It was my 40th birthday yesterday.
Even as I type those words I still can't believe it. I think I must be in denial. I'd been burying my head in the sand for weeks. I only decided a week ago what I wanted to do to celebrate and I totally made the right decision.
Of course there was plenty of this:
The boys were booked in for a night at Hotel Grandma and Grandad.
I had been searching for a hotel/restaurant to go to with my husband, Andy.
I found this place:
As you can see from the fact that he has his name emblazoned all over it, this is Marco Pierre White's The Swan Inn. It's in Aughton, Lancashire, off the A59 between Ormskirk and Liverpool. We stayed there last night and had one of the best nights we have ever had. Seriously. It was perfect.
The Swan Inn has only been open for three weeks, the official opening (with MPW) is next week. Everything is brand new. The bar and dining room are beautiful. The bedrooms are stylish and comfortable. The service is impeccable.
We had a glass of champagne while we looked at the menu. The Veuve Clicquot was quite pricey at £11 a glass, but with our dinner we chose a £15 bottle of Chilean Sauvignon Blanc. It was very drinkable, quite moorish in fact!
So how was the food? The food was AMAZING! It was everything you would expect from MPW. I could easily run out of superlatives describing the starters, so I'll just tell you what we had. Andy had veloute of mushrooms and I had a fish cake. They were both wonderful.
For the main course Andy had a tasty fish pie and I had rump steak. I'm trying not to use cliches here, but the steak was cooked to perfection (as was the fish). It really did melt in the mouth. MPW's onion rings are wonderful too.
We were quite full, but it would have been rude not to look at the dessert menu. We both had the sticky toffee pudding. It was TO DIE FOR.
We chatted to the manager after our meal and as soon as he found out it was my birthday he gave us a glass of champagne each on the house to take to our room. Here we are after drinking it:
You may be able to spot that I had changed into my pyjamas by this point:
We stayed up rather late drinking champagne. You can see the gorgeous flock wallpaper in this photograph:
We felt a little unwell this morning. We felt a lot better after breakfast. There was no breakfast menu, you could have whatever you wanted. A full English breakfast was what I wanted and even that was supurb.
The room, including breakfast, was only £75 for the two of us. Our food only came to £56. I'm not telling you how much we spent on alcohol! I've still got a headache this evening. There is also a set menu for £17.50. An absolute bargain if you ask me.
MPW calls this style of restaurant "affordable glamour". He is spot on. We were treated like we were the most important customers in the restaurant and the food was sensational. The price tag was more than reasonable. We loved The Swan Inn and will be going back. See you there?