Tuesday I asked him if he fancied tea out and, despite initial protestations, it didn’t take him long to make the call to my in-laws for another round of babysitting.
We took a short drive to The Stags Head, Goosnargh, which under new management has just this month re-opened after a major £270,000 refurbishment.
It’s been a worthwhile investment, outside is a new patio area for dining and drinks and complete with new kids play park. It was well populated for a midweek teatime, no doubt folk wanting to enjoy a drink under those pleasant sun rays before they departed yet again.
We were content enough to eat inside, I took a quick browse and there are a number of dining areas, all with a contemporary design and fitting of the new gastro style status but with a touch of the traditional local.
It is well-designed, eye-catching with a high quality finish and is light and airy throughout.
The initial welcome from the team, managed by couple Martin Sanderson and Rowena McAllister, was great and their service throughout the evening impeccable, even with the slight teething problems you expect from a new staff just days after opening.
The special Tuesday night steak offer caught our attention immediately, so much for the fish dinner I had promised myself and the salad based dish with sweet potato for Mark. Though as there is no sweet potato on the menu that was always going to be a non-starter anyway.
Mark happily perused the lagers and beers on offer at the bar while I was shown to a table in the front dining room. I took my time over the menu - a good mix of pub classics, fish and chips to Cumberland sausage and mash and breast of Goosnargh Duck.
There is a selection of pies traditional steak and ale and cottage pie and a rather appealing chicken, leek, and bacon pot pie priced at £10.95.
Then the grill offerings, with meats supplied by the award-winning Brendan Andertons Butchers of Longridge. Prices range here from around £10.95 for a burger to £17.95 for a 8oz sirloin steak, £15.95 for a “Ribble Reward” rump steak, while a mighty mixed grill comes in at £21.95
The pub’s location is definitely an asset when it comes to sourcing the best of local produce, with many of Lancashire’s finest producers on the doorstep and credit to the staff for supporting fellow local businesses.
We both decided the steak offer of two sirloins for £22 would be worth the try. We upped the order with a side of peppercorn sauce for £1.50 and extra onion rings at £2.75.
Though it turned out we didn’t really need them. The main is served with with chunky chips, battered onion rings, roasted tomato and garden peas.
Mark switched his chunky chips for skinny fries, scrapped his peas and asked for a blue steak - they may as well have brought it straight from the fridge.
I asked for mine medium-rare. It came more on the medium side but I enjoyed the meat all the same and noted a visit to Andertons ourselves was a must.
Unfortunately, they doubled up on my order and a mirror plate was served to Mark too, complete with peas. The waiting staff did not hesitate in rectifying the mistake, an unfortunate error through the till system.
A fresh steak was whipped up immediately and a complimentary round of drinks thrown in without so much as an ask. Their front of house approach was excellent.
I enjoyed my meal but would I have wanted to pay nearly £18 for it on any other day, I’m not so sure. The chips were good but I was grateful for deciding against drowning my plate in peppercorn sauce, as it added very little to the flavour other than burning out my mouth.
After starting the meal with a sharer deli plate for £12.95, which took us little time to clear, we did not even need to take up the offer of looking at the dessert menu.
I had taken a quick scan on first look and admit was rather surprised to see a touch of nostalgic British puddings with semolina listed, under the old-school favourites alongside the likes of spotted dick, jam roly poly and bread and butter pudding. Maybe another time.
Other early reviews suggest the new Stags Head is hitting all the right notes and will be a welcome asset for the village. Good luck to them.