Thursday, 28 July 2011

The Windmill - Parbold

There must be a 'how to' guide on putting together upmarket country pubs that's doing the rounds of Northern villages at the moment. Roaring fires, mismatched furniture, real ale on tap, Farrow and Ball paint scheme and a gourmet burger on the menu.

The Windmill in Parbold has recently been revamped and it seems they have read the aforesaid how to. The dining room and snug are replete with old, mismatched furniture and a fire roars away in the main dining room. Conveniently for The Windmill they are actually located next to an interiors shop - which is good, as their walls are definitely Farrow and Ball Elephant's Breath. And yes there is a gourmet burger on the menu.

The Windmill Interior - with thank to The Windmill Parbold

The daytime menu (for it was daytime when we were there) is quite long, encompassing usual pub fare such as fish and chips, calves liver and steak and ale pie. For those who want something smaller/are on a budget, there's also the light bites menu. The menu promotes local food and suppliers, though unlike places such as The Clogg and Billycock, there is no mention of them in the menu, other that 'Scotts the Butchers.'

Fish and Chips

Food is well presented, but there seems to be something lacking in the execution. The venison and chorizo burger was small, very, very salty and dry; yummy mummy's risotto was soggy and badly seasoned, however there was no fault with the boy's fish and chips (could you get that wrong) and my duo of sausages on cheesy mash was well cooked. The mash was surprisingly light with just the right amount of cheese taste shining through.

Venison and chorizo burger

Puddings were also hit and miss. The brownie tasted fab; dark and bitter tempered by a hint of cheeky sweetness with a tangy berry compote that sent little electroshocks of sharp pleasure across the tongue. The dish was marred by the terrible consistency; the brownie was very gritty, almost as if it had been rewarmed in the microwave and the chocolate had split.

Sticky toffee pudding

The sticky toffee pudding was large and soaked with syrup, a little too cakey in texture for me; but I only tasted a mouthful as it was wolfed by the boy in record time (no matter that it was almost a million degrees either - maybe I should take advantage of this talent and make money from his speed eating?).

Service was friendly, if a bit slow and forgetful - but as we were there to enjoy a lazy Saturday lunch it's not something that we cared about too much. The staff didn't seem that knowledgeable about ingredients, but they were more than happy to go and find out from the kitchen.

The Windmill is a great pub if you live in Parbold or the surrounding villages. They've good ales on tap and have a snug that's brilliant for reading your book and watching the comings and goings of the villages. Whether you'd bother travelling far for another country village gastropub clone with only quite alright food is another matter.

Ps - if you go in winter wear your coat to the toilets, they are sub-zero freezing!

Cost for four mains, four puddings and drinks: £59.60

Food: 6/10
Service: 6/10
Atmosphere: 7/10
Value for money: 6/10

Total - 25/40

The Windmill, 3 Mill Lane, Parbold, Wigan WN8 7NU - 01257 462935

http://www.thewindmillatparbold.co.uk/  @TheWindmillPub

Windmill Hotel on Urbanspoon

Windmill on Urbanspoon