Quaint, rural and incredibly English, The Red House – located down a country track in Marsh Benham near Newbury – is everything you expect from a British pub. With a thatched roof, a selection of real ales, good food and a pub garden, it attracts people from all over West Berkshire and beyond.
We decided to go to The Red House when our Canadian friends were visiting the country, as we were keen to give them a typical English pub experience. Of course, for me this was a perfect opportunity to try their burger.
No fancy names here – the menu described the pub’s offering as a Chargrilled 100% mature 8oz beef burger, with a homemade bun, Red House sauce and pickles – all in with chips for the price of £11.50, whilst cheese or bacon could be added for an extra £1.25.
Of course the main question is, why not give you the option of adding both?
Whilst waiting for my food I ordered a pint of Whitstable Bay Pale Ale. This was a light tasting beer with fruity undertones – not particularly strong but refreshing on what was a hot summer’s day. It was also not too heavy that it would weigh you down whilst eating a chunk of meat and bread.
When the food arrived I was instantly hit by the size of the meal – this is proper English pub grub at it’s finest, with portions to match. The burger itself was a real beefy slab of meat, with an imperfect shape giving it an element of personality and charm.
Between the fresh, sesame seed bun also came a couple of very thick slices of tomato, three pickles, lettuce and cheese. So stacked was the burger that it was held together by a stick!
The mountain of chips rounded off a plate which I knew was going to be a challenge to work my way through – a challenge which I was going to enjoy of course!
Despite the delicious salad accompaniments (in particular the tomatoes were very good), the highlight of The Red House burger was the beef patty itself which was clearly made of a high quality meat. The cheese was also very tasty too, and was melted well across the beef.
I personally think that The Red House should start offering a greater choice of burgers – and perhaps even run a burger night once to appeal to this area of the market. They definitely have the product and a great chef to do this, and would certainly be able to draw a younger crowd out of nearby Newbury.However it’s also a British pub in an affluent area which offers dishes such as Guinea Fowl, therefore not everyone who visits is going to be the kind of person to be tucking into a burger too regularly.
Even if you don’t want a burger, with an array of tasty food The Red House is well worth a visit if you are in the area. It’s ideally located just off the A4, close to the A34 and not too far a walk from the Kennet and Avon Canal, if you are a fan of walking or barging on the weekend.
The Red House can be found in Marsh Benham, Newbury, West Berkshire, RG20 8LY. This review took place on 18/06/15. You can visit their website at www.theredhousepub.com.