Posts Tagged ‘The Foresters’

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.

Sunday lunch at The Foresters

August 12, 2012
The Foresters garden

The Foresters garden

specials chalked up

specials chalked up

The Foresters slow-roast belly of pork

The Foresters slow-roast belly of pork

At The Mulberry in Farnham, a burger will cost you upwards of £8-50. For that I would expect something special, especially as they boast they are the home of gourmet burgers. I tried one last year. It was disgusting, the service was appalling too.

To give some idea of the prices on the lunchtime menu at at The Foresters, a burger is an eye-watering £11-95! Or in other words, everything on the menu was expensive.

In the end I thought, if it is expensive, I may as well have something worth paying the money for. I chose slow-roasted belly of pork, which was served with potatoes and savoy cabbage (which I do not particularly like). It arrived with a tiny piece of leaf of a savoy cabbage and a little jug of gravy. It did not really need gravy, but I tried it anyway.

To be fair, it was good, but at that price it had to be good.

This was by no means the most expensive dish. There was a beef dish on the menu that was over £30!

I was with a friend, he had ham, egg and chips. Again very expensive for ham, egg and chips. It came with two eggs and a generous portion of quality ham, thickly sliced. It looked to be quality and he said it was good, and saved half of his ham for lunch the next day.

We had to drink a pint each of Hog’s Back Tea. All the real ales were locally sourced.

We had with us a dog, a Labrador, and she enjoyed what we gave her after the meal.

Too many pubs serve white van chiller food knocked hotted up in a microwave. It may have been pricey but at The Foresters, freshly prepared quality food.

A lot of nonsense has been written on TripAdvisor that the service at The Foresters is poor. We had no problems with the service.

The Forester is in the middle of nowhere, somewhere between Aldershot and Church Crookham, if you travel along the road that runs alongside the Basingstoke Canal to Fleet, then turns off to Church Crookham.

From the back of the pub, a view overlooking heathland, heath grassland and pine woodlands. At least there used to be, a hedge now blocks the view.

Across the road, heath grassland, mixed pine and oak woodlands.

There was far more people eating outside than could be accounted for by the number of cars. I guess people either walked there or came by cycle, quite a few had cycles.

Dog friendly, we were not the only ones with a dog.

The location of the pub was extremely dangerous for crossing the road. It needs a speed limit.

After lunch a long afternoon walk across the heathlands, where we met some interesting cattle roaming wild, dark brown with a broad white stripe around their middle.