Christmas dinner special: Reviewing a turkey roast with all the trimmings at Preston's Haighton Manor

Reviewed: Christmas turkey dinner at the historic Haighton Manor

Tuesday, 14th December 2021, 5:30 pm

There is much discussion on what makes up the perfect Christmas dinner and the reality is - it’s whatever makes you happy

But for many, tradition is everything, and that of course means a full Turkey roast with all the trimmings.

These days you don’t have to wait until December 25 to get the full experience, with many pubs and restaurants offering slap up dinners for those wanting to get in the festive spirit early.

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Haighton Manor at Christmas

In the spirit of research, I popped off the beautiful 17th century Haighton Manor, on Haighton Green Lane near Preston, to see if they could bring some festive joy.

It helps of course that Haighton Manor, now owned and run by Brunning and Price, is a stunning old manor house once owned by the Hoghton family of Hoghton Tower. \

It changed hands several times before coming into the ownership of Richard Newsham, a Preston banker whose collection formed part of the Harris Museum collection. Even later, in 1910, it became a home for staff at Whittingham Hospital as well as used for patients.

By the time Brunning and Price bought the building, it had been embellished with cornicing and gargoyles as a wedding venue - they stripped it back and restored it to its former glory, adding the garden room.

Haighton Manor at Christmas: Turkey dinner

Now it’s a thing of beauty with naturally festive roaring fires, beams, panelling and even a library . But back to the food.

It was understandably a busy Sunday and there was a bit of faffing to get us our table but we soon made it into the library section for our (pre-booked via the website) table for two.

The menu is full and fresh, including a Sunday roast selection and wide-ranging mains from Asian Duck salad, to Steak Burger or Mushroom and Tarragon risotto. The most expensive dish there is a 10oz rump steak at £23.95.

Haighton Manor at Christmas: Leek and potato soup

No dithering for me - I was straight in there to choose the Roast Turkey with traditional accompaniments (£16.95) with a hearty starter of leek and potato soup.(£5.95) My partner opted for a Roast Loin of pork, sage and onion stuffing with apple sauce (£14.95) with a starter off the ‘nibbles’ section of the menu, beer battered king prawns, with sriracha mayonnaise (£5.95). We washed all this down with a glass of wine and pint of, respectively.

The soup was absolutely delicious, thick and savoury with melting in the mouth free bread served with butter. I tried not to eat my bread -to make room for the main - but it was impossible to resist. Soon, I’d polished that off and was staring at my steaming main, my full turkey dinner including everything you might expect, roasties, sweet potato mash, sprouts, stuffing, red cabbage, roast parsnip, pig in blanket and a generous wedge or turkey laced with gravy. I dove right in and was not disappointed, the food was lovely. My only gripe was a shortage of gravy - I did request more but none appeared.

But the proof of success was in the pudding, or rather the lack of it, as - we were too full!

As always this review was conducted independently, without notice, and paid for.

Haighton Manor at Christmas: As the sun goes down