Yep, we’re here again; it’s time for the next issue of Lancaster Lunch. This time I have sent my very hungry team over to two of the most popular gastro-pubs in Lancaster: The White Cross and The Water Witch. The LL gang have visited both Canalside haunts many times before with varying experiences. They’re practically regulars now. I’ll be documenting all of their thoughts and findings below. So, buckle up, it’s time for lunch.
The White Cross
A spacious and family friendly pub, The White Cross is situated on Quarry Road right next to the canal – a great place to sit and eat in the summer.
‘The White Cross demonstrates a thoughtful touch of class – calming scenery, attentive wait staff and an attractive interior. The prices are certainly pushing the expensive side of things, especially for students, but the presentation and food is often quite worth it. That said, it can be a somewhat random experience, and the quality of your dish fluctuates depending on what you ordered and what day of the week it is. However, if you aren’t a fussy eater and enjoy a proper Sunday dinner with friends, this is certainly not a bad choice to go with.’
‘The White Cross is always a curious mix. It’s in a lovely spot by the canal, and its decor gives it a pleasant atmosphere to sit with friends and have a good time. However, my last visit was a disappointment. I had ordered the veggie burger and was quite disappointed. The burger itself was a freezer bought standard you can buy from any local spar, but it was so soggy that the bread and burger merged into one homogenous mass of carbs.
As a place to eat, it’s always one of two things: either, the service is great, and the food is rubbish, or the food is great, and the service is non-existent. In this recent visit, it was the former with a friendly, joking waitress serving mediocre food.’
‘Definitely a solid place to eat. I’ve actually been to the White Cross twice recently, so this is as close to a connoisseur-level review you’ll get from me; I really like the food here. As per usual, I can’t really comment on the meat-oriented side of the menu, but the White Cross has a bunch of very appealing vegetarian options. I tried the veggie and mushroom burger on my most recent trip and was perfectly happy with my choice. I can also strongly recommend their specials, especially whatever soup of the day they have on the go when you’re visiting;
All the food I had was of a high standard and very filling. My only real qualm was price; it’s not a place to eat regularly on a student budget. But if you and some friends fancy treating yourselves to a fancy dinner, this place is definitely a strong contender.’
The Water Witch
This slightly hidden pub, famous for their large range of beers can be found further along the canal on Canal Tow Path. They offer student discount on all items, so get those library cards ready.
‘Across the canal from Chancellors Wharf sits the quaint little gem that is The Water Witch. The Water Witch offers everything that a good pub should: a range of unusual craft beers and ales to try, traditional pub grub that is definitely above the standard of most of the pubs in Lancaster, and a friendly and relaxing atmosphere. This makes The Water Witch an easy place to spend a lot of time in – and don’t I know it! On my most recent trip to The Water Witch (I have been many times) I tried their fish and chips, sat outside along the canal with the sun shining. (It does happen in Lancaster.) It was great, what more could you want from a place?’
‘A window seat at Water Witch is the perfect way to spend an evening. The sunset was reflected in as the sun perched itself amongst the trees and the only thing I could think about was just how beautiful the food was on the plate in front of me. I ordered the Cumberland sausage trio which, on a student budget, is a perfectly seasoned and tasting meal that will fill you up nicely. The mash was effortlessly creamy, the gravy had a great consistency and the sausages and peas were cooked to perfection. My friends had the vegan flatbread and the burger night deal (a pint and a burger and chips for £10.95). There wasn’t a morsel of food left on our plates. We left the pub with smiles on our faces and stomachs full of good grub.’
‘Sat along the canal of Lancaster, The Water Witch is a perfect place for my companions and I: students who are seeking to enjoy a pint and a delightful roast dinner on a bright Sunday afternoon. The beef roast that I ordered was cooked to an extremely high quality, the vegetables and potatoes were also delightful. However, despite the pleasant environment and great food that The Water Witch delivers, the most attractive element of this pub is that it provides students with 15% off every item! This is a deal which most of us poor students would gracefully embrace.’
Michael Hoi Ki Chan