EATING OUT REVIEW: Happy Bunnies, Longton and Hutch, Hutton
There’s something deeply satisfying about anything that is “two centre” as it feels particularly indulgent.
A two-centre holiday means you can experience two exotic locations instead of one and even a day out in the UK feels extra thrilling when you squeeze in two different activities.
Hubby and I even turned our wedding into a two-centre affair by having our ceremony and day do at one venue and our evening reception at another.
When it comes to food, I’m a fan of the “two rather than one” option. I love going for half rice and half chips or a pizza with two different halves.
I’d never considered a doing a “two centre” restaurant review until Hutch opened up in Hutton last year a hop, skip and a jump away from sister branch Happy Bunnies in Longton.
We decided to combine a visit to the newer Hutch with a visit to Happy Bunnies – a vintage style coffee shop serving breakfasts, lunches and afternoon teas.
Not I hasten to add in the same day ... we’re not that greedy! But we did manage to fit them in the same week.
The new and stylish Hutch is a coffee shop-cum-wine bar-cum restaurant. With a classy decor and attractive wooden bar, it manages to be modern yet cosy.
Like Happy Bunnies, Hutch serves lunches, coffees and afternoon teas. But unlike it’s bunny pal, Hutch specialises in sharing boards and platters, has a fully licenced bar with cocktails and even has a dog friendly beer garden to soak up the sun.
Hubby and I decided to take advantage of a sharing board for two deal priced at £39.95 for a couple. It was amazing value and we received: bacon and cheese potato skins with sour cream; barbecue chicken wings with hot pepper sauce; a whole baked Camembert with dunking bread; a continental meat selection, olives, sundried tomatoes and dressed salad; Bowens of Adlington Whist pies; nachos topped with salsa, cheese and guacamole and chicken liver pate served with warm toast and beetroot chutney.
To wash all that down, the deal included a bottle of red or white wine and after the savoury selection, there was a sharing dessert platter.
Our platter of food looked mightily impressive and was a savoury sensation of delights. The Camembert was deliciously oozing and gooey while the chicken liver pate was smooth and combined well with the tangy beetroot chutney.
Anyone who hasn’t tried a Whist pie is in for a treat. These mini pies are made by Bowen’s of Adlington and have a unique and extremely tasty filling of beef, bacon and secret ingredients.
The entire savoury board was a huge success from the potato skins to the juicy sundried tomatoes, nachos, olives and meats. The only gripe was the chicken wings were a bit scrawny although the hot pepper sauce was nicely spicy.
After polishing off the savoury board with the pleasant white wine, we received the divinely delicious dessert platter.
Presented on a slate, the sharing desserts were: sticky toffee pudding with a tasty butterscotch sauce, an indulgent slice of raspberry cheesecake, chocolate profiteroles, fresh strawberries and a delectable meringue.
Fast forward a few days and we went to Happy Bunnies for afternoon tea. Served on a picnic bench, priced at £12.95 each it includes a choice of drink and you can even have a latte or cappuccino.
Some afternoon teas are very sweet-heavy and I once had one with so many cakes and sweet treats, I felt I was in sugar shock. There’s no such issue with Happy Bunnies’ afternoon tea as it has a great proportion of savoury foods different from the normal sandwiches.
We had a little cup of leek and potato soup, a wholemeal sandwich with egg, mayo and rocket, a Bowen’s Whist pie, a homemade Mediterranean quiche, a mini chicken burger with relish and a bucket of Lancashire cheese and onion crisps.
The top tier featured mini milk bottles of fruit punch, a fruit scone with Cornish clotted cream, strawberries and Mrs Darlington raspberry jam, a gorgeously moist chocolate cheesecake with a mini Jammy Dodger, a rainbow chewy crispy bite, a cotton candy meringue with fairy dust and a magnificent looking and tasting strawberry unicorn cupcake.
The food at both venues was locally sourced, beautifully presented and tasted incredible. The service was also friendly and personable making our twin centre visit a huge success.
Happy Bunnies? We certainly were.