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The Freemasons at Wiswell

8 Vicarage Fold, Wiswell, WHALLEY, BB7 9DF

3 rosettes

There's much to recommend in this part of the country: the Ribble Valley has interesting little towns, beautiful countryside and some truly excellent food producers, so it's hardly surprising chef Steven Smith has returned to his Lancashire roots and set himself up in an old pub in the chocolate-box village of Wiswell. The Freemasons was once three small cottages, one of which was a freemasons' lodge, but these days it's progressed from being a traditional inn to an out and out stylish but rustic gastro-pub complete with open fires, flagstoned floors, antique rugs, huntin' shootin' fishin'-themed paintings on the walls and mismatched antique furniture. The place has a warm and homely atmosphere, helped along by the friendly and impressively knowledgeable staff. Blackburn-born Smith honed his skills in many of the North's top kitchens, and it shows in his assured and innovative adaptations of classic dishes. Produce is top-notch, seasonal at all times and sourced from an army of suppliers in the Ribble Valley, including daily fish deliveries from Wellgate Fisheries in nearby Clitheroe. A September lunch might begin with venison tartare, butternut squash, pickled damsons, smoked almonds and chocolate: the venison singing with flavour and with a perfect texture, the discs and purée of squash giving earthy sweetness, enhanced by the chocolate, and the almonds adding textural contrast. The market fish of the day could be the route to take at main course, perhaps beautifully cooked, sea-fresh halibut topped with buttery Southport shrimp and Southport tenderstem broccoli. Meals here tend to finish on a high with something like a vanilla slice - layers of fine pastry and a gently flavoured vanilla cream topped with caramelised pears in a rich and sticky ginger syrup. Of course, it's not all about the food: the bar has an impressive selection of traditional cask ales from award-winning independent breweries, while the cellar stocks over 250 wines from around the world.

Further information

Tel: 01254 822218
Please quote 'The AA'.
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Days closed: Mon-Tue
Dates closed: 2 Jan for 2 wks
Sunday lunch available.

Restaurant information

Cooking type: Modern British
Chef: Steven Smith, Hywel Griffith
Number of seats: 70
Accessible for wheelchairs.
Disabled toilets.
Children welcome.
Children's portions.


Restaurant price guide

2 Course lunch from: £19.95
3 Course lunch from: £23.95
A La Carte Dinner Main Course from: £19.95
2 Course dinner from: £19.95
3 Course dinner from: £23.95
Sunday lunch: £21.95-£25.95
Prices are for guidance only. Please check when booking for current rates.



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A59, located on the edge of Whalley village near Clitheroe
Nearest station: Whalley

Local information for BB7 9DF

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