The Beeches at Standish is one of these places; the menu itself is rather long, however this is accompanied by a 'specials' board that is actually longer than the standard menu. Something seemed afoot and it wasn't just the dated carpet, soulless dining room or house wine that took the enamel off our teeth.
Bog standard interior - design style 'labour club'
Scanning the menu highlighted the kitchen's trick - repetition. Many dishes were either similar reincarnations; chicken New Yorker (cheese, bacon and BBQ sauce topping) becomes steak New Yorker, or different dishes are served with the same sauces; for a large menu there was surprisingly little choice.
Black pudding with onion gravy - the most ugly dish ever served?
Starters arrived and we were duly impressed and disappointed. Size is not an issue at The Beeches; indeed Legal Eagle's Beeches Platter was so large the rest of us shared it and it would have done myself and the boy for a Saturday afternoon lunch.
Beeches platter - large, but poor quality ingredients
The mussels were surprisingly well cooked although not served with mariniere sauce chosen, rather a thick, creamy, lumpy, tasteless mushroom sauce that was so hot I can only guess how it was heated. This sauce was not advertised on the menu (choice of mariniere, provencale or mild curry) and was presented to me as (viz waiter), "a beautiful white wine and garlic sauce, madam." I do not want to cast aspersions on the taste/level of culinary knowledge of the Beeches' usual patrons; but a kitchen that sends out one dish as another must have neither respect or care. (Surprisingly the dining room was quite full for most of the evening).
Well cooked mussels with mushroom sauce marauding as mariniere
Mains also showed a distinct lack of consideration; my medium rare fillet came out blue with a fridge cold middle, accompanied by anemic, greasy button mushrooms. The boy's lamb wrapped in bacon was an ugly, phallic like dish - thick, low quality, flabby bacon wrapped around an overcooked, tough piece if lamb. The dish was indeed an insult to both animals that had died to make it and to us as customers.
Lamb wrapped in bacon
We declined to have pudding and left thankfully left at the end of the main courses, muttering that we would not return again!
Price for four starters, four mains, four glasses of house wine and four pints: £111.30
Value for money: 4/10
Go again? No - the prices are expensive for such rubbish food. Indeed the portions are large, but it's just a case of quantity over quality. Never again shall I venture here, be warned!
Ps - if you do wish to visit, The Beeches runs a shorter, special menu with two courses for £8.95. I suspect this and the large portions is what makes The Beeches attractive to its clientele. Even for this price I wouldn't be tempted back.
The Stables Brasserie, The Beeches, School Lane, Standish, Wigan WN6 0TD - 01257 426432 - firstname.lastname@example.org