SquareMeal Review of
A comfortable country house hotel on the edge of the Ribble Valley, Northcote has held a Michelin star for over two decades. Chef Lisa Goodwin-Allen has recently taken the reins from her mentor Nigel Haworth, and while the restaurant’s snow-white cloths and sparkling glassware still smack of traditional fine dining, the new menu is fresh and modern. Lancashire’s natural larder provides ample opportunity for seasonal, locally sourced ingredients to shine. Char-grilled asparagus was packed with flavour, served simply with creamy sheep’s curd and sharp wood-sorrel leaves, while deliciously sticky lamb breast came paired with a pillow of caramelised shallot purée. A photogenic dish of fat, sweet scarlet prawns with wild-garlic foam and beurre blanc sauce was a technically perfect rendition; we followed it with an earthy plate of succulent squab pigeon, its breast roasted on the bone and the confit leg accompanied by turnip and morels. Matched with note-perfect wines and friendly service, this is a treat of a tasting menu: light and playful, but with real confidence and skill on show. An inviting new chapter for this legendary Lancastrian heavyweight.
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Wine List Of The Year Finalist
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. 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.