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Restaurants in Lancashire in general

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      06.03.2003 16:06

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      Sandpiper, Ormskirk Old Road, Bickerstaffe, Ormskirk, Lancashire, L39 0HD - Advantages: Excellent food, Excellent value, Friendly staff and comfortable surroundings - Disadvantages: Couldn't fault the place

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      09.06.2002 16:45
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      The Fisherman’s Retreat may take a little bit of finding, but it’s worth it. It’s a pub-style restaurant, which, when you walk in, looks like one of those functional pubs you tend to find in the Lake District or the North Yorkshire Moors – very welcoming, you could leave your rucksack and boots (or fishing rod) at the door if you have one, and there’s a noticeboard full of special events taking place at the venue, including live gigs. It’s located next to two pools, which are stocked which fish, and fishing is indeed what brings many to The Fisherman’s Retreat. It is definitely worth a visit for the food and drink, regardless of whether you intend to do any fishing. There is no need to book a table before arriving, and there is a large dining area, with an overspill downstairs. The menu features, as you would expect, a good choice of fresh fish, and there are always some different things on the Specials board. I can recommend the prawns in sweet chilli sauce, for Starters, and there’s mushrooms in Stilton sauce for those who are more adventurous than me. Starters are around the £3.00 to £4.50 mark. Main courses are huge – fried cod (£9.00), in the most delicious super-light batter; halibut in a mustard sauce (£10.00). I have sampled the whole trout, too (not as good as I’ve had in Scotland, but still obviously fresh, and delicious). The chips are as good as any you’ll get anywhere. It’s not restricted to fish dishes. One example of an interesting choice for the carnivores is Roast heart with red wine and mushroom gravy. Desserts such as whimberry crumble and custard and rice pudding (around £3.00) are very likely to completely fill you up. Personally, I’ve never managed to get that far! So, it’s generally a cut above the usual pub grub. Because the fish dishes are cooked from fresh, there can be a rather long wait, so it
      ’s not the place for a quick lunch date. To while away the waiting time, how about a pint of Timothy Taylor’s Landlord at £1.90, or one of the 200 single malt whiskies. The wine list isn’t very impressive, unfortunately. To get there you need to aim for Shuttleworth, (which is near to Ramsbottom) on the A56, which you can reach from the M66. In Shuttleworth, the Retreat is signposted, but the road to it is an unassuming country lane, so might be easily missed. There’s plenty of parking once you get there, though. Twine Valley Country Park Shuttleworth, Near Ramsbottom Telephone 01706 825314 Open daily from 12.00 noon. Last orders are at 9.30 p.m.

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        25.07.2001 06:02
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        When you go for a meal with your partner or your family what do you expect to get? Well I went for a meal with my husband for my birthday. Everything started well with our starter the waitress came over and asked if it was ok and yes it was. Main Course - well what a joke! We both asked for a curry, mine with rice and my husband wanted chips as he does not like rice. What did we get, mine was ok but his had rice on it. We told the waitress and she went to change it but took the rice off and replaced it with chips. They never even chaged the plate. Dessert - Well even worse, they had forgotten about it and while we were waiting they asked us to move to another table for someone else. What a cheek! When we asked for our dessert all we got was "oh Id forgotten" We complained to the management and got all our money back but that is not the point. The point is it should not have happened in the first place and my birthday would not have been ruined. I certainly will not be going there again. The name of the place is Old Mother Redcap in Blackburn so beware if you want to try it.

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          17.06.2001 17:25
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          I am a great fan of Italian food, and have just found this great little restaurant. Its called Aldo's and is on Brown Street in the town centre near Marks & Spencers. They serve all sorts of Italian pasta, fish, pizza's, desserts and wines. It's a very intimate affair with subtle italian romantic music being played. The waiters have thick italian accents, which I'm not quite sure if are real or not, but adds to the atmosphere. Food was great, and not all that expensive main courses around six pounds each. I also have to tell you that they do home delivery pizza's, the biggest pizza they do is 24 inch. My other half and I bought one of these last week, when it came the delivery guy had to tilt the box to fit it through the door, thats how big they are!! Not bad for fifteen pounds, took us two days to eat it!!

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            03.06.2001 19:01
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            The Topiary Brasserie (at the Fence Gate Inn) Having a reputation as a more than adequate cook at home, I'm often loathed to eat out. However, after just two visits to the Topiary, I have decided that perhaps it is time to submit and eat out more often. The Fence Gate Inn is situated in Pendle Hill country, just over two miles from the village of Barrowford in Lancashire, along the A6068 in the village of Fence. As well as offering the usual run-of-the-mill bar snacks from 12 noon to 2:30 pm and then from 6:30 pm to 9:30 pm, this rather grand looking ivy-covered public house also boasts an adjoining brasserie. The building in which the Fence Gate Inn and the Topiary Brasserie are now housed was once used as a collection point for cotton that was then distributed to the many mills that were located in the surrounding towns. Back to the modern day, and the Topiary Brasserie is now the toast of Lancashire, and has been featured numerous times in the monthly Lancashire Life magazine for its inventive cuisine. The Topiary has a very modern feel to it despite the very traditional look of the exterior of the building. The decor is plain but effective and certainly adds to the overall ambience. The choice of food is excellent. Starters (around eight in total) range in price from around £3.50 to £5.00. There is everything from soup to salads and mussels to melons. The main courses (about six) were priced between £9.00 and £14.00, although I am unable to comment on these dishes as we opted to select from the great choice of four exquisite sausage dishes (including the Vension ones that I tried). All the sausage dishes are served with a choice of mash (with cheese or mustard) or bubble and squeak, and are all priced at around £7.00. [Note: anyone at this point who is ridiculing the fact that 'bangers and mash' could be priced as such has obviously never tasted anything like this before!] P
            rices, on the whole, are not cheap, with the average cost of a three course meal adding up to around £20 per person excluding drinks. However, slecting a sausage option as a main course would bring this down to nearer £15 per person, and less still if like me you decline a dessert. The wine list is fairly extensive, although again slightly on the pricey side. We tried a very nice bottle of red that was priced at £15. The Topiary is relatiely new, but managed to earn a Les Routier Plat D'Argent award in 1999. Bookings in advance are required for the Topiary, as it does get fairly busy. Parking provision is excellent, and the staff in the restaurant have always been very courteous. If you're ever in Pendle country and you feel the need for a very special dining experience, then you shouldn't need to look any further than the Topiary. {An original Dooyoo opinion © Blackjane 2001}

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