We visited Thornton Lodge pub and were thrilled to see pigs in blankets on the menu... in spring!

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After years of roadworks and a maze of traffic cones, the opening of the new £150m A585 Windy Harbour to Skippool bypass brought an end of tailback misery for motorists.

You might wonder what this has to do with dining out.

But as the three miles of new road aims to deliver more reliable journeys, it must bring a huge sigh of relief for nearby businesses.

Now it’s much easier to get to the Skippool area, we decided to head that way for a family pub tea at Thornton Lodge, which was recently handed a five star food hygiene rating.

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Thornton LodgeThornton Lodge
Thornton Lodge

Part of the Chef and Brewer Collection, the imposing pub with its whitewashed walls stands near the banks of Skippool Creek in the River Wyre Estuary on the road to Thornton.

There’s an extensive outdoor area which was bustling under the afternoon sunshine when we visited one Sunday recently.

We’d booked ahead on the website and were welcomed on our arrival by a friendly member of staff who showed us to our table – tucked away in a corner with a comfortable bench couch quickly snapped up by our two youngest children.

It’s been years since we’ve visited Thornton Lodge, and the decor has certainly changed since our last visit.

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Signature Burger at Thornton LodgeSignature Burger at Thornton Lodge
Signature Burger at Thornton Lodge

The dining areas give a country chic vibe with fireplaces, leather and tastefully patterned furniture and touches of striking wallpaper amid the grey and cream tones.

The tables are nicely spaced out away from the large bar area, where there’s also a ‘doggie station’ with water bowls and snacks.

Opening from 9.30am on Saturdays and Sundays (11am midweek) means there’s a huge variety of food.

The breakfast menu serves all sorts from maple-bacon buttermilk pancake stack to a full breakfast while the main menu offers pub classics like British slow-cooked steak and ale pie, mixed grill, and glazed pork belly.

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Hake topped with capersHake topped with capers
Hake topped with capers

There’s also a gluten-free menu and it’s worth noting that the staff asked us if there are any allergies straight away.

Our son chose pizza, garlic bread and cucumber while our youngest daughter tucked into crispy chicken strips, beans and mash. Both dishes (£6.99 each) were thoroughly enjoyed.

The hubby was delighted by his choice: the Signature Burger (£16.49) with an additional side (£2.49) of pigs in blankets – yes, they’re still available in May!

He devoured the hand-pressed beef burger which was topped with slow-roasted beef rib braised with merlot and beef dripping gravy, and Somerset Cheddar. The only slight disappointment was that the onion rings looked a bit meagre next to the towering burger.

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Chicken strips off the children's menuChicken strips off the children's menu
Chicken strips off the children's menu

I chose the hake off the specials menu (£17.49). It was tastefully dressed with capers and served with roast potatoes (as they’d run out of the usual side of new potatoes) and grilled asparagus. A plate of pure goodness.

The children then tucked into deliciously gooey chocolate brownie and ice cream. Desserts are often seriously overpriced so it was so refreshing to see children’s desserts priced at £1.75; no need to share one at that price!

With a glass of wine, a pint of Deuchars IPA and a coffee, the bill totalled £67, which seems good value for a family meal in a pub with a lovely ambience, great food and friendly, attentive staff.

We’ll be back along that new bypass to visit again.

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