The Star Inn, Newbury

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The Star Inn, Newbury

British Restaurant - Address: Newbury Rd, Kingsclere, Newbury RG20 4SY

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40% positive

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Review of "The Star Inn, Newbury"

published 30/01/2017 | pinotprincess
Member since : 17/08/2014
Reviews : 42
Members who trust : 25
About me :
Is anyone else suffering from pop up overload on here? Adverts are driving me mad.
Satisfactory
Pro Free car park and the mayonnaise tasted good
Cons expensive, slow service and not a good choice of menu.
exceptional
Value for Money
Standard of Menu
Atmosphere
Standard of Service
Cleanliness

"The Star Inn"

The Star Inn, Newbury

The Star Inn, Newbury

The Star Inn
Newbury Road
Kingsclere
RG20 4SY

I drive pass this pub on a regular basis so decided to arrange to have a meal there and a catch up with some friends. I noticed from the car park it’s always busy so that’s a good recommendation surely. Not wishing to take a chance on a table I pre-booked two days prior online.

*** HOW TO BOOK ***

Online is the easiest option via http://www.vintageinn.co.uk. A very simple form with just a few details needed and you are booked in. It’s just as easy to cancel. They send you confirmation of your booking and a link is there to cancel or amend your table.

They claim “If there's no online availability, don't worry. We do keep tables free for walk-in guests, so if the date and time you want can't be booked online, please call us to check “.

Today was heaving and I saw no spare tables what so ever so I wouldn’t take that as gospel.

For nine people or more dining then you need to call direct on 01635 296241.

**** PARKING *****

There is a free car park that runs round the back of the pub. A sharp turning off the A39 and you are into the pub grounds. The car park isn’t massive and spaces are tight. Disabled bays are situated adjacent to the entrance.

**** A LITTLE BIT OF HISTORY *****

The Star Inn belongs to a chain known as Vintage Inns; these in turn are owned by Mitchell and Butlers.

Mitchells & Butlers Brewery was formed when Henry Mitchell's Crown Brewery [1] (founded in 1866) merged with William Butler's Brewery in 1898.
Henry Mitchell had moved to Cape Hill in 1879[1] and this became the company's main brewing site. It had its own railway network,] connected to the national railway system from 1907–1962, via the Harborne line.

Various acquisitions included Holder's Brewers, who owned Birmingham's Midland Brewery, in 1919.[4] The company merged with Bass in 1961.

Since then they have acquired many eating outlets which include Harvester, Toby Carvery , All Bar One to name but a few therefore giving Mitchells & Butlers one of the largest shares of the growing pub/restaurant market in the UK, in fact 7000 to be exact and expanding.


*** SURROUNDINGS ***

Set in the countryside just outside Thatcham and off the beaten track somewhat, there is a large garden and seating facilities but as it’s January and wet and windy, we declined to sit outside for obvious reasons.

**** ONCE INSIDE……. ****

The entrance is at the furthest point in the car park via two double doors. There are no steps so disabled access is easy.

If you have booked a table then the waiting area is literally by the doors. If it’s just a drink then the bar is situated on the right and there is arm chair seating with cosy little corners.

As I booked two days prior, we waited for a member of staff to come and seat us and we waited and waited. Eventually she acknowledged us and led us upstairs to the restaurant area.

We were right on top of the open fire and it was spitting embers which were floating into our area. No guard was over the fire.

Our table was laid out with fresh cutlery and napkins but the surface itself could have done with a more thorough clean. The floor underneath our table felt sticky.

****SERVICE AND FOOD *****

It didn’t take long for a waitress to come and take our drinks order and within ten minutes our four diet cokes were there. However two of my friends said no ice and all four drinks had it so she obviously didn’t listen.

Within 20 minutes our dinner order was being taken.

The menu was actually quite pathetic and the only dish one of my friends really enjoys as she is a non-meat eater wasn’t available. Soup wasn’t what they stated for the day and two other dishes weren’t quite the same as the menu. Roast lamb was now lamb shank.

It was at this point we all thought of going elsewhere but the weather was appalling and none of us relished driving round trying to find somewhere more bearable.
No lunch time menu such as baguettes or light bites are there, just full on meals with no child menu offered to my daughter.

Prices are from £9.50 for a basic salad up to £15 for a meat dish.

My friend’s food arrived after 25 minutes and they had eaten theirs by the time mine had come out. Service was pretty poor, I know the place was busy but at these prices there is no excuse.

I chose a vegetarian burger with chips, this was £10.50. The bun was a brioche roll and I must admit was quite delicious. I asked for no tomatoes as I have a phobia of them and when I opened the bun a big slice of it stared at me.

Needless to say I couldn’t eat that section where I knew the tomato had sat. The chips were in a pot and when I tipped them out I had just 6.

My daughter ordered cous cous as she didn't like anything else and she is vegetarian. When it arrived it was a bed of lettuce and the cous cous resembled nothing we have at home, more like sweetcorn with around 4 grapes on top, unsure where the cheese was hiding and swimming in some sweet oily dressing.

My daughter took one bite and left the rest. £9.50 wasted.

The side order of Halloumi cost £6 and there was just four small slices on the plate.
Both my friends ordered chips, garlic and cheese flat bread, halloumi and a side salad.

These dishes were not part of the menu and were just side orders, costing £14.95 each. The side salad was again mainly lettuce and the hideous tomato and presented on something no bigger than a small ash tray.

The garlic flat bread was swimming in oil and so rich in garlic they both struggled to eat it and left over a third.

If you want any dressings such as mayonnaise they will bring you out a large pot which was probably the best tasting dish of all.
We decided not to go for a desert as it was such a long wait plus by now our bill was just under £60.

*** DRINKS ****

We were driving so opted for diet coke all round, each half pint cost £2.65!!! You could buy a 2 litre bottle for £1 in the supermarket. Total rip off.
If you don’t want the obligatory diet coke or J20 then they offer three softails – raspberry and grapefruit virgin mojito, ginger and lemongrass sling and an elderflower fizz.

There is a separate drinks menu if you so wish to have an alcoholic beverage.
They seem to take cask ales seriously at Vintage Inns.

I noticed Doom Bar on one of the hand pumps as well as a good selection of regional ales to try. They also have an array of draught beer and cider including Peroni, Estrella Damm and Aspall Cider

A small glass of wine is from £4.95 and a bottle will set you back from £16.


***TOILETS ***

These are situated right through the other side passed the bar, a good 5 minutes from the restaurant side. I didn’t notice any baby changing units but there was a young toddler there so I presume they must have something in place.

The ladies are next to the gents and once again never noticed disabled toilets, possibly they are in another section of the pub, I don’t know on that score.

The toilets were clean just needed a lick of paint, Hand dryers were fully functioning but no soap in the dispensers.

****CONCLUSION *****

Would I go there again? No I won’t unless it’s just for a drink and at those prices not too often. Service was slow, food far from appetizing and the cost way over priced for its quality.

Unfortunately with a lot of chain owned pubs they lack the quality of a family run establishment and I was really disappointed. There was no ambiance and no hint of the rustic charm I was expecting.

Tables were not cleaned instantly and some dirty dishes were left on an alcove all the time we sat at the table.

There are some mixed reviews on trip adviser some good some bad. I personally think it was over priced and the quality and quantity not up to scratch.

I ended up calling into Kingsclere petrol forecourt and buying my daughter a cheese sandwich as she was so hungry.

Thanks for reading.

Happy Eating

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Comments on this review

  • danielalong published 20/02/2017
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Product Information : The Star Inn, Newbury

Manufacturer's product description

British Restaurant - Address: Newbury Rd, Kingsclere, Newbury RG20 4SY

Product Details

Address: Newbury Rd, Kingsclere, Newbury RG20 4SY

Type: British Restaurant

Country: England

City: Newbury

Continent: Europe

County: Berkshire

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Listed on Ciao since: 29/01/2017