As a child growing up in the 1980’s we regularly dined out in style at our local Beefeater restaurant. They had a reputation for great steak and back then kids ate for just 99p, plus pudding was always a giant ice cream sundae. I have very fond memories of Beefeater restaurants, so I was looking forward to visiting the Bamford Arms in Stockport to see if the steaks were still good and the ice cream sundaes still giant!
The Bamford Arms has recently been refurbished and the interior is light and bright with lots of interesting features, it is decked out in calm neutrals and if you peek through the bar you can still see the chefs grilling in the kitchen.
We were shown to our table by Gemma, a lovely cheery waitress who gave the small boy a Mr Men activity book and crayons and a matching Mr Men menu. The activity book kept him occupied throughout the meal, something which is pretty unheard of.
We ordered our food, to start we decided to share the Whole Baked Camembert, priced at £5.59. It is a 45g Camenbert drizzled in garlic and parsley butter, served with onion marmalade and ciabatta. It was impressive looking and delicious. The onion marmalade worked well with the cheese, my only small complaint was it only came with four pieces of ciabatta and it could’ve done with another couple of pieces, but it was an excellent start to the meal.
The main courses soon arrived. I’m a veggie so I ordered the “Veg Out Burger” (£7.99) which was a huge Quorn burger topped with Monterey Jack cheese, a chargrilled red pepper, ranch dressing and smoky tomato sauce, served with your choice of fries and some chunky coleslaw. It was an excellent burger, because it was Quorn it held together and didn’t collapse into my lap after the first bite. It was served with my choice of fries, because you could choose from plain, smokey spiced or chilli and lime spice. Gemma brought me both kinds to try as fries are unlimited (yep, eat as many fries as you can, is that a challenge?).
Hubs was hungry, so he opted for the 10oz Rib-Eye steak (£16.99), served with a tarragon bearnaise sauce (99p), chunky chips and salad. He asked for it medium and it arrived perfectly cooked. It looked beautiful and it cut like butter, I snaffled a couple of his chips and they were excellent, crispy on the outside and fluffy on the inside. He couldn’t fault it and left a clean plate!
The boy had sausage and mash which came with its own little jug of gravy (give a northerner a jug of gravy and they’re in heaven). He happily ploughed through his meal, the sausages and gravy vanished quickly, he ate about half of his mash and peas, which is pretty good going for him. I would say that I thought the mash was a little on the salty side for little ones, we’re always being encouraged to minimise their salt intake so a little less seasoning would be good.
Although we were full we decided we *needed* to try the puddings. Hubs went for the plum tarte tatin (£5.49), I opted for the giant (hurrah) Caramel and Popcorn Sundae (£4.09) and the small boy had jelly and ice cream.
The tarte tatin was good, the pastry wasn’t as puffy and billowy as I would’ve liked, but it was tasty and had a generous amount of plums, the custard was obviously good as I had to step in to stop Hubs drinking it straight out of the jug. My Caramel and Popcorn Sundae was huge, with a quivering tower of popcorn on top. I was slightly expecting the soft whip ice cream I remember from 1983, not the vanilla seed flecked considerably posher ice cream of 2015, but I did enjoy it, especially as I worked my way down through the sundae I’d find little pockets of popcorn or sauce.
The small boy loved his jelly so much, he sat so quietly while he concentrated on scooping the wobbly jelly onto his spoon and into his mouth. It was a joy to watch.
As we went for lunch we all drank soft drinks which had free refills, so the drinks bill was pretty inexpensive. When the bill for the meal came I had to double check that it was correct, it came to just £46.64 (kids eat free every Saturday from 12-5pm) which is remarkable value for what was a really delicious and enjoyable family meal. It was so good Hubs wants to go back again next week!
Note: We were invited guests of the Bamford Arms Stockport, all images and opinions are our own.