Penny Street, LANCASTER, LA1 1XT
Right in the centre of the city, the listed Toll House Inn was once a Corporation Toll House. Demolished in 1901, it was then rebuilt as two separate pubs, which Thwaites Brewery joined together again in 2007 to create a grand 28-room inn with a bar. Its wonderfully high ceilings make it feel light and modern, although retained period features can be seen everywhere, from the listed staircase to the servant bell hooks, and from the stained-glass windows to the unusual listed wardrobe in one of the bedrooms. The atmosphere is quirkily elegant, with wooden floors throughout, modern yet cosy furniture in the bar area and a stylish, contemporary feel in the bedrooms. The kitchen team prepare all the food on the premises; served all day, their seasonal menus make the most of the excellent Lancashire produce that's available right on their doorstep. The popular menu includes crab and haddock fishcakes; and chicken liver pâté to start, and classics such as steak and real ale pudding; and Lancashire cheese and onion pie. They also serve their now famous 'hanging kebabs', as well as a selection of sharing boards (Butcher's, Cheese and Vegetable Antipasti and Fishmonger's) and salads. From The Grill section on the menu you might opt for a 28-day aged fillet or rib-eye steak or a gammon chop. Interestingly on the menu, the Thwaites beer sommelier has identified some dishes that can be paired perfectly with beer. For pudding perhaps try the lime and ginger cheesecake; sticky toffee pudding; or strawberry and white chocolate mousse. Toll House Inn is situated next to the Lancaster Canal so it's the ideal place from which to explore the county and its rich history.