‘Lancashire’s answer to Stacey Solomon’ - Natalie Banks - enjoys a taste of India
It’s not often that I find myself being compared to somebody famous.
But, with editor Chris Maguire sunning himself in Costa Del Chorley, his replacement, Mike Hill, couldn’t help but compare me to none other than Queen of the Jungle, Stacey Solomon.
In fact his exact description of me was: ‘Lancashire’s answer to Stacey’ and I didn’t know whether to take his statement as a huge insult or gushing compliment.
I was still baffled by the time I met my date for the night to review the Hyatt, in Dole Lane.
‘Definitely an insult’ he said as we tucked in to our starters of poppadoms and chutney.
The quiet booth we had chosen allowed us the privacy to talk in-depth about Solomon-Gate whilst we relaxed and reflected on our day.
The conversation was only briefly interrupted by mouthfuls of the tasty poppadoms laden with chutney, a good helping of onions and a friendly greeting from the owner of the Indian restaurant.
As we share our car park with the staff there (don’t tell the clampers!) we have seen each other briefly on many occasions, but the fact that he came across for a quick ‘hello’ was a nice touch.
In fact all of the staff at the Hyatt were extremely welcoming and they waited on us hand and foot, without being too intrusive and making us feel rushed.
Background music also helped set the scene and as I sipped on my glass of Diet Coke (only six months till the wedding!) and waited for my main meal to arrive, I was looking forward to sampling the delights that the Hyatt had to offer.
Despite the restaurant only being a matter of steps away from the worksman’s entrance to the Guardian, it was only my first visit in the three years and I was a little disappointed I hadn’t been sooner.
Rob, who ended up looking like Elephant Man last time he tried a curry, decided to play it safe and went for a tandoori mixed grill.
It was sizzling as the waiter gently placed down the hot plate on our table.
The meat was stacked up - chicken, lamb and kebabs and it was served on a bed of onions with a side order of chips.
At 6ft 5in, it can be quite difficult to fill ‘our Rob’ but even he was stuffed as he tried to finish off the large serving.
The chicken was cooked to perfection and he said the lamb was delicious, but the kebabs were just a little too adventurous for him and I was left to finish them off.
I’d also decided to play it fairly safe, it was only a Thursday night after all, and I opted for my favourite - chicken tikka masala.
As my hubby-to-be isn’t the biggest fan of currys (and who would be if you had an allergic reaction every time you ate one) it is a treat for me and it was certainly worth the wait.
The chicken, which certainly wasn’t rationed, was tender and the masala sauce had a nice kick too it that left me wanting more.
As I was rushing off to the Buckshaw Village Community Association meeting we unfortunately didn’t have time to sample the dessert menu, which is probably a good thing as we are meant to be on a big diet.
Instead we picked up the bill - which came to £36.80, and left with a big smile on our faces.
A poll about Stacey-Gate on my Facebook page also left me smiling after one in 10 people said that being compared to Stacey Solomon was in fact a COMPLIMENT!
What do you think? Email me at: firstname.lastname@example.org