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Northcote

Northcote Road, LANGHO, Blackburn, BB6 8BE

4 rosettes

Northcote was built as a grand private house in the 1880s for a spinster of the parish, one Mary Yates, who had her family's coat of arms nailed up over the door, and then promptly lost interest in the place. Successive changes of ownership during the last century saw it pass through the hands of various local magnates, Lancashire grandees of the cornflour and (inevitably) cotton trades, until it arrived safely in the hands of a local entrepreneur in the 1980s, who nursed ambitions to turn the place into a country hotel with just a handful of bedrooms and the reputation of a culinary lighthouse for the region. Not far from Blackburn, it overlooks the lush Ribble Valley, views that are a verdant rebuke to those who think of the northwest as being all windswept desolation and satanic mills. The partnership of chef Nigel Haworth and wine expert Craig Bancroft - today's custodians of the Victorian red-brick pile - is one of Lancashire gastronomy's glittering ornaments, and while Lisa Allen is chef de cuisine, Haworth is not above pitching in still on occasion. Thirty years of water under the bridge doesn't flow by without steady evolution, but the vicissitudes of culinary fashion here are subtly and thoughtfully incorporated. A strong underpinning of regional produce has always been a given, and the notional appellations contrôlées of Lancashire are proudly evident: a porridge of Southport shrimps comes with Banks tomatoes and tarragon pesto, while a local farmer's beetroot is salt-baked and paired with a cheese fondue made with Shorrock's Lancashire Bomb. Technical skills are outstanding, both for fish, as in an opener of lightly charred turbot with seared cucumber, butter beans, a stunning smoked oyster and sea flora, and for main-course meats such as Cumbrian roe deer with a potato-wrapped portion of black pudding, the flavours boldly deepened with blackcurrant and liquorice, alongside a portion of reimagined coleslaw. Pop-culture references bring on crispy quavers (no, not that sort) with fillet and cheek of rare-breed milk-fed pork, alongside pearl barley risotto and chorizo, while dessert could be a ginger take on melting fondant, served with full-cream ice cream and caramel custard. Gourmet menus, tasters, veggie alternatives: the repertoire accommodates just about any way you care to go, with the assurance that dynamic creativity and bright ideas are in full spate throughout, along with some truly superb wines from a masterpiece of a wine list. Winner of the AA Wine Award for England 2013-14.

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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