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Sunday dinners: The Blackburne Arms

We bag a table in the Catharine St pub and hold onto it for dear life

Written by . Published on November 22nd 2011.


Sunday dinners: The Blackburne Arms

Where
The Blackburne Arms, 24 Catharine St  Liverpool L8 7NL. 0151 709 9159

What's on the table?
If you can get a table, and it isn't easy, a slap-up Sunday lunch.

One course: £7.95; Two courses: £9.95; three and it's £11.95, putting it at the bargain end of Sabbath dining deals.

P1019961
Why go there?
Ask the hundreds of people who rammed the place this Sunday just gone. Honestly.

Mind you, the Liverpool v Chelsea game was on. Children, people in wheelchairs, scals and what's left of the old L8 riff raff, all rubbing shoulders and getting excited.

The beer might keep its head well, but the punters sometimes don't. Babies howled when that first goal went in, as did the rest of the room.



On a normal Sunday, think about the excellent cask ales, a warm, vibrant atmosphere that you don't want to go home from... just the things to reverse a dark and depressing Sunday afternoon. Plus it's one of the dwindling number of independent pubs in town and therefore deserves a go.

Dscf0112
Where do we begin?
Goats cheese puff pastry tart had lost its puff, owing to the weight of the fromage atop, and, just as we were beginning to get into it and the fresh and colourful caramelised onion and tomato mixed salad, it was gone. Devoured. Breakfast salad was made equally scarce, basically an apple and walnut Waldorf, with black pudding and bacon tossed in light but piquant dressing.

Main course
A choice of three: Let's talk about the roast sirloin of beef with Yorkshire pudding. The beef came in thick, perfect medium rare slabs of meat, with that open textured grain and full red flavour that says “Hey, I might have lived a little, I might have been well hung and, try me, I still might be.”



Stop it
Of the other two choices, gammon was succulent and full of flavour, not of salt. The supreme chicken breast was moist and generous. Full marks on the thoroughly plausible and delicious gravies too.

Yorkshires
Well risen and authentic, smacking of the beef dripping that they had been cooked in. Not greasy, just textbook.

Tattie hoTattie hoThe rest
As said already, the place was absolutely heaving, so the kitchen was under intense pressure - and largely coped.

Almost. When the much anticipated plates of Sunday dinners eventually landed, they bore everything but the one vital ingredient: the roasties.

Alarm bells rang and tears came to our eyes.

When they did come, loads of them, by way of massive apologies from Chef, they were pretty good.



They hadn't congealed under the lights. They were sizzlers and, while they weren't the ultimate roast potato that your mum makes in micro-climate conditions for four people, they were way better than many we've had in far loftier surroundings.

Enlarge me, enlarge meEnlarge me, enlarge meVeggies
An interesting British autumnal take on a summer favourite of petit pois a la Francais: That's a posh way of saying we had shredded Savoy cabbage, with peas. Also a big dollop of mashed carrot and swede and some broccoli. Nothing unusual, but all delivered just right.

What if you are a vegetarian or don't like Sunday dinners?
Hmm, you could ask for a massive version of that very pleasant goats cheese tart. Otherwise it's a packet of Walker's: red, green or blue, it's up to you.

Suggest to the bar staff that they surprise you on this.


The sweet trolleyThe sweet trolley
Child friendly?

There's a kids' version of the main course for £4.95.

What if they are a vegetarian or don't like Sunday dinners?
Sit them outside the pub with a bag of red, green or blue. It did you no harm.

Proof of the puddings
The apple pie and the chocolate fudge cake had gone. We were then offered mixed fruit trifle, quite delicious, in a 1978 sense, and containing tinned peaches.

Bread and butter pudding was heavy in the way that an old English sheepdog lying across you on the couch is heavy, but not completely unpleasant, and it was doused in a very agreeable custard. Homely, is the word we're looking for. Like Mrs Overall's support tights in Acorn Antiques.

P1019957
All in all

If you don't book for this one, don't blame us if they can't accommodate you. We turned up on spec, looked utterly desperate and needy (as usual) and the nice landlady pulled a few strings, short of turfing some lingerers out. We got seated and an enjoyable time ensued, but it's not recommended you try this yourselves.

Remember, this is only a review of the Sunday lunch, not the pub or the food during the rest of the week, or its merits as a place to stay. (However, while we're on it, they do need to sort out some hot water in the taps in the loos.)

If you are looking for a great value Sunday afternoon out, this is it.

And beer wise...
....sink a few pints of Titanic.

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AnonymousJuly 8th 2012.

Just had a lovely lamb, Sunday lunch at the Blackburn, everything good from start to finish, service, drinks and above all, a fabulous well stocked (all of your 5 a day veg on the plate) lovely roasted lamb and tasty roast potatoes. Highly recommend. Oh and it was nice and pleasant not packed at all.

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Latest Rants

Phillip Lawler

I will visit this place once the management and staff have got their act in order.

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seaman staines

Well they say that 'love comes in spurts...'

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Anonymous

Just like the swingers room

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This is a menu for Laconia in 1938, it doesn't look that great.…

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