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“Fine start to the festive season!” 5 of 5 bubbles
Review of The Willows at Barton Grange garden Centre

The Willows at Barton Grange garden Centre
Ranked #67 of 525 Restaurants in Preston
Cuisines: British, Cafe
More restaurant details
Restaurant details
Good for: Large groups, Dining on a budget, Families with children, Special occasions, Kids
Dining options: Dinner, Brunch, Breakfast, Highchairs Available, Outdoor Seating, Parking Available, Reservations, Seating, Waitstaff, Wheelchair Accessible
Morecambe, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
72 reviews
54 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 59 helpful votes
“Fine start to the festive season!”
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed December 6, 2012

We'd never eaten in the Willows before, simply because every time we tried to find a table in this popular restaurant there was an enormous queue. It wasn't possible to pre-book a table unless there were at least five people in the group, we were told. There were three in ours, so unless we could manage to press gang a couple of passing strangers it was quite a challenge!
On our latest visit to the garden centre we came up with a plan after seeing people at tables in the Willows, apparently enjoying coffee or tea, up to 45 minutes before the noon start for lunchtime orders. So the three of us trooped in, ordered hot chocolate and coffee and were informed by a very obliging young waiter that, yes, we could indeed stay at our table until high noon!
It was well worth the wait!
We were shown to a spacious table in a corner of the restaurant, the special Christmas lunchtime menus arriving with the drinks.
And what an innovative selection of goodies on offer (by this time the restaurant had almost filled up - we felt quite smug!)
The three of us all picked the same starter (not good for reviews!) - blue Garstang cheese (beautifully rich and tangy), fresh figs and a lovely selection of salad leaves. Fabulous!
For mains, I plumped for the turkey (the first of many, no doubt, this festive season) which was wonderfully tasty and succulent.
My wife chose the lamb Henry which was that tender the meat fell from the bone even as the fork approached! Sea bass was the choice of my sister who declared, unequivocally, that it was the best she had ever tasted. A variety of vegetables, mashed and roast potatoes and parsnips also adorned the beautifully presented plates.
The service was outstanding - for example, when we asked for water, it arrived courtesy of a huge jug clinking with ice, along with three sparkling glasses brimming with ice and lemon. Excellent.
We were too full to address a mouth-watering list of sweets - we'll save them until the next time. And there will be a next time...now that we've cracked the Willows entry code!

  • Visited December 2012
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Atmosphere
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Service
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Food
Helpful?
Thank morecambebay_10
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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179 reviews from our community

Visitor rating
    74
    64
    27
    6
    8
Rating summary
    Food
    Service
    Value
    Atmosphere
Date | Rating
  • English first
  • Any
English first
Lancaster, England, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
48 reviews
19 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 22 helpful votes
“lunch was a treat”
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed November 21, 2012

Had a sandwiches for lunch and they were excellent. absolutely packed with filling !! ( i had salmon) . We had ordered a potion of chips between us as we though we wouldn't be full enough but we were too full. service was good.Only negative was that they only let parties of 5 or more book so if you two of you go you would not be guaranteed a table or would have to wait

  • Visited November 2012
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Atmosphere
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Service
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Food
Helpful?
Thank Shirley W
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Lancashire
Level Contributor
51 reviews
36 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 30 helpful votes
“Outstanding food and value for money”
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed August 28, 2012

Stopped here for a quick lunch as the cafe queues were horrendous. Friendly welcome and we were seated at a lovely table in this lovely atmospheric and clean restaurant. Varied choice of menus including traditional English teas, light lunches or there was a Lancashire celebration themed menu which offered a variety of local dishes. The meals coming from the kitchen were outstanding and the portion sizes generous but classically home made. This restaurant was really good value for money as we ordered cheese and potato soup which arrived piping hot and a generous portion too, it was delicious. We also ordered a lovely assortment of steamed salmon sandwiches and chicken with lemon mayonaise crammed full of filling. Think twice if you get hungry whilst walking around the garden centre and you have to queue and wait for a table in the cafe, for a few pence more you can sit in luxury and eat in this fantastic restaurant. Very good service too. Didn't have to wait long to be served our food, and you pay at the till as you leave, not pressured into giving tips, although we gave a generous tip and well worthy of it.

  • Visited August 2012
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Atmosphere
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Service
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Food
Helpful?
Thank claian
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Thornton Cleveleys, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
71 reviews
52 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 71 helpful votes
“Eaten here many times but this was outstanding”
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed August 20, 2012 via mobile

We had lunch on Sunday 19th August and it was absolutely fantastic. We have been eating here on a very regular basis since it opened and have rarely had cause for complaint but then neither has it excelled, until now.
To start we had potted salmon and crab, a generous starter, tangy and tasty. For our main course we had sea bass with shrimp sauce served with panfried new potatoes, broccoli and kale. It was delicious. The sea bass's skin was beautifully crisp and perfectly cooked. The shrimp sauce was basically shrimps warmed through in butter and poured over the fish, heavenly. The kale and broccoli were again perfectly cooked, lovely and crunchy. I cannot applaud the chef too much, it sounds simple but as with all food it could so easily have been dreadful.
The Riverside Cafe is self service and everything is freshly made, the sandwich fillings generous. There is an amazing choice of cakes and patries and everywhere is spotlessly clean. The Willows has a table menu and waiter/waitress service. It's not cheap but we think good value, we would rather pay a bit more and have good food than cheap rubbish. Keep it up Barton Grange!

Helpful?
1 Thank Nyn2010
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Level Contributor
13 reviews
7 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 3 helpful votes
“Lovely outside space”
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed July 16, 2012

When the weather is good this is an excellent little spot for a bite to eat at lunch time. There is ample parking, though you do have to amble through the garden centre to get to the cafe and restaurant. It's large enough that you don't have to wait long for tables but small enough not to have the motorway service area feel of the cafe next door, the staff were very accommodating and pleasant. The willows is table service in a stylishly laid out restaurant with inside and outside seating.The food is a little expensive for what you get but the fish platter was very tasty and I would defiantly recommend it to friends and family.

  • Visited May 2012
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Atmosphere
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Service
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Food
Helpful?
Thank Amy M
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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