The next restaurant with outdoor seating Preston’s Blog summer review series is The Artisan Deli in Penwortham, one of the newest additions to Liverpool Road’s growing restaurant and bar scene.
My daughter Ground Zero and I visited on a Saturday lunchtime to pretend we were on vacation.
Apart from the inside table where we were seated, there were only two other free tables inside and outside which was a good sign.
The outdoor space has been laid out simply, with natural and turquoise rattan chairs and decent sized tables. On warm days, guests can watch dogs float majestically out of Bubbles and Bark, kids enjoying great ice cream at The Cow Shed across the road, and adults leaving The Fleece Inn looking shocked.
Every available inch inside the deli is filled with bottles of liquor and the kind of decadent stuff that can’t be eaten on its own, like condiments, olives, and stuff stuffed inside other stuff. Almost a Willy Wonka chocolate factory for adults.
Luckily my mum Yvonne – who happily accompanies me on most of my reviews – was busy that day, otherwise she would’ve probably gotten Augustus Glooped on a lake of red wine, and dangerously nearly got stuck into Willy’s chutney funnel.
The lunch menu was small and simple, with sandwiches such as fancy egg mayonnaise with asparagus and a dash of curry, and salami and Manchego with sweet onion relish, as well as salads and charcuterie boards.
We opted for a mixed charcuterie board for two at 23.50, which arrived quickly despite being told there would be a bit of a wait.
It looked fabulous, with colors, textures and shapes cleverly arranged on a long, narrow wooden table top. A basket of fresh, hand-cut bread followed shortly after.
There were five types of meat, including serrano ham, pastrami and salami, and nine different types of cheese, as well as salad leaves, tomatoes, crackers, filo twists, grapes, pretzels, olives and two small jars of relish. The meats were all well cured, spiced and matured with no cut corners, although we both thought the pate was a bit bland.
Although every cheese was excellent most of them were soft and there were none of the blue cheeses that can be found locally like Garstang and Butler’s fabulous Blacksticks Blue which was a shame. Had a mozzarella, feta with olives, what appeared to be a brie, as well as a hot pink cheese, a marbled green, a black, and a few beige numbers.
It would have been helpful to have seen a list of the different items on the shelf so we knew what we were eating, especially since many of them were available for purchase in the shop. I only managed to find that our favorite of the cheeses was a charcoal cheddar, and the two delicious relishes were chipotle jam and a ginger caramelized red onion chutney.
Read more: Review: The Bamber Bridge pub that nails a cheese and onion tart
At £23.50 for two, the platter wasn’t cheap, but there was enough food for three to share. Considering the amount of local artisan products used in the platter and the atmosphere, decor and service, this becomes a slice of luxury at a reasonable price, and one that I would happily order again.
However next time I will be sharing one with two friends and we could take advantage of the late weekend opening to try one of the many bottles of local wine or gins on offer at this fantastic little Delicatessen, before, hopefully hitting Gin Jar Ale and definitely missing The Fleece Inn.
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Have you been in Willy’s chutney funnel? Don’t tell us about it in the comments, it’s a family blog.