Overshadowed in recent times by neighboring Lytham, the town has always had a good choice of restaurants, but lacked all the kind of relaxed atmosphere that many people seek for after-dinner or pre-dinner drinks.
But now St Annes has a number of cozy micro pubs while the latest addition is the Tempo wine and cocktail bar above The Square.
However, our destination was Fifty Four in Wood Street, which combines European tapas with a Norwegian-style interior.
There is a glassed-in outdoor dining area, but with the cooler fall evenings we were happy to be seated in the main indoor dining area.
You need some time to peruse the menu, as well as the options on the specialty board, with dishes ranging from Swedish meatballs to Spanish chicken and pork knuckle croquettes.
We love tapas-style meals because they allow you to delve into multiple plates and make choices based on contrasting and complementary flavors.
Although there are plenty of places now offering Spanish tapas, what I love about Fifty Four is that it doesn’t limit its cuisine to traditional Mediterranean cuisine.
Our selection therefore included Hungarian goulash and fishcakes with Scottish smoked salmon, as well as our favorite patatas bravas and a must-have bowl of olives.
In addition to the croquettes and the tomato bruschetta, we had six dishes in total.
For two of us, we usually pick five and find it plentiful, but the olives usually come first, as they did here, and help get the juices flowing.
Meanwhile, a bottle of Merlot kept us busy while we waited for our food, and of course a large jug of water.
Many tapas restaurants bring the food as it is ready, but on this occasion our top five picks arrived together.
Our table for two seemed destined to be too small for everything, but in this case only the jug of water had to be moved to the adjoining empty table.
Every dish tasted freshly made, and the goulash was particularly scrumptious as we both hungrily dipped into it.
Delicious fishcakes come with sour cream dip and pickled tomatoes, and for seafood lovers, there’s plenty to choose from on the menu.
On a previous visit another diner ordered the Fifty Four fish platter which was shared between the table and was fabulous.
Tapas are made for meals in company, and once we chatted, drank and ate all the dishes, we were too full for dessert (even though there was a delicious cheesecake on the specialty board) .
Service started off a little slow but we were there at peak time on a Saturday, but overall was fine.
There was no rush to leave our table, but walking out into the night we were then delighted to stumble upon Tempo Bar where local singer Paul Dobie was performing.
It was the perfect end to a lovely evening in thriving St Annes.
Our bill came to £62 including drinks.