This was the third or fourth time we’ve stopped for lunch at this pub, part of the mini-chain owned by Michelin starred chef, Nigel Haworth. We’ve not been since 2013 and, since then, have had a couple of disappointing meals at its sister pub in Cheshire. We’d obviously hoped that a revisit here would be an improvement but, unfortunately, it was not to be. The menu has been pared back and there doesn’t seem to be the same commitment to using north western produce (at least not in the menu descriptions). This is not to say that we had a bad meal. We didn’t. It was fine but choice seemed fairly limited and, even then, not that, erm, interesting.
But, to start, there was a pea soup, as fresh and as summery as you like with the broth tasting fully of pea, and fresh peas in it. Cauliflower fritters came from the “nibbles” section of the menu. They’d have been better if the florets were still a bit “al dente” rather than fully soft – but the batter was crisp and the curried mayo was perfect for dunking.
We don’t often do Sunday lunch, as such, so we both took the opportunity to order the roast beef. It’s rump so I suppose we shouldn’t be surprised that it was a bit chewy. But it was a bit chewier than you’d want. It comes with an enormous Yorkshire pudding, mashed potato, roast potato (although not crispy), roast carrot and shredded cabbage. It’s all swimming in a lake of thin, not very pleasant, gravy.