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Family friendly pub.
The Highwayman (Oswestry)
Member Name: fwsoames
The Highwayman (Oswestry)
Date: 06/12/09, updated on 07/12/09 (272 review reads)
Advantages: Cheap,clean and reliable
Disadvantages: Not a place for that special occasion.
The Highwayman has recently reopened after a short break for a refit. The refit being occasioned by the opening of a new rival ,The Oswalds Cross, just down the road.
The Highwayman is long established as a family friendly pub on the Shrewsbury Rd that caters to people who live on the many housing estates that are close by.
To be honest I have felt for some time that the place needed a make over as it looked and felt a bit tired. There have been several significant changes to the layout which should enhance the place to visitors.
Firstly the dining area has been increased. The scruffy bar area, to the left as you walk in, has now been tidied up and looks like it belongs to the rest of the place. In this area there is also a TV so that you needn't miss any programmes when you make that special effort to leave the house.
To the right of the entrance a new area has been built which contains around 50 covers. This area is a bit like a room within the pub and it is where we retreated to when we were scared off by about 6 screaming babies in the main room.
The rest of the place has been given the usual painting, carpeting and lighting upgrade you would expect from a refit.
It looks ,and smells, like new.
On the downside I just have two gripes. Firstly it looks like the old furniture has been stuffed back in which is a shame. Secondly I would have thought the brewery would have taken this chance to get rid of the carpets altogether. The words "family friendly" and "Carpet" should not really be in the same sentence and having seen the amount of debris on the carpet on a Saturday tea time I don't think it will be long till it starts showing its age.
Cards on table time here. We go to the Highwayman for one reason only. Our kids love it and eat everything on their plate. Any parents reading this will recognise that you cant put a price on that.
On this visit I had a "burger stack" Mrs Soames had a "Mixed Grill" and the young Soames enjoyed a "chicken burger" and a "plain burger" respectively. Experience has taught us to order an extra portion of chips for the kids as the normal meal portions do not last long. (even with the extra chips they still swiped several chips off our plates).
To be fair to the pub they are trying to entice the kids off rubbish by offering a make your own fajitas option. Our kids sneered at that and headed straight to Burgerland.
Mrs Soames enjoyed her mixed grill and the burger stack was all that I expected. One minor quibble here. If I wanted barbecue sauce to go with my burger it would cost me an extra 30p.I thought that was a bit tight considering that ketchup and brown are given away gratis.
None of us had any room for the puddings but I couldn't help but notice that a portly gent on the next table was tucking into what looked like a small mountain of chocolate, cream and ice cream. He was still going for it as we were leaving. He is probably still there if truth be told.
As a Banks/Marstons pub I was a bit disappointed with the brews on offer. I started with a Ringwood guest ale which was nothing special and then tried a Marstons Smooth which slipped down very easily. Pedigree was on offer with a decent range of Banks but I felt that they could have gone a bit further in their offer. Marstons has such a splendid range of Ales in its portfolio that as a competitive edge type thingy they should be able to offer a killer range of ales. Put it this way, its crazy that their ale offer is so far behind any Wetherspoons.
Anyway I digress.
The pub looked and felt clean, the toilets were fine and even the menus were not sticky.
We arrived early evening and it was just over half full. I estimate 200/250 covers. The place soon started to fill up with punters, mainly families and there was quite a buzz about the place. We had to wait about 20 minutes for our meals which is just about acceptable and the service was friendly and pretty well organised.
On the whole a decent spot to take the kids or grand parents.
The menu is pretty basic and the pricing reflects that with no meal being priced at more than £9.
You are unlikely to see young couples on a special date or older couples celebrating an anniversary but as a budget priced place to take the brats it fit's the bill.
Summary: No frills family pub that is quite cheap.