The Highwayman

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Set up by Nigel Haworth and Craig Bancroft from Michelin-starred Northcote, the Ribble Valley Inns stable now has several gastropubs in the region – including this revamped boozer in the borderlands between Lancashire, Cumbria and Yorkshire. ‘Food with roots’ is the slogan, and the place shores up its local cred with arty photos of farmers, growers and producers dotted around the place. Name-checked ingredients meet big, bold flavours in robust seasonal dishes such as Flookburgh shrimp porridge, oatcake-crusted shoulder of Kitridding lamb or pig’s head with crispy black pudding, mash, cabbage and pickled apples. Seafood platters, jazzed-up ploughman’s, ‘pie and peas’, char-grilled steaks and desserts such as ‘sheep dip’ crème brûlée with shortbread and raspberries complete the picture. Beers are North Country heroes too, while Craig Bancroft’s thumbprint is all over the serious global wine list.

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Nigel Haworth

Proud Lancastrian Nigel Haworth – his signature dish is hotpot – has done more than anyone to put his county on the map. He’s the chef patron of Northcote, a local fine-dining institution, and has boosted the region’s profile with his Ribble Valley Inns – a burgeoning group of country pubs including The Three Fishes at Mitton. Trained at The Ritz and Gleneagles, Haworth also does the catering at his beloved Blackburn Rovers FC.

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