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A bastion of unbridled generosity for three decades, Nigel Haworth and Craig Bancroft’s Michelin-starred flagship is still synonymous with confidence, genuine warmth and top-ticket hospitality. Northcote’s previously staid interior positively sparkles these days, thanks to a glossy makeover that has given the whole set-up an “extra edge” – witness the new cookery school, terraced tables and a more stylish dining room. As a trailblazing champion of all things Lancastrian, Haworth has always shown proper respect for the seasons, while adding a sophisticated gloss to the region’s big-boned culinary traditions. The result is elegantly contemporary and “consistently brilliant” food, ably interpreted by head chef Lisa Allen – from a summertime standout of creamy-white cauliflower with crushed black peas, smoky onion foam and home-cured ham to the wintry thrills of roe deer with cherries, butternut squash, ginger and salted pumpkin seeds. Desserts such as Yorkshire rhubarb accompanied by a delicate white chocolate shell filled with custard are also exemplary. Service genuinely cherishes its customers, the fastidiously curated wine list is “a pleasure to behold” and staying over is pure joy. In short, Northcote is a worthy winner of the BMW Square Meal Award for the Best UK Restaurant.
The residents of Blackburn are not especially renowned for being stingy, so it must be sheer good-heartedness that led the team at Northcote to work on such generous mark-ups for its wines. ‘Some of these are a real bargain!’ exclaimed judge Agustin Trapero of Launceston Place. The list is split up traditionally (ie geographically), but it’s well done. There’s plenty of information for those who want it, coupled with a clear layout for those who don’t. France, of course, is well served. But it’s gratifying to see countries such as Portugal and South Africa getting plenty of recognition here, too.
All the ingredients used tasted super fresh with I’m guessing the majority of the vegetables being picked that day in the house gardens assortment of green houses, we talk about food miles being an important thing but here we’re literally talking food meters. While we had 12 different plates ahead of us the amuse and pre-starter were the same both nights and featured a double beetroot hit with crisp cubes and a creamy sorbet again adding to the list of successful beetroot dishes I’ve had...
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Northcote is a hotel & restaurant situated in the scenic countryside of Langho, Blackburn. Being quite far out the way from our usual haunts of Liverpool and Manchester we wish we made the thirty odd mile journey earlier than we did last week. Holding a Michelin star for many years the style of the food prides itself on its simple fresh produce which it has in abundance in the surrounding areas...
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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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