Reviewed by Cheryl Lovell
My husband, son and I had a late lunch at Brewers Fayre Oakenhurst Farm, Darwen earlier today. Upon arrival, we were immediately greeted by staff who asked where we would prefer to sit in the restaurant. We were subsequently seated next to the play area as requested which allowed us to supervise our son in the play area while dining through the large glass windows.
The restaurant had an adjoining play area with a soft play section, slides and other activities. This does come at an extra cost of £3 (for 90 minutes) but my son was kept very entertained throughout our meal, so I felt that it was well worth the money. The area itself was clean and manned by staff who were helpful and child friendly. There was also a seating area within the play area so parents can supervise their children if needed.
The toilets in the restaurant were clean and well maintained.
Throughout our meal, I observed staff to be prompt when clearing and cleaning the tables. The drinks area was also kept clean and well stocked. The car park was quite large and during our visit, there was plenty of spaces available. The front of the building was clean, fresh, modern and inviting and the entrance was clearly marked.
Starters:We ordered the combo feast starter and upgraded to include the BBQ wings. As per the photograph, it was very well presented and quickly appealed to all of us. The platter included crispy king prawns, chicken goujons, garlic and herb breaded mushrooms, battered onion rings, garlic baguette and the upgrade of BBQ sticky wings. This was all accompanied by garlic mayonnaise, sweet chilli sauce and BBQ sauce. We all thoroughly enjoyed this starter, particularly the chicken goujons, however, I felt that the breaded mushrooms did taste very watery. We were provided with side plates, napkins and water to clean our fingers afterwards. Overall, we were very impressed with this and although there was only 3 of us, I do feel that this would easily feed 4 people – it is very filling!
Main courses: My husband ordered the New Yorker burger and added an extra burger to this. It arrived very well presented with chips and coleslaw. However, the chips were slightly under cooked (but edible) and my husband was not particularly keen on the special burger sauce which tasted like Rose Marie sauce. Despite this, the burgers were well cooked, the bap was fresh and the coleslaw (which tasted homemade) was delicious!
I ordered the 8oz sirloin steak which arrived with garden peas, onion rings and chips. I added a peppercorn sauce to my order. The steak was cooked to my liking (I was asked my preference when ordering) and the portion was very large. As above, the chips were slightly under cooked but the onion rings were well cooked and crispy. The sauce was creamy and accompanied my steak very well.
My son ordered a burger meal from the children’s menu which arrived with chips, coleslaw and ketchup all served in a basket. He liked how the burger was a mini version thus I feel that it is very appealing to children. He ate the majority of his meal and thoroughly enjoyed it! Again, the coleslaw tasted and looked homemade – it really was very tasty!
Desserts: My husband and I shared the fondue. The only way to describe this is ‘Wow!’ It came extremely well presented and looked very appetising. The platter included mini donuts, fresh strawberries, marshmallows, chocolate brownies and waffles accompanied by pots of chocolate fudge sauce and caramel sauce. This dessert not only looked fantastic, but it tasted amazing as well! I would thoroughly recommend this dessert to future diners. Because we struggled to finish the dessert, the waiter packed some of the brownies, donuts and sauces up for us to take home which was very much appreciated.
Drinks: My husband and I ordered a bottomless soft drink and bottomless coffee respectively. This is a really good feature of this franchise because we were able to keep refilling our drinks (at a self-service station) without any extra costs. I can imagine that this would save families quite a lot of money, because children are constantly asking for drinks when dining!
My son had a mixed slush which included a special flavour for Halloween. The mixture was thick and not too watery and tasted great! These slushes are £1.99 each which personally I feel is a little expensive though.
I would also like to write about the staff at Oakenhurst. They were all very accommodating, checked during each course whether our food was to our liking and were consistently polite. A special mention must go to Fred who took care of us throughout our meal (I have included a photo of him with our son!). He was extremely good with our son, providing him with balloons, involving him in conversation and generally being very cheery. He made a huge effort to make sure we had an enjoyable meal! Not only this, but I noticed that he was equally as accommodating and cheery with other diners in the restaurant – thanks Fred!
For more information, to view menus or to book a table visit:www.brewersfayre.co.uk/pub-restaurant/Lancashire/Oakenhurst-Farm-Darwen.html
Riversway Drive, Off Eccleshill Road, Lower Darwen, Blackburn, BB3 OSN | 01254 707 210