So, here we are on The Wirral, the lovely peninsula across the Mersey from Liverpool. We have this sort of Christmas re-run up back home, for my Sisters birthday. Anyone with a birthday near to Christmas knows how it sometimes gets diluted, but this is a great way of making it a bit separate and fun for everyone.
We were over on the Wirral because our nephew Lee and his lovely girlfriend Em are in their first home there, so we were doing the first visit and doing the birthday celeb too. Lee and Em had recommended the place. Bit worried when I saw how big the place and the car park was- big doesn’t usually go with friendly and good, in my experience? I am glad to report how wrong I was.
Another great thing to see was the range of beers ciders and gins here! We then looked up history on t’internet…and the place is famous for its range and knowledge of whiskies! So, food and drink finding moral support from the management and team here…
And the place was buzzing. This is the post Christmas and new year lull. Pubs and restaurants tend to panic at this stage of the year – or have their own staff parties. The money is in the till, so there is less panic about January being dead…
Not here! Vibrant, smiley, and positively busy. That only happens if you get the atmosphere, food and drink offering spot on.
What do I love about the menu? Daily changes. Celebratory cocktails headlining. Sharing starters. Pub classics available as large and small plates. Ham egg and chips and fish and chips are in this category. Light bites – including sandwiches – even in the evening service. Flexibility and a big choice, it bodes well.
We’d sampled some ciders. And gins and great wine by glass selection. And local beer. We each shared a starter. Pan fried scallops, with ham fritters and pea purée. Pork chipolatas with honey and mustard. Crispy baby squid with sweet chilli sauce. As Em’s grandad often quotes – food must be good if it’s gone that quiet.
We were slightly predictable by our mains choices. 3 pairs of same choices. Cod in beer batter, with mushy peas and chips and tartare sauce. One large and one small. Both disappeared. Often used to be price leader or only take away. I’ve no idea why, as chefs make such a better job of it than having the stuff greasy and flaccid by the time you get it home. It actively smelt beautiful as it was served. And for traditionalists, it hit the spot rather well. I had a tasty bit of very hot cod with the crispy batter. And the chips were first class. I bet they change their oil weekly? The second pair had braised shoulder of lamb with dauphinoise potatoes, carrot mash and gravy. And a few greens, for colour and flavour and being of the season. Nice. And the final two, me and our Lee, had the brave choice Trio of Game – duck breast, venison faggot and confit pheasant breast. Served with fondant potato, celeriac purée and a red wine jus.
You get loads of choice. You get big flavours. You get good wine. And you get a great team, obviously enjoying their work. What’s not to love?
We will be back.