A Room With A View (August 2002)
This is an archived article from 2002.
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We might not have anything to compare with the view out over Rome from the Hassler Hotel's rooftop restaurant. But there are places to dine out in the Fylde that can provide an inspirational backdrop for that special occasion, whether you're out to impress a date, a partner, a business associate or just yourself. We've picked out nine of the best views around, and to make it that bit more useful have recommended the best tables to ask for when you book
If you're looking for a classic English country scene, then look no further than Singleton Lodge. This eighteenth century country house hotel (and former vicarage) sits in its own grounds and is a big favourite for weddings. The menu is traditional British served in three dining rooms (the larger main dining room at the back and the Wedgewood and Viceroy rooms at the front). The money seat is the Wedgewood room's window table, which looks out across the gardens to a huge oak tree and the farmland beyond (which is still farmed by the Smith family). On a hot summer's day, it's the kind of view that reminds you why you still haven't sold up and moved to that villa in Marbella.
Rigby's Farmhouse Restaurant at Warton is also run by a prominent local farming family. Here much of the produce you'll find on the traditional British menu is actually from the farm next door, including the beef, chicken, pork and dairy products. Chef Louise Rigby opened the restaurant in 1988 and in the intervening years has built up a loyal local following. Rigby's also has one of the more interesting and eclectic local wine lists (and it's very reasonably priced too). Ask for tables 12 or 13, which look out from the garden bay window across the fields. Another great location is Pilling's Springfield House Hotel. This impressive classical Georgian pile is surrounded by extensive and lovingly tended gardens that are perfect for walking off the award-winning food served up inside. The best seat to take in the garden view is probably table 2.
Of course, most people associate the Fylde with coast much more than countryside and there are some wonderful sea views to savour. The White Tower (pictured above) at Blackpool Pleasure Beach is tough to beat. The stylish restaurant looks out from a height over South Pier, the beach and on a good day the Lakeland hills. It's a view where day and night there's always something going on. During the Illuminations, you'd be hard-pressed to find a better spot. The White Tower has just launched a new international menu and if you're thinking of trying it out ask for table 1, in the window next to the piano.
At Gynn Square on Blackpool's north shore, Paparazzi is a great-value Italian with a similar bella vista out over the Irish Sea and beyond. If you're lucky (or book for before 6.30) you'll be able to snag one of the three window tables. Two of Blackpool's top seafront hotels also have the views to complement fine food. At the Hilton's Promenade Restaurant ask for any window seat but in particular table 24. And at the Imperial's Sea View if you can get a coveted turret table you'll be following in the footsteps of Winston, Harold, Margaret, Tony et al.
There are two more restaurants on our list that don't fit quite so neatly into our coast/country divide but nevertheless both offer tremendous views. The West Beach at the Clifton Arms Hotel looks out over Lytham's famous green and has built its reputation on the good service and food you would expect from a 4-star establishment. Tables 5, 10 and 12 are where you want to be. And last but not least, there's the Shard Riverside Inn at Hambleton. The views over the ever-changing river Wyre are stunning and the newly-renovated pub now has the upmarket menu to match. If you're prepared to take a punt on the weather then sit outside; if not, then any of the window tables (30-36) will do you just fine.
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