Everything from the kitchen had the stamp of class

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Peter Richardson visits the Corner House at Wrightington and discovers a change in name doesn’t mean any drop offs in the standard of food

We’d done the hard yards with a riverbank walk a few hours earlier and so it was time to replace those lost calories with a hearty meal at a place we’d driven past a few weeks previously, noting a change of name and ownership.

What was the Mulberry Tree at Wrightington is now the Corner House which, if we made it inside before the 6.30pm midweek cut-off point, promised to provide us with a two-course earlybird special for £14.50 apiece.

We could not quite discern what the refurb had changed but the place somehow seemed far more spacious than either of us remembered.

The menus are the same whether in bar or restaurant and cover a range which cleverly mixes sophisticated-sounding fare with dishes which appear to be pub 
restaurant staples such as gammon, battered fish or the house burger.

But that’s where the pub comparison ends, because whatever you choose emerges from the kitchen with class stamped all over it.

I began with smoked salmon and crab fishcakes, with lemon and dill crème fraiche, pickled cucumber and a 
salad garnish given an arty zigzag balsamic flourish.

As seems quite normal on starter menus these days, fishcakes plural turned out to be fishcake in the singular but there was easily enough and it was lovely from first to last mouthful, with discernible chunks of new potato providing texture to those smoky, fishy flavours.

Meanwhile Mrs Eating Out devoured a round of creamy goat’s cheese on crostini and an apple and beetroot salsa. It looked terrific and, according to its recipient, who was pleased that the cheese was more subtle than pungent, easily lived up to appearances.

Mrs EO followed with a satisfying and substantial main course of supreme of chicken atop a creamy sauce piled high with sliced mushrooms, and Dijon potatoes. Rich and filling, yes, but not quite so filling that she would not be tackling dessert.

There would be no chance of such indulgence for me, not after I’d ploughed through a rich and tender example of steak and Guinness pie beneath puff pastry. The chips were crisp, tasty and plainly made from scratch.

One criticism: The shared fresh vegetables – a bowl of mange tout, French beans, carrots, cauli and broccoli – were not so much glazed in butter as swimming in the stuff, to the extent that it was the only recognisable flavour.

Not that we would dwell too long on this, as the sight of Mrs EO’s warm Bakewell tart with amaretto and cherry ice cream served to convince us both that Corner House will be around for the long haul if the food is consistently as good as this.

The earlybird £29 soon lurches towards £50 with a £5.95 pudding and wine, but it’s still worth it.

Nice place, nice people. We’d go again, no problem.