Dining out: Straight from Wagon and Horses’ mouth

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It won’t take wild horses to drag me back to eat at the Wagon and Horses on St George’s Quay, Lancaster.

This long-established hostelry – dating back to the early 1800s – has so far this year received three sought-after accolades.

The Certificate of Excellence award from travel site Tripadvisor is given only to establishments that consistently achieve outstanding traveller reviews on the website. Winners of the certificate are located all over the world and only the top 10 per cent receive the award.

Then there’s the VisitEnglandQuality in Tourism four-star award bestowed on the pub and guesthouse in April.

And last but not least, the Taste Lancashire Quality Assured accreditation – awarded just this week for its food.

Pay a visit and you’ll see why these feathers in the pub’s cap are well deserved.

My husband Alan and I chose to visit on a sunny Friday evening. It was a spur-of-the-moment decision helped along by the fact that the pub had a beer garden where we could sit after our meal to soak up some late rays.

The welcome we received couldn’t have been warmer. And the menu we were given couldn’t have been more interesting.

For starters, try Asian-style mussels or Tempura vegetables. For your main course, there’s classics like beer battered fish and chips or The Resident Burger.

And then there’s the more exotic such as South African Portuguese Trinchado.

Or opt for the Wagon’s special savoury tart with black pudding in it. Or how about roasted monkfish?

This certainly isn’t your normal run-of-the-mill pub menu. And that goes for the level of service and quality of food too.

We also liked the fact that the pub is committed to only buying from local suppliers and a nice touch is that it grows all the herbs used in its own roof garden.

Alan and I chose the 8oz rump steak which came with a watercress, red onion and cherry tomato salad and a Café de Paris butter served with skinny fries. At just £12.50, we thought this was excellent value for a steak and the waitress was more than happy to oblige when Alan asked to expand his waistline with the beautifully fluffy chunky chips instead.

The steaks were cooked as we like them and the portion sizes very generous.

Having left enough room for dessert I opted for my favourite, the cheeseboard, while Alan chose to indulge his sweet tooth with a very generous and tasty portion of Eton Mess.

The cheeseboard with a choice of four cheeses was as good as I’ve had and when the crackers ran out well before the cheese they were more than happy to provide me with some more to finish my meal.

The service throughout was top class – worthy of 
a good restaurant, not just 
a pub – and the food excellent.

Three courses, washed down with a few glasses each of Sauvignon Blanc and beer, came to just over £60 – good value for money – and the evening ended with a few more drinks in the very pleasant beer garden.

With a good choice of dishes, excellent service and great, historic location, the Wagon and Horses will have you galloping back for second helpings.

DEBBIE BUTLER