Good food, bags of charm and the dog is welcome too

The Priory at Scorton

The Priory at Scorton

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After a day trip to the Lake District, it’s nice to have an excuse to leave the motorway and after hearing good things on the grapevine about The Priory at Scorton we decided to head to the tiny village just off the A6 near Garstang.

Not ever having visited Scorton before, we were amazed by the postcard pretty village surrounded by stunning landscapes.

There was a real olde worlde atmosphere and it almost defied belief that we were only round the corner from the M6 motorway!

The Priory itself is a small hotel and its restaurant has a lovely interior. As soon as we entered, we saw it was cosy and relaxing as well as having great decor and bags of character.

Dog lovers will be pleased to hear their pets are welcome and it’s also an ideal place for walkers and cyclists to head to after working up an appetite.

We hadn’t been walking, cycling or dog walking, but we were definitely hungry and the menu descriptions soon had us salivating.

The Priory prides itself on using fresh ingredients supplied by local farmers and producers such as meats from the Bowland Fells and Pilling Marsh and airy produce including Garstang cheeses.

For starter, I was torn between the homemade smooth chicken liver pate with melba toast and red onion marmalade (£5.95) and the fresh cold potted shrimps with toasted granary bread (£6.95), so I came up with a cunning plan. I would order the potted shrimps and Hubby could order the pate and we could “share” our combined delights.

Although I know the deliciously tasting crustaceans that are potted shrimps can be served hot or cold, I had only ever had them warm before.

I needn’t have worried for as soon as the shrimps were spread on the toasted bread, the butter softened and the result was the tastiest most incredible potted shrimps I’ve ever had.

The pate also scored highly. The only slight criticism was that with just a hint of herbs, the pate itself was maybe a little too bland, but when combined with the wonderful red onion marmalade, it was sensational.

For main course, I had the 8oz 28-day aged rib eye of beef (£16.95) and was pleased to see it included a choice of Diane, peppercorn or Garstang blue cheese sauce in the price instead of charging a few quid extra like so many places tend to do.

Hubby chose The Mighty Fish dish (£10.95) with homemade fries, mushy peas and homemade tartare sauce.

Both mains - like all the food dished up at the Priory - came beautifully presented but more importantly, it was great quality and the portion sizes were more than generous with no skimping on the perfectly cooked vegetables.

My steak was cooked to perfection just the way I requested and the Garstang blue cheese sauce was an absolute delight and complemented the meat perfectly. Accompanied with gorgeous homemade chunky chips, onion rings and veg, it was marvellous and I managed to demolish the lot.

After a few disappointments when fish has turned out greasy, tasteless or the size of a tiddler, Hubby and I usually have a rule where we don’t order fish and chips at a restaurant unless we’re at a proper seaside fish and chip place.

However, Hubby broke the rule on this occasion and happily, the crispy beer battered haddock lived up to its name.

Not only was it sizable, the batter was crisp and the home cooked fries were nothing like those from fast food outlets and tasted divine.

The Priory also does a good children’s menu, but as our nine-year-olds now have adult-sized appetites, we gave this a mere glance.

For pudding Hubby went for the sticky toffee pudding which was a sizeable square of moist cake swimming in a sea of gooey toffee with a big blob of ice-cream on top.

It went down a treat and he said that unlike some sticky toffee puddings, it was just the right level of sweetness without being sickly.

I went for the lighter Eton Mess which was a meringue nest topped with raspberries and ice-cream and was the perfect fruity finish to such asizeable meal.

We enjoyed our experience at The Priory so much, we’ve already been back for lunch to order from their great value deal.

It offers a choice of two courses for £13.95 or three for £16.95, including tea and coffee.

With such great quality food in picturesque surroundings and a outdoor seating area for those summer months, we think we’ll get tempted to stray from the M6 on many more occasions in the future.