Booked for lunch Sunday as this eatery was, more or less, on my way home from watching my talented nephew play rugby in Bolton, I had seen good reviews so thought it worth coat of looking at but as there was no website did not really know what to expect.
Firstly, we received a warm welcome and the blazing fire did wonders for the ambience. I noted a tremendous selection of beers, mostly from ‘local’ breweries which earned a star straight away. I asked for a menu and wine list and was informed that there was no wine list and it seemed to be a case of whatever wine had been bought that week was what was available. My wife and I always decide what we are to eat before we order drinks so we sat down to read our menus. Mine was ‘Burger-side’ up so my first reaction was a little negative as my wife does not eat burgers but my neck was saved as, on the other side, were more ‘conventional’ mains and the one that looked especially inviting on a first visit was the steak, in one of the pub’s own cask ales, pie so that was my wife sorted. I was decidedly taken with the ‘Darwen Tower Burger’ which comprised of 2 burgers, a rasher of bacon, a slice of black pudding and melted cheese with chips, onion rings and salad so that was me taken care of, thus, it was just a matter of what to drink and we settled on a Merlot, which, as it transpired, was Italian; given that we always drink French or New World wines this was a step into the unknown but at £9.95 a bottle we weren’t risking too much. It could have been served a little warmer but that it a minor criticism. The meals arrived, my wife pie being in a ceramic dish with a fantastic short crust ‘biscuit’ on top, the mash, roast and veg being arranged at the side of it on the plate (I forgot to mention that the steak and ale pie had only just come out of the oven freshly homemade). My amazing burger came on a wooden platter/chopping board with the wonderful hand-cut, thick chips in a small dish of their own as were the homemade (judging by the batter) onion rings with the salad at the side. The burger was held together with a small skewer but had to be ‘de-constructed’ so that it could be eaten. It was superb which is not a word one would normally associate with burgers but my guess is that the meats were bought from a local butcher and not of the mass produced variety and cooked just right. Fortunately, we had not ordered starters but, unfortunately, we were unable to have puddings due to the generous portion sizes (I didn’t even manage to eat all of my chips!). As it was Sunday there was a roast on offer and a lady at the table next to ours ordered a ‘small’ portion which looked perfectly adequate unless one has a truly ‘hearty’ appetite. We will certainly go again but next time(s) it will be a decision to go there rather than it being a stopping off point and as it is only about a tweet minute drive from home it will not be a problem. My wife actually suggested that it might be an idea to have a starter and pudding and give the mains a miss so that we can get to sample those. As others have commented, the menu is limited but that works for me because it makes the decision about what to eat easier but, although limited there is still, in my opinion, ample choice. But for the size of the establishment it could almost be described as a bistro with the randomly chosen tables and chairs with which the establishment is furnished. There is a nice family atmosphere and to categorise it as a ‘Gastro’ pub is probably a label too far. I can do no more than give The Old Function Room a massive recommendation that anyone considering this place should definitely go and if your experience is anything like ours you will not be disappointed and your wallet/purse will not be much slimmer when you leave.
Posted 11 months, 27 days ago...
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