Every month, we invite a different food blogger to take us on a whistle-stop tour of their hometown, telling us about the best places to eat out. This month, Rachel from Dollybakes is talking us through the highlights of her local town, Bolton.
Over to rachel…
Bolton. Not the most glittering of food destinations. However, despite the vast amount of pigeons and an underachieving football team, the town’s diverse population has led to a cultural mash up of delicious food. We have lots of emerging independents, as well as some family run establishments which have been popular for years. Here are just some of my favourite local eateries:
The perfect spot to take your pooch
Curley’s is set on the edge of a beautiful fishery with a stunning view of the sunset over the distant coast. Although they specialise in fish and chips, you can also get a corking pie or a lighter bite. They’ll do their very best to make your hound feel welcome, but they’re pretty good with people too.
Best place for lunch
Jon and the team are always coming up with amazing house specials, usually in the shape of a belly busting burger or two. City centre quality without the price tag, they really are doing something a bit special. Love them.
Cheap yet tasty
A new kid on the block run by a friendly family serving some authentic, home cooked food at decent prices. What it lacks in frills, it more than makes up for with taste. We had to be rolled home.
For something a bit different
It has to be the mezze. Another family run establishment, Sokrates has been in Horwich as long as I can remember. The plates of food just keep on coming. Highlights have to include the deep fried halloumi and their honey cheesecake.
Breakfast of champions
We’ve been going here for years. Amanda and her team serve up one of the best full English breakfasts ever. It’s all about the quality of the ingredients, and going home with a bag full of goodies from their well stocked deli.
For service with a smile
We adore these guys. Shebs and co know how to put on a good night out. They have a few unusual curries on the menu (I can highly recommend the Chef’s Special Bhuna Masalla), Curry Life’s Chef of the Year and the smiliest team ever running front of house.
A takeaway to die for
This is a recent affliction. Flame grilled chicken with home made peri peri sauce, nacho fries, spicy rice and a soft nan. Other chain establishments are running scared. These chaps know their chicken!
The best selection of cakes
Dating back to the 12th century, the lower of the two barns has long since been a tea room. This is the perfect spot for a cup of tea and a slice of cake after a long walk in the rolling hills. My favourite has to be the Bakewell slice, but they also do beautiful scones, flapjacks and layer cakes.
Best place to go with friends
The old Black Bull boozer was lovingly transformed into Il Toro in 2007, and has been one of our favourites ever since. Cosy dining rooms, attentive staff and some fabulous food using local produce. We go here every Christmas Day for a festive lunch with an Italian twist.
A hidden gem
It’s nothing to look at, but has been the perpetrator of many a ‘post-lunch lull’. It’s run by a delightful family who I am quite sure never go home. There is a different menu for each day of the week, with the idea being you choose three accompaniments to go with your rice. My absolute favourite is the house chicken curry.
Rachel McGrath blogs at Dollybakes and describes herself as a Bundt queen, Bolton Clandestine Cake Club organiser, restaurant frequenter, roller skater, giddy kipper, pig of the week and feeder of the worst sort.