Perhaps Garstang wasn’t the cleverest place to visit with the family on a Sunday when its trademark market was closed, along with pretty much everything else.
But Pipers Restaurant was open, and we were glad to duck in out of the chilly February air.
Housed in an 18th Century cottage-like building on Garstang’s High Street, Pipers is much roomier inside than it appears from the road.
We entered into a tiny and tastefully decorated bar and reception where a friendly waitress took our coats.
She showed us into the cosy eating area, complete with low ceiling, oak beams, stone walls, panelled floor and a wood burning stove fire. Welcomely, we were seated right next to its warming flames.
Initially it felt like Pipers wasn’t the ideal place to bring our two boys. Although it was lunchtime, tables were set out with wine glasses as if for evening meals. We also noticed our fellow customers were mainly older couples enjoying a sophisticated Sunday lunch.
Our fears were soon allayed.
Although the restaurant boasts an extensive main a la carte menu, lunch-friendly lighter bites were also available. Choices included a range of soup and sandwich combos,
ciabattas and burgers, including a gourmet burger made with tender fresh mince (£8.95).
Including drinks, our total bill for four came to £37.95, more than you’d pay for a pub or cafe family lunch, but the quality of food and quaint ambience made it well worth it.
And just reading some of the dishes on the main menu was enough to make my mouth water and long to return for an evening meal for two.
Lancashire cheese and onion pie with sticky chilli jam, fillet of Bowland beef mushroom souffle, old Garstang sausage and Cumbrian fell-bred lamb rump...it’s clear locally-sourced ingredients are very much Pipers’ watchword.
Grills, breakfasts and even special ‘grazing’ ploughman’s boards of chargrilled vegetables, dips, olives, pitta bread, meats and cheeses added to a menu of great depth and variety, which would not be complete without the famous Garstang Blue cheese.
A takeaway menu is also available and the restaurant will cater for functions.
Pipers also has a special market menu, complementing the a la carte, between Tuesdays and Thursdays with ‘early bird’ discounts.
All in all, we had a lovely ‘run out’ on a Sunday afternoon capped by a cultured lunchtime dining experience.
As a result, I’m more than happy to trumpet Pipers as a fine place to eat.