Address: Shaw Hill Hotel, Golf and Country Club, Preston Road, Whittle-le-Woods, Chorley.

Phone number: 01257 269221.

The Bolton News review by Steven Thompson from May 19, 2011.

THERE’S something slightly naff and Seventies about a country club.

It’s all a bit Margot and Jerry from The Good Life.

That said, the decor at Shaw Hill is a little more up to date. Not by much, though — the framed rectangles of turquoise designer wallpaper, which dominate both the bar and the restaurant, are very Laurence Llewelyn-Bowen circa 2003.

Me and the old man skipped the golf this weekend and booked in for an early 5.30pm tea — Sunday dinner needs to be finished in time for The Archers in the Thompson household.

Starters were good and by far the most interesting bit on the menu.

I’m obsessed with mushrooms at the moment — can’t get enough of them — so I had some roasted wild ones.

They were cooked in garlic and rosemary, served on a nice chunk of bread and topped with crispy bacon and garstang blue cheese — essentially, posh mushrooms on toast.

Jolly good they were too.

The bacon was too crunchy, but other than that, pretty faultless.

Vegetarian fans will also be pleased to note it could easily have worked as a very acceptable veggie offering too, without the bacon, obviously.

Don, aka my dad, had the smoked mackerel rillette — a sort of pâté — with lemon zest, crème fraiche and a horseradish dressing.

The horseradish worked well. I think this is what people mean when they say something has a clean taste.

It was a touch citrus-y after Don drenched it in lemon juice — it came with an unnecessary lemon wedge — but it was still grand.

The subtly smoked mackerel shone through.

The mains were so boring — beef, chicken, lamb — that I nearly had the salmon en papillote, which sounded infinitely more appetising. But I need meat on a Sunday.

I went for the chicken, which looked, on paper, to be the least dull of the three, coming, as it did, with a chorizo gravy and parsnip puree.

The gravy was a touch too salty and the parsnip puree was an almost non-existent smear and tasted of nothing.

The chicken breast came on the bone with skin on — I love chicken skin, but it wasn’t crispy enough.

I’m aware that I am now starting to sound like Goldilocks — “the bacon was too crunchy, the gravy was too salty, the chicken skin wasn’t crispy enough” — but these things need to be said.

Don had the lamb, which came with some excellent roasties.

It was fine. Not too boring, not too salty, juuuuust right.

The julienne veg, however, were bland. Where was the va va voom that was so evident with the starters? I found the service a tad slow at times, too.

We were left waiting in the bar at the start of the meal, despite the dining room, which looks out onto the 18th green, being empty; and when we asked for another couple of minutes to decide on orders we were given a good five.

But an affable bottle of cabernet sauvignon (£17) helped smooth the ride.

Desserts were done well, on a par with the starters. I had orange and chocolate bread pudding which came swimming in a sea of chocolate crème anglaise.

It was devoured, although I declined to finish the remaining gallon of choccy custard, wonderful though it was.

Don had the lemon tart, which he said was “as good as that one you can get from Marks and Spencer”.

High praise indeed.

Don’t misread this as a bad review. The food was decent and £17 a head for three courses is probably about right.

But we skipped coffees. It was 7pm.

Just in time for The Archers on the drive home.

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