Brian Ellis puts on his slippers and finds a perfect meal right on his doorstep
Foodies will travel miles for five-star cuisine, but we could have walked to Langs of Longton in our carpet slippers.
The villages along the A59 south-west of Preston are so well-served with decent eating houses that the natives need never venture far in search of a first class feed.
We chose Langs because, well, quite simply, it has the best reputation of the lot in this neck of the woods.
This was probably our 10th trip through the doors of this bijou dining room off the main Preston to Southport road.
And, as ever, it scored top marks for food, service and ambience.
Those unfamiliar with this part of Lancashire would never guess its previous life was as a roadside Little Chef which served acceptable chicken and chips to travellers in need of a hearty meal.
Outside and in it has been beautifully transformed.
And, while you can still get chicken and chips, it is barely recognisable with its sun-blushed tomatoes and goats’ cheese, wrapped in streaky bacon and served with roasted Mediterranean vegetables and tomato ragu.
But I’m jumping ahead.
For starters it was a tough choice, but Mrs Ellis went for the chicken liver parfait, red onion marmalade, pear chutney and ciabatta croutes.
Unusually she summed it up with just one word: “Wonderful.”
I picked the kedgeree-style fish cakes topped with poached egg, fresh rocket, chorizo and pea veloutee.
I could have eaten it again for mains.
One of Langs’ most popular choices of main course – and mine – is their signature duo of lamb.
A chunk of slow-cooked meat perched on a champ mash potato cake and garnished with mini lamb fritters, honey-glazed carrots and a rich redcurrant, mint and port reduction.
I’ve had it before and I’ll have it again. Perfect.
The lady opposite opted for oven-roasted chicken breast, with chorizo and wild mushroom risotto and a red wine and tarragon jus.
Our two courses from the Table de Hote menu cost £18.95 a person (£20.95 if you go for the main course and dessert combination).
Side orders, like flavoured mash, rice, side salad or chips cost an extra £2.50.
The a la carte menu costs a bit more. But a two-course Sunday lunch is £14.95 or £16.95. We’ve done that too and it’s good value.
With a bottle of house white our bill came to just over £50. I’ve paid more than that for a lot less.
Monday - Saturday: 5pm-10.30pm
Sunday - 12pm-9pm
Langs of Longton, Unit 9, Bridge Court, Liverpool New Road,
Little Hoole, Preston
Call 01772 611 766