Simon and Judith Smith break with tradition and enjoy lunch instead of supper, at one of Lancashire’s hidden gems, the magnificent Samlesbury Hall. Photography: Phil Garlington
The half-timbered stately home that is Samlesbury Hall, was built in 1325 as a family home and today it has been rescued by a charitable trust and is a haven for history lovers.
The hall is used for many exciting events – it is a very popular wedding venue and throughout the year many special events are organised both in the hall and the grounds, one of which has just passed – Halloween!
This is very apt as Samlesbury boasts its very own ghost and witch, Janey, who recounts the many gruesome tales of the hall’s gory past!
On a happier note and much less scary for the kids, Father Christmas pops in for a mince pie in his sitting room on the 4th, 11th and 18th December and the children can come and meet him and receive a gift from Santa himself! Go to the website for more details.
Judith and I were lucky enough to have been invited to sample the food in Samlesbury Hall’s restaurant, a nice lunchtime treat, which we followed by a stroll round the hall, gift shop and grounds making it a very enjoyable visit. There is so much to do we could have stayed longer and will definitely return.
The restaurant is in the main building and, as expected, it is homely and welcoming. We were shown to our window table by a delightful young lady and offered drinks, soda for me, I was the driver for the day, and for Judith a glass of rose, which was French and delicious!
The menu is really quite comprehensive and we were spoilt for choice, I noted a lovely selection of kid’s stuff and lighter dishes for a snack for those not so hungry.
Confit of twice cooked crispy duck grabbed my attention, it came with an aromatic port, lavender, ginger and five-spice sauce served on a cucumber salad with crispy fried leeks which was sensational! The lavender not a flavour I am used to, added a dimension to the dish, which was superb.
Judith chose the moules mariniere, simply cooked in classic white wine, cream and garlic sauce with dunking bread (gluten free available) – this really was a dish to savour along with the rose.
I couldn’t tear myself away from Cumbrian fell-bred chunky steak pie, lovingly homemade with an unctuous gravy, hand cut chips and so much flavour it was fantastic, I could have eaten it again!
Judith loves hotpot so she could not resist – homemade just as it should be, with best local lamb and vegetables served with red cabbage and piccalilli, which was nearly as good as my granny’s!
To finish Banofee pie with Chantilly cream and one of the nicest summer fruit puddings ever with delicious clotted cream, desserts to end a leisurely and very enjoyable lunch.
The term ‘proper food’ features on the menu and Samlesbury Hall really does deliver on this so it’s certainly worthy of a visit… if you can get over your fear of ghosts!
Preston New Road
Samlesbury PR5 0UP