Andrew Edwards visits the Dining Rooms on Southport’s Promenade

Andrew Edwards on Sunday lunch at the Alexandra & Victoria

FRIENDS have been telling me for a long time that I need to try the food at the Alexandra and Victoria hotel's Dining Rooms restaurant on the Promenade.

So I took their advice and went along to try out the special Sunday lunch menu with my wife on a gloomy, chilly winter’s day when a roast dinner was just the thing to fend off the misery of the weather.

This is a restaurant with a reputation for top quality food at affordable prices, and we were not disappointed.

The Sunday lunch menu is just £9.95 per person for two courses and is changed regularly.

The restaurant itself is light, informal and uncomplicated. And it is open plan, with the chefs working away within sight of the customers. It's a touch that adds to the feel that you are closer to the creativity of the team, led by the restaurant's head chef Tom Wareing, nephew of celebrity chef Marcus Wareing.

It's a team that knows its stuff.

I went for the chicken liver pate starter and it was delightful, created by Wareing himself and set off with a gorgeous and unusual pear and raisin chutney.

My wife opted for the deep fried Tempura king prawns with sweet chilli mayonnaise which she assured me was excellent.

Choices of main course included a mushroom stroganoff, rump steak, braised belly pork and deep fried battered cod, but we knew what we were after and ordered the lamb.

It was English Sunday lunch cooking at its best; top rate roast potatoes (and that's really important!) perfectly cooked vegetables and delicious lamb.

We opted for the house red to complement the meal – a very nice Italian Merlot, which, at £14.95, was good value for money.

The excellence of the wine was matched with the service. Our waitress was cheerful, helpful and attentive.

The Dining Rooms is now gearing itself up for Christmas and the New Year and there are a wide range of well planned specials for couples, families or groups.

Two course (£12.95) and three course (£14.95) Christmas lunch specials offer either the traditional fayre or a choice of alternative dishes.

For New Year's Eve the Dining Rooms is offering a five-course dinner (£45pp) with a full evening's entertainment.

And there are Christmas party specials available on Friday and Saturday nights, with live entertainment, disco and magic at the table plus a three-course dinner at £24.95 per person.

For us there was certainly plenty of magic at the table on our visit. It was the food.

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