19 February 2010

Affordable Glamour

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?


  1. Sounds lovely, and also sounds like you had a wonderful time. Its really nice that you had an experience so memorable for your special birthday. Hope its not to long before you are able to go back

  2. Sandy you look wonderful, gkad you had a great time

  3. Ooh, Happy Birthday. The pair of you look absolutely fabulous. What a brilliant venue too. Sending you a virtual cake and candles!

  4. It sounds just perfect, I love MPW. You look so happy - its not so bad being 40 is it xx

  5. Sounds like a wonderful way to celebrate. Happy Birthday xxx

  6. Now that sounds like my kinda place :o) Shame its so far away from grandparent hotels though!!

  7. Sounds wonderful Sandy and belated birthday greetings. Well organised! I do enjoy good tucker myself and welcome to the 40s club ;-)

  8. Sounds like you had a lovely birthday! And you look like you had a good time too! A well earned break to enjoy your birthday!

  9. So glad you had a lovely birthday, looks like a lot of fun!

  10. Sounds like you had a wonderful time! Happy belated birthday to you. I love the photos, you both look so happy!

  11. Congratulations....you both look so happy. :0) xx

  12. Awww that looks wonderful, and Happy Birthday, February is a good month. ;D

  13. oh happy birthday! It sounds like such a wonderful evening. Hope you are feeling better now though. :)

  14. Welcome to the fabulous forties club and belated Happy Birthday. The Swan sounds fab...definitely my kind of place - pity it's so far away x

  15. Wow, Happy Birthday. Pictures all look amazing!

    S x

  16. how lovely, belated happy birthday

  17. Glad you had a great time - and you shouldn't fret about the 4-0 thing - you're not remotely looking it, so it's all good :) xx

  18. First of all, Happy Birthday! And welcome to the club! That was a fantastic birthday and good to know about The Swan. I was on that area yesterday and I'd certainly love to go there at some point. I wonder if daughter could also go to Hotel Grandma and Grandad.........?

  19. Happy Birthday !

    Oh what a night ...

  20. Happy Birthday!! Sounds like you had a great time, and what a great price x

  21. Glad you had a perfect birthday evening! I would never have thought of MPW as being affordable - good to know :)

  22. Lorraine, it was wonderful and I can't imagine spending my 'special' birthday any other way :-)

    The Mad House, thank you :-)

    Rosie, thank you, we felt pretty fabulous :-) Ooh, that's a lot of candles to send!

    More4Mums, it would have been even more perfect if I was only 30 ;-) I'm getting used to being 40 now!

    Photo Puddle, it was, thank you :-)

  23. Slim Lens, what a shame about the location of the Grandparents' hotels! :-(

    Kate, thank you, ooh, there's a club?! :-)

    Laura, thank you, we really did enjoy ourselves :-)

    Not Supermum, thank you, it was :-)

    Baking Mad Mama, thank you. We are happy, even with hangovers! :-)

  24. Nova, thank you, we are :-) x

    Jo, thank you. Yes, there's a lot of lovely people with Feb birthdays ;-)

    Heather, thank you. Still haven't completely recovered my voice!!

    Mummmmeeeee, I like the sound of the Fab 40's club! MPW does rooms... :-)

    Solveig, thank you :-)

  25. Ang, thank you :-)

    Capital Mom, it was a wonderful treat :-)

    Littledude's Mummy, you are officially my new best friend ;-) x

    Working Mum, thank you. I'd thoroughly recommend it. We did look at the place you went to for your birthday, but eek, it was quite pricey (you lucky thing)! I'm so glad we found MPW. Hotel Grandma gets rather booked up - there are 8 grandchildren! :-)

    Muddling Along, oh what a night indeed! :-)

  26. New Mummy, thank you. I know, what a bargain (apart from the £11 glasses of champagne)!

    Make Do Mum, thank you. I was surprised when I saw the menu! :-)


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