One thing often said about pubs which are part of a nationwide chain is that “they are all the same.”
They all look alike, they say, the menu is the same and the experience is practically identical in every one.
To some extent that is true. But occasionally you find a pub/restaurant that stands out from the rest.
Step forward the Fieldfare on the outskirts of Chorley.
It is part of the giant Marstons pub chain – which of course has a fairly standard menu and exterior and interior look in every venue.
Having frequented many of them (purely for research you understand), I think I am qualified to compare the various hostelries around Lancashire.
They can vary wildly – so I can safely say that for food, service and atmosphere the Fieldfare is top notch.
The Fieldfare is situated on Foxhole Road not far from the edge of Astley Village, Gillibrand and Euxton, so it has a good catchment area.
Taking our table, our pleasant waitress took care of everything from the moment we walked in.
It was midweek and surprisingly full – mainly with families and couples.
It was a school holiday, admittedly, but I doubt if many pub restaurants in the area had as many bodies in them for the early evening.
With a good range of ales and lagers to choose from, myself and my guest decided to try a glass or two of the ever-popular Wainwrights bitter.
My partner enjoyed her chilled chardonnay.
With a varied menu and offers abounding, there is plenty of choice from steaks to pub food favourites.
What I had not seen before in a Marston’s pub was the range of specials on offer. The specials board was huge – and made the choice of what to eat a pleasant headcahe.
I chose the Chill Beef Burger ( £10.75). A whopping great burger topped with pulled pork and beef chilli and cheese.
It came with chips and coleslaw and was such a generous portion of food it took some finishing, as delicious as it was .
My partner chose the Piri Piri Chicken Burger (£10.30). It came with chips and a sour cream dip and again it was tasy, very filling and piping hot.
Our guest went for Hawaian Gammon off the specials board ( £12.45).
A 10oz thick chunk of gammon topped with pineapple and cheese and served with chips and peas.
Portions were very generous in all cases and food was piping hot and thoroughly cooked.
The best bit was the offer of buy one main meal, get the second free.
For families there is even an indoor play area for children.
Service was efficient, pleasant and carried out with a smile.
Staff seemed to genuinely enjoy their work, which is not always the case in a busy pub/restaurant!
Yes, this is not haute cuisine.
But it is pretty good casual pub grub.
The total bill came to £41.90 with a couple of rounds of drinks. We will be back!