It wasn’t entirely frightful, but our Halloween meal met a sticky end
It was that most terrible night of the year and a strange thing had just happened to me.
Looking forward to a weekend in The Lakes I had reached for my phone to check the weather forecast - only to find it flashing ‘incoming call’. It hadn’t even rung. Weird.
Significant Other and I were driving to the pretty village of Goosnargh to meet auntie A and uncle J who were visiting from that land of legends and haunted castles, Northumberland. The call was from our chosen country pub for the evening - the chef had met with a terrible fate (a sickness bug) and there was to be no food that night.
Swerving the nearest alternative after being met by a six-foot werewolf and the blood-curdling screams of little witches with purple bunches, we set off down the dark lanes to The Green Man at Inglewhite.
An old haunt of both myself and auntie A we were intrigued to see what had become of the place over the years during these frightening times for local pubs. And with that warm, welcoming glow that only a traditional British inn can emanate, it seemed like The Man was thriving.
Inside was sprinkled with twinkly lights, locals with their four-legged friends and couples looking for food. The decor is all beamed ceilings, wood floors, grey painted panelling and crackling fires, with lots of those muted tartan fabrics currently so popular with pubs. A little tired in places though, the dining area we were initially shown to was rather chilly and seemed to be part storage room so we relocated to a warmer, if more wobbly table by an open fire.
Full of all the classic pub grub the menu includes a few interesting choices plus freshly made pizza, home-made pies, daily specials, lunch time light bites and plenty of gluten free and vegetarian offerings. By this point though, with our change of plan, time was pushing on so we went straight for the mains with two fish and chips (£12.95) , a Cumberland swirl (£11.95) and a gammon and egg (£11.95).
Signs proclaim they don’t serve fast food and customers are requested to be patient as meals are prepared fresh to order - so after a good half an hour wait I was expecting great things. Unfortunately my gammon left me a little underwhelmed. Average at best in size the gammon itself did, however, have a lovely barbecue flavour, was tender and accompanied by some plump, juicy mushrooms. The egg though, while perfectly dippy, was too crispy on the underside and the tomato was a slice of sogginess.
Auntie and uncle seemed pretty happy with theirs - crispy batter and a decent sized fish - but there were murmurings of frozen peas and hard carrots. And it was clear trouble was brewing with SO as I could see him thinking his ‘starter’ looked okay...
Hardly a portion for a growing boy the sausage was small, overcooked and dry. The ‘seasonal veg’ was merely more of those wrinkly frozen peas but a creamy mash and rich gravy did add some flavour.
A shame, but pudding usually makes things right... but not this time. Mine and SO’s first choice of carrot cake wasn’t available and our second choices of ice cream sundae and sticky toffee pudding (£5.95) hardly stepped up to the mark. Less a sundae, more a searching the bottom of the freezer on a miserable Monday, it was poor quality ice-cream topped with hard mini marshmallows and cheap chocolate sauce - and it wasn’t even served in a tall glass! Perhaps that’s why it only cost £2.50.
But I think I got off lightly as the sticky toffee pudding SO was hoping would fill him up was a complete disaster. Microwaved to within an inch of its life, he couldn’t even get his spoon through the rock hard centre.
Uncle J seemed similarly unimpressed with his sundae too but auntie A had the pick of the bunch with a rich, dark and soft slice of chocolate fudge cake (£5.95).
Also off the menu was our first choice of wine but the replacement (£19.50) was refreshing enough, although I found a bitter taste in my mouth the following day when, looking over the receipt I discovered they had charged us for both! Admittedly it was partly our fault, but trying to split the bill, minus the generous LP contribution, between four - and that’s two couples - took our attention. Swiftly rectified after a quick phone call though, that’s an extra point for customer service.
And the service on the night was good too - friendly, helpful and welcoming. Plus online reviews are generally positive so maybe they had been busy before we arrived.
Or perhaps The Green Man was just a little off-colour that day.
The Green Man. Tel: 01995 643439
Five more to try
The Stags Head, Goosnargh - A family friendly gastro-pub in the quaint village of Goosnargh, using the best local produce to provide excellent meals at a reasonable price in beautiful surroundings.
The Grapes Inn, Goosnargh - A former coaching inn dating back to the 18th century. Well loved classic dishes along with exciting local and seasonal specials served in surroundings of rustic elegance.
The White Bull, Alston - Dating back to the 17th century, The White Bull is an old coaching inn now serving locally sourced and freshly cooked food, plus a range of cocktails from the classic to the crafted and elegant.
Parkers Arms, Newton-In-Bowland - Modern British food using the finest regional produce in rustic yet contemporary decor. Casual yet elegant, warm and welcoming, in the true Lancashire way.
Derby Arms, Longridge - This striking village inn combines a bustling country pub with contemporary dining rooms. Light and fresh seafood dishes and hearty, classic meat dishes finished with a modern twist.