SOMETIMES the end of something good creeps up on you, even though you knew it was coming, and it was a Saturday afternoon when I said goodbye to my housemate of three years.

We were never going to live together forever (although I quite liked the idea of the two of us growing old with a pack of dogs!), but the actual moving day still felt sudden.

The only answer when you feel a bit down in the dumps is to get the girls together and go for a slap-up meal.

Kate and I joined our friends Rachel and Sarah for a meal at Alebro in London Road, Leigh.

I’d not really noticed the cosy little restaurant, but when we arrived there were a few people sunning themselves with a glass of wine outside and it felt like a friendly place.

Ordering a bottle of Prosecco (what else?), we browsed the short-but-sweet menu. It has a good range of dishes, including satay chicken skewers, goats’ cheese tarte tatin and fishcakes, as well as specials.

But I think we all had our eye on the chorizo-covered Scotch egg for starter. In the interest of balance, I wanted to pick one of the other meals, but no one would give in – least of all me. So three eggs and soup of the day it was.

Rachel’s leek and potato soup was deliciously creamy and was served with a chunky slice of bread. The Scotch egg was cooked perfectly and came with a piquant sauce which was the ideal accompaniment.

Our waitress was friendly and even brought a bucket of ice when she overheard one of our party (who shall remain nameless!) was still suffering the effects of Friday night.

For the main, I chose the seared Gressingham duck breast with saute potatoes, bok choi and a plum sauce. This Asian-inspired dish was delicately flavoured and the sauce, which can easily become overpowering, sat with the strongly-flavoured meat perfectly.

Kate asked for skate wing from the specials menu and instead got salmon as the dish had obviously proved popular.

Rachel ate lamb rump, which was drizzled generously with jus and came with a very decadent portion of dauphinoise potatoes.

The pie of the day, steak and mushroom, was good but instead of pie crust all the way round, it was a pastry lid on a dish. Not a traditional pie in my eyes, but Sarah loved it.

I’d been looking forward to dessert ever since I spied the chocolate mousse cake on the menu – a gorgeous slab of rich, dark chocolate topped with strawberries and a scoop of Chantilly cream.

I felt like I needed to run home just to burn off the calories, but it was worth it!

The lemon cheesecake was light, while the sticky toffee pudding Kate chose was a stodgy pud smothered in butterscotch sauce. Rachel kept things traditional with a selection of Rossi ice creams.

We thoroughly enjoyed the evening and were never kept waiting for drinks or food.

It may be the end of living with my best friend, but it is the beginning of lots more meals at Alebro!


Scotch egg with chorizo x 3 £17.85

Leek and potato soup £4.95

Baked rump of lamb £15.95

Seared duck breast £14.95

Steak and mushroom pie £12.95

Salmon filler £15.95

Seasonal mixed veg x 2 £5.90

Sticky toffee pudding £4.95

Cheesecake £4.95

Chocolate mousse cake £4.95

Ice cream £4.95