Northcote, Lancashire

Northcote, on the edge of the Ribble Valley, is probably best known for its Michelin starred restaurant with Lisa Allen at the helm (you might recognise her from Great British Menu) along with exec chef Nigel Hayworth. They also host a star studded food festival, Obsession, now in its 17th year, which you can read about here.

But this review is of the hotel – and it’s quite a decent one. 26 rooms in total. The outside is grand in a slightly gothic way. Our room is in the Garden Lodge, a more recently built building, which is also impressive in appearance, and near the allotment where ingredients are grown for the kitchen.

It’s a superior room, number 22, which is one of the biggest rooms I’ve been in. The carpet is soft and fluffy, you can even see the hoover marks like on a carefully mown lawn. The bed is three pillows wide – the type you’d lose your partner in – which after 8 years is no bad thing.

As it’s on the ground floor we have doors leading onto our own patio area with views to the hills beyond. It’s really peaceful. There are the odd niggles however – I’m no fan of fake flowers and I’d love a Nespresso machine instead of the kettle and instant coffee.

The bathroom is equally huge. There are two sinks, a stand alone bath, which passes the long-enjoyable-soak-test, and a walk through shower which is the whole length of the room. It’s all very indulgent.

Breakfast (£25 per person) is served in the dining room and we nab a window seat with more views of those hills. I go for Mrs Kirkham’s (that’s a Lancashire cheese) soufflé which comes with a grilled tomato. It’s a naughty start to the day; the cheese is rich and stringy with crisped up edges.

The fry up is a well sourced plate of food; it’s all Greave’s home cured back and streaky local bacon, Farnsworth’s thin link Cumberland sausages, R.S. Ireland’s black pudding and Bowland free range eggs. A small circle of white bread fried in bacon fat is a particular highlight.

Our stay at Northcote is part of a few days in Lancashire – an area previously undiscovered by us but one which we now love. The scenery, the restaurants, cute places to stay – it’s got it all. And if you’re after a bit of refinement – here is definitely one for the list.

Would we go back? Yes.
We stayed as guests of the hotel

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