Chris Maguire was after something cheap and cheerful when he had a business meeting to arrange.
As dinner dates go my companion for our working lunch last week wouldn’t pretend to be an oil painting.
For once it wasn’t Mrs M - in fact it wasn’t a woman at all - but the only thing on our mind was business.
Looking for a suitable location for the meeting I suggested The Railway, in Preston Road, Leyland.
“Where is it?” asked my companion.
“Opposite Leyland Railway Station,” I responded. “You can’t miss it.” Minutes later my mobile phone burst into life with a text message.
“Where is it?” he asked predictably.
That’s the thing with The Railway. Despite being in a prominent location and being an imposing building it’s quite easy to miss.
The opening of the new Wetherspoons pub in Hough Lane, Leyland, means the competition has hotted up but The Railway has definitely risen to the challenge.
Walking through the front door is a bit like entering Dr Who’s Tardis.
It’s much bigger than you imagine and very open plan.
The Railway Hotel (to give it its full name) was built in the 1830s, mainly for the benefit of the workforce constructing the new Preston to Wigan railway line.
It was originally named The Railway Bridge Hotel, but by 1866 it had changed its name to The Railway Hotel.
These days The Railway serves a wide selection of quality lagers, beers, wines and spirits and was recently awarded North West Sports Pub of The Year in the Great British Pub Awards.
The food is an important part of the business but it’s not the most important.
It’s very popular with football fans, who can take advantage of a loyalty card system that gives them a free pint after every 10 pints.
Live music and entertainment is also an important strand of their business.
I picked up a flier and they have a packed schedule over Christmas and New Year.
As a result the menu is limited but it has everything you want for a midweek lunch.
I opted for a steak and ale pie with chips (£5.50) while my companion went for scampi and chips (also £5.50) when he eventually arrived. (I hope he gets a sat nav for Christmas!)
As for the food, it was excellent.
I went to the recently-opened Leyland Lion last month and the food was every bit as good.
The chunky chips lived up to their name and were delicious - as was the pie.
There was no hint of any fat on the meat and I polished it off in no time.
My companion’s scampi and chips met a similar fate.
Neither of us were drinking anything stronger than a Pepsi and a cup of tea so the entire bill cost £14.10. What a bargain.
If food isn’t The Railway’s strongest hand then the entertainment must be out of this world!
I was very impressed. It was the perfect place for a meeting and the food was excellent.
NAME: The Railway, 1 Preston Road, Leyland, PR25 4NT
TEL: 01772 458427
CUISINE: Tradional British pub grub
OFFERS: Loyalty card system for football fans