Tag Archives: Southport

Town Green Brasserie – Aughton, Ormskirk

“Looks like this Seafood Pub Company have got things going in the right direction”

That’s three out of six we’ve done now. Assheton Arms, Farmers Arms and now the Town Green Brasserie. I don’t think I’m being too disingenuous to suggest that the Town Green Brasserie is slightly the less salubrious of the three so far. After all ‘brasserie’ is defined as ‘a small restaurant serving beer and wine as well as food; usually cheap’. It’s smaller than the others with less outdoor space. Not that that stopped the locals slurping outside until the last remnants of the evening sun ebbed away.

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It’s the newest though. Open six weeks. The decor as you would imagine is pristine, green, wood and more wood. Seating is basic, no lounging here, hence the brasserie tag? It’s the usual quality menu though. The Flame and I were well impressed with the fayre on offer.

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After the gentle breeze out to the sticks (the Cooktwit driving) a local, lonely Burscough brew pale ale had us settled and choosing from the premium card. Seafood features. So it was pretty much seafood that we went for. Whilst we stuck to the menu there was a great selection of specials too. The grilled mackerel, plaice and new potatoes, enthusiastically and expertly explained by our young waitress.

Starters up first. We both went ‘terriney’ and ‘hocky’, me devilled crab, with salmon and shrimps (£6.50) the flame traditional ham with cheeses and chutney (£5.50). They were both presented in a similar fashion, plate, clam shell jar. Both looked good, both tasted very good. My crab had a little kick, the flames ham featured big chunks of the stuff.

Starters, devilled crab and ham hock
Starters, devilled crab and ham hock

Mains rocked up. The flame won this one. Storming piece of hake on a slurry of peas, smoked bacon and onions, (£13.50). The hake was beautifully roasted! She loved it. I went for ‘posh’ scampi, made up of monkfish and king prawn (£18.50) dusted in a dark, crispy coat. If I was being picky it looked a bit boring, but to be fair it was what it said it was going to be so I can’t really argue. There was some big chunks of fish buried in there. The king prawns particularly hunky and flavoursome. Great chips too.

Scampi and hake
Scampi and hake

As usual I went for a dessert whilst the flame sat back and quaffed a light red wine and a coffee. I went for the passion fruit and strawberry mess with little coconut meringues (£5.95). Lovely end to the meal. I know it’s easy but I love a good mess and this hit the spot.

I love a good mess
I love a good mess

All in we were at £35 a head. Pretty standard nowadays. We really like what The Seafood Pub Company are doing. We’ve set our mission to do them all. We’ve a few to go. If they all keep up this standard they really are a credit and an asset to their creators and local community alike. A true delight and a worthy alternative to the Nigel Haworths RVI chain that operate in these parts too. Lancashire has some fantastic places to eat. Long may it continue…
Town Green Brasserie,
Aughton,
Ormskirk,
Lancashire,
L39 6SE
Phone: 01695 420 883
Email: info@towngreenbrasserie.co.uk
http://www.seafoodpubcompany.com

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Southport Food and Drink Festival 2014

He was feeling rather sorry for himself the Cooktwit this sunny Sunday. He was aimlessly reeling from the news that The Flame had bagged herself a day out with the girls. Despite it being ‘on the calendar for weeks’, there was still obviously far too little time to rustle up a couple of pals for an afternoon sesh. As we all know an off beat pint like that takes months and hundreds of texts to arrange. Despite this set back (and having touched the flame up for £20) The Cooktwit lurched onwards to the 2014 Southport Food and Drink Festival with a spring in his step and a gay song playing in his heart. In short things were on the up.

Setting the scene
Setting the scene

The sun was shining and good food beckoned. Working in Manchester the Cooktwit is used to aiming east from his suburban pile, but Southport is a heady forty five minutes west and the notorious single track highway that snakes into Southport is a known summer hotspot. Cunningly the newly acquired ‘satnav’ lead me through pastures new and avoided the tiresome thoroughfare. I was holed up in the £4 parking lot in no time.
I soon ventured under the ‘free’ entrance banner, yes, free! A welcome surprise. The large open space of Victoria Park had been grafted into a foody heaven by arranging nigh on eighty stalls in a huge square with a couple of sponsors tents in the middle. It made for a spacious and easily navigated experience, something not always possible in town centre food and market events.
As is tradition I do a first ‘mine sweep’ just to see what’s here. There’s nothing worse than blowing the budget early doors and then finding a diamond near the end!

Some of the booty. Beer, Mauritian treats, ham shanks, artisan bread
Some of the booty. Beer, Mauritian treats, ham shanks, artisan bread

The food producers were down one side while the street food vendors and bars were on the others. I swept down the produce and made a few notes. I ended up with a ‘Thai Pie’ which sounded good. I deliberately got a frozen one to cook myself. I’ll let you know how that goes. It should be good for £2.50. I also ended up with some cake, a ‘Mrs Shah’s Curry Mix’, a ‘Romana’ style herb and spice rub by ‘Simply Sprinkles’. Looking forward to trying that, could be good. I didn’t get much else in fairness but could have easily weighed in with cheese, meat, preserves and host of other goodies. One particular regret now is not getting a good stock of ‘Bobbies Bangers’. I’ve heard of these on twitter and their sausages didn’t half look good, especially the jalapeño ones. It’s a good job I have a good stock of my favourite ‘Red Bank Farm’ ones in the freezer.

Some of the street food stars
Some of the street food stars

For the street food the choice was incredible, and the quality looked good too. A couple of known favourites were on, including ‘Pizza Peddlers’ in their blue and cream H van and ‘Mr Meatballs’. I was negotiating a ‘chakalaka’ veggie wrap with ‘Safari’ only to be told they had sold out. They’re usual 5% of sales for veggies having upped to 15% over the weekend and caught them on the hop! In view of this I moved along to ‘The Wrap Shack’, which in fairness was sporting the most inventive stall. As the name suggests it was done up like a shack and as it had a Mexican theme, it piped in its menu with red, yellow and green hues. Striking it looked too. Not wishing to become overawed I opted for a small, smoked Mexican bean wrap for £5.50. It’s a good job I got the small, as I had to munch through a fair bit of beans, salad, jalapeños, olives and cheese just so I could actually start to create the wrap! Once ‘wrapped’ the thing was wolfed in a matter of minutes and the Cooktwit lunch was sorted. Very nice it was too.

The wrap shack, smoked bean wrap. No additives!
The wrap shack, smoked bean wrap. No additives!

A Lancaster blonde ale quenched the thirst and an apple, almond bakewell completed the alfresco feed.
One of the highlights for me at these events is the cooks demonstration tent which tend to feature one of the celeb chefs. Sadly there didn’t seem to much going on today. Reading through the blurb and on twitter it would seem an entertaining sesh had been had on Friday with Andrew Nutter. I would have liked to have seen that.

Simply Sprinkles, Bill and Ben, My haul.
Simply Sprinkles, Bill and Ben, My haul.

Sunday the last of the three day event was bathed almost constantly in warm sunshine. Naturally the crowds swelled to pleasing levels.  Families and couples of all ages were represented. Without counting I would guess we were talking hundreds if not thousands of people. I shudder how dented the figures would have been in England’s rain? But hey that’s looking at the half empty glass. It was a great day and I would definitely recommend it as one for the diary. Roll on the rest of the foody festival season.

The ambiance
The ambiance