Our Morning at Turner’s restaurant with Brian Turner
If you have read my other post about Butlins you will know we were invited to Butlins to stay. But most importantly we were invited as ‘Foodie bloggers’ with Lucy from Crumbs feed your family and her lovely daughters to spend the morning at Turner’s Restaurant with Brian Turner himself.
Firstly Turner’s Restaurant opened last Summer. It is beautifully designed and has a welcoming feel to it, modern meets classic. Which is more or less how Brian has designed his menu. Classic dishes with a modern twist, all freshly made with the freshest ingredients. You can have a tour of Turner’s Restaurant in 360ºC here.
Here is a video of what we got up to and you can see a peak of the lovely Turner’s Restaurant too.
Any good chef is passionate about food and Brian is no exception. His passion extends not only to the enjoyment of excellent food but the whole experience. Which when you are at home on a daily basis is something that often gets over looked, so the focus on really enjoying a meal out when on holiday seems to be key for Brian and the Butlins team.
Brian seemed really keen on knowing what the children liked, and what sort of things they would try. Getting children to try different things as parents can be hard but experiencing new tastes in a different environment can often be the key to a change around of children thoughts of food.
I can vouch for that with Oscar when he was a bit younger. A trip away converted him to trying more hot food, before he was a salad and sandwich man!!! So it was really great to see that this is something that Brian knew was important. Any parent reading this will know that hungry children are nofun at all, neither are adults come to think about it!!!
It was really interesting to learn that Brian was actually brought in quite a while back to help with all the Butlins menu’s in all their locations. I can tell you now that they have got it right. I think you would struggle to find anyone who wouldn’t find something they would love to eat when visiting Butlins. In the other restaurants the choice and quality was amazing, in fact think about it is making me feel very hungry.
Once we all had said our hello’s etc, and got our chef’s hats that fitted (note to self to change the ages of my children on my about me page!!!) we got to hear what we would be up to.
Fish pie was on the menu to make( I love fish pie, result!) and my two are less fishy. Which indeed was the whole point, to get to see what children really liked and wanted to find on a menu.
Brian took position behind the kitchen hole in the wall, with the help of ‘chef’ who we now learned that everyone calls each other ‘chef’ in the kitchen. Whether you’re a head ‘chef’ or potato peeler, ‘chef’ is the name you get called. I am liking that sort of equality!!!
Brian got out huge trays of fresh ingredients for all of the children to give things a try if they wanted to. He is a big fan of people giving things a go but also knows that everyone doesn’t like everything and that is just fine too. All the children got really involved and got them all thinking about different mixes of food.
Once everyone had decided what they liked our individual pie dishes (still on the hunt for some for my kitchen!) each had some raw white fish (cod I think!) and some salmon added to the dishes.
New thing that I learnt: Add cubed fish raw for fish pie. I always had cooked it before.
Everyone chose what extra ingredients to add, sun-dried tomatoes was a favourite for my two which went along side shallots.
All the children chose different things which just goes to show different tastes. White sauce covered the fish and chosen vegetables then a little seasoning and finally topped with mashed potato and grated cheese then popped in the oven.
A really simple dish full of not only delicious flavours but goodness too. While they baked I am guessing for 25-30 minutes Brian got some gorgeous trays of fresh fruit out. Again it was interesting to see who like what. As the kids all got stuck in to the gorgeous fruit I stood drooling from the smell of the fruit and the gorgeous smell of the fish pies wafting from the kitchen.
We all went back to our tables and all the children wrote down what they had added to their own fish pies. This is what Bex had added.
Shortly after these gorgeous and the best fish pie I have ever eaten arrived.
Brian sat down with us all and yet again the passion for food as well enjoying it came through. He said and then repeated the words as they meant so much to him that ‘There isn’t much that can’t be sorted out around a table with good food and a glass of wine’ I have put in the image further down as a reminder, the glass of wine is for the adults not the children obviously!!! For me this struck a chord. Eating and time around a table should be enjoyed. It does give a great excuse to catch up, sort stuff out and enjoy a laugh or two.
We all enjoyed the fish pies, and next time for Oscar I will give him a pastry top as he isn’t a potato fan in any shape or form. But the underneath was a huge hit. Cam is allergic to fish so he enjoyed his veggie version and it did make me think how easy it is to do in individual dishes and pick and choose what goes in which then add the sauce and then the topping. Easy and incredibly delicious indeed.
Eating out at Butlins
How Butlins see eating out whilst you are visiting them is really important to them. They know how important food is when you are away. We enjoyed all our meals immensely throughout our stay. Me being gluten-free was completely well catered for, I even had the most gorgeous pudding served to me by sweet a French waiter (the French waiter just added to the yummy dessert, you can’t beat a French ascent especially when serving up dessert!).
We ate all out meals at ‘The Deck’ as this was our restaurant to eat in as part of the weekend away and the dining plan we were enjoying. You can ask to swap to other restaurants by asking at reception if you opt for a dining plan. Now thinking about it should have had at least one at ‘Turners’, next time!!!
At ‘The Deck’ every night the choice was different. We all really enjoyed all our meals there, Bex and Oscar really enjoyed the experience of going around and choosing what they fancied. Oscar enjoyed having small bits of lots of things then adding his much-loved salad to the plate. Bex enjoyed stir fry and rice, a burger another night and pasta with garlic bread on the next. I enjoyed the carvery meat and had that with rice, salad or roast potatoes and veg on different nights. Being gluten-free I could have asked for a different especially gluten-free meal but I loved eating the carvery with the different bits and my tummy was more than happy.
Cam had off the hot grill and made to order a gorgeous beef burger, which he loved, curry another night and the carvery. All again enjoyed, so much so he was missing it even after a week of coming home!!!
Puddings well again you were spoilt for choice, cold deserts like Black Forest gateaux to hot sponges and crumbles that you could have with custard. Bex and Oscar discovered the whippy ice-cream machine on the last night after spotting some one with it in a bowl. As you can imagine kids are going to love that.
Fresh fruit and low-fat yoghurts were also served at every meal so giving you the opportunity to top up on your five a day or giving you a low-calorie option.
Help yourself to drinks via the good choice of drink dispensing machine. Plenty of choice of either hot or cold drinks which you can top up until your heart is content. Again both Bex and Oscar loved this and happily went up to top up our drinks too.
Breakfast again the choice was amazing, from wide variety of traditional English breakfast to cereals, fruits salads, porridge, pancakes and omelettes made to order and gorgeous danish pastries. Again there was bread rolls and plenty of toast all of which you can just help yourself to.
The staff at every meal time were really helpful and at no time did I feel we needed to rush to let more diners have our table. Though not sure say in the Summer that would still be the case but everything seems to work so smoothly I like to think I have faith that it would be a similar experience. The dining hours are several hours starting at an early 4.30p.m for the evening meal so perfect for the little ones.
Breakfast starts at 8.30a.m until 10.30a.m so no need for to earlier start which is great.
I like the fact that there is a huge choice of dining, there is a Burger King is that is your thing and a Enjays Crepperie, Papas John’s which serves pizza and chicken dishes etc. There is also a choice of coffee shops to have a break and snack in.
I think it is also excellent that they have introduced Turner’s. This give you the opportunity for a sit down meal with waitered service. The menu designed of course by the Michelin starred Brian Turner himself Turner’s is British with a twist. There is a separate children menu and a rather good wine list to choose from with good price range. Even a ‘Krug’ at £120 a bottle for those who buy into that sort of lifestyle product which I am afraid is not me! I am more of a Shiraz or Chardonnay girl but the point is the choice is there.
Also Turners serve lunch so would give a pleasant relaxing midday treat. For a sample menu pop here and let your mouth water.
So as you can see Butlins has an amazing choice to suit anybody. I can not believe that there would be anyone who couldn’t find something they love to eat at Butlins.
A round-up of things I learnt about food when you are staying Butlins:
- Butlins know how important that food is especially when on holiday
- They know kids can be fussy and make sure they are well and truly catered for
- Choice is key
- Fresh ingredients mean happy customers
- Helpful staff (including french waiters!) equals happy customers
- Special diets are well catered for
- Brian Turner has helped to make most of the food on offer at Butlins what it is today
- Brian Turner is a really nice, funny and genuine guy. Who is passionate that you enjoy your meals he is also brilliant with kids of all ages including me!!!
- That you will not be left hungry or thirsty whilst at Butlins.
We had an amazing time at Butlins, if you haven’t already do check out ‘Our visit to Butlins’ post the non-foodie bits!!! Do check out the Butlins website and those that never have, you will be in for a surprise. You will also find Butlins on Facebook and can follow them on twitter @Butlins
Again I would like to say that how impressed we were of the way all the staff are so helpful and also so you know that up until we arrived at Turners Restaurant on the Monday morning we were just regular guests so we at no time did we have special treatment. This is the way they treat everyone and thought I should point that out 🙂
I would also again like to thank Emily, Sammy and Serene for arranging the trip. All and every one of the Butlins staff for making sure we had a fabulous time. The lovely Jae and her super boys (I still smile at the ‘Yes Chef!’).
Last but far from not least Brian Turner who made sure we all had a super morning and I most importantly learnt how to make a much better fish pie. We all enjoyed the morning so much and Bex and Oscar thought you were really cool and very nice as well!!!
Thank you everyone from all of us.
We had three nights away including our breakfast and evening meal free of charge. This has not altered my opinion on our visit and all comments have followed my strict ‘Over a Cuppa’ policy of giving honest praise only when due.
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