Monday 4 February 2013

Tavern Fayre at Hunger Hill

Tavern Fayre at Hunger Hill
We've been going to 'The Tavern' as we call it since I was a little girl. This is probably for about twenty five years. It's seen many changes, but a lot of the faces have stayed the same for years. I can't quite believe I've never blogged about it before! Sometimes it's the most obvious places that I forget about.

Before I go any further, I want to get one thing straight. This is not a '2 for 1', ready meals from a freezer type of gaff. Although the building is large, it is privately owned and run by staff who are friendly and knowledgeable. The Tavern has a large bar serving a number of cask ales (including the likes of Black Edge Brewing, Dunscar Bridge, Prospect, Three Bs and Penning Brewing Company), a comfortable lounge with squashy sofas and roaring fires, and a sizeable restaurant area.

Their manager, Jane Kelly is about as passionate as they get. She has been there as long as I can remember and always makes the effort to say hello and has a friendly word or two for just about everyone. She runs a tight ship, and her young army of waiting staff are constantly buzzing around the place checking everything is running well. Yesterday we had a lovely chat about some of the local suppliers the restaurant uses; including meat from Harmony Farms in Leyland, fruit and vegetables from Ribble Farm Fayre in Longridge, British and continental speciality foods from Hills Fine Foods in Longridge and fish from Martin Brown Seafoods in Preston. One of their chefs is ex-Longridge Restaurant too...

When I was a little girl we would go to the Tavern for chicken in a basket and an elaborate knickerbocker glory jar filled with strawberries. By my teens, they had done some extensive building work and made the pub much bigger. This is when I discovered their amazing gammon steaks. By the time I was in my early twenties, my husband (then boyfriend) and I went at least twice a week. Now I have turned thirty, I am still going for their amazing gammon. It never gets old.
Tavern Fayre at Hunger Hill - Mains
Allow me to explain. Gammon at the Tavern is at the top of its game. It's thick, juicy, not too salty and comes with beautiful charred marks on the outside. I have had good gammon elsewhere, but nothing quite compares to this. I can honestly say that it has been constant in quality for at least the fifteen years. Their chips are pretty special too. Crisp on the outside, fluffy on the inside, and always piping hot. Vegetables are fresh and perfectly cooked. This is traditional British home cooking at its best.

Every now and again (if I'm feeling cocky) I get something other than my beloved gammon steak. They do a brilliant beef roast, chilli and different pies. Although the menu is quite large, they execute it well. The Tavern is perfect if you have a fussy eater in your group too. Not only can you customise your dish to suit your tastes, but there is a wide variety of meals ranging from spicy to the type of things my dad likes.

My little friend Sally doesn't actually eat much real food. She could quite easily live off chips and astrobelts. Basically she has the palate of a 75 year old chap. Meat, carbs and gravy. Needless to say the Tavern is her favourite restaurant! There's plenty on the menu for her as well as everyone else. Did I mention that they also do a mean pepper sauce? I love it. My husband opts for gravy instead.

Now then. Desserts. Granted, they don't make their own. However, they get these bad boys below from some sort of gateaux genius. Think layers of cream, meringue, fruit, choux pastry or oozing chocolate and toffee, all served with your choice of cream, ice cream or custard. As well as the gargantuan sweets in the display chiller, there are more hot desserts like sticky toffee pudding, apple pie and hot chocolate fudge cake. On Sunday my husband had the hot chocolate fudge cake, whilst I opted for a huge slice of lemon meringue pie.
Tavern Fayre at Hunger Hill - Desserts
If the Tavern was situated in the heart of Rivington and was half the size, they could probably charge twice what they do in Westhoughton. Don't be fooled by the size or the signage. There is nothing standard about this place. Simple food done well should never be underestimated, neither should consistency. I can't ever recall having a bad meal here, and I'm sure we'll be going for many years to come.

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  1. It sounds lovely! We might give it a try in a few weeks after pay day! :)

    1. It's not trying to be anything fancy, just home cooked food. We love it!

  2. Another one to add to the list - that's pretty convenient for us as it's so close to the M61.

    1. This one's definitely child friendly too!


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