Food to savour in the real world. It won’t taste as good in a photo!

The Cavendish sits proudly next  to Brindle St James church, which dates back to 1190
The Cavendish sits proudly next to Brindle St James church, which dates back to 1190

Eating Out: The Cavendish Arms, Brindle

Holidaying in Italy recently, I was expecting to spend my mealtimes with big Mediterranean broods – bambini and all – eating fresh foods al fresco and loudly enjoying one another’s company.

Wild mushroom and garlic soup

Wild mushroom and garlic soup

But it seems even the family focused Italians have fallen victim to the evil of the electronic device.

Parents pored over Facebook as children sat staring at another jingly-jangly dancing cartoon character. One poor woman I observed nibbled on her gnocchi as son, cocooned in gaming headphones, and husband, frantically typing, were in their own virtual worlds as she stared wistfully out to sea, probably wondering what had happened to her family.

You’ll have guessed by now that I’m not a fan of the phone/tablet/whatever device at the table, and it’s because of this that I’ve recently made two visits to The Cavendish, in Brindle, in as many months.

July was a meal to line my stomach before a fun Friday evening with a friend. The food was excellent and such incredible value that it warranted a write-up – but no phone means no photos, and that means no review.

10oz gammon steak with pineapple, egg, mushroom, tomato, onion rings and chips

10oz gammon steak with pineapple, egg, mushroom, tomato, onion rings and chips

So, back from the hols with a fully charged battery (mine and my phone’s) I took the family along to see if it was a good as I remembered. It was. And that’s another reason for my tenuous rant about electronic devices – to fill some space on this page because I’ve nothing much more to say except that the food is fantastic – good quality, fresh, wholesome and plentiful.

On my first visit we had made the most of a Steak & Wine Night offer of two steaks - rump, sirloin, gammon or pork loin - with trimmings, sauce and a glass of wine each for, wait for it, £24.95...per couple! I had the gammon and it was so good I had it again on my second visit (£12.95).

Thick, tender and moist, it was sliced and served with a perfectly poached egg, juicy pineapple, the finest mushroom I have ever had with a hint of garlic, a grilled tomato and the chunkiest, fluffiest, crispiest chips you could wish for. With a sprig of my favourite garnish, pea shoots, it’s one of the best pub meals I’ve ever had – on both occasions.

Foregoing the deal, however, we stuck to the main menu on our family outing. It’s full of all the pub populars you would expect. There’s no real surprises but one or two quirky dishes such as Jacksons Rag Pudding (£9.95) and Cock & Bull (£12.95) stood out.

Cavendish Burger with bacon, smoked applewood cheddar, chips and onion rings

Cavendish Burger with bacon, smoked applewood cheddar, chips and onion rings

For Significant Other it was a mushroom and garlic soup to start (£4.95) which was earthy and subtle on the garlic, not too heavy or creamy and left room for a Cavendish Burger (£10.95) to follow. Substantial and good quality, there were two beef patties, freshly cooked onion rings, crisp salad and a ‘healthy’ coating of flavoursome cheese. His only criticism was that his bacon wasn’t crispy causing a minor construction problem as he removed the fat.

The Younger meanwhile had tackled a fish and chips (£9.95), a good 12 inches of delicately battered, fresh, flaky haddock. Accompanied by more of those chips, the mushy peas didn’t go down too well (she’s 12, apparently that’s an excuse) but I tried them and they were delicious, and I suspect homemade...

Two puddings and three spoons finished off the meal. The dessert menu is another selection of favourites and we went for a sticky toffee pudding and a chocolate fudge cake. I merely sampled a couple of spoons of ice-cream while The Younger stuck her teeth together with dense, dark, gooey chocolate cake and her dad fell silent over an island of soft, sweet pudding in a sea of toffee sauce.

With two medium glasses of rosé and four soft drinks between us, our bill in total came to £67.20. The excellent steak deal is available every Thursday and Friday, there’s Fish Friday at £5.95 or £7.95, you can get a three-course Sunday lunch for £15.50 and they offer afternoon teas and cocktail happy hours.

Situated in the pretty little village of Brindle, on the outskirts of Chorley, The Cavendish Arms is one of those beautiful old buildings that you wish could tell its stories. A fascinating accumulation of extensions and alterations there’s low beamed ceilings, stained glass, carved wood panelling and a tiny, well-stocked bar with room for a jovial atmosphere.

The small but airy restaurant soon fills up, so I would advise booking – I made the mistake of not doing second time around and they could only fit us in on a thoroughfare close to the kitchens. I’m not knocking any points off for that though.

Lesson learned, I’ll definitely book next time. Reckon I can make it three visits in three months?

The Cavendish

Sandy Lane, Brindle, Chorley, Lancashire, Preston, PR6 8NG. 01254 852912

Food: 5/5

Service: 5/5

Atmosphere: 5/5

Value: 5/5

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