Restaurant review: The Pack Horse, 52 Watling Street, Affetside, Tottington, Bury

For my latest restaurant review, I turned to an old favourite – but this time with a throng of co-eaters, to celebrate my nephew’s 30th birthday – at The Pack Horse, Affetside.
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I say old favourite, primarily because I’ve dined there several times before, including our first meal out when Covid restrictions were first lifted (boy, did that taste good), but also old because the Pack Horse is just that, being built in 1443.

A traditional inn, nestled in the countryside on the outskirts of Bury with views over to Manchester, the Pack Horse even boasts its own barside historic relic – a human skull, thought to belong to Civil War-era executioner George Whowell, ensconced in a glass cabinet.

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But enough of grisly titbits, and onto the real reason we were there – the delightful food.

Sunday roast platter for twoSunday roast platter for two
Sunday roast platter for two

Our typically wet British summer this year may have dampened enthusiasm for outdoor pursuits and dining, but at least made us feel less guilty about tucking into traditional warming English grub, and what better example than the Sunday roast.

A plethora of the traditional roast is available from the menu including a duo of meats, 12 hour roast beef, half roast chicken, crispy belly pork, roast turkey, and for vegetarians, carrot Wellington with spiced marmalade.

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Or for the indecisive, you could opt, as my partner and I did, for the Sunday roast platter for two. Arriving on a silver platter, our chosen dish came complete with roast beef, crispy belly pork, half roast chicken, turkey, stuffing, pigs in blankets, mashed potatoes, roast potatoes, parsnips, carrot and swede, red cabbage, mixed greens, Yorkshire

Pork crackling with apple sauce at the Pack Horse, AffetsidePork crackling with apple sauce at the Pack Horse, Affetside
Pork crackling with apple sauce at the Pack Horse, Affetside

puddings and a bottomless jug of real gravy.

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Phew! Take a breath, as we did several times whilst working our way through this mountain of food.

The taste test passed too, with all the meat cooked perfectly.

For those with a smaller appetite, and less gluttonous eyes, there are several options available including Quinton Bay scampi, steaks, burgers, salads and a very tempting sounding coconut and corn curry.

Dining area at the Pack Horse, AffetsideDining area at the Pack Horse, Affetside
Dining area at the Pack Horse, Affetside

Unfortunately, my eyes are often bigger than my belly, meaning I opted for a starter of homemade pork crackling with apple sauce, which arrived in a bigger portion than I was expecting.

To sum up, then, saddle up and head to the Pack Horse for some traditional filling food.