My mental picture of the restaurant at the North Euston was of starched white tablecloths, cloth napkins and buttondown plush seating – creating an expensive, if a tad stuffy atmosphere.
I’m pretty sure there were heavy duty carpets back then, but a lot seems to have happened over the past 20 years.
Modern wood flooring and comfortable armchairs have modernised the restaurant’s interior, but the staff retain that calm sense of unobtrusive service that goes hand in hand with this landmark Fleetwood hotel.
The view, too, remains just the same; our window table offered a splendid close-up of the Fleetwood Lighthouse Monument at dusk, as well as a sea view across Morecambe Bay.
The menu itself must surely offer cheaper options than it did back then; two courses for £12.50, make it three for an extra £2.50... I definitely don’t remember thinking there were any bargains here in the 1990s. We’d come to Fleetwood for fish, really, but were quickly seduced by the ribeye steak and the lamb henry – despite each carrying a £4 supplement – with chips and creamed potatoes respectively and a bowl of lovely fresh vegetables too generous to finish.
The pepper sauce with the steak was excellent.
We were pretty full after plentiful starters of prawn cocktails times three - but it didn’t stop us rounding the evening off with a dessert each.
My sticky toffee pudding was great, my cousin’s profiteroles not so startling and the Eton mess proved to be the only let-down – deemed too blended, with a distinct absence of the anticipated meringue.
We perhaps should have quit at two courses and just enjoyed coffees, which raised the rating back up to an eight – while we whiled away some recovery time from a meal that brought back bygone memories, brought right up to the present day.
Classic Prawn Cocktail - Plentiful prawns, fresh salad
Ribeye steak with pepper sauce, lamb shank with redcurrant jus - Meat portions good, fresh vegetables selection, lovely pepper sauce, nice chips