Afternoon tea, British·
Gold Award

SquareMeal Review of Northcote

Gold Award

A comfortable country house hotel on the edge of the Ribble Valley, Northcote has held a Michelin star for over two decades. And while there’s no mistaking you’re in traditional fine-dining territory here, fans appreciate the restaurant’s snow-white cloths and sparkling glassware as a sign of reassurance for the professionalism of the experience to come.

Chef Lisa Goodwin-Allen has taken the reins from her mentor Nigel Haworth, who arrived at Northcote in 1983, a year after front-of-house (and today managing director) Craig Bancroft, a legend in the UK hospitality trade for his unflappable and genial charm.

Lisa’s menus bring the freshness and modernity to Northcote that metropolitan eyes may find lacking in the decor. Lancashire’s natural larder provides ample opportunity for seasonal, locally sourced ingredients to shine. Chargrilled 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. A six-course plant-based menu is also on offer or, if you don’t want to go down the tasting route, there are à la carte options and a seasonal lunch with 2/3 courses for £29/£36.

Further attractions include a chef’s table, a cookery school, afternoon tea, regular wine evenings and Obsession, which sees some of the UK’s most famous chefs each take over the kitchen for a night for two weeks at the end of January. Tickets sell out fast, as too the 26 individually designed bedrooms.

Good to know

Average Price
££££ - Over £80
Afternoon tea, British
Fine dining, Quiet conversation, Widely spaced tables
Other Awards
One Michelin star
Food Occasions
Breakfast, Dinner, Lunch
Special Features
Chef’s table, Vegan options, Vegetarian options
Birthdays, Celebrations, Special occasions
Food Hygiene Rating


Does Northcote have a Michelin star?

Northcote has one Michelin star.

Helpful? 0


Northcote Road, Langho, Blackburn, Lancashire, BB6 8BE

01254 240555


Opening Times

Mon-Sun 7.45-9.45am 12N-2pm Sun-Thurs 7-9.30pm (Sun -9pm) Fri-Sat 6.30-10pm


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3 Reviews 

Graham N

10 April 2019  
Good food and service. Well worth staying over to fully enjoy the experience.

Sophia S

21 March 2018  
Delicious menu Gluten Free choices, friendly, helpful staff & lovely atmosphere.

Paul A

10 June 2015  
Food & Drink 3.5
Service 2.5
Atmosphere 2.5
Value 2.5
One of the first things we noticed when having our aperitifs in the bar was an indicator of the kind of unschooled service we would not expect in a Relais et Chateaux establishment and which was unfortunately repeated in one form or another throughout the evening and at breakfast the following morning. Our fizz was inexpertly poured, resulting in drips down the outside of my wife's glass. No attempt was made to remove them. Although the wine flight looked reasonable, my eye was caught by one of the binends in the wine list, a Chapoutier Condrieu which would go very nicely with four of the first five dishes, we opted for that and a glass of Drouhin Oregon Pinot Noir for the lamb. Much to our surprise when we were shown to our table we saw that the wine had been decanted, without any reference to us as to our preference. It was clear that, having a "pre-starter" and the first course to come before starting on the Condrieu, and then a further three courses to be covered, the wine risked reaching an inappropriate temperature, so, to the evident and uncalled for disapproval of the wine waiter, we asked for the decanter to be put on ice. The so-called pre-starter was cleverly designed to tickle the tastebuds and please the eye with its good local goat's cheese mousse, pickled beetroot and beet ice cream topped wirh red-veined sorrel. Then came some lovely seared Angus beef with sensational roasted marrowbone, salsify done three ways, pickled, deep-fried and puréed, and trendy microherbs for extra tones of taste and colour. It was a generous portion for a starter, which worried us about our capacity for the rest of the menu. Domes filled with smoke are a bit passé, but the dehydrated mushrooms, duck liver parfait, morels and deliciously pungent shijimi made us forget the unnecessary theatrics very quickly. Decent crab followed with the interesting support of scallop roe in a cigar, fennel crisp, edible charcoal, dehydrated horseradish and pickled fennel, which actually added up to a dish that didn't really seem to know where it was going. The next course was also quite complicated but it worked better - sheep's milk ricotta with a gazpacho-style garlic and bread soup accompanied by acidulated tomatoes covering the whole range of tastes from sweet to sharp, tomato jelly, Tabasco pickled cucumber which remained remarkably mild, and the ubiquitous micro-herbs which seem to be a sine qua non for restaurants these days. For us char-grilling does no favours to halibut, a fish that needs no tinkering, and the Hollandaise sauce was then almost guaranteed to neutralise the taste of the fish, which was also served with trendy scorched little gem and sliced asparagus. The lamb cutlet that came next was rather better than some but suffered slightly from underseasoning, something that did not apply to the excellent lamb belly, and the Hispi cabbage was good; however, we did have doubts about the bitter turnip and the undercooked spring onion among the spring veg as well as the lamb crackling. The dessert struck us as having lost its way slightly with the dominant basil cream needing careful combining with the mango and blueberries, and the dish was only saved by the super coconut choc ice. Overall, perhaps a bit more focus on the macro and less on the micro would be of benefit. Typically, neither of the two Northcote "names" were in the kitchen for completely different reasons, but, with the provisos mentioned above, senior sous-chef Kirk Haworth did fill the gap competently.
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