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Northcote

Northcote Road, LANGHO, Blackburn, BB6 8BE

4 rosettes

The team behind Northcote has built and burnished a reputation for the place that has elevated it into the highest echelon of the Lancashire scene. Rather than resting on laurels, the partnership of culinary maestro Nigel Haworth and wine expert Craig Bancroft has been tirelessly productive since taking over in the 1980s. The pair of them have been a galvanic force in every aspect of the business, from accommodation to cookery classes to dining, the last entrusted these days to head chef Lisa Allen. The house itself began life as the late-Victorian project of a local lady, who soon relinquished it to the successive ownership of a cavalcade of business bigwigs, and yet it's one of those houses that looks as though it was always destined for country-hotel refinement. Development and refurbing continue apace, and much of the new decor, installed since 2013, is stunning. A cocktail bar that wouldn't disgrace a luxury cruise-liner, a new chef's table and private dining rooms, as well as new guest rooms, are all on-stream, and the decorative styling is imaginative and colourful throughout. The many-windowed restaurant looks out over the gardens and towards the hills that frame the rolling Ribble Valley, the luxuriant external view complemented by a gentle interior tone, all cream-coloured upholstery, panelled pillars and carpeting striped in two shades of grey. Local farmers and breeders, west-coast fishermen and Northcote's own prodigious kitchen gardens supply Lisa Allen with inspiration and raw materials for menus that are securely in the modern idiom, founded on a pulsing backbeat of pure proud Lancashire. Black pudding and buttered pink trout make a pairing attractive to both eye and palate, sauced as they are with a vivid mustardy watercress potion, while Southport shrimps are the mainstay of an organic porridge with tomato, spring onions and tarragon pesto. Fish is always of exemplary freshness, perhaps John Dory and squid with Ibérico ham and smoked onion, or an ingenious scallop Rossini with seaweed and madeira jelly. You can forgive a chef wanting to blow his own trumpet by showcasing an award-winning main dish, and it gives the rest of us the chance to taste what we've seen on TV - thus Haworth's rare loin and slow-cooked belly of lamb that comes with hotpot potatoes and scorched leeks - or there could be fillet and cheek of rare-breed pork, with pearl barley risotto and chorizo. The hot-ticket pudding is apple crumble soufflé with an ice cream of Kirkham's Lancashire cheese.

Further information

Tel: 01254 240555
Please quote 'The AA'.
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Open/closed

Dates closed: Food & Wine Festival
Sunday lunch available.

Restaurant information

Cooking type: Modern British
Chef: Nigel Haworth, Lisa Allen
Number of seats: 70
Accessible for wheelchairs.
Steps for wheelchair: 2
Disabled toilets.
Vegetarian meals available.
Children welcome.
Children's portions.
Parking available.

 

Restaurant price guide

A La Carte Dinner Main Course from: £28.00
Sunday lunch: £36.00
Prices are for guidance only. Please check when booking for current rates.

 
Northcote, Langho

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Directions

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M6 junct 31, 9m to Northcote. Follow Clitheroe (A59) signs. Hotel on left before rdbt
Nearest station: Preston

Local information for BB6 8BE

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