Posts Tagged ‘Church Crookham’

Lunch at The Foresters

June 18, 2015
real ale

real ale

The Foresters garden

The Foresters garden

Parked in a small car park, then five minute walk through the woods to The Foresters.

As it was a pleasant day, sit in the garden. From the garden it used to be a pleasant view of the surrounding woods, but now hidden by a hedge that has been allowed to grow too tall.

Food at The Foresters used to be good, albeit a little pricey, but on the last visit the price had gone up, the quality down.

We were not sure if we would get anything to eat, as it was a little after three o’clock and many places shut their kitchen at three. The chef was behind the bar. I asked if the kitchen was open, could we get anything to eat? No problem, take a seat and you will be brought a menu.

A girl followed us out with a menu. She asked did we want a drink? I said it was ok, we would look later at the bar.

They now have a lunchtime menu that runs until six. Same items as main menu, except you pay less and a more limited choice. £8-95 for main course, £11-95 for two courses. The two courses can be starter and main or main and dessert, although this was not clear on the menu.

I decided on crab and salmon fish cakes, until I realised it was the starter. I then decided on tomato soup, followed by veal and a salad.

tomato soup

tomato soup

The tomato soup was ok, but not good. It was tomato and oregano, which must be what gave it a rather unpleasant taste. The trick is to add, to give subtle flavours, not an awful taste.

veal dumped on a salad served on  slate

veal dumped on a salad served on slate

The veal looked disgusting and was. The coating was hard, probably overcooked, the veal dark and unpleasant. It was dumped, quite literally, on a bed of salad. And served on a piece of slate though on a piece of paper on the slate. Presentation zero. The paper became cut up and had to then be disentangled. The salad was not good either. Too much onion, and something in it that had a very unpleasant taste.

cod and chips and peas

cod and chips and peas

My dining companion had cod with chips and peas. The chips (skin not removed) were served in a little wire basket, which meant they very quickly got cold. Although served on a plate, it had paper between the cod and the plate. He said it was not very good.

fruit salad

fruit salad

For dessert he had fruit salad, which had variety and was of generous portion size. But even this, the apple had been sliced some time ago and was turning brown.

Service left much to be desired, though the serving wench was pleasant enough. I had to go off to obtain cutlery and napkins. Then when my soup arrived, off again in search of salt and pepper, which I found on tables inside.

For drinks, my dining companion had Hogs Back Tea, I a real ale (the only other real ale), but I have no idea what it was. The drinks were the only good part of the meal.

On a Sunday, a hog roast. It used to be a carvery.

Note: The menu on their website is not what we were handed, and for some perverse reason has to be downloaded as a file.

The Foresters is in the middle of nowhere, between Aldershot and Church Crookham.

After our very disappointing lunch, we crossed the road and went for a walk over Long Valley.

Carvery at The Foresters

October 14, 2012
carvery at The Foresters

carvery at The Foresters

I decided as it was a lovely sunny day, albeit cold in the shade, go for a walk over Long Valley, but instead of as in the summer eat at The Foresters, then go for a walk, go for a walk, then eat, to make the most of the autumn sun.

And so off we set, a friend, two dogs and myself. We arrived back at The Foresters hungy and tired and ready to eat, only to find it full, no dogs.

Rather than hang around, we followed a track out the back of the pub and found ourselves on Velmead Common.

We arrived back, even more tired and hungry than before. Although still very busy (it was now late afternoon) there was a free table, which meant the dogs could come in.

During the summer visit, I had slow-roast belly of pork. I was looking forward to trying this again, but saw they had a carvery (new the last few weeks), therefore I thought I would try the carvery.

I was a little unsure. It was all laid out on a trestle table. I thought maybe the roast meat had dried out, the roast potatoes looked dried out, the Yorkshire pudding looked burnt, the mixed vegetables though, cauliflowers, broccoli and carrots, looked very fresh. There was also parsnips. At the end of the table gravy. On another table which I had not noticed, mustard and what I assumed was various sauces.

The portions of meat were generous. For the vegetables, I helped myself.

My initial misgivings on the meat, Yorkshire pudding and roast potatoes proved unfounded.

I would rate this as the best carvery I have had. Cooked to perfection, quality cuts of meat.

At £11-95, for a pub that is usually very pricy, cf a burger at £11-95, it was reasonably priced.

To drink a pint of Tea from the Hog’s Back Brewery.

Where we were sitting, the exhausted dogs fell asleep, I noticed books. A reasonable selection: The Algebraist Iain M Banks, A Quiet Belief in Angels E J Ellory, The Millenium trilogy Stieg Larsson, though they did then let themselves down with 50 Shades of Crap. No Paulo Coelho.

I asked were the books a new addition, and was it possible to borrow?

Yes, the books were a new addition, and yes, it was possible to borrow.

I suggested they registered on BookCrossing and encouraged people to leave books.

The Foresters is in the middle of nowhere, not far from Church Crookham. Dogs are welcome.

The Foresters is being hit with fake reviews on TripAdvisor. I have eaten there twice. They clearly take a pride in their food and the service is good. TripAdvisor is losing all credibility when it fails to root out fake reviews.

Afternoon walk over Velmead Common

October 14, 2012
Velmead Common an area of heathland

Velmead Common an area of heathland

A friend, two dogs and I, arrived at The Foresters after walking over Long Valley. We were tired, hungry, and looking forward to something to eat and drink. The pub though was full, no dogs.

We decided to return a little later. Rather than hang around outside, we decided to follow the track that led out the back of the pub.

We found we were on Velmead Common, a heathland of pine woodland, heath grassland and bogs.

A sign said Dexter cattle, though we did not see any. Maybe they spend some time here and some time in Long Valley (where we did see Dexter cattle).

Walking through the pine woodland in the shade was very cold. Once we reached open grassland, it was very pleasant walking in the autumn sunshine.

On our return, we found though The Foresters was still very busy, it was not as busy as before. We were able to find a table and the dogs joined us. We could have left the dogs outside, but I do not like leaving them outside as not fair on the dogs.

Velmead Common is an area of heathland near Church Crookham and Fleet, not far from Aldershot.

Autumn afternoon walk over Long Valley

October 14, 2012
Long Valley an area of heathland and hills

Long Valley an area of heathland and hills

Dexter a rare breed of cattle

Dexter a rare breed of cattle

It was a cold night last night, I was told frost this morning, though I did not see it.

Lovely and sunny late morning. Very cold, but warm in the sun.

I decided a walk over Long Valley, but to do it different to the summer when had Sunday lunch at The Foresters, then go for a walk. Make the most of the afternoon sun, go for a walk, then return to The Foresters for lunch.

We parked across the road from The Foresters, a lot more cars than in the summer. From there we set off, a friend, two dogs and myself.

Long Valley is an area of heathland, heather, open pine and oak woodlands, heath grassland.

We encountered Dexter cattle, but little else.

I would have walked further that we did, but by time we got to the pub I was feeling very tired.

Last time I had excellent slow-roast, belly pork. I was looking forward to trying it again, but noticed they had a carvery (new for the last few weeks).

The pub was full, no dogs whilst full, so we decided to come back a little later.

We thought we would go for a walk along a footpath out the back of the pub. This turned out to be Velmead Common. Very cold walking in the shade through the pine woodland, but once we reached open grassland and into the sun, very pleasant.

Like Long Valley, Velmead Common is heathland.

Dexter Cattle are a rare breed. They are on Long Valley and Velmead Common (though did not see any) to maintain the biodiversity.

Very little of the landscape in England is natural, it is semi-natural, maintained by farming, It is industrial farming that destroys and poisons the landscape. Left to it own devices, Long Valley and Velmead Common would eventually be open heath woodland and lack the varied habitats that grazing creates.

Dexter cattle are small and stocky. Roughly the size and build of a pit pony.

Long Valley is located between Aldershot and Church Crookham.