“That’s two out of two so far for The Seafoodpub Company”
Spring has started to bring some rather natty days of late. It prompted a rash offer to The Flame. “How about a meal at The Farmers Arms in Eccleston?”, “yes ok, I’ll drive while it’s only fifteen minutes away”. Result, I thought and so I booked a spot for seven o clock on a fine Saturday eve. With the clock ticking past six, whilst slipping on some of my finest threads I happened to test the route for PR3 0YE. “Ye gods it’s over an hour away, it’s near Blackpool” I shrieked. Cue the “well I’m not driving there”. A quick call of explanation confirmed that our evening feed was being held in ‘Great Eccleston’ and that our table would be held. Off we set on our trek to the Fylde heartland. A pleasant scoot to be fair. Great Eccleston sits towards the end of some curvy, pot holed tarmac in the midst of some super terrain.
Dusk had settled in by the time we arrived. The Farmers, gently lit, looked warm and inviting from the now freezing car park. Our very warm welcome was amplified even further as we were invited to take our delightful table for two by the roaring wood burner. The Flame was well chuffed. The room, one of several dotted about the place, including an upstairs bit, was tastefully decked out. Interesting lighting set over rustic tables, bathed in Farrow and Ball. It’s fairly standard stuff in the world of upmarket ‘gastropubs’, which is where I pitch The Farmers and its stable mate The Assheton Arms (Previously reviewed here). No doubt the remaining four offer similar surroundings?
A half (half?! – Ed) of the ubiquitous Thwaites Wainwright was set up to quench the thirst. We surveyed the card and imaged the ‘black boarded’ specials. It’s a storming menu. Shoals of fish dominate, but that’s fine by me!
That said The Flame picked out the southern fried chicken to start (£5.95). It came with a restrained garnish (a spring onion and a radish) and a creamy dip. I can vouch that the super, spicy coat encased a tender moist hunk of beautifully cooked hen. Good start. I had the devilled crab, salmon and brown shrimp (£6.50). It came in the good old ‘kilner’ jar with a mini ‘hovis’ and some salad. The devilled tanginess combined with the pleasing texture ensured a perfect start. Top stuff.
Mains next. The Flame opting for her favourite fish pie (£12.50). A good effort. A little short of her all-time favourite as served up at The Church Green, but very good all the same. It seemed a little dry to me, but chocked full of fish, including the odd scallop. I went for a special ‘Swordfish with creamed wild garlic on a potato rosti’. If I was being churlish I could argue it was a little steep at £19.50 but it was worth it. Wouldn’t normally have swordfish but this came beautifully cooked with a touch of ‘blush’ in the middle, just as a like it. The rosti was plentiful and mopped the mild garlic cream sauce up to a tee.
I love meringue, so it was an easy choice for afters. The trio of Pavlovas caught the eye (£6.50). As soon as lemon curd got mentioned as well it was a done deal. Though ginger cheesecake had me intrigued. The cheeky little ‘pavs’ looked a bit sparse on the huge oval plate but they went down a treat. The Flame went safe and had the very decent cheese board (£6.50). A Lancashire bomb piece being of particular note.
Coffees to finish, we then parted £74 lighter with a hairy trek to the M6 to come. It was thoroughly enjoyed. The food, ambience and the staff all first rate. We’ll be back on a Sunday afternoon I reckon. Some lovely walks close by. Like the Newmoon Co pubs and the Ribble Valley Inns I reckon The Seafood Pub Company have got it about right. Great food in smart surroundings without the ‘chain’, ‘boil in a bag’ feel. Check them out.
The Farmers Arms,
Lancashire PR3 0YE
Phone: 01995 672 018