The Foresters Inn, Fleet
June 27, 2011
The Foresters Inn is a welcoming, country pub situated along Aldershot Road in Church Crookham, Fleet. Tim Sawtell has been managing the pub for over a year and offers his customers a relaxed and friendly atmosphere whether you are dining in the comfortable restaurant or just having a drink in the bar area. The interior decor is a mixture between a country pub, with its traditional features but also has a bright and airy formal conservatory style room which has a beautiful feature fireplace in the centre. The outside space at the rear of the pub, with its lovely mature and secluded garden, is perfect for eating al fresco and for families.
During your visit to the Foresters, the staff will make you feel very welcome and will assist you in any way they can. All the food is prepared on site using the freshest ingredients and they endeavour to source their produce locally, where available. The menu offers a wide variety of unique dishes which are competitively priced. Andrew Wimbush (Windy) has been the head chef at the Foresters for a number of years and welcomes customer feedback and suggestions when he is planning his menu. He believes in simple, delicious, uncomplicated food that is cooked and served well.
My husband, Lance, and I had the pleasure of returning to the Foresters recently and had a fantastic three course meal. Being waited on by Tim, with his pleasant, friendly manner, made our night out even more enjoyable. Once seated, we ordered some drinks and had a look through the Spring menu which had some exceptional dishes on it. For starters, I chose off the ‘Foresters Special’ menu, Gruyere and ham risotto balls served with garlic mayo and Lance chose handmade crispy duck spring rolls with a duo of sauces. As usual, we tried each other’s starters and enjoyed every mouthful! Some of the dishes we could have chosen to try with were Tempura battered piccolo peppers stuffed with tapenade and cream cheese and served with smoked chilli jam, (that would have been my second favourite to try). Or perhaps Tiger prawns roasted in olive oil, garlic and chilli and served with ciabatta to dip. A selection of platters are also available to share or, as they are so yummy,to keep to yourself.
After a welcoming break, we were introduced to our main courses which looked and smelt delicious and were beautifully presented. Again, I chose off the ‘Specials’ menu, home smoked ham with free range eggs and bubble and squeak (tasty comfort food), and Lance opted for a 28 day Rib-eye cooked well done to his liking and topped with stilton, served with cherry tomatoes, mushrooms and their hand cut potato wedges.
The menu also includes a selection of light bites, salads and side dishes. An example of some of the distinctive main courses are ‘Butchers Dog Sausage Company’ sausages which are served with cabbage, bacon and mash, Ostrich (tasty, lean fillet best cooked medium rare), with a garlic and parsley rub and served with dauphinoise potatoes or line caught trout from the river Itchen, served on a home smoked salmon salad. There is also a Chef’s pie, a lamb dish, chicken dishes plus vegetarian options. Another unusual dish listed in the menu’s mains section is a Kobe steak burger which is a very expensive Japanese beef, cut from a specific cattle breed and it is said that the cattle are massaged regularly before slaughter. A fascinating insight into the preparation of an rare dish which is highly recommended.
A tasty variety of sandwiches and wraps are also available to order from Monday to Saturday from 12 noon till 6pm and these include fish fingers with Monteray Jack and tartare sauce in a bun, smoked tomato with basil, brie, olive oil ciabatta or chicken salad with caesar dressing in a tortilla wrap. An exciting new dining addition to the garden are the outdoor Plancha tables. Each table seats up to six people and you are provided with your choice of food from the Plancha menu which you cook yourself using the specially designed hot plate in the centre. Something a bit different, they are perfect for a celebratory meal or a fun evening out with family and friends
Parties and celebrations are also catered for in the dining room; just contact the pub for your requirements. Sunday lunch is also a speciality but is very popular so pre-booking for a large group would be advisable. Next month is Father’s Day, so why not treat Dad to a lovely roast dinner on his special day.
After our meal, which included a dessert of baked figs with ice cream for me and honeycomb ice cream for Lance, we finished the night off with a cup of hot coffee and gratefully thanked our host for allowing us to experience an evening of fine dining in a relaxing, informal atmosphere. The Foresters is open from midday till late 7 days a week and has plenty of parking directly outside the pub or across the road if the car park is full.
You can contact the Foresters on 01252 616503 to book a table or visit their website on www.forestersatchurchcrookham.co.uk to view their menu or to obtain further information.
An sociable evening including first class cuisine is not one to be missed!