I was recently asked if I’d fancy a family meal at my local Harvester (Rayleigh Weir) as part of their new initiative to get families around the table at meal times and spend more time together.
So in the spirit of things, Noah and I rounded up my brother, sister-in-law and little nephew along for some grub and family time (and unlimited visits to the salad bar, obvs).
We arrived around 12.30pm on a Thursday afternoon to find plenty of parking spaces and a very clean and welcoming outside seating area. Once inside, the very helpful staff had us seated quickly and immediately provided a highchair for my nephew and menus for us to peruse.
The restaurant had a really lovely atmosphere inside, with low lighting and spacious seating areas and even though there was a rather busy lunchtime rush, it didn’t feel loud or crowded. Our waitress gave us plenty of time to make our food and drink choices – or rather wait for Noah to change his mind 3 times (“OOOH SAUSAGES! I want a burger. No. PASTA! YES PASTA!”)
Once we’d made our orders, we had time to visit the salad bar which again was quiet, well-stocked and had plenty to offer even the children, however some of the salad items looked like it’d been out possibly past its best.
Our main meals appeared just as we were finishing our salads which was a great plus as it didn’t feel like we’d been waiting at all and the kids were kept happy munching warm bread rolls, cucumber slices and beetroot chunks and colouring in with the crayons and sheets provided.
I ordered the Harvester Beef Fully Loaded Burger – a beef patty topped with slow cooked BBQ pulled pork, bacon, Monterey Jack cheese & onion rings served with chips – sorry, not sorry diet. My brother went with the I Want it All Platter for one – Rotisserie chicken, chargrilled chicken thighs, gammon steak, chorizo & half rack of baby back ribs topped with fresh grilled pineapple and a Kapia pepper, served with chunky tomato salsa. My sister in law had the Full Rack of Smoked Ribs – Pork ribs, kiln-smoked in Cornwall over beech woodchips and finished on the chargrill. Glazed in a classic BBQ sauce. And Noah – finally – opted for the Simply Pasta – Cellentani pasta served with a yummy tomato sauce and grated cheese – with a side of chips, because why not? And as my nephew is going through the fussy eating toddler stage, he contented himself with food from the salad bar and pinching everyone’s chips!
We were all really happy with our food, it was well-presented and delicious, there were several minutes of complete silence while we happily stuffed our faces. The only minor point was that my brother’s gammon was really dry but he didn’t mind. Noah didn’t eat his pasta – I flipping knew he wouldn’t – nothing wrong with it at all, just the child’s aversion of the presence of sauce touching pasta.
Once we were completely full, the kid’s eyes began to glitter at the mention of ICE CREAM OMG ICE CREAM. They had a Make Your Own Sundae each with a tiny bit of help from the adults- (Add your own wafer, fudge pieces, chocolate sauce, honeycomb sprinkles and Mini Smarties® btw).
We left with full bellies, somewhat sleepy from the carb overload and happy from a pleasent afternoon spent together – oh and balloons for the kids! We really enjoyed our meals and will definitely return.
Have you been to Harvester recently? What’s your favourite food to order from there?
Disclaimer: We were provided with complimentary meals and drinks for the purpose of this review – however all opinion is completely honest and my own.