Traditional pub grub and a side dish of history...

Combo platter at the Brook Tavern
Combo platter at the Brook Tavern
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Laura Wild visits the Brook Tavern in Brook Street, Preston

The last time I visited the Brook Tavern was probably more than a year ago. I had gone to review the pub and had planned to have tea there, but when we arrived we were told they weren’t serving food.

Now, The Brook Tavern is under new management and serves food seven days a week.

I went with a friend for a midweek pub tea and proceeded to bore her with some history I had learnt on my last visit. The pub, previously called the Cattle Market Hotel, was built in connection with a cattle market.

Providing visitors to the market with accommodation, in the 1860s the inside of the pub was home to a bar, sitting room, kitchen, pantry, bathrooms, bedrooms and more. Outside there had been stables, a shed and a stand for cows. Today the pub is modern, but not over the top.

We had been tempted by the spacious beer garden - which we passed through from the car park to get to the entrance – but for the first time in a few days the sun wasn’t shining, so we went inside. It was early evening but there were already a few tea-time drinkers and other people dining.

The pub is huge inside with towering ceilings, which gives a nice feeling of space. It is well decorated and clean with TV’s on the walls and plenty of places to sit.

We grabbed a seat by the window after getting a drink of coke each (£1) – it was a school night after all.

There’s plenty of choice on the menu and we couldn’t quite decide what to have. I think the best way to describe the menu would be traditional pub grub with all the favourites including fish and chips, scampi and chips, burgers, steaks, lasagne, baguettes and more.

We went for the mixed combo starter (£7.95) which is for two but would easily feed four. It looked mouth-wateringly good as it arrived at the table and tasted every bit as nice.

It was made up of onion rings, wedges, chicken wings, garlic bread, garlic mushrooms and scampi and went down a treat.

It was pretty filling so we asked for a few minutes until the main meal arrived.

It looks like it is a popular place with the locals and the bar staff seemed to know a lot of the customers; it was nice to see, especially with so many pubs struggling. And I bet the food helps.

For the main course I had the BBQ Chicken Melt (£6.95). The portion was huge with a chicken breast topped with BBQ sauce, grilled bacon and melted cheese, served with steak house chips and garden peas. The chicken was served in a separate dish which I dished out onto my plate as it looked like there was quite a bit of fat or juices in the dish. However, even though the chicken was covered in BBQ sauce it was quite bland in taste. The majority of the chips were nice but some tasted refried. A little disappointing after such a good starter.

My friend had the Piri Piri chicken burger (£6.95) A chicken breast marinated in Piri sauce served on a floured bap with steak house chips and salad garnish. I had a taste of the chicken which had more flavour than mine but wasn’t quite as spicy as the menu had suggested, being more tangy than spicy to our taste, but the service was spot on and it was good value for money.

The Brooke Tavern also has various offers on during the week, including a curry night on a Wednesday and fishy Fridays. On Thursdays children eat free.

www.brooktavernpreston.com