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Egerton House Hotel, Bolton, review

Simon Binns is sold by simple sophistication at this hideaway hotel

Written by . Published on August 18th 2010.

Egerton House Hotel, Bolton, review

Relaxed elegance is the claim of the Egerton House Hotel, which is nestled in a leafy, peaceful part of Bolton.

If more people knew about the crab and lemongrass beignets that came as a starter, however, perfectly balanced out with chilli, shallots and a hoisin dressing, they’d be fighting over tables every night of the week.

It’s a pretty setting for dinner, and upon arrival my partner and I were invited into the lounge – a warm swirl of reds and golds – to peruse the menu and order over a drink on a big comfy settee, instead of being led straight to the table.

I was worried I’d be too relaxed to bother getting up again.

I was hungry though, and the only way I was eating was by dragging myself into the simple yet attractive dining room, which was hosting a handful of residents but was otherwise quiet.

If more people knew about the crab and lemongrass beignets that came as a starter, however, perfectly balanced out with chilli, shallots and a hoisin dressing, they’d be fighting over tables every night of the week.

I could have eaten ten of these imaginative little beauties, but three was just the right amount. My dining partner had gone uncharacteristically quiet thanks to a compression of chicken confit, leek and truffle with piccalilli and chicken scratchings that was a triumph of saltiness and zing. Two fantastically executed starters and good fun to boot.

Flavour was busting out of the lamb two ways that arrived for my main course too. Beautiful pink roasted meat sat alongside a compressed cylinder of lamb with neither fighting too hard for attention over the other. A rather large fondant potato threatened to muscle in and a lighter, creamier accompaniment might have been better. The sauce ravigote made up for it though.

On the other side of the table, my companion was pleased with the juicy baked chicken breast with wild mushrooms and green beans. Simplicity was the key with both these dishes but they were seriously impressive nonetheless.

The range of desserts was simple fare too. My generously-sized apple pie with crème anglaise was encased in light, buttery pastry and the sweetness of the apples was just right.

The chocolate fondant ordered by my companion oozed rich gooey sauce just as it should, although the double chocolate ice cream that came with it should be switched for vanilla. You can have too much of a good thing, despite rumours to the contrary.

Minor gripes? The house white was warm and the vertical blinds in the dining room have got to go, but the food was excellent from start to finish.

The menu, which changes daily, is a snip at £27 for three courses and points to an accomplished head chef in Nick O’Mahoney.

Manchester seems to be characterised by having some of its best restaurants in hotels – it seems Bolton has followed suit.

Rating: 15/20
Breakdown: 8.5/10 food
3.5/5 service
3/5 ambience
Address: Egerton House Hotel
Blackburn Road
01204 307171

Venues are rated against the best examples of their kind: fine dining against the best fine dining, cafes against the best cafes. Following on from this the scores represent: 1-5 saw your leg off and eat it, 6-9 get a DVD, 10-11 if you must, 12-13 if you’re passing,14-15 worth a trip,16-17 very good, 17-18 exceptional, 19 pure quality, 20 perfect. More than 20: Gordo gets carried away

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MacAugust 18th 2010.

It hasn't "followed suit," the Egerton House restaurant has been a cracker for bloody years, matey.
Those of us who don't want to traipse into Manchester for overpriced sauce and a sprig of dill on a roofing slate have known this for a long time.
Anyway, thanks for this. It's about time you lot ventured north. Next up, let's see what you think of Achari and the Royal Balti House.

Simon Binns - News EditorAugust 18th 2010.

Thanks Mac. There are some great places out towards the Preston hills, and we're keen to cover more of them.

NortherngeezerAugust 18th 2010.

Two phrases that NEVER go together..........'creme anglais' and 'Bolton'............its custard ffs, although the menu sounds yummy enuff to give it ago.

Alistair NivenAugust 19th 2010.

Been a few times over the years my last experience was not good- greeted by the very commercial proprietress-asked if we could have dinner - told yes - seated at a table for 2 in a room with one other noisy table of 12 - food poor, service poor- we felt the owners were just trying to wring every last penny out of us. Will not go back, would advise anyone else to only go on a quiet evening not the weekend.

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