It’s been quieter than Bjork in a tyre shop on Devizine this week. Apologises, I’ve had the rarity of relatives visiting. To show them how we do it Devizes style, I placed the Moonrakers Bar & Grill on a pedestal and booked a family meal. Two reasons; one, I believe it’s a cut above at a fair price, and two, I’ve been keen to catch a certain young lady sing.
An estimated year or so has passed since we’ve eaten at the aesthetically-pleasing Wadworth flagship, I recall delightful fish platters on boards, and quality stacked burgers worthy of the fair steal. The menu now seemed more standardised though, geared to emblematic “pub grub.” Still the prices reflected this, I’ve no gripe.
We were shown a table, least pointed out a table; it was averagely busy but hardly bursting from the rafters. Still, just a hassle to staff we seemed to be, while we slogged the lengthy wait for tucker without compliant. I’m content with a wait, but young offspring tired and tummies rumbled.
A game of “tag” had to suffice, on a lawn large enough for a swing, climbing frame or something, anything, to keep little ones amused. If you welcome families, a super kid’s menu is only part; a facility to prevent boredom is but a small bonus to ask. Failing this, an activity pack wouldn’t go amiss; you know, a booklet of colouring-in, word search and accompanying set of pencils, something to amuse little minds…like mine!
Staff eventually made it to the table to regretfully inform us of a lack of burgers, some twenty minutes after ordering. Compromised with chicken and bacon burgers, only for it then to become apparent there was no bacon either. So, a promised bacon burger turned into a dry chicken breast in an untoasted bun.
I pondered if there’s ever a need to be burger-less with a couple of butchers in town; any gripes I hold with the alternative through previous employment aside, I know for a fact one phone call would’ve rectified it and the finest burgers this side of Barnard Star would’ve been dispatched in minutes, had they have checked stock.
Didn’t bother me, I ordered scampi, which although wasn’t filling for me, Gluttonous Maximus, would’ve been apt for people not crowned Roman Emperor of overeating. The macaroni cheese dish was also welcomed. Don’t get me wrong, it was good, nothing really dazzled though, which is what I wished for as I explained the amusing fable of the pub’s folklore namesake to my sister-in-law. I wanted Devizes to wow so I picked the Moonrakers, but it was only just teetering above adequate, tasty, but visually standard and wobbled the pedestal slightly. The chef was welcoming and apologetic for the wait, but overall, for the remaining staff it felt as if the left hand didn’t know what the right was doing at times.
My daughter, conditioned by Harvester, suggested a free salad bowl to pass her time! There’s me pondering it’d be a challenge for this place should a chain like this move in. But things turned around afterwards; salad bah, one thing you’ll never get in a Harvester is the mahoosive consolidation of fine local music, this time around in a tiny dose; the gorgeous Kirsty Clinch.
Kirsty breezed through covers and own compositions with the professionalism of a musician four times her senior, with the only help from a desk fan, which she used to cool herself and play a game of “everybody, check my striking red tresses blustering in the tender zephyr,” while I was preoccupied with the superlative course of the meal, pudding.
Oh Kirsty, she oozes with confidence, loves her performances, but it’s okay, because we love them too. It was a pleasure to clasp a quick tête-à-tête with her afterwards, about a forthcoming DIY album we really need to keep both eyes on. Adding live local music to your meal is the icing on this delicious cake; Kirsty steadied the pedestal, confirmation the Moonrakers is fantastic, and should these trivial nigglies be ironed, I’m positive The Moonrakers could be the super-amazingly fantastic I sooo wanted it to be.
This Saturday it’s the turn of the Hybrid Hero; a one-man acoustic army of popular rock and pop covers from across the eras, who may resemble Mike Barham, or may not, depending on what angle you view him from, I suspect mostly a worm’s-eye view. I’d eat my chips before he arrives.