Food review - The Anchor Inn, Irby, Wirral
PUBLISHED: 13:32 24 February 2020 | UPDATED: 13:33 24 February 2020
A hidden gem on the Wirral peninsula
When it comes to pubs, Wirral is spoilt for choice. But if you've only visited the borough's major players, head down to hidden gem, The Anchor Inn in Irby, where smart food is served in even smarter surroundings.
I sensed it was going to be spectacular the moment I spied the square sandstone building bathed in light. Everything about it is inviting: the twinkly lights, log fires and convivial atmosphere, complete with waggy-tailed dogs.
This charming country alehouse, dating from the 17th century, was recently refurbished and rebranded - think cosy corners and nouveau chintz chairs mixed with with beams and exposed stone walls. It is a perfect marriage of old and new.
The Anchor's sister pub is the popular Devonshire Doorway in Heswall, although 'pub' probably undersells the dining side of both venues. Destination restaurants are probably nearer the mark, as they deliver ambitious menus. Freshly shucked oysters at the weekend and trendy nourish bowls as well as classics like steak and rotisseries feature on The Anchor's menus.
Eager to try something from the specials list, my companion started his dining experience with curried cauliflower soup, while I opted for the stonebaked mozzarella and garlic pizette. It was beautifully presented, as was the soup, complete with a hunk of freshly baked ciabatta and farmhouse butter.
Mains were freshly line-caught cod and twice-cooked chips - who can resist proper fish and chips? My other half settled for buttermilk chicken, brie and bacon pie. The experienced server warns there'll be a chicken leg sticking out of the pastry. We've eaten chicken served with its head and feet in China, so he was unfazed. It looked and tasted great, but certainly benefited from the moisture of the jus.
Being a bit of a pudding fiend, I looked enviously at their a birdcage crammed with a collection of delicious looking desserts. Alas! My over-stuffed stomach could only manage one more dish, so I ordered the sticky toffee pudding with banana, the perfect balance of sweet without the sickly. A thoroughly enjoyable dinner - but I'll be back to tackle that birdcage.
The Anchor Inn, The Anchor Inn, 1 Thurstaston Road, Wirral, Merseyside, CH61 0HA
0151 648 1698