Wednesday, 11 March 2015

Review: 'Play at Brewers Fayre, Old Brickworks, Bradford'

Last weekend we were invited to attend the grand opening of 'Play at Brewers Fayre' in Bradford to try out their newly refurbished soft play area and menu. 

Having never been to a Brewers Fayre pub before, I was keen to go and see what it was like. As a family, we are always on the lookout for family friendly places to eat as well, especially on wet and windy weekends when there's not a lot to do outside, so we were pleased to find out about Old Brickworks Brewers Fayre in Drighlington, Bradford. 

It is really well located, just off the M62 near Ikea Leeds. It's really easy to spot as there's a rather impressive old brickworks chimney towering above the building. There is ample parking available too. 

Upon arrival, we were greeted by a very friendly and helpful member of staff who explained the proceedings for the day and showed us to our pre-booked table. She confirmed our food orders and showed us into the brand new Beano themed play area. Normal entry to the play area is £3 for 90 minutes of play. I was really pleased to see how bright and colourful the new area was (I never went to the fun factory before the renovations so can't compare the two). It was impeccably clean and shiny, and Little One was so keen to just get on with playing on the soft play frame. 

The room itself wasn't huge; big enough for the children to be able to run around the outside of the play frame but not so big that you couldn't keep an eye on them. The frame itself had different areas- some more suitable for the littlies and some areas which were better for slightly older children. There is a height restriction of 4ft 9"and the age limit is 12. I asked if adults were allowed to go on to supervise little ones- unfortunately not on the upper level, which does restrict smaller ones to staying on the lower bit. Little One was more than happy with this however, and there was a little slide which he could go down. There was also a small merry-go-round ride and a couple of Little Tikes cars too. 

Around the edge of the room were tables and a padded seating area- perfect for the adults to sit at and enjoy a coffee whilst the children play. If you didn't want to eat in the restaurant, there is also a small snack bar in the play area which serves slush puppies, hot/cold drinks, confectionery, cakes and crisps. 

Just off the main room is a smaller room which can be booked for parties. When we went it was laid out with colouring activities for the children, which was a lovely touch. On certain days of the week from 3:30-4:30, there are special kid's activities on offer such as crafts, party games, colouring and even a Friday disco. On weekday mornings, 10-11am, there are toddler activities on offer such as nursery rhyme time, colouring, storytelling and again a Friday disco. There really is something to suit everyone, and coming here would make for a fabulous morning or afternoon out.

The staff were so incredibly friendly, attentive and helpful, and their enthusiasm for their job really shone through. They wore bright red uniforms which made them easy to identify. One member of staff was making balloon models for the children and there was also face painting. We also even had a surprise visit from Dennis the Menace and Gnasher which most of the children loved- Little One was curious about Gnasher but not so sure about Dennis!

After about an hour and a half of playing, we were invited through to the restaurant for lunch. We were seated at a large table with our friends who we were able to bring along too. There were colouring sheets and crayons provided at the tables- always a bonus as Little One can get restless while we wait for our meals. Luckily, food was quick to arrive and we were able to have unlimited refills on our soft drinks. I ordered the Brewer's Fayre burger which came with a generous portion of chunky chips and a side of coleslaw. Mr F ordered the smothered chicken, with chips, salad, garlic bread and coleslaw, and Little One had the kids macaroni and cheese with garlic bread. 

After the main meal, the restaurant manager came out and sincerely apologised because they had run out of cheesecake. He let us look at the menu and said we could order whichever desserts we wanted and they brought them out straight away- chocolate fudge cake (served cold with cream), and a gorgeous little strawberry sundae for Little One. 

After our meal, we decided to go out and try the outdoor play area. This is an area which hasn't been renovated at all and it was looking very tired and unloved. It would be a real bonus if this was as good as the inside play area. The only other issue we found was that the ladies toilets were very small. There were only two cublicles and the fold down baby change table was located above the sinks. When needing to change Little One, I had a queue of ladies behind me waiting to wash their hands as I was blocking the sink area. I imagine that on a busy weekend, these toilets could get quite claustrophobic. Not ideal, but it was nice to see that there was also a change table available in the men's toilets too. 

Overall, we had a lovely morning there and we would definitely recommend Play at Brewer's Fayre to anyone with little ones. The location of this Brewer's Fayre, just off the M62, would make it an ideal place to stop off if you were travelling and wanted the children to let off some steam. For more information about other locations, please visit their website.

Disclaimer: My family and I were invited, together with some friends as VIP guests to the grand opening of Play at Brewer's Fayre in Drighlington, Bradford. We received free entry to the play room and complimentary meals but as always, all opinions expressed are my own :)


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