Awarded 3 AA Rosettes for fine dining, The Lawns restaurant can be found in the heart of the Wirral countryside, within Thornton Hall hotel and spa. The restaurant is headed up by new executive chef Matthew Worswick, who represented the North West in this year's Great British Menu. With menus for lunch, dinner, afternoon tea and even a special taster of the Great British Menu dishes, I went along as part of my stay at Thornton Hall to experience their evening offerings.
The striking interior is filled with lavish chandeliers, plush armchairs and restored original features which are amplified by the large feature mirrors. We were seated at a spacious corner table with lots of room and a great view of the restaurant. I really liked that the room felt intimate whilst retaining lots of room with the generous, well placed tables. I ordered a chilled bottle of Pinot Gris whilst we flicked through the seasonal menu and indulged in some pork scratching nibbles.
We were also presented with some rather cute and equally delicious onion bread, granary and white mini loaves with soft real butter. We were already feeling well and truly looked after.
To begin, I went with Poached Smoked Haddock Linguine with a parmesan foam whilst my boyfriend opted for the Chicken and Ham Hock Terrine with pickled pear and celeriac remoulade. As with all the dishes, the source was in the dish's description; mine being from the North Sea and the terrine ingredients from the Wirral itself. It was great to see this attention to detail, which is also unsurprising since Matthew Worswick sources all his meat within a 25 mile radius.
For my main I went for Welsh Wagyu Beef which was a brisket cut with sautéed foie gras and roasted baby artichokes. You may know I tend not to eat much meat and save it for times where the produce is of fantastic quality. And what better time than now to try wagyu for the first time? As anticipated, the meat itself was tender and flavoursome, with a subtle charred taste. The elements around the plate were particularly interesting too, as the acidic taste of roast artichoke was at first a little strong, and then as it lingered at the back of my tastebuds it seemed to bring all the other elements together.
My boyfriend's main course was well received too; the Edges Rare Breed Pork from the North West which came with rolled crisp belly, pork cheek and salt baked carrot. A beautiful plate of food which really showcase the meat through different butchery and culinary skills.
Throughout the meal the staff were attentive and knowledgeable whilst remaining low key. We were never left waiting too long for drinks, courses or any help on the menu, yet we didn't feel rushed or overwhelmed.
A brilliant example of this was the cheese trolley. Oh the magical cheese trolley of dreams! Ranging from milder varieties to the really strong stuff, we were taken on a cheesy journey through the types, flavours and accompaniments of each cheese.
My boyfriend opted for a mild but tangy goat's brie, Mont D'or brie, cheddar with a paprika rind and Shropshire blue, and was advised to eat them in that very order. Alongside he went for truffle honey to go with the goat's cheese and a tomato chutney to pair with the cheddar. All a real treat!
The Lawns was the perfect place for a romantic meal, large group or special occasion. We felt well and truly looked after and would recommend to anyone. At £39 for three courses (+ a few additions for more expensive dishes) we felt it was a reasonable price tag for beautiful plates of British cuisine.
Have you ever been to The Lawns restaurant? What what on the menu for your visit? My Thornton Hall review will be up soon so watch this space...
Note: We dined as guests of The Lawns. All opinions and photographs my own.