After a busy weekend it was decided by the wife that we should stay local in Bolton and get some chores done. This meant shopping at the Middlebrook Retail Park in Horwich to look for bedroom furniture. Needless to say I was less than enthused.
After braving the bank holiday shoppers in search of bargains and aimlessly walking around several stores, I had to initiate the default husband response, 'yes darling', to dodge any questions about pocket sprung beds in order to speed up the process.
On the way home my hunger pangs determined that shopping on an empty stomach was not how to spend a Bank Holiday Monday so I took a detour on the way home to the Victoria Inn in Markland Hill (known to the locals as Fanny's).
I previously stated that Bolton was a bit short on places to eat, however this is one of the good ones.
My last visit to Fanny's was the night before my wedding day where me and 15 family and friends enjoyed our night so much we still talk about it.
Fanny's is situated in an upmarket part of Bolton and the place is usually packed with locals at the weekend with a bustling but friendly atmosphere. It is a great place to drink as well as eat! At the moment the pub is renovating the outdoor area into a larger conservatory style dining room to make better use of the space, but it was still business as usual.
As always Hannah ordered a cocktail, a Raspberry Bellini and I ordered a Kopperberg. The drinks were a little expensive but with the sunshine unexpectedly shining today, both chilled beverages were very welcome. In addition to cocktails, they also offer traditional cask ales and lagers, and an extensive wine and champagne list.
For starters we ordered the tear and share bread with a selection of dipping oils. Each section of the warm, freshly baked bread was different, from white and brown to seeded and granary.
It was nice to see Fanny's put a twist on the classic 'bread with oils' starter and it really hit the spot.
As we walked in, most of the other diners were eating an unusual looking chicken dish on a hanging skewer which immediately caught my eye.
I soon found the option on the menu labelled as 'Swinging Kebabs' and didn't hesitate in ordering the Piri Piri chicken version that everyone around me seemed to be enjoying.
The skewer presentation was a novelty as well as functional because the dish came with a pot of garlic butter which you tip into a pot at the top. It then dribbles through a small hole, down the chicken and continues to drip over the skinny fries at the bottom.
Whoever came up with this idea needs a knighthood...
Hannah ordered the chicken, sweet potato and chickpea curry from the specials board. As a curry lover, this was a risky choice as she can be very particular about the quality. However, she commented that this was the best curry she'd had in a long time even though Fanny's isn't primarily an Indian/Thai restaurant. The curry was similar to that of a Thai curry with a medium heat, soft vegetables and tasty chicken packed with flavour. It also came with rice, a huge poppadom, raita and mango chutney. The portion was so big she didn't manage to eat it all but it was definitely value for money.
I really fancied a dessert to finish off the meal, but both of us decided that we would probably explode if we had another bite.
I am looking forward to returning to Fanny's when the building work is finished to see the end result. Any excuse to have another 'Swinging Kebab'...