We love a good meal out. I love the fact I don't have to cook, Scott loves the fact is something other than my cooking and Max loves being out of the house. Last weekend Scott was away in London and I was down in Portsmouth with Max and the In-Laws. So when we were invited to try the new menu over at the Harvester in Whiteley we jumped at the chance.
Harvester is one of those chains that is so loved in England that I'm pretty sure everyone has eaten at one. We are big fans as there is such a great variety on their menu, not to mention the fact their menu has been updated and revamped too. Rosie, Scott's sister joined me, Max and Sandi (my mother in law) as she was eager to see what had changed since she left the company a year ago.
When we got there we couldn't believe how different it looked, what once was a bit dark and dingy was now light, bright and so welcoming that we settled in right away. That's not to say that things had changed completely. Of course there was the well loved Salad Bar with some gorgeous additions (the cous-cous is a must!) but also a new bread bar and sauce bar so you could mix things up to your hearts content.
For kids that need a bit of distraction, there was an amazing colouring sheet that kept Max amused for most of the meal (when he wasn't eating) and the adults definitely got involved too.
In terms of the kid's food, nothing much has changed for the younger menu. Max loves trying new things and I was a bit disappointed that there was still the trusty chicken nuggets on the menu when the older kids had a choice of things like wraps and burgers. That's not to say he didn't love his food and he wolfed it down along with some chips he stole off Rosie's plate! The portion size was perfect, especially as he had wolfed down a lot of salad!
All of us grown ups went for something that was new on the menu. Sandi went for the half a rotisserie chicken and said the meat was delicious and the glaze was amazing. I love the way that it was presented as it really gave an authentic feel to it.
Rosie went for the bbq pulled pork beef burger. They changed it up and added battered onion petals rather than onion rings which made it feel like the Harvester really wanted to make themselves stand out. It was gorgeous or so I've been told (I wasn't allowed to sample a bit).
I went for the bbq chicken stack. I loved the presentation and when I mixed it with the spiked bbq sauce from the sauce bar it was perfection! It filled me up and the skin on fries were a great twist on the regular fries.
The waiting staff were really welcoming and friendly. They went out of their way to make sure we had a great meal and took time to talk to Max rather than ask us what he wanted. This is something that makes all the difference as Max loves to chat to anyone and he's at the age where he's confident enough to know what he wants. They were really helpful with making sure our table was cleared and we were satisfied with drinks and food.
FInally though we had to indulge in desserts. You can't go to the Harvester without having one of their sundaes. So we had two! They have added mini sized sundaes to the kids menu which is perfect for little tummies like Max's. Though I do think his eyes were bigger than his belly when he proclaimed he wanted to eat both sundaes! Max opted for a rocky horror sundae which is filled with fudge pieces and chocolate sauce. Everyone's favourite.
Sandi and Rosie shared the honeycomb explosion, which was definitely a big thumbs up as I hardly heard a peep from the both of them whilst they scoffed it. I went for the cheesecake which was indulgent, creamy and had a gorgeous raspberry coulis on the side to compliment. Of course I ate it before I could take a photo but rest assured it was amazing.
Harvester is one of those classic brands that is continually doing things right and ticking all the boxes to please customers. With such an amazing choice on their menu I can't wait to take the family back to try something else. Thank you Harvester for inviting us, we will be back!