Martin Mere, Burscough

Martin Mere
Martin Mere

Let’s face it food inside attractions can add wallet-busting addition to any family day out.

Standard fare like chips and burgers is usually awful and double the price of your local takeaway.

So it was with fear and trepidation that I agreed to eat at Martin Mere’s cafe.

Keep it simple, no add ons, no cakes or sweets, just wholesome scoff to ward off hunger until teatime and give the kids the energy for wildlife watching and the adventure park.

There were three choices, which can be seen as a good thing as you know the ruddy-faced rotund chap in the chef’s whites ladling it out obviously has pride in his work.

(Sorry mate, you’re just a little chubby in a way all cooks should be and it must be warm at your hot plate).

So it was home-made chicken and mushroom pie with a puff pastry crust, macaroni cheese and sausages with beans - all served with chips and a pot of salad.

I went for the pie – I like the idea of ordering poultry at a wetlands wildlife sanctuary – and it was gorgeous and laden with juicy chunks of chicken.

The sausages on the kids meals (£3.99) were farmers’ market quality and they were wolfed down.

As for the macaroni cheese, which I don’t think needs to be accompanied by chips, it was thick and cheesy and I’m a convert to a dish now I’ve only ever encountered, and been disappointed with, from a tin.

The Mere Side cafe offers hot and cold food, a variety of coffees and chilled drinks, and home-made cakes.

A Small Breakfast menu available 10am-11.30am. Hot food from 11.45am-2.30pm.