January has to be my least favourite month of the year. It’s cold, dark, often wet and just a let down after all the fun and festivities of December. We’d had a really up and down week here last week. A terrible start to the week, but my son had done really well at school and came home with an award on Friday. We decided that we all needed something a little different to end the week and opted for eating out at Beefeater Applecart Didcot. Sunday is our only proper family day, so to not spend it in the kitchen, cooking is always nice. Eating out as a family is always a nice way to end the weekend too.
Having recently been given a brand new look, we were looking forward to eating out at Beefeater Applecart Didcot, and seeing what they had to offer for our little family. The restaurant is ideally located for travellers, just off the Milton Interchange junction on the A34. It’s attached to a Premier Inn, and has ample free parking available. On warmer days you could enjoy your meals and drinks on the patio, but perhaps not on a cold and gloomy January afternoon!
The interior is spacious and the seating areas can easily cater for larger parties as well as smaller groups like ourselves. My 8 year old son was particularly taken with the artwork close to our table and has now asked me to acquire a frame so he can put one of his won cows inside! The restaurant was clearly popular but we didn’t feel crowded and the interior was light, clean and fresh.
We found the staff to be welcoming and attentive and service was good throughout our time at the Beefeater Applecart. My son sometimes struggles in unfamiliar surroundings, so eating out hasn’t always been an easy experience. He’s getting better now, but the key for a relaxing meal out for us, is him. If he’s happy, we all get to enjoy our meal. Our table had already been set out with a kids activity sheet and crayons, so that was him sorted from the start. The current activities are themed around Shaun the Sheep, who’s a big hit here.
There are various meal deals available for children ranging for a main and squash for £4.85, 2 courses of a main, squash with either a starter or pudding for £5.49 through to a full 3 courses with squash for £5.99. We were made aware that squash was included in these deals before we’d ordered anything, which was appreciated (tap water is freely available too). But my son had already spotted the Fruit Shoots on his menu, so he wasn’t going to be swayed in this instance.
He opted for garlic bread and cucumber sticks for his starter. A few more cucumber sticks might have gone down well, but he was happy and there was soon an empty plate.
My OH will always go for the Sunday Roast option where he can, and he ordered the tomato soup starter from that menu.
The soup arrived, hot and was full of flavour.
I’d gone straight to the main menu for my meal options and was spoilt for choice. In the end I opted for the garlic prawn pan which was served in a garlic and parsley sauce and toasted ciabatta. It really was very good, and my fussy son even tried one of the king prawns.
There are ten different options for children for their main meals with options to swap sides too. My son loves fish, so he decided on the Cod Bites and changed the peas for baked beans.
We weren’t quite sure what the thyme was doing on the plate, but we turned that into a lesson on herbs and senses. My son is a mayo fan rather than ketchup, but that need was soon sorted by the waiter, and one happy boy was enjoying eating out at Beefeater Applecart Didcot.
Being the traditional man that he is, I knew my OH would go for the slow-cooked beef, served with veg, roast potatoes and a Yorkshire pudding with gravy.
The beef was perfectly cooked to his liking and there were no complaints from his end of the table.
For myself, I’m always looking to try something new and spotted a new addition on the menu that sounded perfect. Chicken and Chorizo pie in a creamy sauce wrapped in a filo pastry casing. Served with salad and buttery potatoes, and it didn’t disappoint.
it was very tasty, the pie was full of filling and the potatoes were cooked well. Well balanced and something I’d definitely eat again.
We are all suckers for a good pudding in this household, although my son will always opt for ice cream and he loves the Funny Face Sundae option so I knew he’d look no further. There is a 99p supplement over the standard pudding options of mixed fruit salad, ice cream and strawberry yogurt. But for this he gets his wafer cone, strawberry lace, chocolates beans and marshmallows. He deserved it after the excellent news from school.
As I don’t like custard my OH only ever gets to enjoy trifle if we’re out and about, so he zoomed straight in on the Black Forest trifle and was in pudding heaven apparently.
Whilst I’m one of those weird people who doesn’t really eat chocolate often, but loves chocolate based puddings. Strange, but true. The Mississippi Mud pie, served with chocolate sauce and ice cream did not disappoint.
We rounded off our time eating out at Beefeater Applecart Didcot with a couple of Costa Latte’s. We were pleasantly surprised that for a family of 3, having a 3 course meal with soft drinks and 2 coffees, the bill came in at under £60. Being steam train enthusiasts we are fairly regular visitors to the Didcot Railway Centre which is only a stones throw from the Applecart and we’ve already said that we’ll be eating there again on our way home when we go on our next steam train day. That’s as big family thumbs up.
For further details visit www.beefeater.co.uk
disclosure: we were given a complimentary meal in exchange for an honest review.