This weekend I headed into Newbury – a market town in West Berkshire – with Sean and a couple of friends. We had arranged to meet for lunch at The Newbury, a pub that is highly regarded for its food in the local area.
With burgers on the menu, we figured it would make for an ideal review opportunity, especially on a warm summer’s day.
To make the most of the sun, I called the pub in the morning to ask for a table on the roof terrace. The general manager told me that tables aren’t usually available to be booked outside, but gave us one all the same – immediate brownie points in my book!
We arrived and got in a round of drinks after checking out what was available on draught. We chose pints of Kozel (Czech lager) and Stowford Press (cider) and sat down with our menus outside.
It didn’t take long for us to decide what we wanted, mainly because we already knew. The staff asked how we’d like our burgers cooked (medium, please!) and we settled down to wait for our meals. Not such a chore when you’re in such nice surroundings; the pub has done a great job making it stylish, but comfortable and welcoming.
We were sat in ‘bullshit corner’, and we were very happy there too.
Our food was soon brought to the table. The burgers were served on small plates, and the accompanying fries were in bowls. There were plenty of them and they were quite delicious too, but it’s the burgers that we were really there to try.
Sean described the buns as “proper man buns” because they were fairly crusty and not as flimsy as some other bread based tops and bottoms. I liked how robust they were as it maintained the structure of the chunky burger with all of its fillings.
As you can see, inside the burger there was crisp lettuce, melted cheese, tomato, gherkin and bacon jam.
What can I say? It was a really great burger, and one I’d definitely order again. It had balance, contrasting textures, and tasted incredibly beefy – something that is lacking from a surprising number of patties.
Sometimes a gastro-pub burger can feel a little like a menu bolt-on, something to attract those who have less refined tastes (I class myself as a happy medium – give me stodge or give me something classic, but don’t bring that caviar anywhere near me) but this just seemed like it was designed for the menu. Something beautiful, and yet simple at the same time.
If you want to visit the pub for yourself, I’d recommend that you book a table as it can get pretty busy.
The Newbury can be found at 137 Bartholomew Street, Newbury, West Berkshire RG14 5HB. This review took place on 04/07/15.
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