“ Address: Wainfleet Road / Boston / PE21 9RW „
Burton House is a restaurant belonging to the Brewer's Fayre chain. You can find it on Wainfleet Road, about a mile and a half from the centre of Boston in Lincolnshire. The restaurant is next door to the Premier Lodge Hotel and the nearest landmark to look out for is the Pilgrim Hospital. I didn't stay at the hotel; I stayed at my parent's house with my granddaughter this year in August. Why did I visit the restaurant? We had been shopping in the town and we were all hungry. Mum suggested that we stop of at the 'Burton,' as she calls it, to have lunch. As the restaurant is very close to my parents house, my sister and I agreed. I had visited the place two years ago with a few other members of the family and we had a reasonably priced meal that was very good so I was looking forward to sitting down, having a good old chat and some good English pub grub.
On arrival we went around the back of the restaurant and parked the car near to the children's playground. We entered the restaurant through a small wooden gate that led to a glass/wooden door. Immediately to the left is a space to hang coats. There are a few carpeted steps leading to the first level of the restaurant and a long stretch leading to the bar and another raised area which was crammed with tables and chairs. It does say on their website that there is disabled access but this is only from the front of the building.
After hanging up our coats we decided to stay on the first level and chose a table near the window overlooking the play area. Before sitting down we grabbed our cutlery, serviettes and sachets of sauces which are placed on a table at the side of this dining level. The tables and chairs were dark wood and heavy, quite difficult to manoeuvre, packed quite close together. I felt a bit hemmed in and there didn't seem to be enough room for four people.The décor was very pub like with a deep red patterned carpet, curtains to match with tie backs. It was okay but a bit heavy on the flowery side for my tastes. Heavily illustrated menu cards were placed in a rack on the table; there was a lot to look at as there was a different card for Main Meals, Kid's Meals, Drinks, Meal Deals and Special Buffet Nights. After deciding what we all wanted to eat, I logged the order in my head and my sister and I went over to the bar to order, while my granddaughter was left with Mum playing with the menu cards.
The bar was very long and looked to be well stocked. A couple of young lads were serving other customers but as soon as they finished they attended to me. Firstly we ordered a round of drinks consisting of 2 glasses of white wine, a pint of Stella Artois and an orange juice. The young chap poured the wine and beer and handed over the bottled orange juice which later we found out that it was part of the Kid's Menu so wasn't charged extra for this. I then gave him the order for our meals. My Mum and sister chose two meals from the Meal Deals Menu (2 main meals for £10 + 2 desserts for £2). Ma went with gammon and sis went with sausage and mash. My granddaughter and I chose hand battered fish and chips. I paid full price for mine and my granddaughter's meal was part of the Kid's Menu which consisted of a dessert and a Capri Sun orange drink. Loud, inane music came from behind the bar and whirled around the restaurant, topped with constant chattering from other diners. I thought I was going to go mad, I felt like I was in an aviary of squawking birds. ..
**Food and dining**
'At Brewers Fayre we pride ourselves on offering our guests quality, wholesome pub food at great value prices.'
This is what is stated on the top of the menu cards. Let's see if it is true.
We carried the drinks over to the table and about 15 minutes later the food arrived. The waitress who served us was friendly and efficient. She apologised for the wait and said that the restaurant was very busy at this time and they were short staffed. Fish and chips arrived on the table first, followed by sausage and mash and Mum's meal came last. The plates were white, heavy and very large, so big that when they were placed together on the table there was no room for anything else. My fish did look very appetising sat in its coat of crinkly golden batter, a good portion size or at least that's what I thought until I tucked in. It was nearly all batter and only a piddling piece of cod in the middle. My granddaughter's fish was the same. I don't mind a bit of batter but this was too much and made me feel a bit sick as it left an after taste in my mouth. The chips were fat chips too; I am a thin chip fan. The garden peas were fine but you can't really go wrong with a garden pea, can you? I made a mistake by ordering sweet corn to accompany my granddaughter's fish and chips. It was actually corn on the cob and not kernels so she struggled to eat it as it was difficult for her to hold. I wasn't impressed with either of our meals; I ate most of the white fish, chips and peas but left the batter. Obviously, The Burton House isn't the correct establishment to eat one of Britain's favourite dishes in but I had been told that they 'did a good fish'.
Moving on to the sausage and mash. I wish I had ordered this now as it looked wholesome and piping hot. The meal consisted of three big, fat Lincolnshire pork sausages, packed with meat and herbs, a good portion of mashed potatoes, garden peas and rich dark onion gravy. My sister's meal got the thumbs up. She said the mash was delicious even if the texture was rough rather than smooth, the sausages were very meaty with the correct balance of herbs and spices and the gravy was full of flavour packed with juicy onions.
As for Ma, she is usually always happy with her food but not this time. There was a choice of toppings to go with the gammon, two fried eggs or two slices of pineapple. Mum went with the pineapple and I have to admit that the large gammon steak looked very attractive and colourful topped with glistening, juicy pineapple rings and half a grilled tomato, chips and peas at its side. Apparently, the gammon was very salty and tough. Mum said that it was poor quality and had been overcooked. She didn't eat all of it but managed to finish off the fat chips, peas and tomato.
At this stage did any of us want to try a dessert? On offer from the Meals Deal Menu were Black Forest gâteau, apple pie and custard, Bakewell Tart. I didn't want to eat anything else, I was happy with my glass of Stella, my sister wasn't bothered either. My granddaughter chose strawberry jelly and vanilla ice cream from her Kid's Menu and Mum chose apple pie and custard. Both were happy enough with the desserts.
This was my second visit to Burton House and this time, I didn't really enjoy it. The pub is too big, too noisy and the food is average. It's a Pile 'em high, Sell 'em cheap,' sort of place. The Menu cards describe and illustrate the meals well. They look appetising and even when the meals arrive at the table they look good, decorated to catch your eye but this isn't home cooking, it's microwaved and food from the freezer. I suppose you get what you pay for but I still think that pub food could be cooked with a bit more imagination and does the décor have to be so heavy and the music so loud? On the plus side the restaurant is handy if you are staying next door at the Premier Inn as it saves you going into Boston town. The drinks are reasonable at £1.85 for a glass of wine and just under £3 for a pint of Stella Artois. The staff even though they were rushed off their feet managed to be friendly and attentive, came over and asked if everything was okay a few times. Perhaps if I had chosen another dish I would have felt differently about the experience but somehow I don't think so, it is just not my taste. I may be of a minority as the pub was packed with diners and my Mum said that this is generally the case.
The price of our meals and drinks came to just over £30. If visiting at the weekend, I would advise you to book a table beforehand as this is a very busy period.
You can find Burton House on:
Tel: 01205 362307