Afternoon tea, British·
Silver Award

SquareMeal Review of Northcote

Silver Award

A comfortable country house hotel on the edge of the Ribble Valley, Northcote has held a Michelin star for over two decades and has been an important trailblazer for modern, seasonal British cooking, led first by Nigel Haworth then more recently by Lisa Goodwin-Allen.

The dining room certainly has an old-school charm about it - snow-white tablecloths, sparkling glassware and besuited service signal that we’re firmly in fine-dining territory, not to mention the magnificent crystal chandeliers overhead. The beige leather chairs are plush and squidgy, which is excellent news as you’ll be settling in for a little while to enjoy your choice of a five-course seasonal tasting menu, one of the set menus or a la carte, depending when you visit.

Lisa’s menus champion Lancashire’s bountiful larder, providing ample opportunity for great ingredients to shine. Chargrilled asparagus was packed with flavour, served simply with creamy sheep’s curd and sharp wood-sorrel leaves, and the menu doesn’t hold back on big flavours elsewhere either, with a glazed, roasted quail breast, juxtaposed neatly against a swish of turnip puree, tangy apple gel and deep, rich sauce.

Northcote might feel a little old-fashioned to metropolitan eyes, but there’s no fault to be found in the flavours and technical execution of the cooking here. Our favourite dish of the evening was, in fact, something that felt a little more contemporary: a scallop with the most perfect of sears, sat in the middle of a sauce Veronique - a vermouth, grape and tarragon sauce, here made with fermented grapes and split with tarragon oil. It was as beautiful to look at as it was to eat.

Matched with note-perfect wines and friendly service, Northcote’s dependably delicious cooking finishes showing talent in the pastry kitchen too - a playful dish of frozen Amalfi lemon crumb, served with yoghurt sorbet and honey meringue. If you catch Northcote on a glorious sunny evening, as we did, you may gaze out into the Ribble Valley beyond and think, there are very few better places to be.

Good to know

Average Price
££££ - Over £80
Afternoon tea, British
Fine dining, Quiet conversation, Widely spaced tables
One Michelin star, SquareMeal UK Top 100
Food Occasions
Dinner, Lunch, Sunday roast
Special Features
Chef’s table, Vegan options, Vegetarian options
Perfect for
Birthdays, Celebrations, Romantic, Special occasions
Food Hygiene Rating


One of the UK’s most lauded hotel restaurants, Northcote has been held in high regard for many decades. This bastion of British cooking was originally put on the map by Nigel Haworth, who won the restaurant a Michelin star in 1996, and the Lancashire hotel continues to be a pioneer of modern British cooking thanks to award-winning chef Lisa Goodwin-Allen, who has led the kitchen for the last 20 years. In 2022, Goodwin-Allen won the AYALA SquareMeal Female Chef of the Year Award.

Situated north of Blackburn, Northcote is nestled in the picturesque Ribble Valley, right on the edge of the Forest of Bowland. The restaurant itself uses a range of local suppliers, as well as growing a huge range of produce in the extensive kitchen gardens, which you’re free to walk around when you visit. Inside, this is a modern restaurant that manages to be both formal, sophisticated but still relaxed.

The restaurant offers a variety of menus, including seasonal gourmet tasting menu, vegetarian tasting menu, as well as a Sunday lunch. Goodwin-Allen’s seasonal menus change regularly, and shine a light on great British produce from Lancashire and beyond. On the menu at the time of writing you’ll find a Rossini of aged dairy cow with Madeira, mushroom and parsley, wild red prawns with mange, honey yoghurt, lime pickle and red curry, and a riff on tiramisu made with coffee and calamansi. Wine flights are also available, either by the glass or by the bottle, with Northcote boasting an award-winning wine collection. Many wines are available by Coravin, allowing you to try fine wines by the glass, where they would normally only be available by the bottle.

On top of that, Northcote also boasts a chef’s table for up to 16 people. The table is set behind a glass wall in the kitchen, putting you at the heart of the action. There are 26 rooms available for overnight stays in the hotel, and Northcote also boasts its own cooking school, with classes available to book should you wish to learn some new skills.


Does this restaurant have a Michelin star?

Yes, it has one Michelin star.

Helpful? 0

Who is the head chef?

The executive chef is Lisa Goodwin-Allen who has lead the team since she was 23 years old.

Helpful? 0


Northcote Road, Langho, Lancashire, BB6 8BE

01254 240555 01254 240555


Opening Times

Mon Closed
Tue Closed
Wed 12:00-14:00
Thu 12:00-14:00
Fri 12:00-14:00
Sat 12:00-14:00
Sun 12:00-14:30
Mon 18:30-20:30
Tue 18:30-20:30
Wed 18:30-20:30
Thu 18:30-20:30
Fri 18:30-21:00
Sat 18:30-21:00
Sun 18:30-20:30


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4 Reviews 

Barry B

23 November 2022  
Food & Drink 5
Service 5
Atmosphere 5
Value 5

The main reason for coming to this hotel is the restaurant and the tasting menu under the guidance of the chef Lisa Goodwin Allen.

The main event starts with a drink in the bar or out on the patio, before being invited into the restaurant. Having advised the team of a Soya allergy, they confirmed that this had been noted and there were no issues. Have looked at the menu, my partner said that I could have her first course of asparagus, the team said no they would come up with something different which turned out to be an isle of wright tomato consommé and a small piece of bruschetta- serious food envy on my part! It was fantastic.

The sommelier was good, listening to our likes and suggested a very good Cypriot wine at a reasonable price.

The following courses live up to the starters with some excellent service from the likes of Eirann, who was one of the best waiting staff we have encountered.

After an leisurely dinner, we had teas on the terrace as it was still pleasantly warm.

This was an experience which we enjoyed and would look forward to enjoying again in the future.


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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01254 240555 01254 240555

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