A perfectly circular dining area at one end of this whopper of a gastropub makes a distinguished feature, a curved banquette snaking round the perimeter and large tiled columns offering support. The bar dispenses the likes of Doom Bar, Wandle Ale and Adnams Broadside.
An open kitchen next to the bar smacks of confidence, and while the glorious Sunday roasts are a sight to behold, other dishes are not such hard hitters. Roasted slip sole and seafood salad, a garden of mussels, whelks and prawns, looked impressive but didn’t entirely work, owing to the hot/cold temperature combination. The signature lancashire macaroni cheese, golden and bubbling, was served with only a perfunctory herb salad.
Service was spirited but slightly distracted, seemingly owing to the volume of children vying for attention, straddling leather sofas and playing ball. For a parent, the family-friendly attitude is a welcome change from the public froideur so often accorded under-tens in the UK. For a non-parent, it can feel a little like being hurled into an episode of Outnumbered. Activities across the week include storytime, Punch and Judy, and pop-up children’s clothing shops. There’s a kids’ menu, naturally. No wonder it’s won an award from Mumsnet.