Sometimes I love nothing more than a visit to a good old English pub and since I have been living in Manchester, there is one that I always visit when the ‘pub mood’ takes me. Worsley Old Hall.
The building containing the pub is in itself, stunning. It is located in the grounds of the Marriott hotel but it is an entirely separate establishment. The beautiful black and white building makes a striking appearance as you meander down the long drive, past the edge of the golf course. The building is large and full of nooks and crannies that you discover on each visit. I have been a few times now and there are still many alcoves and rooms I am yet to discover.
When you first enter, you are met by a large traditional bar that pretty much wraps round on itself, there is part of the dining area to the right and a cosy sitting area with real log fire (lit in the winter) to snuggle up by as you drink pre or post dinner beverages. The bar area is always busy and you can sometimes find yourself hovering there waiting to get someone’s attention to be shown to your table, although this does give you chance to check out the array of ales on offer (should that be your particular tipple of choice).
Once we had caught someone’s attention we were shown to our table and on this particular occasion, we were seated in a new area of the dining hall that I had not yet frequented. The decoration in Worsley Old Hall is somewhat eclectic. The walls are adorned with every type of picture imaginable, collected through the ages. There were pictures of fish, golfers, horse riders, ale badges, retro adverts, you name it, the walls probably had it on them! For some reason though it seems to work, and adds to the atmosphere and history of the building.
I love the fact that the menu changes often and so each time I visit, I spend ages deciding what to order as all the dishes have changed. This means, no matter how many times I visit, there is always variety, not only in the food but also in where you may end up sitting! I have to say the food is good but nothing special. It’s not fine dining or anything. It is good old pub food at it’s best with some elements of gastropub thrown into the mix.
I ordered the scallops to start with, which is one of my favourite starters. If a menu has scallops as an option (and I can afford it) I will usually order it! Scallops, when cooked properly, can be delicious and luckily, they were cooked to perfection on this occasion and I gobbled up the entire dish in a matter of seconds! I was with my Mum, Dad and Boyfriend, with my Dad joining me with the scallops and my Boyfriend, true to form, going for the paté, which you cant really go wrong with. My Mums starter though was a bit of a disappointment. She had ordered the goats cheese and red pepper soufflé, which sounded delicious and I was almost tempted to break with tradition and order this, but I am glad I didn’t. What my Mum was served was nothing like a soufflé. It was a cold, lump of goats cheese wrapped in red pepper. Not at all what she was expecting. She said it was nice enough but just not what she ordered. She brought this attention to our waitress who sort of apologised but did nothing else about it, which was a bit disappointing but my Mum didn’t push it as she didn’t want to ruin what was, aside from this, a great meal.
For my main, I ordered the manchego cheese and pepper quiche from the small bites menu with a side of chips. It was a fairly decent quiche, but I mean, it was quiche, nothing special. My Dad ordered the good old fish and chips, which he enjoyed, my Boyfriend the burger, again, basic but good and my Mum was a bit more adventurous and strayed from the traditional pub grub and went for sea bass with Chinese vegetables. Everyone enjoyed their mains and we were stuffed by the end! We finished our drinks and chatted away the rest of the evening.
Before we left, we explored the extensive beer garden, which was full of loads of secret alcoves just as the building itself is. It would be a good place to spend a summers afternoon with a glass of something chilled and bubbly!
Until next time, Worsley Old Hall.
Do you have any favourite pubs? Any recommendations for me to try?