So Much More Than The 19th Hole

Sometimes your new favourite venue can be right under your nose. For refreshingly welcoming all-day dining and socialising in relaxed comfort, Kate Bowyer discovers you need to look no further afield than the new-look Allamby’s Brasserie & Bar

If you think you know Shaw Hill – think again. That is the opinion spreading among residents of Chorley and surrounding areas. Local landmark, the heritage 18-hole golf course is gearing up to celebrate its centenary next year, while the spa hotel has built a reputation for welcoming, pampering and relaxing its guests.

But the secret to Shaw Hill’s longevity and enduring popularity is its forward-looking focus, reflecting the changing lifestyles and tastes of its patrons and region. Taking the best of their experience, hospitality and staff skills, the site has just unveiled a brand-new public venue for eating, meeting, drinking, dining, socialising and relaxing.

Arriving at Allamby’s Brasserie & Bar, named after legendary golfer and architect Laurence Allamby, who designed the original course in 1925, it’s clear this is no surface revamp, but a deep and refreshing transformation.

Fully open to the general public, the deep-toned wooden floors and clean, warm tones complement the historic building’s elegant Georgian proportions. Warmly welcoming, a choice of comfortably upholstered seating nooks offer the perfect backdrop for socialising from day to night.

Set yourself up for the day with the brand-new brunch menu, served daily from 10.30am until noon, from full English and vegetarian breakfast favourites to sweet treat dropped pancakes and Danish pastries with Fairtrade tea or coffee. Now the rightly famed Shaw Hill afternoon teas are set off against the perfect backdrop.

Through lunchtime and afternoon to dusk and beyond, the bar boasts a fantastic selection of wines, spirits, draught and bottled beer, liqueurs and champagne. Allamby’s friendly, welcoming and practised team are able to recommend the perfect beverage to complement the brand-new brasserie menu (or turn afternoon tea sparkling).

The expertly mixed and temptingly extensive cocktail and alcohol-fee “mocktail” menu confirms Allamby’s for the next night out with my girlfriends – or the mums’ group, or my work colleagues. Anyone welcome if it means I can indulge in another rhubarb garden spritz!

Luckily it’s just a few steps into the accompanying dining room. With the same stylish comfort and calmly welcoming attendance as the bar, it’s the perfect setting to enjoy casual or occasion dining with all the perks of fine dining service. The menu is full of delicious, unfussy dishes – infusing the best British produce with a fresh twist on classic French cuisine.

I’m impressed with its breadth, definitely plenty to tempt every palate into repeat visits. Served from midday until 8.30pm, I love the choice: mushrooms on toast, Nicoise salad, or pesto gnocchi for lunchtime, maybe? Salmon and scallops, lamb rump, or cauliflower steak, as day turns to evening? Or simply pick whatever takes your fancy from many more delicious choices, including warm focaccia and olive nibbles, perfect for accompanying that cocktail and chat.

Family owned and run by the Stokes Tyrer family for more than 25 years, their experience shows – from the superb cuisine to the smooth service and relaxed atmosphere. With this transformative upgrade, the whole place feels incredibly fresh and welcoming to the whole surrounding community, as well as hotel guests and golfers.

Looking around the varied groups gathered around dining tables, towering cake stands, or long windows framing 192 rolling acre views, it’s clear Allamby’s transformation is attracting an enthusiastic and wide-ranging diversity of guests. I see catch-up chatters, walkers, couples and families, the sounds of conversation mingling with the clinking of coffee cups, wine, cocktail and beer glasses.

As I regretfully head homewards, I hear one diner ask their companion: “So, where shall we meet next time?” Not a heartbeat later, they both chorus: “Here!”

Count me in too.

Allamby’s Brasserie & Bar
Shaw Hill Golf & Spa Hotel
Whittle Le Woods, Chorley PR6 7PP
01257 269221



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