The Fenwick is set in the quaint, Lune Valley village of Claughton which is between Lancaster and the more picturesque Kirkby Lonsdale. Part of the Seafood Pub Company group who have seven pubs across Lancashire (four of which offer rooms to stay over), it’s rooms have recently been refurbished. The main building is over 250 years old, which means lots of character both inside and out with oak floors, beamed walls and ceilings, and stunning open fireplaces. The traditional but stylish décor and friendly staff also add to the overall charm of this wonderful place.
We arrived at 5pm and were greeted by Chris, a very friendly face who signed us in, offered us a drink at the bar and showed us to our room. He explained that all rooms were in the out-buildings, which was a very short walk round to the side of the pub’s main entrance.
The room was beautifully welcoming, very nicely decorated and smelt just a little of fresh paint. Scenic black and white framed photography adorned the walls and the general colour scheme was cream, light greys and charcoal with gingham throughout. We stayed in the Deluxe Double Junior suite, which comprised of a double bed, dressing table, small bay window and a hallway that lead to the bathroom. The room was carpeted and had a lovely flat screen TV on the wall and a great selection of speciality and traditional teas and coffees, with fresh milk available if requested.
The soft furnishing were particularly luxurious, from the thick, super-soft and warm woollen throw to the lovely cushions on the bed. I also really liked the wooden wall cladding which really added to the stylish feel of the room.
The room had a big wardrobe built-in to the wall in the hallway that connected the bedroom to the bathroom. Ideal if you were staying for a couple of nights and a good use of the space, I thought. The door to the bathroom was a stunning dark oak with a black latch; which matched the polished, oak-cladded floor in the bathroom and the beautiful beamed ceilings throughout the main bedroom.
The bathroom was stunning. The floor was warm and welcoming, the towels were pristine, white and fluffy and the shower was huge; with one giant head then a smaller head which could be removed and used separately. The bath was also very generous, roll-top in style with the traditional taps and shower-head in the middle. Definitely room for two!
As we arrived back downstairs for dinner, we were greeted by a busy, bustling restaurant and a queue at the bar – always a good sign! I ordered a gin and tonic, and Bradley a cider. I was offered a choice of gins, and I must say, I am not much of a connoisseur so I opted for Bombay Sapphire and Bradley had a pint of the Aspall’s Harry Sparrow cider; a lovely, medium-dry taste.
The gin was delicious. It was garnished with fresh orange peel and served with Fevertree tonic which is just divine. The orange peel really added a beautifully fragrant taste to the drink, which I drank the vast majority of before remembering to take the photograph… Oops!
So – onto the food. As it’s the Seafood Pub Co. we thought ‘when in Rome,’ and being avid seafood lovers we were really excited to see so many enticing dishes on the specials board. However, note that The Fenwick is named a ‘Steak and Seafood Pub’ and there was an impressive steak offering on the menu too – all cooked on their Robata grill (a Japanese style grill which uses fire and flame to cook meat and fish with maximum flavour).
To start, I opted for the mussels, which were actually served in a creamy cider sauce with bacon pieces and toasted brioche (our server, Harry, explained the dish had changed since the specials board was written!) Bradley went for the king prawn bruschetta (from the normal menu) served with cherry tomatoes on garlicky toasted, crusty bread.
Both starters were delicious. The mussels were HUGE, juicy and so clean with the beards fully removed (an absolute must if you ask me). The brioche was lightly toasted and not too filling, which I thought was an excellent accompaniment. The sauce was delicious and a really lovely consistency that was perfectly seasoned… I practically licked the bowl clean. 🙂
Brad’s prawns were also humongous. Juicy, meaty and cooked to perfection. He devoured the entire thing, even all the tomatoes, which surprised me as he’s not the world’s biggest fan of vegetables… A really delightful and satisfying pair of starters.
Onto the mains, and I just could not resist the black cod. It tasted as good as it sounded on the specials board, and as it looked. Two big pieces of black cod were served on a bed of noodles, and although the flavours of the dish were strong – the cod held its own in being the centre of attention with its silky texture and naturally buttery flavour. A hint of spice from the fresh red chilli was excellent – one of the best fish dishes I have eaten.
Brad opted for the tuna steak, again from the normal menu rather than the specials board. Harry asked how he would like it cooked – pink or cooked-through. Having opted for pink, when the dish arrived we both agreed it was the largest tuna steak we’d ever seen! Extremely succulent and full of flavour and seasoned really well. The creamed spinach beneath was also delicious, and the Parmesan fries were the cherry on top. A really great dish.
We ordered a bottle of the Chablis to accompany our meals. It was light, crisp and slightly fruity and went really well with all of the dishes we ate.
For pudding- we kept things really simple. We chose the caramel chocolate pot with salted peanut praline. It was like eating a posh Snickers bar. Really delicious and a nice way to end an excellent meal.
After a great night’s sleep in the comfy bed (with plenty of decent pillows) we were down from breakfast at the agreed time for 9:30am (you could choose any time from 7-10am). Fresh fruit, juices, bread to toast, cereals and fresh milk were laid out on a table for you to dig in which accompanied the main breakfast, which you selected from the menu.
We ordered coffees, the Lancashire Breakfast and the Wild Mushrooms with poached eggs on toasted brioche. Both dishes were delightful – the breakfast was so fresh and a nice touch was that the hash browns were home made, and delicious. The eggs were as fresh as they get with bright orange yolks, and the mushrooms on the toast were full of flavour and varying ‘meaty’ textures. My only gripe would be that the coffee wasn’t great. A simple cafetiere of coffee with a sugar cubes instead of sachets would have been a nicer touch than the machine coffee, but other than that I really cannot complain.
After a truly hearty breakfast to set us up for the day, we were ready for an adventure. We decided not to do the local walk as we only had wellies and the floor was too icy for a hilly trek. So we drove along the beautiful countryside to Kirkby Lonsdale and then up to Lake Windermere which in total is about a 40 min drive up the road. Kirkby Lonsdale had some lovely, quirky shops and restaurants and Windermere was it’s usual, picturesque self (especially in the snow!)
Overall, we thoroughly enjoyed our stay at The Fenwick and would highly recommend it as a romantic getaway or a trip away with family or friends. The staff were a lovely bunch with an excellent sense of humour. The food is of excellent quality; from sourcing the finest seafood and ingredients, to creating a menu that is varied, creative and very well-executed. The rooms, decor and finishing touches are also to an excellent standard.
I very much look forward to visiting more of the Seafood Pub Co.’s establishments and trying some more of what they have to offer.
To book a table or room at The Fenwick in Lancashire, visit seafoodpubcompany.com for more information.