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Classic Meals

2010 March 1
by David Smith

Classic English Meals

17 Responses leave one →
  1. Neil jones permalink
    June 6, 2011

    exccellent review,informertive and interesting facts,some i didnt now about, my first taste of eating out was (aged about 17) at a Berni Inn back in the late 6o’s (The Grand Hotel Port Talbot) when my sister & her husband used to take me with them on occation when they went out for meals HAPPY DAYS BRING THEM BACK

    • robert permalink
      July 17, 2012

      Your steak was cooked by Jonnie the chinese chef i worked in 1966 for several years and cooked thousands of meals in Port Talbot and Swansea also Neath

  2. Mark Ward permalink
    June 20, 2011

    CREAM TEAS.. whilst a very good article regarding the ins and outs of this fantastic gastronomic delight, you fell into a minefield in your very last sentance.. cream then jam? I hear an angry mob on the horizon, duck and cover for the jam then cream assault.

  3. Patricia Webster permalink
    July 7, 2011

    Today is my 32 wedding anniversary and while contemplating where to go for a meal tonight, I thought of my dating years and the many, many times my husband and I spent at the little Berni Inns, situated under the Ramp up to the Pallisades in Birmingham Centre. I checked online to see if anything remains of the Berni Inns and came across this write up.
    Thanks for the memories and also for the information. I now know that we both used to order the most common meal there!
    I have shared this link on my facebook page to see if anyone else has this affection for Berni Inns. Thanks again !! :)

    • robert permalink
      July 17, 2012

      It was called the Exchange when it opended i spent 9 months working there just when the IRA were doing there thing in Birmingham the times we had to get out for bomb scares

  4. Gordon Davidson permalink
    December 24, 2011

    We were remeniscing with some friends a few weeks ago, and Berni Inns was brought up in the conversation. Christmas Eve 2011 our friends are coming round and for a bit of nostalgia I am cooking a Berni Inns. This great because you have confirned what we all thought the menu was.

  5. Vindaloo Queen permalink
    February 5, 2012

    I loved Berni Inns! It was the first restaurant I ate at and have fond memories of them. There was a restaurant in Liverpool called the Albany which was a Berni inn but even after Berni’s went, the restaurant still kept its roots and served old classics til its closure in 2003- oh how I miss it!

    All is not lost though- for all you Northerners wanting a retro fix, go to the Britannia hotel carvery in Manchester, they serve Black Forest Gateau and other 1970s staples!

  6. LesleyP permalink
    April 23, 2012

    I’m about to organise a Berni Inn night with prawn cocktail and brown bread buttered triangles, steak and chips with mushrooms and onion rings and Black Forest Gateau to finish. The BFG was never a favourite of mine until I had a real one in Germany – wow! what a difference. That’s the one I’m going to make so that I can enjoy the lot. Drinks – Babycham, Blue Nun, Mateus Rose, Beaujolais – whatever did the fellas drink? Tartan, Red Barrel and Double Diamond seem to come to mind – not much chance of getting that lot now! As we’re all 70+ the dressing-up gear is going to look gross but who cares? We’ll have a lot of fun!

  7. Pam permalink
    January 6, 2013

    Had the distinct pleasure of dining several times at the Berni Inn in Ipswich in 1975-6. What I recall most fondly was the delicious sweet coffee served in a goblet with cream afloat. Mmmmmmm. Hope some day to return to England, and Berni’s was on my list to revisit should it still be there. Alas, I’ll savor in my dreams that lovely coffee…….

  8. Andrea Wood permalink
    December 1, 2013

    The first thing you notice in a Beefeater is the lack of aroma/smell! Berni Inns always smelt fabulous and the fresh bread roll was delicious. I’m afraid Beefeater just don’t make the grade, no aroma, no tasty steaks just pap!
    It would be heaven if Berni’s in it’s old concept came back.
    Come on Whitbread take up the challenge, don’t put all the bought in meals on the menu, look at Texas Roadhouse in America. They do it, and onion blossoms! And it’s packed every night in every location. Go creative!!!

  9. Joan permalink
    February 13, 2015

    I am about to host a 70′s meal for my sister and family. We discussed food from the 70′s and agreed that the Bernie Inns were the marker. My menu is prawn cocktail, steak and chips with peas, mushrooms, onion rings and a grilled half of tomato. All this from memories of the 70′s. Then I read your website. Fantastic memories remembered to the letter! But you forgot the mushrooms, onions rings, tomato and peas.

  10. john denne permalink
    June 7, 2015

    I was stationed at RAF Colerne (near Bath) for five years in the late 50′s. When we could afford it, a mate and I would drive into Bristol to the very first Berni Inn and, especially if one of the brothers’ Bentley Continental was parked outside, we would treat ourselves to a meal. The two brothers made it possible for the average working man to experience ‘fine dining’ for the very first time. Wonderful; and particularly so when one of the Bernis were keeping their eye on things.

  11. Brent Wherry permalink
    September 8, 2015

    Don’t care about the Prawn Cocktail and Black Forest Gateau. The steaks were excellent and neither Harvester nor the Grand Met people get anywhere near them.

    Please can we have our Bernis back ?

  12. Penny Gallagher permalink
    September 12, 2015

    I used to work for them in Bristol and Bath, the nicest employers I had in all my working life. And the food was always good, a group of us were lamenting their passing last night, while trying to figure out where to get a decent steak nowadays and not be disappointed.

  13. Penny Gallagher permalink
    September 12, 2015

    Oh and the special liqueur coffees were so good! I usually had Irish….

    • Brian Harbottle permalink
      October 28, 2015

      And the special knack of pouring the cream over the spoon so it floated! I was a Berni Inn Assistant & Relief Manager mostly at the Fish & Quart Leicester also remember ‘special’ relief at Long Eaton,also Worcester, a second Inn in Leicester, I believe? Brent above is so right about the steaks-the brothers Berni wonderful system of quality control was innovative to say the least. That guarenteed meat quality certainly led the way up and down the country.

  14. Bob Harvey permalink
    April 7, 2016

    There was another “dead cert” menu in the late 60s, if you were taking the girlfiend out. This was not only in Berni Inns, though it could be found there, but in a handful of other things like the Angus chain:

    1. Grapefruit, half a grapefruit with a cherry in the middle, grilled with brown sugar
    2. grilled “half” a duck, with crispy skin and irridescent orange sauce. Served with peas and chips
    3. The aforementioned BFG

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