Food Blog by Scott Holliday
The Imperial Hotel is a Blackpool landmark and steeped in history. The hotel, in its 151 years, has welcomed royalty, Winston Churchill, Charles Darwin and now 87Food!
Being from Blackpool, I have always known about the hotel and have even been a member of the gym situated there, but I never knew that there was a restaurant that is open to the public – a damn good restaurant, too!
I was invited down for dinner at the Palm Court Restaurant by The Imperial’s Sales Manager Caroline Richardson. She was really passionate about the restaurant and the team behind it.
Chef Craig Brown is up to AA Rosette standard and this is exhibited in the menu and most importantly the food! Anyway on to that… their menu is seasonal and has something for everyone.
Starter – Scotch Egg
This was no standard scotch egg, no, it was a venison and black pudding quails scotch egg! I loved the contrast of the rich venison and black pudding with the dainty quails egg and crunchy exterior. This was accompanied by a remoulade that cut through the ardent creamy flavour of the egg.
Main – Braised Ox Cheek
This was a big hunk of melt in the mouth meat. It had a deep intense beefy flavour that carried on through to the gravy that the meat was bathing in. I liked that it came with local (Tarleton) carrots. There are some great producers here in Lancashire and more restaurants should be celebrating them.
Dessert – Blood orange parfait
Dessert was recommended by our waiter, Ron. I don’t want to serve it any injustice but it was like a Terry’s Chocolate Orange… on steroids! The parfait was creamy, almost like a custard and was accompanied by a quenelle of smooth dark chocolate ice cream and blood orange gel. A perfect sweet.
The board consisted of three local cheeses; Butlers Blacksticks Blue, Crumbly Lancashire and a Kidderton Ash Goats Cheese, served with biscuits, butter, quince jelly and candied walnuts.
I found the menu competitively priced – one course £16, two for £20 or three for £25 – with supplement charges for things such as confit duck, certain steaks and a cheese board.
The service I received was one of the real standouts of my visit. Restaurant manager Rachel was welcoming and a great host. Our waiter, Ron, was knowledgeable and brilliant at his job. I will be returning and encourage more local people to visit as well.