Restaurant review: The Sparling, Barton

decor in the sparling, barton, preston

decor in the sparling, barton, preston

My dad was up for a visit and after a hard day’s work he wanted something to eat. We set off up the A6 in search of some decent grub, and we came to The Sparling in Barton – about 10 minutes drive from Preston.

First impressions were good. The place is fancy inside, soft furnishings, lots of angles and modern decor. It’s not what I expected it to be like.

We were seated and immediately eyed up the set menu. Two courses for £7.95 – that’s credit crunch beating stuff. It’s only starter and main for the two courses, you have to pay extra for a desert. I went for the cup-a-soup of the day and a pepper steak. My dad went for the cheese brisquetes and also plumped for the peppered steak. My girlfriend went for the cheese briquetes as well and the macaroni.  I went for a San Miguel to wash it all down, while a glass of Spanish red (250 ml) was £4.95 for the old man and the missus enjoyed a glass of the house red (priced around £2.95).

Our decisions were made carefully on the set menu as the waitress reported that they were out of a few things (including orange juice!) and we understood as it was reasonably busy for a Tuesday night.

The starters arrived quickly and the cup-a-soup was fantastic. It was carrot and cale, delicious. With a steaming hot baguette to go dunking with. Dad’s cheesy brisquetes (cheesy bites to you and me) were reportedly delicious. The portions were just right, small enough to be ‘fancy-ish’ but not so large you had no room for the main course.

Due to the busy nature of the place for a Tuesday it took a while for the main courses to arrive. The portions weren’t as big as I was hoping for, but the quality of the ingredients shone through. The steak was lovely, with a peppery source drizzled all over. There were no chips unfortunately, so it was mashed potato insteasd and some great fresh veg. My eyes were bigger than my stomach, I was suitably full but with enough room for a desert. The girlfriend was happy with her macaroni (yum! was the sentiment) and Dad had a similar experience with his pepper steak.

Desert was moderately price, Dad and I went for the two scoops of locally producer ice cream. I had banoffi and vanilla bean and it was delicious. The girlfriend went for a knickerbocker glory. Now, I hadn’t seen one of these in years! It was special. Although the fruit got stuck at the bottom and she’d been given a large spoon which couldn’t reach down that far.

We recoiled after our desert and then settled up the bill. A cracking £49 for three, not bad! A brief chat with the head waitress revealed that the South African owner was putting a lot of money into the place and they’ve just started an advertising campaign locally (not that we’d seen it). A second restaurant, called The Sparling, has also been opened in Lytham, which I think we will check out in the summer.

If you’re in need of some top notch food, for good prices, the Sparling is a top contender.

Rating: Food: 4/5, Drink: 3/5, Service: 3.5/5, Atmosphere/decor: 4.5/5, Value for money: 4.5/5

Overall: 19.5/25

Need to book? Not on week days, but weekends will definitely be busy.

Phone:  01772 863 789

Address: 807 Garstang Road, Barton, Preston, PR3 (map)



2 Responses

  1. Came on Sat 6th Feb 2009 with 14 other guests the service was atrocious and the food was not very good . We booked the meal at 8.00pm to eat at 8.30pm We got the starters at 9.30 and the sweet at 11.10pm we had no time to have coffee (did not even ask us) as the coach to return home picked us up at 12.00midnight. Very Very disappointed and will not be recommending your restaurant.

  2. Went to the Sparling on the last Friday of June.
    The service was good and the food was ok but we were put on a table near the toilets and we could smell them, not nice.
    The total highlight of the evening for us was “Harrison and freinds”, a young (early 20’s) jazz quartet that was playing. They were really excellent and I’m going to book them for my 60th.
    So what started off as a poor evening, finished as a wonderful evening.

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