“ West Quay, Glasson Dock, Lancaster,LA2 0DB.Tel: 01524 751493 „
I'm a big fan of smoked fish, but find that good quality produce is rarely available in my local supermarkets. I was, therefore, pleased to find the Port of Lancaster Smokehouse. The smokehouse is located in Glasson Dock, just 10 minutes from Junction 33 of the M6, the shop is also conveniently near one of my favourite walking areas (the Crook O' Lune) meaning I could stop off on the way home.
The shop was relatively easy to find, close to the shore at Glasson Dock. This is a superbly atmospheric place to site a fishmongers, the journey involves passing the dock itself, ship chandlers, with the smell of the sea in the air. The little car park even had a reserved space for the harbourmaster!
Smoking fish is more of an art form than a science, with the quality and freshness of the fish, the type of wood used, and the time and temperature of the smoking, having a big effect on the final produce. With over thirty years experience, the people at Port of Lancaster Smokehouse prides themselves on producing the finest quality smoked foods using the freshest fish possible (visitors can watch the fishermen off loading the day's catch straight to the smokehouse).
Upon entering the shop, there can be no doubt of what on sale here: the air is redolent with the scent of both smoke and fish (initially quite powerful, the odour diminishes into the background after a while, but it's always noticeable).
The shop is quite small, but well stocked with all the wares on offer. The range of smoked foods is extensive with the expected salmon and haddock vying for the shopper's attention with eel and swordfish. Smoked shellfish are also sold here, as well as unsmoked fish. One item I was very keen to try was the Potted Shrimp. Made from local Morecambe Bay brown shrimps, this very famous food was something I'd never tasted before.
In addition to the above, the shelves heave with a wide range of sweets, jams and cakes, so there really is something for everyone.
We chose the potted shrimp, smoked mackerel, black pudding, smoked chicken, and some of the beautiful looking jams. The fish looked very tempting and were kept fresh by being vacuum packed into plastic packets.
Upon examining our basket, we realised the one drawback of the smokehouse: the prices. This is not a cheap place to shop. The shrimps were £2.55 for a 2 ounce pot, the pack of two mackerel was £2.99, it was £3.59 for two little black puddings, whilst the jams cost from £2.50 to an eye watering £3.35! Having read of the food's quality, and seen the produce with our own eyes, we were prepared to pay this much, hoping that the taste made the price worthwhile.
I'm happy to report that the food tasted as good as expected. The smoked chicken was tender and tastier than unsmoked, but perhaps an acquired taste for some. The smoked mackerel was delicious and almost bone free. The jams were simply exquisite, with large fruit pieces set in the thick 'sauce'. These jams tasted, not of sugar as some jams do, but overwhelmingly of fruit: expensive but nice.
The best, however, was the potted shrimp. These were simply delicious and the four pots we bought lasted only two days.
Overall, we were extremely happy with our purchases and will happily buy from here again.
The smokehouse has an excellent website (http://www.polsco.co.uk/index.html) with wonderful pictures of the range of produce on offer (far more extensive than I've mentioned). I challenge you to look at the food and not be tempted to buy something! Best of all, you can buy online, and have the food sent to your house, so a visit to the shop is not necessary.
I will, however, continue to visit. The area is wonderful for walking, with the Lune Estuary having miles of beautiful trails to explore. Glasson Dock itself is a fascinating place, with plenty of scope for eating and drinking in an authentic seaside setting. For me, therefore, visiting the smokehouse is the perfect way to end the day after a nice walk and a nice meal.
The quality of the food from the Port of Lancaster Smokehouse speaks for itself and I'm not surprised that the business is thriving. If you like smoked food, give them a try, either online or in person. I suspect you won't be disappointed.
Established over thirty years ago, the company has retained and maintained the traditional methods of preparing and curing fish and meats of all kinds. It is our commitment to quality, the ingredients we use and the service we provide, that has won such overall acclaim for our smoked products. See our smoking process for more information on some of the items that we smoke.