Let’s face it – by Morecambe standards the Midland Hotel is posh, as the great Lionel Jeffries might say, with a capital P.
Our town’s jewel in the crown is a shimmering Mecca of Art Deco splendour, famed for afternoon teas and high-end cuisine.
It’s not the kind of place you can walk into off the street with two kids, sit down and order family-friendly grub without breaking the bank. Right?
My wife, two boys and I popped in to the Midland’s Ravilious Rotunda Bar one Thursday just before 5pm, not sure what to expect.
By the end of our stay, we’d enjoyed a classic teatime meal, first class food, fantastic service, and paid only slightly more than you’d expect from many gastro pubs these days.
We thought we’d struggle to get a table or be told they are for hotel residents only.
Not a bit of it. The place was virtually empty and the Rotunda is open to all.
So we grabbed one of its plush magenta booths, gazed out across towards the striking bar area in all its glittery whiteness, kicked back and relaxed.
There is plentiful choice on the Rotunda menu. Everything from Morecambe Bay potted shrimps to traditional fish and chips with mushy peas.
Steaks are competitively priced and there are also tapas platters to share, speciality burgers, salads and sandwiches, desserts, as well as a gin, cocktail, wine and rum menu.
The four of us shared a filling fish platter of salmon, prawns, smoked haddock potato fritters, lime and chilli smoked mackerel and mixed leaf salad (£12) to start.
I munched my way through a tasty chargrilled halloumi burger with roasted pepper and portobello mushroom in a brioche bun, served with chips and seasonal coleslaw (£8.50) washed down with a crisp pint of Peroni (£5).
Rave reviews also came from my dining companions for their smoked pulled ham hock sandwich (£8), Lancashire cheese sandwich and soup of the day (£10.50), and marinated buttermilk chicken and bacon salad (£9.50).
Overall the bill came to £61.87 including drinks – although I should remark that the fabulous Midland staff gave us a 10 per cent discount for the heinous crime of being a couple of minutes late serving one of the dishes.
Unnecessary as far as we were concerned, but demonstrative of the Midland’s high standards.