Built in 1788, the White Hart at Lydgate offers charming, expansive views from its hilltop location on the outskirts of Oldham. As an upscale inn-with-rooms, it also promises several dining options: the informal Brasserie majors on crowd-pleasing dishes produced with quality ingredients (think grilled lemon sole on the bone with almond brown butter or slow-cooked ox cheek with burnt onion and kale), while the Dining Room showcases head chef Mike Shaw’s refined multi-course tasting menus. Our starter of Cornish crab, mango and coriander was light, elegant and sweet, while pan-roast foie gras with smoked onion was intensely rich and full-flavoured. To follow, there might be perfectly tender squab with Umbrian lentils and sausage or honey-roast duck pointed up with aromatic Sarawak peppercorns, turnip and sweet plums. Dishes can be paired with wines from an extensive, carefully curated list that demonstrates genuine passion and expertise. If you’re after a different vibe, there’s also a dedicated bar with log-burning stoves, cask ales and a classy pub-grub menu. In short, a comfortable and appealing country inn that’s well worth the trip.
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