A wine and cocktail bar with entertainment gives new restaurant Da Vinci the edge, says Kay Taylor
When I heard that a swanky new wine and cocktail bar was opening in Leyland, I was keen to try it out.
Wellington Park Hotel, on Church Road, has traditionally been associated with weddings and conferences, but after the restaurant got a refurb earlier this year, it’s now the hottest place to be!
The wine bar is on one level whilst the Italian, Da Vinci, is downstairs in a cosy dining area with a welcoming atmosphere.
We started in the bar with a Malibu Bay Breeze cocktail for me (delicious) and a bottle of Speckled Hen ale for my boyfriend.
We soon discovered it’s a popular venue for a good girls’ night out, and poor Jack was the only man in there for a while.
He didn’t mind though, and the bar soon filled up with groups of workmates, birthday parties and friends, all keen to enjoy drinks from the extensive wine list.
I also tried a Cosmopolitan cocktail, which was very tasty, before we took our seats on a table for two downstairs.
We noticed a few more couples dining, which reassured us that it’s just as popular for those seeking a romantic night out, and we ordered a nice bottle of white wine to have with our meals.
We started with a garlic bread with cheese as we browsed the menu (okay, not so romantic after all!)
I chose an antipasti starter with cured hams, olives (pitted, always a bonus), rocket and shavings of parmesan cheese.
It was lovely, and Jack also had high praise for his chicken liver dish, which came with a sauce and salad.
For the main course, he basically had my starter on top of a pizza, while I had spinach and ricotta cannelloni from the pasta options.
There was also a selection of chicken and steak dishes, which were a bit more pricey.
The place was busy on the Friday night we visited, but the staff were more than accommodating and we didn’t have to wait long for any of our meals.
The highlight of our evening came after we’d eaten though, when we ventured back upstairs.
The party was in full swing in the wine bar by the time we returned, with a crooner on the microphone and more staff serving drinks.
There’s free entertainment every Friday night, and we were treated to the delights of Allan Hayes, who sang Elvis Presley classics amongst other favourites from that era.
It’s not really my type of music if I’m honest, but that didn’t matter in the slightest, because everyone was having such a great time; it was hard not to tap your feet along and sing aloud to the parts you did know.
People were dancing and making requests, and it was really refreshing to see so many different types of people let their hair down to a bit of Elvis on a Friday night.
I managed to fit in another Malibu Bay Breeze, and it was great to be able to get so much under one roof - early drinks, three course meal, and entertainment.
The bill came to around £50 (including wine but excluding bar drinks), and I’d definitely recommend it for an alternative night out.
NAME: Da Vinci wine bar and restaurant
ADDRESS: Wellington Park, Burlington Gardens, off Church Road, Leyland, PR25 3AB
CONTACT: 01772 432000
WHEELCHAIR ACCESS: Yes
OPENING TIMES: Wine bar every day 12 noon till late
Wine bar menu available for lunches and evening snacks 12 noon - 8pm. Restaurant every day from 5pm - 10p