Blackpool restaurant claims to be the cheapest in England

Charlotte Tatlow, Ruth Tatlow, Gary Tatlow and Gary Tatlow Jnr.
Charlotte Tatlow, Ruth Tatlow, Gary Tatlow and Gary Tatlow Jnr.
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A Blackpool eaterie claims it is the cheapest in England -–  and with a three course meal on the menu at £4.75 it is hard to disagree.

And this feast for less than a fiver does not leave the diner short-changed when it comes to portion size.

Clive and Shelagh Parkinson tuck into their meal

Clive and Shelagh Parkinson tuck into their meal

The hearty main course of meat and two veg is enough to set you up for the day.

Diners wishing to seek out this cut price cuisine should head to the WE5 cafe and restaurant on Squires Gate Lane - but you may have to join the queue.

We visited just after the busy lunchtime rush to ensure we secured a table, and on Sundays booking is recommended.

And it is no wonder when two people can tuck into soup, a main course, dessert plus pot of tea for £10.70.

Pavlova dessert

Pavlova dessert

WE5 is run by the Tatlow family, who work tirelessly year round – even their day off on a Tuesday when the venue is closed is spent gathering ingredients.

Parents Ruth and Gary decided they wanted a business the whole family could get involved in when they set up 17 years ago, and daughter Charlotte and son Gary jnr work alongside their mum and dad.

Ruth said: “We called it WE5 because we’re a family of five, but my eldest son no longer works here.

“I think we are probably the cheapest in England, especially offering fresh roast dinners.

Cottage pie

Cottage pie

“We wanted to keep our prices low so people can come here every day instead of just as a special occasion, and so we have lots of regulars.

“When we took it on we went on a business course and they said we would never make it work.

“But we’ve been here 17 years now.

“We have tried putting our prices up, but lost half our customers. If you give a little, you get more back.

Celery soup

Celery soup

“Before Pontins closed, we got a lot of people from there, but they still visit and we get a lot of custom from b&bs in the area.

“With a lot of our regulars, we know what they will order before they even sit down.”

The food is classic homestyle - no fancy sauces or added spice - just traditional cooking.

It won’t be everyone’s cup of tea, but with four-and-a-half stars on Trip Advisor and a Certificate of Excellence (plus a five star hygiene rating), they are definitely doing something right.

My dining partner (aka husband Clive), and I both started off with celery soup, which was really tasty.

He opted for the cottage pie - and as well as a full plate got a separate serving of chips.

Charlotte Tatlow

Charlotte Tatlow

My roast chicken was simple but tender, the carrots and beans could have been a bit more firmly cooked for my liking, while the potatoes and stuffing were spot on.

You can choose anything from the dessert menu so I was torn between pavlova and cheese cake before opting for the former, while Clive was too full for anything but ice cream.

Service was quick, thanks to our waitress Barbara (the only non-family member of the team), and our food was piping hot.

This is certainly no greasy spoon cafe - nor is it ever going to be in a gourmet food guide.

But three courses for less than a fiver is clearly going down a treat with diners in South Shore.