Aasma Day visits the Myerscough Inn, Balderstone, Samlesbury, near Preston. Car parking: Yes. To book: 01254 812222. http://www.themyerscoughinn.co.uk/
WHEN you’re out for a relaxing meal wanting to escape the stresses and strains of life, there’s nothing more off-putting than glancing out of the window and spotting your place of work.
With hubby being one of the thousands of people working at BAE Systems Samlesbury (doesn’t everyone in Lancashire know at least one person who works for BAE?) it is perhaps understandable why he’d never suggested dining out at the pub opposite his work.
However, after hearing overwhelmingly glowing reports from workmates about how great the food was at the Myerscough, he was intrigued enough to suggest repeating his daily work journey on a Saturday night.
We had booked in advance and were very glad as within half an hour of our arrival, there wasn’t a spare table.
Chris de Burgh may well have sung about the Lady In Red, but the Myerscough has a lady in red of its own – the friendly woman at the front of house who made us feel instantly welcome with a smile as dazzling as her scarlet dress.
The Myerscough’s interior has an intimate and cosy feel and has modern decor complete with wooden panelling.
There was certainly plenty of food for thought as there was an ample selection on the a la carte menu complemented by a specials’ board.
Our starters were a bit fishy as I chose the pan fried king scallops cooked with Bury black pudding and chorizo (£7.95) while Keith had the warm brown shrimps cooked with garlic, white wine, lemon and parsley which came with a stack of delicious looking warm toast (£6.95).
I was quite envious of hubby’s huge bowl of gorgeous looking shrimps and had to try a forkful for myself – for review purposes you understand – and they tasted as good as they looked.
But I needn’t have worried as my scallops were beautifully-presented and cooked to perfection and went wonderfully with the chorizo and black pudding.
For main, Keith chose chicken stroganoff (£11.95) which was cooked with mushrooms, gherkins, smoked paprika and cream and he opted for half rice and half chips.
My own choice of rib eye steak (£14.95) was also a hit as not only was it huge and cooked exactly to specification, it came with roasted vine tomatoes, sauteed mushrooms, home-made chunky chips, onion rings and a bowl of fresh vegetables.
With a creamy stilton sauce to complete my laden plate, I enjoyed every mouthful.
It was pure greed that tempted us to desserts (£4.95 each) – but they just sounded so good.
Keith had one of my old favourites – a vanilla creme brulee served with homemade shortbread. It was just as a brulee should be with a set caramel top and a smooth and creamy custardy base.
I went for the intriguing white chocolate, orange and Cointreau cheesecake which came with orange ice cream. The cheesecake had an unusual texture and tasted sensational with the delicate orange flavoured ice cream.
At just over £60 with a drink apiece, the Myerscough might not be the cheapest place for food, but it is definitely several notches above your usual pub fodder.
With special early bird deals and two-for-one steak nights, I get the feeling we will be heading in the direction of Keith’s workplace more often.