nights. However, not to worry if you can't get to your local Slug on a Monday night, as there are plenty of other special offers to tempt you; there's a 2-4-1 offer being run on Tuesdays to Fridays (and Sundays), where they're offering two main courses for the price of one. If you're just after a drink and not the food, they have a Clocking Off Club (cheaper cocktails and pitchers of drinks before 8pm) or their Wednesday Wine Club (£9.95 per bottle all day). Further details can be found at www.slugandlettuce.co.uk (or you can always have a quick search on www.moneysavingexpert.co.uk which is always an excellent source of any current dining or drinking bargains to be found in any UK chain).
~~ The chain ~~
The Slug and Lettuce is best described as a chain of "gastro pubs/bars". The Slug and Lettuce chain was started up in 1985 by an individual who wanted to create a pub/bar where the food and the wine is just as good as the beer. Thus, you can pop into your local Slug for a sandwich, a quick drink, a leisurely meal or a hard night of cocktail drinking - your choice. I must admit that the term "gastro-pub" does strike a note of foreboding with me. For a lot of outlets "gastro-pub" is a terrible phrase coined to allow a publican to demonstrate that he doesn't just serve drinks but (over-fluffed) food too, and of course, it gives him/her the opportunity to hike up his/her prices too..... A "gastro-pub" doesn't sell a cheese and pickle sarnie at £2.50 - it serves a buffalo mozzarella and sun-dried tomato panini garnished with rocket and homemade chutney at £6.50....
~~ Location, Location, Location ~~
The Slug and Lettuce in Chichester is located in South Street, a short distance from the centre of the town, known as The Cross. South Street has loads of different restaurants and pubs, and it's really turned into the heart of "social" Chichester. You'll be spoiled for choice between Pizza Express, Prezzo, Zizzi, Café Rouge, as well as several independent pubs and restaurants. Be aware though that it's a nightmare to park nearby (especially during the day), so you may need to locate the nearest pay and display car park before you venture out. On a weekday night, it may be a bit easier, as there is a bit of parking available in South Street itself.
~~ Ambiance ~~
The Slug in Chichester is rather light and very spacious. There are huge picture windows, but the views are only onto South Street itself, nothing spectacular - but rather good for people watching instead. The décor is quite minimalistic and trendy - wooden floors, subtle, yet clever lighting and walls hung with modern pop art. There's a huge long bar to one side of the room, and plenty of tables and chairs dotted around the room. You can choose from lots of different low level chocolate brown leather sofas or bucket shaped chairs, or perch yourself on high bar stools. All the seating is accompanied by solid wooden tables (housing copies of the menu, cocktails and drinks on offer). Towards the back of the venue, there is a more formal area, with proper tables and chairs to eat at. The leather sofas look very inviting, but on closer inspection some of them were a little worn in places and rather shabby looking.
The atmosphere is always very laid back and casual in the Slug. Before 9.00pm there is always a good mixture of ages and groups. However, be warned that as the night progresses the place gets progressively wilder. After 9.00pm, a younger crowd tends to throng there, and it turns into a bit of a cattle market. Lots of skimpily clad young ladies eyeing up the boys and so on. Therefore, it's definitely not particularly child friendly (try Pizza Hut or Frankie and Benny's instead). Indeed, their website warns that children are not really welcome there after 7.00pm.
~~ The Food ~~
There are a full range of dishes on offer at The Slug and Lettuce, from simple bar snacks through to more elaborate meat and fish dishes. You can choose from a simple sandwich or dish of olives through to a full three course dinner. There is no particular "theme" to the food at The Slug, they seem to mix it all up and offer tempting sounding dishes influenced by all corners of the globe. There are quite a few British pub grub favorites, but they're been "gastroed" up (< made up word ..) to make them sound more tempting (and of course allowing them to lever up the price!). For example, Steak and Mushroom Pie, Sausages and Mash, Fish and Chips and Fish Pie all make an appearance on their menu, but their descriptions are all gussied up to make them sound more exotic than they probably area.....i.e. Bangers and Mash becomes "British pork Lincolnshire sausages, served with buttery mashed potato and a rich red wine gravy" and Fish and Chips becomes "Hand-battered fillet of fish, served with chips, tartare sauce and minted mushy peas". Of course, The Slug and Lettuce aren't doing anything different to a million and one other venues worldwide. A bit of pretension and flowery menu speak does wonders for the bottom line - allowing you to charge £8.75 for fish and chips instead of £3.99!
The Slug chain changes its menu fairly regularly, so that it features seasonal favourites (and something new and different for their legions of regulars). In addition, they offer a small selection of daily specials, which you will find clipped inside the regular menu. On the night we dined there, I was rather tempted by their daily special of a Green Thai Curry, but as we were in the middle of a heat wave, I settled for something a little less spicy and lighter.
There seems to be a lot of emphasis on "sharing" on their menu i.e. shared platters of starters or 2 for 1 desserts. I would imagine that the thought behind this is to encourage some of the drinkers to partake of some food on their premises, rather than just drinks. Afterall a shared platter or bowl of chips is ideal for mopping up some of that alcohol you've imbibed with a little too much relish, but you can't quite stomach a full meal. Similarly, there a full range of sandwiches, wraps, tostados (a cross between a tortilla and a pizza) and potato wedges on offer too - all priced fairly reasonably. However, if you fancy something a little more substantial, then there are a full range of steaks, grilled chicken dishes, burgers and so on.
~~ Our Meal ~~
There weren't a massive range of starters on offer, so we decided to forgo them on this occasion (and it was too hot to eat much anyway ...and it left some space for a dessert). However, I did like the sound of the Tempura Prawns or Tempura Vegetables (both served with sweet chili sauce), so I hope to try one of these on my next visit. Starter prices range from £2.50 to £4.25.
There were four of us in our party and we all chose different things off the menu for our main courses. I choose a Fishcake Salad, which was a smoked haddock and salmon fishcake with a cheddar cheese centre served on a bed of salad. I could certainly taste the haddock in my fishcake, but I fear the salmon and cheese may have gone away on holiday together somewhere else, because they certainly didn't seem to be on my plate! The bed of salad was nice, but a little unimaginative, mainly consisting of cos lettuce leaves, large rings of raw red onion, lettuce, cucumber and red pepper. I had this served with chips and garlic mayonnaise. It wasn't the tastiest meal I've ever had, but it was certainly good value at £3.85 (50% discount on the normal price as it was a Monday...). One of my friends is a bit of a fussy eater and hates salady type stuff, so she asked the bar man to serve her Slug Classic Burger without any of the garnish it usually comes with. This was sacrilege to me, as tomatoes, lettuce, onions and relish all make a burger so much more tasty. However, she was quite happy with her choice, and pronounced the ungarnished and naked looking dish to her liking. The Slug and Lettuce do a nice selection of burgers ranging from a classic beef burger, a chicken or vegetarian Falafel burger to a spicier Mexican burger. My other friend chose the Aromatic Duck Wrap, which was duck marinated in a hoisin plum sauce with cucumber and spring onions served in a flour tortilla. This dish comes served with the rather strange accompaniment of coleslaw and chips, which I found a little odd. Chips yes, but coleslaw doesn't really seem to "go" with a Far East classic like this. Personally I think a small selection of tempura battered vegetables or a cold sticky rice salad would go better than coleslaw. However, she was quite happy with her choice. The other lady in our party choose the grilled chicken with Bang Bang Peanut Sauce. This was basically a double breast of chicken served with a spicy peanut sauce (just like satay really). It looked and smelled delicious and made me wish I'd chosen that instead of my rather bland fishcake.
Main course prices range from £5.45 for a small salad up to £8.75 for a burger and chips. The dearest item on the menu is sirloin steak at £12.95, so all in all the prices at The Slug and Lettuce are on the reasonable side. The beauty of the place is that you can just have a starter or a dessert, or both, and no one is going to talk about minimum cover charges etc. You can eat as much or as little as you like.
The choice of desserts is fairly limited at The Slug and Lettuce, but the portions were very pleasing when they were served. Two of us chose the Hot Chocolate Puddle Pudding and the other two had Sticky Toffee Pudding. Both came served with either hot custard or ice cream, but we all chose the ice-cream due to the heat. The Hot Chocolate Puddle Pudding was a light chocolate sponge filled with a bitter dark chocolate sauce when you cut into it. The sauce inside was delightfully rich, but tempered well by the creaminess of the vanilla ice-cream. I didn't partake of the Sticky Toffee Pudding but it looked as sticky and gooey as all good ones should be, and my dining companions assured me they were delicious. Dessert prices start at £3.75 and go up to £4.75. We didn't bother with any teas or coffees to round off our meal, but the usual range is on offer if you like to do the full works when you dine out.
The bill came to a very reasonable £33.85, which was excellent value for 4 x main courses, 4 x desserts and 4 x drinks, working out at around £8.50 per person. However, they did apply the 50% discount to the bill for the food. Normally that meal and drinks would cost around £59.70, which I reckon is still pretty reasonable for a "gastro-pub".
~~ Service ~~
The service was fair to middling in The Slug. There seemed to only be two staff on duty, which seemed a little on the light side. However, they appeared to be coping rather well, if somewhat slowly at clearing dirty crockery, cutlery and glasses off the bar and tables. We ordered our food and drinks at the bar, as it seemed quicker than waiting for someone to come to us. Once we'd finished our main courses, no one came and cleared the table, or asked if we wanted desserts, so we took the initiative and went up to the bar again and placed our order. I'm not sure if this is the norm for The Slug, or whether they were short staffed that night. Either way, our main courses and desserts both arrived promptly, so we had nothing major to complain about.
~~ Recommended? ~~
Monday nights at The Slug and Lettuce are very, very good. You can eat your way through a fairly decent selection of food at a bargain price. The food is good - not out of this world, but tasty and filling. For a "gastro-pub" the food is fairly unprententious, reasonable value (especially on Mondays) and generous of portion. The venue is relaxed and laid back and it's a great place to enjoy a catch up with friends and family. Recommended...for a lively night out with a group of friends at a bargain price.
~~ Other Details ~~
The Slug and Lettuce is owned and operated by The Bay Restaurant Group and has around 80 different venues throughout the UK. The Bay Restaurant Group Ltd (http://www.laurelpubco.com/) also runs Ha Ha Bar and Grill chain as well as La Tasca outlets.
The Slug and Lettuce is not really the sort of place where you make a reservation for dinner or lunch (unless you're a big party of course), it's more of a-turn-up-and-grab-the-nearest-table-on-offer kind of venue. I'd recommend eating there before 9.00pm if at all possible, as the Chichester one does get a little lively after this time, and it turns into more of a bar / pub than it does eaterie. Indeed, you'll have a job pushing your way through the myriad bodies crowding the bar area to reach the dining area at the back of the room, and you may wish you chosen somewhere a little quieter....We walked in straight in off the street at 7.00pm on a Monday night, and managed to find a nice spot in the bar area to eat and drink at. However, by 9.00pm it was filling up rather fast with drinkers.
Bay Restaurant Group
Porter Tun House
500 Capability Green
Tel: 0845 126 2944
Opening hours: Monday to Sunday - 10.00am to 12.00am (11.30pm on Sundays)
Most venues are open seven days a week and take all the major credit cards. The Chichester outlet does not welcome children after 7.00pm, so it may be worth checking the rules for your local one before you go (information can be found on their website).
The first I heard about Slug and Lettuce was a couple of years back in uni. Well, I'd seen it, but for some reason never went in. So when my friends suggested we go out for a meal there, I assumed it would just be normal pub food.
Slug and Lettuces are set up slightly differently around the country, though some do have much more of a restaurant feel to them, depending on the location. They are often situated with restaurants rather than pubs.
The atmosphere inside is always very welcoming, and I've found the staff to be very attentive. As in a typical restaurant, you get full waiter service. Also, there is no service charge included.
The menu is quite varied, so even if you're fussy you should find something you like. They have a selection of gourmet burgers, salads, grills plus a good range of desserts and drinks. My favourite thing about Slug and Lettuce is the sharing starters. You can get an absolutely massive one for £12 with ribs, garlic bread, tempura vegetables, chicken and much more. I split one with a friend once, and we shared a side salad too, and we still left quite a bit. It's easily enough for 4 as a starter, and even as a full meal for 2-3. The plate was nearly as big as the table, and the people next to us ordered the same thing we did!
One thing to note as well is that the side salad is a good size and very varied - I hate it when you order a side salad or veg and it's all limp, boring, and in tiny quantities.
I always eat far too much at Slug and Lettuce, because I'm so greedy, but it is good quality food and though the prices can be a little on the steep side for me (if it's more than about £6, I don't eat there much), it's definitely worth it. It's the kind of place which is ideal for a business meal but also to take the family to.
I recommend checking the menu online here: http://www.slugandlettuce.co.uk/menus/
And also there are often 2 for 1 and other vouchers floating around the Internet, so it's worth having a search around if you're planning to go.
I've visited Slug and Lettuce in Nottingham and Reading, always had a good time and good food, so I completely recommend it. Losing one star for the prices though!
My friends and I love to eat at the Slug and Lettuce. We do have several choices of restaurants, pubs and wine bars here in Winchester and the Slug and Lettuce is usually our top choice. At the Winchester location you have the option of dining inside or outside. Actually we just returned from an afternoon of dining there.
What I love about this place is that you have a selection of values depending on the day. Sometimes we drop by on Monday afternoon after a long day at work to enjoy Happy Monday's of 50% off food orders plus you can get £3 cocktails or have a pitcher for £9! Wednesday's are cool too as this is £9.95 a bottle all day.
As for the food I would definitely recommend the tasty fish pie, grilled chicken fillet burger or the zesty Thai style chicken citrus wrap. These choices are certainly thumbs up! I'd say go for it!