The Bird in Hand, Lovedean

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The Bird in Hand, Lovedean Lane, Waterlooville, Hampshire

I had a table booked mid week for the Bird in Hand in Lovedean but a friend cancelled on me – actually that was the first of two cancellations that week – waah, nobody loves me 😢 – so I quickly sent my husband Geoff a text asking if he’d like to go instead. Thankfully he did.

The dining room

We arrived for 7pm and it was quite a cold evening, it was also a bit chilly inside the dining room too so I asked if we could sit somewhere as warm as possible. We were sat at a table for 4 by a large window with a radiator underneath which the waitress put on for us. Unfortunately there was a slight draft coming from the window so we moved to a table for 2 away from the window. It wasn’t busy so it wasn’t a problem changing seats.

Mains menu

The welcome and service was really very friendly by everyone, not false whatsoever and that continued throughout the meal.

The restaurant is nicely decorated with a cosy feel to it (although I was still cold), music played just above my head but thankfully not too loudly so it wasn’t intrusive.

We were offered some fresh bread which came with an usual red onion and mustard seed butter which was very tasty.

The menu had lots of choices, so too did the drinks menu with gins, cocktails, wines and beers.

Fish & chips

We didn’t have a starter, we went straight to the mains.

Geoff went for fish & chips (his go-to dish) which was battered hake, handcut chips, tartare sauce & mushy peas. He said the fish was beautiful with no bones, lovely and white with a light batter. He said it was a ‘very good standard of fish and chips’, and he should know, he’s becoming an expert on them, like I used to be with pork belly. The big chunky chips were also good and filling too.

Celeriac fondant

I had the celeriac fondant, caramelised apple purée, cumin roasted heirloom carrots, beetroot crisps & beurre noissette. The dish was very well presented and it tasted really good. I asked for the buerre noissette on the side thinking for some reason it was a kind of butter sauce – derr! – the waitress came back to warn me that the celeriac was also cooked in the buerre noissette but I said that was fine. It was actually a nutty oil and was very nice.

Close up

I loved the whole dish, the beetroot was cut wafer thin and was crispy – hence being name beetroot crisps 😉 I wrote that before noticing that was what they were called!

Dessert menu

There was a lovely smell of wood burning coming from the bar area and the radiator was now hot.

Geoff was too full for dessert but I suggested he had one of the mini desserts instead. What a good idea it is. More places need to do this. You can have a mini dessert with a hot drink for just £5.

Peanut butter creme brulee

I had a normal sized dessert – of course I did!  I went for the peanut butter crème brûlée, banana ice cream, chocolate chip cookies (although I received only one). I do like peanut butter in sandwiches but I must remind myself to not go for desserts with peanut butter in as I’m usually disappointed. The dessert was nice with chunky bits in the crème brûlée and the banana ice cream was tasty, so too the chocolate chip cookie, but I wish now I’d gone for something else. My fault entirely.

Mini sticky toffee pudding

Geoff went for the mini sticky toffee pudding and an espresso. He said it wasn’t as good as ‘The Shoe’s’ at Exton but ‘nice enough, especially the size when one has been pressurised into having a dessert by ones wife’. The pudding came with a large piece of honeycomb which Geoff kindly gave to me. I love honeycomb and it reminded me of when I was a kid, I was made to go to church and Sunday school (which was after the service) and was given collection money. On the way my friend and I would spend at least half of it in a little corner shop on honeycomb which was divine. This honeycomb was nice but I feared for my poor fillings and found it incredibly chewy which gave me slight jaw ache afterwards and it cut my mouth to shreds. Maybe it was cooked a little too long. It tasted good though.

With my dessert I had a glass of port, which I really like now since we went to Porto in Portugal in June with Helen. This was a nice LBV port, afterwards I had an espresso.

Geoff told me that the Bird in Hand used to have a photo of the FA cup behind the bar. During the second world war, the cup was passed around local pubs for safe keeping. Which F.C. held the FA cup for the longest? Pompey! Geoff said the photo was still there when he went off to the loo but I forgot to take a photo!

We had a really nice meal and were pleasantly surprised, we shall most definitely return in the new year. At present they have their Christmas menu with two or three different set menus to chose from which look very good value for money.

Ambience 8
Service 9
Quality 9
Value 7
Return? Yes
Overall 8/10
Living life, loving cake

A x

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