Here is why award-winning boutique hotel and restaurant The Lawrence in Padiham is a warm and welcoming foodie favourite
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Owner Michael Huckerby was drawn from New York where he ran an advertising agency to Padiham by a vision to transform a 200-year-old former B&B in Church Street plus four neighbouring properties into a boutique hotel with 14 design-led rooms, meeting spaces and wedding facilities.
His dream has now been a reality for five years, pulling 10,000 visitors annually into the town from across the globe, including pop star Gareth Gates and rock band Bastille, and earning the title Best Dog Friendly Business in the Lancashire Tourism Awards.
I can understand the draw: I’ve often found myself pouring over the hotel’s online menu and entertainment line-up, which ranges from comedy nights and drag queen bingo, to themed afternoon teas, bottomless brunches, and “yoga and bubbles”.
When The Lawrence decided to open a restaurant following requests from guests, the business asked its social media followers what food they would like to see. Many suggested hearty, seasonal dishes, bistro or gastro-style dining and high quality Sunday roasts. After visiting the Grade II-listed venue last weekend, I’d say the team has created a menu that can satisfy all those desires.
Whenever we ask people where is the best place for a roast in the Burnley area, The Lawrence always makes the cut. So, on a cold day in January, I booked a table for three with excitement.
As soon as we stepped through the door, the venue’s character and charm was evident. The décor was elegant and quirky, and the lounge where we relaxed with drinks was comfortable and inviting, a trendier home-from-home. My partner and I each ordered a sumptuous non-frozen daiquiri – one strawberry, one passionfruit – which slipped down easily. The service was fabulous, with the friendly and polite front-of-house team taking excellent care of us.
As a vegetarian, I went for the Mediterranean vegan tartlet, which comes with Sunday roast trimmings and the choice of being topped with brie. It was a fresh, colourful dish and it’s clear a lot of love and care went into the tartlet, though I would have loved a little vegetarian/vegan gravy for the roasties. My partner opted for a salt and pepper chicken burger, with skin-on-fries and a salad garnish, which he said was delicious.
We couldn’t resist the dessert menu, and I chose the gorgeous sticky toffee pudding with caramel, toffee popcorn, and vanilla bean ice cream, finishing the meal on a high. My partner, Danny, thoroughly enjoyed the triple chocolate brownie with chantilly cream and raspberry coulis, and our three-year-old son, who had chicken strips with fries from the children’s menu, lit up when he saw his vanilla ice cream and chocolate brownie sundae. I could tell it was top marks from him.
Having finally had a taste of The Lawrence, I’m excited for another bite, and already eyeing up the Wonka-inspired Afternoon Tea and three-course Murder at the Moulin Rouge event with an interactive show.
Lucky for us, we don’t have to travel as far as owner Michael did to enjoy the warm and welcoming nature that The Lawrence embodies – a quality reflecting the wider community-spirit of Burnley and Padiham. And that’s exactly what makes The Lawrence a destination venue.