Living on the cusp of rural Preston means there is no shortage of good rustic eateries, full of charm and menus full of hearty grub.
It’s always a good excuse for a weekend drive, preferably not in gale force winds, to enjoy a bit of a healthy walk and a leisurely drink in various country pubs dotted around the county.
This means you sometimes forget about those more or less on the doorstep and deciding to treat Dad to lunch in return for his multiple handyman duties and recent decorating around the house, we decided on the Broughton Inn, a place we hadn’t been for some time.
Although Broughton village is now anything but a village with the number of new estates which have appeared in very recent years the country pub still sits proudly on the Broughton crossroads, oozing rural charm and character.
It has for a while been part of the Vintage Inns collective, which includes the Walton Fox, at Bamber Bridge, and The River Wyre pub, in Poulton.
They have a similar quaint country appeal with relaxed, simple settings but with plusher menus more in line with the gastro market.
As with most pubs as part of a group - menus have a consistent theme and during the week Vintage Inns offer a set price for two and three courses all day as well a varied lunch offering served Monday to Friday until 5pm.
The lunch deal costs £11.95 for two dishes and £14.95 for three and is good value for money, given the choice and size of meal.
For starters we enjoyed a duck pate with rustic bread and garnish and lamb koftas served with salad.
When your starters arrive on full size plates - the hungry diner does not expect to be left disappointed.
The chargrilled koftas were a particular highlight - lovely , tender and juicy and the tzatziki full of added flavour. The dress slaw added a perfect fresh tang.
The pate again was beautifully served. It was a duo with coarse pork and Madeira pâté and duck liver parfait, served with Bramley apple, butter and baby gherkins. There was more than enough for a lunch and it was very tasty.
This was a hearty meal for the both of us and for mains the order included chicken and mushroom pie in a chardonnay, woodland mushroom and leek sauce, topped with puff pastry, served with chunky chips, roasted carrots and seasonal greens.
My Dad enjoys a good homemade pie and to see the dish cleared so swiftly - it clearly had his approval. For him to comment on the size of his portion left me in no doubt he was a fan.
The additional vegetables were plentiful for a side portion when compared to other gastro pub offerings and there was the choice between the chips or a spring onion mash.
The selection of cask ales were also pleasing - fitting in two pints at lunch and a good dinner would leave some resting time ahead of his coaching duties at football training that evening.
For my hot beef brisket sandwich with beef dripping sauce and pickled pink onions on sourdough I too opted for chunky chips. The dripping sauce was very much a guilty pleasure. Very filling but perfect with crispy chips.
This was a casual, laid back lunch and the staff, even in fewer numbers than an evening, were most helpful and friendly. There were no delays in drink servings or with the food and they were only too pleased to serve additional drinks and sauces.
The atmosphere was warm, the bar lounge area bright, inviting and comfortable.
The setting of the Broughton Inn is fitting for the chain. The pub has been a prominent part of the village for 150 years. It still stands proud in the heart of historic Broughton, in a prominent spot on the corner of the junction.
It is a shame the new set up with the by pass means it no longer enjoys the passing trade it probably once enjoyed but it’ is still very much a classic pub at heart, full of history and character.
The picturesque surroundings do still provide that semi-rural backdrop to savour filling, seasonal pub food.
It’s dog friendly, enjoyed by its regulars and provides a great setting for a quiet lunch, intimate meal or even a full party of family and friends.
The Vintage Inn website makes it accessible for customers to peruse the full menus on offer and an online booking service for tables, which is quite useful.