“ Address: Preston Road / Clayton-le-Woods / Chorley / Lancashire / PR6 7ED / England „
The Pines is a Victorian-style hotel, which was built in 1895 and stands within beautiful landscaped gardens and mature woodlands. I was surprised to see a sign saying they had won Britain in Bloom award for 4 years. We discovered the hotel when looking for somewhere to stay on a journey south around the Lancashire area, I believe they had won a Lancashire award in the late 1990's. It is close to Junction 29 off the M6, and only takes a few minutes to reach.
We parked in the large car park and went into the small reception area, where we were dealt with quickly and efficiently but very pleasantly, plus an offer of help with cases but as we were on the ground floor we declined. The bedroom was a standard one and was a reasonable size with a king sized bed with white duvet and some pretty embroidery trimming in pink and cream. The furniture was in dark wood and was the usual drawers, tables and padded chairs. There was a full length mirror which I like as a lady always likes to check to see the full effect before going out for dinner! The wall paper was in cream with a tiny green embossed pattern and the curtains were of good quality in patterned fruits, perhaps not my choice but fitting for the age of the house. A large television, telephone, clock radio and tray for tea and coffee, were all supplied. A fitted wardrobe contained a fan and in the corridor there was an iron and ironing board and shoe cleaner between 8 rooms.
The bathroom was large and contained a bath with shower, toilet, washbasin and lovely large towels on a heated rail plus a good supply of toiletries.
It is independently owned and has been managed since 1963 by Betty Duffin, although we didn't see her but a manager seemed in the charge the evening we were there and checked to see everything was to our satisfaction. There are 35 guest rooms and all have en-suite facilities and are individually decorated. Some of the Deluxe rooms have jacuzzi baths, and some have four poster beds, and telephone, internet access and voice mail are standard in all bed.
The lounge and conservatory had comfortable suede settees and armchairs to sit in and we enjoyed a drink whilst choosing our meal, paintings were on show and available to purchase. A small bar was well stocked and the wall was decorated with award winning rosette plates for the restaurant. There was a small room adjoining the restaurant that could be used for smaller groups wanting private dining. The food was excellent and local produce was used as much as possible.
The Haworth restaurant was in fact a little dark, fine for us but some people on their own who read books between courses must have struggled to see! Lovely linen cloths and napkins with beautiful fresh lilies on the tables in tall vases added to the elegance of the room. The seats were well padded and the service was good. Table d'hote was £15.75 for 3 courses or £13.50 for 2 courses but as this was our anniversary we splashed out!
Asparagus Tempura with sweet chilli dipping sauce was £4.95,then I had Parma wrapped monkfish with parmentier potatoes and wilted spinach with Saffron cream sauce costing £16.90 and my husband had venison with Potato rosti, wilted spinach, roasted chestnuts and mushroom jus for£18.40. The food was plentiful and beautifully cooked and presented, leaving us so full we decided to share a dessert, but the French student waiter obviously didn't understand that we wanted 2 spoons and one dessert and brought us one each! So we both managed to devour a wonderful Assiette of 4 desserts - Crème Brulee, Seville Orange tart, sticky toffee pudding with fudge sauce and a chocolate filled teardrop. It cost £7 each but was absolutely divine! A good job we had been out for a walk earlier as we felt very lazy after all that food.
Breakfast was in the same dining room and tables had been placed together to display fruit juices, cereals, fruit etc which we could help ourselves to, orders were taken for cooked breakfast, and although they had run out of waffles I had two really light pancakes with fresh berries that were mouth watering. Tea and coffee was brought in pots to the table and toast and bread was dealt with by the waitress. My husband said the cooked breakfast complete with Lancashire Black pudding was lovely.
Lite-bites are served in the Conservatory at lunch time for anyone or in the evening for residents only, which is useful for guests who have had a business lunch and only want something light at night.
The morning we left people were arriving for a conference in one of the smaller rooms in the hotel which was available for functions. They supplied early arrivals with coffee and croissants which I thought was nice of them. Weddings, Christenings, Charity Balls and parties can all be accommodated in the main hotel or in the luxuriously refurbished Dixon Suite, where weekly Cabaret Nights are a 'Night to Remember'. These are a bargain at around £25 including a 3 course dinner. Some of the guests were obviously regular clients as they knew the staff by name, and it seemed popular with salesmen and women, and visitors to the area. There were glass cabinets in the reception area and corridor with jewellery, gifts and odds and ends people might have forgotten. Lovely antique chairs and tables along the corridor, added to the feeling you were in someone's home rather than a hotel, magazines about the area were available and plenty of leaflets with things to do and places to visit.
In the afternoon we enjoyed a walk in the gardens, watching squirrels and rabbits playing and found a swing seat to enjoy the sunshine near the Dixon suite. The beautiful pines which give the hotel its name surround the car park which was covered with pinecones. We really enjoyed our brief stay here and would recommend it for someone wanting a small hotel with good food in the Lancashire area. B&B cost £70.
Also on Ciao under my name jo145 with photos
The Victorian-style hotel was built in 1895 and it's country setting makes it perfect for all occasions.