Harden's survey result
For 25 years we've been curating reviews of the UK's most notable restaurant. This year diners have submitted over 60,000 reviews to create the most authoritative restaurant guide in the UK.
“A jewel ’up north!” The North West’s best-known country house hotel “bears comparison with the Gavroches and Watersides of the world (certainly when it comes to the bill!”) – and “even if it’s not yet reached the effortless heights of some of its most famous competitors, the whole approach is so polished, it’s nonetheless a remarkable experience”. Set on the edge of the Ribble Valley, in a much-converted and extended old manor house, the management’s high ambitions inspired a major upgrade a few years ago (“since, usefully toned down somewhat”) and its combination of “sublime cooking” (led by executive head chef Lisa Goodwin-Allen), “passion for wine” (“reflected by MD Craig Bancroft and all his team”) with “true, warm, friendly and totally unstuffy Lancastrian hospitality” means “they truly deserve the many awards they receive”. But are they “pushing too hard for a second Michelin Star”? – there’s the odd gripe about “weird combinations” (“nice to see new ideas, but not a huge success”), or the view that “aiming for technical perfection doesn’t always make for a fun meal”. (In October 2017, after 30 years, Chef/Patron Nigel Haworth announced he is to step back somewhat, taking on a new role as Northcote ‘Ambassador’, with a 50-day per annum commitment to the business).
“A major decor upgrade for the better” (completed 2-3 years ago) still features in reports on the North West’s most commented-on country house hotel – “a class act” in all respects. “Nigel Haworth (chef/patron) and Lisa Allen (head executive chef) have created the most wonderful menus – world-class yet true to their local roots” – delivered by “excellent but unfussy service”. “I have been visiting Northcote for over 20 years, and have never been disappointed.”
A “love-it-or-hate-it” refurb a couple of years ago (most reporters love it), complete with “numerous alterations and extensions” (and the installation of a “flashy bar”) has zhooshed up the North West’s most prominent country house hotel. Lisa Allen’s “effortlessly delicious” seasonal cuisine (“so intense it makes you drool!”) is matched with a “tremendous” and “constantly evolving” wine list, and served “without undue formality” by staff who “couldn’t be more helpful”. Top Menu Tip – “the table d’hote lunch is simply stunning value”.
“Improved , even if it is flashier!” – after some “terrific renovations”, including a new kitchen, the North West’s most prominent restaurant-with-rooms “has moved up a gear” (and it was no slouch before); Lisa Allen’s cooking is “truly gorgeous”, and the “brilliantly compiled” wine list a major attraction in its own right.
During 2014, Northcote was welcomed into the prestigious portfolio of Relais & Châteaux - a luxury collection of handpicked gourmet restaurants and boutique hotels spread throughout the world. With fewer than 600 properties across 60 countries, Northcote has become part of a select group of just 32 locations in the UK portfolio.
In the same year, the interactive Cookery School was launched. Housed within the hotel’s main kitchen - with four stations accommodating no more than eight students for an intimate, handson experience - courses are designed to educate whilst observing all the theatre of the working, Michelin-starred kitchen. Pupils can discover how ingredients are selected, prepared and transformed into the plated works of art that are famously served up on tables at Northcote.
Northcote has become one of the leading gastronomic destinations in the UK, with a stylish, new-look restaurant it sets the perfect platform for stunning plates of seasonal, British fare from Nigel Haworth and Head Chef Lisa Allen. Truly showcasing the bountiful larder of Lancashire, the Michelin-starred restaurant - retaining its star for the 19th year - boasts signature dishes of West Coast scallop, belted Galloway sirloin and Cumbrian roe deer on the popular gourmet and tasting menus.
Take a front row seat at the NEW Chef’s Table, truly an interactive experience. The Head Chef, Sommelier and dedicated Restaurant Team will guide you through each course, sharing their knowledge. They will spoil, entertain and answer any questions as you witness the creation of each and every dish in one of the top kitchens in the UK for not only talent but in cutting edge design.
The Michelin-starred menu is complemented by the enviable Northcote cellar and Managing Director and Director of Wines, Craig Bancroft, matches world-class wines along with Head Sommelier, Adam Palowski MS who recently fulfilled a career goal by becoming a Master Sommelier, a prestigious title only held by 220 people around the world.
The last part of Northcote’s extensive changes was the opening of the hugely anticipated Garden Lodge. An impressive new building in the hotel gardens, the Lodge comprises seven spacious bedrooms and one stunning Master Suite, each with individual terraces and views across the rolling Ribble Valley. With the option of three types of luxury lodgings, every room features king-size beds, oversized bathtubs and rain showers whilst the Master Suite features a separate lounge area with L-shaped sofa and recessed fireplace together with patio doors leading to a beautiful balustrade balcony.
The Garden Lodge can be booked exclusively for groups of 16 gourmands with a celebration package including a Louis Roederer Brut Premier Champagne reception in the lodge lounge and a celebration dinner in the Louis Roederer Cristal Room. Guest facilities include on-site boot and drying rooms for keen walkers and sportsmen, storage for golf clubs after a round at one of the many local courses and a licensed gun safe for secure storage before and after a shoot in the nearby moorlands. The Garden Lodge is the ideal stop-off on sporting trips from London to Scotland and all rooms, are of course, available to be booked individually thoughout the year.
The iconic Northcote is the country-house hotel of choice for discerning diners and seasoned travellers; an oasis of food and wine served with traditional Northern hospitality from the highly talented team. Exceptional warmth and world class luxury is always guaranteed at Northcote.
Chef Patron, Northcote
Northcote Restaurant Diner Reviews
"Taken lunch here twice in last four weeks. Once as a group of six for a celebration and once for a romantic lunch with my wife. As always the excellent value for money provided by the three course seasonal lunch menu did not disappoint. The staff were excellent and the food fab. We are lucky to have this gem in easy access to us. Highly recommended."
"Always an excellent experience and as a regular year in year out I will continue to support However the food this past year has been inconsistent I have enjoyed 2 exceptional lunches and an excellent dinner But I have had two lunches when the food has been well below Northcotes normal high standards I have also had a poor dinner and at the prices just not acceptable"
"Northcote continues to improve and seems to be at the top of its game. I hope that with diversification it doesn't drop its standards"
Northcote Rd, Langho, BB6 8BE
Monday to Sunday 7.45 to 9.45; 12 to 2pm; 3pm to 5pm; DINNER Mon to Thurs 7pm to 9.30pm; Fri 6.30pm to 10pm; Sat 6.30pm to 10pm; Sun 7pm to 9pm
Last orders: 10 pm, Sun 9 pm