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The Aviator Brasserie, Farnborough

August 13, 2010

A couple of months back, to celebrate my mother-in-law’s birthday, my wife booked a Sunday lunch for the family at The Aviator.

Thinking it would be a popular establishment we decided to make a reservation (good plan) and ask about what they do to cater for young children, our daughter is under 7 so expecting her to choose from an eat an adult meal is a bit much. My wife was assured by the person taking the booking that the child could state whatever she wanted and the chef would prepare it. We were left with the distinct impression that there was no children’s menu and the kitchen staff would be able to cope with pretty much whatever foibles a young child had. Perfect we thought, booking made, all we had to do was wait for the day to come.

On arrival, we spent a short time in the mostly empty bar, with snacks and drink, watched a few planes come and go. Bar service was excellent and the complimentary nibbles of excellent quality.

When it came to taking our place at the table, there was a short moment of worry when our booking could not be found. It turns out you can just turn up and see if there is a table available, but judging by how many empty tables there were, its not recommended, especially for larger parties.

The staff continued to be very professional and courteous as we were shown to our table.

On hearing me discuss with my daughter that her drink glass, brought up from the bar, was too large for her to handle at the dining table the waiter made a note to bring a smaller glass before could I turn to him to make the request. Such attention to customer needs leaves a lasting impression of excellent service and is exactly what I would expect.

Ordering our meals produced the only potential cause of confusion and disappointment. Having been told she could choose whatever she wanted, my daughter had already decided on spaghetti bolognaise before we had even parked the car. When my wife checked that the kitchen would cater to the child’s whims, the waitress only confirmed that the kitchen would prepare a child portion from the menu. Fortunately the aforementioned spaghetti bolognaise was indeed on the menu and so potential disaster averted.

We don’t now know which is correct, will the kitchen prepare what the child wants or will it only prepare a child’s portion from the menu? When we go again (and we most certainly will be going again) we may need to question more thoroughly the policy as we were given two seemly different instructions.

The food was fantastic and not as expensive as we were expecting. The service was constantly excellent and friendly, the staff setting a great balance between chatty and professional.

Further evidence of their attention to the customer came when my mother-in-law’s desert came with ‘Happy Birthday’ piped in chocolate around the edge. Information that was not intentionally given, but can only have been taken from casual conversation.

There is only one very minor negative point regarding the meal and that is the size of my profiterole dessert. There were too many of them, they tasted wonderful but it was impossible for me to eat all of them, no matter how much I wanted to.

The key thing for me about the whole meal though, is that even two months later, may daughter still talks about the restaurant we went to that had the best spaghetti bolognaise she has ever had.

In summary; a very enjoyable meal, a pleasant place to eat, excellent service and highly recommended. I am looking forward to returning.

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From → Places to Eat

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