I spent Friday evening at Lockmeadow Maidstone.
Last Friday Absolutely Fabulous The Movie hit cinemas and as I work in PR/journalism it was a must-see for me. But more on that later, my stomach always comes first so we stopped by Frankie & Benny’s for dinner before heading to the cinema.
As we were going to see the film at Odeon Maidstone it seemed only right to dine at Frankie & Benny’s as it is also located within the Lockmeadow entertainment complex, plus it is one of my old favourite restaurants in Maidstone.
We began the evening by toasting to the weekend and sharing a bottle of Frankie & Benny’s italian house Chardonnay (£15.45) with a bowl of warm dough balls with garlic and cheese dips.
Unfortunately there were train delays back from London so I was a bit later than planned. I had a lot less time than I had of liked so we just had time for a main course and a shared starter before the film but this wasn’t a problem as the portions here are extremely generous!
For main course my guest ordered Blackened Salmon Nizza (£14.95). The dish came served with a roasted salmon fillet on a bed of mixed salad, potatoes, green beans, olives, cherry tomatoes and a boiled egg. This was topped with Frankie & Benny’s salsa rossa and a drizzle of olive oil.
Between we also ordered Classic garlic pizza bread (£4.95) which ended up being way too much for us to handle with our mains but the restaurant kindly boxed this up for us to take away!
I always promise myself I’ll go for the healthy option but I’m always so tempted by dishes smothered in a thick sauces so I went for the New Jersey Chicken (£14.95) as it really shone on the menu for me.
I had a great choice as it was absolutely incredible. New Jersey Chicken is a Chicken breast topped with streaky bacon, pulled pork and covered in BBQ and cheese sauces. This came served with crispy onion rings, fries, coleslaw and corn on the cob.
The portion size was huge and I was quite relieved I didn’t have time for a starter or dessert in the end!
You can view the full menu here.
Now be prepared for some food envy…
As it was a Friday evening the restaurant was packed with a mixed crowd of families, friends and couples. There were also a lot of birthdays, we could tell as Cliff Richard played regularly around us!
Despite it being so packed the service was fast paced and our waitress Robyn was so lovely, really helpful and so friendly making our evening thoroughly enjoyable. We had a really lovely evening and I would say that Frankie & Benny’s is my favourite place to dine within the complex. It’s a place enjoyed by all – perfect for dates, catching up with friends, to entertain the children or to visit whilst at Lockmeadow for Hollywood Bowl, Gravity Trampoline Park or Odeon cinema, like us.
Following our meal it was then was time to see Absolutely Fabulous The Movie. The Odeon Cinema is just above the restaurant so as it was so close we were able to leave it really last minute before rushing to our seats!
Working in PR I was really excited to see the film just to see how the whole industry in London was portrayed.
I’ve only recently started watching the series, which I find absolutely hilarious, but the film was so much funnier, which I didn’t think could be possible! Patsy and Edi are still living the high life, champagne flutes and cigarettes in hand not ready to let go of the glitz and glamour. And just like the TV series, it is chaotic and crazy (and although PR can be chaotic and crazy, sadly I haven’t experienced anything like this, yet). The cinema was roaring with laughter every few minutes.
They have really brought the series up to date with the mention of social media (of which Edina seems to have no clue about), Patsy uses Tinder and Bubble’s outfit is covered in hashtags. Joanna Lumley and Jennifer Saunders have still got it, they are silly but as hilarious as ever.
I heard there were going to be a lot of celebrity cameos but I was surprised by how many there actually were. Stars include Jean-Paul Gaultier, Chris Colfer, Suki Waterhouse, Rebel Wilson, Alexa Chung and Nick Grimshaw – just to name a few.
Their portrayal of the PR industry may be extremely exaggerated however yet slightly true in some parts. I always get asked, ‘what is PR?’, so it’s well worth going to see the film if you want to find out!
According to The Independent the film has scored the biggest UK opening since Spectre and it is no surprise why. Absolutely Fabulous has proved that film adaptations of TV series can be a success.
We watched the movie at Odeon Maidstone, here are a few shots of the cinema:
*Had to sneak in quick OOTD shot of course*
Lockmeadow Entertainment Centre