Iain Lynn is bowled over by the Cricketers in Ormskirk
I had been looking forward to treating my other half to a leisurely Sunday meal at The Cricketers in Ormskirk for a while.
Not only did the newly-re-incarnated pub just off St Helen’s Road boast an attractive-looking menu, but I could dazzle my girlfriend with conversation packed with cricketing puns as well.
Until now, we were making quite a partnership and were hardly stumped for conversation, but after threatening to bowl a maiden over she banned me from mentioning anything more about sticky wickets, googlies or golden ducks, so I appealed.
With my pitch of a pun-filled evening wrong-footed and the evening facing a wash-out, I was confined to making small talk about the tasteful décor and selection of real ales and craft beers on offer at the bar instead while she made a straight up and down of the specials and main menu.
There was plenty to choose from, including a selection of pub favourites and burgers, entertainingly named The Botham, which I assume is because they’re beefy.
First out was posh egg and soldiers which comprised a panko-breaded crispy duck egg, croque monsieur soldiers and watercress for £6.50.
It might seem an expensive version of the breakfast favourite, but the breaded egg was cooked to perfection and the dippy croque monsieur soldiers were an inspired leading edge.
My dining partner’s delivery was a clam chowder served with bread for £5.25.
The chowder was served steaming hot and full of vegetables and seafood making a tasty start to the meal.
We chose to sit in the classy bar area, but The Cricketers also boasts a separate restaurant space too.
As you’d expect from a venue called The Cricketers, there was plenty of themed artwork and even the railings outside featured cricket balls on the ironwork.
Next came the middle order, erm, main courses, I selected a roasted rump of Cumbrian lamb with crushed thyme potatoes, buttered spinach and a red wine jus for £15.95.
The lamb was juicy and served pink and the accompanying jus provided a lovely richness to the meal.
My girlfriend chose a venison steak which was pan roasted and served with smoked bacon cabbage, sautéed wild mushrooms and crushed garlic potatoes.
The dish came with a port wine and blackberry reduction which complimented the venison perfectly and cost £16.95.
Despite being nicely full at this point it seemed rude to refuse a dessert.
My girlfriend decided on sharing a portion of Madagascan vanilla rice pudding.
The sticky, rich and creamy pudding was presented in its own individual pot, with a side of homemade damson jam and a massive slab of shortbread biscuit.
At £5.50 it was a comforting winter treat that was quickly polished off by us both.
If asked to sum up the experience, I would have declared the menu a great all-rounder and will be back for a second innings, possibly a stop for lunch, but unfortunately I’m still banned from mentioning cricket.
24 Chapel St, Ormskirk