Reviewed by Sarah Hicks
I have just returned from a lovely family meal at the Gordano Gates Brewers Fayre site at Portishead, Nr Bristol. It was more than a meal really as the site boasts a newly created play area to rival any standalone children’s soft play area. The site is very easy to find just 2 minutes off junction 19 of the M5 with plenty of parking it makes an excellent stop off for those travelling the busy M5 during the summer holiday, it provides an excellent opportunity to stretch legs and (as any parent will understand) the perfect place for the children to let off steam built up from a long journey in the car!
The play area itself has a Dennis the Menace theme and attracts a separate entry charge – £3 per child for 90 minutes play – it offers a toddler area and a multi storey play area for older children – there are slides, hanging punch bags, tunnels and netting galore! (I also noticed a Den area slightly away from the soft play which during our visit was set up with colouring materials but this is also used as a children’s party zone – looking at the details available on site they offer children’s birthday parties at the very reasonable price of less than £9 per child). There is a children’s bar within the actual room of the play area, which makes it very easy to visit as a single adult with multiple children – you can get drinks, crisps and snacks in the room and can also eat a full meal in there if you wish. One thing with I would say is that the room is nicely air conditioned – the children definitely need it to be with all that charging around – but it could be a little chilly to perhaps eat a hot meal in? (on the day we visited it was very warm outside and it was lovely to sit in the cooled room!). When we visited be were lucky enough to have Dennis the Menace himself visit during our play – along with his dog Gnasher! and there was also a face painter on site – perfect, the children really enjoyed the whole visit.
We were then able to enjoyed a meal, the children had certainly build up and appetite and so we moved out of the play area into the main restaurant area. It was well presented and whilst it is a large eating venue it felt quite personal as it seemed to be split into several “rooms” which contain around 3-4 tables each. It was fairly busy when we sat down, it was early on a Saturday evening – I think a lot of their tables were reserved – it might be an idea if you plan to visit during a busy time to ring ahead.
Food wise the menu offers everything you would expect from a Brewers Fayre – at excellent value for money – I was really impressed on the deals they run during the week – such as two meals for £10 – you can’t really go wrong can you? Another thing which I really like is soft drinks and hot drinks – tea/coffee are sold on a free refill basis – so you get your glass/mug and then you just help yourself as often as you like to all the branded soft drinks/hot drinks you could wish for. My husband and I had visited with my mother and 4 children and enjoyed dishes such as Smothered Chicken, Fish and Chips and Curry – all of which were very nice, delivered hot and with a smile. Three of the children had chosen Cod-a-pult (back to the Dennis the Menace theme – as is the whole children’s menu), Cod bites – with chips and peas and the other one went for a Big Bad Dog! a hotdog to you and me – but as the adults did, they enjoyed all of their meals and eat the lot!
Pudding was very hotly anticipated – 3 of the children again went for the same pudding – Minnie the Minx Doughnuts – with chocolate sauce to dip them in and then sprinkles to really set them off. It was quite messy, you could definitely tell what they’d had for dessert as they were everywhere by the time they finished – but they loved them – big hit, well done Brewers Fayre! My other little chap had gone for the Strawberry Sundae which looked equally impressive but didn’t quite have the audience participation that the doughnuts had – but he enjoyed it all the same. Adult desserts consisted of Apple Betty, Berry Cheesecake and the ever popular Chocolate Fudge Cake – all great choices, and all enjoyed.
All in all, we had a great visit and I think Brewers Fayre are on to a huge winner, the cost of entry to a standalone children’s soft play area is usually at least double the entry charge of this site and if you want to go and eat at one of those places food can be expensive and with limited choice. A visit to a Brewer Fayre stay and play site will keep everyone happy – including the purse strings.
For more information, to view menus or to book a table visit:
Brewers Fayre, Wyndham Way, Portishead, Bristol, BS20 7GA | 01275 846 526