DINING OUT: White Tower, Blackpool Pleasure Beach
Storm Brian was doing its best to put us off leaving the house on Saturday evening, but we were glad to have persevered to fulfil our reservation at the White Tower.
However our night did not get off to the best start when our taxi, booked two hours earlier, failed to turn up.
Instead we drove, but were able to leave the car free overnight in the Pleasure Beach car park so we could indulge ourselves with a bottle of wine.
We were soon settled comfortably in our seats at a table overlooking the blustery Promenade.
As the illuminated trams trundled past below, and festoons of lights swayed in the wind, we perused a menu which prides itself in offering a real taste of Lancashire.
I chose Lancashire cheese and leek tart, which was full of flavour but would have benefited from a bit less garnish in my view.
My husband Clive had no qualms in opting for the hot pot, unusually served as a starter in two neat little bowls.
It was certainly traditional, with ingredients including Bowland lamb and black pudding.
Service was excellent as always, and on this occasion we were even escorted up to the restaurant in the lift by a member of staff.
We were not hurried nor delayed in receiving each course in a timely manner.
In between there was ample time to enjoy our surroundings, from the silver snack holder in the shape of a big wheel on the bar, to the elegant piano.
The conversation of fellow diners hummed around us, but it is easy to feel you are in your own private dining room perched above the Prom with a panoramic view north toward the Tower.
For my main course, I chose pork tenderloin with date cilantro relish.
Sometimes pork can be a little bland, but the combination with cilantro gave it a real kick, with a slightly Chinese-style taste.
Clive’s dish of oven-baked hake was firm but flaky, served on crushed baby potatoes and asparagus.
We also ordered two side dishes, honey glazed baton carrots and a basket of White Tower chips, which have always been a firm favourite.
It is always a bugbear of mine that diners should have to order side dishes, as I feel all mains should arrive with sufficient vegetables as a matter of course.
But at least here, the sides are reasonably priced mainly round the £2.50 mark, and there is easily enough in each dish for two people.
Other entrees include sirloin steak, salmon, chicken wrapped in Cumbrian ham and a vegetarian option of linguini.
When the dessert menu was handed to us, I hesitated over whether I had room for anything more.
But I was tempted by the Elis cheesecake berry compote, and was so glad I had been.
This ranked easily as one of the best cheesecakes I have ever tried, deliciously smooth and accompanied by a swirl of cream.
Clive enjoyed a cafetiere of coffee served with fudge.
A bottle of Sicilian red complemented our meal perfectly and our final bill came to £72.
The White Tower is definitely a hidden gem in Blackpool, and only opens in the evening on Fridays and Saturdays, with a special lunch-time menu on Sundays.
It also opens for other special events and look out for festive lunches during December.
If you want to treat yourself to a little bit of luxury, or need an occasion to dress up for, this dining destination certainly hits the mark.