REVIEW: Toll House Inn, Lancaster

The Toll House Inn.
The Toll House Inn.
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The former Penny Street Bridge was refurbished and renamed the Toll House by Thwaites in 2015.

This was to pay homage to its heritage as the former site of the Corporation Toll House, collecting levies from traders on their way to market in Lancaster.

I visited on a Friday in March for an evening meal with my wife for the first time since the change.

The history of this building, with its period features, stained glass windows and high ceilings, creates an ambience perfect for relaxed dining.

But there is also a touch of modernity, as the menu is innovative and contains many surprising delights.

For example, there can’t be too many eateries in Lancaster serving rabbit ravioli.

For me, the highlight on the menu is the hanging kebabs.

Served with flatbread, tzatziki and fries, these chunks of meat and vegetables on curving, stand-up skewers are both delicious and a talking point.

Choices include Moroccan lamb and apricot, chicken and mixed peppers, and vegetable and halloumi cheese.

I chose king prawn and chorizo in citrus butter and at £14, its succulence was well worth the money.

My wife had a rich and tasty steak and kidney pudding with thick cut chips and mushy peas (£12).

The menu also includes a fine array of starters, build-your-own platters, nibbles, salads, gourmet burgers, grills, desserts, traditional main courses and even a Sunday lunch, as well as cask ales and fine wines.

There is also a sandwich and light lunches menu, breakfast menu (for both hotel residents and non-residents) and options for children.

Pretty much something for everyone and I certainly couldn’t fault the food. It was beautifully presented and cooked to perfection.

If I had one criticism, it was the service. This was friendly enough, but we had to ask for cutlery after our cheese and biscuits arrived, and our waitress also initially forgot my side order of vegetables with the hanging kebab.

She was very apologetic though, so this did not put much of a dampener on what was otherwise a worthy meal in historic surroundings.

£61.40 for two starters, main courses, drinks and cheese and biscuits, and we didn’t even have to pay a toll!

GREG LAMBERT