Harden's survey result
One of the “top class gold-standards for restaurants in the North West” – this luxurious country house hotel, just off the A59 near Preston, has risen to ever-greater prominence over the years, and “its new ownership (The Stafford Collection) promises yet-additional investment”. “With Lisa Goodwin Allen now established as Executive Head Chef, there’s a new vibrancy to the cuisine, with interesting and imaginative new dishes whilst maintaining the best from the past” (established under Nigel Haworth); and “better touching base with its North West roots than it has in recent times”. Over the years the property has been lavishly added-to and refurbished with a result that can seem a bit “naff” or “corporate”, but which mostly gets the thumbs up for giving a “classy” impression. There’s “an exceptionally curated wine list, whose selection is led by MD Craig Bancroft, with plenty of classics but lots of other interesting wines from around the world”. “Will they now get the second Michelin star that they so crave?”
“Lisa Goodwin Allen carries on the excellent tradition” at the North West’s best-known country house hotel, which – since Nigel Haworth stepped back a little from the stoves – is “going from strength to strength”, with cuisine that’s “inventive but not outlandish” (“clever dishes that are incredible on the palate, deeply satisfying in both form and function”). There’s a “hugely varied and interesting wine list too, introduced wonderfully knowledgeably, and giving opportunities for great wine recommendations and ‘flights’”. The location is an old manor house in the picturesque Ribble Valley, which has been much-extended over the years, whose “professional-without-being-overbearing” staff create “a friendly and welcoming experience” (although some longtime visitors feel it’s a “pity they have extended the cosy buildings leaving them less characterful”). “A beautiful experience in a beautiful part of the country”.
“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.”
Managing Director Craig Bancroft together with Executive Chef Lisa Goodwin-Allen and the team are dedicated to their vision of ensuring the perfect experience at Northcote - a renowned small luxury hotel with a Michelin star restaurant situated on the edge of the Ribble Valley, in the heart of Lancashire.
The hotel, a member of the exclusive Relais & Chateaux and Pride of Britain Hotels, offers 26 individually styled luxurious bedrooms. Northcote's restaurant is renowned for its fine cuisine and serves traditional Lancashire recipes with a modern twist, created from local produce. To add to the experience, the Chef’s Table, in the kitchen, offers insights into how the kitchen really operates, and the Cookery School provides a unique and intimate experience where you can learn new skills and dishes in a Michelin star kitchen.
|Wine per bottle||£30.00|
Northcote Rd, Langho, BB6 8BE
|Monday||7 am‑2 pm, 6:30 pm‑9:30 pm|
|Tuesday||7 am‑2 pm, 6:30 pm‑9:30 pm|
|Wednesday||7 am‑2 pm, 6:30 pm‑9:30 pm|
|Thursday||7 am‑2 pm, 6:30 pm‑9:30 pm|
|Friday||7 am‑2 pm, 6:30 pm‑9:30 pm|
|Saturday||7 am‑2 pm, 6:30 pm‑9:30 pm|
|Sunday||7 am‑2 pm, 6:30 pm‑9:30 pm|