Living only ten minutes down the road from The Anchor Inn pub and restaurant in Irby on the Wirral, I have amassed some very fond memories of the place. My 6th birthday party, summers of my youth spend sipping cider in the beer garden with friends, countless family meals and celebrations, and afternoons off work sharing dessert and two spoons with my Mum, to name a few.
‘The Anchor’ has become a bit of a home-from-home for me and mine over the decades so I was absolutely chuffed to be invited along to check out its brand new makeover and food menu. Here I am, reporting back with the scoop…
Surrounded by the gorgeous nature-scape of coastal South Wirral, The Anchor Inn is already at an advantage if, like me, you gravitate towards cosy, wholesome spots in rural environments. Sure, cosmopolitan rooftop bars in the metropolis are cool but catch me by a roaring open fire on the outskirts of the fast life instead 9 times out of 10.
With its burning log fires, velvet arm chairs, exposed beams, wooden craftsmanship, honey-toned ambience and that ‘Cheshire life’ type of colour scheme, The Anchor is right up my alley. With all its nooks and crannies, feature lighting and homespun hospitality, this is the kind of place you could sit with a bottle of wine and some good company and not even notice the hours melt away.
It always has been super cosy but I’ve got to say, the refurb has turned it up yet another notch and still somehow kept the venue fresh and modern in the process. From the family of 8 unpacking after a long walk in the countryside and the pooch with muddy paws at the bar, to the couples clasping hands by candlelight in all corners, it’s great to see The Anchor as popular as ever since reopening last month.
Listen, I’m going to be straight-up with you here and say that the edible offering definitely takes a bit of a backseat to the complete and utter cosiness of it all at The Anchor. It didn’t used to – the food used to be on par with the venue and atmos but I feel like the balance may have tipped just a lil bit.
Yes, I do know I just quoted a 50 Cent song and no, I’m not sorry about it.
Perhaps it’s just a few teething problems following the refurb, which will no doubt iron themselves out over the coming months. I hope so. I mean, I’d like to think I’m not a particularly merciless critic but it is hard to forgive hollow Fried Brie (£6.25), a Yorkshire pud that mimicked cardboard far too convincingly and a jug of stinky coconut milk which had definitely seen better days.
That said, there were a few little corkers coming off the all-new food menu at The Anchor…
My partner in dine decided to start with the soup du jour which on this particular occasion was Leek & Potato (£5.95). Not satisfied with my cavernous fried cheese, I helped polish off the soup and we both agreed that it was delicious. Thick, steaming hot and full of warm, earthy flavours – this was everything a big ol’ bowl of soup on a rainy autumn afternoon should be.
As you may know, I’m doing the Cancer Research Pledge to Veg throughout November so to scratch an itch for a good Sunday roast in compliance, I settled on the Fig & Dolcelatte Nut Roast with Honey-roasted Apple & Onion Gravy (£13.95). The nut roast itself was fabulous and absolutely packed with seasonal flavour, from the sweetness of sticky figs and toasted seeds to the unmistakable aroma of rosemary and the sting of salty dolcelatte cheese. YUM.
Not pictured but another total delight was the teeny tiny Belgian Chocolate & Hazelnut Mousse we both had from the ‘Mini Puds’ menu. The Mini Puds shrink down some of the main desserts to 350 calories or less, alongside a hot drink of your choice – a nice idea that always goes down well when you want to sample the sweets but are feelin’ a bit stuffed.
The mousse was a heaped dessert spoon-sized serving of rich, cocoa-laden indulgence, paired with some sweet Chantilly and a sprinkling of what I think might have been shortbread biscuit. A classic, fail-proof combo which left a sweet enough taste in my mouth to make me want to go back and explore more of the new menu despite some initial faux pas.
Thanks for having us, team!
I was very kindly invited to review The Anchor Inn but all words, photographs, opinions, teeth, hair, boobs and nails are my very own.