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LLoyds Hotel. Jamie Oliver would approve
The Lloyds Hotel (Chorlton, Manchester)
Member Name: duskmaiden
The Lloyds Hotel (Chorlton, Manchester)
Date: 06/04/07, updated on 10/04/07 (1336 review reads)
Advantages: good food, great beer, good service, damily friendly without nugget and chips
Disadvantages: no orange in the orange chocolate cheesecake
I am not a parent but I do feel that us Brits do our children a great disservice when it comes to eating out. We segregate them from mainstream diners by taking them to “kiddy-friendly places” such as McDonald's, Brewers Fayre and the Wacky Warehouse , feeding them on a diet of beans chips and processed, reclaimed meat coated in breadcrumbs and moulded into cute shapes. Thus when children are taken to decent establishments they do not know how to behave unlike on the continent (I know this is a generalisation). Luckily the tide seems to be turning...... I would like to share with you my experience of a meal at a place that treats children with respect but does not dumb down their food, the lloyds Hotel in Chorlton, Manchester.
The Lloyd's Hotel, owned by Oldham's JW Lees brewery is a large pub and is the first building on the right hand side of the Chorlton stretch of Wilberham Road if you are coming from the Trafford direction. It is just before two of my other favourite Chorlton institutions Belgian Belly and Battery Park.
It is a pub that I am very familiar with due to frequent visits when I lived in neighbouring (but not quite so well heeled) Stretford. It's the pub we used to go to quite a lot for a quiet weekend afternoon drink or else later on a Saturday night as it had a midnight license and was one of the only places that showed boxing alongside other sports (I am not that keen on boxing but Duskman is really into it).
One of the things I like about lloyds is the interior and the atmosphere. It's a large spacious pub so it is not too bad for getting a seat and a table although on a busy Saturday night it can be standing room only. I like it as it is a comfortable pub. It is not ultra trendy, nor is it a dive. It is fairly traditional with pictures of Old Chorlton on the wall. You know the type of pub. It really is an old faithful. The other good thing is that the toilets if I remember rightly are clean and spacious but are down a spiral staircase so not good for those who have drank a little too much. There is also a small outdoor section for when the sun come out.
The main point of going to a pub is to quaff a good pint and lloyds Hotel certainly delivers. As a bit of a beer connoisseur (or snob) I like to see more than just the usual Stella, John Smiths and Carling. The lloyds Hotel is only one of two JW Lees pubs within staggering distance of Stretford (the other one is the Urmston, a nice pub but spoiled by rude and unhelpful bar staff on my last visits there). I'm very partial ed to their beers especially Moon raker. This is a heavyweight among ales being 7.5% alcohol, and is a dark, treacly and ideal for a winter night. It is one you drink in half pints and treat with respect. They also do a range of seasonal and guest ales. On my last visit they had just finished one called Manchester Rambler so I settled for a pint of good old bitter. I'm not sure exactly how much their beer is but I reckon it is around about the £2.30 mark a pint as it is not the cheapest nor the dearest place in town. Like all good pubs Lloyd does a range of other drinks such as spirits, cider and soft drinks.
My recent visits for Sunday lunch with my friend Yummy Mummy, her partner Delightful Daddy and their not at all terrible, not quite three year old daughter (she will be know as Terrific Toddler form now on) was a new experience for me, as it was the first time I had indulged in their food although I have been tempted to do so in the past.
Their dining area is set at the back of the pub. This makes it better for families as they are not in the main pub pub area. It looks out onto the genteel Chorlton bowling green.
There is an à la carte menu that I have perused many a time offering snacks and main courses. If I remember rightly they had a mixture of old favourites and more innovative dishes. However I can not really review that menu as it did not seem to be available on the Sunday afternoon we ate there. Instead there was a set Sunday lunch which was excellent value for money being £10.95 for two course and £12.95 for three courses.
I was really impressed with the menu and the standard of the food. There were about five choices of each of the starters, the main course and the puddings. The rang of food was good and the one thing that impressed Delightful Daddy and I was that in the starters and main course selections there was more than one vegetarian option (very important as we are both non carnivorous).
The other thing to note was the lack of special children's menu. Apparently they will do the sausages, beans and chips if requested but would prefer to do smaller portions of the main meals. This is a breath of fresh air. Terrific Toddler had had an early lunch but the staff were very helpful and brought a separate plate so she could have bits and pieces form our meals.
To start with I ordered the Thai fish cakes.. I was very impressed with the quality and the presentation. They were presented on a big square white plate with splashes of sweet chili sauce and salad. It did look very pretty. I can honestly say they were the best Thai fie cakes I have tasted. Even better than ones I have had in proper Thai restaurants. They were quite big (the size of a smell burger) and were made of good quality salmon. The herbs and spices in them were just right for my taste , present but not overpowering. I really could taste the coriander. The starter really set me up for a memorable meal,
Both DD and I selected the vegetable filled pancakes whilst YM tried the traditional Roast Lamb. Other choices included pork, a rack of ribs and the ubiquitous mushroom strogonoff. I was not quite sure what to expect from the pancakes although I thought they might be crepes filled with the vegetables and then folded over. I was not prepared for what I received. I got three large pancake parcels stuffed to the brim with filling. The best way to describe the crisp exterior would be posh Findus crispy pancakes. They looked tempting and I could not wait to slice into them to reveal the filling which was tasty. They consisted of various vegetables such as onions, green beans,courgettes and broccoli in a pesto sauce. The pancakes were very filling and I found it quite a struggle to finish them even though they were delicious. My only gripe was I would have preferred the baby vegetables that YM had with her roast rather than the salad garnish I received with mine. YM's roast looked delicious with tender lamb, gravy and a nice large Yorkshire pud.
The desserts sounded tempting with old favourites such as chocolate fudge cake and sticky toffee pudding. However we all plumped for the chocolate and orange cheesecake as that combination sounded, decadent, mature and basically out of this world. Again the presentation was beautiful. Ribbons and swirls of whipped cream were strewn all over the plate with blueberries dotted about. The cheesecake was tasty. You could taste it was baked with good cheese rather than being a mass produced bland one. However there were two problems with the dessert. One was that the portion was not over generous. The other was I am sure it was not the pudding advertised. None of us could taste the orange in the cheesecake at all. We think they had ran out of Chocolate and orange and substituted it with dark and white chocolate cheesecake. It was delicious nonetheless but iI still would have preferred the chocolate and orange one.
What made this special was the level of service and attention especially with regards to TT. Felt tip pens and scrap paper were offered to amuse her and they were willing to open the toilets in the dining room rather than traipse downstairs. They also bought out a special sundae style glass of ice cream for TT which was a nice touch although I am not sure if they charged extra for this as I did not see the bill. I just thought the staff including the manager Diane were ultra helpful, friendly and very good with children. The speed of service was also just right for us – prompt but we never felt hurried.
The Lloyds has always been a regular haunt of mine so when I am in Manchester next I shall certainly be going back as the beer is good, the food is delicious and the service is excellent
Address Lloyds Hotel
617 Wilbraham Road,
Tel: 0161 862 6990
Summary: A great pub that does a cracking Sunday lunch
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