RESTAURANT REVIEW: Eastleigh's Brigadier Gerard Pub

Meonstoke's Clarke family travelled to The Brigadier Gerard pub and restaurant in Hortons Heath to taste test the food and to see if the pub really is 'child friendly'. Here, mum Philippa serves up the results

What were your first impressions?You could be forgiven for driving past this pub and not noticing it, but as soon as you pull in to the car park you see the huge outdoor play area. The outside area hadn’t yet been set up for summer and the tables were stacked at one side. The landlady explained that they were about to spruce the whole area up in time for half term. She also said that there are tables all around the outdoor area during the warmer months and that they have a shed full of toys in addition to the play equipment.

What was the d�cor inside like? The d�cor inside is bright and spacious with the dining area situated slightly back from the main bar.

What’s the garden like?The garden at the Brigadier Gerard is huge (in fact the youth football team used to play there). It has a climbing frame, swings, slide and a see-saw and in the summer months you can get involved in giant snakes and ladders and badminton.

Was there an extensive children’s menu?There were six items on the children’s menu and all would have been very suitable. Our boys predictably went for fish fingers, chips and peas! They could have picked any of the things off the children’s menu: bangers and mash, scampi, lasagne, the list goes on. The main courses were all around the �3.95 mark and puddings were �2.

What did mum and dad have to eat? I had the Brig Burger with cheese, lettuce and tomato, which came with chips, onion rings and a side salsa. The burger was home-cooked in a toasted bun and the chips were good and chunky – just how I like them. Greg had home-cooked ham, egg and chips.The profiteroles and chocolate fudge cake we had for pudding were certainly tasty, but they could have benefited from being a little more home-made in style. The boys were very happy with their chocolate ice-cream in chocolate sauce with a chocolate wafer straw.

What was the service like? The service was very good. They offered books and games to amuse the children, took our orders promptly and refreshed our drinks at the table.

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What was the best part of your experience at the pub/restaurant?We thought that the pub made a real effort to welcome children. From the wet wipes, nappies and potty that were thoughtfully provided in the toilets, to the selection of books, games and outdoor toys to keep impatient small people occupied. The food was good and hearty and the staff friendly. If we were in the area we would go again.

Book your tableThe Clarkes reviewed The Brigadier Gerard as part of Winchester City Council’s Rural Pub Campaign. Find out more about the campaign plus other restaurants to try in your area on page 132. Book your table on 023 8069 3458

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