Restaurant review - The Dressers Arms, Wheelton

Dresser's Arms in Wheelton
Dresser's Arms in Wheelton
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Every once in a while your reviewer’s assistant reviewer, would-be editorial director and occasional advisor on spelling, comes up with a little gem.

Her latest came on a walk near Healey Nab, Chorley’s mountain range.

A wagon load of lambs was emerging from a farm on what was presumably their first and last trip out.

“Which one is Henry, do you think,” she asked? If it hadn’t been so heartless I’d have laughed out loud.

Anyway, it wasn’t actually very long before we caught up with him ... at The Dressers just down the road. He didn’t have far to go, as it turned out.

The last time we dined here it was a pub scene from The Archers, Emmerdale and EastEnders come to life, only with more extras.

And again it’s back-slapping bonhomie, beer with unusual names, a couple of dogs jousting, families tucked into corners and tucking into food.

There’s even a male debating society at one end of the bar: Vladimir Putin can do what he wants in the Crimea; has David Moyes got days or weeks left? What exactly have the Liberal Democrats contributed to the coalition?

The political parties ought to call by and listen in to save money on their market research. I’m about to chip in with a comment on the Old Etonian Cabinet when the barman glances my way.

We choose Fallen Nun and something Pippin from those unusually named beers. Space is at a premium until we spot The Snug partly hidden by the male debating society beyond the bar.

Snug hardly describes it. Two cosy little split level rooms, soft lighting, plus lit candles in wine bottles, genuine artefacts from the brewery industry on cornice shelving around the walls.

Both starters are hearty amounts. Four whole mushrooms, firm, big and possibly chestnut, are dowsed in a light and creamy cheese sauce and with a fresh salad, all served in a bowl.

The generous quantity of chunky potato wedges are tastily Cajun spiced on a bed of crispy salad with chilli sauce dip. A request for more dip brings twice the original amount.

Henry was obviously well farmed, and cooked, as he is now tender, moist and flavoursome in a rich gravy.

I’ve gone for mash, the wisdom of which the assistant soon recognises.

Her haddock with prawns are delicious in ample white wine sauce, but she’s chosen new potatoes which, though tasty, lack the supreme absorption quality of the reviewer’s choice.

It’s a timely reminder of the dining team hierarchy.

Oddly, both meals come with what we took to be tinned carrots and peas, though the accompanying cabbage is not, but is soggy.

A lemon crusty cheesecake is light and zesty with cream. The assistant, still under the sticky toffee pudding prohibition, is given special dispensation to have one on this occasion on the flimsy excuse that she didn’t fancy anything else.

The toffee sauce and ice cream are up there, but the sponge is of the light, fluffy and slightly lacking-in-taste variety. It’s good, but it’s not of the preferred dense heaviness which tends to produce a more intense flavour offering a more distinct contrast with the sauce and the ... but let’s not get started on that.

The bill came to £51.

Name: The Dressers Arms

Address: Briers Brow, Wheelton, Chorley

Contact: 01254 830041 or www.dressersarms.co.uk

Details: Food served every day noon to 9pm, and Sunday to 8pm. Specials boards. Early bird offers.

Wheelchair access: Smooth slope up to the entrance, one step