SquareMeal Review of
A recent facelift and the reinstatement of its original name have restored pride to this imposing hostelry, a former Victorian hotel. The Bolton has a chequered past: the haunt of male prostitutes in the 1970s, it was more latterly a tired O’Neill’s bar. With the closure of the adjacent Exhibition Centre, it now needs new customers. Initial signs are promising; we found a range of fine craft ales (Sambrook’s, Curious IPA, Meantime Yakima Red), wines from £17 to £32 (for a creditable claret) and bar snacks of baked Cornish Brie, spicy wings, and Scotch egg. The main menu of updated Brit classics also passes muster. Start with roast root veg, honey and black-pepper soup or chicken Caesar salad; move on to a bracing ox cheek and kidney pie, or wild salmon fishcakes with lemon crème fraîche, paprika potato wedges and slaw; and finish with comforting raspberry and peach crumble.