Catherine Musgrove pops into Penwortham’s newest eaterie and is bowled over by the food, drink, ambience and service
I almost don’t want to tell you how good this place is, because I want to be able to get a table next time I go.
Macmillans, a Penwortham gift shop institution, has spilled over into the next door shop in Priory Lane, meaning you can browse, shop and socialise all in the same place.
It’s been done properly, with big old-school style radiators, tongue and groove, stylish wooden chairs, gorgeous cake domes, and retro-style cutlery-holders.
The decor was so nice that I sat wondering what the colour was on the walls as I fancy it next time we decorate.
I first went at the end of November to get some cake on husband Chris’s birthday and was blown away.
There were cakes of all descriptions on the elegant counter, from traditional Victoria sponges to hearty scones, to carrot cake, chocolate and vanilla, and daily specials like the lemon and pistachio one I went for.
It was a triumph of tanginess and juiciness, with sticky pistachios toppings and a pleasing dense texture.
I asked if the cakes were homemade, and was told they were made on site every day by a lady called Helen. Well Helen, get yourself on Great British Bake Off, you’re amazing.
Before we left, the waitress asked if we had any plans, and I mentioned it was Chris’s birthday and we were heading to Cartmel.
Imagine my surprise three weeks later when we popped back for a spot of lunch and the same girl asked if we’d had a nice time in Cartmel.
This time I opted for a festive open sandwich with turkey, brie and cranberry with salad and chutney (£6.95) and an elderflower presse (£2.25).
Chris had a chicken club sandwich (£6.95) with a latte (£2.40), and we shared a homemade houmous with flat bread and mixed olives.
The food came quickly and although portions weren’t massive, it was just like I’d have at home – big slabs of grilled brie, chunky cranberry sauce and thick slices of turkey on toasted wholemeal bread.
Chris was equally impressed with the club sandwich, and it was nice to see locally-sourced ingredients on the menu.
Sadly we found the hummus (£5.95) too dry and lacking in flavour. For that price, we mentioned it to the waitress we were offered free drinks as an apology.
The carrot cake we shared for dessert was divine though..