Dining out; Queens Hotel, Lytham

The Queens Hotel in Lytham
The Queens Hotel in Lytham
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It's late afternoon on Easter Sunday and with the sun beating down, Lytham seemed to have taken on the guise of a Mediterranean resort.

Restaurant terraces were packed with al fresco diners and the town echoed to the sound of clinking glasses as folk relaxed with a chilled glass of wine or beer.

Goats cheese starter

Goats cheese starter

If only our weather could always be like this - but chances are that by the time you read this, temperatures will have dropped back to normal April levels.

However this was the scene as we made our way to the Grade II listed Queens Hotel which overlooks Lytham Green.

Just a couple of decades ago the venue was Lytham's 'alternative pub' but these days it boasts being dog friendly and rock music has been replaced by traditional roast dinners.

Having said that, Bruce Springsteen's Thunder Road was playing as we perused the menu so perhaps not everything has changed.

Sea bass main course

Sea bass main course

For the last couple of years or so, this Victorian pub has been in the hands of locally based operator Ross Robinson, who also runs The Ship in Freckleton and is currently overseeing the renovation of The Eagle and Child in Weeton.

There is a lively buzz about the place and having booked online, we were taken promptly to our table on arrival.

We ordered a bottle of Ancora Rosato Italian Rose wine and a jug of water while making our food choices.

Sunday roasts of beef or pork are served between noon and 8pm, while other mains include grills, home-made pies, pub classics such as sausage and mash, and burgers.

There is also a mix of nibbles and starters to whet your appetite.

My husband Clive opted for a starter of whipped goats cheese, garlic crostini, orange and pickled beetroot and roasted pistachio which is a recent addition to the menu.

The cheese was strong to the taste, but there was too much of it really and some ended up on my plate.

My choice was an old favourite, chicken liver pate, brioche toast and red onion chutney.

It was enjoyable, but what arrived on my plate was a bit plainer than advertised, with the chutney more comparable Branston pickle than artisan.

For my main I was initially tempted by one of the summer kebabs of lamb kofta or halloumi and red pepper, and later on wished I had stuck with this choice.

But assurances that it was not too spicy, led me to opt for chicken katsu curry, sticky rice & pak choi instead.

This unfortunately just didn't hit the mark for me.

The rice appeared over-cooked and there was too much chicken on the plate.

This often is my criticism with pub dining, that emphasis is put on quantity and often I find myself overfaced when served dishes aimed at bigger appetites.

Having said that, my husband's choice of pan fried sea bass niçoise, green beans, red onion, cherry tomatoes, new potatoes and olives went down a storm, and he cleared his plate.

The menu offers choices for vegetarians and vegans including vegan Thai red curry and a vegan bean and beetroot burger.

Service was efficient and friendly throughout, and the dining room is elegant but comfortable with lovely views over the Ribble Estuary.

Our total bill, including drinks, came to £58.