I live for the sun and so when we were shown to a table on the conservatory overlooking Lytham Square I couldn’t have felt happier. There’s a chill in the air outside, but when I feel the glow of the sun against my skin through the glass, I feel like I’ve been transported to the Mediterranean.
For a Saturday tea time it’s moderately busy – our table was booked for 5pm but we arrived a little early which wasn’t a problem. Families have finished their desserts at nearby stalls, while outdoor tables begin to fill with twenty-somethings dressed for evening cocktails. Seating ranged from high bar style diners to cozy booths and table with bucket chairs. The atmosphere hints at a hip crowd and the low hum of tropical house music really helps set the mood.
The old RBS building on the corner of Clifton Street dates back to the 1700s when it was the Williams Deacon Bank. It opened as a tavern in 2017 and retains some of the old traditional bar features.
Waiters seem to have been scarce when we wanted to order so as I was considering going upstairs to order drinks from the bar it was irritating to see the group of ladies at the next table being served instantly – waiter said then asked if we were ready to order, but only after getting his attention.
But it was worth the wait and I was happily enjoying the sun when our meals arrived.
I ordered roast monkfish, grilled shallot, British asparagus and lemon butter, while my partner Brian ordered the farmhouse trio – which consisted of a 4oz beef tenderloin, half a duck breast, a lamb chop, a fondant potato and a mixture of vegetables in a port juice.
Jobs increase thanks to the new look of the old bank
I had been told that the burbot is a slimy deep-sea fish with a huge mouth full of fangs that looks like a creature from a horror movie. Formerly marketed under the name of “false langoustines”, it is now a delicacy. It was artfully presented and I almost felt guilty taking it down. It was cooked well – light and fluffy with a firm, meaty texture. The citrus from the lemon butter enhanced the flavor and the salad potatoes were absolutely delicious.
Brian started with vegetables; crunchy snow peas, green beans and succulent carrots, all with a subtle hint of spice.
The duck half-filet was succulent and with a sweet, gamey taste that melted in your mouth. The lamb chop was equally satisfying and the beef tenderloin devoured with approval. The port juice really made the three pieces of meat burst with flavor, without overpowering the dish. Everything on the plate was top quality and expertly cooked.
A dish with a drink for two came to £74 so a special occasion rather than an everyday meal. But the menu also had plenty of cheaper options, including salads and pub classics.
All in all, an outstanding dining experience that set the bar high for future visits. The delicious food and summer vibe means we are already planning a return visit.