THAT MAKES BARTON GRANGE BLOSSOM
Once a cotton magnate’s retreat Barton Grange has seen countless changes over the years.
Situated in Garstang, just outside Preston, this family owned, four star hotel is the perfect place for a weekend break.
You can escape into the beautiful countryside nearby, enjoy retail therapy in Preston or take the 20 minutes drive to Blackpool for a breath of fun and sea air .
Draw up to the hotel and you will be faced with a very modern exterior but once inside Barton Grand Hotel is an eclectic mix of tasteful sophistication and stylish old world charm with outstanding interior design features.
There’s no stuffy reception desk but a comfortable area with a reception table and comfy sofas. The foyer is so well planned there’s even a discreetly placed grand piano amidst the luxurious chairs. As you journey further into the hotel the light and airy contemporary décor mingles beautifully into another era as the oak staircase of the original house comes into view and the wood panel lounge, open fires and ingle nooks bring the glory of Barton Grange into full focus. It is plain to see that the interior design of this hotel is unique and has taken some skillful planning.
Barton Grange, since it opened as a hotel nearly 50 years ago, has undergone many changes and a recent major refurbishment. Its rooms are more than comfortable, especially the beds, with their British handmade EPOC mattresses, whilst a dip in the hotel’s pool or a sauna is to be highly recommended.
Our room overlooked the gardens and the gardens are the jewel in the crown of Barton Grange. There’s gazebos, lawns, nooks, seats and benches, wonderful flowers and walk ways. You’ll always find a quiet corner to relax and chill here.
Barton Grange is famous for its Walled Garden Restaurant and rightly so. The restaurant overlooks the gardens and has a delightful patio that’s just made for sipping aperitifs or enjoying post dinner drinks in the moonlight.
The Walled Garden is incredibly planned with amazingly comfortable seats at skillfully placed tables to give you the feeling of having your own individual space as sit on high backed chairs – the ultimate in style and comfort. Whether-ever you sit in the restaurant there’s an uninterrupted view of the garden through the large picture windows.
The restaurant is famous for its menu, which has a Lancashire twist, supports local producers and uses home grown produce in its dishes.
We started our meal with a cocktail and I was lucky enough to have my own bespoke cocktail created by Aaron the restaurant manager, which was truly delicious whilst my partner really was impressed with his mojito that had a different twist – it was the first one he had had anywhere in the world that was not green.
There’s a great choice of starters on the menu butI opted for the Fleetwood Fishcake. The fishcake came beautifully presented with leaves and lemon. You could really taste the fish in it which is a rarity these days when most fishcakes come with a miniscule bit of fish and an overdose of potato!
My partner went for the meat platter as a starter. There was a plentiful selection including Lancashire ham, mini pork pies, pastrami, with smoked Lancashire cheese and all sorts of homemade goodies and some delicious toasted bread.
To accompany our meal we chose a Conto Vecchio Pinot Grigio Blush. It was an off-dry without being sweet and was chilled just right. The wine list at The Walled Garden is exceptionally reasonable and the quality of wines served excellent for the price.
My choice had to be from the Lancashire Classics section of the menu. As a fish lover and one who knows just how fresh Fleetwood fish is, I had to opt for the Fleetwood Market Fish of the Day which was Sea Bass. My fish came hot and perfectly cooked. The fish was moist and the skin was crispy. It was served on a bed of butternut squash with steamed pak choi and this combination really did work well bringing out the flavor of the fish.
The Walled Garden is renowned for its grill and its easy to understand why. My partners Rib Eye Steak was tender, succulent and cooked exactly to his taste. For a steak the presentation was amazing with some particularly tasty grilled on the vine tomatoes and a delicious Garstang blue cheese sauce.
Had we room for a dessert? Well, I must admit we had to have a walk round the garden first! I resisted their famous signature dish of sticky toffee pudding as it was just too calorie loaded but I did plump for a small portion of the Rich Dark Chocolate & Bailey’s Tart which was my sweet but sinful heaven on a plate.
My partner chose the Apple Crumble Pie with custard and as someone who doesn’t normally eat all his sweet course he polished it all off, which says a lot.
Barton Grange Hotel is a wonderful place for those wanting to dine in a real country garden atmosphere. It’s not an overly large or pretentious hotel but its stylish and its restaurant excellent. It boasts a friendly staff and a welcoming atmosphere and is the perfect get-away for a special occasion or just a relaxing indulgent weekend. Barton Grange Hotel, Garstang Road, Barton, Present PR3 5AA. Tel: 01772 866135 or visit www.bartongrangehotel.com