Hardly a landmark lunch

Fleece Inn

Fleece Inn

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It’s an eye-catching historic pub but James Reader’s lunch at the Fleece Inn in Penwortham was largely forgettable

The ancient looking Fleece Inn certainly is a landmark.

Fleece Inn

Fleece Inn

This Penwortham pub has sat on the side of the highway for centuries, an oasis of calm and relaxation as the traffic pushes its way past - and so we thought we’d pull off the busy Liverpool Road and have some lunch.

The place has of course moved with the times, undergoing a refurbishment and revamp last year. The new decor is stylish and hopes for a memorable meal were high as we ensconced ourselves in the conservatory-type extension, overlooking a frosty lawn and carpark.

The specials board next to us caught our eye and we ordered our food from that.

It’s just a shame nothing was that special.

The meal can be summed up as better than average pub grub - but only just. It wasn’t bad… it just wasn’t as good as you might expect from such as a prominent pub after a major revamp.

Anyway, as day follows night, my wife wanted the steak. The ribeye (£12.99) was well done as ordered but was still juicy. It was passable but nothing special. The pepper sauce (£1.69) didn’t add much to the proceedings at all and we just used a bit of mustard and ketchup instead.

I went for the shoulder of lamb (£11.99). The bed of mashed potato was full of flavour with a pleasing stiff texture. The sauce was sweet and interesting. But the lamb was only just average. If its purpose was to provide some contrast to the veg then it succeeded, but lamb cooked at home tastes better (doesn’t it always?)

My elder daughter, also a creature of habit, opted for the soup of the day - tomato and onion. The dish (£2.99) served with a baguette was pleasant enough but, unlike other soups we’ve had in the area, was forgettable.

My other daughter seemed happy with her bowl of chips.

I have to say, sat where we were I felt a bit isolated and getting some service was at times problematic.

Desert didn’t add much to the meal - tubs of ice cream with a plastic spoon (99p each). With drinks and coffee the bill came to £42.30.

We were left feeling rather disappointed by the whole experience.