Wednesday, 7 June 2017

Mason's Arms Stonehouse Pizza and Carvery Review

Boy on Slide
About three miles north of the Almondsbury interchange, on the A38 in Rudgeway, stands a little pub. The Mason's Arms has been there for as long as I can remember, but recently it's had a pretty spectacular makeover. Stonehouse Pizza and Carvery own 77 outlets across the country and The Mason's is one of their most recent acquisitions. As a regular visitor before it changed hands, I was amazed at the transformation. Gone were the dated, split level sections and in their place; clean lines, bright colours and fresh paint. We were invited to dine for free, in return for our honest review, so we were keen to find out if it lived up to our new-found expectations!

The first thing I noticed, was actual chairs. I am not a fan of benches or 'banquettes' where everyone has to shuffle out if one person needs to leave, so this was a welcome sight to see. The room seemed a lot more spacious for being open plan and the decor was light and airy. 

Mason's Arms Interior

Our favourite improvement was to the outside area, which had a lovely new playground added, as well as outside seating and sun umbrellas. It really made the most of the outside space and there are tables inside overlooking the area, so you can keep an eye on your little ones.

Mason's Arms Playground

It was just crying out to be climbed on and tested. It's very important to ensure the play equipment is up to standard! It's great to have somewhere that the children can let off steam while they are waiting for their food. Not all children are good at waiting for things, and this way everyone gets to have a good time.

Mason's Arms Play Equipment

We don't normally have starters, but we were really tempted by some of the options, and they worked out really good value. There's a multibuy option, so the more you buy, the more you save, up to 5 for £13.99. It gives you the opportunity to opt to share all the dishes between everyone, or just pick one each. There was also a special offer where a lot of the starters were available for £1.50, rendering it rude not to. We chose BBQ Pork Riblets, Mini Dough Balls and Beer Battered Salt and Pepper Mushrooms, which were quite possibly the most delicious item I've ever eaten in my entire life and I would happily have just ordered more of those for the main!

Starters at the Mason's Arms

The focus of the food is 'freshly prepared' and you can choose from a traditional carvery, with slow roasted joints, hand carved while you wait, as well as fish and chips or steak and ale pie, if you fancy a change from meat. There are also freshly prepared pizzas, or a selection of baguettes, wraps or burgers, and various vegetarian options to choose from.

Slow Roasted Meat Joints

The children went for pizza, and I chose fish and chips. This is a carvery option, so you can help yourself to as many vegetables and chips as you like. I was very pleased to find the chips were perfectly fresh and hot. This is a big winner for me, as carveries can have a problem keeping items, particularly potato products, hot enough to be really enjoyable. Not the case here, they absolutely  nailed it.

Fish and Chips

There were special offers on some of the dessert items too, which was the perfect excuse for indulging in a little treat. We chose Eton Mess and Strawberry Cheesecake.

Delicious desserts

But there was only one choice for the youngest amongst us. The bottomless ice cream was a challenge too big to pass up and I think his expression shows how he feels about the prospect of eating all that!

A Lot of Ice Cream

In conclusion, I can't find any niggles or negativities about the venue. The staff were warm and friendly, the facilities good and the food delicious. It was also extremely good value for money, so it ticks all my boxes. If you are in the area and after a bite, particularly with children, I can certainly recommend it.

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