Wednesday, 5 September 2012

Eagle & Child at Bispham Green

In need of some restorative local food and not having the desire to do the cooking, Lancashire Food ventured out on a Monday to find a suitable spot for lunch. Now Monday is the one day of the week when the majority of the more select establishments in the area seem to shut, so this limited choice some what, however we were undeterred and found ourselves in the delightful little hamlet of Bispham Green, just outside the larger village of Mawdesley.

We had been promising ourselves a visit for several years to this establishment but as seems to happen one thing or another gets in the way and you never quite get there, well we should is all I can say as we have been missing out.


On a lovely Lancashire afternoon in early September we discovered the Eagle and Child at Bispham Green , part of the larger foodie Ainscoughs empire , this pub is cutely nestled in the heart of the tiny hamlet of Bispham Green, over looking the village green. Dating from the 18th century the "bird and brat" is a gorgeous looking country pub, rustically furnished but not over done, with flag floors and real fires.

We were welcomed and found a table which overlooked the stunning Lancashire Countryside, we were given 2 menus to peruse, one the standard menu and the other the specials which change fairly regularly as they were still being chalked on the board when we arrived. As this was lunchtime  and not being familiar with the portion sizes served, we decided that we would skip the starters delicious as they sounded go straight to the mains and opt for a pudding if we weren't full.

I was pleased to see that the menu featured "Lancashire Hotpot" , despite this being THE iconic Lancashire dish, its a rare dish to find on a pub's menu. Mr Lancashire Food choose this as his dish and I opted for one of the seasonal specials a Chicken, ham and mushroom pie. The pub also has a reputation for fine ales and had a wide selection of different brews from a number of local and regional breweries to sample, a pint of "Golden Sands" from Southport Brewery was ordered.

The friendly front of house staff delivered some fine heavy silver cutlery and then our meals arrived, after a comforting wait ( fairly sure no microwave meals here) , the food arrived a fine looking hotpot with a separate generous dish of red cabbage and my pie, accompanied by rustic chips and seasonal vegetables. My only slight disappointment was that it wasn't a real pie with sides, just a puff pastry top, but the filling more than made up for the lack of pastry, lots and lots of real chicken , hand stripped from the bone, just like your mum's chicken pie made with the roast leftovers, tender ham and juicy earthy mushroom in a creamy white sauce with the delicate hint of freshly cut chives.

The chips chunky homestyle, fluffy and delicious and the vegetables, nothing frozen here, freshly picked broccoli, carrots and runner beans ( wow, seasonal or what !, never had them in a pub before, normally those dinky african things), just like they had been  picked from dad's allotment.
Mr LF was impressed with the hotpot , packed with tender meat, well flavoured and a nice crispy potato topping too. All in all the food was of  a very good quality and the portion size more than ample, sure its not the cheapest place but I am a great believer in you get what you pay for. We didn't get to try out the dessert menu on this occasion but I am sure we will be back to try it out in the future. Our bill including drinks was a smidgen over £25.

Next door to the pub is the Home Farm shop also part of the same group, as I visited on a Monday it was closed but it definitely warrants a visit another day as it promises local foods, organic local meats from their own farm and locally grown vegetables. I feel another blog post coming on.

The Eagle and Child did not know I was visiting and we paid for our food and drinks, this was our experience of our visit.

1 comment:

Carla G said...

It is a lovely country pub and all the food we have ever had has been good...and yes you really should visit the farmshop, it is great and has a good selection of produce!

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