As much as I love turkey (and I really do) it comes to the point when you really feel like you’d be happy never to see another one ever again. That point usually comes for me sometime in mid December, long before we’ve even got to Christmas day, and is caused by a myriad of family, friends and blogger meals, all of which have the Christmas theme, the Christmas turkey and the Christmas pudding. Which is why I think the Beefeater Grill chain has it just right this year, with an alternative Christmas menu. We went along to the Longford House restaurant in Cannock to check it out before it is rolled out nationally on December 1st.
Longford House is a lovely building that I believe dates back to the 18th Century (you can read a little more about it here) and it was vibrant and busy for a Thursday night. Due to coughs and colds we were all on soft drinks, and they arrived at the table very quickly. We had pre-ordered our meals, so didn’t have long to wait before the starters arrived.
Now, we ordered to starters from the adult menu, and I do think it would be a good idea to have a child’s starter on the menu too, that said, Joe was very taken with his dad’s choice, the pulled beef and Yorkshire Pudding slices. The beef was soft and succulent, and I loved the way this was served, with the idea that the Yorkies could be used to mop up the beef and gravy. I opted for the Chicken Liver and herb Pate, which also came with a very seasonal spiced Fig Chutney. This is a lovely starter, it looks great with the Pate in a cute mini Kilner jar, and with a good helping of thick toasted bread. This is a very rustic dish, with a rough pate that is filled with flavour. I really enjoyed this and would definitely order it again.
For the main courses there is a turkey option, but we stepped away from it and tried something a little less festive. I went for the 8oz Fillet Steak Rossini which is served on toasted ciabatta and topped with a smooth chicken liver pâté. It was accompanied by dauphinoise potatoes, slow-roasted tomato and mushroom and a beef jus. It was simply delicious, my steak was cooked to perfection, I like it medium, with a pinkish tinge by no blood running. (Have to mention the chef Ant who always cooks the meat so well). The dauphinoise potatoes had a sharp cheesy flavour that was a great contrast to the steak, and I loved the idea of the ciabatta to mop up the delicious beef jus – again a rustic touch but one that really works well.
Pete opted for a double steak festive burger, which had two tasty steak patty’s top with cheese, bacon and cranberry. It sounded like a strange combination, but Pete absolutely loved it, saying the flavours combined really well, and that this was a hearty big dish. Combined with some crowd pleasing chunky chips and salad, Pete ate every mouthful and declared the whole dish a complete success.
Joe really enjoyed his favourite meal, sausage and mash, complete with meaty gravy. The mash was nice and fluffy, the sausages were thick and this is just a dish that all kids will enjoy.
And then to dessert, and it has to be said that Beefeater have come up with a menu that will leave you struggling to decide what to have. I decided on a Sundae with Orange Matchmakers which was amazing, with the orange flavour hidden in the creamy vanilla ice cream. I think Matchmakers are an essential part of Christmas (ahem…) and so this is definitely going to be a huge hit.
Pete is definitely a pud rather than dessert kind of guy, and so the signature cherry and apple crumble, complete with custard was always going to be his first choice. It was delicious, with the sweet cherries and apple combining to make a scrumptious sweet treat.
I think Beefeater are onto a winner with this menu, and at the Longford House the delicious food is combined with truly great service and a friendly atmosphere too. With the Christmas menu priced at £14.49 for two courses, and £17.99 for three courses, I think this is a brilliant offer that would be a great option for pre-Christmas dining occasions.