Harvester The Stag and Hounds, Basingstoke

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Harvester The Stag and Hounds, Basingstoke

British Restaurant - Address: Winchester Road, Basingstoke, Hampshire, RG22 6HN

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Review of "Harvester The Stag and Hounds, Basingstoke"

published 24/04/2017 | pinotprincess
Member since : 17/08/2014
Reviews : 41
Members who trust : 25
About me :
Is anyone else suffering from pop up overload on here? Adverts are driving me mad.
Satisfactory
Pro One in almost every city
Cons Food and service lets this one down
exceptional
Value for Money
Standard of Menu
Atmosphere
Standard of Service
Cleanliness

"The Stag and Hounds"

Harvester The Stag and Hounds, Basingstoke

Harvester The Stag and Hounds, Basingstoke

WHERE IS IT

THE STAG AND HOUNDS
Winchester Road
Basingstoke
Hampshire
UK
RG22 6HN

Tel: 01256 359983

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In case you haven’t heard of them or visited one, Harvester Restaurants is a family friendly farmhouse-style restaurant chain now owned currently by Mitchells and Butlers. With outlets all over the United Kingdom it is expanding into most areas of England.

The chain specializes in flame grilled food, spit-roasted chicken and help yourself salad carts and bread rolls.

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Depending on what time of day you are hoping to go, you might not need to pre-book. As you go in via the main doors (which have since been replaced by new modern ones), right in front is a small reception desk. Just wait here to be served and if there is a table you will be ushered to it quite quickly via the greeter.

However we weren’t so fortunate, It was a Saturday lunch time and at 12 .15 becoming quite busy. We were told the wait was about 10 minutes which wasn’t too bad, so we gave our name over and in return received a bleeper which we took to the bar.

One new change here is that if you order a soft drink at the bar you can now have the limitless option where you can refill as much as you like when you finally get to your table. Previously a bar drink didn’t count and you would end up buying a coke and then having to purchase further at the table. That has now stopped and much appreciated especially if the children are with you.

I would suggest booking online to be on the safe side and it’s easily laid out. Most times are available a few days before but if you leave it the same day you might not be so lucky.

The days are laid out in a calendar style and just click onto the day and time and how many people the booking is for. Anything unavailable is in light shaded grey
and bookable times are dark green.

Enter your address and email details to confirm and that’s it. As long as you’re over 18 you can book online and I would recommend this option rather than take a chance and be turned away.

If however there is no table if you did just turn up, then you can still order food and sit in the bar area if you don’t mind walking a bit further to the salad cart or sitting a bit lower on the chairs. The bar area isn’t so open either and a more cosy atmosphere here.

OPENING HOURS
Every day 8am - 11pm
FOOD SERVICE TIMES
Monday - Sunday 8am - 10pm


The third option to book is via the telephone number above but at busy times they take a while to answer.

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Before its refurbishment this place was appalling. Dirty, dated and generally run down with no atmosphere. It was closed for a short while and recently reopened. I was curious enough to give it a second chance as previously I had stopped going and the service and quality were dire.

Having recently opened again it was still the typical harvester decor but a lot cleaner and a brighter color scheme. It smelt nice and new as you walked in.
We sat on nice high red leather chairs in the seating in the bar area until our table was available and we found it lovely & clean so far.

The kitchen area hasn’t changed but the salad cart, drinks and now sauces section had been separated out and more bread rolls available. You no longer have to reach over the salad section to get one, they are situated with the dressings and vinegar which is more hygienic but never the less still open to customers groping hands and sneezes.

Our bleeper went off and we were shown to the table by the patio aka fire exit doors.

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Our table didn’t look new but it had been varnished and where previously here it had been scratched with constant use, this appeared to have a better finish and no sticky residue unlike the previous times we came here.

The chairs looked like they had been reupholstered; I don’t think they were brand new as the leg on mine was a bit wobbly.

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The menu has since altered, prices increased and the early bird menu was no longer there for weekends. I asked the waiter and he said it’s only during the week now.

The much applauded salad bar was severely depleted with several items missing or nothing left. Some things weren't replenished by the time we'd finished.

Bread rolls are smaller than before and still hard.

We didn’t bother ordering a starter though I was tempted to order the Halloumi skewers until I saw the minuscule portion being delivered to the girls behind me.

My partner didn’t want anything on there so we just had salad and the main meal.
Usual offering of burgers, ribs and chicken but the vegetarian section looked smaller. Sweet potato fries are on offer if you want to change your selection as are jacket potatoes.

My husband had the triple chicken dish. The breaded chicken was burnt and very peppery, the Cajun chicken was so over cooked you could have bounced it across the room or used it as polly filler and the chicken leg was just soggy and rubbery.

had the beetroot and halloumi burger served in a brioche roll with a small mushroom on top of the halloumi square. The mushroom looked like a cast off nipple from someone’s breast enlargement operation; I couldn’t eat it as it was soggy and wrinkled.

The beetroot burger had a weird taste, bland and very red. I smothered it in one of the new sauces they offer, Piri Piri with honey and it was more edible. The best bit of all my dinner was the brioche roll.

I should have gone for the HERB BATTERED HALLOUMI & CHIPS.

This was swerved on the previous menu and I had it before but fancied a change. If you are vegan like me then I do recommend this meal and not the beetroot burger.

Most main meals are priced over £10 with just a few exceptions.

With fries you now get a regular portion, if you want large you have to pay more. The regular portion is a child size and very misleading.

If you wish they are open for breakfast and you can even order a takeaway too but I haven’t used either of these options so cannot comment.

The kids menu hasn’t changed much except the price has increased slightly and it’s for under 10’s only. Still get the activity pack (pencils or crayons and a coloring sheet).

SWAP AND UPGRADE OPTION
If you want a bigger portion of fries then it’s a further £1.
STEAMED VEGETABLES (VE)
JACKET POTATO (VE)
SPICY RICE (VE)
UPGRADE
SAGE & ONION SEASONED FRIES (V)
£1.00
MASH (V)
£2.49
JACKET POTATO WITH SOUR CREAM (V)
£0.49
SWEET POTATO FRIES (VE)
£1.00

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My ultimate favorite was honeycomb explosion but this has been removed. I wasn’t going to order anything else but my will power lapsed and I had to have the strawberry Eton mess.

It was priced at £4.99 and the strawberries were tinned or frozen, definitely not fresh and far too much syrup at the bottom of the glass. The picture didn’t resemble the desert sadly, very disappointed.

All apart from the Rocky Horror are just under £5 each.

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Obviously there is a bar there serving alcohol and they seemed to have a good selection of beer on tap and bottled ciders. We chose the soft drink option which is limitless and you serve yourself.

I love the new tango flavors and also coke with vanilla, choose whatever you like and add ice if you wish. A good selection here but limitless honesty, who can drink more than three pints of this gassy substance. You would spontaneously com-bust if you drank there all afternoon.

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The Stag and Hounds share the car park with the hotel behind and parking can be quite tight at times. If need be you can cut through the fence to Homebase next door and leave your car there as long as you collect before the barrier goes down.
There are disabled slots at the front.

Parking is free here.

Nothing changed here, still basic with a few benches situated on a steep slope. Access this through the rear by the car park.

The previous toilets in the restaurant itself were vile, always blocked, the pan always had something in it or splashes of the previous user and they smelt.

These toilets though decorated and a bit brighter were still dirty and no sign of a member of staff cleaning or inspecting.

There is a disabled toilet and a baby changing unit but cannot comment as never use these.

The other toilet in the bar section is much cleaner; the gents are by the fire place and the ladies by the other entrance in the corner.

There is a lower section for wheelchair access and a ramp to avoid the steps at the front.

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These are available at request and a microwave for heating bottles or food is near the salad cart.

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They've done a lot to improve the interior however it's time now to improve the food.
New uniforms look clean & fresh but the staff needs to up their game a bit and put a smile on their face wouldn’t hurt. It wasn’t crazy busy that Saturday lunch time but none the less not many except the barman (Antonio I think) and the greeter made us feel welcome.

Would I return? Not sure on this one. I don’t think my husband will he was very disappointed but time will tell if he’s hungry and desperate.

Not all Harvesters are the same, The Ham in Eastleigh has the same food but a better chef judging by the standards and quality of our dinners there.

F.Y.I:

ANY TIPS GIVEN ARE KEPT BY THE STAFF.
ALL PRICES INCLUDE VAT AT THE CURRENT RATE.
THEY ACCEPT MOST MAJOR DEBIT AND CREDIT CARDS AS WELL AS CASH PAYMENT.

THANKS FOR READING

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This review was read 206 times and was rated at
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Comments on this review

  • BNibbles published 29/07/2017
    Excellent review. They've certainly pulled their socks up. Years ago, the "Have you ever been to a Harvester before?" TV-ad catch-phrase would prompt me to say "Why? Does anyone go twice?". Nowadays, their pretty good. I can picture the Basingstoke branch but have never been.
  • Angel19819 published 14/06/2017
    no E left again
  • Deesrev published 06/06/2017
    Oodles of congradulations on your well deserved Diamond for this exceptionally well covered review xXx
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Product Information : Harvester The Stag and Hounds, Basingstoke

Manufacturer's product description

British Restaurant - Address: Winchester Road, Basingstoke, Hampshire, RG22 6HN

Product Details

Type: British Restaurant

Address: Winchester Road, Basingstoke, Hampshire, RG22 6HN

Country: England

City: Basingstoke

Continent: Europe

County: Hampshire

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Listed on Ciao since: 23/04/2017