Here’s the thing: I’m very much what you might call ‘a home bird’. I like to be pyjama-clad and bed-bound by 9pm so that I can leave, say, half an hour’s worth of wiggle room for my pre-snooze cuppa and a couple of ‘What I Eat in a Day’ YouTube videos. Rock ‘n’ roll, I know.
Consequently, you will vary rarely find me spewing up Sambuca in a taxi home from a nightclub at 4am. It has been known… but in the humdrum of day-to-day life, I much prefer hibernating in my rural hometown of Heswall where the height of hedonism is cosy pubs, great cocktail bars and even better restaurants and eateries.
Sure, my neighbouring cities of Liverpool and Manchester are fantastic and there’s nothing quite like that cosmopolitan buzz but when you’re lucky enough to have the likes of Gusto Heswall, Barton Rouge and The Viking on your doorstep, you’re pretty much buggered for choice.
The latest in a long line of the best places to eat and drink on the Wirral is new by nature but not by name…
The Devon Doorway has been a longstanding culinary landmark on the pretty peninsula in the North West of England.
In fact, the traditional thatched-roof cottage was built by a local man back in 1930 for his wife who had an unsatiated desire to live in Devon – hence the romantically apt name of the picturesque pub and restaurant.
Just last week, however, The Devon Doorway revealed a brand spankin’ new refurb which was carried out in a plight to give the venue a stylish, contemporary update in terms of both aesthetic and offering.
‘The Devon’, as me and mine like to call it, always was a cosy little nook but the refurb has taken hygge to whole new levels. I’m talking baskets of blankets to help yourself to, dim filament bulbs, roaring fires, upholstered outdoor seating pods, rustic wine racks, a patchwork of fabrics and textures – a real home from home.
(Fear not – the restored-but-original thatched roof and monochrome exterior are still intact!)
There was a perfect balance of old and new across all of The Devon Doorway food menus too. For starters around our table we went for a White Onion Soup (£7.95) and the Deep Fried Brie (£6.25) which we have devoured and enjoyed many times before there, alongside a couple of new additions in the Scallops of the Day with Lobster Bonbons (£5.25) and the Salt & Szechuan Pepper Squid with Aioli (£6.95) which were equally as delicious and impressively presented.
The real triumphs came during the main act though with a melt-in-the-mouth 7oz Fillet Steak with Ale-glazed Shallot Tart and Twice-cooked Chunky Chips (£24.50) drizzled with a rich, meaty Beef Dripping Sauce (+£1.95). Zealous compliments to the Head Chef were given, being sure to tell him just how much we had enjoyed our Spit Roasted Chicken with Fries & Jus (£13.25) and perfectly-pink Roasted Rack of Lamb (£21.95) also.
Desserts around the table came in the heavenly form of a warm Chocolate & Raspberry Pudding (£6.95) which I gleefully likened to a strawberry chocolate from a Cadbury’s Milk Tray box, as well as the Mango, Berry & Coconut Mess (£7.25) and the new Melting Chocolate & Peanut Bomb (7.95).
Each was yet another expertly crafted justification for a price tag which goes a little bit higher than you’re average pub-restaurant.
Feeling in good spirits (pun totally intended) on account of our sterling menu choices and the smile-worthy atmosphere, we decided to indulge in a few tipples from The Devon Doorway cocktail menu and wine list. Who cares about the 6am alarm when there is a DIY gin bar and whole encyclopedia of wines to choose from?!
Highlights for me had to be the Bramley Apple & Rhubarb gin which I enjoyed in the customary G&T globe along with some elderflower tonic. A strange anti-seasonal choice I suppose as we huddled around the crackling open fire but refreshing nonetheless and trumped only by the ‘Raspberry & Peach’ gin-based cocktail I enjoyed from the Gintonicas menu a little later on in the evening.
I don’t know it was just the gin, but I certainly left for bed that evening feeling all warm and fuzzy inside so thanks to everyone at The Devon Doorway – we’ll see you again soon!
I was very kindly invited to review The Devon Doorway but all words, photographs, opinions, teeth, hair, boobs and nails are my very own.