The Hoghton Arms, Withnell

The Hoghton Arms, Withnell

The Hoghton Arms, Withnell

First published in Restaurants

Address: Blackburn Road, Withnell, Chorley, PR6 8BL.

Phone number: 01254 201083

Lancashire Telegraph review by Anna Mansell from April 30, 2011.

Heading back to East Lancashire just before 9pm of a Friday evening, we decided to stop off to eat at the Hoghton Arms.

Comfortably seated, we took in the slightly quirky decor while we read the menu – full of pub classics.

There’s no need for backing musak in the cosy pub: instead there’s a chirruping bird whose repeated trills of ‘Half a pound of tuppenny rice’ (just one line, mind you) kept us entertained as we chatted and supped.

Choosing from the two meals for £10 menu, we had the BBQ Ranch Burger and the Steak and Marston’s Pedigree Ale Pie.

The burger topped with bacon, melted cheese and BBQ sauce came with chips, but I ordered a side salad to fill up on instead of the spuds.

It came cooked well through but still juicy, and had all the rough-edged, dripping-down-the-chin hallmarks of a homemade burger. It was really good.

The salad, however, was not. These days you expect more than chunks of iceberg, tomato quarters and cucumber, with a few red onion rings.

I asked for some dressing and the only offering was mayonnaise... What, no Balsamic, nothing?

The pie was a slight disappointment. A large portion arrived, but the pie’s crust was very broken and it was soaked with a lot of watery gravy - ruining one of the pleasures of a good pie, the crisp outer shell.

And the gravy watered down the pie’s ‘rich ale’ filling too, it should come separately to be added as required.

I would question putting ‘seasonal vegetables’ on the menu, then serving up the ubiquitous pub veg carrots and peas.

Operating under the Marston’s brewery banner, the Hoghton Arms has a sense of independence – and, equally, it exhibits the trademarks of a nice local alongside the sins of a chain.

Great value, and some tasty food, with helpful and friendly staff – but some of the basics need improving.

Lancashire Telegraph review by Gill Ellis from November 20, 2007.

The Hoghton Arms is an impressive stone building that makes you want to go in and explore.

It's a big airy pub with lovely high ceilings and there's plenty of room to spread out with large round tables for groups and families.

The decor is still tidy following its refurbishment a few years ago, lots of deep reds and bare wood, comfy rather than luxurious.

We found a table away from the bar and sat down to peruse the menu.

Although not part of a chain, it does have the standard pub menu, with starters priced around £2.50-£4.50.

I opted for the prawn cocktail, a generous serving of juicy prawns with thick wholemeal bread and a fresh crisp salad.

My friend went for soup and roll, just the thing for a cold night.

The menu offers a range of main meals, light bites, grills, steaks and burgers and snack, with prices from £3.

My friend went for the ham, eggs and chips, which he thoroughly enjoyed, while I tried the fisherman's crumble which turned out to be more chew than crumbs but the filling was good, nice and creamy.

The carrots and peas may have been seasonal vegetables' but I suspect there were freezers and microwaves behind the scenes.

Still for the price and the extensive menu, you could hardly expect otherwise.

The menu has a lively pudding section, all priced at around £2.95.

The wine menu has a choice of the popular wine countries, all around £10-15.

The children's menu is well thought out, very reasonable indeed, it specified no artificial colours or flavours, and highlighted how many fruit and vegetable portions in each dish.

The pub is geared to families, it's big enough to let youngsters wander without them being a nuisance.

It's also very convenient, right next to Junction 3 of the M65.

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