The Mulberry Tree
The Mulberry Tree
9, Wrightington Bar
Sat. 4th October 2009
A short distance from M6 junction 27 (Standish) in semi-rural setting on the corner
of a crossroad
Modern light and airy - sparse?. A large screen TV on wall in the bar was showing
Sky news, without sound - just about acceptable in the bar section we were in. The
Restaurant section (white tablecloths &c.) was not so equipped (as far as I could
It wasn't very busy when we dined - we always seem to be out of step with "normal"
folk, though there were a couple of tables occupied when we came in. The staff,
therefore, weren't being over-run. Nevertheless, they were all attentive and pleasant.
The Mulberry Tree is divided ito a bar area at the front, with tall stools at the
bar, and dining tables. The Rear is set out as a restaurant.
There doesn't appear to be any separate lounging area: we were asked to select any
table which didn't have a "reserved" placard (there were lots of reserved tables).
I soon discovered that the selected table was in the direct path of a draught from
the open door. We indicated that we were going to select another table, and the
offer to close the door was made immediately. We declined, and selected another
table - probably the one we should have picked from the outset - but with three
people all wanting different things... I ordered a pint of "Flowers" bitter, the
girls a G&T and Coke respectively (Marg, dutifully, had offered to drive)
As we had arrived late for Lunch, but early for Dinner, I decided to take my time
over the menu. Just as well, because there was a very tempting array: so difficult
to make one's mind up. Their publicity makes mention of the several awards they've
earned, including the "Northwest Dining Pub of the Year" from Les Routiers.
I did notice that they had a couple of good draught beers on, as well as the array
of lagers, and a rather good selection of Cognacs. The wine menu, in my not-so-expert
view, had a rather more impressive selection of Whites than RedRight, let's start with the Starters! My daughter, Kathryn, and I both chose the
"Black pudding on an English muffin, crispy pancetta, soft poached egg, hollandaise
sauce & seasonal leaves".
My wife, Marg, selected the "Chicken liver & foie gras
parfait with pear compote & toasted brioche". These were stunningly good. There
just wasn't any way one could have improved them. Sad to say, though, I could tell
that I had probably bitten off more than I could chew: the portions were ample,
and I was beginning to realise that I would have trouble doing the main course justice.
Marg and Kathryn both went for the "Steamed steak, ale & mushroom pudding, hand
cut chips & seasonal vegetables ", while I picked the "Rack of New Season Lamb".
The girls were very pleased with their dishes - indeed so was I after I'd sampled
them! Marg didn't try my lamb, as it is not her favourite meat, and this was compounded
with it being slightly on the rare side of the medium rare I'd asked for, and Marg
does not like blood. Kathryn, on the other hand, thought it was delicious. I was
quite happy with the lamb, but have to say I found the jus accompanying it slightly
too strongly flavoured. Personal taste, and no criticism intended. Another round
of drinks during the meal, after which we were all quite sure we could not manage
a dessert, even though they were extremely enticing. I couldn't even muster support
for sharing just one between the three of us. Coffees, accompanied by scrummy, presumably
home-made, chocolates, finished off the meal very nicely.
Very good. attentive without being intrusive.
In my opinion, nicer when people started arriving, just as we were coming to the
end of our meal. When there were few people in, the (slight) noise of the ventilation
was, to me, noticeable. When the restaurant started to fill up, there was a pleasant
"buzz" and it became evident that the place has a good local following.
The Mulberry Tree has a large car park. The toilets were exemplary. They also offer
a take-away service, with considerable reductions in price for the food, and for
any house wine ordered.
This is where it gets interesting. The 2-course bar-meal menu offer (not after 7pm
on Saturdays) is just £11.50! If I remember correctly, my choice of Lamb added £3
to the bill, but even with drinks, the total was just £65 for the three of us. This
represents excellent value for money, given the surroundings, service and quality
I've been before, and "I'll be back!"
See bar at right.
Sandro & Marg