23-02-2015-The Wellsprings, Sabden, Nr. Clitheroe

Sue and I decided we were due a Friday night out for Ÿ??a bit of teaŸ?. Or, to put it in a slightly more posh way, it was about time we went out for dinner. We had recently driven past The Wellsprings, which describes itself as a Spanish / Mexican Restaurant, and is located on Clitheroe Road, Sabden BB7 9HN. ( www.thewellsprings.co.uk ).This is the road that goes from Clitheroe, over the Nick of Pendle to Sabden and is part of what is described as Pendle Witch Country. Driving past it sort of reminded us that it was there and also prompted us to give it a try. Sue had in fact been on a Saturday night a few months ago, and felt it was worthy of a further visit. The Wellsprings, like all remote country pubs has had a chequered career. In it’s heyday it was a thriving pub and restaurant, always a popular place to go. In fact, due to some quirky licensing law, it was always open on a Sunday afternoon an hour longer than the other local pubs, so all the hardened drinkers would be found flocking up there so they could drink an hour longer, and then put the car in a ditch on the way down Pendle Hill! Fun times! Then as things changed with the tightening of the drink driving laws, these remote places obviously suffered first, and The Wellsprings saw several changes of ownership and periods of closed doors. I’m not sure how long the present owners have been there, but it is quite some time, and they seem to have hit the right note with their choice of food and decor. So, I gave them a call mid week, and booked a table for two for 8-00pm on Friday night. I would have preferred 8-30pm, but I noticed that they only serve food up to 9-30pm, and I didn’t want to feel rushed at the end of the night. It just meant that we had to get home from work a little quicker and get ourselves ready a little faster than we would have done. Friday night soon came round, and what a night it was! It was cold, wet, and windy. Not a great night for driving up Pendle Hill for a meal, but nothing stands in the way of Sue and Paula when it comes to eating out, so we got ready in totally inappropriate outfits for such weather, and set off for our 10 minute drive in good time. Our journey was as uneventful as you would expect a 10 minute journey to be, and we were soon parking up on the car park adjacent to The Wellsprings. We dashed from the car to the Restaurant as quickly as high heels on a gravel, sloping, uneven car park would let us and were soon stood in the porch trying to tidy our hair up a bit before making our grand entrance. We had noticed the car park wasn’t very busy, so we weren’t shocked to find it was pretty quiet. There was a table of four lads near the door, a table of four ladies over by the window, two tables with two girls on in the same area, and a table of six sitting near the road side windows. In my reckoning, that gives us a total of twenty including us. Probably enough to pay the bills, but not enough to make the vast room look full. We introduced ourselves, and were led to a table adjacent to the four ladies on the raised area over by the big windows that would have overlooked the Ribble Valley if it hadn’t been dark, misty, and wet. As it was, we were still able to look out onto a floodlit garden area that was very pleasant. The room itself is also quite well decorated with trees and twinkly LED lights winding their way round the ceiling. In all fairness, you could easily have been sitting abroad somewhere Ÿ?? the decor is quite convincing (how’s that for a Tranny phrase Ÿ?? quite convincing? Hehe!) A couple of diet cokes were ordered (I was driving, and Sue hasn’t had a drink since New Years Eve Ÿ?? Well done Sue!), and we then set to work on reading the menus. I would say there was a fair choice along with an extra Ÿ??specialsŸ? menu. I certainly didn’t struggle choosing something anyway. Sue was also pretty quick off the mark, and we were soon able to pass our order on to the young waiter that was hovering alongside our table. Sue chose the Prawn Cocktail, and I chose the Garlic Prawns with Chilli and Mango dip from the specials menu. As you would expect, much to Sues annoyance they both came accompanied with the statutory Ÿ??green sh*tŸ? as she calls it. (Salad to you and me). Anyway, whatever they came with, it soon disappeared and we weren’t long in handing two empty plates back to our waiter. We did note that our starters were served by a second gentleman who came from the depths of the kitchen. He didn’t appear again, and didn’t serve any of the other diners. I guess he had been told who and what was sitting at the table near the window, and was just taking a quick look. I told Sue she looked silly in that scarf! I just knew she would draw attention to us! Now it was time for the main course. Sue had picked out the mixed pinchitos, which consisted of cubes of chicken and rump steak marinated on skewers and served with chunky chips, Spanish salad, and garlic mayonnaise. I had done the fish thing, and gone for the San Felipe which was grilled swordfish cooked with onions, green peppers, and mushrooms in a ranch salsa sauce. My dish was served with Mexican rice, refried beans, and salad. Both plates were adequately full to start with, and polished clean by the time we had finished. This just left the all important decision with regards to desserts. As part of her new healthy living regime, Sue decided to pass on the dessert course, and instead, ordered a filter coffee. Me, however, being the greedy bitch that I am, decided to sample the Belgian Waffle (in a Spanish / Mexican Restaurant?). It was described as being served hot with vanilla ice cream and creamy chocolate sauce. It wasn’t! It was served lukewarm with vanilla ice cream and was covered in chocolate sauce that you squeeze out of a bottle. In comparison with the rest of the meal it was somewhat disappointing, but it did serve to amuse Sue who thought it was poetic justice that my dessert should be less than brilliant in view of the fact that she had behaved and not had one. Nevertheless, as I’m sure you have already guessed, I did eat it all up, so it can’t have been that bad. We had a further diet coke each during the course of the meal, and noted that the service was cheerful and efficient, and apart from the visit by the guy from the kitchen, I didn’t appear to have caused too much of a stir. In fact, the reactions from the other diners was most disappointing. Not even a titter from the table of four young lads. I must try harder to shock and scare! We had enjoyed our meal and conversation, but once we had finished, we were ready for off. We had both had a busy week at work, and having filled our bellies, we were ready for hitting the hay. No more ado, we paid our bill which was ô?60-00 including a tip, said our goodbyes and thank you’s, and tottered off into what was now a very misty night on the top of Pendle Hill. We managed to get the car down to the bottom without visiting a ditch, and 10 minutes later we were at home ready to put our feet up. All I have to now is answer the three important questions: Would I go again? Yes I would. OK the dessert was disappointing, but overall the food was good, the service was good, and the ambience was great. TV friendly? I guess so. As I said above, I didn’t really seem to be noticed, and I certainly didn’t get rolled down Pendle Hill in a barrel full of spikes like the Witches of old! Value for Money? ô?56-45 plus a tip = ô?60-00. What do you think? I thought it was fine.