We got to Coral Reef at about 11.30 am. This is a water park that has been in Bracknell for about 25 years. I remember going as a small child, aged 7-11, pretty much every weekend. It was always packed and always fun. Oh the joys of being there when everyone else is in school. Because it was counted as off-peak, and Sebastian was free, it cost us less than 20 quid to get in, always a result for a family of 5. Ok, the big slides weren't open, but only Oliver would have been able to ride them anyway.
We spent a good 2 hours playing in the pirate ship, the hot tub around the rapids, and generally just having fun. It was so worthwhile going for the boys, they had a great time. People watching was also fun, some of Bracknell's finest were out. Then hunger struck. we thought about just getting a snack at the pool, but it was already past lunch time, so we decided to go for a full on meal.
We headed to the local Harvester, about 10 minutes down the road. Their grill was broken. WHAT? how can a Harvester have a broken grill??? The only food they could offer us was fried or salads. We quickly exited, and started heading towards Wokingham, when we came across a Beefeater.
This Beefeater (Downshire Arms) has been there for donkeys. I went there as a kid, and as an adult when I worked over the road. It was about 2pm by now, so we missed the lunch rush. We were given a nice big table in an alcove, which was perfect for us. The boys got diet cokes to drink, while Paul and I indulged in beer. The waitress was very friendly and prompt. Paul and I both went with the 6oz flat iron stark, cooked exactly the same. Oliver and Isaac both had a pizza, while we ordered the popping chicken for Sebastian. All with fries of course, but beans for Isaac and peas for the other 2. I really think Isaac misses proper baked beans. Our food didn't take too long to arrive. The steaks were tasty, exactly what you would expect from a Beefeater. Oliver finished everything, will not be long till he is on to adult meals. Isaac ate about 1/2 of everything, and Seb only touched his fries.
Since it had been a long time since they had eaten, we ordered dessert. Oliver and Seb had a plain ice cream, Isaac had chocolate sauce. I ordered profiteroles, and Paul had the chic fudge brownie. Again, there were served in good time. Paul and I went half and half, and man, were these desserts good. The boys even had some of the brownie, which they loved. We got the bill, it came to about 45 quid with tip. Pretty reasonable for a family of five. We then realized that the kids were able to eat for 1.99, due to a promotion they run between 3-5 every week day. Even without realizing, I stumbled onto kids eat cheap!
We headed off to our friends the Tatum's, where we were spending the next 2 nights. Our boys were so pleased to have somewhere to play, with loads of different toys. They were even more pleased when Oscar and Ethan got home. It was so lovely to see them playing together again.
About 6.30pm, I got a phone call from Lee to tell me my uncles were at the house. We bundled the boys into the car and drove the 5 minutes round the corner to Lee's. It was so good to see my uncles again, I swear they have barely aged in the 9 years since I last saw them. It was good for the boys to be able to meet them too, before the emotion of the next day came into play. We spent about 45 minutes chatting and catching up before heading back to the Tatum's to get the boys into bed.