I’d had a long day and was really tired so I decided to take the children out for dinner after I had collected them from school. We had a chatter about where to go and we decided to go to The Portway Inn at the top of the Weyhill Road, which is attached to the town’s Travel Lodge.
I used to take the children there a bit when it was first opened and we mainly chose it today because they serve food all day and also because it isn’t overly expensive.
When we arrived, we got a parking space easily and walked inside. It had changed a bit since we were here last and they appeared to do some sort of buffet hot food with different kinds through the week.
We found a seat and chose the platter to share to start, which we asked to swap the prawns for more chicken and for the main we ordered a children’s hot dog with baked beans, a burger with no salad or coleslaw and fish and chips. We ordered drinks including the refillable self service fizzy drinks which are £2.35 each.
When the ‘platter to share’ arrived, I was quite shocked and amused by the quarter of tomato and the 4/5 limp lettuce leaves on the plate, I imagine was a garnish. It was pretty silly, looked ridiculous and would have looked better without it.
The chicken goujons were quite nice, they had been drizzled with a spicy BBQ sauce, the outside coating was nice and crispy and the chicken wasn’t too dry. The cheesy garlic bread was a little soggy and sad looking and as you can see from the picture of the mushroom below, I was glad I didn’t actually bite into it as it was clearly not in a very good state before it was breaded, cooked, frozen and then re-fried. The platter came with 3 dips, BBQ, Garlic Mayonnaise and Ranch Sauce. The mayonnaise and ranch sauce had a dark skin on, having clearly been spooned into the serving pots and left somewhere (see pics).
At this point, I was considering cancelling the main but decided to keep on as it was never this bad a few years ago.
The mains eventually arrived and the burger plate was festooned with coleslaw, my son sent it back saying that he had ordered it without the coleslaw, my younger son’s plate was left on the opposite side of where he was sitting and we had to move it in front of him, however it was beautifully presented for a child and it was a decent sized portion too. The fish and chips looked really nice, the batter looked crispy, the peas were firm but a little cold and the chips were okay. The burger returned on a cold plate having been slid off the coleslaw covered plate, the chips were cold on their return, possibly not helped by being placed on a cold plate.
We could not get any salt to come out of the the salt pot and had to resort to take the plastic bung out of the bottom and serve from our hands.
My youngest son loved his hotdog, the chips and beans and ate nearly all of it, the burger was cooked through, although the bun was burned along one side, the fish and chips was nice although the fish did have a little bit of a claggy texture.
We decided not to wait for the waitress to reappear and fetched her to ask for the brownies and ice cream we ordered with the children’s meal, it did then turn up quite quickly but I have to say it was a ridiculously small sized piece of brownie, perhaps appropriate for a 2/3 year old but not a 9 year old, who is still a child.
Having said that, the brownie was nice and the ice cream very tasty, it is just a shame about the portion size, my son took the teeniest little mouthfuls to make it last.
The whole meal including 4 drinks was £39.49, I have not given The Portway a Gold, Silver or Bronze ribbon as quite frankly, it wasn’t good enough.