March 2, 2016

When my partner and I received the long awaited confirmation of renting a new home, we celebrated the only way we know how… with food.

After trawling the Internet for restaurants within a 10 mile radius and that served food well after 7.30pm, we opted for The Riverside Inn. Home to many revels and chilled Sundays for my family throughout the years, we firmly agreed on this restaurant and bar.

A few weeks prior, I spent Monday night at The Watermead, Lostock, but this time we wanted somewhere a little more upmarket and set closer to the countryside.

First Impressions Of The Riverside Inn

After nearly missing the turning (partly due to my terrible directions and it being set just off a high-speed road), we parked up, after an appetite-led argument of “just park wherever, I’m hungry”.

On a Monday night at around 7pm, the building is quite the picture. Framed with icy-blue lights, greenery and outdoor seats, the walk to the door alone sets you up to an inviting and wonderful night.

As a regular in the summer, it’s something else in the day; Families gather at the tables outside, watching the river with ducks and boats passing by. Sections shaded by trees – oak and ones that resemble palm trees, make you feel like you’re a lot further from home.

But on a wet Monday night in February, it is quite different. But not many bars and restaurants can do more than just provide food like The Riverside Inn can: it’s suitable for a hot summer’s day and cold winter’s night too.

The Riverside Inn: Comfort And Style Intermingled

“Let’s sit there”, I said, pointing to comfortable chairs you could sink your back into and absorb the heat from the fire close by. Deep red thick curtains shadowed the floor and wall lights reflected on historical pictures.

Unfortunately, food wasn’t allowed in that section, so we began our search for an area that was equally as cosy.

Trailing through the clusters of families with young children – celebrating birthdays with huge balloons and youngsters treating the restaurant like their living room – we found an area by large windows overlooking the river.

The Riverside Inn: Comfort And Style Intermingled

Always avoiding the kitchen area and tables close to the toilets, we sat in a private booth. Each table wasn’t too close to one another and the backs to our seats were high enough to enclose us off from other parties.

Food And Drink On The Menu

TWO FOR ONE. “Yes!” we said. Who doesn’t love a bargain?

The menu itself was funky and had plenty of pub classics, burgers, curries and pastas to choose from. Some of which included:

  • Fish and chips
  • Steak and ale pie
  • Beef lasagne
  • Smothered chicken
  • Sirloin steak
  • Louisiana Burger

If you’ve grown tired of traditional pub meals and homely mash potato, they have a specials menu hung on the wall, which is also included in the two for one deal. Each time you visit here, there’s always something new on the board.

The Riverside Inn: Comfort And Style Intermingled

My heart was already set on the Louisiana Burger: Spicy beans and vegetables with mozzarella, smoked paprika and hot pepper sauce, all in a crispy breadcrumb burger and topped with guacamole.

Patient in every day life, but intolerant for waiting for waitresses to ask for your order, it’s the kind of restaurant where you order the food at the bar. Perfect. It means you don’t have to shun waitresses away with a “can you give me another 5 minutes” and them then return 20 minutes later.

My partner nor I enjoy the chore of ordering food, but the staff were polite and friendly, despite them probably growing tired of a Monday shift.

Food ordered by 7.25pm, we began observing the overly-large lamp shades, thick carpet and solid wood tables. Everyone wants to feel comfortable when they’re out for a meal, and The Riverside Inn certainly did that with us.

Decorated with character and personality, you can tell the owners care about the building and satisfying their customers.

Casting my eye at the time, 15-20 minutes later, the food arrived; not too soon that it was suspicious and could have been microwaved, but not too long to make us grow impatient. (Looking at this image is making me hungry again!).

The Riverside Inn: Comfort And Style Intermingled

As a lover of vegetarian burgers, this was delicious. Coated with crispy breadcrumbs, it had a good, thick texture and a spice very much of my liking – despite cautious descriptions of “spicy beans” and “hot pepper sauce”.

Tucking into every mouthful and commenting on the thick cut chips and crispy bun, we were regularly interrupted by children from tables in another section.

Nobody likes to be disturbed when they’re enjoying a meal out, and the staff cannot be held responsible for the actions of children, but it would definitely be a good idea to have sections that kids are not allowed.

Instead of being cornered off by a small wall and two steps to another level, a more secluded area, perhaps with a door and clear sign of ‘no children’ would have prevented that from happening.

After about five minutes of the kids playing on the floor right behind me, we picked up the dessert menu. Hey, we were celebrating after all!

It only took a skim through of “golden chocolate pieces” and “indulgent chocolate brownie” to make up my mind. Damn you luscious descriptions!

The Riverside Inn: Comfort And Style Intermingled

It’s fair to say that it was a big piece of chocolate, and already admitting that it was my eyes that made the decision to order one and not my belly, I couldn’t eat it all.

The golden pieces were unique and tasty and the warm custard was creamy and slightly sweet. Given that we had the option for a cold or hot dessert and I chose hot, it would have been more enjoyable if it was warmer. (Although, then I may have finished the entire thing and I was still stuffed hours later, after only eating half).

Accompanied my mellow background music to cover up the silence of only a handful of guests, we weren’t made to feel like we should rush off and let the staff tidy up, ready for the next day.

There’s so much thought gone into the decorating and structure of the building that you should feel guilty for not admiring the Victorian-style walkways and cute little white gates when leaving.

The Riverside Inn: Comfort And Style Intermingled

The lighting was dim and the environment was chilled (apart from the rowdy kids earlier). Of the other people who were there, it was clear we were all looking for the same thing; a chilled welcoming into the week and time away from our own kitchen.

I’ll definitely be going there again, but next time go at a time when the children are at school (oops!).

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