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Saturday 22 July 2017

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Dine in style with the stunning Morecambe Bay as your backdrop

The impressive façade of the North Euston Hotel in Fleetwood, Lancashire, UK

An excellent meal, a glass of wine, perfect service and a stunning view – The Bay Restaurant at Fleetwood’s North Euston Hotel has them all in spades…

I suppose it can be said that most restaurants these days are pretty good. I’m guessing the worst I would say about anywhere I’ve eaten out in the past few years would be that it was mediocre; there are, thankfully, few genuinely rotten apples in the culinary world.

But exceptionally good ones can be few and far between, which is why I feel so delighted that I have such an establishment right on my doorstep here in Fleetwood, Lancashire. The Bay Restaurant at the town’s prestigious and imposing North Euston Hotel – so named as it was intended to be the main rail link for travellers from London’s Euston Station who were bound for the steamers to Scotland – is situated right at the front of the building.

Ok, so let’s talk about location first. Aah, location, location, location. No, I’ve not gone mad, or suddenly found myself uncharacteristically lacking in vocabulary, but the location of this place is so special, it needs a bit of going on about. To sit and have lunch or dinner overlooking the stunning Morecambe Bay is, literally, quite breathtaking. With its quaintly nostalgic seafront promenade, it’s impressive enough on a bright sunny lunchtime. But time your dining with the setting sun, and your evening becomes magical, enchanting and more than a little bit special, an experience only equalled by dinner in the restaurant car of a train bound from Bucharest to Budapest, as I sipped wine and ate a Romanian delicacy, against a backdrop of the sun slowly setting behind the Transylvanian Alps. It might sound daft, but The Bay even cheers me up on a those blustery ‘out of season holiday town in the rain’ days so beautifully evoked by Mr De Burgh in his song, Fatal Hesitation. If you’re visiting Blackpool, one of the supa-dupa new trams will take you pretty much to the door – just head straight for the Fleetwood Ferry terminus.

Right – so we’re in no doubt about just how perfectly situated this establishment is. Now, what about the food? Well, in my opinion, it falls nothing short of excellent. The menu is incredibly varied, so there’s something to suit most palates, from the most delicious Fleetwood fish and chips (with mushy peas, of course) to gammon, steaks, lasagne, pastas, sandwiches… I could go on and on, but you get the idea. A vast array of beers, wines and spirits completes the experience, topped off by the most wonderful team, beautifully attired in black and white uniforms, and presided over by the wonderful maître d’ Philippe. The service received from this Parisian grand master, and the likes of Ally, Kath and Andy, to name but a few, is, frankly, excellent. Given all of the above, I’m not sure how on earth they serve up such fare, in such surroundings, by such professionals at the prices they do, but suffice it to say that it keeps us coming back several times a week without feeling any strain on the pocket. There’s an alternative a la carte evening menu, and if you’re an early bird (between 6pm and 7pm) you can enjoy a superb three course dinner off it for just £12.50.

The North Euston itself is undergoing something of a renaissance since being taken over by the Spearman family, and the hotel’s facilities and decor are being given a sympathetic facelift so as to preserve its original charm. Room rates are excellent, so it’s well worth making a night of it and settling into one of the comfy en-suite rooms, many of which have a sea view. I spent a magical Christmas Eve here once, listening to sea birds from my bedroom window while nursing a hot chocolate, picking over the bones of what had been a fantastic night in the restaurant.

I’d like to say that this is an experience to be savoured, but that seems to suggest that it’s a once in a while treat, which may, of course, be the case for tourists. Personally, I’d urge locals to include it as part of their regular routine – how could you have a gem like this virtually in your pocket and not?

The North Euston Hotel
The Esplanade
Fleetwood
Lancashire
FY7 6BN

Visit www.northeustonhotel.com

Tel.: 0044 1253 876525

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