Casual Date Night at Beefeater Stirling

I don’t like chains. I’ve said it before and I’ve always said it, I’m not a huge fan of the lack of atmosphere or individuality. The plastic, sticky menus and children everyyyywhere. I know that there’s a place for them in the world and they are super family friendly, it’s just that I’m not. So when Beefeater asked me to pop in and visit their Stirling branch, my first thought was ‘oh no, I can’t review a chain!’ Actually, I can. I did and I was really impressed. Read on to find out why (and no, it wasn’t because dinner was on them)

Attached to a Premier Inn and situated in the new-ish development of Forthside Way in Riverside, Stirling, Beefeater popped up and passed me by. The brand reminds me of family dinners in days gone by. Cold peas and kids packs, thinking I was cool because I came with my Dad to the bar to place the order when I shouldn’t have been allowed. Put all those ideas to the back of your mind, it’s nothing like that anymore. I was so shocked when David and I walked into a fresh, modern ‘proper restaurant’. Someone at HQ has definitely been on Pinterest looking up ‘New York grills’ and it’s working.

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Beefeater have a shiny new menu (with a very cute little cow mascot) and although they are staying true to their roots with the pub classics of gammon steak or fish & chips, you can now pick from some rather fancy starters of duck wings or a salt beef board (mmm pickles). Mains are a huge range of steaks, lots of sticky ribs from the grill and even a steak salad for those strange people who don’t eat chips. OH did I mention that some meals come with unlimited refills on chips? How ridiculously good is that?! We ordered half from the main menu and half from their fantastic deal of 3 courses for £14.99, decent.

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From the main menu we started with a lamb kofta and some crispy potato skin dippers with sour cream dip from the deal menu. The lamb was just spicy enough and the tzatziki made it a really fresh, light choice to kick off with. The potato skins were ok, just a little bit tasteless! Would have been better to leave them in the classic half-shell way with loads of cheese, the portion size was huge though.

I was determined that we were trying the steaks and David voted for something from the grill so we went for a rib-eye (it’s on the deal menu for only £2.99 extra!) and BBQ ribs & chicken from the main menu. We got both chip options and we can safely vote on the chunky ones as being the best. Triple cooked and super crispy, they went really well with the steak sauces we ordered. Nothing like dipping that first chip into a hot, creamy, pepper sauce.

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The steak was cooked perfectly. I’m always wary of ordering medium rare when I’m out because so often you end up with an overcooked, tough steak. They’re not messing about with the meat at Beefeater. It was melt-in-the-mouth and I absolutely demolished my half with a few dips into the triple peppercorn and béarnaise sauces on the side. The ribs were sticky and charred with loads of meat on them and although I only managed a wee bit of the chicken, David cleared his plate and that’s always a good sign.

The service was bloody fantastic. Our waitress was really lovely, had a nice level of ‘hover and check without pestering’ as well as making sure we were never without the option for more drinks/chips/sauces etc. I’m allergic to nuts and it causes me a lot of stress when I eat out because restaurants just say ‘Oh we can’t guarantee’ and leave me at that. It often means I miss out on tasty things that I could have eaten, just because they don’t have all the info. When I asked our waitress to check the desserts for me, she produced a full allergy folder from the wait station and totally put my mind at ease. Can’t stress enough how much I appreciate places that have themselves together on allergens!

Oh the desserts. I never make it to pudding and I’m so glad I paced myself and powered through to the end. The only thing I couldn’t have was the bakewell tart which meant I had full run of so many other cracking options. I’d been craving chocolate all day so I went for the melt in the middle chocolate pudding. It was rich, the exact right size and came with a nice big scoop of lovely vanilla ice cream. David opted for the raspberry cheesecake which was bloody huge but really light and fluffy.

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If that’s left your mouth watering then you’ll be glad to know that Beefeater Stirling have given me a 25% off code for you guys to use! Head along for a pre-cinema dinner in Stirling before the 18th of May and quote 588113001. Enjoy!

*All food and drinks provided by Beefeater free of charge, thanks very much folks!

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I Bought Some Pink Trainers.

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Yeah that’s right, pink. Pink trainers. Stay with me on this because they are not only adorable to look at, they’re also the comfiest things I’ve put on my feet in a while and I don’t feel like I should be at the gym in them. Does anyone else get that trainer guilt? Wearing a pair of properly sporty numbers thinking ‘these are wasted on my office floor, I should be giving it laldy on the treadmill in these’. Just me then.

Online shopping has been a bit of a slippery slope for me recently. I’ve not been frequenting the shopping centre in Stirling as much because, for reasons which myself (and a professional) have tried to work out, it gives me terrifyingly bad anxiety attacks. I’m looking on the bright side that I’m no longer having H&M binges every Thursday night but I’m probably spending double online. I’m that person that gets express delivery.

ASOS, Missguided and New Look have taken a bit of a hit from me recently but in my search for some summery trainers, Zalando hooked me in. This was also my very first order from them and I’m about to sing their praises (this isn’t sponsored, I bloody wish it was). Their website isn’t as jazzy as ASOS or its pals but it does the job. Plus there were so many options in the refine bit of your search, ideaaaal. A few clicks later and I was staring lovingly at these babies.

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I silently debated with myself over the mint ones, but I fell for the cute powdery look of the pink. Icing on the little pink fairycake shoes? They were only £34! I had just bought a pair of white, clumpy, £80 Nike leather monstrosities from ASOS and sent them back after they made me look like I was wearing my Dad’s shoes to take the bins out. So to find a pair three times nicer for less than half the price, decent. They are super comfy, really padded round the sides and although they look a bit leather-like in the photos, they are canvas so they are nice and light. I can’t wait to wear them with jeans and white tops or a wee denim skirt.

Here’s the BEST BIT though, I had found a £5 off voucher that I had already used when I checked my emails and saw that as I registered Zalando had sent a £10 off voucher. Oh mannnn. I quickly tweeted them and oh my days, their customer service are superb. They replied in the morning and immediately sorted it all, taking another £5 off for me. Fan-bloody-tastic service if you ask me. Plus it’s free delivery and everything arrived on Wednesday when I’d ordered late on Saturday night. I also bought some Adidas leggings which are a great fit (and motivation to get me to go back to the gym) but I’m weirded out by the idea of posting a photo of just my bum/legs on my blog so here’s a link to them.

Again, this isn’t sponsored, but I fully recommend a wee nose around zalando.co.uk, they have a much better range than Schuh or Office IMO. (I only just learnt what this stands for and I’m overusing it ok?)