This weekend we headed out to the Highwayman Beefeater restaurant in Chesterfield for a meal I was certain I was not going to enjoy. As we drove into nearly Derbyshire it felt unwise to have accepted the offer of a complementary meal at a Beefeater restaurant when I don’t actually eat beef. Or any red meat, in fact. It also seemed unwise not to have mentioned this to the PR company that arranged our visit.
Or was it?
Actually, no. I wanted to see if the Beefeater chain actually catered for vegetarians. I think all family restaurants should, but in many I have found the vegetarian menu to be severely lacking or consisting of only mushroom-based dishes, and I don't like mushrooms. I was under the impression that the Highwayman would be the same.
So imagine my surprise to find myself unable to choose which vegetarian meal to order because there were just so many options. In the end I went for the Mediterranean Tomato Risotto and made a note to try the Creamy Pesto Pasta next time, because we will definitely go back. The quality of the food was outstanding. I had expected ‘pub grub’ but this so much nicer.
Even IJ, the fussiest of eaters, finished off her plate of battered fish and chips (although nothing would tempt her to try a few vegetables). She would have enjoyed them if she had. The food was very fresh and had been cooked from scratch to a very high standard. And the portions were a generous size.
My sister did try the beef. Her meal quickly went from this…
Her partner enjoyed the Rack of Ribs. We both had a gorgeous chocolate fudge brownie dessert but they were eaten before the thought of taking a photograph crossed my mind. Just imagine a hot chocolate brownie with warm fudge sauce and a large dollop of vanilla ice cream. Delicious!
The restaurant staff knew we were coming but then extended a warm welcome to all the visitors that evening and offering a very high standard of service to all the diners.We loved the whole experience and would definitely go back.
Marks out of ten: ten.
Perhaps Beefeater should market themselves with a new strapline - not just for those who love beef. I might copyright that idea, just in case!